Friday, February 17, 2017

Freedom of the Press Is the Enemy of America. So Says Trump.

Right there in the First Amendment, which includes our most important rights, we establish the freedom of the press as the birthright of all Americans. Who knew the press would end up our principal enemy? I mean, who knew?

Donald Trump: What's he doing, practicing giving the evil eye?

I know. I read Donald Trump's tweets just to gauge his mental state. Today:

And Rush Limbaugh, voice of the people, knows better!

Okay. Just an observation here: Calling them the FAKE MEDIA might make you feel good, Trump, but I'm pretty sure they're REAL. It's the news you want to call FAKE. Might work on getting that together. I mean, if you want to make sense. Oooh, maybe you don't. Sneaky!

No Choice: A Full-Frontal Attack on Trump and What He Stands For

In a way -- after watching him froth at the mouth at yesterday's press conference -- we have no choice anymore but to work, 24/7, to get rid of this monstrosity. And of course I mean politically. Our nation's very survival, our way of life, is at stake.

Donald Trump is not fit to lead the U.S. Period.

There are a couple of ways of doing this. We can march, and all of us should attend as many anti-Trump marches as we can. Pick your cause and march. But we can't march every day. But we can do a lot of things to resist:
  • Contact your senators and congressman. I live in blue-blue California, so mostly that's a waste of energy, although sending the email to moderate Dianne Feinstein once or twice is wise. I do on most issues where I think she can be squishy. If you're in a red state, have at 'em, early and often.
  • Contact more than just your own congresspeople. Email as many as you can, and CALL THEM WHEN YOU HEAR THEM ACTING IN CONCERT WITH DONALD TRUMP. Example: You hear or see a senator or congressperson on the media that obfuscates or otherwise buys into the false narrative that Trump and his people perpetuate, call him and tell his office that you're not buying his or her bullshit, and that WORKING WITH TRUMP IS A TICKET TO GETTING PRIMARIED, and you're willing to send bucks out of state to help do just that.
  • Yes, make a stand on social media -- any of them and all of them -- regardless of comments that you're "too political." Tell your friends that we're on dangerous ground. Don't hesitate to engage Trumpsters with logic and truth, at least up to the point where they go into alternative-facts-land. Then just disengage.
  • This is not a "political" moment. This is Trump and his crowd making an all-out assault on the environment, our safety net, our health care, our well-earned retirement security (what little we have), our financial protections, our legal system, our free press, our alliances in Europe and Asia that we've spent generations crafting and preserving. It goes on and on. They want to destroy public education, as well as public health. And make the rich richer while they're at it. So fight back whenever you hear of another outrage. And there will be many.
  • Find ways to work against the alt-media. Let Fox News, Breitbart, etc. know that you'll be looking for ways to boycott their sponsors. Google ways of doing just that. It's worked in the past!
The Internet will provide ways of emailing lots of public officials. Go to the websites and launch the attack. Email members of the media. Join product boycotts.

Trump went on TV yesterday and said, "The leaks are real, but the news is fake." Does that look anything like what George Orwell warned us against? UH, YEAH!

Think of your own ways of resisting and putting the bastards on notice. We can't just drink beer and barbecue anymore. (We can do that, but...) We need something to claim for the Resistance, several times a day. Then have that beer.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Blink, and Trump Effs Up Worse.

Just some OMG tweets to share!

ROFLOL and pulling my hair out...

A Real Scandal Builds Around Trump. Congressional Hearings? Don't need 'Em.

There were something like thirty-three hearings on Hillary Clinton's nothing-burgers of scandal. Trump gets embroiled in a real scandal involving real breaking of the law, and what? Yawn.

Jason Chaffetz: We don't need to show you no stinking hearings!

At least if you're going to be hypocritical and ridiculously partisan, you might as well do it both ways.

Investigate Clinton? Sure! Investigate Flynn? Nah! Clinton never got her emails hacked. Flynn called the Russians -- it's on tape! -- and cut deals to cut sanctions, breaking at least one clear law. So, of course, no reason to investigate.
House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said Tuesday he will not pursue an investigation into what contacts Michael Flynn had with the Russian government before Donald Trump took office, and whether Flynn then lied about his communications.
Another congressman suggested it's the leakers that should get busted, not the perp:
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), chair of the House Intelligence Committee, said Tuesday he may carry out an investigation ― but regarding the leaks of details about Flynn’s call, rather than his actual conduct.
And, of course, who's waiting for Comey -- who's been on this for a while now -- to announce an investigation? Er, everyone. Any bets on what will happen?

Monday, February 13, 2017

Intelligence Community Doesn't Trust Trump. I Wonder Why.

Does Russia have ears in the White House? Many in the IC believe so, and they're actively searching for ways to limit the intel Trump receives. How do we prepare for the next crisis?

Flynn was fired by the Obama administration. Will Trump make it two in a row?

Former General Michael Flynn, ostensibly head of Trump's National Security Counsel, has a Russia problem, as in he talks too much with Russia. That's led the intelligence community to distrust him and others in the security confines of the White House. If spooks can't trust Donald Trump, how can he be prepared for future crises? The answer is he can't. Yikes.

Read this article in the Observer. A taste:
There is more consequential IC pushback happening, too. Our spies have never liked Trump’s lackadaisical attitude toward the President’s Daily Brief, the most sensitive of all IC documents, which the new commander-in-chief has received haphazardly. The president has frequently blown off the PDB altogether, tasking Flynn with condensing it into a one-page summary with no more than nine bullet-points. Some in the IC are relieved by this, but there are pervasive concerns that the president simply isn’t paying attention to intelligence.
In light of this, and out of worries about the White House’s ability to keep secrets, some of our spy agencies have begun withholding intelligence from the Oval Office. Why risk your most sensitive information if the president may ignore it anyway? A senior National Security Agency official explained that NSA was systematically holding back some of the “good stuff” from the White House, in an unprecedented move. For decades, NSA has prepared special reports for the president’s eyes only, containing enormously sensitive intelligence. In the last three weeks, however, NSA has ceased doing this, fearing Trump and his staff cannot keep their best SIGINT secrets.
Since NSA provides something like 80 percent of the actionable intelligence in our government, what’s being kept from the White House may be very significant indeed. However, such concerns are widely shared across the IC, and NSA doesn’t appear to be the only agency withholding intelligence from the administration out of security fears.
What’s going on was explained lucidly by a senior Pentagon intelligence official, who stated that “since January 20, we’ve assumed that the Kremlin has ears inside the SITROOM,” meaning the White House Situation Room, the 5,500 square-foot conference room in the West Wing where the president and his top staffers get intelligence briefings. “There’s not much the Russians don’t know at this point,” the official added in wry frustration.
Yikes, indeed. But there's more. The National Security Council is itself in horrible disarray:
WASHINGTON — These are chaotic and anxious days inside the National Security Council, the traditional center of management for a president’s dealings with an uncertain world.
Three weeks into the Trump administration, council staff members get up in the morning, read President Trump’s Twitter posts and struggle to make policy to fit them. Most are kept in the dark about what Mr. Trump tells foreign leaders in his phone calls. Some staff members have turned to encrypted communications to talk with their colleagues, after hearing that Mr. Trump’s top advisers are considering an “insider threat” program that could result in monitoring cellphones and emails for leaks.
The leaks have reached a fever pitch inside the White House, partly due to the well-worn practice of using leaks to cover one's ass and to place blame on rivals. As chaos reigns and staffers begin to wonder whose head is going to roll, self-protection is the name of the game.

What that's produced in the White House is scant policy and lots of toxic ideology, which dribbles out in the form of Trump's tweets and his surrogates' appearances on news shows. That stuff is pretty bleak. If the Trump Team hasn't got a handle on the job in three weeks -- and a couple of months of the "transition" -- then when will they? People are beginning to think never.

Even if it could be fixed, who would do it? Who is going to "fix" Trump?

Of course, this is only foreign policy and military stuff. That's not as important as banning Muslims, deporting Mexicans, and building walls.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Does Trump Make People Lie in Order to Join His Administration? Jeff Sessions Thinks So.

Holy crap. At Jeff Sessions swearing-in (his swearing-in!) the new AG dissembled right out of the chute.

Welcome aboard, Jeff. Get ready to distort facts because that's what we do here.

At his swearing-in, Sessions included this in his remarks:
...We have a crime problem.  I wish the blip -- I wish the rise that we are seeing in crime in America today were some sort of aberration or a blip.  My best judgement, having been involved in criminal law enforcement for many years is that this is a dangerous, permanent trend that places the health and safety of the American people at risk.  We will deploy the talents and abilities of the Department of Justice in the most effective way possible to confront this rise in crime and to protect the people of our country.
Okay, emphasis mine. Points:
  • The dude can barely string a sentence together.
  • blip noun
     an unexpected, minor, and typically temporary deviation from a general trend.
  •  So, is it a blip or a permanent trend?
  • trend noun
     a general direction in which something is developing or changing.
  • So, a trend, by definition is not permanent, it's a direction that has come about through a change, which then can change.
So, what's real and what's not? The public -- probably due to numerous factors -- thinks crime is up, especially among conservatives:

And what's the truth?

So there we are. Despite public perception, especially among conservatives, violent crime has gone steadily down for years, except for a couple of minor "blips" that disturbed the downward "trend."

See how easy it is to use words correctly? Someone tell Sessions. Don't bother with Trump. Truth and meaning is too fluid with him. Let's go to the tape:

Trump's good, though. He got Sessions trained in his bullshit ways in record time:

(Couldn't stop the autoplay after the segment I chose. Just stop the video if you don't want to hear Trump run on about our horrible, horrible, double-horrible, crime-infested country.)

Remember: This is all based on the Richard Nixon model of a dangerous, dark, crime-ridden America that only he could save through his commitment to law and order. This is out-and-out fear-mongering of the worst kind. Don't fall for it.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Intel Visits Oval Office to Announce Arizona Plant It Shut Down in 2014. Whaa?

Yeah, makes your head spin how much bullshit is spun out of the White House these days.

I've liked Intel as a corp. for a long time. Don't make me go all AMD on your ass.

(Updated below)

Okay, WTF. Here's TPM's story about Intel CEO announcing a big investment in an Arizona factory:
"It's an honor to be here today representing Intel and to be able to announce our $7 billion investment in our newest most advanced factory, Fab 42, in Chandler, Arizona," Krzanich said.
The executive said the factory will produce 7-nanometer semiconductor chips and create about 3,000 direct jobs, with over 10,000 more created in support of the factory.
"Thank you, Brian," Trump said. "We have something over there that will show a little bit about the new product."
Fine. Sounds good. But, er, I followed a link later in the story and found this from The Oregonian about Intel shutting construction of the plant down in 2014:
Intel has indefinitely postponed opening a new, $5 billion factory in Arizona amid slack demand in the chipmaker’s business.
Construction began three years ago, but The Oregonian reported last spring that manufacturing tools slated for the new Fab 42 in Arizona were being diverted to Intel’s factories in Hillsboro. The Arizona Republic reported this morning that Intel will make its new, 14-nanometer chips in existing Arizona factories and mothball Fab 42.
Okay, I get it. Intel builds a plant, finds out that demand is slack, and shuts it down before production begins. Three years later, it decides to activate the plant. I have no doubt that companies do this all the time, here and abroad.

But do you have to go to the White House to make your company look somehow patriotic because, er, demand has increased? You're trashing your brand playing Trump's game. Watch out for blowback, because it's coming.

I'm only one guy, and there are only about one and a half companies that make processors -- yeah, AMD rates a "half" -- but I'm not going out of my way to make my next device have an Intel chip. Techies have memories. Time to use mine. AMD chips work, BTW.

Update. That didn't take long. First blowback was 20 minutes.