Good news!

On this morning after a weekend of being riveted, horrified, saddened, dismayed, disgusted, angered by the violence and news coming out of Charlottesville, Virginia; after my amazement that the POTUS’ response to the violence correctly used the multi-syllable big word ‘egregious’ coupled with a clear dog whistle;  after all of that I would like to take a moment and celebrate some good news!

  1. Elon Musk powers up on an island. I want to take more time and look at the data presented in this article,  but I celebrate continued solar energy use and development combined with battery storage.
  2. Bruno Mars donates $1M to Flint, Michigan for the water crisis that started in 2014. For today, I celebrate Mr. Mars’ acknowledgement of the problem and contribution.
  3. Waymo, Google’s self-driving car arm is considering automobile exteriors with adhesive properties such that if you’re hit by a Waymo, you do not become an equal and opposite reaction into something else. This sounds like really kewl technology and while I celebrate that Waymo is looking into options, it almost sounds like pedestrians are at risk? Really, Waymo? So,  I celebrate, wonder, and will continue to watch this development.
  4. Paul Manafort’s home was searched for evidence by the FBI using a ‘no knock’ warrant! Whoa.  The good news: Didn’t see that one coming! And thank you Ann for pointing out that the search occurred outside the leaky communication channels residing in the White House and Mr. Manafort was not tipped off that it was coming.  I celebrate that not all of government leaks!

And to end, good news from a favorite scene in Futurama. Professor Farnsworth presents Fry with a pill, number 7 on this link if you want to listen.

Fry: I can’t swallow that.

Professor Farnsworth:  Well then, good news! It’s a suppository …

Devaluation of employment and the Apprentice President.

 

Given the low unemployment rate, it seems there is an uptick in the number of stories which reference the difficulties employers are experiencing in finding suitable candidates for employment.

An apprentice is “a person who is learning a trade from a skilled employer, having to agreed to work for a fixed period at low wages.”¹ And so today we consider the bungler-in-chief, the apprentice who continues his cage match with the office of President of the United States and the standard he continues to bear lower and lower.

Leadership Tyranny and Nepotism:

Trump has installed his daughter, her spouse,  and his own friends and followers in prominent positions of power or influence.

Take-away: Lucky sperm, affluent eggs, and proximity carry more weight than education, dedication, and experience.  If your last name, your <skin color, gender, connections, insert affirmative action descriptor here> don’t align with our “values”, get outta here. Better luck in the next life!

Measured constraint Abandon and Arrogance:

Trump communicates international policy Tweets “fire and fury” poking the unstable bear in the Hermit Kingdom.  Presumably this tweet was an end-run around Secretary of State Tillerson. And that poor US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley!

Although I disagree with her politics, I would hazard that a talented, devoted, and serious politician has thrown her card in the ring under the bus.  How to represent the US in an international forum when her manager is keen on watching shit hit a fan?

Take-away: Your boss can’t be trusted.  He can damage years of planning, hard work, and relationship building by impetuous, angry, ill-considered 140-character blasts on his worldwide bullhorn, Twitter.

Building relationships, using professional communications, maintaining confidentiality between co-workers is overrated.  Wild-mood swings and a healthy potty-mouth will get you all the way to the White House!

Thoughtfulness Thoughtlessness:

Trump reading material.  He doesn’t need to read daily intelligence briefings.  He gets a twice-daily — that’s more than once, it’s just terrific, it’s the best, it’s great, it’s simple — it’s a folder full of praise for him.

Take-away #1: Reading for the sake of learning something new, reading for the pure joy of escape or learning, or reading for the sake of staying up-to-date on the daily concerns of the Republic are overrated and, trust me, are not even necessary. I’m here to announce that in 2017, the concept of a “President’s reading list” is an oxymoron and none of your business but it is all about him.

Take-away #2: Move along.  Nothing wrong with the narcissism of Trump.  If it’s not about him, it’s not worth his time and that includes you and any concerns you may have. Worried about that crazy Kim in the Hermit Kingdom? We have our own crazy Don to worry about here.  Get back to work …

Work ethic Time off/Golf habit:

Speaking of getting back to work, as of this writing, Trump has been in office 201 days. In those 201 days, he has golfed 46 times.  The cost to the taxpayer (again, to date) is $57,648,904. Assuming he plays a 18- hole round each time, he has played 828 holes. Assuming a 4-stroke average of par for a hole and giving The Donald the benefit of the doubt that he shoots par each hole even though we know he lies like the rug on his head, he has taken 3,312 strokes while POTUS.

And! $57,648,904 divided by 3,312 works out to a cost of $17,406 to the taxpayer every time Prescedense Trump takes a swing! Whoa!

(For comparison purposes, according to Golf Digest, Rory McIlroy is the 2017 highest paid golfer, $49,514,505. Arnold Palmer remains second. Whoa! Nice work Mr. Palmer.)

Trump’s annual take of $400,000 salary as POTUS divided by golf swings works out to a cost of $120.77/swing. Ah, a number that is understated for sure. It doesn’t include itemized costs like transportation (Air Force One), security (Secret Service) and other costs intrinsic with protection of the POTUS.

Take-away: Hard work is overrated and underpaid. Until you get caught, use other people’s money (OPM).

Well, this has been a dispiriting exercise. The POTUS Donald reliably demonstrates a blatant disregard for anything other than his own self. In a position of power and authority, he should be a leader, but he does not inspire; he is lazy; he is incompetent.

Dollars to donuts, he is a grifter running his business out of the White House, bilking the US out of billions. Dollars to donuts.


¹Until he releases his income tax returns, we can assume that President Trump is making less money from his role as President of the United States than he makes from the Trump Organization.

As a plausible conspiracy theory to defraud the United States — the country, the entire Republic, the all of our resources, the all of us — I believe Trump is using the Secret Service and the military power of the United States for protection from foreign powers that do not think as much of him as he does. As an elected pol, he is using us all for cover.

Who are the endless foreign powers who own a piece of him and his? I contend that he’s also been kept afloat and is still in business because the people dealing with him have had the cushion of interpreters and legal personnel between them and him. They don’t want to deal one-on-one with the man who sits POTUS. Sit with that for a bit.

 

3-way word mash-up: Prescedense

Prescedense: an elected chief of state lacking intelligence or common sense whose subsequent actions lower the bar for the standard of comportment¹ expected of the office of President of the United States (POTUS).

Prescedensy: the office of Prescedense.


Some word play is order for this, the angriest of TGIFs and I wish it was more difficult, but here we go!  Prescedense is the result of a three-way word mash-up:

President (pres): “an elected official serving as both chief of state and chief political executive in a republic having a presidential government,” (definition 5a).

For our mash-up, we’re specifically referring to the office of President of the United States (POTUS).

Precedent (ced): “an earlier event or action that is regarded as an example or guide to be considered in subsequent similar circumstances”.

Here we have many examples of actions to choose from: Twitter and tweeting, outright lies and subsequent denial, shameless self-promotion, blatant and unrepentant use of elected office to promote personal business interests, etc. and there are multiple examples for each. Ugh.

And dense (ense), (synonym of stupid): “having or showing a great lack of intelligence or common sense.”

And thus, mash it all together pres+ced+ense and we have Prescedense: an elected chief of state lacking intelligence or common sense whose subsequent actions lower the bar for the standard of comportment¹ expected of the office of President of the United States (POTUS).

Examples:

Prescedense: After suggesting that conversations in the Oval Office might be taped in May, Prescedense Trump² eventually tweeted in June that he did not have any such recordings.

Prescedensy: The media is subject to incessant gaslighting by the current Prescedensy; as are we all!

Have a great weekend, why not?  TGIF!


¹Comportment: behavior; bearing. This is a favorite word from my youth as my dad’s discipline usually came gently in the form of “you know you could improve your comportment.”

²Yes, Ann. “Prescedense” feels like a typo — a weak fumble railing against the night. But for today, “that’ll do pig …”

 

Jeff Sessions: White Lies, Part II

I read and watched segments of the testimony of Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, III to the Senate Intelligence Committee yesterday, (June 13, 2017). What I learned:

  • Jeff Sessions is still the poster child for White Lies. 
    • Viva definition White Lies: “a harmful, non-trivial word construction expertly formed and delivered such as to avoid hurting one’s own political aspirations.
  • Although Jeff Sessions looks like a Keebler elf, we should stop this comparison. It is a disservice to the goodness and sweetness of Keebler and their elves.  A Jeff B.S. III cookie would be doughy-white, bitter, and fall apart at the slightest pressure.
  • Obama was given all kinds of flack for being non-Presidential when he wore a white suit.  I can’t help but think that Jeff Sessions’ white suit comes with a hood. Just sayin’.
  • The crazed element of the GOP is not serious about governing, ethics, truth.
  • Jeff Sessions is not serious about the office and his duties as Attorney General. After agreeing to testify, Sessions did not bring any personal artifacts to spark his memory, to offer as proof. By way of comparison, Comey’s notes as FBI Director were copious.
  • Gaslighting par excellence.  Sessions’ testimony yesterday was a distraction from the really serious healthcare bill going through the Senate. While we were all focused on the little guy testifying by not testifying in the spot light in ring #1, we missed the Flying Wallendas removing the net under cover of dark in the center ring. Eh, that’s an unfair comparison too.  The Wallendas were true artists and athletes. But the imagery stands, there will be no net.

And I like to make predictions so far into the future that it doesn’t matter to me whether I’m right or wrong.  But on March 3, 2017 I predicted that the penalty for Jeff B.S. III White Lying under oath would be that he would still be Attorney General in a month; 103 days later, I’m still right, he’s still there!

I wish I had been wrong.

Trump: 9; Obama: 2

James Comey served as the seventh director of the FBI from September 4, 2013 to May 9, 2017.  Make what you want of his testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee last week but what is most disturbing is not the testimony, but the facts. Oh and Viva loves regurgitating indisputable facts because this is where the trouble gets obvious:

  • James Comey was director of the FBI for a total of 1342 days.
  • Of those days, 1233 or 92% were served during the Obama Administration.
  • That leaves 109 or 8% served during the Trump Administration.*

In 109 days, James Comey documented nine (9) conversations with President Trump*. The FBI director even played coy by going undercover in the Oval Office drapes. And then whoa! one tête-à-tête included dinner! I can hear Bill Withers Just the Two of Us to set the mood but, what was on the menu? Is Comey leaving out salient details?

No.  James Comey is not leaving out salient details. He notes that during the Obama Administration, he talked with Obama twice.  And one of those tête-à-tête’s was for the purpose of Obama saying good-bye. Good luck. See ya, wouldn’t wanna be ya …

Oh! We do like to make things up, but back to our love of data. On any given day during the Trump Administration, James Comey had an 8.3% chance of talking to the President (phone or face-to-face). During the Obama Administration, the chance of talking to the President was 0.16% (face-to-face). This makes the case for Comey keeping a Scarlett O’Hara suit at hand in the office closet. You just never know when you might need to blend with the drapes.

And if this were a game where scoring more meant you were winning, Trump would be killing it.  Nine (9) is bigger than two (2).  But Presidential contact with the acting FBI Director scores like golf.  A lower score wins.

And Trump is a loser.


* Yes Ann.  Both times. I just threw up in my mouth a little.

 

 

NASA’s commitment to diversity in photo.

As proof of NASA’s commitment to diversity, they included an old white guy in a photo with doctors, scientists, engineers, pilots and military officers. Whoa!

And my first thought:  what is Mike Pence doing in that photo?

Answer: NASA astronauts, class of 2017, are welcomed by a representative of the Trump administration.* (These are the chosen 12 out of 18,300 applicants – 0.065% chance of selection, wow.  Pretty sure the applicant list for VP was barely even double digit … just sayin.’)

My second thought: what could these astronauts talk about with the VP?

NASA funding? Nyet.  No details.

Climate change? Nyet. Not a believer.

Anything science related? Nyet. I’m a believer.

Mrs. Pence’s beehive? Oh yes! We do need to save the bees.  

Nod and smile politely.  We do need to save the bees.


Full disclosure: I saw a headline referring to Mrs. Pence’s beehive yesterday and I immediately thought she had her hair done. In a beehive.  Mother Pence.

* Yes, Ann.  It still kills me a little to type the words ‘Trump administration.’

 

Hmmm, PSA: C to F.

Update: June 8, 2017.  Original text removed, because hmmm …

I do not want to be the purveyor and promoter of faux outrage, bad science and wrong maths and conversions.

Previous verbiage while written beautifully, was way, way off.

Apologies and I’m sure it will happen again, why not I’m human?

– Viva