Trump does not get it, and will never get it, and people die because of that.
I don’t have a copy of Bob Woodward’s Fear: Trump in the White House yet. (Update: Just came.)
The following is an excellent contextualized insight into the contents of the book, and will likely make you wan to read it:
OK, I’m reading it now…. Have you started yet?
It was the Thracian Gladiator, Sparticus!
I have no words.
Kim Jong Un of North Korea proclaims “unwavering faith in President Trump.” Thank you to Chairman Kim. We will get it done together!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 6, 2018
Here, the President casts Americans — the citizens, the elected government, the appointed and hired civil servants — aside and aligns himself with a nefarious foreign leader.
There is a pattern emerging here. Trump likes foreign dictator that hack America.
I have been South Africa many times, and have essentially lived there in a variety of circumstances for quite a bit of time. South Africa is a large, complex, and diverse country with an incredibly complicated history, so I won’t pretend to fully understand the place. But I’m sure I get South Africa far more, and with more nuance and detail, than the vast majority of Americans. So, allow me to tell you something about that beautiful country.
I don’t know how many times I’ve found myself at the listening end of roughly the same sequence of stories, more or less, from always white, usually but not always male, generally older, always Afrikaner (that is one of the cultures) there. There are several stories you hear again and again. The way this white South African lady killed a black with a rigged right side mirror on her backie. The way some blacks hid under the leaves to hijack a white driver but got run over several times instead. And so on and so on.
Make no mistake, South Africa, at the time I was there, before, and since, has had more than its share of brutal crime. The place is a real mess. Large swaths of the society have a huge percentage of fetal alcohol syndrome because wineries paid employees in “tots” (drinks) rather than money. Poverty is deep. The rich and the poor tend to be very far apart. International outrage about apartheid was significantly larger in magnitude than international help after apartheid. And so on.
But the story that Donald Trump is trying to sell, about the violent attacks on white land owners and the taking of their land, is nothing other than yet another steaming pile of shit dished out but post Apartheid angry white supremacists, and picked up and amplified by Fox News.
Finally, we are getting a Space Force!
Now is our chance to chime in on how the Space Force should be organized and what it should do.
I have the following suggestions.
First, make no mistake, the Space Force is to fight off new alien invasions, and to find, root out, and kill any and all aliens from previous alien invasions. I know, I know, most people believe there are no aliens, or if they are out there somewhere in the Universe, they are not going to invade us. But those unbelievers tend to be Democrats, and the Space Force is a Republican idea. So, my first suggestion is to put aside any equivocation. USSF is our first line of defense against aliens. Own it.
Second, do incorporate a scientist high up in the chain of command. Time and time again, we have seen either aliens or home-grown monsters (usually as a result of nuclear radiation in the sea or someplace) get way ahead of the US Military because military commanders are bad at listening to scientists.
The senior scientist, and his attractive 20-something daughters, and the other more junior scientist or perhaps journalist on whom the daughter is sweet, should not be ignored! We should know this by now!
Third, the USSF should be in the business of separating children from their parents. None of this liberal namby pamby nice guy shit. When you get an alien child away from its parents, you do NOT reunite them. That is just asking for trouble.
Fifth, even though the USSF will diligently search for, find, and kill all existing aliens from previous invasions, it is ESSENTIAL that their technology be preserved and studies. As sure as The Doctor’s favorite expression is “Sorry” and his second favorite expression is “Run!!!” we will need that technology to fight future aliens.
Fourth, do not eschew or fail to respect the space forces that exist already in other countries. Just as American intelligence services have a “special relationship” with British intelligence, the USSF should develop and nurture a special relationship with Torchwood.
And speaking of special relationships, the USSF should have liaison with the secret service. It is not uncommon for aliens to masquerade as high level politicians, or to seduce them in other ways.
The creation of the United States Space Force is a great idea, an idea whose time is come. But I think it is very important to not pretend it is something other than it is. It is an idea to win the hearts and minds of the 21% of the United States population who believe in aliens, and were abducted by them one or more times. I worry a little about the 2% of Americans who believe they are aliens. But in any law enforcement or military operation, there are always a few who just won’t go along with the rest.
The Marines have “Semper Fidelis.” The Army has “This We’ll Defend. The US Air Force says “Aim high, Fly-Fight-Win.” And the Navy’s motto, and they just got this motto last year, is “Forged by the Sea.” (I’ll bet you thought it was “not just a job, but an adventure,” but no, you were wrong if you thought that.)
The motto of the United States Space Force? I’ll go ahead and suggest “Klaatu barada nikto,” but you should feel free to suggest your ideas below.
And finally, this shall be the United States Space Force uniform:
Based on the last ca 500 tweets. He has all the best words:
Oh yes, this might be good. Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House by Omarosa Manigault Newman.
Few have been a member of Donald Trump’s inner orbit longer than Omarosa Manigault Newman. Their relationship has spanned fifteen years—through four television shows, a presidential campaign, and a year by his side in the most chaotic, outrageous White House in history. But that relationship has come to a decisive and definitive end, and Omarosa is finally ready to share her side of the story in this explosive, jaw-dropping account.
A stunning tell-all and takedown from a strong, intelligent woman who took every name and number, Unhinged is a must-read for any concerned citizen.
Not out yet, but available for pr-order.
Three items all in one handy post.
First, Peter Gleick has an Op Ed in the Washington Post in which he chastises Trump for his boneheaded tweets about water and the fires in California. Peter is the world’s leading expert on water in California (see: California Drought and Syrian Refugee Crisis with Dr. Peter Gleick) and Donald Trump is as dumb as a brick (see: brick).
Second, did you know that the Saudis have between two and three billion in Tesla, making them the largest single stockholder outside the company? No? Are you surprised? Of course not, it actually makes total sense. Anyway, see: World’s biggest oil exporter is betting $2 billion on electric cars
Third, Climate Signals has updated info on climate change and wild fires, especially in the west and california. The bullet points:
- Human-caused climate change is increasing wildfire activity across forested land in the western United States.
- Since 1970, temperatures in the American West have increased by about twice the global average.
- Scientists have found a direct link between anthropogenic warming and the observed trend of increasing heat extremes over the western US.
- The effect of temperature — and how dry the vegetation is — can matter more for wildfire risk than how much rain or snow fell the previous winter.
- A warmer world has drier landscapes, and dry vegetation becomes fuel for fires making them more likely to spread farther and faster.
- From 1979 to 2015, climate change accounts for 55 percent of observed increases in land surface dryness in western forests.
For more info, and documentation of these items, go HERE.
The infamous policy book, The Bell Curve, relied on the false claim that people of African ancestry are of low IQ (and some other things). That was based directly on the work of J. Philippe Rushton and it is false.
The Bell Curve became, in the 1980s, the intellectualized version of pseud-scientifically based racism. The Bradley Foundation, which paid for the book’s publication and printing, made sure there was a copy of it on every politically relevant person’s shelf, from elected officials to potential candidates to staffers to faculty involved even marginally in politics or society.
When those of us who study pseudo-scientific racism and works such as the Bell Curve hear the phrase “Low IQ person” we know exactly what it means. It means a white supremacist is referring to a black person.
Here is Eugene Scott commenting on this phenomenon:
It is a little unfair. What, with Trump being as dumb as a brick and all. But it is true that experts have been mocking his absurd tweets about California fires, climate change, and water.
The offending tweets:
California wildfires are being magnified & made so much worse by the bad environmental laws which aren’t allowing massive amount of readily available water to be properly utilized. It is being diverted into the Pacific Ocean. Must also tree clear to stop fire spreading!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 5, 2018
Governor Jerry Brown must allow the Free Flow of the vast amounts of water coming from the North and foolishly being diverted into the Pacific Ocean. Can be used for fires, farming and everything else. Think of California with plenty of Water – Nice! Fast Federal govt. approvals.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 6, 2018
Some of the counter tweets can be found on this thread:
.@CAL_FIRE says it has "no idea" what Trump's talking about in regards to "bad environmental laws" making California's fires worse.
"We have plenty of water for the firefight. The Mendocino complex is next to Clear Lake and the Carr fire has the Whiskeytown Lake and Lake Shasta" https://t.co/Gy0uNx3xiK
— Brianna Sacks (@bri_sacks) August 6, 2018
And from California water expert, Peter Gleick:
Ok. I know something about this.
This is gobbledygook bullshit.
California's forests and rangelands aren't dry & burning because of CA's water policies. There's no shortage of water to fight fires. And the little #water still flowing in rivers to the sea isn't wasted. https://t.co/2f1mljxDNW
— Peter Gleick (@PeterGleick) August 5, 2018
Trump doubles down on his previous ignorant tweet about California #water and fires. The only water that reaches the ocean these days is what's left AFTER the massive diversions OUT of our rivers for cities and farms. And there's no shortage of fire-fighting water. Nuts. https://t.co/xWFeuoKv54
— Peter Gleick (@PeterGleick) August 6, 2018
RL Miller of Climate Hawks Vote added these:
— RL Miller (@RL_Miller) August 6, 2018
— RL Miller (@RL_Miller) August 6, 2018
Think Progress covers the melee here.
Impeachment: A Citizen’s Guide by Cass Sunstein, Harvard University Press.
As Benjamin Franklin famously put it, Americans have a republic, if we can keep it. Preserving the Constitution and the democratic system it supports is the public’s responsibility. One route the Constitution provides for discharging that duty?a route rarely traveled?is impeachment.
Cass R. Sunstein provides a succinct citizen’s guide to an essential tool of self-government. He illuminates the constitutional design behind impeachment and emphasizes the people’s role in holding presidents accountable. Despite intense interest in the subject, impeachment is widely misunderstood. Sunstein identifies and corrects a number of misconceptions. For example, he shows that the Constitution, not the House of Representatives, establishes grounds for impeachment, and that the president can be impeached for abuses of power that do not violate the law. Even neglect of duty counts among the “high crimes and misdemeanors” delineated in the republic’s foundational document. Sunstein describes how impeachment helps make sense of our constitutional order, particularly the framers’ controversial decision to install an empowered executive in a nation deeply fearful of kings.
With an eye toward the past and the future, Impeachment: A Citizen’s Guide considers a host of actual and imaginable arguments for a president’s removal, explaining why some cases are easy and others hard, why some arguments for impeachment have been judicious and others not. In direct and approachable terms, it dispels the fog surrounding impeachment so that Americans of all political convictions may use their ultimate civic authority wisely.
Every now and then, Russian operatives go out in some field in Georgia, sometimes at night, tear down a fence and put up a new one, making Russia bigger and Georgia smaller. You may remember a related incident that happened during the McCain-Obama election, of which much was made.
This constantly changing boundary has already divided communities and swallowed up homes in Georgia, a country of 3.7 million that hopes to one day join NATO.
Many consider it nothing short of a silent, creeping occupation on the fringes of Europe supported by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“What should I do? If the Russians come closer I will not be able to do anything,” Vasya, 51, said with a shrug and a waft of a freshly lit cigarette. He wants only his first name used for fear of reprisals by nearby border guards.
The Russians have been trying to Russianize Ossetians living in the nearly island like enclave in Georgia for decades, and eventually issued many Russian passports.
It is the standard Russian move. Make up a situation in which there are people in some territory that say “Hey, we’re Russians. Where’s Russia! Come help us, Russia!” Then, the tanks roll in. In this case, until Putin put Trump in the US White House, the US helped Georgia resist this move in South Ossetia. No more. Trump is screwing over an important ally in the region.
In Georgia, there is a saying. You use it when you are disagreeing with someone. “We can discuss this in the morning. But during the night, I will sneak into your house and cut your throat,” or words to that effect. Well, now it’s Trump cutting the throat of Georgia.
“We can do nothing to protect ourselves … we cannot start war on them,” said Temuri Khuroshvili, 59, a retired police officer whose cinder-block house is in one of the 52 villages on the boundary. His home is surrounded by annexed territory on three sides.
“What can you do against Russia? They do whatever they can,” he said as he sat in the roadside shade while rusty tractors groaning under bales of hay rattled through the dusty lane. “The Russians don’t care at all.”
This is not the kind of mess that an actual US President, when we get one, is going to be able to clean up easily.
And that is the United States, and that is because of Donald Trump. From WaPo:
The Trump administration on Thursday announced plans to freeze fuel-efficiency requirements for the nation’s cars and trucks through 2026 — a massive regulatory rollback likely to spur a legal battle with California and other states, as well as create potential upheaval in the nation’s automotive market.
The proposal represents an abrupt reversal of the findings that the government reached under President Barack Obama, when regulators argued that requiring more-fuel-efficient vehicles would improve public health, combat climate change and save consumers money without compromising safety.
Trump’s plan also undercuts California’s long-standing ability to set its own tailpipe restrictions, most recently in an effort to curb greenhouse-gas emissions.
What is the rational for this? There is only one. Hippie punching. He is showing his base that he has yet another way to make the liberals cry.
But guess what. The liberals will not cry. But they will fight.
The history and future of our democracy’s ultimate sanction, presidential impeachment, and a guide to how it should be used now
To End a Presidency addresses one of today’s most urgent questions: when and whether to impeach a president. Laurence Tribe and Joshua Matz provide an authoritative guide to impeachment’s past and a bold argument about its proper role today. In an era of expansive presidential power and intense partisanship, we must rethink impeachment for the twenty-first century.
Of impeachments, one Constitutional Convention delegate declared, “A good magistrate will not fear them. A bad one will be kept in fear of them.” To End a Presidency is an essential book for all Americans seeking to understand how this crucial but fearsome power should be exercised.