Seen on the street in Kyiv.

Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

“The Mob takes the Fifth. If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?” -- The TOFF *

"Foreign Relations Boil Down to Two Things: Talking With People or Killing Them." -- Unknown

“Speed is a poor substitute for accuracy.” -- Real, no-shit, fortune from a fortune cookie

"If you believe that you are talking to G-d, you can justify anything.” — my Dad

"Colt .45s; putting bad guys in the ground since 1873." -- Unknown

"Stay Strapped or Get Clapped." -- probably not Mr. Rogers

"The Dildo of Karma rarely comes lubed." -- Unknown

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

* "TOFF" = Treasonous Orange Fat Fuck,
"FOFF" = Felonious Old Fat Fuck,
"COFF" = Convicted Old Felonious Fool,
A/K/A Commandante (or Cadet) Bone Spurs,
A/K/A El Caudillo de Mar-a-Lago, A/K/A the Asset,
A/K/A P01135809, A/K/A Dementia Donnie, A/K/A Felon^34,
A/K/A Dolt-45, A/K/A Don Snoreleone

Monday, July 31, 2017

Arizona Criminal News

Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio was convicted of a criminal charge Monday for refusing to stop traffic patrols that targeted immigrants, marking a final rebuke for a politician who once drew strong popularity from such crackdowns but was ultimately booted from office as voters became frustrated over his headline-grabbing tactics and deepening legal troubles. ... The lawman who made defiance a hallmark of his tenure was found guilty of misdemeanor contempt-of-court for ignoring the 2011 court order to stop the patrols. The 85-year-old faces up to six months in jail, though attorneys who have followed the case doubt that someone his age would be incarcerated.
Arpaio believed that he was above the law and he pretty much acted as though the law and the Constitution were helpful hints, not mandatory limits.

Ultimately, he was wrong.

The Mooch Wasn't in His Chair Long Enough to Warm Up the Seat

President* Trump has removed Anthony Scaramucci from his new job as communications director, exactly 10 days after he was named to the position.

"Anthony Scaramucci will be leaving his role as White House Communications Director. Mr. Scaramucci felt it was best to give Chief of Staff John Kelly a clean slate and the ability to build his own team. We wish him all the best," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.
Yep. No turmoil in the West Wing whatsoever, folks.

So Mooch is out of a job and all he has to show for it is being the respondent in his divorce case.

Putin's Regrettable Investment

Russia’s deputy foreign minister said Sunday that his country was poised to retaliate aggressively against any new U.S. sanctions on Moscow.
President* Donald Trump has reviewed the final version of Russia sanctions legislation and plans to sign it, the White House announced Friday night.
Trump has no choice but to sign it. Oh, he could veto it, but any such veto would be overriden in a New York minute. And if he were to veto it, many people, including Your Humble Scribe, would insinuate that Trump was vetoing it on the tacit (or overt) instructions of his master in Moscow.

But maybe he'll change his mind. Nothing is ever sure with Trump. As our allies in the Western Pacific should be aware by now, Trump's promises and vows might as well be written on flash paper.

So what Putin got for all of his spooks' efforts last year is an American president who, while personally sympathetic (and somewhat pliant) to Putin, has been hamstrung by a suspicious Congress and populace. The chances of Russia having good relations with the United States are even more remote, now, than they were before Russia's "little green men" began mucking about in Ukraine.

UPDATE: Weapons for Ukraine. That'll please Putin not a bit.

A Fucking Long Time

Ten years, as a matter of fact.

Some themes haven't changed. Stubbornly contrarian. Hating on Glocks. Stupid pilot tricks. The first post that got any wide notice (by the Field Negro). Life at sea. Making fun of stupid shit.

Some bloggers that I admired have gone west since then: Jeff Huber. Lurch. William the Coroner. Frank James. Jon Swift. Neptunus Rex.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

C-17 Globemaster III

The C-17 had a very long gestation period, almost making the C-5 program looked trouble-free. But ultimately, the C-17, with or without arm-twisting, was the first Air Force freighter since the C-130 to be adopted by other nations' militaries. The A-400M is said to compete with it, but the C-17 can lift twice as an A-400M. That's a factor when there is a need to move really heavy things, such as armored vehicles.

C-17s went out of production in 2015. There is currently no projected replacement for them.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Friday, July 28, 2017

Mooch Now Gets to Do a "Bannon"

Anthony Scaramucci, the White House’s potty-mouthed new communications director, has been dumped by his beautiful blond wife because of his “naked political ambition,” multiple sources exclusively tell Page Six.

Deidre Ball, who worked as a vice president in investor relations for SkyBridge Capital, the firm he founded in 2005 and sold to ascend to the White House, has filed for divorce from “The Mooch” after three years of marriage after getting fed up with his ruthless quest to get close to President Trump, whom she despises.
What is "doing a Bannon", you might ask? The Mooch defined it:
“I’m not Steve Bannon, I’m not trying to suck my own cock."
Now there're a couple mental images I may need to drink to erase.

Reince Priebus now has time to write his memoirs. I'll even give him a title: Six Months in Hell, Inside Trump's White House

Spicer and Preibus will probably come out all right. As the saying goes, there's no profit in being one of the last guys out of the bunker.

Pharma Bro's Trial

It is winding down, with closing arguments being made.

I gather that his lawyer's argument is that "it's not a bad thing to steal from rich people."

Seems kind of bizarre, but we'll see.

Nice State You Have There. Pity if Anything Happened to It.

That was essentially the threat that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke made to Senators Murkowski and Sullivan after Murkowski's first vote against TrumpNoCare.
President* Donald Trump isn't going to just let go of Sen. Lisa Murkowski's no vote Tuesday against debating Obamacare repeal.

Early Wednesday, Trump took to Twitter to express displeasure with Murkowski's vote. By that afternoon, each of Alaska's two Republican senators had received a phone call from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke letting them know the vote had put Alaska's future with the administration in jeopardy.
Did it work? Nope.
The Senate has dealt a devastating setback to Republican efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare, defeating a GOP "skinny repeal" bill early Friday morning.

Sens. John McCain, Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins joined with Democrats to oppose the measure, a major blow to President* Donald Trump and the Republican congressional agenda.
Murkowski is the chairman of the Senate's Energy and Natural Resources Committee which has a lot of sway over what the Interior Department does. Murkowski wasted little time in signaling that if they want to play "fuck-fuck" games with her, she's got a pretty large hammer to swing and she's not afraid to use it.
As chairman... Murkowski indefinitely postponed a nominations markup that the Interior Department badly wants.

This demonstrated the degree to which Zinke’s ham-handed phone call was political malpractice. The secretary, or whoever at the White House ordered him to make the calls, clearly doesn’t understand the awesome power that comes with being the chairman of a Senate committee. Only an amateur would threaten the person who has oversight over his agency! If she wants, Murkowski can make Zinke’s life so unbelievably miserable.
Trump, of course, also blamed the Democrats.

He completely ignored the fact that the GOP has, from Day One, run their repeal efforts in a way that they neither needed nor sought any votes from Democratic legislators. If you keep proclaiming "we can do this ourselves, we don't need no stinking help from the likes of you", then it's not the other people's fault when your efforts crash and burn.

As to McCain, there could be a few things going on. First, he clearly has no fucks left to give. Trump insulted him repeatedly and questioned McCain's bravery. It took an amazing amount of gall for a draft-dodger to question the heroism of a man who not only was a POW, but refused early release when the enemy was trying to curry some favor. Add to that the point that there is nothing that Trump can do to McCain in retailiation for McCain's vote and that might be enough.

Another point is that this bill was truly awful and there were a number of Republican senators who, if push came to shove, would have torpedoed it themselves. But because McCain provided the coupe de gras to TrumpNoCare, they didn't have to. They could vote for a bill that they knew had no chance of passing (just like they did on the bazillion or so repeal efforts they attempted when President Obama was in office) and, by doing so, not do any harm and keep their cred up with the batshit-crazies in the GOP base. So McCain was, in essence, the beard for other GOP senators.

If there is any better example of why amateurs make shitty political chief executives than Trump (other than maybe Gov. Rauner in Illinois), I don't know who it is. Going from running businesses where you're the boss and everyone has to jump to your whistle and kowtow to your every whim to being a president or governor, where the legislature can and will tell you to fuck off and where the bureaucracy can slow-roll things on you seems to be too much of a leap.

Meanwhile, of course, Scott Pruitt is putting into play his policy of "clean air and water are for pussies", Betsy DeVois is running the Education department with a new motto of "we doan need no edjucashun" and beleagured Jeff Sessions is ramping up the failed war on drugs, but those are topics that will probably get more play now that Trump has failed to do anything about the ACA.

And, of course, the Russia thing is percolating away.

Because It's Friday

Working steam in China, throwing a lot of hot cinders:

Mainline steam operations ended in China a few years ago, but industrial and small-line operations continue. It's worth remembering that while mainline steam operations ended in the U.S. in the late 1950s, it was roughly another 25 years until the last working steam locomotive was retired.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Go Ahead, Mooch. Make Their Day

President* Trump may veto the Russia sanctions bill and “be tougher” on Russia than Congress, newly appointed White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci said Thursday in an interview with CNN.
Really. Trump is going to be even tougher on Russia?

OK, class, let's see a show of hands. How many believe that Trump will be tougher on Russia?


The votes on this bill are nearly unanimous. If Trump vetoes it, look for an override as a signal to Trump of, well, FOAD.

Trump Warned that Senate Will Shit All Over Him

Trump is reportedly considering trying to replace Sessions using a recess appointment, according to The Washington Post.

Democrats have pledged to block any move by requiring the Senate to have pro-forma sessions through out the August recess.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, warned on Wednesday night that his panel would not take up an attorney general nomination this year--a move that could effectively stonewall Trump if he fires Sessions.
Now, to switch over to FLAILEX-17, which is the GOP's efforts to do something, anything, about the ACA. Trump is making it harder and harder.
President* Trump’s management style isn’t making him many friends in Congress.

Trump’s habit of bullying his allies has sown seeds of doubt about whether any political sacrifice by a GOP lawmaker will be rewarded — or even remembered — by the president.
What Trump doesn't seem to get is that Congress is, by the Constitution, an equal branch of the government. He cannot order them to do anything. They are warning Trump that the GOP caucus will shift into Seagull Mode if he keeps this up.

What Trump also doesn't get is that Sessions is one of the Senate's peeps. They know that he gave up a safe seat, where he could have stayed until he croaked, in order to serve as Trump's AG. They're not going to be very understanding if Trump fires Sessions because Sessions followed the law on conflicts.

My bet is that if Trump does fire Sessions, the needle on impeachment will move a bit.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Cooping Cops

In the St. Louis, MO area, the metro system serves two states. They have their own cops. St. Louis County didn't like that, so they've done their level best to ensure that only county cops can patrol the parts of the system in the county.

But they don't want to be held accountable. The county cops have been covering up surveillance cameras and otherwise just plain goofing off on the job.

The reaction of the County police mouthpiece is pretty much "how dare you guys watch us not working." And they are 100% against being accountable for bad performance.

Football and CTE

Basically, if you play football, you're at risk for brain damage. If you're playing college or pro ball, it's getting more towards not a risk, but a guarantee.

Probably the same for hockey.

As I wrote over a year ago, the day is coming when letting a minor play tackle football will be grounds for charges of abuse and/or neglect of a child.

Trump Eyes Another Purge, Wants a Bigger Toady at DoJ

President* Donald Trump has spoken with advisers about firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions, officials say, and launched a fresh Twitter tirade Tuesday against the man who was the first U.S. senator to endorse his candidacy.
The thing that has to be understood is that Trump views the DoJ as his private goons-- go after anyone that he wants and leaves alone anyone that he wants to be protected. The rule of law matters nothing to Trump and he has been grievously wounded because Sessions followed the law instead of protecting Trump.

I have little regard for Sessions. But firing Sessions because Sessions followed the law is nothing more than a slow-motion Saturday Night Massacre.

So what Republican politician and attorney is sufficiently venal and soulless to take the job and do Trump's bidding?

Ted Cruz.

During the campaign, Trump called Cruz "Lyin' Ted", insulted Cruz's wife and said that Cruz's father was involved in the assassination of President Kennedy. It would take a certain level of self-hatred and lack of self-regard to even be in the same room with a person who said that about oneself and one's family, let alone go to work for such a bozo.

But that's Cruz. Besides, he's up for re-election next year and maybe he plans to get out while the getting is good.

At What Point do We Acknowledge That Child Abuse is a RCC Sacrament?

Five-hundred-and-forty-seven pupils at one of Germany’s most famous Roman Catholic choir schools were physically or sexually abused between 1945 and 2015, an independent report has found, with some boys likening the institution to “prison, hell or a concentration camp”.

The 440-page report chronicles teachers at the school in Regensburg doling out physical violence including slapping boys in the face so hard the marks could be seen the next day, whipping them with wooden sticks and violin bows and subjecting them to severe beatings.
One might think that they would eventually get around to realizing that they have a systemic problem with people in authority within their organization abusing children.

Back when the first big stories of child abuse in the RCC began to come out, there were people who dismissed it as an American problem. But it's everywhere and even now, the RCC keeps shifting their pervo priests around.

Of course, it's wider than that. It's in all religious entities. But the RCC, because of its hierarchal structure, has a serious problem with child abusers within its ranks. They don't seem to be making great strides at fixing their problems.


Monday, July 24, 2017

ObamaCare: Now Since 2000

So sez Trump, in what appear to be prepared remarks:

In 2000, Barack Obama was a second-term state senator and part-time law professor. That he was able to persuade the Congress to enact the ACA in 2000 and to get President Clinton to sign it into law was a stunning achievement.

And then, he was able to have it operating in the background with nobody noticing it for an entire decade....

Nazi-Grade Bullshit is Going On in Tennessee

Inmates in White County, Tennessee have been given credit for their jail time if they voluntarily agree to have a vasectomy or birth control implant, a popular new program that is being called “unconstitutional” by the ACLU.

On May 15, 2017 General Sessions Judge Sam Benningfield signed a standing order that allows inmates to receive 30 days credit toward jail time if they undergo a birth control procedure.

Women who volunteer to participate in the program are given a free Nexplanon implant in their arm, the implant helps prevent pregnancies for up to four years. Men who volunteer to participate are given a vasectomy, free of charge, by the Tennessee Department of Health.
District Attorney Bryant Dunaway, who oversees prosecution of cases in White County is worried the program may be unethical and possibly illegal.

“It’s concerning to me, my office doesn’t support this order,” Dunaway said.

“It’s comprehensible that an 18-year-old gets this done, it can’t get reversed and then that impacts the rest of their life,” he added.
"Concerning," "unethical," and "unconstitutional" are not the words that come to my mind. The word that comes to my mind is "evil". This is no different from having a program where thieves would have their sentences reduced if they agreed to having their dominant hand amputated.

This judicial order is nothing other than eugenics, the now-discredited idea that humanity can be improved by sterilizing marginal people. Eugenics was a central tenet of what passed for Nazi ideology. Eugenics was the intellectual basis for their reign of mass murder and genocide.

There are folks who keep coming back to the idea that they can make humanity "better" by selective breeding or some other similar bullshit. I do not hold with that.

And, unless I've misjudged the readership of this blog, neither do you.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Dunkirk, the Movie

I don't know how well it'll do at the box office, especially when the kids are going to see Valerian, but Dunkirk has to be near the top of great war movies. It doesn't focus on the leaders; the highest-ranking officers in the movie are a naval commander and an army colonel.

As far as I can tell, the film took very few liberties with the history of Dunkirk. The story gets told, but as an undercurrent to the chaos and terror of the battle.

I saw it in 2D. But they shot it in IMAX (film, not digital) and if you can see it in that format, do it.

UPDATE: Concur Ref. A. and B. And it won the weekend.

Leading Contestant in "The Most Despicable Person on Earth; Political Division"

A day after news came out about Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) brain cancer diagnosis, his onetime political opponent urged the ailing senator to think about his political future sooner rather than later — and expressed interest in the possibility of her taking over his Senate seat.
Dr. Shitbird said that she is only making this offer out of the goodness of her heart.

Apparently Shitbird was once an ER doc, which may make her qualified to remove the shiv that she tried to firmly place in McCain's back.

Just another one of those "compassionate conservatives."

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise


The C-5 program had a bit of a gestation problem. Wing cracks developed early on. The entire fleet had to be reworked. But ultimately, the airplane was successful and, finally, the Air Force had the heavy-lifter that it needed to retire its C-124s and C-133s.

The wings on the C-%as were replaced in the 1980s. The current reworked airplane is known as the C-5M.

C-5s are planned to be in use for another 25 years or so. There is currently no planned replacement.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

World's Largest Rock Band

About 65,000 people, who were waiting for a concert, began singing along to the recorded music that was playing before the concert began.

I thought it was pretty neat. But it's a thing with Green Day.

The Criminal Enterprises of Donald J. Trump. Maybe.

President Donald Trump acknowledged in an interview with The New York Times published Wednesday that there was a certain red line he thought special counsel Robert Mueller shouldn't cross while carrying out the Russia investigation: digging into his finances.
I can't really imagine Presidents Obama, Bush 43, Bush 41, Reagan, Carter or Ford telling an investigator "you can't look at my finances."

It's be like John Wayne Gacy telling the cops "you can search my house, but stay out of the crawl space."

The sharp-eyed reader will note that I omitted President Clinton. There were three different investigations into the alleged Whitewater scandal and all they produced was a steaming and expensive heap of nothingburgers.

But Teflon Don? He doesn't want anyone, especially people with badges and subpoena powers, looking into his finances.
He and his lawyers are burning the midnight oil, trying to figure out ways to undercut the investigation.

Which, I respectfully suggest, is a strong indicator that there is something to find. Soemthing that could land a lot of people in prison, especially people with the last name of Trump. Or Kushner.

Kushner's an odd duck in this. One might rationally assume that a man who saw his father imprisoned for financial misdealings would be somewhat careful to toe the line.

Anyway, don't expect much moral courage out of the rest of the GOP. They're nothing more than spineless toadies.

Caturday, Memorial Edition

Ozzarella, 1999-2017:

Ozzarella was the favorite cat of a friend's daughter. Ozzie was her cat from kittenhood through old age.

She was a big cat, but, like Jake, began losing a lot of weight and wasting away. The vet thought it was cancer, probably lymphoma. And, like Jake, she loved to be around people.

The other cats in the household knew that Ozzie was sick. In the last week, a couple of the others had begun lying next to Ozzie, as though they could transfer some energy.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Scaramucc(i), Scaramucc(i), Will You Do the Fandango?

White House press secretary Sean Spicer resigned on Friday following his opposition to President* Donald Trump’s expected appointment of Anthony Scaramucci, a Wall Street financier, to be the new White House communications director, according to multiple White House officials.
Right. A guy who has no experience in neither press relations nor government and he's going to do that job.

So why did Trump pick him? Apparently, it's going to basically be something between a no-show job and a payoff:
A source close to the White House press operation said there are serious doubts among some aides that Scaramucci will be able to handle the full scope of the job. “The challenge really here is that Scaramucci was being given a ceremonial title as communications director with absolutely no understanding of what that position means and with no understanding of how government works. So it’s really more of a joke that he’s being offered this position."

The source added, “Trump simply wants a high level White House surrogate on television and wanted Mooch to have something nice to do.”
So Mooch is mooching, having succeeded, finally, at getting on board the Trump White House. Mooch has a track record of supporting whichever horse is out in front. He's supported Obama, Scott Walker, ¡JEB! and now Trump. He does have some TV experience, considering that he bought the rights to a TV show so that he could be on it.

Yeah, this is going to work out.

Because It's Friday

SP 4449:

Trump Tacitly Admits That He is Guilty as Fuck

Trump has asked his advisers about his power to pardon aides, family members and even himself in connection with the probe, according to one of those people. A second person said Trump’s lawyers have been discussing the president’s pardoning powers among themselves.
I am quite sure that the line of "Me and my family did nothing wrong, so that's why I'm pardoning all of them" will no doubt meet with approval with the 35% who would be with Trump if he staked down a bunch of live puppies and drove over them with a tank. He is a wannabee autocrat who believes that the Department of Justice and the FBI exist only to serve his whims.

Can anyone come up with a time when a president pardoned people who had not been shown to have done something wrong? With the exception of Nixon, maybe, everyone else who has received a pardon had been convicted of something.

If Trump starts issuing preemptive pardons, that would be an overt admission of guilt. No doubt in my mind that Republicans would do nothing. Because they love their party more than their country.

UPDATE: As explained in the comments, pardons won't get Trump out of all trouble. It could even make things worse, as in any civil cases, pardons would remove the 5th Amendment shield of not having to disclose information that could result in criminal charges.

BOLO for Robber with Steaks

St. Louis police released photos of a woman they need help in nabbing who robbed the Reliance Bank at 4301 Manchester Road on July 5.
Police described the robber as a white, about 40 years of age, 5-feet-6 inches tall, slim build, dark short hair with orange and pink steaks, wearing all black clothing and a hat with stripes on the bill.
They badly need to hire copy editors.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Shorter Cop's Lawyer: "Cops Can Kill Everyone in Sight If They Hear a Loud Noise."

That's pretty much what he said.

So if a cop hears a loud noise, he gets to act like he's firing off the "death blossom" in The Last Starfighter?

Best not to approach a police officer out in public, then. You can never be sure that he isn't going be startled like a bunny rabbit and begin shooting at everyone he sees.

Stay Classy, Republicans; John McCain Ed.

A member of the Republican National Committee in Nevada apologized after retweeting an article that begged for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to die.

Diana Orrock, a national committeewoman for the Nevada GOP, shared a story headlined “Please Just F‑‑‑ing Die Already.” In retweeting the piece, which was published on Medium, Orrock wrote “Amen.”
The Washington Post article has a link to the hate-filled piece of sputum that somebody who masquerades as a journalist vomited forth. If you want to read it.


Sen. John McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, Vietnam prisoner of war and political maverick in Congress for more than three decades, has been diagnosed with an aggressive type of brain tumor.

The 80-year-old Arizona lawmaker has glioblastoma, according to doctors at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, where McCain had a blood clot removed from above his left eye last Friday. He and his family are considering further treatment, including chemotherapy and radiation.
My heart goes out to Sen. McCain and his family. In the ranking of cancer, glioblastoma is a four-starred motherfucker.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Airline Executives Will Be Offering Their Family Members to Pratt & Whitney

Pratt & Whitney has apparently perfected a geared turbofan engine for airliners. The gearing is 3:1 between the stuff in the back (compressor and hot section) and the big fan in front.

The upshot is P&W is promising a 16% reduction in fuel burn, 50% reduction in carbon emissions and a whopping 75% reduction in noise. they seem to think that they can improve on that and get fuel usage down by 20% over current engines.

For the airline industry, this is huge. It's beyond huge.

It may be hype, too, but even a 10% reduction in fuel burn will be the sort of thing that airline executives would sell their mothers for.

I'd expect that if this is as good as they are promising, P&W will end up licensing their technology to the other engine companies. albeit maybe under considerable pressure to do so.

Trump Got More Face-Time With His Master

After his much-publicized two-and-a-quarter-hour meeting early this month with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin at the Group of 20 summit in Germany, President Trump chatted informally with the Russian leader for up to an additional hour later the same day.

The second meeting, undisclosed at the time, took place at a dinner for G-20 leaders, a senior administration official said. At some point during the meal, Trump left his own seat to occupy a chair next to Putin. Trump approached alone, and Putin was attended only by his official interpreter.
Trump and his choir of apologists are saying "nothing happened" and "oh, it was just normal after-dinner conversation with the other G-20 leaders."

Which is bullshit. Anyone who has been to a party knows the difference between circulation around and chatting up other people versus parking your ass in a chair and having a solo conversation with another person for a solid hour. Joe Scarborough is right: Assume the worst.

The latter is either you're trying to do a business deal or get in their pants. And with no other American as a party to the conversation, not even an interpreter, Trump and Putin are free to put out whatever lies they choose. For you know that if Putin's translator leaks anything, that person will soon catch a bullet from a Makarov.

Total Eclipse Next Month

This tool allows you to determine the particulars for anywhere.

If you need to travel to get to totality and if you need to stay overnight, good luck with that. Even campgrounds in more populated areas are booked up.

Bag of Hammers; Dumber Than a

Dana Rohrbacher

This clown is on the House Science, Space and Technology subcommittee. Evidently, he knows nothing about any of those areas.

Maybe he was going to follow up on this bullshit.

This post, from four years ago, still stands. If anything, it's getting worse.

The War on Drugs is Simply Evil


Republicans: Just Laughing at Their Lies on Their Failed Health Care Bill(s)

President* Trump on Tuesday put blame on Democrats and "a few Republicans" for the collapse of the Senate GOP's healthcare bill.

"We were let down by all of the Democrats and a few Republicans," Trump tweeted.
Here's the tweet:

It is a really moronic lie that the Democrats are responsible. The Republicans tried to do this entire mishegoss under budget reconciliation rules, so that they would only need fifty votes in the Senate and the Democrats couldn't filibuster it (a point Trump doesn't understand). The plain truth of the matter is that the GOP's plan was always to enact TrumpNoCare without any support from the Democrats.

Remember that it took the Obama Administration ten months to get the ACA through Congress. There were weeks of hearings on the bill. President Obama appeared at forums to discuss, in detail, the proposals of the ACA.

Trump, on the other hand, did nothing other than make a few vague remarks here and there, along with his nearly-brainless tweets. At one point, he even expressed surprise that enacting health care legislation was difficult
"Now, I have to tell you, it's an unbelievably complex subject," he added. "Nobody knew health care could be so complicated."
Which, of course, means that he didn't know it would be difficult. Anyone else who has paid even a modicum of attention to the issue of health care knew that it was a very complex issue. The original legislation itself was about 2,700 pages. Obviously, he had no inkling of that fact.

The mind boggles.

Any person with even a little bit of political experience could have seen this legislative train wreck coming before they even lit fires under the boiler.

(And this, too.)

Donnie Jr.'s Mystery Guests

It seems that every few days, we're finding out that there were more and more people at Don Jr.'s collusion meeting last year. Now we're up to eight people, a guy who was originally described as a translator, but he turns out to be a senior employee of the Russian oligarch who set up the meeting. The 8th dude allegedly was involved in laundering money for the Russian oligarchs.

And now it seems that at the meeting, Minor Donnie was given a folder of dirt on Hillary Clinton. Which violates a number of laws, including the Espionage Act.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Party of Treason and How It Came to Be That Way

One might wonder why the GOP seems to be finding itself in bed with Vladmir Putin, a long-time Russian/Soviet spy who has dedicated his life to the destruction of American influence in the world.

This article, by a conservative writer, seeks to explain why.

What's the Difference Between Donald Trump and Iran?

Iran keeps its word.
The Trump administration certified to Congress late Monday that Iran has continued to meet the required conditions of its nuclear deal with the United States and other world powers.

Badged-Up Robbers Are Getting a Boost

Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III is ramping up the practice of police stealing people's shit.

Let's be clear about this: Asset forfeiture, when there has been no criminal conviction, is nothing other than legalized theft. The cops get to grab your shit and, if you want it back, you have to sue them. The only criteria for the cops stealing your shit is that they have to not like you for some obscure reason.

Monday, July 17, 2017

A Paltry Joke or Three

A few days after her beloved husband disappeared fishing, a woman in Lubec, Maine answered her door to find two grim-faced Fish and Game officers.

"We're sorry, Ma'am, but we have some information about your husband."

"Did you find him?"

One officer said: "We have some bad news, some good news, and some really great news!"

Fearing the worst, she said: "Give me the bad news first."

The officer said, "I'm sorry to tell you, but this morning we found your husband's body just offshore."

"What could possibly be the good news?"

The officer continued: "When we pulled him up, he had 15 of the best looking lobsters that you have ever seen clinging to him. Haven't seen lobsters like that since the 60's, and we feel you are entitled to a share of the catch."

Stunned, but thinking of fresh boiled lobsters, she asked: "If that's the good news, then what's the great news?"

The officer replied: "We're gonna pull him up again tomorrow."
A Russian spy, a con artist and a billionaire walked into a bar. The bartender looked up and said: "Good evening, Mr. President."
How may pallbearers are there at a Mob funeral?

One, to close the trunk lid.

Historical Reading Material

The book was published in 1990. So it should be rather interesting.

New Trump Attack: "It's the Secret Service's Fault!"

That's what President* Trump's personal mouthpiece said on the Sunday morning talk shows: That it was the fault of the Secret Service for letting Donnie, Jr. meet with people purporting to be peddling Russian intelligence on Clinton.

The Secret Service responded by pointing out that Donnie the Lesser wasn't one of their protectees at the time. As they observed, ensuring that people not under their protection don't do stupid things isn't their job.

Meanwhile, Trump is using campaign funds to pay for his son's lawyer. Which may be legal, but it's a little sketchy. When you donate to a campaign, I don't believe that you've contemplated that you've donated to a legal defense fund to keep the candidate's kid out of stir.

Yet Another Police Shooting

A 40-year-old woman who family members said called 911 to report a possible assault in the alley behind her home Saturday night was fatally shot by a Minneapolis police officer.

The shooting happened at the end of the alley on W. 51st Street between Washburn and Xerxes avenues S. in the city’s Fulton neighborhood.

The woman, Justine Damond, from Sydney, Australia, and her fiancé lived in the 5000 block of Washburn.

Three sources with knowledge of the incident said Sunday that two officers in one squad car, responding to the 911 call, pulled into the alley. Damond, in her pajamas, went to the driver’s side door and was talking to the driver. The officer in the passenger seat pulled his gun and shot Damond through the driver’s side door, sources said. No weapon was found at the scene.
Shooting a woman who was unarmed, in her PJs, and who was the complaintant in the 911 call?And shooting her not just once, but several times?

I've kind of wondered what would happen when the cops got to shooting white folk, especially women, under sketchy circumstances.

Guess we're going to find out.

The New Dr. Who

The BBC has revealed the new thirteenth - and as somewhat expected - the first female Doctor Who, actor Jodi Whittaker (Attack the Block).

“I’m beyond excited to begin this epic journey, with Chris and with every Whovian on this planet,” Whittaker said in the anticipated Sunday announcement. “It’s more than an honour to play the Doctor. It means remembering everyone I used to be, while stepping forward to embrace everything the Doctor stands for: hope. I can’t wait.”
I'm sure, without doing any looking, that conservative Dr. Who fans are, right now, losing their shit over the idea that the newest Dr. Who is a woman.

To which I say: Get a grip. It's a goddamned television show. If you don't like it, watch something else. There are, after all, only about a pasta-bazillion channels out there these days.

Sunday, July 16, 2017


I've been trying to stay away from the news this weekend, with mostly success. I watched Sunday Morning and skipped over the "and now these headlines" part.

The Sunday paper was mostly local and state-wide stuff, so I guess that Team Treason Trump has taken a short hiatus from stupid shit.

Saturday is now about the only time to go shooting. It's hot as fuck here, not like it is in Phoeniz aka "Hell's Anteroom", but it's still hot. The local indoor range is almost insufferable in the afternoon, so if I want to shoot, Saturday morning is about it.

But here's the thing:

Say that you're a full-grown adult and your daddy is running for President. You're helping him on the campaign.

Now you receive an email message from some gonif who says that he can hook you up with a source in the Russian government who claims to have damaging information on you daddy's opponent. You:
  1. Immediately look up the phone number for the FBI and call them;
  2. Immediately call the campaign lawyer and ask for advice;
  3. Delete the email as obvious spam;
  4. Respond, tell the guy that you're happy to meet with him, and invite your daddy's campaign manager and your brother-in-law to the meeting with the purported Russian spy.
In what rational world do you choose #4? If somebody had written a novel about a future campaign, that the eventual First Son would choose #4 would get the author laughed at.

The leaks about this stuff are happening, in part, because people in the Trump White House aren't participating in covering it up. They're more interested in not going to prison. Only an utter fool would place himself (or herself) in legal jeopardy from Donald Trump.

Because, as history shows, when it comes to loyalty, Trump lives on a one-way street.

LawDog's Book

Is out in Kindle format.

It's a collection of some of the stories that he has posted over the years.

It's sort of like John Deakin's book Full Throttle, which was a collection of stories that he wrote for Avsig back when it was a Compuserve forum. That book's long out of print, sad to say, which is why it's pricey.

Go show Lawdog some love and get the book. (There will be a paper version next month.)

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

Continuing the theme of late of heavy long-range USAF cargo aircraft, here is the C-141 Starlifter:

The Air Force might have wanted to replace its Globemasters and Cargomasters with the Starlifter, but it really couldn't. The piston-engined Globemaster could lift 50% more cargo by weight than could the Starlifter; the Cargomaster lifted double the weight of a Starlifter.

Of course, the Starlifter was faster. Later in their service life, the Starlifters were given the ability to be refueled in flight.

The Starlifter was also designed to meet civilian certification rules, though none were ever sold.

Starlifters served from 1965 to 2006, being replaced by the C-17.

Back in the early `90s, I made a more than one trip down the Atlantic coast to the Sun `N Fun airshow. I was flying down the New Jersey coast at about 8,500' (having overtopped the NYC TCA) when I saw a string of C-141s pass beneath me, heading into McGuire AFB. They were too far away to get a decent photo, but it was still quite the sight.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

On Cats


A shelter cat is waiting for a home.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Krauthammer's Done With Trump

The Russia scandal has entered a new phase, and there’s no going back.

For six months, the White House claimed that this scandal was nothing more than innuendo about Trump campaign collusion with Russia in meddling in the 2016 election. Innuendo for which no concrete evidence had been produced.
It turned out to be incompetent collusion, amateur collusion, comically failed collusion. That does not erase the fact that three top Trump campaign officials were ready to play.

It may turn out that they did later collaborate more fruitfully. We don’t know. But even if nothing else is found, the evidence is damning.
And probably more damning for Krauthammer is that the Right has been defending Trump based on what now are lies that Trump and his people have been peddling for months: No contact. No collusion. Nothing to see here. All were lies.

The Trump lines is about as good as someone trying to complain that the bag of weed that they bought turned out to be oregano.

Helpful Advice to Our President; How Not to Sound Like a Complete Moron

Trump said this at a presser with President Macron:
"When the French people rose up and stormed the Bastille, it changed the course of human history. Our two nations are forever joined together by the spirit of revolution and the fight for freedom. France is America’s first and oldest ally. A lot of people don’t know that."
See, if he had left off the last sentence, it would have been nice. It would have been just the sort of diplomatic crap that one says at such an event. But to then add "a lot of people don't know that"? It makes Trump sound like an imbecile.[1] People who are critical of Trump[2] are going to conclude that he is projecting his own ignorance onto everyone else.

Also, while we're on "things Trump shouldn't say", does he not realize that complementing the First Lady of France on her body makes him sound like the sort of sexist tool that he has often been accused of being? From the accounts, Mrs. Macron was suitably creeped out.

On AF1, Trump joked about "getting into a fistfight" with Putin. Man, I'd go to pay-per-view to see that one, but it'd be over in ten seconds. Trump's a fat old guy who hates exercise. Putin's in decent shape and he's a judo expert.

Also, in the same discussion on the flight, Trump said: “When they throw large sacks of drugs over, and if you have people on the other side of the wall, you don’t see them — they hit you on the head with 60 pounds of stuff? It’s over,” he said. “As crazy as that sounds, you need transparency through that wall.”

He's right about that: It is completely crazy. It was also interesting that Trump's remarks on the flight were supposed to be off the record, but then he started asking why he wasn't seeing them in print (or on line). And sometime during the discussion, he appeared to blame Hillary Clinton for a trade agreement negotiated by George W. Bush.

It's just fucking bizarre.

Meanwhile, back at Treason Trump Tower, it now seems that there was a former Russian spy who was in on the Don, Jr. meeting, the one where he hoped to get damaging information on Hillary from the Russian government. If there is any such thing as a former Russian spy. One might suspect that being a Russian spy is like being a member of the Irish Republican Army.[3]

Or the CIA.
[1] Did he think that "Lafayette, we are here" was about picking up an order of cassoulet?
[2] Waving hands, here.
[3] "Once in, never out."

Because It's Friday

N&W 611

Solo, no "helper" diesel!

Bastille Day

Watering one's fields with the blood of one's enemies-- now that's an anthem!


I was browsing around the local library the other day. They had a copy of Terms of Enlistment in the new book section. Which I thought was very cool.

But I digress

I checked out a copy of Still Life. It's a murder mystery by Louise Penny, set in Quebec province. The fictional town is in the Anglophone area of Quebec, very close to the American border. So the residents are all primarily English speakers and the detectives, who have to come down from Montreal, are Francophones.

One of the cops' favorite curse words is "tabernacle". Which seems odd. But one of the miracles of this modern age is the ability to research almost anything at any time from anywhere. I remember as a kid, having to go to the library and then go through periodical indexes, encyclopedias and then the books on the shelves in order to learn things. It could take hours to find something and then maybe there was some reference that the library didn't have and none of the other works referred to. All that is in the past.


So yes, I looked it up. Quebec French has a whole series of religious-themed curse words that make our use of "Jesus Christ" look amateur. The Catholic Church controlled much of civil life up until the 1960s, when people began to be aware of the fact that the Francophone kids were, in the main, poorly educated compared to the Anglophone kids and that if the Quebecers wanted to control their own destiny, they needed to break the iron hand of the Church. Which they did.

Going back to the early 19th Century, religious-themed profanity was sort of a bit of an act of rebellion. They became very popular. They're even more popular. now, long after the provice has become secularized.

So yes, "tabernacle" is a heavy curse word in Quebec.

"The Mormon Fucking Choir."

This world can be wonderfully strange.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Time Magazine Cover That Won't Be Seen at Trump's Golf Clubs

That's the cover for the July 24th issue.

I suspect a hell of a lot of people have been making the same snarky comment. Deal with it.

When Did Whole Foods Hire Jeffrey Dahmer?

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

In Other Stupid Shit From the Trump White House

President* Trump’s advisers recruited two businessmen who profited from military contracting to devise alternatives to the Pentagon’s plan to send thousands of additional troops to Afghanistan, reflecting the Trump administration’s struggle to define its strategy for dealing with a war now 16 years old.

Erik D. Prince, a founder of the private security firm Blackwater Worldwide, and Stephen A. Feinberg, a billionaire financier who owns the giant military contractor DynCorp International, have developed proposals to rely on contractors instead of American troops in Afghanistan at the behest of Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Trump’s chief strategist, and Jared Kushner, his senior adviser and son-in-law, according to people briefed on the conversations.
Let's not forget for a moment that it was the brutal, arrogant and trigger-happy chuckleheads working for Prince that caused Iraq to blow up and damn near fall apart. Prince is about as close to being an unindicted war criminal as one can be. Once he fell out of favor with the Pentagon and the State Department, he left the country and was seen sucking up to the Chinese government.

No doubt that it was Bannon's vast military experience as a division officer on a tin can in the early `80s that has enabled him to come up with ideas such as turning the Afghan War over to those two chuckleheads.

"Otherwise Successful Trip?"

Trump, the Republican source said, is annoyed that the narrative surrounding the meeting has become a distraction from what he and his advisers saw as a successful overseas trip last week to Poland and Germany.
What "success" was that?

Trump accomplished nothing with regard to North Korea, trade, or persuading anyone else to adopt his position on the Paris Accord.

At other summits, when there is some spare time, any other American president was usually seen talking to one or more leaders from other countries, who are eager to be seen chatting with him. But at Hamburg, it was by no means unusual to see that Trump was wandering around, alone.

In Poland, he gave a speech that was probably written by Shadow President Bannon. Trump's speeches are meaningless. He has no discipline for following up and, at the current time, there is no benefit to the politicians in any other Western democracy to be seen as standing by Trump.

But anyway, I hope he enjoys his trip to Paris for Bastille Day. Maybe he'll be able to buy a nice place for his exile/retirement when he goes over for Unity Day.

A Trumper Throws in the Towel

Ross Douthat:
Here is a good rule of thumb for dealing with Donald Trump: Everyone who gives him the benefit of the doubt eventually regrets it.

This was true of clients and contractors and creditors throughout his business career. It was true of the sycophants and opportunists before whom he dangled cabinet appointments during the campaign and then, oh, never mind. It has been true of his cabinet members and spokesmen, whose attempts to defend and explain their boss’s conduct are gleefully undercut by the boss himself. And it should be true — for the sake of their souls, I sincerely hope it’s true — of the Republican leaders whose reputations for probity and principle he has stomped all over since winning their party’s nomination.

And now it’s true of me.
Krauthammer is almost there, as well.

Shorter Trump: "Damn the Media for Talking About My Son's Treason!"

The public has not laid eyes on the president since his return from Europe Saturday. But in private, Trump has raged against the latest Russia development, with most of his ire directed at the media, not his son, according to people who have spoken to him in recent days.
When some garden-variety crook gets arrested for mugging an old lady or robbing a bodega, you can almost always see something along the lines of the kid's mom "why are you hassling my son? he's a good boy!" And then you'll see conservative writing posts that mock the mom for speaking out for her criminal kid.

Well, look what we have here: Rich white kid does something blatantly criminal and there's the dad, blaming the reporters for covering the kid's criminality and fuming about the negative covfefe coverage. The WH staff is trying to be quiet, for fear of being caught up in the whole mess (ie, "indicted").

Where are the Republicans on this, other than closing their eyes, putting their fingers in their ears and humming loudly? As Stephen Colbert put it, what Reince Priebus called a "nothing-burger" a few days ago is now"an all-you-can-prosecute buffet". The then-head of the Trump campaign, Trump's son and his son-in-law took a meeting premised on the idea that they would receive damaging intel on Hillary Clinton from the Russian government. That is no longer an allegation, Gentle Readers, that is a proven fact, admitted by Donald Trump, Jr.

Where are the Republicans? Switch the names "Donald Trump, Jr." and "Chelsea Clinton" and ask if they'd be so quiescent.

President* Donald Trump's pick to lead the FBI faces a confirmation hearing Wednesday that will undoubtedly focus on the political tumult surrounding his nomination, with both Democrats and Republicans seeking assurances of his independence from the White House.
Right. Guy nominated by an administration that is being investigated for collusion with a foreign power and who was Chris Christie's go-to guy when he got into trouble, yeah, there needs to be some hard questioning and some deep digging.

At this point, anyone nominated by Презитдерт Трамп should be regarded with a gimlet eye and scrutinized harshly. Trump wants people who are loyal to him. We need an FBI Director who is loyal to the law, the Constitution and the nation, not to the short-fingered vulgarian who appointed him.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Shooting Yourself in the Foot While It Is in Your Mouth; Don Trump, Jr. Ed.

The June 3, 2016, email sent to Donald Trump Jr. could hardly have been more explicit: One of his father’s former Russian business partners had been contacted by a senior Russian government official and was offering to provide the Trump campaign with dirt on Hillary Clinton.

The documents “would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father,” read the email, written by a trusted intermediary, who added, “This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”

If the future president’s eldest son was surprised or disturbed by the provenance of the promised material — or the notion that it was part of a continuing effort by the Russian government to aid his father’s campaign — he gave no indication.

He replied within minutes: “If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.”
Donny Junior says that he has released his emails "because transparency," but I have to wonder if he bothered to run them by his lawyer, first. Because it seems pretty evident that Donny was conspiring to obtain intelligence information from a foreign power for the use in an American electoral campaign.

Which could earn him a stint in stir.

Contrast, if you will, what happened when someone gave Dubya's debate prep materials to the Gore campaign:
The materials never made their way into Mr. Gore's hands. Tom Downey, a Gore adviser and former congressman, received them by mail at his Washington offices on Sept. 13. He turned them over to the F.B.I.
The woman who took them went to prison.

Collusion and Corruption

Before arranging a meeting with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer he believed would offer him compromising information about Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump Jr. was informed in an email that the material was part of a Russian government effort to aid his father’s candidacy, according to three people with knowledge of the email.
Wasn't Don, Jr. supposed to be the smart kid? So he, his brother-in-law (Mr. Ivanka)and Paul Manafort, the campaign manager, met with a Russian lawyer on the promise that they would receive information from Russian spies.

Trump, Jr. also has the progression of events wrong:
Trump Jr. hired a lawyer on Monday to represent him in the Russia-related investigations as prominent Republicans voiced concern about the meeting between the president's son and a Russian.
Usually, when somebody does a crime, they hire a lawyer before they confess to doing something. What Trump, Jr. did was a crime.

Trump, Jr's story has ranged from "they told me that I'd get damaging information, but I didn't" (substitute "drugs" in there and see how stupid it sounds) to "three top people in the campaign took a meeting with someone they didn't know and they didn't know what would be discussed." Good to know that basically anyone could have made a cold call on the Trump campaign and gotten to see the campaign manager, Trump's smarter son and the even smarter son-in-law.

The White House is saying Trump himself knew nothing. Right. His son, his son-in-law and his campaign manager took a meeting in which they hoped to receive damaging intel on Hillary Clinton from a representative of Russian spies and Trump didn't know anything about it?

I suppose I could snark about how likely it is that anyone other than a koolaid-quaffing Trumpanzee would buy that story. But it doesn't matter. The only one who has to be persuaded at this point is Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and good luck with selling that story.

UPDATE: As to what Trump knew and when did he know it, there may be a suggestion of an answer to that.

President Trump entered office pledging to cut red tape, and within weeks, he ordered his administration to assemble teams to aggressively scale back government regulations.

But the effort — a signature theme in Mr. Trump’s populist campaign for the White House — is being conducted in large part out of public view and often by political appointees with deep industry ties and potential conflicts.

Most government agencies have declined to disclose information about their deregulation teams. But The New York Times and ProPublica identified 71 appointees, including 28 with potential conflicts, through interviews, public records and documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

Some appointees are reviewing rules their previous employers sought to weaken or kill, and at least two may be positioned to profit if certain regulations are undone.

The appointees include lawyers who have represented businesses in cases against government regulators, staff members of political dark money groups, employees of industry-funded organizations opposed to environmental rules and at least three people who were registered to lobby the agencies they now work for.
The Bureau of Prisons is going to need to build a new wing at one of the Club Feds in order to hold all of these guys.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Hippocrates; Gun Control Ed.

After the nation’s worst mass shootings, in Newtown, Conn.; Aurora, Colo.; Orlando, Fla.; and Columbine High School in Colorado, gun control advocates rose to demand more rigorous laws: stricter background checks, limits on magazine capacities, bans on assault weapons and tougher controls on gun shows and online firearms markets — almost always to no avail.

But in the weeks after the June 14 shooting of Republicans at a congressional baseball practice, the response has had a twist: Conservative lawmakers, some of whom were nearly the victims of gun violence, have pressed to loosen gun controls.
[Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democrat and the District’s nonvoting House member] said she objected not only to the attempt to bypass the city’s strict gun laws, but also to the timing of the push.

“It says everything about my colleagues that they would use the occasion of a tragedy on one of our members to come forward the day after with one of these bills,” Ms. Holmes Norton said.
But it's OK to "use the occasion of a tragedy" to push forward her own agenda, I gather, so long as it's about gun control. I'll bet that you can search long and hard for a statement from her after other shootings, in which she said that Congress shouldn't act in haste, and I bet that you'll find nothing. Probably quite the opposite.

Ms. Holmes-Norton can suck it.

Fear Works; United Airlines Ed.

Remember the woman who was made to give up the kid's seat that she had paid for so that a standby passenger could sit there? And she was made to hold her 25lb son on her lap for a 3.5 hour flight?

You might wonder why she didn't put up a fuss.

It was because she feared being beaten and dragged from the flight.

Can you say that her fear was unjustified? I sure can't.

Fly the Fiendish Skies!

Pushing the Fast Forward Button

It kind of sort of should boggle the mind that Trump is so determined to make nice with the Russians, who have been an adversarial nation for the last century. (World War II was a marriage of convenience.) He's doing his level best to piss off the Germans, which makes not much sense, as it is a German bank which is the only western bank that will lend money to Trump's empire.

But it does make sense because Putin fluffs Trump's ego at every opportunity, and Trump knows that the Russians have him by the balls.

Meanwhile, it came to light over the weekend that Trump, Jr. and Jared met last year with a Russian lawyer who has ties to both Putin and the Russian mob (OK, not much difference, there). Trump, Jr. and Jared had seem to have forgotten about it because of Temporary Amnesia For All Things Russians, or some such bullshit.

Both Trump, Jr. and Jared said "we did not have sex with that woman". Ooops, sorry, wrong set of lies. They had their own, such as "we didn't know who she was", "we didn't set up the meeting", "we didn't discuss rigging the election" or "we know nothing, copper."

I'm sure that the Trumpanzees will find some sort of reason why Trump, Jr and Jared somehow forgot that they took the meeting. And you can be pretty sure that it'll be bullshit straight from the Bannon Files. You can be sure that the talking points are already in circulation.

But it is clear, now, that the Trump Campaign sought to collude with the Russians. After much denials from Trump and his acolytes, we now know that much to be true and verified from the mouths of Trump, Jr (the smart son) and Jared Kushner. So at this moment, the needle is on "attempted treason".

UPDATE: The Duty Liar weighs in.

Liar #2: "The Dems ratfucked us!"

UPDATE II: Dubya's ethics lawyer is calling it what it is: Treason.

UPDATE III: The Russians disvow any knowledge of the meeting.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Your Sunday Morning Turboprop Noise

One of the last flights of a C-133 Cargomaster:

Here is video of one unloading an Atlas missile:

The C-133 and C-124 were the heavyweight lifters of the Air Force in the 1950s and 1960s. Arguably due to the Vietnam War, the C-133 in particular was heavily overworked to the point that at least one crash was blamed on airframe fatigue.

As soon as the C-5s became available, the C-133s were quickly retired. The C-124s continued on for a few more years; they, too, were retired because there were enough C-5s and the Vietnam War had wound down, which reduced the requirement for heavy-lift aircraft. (And the Air Force could, by then, charter 747s, if necessary.)

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Press Gullibility Continues

Even from a paper that should know better:[1]
President Trump* questioned President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia on Friday about Moscow’s interference in the 2016 election, using their epic first face-to-face meeting to directly raise what has become a vexing political issue for the White House.

Mr. Putin denied any meddling, and aides for each offered differing versions of the exchange. But both sides said the two leaders quickly turned to a discussion of how they could work together, including on combating cyberattacks and de-escalating the war in Syria.
Right. Tell me another one.

Nowhere in the account is it explicitly stated that there was no independent observer in the room. Who was there was Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, both of whom are fully capable of deception and lies and, frankly, are very good at it. And Trump, who wouldn't know reality if it bit him hard on the ass. Trump has a long track record of believing in his own con. You can bet your ass that he still believes that the crowds at his inauguration were the largest ever, that three million people voted illegally, that Obama was born in Kenya, and so on and so forth.

Which leaves Tillerson, who, like every other Trumper, isn't going to go against his boss.

About the only thing that those four worthies could say that I would believe is "the Sun will come up tomorrow."

And even then, I'd make sure that I had fresh flashlight batteries on hand.
{1] Judith Miller is holding for the editor on line 1.


A nightgown becomes an improvised cat hammock:

Friday, July 7, 2017

Reading Comprehension Failure, or
Bag of Hammers; Mike Pence; Dumber Than

Vice-President Pence:

On the other hand, NASA is probably grateful that Pence didn't taste it.

Maybe NASA should have labeled it "Critical Female Part". Then Pence couldn't have seen it without his wife being present.

Fake Documents Alert

MSNBC host Rachel Maddow warned other media outlets on Thursday that she believes she was provided forged National Security Agency documents alleging collusion between a Trump campaign official and Russia's efforts to influence last year's presidential election.
“Somebody, for some reason, appears to be shopping a fairly convincing fake NSA document that purports to directly implicate somebody from the Trump campaign in working with the Russians in their attack in the election,” she said.
Your guess is as good as mine (or hers) as to who would forge such stuff and then release it.

I'd suspect the Russians. Getting fake documents out there which alleged Trump's a butt-monkey of Putin and then disproving them would help take the starch out of the case against Trump. It's the sort of feint that the Russians excel at.

Second in the line of suspects would be the Trump administration/campaign, for the same reasons.

Because It's Friday

Indian steam:

They sure do leave the cylinder cocks open for a bit.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Words of Aviation Wisdom

"You can always go around!"

Get Back to Me With Evidence; Earhart Ed.

The retired federal agent who discovered what he believes is the first photographic evidence of Amelia Earhart alive and well after crash-landing in the Pacific Ocean during her attempted round-the-world flight says he didn't initially capture the significance of the image until years later.

The black-and-white photo is of a group of people standing on a dock on Jaluit Atoll in the Marshall Islands, including one who seems to be a slim woman with her back to the camera. A new documentary airing Sunday on the History channel claims the figure is the famed aviator who disappeared 80 years ago this month.
This is the largest image that I could find.

This is with the area of interest cropped:

(Click on the image for full size)

The claim is that the man on the left is Fred Noonan and that the person sitting on the dock with her back to the camera is Earhart.

Contrast that with this claim that she died as a castaway.[1]

For now, it's all smoke and mirrors and bullshit. But it'll fill up a two-hour special which will be mostly conspiracy theory horseshit.

[1] Full disclosure: I have very low regard for TIGHAR. Log into Charity Navigator (it's free) and look at their most recent Form 990 on file. (Not sure if the link will work by itself, but if it does, there it is.)
You'll see what I mean when you see where their money goes.

Do You Have the Stones to Drive This Car?

A Dodge Viper owner explains, in an ad, why he's selling his car.
Can you resist the urge to mash down the accelerator? Can you? Because it’s like owning your own demon. A demon that wants to kill you. We all know one person that for the right amount of money would kill you. But since no one is paying, they smile in your face and go about their day.
It’s like that except the Viper doesn’t bother to ever pretend it doesn’t want to kill you.
And it will do it for free.
After you buy one, of course.

And pay for the insurance, which is not cheap. That's getting into the area of how much it would cost to insure a twin-engined airplane, which will go about as fast as a Dodge Viper, but with less prospects of killing you.

Look Around At Your Hospitals

In the last few years, you might have noticed things going on. New facilities have been built. Existing facilities have been expanded.

They are doing that because they have more money coming in. The "why do they have more money" is fairly plain: Obamacare. More people have insurance, hospitals are treating fewer people without insurance. People without insurance often don't pay or cannot pay. Or if they were solvent, a medical crisis would drive them into bankruptcy (the hospital doesn't get paid). Everyone else who could pay, whether by insurance or because they're rich, subsidized all that.

The GOP's "reform" plan is to (a) kick 22 million people off insurance and (b) give a tax cut to the rich. That's wicked perverse-- Take away from those who don't have money in order to give more money to greedy bastards who don't need more money.

Everything TrumpCare's supporters say is to obscure one salient fact: They want to deny insurance to over 20 million people in order to give more money to the rich. You know, people like Donald Trump, Martin Shkreli and Betsy DuVois-- people who are more than happy to take a few more millions and if lots of people end up dying, not their problem. Because they are heartless.

That's what TrumpCare is all about, Gentle Reader: Greed. Avarice. Fiscal gluttony. Ryan and McConell and the rest of that pack can blather all they want about the benefits of TrumpCare, but the only winners in TrumpCare are those who already have gobs of money. And, of course, the politicians that they are paying so they can have more.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The Absolute Arrogance of Chris "Secaucus Fats" Christie

(Previously on the Secaucus Fats Files.)

One of the things Christie said in defending his helicoptering into a closed state park was: "Run for governor and you can have a residence there." The park itself originally had a bunch of houses on it, one of them was given to the state, and that's the one Fatso Chris used.

Thing is, there are other families who still have houses there. They were first told that the shutdown didn't apply to them, as they had a right to use their residences.

But then the cops came by, told them all to leave and if they didn't, they'd be arrested.

So first Christie first lied about not getting any sun, even though he was photographed with his fat ass parked on the sand, in a beach chair. Then he lied about the reason why he and his family could use the house was because it was their residence.

I think we all can be forgiven for supposing that the real reason those people were kicked out of their beach homes was so that Christie could indeed have the park all to himself.

At his core, Christie is an arrogant fat fuck, one whom even the vast majority of Jerseyites can't stand.

(H/T to someone who'd rather remain anonymous)