March rambling: 151 fictional species

Upstate NY climate haven?

Zoom meetingsWhat is the only country with Catalan as an official national language? What is the only officially bilingual province in Canada? Answers below.

United Methodist conservatives detail plans for a breakaway. Their leaders have unveiled plans to form a new denomination called the Global Methodist Church, with a doctrine that does not recognize same-sex marriage.

North Dakota Is About to Kill the National Popular Vote Compact.

Daily Kos very comprehensive guide to the 117th Congress, members, and districts.

Upstate NY cities named among the best climate havens as the world grows hotter.

Jeff Sharlet: All That We’ve Lost (COVID).

24 Cybersecurity Statistics During the Spiraling Panic Around COVID-19.

Wait at Least Seven Weeks After COVID for Surgery.

Heather McGhee – “The Sum of Us” and The True Cost of Racism | The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.

Judge blisters prosecutors as he releases 3 wrongfully convicted Black men after 24 years.

The African/American Table.

Vernon Jordan, Civil Rights Activist And Power Broker Dies At 85.

Roger Mudd, the longtime TV newsman, dies at 93.

Five things worth knowing about the Mars Perseverance Rover.

Tyranny of Choice.

Why spacing out is good for you.

Vlogbrothers: How Much Hope is OK?

Snow Days May Never Be the Same. As I’ve noted, boo, hiss!

Before You Blow Up on  YouTube | The Cautionary Tale of Jani Lane.

How to Delete Your Old Online Accounts (and Why You Should).

Deep Nostalgia photorealism on the MyHeritage site. Creepy.

Does Alcohol Really Burn Off When Cooked?

Cherry Blossom Cam – U.S. National Park Service in DC. The predicted peak blossom time is April 2-5.

Pokémon at 25: How 151 fictional species took over the world.

 We’re not in Kansas anymore. Or maybe we are.

Now I Know

Attempted Mann-Slaughter and Squashing the Garden and The Blues for Some Boo-Boos and The Soviet Plan to End the Weekend and The Not-Quite-Vice-President Who Was Almost Accidentally President and The Rock-Paper-Scissors Lizards and Arresting The Chief and  Why Blue Means Stop in Hawaii and The Other Harvard Makes a Bad Sale and The Genoa Exception.

MUSIC

Mr. Biden (Bring My Vaccine) – A Randy Rainbow Song Parody

String Quartet in G Major – Florence Price

William Tell Overture (ending) – The Great Kat

Karelia Suite and Finlandia by Jean Sibelius.

Coverville 1348: This Day in Covers: February 25, 1976, and 1349: David Gilmour and “Girl” Groups.

Aquarius – Peter Lawford.

Let’s Hang On – Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.

The Rebecca Jade section

Home Made, Parts 10 and 11

Panda Remix.

Remind Me

Concert of Pat Metheny music, Live(ish) From SpragueLand: Episode 16, The Fields, The Sky.

Answers

Andorra; New Brunswick.

Andrew Cuomo: how soon will he go?

Mario’s son

Andrew CuomoPeople all over the country were having this odd fantasy about New York State’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, in 2020.

They became self-described Cuomosexuals, especially when he was being interviewed by his brother Chris on CNN, inexplicable journalistically but probably good for the ratings.

It was all about the near-daily press conferences, in which he appeared to give competent information about the coronavirus situation. Certainly better than that other guy giving regular updates from DC. Still, I was a bit bemused by it.

Now he is in trouble because his administration reportedly undercounted the number of nursing home deaths. And his initial suggestion that “it doesn’t matter” whether they died from being in the nursing home doesn’t really matter because they’re still dead did not play well. There’s an investigation.

Plus another investigation because he allegedly sexually harassed four – no, wait, six – women. I heard Charlotte Bennett, a former aide, accuse Cuomo of grooming her for sex. She was extremely credible. Worse, he used the information that he knew about a sexual assault she had experienced, which left a really bad taste in my mouth.

A different problem: structural problems on the bridge named for his father, the late Gov. Mario M. Cuomo, were covered up. “For structures like bridges and high-rises, experts say even a few broken bolts can weaken the immense splices and result in a catastrophic collapse.”

The father

I had voted for Mario  Cuomo every chance I got, including in the 1977 NYC mayoral primary against Ed Koch – he lost – and the 1982 gubernatorial primary race against Ed Koch – he won! But when Bill Clinton was considering appointing him to the Supreme Court in 1993, he took himself out of consideration. Then he lost to an obscure state legislator named George Pataki the following year.

(The country did pretty great with Clinton’s ultimate SCOTUS nominee, Ruth Bader Ginsburg.)

He was married to Matilda Raffa for 60 years, and it was a great love story. Matilda was and continues to be a force in the family.

The son

Andrew Cuomo was his father’s campaign manager when Mario successfully ran for governor. He joined the governor’s staff as one of his father’s policy advisors, earning $1 a year. He was an assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the first term of Bill Clinton’s Presidency and HUD secretary during the second term. His tenure was a mixed bag.

Andrew was running for governor in 2002. But he derailed his own campaign when he said (in reference to the aftermath of the September 11 attacks): “Pataki stood behind the leader. He held the leader’s coat. He was a great assistant to the leader. But he was not a leader. Cream rises to the top, and Rudy Giuliani rose to the top.” This was back in the day when Rudy had not gone bat guano crazy.

In 2006, Andrew ran for NYS attorney general. While I voted for Mark Green (no relation) in the primary, I selected him in the general election. He ran against former Westchester district attorney Jeanine Pirro. Yeah, the one now hosting Fox’s Justice with Judge Jeanine, who even then was guano crazy.

Moving up

David Patterson had become governor in March 2008 after Eliot Spitzer resigned in the midst of a prostitution scandal. Andrew Cuomo had hoped to get appointed to the Senate seat vacated when Hillary Clinton became US Secretary of State in 2009, but that position went to a then-obscure upstate member of Congress, Kirsten Gillibrand.

Patterson had his own problems involving witness tampering and accepting free New York Yankees tickets and declined to run for election. Andrew Cuomo was the Democratic nominee, running against the vilely racist Tea Party Republican Carl Paladino, a Buffalo-based businessman. Cuomo won the election for governor by a landslide, which was the last time I voted for him.

Among other issues, I was less than thrilled with his wasteful program called START-UP NY which was supposed to create jobs but only hemorrhaged money. I also disliked his policy towards teacher testing. In 2014 and 2018, I voted for his Democratic primary opponents (Zephyr Teachout, Cynthia Nixon) and picked Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins in the general elections, knowing that Cuomo was running against weak Republicans.

Cuomomania

So I was amused when Andrew Cuomo became a hero of the pandemic. He wrote a book about his great leadership during the crisis. CBS Sunday Morning did a puff piece about him with his three daughters. They are twins Cara Ethel Kennedy-Cuomo and Mariah Matilda Kennedy-Cuomo (born 1995), and Michaela Andrea Kennedy-Cuomo (born 1997). Kerry Kennedy, daughter of Robert and Ethel Kennedy, and Andrew were married in 1990, separated in 2003, and divorced in 2005.

“Cuomo began dating Food Network host Sandra Lee in 2005, and the couple moved in together in 2011. The two resided in Westchester County, NY. On September 25, 2019, the couple announced that they had ended their relationship. As of the fall of 2019, Cuomo is living in the New York State Executive Mansion in Albany on a full-time basis.”

So maybe he is “lonely,” as Charlotte Bennett reported that he indicated. But it doesn’t give him license to hit on his own staff, or other women. Ironically, his office had mandated sexual harassment training back in 2018, though he is accused of skipping it.

The NYS Republicans are looking to have Andrew Cuomo impeached. The Albany Times Union called for him to resign, as have some Democrats. I don’t know where this all going to end up. But you can bet that on January 2, 2023, he will no longer be governor.

With another governor in trouble, New York is becoming another Illinois.

February rambling: Perseverance

Chick Corea

perseveranceShe counted ballots in a pandemic, and he killed two people. Guess who gets treated like a hero?

One county, worlds apart: Bridging the political divide.

Weekly Sift: Why You Can’t Understand Conservative Rhetoric

Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Fixing our Democracy.

Trust Is The Coin Of The Realm.” by the late former secretary of state George Schultz.

Detailed interactive map of the 2020 Election.

How 100 years of Democratic rule have shaped the city of Albany.

How I survived a Chinese ‘re-education’ camp for Uighurs.

Texas

Rick Perry and the Hard Libertarian Formulation.

How the Bush family turned off the lights.

El Paso Heeded the Warnings and Avoided a Winter Catastrophe.

Ted Cruz is feckless.

Perseverance needed

Fascist insurgency persists with the merging of QAnon, militia movements, white extremists. They spread new conspiracy Trump will be president again on March 4, so Trump’s D.C. hotel nearly triples its rates.

History Will Find Trump Guilty.

How the Proud Boys Pitch Themselves to People of Color.

Health  and wellness

COVID-19 Is Ravaging Local Newspapers, Making it Easier for Misinformation to Spread.

John Green: I Predicted the Pandemic (over and over and over again).

The Pandemic Has Erased Entire Categories of Friendship

Second COVID-19 Shot Is a Rude Reawakening for Immune Cells. Side effects are just a sign that protection is kicking in as it should.

I’m getting good at this grief thing.

Tony Bennett’s Battle With Alzheimer’s

Embrace the nap

Assemblage

How to be a  genius

Bill Mahar gives the Baldy Award to policy wonk Henry Waxman.

17 years ago, Jason West, mayor of New Paltz, NY set the groundwork for the 2011 marriage equality law by presiding over same-sex marriages in his community.

“When in Doubt, Do Something.” Harry Chapin in Recent Media.

Jaquandor reviews the 1994 film What Happened Was… 

After GM poked fun of Norway in Super Bowl ad, Norway painfully hits back.

The Curse of the Buried Treasure

The Hollywood Con Queen Who Scammed Aspiring Stars Out of Hundreds of Thousands.

Missed: He flew to Paris to surprise his girlfriend. She flew to Edinburgh to surprise him

Larry Flynt paid me $1,000 to keep my clothes ON.

She traded her way from a bobby pin to a tiny house in 6 months.

JEOPARDY!

Alex Trebek’s family donates his wardrobe to charity.

Brayden Smith 

The guest host schedule.

Now I Know

Frederick Douglass  Is Not Amused. The Hunger Stones.  When Ziggy  Should Have Zagged. The Little Bit of Sun That Cost a Half-Million Dollars.  In the President’s Dog House.  The Search For Life on Earth.

Black History Month

Black Futures Month

Jacob Lawrence painted Black America for Black people — not the white gaze.

Jim Crow Filibuster

The history of overalls

Caste book supplement.

Lift Every Voice and Sing, A Celebration of African American Music – Sounds of St Olaf.

MUSIC

With God on Our Side – The Neville Brothers.

Who’s Yellen Now? – Dessa.

Marjorie Taylor Greene – Randy Rainbow.

I Won’t Dance -Willie Nelson ft. Diana Krall.

Tribute to Pops and Ella – Leonard Patton with Rebecca Jade.

Sixteen Tons – Geoff Castellucci.

Psychedelic Jazz Guitar – Boogaloo Joe Jones, 1967 album.

Sweet Blindness – The Fifth Dimension and Frank Sinatra.

A video analyzing in extreme detail Lady Gaga’s rendition of the national anthem at the inauguration. (ht/ch)

Coverville

1344: Cover Stories for Alicia Keys, Neil Diamond, and Phil Collins.

1345: Justin Timberlake Cover Story and Delvon Lamarr Interview. 

1346: Cover Stories for Gene Pitney and Feist. 

1347: Stone Roses Cover Story and the 50th Anniversary of Tapestry

Chick Corea

Obit and photo tribute and Remembrance and video link.

January rambling: dn ǝpᴉs ʇɥƃᴉɹ

Ameristan

The UN Security Council’s Counterterrorism Committee says there’s been a 320 percent increase in right-wing terrorism globally in the five years prior to 2020.

Confronting Two Crises: The COVID-19 Pandemic, the Opioid Epidemic, and the IH by Jonathan Rosen and Peter Harnett.

Martin Luther King Jr. Defended Democracy Against Racism and So Must We.

Martin Luther King Jr. and Muhammad Ali’s Surprising Secret Friendship.

The Quest to Unearth One of America’s Oldest Black Churches. First Baptist Church was founded in secret in 1776. It’s been hidden under a parking lot in Colonial Williamsburg for decades—a metaphor for the failures of archaeology and American history.

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom draws a direct line from the Bible to the blues.

Why Do People Keep Going to Church? — Even during a pandemic, it’s important to realize why worship is essential.

Lost touch: how a year without hugs affects our mental health

The Sycamore Tree – John Green.

There’s a right and wrong way to be bored.

The Happiness Project: Finding Joy in Tough Times.

NOVA  – Secrets in our DNA.

parts-of-the-skeleton-in-the-closet
From https://wronghands1.com/2021/01/08/parts-of-the-skeleton-in-the-closet/

Wikipedia at 20: last gasp of an internet vision, or a beacon to a better future?

The Orwellian Misuse of Orwellian.

JEOPARDY!: Ken Jennings Get Trolled by a Recent Contestant and the Guest Hosts Scheduled in 2021 So Far.

The Hollywood Con Queen Who Scammed Aspiring Stars Out of Hundreds of Thousands.

The best Gibson guitars were made by the ‘Kalamazoo Gals’.

Now I Know: The Imagination Library and The Blessing of Overpriced  Orange Juice and A Bridge With Some Firepower and The Bridge That’ll Flip You and Why Harriet and Duncan Weren’t Allowed in Iceland and The Internet Scammer Who Won.

What makes for a good flag!

dn ǝpᴉs ʇɥƃᴉɹ, created by the upsidedown text site.

ON THE WAY OUT

One Last Trump Dump, all of the folks he insulted on Twitter; why it’s clear Biden won; his campaign promise tally; the full list of the last-minute pardons; and more

Chomsky: Coup Attempt Hit Closer to Centers of Power Than Hitler’s 1923 Putsch.

Ameristan: Did He Bring the War Home?

Republican House members who voted for impeachment: Liz Cheney (WY), Anthony Gonzalez (OH), Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA), John Katko (NY), Adam Kinzinger (IL), Peter Meijer (MI), Dan Newhouse (WA), Tom Rice (SC), Fred Upton (MI), David Valadao (CA)

US Reaches Grim Milestone of 400K COVID Deaths.

Never Happens Here – Lincoln Project.

Jaquandor: Dear 45.

Cartoon: The end of an error.

Yes, He Can Be Convicted by the Senate After January 20.

Music

Seasons of Trump – Randy Rainbow.

With a Song in Her Heart – Laura Benanti as Melania.

One Day More  – James Corden.

Bye Bye Bloatus – Rufus Wainwright.

K-Chuck Radio: Some 45s  for 45

Right side up!

Transcript of Amanda Gorman’s inaugural poem

Joe Biden: “We Must End This Uncivil War”

Executive Order on Ensuring a Lawful and Accurate Enumeration and Apportionment Pursuant to the Decennial Census

Executive Order: 1776 commission rescinded.

I watched this year for Nigel.  

Enjoy the world’s greatest palindrome: 1 20 2021

MORE MUSIC

I Need You – Jon Batiste.

Fanfare on Amazing Grace composed by Adolphus Hailstork.

A Musical  from Something’s Rotten.

I Say A Little Prayer – H.E.R.

Coverville 1342: The Madness Cover Story II and 1343: The Motels and Sam Cooke Cover Stories.

Close To You – MonaLisa Twins.

Seasons of Love – Broadway stars.

Where do I go when it’s safe?

food and film

a-group-of-opened-cans-of-food-containing-fruits-vegetables-and-legumesKevin, who is from my home county, though I don’t think we met until college, asks what should be a simple question:

Where is the first place you are going when it’s safe to go out?

Of course, not everything will open up at the same time. The thing I miss the most, singing in the choir, is going to take a while longer than other activities. So, it’s a toss-up between going to the movies and going indoors to a sit-down restaurant.

Now there have been some cinemas open around here with a limited capacity. I’m not feeling at all comfortable with attending. Maybe by the time I take my second COVID shot, I’ll feel differently. Yet, watching movies from home is a lesser experience.

I have some HBO channels, though not MAX; Amazon Prime, and Apple TV. So I have the capacity to see films at home. I just don’t have the discipline to treat films at home as I treat movies in a place I have to sit in a dark room with strangers. And it’s been true for over 40 years.

As for restaurants, I’m not doing that indoors either. Or for that matter, outdoors. When the weather was decent, there was a row of outdoor dining options at the end of Madison Avenue, only a couple blocks from here. Not only did I never patronize them, when I needed to go to the local CVS, but I also made a point of walking on the other side of the restaurants.

Now, I did do takeout occasionally, and sometimes I’ve been anxious about buying THAT, depending on the size of the unmasked crowd I had to wade through. Besides, takeout is not sitting in a restaurant, with its ambiance. There’s a huge difference between being served by a waitperson and taking food home in metal containers.

Hometown

Right before the lockdown, I was planning a trip to my hometown of Binghamton, NY in late March. I wanted to see the court transcripts of the trial involving my grandmother Agatha Walker (later, Green), who levied charges against my biological paternal grandfather, Raymond Cone. These records are only available in paper form, not electronically.