Sunday Serendipity

A wonderful work for a Sunday morning. It will not be unfamiliar to many of you. An excellent performance that you just don’t want to end.

Enjoy the music but most of all enjoy your day. 🌞

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17 thoughts on “Sunday Serendipity”

  1. jace, wonderful, beautiful… thank you.
     
    wiki had this to say about composer:  Rodrigo, nearly blind since age three, was a pianist. He did not play the guitar, yet he still managed to capture and project the role of the guitar in Spanish music.
     
    and a delicious comment about the music:  A number of musicians have since reinterpreted the work, usually the second movement, perhaps most famously jazz musician Miles Davis in the company of arranger Gil Evans. On the album Sketches of Spain (1960), Davis says: “That melody is so strong that the softer you play it, the stronger it gets, and the stronger you play it, the weaker it gets.”[

  2. wapo:  Trump has concealed details of his face-to-face encounters with Putin from senior officials in administration

    President Trump has gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal details of his conversations with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin, including on at least one occasion taking possession of the notes of his own interpreter and instructing the linguist not to discuss what had transpired with other administration officials, current and former U.S. officials said.
     
    Trump did so after a meeting with Putin in 2017 in Hamburg that was also attended by then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. U.S. officials learned of Trump’s actions when a White House adviser and a senior State Department official sought information from the interpreter beyond a readout shared by Tillerson.
     
    The constraints that Trump imposed are part of a broader pattern by the president of shielding his communications with Putin from public scrutiny and preventing even high-ranking officials in his own administration from fully knowing what he has told one of the United States’ main adversaries
    As a result, U.S. officials said there is no detailed record, even in classified files, of Trump’s face-to-face interactions with the Russian leader at five locations over the past two years. Such a gap would be unusual in any presidency, let alone one that Russia sought to install through what U.S. intelligence agencies have described as an unprecedented campaign of election interference.
     
    Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III is thought to be in the final stages of an investigation that has focused largely on whether Trump or his associates conspired with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign. The new details about Trump’s continued secrecy underscore the extent to which little is known about his communications with Putin since becoming president.
     
    After this story was published online, Trump said in an interview late Saturday with Fox News host Jeanine Pirro that he did not take particular steps to conceal his private meetings with Putin and attacked The Washington Post and its owner Jeffrey P. Bezos.
    He said he talked with Putin about Israel, among other subjects. “Anyone could have listened to that meeting. That meeting is open for grabs,” he said, without offering specifics.
    When Pirro asked if he is or has ever been working for Russia, Trump responded, “I think it’s the most insulting thing I’ve ever been asked.”
     
     [long article continues]

  3. [concluding paragraphs of above wapo report]
     
     
    But Trump and Putin then met for two hours in private, accompanied only by their interpreters. Trump’s interpreter, Marina Gross, could be seen emerging from the meeting with pages of notes.
     
    Alarmed by the secrecy of Trump’s meeting with Putin, several lawmakers subsequently sought to compel Gross to testify before Congress about what she witnessed. Others argued that forcing her to do so would violate the impartial role that interpreters play in diplomacy. Gross was not forced to testify. She was identified when members of Congress sought to speak with her. The interpreter in Hamburg has not been identified.
     
    During a joint news conference with Putin afterward, Trump acknowledged discussing Syria policy and other subjects but also lashed out at the media and federal investigators, and he seemed to reject the findings of U.S. intelligence agencies by saying that he was persuaded by Putin’s “powerful” denial of election interference.
     
    Previous presidents have required senior aides to attend meetings with adversaries including the Russian president largely to ensure that there are not misunderstandings and that others in the administration are able to follow up on any agreements or plans. Detailed notes that Talbot took of Clinton’s meetings with Yeltsin are among hundreds of documents declassified and released last year.
     

  4. Jace, I always look forward to your Sunday contributions.  This one is delightful. As much as I love great rock guitar, the classical/Spanish and great jazz guys are the ones who really love me breathless.9
    New WaPo/ABC poll finds that 24% more Americans blame SFB/GOP for the shutdown. Most critically 30% more independents blame SFB & GOP. Keep up the good work Mertle & Donnie. 2020 is coming. This poll is heartening. 

    By a wide margin, more Americans blame President Trump and Republicans in Congress than congressional Democrats for the now record-breaking government shutdown, and most reject the president’s assertion that there is an illegal-immigration crisis on the southern border, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll.

    Even the American people as a whole are much less stupid than SFB and his sycophants. 

  5. And here is some more beautifully played music. Chopin done by a cello quartet. Thoughtfully moving:
     

     

  6. Flatus, great find. I’ve only recently become intrigued by cello music, but have developed a great appreciation for it. Heard Yo Yo Ma play in an 8 piece cello ensemble with the Pittsburgh Symphony cello section and must say it was magical. 

  7. pogo, also CNN poll reported by upi:
    […]
    As the shutdown enters its 23rd day — the longest in history — 55 percent said Trump is more responsible for the shutdown compared with 32 percent who say the blame rests mostly with the Democrats, according to CNN poll. Nine percent say both are responsible.
    […]
    Since last month, Trump’s approval rating in the CNN poll has dropped 5 percentage points to 37 percent compared with 57 percent disapproval, which is unchanged. Trump’s lowest approval since becoming president two years ago was was 35 percent in December 2017 and February 2018. It has been 40 percent or higher in nine of the 20 CNN polls. The ABC/Washington Post didn’t ask the approval question.
     
    For the first time, more white people without college degrees disapprove of him at 47 percent compared with 45 percent approval in the CNN poll.
     
    But those whites who do not have college degrees remain in favor of a wall along the border with Mexico — 51 percent by 46 percent. But 45 percent of them blame the president for the government shutdown compared with 39 percent believe it’s the Democrats in Congress.
     
    Blame for the shutdown is along party lines.
     
    In the CNN poll, 89 percent of Democrats blame Trump and 65 percent of Republicans fault Democrats in Congress. Independents are more apt to blame Trump — 48 percent to 34 percent — and are most likely to say both sides are responsible at 14 percent.
    [continues]

  8. Snow is a pain.  One canopy gave up, but it was expected.  I will let it look bad until the snow melts off the deck instead of fighting the weather to unbolt it and put up the replacement. 
     
    Looks like the greedy old perverts are having a problem getting their acts together.  Nobody likes them or SFB according to CNN and ABC.  At some point they have to decide to do something with the budget.  They are getting hammered, and deserve it.

  9. [BTW the unger mentioned in excerpt below just now on MSNBC spoke of the trump Russia connection starting in 1984 when Russian mafia began to buy space in trump bldg and he went on to label trump tower as eventually becoming the Russian mafia dorm it had so many in it. he’s the author of “house of trump house of putin”]

    from raw story:

    … most students of the Trump-Russia investigation assumed that Mueller’s probe was operating “on at least two separate tracks,” those being campaign collusion and subsequent obstruction of justice. But maybe both tracks were the same track all along, Wittes suggests: “What if the obstruction was the collusion — or at least a part of it?”
     
     
    Andrew Prokop of Vox summarizes that argument by suggesting that the FBI began to wonder whether Trump’s efforts to pressure Comey into dropping the Flynn investigation, and then the president’s firing of Comey when he wouldn’t follow orders, weren’t just “an effort to obstruct justice” but more specifically “part of an effort to obstruct justice to Russia’s benefit.” (Emphasis in original.)
     
     
    So in what sense can the news that the sitting president of the United States was (and likely still is) under investigation as a possible foreign agent — something without any precedent I can perceive, in the modern history of any major nation — be “a ‘duh’ story”? Well, partly because all along this has been the “$64,000 question,” as Times reporter Goldman says in his New Yorker interview: “Is Trump working with Russia?” And partly because we still have no evidence of a clear answer to the question, and no indication we will ever have a clear answer to the question, a dispiriting fact that cannot be mentioned often enough.
    As I said earlier, this cloud has hung over Trump since well before he descended the golden elevator in June 2015 to announce his presidential candidacy. It just didn’t matter all that much. Investigative reporter Craig Unger, author and researcher Seth Abramson and former U.S. intelligence officer Malcolm Nance have all argued that Trump was likely compromised by the Russians years or decades ago, although their accounts of how that happened differ and none of them, to borrow the contemporary idiom, has the receipts. (Indeed, to a large degree the “Trump is a traitor” industry relies on those people and others recycling the same sets of ambiguous evidence with slightly different emphasis.)
     
     
    Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the California Republican who is now House minority leader and a staunch Trump ally, infamously told his colleagues before an open mic in June of 2016, “There’s two people I think Putin pays: [Dana] Rohrabacher and Trump.” (Rohrabacher, a known Putin fan, was among the numerous House Republicans defeated last November.) When his fellow Republicans laughed, McCarthy said, “Swear to God,” before then-Speaker Paul Ryan shut him up: “No leaks. … This is how we know we’re a real family here.”
    What can we even say about that episode, which looks ever more sinister and ludicrous in the rear-view mirror? As with the collection of tantalizing clues and salacious rumors known as the “Steele dossier,” no one can say how deep the water really goes. Are we dealing with what might be called the normal level of graft and corruption associated with the international business career of a mid-level huckster — as has always been my presumption, to come clean — or something closer to “The Manchurian Candidate,” perhaps the most brilliant and brazen espionage operation ever conducted?
    [continues]

  10. seems the only way the senators can get twit to listen is by going on faux news today.
    wapo:
    Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) said Sunday that President Trump should agree to reopen the government and continue trying to hammer out a deal with Democrats on funding his long-promised border wall — but that the president should declare a national emergency if no progress is made in three weeks.
     
    In an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” Graham maintained that Trump is not going to give up on his demand for more than $5 billion in funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
     
    But he argued that reopening the government and attempting to find a legislative solution, then declaring a national emergency if those talks don’t bear fruit, is the best way forward.
     
    “I would urge him to open up the government for a short period of time, like three weeks, before he pulls the plug. See if we can get a deal. If we can’t at the end of three weeks, all bets are off. See if he can do it by himself through the emergency powers,” Graham said.
    Waiting three weeks would take the negotiations past Trump’s State of the Union address later this month.
    […]
    As Democrats and the White House continue to negotiate, Sen. Christopher A. Coons (D-Del.) questioned on “Fox News Sunday” why McConnell has not taken a more active role. While McConnell has been part of the process, he was not present outside the White House last week after talks between Trump and congressional leaders collapsed.
     
    “Why is Mitch McConnell completely absent from these negotiations?” Coons asked.
     
    Coons also took aim at Trump’s abruptly shifting positions as the shutdown has dragged on.
     
    “I feel like I signed up for the ‘Trump of the Day Club,’ ” he said.

  11. I know, right?  That jackass and 62 million other Americans ruined Spades for me- I might have played once since 2016.

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