Reviewing the National Press Club Dinner and other Media Foibles

Posted in Reviews - of books, mostly by EloiSVM42 on June 19, 2018

As I have written recently, I am very proud of the media these days. They are performing heroically in very difficult but important times. There is little about them of which to complain. Little, but not none.

After the National Press Club Dinner, the whole point of which is to celebrate freedom of speech and the press, many Press Club members were critical, again, of their invited guest comedian – Michelle Wolf – for telling jokes about them. I didn’t watch the dinner, but I went back and listened to Wolf’s roast. It was overall wicked funny stuff, and like all good comedy, contained a lot of truth.

Among the funniest bits to me was when, sensing her audience squirming, Wolf said, “You should have done a lot more research before you got me to do this.”

I am off-put by the hypocrisy of press members complaining about a comedian’s language. With a nod to President Donald Trump, you knew she was a viper tongued wit when you invited her.

I am particularly disappointed in Andrea Mitchell, a generally credible journalist, for saying Wolf owes Sara Huckabee Sanders an apology for what Wolf said about her. Perhaps Mitchell said that because she is afraid Sanders will stop leaking to her. Nobody owes Sanders an apology. Sanders stands into front of the press every day and lies to them through her teeth. And, she is rude, arrogant and condescending doing it. She is of a piece with her administration.

By the way, I have watched a few of those press briefings and the press’ questions are often as lame as the answers are offensive lies.

I think the press club would be better off doing without a professional comedian speaker. Keep the dinner serious and on point. The fact is, the press doesn’t seem to have a sense of humor, and can’t seem to take a joke, even a good one, about themselves. Reminds me of Trump.

And then there is the overwrought coverage of North Korea. The press vacillates between overhyping a possible peace agreement between the U. S. and North Korea and a war between the U.S. and North Korea, like it’s a either or game, when, in fact, neither is going to happen, least of all a war, because it is the last thing either side wants (with the exception of John Bolton).

Kim wouldn’t dare start a war with us, because he knows he would be obliterated. Trump won’t start a war with North Korea, because if his staff or Congress won’t stop him, China will. Trump started this circus himself with his bluster, and he’s riding now in part because the press let him, and now we’re off on this insane farce of a nuclear agreement negotiation.

Thoughts on Events the Week of June 11

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on June 18, 2018

Singapore Summit: President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un met here to discuss denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, whatever that means to them, respectively. The spoken and written words at this point mean nothing. Trump’s statement after the brief meeting that the nuclear problem with North Korea was “largely solved,” illustrates just how ludicrously meaningless those words were.

Trump promised us “complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization.” Kim promised the same thing, as he has a dozen times previously, and reneged every time. He also promised not to steal the towels from the Singapore hotel when he left.

The only way to judge the value of this meeting, and any that may follow, is the actual results, and, from my view, how they compare to the Iran nuclear deal Trump discarded.

Trump announced immediately after the meeting that he was suspending joint military exercises with South Korea – he called them war games and provocative, parroting North Korea’s characterizations. He also stated that he would like to pull down U.S. troops in South Korea, because the cost a lot of money. (I wonder how State and Defense Secretaries Pompeo and Mattis, and National Security Advisor Bolton, feel about this.)

It is patently premature to part with the military exercises, and it would be  pure folly to pull down the troops, much as I too would like to see it eventually, unless and until something really meaningful comes out of the negotiations, and frankly, I don’t think anything sufficiently meaningful will. North Korea is never going to give up its nukes, and we need to understand that and manage the situation accordingly, as we do with Pakistan, another sorry state with nukes.

To make those reductions otherwise would hand South Korea, a functioning, flourishing democracy over to North Korea. At this point, Trump seems prepared to trade two successful, functioning democratic allies – South Korea and Japan – for one totalitarian state. What a deal maker!

If I were Japan, I would quickly acquire nuclear weapons, with the ironic result that there would be nuclear proliferation rather than reduction from Trump’s brilliant negotiating. (Also, Japan might point some of the nukes at us for hanging them out to dry, and I wouldn’t blame them. Just kidding.)

I would also remind South Korean President Moon that he wanted this. I wonder what Moon is thinking about it now that Trump is already giving away the candy…Moon’s candy.

One thought about the summit. There may have been no technical experts or seasoned diplomats at the meeting, but there were clearly experts in stagecraft, which is most important to Trump, and, I suspect, to Kim also. The Trump-Kim Barnum and Bailey Circus, which is all it is right now, was a colorful show.

Correction, or more accurately a comeuppance: I was premature, or more accurately downright uninformed and naïve to think converting the armistice to a peace treaty would be insignificant, as I did last week. Apparently, for diplomatic purposes, it is a real big deal.

Sudden Thought: If not in and around South Korea, perhaps we should be conducting military preparation exercises in Alaska, Idaho, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Washington, the 13 states that border Canada, to prepare for an attack or invasion, since president says Canada is a national security risk? Let’s face it, our president is a liar and a fool.

Inspector General’s report: In a nutshell, the I.G. report stated the obvious. The Justice Department behaved properly and reached the correct conclusion that Hillary Clinton committed no prosecutable crime, but that James Comey made terribly bad judgements handling the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails, and was insubordinate in discussing them in public.

(FBI agents Peter Strzok and his squeeze Lisa Page also used incredibly bad judgment exercising their First Amendment rights by criticizing, on the company’s email server, a person whose activities they were investigating, although they did nothing improper in the actual investigation. In my view, they should be fired for plain stupidity.)

Comey should also have been fired, but not by Trump. Trump’s firing of Comey was obstruction of Justice, by his own admission. Comey should have been fired by then Attorney General Loretta Lynch the moment he spoke publicly about the investigation in the way he did.

It is my firm belief that Comey, not the Russians, stole the election from Clinton, although the Russians were clearly trying.

There is supreme irony here. If Lynch had fired Comey, Comey wouldn’t have been around for Trump to fire, and the whole Russian special counsel investigation might never have begun.

For the record, despite what Trump has said about this report letting him off the hook regarding Russia, this report had absolutely nothing to do with the Russian investigation and said nothing about it one way or the other. The report was strictly about Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Person of Interest:  Paul Manafort. The erstwhile manager of Trump’s presidential campaign is in jail, and it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. Already indicated on several criminal charges and awaiting trial, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson found probable cause Manafort had engaged in witness tampering while out on bail and she revoked it. Manafort can appeal, but I don’t think much of his odds. Good for her, good for us, good for justice. (

Status of the States: Oklahoma keeps the worst state cup until EPA Director Scott Pruitt is gone.

I’ll just note in passing that Texas is the epicenter of the administration’s program of separating children from their parents at the border. And does former Alabama Senator and now Attorney General Jeffrey Beauregard Sessions really have that many friends in the Senate anymore?


Immigration obscenity

Posted in Politics and Justice by EloiSVM42 on June 16, 2018

I am confounded at present with one singular question regarding immigration: In what barbaric country, under what family values-avowing administration, led by what sick and twisted xenophobes, would young children be separated from their mothers and fathers upon entering the country? Oh, wait. That’s us. That’s Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions.

Sessions says his – not the Democrats – policy is for the purpose of deterrence, and rationalizes this policy with a Bible passage – Romans 13. This passage is, in fact, a ludicrous affirmation of the “divine right of kings.” I thought we had gotten beyond that kind of thinking many centuries ago.

(Just as an aside: during World War II, when we interned Japanese American citizens in prison camps, one of the most shameful and regrettable events in our history, the Japanese American prisoner families were allowed to stay together, at least.)

This policy is obscene. The entire immigration system is obscene. Jeff Sessions is obscene. He is a pig in shit’s clothing. Those people, Sessions included, who are separating children from their parents at the border are committing child abuse. They are the ones who should be separated from their own families and put in one of our detention facilities; I recommend federal prison.

Somewhere in Arizona, I would like to think some redneck, Pro Trump voter woman and mother is saying to her husband, “I don’t care what you say, Bubba, this is just wrong and I’m not voting for this SOB again.”

To the broader point, immigration is an important, complicated and emotional issue for every country. Who gets to come into a country, and why? Who has to stay out? How much immigration should be accepted in total? Every country approaches it differently.

We need immigration for a number of reasons, and our immigration policies are comparatively open. We need unskilled workers to fill jobs our workers don’t want. We need skilled workers for jobs for which we don’t have enough qualified applicants (which is a severe indictment of our education system). Declining birth rate. Humanitarian responsibilities.

We have a long history of ambivalence regarding unskilled workers particularly, and a poor record of dealing with them. Some people want them in to fill needs and keep labor costs down. Some don’t want them in to keep labor costs up, and due to garden variety xenophobia. Because of this dichotomy, our solutions have been schizophrenic. We let immigrants sneak in, but don’t recognize them, and often exploit them.

Things changed after 9/11. We became fearful of terrorist infiltration by immigration, and generally more suspicious of foreigners. Our laws were tightened, and border security increased. This was welcome news to the already xenophobic and nativists among us, but also distressing to those who look on immigration as a good thing for our economy, culture and country. 

I can somewhat understand xenophobic impulses, though not agree with them. I believe that our economic and cultural histories demonstrate that the U.S. has always been the net beneficiary of immigration. And to all you anti-Hispanics out there, I’m sorry, but I love Mexican food.


Thoughts on Events the Week of June 4

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on June 11, 2018

North Korea: As so often occurs with politicians and media, the news and the hype are two entirely different subjects. The news this week was how astoundingly President Trump insulted and turned his back on not only our dearest allies, but also our cultural roots. Where does Trump think his base’s sense of white supremacy comes from anyway?

The hype was all about the upcoming meeting with North Korea in Singapore next week, assuming the North Korean delegation can find enough change between their sofa cushions to afford a hotel room.

This meeting is historic, because it is a first, and it represents a meeting between the U.S. and an adversary that goes back (1953) even longer than that with Iran (1979), and almost as long as with Cuba (1948). Oh wait, those relations, re-opened by President Obama, are back to adversarial status again, thanks to President Trump. Can we hold a grudge, or what?

Trump loves firsts, but apparently only his own, because he slammed the door the openings to Iran and Cuba out of spite with Obama.

Count me among the most dubious about anything meaningful coming out of this meeting, and those that will likely succeed it, despite however Trump may try to frame it. True progress will have to come another day, far away. Here’s why.

I define meaningful only as anything that meets or exceeds the dashed Iran nuclear deal. By inference, Trump has promised to make a better one with North Korea. I will judge him by that standard (maybe a higher one; NK already has nukes), and there is not a shred of hope that he can meet it. North Korea is not going to give up its nukes any time soon, and certainly not to a buffoon like Trump’s term in office.

I would mind Trump that it was sanctions, led by President Obama’s vigorous diplomatic efforts that brought Iran to the negotiating table. And Obama didn’t loosen those sanctions until he had the deal he wanted, including strong verification clauses.

If Trump starts giving away candy before he has a deal that meets his goal of total, verifiable denuclearization, that he will have failed spectacularly comparted to Obama’s Iran deal. North Korea has already cheated two American presidents this way. If Trump makes the same mistake, he won’t even be able to claim a first, or that he did something no other president could do.

Among the not particularly meaningful results would be converting the armistice between North Korea and us into a peace treaty. It would be symbolic, but change nothing, other than give North and South Korea more space to work on their own domestic relationships.

The G7 Economic Summit: Back to Trump’s treatment of actual allies. Trump offended them all before he came to the meeting, blew his nose on the drapes, diplomatically speaking, while he was there, left early and then reneged on his communiqué agreement after he was safely out of town.

It was a spectacular display of rudeness and stupidity. In other words, typical Trump. In the end, Trump left a very bad taste in the Europe’s mouth as he headed for Singapore to make history and a fool of himself at the hands of the North Koreans and to the delight of China and Russia.

Trump got one thing right. Our Long-term economic future is in Asia, and we should be shifting emphasis there. But that doesn’t mean insulting out large, existing economic trading partners and allies.

Meanwhile, back in Asia, China is pulling Trump’s pants down, North Korea is about to play him for a fool. Allies Japan and South Korea are losing confidence in Trump and considering other options, and I get the sense that Australia has already written off the U.S. and is pivoting completely to China.

Person of Interest:  Larry Kudlow. Used to be an economist, now he just plays one on TV. A life-long advocate of free trade, Kudlow, Trump’s new National Economic Adviser is now defending Trump’s ludicrous tariffs, and even supporting Trump’s insulting of Canada Prime Minister’s Trudeau, calling Trudeau’s remarks a betrayal for speaking truth to power, and saying Trudeau stabbed Trump in the back, somewhat overheated diplomatic language.

But I guess language gets pretty heated when one is concerned about national security,  which is the reason Trump gave for slapping tariffs on Canada, because we are, you know, in imminent danger of an attack or even invasion from our northern neighbor. Please.

Status of the States: Oklahoma keeps the worst state cup until EPA Director Scott Pruitt is gone.


Thoughts on Events the Week of May 28

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on June 8, 2018

The Majesty Letter: President Trump’s lawyers, we learned this week, sent a secret letter to Special Counsel Robert Mueller making some pretty extreme claims of executive authority.

Briefly, the letter claims Trump can fire anyone he wants in the Executive Branch, including anyone in the Justice Department (probably true), including the Special Counsel (possibly true, but unproven); that he can pardon anyone (true), including himself (doubtful, but untested); and that he can shut off any investigation he wants, including of himself (highly unlikely, but again, untested).

In short, the letter asserts that Trump is above the law, which would make him tantamount to a monarch. I am not a Constitutional scholar, but I have read the document and something about the history of how it was created, and I’m pretty sure that one thing the founding fathers did not want was a monarch. In fact, it was the last thing they wanted, and took pains to prevent via the Constitution.

Trump’s lawyers at the time this letter was written were John Dowd, who subsequently quit in disgust, and Jay Sekulow, a man over his head, who was caught in a lie publicly when he said on TV that Donald Trump, Jr. wrote the infamous letter about the Trump Tower meeting, which the White House later admitted Trump himself had dictated. Real heavy weights.

Giuliani, one of Trump’s current lawyers, has the audacity to support the contentions in this letter. Of course, Giuliani is not really practicing as a lawyer at present, he’s only playing one on TV.  He’s really just a shill for Trump, akin to Strother Martin’s character in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, a shameless sycophant of the villain.

Nothing yet from Emmett Flood, Trump’s new, actual lawyer, who hasn’t uttered a peep since he came aboard. I can’t help wondering what he must be thinking. I sometimes visualize him hiding in a dark closet, sucking his thumb, holding his baby blanket and wondering how the hell he got into this. I cannot see him defending the claims in this letter.

The publication of this letter seems to have opened the first tiny, thin fissures in the Republican legislator’s stone wall.

Pardons: Trump is said to be obsessed with pardons these days, and it is easy to see why. With pardons, Trump gets to play monarch. It is his one authority under the Constitution unencumbered by checks and balances. He can pardon anyone he wants, however undeserving (such as, say, former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio), and nobody can do a damn thing about it.

Except pardon himself, of course. He can’t pardon himself. It’s said that this hasn’t been tested in the courts, but it was tested as a practical matter during the Nixon saga. No court will ever allow it to happen.

So, Trump can exercise his almost universal pardon powers within the Constitution, but not with complete impunity. There are possible political consequences if this power is determined to have been abused.

It’s said that Trump is waving his pardon power around so publicly as a signal to those involved in the Special Counsel investigation, a kind of threat/extortion/promise.

As I understand it, and I’m willing to be corrected, once someone is pardoned and cannot be tried for a crime, then they also cannot plead the 5th, and can be brought before a grand jury and be compelled to testify. So, perhaps it is not the protection for himself Trump thinks it may be.

Sudden Thought: Wouldn’t it be ironic if Trump pardoned all of his friends and got them off, and then found himself in legal doo doo?

Women’s Softball: The attempt for a three-peat national collegiate women’s softball championship by my beloved Oklahoma Sooners’ team ended not with a bang, nor a whimper, but with a total collapse. They were shut out twice by the University of Washington and went home.

There are basically three seasons in softball (sorry OU coach Patty Gasso, three, not four as in football quarters): the regular season, including conference games, the playoffs where the finalists are decided for the Women’s Softball World Series 16 team round robin, and the WCWS itself.

Oklahoma breezed through the regular season, and was undefeated in the Big 12 Conference. OU obliterated three playoff opponents by a combined score of 29-2, and then lost two games to Washington without scoring a single run. (Washington lost the finals to Florida State). This was an astounding performancee for the best run scoring team in women’s softball.

This defeat, on one level, demonstrates how difficult it is in any sport to three-peat. It almost never happens. This time, however, the lady Sooners just really stunk up the place. Next year, girls.

Person of Interest:  MiniBooNE’s researchers. They may have found a fourth – “sterile” neutrino, when it is thought there are only three, which would upset the Standard Model applecart big time.

Status of the States: Oklahoma keeps the worst state cup until EPA Director Scott Pruitt is gone.


What then to do with Rosanne Barr?

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on May 31, 2018

You’ve all seen, heard or read that Rosanne Barr posted a gratuitously racist, Islamophobic tweet about Valerie Jarrett, a former Special Advisor to President Barak Obama. Shortly thereafter, ABC issued its own statement critical of, and distancing itself from, Barr’s. Less than an hour later, ABC cancelled her popular TV show.

The cynic in me doubts that ABC made this decision alone; the show was a money maker. I’m sure they hoped their statement would suffice and things would settle down. I’m thinking Disney, ABC’s parent, made the call, and quickly. Good for them.

I’m pretty much an absolutist about free speech, and I am of the opinion that we are often way too politically correct, but I’m glad this happened. This shit has to stop.

Barr exercised her freedom of speech rightly, and so did Disney. Barr’s speech reflected on ABC, and by extension Disney, and they didn’t want to be associated with it. Barr’s speech was free, but irresponsible. Barr can still speak. Maybe some other media outlet will pick up the show. Otherwise, with her rant, Barr put a whole lot of people – the entire cast and crew of her show – out of work.

Racism is a roach under our refrigerator. It’s always there, sadly, but usually stays in the dark, self-aware of its repugnancy. In the current environment, racists have been emboldened to come out into the light.

To be clear, this new era of blatant racism was not caused by President Trump. He has just exploited it, though he obviously is one himself. The flame was ignited when President Barak Obama was elected.

Seeing a black man in the White House sparked a backlash among this kind, and, to my utter disgust, within the Republican Congress. It led to the most disgraceful eight years of legislative malfeasance in my lifetime, including complete opposition and obstruction of any Obama initiatives, including ones the Republicans had championed until Obama agreed with them, in which case the Republicans opposed them.

The most egregious, odious obstruction was the refusal of Republican Senators Charles Grassley and Mitch McConnell to give Obama’s nomination to the Supreme Court – Merrick Garland – an excellently qualified choice – a hearing, allowing the court to limp along rather than do their duty, as they ran out the clock on Obama’s term. These guys’ action was as blatantly racist as that of any white supremacist scum in the land.

I want to see racism wither completely, but at present I’d just settle for seeing it out of our government, to start. It is going to take people like ABC and/or Disney calling it out until, if we cannot entirely erase it, we can get it back under the refrigerator.

Thoughts on Events the Week of May 21

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on May 28, 2018

The Art of the (No) Deal: President Trump’s book is inaccurately titled. He seems to know how to back out of deals, not how to make them.

For those keeping score, Trump has pulled America out of the Paris Climate Accord and the Trans Pacific Partnership, two important international agreements. His biggest boner, probably the worst decision he will ever make as president, however long he serves, was pulling out of the Iranian Nuclear Agreement, the most important international agreement of the 21st Century. What a no deal guy.

Note: all of these deals have two things in common. They are all good, important deals, and they were all negotiated by Barak Obama, a serious and successful dealmaker, of whom Trump must be green with envy and consumed with spite.

By dismissing the Iran deal, Trump has unintentionally signaled that his North Korean deal will be better than the Iranian deal he walked away from, and that just flat out isn’t going to happen. In fact, very little is going to happen.

Trump assured us he would glide into a deal to de-nuclearize North Korea over a saké in Singapore (if North Korea’s plan can fly that far, and if Chairman (It’s chairman now, not Supreme Leader) Kim Jong-Un is still in power when he lands), easy peasy, on June 12. When he discovered, like other presidents, that this is easier said than done, he pulled out of this one, too. But it’s just as well. This negotiation wasn’t going to go as Trump expected anyway.

I’m sure Trump and Kim will get together for a photo-op sometime, somewhere and call it progress, but that’s nonsense.

America and North Korea will have a deal when America and China agree what it will be and when it will happen, which isn’t going to be any time soon, and isn’t going to be what Trump imagines.

That said, Kim and South Korean leader Moon Jae-in still have an opportunity to improve relations between their respective countries, and I hope they continue to do so, if only to show our dumb-ass president how it can be done.

The Justice Department Epic Failure: Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein screwed up big time when he obeyed President Trump’s order to let Republican lawmakers (read Trump’s partisan hatchet men) see classified material from a DOJ investigation.

People are debating whether Rosenstein was being craven to save his job, or crafty to save the Special Counsel investigation. Rosenstein’s motives are meaningless. He can’t protect the investigation or himself by eroding the Department of Justice this way. He should never have permitted such a breach of legal practice.

Once Rosenstein caved, Trump pressed again, inviting only Republicans to see the material, no Democrats. This was corrected, but the very act was proof of Trump’s intent, and the complicity of Republican lawmakers. Rosenstein should have called a halt then and there.

Finally, when the meeting, which never should have happened, began, Trumps Chief of Staff John Kelly and his personal lawyer Emmett Flood, sneaked into the room. Third strike. Ballgame (should have been) over.

But it wasn’t. Now Trump’s other lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, wants to do the same thing over again for himself, for the admitted purpose of destroying the investigation. The inevitable slippery slope that occurs when working with slippery slime.

What could Rosenstein think he was protecting? Make no mistake. Trump doesn’t give a rodent’s rectum about our justice system. He will tear the whole thing down in a heartbeat to save himself from this investigation (which is only necessary if he is guilty of something), and the hell with his oath of office, the Department of Justice or the whole damn country.

I don’t know how this is going to end, but I know what is going to happen. If the noose tightens around Trump, he will fire Rosenstein, Mueller, Sessions and anyone else who gets in his way, and take his chances.

At that point, we will see if, as Trump says, he can shoot someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue and get away with it. But who he will be shooting is Blind Justice, and make no mistake, she is mortal.

The Trump Taint: There is one constant to the erratic and inconsistent Trump administration. Everyone who comes into contact with Trump is diminished by their exposure to him. They will be humiliated, insulted, embarrassed, fired or pressured out. They will find their reputations damaged and possibly even land in prison. No matter how high the office they are given in the administration, no one escapes with their stature as high as it was when they entered.

The most immediate case in point is Emmett Flood, Trump’s new Special Counsel to the President. Trump finally recruited a well-educated lawyer with excellent credentials and a prominent, bipartisan reputation. Hardly had Flood gotten in the door than he was seen sneaking into the two classified briefings at which the justice Department shamefully briefed lawmakers on classified information related to the Russian investigation (see above).

Flood knew better than to do this.  He knew it was inappropriate, even unprecedented. He knew it was wrong. And yet there he was, putting his reputation at risk for his smarmy client. He will have to explain himself to his partners, his colleagues, himself and a judge or two, to his shame.

Women’s Softball: There is almost nothing in sports that interests me between football seasons any more. But one exception is women’s softball, in large measure due to the remarkable success of my beloved Oklahoma Sooners’ team. Having won the previous two NCAA championships, and seeded #4 this year (an injustice), they blew through the regional and super regional to advance to the Championship Series in Oklahoma City.

In the first round, OU knocked out three opponents, scoring 24 runs and not giving up a single one. In their super regional, they dispatched Arkansas with two straight wins by a combined score of 16-2. These gals are a joy to watch.

The NBA: I did something I never do, this weekend – watched snatches of the last two games of the Cleveland v. Celtics Eastern Finals, and watched LeBron James carry his team by the scruff of their necks to the NBA Championship. What a performance!

Forget the debate who is the best ever. It’s futile. Just accept that there is a plane above all the rest, and that James and Michael Jordan, Koby Bryant and a couple of others are on it. But make no mistake, James is on it.

Person of Interest:  General John F. Kelly, retired United States Marine Corps general and White House Chief of staff. A deeply, deeply disappointing figure, and model example of one diminished by his exposure to President Trump.


Status of the States: Oklahoma keeps the worst state cup until EPA Director Scott Pruitt is gone.

However, I would be remiss if I did not mention Texas’ Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, who, after the mass murder in the high School in Santa Fe, TX during which 10 people were killed, opined that the problem causing mass shootings has nothing to do with guns, but is due to abortions and violent video games. Even by Texas standards, Patrick is an exceptional bozo, and if Scott Pruitt were not in the Trump administration would earn Texas the worst state cup this week.

Hey, Danny Boy, abortions have nothing to do with this subject. You are a tool for trying to wedge it in. It insults the intelligence of those who voted for you, and that’s really saying something.

Regarding video games, the country most addicted to them is Japan, and they have perhaps the least gun violence of any country in the world. Know why? Because they have almost no guns. What a Gohmert!


Thoughts on Events the Week of May 14

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on May 23, 2018

O, Jerusalem: President Trump moved the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and bragged that he has done what no other president  has had the guts, or been able to do. This is nonsense. Any president could have done it. None did because we were trying to maintain some balance in our relationships between Israel and the Palestinians, in order to have credibility when negotiating a peace between the two sides.

In moving the embassy, Trump has signaled to the world that, his pronouncements notwithstanding, he has no interest in an Israel-Palestinian peace. He has cast his lot completely on the side of Israel and President Netanyahu, his political soulmate in commitment to their respective religiously conservative bases. This is nothing but a blatant affront to Muslims, as obvious to everyone as Trump’s Muslim travel ban.

Assuredly, this move plays directly to, and very well with Trump’s Evangelical base, which has some bizarre eschatological superstitions about Israel. With American Jews, not so much.

American Jews, who tend to be Democratic, are increasingly off put by Israel, which they see as no longer a liberal democratic society, but a repressive, occupying government, shifting more and more to the religious right (what they call ultra-orthodox). And they are right.

So, this embassy move not only drives a wider gap between Jews and Muslims in the Middle East, but widens the gap between Evangelical conservatives and liberal Jews in America, perhaps as Trump wants.

I’m thinking Israel is feeling very proud at present, but they can’t be feeling very easy. Despite its dominant position in the Middle East, except for Trump, Israel doesn’t have many friends, and Trump doesn’t either. When Trump is gone, whenever or however that happens, things could change significantly.

Yet, this all may work out for Netanyahu. Everyone seems to have shifted their attention to problems of their own, so Israel’s shift to a non-democratic, illiberal occupying nation may go unaddressed. (It doesn’t help the Palestinians that their leadership engages in pointless, fruitless behaviors.) Nevertheless, to me it seems that the stronger it grows on the path it has chosen, the more Israel’s future darkens. We’ll see.

The Senate Disgustingly Approves Gina Haspel to be Director of the CIA: Well, they did it. The Senate agreed with President Trump to put someone who tortured people at a black site during the Iraq War and then destroyed evidence of it, to be the face of the CIA, as if its reputation isn’t bad enough already.

Six Democrats voted with all but two Republicans to confirm Haspel. For the record, they are: Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Mark Warner (D-VA). I want to remember these Democrat pig parts.

Four of these senators are from conservative states, which means they traded their integrity for political expediency. The votes of Warner and Shaheen are particularly odious, since their states went for Hillary Clinton in 2016, meaning their votes weren’t necessary even to appease a conservative electorate. They just did it.

Note: a few Democratic senators from deep red states – Alabama Sen. Doug Jones, Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, and Montana Sen. Jon Tester – to their credit, voted against Haspel.

I’m ashamed of the Democratic senators who voted to confirm a torturer. I’m ashamed of the whole damn Senate, and I’m ashamed of myself for having to vote Democratic given the present choices.

Person of Interest:  Curtis James ( James told me we have completed a 30 year drought cycle here, and will be seeing more precipitation; not necessarily more snow, due to global warming, just more total precipitation. I hope he is right. The first year thereafter, he was spot on, but since then, we have been bone dry.

Status of the States: Oklahoma keeps the worst state cup until EPA Director Scott Pruitt is gone.


Witch Hunt

Posted in Politics and Justice by EloiSVM42 on May 15, 2018

A recent survey indicates that 90% of Republicans believe that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is a “Witch Hunt.” It is remarkable evidence of the apparent phenomenon that if you say something often enough, people will begin to believe it, no matter the contrary prima facie evidence, or lack thereof.

The characterization of witch hunt is clearly inaccurate, as it’s used metaphorically to describe the Salem Watch Trials, which were prosecuted on the basis of worthless evidence, hearsay, religious superstition and hysteria, for two reasons:

First, the investigation has already identified people who have actually been indicted, and some already confessed, to crimes related to the investigation into Russian meddling with our election. The fact that the Russians were meddling with our election has already been proven.  So, the Mueller investigation can in no way be said to be baseless.

Second, and this is particularly important regarding President Trump, who is leading the “Witch Hunt” chorus: absolutely no one officially involved in the investigation has accused Trump of anything. Trump is un-accused, and therefore must be presumed innocent.

Media pundits and politicians are screaming about the investigation – its motives, results and consequences prematurely; speculating, gossiping, guessing, but their motives are completely divorced from, and irrelevant to, the investigation. Politicians are stirring up their bases. Media are fighting for viewership or readership.

(This doesn’t mean the media – particularly print media – are not turning up some actual facts.  There is a lot of leaking from people involved. But even these leaks and reports, true or inaccurate, are not the same as actual evidence presented by the investigators, from whom we have heard nothing, except indictments or announcements of confessions.)

So, the investigation cannot be called a witch hunt in the metaphorical sense, because it has already caught some actual “witches.” And it cannot be said to be attacking the president because absolutely no charges, not even a suggestion of them, has come from the investigators.

When the investigation is complete, and the evidence presented, we will all learn whether there are any more witches. In the meantime, those calling the investigation a witch hunt are patently pre-mature, and, it must be said, begging the question why they are making such a fuss before actual evidence is presented.



Thoughts on Events the Week of May 7

Posted in Politics and Justice by EloiSVM42 on May 14, 2018

Trump Screws up, again, this time royally: I listened to President Trump speak about his decision to pull us out of the Iranian nuclear deal, and not a single truthful word came out of his little round asshole of a mouth.

This is the worst international fiasco the United States has initiated since President George W. Bush took us to war with Iraq, and just like that debacle, this one is preceded by a pack of lies.

Trump’s opinion that the Iranian nuclear deal – officially, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – is the worst in history notwithstanding, the JCPOA is the best international agreement of the 21st Century, and we, no other country, are now in willful violation of it.

The Obama Administration, along with our allies, and even adversaries China and Russia, worked long and hard to negotiate JCPOA, in the interest of reducing nuclear weapons…and it was working! Now our government has cavalierly, and without thought of the consequences, backed out on its word.

Iran is now free, if it chooses, to re-engage its nuclear a weapons program, and we have no one to blame but ourselves, and no way to stop it, short of war. Thanks to Trump, we now have two potential North Koreas again, not just one. (What’s that old saying? If you have a bird in hand and one in the bush, let the one in your hand go and chase after the other one?”)

There is no way in which Trump’s decision serves our national interest. Make no mistake, the only reason Trump pulled this spiteful stunt is because President Obama negotiated it. You’ve heard of Bush’s “faith-based initiatives?” This is a Trump “racist-based initiative.”

Just as it was hard to know how the universe would shake out immediately after the Big Bang, it’s hard to see this soon after the chaos caused by Trump’s announcement how things will turn out with the JCPOA. But I don’t think things will go as the Trump Administration thinks they will, if they have really thought about that at all.

Could it be that Trump wants to start a war with Iran so that he can become a “war president?” Is that why he brought Mike Pompeo and John Bolton on board, the only two people I know of crazy enough to state publicly they want military conflict with Iran?

Do the American people want us in another war in the Middle East? I don’t think so. I know I don’t. We’re already pissing away our treasure there, with the exception of that which we give to our richest 1%, with little or nothing to show for it except chaos in the region, delight among our adversaries and dismay and disgust from our allies.

With this irresponsible act, Trump has pulled himself close to a tie with George W. Bush as our worst president. If this decision results in a military conflict with Iran, Trump may surpass Bush. I truly despise this loathsome, pumpkin pigmented pig part.

The Iran Nuclear Agreement debacle is by far the most important event of the week, so important that I’m not including any other items on this blog. I’ll visit others during the coming week.

Status of the States:  Oklahoma keeps the worst state cup until Scott Pruitt is gone. He does something worst cup worthy ever week.