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Posts from — June 2018

SNAFU

In Florida concealed carry permits are issued by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. That Department is headed by Howdy Doody look-alike Adam Putnam, first cousin of Katherine Harris (Florida Secretary of State for the 2000 Presidential debacle) and they are grandchildren of Ben Hill Griffin who gave his name to the football stadium at the University of Florida, which is considered a good deal more important than Mount Rushmore. BHG was a major force in Florida agriculture and politics.

Putnam is running for governor, but currently has a bit of a problem – Report reveals Florida stopped doing gun permit checks for more than a year:

The state ultimately revoked 291 permits and fired an employee blamed for the lapse after an inspector general’s report detailing the problem was sent in June 2017 to top officials in the department who oversee the program. The Tampa Bay Times was the first to publish information about the report, which pointed out that the state failed to check the National Instant Criminal Background Check System from February 2016 to March 2017.

The claim is the fired employee was the sole problem. The employee states that she was working in the mail room, had no idea why she was assigned to do background checks, and didn’t know how to sign on to the Federal system.

The 291 permits revoked amounted to almost 80% of the permits that were approved by on a check of state records. Putnam prominently displays his NRA A+ rating for arming Florida, saying he wouldn’t have signed the recent changes to Florid laws that were approved following the Parkland shooting.

June 9, 2018   2 Comments

Take A Hint

Semaphore STFU

At Crooks & Liars Susie Madrak notes a bit of a problem:

During a State Dept. briefing this week, former Fox News bobblehead Heather Nauert cited the D-Day invasion as an example of our “very strong” relationship with the government of Germany.

“Looking back in the history books, today is the 71st anniversary of the speech that announced the Marshall Plan. Tomorrow is the anniversary of the D-Day invasion. We obviously have a very long history with the government of Germany, and we have a strong relationship with the government of Germany,” she said.

US ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, has been making waves with his support of right-wing political parties in Europe. Ambassadors are supposed to stay out of politics. The Trump administration more than any other recent US government should be aware of the problems caused by foreign countries getting involved in the elections in other countries.

While in Israel, Rudy Giuliani has been spreading gossip which has resulted in two responses by actual members of the US government.

Pompeo distances administration from Giuliani’s North Korea comments:

In a briefing previewing the president’s Singapore trip with reporters at the White House, Pompeo said he believed Giuliani was likely making the comment “in jest.”

“I know Rudy,” Pompeo said. “Rudy doesn’t speak for the administration when it comes to this negotiation and this set of issues.”

First lady’s office pushes back against Giuliani on Stormy Daniels comment

“I don’t believe Mrs. Trump has ever discussed her thoughts on anything with Mr. Giuliani,” Stephanie Grisham, communications director for the first lady, told ABC News.

I have to agree with several Faux News personalities: someone should “cut his mike”.

June 7, 2018   3 Comments

So Much Crazy

Over at Crooks & Liars Juanita Jean is having a hard time dealing with the fact that Trump Thinks ‘Texas People Went Out In Their Boats’ To ‘Watch’ Hurricane Harvey.

Trump has seen videos of volunteers rescuing people from the flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey, and thinks they all got in their boats to experience the hurricane “al fresco”. The man knows nothing about anything.

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Continuing with the theme of willful ignorance, Velshi & Ruhle Slam Betsy Devos Studying School Safety But Not Guns.

As Secretary of Education she thinks you can have a commission on school safety that completely ignores the number one cause of death in US schools – people with guns. I’m not saying that the under-funding of facility maintenance isn’t a concern, but getting shot is pretty much the number one concern of students.

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Digby reports that Poor Nikki Haley, all alone in the world.

Ms Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, tried to get a Trump administration resolution on passed that would whitewash the conduct of Israel towards Gaza and no one else would vote for it. This is the worst defeat of any effort by the US at the UN ever.

June 6, 2018   3 Comments

A Little Advice

For the record: insanity is a defense for the accused, not his/her lawyers: Giuliani to HuffPost: Trump could have ‘shot James Comey’ and not be prosecuted.

While it is assumed that a President could not be tried for a crime while in office, there is no barrier for an indictment. There are statutes of limitations that may require that charges be filed while a President is still in office.

Impeachment is not a criminal process and does not affect the prohibition against double jeopardy. A grand jury issues indictments. It would be up to the President to request a stay, to avoid problems with the requirement for a speedy trial. If the indictment is issued and the prosecution fails to pursue it, the President could have a civil rights complaint.

Many of those who have looked at the letter that Trump’s lawyers sent to Mueller bemoan the quality of Trump’s legal team. If you are known for not paying lawyers or following their advice, it would be extremely difficult to get competent legal counsel. OTOH, any lawyer would have a difficult time trying to deal with Trump in a competent manner.

June 4, 2018   2 Comments

Pitiful Agitprop

The 20 pages of bad lawyering by Trump’s attorneys was leaked to the New York Times. It claims that Nixon was right “if the President does it, it’s not illegal” and the President can pardon himself and cancel the Russian probe. They ignore the Supreme Court rulings against Nixon and against Clinton which reinforced the basic concept that not even the President is above the law. They also cite an old law on obstruction to use a loophole that was closed by a later law. Just pathetic.

The Twit-in-Chief claimed that Mueller leaked it, and the the Russia investigation was too expensive. No one has been able to present any evidence that there has ever been a leak of any kind from the Mueller team, so this was probably leaked by Trump’s legal team as part of their PR offensive. Further we spent almost 5 times as much on Melania and Barron’s stay in New York City in 2017, and more than twice as much on Trump’s trips to Mar-a-Lago [subject to being Bajo-el-Mar in the future].

June 3, 2018   2 Comments

Figures Of Speech

Insults have been in the news lately. Vox , and others, have noted that The NY Times published a list of people Trump has insulted on Twitter during the campaign.

CNN’s Don Lemon has a list of Trump’s racist history which may be behind his lack of a direct comment about what Roseanne Barr tweeted.

Samantha Bee made a mistake. As a Canadian educated adult she used an Elizabethan adjective with a synecdoche enhanced by dysphemism to make her point. The problem was she did not have a whistle, a clipboard, and some wall lockers for cover. Everything said in “a locker room” is apparently beyond criticism. What she said was harsh and shocking, but not as harsh or shocking as having your children taken away when you are applying for asylum in a supposedly civilized country.

This isn’t about Donald Trump defending his daughter. Trump didn’t suggest that Howard Stern be fired for his no class comment about Ivanka in a radio interview. Trump was attacking a critic, as he always does.

June 2, 2018   7 Comments

Billy Bowlegs Festival

Jolly Rogers

In order to generate “local excitement” [sell stuff] the chamber of commerce is once again annoying people with the Billy Bowlegs Festival. This year the unavoidable part runs from Friday, June 1st and finishes up on Monday. The really obnoxious parade on Monday screws up traffic and sends a lot of noisy people through my neighborhood.

Almost as bad as the parade traffic jam are the Friday fireworks. I know a lot of people enjoy fireworks, but they probably have not seen what loud noises and flashes of light can do to people and aircraft – I am definitely not a fan.

With luck it will rain the rest of the week… 😈

June 1, 2018   Comments Off on Billy Bowlegs Festival

June First

June 1st:

The official start of the hurricane season.

Events:
1495 – Friar John Cor records the first known batch of Scotch whisky.
1660 – Mary Dyer is hanged in Boston, Massachusetts, for defying a law banning Quakers from the colony. She is considered by some to be the last religious martyr in what would become the United States.
1890 – The United States Census Bureau begins using Herman Hollerith’s tabulating machine to count census returns.
1967 – The Beatles album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is released.
1980 – The Cable News Network (CNN) begins broadcasting.

Births:
1563 – Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury, English statesman and spymaster (d. 1612)
1780 – Carl von Clausewitz, Prussian general (d. 1831)
1804 – Mikhail Glinka, Russian composer (d. 1857)

For some reason I didn’t make the list.

June 1, 2018   4 Comments