Words of Advice:

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

"
Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Do Want, Gun Ed.

The new Colt Python:



Supposedly the distributors have them and they'll be released to the dealers on January 2nd. RUMINT is that the parts are not MIM.

I expect that they'll be pricey and will initially sell for well over MSRP of whatever it is.

I would like a 4", but to be fair, I don't know what it will do that my S&W 686 won't do and, as for a 6" gun, my Model 27. So do I need one? Nope.

Do I want one? Betcherass.

Your Sunday Morning Turboprop Noise

An An-22:

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Right-Wing Crybabies

These putzim think that if Trump loses, it will result in a second civil war.

They are a bunch of whiny spoiled brats, much like Trump. The process is only fair if they win. Elections are only fair if they win. Court cases are only fair if they win.

They are toddlers with guns. They are traitors to the Constitution.

Caturday

"Ho Ho Ho, I shall kill you in your sleep."

Friday, December 27, 2019

Two Deaths

Dom Imus has died. He was 79.

Larry Heinemann died earlier this month. He wrote this about his time in Vietnam:
I was drafted into the Army in 1966 and served with the 25th Division in the middle of what the French called Cochin China, assigned to a mechanized infantry battalion. We rode armored personnel carriers. A.P.C.s; "tracks," we called them. We generally rode roughshod, armed to the teeth, through the countryside around Cu Chi and Dau Tieng, Trang Bang and Gau Da Ha and Tay Ninh, the Ho Bo and Bo Loi Woods. To make a long story short, we were not pleasant people and the war was not a pleasant business. I have no doubt we radicalized more southern Vietnamese to Ho chi Minh's national revolution than we "saved."
His novel Close Quarters was a pretty brutal novel about Vietnam,

Rudy Couldn't Be Any Dumber if He Worked At It



Rudy's not going to let the facts that newspapers didn't exist until the 17th Century and that TV news didn't exist until 1940 (or '41) get in the way of his religious bombast.

Others have pointed out that there were no Golden Retrievers in biblical times.

Giuliani is an imbecile of the tenth order.

Because It's Friday

More from the Cumbres & Toltec RR:

Smooching the Russians.


From Trump Bites.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Yard Critter

Wile E. is on the prowl in the late afternoon.


If the window had been open, I could have hit the coyote with a thrown book, it was that close.

I now keep my camera right out on the table for shots such as these.

Andy Cuomo Sets a New Mark for Pettiness

In an end-of-year kibosh, Mr. Cuomo has vetoed a bill that would have permitted federal appeals and district court judges from around the nation to preside over nuptials in New York, thus denying them inclusion on a lengthy list of those so empowered, including the governor himself. ... “I cannot in good conscience support legislation that would authorize such actions by federal judges who are appointed by this federal administration,” he wrote. “President Trump does not embody who we are as New Yorkers.”
The bill to allow Federal judges to officiate at wedding passed the NY state legislature on nearly unanimous votes. If a family friend or a mentor is a federal judge and you want them to officiate at the wedding, sucks to be you.

Anyone can go online and, in a few minutes, get ordained and be able to perform weddings. That's legal and apparently, Prince Andy has no beef with that.

But be a Federal judge? Not so fast, at least, in New York state.

That is some really petty-ass bullshit from Prince Andy of Albany.

Good Idea, Donnie. You Go First.

President Trump called for unity and respect in his presidential Christmas message released Wednesday by the White House.

"While the challenges that face our country are great, the bonds that unite us as Americans are much stronger," Trump said in the statement.

"Together, we must strive to foster a culture of deeper understanding and respect - traits that exemplify the teachings of Christ."
Of course, he didn't mean a single word of it.
President Trump on Wednesday lashed out at Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in a pair of tweets Christmas night, decrying what he called a "Scam Impeachment."

"Why should Crazy Nancy Pelosi, just because she has a slight majority in the House, be allowed to Impeach the President of the United States?" wrote Trump, who is staying at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla., for the holidays.

He also called the impeachment process "very unfair."
Herr Twitler can't give it a rest, even for the day that he called for "deeper understanding and respect."

Beyond that, I've not run across anybody above the age of six who is so whiny about fairness. Anytime Trump doesn't get his way on anything, he starts complaining about fairness like a toddler who has been told to take a nap.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Open-Ocean Sailing

If you sail a craft on the sea, you might want to consider buying a CelNav kit.

I disagree with the notion that this is a kit that can be used in an emergency by someone who is inexperienced. Oh, it can be used in an emergency, but like a handgun, it's a good idea to know how to use it before you need to.

GPS is a good thing, but you're depending on technology both in space and on your craft. For celestial navigation, all you need for technology are a sextant and a chronometer.

GPS spoofing isn't likely much of a problem in open ocean sailing. A spoofing transmitter has to be close enough to disrupt the signals. But what if someone mounted spoofers on a number of drones and sent them out over the sea?

More likely is, in any sort of conflict, that the GPS network itself is going to become spotty. If you are a cruiser, being caught away from home in an environment where GPS becomes unreliable would be a bad thing.

(I've mentioned this before.

(H/T)

Giving the Bird to Trump

You may recall Trump's recent unhinged rant about how windmills are detestable because they kill birds.

But if it's bulldozers or pollution slaughtering birds, Trump doesn't care.
Across the country birds have been killed and nests destroyed by oil spills, construction crews and chemical contamination, all with no response from the federal government, according to emails, memos and other documents viewed by The New York Times.

Not only has the administration stopped investigating most bird deaths, the documents show, it has discouraged local governments and businesses from taking precautionary measures to protect birds.
...
In nearly two dozen incidents across 15 states, internal conversations among Fish and Wildlife Service officers indicate that, short of going out to shoot birds, activities in which birds die no longer merit action. In some cases the Trump administration has even discouraged local governments and businesses from taking relatively simple steps to protect birds, like reporting fatalities when they are found.

“You get the sense this policy is not only bad for birds, it’s also cruel,” [Noah Greenwald, the endangered species director for the Center for Biological Diversity] said.
Cruelty is where Trump lives. Any policy that he can put into force, if there is an element of cruelty, know that Trump is reveling in it.

Spray DDT over a place where birds nest? As long as you can claim that you were trying to kill pests and that you really truly Scout's honor didn't mean to kill the birds, you're good.

Fortunately, there are companies and agencies that still try to do the right thing. But companies are largely amoral entities; they won't do the right thing unless forced. And Trump's never going to force them.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Happy Christmas (A Christmas Tale)

The Shepherd, by Frederick Forsyth.


I read the story every year. It's my own little tradition.

Monday, December 23, 2019

White-Washing With the Blood of Underlings

A court in Saudi Arabia sentenced five people to death Monday for the killing of Washington Post columnist and royal family critic Jamal Khashoggi, whose grisly slaying in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul drew international condemnation and cast a cloud of suspicion over Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
...
The trial concluded the killing was not premeditated, according to Shaalan al-Shaalan, a spokesperson from the attorney general’s office. That finding is in line with the Saudi government’s official explanation, which has been called into question by evidence that a hit team of Saudi agents with tools was sent to dispatch Khashoggi.
Yes, because people just carry around their bone saws and dismemberment tools in the event of what, finding a dead deer alongside the road in Istanbul?

The intelligence services of Western nations have maintained that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, aka Mr. Bone Saw, ordered Kashoggi's slaying. Bone Saw undoubtedly denied that in a conversation with Trump, which led Trump to say something along the lines of :he told me he didn't do it, I don;t know why he would have done it." That's essentially what Trump says whenever some dictator or autocrat denies ordering the performance of evil deeds.

Trump the Windbag Hates Wind

“I never understood wind,” Trump said. “I know windmills very much, I have studied it better than anybody. I know it is very expensive. They are made in China and Germany mostly, very few made here, almost none, but they are manufactured, tremendous — if you are into this — tremendous fumes and gases are spewing into the atmosphere. You know we have a world, right?”

“So the world is tiny compared to the universe. So tremendous, tremendous amount of fumes and everything. You talk about the carbon footprint, fumes are spewing into the air, right spewing, whether it is China or Germany, is going into the air,” he continued.
Does Trump have a random word generator in his head?

Beyond the bizarreness of this particular rant, one might observe that Trump doesn't give a shit about the fumes and gases that are emitted from coal-fired electricity generation plants. He's bent on rolling back rules affecting them.

So, for IMPOTUS, it makes a difference who is spewing.

Another Trumpanzee At Work

A Des Moines woman was charged with attempted murder after she told police that she intentionally ran over a 14-year-old girl because she believed the teenager was Mexican, authorities said Friday.

Natalia Miranda suffered a concussion and severe bruising in the attack but is expected to make a full recovery.

Clive Police Chief Mike Venema said Friday during a news conference that Nicole Marie Poole Franklin, 42, admitted to steering her SUV onto a sidewalk on Dec. 9 in the suburban Des Moines community and running over the teenager, who was walking to school to watch a basketball game. Franklin then fled the scene.
This is on Trump. He's been spending the last several years demonizing Mexicans as rapists and drug dealers and murderers. It should come as no surprise that some of his low-wattage supporters would try to take the law into their own hands.

About Time This Head Rolled

Boeing’s CEO is resigning amid ongoing problems at the company over the troubled Max 737 aircraft.

The Chicago manufacturer said Monday that Dennis Muilenburg is stepping down immediately. The board’s current chairman David Calhoun will officially take over on January 13.
I love that "Chicago manufacturer" shit. Because Boeing doesn't make anything in Chicago, other than stupid decisions. They are a manufacturer whose headquarters is located a three-hour airplane ride from where they actually make the things that people regard as "Boeing aircraft".

Oh, sure, they're only an hour's flight away from the McDonnell plant where F-18s are still being made (and reworked). But only the drain-bamaged refer to F-18s as "Boeings".

Besides all of the stupid stuff, such as allegedly getting the sales people involved in detailed design, Boeing's dumbest mistake was to move corporate HQ away from where they did the business of making airplanes.

Second mistake was making airplanes in South Carolina.

Boeing would do well to find executives who have actual experience running successful manufacturing operations, with points taken off for having a MBA degree and/or accounting or law degrees. They need people running the company who know how to make shit that isn't as useless as rubber dogshit.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Your Ride is Ratting You Out

It's bad enough that our smartphones are pocket spies. Newer cars and trucks are also sending off reams of data, the collection of which is wholly unregulated.

If you drive a newer vehicle and you get into a nasty divorce fight, bet the lawyers are going to be subpoenaing that shit. Get into an accident, same thing. Maybe the cops will be subpoenaing the data to see who might have been near the scene of a crime.

One tip: Use a power-port USB adapter to avoid plugging your phones into the car's computer.

I've got an older car that doesn't have any of that stuff. I'm going to drive it until the wheels fall off.

No Privacy for You!

Pretty much anyone can be tracked anywhere, nowadays. If somebody had a secret installation somewhere, the people working there could be tracked right up to it.

It's pretty frightening.

First thing: Turn of location tracking in your smartphone apps.

Caturday

We found a cat food that Chip doesn't care for.

It is Sheba.


He can eat a can of Fancy Feast in under four minutes. But this shit, not so much.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Shit Republicans Are Blind To; All Roads Lead to Putin Ed.

Trump is Putin's lapdog and the GOP just doesn't care.
After meeting privately in July 2017 with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin at the Group of 20 summit in Hamburg, Trump grew more insistent that Ukraine worked to defeat him, according to multiple former officials familiar with his assertions.

The president’s intense resistance to the assessment of U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia systematically interfered in the 2016 campaign — and the blame he cast instead on a rival country — led many of his advisers to think that Putin himself helped spur the idea of Ukraine’s culpability, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe internal discussions.

One former senior White House official said Trump even stated so explicitly at one point, saying he knew Ukraine was the real culprit because “Putin told me.”
It doesn't matter to the GOP that, because of their slavish fealty to Trump, that they are parroting Russian disinformation.

There was a time in this country that spewing Russian propaganda would get a person ostracized, if not imprisoned. But now, Russian propaganda is a central tenet of a party that once prided itself on being patriotic.

And if you have bought Putin's lies because Trump is mouthing them, then shame on you.

Because It's Friday

Cumbres & Toltec RR

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Work in Progress, Both Verses

(The original)

He's a Loser

In the time of chimpanzees, he was a baboon
No moral compass and a tool of the Russians
With the orange hair, never eats vegetables
Pee-stained mattress, porn-star pantyhose
Coulter is on, the brain is in neutral
Twitter feed blaring behind the Resolute desk
Connection’s in London, buying up Adderall
Guild all the couches, sleeps alone each night
Democrats sayin’ he’s insane in the brain
Dreaming of fourth wedding and dumping Melania
Never believe a word that he tweets
Still he believes Fox and Friends are sweet
So get ready for a hard-fought election
Twitter Man is ranting but he’ll never have an erection
Yo, cut it

[Chorus]
Es un perdedor
He’s a loser, baby, so let’s now remove him?
(Double barrel ranting)
Es un perdedor
He’s a loser, baby, so let’s now remove him?

[Verse 2]
Evil is personified in a bozo named Rudy
Stupid conspiracy theories that wouldn’t pass Judge Judy
He’s a corrupt weasel wrapped up in the Flag
Billy at Justice has the Federales in a bag
Sarah’s at the podium, always spewing lies
Her boss is coloring drawings of the airplane that he flies
Guzzling Diet Cokes washing down the Big Macs
Never one uttering anything resembling true facts
You can't get heard without coughing up cash
For staying in his hotel, a tower of trash
His term is a pile of shit
Stinking up history

[Chorus]
Es un perdedor
He’s a loser, baby, so let’s now remove him?
(Get crazy with the Twitter feed)
Es un perdedor
He’s a loser, baby, so let’s now remove him?
(White supremacist shooting)

[Bridge]
(Yo, bring it on down)

Trumpers are losers
Things changing, better believe it

[Chorus]
Es un perdedor
He’s a loser, baby, so let’s now remove him?
(I can't believe you)
Es un perdedor
He’s a loser, baby, so let’s now remove him?
Es un perdedor
He’s a loser, baby, so let’s now remove him?
(Sprechen Sie Deutsch, eh, baby?)
Es un perdedor
He’s a loser, baby, so let’s now remove him?
(Know what I'm sayin'?)

Trump's Immediate Supervisor Weighs In

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that U.S. President Donald Trump was impeached for “far-fetched” reasons, calling the move by Democrats a continuation of their fight against the [Russian asset].
As if he'd say anything else.

A Work in Progress

I need a second verse, maybe improve it a little, and I need somebody to rap/sing this on YouTube.

But if you want to run with this, feel free. (I'd appreciate credit)
He's a Loser

In the time of chimpanzees, he was a baboon
No moral compass and a tool of the Russians
With the orange hair, never eats vegetables
Pee-stained mattress, porn-star pantyhose
Coulter is on, the brain is in neutral
Twitter feed blaring behind the Resolute desk
Connection’s in Vegas, buying up Adderall
Guild all the couches, sleeps alone each night
Democrats sayin’ he’s insane in the brain
Dreaming of fourth wedding and dumping Melania
Never believe a word that he tweets
Still he believes Fox and Friends are sweet
So get ready for a hard-fought election
Twitter Man is ranting but he’ll never have an erection
Yo, cut it

[Chorus]
Es un perdedor
He’s a loser, baby, so let’s now remove him?
(Double barrel ranting)
Es un perdedor
He’s a loser, baby, so let’s now remove him?

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Same Shit, Different War; or Toljaso

The "Afghanistan Papers" have been released and, shockers of shockers, the Federal government, across three Administrations, has basically been lying to the American people about the war.
Several of those interviewed described explicit and sustained efforts by the U.S. government to deliberately mislead the public. They said it was common at military headquarters in Kabul — and at the White House — to distort statistics to make it appear the United States was winning the war when that was not the case.
...
John Sopko, the head of the federal agency that conducted the interviews, acknowledged to The Post that the documents show “the American people have constantly been lied to.”
NO FUCKING SHIT!

Anybody with half a functioning brain saw this coming seventeen years ago, when this latest iteration of a South Asian war began. It was patently obvious that the government in Afghanistan from the day that the Taliban was kicked out was corrupt, through and through. We have been sending over pallets of cash, both to the kleptocrats in Afghanistan and to our frenemies in Pakistan. We shoveled a shitload of aid to Pakistan, a country that provided aid, succor and shelter to our enemies.

For what? There may be talks between high-level Taliban and our government, but the middle-level Talibanistas, the ones on the ground, are not terribly interested in negotiating. The fighting goes on.

Just like the last war we fought in South Asia, our government and our military have consistently and continually lied about the progress of the war and the prospect of establishing a stable, self-sustaining government. As I wrote, nine years ago:
Let me be clear on this: My operating premise is that every word spoken by Ft. Fumble, Centcom and the ISAF regarding the Afghan War is a lie, including the words "and" and "the", unless proven otherwise. In that regard, at least, there is not much of a difference between MAVC and IASF.
Toljaso.

Once Again, for #45, the "Mr" in "Mr President" Does Not Stand for "Mister".

Festivus came early this year, as Trump fired off a six-page screed to Nancy Pelosi in which, among other things, Trump said that the Salem Witch Trials were fairer than his impeachment.

Really? One has to be deranged to even think such a thing, let alone put it into a letter that will become a part of the historical record.

During the Salem Witch Trials, Bridget Bishop was executed for not dressing like a Puritan. Sarah Good was executed for the crimes of being poor and yelling at children. Sarah Osborne died in jail, accused of witchcraft for marrying a man outside of her social class. Giles Corey was crushed to death for refusing to enter a plea, his wife, Martha, was executed.

To equate the Salem Witch Trials with the Impeachment of Donald Trump is a historical perversion; a perversion that is well in character with Trump.

What Trump has done is open to full inspection, even without the documents and testimony that he has withheld, because even in his corrupt gut, he knows he's as guilty of impeachable offenses as he as been for all of his financial misdealings-- which is why he is trying his utmost to keep his finances hidden.

There is not a single Republican who has the balls to oppose Trump. Even ones who pretend to dislike Trump, such as Susan Collins and Mitt Romney, are proving themselves to be gutless wonders. We send soldiers and Marines to risk their lives for this country, but our spineless politicians will not risk their phony-baloney jobs to do what's right.

History will not treat the Defenders of All Things Trump kindly, just as it has not treated kindly the Defenders of Nixon.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Pilatus Crash, South Dakota

The NTSB Preliminary Report is available.

The airport that they flew out of doesn't have much in the way of services. It had an automated (self-service) fueling station. Typically, those tend to have either a stepladder or a roll-around stepladder that is sized so that pilots of high-wing airplanes can haul up the refueling hose. I don't know how well one would do at removing ice and snow from a T-tail with those ladders. Nor do I know if there was any deicing equipment available.

I think that you can see where I'm going on this: It sounds like a fatal case of get-there-itis.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Boys and Girls, It's Time to Go Back to Paying Cash for Stuff (and Ditch Those "Loyalty" Programs)

Because Facebook, in association with chuckleheaded merchants, is tracking your shit.
If you recently bought something at a physical store, you might have noticed an uptick in the number of Facebook ads you saw related to that store or the item you bought.

The phenomenon — which has been documented by Reddit and Twitter users — is not a coincidence.

Through its partnerships with retailers, Facebook learns about what users are buying, both online and in brick-and-mortar stores. That data is ultimately used to target ads to people, based on what they're likely to spend money on.
Oh, the evil trolls at Facebook claim that you can opt-out of it, but how much do you trust those fuckers?

One of the users/participants of this bullshit is Dick's Sporting Goods, a company that is truly living up to its name. Because that's what they are doing to their customers.

Note that all they need are a couple of bits of data to link you to the purchases, which is why, even if you pay cash, you had better not opt for an emailed receipt or let them scan your loyalty card.

If you want your privacy, people, you need to fight for it. Not just "opt-out" of that bullshit, actively take measures to avoid being tracked. First and foremost: Pay cash.

75 Years

75 years ago today, German tanks roared through the Ardennes to commence what they called Operation Watch on the Rhine, what we call today the Battle of the Bulge. Almost half a million German soldiers and 1,400 tanks attacked what was regarded as lightly-defended terrain.

It was a Hitlerian gamble, an attempt at a grand stroke. Like most such gambles after 1941, it ended in failure and massive German casualties. It was the last gasp of the German Army on the Western front. The Luftwaffe air offensive, Operation Baseplate, marked the end of the Luftwaffe as an effective combat force.

One of the better books on the battle is Infantry Soldier by George W. Nell, which was published 19 years ago.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Donnie No-Class Rides Again (Plus, Mayor McBig Gulp)

Trump at the Army-Navy Game, where he tossed the coin:


At a nonpolitical event, where he is acting as CinC, he's got to wear his stupid grifter hat.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg is leveraging his purported charitable foundation for his presidency:
As Mr. Bloomberg traverses the country as a presidential candidate, he is drawing on a vast network of city leaders whom he has funded as a philanthropist or advised as an elder statesman of municipal politics. Bloomberg Philanthropies, which has assets totaling $9 billion, has supported 196 different cities with grants, technical assistance and education programs worth a combined $350 million. Now, leaders in some of those cities are forming the spine of Mr. Bloomberg’s campaign: He has been endorsed so far by eight mayors — from larger cities like San Jose, Calif., and Louisville, Ky., and smaller ones like Gary, Ind., representing a total of more than 2.6 million Americans.
They laughably attempt to claim that there is no shit no linkage between Bloomberg's philanthropy and his campaign:
Now, some of the same people who aided these mayors from Mr. Bloomberg’s foundation are the ones asking for their political support. Mr. Anderson, who several mayors described as the most vital point of contact at Bloomberg Philanthropies, is now directing the campaign’s “Mayors for Mike” coalition. He and Patricia E. Harris, the foundation’s longtime chief executive, have both moved over to the campaign, changing email addresses and phone numbers but not their relationships with mayors and other leaders.

Mr. Williams, the Huntington mayor, recalled a phone call from Mr. Anderson, “wanting to have a separate conversation from the foundation, asking, ‘Can we switch gears?’” he said.

“He has a separate telephone number from where it was before. He emails me to my personal email address. It’s always very clear. Personal number. Campaign number,” Mr. Williams said. “They understand the lines of demarcation.”
Those "lines of demarcation" are about as strong and well-marked as the border between the Trump's campaign and his business dealings. I'll bet that there isn't a single mayoral beneficiary of Mikey's charity money who believes that the money will keep coming if they stiff-arm his campaign.

If the choice next year is between these two wannabee autocrats, the loser will be America as a republic.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

This one is for the Old NFO:

Saturday, December 14, 2019

No, It's Not the "Roaring Twenties", You Media Numbnuts

Twice, now, I've heard on-air blatherers referring to the upcoming decade as "the Roaring Twenties".

That's just wrong on a number of levels.

One is that I can't waltz into the local hardware store and buy a Chicago Typewriter.

Another is that they seem to be ignoring how the decade that did earn that name ended. It was not pretty.

What they do have in common is that both decades had crime that has grown out of the moral prohibitionists, who continue to think that human desires can be outlawed. And, of course, a Republican president whose administration has set records for corruption.

Caturday

Priss tucks into her dry food.


She clears the middle of her dish, so the remaining food is around the edges. It's kind of weird.

There's another tuxedo cat out there, but I can't get close enough to get a decent photo.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Because It's Friday


The Brits can sure make valve gear complex.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Ah, Frell It

Trump Coughs It Up, Again

President Trump has paid $2 million to eight charities as part of a settlement in which the president admitted he misused funds raised by the Donald J. Trump Foundation to promote his presidential bid and pay off business debts, the New York State attorney general said on Tuesday.
At this point in time, only a Kool-aid-drinking Trumpanzee can maintain the fiction that Trump isn't a crook, a venal con man. It's also kind of delicious that Trump's adult spawn had to undergo compulsory training in not stealing from charities.

This isn't the first time that Trump has had to cough up a large amount of cash because of his criminality.

If any of this crap had been proven against the Clintons (as in "legal proceedings", not "Alex Jones grade conspiracy droolings"), the Right Wing Noise Machine would have been calling for public executions. But with Trump, the Right is silent. Because they are willing to close their eyes to proven evil and to actions that strike at the base of their own morals, as long as it suits their purposes.

That's not just deplorable. It is despicable.

Also, questions for Republicans.
The comment section, of course, is open to the usual whataboutists.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Russia Can't Not Cheat

Members of the World Anti-Doping Agency's Athletes Committee have demanded a blanket ban on Russian athletes competing at the Olympics.

Wada holds a key meeting in Lausanne on Monday to discuss sanctions.

Russia was declared non-compliant for manipulating laboratory data handed over to investigators.
The best way to think of Russian athletes is to imagine that they're all named Lance Armstongov.

There ought to be thought given to stripping Russians of Olympic medals at least back to the beginning of the Putin era.

Your Sunday Morning Prop Noise

A Bf-109, not a Bouchon with a Merlin.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Ho Ho Ho

I am so getting this one:

They Are Not Our Friends

The suspect in the deadly shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida held a dinner party before the attack to watch mass shooting videos, a US official briefed on the situation by federal authorities told the Associated Press.

The suspect, a member of the Saudi Air Force who was in the US for training, shot and killed three people and wounded another seven Friday in a horrific act of violence. During the attack, another Saudi student, one of three who reportedly attended the dinner party, filmed the shooting at the US naval base.

Two other Saudi students are said to have watched from a car.

Ten Saudi students have reportedly been detained for questioning. Some of the Saudi nationals at the base are, however, currently unaccounted for, the AP reports.
President Genius; Stable; Very had something to tweet:
President Donald Trump said Friday that he had spoken by phone to Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Al-Saud, following a deadly shooting on a Pensacola, Florida naval base. Authorities have said that the shooter, who killed at least three people and wounded at least eight, was a visiting Saudi national.

“King Salman of Saudi Arabia just called to express his sincere condolences and give his sympathies to the families and friends of the warriors who were killed and wounded in the attack that took place in Pensacola, Florida,” Trump tweeted shortly after 2:00pm on Friday.

“The King said that the Saudi people are greatly angered by the barbaric actions of the shooter, and that this person in no way shape or form represents the feelings of the Saudi people who love the American people,” Trump added.
Horseshit.

I have little doubt that King Salman knows as much as what the average Saudi thinks as does Trump, or, for that matter, a street camel. But it is interesting that Trump didn't talk to Prince Bone Saw, or maybe he leaves that task to his son-in-law, who is a paid-up member of the Future Felons of America.

And this:
The gunman - Saudi national Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani who was a trainee at the site - killed three people in a classroom before being shot dead.

Authorities have not said the other students were involved.

A Twitter user appearing to match Alshamrani's identity had made a series of anti-US posts, US media say.

But US Defence Secretary Mark Esper said on Saturday that he would not label the incident as "terrorism" at this point.
For you know that if the shooter had been a student from any other Middle Eastern country. Trump would have sent Gruppenfuhrer Miller out to screech about the wisdom of Trump's Muslim bans and how they would have prevented this tragedy. The Trump Propaganda Network would be wall-to-wall screeching about terrorism.

This is not all on Trump, of course. Our national policy has been "suck up to the Saudis" for decades. But this is still on Trump because this is his watch.

If there is a reason for green sources of energy other than to do something about climate change, it is to push the Saudis back into irrelevancy.

Model 10 Bangity

AIR Surplus has heavy barrel Model 10s in "shooter grade". These have been imported by CAI.

I ordered one.


The bluing is worn away along the barrel and on spots on the cylinder. There is some pitting under the grips. The import markings are discreet; on the underside of the barrel and under the ejector rod.

But the timing of the gun is in nearly-new condition. The bore, once I removed the traces of leading, is mirror-bright. It is definately a gun that was carried a lot and shot very little.

It shoots very well.

If you think that you may ever have a need for one, jump on this with both feet.

Caturday

Friday, December 6, 2019

Because It's Friday

A hard climb for a British locomotive

Thursday, December 5, 2019

World's Oldest Toddler Leaves in a Huff

Remember when Trump claimed the world was laughing at the United States? Turned out that he was wrong; the world is laughing at him.


Note that one of the leaders taking part was Boris Johnson, the UK's mini-Trump.

It's not the first time.



Anyway, President Snowflake was not amused, so he canceled a press conference and left the NATO meeting early, because they were so mean to him! That's the behavior of an aggrieved toddler, not that of a serious adult.

It's just pitiful.

(I'd compare him to a whiny-ass tweener, but that would be insulting to tweeners.)

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Bye, Kamela

Kamala Harris dropped out of the race today.

From what I saw, she didn’t have much of a message beyond “I’m not Joe Biden.” Unlike a number of the other candidates, Harris didn't seem to have a sense of what she was running on, other than possibly a claim for the mantle of Barack Obama.

From the stories over the last few weeks, her campaign management was similarly unfocused.

Hard to say that anyone will miss her.

So, How Far Do You Take Moral Superiority

In a post mainly about HIV/AIDS coming to rural areas because of opioid addiction, a "caring conservative" advocated not treating anyone who is gay who contracts HIV.

So I want to know: How far do you guys on the Right want to take medical Darwinism? Let's try a few hypotheticals:
  • You're a paramedic. You're called to an OD at a trailer park. You have Narcan and can easily save that person's life. Do you?
  • Second version of that:  The person ODing is the son of one of the richest men in the state.  Do you administer a dose of Narcan?
  • You're running an ER.  Several people come in, injured in a collision.  The driver is obviously intoxicated.  Do you treat him, or do you set him aside?
  • You're a cop, responding to a domestic incident.  A guy has beat the shit out of his girlfriend.  You've responded to calls involving these people before.  Do you do anything, because the girlfriend won't get a protection order, let alone leave the guy?
  • You're a first responder, responding to a crash where one vehicle smashed into the rear of a truck.  One of the cops on the scene picks up the driver's phone, examines it and pronounces that the driver had been texting at the time of the impact.  Do you let the driver bleed out in the wreck?
  • Same situation, the driver is a powerful politician in the political party you support.  You think the politician could eventually be president.
  • Two cars collided.  The occupants of Car A are in worse shape than Car B.  The people in Car A weren't wearing their seat belts.  The ones in Car B were wearing their seat belts.  Who do you treat first?
  • A motorcycle rider is brought into the ER who obviously was wearing shorts, a t-shirt and no helmet.  The rider's injuries are bad and consistent with not wearing safety gear.  Treat or no treat?
There are a lot more that can be dreamed up, depending on one's political leanings. Is there any place for applying a sense of moral judgment to treatment decisions? And if so, where do you draw the line?

Monday, December 2, 2019

"I Didn't Do Nuttin' See! The Charges Are Political, See!"
(But I'm Guilty.)

California Rep. Duncan Hunter said he plans to plead guilty to misusing campaign funds and is prepared to go to jail, a stunning turn of events for the six-term Republican who had steadfastly denied wrongdoing and claimed he was the victim of a political witch hunt by federal prosecutors.
...
The combat Marine veteran and an early supporter of President Donald Trump said he will plead guilty to one count of misuse of campaign funds. Federal prosecutors alleged he and his wife spent more than $250,000 in campaign money for golf outings, plane tickets and a family vacation to Italy, as well as household items from places like Costco.
Hunter spent the last year screaming that he was being persecuted and was the subject of a witch-hunt.

But now he's probably going to prison.

Back to Real World ASW

There's nothing like practicing against the other guys.

AIDS Comes to TrumpLand

HIV and AIDS are coming to rural counties and they're not at all ready for it.

Once things start to get bad, look to Republicans to all of a sudden start caring about people with HIV and AIDS. Kind of in the same way that Trump began to care about doing something about the Mexican cartels only when a bunch of renegade Mormons got whacked.

On the other hand, I suspect nothing will change. There is a core group of Republicans who will claim that those people who contract HIV and AIDS are suffering some sort of divine retribution for sinning, only this time around, it's for using drugs. Or having sex with somebody who used drugs.

Every time I hear one of those Talibanistas talk about 'hating the sin, loving the sinner", I want to throw up.They don't mean a single word of it.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Webley-Fosbery Revolver

Ian McCollum takes a look at the Webley-Fosbery revolver:




They are neat guns, indeed. I've never seen a copy.

Between the development of smokeless ammunition and the maturation of semiautomatic handguns and automatic rifles, there was a lot of innovation that came at nearly blinding speed.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

The latest variant of the 747, the -8F:

g

Fifty years of production isn't nothing.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Caturday

Jasmine is voicing displeasure at not being permitted to partake of the Thanksgiving feast:

Friday, November 29, 2019

Because It's Friday

Stephenson's Rocket (replica thereof)

Tab Clearing: Trump on Afghanistan; Opiates and Pain

In this op-ed, a knee surgery patient exhibits frustration at being treated like a potential drug abuser for using opiates for post-surgery pain. I'll cut to the chase, for those who feel lazy:
The thing is, there are millions of Americans who aren’t an addiction liability just because they want a narcotics prescription post-injury or post-surgery. Yes, the government says nearly 80 percent of heroin users first misused opioid prescriptions, but the research being cited refers to people who illegally obtained those prescription opioids. Not patients.

In conclusion, Orthopedic Surgeon (and all doctors, really), can you ease up on prohibiting medications that help patients in pain to relax a bit? They’re not terrible drugs. They’re terrible drugs in the wrong hands.
I am of an age that I know people who have had major orthopedic surgery and cancer. For orthopedics, there's not much worse than a knee replacement. An orthopedic surgeon told me that the knee is a far more complex joint than the hip, as the knee has several degrees of motion. Despite the glowing ads that some hospitals run for their joint replacement centers, the recovery from knee replacement can be long and brutal. Shoulder surgery has the reputation of having a recovery period that people put off having it.

Add in people dealing with spinal deformities and cancer and you have a large number of people who are dealing with prolonged and debilitating pain. Opiates help, not necessarily to make them pain-free, but to knock enough of the edge off that people can function.

So how are they treated? They're treated like drug abusers. Bring in the pills for a count. Take a piss test to ensure that the drugs are being used. If they try to taper off for a time, that effort is treated as if it's permanent, leaving them high and dry for a reoccurrence of pain. But the worst is the emotional impact of being told that although they are in pain, they're being looked at with a gimlet eye because they must be incipient druggies.

As a result, patients try to deal with pain on their own and they suffer. Nobody seems to care. Certainly not the politicians, who have jumped on the "all opiates are bad" bandwagon. The doctors have been given the message that if any badged-up DEA flunky thinks they may have overprescribed, at the very least, they'll take away the doctor's prescription pad and maybe go after their license. So they'll settle for having patients suffer.

The pendulum has swung too far.

------------------------------------------

Now, on to Trump:
President Donald Trump paid a surprise Thanksgiving visit to Afghanistan ... During his visit, Trump announced that the U.S. and Taliban have been engaged in peace talks and insisted the Taliban want to make a deal after heavy U.S. fire in recent months.
The Taliban's leaders are not stupid. They can read a calendar as well as anyone else. They know, full well, that Trump is standing for re-election next year and that he started campaigning the day after he was sworn in. They know that Trump has promised to get out of Afghanistan. They know that the person who is most anxious for a deal is Trump.

In short, the party that is most eager to make a deal is Trump, not the Taliban. That gives them them the edge in any negotiations, and they know it. Trump may not, for he seems to have an ability to see his own version of reality, a world where there are kind-hearted Nazis, that the Mall in Washington was packed for his Inauguration and so on.

Don't be surprised if Trump gives away the store in exchange for a deal. We've seen this movie already.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Convicted Murderer Named Paul Termann Wins the Right to "Be Forgotten"

A man convicted of murder 37 years ago has the right to be forgotten and have his name removed from online search results, Germany's highest court ruled on Wednesday.

The constitutional court in Karlsruhe found in favour of Paul Termann, who was given a life sentence for killing two people on a yacht in 1982.

A rift with another couple aboard the 'Apollonia' ship, ended with Termann, then 43, shooting dead Herbert Klein and Gabriele Humpert.
Seems that Termann is finding it hard to have "social relationships" because nobody wants to date an 80-year old murderer.

I'm kind of skeptical of a court in a certain country finding in favor of the "right to be forgotten" for killing people. For one might argue that said nation may have a vested interest in the same rules applying to them as a nation.

Trump Supports Human Rights When There Is No Other Alternative

China reacted furiously Thursday to President Donald Trump’s signing two bills aimed at supporting human rights in Hong Kong, summoning the U.S. ambassador to protest and warning the move would undermine cooperation with Washington.
...
The U.S. laws, which passed both chambers of Congress almost unanimously, mandate sanctions on Chinese and Hong Kong officials who carry out human rights abuses in Hong Kong, require an annual review of Hong Kong’s favorable trade status and prohibit the export to Hong Kong police of certain nonlethal munitions.
Why do I say that Trump had no alternative? This:
The House passed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act by a vote of 417 to 1 on Nov. 20. The lone holdout was Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.). That vote came one day after the Senate approved the measure unanimously.
A veto would have been overridden in a New York minute.

On the other hand, Trump could have asked his flying monkeys in Congress to block the bill, and Moscow Mitch might have done that. But Trump is not in a good place politically; being seen as standing up for the Chinese Communists over pro-democracy protesters (even when he had previously seemed to approve of brutal crackdowns).

It's Called "Doing an Epstein".

Thomas Bowers, identified as a former Deutsche Bank executive who signed off on controversial loans to President Donald Trump, died last week after apparently taking his own life at 55.
He hung himself and the coroner called it suicide.

Rudy had better hope that his so-called insurance is really good. Or his house may be painted.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

The Bus Bears Down on Rudy;
Also, If You Don't Want to be Known as a Liar, Don't Lie

Trump is denying having anything to do with Giuliani's going to Ukraine for anything. Rudy may want to see if his dry-cleaners can get tire treadmarks out of his suit.

------------------------------

Dead-eyed Sarah Sanders is not happy that she earned a reputation for lying. Maybe she should have thought about that before she took a job where lying was part of the job.

There's an old joke about that.

Our Stable Genius at Work


So Trump really does not understand why it is customary to wait one hundred years to celebrate the centennial of an event? Does he not understand how time works? Is he that freaking dense that he doesn't know what "centennial" means? Or is he that desperate to take credit for things that have nothing to do with him?

I guess we should cut him a break. Time is different for those in TrumpWorld... Melania probably feels as though she's been married to this boob for fifty years.

On Eddie Gallagher

I understand that Trump is the Commander-in-Chief. If he wants to override the verdict of a court-martial and protect a single sailor, that's his right.

But this is what I have a problem with: I have a problem with both the sailor and his lawyer going on Fox & Friends and whining directly to the President. That, to my mind, makes a mockery of the military disciplinary process. Gallagher made it a bit worse by hiring a lawyer who has Trump's ear. So Trump was predisposed to listen to what Gallagher's shill had to say, instead of what evidence was put forth and what judgment was made in a legal proceeding.

What Trump is doing is spreading his brand of corruption into the military: Do what the autocrat wants, even if it's a war crime, and he will protect you. Could Trump put together a personal hit squad and set them on his enemies? Why not? The Republicans have been claiming that Trump is immune from the justice system and Trump can ensure that his assassins are protected from prosecution.

That is admittedly far-fetched. But given that Trump admires Putin above all other living people[1] and that is pretty much what Putin has been doing, don't be surprised if it begins to happen. A president who has repeatedly called the free press "the enemy of the people"[2] and who has repeatedly called for people to be beaten up will have no qualms about ordering that people be killed.
________________________________________
[1] Because Hitler is dead.
[2] See FN.1. I have no doubt that Trump is familiar with the history of The Munich Post.

Monday, November 25, 2019

On Bloomberg: What He Said

The New York Crank has torn into Mayor McBig Gulp. You should read the entire thing.

Hong Kong Gets Interesting

Hong Kong's leader Carrie Lam has said the government will "seriously reflect" after local elections saw massive gains by pro-democracy candidates.

Seventeen of the 18 district councils are now controlled by pro-democracy councillors, according to local media.

The election, the first since the wave of anti-Beijing protests began, saw an unprecedented turnout of more than 71%.

It is being seen as a stinging rebuke of Ms Lam's leadership and a show of support for the protest movement.
...
Pro-democracy contenders were victorious in 347 of the 452 district council seats up for grabs; pro-Beijing candidates won 60 seats; while independents - many of them pro-democracy - got 45, according to the South China Morning Post.

In the last election four years ago, pro-Beijing councillors won 298 seats, but the distribution of these seats meant they took control of all 18 district councils.

They retained control of only the Islands District Council after Sunday's vote.
So, unlike the narrative that the mainland Chinese are trying to sell, the pro-democracy protesters have proven that they have the support of the people.

Things are going to get even more interesting in Hong Kong.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

The Antidote to an Elderly Egomanical Billionaire as President Is an Even More Elderly Egomanical Billionaire?

According to Mayor McBig Gulp, it is.
Billionaire and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, one of the world’s richest men, has formally launched a Democratic bid for president. ... He will quickly follow with a massive advertising campaign blanketing airways in key primary states across the U.S.
Right.. "I made tens of billions of dollars, I was rich enough to buy a third term as mayor in NYC, I can buy the presidency."

Fucking give me a break. Bloomberg has a lot of Trumpian qualities; a belief that his billions have embued him with a special quality that would serve him well as president. Bloomberg is smarter than Trump, but he would be no more willing to listen to Congress than is Trump. Bloomberg would govern as does Trump; by scrawling his name on executive orders and expecting the entire country to kowtow to him.

Bloomberg would probably be the first Democratic candidate in a long time to poll into negative numbers in the Black community and possible the Latino community. People dead and those not yet born would hate him. For Bloomberg is a nothing if not a fascist. His "stop and frisk all the darkies" policy was ruled to be unconstitutional, a policy he defended right up until he realized that it would hurt his presidential bid. His conversion on this is about as convincing as Giuliani's conversion on the Second Amendment. Or Trump's.

Like Tom Steyer, Bloomberg will spend a lot of money on TV advertising, which will reach anyone who doesn't have a DVR.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

Lear 85:



The 85 was a project that was canceled four years ago.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Caturday

A trio of shelter cats:

Friday, November 22, 2019

Good Morning America is Run by Superficial Idiots

This morning on GMA, some clown was reporting on Bloomberg's pseudo run for the presidency. The reporter pointed out the last person to skip the initial primaries and win the nomination was Hubert Humphrey in 1968.

That is true on a very superficial level. But only that.

Plumbing my memory banks from 1968: Humphrey was, at the time, LBJ's veep. LBJ was running for reelection until Eugene McCarthy nearly beat LBJ in New Hampshire. LBJ then dropped out and others entered the race, including Robert F. Kennedy (the father of the moron who thinks vaccines are bad). Kennedy emerged from the California primary as the front-runner for the nomination, but he was assassinated that night. Humphrey then was the front-runner and he won the nomination.

So unless Bloomberg is counting on an assassin to kill off whomever is in front, he's got as much chance as his money will buy him.

Which hopefully is damned little.

Because It's Friday

The Brits do love steam, it seems.


Nearly 7' tall drivers and rain-slick track can make things interesting.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

I Second This Sentiment


Will No One Rid Me of This Turbulent Priest?

Whether it was that famous phrase or a mafia boss ordering a hit my telling someone "take care of Fredo", the idea that a boss can order his subordinates to do something while maintaining deniability for having done so is a concept that is centuries, if not millennia, old.

Republicans, like a certain former wresting coach, know all about deniability. The only people who don't understand that Trump was soliciting a bribe from Ukraine are those who wouldn't say he did something wrong if he was found coated in blood, holding a knife and standing over Melania's still-oozing corpse.

At this point it's hard to see the Senate voting to remove Trump. GOP Senators, some of whom are still in office, were oh, so hot on removing Bill Clinton for lying about a blow job are prostrating themselves in defense of Trump's subversion of American foreign policy to serve his personal interests.

But the impeachment still has to move forward. For even if the Republicans are too gutless to stand up for the rule of law, history will not be so shy.

At this point, the only true winner is the historical reputation of George W. Bush, who can be assured that he is no longer the worst GOP president in history.

Following Up

Two months ago, I blogged about MyPayrollHR, a company run by an alleged fraudster, which stole the paychecks of thousands of people. The overall number may be a quarter of a million.

Some of the companies dug deep and absorbed the losses themselves. One business owner, Brad Mete, and his partners coughed up over $250,000 to ensure that their employees got the money they earned.

The CEO, a guy named Michael Mann, directed $26 million in other people's payrolls into his own accounts.

He's been charged with fraud. Mann has admitted to stealing about $70 million over the last nine years.

With any luck, he'll get more than the usual white-collar wrist slap.

The company that did the bank processing for the fraudster and other companies, Cachet Financial, got out of the business last month. They gave almost no notice, which screwed over even more employers.

A lot of this modern third-party processing shit is based on trust. One crook can pull it all apart. Companies once did this all themselves, but they figured to save themselves money by firing Janet and her sisters in the payroll department and having some shadowy critters on the Internet do the work for them.

If you work for a company that outsources its payroll processing, you probably should have a couple of paychecks' worth of money stashed aside. (Which you should have, anyway.) That way, if payroll has a glitch like a criminal like Mann diverting the payroll, you won't be kicked out of your home or have the heat turned off.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

So, What's The Problem, Here?

Thousands of lawsuits across the United States have accused a drug company owned by the billionaire Sackler family of using false claims to push highly addictive opioids on an unsuspecting nation, fueling the deadliest drug epidemic in U.S. history.

Yet, even as its U.S. drugmaker collapses under the charges, another company owned by the family has used the same tactics to peddle its signature painkiller, OxyContin, in China, according to interviews with current and former employees and documents obtained by the Associated Press.
Once it becomes clear to the Chinese government that the Sacklers' company, Mundipharma, is getting a few hundred thousand Chinese addicted to opioids to enrichen a Western family, they'll react by charging the Chinese executives of Mundipharma with narcotics trafficking and shoot them.

The Sackler family may want to stay clear of Chinese territory for the foreseeable future. But if they don't, and if what I just posited happens to them, few tears will be shed by those who aren't related to them.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

A Second Thought on Trump's Settlement Move

Besides what I posted yesterday, there is another way that Trump's move benefits Putin.

Since the end of the Second World War, the gain of land by a nation through conquest has been heavily frowned upon. Doing so has been regarded as illegal; when nations have done that, their conquests have not been recognized by most of the rest of the world.

Russia, as you likely know, obtained the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine by conquest. Russia's conquest has not been recognized by nations of the world that are either, in essence, Russian puppets, or nations that similarly seek to keep conquered territory. American recognition of Israel's conquest of the West Bank, which is what Trump's reversal on settlement policy is, serves Russian interests in that Trump is fracturing the global consensus against wars of conquest.

So, one again, with Trump, all roads lead to Czar Vladimir IV.

More Bullshit from Boeing

Outside of charging NASA 63% more for flying people to space than SpaceX, Boeing had this jaw-dropping claim:
"Starliner flies on the most reliable lifter in the business, an Atlas V modified for human spaceflight safety by people with actual experience in the domain," the company stated.
The last Atlas that carried a human into space flew on May 15, 1963-- 56 years ago. It's pretty safe to say that there is nobody working for then-Convair, now Boeing now who worked on building the man-rated Atlas boosters between 1959 and 1963.

Boeing might as well tout their experience in building seaplanes.

South Dakota is on Meth!

No shit, that is essentially their well-chosen slogan for their anti-meth campaign.


Here is the governor of South Dakota to announce that the state is on meth:


I don't mean to make light of methamphetamine addiction. It's a serious problem. I've seen a number of families get torn apart by the drug; parents going to jail, kids going to foster care.

But south Dakota's state government has to be chock full of morons to think that "Meth. We're On It." is a good choice for a slogan.

Monday, November 18, 2019

The Trumpers' "No Harm, No Foul" Argument is Bullshit

The Trumpers have been arguing that solicitation of a bribe wasn't historically a crime.

That's pure bullshit, as you can read here on Lawfare. This is what you need to know:
In short, the president got caught before the bribe could be delivered, called off the scheme and his defenders now claim as a result that he’s exonerated. That’s not how the law of bribery works: if you attempt or solicit bribery, you commit the offense, whether or not you get the goods. ... It is well established in the law that a “thing of value” for bribery purposes can be tangible or intangible, and is not limited to money.
If you are so wedded to Trump that you think that solicitation of a bribe is fine, then you need to put down the Kool-aid.

Or your name is Lindsey Graham.

Trump on West Bank Settlements: Cui Bono?

The Trump administration declared on Monday that the United States does not consider Israeli settlements in the West Bank a violation of international law, reversing four decades of American policy and removing what has been an important barrier to annexation of Palestinian territory.

The announcement by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was the latest political gift from the Trump administration to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has vowed in two elections this year to push for the annexation of the West Bank. His chief opponent, Benny Gantz, has until Wednesday night to gather a majority in Israel’s Parliament or he will relinquish his chance to form a new government, raising the prospect of a third round of elections.
Besides the obvious benefit to Netanyahu and Trump's naked attempts to pander to Jewish voters. there is another party who benefits.

That is Russia.

For decades, the United States has tried to be a nation that tried to facilitate an agreement between the Israel, the Palestinians and the Arab nations bordering Israel. The 1979 Camp David Accords and the 1993/1995 Oslo Accords are examples of that.

Trump has trashed all that. There is now only one quasi-global power who has at least semi-decent relationships with all parties.

That nation is Russia.

As in so many things that Trump does: All roads lead to Putin.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Trump's "Physical" is Likely a Pack of Lies

President Donald Trump spent more than two hours at Walter Reed National Medical Center on Saturday for what the White House said were medical tests as part of his annual physical.

The appointment wasn’t on Trump’s weekend public schedule, and his last physical was in February. Press secretary Stephanie Grisham said the 73-year-old president was “anticipating a very busy 2020” and wanted to take advantage of “a free weekend” in Washington to begin portions of his routine checkup.
Bullshit.

Trump's next physical is due in February. Going in for tests three months before doesn't even faintly have the ring of truth, not for the guy who declares that he is the most transparent man in history (except for his tax returns).

What is far more likely is that Trump had some chest pains or something worth a few hours worth of tests.

Which could be the opening for Trump's exit plan to leave office without being defeated or impeached.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

A Lear 75.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

The Internet is Having Fun Today





Hey, Donnie Bone Spurs! Did You Forget William Calley?

As long as Trump is pardoning war criminals, one might think that he'd not forget one from the war that he fraudulently dodged.

Caturday

Say hello to Speck, a feral:


We've gone from Speck's not allowing us to be within fifty feet to sometimes within ten feet.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Get Yours Today!


Get it here.

Guilty as Charged

[Roger] Stone was convicted Friday of all seven counts in a federal indictment that accused him of lying to Congress, tampering with a witness and obstructing the House investigation into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia to tip the 2016 election.
Stone joins a long line:
Mr. Stone, 67, joins a notable list of former Trump aides convicted of lying to federal authorities. It includes Mr. Gates; Michael T. Flynn, the former national security adviser; Michael D. Cohen, the president’s longtime personal lawyer and fixer, and George Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign aide. And his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who was also once Mr. Stone’s partner in a political consulting firm, was convicted of a string of financial crimes and is serving a seven-and-a-half-year prison term.
I am certain, down to the soles of my feet, that Trump will pardon Stone for his fuckery. Because the rule of law is a laughable concept to Trump. And, evidently, to the rest of his party of indicted criminals.

Because It's Friday

The Durango & Silverton RR.



Steam has been run continuously on that railroad since it was built.

Yes, It's Bribery

I've been calling what Trump was trying to pull as "soliciting a campaign contribution from a foreign government", but Nancy Pelosi is correct: He was soliciting a bribe. Trump was holding up Congressionally-authorized aid to Ukraine until they agreed to do something that benefited him personally.

The Defenders of All Things Trump like to claim "the aid was ultimately released, so no harm, no foul". Which is, of course, ridiculous. if you want to test this (at your own risk), shoot and miss at a Trumpanzee and see if they complain about it.

Beyond that, another thing that Pelosi said before was also correct: Whenever Trump does or does not do something in the realm of foreign policy, the ultimate beneficiary is Putin.

Ohio May Be For Idiots

The Ohio House on Wednesday passed the "Student Religious Liberties Act." Under the law, students can't be penalized if their work is scientifically wrong as long as the reasoning is because of their religious beliefs.
Science is based on facts. Religion is based on belief. If a kid is taking an astronomy test and claims that the Earth is the center of the solar system, that answer is wrong, no matter what belief system they claim to follow.

This sort of "accommodation" is perniciously evil. As is the Christian Taliban, which has far more in common with folks like Mr. Bone Saw than they'd admit.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Another Wall Street Hack Runs for President

Deval Patrick.

Right. Another clown who has gotten rich from being a parasite (subprime mortgages, vulture capitalism) is just who we need in the race.

Which reminds me: What is Helicopter Harold doing these days?

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year