Monday, June 24, 2019

Call It What It Is

It's a Trump-centration Camp


Fuckup Du Jour

Kleptocracy at it's worst.

The Atlantic (from a month ago):

The story demonstrates the shortcomings of Trump’s attempt to bring private-sector techniques into government. It shows his tendency toward cronyism, his failures as a negotiator, and the ease with which a fairly primitive attention campaign can sway him. At heart, though, what it really exemplifies is Trump’s insistence on placing performative gestures over actual efficacy. And it is a concrete example—almost literally—of how the president’s violations of norms weaken the country and waste taxpayer money.

...pointing to a story in WaPo, from the day before:

President Trump has personally and repeatedly urged the head of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to award a border wall contract to a North Dakota construction firm whose top executive is a GOP donor and frequent guest on Fox News, according to four administration officials.

In phone calls, White House meetings and conversations aboard Air Force One during the past several months, Trump has aggressively pushed Dickinson, N.D.-based Fisher Industries to Department of Homeland Security leaders and Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite, the commanding general of the Army Corps, according to the administration officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive internal discussions. The push for a specific company has alarmed military commanders and DHS officials.

Semonite was summoned to the White House again Thursday, after the president’s aides told Pentagon officials — including Gen. Mark Milley, the Army’s chief of staff — that the president wanted to discuss the border barrier. According to an administration official with knowledge of the Oval Office meeting, Trump immediately brought up Fisher, a company that sued the U.S. government last month after the Army Corps did not accept its bid to install barriers along the southern border, a contract potentially worth billions of dollars.

On Women And Sexual Health

NYT: (pay wall - please consider subscribing - keep journalism alive)

By Jen Gunter
May 16, 2019
I used to be able to orgasm easily, but now it is very difficult. I have to hit the exact spot in exactly the right way. Is there anything I can do to improve this? I can orgasm when I masturbate, but not usually with my partner. I’m 60+. Help!
— Anonymous, Dallas
As women age, some report a decrease in orgasm intensity as well as difficulty achieving orgasm. This phenomenon can be age-related, though low estrogen may also play a role. Other factors may include medical conditions or their treatments. The good news is there is often help.
Tell me more

There could be many reasons a woman’s ability to orgasm changes with age. Before determining the cause of age-related sexual problems, a doctor should first rule out that there are no libido issues or previous difficulties achieving orgasm, and establish that everything is solid relationship-wise.

After that, a woman could consider that she may simply need a little “help” achieving orgasm. Age-related changes happen in many organ systems, and the clitoris is no exception; after all, many people need reading glasses or a hearing aid as they age. For women who do not experience pain with sex and simply find it takes more effort to achieve orgasm, incorporating a vibrator for clitoral stimulation into sexual play — while masturbating or with a partner — may be all that is needed. There are many vibrator options with different levels of intensity and construction types to hit different “spots.” Some also provide more of a suction sensation versus traditional vibration.

Another factor in orgasm may be a decrease in strength in the levator ani muscles. These are the muscles that support the vagina, bladder and rectum, and they also produce the physical contractions of orgasm. Your orgasms may be affected if these muscles are weak because of age or childbirth. A doctor — typically a gynecologist or urogynecologist — can examine these muscles to determine if you have a pelvic floor disorder. If they are weak, you may be offered Kegel exercises to strengthen them. You may even be referred to a physical therapist who specializes in treating the pelvic floor muscles.

For women in menopause, low estrogen levels can have sexual consequences because of a decrease in blood flow, tissue elasticity and lubrication. Low estrogen can also lead to pain with sex, which can definitely affect orgasm. The changes caused by low estrogen can sometimes be managed with over-the-counter lubricants and vaginal moisturizers, but often a prescription product, most commonly topical estrogen, is needed.

Medical conditions, such as depression and diabetes, can also affect sexual response as can some medications, such as antidepressants and opioids. Antidepressants and anti-seizure medications that are often prescribed for hot flashes during menopause can negatively affect orgasm, so consider the potential sexual side effects when deciding to start or stay on these medications. Sorting out how medical conditions and medications may affect a woman’s sexual response can be challenging, so working with an experienced practitioner is essential.

Another factor to consider:

Women whose male partners have erectile dysfunction sometimes tell me this condition can have an impact on their own sexual response. This phenomenon is not well-studied, but I hear it often enough that I can’t dismiss it. Not knowing if a partner will be able to achieve a full erection can be stressful. And if sex has to move quickly to catch the moment for penetration, it may bypass what some women need emotionally and physically to reach orgasm. If a woman’s orgasm is normal when she masturbates, but not with her male partner, erectile dysfunction may be a factor to consider. There are a variety of treatments for erectile dysfunction that a male partner can discuss with his own health care provider.
Dr. Jen Gunter, often called Twitter’s resident gynecologist, is teaming up with our editors to answer your questions about all things women’s health. From what’s normal for your anatomy to healthy sex and clearing up the truth behind strange wellness claims, Dr. Gunter, who also writes a column called The Cycle, promises to handle your questions with respect, forthrightness and honesty.
 see also: Walker Thornton

How Great I Art

Urban Dictionary, baby!

Today's Tweet

Once is questionable. Twice is coincidental. 20 times and we've got a fucking epidemic.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Today's PSA

The folks who gave us the bogus term "Death Panels" as they tried to stop the ACA, kindly demand that we stop referring to their Concentration Camps as "concentration camps".

Today's Tweet

I'll just shut up and get outa the way - here comes the double slam.

Today's Fitness Tips

Never skip neck day:

When you train, have specific goals in mind - getting in shape for your vacation, for example:

And don't get hung up on convention - be creative - try it a different way:

America's Got Talent

I tell you truly - we'd be a lot better off if we stopped trying to conquer the fucking world, and  concentrated on the things we're actually good at.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Today's Tweet

Call me crazy - you know you want too, and I can't say you're wrong - but this sounds a little like a woman who's thinking she might be POTUS some time in the not-too-distant future.

Ya heard it here first.


They got stiffed again - VISA decided to fuck up their auto-pay thingie for the PO box. 

It's fixed now.

These are good folks doing good work, and they oughta get a fuckin' break once in a while.

Send 'em a few bucks. (also: Patreon, Coffee, Pay Pal, etc - click the link)

PO Box 9133
Springfield IL  62791-9133

Friday, June 21, 2019

Today's Tweet

Winner - short and sweet

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Today's Pix


Today's Tweet

Flat out brilliant.


Just listen - an awful lot of the time, that's all most people want from us. People need to know that someone has heard them.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Today's Quote

Science Literacy empowers you to know when others lie about objective realities.
--Neil deGrasse Tyson

Today's Driftglass

Another good essay on why a David Brooks column isn't worth the boogers in your nose.

For you budding Brooksologists out there, one thing that's very helpful to understand when parsing David Brooks' terrible writing is that virtually every David Brooks column is about David Brooks.

These columns are usually occasioned by one of Mr. Brooks' many, barely-contained insecurities or loathings being dislodged by events in the world, which then comes pouring out refracted and sublimated under the cover of an op-ed on ... whatever.

So for example, when you read this by Mr. David Brooks of The New York Times --

Harvard’s False Path to Wisdom
Sometimes sin is an opportunity for redemption.
-- you can be damn sure that something has happened which feels like it threatens the equilibrium of ecosystem in which Mr. Brooks operates.

Today's inciting incident was Harvard's revocation of Kyle Kashuv's admission to their university based on some incredibly racist and antisemitic (h/t Yastreblyansky) things he wrote when he was in high school and which have only recently come to light.

For Kyle Kashuv, this means he has once again joined the billions of human beings on Earth who won't being going to Harvard. Sad!  After all, Harvard is a Privilege Factory with more money than God and Mark Cuban (it is frequently referred to as a "hedge fund with a university attached") and when it comes to admissions it can do pretty much whatever it wants to do.

But for David Brooks, this is his nightmare scenario.

The nightmare of a Conservative who had made his way into one of America's most elite Privilege Factories --

Most of the famous Parkland students lean progressive and support gun control laws. Kashuv leans conservative. He’s appeared on conservative media, got to meet Donald Trump and lobbied for the STOP School Violence Act, which would create an annual $50 million grant to schools for training programs and reporting systems. He became a student face for the gun rights crowd.
 -- only to find himself suddenly kicked out because of things he had written in the past.  

The nightmare that someone other than a few nobody Liberal bloggers might actually take a look at the shit David Brooks has actually written over the decades -- the saccharine schlock, the incompetently researched/cherry-picked propaganda, the hypocrisy, the venomous hippie-punching and the interminable Both Siderism.  

The nightmare that someone with actual, decision-making authority within the privileged Beltway media ecosystem might open the books on Mr. David Brooks and discover that he is almost always horribly wrong about everything and then decides that the time has come for Mr. Brooks to seek employment elsewhere.

Today's Parable

"Hi, I'm here for an oil change and tire rotation - here's my membership card for the discount."

"OK - that'll be $863.00 please."

"Wait - what? I paid good money for this card, and it's still that much?"

"Without the card, it's $5,289.00 - you're lucky - you have the Silver Club Card."

"Damn. Well, better'n nothin' I guess."


Today's Tweet

This is quite the little spiel, but there's something that feels more than a bit facetious about it. It's a weird mix of false modesty, condescension and a disingenuous attempt to cover the usual Brown Shirt intentions of vigilante-style terrorism.

That's kinda the point though - "We'll be nice, but only if you do exactly what we tell you to do."