Thursday, January 31, 2019

President By The Grace Of God

Germany has a good time laughing their heads off. The below article was part of German News Outlet Tagesschau. Enjoy!

Trump's spokeswoman Sanders finally delivered it- the incontrovertible explanation of how her boss has become the US president. And it has nothing to do with free elections.

By Susann Burwitz,

There is hardly a politician who has polarized so much since his inauguration as Donald Trump. For more than two years he has been sitting in the White House - planning walls, ranting against Democrats, press and special investigators and tweeting with the world to the bet. And still one or the other ponders the question in mind: How? How and why could this man make it to the top of one of the most powerful nations in the world?

But now the political brooding can finally take a breath of relief and stop the grueling headache, because the answer is simple. No, it had nothing to do with Trump's pedigree. No, not even with the millions in his account. And nothing with the votes of the electorate, who spoke out in late 2016 for Trump as the next Mr. President. Actually, they could have voted for whoever they wished: Clinton or Trump, Democrats or Republicans - all the same.

Trump made it to the White House with God's help - at least his spokeswoman Sarah Sanders is convinced.

Help from the very top level.

Trump's door into the Oval Office opened up from above - from the very top of the top, so to speak. This was revealed by Trump's spokeswoman for the White House, Sarah Sanders, in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network. "I think God wanted him to be president," she said with conviction, all dressed in Christian white, with the pearl necklace around her neck and the spotlight that made her eyes shine like pure diamonds.

Hallelujah - there we have it! God, in his omniscience, has realized what Sanders, as spokesperson for the 45th President of the United States, realized then: Trump is a born leader dedicated to solving the problems "the citizens of the true faith keep from sleeping at night".

Amen to that!

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Everyone Talks About The Cold

When ever political scandals are fading for the moment, there is always a reason to talk about the weather. Looking at all major news outlets today, the polar vortex has stolen all the headlines. 

While it really appears to be extremely cold in the midwest, there is no reason to doubt global warming. Global warming is, like the term suggests. a global happening. It has nothing to do with people in Chicago freezing their butts off on any day in January. The deep freeze in the midwest is certainly not a global problem. What's going on locally, is called WEATHER. And weather is different than global warming. Mixing weather with global climate would be comparing apples with oranges. World temps are rising. With rising temps we get a melt-off of ice in polar regions. When ice melts, the level of the seas are rising. Talk to people living along the coast. They have seen rising seas for quite some time. If all the ice covering Antarctica, Greenland, and in mountain glaciers around the world were to melt, sea level would rise about 70 meters (230 feet). The ocean would cover all the coastal cities. And land area would shrink significantly. 
This horror scenario will not happen tomorrow just yet, but we are on the way.

Besides of causing a problem for low-lying areas, it will also bring significant to the ecology. Examplewise I can mention the fisheries along the north-east of the U.S. and Canada. Since conventional fishing for cod, haddock and pollock is heavily restricted, fishermen concentrate on lobster catches. But lobsters have largely disappeared from certain areas due to warming waters.  South of Cape Cod lobsters have been disappearing at an alarming rate.

Story:FAIRHAVEN — Tom Tomkiewicz remembers when there were so many lobster traps in Buzzards Bay it looked as if he could walk across the water on their buoys.

Now, the 42-year-old lobsterman and his dwindling number of colleagues have to set their traps far out to sea, well beyond view of the coast, to catch the few lobsters that remain.

“There’s nothing here,” said Tomkiewicz, one of only 35 Massachusetts lobstermen who still have permits to fish in the state and federal waters that stretch from Nantucket Sound to Long Island Sound. “It’s crazy.”

The Bay of Fundy is still cold and we still catch lobster here, but the average water temperature is rising as well. Maybe it is only a question of time until the lobster has moved even farther north on its search for colder waters.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Sun Was Out Again Today

After snow, then ice and now finally milder weather the sun was out on duty again today. Yesterday’s storm reached up to 114km/h (over 70mph) and consequently there was a huge surf along the beach. Thanks to the ground being solidly frozen, no trees fell over during the storm.

I was out on the beach early with Dixie being a 100% excited to run along this huge empty beach. It was low tide and the beach was easily 200ft wide. Last tide had been high up and it was obvious that the waves had reached into the marshy meadow behind the sand barrier.
                           The outlet of Lake Glensevern                                                    Below: lake water rushing towards the ocean.

Hours later, we went back to the beach. Now it was nearing high tide and the waves crashing ashore were among the highest I have ever seen her on Campobello, some of them reaching 10-12ft. 

On our way back to the parking lot we had to walk on top of the grassy edge, about 4ft. above the sand. The biggest waves were now covering the entire width of the beach and we would have gotten our feet wet if we’d stayed on the sand. Also one can’t be cautious enough when it comes to the power of rushing water. These waves can push a person off its feet and sweep you out at sea.

The show mother nature had put up for us was simply mind-boggling. The power of the towering waves had an electrifying effect on us. Of course, we had to watch out for Dixie, not getting too close to the water. At the end we had to put her on the leash to be safe.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Ice Rink

Living on the coast means that the most stabile weather is gonna last 2 or maybe 3 days.  Winter doesn't mean we are gonna have 3 months of snow, nor do we have 3 months of rain. What we are getting is maybe 3 days of snow, 2 days of rain, 1 day of a deep-freeze and maybe one or the other day of mild spring-like sunny days.

And that is about what we have gone through over the last 4 days in a condensed form. 6" of snow froze to a solid layer of ice when freezing rain started at the end of the day. Next morning it was friggin' cold and one could hardly walk on top of the snow. Yesterday, the cold broke and temps climbed above 0C, going higher overnight and reaching +7C today. On top of that it is raining and the running water is flooding layers of ice, making it almost impossible to step outside without cleats on your feet. Even Dixie is having her problems balancing along. The below picture was taken by a neighbour, showing kids skating on an ice rink. No, it is not a regular ice rink. It is an area which flooded by water, then froze and now it would be just about perfect, if it wouldn't rain. And the kids discovered it and got their skates out.

While the main road across the island is drivable, it is not safe to try the side roads. This morning I almost got stuck down at Herring Cove Beach. Good thing I carried a bucket of sand in the van.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Living On The Fringe

The following article has been taken from the Financial Post. It is about Campobello Island, New Brunswick. 

The island Canada forgot: On Campobello, citizens are left exiles in their own land

With no ferry service, the only access to mainland Canada is through the United States

East Quoddy Lighthouse, Campobello Island, N.B. The island famous for being the summer home of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, has no ferry service to the Canadian mainland causing hardship and inconvience for its population of 800.Rose Catalano Curtis/Trover/photo illustration National Post
Victoria Matthews can understand the attraction of Campobello Island, N.B., to an outsider. It can seem a magical place, with rocky coastlines, dramatic ocean vistas, big tides, bogs, lichen-shrouded forests, clams to dig for and wild blueberries to pick by the bucketful come summer.
There are lighthouses, seabirds, breaching whales and, for history buffs, a star attraction: Roosevelt Campobello International Park, 1,134-hectares centred around the family cottage of former president Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his wife, Eleanor.
There are also the locals, about 800 or so permanent residents, such as Matthews. They hold community fundraising suppers, watch out for their neighbours and welcome scads of mostly American cottagers and tourists who stream across the Roosevelt International Bridge from Lubec, Maine.
But despite Campobello’s postcard-worthy attributes, the 23-year-old Matthews has pretty much had it with the place. It’s not that the island doesn’t feel like home. It’s that Campobello makes her feel as though she is a Canadian living in exile — physically, politically, practically, medically and economically separated from the rest of the country — which, more or less, she is since the bridge is the island’s only physical link to mainland North America and it’s not to Canada.
“At this point, there is not a whole lot I can say that I love about Campobello,” Matthews said. “Like, for example, our grocery store, it is really limited in choice. The only meat is ground beef, chicken and steak, and the fresh food spoils real quick and there is no fish, well, once in a great while our convenience store will have some fish. But if I want to buy real food, I have to drive all the way to the superstore in Canada — and that means I have to drive through the States to get there.”
There used to be a 30-minute privately owned summer ferry service connecting Campobello to Deer Island, N.B., but the service stopped in 2017 after the boat sank and it has yet to resume operation. To get to mainland New Brunswick to buy, say, groceries, islanders must cross an international bridge, clear U.S. Customs, turn right, drive 85 kilometres through Maine and check-in with Canadian customs in St. Stephen, N.B.
After all that, they are ready to go shopping, but not, ideally, for oranges, mangoes, potatoes grown in Western Canada, rice in burlap bags, avocados, more than 12 plants or a new pet parakeet, all of which are banned by U.S. customs.
Once back at the border, the islander must declare all the fruits and vegetables they have purchased to U.S. agents, and do the drive in reverse to get home, including passing (again) through Canadian customs. All told, one shopping trip equals four border crossings.
But Matthews has more pressing needs than groceries. Her three-year-old son, Walter, has some learning challenges. He was assigned a caseworker in St. Stephen in October and a plan was made for the specialist to commute to Campobello four days a week to work with him. That plan hasn’t been initiated yet, because the Canadian specialist is waiting to receive a passport.
“It is a little frustrating,” Matthews said.
Islanders with plumbing problems speak of the impossibility of finding a mainland New Brunswick plumber willing to travel through Maine for a job. The same goes for electricians, septic bed maintenance companies, freshwater well-digging operations, washer and dryer repair technicians, major construction firms, furnace repairmen and veterinarians.
To get treatment for an ailing cow, an island farmer, and there are a handful of them in a predominantly fishing community, requires a permit from the U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to import the cow into Maine for the drive north to Canada — which nobody bothers doing. What they will do, according to Campobello Mayor Stephen Smart, is arrange for a lobster boat to take the beast on a cross-water trip to the New Brunswick mainland.
Island residents will also spend the majority of their income in the U.S. to avoid the multiple border crossings, the mayor said, regardless of the less-than-robust Canadian dollar.
“If our community is going to survive and not become a ghost town or simply a summer residence for the Americans, whom we actually do like, we need an easy way for Canadians to come and visit us, as far as tourism goes, and a clear way for us to get to Canada without going through the U.S. border,” Smart said. “Some people here, they don’t leave the island, unless they can leave it by boat. We’re down to 800 people. Our high school graduating class is down to four kids. I see transportation as a critical barrier to growth.”
If our community is going to survive and not become a ghost town or simply a summer residence for the Americans, whom we actually do like, we need an easy way for Canadians to come and visit us, as far as tourism goes, and a clear way for us to get to Canada without going through the U.S. border
Campobello Mayor Stephen Smart

Campobello’s day-to-day isolation from the rest of Canada irks Senator David Adams Richards, an award-winning New Brunswick author who sits in the Senate as an independent.
Richards is an outspoken critic of Bill C-21, a new amendment to the Canada Customs Act intended to crack down on smuggling and facilitate the sharing of traveller information between U.S. and Canadian border officials. The act received Royal Assent before Christmas, and the senator suspects it will amplify the daily headaches islanders already experience in relation to the border.
“The residents of Campobello must travel through a foreign country while transporting goods and services from one part of N.B. to another,” Richards said in an email to the Financial Post. “The regulations imposed and the new regulations enacted will make it almost impossible to conduct daily affairs.
“Even the basic transportation of household goods can be scrutinized by border security working for the U.S. government; in theory and in practice, the people of the island have been stranded by a good degree of thoughtlessness.”
Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Ralph Goodale’s office in a statement to the Financial Post said the “traveller’s experience will be entirely unchanged” by the new bill.
The anti-smuggling component of the bill, moreover, is intended to target items such as “stolen vehicles and materials that violate Canada’s anti-nuclear proliferation obligations,” the statement added. “To deal with these problems — which are not serious concerns with respect to Campobello Island shipments — C-21 gives Canada Border Services Agency officers the discretion to require reporting and to conduct examinations, as and where necessary.”
The one thing Senator Richards, Mayor Smart, Victoria Matthews, Campobello’s Progressive Conservative MLA Greg Thompson and Liberal MP Karen Ludwig can unanimously agree upon is that, ultimately, the island needs a year-round ferry service binding it to mainland Canada.
Thompson, a long time Conservative MP under Stephen Harper, has been bemoaning the “thickening of the border” since 9/11. But he said getting a ferry into action would take two to five years minimum, and that’s assuming all the players involved had already discussed how much it would cost and who was going to pay for it, a hypothetical dialogue that hasn’t happened yet.
“I am a big fan of magic wands, but you don’t often get control of the wand,” Thompson said.
Some lay the blame for the island’s isolation on East Coast Ferries Ltd., which operated the Deer Island-to-Campobello seasonal ferry loop until last season, when its ferry sank. The company has since built a new ferry, dubbed the Hopper III, but it is in bureaucratic limbo, awaiting a visit from Transport Canada officials to certify it safe for the coming summer.
Widespread chatter ensued in the absence of the ferry service last summer, ensnaring islanders, the New Brunswick media and different levels of government. But for all the noise, nobody apparently bothered to call Leanne Silvaggio, manager of East Coast Ferries Ltd., to ask what was up with the boat.
It wasn’t that we didn’t want to be running the ferry last summer. We had to rebuild the whole ferry, and it just didn’t get done in time
Leanne Silvaggio, manager of East Coast Ferries Ltd.

“Pretty well everybody likes to talk to everybody else except for us,” she said. “It wasn’t that we didn’t want to be running the ferry last summer. We had to rebuild the whole ferry, and it just didn’t get done in time.”
Silvaggio has heard, though not directly from Thompson, that the province is interested in extending the Campobello ferry’s operating season, starting earlier in the spring and running it later in the fall. (Thompson later confirmed that extending the ferry’s operating season was a logical interim measure and something the province will be pursuing.)
“If that is the plan, we’re interested,” Silvaggio said.
Extending the season would be a definite plus, but it is not a permanent fix, something Brent MacPherson, founder and chair of the Campobello Year Round Ferry Committee, a citizens group dedicated to its namesake task, wants to resolve.
MacPherson is 62, semi-retired and married to a native islander, Victor Mitchell. The couple moved to Campobello a little more than a year ago, but recently pulled up stakes after Victor, a hairstylist, got sick of commuting across Maine to get to his four-day-a-week job at Pure Hair & Esthetics Studio in St. Andrews, N.B.
The 160-minute round trip was long, to be sure, but the border crossings are what rankled Mitchell, 66, most. As a hairstylist, he travels with a bag containing clippers, scissors, a blow dryer, combs, brushes and other related tools that U.S. border agents repeatedly questioned him about.
Even more aggravating was when the pair traveled together as a couple. MacPherson believes, admittedly without any proof, that he and Victor were flagged at least “six to 10 times” by the U.S. simply because they were married men.
Nonetheless, MacPherson loves Campobello, wishes he still lived there, and was instrumental in pushing for a federally funded feasibility study on a year-round ferry service.
Phase one of the study was a survey completed in October. It revealed 81 per cent of island business owners feel that “crossing the border today is more difficult than five years ago, mostly owing to lengthier American border controls.”
When you take all the bad things out, all the inconveniences, and just look out at a summer’s day, you see that living here is pretty tough to beat
Scott Henderson, a Campobello native

It also found that a majority of islanders purchase between “21 and 100 per cent of their goods in the U.S.” Three-quarters of the respondents said they would happily divert their dollars to Canadian businesses — a total pegged at about $3.1 million annually — were they linked by a year-round ferry.
“There are strong regional economic benefits associated with a year-round ferry,” the survey concluded.
It is a conclusion Scott Henderson can’t dispute. Henderson is 56, and a Campobello native. He runs a small construction company that relies on twice-weekly deliveries from a supplier in St. Stephen. Henderson makes the order, and the supplier deals with the border-related paperwork.
Construction being construction, there is always something more he needs — a nut, bolt, light bulb, other bits and bobs — so he drives across the Franklin Delano Roosevelt bridge several times a week to Lubec Hardware on Water Street. He also gets gas and does his banking in Lubec, because Campobello doesn’t have a gas station or a bank.
Henderson reckons he spends a $1,000 a month at the hardware store — the owner doesn’t take Canadian currency at par — money, being Canadian, he would prefer to spend in Canada.
“I am 56 and I’ve lived here all of my days. I think everybody has thought about moving off the island at some point. Some of our elderly spend two or three days a week going back and forth to doctor’s appointments in Saint John,” he said.
“Sometimes, living here, it just feels like you are in the middle of nowhere. But when you take all the bad things out, all the inconveniences, and just look out at a summer’s day, you see that living here is pretty tough to beat.”

Monday, January 21, 2019

We Have A Comment From A Trumpist

It is still amazing how dumb Trump supporters really are. Yes, after some time of silence, this Trumpist finally quipped up again by sending me a comment. (I thought I had lost him) He named himself "Middle Class American". Judging after his comment, I would rather expect him to be "Lower Class American". But have a look at his comment. He wants to vote Trumpi "back in again" for 8 years. He just forgot that F.D.R. was the last president with more than 2 terms in office and that 2 terms are the maximum a president can serve. He also thinks that Trump can keep "Rip Raft" (he means "Riffraff") out of the country. 

We're voting Trump back in for another
8 years.... having him keeps the rip raft out...

Not that we are in school here, but it becomes painfully clear that education not only in grammar but also of other vital parts is missing here.

Besides of all that, there is a good chance that this so-called "President" is gonna end up behind bars after this term is over, something, which would preclude him from even running again.

So, dear "Middle Class American" keep on writing your comments, and if others feel for it, I say Go for it. It makes for great entertainment.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

You Wouldn’t Want To Send The Dog Outside

Hello and Good Morning!                  Though I could add that it sure isn’t a “good” morning. All I can see from my window is drifting snow and I hear the wind howling around the house corners. This is the storm we have been warned about. Yet, as unpleasant as it is, we are still the lucky ones, at least if I can believe the weather folks out there. Right now, and it is only a quarter past eight, the temperature outside is –5. Looking at a place like Moncton, New Brunswick, it is –15 up there. And while we are going to get rain in the afternoon, they are still gonna get snow. It’s gonna pile up for them there. I am very hesitant to let Dixie go outside. I know she hates the wind and getting snow in her face. And who wouldn’t?

 The rain predicted is gonna come as a freezing rain to begin with and windspeeds are gonna increase to an average of 50km/h. Right now the storm is coming off the ocean, but will turn more to north later.
I have carried in a load of firewood yesterday and the stove is hot. We have filled a few containers with water, just in case we are losing power. Made myself a hearty breakfast with 2 scrambled eggs this morning.

Better days will be here again soon.
At first I thought that Google finally got around to fix the publishing error they induced on the Blogger login, but when adding pictures to the blog it didn't work. Others have written about it. It is obvious that Blogger has a low priority with the Google people. Stuff like that has happened repeatedly over the years.

It has now been snowing from the early morning hours until early afternoon and we have about 6" of "snow" in the yard. The fact that it was about 6" I discovered only when bringing in more firewood. At that time a freezing rain was coming down heavily. I figured that we'd have to make a path over to the vehicles and down to the road, which is about 80ft. It proved to be very hard work. The upper crust was almost impossible to break through. The stuff was so heavy that it could only be shoveled, but not pushed. Together we made it down to the plow edge at the road. (damn road plow) While at it the freezing rain pellets were still coming down like crazy. Windshields are covered a quarter of an inch with pure ice. What a mess. And when we got back into the house our jackets were encrusted with ice. My ball cap had turned into a helmet. Wow....

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Dixie Got A Friend Visiting

Occasionally, I have mentioned Dixie’s friend “Beau”. Beau is a cream-coloured Retriever and lives in our neighbourhood. Today, his owners had an errand in the big city and had asked whether Beau could be visiting with us for the day. And of course, that shouldn’t be any problem.
We thought we could start the day with an early-morning walk with both dogs, so they could burn off some energy. But today was one of the coldest mornings so far. The thermometer showed –16C (3.2F) but the wind chill was even colder. So, the morning walk was converted into a short run-around the house. Naturally, both dogs needed more exercise and so they “exercised” in our living room, which you will find documented in the following pics.

While some dogs can be very territorial in their home, Dixie is a good friend to Beau and is very permissive. They just romp around having fun.
The day developed very sunny and after lunch we loaded both dogs into one of the vans and took off to Herring Cove. As the wind was still blowing out of the Northwest, we chose the more protected trail through the woods and along the lake.
We kept Beau on a long leash while Dixie could run free. It turned out to be a great outing for both the dogs and us. Wasn’t too cold either. So by now, both dogs are resting, collecting more energies for the next get-together.

Monday, January 14, 2019

There Is No Paradise Anymore --- ANYWHERE!!

When you go shopping, when you go to a fast food restaurant or just a potluck dinner, you are most likely using objects of plastic. Plastic shopping bags, plastic wrapping, plastic cans, plastic bottles, plastic cups, plastic plates, plastic knives, plastic forks and spoons.
It is all that plastic we are using that will stay on this globe for ever. No, it will not disappear. Yes, it will break down – into very small parts over decades. These parts are getting into the food chain and are the most dangerous part of all plastic floating in the ocean. Birds are dying of plastic-filled bellies, so are sea turtles, whales and every other creature living in the oceans.

We have to stop this craziness. How? We have to teach and educate the young generation, we have to raise awareness in the population, and we have to ask our governments to regulate the use of plastics.
Do yourself the favor and watch the video below. If you look for more information on the topic just type “Plastic in the ocean” into Google. Make sure you are not eating when you watch the video.              

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Trump Has Defeated Himself

The president, trapped without a decent exit in a predicament of his own making, will yield everything and get nothing.

JAN 8, 2019

  David Frum Staff writer at The Atlantic


Well, that was the shortest, most easily resolved national emergency in U.S. history. Twelve hours ago, the president was preparing to set aside the regular process of law. By 9 p.m. eastern time? Not so much.

Perhaps somebody pointed out that 15-year civil-engineering projects do not look very convincingly like emergency measures. “My house is burning! Time to begin the process of calling for design proposals for a new fire station.”

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President Donald Trump is about to discover the reverse side of Richard Neustadt’s famous observation that the most important presidential power is the power to persuade. Trump’s conduct as candidate and president long ago deprived him of any power to persuade anyone not already predisposed to support him. To date, Trump has governed by leveraging his high approval rating within the Republican Party. From the point of view of former Speaker Paul Ryan and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Trump’s 90 percent approval rating among Republicans mattered a lot more than his 39 percent approval rating among Americans in general.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is not susceptible to that “majority of the minority” logic. What she has to worry about is Trump’s strength among Democratic-leaning voters. That strength, Trump squandered long ago.

There is a real immigration problem on the border. Central American migrants have figured out that by showing up at the border in family units, they will be admitted into the country pending the adjudication of an asylum claim. The asylum system is overwhelmed, adjudications take months or years—and long before then, the would-be migrants can vanish into the U.S. labor market. Few Central Americans prevail in their asylum claims. Almost all end up staying, anyway.

The solution to that problem is not a lengthy process of design, tendering, land expropriation, grading, and construction. The solution is to get more adjudicators into the asylum system now. If cases are resolved fast, and border-crossers removed promptly, the surge of asylum seekers will abate, as it abated in 2015 after the Barack Obama administration cracked down on the 2014 Central American border surge.

But Trump has never wanted a solution. He has wanted a divisive issue and a personal monument. Futile though that monument may be, he could have gotten it, too, had he been willing to trade something attractive to Democrats. But Trump was never willing to bargain. Senate Republicans would not let him: They saw no point in the border wall, and were unwilling to barter for it.

George Packer: The suicide of a great democracy

More fatefully, though, Trump’s vision of leadership allows no room for bartering. He imagines the presidency to operate on the principle, “I command; you obey.” More even than his wall, he wanted to coerce the Democrats into a surrender by the sheer force of his mighty will. Except Trump did not have the clout to achieve that.

“Leverage: don’t make deals without it.” The words appeared under Donald Trump’s byline on page 55 of the 1987 best seller The Art of the Deal. Trump did not write them, and he seems not to have understood how to apply them. In this budget shutdown, Trump discarded his leverage from the very start, by declaring for the cameras that the budget shutdown was his decision, his responsibility. When the shutdown began to hurt, Trump and his surrogates hastily tried to transfer the onus—but it was too late. Everybody knew that it was Trump’s doing, and that it was done for reasons rejected by large majorities of Americans.

The idea of invoking “emergency powers” was a last grasp for the leverage Trump had already abdicated, and it had to be abandoned for fear of what the courts and public opinion would say.

After the January 8 Oval Office address, little doubt remains of how this shutdown will end. Sooner or later—probably sooner—it will end the way Trump’s threats of nuclear war upon North Korea ended: with a sudden Trump about-face. It is now only a matter of time. The polls will arrive over the next hours. Democrats and Republicans will both see that Trump did not move public opinion in his favor. They might see that Trump could not even motivate very many Americans to watch him. The panic slowly building among congressional Republicans will boil. Trump, trapped without a decent exit in a predicament of his own making, will yield everything and get nothing.

Trump will cope by locking himself into the Fox News closed-feedback system of flattering disinformation, emerging only to emit enraged tweets pretending he won big and denouncing the media for reporting otherwise. He might even convince himself to believe it. His political allies will repeat it without believing it.

But he will have lost. Lost humiliatingly. And he will have done it almost entirely to himself, before the amazed eyes of the opponents who, dumbfounded, watched him do it to himself, without a plan or even much of a reason, other than the empty and fleeting joy of feeling briefly powerful by inflicting pain.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019