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Thoughts on Events the Week of October 21

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on October 29, 2019

Baghdadi is dead: blew himself up when cornered by some of our special forces types. Good riddance to bad rubbish. He was a horribly warped and substandard human being. (He took three of his children to Allah with him when he blew up.)

Baghdadi has been holed up for five years, afraid to come out and wearing a suicide belt, anticipating this inevitable moment, I suppose. Can’t have been much fun for him. Good.

That said, in those circumstances, I suspect he has not been as much in control of, or even in contact with, ISIS as once he was. I wouldn’t expect this raid to have much practical impact on the terrorist group. Nevertheless, I’m glad to see him dead. Well done, troops.

Emoluments clause(s): President Trump railed against the “phony emoluments clause.” In fact, there are two of them – one prohibiting acceptance of gifts from domestic sources, and one prohibiting acceptance of gifts from foreign ones (I think the founding fathers worried about the latter more). Both, which Trump has violated incessantly, are clearly set out in our Constitution. Hard to argue they’re phony.

If I were in charge, I would require Presidents to take a course and pass a test on the Constitution before being inaugurated. It’s not a high bar to get over. Any high school student should be able to pass it. Someone please hand Trump a copy. I have one he may borrow.

Attorneys General and Prison: Last week, I wrote that one AG had gone to prison in my lifetime and one or two more should have. The one who did was John Mitchell, Nixon’s AG, who was sent to prison for 19 months for crimes he committed during Watergate.

An AG who should have gone to prison, but didn’t is Ed Meese, over the Wedtech fraud scandal. Meese was up to his armpits in it, was implicated but never indicted, though more than 20 others involved in the scandal went to prison. Reagan helped Meese run out the clock.

The curtain falls, time passes, and President Trump gives this horse part the Medal of Freedom, debasing the award, as he does everything he touches. Meese is typical of the type of person Trump can relate to, by which I mean crooked as a dog’s hind leg.

 exception to my general position that we should get out of the Middle East, except diplomatically, as completely as it is possible to get:

I no longer give a rodent’s rectum who governs Iraq, Syria or Afghanistan. By “who governs,” and my indifference to it, I include disreputable groups such as ISIS, the, Taliban, al-Qaeda and Fox News. They’re equally odious. In fact, some citizens of several Middle East countries seem perfectly happy to be governed by such crazies, well except for Fox News. Not that crazy.

I don’t understand why we are quarreling with Iran, which at present, inconceivably, has a better government than we do. (Actually, I do understand. It’s because our president is a fool). And I think Saudi Arabia should be governed by anyone except who it is, but it’s not our call. (One day, the members of the House of Saud will be killed and eaten by its citizens, and I won’t miss a single one of them.) Egypt already has its oppressive, authoritarian, military strongman, which is why Trump leaves them alone, I suppose. That’s OK with me. They had their chance at responsible governance and blew it, not unlike Russia.

What’s most important about this region is that it is engaged in multiple, simultaneous civil and religious wars and there is nothing we can do to influence them, nor should we be trying.

Moreover, these groups and countries are so hateful of one another, that if we get out of the way, they will spend the rest of my lifetime fighting one another, not bothering us. The only reason they hate us now is because we are there, and I don’t blame them. We treat Islam like we are on a crusade, circa 1095 AD. We should have learned better by now.

The Colorado Wall: President Trump misspoke and said he was building his wall to keep immigrants out along Colorado’s border, which state is not on our border with Mexico. It was a minor misstatement, but it says so much about Trump that he could not, cannot, admit to a mistake, no matter how obvious and innocent. Instead, he concocted a rationale so lame as to be an embarrassment to us all.

Football: After the OU debacle, I vowed not to watch any more football this weekend, but I couldn’t help myself. I watched the New England Patriots v Cleveland Browns game, and I have some advice for the Browns’ owner. Fire everybody!

Fire the entire coaching staff. (What were you thinking hiring Kitchens as head coach, a job he’s never had for reasons?) Fire the General Manager, especially if it is yourself. Hire a competent GM, give him or her plenipotentiary authority, and get the hell out of the way.

This team is utterly without discipline, and you simply cannot win like that in the NFL. Kitchens can’t coach a team to line up to take a hike. Admittedly, the Browns were playing the Pats, the most disciplined team in football, so the comparison was particularly glaring in the circumstances, but the Browns always play without discipline regardless of their opponent. We’ve all watched them enough to see that.

The Worst State Cup: Texas Senator John Cornyn made a strong case for his home state this week, by excusing Trump publicly and repeatedly for all his crimes and misdemeanors, but the cup goes to Arizona, my own personal state, because…

Notorious anti-immigrant wingnut Jennifer Harrison, an Arizonan, was arrested for “taking the identity of another,” a Class 4 felony, a charge that Wonkette points out is, ironically, most often used against undocumented immigrants who get jobs using others’ Social Security numbers.  You gotta love the poetic justice in Harrison’s charge.

But Harrison had a good reason. She allegedly stole someone’s hotel points because she just had to attend the Aftershock Festival in Sacramento. I hope and expect it is Harrison who will have the aftershock.

Football the Week of October 21

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on October 26, 2019

With a nod to My Cousin Vinnie, “What a fucking nightmare!” My beloved Oklahoma Sooners were thoroughly beaten by Kansas State 48-41, in a game OU was favored to win by three touchdowns and a field goal. And the game wasn’t nearly that close. OU had to score 18 points in the fourth quarter just to reach this embarrassing final score.

For the last several years, OU’s seasons have been characterized by three things:

  • A national championship caliber offense
  • An inexplicable loss to a woefully inferior opponent
  • A truly horrible defense, arguably the worst in college football

This has been true of teams coached by Bob Stoops and Lincoln Riley.

As the season began, it looked like things might be different this time. Jalen Hurts, OU’s quarterback transfer from Alabama, had numbers superior even to Murray and Mayfield through the first seven games. And the defense seemed much improved under new defensive coordinator Alex Grinch.

In this game, the offense was good (it scored 41 points, after all), but not great. There were many, many mistakes. The defense was unimaginably bad, again. It turned in a performance that would have made the awful defenses of the previous five years blush. KSU ran through the OU defense like fecal matter through the proverbial holiday fowl. And the kicking game added to the catastrophe with disastrous play in every phase.

When Riley hired Grinch, I was a little skeptical. His record, most recently at Ohio State, was good but not spectacular. But as this season unfolded, it was obvious that Grinch had the defense playing much better than it had in years. I was delighted and decided I had been wrong to worry about Grinch. He seemed to be doing great. Now I must step back and reevaluate. How could this defense be so unprepared?

And special teams, usually reliable enough to be taken for granted, couldn’t do anything right this game. Couldn’t punt, couldn’t catch, couldn’t kick-off, couldn’t hold onto the ball, couldn’t do anything.

So, we are back here again, back to the same old same old: squandering a Heisman caliber quarterback and a national leading offense on a miserable defense, and a failure to get up for an inferior foe. I thought this year was going to be different.

The Dallas Cowboys have a bye week, and I am so disgusted with football this week, I don’t plan to watch any more games, so this is it for my football blog.

Football the Week of October 14

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on October 24, 2019

With a nod to Barry Switzer, my beloved Oklahoma Sooners “hung a half a hundred” on West Virginia, 52-14. The offense was terrific, and the defense is playing better and better. Jalen Hurts was near perfect. He only had one incomplete pass and it was a drop. I’m thinking his Heisman odds will improve.

Talk about a hangover. A week after losing to OU, the Texas Longhorns almost lost to the Kansas Jayhawks, pulling it out at the gun, 50-48 with a strong defensive performance. Just kidding. I don’t see how Texas can maintain its #15 ranking after this humiliating victory, but some experts say they will, for who will jump them? Few teams distinguished themselves this week and some fell to earth.

A note or two about Kansas, a historically hapless football program. (Kansas gets its revenge during basketball season. Rock chalk Jayhawk.) They have a new coach – Les Miles – who may improve their football fortunes. Not that Miles is a great coach, but he is about the luckiest I have ever seen. He is the Ronald Reagan of coaching. But clearly Miles has Kansas playing better than in many years.

Even a blind hog finds an acorn now and then, and even a poor program wins an occasional game (see immediately below). I was in the stands in Norman in the 70s when Kansas upset OU. Barry Switzer’s Wishbone offense had 11 fumbles that day and lost nine of them.

It was Switzer’s first loss in about 33 games, if I remember correctly. (He also had one tie.) Switzer tried to warn us this would happen one day. He said logically that, “Each time we win, we are that much closer to losing.” Many OU fans chose not to believe him until that day. They were critical of his record 32-1-1. What Chinamen!

Illinois, a Big 10 bottom feeder, upset #6 Wisconsin. (Is it just me, or does the Big 10 seem to be made up ultimately of Ohio State and a lot of pretenders? It’s not just me. Nate Silver’s “FiveThirtyEight” calls the Big 10 the Big Slog, and they have data.)

Though he had a good game, this loss thrusts a dagger into the heart of Jonathan Taylor’s Heisman hopes, I expect.

On the Serengeti, if a cheetah sees a gazelle with a broken leg, it passes on the quarry because it’s too easy prey and moves on to a healthier animal. Just kidding. There is no mercy in Nature. Quite the contrary. The cheetah goes for the wounded gazelle first.

It’s the same with the NFL. Teams have injuries, but they get no mercy from opponents. The Philadelphia Eagles are banged up, and the Dallas Cowboys went straight for their jugular and took them down by just shy of four touchdowns, 37-10.

It would have been inconceivable for Dallas to lose this game, because the Eagles fumbled near their own goal line on their first two possessions and Dallas was up two touchdowns almost from the get-go.

The Cowboys played well and with spirit. Zeke got 112 yards rushing. Dallas got many of its injured players back for this game; the Eagles did not. Most important of these returners, I would argue, was Amari Cooper, who is an uncoverable deep threat when healthy. He is the classic #1 receiver. Tyrone Smith returned to the crucial left tackle position, but he is not yet 100%.

Quarterback Dak Prescott played very well in this game. He passed well, he ran well, and most important, made good decisions. He clearly outplayed Carson Wentz, who is, in my view, not nearly as good as Prescott but is vastly higher paid. It’s not my money, so it’s easy for me to say, but if I were Jerry Jones, I would sign Dak before the price goes higher or Dak wanders off at the end of the season.

The Cowboys have a bye next week, so the press (and I) will have to give the coaching staff a pass for a couple of weeks, maybe longer. Philadelphia looked not only beaten down physically, but emotionally as well. I think Dallas now has good odds to win the NFL East. The question then becomes can Dallas go meaningfully farther in the playoffs? They haven’t been able for years. All the playoff teams will be good ones, and I still doubt this coaching staff.

There was a slight divergence between the two teams – Cleveland and Arizona – I have been following. The Browns lost to the Seattle Seahawks 32-28 (no shame in that). Baker Mayfield was not happy with the officiating and was fined for comments about it. I agree with Baker, but I wasn’t fined. Emboldened, I’ll have more to say about NFL officiating soon.

The Arizona Cardinals won again. That’s three wins so far this season, the same total as the whole season last year. Both teams have a lot of work to do, but at least they have quarterbacks.

Comingling football and politics, it’s tempting to want to compare Jerry Jones and President Trump. They both have egos with a gland problem. Both rush to the camera when they should be running the other way, and both get in their own way a lot. There the comparisons end. In contrast, Jerry Jones is a real businessman.

Thoughts on Events the week of October 14 (except about football, which will come in a separate blog)

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on October 23, 2019

The World Record for Worst Screw-up: Trump seems to want to hold the record for everything. Trump insists everything he has or does is the biggest, best, greatest, etc. The biggest crowd. The best mind. Even down to the best chocolate cake. Everything.

Presently, Trump is trying to surpass President George W. Bush’s record for screwing up the Middle East the most, with his capitulation to Turkey’s strongman Erdogăn. Close, Trump, but no cigar. Bush still holds that record with his invasion of Iraq, at least until the Kurdish debacle plays out. (My very favorite neighbor objects to my characterization of Dubbya. Sorry, Margaret.)

I admit I am engaging in a graceless ad homonym by making fun of Trump’s oddly round mouth, but I can’t help myself. Apparently, evolution anticipated Trump. His mouth is perfectly shaped for sucking the dicks of dictators and despots.

Speaking of Screw-ups: In the first of two startling admissions, Mick Mulvaney stood before the press, TV cameras and live mics, and confessed that Trump had, in fact, extorted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and told us all to “Get over it.” We didn’t.

Having implicated Trump in a crime, Mulvaney tried to walk it back. I’m sorry, Mick, but you can’t walk back a confession. You’re screwed on the record.

Then on Sunday morning on Fox News, by way of explaining away Trump’s attempt to hold the G-& Summit at his struggling Doral property in Florida (See topic below), Mulvaney said, “At the end of the day he (the President) still considers himself to be in the hospitality business.”

I don’t know about you, but I think that most Americans, with the exception perhaps of Trump’s family and his criminal cronies, expected their President to be time.

No less an authority on stupidity than Sean Hannity said Mulvaney is dumb. It’s true, though stupidity is not Mulvaney’s worst characteristic, nor Hannity’s for that matter.  (Is it just me, or is Fox News beginning finally to grow a little weary of supporting Trump mindlessly?)

Doral Debacle: I was spot on when I predicted that Trump’s plan to hold next year’s G-7 Summit at his golf club would never happen. After announcing it officially this week, Trump punted quickly, due to the outrage it evoked. In this case, the outraged did Trump a favor. This was such an egregious and obvious violation of the Constitution that Trump might have gone to jail over this one. Maybe people will start looking harder at other violations of the Emoluments Clause that Trump commits every day.

The Summit should be held at Camp David, otherwise, Trump might try to extort some private property owner to hold the Summit at their place. Camp David is designed for this kind of thing, and we the people already own it.

As he was capitulating, Trump cried like a baby that his opponents were engaging in “irrational hostility.” For once Trump got something at least half right. I have great hostility toward him. As for the irrationality, however, I don’t see anything irrational about wanting to obey the Constitution, which Trump obviously has no interest in doing since there’s no money in it for him.

Bill Barr: is a pig. He looks like a pig and he behaves like a pig. It is hard to imagine that this guy was once reputed to be decent and honest, when in fact he has proven to be an extreme groveling sycophant. I suppose standards are different in Washington than they are elsewhere. Just kidding. Of course they are.

Barr announced that he was “expanding” the pointless investigation into the origins of the Russia probe, whose origins are above board and already definitively established.

This nonsense evokes Benghazi, and the five, count ‘em, five investigations foisted upon us at tax payer expense by Trey Gowdy, another pig part and former Congressperson from South Carolina (where else?), with no conclusion other than the official State Department report, or a single piece of new information.

Yet Gowdy pressed on, because he had no real purpose other than to smear Hillary Clinton. Barr’s investigation falls into this genre. He is smearing Joe Biden for his boss.

We’ve had some genuinely smarmy Attorneys General in the past, mostly Republicans. One has gone to jail in my lifetime, and another couple probably should have. Barr hasn’t reached the level of criminal behavior, but he is up there with the most odious of them.

Status of the States: South Carolina. Mick Mulvaney. Trey Gowdy. Need I say more?

Thoughts on Events the Week of October 7

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on October 15, 2019

Betrayal: In the most egregious betrayal of his presidency to date (which is really saying something;  Trump betrays everyone, eventually), Trump removed the buffer of U.S. troops standing between Turkey and our faithful ally, the Kurds, who have been fighting for us against ISIS in Northern Syria, knowing the Turkish dictator Erdogan would attack the Kurds immediately, invading Syria to do it. All a tin pot dictator has to do is say “Pretty please, you good looking, virile man,” and Trump is putty in their hands.

For the record, I agree with Trump on getting out of the “endless wars” in the Middle East (failing to do this was President Obama’s second biggest mistake). We are behaving as if it were 1095 AD, and we are on a feckless, religiously intolerant crusade. If we would stop poking the Islamic bear with a stick, the regional players would go back to fighting each other and leave us alone.

But the Kurds are the exception. They are arguably our most faithful and dependable ally in the entire region. Our other “allies” there are frequently anything but. The Kurds have helped us fight terrorism, and, whatever your views on the value of that, they have stood by us. The least we could do is stand by them. Not to mention that Trump’s betrayal opens the door to Turkey, Iran and Russia.

We have betrayed the Kurds previously, most recently by President George H.W. Bush – the idiot father of an idiot son – in Iraq. It’s inconceivable we would do it again, but we have.

Now that Trump has exposed the Kurds to slaughter in Syria, he is threatening to impose sanctions on Turkey to induce them to stop what Trump has already said they can do, which is a cruel joke. Trump knew exactly what Erdogan was going to do. Erdogan asked Trump to remove our troops specifically so he could do it. Trump has created this cover so Erdogan can get away with it.

Accepting sanctions is a price Erdogan is willing to pay to save Trump face and commit genocide on the Kurds. Shame on us. Turkey under Erdogan is no friend of ours or democracy. A better solution would be to kick Turkey out of NATO and see how they like dealing with Russia on those terms.

Ukraine: It’s not surprising that this country has become a focal point for Trump malfeasance investigation. Ukraine is a top priority for Putin, so lap dog Trump was bound to be in it up to his neck. Anything any dictator wants, but especially Putin.

Monarchy: By claiming that the House’s impeachment proceedings are unconstitutional, Trump has asserted he is above the Constitution, which he, and his attorneys, have clearly never read. The one thing the Founding Fathers seem to have most feared was interference from foreign powers, and the attempted establishment of a monarchy. They put up all kinds of clauses in the Constitution to prevent that. I think we no longer need fear a foreign monarch being place on a throne in the U.S., but Trump seems to want to place himself there. Let’s hope the Constitution’s clauses hold fast.

Football: My beloved Oklahoma Sooners beat the Texas Longhorns in much way I expected the game to go. We were simply the better team this year. The score was 34-27, but the game was not that close. Had OU’s quarterback, Jalen Hurts, not made two uncharacteristic turnovers early in the game, it would have been a rout. As it was, Hurts had more total offensive yards than the entire Texas team!

The best thing about the game for OU, though, was the play of the Sooner defense. Grinch had a great plan: Take the one guy who can beat you out of the game and take your chances with the rest. OU put a spy on Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger and it paid off handsomely. Ehlinger was sacked nine times. Better still, OU’s defense played with an urgency not seen in years.

I can no longer say that the Dallas Cowboys can beat anybody who isn’t very good, but not anyone else. Sunday, Dallas lost to the winless dog ass New York Jets. The Cowboys have returned to the mediocrity that has characterized the team for years. Players are in place. The problem, as it has been, is coaching, and Dallas will remain this way until they get a new coaching staff.

But even this may not help, for what good coach will work for Jerry Jones? Jones said after the game when asked about replacing coaches that he wasn’t thinking that far ahead. But that’s the problem. What the hell was Jerry doing talking to the media? That’s the coach’s job. Can you imagine Robert Kraft shoving his face in front of the media’s cameras talking Xs and Os?  Probably the best answer to the problem will be for the Jones boys to sell the team.

In the last couple of weeks, the Cleveland Browns and Arizona Cardinals have flipped the script. The Cardinals have one two and the Browns have lost two. The situation remains the same for both teams, however. Each has a good, young, though still inexperienced quarterback and lousy teams overall.

Status of the States: Texas gets the worst state cup this week because another Metroplex police officer shot another innocent black person to death while she was minding her own business in her own apartment. Jesus.

Thoughts on Events the Week of September 30

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on October 10, 2019

Smear: President Trump spent much of the week smearing, insulting and lying on Twitter, in media interviews and on the White House lawn. There is nothing unusual about this. Trump is a one trick pony. His response to everything is to smear, insult and lie. 

This time seems a little different, though. This time, Trump’s antics are in response to the House’s opening an official Impeachment inquiry, and it seems to have rattled him badly. His tweets are wilder, his language is more vulgar, and his claims are more hyperbolic and fanciful. He is not handling this well. It’s possible he will melt down completely. It would be convenient, so it is probably not how we will get rid of him.

It was opined this week that Trump will resign before being Impeached, even before the Senate trial, but I doubt it. He knows he could end up in jail when he leaves office. But I like my prediction that the weight of scandal, corruption and vulgarity will wear him down before the election.

Football: My beloved Oklahoma Sooners pounded Kansas, as they should have. I’m bemused by the animosity between these two teams. I don’t understand why the Kansas players refused to shake hands with Baker Mayfield at the coin toss before their game a couple of years ago. Kansas is better behaved than that.

Up next is the great rivalry game between Oklahoma and Texas. Both teams look very good this year. I expect it to be the best OU-UT game in some time, but I think OU is the better team. Strong as they are, I think Texas is weak at defensive back, and that will prove fatal for them against OU’s offense. We’ll see.

The Dallas Cowboy laid another egg on Sunday against the Green Bay Packers. I was not surprised. Arron Rodgers has Dallas’ number. So, the Cowboys are 3-2, having beat three sorry teams and lost to two good ones. Typical. Dallas seems to be able to beat anyone who isn’t very good. It will be ever thus until they get a new coaching staff, and even then, it is problematical, for who among serious coaches will work for the Jones boys? Next up for Dallas is the Jets, which game I expect them to win.

The Cleveland Browns eked out a win, and the Arizona Cardinals lost again. Both teams are suffering from the same malaise. They have some skill players now, but they are terrible overall.

Status of the States: Another double win for South Carolina and Kansas, since both Senator Lindsay Graham and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are in an ass kissing – not kicking – contest to see which can put the biggest hickey of support on Trump’s criminal ass.

Thoughts on Events the Week of September 23

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on October 6, 2019

Impeach?:We now have an official impeachment inquiry, and I’m ambivalent about it, for three reasons. First, impeachment is a political rather than a legal exercise. It’s hard to imagine that the House won’t vote to impeach, or that Moscow Mitch McConnell won’t choke the impeachment baby in its Senate crib as early as possible. So, as a way to get rid of Trump, it’s probably a waste time.

Second, impeachments can have a way of blowing back. Just ask Republicans after the Bill Clinton impeachment. In this case, however, it probably won’t make as much difference. Trump has been committing high crimes and misdemeanors since the day he walked in the White House door, and yet Trump’s base hasn’t cared so far, so they are not likely to care now.

Third, impeachment proceedings will take up time that could be used to legislate important issues. Just kidding. The legislature isn’t doing anything anyway. My biggest regret is that we pay these people to do nothing.

On the other hand, how can the House not proceed with an impeachment inquiry? Their hand is now forced, morally. The President has committed a high crime. You know it. I know it. Everybody knows it. Even Trump knows it; he’s admitted openly.

So, though there is peril in it, I think the impeachment inquiry is mandatory now, or that part of the Constitution becomes a joke and we are left with no recourse with which to address malfeasance.

I would rather, given the timeline, throw Trump out the old-fashioned way, with an election (I think it would hurt his ego more), and perhaps this inquiry can help with that. I am a believer in corrosion, and I’m thinking that Trump’s antics are undermining his standing over time, and by the 2020 election, we all, even many of those who support him, will conclude that we just don’t want four more years of him. The evidence that comes out of the inquiry should only accelerate that corrosion.

Football: My beloved Oklahoma Sooners romped over Texas Tech. The Red Raiders were so overmatched that there’s not much we can learn from this game that we didn’t already know. OU is going to score a whole lot of points, and their defense is improved. The question is, will this combination be enough to win out. I’m confident that if OU does, they will be in the playoffs.

We learned something about the Dallas Cowboys in their loss to New Orleans, however. Dallas was exposed. Their offense was stifled by a good defense. The defense played well enough, but against a backup quarterback.

The Cleveland Browns pulled out a win, which is more than can be said for the Arizona Cardinals. The Browns are going to win a few more games than the Cardinals, because they are a better team. But both are far from prime time.

Autumnal Equinox: This reassuring event occurred this week. I enjoy the four dates – the solstices and equinoxes – that mark the extremes and balance of our journey around the Sun and think about what the ancients thought of these phenomena. Today, I use them as reminders to fertilize my garden.

Status of the states: Who cares?

Thoughts on Events the Week of September 16

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on September 26, 2019

Whistleblowers: In my experience, no matter the laws, or however much lip service is given to protecting them, things always end badly for the whistleblower, whatever the outcome of the issue. By now, every potential whistleblower must realize that they are putting their careers, reputations, even their lives in danger. It’s a wonder anyone ever does it. It requires courage and commitment to duty.

Apparently, someone has blown the whistle on Trump, and the president is already smearing the whistleblower as a partisan hack, though he admits he doesn’t even know who the whistleblower is. What’s it going to be like for this poor person when she or he is identified?

Greta Thunberg: came from Sweden to address the U.N. and shamed us all. When she said, “How dare you?” I winced. It was a vivid reminder of how badly our “elites” have been serving us for many years, and how poorly we have been serving ourselves.

Football: The Dallas Cowboys, having avoided the malaise for the first two games, began the third game by playing down to the level of their competition. But they pulled themselves out of it, covered the spread and won handily.

Things will become a lot tougher starting next week, when Dallas will begin facing stiffer competition. I’m eager to see how they will do against the Saints (in New Orleans, but without Drew Brees), and Green Bay (at home) over the next two weeks.

Cleveland and Arizona: I’ve been keeping an eye on both of these teams, because each has a University of Oklahoma Heisman Trophy winner and first round draft pick at quarterback, and I see some comparisons and contrasts between the two.

First, both Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield are playing for a bad football team, particularly Murray. Cleveland is better than Arizona, but it’s only a matter of degree. The Browns have some good offensive weapons, at least, but their lines are terrible, and their coach has instilled no discipline. Penalties and mistakes are their hallmark. Arizona is just bad all over from the owner on down.

Both quarterbacks have struggled in their respective environments, and it will remain so until, in the case of Cleveland, they draft or trade for some line help, and in the case of the Cardinals, Hell freezes over. Both quarterbacks are at risk for being maimed by opposing defenses before help can arrive.

A contrast, and this works against Mayfield, is that in Cleveland, expectations are sky high. They shouldn’t be for they cannot be met with this team, but they are. In Arizona, there are no expectations to speak of. Fans know what they have: a sorry franchise. All they can do is feel sorry for Murray, and even more so for Larry Fitzgerald, who has had a long, distinguished, Hall of Fame career, toiling in the stony fields of mediocrity throughout.  

My beloved Oklahoma Sooners were idle this week.

I think there should be a new statistical category regarding the passing game in addition to just attempts, completions and incompletions. I’d call it “Drops.” These occur when a quarterback hits the receiver and the receiver drops the ball. The quarterback shouldn’t be saddled with that drop alone.

Sure, it’s subjective, just like errors in baseball, but it doesn’t change anything on the field. It’s still an incompletion, the responsibility for it is just more justly attributed.

Diary Entry: I turned 77 this week, bringing me uncomfortably close to my life expectancy date.

Status of the states: Who cares? All the action is in D.C. this week.

Thoughts on Events the Week of September 9

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on September 19, 2019

John Bolton Quit/fired (a Wonkette term of art): On the whole, this is a good thing. Bolton wants to nuke everybody, and not necessarily just countries. He is truly nuts.

It was never going to work out between Trump and Bolton anyway. Bolton is a crazed war mongering hawk, and Trump is a bully and a coward. Trump has no excuse for this poor hire. He had to know what Bolton stood for; Bolton proclaimed his craziness daily. Why did Trump appoint him since their respective views are so far apart? Ask Fox News, I suppose.

Socialism: Our discourse on this subject would be better informed if more Americans learned what “Socialism” actually means. Hint: it’s Googleable.

A recent poll indicated that 43% of Americans say they would favor “some form of socialism.” This is fortunate for them, because that is exactly what we have. Think Social Security, think Medicare, think Medicaid. That’s “some form” of Socialism. What ignorance!

The political and economic systems of almost every country in the world, certainly constitutional and parliamentary ones, have some mixture of capitalism and socialism. In our country, the mixture favors capitalism over socialism. We prefer military waste and tax breaks for hedge fund managers over health and welfare. In my view, things should be tilted the other way radically, more radically than any progressive Democrat has ever dared to suggest.

Republicans are too mean, Democrats are too timid, but with this exception, the difference between Republicans and Democrats, in my view, is frighteningly small. You can throw a nickel over both of them.

Football: The game between my beloved Oklahoma Sooners and UCLA went as I expected. I had watched both teams play previously, and it was obvious OU was the better team by far. The Sooners hung almost a half a hundred on them, and they had called off the dogs midway through the third quarter.

I think OU is likely to be able to outscore all of its opponents regardless of how poor the defense is, just like last year, except this year the defense is a little – not a lot, but a little – better, which may help get us further along in the playoffs. We’ll see.

The Dallas Cowboys seemed to play rather poorly against the Washington Redskins Sunday, but quietly they rang up 31 points and beat the Redskins handily by 10. This was a road game win against a division foe, so it was an impressive thing, though it didn’t seem so much like it at the time. The defense is underperforming.

I’ve been following the Cleveland Browns because of Baker Mayfield. The Browns beat the New York Jets, who have a serious quarterback problem, handily.

That said, I think the Browns have their own problem of unrealistic expectations. The Browns now have some good skill position players, but they are not a good football team. Their lines are mediocre, and they play with no discipline, which is a coaching issue. They need to draft some linemen and keep a close eye on their new head coach.

Status of the states: There has been so much malfeasance and misfeasance among the worst states that it is hard to keep up with it, and hard to choose which is the worst, so this week I am going to double up to stay current, and give cups to two worst states: Texas and Kansas.

Texas gets one because State Representative Briscoe Cain threatened violence against Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke via Twitter (“My AR is ready for you”) after O’Rourke proposed a mandatory buy-back program to eliminate assault weapons.

O’Rourke did the right thing, immediately informing the FBI of the tweet, who I am sure will visit Cain about it. Twitter took Cain’s tweet down, because “It violates our rules for threats of violence,” a company spokesperson said. Duh!

Kansas gets a cup too, because of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who supports every word that comes out of President Trump’s lying mouth. Pompeo is smart enough to know better, but he is utterly without principle when it comes to his own ambition.

A profile piece on Pompeo in The New Yorker by Susan Glasser, one of my favorite journalists, tells you everything you need to know about this guy.

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/08/26/mike-pompeo-the-secretary-of-trump

Pompeo is very smart, but he is also pathologically ambitious, with the result he abandons all principle and common sense to further his own career, with no regard for the country he has sworn to serve.

Thoughts on Events the Week of September 2

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on September 11, 2019

Brexit: Having watched President Trump abuse and ignore our Constitution so egregiously, you might have wondered how much worse he could be if we didn’t have a Constitution to keep him in check? Well, to get an idea of what it might be like, look no further than the UK and Brexit. Britain has no constitution, about which Brits take curious pride, and during their inconceivable Brexit cockup, they are paying a price for it.

I would argue that their Brexit problem is richly deserved. It is the result of some of the worst government misfeasance and voter stupidity I have ever witnessed. It is all but national suicide. It resembles Jonestown more than parliamentary government. It tops even our election of Trump.

Interestingly, both Brexit and Trump came to be for the same repulsive reason: xenophobia, fear of foreigners. Trump exploited the ignorance of his base about immigrants, and UK voters approved Brexit because they were off put by Eastern European laborers being able to come to and work in their country. (I’ve heard this fear expressed from Brits who should know better.)

Both the UK and we are getting what we deserve from our ignorance and mean spiritedness.

In real time, Parliament’s dithering is farce. They’re arguing over when the UK should leave the EU and on what basis, when it’s questionable whether they even have the last say in it. The EU does. The UK needs a Mulligan, and if that fails, they should just dissolve the country as well as Parliament. It’s over for them as a respected world player pretty much after this anyway.

Social Media: can be informative and entertaining, but at a price: truth and privacy. The price is too high for me, which is why I don’t participate, and never will, though, as I remind myself and others, never is a long time.

If we ever start throwing some of the social media executives who are stealing our truth and privacy in jail, I may reconsider. If they are just paying fines, from shareholder profits, no way.

A Gerrymander undone: The North Carolina state supreme court threw out the state’s obscenely gerrymandered state legislative districts and has ordered new, neutral maps redrawn in the next couple of weeks. Gerrymandering is arguably the greatest affront to our voting rights. North Carolina has been one of the worst, and this is welcome news.

Interestingly, advocates chose to ignore the about reactionary federal judicial system, and to fight it out in their state courts. This may offer a road map for other states that want to shake the gerrymandering habit.

Walmart: Some good news about gun control. The retail giant has made some changes in its gun and ammo sales policies aimed at reducing gun violence. I think they deserve a shout out for this.

I was surprised to learn what a small share Walmart has of the gun market, only about 2%. On the other hand, Walmart is a big player in ammo sales – almost 20% of the national total. They are going to cease selling ammo for handguns and bullets used in assault rifles. This is big business for Walmart, and they will take a financial hit for this move. I’m proud of them.

The net effect on gun sales, and even ammo sales will probably be negligible – there are other sources for both – but the psychological effect could be profound. Walmart’s target is the gun owner target too, and fact that Walmart is taking these steps may indicate a change in thinking about gun control.

Walmart will continue to sell guns and ammo used for hunting, and I am fine with this…so long as the purchasers obey conservation rules and regulations. But keep doing those background checks, Walmart. And thank you.

Ad homonyms: Depending on how you characterize my comments on Trump’s mental and emotional deficiencies, I think you must agree that I try to avoid ad homonyms. I think they have no place in debates or civil discourse. However,I am about to indulge myself in one.

Have you seen the ass on this president? There hasn’t been an ass that big in the White House since Taft entered in 1908.

William Howard Taft weighed 340 pounds! That’s more than 100 pounds heavier than any other president, if you believe Trump weighs 238 as he says, and if you do believe that, you’re stupid enough to have voted for him, but I hope and you’re not.

Football: Zeke got his money, a big fat $90 million paycheck that will re-set the running back market. He is in the Dallas Cowboys camp. Thing are looking up for the Cowboys. Now, if we only had a coach. (I will never stop harping on this until Jason Garrett is gone, which he should have been at least four years ago, and counting.)

Skip Bayless was right when he predicted this deal would be done by Tuesday, September 3. He was spot on.

The Dallas Cowboys played the New York Giants with Zeke on the field and trounced the Giants. They looked great on offense, and a little less that I expected on defense.

Reality paid at visit to the Cleveland Browns, who got trounced by the Tennessee Titans. Baker Mayfield had a bad day, and without his usual spark, Cleveland stunk. It was a reminder that, overall, Cleveland is still a mediocre team (admittedly an improvement over the last few years), despite all the hype, and they have an unproven coaching staff.

Kyler Murray also had an off day with the Arizona Cardinals, but after a disastrous first three quarters, Murray brought the team back to tie in regulation and tie in overtime. Spoiler alert: The Cardinals still stink on ice. They are worse than Cleveland, much worse. And their coach has no business in the NFL.

The Oklahoma Sooners hung 70 on South Dakota and looked stronger than a bear’s breath doing it. You can’t tell much from a game like this, but what you can tell is very encouraging.

I watched the best college game of the weekend – LSU at Texas – which the Tigers won. (I have told myself I don’t know how many times when Texas is playing a non-conference foe that it would be good for the Big XII’s reputation if Texas won, and I should be pulling for them, but I just can’t do it, because Texas.)

It was a good game, living up to the hype. Both teams played very well. LSU threw a lot more than they used to in this game, and they had success with it, so I’m thinking we should be able to pass on Texas. Now, can we stop them with our defense? Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger is good. We’ll see.

Status of the States: Arizona, my own personal state, gets the cup this week, because convicted felon and former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, thanks to a pardon from President Trump, is free and has announced he is planning to run for Sheriff, again.

Arizonans should be embarrassed that this guy is even allowed out in public. His very existence violates local laws of public indecency and littering, since he is trash.