Friday, December 15, 2017

Since Trump won't promote it

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Sunday, September 24, 2017

Spanish Mary

Rhiannon Giddens

These options too close to Trump

From the pen of Nate Beeler

Now everybody has drones

And while the ISIS drones are still a far cry from good old US high tech killer drones, luck and poor training can amplify the effect of a small explosive package on your enemy.
At the vast, windswept White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico earlier this year, nearly a dozen military contractors armed with laser guns, high-tech nets and other experimental systems met to tackle one of the Pentagon’s most vexing counterterrorism conundrums: how to destroy the Islamic State’s increasingly lethal fleet of drones.

The militant group has used surveillance drones on the battlefield for more than two years. But an increase in deadly attacks since last fall — mostly targeting Iraqi troops and Syrian militia members with small bombs or grenades, but also threatening American advisers — has highlighted the terrorists’ success in adapting off-the-shelf, low-cost technology into an effective new weapon.

The Pentagon is so alarmed by this growing threat — even as it routs the Islamic State from its strongholds in Mosul, Iraq, and Raqqa, Syria — that it has launched a $700 million crash program overseen by two senior Army generals to draw on the collective know-how and resources of all branches of the armed services, Silicon Valley and defense industry giants like Boeing and Raytheon to devise tactics and technology to thwart the menace.

One important piece of that effort was the contest in New Mexico. It amounted to a Pentagon counter-drone bake-off, called the Hard Kill Challenge, to see which new classified technologies and tactics proved most promising. The results were decidedly mixed, and underscore the long-term problem confronting the Pentagon and its allies as it combats the Islamic State and Al Qaeda in a growing number of hot spots around the world beyond Iraq and Syria, including Yemen and Libya.

“Threat targets were very resilient against damage,” the Pentagon agency assigned to help crack the problem, the Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Organization, said in response to questions from The New York Times about how the contractors fared against mock enemy drones. “Bottom line: Most technologies still immature.” The agency said some of the technology might work well with “adjustments and further development.”

In the meantime, the Pentagon has rushed dozens of technical specialists to Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan to help protect American troops and to train and, in some cases, equip local allies against the drone threat, which has killed more than a dozen Iraqi soldiers and wounded more than 50. The aircraft, some as small as model airplanes, conduct reconnaissance missions to help Islamic State fighters attack American-backed ground forces. Other drones drop bombs or are rigged with explosives to detonate on the ground.
About 100 years ago, the budding air forces of the World War I combatants were following a similar path with manned airplanes. It will be interesting to see how they turn out.

What's good conscience?

Bill Maher's monologue

Sunday school

Tough question

Saturday, September 23, 2017


I'm With Her on Prairie Home Companion

The heart of the matter

From the pen of Steve Sack

Despicable GOP

Seth Meyers takes a Closer Look at Republican failings.

The Ultimate City Slicker

Bill Maher explains

Donny's secret

Friday, September 22, 2017

What's New

Ella Fitzgerald

Choking the patient is intended

From the pen of Jim Morin

Give them their own private Twitter channel

Where the Tangerine Shitgibbon and Rocket Man can fling their 144 character poo at each other all day and night and the rest of the world can live our lives in peace. The immaturity of our great leaders is appallingand should be kept under wraps.
North Korea has long cultivated an image of defiant belligerence, punctuating its propaganda and diplomacy with colorful threats, insults and bluster. But by addressing President Trump in a personal statement on Friday, the nation’s leader, Kim Jong-un, has pushed his government’s brinkmanship to a new, potentially more perilous level.

In a statement written in the first person, published on the front pages of state newspapers and read on national television, Mr. Kim called Mr. Trump a “mentally deranged U.S. dotard” who had “denied the existence of and insulted me and my country in front of the eyes of the world.”

Mr. Kim vowed to take the “highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history.”

In a country where the leader is essentially portrayed as a god, Mr. Kim’s decision to respond personally to Mr. Trump’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly and pledge reprisals escalated the standoff over the North’s nuclear program in a way that neither he nor his predecessors had done before.

Though the statement made no mention of nuclear weapons, in the context of a political system built on a cult of personality, Mr. Kim’s intervention appeared to sharply reduce the possibility that his government might retreat or compromise, even in the face of war.

Mr. Kim condemned Mr. Trump’s threat to “totally destroy” North Korea if the United States is forced to defend itself, and he declared that it had “convinced me, rather than frightening or stopping me, that the path I chose is correct and that it is the one I have to follow to the last.”

Shortly after Mr. Kim’s statement was released, his foreign minister, Ri Yong-ho, delivered prepared remarks to reporters outside his hotel in New York, saying it was up to Mr. Kim to decide what to do, but that North Korea might conduct the “biggest ever hydrogen bomb test in the Pacific.”

Mr. Ri could not have made such an alarming comment without approval from Mr. Kim, although some analysts question whether North Korea has the technology or political daring to conduct an atmospheric nuclear test, something the world has not seen for decades.
In addition to these insults, Kim compared Tangerine to a barking dog. This may or may not be a step up from a running dog. but imagine how pleasant the world would be if they were only Twitter bombing each other instead of threatening to really bomb a lot of other people?

And on the Mueller front

Trevor Noah gets us up to speed if we have been distracted.

Jimmy Kimmel is on a roll

And the total lack of shame on the GOP side comes shining through, again.

With role models like this

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Preachin' Blues

In the Blessed Church of Larkin Poe.

It will be quick, we promise.

From the pen of Tom Toles

R.I.P. Giacobbe LaMotta

Life hit you with its best shot but you always answered the bell like a Raging Bull. Be at peace Jake.

Puerto Rico is a part of the US

Just as the US Virgin Islands are. And both have been devastated in a way that Florida and Texas can give thanks did not happen to them. Unlike the aforementioned states, the islands do not have and resource or industrial base to re-build on, they will need $Billions to restore a minimum quality of life. And they face a President who could give a fuck about anybody other than himself and a Congress with people who would deny their own, forget about others.
Daybreak in Puerto Rico on Thursday exposed the crushing devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria — splintered homes, crumbled balconies, uprooted trees and floodwaters coursing through streets.

The storm cut a path through the island on Wednesday and 100 percent of the territory remained without power. Officials predicted that it could take months to restore electricity as rescue brigades ventured out to assess the toll of death and injury.

Puerto Rico faces numerous obstacles as it begins to emerge from the storm: the weight of an extended debt and bankruptcy crisis; a recovery process begun after Irma, which killed at least three people and left nearly 70 percent of households without power; the difficulty of getting to an island far from the mainland; and the strain on relief efforts by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other groups already spread thin in the wake of several recent storms.

“Irma gave us a break, but Maria destroyed us,” Edwin Serrano, a construction worker in Old San Juan, said.

Maria had entered Puerto Rico’s southeast side on Wednesday with category 4 winds of 155 miles per hour, then lost strength, regained power Thursday and continued its furious roll northward, bringing pounding rains and heavy winds to the Dominican Republic.

Officials cautioned that it could deliver dangerous storm surges to the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos, which were already reeling from the effects of Hurricane Irma.

Most predictions suggested that Maria would veer north and spare the mainland United States. But officials cautioned that the East Coast was still not out of danger and even absent the storm’s main fury, coastal areas could still feel its effects this weekend with heavy rains and dangerous gales.

Here’s the latest:

• Maria passed close to the northeastern coast of the Dominican Republic on Thursday morning as a Category 3 storm. Hurricane warnings were in effect for parts of that country as well as the Turks and Caicos Islands and the southeastern Bahamas.

• Flash flood warnings covered the entirety of Puerto Rico on Thursday. Forecasters say Puerto Rico will see about two feet of rain by Friday, with as much as 35 inches in places. Storm surges were expected to raise water levels by as much as six feet in the Dominican Republic.

• There is significant concern about the expected “life-threatening” storm surge of nine to 12 feet in the Turks and Caicos and the Bahamas, according to Michael Brennan of the National Hurricane Center.

• Gov. Ricardo Rosselló told CNN late Wednesday that officials knew of only one fatality in Puerto Rico, but noted that they still could not communicate with the southeastern part of the island, which was hit earliest and hardest by the storm.

• Charles Jong, a spokesman for the government of Dominica, said that 14 people had died in that island nation. “The conditions on the ground in Dominica are very bad,” he said. Residents were without power and running water, and floodwaters had washed away many people’s stockpiles of food, he said.

• Two people were also killed on the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, officials said.

• In the United States Virgin Islands, Gov. Kenneth E. Mapp announced a 24-hour curfew for all four islands until further notice. In Puerto Rico, Gov. Rosselló had previously set a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew effective until Saturday.
Puerto Rico will be blessed with a visit from Pumpkin Potemkin who will bring them plenty of caps (@$40 apiece)

Jimmy Kimmel Doesn't Like Lies

And he ripped Bill Cassidy for lying about Graham-Cassidy Deathcare bill

And when some GOP stooges pushed back he ripped them too. What he did to Brian Kilmeade was a joy.

No respect for his authoritah!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Walkin' After Midnight

Patsy Cline

A year of Yuge disasters

From the pen of Jim Morin

We suck all the time

Seth Meyers takes a Closer Look at the latest Trump disasters.

An insult comic insulting the world

Trevor Noah encapsulates Trump at the UN

If you think health care is expensive

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

I Fall To Pieces

Linda Ronstadt

All the world's a campaign stop

From the pen of R J Matson

Stop being a Dick

That was the message, in much more diplomatic language
, from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to our own bellicose ignoramus Cheeto Mussolini.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned world leaders against war with North Korea, calling on them to take the threat of "nuclear peril" seriously.

"We must not sleepwalk our way into war," said Guterres on Tuesday at the annual summit of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York.

"When tensions rise, so does the chance of miscalculation. Fiery talk can lead to fatal misunderstandings," he said in his first state-of-the-world report since taking the top job at the UN on January 1.

"The solution must be political. This is a time for statesmanship."

His message on "fiery" rhetoric was implicitly directed at North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, but also at the United States and President Donald Trump, who later warned of "totally destroying North Korea" if it does not back down.

"The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea," Trump told the UNGA, shortly after Guterres' speech.

"'Rocket Man' is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime. The United States is ready, willing and able, but hopefully this will not be necessary," Trump added, referring to the North Korean leader with a nickname he gave last week on Twitter.

The UN Security Council has unanimously imposed nine rounds of sanctions against North Korea since 2006 and Guterres appealed for the 15-member body to maintain its unity on Pyongyang.

He made a Batman movie

Trevor Noah looks at Treasury Sec Mnuchin on The Daily Show

The Definition of Snowflake

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