Monday, July 31, 2017

Today's GIF

This modern world. It's a wonderment.

Res Ipsa Loquitor

"The occurrence of an accident implies neglect"


When something shitty happens - terrorists or a hurricane or whatever - remember that Cult45 has been awfully slow about getting people in place who oughta be working hard so we'll be ready for the shit when the shit happens.

It's not at all certain that we're being set up to accept Daddy State rule, but how do we dismiss the probability given our current "leadership"?


hat tip = Foreign Policy (pay wall)

Today's Deep Thoughts

Facts:
  • Liberals love them because they make you smarter.
  • Conservatives hate them because they make you liberal.


Today's Tweet



Sunday, July 30, 2017

Today's Mind Fuck



New Scientist - Joshua Sokol
Please welcome to the stage a master illusionist. An energy beam that stabs out of galaxy M87 like a toothpick in a cocktail olive is pulling off the ultimate magic trick: seeming to move faster than the speed of light.

Almost five times faster, in fact, as measured by the Hubble Space Telescope. This feat was first observed in 1995 in galaxy M87, and has been seen in many other galaxies since. It might have you questioning your entire reality. Nothing can break the cosmic speed limit, right? You can’t just flaunt the laws of physics… can you?

If you want to just enjoy the illusion from your seat in the audience, stop reading. Otherwise, I welcome you backstage for a look at how the trick works – and how it’s helping astronomers to understand the fate of entire galaxies.

Blobs faster than light?

We’ve known about the jet of plasma shooting from the core of M87 since 1918, when astronomer Heber Curtis saw a ray of light connected to the galaxy. To be visible from so far away, it had to be huge – about 6000 light years long.

As modern astronomers now know, pretty much all galaxies have a central black hole that periodically draws in stars and gas clouds. When gas begins to swirl down the drain, it heats up and magnetic fields focus some of it into jets of hot plasma. These jets shoot out at velocities near to – but not faster than – the speed of light.


Today's Pix














The GOP Steps Up?

Hard to imagine lately, but Repubs may be getting their chops back in shape, just in time to put 45* in the dumpster as another failed experiment of political evolution.

WaPo Editorial Board:

President Trump’s rise tests the American system because he was elected on the strength of radical protest against it — the claim that it’s all “rigged” — and because his party dominated Congress as well as the White House. The erratic disrupter-in-chief came to power with a political escort of enablers. And so any hope that checks and balances would work to constrain Mr. Trump’s worst impulses hinged, in part, on the willingness of Republicans in Congress to act in defense of values higher than short-term political advantage, or at least to interpret their short-term political interest as requiring them to counter Mr. Trump.

-and-

What GOP lawmakers’ first serious steps toward checking and balancing Mr. Trump showed this week, however, is that there is a middle ground, which members of his own party are no longer afraid to explore.

All together now - well it's about fuckin' time, you guys.

Today's Tweet



That one might leave a mark.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Let's Review

Trump: Grab em by the pussy.

Scaramucci: Steve Bannon sucks his own cock.

Bannon: Paul Ryan is a limp dick. 

But we should stay good and pissed off at Hillary for calling these assholes Deplorables.


Today's Bonus Tweet



I get it - imminent demise tends to focus the mind. So it's like McCain suddenly noticed he'd been lost and wandering for a while, and he really really really needed a shot at redemption.

And what're "them gals" so very good at, John?  Yeah - forgiving; and being gracious and good-natured; or whatever it is that moves them so often to put the needs of others before their own.



And while I don't presume to speak for anyone but myself - and fake lord knows Collins and Murkowski don't need my help - here's a great big You're WelcomeAsshole

Today's Lesson

We are now a little less dumb - I am anyway.

When Will It Be Enough?


Another OpEd in another major paper, pointing out just how craven political power can make some folks.

Jennifer Rubin, WaPo, 7-28-17:


No group has been as blindly loyal to President Trump as Christian conservatives. They have not let religion or values get in the way of their support. Consider the “Access Hollywood” tape, the attack on a Gold Star family, a mass of inexplicable ties between Trump’s campaign and Russian officials (and the president’s open invitation to Russia to continue hacking), the firing of the FBI director, the humiliation of evangelical-favorite Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the politicization of the Boy Scouts, the threats to the special counsel and now an interview with Trump’s out-of-control, potty-mouthed communications director.

What about Trump, exactly, reflects their values? (Taking Medicaid away from millions and separating families to deport law-abiding immigrants?) The Trump administration is a clown show — but it’s the evangelicals who supplied the tent, the red noses and the floppy shoes. Each day presents a new insult to the office of the presidency and a repudiation of civilized behavior.

Sounds Mildly Important


As driftglass puts it: Isn't that what they call mutiny?



Vox:

President Donald Trump said his decision to ban transgender people from serving in the military, announced via Twitter on Wednesday morning, came “after consultation with my generals and military experts.” It’s becoming clearer and clearer that he was lying.

Secretary of Defense James Mattis was on vacation when the decision was announced, and privately opposed the move. The Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Gen. James Dunford, said Thursday that the military wouldn’t implement the ban absent a formal, non-tweeted order from the commander in chief. 

And then there were the remarkable remarks that Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley made during a luncheon at the National Press Club. 

During the lunch, Milley told reporters that he found out about the ban "the same way everybody else did — on the news." At the time, he was holding a glass of wine.

-and-

What’s more, it’s not even clear what the policy is. Would it bar openly trans people from joining the military going forward, or would it force the military to discharge trans people who are already serving? Would trans veterans — people who have already fought in wars — still be able to get health care through the VA?

These policy points are not details. Without answers to them, it’s literally impossible to figure out what Trump wants the military to do.

So - again - 45* acts like he thinks the military is his own personal tinker toy, and basically, he's right.  With a few exceptions, the CinC gets to do pretty much what he wants to do.  The Brass Hats at the Pentagon are trying to force him into some kind of normal protocol, but there's nothing that says a tweet isn't considered an official order.

And also too don't forget to remember - if it doesn't say specifically that he can't do it, then he'll probably try to do it. That's what he does; he's always looking for the loophole - the SmarmSpace.

BTW, there can't possibly be anyone anywhere who doesn't recognize this as 45* throwing more chaff in the air. He keeps looking for crazier-n-crazier shit he can pull as it gets harder to distract us from his Russia problem, and he can always do with a little help from the ChristoCons, so he "punched a queer" for them.

The guy has always benefited from creating chaos. Of course, now there's real potential for what he thinks is a little bit of his usual self-serving chaos to turn into a fullblown Constitutional Crisis all by itself.

The law of unintended consequences is a real thing.

A Podcast






For the tip jar - make checks payable to:

The Professional Left Podcast
PO Box 9133
Springfield IL  62791

Today's Tweet



Fake Lord love the nerds

Friday, July 28, 2017

McCain's Big Moment


Grampy McDumfuck has a moment in the sun as he does the right thing (also the revenge-fuck-you-45* thing) by voting no on Skinny Repeal.

Watch Chuck Schumer (grey suit, center aisle, down front) tell his troops to STFU when they start to applaud.

Plugging Those Leaks


Mr Scaramucci hard at work in service to his Führer Capo President - fuck, the guy he blows every morning. And he's not even officially on the payroll yet - what a guy, huh?


What It Is

Call it the Rube-ification of America. And to borrow from Bill Maher: "Why do we always have to be the stoopid country?"

Paul Waldman, WaPo:

What’s truly remarkable isn’t that a bunch of cynical politicians thought they could ride their base voters’ anger into control of Congress by lying to them about what they could actually accomplish; it’s that their voters actually believed it. And then those voters got even angrier when it turned out that the president had the ability to veto bills passed by a Congress controlled by the other party. Who knew!
So instead of looking for a presidential candidate who would treat them like adults, they elected Donald Trump, a man who would pander to their gullibility even more. 

Which brings us to where we are today. Republicans couldn’t be bothered for seven years to actually think about what repealing and replacing the ACA might involve, or whether there would be trade-offs and choices to make, or whether setting up a system that accorded with their conservative philosophy might not actually solve the problems of the health-care system. They thought it would be enough to tell their voters to get mad, and worry later about what it would take to keep the promises they made.
-and-

That’s not to say that there isn’t plenty of outright malice in what Republicans are doing, because there is. Their contempt for people who struggle economically is boundless. They’ve wanted to destroy Medicaid for decades, and they just might be able to do it. But their strongest motivation right now is fear, fear of the voters they regard as too dim-witted to be able to make a rational judgment about the most consequential policy question one can imagine.
We dodged one big-ass bullet at about 2:00 this morning, thanks partly to Collins, Murkowski and McCain - but thanks mostly to the simple fact that an awful lot of us have been up on our hind legs pushing back. Makes me proud.

BTW, it ain't over. Both McConnell and 45* issued the standard Daddy State threat - warning us we'd be sorry. 

When they say "Obamacare is failing" and "let Obamacare implode", they mean "we'll continue to sabotage Obamacare to punish you for not going along with us".

So don't get happy.


Modern Parenting

Dammit - why didn't I think of that?

(starting at 4:00)


Keith


The timeline is telling - and with some luck, Mueller's Manhunters have all of this in hand.


Today's Tweet



Thursday, July 27, 2017

It Gets Worse


The Mooch - the guy 45* brings in to be this century's version of Nixon's Plumbers - one of the pros - yeah, that guy - he called Ryan Lizza more or less outa the blue, talked pure shit about Reince Preibus for 30 minutes or so, and then bitched because he'd meant for it to be off the record, but hadn't bothered to make that clear to Lizza.  Yeah - the guy's a real pro.

The New Yorker:

On Wednesday night, I received a phone call from Anthony Scaramucci, the new White House communications director. He wasn’t happy. Earlier in the night, I’d tweeted, citing a “senior White House official,” that Scaramucci was having dinner at the White House with President Trump, the First Lady, Sean Hannity, and the former Fox News executive Bill Shine. It was an interesting group, and raised some questions. Was Trump getting strategic advice from Hannity? Was he considering hiring Shine? But Scaramucci had his own question—for me.

“Who leaked that to you?” he asked. I said I couldn’t give him that information. He responded by threatening to fire the entire White House communications staff. “What I’m going to do is, I will eliminate everyone in the comms team and we’ll start over,” he said. I laughed, not sure if he really believed that such a threat would convince a journalist to reveal a source. He continued to press me and complain about the staff he’s inherited in his new job. “I ask these guys not to leak anything and they can’t help themselves,” he said. “You’re an American citizen, this is a major catastrophe for the American country. So I’m asking you as an American patriot to give me a sense of who leaked it.”

In Scaramucci’s view, the fact that word of the dinner had reached a reporter was evidence that his rivals in the West Wing, particularly Reince Priebus, the White House chief of staff, were plotting against him. While they have publicly maintained that there is no bad blood between them, Scaramucci and Priebus have been feuding for months. After the election, Trump asked Scaramucci to join his Administration, and Scaramucci sold his company, SkyBridge Capital, in anticipation of taking on a senior role. But Priebus didn’t want him in the White House, and successfully blocked him for being appointed to a job until last week, when Trump offered him the communications job over Priebus’s vehement objections. In response to Scaramucci’s appointment, Sean Spicer, an ally of Priebus’s, resigned his position as press secretary. And in an additional slight to Priebus, the White House’s official announcement of Scaramucci’s hiring noted that he would report directly to the President, rather than to the chief of staff.

Scaramucci’s first public appearance as communications director was a slick and conciliatory performance at the lectern in the White House briefing room last Friday. He suggested it was time for the White House to turn a page. But since then, he has become obsessed with leaks and threatened to fire staffers if he discovers that they have given unauthorized information to reporters. Michael Short, a White House press aide considered close to Priebus, resigned on Tuesday after Scaramucci publicly spoke about firing him. Meanwhile, several damaging stories about Scaramucci have appeared in the press, and he blamed Priebus for most of them. Now, he wanted to know whom I had been talking to about his dinner with the President. Scaramucci, who initiated the call, did not ask for the conversation to be off the record or on background.
Score Card
Fuck - 6
Cock - 3
Shit - 1


Overheard on the intertoobz: "The guy's a pinky ring with legs."

Remember Your Orwell


“Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.”

"As I write, highly civilized human beings are flying overhead trying to kill me. They do not feel enmity against me as an individual, nor I against them. They are only doing their duty, as the saying goes. Most of them, I have no doubt, are kind-hearted law-abiding men who would never dream of committing murder in private life. On the other hand, if one of them succeeds in blowing me to pieces with a well-placed bomb, he will never sleep any the worse for it. He is serving his country, which has the power to absolve him from evil."

“All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting.”

“If people cannot write well, they cannot think well, and if they cannot think well, others will do their thinking for them.”

Today's Pix














Today's Tweet



Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Trae Crowder

An important reminder: It doesn't matter why they're doing these shitty things. It matters that they are doing these shitty things.

The Old Is New Again

And suddenly, we've got Democrats acting all Democrat-ey and shit.


I'm just hoping we don't have to put up with a lot of self-righteous fart-breathing told-ya-so from the Purity Warriors who said they actually wanted 45* because what we really need is a lot of debilitating anxiety and pain so we'd wake up and blah blah blah - fuck that and fuck you.

Letting us in for all that anxiety and pain in order to force us to go along with your idea of good policy makes you no different from the Repubs or the Neo-Liberals who use the same tactics - the Repubs and Neo-Liberals you're always calling assholes.

But hey - it wasn't really your fault. Putin made you do it, right?

Sometimes, our reaction to trauma is what motivates us to change. That does not mean you get to manipulate us by deliberately instigating the trauma.

That's not Smart Politics. That's Terrorism.