Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Living the Attache Life in Bike-Friendly Moscow

Purportedly, this was a U.S. military attache in Moscow (source). 

If so, then I can only quote Zed from Men in Black: "Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training."

Friday, June 17, 2022

UK Home Office Signs Off On Assange Extradition (Next Appeal Pending in 14 Days)


Yes, that's our Julian Assange update theme, in honor of the whitest-skinned person to ever come from Australia. 

He's in the news today because the UK Home Office has affirmed the U.S. extradition order that was upheld by the UK High Court in December. 

Assange has spent the last three years fighting extradition from Belmarsh Prison, where the UK authorities put him due to his habit of skipping bail. Before that he spent seven years in the embassy of Ecuador hiding from Swendish authorities who wanted to investgate him on complaints of rape and sexual assault. Now, he has 14 days to appeal the Home Office decision, which of course he will. Depending on how that goes, he'll next appeal to a European human rights court. 

How much longer can he possibly delay his delivery to American justice? Almost indefinitely, I think. At least, he seems in no hurry to leave his life behind the walls, having spent the last ten of his fifty years in what is basically self-imposed confinement. 

Assange is an Australian citizen, improbable as that might seem given his extreme pallor, and he seems to have a supporter in his Foreign Office. As CNN reports:
On Friday, Australia's Foreign Office issued a statement noting the UK decision to extradite Assange, who is an Australian citizen, adding: "We will continue to convey our expectations that Mr Assange is entitled to due process, humane and fair treatment, access to proper medical care, and access to his legal team."
Of course, he can get all that stuff in a U.S. prison. And due process? Assange has gotten exremely undue process, if you ask me. I mean, he's spent ten years fighting a reckoning in a U.S. court that would likely result in a sentence of far less than that. Besides which, he would be able to do that time in an Australian prison thanks to a bilateral agreement.

What the hell, Assange? Would you rather spend the next ten years in Belmarsh than face the music in a U.S. court and get it over with?

Thursday, June 2, 2022

White House Press Secretary Can't Help CBS News


C'mon, man! I wish the White House press office would stop the malarkey. 

The new Assistant to the President and White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told CBS News' Ed OKeefe that she just plain didn't know what he meant when he asked her about President Biden's fanciful claim that he had been appointed to the Naval Academy in 1965. 

She "did not hear that part of the speech ... I need to read it myself, and just go back and see what you're talking about exactly. I can't speak to it right now." 

That anecdote of Biden's was the very first thing he said in his remarks to the graduating class at Annapolis, as you can read for yourself in the transcript put out by Jean-Pierre's very own press office on May 29th. 

I only hope that, somewhere, Marie Harf is warming up to take over the press office. Biden needs some competent help there as he heads into the mid-term elections.

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Once Upon a Time, Joe Biden Was the President

Our POTUS is what may kindly be described as a serial fabulist. He always has been - if not worse (here) - but it seems that today his speeches are increasingly strewn with self-delusion. 

What else can we call it when he tells the Naval Academy graduating class that he received an appointment to Annapolis himself once upon a time when, in fact and beyond any argument, he did not?

Misremembering? Age-appropriate memory loss? Confusion and disorientation? Maybe vascular dementia, especially given that he had two brain aneurysms back in 1988.  

Right now, half of America and nearly all of its pundit class isn't calling his verbal symptoms anything at all, they're ignoring them. Maybe that benign neglect can go on for the next two-plus years.

If it can't, then maybe we'll have a first-ever constitutional issue around the removal of a President who is incapable of performing his duties.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

State-Affiliated Media is Not to be Trusted, Says Twitter


Miss Dismal would be proud. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

When Constabulary Duty's to be Done, a Dis-Info Cop's Lot is Not a Happy One

Forgive the Gilbert and Sullivan, but that line fits the sad occasion better than anything from Disney. It seems that our Mary Poppins of Disinformation has resigned. 

It's being reported on social media - so, remember, until DHS confirms it, it could just be mis-info or even dis-info sent out by malign foreign actors - that she has been feeling put upon and under-appreciated, and even mocked for all her adorable TikTok-ing. 

So she's out the door just three weeks after being appointed. 

And it's not just Director Poppins that's been made redundant. According to the WaPo today, the whole Disinformation Governance Board has been suspended. 

Will DHS now give up on the Disinformation Governance Board as a bad idea? More likely they'll keep it on pause until the mid-term elections are over. Then, depending upon which party controls Congress and the appropriations process thereafter, the DGB will either be abolished or renamed and run by someone much more discreet and lower profile than Nina Jankowicz.

Washington's Worst Authoritarian Architecture, Still an Affront to the Federal Triangle

My God, but what an ugly-ass building that is (this one)!

I'll repeat myself and say again that there is more architectural merit in one of the Justice Department's Art Deco doors than there is in the FBI's entire pile of brutalist concrete. 

And to think it was the federal government's most expensive ever new office building project when it was built in the '70s. Ugly, dysfunctional, insecure, and the most expensive! That's quite the accomplishment.

The G charged us taxpayers $128 million for that fiasco. Oh? What's that? You suppose the Pentagon must have cost more? No, that one cost only 83 million back in the busy and patriotic year of 1943.

They don't make government office buildings like they used to. Whichever way the current year's political battle over the disposition of that ruin turns out, they'll never build them like that again.