John Bolton Is Worried About His War

Donald Trump says he told John Bolton when he hired him as National Security Advisor, “No, no wars.” But Bolton is a smart man who knows how to operate in the government to get his way. And his way is unabated hostility to the rest of the world. He has recently condemned the International Court of Justice. He supported the Iraq war. He is an advocate of preventive war against Iran and North Korea.

But the Jamal Khashoggi murder is standing in the way of a war against Iran. John Bolton must be sad. And, probably, working hard to find a way through this crisis. Read more



The Laughter

The Wall Street Journal has a headline tonight.

Trigger warning: Talk about rape below the fold. I find this very upsetting myself.

Read more



Prop Humor is Really Not Bibi Netanyahu’s Forte: UN General Assembly Edition

Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin “Bibi” Netanyahu addressed this year’s UN General Assembly. As he does every time he makes one of these addresses, he had visual aids. Today’s were pictures of Iran’s secret atomic warehouse.

From Ha’aretz:

 Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed a secret Iranian nuclear storage facility in Tehran and hidden missiles in Beirut during his address at the United Nations’ General Assembly 73rd session on Thursday.

The Israeli prime minister said the Iranian facility contains technology for Iran’s nuclear program, adding that Iran “took this radioactive material and spread it around Tehran like Nutella.”

Netanyahu said that Iran removed 15kg of radioactive material from the warehouse last month, and that it contained up to 300 tons of nuclear-related material. Netanyahu called on the IAEA to inspect the facility immediately.

“I have a message for tyrants of Tehran – Israel knows what you’re doing,” Netanyahu said. He added that Israel will continue to act against Iran – “also in Syria and also in Iraq.”

There’s only one problem, it’s a Persian carpet cleaners. Apparently Israel does not know what Iran is doing.

Remember to steam clean regularly!

We now return you to your regularly scheduled shondas for the goyim…

Open thread.

 



Aux Armes, Citoyens!

Via valued commenter Marco Polo, a reminder:

🚨🚨🚨 The fate of Kavanaugh may well be decided in the next 48-72 hrs. As of now multiple GOP senators are undecided but they’re getting A LOT of pressure from the WH and leadership to fall in line. Your pressure can make the difference. Pls call your senators 202-224-3121
We should all be doing this of course, and those of the jackals who suffer with Republican “representation” are the tip of the spear on this particular campaign.  It just takes two GOP senators to discover a residual memory that women are in fact people, and this nomination goes the way of the Titanic.
Image: J.W.M. Turner, Shipwreck of the Minotaur, 1810s


Every Man His Own Master Open Thread: Crypto-Anarchy Now!

It’s always projection with this guys, isn’t it? Per the Austin Statesman:

Austin police are working with international authorities to bring Cody Wilson, an Austin man at the center of a debate about 3D-printed guns, back to the country from Taiwan to face a sexual assault charge filed in Travis County on Wednesday…

Wilson missed a scheduled flight back to the United States and is thought to have left the country after a friend of the 16-year-old sexual assault victim told him that police were investigating him, Officer said…

The affidavit said a counselor called Austin police on Aug. 22 to report that a girl under the age of 17 told her she had sex with a 30-year-old man on Aug. 15 and was paid $500.

In a forensic interview on Aug. 27, the girl told authorities that she created an account on SugarDaddyMeet.com, and began exchanging messages with a man who used the username “Sanjuro,” the affidavit said…

“During this conversation, ‘Sanjuro’ identified himself as ‘Cody Wilson.’ Victim said that ‘Sanjuro’ described himself to the victim as a ‘big deal,’ ” the affidavit said.

Investigators compared the profile photos used on the SugarDaddyMeet.com account to Wilson’s driver’s license photo, and determined that they were of the same person, the affidavit said…

Of course, there’s an argument to be made that 16-year-olds ought to be able to trade sex for money, and I’m sure that argument is already being shared by Wilson’s defenders. On the other hand, when a man already has a page on the SPLC’s Hatewatch list…

Cody Wilson is the co-founder and CEO of Defense Distributed, a company which operates in the gray area between the gun manufacturing world and the online maker community, and he is the creator of Hatreon, a racist “alt-right” crowdfunding site…

… is performing transactions on SugarDaddyMeet.com really the mark of a Genius Brain?

Extra bonus Captain Obvious points:



Enterprise Rental Car Can Eat a Salted Bag of Dicks and I Hope They Choke on Them and They Leave a Bad Aftertaste

I just spent 13 hours driving to Dobson, North Carolina and then back. Why, you ask? Because Enterprise Rental Cars is a bunch of parasitic motherfuckers who should spend eternity tossing Satan’s salad.

Last night, on the way home from Florida after their vacation, Gerald, Landrea, and the kids hit a coyote around there, and it rammed the radiator into the engine and basically killed the car. It could still move, but Gerald knows a thing or two about cars and knew it should not be driven more or it would do more damage. So he pulled over and called Enterprise, who promptly told him to fuck off.

You see, Gerald and Landrea did not have roadside assistance included in their package, which they did not include because they have roadside assistance through AAA, something I am sure many of you have also done as you have it through AAA or your personal insurance. Apparently, though, Enterprise Rental Cars reads that to mean “sucks to be you, not our problem.” BTW, this was at about 10 o’clock at night in the middle of bumfuck nowhere, and I say bumfuck nowhere as someone from a town of 350 in West Virginia and who damned well knows a bumfuck nowhere when he sees it.

Enterprise told them that they would send a tow truck, but they would only be able to fit two people in the cab of the truck, so three of the people would just have to walk to the next exit. The kindly NC State Trooper who was already on the scene didn’t even let Gerald tell Enterprise to go fuck themselves before interjecting “That’s not going to happen.” Although one would think it is common knowledge that you do not leave three kids on the side of a major highway in the dark, this is apparently news to the good folks at Enterprise, whose twitter handle is, ironically, @enterprisecares.

So the cop made Gerald limp the car down the road to the next exit, and they stayed at the Hampton Inn and spent the wee hours trying to get a new car from Enterprise, seeing as how the current one was exploded and they had paid for a rental car through the 17th of July and it was, according to my math, ONLY THE FUCKING 14th. Enterprise gave no fucks and told them to pound sand.

Here’s the thing. They didn’t need roadside assistance. They did not have a flat tire. They did not have a dead battery. They had not locked the keys in the car. They had a fully unfunctional car, and they needed a replacement. Enterprise informed them if they got to Charlotte airport, they might have one they could get.

I talked to Gerald this morning and he basically told me there are no buses, no cabs, no ubers, and no way for him to get to Charlotte, not to mention they didn’t even know if they would have a car. Enterprise’s helpline is so helpful they COULDN’T EVEN CHECK THEIR FUCKING INVENTORY. Maybe if they could confirm there would be a car there, he could have just fucking hitchhiked there or something. Or begged the minister next door at the church for a ride. All the local Enterprise places were closed on Sunday, although there was one in Greensboro, but they did not open until one o clock so it would be one before he would even know if they had a car for him to pick up. If they didn’t, then it would be 1:30-2:00 pm and the short day would almost be over and they would still be fucked. ENTERPRISE’S HELP LINE IS THIS FUCKING HELPFUL.

So I drove 370 fucking miles down there, we crammed all six of us and the luggage in the CRV, and came back. BECAUSE ENTERPRISE RENTAL CAR IS A FILTHY BUNCH OF CORPORATE SCUMBAGS.

On the upside, the boys now will have to cut my yard for the rest of their lives, so there is that.



By Their Works Shall Ye Know Them

With Trump and his Trumpkins — aka the entire Republican power structure — the extremes of grotesque behavior serve a purpose: in the disgust they evoke, they distract us from the point of the whole exercise.  That would be, of course, extracting as much cash as possible through the exercise of arbitrary power.

Today’s example — actually, now about a week old — comes from griftmonger supreme Scott Pruitt.  All the grandiose corruption, stiffing aids for hotel rooms, buying a Maxwell Smart cone of silence, unobtanium-infused skin cream and the rest was the sizzle. The steak was wrecking the environment at the behest of one corporate master or another.  This was true to the bitter end:

In his last act as EPA Administrator on Friday, Scott Pruitt vacated an Obama-era ruling that dramatically restricted sales of polluting “glider” trucks.

What are glider trucks, you may ask? (I did.)  Do they serve any useful social purpose?

You be the judge:

The glider trucks, led by manufacturer Fitzgerald Glider Kits, are new truck bodies and frames fitted with old, diesel engines that pre-date emissions controls.

Those engines emit as much as 43 times the carcinogenic particulate matter and 13 times as much smog-forming nitrogen oxides as modern diesel truck engines. In the presence of sunlight, nitrogen oxides form smog, which has been linked to asthma.

The whole thing was a scam, exploiting a loophole that was supposed to allow the reuse of new engines if a rig was totalled, but instead installing pre-2007, high polluting engines in new truck bodies.

Pruitt used a debunked and then retracted study that claimed the highly polluting engines were somehow magically transformed into cleaner ones in their new clothes in a move that bars the EPA from enforcing the Obama-era rules this year and next.

I’m not sure exactly what Pruitt’s profit-center is here, given that everyone — and I mean everyone — hates these things.

Manufacturers such as Virginia-based heavy-truck maker Volvo, Illinois-based Navistar, and Cummins, which makes diesel engines in Indiana, all opposed Pruitt’s efforts to keep the loophole open, as did UPS, which buys thousands of long-haul trucks. Name-brand truck and engine makers have invested millions in developing the cleaner engine technology.

“I cannot recall an issue with such a breadth of opposition,” Paul Billings, national senior vice president for advocacy at the American Lung Association told the Washington Post.

Was this simply bidnezz–some quid pro quo between Pruitt and the one truck company making a buck of these shit-spewing rigs? Or was this just one last f**k you to liberals on the way out?

I guess it could be both, or rather, it was certainly the latter, plus whatever personal corruption Pruitt was able to extract from the deal.  But my point (and I do have one, besides generalized disgust and impotent rage) is that this his how Trump’s administration rolls, and it’s exactly as the Republican Party and its paymasters intended it to.

While the gaudy scandals dominate our attention and most of the media effort, the executive departments and agencies are keeping very busy, creating or gutting rules, making decisions, operating almost completely unexamined, in ways that transfer wealth to the chosen few, and risk and consequences to everyone else.

I’m not sure there’s a shovel big enough to clean manure pile these assholes are depositing in our stable.

Pace Adam:  I’m doing a really crappy job staying frosty these days.

Open thread.

Image: Elihu Vedder, Corrupt Legislation, mural in the main reading room, Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building, 1896