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

Thursday, July 18, 2019

I Hereby Nominate Rand Paul's Neighbor For Some Sort of Nobel Prize

The Senate will vote Tuesday on a bipartisan bill to ensure a victims’ compensation fund related to the Sept. 11 attacks never runs out of money, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday.

The announcement came after Democratic Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer, both of New York, reached an agreement with Republican Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky to bring up the bill with two amendments sponsored by the GOP senators.

Paul and Lee had been blocking a vote. Paul was concerned about its effect on the deficit, while Lee wanted to ensure the fund has proper oversight in place to prevent fraud and abuse.
Concerns about the deficit didn't stop Paul from voting for Trump's budget-busting tax cut. Because busting the deficit doesn't matter if all it does is benefit the rich.

Raising the deficit to help the rich like Trump and Epstein-- Rand says yes. Raising the deficit to help the 9/11 responders-- Rand says no.

Which is about what one might expect from a dude named after the Goddess of Selfishness.

More Lies From Trump

President Donald Trump on Thursday chided his supporters who chanted “send her back” when he questioned the loyalty of a Somali-born congresswoman, joining widespread criticism of the campaign crowd’s cry after fellow Republicans warned it could hurt the GOP in next year’s elections. ... “I started speaking really quickly,” he told reporters. “I was not happy with it. I disagree with it” and “would certainly try” to stop any similar chant at a future rally.
I watched coverage of the crowd chanting "send her back". Trump stood there and drank it in. There was no move by Trump to do anything other than to drink in the the roar of the crowd.

It's only now, when even Republicans are pushing back against Trump's latest Festival of Hate and Racism, that Trump is backwatering.

I don't know the wisdom of the President of the United States focusing so intently on four freshman congresswomen. There is hardly an equivalence. Besides the obvious racism, there is also the point that Trump has some special ire in his soul towards women who aren't about to suck his puny, withered cock. (So he has to make do with Lindsey Graham.)

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Two Questions from Trevor Noah

1) Why is it that Trump never tells Bernie Sanders to "go back where he comes from?"

2) If Trump is saying "if you don't like it here, you can leave," then why didn't Trump go back to Bavaria instead of going down that escalator in 2015?



Seth Meyers points out that for Trump, racism isn't a bug, it's a feature.


Look for More Racist Tweets from Trump

Because articles are starting to appear, again, about the times when he was buddy-buddy with convicted/indicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

Trump isn't the only one who is worried.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

No, He Has 206 of Them


President Trump on Tuesday insisted he is not a racist amid sustained criticism of his attacks on four minority, progressive Democratic congresswomen.

The president’s latest defense of his tweets telling the lawmakers to “go back” to their home countries, even though they are all U.S. citizens, came hours before the House is set to vote on a resolution condemning them as racist.

“Those Tweets were NOT Racist. I don’t have a Racist bone in my body!” Trump tweeted.
That number includes the bone spurs.

"Go back where you came from" is racist. It has almost always been said to minorities (including Jews, Italians and Greeks, back in the days when "white people" were those from northwestern Europe and Scandinavia).

You can bet that nobody ever told Donnie to "go back where you came from".

Meanwhile, almost all of the Republicans are running for cover and deploying their best dodge-em skills:
QUESTION: Senator McConnell, you’re — you’re married to an immigrant who’s a nationalized [sic] U.S. citizen. If someone were to say to her she should go back to her country because of her criticism of federal policies, wouldn’t you consider that a racist attack?

MCCONNELL: Well, the secretary of transportation came here at age 8 legally, not speaking a word of English, and has realized the American Dream, and I think all of us think that this is a process of renewal that’s gone on in this country for a very long time and is good for America, and we ought to continue it.
I'll bet that if someone walked up to McConnell's wife, Elaine Chao and said to her, in his presence "go back where you came from", that McConnell would have no problem in recognizing the racism of that insult.

If you are white and you are standing shoulder-to-shoulder with a racist like Donald Trump, do not be surprised if the filth of racism gets all over you.

And if you are not white and you are standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Donald Trump, there is another word that describes you: Quisling.

Fifty Years On

Apollo 11 lifted off to become the first time a human set foot on another celestial body.


Here's a look-back from ten years ago.

If civilization survives to the 25th Century, if anyone knows the name of anyone from th 20th Century, it will be Neil Armstrong. If they know three, add the Wright Brothers' names.

Doing things on a national basis because they are hard is passé in this country. Oh, we'll throw money at expensive programs for the purposes of killing other people, but programs to go explore the cosmos.. not so much. Programs to do something about climate change... hard pass. Programs to fight pernicious diseases... nickel and dime funding.

We no longer have no national will for anything other than making war and giving tax cuts to the rich.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Can You Be an Ambulance-Chaser if Nobody Was Hurt?

Some lawyers in Texas are working that problem.
Southwest Airlines Co. and The Boeing Co. were hit with a lawsuit by Southwest customers who say the companies colluded to hide a fatal design defect in Boeing’s 737 MAX 8 aircraft.

The complaint, filed July 11 in a federal court in Texas under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, alleges Southwest obtained profits through a collusive relationship with Boeing, its sole airplane supplier.

It also alleges Southwest lied and defrauded its customers, regulators, and its own pilots and employees, and risked thousands of lives in the process.
I am not going to bother to read the legal excrement that passes for a complaint in this sorry excuse for litigation. I fail to see how an objective argument can be made that SWA defrauded anybody. I'm not aware of anyone who was injured on a SWA 737 MAX aircraft as a result of the design of that particular aircraft.

Nobody was injured, but the ambulance-chasers are still in full cry.

Trump's Racism and the Party of the Confederacy

From the Beeb: Republican Party representatives kept quiet amid a wave of criticism.

There is no doubt left: Trump is a raging racist and the GOP is complicit in that. Not a single Republican has spoken out against Trump's racism. American nazis are chortling with glee, for Trump is indeed their guy.

Trump could don a full Klan uniform and burn a cross on the South Lawn of the White House and there would not be a single peep of criticism would be heard from any Republican.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

À Bastille, Mes Amis !

Today is the French National Day.




A version that is more familiar to American audiences:



Allons enfants de la Patrie
Le jour de gloire est arrivé !
Contre nous de la tyrannie
L'étendard sanglant est levé
Entendez-vous dans nos campagnes
Mugir ces féroces soldats ?
Ils viennent jusque dans vos bras.
Égorger vos fils, vos compagnes !

Aux armes citoyens
Formez vos bataillons
Marchons, marchons
Qu'un sang impur
Abreuve nos sillons

(Full translation, which makes The Star-Spangled Banner look pacifistic.)

The Bastille was torn down very soon afterwards. Very little of it survives. The key to the fortress was given by Marquis de Lafayette to President Washington.

Trump Blows His White-Supremacist Steam Whistle

President Donald Trump on Sunday assailed a group of Democratic congresswomen of color as foreign-born troublemakers who should go back to the “broken and crime infested places from which they came,” ignoring the fact that the women are American citizens and all but one was born in the U.S.
The "go back where you came from" line is pure racism. There is no other way to slice it.

Trump has no more claim to being a true-born American than those people that his is assailing. His mother came from Scotland and his paternal grandparents came from Bavaria.

If he doesn't like living in a multi-ethnic nation, he can go back to where he came from. Which, by his standard, isn't the United States.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

A KLM 747 landing at St. Maarten.


KLM stopped flying 747s to St. Maarten in 2016. But they still fly them elsewhere.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Sweet Fucking Gig

Two years after he shot an unarmed man and was fired, former police officer Philip “Mitch” Brailsford was rehired by the City of Mesa in order to obtain a special pension. Now, Brailsford is considered medically retired, not fired, according to a Mesa city spokesman.
...
"He [Brailsford] had a PTSD claim prior to his termination, so in fairness, he was given the opportunity to make that appeal to the board," Brady said.

One of Brailsford's attorneys, Michael Piccarreta, told ABC15 the PTSD stemmed from the Shaver shooting incident and the resulting criminal prosecution.
...
Brailsford, who is 28 years old, receives a monthly check for $2,569.21. He will receive the pension for the rest of his life, unless the local board requests a new medical diagnosis and it shows a recovery from PTSD symptoms.
So, to recap: Kill an unarmed man, beat a murder rap for the killing, and then get to claim PTSD for both things and retire, at age 28, at $30K/yr.

Pretty sweet fucking gig. Brailsford won't worry about being googleable/unemployable for the rest of his life. And if he gets a job, that's just a lagniappe for him. I'll bet that the PTSD diagnosis doesn't affect his right to own a gun.

Really sweet fucking gig.

(H/T)

A Mere Rap on the Knuckles

The Federal Trade Commission approved an approximately $5 billion settlement with Facebook over the company’s 2018 Cambridge Analytica scandal, a person familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal. Several other news outlets separately reported the approval.

The fine represents the largest ever imposed by the FTC against a tech company. Previously, the agency’s largest fine against a tech company came in 2012 when Google agreed to pay a $22.5 million penalty due to its privacy practices. The fine would represent approximately 9% of Facebook’s 2018 revenue.
Keep in mind that Facebook could pay that fine every few months and still remain a rather profitable entity.

$5 billion isn't chump change, but it's not a huge hit for Facebook. To them, it'll be another cost of doing business.

$25 billion might have gotten their attention.

Fireworks Tonight

You may be able to see them at 9 PM EDT on this webcam.

Not sure if it'll pick them up, but what the hell.

UPDATE: It pretty much sucked over a webcam. The camera's image kept washing out.

How We Got to Now; Bangity Ed.

This is an article about the early evolution of .38 hollowpoints. One of the evil things alluded to is how the major ammo companies stepped on the neck of Super-Vel.

It's interesting in that it roughly parallels the development of the .38/44 Heavy Duty 30-40 years previously; higher velocity to obtain better performance.

Ooopsie

Sorry about that.

Caturday

Chip in harness:


He does not get along with Bella. When he is out of his (and my) room, he wears a harness, so I can break up any fights.

It's a royal PITA. But she thinks that she should be in charge and Chip does not hold with that.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Trumpist Tab-Clearing

Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta said Friday he is resigning following renewed scrutiny of his handling of a 2008 secret plea deal with wealthy financier Jeffrey Esptein , who is accused of sexually abusing dozens of underage girls.

President Donald Trump, with Acosta at his side, made the announcement as he left the White House for a trip to Wisconsin and Ohio. The president said Acosta had been a “great” labor secretary.

“I hate to see this happen,” Trump said. He said he did not ask Acosta to leave the Cabinet.
Trump may be telling the truth to some extent. He hates the idea that those who have protected the rich and powerful from paying the full price for their peccadilloes are being held to account for their toadyism.
----------------------------------
President Donald Trump is arguing he didn’t retreat when he abandoned his effort to insert a citizenship question into next year’s census and insists his fallback will prove a more accurate option.

“Not only didn’t I back down, I backed up because anybody else would have given this up a long time ago,” Trump told reporters Friday, one day after directing federal agencies to try to compile the citizenship information using existing databases.
Right, and a retreat is "attacking in a backwards direction"? Trump picked this fight on tinkering with the census and he lost. Only his most-loyal base is going to accept Trump's line of whimpering bullshit.
----------------------------------
A Koch Industries executive was told he could not leave China. An ex-diplomat who helped organize a technology forum in Beijing was hassled by authorities who wanted to question him. An industry group developed contingency plans, in case its offices were raided and computer servers were seized.

Business executives, Washington officials and other frequent visitors to China who were interviewed by The New York Times expressed increasing alarm about the Chinese authorities’ harassment of Americans by holding them for questioning and preventing them from leaving the country.
...
“In a very not-so-subtle manner, the Chinese government has upped the ante by detaining Americans at the borders and at their hotels, and with the obvious intent to send a message to the Trump administration that they can engage in hostage diplomacy if push comes to shove,” said James Zimmerman, a partner in the Beijing office of the law firm Perkins Coie, which works with American companies in China.
Apparently the Chinese are not convinced that trade wars are easy to win. They intend to make it difficult.

Because It's Friday

UP Big Boy 4014 on the road!

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Weather

There is something deliciously ironic in the fact that Tropical Storm/Hurricane Barry is about to beat the living shit out of TrumpLand.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE


I'm not ill. Family matters and other things have occupied my time today. They will for a good part of this week.

So surf the blogroll. In those blogs, you may find others worth your time.

See you later.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Live on Fox

Trump was watching.
...[Trump] was particularly annoyed by Fox correspondent Greg Palkot’s live report from a sports bar in France, where patrons erupted in a “F--- Trump” chant, according to two advisers not authorized to speak publicly about private discussions.

Trump's Work on Iran

Iran on Monday began enriching uranium to 4.5%, just breaking the limit set by its nuclear deal with world powers, while it is still seeking a way for Europe to help it bypass U.S. sanctions amid heightened tensions between Tehran and Washington.
This is all on Trump. There was a deal in place. It might not have been perfect, but
objective observers had confirmed that Iran was complying.

Its fault, in the eyes of the World's Oldest Toddler, was that the agreement was negotiated by Obama (and other countries). Trump tore it up because Trump hates Everything Obama.

So here we are, with Iran doing exactly what the deal Trump tore up sought to prevent.

Heckovajob, Donnie.

Epstein: Take This For What You Will

Eleven years after letting Jeffrey Epstein off lightly with a secret deal, federal prosecutors took another run at putting the billionaire financier behind bars on sex charges, accusing him in an indictment unsealed Monday of abusing dozens of underage girls as young as 14.

The 66-year-old hedge fund manager who once socialized with some of the world’s most powerful people was charged with sex trafficking and conspiracy and could get up to 45 years in prison.

As you'll read in the story, the prosecutor who let Epstein pretty much skate in an illegal deal in 2008 was Alexander Acosta, now Trump's Secretary of Labor.

Epstein has a lot of friends across the political spectrum. Those known to be horndogs, besides Trump, may have cause to begin sweating.

Snowflakes with Badges, Our National Surveillance State and DoJ Looks for Lawyers With No Ethics

Starbucks apologized after an employee reportedly asked six police officers to leave or change their location in one of the company’s shops in a Phoenix suburb because another customer reported feeling unsafe.
From the amount of press coverage that this has generated, one might have thought that the cops at that Starbucks had all been shot at.

Stop the Presses! Somebody was mean to some cops!

How this is a national story, much less one that is getting prominent airing on the news shows, is baffling.

There seems to be less outrage in the press over the fact that the FBI and ICE have been using all of our DMV photos for facial recognition.
Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Immigration and Customs Enforcement have turned state driver’s license databases into a facial-recognition gold mine, scanning through millions of Americans’ photos without their knowledge or consent, newly released documents show.
They always cite the same trite rationale: "We're violating your privacy to keep you safe".

Meanwhile, the DoJ is bringing in their "ethics, schmethics" legal team to continue to argue for Trump's census question, a question that the Supreme Court has already shot down. The government has, in th past, used census data to round up people. Anyone who thinks that Trump and Miller wouldn't do the same needs to reach down, grab their ears, and pull hard until they can see daylight.

"Because I'm Rich, I'll Make a Great President"

Now comes the Democratic version of Donald Trump:
The billionaire investor Tom Steyer, who in the past decade has been both the top Democratic donor in the country and the prime engine for pushing for the impeachment of President Donald Trump, appears ready to become Democratic candidate No. 26. Last week in San Francisco, Steyer told staffers at two progressive organizations he funds, Need to Impeach and NextGen America, that he is launching a 2020 campaign, and that he plans to make the formal announcement this Tuesday.
I think that one time that buying the con job of "I'm a rich guy, surely I can run the government" is quite enough, thank you.


No only no, but fuck no. Hard no. Steyer needs to go back to what hedge-fund guys do: Tear up the fabric of American manufacturing for fun and profit.

Trump's Concentration Camps

Since the Border Patrol opened its station in Clint, Tex., in 2013, it was a fixture in this West Texas farm town. Separated from the surrounding cotton fields and cattle pastures by a razor-wire fence, the station stood on the town’s main road, near a feed store, the Good News Apostolic Church and La Indita Tortillería. Most people around Clint had little idea of what went on inside. Agents came and went in pickup trucks; buses pulled into the gates with the occasional load of children apprehended at the border, four miles south.

But inside the secretive site that is now on the front lines of the southwest border crisis, the men and women who work there were grappling with the stuff of nightmares.

Outbreaks of scabies, shingles and chickenpox were spreading among the hundreds of children who were being held in cramped cells, agents said. The stench of the children’s dirty clothing was so strong it spread to the agents’ own clothing — people in town would scrunch their noses when they left work. The children cried constantly. One girl seemed likely enough to try to kill herself that the agents made her sleep on a cot in front of them, so they could watch her as they were processing new arrivals.
The stench of people who are not allowed to clean themselves is so bad that it permeates the guards' clothing.

The lead villain is a Border Patrol sector chief[1] named Aaron Hull. Hull seems to be one of the people who, arguably, deliberately engineered the overcrowding at Clint and other facilities. To Hull, as wll as Trump and Miller, cruelty and degradation are part of their plan.
__________________________________
[1] Gruppenfuhrer?

They Grow Them Stupid in Mississippi (and Europe)

This week, a new law went into effect in Mississippi. The state now bans plant-based meat providers from using labels like “veggie burger” or “vegan hot dog” on their products. Such labels are potentially punishable with jail time. Words like “burger” and “hot dog” would be permitted only for products from slaughtered livestock.
I think it risible that people in Mississippi are thought to be so dumb as to think that a "veggie burger" has meat in it.

But it's not just people in The. Worst. State. In. The. Union. that are thought to be rather slow on the uptake. The EU parliament also believes that Europeans are too stupid to be able to tell the difference between a veggie burger and a hamburger. Which, by the way, doesn't usually contain any pork, but people seem to be able to figure that out without governments having to so inform them.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

100 Years Ago

The Army's transcontinental motor convoy set out from Washington, D.C., en route to Oakland, CA. There were a number of observers from other parts of the army, including LTCOL Eisenhower.

Ike wrote about it in a somewhat breezy book At Ease: Stories I tell to Friends.

A lot has been written that the Autobahn was Ike's inspiration for the Interstate Highway System. That may be true, in part, but I believe that the germ of Ike's push came from his trip with the 1919 convoy.

The Dictator's Parade

Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro oversaw a grand military parade to mark independence day Friday, reveling in his might as commander in chief as the embattled socialist leader comes under mounting criticism for using brutal tactics to crush his opponents.
Seems that Maduro got the kind of parade that Trump was having wet dreams about.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

Hessian mercenaries try for a little bit of shock and awe:


(It's a German F-4.)

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Circus Fire, 75 Years Ago

The Hartford Circus Fire occurred 75 years ago today. The circus was held under a 9,000-seat "big-top" canvas tent, which had been waterproofed with gasoline-thinned paraffin. Over 168 people were killed, over 700 injured.


The cause of the fire has never been fully determined.

A circus fire in Brazil in 1961 killed over 500 people. The tent there had been waterproofed in a similar manner.

"Take the Airports!



Caturday

Today, we see the difference between spot-metering and using a fill-in flash on an iPhone:


Friday, July 5, 2019

"Man the Air! Ram the Ramparts!"

The Internet is blowing up with snark today.



Revolutionary War Airport Snark





(What's going on, here)

Can't Trump Afford a Fact-Checker?

"In June of 1775, the Continental Congress created a unified army out of the revolutionary forces encamped around Boston and New York and named after the great George Washington, commander in chief. The Continental Army suffered a bitter winter of Valley Forge, found glory across the waters of the Delaware and seized victory from Cornwallis of Yorktown. Our army manned the air, it rammed the ramparts, it took over the airports, it did everything it had to do. And at Fort McHenry, under “the rockets red glare,” it had nothing but victory. And when dawn came, their star-spangled banner waved defiant."
I had to put that together from a few sources, as different ones had different gaps.

Nobody bothered to tell Trump that there were no airports in the 1770s because the airplane wouldn't be invented for another 125 fucking years?



There's lots more snark about that on Twitter.

"Ramming the ramparts"? Isn't there a military attache who could have told CBS[1] that ramparts are on land and that it wasn't possible to "ram" them? Maybe Trump thinks that they could have used Sherman tanks.

I'm not sure if he thinks that the Battle of Ft. McHenry took place during the Revolutionary War or if he didn't mention that it was a different war.

Factually, it was a mess of a speech that was given by someone who is illiterate in history and who is proud of it.
___________________________________________
[1] Cadet Bone Spurs

Because It's Friday

Chinese steam in Iowa:

Thursday, July 4, 2019

The Fourth

243 years ago, the Second Continental Congress recognized that the American Colonies, at least the northern ones, had been at war with the British Empire for over a year.

(Open this link in a new tab and listen as you read.)

IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

Shorter Trump: Cruelty Isn't a Bug, It's a Feature

President Trump said on Wednesday that migrants were “living far better” in Border Patrol detention centers than in their home countries, one day after his own administration reported that children in some facilities were denied hot meals or showers, and that cells were so crowded that migrants begged to be freed.
Trump has made it obvious: The cruelty on public display has been encouraged by Trump and his Chief Brownshirt Stephen Miller.

Trump sucks up to dictators, jokes about killing reporters, gives short shrift to our allies, and does everything he can do to stomp on minorities of all types. Trump is a wannabee dictator, a fascist.

The truly sad thing about this country is the tens of millions of people who are fine with that. The wealthy have always hated democracy, there's no surprise that. But what is surprising is that most people would seem to have a stake in a nation that follows the rule of law and treats people with fairness and respect.

But they don't.

On this Fourth of July, I will say this: If you support Trump, you have no business taking any pride in the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution. You have no moral right to take pride in the American Experiment. You are no patriot.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Affluenza is Dropping Off in New Jersey

Two judges in New Jersey who were giving rich kids a break when they rape girls got their knuckles rapped by the appellate courts. One of the perps recorded his rape and repeatedly shared it with his friends. The judge thought that was just peachy, because the kid came from a good family, was an eagle scout and had high test scores, so he denied the state's motion to prosecute the perp as an adult.

Of course, if the perp had been Tyrone from the 'hood, the judge would have bound the kid over to adult court in a nanosecond, which the appellate court implied.

The appellate courts are signaling that the "rich boys will be boys, whaddya want" attitude of some judges is unacceptable.

As it always should have been.

Ten Years Ago on This Here Blog

Cagers and Donorcycles.

What I didn't mention, then, was that there was a kid in my college class that was in the same type of motorcycle-car accident as AD was. In that kid's case, he was in the hospital, in traction, for weeks. He had on a hip-to-ankle cast for a while after that.

With the proliferation of smartphones, it probably has only gotten worse.

King Donnie's Parade


Mr. Trump said that “brand-new Abrams tanks” and “brand-new Sherman tanks” would be on display on Thursday.
The last Sherman tank rolled off the production line at the Pressed Steel Car Company 74 years ago this month.

No doubt that Trump thinks that this is what the Army uses for "armored cavalry":


Tuesday, July 2, 2019

No Doubt that Republicans Will Defend the Indefensible

A report from an internal US watchdog has found "dangerous overcrowding" in migrant detention centres in the south and urged authorities to act.

Jarring photos of facilities in the Rio Grande show 51 female migrants held in a cell made for 40 men, and 71 males held in a cell built for 41 women.

Adults were packed in standing room only cells for a week, with others held in overcrowded cells for over a month.

One facility manager called the situation "a ticking time bomb".

"We are concerned that overcrowding and prolonged detention represent an immediate risk to the health and safety of [Department of Homeland Security] agents and officers, and to those detained," inspectors said in the report.
Cramming people in standing-room-only cells for a week? I'm sorry, but that's some Nazi-grade treatment.[1]

Please note that these descriptions are coming from DHS's own internal watchdogs, not from a bunch of squishy Congressmen.

This is who we are, a nation that tolerates industrial-scale cruelty from an administration that couldn't care less. This is the face that we are projecting to the world.

Heckovajob, Donnie.
________________________________________________
[1] No, I'm not sorry.  If you want to understand what happened in Germany in the 1930s, look at what is happening here, now, in the United States.
I’ve spent my entire life trying to figure out how the entire nation of Germany, all of its ordinary citizens living in cities and towns and villages across the country, could have stood by while their own government rounded up people and stuck them in hastily built, disgusting concentration camps, and then proceeded to kill them by gas or bullets or starvation or overwork or disease or simple filth and neglect.

This was the week I think I finally understood it. What happened in Nazi Germany didn’t affect their own lives, it happened away from them, it happened to “others,” to people who were not like them, whom they had been conditioned to hate, and it happened at the direction of a leader they admired and revered. And it happened with the overt or tacit approval of their fellow citizens all around them.

This is what is happening in our country right now, right this minute, right in front of us.

Change of Pace

Instead of writing about El Jefe de Mar-a-Lago's corruption of the Fourth of July or the fact that he has to use paid foreign models to stand in for his supporters, let's look at something a little different.

LAPD gear in the 1970s:


Here is a better photo of the gear:


The revolver, a S&W Model 67, has a barrel that is significantly heavier than the standard barrel. I've been told that the LAPD armorers were well versed in doing barrel work on S&W revolvers. When the LAPD moved from 6" Model 14s to 4" Model 15s in the late 1960s (a change you can see if you watch old episodes of Adam-12), a lot of those Model 14s had barrels that were shortened to 4" by the department armorers.

Monday, July 1, 2019

What Trump Has Wrought on Iran

Thanks to Trump, the Euros have created an alternative banking system to get around American sanctions on Iran.
The governments of France, Germany and the United Kingdom have developed a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to enable European businesses to maintain non-dollar trade with Iran without breaking U.S. sanctions. That SPV, known as INSTEX, is now up and running.
Note that Russia, China, Japan and other countries are interested in joining INSTEX.

What this may lead to is a long-held goal of the EU, the Russians and the Chinese: Replacing the dollar as a global currency. Trumps grandstanding and going-it-alone on Iran may very well hasten that happening.

Good job, Donnie.

Shorter CBP: "9,500 is Only A Few."

There's a formerly-secret Facebook group of Border Patrol agents, which is pretty much a cesspot of racism and sexism.
Members of a secret Facebook group for current and former Border Patrol agents joked about the deaths of migrants, discussed throwing burritos at Latino members of Congress visiting a detention facility in Texas on Monday and posted a vulgar illustration depicting Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez engaged in oral sex with a detained migrant, according to screenshots of their postings.
And now, the bullshit:
"These posts are completely inappropriate and contrary to the honor and integrity I see—and expect—from our agents day in and day out," U.S. Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost said in a statement.
Cue up the whining about "a few bad apples":
"We take all the posts that were put out today very seriously. These do not represent the thoughts of the men and women of the US Border Patrol. Each one of these allegations will be thoroughly investigated," said US Border Patrol Chief of Operations Brian Hastings...

What Trump Has Wrought

Iran has breached a 300kg (660lb) limit on its stockpile of low-enriched uranium set under a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, sources say.

One told Iran's Fars news agency that the International Atomic Energy Agency had measured the stockpile on Monday.
Make no mistake, this is on Trump. He recklessly pulled out of the Iranian nuclear deal, hoping that he could bully Iran into giving into a deal more to Trump's liking.

It hasn't happened.

There was a chance to bring Iran back into the world community, which Trump threw away because anything negotiated by Obama has to be bad. That is his motivation, "Obama bad, Trump good". Trump would impose a ban on AR-15s if Obama had had range time on one.

More broadly, the US government bleats about Iran being a state supporter of terrorism, but they continue give a free pass to the Saudis, which have aggressively spread a hate-based version of Islam around the world. It's been well-documented that the Saudis have provided aid and comfort to all manner of terrorist groups, including al Qaeda and ISIS, if they agreed not to bother the Saudis.

To shift gears a little, color me "unimpressed" over Trump's latest stunt with one of the more murderous dictators on the globe. Trump is a showman, or, less charitably, a circus act. While they say that lower-level negotiations will begin again soon, those will be farcical. North Korea has nuclear weapons and they are not about to give them up. Trump may promise that there will be a better life for North Koreans, but Kim Jong Un doesn't care. His family runs the country, they have for generations. In a country beset by repeated famines, Kim appears to be morbidly obese. The Kim dynasty well know that a people obsessed with filling their bellies every day aren't going to ask for higher things, such as freedom. In short, there is likely nothing that Trump can offer Kim to get an agreement.

Any lower-level negotiation involving the United States is farcical, nowadays. There is no American team anymore. What we have, instead, is an impressionable toddler with no impulse control at the top. So no matter what deal is reached, Trump can, and has, whimsically throw the whole thing away. Other nations are slowly realizing that any negotiation that doesn't directly involve Trump will be risky and, quite possibly, a huge waste of time.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

No Additional Comment Needed


A Contrast to Our Illustrious President


Don't worry kid. By 1917, they won't give a shit.

Big contrast, though, to Trump and John Bolton, who is one of the Bombsey Twins.

Speaking of the Big Orange Racist, Spawn Of was indulging in his own bit of racism. Junior has a long history of tweeting white supremacist and racist shit, so why anyone would be surprised that he's doing again is a question with an obvious answer: The racism of the Trump family, including Cadet Bone Spurs, his daddy and his offspring, is worth emphasizing as Trump will try again and again to pretend that he's a friend of minority communities.

He's not. He never will be.

Some Shit Shouldn't Be Outsourced

Such as "critical flight control software."

But that's what Boeing did, outsourcing 737-MAX flight control software to engineers making less than burger-flipping money.

Because, to Boeing, 737 software was mature and they didn't need to pay real money for work on it.

So, is it now "If It's a Boeing, I Ain't Going"?

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

A couple of Aardvarks (F-111) low passes:


The rest of the video shows the damage from the second pass.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Shorter CT: We'll Sell Out for Cash

So, some ultra-rich hedge-fund couple has pledged to donate $100 million to do something about public education. The catches are: 1) the state has to cough up the same amount; and 2) the money goes into a non-profit that is exempt from state sunshine laws.

Good on them for putting up their money. But the state shouldn't be required to put taxpayer money into a black hole.

This is the sleazeball idea of recently-elected Gov. Ned "Toll Booth" Lamont, another one of those goddamned rich guys who feel the need to play around with public service.

Lamont is offended by the comments others have made that this deal is little more than a bunch of rich folks showering dollars on the peasants of the state. The reason why that's so offensive to Lamont is that, well, it's the truth.

Caturday

"Bring me the remote and a beer."

Friday, June 28, 2019

"I've Had All I Can Stand, I Can't Stand Any More" plus 50

50 years ago, queer folk got tired of being pushed around by the cops and did something about it. Ten years ago, cops in Texas marked the anniversary by raiding a gay bar for bullshit reasons.

It wasn't the first such riot against police oppression. However, it has come to be marked as the start of the modern gay rights movement.

There's still a lot of hatred and bigotry which, nowadays, is cloaked in religious justification.

Handling Handgun Recoil

Jerry Miculek has some pointers.


Because It's Friday

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Tab Clearing

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Pro tip: Do not believe, because you are having a conversation in public in a foreign language, that your conversation is private.
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I shot an IDPA match in an indoor range, using a FN Hi-Power. One stage was low-light, with the single light shining from downrange towards the shooter. It was difficult. Powder smoke made it even harder to distinguish between shoot and no-shoot targets.
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I'll let the chattering classes talk about the debates. Until candidates start dropping out, it's not worth my pixels.
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So the Supremes are OK with political gerrymandering, but not naked racism. Good to know.
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The NYPD has been trying to figure out what to do about police suicides. What I didn't realize is that more cops kill themselves than are killed on the job. One of the struggles for the bosses is that seeking counseling is taken by most cops as a sign of weakness and it can lead to being put on the rubber gun squad.

This is not a new problem for the military.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Brock Turner, the Preppie Dumpster Rapist, is Still a Registered Sex Offender

In case you've forgotten who he is.

Brock limited the appeal of his conviction because it belatedly occurred to his lawyers that a retrial might open the door to Brock being sent to prison for several years. He argued that there was not sufficient evidence for a conviction. The appellate court laid out the facts of the case and, in essence, said that he was full of shit (the legal term is "this argument lacks merit").

If you want to read the opinion, it is here in PDF format (17 pages)

The judge in the case had the balls to compare going lightly on the Affluenza Rapist to Brown v. Board of Education. That argument didn't fly with the voters, who fired his ass. The judge sued to stop/overturn the recall election, a litigation which was apparently declared to be frivolous, for he was ordered to pay attorney's fees to the recall's proponents. The judge asked his supporters to kick in for that.

But don't you worry about poor little Brock. His family will, in a few years or so, probably spread around some money and he'll get a pardon.

OMG, the Dreaded Six-Engine Approach!

Daher, Airbus and Safran announced they are teaming up to develop a “hybrid-propulsion” aircraft to fly in 2022. Based on a TBM airframe still fitted with a Pratt & Whitney PT6A turboprop, the video produced by Daher reveals six electric motors mounted to the leading edge of the wing.
Clearly, it's a experimental airplane. It's going to take a long time before any of this is commercially viable.

To be frank, I am skeptical. To run those electric motors, there has to be batteries or a fuel-burning generator. All that means weight.

For almost every airplane, filling all the seats with adults and filling the fuel tanks is not possible. So one trades payload for range. Batteries make that tradeoff impractical.

For the near term, electric airplanes will be either used for specialized circumstances (like high-altitude radio relays) or for hobbyists.

(Google "seven-engine approach" if you don't get the headline.)

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Not Moving the Needle on Trump

Let me be plain: I believe E. Jean Carroll's story that she was sexually assaulted by Donald Trump. Trump has a long track record of considering any woman he meets as property. He is a serial offender.

But the thing is, Carroll's account will, in the political sense, matter not. None of the Trumpanzees will be convinced. The self-styled "moral majority" is perfectly OK with a guy who has cheated on all of his wives, who wants to bang his daughter, and who cheats everybody.

Trump could be caught on film shooting somebody or in a drug-fueled sex party with minors and none of his supporters would give a rat's ass. (Or they would say "whatabout dem emails"?)

Monday, June 24, 2019

"Don't Be Evil", My Ass

If you use Google's Chrome browser, congratulations! You are using the most spyware-friendly browser that there is.

When Google began, they were touting themselves as not being an evil megacorp, unlike Microsoft. Their unofficial motto was "don't be evil."

Funny how shiploads of money have changed their tune on that.

An Indisputable Point

The United States of America runs concentration camps for children.

Before I retired, I handled child neglect cases. I can tell you this with utter certainty: Any parent who treated their kids the way that the Border Patrol has treated those kids would have their kids taken away from them, possibly forever.

Before any defenders of Trump respond, please do me a favor: Go look at yourself in a mirror and ask if you want to go on record defending the use of concentration camps to house children.

Second Time's Not Better; Istanbul Ed.

A few months ago, the ruling party in Turkey lost the election for Istanbul's mayor by 13,000 votes. Instead of taking the loss and using the vote differential to argue that the loss wasn't significant, they canceled the election, alleging irregularities, and ordered another one.

Which they lost by over three-quarters of a million votes.

Erdogan is one of Trump's buds, because he's an authoritarian. But possibly, the people in Turkey have had enough of his shit.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

How to Look Like You Served Time

Get a homemade tattoo. It's about as stupidly self-indulgent as it sounds.

Apollo 11


If you missed it in the theaters, you missed a terrific documentary.

But it airs on CNN tonight.

Your Sunday Morning Big Prop Noise

By request, a working An-2.


Two things have stopped me from getting one.

First, money. Can you imagine a recovering job on one of those things?

Second, Cessna lobbied the FAA to not let them be licensed in this country because Cessna feared that the An-2s would gut the marker for Cessna's Caravans. So they can only be flown under an Experimental/Exhibition license, which is a serious pain in the ass.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Henry Rollins is a Five-Star Idiot.
It's OK to Disagree With Me.
If You Do, You're Wrong.


Right, buff guy with a neck the diameter of a fire hydrant sneers at those who have guns.

"Might makes right" is a very old concept. When a buff young punk takes it in his mind to have his way sexually with a 5-foot-nothing girl, what are her options for fighting him off? When a couple of thugs break into the house of an old man to steal his money and prescription drugs, what's that old guy's option for defending himself?

Guns take youth and strength out of the equation. Thomas Jefferson said that all men are created equal. Samuel Colt made them so.

"Never fear any man, no matter what his size. When danger threatens, call on me, and I will equalize."

Which is why big-muscled men hate guns. At least, until they come across a guy who is bigger, stronger, and meaner.

Caturday

Elliott, a shelter cat:

Friday, June 21, 2019

And Once Again, It Appears That Trump is Lying

Early in the day, the president said he called off the counterattack at the last minute because it would kill 150 people in retaliation for the downing of an unmanned surveillance drone. “We were cocked & loaded to retaliate last night on 3 different sights when I asked, how many will die,” he tweeted.

But administration officials said Trump was told earlier Thursday how many casualties could occur if a strike on Iran was carried out, and that he had given the green light to prepare for the operation Thursday morning.
So this tweet:
is a lie.

I have a hard time believing that Trump was not briefed on possible casualties until a few minutes before the strike was due to be launched.

So instead of looking wise and not willing to authorize a non-proportional strike (killing 150 people over a winged toaster), Trump instead looks like a vacillating fool who is spreading lies to cover up his utter ineptitude.

Trump Has More Sense Than Bolton

President Trump said Friday morning that the United States military had been “cocked and loaded” for a strike against Iran on Thursday night, but that he called it off with 10 minutes to spare when a general told him that 150 people would likely die in the attack.
Here are words you will rarely see on this blog: Trump was right to call off the strike. Killing over 100 people in retaliation for Iran shooting down a fucking robot would be just the sort of insanity that Bolton and Pompeo would promote.

And then there is this:
Still, there remained doubt inside the United States government over whether the drone, or another American surveillance aircraft, this one flown by a military aircrew, did violate Iranian airspace at some point, according to a senior administration official.
So we aren't sure where the drone was or whether there was another American aircraft there that did intrude into Iranian airspace? And maybe the Iranians shot down the right drone or locked onto the wrong drone?

For that, Bolton and Pompeo (and Chief Torturer Haspert) want to start a war? Jesus. Well, we all knew what we were getting with Bolton, at least, which is why Trump put him in a job not requiring Senate confirmation.

Because It's Friday


I am somewhat surprised that they're running it to Chicago. I guess swing clearances aren't an issue.

What the Hell is Going On, Now; PGW 3.0 Ed.

The United States abruptly called off preparations for a military strike against Iran over the downing of a U.S. surveillance drone, a U.S. official said, while Iran claimed Friday it had issued several warnings before shooting down the drone over what it said was Iranian territory.
And:
President Trump approved military strikes against Iran in retaliation for downing an American surveillance drone, but pulled back from launching them on Thursday night after a day of escalating tensions.

As late as 7 p.m., military and diplomatic officials were expecting a strike, after intense discussions and debate at the White House among the president’s top national security officials and congressional leaders, according to multiple senior administration officials involved in or briefed on the deliberations.

Officials said the president had initially approved attacks on a handful of Iranian targets, like radar and missile batteries.

The operation was underway in its early stages when it was called off, a senior administration official said. Planes were in the air and ships were in position, but no missiles had been fired when word came to stand down, the official said.
Absent some unknown backchannel communications, it would seem that teeing up a military strike and then backing down is a move that the Iranians are going to take as a signal that Trump has no stomach for this.

One of My Little Litmus Tests

One of the things I look at is how whether or not candidates try to make unjustified hay from the remarks of others.

Example one, Joe Biden:
"I was in a caucus with James O. Eastland. He never called me boy. He always called me son. Guess what, at least there was some civility. We got things done. We didn't agree on much of anything. We got things done. We got it finished. But today, you look at the other side and you are the enemy. Not the opposition, the enemy. We don't talk to each other anymore."
The first one to start carping about that was Sen. Corey Booker, who is currently just outpolling dryer lint.

Booker is intentionally missing the point. Booker knows damn well what Biden's point was, but he's ignoring it in his "oooh, Joe said something nice about segregationists" bullshit. But with his manufactured outrage, Booker is getting his name in print and his face on TV.

Running for office, when one is at the ass-end of the pack, can turn one into an attention whore. Booker is a fine example of that.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Drone Shoot-Down

Iran "made a very big mistake" in shooting down a US military surveillance drone over the Strait of Hormuz, President Donald Trump says.

However, he told reporters it could have been the result of human error, saying: "I find it hard to believe it was intentional."

Iran said the drone had violated Iranian airspace, but the US military denied this.
Right now, I'm not believing anyone. It's quite possible that the drone was being used to probe Iranian reaction by flying it as close as possible to Iranian airspace.

Those who would say "why, US would never do that" has no understanding of history.

Those who would say that "no such mistake is possible" also are revealing their ignorance.

One thing that keeps getting lost in the noise is that oil coming via the Persian Gulf isn't that critical for the United States. It is more important for Europe and Asia. Those nations need to step up their involvement, for if Iran does threaten oil shipment, this one is not our circus.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Yep, Jared's BFF Is a Murderer.

Saudi Arabia is responsible for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi in its Istanbul consulate last year, and there is “credible evidence” justifying an investigation into the role of the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, a United Nations expert said in a report released on Wednesday.

The expert, Agnes Callamard, also said that the United Nations secretary general should establish an international criminal investigation to ensure accountability for the crime.
Since Trump loves murderous autocrats more than he loves his wife, don't expect this report to dent his love for Prince Bone Saw.

Is China Outplaying Trump on Tariffs?

They may be because Trump views a trade war as a two-party fight, but the Chinese are using their tariffs to encourage Chinese importers to buy from other sources.
On average, it is now 14 percent cheaper in China to buy something from Canada, Japan, Brazil, or Europe than it is to buy something from the United States. Beijing is making it worthwhile for its consumers to develop new commercial relationships. And once those new ties are formed, the Chinese may not bother to switch back.
The article goes on to point out that Trump thought that nobody would ever retaliate for his imposing tariffs, an assumption that has proved to be laughable.

Meanwhile, Trump apparently spent most of his so-called campaign kickoff lambasting Hillary Clinton. Apparently, Trump has not yet gotten the memo that she isn't running for election. Besides that bit of stupidity, only a complete moron would think that Trump hasn't been campaigning since 1/21/17. He's been holding campaign rallies ever since he was inaugurated.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Abe & JFK Say "Hold Our Beers."



Abe Lincoln may beg to differ:


So might JFK:


Or Emmett Till

Or these two gentlemen:


Or the thousands who walked and died on the Trail of Tears:


We can keep this up for a long time.

Trump is a pathetic, whiny man with the emotional maturity of a toddler. He is a snowflake; everybody is so mean to him or it's noooo faaaiiirrrr! His sons are no different.

They should, frankly, be ashamed of themselves. So should anyone who defends them on this.

Monday, June 17, 2019

The Big Push (Pin Shooting)


You have to knock the pins back 14.5' to clear the table. It's an event for the big magnums. A .44 magnum might be marginal.

Persian Gulf War 3.0




The Coalition of the (Un)Willing is going to be small this time around. For one thing, all of the players arguing that Something Must Be Done are, well, biased as all fuck.
  • Benjamin Netanyahu has been trying to get America to shed its blood and treasure on Iran for decades. If he were to trip over a curb, he'd blame Iran.
  • John Bolton similarly has been trying to cook up a war with Iran for a very long time.  On the other hand, Bolton's been trying to start wars with everyone he can, other than possibly Liechtenstein and Andorra.  And I'm not sure about Andorra.
  • Crown Prince Mohammed bin Sultan, a/k/a Prince Bone Saw, is another of the "let's let the Americans die for us" caucus.  
  • Donald Trump, a man who lies only less frequently than he exhales. But only because he breathes in his sleep. Alost every day, you can find a news item that fact-checks Trump, which probably should be titled "Stupid Shit That Trump Said Today." The point being is that Trump lies about everything. You would have to be an idiot to buy anything from Trump, including a #2 pencil
These are the guys who are agitating for PG War 3.0. Only an utter fool would believe anything they say.

Which is something that the Iranians are well aware of and are exploiting.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Probably the Only Time I'll Cite "Bloody Bill" Kristol, Plus Iran



I don't know why Dotard Donald had to add "(UK)" after "The Queen of England". Maybe there's another "Queen of England" who is also the Queen of Brazil?

More seriously, if things go sideways, who is going to speak for the United States? Trump is a notorious liar. Damn near everyone on the planet who has heard of Trump knows that he lies about anything and everything, all of the time. Every sentence he utters is a lie, including the articles, the conjunctions, and the punctuation.

So if Trump says that "Iran did it", who, other than Mitch McConnell and the Trumpanzees, is going to be inclined to believe it?

Grayson Fritts is Exhibit "A" on Why Everyone Who is LGBT Should Own a Gun

In the hourlong sermon based on an Old Testament passage, Detective Grayson Fritts, also a pastor at All Scripture Baptist Church in Knoxville, told his congregation June 2 that he believes that federal, state and county governments should arrest, try, convict and "speedily" execute people within the LGBTQ community on no more grounds than a cell phone photo of a person participating in a Pride event.
First off, I normally don't use the names of asswipes like Fritts in my posts. But this turdlet deserves all the notoriety that he can get.

And this:
Fritts took a voluntary buyout two weeks ago after giving the June 2 sermon. He is on paid sick leave until the buyout takes effect July 19, Knox County Sheriff Tom Spangler said Wednesday. Fritts said the buyout was not related to his sermons.
In a pig's eye it wasn't related to his preaching of hate.

Funny how all those G_d-fearing folks will rail against gay people but then go chow down on a pulled-pork sandwich.

But let's leave that aside.

The law and the LGBT community have had a distrustful relationship. Cops have, up until recently, had a reputation for raiding gay bars for bullshit reasons. Some agencies have worked hard to try and change that image, which is why you'll sometimes see police brass marching (or float-riding) in Pride parades.

Fritts has done his best to damage that.

For a very long time, LGBT people have known (or believed) that they cannot expect to be treated fairly by the cops or the courts. The "gay panic defense" is a symptom of that. Openly LGBT people have known for a long time that crimes against them often will not be taken seriously by the cops or the courts. States are slowly trying to fix that.

I suspect that Fritts is not a real outlier.

An older definition of the word "outlaw" was "a person who is outside of the protection of the law." In that sense, being LGBT is basically, to some degree, being an outlaw. Someone robs, rapes, kills you, the cops and the courts are not going to take your being a victim as seriously as they will John Straight Whitebread. To an extent, you are on your own.

Hence the need to own a gun, know how to use it, and to get a carry permit if your state allows such.

Caturday

Bella is not happy.


She had dental work the day before this picture was taken. She had a tooth that was really bad, so it had to come out. she also had her teeth cleaned.

It was a little risky. Bella is 15 (or more); anesthesia is problematical for older cats. But it was either do this or put her down. The decision was made to proceed.

She's now doing a lot better.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Do You Know What Day It Is?

It's National Bourbon Day!

Drink up!

Felonious Trump

Asked by ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos in the Oval Office on Wednesday whether his campaign would accept such information from foreigners -- such as China or Russia -- or hand it over the FBI, Trump said, "I think maybe you do both. "I think you might want to listen, there isn't anything wrong with listening. If somebody called from a country, Norway, [and said] ‘we have information on your opponent' -- oh, I think I'd want to hear it."
Information is a thing of value. For a political campaign, accepting a thing of value from a foreigner is illegal and is a felony.

In point of fact, a politician who illegally accepts something from a foreign government should not have a security clearance, for they are susceptible to blackmail. Arguably, they become an illegal agent for that government.

But there is Trump, openly saying that he would commit a felony and fuck you for asking.

Needless to say, the other members of the Party of Trump are busily twisting themselves into knots to justify Cadet Bone Spurs's lack of regard for the law. They are nothing short of despicable, zero-integrity chunks of sentient sewage settling pond scum.

And These Blast Points, too Accurate for Sand People. Only Imperial Storm Troopers are so Precise.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said at a news conference in Washington: "It is the assessment of the United States that the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for the attacks.

"This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping, and the fact that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high degree of sophistication."
Right. My dim recollection of Pompeo is that, when he was a congressman, he was part of the Benghazi Conspiracy Caucus and that he was one of the "Bomb Iran" wingnuts.

So, do I trust Pompeo? Nope. We've been down this road before, when chickenhawks in the Bush-II Aministration cherry-picked and/or flat-out lied about intelligence to gin up their Extra Special Iraq War, a way which destabilized the region and led to the birth of ISIS.

And then there is this:
The UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said his country's "starting point" was to "believe our US allies".
Slow learners, the Brits.

So, was Iran behind these attacks? I don't know. But "who else coulda done it" isn't evidence.

UPDATE: One might want to read CDR Sal's take on this.

UPDATE II: Something that didn't occur to me until later is this-- look at the blast points on those tankers. If you are going to try and sink a ship, you would attach a limpet mine below the waterline, not several feet above it. Those blasts were also set to occur in places of the ship where it would be highly unlikely that any sailor would be present. Keep in mind that those ships have a total crew of maybe 25 hands, from the captain down to the cook.

No Real Shock to Anyone

The executive summary of this article: Trump has lied and conned people about his net worth for decades. His lies were the only thing that kept him afloat.

The big question is whether it's going to work anymore or whether to so-called Trump empire will implode.