Friday, December 28, 2018

So What Is Three Quarters Of A Trillion Dollars Buying Us?

The Soviets – I mean the Russians – claim to have successfully tested their hypersonic missile.

The thing goes 23 times the speed of sound.

The speed of sound is a moveable feast, depending upon how high the thing going at the speed is: at sea level, I think I remember that the speed of sound is 720 MPH.

So, if the Soviet – excuse me – Russian missile were coming at us at sea level (that would probably hit a lot of hills, dales, mountains and fast food restaurants so the Soviets probably would put it up a little in the air and it would, therefore, be a little slower) it would hit the west coast of America in no time at all.

donnie got elected by Putin and the crowd so he doesn’t give a shit about that scenario – in fact he calls all the coverage of the thing “fake news”; and Kelly Anne says we are dealing with alternate facts; and the lady whose last name rhymes with “panders” is saying that the whole thing is a “Democrat Party Plot to undermine the credibility of this president”.

I really don’t care about any of the stream of lies that flows from the white house.

But I would like to know why almost 800 billion dollars of “defense spending” leaves us exposed to a missile that travels at 16,560 MPH at sea level.

And we have no counter measures.

I know donnie is a brilliant negotiator, but what did he negotiate to sell us out to that level of exposure?

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Wind Vs Wyoming

Wyoming is the largest producer of coal in the United States.

The price of wind produced electricity has been plummeting and continues to plummet.

Wyoming has a lot of wind.

Apparently the market works: Rocky Mountain Power is conducting a massive buildout of wind farms in Wyoming to take advantage of that trend.

The power is cheaper than coal the moment the turbines begin to turn and the cost of building new capacity and maintaining existing capacity is much less than coal.

The technological and economic granularity of a wind farm wins hands down.

That would seem to show that the markets have been given a self-solving equation and the markets have responded in a rational manner – just like it says in all those textbooks.

But wait.

The Wyoming legislature is going to pass a wind electricity tax that will make much lees expensive, much more environment friendly wind power non competitive with coal.

Another sham from the great free market crowd.

I predict a secondary level of sham to follow: when called on the merits of their tax the legislators of Wyoming (the folks who want to exterminate wolves and grizzly bears) will rise up all armed with fiery swords.

“We must save the Western Meadowlark and others from imminent extinction from the blades of turbines.”

It’s great when serious economists, legislators and avowed conservatives get so behind the environment.

Monday, December 24, 2018

If We Make It Through December …

stock market 122418 00000

Merle was a prophet.

View From The Edge Of The Abyss: From CNBC

stock market 122418 00000

“Markets responded to turmoil in Washington. Multiple reports said President Donald Trump is discussing how to remove Jerome Powell from his position as chairman of the Federal Reserve. That discussion, as well as the recent market volatility, spurred Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to call the leaders of the six largest U.S. banks over the weekend. Additionally, Defense Secretary James Mattis announced he would step down at the end of February, saying his views do not align with the president’s.

Trump resumed his attack on the Fed on Monday, tweeting that the central bank is “the only problem” with the U.S. economy.

“They don’t have a feel for the Market,” Trump said in the tweet.

All 11 sectors of the S&P 500 are now negative for December, the fourth quarter and the full year.

Last week the Dow lost 1,655 points, or 6.8 percent. That was the Dow’s worst week of trading since October 2008 during the financial crisis. The S&P 500 also lost 7 percent for the week. The Nasdaq Composite is now 22 percent below its record reached in August and is in a bear market.”


Apparently the fact that the United States has no President, just a nominal entity known world wide as “That Fucking Moron” aided and abetted by a hoard of poorly qualified lackeys and camp followers has finally come home to roost.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

From The New York Times

WASHINGTON — “When President Trump grows frustrated with advisers during meetings, which is not an uncommon occurrence, he sits back in his chair, crosses his arms and scowls. Often he erupts. “Freaking idiots!” he calls his aides. Except he uses a more pungent word than “freaking.”

For two years, Mr. Trump has waged war against his own government, convinced that people around him are fools. Angry that they resist his wishes, uninterested in the details of their briefings, he becomes especially agitated when they tell him he does not have the power to do what he wants, which makes him suspicious that they are secretly undermining him.”


That pattern cannot be described as “emerging”.

Anyone paying attention knows that this is just the way donnie is and has always been and always will be.

Just for – a few – examples:

The accretive and cumulative foreign policy and world relationship wisdom and expertise of Wilson, FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy and every president since Kennedy are no match for donnie’s self- vaunted “gut”.

The judicial system of the United States is his enemy because it restrains that “gut” as it attempts to single handedly run the country ad hoc and fast and loose.

Any news not from Fox is fake.

Any “fact” is either derived from “fake” news or is negotiable and transmogrifiable to an alternate Fox Form.

He has shut down the government because Democrats won’t vote like his republican lackeys.

He thinks that he should be president for life.

I guess “that’s” enough.


I find that “enough” to be too much.

I don’t think that 330 million of us can afford to just grit our teeth and hope that we somehow can muddle through.

We are getting down to where this is too serious to leave to Stephen Colbert.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

The Mechanics Of Democracy

I think I remember that the ancient Greeks invented democracy.

It was a form of government in which all of the citizens went to council and voted their interests and the winning amalgam of interests won and policy was promulgated implementing those interests.

Those promulgations might have been called laws.

The reason that that direct form of government was possible was because there weren’t many citizens in those ancient Greek days.  One needed to be a non-slave, male and rich; there might have been other criteria; I don’t know.

The Romans had way too many citizens to have the Greek method work.

But they were inventive: they came up with a thing they called “Res Publica”.

In English that means “thing of the people”.

The way it worked was that kluges of citizens, aligned together in some previously agreed manner, elected representatives to the assembly of representatives and those elected representatives represented their respective kluges.

The whole idea implicitly rejected another form of government, the dictatorship.

In that form there may or may not be elected representatives, but they just are there as a conduit of privilege to an already privileged class (the dictator chose them, after all – that’s pretty privileged) but the dictator calls all the shots; the privileged chosen representatives are there to cram the dictator’s dictates down the throats of the, disenfranchised, kluges; not a pretty sight, but a form that frequently is employed and often works well enough to last for a period of time.

Not surprisingly, the Romans may have invented dictatorship as a governmental form also.

The Republic (Res Publica) prospered for quite awhile.

It prospered to the point of becoming a glittering bauble of wealth and power that was irresistible to potential dictators.

One of them finally succeeded in taking over and that form of government commenced.

Nero and the fire were probably the high point of that form, from the viewpoint of the kluges; they got a major urban renewal project.

The United States is a Res Publica: kluges of Americans elect representatives to vote for them in the national assembly.

Each of those elections are almost always contested.

In America over history two major forms of opinion have developed and matured: Democrats and republicans.

Those two groups have always had different points of view and those differences have never been more stark than currently.

So, when the national assembly comes together these days one would expect there to be not only a wide range of viewpoints – hundreds of elected representatives representing kluges from all over a huge land mass must necessarily represent a variety of points of view, but also outcomes that sometimes represent one party’s point of view and sometimes the other’s point of view.

All of that occurs non respective to whatever point of the executive might hold.

For two hundred plus years that form of government has worked in America: the reps get picked by the kluges and the reps get together and argue and vote and count the votes and the prevailing vote get’s promulgated as a law to be endorsed by the – elected – executive.

One wild card is that the executive can not sign a proto law if he thinks it is detrimental to the well being of the republic.

A few days ago the assembly passed a budget funding the government.

donnie says that he is going to use the power of not signing that law as punishment to the democrats because they likely won’t vote in a manner that he has dictated on a different piece of legislation that needs to be passed by the second chamber of the assembly.

If the Democrats differ in opinion to that bill, and, as our form of government expects to happen in situations of that sort, they prevail, that bill won’t become law.

But donnie says they must vote the way he wants or else.

I hadn’t heard that democrats have to vote as if they were republicans.

I hadn’t heard about the plebiscite ushering donnie in as dictator.

Did I miss something?

Or is all of this just foreplay?

Sort of a trans governmental branch crotch grab?

From “The Hill”

Outgoing Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) on Saturday lamented the "instability & chaos" in Washington heading into the latest government shutdown, noting that the last few days have been more turbulent than any he can remember.

"Still with the benefit (or curse) of an inside perspective, I must say that the instability & chaos in our government the past few days has been particularly pronounced - worse than at any point during my service in Congress, & really, my lifetime," Curbelo tweeted.

"Things are not well in the USA," he added.

Nice use of the adverbial form of good.

But seriously: where are guys like this – apparently rational republicans ( I might even call him a Republican) when we need them.

Which is all the time, not when they have been drummed out.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

What A Nine Foot Tide And Forty Mile An Hour Wind Looks Like

When you take a movie of it from the deck adjacent to your bedroom.

Tomorrow the tide is going to be nine and a half feet.

The wind is supposed to be way less though.

On va voir.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Christmas Card 2018

This is made from an image that I shot in a shop window in Paris in 2003.

It was on Avenue Rapp, not far from my apartment.

It was a Christmas window and I have always thought that I would use it for a Christmas card.

I finally figured it out this year.

christmas card 2018-01

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan Said It

Speaking in court today to Michael Flynn,

retired Lieutenant general and ex trump National Security Advisor,

Judge Sullivan said to General Flynn:

“Arguably, you sold your country out,”

I can’t not feel that those same words apply to most of donnie’s “Base”.

Hillary called them a “Basket of Deplorables”.

Better to substitute “Deplorables” with “Traitors”

They really think this Russia deal is just a big fat joke.

A joke on the rest of us.

I find it hard to laugh.

Neither General Flynn nor Judge Sullivan were laughing today.

Help, Help; There’s A Disgusting Creature In My Garden

And it’s molesting my pet toad.

donnie and the toad in the garden

Monday, December 17, 2018

Why donnie Is Going To Shut Down The Government

It’s simple.

It’s elementary.

Of course it’s inane.

Of course it’s slimy.

And of course it’s unethical.

donnie is the one doing it, after all; so by definition it is self centered in Olympian proportion.

The justice Department is one of the agencies that will be shut down.

Since he can’t get anybody to fire Mueller …

the clown trumpl

Monday, December 10, 2018

North Carolina Voting

Irony is a beautiful thing.

The republicans in North Carolina take endless turns at the drum of voter fraud.

They beat that drum incessantly.

They have never ending relay teams moving in to relieve one another to keep the drumbeat eternal.

And under the rhythmic cover of that drumbeat they keep passing laws that don’t avoid voter fraud; instead they avoid letting “those people” vote.

No voter fraud, ever.

But now we, finally, have voter fraud in North Carolina.

A beautiful thing: it has been perpetrated by the republicans.

But lost in all the weeds and nits and lice of the details of the fraud there is a question that screams to be answered.

What kind of (expletive deleted) moron would give his or her ballot to some guy who comes to the door asking for ballots?

Sunday, December 9, 2018

From The New York Times

“WASHINGTON — The latest revelations by prosecutors investigating President Trump and his team draw a portrait of a candidate who personally directed an illegal scheme to manipulate the 2016 election and whose advisers had more contact with Russia than Mr. Trump has ever acknowledged.

In the narrative that the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, and New York prosecutors are building, Mr. Trump continued to secretly seek to do business in Russia deep into his presidential campaign even as Russian agents made more efforts to influence him. At the same time, in this account he ordered hush payments to two women to suppress stories of impropriety in violation of campaign finance law.

The prosecutors made clear in a sentencing memo filed on Friday that they viewed efforts by Mr. Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, to squelch the stories as nothing less than a perversion of a democratic election — and by extension they effectively accused the president of defrauding voters, questioning the legitimacy of his victory.”


It seems to me that there are a lot of witches being found in this witch hunt.