Random Friday Thoughts — February 5, 2016

It looks like I might be back into the routine of writing and sharing my “Random Friday Thoughts”.  This is the third straight week of it. :)

So, grab your coffee or your mimosa and check out today’s thoughts and be sure to share yours, too.  If you disagree, that’s fine as long as it’s diplomatically.

DISGRACED POLITICIAN OFFERED A MILLION DOLLARS!

It’s been some time since disgraced and former Illinois Republican politician Aaron Schock of Peoria has been in the news.

The super sexy 34-year-old stud resigned from Congress last March after controversy about his use of federal funds made headlines.

Aaron Schock 2

It wasn’t only social media photos of his lavish trips, but also the interior decorating of his office in “Downton Abbey” motiff that raised eyes on his spending.

Well, now it appears he’s been offered help with his mounting legal fees, which are reported at about $750-thousand!

TitanMen, a powerhouse adult entertainment company, has offered to pay off his lawyers up to a million dollars if he’ll star in a gay porn film!

However, his dad says, “Aaron wears stylish clothing and yet he’s not gay.”

aaron-schock-1

If you don’t know much about Schock’s time in the political arena, he opposed marriage equality, opposed the repeal of DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, and voted against adding sexual orientation to federal hate crimes statutes.

CANCELLED CONCERT OVER CHAMPAGNE?

It appears that Timbaland likes champagne, but not just any champagne.

Last week, he was booked at a fundraiser at Club Bleu in Detroit to raise money to buy bottles of water and filters for Flint residents that have contaminated drinking water.

He was to DJ for half an hour and perform five to eight songs.  It’s reported that he took the stage and only nodded his head to the beats another DJ performed.  Why?  Because he wasn’t happy to be served Dom Perignon instead of Jay Z’s Armand de Brignac (“Ace of Spades”), which costs about $300 a bottle.

Jay Z Champagne

The owner, Mitchell Jaworski, claims that the music maestro and his entourage “had about 15 bottles of liquor and champagne, which is extremely excessive especially for a charity event”.

Timbaland’s rep says the story “is simply not true” and that the producer/rapper is an “extremely generous person who agreed to a much lower fee for this event to raise money for the Flint, Michigan’s water crisis”.

The fundraiser raised about $3,000.

MY LOVE OF CHAMPAGNE

While I love Moscato and I love vodkas, champagne is right up there at the top of my list.

I mentioned mimosas in the intro and with the talk of champagne, those sound good about right now.  I’d be ecstatic if it was served with a piece of carrot cake just like my 2012 birthday in Vegas!

Champagne

I prefer sweeter brands of champagne.

GREAT NEW DANCE ALBUM

While we’re just now getting underway in 2016, I found my new favorite CD of the year.

Actually, listening to “Matter” by the Brooklyn-based singer, St. Lucia, will have you checking to make sure we’re not enjoying the most fantastic music of the 1980s.

st-lucia-matter-new-album

St. Lucia is South African-born Jean-Philip Grobler and his band.  Their sound is heavily influenced by Grobler’s 1980s childhood influences: Phil Collins, Lionel Richie, and Fleetwood Mac.

Most of the eleven songs on his second album are very upbeat and very synth-heavily.

My favorites are “Dancing on Glass” (which I’m sharing with you),”Home”, “Rescue Me”, and “Physical”, which is very energetic, but ends very chill.  “The Winds of Change” is very similar in composition — higher beats-per-minute, but ends chill.

“Help Me Run Away” is so retro in feeling that it makes me giddy every time I hear it.

And, the ballad, “Love Somebody”, with the finger snaps and St. Lucia’s vocals, is mesmerizing.

While the album takes me back to the romanticism of the second British invasion of my teenage years in the 1980s, several songs vocally remind me of another New York-based band that’s on hiatus — the Scissor Sisters.

I know singers and artists may not like comparisons, but I mean that as a compliment.

In today’s sad state of Top 40 radio, I’m not holding my breath that “Matter” or St. Lucia will be burning up the airwaves this spring and summer and that’s a tragedy!

GRADE:  A

“AN AMERICAN SON” BY MARCO RUBIO

In my last blog, in an effort be more diversified, I crossed the aisle and read Mike Huckabee’s “Do The Right Thing”.  After the Prologue, his close-mindedness bored me.

I also said “Move on Mike.  Your 2016 presidential run is DOA and Iowa doesn’t love you like it did in 2008.  Go home to your family and retire.”  While I can’t take credit for it, his abysmal showing in the Iowa Caucus earlier this week prompted him to suspend his run for president that never really a “run”.  It was more like a limp.

Up next, Marco Rubio’s “An American Son”.

Marco Rubio

It was a much better book and story than Huckabee’s.  In an alternate universe (where Rubio liked gay families and didn’t use the word “conservative” like it was dirty), I could see liking the man.

Just based on the book, I would love to sit down and have dinner with him and his wife Jeanette to show them that I pray to God every night and I’m a kind and loving person that just happens not to fit into the “conservative values” circle.

I enjoyed hearing about his wonderful parents and their struggles leaving Cuba and working all their lives to give their kids a life they didn’t have.

Rubio told a very touching story about a struggling woman looking into the eyes of her newborn child, just your parents did to you.  His “people” (inner political handlers) didn’t want him to tell the story even though it was very heartfelt.  The reason?  It’d make sound like a Democrat!  If human = Democrat, I have two things going for me.

By the way, his wife, Jeanette was touched by it and wanted him to tell that story.  That’s another reason I think I’d like her.

Rubio also spoke about the 2008 election when Barack Obama won.  He became teary-eyed because of the significance of an African American being elected to the highest office in the most powerful country in the world.  That night he “was so proud to be an American”.  He knew he’d have plenty of time to fight the president to turn the country around because it was heading in the “wrong direction”.

CarterPres

I disagree with Rubio on his anti-Jimmy Carter sentiments he learned his grandfather.  Jimmy Carter is still my favorite president that was dealt a bad hand while in office.

Also, we’re at odds when he stated that the way Bill Clinton’s administration handled the Elian Gonzales case “arguably, it cost Al Gore the election” in 2000.

Arguably is right.  We know how that election was lost — Republican shadiness in Florida — “arguably”!

NOW, WHY RUBIO SCARES ME…

Overall, I enjoyed getting to know Rubio over 307 pages.  However, I have a couple of issues with his own trustworthiness.

In a recent Republican debate, in his commercials, and in his speech earlier this week after the Iowa Caucus, Rubio bashed Hillary Clinton over honesty.

Yet, nowhere in the book did he mention that he was arrested in a Florida park after hours in 1990 on a misdemeanor charge, yet he shared getting sick on vodka shots on a plane and vomiting on a high-ranking person in the Republican party, talked about going to “foam party” in clubs, and other things he did when he was younger.  Yet, no mention of the arrest?

And, then there’s the issue that his parents were Cuban exiles that immigrated to the United States in 1956 instead of 1959, when the guerrilla war reached its peak and Fidel Castro took office as prime minister.

He only “learned” of this when newspapers reported the inaccuracies???  As detailed as the book was, I find it hard to believe this only surfaced once it went public!

So, who has trust issues, Mr. Rubio?

CHER ON REPUBLICAN FRONT RUNNERS

Cher 

“THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL”

This coming-of-age dramedy didn’t burn up the box office (actually it’s a $2 million movie that only made $1.8 million), but it has a 94% positive on the film site, Rotten Tomatoes.

One reason it didn’t make money is probably because it was so hard to market and that’s sad.  The movie is hilarious, thought-provoking, and scandalous.

Bel Powley stars as 15-year-old Minnie, in 1976 San Francisco, who’s aspiring to be an artist. She loses her virginity to an older man (Alexander Skarsgard of “True Blood”) who’s very close to her and her mother (Kristen Wiig).

As the parent of a teenage girl that turns 15 this summer, the movie’s premise is frightening. :)  However, as a movie lover, it’s fantastic.

GRADE:  A-

IOWA CAUCUS AFTERTHOUGHTS

It’s cool that Iowa still kicks off the official presidential election voting season with its caucus.  However, I’m not fond of the caucus process, but Iowa is not the only state that does it.

Ted Cruz upset Donald Trump on the Republican side, but the true winner in that race was Marco Rubio with his strong third place showing.

I’ve comment before that the Trump-Cruz circus would make it very easy for Rubio to secure the Republican nomination.  We’ll have to see if his momentum can carry on into New Hampshire and Super Tuesday on March 1, 2016.

AP Hillary Iowa

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton officially won the caucus becoming the first woman ever and she won it with the slimmest margin ever.

I’m happy, as a Clinton supporter, that the race was close.  With all of the momentum that Sanders had going into the caucus, it could of a had a much different outcome!

To be honest, they were both winners!  (And, trust me when I say that, I’m not one of those people that think everyone that participates deserves a ribbon or trophy!)

APTOPIX DEM 2016 Debate

How successful are Iowans and the Iowa Caucus in picking the candidate for president.

Since 1972, the success rate for predicting the a Democratic candidate is 43% and it’s 50% on the Republican side.

More importantly, the Iowa Caucus predicts which candidates are likely to drop out because of the lack of support.  And, that’s true — goodbye Martin O’Malley and good riddance Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, and Rick Santorum.

COMEDIC LOOK AT THE IOWA CAUCUS — AND IT’S REALLY FUNNY!

If reading about politics bores or you, let comedian and talk show host Stephen Colbert tell you the story in a much more humorous way.

This makes me laugh my butt off every time!

Iowa NH

NEW HAMPSHIRE PRIMARY

A thousand miles away from Iowa, the country’s first primary takes place Tuesday, February 9th in Hew Hampshire.  If you believe polls (and I do to a certain extent), it’s pretty much a certainty that Sanders will win and Trump has a pretty good chance.

For Hillary supporters, here’s some good news.  The last three presidents, Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton, all finished second in New Hampshire.

It looks like there’ll be other causalities after the votes are counted in New Hampshire.

After his loss in Iowa, Ben Carson cut his campaign operations “a little more” than half, which was mostly people that worked on the Iowa campaign.

I also predict that Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, Carly Fiorina will seriously have to re-think their future in the race — the one they don’t really have!  I didn’t mention Jim Gilmore because considering him a real candidate is a joke.

THAT’S IT FOR THIS WEEK 

As always, I appreciate you taking the time check out my random thoughts.  I always welcome your feedback, whether you agree or disagree.  If you disagree, do it diplomatically!

Have a great weekend!

Anthony

 

My Teenaged Daughter — A Damn Good Reason I Support Hillary Clinton

You just have to love social media!

I wouldn’t want to start counting how many political posts cross my Facebook and Twitter feeds each day.  I post them, too.

Some support candidates across the aisle that I would never ever consider voting for and then there are supporters of the other Democratic candidate.

When I see those post, I just keep scrolling down.

It’s no secret that I’m a tried and true Hillary Clinton supporter!

Hillary AP

For the record, I’ve been a Clinton supporter since my vote helped put Bill Clinton (and Hillary and Chelsea) in the White House in 1992 and kept them there in 1996.

But, I don’t want to deviate from why I’m blogging about this today.

Tuesday afternoon, I posted this to my Facebook page.

AP Hillary Iowa

People started liking the post and some comments started popping up — mostly positive.

And then, this one:  “No oooooo please no…”

Being a public figure, I try to respond to as many comments as I can even if I just “like” it (unless it’s truly offensive) just to show the person that I saw the comment and that I appreciate and value their opinions even if we disagree.

Most of all, I do it diplomatically!

But, I guess that wasn’t good enough because I got this follow-up from the same person who posted, “”No oooooo please no…”.  (I blocked out the name out of courtesy!)

 

Hillary Response

That is just one reason that I’m fighting the fight for Hillary Clinton.

Knowing that President Hillary Clinton will work to secure equal pay for women and fight for Planned Parenthood funding are two more reasons that makes me feel that she would be looking out for my 14-year-old daughter, Gretel.

AGR

So, when you ask if “the voters are concerned with their children’s future”, damned right, I am.

If you have any more questions you want to ask, please feel free to do so.  I’ll have an answer for you and if I don’t, I’ll find it.

Anthony

A Win or Loss in Iowa Means More To Some

The 2016 race for president gets real Monday night as Iowas make the first waves with the Iowa Caucus.

A week from Tuesday, New Hampshire holds the country’s first primary.

So, my thoughts…

For Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, a win in Iowa would be nice.

APTOPIX DEM 2016 Debate

New Hampshire is pretty much a win for Sanders, so a loss in Iowa for Hillary would be a minor setback. She has undeniably strong support in the other polled states.

A loss for Bernie in Iowa will be a bigger setback especially when you see the road less traveled after New Hampshire.

I just read an interesting analysis from “The Washington Post”.  It states that if Sanders loses Iowa, it’s because he didn’t make more of an issue about Clinton’s emails.

He told “Meet The Press” Sunday, “I think this is a serious issue. I am not going to attack Hillary Clinton. The American people will have to make that judgment.”

However, I’ll always remember his comment in one of the debates when he said, “the American people are sick and tired of hearing about your “damn emails”.  SO AM I!!!!!

Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina will eliminate Martin O’Malley and pretty much about half of the Republican field still lurking around like walkers on “The Walking Dead”.

Me, personally, I’m ready for South Carolina to speak!

Anthony

Heavy Snow & Wind For Much of Iowa

For a week now, I’ve been talking about a big winter storm with its sights set on the Midwest.  I’ve been telling you to keep up on the latest forecast because some parts of Iowa could be picking up some heavy snow.

Now that the storm system is near Las Vegas, Nevada, Monday morning and will move to the southern Plains this evening and then to the Great Lakes by Wednesday morning, I’m pretty confident in forecasting mainly a rain event for the Quad Cities and most of Illinois and mostly a snow event for Iowa (except for the southeastern part of the state).

We’ll see a wintry mix late tonight that’ll change over to rain for the Quad Cities and much of Illinois Tuesday. By the time it ends Tuesday night, the rain will change back to light snow. Here’s how much snow may fall.

Snow 2216

As you can see, this snow will more of a driving inconvenience for the Quad Cities, southeastern Iowa, and much of Illinois, with an inch or less of snow expected.  But, we could see anywhere from one-half to one inch of rain!

Just to the northwest of the Quad Cities, 1-3″ of snow may fall around Galena, Illinois, back to Maquoketa, Iowa.  Isolated 4″ totals are possible.

However, western and central Iowa may easily pick up 3-8″ of snow with a few higher totals.  If that wasn’t bad enough, there will be a lot of wind with this storm causing blizzard conditions.

Look at the warnings out of the Des Moines National Weather Service office.

dmx

The red indicates a “Blizzard Warning” and the fuchsia is a “Winter Storm Warning”.  It’s going to dangerous across much of Iowa Tuesday and Tuesday night.

Once again, the Quad Cities will be missing out on the big snow this time.

It was one year ago today that we picked up 13.8″ from a snowstorm that actually started out as rain!

Anthony

Heavy Snow Missing the Quad Cities

ORIGINAL POST: Sunday, January 31, 2016, 2:22 p.m.

The snowstorm that’ll bring heavy snow and blizzard-like conditions to much of western and central Iowa is now ashore out west.  It’ll be moving to the southern Plains tomorrow and then to the Great Lakes by Wednesday morning.

For most of eastern Iowa, northern Illinois, and the Quad Cities, it looks like we’ll be on the warmer side for much of the storm.

We may see some light snow or a wintry mix late Monday night that’ll change to rain for much of Tuesday.  By late Tuesday evening, we’ll be changing back over to light snow and we could get some minor accumulation.

Here’s a good forecast map from NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center for 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Tuesday Forecast

You see that the low pressure system is pretty much right over the Quad Cities area and this is why we’ll see mostly rain (one-half to three-quarters of an inch), that is represented by the light and dark green.

You see a lot of dark blue across much of Iowa.  That’s the heavy snow.  6″+ of wind-blown snow is not out of the question.

As of this afternoon, much of Iowa, including Waterloo, is under a “Blizzard Watch” for late Monday evening through late Tuesday night.  This will likely be upgraded to a “Blizzard Warning” or a “Winter Storm Warning”.

Cedar Rapids, Dubuque, and Jackson County, Iowa, along with Jo Daviess County, Illinois, are under a “Winter Storm Watch” from late Monday night through late Tuesday night.

6 am Wednesday 6 in Snow Chances

So, what are the chances of seeing 6″ of snow or greater? The brown over the Quad Cities show the chances at zero to 5%.

Notice back toward Fort Dodge and Mason City, Iowa, those chances increase to 70-80%.

I’ll have the latest and all you need to know bright and early Monday morning on “Local 4 News this Morning” from 5-7 a.m.

Anthony

Still Looking Snowy Tuesday, But…

UPDATED POST:  Saturday, January 30, 2016, 4:18 p.m.

Here’s a quick update.  I’ve really enjoyed highs today near 50° in the Quad Cities.

The big storm that we’ve been watching since it was near Japan earlier this week is now just off the Pacific coast and should move over land tomorrow.  When that happens, the amount of data we’ll have will increase drastically and so will the confidence in the winter storm forecast for Monday night and Tuesday.

The latest trend for the Quad Cities, eastern Iowa, and northern Illinois is a warmer forecast.  This would give us a wintry mix late Monday night, some rain Tuesday, and a transition to snow Tuesday evening and early Tuesday night.

This would also cut back on how much snow we’ll see.  At this time, the heaviest snow, 6″+, will fall across western and central Iowa.

Now, with that being said, that’s how it looks this evening.  This is all subject to change tomorrow once the storm comes ashore.

I’ll have another update Sunday and it’ll likely have more concrete solutions for what we’ll see Tuesday.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Anthony

ORIGINAL POST:  Saturday, January 30, 2016, 6:48 a.m.

We’re now just three days away from a big snowstorm that’ll drop some heavy snow across the Midwest.  Parts of eastern Iowa and northwestern Illinois could be getting in on some of that, too!

Before that, weekend temperatures will warm well into the 40s to around 50° Saturday and into the 40s Sunday with light rain.

Now, let’s talk snow.

Snow Saturday Morning

The storm system that’ll bring us the snow is still out in the Pacific Ocean and is expected to come ashore Sunday along the west coast.  At that time, it’ll track to the southern Plains and then make its way to the Great Lakes by Tuesday evening.

Sounds simple enough?  Yes.  But, from a weather forecasting standpoint, no.  The problem lies in what path does it take across Missouri and Illinois.

Some models have the storm farther north this morning and some have it farther south!

If the low pressure system tracks across the Quad Cities, it’ll keep the metro area and much of Illinois in the warmer air longer and cut back on snow.

If the storm tracks toward Chicago out of Missouri, we could be seeing heavier snow in eastern Iowa and a quicker transition from rain or a wintry mix to snow.

Here’s NOAA’s GFS forecast map for noon Tuesday.

Noon Tuesday GFS

So, the big question regarding heavy snow is which path out of Missouri will the low take on the way to the Great Lakes.

I’m very comfortable saying that western and central Iowa will see heavy snow, 6″ or more.

Remember the map I showed you Friday.  At this point in the game with the uncertainty, it’s still valid.

Snow Tuesday

For now, plan on much of Iowa getting a lot of snow.  As you head toward eastern Iowa and northwestern Illinois, we’re still in a holding pattern — will we see several inches or more or less?

There is a lot of moisture associated with this storm.

Moisture Tuesday

For simplicity sake, it’s all snow and we use the 10:1 rule, some places could see between 6-12″ of snow.

If the Quad Cities ends up getting on the cold side, we’ll get a big snow.  But, if we’re on the warm side, a moderate rain event with a little snow on the backside is more likely.

If the moderate to heavy snow potential wasn’t enough, there’s going to be a lot of wind with this storm causing considerable blowing and drifting snow, where the heaviest snow falls.

I’ll have another update later in the day Saturday.

Anthony

Snowstorm Looking More Likely

UPDATED POST:  Friday, January 29, 2016, 4:31 p.m.

Today marks the third straight day with high temperatures in the Quad Cities 40-degrees or better.  Tomorrow and Sunday will be even warmer in the mid-to-upper-40s.

I’m still expecting some light rain Sunday.

With better guidance coming in and the best data still to come later this weekend once our storm comes ashore out west, it’s looking snowier here Tuesday and Tuesday night.

There will be a lot of moisture for this storm to work with and the map that I shared with you this morning looks very good at this time.  Here it is again.

Snow Tuesday

While I’ll likely commit to some accumulation totals this weekend, where you see the darker purple, that could definitely be a snowblower event.

Along the Mississippi River and in the Quad Cities in the lighter purple, get those shovels ready.

I’ll get up bright and early Saturday and give you another update.

Anthony

ORIGINAL POST:  Friday, January 29, 2016, 6:03 a.m.

If you’ve been missing real Midwestern winter weather — a blanket of snow and colder temperatures — you only have to wait a few more days for winter to return in full fashion.

March Snow

Before that, weekend highs will warm to about 45°-50° with some light rain Sunday.

For the Iowa Caucus Monday, snow could be moving into southern Iowa by evening and that’ll spread into Illinois overnight Monday.  By early Tuesday morning, there could be some minor snow accumulating making the morning commute a little slippery.

Now, let’s talk about the big storm coming in Tuesday that I’ve been warning you about for almost a week.

The storm is still out in the Pacific, so there’s plenty of time to fine tune the forecast before it arrives.  It’ll come ashore Sunday and I’ll have a much better grasp on not just the track of the storm, but how much snow will accumulate.

Again, keep up on the latest forecast this weekend and early next week.  At that time, I’ll be much more specific with the forecast.

Snow Tuesday

As it looks now, the wintry mix early Tuesday morning will change over to a wintry mix along the Mississippi River and some rain to the east of the Quad Cities.  To the west, it’ll stay snow.

By afternoon, colder air comes in and all of us will be seeing snow into Tuesday night.

We could easily pick up several inches of snow along the Mississippi River, including the Quad Cities.   Lesser amounts are expected to the east.

The heaviest of snow, at this point, will be falling across western and central Iowa.  This also includes some of our western hometowns.

Again, I want to stress, these lines will be shifting as better data comes in and we get closer to Tuesday.

This is just a first glance and for planning purposes.

Have a great weekend.

Anthony

 

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