And they come with no warning,
nature loves her little surprises.
Continual crisis!

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Linkee-poo weekend

So, thinky thoughts. Of course we warned the Russians. We'd be stupid to not warn them to move their people out of the strike areas. The question is did we want them far enough in advance that they could move tangible assets out of the strike areas, or if it was just enough time to get personnel out (choosing to move assets would delay bugging out and lead to having people in the strike zone as the assets hit). And again we' spend hundreds of millions to inflict hundreds of thousands of damage. This is not the way to win. What would have been better, and had more impact, is if we had destroyed his helicopter fleet (not put holes in a runway). Assad uses helicopters to deliver the barrel bombs that include the chlorine gas, so they're a legit target and while not proportional, close enough for government work. We could deny Assad his weapons experts (yes, that's a euphemism). But first we need to get Assad labeled a criminal, and we need to exploit our casus belli (intentionally targeting a US citizen for killing), and he needs to get a AUMF from Congress. And hey, what a way to change the conversation on the Sunday Morning Talking Head Shows. With the involvement of our allies, this isn't completely a wag the dog exercise. I just wish I could confidently say it didn't play a small part in the decision.

"Billy Mitchell, an arcade virtuoso whose symphonies with the joystick once won him the title 'Video Game Player of the Century,' has been cast down from the heights of the high score lists. The organization that tracks video game world records announced Thursday that it is removing his records and banning him from future leaderboards." That's gonna leave a mark.

The Trump administration starts to weaken the Migratory Bird Treaty. Because, I don't know, Canadian geese like to poop on top of Trump Tower. Changing the definition from incidentally killing bird to only prosecuting actions which are directed at killing birds is a cheap cop out, and a big win for the fossil fuel industry. (Grokked from Chuck Wendig)

"President Trump issued an executive order late Thursday creating a special task force to examine the U.S. Postal Service's finances, which he claims have been crippled by a money-losing deal to deliver packages for shopping giant Amazon." No, Mr. President. The USPS has been crippled by a conservative initiative to privatize the postal service by bankrupting the current service by making them prepay retirement pensions for employees who haven't even been born yet. With the loss of flat-mail postage, parcel delivery has been the savior of the postal service.

"In Baltimore’s most crime-ridden zones, city officials are conducting an experiment in government. They started last year by targeting four small, deeply troubled areas to be flooded with more police patrols and city services. They called them “Transformation Zones,” at first, then rebranded them as “Violence Reduction Zones.” They’ve since added three more zones, bringing the total to seven… Each zone gets several dedicated police officers… and an extra focus across city government for ramped-up services. Mayor Catherine Pugh has put $1.6 million in the city’s budget for two 'rapid response' crews from the Department of Public Works to quickly clean up these areas, three more housing inspectors to enforce code violations such as peeling lead paint and extend hours at local recreation centers." This isn't an "experiment." This is good governance, this is the basic minimum these neighborhoods should have had all along. And gee, look, it's working. And yes, the crime has moved to other areas nearby. Why? Because they're betting that the government can't keep it up or expand the "experiment." Mostly because they've seen it before. (Grokked from Chuck Wendig)

Part of the culture war and the war against the poor. "For many poor families in America, eviction is a real and ongoing threat. Sociologist Matthew Desmond estimates that 2.3 million evictions were filed in the U.S. in 2016 — a rate of four every minute… 'Eviction isn't just a condition of poverty; it's a cause of poverty,' Desmond says. 'Eviction is a direct cause of homelessness, but it also is a cause of residential instability, school instability [and] community instability.'"

Another front on the war against the poor. "If Republicans in Congress have their way, millions of people who get food aid through the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) will have to find a job or attend job training classes for about 20 hours each week, or lose their benefits."

"A teacher at a Pennsylvania Christian school accidently left her loaded pistol in a bathroom, where elementary school children found it, Pennsylvania State Police said Tuesday." Whelp, that didn't take long. (Grokked from Joy Reid)

"'Here's what you don't get, Mr. Mulvaney. This isn't about me. This is about about active-duty military. It's about first responders and students and seniors and families ... and millions of other people who need someone on their side when consumers get cheated,' (Sen. Elizabeth) Warren said." You're correct Sen. Warren, conservatives don't get it.

"The Trump administration has condemned a suspected chemical weapons strike in Syria and is considering military action. 'We are very concerned, when a thing like that can happen, this is about humanity,' President Trump said earlier this week… In 2017, the country let in 3,024 (Syrian refugees). So far this year, that number is just 11. By comparison, over the same 3 1/2-month period in 2016, the U.S. accepted 790." Fuck Trump's concern. It's a show for the cameras. He's only going to use it as a stage to show his (read: our military's) might. Assad is a little guy he thinks he can beat up.

"Burying bad news is one half of the story. But what about the other half -- the Enquirer's promotion of pro-Trump storylines?… We went through the Enquirer's cover archive dating back to the week of Trump's inauguration. It's really remarkable: The Enquirer has been telling a consistent tale for more than a year." Fox News isn't the only propaganda. Someone needs to be Goebbels.

Eating their own. "More rank-and-file Republicans predicted Friday that the Wisconsin Republican probably won’t be able to hang on to the Speaker’s job for the rest of the year, despite Ryan’s insistence a day earlier that he would stick around until January and that no one in the GOP could raise more money ahead of the crucial midterm elections later this year."

"James Comey's much-anticipated memoir, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership, doesn't pull any punches when it comes to condemning the tenure of President Trump. The former FBI director, whom Trump unceremoniously fired, paints a picture of a chief executive only concerned about his own image in the press instead of the safety of the nation." Yeah, we already knew that.

No comments: