It ISN’T just 129 military jobs affected by Trump’s vanity wall.

Some of you may know that I spent almost 20 years as a pilot’s crew scheduler for United Airlines. When I was there, we called it FIFO (First In First Out), some places such as cop shops and prosecutors call it “the wheel.” Basically, it means that when you come back from an assignment or day off, your name goes to the bottom of the availability list. As assignments are handed out, you climb the list, and when you get to the top, you get the next assignment. Not all that complicated, but fair and equitable. The Defense Department just released a detailed list of the 129 planned military construction jobs that are being affected by His Lowness pulling $3.6 billion from the Defense Department to put a rush order on his brainless vanity wall. Nattering Network Nabobs are already foaming at the mouth in anticipation of the politicians in the GOP up for reelection that are going to mutiny when they return to Washington over the millions of dollars, in some cases tens of millions of dollars of hard fought for pork that is being pulled from their states so Trump can fulfill a promise so empty even his core supporters didn’t believe it. But there’s an error in the way that the media is covering this story, and it’s a big one. The media is fixating on the 129 projects that are directly affected by Trump’s brazen cash and power grab. But the mistake is in limiting the coverage to only those 129 projects. In fact, every pending domestic military construction project is being affected by The Mango Messiah’s dunderheaded ploy. Here’s why. It turns out that the congressional military construction process uses a modified version of the FIFO list, or “The Wheel.” Military construction projects are planned years in advance for the most part, and then they go to the bottom of the list. As military construction funding is approved, it’s divvied up starting at the top of the list, and working downwards until it’s all gone. As items are funded, they are removed from the list, and the others move up, waiting for their turn. It’s a never ending process. Are you starting to get the picture? When the DoD pulled the funding from those projects at the top of the list, the projects themselves weren’t canceled, They were simply put on hold. Granting that Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats in the House will never agree to pass any more “emergency” military construction funding, in effect paying for the wall, those projects will remain on hold until either a court decides that Trump’s cash grab was unconstitutional and returns the money to the DoD, or until the next appropriations process rolls around. Those projects that just had their funding pulled for Trump’s Folly will now have to wait until next year for their funding, and that’s a problem. Because, like most things in Washington, military funding tends to move with the grace and speed of a well danced waltz. Military construction spending is basically a set amount every year. Senators and congressmen can calculate about how long it will take for their money to be approved, and start laying the groundwork for the money’s usage well in advance. If the spending for this year’s projects are being delayed […]

The Republicans wubs dem some “states rights.” Until…

It really is a fundamental difference in ideology between the two parties. Liberals believe that the federal government should at least take a passing swipe at making things easier for the less fortunate among us, while the Republicans take a more “lift yourself up by the bootstraps” attitude of individual responsibility, and any assistance should come from the state or local level. So it shouldn’t be surprising that the national GOP has literally spent decades campaigning on a platform of hearty, almost exclusive states rights. Not only have they championed states rights, but they have found it a very convenient hammer to slam down on the head of anything that they personally don’t like. Should the women of this country have the right to an abortion? That’s up to the states to decide! Should every citizen have the right to healthcare coverage? Hey! They live in a state, don’t they? Let the states figure that out. Should background checks be universal for gun sales? Nope, every state can decide the level of citizen arming they want. Should gays be allowed to marry, and enjoy the same receptions as everybody else? Not our call, let the Governors and state legislatures decide. The Republican party is madly, passionately, Trump horn dog style in love with states rights. Right up until the moment it becomes inconvenient. States and cities across the country have made the simple, jurisdictional decision to not force, nor even allow, their local police to assist ICE in rounding up undocumented immigrants for deportation. What?!? They can’t do that! Cut off their federal grants for law enforcement until they come to their senses! States have passed laws that tell those states bakers and caterers that they have to feed gay wedding parties, just like straight ones? What?!? We’ll let the Supreme Court tell them that they can’t do that. So, there! How’d that feel? Nowhere is the GOP’s hypocrisy regarding states rights more brazen or evident, than in the building of Trump’s stupid vanity wall. One would think that the single, most fundamental right that a state could have is to determine what can and can’t be done with its own, physical land. Apparently not when it means that His Lowness can’t play with his toys. In failing to override the $1 store Caligula’s veto on congress stopping his emergency declaration to build a wall, what Trump and the GOP congress by default has said is that not only does the state not have a say on what goes on their land, but individual, private landowners will have to accept whatever paltry sum the federal government decides is fair compensation under eminent domain, to allow the construction of a wall the majority of the residents don’t want. If there are two emptier words in the Republican dictionary than “states rights,” I quake to hear what they are. The true test of the ideological chops of a political party is not what their core principles are, it’s what the party does when adhering to one of those principles becomes personally or politically inconvenient for the party. And in the age of Trump, the GOP has not only failed the test, they’ve been expelled from kindergarten. From this point on, anybody who hears the words “states rights” slip from a Republicans lips without rolling their eyes, […]

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The “Wall” debacle is worse than they realize.

Apparently it’s all over but the shouting. Fittingly enough, the final capitulation came not from The Pampers President himself, but instead from Ditch Mitch “No show votes” McConnell, who stated that the Senate would move quickly to vote on the compromise border security bill, and to say “Gee whiz, I shore hope the Purzident signs the gosh darn thing!” or something like that. I for one am not going to take a dance a victory Irish jig on Trump’s humiliating wall grave. Hell, I’m not that mature. Instead, I’m planning on chugging a 12 pack of Bud Light to generate the maximum piss volume. But as I watched all of these GOP losers in shiny suits walking around with Basset Hound looks on their faces, a realization hit me. This whole political Waterloo over his stupid vanity border wall is worse than they realize. The Three Horsemen of the Shitpocalypse, Limbaugh, Hannity, and Coulter seem clueless, although two of them are already cutting their losses. The Oxycontin Kid is already saying that the fact that the alleged author of The Art Of The Squeal managed to negotiate himself from $25 billion from the Democrats in return for permanence in DACA to a measly $1.375 billion for new fencing is an “embarrassment” for the President, but sticks the GOP congress with the tab, for not fighting harder. And Flat Top is sputtering and blustering about how any Republican that dares to vote for this “garbage compromise bill” is going to have to explain his capitulation to their constituents. Only Coultergeist continues to do her best banshee impersonation, moaning hollowly about how the President “talks a good game, but doesn’t have the guts to fight for the wall.” Oh yeah, and she’ll get his little dog, too! All of these slobs, from McConnell to Hannity, from Meadows to Coulter, are so busy crying in their beer about their humiliating defeat about the damn wall, that they’re failing to see that there is a bigger picture involved here, and that the wall is just one piece of a larger mosaic. It just happens to be the piece that holds the rest of the mural together. You should all know my favorite Catholic ditty by now, “In order to keep your faith intact, ensure it stays unsullied by fact.” Trump the con man is himself nothing more or less than an elaborate con. He is an illusion, a cheap trick, except that this time, when the magician pulls his hand out of the hat, there isn’t going to be a rabbit in it. Trump’s entire “mystique” was built on one central conceit, that he was a winner! The brash, loud mouth, finger pointing mogul whose favorite pastime was snarling “You’re FIRED!” to cringing underlings, although the real Donald Trump couldn’t fire up a Weber grill. The owner of a multi billion dollar real estate empire, who proudly proclaimed himself the “king of debt,” knowing full well that his audience and supporters were too dim to realize that what that really meant was that it was all somebody elses money! Trump wasn’t alone in perpetuating this scam on the dim and inattentive. Hannity, Coulter, Limbaugh, Ingraham, they all played Trump up like he was the greatest boon to man since the discovery of the polio vaccine. They touted his business acumen, […]

All hail the Queen!

Off with his HEAD!   The Queen of Hearts   Alice in Wonderland I can’t seem to say it enough these days, I really do love it when they eat their young! The age old logic brain teaser has always been, which came first, the chicken or the egg? But that oldie-but-moldy is about to be replaced by the updated brain teaser x 2.0, Which came first, the Coulter fan, or the Trump supporter? This is already shaping up to be another in a long line of weeks that his Lowness would seriously like to pass through unconscious, in a two bucket KFC cholesterol coma. Damn those positive, glowing physical results he keeps demanding from his doctor! The news today is that the “border security” negotiations to stave off another partial government shutdown have broken down. It is generally accepted that the deadline to reach an agreement in time to avoid a shutdown is tomorrow, to give both the House and the Senate time to abide by their rules of consideration, and still pass the bill in time for Trump t sign it. Everybody is running around, high fiveing about the way that Nancy Pelosi is handing Trump his head on a cheap, $0.99 Store aluminum platter every time he turns around. This is true for liberals, because she’s constantly embarrassing him by shutting his overstuffed derriere down at every turn. But for Trombies, Pelosi is evil incarnate. She’s not beating Trump, she’s using cheap tricks to stifle his brilliance. But Ann Coulter?!? That’s a different kettle of fish. granted, talking about Trump and Coulter, that means a bunch of carp with full mud veins, but fish nonetheless. Fish that have been left out in the sun for two weeks. In this instance, Ann Coulter is actually a much greater existential threat to Trump than Nancy Pelosi, since Pelosi is something that Trump can use to rally the base, but Coulter is supposed to be rallying the base for him, against her. and That ain’t happening. In her naked power grab against Trumpenstein, Coulter is drawing on her long experience in dealing with the mental midgets that make up her audience, Keep It Simple Stupid! Coulter has gone on every show from Real Time with Bill Maher to Fox and Friends, spouting the same, absurdly simple yet effective message, “Is it wrong to hold the President accountable for the one promise he talked about every, single day on the campaign trail for 18 months?” Trump has been hoist on his own petard. It has been reported, and yet to be contradicted, that “the wall” was a metaphorical construct, engineered by Roger Stone and Sam Nunberg, to remind Trump to talk about immigration to rile up his racist base. But now, like a failed lab experiment, it has morphed into a virus that threatens all life on planet Alpha Trumptori One. Coultergeist is not going away anytime soon. She fell for Trump’s “Of course I’ll respect you in the morning, baby!” line, and now she wants her goddamn ring. Amusingly enough, Coulter has set herself up to look like a wrong-side-of-the-tracks- romance rebound victim here, considering those pesky reports that she dated conservative dragon slayer Keith Olbermann when they were at Cornell University together. But I’m sure that Coulter somehow or other doesn’t find that particular skeleton in her conservative closet as amusing as I […]

Opinion: Why Putin Wants the Wall

Earlier this week, Rachel Maddow suggested that the Trump shutdown, which President Pelosi has finally ended, was masterminded by Putin. Maddow argues that given what Trump has already done to help Russia, from relaxing sanctions to weakening the NATO alliance to acting like Putin’s doormat in Helsinki, what else could Trump possibly do to please Putin? How about throwing the US government into chaos by shutting it down? Of course, Putin would like that, as it fits nicely into the age-old strategy of divide-and-rule or, as it is also called divide-and-conquer. Compared to the US, Russia and Putin have much less power in the world. Just because someone doesn’t have as much power, it doesn’t mean they can’t conquer the more powerful. Since the Roman days (and likely earlier), rulers have been using the divide-and-rule strategy to weaken their enemy and conquer them. From Wikipedia: The concept refers to a strategy that breaks up existing power structures, and especially prevents smaller power groups from linking up, causing rivalries and fomenting discord among the people. Well, that sounds familiar. Trump has been trying to rip NATO apart since he got into office, and when he’s not doing that, he’s pissing off our allies around the world, from Canada to France to Germany. It is pretty clear that he has been “fomenting discord” at the international level, something that weakens the powers that might oppose Russia. By weakening and isolating the world powers, it provides an opportunity for Putin to seize greater control. It’s clear that Trump himself use this same strategy to maintain his power. In that same Wikipedia article, it connects the divide-and-rule strategy to narcissism, which is very interesting: A primary strategy the narcissist uses to assert control, particularly within his/her family, is to create divisions among individuals. This weakens and isolates them, making it easier for the narcissist to manipulate and dominate. Some are favoured, others are scapegoated. This reads like something out of the Trump handbook on how to run an organization. By all accounts, the White House is in a constant state of chaos, which suits Trump, the narcissist-in-chief,  just fine. Since this Wikipedia article is illuminating, let’s examine a few more parts. It further describes the elements of the divide-and-rule technique: aiding and promoting those who are willing to cooperate with the sovereign This explains why Trump demands loyalty and regularly hires people who are willing to go on Fox News and praise him. But here is the most interesting part of the Wikipedia article, the part that jumped out at me and made me start thinking that Putin wants the wall as much as Trump does: encouraging meaningless expenditures that reduce the capability for political and military spending Holy crap! If that isn’t the definition of building a ridiculously long wall along the southern border, I don’t know what is. Clearly, Mexico was never going to pay for the wall, so to get it built will require the US to spend a lot of capital and energy. And while we are spending capital and energy on building a wall, what are we not doing? Spending more on the military. If the US government is spending millions building a wall while also running the largest debt in the world, surely this has to have an impact on military spending. The federal government classifies […]

A Radical Idea

I have a radical ides. I know, like this is a news flash, right? Just do me one favor. Read the whole damn thing, don’t just read the next paragraph, say “What an idiot!”, and then steam off to the comments section. Read it, look at what I say in political and practical terms instead of ideological terms, think about it for a minute, and then steam off to the comments section and dump a load of shit over my head. You want to beat Donald Trump in 2020? Then “Build that wall! Build that wall!” When the Democrats get back to Washington on Tuesday, the first thing that Pelosi and Schumer should do is to get a hold of McConnell and Trump, tell McConnell, :Bring the House bills to the floor and pass them,: tell Trump, :Sign those bills and end the shutdown,” and then tell them, “If the bill that McConnell brings to the floor mirrors Trump’s proposals on Saturday, we will vote to pass it.” The first part is critical, since it means that the Democrats are no longer negotiating with the hostage taker. What? Are you crazy?!? Yeah baby, crazy like a fox. But what does that get us? Well, if we play our cards right, it gets Trump out of the White House in 2020, holds if not expands the House majority, and increases our chance of flipping the Senate. Read on, keep an open mind, and let’s look at the situation practically instead of emotionally. OK, deep breath. The Democrats Downside What are the myriad downsides for the Democrats in this radical idea? There are only two. Trump gets his wall. And the Democrats disappoint their base by caving on the wall. I’ll deal with the base in the next section. So, the Democrats cave on the wall. Oh No! Except he doesn’t. I wish everybody would get it through their heads, there is never going to be a fucking wall! There isn’t going to be a wall because Trump doesn’t want a wall. Trump wants the talisman of a wall, he wants to blame the Democrats for opposing it, he wants to hear chants about it, he wants to fund raise off of it. That’s it, nothing more. There is plenty of logic to back this assertion up. First, remember, we’re dealing with The-Gang-That-Couldn’t-Think-Straight here. Trump still hasn’t even spent 25% of the $1.6 billion he got the last go around to start his stupid wall. Early last year, Trump had the promise of $25.6 billion for his wall in return for permanent protection of DACA recipients, and he scotched the deal. In December he had $1.6 billion for the wall to keep the government open, and he eighty-sixed that plan too when the right wing party noise makers went off. Trump doesn’t actually want the wall, he wants the issue. And we know this because he’s already proven it. Trump campaigned on the wall. He’s screamed and hollered for it like a colicky 2 year old for 2 years now. But not one site has been surveyed for wall construction compatibility. Not one bid has been solicited from wall component manufacturers, or construction companies either. Some of his already existing $1.6 billion could have been sent on those logistics. If you want to build a wall, you’re going to need […]

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