Author Archives: Generalissimo Francisco Franco

Lees and Orts

Not for nuthin’, but can you imagine the glee with which Sean Spicer is watching as his old boss self immolates?

Lees and Orts

The article is entitled Steve Bannon, Unrepentant.

Apparently, just out of the blue, Bannon called The Prospect’s co-editor/columnist Robert Kuttner, whereupon Bannon pretty much called the president* wrong on North Korea, dis’d alt-right & white supremacists as “clowns” and “losers”, then proceeded to limn how he would vanquish his administration rivals (‘They’re wetting themselves,’ he said.)

This is obviously Bannon’s last interview as a member of the president’s* administration. The only remaining questions are 1) when will Stevie take his leave 1 2, and 2) was the interview given knowing he was out of a job, or did he really think he could cross this president* in public and nothing would happen?

Pretty much delicious, either way.

Lees and Orts

In other petite bourgeoisie back-biting, the Capital Bikeshare station at the White House has disappeared.

The Obama administration had requested it. SO, of course the current president* has it removed.

The District’s Department of Transportation confirmed Wednesday that it removed the nine-slot Bikeshare station this week at the Trump administration’s request.

Unlike every other Bikeshare station in the region, this one was not accessible to the public and could only be used by commuters who had access to White House grounds. The Obama administration requested the station in 2010.

It’s unclear why the White House wanted it removed. The White House didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

“I expect my staff to arrive at work in over-priced and ostentatious cars; exercise is for the proles”, the president* did not say.
Lees and Orts

Lees and Orts

Show 2 footnotes

  1. We’re giving even money on “Over the weekend.”
  2. Though, “by the end of the day” is also a fair bet.

The President’s Enemies

The current president* 1 has ‘enemies’. 2 His new 2020 3 reelection video explicitly calls them out, blaming these ‘enemies’ for holding America back…

Jebus H. K-rist on a fucking pogo stick! Can you imagine the carnage were this overgrown infant to get his way? It doesn’t bear contemplation…

The President's Enemies

Show 3 footnotes

  1. I believe Charles Pierce has it exactly right.
  2. One supposes if by ‘enemies’ the president* means foes of fascists and dictators, he’s correct.
  3. The “rallies” the president* can’t seem to live without? Yeah, they’re actually fund raisers for his 2020 reelection bid. Yet another conflict of interest norm to which the president* seems unable to abide. Hell, were Nora to allow us to gamble we the type to place an occasional wager, we’d bet that the president* is out raising as much cash as he can, if only to make a profit off his whole failing administration before he’s tossed from office.

Voyager at 40

Humanity’s farthest and longest-lived spacecraft, Voyager 1 and 2, achieve 40 years of operation and exploration this August and September. Despite their vast distance, they continue to communicate with NASA daily, still probing the final frontier.

Their story has not only impacted generations of current and future scientists and engineers, but also Earth’s culture, including film, art and music. Each spacecraft carries a Golden Record of Earth sounds, pictures and messages. Since the spacecraft could last billions of years, these circular time capsules could one day be the only traces of human civilization.

“I believe that few missions can ever match the achievements of the Voyager spacecraft during their four decades of exploration,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD) at NASA Headquarters. “They have educated us to the unknown wonders of the universe and truly inspired humanity to continue to explore our solar system and beyond.”

The Voyagers have set numerous records in their unparalleled journeys. In 2012, Voyager 1, which launched on Sept. 5, 1977, became the only spacecraft to have entered interstellar space. Voyager 2, launched on Aug. 20, 1977, is the only spacecraft to have flown by all four outer planets — Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Their numerous planetary encounters include discovering the first active volcanoes beyond Earth, on Jupiter’s moon Io; hints of a subsurface ocean on Jupiter’s moon Europa; the most Earth-like atmosphere in the solar system, on Saturn’s moon Titan; the jumbled-up, icy moon Miranda at Uranus; and icy-cold geysers on Neptune’s moon Triton.

Though the spacecraft have left the planets far behind — and neither will come remotely close to another star for 40,000 years — the two probes still send back observations about conditions where our Sun’s influence diminishes and interstellar space begins

Voyager at 40

Au Courant


This week’s au courant links:

And finally Stratfor hosts a conversation on China’s naval strategy on oil & shipping routes:

Au Courant

Show 1 footnote

  1. Add your own stacks.

Little Wars

It is a century since HG Wells published the first proper set of rules for hobby war games. There’s a hardcore of gamers who are still playing in his style.

Pine tips are stuck in the grass to represent trees. Roads are laid out with trails of compost.

This is the Battle of Gettysburg, with Union soldiers on one side and Confederates on the other. But the soldiers of this new Gettysburg are 54mm (2in) tall and mostly made of plastic.

The battle is taking place between a group of enthusiasts in a garden at Sandhurst military academy under rules derived from Little Wars, devised by HG Wells in 1913.

War was then looming in Europe and Little Wars was both an expression of Wells’s passion for toy soldiers and to his fears over the coming slaughter. The science fiction author even believed that war games could change attitudes.

“You only have to play at Little Wars three or four times to realise just what a blundering thing Great War must be,” wrote Wells. 1

Little Wars

Show 1 footnote

  1. Emphasis ours.

Sustainable Urban America

The U.S. Cities Sustainable Development Goals Index 2017 is out. 1

What’s that, you ask? Well, let’s cut to the document’s abstract:

America is the world’s richest large economy, with the world’s leading technologies and institutions of higher learning. Yet, the United States of America (U.S.) is falling behind other countries on a range of indicators relating to quality-of-life, economic opportunity, and environmental management. Nowhere is this problem more apparent than in American cities, which are home to 62.7 percent of the domestic population. The Sustainable Development Goals, universally adopted by the world’s governments in 2015, aim to set a framework for action on sustainable development. The U.S. Cities SDG Index aims to help urban leaders address the many sustainable development challenges affecting their cities.

Below is a sample of their findings:

Final Results

Kansas City gets called out a few times – good news, (mostly) ‘meh’ to bad news:

  • Goal 13, which is measured by carbon emissions per capita, is one of the worst scoring goals for all city regions in the Index. Particularly poor performers are concentrated in the Midwestern Region of the U.S., in cities such as Detroit, Chicago, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Oklahoma City and Memphis.
  • Goal 7, Kansas City ranks 6th in the Affordable Clean Energy index
  • Goal 8, Kansas City also ranks 6th in the Decent Work & Economic Growth index

The complete findings for Kansas City by index: 2

But, hey! Looks like city hall will continue to ram a street car down our throats, our wishes be damned. 3

That should count for something…

Sustainable Urban America

Show 3 footnotes

  1. You can download it here.
  2. No, we don’t know why Goal 8 isn’t green.
  3. A city-wide light-rail system would make sense, but nooooooo, we have to have a streetcar.

Flop Sweat

Annnnnnd the gloves come off:

FBI agents raided the home in Alexandria, Va., of President Trump’s former campaign chairman, arriving in the pre-dawn hours late last month and seizing documents and other materials related to the special counsel investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

The raid, which occurred without warning on July 26, signaled an aggressive new approach by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and his team in dealing with a key figure in the Russia inquiry. Manafort has been under increasing pressure as the Mueller team looked into his personal finances and his professional career as a highly paid foreign political consultant.

Using a search warrant, agents appeared the day Manafort was scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee and a day after he met voluntarily with Senate Intelligence Committee staff members.

The search warrant requested documents related to tax, banking and other matters. People familiar with the search said agents departed the Manafort residence with a trove of material, including binders prepared ahead of Manafort’s congressional testimony.

Investigators in the Russia inquiry have previously sought documents with subpoenas, which are less intrusive and confrontational than a search warrant. With a warrant, agents can inspect a physical location and seize any useful information. To get a judge to sign off on a search warrant, prosecutors must show that there is probable cause that a crime has been committed.

How much flop sweat do you think that caused OMP? Bet it adds a few strokes to his game today.

Flop Sweat