17 December 2018

Update no.884

Update from the Sunland
10.12.18 – 16.12.18
Blog version:  http://heartlandupdate.blogspot.com/


To So Few -- Frustration
            Cap’s 13th published book and the 6th book in the To So Few series of historical novels was published by Saint Gaudens Press, Inc., this week.  The book is available in print and all digital formats. Cap’s website has also been updated with the latest information.
TSF6 – Frustration front cover
[For subscribers: cover image attached]
            The mind-numbing fatigue the fighter pilots endured during the Battle of Britain transitioned to the night terror of The Blitz – the German bombing of British cities.  Jonathan remains in and takes on a leadership role in No.609 Squadron.  Brian recovers from his wounds and reluctantly transfers to the newly formed, first, all-American volunteer squadron – No.71 Squadron, the Eagle Squadron.  Winter weather diminished the invasion threat, and then mounting intelligence information in the spring indicated the Germans were turning their attention and moving their military resources to the east for Operation BARBAROSSA – the invasion of the Soviet Union.  Two more all-American volunteer fighter squadrons – Nos. 121 and 133 Squadrons – join No.71 Squadron in Fighter Command. The human story of freedom’s defenders and those who love them continues to unfold amid historic events. Prime Minister Churchill leads the British and Commonwealth countries that stand alone against German aggression and domination.  President Roosevelt carefully navigates a very thin line to support the British in stopping the Germans and preparing the United States for what he increasingly sees as the inevitable war.  The signs of impending war with Imperial Japan continue to mount. The reader will not be disappointed with the wild ride that plays out in this story.

            The follow-up news items:
-- Prime Minister May decided to delay the vote in Parliament for approval of the negotiated Brexit [758] plan.  She apparently carefully counted and assessed that she did not have sufficient votes.  As a consequence of her decision, a substantial portion of her Conservative Party members rebelled and called for a no-confidence vote.  In a secret ballot Wednesday night, 317 Conservative Party MPs voted; 200 of those Conservatives voted in support of their leader.  However, the scale and nature of the revolt against her raises doubts over whether Ms. May has the political clout to push a Brexit deal through Parliament.  If she is not able to gain approval by Parliament, Britain, Europe and the rest of us may face uncertainty and even chaos. Let us all hope the Prime Minister gets it all sorted out before March.
-- The BIC decided he wanted the Press in attendance for an Oval Office meeting with the presumptive leaders of the Democratic faction in Congress—Senator Chuck Schumer of New York and Representative Nancy Pelosi of California.  Oh yeah, the Vice was present as well, but did not participate other than to lend his swivel head to the proceedings.  It was an extraordinary exchange that I imagine the BIC thought would demonstrate and display how tough he is.  It did not quite work out that way.  The BIC declared, “If we don’t have border security, we will shut down the government.  This country needs border security.  The wall [705] is part of border security.”  Toward the end of the “meeting,” the BIC changed his usual orange tint to beet-red, as he proclaimed, “Yes, if we don’t get what we want, one way or the other, whether is through you, through the military, through anything you want to call it, I will shutdown the government.  I am proud, I will tell you what, I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck, because the people of this country don’t want criminals and people that have lots of problems, and drugs pouring into our country.  So, I will take the mantle.  I will be the one to shut it down.  I will not blame you for it.”
            The really baffling element in the bizarre exchange remains, how does shutting down the federal government improve border security?  That was a rhetorical question.  This was one of the most impetuous and tempestuous displays by a U.S. President I have ever witnessed, or I am even remotely aware of in history.  Just a little reminder, once upon a time, the BIC said:
"I will build a great wall―and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me ―and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words."
So, his runaway mouth has yet one more time demonstrated how shallow and weak his political mind is. The wall is like a child’s candy bar to the BIC.  He stomps his feet, holds his breath until he turns red, and throws himself on the floor crying and screaming, and pounding his fists on the floor.  This is our president, and this is the ridiculous state of our Grand Republic, today.
            We do have one salvation . . . this too shall pass.
-- The self-proclaimed pitbull lawyer for the BIC, Michael Cohen [837], was sentenced to 36 months in federal prison for a variety of felonies.  He also submitted to a public interview and was not kind to his former liege.  Another one bites the dust.

            You know, I think the OSGOO is actually correct . . . well, at least, in a small part.  The hush money payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal were a private transaction . . . except for one small, teeny-weeny, little detail—timing!  If the BIC and his lackey lawyer Cohen had made the payments to the two women in 2007, after the sexual affairs ended, or even within a few years of the affairs, they would be viewed as private transactions, and probably ignored (well, except by the moralists among us) as characteristic dalliances, consistent with the Access Hollywood video declaration. Unfortunately for the BIC and his lawyer, the timing does not work for them.  To my search ability, the first time the BIC publicly suggested running for president was circa 1988; he made his first serious declaration in 1999.  We might discount or discard those public yammerings as just wishful thinking.  However, once the BIC began making public statements about running for the presidency, and without question, once he announced his candidacy (16.June.2015), those potentially private transactions became in-kind contributions, and by federal law, were required to be publicly disclosed.  Failure to do so became a violation of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971(FECA) [PL 92-225; 86 Stat. 3; 7.2.1972][645].  The BIC accepted and became the formal Republican Party candidate for president on 21.July.2016. The payment to Karen McDougal was made on 5.August.2016.  The payment to Stormy Daniels was made on 27.October.2016 (20 days after the Access Hollywood video disclosure and 10 days before the election).  The last time I checked a Gregorian calendar, 2016 is after 2015, and August and October are after July.  Further, the payment dates to the two women occurred after the BIC was the established (and anointed) Republican candidate and just weeks from the election, which negated those payments as private transactions under the law; they were undeclared in-kind campaign contributions with demonstrable intent to keep them hidden to circumvent the law.  Lastly, the repeated, persistent and relentless attempts to cover-up the BIC’s violation of the law became obstruction of justice. Other citizens have been charged, tried, convicted and sentenced for such violations and much less.

            Comments and contributions from Update no.883:
Comment to the Blog:
“In re the Berlin Station comment, isn’t Trump’s imaginary border crisis a version of that?  It also echoes the Klan claiming to protect pure white Southern womanhood.
“The New York Times has a series running about China’s rise.  I’ve read the first two articles and they give an important perspective.
“It’s interesting that the Special Counsel requested a long sentence for Michael Cohen.  I found Stormy Daniels’ book very believable and it makes Cohen a clear villain, but I’d expect him to get a light sentence for cooperating.  Either Cohen didn’t deliver testimony worthy of leniency or his own crimes are more heinous than I’d realized.  Flynn, on the other hand, received a very nice recommendation.  The most interesting part of that is that Flynn was involved in international affairs, not with sex scandals that we know about.  Manafort, likewise, is primarily an international actor.  Hmmm.  Any way it goes, this is going to be fascinating.
“Chump managed to avoid behaving offensively at the memorial for Daddy Bush.  Most psychopaths could.
“I find the confusion of ‘Molly’ with ‘Nellie’ understandable. In one who never reads, it merely indicates that he doesn’t hear well (or doesn’t listen attentively).  Similar errors are common.
“At some point, Chump’s Twitter rants will become evidence of obstruction of justice.  I have no idea what his henchmen are telling him, but in that crowd reading important information for oneself is a necessity.
“I saw most of the Tillerson interview to which you referred.  Whether or not I like him otherwise, I believe he was forthright and honest in his statements.  That was bound to infuriate Chump.
“I am with your other commentator on Chump’s business ability.  By the time the update came to me, John Kelly’s departure had been announced.  High turnover at the executive level is a sign of trouble in corporate life, not of success.  This particular snake-oil salesman has gone bankrupt repeatedly and had other failures in his business history.  He’s not that great even as a con man.
“I suspect your British correspondent is naive about the UK’s and the EU’s future.  The notion of ‘we will soon gather together our friends’ belies centuries of constant conflict and shifting alliances.  If he (or she) thinks the French protests are only about fuel prices, that’s another error.  I don’t see it as support for anarchy, either.  It’s a class struggle.”
My response to the Blog:
            Yes, there are many similarities, although the BIC actions are internal rather than an invasion of a neighbor’s sovereign territory in the name of “protecting” an ethnic minority to further hegemonic objectives.
            Indeed.  Like it or not, the PRC is a rising world power.
            Ooops.  It is not the Special Counsel who is seeking a long sentence for Cohen; it is the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.  The SCO actually suggested leniency for Cohen’s contribution to the Special Counsel’s investigation.  The U.S. Attorney was not happy with Cohen’s cooperation regarding financial crimes.
            Likewise, I found Stormy Daniels quite credible—far more so than the BIC or his cronies.  Sidenote: I was disappointed the court rejected her defamation claim and ordered her to pay legal fees for the BIC.
            Yeah, the BIC’s restraint during the Bush celebration was unusual and uncharacteristic, but noteworthy, appreciated and presidential.  Unfortunately for all of us, his restraint did not last.
            Re: Nellie v. Molly.  I do not understand.
            You got that right.  He’s continuing to dig his own grave.
            Likewise on the Tillerson interview.  My feelings precisely.  It did infuriate the BIC as indicated by his tweet.
            High turnover in any organization is an indicator of leadership/management problems.  This administration is showing many, not just some, of those signs.  Well, I’d say he is successful as a snake-oil salesman con man . . . 62M American citizen bought his worthless product.  If another election was held today, a substantial portion of that number would vote for him, AGAIN, despite all that has transpired and we know today.
            I think your observations of a fellow contributor are a bit harsh.  ‘Nuf said.
 . . . follow-up comment:
“Regarding the confusion of ‘Nellie’ versus ‘Molly,’ for me, that would be a hearing issue.  Those names sound relatively similar. Most of us who are hard of hearing lose clarity, not just volume.  In my case, I have the small degree of humility needed to ask in case of any doubt and a habit of reading anything I can.  Chump lacks humility and doesn't read.  In some cases, either of us might hear the wrong name and not even doubt what we'd heard.  It's also good to allow for the human brain operating less precisely than, for example, computers.”
 . . . my follow-up response:
            If I knew, or rather believed, the BIC was so afflicted, I would be more understanding and tolerant.  I do not so believe.  He has a long history of maleficent transposition regarding names of people he seeks to malign, which is equally consistent with his penchant to bully others into submission to his will.

Another contribution:
“This sums it all up Cap.
“This will make the Brexit arrangements so much clearer!
“Mr. Britain is at the golf club returning his locker key when Mr. Barnier, the membership secretary sees him. ‘Hello Mr. Britain’, says Mr. Barnier. ‘I'm sorry to hear you are no longer renewing your club membership.  If you would like to come to my office we can settle your account"
“‘I have settled my bar bill.’ says Mr. Britain.
“‘Ah yes Mr. Britain’, says Mr. Barnier, ‘but there are other matters that need settlement.’
“In Mr. Barnier’s office Mr. Britain explains that he has settled his bar bill so wonders what else he can possibly owe the Golf Club?
“‘Well Mr. Britain’ begins Mr. Barnier, ‘you did agree to buy one of our Club Jackets’.
“‘Yes’ agrees Mr. Britain ‘I did agree to buy a jacket but I haven't received it yet’. As soon as you supply the jacket I will send you a cheque for the full amount’.
“‘That will not be possible’ explains Mr. Barnier. ‘As you are no longer a club member you will not be entitled to buy one of our jackets’!
“‘But you still want me to pay for it’ exclaims Mr. Britain.
“‘Yes’ says Mr. Barnier, ‘That will be £500 for the jacket’.
“‘There is also your bar bill’.
“‘But I've already settled my bar bill’ says Mr. Britain.
“‘Yes’ says Mr. Barnier, ‘but as you can appreciate, we need to place our orders from the Brewery in advance to ensure our bar is properly stocked.  You regularly used to spend at least £50 a week in the bar so we have placed orders with the brewery accordingly for the coming year. You therefore owe us £2600 for the year’.
“‘Will you still allow me to have these drinks?’ asks Mr. Britain 
‘‘No of course not Mr. Britain’. ‘You are no longer a club member!’ says Mr. Barnier. “‘Next is your restaurant bill’ continues Mr. Barnier.
“‘In the same manner we have to make arrangements in advance with our catering suppliers. Your average restaurant bill was in the order of £300 a month, so we'll require payment of £3600 for the next year’.
“‘I don't suppose you'll be letting me have these meals either?’ asks Mr. Britain
“‘No, of course not,’ says an irritated Mr. Barnier, ‘you are no longer a club member!’
“‘Then of course,’ Mr. Barnier continues, ‘there are repairs to the clubhouse roof’.
“‘Clubhouse roof!’ exclaims Mr. Britain, ‘What's that got to do with me?’
“‘Well it still needs to be repaired and the builders are coming in next week, your share of the bill is £2000’.
“‘I see,’ says Mr. Britain, ‘anything else?’
“Now you mention it,’ says Mr. Barnier, ‘there is Fred the Barman's pension’.  We would like you to pay £5 a week towards Fred's pension when he retires next month.  He's not well you know so I doubt we'll need to ask you for payment for longer than about five years, so £1300 should do it.  This brings your total bill to £10,000’ says Mr. Barnier.
“‘Let me get this straight,’ says Mr. Britain, ‘you want me to pay £500 for a jacket you won't let me have, £2600 for beverages you won't let me drink and £3600 for food you won't let me eat, all under a roof I won't be allowed under and not served by a bloke who's going to retire next month!’
“‘Yes, it's all perfectly clear and quite reasonable’ says Mr. Barnier.
“‘Piss off!’ says Mr. Britain
“And that, my friends, is how Brexit works...
My reply:
            You are much closer to this than me.  Surely, it cannot be that bad.
. . . follow-up comment:
“Well Cap, the British people, including us who wished to stay put in the EU will not stand for any attempt to be pushed about or dominated by Europeans who in our views are not elected to give us a ‘hard time’.  And we believe some not elected at all.  History I’m sure supports that view-unfortunately Winston isn’t here to steer us out of this confrontation.  I believe the behaviour of certain MPs in the house is quite deplorable and I’m somewhat surprised that ‘The Speaker’ doesn’t or hasn’t made a better effort to stop the childish and unwanted baying and shouting while debates are in progress.  An MP was ejected during a debate this week for grabbing hold of the Mace from where it rests in front of The Speaker.  (Who acts as the Chairman during debates.) Mrs. May our PM won the vote of confidence from her own party MPs last night-so quelling the disgraceful non- loyal behaviour of her own parliamentarians.  A day that will I’m certain be recorded in the annuals, let’s hope we can sort this democratic melt-down and get on with life.”
 . . . my follow-up reply:
            Sir Winston was a long-term advocate for a United States of Europe, of which he saw the United Kingdom as a leading member. That aside, I think he would stand with you regarding sovereignty.  He saw a united Europe as a confederation of states for mutual strength and protection, rather than as a singular federal state.
            The Conservative Party no-confidence vote was closer than I expected but with sufficient margin for Ms. May.  She can count as well as anyone, and I’m sure Ms. May and her lieutenants are working hard to gather up the required votes for passage.  Given the rebellion within the Conservative ranks, I suspect this is going to get much uglier before it is done in March of next year.

            Mvery best wishes to all.  Take care of yourselves and each other.
Cap                        :-)