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Greetings!

The usual disclaimers apply. This is a community open thread diary. It's being posted to the Street Prophets group but we've no membership requirements in the comments. All are welcome to join in, relax, have a cookie. You don't have to react to my blithering; it's an open thread. You can decorate the comments in your own style.
I suppose this week I'll post some news above the hairball. Below the hairball I'll hack up a bit of my usual blithering.

For my last two diaries I've written a bit about the political situation in my neighborhood:

The Czech Parliamentary Elections
Czech Politics: The Aftermath

Some great discussions in the comments of both diaries and keep an eye out for Moravan's beautiful photos from a Moravian festival! One deleted photo leads the pack in the thread but keep scrolling down-- it's worth it!

Well, the update this week is that the Social Democrats, ČSSD continue to simmer and sputter. The leader of the party, Sobotka, has not only survived the efforts to oust him from power from within the party but has actually come out of the mess smelling like roses. One of the three members of the party leadership, Škromach, who had called for Sobotka's resignation has himself resigned his position supposedly to diffuse the situation. On Sunday the party faithful will meet to decide what to do about the remaining schemers.

President Zeman is laughing about his role in the mess that is tearing apart his former party. He claims that he never considered his meeting with Hašek, Škromach and Tejc to be "secret" because everything always gets out.

'Course, Zeman is mostly in the news this week for hurting his knee after supposedly tripping over a carpet the dog had rumpled. And the criticism from reporters of Czech Television for not showing the unedited video of Zeman wobbling around under the influence of a "virus" while inspecting the crown jewels and instead playing clips that showed him mocking his opponent in the presidential elections for napping on the job. Yep, there's some doubt regarding the unbiased nature of the media in the presidential race.

And the word on ANO 2011 earlier in the week was that their views of progressive taxation may be the thread that stitches them into a coalition government with ČSSD and KDU-ČSL.

Bonus for the week is David Rath's latest failed attempt to avoid criminal charges in his little scandal of being caught by the police with millions stuffed in a wine box and tucked under his floorboards. What was his argument? His position as an elected official came with immunity-- surely that applies to corruption and bribery? The high court sez you're outa luck, Davey. ČSSD is the party responsible for so much entertainment.

Somebody asked me what's up with Hungary these days. I scrounged up a few things about Viktor Orbán, their prime minister-- I suspect more information will trickle into English news as Hungary gears up for next year's elections in the Spring. Turns out the brother of an old friend of mine will be in Budapest this next week so I may have something more substantial to report.

After Orbán came to power he instituted sweeping constitutional reforms and hundreds of thousands of people fled the country. A power grab by a little fascist dictator wannabe. It's an ugly situation in Hungary that has seen a dramatic rise in the popularity of far-right extremists. But Orbán's power is not absolute, the courts and international pressure have in some measure mitigated some of his overreaching reforms. The latest news is that he's making nice with popular reforms to banking and debt laws. Elections in the Spring, y'know.

Some of my standard blithering below...

Not been a great week for my various artistic ventures. Barely sat down to draw at all this week. I've been doing more cooking than scribbling.

And some reading, always some reading-- I finished off Terry Pratchett's "The Truth" and have started "The Hogfather".

I started blocking out the first few pages of a comic book I continue to fiddle with. Looking at the possibility of trying to self-publish something and setting up an Indiegogo project to fund it.

The power of comic books:

I don't suppose I'll share any of my pencil scribblings at this point. What little time I did spend scanning this week was for scanning some things for a friend who now owes me even more beers. I look forward to collecting.

Should be a flood of stuff to share next week though. I should be finishing the oil painting that when last seen looked something like this:

And I did some of the drawing (just in pencil at this point) for a fantasy picture, sort of a witchy portrait, that I'll complete in ink and watercolor.

I think writing this down is sort of like making a promise. If ever there was a cat in need of a kick in his stubby, little tail-end-- c'est moi.

My Béhance portfolio seems to have taken on a life of its own after I posted a new project to it last week. Still getting a few fresh views of my work every day. Perhaps this is a hopeful sign that my career as an illustrator is slowly getting back into gear and moving forward again. Just one more good, solid kick ...

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