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Saturday, January 21, 2023



I am finding myself thinking and actually saying on a regular basis, that I have made a reasonably decent living over many years because smart people do stupid things. Sometimes, it just boggles my mind, and I have had to amend this principle to people I thought were or should be smart are not. I gave them too much credit they did not deserve.

Case in point. I knew Kevin McCarthy was no genius, but by selling his soul, he became Speaker after an epic ballot. The Republicans hold only a four vote margin so they need almost every vote almost every time. So what did McCarthy do? He has eliminated, or is about to eliminate (I am not clear on which) voting by proxy. That means everyone has to be present to vote.


One Florida House Republican is in the hospital. Now McCarthy’s four vote margin is down to three. He seated Santos, who should be in jail and is totally unfit to hold any public office, because he needed Santos’ vote. However, there is more than a slim possibility, as more information is uncovered, that fate takes a hand, and Santos is arrested or otherwise not available to vote in person. Now, McCarthy’s margin is down to two.


Say what you will about Pelosi. I love her and think she was one of if not the best Speaker in my lifetime, but love her or hate her, she knew how to count votes and she was a great floor manager and consensus builder. She would never, in my opinion, jeapardize losing a single vote by making it more difficult to cast that vote.


The jury will be out quite some time before we know just how good a strategist is Jeffries. However, the evidence is already clear that he is far smarter than McCarthy. Do not be surprised if it ends up that the Republicans end up with not enough votes. The Democrats need to be ready to pounce.

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Let’s go back and talk some more about Judge Don Middlebrooks imposing sanctions against both Trump and his lawyers for bringing a totally specious lawsuit against Hilary Clinton. As I understand it, the sanctions are joint and several, which means Trump and his lawyers are both liable. I have no idea who will actually pay these sanctions. I do not know if there is any agreement between Trump and his lawyers.


However, I do know that even if Trump pays 100% of the sanctions, his lawyers are not totally out of the woods. They are still subject to ethical discipline under the Code of Professional Responsibility. If I were representing Hilary, I would be sure that she knew she had a right to file a grievance. Even if she chose not to do so, Judge Middlebrooks could refer the matter to the Grievance Committee, or the State Bar could take the initiative and start Its own grievance proceedings.


Once again fate took a hand, and Trump was forced to walk away from another specious lawsuit he filed against the Attorney General of New York, because that case was also assigned to Judge Middlebrooks. Clearly Trump and any lawyers representing him have already seen all they will ever want to see concerning this no-nonsense Judge

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The Republicans are also backing themselves into a corner on the issue of not raising the debt ceiling. Not only is it dumber than whale shit not to pay our debts already incurred, but can you imagine what an uproar there will be if social security and/or Medicare benefits are reduced or disappear? Even Trump is no longer recommending that the House Republicans do what he previously urged them to do which was to use the debt ceiling issue as leverage against the Democrats. I love it.

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Enough about the circus in Washington. Here on our cruise, because of growing political unrest in Peru, our two day visit in Lima scheduled for today and tomorrow was canceled at about 6 p.m. last night. We had to cancel our much-anticipated visit to Central, the #2 rated restaurant in the world, as well as the car and driver we had hired to take us around Lima where we had never been.


We stay on the ship all day today in Lima Harbor to take on provisions, fuel, pick up about 30 passengers returning from a side excursion to the Galapagos, and to make some crew changes. Rumor has it that we are also picking up our Captain’s Wife. He’s very popular and regulars on Seabourn say his Wife is even more popular.


I was able to cancel the restaurant in time to avoid paying for four not inexpensive meals and was able to cancel the car and driver booked through Tours By Locals. Their policy entitled me to a full refund due to the fact that the cancellation was due to unforeseeable events. I will send a $100 tip to the guide who lost two days of business that is very likely irreplaceable. I understand I have no obligation to pay anything, but I think it is the right thing to do.


The “good news” is I get to see all the playoff games. Tomorrow we start a five day stretch to reach Easter Island. There is no guarantee that tides will allow us to dock there. Nothing we can do about this. Barbara really does not like sea days but I do.

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See you tomorrow. At least that is my plan.

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Go Ukraine

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Hope you get into Easter Island and well worth the stop. Tenders will get in unless seas terrible. Very nice Bar upstairs right across from dock after tour. I am doing little better every day. Captain checks with me daily to see how I feel and guest service head.

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