Sunday, July 14, 2024

The luckiest man ...

 Donald Trump raising his fist as he is surrounded by Secret Service agents, his face visibly bloodied.

Former President Donald J. Trump pumped his fist in the air as Secret Service agents ushered him offstage on Saturday.Credit...Eric Lee/The New York Times

The pix says it all. Luckily avoiding death, the orange menace has received the gift of the gods in terms of money, fame and, of course, priceless PR and momentum in becoming POTUS yet again, something most disconcerting as we mover ever closer to the most important election in our lifetime. The dems are clueless as Gladstone Gander continues his push to become president in the year of our lord 2024.

Gladstone Gander, aka The Donald, the luckiest individual to ever live.

From a strategic point, the Dems have to dump Biden and Harris NOW and declare an open convention to counteract a resurgent Trump, fueled by the most unlikely circumstances known to man. We need Paddy to clarify why this take, IMHO, rings true.

Amid the Mayhem, Trump Pumped His Fist and Revealed His Instincts

A bloodied Donald J. Trump made Secret Service agents wait while he expressed his defiance. The moment epitomized his visceral connection with his supporters, and his mastery of the modern media age.

Tuesday, July 09, 2024

Dumpster fire



dump·ster fire


variants or less commonly Dumpster fire

US, informal

: an utterly calamitous or mismanaged situation or occurrence : DISASTER

Kinda says it all in the land of the free and home of the brave as all three branches exhibit this deplorable condition beginning with Congress with 95% of these self serving pols being reelected every year thanks to no term limits, a condition contrary to how reality works as nature, due to the three laws of thermodynamics, is alway evolving unlike the steady state environs of an ossified entity holding this once great nation as hostage 24/7.

The unitary presidency, an office well on the way to becoming a dictatorship now that the SC has placed said office holder to be above the law in all actions taken by said individual as long as said actions are deemed to be "official" acts conducted by the president. Note that any actions undertaken by individuals tasked for doing the job at hand are NOT above the law but give it time, the SC might give those people immunity as well just to keep their immunity ruling consistent with the dictates of the supremes.

Speaking of the supremes, rulings negating a women's right to choose, the ongoing elimination of the separation of church and state and the concept of a corporation being a person, courtesy, Citizen's United, are just some of the rather questionable decisions including the Chevron Deference made by justices who don't understand how proper jurisprudence should be applied as the nation moves further into the 21st century.

Of course we haven't talked about AI or climate change or the possibility of WW III
as other instances of dumpster fires but we will ... 

Monday, July 08, 2024

The Dunning-Kruger effect

And yet, despite their incompetence, the justices continue to claim more and more power — even though they simply do not have the personnel or expertise needed to address every policy question they’ve added to their own plates.

The Emperor's New Clothes - Vilhelm Pedersen (1820 - 1859) - English Wikipedia

The justices surround themselves with the trappings of competency. They have fancy degrees, and they are advised by law clerks with impressive resumes and stratospheric law school GPAs. They write opinions that make proper use of English grammar — something that, admittedly, neither major party’s presidential candidate appears capable of doing.

As per the esteemed Dirty Harry: One must know one's limitations.

Acknowledgment hurts ...

Old people don't want to acknowledge they can't do things like they use to do back in the day. Being an old geezer, I know this is true. In my case, cycling, a sport I adore but have not gotten back to riding as I don't know if this old soul can do it any more near the level I did 10 years ago. The same calculus should apply to Biden but in his case, his honest self evaluation is crucial as every time I see this guy, I see the ravages of old age at play. The old guy squint gives it away whereas "Is that Susie over there? I can't be sure but I think so." is part of Joe's persona whether he likes it or not.

A deer in headlight applies when Agent Orange gave him a new one during the debate. If he stays in, along with Harris, Trump will win, period.

3D + 1

Desert Line

Darkness Darkness

Channeling de Chirico

Plus Lentement

Strawberry Fiels ... forever :)

Pilot Wave

Blue Earth

Saturday, July 06, 2024

Forced teaming ...

One must know one's limitations. - Dirty Harry

There are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns—the ones we don’t know we don’t know.

— Former US secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld

Situational Awareness applies.

Forced teaming, you know, when someone, particularly a stranger with bad intentions, forces you to team up whether you like it or not is one of the prime warning signs to get away from said entity without hesitation. Seems Bibi and his lust to stay out of jail, no matter the cost, is doing just that vis a vis the US when it comes to a possible war with Hezbollah, a non-state military force possessing much greater fire power than Hamas. As often stated before, the parallels to Custer and the Little Big Horn are too great to ignore save that Israel wants to drag the US into the fray to make sure they remain the hegemon of the Middle East in spite of the fact things are far different now as the threat to Israel is now existential no matter what Israel's insane far right government states to the contrary. 

Custer's lives on does he not?

Lest we forget, The Charge of the Light Brigade comes to mind here, right?

Tuesday, July 02, 2024

Off the rails yet again ...

 A single tree stands in a grassy field and in the background are two smokestacks blowing white smoke into the blue sky.

A coal-fired power plant in Robertson County, Texas. One court ruling this week said the E.P.A. could not limit smokestack pollution that drifts across state lines.Credit...Brandon Bell/Getty Images

As much as I detested Tricky Dick, I actually feel sad as he created the E.P.A. back in 1970. 

To whit.

In early 1970, as a result of heightened public concerns about deteriorating city air, natural areas littered with debris, and urban water supplies contaminated with dangerous impurities, President Richard Nixon presented the House and Senate a groundbreaking 37-point message on the environment.  These points included:

The E.P.A.'s been a resounding success but now, thanks to the esteemed SC, the E.P.A.'s power impacts corporate profits too much so something has to be done, right?

A spate of decisions over the past two years by the Supreme Court has significantly impaired the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to limit pollution in the air and water, regulate the use of toxic chemicals and reduce the greenhouse gasses that are heating the planet.

This term, the court’s conservative supermajority handed down several rulings that chip away at the power of many federal agencies.

But the environmental agency has been under particular fire, the result of a series of cases brought since 2022 by conservative activists who say that E.P.A. regulations have driven up costs for industries ranging from electric utilities to home building. Those arguments have resonated among justices skeptical of government regulation.

On Friday, the court ended the use of what is known as the Chevron doctrine, a cornerstone of administrative law for 40 years that said that courts should defer to government agencies to interpret unclear laws. That decision threatens the authority of many federal agencies to regulate the environment and also health care, workplace safety, telecommunications, the financial sector and more.

But more remarkable have been several decisions by the court to intervene to stop environmental regulations before they were decided by lower courts or even before they were implemented by the executive branch.

On Thursday, the court said the E.P.A. could not limit smokestack pollution that blows across state borders under a measure known as the “good neighbor rule.” In that case, the court took the surprising step of weighing in while litigation was still pending at the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

In the end, its all about the money, right?

With luck, we might get a king ...

 The presidential seal against a blue background.

“The relationship between the president and the people he serves has shifted irrevocably,” said Justice Sonia Sotomayor, in her impassioned dissent in Trump v. United States.
Credit...Erin Schaff/The New York Times

With luck, we might get a king or better yet, a dictator as the president, regarding official acts conducted by same, means said entity is above the law. something most disconcerting without question. 

The Supreme Court’s decision to bestow presidents with immunity from prosecution over official actions is an extraordinary expansion of executive power that will reverberate long after Donald J. Trump is gone.

Beyond its immediate implications for the election subversion case against Mr. Trump and the prospect that he may feel less constrained by law if he returns to power, the ruling also adds to the nearly relentless rise of presidential power since the mid-20th century.

It had seemed like a constitutional truism in recent years when more than one lower-court opinion addressing novel legal issues raised by Mr. Trump’s norm-breaking behavior observed that presidents are not kings. But suddenly, they do enjoy a kind of monarchical prerogative.

“The relationship between the president and the people he serves has shifted irrevocably,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in an outraged dissent joined by the court’s other two liberals. “In every use of official power, the president is now a king above the law.”

A ripped picture of a gavel on top, with the bottom half of Donald Trump’s face below.

Ricardo Tomás

It gets better ... as this court sees itself as something other than a participant in our democratic system. It sees itself as the enforcer of the separation of powers, but not itself subject to that separation.

As a searing dissent from Justice Sonia Sotomayor makes clear, some of the more extreme hypotheticals from the oral arguments in this case are no longer purely hypothetical. She writes that this newly fashioned presidential immunity “lies about like a loaded weapon” (quoting from a dissent in an earlier decision, Korematsu v. United States) for any president who “wishes to place his own interests, his own political survival or his own financial gain above the interests of the nation.” A president “orders the Navy’s SEAL Team 6 to assassinate a political rival? Immune. Organizes a military coup to hold onto power? Immune. Takes a bribe in exchange for a pardon? Immune. Immune, immune, immune.”

It is one thing for an aspiring president to promise lawlessness. The only way to deliver on that promise is with a willing and cooperative court. It appears that Mr. Trump has one.

As often said by yours truly, this is the worst SC in history.

Addendum: The Watergate hearings investigating the break-in would be moot as all the activities Nixon did including taping all conversations were, in effect, official acts conducted by the president.

Saturday, June 29, 2024

The British March Through Redding

History comes alive in Redding with reenactors recreating how the British marched through Redding during the revolutionary war. Educational, detailed and above all else, fun, as spectators, young and old alike, enjoyed watching how members of the Brigade of the American Revolution brought to life the 1777 march the British did on a mission to dismantle the Continental Army Supply Depot in Danbury.

Addendum: The raid on Danbury was a pyrrhic victory for the British as the Continental Army found their footing as a viable military force to be reckoned with, much to the surprise of the British who considered the patriots to be ragamuffins, not able to deal with the military prowess of the British Empire
in any way, shape or fashion. 

Friday, June 28, 2024

We are in deep shit but there are options ...


A raspy-voiced President Biden struggled to deliver his lines and counter former President Donald J. Trump during the debate on Thursday.Credit...Kenny Holston/The New York Times

We are in deep shit ... Agent Orange, serial liar but in good form as one possessing malignant charisma, successfully beat down Sleepy Joe, a man dealing not well with the ravages of old age, in a presidential debate for the ages. As an old geezer myself but not showing signs of dementia as of late, felt real sorrow because anyone possessing in depth knowledge of how governance works, would have made short work of Trump without question. 

As often I said to friends, Paddy Chayefsky would have been deemed crazy in predicting a scenario as absurd and insane as this but here we are as we move toward an election of truly terrifying implications if Trump wins, a notion voiced by this rube for well over a year and a half as the Orange Cheeto is Gladstone Gander, a guy blessed with not only a teflon suit able to ward off truly dreadful events that would send yours truly to jail for years but also is blessed with incredible luck in in beating Hillary in 2016 against all odds and now competing with a compromised Joe Biden in 2024.

Question? What should the dems do? For starters, dump Biden and pick California Governor Gavin Newsom to go after Trump with a younger guy able to deal with an obnoxious old bully with no redeeming qualities AFAIK. 

President Biden hoped to build fresh momentum for his re-election bid by agreeing to debate nearly two months before he is to be formally nominated. Instead, his halting and disjointed performance on Thursday night prompted a wave of panic among Democrats and reopened discussion of whether he should be the nominee at all.

Over the course of 90 minutes, a raspy-voiced Mr. Biden struggled to deliver his lines and counter a sharp though deeply dishonest former President Donald J. Trump, raising doubts about the incumbent president’s ability to wage a vigorous and competitive campaign four months before the election. Rather than dispel concerns about his age, Mr. Biden, 81, made it the central issue.

Time to make the move now ...

Gretchen Whitmer

And so it goes. K. Vonnegut