Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Let's Talk About The Money Again - Briefly

 Ol' Mitch and the Boys are up in arms because the Democrats are trying to pass a bill to spend three trillion dollars - over ten years - to convert America into a society with affordable and universal health care, affordable and ubiquitous child care, quality, affordable and accessible elder care, high quality pre-K education, high quality K-12 education, and accessible, affordable and world class quality post K-12 education, to mention some of the things that the Democrats want to provide to the people. 

They do that because they believe that with those things America will compete, prosper and prevail in the Twenty First Century and beyond.

Ol' Mitch and the Boys are agin it.


That same bunch - Ol' Mitch and the boys - are really high on spending money on "defense": they are perfectly fine with spending eight trillion dollars over that same ten years on eighteen billion dollar aircraft carriers that need to spend $400,000 to flush the toilets, to mention just one of the things eight trillion can buy these days.

Some additional random observations about the results of spending that eight trillion: the F35; it is a plane for the Air Force AND the Navy; neither service wants that plane.

But it's years behind schedule and billions over budget so it must be a good deal; the services will come to love it, I am sure.

There is no way to know who all the defense contractors are; no one has that information.

But, like termites tunnels in a house's foundation, their existence can be seen form the streams of money that flow out of the defense budget every year to - somewhere.

The Department can't be audited; nobody knows where the money goes, but we haven't been attacked by Russia so far, so it must be money well spent - so the story goes.

I think I have heard that even though there is no way to audit the Defense Department there are occasional attempts; those attempts, so far, have resulted in failure.

Ol' Mitch and the Boys think that eight trillion on Defense over the next ten years is probably not enough, but they've got their best people working on increasing it.

To learn more about what an unbelievably wastefully expensive shambles  our defense budget is listen to this podcast from "On Point" from WBUR in Boston.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

A Question To A Pretend Military Acquaintance

 I am aware that for whatever reasons you are wary about questions like this.

Perhaps that is because you know a lot more than I do about the various things I ask you about.

And I admit I don't claim to know much.

In this case what I think I know is the accumulation of stuff about General Milley that has come out of various new book releases over the last few months, and now, the new stuff from Woodward and Costa.

The question is, if all this is true, does that mean that Milley must resign, be removed or - ridiculously - be court martialed?

Or can Biden just tell the republican jackals to fuck off saying that General Milley's actions as purported, if they occurred, just show how much trouble we are in?

Too Much Money?

 Ol' Mitch and the boys don't like human infrastructure unless it's made up of masses of serfs.

"Feudalism; now that's a real economic system!" Ol' Mitch has been heard muttering in the cloakroom.

So the fact that the white racist and religion party (new logo: WR&R) doesn't want to spend any money on health, childcare, pre-K education, K-12 education or implement modest tax increases for the hyper rich is not a surprise.

But the fact that a couple Democrats are putting two more nails in the coffin of a real leap forward for most of us, and for the very future of  the United States as a prosperous and world leading nation, is a surprise, and is inexcusable.

The "minus two" take the simplistically facile approach of saying "it's too expensive".

I saw Paul Krugman interviewed recently.

He's a New York Times correspondent and 2008 Nobel Laureate. 

He told the Senate (a hopeless attempt in relation to 50 of the senators) to "do the math".

He points out that over the next ten years - the time span during which the 3.5 trillion dollars of the human infrastructure proposal would be spent - the economy will be a three hundred trillion dollar phenomenon.

So the democrats, minus two, are asking the United States to invest 1% of the economy in its people.

Serfs are chattel; healthy, smart, educated and motivated people are capital.

I can't think of a more stark statement in support of the merits of moving on the  human infrastructure proposal.

Or in illustrating the difference between Democrats (minus two) and the WR&R gang.

As counter point, note that the WR&R gang and the minus two have no problem spending 3% yearly on "defense".

On Point | Listen to Podcasts On Demand Free | TuneIn

Friday, September 10, 2021

Cinq The Cat

 A few years back a feral cat they we had supposed to be a boy turned out to be a girl.

The evidence for that fact was a plastic drainage tube that had four kittens in it.

My wife took measures that brought them into an out room of the house and she caught the mother and took her to our vet for neutering, chipping and vaccinating.

That cat is still alive and shows up twice a day for her meals, but she won't ever acknowledge that we did anything but ruin her life.

This is a picture of her with some of her kittens.

The arm that she has wrapped around the little girl in front is withered.

She is a three legged cat.

The vet said that there was no fix for it.

As I watch her sometimes flying across the meadow on three legs I marvel.

Anyway, after two or three days my wife kept hearing what sounded like a kitten mewing under the deck.

She finally pulled the access panel and looked down into the gloom and found a fifth kitten; that was Cinq,

He was nearly dead,

But the vet brought him back.

He has always been the deranged member of the three kittens - now cats - that we kept of the five.

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Guns No More In The Hands Of Nuts

 I am not a lawyer.

But I watch a lot of Public Television.

And I listen to a lot of Public Radio.

So I might know more than I think.

About the Texas rescind abortion law.

Apparently Ol' Greg and the Boys passed a law that is blatantly anti-Constitutional but delegated its enforcement to each individual citizen of Texas.

Which took the onus of enforcement from the state of Texas.

And put that onus on - nobody - as far as the law, apparently, is concerned.

And put a bounty on that delegation of enforcement.

$10,000 and legal fees.

All a citizen needs to do is to report somebody in Texas - of whatever it is that this law holds heinous, or, I think I have heard, anything that the reporter deems to be aberrant about the reported - and a cut and paste, autolaw system pops into action; the accused needs to retain counsel; the accuser needs only to await his or her bounty.

No cost, no liability.

Bounties aside, I am unable to ignore the similarities of the results of this law's enforcement to the witch hysteria and trials in Salem Massachusetts back a few years.

That society deputized hysterical people to report on their fellows when they were discovered doing witch stuff. 

This "abortion" (a legal term for certain types of laws, not the medical procedure under fire) went to the Supreme Court and they said it had novel aspects that were hard to evaluate.

So they wouldn't talk about it.

And they all went out to drink beer.

With the Rapist on the Court.

Seth Meyers asked the obvious question: what are we paying these people for?

But back to why I am writing this.

The "novel aspects" can easily be pasted into laws in other states

I say let's pass laws that ban gun ownership.

And that make it a capital offence for a policeman to kill another human being.

And that makes it a firing offence for any public service employee to make inflammatory posts on social media (inflammatory having been defined as "racist").

And that make any assertion of election impropriety that is "just talkin'" a mandatory 50 year in prison offence.

And that make vaccination mandatory.

There are so many more.

But that's enough.

So: cut and paste Texas' bounty terms and conditions into every one of THOSE laws and bash THE COURT when it says you can't have that law - even though it is Texas' law - and THE COURT has already endorsed it,

You can't have it both ways.

Unless the Rabbit Lady prevails.

Coney: Rabbit.

Various Fungi


Florida Moron Man

 Sadly he's no joke.

But he does have the command of the English language on a level with a third grader.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Shore Birds And A Sparrow

 I went for a walk yesterday to see if any interesting birds had begun to migrate in.

I took my camera in case they had.

They hadn't.

But some locals were pretty co-operative so I got a bunch of images.

Here are some of them.

They are:

Greater Yellowlegs

Least Sandpiper

Savannah Sparrow

Monday, September 6, 2021

Still More About Twenty Twenty Four

 I wrote a post yesterday about how 2024 could end up like 1912.

The crux of what I was talking about were these words:

"If some Republican - not mudsill inhabiting republican, but a real one like Nelson Rockefeller or Mark Hatfield - has the guts to challenge donnie, and, if by some amazing quirk he or she gets the Republican nomination, donnie and his mob will go berserk; he will form a third party: MAGA FOREVER, and whoever the Democrats nominate will win".

What I didn't say, was who I thought that Republican might turn out to be.

That was because I had no idea. 

One of my readers did have an idea and has made a suggestion.

Of course.

Liz Chaney.

There are so many reasons for her to be the one - including that she might win - I can't believe that I didn't think of her when I wrote that post.

The reader who told me this is my son.

Black Tuesday 2021?

 Kai Ryssdal frequently reminds us that the stock market is not the economy.

But the stock market has a few times been a Grim Harbinger of its cousin the Grim Reaper.


In June 25 states discontinued Federal topping up of unemployment benefits.  That was in tandem with the fact that most of those states' benefits were of the most meager sort, or had already gone away.

The reason offered for that economically counter-intuitive act was that the working class are all shiftless bastards and unless you prod them with economic disaster - taking away legitimate benefits - they won't work.

That seemed to work well: at the beginning of September it was announced that job creation was down 67% from what had been expected.

Today, 6 September, Labor Day, the rest of the states lose the Federal top up.

Either today, or already, or soon, the national moratorium on evictions will expire.

Hospitals are near or at the breaking point from Covid 19 admissions; and the number of new cases keeps rising, especially in the freedom loving White Racist Party states.

There are maybe eleven million people without jobs or incomes.

There are maybe eight million - I know I'm doing some double counting, but that really makes this number worse - who will have no home when the moratorium goes away.

I guess that they get to live on the street.

Many of the landlords that will finally be able to evict are either already in or about to be in the financial ditch: they are losing their property because without rent they can't pay the mortgage. That's good news for bottom feeders like Steve Mnuchin, but last time it took a near toppling of the world economy to make a real property situation such that it benefitted Ol' Steve and the Boys.

These are a just a few of the shards strewn upon the concrete floor of impending disaster. 

What might they mean?

Who knows?

But it makes me nervous that they were all available just before a particular perennially jumpy component of our population - Wall Streeters - could take these shards with them as they trekked off to the Hamptons to indulge in their four day Labor Day much deserved end of summer break.

I think it's possible that the Hamptons won't be calming enough to keep the shards from making Wall Street jumpy.

Don't be surprised if tomorrow morning you wake up to hear that the circuit breakers are on after a multi-thousand point drop of the stock market.

Even Ol' Mitch might be rattled.

On Wednesday he will probably propose The Wall Street Relief And Enhancement Bill: a trillion dollars to pay the bonuses of Wallstreeters who will suffer from the drag along disaster created by Black Tuesday.

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Another Unlikely Scenario For 2024

 In my post immediately previous to this one I thought about how a presidential election in 2024 could unfold and be a lot like the one in 1912 (or 1992, for that matter).

Another possibility is that various trump acolytes - Pompeo, DeSantis, Haley, Abbot and whatsername from S.D. to name a few -  can't, or choose not to wait for the old man to have another run at it.

Everyone is assuming if trump wants it everybody will stand aside.

What if not?

In that case a lot of blood would be spilled and donnie might not win the nomination.

The dynamic of that situation makes the addition of a strong third party candidate - the premise in the 1912 post - unnecessary to yield the 1912 end result.

That's because the "republican" White Race Party candidate would be the sworn enemy of the trump White Race Party.

It's hard to say what the trump faction might do.

If they don't vote it's probably end game for the candidate who beat trump in the primaries for the nomination.

The Democrat would probably win the popular vote in the 25 White Race Party states and, assuming he or she wins the blue states we would see an Electoral Vote landslide.

But the White Racists are not prone to passivity, so rather than not voting, they would probably caravan up - there are millions of them - and take over their state governments and then take D.C. 

Then we won't need an election.

2024: Replay Of 1912?

 History doesn't repeat, but people repeat what has happened previously.

In 1904 Theodore Roosevelt was re-elected in a a landslide.

On election night, after being declared victor, TR thanked the nation and said that he would not run again in 1908.

That is one of the truly bizarre political actions ever in American history.

I have never seen an answer to the question "why would a successful, popular and just re-elected president make himself a lame duck on election night"?

But he did.

The companion action taken by TR as 1908 began to come into sight was to enthusiastically endorse his Vice President, William Howard Taft.

Taft won in 1908 and TR went on a world tour.

The longer he was not president, the more he missed being president and the more he found that he disagreed with his protégé.

That alienation grew and grew and in 1912 TR tried to get the Republican nomination.

He failed, Taft won the nomination, so Roosevelt formed a third party, the Bull Moose Party.

He got a lot of votes but not enough to win the presidency.

But he got enough votes to keep Taft from winning.

So Woodrow Wilson became president.

If some Republican - not mudsill inhabiting republican, but a real one like Nelson Rockefeller or Mark Hatfield - has the guts to challenge donnie, and, if by some amazing quirk he or she gets the Republican nomination, donnie and his mob will go berserk; he will form a third party: MAGA FOREVER, and whoever the Democrats nominate will win.

That is all unlikely.

But if we get that far - a Republican challenging the white race party - it may not matter who wins the primary: after going to that much trouble (and establishing a fund raising infrastructure) I would expect the primary losing Republican to form a third party.

If either of those things happen 2024 will be interesting.

As near as I can figure it, even with the 25 white race party states doing their best to disenfranchise Democrats and Independents, two non-Democratic alternatives can split the popular votes across those two alternatives to give the popular majority to the Democrat and turn the Electoral College against donnie in white race party country.

That could be a historic Electoral College Landslide for the Democrat.

Could end up like 1912.


Friday, September 3, 2021

Circle Of Candles

 I wish I knew where I took this picture.

But I don't.

But I like it. 

So I wanted to share it.