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

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Trump Acts Like a Tyrant and Republicans Are Silent

Boy howdy, it was really something when Republicans were up in arms, sometimes literally, about the Affordable Care Act.

But when Trump greatly expands the reach of the presidency, like threatening to declare a national emergency so that he can force companies (including the importers of MAGA hats) to stop doing business with China, the only thing you hear from Republicans is crickets.

Just crickets. They are either collaborationists or cowards; in the final analysis, there's really no difference.

Remember this?


Wars of any kind are never easy. There are almost always things that happen that the initiator didn't foresee once the fur begins to fly.

Caturday

A shelter cat relaxes:

Friday, August 23, 2019

It's Almost Adorable When Trump Thinks He Has Dictatorial Powers

President Donald Trump declared Friday that he had “hereby ordered” American companies with operations in China “to immediately start looking for” an alternative after Beijing announced a series of retaliatory tariffs.

Yep, King Donald the Nutjob thinks that he has the power to order around American corporations, or, for that matter, anyone else, to do whatever flits through his increasingly unhinged mind.

Everyone else probably knows that the president of the United States has no power to order American citizens (and corporations) to do anything.

By the way, does the order apply to Ivanka?

(Bet you won't hear a single Republican say "boo" about this.)

Because It's Friday

Big Boy (UP) 4014 in Chicagoland:


Nobody was going to get a clear shot.

Post-Trump Staff Jobs Not Worth Fretting Over

Former White House press secretary Sarah Sanders has joined Fox News as a contributor, the network announced on Thursday. It is the latest sign of the revolving door relationship between Fox and the Trump administration.
ABC's hit show "Dancing with the Stars" is about to get a lot spicier. President Trump's former White House press secretary Sean Spicer is joining the cast of the reality hit for its upcoming season — along with a few other controversial celebrities.
Firtly, Fox News is largely a GOP agitprop channel. That Trumps former Chief Liar has gone to work for Fox News should surprise and astonish absolutely nobody.

Second, from having watched maybe 0.15 of an episode of Dancing With the Stars, the so-called stars on that show range from the weren't-you-once-somebodies to the who-the-hell-were-yous. The next mention in the press of most of the "stars" on that show will be when they either die or are arrested. So who the hell cares about Spicer getting that gig?

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

It Will Be a Cold Day in Hell Before I Take Advice on Being Jewish From an Aging Obese White Supremacist With Delusions of Godhood

Showing a fresh willingness to play politics along religious lines, President Donald Trump said American Jews who vote for Democrats show “either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.”
...
“Where has the Democratic Party gone? Where have they gone where they are defending these two people over the state of Israel?” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office on Tuesday. “I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.”
Claiming that American Jews are loyal to Israel is a favorite trope of white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and low-wattage bigots.

This is the same sort of bigoted bullshit that propelled Nixon to suggest removing Jewish officers from anything to do with resupplying Israel during the Yom Kippur War.

Petulant Orange Toddler Throws Hissy Fit, Stays Home

U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to cancel a visit to Denmark next month after the prime minister described his plan to buy Greenland as “absurd” took the Danish royal palace by surprise, a spokeswoman said Wednesday.
...
“Denmark is a very special country with incredible people, but based on Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen’s comments, that she would have no interest in discussing the purchase of Greenland, I will be postponing our meeting scheduled in two weeks for another time,” Trump said.
I first thought that Trump's idea about buying Greenland was just him engaging in some trolling. But it appears that the Mar-a-Lagoführer was serious.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Cops Keep Serving Those Stomping on Workers

A protest that began with five men blocking a train full of coal has grown into a small 24-hour tent city along some railroad tracks next to the highway. It has become a pilgrimage site for labor activists, a rallying point for the community — “a tailgate party on steroids,” as one local official approvingly put it.
...
The railroad blockade began in late July, about a month after Blackjewel, the two-year-old company where the miners worked, suddenly declared bankruptcy. Blackjewel owned mines in four states, and employed over a thousand miners in central Appalachia. ... Workers received no pay for their last week on the job. Then they learned that their paychecks for the previous two weeks had bounced.
...
One of the company’s assets was a trainload of coal, over a million dollars’ worth, at the Cloverlick No. 3 mine in Harlan County. The coal, dug up by the unpaid workers, had been sold, but had not yet been transported to the buyer. On the afternoon of July 29, the train rolled slowly out of the mine. It did not go unnoticed.

“They was doing it as quiet as could be,” said Dalton Lewis, 20.

A fellow miner called him with the plan: “Come on down here, we’re going to stop this train.”
The Justice Department later declared the trainload of coal to be a "hot asset", which I gather means that the sale of the coal would be treated 100% as income to the mine. So the train stays put until everyone can agree what to do with the proceeds of the sale of the coal. The workers want the money to go to the wages that the company, in essence, stole from them.

Missing from the NY Times story, quoted above, was this nugget, reported locally:
At one point, [state] police told the miners they couldn’t be on the tracks but the protest continued, according to WYMT.
Unlike in past decades, the cops didn't try to solve this Harlan County labor issue with gunfire. Which I guess is progress.

Fun Times in Mississippi

TUPELO — A Mississippi RV park owner evicted an interracial couple because of the color of their skin. ,,, More than a half-century after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 barred discrimination on the basis of race, Gene Baker acknowledged asking the interracial couple to leave his RV park near Tupelo.
Mr. Baker may thing he solved his problem by saying that he's closed his RV park, but I suspect that he's seriously kidding himself.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Saturday, August 17, 2019

If the PLA Marches Into HK

If that happens, we will have the first American president in decades who will have to be pressured to utter even tepid words of reproach.

For Trump has already signaled that he doesn't give a shit. In his soul, he's no less of a dictator than Xi.

The Blue Pass, Again

Officials at the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility have placed a correctional officer on administrative leave after a pickup truck drove into protesters who were blocking the entrance to the facility’s employee parking lot Wednesday night.

Protest organizers said a 64-year-old man suffered a broken leg, internal bleeding and possibly a back injury. Amy Anthony, spokeswoman for Never Again Action, identified the man as Jerry Belair, of Warren.
If you or I deliberately drove a truck into a picket line, we'd be wearing handcuffs within minutes.

But when the driver is a cop (ok, a prison guard), the rules are different. They get the blue pass. Not only do they not get arrested, they get extra police patrols around their homes.

Now They Have to Force People to Go to Trump's Little Nurembergs

The choice for thousands of union workers at Royal Dutch Shell’s petrochemical plant in Beaver County was clear Tuesday: Either stand in a giant hall waiting for President Donald Trump to speak or take the day off with no pay.

“Your attendance is not mandatory,” said the rules that one contractor relayed to employees, summarizing points from a memo that Shell sent to union leaders a day ahead of the visit to the $6 billion construction site. But only those who showed up at 7 a.m., scanned their ID cards, and prepared to stand for hours — through lunch but without lunch — would be paid.

“NO SCAN, NO PAY,” a supervisor for that contractor wrote.
Oh, they say that the workers were "free" not to go. But that would have been an unpaid day of work, with no per diem and less overtime. So roughly, it would have cost each worker $700 to skip on on the ranting of the Orange Überführer.

It was standard Trump, with him taking credit for projects that were begun under his predecessor.

Same old shit.

Caturday

Bella is hiding from the dreaded pill-popper.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Wise Words From the Mooch

[Trump] can say that he’s not a racist, and I agree with him, okay? And let me explain to you why he’s not a racist, ’cause this is very important. He’s actually worse than a racist. He is so narcissistic, he doesn’t see people as people. He sees them as objects in his field of vision. And so therefore, that’s why he has no empathy. That’s why he’s got his thumb up in the air when he’s taking a picture with an orphan. That’s why when someone’s leaning over the desk and asks [Nobel Prize–winning human rights activist Nadia Murad], “Well, what happened to your family members?”—they were murdered—he just looks at her and says, “Okay, when are we getting coffee here?”

You know, he doesn’t look at people—and by the way, if you and I were in his field of vision and he had a cold and the two of us had to die for him to get a Kleenex, you’re fucking dead. I mean, there’s no chance. You understand that, right?
The most observant point Scaramucci made what if the Republicans don't primary Trump and get him out on their own, they are going to ride the Trump Train into near-oblivion. Fox News has his approval numbers sinking. He currently would lose at landslide levels against four Democrats.

Simply put, Trump's four year strategy of "divide and conquer" isn't working. His past record of divisiveness is so strong that he can't pivot to the middle. Few will buy it. Not to mention that Trump doesn't have the discipline to not be the black-hearted misogynistic and racist crank that he truly is.

Many of the politicians now following Trump will survive, because they'll just find someone or something else to latch onto (looking at you, Miss Lindsey). But some organizations and nations that have clearly bound themselves to Trump may be in real trouble.

Because It's Friday


That is a 2-4-4-2 Mallet-type compound steam locomotive. Steam exhausted from the rear engines powered the front. That's why, on Mallets, the front set of cylinders are larger than the rear set.

Some say that the Big Boys are Mallets, in that they have two sets of engines. Big Boys are "simple", in that both the front and rear engines use steam directly from the boiler. My own opinion is that Mallets are compound locomotives.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

The Editorial Cartoon That Draws Itself

It would be Trump as Putin's hand-pupped and Netanyahu as Trump-s hand puppet.
With a push from President Donald Trump, Israel on Thursday barred two Muslim-American congresswomen from entering the country for a visit, an extraordinary step bringing the longtime U.S. ally into Trump’s domestic fight against political rivals at home.
Trump is using a foreign government to attack two of his domestic political opponents.

Every day, in every way, Trump sinks to a new low.

All shame on Bibi for being as venal and dishonest a troll as Trump. But hell, we already knew that he was. Both are grifters who are using their offices as a shield against being indicted.

Trump to Motorists: Die, Already

The Trump administration proposed new rules Wednesday to relax regulations for commercial truck drivers on breaks and work hours.
...
Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said the rules seek to balance safety and flexibility for truck drivers.

“This proposed rule seeks to enhance safety by giving America’s commercial drivers more flexibility while maintaining the safety limits on driving time,” Chao said in a Wednesday statement.
Mrs. Moscow Mitch is full of shit. Letting drivers run for longer hours does zip point shit for safety and it is 1,000% laughable that there is a single political appointee in the Trump Administration who gives a flying frak about safety.

There's been enough research on this, but Trump is all about the rich getting richer. As far as I know, the Orange Nazi has never driven anything larger than a golf cart in his life. He doesn't ride on the highways, that's what helicopters are for. So if more motorists die because they've been hit by a truck that was driven by an exhausted driver, don't expect Trump to care.

The "Champagne Campaign" plus 75

Operation Dragoon, Allied landings on the French Riviera, took place 75 years ago today.

Operation Dragoon had an interesting planning history, first on, then off as the size of Operation Overlord was expanded, then back on to gain control of more French ports.

The Free French Army was a significant component of the landing force. The French have been commemorating the landings since. Our Navy has often sent a ship to participate in the memorials: The ship anchors off the Riviera, a French delegation boards, then the ship gets underway to lay a wreath at sea, then returns.

The landings have been shadowed in history by D-Day, expect no commemorations or ceremonies in this country.

Cry Me a River, Donnie Boy

“It's probably costing me from $3 to $5 billion for the privilege of being [president] — and I couldn't care less—I don’t care. You know if you’re wealthy, it doesn't matter. I just want to do a great job,” Trump added.
Yeah, sure it is. {/sarc}

Trump has been proven to lie about his financial status. He's been lying about his net worth for decades.

Anybody who believes a word that Trump has to say about his finances should not be allowed to handle scissors or be out on the street without an escort.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Here We Go Again; Economics Ed.

The threat of a recession doesn’t seem so remote anymore for investors in financial markets.

The yield on the closely watched 10-year Treasury fell so low Wednesday that, for the first time since 2007, it briefly crossed a threshold that has correctly predicted many past recessions. Weak economic data from Germany and China added to recent signals of a global slowdown.
The difference between 2007 and 2019 is that in 2007, the governments of major economic powers were more than willing to work together to try to lessen the effects of the recession.

But this time around, nobody's going to work with Trump. Nobody trusts him to keep to any agreement. Trump's word is of no value whatsoever. The skeeviest used car dealer is more honest than Trump.

Trump Administration: Huddled Masses Yearning to Breathe Free Only Applies to White People

They're not even pretending not to be racist bastards anymore.
A top Trump administration official says the famous inscription on the Statue of Liberty, welcoming “huddled masses” of immigrants to American shores, was referring to “people coming from Europe” and that the nation is looking to receive migrants “who can stand on their own two feet.”
US Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Ken Cuccinelli, the disgusting piece of shit who offered that twisted rewrite of Emma Lazarus's poem, might want to reflect on the historical fact that there was a time when conservatives, such as his boss, regarded Italians as non-white human trash who were not welcome on our shores. His ancestors would most certainly not have been granted admission were the likes of Stephen Miller were running things back then.

Meanwhile, the Party of Treason is now angling to be the Party of Rape and Incest.
GOP Rep. Steve King of Iowa questioned on Wednesday whether there would be any population left on Earth if not for rape and incest, a remark that has drawn condemnation from both Democrats and Republicans.

"What if we went back through all the family trees and just pulled those people out that were products of rape and incest? Would there be any population of the world left if we did that?" he said in Urbandale, Iowa
...

Can Moscow Mitch Be Bought?

You can read this story about how a backer of Mitch McConnell persuaded McConnell to do what he could to lift some sanctions against Russia and come to your own conclusions.

Whether McConnell is serving Trump, Putin or doing things that only benefit Mitch is a question worth pondering.