6.10.2017

The Enemy of My Enemy is Still My Enemy, Dana


Southern California puts out some kooky congressmen and congresswomen, but none as kooky as Dana Rohrabacher (apologies to Darrell Issa and Duncan Hunter, Jr.).

Regarding a recent terrorist attack in Iran that left at least 17 dead, Rohrabacher stated:
...isn’t it a good thing for us to have the United States finally backing up Sunnis who will attack Hezbollah and the Shiite threat to us? Isn’t that a good thing? And if so, maybe this is a Trump — maybe it’s a Trump strategy of actually supporting one group against another, considering that you have two terrorist organizations.
I shouldn't have to tell you that the Sunnis he is refering to are ISIS. This is not the result of a confusion, or a faux pas, Rohrabacher very is saying exactly what he means:
So that’s like Joe Stalin was a horrible guy, we must never associate with horrible guys like that, even against Hitler...
Or associating with the mujaheddin (who he claims he fought with) against the Soviet Union, right? That turned out swell.

Look, Iran has all sorts of problems and there are a million reasons why we shouldn't ignore them. But their sins are certainly no worse than Saudi Arabia's, who are currently playing Trump and getting everything they want from him  just by stroking his ego. Supporting ISIS against Iran may be the most ridiculous thing I've heard all week, and that is a very high bar to reach.

6.07.2017

Follow the Leader

Why can't the fact that Trump has shown that Republicans and conservatives, despite their reputation and public bravado, do not actually possess the courage of their convictions ever work to the advantage of Democrats and progressives? 

For conservative Christians, "character" is what mattered. Until it didn't

For Republican hawks, Russia was the enemy, until it wasn't.

For almost all of them, Wikileaks was traitorous, until they weren't.  

It goes on and on. 

So if Trump were come out and say, "I think Universal Health Care makes the most economic sense. Let's let GM focus on making cars, not on healthcare," who's to say that his base wouldn't just follow along? 

They'll follow Trump anywhere, so why can't it be somewhere good

Oh yeah...



 

6.06.2017

Business On Parade

When I first heard Trump was into funding infrastructure, I thought "Great, at least there is one thing we agree on." But when details of Trump's vision started to come out and I realized that it could very well simply be a giveaway to private companies, I started to worry. Then I read this New Yorker piece on Putin's control of infrastructure projects in Russia, and how he uses them as a patronage system to control oligarchs, I started to get anxious.  This week's roll out of plans to privatize key portions of the FAA (a giveaway to airlines) under the guise of infrastructure made it clear that I'm right to be worried.

I'm not saying that Trump = Putin. But I am saying that this is this is yet another clear-cut example that the next four years is going to be one massive transfer of wealth from the poor and the public sector to the wealthy, coal miners be damned. Trickle-down is the zombie that never dies.  


5.20.2017

Turning Eagles Into Vultures

So Chris Cornell is gone.

I'm not going to pretend I was the biggest Soundgarden fan in the world, but for a while in the late 80's - early 90's, I was definitely a very big fan.

It's true, I was one of those guys. Loved them up through Badmotorfinger, but then they got really popular, so of course my fondness for them had to be crushed. Although the rationale was dumb, it was what is was and I was far from the only kid with that mindset. Point being, post-Badmotorfinger, I am pretty unfamiliar with anything beyond the hits. I have never heard an Audioslave song, and honestly, prefer to keep it that way (that elitist kid still lives on inside me).

I really did love that early stuff though. For me, Louder Than Love was the high watermark, and "Gun" was the high point (followed closely by "Hands All Over").


But if I needed to clear a room, nothing beat "Beyond the Wheel".



Great singer, seemed like a great guy. R.I.P.


4.21.2017

Name That Book

Plot summary:
The antagonist is a tall, "no-nonsense" television journalist named Shannon Michaels, described as the product of two Celtic parents, who is pushed out by Global News Network, and systematically murders the people who ruined his career.
Uh oh.

4.20.2017

The Logical Outcome of Palinism


“I thought it was important that we went outside,” Pence said. “I thought it was important that people on the other side of the DMZ see our resolve in my face.”
Problem solved, I guess?

4.19.2017

Spacial Ed

Saw this while looking at self-warming cat bed on Amazon, because I'm super cool.


3.08.2017

Stars and Stripes of Corruption #trump #newyorker

Photographer: Michael Steele/Getty Images 
The latest issue of the New Yorker has an Adam Davidson piece linking the Trump Organization, corrupt Azerbaijani officials, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). It's worth a read, but it is very complicated. The TL;DR is captured here:
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, passed in 1977, forbade American companies from participating in a scheme to reward a foreign government official in exchange for material benefit or preferential treatment. The law even made it a crime for an American company to unknowingly benefit from a partner’s corruption if it could have discovered illicit activity but avoided doing so. 
The Trump Organization's definite ties to corrupt Azerbaijani officials and through them, possible ties to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard are not new news. But hopefully this article and the Trump Administration's continued Iranian warmonger will put this back on the radar, because there's a lot more than smoke there.

1.28.2017

The Shining City

(Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)
I've spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don't know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That's how I saw it, and see it still.
- Ronald Reagan's Farewell Speech, 1989

Ronald Reagan. I'm quoting Ronald Effing Reagan. A sad day, made a little more hopeful with the actions of those gathering at airports around the country, immigration lawyers, and the ACLU.


1.11.2017

Antennas

Had to bring in Der Creuzenvessel in to get some self-afflicted dings repaired. Insurance paid for a rental while it was in the shop. A 2016 Dodge. 2016. As in the year that just passed. And yet:


Look at that thing! Could be straight off my 1979 Mustang! I didn't even know they still made these. Does Dodge make you get a more deluxe model to get luxuries like a modern antenna? What's the cost trade off there? A completely different assembly process to charge a couple hundred of bucks for an antenna that doesn't look like it's from the Soviet era? Weird.