Words of Advice:

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

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

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

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

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

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Friday, April 20, 2018

Do They Make "Supply and Demand for Dummies"?

If so, someone needs to tweet it at Trump.
President* Donald Trump blamed OPEC on Friday for high oil prices, claiming the organization had artificially lifted prices that “will not be accepted.”

“Looks like OPEC is at it again. With record amounts of Oil all over the place, including the fully loaded ships at sea, Oil prices are artificially Very High! No good and will not be accepted!” the president* wrote on Twitter.
If the market price for oil is $71/barrel, then the choices are to either buy the shit or not buy the shit. That's pretty much it.

Is this where I should point out the hypocrisy of Trump complaining about the price of oil while his administration is doing everything it can to gut progress in research and adopting alternatives to oil?

Trump is like an addict complaining about the price of drugs. Nobody gives a shit.

Because It's Friday

The New York Central, back in the day:

Thursday, April 19, 2018

America's Favorite Fascist Joins Team Trump

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, an outspoken supporter of Donald Trump since the early days of his campaign, is joining the team of lawyers representing the president in the special counsel’s Russia investigation.
The only thing that may keep Giuliani on board is that he is about as amoral a shill as one can get, other than Chris Christie. Giuliani's authoritarianism and fascist tendencies were well in evidence during his mayoralty. So he has that in common with Trump.

But Trump is impervious to legal advice. Sooner or later, if Giuliani has any integrity as a lawyer, he will have to try to tell Trump to knock off with the tweets and do what he's told. That's never going to happen. Trump has, effectively, been acting as his own lawyer and he's not going to take legal advice from anyone.

Which will end in Giuliani leaving to spend more time with his wife/girlfriend du jour.

On This, the 243rd Anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord,

...That the Commonwealth of Massachusetts be Forever Prohibited From Commemorating Those Most Sacred Battles.

The mission of the British soldiers was to confiscate the weapons and powder of the Colonials, to disarm the populace.

That's pretty much been the official policy of the government of Massachusetts, under both Republican and Democratic governors, for the last two decades, if not longer.

So it seems to me that, on a day when the men of Lexington, Concord, Woburn and Menotomy rallied to send the soldiers of the British Army back to their bases in Boston (without the weapons they wanted to seize), Massachusetts, now a state that is in the forefront of disarming the population, should be required to mourn the defeat of the British on April 19, 1775. The state should be banned from celebrating the victory of the Colonists.

"Throw Down Your Arms!"

That was a command that was given by an army officer 243 years ago.

It wasn't obeyed.

The war was on. It would last for eight years, ending in a series of treaties in Paris.

All most all of the major European powers used the Revolutionary War as a pretext to go to war against somebody else. In some ways, the war might be viewed as a continuation, or appendix, to the Seven Years War. If historians were agreeable to a bit of renaming, the Seven Years War might be renamed the First World War.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Indiana Jones and the Temple of AARP

Steven Spielberg is planning to start shooting the untitled fifth Indiana Jones movie for Disney in the U.K. in a little more than a year.
“It’s always worth the trip when I get to work with this deep bench of talent coming out of the UK. The actors, and the crew, the chippies, the sparks, the drivers — everybody who has helped me make my movies here, and will continue helping me make my movies here when I come back in April 2019 to make the fifth Indiana Jones movie right here,” Spielberg said.
Harrison Ford will be nudging his 77th birthday when they start shooting. That's a bit ancient for an action movie hero.

It's going to be hard to envision a movie that was as pointless or stupid as Indy #4, but I'm not going to be surprised if it is.

Whether your favorite metaphor is jumping the shark or nuking the fridge, the Indiana Jones franchise has passed it.

If You Believe This Lie

President Donald Trump claimed Wednesday that his firing of former FBI Director James Comey was not related to the bureau’s investigation into Russian interference of the 2016 election...then you must be a GOP party loyalist.

R.I.P., Mrs. Bush

Barbara Bush has died at the age of 92.

Mrs. Bush was a WYSIWYG person. Sometimes her pronouncements were a bit acerbic, but I gather that everyone around her knew where they stood with her.

Mrs/ Bush was a proponent of literacy, education, and civil rights, which means that she wasn't much of a Republican, as the party now defines itself.

Bailing Out

A training film:

More Fiscal Responsibility from the Trumpers

I'm just kidding. Previous EPA administrators have generally traveled in Chevrolet Tahoes, and Pruitt was supposed to do the same when he joined the Trump administration last February.

But work orders from May 2 show that Pruitt's staff scrapped the Tahoe in favor of a larger, newer and pricier Chevy Suburban. The work orders also reveal that Pruitt's staff asked for custom modified bucket seats with bullet-resistant covers, Wi-Fi and GPS navigation systems. The car's lease cost $10,200 for the first year, according to records.
Pruitt also wanted a bulletproof desk, in case his staff went postal on him, I guess. And a $43G phonebooth in his office.

Pruitt seems to have no trouble in living the high life at our expense.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Eric Greitens's "The Mission Continued" May Result in Prison TIme

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley said Tuesday that his office had uncovered evidence that Gov. Eric Greitens may have committed a felony by using a charity donor list to solicit donations to fuel his 2016 campaign for governor.

Hawley, who like Greitens is a Republican, said his office possessed evidence that Greitens obtained and transmitted a donor list without the permission of the St. Louis-based charity The Mission Continues, which Greitens founded in 2007 but left in 2014.

"If proven, these acts could amount to the unauthorized taking and use of property, in this case, electronic property," Hawley said at a news conference. "Under Missouri law, this is known as computer tampering. And given the value of the list in question, it is a felony."
Pass the popcorn. Greitens is one of those ex-Seals who take the attitude that the SEAL Teams have into civilian life: The rules are for other people.

Exhibit 2: Ron Zinke.

While not a Seal, Duke Cunningham was another military hotshot who acted as though that the rules were for other, lesser folk.

"The rules are for others to follow" is an attitude of not only the rich, but of other elites.

Book Arrival

I'm no fan of Comey. I think he put his thumb on the electoral scales to as much effect, if not more, than did the Russians. What he did in `16 was more about covering his bureaucratic ass than anything else. I wonder if this book is partially an attempt to try to toss some smoke over that.

It would seem that it is not a bright thing for a potential trial witness to go blabbing on long interviews, let alone writing a book. All of that will become grist for a cross-examination.

On the other hand, if he put the book out in two or three years, far fewer people would care, let alone buy it. So there is an undercurrent of "cashing out while the cash is good", at least to me. It's not a pleasant smell.

Besides all that, this book is #1 on Amazon's best sellers list and will probably be at or near #1 on the next iteration of most other best sellers lists (non fiction) by the end of the upcoming weekend. To to the extent that will gnaw at the rotting and diseased heart of El Trumpo, that's a good thing.

So, Who Did Cohen Pay Off for Hannity?

A Fox News host is the mystery third client of US President Donald Trump's lawyer, a court has heard.

A judge ruled that Michael Cohen, the president's personal attorney, must reveal the link to Sean Hannity.
Just before Monday's hearing, Mr Cohen said in a statement that he had only provided advice to three clients in the past year.
Cohen worked for only three clients in the past year? How the hell does a functioning law practice survive with three clients.[1] So Cohen has to be doing more, a lot more, than practicing law. That may be part of why he was raided last week.

Still, Cohen's law practice, going by what we know of his other two clients, has been funneling large payoffs to women on behalf of a few wealthy men seeking to keep their dalliances quiet. Which leads to the question that is the title of this post.
[1] Tom Hagan had one client.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Another "Fuck You" by the GOP to Working Americans

If you move for a better job, you can't deduct your expenses. The fuckers in the GOP took that away from everyone, except active-duty military, who already get a shitload of benefits when they move.

I don't begrudge the military their benefits. But ist sure seems mean-spirited as fuck to stick a finger in the eye of people who are moving for a better job.

But let's face it: "Mean-spirited as fuck" is where the GOP, especially jackholes like Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, live.

That Was Then, Apparently

Gee, Thanks, Obama!

For turning the FAA into an agency that has gone fully into regulatory-capture mode.

60 Minutes spent two segments on Allegiant Air last night.

While 60 Minutes has been known for slanted pieces, this one made it clear that the FAA's attitude toward Allegiant Air pretty much is that they don't intend to do anything until Allegiant kills some passengers. This is because three years ago, the Obama Administration shifted the FAA from enforcement to cheerleading.

In TV cop terms, they've gone from this:

To this:

Because that coffee won't drink itself!

For right now, it would seem that saving a few bucks on a trip might not be worth either your life or, at least, the risk of breathing in hazardous fumes. Of course, look to Allegiant to adopt the Trumpist tactic of screaming "false news".

(Yep, they did.)

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Gunny's Gone West

Actor R Lee Ermey, known for his role as foul-mouthed Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in Vietnam War film Full Metal Jacket, has died aged 74.

The former US Marine Corps soldier turned award-winning actor played a host of military men during his career.

Ermey's manager, posting to the actor's Twitter account, said he died from "complications of pneumonia".
A couple of his commercials:

Godspeed, Gunny.

Cohen May be Cooked

Michael Cohen, Trump's personal lawyer and fixer, has long denied that he was in Prague in August or September of 2016, let alone met with any Russians. He denies being in Europe at all during that window of time.

Seems that was a bit of fib on his part. He apparently was in Prague and the Feds investigating the Trump mess have evidence of that.

Apparently, Cohen was about as much of a lawyer as was Tom Hagen, other than Cohen had a few more clients.

Your Sunday Morning Turboprop Noise (Kinda)

The A-29 Super Tucano:

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Bombing Syria

I think I'm going to wait a few days and see what the real truth is about what was hit and how much damage was done. Experience gleaned from watching how things have gone over a half-century of wars has taught me to be very wary of the initial assessments coming out of the Pentagon or NATO (or MACV). One thing that has been consistent has been the stuff handed out to the poseurs in the press at the Five O'Clock Follies has often been a fabrication, regardless of which was was going on.

But really, Trump? "Mission accomplished"?

Are you that ignorant of recent history to know how hollow those words have become? What are you going to do next, fly out to an aircraft carrier?

Jesus. The snark almost writes itself. George W. Trump. I'll bet that people are photoshopping Trump's head onto Bush's body.

Dear Medical Community, Big Pharma and the DEA: Go Fuck Yourselves.

I really despise all of you, especially the DEA.

Yes, there was a problem with the doctors who were "candymen", who were prescribing oodles of pain meds to adicts. Yes, there was a problem with Big Pharma egging them on.

But what we have, now, are people in pain who cannot get any relief because the doctors are terrified that the motherfucking DEA, as overseen by Little Jeffy Sessions, is going to come in and strip their prescription authority. The pharmacies have been similarly scared.

I got a taste of this when I had a surgical procedure recently. The doc gave me a prescription for a dozen Percocet tablets. From the reaction at the pharmacy, you'd have thought that I was asking for the limb of one of their children.

I know people who have severe back pain and other chronic pain issues. Mostly, the doctors are basically telling them to suck it up, stay home and suffer in silence. Because the doctors are afraid that some badged-up, gun-toting Federal beancounter is going to compare the number of patients, the number of prescriptions and pass judgment without a care as to what maladies are afflicting those patients.

To be clear, I am not wishing that Little Jeffy Sessions suffer from a bad back or bone cancer. But if he does, and if he's screaming in pain, I sincerely hope that his doctors hand him a bottle of aspirin and tell him to suck it up.

Shooters to the Line

A 1990s basic-level training video from FLETC:

Youtube tip: If you click on the setting icon (the little gear in the lower right), you can change the video speed. Going to 1.25 doesn't change the narration, but it does appreciably shorten the time it takes to watch one.


Mom! I'm bored!