Saturday, January 20, 2018

Distinction Deniers

Thursday, January 18, 2018

The NRA is Fucked

Well, well, looks like the NRA is in a wee bit of trouble. The FBI is investigating whether money from Russia was funneled through the NRA to help Donald Trump win the presidency. It is illegal to use foreign money to influence federal elections.

I would laugh my fucking ass off and never stop rolling on the floor if this is what brought down the NRA. Some patriotic organization...taking money from a totalitarian state and a foreign one at that. Aren't those guys always bitching about oppressive governments?

Well, I suppose if they help the NRA out, then they are OK...

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

It's Not the Affair, It's the Extortion

Ivanka Lookalike Stormy Daniels
In a development that surprised absolutely no one, it was reported that Donald Trump paid a porn star $130K not to go public with revelations a few days before the 2016 election that she had sex with him in 2006. The person in question is Stormy Daniels, aka Stephanie Clifford.

It wasn't a lousy gossip rag reporting this: it was the Wall Street Journal, a Rupert Murdoch newspaper that is always in the Republican corner. 

It's not new news that Trump was screwing around on his wife Melania while she was pregnant and shortly after the birth of their son.

The National Enquirer bought the exclusive rights to Playboy playmate Karen McDougal's story of her affair with Trump. The Enquirer's CEO, David Pecker (ironically, his real name), never published it, essentially buying McDougal's silence.

Other porn stars (who also bear a disturbing resemblance to Trump's daughter, Ivanka) have come forward with stories of Trump offering to pay them $10K for sex.

Trump attacked People magazine reporter Natasha Stoynoff at Mar-a-Lago when Melania was in the other room. She, too, is a tall blonde like Ivanka.

The story here is not the sex. Everyone knows Trump is a dog. It's that Trump is vulnerable to extortion. He pays people money to keep them quiet about things that embarrass him. The CIA and the FBI would never hire anyone who is so open to blackmail, much less give them a security clearance. Yet this bozo sits in the Oval Office.

So the question quickly becomes: how many people has Trump paid off to keep quiet, and what crimes is he covering up? How many companies are sitting on embarrassing stories, like the National Enquirer's McDougal interview, which they're holding over Donald Trump's head? Are there Russian prostitutes who have the goods on Trump? Is this why Trump never has a bad word to say about Putin?

When Trump was running for president a major reason I cited for his being completely unqualified for the office was his vulnerability to extortion and blackmail. Here we have direct evidence that Trump has paid people off for keeping his dirty secrets. This establishes a pattern of dishonest behavior.

A full congressional investigation is warranted. As I said before, we cannot know whether any decision Trump makes is for the good of the country, for his own profit, or quid pro quo for some company or foreign government that has some leverage over him.

Trump's Approval Ratings Falling Everywhere

The New York Times and Morning Consult have a significant amount of data that shows that Trump's approval rating has dropped across ALL demographic groups. The list is quite extensive.

The one that strikes me as the most interesting is the no college degree category has fallen from 46% to 40%. That's basically the election of 2016 right there. Unemployed workers are now under 30% as well as independent women.

Basically, he's fucked and he's making it worse every day.

Monday, January 15, 2018

What Are You Doing For Others?

(1963, Strength to Love by Martin Luther King Jr., Sermon: Three Dimensions of a Complete Life, Start Page 67, Quote Page 72, Published by Harper & Row, New York. (Verified on paper))

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Can We Ignore Trump Now?

Donald Trump's recent "shithole" comments serve to reinforce a theory I have regarding his candidacy and his presidency. It goes something like this. 

He never really wanted to be president. He only wanted to increase his brand and saw an opportunity to fleece the right wing blogger and commenter set for a monthly subscription to his TV network that he wanted to start. He saw that he had a solid 30% of the country behind him and knew exactly what to say in order to get them on his side.

Essentially, all he had to do was act like Archie Bunker and spout racist, xenophobic and misogynist nonsense. It made all those people thump their chest and shout "YEAH!" at the top of their lungs. Add in the icing on the cake: it makes liberal heads explode. Now, those right wing bloggers and commenters are ejaculating all over the place!!

He has carried this tactic into his presidency. He makes a dumb ass comment that is racially insensitive. Liberals go bananas. Conservatives love it. Nothing changes. Repeat.

I say we break the cycle. The next time he does this, ignore him. He's just a child, after all, with a failing brain. Leave him alone to be the demented fool that he is and trust that a few people around him will make sure the country won't totally fall apart as long he is in office.

Take the energy that comes from being pissed off about this and get more people registered to vote in key Congressional districts. Find the little league coach and urge them to run for office. Better yet, run yourself.

The only way that we stop this cycle is through the election process.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Why Would Norwegians Emigrate to the Shithole that Trump Is Creating?

Yesterday, in a bipartisan meeting about immigration reform, Donald Trump confirmed what everyone already knew: that he is a racist dick.
“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” Trump said, according to these people, referring to [Haiti, El Salvador and African countries].

Trump then suggested that the United States should instead bring more people from countries such as Norway, whose prime minister he met with Wednesday. The president, according to a White House official, also suggested he would be open to more immigrants from Asian countries because he felt that they help the United States economically.
Trump doesn't get it: people don't emigrate from nice places to worse places.

That's why Norwegians aren't interested in moving to the US. Norway is, per capita, richer than the United States. Norway has a higher per-capita GDP. There is far less economic inequality. Norwegians are happier than Americans. Their social services and medical care are better. Their air and water are cleaner. They have longer life expectancy, lower infant mortality rates, greater equality for women, and on and on.

And moves by the Trump administration are turning the United States into a third-world shithole by the day: the elimination of environmental regulations will poison our air and water. Trump's willful sabotage of the ACA will ultimately leave tens of millions without access to health care. Trump's tax cuts for billionaires will increase taxes on the middle class, destroy Social Security and Medicare, and increase income inequality. Opening coastal waters to oil drilling will foul our beaches. Trump's history of sexual harassment, blatant misogyny and sexism is emblematic of the problems women face in this country.

So, by pretty much any economic, environmental or social measure, Norway is a better place for the average person -- and especially women -- to live than the United States.

Back when my ancestors came from Norway, Sweden, England and Ireland that wasn't the case: those countries were shitholes in the 19th century, run by corrupt, wealthy and arrogant aristocrats and filled with religious intolerance.

Why did Trump single out Norway? Because he is a racist, senile old man. He had just met with the prime minister of Norway, who was a white woman, so the country was still within the horizon of his limited attention span.

Every day Trump proves that he is not a president. He is a racist, senile, old white man who sits around watching TV and drinking diet Cokes while tweeting knee-jerk reactions to whatever drivel he's watching on Fox News.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Following Steve Bannon Back Under The Rock

It was only a few short months ago that this guy was supposedly all powerful. Look at him now. He’s nothing as the cartoon above so astutely illustrates.

This is a good lesson for liberals, moderates and conservatives who are horrified at what’s been happening with Trump. Just be patient. These people are morons. It’s all going to be over soon.

And all their little troll supporters will crawl back under the rock with Bannon...

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Really? No One Can Figure Out Why Trump Exempted Florida from Coastal Oil Drilling?

Donald Trump stirred up rat's nest last week when he opened the nation's entire coastline to oil drilling, against the wishes of every coastal governor, including Republicans and Democrats. No one wants a repeat of the Deepwater Horizon disaster on their shores.

But today a big fat rat came crawling out of that nest: Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced that Florida would be exempt from coastal drilling.

Why Florida?
The governors of New York, New Jersey, California and several other states requested exclusion from the drilling plan last year, while the plan was being drafted, citing the tourism value of their coastlines.

“The problem is that the request for exclusion came from most of the East Coast states and all of the West Coast states, and yet it was just granted to Florida,” said Sierra Weaver, an attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center. “The problem is treating Florida differently from every other state that requested exclusion.”

In fact, Florida was not among the states that had requested an exemption to the drilling plan. Throughout his political career, Governor Scott has veered between supporting and opposing offshore drilling.

Legal experts said they were perplexed by Mr. Zinke’s move. “No one knows what the legal implications are, because this has never been done before,” Ms. Weaver said.
Well, duh. Isn't it obvious? Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort is in Florida. When he suddenly realized -- almost a week later -- that opening up the entire US coastline to oil drilling would put his own property at risk of being hit by a massive oil spill, he had Zinke exempt Florida.

When well people finally understand that Trump cares only about himself?

It's Not About Smart, It's about Old

Donald Trump has rightly been ridiculed for stating that he is "like, really smart," and is a "very stable genius." 

Most critics examine the usage of the word "like," which completely undermines the "really smart" in many ways. In particular, it makes him sound like a Valley Girl or stating that he is not actually smart, but just a facsimile of smart.

For years now Trump's mental acuity has been in question. Every time the question comes up he trots out the same old nonsense about having a high IQ and going to a fancy college. This time he said:
"I went to the best colleges for college," said Trump, who holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania. "I had a situation where I was a very excellent student, came out, made billions and billions of dollars, became one of the top business people, went to television and for 10 years was a tremendous success, as you probably have heard, ran for president one time and won."
Look at this quote: I went to the best colleges for college. Smart people do not talk that way. That's something a stupid, inarticulate and confused person would say. It's also patently false: UPenn and Wharton are simply not the best, by any measure.

And it's totally irrelevant. Trump went to college 50 years ago. His IQ test was decades ago. That has no bearing on his knowledge and mental fitness today. I took calculus in college 40 years ago, and got all A's. I remember nothing of calculus. It would be ridiculous for me to brag about having the best grades in calculus now, because it has no bearing on my current mathematical capabilities.

The question isn't how smart Trump was 50 years ago, it's how smart is he today? How well can he focus? He well can he absorb information from his staff? If you compare his speech patterns today to the speech patterns he evinced 20 years ago, it's clear he's suffered a marked cognitive decline.

And it's not just Trump, it's any old person. He's 71 years old, an age when parts of the brain start undergoing rapid shrinking:
For example, the gray matter of the human frontal lobe shrank an average of about 14% between the age of 30 and 80, and the gray matter of the hippocampus about 13% over the same period. But shrinkage of white matter was even more severe: The white matter of the frontal lobe shrank about 24%, similar to the white matter volume decrease in most other brain regions measured.

Moreover, unlike the gray matter, which showed a more gradual shrinkage over time, the decline in white matter was most precipitous between the ages of 70 and 80. So although the average decline in the frontal lobe was 24% at age 80, it was only about 6% at age 70.

Brain shrinkage came to my attention the other day when I read that Alex Trebek of Jeopardy fame, who is 77, had brain surgery for a subdural hematoma, probably caused by a fall:
The elderly also are at increased risk for the condition simply due to old age. This is because, as we age our brains shrink slightly, creating a space between the brain and the skull. This space put stress on the veins in the brain and increases their risk for tearing and bleeding
Finally, Trump is genetically predisposed to Alzheimers, which killed his father.

One of the first complaints I registered about Trump's run for president was that he was too old: he was the oldest president at inauguration. Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton are also too old to be president. And Joe Arpaio's run for Senate, at age 85, is a total joke. His brain is the size of pea (admittedly it started out that way).

Congress can't pass laws setting a maximum age for being president, because the Constitution sets the requirements.

But Congress can demand that Trump undergo physical and psychological evaluations by independent physicians and psychiatrists to determine how much cognition he has lost, as well an MRI to scan his brain to see how much shrinkage has occurred, and to look for other signs of deterioration (yeah, that's a thing).

Woodrow Wilson and Ronald Reagan suffered from a stroke and Alzheimers late in their terms, and others ran the presidency. All partisan animus aside, there are numerous indications that Trump's mind is not firing on all cylinders, and the nation would be best served by determining whether Trump's mental issues are due to impending senility or are simple personality defects.

Trump claims to have a very good brain. So why doesn't he prove it: have him take an IQ test. A cognition test. A short-term memory test. A reading comprehension test. A brain scan. But he won't, because he'd fail.

The best way to shut up a braggart is to make him prove his boasts.

The Stable Genius

Donald Trump Is A Liar

Donald Trump is a liar.
This is fact.
How do I know this?
Quora's wonderful new Answer Wiki.
Answers point to:
  • Fact checking websites’ analysis of Trump’s statements.
  • Particular statements Trump has made that are widely accepted as non-factual.
  • Many easily checkable non-factual statements Trump has made.
  • Examples where Trump has contradicted himself or withdrawn non-factual statements.
  • Some answers point out that Trump may not be a deliberate liar:
  • He may simply have no understanding of the things he ‘lied’ about.
  • Perhaps he believes his factually incorrect statements to be true.
  • He may be saying things that feel true to him, although they are not factually accurate.
  • He doesn’t have a concept of truthfulness vs. lie, so he isn’t aware that he’s lying or that there is truth.
  • Perhaps he believes that the statements he makes are clear and obvious examples of hyperbole-not lies. (This is also not true)

Man, I love Quora!

Sunday, January 07, 2018

Fly the Friendliest and Safest Skies...

If you want proof positive of Donald Trump's delusional megalomania and fast-progressing dementia, you need look no further than this tweet:
This is pure crap, as many have pointed out. There hasn't been a US airline fatality since 2009 (through three people did die when a Korean airline ran into a wall at SFO in 2013).

However, there have been numerous fatalities in crashes of private aircraft. If Trump is responsible for there being no airline crashes, is he responsible for the private plane crashes? The FAA regulates those too.

And what about the crash of a medevac helicopter in Arkansas a month and a half ago? Or the medevac helicopter crash in Virginia in September?

Or the helicopter crash near the Charlottesville alt-right rally that killed two state police troopers? That one we can pin on Trump because his blatant racist baiting throughout the campaign and his presidency encouraged the racists and Nazis to take to the streets, causing the accident that killed two troopers and the murder of a woman run down by a car.

Or maybe we can blame Trump for the tremendous rise of incivility on airlines, and the beating of a United Airlines passenger. Or we can blame Trump for the man who smeared feces all over the lavatories of a United flight last week.

What will Trump take credit for next?

Trump has nothing to do with airline safety. The only thing he has to do with aviation is fly around the country on Air Force One to play golf.

Trump did not even appoint the current administrator, Michael Huerta, a Democrat who was appointed by Barack Obama in 2013.

Huerta resigned two days after Trump's tweet, though this was because his five-year term is ending, and I would guess that he doesn't think Trump would reappoint him, and probably wants nothing further to do with this dumpster fire of an administration.

Trump has no one lined up to take Huerta's place, and given the dismally slow pace with which Trump has filled government vacancies, it is not likely to be filled any time soon. And when it is filled, you can be sure that it will be an industry shill and not an independent-minded regulator, which means safety will take a back seat to profitability. As if flying weren't already miserable enough...

Which means we can expect this long string of death-free flying to end when Trump's man is in.

Saturday, January 06, 2018

Ever Argue With Someone On The Internet?

It looks like this...

I don't need a book to tell me that Donald Trump is mentally unbalanced. I don't need the smug, liberal elite media to tell me. I only need his Twitter feed.

Oh, and doesn't this remind you of the folks who used to post here?