March 2017 Archives

There's no success like failure...Bob

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Trump's Triumph of Incompetence

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One of President Trump's rare strengths has been his ability to project competence. The Dow Jones stock index is up an astonishing 2,200 points since his election in part because investors believed Trump could deliver tax reform and infrastructure spending.

Think again!

The Trump administration is increasingly showing itself to be breathtakingly incompetent, and that's the real lesson of the collapse of the G.O.P. health care bill. The administration proved unable to organize its way out of a paper bag: After seven years of Republicans' publicly loathing Obamacare, their repeal-replace bill failed after 18 days.

Politics sometimes rewards braggarts, and Trump is a world-class boaster. He promised a health care plan that would be "unbelievable," "beautiful," "terrific," "less expensive and much better," "insurance for everybody." But he's abysmal at delivering -- because the basic truth is that he's an effective politician who's utterly incompetent at governing.

It's sometimes said that politicians campaign in poetry and govern in prose. Trump campaigns in braggadocio and governs in bombast.

Whatever one thinks of Trump's merits, this competence gap raises profound questions about our national direction. If the administration can't repeal Obamacare -- or manage friendly relations with allies like Mexico or Australia -- how will it possibly accomplish something complicated like tax reform?

Failure and weakness also build on themselves, and the health care debacle will make it more difficult for Trump to get his way with Congress on other issues. As people recognize that the emperor is wearing no clothes, that perception of weakness will spiral.

One of the underlying problems is Trump's penchant for personnel choices that are bafflingly bad or ethically challenged or both. Mike Flynn was perhaps the best-known example.

But consider Sebastian Gorka, a counterterrorism adviser to the president. Gorka, who is of Hungarian origin, founded an extremist right-wing party in Hungary in 2007, and The Forward has published articles claiming that Gorka had ties to the anti-Semitic Hungarian right and is a sworn member of a Nazi-allied group in Hungary called Vitezi Rend.

Members of the organization use a lowercase v as a middle initial, and The Forward noted that Gorka has presented his name as Sebastian L.v. Gorka.

Gorka's background might have become a problem when he immigrated to the U.S., for the State Department manual says that Vitezi Rend members "are presumed to be inadmissible." Karl Pfeifer, an Austrian journalist who has long specialized in Hungarian affairs, told me that Gorka unquestionably had worked with racists and anti-Semites in Hungary.

Gorka and the White House did not respond to my inquiries. But Gorka told The Tablet website that he had never been a member of Vitezi Rend and used the v initial only to honor his father. He has robust defenders, who say he has never shown a hint of racism or anti-Semitism.

As Ana Navarro, a G.O.P. strategist, tweeted: "Donald Trump attracts some of the shadiest, darkest, weirdest people around him."

A Reformed West Baptist Chruch member

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What's it like to grow up within a group of people who exult in demonizing ... everyone else? Megan Phelps-Roper shares details of life inside America's most controversial church and describes how conversations on Twitter were key to her decision to leave it. In this extraordinary talk, she shares her personal experience of extreme polarization, along with some sharp ways we can learn to successfully engage across ideological lines.

Rachel Maddow provided a segment on her show that highlighted a truly brave Russian who is planning to oppose Putin in the upcoming presidential election. He has published online a video on his website.

Even if Russia suppresses the full length original video, you can view it here.

Sometimes I Even Like Humans

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Boy has his hair cut like his friend. Now he thinks they can't be told apart

Cool or what? Good on the kids and especially good on their parents!

Where did "car" originate

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The American Car

From the now you know dept

The word "car" is believed to originate from the Latin word carrus or carrum ("wheeled vehicle"), or the Middle English word carre (meaning two-wheel cart, from Old North French). In turn, these originated from the Gaulish word karros (a Gallic chariot). The Gaulish language was a branch of the Brythoic language which also used the word Karr; the Brythonig language evolved into Welsh (and Gaelic) where 'Car llusg' (a drag cart or sledge) and 'car rhyfel' (war chariot) still survive.
It originally referred to any wheeled horse-drawn vehicle, such as a cart, carriage, or wagon. "Motor car" is attested from 1895, and is the usual formal name for cars in British English. "Autocar" is a variant that is also attested from 1895, but that is now considered archaic. It literally means "self-propelled car". The term "horseless carriage" was used by some to refer to the first cars at the time that they were being built, and is attested from 1895.

The word "automobile" is a classical compound derived from the Ancient Greek word autós (αὐτός), meaning "self", and the Latin word mobilis, meaning "movable". It entered the English language from French, and was first adopted by the Automobile Club of Great Britain in 1897. Over time, the word "automobile" fell out of favour in Britain, and was replaced by "motor car". It remains a chiefly North American usage. An abbreviated form, "auto", was formerly a common way to refer to cars in English, but is now considered old-fashioned. The word is still used in some compound formations in American English, like "auto industry" and "auto mechanic"

Skewer Sessions

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Watch the Trump Ball of Yarn Unravel

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This is important.

Semen Harvest Horror

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A male teacher claims he was kidnapped, drugged and 'gang-raped' by four female 'sperm bandits' suspected of being behind a number of bizarre attacks

The man, who cannot be named legally, told cops he was sexually abused for several hours by a group of females in Lupane, Zimbabwe.

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He said he woke up naked next to a bush with bruised genitals after being given a lift in mini-bus on February 17.

The victim, believed to be in his late 20s, said he was given a lift in a Toyota Quantum with South African number plates with five people on board - four women and a man who was driving the vehicle.

He told cops, the sex attack happened after the male driver made a detour to supposedly pick up someone else.

A source close to the investigation said: "The driver suddenly stopped and one of the women quickly covered his eyes while the others held his feet and hands together.

"The man said they forced him to drink a substance from a bottle and he passed out.

"He suspects they took turns to sexually assault him and took away his semen.

"After waking up he put on his clothes left at the scene and walked to the main road where he got a lift to the police station."

The unnamed victim was taken to St Luke's Hospital in Lupane where he was treated.

Inspector Eglon Nkala appealed for witness in a bid to crack the latest case which cops treating as aggravated indecent assault.

So-called "semen harvesters" first hit the headlines in 2011 when they pounced on motorists on a road between Gweru and Harare in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwean police believed there is a nationwide syndicate of women attacking men to use their semen for use in rituals that claim to make people wealthy.

Three women were arrested with 31 condoms full of semen after they were caught at a roadblock.

Last year, three other women reportedly abducted a man in Bulawayo and forced him to have sex with them before scarpering with his semen.

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