Words of Advice:

"We have it totally under control. It's one person coming from China. It's going to be just fine." -- Donald Trump, 1/22/2020

“We will not see diseases like the coronavirus come here..and isn't it refreshing when contrasting it with the awful presidency of President Obama."
-- Trump Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, 2/25/20

"I don't take responsibility for anything." --Donald Trump, 3/13/20

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

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

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

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

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Trump Cynically Sells Out the Afghanis

The United States signed a historic deal with Taliban insurgents on Saturday that could pave the way toward a full withdrawal of foreign soldiers from Afghanistan over the next 14 months and represent a step toward ending the 18-year-war there.
The cynicism is pretending that the Taliban won't take over the country. The cynicism is that the government in Afghanistan was not a signatory to this agreement. The cynicism on the Right will come from their closing their eyes to this, a deal that if it had been made by President Obama, would have been denounced as a sellout by the very people who will now say that this is a good thing.

Let's not forget that the war was lost when Bush43 turned his back on Afghanistan so that he and Lord Cheney-Voldemort could go play Sand Invaders in Iraq. But that's a degree of neglect he came by honestly, as when his dad was president, he refused to help Afghanistan in any meaningful way once the Soviets left. That was all from the GOP's two tenets of what government is supposed to do: 1) Make the rich richer; and 2) Kill people.

The facts on the ground have pretty much mandated that we were going to leave and the Taliban was going to return to power. That's been obvious for the last fourteen years, if not longer. So one could argue that Trump is recognizing reality.

But spinning it as anything other than a sellout of the Afghan people who cast their lot with us is breathtakingly dishonest.

Caturday, Leap Year Ed.

Bella has the honor of being the Leap Year Cat:


This post is going into the queue several weeks in advance. Bella has a vet appointment tomorrow (1/22). She's got some issues and with her age (~16), she needs to be watched.

Friday, February 28, 2020

Because It's Friday


Hardly a "close call"

"Mister Chairman, I Paid For That Election!"

That was basically what Bloomberg said in the SC debate, when he claimed to have been why the Democrats took back the House of Representatives in 2018.

It wasn't just a Freudian slip that reveals Bloomberg's unconscious thoughts. It's what he really believes, Gentle Reader. Bloomberg is Trump on steroids: American elections can be purchased, just like he's bought mansions around the globe.

We'll see on Super Tuesday if Democrats care more for democracy than do Republicans by not selling their votes to the highest bidder.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

I Feel So Much Better About Preparations for the Trump Flu

President Donald Trump declared Wednesday that the U.S. is “very, very ready” for whatever the coronavirus threat brings, and he put his vice president in charge of overseeing the nation’s response.
Yep, putting Bible Boy, who has a degree in history, in charge of coordinating a response to a pandemic makes only a little more sense than putting Jared the Boy Wonder (degree in government) in charge of it. But hey, if your idea of a response to a medical emergency is to try and pray it out of existence, Pence is your guy to fight the Pence Plague.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

"Covid-19" Is Not a Good Name

As I explained earlier, Trump gutted Federal pandemic planning, leaving this country woefully unprepared to combat a pandemic. As we're seeing now, the Trump administration's response varies between ad hoc and wishful.

So let us call the disease by a more fitting term:

The Trump Flu.

Monday, February 24, 2020

We Are So Fucked; Covid-19 Ed.

The epidemic control efforts unfolding today in China—including placing some 100 million citizens on lockdown, shutting down a national holiday, building enormous quarantine hospitals in days’ time, and ramping up 24-hour manufacturing of medical equipment—are indeed gargantuan. It’s impossible to watch them without wondering, “What would we do? How would my government respond if this virus spread across my country?”

For the United States, the answers are especially worrying because the government has intentionally rendered itself incapable. In 2018, the Trump administration fired the government’s entire pandemic response chain of command, including the White House management infrastructure. In numerous phone calls and emails with key agencies across the U.S. government, the only consistent response I encountered was distressed confusion.
Trump must think that he can control epidemics by tweet, or some other stupid shit. What he has done is make the country vulnerable to pandemics. I guess he's nostalgic for the Black Death.

Trump cut pandemic planning staff because the staff infrastructure was set up by President Obama. Trump has a mental illness when it comes to anything Obama did. If Obama had put in place programs to combat drowning, Trump would take lessons in breathing underwater.

Meanwhile, Rush Limbaugh, the guy who previously thought that lung cancer was no big deal, is claiming that Covid-19 is really the common cold. Which goes to show that anyone who has a "Rush is Right" bumpersticker on their vehicle is advertising their own stupidity.

Trump's Team of Toadies and It's 2016, Again

Let's be clear about this: Trump has every right to surround himself with a team of toadies who will not tell him anything that he hasn't already tweeted.

What it says, though, is that Trump is a low-wattage autocrat who cannot stomach anyone telling him anything he disagrees with. Other presidents have tried to surround themselves with the best and brightest people. Trump surrounds himself with ass-kissers and suck-ups. So, for example, if Trump gets the notion that the way to stop Covid-19 is to require people to wear flea-collars, nobody's going to tell him any different. Because, as has been seen over and over, no matter what the subject, Trump thinks that he knows more than anyone else.

But hey, all that is good in the minds of the Trumpanzees.

Meanwhile, on the Democratic side, they are recreating the former Republican party's experience with Trump in 2016-- A candidate who has not identified with the party and who may be running away with the nomination.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Darwin Award Candidate

"Mad Mike" Hughes made another flight in his steam-powered rocketL

That thing that came off the rocket a second or so after launch apparently was the parachute.
The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department said its officers were called to a rocket launch event at around 2 p.m. on Saturday. According to KTLA, the sheriff's office said "a man was pronounced deceased after the rocket crashed in the open desert."

The sheriff's department did not identify the victim, but Hughes' partner Waldo Stakes, who was at the rocket launch, confirmed to the Associated Press that Hughes was killed. The sheriff's department has been contacted for additional comment.
Hughes was trying to get high enough to prove that the Earth is flat.

Your Sunday Morning Big Prop Noise

The Berlin Airlift Historical Foundation's C-97:



I hope they can keep flying after an engine goes bad. A similar happenstance stranded the EAL DC-7 in Charlotte. NC in 2013; it's still there, so far as I know.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Almost Cringeworthy, Colt


Shorter Colt: We're selling you a $1,500 revolver that has too weak of a mainspring, has loose screws, and a messed-up crown.

The more I consider this, the more I'm of a mind to stick with my 686-1 and call it good.

For one thing, I've not heard of S&W ever advising people not to open the sideplates. And Rugers, of course, are designed to be taken apart by their owners. But if you open the sideplate on a Colt, the gnomes built into the gun escape.

Of Course the Russians Are Supporting Sanders, He's the One That Trump Thinks Can be Beaten

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said Friday he was briefed by U.S. officials “about a month ago” that Russia has been trying to help his campaign as part of Moscow’s efforts to interfere in the 2020 presidential election.

“It was not clear what role they were going to play,” Sanders said during a campaign stop in California. “We were told that Russia, maybe other countries, are going to get involved in this campaign.”
I suspect it's pretty clear what the Russians want. They want to try to ensure that the Democrats choose the candidate that has the best possibility of losing to Trump.

I don't understand Trump's thinking on staging rallies in states where the caucuses and primaries are taking place. Why would he want to give the local Democrats a reminder as to why they need to turn out and vote?

In other thoughts, could Bloomberg be running to ensure that Trump wins? Trump would be the best candidate for Moolah Mike's bank balance.

Caturday

Chip is getting in a morning's nap.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Because It's Friday

Norfolk & Western steamers:


Ignore the "last days of steam" crap. Steam has been effectively dead in the US since the 1940s.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Of Course the Russians are Interfering in the Election to Benefit Trump

Is anybody really surprised by that?
Intelligence officials say Russia is interfering with the 2020 election to try to help President Donald Trump get reelected, The New York Times reported Thursday.

The Times said intelligence officials told lawmakers about the interference in a Feb. 13 closed-door briefing to the House Intelligence Committee. It said the disclosure angered Trump, who complained the Democrats would use the information against him. He berated the outgoing director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, the next day.
Trump's not denying that his masters are interfering in this election. He's mad because the story got out.

With Trump, all roads lead to Putin.

If you are supporting a Russian stooge because he's good for your pet cause, that determines the price of your patriotism.

Here's How You Know That Assange May Be Telling the Truth About the Pardon Offer

After President Donald Trump was accused on Wednesday of using former GOP Congressman Dana Rohrbacher to offer a pardon to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, the White House said Trump "barely knows" Rohrbacher⁠—a claim quickly disproved by past documents showing the two have met.
That is Mafia Don's standard denial: "Hey, it couldn'ta been me, I barely know the guy!" When Trump says that, it's a pretty solid bet that he's lying.

(Earlier post)

Bloomberg's Arrogance on Full Display

Mike Bloomberg's campaign is sounding the alarm that Bernie Sanders will soon amass an unsurmountable delegate lead if the Democratic field stays split — and took the extraordinary step of suggesting laggards should drop out.

What they're saying: Kevin Sheekey, Bloomberg's top strategist, said: "The fact is if the state of this race remains status quo — with Biden, Pete and Amy in the race on Super Tuesday — Bernie is likely to open up a delegate lead that seems nearly impossible to overcome."
Let's be clear on this: What Bloomberg and his people are saying is that everyone else should drop out. The "everyone else" are the candidates who have been doing the grunt work of campaigning: Meeting people one-on-one, going around the country to talk to people and ask for their votes. They are the people who have been asking people to support their campaigns by volunteering, donating and voting. You know, people who actually walk the walk of democracy.

They should drop out and let another thin-skinned billionaire take over, a man who switches party affiliation as often as Trump changes wives? Bloomberg has been a Democrat less than the duration of a human pregnancy. His idea of "grass roots" is using millions of dollars as fertilizer. He doesn't need volunteers, he hires people for that shit.

Bloomberg, just like Trump, latched onto a political party as a route to power. The Richie Rich of the Democrats, the Billionaire Bully, if you will, really is trying to buy the process.

Everything that most people despise about Trump is applicable to Bloomberg. He is as much an authoritarian. As mayor, Bloomberg repeatedly referred to the NYPD as "his army". He defended "stop and frisk", a policy that was blatantly racist, until it became inconvenient (a policy that Trump called "a tremendous success"). Like Trump, Boomberg targeted Muslims for no other reason than their faith. His reaction to adverse court rulings was to step in front of the cameras, excoriate the judges, and explain how he, Hizzoner Da Mare, knew best and that everyone should kowtow to him. The major differences between Bloomberg and Trump are that Bloomberg is shorter, richer, smarter and doesn't apply his makeup with a trowel.

I will lay my cards on the table: I don't like Sanders, though people have forgotten was that the reason he was elected to Congress in 1990 ws that he ran against a pro-gun control Republican. I think Sanders, Warren and Biden are too old for the job. My inkling is that Klobuchar would be a shitty person to work for. Buttigieg's probably light on experience. I'd go for either Buttigieg or Klobuchar, but I'll vote for any of them over Donald Trump.

But I will not vote for Bloomberg. Between Bloomberg and Trump, there is no choice, only an echo.

And you can take that to the bank and deposit it.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Let's See How This Plays Out; Assange v. Trump Ed.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange plans to claim during an extradition hearing that the Trump administration offered him a pardon if he agreed to say Russia was not involved in leaking Democratic National Committee emails during the 2016 U.S. election campaign, a lawyer for Assange said Wednesday.
...
At a preliminary hearing held Wednesday in London, lawyer Edward Fitzgerald said that now-former Republican congressman, Dana Rohrabacher, visited Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in August 2017.

Fitzgerald said a statement from another Assange lawyer, Jennifer Robinson, recounted “Mr. Rohrabacher going to see Mr. Assange and saying, on instructions from the president, he was offering a pardon or some other way out, if Mr. Assange ... said Russia had nothing to do with the DNC leaks.”
Trump's spokesweasel denies this, of course, but given that almost every word that has come out of the Trump administration, whether from his mouth or from his people, have been proven to be lies, it will be interesting to see what is true in this matter.

75 Years Ago

The Battle of Iwo Jima began on February 19, 1945. It went on for at least five weeks.

Unlike Okinawa several weeks later, Iwo Jima sat by itself in the middle of the ocean, out of range of any reasonable use of Japanese naval or air power to help defend it. That didn't stop the Japanese units on the island from putting up a fearsome defense.

My uncle was there. He never spoke of it.

At Boeing, Quality is Job Number Something

Boeing's crisis-hit 737 Max jetliner faces a new potential safety issue as debris has been found in the fuel tanks of several new planes which were in storage, awaiting delivery to airlines.
...
The US plane maker said it discovered so-called "Foreign Object Debris" left inside the wing fuel tanks of several undelivered 737 Maxs.

A company spokesman told the BBC: "While conducting maintenance we discovered Foreign Object Debris (FOD) in undelivered 737 Max airplanes currently in storage. That finding led to a robust internal investigation and immediate corrective actions in our production system."
What sort of FOD? Dust? Rags? Metal shavings? Tools? Bodies?

The budget-cutters are wrecking Boeing.

A company can spend a very long time making quality products and then, through inattention, wreck everything. Right now, the only thing that is saving Boeing is that their main competitor can't make enough new airplanes to steal market share.

How to Get a Pardon, White Collar Ed.

You can either have a friend like Rudy Giuliani, you can dump six figures into Trump's re-election kitty or you can have someone go on Fox and Friends, whine how unfair it is to have to do time with real criminals, praise Trump to the skies and a pardon or clemency can be yours.

That seems to be how it works, nowadays. John Rowland, take note.

Roger Stone will be sentenced tomorrow. I expect that he'll be pardoned within a few days of that.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Where Bloomberg and Trump Agree

They both detest those who fight for the civil rights of the oppressed and they hate unions.

Here is Bloomberg:
“We don’t need extremists on the left or the right running our police department, whether it’s the NRA or the NYCLU,” the then-mayor Bloomberg said of the New York Civil Liberties Union, in a 2013 speech in which he defended the city’s controversial stop-and-frisk policy.
...
Referring to leadership of the United Federation of Teachers, Bloomberg said in 2013: "The NRA’s another place where the membership, if you do the polling, doesn't agree with the leadership.”
That's Bloomberg's metric- if he disagrees with your organization, he compares it to the NRA.

Bloomberg and Trump are both thin-skinned, glass-jawed plutocrats who believe that their wealth makes them people that nobody else has a right to criticize. They differ in wealth, politics and smarts, but in their souls, they are the same people.

Monday, February 17, 2020

If You Have Student Loans, Betsy DeVos Doesn't Want You to Read This

It applies to people who have gone into public service on the promise that they'd get a break in their loans and who are now being screwed.

There's an effective appeal process that the Department of Education is keeping pretty quiet.

There are some useful links in the story for those whose in that pickle.

Ruger Five-Seven

Ruger's now making a 5.7mm, also known as a centerfire .22 magnum.

My beef is on two levels. First, it holds 20 rounds. If you live in a "ban state" that limits one to ten rounds, then right from the jump, you're carrying a gun that is half-empty.

Second, there is plenty of research out there that holds that all of the crap about "stretch cavity" in ballistic gel is eyewash, unless you're shooting a centerfire rifle. Handgun bullets incapacitate by penetrating deeply enough to hit something vital. Hollowpoints expand enough to up the chances of hitting something vital. A good 9mm round can reach FBI-standard depths and expand to over .50", a good .45 will reach .80".

With smaller bullets, like the 5.7mm, the idea is to shoot your adversary several times, which increases the changes of hitting something important. But if all you can carry in your gun is no more rounds than a 9mm, then you'd be a fool to carry a 5.7mm. Add to that the fact that one can purchase 100 rounds of 9mm for considerably less than the cost of a 50-round box of 5.7mm (.45 ACP is less expensive, too) and it makes little sense to buy a 5.7mm anything. If you want a fast .22, .22 Magnum is about half the cost of 5.7mm.

But if you have to have the latest hotness and cost isn't a factor, knock yerself out.

By the way, note that they call it the "Ruger Five Seven" when they speak of it. Probably because "Ruger Fifty-Seven" sounds like something that one might spread on a hamburger.

UPDATE: Ivan Chesnokov on the 5.7mm:
Main point of selling Belgian five seven pistol is extreme price of weapon and cartridge.

Belgian five seven is weapon of man who wears expensive Italian fascist suit of hand sewing, drive huge expensive Nazi Mercedes of A.M.G. shop, sail on massive yacht to Greek islands. I think you get picture. Belgian five seven is weapon that says is no such thing as concern of money.

For man without expensive suit, big black Mercedes, and massive yacht, Belgian five seven is for pretending of be rich like black gangster of American city with gold chains of low quality and jewels of colored glass. When you explain use of Belgian five seven pistol is only for shoot man with bullet vest with cartridge illegal to civilian, this man has nuclear rage. Whole identity of this man is spent in pretend pistol shows he is rich. Is very amuse.

For rest of world there is 9 millimeters of Luger which is same wound for cost less.

Republicans May Get What They Wish For

While a shitload of former DoJ employees are criticizing Billy Bob Barr for politicizing criminal cases, you can bet your basement that Republicans are lining up to defend ol' Billy.

Here's the thing: If Republicans allow Trump to get away with normalizing a president's use of the Department of Justice as a political tool to bring criminal charges against opponents, then they should fully expect that the next Democrat to be president will not hesitate to use that tool against them.

"OMG, Scary Black Man!!" (plus some tab clearing)

So a young black man on a trip with his college swim team steps off the team bus to stretch his legs. The next thing he knows, he's down on the ground, with a gun barrel pressed to his head, because the local cops were looking for a black man and, well, just any one would do.

Meanwhile, in Cincinnati, a police captain, who was driving while drunk, tried to use her blue pass to get out of hit. Her hubbie, also a cop, got upset when the officer who pulled them over wouldn't let them go. Kudos to the arresting officer for not accepting the blue pass.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

The Party of Bloomberg

The New York Times has a large story today about how Bloomberg is using his billions to buy influence. In it, was a case of how his money bought silence:
That chilling effect was apparent in 2015 to researchers at the Center for American Progress, a liberal policy group, when they turned in a report on anti-Muslim bias in the United States. Their draft included a chapter of more than 4,000 words about New York City police surveillance of Muslim communities; Mr. Bloomberg was mentioned by name eight times in the chapter, which was reviewed by The Times.

When the report was published a few weeks later, the chapter was gone. So was any mention of Mr. Bloomberg’s name.

Yasmine Taeb, an author of the report, said in an interview that the authors had been instructed to make drastic revisions or remove the chapter, and opted to do the latter rather than “whitewash the N.Y.P.D.’s wrongdoings.” She said she found it “disconcerting” to be asked to remove the chapter “because of how it was going to be perceived by Mayor Bloomberg.”
The entire article should be read, not just by Bloomberg's opponents, but by those who are lining up to take his silver.

Here is my question for Democrats: How can you have spent the past ten years decrying the effect of Citizens United on American politics and then queue up to take his money and tailor your advocacy to suit his priorities? How can you have denounced the millions of dollars spent by Sheldon Adleman and the Koch Brothers and then take Bloomberg's cash?

Democrats, if you have spent the last three years denouncing the plutocratic and inept authoritarianism of Trump, how can you look in a mirror and justify supporting another plutocrat with authoritarian tendencies, only one who is ten (or a thousand) times as rich as Trump and who also is at least twice as intelligent?

I have been a Democrat for a very long time, but I will have no truck with a party that sells its soul to a plutocrat.

There is a theory of child-rearing that holds that you don't tell a toddler to wear a hat; you ask the toddler whether he wants to wear a yellow hat or a green hat. The kid's happy because he got to choose, but the choice is a choice at the level of insignificance. The kid's going to wear a hat.

The choice between between the Party of Trump and the Party of Bloomberg is an illusionary one. It'd be like having to choose between being ruled by Hitler or Stalin.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

F-86 at an airshow.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Caturday

Chip is on a heated cat bed:


Because it's cold outside.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Coming to a Radio Station Near You: Russian Propaganda

The Russians are buying airtime on radio stations to beam propaganda broadcasts. They are operating on the old principle that the capitalists will sell the rope that will be used to hang them.

As expected, the owners of the radio stations only care that the checks clear.

I cannot imagine an American radio station willingly airing programs from Radio Moscow back in the day.

It goes deeper than that. Many papers publish pieces by opinion writers who take a paycheck from Putin. For example, Rachel Marsden, a conservative columnist, is one of them.

Because It's Friday

Reading & Northern 425:

Is Bill Barr Greasing His Own Skids?

Attorney General William Barr publicly swiped at President Donald Trump on Thursday, declaring the president’s tweets about Justice Department prosecutors and open cases “make it impossible for me to do my job.”

Barr made the comment during an interview with ABC News just days after his Justice Department overruled its own prosecutors — who had recommended in a court filing that Trump’s longtime ally and confidant Roger Stone be sentenced to 7 to 9 years in prison — and took the extraordinary step of lowering the amount of prison time it would seek. The department didn’t offer an amended number.
First off, one would have to be a little light in the loafers to believe that, by changing the sentencing recommendation for the convicted felon known as Roger Stone, that Barr was not doing Trump's bidding.

If I were a gambler, I'd wager that Barr would have kept is Trump-kissing aperture closed if the prsecutors in the Stone case had not publicly quit the case.

Trump also slammed the judge who is hearing the Stone case. Stone could be sentenced to over 50 years in prison; it would not surprise me overly much if the judge takes the view that Stone has been completely unrepentant and sends him away for twenty years, a sentence that will end on November 4th, when Trump will pardon Stone, Flynn and the rest of his criminal cronies.

Trump's authoritarianism is on full display in both the Stone case and his recent airing of his grievances: He believes his criminal allies should be given free rein and he wants everyone he doesn't like prosecuted on trumped-up charges.

But to get back to the headline: The number one crime in Trumpland is to criticize Trump. Barr did so in public. One would reasonably expect him to be gone in the near future.

Also, this.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

That's Going to Leave a Mark

Because it's true.



The 2020 Twitter War between the two is shaping up to be hugely entertaining. But the possibility that we will have to choose between two arrogant plutocrats as our president is frightening.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Shorter Bloomberg: The 2008 Recession Was Caused by Making Loans to Those People

At the height of the 2008 economic collapse, then-New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the elimination of a discriminatory housing practice known as “redlining” was responsible for instigating the meltdown.

“It all started back when there was a lot of pressure on banks to make loans to everyone,” Bloomberg said at a forum that was hosted by Georgetown University in September 2008. “Redlining, if you remember, was the term where banks took whole neighborhoods and said, ‘People in these neighborhoods are poor, they’re not going to be able to pay off their mortgages, tell your salesmen don’t go into those areas.’”
Bloomberg, of course, was full of shit. Redlining was a racist policy banks had of not making loans to minorities and to people living in minority neighborhoods.

What is going on, right now, is Bloomberg is reaping the benefit of the donations/bribes that he has been making for the last several years. When Mikey comes calling for support, it's really easy for recipients to overlook Bloomberg's racism and misogyny because the checks cleared.

Which goes to show that Bloomberg's not operating in Texas: You can't be a real Texas pol if you can't take a man's money, drink his liquor, fuck his wife and then still vote against him.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Arf. Arf.

Pink the border collie aces the agility test at Westminster:

Shorter Bloomberg: White Neighborhoods Are Crime-Free

To combat crime, he says, “put a lot of cops where the crime is, which means in minority neighborhoods.”
Bloomberg tried to blame Rudy Giuliani for the stop & frisk program, but as noted in the news report and in the Times, Bloomberg's administration vastly extended the scope and reach of the program to include every brown person between the ages of eight and eighty who had testicles.

A funny aside is that Trump is saying that Bloomberg is racist, even though Trump has previously expressed support for the Frisk All Minority Men program.

Bloomberg is flat-out lying about having misgivings about Stop & Frisk. As the Times noted:
As late as the fall of 2018, when he was laying the groundwork to run for president as a Democrat, Mr. Bloomberg told The New York Times that the policy had deterred crime without violating anyone’s civil rights, ignoring a court ruling to the contrary.
Bloomberg thinks that questioning him on his record is bullying. Which tells me that he is as thin-skinned as Trump, another wannabee autocrat with a glass jaw.

Don't Be Fooled: Bloomberg is Trump on Steroids

Bloomberg is not a Democrat. He's not a Republican, nor is he an Independent. Bloomberg is an autocrat, like Trump.

Like Trump, Bloomberg latches on to the political party that he sees is his best route to power. His history of switching parties is known to everyone who has been paying attention. If Clinton had won in 2016, Bloomberg would be running today as a Republican.

Bloomberg's belief that the rules don't apply to him is also a matter of record. NYC had term limits that were enacted by two referendums. Bloomberg "persuaded" the City Council to remove term limits so that he could run for a third term. It's even more insidious than that; when Bloomberg was on his way out, he "persuaded" the City Council to restore term limits so that nobody succeeding him could be elected to a third term.

I would not be surprised if a President Bloomberg sought to repeal the 22nd Amendment. He is that arrogant, that convinced of his moral superiority to everyone else.

Bloomberg also shares Trump's disregard for the rule of law. Bloomberg persisted with his unconstitutional program of stopping and frisking all men with brown or black skin. When a Federal judge ruled that Bloomberg's pet police state project was indeed unconstitutional, Bloomberg lambasted the judge and cried that blood would run in the streets and that the City's murder rate would skyrocket. (Neither happened.)

Both Bloomberg and Trump regard the legislative and judicial branches of government as appendages whose only function is to rubber-stamp what they want.

Bloomberg shares Trump's hatred of Muslims. He backed religious profiling and monitoring people because of their faith. When this came to light, he lied about it.

Trump is calling for near-summary execution of drug dealers. I have little doubt that Bloomberg would think that is a good idea.

If you vote for Trump because he backs gun rights or for Bloomberg because he'd likely confiscate guns, then you are backing an authoritarian thug because it might benefit you.

Trump and Bloomberg are cut from the same cloth. They are both racist, sexist oligarchs who believe that their money gives them a right to dictate to the nation. Their policies differ, their IQs differ, but make no mistake about it: Bloomberg is Trump.

Here's an argument that Bloomberg is a Republican plutocrat.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Some Shit Never Changes

In going back over some old posts, this one from 2011 is, well, nothing's changed.

This time around, you could add FedEx and Amazon to the list.

The Blue Pass

A Colorado district attorney expressed frustration Thursday at not being able to prosecute an Aurora police officer who was found passed out drunk in his car last year, calling the department’s failure to launch a DUI investigation a double standard meant to protect one of its own.

Officer Nathan Meier was found unresponsive in his city-owned police car parked in the middle of an Aurora street on March 29, 2019. Meier was armed and in uniform. Officers, including Deputy Chief Paul O'Keefe who was the first police official on the scene, reported smelling a faint smell of alcohol on Meier and in his vehicle.
...
Despite the apparent signs that the officer was intoxicated, District Attorney George Brauchler says O’Keefe later told internal affairs investigators that he felt he didn’t have enough evidence for a DUI investigation and that he “erred on the side of protecting [Meier].”
They took the drunk cop to the hospital (playing it like a medical emergency), where he was found to have a blood alcohol level of five times over the legal limit, a level that the on-scene cops found to be "a little drunk". But because the cops at the scene, including Deputy Chief Coverup, didn't treat the drunk and passed-out cop as a DUI case, the cop skated on the DUI charge.

Because the drunk cop's a cop. Nobody else could be drunk in a work vehicle parked in the middle of the road and not be arrested.

The Chief of the Aurora P.D. is following the Trump playbook of blaming the media for reporting on his department refusing to investigate and charge a cop who was passed-out drunk, on duty, and in a cop car that was parked in the middle of the road.

"Nobody is above the law" keeps being proven over and over again to be a crock of shit. How are we supposed to respect the law when those enforcing it have no respect for it, themselves?

Anyhoo, it seems that this fracas cost Deputy Chief Coverup his expected promotion to Chief. He pretty much blamed the media for that.

Funny how all of these guys in positions of power who get caught doing stupid shit blame the press for reporting on it.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Boeing's Board of Directors Looks to be a Collection of Hacks

You can look up the composition of the Board here.

Does anyone know what particular aerospace expertise is brought to the table by Nikki Haley or Caroline Kennedy? Or Ronald Williams, former CEO of Aetna, and Ed Liddy, former CEO of Allstate, because insurance and aerospace are natural fits.

Almost none of the directors have experience in industries that make hard goods. There are two retired four-star Admirals (access to Ft. Fumble) and an airline guy.

Which, I respectfully submit, goes to show why Boeing can't seem to make decent shit anymore.

One of the things that Boeing did over the years was cut the size of the QA/QC staff. Oh, I'm sure some MBA said "we can trust those guys on the floor to make it right without checking them." Which is, of course, hogwash. Having strong QA/QC signals that a company cares about the quality of the work being done. Not having it signals that they don't care.

And if the bosses don't care how good of a product is turned out, only a MBA or an utter fool would think that the workers will care. (But I repeat myself.)

It's really amazing. Since Airbus is a conglomeration of national industries run by governments, one might expect that it would be a collection of chuckleheads and that a well-run (mostly) private competitor would run rings around Airbus. But that isn't what is happening, at least, not since Boeing surrendered to the diktats of the beancounters on Wall Street.

Compare Boeing to SpaceX. One company is run by beancounters. The other is run by people who are passionately committed to flying the best spacecraft and boosters that they can. Boeing/United Launch Alliance is flying two rockets whose first models are sixty years old or better. SpaceX is flying a far newer design that they've been able to make into a semi-reusable launcher.

The way that Boeing is trending, they could unintentionally revitalize the long-haul railroad passenger network.

One Ugly Gun

A USFA .410/.45:


There are uglier handguns, but this one is ugly enough to have been made by Taurus.

Trolls and Brain Damage

So, I've been seeing a lot of stories around that basically say "the Dems are in disarray after failing to remove Trump."

Everyone saying that, or reporting that, either has brain damage or they're trolling. The outcome of the Senate "trial" was never in doubt. That Moscow Mitch and his gang of goons would do everything they could to cover up Trump's constitutional-grade crimes was never in doubt. The only real shocker was that one Republican took his oath as a juror seriously. (Most of the rest of them either committed the crime of fale swearing of an oath or they're going to Hell. Probably both.)

Anyone who truly believes that the Democrats are in disarray because Trump wasn't removed would have to smarten up a whole lot to even get to having a room-temperature IQ.

1960: The Year of Africa

The NY Times has a section today about that year, when seventeen countries gained their independence. You'd have to buy the dead-tree edition to read it, as it does not seem to appear on their website.

In there was an anecdote from 1957, when Ghana became independent. Vice President Richard Nixon attended the celebration. As the story goes, Nixon clapped a black man on the shoulder and asked him what it was like to be free. The man replied: "I wouldn't know, sir. I'm from Alabama."

Also of note is a long screed from Ross Douhat about this being the age of decadence. It pretty much reads like a fancy-grade lamentation of the usual conservative claptrap. For every civilization, you'll find someone complaining that the good old days are gone, the youth are indolent, and so on and so forth. I'll bet that there is at least one surviving clay tablet from Sumer with that lament. The only good thing about Douhat's piece is that, if you get it in print, it can be fittingly used for lining a bird cage.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

De Havilland Vampire:


Note the external tanks, which are probably wired in place. The first-generation jets were known for being short-legged, as their engines were thirsty buggers.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

The Soup Sandwich Aerospace Company

That would be Boeing, which seems to be about that fucked up.
A NASA safety panel is recommending a review of Boeing’s software verification processes after revealing there was a second software problem during a CST-100 Starliner test flight that could have led to a “catastrophic” failure.

That new software problem, not previously discussed by NASA or Boeing, was discussed during a Feb. 6 meeting of NASA’s Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel that examined the December uncrewed test flight of Starliner that was cut short by a timer error.

That anomaly was discovered during ground testing while the spacecraft was in orbit, panel member Paul Hill said. “While this anomaly was corrected in flight, if it had gone uncorrected, it would have led to erroneous thruster firings and uncontrolled motion during [service module] separation for deorbit, with the potential for a catastrophic spacecraft failure,” he said.
Boeing seems to be betting that they'll have to refly the unmanned test flight to the ISS. Whether or not that would even happen this year is debatable.

Boeing's response, so far, has been mostly been smoke and misdirection and has been that way for well over a decade.

What Susan Collins's Vote to Acquit Trump Might Have Been Worth

$1.5 million, that is apparently being funneled to her campaign by some shadowy company in Hawaii.

Caturday

Chip was settling in for the night.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Selling One's Soul for a 300-Meter Rifle Range

A long time ago, I read a story about a small town in Germany in the early 1930s. The sportsmen in the town wanted to expand the local rifle range to 300 meters. The town's government didn't want to do that.

There was an election coming up. One of the parties running for office in the town was the National Socialist German Workers' Party. Their candidates promised that if they came to power, they would build a 300-meter rifle range. The sportsmen supported them, the candidates won.

The Nazis kept their promise, they built the 300-meter rifle range. The sportsmen sold their souls for that.

As someone said, history doesn't repeat itself, but it can rhyme.

So Many Republican Senators are Dain-Bramaged

Grassley, Collins, Murkowsky, Alexander and others. They all expressed opinions that Trump would learn from undergoing impeachment and moderate his tone and message. That was laid false by Trump's vituperative news conference.

The rest are gutless cowards.

I do owe Sen. Romney an apology for dubbing him "Flip-Flop Mitt". I didn't think he had the guts.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Double-Barrelled No Class

One might suppose that Nancy Pelosi wouldn't have ripped up Trump's speech if Trump hadn't refused to shake her hand before he started vomiting his lies, but I guess we won't know.

I don't think it was a terribly classy move, but you just know it had to have gotten under Trump's skin. he is worse than some dope-dealing street thug when it comes to sensitivity about being dissed.

Coronavirus and Chinese Restaurants

I've been hearing anecdotal stories that people in this country are avoiding Chinese restaurants because of the coronavirus.

Don't be doing that shit, people. It's between ignorance and racist.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

As the Nation Slouches Towards Trump, Unhinged...

... the Party of Trump is coming to a screen near you!


A Razzie win is almost assured.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Is al-Baghdadi Really Dead?

Why won't Trump show us the long-form Death Certificate?

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Shorter U.S. Bank: "We'll Do the Right Thing When There Is No Other Option,"

Marc Eugenio had deposited a $1,080 paycheck into his account at U.S. Bank. The bank put a hold on most of the sum, and he spent many hours in a branch office over two days, trying to get access to the money so he could buy presents for his 9-year-old daughter and 13-year-old son.
...
He telephoned the bank’s toll-free number and spoke with Emily James, a senior officer at a call center in Portland. She spent an hour on the phone with Eugenio, trying to get some money released so he could at least get home. She soon realized that he had been misled, and that money wouldn’t reach his account any time soon. Feeling bad for a customer stuck on Christmas Eve, James offered to drive over from her call center and personally hand him $20.

“No, no, no,” Eugenio told her. He couldn’t impose. But she suggested she could use her break, and she received permission from a supervisor to drive 20 minutes to Eugenio. She later recalled that when she arrived, she wished him Merry Christmas and handed him $20 of her own money.
...
When U.S. Bank found out that it had such a generous employee, what did it do? It fired her.
...
U.S. Bank’s vision statement boasts: “Our employees are empowered to do the right thing.” So I tried to ask the company’s C.E.O., Andrew Cecere, why the bank fired an employee who, with permission, rescued a frustrated customer on Christmas Eve.

Cecere wouldn’t return my calls.
Ah, but once the story went online, Cecere couldn't pick up his phone fast enough.
On Saturday evening, after this article went online, I had a contrite phone call from Andrew Cecere, the C.E.O. of U.S. Bank. “This is not who we are,” he said. He added that companies sometimes make mistakes, and that he accepted ownership of what went wrong.
I disagree with Cecere: That's exactly who they are.

Epic Trolling

It seems that there's far-right political commentator in England named Katie Hopkins. A young guy name of Josh Pieters set up a fake advocacy group, the Cape Town Collective For the Freedom of Speech, and flew Hopkins to Praque to give her the "Campaign to Unify the Nation Trophy", complete with an awards dinner.

You can probably discern the acronym. Hopkins couldn't.

Your Sunday Morning Big Prop Noise

FiFi, which was, for decades, the only flying B-29, needs no introduction.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Caturday

Chip is on his bed:


It's his bed for sixteen hours a day, mine for eight. So I have to push him out of the way at night.