The impeachment trial of Donald John Trump on the charges of abuse of power and obstruction of congress begins today, January 22, 2020.

"On the day President Trump was inaugurated, the headline of the Washington Post said, 'The campaign to impeach President Trump has begun.' After that, we saw two years of the Mueller Investigation, and now we've seen this year wasted on this ridiculous investigation and these puny articles of impeachment."

Georgia senior senator David Purdue via perdue.senate.gov, January 21, 2020

"While I've only been in Washington for a couple of weeks, it's abundantly clear that impeachment is a partisan exercise to undermine @realDonaldTrump and his agenda. It's time to end the taxpayer funded political games and get Congress back to work for the American people."

Georgia junior senator Kelly Loeffler via Twitter, January 17, 2020

"Do you solemnly swear that in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of Donald John Trump, now pending, you will do impartial justice according to the constitution and laws, so help you God?"

Oath willingly sworn to by all sitting U.S. Senators, January 16, 2020

"Favoring neither; disinterested; treating all alike; unbiased; equitable, fair, and just."

Definition of "impartial," prior to 1600

For the record, I think the defendant is guilty as sin, but I haven't sworn any oaths.

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to pizza or to pizza (there is no 'not to pizza' question)

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Welcome to Gotham City, where the giant ink pad props are filled with real ink
from DC Special Series #6 (1977)

I might have watched that Gotham television show if there had been a greater emphasis on giant props. Or *any* emphasis on giant props.

(Also in that issue: Captain Comet cures his own concussion with telepathy, Wonder Woman saves the U.N. building with her lasso and invisible jet, and Green Lantern quotes Rhett Butler. Because comics are awesome.)

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Movies watched in 2019: the final batch.

209. (1648.) Bumblebee (2018)
Surprise, surprise: it is possible to make a good live-action Transformers movie! No, really, it's a great combination of coming-of-age and buddy action pictures, intentionally evocative of the best of the Love Bug movies. Wriphe endorsed!

210. (1649.) Jojo Rabbit (2019)
If Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was my favorite film watched in 2019, this is my favorite movie released in the year 2019. I'm so glad it was nominated for Best Picture Oscar. More people need to see it. (In fact, it is be re-released in theaters this weekend. If you haven't seen it yet, consider going. You won't regret it.)

211. (1650.) Made in U.S.A. (1987)
I watched this indie cross-country road picture via TCM Underground, and that was a perfect place for it. The plot, such as it is, doesn't make a lot of sense and there isn't a great payoff, but it is definitely some sort of adventure.

Drink Coke! (Made in USA)
No matter how far you are off the beaten path, there's Coke!

212. (1651.) Bundle of Joy (1956)
This is the Debbie Reynolds musical remake of Ginger Rogers' Bachelor Mother. The original movie is so much better. Don't watch this one.

213. (1652.) Office Christmas Party (2016)
Completely predictable, but not without its chuckles. Besides, who really wants a truly chaotic Christmas party.

Drink Coke! (Office Christmas Party)
Oddly, no one in the entire movie actually drinks a soda.

214. (1653.) The Opposite Sex (1956)
Sex comedy, 1950s style: Yawn. Leslie Nielsen leaves his wife for a starlet who cheats on him, so the ex-wife plots to steal her old husband back. Why, lady? He's obviously not that great a catch.

215. (1654.) This Could Be the Night (1957)
Not a great title for an otherwise charming film. A young teacher takes a job in a strip joint and soon charms everyone, including the audience. A good way to send out 2019.

More to come.

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Just a quick FYI: I watched the pilot of Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist last week, and I liked it. I liked it a lot.

The protagonist is a coder for a San Francisco tech company, and a plot point is that their code doesn't work. Zoey manages a promotion after realizing that no one on her entire team knows even the first step in debugging a network communication error. I probably definitely should have been irritated, but series lead Jane Levy is too cute for me to be mad that she's bad at her job.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Knowing that musical television is an uphill battle, NBC is streaming the episode on NBC.com and YouTube to build positive word of mouth in advance of its February 16 series debut. In software development, we call that a soft launch.

Try it. You might like it. A lot.

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I haven't mentioned the Miami Dolphins in over two months and for good reason. They're bad. They're even bad at being bad. Their best achievement in 2019 was having Dan Marino named as one of the 10 greatest quarterbacks of the past century. Too bad Marino retired 20 years ago. The team hasn't had a consistently decent quarterback since.

To solve that problem, the team started the 2019 season with the intention of losing more than anyone has ever lost before to secure the first pick in the 2020 draft. They ultimately finished fifth in the race to be worst, meaning they won't get the best available quarterback. They might not even get the second, third, or fourth.

The best option, according to just about everyone, is Joe Burrow, whose LSU team mastered the art of having offensive linemen get away without being called for holding. He is followed in some order by Justin Herbert, Jacob Eason, and Jake Fromm. Two of them are/were Georgia Bulldogs, so I'd be fine cheering for them as Dolphins. On the other hand, Herbert is slow to make decisions, but is a nearly seven-foot-tall giant. Given that NFL scouts are size queens and Herbert is the one I like least, I figure he's the one most likely to be the Dolphins' eventual pick.

If there's any good news for the Dolphins, it's that their original target QB, Tua Tagovailoa, has fallen from his early projections and should still be available at five. (Maybe even at twenty.) Why? Because he's fragile. Would the team that famously passed on Drew Brees' wounded wing draft a player who's the real-life equivalent of a mid-80s G.I.Joe figure with a busted rubber band? We'll see.

Meanwhile, the Dolphins' last quarterback project, Ryan Tannehill, refuses to lose with his new team. Two games into the playoffs, two wins. That's two more than Ryan won in seven years with the Dolphins. Given that the Dolphins are still paying Tannehill against his last contract, they deserve at least some credit for those wins, right?

It remains possible, maybe even likely, that last year's starting QB, Ryan Fitzpatrick will return under center in 2020. In 2019, playing for his 8th team, Fitzpatrick became the oldest player (37) to lead his team in rushing yards (243) and rushing touchdowns (4) in a season, which implies that the Dolphins running game might be a bigger problem than whoever they've got under center. (Tannehill, for example, is now winning largely thanks to the legs of Derrick Henry.) I won't be surprised if the team decides to try losing another year's worth of games to address that problem in 2021.

Go 'Fins!

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Sarcastic quip

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You can keep your Romero, Nicholson, Ledger, Leto, and Phoenix...

Come hither... and die!

Nope, nothing crazy happening here

A perfect example of how normal people laugh

...*my* Joker is Jack Lemmon from Some Like It Hot.

I'll show them how many boners the Joker can make!

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In 1914, the countries of Serbia and Austria-Hungary were at each other's throats as they vied for political dominance in their overlapping spheres of influence.

Prince Regent Alexander of Serbia assumed control of his ill father's crown on June 24, 1914. Heir to the Austrian throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, was assassinated by Serbian-recruited agents four days later.

Though no one could have predicted the horrors the future held for the two countries that started The War to End All Wars, the assassination was particularly unexpected considering that just a few years prior, Alexander had criticized his predecessor's own ulterior motives for war in this response to a question from his national press:

My father will start a war with Austria-Hungary because he has absolutely no ability to negotiate. He's weak and ineffective. We have a real problem in the kingdom. So, I believe that he will attack Austria-Hungary sometime prior to the end of his reign because he thinks that's the only way he can maintain power. Isn't it pathetic?

Because that's how grown-ups talk.

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And so begins a series of backup stories first appearing in Superman #354, released 40 years ago.

It's easy to look at this series by Superman stalwarts Julie Schwartz and Curt Swan and see what the old-timers got wrong about the far flung future forty years forthcoming. (Sorry. You can't talk about Silver Age comics without a lot of alliteration.) Flying cars, domed cities, and passenger flights around the moon are still more dream than reality.

What is considerably more impressive is what they got right about contemporary life, and I don't mean the giant flat-screen TVs.

We didn't know what it meant, we swear

Superman-III's main antagonists aren't mad scientist or sentient computers. No, in the "future," Superman still has his hands full with intolerant Nazis. Their rhetoric would sound crazy if it wasn't something we heard every day on Twitter and Facebook and White House press releases.

Or saw at Navy football games.

We didn't know what it meant, we swear

Despite the predictions of many over the years (myself included), comic books still exist in 2020. And it's a good thing, too. We need the Man of Tomorrow as much as ever to lead us in the never-ending battle for Truth, Justice, and the American way.

He's unusually proud of his swim trunks

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To be continued...

 

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