Apr 6, 2017

Playing him like a Grand Piano


That old turtle Mitch McConnell has played Chuck Schumer like a grand piano.

What started 15 years ago, now ends - with a decisive victory for the old turtle. Turtle, known for patience and the long game has become apropos. 

McConnell ends the fight against Charles Schumer - a fight Chuck started by rallying the first-ever partisan filibuster of a judicial nominee to the D.C. Circuit Court - Miguel Estrada. Before, the Senate’s “advise and consent” role was vigorously deployed with fierce partisan tensions but ultimately settled with simple up-or-down majority votes. Little did Chuck know that he had set in motion a series of events that would upturn the filibuster option.

Granted, that happened when Harry Reid played the 'nuclear option' when the Democrats controlled the Senate. Republicans blocked all of Obama's judicial nominees. To be fair, it's because the Democrats had blocked most of Bush's nominees. But as with most Democrat politicians, the unintended consequences weren't discussed, thought through, or cared about when Reid hit the button to do away with the long-standing rules.

Now, today, it looks like Schumer is going to attempt the first ever filibuster of a Supreme Court nominee, and when he's defeated - it'll open the door wide open for the next Supreme Court nominee to walk right in on a 49-51 vote.

And more importantly, is that these same rules will apply to the next one... after Gorsuch.

Apr 3, 2017

Lithium 6 on Facebook Garage Sale Site...

WASHINGTON — The online ad reads like something only a metallurgist could love: an offer to sell 22 pounds of highly pure lithium 6 every month, set for delivery from the port of Dandong, China
But it caught the attention of intelligence agencies around the world for a simple reason: Lithium 6 offers a fast way to turn an ordinary atom bomb into a hydrogen bomb, magnifying its destructive power by up to 1,000 times. The seller listed in the ad — who even provided his cellphone number — was identified in a recent United Nations report as the third secretary in the North Korean Embassy in Beijing.

Mar 31, 2017

Mar 28, 2017

Devin Nunes - No, No, Dig UP, Stupid

What's today's Daily Outrage? Republican Representative Devin Nunes. Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, made an allegation that he had viewed dozens of intelligence reports obtained through government eavesdropping that inappropriately included details about the Trump transition team.

Reports over the weekend said that Nunes went off the grid that night to meet a source and view dozens of intelligence reports, including accounts of meetings involving President Donald Trump's advisers.

Read more ....

He keeps digging deeper and deeper, not into the investigation, but the hole that he's digging. Sure Eli Lake made a great explanation to why Representative Devin Nunes had to go to a secure location (in this case, the White House grounds) to view the documents and records that his intel source told him that he had. Information that led him to make his announcement the next day, and his visit to the President. The fact that members of the committee will also get the same access to view the same documents/records that Representative Devin Nunes had seen should temper the outcry over what has happened.

Should have.

The question remains, is Nunes supposed to be a bloodhound, or is he a lap dog... either way, he's not a good dog.

Parting thought: He's the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

Mar 14, 2017

Class Warfare in the Blizzard of 2017

Winds increase from a strengthening nor’easter, blizzard conditions will bring dangerous travel over the interior Northeast, while a wintry mix, rain and flooding continue to advance northward along the coast through Tuesday.

The storm has forced a State of Emergency to declared in multiple states.

Blizzard conditions with heavy snow, very low visibility, plus drifting snow will clog streets and highways from parts of central and eastern Pennsylvania and northwestern New Jersey and over much of Maine and New Brunswick.

But as I was digging my car out, I couldn't decide is it Class envy or Class warfare? I guess throwing that snowball at the passing SUV gives you why I made the word choice.

Mar 7, 2017

Obama listens in

The cartoon is taken from the film "The Lives of Others" which I recommend.

Meanwhile, the allegations that the Trump Tower was wire-tapped (how 20th century) seems to have some feet. Let's pretend that it's true, as a thought experiment.

If true (and as of this typing not a lick of evidence has been brought forth) this truly would be bigger than Watergate. Nixon's goons weren't (necessarily) spying on the DNC, but was looking to see where the leaks were in his White House - in which "the Plumbers" were much more concerned about the Brookings safe, and the evidence that Nixon's negotiations could have ended the conflict in Vietnam earlier - but yes, this would be worse.

If the sitting President, or anyone in his Administration, were wire-tapping the opposition party candidate? Okay, what could the wire taps have been legitimately been authorized for and who signs off on that?

To get a FISA warrant, first off the Executive Branch can request the order, but can't actually order anything. So that request has to come in independently. Then the Feds must demonstrate not just probable cause but that the phone lines are undermining US interests (AKA foreign powers, Boris Badenov). That's a tough one to get at Trump Tower because you might get third-party conversations. So IF those warrants were carried out, and all the requirements met the evidence that someone or people in the Trump campaign had enough ties to foreign powers...

...it's not Obama or Obama Administration officials that ought to be worried.

Either side of the aisle you look at this - it's probably the biggest scandal *since* Watergate, and we're only at the very beginning. Go to Costco and pick up some popcorn. This reality show just got a second wind.

Feb 16, 2017

Trump's Approval Rating Drops to 39%

President Trump’s approval rating is at 39 percent, according to a new poll.

The latest Pew Research Center poll released Thursday shows Trump at a historic low compared with prior presidents in their first weeks in office.

The poll found just 39 percent approve of his job performance while 56 percent disapprove.

The quote in today's Blasphemes's cartoon is an actual quote from the POTUS in today's news conference.

If Ronald Reagan was the first TV President, then Trump is our first Reality TV President.

To which I believe I did say that quite a while ago.

Feb 14, 2017

Out Like Flynn

Out Like Michael T. Flynn. The shortest tenure of a National Security Council .... ever. He might as well have given his two-week notice when he got sworn in.

It wasn't so much the lie about Russia that brought him down - it was that he was exposed for the lie. Which is, as we know, worse than the deed itself.

I'm waiting for Trump to pick David Petraeus as his replacement which will be a hilariouepisode of our National TrainWreck Reality Show - As you'll remember his sex and email scandal with his biographer which was 10x worse than Hillary's and cost him his job at the CIA. The hypocrisy scale might break when that happens ... but does anyone care anymore?

At this point Meet the Press is almost akin to watching The Walking Dead after show The Talking Dead... 

Feb 7, 2017

Welcome, Betsy

The Senate confirmed Betsy DeVos as the Secretary of Edumukatshun after Vice President Mike Pence broke the tie.

Jan 30, 2017

Anyone Tired of all the Winning Yet?

It's been a busy week for the new President.

If you followed Trump, even a little bit, in the two years leading up to last week - nothing he did should be a surprise to you. That is, unless you took him and his rhetoric metaphorically. Or even figuratively.

Apparently, no one took him literally.

ObamaCare D.O.A. - new plan TBD.
Federal hiring freeze.
But not the military. That's going to get bigger.
A whole pile of State Department folks quit/fired ... it was a race to the door.
Tears at the EPA, PBS and NPR.
No more regulations. Or, you can have a new one, but you have to take 2 away.
No more abortion talk for global health assistance groups.
TPP is just T.P. (that's Toilet Paper for you folks not into acronyms) now.
Green light for the Dakota and Keystone Pipelines.
Domestic Steel for those pipes.
Green light for new manufacturing facilities.
Sanctuary Cities are on notice, but it won't matter too long...
He's going ahead with the wall. Yes, that's a physical wall.
And there's "Extreme vetting" - in case you made it over the wall. Maybe in an airplane?

That last one might be the brick too far for some folks. There's still a judiciary branch of the government, but apparently it's no longer a page in the White House.gov's website. There's a few other pages missing now. Some people noticed these omissions.

And no one has noticed how busy the Pentagon has been this week... And they've been really busy.

It's been a good week of fundraising at the ACLU and Planned Parenthood though. And folks who make signs for protesters. A banner year. Pun unexpected.

Jan 9, 2017

Golden Globes 2017

  • Best picture, drama: “Moonlight”
  • Best picture, comedy or musical: “La La Land”
  • Actress, drama: Isabelle Huppert, “Elle”
  • Actor, drama: Casey Affleck, “Manchester by the Sea”
  • Actress, comedy or musical: Emma Stone, “La La Land”
  • Actor, comedy or musical: Ryan Gosling, “La La Land”
Not that any of this matters in the slightest. As the cartoon notes, there are only 93 voters of the "Foreign Press", who are mostly not really foreign, nor are they really journalists... but their identities are well known. And so for folks who are trying to get their picture noticed and voted on by the Oscar voters, getting your show to take a spraypainted doorknob is a good investment in the movie business.

There are quite a few things about the Golden Globes that raise quite a few eyebrows. Here's an article about it, if you care. Yes, the link is to Fox News, which programs opposite NBC - so read it with a grain of salt.