2/27/17

"Nobody knew ..."

Trump: 'Nobody knew that health care could be so complicated'

“I have to tell you, it’s an unbelievably complex subject,” Trump said. “Nobody knew that health care could be so complicated.”

How can one man be so unbelievably, complexly ignorant?

Where has he been the last six years?

Where was he between the time The Big O was elected, and the Dems shoved ACA down our throats - "... we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it ..."?

Tomorrow evening Ol' Heel Spurs gives his first prime time address to the nation. Hopefully he will be on his meds, otherwise, he's liable to make his lunatic presser back on the 16th look mild in comparison.

"Don't hide behind my son's death"


“Why at this time did there have to be this stupid mission when it wasn’t even barely a week into his administration? Why? For two years prior, there were no boots on the ground in Yemen — everything was missiles and drones — because there was not a target worth one American life. Now, all of a sudden we had to make this grand display?’’
Remember when Spicer, Ol' Heel Spurs' babbling mouthpiece, claimed the mission was less than a success? Till John McCain said it was not? Then, Spicer and Ol' Heel Spurs displayed some of that Trumpian Outrage!™ and dragged Ryan Owens' name into the politics of it all? Anyone who questioned the mission was 'dishonoring' Ryan Owens' memory.
Ryan Owens' dad:
“Don’t hide behind my son’s death to prevent an investigation,” said the elder Owens, pointing to Trump’s sharp words directed at the mission’s critics, including Sen. John McCain.
“I want an investigation. … The government owes my son an investigation,” he said.
I guess Mr. Owens, a vet himself, didn't get the memo.
Remember all the Trumpkin Outrage!™ over Benghazi? But that was different. That was Hillary, despite what ... seven separate investigations saying otherwise?
And that *was* different. This is Trump. Trump gets a bye on this sort of thing. Because ... well ... this sort of thing gives all the Trumpkins the opportunity to beat the drum and wave the flag.
Can't question that.
Can't question Trump.
I'm waiting for Trump to blast Mr. Owens on Twitter.

2/26/17

"...we can make them disappear ..."

Why do people not trust ICE and DHS regarding immigration?
Here's one example:
"If you don't have enough evidence to charge someone criminally but you think he's illegal, we can make him disappear."
- James Pendergraph, Former Executive director of the ICE Office of State and Local Coordination, August 21, 2008, speaking at the Police Foundation's national conference on immigration issues.
"Make him disappear?"
Really?
OK, that was back in 2008. Given the levels of rhetoric we are seeing out of Ol' Heel Spurs and his Trumpkins, does anyone think that has changed?
The government of the United States can make people disappear?
No shit?
The GOP is always going on about 'American values.' I'm wondering how 'disappearing' people fits with that. It sounds more like something out of Pinochet's government. Which, come to think on it, was backed by the United States ... by our good ol' pals, Nixon and Kissinger. Well ... given the levels of rhetoric, it really doesn't seem all that far-fetched.
God bless America.

More bright shining lies ...

Here's an outstanding article from The Atlantic that describes precisely why the Trumpian attempts at manipulating intelligence - from the CIA, DIA, FBI, and other such sources, not Ol' Heel Spurs' own rather dubious smarts - are extremely dangerous.

The high cost of politicizing intelligence

The article dovetails very nicely with works that examine in varying detail how well that worked for other administrations. McMaster's "Dereliction of Duty" (outstanding read, BTW, readily available from Amazon); Ricks' "Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2003 to 2005;" Sheehan's "A Bright Shining Lie;" Halberstam's "The Best and the Brightest;" Shawcross' "Sideshow: Kissinger, Nixon,and the Destruction of Cambodia;" Prochanu's "Once Upon a Distant War"... a series of testimonials to the death and misery caused by presidents and their sycophants when they politicize the intelligence agencies.

But what the hey ... it keeps the national cemeteries filled up, and gives the flag-wavin' super-patriots something to do on Veterans' Day. And it creates jobs! All those illegal workers, pumping out Gold Stars for windows across America ...

Another murder in Connecticut

Here's another illegal who committed murder in Connecticut. But Ol' Heel Spurs and Spicer don't want to point fingers at Malloy on that one because ...

Chadwick’s mother, Wendy Hartling, says she is working on introducing new laws in Connecticut to help change deportation policies and believes that had the ICE and The Department of Homeland Security done their jobs, her daughter might still be here.

An illegal immigrant who stabbed a young Connecticut woman to death after completing a 15-year sentence for murder couldn’t be deported by the U.S. government because his homeland, which receives billions in aid from Uncle Sam, wouldn’t take him back—three times! So federal authorities released the violent criminal, a Haitian national, and didn’t even bother tracking his whereabouts allowing him to commit yet another heinous crime."

[Casey] murdered Chadwick just five months after he was released from prison after serving 17 years for attempted murder in a separate case. Failed attempts to deport Jacques back to Haiti led ICE officials to set him free in early 2015.

Probably Obama's fault on that one, too. Why wouldn't Haiti take that guy back? Because ... he had no documentation to prove he was Haitian.

So once again, we ask the question ... if the illegal to be deported has no documentation to prove from whence she came, and the alleged nation of origin won't accept her without such documention - and who can blame them - what exactly is Ol' Heel Spurs going to do with these hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of illegals he wants to dispose of?

Do we need the equivalent of the Wannsee Protocol to make the Trumpkins happy?

Governor Malloy and Ol' Heel Spurs

Ol' Heel Spurs, Spicer, and the Trumpkins are going nuts over Connecticut governor Dannel Malloy's memo to Connecticut law enforcement and other state and local entities.
Malloy: “Law enforcement should not take action that is solely to enforce federal immigration law,” read Malloy’s memo to police chiefs. “The federal government cannot mandate states to investigate and enforce actions that have no nexus to the enforcement of Connecticut law or local ordinances.”
Malloy is addressing actions that 'solely' enforce immigration law. Not violations of state law. And, his memo is non-binding; he cannot force compliance from state and local authorities on this.
State and local law enforcement has limited resources. Rounding up a collection of illegals, undocumented workers, mojados, whatever you want to call them, who have otherwise not violated any state or local laws, drains those limited resources. If Ol' Heel Spurs and his Trumpkins want state and local law enforcement to start doing that, they better start diggin' deep for the detention facilities and the budgeting to run them, and the hiring of all the new staff to enforce federal immigration. It ain't happenin' on Ol' Heel Spurs' good looks.
The Trumpkins are making much of a vicious murder a couple of days back, up in Connecticut, by an illegal. Apparently, it's all Malloy's fault. Yet, Malloy has never even remotely advocated letting people like Oscar Hernandez, run around loose. Here's some background on Hernadez:
"Just over five years earlier, in December 2011, Hernandez was convicted in state Superior Court in Stamford of third-degree assault, second-degree threatening and reckless endangerment for a domestic violence incident against his girlfriend at the time, according to court records.
He walked out of the courtroom with a conditional discharge, a court order to stay away from the victim and court notice that he was going to be deported.
“Oscar Obedio Hernandez, a citizen of El Salvador, was issued a final order of removal by an immigration judge on Oct. 29, 2013. He was removed from the United States by ICE officers in Hartford, Connecticut on Nov. 27, 2013,” said Shawn Neudauer, spokesman for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement."
2013. Ah. It must be Obama's fault. If we had that wall, Hernandez would never have gotten back into the country. Probably wouldn't have gotten here in the first place.
Here's a better one, another illegal who committed murder in Connecticut:
"An illegal immigrant who stabbed a young Connecticut woman to death after completing a 15-year sentence for murder couldn’t be deported by the U.S. government because his homeland, which receives billions in aid from Uncle Sam, wouldn’t take him back—three times! So federal authorities released the violent criminal, a Haitian national, and didn’t even bother tracking his whereabouts allowing him to commit yet another heinous crime."
He murdered Chadwick just five months after he was released from prison after serving 17 years for attempted murder in a separate case. Failed attempts to deport Jacques back to Haiti led ICE officials to set him free in early 2015.
Probably Obama's fault on that one, too. Why wouldn't Haiti take that guy back? Because ... he had no documentation to prove he was Haitian. But Ol' Heel Spurs and Spicer don't want to point fingers at Malloy on that one because ...
Chadwick’s mother, Wendy Hartling, says she is working on introducing new laws in Connecticut to help change deportation policies and believes that had the ICE and The Department of Homeland Security done their jobs, her daughter might still be here.
How many illegals walk around with passports or anything else that proves their original citizenship? If Ol' Heel Spurs' ICE is going to use that lacking to justify letting 'em loose ... what's the point of all these roundups? Where are they going to stash 'em? Deportation 'centers?' Vast camps in the desert to hold these people?

Respecting the taxpayer

Spicer: “The president has been very clear on this, that if you are a sanctuary city, declared or undeclared, if you are providing benefits or services, we are gonna do everything we can to respect taxpayers and insure that your states follow the law.”
"Respect the taxpayers?"
From The Atlantic Monthly: "But there are still about 340 million unclaimed tax forms recorded in the file, compared to 270 million nearly a decade ago. A good portion of those forms were filed by employers on behalf of some of the most unlikely funders of Social Security: undocumented immigrants. In fact, illegal immigration is considered largely responsible for the mushrooming of the file, with undocumented workers paying billions in taxes for retirement benefits they will likely never receive."
It gets better. Remember all that whining, complaining, bitching, from the Trumpkins about how they are getting screwed out of Social Security bennies? How they will never get back from Social Security what they paid into it? Well ... it turns out the Trumpkins - and others, but especially the Trumpkins, since they are the ones doing the most virulent and mindless pissing and moaning about it - it turns out the Trumpkins are reaping the benefits of all those payments by illegals. Continuing from The Atlantic:
"Many immigrants who aren’t authorized to work in the United States buy fake Social Security cards and present them to their employers, who either don’t know they are fake or don’t look too closely. When the employer submits a W-2 form and a tax payment on those workers’ behalf to the Social Security Administration, the federal government holds onto those payroll taxes, even if the Social Security number isn’t linked to anyone on file. And then, a large chunk of that money ends up in the Social Security trust funds, from which retirement benefits are doled out to aging Americans.
The Social Security system has grown increasingly reliant on this stream of revenue, particularly as aging Baby Boomers start to retire."
I'd love for Ol' Heel Spurs and Spicer to explain to me how that is 'respecting' the taxpayers. Or do the Trumpkins just see that siphoning off of benefits from the illegals as their rightful due?


2/24/17

Swedish crime stats

For the moment, Ol' Heel Spurs is off on another anti-media rant. He has become distracted from slamming Sweden. He's busy slamming the FBI as well as the media.

But here's the thing on Swedish crime:

Reality Check: Is Malmo the 'rape capital' of Europe?

You see that the agency warns that comparisons between different countries should be avoided because of differences between their legal and criminal justice systems, recording practices, reporting rates, efficiencies of criminal justice organisations and types of offences included in the categories.

There has also been a public debate in Sweden over the past two decades to raise awareness and encourage women to go to the police if they have been attacked.
This has resulted in a higher report rate than in other countries in Europe.

These are factors too complex for the Trumpian mind to grasp. The man needs a bigger manure shovel. I would suggest he use a #16 grain scoop. A #11 works very well as a snow shovel, but Ol' Heel Spurs is way past that.

The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming!


First, the clowns at CPAC decided to have Milo the Pervert as their keynote speaker:


As if his anti-Semitic, racist, misogynist garbage wasn't enough of an insult to any American with half a brain ...

But apparently pederasty was a bit over the top, even for the Trumpkins.

The clowns at American Conservative Union deny any knowledge of it:

“The ACU board was not consulted on this, nor was there a board vote,” Ned Ryun wrote on Twitter Saturday, who sits on the ACU board.

Of course not.

After that embarrassment - presumably it was an embarrassment; it may have been merely a 'political inconvenience' - we have this silliness:

Trump supporters unwittingly wave Russian flags at CPAC

"Unwittingly?" Or "witlessly."

If the dumbasses did any reading beyond Facebook memes they would have known they were being had for fools.

Here's another:




We're Trumpkins! We're Trumpkins! Ding! Fries are done! We're Trumpkins!


Meanwhile, here's what it looks like. For, like, you know, future reference:




Shooting oneself in the foot

Or ... gagging oneself with one's own foot.

Trump's White House just inflicted a serious wound on itself

Talk about shooting yourself in the foot. Or, perhaps it's just a bad case of foot-in-mouth disease. Someone should cancel Ol' Heel Spurs' Twitter account, but gosh, it's just so ... entertaining!

“The FBI is totally unable to stop the national security ‘leakers’ that have permeated our government for a long time,” Trump said. “They can’t even find the leakers within the FBI itself. Classified information is being given to media that could have a devastating effect on U.S.” Trump closed with a demand that the leakers be caught: “FIND NOW.”

Wow. All CAPS! That will MOTIVATE the FBI. You go, Donnie! Let's see that TrumpsterRage™ work!

But ...

Trump’s rage is misdirected. Whatever culpability the FBI bears for its leaking, the better target for Trump’s anger right now is the White House itself. The news Trump was apparently responding to is a self-inflicted White House wound.

As CNN first reported, White House chief of staff Reince Priebus personally asked the FBI to publicly debunk recent media reports of contacts between Russia and Trump campaign aides during the campaign:

The FBI rejected a recent White House request to publicly knock down media reports about communications between Donald Trump’s associates and Russians known to US intelligence during the 2016 presidential campaign, multiple U.S. officials briefed on the matter tell CNN.

But a White House official said late Thursday that the request was only made after the FBI indicated to the White House it did not believe the reporting to be accurate. White House officials had sought the help of the bureau and other agencies investigating the Russia matter to say that the reports were wrong and that there had been no contacts, the officials said…

The direct communications between the White House and the FBI were unusual because of decade-old restrictions on such contacts. Such a request from the White House is a violation of procedures that limit communications with the FBI on pending investigations.

Is it time for a Special Prosecutor?

The CPAC farce

CPAC organizer denounces alt-right as 'left-wing fascists'

I'm not feelin' the love ... first, we had Milo as a featured speaker. Never mind that the Breitbartian was a hatemonger of the first order; he was a 'conservative.' But then ... then, he came out with his embrace of pedophilia. Milo's racist and sexist rants on Breitbart were apparently well within the 'conservative' spectrum, but even CPAC drew the line at having sex with kids.

Now, we have Richard Spencer, the American white nationalist being expelled.

"There was an irony to Spencer’s expulsion on the same day the conference featured White House strategist Stephen K. Bannon, the former CEO of Breitbart News, who once called the site “the platform for the alt-right.”"

To add to the CPAC farce, we now have Dan Schneider, the executive director of the American Conservative Union, going on about how the alt-right are really 'left-wing fascists.'

“There is a sinister organization that is trying to worm its way into our ranks,” said Dan Schneider, the executive director of the American Conservative Union, which runs CPAC. “We must not be deceived by [a] hateful, left-wing fascist group.”

I wonder if we should tell him that the far left extremists are not 'fascists,' but 'communists,' and that the far right extremists are the 'fascists,' and that the 'fascists' hate the 'communists' passionately, and vice versa. Look at that whole Nazi Germany - Soviet Union thing back during WWII.

Let's not, though. Let's just continue to watch the show. There's no telling what moonbat nonsense will issue forth next. We can only wonder how many of these guys are on the CPAC guest list.


Air Force baffled ...

... or merely stumped.


The Air Force can’t account for $1 billion in savings that President Donald Trump said he’s negotiated for the program to develop, purchase and operate two new Boeing Co. jets to serve as Air Force One.

“To my knowledge I have not been told that we have that information,” Colonel Pat Ryder, an Air Force spokesman, told reporters Wednesday when asked how Trump had managed to reduce the price for the new presidential plane. “I refer you to the White House,” Ryder said. A White House spokesman didn’t respond to repeated inquiries about Trump’s comments.

Could it all be a figment of Ol' Heel Spur's increasingly fevered imagination?

Splattering the Trumpian manure

... all over the walls.

Ol' Heel Spurs is having another Twitterian hissy fit.

The FBI has refused to play his game and sweep under the rug those "... media reports about communications between Donald Trump's associates and Russians known to US intelligence during the 2016 presidential campaign."

So now, he is retaliating on Twitter, taking cheap shots at the Feds and blaming them for his Oval Office having more holes than a cheap Walmart colander.

Trump attacks FBI on leaks

"It's time we had a little chat."

2/23/17

Deport 'em all, and let God sort 'em out

If I hear one more flag-wavin' all-Merkin super-patriot Constitutional 'scholar' go on about why we don't just arrest every undocumented 'immigrant' and let 'em rot in prison, I will puke. There is no better example of why we should shelve most of the basketweaving and mudpie-making classes in the modern school system, and return to a good, solid, 7th grade civics class.
Here's the deal. It ain't freakin' rocket science.
High crimes and misdimeemers ...
OK. We hear all the time that 'illegals' are de facto criminals, by virtue of their 'unauthorized presence' in the country.
First, it is in fact "... a misdemeanor according to the Immigration and Nationality Act, which prohibits non-nationals from entering or attempting to enter the United States at any time or place which has not been designated by an immigration officer, and also prohibits non-nationals from eluding inspection by immigration officers."
There is minimum fine of $50, and a max of $250, for a first such offense, and the possibility of 'imprisonment for not more than six months.'
Got it? Criminal offense, with potential for incarceration.
So why are these people not arrested?
Well ... arrest for a crime requires probable cause. You need probable cause to either get an arrest or search warrant (that pesky 4th Amendment thingie) or you need probable cause to make a warrantless arrest under one of the exigent circumstances exceptions to getting the warrant first.
You cannot assume that because you have someone with no papers, that that person has entered illegally. In order to make an arrest, you need probable cause. So how do you get that. You have Senor Mojado standing before you with no papers ... but you cannot provide a fact pattern rising to the level of probable cause that he entered the US illegally. You need real, credible info that rises to the level of probable cause. Senor Mojado is under absolutely no obligation to provide that to you; all he has to do is keep his mouth shut. It's your problem. It's that pesky 5th Amendment and 14th Amendment for you. Gosh, that Constitution thingie sho' do git in the way of good ol' fashioned jack-booted thuggery, don't it?
Absent that probable cause, you can't arrest him. Not on a criminal charge.
But what you can do is deport him under the INA section regarding 'unlawful presence.' UP isn't a criminal offense; it is civil, and all you need there is 'a preponderance of evidence,' which is a much lower standard than 'probable cause.' But it is civil, not criminal, and so you don't, you can't, arrest Senor Mojado. It's a civil matter. But how do you know he is here UP? Because he 'no hablas?' Is that proof of UP? How many legal immigrants do we have, who 'no habla?' Quite a few, in my experience. So you still have to put together a fact pattern that rises to at least that preponderance of evidence level. If you've got the guy in jail for some crime, then you know what you have, and you can give him the heave ho fairly easily. It is not quite so simple, though, when you have Senor y Senora Mojado and a pickup full of kids and freshly picked lettuce, and no other info. Remember, this is Merika! You can't beat it out of 'em, though clearly, in the minds of at least the Trumpkins, it's the Merkin thing to do. Interestingly, the 5th Amendment protection against self-incrimination applies to criminal law (the clue there being 'in-crim-in-a-tion') and not civil law ... but, Senor Mojado no hablas.
You can 'detain' Senor Mojado for deportation once you figure out he is UP, but what's the difference between that 'detention' and 'incarceration'? How long can you keep him 'detained' before it becomes an 'incarceration?'
That's a simplistic look at it. Immigration law is very complex.

But don't take my word for it. Here's a good examination of it on FindLaw.

"... all threats, foreign and domestic ..."

 
Fake news! Fake Fake Fake!

But ...

If, as Preibus says, there is nothing to the NYT story back on 14 Feb ... why is he trying to get the FBI to torpedo "... media reports about communications between Donald Trump's associates and Russians known to US intelligence during the 2016 presidential campaign," as we are being told by "multiple US officials briefed on the matter."

""The American public will want to know if the President had personal or financial ties to the Russian government," Swalwell said."

And not only would this member of the American public want to know that, this member of the American public wants to know why Ol' Heel Spurs and his henchmen are trying to sweep it under the Oval Office carpet, using the FBI as their dust mop.

Taking their cues from Richard "Your President is not a crook" Nixon, are they?

“We’re rounding up undocumented foreign transplants that conceal evil plots against our country.”

2/22/17

Ding! Fries are done!




Anne Frank Center slams Trump: ‘Do not make us Jews settle for crumbs of condescension’

“[Trump's] statement today is a pathetic asterisk of condescension after weeks in which he and his staff have committed grotesque acts and omissions reflecting Antisemitism, yet day after day have refused to apologize and correct the record,” Goldstein said in the statement. “Make no mistake: The Antisemitism coming out of this Administration is the worst we have ever seen from any Administration.”

“The White House repeatedly refused to mention Jews in its Holocaust remembrance, and had the audacity to take offense when the world pointed out the ramifications of Holocaust denial. And it was only yesterday, Presidents’ Day, that Jewish Community Centers across the nation received bomb threats, and the President said absolutely nothing. When President Trump responds to Antisemitism proactively and in real time, and without pleas and pressure, that’s when we’ll be able to say this President has turned a corner. This is not that moment.”

Margaret Brennan questioned Sean Spicer on the whackamole smackdown of Trump by the Anne Frank Center. Here's the article about Brennan's question, and the surreal response by Spicer:

In one exchange, Sean Spicer demonstrated why there’s skepticism about Trump’s claims of tolerance

Asked about that spike in anti-Semitic activity last Wednesday, Trump chose first to talk about his electoral vote totals, implying that concerns that he may be tacitly supporting anti-Semitic actions were offset by the “tremendous enthusiasm” his candidacy had received. He then suggested that there was nothing new about such behavior, saying that his administration was “going to do everything within our power to stop long-simmering racism and every other thing that’s going on, because a lot of bad things have been taking place over a long period of time.” 

Bad things. Long time. Very bad. Ding, fries are done!

Why does this guy sound like a 4th grade dropout every time he opens his mouth?

Read both articles. Each, in its own way, is quite enlightening.



2/21/17

Sweden

Well, ever since Ol' Heel Spurs made an ass of himself over The Swedish Catastrophe, his puppets have been working overtime to smear Sweden. If you can make the lie big enough, it must be true.
Here's the graphic - one of them - that they are circulating as 'proof' that Ol' Heel Spurs is telling the truth.
It's all crap, of course, like pretty much anything else he says.


The amount of reported rape offenses has gone up in the last 10 years (2006-15), which the agency said can be partially attributed to new legislation in 2005 that augmented the types of acts that can be classified as rape.
"The effect of the statutory change appeared in the statistics such that the number of reported offences in respect of sexual coercion and exploitation declined in the years immediately following the statutory change while the number of reported rapes increased," according to the agency. In 2013, a rape offense was broadened "to include cases where the victim reacts passively."
In 2015 there were 18,100 sex offences reported to police - an 11% decrease compared to 2014.
Of these, 5,920 were classified as rape. Per capita that equates to 60 cases per 100,000.
In comparison, per capita there were 100 reports of rape per 100,000 people in the UK between April 2015 and March 2016, according to the Office for National Statistics.
The number of rapes reported to police in Sweden decreased by 12% between 2014 and 2015.
Reported offences regarding sexual molestation, sexual coercion and exploitation also decreased.
BrĂ¥ reports: “The decrease seen in these types of offences was in turn preceeded by a rise in 2014. 
“This can in part be explained by a number of cases that included a great many connected offences relating to rape, sexual molestation, sexual cohersion and exploitation.”

They changed the manner in which sexual assaults are assessed, back in 2005. Also, the Swedes have a different way of looking at rape, and are far more likely to report it, than are women in the US.




Finally ...

Finally ... Ol' Heel Spurs does something reasonably on point. Perhaps someone with an adult perspective is finally able to influence through the whackery.


The book they are all raving about is readily available on Amazon. It adds weight to such other works as "A Bright Shining Lie" and "Sideshow: Kissinger, Nixon, and the Destruction of Cambodia" and "An American Ordeal: The Antiwar Movement of the Vietnam Era," among others.
I'd like to know what McMaster thinks of Ricks' "Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq."

McMaster likes quoting Thucydides, who, along with Machiavelli and Thomas Hobbes, are regarded as the 'founding fathers' of political realism.

This would be a refreshing change from the Pollyanna-ish perspective of the last eight years.

I'm not willing to give Ol' Heel Spurs any credit in this, other than twitching to the puppet master and agreeing to it. I suspect it went like this:

"I picked H.R cuz he's smart, and reads books and stuff, and likes to quote this old dead Greek Thooseeseeds. I knew an old Greek, one time, who had a Hero stand over on 43rd Street. This is bigly!"

Does the 9th Circuit really have an 80% reversal rate?

This is quite good.

Does the 9th Circuit really have an 80% reversal rate?

On the uber-liberal scurrilousness of the 9th Circuit, the one that slapped Ol' Heel Spurs into next week, here is a pretty good examination and analysis:

The surpassingly small number of reviews made it difficult to set up a metric that could distinguish between the courts. Dealing with variant outcomes within 0.109% of an overall data pool makes outcomes statistically insignificant, as the ABA hinted in its report.

The ABA decided to use both to some extent, but even the latter method (reviewed cases only) does not show the Ninth Circuit as wildly off the scale. In fact, they’re only second highest in reversal rates, and the distribution is remarkably close to the median: (See Fig 2 in the article)

This is where the selection bias of using only certiorari-granted cases shows up. Every circuit has more than half of its decisions selected by the Supreme Court for review overturned, and the median is 69%. The deviation of performance between the circuits is hardly dramatic.

Perhaps a better metric would be the percentage of cases reviewed by the Supreme Court. In this comparison, the Ninth Circuit ends up a little farther off from the median, but it’s only third “worst”: (See Fig 3 in the article)

The DC Circuit deals with more constitutional issues with federal government, the kind of cases in which the Supreme Court will naturally have a higher interest, which likely accounts for its highest review rate. But the percentages are so low here as to make comparisons insignificant statistically, the very problem that the ABA noted in its own report.

It’s true in a very narrow sense that the Ninth Circuit has an 80% reversal rate for that ten-year period, but it’s also true that they have a 0.123% reversal rate — and that’s actually the more accurate way to view their performance.

However, the ABA report does give evidence of another kind about the performance of the Ninth Circuit. As noted above, that circuit handled 18.9% of all appellate cases, far higher than any other circuit; the next closest was the Fifth Circuit, with 14.1%, and then the Eleventh Circuit with 12.3% of all appellate cases decided. Those three circuits heard slightly over 45% of all appeals, while the rest heard fewer than 10% each. That certainly seems like a good argument for splitting the Ninth Circuit.
+++++++++

The best argument for splitting the 9th is not because they are 'uber liberal' but because of the case load. That's a more rational reason than the 'wah wah wah I don't like the 9th because they are so liberal' nonsense. That 'wah wah wah' argument plays well on FB and other relatively mindless forums, like most of the 'conservative' news sources (and I use the term 'news' laughingly) and Ol' Heel Spurs' twits, but I really don't think it has a place in determining the structure of the federal court system.

See also:

The 6th Circuit is the most reversed appeals court, if you care

And another fact that might boggle the mind(s) of Trumpians everywhere:

First, when the Supreme Court takes up a case, reversal is the norm. The Supreme Court is a court of discretionary review -- it does not take up cases that it believes were rightly decided. Thus, the Court sides with petitioners about 70 percent of the time. Second, the Court reviews only a tiny handful of decisions made by the Sixth or the Ninth or any other court. Those subsequent reversals are outliers much more than indications of the court's overall performance."

The court system is working exactly as it should. "Wah wah wah" arguments of the sort presented by Ol' Heel Spurs and his minions demonstrate nothing more than the abysmal ignorance of our government on their part.

2/18/17

Whacko quotes from US presidents

Fave whacko quotes from our presidents:

“Just get me elected, and then you can have your war [Vietnam].”
– President Lyndon Johnson to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, December 24, 1963


"I didn’t just screw Ho Chi Minh. I cut his pecker off.”
– Lyndon B. Johnson, commenting to reporters on the first American airstrikes against North Vietnam, August 5, 1964 (see also "Tonkin Resolution")


And we all know what that got us.

"I am not a crook." - Richard Nixon, November 17, 1973

And we all know where that got us.

"I did not have sexual relations with that woman." - Bill Clinton, January 26, 1998.

And we all know where that got us.

"Mission Accomplished." - George Bush, May 1, 2003.

And we all know where that got us.

Ol' Heel Spurs' presser, February 16, 2017.

And we are wondering just WTF? There are so many whacko quotes in that, one hardly knows where to begin.

18 WTF moments from Trump's unhinged presser

Jake Tapper hit it right on the head by calling it 'unhinged.' That's pretty accurate, if perhaps understated.



We can only hope that Mattis has removed the launch codes from the 'football,' and replaced them with an iPad loaded with an endless loop of Jake Tapper clips.

That way, if this lunatic ever makes a grab for the codes, he will be so distracted by Tapper that he'll forget about the nukes.

Failing that, I just hope Mattis can tackle him and bring him to the ground if he ever makes a grab for the codes.

This is the most unhinged and incoherent spectacle on the part of a US president I have ever seen, and I've been watching 'em since the fifties.

OTOH, I laughed so hard at this idiot my gut hurts.

And then ... there were the strawberries ...

2/17/17

America's version of "The Upside Down"

I can only hope that Mattis has removed the launch codes from the 'football,' and replaced them with an iPad loaded with an endless loop of Jake Tapper clips.

That way, if this lunatic ever makes a grab for the codes, he will be so distracted by Tapper that he'll forget about the nukes.

Failing that, I just hope Mattis can tackle him and bring him to the ground if he ever makes a grab for the codes.

This is the most unhinged and incoherent spectacle on the part of a US president I have ever seen, and I've been watching 'em since the fifties.

OTOH, I laughed so hard at this idiot my gut hurts.

From The Rolling Stone:

18 WTF moments from Trump Unhinged

Tapper's 'unhinged' comment:




And then there were the strawberries ...

As I watched the presser, I could not help but think of Humphrey Bogart's great performance as Captain Queeg. It fits Ol' Heel Spurs to a 'T'.

2/16/17

TIme to MoveOn

Earth to Trumpkins ... Earth to Trumpkins ...

Major news break ...

Obama isn't the president any more ...

The Clinton Crime Syndicate is in the dustbin of history and is no longer relevant ...

Going on about how it's OK for Trump to do this or that because Obama did this or that, or because the Clinton Crime Syndicate did this or that ...

... is the most simple-minded kind of illogical reasoning.

It's like Jesus succumbing to the temptations, using the excuse, "Well, Satan did it!"

I would think the 81% of white evangelicals who voted for Trump would grasp that.

Trump was supposed to be better.

He isn't.

And Obama and Clinton are gone.

Jesus, OTOH, is still going strong ... because among other reasons, he didn't pull that "Well, the other guy did it!" nonsense. Perhaps the 81% would do better if they actually paid attention to Jesus, rather than their false prophets.

MoveOn.

Zippers

Donald Trump versus the World

"... it was intended for the consumption of the forty per cent of Americans who, according to the latest Gallup poll data, approve of the job he is doing as President. Even some people in this demographic, particularly those who grew up during the Cold War, may have had difficulty rallying around the line that it’s time for America to cozy up to Putin and the Russkies."

I am certainly not part of the forty percent. But I am one of those who grew up in the Cold War.

The Trumpkins had a real hard time with this:



I have a real hard time with the visual of the President of the United States on his knees, fumbling with the zipper on the trousers of a former KGB thug.

Obama just complied with the social norms of the Japanese and other cultures when he 'humiliated America.'

A good argument can be made that Ol' Heel Spurs is selling America's soul in order to fill his own coffers.

Where's the 'Christian' Right's Outrage!™ over that?

Here's another:

The deeper concern behind Flynn's resignation

To put the story in simplest terms:

1) Russian spies hacked Democratic Party communications in order to help elect Donald Trump.

2) Donald Trump welcomed the help, used it, publicly solicited more of it—and was then elected president of the United States.

3) President Obama sanctioned Russia for its pro-Trump espionage.

4) While Russia considered its response, its ambassador spoke with the national security adviser-designate about the sanctions.

5) The adviser, Flynn, reportedly asked Russia not to overreact, signaling that the new administration would review the sanctions; Russia did not respond.

6) As president-elect and then president, Donald Trump has indicated that he seeks to lift precisely those sanctions caused by Russia’s espionage work on his behalf.

So. Did Trump dump Flynn to get him out of the direct line of fire ... because Flynn was doing all this at Trump's direction?

That question is why there needs to be a serious investigation of this mess.


2/15/17

"No Balls" Trump

Trump blames ‘fake media’ for treating Flynn ‘very unfairly

Trump fires the guy ... then blames it all on the 'fake media.'

If that's so, then Trump should have had the balls to defend his 'wonderful man.'

So he fires the clown ... then blames the media.

Never mind Flynn's one of the biggest liars and cheats since the Nixon gang.

And the Trumpkins eat it up. Like, wow. Just freakin' wow.

"No Balls" Trump.

 Meanwhile, Jake has "No Balls" for lunch:

Rand Paul's tap dance



Rand Paul: Flynn probe would be 'excessive'


“I just don’t think it’s useful to be doing investigation after investigation, particularly of your own party,” he said.

What utter nonsense.

Of course it isn't 'useful.' All the dirt and garbage would be mucked out into the light of day, and we'd see what sleaze now occupies the Oval Office and Ol'Heel Spurs' administration.

The Ten Questions article is precisely why Paul and his Congressional henchmen are full of crap.

It's much better to drone on and on and on about Benghazi, the Birth Certificate, and The Closet Muslim. We're seeing some real leadership out of the GOP. This entire administration and Congress appear to have been home-schooled by Betsy DeVoss.



2/14/17

The Ten Questions

I'd like to see the answers to these. In detail.

Ten unanswered questions after Michael Flynn's resignation

This man is a joke. His holding the title and authority of 'command-in-chief' is an insult to the armed forces. It's an abomination. I'm thinking of MacArthur's Farewell Speech at West Point, when MacArthur said "The long gray line has never failed us. Were you to do so, a million ghosts in olive drab, in brown khaki, in blue and gray, would rise from their white crosses, thundering those magic words: Duty, Honor, Country." This man has already failed not only the Long Gray Line, but every man and woman who has ever served this nation. He has failed every one of us. He has no concept of 'Duty, Honor, Country.'

For eight years we saw the Trumpkins foaming at the mouth over stupidities and inanities like The Birth Certificate and the Closet Muslim nonsense, passing around endless chimp memes and other such puerile crap, never having the smarts or the intellectual capacity to take on matters of substance having to do with the Obama administration. The childish, shallow, inconsequential babbling of the far right base. This incompetent collection of self-aggrandizing scum is what that has brought us.

Now we have this ... child ... and his crooks and thugs in the Oval Office, and this is going to make America Great Again?

These people have no concept of 'Duty, Honor, Country.'

What a farce.

The Trumpkins like George C. Scott's 'Patton speech.' This one ... MacArthur's farewell speech by Gregory Peck, is far more ... American. And far more important, from a moral and 'American values' perspective. It's not surprising the Trumpkins ignore it.

American Rhetoric: Movie Speech "MacArthur" (1977)  General Douglas MacArthur Addresses West Point Cadets (click on the mp3 link for the full speech)

The Duty, Honor, Country excerpt:

Successful military missions

February 8 was the 46th anniversary of the beginning of the second phase, the main phase, of Operation Lam Son 719. It was supposed to be a demonstration of the success of Nixon's 'Vietnamization' - training and prepping the ARVN to take over on their own. It was supposed to be a spoiling attack, to disrupt future NVA campaigns in the south. ARVN forces were to punch across the Laotian border and drive in on Tchepone.
It was a disaster. US forces were not permitted to cross into Laos, but provided air and logistical support.
In doing so, we lost 253 Americans; another 1149 were maimed to varying degrees; and you might also remember the 38 missing next time you see one of those POW/MIA flags. We lost 168 helicopters destroyed with 618 more shot to shit, also to varying degrees.
Can you imagine the reaction were losses like that reported out of Afghanistan?
ARVN suffered 50% casualties, with over 20,000 killed, wounded, or missing. It would likely have been a lot worse, but for massive B-52 strikes run by the COMBAT SKYSPOT sites in South Vietnam and Thailand, as well as tactical air support from USAF, USMC, and USN fighters and attack bombers, and USA gunships. I was on my third tour for this one.
USA Huey crews rescued hundreds of fleeing ARVN troopers; it was so bad that ARVN troopers had to be pushed off the Hueys so the choppers could fly. A good many ARVN troopers, hanging on the skids, fell to their deaths. Gilbert Alvarado's accounting of the affairs at LZ Lolo makes mention of this, and gives some first-hand idea of just how bad it was. Alvarado was in the Comancheros, Alpha Company, 101st Assault Helicopter Battalion,101st Airborne Division.
Richard Nixon declared it a rousing success. I have always thought that Richard Nixon was the lyingest son-of-a-bitch in US history, followed closely by Lyndon B. Johnson. That dubious honor has been usurped by our current beloved leader, but that's another story.
Here's the thing. 
When the Yemen raid became public knowledge, Sean 'My Lips are Movin' So I'm Lyin'' Spicer went on record as saying that the mission was not a success. After all, we lost a Navy SEAL, others were wounded, and a bunch of civilians were killed.
Then John McCain commented that the mission had not been a success.
Suddenly, Ol' Heel Spurs, he of the 1-Y draft deferment on which he is a bit fuzzy, unleashed a Twitterian torrent of vitriol. How dare McCain make such a statement?
And Spicer also went on the attack. Now, the mission was a smashing success, claiming that anyone who said otherwise was besmirching the memory of the KIA SEAL. It was a classic case of gaslighting.
It was also cheap, a total lie, and completely dishonorable. In other words, it was precisely what we now know to be normal behavior from this 'commander-in-chief.'
Nixon and Ol' Heel Spurs - who thinks avoiding the clap is up there with serving the nation - have much in common. Lying through their teeth is chief among the points of commonality.

A new security chief?

FauxNews has a story on the 'illegal' leaks and the Flynn resignation which contains this presidential twit:

Donald J. Trump ? @realDonaldTrump The real story here is why are there so many illegal leaks coming out of Washington? Will these leaks be happening as I deal on N.Korea etc? 7:28 AM - 14 Feb 2017

No, Donnie ... this is the 'real story:'

"Such conversations would breach diplomatic protocol and possibly violate the Logan Act, a law aimed at keeping private citizens from conducting U.S. diplomacy. The Justice Department also had warned the White House late last month that Flynn could be in a compromised position because of contradictions between his public depictions of the calls and what intelligence officials knew to be true based on routine recordings of communications with foreign officials who are in the U.S."

Nice try at deflecting, though. It didn't work for Nixon, and it isn't going to work for Ol' Heel Spurs, either.

Perhaps the GOP could get Ol' Heel Spurs' bestest buddy, Julian Assange, to chase down the leaks? Ol' Heel Spurs liked Wikileaks before the election; perhaps he should hire Assange as a security consultant?

Where is the Colorado congressional delegation on all this?

And, come the midterms, are Lisa and I going to find ourselves once again going out into the courthouse parking lot and vomiting after voting for the garbage presented as candidates by either party?

Flynn's alternate reality



"...Flynn said he had “inadvertently briefed the Vice President Elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian ambassador ..."
A little touch of 'alternate reality' there. People like Flynn, retired lieutenant generals, don't 'inadvertently' do anything, much less 'inadvertently' leave out facts - even alternate facts.
Mikey. Dude. Don't let the door inadvertently hitcha in the ass on the way out.
Petraeus would be an excellent replacement. Assuming, of course, that he can keep his zipper up and his mouth shut this time.

Keith Kellogg is acting NSA for the moment.

Bob Harward is also in the running.

2/13/17

Contemptible behavior



These Conservative Christians Are Opposed to Trump—and Suffering the Consequences

America’s divided political environment has made many religious organizations sensitive about what their employees say and do. “A lot of church leaders are wanting to play it especially safe and not wanting staff members to speak out,” Martin said. This impulse, to quiet political disagreements rather than engage them, will shape how these communities evolve: as places welcome to all who share their creed, or only those who hold certain political beliefs.

That's what you get when you mix your religion/theology with politics.

There is nothing of Christ in a church that caters not to "...all who share their creed ..." but only those who hold certain political beliefs.

81% of America's white 'Christian' evangelicals voted for Ol' Heel Spurs. Many of them believe that Trump has been anointed by God.

They are among the most mean-spirited people in America.

Mark 12:17 - Jesus said to them, “Give to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were utterly amazed at him.

I'll bet they were. Amazed, that is. Most people seem to think that this has to do with taxes levied by the empire.  Matthew Henry sees a wider canvas in his commentary on Mark 12:13-17:

The enemies of Christ would be thought desirous to know their duty, when really they hoped that which soever side he took of the question, they might find occasion to accuse him. Nothing is more likely to insnare the followers of Christ, than bringing them to meddle with disputes about worldly politics. Jesus avoided the snare, by referring to the submission they had already made as a nation; and all that heard him, marvelled at the great wisdom of his answer. Many will praise the words of a sermon, who will not be commanded by the doctrines of it.


2/7/17

Sean Spicer and the Royal Bathrobe


"When Mr. Trump is not watching television in his bathrobe or on his phone reaching out to old campaign hands and advisers, he will sometimes set off to explore the unfamiliar surroundings of his new home."
Spicer says nay ... Our Donnie doesn't even own a bathrobe, much less wear one.
Spicer does not dispute the rest of the story. Well, he does, but he does not offer anything other than The Bathrobe detail in refutation.
So ... I now have this vision of Our Donnie, sitting there in his underwear, or worse, watching the tellie ... or wandering the White House, in his underwear, or worse.
Thanks, Sean.
Um. So. Does Our Donnie wear Hanes? The ones hechoed in Vietnam?

The 1952 law banning Sharia

And also Muslims.


This appears to reference the 1952 Immigration and Nationality Act, which was initially vetoed by President Truman. His veto was overridden by Congress.

However ... Muslim entry to the US was not barred by this Act.

The law was originally aimed at Commies. Remember, 1952 was the height of the Second Red Scare, also known as 'the McCarthy Era.' This is when We As A People rediscovered that this is a Christian Nation; that we Trusted in God, and 'under God' was added to the Pledge of Allegiance, thereby making it a True American Loyalty Oath. This all kept the Godless Commies at bay. And 'Tailgunner Joe' made a total mockery out of 'American values,' but it was OK, at least for awhile, because he was against  Commies, the libtard press, the US Army, Hollywood (most of whom were Commies, or at least that is what Joe said), and whoever else Joe could stay sober long enough to go after. This was when America Was Great The First Time. (Never mind the lynchings, the church bombings, the black folk in the back of the bus, the separate bathrooms, the back alley coat hanger abortions, the government using GI's as nuclear guinea pigs, industrial waste was polluting our rivers and air, all the fallout from the nuke tests being splattered all over southern Utah, 'loyalty reviews,'  and all the rest of that negative libtard whining. It was Howdy Doody Time!)

In any case, there have been many changes to the Act since it passed into law:

In 1952, President Truman had directed the Commission on Immigration and Naturalization to conduct an investigation and produce a report on the current immigration regulations. The report, Whom We Shall Welcome, served as the blueprint for the Hart–Celler Act. At the height of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, the restrictive immigration laws were seen as an embarrassment by, among others, President John F. Kennedy, who called the then-quota-system "nearly intolerable".

The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 pretty much gutted most of what appeals to our Modern McCarthy clones, though as we see, that doesn't stop them from continuing to cite it as though it still were in effect

After Kennedy's assassination, President Lyndon Johnson signed the bill [Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965] at the foot of the Statue of Liberty.

So there is very little for Trump to enforce, regarding this '1952 law'.



2/6/17

The 'controversial' 84 Lumber commercial

Critics blasted the 84 Lumber commercial from the SuperBowl. Said it didn't depict the hazards of the trip, especially for a mother and daughter.

It turns out that the company had a pretty good commercial ... but Fox said it was 'too controversial.'

Of course it was. It makes Trump's wall look like the product of an asshole's mind. Fox would never stand for that.

Here's the whole thing.



Company retools rejected commercial; here's the original

"You think our country's so innocent?"

That was Our Donnie, in response to Bill O'Reilly's rather incredulous statement, "But [Putin] is a killer!"

What does Our Donnie mean by his comment?

It seems that a number of GOP CongressCritters are not happy with it:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of the Union" Sunday that he "obviously" doesn't see Russia and Putin the same way Trump does.

"Putin's a former KGB agent. He's a thug. He was not elected in a way most people would consider a credible election. The Russians annexed Crimea, invaded Ukraine and mess around in our elections," McConnell said.

"I don't think there's any equivalency between the way the Russians conduct themselves and the way the United States does," he said.

and

Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyoming, tweeted that Trump's "statement suggesting moral equivalence between Putin's Russia and the United States of America is deeply troubling and wrong."

as but a couple of examples.

One might wonder if Our Donnie was referencing any number of historical factoids that point to the conflict between reality and the idealistic concept of 'American values.'

Slavery. Manifest Destiny. Various wars ... the Indian wars, the Spanish-American war, Vietnam, backing the various crazed right-wing dictators in Central America, fun with Ronnie and Ollie in Afghanistan, the Iraq misadventure. Among others.

But for Our Donnie to put the comment in that context would require some knowledge on his part, and as well all know, he doesn't read - other than clippings about himself.

So what exactly did Our Donnie mean by that comment? Putin's a thug so Our Donnie can play that role too?

2/4/17

Hey Mikey ...

Remember Mike Flynn's rather studly proclamation that Our Donnie and his henchmen were putting Iran 'on notice?' He was fairly oozing testosterone out of every pore.

National Security Adviser Mike Flynn said Wednesday the Trump administration is putting Iran “on notice” after it tested a ballistic missile and Tehran-backed militants attacked a Saudi naval vessel.


The implications of the warning are unclear, but Flynn pointedly criticized the Obama administration for failing "to respond adequately" to Iran’s provocative behavior.

Well.

Iran holds military exercise in defiance of sanctions

In apparent defiance of the new sanctions imposed by the Trump administration, Iran held a military exercise Saturday to test missile and radar systems ...

... The drill comes a day after the White House imposed sanctions on Tehran for a recent ballistic missile test.

What's next, Mikey? Are you going to invade? Start a holy war? Nuke Tehran? Burn some Korans in front of the White House? Tell us, Mikey, what you and Bannon are going to do. Oh yeah. And that Donnie guy. Let's not forget him.

Bigly stupid

When a country is no longer able to say who can, and who cannot, come in & out, especially for reasons of safety & security — big trouble!”
Not true, Donnie ... not true. First, you aren't 'the country.' Second, we are perfectly able to say who can, and who cannot, come in and out. It just isn't going to be done by royal edict by a childish buffoon wrapped up in his own alternate reality.
There's a video of a Clinton speech making the rounds, basically asking what the difference is between what Clinton says and what Our Donnie says.
Of course, like all those memes, it's based on half-truths, innuendo, and quite often plain old lies. During the Clinton Crime Syndicate's reign, a commission was formed to examine the problem and come up with a course of action.
Of course, we all know now that it didn't work all that well, but whose fault is it that other courses of action were not examined and implemented? Obama's? Bush? Clinton? Then Our Donnie comes along, shotguns everyone - even the ones who did it by the book, got legitimate visas/green cards, or were otherwise vetted quite well.
Donnie's belief, and that of his Trumpkins, that no vetting is taking place are examples of gross ignorance.
So Our Donnie pulled the trigger on everyone. The Trumpkins loved it because it was a studly all-American "Blow it out yer asses, ya wogs, Merka's Grate Agin!" move. Poor behavior from our president. Not at all presidential. Petulant. Childish. Not so much as his tweets about the judge, but ... petulant. Childish. Puerile. Infantile. Basically, down home stupid. Bigly stupid.