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

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Cooping Cops

In the St. Louis, MO area, the metro system serves two states. They have their own cops. St. Louis County didn't like that, so they've done their level best to ensure that only county cops can patrol the parts of the system in the county.

But they don't want to be held accountable. The county cops have been covering up surveillance cameras and otherwise just plain goofing off on the job.

The reaction of the County police mouthpiece is pretty much "how dare you guys watch us not working." And they are 100% against being accountable for bad performance.

Football and CTE

Basically, if you play football, you're at risk for brain damage. If you're playing college or pro ball, it's getting more towards not a risk, but a guarantee.

Probably the same for hockey.

As I wrote over a year ago, the day is coming when letting a minor play tackle football will be grounds for charges of abuse and/or neglect of a child.

Trump Eyes Another Purge, Wants a Bigger Toady at DoJ

President* Donald Trump has spoken with advisers about firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions, officials say, and launched a fresh Twitter tirade Tuesday against the man who was the first U.S. senator to endorse his candidacy.
The thing that has to be understood is that Trump views the DoJ as his private goons-- go after anyone that he wants and leaves alone anyone that he wants to be protected. The rule of law matters nothing to Trump and he has been grievously wounded because Sessions followed the law instead of protecting Trump.

I have little regard for Sessions. But firing Sessions because Sessions followed the law is nothing more than a slow-motion Saturday Night Massacre.

So what Republican politician and attorney is sufficiently venal and soulless to take the job and do Trump's bidding?

Ted Cruz.

During the campaign, Trump called Cruz "Lyin' Ted", insulted Cruz's wife and said that Cruz's father was involved in the assassination of President Kennedy. It would take a certain level of self-hatred and lack of self-regard to even be in the same room with a person who said that about oneself and one's family, let alone go to work for such a bozo.

But that's Cruz. Besides, he's up for re-election next year and maybe he plans to get out while the getting is good.

At What Point do We Acknowledge That Child Abuse is a RCC Sacrament?

Five-hundred-and-forty-seven pupils at one of Germany’s most famous Roman Catholic choir schools were physically or sexually abused between 1945 and 2015, an independent report has found, with some boys likening the institution to “prison, hell or a concentration camp”.

The 440-page report chronicles teachers at the school in Regensburg doling out physical violence including slapping boys in the face so hard the marks could be seen the next day, whipping them with wooden sticks and violin bows and subjecting them to severe beatings.
One might think that they would eventually get around to realizing that they have a systemic problem with people in authority within their organization abusing children.

Back when the first big stories of child abuse in the RCC began to come out, there were people who dismissed it as an American problem. But it's everywhere and even now, the RCC keeps shifting their pervo priests around.

Of course, it's wider than that. It's in all religious entities. But the RCC, because of its hierarchal structure, has a serious problem with child abusers within its ranks. They don't seem to be making great strides at fixing their problems.

(H/T)

Monday, July 24, 2017

ObamaCare: Now Since 2000

So sez Trump, in what appear to be prepared remarks:



In 2000, Barack Obama was a second-term state senator and part-time law professor. That he was able to persuade the Congress to enact the ACA in 2000 and to get President Clinton to sign it into law was a stunning achievement.

And then, he was able to have it operating in the background with nobody noticing it for an entire decade....



Nazi-Grade Bullshit is Going On in Tennessee

Inmates in White County, Tennessee have been given credit for their jail time if they voluntarily agree to have a vasectomy or birth control implant, a popular new program that is being called “unconstitutional” by the ACLU.

On May 15, 2017 General Sessions Judge Sam Benningfield signed a standing order that allows inmates to receive 30 days credit toward jail time if they undergo a birth control procedure.

Women who volunteer to participate in the program are given a free Nexplanon implant in their arm, the implant helps prevent pregnancies for up to four years. Men who volunteer to participate are given a vasectomy, free of charge, by the Tennessee Department of Health.
...
District Attorney Bryant Dunaway, who oversees prosecution of cases in White County is worried the program may be unethical and possibly illegal.

“It’s concerning to me, my office doesn’t support this order,” Dunaway said.

“It’s comprehensible that an 18-year-old gets this done, it can’t get reversed and then that impacts the rest of their life,” he added.
"Concerning," "unethical," and "unconstitutional" are not the words that come to my mind. The word that comes to my mind is "evil". This is no different from having a program where thieves would have their sentences reduced if they agreed to having their dominant hand amputated.

This judicial order is nothing other than eugenics, the now-discredited idea that humanity can be improved by sterilizing marginal people. Eugenics was a central tenet of what passed for Nazi ideology. Eugenics was the intellectual basis for their reign of mass murder and genocide.

There are folks who keep coming back to the idea that they can make humanity "better" by selective breeding or some other similar bullshit. I do not hold with that.

And, unless I've misjudged the readership of this blog, neither do you.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Dunkirk, the Movie

I don't know how well it'll do at the box office, especially when the kids are going to see Valerian, but Dunkirk has to be near the top of great war movies. It doesn't focus on the leaders; the highest-ranking officers in the movie are a naval commander and an army colonel.

As far as I can tell, the film took very few liberties with the history of Dunkirk. The story gets told, but as an undercurrent to the chaos and terror of the battle.

I saw it in 2D. But they shot it in IMAX (film, not digital) and if you can see it in that format, do it.

UPDATE: Concur Ref. A. and B. And it won the weekend.

Leading Contestant in "The Most Despicable Person on Earth; Political Division"

A day after news came out about Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) brain cancer diagnosis, his onetime political opponent urged the ailing senator to think about his political future sooner rather than later — and expressed interest in the possibility of her taking over his Senate seat.
Dr. Shitbird said that she is only making this offer out of the goodness of her heart.

Apparently Shitbird was once an ER doc, which may make her qualified to remove the shiv that she tried to firmly place in McCain's back.

Just another one of those "compassionate conservatives."

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

C-5:



The C-5 program had a bit of a gestation problem. Wing cracks developed early on. The entire fleet had to be reworked. But ultimately, the airplane was successful and, finally, the Air Force had the heavy-lifter that it needed to retire its C-124s and C-133s.

The wings on the C-%as were replaced in the 1980s. The current reworked airplane is known as the C-5M.

C-5s are planned to be in use for another 25 years or so. There is currently no planned replacement.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

World's Largest Rock Band

About 65,000 people, who were waiting for a concert, began singing along to the recorded music that was playing before the concert began.


I thought it was pretty neat. But it's a thing with Green Day.

The Criminal Enterprises of Donald J. Trump. Maybe.

President Donald Trump acknowledged in an interview with The New York Times published Wednesday that there was a certain red line he thought special counsel Robert Mueller shouldn't cross while carrying out the Russia investigation: digging into his finances.
I can't really imagine Presidents Obama, Bush 43, Bush 41, Reagan, Carter or Ford telling an investigator "you can't look at my finances."

It's be like John Wayne Gacy telling the cops "you can search my house, but stay out of the crawl space."

The sharp-eyed reader will note that I omitted President Clinton. There were three different investigations into the alleged Whitewater scandal and all they produced was a steaming and expensive heap of nothingburgers.

But Teflon Don? He doesn't want anyone, especially people with badges and subpoena powers, looking into his finances.
He and his lawyers are burning the midnight oil, trying to figure out ways to undercut the investigation.

Which, I respectfully suggest, is a strong indicator that there is something to find. Soemthing that could land a lot of people in prison, especially people with the last name of Trump. Or Kushner.

Kushner's an odd duck in this. One might rationally assume that a man who saw his father imprisoned for financial misdealings would be somewhat careful to toe the line.

Anyway, don't expect much moral courage out of the rest of the GOP. They're nothing more than spineless toadies.

Caturday, Memorial Edition

Ozzarella, 1999-2017:


Ozzarella was the favorite cat of a friend's daughter. Ozzie was her cat from kittenhood through old age.

She was a big cat, but, like Jake, began losing a lot of weight and wasting away. The vet thought it was cancer, probably lymphoma. And, like Jake, she loved to be around people.

The other cats in the household knew that Ozzie was sick. In the last week, a couple of the others had begun lying next to Ozzie, as though they could transfer some energy.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Scaramucc(i), Scaramucc(i), Will You Do the Fandango?

White House press secretary Sean Spicer resigned on Friday following his opposition to President* Donald Trump’s expected appointment of Anthony Scaramucci, a Wall Street financier, to be the new White House communications director, according to multiple White House officials.
Right. A guy who has no experience in neither press relations nor government and he's going to do that job.

So why did Trump pick him? Apparently, it's going to basically be something between a no-show job and a payoff:
A source close to the White House press operation said there are serious doubts among some aides that Scaramucci will be able to handle the full scope of the job. “The challenge really here is that Scaramucci was being given a ceremonial title as communications director with absolutely no understanding of what that position means and with no understanding of how government works. So it’s really more of a joke that he’s being offered this position."

The source added, “Trump simply wants a high level White House surrogate on television and wanted Mooch to have something nice to do.”
So Mooch is mooching, having succeeded, finally, at getting on board the Trump White House. Mooch has a track record of supporting whichever horse is out in front. He's supported Obama, Scott Walker, ¡JEB! and now Trump. He does have some TV experience, considering that he bought the rights to a TV show so that he could be on it.

Yeah, this is going to work out.

Because It's Friday

SP 4449:

Trump Tacitly Admits That He is Guilty as Fuck

Trump has asked his advisers about his power to pardon aides, family members and even himself in connection with the probe, according to one of those people. A second person said Trump’s lawyers have been discussing the president’s pardoning powers among themselves.
I am quite sure that the line of "Me and my family did nothing wrong, so that's why I'm pardoning all of them" will no doubt meet with approval with the 35% who would be with Trump if he staked down a bunch of live puppies and drove over them with a tank. He is a wannabee autocrat who believes that the Department of Justice and the FBI exist only to serve his whims.

Can anyone come up with a time when a president pardoned people who had not been shown to have done something wrong? With the exception of Nixon, maybe, everyone else who has received a pardon had been convicted of something.

If Trump starts issuing preemptive pardons, that would be an overt admission of guilt. No doubt in my mind that Republicans would do nothing. Because they love their party more than their country.

UPDATE: As explained in the comments, pardons won't get Trump out of all trouble. It could even make things worse, as in any civil cases, pardons would remove the 5th Amendment shield of not having to disclose information that could result in criminal charges.

BOLO for Robber with Steaks

St. Louis police released photos of a woman they need help in nabbing who robbed the Reliance Bank at 4301 Manchester Road on July 5.
...
Police described the robber as a white, about 40 years of age, 5-feet-6 inches tall, slim build, dark short hair with orange and pink steaks, wearing all black clothing and a hat with stripes on the bill.
They badly need to hire copy editors.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Shorter Cop's Lawyer: "Cops Can Kill Everyone in Sight If They Hear a Loud Noise."

That's pretty much what he said.

So if a cop hears a loud noise, he gets to act like he's firing off the "death blossom" in The Last Starfighter?

Best not to approach a police officer out in public, then. You can never be sure that he isn't going be startled like a bunny rabbit and begin shooting at everyone he sees.

Stay Classy, Republicans; John McCain Ed.

A member of the Republican National Committee in Nevada apologized after retweeting an article that begged for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to die.

Diana Orrock, a national committeewoman for the Nevada GOP, shared a story headlined “Please Just F‑‑‑ing Die Already.” In retweeting the piece, which was published on Medium, Orrock wrote “Amen.”
The Washington Post article has a link to the hate-filled piece of sputum that somebody who masquerades as a journalist vomited forth. If you want to read it.

McCain

Sen. John McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, Vietnam prisoner of war and political maverick in Congress for more than three decades, has been diagnosed with an aggressive type of brain tumor.

The 80-year-old Arizona lawmaker has glioblastoma, according to doctors at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, where McCain had a blood clot removed from above his left eye last Friday. He and his family are considering further treatment, including chemotherapy and radiation.
My heart goes out to Sen. McCain and his family. In the ranking of cancer, glioblastoma is a four-starred motherfucker.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Airline Executives Will Be Offering Their Family Members to Pratt & Whitney

Pratt & Whitney has apparently perfected a geared turbofan engine for airliners. The gearing is 3:1 between the stuff in the back (compressor and hot section) and the big fan in front.

The upshot is P&W is promising a 16% reduction in fuel burn, 50% reduction in carbon emissions and a whopping 75% reduction in noise. they seem to think that they can improve on that and get fuel usage down by 20% over current engines.

For the airline industry, this is huge. It's beyond huge.

It may be hype, too, but even a 10% reduction in fuel burn will be the sort of thing that airline executives would sell their mothers for.

I'd expect that if this is as good as they are promising, P&W will end up licensing their technology to the other engine companies. albeit maybe under considerable pressure to do so.

Trump Got More Face-Time With His Master

After his much-publicized two-and-a-quarter-hour meeting early this month with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin at the Group of 20 summit in Germany, President Trump chatted informally with the Russian leader for up to an additional hour later the same day.

The second meeting, undisclosed at the time, took place at a dinner for G-20 leaders, a senior administration official said. At some point during the meal, Trump left his own seat to occupy a chair next to Putin. Trump approached alone, and Putin was attended only by his official interpreter.
Trump and his choir of apologists are saying "nothing happened" and "oh, it was just normal after-dinner conversation with the other G-20 leaders."

Which is bullshit. Anyone who has been to a party knows the difference between circulation around and chatting up other people versus parking your ass in a chair and having a solo conversation with another person for a solid hour. Joe Scarborough is right: Assume the worst.

The latter is either you're trying to do a business deal or get in their pants. And with no other American as a party to the conversation, not even an interpreter, Trump and Putin are free to put out whatever lies they choose. For you know that if Putin's translator leaks anything, that person will soon catch a bullet from a Makarov.

Total Eclipse Next Month

This tool allows you to determine the particulars for anywhere.

If you need to travel to get to totality and if you need to stay overnight, good luck with that. Even campgrounds in more populated areas are booked up.

Bag of Hammers; Dumber Than a

Dana Rohrbacher


This clown is on the House Science, Space and Technology subcommittee. Evidently, he knows nothing about any of those areas.

Maybe he was going to follow up on this bullshit.

This post, from four years ago, still stands. If anything, it's getting worse.

The War on Drugs is Simply Evil

Agreed.

Republicans: Just Laughing at Their Lies on Their Failed Health Care Bill(s)

President* Trump on Tuesday put blame on Democrats and "a few Republicans" for the collapse of the Senate GOP's healthcare bill.

"We were let down by all of the Democrats and a few Republicans," Trump tweeted.
Here's the tweet:


It is a really moronic lie that the Democrats are responsible. The Republicans tried to do this entire mishegoss under budget reconciliation rules, so that they would only need fifty votes in the Senate and the Democrats couldn't filibuster it (a point Trump doesn't understand). The plain truth of the matter is that the GOP's plan was always to enact TrumpNoCare without any support from the Democrats.

Remember that it took the Obama Administration ten months to get the ACA through Congress. There were weeks of hearings on the bill. President Obama appeared at forums to discuss, in detail, the proposals of the ACA.

Trump, on the other hand, did nothing other than make a few vague remarks here and there, along with his nearly-brainless tweets. At one point, he even expressed surprise that enacting health care legislation was difficult
"Now, I have to tell you, it's an unbelievably complex subject," he added. "Nobody knew health care could be so complicated."
Which, of course, means that he didn't know it would be difficult. Anyone else who has paid even a modicum of attention to the issue of health care knew that it was a very complex issue. The original legislation itself was about 2,700 pages. Obviously, he had no inkling of that fact.

The mind boggles.

Any person with even a little bit of political experience could have seen this legislative train wreck coming before they even lit fires under the boiler.

(And this, too.)

Donnie Jr.'s Mystery Guests


It seems that every few days, we're finding out that there were more and more people at Don Jr.'s collusion meeting last year. Now we're up to eight people, a guy who was originally described as a translator, but he turns out to be a senior employee of the Russian oligarch who set up the meeting. The 8th dude allegedly was involved in laundering money for the Russian oligarchs.

And now it seems that at the meeting, Minor Donnie was given a folder of dirt on Hillary Clinton. Which violates a number of laws, including the Espionage Act.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Party of Treason and How It Came to Be That Way

One might wonder why the GOP seems to be finding itself in bed with Vladmir Putin, a long-time Russian/Soviet spy who has dedicated his life to the destruction of American influence in the world.

This article, by a conservative writer, seeks to explain why.

What's the Difference Between Donald Trump and Iran?

Iran keeps its word.
The Trump administration certified to Congress late Monday that Iran has continued to meet the required conditions of its nuclear deal with the United States and other world powers.

Badged-Up Robbers Are Getting a Boost

Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III is ramping up the practice of police stealing people's shit.

Let's be clear about this: Asset forfeiture, when there has been no criminal conviction, is nothing other than legalized theft. The cops get to grab your shit and, if you want it back, you have to sue them. The only criteria for the cops stealing your shit is that they have to not like you for some obscure reason.

Monday, July 17, 2017

A Paltry Joke or Three

A few days after her beloved husband disappeared fishing, a woman in Lubec, Maine answered her door to find two grim-faced Fish and Game officers.

"We're sorry, Ma'am, but we have some information about your husband."

"Did you find him?"

One officer said: "We have some bad news, some good news, and some really great news!"

Fearing the worst, she said: "Give me the bad news first."

The officer said, "I'm sorry to tell you, but this morning we found your husband's body just offshore."

"What could possibly be the good news?"

The officer continued: "When we pulled him up, he had 15 of the best looking lobsters that you have ever seen clinging to him. Haven't seen lobsters like that since the 60's, and we feel you are entitled to a share of the catch."

Stunned, but thinking of fresh boiled lobsters, she asked: "If that's the good news, then what's the great news?"

The officer replied: "We're gonna pull him up again tomorrow."
---------------------------------------------------------
A Russian spy, a con artist and a billionaire walked into a bar. The bartender looked up and said: "Good evening, Mr. President."
---------------------------------------------------------
How may pallbearers are there at a Mob funeral?

One, to close the trunk lid.


Historical Reading Material


The book was published in 1990. So it should be rather interesting.

New Trump Attack: "It's the Secret Service's Fault!"

That's what President* Trump's personal mouthpiece said on the Sunday morning talk shows: That it was the fault of the Secret Service for letting Donnie, Jr. meet with people purporting to be peddling Russian intelligence on Clinton.

The Secret Service responded by pointing out that Donnie the Lesser wasn't one of their protectees at the time. As they observed, ensuring that people not under their protection don't do stupid things isn't their job.

Meanwhile, Trump is using campaign funds to pay for his son's lawyer. Which may be legal, but it's a little sketchy. When you donate to a campaign, I don't believe that you've contemplated that you've donated to a legal defense fund to keep the candidate's kid out of stir.

Yet Another Police Shooting

A 40-year-old woman who family members said called 911 to report a possible assault in the alley behind her home Saturday night was fatally shot by a Minneapolis police officer.

The shooting happened at the end of the alley on W. 51st Street between Washburn and Xerxes avenues S. in the city’s Fulton neighborhood.

The woman, Justine Damond, from Sydney, Australia, and her fiancé lived in the 5000 block of Washburn.

Three sources with knowledge of the incident said Sunday that two officers in one squad car, responding to the 911 call, pulled into the alley. Damond, in her pajamas, went to the driver’s side door and was talking to the driver. The officer in the passenger seat pulled his gun and shot Damond through the driver’s side door, sources said. No weapon was found at the scene.
Shooting a woman who was unarmed, in her PJs, and who was the complaintant in the 911 call?And shooting her not just once, but several times?

I've kind of wondered what would happen when the cops got to shooting white folk, especially women, under sketchy circumstances.

Guess we're going to find out.

The New Dr. Who

The BBC has revealed the new thirteenth - and as somewhat expected - the first female Doctor Who, actor Jodi Whittaker (Attack the Block).

“I’m beyond excited to begin this epic journey, with Chris and with every Whovian on this planet,” Whittaker said in the anticipated Sunday announcement. “It’s more than an honour to play the Doctor. It means remembering everyone I used to be, while stepping forward to embrace everything the Doctor stands for: hope. I can’t wait.”
I'm sure, without doing any looking, that conservative Dr. Who fans are, right now, losing their shit over the idea that the newest Dr. Who is a woman.

To which I say: Get a grip. It's a goddamned television show. If you don't like it, watch something else. There are, after all, only about a pasta-bazillion channels out there these days.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Avoidance

I've been trying to stay away from the news this weekend, with mostly success. I watched Sunday Morning and skipped over the "and now these headlines" part.

The Sunday paper was mostly local and state-wide stuff, so I guess that Team Treason Trump has taken a short hiatus from stupid shit.

Saturday is now about the only time to go shooting. It's hot as fuck here, not like it is in Phoeniz aka "Hell's Anteroom", but it's still hot. The local indoor range is almost insufferable in the afternoon, so if I want to shoot, Saturday morning is about it.

But here's the thing:

Say that you're a full-grown adult and your daddy is running for President. You're helping him on the campaign.

Now you receive an email message from some gonif who says that he can hook you up with a source in the Russian government who claims to have damaging information on you daddy's opponent. You:
  1. Immediately look up the phone number for the FBI and call them;
  2. Immediately call the campaign lawyer and ask for advice;
  3. Delete the email as obvious spam;
  4. Respond, tell the guy that you're happy to meet with him, and invite your daddy's campaign manager and your brother-in-law to the meeting with the purported Russian spy.
In what rational world do you choose #4? If somebody had written a novel about a future campaign, that the eventual First Son would choose #4 would get the author laughed at.

The leaks about this stuff are happening, in part, because people in the Trump White House aren't participating in covering it up. They're more interested in not going to prison. Only an utter fool would place himself (or herself) in legal jeopardy from Donald Trump.

Because, as history shows, when it comes to loyalty, Trump lives on a one-way street.

LawDog's Book

Is out in Kindle format.

It's a collection of some of the stories that he has posted over the years.

It's sort of like John Deakin's book Full Throttle, which was a collection of stories that he wrote for Avsig back when it was a Compuserve forum. That book's long out of print, sad to say, which is why it's pricey.

Go show Lawdog some love and get the book. (There will be a paper version next month.)

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

Continuing the theme of late of heavy long-range USAF cargo aircraft, here is the C-141 Starlifter:


The Air Force might have wanted to replace its Globemasters and Cargomasters with the Starlifter, but it really couldn't. The piston-engined Globemaster could lift 50% more cargo by weight than could the Starlifter; the Cargomaster lifted double the weight of a Starlifter.

Of course, the Starlifter was faster. Later in their service life, the Starlifters were given the ability to be refueled in flight.

The Starlifter was also designed to meet civilian certification rules, though none were ever sold.

Starlifters served from 1965 to 2006, being replaced by the C-17.

Back in the early `90s, I made a more than one trip down the Atlantic coast to the Sun `N Fun airshow. I was flying down the New Jersey coast at about 8,500' (having overtopped the NYC TCA) when I saw a string of C-141s pass beneath me, heading into McGuire AFB. They were too far away to get a decent photo, but it was still quite the sight.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

On Cats

Caturday

A shelter cat is waiting for a home.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Krauthammer's Done With Trump

The Russia scandal has entered a new phase, and there’s no going back.

For six months, the White House claimed that this scandal was nothing more than innuendo about Trump campaign collusion with Russia in meddling in the 2016 election. Innuendo for which no concrete evidence had been produced.
...
It turned out to be incompetent collusion, amateur collusion, comically failed collusion. That does not erase the fact that three top Trump campaign officials were ready to play.

It may turn out that they did later collaborate more fruitfully. We don’t know. But even if nothing else is found, the evidence is damning.
And probably more damning for Krauthammer is that the Right has been defending Trump based on what now are lies that Trump and his people have been peddling for months: No contact. No collusion. Nothing to see here. All were lies.

The Trump lines is about as good as someone trying to complain that the bag of weed that they bought turned out to be oregano.

Helpful Advice to Our President; How Not to Sound Like a Complete Moron

Trump said this at a presser with President Macron:
"When the French people rose up and stormed the Bastille, it changed the course of human history. Our two nations are forever joined together by the spirit of revolution and the fight for freedom. France is America’s first and oldest ally. A lot of people don’t know that."
See, if he had left off the last sentence, it would have been nice. It would have been just the sort of diplomatic crap that one says at such an event. But to then add "a lot of people don't know that"? It makes Trump sound like an imbecile.[1] People who are critical of Trump[2] are going to conclude that he is projecting his own ignorance onto everyone else.

Also, while we're on "things Trump shouldn't say", does he not realize that complementing the First Lady of France on her body makes him sound like the sort of sexist tool that he has often been accused of being? From the accounts, Mrs. Macron was suitably creeped out.

On AF1, Trump joked about "getting into a fistfight" with Putin. Man, I'd go to pay-per-view to see that one, but it'd be over in ten seconds. Trump's a fat old guy who hates exercise. Putin's in decent shape and he's a judo expert.

Also, in the same discussion on the flight, Trump said: “When they throw large sacks of drugs over, and if you have people on the other side of the wall, you don’t see them — they hit you on the head with 60 pounds of stuff? It’s over,” he said. “As crazy as that sounds, you need transparency through that wall.”

He's right about that: It is completely crazy. It was also interesting that Trump's remarks on the flight were supposed to be off the record, but then he started asking why he wasn't seeing them in print (or on line). And sometime during the discussion, he appeared to blame Hillary Clinton for a trade agreement negotiated by George W. Bush.

It's just fucking bizarre.

Meanwhile, back at Treason Trump Tower, it now seems that there was a former Russian spy who was in on the Don, Jr. meeting, the one where he hoped to get damaging information on Hillary from the Russian government. If there is any such thing as a former Russian spy. One might suspect that being a Russian spy is like being a member of the Irish Republican Army.[3]

Or the CIA.
______________________________________________________
[1] Did he think that "Lafayette, we are here" was about picking up an order of cassoulet?
[2] Waving hands, here.
[3] "Once in, never out."

Because It's Friday

N&W 611


Solo, no "helper" diesel!

Bastille Day


Watering one's fields with the blood of one's enemies-- now that's an anthem!

Cursing

I was browsing around the local library the other day. They had a copy of Terms of Enlistment in the new book section. Which I thought was very cool.

But I digress

I checked out a copy of Still Life. It's a murder mystery by Louise Penny, set in Quebec province. The fictional town is in the Anglophone area of Quebec, very close to the American border. So the residents are all primarily English speakers and the detectives, who have to come down from Montreal, are Francophones.

One of the cops' favorite curse words is "tabernacle". Which seems odd. But one of the miracles of this modern age is the ability to research almost anything at any time from anywhere. I remember as a kid, having to go to the library and then go through periodical indexes, encyclopedias and then the books on the shelves in order to learn things. It could take hours to find something and then maybe there was some reference that the library didn't have and none of the other works referred to. All that is in the past.

Sorry.

So yes, I looked it up. Quebec French has a whole series of religious-themed curse words that make our use of "Jesus Christ" look amateur. The Catholic Church controlled much of civil life up until the 1960s, when people began to be aware of the fact that the Francophone kids were, in the main, poorly educated compared to the Anglophone kids and that if the Quebecers wanted to control their own destiny, they needed to break the iron hand of the Church. Which they did.

Going back to the early 19th Century, religious-themed profanity was sort of a bit of an act of rebellion. They became very popular. They're even more popular. now, long after the provice has become secularized.

So yes, "tabernacle" is a heavy curse word in Quebec.

"The Mormon Fucking Choir."

This world can be wonderfully strange.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Time Magazine Cover That Won't Be Seen at Trump's Golf Clubs


That's the cover for the July 24th issue.

I suspect a hell of a lot of people have been making the same snarky comment. Deal with it.

When Did Whole Foods Hire Jeffrey Dahmer?

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

In Other Stupid Shit From the Trump White House

President* Trump’s advisers recruited two businessmen who profited from military contracting to devise alternatives to the Pentagon’s plan to send thousands of additional troops to Afghanistan, reflecting the Trump administration’s struggle to define its strategy for dealing with a war now 16 years old.

Erik D. Prince, a founder of the private security firm Blackwater Worldwide, and Stephen A. Feinberg, a billionaire financier who owns the giant military contractor DynCorp International, have developed proposals to rely on contractors instead of American troops in Afghanistan at the behest of Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Trump’s chief strategist, and Jared Kushner, his senior adviser and son-in-law, according to people briefed on the conversations.
Let's not forget for a moment that it was the brutal, arrogant and trigger-happy chuckleheads working for Prince that caused Iraq to blow up and damn near fall apart. Prince is about as close to being an unindicted war criminal as one can be. Once he fell out of favor with the Pentagon and the State Department, he left the country and was seen sucking up to the Chinese government.

No doubt that it was Bannon's vast military experience as a division officer on a tin can in the early `80s that has enabled him to come up with ideas such as turning the Afghan War over to those two chuckleheads.

"Otherwise Successful Trip?"

Trump, the Republican source said, is annoyed that the narrative surrounding the meeting has become a distraction from what he and his advisers saw as a successful overseas trip last week to Poland and Germany.
What "success" was that?

Trump accomplished nothing with regard to North Korea, trade, or persuading anyone else to adopt his position on the Paris Accord.

At other summits, when there is some spare time, any other American president was usually seen talking to one or more leaders from other countries, who are eager to be seen chatting with him. But at Hamburg, it was by no means unusual to see that Trump was wandering around, alone.

In Poland, he gave a speech that was probably written by Shadow President Bannon. Trump's speeches are meaningless. He has no discipline for following up and, at the current time, there is no benefit to the politicians in any other Western democracy to be seen as standing by Trump.

But anyway, I hope he enjoys his trip to Paris for Bastille Day. Maybe he'll be able to buy a nice place for his exile/retirement when he goes over for Unity Day.

A Trumper Throws in the Towel

Ross Douthat:
Here is a good rule of thumb for dealing with Donald Trump: Everyone who gives him the benefit of the doubt eventually regrets it.

This was true of clients and contractors and creditors throughout his business career. It was true of the sycophants and opportunists before whom he dangled cabinet appointments during the campaign and then, oh, never mind. It has been true of his cabinet members and spokesmen, whose attempts to defend and explain their boss’s conduct are gleefully undercut by the boss himself. And it should be true — for the sake of their souls, I sincerely hope it’s true — of the Republican leaders whose reputations for probity and principle he has stomped all over since winning their party’s nomination.

And now it’s true of me.
Krauthammer is almost there, as well.

Shorter Trump: "Damn the Media for Talking About My Son's Treason!"

The public has not laid eyes on the president since his return from Europe Saturday. But in private, Trump has raged against the latest Russia development, with most of his ire directed at the media, not his son, according to people who have spoken to him in recent days.
When some garden-variety crook gets arrested for mugging an old lady or robbing a bodega, you can almost always see something along the lines of the kid's mom "why are you hassling my son? he's a good boy!" And then you'll see conservative writing posts that mock the mom for speaking out for her criminal kid.

Well, look what we have here: Rich white kid does something blatantly criminal and there's the dad, blaming the reporters for covering the kid's criminality and fuming about the negative covfefe coverage. The WH staff is trying to be quiet, for fear of being caught up in the whole mess (ie, "indicted").

Where are the Republicans on this, other than closing their eyes, putting their fingers in their ears and humming loudly? As Stephen Colbert put it, what Reince Priebus called a "nothing-burger" a few days ago is now"an all-you-can-prosecute buffet". The then-head of the Trump campaign, Trump's son and his son-in-law took a meeting premised on the idea that they would receive damaging intel on Hillary Clinton from the Russian government. That is no longer an allegation, Gentle Readers, that is a proven fact, admitted by Donald Trump, Jr.

Where are the Republicans? Switch the names "Donald Trump, Jr." and "Chelsea Clinton" and ask if they'd be so quiescent.

Meanwhile...
President* Donald Trump's pick to lead the FBI faces a confirmation hearing Wednesday that will undoubtedly focus on the political tumult surrounding his nomination, with both Democrats and Republicans seeking assurances of his independence from the White House.
Right. Guy nominated by an administration that is being investigated for collusion with a foreign power and who was Chris Christie's go-to guy when he got into trouble, yeah, there needs to be some hard questioning and some deep digging.

At this point, anyone nominated by Презитдерт Трамп should be regarded with a gimlet eye and scrutinized harshly. Trump wants people who are loyal to him. We need an FBI Director who is loyal to the law, the Constitution and the nation, not to the short-fingered vulgarian who appointed him.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Shooting Yourself in the Foot While It Is in Your Mouth; Don Trump, Jr. Ed.

The June 3, 2016, email sent to Donald Trump Jr. could hardly have been more explicit: One of his father’s former Russian business partners had been contacted by a senior Russian government official and was offering to provide the Trump campaign with dirt on Hillary Clinton.

The documents “would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father,” read the email, written by a trusted intermediary, who added, “This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”

If the future president’s eldest son was surprised or disturbed by the provenance of the promised material — or the notion that it was part of a continuing effort by the Russian government to aid his father’s campaign — he gave no indication.

He replied within minutes: “If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.”
Donny Junior says that he has released his emails "because transparency," but I have to wonder if he bothered to run them by his lawyer, first. Because it seems pretty evident that Donny was conspiring to obtain intelligence information from a foreign power for the use in an American electoral campaign.

Which could earn him a stint in stir.

Contrast, if you will, what happened when someone gave Dubya's debate prep materials to the Gore campaign:
The materials never made their way into Mr. Gore's hands. Tom Downey, a Gore adviser and former congressman, received them by mail at his Washington offices on Sept. 13. He turned them over to the F.B.I.
The woman who took them went to prison.

Collusion and Corruption

Collusion:
Before arranging a meeting with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer he believed would offer him compromising information about Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump Jr. was informed in an email that the material was part of a Russian government effort to aid his father’s candidacy, according to three people with knowledge of the email.
Wasn't Don, Jr. supposed to be the smart kid? So he, his brother-in-law (Mr. Ivanka)and Paul Manafort, the campaign manager, met with a Russian lawyer on the promise that they would receive information from Russian spies.

Trump, Jr. also has the progression of events wrong:
Trump Jr. hired a lawyer on Monday to represent him in the Russia-related investigations as prominent Republicans voiced concern about the meeting between the president's son and a Russian.
Usually, when somebody does a crime, they hire a lawyer before they confess to doing something. What Trump, Jr. did was a crime.

Trump, Jr's story has ranged from "they told me that I'd get damaging information, but I didn't" (substitute "drugs" in there and see how stupid it sounds) to "three top people in the campaign took a meeting with someone they didn't know and they didn't know what would be discussed." Good to know that basically anyone could have made a cold call on the Trump campaign and gotten to see the campaign manager, Trump's smarter son and the even smarter son-in-law.

The White House is saying Trump himself knew nothing. Right. His son, his son-in-law and his campaign manager took a meeting in which they hoped to receive damaging intel on Hillary Clinton from a representative of Russian spies and Trump didn't know anything about it?

I suppose I could snark about how likely it is that anyone other than a koolaid-quaffing Trumpanzee would buy that story. But it doesn't matter. The only one who has to be persuaded at this point is Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and good luck with selling that story.

UPDATE: As to what Trump knew and when did he know it, there may be a suggestion of an answer to that.
___________________________________________________

Corruption:
President Trump entered office pledging to cut red tape, and within weeks, he ordered his administration to assemble teams to aggressively scale back government regulations.

But the effort — a signature theme in Mr. Trump’s populist campaign for the White House — is being conducted in large part out of public view and often by political appointees with deep industry ties and potential conflicts.

Most government agencies have declined to disclose information about their deregulation teams. But The New York Times and ProPublica identified 71 appointees, including 28 with potential conflicts, through interviews, public records and documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

Some appointees are reviewing rules their previous employers sought to weaken or kill, and at least two may be positioned to profit if certain regulations are undone.

The appointees include lawyers who have represented businesses in cases against government regulators, staff members of political dark money groups, employees of industry-funded organizations opposed to environmental rules and at least three people who were registered to lobby the agencies they now work for.
The Bureau of Prisons is going to need to build a new wing at one of the Club Feds in order to hold all of these guys.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Hippocrates; Gun Control Ed.

After the nation’s worst mass shootings, in Newtown, Conn.; Aurora, Colo.; Orlando, Fla.; and Columbine High School in Colorado, gun control advocates rose to demand more rigorous laws: stricter background checks, limits on magazine capacities, bans on assault weapons and tougher controls on gun shows and online firearms markets — almost always to no avail.

But in the weeks after the June 14 shooting of Republicans at a congressional baseball practice, the response has had a twist: Conservative lawmakers, some of whom were nearly the victims of gun violence, have pressed to loosen gun controls.
...
[Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democrat and the District’s nonvoting House member] said she objected not only to the attempt to bypass the city’s strict gun laws, but also to the timing of the push.

“It says everything about my colleagues that they would use the occasion of a tragedy on one of our members to come forward the day after with one of these bills,” Ms. Holmes Norton said.
But it's OK to "use the occasion of a tragedy" to push forward her own agenda, I gather, so long as it's about gun control. I'll bet that you can search long and hard for a statement from her after other shootings, in which she said that Congress shouldn't act in haste, and I bet that you'll find nothing. Probably quite the opposite.

Ms. Holmes-Norton can suck it.

Fear Works; United Airlines Ed.

Remember the woman who was made to give up the kid's seat that she had paid for so that a standby passenger could sit there? And she was made to hold her 25lb son on her lap for a 3.5 hour flight?

You might wonder why she didn't put up a fuss.

It was because she feared being beaten and dragged from the flight.

Can you say that her fear was unjustified? I sure can't.

Fly the Fiendish Skies!

Pushing the Fast Forward Button


It kind of sort of should boggle the mind that Trump is so determined to make nice with the Russians, who have been an adversarial nation for the last century. (World War II was a marriage of convenience.) He's doing his level best to piss off the Germans, which makes not much sense, as it is a German bank which is the only western bank that will lend money to Trump's empire.

But it does make sense because Putin fluffs Trump's ego at every opportunity, and Trump knows that the Russians have him by the balls.

Meanwhile, it came to light over the weekend that Trump, Jr. and Jared met last year with a Russian lawyer who has ties to both Putin and the Russian mob (OK, not much difference, there). Trump, Jr. and Jared had seem to have forgotten about it because of Temporary Amnesia For All Things Russians, or some such bullshit.

Both Trump, Jr. and Jared said "we did not have sex with that woman". Ooops, sorry, wrong set of lies. They had their own, such as "we didn't know who she was", "we didn't set up the meeting", "we didn't discuss rigging the election" or "we know nothing, copper."

I'm sure that the Trumpanzees will find some sort of reason why Trump, Jr and Jared somehow forgot that they took the meeting. And you can be pretty sure that it'll be bullshit straight from the Bannon Files. You can be sure that the talking points are already in circulation.

But it is clear, now, that the Trump Campaign sought to collude with the Russians. After much denials from Trump and his acolytes, we now know that much to be true and verified from the mouths of Trump, Jr (the smart son) and Jared Kushner. So at this moment, the needle is on "attempted treason".

UPDATE: The Duty Liar weighs in.

Liar #2: "The Dems ratfucked us!"

UPDATE II: Dubya's ethics lawyer is calling it what it is: Treason.

UPDATE III: The Russians disvow any knowledge of the meeting.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Your Sunday Morning Turboprop Noise

One of the last flights of a C-133 Cargomaster:


Here is video of one unloading an Atlas missile:



The C-133 and C-124 were the heavyweight lifters of the Air Force in the 1950s and 1960s. Arguably due to the Vietnam War, the C-133 in particular was heavily overworked to the point that at least one crash was blamed on airframe fatigue.

As soon as the C-5s became available, the C-133s were quickly retired. The C-124s continued on for a few more years; they, too, were retired because there were enough C-5s and the Vietnam War had wound down, which reduced the requirement for heavy-lift aircraft. (And the Air Force could, by then, charter 747s, if necessary.)

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Press Gullibility Continues

Even from a paper that should know better:[1]
President Trump* questioned President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia on Friday about Moscow’s interference in the 2016 election, using their epic first face-to-face meeting to directly raise what has become a vexing political issue for the White House.

Mr. Putin denied any meddling, and aides for each offered differing versions of the exchange. But both sides said the two leaders quickly turned to a discussion of how they could work together, including on combating cyberattacks and de-escalating the war in Syria.
Right. Tell me another one.

Nowhere in the account is it explicitly stated that there was no independent observer in the room. Who was there was Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, both of whom are fully capable of deception and lies and, frankly, are very good at it. And Trump, who wouldn't know reality if it bit him hard on the ass. Trump has a long track record of believing in his own con. You can bet your ass that he still believes that the crowds at his inauguration were the largest ever, that three million people voted illegally, that Obama was born in Kenya, and so on and so forth.

Which leaves Tillerson, who, like every other Trumper, isn't going to go against his boss.

About the only thing that those four worthies could say that I would believe is "the Sun will come up tomorrow."

And even then, I'd make sure that I had fresh flashlight batteries on hand.
___________________________________
{1] Judith Miller is holding for the editor on line 1.

Caturday

A nightgown becomes an improvised cat hammock:

Friday, July 7, 2017

Reading Comprehension Failure, or
Bag of Hammers; Mike Pence; Dumber Than

Vice-President Pence:


On the other hand, NASA is probably grateful that Pence didn't taste it.

Maybe NASA should have labeled it "Critical Female Part". Then Pence couldn't have seen it without his wife being present.

Fake Documents Alert

MSNBC host Rachel Maddow warned other media outlets on Thursday that she believes she was provided forged National Security Agency documents alleging collusion between a Trump campaign official and Russia's efforts to influence last year's presidential election.
...
“Somebody, for some reason, appears to be shopping a fairly convincing fake NSA document that purports to directly implicate somebody from the Trump campaign in working with the Russians in their attack in the election,” she said.
Your guess is as good as mine (or hers) as to who would forge such stuff and then release it.

I'd suspect the Russians. Getting fake documents out there which alleged Trump's a butt-monkey of Putin and then disproving them would help take the starch out of the case against Trump. It's the sort of feint that the Russians excel at.

Second in the line of suspects would be the Trump administration/campaign, for the same reasons.

Because It's Friday

Indian steam:


They sure do leave the cylinder cocks open for a bit.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Words of Aviation Wisdom

"You can always go around!"

Get Back to Me With Evidence; Earhart Ed.

The retired federal agent who discovered what he believes is the first photographic evidence of Amelia Earhart alive and well after crash-landing in the Pacific Ocean during her attempted round-the-world flight says he didn't initially capture the significance of the image until years later.

The black-and-white photo is of a group of people standing on a dock on Jaluit Atoll in the Marshall Islands, including one who seems to be a slim woman with her back to the camera. A new documentary airing Sunday on the History channel claims the figure is the famed aviator who disappeared 80 years ago this month.
This is the largest image that I could find.

This is with the area of interest cropped:

(Click on the image for full size)

The claim is that the man on the left is Fred Noonan and that the person sitting on the dock with her back to the camera is Earhart.

Contrast that with this claim that she died as a castaway.[1]

For now, it's all smoke and mirrors and bullshit. But it'll fill up a two-hour special which will be mostly conspiracy theory horseshit.

___________________________________________________
[1] Full disclosure: I have very low regard for TIGHAR. Log into Charity Navigator (it's free) and look at their most recent Form 990 on file. (Not sure if the link will work by itself, but if it does, there it is.)
You'll see what I mean when you see where their money goes.


Do You Have the Stones to Drive This Car?

A Dodge Viper owner explains, in an ad, why he's selling his car.
Can you resist the urge to mash down the accelerator? Can you? Because it’s like owning your own demon. A demon that wants to kill you. We all know one person that for the right amount of money would kill you. But since no one is paying, they smile in your face and go about their day.
It’s like that except the Viper doesn’t bother to ever pretend it doesn’t want to kill you.
And it will do it for free.
After you buy one, of course.

And pay for the insurance, which is not cheap. That's getting into the area of how much it would cost to insure a twin-engined airplane, which will go about as fast as a Dodge Viper, but with less prospects of killing you.

Look Around At Your Hospitals

In the last few years, you might have noticed things going on. New facilities have been built. Existing facilities have been expanded.

They are doing that because they have more money coming in. The "why do they have more money" is fairly plain: Obamacare. More people have insurance, hospitals are treating fewer people without insurance. People without insurance often don't pay or cannot pay. Or if they were solvent, a medical crisis would drive them into bankruptcy (the hospital doesn't get paid). Everyone else who could pay, whether by insurance or because they're rich, subsidized all that.

The GOP's "reform" plan is to (a) kick 22 million people off insurance and (b) give a tax cut to the rich. That's wicked perverse-- Take away from those who don't have money in order to give more money to greedy bastards who don't need more money.

Everything TrumpCare's supporters say is to obscure one salient fact: They want to deny insurance to over 20 million people in order to give more money to the rich. You know, people like Donald Trump, Martin Shkreli and Betsy DuVois-- people who are more than happy to take a few more millions and if lots of people end up dying, not their problem. Because they are heartless.

That's what TrumpCare is all about, Gentle Reader: Greed. Avarice. Fiscal gluttony. Ryan and McConell and the rest of that pack can blather all they want about the benefits of TrumpCare, but the only winners in TrumpCare are those who already have gobs of money. And, of course, the politicians that they are paying so they can have more.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The Absolute Arrogance of Chris "Secaucus Fats" Christie

(Previously on the Secaucus Fats Files.)

One of the things Christie said in defending his helicoptering into a closed state park was: "Run for governor and you can have a residence there." The park itself originally had a bunch of houses on it, one of them was given to the state, and that's the one Fatso Chris used.

Thing is, there are other families who still have houses there. They were first told that the shutdown didn't apply to them, as they had a right to use their residences.

But then the cops came by, told them all to leave and if they didn't, they'd be arrested.

So first Christie first lied about not getting any sun, even though he was photographed with his fat ass parked on the sand, in a beach chair. Then he lied about the reason why he and his family could use the house was because it was their residence.

I think we all can be forgiven for supposing that the real reason those people were kicked out of their beach homes was so that Christie could indeed have the park all to himself.

At his core, Christie is an arrogant fat fuck, one whom even the vast majority of Jerseyites can't stand.

(H/T to someone who'd rather remain anonymous)

Beyond Snark at This Point; Trumpistas Ed.

Yesterday, Independence Day, NPR began tweeting the Declaration of Independence.

Trump supporters began losing their shit.

Голос Его Хозяина

President Donald Trump will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday at the G20 summit, the White House has confirmed.
Pretty handy that Trump can report in to his owner without having to go through a cutout.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

"Gays for Trump" Rally

The organization Gays for Trump organized a Make America Great Again Free Speech Rally. It took place on the National Mall near the White House on Saturday, July 1.
One speaker and fourteen attendees.

Pretty fucking sad, that.

Snark Would Be Superfluous

GRAND BLANC TOWNSHIP, MI -- A Grand Blanc-area garage was reduced to a pile of ashes this evening after a homeowner attempted to use fireworks to remove a bees' nest from the building, fire officials said. ..."The homeowner was doing something with a smoke bomb trying to get a bees nest out of the garage," said Grand Blanc Fire Chief, Bob Burdette.
I'm guessing that there will soon be a label on fireworks that reads, in part, "Not To Be Used For Pest Control."

Meanwhile, in Florida:
A Jacksonville man accidentally shot himself in the penis early Friday morning when he sat on a gun in the driver's seat of his car, police said.
Seems that ol' Dickless has prior felony conviction, so after he gets treated, he may face charges for being a felon-in-possession.

On the other hand, the authorities might conclude that he was punished enough, as it is. Five to ten years in stir, being laughed at every day, could be seen as adding insult to injury.

Republicans Now Love "Big Brother"

Trump wants the data to identify every voter in the nation: Name, address, SSNs, date of birth, everything.
The vice chairman of President Trump’s commission on election integrity sent a letter to all 50 states Wednesday requesting information on their voter rolls.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is seeking several pieces of information about voters, including their names, birthdays, the last four digits of their Social Security numbers and their voting history dating back to 2006.
You can bet your paycheck that if a Democratic administration had done this, every Republican now breathing would have lost their damned minds.

At last count, 41 states are telling Trump to fuck off.

One of them is not Missouri's Republican Secretary of State, Spawn of Ashcroft, whose eagerness to cooperate with this bullshit is contrasted by the state's refusal to adopt the Real ID standards for state-issued identification cards and how pissed they were about turning over information about people who have gun permits.

Republican resistance to the intrusion of the Federal government seems to be contingent on who is making the ask.

The Fourth

241 years ago, the Second Continental Congress came to grips with the facts on the ground..

IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Shorter Chris Christie: "I'm Better Than You and Don't You Fucking Forget It!"

Secaucus Fats gets an entire state part to himself (and his family) because he's closed all the state parks.
Gov. Chris Christie joined his family at a state-owned retreat in Island Beach State Park on Saturday night, less than 24 hours after ordering the closure of all state parks and beaches because of the budget impasse in Trenton.

The governor addressed members of the Legislature about the stalemate on Saturday and then left the capital for the park, a spokesman confirmed Sunday morning. The governor later said he took a State Police helicopter to the park and back to Trenton again on Sunday, and said he plans to do the same Sunday evening.
And sez he, fuck you to the press. When you get right down to it, Christie's dickish move was downright Trumpian.

Anyway, if they only opened the park to people who support Christie, it probably would have been just as empty.

Child-Slaves on Mars?

If you truly do believe that stupid shit, then do the world a favor: The next time that there is a heavy rainstorm, go stand outside, look up, and open your mouth.

(I once thought that anyone so dumb probably couldn't work a computer. I was proven wrong before the Web came into existence. And don't forget that Trump listens to that guy.)

And if you really do believe that there are child-slaves on Mars, please, find some other doorway on the Internet to darken.

(H/T)

UPDATE: Maybe Chris Christie can go look for them.

Anniversary Caturday

Chip came home with me a year ago today.


Other than his desire to go outside, he is a perfect cat. As long as you don't get in his way come time for his canned food.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

The Mass Lynching of 100 Years Ago

It's often called the East St. Louis Riot, but let's be clear on this: It was a mass lynching. It was a pogrom.

White mobs killed every black person they could find: Men, women, children, it made no difference. to have a dark skin in East St. Luis 100 years ago marked one for a brutal death.

The cops did nothing, other than to disarm black people. The National Guard joined in on the rioting.

President Wilson, who was probably one of the most virulent racists in the White House during the last century, made no real efforts to use the power of the Federal government to bring about any justice after the fact. About the only prominent politician who spoke up to denounce the rioters was Theodore Roosevelt.

The authorities engaged in victim-blaming and almost half of those prosecuted after the fact were black.

Smoke `Em If You Got `Em; Nevada Ed.

Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III seems to be hell-bent on revitalizing the failed War on Drugs, but out in the "laboratory of the states", people have other ideas:
Fireworks, long lines and even a wedding marked the start of recreational marijuana sales in Nevada.

At midnight Saturday, legal pot went on sale -- making Nevada the eighth state to allow the purchase of marijuana in dispensaries.

Nevada's law lets adults 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of marijuana. The law was approved by voters in November 2016.
It is far past the time when this country should concede that its 46-year long war on drugs, a "fight" that was born out of Nixon's innate racism and desire to seek a political edge at any cost, has been a massive failure. Nixon's failed war has resulted in the militarization of the police and the diminution of civil liberties at almost any time the matter comes up before the Supremes.

End it.

Your Sunday Morning Big Prop Noise

An old tape of a C-124 being ferried to a museum.


A "zero-zero" landing in a C-124.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Not So Fast, California

The California magazine ban is on hold, for now.

Canada Day


(The real thing. It sounds better in French, especially if you don't understand French.)


Caturday

"Yes, I'm in yer spot. Mine, now."

Friday, June 30, 2017

More From the "Foremost Moral Authorities"

The Vatican treasurer, Cardinal George Pell, has vehemently denied any wrongdoing after being charged with sex offences in his native Australia.
and
CARDINAL George Pell has gone to ground, disappearing from his apartment outside the walls of the Vatican as he prepares to return to Australia to fight sex offence charges levelled against him.

The 76-year-old has not been seen at his apartment since he issued a press statement on Thursday morning confirming he would return to Australia in order to clear his name in court.

While staff came and went throughout Thursday and into Friday morning, there was no sign of Cardinal Pell, Australia’s most senior Catholic, prompting speculation he had moved into a temporary apartment inside the walls of the Vatican, or even to one of the country retreats owned by the church.
Yeah, I know, "presumed innocent" and all that. Still, it's notable that his supporters also seem to be officials in the Most High Church of Pedophilia.

Play Stupid Games, Win Stupid Prizes; Felony Murder Ed.

BRIDGEVIEW, IL — An Indiana woman tried in connection with the shooting death of an alleged co-conspirator during a home invasion in a sex tryst gone awry nearly a year ago in unincorporated Palos Park was found guilty of three counts of first degree murder. [Live Asswipe], 21, was the first of four people charged after their friend, [Dead Asswipe], was shot to death by the homeowner after prosecutors said he led the others into the house to rob and beat up the homeowner.
A state to the west or south and the Asswipes involved would likely be looking at going to Death Row.

If you're dumb enough to get involved in the commission of a violent crime and somebody dies, you're going to be charged with murder.

(H/T)

And Down We Go

With the political world distracted by President Trump's media wars, one of the most consequential and contentious internal debates of his presidency unfolded during a tense meeting Monday in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, administration sources tell Axios.
One official estimated the sentiment in the room as 22 against and 3 in favor — but since one of the three is named Donald Trump, it was case closed.
A trade war may be popular with Trump's base, but in the long run, China may benefit. In the short run, a trade war will probably trigger a recession. The impact on what goods are sold would hurt Trump territory more.

The people driving the bus on this would seem to be the Steves of Evil: Shadow President Bannon and his young fascist sidekick Miller.

(H/T)

Because It's Friday

Tornado:

The Powder Magazine of Europe is Getting Warmer

The news from Kosovo, the mini-republic located northeast of Albania, is consistent with the atmosphere in the Western Balkans these days. Kosovo, Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, all part of former Yugoslavia, have spent years waiting to become members of the European Union, but it seems in the early summer of 2017 as though they have almost been forgotten. And people there are beginning to lose their patience. The result: increasing numbers of people leaving the region, accelerated Islamization and rising nationalism. Violent protests recently in the Macedonian capital of Skopje along with ranting about a Greater Albania in both Tirana and Pristina, the capitals of Albania and Kosovo respectively, have served to demonstrate just how tense the situation has become.
Forgotten in the EU's fixation with whatever-the-hell-it's-been-doing is the rationale behind having a European community in the first place: Intertwining the nations of Europe with one another so closely that another European war becomes almost unthinkable.

This should not be a problem for the United States to have to work, other than possibly providing support of some kind or another. But you know that if the Europeans can't get their act together and people begin going for their guns, it will become America's problem to fix.
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Meanwhile, on this side of the pond, the Mexican government is spying on political opponents and reporters. They are using software sold to them by the Israelis, who, when it comes to spy tools, are pretty much the primo Merchants of Death in the world today.

Except maybe the NSA, but their shit was stolen from them.