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

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Most People Already Knew that "We're Handing Out Traffic Tickets to Enforce the Law" was Bullshit

It seems to have been pretty well proven in Missouri, where, once the state capped the amount of revenue that municipalities could keep, the number of tickets issued fell off.

One example:
Consider Bellefontaine Neighbors, which deployed a two-officer unit in 2013 to write traffic tickets on Interstate 270. Mayor Robert Doerr said the city ended the unit in 2014 to cover staffing shortages and respond to unrest across the region, and the city never re-established it.

The city’s police wrote 27 tickets a day in the year ending June 2014, and the court brought in $1.28 million that year. In the year ending June 2017, the city wrote just five tickets a day, and the court had $280,000 in revenue.
There's more in the article. One village ended up going out of existence and merging with its neighbor because they couldn't use the highways as their municipal ATM. Another disbanded its police department and joined a policing co-op.

Let's be clear on one point: I have no issue with the police enforcing the traffic laws. But when they are doing it solely because if the revenue that it generates, well, that's fucking evil. It's not then a fine, it's a tax.

The cities and towns in Missouri are pushing back. They want things to go back to the way they were. The legislature should resist that.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

RAF VC10:


The VC10 apparently holds the record for the fastest subsonic trans-Atlantic flight. They were in service for nearly fifty years.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Is Trump Broke?

This article, which does have a slant to it, alleges that Rudy Giuliani is working for Trump on a pro bono basis.

Trump probably believes that free advice is worth what he's paying for it. Or Giuliani knows that Trump will fuck him over on his bill, so Rudy may feel that he might as well lather himself up with K-Y and get it over with. But there is the possibility that Trump is finding himself running a little short these days.

We shouldn't forget that Giuliani was the legal genius that designed Trump's Muslim bans, which have had a hard time passing the giggle test when a judge looks at them.

Meanwhile, Trump is convinced that Michael Cohen won't flip on him. His aides aren't so sure.

Grade A Snark (About You-Know-Who)


Abstinence-only sex education is one of those right-wing reality-free beliefs, like trickle-down economics and believing that rich folks will step up and fund charities if the social safety net is eliminated.

Donald Trump promoting abstinence is like Alferd Packer promoting vegetarianism.

Caturday

Last week's cat in non-yawning mode:

Friday, April 20, 2018

Dear Duke Students: Stand Up and Take Your Lumps Like Adults, You Fucking Snowflakes

It's shit such as this that makes me wonder about the fucking kids these days: Some students at Duke crashed an alumni event to issue demands. The event apparently wasn't open to them. Now that the kids might face some punishment for their behavior, they're using the snowflake defense:
I think we are particularly concerned that the University knows that by sending these conduct letters out that they will be concerning the students and that they will be exacerbating any preexisting mental health conditions and, like Bryce said, traumatizing and starting new ones, especially after Saturday's issues. I think that among the many things that we share in common with the administration, the number one thing is that we all want to see this University be better and be more accommodating and make changes. We're not sure why they're not taking that approach too and reaching out to us in good faith rather than initiating a conduct process.
Well, fucking waah.


Engage in protests, act like jerks and you get treated like jerks.

More to the point, back when there were protests at colleges about integration and the war, the risk that the protestors ran, and which they went in with full knowledge of, was that they might get sprayed with fire hoses and receive a hickory shampoo.

But these kids? They might get a bad mark in their permanent file or some other academic punishment and they're screaming that they shouldn't be punished for disrupting an event. Instead of standing up, like responsible adults, and taking what they have earned, no, they're wailing about it.

So kids, here's a box of tissues:


And the key to the weep locker:


Fucking crybabies.

Do They Make "Supply and Demand for Dummies"?

If so, someone needs to tweet it at Trump.
President* Donald Trump blamed OPEC on Friday for high oil prices, claiming the organization had artificially lifted prices that “will not be accepted.”

“Looks like OPEC is at it again. With record amounts of Oil all over the place, including the fully loaded ships at sea, Oil prices are artificially Very High! No good and will not be accepted!” the president* wrote on Twitter.
If the market price for oil is $71/barrel, then the choices are to either buy the shit or not buy the shit. That's pretty much it.

Is this where I should point out the hypocrisy of Trump complaining about the price of oil while his administration is doing everything it can to gut progress in research and adopting alternatives to oil?

Trump is like an addict complaining about the price of drugs. Nobody gives a shit.

Because It's Friday

The New York Central, back in the day:

Thursday, April 19, 2018

America's Favorite Fascist Joins Team Trump

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, an outspoken supporter of Donald Trump since the early days of his campaign, is joining the team of lawyers representing the president in the special counsel’s Russia investigation.
The only thing that may keep Giuliani on board is that he is about as amoral a shill as one can get, other than Chris Christie. Giuliani's authoritarianism and fascist tendencies were well in evidence during his mayoralty. So he has that in common with Trump.

But Trump is impervious to legal advice. Sooner or later, if Giuliani has any integrity as a lawyer, he will have to try to tell Trump to knock off with the tweets and do what he's told. That's never going to happen. Trump has, effectively, been acting as his own lawyer and he's not going to take legal advice from anyone.

Which will end in Giuliani leaving to spend more time with his wife/girlfriend du jour.

On This, the 243rd Anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord,
Be It RESOLVED....

...That the Commonwealth of Massachusetts be Forever Prohibited From Commemorating Those Most Sacred Battles.

The mission of the British soldiers was to confiscate the weapons and powder of the Colonials, to disarm the populace.

That's pretty much been the official policy of the government of Massachusetts, under both Republican and Democratic governors, for the last two decades, if not longer.

So it seems to me that, on a day when the men of Lexington, Concord, Woburn and Menotomy rallied to send the soldiers of the British Army back to their bases in Boston (without the weapons they wanted to seize), Massachusetts, now a state that is in the forefront of disarming the population, should be required to mourn the defeat of the British on April 19, 1775. The state should be banned from celebrating the victory of the Colonists.

"Throw Down Your Arms!"

That was a command that was given by an army officer 243 years ago.

It wasn't obeyed.

The war was on. It would last for eight years, ending in a series of treaties in Paris.

All most all of the major European powers used the Revolutionary War as a pretext to go to war against somebody else. In some ways, the war might be viewed as a continuation, or appendix, to the Seven Years War. If historians were agreeable to a bit of renaming, the Seven Years War might be renamed the First World War.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Indiana Jones and the Temple of AARP

Steven Spielberg is planning to start shooting the untitled fifth Indiana Jones movie for Disney in the U.K. in a little more than a year.
...
“It’s always worth the trip when I get to work with this deep bench of talent coming out of the UK. The actors, and the crew, the chippies, the sparks, the drivers — everybody who has helped me make my movies here, and will continue helping me make my movies here when I come back in April 2019 to make the fifth Indiana Jones movie right here,” Spielberg said.
Harrison Ford will be nudging his 77th birthday when they start shooting. That's a bit ancient for an action movie hero.

It's going to be hard to envision a movie that was as pointless or stupid as Indy #4, but I'm not going to be surprised if it is.

Whether your favorite metaphor is jumping the shark or nuking the fridge, the Indiana Jones franchise has passed it.

If You Believe This Lie

President Donald Trump claimed Wednesday that his firing of former FBI Director James Comey was not related to the bureau’s investigation into Russian interference of the 2016 election...then you must be a GOP party loyalist.

R.I.P., Mrs. Bush

Barbara Bush has died at the age of 92.

Mrs. Bush was a WYSIWYG person. Sometimes her pronouncements were a bit acerbic, but I gather that everyone around her knew where they stood with her.

Mrs/ Bush was a proponent of literacy, education, and civil rights, which means that she wasn't much of a Republican, as the party now defines itself.

Bailing Out

A training film:

More Fiscal Responsibility from the Trumpers

I'm just kidding. Previous EPA administrators have generally traveled in Chevrolet Tahoes, and Pruitt was supposed to do the same when he joined the Trump administration last February.

But work orders from May 2 show that Pruitt's staff scrapped the Tahoe in favor of a larger, newer and pricier Chevy Suburban. The work orders also reveal that Pruitt's staff asked for custom modified bucket seats with bullet-resistant covers, Wi-Fi and GPS navigation systems. The car's lease cost $10,200 for the first year, according to records.
Pruitt also wanted a bulletproof desk, in case his staff went postal on him, I guess. And a $43G phonebooth in his office.

Pruitt seems to have no trouble in living the high life at our expense.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Eric Greitens's "The Mission Continued" May Result in Prison TIme

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley said Tuesday that his office had uncovered evidence that Gov. Eric Greitens may have committed a felony by using a charity donor list to solicit donations to fuel his 2016 campaign for governor.

Hawley, who like Greitens is a Republican, said his office possessed evidence that Greitens obtained and transmitted a donor list without the permission of the St. Louis-based charity The Mission Continues, which Greitens founded in 2007 but left in 2014.

"If proven, these acts could amount to the unauthorized taking and use of property, in this case, electronic property," Hawley said at a news conference. "Under Missouri law, this is known as computer tampering. And given the value of the list in question, it is a felony."
Pass the popcorn. Greitens is one of those ex-Seals who take the attitude that the SEAL Teams have into civilian life: The rules are for other people.

Exhibit 2: Ron Zinke.

While not a Seal, Duke Cunningham was another military hotshot who acted as though that the rules were for other, lesser folk.

"The rules are for others to follow" is an attitude of not only the rich, but of other elites.

Book Arrival


I'm no fan of Comey. I think he put his thumb on the electoral scales to as much effect, if not more, than did the Russians. What he did in `16 was more about covering his bureaucratic ass than anything else. I wonder if this book is partially an attempt to try to toss some smoke over that.

It would seem that it is not a bright thing for a potential trial witness to go blabbing on long interviews, let alone writing a book. All of that will become grist for a cross-examination.

On the other hand, if he put the book out in two or three years, far fewer people would care, let alone buy it. So there is an undercurrent of "cashing out while the cash is good", at least to me. It's not a pleasant smell.

Besides all that, this book is #1 on Amazon's best sellers list and will probably be at or near #1 on the next iteration of most other best sellers lists (non fiction) by the end of the upcoming weekend. To to the extent that will gnaw at the rotting and diseased heart of El Trumpo, that's a good thing.

So, Who Did Cohen Pay Off for Hannity?

A Fox News host is the mystery third client of US President Donald Trump's lawyer, a court has heard.

A judge ruled that Michael Cohen, the president's personal attorney, must reveal the link to Sean Hannity.
...
Just before Monday's hearing, Mr Cohen said in a statement that he had only provided advice to three clients in the past year.
Cohen worked for only three clients in the past year? How the hell does a functioning law practice survive with three clients.[1] So Cohen has to be doing more, a lot more, than practicing law. That may be part of why he was raided last week.

Still, Cohen's law practice, going by what we know of his other two clients, has been funneling large payoffs to women on behalf of a few wealthy men seeking to keep their dalliances quiet. Which leads to the question that is the title of this post.
____________________________________
[1] Tom Hagan had one client.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Another "Fuck You" by the GOP to Working Americans

If you move for a better job, you can't deduct your expenses. The fuckers in the GOP took that away from everyone, except active-duty military, who already get a shitload of benefits when they move.

I don't begrudge the military their benefits. But ist sure seems mean-spirited as fuck to stick a finger in the eye of people who are moving for a better job.

But let's face it: "Mean-spirited as fuck" is where the GOP, especially jackholes like Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, live.

That Was Then, Apparently

Gee, Thanks, Obama!

For turning the FAA into an agency that has gone fully into regulatory-capture mode.

60 Minutes spent two segments on Allegiant Air last night.

While 60 Minutes has been known for slanted pieces, this one made it clear that the FAA's attitude toward Allegiant Air pretty much is that they don't intend to do anything until Allegiant kills some passengers. This is because three years ago, the Obama Administration shifted the FAA from enforcement to cheerleading.

In TV cop terms, they've gone from this:


To this:


Because that coffee won't drink itself!

For right now, it would seem that saving a few bucks on a trip might not be worth either your life or, at least, the risk of breathing in hazardous fumes. Of course, look to Allegiant to adopt the Trumpist tactic of screaming "false news".

(Yep, they did.)