Archive for the ‘Republican stupidity’ Category

In a word: No.

The Afghans didn’t so much “kick out” the Soviets as the Soviets decided to declare victory and go home, much like the United States did in Vietnam a decade prior. The change in leadership in Moscow from Brezhnev through a couple of place holders to Gorbachev removed any support for the war from the top leadership (well, the top generals in the Kremlin still supported the war but Gorbachev overruled them). Gorbachev viewed Afghanistan as a distraction from his goal of reforming the Soviet Union’s crumbling economy into something capable of being competitive with the West. So as the Americans did in Vietnam a decade prior, Gorbachev found some Afghan patsies willing to provide the cannon fodder on the ground, paid them off to support the Soviet Union rather than the United States, and brought his troops home.

And honestly, that strategy worked. As long as the Soviets kept the money and military supplies flowing to “their” militias in Afghanistan, the “Communist” government in Kabul stayed in power. It was not until the final collapse of the Soviet Union that the militias, seeing their Soviet funding dry up, turned on the “Communist” government and kicked it out and then Afghanistan descended into the long civil war of militias fighting each other that ended up with the Taliban sweeping in from Pakistan and, thanks to everybody being totally PO’ed with the militias, taking over most of the country to the utter relief of virtually everyone in the country who was tired of all the fighting and just wanted peace. Yeah, the Taliban were nasty people who imposed medieval laws. But at least they weren’t blowing things up and killing people at random like the militias had been doing. It was a peace enforced by nasty people, but at least it was peace.

Well, peace until October 7 2001, anyhow, when the militias, renamed the “Northern Alliance” and now paid by the Americans rather than the Soviets and with American air support and American special forces “spotters” on the ground to mark targets for the air support, were re-tasked with driving out the Taliban so that Osama bin Laden could be captured and brought to trial. But that’s another story for another day.

– Badtux the History Penguin

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This morning I got up *really* late, like 10:30am late, and headed into the kitchen. After feeding the fur-bearing varmints both indoors and outdoors, I then had the question of breakfast. I ended up pulling out the cast iron pan and frying bacon, then frying eggs in the resulting bacon grease. Toasting some stale bread I then made egg and bacon sandwiches with yellow mustard, and drank it down with some sparkling water

The world’s dumbest Congressman, Kevin McCarthy, whines that the Governor should have consulted him before putting California on lockdown. And of course he insisted that COVID-19 was not serious enough for the severity of the order that the governor issued. There is, of course, no requirement in law or custom for a sitting governmor to consult a U.S. representative when engaging in executive action allowed under both state and Federal law. As for his notion that COVID-19 is not serious, look at the news from Italy. Chilling shit there. If we can avoid being Italy, that’d definitely be preferable.

Talking about COVID-19, a journalist who spent fifteen years as a research biologist details the biology of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and possible drug therapies that might provide effective treatment. Basically, he’s suspecting some of the approaches we took to find an effective treatment for the AIDS virus might work against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. There are, alas, no guarantees though — unlike what Hair Twitler tweeted yesterday, we simply don’t know as much about this virus as we need to know yet in order to figure out what an effective treatment looks like. But an effective treatement would be huge. It’d let us open up for business again, for one thing.

I was running a bit low on milk, and needed some vegetable oil for baking because I used most of my supply with the last batch of brownies, so headed out to the local Grocery Outlet. They had plenty of both milk and vegetable oil. I also was looking for baker’s yeast, they didn’t have any of that (and were also out of flour but had plenty of pasta, pasta sauce, and mac’n’cheese), they were out of franks too darnit. I did get some coleslaw for my pulled pork sandwiches though.

Next I went to Arteago’s Mexican Grocery And Taqueria. They were out of baker’s yeast too. They had baking powder and baking soda, and they also had small bags of flour, but the spot for the bakers’ yeast was empty. They did have turkey franks, but I despise turkey franks. I went over to the Taqueria side and they’re doing a lot of Doordash, their assembly line was running as usual and ending up in bags under the heat lamp and Doordash guys were coming in and out grabbing bags as needed, so I ordered a chile verde burrito (to go of course!). The guy making it noticed that it was me and not a DoorDash order so he came back and gave a couple splashes more of rice, beans, and chile before wrapping it up, so it was more of a full-grown burro rather than a burrito ;). Remember, Doordash takes a percentage off the top for their own profit, they appreciated that I was paying pull freight and gave me my money’s worth!

All in all, things were very quiet outside. There was plenty of food in both the Grocery Outlet and the Mexican grocery. There was probably more people in the Mexican grocery store than in Grocery Outlet. There was lots of meat in the Mexican grocery store too, just not gringo meat like edible weiners.

A medical worker describes terrifying lung failure from COVID-19 — even in his younger patients. This looks an awful lot like what people reported during the 1918-1920 flu pandemic, which ended up with 625,000 Americans dead out of a population of 110 million, except they didn’t have ventilator machines back then so people just gasped to death. We of course have three times as many people today in the USA. Let us hope we don’t have three times as many deaths, but it very possibly could be.

It feels very much like we are in the calm before the storm. Things are very quiet here. I spend a lot of time reading or browsing the Internet. I fear things will not remain calm, though….

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That new California law is, of course, a law requiring all candidates for President and Governor to provide 5 years of tax returns in order to appear on the ballot. And they’re screaming, “This adds qualifications for president beyond what’s in the Constitution!”

No. Donald Trump can still run for President. Nothing bars him from running for President. He just has to file all the required paperwork. Which has been expanded a bit, but there’s nothing physically preventing him from filing it, it’s not as if the state passed a law saying that no person who is orange can run for President in the state of California. Furthermore, the Constitution gives the states the right to set how electors for President shall be selected, via Article II, Section 1, Clause 3.

The biggest argument is going to be that the State of California cannot tell the Republican Party how they will select their candidate. That is true. Freedom of association says that the Republican Party can select their candidate any way they wish. If they want to select a candidate via party delegates meeting in a smoky room, or via holding party-sponsored caucuses, or any other method they determine, they can do so — as long as they don’t use state money to do it. But if they want to participate in the state-funded primaries they have to abide by the rules the state lays down. The candidate has to pay a filing fee, provide the signatures of X number of registered voters, provide the name and address of his campaign organization, and otherwise provide information that — oh yeah — now includes 5 years of income tax forms too.

And if the Republican Party doesn’t want to abide by those rules, nobody is forcing them to do so. They can hold their own party-funded caucuses like Nevada does. But if you’re going to accept the state’s money, you abide by the state’s rules. That’s just how it is.

– Badtux the Law Penguin

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Devin Nunes sues Twitter over mean tweets from parody accounts.

You can’t get more ridiculous than this. Simultaneously complaining that Twitter silences its critics while asking Twitter to silence his critics is a curious legal strategy, but that’s Devin Nunes for you. He’s always been a twit, the kind of kid who probably wore bow ties and carried a briefcase when he was in high school, and being so far up Mango Mussolini’s ass that he can see the back of Mango’s teeth hasn’t made him any less a whiny asshole.

Such a pathetic special little snowflake, wah, parody accounts was *mean* to you! Wah! What a whiny baby!

— Badtux the Soon to be sued by Nunes like rest of Twitterverse Penguin

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Republicans have a new strategy. Same as the old one. Take a word, any word. Say it sneeringly, and say that Democrats support it, and thus Democrats are bad and you should vote for Republicans because they’re not bad.

So let’s see what the new word is. The old words were “Communist” and then “Liberal”. The new word is… “socialist.”

Hmm. Let’s try that on a millennial:

Republican: “Democrats are for socialist things like a government takeover of healthcare and free college tuition! Democrats want to turn the United States into a socialist nation!”

Millennial: “Wait, healthcare for all is bad? Free college tuition is bad?”

Republican: “Socialism doesn’t work!”

Millennial: “But every other advanced nation has universal healthcare, and most of them have better healthcare outcomes than we do.”

Republican: “It’s socialist! It can’t work!”

Millennial: “But… France? Taiwan? Scandinavia? Germany? Japan?”

Republican: “Those are all failed nations! U S A! U S A! U S A!”

Millennial: “Whatevah. Have a nice day.” Walks off, rolling his/her eyes.

Okay, so that didn’t work out so well, so now let’s try this again. Mr. Republican walks up to another millennial

Republican: “Free college is socialism!”

Millennial: “Okay. And?”

Republican: “Socialism doesn’t work!”

Millennial: “Uhm, most colleges are already public colleges, how can you say they’re not working?”

Republican: “Because socialism!”

Millennial: “Socialism is free tuition for public colleges rather than having to pay tuition to attend them? And that’s going to make them stop working, somehow?”

Republican: “Yes! Because socialism!”

Millennial (rolling eyes). “So how will free tuition versus paid tuition suddenly make public colleges stop working?”

Republican: “Because it’s socialism!”

Millennial: “Whatevah. Have a nice day.” Walks off, rolling his/her eyes.

Hmm. Methinks that labeling free health care and free college tuition as “socialism” isn’t working too well with millennials. They seem to not respond to the same scare words that earlier generations did. So let’s try this again, except throw more scare tactics in:

Republican: “Free health care and free college tuition and a Green New Deal are part of a secret plan to turn the United States into a socialist nation!”

Millennial (rolling eyes): “And?”

Republican: “Socialism doesn’t work! Venezuela! Cuba! North Korea! Booga ooga!”

Millennial: “If socialism gets me health care and college tuition, why should I be scared of it?”

Republican: “Because it’ll turn the United States into Venezuela!”

Millennial: “How?”

Republican: “Because socialism!”

Millennial: “Actually, as a Bernie supporter, I support democratic socialism like practiced in most European countries, not the Communist kind of socialism practiced in the countries you listed…”

Republican: “But socialism doesn’t work!”

Millennial: “It seems to work pretty well for the Scandinavians.”

Republican: “But Americans aren’t Scandinavians!”

Millennial: “You’re saying Americans can’t do democratic socialism as well as the Scandinavians do? You think so badly about your fellow Americans? Man.” Walks away, rolling eyes.

Republican: “Goddamn millennials have no sense. Socialism! Oooga booga! Socialism make hair fall out and feet be hairy! Cuba! North Korea! Venezuela! Ooga booga!”

Millennial, walking away, just shakes head and twirls finger around ear in classic “crazy person over there” symbol.

Hmm… maybe this cunning plan of the Republicans isn’t working so well on a generation that was raised on the Internet and knows how to look up things for themselves? Naw, surely they just need to double down on what’s already not working, and gosh darn it, then it’ll work!

Yeah, it worked so well that there isn’t a single Republican state-wide office holder in the state of California, and Democrats are 2/3rds of the state legislature. Sounds like they “socialism!”‘ed themselves right out of office, at least in California with its young and highly educated population. Go figure.

– Badtux the Snarky “If it doesn’t work the first 1,000 times, do it 1,000 times more!” Penguin

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Trump shown tunnels dug by smugglers underneath current border wall.

But I guess Trump’s reaction was more along the lines of, “We’ll dig a ditch, a bigly ditch and we’ll build the wall underground and Mesopotamia will pay for it, believe me”. All to solve a problem that doesn’t exist.

The reality is that border crossings are at a near historic low, as is crime near the border. There is in fact reverse immigration of Mexicans — more Mexicans are leaving the US for Mexico than are coming to the US from Mexico. And it’s not about terrorism either — More people on the terrorist watch list have been apprehended at the Canadian border than at the US border. We caught 6 terrorists at the Mexican border which is 1,954 miles long and is patrolled by 16,605 agents which is a density of 8.5 agents/mile. Meanwhile, we caught 41 terrorists at the Canadian border, which is 5,525 miles long and is secured by 2,048 agents which is a density of .4 agents/mile.

Given the numbers it is not logical to address a supposed problem on the southern border when you have 7 times as many non-US persons in the Terrorist Screening Database attempting to cross the northern border. With the disparity of resources it would make more sense to direct increased resources to the Canadian border. But I’m sure that the emphasis upon the southern border has *nothing* to do with the race of the people who are south of that border. (Cue dog whistles).

And as I pointed out earlier, the only walls that have ever worked — the Berlin Wall, the Israeli separation wall, etc. — have worked only because they’re manned by sociopaths willing to gun down unarmed men, women, and children to stop them from going over or under the wall. Unless we’re going to hire over 100,000 sociopaths to start shooting unarmed civilians, all that a 12 foot wall creates is a market for 14 foot ladders — or shovels.

– Badtux the Snarky Penguin

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Well, everybody knows that Republicans hate unions, right?

I didn’t watch the State of the Uniom(sic) address tonight, or its followups (though I accidentally caught a bit of Bernie Sanders sounding like Grampa Simpson yelling at clouds while flipping around). I presume I didn’t miss anything?

– Badtux the Not-watching Penguin

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Apparently the Fake News Awards were cancelled due to Stormy weather.

I’ve been just shaking my head and laughing over the revelations about Donald Trump’s year-long tryst with porn star Stormy Daniels. Not only was this a year after the birth of his youngest child — yes, a father was cheating on his wife and kids to sleep with a porn star! — but the various kinks just keep coming out. The latest: Trump demanded that she spank him with a rolled up copy of Forbes Magazine. Presumably because he’d been a very bad boy.

Stormy apparently mentioned stuff like this to multiple people over the years. And then she clammed up. She was paid off with $130K to keep her quiet. And this money was laundered through a shell company to allow plausible deniability. Donald Trump can honestly state that he didn’t pay off Stormy Daniels to stay quiet. Because he didn’t. Essential Consultants LLC did. And “Peggy Peterson”, who apparently is Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s oh so pretty alter ego.

Now, if Obama had been alleged to have an affair with a porn star immediately after his wife had given birth to his youngest child, Republicans everywhere would be outraged. And that shell company? They would have immediately started impeachment proceedings alleging money laundering. So where’s their outrage today?


IOKIYR, I guess.

— Badtux the IOKIYR Penguin

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Apparently two different porn stars were paid by Trump or Trump surrogates to not talk about how they’d had sex with Donald Trump. While he was married. To people not them.

Here’s my take on that: What self-respecting porn star would even admit to having sex with Donald Trump?! Talk about free money!

Meanwhile, Trump’s deranged interview with the Wall Street Journal is getting no traction. Because dumpster fire. Who pays attention to stuff like that, when there’s a dumpster fire to watch?!

– Badtux the Head-shakin’ Penguin

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Yeah, the sun rose in the east, like usual, and Donald Trump said something stupid and racist today, as usual. And water is wet, too.

I swear, all I have to do is copy and paste this post, with a different link, and I have half of everything I’m going to post for the next three years. The other half, of course, will be cat pictures.

– Badtux the Head-shakin’ Penguin

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