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

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

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.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Not Too Shabby; Gunnie Ed.


That's the best I've done on a 50' slow-fire target with my Model 17. (If you're counting holes, there is a double on the edge of the ten ring a 9-o'clock).

Best on a 50 yard target for me with the same gun is a 90.

Be nice if I could do that consistently.

Nice Try, Mikey-Baby

Vice President Mike Pence on Monday said both he and President Trump support a "free and independent press."

"But you can anticipate that the president and all of us will continue to call out the media when play fast and loose with the facts," Pence said during a news conference Monday from Brussels.

"The truth is that we have in President Trump someone who has a unique ability to speak directly to the American people, and when the media gets it wrong, I promise you, President Trump will take his case straight to the American people to set the record straight.”
I've no problem with that, as long as it's understood that what Pence galls "facts" is often "the delusional impressions of Trump's lunatic mind".

But let's be clear on this: Pence isn't speaking for Trump. Pence and Mattis are trying to make nice with NATO, but as recently as last month, Trump called NATO "obsolete". Trump will tweet whatever flits into his mind at 0330 and if it's horribly off-message, he's not going to give a rat's ass. Because, when it comes to Trump's foreign policy, there isn't one.

It's almost funny that the message that the Trump Administration is trying to peddle to other nations is "pay no attention to the Lunatic-in-Chief."

An Offense Too Far

This:
The American Conservative Union has rescinded its invitation to Milo Yiannopoulos to speak at the group’s annual CPac conference, after footage emerged in which the rightwing provocateur discusses sex between “younger boys” and older men. ... He goes on to suggest that sex between “younger boys” and older men could be a “coming-of-age relationship … in which those older men help those younger boys discover who they are”.
And this:
“Due to the revelation of an offensive video in the past 24 hours condoning pedophilia, the American Conservative Union has decided to rescind the invitation,” said Matt Schlapp, chairman of the group which sponsors CPAC, in a statement Monday afternoon. The group called Yiannopoulos to “further address these disturbing comments,” but defended its original decision to invite him as a nod to “the free speech issue on college campuses.”
So, CPAC invited him to underscore their commitment to free speech, but then disinvited him because he was saying things that they didn't want to be associated with.

Turdlet can say things that are racist, homophobic, transphobic, antisemitic, neonazi, you name it, because freedom of speech. CPAC invited him because others have protested and rioted when he was spreading his slime. CPAC was trying to take what it saw as the moral high road in supporting free speech regardless of the contest of the speech.

Hard to be a bunch of free speech absolutists, CPAC, when you disinvite somebody because you found what they said to be repellent.

Aviation Impact: Good Luck With That; SS Edition

The operators of flight schools near Mar-a-Lago are complaining that the Temporary Flight Restrictions that are imposed whenever President* Trump visits are hurting them badly. Trump visits there on the weekends and weekends are when flight schools are busiest.

The people there want to have a discussion with the Secret Service and, as usual, the SS is turning a deaf ear to them. Considering the economic impact of security measures isn't their job.

I've blogged about this before. At least Dubya had the inadvertent courtesy to spend his time in West Nowhere, Texas. Even then, the TFRs screwed up a significant amount of active airspace. But that was probably a fart in the wind compared to what the Trump TFRs are doing.

These massive presidential TFRs are nothing more than security theater. If the folks around Florida want things to change, they better start complaining to their senators and congresscritters.

Try Working for The Donald


Daily stomach-pumping is, sadly, not a perk of the job.


(From here via here)

Dear World: We Have No Fucking Idea What He's Talking About, Either.


If you have twenty minutes, you should watch John Oliver's examination of why Trump's bromance with Putin is so frightening:


Sunday, February 19, 2017

The Faint Sound of Jackboots Of In the Distance

Blasting stories that cite anonymous sources, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said on CBS's “Face the Nation” that President Trump meant it when he condemned the media as the “enemy” of the people.

“I think you should take it seriously,” Priebus said of Trump's statement. “I think the problem we've got is that we're talking about bogus stories. … And I think the media needs to, in some cases, not every case … but in some cases, really needs to get its act together.”
The press does not work for the President, any president. They are not responsible to the President. The President does not get to tell them what stories they can run and what stories they can't.

Damn few presidents or politicians like the press. But they know that criticism from the press goes with the territory. Chris Wallace laid it out for Priebus:
After Priebus said he was "surprised" Wallace would forget "all the shots" that Obama took at Fox News, the anchor interjected.

"He took the shots, and we didn't like them, and frankly, we don't like this either. But he never went as far as President Trump has. And that's what's concerning. Because it seems like he crosses a line when he says that we're the enemy of the people," Wallace said.
Attacking freedom of the press is a direct attack on American liberty.



McCain gets it:
"If you want to preserve democracy as we know it, you have to have a free -- and many times adversarial — press," said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., speaking on NBC's Meet The Press. "And without it, I am afraid that we would lose so much of our individual liberties over time — that's how dictators get started."

Citing history, McCain told NBC that "the first thing that dictators do is shut down the press," though he hastened to add: "I'm not saying that President Trump is trying to be a dictator. I'm just saying we need to learn the lessons of history."

Mattis also gets it:
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Sunday that he does not see the media as the enemy of the American people, disagreeing with a claim made Friday by President Trump about numerous outlets.

Mattis, asked directly about Trump’s criticism of the media, said he has had “some rather contentious times with the press” but considers the institution “a constituency that we deal with.” The defense secretary added: “I don’t have any issues with the press myself.”
McCain and Mattis are grownups. As for Donald Trump, he needs to pull up his big-boy pants. Hostile press criticism goes with the job. If he can't handle that, he needs to quit and go back to his career of grifting gullible investors.

Trump clearly doesn't understand anything in the Constitution (other than the takings clause).

The time is coming when every American is going to have to choose between standing up for freedom or standing with Trump.

Trump Cites Non-Existent Terrorist Attack

Swedes have been scratching their heads and ridiculing President Donald Trump's remarks that suggested a major incident had happened in the Scandinavian country.

During a rally in Florida on Saturday, Trump said "look what's happening last night in Sweden" as he alluded to past terror attacks in Europe. It wasn't clear what he was referring to and there were no high-profile situations reported in Sweden on Friday night.

The comment prompted a barrage of social media reaction on Sunday, with hundreds of tweets, and a local newspaper published a list of events that happened on Friday that appeared to have no connections to any terror-like activity.
What happened in Sweden Friday night? Not much.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

A heavy 777 takes off into the clouds:


Saturday, February 18, 2017

Jeepers, Everybody is Copying Holland

After the Netherland's video to introduce themselves to President* Trump went viral, every other nation had to get into the act.

Iceland, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Japan and a bunch more. The Norwegians couldn't resist getting in digs at the Swedes.

Pretty much pick a country and there's a video. Even fake ones.

Even the Iranians and the Martians got into the act.

Seen, Finally-- Gunnie Ed.

a Kimber K6, or whatever the hell they call it:


$899.99, which is pretty goddamn steep.

I also saw a Remington R51 in a display case. It was priced at $359.99, if my memory serves me correctly. I would presume that it is one of the new models.

I haven't seen one of the GP-100-.44s yet. But if the stuff I've been reading on the gun forums is anywhere near close to accurate, it seems that Ruger almost screwed the pooch as badly with this gun as did Remington on the R51. A fair number have been sent back for loose front sights and inconsistent as well as oversized cylinder throats.

Sending out guns that essentially turn paid customers into beta testers is a very bad idea. I hope Colt doesn't do the same with their new snubbie, For that would only cement my curmudgeonly inclination to never buy a gun until a few year's worth of production guns are out in the field.

Chinese Displeasure

China said on Saturday that it was suspending all imports of coal from North Korea as part of its effort to enact United Nations Security Council sanctions aimed at stopping the country’s nuclear weapons and ballistic-missile program.

The ban takes effect on Sunday and will last until the end of the year, the Chinese Commerce Ministry said in a brief statement posted on its website on Saturday. Chinese trade and aid have long been a vital economic crutch for North Korea, and the decision strips North Korea of one of its most important sources of foreign currency.

Coal has accounted for 34 percent to 40 percent of North Korean exports in the past several years, and almost all of it was shipped to China, according to South Korean government estimates.
Kim Jong-un has been sticking his finger in China's eye for awhile. Reports of posts on Chinese social media have taken the murder of Kim Jong-nam as a direct insult to China, since he was living under Chinese protection. That groundswell of public opinion, more than anything else, may have forced China to retaliate.

Caturday

Chip loves the cat-levels thing I bought for him.


A few days ago (from when I wrote this), Chip woke me up in the middle of the night because, reasons, I guess. He was kneading on me and purring. I almost said: "Chip, I need to get some sleep." But then it hit me that I had said the same thing to Gracie on the night of February 19/20th, five years ago. What I didn't know, then, was that she would be diagnosed with jaw cancer roughly six hours and she would be gone.

I had no way of knowing that, of course, but that I didn't wake up and give her my full attention still does not sit well with me.

Friday, February 17, 2017

More on Trump's Border Order

The memo is the biggest piece of governmental shit that I've read since Bush's first order establishing Kangaroo Courts in 2001.

Read the memo. On page three, Trump has ordered the heads of all government departments to identify all sources of aid, direct and indirect, to the government of Mexico, and to report those amounts for the last five years. You can speculate on a benign motive for that (if you're a Republican).

Section D, beginning on page 3: "Expansion of the 287(g) program to include the State Guard." That means sending out the National Guard as immigration cops. This is aimed at states bordering Mexico and those states bordering states bordering Mexico. That is: California, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Texas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas. The total is over 100,000, if all were called up.

The order also bypasses the immigration goons to bypass any pesky legal requirements for hearing and dump anyone who arrived via Mexico back into Mexico "pending the outcome of removal hearings". (page 7) If that's not a fucking joke, it's about as Kafkaesque as it gets, for you tell me how any such hearing would be held.

And yes, the order calls for the building of what essentially are concentration camps. (Page 8, Section J)

At this point, between Trump's authoritarian tendencies and his bromance with Putin, I have to wonder if an old term should be applied to Trump's base. The word I'm thinking of is "Quislings".

Also, this as to why this idea even came up.

Trump Nails It!


If Obama Had Considered Something Like This, the Right Would Have Lost Their Goddamned Minds

The Trump administration is considering a proposal to mobilize as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants, including millions living nowhere near the Mexico border, according to a draft memo obtained by The Associated Press.

The 11-page document calls for the unprecedented militarization of immigration enforcement as far north as Portland, Oregon, and as far east as New Orleans, Louisiana.
Spicer denies it, of course, but he's got a good track record of lying.

Still, if Obama had proposed mobilizing several divisions' worth of National Guardsmen to do cop work, the outrage from the Right would have surpassed the "Jade Helm" and "FEMA Death Camps" conspiracy rantings. But when it's their guy who is proposing sending troops into the streets---


Putin's Poodle (and News You May Have Missed)

A story about the Brit reporter who has been in the forefront of dragging Trump's Russian ties into the light.

She was pretty surprised by this, as she's been a fierce critic of The Guardian's handling of the Snowden files.

Meanwhile, the Feebies aren't going after Flynn for lying to them.
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Elsewhere, a man in Tennesee was convicted of planning to shoot up a mosque. His lawyer cried "entrapment" and said that his client was only planning to conduct surveillance and needed weapons because reasons.
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Trump's travels, his kid's travels and his wife living in NYC are on track to cost the government several times as much money in security costs than did Obama. But the same people who were whinging about Obama jetting off on his trips are largely silent, now. Judicial Watch may be the rare exception.
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There was quite a bit of "telephonic terrorism" against Jewish community centers last month. No doubt the Defenders of the Right will claim that the calls were "false flag operations", or some other bullshit. Antisemitism is also on the rise in the UK.
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China is a bit pissed off at Kim Jong-un's alleged whacking of his half-brother.

Because It's Friday

Kind of stupid poetry, but it's an interesting look at high-speed rail in 1954. Note the crew change.


The Shit-Sandwich Job

Vice Admiral Robert Harward has turned down an offer to be President Donald Trump's new national security adviser, the latest blow to a new administration struggling to find its footing. ...
"It's purely a personal issue," Harward said Thursday evening. "I'm in a unique position finally after being in the military for 40 years to enjoy some personal time."
Of course, there was a leak about that:

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Trump the Delusional

From his press conference today:
I put it out before the American people, got 306 electoral college votes. I wasn't supposed to get 222. They said there's no way to get 222. 230 is impossible. 270, which you need — that was laughable. We got 306. Because people came out and voted like they have never seen before. So that's how it goes. I guess it was the biggest electoral college win since Ronald Reagan.
...
Reporter: Mr. President, you said today that you have biggest electoral margins since Reagan with 350 electoral votes, and, in fact, president Obama got 365 -- [Trump mumbles in response] why should America — [ Trump tries to protest in response] why should America trust you when you accuse the — [ inaudible ]

Trump: Actually, I've seen that information around. It was a substantial difference, do you agree with that?

Reporter: You're the president.
And he is delusional. George W. Bush was the only president since Reagan to get fewer electoral votes than Trump (271 in `00, 286 in `04).

Every other president: George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton (twice) and Barack Obama (twice) all got more electoral votes than His Fraudulency.

Why is Trump lying about something that is so easily checked?

Is he that insecure of his own manhood that he has to rewrite the facts in his own mind so he is numero uno on everything?

Or is he simply delusional?

And This Guy Has Been Sympathetic to Trump!



In essence: "Every Republican who does not speak out about the autocrats and the autocratic tendencies in the Trump Administration is an obsequious, pathetic little lemming."

Apple is Neo-Nazi?

Has anyone noticed that the progress indicator for updating Apple apps sort of looks like a stylized Hitler?

Stupid White Male

A South Carolina man with white supremacist ties was busted for buying a gun to commit a shooting “in the spirit of Dylann Roof,” according to a federal complaint.

[Myrtle Beach Asswipe], 29, was arrested Wednesday after purchasing a .40 caliber Glock handgun and ammunition from an undercover FBI agent. He is an ex-convict who built bonds with white supremacists while serving prison sentences for several offenses, the complaint says.
Asswipe went on Facebook, ranted his racist shit and then said that he needed somebody to sell him a gun so he could go kill Jews.

No surprise, the guy who reached out to him to sell him the gun that he wanted was a Fed. And, when they arrested him, he had some pot on him.

Goombye, Asswipe. If they stack the minimum charges, see you in twenty years or so.

Big Trump Shocker; Not

The very first bill that Президент* ДоналЬд Трамп signed into law benefits large oil companies and hides bribing Russian officials.
President Donald Trump Tuesday signed the first in a series of congressional regulatory rollback bills, revoking an Obama-era regulation that required oil and mining companies to disclose their payments to foreign governments.

That regulation, part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reforms, was strongly opposed by the oil and gas industry — including Trump's Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, who as head of Exxon Mobil personally lobbied to kill the Securities and Exchange Commission's rule that he said would make it difficult to do business in Russia.

Non-Shocker About Trump

His rental operations in the 1970s were as racist as all fuck.

No Additional Comment Required

Soccer Can Cause Brain Damage

Scientists have found signs of brain damage that could cause dementia in a handful of former soccer players, fueling worries about the danger of frequent knocks from heading the ball or colliding with others on the field.

The small study was the first of its kind, involving post mortems on six men who died with dementia after long careers playing soccer. All were skilled headers of the ball.
This should be a general rule in life: Bouncing shit off of your brain bucket is A Bad Thing.

(I was going to snark that I thought that suffering from brain damage was a prerequisite for playing soccer, but that's probably too soon.)

Trump Set to Conduct a Loyalty Purge of Intelligence Agencies

He's planning to put one of his asshole buddies in charge; a guy whose knowledge of intel likely comes from watching Jason Bourne movies:
President Trump plans to assign a New York billionaire to lead a broad review of American intelligence agencies, according to administration officials, an effort that members of the intelligence community fear could curtail their independence and reduce the flow of information that contradicts the president’s worldview.
The last time we had an administration which sought to steer the intel the way they wanted, we wound up with a multi-trillion dollar quagmire now known as the Iraq War.

This time, it'll be because of a Stalinistic drive for personal loyalty, coupled with the intellectual inability to take in any information that doesn't comport with His Fraudulency's inner prejudices.

Almost Necessary Browser Extension

It'll turn Trump's tweets into childish scribbles. It works on Chrome and Firefox.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Flynnghazi: The Dirksen Rule is Invoked?

House Republicans are open to investigating former national security advisor Michael Flynn as part of a larger probe into Russian influence on November's elections, according to the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.

House GOP leaders had initially balked at the idea of expanding their Russia investigation to include Flynn, with Intel Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) telling CNN that Flynn was protected by "executive privilege." Nunes said the probe should focus not on Flynn's conversation with a Russian diplomat prior to the inauguration, but on the leak that exposed the discussion.

But Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the ranking member of the Intel panel, said he spoke with Nunes Wednesday afternoon, and that's no longer the chairman's position.
Either it's the Dirksen Rule or maybe a sign that some Congressional Republicans are not liking the idea of chaining themselves to Президент* Трамп.

Trump is very precocious; it took Richard Nixon 6½ years to burn through the loyalty of House Republicans. Trumps's apparently doing it in less than a month.

Oh, and by the way, Trump: If you think the media treated Flynn unfairly, why'd you fire him?

The Center of the Universe is Donald Trump, At Least in His Mind

Asked a question about Antisemitic elements in his campaign, Trump made it about how many electoral votes he got. And he's going to totally stop crime and other bad things.

(source)

"Stop crime"... right. So if you are the victim of any sort of crime whatsoever in the future, you can blame Trump for not stopping it.

Trump's PDB

Not Just Flynn

Phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald J. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election, according to four current and former American officials. ... The officials said the intercepted communications were not limited to Trump campaign officials, and included other associates of Mr. Trump. On the Russian side, the contacts also included members of the government outside of the intelligence services, they said. All of the current and former officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because the continuing investigation is classified.
The choice for the Republicans in the Congress is becoming clear: Which takes precedence, guys, your loyalty to your country or your loyalty to your party?

So far, it seems to be "party uber alles", if you listen to the Republican congressman who would have launched official investigations to go after Hillary or Obama for illegal parking. Apparently, they're busy doing other shit.

Funny how the FBI found it necessary to send out a letter about Clinton's emails but stayed mum about Trump's Russian connection.

(Also funny how Trump loved leaks, as long as they were about somebody else.)

What is the Half-Life of a Trump Spox?

Kellyanne Conway has an on-air credibility crisis.

On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Tuesday, co-anchor Mika Brzezinski declared that she “will not interview her.”

“It’s giving people dishonesty, it’s not worth the interview,” she said, as co-host Joe Scarborough added, “She goes out and lies, and you find out about those lies a couple hours later.”

An anchor from a different network said Conway hasn’t been invited on the anchor's show for months, saying the viewer gets “nothing out of her” because “she constantly obfuscates and misrepresents the truth.”

“At best, Conway is low-hanging spinning fruit, sugary but empty. At worst she's an apparatchik or, as Carl Bernstein puts it, ‘a propaganda minister.’ Neither is good for the republic,” added the anchor, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “That's why I've chosen not to have her on.”
Sean Spicer is running on fumes, as well. Stephen Miller is the newest duty liar, but his near-constant repetition of the current Trump Big Lie du Jour, coupled with refusals to provide even a shred of proof to back up his assertions, will lead to his flameout, as well.

Being a Trump spokesweasel is like being given a jackknife and sent into a bullfighting ring.

Planets

Astronomers have discovered 60 new planets orbiting stars near the Earth’s solar system.

The team of international scientists, which include Dr Mikko Tuomi of the University of Hertfordshire, also found evidence of a further 54 planets – bringing the total number of potential new worlds to 114.
When I took an astronomy course, ages ago, whether or not other stars had planets was pure speculation. Some theorists supposed that planetary formation was very rare. Everyone was working from one sample set.

Now it seems that it is not.

We don't know if life is also common on other worlds, but then again, we're working from one sample set. I've no doubt that there are astronomers, right now, working on the problem of how would life be detected on planets many light-years away.

Cosmologically speaking, this is a fascinating time to be alive. A lot of wonders wait to be discovered, if we don't manage to destroy ourselves in the meantime.

Did Flynn Lie to the FBI?

If you or I lied to the Feebies, we'd be up for a year in the Graybar Hotel.[1],[2] But with Flynn, apparently, not so much.
Politico noted that the final decision on criminal charges lies with the Justice Department. Democrats are pressuring new attorney general Jeff Sessions to recuse himself from investigations into the Trump team’s relationship with Russia owing to his role as a Trump surrogate on the campaign trail. However, advisers to Sessions told the Times they see no reason for him to remove himself from the case.
Yep, the fix is in.

(Cue the "but, but, Barry..." chorus)

UPDATE: Yep. He lied to the FBI.
______________________________________
[1] Lying to a Fed is what nailed martha Stewart
[2] Why you should not talk to a Fed without a lawyer (unless you're in a regulated industry and you have to).

I Heard a Rumor, Bark Bark, Woof, Woof

Just one year after coming so close, one year after she was favored to win, Rumor returned, and captured the highest honor in her sport.

The German shepherd won Best in Show at the 141st Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden, one year after falling short to CJ, a German shorthaired pointer, in the same competition.
They need to update the categories. "Jogging dog group", "Crack house guarding group" and so on.

(Inspiration for the title.)

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

I Don't Recall Hearing any Exploits of His, Apart from Killing his Brothers.

The half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Kim Jong-nam, has been killed in an attack in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur.
The suspect pool as to who commissioned this hit is very, very small.

Update: North Korean diplomats have apparently unsuccessfully tried to prevent the Malaysians from autopsying Kim Jong-nam.

A Presidency of Trolls

By that, I mean Internet trolls. The kind of people who love to post incendiary things online, and then revel in the outrage of other readers.


Politically, Trump has been trolling for years. Most of his senior advisers are experienced trolls.


But now, contrary to their expectations, they have to govern. They are supposed to run one of the three branches of government. And it's becoming clearer, day by day, that they have absolutely no fucking clue how to do that.

Trump's abortive attempt at a Muslim immigrant ban was trolling at its finest. What it wasn't, on the other hand, was even a marginally competent attempt at writing an enforceable Executive Order. Even if it was barely passable as an EO, the Trump administration's statements about the powerlessness of the judiciary to review it, coupled with the public statements of Trump allies that it was intended to function as a partial Muslim ban, was little more than trolling the judges. However, unlike the people offended by bullshit published in Wing Nut Daily, Federal judges have some pretty decent tools for squishing trolls. They have centuries of experience in protecting their turf from an aggressive Executive branch; a bunch of trolls masquerading as the Executive branch were not much trouble for them to handle.

Similarly, the Trump administration has been trolling the press. A smarter (or more experienced) administration would have worked to co-opt at least some of the reporters, as the Bush-II administration did with reporters, like Judith Miller. But no, the Trumpers came into power, and declared that the press was their enemy.

If there was a dumber thing that they could've done, it doesn't come readily to mind. All of the reporters these days grew up on "All the President's Men". They know, every one of them, what to do when there is an openly hostile administration in Washington: They're going to dig and dig and find lots of juicy stuff to publish, and try to get a good book out of it, maybe a movie, and make their bones forever in the trade.

Less than a month into the Trump Administration, none of the senior staffers can go on any news show (other than the Fox News channel) and face questioning that remotely resembles a friendly tone. Almost across the board, the Trump Administration spokespeople are being called liars, to their faces, and on the air. Even normally quiescent morning talkshow hosts are demanding that the Trump spokespeople produce proof of their assertions and calling them out when all the Trumpers do is just repeat the same lies, over and over again.

Meanwhile, because of the Trumpers' trolling, the comedians and media opposing Trump are having a field day. SNL has had its best ratings in a generation. Trump blasted Vanity Fair, which saw a bigly boost in circulation. The NY Times had a large increase in circulation. The Late Show is now the top-rated late-night show. Other shows that feature news-based comedy are seeing their ratings rise.

Experienced politicians (and dictators) know the score. They know that once the people start laughing at them, it's game over, for people are not afraid of clowns.

Another Point About Flynn the Allegedly Russian Asset

If this had happened with a Democrat in the White House, Representatives Issa and Chaffetz would have been all over this like stink on a manure pile. Subpoenas would be flying out the door, hearings would be scheduled, congressional staffies would be investigating up a storm and so on.

But with a Republican in the White House? All those two worthies can hear is the sound of crickets.


Tell me, again, how much those two clowns are concerned about ethics, honesty and good governance. For I loves me a good fairy tale.

Meanwhile the Chairman of the House "Intelligence" Committee, a partisan goon named Devin Nunes, is unconcerned about Trump's ties to Russia, doesn't care if Trump has (or had) a Russian asset on his payroll, but is mightily concerned about who leaked the story.

The Appropriate Response is:
(A) "Publish and be Damned";
(B) "Go Fuck Yourself";
(C) Both "A" and "B".

A reporter claims that during an argument just outside the Oval Office last week, Omarosa Manigault, Apprentice star turned White House communications official, “physically intimidated” her. She said Manigault also told her that the Trump administration has collected “dossiers” of negative information on her and several other journalists.

According to the Washington Post, the exchange between Manigualt and April Ryan, American Urban Radio Networks’ White House correspondent, took place outside White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s office. “She stood right in my face like she was going to hit me,” Ryan told the paper. “I said, ‘You better back up.’ … She thought I would be bullied. I won’t be.”

Post reporter Abby Phillip was one of several people who witnessed the incident. Phillip said she didn’t hear every word, but Ryan told her afterward that she felt Manigault’s behavior was “Secret Serviceable,” meaning it warranted intervention by law enforcement.

Ryan also said that during the encounter Manigault told her she was one of several African-American journalists whom the White House is keeping dossiers on. “I said, ‘Good for you, good for you, good for you,’” Ryan said.
The Administration of President* Trump is sort of like Nixon's, only without any real competence. They can't even pull off being intimidating, let alone really being evil.

Picture = 1K Words, or
No Additional Comment Required

February Sucks, Happy Valentine's Day


The Precociousness of the Trump Administration

Seems to me that it usually takes a few months before a new administration begins the staff shakeups.
US national security advisor, Michael Flynn, resigned late on Monday night amid a flow of intelligence leaks that he had secretly discussed sanctions with the Russian ambassador to Washington and then tried to cover up the conversations.
...
Russian politicians offered a fierce defence of Flynn. Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the foreign affairs committee at the upper chamber of the parliament, said in a Facebook post that firing a national security adviser for his contacts with Russia is “not just paranoia but something even worse”.
It's interesting that the Russians are the ones who are most upset by Flynn's "resignation". Also, Flynn's now been fired by two presidents, which is not exactly an enviable record.

Besides all the Russian fuckery, Flynn was one of the more-public purveyors of fake news in the Trump campaign. He was one of the promoters of the fictional "Pizzagate" story, which resulted some programmable dweeb likely spending a good chunk of his life in prison.

Flynn's also being investigated for taking freebies from the Russians when he was the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. That had to have been one hell of a get for the FSB.

David Frum nailed it:

If you're an American citizen, you may be wondering: How does one deal with the ShitStorm Admiistration? Try Dana Milbank's regimen: Exercise regularly, spend time with family and drink a quart of Everclear every night.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Tree; Apple; Not Far

One of Jerry Sandusky's sons was charged Monday with sex crimes involving two girls, more than five years after the former Penn State assistant coach was himself first arrested on child molestation charges.

Sadly, This Makes About as Much Sense as Anything Else That Has Come Out of the Trump Administration

Some "Swamp-Draining" There, Donnie Boy

Treasury Secretary nominee Steven Mnuchin, likely to be confirmed by the Senate on Monday, is reaching into the Republican establishment and Wall Street to fill out senior leadership roles in his department.

Senior Goldman Sachs banker Jim Donovan is under strong consideration for deputy Treasury secretary and could serve as Mnuchin’s number two if confirmed by the Senate, people familiar with the matter said. Justin Muzinich, a former Morgan Stanley banker now at Muzinich & Co., is likely to take a senior position possibly as undersecretary for domestic finance or counselor, the people said. The counselor position would not require Senate confirmation.
Great move, putting more people from Goldman Sachs in positions of power in the Treasury. Let's not forget that Goldman Sachs was all over the wrecking of the global economy in 2007-8. They pumped it up, brought it down and made money both ways. Millions of people lost their jobs, millions lost their homes, and the American auto industry was almost eviscerated (which would have cost millions more their jobs), but hey, let's put the same pirates in charge who did all that.

In a just world, these clowns wouldn't be getting plum government jobs which allow them to make it easier for their compatriots to continue to loot the 99%-- they would have been given a cigarette and a choice of blindfolds.

Russian Spies in the White House

The intelligence agencies are holding back information from the White House; they assume that whatever the White House learns will be handed off to the Kremlin.

It's worth noting that the paper which is running the story is owned by President* Trump's son-in-law. It'll be interesting to see if the story is scrubbed.

One of Gen. Flynn's top aides was denied a security clearance.

It also seems that the dossier on Trump's Russian ties is holding water.

No doubt that we'll soon hear that having a nest of Russian spies and fellow-travelers in the White House is better than having Hillary Clinton there. Because the Right hates her so much that they'll even close their eyes to treason.

Don't Cross the American Border with Electronic Devices

A scientist who works for NASA at JPL was detained at the border and coerced into unlocking his phone. The scientist is a native American who had enrolled in the "Global Entry" program.

The CBP goons have the right to search your devices, but you also have the right not to unlock them.

More to the point, the Customs goons are working hard to make entering the Untied States as unfriendly, if not downright hostile, as crossing into East Germany or into the USSR once war.

Note to Customs: This wasn't supposed to be a training film.


This is not a new problem.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

TWA at KSTL:


Lambert Airport was a major TWA hub. The city built a third runway (wiping out most of a town) to accommodate increased traffic and Illinois built an airport not far away in Belleville to suck traffic from relieve congestion at Lambert, which was handling 30 million passengers a year.

But then American Airlines took over TWA and wiped it out of existence. The hub of TWA's routes was moved to O'Hare. The Belleville airport was without airline service for a number of years. Allegiant now flies maybe a dozen or so flights a week out of Belleville. The new runway at Lambert is rarely used. Lambert nowadays handles about 13 million passengers a year; Southwest is the predominant carrier. Belleville handles maybe one-one-hundredth as many passengers