Sunday, April 30, 2017

Shed A Little Sunlight

The cartoon above illustrates a major problem with liberals and progressives today. Similar to the fake news of Drudge, Zerohedge and other right wing blogs, the left on college campuses are going about this all wrong. Don't pretend that reality isn't reality. If you want to shut down people like...well...our current president, give them a microphone and let them speak. The court of public opinion usually sorts things out. How is Milo Yiannopoulis doing these days? Hee hee....

Take your protests and turn that energy into registered voters who vote every single year. Rather than marching, become a candidate in a purple district or, even better, a red one. Sit down and talk with the locals. You'll be surprised to find that they agree with you on things like the minimum wage and inequality.

Practice some interest convergence.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Get 'Er Done

Over the next day or two, much will be written about President Trump's first 100 days in office. Many will say that he hasn't done anything really and they would be correct. But that doesn't matter to the GOP voter. Why?

Neil Gorsuch.

If there was ever a campaign that was single issue, 2016 was it. Conservatives held their nose and voted for a guy that is repugnant for one simple reason. They wanted a conservative, not a liberal, on SCOTUS and they got it. Anything else he does can be explained away and/or stymied (e.g. health care repeal/replace). Trump "got 'er done"

What Democrats need to understand is that even though Republicans are a dying party, they are a dying party that votes. They don't stay home because of single issues like Supreme Court nominees. So, this begs the question...what turns out Democrats? Solid candidates with populist streaks and connections to ordinary citizens. This is why Bill Clinton and Barack Obama won by such large margins.

Get people out to vote. Get local candidates to run. It's just that simple.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Airlines Think They Own Your Ass

After several weeks of catastrophically bad PR, United Airlines has announced a new policy for passengers who are kicked off overbooked flights:
United Airlines says it will raise the limit — to $10,000 — on payments to customers who give up seats on oversold flights and will increase training for employees as it deals with fallout from the video of a passenger being violently dragged from his seat.

United is also vowing to reduce, but not eliminate, overbooking — the selling of more tickets than there are seats on the plane.
This announcement is totally worthless: it doesn't mean anyone will ever get that money. It's just a press announcement. There's no regulation or law that requires this payment. It'll only happen if they get caught beating up another passenger.

Since there's no FAA requirement, United is completely free to change this policy at any time. And they will change it, once the hysteria is over. In three years, unless Congress takes action, United will go right back to treating their customers like punching bags.

In the "bad old days" when airlines were regulated by the federal government, I flew fairly infrequently, maybe a few times a year. I flew first class like once, on an upgrade. Back then it was just coach and first class. But even in coach, if an airline couldn't get me on my scheduled flight, they would put me on a plane home, any plane, even if they had to use another airline.

Back then, if a plane was half empty, I could change seats and spread out anywhere I liked in coach. These days if you change seats United will kick you off the plane.

Airlines view passengers not just as cattle, but as chattle: they think they own their customers. With their frequent flyer programs they think they have people locked in to their airline, and they can do whatever the hell they want to customers because they control their miles.

But at the same time, frequent flyer miles have become basically worthless. You can only use them for certain flights at certain times, and they force you to stay over a Saturday. There are only a small number of frequent-flyer seats available on any flight. Unless you book six months or a year in advance, you just can't use miles to fly for free.

The only thing miles are good for is "upgrades," which means spending your miles to get better treatment from the airline -- picking your seat ahead of time, checking your baggage, bringing a carry-on, getting an aisle seat.

All those things were just free back in the "bad old days" of airline regulation. They didn't cost the airline anything extra, so they never thought to charge for them.

Now the airlines are trying to extort every nickel and dime from their customers, by cramming them with seats size for scrawny six-year-olds, splitting up couples traveling together, obnoxious boarding procedures and all manner of intentional psychological torture designed to get you to pony up extra cash.

It's not just the airlines who are in on the scam. Credit card companies and hotels try to lock you in by giving you oodles of worthless airline miles.

It's everywhere: pretty much every pharmacy, grocery store, restaurant, and online shop (I'm talking about you, Amazon) has some kind of loyalty program to coerce you into buying from them.

And it's not just the sale they care about. They're collecting data on you: your phone number, your email, your habits, your preferences, when you shop, where you shop. And then they sell that data.

You ever wonder how these spammers get your email address and phone number so fast, even though you only gave it out to friends and companies you thought you could trust?

Financial advisors lobbied the Trump administration to eliminate the regulation that required they act in the best interests of the people who are paying them money for their advice. Donald Trump proudly touts the executive order that lets these guys rip off their customers as an accomplishment!

Pharmaceutical companies are the worst: charging outrageous prices for epi-pens and other off-patent drugs that patients will die without. They knowingly hook people on opioids to cash in on drug addicts.

Corporate America thinks they own you.

The crazy thing is, people who voted for Trump thought that he was out to help the little guy, when it has always been crystal clear that he's just another one of these corporate weasels out to screw little guys, like the hundreds of small businesses that Trump has repeatedly stiffed.

Americans should stop thinking that if they only bend over, the big boys will let them into first class. This is a democracy. Everyone should be treated fairly and decently, regardless of how much money they have.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Yugeist Ever?

Donald Trump's Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, said today that the tax plan put forward by his boss will "the biggest tax cut and largest tax reform in history of this country." My question is this....

Who is going to pay for it?

Suddenly all talk of deficits and debt has mysteriously least until the CBO scores Trump's plan. I'm predicting that his tax plan won't pass the House or the Senate will end up much in the same way as ACA repeal.

Making His Mark

Here's a pretty sobering piece from Politico regarding Trump's climate policies. I think that this is the one area where he pissed me off the most. It's the whole "fuck you, we can do what we want and you can't make us do nothing!" adolescent attitude of him and his followers that is potentially going to add billions of tons of carbon into the atmosphere.

Unless, of course, the free market stops them.

Not wanting smug liberal elites and smart people telling you what to do isn't a policy. Neither is pretending that this stuff isn't real.

Grow the fuck up and let's deal with this challenge.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Not Dead Yet

The Monitor has a great piece up about the very much premature obituaries of populism. Trump has fallen in line with reality on a few things but that should not mean that the Democrats can go back to more of the same ignorance. It's still clear what they have to do.

First, get more people to vote in the districts that matter.

Second, get new candidates to run for office from those districts. These candidates should deeply understand the district in which they are running and be the most local possible.

Take all the energy from protests and marches and put them into these two action items. Victory will then come quickly.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Why Clinton But Not Trump?

James Comey continues to befuddle me and today's very long piece in the New York Times does nothing to clear things up.

What he did not say was that the F.B.I. was also investigating the campaign of Donald J. Trump. Just weeks before, Mr. Comey had declined to answer a question from Congress about whether there was such an investigation. Only in March, long after the election, did Mr. Comey confirm that there was one.

Why? Why tell them about Clinton but not Trump? I refuse to accept that Comey was in the tank for the Republicans. He's just not that kind of guy. Perhaps he thought that since the Clinton investigation was closed (and he probably thought she was going to win anyway) he had an obligation to tell Congress. The Trump investigation was ongoing so that would mean no comment. As the article notes, what if he said nothing and she won? Then it would appear as if he was colluding...which it ended up looking like anyway but for Trump.

No matter which way you cut it, it all sucks.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

A Real False Flag Attack

Donald Trump, Orly Taitz, Alex Jones and the whole right-wing propaganda machine are always spouting conspiracy theories about false-flag attacks, in which the government or some other nefarious entity stages a completely fictitious terrorist attack (like 9/11 or Sandy Hook).

Eleven days ago this happened:
An 'Islamist' suspect has been arrested in connection with the pipe bomb attack on Borussia Dortmund's team bus as authorities say they are treating it as a 'terrorist attack'.
German police searched properties belonging to 'two suspects from the Islamist spectrum' on Wednesday and arrested a 25-year-old Iraqi man from Wuppertal - not far from Dortmund - meaning another man is still on the loose.
But in reality this was a false flag attack staged to make it look like Muslims were responsible for the bombing:
German federal prosecutors say the bombing of a soccer team's bus in Dortmund, Germany, was carried out by a man apparently attempting to manipulate the team's stock for profit. The 28-year-old man has been arrested and charged with attempted murder, among other things.

Three explosions went off near the Borussia Dortmund team bus on April 11, as it was pulling out of the hotel where the players were staying. One player was injured and needed surgery on his wrist.

Authorities say letters claiming responsibility for the blasts — and identifying the motivation as Islamic or right-wing extremism — appear to be specious.

Instead they say a man with German and Russian citizenship, identified only as Sergej W., planted the bombs, apparently to make money.

On April 11, before the blast, the suspect purchased a "put option" that allowed him to make a profit if Borussia Dortmund's stock value fell. Put options are like short selling — the more value the stock lost, the more money he would make.
Authorities are selling the story that this Russian guy was just trying to make some money. But we know that the Russians have been actively working to sabotage elections in the United States and Europe, to sow further chaos after destabilizing the West by flooding Europe with Syrian refugees.

But the most natural question is, was this attack actually ordered by the FSB in Moscow in order to ratchet up tensions in Western Europe ahead of elections in France tomorrow and in Germany in September?

And then, instead of just framing Islamists, what if Russian spy "Sergej W." decided he could make a little extra money on the side by gaming the stock market?

As conspiracy theories go, it's much more plausible than all the wacko theories about Sandy Hook, when gun nut Adam Lanza murdered his mother and 26 others, including 20 kids.

It's exactly the kind of disinformation scam that the Russians have been running for decades. I'm not saying it's true, but there are a hell of a lot easier and safer ways to scam the stock market than setting yourself up for a terrorism charge by killing an entire soccer team.

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day, Planet! I'm sorry that conservatives in the United States don't give a shit about you. As usual, I, along with many others who think more than emote, will take responsibility for their inaction and willful ignorance and try to save you!

Make Sure Those Ships Are Heading In The Right Direction!

He reminds me more and more of Kim Jong Un everday...

Friday, April 21, 2017

Which Party Again Are The Adults?

Donald Trump invited Sarah Palin, Ted Nugent and Kid Rock to the White House in what has to be the clearest example that we are literally in the film Idiocracy. Like the adolescents they are, they took the time to pose under a photo of Hillary Clinton and mock it. Which party has the adults in it again?

Oh, that's right. It would be this party.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Is this Clown Really the President?

A lot of people are saying that Saturday Night Live has finally become relevant again: its parodies of the Trump White House have resounded with the public.

But SNL is facing stiff competition from someone who satirizes Donald Trump better than anyone else: Donald Trump himself.
While recounting the story to Fox Business, Trump confused Syria and Iraq, mistakenly saying he launched missiles at Iraq. “We had finished dinner. We’re now having dessert,” Trump said.

“And we had the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake that you've ever seen, and President Xi was enjoying it.

"I was given the message from the generals that the ships are locked and loaded and we made a determination to do it, so the missiles were on the way.

"I said, 'Mr President, let me explain something to you’. This was during dessert.

“’We have just fired 59 missiles’, all of which hit by the way, unbelievable from hundreds of miles away.

“What we have in terms of technology, nobody can even come close to competing… So what happens is, I say: 'We have just launched 59 missiles headed to Iraq’."

Host Maria Bartiromo was forced to correct his mistake, saying: "Heading to Syria?"

Trump responded: “Yes, heading toward Syria.”
While blathering on moronically about chocolate cake Donald Trump didn't realize that he had just said he bombed Iraq, when he had just attacked Syria in an attempt to distract from the deepening investigation of his campaign's ties to Russian spies and prove he wasn't Putin's bitch. Now, was this a simple slip of the tongue, or is Trump really that oblivious and senile?

The evidence is quickly mounting: have a look at this video, starting at about 1:10:

Trump's wife Melania, a woman who was born in a foreign country, had to remind him to put his hand on his heart for the national anthem. Doesn't Trump get that his base demands knee-jerk obeisance to meaningless patriotic forms like flags and anthems? Or does he think he needn't respect the flag because he's the president! Or is he so senile and/or deaf that he can't recognize the national anthem? Or what?

If Barack Obama had done this, he would have been crucified by the right because he hates America!

Trump's total lack of knowledge about history, international affairs, the law, the complexities of health care, and on and on, completely disqualify him from being the president. And it's easy to see how voters unacquainted with arcane policy matters could put had utter lack of qualifications aside because they're tired of the same old excuses from career politicians.

But things like this that should make it crystal clear to anyone who voted for Trump that he's either mentally defective -- a senile old man who really doesn't know what the hell's going on -- or he doesn't give a shit about this country and everything he said during the campaign was a lie and a sham.

Sadly, both are likely true.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Tax Bill=Dead

Donald Trump is never going to get a deal done on tax reform as long as he doesn't release his income tax returns. The voters don't want it. Check out this recent town hall put on by Tom Cotton, junior senator from Arkansas.

FBI used dossier allegations to bolster Trump-Russia investigation

The FBI used the infamous MI-6 dossier as justification for a whole host of investigations, including the most recent one into Carter Page, a senior Trump campaign official. Much as the president would like the Russian stuff to go away, it won't. There is simply too much evidence out there that demands an investigation.

It's incredibly obvious to the thinking world where this is headed. Let's hope this happens sooner rather than later.

Danes Going Green

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter (No) Break

It looks like Easter break isn't going very well for Republicans. They are getting mowed down at town halls with a veritable ton of energy from the left. This energy is also apparent in ongoing tax day protests calling for Donald Trump to release his tax returns. All of this points to a pattern with which I am most pleased.

Obviously I'm not happy that Trump is president but if this gives the Democrats the kick in the ass they need, then that's some small solace. We won't know for sure, though, unless we see two things.

1. Increased voter turnout

2. Liberal and progressive candidates that are new and emerging from districts that went for Obama and then for Trump. I'd also like to see new candidates in solid red districts step forward and run on progressive platforms.

We need NRA voter level enthusiasm otherwise this won't work. Perhaps the mere fact that Trump won will provide this energy.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Has bail reform in America finally reached a tipping point?

Check out the full article here. 

Defining The Trump Voter

What are the best ways to characterize the Trump voter? It's certainly something that has been up for debate since the Donald won office last November. I think the best place to start is the man himself. He can easily be characterized by two words: childish tantrum.

This characterization can easily be extended to the people who voted for him but they are having their childish tantrums for different reasons. As I have stated previously, the right wing blogger/commenter crowd is always in childish tantrum mode because they can't stand the reality of liberals being right most of the time. All of their envy, insecurity and inferiority comes out in one fell swoop when they foam at the mouth about "smug liberal elites." They failed in life so they are taking it out on the rest of us.

Worse, they apparently think that the rules of being nice and being respectful only apply to liberals. They get to say whatever the fuck they want and no one is more perfect for this than Trump himself. For proof of this, watch what happens when a liberal calls a Trump voter ignorant or uninformed. It's the end of the frikkin' universe or something much like it. Yet, calling liberals "libtards" is just dandy!

A good chunk of Trump voters voted for him merely because they were having a childish tantrum about Hillary Clinton. I'm still trying to figure out what it is about her that makes grown men...particularly grown older men...descend into fits that are worse than a crying four year old at Wal Mart acting out to get his mom's attention. Is it just because she's a woman? A successful liberal who is intelligent? Both? Regardless, these are the voters that propelled him over the top.

And this group includes the mouth foamers on the left who voted for Jill Stein...

I think a majority of people who voted for Trump are merely folks who always pull the lever for the Republican candidate. They would never vote for any Democrat under any circumstances and merely went along. I liken these folks to the German citizens who just went along in the 1930s...

So, it's a mixed bag of angry malcontents, nihilists, and sheep that define the Trump voter. It's a really bad combination and one that is ripe for solidifying a dictatorship assuming their dear leader was competent enough. He's not at all. Given this fact, he's had to rely on more conventional folks like James Mattis, Rex Tillerson, and HR McMaster. And the GOP Congress isn't competent either. For years, they bitched and bitched about the Affordable Care Act only to fall completely flat in their efforts to repeal it.

All of this makes me realize that there is another way beyond "childish tantrum" to characterize the Trump voter.

Spineless Ineffectives.

Friday, April 14, 2017

"You're Sorry"

Number One With A Bullet!

Mark Ward has the top answer on a gun question on Quora?

Why, yes.

Yes, he does. 1.4 K views.

Is Trump's base turning on him?

That's the question posed by Politico recently. I can certainly see why they would. He's starting to govern in pretty much the same way Hillary Clinton would have governed. He's reversed himself on NATO, China, Russia, and more.

"Donald Trump dropped an emotional anchor. He captured how Americans feel," said Tania Vojvodic, a fervent Trump supporter who founded one of his first campaign volunteer networks. "We expect him to keep his word, and right now he's not keeping his word." 

Earlier this week, Vojvodic launched a Facebook group called, “The concerned support base of President Trump,” which quickly drew several dozen sign-ups. She also changed the banner on her Facebook page to a picture of Bannon accompanied by the declaration: “Mr. President: I stand with Steve Bannon.”

Hell hath no "fury" like the right wing blogger/commenter...hee hee hee...

As someone who recognizes the reality of the world and how to function in it, I applaud Donald Trump's reversal on all these positions. I'm also hoping that Bannon's days are numbered. It looks like they might be. Someone with such a fictitious view of the world bound by ideologically intransigence (aka right wing blogger/commenter) has no business implementing policy.

So, reality has hit Donald Trump smack in the forehead. Who would have guessed being the president would be so hard?


I've had more than few emails inquiring as to why I've been missing a few days here and there in terms of posting. The main reason for this is school. I've been teaching new classes to the district (Human Geography A and B) so lesson planning has been more extensive. I've also been asked to help write curriculum for these classed going forward for the future.

So, I might miss a day here or there. Maybe two. If I do, however, I'll make it up with extra posts on one day. Nikto has been filling in the gaps as well but he's busy too writing all of his gaming software. Sometimes life for both of us can be hectic.

Don't fret, our couple of hundred daily readers. We will be around to soothe your political commentary needs. And a special shout out to the couple thousand of you that hit our site when the Russian Trump connection really blew up a few weeks back. We (and our advertisers) appreciate it!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Monday, April 10, 2017

Time to Reregulate the Airlines

United Airlines has made big news by beating up a passenger who refused to give up his seat to UA employees on an overbooked flight:
A doctor trying to return home to his patients was dragged by his hands from an overbooked United Airlines (UAL.N) flight, according to social media, embroiling the carrier in its second public relations nightmare in less than a month. 
The airline was one of the top-trending topics on Twitter as users took to the website to express their anger over the forceful removal of the passenger from United Flight 3411, which was en route from Chicago to Louisville, Kentucky, on Sunday.

The man had already been seated on the plane and when the airline suddenly discovered that they needed four empty seats to accommodate employees who had to get to Louisville in a big hurry, three security guards beat the passenger up and dragged him off the plane.

This is getting completely out of hand. Airlines have reduced legroom to nothing, packing passengers into airplanes like sardines. They charge you $50 extra to buy tickets from human beings. They charge you extra to bring carry-on luggage. They charge you extra to check your bags. They charge you extra for meals, if they offer them at all.

Next thing you know, they'll be charging passengers extra for wearing clothes, and the very air they breathe. Hey, clothes have weight too, it costs a lot of money to keep the cabin pressurized!

All this is on top of all the indignities you have to suffer to pass security: removing your shoes, removing your belt, getting X-rayed, the body cavity searches -- oh, wait. I'm exaggerating there. Or am I?

I have basically given up on flying because of the way TSA and the airlines treat passengers as cattle, or subhuman terrorist suspects.

It's all a waste of time and money anyway. The terrorists have proved that they don't need anything fancier than an assault rifle they can buy at any gun show -- without a background check. Or they can just steal big semi-tractor trailer from any truck stop, where rigs are just left idling while the drivers hit the can. Or an IED built from a pressure cooker and a bunch of nails that they can leave on any bus, train or crowded city street.

The days of Al Qaeda-style coordinated airplane hijackings are over. ISIS is the flavor of the day, and they don't need any fancy aerobatics or explosive underwear to kill people. Just a bomb, a gun or a truck.

Yes, we still need security at airports, but the current regime is extremely expensive overkill: airline security has cost us a trillion dollars since 9/11.

It's time for the American people to stand up for their rights. Congress needs to pass an Airline Passenger Bill of Rights that prohibits invasion of privacy and gouging customers for basic travel services. It must guarantee sufficient leg room for grown adults -- with room to lean back -- and that all people be treated equally as human beings. 

I'm really tired of rich people traveling on tax-deductible corporate expense accounts literally cutting the line in front of people who have to pay for their tickets with their own hard-earned money.

With our ridiculously lax gun laws, Americans already have to accept the fact that anyone can just whip out a gun and shoot you at a traffic light, in a restaurant, at your school, or at your work. Shootings happen 300 times a day, and we don't say boo.

But somehow we've been brainwashed into thinking that airline hijackings are so much more dangerous and likely. The risk of airline hijackings has been drastically overstated by the security-industrial complex to wring maximum profit out of passengers by threatening to inflict maximum pain upon them unless they pay up.

How do I know the risk is overstated? In 2015 TSA screeners were missing 95% of bombs and weapons smuggled aboard planes. Yet no US airliners have gone down in 15 years.

It's just crazy that we won't lift a finger to stop red-blooded American wife-beaters and the mentally ill from buying handguns, but we'll spend trillions to prevent the one-in-a-million chance that a terrorist will get a bomb a plane.

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Puzzling Gorsuch

Now that Neil Gorsuch has been confirmed by the Senate to take the seat left empty by the passing of Antonin Scalia last year, I find myself puzzled over why conservatives are so elated. Do they think that Gorsuch is going to help them out on issues of abortion, affirmative action or same sex marriage? After all, the court has ruled on cases recently which upheld affirmative action, struck down restrictions on abortion and declared same sex marriage to be Constitutional.

So, despite there being "conservative" justices on the court, liberals are still having their way. I have to wonder if Gorsuch will tip anything right at all. Certainly, Alito and Thomas will vote to the right but Kennedy and Roberts aren't exactly the right wing blogger/commenter's dream, are they? Certainly, I would have preferred Merrick Garland for a variety of reasons, the most important one of which was that it was his seat. The Senate failed to do their duty.

Yet something tells me that all those folks who held their nose and voted for Trump simply because of right wing Supreme Court fever dreams are going to end up mightily disappointed.

Rewriting History

While I fully support President Trump's recent attack on a Syrian airbase in response to the Assad government's chemical weapons attack on its own people, I find myself confused. Is this the same Donald Trump who said this just a few years ago?

Or all of this

Here's my personal favorite.

Ah, yes...the red line lie. That would be the one where our much missed and highly successful former president actually went to Congress to ask permission to attack Syria. The result?

Congress, especially the Republicans, told President Obama NO. Now, of course, all those same Republicans are loving themselves some Syrian air strikes. What a bunch of hypocritical assholes.

As usual, the Christian Science Monitor has the best coverage of this story.

“We should not invest the limited American military attack with any strategic connotations so far,” says Fawaz Gerges, a Middle East expert at the London School of Economics (LSE). “It’s an attack divorced from any strategic political vision. It remains to be seen whether the Trump administration has any concrete ideas to find a political solution. I’m very skeptical.”


Friday, April 07, 2017

Trump's Attack on Syria Is Just Another Con Job

Donald Trump just lobbed 50 cruise missiles at an air base in Syria, acting unilaterally and without congressional approval, ostensibly in retaliation for a nerve gas attack that killed civilians, including women and children.

He spoke sanctimoniously about how horrible it was in the Rose Garden the other day, saying that the attack altered his opinion of Syria and Assad.

But this was not the first time Assad used chemical weapons. Back in 2013, when Barack Obama was president, Assad used them, and he used them again in 2014 and 2015. Obama initially proposed that the United States retaliate and asked Congress to authorize attacks. Congress never even held a vote because arch-conservatives and people like Donald Trump said the United States had no business getting involved in the Middle East. At the same time Trump called Obama weak for not attacking Assad. Consistency is not Trump's forte.

The fact is, the cruise missiles launched two days ago weren't aimed at Assad. They were aimed at the American media and the American people.

Trump doesn't give a damn about those dead kids. Assad is just as evil today as he was the last three times he gassed children. So what could have possibly changed Trump's mind? Perhaps the massive responsibility of being president of the United States?

That's being far too generous. No, the real reason Trump attacked Syria is because the investigation into the Trump campaign's collusion with Russia during the 2016 election is really heating up. Devin Nunes had to step down because of his clownish behavior at the White House. Jeff Sessions had to recuse himself because he'd been talking to the Russians himself. And Trump's disgraced former security advisor Mike Flynn is teasing a great story that he'll tell only if he gets immunity.

By attacking Syria, Trump hopes to distract the media from the Russia story, "proving" that he's not Putin's bitch because he attacked Russia's puppet in Syria.

The attack is a huge gamble, though: it could well alienate his core supporters.
Some of President Trump’s most ardent campaign supporters were among his most vocal opponents on Thursday after he ordered the missile strike against Syria, charging him with breaking his promise to keep the United States out of another conflict in the Middle East.

Prominent writers and bloggers on the far right attacked Mr. Trump. They accused him of turning against his voters by waging an attack that he had for years said would be a terrible idea. They also criticized him for launching the strike without first seeking congressional approval — something he said on Twitter in 2013 would be a “big mistake.”
Trump is following the same wag-the-dog strategy that George W. Bush did with Iraq. Yes, Assad is sadistic child-killing scumbag. But he has been exactly the same child-killing scumbag for the last four years: as recently as last November, Trump was still under the delusion that he could work with Assad. If it was bad for Obama to attack Assad, why is it suddenly good for Trump to attack Assad? He's the same guy doing the same things.

The fact is, Trump has been punked by the Russians and the Syrians. He's an amateur surrounded by a bunch of amateurs, all of whom are completely ignorant of how ignorant they are.

Politically, things don't bode well for Trump: he's alienating his core supporters. He ticked off most of the Republican party by being such a dick to their favored candidates. The health care debacle showed that he couldn't even accomplish a no-brainer like repealing Obamacare with complete control of every branch of government. Democrats think he's a moron. Pretty much everyone in Washington will be glad to see this stupid, money-wasting, golf-playing, self-important dickhead get his comeuppance. Including his own cabinet, most of whom have been sidelined by divas and incompetents like Jared Kushner and Steve Bannon.

That makes it a perfect time to start a war!

Anyway, now that the Republicans have Gorsuch, what do they need Trump for? That Supreme Court seat was the only reason the vast majority of Republicans held their nose and voted for Trump.

I foresee a new slogan: Dump Trump's Rump!

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Another Buh Bye!

Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, has stepped aside as chairman citing evil liberals as the cause. The actual cause was his own unethical and possibly illegal behavior in handling the investigation into ties between Russian intelligence. Worse, he appeared to be Trump Flunky #89, regurgitating information about the investigation from the White House itself.

Flynn, Bannon, Nunes...the arc of the universe is long but it bends towards justice...

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Republicans Whiff on Health Care Again

Congressional Republicans skipped town again for yet another recess without repealing Obamacare, which they insisted they would do on Day One of the Trump administration. These guys work like three weeks a year.

The reason Republicans are having such a hard time coming up with a replacement is that most of them just don't seem to believe in health insurance. At all. They want companies to be able to offer policies that don't cover anything:
According to several members, Mr. Pence had proposed allowing states to obtain waivers from two provisions of the Affordable Care Act. One provision requires insurers to cover a standard minimum package of benefits, including maternity care and emergency services. The other generally requires insurers to charge the same price to people of the same age who live in the same geographic area.
What?! They don't want policies to cover emergencies!? It's like buying car insurance that doesn't cover accidents! What's the point?

They also want to get rid of the pre-existing conditions requirement, allow life-time caps, drug rehab, psychological services, and on and on. Basically, they want to destroy everything that allows an individual health-care marketplace to exist.

They say they want to allow healthy people to buy cheaper polices and save money. But this is nonsense: the policies Republicans want to offer cover nothing, so no one would buy them. Republicans don't seem to get that healthy people don't need health insurance, so they won't pay for it, no matter how cheap the useless policies are.

This brings us to the real question: what is the point of health insurance? Insurance is supposed to spread risk over a large pool and, to use a word Republicans hate, socialize risk to alleviate private misery.

But if policies don't cover emergencies, or the back-breaking costs of cancer treatment, or run-of-the-mill things like prenatal and maternity care, there is no reason to buy health insurance. You might as well just pay for things as they come up, just like in the bad old days, when people who got cancer or had a heart attack just died if they didn't have enough money.

In the 1980s and 1990s health insurance companies justified their existence by saying that they controlled costs. They negotiated with providers to get the lowest cost on the services they covered. However, if they didn't cover a service, they didn't negotiate a lower cost.

You can see how this works when you get a statement from the insurer after visiting the doctor. It typically shows the ridiculously high price the doctor charges guys who walk in off the street, and then it shows how much gets knocked off because the insurer negotiated a lower price with the doctor for that service. If you haven't hit your deductible you pay what's left over. If you've hit the deductible then the insurance company pays the bill.

If, however, you used a service that wasn't covered by the insurer, nothing gets knocked off and you pay full freight.

And that's why the Republican idea of offering policies that don't cover anything is incoherent and worthless: if the health insurance companies don't negotiate lower costs on a service, patients pay the ridiculously high non-negotiated prices that doctors charge.

The one and only job insurance companies have is to lower prices, and if they don't do that then they are providing no useful service and are utterly useless middlemen and parasites. No one will buy their policies. And they will stop selling such policies.

And that seems to be the Republicans' goal. But why?

Do they like seeing families go broke after they lose a battle with cancer? Do they like girls and women getting pregnant because they have no access to birth control? Do they like seeing babies born with birth defects because they didn't receive proper prenatal care? Do they like seeing people with untreated diabetes losing their feet and legs and dying from sepsis caused by ulcers?

I don't know. One thing that seems certain is that they really enjoy making other people suffer.

Buh Bye

Guess who just got booted off of the National Security Council?

Steve Bannon.

As I have said a few times on here, the best way to deal with the right wing blogger mindset is to not give them the attention they so desperately need. If they see liberals freaking out, they pop boners and are all super happy that the smug liberal elite are getting payback. Just let shit work itself it out. Boy, it sure did with this situation.

As soon as Flynn was gone and McMaster took over, I knew things were going to be set right. I suspect he had little tolerance for right wing blogger buffoonery. That ideology simply has no place in the real world so it was buh bye to Bannon!

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Trump Just Gave Away Your Privacy to Hackers and Spies

For the last month or so Donald Trump has been whining about how the privacy of his associates who were consorting with Russian spies was violated when their names were released to the press.

But yesterday Trump signed a law passed by Republicans on a party-line vote that got rid of privacy rules enacted by the FCC under Obama:
The bill repeals regulations adopted in October by the Federal Communications Commission under the Obama administration requiring internet service providers to do more to protect customers' privacy than websites like Alphabet Inc's Google or Facebook Inc.

The rules had not yet taken effect but would have required internet providers to obtain consumer consent before using precise geolocation, financial information, health information, children's information and web browsing history for advertising and marketing.
This means that Trump and the Republicans want your ISP to be able to sell your browsing history.

This is a gross violation of our personal privacy. What it means is that your ISP can sell your browsing history to any private detective, your ex-wife, your employer, Russian and Chinese spies, and literally anybody who wants to see what you're doing.

It also means that the government doesn't have to get a search warrant to look at your internet activity. They can just buy it from your ISP since it's freely available public information.

To make it even worse, hackers and and cyber criminals can also buy this information from your ISP. This will give them data like your home address, your email address, your search history, what porn sites you visit, what music you listen to, what Facebook and Twitter pages you visit, what computer games you play, what news sites you read, what email provider you use, and what banks you use.

It will also let hackers and criminals figure out when you're home, where you are during the day, where you're going and what you're doing.

This kind of information makes it trivial for hackers to automatically target people directly with highly effective spear-phishing attacks specifically tailored to customers on a massive scale, without having to hack a bank's records to find out who their customers are.

Instead of spamming millions of people with phony emails from Bank of America, they can specifically target Bank of America customers with information gleaned from the URLs that will make the phony emails almost impossible to distinguish from official emails sent from the bank.

Sloppy programming can inadvertently embed delicate information in your internet traffic, without the hackers having to spy on you in real time. When they find a bug in an website, they can instantly exploit it, knowing exactly who deals with that website.

This poses a huge risk to the nation's financial security, not to mention our personal privacy. This will allow hackers and spies to more effectively target employees of major financial institutions and government agencies.

Trump whines like a little bitch when his minions get caught conspiring with the Russians. But he's just fine with letting Russian hackers and spies watch every single thing Americans do on the web.

Monday, April 03, 2017


So Right Wing Blogger/Commenter President 8 Year Old was supposed to sign another one of his imperial declarations (which actually mean nothing) but some person with a fat face asked him a poopy question so he stomped off down the hallway without doing nuthin!

Check it out!

Sunday, April 02, 2017

The 38%

President Trump's approval rating continues to fall as he struggles to explain his connections to the Russian government, the Russian mafia and Russian oligarchs. He has likely settled down to his core base of around 38 percent of voters who will believe anything he says and NOTHING that anyone who is remotely against the president says.

Trump himself isn't really the problem. It's this 38%. We know from various studies over the last 15 years or so that the demographics that are the Trump voter aren't rational and allow emotion to drive their reasoning process. If Trump is impeached and driven from office on the basis of facts, this reality will be ignored and a new one will be formed in which liberals conspired with the elites and the media to destroy their savior. How on earth do we get these folks to recognize how warped this is?

Perhaps we can't. It may just be that we simply have to get more people to vote against this view. More importantly, we have go get more people to run against this view.

More women...more minorities...

Saturday, April 01, 2017