Today's Quote

If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of The Elements Of Style.  The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now - while they're happy.
--Dorothy Parker

Bamboozle Me, Baby

Ben Carson went to Phoenix - and the obvious reason was to be exploited as "my African-American".

WaPo, Philip Bump:

And, as simply as that, a law was likely broken.

There are a lot of ways in which the federal government could be used to reward political friends and allies, of course, appointments being just one example. But the power of the government can also be leveraged to political advantage. Imagine a candidate who appeared at a campaign rally to be endorsed by the heads of each branch of the armed forces, for example. That would carry a lot of weight.

In 1939, Franklin Roosevelt signed the Hatch Act into law, a measure meant to preserve the impartiality of public servants. “The law’s purposes,” the Office of Special Counsel’s website explains, “are to ensure that federal programs are administered in a nonpartisan fashion, to protect federal employees from political coercion in the workplace, and to ensure that federal employees are advanced based on merit and not based o…

Today's Tweet

The big bamboozle

To recap: Trump is threatening a government shutdown unless his fellow Republicans fund border wall he promised voters Mexico would pay for. — Matt McDermott (@mattmfm) August 23, 2017


The number of contacts between the Trump campaign and the Russians has been underestimated - there were dozens.


Tim Johnson, McClatchy DC

The Pentagon won’t yet say how the USS John S. McCain was rammed by an oil tanker near Singapore, but red flags are flying as the Navy’s decades-old reliance on electronic guidance systems increasing looks like another target of cyberattack.

The incident – the fourth involving a Seventh Fleet warship this year – occurred near the Strait of Malacca, a crowded 1.7-mile-wide waterway that connects the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea and accounts for roughly 25 percent of global shipping.

“When you are going through the Strait of Malacca, you can’t tell me that a Navy destroyer doesn’t have a full navigation team going with full lookouts on every wing and extra people on radar,” said Jeff Stutzman, chief intelligence officer at Wapack Labs, a New Boston, New Hampshire, cyber intelligence service.

“There’s something more than just human error going on because there would have been a lot of humans to be checks and balances,” said Stutzman, a former information war…

Today's Pix


There's A Difference


If you kill someone, whether the criminal justice system throws you in prison may come down to your race.

That’s the takeaway from a recent report by Daniel Lathrop and Anna Flagg at the Marshall Project. They looked at federal data to analyze the circumstances in which a homicide was deemed “justifiable” by police. Their findings were astounding:In almost 17 percent of cases when a black man was killed by a non-Hispanic white civilian over the last three decades, the killing was categorized as justifiable, which is the term used when a police officer or a civilian kills someone committing a crime or in self-defense. Overall, the police classify fewer than 2 percent of homicides committed by civilians as justifiable. …In comparison, when Hispanics killed black men, about 5.5 percent of cases were called justifiable. When whites killed Hispanics, it was 3.1 percent. When blacks killed whites, the figure was just 0.8 percent. When black males were killed by other blacks, the figure w…

Brain Wave Deficit

Another entitled-feeling over-privileged tin-eared dolt responding defensively to criticism:

Coupla counter-questions here, ma'am:
1) You don't really think you're supporting the system all by yourself, right? 2) How much more than anybody else are you benefiting from that system?
Fuck me - ignorant rich people. It's like they have no idea how these things actually work.


BTW: "The plan" for Afghanistan is results-driven; it's open-ended; and it's a secret.  What could possibly go wrong?
"I'm going to build a big beautiful war and Pakistan and India are going to pay for it."

Today's Tweet

IN CASE YOU MISSED THE TOTAL ECLIPSE 🌕🌖🌗🌘🌑🌒🌓🌔🌕 — Teenager Notes (@teenagernotes) August 21, 2017

But It Won't Last

i will block the sun — The Moon (@daM00N_) August 21, 2017

20/20 Retrospective

The New Yorker, David Remnick

Donald Trump’s ascent was hardly the first sign that Americans had not uniformly regarded Obama’s election as an inspiring chapter in the country’s fitful progress toward equality. Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the House, had branded him the “food-stamp President.” In the right-wing and white-nationalist media, Obama was, variously, a socialist, a Muslim, the Antichrist, a “liberal fascist,” who was assembling his own Hitler Youth. A high-speed train from Las Vegas to Anaheim that was part of the economic-stimulus package was a secret effort to connect the brothels of Nevada to the innocents at Disneyland. He was, by nature, suspect. “You just look at the body language, and there’s something going on,” Trump said, last summer. In the meantime, beginning on the day of Obama’s first inaugural, the Secret Service fielded an unprecedented number of threats against the President’s person.

And so, speeding toward yet another airport last November, Obama se…

Today's Both Sides Bullshit

These two things are not the same.

On the subject of "sometimes there's only one side": That's a nice-sounding slogan, but when I drill into it, I see False Equivalence again.

So yes, there are two sides. One side is the decent human being side. The other side is the unrepentant unremitting unreasonable asshole side.

Both sides vote. One side votes (mostly) for Republicans.

And we should be talking about all the times we heard politicians of a certain stripe spending breath and energy yammering on about how we can't appease these rotten guys - Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein, Radovan Karadzic, Manuel Noriega - that if we don't shut them down (by force if needed), they'll be emboldened; they'll go further; and we'll pay a much higher price trying to stop them later.

Where the fuck are you this time, Republicans?  Oh right, I almost forgot - they are you and you are them. There's not a dime's worth of difference between you and the knuckle-draggers you&#…

You Can Call It A Polecat

...but it's never gonna be nuthin' but a fuckin' skunk.

Nice try on that rebranding thing, fellas, but this still this

Free Speech

Freedom ain't free. And the cost can be pretty heavy.

We were alerted that white supremacist Chris Cantwell was on OkCupid. Within 10 minutes we banned him for life. — OkCupid (@okcupid) August 17, 2017

We always have to be a little careful in how we react to people expressing views we disagree with. 

That said, it's important to remember Popper's Paradox: