I Blame Our Educational System – John Kelly, Like Many People Are Pretty Damned Ignorant About the Civil War

Kelly on Monday said that the Civil War was the result of “the lack of an ability to compromise” and called traitorous Col. Robert E. Lee, who became a General for the Confederate army, an “honorable man.”

As he often does Ta-Nehesi Coates in a long twitter chain lays out the real history.  Really just go there.

From the Revolutionary War on we were compromising with the Southern states on slavery.  The Civil War was destined from the beginning as the price of the united Colonies taking up arms against George III.  Our first 80 years are the story of continued compromise as the North sloughed off the peculiar institution and grew increasingly uncomfortable as Southerners used their power to expand it.

Regarding Lee

It’s all great stuff.  Eric Foner is also a great font of knowledge about the Civil War and Reconstruction era, which is absolutely the least taught and understood part of our great nation’s history.

When the Attorney General is One of the Worst People in the Country

The Papadopoulos plea deal is particularly bad for Jeffy Sessions because all that lying he did to the Senate.  And let’s not forget that all of the Republicans voted for him to be AG including Corker, Flake and McCain.

To be sure, Papadopoulos’s plea perhaps hurts Trump the most. After all, Trump was in the March 31 meeting too, along with Sessions. Trump personally intervened in the White House spin about the June 9, 2016, meeting, pushing the line — and the lie — that it pertained to adoptions rather than obtaining dirt on Clinton.

But unlike Trump, Sessions’s claims about such meetings came in sworn testimony to the Senate. During his confirmation process, Sessions was asked a key question by Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn.: “If there is any evidence that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government in the course of this campaign, what will you do?”

“Senator Franken, I’m not aware of any of those activities,” Sessions responded. “I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I didn’t have — did not have communications with the Russians, and I’m unable to comment on it.”

The question, however, was about Sessions’s knowledge of such communications, and we now know he was in a meeting in which they were discussed.

How long can Republicans look the other way?  Forever.  They’re the party of people who heard Kitty Genovese screaming and went back to bed.  It’s none of their business if a fellow Republican is a lying, racist, colluding with Russia piece of shit.


And So It Begins – Manafort, Gates, Papadopoulos Indicted

For context, Gallup daily tracking poll has Trump at 33% approval.  So look for Fox News and the right wing echo chamber to continue last week’s crazy Impeach President Clinton spin at ever increasing rates of desperation.

I remember back in the day waiting for Fitzmas, or when we expected U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald to indict members of the Bush administration in their effort to reveal the identity of a CIA operative.  We were hoping for Cheney to be indicted but all we got for Fitzmas was Scooter Libby.  That was a lump of coal.

I expect no coal this time.  Manafort’s issues with getting illegal payments from pro-Putin Ukrainian pols is low hanging fruit.  Trumpers have already denied they even know who Manafort is.  He may have hung around the campaign a bit, changed the toner in the printer, maybe.  But we already know he was the chairman of the campaign with pro-Putin connections and how did he get to be chairman of the campaign?  He came to Trump and volunteered to help his campaign.  Why?

Papadoupoulos is already cooperating with Mueller.  He met with Russians and lied to the FBI about it.

This is just the first level of attack for Mueller.  The question for me is whether he already has ducks in a row on this and more indictments are in the near term pipeline.

In the meantime, gaze in wonder how Joy Reid handled a GOP spinner on the trumped up Uranum One non-story.  It’s a shame that mere recitation of facts constitutes a masterful takedown of bullshit these days. Maybe if journalists did more of it, maybe.



The Heartlessness Never Ends Either

Trump does not do interviews with anybody with a brain stem. He sticks to Fox and then for a change does Fox Business.  Not that the so-called mainstream is known for asking really tough questions, but with Trump anything challenging his twisted nonsense is verboten.  This story needs to be brought up to Trump.  Period.   Out of all the stupid, heartless stories of an immigration system gone kerfluey and ICE having lost its damn collective mind.

10 Year Old Girl with Cerebral Palsy Intercepted on the Way to the Hospital for Emergency Surgery.

They let her get to the hospital, but ICE agents followed here there and set up camp as if she were a flight risk.  She had the surgery and now she’s recuperating in a detention center and will be deported in a few weeks… without her family

The Border Patrol agents followed the ambulance to the hospital. When the hospital discharged the child, Border Patrol agents took the 10-year-old into custody instead of allowing her cousin to take her back to her parents, who are also in the country illegally, in Laredo.

The young Mexican national has now been transported to a government-contracted juvenile shelter in San Antonio, 150 miles from Laredo, and put into deportation proceedings.

They’re treating her as if she were an adult.

This kind of thing is keeping people who need healthcare from going to see a doctor.  And what could go wrong there in an age when communicable diseases can dash through tight urban communities?  Third world people came to the first world to escape that kind of backwards thinking and deprivation, we’re bringing it conveniently right to their first world doorstep.  Lucky people!!

I hope the people who gave Trump the benefit of the doubt and who definitely weren’t in favor of and didn’t really think he’d do these kinds of things see what their vote wrought.

And yeah, all this was started when Lyin’ John Kelly was head of Homeland Security.


Expect More Defections

The right wing noise machine is dancing as fast as it can to create new Clinton scandals before the entire GOP falls under the weight of Trump’s despicable… everything.  Hannity alone must be shredding his hammies the way he’s pushing nonsense stories.  Rogue Congressman Nunes (R-Trump Toady) called for two investigations of Hillary that will never happen.  Then there is the very public defections of Corker and Flake as they throw Molatov cocktails at any bridges still leading to Trump.

This is all coincidentally happening as a genuine connection between the Trump campaign’s data team (Cambridge Analytica – owned by the Mercer’s and Bannon) and Wikileaks’ albino founder (and only employee?) Julian Assange came to light.

Okay, it’s not coincidental at all, actually, is what I’m saying.  People in D.C. and those elite right wing propaganda outlets can actually read the real news, they do so religiously to find out what information they have to dance around.

Meanwhile Mueller just steams ahead unaffected by the sound and fury, focused on the signal not the noise.

Thusly, the efforts to discredit intensify and the push for those tax cuts they elected Trump to get, becomes frantic.

Historic Irony alert:  the Russian army in August 1914 suffered one of the greatest defeats of the war because their technological ability was so far behind the rest of Europe.  They lacked sufficient telegraph wire or sophisticated encoding ability.  They send easily decodable messages over telegraph wires or actually used easily interceptable wireless transmissions.  So the Germans knew every movement the Russians would make in East Prussia at the same time the Russian generals got their orders.

Now 100 years later the Russians stole our election by sending out unsophisticated and barely hidden propaganda in order to exacerbate our already confused electorate.

They didn’t get any better at technology, but we proved a shit ton dumber than the Germans of  1914, thusly more effective in the short term.  But once again their transmissions are proving easily trackable and it’s just a matter of time.

The Future is BEB (Battery-Electric Buses)

This is a long piece by the great Dave Roberts in Vox, worth scanning at the very least, but the upshot is that as battery technology has leaped forward the market for electric buses is on the way to exploding.

Cities are going to be replacing their entire diesel fleets.  But these BEBs are better than the natural gas powered buses too.  Air pollution kills 6.5 million people a year around the world, with particulates from diesel engines being the largest offender.  The world is urbanizing and those urban managers have caught onto mass transit as a defining asset of the better places to live.  Quiet buses with no tail emissions are just what cities need, everywhere!

Finally, electric buses are also just a much, much nicer experience — lower to the ground, roomier (diesel engines take up lots of space), not choked with the smell of fuel, and quieter, indeed close to silent. It is difficult to quantify the impacts of noise pollution in urban areas, but, well, imagine a dense urban area without big diesel engines roaring to life every few seconds. It would be nice.

More than nice.  Kind of essential.

It Would Sure Be Nice If The “Smart” People Said Smart Things

David Gergen has been on CNN forever because he’s one of those unassailable, smart, bi-partisan people who worked for Democrats and Republicans so he’s got that all elusive “credibility.”  Only problem with all of that is he often says really dumb things that show he’s not some smart bi-partisan font of wisdom, he’s just another beltway creature with all of the built in prejudices of the beltway that tilt the field towards stupid in the main and Republicans in the particular.

Gergen:  Opposition research Funded by the Opposition Tarnishes it.

The right answer is that whoever funded the research means nothing, all that matters is whether it’s credible.  Also, too, in addition, it’s not like this document is the only reason that we have the Mueller investigation.

Of course, Trump and his jackbooted orangeshirts will shout that it’s all fake news because of course they jump on anything that can muddy the water.  Especially important since so far it’s held up under scrutiny.  Helping the turds by giving them the cover of making noises that seemingly back them up makes one want to gargle Clorox.



If the Swamp Actually Got Shit Done That Would be One Thing

I’m okay with some graft and looting so long as the greater good is being served and the overall tasks are being achieved.  If a union leader got a little something something for himself so long as the contract was fair and the workers did well, I’m good with that.

I’m certainly a good government guy, but you have to be flexible.  Not necessarily “forget it Jake, it’s Chinatown” flexible where murder and daughter fucking are part of everyday life, that sort of all pervasive corruption is never okay – see Russia!  But again, it’s just as self-defeating to be a strict by the book good government stickler and achieving as little as the corrupt bastards achieve.

Bush sucked and handed our military and many essential government services to companies like Halliburton, who could at least do the job.  With Trump we’re in another model of dysfunction, assigning very important contracts to campaign contributors’ companies that have no business, literally, getting that contract.

A tiny Montana utility company that received a $300 million contract to help restore power to Puerto Rico after its electrical grid was devastated by Hurricane Maria is financed by major Trump donors and run by a CEO friendly with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, a series of recent reports has revealed.

The company had two full-time employees when the storm hit.  So Puerto Rico is still 85% dark and will be for a while.

This is so Trump, so GOP.  So awful for all of us.