I have to admit that I can’t figure out what point he is making here. Does he want Puerto Rico to move? Does he want them to recover without Federal aid? Does he want to trade Puerto Rico for Greenland?

But I do know:

  1. The $92 billion is wildly inaccurate. The amount allocated was $41 billion. The amount actually spent so far was $11 billion as of April. In comparison, the Congressional Research Service estimated that, in all, “Congress provided roughly $120 billion for Hurricane Katrina.”
  2. Although this is the beginning of hurricane season, the administration is “pulling millions from FEMA disaster relief to send to the southern border.”
  3. The answer to his question, “Will it ever end?” is a simple and unqualified “No.” Hurricanes will happen every year. Many will hit Puerto Rico. Scientists say the hurricanes will get stronger and last longer as the ocean temperature increases. The only way to mitigate this trend is to gain some control over climate change, and I think we know Trump’s attitude toward that!

Eight of the most notorious art forgeries

Art forgers are cool.

No, I’m not pro-crime, but I think about how much we love the great fictional villains, the geniuses who constantly provide work for superheroes and superspies in their own universes. What makes a great Bond film? The memorable bad guy. What makes a great superhero film? The criminal genius the hero has to outthink. We love Wo Fat and Lex Luthor and Goldfinger and, in a way, we kinda root for them.

In real life, most criminals are complete buffoons who get away with their schemes only when law enforcement is overburdened, understaffed, underfunded, or hamstrung by constitutional limitations. But art forgers are an exception.

Art forgers don’t make a living by fooling overworked cops with high school educations, but by outsmarting the people who claim to be the ultimate authorities in their fields. Like aspiring chess champions, they pit their skills against the very best minds in their field. Let’s face it, that is pretty fuckin’ cool. They are real-life supervillains.

And we don’t feel guilty rooting for them because when the forgers win, most of us are unaffected. So they bilk a few million out of some billionaire, or scam some Nazis. Big deal.

(Yes, I know it’s more complicated than that. Just go with it.)

And here’s one of the coolest things about them. We only hear about their failures. How many counterfeit treasures are housed, still unmasked, in collections public and private alike? The legendary fraud Shaun Greenhalgh claimed that some of his forgeries were still out there, fooling the art world. I believe him.

And I don’t think he’s the only one who ever succeeded.

Morning Consult has a unique system that attempts to track Presidential popularity by state. The most interesting feature is that you can move a slider to see how it changes from time to time.

I would not place total faith in the state numbers because the entire poll consists of only 5000 people, which is a solid national sampling, but indicates that the portrait of each state must be based on a small sample. A small sample can have some value if it is massaged carefully for age, gender, political leanings and so forth, but the numbers should still be viewed only as a broad indicator rather than an accurate measurement. Think of it as taking the temperature by standing outside rather than by consulting a scientific thermometer. You know for sure that it’s getting cooler, but you don’t know exactly how much.

To be fair, Morning Consult’s statisticians claim that their regressions are so accurate that no state has a MOE greater than 4% in the latest poll. I remain at least a bit skeptical.

The three candidates are bunched together, each receiving about the same amount of support (Sanders 20%, Warren 20% and Biden 19%) from registered Democrats and Democratic-leaning independent voters.

Since Monmouth’s June poll, Sanders and Warren have gained slightly (up 6 and 5 percentage points), while Biden has lost significant support (down 13 points).

36 years later, Return Of The Jedi‘s Tatooine and Endor filming locations remain mostly unchanged

Then & Now Movie Locations, a fan BlogSpot (yes, a BlogSpot account updated in 2019), recently took a trek to Death Valley National Park and Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park to uncover some locations from Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. Despite a bulk of of Star Wars iconography being nothing but big rocks, cliffs, deserts, and a few trees, the results of the blog’s trip are still pretty fucking cool, as a lot of photos taken seem to match up almost perfectly compared to their film counterparts.”