Wednesday, July 18, 2018

why isn't this getting more attention?

A photo of the President's notes from yesterday's "walk-back treason" speech:

If you zoom the image in the tweet-within-a-tweet you can read it yourself, or try clicking here. In any case, the crossed off language actually says "Anyone involved in that meddling to justice" but these are notes/bullet points, not the entire speech.

UPDATE: There we go! Good for the WaPo (and bad for the NYT for writing a whole article about the speech that included a photos of the notes and referenced the handwritten "no collusion" on the notes in the article, but completely ignored the line that is clearly crossed out)

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The Mandalay Bay Resort's New Slogan

Come to our hotel, get shot, and then we will sue you.


"brain can't process"

It is interesting that White House staffers' defense of the president's behavior in Helsinki yesterday is that he is not mentally competent:
Behind the scenes:
  • A number of people who’ve discussed election meddling with Trump, including current senior administration officials, say his brain can’t process that collusion and cyberattacks are two different things.
  • Trump seems constitutionally incapable of taking anything Mueller finds seriously.
  • He views the entire exercise as a "witch hunt" cooked up by Democrats and Deep State conspirators to undermine his election win.
  • Ego prevents him acknowledging the possibility that any external action could have interfered with his glorious victory.
  • The handful of White House staff we have privately communicated with since today’s press conference are not proud of the man they work for. But he doesn't expect any to resign.

enter complaining season

It is cold turkey day here in Nozistan. That's right, everyone's favorite time of the year, when I stop consuming caffeine to torture myself and then torture everyone around me by constantly complaining about it!

Actually, it looks like I forgot to complain on this site last year. But my archives are long and deep. There is plenty of complaining to be had if you look hereand hereand here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here and here,  and hereand here, and here! So much complaining!

So far today isn't bad. I'm not too tired and I don't have any headaches yet. But a month without chocolate and coffee seems long and cruel. Which is why I will spend much of that time telling everyone I meet about it.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Sports metaphors sometimes make us lose sight of what matters

Make no mistake, I think Trump's one-on-one meeting with Putin is terrible. But all these takes on the meeting that call it a "win" for Putin or otherwise evaluate the meeting in terms of who will win or lose drive me crazy. This isn't a sport. There is no clear system for assigning points.

The problem with the meeting isn't that it will give Putin a "win" (or that Trump or the U.S. will "lose"), it's that our idiot president may give up key American interest just to get Vladimir to like him. Until Trump next runs for reelection, I don't care if he "wins" or "loses", I can about the substance of what he does or decides not to do. That is what is terrible about the meeting.

(The lack of other people in the room with Trump is also bad, but it contains a bit of a silver lining. Whatever the President promises Putin will only matter to the extent they can carry out those promises after they leave the meeting. No one believes the President's account about anything. So there is a chance that the U.S. will be able to easily back out of whatever boneheaded commitments he makes when there is no official record and no credible witnesses other than the self-serving Russian leader)

Friday, July 13, 2018

My heroes

If I were a legislator in Madison, I would be introducing a bill to make the woodchuck the official state rodent of Wisconsin.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Abolish ICE

I see all this hand-wringing about how the call to abolish ICE is a bad political strategy, but no one seems to be addressing the proposal on its merits. As I see it the argument to abolish ICE goes like this:

1. The agency that is charged with defending the nation's borders is the Border Patrol, so ICE duplicates an enforcement agency that already exists.

2. ICE's mandate is broader and vaguer than the Border Patrol's, so that will inevitably lead to abuses, and there have been a ton of abuses in the short history of ICE's existence.

3. ICE was only created in 2003, during the post-9/11 hysteria. The border was guarded before 2003 (by the Border Patrol, see above). Calling for an abolition of ICE is not the same as calling for open borders or the abolition of all law enforcement.

Putting aside how the "abolish ICE" proposal will play out politically, what are the counter-arguments to the merits of abolishing ICE?

I am on the abolish ICE bandwagon, but I understand that I don't know everything about the enforcement of immigration law and maybe abolishing ICE would actually be a bad idea. I just wish someone would try to explain what that would be the case. I am open to being convinced. Convince me!

A sign he might step down?

I can't think of any reason that Nazarbayev would do this unless he is considering stepping down as President of Kazakhstan. He doesn't need to be designated member of the security council as long as he is sitting in the President's chair. This appointment for life would only come into play if Nazarbayev is  no longer President while he is still alive. As far as I can tell, it's the first time he has made any meaningful move against the idea of remaining president for life.

"very stable genius"

"do his own thing"

If he is not threatening to pull out from NATO what is he threatening?
In the closed-door session, Trump told his counterparts that if they did not meet their defense spending targets of 2 percent of gross domestic product by January, the United States would go it alone, according to two officials briefed on the meeting. The officials said Trump threatened to “do his own thing.” The comments appeared open to interpretation, and some officials said they never felt Trump was threatening a full pullout from NATO.
I am sure that President Trump has never thought about this, but if the U.S. pulls out of NATO and leaves its bases in Europe (especially Germany), the U.S. would have a lot less ability to project its military might into Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia. While the President doesn't know this stuff, I bet John Bolton does. And he and other hawkish people in the administration are going to fight hard to not give up their dreams of slaughtering Persians.

Friday, July 06, 2018

Back in the Philly swamp

I was in Michigan Kazapaloozin' and then Minnesota watching shit blow up in the sky for America.

I used to post about traveling on this blog but now I really don't. Except when I do, like I just did.

In any case, I'm back for a good month or so. Who made Philly so hot and awful?