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July 19th, 2019

Talk about a "tit for a tat" -- it was a USN drone that was taken down by Iran ten days ago!

So, by definition, it was NOT "escalation"...

July 17th, 2019

Sometimes I get pissed at certain papers (meaning the Times and the Post) and their Websites -- for their automated harrassment when you innocently want to refer your readers to one of their pieces. Like David Ignatius' important op-ed today on the high-stakes confrontation with Iran in the Persian Gulf.

I could not pull down the URL for it because the site wanted to be sure I was a fucking subscriber. (I am!) So you guys must make do with --
https://www.washingtonpost.com/regional/ and navigate from there

Ignatius, the best-sourced Middle East hand anywhere, accompanied the head of USArmy Central Command, Gen. Frank McKenzie, on a 10-day tour of Gulf posts. Oman, the first stop, over the weekend witnessed the latest Iranian provocation -- seizure of a small oil tanker near Hormuz.

Unlike His Orangeness's wacky behavior weeks ago as belligerency hotted up, right now all sides who seek free access to the Gulf by shipping are quietly watching and waiting.

"The measured U.S. response may be the most notable, if least discussed, aspect of the confrontation..." Gulf Arab states, who "had been prodding the Trump admnistration" to act, have finally got the message to back off.

The bellicose "UAE's withdrawal... of most of its forces from Yemen" is unexpectedly good news in this regard. If only to hasten the end of the "ruinous war that has produced no strategic gain [for the Saudi-led coalition] against ...Iran's proxies there, but that has brought a humanitarian catastrophe" threatening millions of innocent Yemenis.

According to Ignatius, meanwhile, the US is working with Oman to create "a multinational coalition to protect shipping from Iranian hit-and-run operations." In short, despite Trump (notably, destroying Obama's nuclear deal with Iran), diplomacy may yet prevail in the fragile Gulf.

July 15th, 2019


OMG crazy freaking bigotry is getting so widespread in the world! Naturally, I blame Trumpsky for this-- and once again he had an insane weekend of intolerance! (I blogged about it yesterday...)

So I just read the above article today about Israel's new education minister, Rafi Peretz, a fucking RABBI, arguing publicly for "gay conversion therapy." This turns out to disgust even Prime Minister Netanyahu, who primly said [Peretz's] "...remarks about the gay community are not acceptable to me..."

So why is the bigot IN the Cabinet anyhow? Well, Netanyahu is in deep pooitical** trouble, and he had to strike a deal with the devil to get a temporary coalition until elections later this year.

Liberal Israelis (not ENTIRELY a non-sequitur) reportedly are outraged and demanding Peretz be fired. But Netanyahu evidently doesn't give a shit (heh!) about the center-left and will hang onto power, no matter how high the cost!

** yeah, it's a typo -- but it ssys so much about getting into deep shit in Israeli OR American "poolitics" -- just look at fucking Congressional Republicans. I'm gonna leave it here!



Just to liven up your summer's day! I admit that, as a GIF, it IS a bit "fraught"...

Here's someone more tranquil:

July 14th, 2019

"You rely on a frightened country for your plunder"

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortes replying calmly to Trump's incredibly offensive and stupid tweet -- the man is a fucking pig:

"Why don't you [four Congresswomen -- called "the Squad" now] go back where you came from and fix those [shithole -- he DIDN'T say it here, but he HAS said it!] countries?"
I'm having a lovely morning, first one back in Washington after a month in Florida. (Mind you, I don't have a problem residing there in the summer, as some do -- starting with my sig-other Joanne.)

But having WashPost awaiting outside my door is heaven. (Perhaps Up There the headlines might be a trifle less edgy -- today, "When a 'prank' became a hate crime" about local anti-semitic vandalism.)

And on the op-ed page -- Sen. Michael Bennet from CO, being touted for the 2020 race against Trumpsky* by no less than former Repub George Will.

Will's column ran country-wide:

Denver's Post isn't kin to Washington's, but it was the first to turn up in Google's results. And that's fitting since Bennet represents the state in the US Senate. He's not technically a "native son." (Fascinatingly, he was born in New Delhi** where his politico father was working with Ambassador Chester Bowles.)

Do read Will's column, which persuasively (as much as a "never Trump" Repub can) argues for Bennet -- noting he has NONE of the "electability" problems of every OTHER Dem in the race.

Dare I say he more than a bit resembles Kennedy? And the public-service as a family calling? He made his fortune as a lawyer and bsiness executive, then got elected Denver's Superintendent of Public Schools --where he did so well that the people of Colorado sent him to the US Senate.

* I keep using MY made-up name for him here -- where I launched it the day in summer 2016 that the Tangerine Fibber was first reported to be on Putin's payroll. (Yeah, we can't prove it YET...)

** I too worked at the Delhi Embassy, many years later (early 90s); a high point was the visit of Bowles' successor, a real hero of mine, J.K. Galbraith. I had read his book, "Ambassador's Journal," about the 60s in India (how about, oh, then-First Lady Jackie Kennedy's official visit?). It was what motivated me to join the Foreign Service.

July 13th, 2019

The Stones' longevity...


New Orleans hosts the Rolling Stones tonight, sponsored by a freaking retirement fund! Despite a looming hurricane! Despite millions fleeing the region!

The older Nawlins-based brother of a dear friend happened to be in touch yesterday, defying the weather to do its worst and liberally quoting "Jumpin' Jack Flash." He has a houseful of guests, in town for the concert.*

I'd read of the Stones' new tour, but here I was texting with a senior citizen -- who was clearly as fucking irresponsible as WE were in the already-aging Stones' heyday. (Say, up to 15 years ago..)

I was flying back to DC from my Vero Beach place this morning, and I tossed into my bag the unread sections of last Sunday's Times. In an excedingly LONG piece (above), read somewhere above north Florida, the paper reported how Jagger's April heart operation had delayed the tour's start.

In some fiercely tongue-in-cheek prose, it told of the "sole sponsor" of their tour, a trade association called the Alliance for Lifetime Income (that is, private annuities for one's "golden years").

"Yet, preparing for retirement isn't what '(I can't get no) Satisfaction' is all about."

ALI's head is quoted, "...people who attend the band's shows are 'our target demographic, 45- to 72-year-olds with assets between $75,000 and $2 million.'

"...[Such folks] may never have imagined, when they were teens, that anyone would ever connect the Stones and annuities...

"[the author would] be happier if [ALI] were devoted to restoring financial strength to Social Security. [Article was in the financial pages of the Times, after all.]

"Oh well, you can't always get what you want..."

* I'd love to know how MANY people blew off reports of the storm threat and came for the concert -- like my geriatric acquaintance's guests. I'm guessing it's in the tens of thousands...

July 11th, 2019

Rachel Maddow on MSNBC reports on Thursday night that a big new human-rights organizaion, "Lights for Liberty," is orchestrating demonstrations on Friday at dozens of Border Patrol locales. Tens of thousands of demonstrators are expected.

Sen. Kamala Harris, currently the 4th highest-polling candidate for the Dems' 2020 challenge to Trumpsky, guested on Rachel's show tonight. Much discussion of the Tsngerine Asshole's manifest faiings on migration, including the ICE plan to bust 2,500 otherwise-harmless alien families this weekend.

I predict the Trump-heralded ICE raids across the US will fail dismally, just as Trumpsky's effort to put a citizenship question into the 2020 census is now collapsing. Cities such as Chicago have announced they will not support such blanket (and obsessive) enforcement. Local law enforcement in many localities will not aid ICE.

There's ICE-ing on this sad "cake" -- the agency fatuously announced today it would NOT do raids in hurricane-threatened New Orleans right now.

How frigging "humane" of them!

Or, per the old US Army acronym for failed official actions, SNAFU, "Sitation normal -- all fucked up"...

A few months ago, I accidentally found a nightly TV show on the E Network, "Busy Tonight" starring an actress I'd never heard of. Her lifelong nickname is "Busy"; I learned (above) her birth-name is "Elizabeth" but she's been "Busy" her whole 20-year career.

I fell in love with her right off: she and her guests (fellow second-tier actresses, and others in the Ho)lywood scene). They happily sip margaritas -- she sings a fade-out song that begins, "there's no more tequila..." -- and schmooze in a sexy, hip, knowing manner.

Alas, you can't find it on TV now: it was cancelled after a six months' run. I got to savor the last episodes because I recorded them on my cable system's gizmo, and just recently binge-viewed them.

Busy is a bundle of energy, overflowing the show's half-hour format, peddling insider gossip with her pals and goofing around (with lots of deleted expletives). At the end, she didn't hide bitterness with E executives who never got her slightly blowsy charm.

Former CBS late-night host David Letterman (now with bushy white beard -- not a good look on you, Dave) was a guest on the last episode. He and Busy ruefully shared their view of the vagaries dealing with tight-assed network "suits"... a losing game, alas!

Too bad!

July 9th, 2019

Goddamned Border Patrol!

A startling title, but that is how I -- and MILLIONS of my fellow Americans -- feel or SOON will feel about the Border Patrol (USBP), passively "going along" with official mistreatment of asylum seekers and other migrants.

They do NOT represent the United States of America! They are immoral and incompetent, and every single USBP officer -- and certainly all of the leadership -- should resign if they have any shred of honor. The agency should be abolished, and we should spend WHATEVER it costs to get humane people to deal with those who seek refuge in our country.

Those are my conclusions after past months, listening to ever more sickening reports about abuses and gross neglect along the border. Only the western part of the border had not been heard from -- until tonight!

Rachel Maddow tonight on MSNBC reports a "scoop" that the Yuma (AZ) USBP headquarters is the focus of hundreds of "significant incident reports" detailing abuses. Things are so bad that --honestly -- the United Nations should review the US programs and condemn the Trump Administration for gross human rights abuse!

Rachel was a tiny bit cautious about what SHOULD happen as a result -- but I'm NOT! The USBP should be investigated thoroughly and its leaders prosecuted, as appropriate.

Enough bullshit! Fix our immigration system!
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