Words of Advice:

"Never Feel Sorry For Anyone Who Owns an Airplane."-- Tina Marie

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

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

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

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

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Trump's Drain Bamage is Worsening

President* Trump late Saturday suggested the FBI could have stopped the shooter who killed 17 people and injured 14 others at a Florida high school this week if the bureau spent less time working on the Russia investigation.
That is just so jaw-droppingly narcissistic/stupid that anyone who buys into that, other than the anacephalics on Fox & Friends, probably should seek professional help.

Another Trumper Flips

A former top aide to Donald Trump's presidential campaign will plead guilty to fraud-related charges within days — and has made clear to prosecutors that he would testify against Paul Manafort, the lawyer-lobbyist who once managed the campaign.

The change of heart by Trump's former deputy campaign manager Richard Gates, who had pleaded not guilty after being indicted in October on charges similar to Manafort's, was described in interviews by people familiar with the case.
Meat keeping being added to the "nothingburger" of the Right.


Why Trump is Against "Chain Migration" (aka Family Reunification)

Maybe it's because that's how his current wife's parents got to the U.S.?

Otherwise, Trump's in-laws would be stuck in Slovenia and he wouldn't have to deal with them glaring at him for being a philandering jerk.

It'd be just like Trump to screw over thousands and thousands of people because of a personal beef.

Your Sunday Morning Big Prop Noise

An Avro Anson:

The Anson was designed in the early 1930s to be a maritime patrol airplane. By the time the war began, it was obsolete for that role. But it excelled as a multi-engine trainer and a utility aircraft; so well that it remained in production for twenty years and served in the RAF for over thirty years.

It likely was the Brit analogue to the Twin Beech.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

So Much for Trump's Denials About Russia

You might recall that Trump and his acolytes on the Right have been claiming, for over a year, that the allegations of Russian
meddling were a hoax.

But now, after a couple of limo-loads of Russians have been indicted for election meddling, that claim is, in the words of a former administration, no longer operative.

Shepard Smith, who is a bit of an outlier on Fox News, admitted that the story is not a hoax.

If they gave an award for Biggest Lie of 2017, Trump's "the Russian meddling story is a hoax" would win the Golden Turd Award.

Now he says that the indictment of thirteen Russians for, you guessed it, meddling in the election proves that there was no collusion.

At this point, anyone who believes what Trump said is either a willful puppet or they need to be watered twice a week.


Varmint at work:

Chip knows damn well he's not supposed to be up there.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Not Just Stormy

Not long after his third wife gave birth, Trump commenced an affair with a former Playmate of the Year. One of his buddies, who owns the National Enquirer, bought the rights to the story and then killed it.

None of this will matter to the self-styled evangelical moralists. They got unhinged about Bill Clinton's infidelities, but they're absolutely mum about Trump's.

They'd stick with Trump if there was footage of him fucking a sheep or murdering a child.

Poor Widdle Snowflake Had His Feelings Hurt!

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s security team decided last year he should fly first class to avoid confrontations with angry individuals on planes and in airports, an agency official said Thursday as EPA sought to explain the chief’s penchant for pricey travel.

“He was approached in the airport numerous times, to the point of profanities being yelled at him and so forth,” Henry Barnet, director of the agency's Office of Criminal Enforcement, told POLITICO.
Awwww. Poooor baabeeee.

That doesn't pass the "so, what" test. He's going to be on the same airplane and in the same terminal as the rest of the public. People are still going to see him, recognize him and yell at him.

What a fucking snowflake.

And There Goes the 400-Series Twin Cessnas.

The FAA has published an Airworthiness Directive affecting an estimated 2,147 Cessna twin-engine airplanes, requiring the owners or operators of high time aircraft to inspect the spar caps, and if cracks are found, replace the carry-through spar.
So effectively, every oil change, there will be an additional AMU for a spar inspection, with the chance of another 73+ AMUs to fix it. Having a spar fail in flight could be a Very Bad Thing.

On the other hand, decent 400-series Cessnas are a half-mil or so. Those will be fixed. But the flying beaters will more likely be parted out and scrapped, or pushed back into Corrosion Row.

Because It's Friday

Mountain steam in South America.

What's cool about this are the switchbacks.

And There Goes Amtrak....

Amtrak is considering suspending service on tracks that don’t have sophisticated speed controls by a Dec. 31 deadline, the railroad’s top executive said Thursday, threatening to disrupt operations across the U.S. in a push to strengthen safety after a series of deadly wrecks.
I'm going to guess that would include every long-haul Amtrak route outside of the Northeast Corridor.

Conservatives have been pushing for a very long time to kill off Amtrak. They hate the idea of mass transit, figuring that if people can't afford cars, they should walk. The fact that Amtrak supplies an important service to a lot of places where people who can't drive happen to live makes no difference to them. Government, to conservatives, should not be in the business of helping people do anything other than make money. They'd kill off the Post Office if it wasn't mandated by the Constitution.

So I see this sudden emphasis on safety as the conservatives not letting a crisis go to waste.

Nice Work if You Can Get It, Eh?

The odor of grifting is hanging over the Trump Inauguration.

I'm pretty sure that if anything similar had happened for the Clinton or Obama inaugurals, that we'd still be hearing about it.

What the Hell?

This is a recent comment left on another one of my blogs:
Ahaa, its pleasant dialogue on the topic of this paragraph at this place at this weblog, I have read all that, so now me also commenting here.
That makes no sense. My guess is that they are trying to game the spam filters, so they can then sneak through comments with links.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

USS Ford and EMALS

EMALS is the electromagnetic catapult on the USS Ford, which replaces the steam catapult that has been in use for the last sixty years.

It's not going very well. The EMALS's launch dynamics apparently is oeverstressing the wings of airplanes with external fuel tanks and the system is not capable of operating for extended periods of time.

Without EMALS, the Ford is merely a ten-billion dollar ship that can transport airplanes from one naval base to another (if there is a crane to offload them) and do semi-major repairs to the airplanes while in transit. Without a functioning catapult, the ship is like having a box of ammunition without having a rifle to shoot them with.

Back in the day when responsible adults ran things, they'd have said "OK, this is a new idea and it might not work operationally. So let's put in one of them and three of the things we know that work, and design it so that if it works, we can swap out the old stuff and if it doesn't, we can put in the old stuff."

You might recall, for example, that the Navy didn't stop buying piston-engined airplanes until it was damn sure that those newfangled jets would work.[1] (The Air Force had enough Mustangs left over after the war to run the risk.) A past SecDef ordered the whole-scale switching over to a new rifle in the middle of a war and a lot of men paid the price for that.

NavAir has thrown all of is eggs into EMALS. If it doesn't work and if it can't be kept in working condition, then the USS Ford is a neutered carrier.
[1] The F4U Corsair was in production until 1953, which was when it was retired from USN frontline service. Corsairs were in use by other nations, especially France, for many years afterwards.

Where's My $130,000, Mickey?

Let me get this straight: Mickey Cohen, one of Trump's lawyers, paid Stephanie Clifford, aka Stormy Daniels, $130,0000 to keep quiet about an affair that Donald Trump denies ever happened.

(Oh, for the days when wearing a tan suit was a scandal.)

But anyway, I haven't discussed whether or not I have ever had sex with Donald Trump. I'm pretty sure that Trump would deny it. (For the record, I've never met him, nor would I want to ever be in the same ZIP Code with him.) But I'll be happy to not talk about the fact that I've never had sex with Donald Trump, if I'm adequately compensated.

Sounds ludicrous, right? But that's the story that, basically, Team Trump is peddling: Trump's personal lawyer paid a porn star $130,000 out of his own pocket to not talk about an affair that never happened.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

FBI Throws Trump WH Under the Bus (and Other Trump Stuff)

Contradicting the White House, the FBI said Tuesday it gave the Trump administration information on multiple occasions last year about a top aide accused of domestic abuse by his two ex-wives, and the investigation wrapped up in January.

That account by FBI Director Christopher Wray challenged the White House assertion that Rob Porter’s background “investigation was ongoing” and officials first learned the extent of accusations against him only last week, just before he abruptly resigned.
In normal times, a FBI director would have found a way to have soft-pedaled, if not tap-danced, around that topic.

But these aren't exactly normal times.

The Trump White House has been furiously trying to throw the FBI under the bus with regard to the Mueller investigation. This time, the FBI returned the favor.

One of the more amusing things with regard to how the Trumpist Administration has been handling the issue of staffies abusing their wives and girlfriends is the toxic mix of misogyny and hypocrisy. For the length of the overhyped issue of how Hillary Clinton handled her emails, the Trumpanzees have been chanting "Lock her up! Lock her up!" Trump told Clinton to her face that if he was president, she'd be in jail.

It goes back further, of course. During the "Central Park Five" case, Trump took out at least one full-page ad, before a trial was held, calling for them to be executed. After they were exonerated by DNA evidence, Trump didn't change his position. As far as he was concerned, all five should have been executed immediately.

But, when it comes to accusations of sexual abuse, Trump has been whining that his guys have not been afforded due process.

Also, this is what The Self- Proclaimed Pussy-Grabber and The Guy Who Allegedly Beat and Raped His First Wife, Allegedly Raped a Child and Whom Allegedly Tried to Rape Another Woman had to say: “I am totally opposed to domestic violence of any kind. Everyone knows that.”

Yeah, now he is. Or so he says. His history would indicate otherwise.
Come a change in power, expect somebody is going to jail over this.
Anyone who believes this has mush-for-brains:
President Donald Trump’s personal attorney said Tuesday he paid $130,000 out of his own pocket to a porn actress who allegedly had a sexual relationship with Trump in 2006.

Michael Cohen said in a statement to The New York Times that he was not reimbursed by the Trump Organization or the Trump campaign for the payment to Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.
Riiight. Out of the goodness of his heart, that guy coughed up 130 large of his own money to protect Trump, and he didn't ask for any repayment? Not from Trump, personally, or one of Trumps kids?

Yep, that is totally believable.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Trump Wants to Legalize Robbing the Workers

Labor Department leadership scrubbed an unfavorable internal analysis from a new tip pooling proposal, shielding the public from estimates that showed employees could lose out on billions of dollars in gratuities, four current and former DOL sources tell Bloomberg Law.

The agency shelved the economic analysis, compiled by DOL staff, from a December proposal to scrap an Obama administration rule. The proposal would permit tip pooling arrangements that involve restaurant servers and other workers who make tips and back-of-the-house workers who don’t. It sparked outrage from worker advocates who said the move would permit management to essentially skim gratuities by participating in the pools themselves.

Senior department political officials—faced with a government analysis showing that workers could lose billions of dollars in tips as a result of the proposal—ordered staff to revise the data methodology to lessen the expected impact, several of the sources said. Although later calculations showed progressively reduced tip losses, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta and his team are said to have still been uncomfortable with including the data in the proposal. The officials disagreed with assumptions in the analysis that employers would retain their employees’ gratuities, rather than redistribute the money to other hourly workers. They wound up receiving approval from the White House to publish a proposal Dec. 5 that removed the economic transfer data altogether, the sources said.
When most people tip their server, they're rewarding that person for their service. The restaurant owner, previously, was supposed to pay the cooks and the rest of the staff.

Trump wants to change that so the tips go to everyone, including the owner's kid who is sleeping in the stockroom. And if the owner happens to dip his or her toe into the business from time to time, maybe acting as the hostess or whatnot, then they get to glom onto a piece of the action. And guess who gets to decide who gets what, boys and girls?

Hint: It's not the person whom you tipped. They're only the person that Trump is allowing to be robbed.


It'd Be Warmer, But the Skiiing Isn't as Good and the Food's Probably Worse

A Chicago TV station apparently couldn't tell the difference between PyeongChang and P.F. Chang’s.