Words of Advice:

"Never Feel Sorry For Anyone Who Owns an Airplane."-- Tina Marie

"
If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"
Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It.
" -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot,
by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse.
" -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Monday, February 27, 2017

Not a Big Shock; Army Procurement Ed.

Glock is protesting the award of the Modular Handgun System contract to Sig.

Not entirely unexpected, but my money'd be on Sig.

Dubya Can't Stomach Donnie

Former President George W. Bush said Monday that the American people deserve answers on the alleged connection between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia.

“I think we all need answers,” Bush said in an interview on NBC. “I'm not sure the right avenue to take. I am sure, though, that that question needs to be answered."
And:
Former President George W. Bush said Monday that the media is “indispensable to democracy,” a break from the position of his fellow Republican, President Donald Trump, who has called the press “the enemy of the American people.”

“I consider the media to be indispensable to democracy. That we need the media to hold people like me to account,” Bush told Matt Lauer, anchor of NBC’s “Today” show. “I mean, power can be very addictive and it can be corrosive, and it's important for the media to call to account people who abuse their power, whether it be here or elsewhere.”
...
Recalling his own presidency, when he was often the target of withering media critique, Bush said he devoted significant time to extolling the virtues of a free and independent press around the world, including to Russia’s strongman President Vladimir Putin. Trump has publicly lavished praise on the Russian president, but Bush said it’s important for the U.S. to set a strong example for leaders like Putin.

“One of the things I spent a lot time doing was trying to convince a person like Vladimir Putin, for example, to accept the notion of an independent press,” Bush said. “And it's kind of hard to, you know, tell others to have an independent, free press when we're not willing to have one ourselves.”

Our Imbecile-in-Chief

President Trump said Monday that "nobody knew that healthcare could be so complicated," as Republicans have been slow to unite around a replacement plan for ObamaCare.

"I have to tell you, it's an unbelievably complex subject," Trump said after a meeting with conservative governors at the White House.
Clueless or drain-bamaged, take your pick.

The complexity of the ACA has been a GOP talking point for the last seven years, give or take. The Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (the two acts that make up Obamacare) are together over 2,000 pages long.

To say that nobody knew it was so complex constitutes extreme dereliction of duty. Did he really think that the bill text fit on an index card?

Is All of This Crap Maskirova or Just Rank Incompetence?

Last week, after Spicer [the Liar] became aware that information had leaked out of a planning meeting with about a dozen of his communications staffers, he reconvened the group in his office to express his frustration over the number of private conversations and meetings that were showing up in unflattering news stories, according to sources in the room. ... Spicer also warned the group of more problems if news of the phone checks and the meeting about leaks was leaked to the media.
Spicer has changed his tune pretty quickly. Two months ago, he said that banning media outlets based on what they reported was something that happens in dictatorships, not democracies. I submit that anyone who doesn't believe that Spicer wouldn't wipe his ass without an order from Caudillo Trump is deluding themselves.

So here is the question: Is all of this just utter incompetence or a planned distraction, cover for something that is truly evil and is swimming around under the surface?

Meanwhile, in Philadelphia: Deplorables at Work

Over 100 headstones in a Jewish cemetery were knocked over on Saturday night.

Don't expect Jews to go quietly this time around. We've learned better.

Fascinating

Scientists are figuring out how to determine the colors of dinosaurs.

Our first probes to other stars may be swarms of microchips whizzing by at 36,000 miles a second.

Fascinating.

An Opportunity for Canadians to Eat Our Lunch

If your job is arranging and booking events in Canada, you've been handed a golden opportunity to poach events from the United States.
The irony isn’t lost on Mem Fox. The author of books advocating tolerance and acceptance was detained by U.S. immigration officials as she arrived in America to give a talk about the importance of tolerance and acceptance. ... Fox was on her way from Australia to a conference in Milwaukee on Feb. 6, scheduled to speak about this very theme, when she was detained by immigration officers at Los Angeles International Airport. She was held for just under two hours, she says, and aggressively questioned about her visa status.
Meanwhile, in Texas:
A French historian on his way to a conference in Texas was detained for 10 hours by US border officials and threatened with deportation.
Our country is presenting a very ugly face to the world.

Not counting Canada and Mexico, this country received over 38 million visitors in 2015. Those people spend money, about $4,400 per visit.

These stories have a ripple effect. The Customs goons are having a real economic impact, over what they already have had.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Feeling the Heat and Seeing the Light; Issa Ed.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Republican congressman has called for a special prosecutor to investigate whether Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election and was in touch with President Donald Trump's team during the campaign.

Rep. Darrell Issa of California says it would be improper for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to lead the investigation.
If a congressman who has earned a reputation as being a partisan troll is saying this, then Trump is in serious trouble.
The White House is trying to duck it
, of course.

A month into his term and congressmen and senators from Trump's own party are calling for investigations.

Even Bill Clinton's gig didn't fall apart that fast.

Somebody is going to point out to Trump that all of those VP perks of being a former president don't apply if he's impeached and removed. That (and the unspoken "pardon me and I'll go" deal) got Nixon out.

Politicians are loyal to their own party, up to the point where it endangers their own political survival.

It's probably time to start the anchor pool.

Trump and the FBI

White House chief of staff Reince Priebus asked a top FBI official to dispute media reports that President Donald Trump’s campaign advisers were frequently in touch with Russian intelligence agents during the election, a White House official says.The FBI is supposed to neither shill for the President nor take direction for any aspect or element of an investigation from the White House.

That's Nixon/Hoover grade fuckery.

And it was foolish as fuck for Priebus to even try. The FBI has a long institutional memory; they know that being seen as a tool of the White House damn near destroyed the agency in the 1970s.

Priebus may be a little tool, but he's been around long enough to know that.

Which means that the order to do it came from either President* Trump or Shadow President Bannon.

Also, one should not overlook the possibility that Trump's current beef with the media is a way to undercut them on reporting about the ties of both Trump and a number of his associates, as well as the reporting of Russian interference in the election. It's the Trump/Bannon was of delegitimizing the media so that his supporters are primed to ignore everything bad that comes out about Trump.

There are already Trumpanzees hassling and killing foreigners. It won't be much of a stretch for them to start doing the same to reporters.

All of which leads me to state that there are a considerable number of so-called conservatives who would be very comfortable with the destruction of American freedom and liberty. For them, the Constitution is like the Ten Commandments; nice words to be engraved on a monument and ignored in daily life.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

A 747, the Queen of the 20th Century Jet Age:


Orders keep dribbling in for new ones.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

President Snowflake is Hiding Because People May Say Mean Things About Him.

US President Donald Trump has announced he will not attend the White House Correspondents' Association dinner on 29 April.

The glitzy event draws celebrities, journalists and politicians, normally including the US president.

Mr Trump said he would not attend a day after the White House excluded several major broadcasters and newspapers from a press briefing.
For the last 30+ years, the WHCA dinner has also been a bit of a roast of the siting president. That's something that Trump has demonstrated that he can't take. He has the insult-equivalent of a glass jaw: He can say thoroughly nasty things about other people, but he can't take a verbal punch.

Also, the dinner is normally billed as "a celebration of the First Amendment". It's clear that Trump hates that particular amendment.

Poor widdle snowflake, afraid that somebody may be mean to him. Tweener girls have more spine than Caudillo Donald

Ihre Papiere, Bitte.
Also, Trump's de facto Muslim Ban

Passengers of a domestic Delta flight from San Francisco to New York were told to show their identity documents to uniformed agents of the Customs and Border Protection agency upon their arrival at John F. Kennedy airport on Wednesday evening.
...
Upon deplaning from Delta Flight 1583 in New York, passenger Anne Garrett tweeted, "We were told we couldn't disembark without showing our 'documents.'"
I don't know where the Customs goons think they have the right to demand that everyone on a domestic flight show Customs their papers. It wold appear that the only thing they lacked were black leather trenchcoats.

In other Customs goons news, they detained Muhammad Ali's son at the Ft. Laudersale airport and interrogated him about his religion. Let that sink in a little: Customs thugs thought it proper to detain a natural-born American citizen and subject him to inquiries about his faith.

We have become a country of small-minded, pathetic cowards if we tolerate this sort of shit.

RUMINT: Colt, Again?

I'm hearing rumors of upheaval at Colt, including mass layoffs/firings at the Custom Shop.

Anybody know anything for certain?

Donnie the Delusional

President Trump falsely claimed during his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday that lines to get in stretched back “six blocks.”

It was a statement at odds with the quiet scene outside the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, where CPAC is taking place.

There were no lines getting into the Gaylord within the hour before Trump began speaking Friday morning.
If there were, they were about as long as six lego blocks:


The most charitable thing would be to suppose that Trump is a con man who believes his own con. But it's more likely that he is a bit delusional.



Dear Caitlyn Jenner: Your Party Still Hates You

You can appeal all you like to President* Trump, but at its core, the GOP hates you.

(And gay people. Unless they're very rich.)

(N.B.: Keep your "Caitlyn is still a man" comments to either yourself or on your own blog. Not here. Automatic Red Card. Capisce?

Trump v. Free Press; a Sign to Watch For

When Spicer the Liar or others want to hold mini-conferences, the pool reporter is always present. That reporter is anonymous (as far as the readership is concerned) and generates the stories for everyone else. When a president leaves the residence, a pool reporter is supposed to go with.

The pool reporter is selected by the White House Correspondents' Association. Depending on the circumstances, the pool reporter may not be a member of the WHCA; if a president is on a family trip and isn't expected to make the news, the pool reporter may be a reporter from the nearest big city newspaper.

So the thing to watch for is if Spicer the Liar or any other White House official tries to designate who will be the pool reporter, then know that the Trump Administration has openly declared war on the First Amendment and the Constitution.

Caturday

Chip is as snug as a bug in a rug.

Friday, February 24, 2017

President Trump Must Go

Der Lügenführer, President Snowflake, a man who cannot take anybody saying anything bad about him, must leave office. Whether by impeachment or resignation matters not, but Donald Trump must go.
The White House barred several news organizations from an off-camera press briefing on Friday, handpicking a select group of reporters that included a number of conservative outlets friendly toward Donald Trump.

The “gaggle” with Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, took place in lieu of his daily briefing and was originally scheduled as an on-camera event.

But the White House press office announced later in the day that the Q&A session would take place off camera before only an “expanded pool” of journalists, and in Spicer’s West Wing office as opposed to the James S Brady press briefing room where it is typically held.
Kudos to the Associated Press and Time magazine for not playing along. Brickbats to the television networks for being quislings.

The press is supposed to dig. They are supposed to look for the things that any government (or company) wants to hide. They are supposed to kick over the rocks and shine a light on the vermin.

Donald the Special Snowflake doesn't understand that. He is a toxic combination of a wannabee Saddam Hussein and a tweener girl: Nobody can say anything bad about him and if they do, he is going to make them pay for it.

I understand why the Washington Times and Fox News won't cover Trump with anything but adoration (Chris Wallace and Shepard Smith notwithstanding): They're propaganda organs, not journalists.

To the rest of the press corps: If Trump likes you, you aren't doing your fucking jobs. Those journalists and their companies that were excluded by Spicer the Liar should wear that exclusion as a badge of honor.

No politician really likes the press. But they (and true Americans) understand that the press has a job to do. The Founding Fathers set things up that way.

Trump is showing himself to be an enemy of liberty and freedom. He is trending toward fascism. And if he continues on this path, then as Joe Scarborough said, the Republicans are going to own this for the next fifty years.

Republicans, especially those in the House and Senate, have to choose between their country and Donald Trump. If they continue to back Trump, they may end up being out of power for longer than they were after Hoover left office.

For the good of the GOP and the good of the nation: Trump must go.

CPAC Got Ratfucked?

A prankster passed out small Russian flags emblazoned with President Trump’s name to attendees at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference — where Trump supporters blindly waved the banners during his Friday morning speech until they were confiscated, according to online reports.

Photos posted on Twitter show people in the crowd holding the flags and a stern-faced young man with a lanyard around his neck as he scanned the audience while holding a bunch in his hands.

Hero

Ian Grillot, hiding behind a table, counted the gunshots. When he thought the gunman was out of bullets, he jumped up to pursue the man.

But the [Asswipe] who opened fire inside Austins Bar & Grill about 7:15 p.m. on Wednesday night still had one round left, and he used it to shoot Grillot. The bullet went through the 24-year-old Olathe man’s hand and into his chest.
That takes real guts to charge an armed gunman, even if one thinks that the asswipe's gun may be empty.

If President* Trump really wanted to make a statement about bigotry being evil, he should award Mr. Grillot the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

News Not Covered Here

Since 2015, at least 36 U.S. service members on Okinawa have been arrested in child sex stings operated by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

Those detained have belonged to all branches of the military — with marines in the majority — and their ranks have ranged from private to lieutenant colonel. Typically they have received sentences of between two and three years in military prison, and upon their release they will be required to register as sex offenders in the United States.
At the moment, that's the top trending story on The Japan Times's website.

Also in Japan, there is a bit of a stink about their prime minister's support of xenophobic nationalists.

Interpreters are somewhat concerned that if they translate Trump's words too accurately, that people will think the interpreters are idiots.“He rarely speaks logically, and he only emphasizes one side of things as if it were the absolute truth. There are lots of moments when I suspected his assertions were factually dubious,” said Chikako Tsuruta, who routinely covers Trump-related news as an interpreter for CNN, ABC and CBS.

In New Zealand, they remember nurses who were gunned down 75 years ago by Japanese soldiers.

YouTube removed a livestream of a giraffe giving birth because of nudity. That lasted until people called out YouTube for being ignorant, after which YouTube relented.

It's Always "To Spend More Time With My Family."

In her first TV interview in over a week, Kellyanne Conway explained her recent lack of broadcast appearances Wednesday by noting President Donald Trump's ability to disseminate his own message and her challenges as a working mother.
I smell horseshit.

Conway was everywhere until the news shows began to push back against her lies and spin. Once the story broke that she was persona non grata on a number of shows, she stopped appearing on most of them. And now the old excuse of Family is used.

How convenient.

Big Surprise on North Korean Assassination--- Not!

The substance used in the killing of Kim Jong-nam was a “VX nerve agent”, a highly toxic liquid used only in chemical warfare, Malaysian police have said.

The inspector general, Khalid Abu Bakar, said later that one of the two women suspected of involvement in the poisoning also suffered its effects: “She was vomiting.”

The findings follow a preliminary analysis of swabs taken from the face and eyes of the victim, who is the half-brother of the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un. More items linked to the attack at Kuala Lumpur airport were still being analysed and the terminal would be decontaminated, police said.
That pretty much makes it clear why the North Koreans were objecting to Kim's body being autopsied.

VX isn't exactly the sort of stuff that one buys at the local Agway for use as a pesticide. No doubt that a skilled chemist could synthesize some, but other than fanciful technothrillers, why would somebody, other than a state-sanctioned killer would go to all that trouble when it would be so much simpler to use more traditional methods of assassination. It's possible that the North Koreans believed that they could strong-arm the Malaysians into coughing up the body without any investigation.

Bad bet, that.

Because It's Friday

Laying and running a "trench railway" in World War One:


Gasoline-powered locomotives were favored for daylight use, as they didn't put out a column of smoke for the German gunners to use for aiming points.

Those Fiscally Hypocritical Republicans

The new Republican lieutenant governor of Missouri has done more than $54,000 in renovations to his office. In a state that's slashing education spending and every other service, this clown also wants a 25% increase in his office budget.

He'll probably get it, because the Legislature is controlled by Republicans. They're typically only willing to cut the budget when it impacts the poor, children at risk, old people or students.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Trump Owns This One

A 51-year-old Olathe man was charged Thursday in a Wednesday night shooting at an Olathe bar that left one man dead and two others wounded.

[The Asswipe of Olathe] was drinking at a bar in an Applebee’s in Clinton, Mo., when he was arrested early Thursday, about five hours after the shooting, police said.
...
[Assipe] allegedly told a bartender in Clinton that he had killed two Middle Eastern men, The Star has learned.
...
At least one witness reportedly heard the suspect yell “get out of my country” shortly before shooting men he thought were Middle Eastern. Both men, engineers at Garmin, appear to be originally from India.
Trump campaigned on a platform of xenophobia and hatred for others. Oh, he'll no doubt deplore this, but the damage has been done. Racist jerkoffs like Asswipe think that crimes like this will be winked at, much like the murder of black men was winked at in the old days.

You know, the days that Trump thinks were so great.
------------------------------------------------------------------
Meanwhile, another Trumpanzee got kicked off an airliner for being a racist jerk. (Or a xenophobic jerk.)

Look Up "Political Hack" in the Dictionary and You'll Find a Picture of Jason Chaffetz

House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) is investigating a months-old tweet from his state's Bryce Canyon National Park.
Let's recap Chaffetz's positions, shall we?
Good thing ol' Jason's out there protecting the integrity of the Federal government, but only so long as he can investigate anyone other than Republicans.

Barely Interactive Post

You can either read about ICE allegedly dragging a woman with a brain tumor out of the hospital or you can read about when Ogunquit, Maine had a Renault LeCar as a marked police cruiser.

Frankly, the first story doesn't surprise me. If President* Trump ordered ICE to form death squads and begin summarily executing people, I have little doubt that they would cheerfully comply. Oh, he might have to "boil the frog" a little more to get them to that point, but it wouldn't take a lot of calories to get there.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Gun Snark

So I'm reading through the latest issue of Shooting Illustrated. Which often doesn't take much time, as I skip all of the political shit and the "zOMG, Sumdood's Gonna Take Yer Gunz" crap. Not terribly interested in anything Kimber (a $900 pocket 9mm) or a compact .338 for $7,200.

What caught my eye was an ad by Ruger saying that the Ruger American Pistol was "designed with the latest U.S. Military standards in mind." Which I take to mean that although Ruger declined to enter the competition for the Army's new heater, they thought about it hard enough to develop a gun to the specs. According the the writeup later in the mag, MSRP's $579.

Not too bad, really. For the price of the "DoubleStar" 1911 ($1,364), you could buy two of the Rugers and have some cash left over for a holster, a couple of extra magazines and 500 or so cartridges.

Shorter Response by Mexio to Trump: Foxtrot Oscar, Apha, Delta, Out.

(Earlier story)
Mexico's lead negotiator with the Trump administration, Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray, said there was no way Mexico would accept the new rules, which among other things seek to deport non-Mexicans to Mexico.

"I want to say clearly and emphatically that the government of Mexico and the Mexican people do not have to accept provisions that one government unilaterally wants to impose on the other," he told reporters at the Foreign Ministry.
It was pretty foreseeable that Mexico isn't going to go along with Trump's idea to set up detention camps, in Mexico, for people to sit in while awaiting hearings.

Doubt if Canada will, as well.

Melissa-McCarthy-wannabee Sean Spicer, meanwhile, is doing what he does best: Lie like his boss.
White House spokesman Sean Spicer described U.S.-Mexico ties as healthy and robust and said he expected a "great discussion."

"I think the relationship with Mexico is phenomenal right now," Spicer told reporters.

Every Event Trump Attends is All About Him

This is from his remarks at the Museum of African-American History.
I like the state of South Carolina. I like all those states where I won by double, double, double digits. You know, those states.
The transcript was on the White House's web site.

What the hell is wrong with Trump? Can he not say anything about any subject whatsoever without turning it into a discussion of his pissant electoral victory? Is he that insecure about it?

Some Seriously Sick Fucks Out There

SYLVA, N.C. — The 1,100-acre Pinnacle Park west of Asheville remains closed after a runner's foot was impaled by a nail purposely placed on a popular trail that leads to the Black Rock Summit.

Rotting in the Fields

As President* Trump (der Lügenführer) embarks on his crusade to deport millions of undocumented aliens, be prepared to pay a shitload more money for your fresh fruits and vegetables. For BadTux points out that the farmworker visa program will be of no help to California farmers. There aren't exactly a shitload of Millennials eager to leave their homes for the adventure of being a migrant farmworker.

(Also, being here without proper documentation is not a crime.)

You might want to read the memos for yourself. Going to be interesting to see how Customs can hire 10,000 new agents "expeditiously" without running afoul of the same issues that plagued the Border Patrol back when they tried to rapidly expand during Bush-II's tenure.

Why the implementation memo requires the heads of all executive departments to "identify and quantify all sources of direct and indirect Federal aid to the Government of Mexico" (implementation memo, section C, page 4) is a question nobody seems to be asking.

Basically, all of the shit in the original memo, which the Trump Administration denied (and which the Trumpanzees claimed was a "troll job") is contained in the two new memos.

If you are Hispanic, it would behoove you to always have proof of citizenship or legal residency on your person at all times. And yes, in certain areas of the country, this also applies to the Irish. You could end up being quickly dumped over the border into a makeshift and squalid refugee camp in northern Mexico (implementation memo, section H, page 7).[1] Everyone seems to be focusing on undocumented Hispanics in the U.S., but while they are a majority of the undocumented, there are undocumented aliens from all over the globe.
_________________________________
[1] Presumably, the refugee camps in southern Canada will be a bit nicer than the ones in Mexico.

The Targets Stand Together

Muslims raised $20,000 in three hours to repair the damage caused by vandals at a Jewish cemetery. The local ADL is offering a reward for information on the perps.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

We Shall See If There's Any Action to Back This Up

"The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community and community centers are horrible and are painful and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil," Trump said. He did not outline what that might include.
That's nice. But given that his Chief Henchman harnessed the neo-nazis to help elect President* Trump (and his dog-whistles to the nazis), they think he's their guy and that his statements to the contrary are just eyewash, then this is an area where nice words are not going to cut it.

If Trump wants to show that he's not a friend of the neo-nazis, he's going to have to prove it.

Getting to Genocide

A post about how to get from a tolerant society to one that closes its eyes to state-sanctioned brutality.

I could clip a paragraph or two from it, but that would not really be fair. You should read the entire thing.

And then maybe you might understand why a lot of people are pushing back, now, and not heeding the exhortation of "Be reasonable and give Trump a chance."

Because we've heard this tune before, only with different musicians.

(German word of the day: Die Lügenführer- "Lying leader".)

Deplorables at Work

UNIVERSITY CITY [St. Louis, MO] • As many as 200 headstones at a Jewish cemetery were toppled over the weekend here in a case that is making national headlines.

Anita Feigenbaum, executive director of the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery, said officials will be cataloging the damage Tuesday and notifying relatives whose families are affected. A monument company will decide which headstones need to be replaced and which need to be reset, she said.
And this:
The FBI is investigating another wave of bomb threats to Jewish facilities in the US after 11 sites were evacuated on Monday.

The latest threats bring the number of incidents to 69 in 27 states in the past month, according to the JCC Association of North America.

(BadTux asks why nobody does this crap against white Protestants.)

Stand with Sweden


In case you're looking at this far enough in the future to have forgotten what this is about, here you go. But given what our Possibly Syphilitic President is doing, "far enough in the future" might be a matter of a few weeks.