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, December 31, 2018

No Doubt That the Two Steves (Bannon and Miller) Sleep With One

The "Trumpy Bear":

The version in which the Trumpy Bear is wrapped in a Russian flag will probably be a bit pricey.

NY Times's Geopolitical Cowardice

In this article about Hungary's interference in Macedonian politics, the New York Times included a map that had a curious omission:

They didn't label one chunk of land, as indicated by the red arrow.

That is Kosovo.

Screenshot of the online version:

Feel free to speculate as to why.

Trump is Sacrificing Federal Workers to Save His Own Neck

In [Trump's] eyes, a prolonged stalemate will likely fracture voters along traditional partisan lines, and the ultimate outcome will be a debate waged largely on the president’s terms. Increasingly, they see an upside in forcing likely incoming Speaker Nancy Pelosi to have to spend the first days, if not weeks, of the next Congress engaged in an argument over border wall funding rather than her preferred agenda: a mix of sweeping ethics and election reforms and congressional oversight.
I suspect that he's smoking crack on both issues. As noted before, Trump's screaming about what Tucker Carlson calls "dirty immigrants" gave the Democrats a lot more House seats than expected.

What is despicable, of course, is that Trump is wrecking part of the government solely to save his own ass. You have to know, Gentle Reader, as the rest of the Federal government comes up for funding, Trump'll shut them down, too.

Because to Trump: "L'état, c'est moi"

Sunday, December 30, 2018

2018; a Dave Barry Retrospective

You can read it here or here.

2018 was worse than 2017. 2019 promises to be worse than 2018.

Signals! Whiskey! Alfa! Hotel!

Family members are sharing their side of the story after their loved one was shot and killed by a homeowner Wednesday night.

43 year-old Oliver Perez was shot by a homeowner during an attempted burglary. Perez was taken to University Medical Center with a gunshot wound, and later died.

The Perez family says Oliver Perez struggled with drug addiction and had a criminal record, but they hoped he would be able to turn his life around.
If one breaks into enough places in most parts of the country, one runs the risk of suddenly coming down with a severe case of bullet wounds. It's an occupational hazard of living the critter life.

Funny how the ones that get shot dead are always a month or so away from turning their lives around.


Putin to Trump: Stand By for Orders!

Russian President Vladimir Putin told his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump in a New Year letter on Sunday that Moscow was ready for dialogue on a “wide-ranging agenda”, the Kremlin said following a series of failed attempts to hold a new summit.
Since Putin holds a loose leash on Trump, the dialogue will be more or less unidirectional.

Your Sunday Morning Big Prop Noise


Saturday, December 29, 2018

Guns and Homicide

This article argues that there is no correlation between the homicide rate and the firearms ownership rates in the US, in the various states, in the EU and around the world.

Statistics geeks can have at it.
Updated to add NOTICE:
If you're commenting to discuss the validity of this guy's statistical analysis (I'm keeping in mind the old saying about "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics."), then have at it.

If you're going to springboard into other topics, I'll lock this puppy up. My bullshit tolerance is low today.

All In All, It's Just Another Brick in the Wall; Trump Ed.

New Jersey prosecutors have collected evidence that supervisors at President Trump’s Garden State golf club may have committed federal immigration crimes — and the FBI as well as special counsel Robert Mueller have played part in the inquiry, the Daily News has learned.
It wasn't just that they hired aliens who could not work in this country illegally, it's that they provided them with the forged papers so they could work.

So, (1) what did Trump know and when did he know it?

(2) Where is he going to get the workers for his golf clubs if his wall gets built?

The managers should remember the Rat Rule: The first one to talk spends the least amount of time in the joint.


Chip the Snugglecat:

Friday, December 28, 2018

The Noose of Collusion Tightens

A mobile phone traced to President Donald Trump’s former lawyer and “fixer” Michael Cohen briefly sent signals ricocheting off cell towers in the Prague area in late summer 2016, at the height of the presidential campaign, leaving an electronic record to support claims that Cohen met secretly there with Russian officials, four people with knowledge of the matter say.

During the same period of late August or early September, electronic eavesdropping by an Eastern European intelligence agency picked up a conversation among Russians, one of whom remarked that Cohen was in Prague, two people familiar with the incident said.

The phone and surveillance data, which have not previously been disclosed, lend new credence to a key part of a former British spy’s dossier of Kremlin intelligence describing purported coordination between Trump’s campaign and Russia’s election meddling operation.
Cohen continues to deny that he was there.

Still, it seems that the dominoes are falling for Trump.

I suspect that we have maybe nine to twelve months left in the Trump presidency.

Something's Wrong With Trump

President Donald Trump incorrectly told troops in Iraq on Wednesday that he gave them their first pay raise in more than 10 years -- a falsehood he has repeatedly told.

Speaking to troops at Al Asad Air Base during his surprise visit to Iraq, Trump told troops: "You protect us. We are always going to protect you. And you just saw that, 'cause you just got one of the biggest pay raises you've ever received. ... You haven't gotten one in more than 10 years. More than 10 years. And we got you a big one. I got you a big one. I got you a big one."

In fact, military pay has increased every year for more than three decades. It was raised 2.4% in 2018 and then 2.6% in the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act. The 2.6% pay raise is the largest in the past 9 years.
Everyone in the audience had to know what pay raises they received in past years and at the beginning of FY 2019. As to why Trump would stand in front of the troops and lie to them, you are free to speculate.

Because It's Friday

Steam shenanigans in England:

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Trump's Bone Spurs

The implication in this piece is that Trump's dad cut a deal with a podiatrist: Lower rent and better service in exchange for being Donnie's weatherstripping (keeping him out of the draft) during Vietnam.

I have mixed feelings about the article.

First, I am glad, in that every Republican who bleated about Bill Clinton being a draft dodger and who now closes their eyes to Trump's having dodged the draft has to know, in the depths of their souls, that they are nothing but hypocrites (not that they've ever called out the draft-dodging of Dan Quayle, John Bolton, John Ashcroft, Dick Cheney, Gorge W. Bush, Mitt Romney, El Rushbo, Mike Huckabee, etc.).

Second, anyone who is not a Trumpanzee and who has a functioning cortex knows that Trump is, essentially, a loud-mouthed coward.

Third, anyone who was alive and at least into their early teens in the late 1960s knows that in the non-poor socioeconomic classes, draft-dodging was accepted, if not expected. By the middle of 1968, it was clear that the Vietnam War was a lost cause. All presidential candidates campaigned on ending the war. Nobody wanted to be one of the 25,000 who ended up being killed while Nixon and Kissinger fiddle-fucked around. If your family had the connections to get you into the National Guard, that worked. If not, there was college or other things to get deferments, including getting a sympathetic doctor to write a fib of a letter justifying an exemption.

If Trump had served, his daddy would have probably gotten him into a commissioning program and then we'd have heard no more of him.

True, That

“The dawn of the agnoiocracy is complete.”

One thing Trump has normalized is that it is now acceptable, as a nation, to break one's word. For example, the Japanese are planning to go back to killing whales for fun and profit. They are going to confine their murderous activities to their own waters-- probably out of fear that some other nation may send their navy to arrest (or sink) their whalers for violating international law.

The Japanese have been whaling under the guise of research, which everyone recognized was fictitious.

Being an outlaw nation no longer carries much of a stigma in the Age of Trump.

Down the Rabbit Hole

The Jon Swift memorial list of blog posts for 2018.

Expect to be enraged, have your thoughts provoked, and some bit of entertainment.

Monday, December 24, 2018

50 Years Ago: Xmas From the Moon

The broadcast, at the time, was watched by more people than any other TV show or event.

I was such a space geek, at the time, that my parents put their TV in my room for manned missions. I saw this oen, live.

It wasn't until a couple of years later, when the main oxygen tank of the Apollo 13 Service Module blew up, that people understood the risk of going into orbit around the Moon entailed.

A Christmas Tale

The Shepherd, by Frederick Forsyth

Poor Whiny-Ass Trump

He's home alone and is feeling mightily sorry for himself!

"All alone" with the White House cooks, maids, butler, Secret Service detail and Marine guards. In Trump’s world, servants and security guards aren’t “people”. They are invisible to him.

Poor widdle thin-skinned Donald-- Alone because he scuttled a deal because Limbaugh, Ingrahm and Coulter (the Harpies of Fascism) were saying bad things about him.

Call the Whaabulance!

NY Times Wants the Banks and/or the Government to Spy on Gun Owners

The New York Times reviewed hundreds of documents including police reports, bank records and investigator notes from a decade of mass shootings. Many of the killers built their stockpiles of high-powered weapons with the convenience of credit. No one was watching.
Whether the NY Times is advocating requiring credit card companies to monitor purchases of guns and ammunition or suggesting that the credit card companies refuse to process such transactions is open to interpretation.

I'm pretty sure that the Times participated in the public freakout of Admiral Poindexter's plan to monitor all credit card transactions (and everything else) in 2003. But when it's something that the Times disapproves of, they seem to have no compunction in having the Feds spy on folks without probably cause.

They should be careful of what they ask for. Watch who orders porn? Or wine? Or who uses credit cards at bars? Maybe Trump could have credit cards monitored to see who subscribes to the Times or the Washington Post. Once you open the door to monitoring lawful transactions because one group disapproves of the subject matter, there is no telling how far that will go.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

{Ding, Ding. Ding, Ding. Ding, Ding. Ding, Ding.}
Adults, Departing.

The lunatics are taking over the bughouse.
Irritated with the criticism and fallout from Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’ resignation, President Donald Trump on Sunday pushed the Pentagon chief out the door two months earlier than planned, an acrimonious end to a tense relationship that had been eroding in recent months.
It seems to be rather clear that Trump didn’t bother to read Mattis’s resignation letter. (As I had suspected.) His “chopper talk” remarks about Mattis “retiring” showed that.

A top US official in the fight against so-called Islamic State group has quit over President Donald Trump's decision to pull troops from Syria.

Brett McGurk, the US special presidential envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat IS, brought his departure forward from February. ... In early December he told reporters: "We want to stay on the ground and make sure that stability can be maintained in these areas."

He went on to say: "It would be reckless if we were just to say, well, the physical caliphate is defeated, so we can just leave now. I think anyone who's looked at a conflict like this would agree with that."
Erdogan of Turkey wants the US out of Syria so the Turks can get to slaughtering the Kurds. Putin wants the US out of Syria to demonstrate to the world that the Americans cannot be trusted to stand by their allies.

Trump, who seems to get along famously with autocrats, has been only happy to oblige. Besides, when Putin speaks,Trump jumps to attention, at least as quickly as his bone spurs will let him.

Even Villains Can Be on the Right Side of a Single Issue

Koch Industries, one of the more evil corporations in existence, ran this full-page ad in the Sunday NY Times.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

Tu-160 "Blackjack":

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Travel Tip: Cancel Your Flights and Drive

Because you're going to get on an airplane and you're going to be searched by people who are working without getting paid and not knowing when they may be paid.

Apropos of this post: This.

World's Oldest Tweener Shuts Down Part of the Government

Let's be clear about this: Trump shut down part of the Federal government because people on his favorite TV channel were saying bad things about him. The professionals working the problem had reached a deal on a continuing resolution, which Trump had agreed to.

But then the little images on his TV said nasty things about him and the deal blew up.


A couple of shelter cats.

Friday, December 21, 2018

The Russians Don't Like to Say It, But They Know that Trump is Their Guy.

A note of glee crept into Russian commentary and news coverage on Friday about the current turmoil in Washington around national security, with President Vladimir V. Putin seemingly checking off one item after another that he might have written on his wish list for Santa.
“Trump is God’s gift that keeps on giving,” said Vladimir Frolov, a Russian columnist and foreign affairs analyst. “Trump implements Russia’s negative agenda by default, undermining the U.S.–led world order, U.S. alliances, U.S. credibility as a partner and an ally. All of this on his own. Russia can just relax and watch and root for Trump, which Putin does at every TV appearance.”
If you ask the Right why they continue to support Trump, who is acting as though he is wholly-owned by Putin, all they can do is shrug and mutter "Hildebeast" or some such nonsense.

Let's be clear on this: Trump's supporters are supporting a traitor. There are no "ifs, and or buts" about it.

Which tells me something about the patriotism of Trump supporters and his party.

p.s., the rude pundit.

Thirty Years On

On December 21, 1988, a bomb hidden in a cassette player inside a suitcase exploded in a baggage compartment of Pan Am Flight 103, enroute for New York (JFK) from London. The flight was supposed to be out over the Atlantic, but rerouting took it to the north. It blew up over Lockerbie, Scotland. The airplane, a 747, crashed. All 259 people on board were killed. 11 residents of Lockerbie were killed in explosions and fire from falling debris.

Libya paid nearly $3 billion in compensation for the bombing.

Because It's Friday

A steam VW microbus (or it was):

Fifty Years On

Apollo 8 lifted off for the first manned flight out of Earth's gravity well on December 21st, 1968.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

B Minus 100 and Counting

Both the EU and the UK are planning for what will happen if there is no deal in place on Brexit Day (March 29, 2019).

The parties may pull a deal from the magician's hat in time, but I expect they won't. UK PM May would probably like the EU to make the divorce deal a bit sweeter for the UK. The EU, on the other hand, doesn't seem to be motivated to offer more than they already have. The EU probably has a lot of motivation to trod a hard line and make the deal as tough as it can for the Brits, pour encourager les autres.

A no-deal Brexit may mean that a hard border is re-established between Northern Ireland and Ireland, which would be a violation of the Good Friday Agreement. Whether that would be enough to restart the Troubles is probably a question that one hell of a lot of people on that island are not interested in seeing answered.

Trump Shafts the Kurds

The Trump administration will soon withdraw all of the approximately 2,000 American troops from Syria, a U.S. official said Wednesday as President Donald Trump declared victory in the mission to defeat Islamic State militants there.
First off, nobody else is saying that the fight is over. Only Trump is saying that.

Trump has decided to kowtow to the Turks, for whatever reason.
The Turks have targeted U.S.-backed Kurdish troops along the Syria-Turkey border, which Turkey considers an insurgent threat. A U.S. withdrawal -- including the end of joint U.S. and Turkish patrols along the border -- could open the door for more Turkish operations against the Syrian rebels.
The Kurds have been allies in the "Global War on Terror" for almost two decades.
Jennifer Cafarella, a Syria expert at the Institute for the Study of War, said the withdrawal is likely to create new problems.

“The bottom line is that the American withdrawal from eastern Syria will create a power vacuum that will lead to a new phase of international conflict in Syria,” she said in a telephone interview. She predicted that the Russians, the Iranians, Syrian President Bashar Assad and the Turks will compete for the terrain and resources previously under U.S. control “at the expense of” the Syrian Kurds who have partnered with U.S. forces against IS.
Throwing friends and allies under the bus, in order to cozy up to an authoritarian wannabee-dictator, is what Trump does.

It is better to have Trump as an enemy than as a friend. If you're his enemy, he may suck up to you. If you're his friend, he'll stab you in the back, sooner or later.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

"Sir, You Disgust Me!"

A federal judge Tuesday abruptly postponed the sentencing of President Donald Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, declaring himself disgusted and disdainful of Flynn’s crime of lying to the FBI and raising the unexpected prospect of sending the retired Army lieutenant general to prison.
A high-ranking Federal official would have to be a Grade-A Chowderhead to not understand that lying to a Federal agent is a felony.

Funny how the Right drops their law-and-order stance when it is one of their guys sitting at the defendant's table.

Trump is acting like a mob boss in his use of language.

If he is as innocent as the driven snow (to hear the Trumpanzees talk), he sure as fuck isn't acting like it.

Beyond that, let's not forget that it was at the order of a Republican president that illegal break-ins were conducted. In the case of Cohen's office, it was a lawful search that was authorized by a search warrant approved by a judge.

But don't expect either Trump or his acolytes to accept that distinction.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Operation Dumpster Fire is Continuing

President Donald Trump's choice of new acting White House chief of staff once described him as "a terrible human being", it has emerged.

A video shows Mick Mulvaney making the disparaging remark in a debate shortly before the 2016 presidential election.

"Yes, I am supporting Donald Trump, but I'm doing so despite the fact that I think he's a terrible human being," Mr Mulvaney says.
He also posted on FB that Trump is not a good person and that he doesn't like him.

But Mulvaney offers Trump the one form of loyalty Trump can understand: The kind that can be purchased.

It's OK to Pee in the Bathroom on an Airliner or Snooze in Your Seat, Again

Last summer, the story broke that doing such things could result in the Air Fuzz following you around. Probably because the Inflight Goons don't have that much to do, so they invented a little program to justify their existence.
[TSA] officials told the [Boston] Globe that air marshals no longer document the minor movements and behavior of these travelers, such as whether they fidget in the airport, go to the bathroom during the flight, or seem, according to the agency’s own checklist, to have a “cold, penetrating stare.”

The agency said it has also stopped following passengers through baggage claim and no longer compiles extensive reports on travelers who failed to rouse suspicions.

“Any routine passenger behaviors on a plane that would be seen as a normal behavior we are no longer capturing that,” said David Kohl, the new director of the Federal Air Marshal Service, in an interview.
About fucking time. The idiot who came up with this idea should get a RIP, if not a RIF.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

The U-2:

The Zoomies keep wanting to replace it, but it seems clear that after sixty years of operational use, the best replacement for a U-2 is another U-2.

Saturday, December 15, 2018


Chip catches a snooze.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Because It's Friday

A steam tractor (with lots of lens lice):

The More They Look at Trump, the More Corruption They Find

Federal prosecutors are examining whether foreigners illegally funneled donations to President Trump’s inaugural committee and a pro-Trump super PAC in hopes of buying influence over American policy, according to people familiar with the inquiry.
Manaford and a billionaire, Thomas J. Barrack Jr., set up a super-PAC that allegedly began to immediately violate campaign finance laws on staffing and coordination with political campaigns. Linda Mahon (twice failed CT senatorial candidate) gave the PAC $6 million and, in a sheer coincidence, Trump appointed her to run the SBA.

Meanwhile, there was a meeting in 2015 to discuss using the National Enquirer to buy and kill stories unfriendly to Trump as a way to help his campaign. That practice was, basically, paying hush honey to benefit a political candidate (Trump). Such payments are not "private transactions", as Trump claims, but are disguised (and threfore illegal) campaign contributions.

Three people were at the meeting: Trump, Michael Cohen, and David Pecker. Pecker is the chairman of American Media Inc., which owns the Inquirer.

The bad news for Trump: Both Pecker and Cohen have flipped.

This just keeps getting better and better.

New Jersey Democrats are as Evil as Wisconsin Republicans

The NJ Democrats are seekng to gerrymander themselves into permanent power:
New Jersey Democrats' proposed constitutional amendment to solidify their party’s hold is prompting outraged objections among redistricting reformers who see the measure as a blatant power grab.

Legislators meeting in Trenton hold their first hearing Thursday on the proposed amendment, which would hand the state legislature new power to control the makeup of a bipartisan redistricting board that draws new boundaries every 10 years.
This is evil. Voters understand that this is evil. Which is why in state after stat, where referendums are permitted, voters have approved referendums to take the power to redistrict their states away from state legislators and given it to bipartisan commissions.

Gerrymandering is anti-democratic. It is done by weasels in suits protecting their political power.

It is fundamentally unfair. elections should be contests of ideas, of policies. They should not be the anointing of a younger sleazeball to replace a retiring sleazeball of the same party.

The good news is that the voters in NJ have to approve this. We'll see, next year, if they are wise to the shenanigans of their legislature.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

When the Elephants are Stomping in Rage, Wise Mice Hide

Canada, on the other hand, has gotten caught out in the open.
First U.S President* Donald Trump attacked Canada on trade. Then Saudi Arabia punished it for speaking up for human rights. Now China has the country in its cross-hairs, detaining two Canadians in apparent retaliation for the arrest of a top Chinese tech executive on behalf of the United States.

Canada is caught between two super powers and taking the punishment — and its ally to the south has been conspicuously absent in coming to its aid.
Lesson to the world: If you take a stand, Trump will not have your back if there is any blowback. He will throw you under the bus, all day, every day.

Whenever There is Evll Corporate Fuckery Afoot...

... it's a pretty good bet that the oil industry and the Koch brothers are involved.
When the Trump administration laid out a plan this year that would eventually allow cars to emit more pollution, automakers, the obvious winners from the proposal, balked. The changes, they said, went too far even for them.

But it turns out that there was a hidden beneficiary of the plan that was pushing for the changes all along: the nation’s oil industry.

In Congress, on Facebook and in statehouses nationwide, Marathon Petroleum, the country’s largest refiner, worked with powerful oil-industry groups and a conservative policy network financed by the billionaire industrialist Charles G. Koch to run a stealth campaign to roll back car emissions standards, a New York Times investigation has found.
Avoiding scarcity is not the sole reason for requiring vehicles to get good mileage. Cutting pollution is another reason. Gary Heminger, the CEO of Marathon Oil, one of the larger refiners in the country, couldn't give a shit if the air is foul and if his descendants grow up in a hellscape of a world from climate change-- as long as he can make a buck in the process.

Humanity has a long record of fouling its own nest. Heminger, the Koch brothers and their ilk are some of the premier foulers.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018


Thank Trump for the Democratic House Majority

In reviewing polling and other data, [Republican political operatives] discovered that the president’s provocative immigration rhetoric was more damaging to the House GOP during the final seven to 10 days than they realized at the time.

Trump hammered on the migrant caravan as he barnstormed red states to stump for Republican Senate candidates in the homestretch while also raising the specter of eliminating birthright citizenship for the children of immigrants. The president’s near-singular focus on those issues repelled Hispanics, independents and soft Republicans, turning a race for House control that leaned Democratic into a late-breaking GOP bloodbath.
In late September, Republicans appeared resurgent, a product of the pitched battle to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. By late October, their condition soured, the result of a toxic mixture of Trump’s immigration rhetoric, bomb threats against Democrats and media outlets allegedly perpetrated by a Trump supporter, and a mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue that the president fumbled in response.
Mind you, the above story did not run in anything that can remotely be described s a liberal rag-- it ran in the Washington Examiner.

It wasn't just immigration and Trump's reflex to align with neo-Nazis; health insurance also played a part. Funny thing: Widening access to health insurance and covering pre-existing conditions turned out to be popular with everyone outside of the Batshit Wingnut GOP base.

Don't even bother to ask if any of this will sink in with the Stable Genius. It likely won't. His gut is telling him things.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

NRA, Time to Step Up

Remember Mr. Branford, the guy killed by a cop at an Alabama mall? The case where the cops first said he was a bad guy, but then had to retract that?

It turns out that the cop who shot him, in fact, shot him three times from behind. Which sounds more like a summary execution.

Two years ago, Philandro Castile was summarily executed by a Minnesota cop for the crime of legally carrying a firearm while black.

So far, the National Rifle Association, which likes to style itself as a civil rights organization that protects the rights of lawful gun owners, has said....

...about either killing.

The cops have their own political groups and lobbyists. The NRA likes to say that they stand for the rights of gun owners. It's high time that they did.

While I'm on the subject of the NRA, I'd like to know just what they have gotten for their full-throttle support of Trump.

The bill to drop silencers from Title III (machineguns, etc) to Title 1 (firearms) has gone nowhere. The bill for nationwide CCW reciprocity has, likewise, gone nowhere. Trump has, in fact, shown himself to essentially be as willing to entertain off-the-cuff and nonsensical restrictions as Andrew Cuomo or Dan Malloy.

But what has the NRA to say about that?

Only a Fool Acts as His Own Lawyer; You Know Who Ed

Following the recent filing by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York in the Michael Cohen case, in which Cohen admitted to criminal violations of campaign finance laws, Trump took to Twitter to, well...

One has to wonder what sort of stable genius would tell the world "yes, I did it, but it's not a crime"? I don't see how that will not come into a trial as evidence.

Besides that, note that Trump keeps blaming "the Dems". That is a pants-on-fire, ten-pinnochios lie. The U.S. Attorney's office for the Southern District of New York is part of the Justice Department. The current U.S. Attorney is a Trump appointee.

More Bad News for Trump and the GOP?

A woman accused of being a secret agent for the Russian government has likely taken a plea deal, prosecutors indicated Monday in a court filing that said her case has been “resolved.”
Butina, who was arrested in July, was charged with conspiracy and acting as an unregistered foreign agent for Russia. Her lawyer has argued that Butina is a student interested in American politics and better U.S.-Russian relations.
It would appear that her argument was about as airtight as a screen door.

The details might be interesting when they are made public.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Le Chant des Partisans (The Song of the Partisans)

It was the unofficial anthem of the French Resistance.

The men, women and children of the Resistance faced an implacable and much better equipped enemy. Their chances were slim. If captured, a quick death was the best that they could hope for, barring a miracle.

Walgreens: At the Corner of Authoritarianism and Fascism

Walgreens is one of the companies behind the GOP's anti-democratic power grab in Wisconsin. They are one of the companies that are eager to demolish American democracy, as long as they can earn a buck out of it.

Corporations are, by their nature, greedy psychopaths. Walgreens is proving to be true to type.

If you feel like taking to Twitter to lambaste them, @Walgreens is their corporate Twitter handle.

Black & CCW

The NY Times ran a story about the experiences of Black gun owners who carry concealed.

I expect that those on the Right, who would expect the story to contain blanket condemnations about civilians carrying guns, will be sorely disappointed.

On another note, if you visit Phoenix, be aware that the Phoenix cops tend to be brutal and trigger-happy. Pre Trump & Sessions, they might have been investigated. But now, the DoJ is turning a blind eye towards such things.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Trump Gets Hoisted by His Own Petard, Again

The problem with running one's mouth on Twitter a lot is that somebody is going to notice what one said in the past and compare it to today.

First we have that Trump will, as of January 1st, have his third Chief of Staff in less than two years (four, if you count Steve Bannon, who was sort of a co-chief with Priebus).

Then we have what Cheetolini tweeted when Obama got a new Chief of Staff:

If Kelly came away from his time with Trump with his reputation and honor intact, it would be because he was a Marine who took on a horrendous job out of a sense of duty from nearly fifty years of service to the nation.

His replacement, a young political sleazeball, has no such shield. He's going from working for an intolerant religious zealot to working for a guy who is on the cusp of being indicted for various federal, if not state, felonies.

The churn continues.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

An F-86 at an airshow in Australia:

Saturday, December 8, 2018


Shelter Tuxies:

Friday, December 7, 2018

Guilty AF!

A man who drove his car into a crowd of counterprotesters at a white nationalist rally in Virginia was convicted Friday of first-degree murder for killing a woman in an attack that inflamed long-simmering racial and political tensions across the country.

A state jury rejected arguments that [the Nazi Asswipe of Charlottesville] acted in self-defense during a “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville on Aug. 12, 2017. Jurors also convicted [Asswipe] of eight other charges, including aggravated malicious wounding and hit and run.
Sentencing comes next week. His lawyer's pitch to the jury ought to be highly entertaining and the stuff of fiction, much like his defense was.

Apollo 17

Apollo 17 left for the Moon just after midnight, 46 years ago. It was the only night launch and it was the last manned flight out of Earth orbit and to the Moon.

Any hope of continuing died when Nixon was elected. He was as implacably and irrationally hostile to anything championed by John F Kennedy as Trump has been vs Obama.

The Saturn production line was shut down and the expertise lost. Half of the struggle of trying to build a new heavy-lit rocket is that the capability to make really big fucking rocket engines has been lost. So we're sort of stuck with ganging together a lot of smaller engines, as the Soviets did, or strapping large solid-rocket boosters to the central booster body.

If we had kept going with the Saturn and developing from there, we would be in a much different place than we are with having been limited to low Earth orbit for the last forty years.

Burn and rot in Hell, Richard Nixon.

Apollo 11

A 90-minute documentary will ht the theaters next year. Researchers found over a hundred reels of Panasonic Panavision 65mm footage in the archives. They had to make custom equipment to screen it and transfer it to digital. They found 30-channel audio tape from Mission Control that captured all of the controllers' conversations. That, along with other audio recordings, have been matched up to the film.

The results, so far, to quote CSM Pilot Michael Collins, have been "magnificent".

I my have to make a trip to an IMAX to see this one.

Trump's Pick for U.N. Ambassador

The Petulant Man-Child-in-Chief chose Heather Nauert to be the Ambassador to the United Nations.

She has a strong command of history, as she said this last June:
"We have a very strong relationship with the government of Germany," Nauert said. "Looking back in the history books, today is the 71st anniversary of the speech that announced the Marshall Plan. Tomorrow is the anniversary of the D-Day invasion. We obviously have a very long history with the government of Germany, and we have a strong relationship with the government of Germany."
One can only wonder if Nauert thinks that crumpets were served at the Boston Tea Party.

Nauert's primary qualification is that she was an anchor on Trump's favorite TV show. I guess we should be grateful he didn't send Steve Doocy, a man who is a frequent gold medalist at the Stupid Olympics.

It's probably a good thing that Trump doesn't watch PBS, or he would have nominated Daniel Tiger.

Because It's Friday

Baldwin #26 at Steamtown:

Thursday, December 6, 2018

The Petulant Child Goes to a Funeral

I didn't watch much of the funeral; but from what I saw, Trump was sitting there and looking like a kid who was made to go to church on a sunny day. Which i pretty much in keeping with his level of maturity.

A more self-reflective man might have wondered what mourners will say about him. Right now, the only president who would be willing to say anything nice about Trump when he passes would be Vladimir Putin. But Trump likely didn't think of that. He probably took everything nice that was said over George Bush's casket as a barbed dig aimed at him.

For in Trump's view, he is the center of the universe.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

CSI-ing the House; Post-Illness

I don't know whether what I had was a norovirus or not, but I am taking precautions.

The second link, above, has suggestions on cleaning. It's not quick and easy. Unless your anti-bacterial wipes are hospital-grade, they'll be worthless. You have to go old school (a cup of bleach in a gallon jug, fill with water). Apply and let sit for ten minutes before wiping.

Key facts: It takes 20 virus particles to make one sick. A tablespoon of puke has up to 15 million and a tablespoon of shit has up to 75 billion. The particles can survive out on a surface for six weeks. You'll be contagious for a few days after you recover and you'll have virus in your stool for two weeks, so you should be bleaching your toilet every time that you take a dump.

Even then, somebody who visits or who lives in your home may get sick, as well.

(Being sick was like a combination of a Yom Kippur fast and a colonoscopy prep, with bonus puking.)

Republicans Emphasize the Doctrine of Sore Losers

Republicans in the legislatures in Wisconsin and Michigan are trying to enact legislation to limit the power of Democrats who won state offices. This is nothing other than them being petty-ass and vindictive sore losers in the finest tradition of "I'll take my ball and go home, so there, NyaaHH!

They are truly despicable. (They tried to do it in North Carolina, but that isn't holding up in court.)

Meanwhile, for a party that decries voter fraud, Republicans in one North Carolina race have engaged in so much ballot fraud that even the Republicans running the state election board won't certify the result.

A Lot of Feds Will Do No Work Today

Many Federal offices are closed today for a national day of mourning for the last mainline Republican President, George H.W. Bush.

Bush was many things. His life showed that he believed in duty to his country and service to others. Against the wishes of his parents, he enlisted in the Navy when he turned 18. He was a pragmatist who not only despised ideologues, but he was willing to make a massive political sacrifice for the good of the nation.[1] The 1990 budget deal cost him a second term, yet it put the Federal budget on the bath to being balanced.[2]

Bush was an advocate of volunteerism. He believed in helping those who were less fortunate.[3] He believed in improving the environment.[4] He did not believe in bragging.

Contrast that, if you will, with the current President; a man who has three discernible motivations: Self-interest, vengeance and bigotry. It is patently clear that Trump and Bush had nothing but contempt for one another. Yet Trump put a VC-25 at the disposal of the Bush family to carry Bush's remains from Texas to Washington and back and allowed the Bush family to stay at Blair House.[5]

Trump's history is that he does not have a smidgen of human kindness or consideration for others in his makeup.[6] If he's being nice to the Bush family (and not pitching a Twitter fit over not having a speaking role at the funeral service), one has to wonder: What's in it for him?
[1] “We’re getting pounded and the right wing is the worst,” Bush wrote in his diary in 1990, after he agreed to a compromise budget bill that included taxes he had tried to avoid. “There is a clump of these extreme extremists that I detest. But I can’t let the bastards get us down. … Push forward.”
[2] Something that was actually happening until his wastrel son blew it up in 2001.
[3] The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
[4] The Clean Air Act of 1990 did a lot to limit acid rain.
[5] These are traditional courtesies to deceased presidents, but Trump has little use for tradition.
[6] I'm not a shrink, but I believe that the term "narcissistic sociopath" fits Trump like a bespoke suit.

Monday, December 3, 2018


I came down with what appears to be stomach flu. That announced its arrival just before midnight on Saturday with a several hours-long marathon of puking and pooping. Fortunately, not at the same time, but Lordy, it was awfully close.

It seems to have broken. But I feel pretty awful and my sleep pattern's a mess.

A lot has apparently happened in the world. However, you won't hear about it from me for awhile.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Your Sunday Morning Turboprop Noise

Departures from Lukla Airport in Nepal

The salient points: The airport is at an elevation of 9,334'. The runway is 1,729' long and slopes at 11.7%. Go-arounds on short final are not possible. Successfully aborting a takeoff is unlikely at best.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Donnie's Gut

I’m not happy with the Fed. They’re making a mistake because I have a gut, and my gut tells me more sometimes than anybody else’s brain can ever tell me.
So data and analysis mean nothing to Trump. It's what he feels in his gut that counts.

That approach turned out to not work so well in baseball.

Intelligent people look at data. Geniuses often figure out new ways to look at data.

You know who looks at complex situations and problems and goes with their gut feeling: Morons.

(Sorry for being late on this, but shit's been going on.)

"Hey, Bro, We Have a Lot in Common!"

"We both kill journalists and we both have Trump by the balls!"


A cat supervises the workings of his Chief Minion: