consultants are sandburs

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The vulgarity of a succession list without a spot of quality. First removed ---

A Mike Pence presidency might imply . . .

Lilliputians. Each and all. Pence, Ryan, further on down the line. Job security for Trump. In a sense. In the sense that if Pence is "Agnewed" there is then Paul Ryan, and it is a constant threat. "President Ryan" would be a hard imposition. One without any charm, from it, for a "President Pence" prospect. It is a situation that galls, each person - considered on a basis of merit, lacking it.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Choosing words. Would the most fit term be "hucksters," "barkers," "intentional hacks," or "grifters?" Or, "paid prophets of stupidity?"

empty suits - impeccably tailored

I believe the term might be "camp followers," with an added lead adjective, "unprincipled." Yet, all other terminology pales to, "naked propagandists of ill-will." Or, most pejorative, "FOX NEWS' paid persons." The latter term encompasses the others.

This link.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Counterinsurgency? What is it, and are the very best people with sagacious judgment needed to keep it from failing?

This link. Second, third best; perhaps lower on the totem pole; and as to salaciousness sagacity [yes, spellcheck did catch "sagaciousness" as a non-word, but ... one must still proofread] there is being an actual axe-throwing threat and menace, one not easily dismissed. Is the point of counterinsurgency to be so mean and vicious that the insurgents will back down quivering with fear and loathing? Or is it to divide and conquer an occupied population by learning what buttons to push to have a substantial faction of the influential locals favor you over the other mean and insistent foreign force; one which must be countered sufficiently to gain local confidence, but not so effectively as to fully remove all threat totally, thereby rendering your continuing presence moot, still troublesome, but unnecessary? Ask Pete, but watch out if he's an axe handy.

UPDATE: Enough of the Hegseth critique, which does dance around the main question. For readers such as myself, with no actual experience in the counterinsurgency arts and practices; and for chain of command enlightenment,Gen. Michael Flynn wrote in Jan. 2010 (with two co-authors); while roughly a year later an alternative study was released. Another year and some weeks later, a third opus was penned, calling counterinsurgency a thing with "Operational Art" in the resume. [UPDATE: "Operational Art" was already a buzzword in 2010, and "counterinsurgency" a cottage industry among war pundits.]

All three original links above are "studies" at the behest of one or another General, or at least the major fingerprints on each seem to be via different Generals; (civilians need not apply nor offer ideas??).

Actually, the second of the three seems to mirror work of a committee, but please recall that the official story of the JFK lone-wolf assassin and the 9/11 commission report each was by committee; so trusting committee work for divergent views to leaven things in a good way is not without risk.

Reading and evaluating such things as those three items without having had any combat or military experience is not an easy task. It is so much easier just to sit back and smugly ridicule Hegseth. He's on FOX obnoxiously posturing a role akin to the guy who sticks out his chin at a bar saying, "Go ahead, give me your best shot, I can take it." The invitation is there, clearly extended.

However, if counterinsurgency is a major part of Pentagon brass tactics, knowing something about what they mean when they speak of it has value in a society ostensibly run by unerring civilian control of armed forces. Even with a General, Mattis, sitting atop the Pentagon pyramid while his General's chair has barely cooled a bit from his having sat a long time in it. Perhaps particularly with such top level upturning of civilian control it is more important to be vigilant. Complacency can forfeit liberty. History has lessons.

FURTHER UPDATE: Apart from absence of physical weaponry in politics, much of politics arguably can be viewed through a counterinsurgency lens. Is there much room for debate that Debbie Wasserman Schultz showed little "Operational Art" in how she and her DNC hangers on and henchpersons countered the Bernie insurgency? She came across as if trying to intercept falling drifting feathers with boxing gloves laced on so tightly she'd not give them up despite clear difficulties.

FURTHER UPDATE: An easy critique of "counterinsurgency doctrine" is that if Hegseth is put forward as a knowledgeable talking head AND trainer of counterinsurgency troops, doom to failure is inherent. Beyond that premise, Hegseth is an apologist, and not a particularly skilled one, while the heart of what U.S. counterinsurgency was, is, and will be might be personified by James Steele, the question being how close really is Hegseth's background to Steele's? A landslide of words and "counterinsurgency" white papers cannot hide the James Steele in current U.S. military practices.

FURTHER UPDATE: With the Hegseth counterinsurgency background, it is a surprise James Steele gets on FOX coverage, no love among the Hegseth corps; while BBC has done a video short excerpt. Full hour-long item.

FURTHER UPDATE: Rand Corp. has a piece of the action, its counterinsurgency think tanking having started before the earlier cited items, Rand publishing in 2011.

Newer items - from this year and the most recent two seem absent in search return lists. Two items dated 2006, here and here.

After Libya unfolded into chaos from its former prosperous autocracy and while Afghanistan poppy production soared and continues, what's been the outlook on counterinsurgency doctrine, say from during the second Obama term and as a policy debate in the 2016 election? An ongoing continual state of war and terror remains, whether ginned up by our nation's Hegseths or real, yet in public propagandizing it has been back burner. "Great again" rhetoric took front burner, with the Bernie insurgency being real despite mainstream media's intent to downplay it.

The progressive insurgency is one for which real hope must be held by anyone believing much of all else has been conjured-up smoke and mirrors.

Last, counterinsurgency against Bannon worked short term for the new autocratic "General Chief-of-Staff," that being so despite Roy Moore as the show-piece of Bannon-Mercer post-resignation MAGA mischief.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Hopefully, legislators will better start swimming or they'll sink like a stone.

This 90th Legislature bill, HF 2714, long term, has a future. Short term it has Republicans being who they are and hopefully they have, long term, no future.

Bill authors. Know who already is swimming . . .

UPDATE: More swimmers, this link - which correctly declares, "Everybody Counts, Everybody Matters." Big money donors do not matter more than you or I. DNC folks need schooling in that regard. Even DWS matters, and with proper help she perhaps can show something of an upward sloping learning curve.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Cyrus Vance Jr. and the Trump siblings - Guardian reporting.

Excerpt from here:

The Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R Vance Jr, refused on Saturday to answer questions about contributions to his re-election campaign and decisions to quash a fraud investigation involving Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr and not to prosecute the movie producer Harvey Weinstein over an alleged groping incident.

Vance, who will be up for re-election in November, was a speaker at a pro-gun control event in Union Square in New York City, held in the aftermath of the Las Vegas mass shooting. Asked about the campaign contributions, he offered no comment and swiftly left the event.

On Wednesday, ProPublica, WNYC and the New Yorker reported that between 2010 and 2012, prosecutors attempted to build a case against the two Trump siblings for allegedly “misleading prospective buyers of units in the Trump SoHo, a hotel and condo development”.

Before meeting Vance about the case in May 2012, the report said, Donald Trump’s attorney Marc Kasowitz donated $25,000 to the DA’s re-election campaign. Vance returned the donation, according to what he said was standard practice when a donor has a case before his office.

Three months later, the case was dropped. Vance told the three media outlets that was the “right call”, as he “did not at the time believe beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime had been committed”.

Subsequent donations to Vance’s campaign by Kasowitz and organised through him, and in excess of $50,000, were accepted. Speaking to ProPublica, WNYC and the New Yorker, Vance said he would return that money. He also said Kasowitz “had no influence, and his contributions had no influence whatsoever on my decision-making in the case”.

[...] In Union Square on Saturday a spokeswoman, Joan Vollero, [...] said in her emailed statement: “This was a two-year investigation that never produced sufficient evidence to support a criminal prosecution. During the investigation, the luxury apartment purchasers reversed course and took the position that the sellers had not committed any crime against them. No outside attorney influenced any decision in this matter.”

Whether a civil suit settles or not seems irrelevant to whether a crime was committed. Emphasizing that the civil suit plaintiffs settled seems a non sequitur. Kiting facts about unit sales in a housing development, with emails apparently exchanged, seems suspect beyond a sentence or two about plaintiffs in something apart from a prosecutor deciding to prosecute or not, where evidence might have been presented a grand jury to decide whether a crime existed. And with the prosecutor controlling any grand jury proceeding, is it moot that the prosecutor just dropped things in the middle of things? Vance has this in his portfolio of exercise of prosecutorial discretion. Justice may be blind while holding the scales; but people can be human in many ways.

It is a post from months ago, but it shows how Mike Pence is an arch-enemy of personal freedoms.

HuffPo, here. If you are denied one of the most basic personal/family freedoms, you have to ask, who are these people and why are they intruding into your affairs.

A screen capture. With an image of two anti-freedom individuals, one ousted recently.

Mike Pence is walking, living proof, one bad apple can spoil the batch.

With all that mischief crassly grounded on Republican divide and conquer premises; all else being window dressing and bogus rhetoric for the service of fools.

Mideast irrelevance in the near future?

The automobile is the big fossil fuel consumption thing. For now.

The military uses fossil fuel, but will a fleet of autonomous electric powered drones be the future? The chemicals to make wind turbine blades and high performance composites, and explosives, will remain a narrowed niche market. But burning it instead of using it as a raw material for manufactured goods may end. Sooner rather than later might be best.

Heating homes with solar conversion methods is real, now. Energy neutral construction is not a distant fiction. Green homes will happen.

When renewable energy is established, the Saudi attention will wane. Who'll care?

UPDATE: Boeing is buying in to the alternative fossil-fuel-free concept. While much can be said pro and con per Boeing it is not one to chase pipe dreams.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Minnesota Dem Guv candidates meet AFSME.

Strib reports. Republicans and AFSME meetings; if any; not reported. From Strib's photo gallery it looks from the solidarity tee shirts worn in the audience as if it were a Green Party convention. Seniority in AFSME may matter.

Reassurances were reported by Strib that AFSME specific bargaining rights were recognized and touted by each candidate. Whether other issues; e.g., the fifteen buck minimum wage for other workers - mostly unorganized young workers - if discussed at all was not reported by Strib.

Healthcare, extreme wealth and income imbalances, and money corrupting politics, if discussed, went unreported.

If any straw polling was involved, none was reported. If Kumbaya was sung as part of the solidarity showing, beyond the tee shirts, it was unreported.

Liebling remains a favored candidate here, but the entire batch seems to be a selection of qualified and ambitious individuals. Whichever ends up being the DFL general election candidate, he or she will be head and shoulders better than the likes of Kurt Daudt or Keith Downey, or Matt Dean. Opinions can differ.

Who knows, the Minnesota GOP could end up standing Tim Miller as their candidate for Governor.

NOTE: Republican Glen Taylor owns Strib. That should be borne in mind, in terms of possible slanting of the story.

One among several Strib gallery photos from its DFL-AFSME report:

That "People Power" banner inspires hope that AFSME membership and leadership will become very vocal on the fifteen buck minimum wage, with those laboring under sub-standard pay being people, some even voters, and if only focused on its ox not getting gored AFSME is missing a golden opportunity to show Minnesota-wide community solidarity - all workers being important - with such solidarity working to the benefit of all beyond low-wage exploitative employers. A long sentence, perhaps, hopefully, preaching to the choir.

_________FURTHER UPDATE____________
A websearch.

Good politics are shown on the national union's page, linking here.

Local "News" page; search=fifteen getting no hits.

This page. If AFSME is not vocally in front ranks on the fifteen dollar minimum wage issue, why the hell not? Worker issues transcend bargaining unit or national organized affiliation - all workers need the help of all other workers, and those laboring full working weeks for inadequate pay to live on need the help of others most. If nothing else, organizing minimum wage workers to get out and vote for candidates enunciating their plight as an election platform issue simply makes sense and it remains a big mystery why AFSME is less on the dime than SEIU in recognizing and advocating for meeting pay needs among the lower pay rungs of the national workforce.

__________FINAL UPDATE____________
Luckily finding a link before some reader emails calling me a dunce, this link:

It is GOOD to see that. Declaring a "victory" before no worker is being paid a current wage of less than fifteen dollars per hour, today, now, is arguably premature.

Yet the issue is recognized. Publicizing such matters remains to be done statewide in an effective way; with Republican ownership of news outlets being an obvious impediment to overcome.

__________Actually another UPDATE____________
Again, myopia; this link. A broader appeal to labor outside of teachers and public sector employees is needed. SIEU cannot carry all of it alone. Young people being disadvantaged on wages; older people having lost a better job working 40 or more hours a week and unable to meet expenses - these are people a Bernie Our Revolution agenda can energize, there was that pattern of Bernie massive turnouts being ignored by owned media; and everyone including AFSME needs to transcend myopia. Minimum wage abuse is a fine starting point. Broaden the persepctive or get Scott Walkered. It's not too complicated to comprehend, so where is the movement's movement? HINT: It is not Nancy Pelosi, any more than the Clinton spouses, Saban in Hollywood, and Podesta campaign management carried much. DWS was poison. Tom Perez is inadequate to save AFSME's bacon. Go talk to Ellison, and beg forgiveness for the Perez-DWS-DNC debacle pattern in all its ongoing glowing glory.

A websearch. Single Payer is not a difficult thing to understand, and once understood, advocating vigorously for it follows. Usually. Among good people, which AFSME seems to have.

ABC Newspapers reports: TAXES: Anoka County. City of Ramsey.

Anoka County. Ramsey. Both up.

Friday, October 06, 2017

“One of the most disturbing things in the fashion industry is when someone blatantly steals your copyright designs and doesn’t care,” his label posted on its Instagram account in March 2016. “You should know better. Shame on you @ivankatrump! Imitation is NOT the most sincere form of flattery.” Aquazzura sent a cease-and-desist letter to Ms Trump about the shoe, asking her company to stop selling its sandal.

The headline is an Independent paragraph, the report going on to say:

“Based on Aquazzura’s prior dealings with your client’s company, and on the obvious and purposeful copying of our client’s shoe, we anticipate that you will challenge Aquazzura’s rights in its design, maintaining that the designs lack secondary meaning, and that your client is therefore free to knock them off with impunity,” the letter said, citing some of the elements of infringement.

To avoid a court battle, Aquazzura demanded Trump’s company remove all pictures of the sandal in question from its website and social media, stop advertising the shoe, destroy all existing pairs, disclose its manufacturer, hand over profits from sales of the offending shoe, and “agree in writing under oath not to offer for sale any knock-off” again.

Aquazzura gave Ms Trump a week to comply, or else face legal action.

Ms Trump did not comply, so two months later, Aquazzura sued her along with Marc Fisher. In a complaint filed in June 2016 in Manhattan federal court, the company accused Trump of infringement, unfair competition, and deceptive trade practices.

“Seeking the same success Aquazzurra experienced but without having to put in the hard creative work, defendants resorted to knocking off plaintiff’s popular designs,” the complaint stated. Trump has denied any wrongdoing.

Darren Saunders, attorney for the defendants, said Wednesday that the two sides are in settlement talks. Lawyers for Aquazzura declined to comment.

Intellectual property spats are common in the fashion industry, [...]

There seems a bit of sleaze in design misappropriation. With intent being likely; "negligent" design knockoff being improbable.

Another recent Independent report:

The AP also found that tonnes of Ivanka Trump clothing were exported from 2013 to 2015 by a company owned by the Chinese government, according to public records and trade data. It is unclear whether the brand is still working with that company, or other state-owned entities. Her brand has pledged to avoid business with state-owned companies now that she's a White House advisor, but contends that its supply chains are not its direct responsibility.

Chasing money can be done with class, or in a shabby or overly circumspect way reflecting poorly upon the money chaser.

Almost a month old, but still relevant to the process of decently nominating and appointing people to federal judgeships.

Walter Mondale, having written an editorial for a Minnesota daily newspaper of general circulation in the state. Stating a reasoned belief that Al Franken's blocking a overly partisan nominee was simply the right and proper thing for Franken to have done. A sort of "Bravo, Al" item, but with a sagacious explanation of existant protocol and manners, beyond that.

Thursday, October 05, 2017

A settled case is going to stay settled? [UPDATED]

Litigation should settle. In settling nobody gets entirely what was desired, but sufficiency means move on to other matters. Turn the other cheek, bury the hatchet, however it might be phrased.

Image is from this reporting.

When the Trump Brand makes news, is it fake news? Real news? Something between reality and fiction, reality and ideals?

The link in the photo caption links here, where early in the item this excerpt occured:

In one email, according to four people who have seen it, the Trumps discussed how to coordinate false information they had given to prospective buyers. In another, according to a person who read the emails, they worried that a reporter might be onto them. In yet another, Donald, Jr. spoke reassuringly to a broker who was concerned about the false statements, saying that nobody would ever find out, because only people on the email chain or in the Trump Organization knew about the deception, according to a person who saw the email.

There was “no doubt” that the Trump children “approved, knew of, agreed to, and intentionally inflated the numbers to make more sales,” one person who saw the emails told us. “They knew it was wrong.”

In 2010, when the Major Economic Crimes Bureau of the D.A.’s office opened an investigation of the siblings, the Trump Organization had hired several top New York criminal defense lawyers to represent Donald, Jr. and Ivanka. These attorneys had met with prosecutors in the bureau several times. They conceded that their clients had made exaggerated claims, but argued that the overstatements didn’t amount to criminal misconduct.

No prosecution seems a bottom line of the Trump-Soho saga. Is old news good news? And, what is a material misstatement of a present fact, which differs from a statement of a future expectation or a future hope? And how does one prove any intent to deceive? All such questions are a part of prosecutorial discretion, and usually are nuanced rather than clear beyond any reasonable doubt.

_____________FURTHER UPDATE_____________
The prosecutor who declined to prosecute was Cyrus Vance, Jr. Cyrus Vance,Sr. was Secretary of State under Jimmy Carter. You can do some web searching. There are Yale and Georgetown ties. Boarding school. Clinton and Trump had a phone conversation at the initiation of Trump running for office. Ferreting out possible ties and concessions is a big ball of sticky taffy, so have a pull.

____________FURTHER UPDATE______________
The Independent published a parallel report.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017


Here and here.


What Would Abigale Whelan and Peggy Scott Say? Their Republican Pennsylvania choice hating colleague "doing as he says?"

Sponsor divisive BS, vote always in lockstep with party leadership - that seems the way of the two ladies; reelected; who knows why?

And, last,
ongoing marketing of the "Trump Brand" and a target audience of shoppers - seemingly Whelan contemporaries in age and spirit? Same smile.

Shop Now, suckers. Guess who's waiting and what mischief may follow.

BONUS QUESTION: Should Donald J. Trump remind you of Rufus T. Firefly? In terms of mood and capability to make Freedonia great again?

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Hegseth. Less would be more.

Does he kneel for his FOX paycheck? He seems to bark on command. Here, here and here.

Well? He and Sarah Palin should hold a dumb-in. Like a sit-in, but aimed differently. And,

Bad joke? Fake news? Or Oh-my-God real?

Monday, October 02, 2017

Tom Price was honed in his vision to serve the most needy. His motto, "Neediness begins at home."

YouTube, this link.

How about early on the enthusiastic HHS staff crowd's enthusiasm? Off and on, the video showing the audience. Heartwarming, there's no other word for it. A lead-in intro, watch that person into future appointment mischief. Price speaks. Pence speaks. Suits especially seem in tune. Some, but not all audience suits. Watch the crowd shots, few as they are. Tepid applause? You decide.

This link. This one. Another. In terms of that first link, its headline, go back to the video, at about 7 min min into it, talk of individual coverage cost, and at 8:20 or so, mention of a "patient centered" healthcare approach as if Tom Price, not Romney and Heritiage Foundation invented it. This websearch.

More spreading, here. Finally --
Tune time.

UPDATE: History has a way of staying on the books, despite it's turns and tricks and the irony of rebranded backlash rhetoric. Pence is more a biblical scholar and story teller than an accuracy focused historian, while Price knows travel more than travail.

FURTHER: This online analysis; linked to in a NYT Krugman item. Krugman wrote:

The essence of Obamacare, as of Romneycare, is a three-legged stool of regulation and subsidies: community rating requiring insurers to make the same policies available to everyone regardless of health status; an individual mandate, requiring everyone to purchase insurance, so that healthy people don’t opt out; and subsidies to keep insurance affordable for those with lower incomes.

The original Heritage plan from 1989 had all these features.

These days, Heritage strives mightily to deny the obvious; it picks at essentially minor differences between what it used to advocate and the plan Democrats actually passed, and tries to make them seem like a big deal. But this is disinformation. The essential features of the ACA — above all, the mandate — are ideas Republicans used to support.

FURTHER: The essence of both Romney's and Obama's half-assed things is NOT taking the profiteering insurance leeches out of the equation; NOT standing tall on Big Pharma to cease gouging; NOT policing bill kiting by the HMO providing network. NOT, NOT, NOT. Zero as a real answer to the long overdue need of a nation for Single Payer Healthcare As A Right just as civilized nations back in the 20th Century started to provide their populace, as a sane and humane thing.

Sunday, October 01, 2017

More on Tina Liebling for Governor - given a timely Strib item.

Here, Strib publishing, "Legal marijuana debate will light up 2018 campaign -- A full-throated debate over full legalization in this state has seemed to be a question of when, not if. September 29, 2017 — 6:44pm," by Lori Sturdevant; stating in part:

Ever since Colorado allowed the legal sale of weed five years ago and the Minnesota Legislature said yes to medical marijuana two years later, a full-throated debate over full legalization in this state has seemed to be a question of when, not if.

An answer is emerging: 2018. Five of the six most active DFL candidates to succeed the retiring DFL Gov. Mark Dayton have said they favor legalizing marijuana for more than medical use. Only State Auditor Rebecca Otto says she’s opposed.

Per usual in a culture war skirmish, the Republicans in the race are lining up on the other side. All four of the top announced candidates say they oppose legalizing pot.

My bet: That difference won’t be campaign background noise. It’ll be an everyday talking point, with each side employing it in the belief that it can usefully distract voters from messier matters while inspiring them to go to the polls and smite the culturally clueless opposition.

I base that prediction on observations both ancient and recent. Through the years, Minnesotans have been as prone as other Americans to get revved up and choose up sides over matters like religion, race, reproduction, guns, gender roles, immigrant assimilation and, quite often, intoxicants.

[...] “A lot of people in our generation realize that the prohibition of marijuana is a failed policy,” agreed DFL gubernatorial candidate and state Rep. Tina Liebling, [...]. “It’s definitely true that a lot of younger people want this changed. But support for legalization is broader than we might think.”

Liebling would know. Among the five DFL candidates for governor who want pot prohibition ended, she’s the one to have introduced a bill to that effect in the Legislature. She’s an attorney from Rochester who says she has seen in her criminal defense work the detrimental impact of the nation’s war on drugs on people’s lives.

“I’m not saying that marijuana is harmless,” Liebling said, who added that she’s not a user herself. “But there are a lot of things in life that are not harmless that we allow to be sold.” Legalization would bring a number of benefits, she said. “People could know what they are buying, where it came from and how potent it is. I believe we could also do a better job of keeping it away from kids.”

[...] Liebling cited estimates that Minnesotans are already spending a jaw-dropping $700 million a year buying pot on the black market, where there is no age limit on sales.

And where there are no taxes paid. Last year, Colorado collected $200 million in tax revenue on marijuana sales.

[links in original] And as with abortion, the Repbulicans who give lip-service to freedom and liberty, are aligned against yet another liberty of free choice. Go figure that. Words can confuse, policies are clear.

After learning more about Liebling, her early and steadfast backing of the Bernie Sanders presidential bid, and visiting her campaign website, she is who I intend voting for during caucusing DFL [while actually an independent unless/until the party renounces superdelegates and moves off the dime to the left of Republican lite]. And if there is a primary with Liebling in it, she'd have my vote there also.

Becky Otto, before Thissen announced, was an early choice, but her wrong straddle on legalization along with Thissen's entry into the contest and learning more about Liebling puts her in third place in my outlook. She'd be a fine governor, nobody can really doubt that, but so would Liebling or Thissen - indeed anyone who could fog a mirror and not be Republican would do. But the three, Liebling, Thissen, and Otto seem sound - Otto's primary appeal - to me and perhaps others - being who her enemies in the DFL are starting early in the alphabet, at "B" to late in the alphabet, "T." (hint: Home, Home on the Range)


Earlier Strib April 2, 2017, reporting on Liebling's announcing her candidacy, here; Liebling's Wikipdia page, here; and Liebling's campaign website:




Tina Liebling and Husband, Dr. Mark Liebow
Presumably both favor Universal Healthcare as a right

Last; see the sidebar LIEBLING item, click the image and read - ON THE ISSUES LIEBLING RINGS A PERFECT TEN!

Friday, September 29, 2017

Is the Trumpster capable of saying, "You're fired?" In a real vs. TV contrived instance?

When he should, because taxpayer money is being grossly abused; per WaPo, here. Excerpt:

Price has come under the most intense scrutiny — President Trump chastised him publicly Wednesday and suggested that his job was no longer secure — but lawmakers are also demanding probes of travel by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Pruitt has taken at least four noncommercial and military flights since mid-February, according to congressional oversight records, costing taxpayers more than $58,000, while Mnuchin is under investigation by the Treasury inspector general for his use of a government plane to visit Kentucky as well as one for a trip from New York City to Washington.

And a private plane chartered this summer by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, for a flight from Las Vegas to near his home in Montana, cost taxpayers $12,375, according to a department spokesman. Zinke also used private flights during a trip to the Virgin Islands.

[...] An HHS official said Thursday that Price would write a check for $51,887.31, which appears to cover the cost of his seat on chartered flights but not those of his staffers. Politico, which first reported on Price’s repeated use of chartered jets, has estimated the total expense of the trips exceeded $400,000 — and it reported early Thursday evening that his White House-approved flights on military planes to Africa, Europe and Asia cost more than $500,000.

Fire the lot of them. They are inept and overreaching APPRENTICES. In fact, they're fucking taxpayers royally, and are proving themselves reluctantly indifferent about paying up anything approaching full reimbursement. They are feeding their obscenely greedy wants, not anyone's needs (using that want/need distinction one particular Anoka County Board member seems enamored of using against non-Republicans).

Then add on a pinch of after-being-caught hypocrisy:

Although the secretary said in his statement that his private-charter travel was approved by legal and HHS officials, he added that he regretted “the concerns this has raised regarding the use of taxpayer dollars.”

“All of my political career I’ve fought for the taxpayers,” Price said. “It is clear to me that in this case, I was not sensitive enough to my concern for the taxpayer. I know as well as anyone that the American people want to know that their hard-earned dollars are being spent wisely by government officials.”

Who would ever believe that monstrous BS? It insults an electorate to say such garbage. Fools and knaves are sometimes overlapping sets of individuals; Price being in that overlap.

How about a little of that TV prime-time, "You're fired?" 

It's due.

Phrased differently:

Strib: image source.

_________FURTHER UPDATE__________
The bastard's gone. Trump must have said, "You're resigned," since it's not called a firing by the mainstream press. This link, and,

The Republican House speaker, Paul Ryan, is praising Price, saying that the former Georgia congressman and House Budget Committee chairman is a "good man."

The top House Democrat, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, says Price should never have become health secretary because the country needs someone in the job "who believes in health care for all Americans."

Pelosi says President Donald Trump should pick a replacement who will stop the administration's sabotage of health care programs.

Pelosi, a foe of single payer (so far, wet finger to test the wind being likely), has no place staking any claim yet about "health care for all Americans." Is she abandoning the money that's been behind DC politics so tediously long; shifting to the only real choice, single payer?

Believe any such change if you see it. It seems vague blowing smoke from here. A Pelosi charm, over the years.

Ryan? It takes a good man to know a good man. Ryan?

More, same source:

On the Democratic side, Sen. Patty Murray of Washington state says Price was always unacceptable for the job because of his "ideologically driven" views on health care, especially women's health. Murray says the Trump administration lets top officials "put themselves and partisan politics ahead of families."

Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden says Price "betrayed the agency's mission to improve Americans' health care." He says Price's replacement must implement federal health care laws and work to reduce prescription drug prices.


Former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price says he regrets that the controversy over his travel created a distraction for the Trump administration and its health overhaul agenda.

Price writes in his resignation letter to President Donald Trump: "I have spent 40 years both as a doctor and public servant putting people first."

He adds: "I regret that the recent events have created a distraction from these important objectives."

How do you like that, "recent events" brand? The creep lacks the courage to say "things I've wrongly done" and instead says "recent events" as if it is separate and apart from him and choices he's made to be self-serving beyond any decent degree. What a project! Sent to Congress by the same district that inflicted Newt Gingrich on the nation during Gingrich-Clinton years, back then, when DC was not even by a pinch corrupt. Eh?

___________FURTHER UPDATE___________
Shoveling it on; same source; good man Speaker Ryan:

Ryan says Price was a "leader in the House and a superb health secretary," and he credits Price for helping the House pass a health care bill earlier this year. That measure went nowhere in the Senate.

Yeah, and Dracula was a superb vampire. A leader of that ilk. A good vampire, one with sound family values and opposed to aggressive Islam.

____________FURHTER UPDATE______________
Mrs. DeVos? Well traveled? Frugally so? Soon the nation may know. Many have hopes about what facts will emerge.

About what outcome may ensue.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Deficits only matter to Republicans when Democrats are in control and Republicans aim to hamstring the Democrats. When Republicans are in power they want to give tax sops to the wealthy; their only real constituency despite speaking of God and Jesus and embryos and where to pee, as mere diversionary theater to lull the gullible (tax-haven Whelan coming to mind).

Read all about it. WaPo. This link. Another. Bloomberg. CNN Money. CNN Opinion. Bloomberg, again. Chicago Tribune. Yahoo Finance. Bloomberg again.

Can you say, "Shell game by a shill?"

Reuters, here, reports:

The tax plan announced by Trump and fellow Republican leaders would cut the top tax rate for individuals and cut the corporate rate, but it offered scant details on how to pay for the cuts without dramatically driving up the federal deficit.

Stocks and the dollar gained on hopes that the lower tax rates would spur faster economic growth, while bond yields soared on concerns tied to inflationary pressures stemming from more federal borrowing to finance a bigger government deficit.

The dollar index .DXY hit a one-month high. Wall Street share prices .DJI .SPX .IXIC moved closer to their all-time peaks, and the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield US10YT=RR rose to its highest level since early August.

“You are seeing some optimism coming back into play” in the wake of the tax proposal, said Julien Scholnick, portfolio manager at Western Asset Management Co in Pasadena, California.

And Emmanuel Cau, executive director of global equity strategy at JP Morgan & Co in London, said the reflation trade was back.

“Clearly there’s a sensation that the reflation trade is coming back on the agenda,“ Cau said. “Most of our positioning is based on a reflation trade happening again.”

But the uncertainty clouding the tax proposal’s prospects could result in the reflation trade fading almost as quickly as it reappeared. Democrats, who were not consulted in drafting the proposal, are hostile to it and Republicans are divided over it.

Bonus image, an indulged complacent fat cat portfolio tender. Any questions?

Reader special offer: Get a Roy Moore "Ten Commandments" replica statue paperweight, yours for only $49.99 [plus postage].

But wait, there's more. Send me your check for the full purchase amount by noon Oct. 15, and get a replica Roy Moore solid [and not inflatable] doll with the replica. Both replica and doll are made of unbreakable polyurethane rubber. Your child can play with either, hammer nails in either, and it will still stand up proudly on your desk, atop your important papers, as vigilant of your desk as Roy will be of his. What more might you want? WELL! . If that check's received by Oct. 15, WE PAY THE POSTAGE.

Offer limited to one per customer, supply is greatly limited, and no check will be cashed unless the item ships. If you are not satisfied, or if items in inventory do not last to ship you yours, we will not cash your check and will return same if you include a stamped self-addressed envelope with your purchase letter. Offer not good in Washington DC, Texas, Wisconsin, Mississippi nor Alabama -and- any purchase letter offer is subject to a right to decline shipping for any reason, or no reason (like being fired from employment at will).

What a sharp doll, and what a special monument.
Just like the one Roy intends to take to DC
for his Senate office. His will have swamp drainage plumbing,
but your replica will not.

credit where due: images from online, here

Well, the follow-up marketing plan was "Made in China" Moore Rock banks, the replica, hollow, with a coin slot on the top, between Commandment tablets. "Jesus saves and you can too" being a possible slogan. But since Roy's claiming copyright on the thing [a design patent being perhaps a better idea, but "intellectual property" as a term is arguably an insult to intellect as well as inapplicable to a hustle grounded on public domain stuff pasted together inartfully]; such a claim quells any real desire to hustle the Moore hustle beyond how extensively Moore's been hustling it. Sorry if you wanted doll and replica. Offer withdrawn. Go elsewhere for Roy paraphenalia if that is your true craving. Anywhere else. Please.

Moore wins Moore v. Strange Alabama GOP runoff election. Sane hope rests with the Democrat, sanity in Alabama being a top tier question.

Links, here and here. Is Alabama a litmus test of anything? Do many readers disagree with the headline of this post?

Image from before final runoff results.

Whores get on the bandwagon. Reporting of a Roy Moore victory speech, with little reporting of the Mike Pence reaction; it being fake news to report anything reflecting one way or another upon Mike Pence? At least there was, pre-runoff, this.

Mike Pence seemingly gets a press free ride. That is a curious phenomenon.

Talking of camp followers, camp switchers,

And see how Strange the man's twitting was before the election; then look at his genuine thread, post election. Some seemed inclined to call out what was there to be called out.

However, Mitch McConnell won first prize in the contest to be named most indecent whore of the Alabama runoff outcome [italics added for emphasis]:

Despite making antipathy to the Republican establishment a centerpiece of his campaign, Moore was even embraced by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Tuesday night. In a statement, McConnell, who was first elected to the Senate more than 30 years ago, claimed he shares Moore’s frustration about the workings of Washington DC.

Could anyone whore more? Doubtful. That quote is taken from an Aaron Rupar Thinkprogress post; per this screencapture [where links are shown but do not link - go to the original for link following].

Google Blogger makes
the screencapture unreadable.
Go to the original, please.

Readers are strongly urged to link to the Rupar item, to read it, and to think about it and what it says about sincerity. These are the minions of the "Grand Old Party." Dregs. Each. Every. It appears Paul Ryan had the good judgment to butt out of the Moore bandwagonning.

FURTHER READING: CNN, here and here, online. Will Michele Bachmann be a part of things, or will she remain a sideline observer with a vested federal pension and a lower than previous profile?

Who will Bannon run against Diane Feinstein, or against Nancy Pelosi? It seems as if every Republican declares he/she is running against Nancy Pelosi, so which will really do it in California, for real? Will Scott Walker prove too soft on godly virtue to survive a rabid Dominionist onslaught? Who is next? Is Vermont big enough to have one of them to challenge Bernie? Why is Hegseth staying at his FOX venue? Does he lack ambition? Has he fire in the belly? Won't he throw his axe in the ring?

FURTHER: Please Stevie B., put one in Debbie Wasserman Schultz's district, a really nasty godly one, retire Debbie the way Tim Canova might have; (but differing because Canova was a desirable candidate with desirable stances on key issues). Last, will Abigale Whelan challenge Klobuchar? It only seems absurd unless/until it happens. And it could.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

An image used by Dan Burns at MPP, with a quote, raises a dichotomy.

First, the image, from MPP:

So, the question arises - schools as and within a community - should each local school be a reflection of its community, or should it aim to be an improvement, an upgrade to the mood of the community? Where I live, the latter. It is a community - county wide - full of Trump voting Dominionists with little schooling and less judgment. Followers of pastors who say whatever, not thinking on their own. Driving expensive tricked out pickup trucks with nary a scratch on the bed. Or stock from the lot, after-market trick-free. Show pickups far more frequently than working ones. Likely bought on credit, not cash sales. The taller the driver's seat, the better. Clear as black and white:

Schooling in the community holds out the hope of Teslas and hybrids. Next generation, or the one following.

AND - working pickups are fine. They have purpose. They belong, naturally. They are not unnatural like Mike Pence or Paul Ryan. (Neither of whom is a likely tricked out pickup driver, yet with each loved locally anyway, beyond reason and beyond good sense. Indeed, Michele Bachmann, a local favorite, is not likely a pickup driver either. She tricks up her aging face with makeup, but that's just fodder for a separate post.)

After-market face.

UPDATE: Tune time.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Jesse Ventura has a sound idea. If not the Anthem, what?

This link.

Jesse reacts to the Trumpster's dumpster diving twits. Before playing football, play United States Blues, or Jungle Work? Why not just a welcoming announcement expressing hope for an interesting game and for everyone in attendance to have a nice year? (Jesse should not object to that latter idea.) And it would be better than the present stuff. Every dictatorship and evil regime has had its flag and anthem. North Korea? Here and here. YouTube. Is that our direction, if so, is it ripe and fine for you? Bonus: Dead man playing. Second bonus, people enjoy United States Blues. Have you ever seen such crowd fervor for Star Spangled Banner? If so, where, Charleston?

UPDATE: More YouTube?

This link. Wave that flag . . .

FURTHER: Actual bonus: For fans of mellow yet monumental, in its way, . . .

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Is Minnesota a microcosm of nationwide petty official abuse, because a situation shows it?

Strib: Court fight between Gov. Mark Dayton, lawmakers shines light on hefty legislative expenses - Court filings provide a rare glimpse into expenses. -- By Erin Golden Star Tribune - September 19, 2017 — 10:14pm; stating:

The latest turn in the monthslong dispute between the governor and Legislature provides a rare glimpse into the finances of the Legislature, which is not subject to the same open records laws as other public entities in Minnesota, [... per photo caption]

Spending items range from payroll and office expenses to State Fair Tickets ($3,750) and flowers ($482). The information disclosed does not link the expense reimbursements to the 201 individual members of the Legislature, or indicate if the sometimes-hefty expenses were racked up by Republicans or DFLers.

In court filings, legislative leaders say those expenses and others — which typically aren’t shared in detail with the public — are necessary to keep the Legislature running.

[ending italics emphasis added]

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Editorial Board, Mpls. Star Tribune, September 19, 2017 — 5:59pm [UPDATED]

Clown Car Occupants - image from the Strib editorial

UPDATE: Sen. Graham: With your bill and your attitude toward the public's having single payer healthcare as a right; wrong finger.