The Prolifigate Presidency

Palm Beach, Fla. Mayor Paulette Burdick says that using local law enforcement to protect President Donald Trump during his frequent trips to his Mar-a-Lago estate “means the local taxpayers will have to bear the added burden of being part of the security for the president of the United States,” according to CNN.

“It will either be cuts or increase in taxes,” Burdick told the network. Palm Beach’s sheriff’s department told CNN that it costs roughly $60,000 in overtime per day when the president is in town, even with a Secret Service detail. CBS reports, based off figures from a similar trip by former President Barack Obama, that Trump’s first three visits to Mar-a-Lago cost about $10 million in total.

Trump is additionally spending this weekend at the private club, his fifth visit to the resort since taking office. The administration has not commented on the exact cost of Trump’s visits.

We’re not quite yet to the 60 day mark of this remarkably dissolute presidency and the bills keep piling up: $148 million a year to keep Melania (Secret Service codename: Thank Gawd He’ s Outta The House) “safe” in Trump Towers, and now the (approximate) $140 million per annum costs of OMP flying down to Mar-a-Lago to golf every weekend.

And dollars to diamonds OMP was seriously confused and upset upon reading about his declining approvable ratings this morning: “Thirty seven percent?! How can that be? Everyone loves me!”

Jebus H. Kerist! We’ve got another 1400 days of this buffoon?

In Passing

A Piss Poor Pint

Oh feck!

Whatever happens, we mustn’t let my adopted son see the fecking windy Speaker raise his piss poor pint of Guinness, he’d be completely on his tobler. He was just on about the subject yesterday and there’s no telling what this GOP shitehawk’s scandalous scoop might wrought.

Grandad’s not above shooting the average American, I’ll have you know, and Speaker Ryan? Well, that’d be a special case…

Beannachtam na Feile Padraig!

A Piss Poor Pint

Southwest High School

Four and a half months after the aborted launch of United at Southwest comes Uniting at Southwest. 1

The new cloud-based WIX web site is attractive, the design a fairly standard (and therefore ubiquitous) presentation, and the copy… Well, let’s talk about the copy. As we noted of the first United at Southwest site, there’s no there there; mostly it’s promotional copy, leavened with a promotional video. 2

However there is some data: The list of individuals on their advisory group has expanded to represent not just the Port Authority, but the Mayor’s office, as well as several well-known Kansas City community leaders and noted business figures.

There are still uncertainties; while Uniting at Southwest says a partnership with KCPS is necessary, the group is also hawking the XQ: The Super Schools Project. It is unclear who would own the building, much less who would be in charge of the day-to-day administration and teaching; what –exactly– would the curriculum be? Would a XQ template be used? Which one? And how would that be implemented? Would this be a “test in” high school? If so, where would the entrance bar be set? And if not, how would acceptance to the school work? Will the school branch out from its (so far minimally) stated goals and attempt to “fix” cultural segregation?

These and many, many, many more queries all go unanswered.

Which is fair enough, we suppose. After all this is nothing (yet) but a marketing campaign, released with the obvious hopes of whipping up and channeling long-term dissatisfaction with the KCPS product into a force that might override the objections of the usual players 3, as well as convince Dr. Bedell to discard the KCPS master plan that calls for Southwest to reopen as a middle school. 4

We wish them luck. 5

Afternoon Update: From commenter Gloria, who reached out to Dr. Bedell’s office:

“There is a group in the Southwest corridor that is trying to rally support to open a charter-esque high school in that building. We have spoken with the leaders of the organization but are not currently involved in the project. I hope this answers your questions. Please let me know if you need anything further.” 6

My 2017 NCAA Bracket

Show 6 footnotes

  1. Though ICANN shows the group waited to claim the CN, through Network Solutions, until February 15, 2017. The ownership of the domain is hidden behind Perfect Privacy. The email for information is as follows: Think the money behind this effort wants to talk with anyone? yeah, me neither.
  2. Produced by XQ – The Super School Project.
  3. Freedom, Inc., KC’s Black United Front, MORE2, SCLC, Urban League & the Urban Summit.
  4. Which means you should expect to see/hear a UASW spokesperson (probably Zeller) on KCPT’s Ruckus and/or KCUR’s Up To Date soonish.
  5. Further information on XQ: XQ Competition Results; Education Next review of the XQ design completion;  Education Weekly blog post about XQ.
  6. Hmmm. Possibilities: Dr. Bedell granted the group the courtesy of a meet-and-greet while remaining noncommittal; the good doctor  enthusiastically supported and encouraged the group behind closed doors only (for fear of upsetting previously named community organizations); the good doctor wanted no part of it. It boggles the mind – why not come right out and say whether you support the Uniting at Southwest efforts? What does that cost you, we wonder?

The Forever Wars

The Pentagon has deployed several hundred Marines to northern Syria, the Washington Post and CNN reported this week. Their mission: firing long-range artillery to help recapture Raqqa, ISIS’s self-proclaimed capital city.

The Marines are equipped with M777 howitzers, which can fire GPS-guided explosives up to 25 miles.

That’s a big change from the “train, advise, and assist” role U.S. forces have been playing so far — although as with many previous troop deployments to Iraq and Syria, it was not debated, let alone authorized, by Congress.

But the White House press secretary brushed off a question about the move, saying that sending “several hundred advisers” did not amount to “hostile action.”

Right-wing radio host John Fredericks asked Sean Spicer on Thursday whether Trump was committed to seeking congressional authorization for new deployments.

“I think there’s a big difference between an authorization of war than [sic] sending a few hundred advisers,” Spicer replied. “And I think most in Congress would probably agree with that as well. I think that’s a big difference between a hostile action and going in to address some certain concerns, whether it’s certain countries in the Middle East or elsewhere.”

Spicer referred the question to the Department of Defense. But when reached by The Intercept, a Pentagon spokesperson disputed Spicer’s characterization.

“This is fire support,” said Maj. Adrian Rankine-Galloway, a public affairs officer for the Marine Corps, explaining that the new deployment would fire long-range artillery in an assault on Raqqa. “They will be providing partner support for the Syrian Democratic Forces.”

First: Spicer has turned out to be the most craven coward ANY White House has ever sent out to put lipstick on a pig.

Second: Fire support = boots on the ground.

Get used to this; we’ll be sending in first hundreds, then thousands more “advisors.”

The Forever Wars

My 2017 NCAA Bracket

Well, hell – here’s my picks for the NCAA March Madness this year. 1 2

Who knows – perhaps I’ll do as well as back in 2015 when I was in the top 1%. Or, more than likely, I’ll end up like last year, a total meh.

LAST update at 9:44 AM CDT, 16 March 2017. Whew….

My 2017 NCAA Bracket

Show 2 footnotes

  1. Well, except I JUST NOW changed it to Kentucky beating UNC, and then winning the whole thing; will capture that and upload new PNG (DONE!). And there are still (roughly) 5 hours left to screw with it some more. Le sigh
  2. From KCUR, of all places, comes news of a KU professor’s new statistical model to predict the winner. Unsurprisingly, he has Villanova repeating. A good choice, normally, but it’s Kentucky’s year. A KU prof should know that; perhaps if he weren’t so busy asking people if they wanted fries with that in his part time job, he would have developed a better model, n’est-ce pas?

Rex Tillerson

With a strong entry into our Lying Liars Who Lie category saunters Rex Tillerson:

New York says Secretary of State Rex Tillerson used an email alias to discuss climate change while he was ExxonMobil’s chief executive: Wayne Tracker.

Tillerson sent messages from the account to discuss the risks posed by climate change, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a court filing about his office’s fraud investigation of the company. Tillerson, whose middle name is Wayne, used the Wayne Tracker account on the Exxon system from at least 2008 through 2015, Schneiderman said.

Schneiderman made the claim in a letter Monday to Justice Barry Ostrager in New York state court in Manhattan, accusing Exxon of failing to turn over all relevant documents required by a court order. The filing comes in a protracted legal dispute in which Exxon seeks to derail probes by New York and Massachusetts into whether the company misled investors for years about the possible impact of climate change on its business.

Tillerson used the account for “secure and expedited communications between select senior company officials and the former chairman for a broad range of business-related topics,” after his primary account began receiving too many messages, Exxon spokesman Alan Jeffers said in an email.

New York’s claim marks the latest email-handling matter to make headlines in Washington, from Hillary Clinton using a private email server as Secretary of State to more-recent revelations that Vice President Mike Pence used a private email account to conduct some official business as governor of Indiana. Neither of those instances involved an alias.

“Despite the company’s incidental production of approximately 60 documents bearing the ‘Wayne Tracker’ email address, neither Exxon nor its counsel have ever disclosed that this separate email account was a vehicle for Mr. Tillerson’s relevant communications at Exxon, and no documents appear to have been collected from this email account,” Schneiderman said.

Kellyanne Conway's Microwave

Perhaps Kellyanne should be more wary of her…ahem…more “intimate” IoT toys?

When one submits responses in a discovery, they are considered to be under oath. Which means either Tillerson lied or was complicit in submitting misleading responses (lying.)

Trumplandia is full of lying liars who lie. And it’s what…Day 53?

Break out another bag of microwave popcorn! This is going to get good…

Rex Tillerson

White House Paranoia

A culture of paranoia is consuming the Trump administration, with staffers increasingly preoccupied with perceived enemies—inside their own government.

In interviews, nearly a dozen White House aides and federal agency staffers described a litany of suspicions: that rival factions in the administration are trying to embarrass them, that civil servants opposed to President Donald Trump are trying to undermine him, and even that a “deep state” of career military and intelligence officials is out to destroy them.

Aides are going to great lengths to protect themselves. They’re turning off work-issued smartphones and putting them in drawers when they arrive home from work out of fear that they could be used to eavesdrop. They’re staying mum in meetings out of concern that their comments could be leaked to the press by foes.

Many are using encrypted apps that automatically delete messages once they’ve been read, or are leaving their personal cell phones at home in case their bosses initiate phone checks of the sort that press secretary Sean Spicer deployed last month to identify leakers on his team.

I’m good with all the above. The sooner this administration implodes, the better.

And in the meantime the more paranoid they become about being “watched”, the less likely it is they will emulate the Nixon or Ray-gun administrations.

White House Paranoia