Wednesday, September 21, 2022

This is not a bluff


This is the Admiral Kuznetsov, flagship of the Russian navy.  It burns a low-grade fuel called mazut intended for power plants, which is why it smokes like a 1959 Studebaker.  When it holds exercises, tugs have to stand by in case it gets stuck.  The Big K has been laid up for repairs since 2017 and is expected to return to service in 2024, barring further accidents.

Why bring it up?  Because Vladimir Putin is losing so badly in Ukraine, he didn't dare show his weaselly face at the United Nations, where people would be snickering and making faces behind his back, probably.  He went into his safe space, Russian television, to announce a call-up of 300,000 reservists and to blame his troubles on Ukraine and the west.  Apparently we want to destroy Mother Russia, but not as much as her own reservists.  Airline and train tickets to anyplace else are selling like mad and the Kremlin had to order that no more be sold to men 18 to 65.  Suddenly everyone's crazy to see Istanbul.  Or Berlin, Sheboygan, wherever.

(By the way, Ukraine told Russian troops that if they surrender, they can choose not to be repatriated.  A much better deal than Soviet citizens got in 1945, when they were sent home against their will and spend years in the gulag for the crime of being captured.  Operation Keelhaul -- somebody had a dark sense of humor.)

The little guy also reminded everybody that he has lots and lots of nuclear weapons and he is completely prepared to use them, which is a really bad idea if your country is right next to the one you plan to radiate.  "This is not a bluff," he added, which means all of the other threats were.  Now the world has to wonder if the nukes work any better than the tanks and the (Iranian) drones and the Admiral Kuznetsov.  And his Ferris wheel!  

Volodymyr Zelensky doesn't have time to travel to New York so the General Assembly voted to let him Zoom his speech, a sign that they like him better.  Joe Biden and others condemned the Russian atrocities while Emmanuel Macron called out "imperialism."  And because the UN has to deal with everybody's shit, President Guillermo Lasso of Ecuador begged other countries to help with the flood of Venezuelan refugees; Ecuador is getting the worst of it, no matter what some posturing governors say.  Bolsonaro, the Trump of the Tropics, used his speech to campaign for re-election because he is both crass and trailing Lula da Silva in polls.  

Naturally Original Trump had to put in his oar.  He's having another bad day, beginning with Attorney General Letitia James's announcement of a civil complaint detailing two hundred pages of fraud and tax evasion by him and his oldest spawn.  If New York wins it will be entitled to $250 million dollars from what James called "the art of the steal."  Cue the wailing chorus.

Yesterday this was ruled by Raymond Dearie, the special master Trump demanded in his unfolding espionage case:  "The government gives me prima facie evidence that these are classified documents."  And you give me bupkus, he implied.  "As far as I'm concerned that's the end of it."  Oh, and one more thing:  Fuck you, pay me.  Yes, the losing side wanted his services so they owe.  Cue the death threats and the claims that Dearie, a former FISA judge appointed by John Roberts, is part of the woke mob and a racist Trump-hating agent of the deep state.  Did I miss anything, Tuckums?  Too busy lining up your Russian talking points for tonight?  Egging the crazies on to attack hospitals and schools?  That's what Putin does in Ukraine. 

Of course Trump has the answer.  "They have to respect your leadership, if they don't respect your leadership they're gonna walk all over you," he explained to his new friends at Newsmax who treat him better than those doody-heads on Fox.  "They're people you have to know how to deal with," thug to thug.  After a tangent about how much tariff he extracted from China because he still doesn't know how it works, "The Ukrainian conflict [sic] would not have happened if I were president."  Nor the typhoon that devastated Japan, I'm sure.  One minute you get a lousy seat at a funeral and the next minute they're nuking Los Angeles.  R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

At least he's finally acknowledging the 2020 loss.  Not Mike Lindell, who just can't quit his conspiracy theories even as vendors abandon MyStore because "The FBI scares them.  They don't want to get cancelled, you know?"  Retailing is hell, Mike.  Maybe if your face wasn't on the products.

In short, it's mid-week on earth and the wheels are coming off and I'm done.  Be kind, damn it.



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