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

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level
and then beat you with experience.” -- Mark Twain

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

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Also This

An Oddity

Take a gander, sometime, at the bestsellers' list. This is one for nonfiction hardcover books.

On some books, you will see a little dagger symbol: That indicates that some booksellers who report for the list received bulk orders of that book.

It is almost always right-wing screeds. In this list, it's books by Sean Hannity and Sarah Saunders; two people who are among the most notorious peddlers of Trumpist propaganda out there.

Contrast that with books that didn't need bulk orders to make the list: Melania and Me, Too Much and Never Enough, Disloyal, Hoax, Compromised and Donald Trump v. the United States; all books that did not require bulk sales to trolls in order to make the list.

When you see that a conservative is being lauded for writing a best-seller, other than Bill O'Reilly's histories or Chris Wallace's book on the dropping of the atomic bombs, you can be pretty sure that the only way that they made the best-sellers' list was by cheating.

I'm Just Going to Leave These Here....




Trump Loves His Nazi Supporters

The debate last night wasn't a debate. It was a shit show that was staged in the middle of a dumpster fire, a feces-strewn circus of Trump's making.

Someone who wasn't mentally-deranged would have analyzed his weaknesses as a candidate and tried to minimize them. Trump's irrationality, his petulance, his impatience, his lack of common courtesy, his arrogant ignorance, all those characteristics are why Trump has been losing support outside of his base. A sane candidate would have tried to at least act like a rational person for ninety minutes. A smart candidate would have planned to let Biden speak, hoping that some rambling answers would have brought forth a series of gaffes that would make good campaign ads.

But not Trump. Trump not only brought his worst tendencies to the stage, he added nitromethane to his tank and stomped on the accelerator.

Chris Wallace attempted to hand Trump a gift; Wallace gave Trump an opportunity to denounce white supremacist groups. Trump's blatant racism has been hanging around his neck since 2017[1] when he called white supremacist protesters "fine people". But Trump couldn't do it. He just could not bring himself to denounce his Nazi base. In fact, he gave them orders!

Biden didn't win last night. He didn't have to. All Biden had to do was not fuck up and let Trump shoot himself in the foot.

Which Trump did.
________________________________
[1] Or 2013, when Trump claimed the crown of King of the Birthers; or 2019, when he refused to accept the innocence of the Central Park Five; or 2015, when he called Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals; or hell, 1973, when he and his dad agreed to stop overtly discriminating against minorities.

Defunding the Cops?

I thought about writing about what I believe should be considered for police reform.

But hell, I've been at this blogging gig for a very long time. And, as you might have expected, I have already written about this.

Nine fucking years ago.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

"Front Towards Enemy"

A selection of facemasks, so emblazoned.

Some of them are only two-layer masks, which won't do al that much for you, but others seem to be rather serviceable. They'b be great for gun matches and the like.

The Taurus Derp Gun at a Match

Some years ago, I wrote about the Taurus Curve.

Ian McCollum bought one, cheap, and took it it a Backup Gun Match.  The results were what one might have expected:

The Image of Trump as a Successful Businessman Has Always Been a Con

What he does is come into a large sum of money, whether by inheritance or from self-promotion and, from that, he relentlessly enters into business deals where he is taken to the cleaners.

There is a lot of detail in the second story in the Times today, how Trump used his stardom from The Apprentice to enter into one shady marketing deal after another, including one company whose business model is little different from a pyramid scheme. He took the money that he made from that and bought a series of golf courses, which have been losing money hand over fist.

That has put Trump into serious financial trouble:
In 2012, he borrowed $100 million against his equity in Trump Tower in Manhattan, one of his more valuable properties. A year later, he withdrew $95.8 million from his share of a real estate partnership that owns buildings in New York and California. And in 2014, he sold $98 million in stocks and bonds.

These one-time maneuvers, coupled with the more than $427 million from “The Apprentice” and licensing deals, would probably have provided enough cash to cover his golf course investments. But they cannot be repeated, and in at least one case — the Trump Tower mortgage — they need to be paid back.

In addition, he has huge balances on loans, soon to come due, from Deutsche Bank, including $160 million on his Washington hotel in the Old Post Office building and $148 million on the Doral golf resort. Neither of those businesses is turning a profit.
One might presume that, given he's going to be getting a pension from his presidenting and the various wingnut welfare gigs he'll get, that Trump will be at little risk of living in a refrigerator carton under a highway bridge, but yesterday's story had a bit of outright tax fraud outlined. Ivanka Trump, as you may recall, was an employee of the Trump Organization, which Trump wholly controls. Trump paid large consulting fees to his daughter for work that was part of her day job to begin with:
Examining the Trump Organization’s tax records, a curious pattern emerges: Between 2010 and 2018, Mr. Trump wrote off some $26 million in unexplained “consulting fees” as a business expense across nearly all of his projects.

In most cases the fees were roughly one-fifth of his income: In Azerbaijan, Mr. Trump collected $5 million on a hotel deal and reported $1.1 million in consulting fees, while in Dubai it was $3 million with a $630,000 fee, and so on.

Mysterious big payments in business deals can raise red flags, particularly in places where bribes or kickbacks to middlemen are routine. But there is no evidence that Mr. Trump, who mostly licenses his name to other people’s projects and is not involved in securing government approvals, has engaged in such practices.

Rather, there appears to be a closer-to-home explanation for at least some of the fees: Mr. Trump reduced his taxable income by treating a family member as a consultant, and then deducting the fee as a cost of doing business.

The “consultants” are not identified in the tax records. But evidence of this arrangement was gleaned by comparing the confidential tax records to the financial disclosures Ivanka Trump filed when she joined the White House staff in 2017. Ms. Trump reported receiving payments from a consulting company she co-owned, totaling $747,622, that exactly matched consulting fees claimed as tax deductions by the Trump Organization for hotel projects in Vancouver and Hawaii.
So what Trump did was gift his daughter a shitload of money and then deduct it from his taxes as "consulting fees".

Which is, as you may well imagine, rather illegal.

That is why Trump is fighting so hard to win. He needs being president for four more years to entice others to help cover his upcoming financial hole. And he needs Bill Barr at DoJ to keep him out of federal prison.

Edited to add: Don the Con

4.23% and 20%-- Heckuvajob, Trumpie

The United States has 4.23% of the world's population and 20% of the world's Covid deaths.

Heckuvajob, Trumpie!

Monday, September 28, 2020

A Reasonably Safe Bet (Updated)

Each and every Secret Service agent pays more income taxes than does Donald Trump.

So do the cooks, butlers, maids, janitors, gate guards, secretaries, groundskeepers, every one of them.


Sunday, September 27, 2020

Such a Businessman Trump Is

All he does is lose money.
Donald J. Trump paid $750 in federal income taxes the year he won the presidency. In his first year in the White House, he paid another $750.

He had paid no income taxes at all in 10 of the previous 15 years — largely because he reported losing much more money than he made.

As the president wages a re-election campaign that polls say he is in danger of losing, his finances are under stress, beset by losses and hundreds of millions of dollars in debt coming due that he has personally guaranteed.
...
The picture that perhaps emerges most starkly from the mountain of figures and tax schedules prepared by Mr. Trump’s accountants is of a businessman-president in a tightening financial vise.
There is a lot of detail in the story, including how Trump may be committing tax fraud by describing residential real estate as investment property. That is under investigation in a case that has the potential to send Trump to the Sing Sing Retirement Home.

He may be in real trouble, as in the "flee to a dacha outside of Moscow" kind.

Stay tuned.

Your Sunday Morning Jet and Rotor Noise

 A-10s and helos operating from a highway:

The annoying music ends as soon as the airplanes start flying.

(People:  The plural of "aircraft" is "aircraft'.  There is no such word as "aircrafts".)

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Ideas Before Their Time

The Pelican Four-Ton Air Lorry:




The idea of intermodal containerized freight was in its infancy. Containerized air freight, from what I can glean, didn't come about for another sixty or so years.

A cruising speed of 72mph sounds slow, but for a 1920 trash-hauler between London and Paris, that would have been a marvel at the time.

Will a COVID Vaccine Even Work?

I've been subscribing to Scientific American for a very long time. The current issue has an article titled What We Learned From AIDS (which is behind a paywall) by William Haseltine, who founded the cancer and HIV/AIDS research departments at Hahvahd Medical School and who wrote A Family Guide to Covid

Haseltine distinguishes between viruses that if you get either the virus or are immunized, your body clears it with a long lasting immunological response (polio, measles); ones that if you get it, you have it forever (HIV), and ones that if you get them, your body clears it and then forgets about them, which are viruses like the common cold.

The common cold is a coronavirus.

Will this also happen with Covid-19? The fact is that nobody knows and won't know for several years. Maybe these vaccines will work. But there is a possibility that they won't, that herd immunity[1] will be ineffective and we may be dealing with this for a very long time.

Don't touch that dial.
_______________________
[1] Trump calls it "herd mentality".

Caturday

 The weather has been getting colder here at Chez Misfit. I took out a pair of jeans to wear for the first time in months.  When I draped them over the footboard of my bed at night, Chip took a lot of interest in them.  He was rubbing his face on the legs and then rabbit-kicking them.  

Then it dawned on me:  His catnip pillow had gone missing.  What if...?

Sure enough, I opened the dresser drawer where my jeans and shorts are stowed.  Under some of them, near the bottom, was his catnip pillow.  How that got in there is an unsolved mystery.  But at least, the pillow had been found.

He got right to it:

He isn't lacking for other toys.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Trump's Plan to Seize Power (one of them, at least)

President Trump's campaign is reportedly in discussion with state and national Republicans to "bypass election results and appoint loyal electors in battleground states where Republicans hold the legislative majority."
...
Trump has been clumsily telegraphing this plot for months — not generally the smartest way to overthrow a government, which is best done in secret. It would unfold like this: The election result is closer than expected, and the ultimate winner remains unknown on election night, with millions of mail-in ballots to be counted in the decisive swing states. Trump declares victory when the (incomplete) election night count favors him, and then launches legal maneuvering to force states to stop counting mail-in ballots, papered over with some feeble pretext about the fraud the president himself keeps encouraging his own supporters to commit. Thanks to post-2010 gerrymandering, Republicans control both houses of the state legislature in nearly every contested state, and the president would presumably direct them to pass laws certifying Trump's slate of electors, even if updated counts show Democratic candidate Joe Biden ahead. Et voila, a second Trump term.
The Republicans are hoping that their efforts at voter suppression will pay off and that they don't have to so nakedly seize power. Trump may end up telling his armed militias to go into the streets.

But make no mistake: The Republicans will try this, some of this and all of this if they can. The GOP has no loyalty to the Constitution, to due process, to democracy. All they care about is power and if it means that they have to destroy this country to do it, they will.

America is not defined by its borders. It is not defined by the colors of the skins of the inhabitants. It is defined by the rule of law, by a written constitution and by an agreement to adhere to it.

But the Republicans are signaling that they are willing to rip all that up in order to seize and keep power. In that regard, they seek to transform the country into an English-language version of Putin's Russia (and a country that will, for all intents and purposes, be a Russian vassal).

The British, the Spanish, the Germans, the Japanese and the Soviet Union were not able to defeat us. We stood tall for freedom and the rule of law, however imperfectly it was administered. Yet right now, there are at least 35% of the population that will willingly scrap that if their party can keep power.

The best way to stop these wannabee fascists is to turn out on November 3rd, in droves. If you can vote early, do that.

Vote as though our democracy depends on it. Because now, more than ever before, it does.

Ain't It Great to Live in a Country Where a Billionaire Can Catch a Break?

Two solicitation of prostitution charges filed against New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft in Florida were dropped Thursday, court documents show.
What a country!

Because It's Friday

A tour of the Union Pacific Steam Shop:

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Now I Know We're Screwed

“People wonder about the peaceful transfer of power,” Mr. Graham said on Fox News on Thursday. “I can assure you, it will be peaceful.”

“I promise you as a Republican, if the Supreme Court decides that Joe Biden wins, I will accept the result,” Mr. Graham added. “The court will decide, and if Republicans lose, we’ll accept the result.”
First off, we all know, by now, the value of assurances and promises by Miss Lindsey. They are worth less than a steaming pile of dogshit.

Note the qualifications: The election has to go to the Supreme Court for Graham to accept the outcome. As far as I know, that's only happened once. And if it doesn't go to the Supremes, Miss Lindsey isn't saying that the Republicans will accept the result.

There is a non-zero chance of utter chaos, thanks to feckless bastards like Trump and Graham. You may want to prepare, if only a little.

Well, We May Have Had a Fine Run of It

President Donald Trump again declined to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the Nov. 3 presidential election.

“We’re going to have to see what happens,” Trump said Wednesday at a news conference, responding to a question about whether he’d commit to a peaceful transfer of power.
For over 220 years, one of the hallmarks of this country has been a peaceful transfer of power between presidents. Now, we have a president who is calling into question that tradition.

Well, if the alternative is taking the outgoing president and hanging him on meathooks by his heels from the awning of a gas station...

You may have noticed a dearth of Republicans denouncing Trump on this. That's because Republicans are not loyal to the nation. Those in office have forgotten their oath to the Constitution. They owe allegiance to their party, to Trump.


They are all traitors to the Constitution.

And if you are going to vote for that man who has delusions of dictatorship, well, draw your own conclusions.

Trump is Betting that Iowans are Retarded

President Donald Trump, looking to shore up support in the U.S. Farm Belt during a tight race for re-election, is taking steps to help producers of corn-based ethanol using a list of policy goals that a group of Midwest senators discussed with him a year ago, according to two sources familiar with the matter.
Right. 3.65 years in office and, only now, he starts to move om things important to boost the use of ethanol.

"I'll pay attention to what you want for six weeks, vote for meeeee!"

People who react approvingly to such news have to be thicker than a telephone pole.

Take Trump's Vaccine At Your Own Risk

President Donald Trump said Wednesday that the White House may not approve tougher FDA guidelines for authorizing the emergency use of any coronavirus vaccines.

"That has to be approved by the White House," Trump said. "We may or may not approve it."
We all know that if somebody told Trump that a vaccine composed of hydroxychloroquine and sodium hypocholrite in a suspension of dihydrogen monoxide would work, Trump would issue an order approving it without any testing.

One would have to be seriously brain-addled to take any medication that Donald "shine a UV light up your ass" Trump has promoted, let alone had a hand in its authorization.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

More Great News on the Coronavirus

Scientists in Houston on Wednesday released a study of more than 5,000 genetic sequences of the coronavirus that reveals the virus’s continual accumulation of mutations, one of which may have made it more contagious.
...
David Morens, a virologist at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, reviewed the new study and said the findings point to the strong possibility that the virus, as it has moved through the population, has become more transmissible, and that this “may have implications for our ability to control it.”

Morens noted that this is a single study, and “you don’t want to over-interpret what this means.” But the virus, he said, could potentially be responding — through random mutations — to such interventions as mask-wearing and social distancing, Morens said Wednesday.

“Wearing masks, washing our hands, all those things are barriers to transmissibility, or contagion, but as the virus becomes more contagious it statistically is better at getting around those barriers,” said Morens, senior adviser to Anthony S. Fauci, the director of NIAID.
There's a possibility that the virus might also become less lethal. Or if it starts mutating a lot, a vaccine will be less than effective.

Scientists keep learning more and more about this subject. Too bad our president is one who doesn't believe in science and book larnin'.

Trump: 200,000 Nobodies Have Died From Covid-19


What he said:
We now know the disease. We didn’t know it. Now we know it affects elderly people with heart problems and other problems. If they have other problems, that’s what it really affects. That’s it. ... You know, in some States, thousands of people, nobody young below the age of 18, like nobody. They have a strong immune system. Who knows? Take your hat off to the young because they have a hell of an immune system, but it affects virtually nobody.
So only elderly people with other conditions, you know, Trump's base (and Herman Cain), have died. They don't count to Trump. And all of those people who are not senior citizens and who have died from COVID-19? Piffle.

200,000 is virtually nobody?

Do you know anybody who has died from this shit? If so, they're a nobody to Trump.

By the way, here's a listing of about 58,000 nobodies.


Trump did his damnedest to ensure that there was no risk of his name appearing there.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

A Cartoon Tells the Truth



There is a long list of hypocritical GOP Senators on this: Graham, Cotten, Grassley, McConnel, Blunt, Cruz. None of them were concerned with there only being eight judges on the Supreme Court in 2016. When it appeared that Hillary Clinton might win, Cruz vowed not to confirm a single nomination she made, even if the Court went down to five judges.

So now there is a big rush.

One thing is clear: There is not a single Republican politician whose word can be trusted on anything.

Including this guy.

NB: All "whataboutism" comments will be slagged.

The Pentagon is Still Corrupt As All Fuck

A $1 billion fund Congress gave the Pentagon in March to build up the country’s supplies of medical equipment has instead been mostly funneled to defense contractors and used for making things such as jet engine parts, body armor and dress uniforms.
I guess they needed those fancy dress uniforms for going to funerals of soldiers who died of Covid? The Pentagon took the position that it could claim any need it desired was due to the pandemic and then spend money on it.

It's just fucking corrupt. And it's just business as usual under Trump.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Sunday, September 20, 2020

The Three Americans Who Killed the Largest Number of Americans

The Fatal Three are: Jefferson Davis. Robert E. Lee. Donald Trump.

Yet Trump has no regerts.

It didn't have to be this way. Not one fucking bit. Trump opted for division over leadership. Instead of mustering a national program, one that real experts had drawn up, he chose to play Culture Warrior and let the Jared Prince of Merde fuck it all up.

If there was a mistake to be made in handling an infectious pandemic, Trump made it. Other than completely burying his dead in the sand and refusing to do anything at all, it's is hard to see how Trump could have made things worse.

It didn't have to be this way.
Trump was not called to greatness. He wasn’t even called to above-average competence. He was called to implement a game-plan we’d already written with a disease control bureaucracy that was the envy of the world, the administrative infrastructure and personnel of the world’s most dominant and powerful state, and a practically bottomless well of resources. (None of our peer countries has the massive advantage of minting the world’s reserve currency.) If Trump had merely said, “Tell me what to do!,” had done it, and otherwise had stayed out of the way, I believe it’s almost certain that at least 100,000 dead Americans would now be alive.
How many people would still be alive if Trump had even marginally attempted to do his job, you might ask. This many:


In other words, about thirty-five 9-11s. Or every American who has died in combat in the last 75 years.

But just as there are still people who believe in the goodliness of Jeff Davis and Bobby Lee, there are people who can look past the awful death toll Trump has wrought and they still think he's doing a good job.

It's incomprehensible.

How to Get Back to "Legacy" Blogger

This will tell you how to make that happen.

It works. I'm writing this post with it.

Super!

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

Sumdood built his own jet engine, complete with afterburner:


I don't know if he flies it. I don't really want to know.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Caturday

Insect edition--

A caterpillar (we had to cut town the olant to get rid of the aphids):


A Monarch in her chrysalis:


Drying out her wings:


Going through preflight motion checks:


It's late in the year; she'll be one of the ones who migrate back to Mexico. It'll be her daughter or granddaughter who will be here next year.1
________________
1. Don't tell Stephen Miller

Friday, September 18, 2020

CDC Bangs a Uey on Testing

 The CDC has reversed the testing advice that was inserted by the Trumpist appointees who were more concerned with following the diktats of their Orange Overlord than recommending what was grounded in medicine and science.

This comes after the New York Times story dropped about how the political appointees, including, apparently, a certain nutbag, changed the guidance.  The story went on to describe how the Trumpanzees at the Department of Health and Human Services have basically been vandalizing the CDC's website to ensure that it is in accord with Trump's propaganda, rather than disfavored things such as "science" and "facts". 

It's gotten to the point that all I can muster the energy to do is point out the stupidity of the Trump Administration and its evil machinations.  Outrage will have to be presumed.

Speaking of outrage, the AP has identified who ICE's Dr. Mengele is.

L'Shana Tovah

 


May your name be inscribed in the Book of Life for a good and sweet year.

(I wished that for everyone last year; how'd that work out?)

What Trump Could Do If He Loses the Election

As it has been eminently clear for decades, Donald Trump is a petty and vindictive man.  So if he loses the election, especially if he loses bigly (to use his word, he has the best words), what single thing could he do to fuck over the country, short of starting a nuclear war?

This would have to be something that is within his power as the president.  It has to be something that is beyond the power to review of the Congress or the courts. It has to be something that is immediate.

This is what I came up with:  Issue a pardon to everyone who has been convicted of, or who has been charged with, a Federal crime.  Between those sitting in some sort of Federal stir and those facing charges, that's probably something like 200,000 people.  Add in those who have served their time and are now free, the numbers might be in the millions.

Now, to be fair, some wouldn't walk out the gates.  For example, The Asshole Who Shot Up a Church in Charleston was also convicted on state charges, so he'd go from Death Row to the state pen. 

Reichsfuhrer Stephen Miller might ask Trump to only pardon American citizens, in order to reward Miller for his loyalty.  But loyalty to Dimbulb Donnie is very much a one-way street, so Trump would probably tell him to fuck off.

Every federal prison, including Guantanamo, would immediately be emptied out.  Tens of thousands of prison employees would be furloughed.  Judges and prosecutors would be sitting in their offices, surfing the Internet for porn or taking long lunches.  

Everyone who was pardoned, at least those who didn't have state felony convictions, could walk on down to the local gun store and buy a gun, as well as register to vote.  Those who lost their parental rights as a result of being sent to prison could petition to reopen those cases.  Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen could move into a dacha outside of Moscow next door to Trump's place.

The resultant chaos could be epic.

Which would be Trump's goal.

Trump's Dementia is Getting Worse

 This was Trump at the ABC Town Hall:

BARD: Yes I did. The wearing of masks has proven to lessen the spread of COVID. Why don’t you support a mandate for national mask wearing? And why don’t you wear a mask more often? 
TRUMP: Well, I do wear them when I have to and when I’m in hospitals and other locations. But I will say this. They said at the Democrat convention they're going to do a national mandate. They never did it, because they’ve checked out and they didn’t do it. And a good question is, you ask why Joe Biden -- they said we’re going to do a national mandate on masks. 
STEPHANOPOULOS: He’s called on all governors to have them. There’s a state responsibility… 
TRUMP: Well no, but he didn’t do it. I mean, he never did it. Now there is by the way, a lot of people don’t want to wear masks. There are a lot of people think that masks are not good. And there are a lot of people that as an example you have… 
STEPHANOPOULOS: Who are those people? 
TRUMP: I’ll tell you who those people are -- waiters. They come over and they serve you, and they have a mask. And I saw it the other day where they were serving me, and they're playing with the mask...I’m not blaming them...I’m just saying what happens. They're playing with the mask, so the mask is over, and they're touching it, and then they're touching the plate. That can’t be good. There are a lot of people. If you look at Dr. Fauci’s original statement...you look at a lot of people, CDC, you look at a lot of people’s original statement, they said very strongly, George, don’t wear masks. Then all of a sudden they went to wear masks. The concept of a mask is good, but it also does...you’re constantly touching it, you’re touching your face, you’re touching plates. There are people that don’t think masks are good.
That is a lot of craziness on full display.  First off, Trump seems to be confused over who has the power to set national policy and who does not.  A reasonable person would have understood that political candidates don't set national policy.  But by Trump's reasoning, everyone has the power to set national policy, so I guess that Trump would say that it's my fault there's no mask mandate?

OK, here it is:  

By the Power Vested in Me As a Barely-Read Blogger, I, Comrade Misfit, Hereby Decree That Everyone Shall Wear a Fucking Facemask When They Leave Their Abodes.  Those Who Refuse to Comply Now Have Their Legal Middle Names Changed to: "The Asshole".  (Example:  "Donald The Asshole Trump, Jr.")

OK, that's done.

Next, note that Trump is letting waiters set national policy.  The pandemic will be prolonged, more people will die and restaurants will be closed longer because waiters don't like wearing facemasks?

That's just insane. 

There was more insanity:  Trump thinks that Winston Churchill was standing on top of buildings in London during the Blitz.  He claims to have a health care plan "all ready", but he's been in office for three-and-a-half years and he's not done shit about bringing forth any sort of new health care proposal.  And he thinks the coronavirus will be stopped by "herd mentality".

Trump's persistence in magical thinking, his continuing belief that he can bend reality to hs words, was on full and nauseating display.

If anything, Trump showed that his choice to run on the matter of who is more mentally fit was a foolish one.  His nickname should be Dimbulb Donnie.

Dear Google: You Guys Suck

They've "ugraded" the blogging interface. It is harder to use all around. For instance, I could just hit the enter key to insert line breaks in the HTML editor, because that was a choice that could be set. They've done away with that. 

 I don't know what idiot was in charge of this. But he (or she) needs to be fired so they can go fuck up Facebook.

Because It's Friday

Tornado at 100mph (or 270,000flpfn):

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Oopsie

Negat my last.

(I already did, this is to just clean up the entries in other people's blogrolls.)

Catching Up on This

This is a little more entertaining than watching the babblings of our Ignoramus-in-Chief.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

If You're Thinking of Sitting This One Out

Or, even worse, voting for a third party, please, go read this.

A Quibble

Regardless of what you think of Trump's diplomatic achievement in the Middle East today, keep this in mind:

It is not a "peace accord".

Peace agreements are made between warring parties. Israel, the UAE and Bahrain were not at war. This is a deal that establishes diplomatic relations with countries that did not have formal relations.

Calling it a "peace deal" is Trumpist hype that has the effect of diminishing what was actually done. And it is not exactly small beer. It further cracks the myth of Arab solidarity with the Palestinian cause. It is a signal that the Arab world is done with tying its future to the Palestinians.

It's also a diplomatic deal that could not have happened without the tacit approval of the Saudis.

But a "peace deal"? Only in the minds of Trump and his posse of zombified followers.

My suspicion is that it also opens the door wider for Iranian power with respect to the Palestinians. It may have the effect of making terrorism more likely. But that remains to be seen.

Trump-- Support the Red Army! Make the USSR Great Again!

From a story forwarded by SD, a frequent flier here:

(OK, I added the captions)

What the hell is wrong with those people?

Heckuvajob, Trumpie

Among First World nations, the US leads in coronavirus, with 20,366 cases per million people.

Here's one interesting statistic: The Canadians have had 243 deaths per million people. The US has had 601 deaths per million people. So if we had handled the pandemic as well as the Canadians, instead of 199,000 dead from Covid-19, 80,500 people would have died. That's tragic enough, but that's still over half fewer dead.

Do you know of two people who have died from the virus? If you were in Canada, one would be alive.

Canada has had a case rate of 3,650 per million people. So if you know three people who have had Covid-19, two of them would not have had it if they lived in Canada.

That's Trump's legacy: Cemeteries full of people who didn't need to have died and wouldn't have if he hadn't willfully closed his mind to what was going on. Because it's clear from Bob Woodward's reportage that Trump chose to ignore the pandemic and pretend that its going away, which he is still doing.

This was Trump in February. I've edited his blatherings, but you can read them in toto if you click on the link:
As most of you know, the — the level that we’ve had in our country is very low, and those people are getting better, or we think that in almost all cases they’re better, or getting. We have a total of 15. ... So we’re at the low level. As they get better, we take them off the list, so that we’re going to be pretty soon at only five people. And we could be at just one or two people over the next short period of time. So we’ve had very good luck.
It is now beyond dispute that Trump was lying as hard as he ever has when he said that. We know that Trump told Woodward that he had received a briefing from his National Security Adviser on January 28th that the coronavirus was the biggest national security threat that Trump would face.

And what did Trump do? He lied and has kept lying. Trump deliberately chose to let over a hundred thousand people die.

That's the difference from Bush's response to Hurricane Katrina: Bush shanked the response to Katrina out of sheer incompetence. Trump's response to the pandemic has been deliberate indifference.

Look at the obits. See two people who died of Covid-19. But for Trump, one would be alive. Trump, by his inactions, his trying to defeat the pandemic by tweeting and ignoring what was happening, has been responsible for more Americans being killed by Covid than were killed in both the Korean and Vietnam wars.

Heckuvajob, Trumpie.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Hopefully, I'm Only Going to Have to Say This Once

If you are getting your news from Facebook sources, you are soft in the head.

In the 1940s, Doing This Sort of Shit Got the Perpetrators Executed

Apparently ICE hired Josef Mengele's grandson as a contractor:
Several legal advocacy groups on Monday filed a whistleblower complaint on behalf of a nurse at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center documenting “jarring medical neglect” within the facility, including a refusal to test detainees for the novel coronavirus and an exorbitant rate of hysterectomies being performed on immigrant women.

The nurse, Dawn Wooten, was employed at the Irwin County Detention Center (ICDC) in Georgia, which is operated by LaSalle Corrections, a private prison company. The complaint was filed with the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) by advocacy groups Project South, Georgia Detention Watch, Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights, and South Georgia Immigrant Support Network.

Multiple women came forward to tell Project South about what they perceived to be the inordinate rate at which women in ICDC were subjected to hysterectomies – a surgical operation in which all or part of the uterus is removed.
...
“When I met all these women who had had surgeries, I thought this was like an experimental concentration camp. It was like they’re experimenting with our bodies,” the detainee said.

According to Wooten, ICDC consistently used a particular gynecologist – outside the facility – who almost always opted to remove all or part of the uterus of his female detainee patients.

“Everybody he sees has a hysterectomy—just about everybody,” Wooten said, adding that, “everybody’s uterus cannot be that bad.”
This is the sort of evil shit that the Chinese are doing to the Uighurs.

Of course a private prison company is involved in this shit. There is nothing good that has come out of private prison companies. They should be legislated out of existence most rikki-tik.

The Trump Administration is almost as evil as the Communists. No doubt that Stephen Miller is creaming his jeans on this.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Trump Alarms


Trump's forecast for Hurricane Sally's landfall is: "Calm seas, not much rain, little wind, no reason to panic."

A little automotive humor:

Hurricane Sally-- Here Comes the Water, NO, LA

Look at the forecast map for rain amounts:


That is a metric-buttload of rain.

Trump Crowns Himself "Mister Galaxy"

Sure, there's no such award, but what the hell, that's never stopped him before. He claims to have been awarded the Bay of Pigs Award, which doesn't exist.

It's not the first time that Trump has babbled on and on about receiving a nonexistent honor.

That poor man is not quite right in the head, bless his heart.

(H/T)

Let's Buzz the Tower

A true story:

What the Hell Was Trump Talking About?

He said this on Thursday:
If Bob Woodward thought what I said was bad, then he should’ve immediately, right after I said it, gone out to the authorities so they can prepare and let them know.
What "authorities" does he have in mind? The Inter-Galactic Overlords? The International Criminal Court?

He's the fucking president, for the love of Your Dear and Fluffy Lord.

Now, as for those who are blaming Bob Woodward for this, I am going to copy this from Balloon Juice:
Nobody with a firing brain cell did not know the truth about the deadliness of the Coronavirus when these conversations were being taped by Woodward.

The only people who refused to believe all the scientists and doctors and the smart people and deny all the images of death and grief and destruction on the screens right in front of their faces were die-hard Trump Culters or Republican sociopaths who short-sightedly valued the “economy” over the needs of Americans. (Which tanked even worse than it could have. And those people actually took plenty of precautions because, fuck, dying from COVID is what the little people do.)

At some point, we have to hold The Stupids accountable for choosing to ignore what the vast majority of the rest of us decided was the right thing to do. Trump included. THEY caused the deaths of many, many innocent people and even now are persisting in places like ND/SD, not because Bob Woodward didn’t immediately release his tapes in March, but because they are fucking, God-damned stupid people.

I love what we do in NM with these folks: tell them to STFU and put on the mask or GTFO of my business, restaurant, gym or clinic. We fine or shut down businesses who give the Gov’s orders the finger. We’re persisting with our rules even though were at an R0 of 0.75. Mostly because we’ve got the whiny Red parts of our state acting like this is either a hoax or the fucking end of the world because they have to wear a mask to Walmart, so Gov. Lujan is being absolutely merciless in her refusal to release restrictions. I. LOVE. IT.

At some point a few weeks ago, I just stopped agonizing over what this Governor or that Legislator or those cities did or did not do in response to the Coronavirus and focused on what my community and state was doing. Because I don’t give any more fucks about these people. What kind of “Rugged Independence” is it that you’ll literally do a 180 degree reversal your beliefs just because the Great Orange MAGA Man has declared it to be the New Truth?

Every step of the way on Corona, Trump has revealed himself as the complete and utter failure we all knew he is. Every stupid decision, every news conference where he told people to inject bleach, every loud mouthed demand for a state or a city or a sports team to “OPEN NOW!!” has led to the giant lead in the polls for Biden, and in a sad, tragic way, it had to happen for us to get rid of this demon. God forbid he’d have done a marginally decent job and just let the smart people handle this, we’d be looking at a shoo-in this fall.

The rest of us are the sane ones. They’re the minority. Fuck them. We owe them NOTHING. And when this is over they should get absolutely NO MERCY. Their party needs to be run so deep into the ground it never finds its way out of the swirling hot magma at the center of the Earth.

Hurricane Sally-- Batten Down, New Orleans

Look that the latest forecast map:


If the forecast holds, it's going to be moving very slowly when it comes ashore. That may mean that there's going to be a shitload of rain.

Your Sunday Morning Rocket Noise


That went over a third of the way to the Karman Line. Not bad for an amateur.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

I Will Not Take Trump's Vaccine. Not Until There is an Ocean of Proof That It's Safe

This is why:
Political appointees at the Department of Health and Human Services have repeatedly asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to revise, delay and even scuttle weekly reports on the coronavirus that they believed were unflattering to President Trump.

Current and former senior health officials with direct knowledge of phone calls, emails and other communication between the agencies said on Saturday that meddling from Washington was turning widely followed and otherwise apolitical guidance on infectious disease, the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports, into a political loyalty test, with career scientists framed as adversaries of the administration.
The Trumpanzees in senior positions are cooking the books so that Trump doesn't look as bad as he really does. They've brought in some quack from Canada to try and push Trumpifying the science through.

You can tell that HHS spokesweasel Michael Caputo is operating with less than a full cortex when he says this like this:
Caputo doubled down in a statement to Politico by insisting that the HHS was reviewing CDC reports to “make sure that evidence, science-based data drives policy through this pandemic — not ulterior deep state motives in the bowels of CDC.”
Anyone who babbles about "the deep state" should be tossed into a locked ward and put on a heavy dosage of lithium. (Yes, that includes The Donald.)

There's just no way, now, be be certain that any vaccine approved this year hasn't been rammed through the process by a Trumpist bureaucrat, who views his or her job as serving Trump, not the American people.

Trump Country Burns, Trump Doesn't Care

Trump's relative silence on the West Coast wildfires is a little puzzling. He probably doesn't care because they're blue states.

But the thing is, they're blue because of their urban and suburban populations. The rural areas are Trump country. And those are what's burning. But their votes won't change things, so Trump doesn't care.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in Trump Country:
Coronavirus infections in the Dakotas are growing faster than anywhere else in the nation, fueling impassioned debates over masks and personal freedom after months in which the two states avoided the worst of the pandemic.
...
South Dakota has also posted some of the country’s highest positivity rates for COVID-19 tests in the last week — over 17 percent — an indication that there are more infections than tests are catching.
They could be breaking out in pustules and eating their neighbors, but they'll still vote for Trump, so he doesn't care about them, either.

Caturday

Priss the garden cat:


To be clear, Priss is not our cat. She's her own cat. We feed her, as do others. Some nights she sleeps in the garage, where there is a cat bed, a litter box, food and water. Other nights, she stays in a neighbor's garage or under another neighbor's house, or Bastet knows where else. Sometimes she'll deign to let me pet her, other times, not.

Friday, September 11, 2020

How Do You Say "Halt and Catch Fire" in Korean?

For the second time this month, Hyundai is telling some SUV owners to park outdoors because an electrical short in a computer could cause vehicles to catch fire.

The Korean automaker is recalling about 180,000 Tucson SUVs in the U.S. from 2019 through 2021 to fix the problem. The company says corrosion can cause a short circuit in defective anti-lock brake circuit boards that can cause a fire even if engines are off.
If you have one of those puppies, you had best park it outdoors until you can determine if its subject to the recall and, if it is, they fix it.

Let's See if Qualified Immunity Protects This Guy

A California sheriff's deputy has been arrested and placed on administrative leave for allegedly burglarizing a home after responding to the death of an elderly man.

Steve Hortz was a 12-year veteran of the Orange County Sheriff's Department prior to his arrest on Thursday, the police department said.
...
On Wednesday, an attorney representing the family estate called the police department to report some items missing from the home and shared home surveillance video that depicted Hortz entering the property at least three times and "exiting with stolen property," according to a police statement.

In the first instance on July 27, Hortz entered while in uniform. He returned on Aug. 10 and Aug. 16 while in civilian clothes and stole weapon safes, ceiling fans and other boxes with unknown contents, authorities said.
I wouldn't put it past a court to find that qualified immunity protects this guy, if no other court has held that it's wrong for cops to steal from dead guy's homes.

At least the cop union there is signaling that this guy is going under the bus.

Trump to 9/11 First Responders: Fuck You

The Trump administration has secretly siphoned nearly $4 million away from a program that tracks and treats FDNY firefighters and medics suffering from 9/11 related illnesses, the Daily News has learned.

The Treasury Department mysteriously started withholding parts of payments — nearly four years ago — meant to cover medical services for firefighters, emergency medical technicians and paramedics treated by the FDNY World Trade Center Health Program, documents obtained by The News reveal.
It took a hell of a lot of years to even get the Worth Trade Center Health Program up and running and Trump treats it like any other fund, something he can loot with abandon.

So tell me, again, how Trump has the backs of first responders, at least for anything other than knife practice.

Because It's Friday

Steam in Wisconsin:

Nineteen Years

A child who was born on the day of the 9-11 attacks and the immediate aftermath, is a legal adult. They can do everything except buy liquor, cigarettes or handguns.

A distant relative came home from a combat deployment to Afghanistan. That is a war that was put into motion by a bunch of people who were completely ignorant of such difficult subjects as "geography" and "history".

A tad under three thousand people were killed. In response, we scrapped many of our principles as a democracy. We embraced torture. We threw away the rule of law. We destabilized much of the Middle East. We remain tied to the one nation who essentially underwrote the 9-11 attacks. We amped up the militarization of the police. We threw away most of the Fourth Amendment by legalizing "sneak-and-peek" covert searches.

All that for three thousand dead people. The administration in power kept pushing for more restrictions, more security measures, all to prevent another attack. An Orwellian federal department was spun into being. The Traffic Light of Death blinked up and down at every challenge to the administration's authority. (Also this.)

For sixty times that many dead, the current administration can't be bothered with doing much of anything, other than race-based fearmongering.

The old saying was true: A small number of deaths is a tragedy, a large number is only statistics. That is the guiding principle for the current administration.


And as far as what's going on in the West Coast right now, what you hear from Trump is: "What wildfires?" Because the fires are in blue states, he doesn't give a shit.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Metal Like Blood in the Dark

A SF story by T. Kingfisher.

I found it well worth the time to read.

Trump's Fear Mongering

So Trump and his acolytes are going around the country, telling everyone that if Biden wins, Antifa is going to take over policing and that gangsters from MS-13 are going to move next door to soccer moms to rape their daughters and pets and that the streets will run red with the blood of white people...

But....

Telling people that the coronavirus was an existential threat to national security was going to scare people?

Trump goes around, pointing at cities where protests are going on, calling them hellholes and threatening to send in the Army, but he wasn't willing to say "hey, look at this threat" when he was told in January about the threat posed by the virus?

Trump is willing to stoke up fears of a racial-war and bang the drump fo the white supremacists as hard as he can, but he wasn't willing to tell people of a real threat? Crimus, that's like telling a cancer patient to be careful in how they trim their fingernails so that they don't get a hangnail.

And you have to love that Trump's reply to all that is that it was Woodward's job to tell the American people earlier that Trump has been fucking lying all along about the coronavirus. Like it's Woodward's fault that all of those morons in Sturgis believed that the coronavirus was just another flu.

Trump lied and because of Trump's lies, hundreds of thousands of Americans will have died needlessly. Almost every other First World nation has done far better at this because they faced reality; they weren't helmed by a lying demagogue.

If Trump had lied about a war and gotten a few hundred thousand people killed, he arguably might be subject to being tried as a war criminal. But because Trump's lies will have gotten a few hundred thousand people killed by disease, that means that he's just a lying cocksucker of a politician.

Trump Essentially is Colluding With Russia (Again)

A Department of Homeland Security official said in a whistleblower complaint that he was pressured by more senior officials to suppress facts in intelligence reports that President Donald Trump might find objectionable, including information about Russian interference in the election and the rising threat posed by white supremacists.

The official, Brian Murphy, alleged that senior DHS officials also pressed him to alter reports so they would reflect administration policy goals and that he was demoted for refusing to go along with the changes and for filing confidential internal complaints about the conduct.
...
Murphy said in his complaint that he was directed by Ken Cuccinelli, the acting deputy DHS secretary, to modify a section of a report to make the threat posed by white supremacists less severe. He was told to play up the threat posed by left-wing groups to echo administration talking points around civil unrest following the protests over the killing of George Floyd.
Trump doesn't want people knowing about continuing Russian interference because the Russians are supporting him. Trump also doesn't want any discussion of the threat posed by white supremacists because they are his people.

Read the story and you'll find out that Trump and his minions have been lying about the treat posed by immigrants, including lying to Congress and the American people about terrorists infiltrating those seeking to immigrate. You'll find out that Trump's political appointees tried to make the intelligence reports match up to Trump's fantasies.

A previous president called lying about the intelligence "catapulting the propaganda". That president sought to gin up support for a war of aggression. This president is doing that to make war on American democracy.

The Party of Trump, aka the Party of Treason, will be silent on this. The Senators and Congressmen will run away from questions about it.

Republicans are enabling treason. There is no other way to put it.

Meanwhile, Trump's boss is accusing the West of making him look bad because his thugs poisoned Alexei Navalny.


Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Slate Clutches Their Pearls, Again

Slate Magazine said this about the chances for an armed insurgency:
Meanwhile, a powder keg is building. FBI background checks for gun sales hit 3.9 million in June—an all-time high. Many of them were for first-time gun buyers—by definition untrained, possibly rash in their actions. An estimated 20 million Americans carry a gun when they leave their homes. It takes just a few trigger-pullers to set off a conflagration; even in intense insurrections, such as the postwar rebellion in Iraq, only 2 percent of insurgents actually fired their weapons. (Emphasis mine)
That twenty million number links to an article with this description:
Gun Sales Skyrocket Amid Pandemic And Unrest Fears> Nearly 20 million Americans are packing when they travel out of the house…and that total is growing
The thing is, nowhere within that article is the 20 million figure even mentioned. It's part of the headline, that's all. The article goes on to undercut Slate's fear-mongering with this paragraph towards the end of the article:
Notably, states that have conceal-carry provisions have seen a decline in violent crime whereas states that do not allow conceal-carry have crime rates 11 percent higher than the national averages according to Gun Facts. After passing their conceal-carry law, Florida’s homicide rate fell from 36 percent above the national average to four percent below. Likewise, Texas saw their murder rates fall 50 percent faster than the national average after their conceal-carry law passed.
Why that is so doesn't take much thought: Criminals don't care for being shot, which explains why "hot burglaries", those carried out when people are home, are far more common in hoplophobic nations.

Back to Slate: Reaching for support without reading the article is sheer laziness. It can destroy the efficacy of one's argument.[1]

For the sake of argument, let's assume that twenty million people do have carry permits. Slate is assuming that everyone who has a permit always carries one. That, based on my own knowledge of people who have carry permits, is utter hogwash. The percentage of people who have permits and do carry a gun is on the order of 15% or less.

But Slate has one thing correct: Whatever risk exists of greater violence, Trump is fanning the flames with a leaf-blower, He is encouraging violence. And so are the asshats of the far and not-so-far Right.
_________________________________________
1. Here's a legal story about that: West Publishing, a legal publisher, would flag cases with a yellow flag if the case's result had been questioned by another court or with a red flag if one or more points in the case had been overruled by a higher court. So there was some litigation going on, with one party represented by a solo-practitioner and the other party represented by one of the larger white-shoe law firms. The solo lawyer made an argument and cited a case. The white shoe lawyer said that the case had been overruled. The solo said yes, but not for the point of law that I'm relying on.

The judge looked at the case. The solo was right. The end result was that the judge was far more critical of the legal arguments of the bit law firm's legal team and gave more credence to the solo. The solo won.

More Stupid Shit From Trump, Mini-Trump and Billy the Butt-Monkey

Trump admitted to Bob Woodward that the threat from the coronavirus has been worse than he was telling people and that he deliberately played it down. Trump has been lying to everyone from the start because reasons.

It is not hyperbole to say that a hundred thousand people and more have died because Trump chose to lie about the dangers posed by the coronavirus. Instead of doing his job as president, he chose to turn the measures to combat the virus into another fucking culture war. People are dead because they listened to and believed his bullshit.

A man who lets a hundred thousand and more people died because he thought to gain politically is not an honorable man. he is, in point of fact, a criminal on a scale that Radovan Karadžić could have only dreamed of.

Meanwhile, Mike Pence, who is shaping up to be the second-dumbest person in the Trump Administration, is hanging out with various morons who buy into the QAnon bullshit.

And on another note, Billy the Butt-Monkey has taken even more steps to convert the Department of Justice into Trump's personal law firm:
The Justice Department moved on Tuesday to replace President Trump’s private legal team with government lawyers to defend him against a defamation lawsuit by the author E. Jean Carroll, who has accused him of raping her in a Manhattan department store in the 1990s.

In a highly unusual legal move, lawyers for the Justice Department said in court papers that Mr. Trump was acting in his official capacity as president when he denied ever knowing Ms. Carroll and thus could be defended by government lawyers — in effect underwritten by taxpayer money.
Maybe it's a coincidence that Billy Boy is making this move while the Trump campaign has been burning through cash, in part because they've hired a bunch of grifters and paying huge salaries to the mates of the Trump boys. Some of what the Trump campaign has been blowing cash on smells like hush money, as well as big payouts to Trump businesses.

I seem to recall that sometime after Palin quit being governor because she couldn't handle the heat of the job, she said that she could be president because she would use the Justice Department as her personal lawyers. People mocked her, but now Trump is doing just that, thanks to Butt-Monkey Barr.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

A Sign of How Bad Things Have Gotten

Nine drug companies pledged Tuesday that they will not submit vaccine candidates for FDA review until their safety and efficacy is shown in large clinical trials. The move is intended to bolster public confidence amid the rush to make a COVID-19 vaccine widely available, and counter fears of political pressure to have a vaccine before the November presidential election.

The CEOs of AstraZeneca, Moderna and Pfizer are among those who signed the pledge to follow "high ethical standards and sound scientific principles." All three companies are conducting large studies of potential vaccines for the disease that has killed nearly 200,000 people in the U.S. and nearly 900,000 worldwide. The other biopharmaceutical companies are Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Novavax, BioNTech and Sanofi.
That they even felt a need to say this speaks volumes about the fears of political interference in the vaccien approval process that they expect to be attempted by Donald Trump.

Suckers and Losers



Draft-Dodging Donnie Think's He's a Warrior and Hates Generals

From the transcript of Trump’s presser yesterday:
John McCain liked wars. I will be a better warrior than anybody, but when we fight a war, we’re going to win them. And, frankly, I was never a fan of John McCain.
...
I’m not saying the military is in love with me; the soldiers are. The top people in the Pentagon probably aren’t because they want to do nothing but fight wars so that all of those wonderful companies that make the bombs and make the planes and make everything else stay happy.
I don't know why the White House puts up those transcripts. When one reads them, they look like a word-salad that was barfed out of the mouth of a raving lunatic who cannot keep a coherent strain of thought in his head.

But still, Trump, who has never been in a fight with anyone other than a woman that he was allegedly trying to rape, whom did his utmost to dodge the draft (he comes from a line of draft-dodgers) and who threatened to disown any of his kids who joined the military, thinks that he's a warrior? If he wasn't the president, it would be hysterically funny.

An American Hero Whom You've Likely Never Heard Of

Patti Morton, the first woman to be a State Department Diplomatic Security Special Agent.


Morton had become a Special Agent from her job at the DoS as a result of her work in Nepal, where, besides doing her main job as a secretary, she doubled as the Post Security Officer. When Morton started working as a Special Agent, she had to type her own doucments, as none of the secretaries would do what they were supposed to for her.

Morton was assigned as the Regional Security Officer at the Saigon embassy. She wrote the evacuation plan for Saigon, a plan that she was not allowed to execute herself as her superiors had ordered her out of the country, because they thought that Saigon in 1975 was no place for a woman.

More on her life here and here.

I stumbled into reading about her out of curiosity about the S&W Model 19s that were issued to the State Department's cops. The special agents were generally issued ones with 2.5" barrels that had a matte finish. Those guns now are collectible and sell for a premium.

Monday, September 7, 2020

Dumbkirk, the Gift That Keeps on Giving



Take a Rumor, Add Some Racism--- MAGA!

"A fake Facebook post about St. Louis schools goes viral with MAGA crowd and racism ensues" is the title about how a racist rumor regarding Chromebooks for kids was eagerly snapped up and passed around by the MAGA Morons.

It's pretty depressing and yet it's eminently predictable.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

More Snark on Dumbkirk


Seems that DeJoy Is Allegedly a Garden-Variety Crook

Louis DeJoy’s prolific campaign fundraising, which helped position him as a top Republican power broker in North Carolina and ultimately as head of the U.S. Postal Service, was bolstered for more than a decade by a practice that left many employees feeling pressured to make political contributions to GOP candidates — money DeJoy later reimbursed through bonuses, former employees say.

Five people who worked for DeJoy’s former business, New Breed Logistics, say they were urged by DeJoy’s aides or by the chief executive himself to write checks and attend fundraisers at his 15,000-square-foot gated mansion beside a Greensboro, N.C., country club. There, events for Republicans running for the White House and Congress routinely fetched $100,000 or more apiece.

Two other employees familiar with New Breed’s financial and payroll systems said DeJoy would instruct that bonus payments to staffers be boosted to help defray the cost of their contributions, an arrangement that would be unlawful.
...
“Mr. DeJoy was never notified by the New Breed employees referenced by the Washington Post of any pressure they might have felt to make a political contribution, and he regrets if any employee felt uncomfortable for any reason,” [DeJoy's Offical Liar] added.
Excuse me? He didn't know that was illegal and he was depending on his subordinates to tell him as much?

That doesn't pass the sniff test. As the Feebies say, the law is oretty clear on this.

What DeJoy allegedly did was a felony, probably a lot of felonies. But you can make a safe bet that under Trump's DoJ, there will be no investigation.

But still....

LOCK HIM UP!! LOCK HIM UP!! LOCK HIM UP!!

Dumbkirk

On Twitter



Trump is probably calling them all losers, for he prefers boats that don't sink.

Your Sunday Morning, Um, Jet Noise?

An-70:


As far as I know, it's the only propfan-powered airplane flying.