From Pine View Farm

Down the Black Rabbit Hole 0

BFFs 0

Title:  Sunset.  Image:  Donald Trump and Valdimir Putin in bathtubs side-by-side touching fingers and staring at a setting sun labeled

Click to see the image at its original location.

Dick Polman has more. Here’s how he starts; follow the link for the rest:

It’s amazing how the Capitol Hill Republicans continue to beclown themselves in the service of Donald Trump. The more they try to minimize Kremlingate — as they did again yesterday, while questioning former CIA director John Brennan — the more they soil themselves.

Testifying before the House Intelligence Committee, Brennan gave us the fullest public accounting thus far of Russia’s “aggressive” and “multifaceted” penetration of the ’16 presidential election — and he spoke openly of Russia’s “contacts and interactions” with people in the Trump campaign. We should thank the Republican committee members for making that possible, because it was their hapless questioning that prompted Brennan’s candor.

All the News that Fits 0

Via Raw Story.

No There There 0

Leonard Pitts, Jr., sums up contemporary “conservatism.”

One longs for an intellectually vibrant marketplace of ideas, but there is nothing intellectual or vibrant about what these days passes for conservatism. That once robust ideology has been shriveled by an intellectual dishonesty so profound that the same people who tirelessly investigated Barack Obama’s birth certificate and inveighed against his choice of mustard can look at the mountain of malfeasance rising from the White House and say with a shrug and all evident sincerity, “What evidence?”

The one constant in contemporary conservatism is adherence to what seems to be its core principle: Mean for the sake of mean.

No Place To Hide 0

A columnist at the San Francisco Chronicle sums up Alexa (and all those other “digital assistants”).

“C’mon Caille, we can train her and everything. And she was a gift!”

“So was the Trojan Horse.”

Looking for Little Marco 0

Daniel Ruth points out that it’s easier for members of Marco Rubio’s constituency to find Waldo than it is for them to find Little Marco.

“An Armed Society Is a Polite Society” 0

Be polite to your pick-up.

An off-duty New York City corrections officer has accidentally shot himself and a woman after he dropped his gun while talking to her in a bar.

The officer was speaking to an unidentified woman Tuesday night when he dropped his gun and it went off, hitting one of his fingers and the woman’s foot.

GOP Health (Don’t Call It) Care 0

Today’s Republican Party is a vile and loathsome thing.



Those who give hoping to be rewarded with honor are not giving, they are bargaining.

Take a Break 0

Signs of the Times 0

Seal of the President of the United States displaying

Click to see the image at its original location.

“Unpresidented” 0

Der Spiegel takes a look at Donald Trump’s first three months in office. What they see is not pretty. A nugget (emphasis added):

On Wednesday, a few hours before the special counsel was set loose on him, Donald Trump was standing before the graduates of the Coast Guard Academy. He was supposed to hold an inspiring talk, to spread a positive message, as one does at graduation speeches. Instead, he once again spoke about himself. “Over the course of your life, you will find that things are not always fair,” he said to the graduating students. “Look at the way I’ve been treated, especially by the media,” Trump said. “No politician in history, and I say this with great surety, has been treated worse or more unfairly.

“No politician in history. Not Nelson Mandela. Not Mahatma Gandhi, not John F. Kennedy. Him. There stood a billionaire, inhabiting the most powerful office in the world, complaining about how unfair the world was. Because there seems to be one rule with Donald Trump: He is never to blame, even though almost everything currently happening to him is his fault.

Do read the rest.

Old Wine In Neo Bottles 0

Thom summarizes the history and failure of Neo-Liberalism, in particular its role in molding oligarchies.

Trumpling the Separation of Powers 0

Jill Abramson discerns a disturbing drift towards despotism. An excerpt:

America’s founding fathers were deathly afraid of centralised, absolute power. This is why the government they structured had three equal branches, and plenty of checks and balances. And the first amendment is first for a reason. Freedom of the press is guaranteed because the founders envisaged the press as a bulwark against absolute power. This goes to the heart of who we are, and what we might become.

This is American law for dummies, but Trump gives no indication of knowing its basic tenets. Fundamentals bear repeating. No one in the United States has absolute power or an absolute right to do anything that violates the constitution. But apparent violations seem to be occurring almost daily.

Facebook Frolics 0

Secessionist frolics.

“An Armed Society Is a Polite Society” 0

Politeness is a Republican Family Value.

Officers learned the 15-year-old victim had been accidentally shot in the face by his 10-year-old sibling.

Thus passeth another day in NRA Paradise.

The Court Is in Sessions 0

At Above the Law, Joe Patrice details a recent and Kafkaesque attempt by the Sessions Department of “you can laughingly call it” Justice to deny immigrants access to legal advice.

It appears the vile is in style.


W. Edwards Deming:

It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.

Unfair to Children 0

UC Berkeley professor Alison Gopnik takes issue with comparisons of Donald Trump to pre-school children.

Having researched child development intensely, she finds such comparisons insult the children. Here’s a bit:

But the analogy is profoundly wrong, and it’s unfair to children. The scientific developmental research of the past 30 years shows that Mr. Trump is utterly unlike a 4-year-old.

Four-year-olds care deeply about the truth. They constantly try to seek out information and to figure out how the world works. Of course, 4-year-olds, as well as adults, occasionally lie. But Mr. Trump doesn’t just lie; he seems not even to care whether his statements are true.

Four-year-olds are insatiably curious. One study found that the average preschooler asks hundreds of questions per day. Just watch a toddler “getting into everything” — endangering his own safety to investigate interesting new objects like knives and toasters. Mr. Trump refuses to read and is bored by anything that doesn’t involve him personally.

Much more at the link.

Via The San Jose Mercury News.

Skewed Perspective 0

Title:  Questions.  Scene One:  White woman to young white woman holding baby:  Aw, is that your little brother?  To young black woman holding baby:  Aw, is they your son?  Scene Two:  Doctor to white high school senior girl:  What colleges have you applied to?  To black high school senior girl:  Will you be the first person in your family to graduate high school?  Scene three:  Girl to white female classmate:  What's your major?  To black female classmate:  Are you the first person in your family to go toe college?  Man to young white woman:  Do you have any kids?  To young black woman:  How many kids do you have?  Female doctor to white woman with little baby:  What does your husband do?  To youg black woman with baby:  Is the father still in the picture?

And, in more news of the skewed . . . .

Via Job’s Anger.