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

Friday, March 31, 2017

A Little Late for That; Spicer the Liar Ed.

Former President Obama's communications director is advising White House press secretary Sean Spicer to be careful with his reputation.

Asked to give advice to her fellow flack, Jen Psaki told the DC/BS podcast that Spicer must "remember that your credibility is more important than the length of time you stay in a job."

"He has to be conscious and cognizant every single day when he goes to that podium about the fact that he's not an old guy and he's going to have a long career after this potentially," she said.
That sage piece of advice is about 70 days too late.

But it's not all Spicer's fault. His boss reportedly tells Spicer what to say, watches Spicer's press briefings and if Spicer doesn't say what Dolt-45 wants, then Spicer gets to do a rug dance. There was no clearer example of this than on January 21st, when Spicer reamed out the press for reporting the truth about the size of the crowd at Trump's inauguration. Spicer has gamely repeated all of Trump's lies.

Spicer is on track to be the best-known liar and spinner in the West Wing since Ron Ziegler. Neither one of them isn't exactly Jerry terHorst when it comes to integrity.

Not Fun to Be in ATL Now

Traffic is going to be a four-starred bitch.
Gov. Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency Thursday night after fire officials extinguished a massive fire on I-85 in Atlanta that led to the collapse of a bridge on the crowded interstate.

Trump's Ignorance is Astonishing

No, I'm not writing about the fact that he only recently seemed to discover that Abraham Lincoln was a Republican.[1]

I'm writing about this:
Former national security adviser Michael Flynn, reportedly seeking immunity in exchange for his testimony regarding allegations of ties between the Russian government and President* Donald Trump’s campaign, should do exactly that, the president wrote on Twitter Friday morning, to protect himself from a “witch hunt” being carried out by Democrats and the media.
Apparently, Trump doesn't realize that a grant of immunity means nothing to opposing politicians and the press.

I am sure that everyone who regularly reads this blog doesn't need to be told that a grant of immunity is not a magical shield that prevents anybody from talking or writing about the person to whom immunity was granted. A grant of Federal immunity only stops the Department of Justice from bringing charges. And, as everyone other than Donnie knows, the DoJ is a department in the Executive Branch. As we all know, (except Dolt-45), the DoJ works for the president. So if Deadbeaticus wants to order that Flynn not be prosecuted, he likely won't be.
____________________________________________________
[1] Trump translation: When Cheetolini says "most people don't know that", what he really means is "I didn't know that."

Because It's Friday

The latest "Big Boy Update":

Flynn on Immunity

To follow up on this post:

Reusing Rockets

SpaceX launched a rocket with a reused first state. And then they landed that first stage on their recovery barge. So it's possible they'll fly that rocket a third time.

Твиттер Трампа

Now it all begins to make sense!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

So It Seems That Flynn Was Dirty, After All

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn has offered to cooperate with congressional investigators in exchange for immunity from prosecution, a suggestion that has been met with initial skepticism, according to people familiar with the matter.
Maybe I'm naïve as fuck, but I don't get why somebody would want a grant of immunity before they testify unless they know that they've done something that they could be prosecuted for doing.

Let's not forget that some of Flynn's guys are still in the NSC and it was a couple of them who leaked intelligence reports to Nunes. Leaks that President* Trump probably likes because those leaks served his purpose, if only for a little while.

Worse, Flynn was head of the DIA for two years. If he was turned by the Russians, then the DIA has some pretty big problems.

Meanwhile, On the Other Side of the Rotunda

The Senate has opened its hearings on the Russia-Trump connection.

The Senators on the committee are promising to do a professional job. Well, they could hardly fuck it up worse than Trump Toady Devin Nunes is doing in the House.

Tsk. Tsk. Tsk.

Serial killer and former nurse's aide [Asswipe of Toledo] succumbed to his injuries on Thursday, two days after he was badly beaten in an Ohio prison.

[Asswipe], who was 64, was serving 15 life sentences after agreeing to a plea deal in 1987 for 35 murders to avoid the death penalty. ... He is believed to have killed as many as 87 people during his 18-year murder spree. [Asswipe] used cyanide, rat poison and arsenic to kill his victims. Some of the patients were suffocated when he let their oxygen tanks run out.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Shorter GOP: "Treason is OK If You're a Republican."

It is hard for me to imagine that the Republicans would be so accommodating to a Democrat's campaign, much less the Democrat himself (or herself) if there was even a tenth of the number of allegations of collusion with Russia.
Let’s indulge in the simplest exercise in political integrity. If the roles were reversed, what would you argue? If Adam Schiff was the chairman, Hillary Clinton was president, and Schiff was secretly meeting at the White House for solo briefings then presenting that same “evidence” to the press as if he’d discovered it, you’d want him to step down. And you’d be right.

The truth of the matter is that Nunes is no more interested in investigating the matter than Trump is. Nunes is a tool and a fool. He's covering up. He's an accessory. And, if any of this is eventually proven, Nunes should be charged as an accessory after the fact to treason. We don't hang traitors anymore. Which is a shame, because if anyone is worthy of doing the Tyburn Jig, it's Devin Nunes.

Paramus Porko's Peeps' Prison Parade

Two former aides to Gov. Chris Christie were sentenced to prison Wednesday for their role in a political revenge plot involving traffic jams at the country's busiest bridge, a scandal that sank the Republican's presidential aspirations.

Bridget Kelly, 44, was sentenced to 18 months and Bill Baroni, 45, was sentenced to two years after they were convicted for their roles in the 2013 George Washington Bridge lane-closing scandal.
I suspect that it's a pretty good bet that Christie knew what was happening when it was happening, but suspicion isn't proof. At least Christie had the good sense not to record himself at the time.

Nunes & Trump

Stephen Colbert's short version:



And a longer version, with all of the lead-in:

And the Brits go "Buh-Bye"

Britain's "get stuffed, Euros" letter.

I expect that the Euros will take a negotiating stance of "fuck you, don't let the screen door hit you in the arse." The Brits are not the only country whose citizens are contemplating leaving the EU, so it's in the interest of the EU to make this as tough for the Brits as possible.

No single market. No special deal on trade. No "soft border" between Ireland and Northern Ireland. The EU should offer the same sort of "deep and special partnership" to The Brits that is currently enjoyed by Brazil.

British hospitals are being hit by a double blow. First, nurses from EU countries are not every interested in working there. Second, the Brits have switched from offering scholarships for nursing students to offering loans, which resulted in a lot less interest in that career. That won't be helped if British expats (mainly retirees) move back home.

Prime Minister May's letter could be viewed as a veiled threat to not cooperate on security or anti-terrorism matters if the deal isn't to her liking. I suspect that the Euros will be inclined to call her on that.

Meanwhile, the Scots are rethinking their 2014 decision to stay in the UK. Northern Ireland may mull over leaving the UK.

Shit's going to get interesting.

Spoilsports at the ATF Would Probably Have Conniptions


Yes, it's a real thing. Carjacking's apparently fairly common in South Africa.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Wrong Again; Me

The Colbert cold open was up, after all.

Nunes Keeps Digging the Hole Deeper

The Chairman of the House committee, Devin the Weasel Nunes, investigating Trump's ties to Russia keeps digging his personal ethics hole deeper. Essentially, Sally Yates, who was fired by Trump, said she'd testify. So Nunes canceled the hearing.

Nunes has zero intent of getting to the bottom of this. All he wants to do is cover up for his boss, The Donald.

A Little Humor


If I had the money to burn, I'd hire these guys to do something like this:


Not Sure How That's Gonna Work, Donnie

White House chief of staff Reince Priebus is making clear that President* Donald Trump will be seeking support from moderate Democrats for upcoming legislative battles.
Why would Democrats work with Президент* Трамп on anything?

First: Trump's cabinet and executive orders reflect far-right priorities. He's not going to repudiate them.

Second: What does Trump bring to the table for Democrats to want to work with him? Trump's polling numbers are at historic lows for a sitting president this early into his term. He'd have to pretty much throw away almost all of his agenda. And even if he were to cobble together a coalition of Democrats and moderate Republicans, the batshit-wing of the GOP controls enough of the House that it'd get nowhere.

Third: Let's not forget that the Trump campaign is being investigated by the FBI for what boils down to treason. It's recently come out that Trump's former NSA chief was entertaining winking at committing kidnapping on American soil to please a foreign power (and one of his clients). Sooner or later, the classic question of "what did Trump know and when did he know it" will be asked. For all of the Right's poo-pooing of this stuff, remember, we're not talking about illegal campaign activities or lying about getting a blowjob: We're talking about colluding with a hostile foreign power to win an election, or, in another word: Treason.

Why on earth would any sane politician want to get close to somebody who has that stench[1] on him?
________________________
{1}Trump perfume: A top note of political amateurism, a middle note of unpopularity and a base note of treason.

Heh. "I'm Only a Bill."

Stephen Colbert's recap of the Friday Follies:



I can't watch that too many times.

The show's cold open was terrific (not yet up on YouTube). So was the entire monologue and the Office of Nepotism and Treason.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Shorter UAL: "Dress Codes That Only Impact Women Are Not Sexist!"

You've likely heard of the dustup with United over their dress code for people riding on company passes. In the abstract, I sort of agree, for if you take the King's gold, you abide by the King's rules.

But this seemed a bit much:
When taking advantage of this benefit, all employees and pass riders are considered representatives of United. And like most companies, we have a dress code that we ask employees and pass riders to follow. The passengers this morning were United pass riders and not in compliance with our dress code for company benefit travel. We regularly remind our employees that when they place a family member or friend on a flight for free as a standby passenger, they need to follow our dress code.
I've flown on UAL within the last six months, including changing flights at two of their hubs. I do not remember seeing a single person wearing a sign or tag that said "United Pass Rider". I don't know how I'd tell who was a pass rider and who wasn't.

But I guess that UAL thinks that maybe we have "pass-riderdar" or something that enables paying passengers to tell whose riding for free and who isn't.

Sports: If There Ever Were Two Groups of Clowns Who Really Deserved Each Other

It would be the Raiders football team and the City of Las Vegas.
NFL owners approved the Raiders' move to Las Vegas 31-1 at the league meetings Monday.
The idiots running the city are going to cough up 3/4ths of a billion to help build the Raiders a stadium; one that they'll bolt from as soon as they see a better deal.

For that's what the Davis family does. The Raiders have played "home games" in more cities than a touring theater company.

The Raiders are supposedly playing in Oakland for another couple of years. So let me say this:

Anyone who goes to a Raiders game in Oakland has mush for brains and, if they're a man, they have cojones the size of a withered green pea. They might as well pull down their pants at the gate and let Mark Davis butt-fuck them.

Into the Reading Queue


Mr. Rychetnik was an AK state trooper back in the day when there were 67 state troopers. He was also a reporter and a news photographer. He was a Marine, fought in Okinawa and was a Marine photographer in Korea. I'd like to read "Bush Cop", but I'm not paying that kind of money for a copy. So I'll see if they have it on inter-library loan (fat chance, probably.)

Trump's Mole Keeps Working

Now he's canceling public hearings because he's afraid that they'll make his boss (Trump) look bad.

An independent investigation is needed. Any report that Nunes has a hand in should be printed on toilet paper, so at least it will not be a complete waste of paper.

Golf is OK for Republicans

Today, Donald Trump went golfing for the 12th time in the nine weeks he has been president. That’s not really a big deal, of course. Presidents can golf! Considering that he is now golfing more than any of his predecessors did and routinely lambasted Barack Obama for golfing, though, he’s getting a lot of heat for the hypocrisy.

Spicer the Liar on presidential golf:


Dolt-45 on presidential golf:


Trump's people said that he was "having meetings". Golf cleats for meetings?

Meanwhile, at least one conservative pundit is saying that his side should apologize to President Obama.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE


I'm not feeling 100%. Today I've been mostly binging on shit that's recorded on my DVR. Hooray for the twidgets that invented them.

The blogroll awaits for those who need content.

TA88-6

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

Taiwan's "Goshawk":


Basically, the Taiwanese built them for sort of the same reason that the SAAF built the Cheeta: Nobody'd sell them what they wanted.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

One Month to Go!


Yes, it's a thing.

Not Such a Good Deal

One of the guns that I have wanted for a long time (gun enthusiasts call such things "Grail Guns") is a 3" K-frame revolver. A 3" round-butt K-frame revolver is said to offer the best compromise in concealability and shootability. A 3" barrel allows for a full-length stroke of the ejector rod. The extra inch or so over a 2" barrel allows for more velocity from the cartridge and better accuracy, to boot.

The Model 13 3" (.357) was supposedly first requested by the New York Staties. The stainless version, the Model 65, was first made for the Oklahoma Highway Patrol (their staties). The Feebies issued 3" Model 13s.

The rarest of the 3" sixguns seems to be Colt Detective Specials in 3" and they are priced accordingly. Model 19s and 66s in 3" are very pricey. The others (10, 64, 65, 67) are less so, but they're still not very common. What I was thinking of doing was finding a somewhat beater Model 10 heavy-barrel and having it cut down to 3" and have the butt rounded if possible (depends on where the serial numbers are stamped on the butt ).

So when I found out about a small offering of Model 65s in 3", I ordered one:


The gun was supposed to be G-VG condition with good timing. At least the timing was good. Probably my first clue should have been that somebody put square-butt Pachs on a round-butt gun.

The barrel was "clocked" (out of alignment) and may have been that way since Day 1:



Worse, it seemed that some nimrod had tried to remove the yoke and cylinder without first removing the retaining screw:


Doing that, of course, damaged the shit out of the button on the end of the yoke:


The good news is that whatever sub-par IQ Bubba had done that had not otherwise damaged the yoke. The alignment was good.

Still, therein lies the dilemma of buying a gun online. If there is a problem, you're going to be out two sets of FFL fees, as well as shipping each way. And, if the seller is a commercial entity, they may very well say "it was a used gun and sold 'as is', Bucko, so you're going to pay a restocking fee iffn you send it back."

Shipping each way (handguns go 2nd day air) and FFL fees for each way and you're looking at $100 or so.

What I did was trot the gun over to my local smith. He looked it over and said that he could retorque the barrel and fix the damage to the yoke button for a bit less than $100.

Seemed to be the better option, especially since I'd rather keep the gun.

Updates once I get the gun back.

"Steve, Steve, Gimmie Another Quarter!"


He was probably fantasizing about running over the Freedom Caucus.

And this:
While the rest of his senior staff scrambled to squeeze votes for President* Trump's flailing health care package, one person remained notably absent for most of the week: Jared Kushner.

Along with this wife, Ivanka Trump, another key cog in the president's inner circle, Kushner was on vacation until Thursday, skiing with family in the posh Colorado town of Aspen. Paparazzi caught Jared and Ivanka taking leisurely strolls, enjoying ice cream cones with their three kids and winding their way down the slopes.

Meanwhile, back in Washington, Trump was fuming. According to a source close to the president, "[Trump] is upset that his son-in-law and senior adviser was not around during this crucial week."
Other than help fluff Trump's injured ego, I don't know what ol' Jared could have done. He's no more of a politician than is Trump.

It's about time that people in this country come to grips with the fact that being a politician is a skill, a trade. For all of the whining about "professional politicians" that comes from certain quarters, the truth of the matter is that the pros are the ones who get shit done. Oh, it may not be pretty and it's never 100% ideologically pure, but they get shit done.

You want your mechanic, dentist, cardiologist or accountant to be experienced (or at least trained) professionals. If you've got a bad legal problem, you're not going to someone who is studying for the LSAT. Hell, you want the photographer who shoots your kid's bar mitzvah to have some experience.

So why are Americans so eager to let amateurs govern? It makes no sense.

Caturday

"Thanks for the canned food. I want my treats, now. Hop to it!"


This is the litter that I use:


It's normally $9 a container. The local grocery store had them on sale for $4 on clearance. There were nine containers on the shelf.

I bought all of them. I don't know if they're no longer going to carry it, but I'm not looking forward to the fun of changing over a cat's litter. Chip is a pretty easy-going cat and so far doesn't seem to be finicky about anything, but one never knows.

135lbs of cat litter will last a good while.

Friday, March 24, 2017

TrumpCare: The Seven Year Gestation of a Turd

In a humiliating failure, President* Donald Trump and GOP leaders yanked their bill to repeal "Obamacare" off the House floor Friday when it became clear it would fail badly - after seven years of nonstop railing against the health care law.
The Republicans had seven years to come up with a plan to replace Obamacare.

They failed. They couldn't even get a bill through the House of Representatives, a chamber that they control.

Of course, Trump blamed the Democrats, which might play well in his own mind, but few will be fooled. The only way that the Democrats would have helped if the Republicans had tried to come up with a bill that would fix things that might need fixing.

But the GOP couldn't or wouldn't do that. Their fix was akin to curing illness by killing off the sick.

Trump's also going to deny that he ever said that he'd replace Obamacare immediately, even though he spent months on the campaign trail promising exactly that. That won't matter to his base. He'll keep lying to them and they'll remain in WETSU mode forever.

The hidden truth is that the Republicans never expected that they might have to do anything. They don't know how to do much of anything expect rant and rave. They have no ability to govern. It's been over a decade since the Republicans had control of Congress with a member of their party to sign things for them. There are a lot of House Republicans who, even though they've been in Congress for several years, have no experience at actually getting shit done.

The same is somewhat true in the Senate, especially when you consider Senators like Cruz and Rubio: Tools who have no use whatsoever.

Oh, they'll get a few things done. Like giving your ISP the power to collect your usage history and sell it to the highest bidder. That sort of shit they can do.

"Pizzagate" Deplorable Pleads Guilty

A North Carolina man who commandeered a Washington pizza restaurant with an assault-style rifle in December pleaded guilty Friday to weapons and assault charges in a deal with U.S. prosecutors. ... [Asswipe] pleaded guilty to a federal charge of transporting firearms and ammunition across state lines and a District count of assault with a dangerous weapon. ... Each count carries a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison, but prosecutors and [Asswipe]’s federal defender agreed that nonbinding guidelines would likely call for a federal sentence of 18 to 24 months and a District penalty of 18 to 60 months, which could run consecutively. The sides did not agree on a sentencing recommendation.
Whomsoever concocted and then those that spread the "Pizzzagate" lie should be doing time right along with Asswipe.

Shorter GOP: Ethics, Shmethics

The Justice Department is investigating California Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter for possible campaign finance violations, an allegation the lawmaker dismisses as inadvertent mistakes.

The House Ethics Committee has been investigating allegations that Hunter improperly used campaign funds to pay for tens of thousands of dollars in personal expenses, such as trips to Hawaii and Italy and tuition for Hunter's school-age children.
Not quite sure how paying his kids tuition out of his campaign accounts falls under "inadvertent mistake", but I guess we'll see.

(Now cue up Fox News to start yelling: "But, email!")

Because It's Friday

Sometimes, even diesels need a hand!


From the narration, I'm guessing that this took place in the `90s.

The Answer is "No...

... and fuck you for asking."


Here is what I don't understand: The FBI is investigating Trump's campaign for colluding with Russia to swing the election. Trump's former campaign manager lobbied for Russia and was paid millions by the Russian government for doing so. The first guy he installed as his National Security Adviser took money from Russia and failed to register as a foreign agent. Trump's people watered down the pro-Ukranian plank of the GOP platform in `16.

An example of the last point: Go back a couple of years and you'll find no shortage of Republicans who were lambasting the Obama Administration for not sending weapons (aka "lethal aid"). but since Trump took control of the GOP, there has been word bupkis about any of that.

More and more keeps coming out about ties between Trump's people, if not Trump himself, and Russia.

And yet, Republicans are doubling down on their embrace of Trump.

Let's be really clear on this: We're not talking about financial improprieties or sexual randiness or use of a private email server or taking illegal campaign contributions or covering up illegal campaign activities (the latter is why Nixon resigned).

What we are talking about, now, is treason.

Republicans were so, so outraged at Hillary Clinton for having a private email server and were screaming to the heavens about the FBI investigating her for that, but they are closing their eyes to the FBI's investigation of Trump and his campaign for colluding with a hostile foreign power.

If this plays out as I believe it will, the Vichy Republicans (or Quisling Republicans) may find themselves having to to explain why they were so eager to embrace an Administration that was influenced by Russia and sought to put their thumb on the scales for Russia.

Because there are a lot of people out there who will do their damnedest to make sure that this isn't forgotten.

Including Yours Truly.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Nunes Needs to Go

I can't think of any other situation where the raw data of an investigation is openly discussed with the subject of such an investigation.
The chairman of the House intelligence committee defended his decision to both publicly discuss and brief President Donald Trump on typically secret intelligence about surveillance of members of the Trump transition team's communications.
So the Chairman of the committee investigating Trump's alleged ties to Russia is briefing Trump and keeping him apprised of what is uncovered and when. How is this anything close to being proper? Nunes is a fucking party tool. It should be clear that Nunes is playing Mata Hari for Trump and that Nunes has zero intent in conducting anything even remotely resembling an objective investigation.

This sort of treachery, though, is not unheard of:
A North Carolina district attorney said Friday that two assistant prosecutors no longer work for him amid charges they sabotaged investigations into abuse in their secretive religious sect.

District Attorney David Learner's announcement came just two days after he asked the State Bureau of Investigation to look into allegations by former Word of Faith Fellowship members against Frank Webster and Chris Back. As part of an ongoing investigation by The Associated Press, nine ex-congregants had said the men, both of them ministers of the sect, provided legal advice, helped at strategy sessions and participated in a mock trial for four congregants charged with harassing a former member.
...
The ex-congregants also said that Back and Webster, who is sect leader Jane Whaley's son-in-law, helped disrupt a social services investigation into child abuse in 2015, and had attended meetings where Whaley warned congregants to lie to investigators about abuse incidents.

So I Was Wrong

Israeli police on Thursday arrested a 19-year-old Israeli Jewish man as the primary suspect in a string of bomb threats targeting Jewish community centers and other institutions in the U.S., marking a potential breakthrough in the case.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld described the suspect as a hacker, but said his motives were still unclear. Israeli media identified him as an American-Israeli dual citizen and said he had been found unfit for compulsory service in the Israeli military.
Whether or not the Asswipe of Ashkelon is deranged or not will be determined. But clearly, his belief that he couldn't be traced was wrong.

I don't imagine that the Israeli courts will be too easy on him. As far as I know, they serve kosher food in Federal prison, so extradition is a possibility.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Drip, Drip, Drip

The FBI has information that indicates associates of President Donald Trump communicated with suspected Russian operatives to possibly coordinate the release of information damaging to Hillary Clinton's campaign, US officials told CNN.

This is partly what FBI Director James Comey was referring to when he made a bombshell announcement Monday before Congress that the FBI is investigating the Trump campaign's ties to Russia, according to one source.
The stench of treason is beginning to emanate from the White House and waft over Washington.

Meanwhile, another deplorable was hard at work:
A white man from Maryland who told police he traveled to New York to kill black men turned himself in on Wednesday, about 24 hours after he fatally stabbed a man he encountered on the street, officials said. ... New York police said they charged [the Asswipe of Baltimore], 28, with murder. Police said [Asswipe] encountered 66-year-old Timothy Caughman shortly after 11 p.m. on Monday and stabbed him multiple times. Caughman went to a police precinct for help and was brought to Bellevue Hospital, where he died, police said.

Trump Tower Wiretap

There, indeed, was an FBI wiretap involving Russians at Trump Tower.

But it was not placed at the behest of Barack Obama, and the target was not the Trump campaign of 2016. For two years ending in 2013, the FBI had a court-approved warrant to eavesdrop on a sophisticated Russian organized crime money-laundering network that operated out of unit 63A in Trump Tower in New York.
Let's be clear on this: Nobody's implicating Trump in any of this. There's no evidence that Trump or any of his people knew that criminal activity was being conducted out of that unit in his building.

London Attack

Some shit happened in London.

I kind of like the idea of not getting into stuff like this until at least some initial reportage and investigation's been done.

And so I shall do just that.

Tech Humor


The original.

Customs Continues Its Policy of Fucking With People Who Have Arab-Sounding Names

This time, it was a retired police chief.

What makes this even more damning is that Chief Aden has been cleared for PreCheck, so the Feds have already checked him out. I wouldn't be a bit surprised to learn that he had been screened for the "Global Entry" program, as well.

But hey, if you have a Muslim-sounding name, all bets are off.

The Life of a Violent Criminal is Dangerous

A robbery suspect inadvertently shot himself in the head as he was struck by a victim's vehicle early Wednesday morning outside a Denny's restaurant in Hawthorne, authorities said.
Across the country, stupid criminals are stupid:
EDWARDSVILLE, Pa. — Authorities say a man mistakenly sent a text message to a Pennsylvania prosecutor indicating that he wanted to trade marijuana for heroin.
The second idiot was arrested and then didn't appear for a court date, so they're looking for him.

Marky Meadows May Be the Dumbest Guy in Congress

[President* Trump] singled out Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, which has led the right-wing opposition to the bill.

“I’m gonna come after you, but I know I won’t have to, because I know you’ll vote yes,” Trump said, according to several lawmakers who attended the meeting. “Honestly, a loss is not acceptable, folks.”

Trump’s remarks — which Meadows said he took as good-natured ribbing — reflected his mounting urgency to secure a major legislative victory in the early months of his presidency and fulfill a central campaign promise by repealing the signature domestic achievement of President Barack Obama.
"Ribbing", my ass. Trump's history is of a guy who lives by a fairly well-defined rule: Never forgive, always get even. He never lets a slight go unanswered.

There's no such thing as political give and take for Trump. he's not a seasoned pol who knows that you win some, you lose some and that there's nothing personal in it. For Trump, it's all personal. He's still operating at the level of a grade-school playground bully.

One Case of Voter Fraud in Colorado

And it was committed by a Republican. Not just a Republican, mind you, the former state party chairman, who claimed that only Democrats commit voter fraud.

Seems that his ex-wife called her county's election office to ask for an absentee ballot. They told her that they had already received a ballot from her. An investigation was commenced and much hilarity ensued.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Good Enough for Some Death Threats From Cowardly Trumpanzees


(The story.)

FBI and NSA Directors Confirm: Trump is Nuttier Than a Truckload of Almonds

No, they didn't actually say that. They didn't have to.
British intelligence officials were formally exonerated on Monday by the director of the US National Security Agency from an extraordinary accusation of improper surveillance of Donald Trump.
And
Under questioning from the committee's top Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff, the FBI director also publicly contradicted a series of tweets from Trump that declared the Republican candidate's phones had been ordered tapped by President Barack Obama during the campaign.

"With respect to the president's tweets about alleged wiretapping directed at him by the prior administration, I have no information that supports those tweets, and we have looked carefully inside the FBI," Comey said. The same was true, he added, of the Justice Department.
But they are investigating Trump's ties to Russia:
Comey also acknowledged the existence of a counterintelligence investigation into the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 election, and said that probe extends to the nature of any links between Trump campaign associates and the Russian government.

Comey said the investigation is also exploring whether there was any coordination between the campaign and the Kremlin, and “whether any crimes were committed.”
Meanwhile, Spicer the Liar is doing what he does best: Lying through his teeth.

Meanwhile, this is not terribly far-fetched.

And So It'll Begin; EU Edition

The Brits plan to send their Brexit letter on March 29th.

My suspicion is that the EU side of the negotiation will attempt to make it as hard as possible for the Brits. No favorable trade treatment, no deal on British expats unless the Brits agree to permit free movement of EU-member workers, which I assume they won't, as that was a centerpiece of the Brexit campaign. It may end up with a "hard Brexit", where if no deal is reached, the UK is booted out of the EU on March 29, 2019.

The UK might want to stay in the "single market" (despite what PM May has said), but I bet that won't fly. Paris and Geneva, among other major EU cities, may want to siphon off the banking business that London has had. They'll put pressure on their governments to not agree with the UK staying in the single market.

Scotland may leave the UK over this. There's probably less of a risk of Northern Ireland doing the same, but it's not inconceivable. Which means, for all intents, that the reign of Queen Elizabeth II will have begun with her being sovereign over an empire and it will end with her being the Queen of England and Wales.

PRODUCT RECALL: Walther CCP

Walther is recalling all CCPs to fix a problem with "drop-safe."

The biggest knock that I know of against the CCP is that it is allegedly a Umarex gun that was rebadged as a Walther. Umarex is better known for making airsoft (replica) guns. Putting Walther's name on a Umarex product is like putting a Porsche badge on a VW.

Trump Installs Politruks

The Administration of President* Trump has been installing political officers in Cabinet agencies.

The job of Trump's commissars is the same as the job was in the Soviet Union: Ensure political loyalty and shoot offenders in the back. Probably the latter is figurative under Trump, but one can never be too certain. I have little doubt that Chief Commissar Bannon would not hesitate to issue Tokarevs to his band of politruks if he could get away with doing so.

Meanwhile, Trump continues to peddle his lie that he was wiretapped by President Obama, either directly or by the Brits. Let's be clear, there is zero evidence on this, other than the bleatings of the mentally-questionable conspiracy-mongers. At this point, if Trump really does believe that he was wiretapped, then an objective observer would have little choice but to question Trump's grasp of reality.

In short, Trump is unhinged. He is a barking madman, a complete nutter, a lunatic with the ability to wipe out the bulk of humanity.

The Biggest Laugh I've Had About Trump in Weeks

Trump sees himself as a modern-day Andrew Jackson.

That is almost funny. Andrew Jackson was an army general and a war hero. Trump was a draft-dodger. Jackson was in at least one gunfight, fought duels and carried the ball from a duel in his chest for the rest of his life.[1] Trump's only violent towards women.

Jackson vs. Trump would be like taking a sword to a block of tofu.

I have little doubt that Old Hickory would regard The Donald as little more than a loudmouthed, short-fingered blowhard, if not a craven coward and a despicable insect because of the way Trump has treated women.
______________________________________________
[1] His doctors believed that the ball was too close to Jackson's heart to operate. That was probably a good thing, as between the lack of anesthesia and ignorance of the Germ Theory of Disease, they probably would have killed him.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

30 Year Space Mission

The Japanese Space Agency is working on a mission to the Jupiter Trojans. The mission will launch in the next decade and will finish in the middle of the century.

I know, Voyager 1 and 2 have been in space for forty years, still doing science, though they weren't planned for that.

(H/T via here)

Nobody Loves or Respects a Bully, or
How Trump is Surrendering the World to China

Ken McElroy was the town bully of Skidmore, Missouri for decades. After he shot and wounded an elderky grocer and was on bail, he walked around with a rifle and threatened the citizens of the town. Two people responded by shooting him to death in the middle of town, in broad daylight, and in front of at least forty witnesses.

Almost 36 years later, the killing is open and unsolved.

The story of Ken McElroy came to mind s I read stories about President* Trump's budget:
“It is not a soft-power budget,” Mulvaney explained. “This is a hard-power budget, and that was done intentionally. The president very clearly wants to send a message to our allies and to our potential adversaries that this is a strong-power administration.”
Hard power is the tactic of a bully. And it yields poor results.

Soft power wins friend and influence. The Marshall Plan was an example of soft power. The Soviets understood soft power. The Chinese understand it. China is making friends around the world by funding development projects in Asia, Africa and South America. China's friends will do things in return, such as allowing them to build port facilities for the Chinese Navy and airports for forward deployment of Chinese aircraft.

Soft power gives the country that uses it leverage in negotiations on other issues. Maybe a large power is having a problem half-way around the world; soft power gives that country a way to negotiate for support facilities. Soft power wins friends in other countries outside of the government. With soft power, you can influence generations, as the children who went to schools that America helped build and were educated by teachers funded by America, if not taught by Americans themselfs, will remember which nation gave them the tools they needed to prosper in life.

Hard power, by itself, gets a country little. Look, for example, at North Korea, which seems to rely only on hard power. Nobody gives a shit about North Korea. Even the Chinese are slowly running out of patience with North Korea.

What Trump and his team of neo-nazis are effectively attempting to do is turn this country into a large version of North Korea, a country that has no friends, only countries that are potential enemies and countries who will keep their distance. It is a foreign policy that is beyond stupid.

It is, in effect, if not actual fact, treason.

Deplorable at Work

How is not anything other than racism?
It was girls’ day out, and Diana Carrillo had abandoned her desire to eat healthy well before she, her sister and two friends got to the Southern California restaurant. The destination: Saint Marc, an upscale spot in the seaside city of Huntington Beach, where Carrillo had been once before.

As the waiter walked up to the table, Carrillo figured she’d splurge on the grilled-cheese sandwich and pay the $2 up-charge to add some of the restaurant’s signature bacon. To start, maybe she’d share a watermelon and cheese plate with her sister and friends.

But the mood soured quickly after the waiter appeared. Before he could serve the four Latina women, he said, they needed to show proof of residency. “I need to make sure you’re from here,” he said.
What that waiter now needs is a new job, for they fired him as soon as the shit hit the fan.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

L-39:


One of them was at my former home airport for years. It landed due to engine trouble. It ended up being pushed into a grass tie-down and left there. It was a huge hornet's nest.

Eventually, somebody bought it. It was disassembled and trucked out.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Caturday

"Don't jump up on the counter! It's a trap!"


She jumped up anyway.


She's a "dilute torty"; she has a hint of orange in her coat,

One very pretty cat.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Comma Ca Va

Oxford commas are not redundant, as the dairy industry in Maine is finding out.
Maine's law says the following activities do not qualify for overtime pay: "The canning, processing, preserving, freezing, drying, marketing, storing, packing for shipment or distribution of: (1) Agricultural produce; (2) Meat and fish products; and (3) Perishable foods."

The drivers said the lack of a comma between "shipment" and "or distribution" meant the legislation applied only to the single activity of "packing", rather than to "packing" and "distribution" as two separate activities.

And because drivers distribute the goods, but do not pack them, they argued they were therefore eligible for overtime pay - backdated over several years.
The court, while not agreeing, found that the provision was ambiguous and, therefore, the drivers win.

"Radio Alert Transmission System"; Only the Brits Ed.

RATS is a British system to alert the population of emergencies. Of course, there is an informal meaning for the acronym: "royal about to snuff it."

The above link will take you to an interesting story about the planning for the eventual passing of Queen Elizabeth II. What I didn't know was that her grandfather, King George V, was euthanized, in part to meet press deadlines.

Because It's Friday

N&W 611 on a ferry move.


No damn "helper" diesel!

TrumpCare Will Damage Your Town

TrumpCare will fuck up your local hospital. One of the benefits for hospitals is that widespread health insurance means that fewer people showing up at the hospital are going to stick the hospital with the bill.[1] The less money that a hospital spends on treating uninsured people, the more it has to invest on upgrades and improvements.

TrumpCare would toss millions of people off insurance and stick hospitals with the cost.

There was some holy dude, a couple of thousand years ago, who preached about healing the sick, feeding the hungry and helping the needy. There are buildings bearing said dude's name all over this country, supposedly to pass along his message.

Holy Dude's message doesn't seem to be taking root. Maybe those buildings ought to be converted into brothels and gambling parlors: Uses more in line with the GOP's real philosophy of "money talks".
_____________________________
[1] Another benefit is that with more people covered, they'll go see a doctor before it becomes an ER-grade problem.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Shorter Spicer: "The Evidence Is in Al Capone's Vault!"

There are "no indications" that Trump Tower was under surveillance by the US government before or after the election, a Senate committee has said.

The statement from Republican Senator Richard Burr, Senate Intelligence Committee chairman, dismissed Donald Trump's claim his phones were tapped.
...
White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Mr Trump maintains his claims.
Of course he does, for it is now well-proven that Trump believes things that aren't true: His inauguration crowd was the largest ever, his electoral college win was the largest since Reagan, the sun came out when he spoke, Obama was born in Kenya, and that he's a self-made man.

Spicer says "evidence is forthcoming", which means that Bannon has his flying monkeys hard at work forging it.

RVSM Can Fuck You Up

"Reduced Vertical Separation Minimums" has airplanes in oceanic flight separated by a thousand feet in altitude. What happens when two airplanes, going in opposite directions, pass each other and the one at the higher altitude is a lot larger?

It can fuck up the other airplane's day. An A-380 over the Arabian Sea passed over a Challenger 604 a couple of months ago. Challengers aren't tiny airplanes, at 48,000lbs, but that's a toy compared to an A-380 at over a million pounds. The Challenger hit the A-380's wake and rolled several times. Both engines initially flamed out, the airplane lost 10,000' in altitude before the pilots fully recovered it and made an emergency landing in Oman. There were injuries, one serious, and the airplane was damaged beyond repair.

I don't know if transoceanic ATC worried overly much about wake turbulence, but I guess they're doing so now.

Why Trump Loves the Russians

It was Russian money that kept him afloat 10-20 years ago.

Religious-Based Spying

Internal US law enforcement documents describe a highly controversial community initiative aimed at identifying potential terrorists before they “radicalize” as being intimately related to intelligence gathering.

Despite years of official denials, American Muslim civil rights groups have claimed that Barack Obama’s Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) initiative was a euphemistic approach that targeted Muslims for surveillance.
The history of people who live in this country who go on to kill other people based on the perceived race, religion or ethnicity of the victims would, in point of fact, suggest that the Federales would be better off looking at white dudes.

The Asswipes of Olathe, NC, Port St. Lucie, Salem, Myrtle Beach, Quebec, and Worchester all attempted or carried out crimes of assault, arson and/or murder against people as actors of terrorism and they were all Trumpanzees (or fellow travelers, in the case of the Asswipe of Quebec). Hate-based crimes seem to be largely perpetrated by white men espousing either neo-nazi or Trumpist ideologies.

Yet nobody's really looking at those clowns. When a DHS study of white extremists was publicized eight years ago, the government had to back away from it. The FBI's aware of neo-nazis who have infiltrated the local cops, but that seems to be as far as it goes.

The official position of the government would seem to mainly be that white men can't be terrorists. Oh, white dudes can be murders and go kill lots of people because of who or what they perceive their victims to be, but they're not terrorists. They're sad-sacks or lunatics, but not terrorists.

Muslim Ban 2.0

It's suffering the same fate as 1.0.

Trump and his allies are smoking crack if they think that the courts will blithely ignore facts outside of the four corners of the documents.

Let's say that you run a delivery service. You have a lot of drivers, but only a couple of them are women. One of the women becomes pregnant and her doctors say that she has to go on light duty. You say that you don't have any such jobs available, so she has to take unpaid leave.

Now say that she fights this and it turns out that, over the last few years, you've had a bunch of male drivers on light duty for one reason or another, and you've managed to find things for all of those guys to do. But you say that you can't find anything for her to do. And maybe there's some statements you've made to other people disparaging women who get pregnant or women in general.

That's all probably going to come in to prove her case. You're going to lose, so warm up your checkbook.

That's what's happening here. Trump and his friends have run their mouths about wanting to ban Muslims. Rudy Giuliani the Lionmouthed, in particular, went on the air to tell the world that Trump asked him to help craft a ban on Muslims that would not be seen as a ban on Muslims. All that comes in to prove discriminatory intent.

One thing Trump can't do, it seems, is keep his mouth shut. He's talking his way into another judicial beat-down. Trump acts like a kid whose had his favorite blanket taken away from him and he doesn't like that, nosiree!

Judges don't generally like grown-up toddlers who don't respect the legal system. They find ways to show their displeasure. And, in a class call, acting like an immature putz is a good way to ensure a loss.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Still No Evidence, Donald

Q.E.D.:
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes said he does not believe Trump's claim that Obama wiretapped him, but said it's possible Trump communications may have been gathered in "incidental" intelligence collection.

"I don't believe Trump Tower was tapped," Nunes told reporters Wednesday.

"We don't have any evidence that that took place and, in fact, I don't believe -- just in the last week of time, the people we've talked to -- I don't think there was an actual tap of Trump Tower," Nunes said at a news conference in reference to the baseless claim originally made by Trump several weeks ago.

Twitchy Media

A Russian spy ship has reappeared off the U.S. eastern seaboard, sailing just 20 miles south of the U.S. Navy submarine base at King’s Bay, Georgia, and heading north.

CBS News correspondent David Martin reports the Viktor Leonov, known as an AGI (Auxiliary, General Intelligence) trawler, has a port call scheduled in Jamaica for mid-April, and the assumption among U.S. officials is that it will make one more run up and down the east coast before heading to Jamaica.
Anyone remember the days when a Soviet "fishing trawler" was almost always to be found in international waters off of major naval bases. It was almost newsworthy when the damn things weren't there.

Paranoia Will Destroy Ya, Trump Ed.

A culture of paranoia is consuming the Trump administration, with staffers increasingly preoccupied with perceived enemies—inside their own government.

In interviews, nearly a dozen White House aides and federal agency staffers described a litany of suspicions: that rival factions in the administration are trying to embarrass them, that civil servants opposed to President Donald Trump are trying to undermine him, and even that a “deep state” of career military and intelligence officials is out to destroy them.

Aides are going to great lengths to protect themselves. They’re turning off work-issued smartphones and putting them in drawers when they arrive home from work out of fear that they could be used to eavesdrop. They’re staying mum in meetings out of concern that their comments could be leaked to the press by foes.

Many are using encrypted apps that automatically delete messages once they’ve been read, or are leaving their personal cell phones at home in case their bosses initiate phone checks of the sort that press secretary Sean Spicer deployed last month to identify leakers on his team.
Works for me. The more those imbeciles think they're being watched, the less evil shit they're likely to do.

Test


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Perjuring Rex?

New York says Secretary of State Rex Tillerson used an email alias to discuss climate change while he was ExxonMobil’s chief executive: Wayne Tracker.

Tillerson sent messages from the account to discuss the risks posed by climate change, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a court filing about his office’s fraud investigation of the company. Tillerson, whose middle name is Wayne, used the Wayne Tracker account on the Exxon system from at least 2008 through 2015, Schneiderman said.

Schneiderman made the claim in a letter Monday to Justice Barry Ostrager in New York state court in Manhattan, accusing Exxon of failing to turn over all relevant documents required by a court order. The filing comes in a protracted legal dispute in which Exxon seeks to derail probes by New York and Massachusetts into whether the company misled investors for years about the possible impact of climate change on its business.
Usually when a party submits responses in discovery, the person answering has to swear to the veracity of the responses, under oath.

So either Rex Tillerson lied, or he was complicit in submitting misleading responses. He may have even been actively circumventing discovery by use of a sock-puppet.

This is going to get good....

Kellyanne Conway's Microwave


She is nuttier than a box of granola cereal.

How Big Companies Fuck Over the Little Guys

In Print (Pittsburgh's east end newspaper), there was a story about a Pittsburgh trucking firm called "Big Lulu Trucking". BLT runs dump trucks for the construction trade.

One of the things mentioned in the story was that the big companies pay 90 days or more on their accounts payable. Small companies pay their bills faster. Which means if you're a little guy, you have to have the cash or cash-flow to survive long enough to collect from the big guys.

Pi Day Comes Each Year




Mike Pence hates Pi.

Still No Evidence From the Donald

No evidence of wiretapping. Or microwave-camera tapping.

Meanwhile, tens of millions of people will lose their insurance coverage under TrumpCare. TrumpCare is a traditional Republican program: Fucks over the poor and working people, while giving massive tax breaks to the rich.

Monday, March 13, 2017

You Would Be a Fool to Visit the United States

{Director of Fascism Planning Stephen} Miller also noted on Saturday that Trump administration officials are discussing the possibility of asking foreign visitors to disclose all websites and social media sites they visit, and to share the contacts in their cell phones. If the foreign visitor declines to share such information, he or she could be denied entry.
So on the visa application, you'll be asked for your Facebook login information?

Apparently this has been voluntary for bit, but Dolt-45's going to make it mandatory. Leave your phones at home and buy a special one for travel. Make sure it's sterile with only emergency contact numbers in it when ou cross the border.

It's already gotten to the point that if you cross the border with any sort of electronic device, other than maybe a pacemaker, you're probably an idiot.

And don't cross the border while Muslim. The goons are already enforcing a ban.
[Last month], Canadian citizen Fadwa Alaoui said she was denied entry to the US after border officials asked probing questions about her Muslim faith and her views on Trump.

Alaoui was born in Morocco but has lived in Canada for more than 20 years, traveling to the US regularly to visit family. But on her way to Vermont for a day of shopping with two of her children and an adult cousin, she was stopped for four hours at the border.

Alaoui – who wears a hijab – said border officials asked her several questions about her faith. “He said ‘Do you practice? Which mosque do you go to? What is the name of the imam? How often do you go to the mosque? What kind of discussions do you hear in the mosque? Does the imam talk to you directly?’”
How can anybody say that this is not only moral, but how does this advance American interests in the world?

The only people whose interests this advances are our enemies who have been trying to convince a billion Muslims that America is their enemy.

Shorter GOP: Fuck You and Your Genetic Privacy

The Republicans want to allow companies to require genetic testing of employees.

Republicans don't give a shit about anybody other than their corporate masters.

And screw your "bothsiderism", please. The GOP is running the show. Tthis is all on them.

Deplorables At Work

A Salem [Oregon] man has been charged with assault and intimidation after an employee at a Middle Eastern restaurant in Salem was attacked with a pipe, according to officials.

[The Asswipe of Salem], 52, was arrested Tuesday afternoon after entering Al Aqsa Fine Middle Eastern Cuisine on State Street and screaming "go back to your country terrorist" and attacking an employee of the restaurant, according to a Marion County probable cause statement.

[Asswipe] told arresting officers he entered the restaurant during a "warrior's path" walk down State Street, when he saw a woman inside who he thought was being held as a slave because of a type of blouse she was wearing. He saw the shirt as a "signal" and he knew "that is what Arabs do."
This Asswipe is being held on a $65,000 bond.

Meanwhile, in Florida:
A Florida man who attempted to set fire to a convenience store told deputies that he assumed the owner was Muslim and that he wanted to “run the Arabs out of our country,” according to the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office.

The sheriff later said the store owners are actually Indian, appearing to make this the latest in a string of incidents targeting South Asians mistaken for people of Arab descent.
the Asswipe of Port St. Lucie allegedly pushed a dumpster up against the front door of the store and then set the dumpster alight. He's being held on $30,000 bond.

Finally, a notorious congressman from Iowa is calling for the ethnic cleansing of the country:
"I'd like to see an America that's just so homogenous that we look a lot the same, from that perspective,” [Re. Steve King] said.
If you want to suggest to me how King achieves his vision of a racially pure America without expelling (or killing) everyone that he deems to be ethnically impure, feel free.

The Cosmos is Everywhere

Cosmic dust is, well, everywhere.

If you're not diligently washing your lettuce, you're eating it.

FBI Lets a Kiddie-Porn Defendant Walk Away

The Feebies have an exploit against Tor, but they'd have to disclose it in order to prosecute the defendant.

So they're letting him go.

(H/T)

Drinking and Driving

Utah’s Legislature sent Gov. Gary Herbert a measure lowering the state’s legal threshold for drunken driving to a .05 percent blood-alcohol content Wednesday – a bill that will make Utah’s DUI threshold the lowest in the nation if Herbert signs it into law as expected.
I have mixed feelings about this. I don't see anything wrong with having a beer or a glass of wine with dinner and then driving home. The article points out that the vast majority of crashes with intoxicated drivers are when drivers have twice the current legal limit (.08 BAC). That kind of bears up with what I read in the papers when someone is arrested for DUI after a crash.

A .05 BAC level sounds to me to be more driven by moralization and modern prohibitionist tendencies than any desire to address the issue of drunks killing people on the roads.

If You're Caught, Mr. Stone, the Candidate Will Deny Any Knowledge of Your Actions.

Roger Stone, the flamboyant political adviser who has been connected to President Donald Trump for years, is defending his contacts with "Guccifer 2.0"-- the online persona who claims responsibility for hacking the Democratic National Committee -- as an innocuous "brief exchange" of a few direct messages that he says amount to nothing.
Right. Guccifer 2.0 appears to be a sock-puppet for Russian intelligence. Those "brief encounters" were apparently enough for Stone to be told in advance that the KGB Wikileaks was going to release John Podesta's emails.

the CIA and NSA are in the Executive branch. If there was any evidence that President Obama ordered a wiretap, it could be released on President* Trump's command. There's no ned for an investigation, it could all be done by his command to release everything.

But there's been no evidence. Dolt 45's not released anything. Which suggests that if there was, indeed, a wiretap, it was a FISA wiretap and to release that would require releasing the justification for the wiretap and that might be damaging to Cheetolini.

That would wreck Putin's investment. It would also make it much harder for Putin to get what he wants from the U.S. for years to come. Trump will ruin everything for Putin. And Trump knows how Putin deals with underlings who disappoint him.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

Cheetolini's old 727:


It's still flying.

Let's Stop This Fucking Insanity.

Let's do away with these fucking time changes.

Set it on DST permanently. So the kids are going to school in the dark. Dodging SUVs driven by sleep-deprived workers builds character.

Or on standard time, for do we really need it to be light outside at 9 PM?

Fucking pick one, Congress. The world wars are long over. With modern electronics, air-conditioning and more efficient light bulbs, it's not as though DST saves much in the way of power anymore.

Do something productive for once in this miserable session, you worthless fucks.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

A Stupid and Dickish Move, But That's All It Is.

A Manhattan federal prosecutor who says "absolute independence" was his touchstone for over seven years as he battled public corruption announced he was fired Saturday after he refused a request a day earlier to resign.

Preet Bharara, 48, made the announcement on his personal Twitter account after it became widely known hours earlier that he did not intend to step down in response to Attorney General Jeff Sessions' request that leftover appointees of former President Barack Obama quit.
Federal prosecutors serve at the pleasure of the President. It may be an unwise and dickish move to fire them without replacements ready to go, but that's about all that it is. If you're a presidential appointee and the President wants you gone, then the civil thing to do is go.

Making the President formally fire you would be as though your girlfriend tells you it's over, but you make her both get a restraining order and have the cops carry your happy ass out to the curb.

I kind of hope that the marshals dragged Bharara out of his office by his testicles.

(But I still hope they toss PharmaBro into a deep, dark hole.)

Six Years On

The Tōhoku earthquake, magnitude 9.1, occurred six years ago off the northeast coast of Japan. The resultant tsunami waves were over 120 feet high. Nearly 16,000 people were killed, over 2,000 more were never found. Massive amounts of debris was washed into the Pacific ocean by the retreating waters of the tsunami. Cities and towns were destroyed. Something lke 25 million tons of debris was left on land.

Two nuclear plants suffered failures. Fukushima Daini was inundated by the tsunami. The plant had a level 3 nuclear event from a loss of cooling water, but the workers at the plant were able to restore cooling and efec a cold shutdown. Some of their efforts, including hand-dragging heavy power cables to crate a six-mile long emergency power feed line, probably should have been classified as heroic.

But what happened at Fukushima Daini was completely overshadowed by Fukushimi Daiichi, which had three reactors melt down.

I can't say that I fully understand how the sievert scale works, but back in the day, they used to tell us that 650 roentgens of radiation would probably kill you. Apparently, 4.5 sieverts will kill you in an hour.

The radiation level inside Daiichi is reaching 650 sieverts, which would probably fry you dead before you had much of a chance to think you'd made a mistake.

The Japanese say they'll eventually clean up the reactor site. If they do, I suspect that it won't be in any of our lifetimes.

Update:

Eight months after the quake:


Thanks, Doug.

Caturday


Even cats hate crocs!

Friday, March 10, 2017

And the Grift Goes On......

Billionaire and presidential friend Carl Icahn threw the ethanol industry into turmoil last week when he tried to broker changes to a federal biofuel program that would benefit his oil refinery business.

But he also potentially exposed himself to conflict-of-interest laws by appearing to act as a de facto federal employee, several government ethics experts told POLITICO.
This keeps up, the BOP is going to have to build a new FCI to hold former Trumpers. But, given the Trumpers' love of the private sector, maybe they can housed in some low-rent private lockup.

Blow It Out Yer Ass, John

Kasich calls for Democrats to work with Republicans to enact TrumpCare.

Kasich conveniently forgets that the Republicans in Congress decided that their approach to enacting health care legislation in `09-`10 was to say no to everything. The ACA was patterned on the very plans that the Republicans wanted in the 1990s and on RomneyCare in Massachusetts. Republicans, out of hatred and spite for President Obama, chose to stonewall and, at the time, the Democrats were able to cobble up the votes to enact the ACA.

Well, now the Republicans want to repeal the ACA and replace it with TrumpCare, something that is far worse, and Kasich expects the Democrats to play along? When one of the pushers of TrumpCare clearly doesn't understand how insurance works?

Republicans aren't interested in "fixing" health care. Everybody knows it, except maybe John Kasich. The GOP has bleated that they would repeal the ACA and they whined and kicked and took comfort in the fact that they didn't have the power to do that. They were like a bunch of lance corporals complaining about the Corps.

But now they have to make good on their promises, and they want the Democrats to play along? Fat fucking chance. The GOP owns this pig, TrumpCare, let them dance with it.

So, blow it out yer ass, John.

Just for Fun

The Sunjammer by Sir Arthur C. Clarke.

It was published in Boy's Life in 1964. That magazine was in the school library's periodical collection. I normally read it. I can't tell you anything about any other article or story that was in any of the issues back then, but I remember reading The Sunjammer.

Because It's Friday

A brief update on UP 4014:


They moved 4014 to the Cheyenne shops three years ago. With the amount of work that would seem to be necessary to restore the locomotive to operation, I don't see how they're going to meet their goal of having it running for the 150th anniversary of the Golden Spike.

But almost anything is possible with a suitable application of money.

It's a Fine Line Between "Lying" and "Willful Blindness"

I don't have the time to delve into the latest about the Flynn Fiasco and the inevitable question of "what did Trump know and when did he know it".

While Flynn was up for the job of National Security Adviser, there were reports available that he and/or his firm were lobbying for the Turks. Yet only now has Flynn complied with the law and registered as an agent of a foreign government.

Let's be clear: In this context "agent for a foreign government" has nothing to do with espionage. Nobody should be alleging that Flynn was a Turkish spy.

But it is clear that Flynn, who should have known better, didn't bother to register as a foreign agent until the latest cycle of stories about him.

Complying with the law only because you got caught breaking it is a bit of a dick move.

Update: The lies are falling apart, fast.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Hell is Freezing Over, Maybe

This may be the first thing from the Fulminating Cheeto that I actually agree with:
Sean Spicer said during today's White House press briefing that President Trump remains committed to restoring Glass-Steagall, which effectively prohibits commercial banks from engaging in investment banking.
I wouldn't put much stock in that, since Spicer is a notorious fibber. I'm also not betting a doughnut on it, since the Trumplethinskin Administration is salted with banksters from Goldman-Sachs, including the munchkin at the Treasury Department, but I guess we shall see.