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Archive for the ‘His Fraudulency Donald The Trump’ Category

The good news is that I’m not diabetic. The bad news is that my cat is.

Poor patchy kitty

The Mighty Fang has been poked, prodded, and otherwise miserated for the past three days to determine why he was drinking and urinating by a ridiculous amount. The final verdict: His blood sugar was way high in the blood test, at a point where a human would have already ended up in the hospital. He was also spilling a lot of sugar into his urine, indicating that it wasn’t just a momentary stress high, though the blood test was so high that was pretty much out of the question anyhow. The good news is that we caught it early, before there was damage to his retinas or kidneys or liver, and before he crashed.

So besides changing his diet to a low-carb diet (accomplished by changing his cat food to canned Nutro Natural Choice, which he loves) we’re starting out with a small dose of insulin twice a day. The photo above is his breakfast after this morning’s shot, which I gave under the vet’s direction. Yeah, the vet shaved a couple of patches of his fur off to give me easier targets to shoot at. Poor baby, he’s looking so patchy! Talking about insulin, that brings us to Big Pharma conspiring to hike the price of insulin. Three drug companies control 100% of the market for insulin, and conspire with each other to hike prices in lockstep. The best insulin on the market right now is one called Lantus. It’s a long-acting insulin that is much smoother than the older insulins, your blood sugar (or your cat’s, in my case) stays steady for far longer, requiring less monitoring and fewer injections to get a stable blood sugar level. My vet warned me that it was expensive. “You’re going to pay $180, $185 a vial. The good news is that he’s a cat, so a vial will last a couple of months.”

So here is what I paid for one vial of insulin: $293.99. When I showed him that bill, my vet was like, “What? That’s insane!”

“But we don’t charge full price!” said the drug companies above. Bull fucking shit. “But we offer discounts!” Not to cat owners, they don’t. There was one $20 discount coupon I could have taken if I’d know about it. That’s *it*.

So why don’t I get a vial of that old school insulin that costs $5/vial? Well, Big Pharma isn’t charging $5/vial for it. They’re charging $80/vial for it now. And it sucks, it’s really hard to get good control with it. And the better insulin, Humulin, that was introduced in the early 80’s for $10/vial? They’re charging $237 for it now. And it’s not as good as Lantus. It’s barely better than the older pork insulin (“Vetsulin”) that is available for $80/vial. And they’re charging $237/vial for it.

How fucked up is our healthcare system that I’m seriously looking at Canadian pharmacy sites… for my CAT?!

Oh, my good news? Well, glucose levels in cats need monitoring just like in humans. It turns out you use exactly the same supplies to do it. It turned out that Walmart sells their own branded version of one of the most highly rated blood sugar testing devices on the market, it requires a tiny blood sample and is as accurate as anything else (i.e., not particularly, but good enough for cats). This evening I got back from Walmart with a boatload of diabetic measuring supplies — lancets, lancet devices, and of course the test meter and the metering sticks, which have an enzyme in them that then reacts with the glucose in blood to set up an electrolytic reaction whose resistance is measured by the device to come up with the final result. The next task was to figure out how to use them. To do that, I wasn’t going to torment my poor cat and his ears — I volunteered myself as the guinea pig instead.

It took me several attempts to figure out how to use the lancet device to prick my fingertip. Then the next attempt didn’t result in a big enough blood droplet to test. Then I realized I needed to press harder on the lancet device before hitting the button, and did so, and blood didn’t really come out well but with some stroking of blood towards the hole a nice bead happened and I touched the tip of the meter strip to it, it sucked it in, and the meter gave me a value that was totally normal. Yay, I’m not diabetic! At least not yet! Stick gauze over the hole, wait a while, done.

Okay, but how the heck do I do this with the ear of a cat?! I need to watch those videos again, grr. Because I can’t see how I can manage to prick TMF’s ear using this device, because his ears are really thin and sort of floppy. The meter works well, doesn’t require much blood at all (turned out the bead I made was way more blood than the meter needed), but the pricking looks like a real prick of a problem. It looks like I’m going to have to watch more videos, ask people on the diabetic cat forum what setting they use on the pricker for their cat’s ears, and otherwise do more research before subjecting The Mighty Fang to my unkind ministrations. Because somehow I suspect The Mighty Fang will be less tolerant of fumbling than I was myself :(.

– Badtux the Diabetic-cat-owned Penguin
Oh yeah, obligatory slam against His Fraudulency Donald the Trump — he said he’d let people import drugs from outside the country and would let Medicare negotiate drug prices. Well, it turns out that campaign promise was as fraudulent as everything else about Deadbeat Donnie. SIGH.

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It never turns out well. Just ask George W. Bush. Or Ronald Reagan’s ghost, for that matter — he fucked around in Lebanon, it got a couple hundred Marines killed, he said “fuck this shit” and declared victory and went home (after blowing up a buncha innocent people with shells from a battleship).

Yeah, you sure paid attention, didn’t you, Donald? Doing exactly what everybody warned you not to do — declared that you’re going to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. A move for which there is literally NO gain for the United States — and you’re supposed to be President of the United States, dude, not President of Israil.

SIGH.

— Badtux the “Don’t these people ever learn?” Penguin

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There are multiple lawsuits claiming that Trump is in violation of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution. Right now, a judge is trying to decide whether the litigants in one of those lawsuits have standing to proceed, i.e., that they were directly impacted by the President’s violation of the fundamental law of the country. If no standing, then no lawsuit.

But let’s say that the judge does rule that the litigants have standing. And let’s say that eventually Trump is found by the court to be in violation. Then what?

Well: not what the proponents of these lawsuits are claiming.

First of all, the lawsuits aren’t going to remove His Fraudulency Donald the Trump from office. There is only one provision in the Constitution for removing a President from office: impeachment. Secondly, the lawsuits aren’t going to put Hillary Clinton in office. If Trump is harassed by the lawsuits enough he might resign, and of course he could be impeached by Congress, but either way the Constitution is clear: Say hello to President Pence, R-Handmaid’s Tale.

So what can the lawsuits accomplish? Well, lawsuits award damages. Lawsuits can also include court orders to cease and desist. In this case, damages are going to be the actual losses of those who lost business due to Trump’s violation of the Emoluments Clause. Identifying how much business was lost is likely to require a Special Master to look at the books of Trump’s businesses to determine how much of their income is coming from foreign sources now as versus from before he was President, and then distribution of the excess foreign income to surrounding businesses in the same field of business who presumably were harmed by the violation of the emoluments clause. It could also include a court order ordering the Trump businesses to cease and desist accepting business from foreign sources, and, if the Trump businesses violate that order, could even involved seizing the Trump businesses, selling them at auction, and then giving the Trumps any excess left over from liquidating the businesses (ie, likely $0, since any money remaining likely would go to pay creditors).

All of that is a real long shot, but here’s the thing: None of that would result in ex-President Trump. Trump would still be President. He would still have the many opportunities for enrichment of a President and, once he leaves office, all the opportunities that ex-Presidents get. Frankly, given how heavily indebted his businesses are, he might even be relieved if a court seized them and sold them at auction. It would save him the trouble of declaring bankruptcy (again) and give him a handy scapegoat to use for his next money-making venture, “I didn’t go bankrupt, a fake judge took all my properties away!”.

And that’s the *worst* case. The most likely case is that this is going to drag on for years and years and years, and then President Trump is going to leave office (either voluntarily or because he had a massive coronary) and the lawsuits will basically end up dropped as moot.

Under *no* circumstances will Trump be removed from office by these lawsuits.

Under *no* circumstances will Hillary Clinton be installed as President by these lawsuits.

At best, they are a nuisance to Trump. Furthermore, given the current makeup of Congress, Trump could basically eliminate the lawsuits in a minute by having Congress make a law saying his businesses can accept foreign money. The Constitution does give Congress the right to do that.

In short, the lawsuits are pointless, other than as yet another way to harass a sitting President. Of course, turnabout is fair play — these lawsuits at least have more possibility of standing than the hundreds of lawsuits about Obama’s birth certificate. But beyond that… there’s no there, there.

– Badtux the Law Penguin

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I made a funny, LOL. Because IOKIYR. Duh.

But the facts on the Niger incident are damning for the Trump administration. First, let’s talk about Niger for a bit. Niger is one of the most desolate, poorest countries on the planet. The Niger River passes through a small part of the country in the far southwest, but that’s the only large scale water supply, and it’s passing through mostly desolate desert with no attempts at large scale irrigation and large scale farming, meaning that most of the country’s food is imported. The imported food is paid for by exporting uranium, Niger’s one and only export — Niger accounts for about 8% of world-wide uranium production. Not enough to drive up the price of uranium enough to pay for developing the country, but enough to make it utterly dependent on the few customers for uranium. The country has virtually no roads of any kind beyond the southwest, and settlement away from the southwest is concentrated around wadis, small water holes. There are no roads to most of these wadis. You’ll be flying along over the desert on Google Earth, seeing a few tracks in the seemingly endless sand dunes, and suddenly you’ll pop over a hill and there’s a settlement built around a wadi. With no roads to it at all. It’s all mud brick walls and flat roofs and thousands of people living in these compounds. Any outside goods arrive via caravan over the trackless desert, where the moving dunes swiftly wipe out any attempt at building roads.

Niger has the ill fortune to border Libya to its north, so groups claiming to be ISIS have been filtering south to use Niger as a staging place for raids into Libya. The Niger military mostly doesn’t do anything in the north. Until recently Chad was part of an African Union force that was fighting ISIS in the north, but recently pulled out after President Trump dissed Chad by putting Chad onto a list of countries with a travel ban — despite the fact that there are no ISIS affiliates operating in Chad, period. Niger also has the ill fortune to border Mali to its west. Mali has been the source of an ISIS-affiliated terrorist group that Mali soldiers and French soldiers have been fighting for years, and which occasionally strays across the border into

But this event didn’t happen in the north where Chad until recently had been operating. This event happened in the southwest of the country, near a community called Tonga Tonga. At one point there was a road that went through the desert to Mali, but that road was never completed, it peters out in the desert roughly 20 miles before it gets to Mali. This part of the country isn’t the rolling sand dunes of the north. This is plateau and wash territory, dry arid gravel plateau with washes. The road roughly parallels one such wash, which serves as the final destination for water from hundreds of miles around and thus even though it rarely flows, water is not far beneath the ground. If you look at this wash on Google Earth, there are small towns that are between the wash and the road. One of these small towns is Tonga Tonga.

A delegation of U.S. specialists protected by a small number of Niger soldiers went to this town to talk to the village elders about digging wells, improving security, all that hearts and mind stuff. Leaving the town they were ambushed by what appears to be members of the ISIS-related group from Mali. This may seem surprising, in that you’d have to walk across the desert to get from Mali to the road. But the wash goes all the way into Mali, and is littered with wells and camel stockades and camel herders’ shelters. It’d be easy enough to walk down the wash from well to well, taking shelter during the day in camel herders’ shelters, until you got down to where the ambush happened. Doing so while going unnoticed, on the other hand, would be pretty much impossible. This is a desert wash. There isn’t any place to hide in it, no jungle, no trees, it’s just gravel. Clearly the village elders at this village knew that the ISIS militants were there. Indeed that was the first hint that something was wrong — as the Americans left the village, someone on a motorcycle took off ahead of them to warn the ambushers to be ready because the Americans were coming.

So anyhow, the U.S. and Niger soldiers were lightly armed, in regular pickup trucks and other light vehicles rather than in armored vehicles, and there was no backup from other U.S. soldiers. They were pinned down by the ambush. It took an hour even for them to relay a call to the French asking for help because they didn’t have any communications protocol set up for combat support. Then the U.S. Embassy detached some of its mercenaries to mount a rescue mission as the French fighter jets were circling overhead not knowing who it was they were supposed to be bombing, and it was mercenaries who ended up pulling their bacon out of the fire. Mostly.

Four Americans ended up dead. The question of how they could have been sent into danger without any kind of support hasn’t been answered. The question of why the U.S. didn’t send any of its other 1,000 troops in Niger to rescue them hasn’t been answered. Why there was no communications between the soldiers on the ground and the French jets overhead that were looking for a target to bomb, any target, hasn’t been answered. From my perspective it appears these kids were sent into a situation without intelligence, without the proper training and equipment to coordinate with the local allies or even their own forces, and basically hung out to dry. In short, a whole lot like Benghazi.

So when will Trey Gowdy start investigating His Fraudulency Donald the Trump’s Benghazi? When will the Secretary of Defense be called to the Senate Intelligence Committee to be grilled about the multiple failures of intelligence and support that led to these Americans dying in the desert? How many hearings will we have over the next three years grilling American officials about the multiple failures that led to these Americans’ deaths?

Oh wait. I forgot. It’s Okay (to have Americans killed by terrorists because of inadequate support) If You’re Republican.

Alrighty, then.

– Badtux the “Ben who?” Penguin

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Donald Trump calls the mother of a dead soldier a liar a day after he told his widow that her husband “knew what he was signing up for”.

What an ass. Even George W. Bush of “Heckuva job Brownie” fame wasn’t that kind of ass. I mean, fuck. Donald Trump makes George W. Bush look good? How fucking bad is that?!

Meanwhile, Mr. Trump: No, when I walked into that recruiter’s office, I wasn’t signing up to die. I was signing up to, hopefully, make sure the nation’s enemies died. A bit of a difference there….

– Badtux the Military Penguin

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So a New York housing development that is half-financed by HUD is up for sale and Trump stands to get millions if the sale goes through. And who approves the sale? Well, Donald Trump’s HUD, of course. Nope, no possibility of corruption there, nosirree!

All of this could have been avoided if Trump had sold his properties and interests in properties and put it all into a blind trust that invested it in an index fund before running for President. But he couldn’t do that, because he’s insolvent — he owes more on his properties than they’re worth. He claims all these billions of assets, but what he doesn’t tell you is that every single one of them is mortgaged to the hilt.

Which of course is why he ran for President in the first place — as a scam to get money out of people. Then his ego wouldn’t let him quit when, to everybody’s surprise, he won the Republican nomination. And then with a little help from his Russian friends and Wikileaks plus a little help from FBI director James Comey (who got fired by Trump for his help in electing Trump), he got elected President. And now he can really run some scams…

– Badtux the Corruption-smellin’ Penguin

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“It’s hard to deal with people who confuse Austria and Australia, but there’s nothing you can do about this. Apparently, this is the level of political culture within a certain part of the U.S. establishment.” — Vladimir Putin, about the Trump Administration

Oh Pooty Poot, sounds like you’re having buyer’s remorse about Trump now. LOL.

– Badtux the Laughing Penguin

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