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Posts from — July 2017

Scaramucci Out?

My BBC alerts just told me that Scaramucci has been removed as White House communications director. He gave up his business and his wife filed for divorce to get this job. He caused Sean Spicer to resign and got Reinhold [Reince is a nickname] Priebus axed, and now he’s gone in 10 days.

The Guardian and CNN have chimed in the same news. Could be real, or just another ‘fake news’ operation by the White House, or General Kelly is taking his new job seriously.

Update: The Harvard Law School alumni directory lists Scaramucci as “deceased”. That’s cold. It was just a job.

July 31, 2017   10 Comments

Tropical Storm Emily

Tropical Depression EmilyPosition: 27.5N 81.0W [10PM CDT 0300 UTC].
Movement: East [095°] near 9 mph [15 kph].
Maximum sustained winds: 30 mph [ 45 kph].
Wind Gusts: 45 mph [ 70 kph].
Minimum central pressure: 1010 mb ↑.

Currently about 35 miles [ 60 km] West of Vero Beach, Florida.

Last night this was an area of interest in the Gulf. At 10am it is approaching the mouth of Tampa Bay. At 1pm the storm was inland Southeast of Tampa. At 4pm the system was downgraded to a depression and all watches and warnings were cancelled.

Here’s the link for NOAA’s latest satellite images.

[For the latest information click on the storm symbol, or go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select “Hurricanes” for all of the posts related to storms on this site.]

July 31, 2017   No Comments

Novices In Political Office Are Worthless

Ryan Zinke was the freshman Congresscritter from Montana when Drumpf picked him for Secretary of the Interior. There is no logical reason for him to do something as stupid as making threats against Lisa Murkowski, the senior Senator from Alaska, for her votes on the tax cut/’healthcare’ bills that Republicans are trying to pass in the Senate. He did it anyway and Senator Murkowski reacted: Lisa Murkowski Cancels Key Interior Hearings After Ryan Zinke Threatens Her.

She is the chairperson of the Senate committee that holds hearings on Interior Department jobs, and the subcommittee that must approve the Interior Department’s budget. Zinke’s SEAL training isn’t going to do him much good against a woman who shoots and dresses out moose and brown bears. He should have done some recon before making a move.

July 27, 2017   11 Comments

How To Save DoD Money

The BBC research shows:

Some US media outlets have questioned the spending justification. The Washington Post drew attention to an analysis that the US military spends almost $42m (£32m) a year on the erectile dysfunction medication Viagra – several times the total estimated cost of transgender medical support.

The Obama-era policy had included a provision for the military to provide medical help for service members wanting to change gender.

Rand predicted that the inclusion of transgender people in the military would lead to a 0.13% increase in healthcare spending – approximately $8.4m.

Stephanie Ruhle on MSNBC noticed that two fewer trips to Mar-A-Lago would cover transgender military costs.

Imagine how much we could save if Trump stayed in the White House and started doing his job…

July 27, 2017   No Comments

Unit Cohesion?

On the 69thanniversary of Truman ending segregation in the military, Trump bans transgender individuals from serving in the military.

Serving transgender members of the military are unaware of any problems that need to be solved.

Some wonder if it’s about a recent Tucker Carlson show linking trans people with child abuse, while others wonder if it was caused by a split in the House Republican caucus over medical services for trans members of the military.

If Trump had discussed this with the military, the Pentagon wouldn’t have been so totally unprepared to deal with questions from the media. This was proclaimed in a tweet, and has no real power until it shows up as an executive order, but has already reduced readiness and disturbed unit cohesion over an issue that people assumed had been settled.

July 26, 2017   13 Comments

Busy

I’m replacing my cellphone and wasting a lot of time evaluating alternatives. I started the search seriously after the end of le Tour, and eliminated a lot of the possibles by the lack of information on products. If they really had something worth buying they would make information available.

It is a bit sad that John McCain made one the last acts of his public career to return to Washington over the advice of his doctors to cast the deciding vote to push forward a bill to throw millions of people off their health insurance. Of course, like his father, John hasn’t spent a second of his life, from his birth in a military hospital, without taxpayer funded health coverage.

July 25, 2017   13 Comments

Le Tour 2017 – Stage 21 et fini

Tour de FranceMontgeron – Paris Champs-Élysées

Distance: 103 kilometers.

After champagne and a 45 kilometer ride to Paris there are 8 laps on a course laid out on the Champs-Élysées.

Dylan Groenewegen just managed to hold on and deny André Greipel a third win of this stage. Simon Yates took the White Jersey, a feat his twin brother Adam accomplished last year. The Jerseys remained stable during a tour characterized by the loss of major riders due to accidents.

Yellow Jersey Christopher Froome ( GBr – SKY – 001 ) [Yellow] 86h 20′ 55″
Green Jersey Michael Matthews ( Aus – SUN – 141 ) [Green] 370 points
Polka Dot Jersey Warren Barguil ( Fra – SUN – 143 ) [Polka Dot] 169 points
White Jersey Simon Yates ( GBr – ORS – 089 ) 7 [White]

Team: Team Sky ( SKY – 001-009 ) [Yellow numbers]
Stage winner: Dylan Groenewegen ( Ned – TLJ – 163 )
Super Combative: Warren Barguil ( Fra – SUN – 143 ) [Red numbers]
Φ Luke Rowe ( GBr – SKY – 008 ) + 04h 35′ 52″ [La Lanterne Rouge]

Top Ten:

1 Christopher Froome ( GBr – SKY – 001 )
2 Rigoberto Uran ( Col – CDT – 188 ) + 00′ 54″
3 Romain Bardet ( Fra – ALM – 011 ) + 02′ 20″
4 Mikel Landa ( Spa – SKY – 006 ) + 02′ 21″
5 Fabio Aru ( Ita – AST – 051 ) + 03′ 05″
6 Daniel Martin ( Irl – QST – 105 ) + 04′ 42″
7 Simon Yates ( GBr – ORS – 089 ) + 06′ 14″
8 Louis Meintjes ( RSA – UAD – 061 ) + 08′ 20″
9 Alberto Contador ( Spa – TFS – 031 ) + 08′ 49″
10 Warren Barguil ( Fra – SUN – 143 ) + 09′ 25″

The Rest of the finishers:
[Read more →]

July 23, 2017   2 Comments

Le Tour 2017 – Stage 20

Tour de FranceMarseille

Distance: 22.5 kilometers.

An individual time trial on the streets of Marseille. This is the last chance for Chris Froome to lose the Yellow Jersey.

Chris increased his lead over his competition, but joins a handful of riders who have won the Yellow without winning a single stage, coming in third. It was enough.

Yellow Jersey Christopher Froome ( GBr – SKY – 001 ) [Yellow] 83h 55′ 16″
Green Jersey Michael Matthews ( Aus – SUN – 141 ) [Green] 364 points
Polka Dot Jersey Warren Barguil ( Fra – SUN – 143 ) [Polka Dot] 169 points
White Jersey Simon Yates ( GBr – ORS – 089 ) 7 [White]

Team: Team Sky ( SKY – 001-009 ) [Yellow numbers]
Stage winner: Maciej Bodnar ( Pol – BOH – 112 )
Combative: Not awarded for time trials.

Top Ten:

1 Christopher Froome ( GBr – SKY – 001 )
2 Rigoberto Uran ( Col – CDT – 188 ) + 00′ 54″
3 Romain Bardet ( Fra – ALM – 011 ) + 02′ 20″
4 Mikel Landa ( Spa – SKY – 006 ) + 02′ 21″
5 Fabio Aru ( Ita – AST – 051 ) + 03′ 05″
6 Daniel Martin ( Irl – QST – 105 ) + 04′ 42″
7 Simon Yates ( GBr – ORS – 089 ) + 06′ 14″
8 Louis Meintjes ( RSA – UAD – 061 ) + 08′ 20″
9 Alberto Contador ( Spa – TFS – 031 ) + 08′ 49″
10 Warren Barguil ( Fra – SUN – 143 ) + 09′ 25″

The Rest of the Top 30:
[Read more →]

July 22, 2017   No Comments

Le Tour 2017 – Stage 19

Tour de FranceEmbrun – Salon-de-Provence

Distance: 222.5 kilometers.

A ‘flat’ stage in the mind of the the Tour with category 3 Col Lebraut, category 3 Côte de Bréziers, and category 3 Col du Pointu. Time trial tomorrow.

Today is Belgium’s national day, and Belgian riders pushed to the front to win the stage, but were thwarted by Norwegian Edvald Boasson Hagen. There were 20 riders in the breakaway out front and then everyone else in the peloton that was 12 minutes+ behind. A very ‘protect the status quo’ stage from the teams.

Yellow Jersey Christopher Froome ( GBr – SKY – 001 ) [Yellow] 83h 26′ 55″
Green Jersey Michael Matthews ( Aus – SUN – 141 ) [Green] 364 points
Polka Dot Jersey Warren Barguil ( Fra – SUN – 143 ) [Polka Dot] 169 points
White Jersey Simon Yates ( GBr – ORS – 089 ) 7 [White]

Team: Team Sky ( SKY – 001-009 ) [Yellow numbers]
Stage winner: Edvald Boasson Hagen ( Nor – DDD – 092 )
Combative: Jens Keukeleire ( Bel – ORS – 087 ) [Red numbers]

Top Ten:

1 Christopher Froome ( GBr – SKY – 001 )
2 Romain Bardet ( Fra – ALM – 011 ) + 00′ 23″
3 Rigoberto Uran ( Col – CDT – 188 ) + 00′ 29″
4 Mikel Landa ( Spa – SKY – 006 ) + 01′ 36″
5 Fabio Aru ( Ita – AST – 051 ) + 01′ 55″
6 Daniel Martin ( Irl – QST – 105 ) + 02′ 56″
7 Simon Yates ( GBr – ORS – 089 ) + 04′ 46″
8 Louis Meintjes ( RSA – UAD – 061 ) + 06′ 52″
9 Warren Barguil ( Fra – SUN – 143 ) + 08′ 22″
10 Alberto Contador ( Spa – TFS – 031 ) + 08′ 34″

The Rest of the Top 30:
[Read more →]

July 21, 2017   No Comments

Le Tour 2017 – Stage 18

Tour de FranceBriançon – Izoard

Distance: 179.5 kilometers.

A mountain stage with category 3 Côte des Demoiselles Coiffées, category 1 Col de Vars, and Hors Catégorie Col d’Izoard spaced about every 60 kilometers. It is a summit finish, so winning is worth more in points and time.

Warren Barguil won the stage and probably the Polka Dots with his climb to Izoard, while Chris Froome holds on to the Yellow by 23 seconds. With the longest stage coming up tomorrow and the time trials on Saturday, the leaders want to avoid any drama.

Yellow Jersey Christopher Froome ( GBr – SKY – 001 ) [Yellow] 78h 08′ 19″
Green Jersey Michael Matthews ( Aus – SUN – 141 ) [Green] 364 points
Polka Dot Jersey Warren Barguil ( Fra – SUN – 143 ) [Polka Dot] 169 points
White Jersey Simon Yates ( GBr – ORS – 089 ) 7 [White]

Team: Team Sky ( SKY – 001-009 ) [Yellow numbers]
Stage winner: Warren Barguil ( Fra – SUN – 143 )
Combative: John Darwin Atapuma ( Col – UAD – 062 ) [Red numbers]

Top Ten:

1 Christopher Froome ( GBr – SKY – 001 )
2 Romain Bardet ( Fra – ALM – 011 ) + 00′ 23″
3 Rigoberto Uran ( Col – CDT – 188 ) + 00′ 29″
4 Mikel Landa ( Spa – SKY – 006 ) + 01′ 36″
5 Fabio Aru ( Ita – AST – 051 ) + 01′ 55″
6 Daniel Martin ( Irl – QST – 105 ) + 02′ 56″
7 Simon Yates ( GBr – ORS – 089 ) + 04′ 46″
8 Louis Meintjes ( RSA – UAD – 061 ) + 06′ 52″
9 Warren Barguil ( Fra – SUN – 143 ) + 08′ 22″
10 Alberto Contador ( Spa – TFS – 031 ) + 08′ 34″

The Rest of the Top 30:
[Read more →]

July 20, 2017   Comments Off on Le Tour 2017 – Stage 18

Le Tour 2017 – Stage 17

Tour de FranceLa Mure – Serre-Chevalier

Distance: 183 kilometers.

A mountain stage with category 2 Col d’Ornon, Hors Catégorie Col de la Croix de Fer, category 1 Col du Télégraphe, and Hors Catégorie Col du Galibie.

After people bunched up at the 20 kilometer mark, the Green Jersey Marcel Kittel was involved in a crash that ended his Tour. It wasn’t speed, it was crowding that caused the accident – there wasn’t enough road.

Primoz Roglic managed to pull away at the end for his first stage win at a Tour. The General Classification saw some jostling for place, but Chris Froome is still in Yellow, and hoping to avoid problems on tomorrow’s mountain stage.

Yellow Jersey Christopher Froome ( GBr – SKY – 001 ) [Yellow] 73h 27′ 26″
Green Jersey Michael Matthews ( Aus – SUN – 141 ) [Green] 364 points
Polka Dot Jersey Warren Barguil ( Fra – SUN – 143 ) [Polka Dot] 129 points
White Jersey Simon Yates ( GBr – ORS – 089 ) 7 [White]

Team: Team Sky ( SKY – 001-009 ) [Yellow numbers]
Stage winner: Primoz Roglic ( Slo – TLJ – 166 )
Combative: Alberto Contador ( Spa – TFS – 031 ) [Red numbers]

Top Ten:

1 Christopher Froome ( GBr – SKY – 001 )
2 Rigoberto Uran ( Col – CDT – 188 ) + 00′ 27″
3 Romain Bardet ( Fra – ALM – 011 ) + 00′ 27″
4 Fabio Aru ( Ita – AST – 051 ) + 00′ 53″
5 Mikel Landa ( Spa – SKY – 006 ) + 01′ 24″
6 Daniel Martin ( Irl – QST – 105 ) + 02′ 37″
7 Simon Yates ( GBr – ORS – 089 ) + 04′ 07″
8 Louis Meintjes ( RSA – UAD – 061 ) + 06′ 35″
9 Alberto Contador ( Spa – TFS – 031 ) + 07′ 45″
10 Warren Barguil ( Fra – SUN – 143 ) + 08′ 52″

The Rest of the Top 30:
[Read more →]

July 19, 2017   Comments Off on Le Tour 2017 – Stage 17

It’s The Money

We now know that Trump Had A Second Secret Meeting With Putin At The G-20. This second meeting was Putin, Putin’s translator, and Trump – a situation that violates national security protocols and is terminally stupid. He obviously doesn’t want any Americans to sit in on the meeting with his loan manager.

Charlie Pierce declares that it’s the money as the eighth person at Junior’s meeting was Irakly Kaveladze, Vice President of ZAO Crocus International.

CNN tells us:

Kaveladze is a senior vice president at Crocus Group, the real estate development company run by Azerbaijani-Russian oligarch Aras Agalarov, according to Kaveladze’s LinkedIn. His personal website says he “holds responsibility for multiple elements of the company’s Russian development project.”

Natalia Veselnitskaya is an ethnic Russian, Rinat Akhmetshin is a Tatar, Kaveladze is a Georgian, the Agalarov family is Azerbaijani, so a Soviet, rather than Russian party. Kaveladze says that he only went to translate for Ms Veselnitskaya, who arrived with her own translator [GRU certified, no doubt]. Akhmetshin said he had a lunch date and just sort of tagged along. Things like this were really funny when the Marx Brothers did them…

Update: The translator was Anatoli Samochornov, an ethnic Russian.

July 18, 2017   7 Comments

Le Tour 2017 – Stage 16

Tour de FranceLe Puy-en-Velay / Romans-sur-Isère

Distance: 165 kilometers.

A hill stage with category 3 Côte de Boussoulet and category 4 Col du Rouvey in the first third, and then a 100 kilometers of sprints and breakaway attempts.

This was Sunweb’s stage that gave their leader, Michael Matthews, a win and moved him up the leaderboard for the Green Jersey. The stage was beset with crosswinds, which are common in the region.

Yellow Jersey Christopher Froome ( GBr – SKY – 001 ) [Yellow] 68h 18′ 36″
Green Jersey Marcel Kittel ( Ger – QST – 101 ) [Green] 373 points
Polka Dot Jersey Warren Barguil ( Fra – SUN – 143 ) [Polka Dot] 117 points
White Jersey Simon Yates ( GBr – ORS – 089 ) 6 [White]

Team: Team Sky ( SKY – 001-009 ) [Yellow numbers]
Stage winner: Michael Matthews ( Aus – SUN – 141 )
Combative: Sylvain Chavanel ( Fra – DEN – 174 ) [Red numbers]

Top Ten:

1 Christopher Froome ( GBr – SKY – 001 )
2 Fabio Aru ( Ita – AST – 051 ) + 00′ 18″
3 Romain Bardet ( Fra – ALM – 011 ) + 00′ 23″
4 Rigoberto Uran ( Col – CDT – 188 ) + 00′ 29″
5 Mikel Landa ( Spa – SKY – 006 ) + 01′ 17″
6 Simon Yates ( GBr – ORS – 089 ) + 02′ 02″
7 Daniel Martin ( Irl – QST – 105 ) + 02′ 03″
8 Louis Meintjes ( RSA – UAD – 061 ) + 06′ 00″
9 Damiano Caruso ( Ita – BMC – 042 ) + 06′ 05″
10 Nairo Quintana ( Col – MOV – 021 ) + 06′ 16″

The Rest of the Top 30:
[Read more →]

July 18, 2017   Comments Off on Le Tour 2017 – Stage 16

Remnant Don – Day 2

Remnant DonPosition: 11.9N 62.5W [10PM CDT 0300 UTC].
Movement: West [275°] near 25 mph [41 kph].
Maximum sustained winds: 40 mph [ 65 kph].
Wind Gusts: 55 mph [ 90 kph].
Tropical Storm Wind Radius: 35 miles [ 55 km].
Minimum central pressure: 1012 mb ↑.

Currently about 55 miles [ 90 km] West-Southwest of Grenada.

The storm has degenerated into an open wave and all warnings and watches have been cancelled. This is the final advisory.

Here’s the link for NOAA’s latest satellite images.

[For the latest information click on the storm symbol, or go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select “Hurricanes” for all of the posts related to storms on this site.]

July 18, 2017   Comments Off on Remnant Don – Day 2