Archive for the ‘WTF Friday’ Category.

WTF in Spades

I am not sure after watching the Village Idiot in Chief in his press conference this afternoon whether we should call him the Village Idiot in Chief (VIIC) or Liar in Chief (LIC).  He certainly holds both positions.  He called on one American reporter, acted like a vindictive child, assuming he had the upper hand.  So on that count he is the VIIC.  Then he claim he said none of things Comey testified to and call Comey a liar.  On that count, and I know this is a shock, but considering track records on lying, Comey is much more believable than the LIC.

When asked if he would testify under oath the VIIC/LIC basically said bring it on.  Mueller will you fool and lying under oath should get the Republicans to wake up.  When pressed on the tapes he claimed to have, he would not confirm they exist or not, but you will know soon and be disappointed.  Hmm.  Disappointed because they don’t exist or disappointed because they do and back him up?  Now I can tell you if there were tapes and they did support the VIIC/LIC they would be out there.  So they either don’t exist or are being erased as I write. We will hear the tapes on the same day we get his tax returns

We are the laughing stock of the world and we have a very unbalanced pathological liar, ethics challenged, morally repulsive, nativist, racist, ignorant, misogynist in charge of the country.  You know those people who wanted to get their country back?  They were really shocked and appalled that a black man was our president.  But that black man had intelligence, wit, integrity, and grace.  Now they got their country back and we are lead by a Village Idiot in Chief who is also the Liar in Chief.  Who would  want that country back? Now do you understand why I have such distain for those who voted for this fool or thought their 3rd party choice was a principled one?  When you are standing in the middle of a smoking hole, aren’t you gald you were principled?

Friday Morning (WTF?)

Well, what a mess. I mean really.  The Brits were supposed to have a “snap” election to clarify things and instead there is total confusion about the country’s direction.  Here at home we have a village idiot where it is now common for respected journalists and public figures to commonly call him a liar.  So the British Empire and one of its former colonies is running amok, and France and one of their former colonies, Canada, seem to have young vivacious leaders who have a vision of the future.  WTF.

Our Republican Congress is patting themselves on the back because they passed a bill to repeal most of the protections put in place to try to restore Dodd-Frank after the great financial debacle in 2007 when we thought the banks would not over extend themselves in the hunt for profits.  Like it won’t happen again?  And since corporate profits are higher than ever, where is the need for this?  I kind of look at this as part and parcel of putting a village idiot in charge of the country.  We just de-regulate everything and business will take care of all of us, like they always have.  Again, WTF.

Meanwhile the VIIC (Village Idiot in Charge) really got slammed in the Senate Intelligence Committee yesterday and he responds with accusations of lies, fake news, and vindication.  Boy do we live in two different realities.  Just for a reality check image, if this was Hillary doing this, would the Republicans be claiming that she is just inexperienced to the ways of Washington and did not really mean, “Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest.”  This is laughable.  Paul Ryan is telling us that the VIIC just doesn’t understand the ways of Washington, “He is just new at this,” which might work on the unwashed (his base), but for the rest of us, what he is talking about is ethics and morality.  And no, he does not understand ethics and morality.  If that quote by Paul Ryan was not a WTF moment, there simply aren’t any.

So what to expect after the big day?  Well, the quiet before the storm.  First, I can’t wait for the morning White House briefing to see how they reinvent reality.  Of course they may not turn on the cameras and if that is not a WTF moment about what is happening to our country, there aren’t any.  My guess here is that the VIIC and his minions will claim vindication, that there is no connection between the VIIC and the Russia investigations, and then we are sitting on a smoldering volcano.  That volcano is all the people with security clearances that know what is going on, and know we can’t keep pushing this under the rug and let the VIIC lie his way to giving away the country.  See Reality Winner.

That raises a whole host of WTF questions.  We knew probably back in 2015 that we were being hacked, and by 2016 we knew it was a full blown attack, and we said nothing?  Sorry it’s secret.  We can’t know we are under attack because it might reveal sources?  It raises the question which is worse, the disease or the cure.  So we find out in drips and drabs from leaks or being told by our allies who are concerned about the number of contacts of Trumps people with the Russians*.  We can’t know if there was real collusion because there is an ongoing investigation, while the perpetrators destroy the country?  WTF.  We can’t even know when we will know.  Again, WTF.  Thank god for the leakers.

So we have a President who has attempted to obstruct justice (Ignore Alan Dershowitz.  Like John McCain he is well past his prime).  You know it is nonsense when you Goggle it and all you get are right wing propaganda organizations (Brietbart etc.)), some very obvious collusion, and to nail the VIIC all you have to do is quote his sons or follow the money.  Hopefully that is what special counsel Robert Mueller is doing.  But you have to wonder what the Republicans are thinking (Republicans/thinking, is that an oxymoron?).

The case is getting bigger and bigger and if Mueller does his job sooner or later the truth will out.  And if he does not, there will be a revolt in government to get the truth out.  We may already be seeing the signs of a real crisis in government as those tasked to carry it out no longer trust either their leaders or the VIIC.  So how do they backtrack after all the cover they are providing the VIIC?  Are they so enthralled with their ideological agenda that they don’t care in the short term?  Watching them equivocate about the VIICs behavior is watching fat old white men (usually with a southern accent, but not always) is just another WTF moment except of course for the unwashed who suck in every word as the obvious truth.

And that leaves me with my last WTF thought:  Where the fuck are the Democrats?  Thomas Edsal delivers a devastating analysis of the state of the Party.  Now you can do one of two things with this analysis.  The first is what Democrats have always done and has, in my opinion, destroyed the Party (See Bill Clinton and the Democrats turn to conservative politics) and that is chase the numbers.  By that I mean, well if whites are afraid of immigration maybe we ought to pander to that, you know, be Republican lite.

The other option is to recognize it is a new world out there, understand the message of the young disaffected voter, and turn progressive.  Stand for something in a direction that actually moves the country instead of looking backwards.  Do the hard thing, the right thing and stand for something. So far I have seen or felt nothing.  Clearly we have to get the Clintons off the stage if we want to move forward. She may have been wronged, but moving forward is not opening old wounds.  So all in all we are living in amazing WTF times.  Let’s just hope this is not the new normal and to be WTF, they get even more extreme.

*Ex-Director Comey said in his testimony that these reports of multiple contacts was mostly false.  Nobody knows what he means by that and the NYT wrote a nice rebuttal.  One of the points they raised is that the FBI has a much tighter definition of a Soviet spy than other organizations, meaning they may discount meetings with bank and financial people that are really puppets of the Kremlin.   This is where Comey is his own worst enemy.  He is parsing definitions and loses the big picture, just as he did with the October surprise.

WTF!!! Or Maybe We Should Call This WTF Fridays

Oh how Fridays now deliver.  Used to be slow news day, but thanks to our intelligence community that is watching the nation on fire and seeing Congress move at glacial speed or obstructing what is really going on, we are getting the Friday night news flash.  This one is amazing from several different angles.  First, the leak is that Jared Kushner was meeting with the Russians to set up back channel secret communications (covert communications) channels between the White House and the Russians.  Secret from our own intelligence agencies in the Russian Embassy.  Secret for what is the operative question?

Now before you start with all the excuses about how this is just Trump being Trump or this is just inexperience, what would the Republicans have done if this was Hillary?  There were seven Congressional Committees on Benghazi and it was all nonsense.  Enough said.  The hypocrisy is boundless.  There is now real fire, fuck the smoke.

The second thing you want to think about is the source of this leak, the actual interception of communications with the Russians.  By leaking this they burned this intelligence source (the Russians will change their methods).  So this was so important that someone was willing to risk it.  Why now?  Maybe the fear that this information was getting buried?  Whoever did this is taking a hell of risk for our country.  This should alert you to the fact that we are only scratching the surface.

Now the apologists in the press are trying to paint this as inexperience or maybe an innocent attempt to try to establish communications with Russia to ease tensions that our intelligence community might resist (for very good reasons).  Try to remember that these are the Russians who tried and were successful at swaying the American Election (see the latest Comey stuff).  These Russians are Syria’s best friend.  They want to re-establish their control over Eastern Europe through stoking nationalism in the United States and Europe.  They want to set up the same conditions that brought us WWI and WWII.

I know what this is about.  You know what this is about.  It is about how the need for cash over the years in Trump’s many failed business adventures that has allowed the Russians to get their hooks into the Trump organization through loans that benefited both, laundering money for one, and providing cash flow when American financial institutions would not touch him with a 10-foot pole.  For the VIIC (Village Idiot in Charge) this is just business.  But the Russians understand this is about policy and a way to sway American policies to their favor.

There is no innocence here.  The VIIC was in Europe playing to the Russian tune to the consternation of European leaders and our real friends.  Trump wanted to conduct business without prying eyes.  The business is counter to our and the free world’s interests.  He does not care, but our intelligence world does.  So again the smoke machines are out there pumping out the smoke, but the fire alarms that detect heat are going off and the fire engines are responding.  In this case the Senate just got a giant kick in their butt and they are responding with subpoenas.  You think this is not a major focus of the Special Counsel?

So the as Shakespeare once said, “Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war.”*  And in that is the real danger.  While the dogs of investigation now have the scent, and havoc seems everywhere, the President has the power to “let slip the dogs of war” as he gets cornered in his lies about his finances and his Russian connections.  The Republicans have let us get here and the facts are obvious, but not proven.  The leakers are trying to save us before we go too far. The people who claim to  love freedom so much have mortgaged it for their ideology.  By the end of summer we will either have a new president, redo election, or a war nobody wants.  Again, thank you Republicans.  It is has been a long road of lies and misinformation that allows the chaos we see around us.  Yes they are evil.

*Julius Caesar

Random Thoughts (WTF)

In Texas according to the NYT, “Mary Lou Bruner, who claimed President Obama was a drug-addicted gay prostitute in his youth (among many other outrageous things), was defeated in the Republican primary for a seat on the State Board of Education.”  Now there are many things to consider here like why are school board elections partisan, but let’s just stick with her claim, which of course is untrue and President Obama’s childhood is an open book.  Say he was a drug-addicted gay prostitute in his youth, wouldn’t we admire him for how he has turned his life around?  Wouldn’t that say something powerful about President Obama’s character?  Oh, and as a betting man I would bet Mary Lou is a Christian with a capital “C”, so where is that redemption thing you all are so big on?  Could it be that none of it applies if you are black?

In another NYT story, “Protesters outside a rally for Donald J. Trump in Albuquerque threw rocks at police horses and lighted fires on Tuesday night, according to the police and postings on social media.”  Note that once again the news was from reported sources, not from objective reporters on the scene which is why they had to correct it for reports of the use of tear gas.  But once again, let’ assume it is true.  Is this equivalency to alleged folding chair throwing in Las Vegas?  My point here is very simple.  There certainly was a heated reaction in Las Vegas, but it does not rise to the level of the Trump folks as our media and Hillary supporters who own the airways want you to believe.  People are angry yes, but sucker punching no.  Bernie and his followers are not Trump and his followers which the media wants you to believe because it is good entertainment, and Hillary supporters want you to believe because they are terrified of Bernie.  Time to dial it back.

Then there was the headline, “Reeling From 2016 Chaos, G.O.P. Mull Over overhaul of the Primaries.”  That’s a laugh.  Remember their post-mortem after 2014?  See any changes?  And they did this before which resulted in the Donald getting a commanding lead early and not being vulnerable later in the process.  We have a problem here Huston and it is our entire primary system which the Democrats and the Republicans control, not the American people.  John Oliver had a great dissection of it last Sunday.  The prime example was that Washington State was voting yesterday, but their delegates had already been selected through the caucus system.  The vote doesn’t matter.  Go figure.

Okay, and in the last piece of news, “Millennials’ Roommates Now More Likely to be Parents Than Partners”.  And economic inequality is a sidebar to this election?  Wonder why the youth vote is not with Hillary?  Their parents like Hillary and it is their parents politics that got us here.  Okay, a way over simplified conclusion, but there is a giant kernel of truth in there.  Or could it be that grown up life in the mercantile world is just too boring?  To have or to be, that is the question.  Happy Wednesday.

WTF Saturday

20140315-084035.jpg

My associate (Sophie) and I discussing world events and deciding what we will write about in a pre-production meeting for this blog.

In our wonderful Senate the nomination for Surgeon General is in trouble:

The nominee, Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, an internist and political ally of the president’s, has come under criticism from the National Rifle Association, and opposition from the gun-rights group has grown so intense that it has placed Democrats from conservative states, several of whom are up for re-election this year, in a difficult spot. Senate aides said Friday that as many as 10 Democrats are believed to be considering a vote against Dr. Murthy, who has voiced support for various gun control measures like an assault weapons ban, mandatory safety training and ammunition sales limits.

The NRA now decides who our chief doctor should be? If the Flat Earth Society gained traction in red states would our chief scientist have to declare the world is flat, the sun revolves around the earth, oh, and global warming does not exist? Really? This is what we elect to high office?

Yesterday it was reported that the Senate had put together a more comprehensive package of aid for Ukraine and sanctions for Russia, except Mitch McConnell and the boys are holding it up until the President agrees to hold up on more stringent IRS regulations to ensure that 501 organizations still get their tax exempt status while they pour billions into political causes. We have a crisis in the world, they want the President to stand tall, and they are willing once again to use political blackmail on an unrelated issue? What a fine group of people. Even John McCain went ballistic on this one.

I see where Scott Brown has moved from Massachusetts to New Hampshire to run for Senator. Once he was a man of Massachusetts, you know, a man of the local people driving around in his pickup truck. Now he is a man of the people in New Hampshire driving around in his pickup truck. Or said another way, he is a man who will go anywhere and say anything if it gets him elected. He ought to fit right in.

I watched an episode of VICE last night reporting on the billions wasted in Afghanistan, and the true nature of Rio and the slums prior to the World Cup and the Olympics.  All I could think of was, isn’t this the kind of reporting we used to get from normal news and now we have to turn to HBO and this group to see the world as it is.  They are giving us the definitive reporting in Ukraine.  Whatever happened to CNN?  Oh wait!  We do have in depth knowledge of the charges against Justin Bieber.

And finally there is new information that 7-hours after contact was lost with Malaysia Flight 370, there was communication with a satellite indicating it was still flying and apparently the Malaysians have finally decided to investigate the two pilots. Is any of this true or verified? Don’t know, but it came from the Prime Minister of Malaysia who we know is an expert on aviation crashes. The other day I irreverently joked that maybe we should see if there is a used 777 for sale on ebay. Sadly that is not looking so crazy.

Well another Saturday morning sitting on my hill wondering how the human race got as far as they have.

Friday Morning Musings

Well first it is nice to see someone else start to notice that the conservative musing of Abby Huntsman on MSNBC are based upon a shallow reading of conservative blogs, which are shallow readings in and of themselves, not real economics (See Abby, Abby, Abby!). Dean Baker takes her on with her fear of dire consequences of the Social Security entitlements with facts. Oh, those pesky facts. It is a prime example of pseudo science applied to politics. On the other hand, it is the prime mode of thinking these days just about everywhere.

Speaking of wild speculation masquerading as fact, we had a moment of calm in the search for Malaysia Flight 370 when one expert actually told us that based on the known facts, speculation about what happened is just wild ass guessing. But today we have the specter of possible human intervention as a cause, and wild speculation of hijacking has commenced. You know pings from a satellite system leads to a nefarious plot. I guess from my perspective, I still have questions about what are facts and if the pings are verified as true indicators of engine operation. In other words, what a mess.

Meanwhile Putin seems to be trying to reinvigorate the Cold War and prove that the capitalist West is gutless. Now I think he will find that trying to control a new Soviet Union is going to be a disaster, but in the meantime we have to see if the West has the stomach to enforce economic sanctions. If it affects the bottom line of many of our corporations, well then let the people be subjugated. It will be interesting to see if this is really just about the money and we all lose.

It was interesting to see Paul Ryan try to walk back his words about the poor. You really have to pay attention to the first thing he says, not his clarifications because he said what he really means the first time. The poor are lazy and helping them makes them more lazy. End all entitlements because it just enables them. That is what he means.

Finally, as President Obama tries to get businesses to pay a fair minimum wage and to actually recognize and pay overtime, let the squawking begin. The basic argument is that this will hurt stockholders. Said another way as productivity increases along profits, they don’t want to share that with workers. The other argument is that workers choose these jobs in a “fair” marketplace and the government shouldn’t intervene. Fair would be defined as it was in the South before the Civil War or in the 19th century when the robber barrens turned workers into indenture slaves.

Oh, and all those entitlement programs like Medicaid and Food Stamps are not give aways to lazy poor people. They are give aways to corporations so people can work at slave wages and still survive. Think about it. Wine time.

WTF Friday

Here are the headlines this morning that make you wonder if we are a brain dead nation:

Falluja’s Fall Stuns Marines Who Fought There – I wonder if there was a similar headline back in 1975 when the fall of Saigon represented the fall of the entire country and where at one time we had over 500,000 troops in-country. Or even more germane, was the lesson that we were fighting a battle we should not have been fighting just totally forgotten in Iraq. Both were civil wars where the real issues were internal and we had no real understanding. In both we decided we were fighting the wrong kind of war and had to learn guerrilla tactics, but we never got that all we could do was hold the two sides apart until we left when the root cause of the conflicts had to be sorted out. Yes Virginia, Iraq was Vietnam all over again and we learned nothing the first time. Apparently after reading the article and listening to those who think we should have stayed there, we learned nothing this time either.

U.S. Economy Adds Only 74,000 Jobs in December – That number is not enough to sustain the number of people entering the job market and that is in December when retail hiring should have been at its peak. Now remember all those end of year stories about how Wall Street was at record highs and the outlook for next year is just peachy. Tell that to the ever increasing number of people looking for a job, and no, the unemployment rate does not reflect the real unemployment. So in the meantime, we are fighting about unemployment insurance with no real plan to provide jobs. We are just waiting for things to get better and they are not. Maybe it will finally dawn on most Americans that the Republican agenda to make the wealthy wealthier and wait for flow down is not something they should be voting for. Oh, I forgot. Be afraid of the debt.

At Issue Two Troubling Cases, What to Do After the Brain Dies – Speaking of being brain dead, this article raises the two case I wrote about yesterday in California and Texas, but misses the larger story. While it gives us a look into what it means to be brain dead, it does not ask the really tough questions (which I did) about when the state should step in against the family’s wishes, or said differently, whose life is this anyway. This is the critical issue about who has the final authority and who it affects and the article danced around what is the central question.

After Chris Christie’s Performance – This op-ed in the NYT tells us that, ” If the governor wants to regain any creditability, he has to admit he set a tone or vindictiveness.” There are so many problems with his defense that he is not a bully and these people acted outside his knowledge or control. Just his statement that “he fired his ‘stupid’ and ‘deceitful’ deputy chief of staff, Bridget Anne Kelly, ‘because she lied to me’ about the gridlock scheme,” raises all kinds of question about whether he is not a bully and just who he will throw overboard to protect his skin. Just from a personality point of view, this man is unfit for national office, and no one has yet examined his truly conservative economic and social stances to see how out of step with America he really is. Right now the whole discussion is on form over substance, but now the substance is coming up and he is screwed. But we are better for it.

Chemical Spill leaves thousands without Water in West Virginia – Actually it is hundreds of thousands and is the result of an industrial leak into the Elk River. That coupled with the calls for investigation into the derailments and fires resulting from moving oil from shale oil areas through the United States by rail should tell you all you need to know about less regulation. Cheaper is not always better and there is a lot at risk when we let industries self regulate (like the banking industry back in 2007-2008). But the Republicans never change their tune and we seem to never learn.

Just another Friday in clueless America.

WTF Tuesday

Well an international panel of scientists commissioned by the UN has found with near certainty that human activity is the cause of most of the temperature increases of recent decades, and warns that sea levels could conceivably rise by more than three feet by the end of the century if emissions continue at a runaway pace.

Meanwhile many Republicans deny the obvious and here in California, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) told constituents over the weekend that climate change “is a total fraud” designed by liberals to create “global government.” Rohrabacher issued a challenge to Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) over the weekend, after the Democrat suggested the current uncharacteristically extreme wildfire season warranted a serious discussion about how climate change is affecting the temperature and length of the state’s dry season.

Continue reading ‘WTF Tuesday’ »

WTF Monday

I don’t know why, but I woke up thinking about the Kentucky primary and wondering, gee, is it this year? Nope, it is May 20, 2014. We are already campaigning for a primary a year in advance? We have lost our collective minds.

Then of course was all the news about the suspension of A-Rod and others for using performance enhancing drugs (PED). I am wondering once again why this is so important and is not a routine thing when athletes abuse their bodies. Other random thoughts were why would A-Rod have to use them considering his athleticism, and why not just admit it and move on? Then I heard Andrea Mitchell say something to the effect that A-Rod could persevere like Jackie Robinson did. Really? One was so obsessed with winning he would cheat and had no internal strength to resist the temptation, and the other one, through his strength of character, set an example for all of us. How could you say the two in the same breath.

Continue reading ‘WTF Monday’ »

WTF Friday

So it is Friday and shortly there will be a cold beer or a glass of wine later in the evening, or maybe a bottle. So as I await that moment, I watch the news with something akin to horror. Let me summarize:

  • San Diego Mayor is going to undergo therapy. I assume that would be a frontal lobotomy
  • The press continues to focus on mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner and his wiener and I am wondering why anyone outside of New York City cares. I am sure they will spend just as much time on the Mayor of Sacramento right?
  • Oh, and while we are on it, isn’t it his decision whether he stays in the race or not, and the people of New York to speak with their votes, not the pundits? And what really pisses me off is speculation about what his wife’s motivations are. This is not news, it is voyeurism at its worst, and also explains why the media gets most stories wrong the first time and most of the American public are clueless
  • Anybody who watched the video of the train crash in Spain knows the driver took the turn too fast. The question one has to ask based upon his reckless behavior chronicled on Facebook and his love of speed, why this is a surprise. Oh, and was he the only one in the train control cabin and why? Could it be cutbacks and austerity so no one was checking?
  • I think I get the cantaloupe calf analogy Steve King used. If you have cantaloups for brains, everything is a cantaloupe. Wouldn’t he and Michele Bachmann make a great couple? Both of them are probably wearing aluminum foil under their clothes to ward off x-rays from the government
  • Oh, and the guy who told us that we don’t need the Voting Rights Act anymore (John Roberts) is picking the justices for the secret FISA court. Now I feel reassured…

Just another Friday in America where we are so far off the rails we don’t even remember what the rails looked like. See Spain.