No doorways, no windows, no walls
No shelter here on the ground
No standing and no safe place to fall
Just the promise of this distant sound
Bells are ringing all over the world

Monday, September 24, 2018

Linkee-poo you are the Abbott unto my Costello

"A pair of tiny satellites that will help test technology for a space elevator is on its way to the International Space Station."

How go the Trade Wars? "As fresh U.S. tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports take effect Monday, surveys show consumers growing increasingly worried about higher prices this fall. Giant retailers such as Walmart are warning of price increases for manufactured goods. And smaller businesses in swing states and districts from Washington state to Iowa to Tennessee are complaining bitterly about big hits to their exports." Oh noes, not the Walmarts!

"Four gunmen opened fire at Revolutionary Guard troops in the south-western city of Ahvaz on Saturday, killing 25 people including soldiers and civilians watching a commemorative parade." And so begins the fingerprinting.

"Moscow will bolster Syria's air defence following the downing of a Russian plane last week by sending a modern S-300 system to the Syrian army within two weeks, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said." Syria already has a pretty robust anti-air system, so this could be the Russians offloading some dated materials while also attempting to be seen as "doing something." Also, the S-300 (no word on which version) can be used as both a ballistic/cruise missile interceptor and as a short-range ballistic missile system (more advanced than Iran's SCUD). But, IIRC, it's the radar systems on these that are the interesting parts. So this could also be seen as a direct escalation of capabilities to deter both Israeli and US air craft (not to mention the strategic threat against Israel).

"Duke historian Nancy MacLean contends that (James McGill Buchanan's) philosophy is so stark that even young libertarian acolytes are only introduced to it after they have accepted the relatively sunny perspective of Ayn Rand… If Americans really knew what Buchanan thought and promoted, and how destructively his vision is manifesting under their noses, it would dawn on them how close the country is to a transformation most would not even want to imagine, much less accept." Have I talked about the rise of the Cato Institute, the Heritage Foundation, and the Federalist Society (the later being the group that groomed Judge Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch and influenced older judges like Antonin Scalia, John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito)? (Grokked from Cat Rambo)

"CRC Public Relations, the prominent Alexandria, Virginia-based P.R. firm, guided Whelan through his roller-coaster week of Twitter pronouncements that ended in embarrassment and a potential setback for Kavanaugh’s hopes of landing on the high court, according to three sources familiar with their dealings." You may remember the CRC group as the company that laughed the Swift Boat ads against John Kerry. "It has long been the go-to communications firm for conservative organizations in Washington and across the country. Its current clients include the Federalist Society and the Judicial Crisis Network, the chief outside groups working to help confirm Kavanaugh." How is it that there are whole institutions and firms set up to support the right that are constantly caught lying and "fudging the truth"? (Grokked from Katheryn Cramer)

"Democrats are demanding an immediate halt to Brett Kavanaugh's nomination process after his increasingly troubled hopes of reaching the Supreme Court were hit by a new allegation of sexual misconduct as a young man." Oh, and apparently as a black out drunk teen, Kavanaugh is supposed to have keep a detailed diary. Um, yeah, Bob.

"On Sunday, Ford noticed that — even before her name became public — Whelan appeared to be seeking information about her… That morning, Ford alerted an associate via email that Whelan had looked at her LinkedIn page, according to the email, which was reviewed by The Post…Ford sent the email about 90 minutes after The Post shared her name with a White House spokesman and hours before her identity was revealed in a story posted on its website… A White House spokesman said Friday that neither Kavanaugh nor anyone in the White House gave Ford’s name to Whelan before it was disclosed by The Post." Well whatcha know about that. (Grokked from Xeni Jardin)

There's this SNL skit from the 80s about the Real Reagan White House. The gag is when none of the public is around Reagan is this super smart, able to speak several languages, decisive decision maker, but as soon as someone in the public enters the room, all the support staff wake up and Reagan goes back to the "aw, shucks" mode of operation. It's funny, because Reagan really wasn't that smart and most likely was experiencing the start of Alzheimer's disease during the re-election of 1984. But now, as it is clear from Janiece's reading of Fear, those were the good old days.

"Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort authorised a secret media operation on behalf of Ukraine’s former president featuring 'black ops', 'placed' articles in the Wall Street Journal and US websites and anonymous briefings against Hillary Clinton." This was when she was Secretary of State. Gee, that sounds an awful lot like the 2016 election. It also sounds a lot like the NYT story about Rosenstein wanting to wear a wiretap and gather people to enact the 25th Amendment. (Grokked from Cat Rambo)

"The British-born music publicist who helped arrange that infamous meeting between senior Trump campaign officials and a Russian lawyer promising dirt on Democrats now believes the meeting could have been a set-up by Russian intelligence, he told NBC News in an exclusive television interview." So, if you go to rob a store, but the store doesn't have anything to rob, is it still a crime? (The answer is yes, BTW.)

"Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Sunday he believes 'a bureaucratic coup' led by enemies of President Donald Trump is taking place at the Justice Department, and the senator asked that a new special counsel be appointed to investigate." And there's the why to the question about the Rosenstein NYT's story. This is information warfare, but now it's coming out of the White House. This is about clearing out people deemed "not loyal enough" from the institutions that could stop this president and the conservative take over.

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