Curmudgeons Corner

Random thoughts on politics, current events, popular culture, and whatever else interests me.

Mark R. Whittington is a writer residing in Houston, Texas. He is the author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction, including the novel of suspense Nocturne which he coauthored with his wife, Chantal, The Children of Apollo trilogy, The Last Moonwalker and Other Stories, Gabriella’s War, The Man from Mars: The Asteroid Mining Caper, and Why is it So Hard to Go Back to the Moon?

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Friday, May 26, 2017
 
Report: The cost of electric vehicles to be less than gasoline cars by 2025

The big problem with #Electric Cars, despite the fact that they are cheaper to run and maintain than are gasoline powered vehicles, is that they have high upfront costs. A typical electric car, say one sold by Elon Musk’s Tesla Company, costs as much as a luxury vehicle that runs on gasoline. The upfront costs of EVs place them out of reach of most middle and working class drivers. But that fact is about to change, according to a recent piece in Bloomberg.



 
Hillary Clinton compares Donald Trump to Richard Nixon at Wellesley commencement

Hillary Clinton [VIDEO] gave the commencement address to Wellesley College, where she graduated in 1969. She mentioned the latest fundraising vehicle that she has created, “Forward Together.” She also had a coughing fit of the sort that blighted a number of her campaign speeches when she last ran for president. But most of all, she compared Donald Trump to #Richard Nixon.



 
NASA announces the latest discoveries made by Juno at Jupiter

People have had an image of #Jupiter as a huge, gas giant with bands of clouds and the big, red spot ever since Galileo peeked at it through his telescope just over 500 years ago. While space probes like Pioneer, Voyager, and Galileo have vesting increased out knowledge of the biggest planet in the #Solar System, the latest visitor from Earth to come to Jupiter, #Juno, has given us a look never before available at that planet’s poles.



 
Female-only screening of ‘Wonder Woman’ touches off social media firestorm

When a movie theater in Austin, Texas decided to hold an advanced screening of the “Wonder Women” film, it decided to make the event a woman-only one, according to IO9. The exclusion of male fans has touched off a social media firestorm from people who objected to what they regarded as gender discrimination. The entertainment media, needless to say, has been less than sympathetic. Is “#Wonder Woman” about to be ruined by the same gender-based politics that sunk the all-female Ghostbusters last year?



 
‘Star Wars’ a movie forty years on

May 25, 2017, marked the 40th anniversary of the premiere of a movie called “#Star Wars.” The science fiction epic #Space Adventure became a cultural phenomenon, with the film’s first run lasting an entire year. The movie was a bright experience, full of color and zest that brightened the otherwise dreary later part of the 1970s.



 
Obama on the disaster in Syria: ‘At least we tried’

While President #Donald Trump was conducting his first foreign trip, winning plaudits even from his enemies, former President Barack #Obama was rambling about at the ruin of the world he had left behind. On #Syria, for instance, a butcher shop of competing, battling factions, including ISIS, Obama ruefully suggested that “at least we tried.” One is reminded of the line Yoda, the little green fellow in “Return of the Jedi,” which was, “Do or do not. There is no try.” When it came to preventing the Middle East from going up in flames, Obama did not.



 
Greg Gianfort body slams Montana special congressional election

Greg Gianfort beat Rob Quist soundly in the #Montana special congressional election. Not even a close contest, in the end. The margin of victory was about six points or over 23,000 votes, despite the fact that Gianfort allegedly assaulted a reporter from the UK Guardian. The candidate took the opportunity to apologize during his #Acceptance Speech.



Thursday, May 25, 2017
 
How a Frenchman ‘culturally appropriated’ Texas barbecue

When thinking about the story of the two unfortunate ladies in Portland, Oregon who were hounded out of business for the crime of culturally appropriating authentic Mexican tortillas, I suddenly remembered that an even greater example of this sort of thing has occurred. A couple of years ago the Houston Chronicle ran a story about how a Frenchman named Thomas Abramowicz visited Texas and acquired the secrets of the most delicious of culinary delights -- authentic #Texas Barbecue. Surely on the scale of cultural appropriation, this act is as heinous as Napoleon conquering most of Europe, or it might be if people in Texas were as OCD about that sort of thing as people in other states seem to be.



 
Bill Maher doubles down on hatred of Mars colonies

#Bill Maher, the ranting star of the HBO show “Real Time,” has doubled down on a recent diatribe against billionaires like #Elon Musk who want to colonize Mars. He has produced an animated video in partnership with the left-oriented media company ATTN, which Maher is an investor in. According to Deadline, Maher’s screed against moving to Mars is the backdrop of some cheesy animation in a definitely not safe for work video.



 
Is it time to rethink the problem of cleaning space junk?

The problem of #Space Debris has been something that has been discussed for decades, ever since someone noticed that everything humans have launched into low Earth orbit tends to stay there for a long time, even past their operational lives. Old satellites, rocket fairing, and even dropped tools and parts from space walks are flying around the Earth at thousands of miles an hour. Right now we occasionally have to move communications satellites or even the International Space Station to avoid getting hit. But, sooner than we think, the problem is going to become so dangerous that space debris will become a hazard to navigation in the heavens.



 
About how Greg Gianforte allegedly assaulted a reporter

At first glance, the story of how #Greg Gianforte, the Republican candidate in a special House election in #Montana grabbed and body slammed Ben Jacobs, a reporter for the UK Guardian, to the floor is the stuff of campaign nightmares. The incident took place the day before the #Special Election and Gianforte has been charged with misdemeanor assault. To put the icing on the cake, an audio file exists of the incident, and it was witnessed by a Fox News reporter. Conventional wisdom suggests that the Republican has just thrown the election by losing his cool with an admittedly aggressive reporter.



 
A political feud breaks out between Sen. Al Franken and Sen. Ted Cruz

A good old fashioned political feud seems to have broken out between Sen. Al Franken, D-Minnesota and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas. The back and forth started when the media revealed that Franken had devoted a chapter in a memoir, which he entitled with a becoming lack of modesty, “Giant of the Senate,” in which he ruminates on how much he hates Ted Cruz. Cruz, for his part, was unamused and suggested that Franken was trying to increase book sales.



 
Kooks Burritos: is making tortillas while white 'Cultural Appropriation'?

As the UK Daily Mail suggests, a burrito food cart in Portland, Oregon using authentic Mexican recipes seemed like a good idea at the time. But two women who parlayed what they learned during a recent trip to Puerto Nuevo, Mexico about tortilla making ran into accusations of “#cultural appropriation” by the politically correct. The hate generated by a food blog in the Portland Mercury became so intense that the women, Kali Wilgus and Liz 'LC' Connelly, were obliged to close down their business, likely for their own safety.



 
Rocket Lab launches Electron into space but fails to achieve orbit

Rocket Lab, an American – New Zealand company, successfully launched its Electron rocket from its Mahia Peninsula launch site on the North Island of the country southeast of Australia. The small launch vehicle did not make it to orbit but did fly into space according to Peter Beck, CEO, and founder of the company. The first stage burned its engines, achieved separation, and then the second stage burned its engine and executed a fairing separation. The flight did not include a payload.



Wednesday, May 24, 2017

 
DARPA chooses Boeing to build Phantom Express space plane

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency or DARPA has announced that it has selected Boeing to develop the prototype of an autonomous, reusable space plane designed to put up small (up to 3,000-pound) satellites into low #Earth Orbit practically on demand. The #space plane will be called the Phantom Express and will, it is hoped, disrupt the satellite launch industry.



 
Latest trailer for new season of ‘Game of Thrones’ drops

The new #trailer for the upcoming season of “#Game of Thrones” has dropped. It looks like winter is not the only thing that has come to Westeros. It sounds like the final war for the throne of the Seven Kingdoms is drawing nigh. In the meantime, the white walker invasion that might make the entire game moot is brewing in the north. One can hardly wait until the show starts airing on HBO this July.



 
Katy Perry’s solution to terrorism is about what might be expected

The reactions to terrorist outrages such as the slaughter of the innocents at a concert in Manchester, Great Britain are sadly predictable. Politicians will condemn the barbarity of the act and vow to take measures to make sure it doesn’t happen again – at least until it does. Media talking heads will lecture piously about Islamophobia, pointed out that most Muslims do not blow themselves up to slaughter little girls. Singer Katy Perry is the first from the entertainment industry to weigh on the matter and what she had to say was a real beauty.



 
Jon Stewart deal with HBO falls apart

#Jon Stewart’s post-Daily Show career has not been quite as fruitful as one might have expected for the original purveyor of fake news for a generation of credulous millennials who took his shtick to be the real thing. Stewart’s career as an independent film director never took off, his one effort about an Iranian dissident having failed to gain audiences. Now a deal for Stewart to produce topical, #Animated Shorts for HBO has fallen through.



 
‘Top Gun 2’ ready to fly into the danger zone

Ever since “Top Gun,” the Tom Cruise led drama about a naval aviator finding romance and his life’s meaning at the United States Navy’s Top Gun school, blazed across the big screen in the Reagan eighties, fans have wondered when and if there would be a sequel. Cruise has announced that the “#Top Gun 2” is finally going to happen and will begin filming next year.



 
The Americans: Regarding Henry

The horrific psychological effects of keeping her parents’ secrets on Paige, the daughter of the two KGB agents named Philip and Elizabeth, have already been noted. But the recent second to the last episode of the current season of “#The Americans” shows that their son, Henry, is in deadly peril of losing his future if his parents go through with their desire to return home to the #Soviet Union, presumably taking their two American children with them.



 
Trump meeting with Pope Francis said to be stiff and strained

President Donald Trump arrived at the Vatican for the third stop of his first foreign trip while in office and was received by #Pope Francis. The #Meeting appeared to be stiff and strained, which is understandable considering the sharp exchanges the two men have had over immigration. But the mood brightened considerably when the two men exchanged gifts, according to the Washington Examiner.



Tuesday, May 23, 2017
 
NASA’s asteroid redirect mission may be dead

The final NASA budget that will emerge from Congress will likely change substantially from the request made by the Trump administration. One thing that will almost certainly not change is the cancellation of the asteroid redirect mission (ARM) that evolved out of President Barack Obama’s 2010 mandate to send astronauts to an asteroid in advance of a mission to Mars. According to "Air and Space," NASA is already planning to reuse some of the technology developed under ARM for other purposes in its plans for deep space exploration.



 
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu explains the removal of Confederate statues

When the city of #new orleans decided to take down public statues of Confederate war heroes, the decision touched off a controversy over what some saw as the erasure of history and what others call a reevaluation of an unsavory period in which the “lost cause” of the Confederacy was celebrated. New Orleans #Mayor #Mitch Landrieu, now that the removal of the statues is a fait accompli, laid out the reasons for the decision. Landrieu made a number of compelling points.



 
Farewell Roger Moore, rogue, gambler, gentleman, and super spy

#Roger Moore, who died Tuesday at the age of 89, specialized in playing roguish, sophisticated characters who had fun while saving the day and, of course, getting the girl. He was rarely deep in his portrayals, but he was always entertaining.



 
Monica Lewinsky blames Roger Ailes for her troubles

We can count #Monica Lewinsky as one of the people who is not sorry that the late #Roger Ailes is dead. She has named in a New York Times op-ed the former Fox News Channel CEO as the author of all of her problems, which include being held up for ridicule and humiliation as a young intern back during the scandal to which she lent her name and her difficulty getting dates decades after the torrid affair that led to the president’s impeachment. In the history of people not taking responsibility for their actions, the article is breathtaking.



 
How electric, self-driving cars will change the riding experience

The nature of car travel is about to change more profoundly than when the mass-produced Model T was introduced to the roads of America. For one thing, people will no longer drive cars, leaving that task to the onboard navigation system. Also, the switch from the internal combustion engine to electric powered cars is going to drive changes in interior design that are going to alter the experience of being in a #Motor Vehicle, according to Wired.



 
Why the suicide bomber targeted children in Manchester

The terrorist outrage at an Ariana Grande concert in #Manchester, #great britain was part of a strategy aimed at demoralizing and frightening people in the western world to stop resisting the worldwide jihad and, eventually, submit to Islam. Children were targeted deliberately to enhance the horror and to send a message that “immoral” behavior is not going to be tolerated.



Monday, May 22, 2017
 
California just got the price tag for single-payer healthcare, and it's huge

California is the latest state of the union flirting with the idea of inflicting a single-payer, government-run healthcare system on its residents. Obamacare is collapsing under its own weight. Democrats enjoy super-majorities in the state legislature. So, the theory goes, no time will ever be better for a government takeover of healthcare in California. However, a state financial analysis has thrown a monkey into the wrench, as it were. The costs of going single-payer would be enormous, even by the blue state's tax and spending- happy standards.



 
The best way to cook a chicken breast on a charcoal grill

One of the most difficult things to cook on a charcoal grill is a boneless chicken breast. All too often the result is something that is burnt on the outside and dry on the inside. However, a few simple steps will ensure that cooking your chicken breasts with fire will produce something that is juicy and succulent every time.



 
Astronomers scramble to observe strange dimming of KIC 8462852

According to Phys.org, astronomers around the world are scrambling to turn their telescopes on a star called KIC 8462852, also known as Boyajian's star or Tabby’s star. The star, which has been observed since 1890, was studied by a team led by Dr. Tabby Boyajian at Yale University. In 2015, the Yale Team announced something strange about the star. While most stars dim and brighten periodically, when a planet moves between them and Earth, Boyajian's star dims in an unpredictable manner and seems to have done so since the first observations. During one dimming episode, light from the star decreased by 22 percent. A Jupiter-sized object would have caused just a three percent dip.



 
If Trump is Putin’s Manchurian Candidate why is he acting against Russia?

Most people who have been paying attention know the conspiracy theory being spread by Democrats that President Donald #trump is Vladimir Putin’s Manchurian Candidate. In the remake of the movie, Trump, having taken the oath of office and made the speech and then gotten into the limo for the parade. Then his control – in my imagining it’s Ivanka – says, sweetly, “Daddy, why don’t you pass the time by playing a little solitaire?” Then the new POTUS would get his instructions from the Kremlin. However, as Pajamas Media suggests, something seems to have gone wrong. Trump is not working in the best interests of Russia.



 
Elon Musk attacked with ‘Whitey on Mars’ blood libel

One would have thought that the hoary old debate of space exploration vs. social programs would have been left on the ash heap of history. However, a recent article in Aeon, “Whitey on Mars” brings the race baiting and poverty pimping attack on space exploration to the age of commercial space and entrepreneurial buccaneers like #Elon Musk. The article is a full-throated attack on Musk’s dream of building colonies on Mars. Fortunately, the attack is answered with great eloquence by Earle Kyle, one of the few #African American engineers to work on the Apollo program.



 
Jerry Brown may regret calling California tax rebels ‘freeloaders’

If #California Gov. #Jerry Brown thought that he was going to tamp down the latest #Tax revolt in his state by calling the rebels “freeloaders” then, according to a recent article in the Washington Times, he might want to think again. The leaders of a movement to place a referendum on the 2018 ballot to repeal a massive tax increase on gas, diesel, and auto licensing fees reports being deluged with calls with offers to volunteer. The same was the case for a separate but related effort to recall State Sen. Josh Newman, a vulnerable Democrat targeted for his support of the tax bill.



 
Donald Trump brings the Art of the Deal to Israel

President of the United States #Donald Trump has arrived in #Israel on the second stop of his first international trip. He was welcomed with great ceremony by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a host of dignitaries, and a guard of honor. Israelis are looking forward to the president’s visit with a mixture of excitement and trepidation.



Sunday, May 21, 2017
 
President Donald Trump throws down the gauntlet on terrorism

#President Donald Trump threw down the gauntlet to leaders of 55 Islamic countries in a speech in Saudi Arabia in which he not only urged them to unite in a war against Islamist terrorism but called for a new birth of tolerance in the #Middle East between Muslims, Christians, and Jews. The tone of the speech was as much religious as it was political.



 
President Donald Trump has gone to Saudi Arabia ready to do business

Besides going to #Saudi Arabia to create an Arab NATO and to exhort the Sunni Arab states to reject jihadism and to join the war on terror, #President Donald Trump went prepared to do business. Not only did the president sign a $110 billion arms deal ($350 billion over ten years) but facilitated $50 billion in business with American companies that will have a profound impact on the United States economy.



 
Jeff Bezos lays out his vision for a lunar settlement for school children

Amazon and Blue Origin CEO #Jeff Bezos was at the Seattle Museum of Flight recently when he conducted a #Question And Answer session with a group of school children. The event took place against a backdrop of the museum’s Apollo exhibit which features pieces of an F1 Saturn V engine that Bezos had recovered from the bottom of the Atlantic as well as an intact F1 that was never flown during the talk and question and answer. The Internet billionaire laid out his vision of a lunar settlement.



Saturday, May 20, 2017
 
Why having AI as a president is a stupid idea

A recent article in Wired offers the modest proposal of electing an artificial intelligence computer as #President of the #United States. The theory is that an AI president would not make dumb decisions based on ego or any other human failing. The idea is a supremely stupid one, even if one has never seen a science fiction film in which such things go terribly wrong.



 
Alabama lawmakers move to preserve symbols of the Confederacy in the state

Ever since Dylann Roof massacred a number of African American parishioners while at Bible study, politicians throughout the south have been scrambling to remove every vestige of the old #Confederacy and the Civil War. Schools which were named after #Civil War figures are being renamed. Confederate battle flags are being hauled down from public spaces. New Orleans has even gone so far as to remove public statues of Confederate figures such as Robert E. Lee. However, the state of Alabama is moving in a slightly different direction where it comes to Confederate heritage.



 
How Ted Cruz saved us from the RompHim

Few people, especially his enemies, would ascribe to Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas a sense of humor, not to mention consider him an arbiter of men’s fashion. But, thanks to a caption contest run by the Washington Free Beacon, he seems to have accomplished both roles with alacrity. Cruz also may have “ruined” or saved us from, depending on one’s point of view, men’s rompers or, as some are calling it, the RompHim.



Friday, May 19, 2017
 
New York Times: Beto O’Rourke is 2018’s version of Wendy Davis

The #New York Times has an interesting piece about Rep. Beto O’Rourke, a Democrat who is running to take Ted Cruz’s Senate seat away from him. O’Rourke, by all accounts, has become the latest heartthrob of Democrats, especially those who have never sullied themselves by actually visiting the Lone Star State. Surely this time O’Rourke will turn deep red Texas blue by defeating Ted Cruz. Sadly, from the point of view of the left, O’Rourke is likely to be 2018’s version of #Wendy Davis.



 
New York Times: Beto O’Rourke is 2018’s version of Wendy Davis

The #New York Times has an interesting piece about Rep. Beto O’Rourke, a Democrat who is running to take Ted Cruz’s Senate seat away from him. O’Rourke, by all accounts, has become the latest heartthrob of Democrats, especially those who have never sullied themselves by actually visiting the Lone Star State. Surely this time O’Rourke will turn deep red Texas blue by defeating Ted Cruz. Sadly, from the point of view of the left, O’Rourke is likely to be 2018’s version of #Wendy Davis.



 
Anthony Weiner cops a plea to sexting a 15-year old girl

The fall of #Anthony Weiner, whose once promising career in Congress was cut short by a sexting scandal, is now all but complete. He has copped a plea admitting to transmitting obscene material to a minor, a 15-year-old girl, which is a felony with a penalty of up to 10 years in prison, though he may get just two years. At the same time, his long-suffering wife, Huma Abedin, a consigliere to #Hillary Clinton, has filed for divorce. There will be no reconciliation.



 
About what happened on ‘The Blacklist’ season four (spoilers)

“#The Blacklist” has finished its fourth #season with some tumultuous changes in the lives of several of its characters, especially the James Spader character, Ray Reddington. The series also concluded for the spring with not just one but two big reveals.



 
Bob Beckel fired from Fox News – again

#Bob Beckel, the long term on-again, off-again liberal talking head at #Fox News, has been fired from the cable news network – again. This time he was said to have made “an insensitive remark to an African-American employee.” One would have to assume, though it is by no means certain, that the remark was racial in nature. Beckel, as one of the original co-hosts of the panel discussion shows, “The Five,” was famous for his “insensitive” remarks during the many political back-and-forth arguments that took place on the program.



 
Russian space chief casts doubt on SpaceX moon mission

When SpaceX’s Elon Musk first announced that he had two paying customers willing to take a trip around the moon on a specially outfitted Dragon spacecraft launched by a #Falcon Heavy in 2018, the announcement was met with a combination of excitement and skepticism. The excitement stems from the fact that Musk is one of the cool kids in the aerospace community and such announcement, such as the one about the Mars colony, are given a certain weight that no one else, even NASA, enjoys. The skepticism comes from the other fact that Musk has a tendency not to hit targets he has set for himself. The Falcon Heavy, for example, due to be test launched later in 2017, is years behind schedule.



 
California Gov. Jerry Brown snarks that tax opponents are ‘freeloaders’

The burgeoning tax revolt taking place in California has given conservatives hope that, at long last, Californians have grown tired of the #Abusive Relationship they have with their state government. Certainly, Gov. #Jerry Brown is not amused. He recently called those people who are objecting to a new tax hike on gasoline and diesel, along with an increase in auto licensing fees, as “freeloaders.”



 
Are you ready for FBI Director Joe Lieberman?

The name of former Sen. #Joe Lieberman has risen to the top of the list for a new FBI Director according to a number of reports. The notion seems to run counter to the conventional wisdom among political observers that President #Donald Trump should choose someone who is a non-politician with heavy law enforcement experience. Lieberman, though a life-long Democrat, is pretty much hated by the base of that party. Ironically he is very popular among Republican senators.



Thursday, May 18, 2017
 
Report: Jim Bridenstine to NASA and Scott Pace to the National Space Council

One of the burning questions facing the Trump Administration is when to roll out a new #Space policy. News reports abound about plans to an early return to the moon and commercial partnerships. We also know that the president intends to reestablish the White House National Space Council, to be chaired by Vice President Mike Pence. But highest in the minds of space policy observers is who will be nominated to be #NASA administrator, and who will be nominated to direct the National Space Council? NASA Watch is reporting that those people are likely to be Jim Bridenstine, a Republican congressman from Oklahoma, and Scott Pace, a former NASA official, respectively.



 
Statewide ride-sharing bill passes Texas Legislature

The #Texas Legislature has passed a bill that establishes a statewide regulatory regime for ridesharing companies such as Uber and Lyft. The bill was drafted in response to a number of local governments such as #Austin’s which imposed onerous regulations, mandating fingerprinting of drivers, that resulted in the two major ride-sharing companies leaving the cities where such rules were imposed. The bill is headed to the desk of Gov. Gregg Abbott who is expected to sign it. The moment the bill goes into effect, both Uber and Lyft intend to return to Austin and expand their services throughout Texas.



 
Does President Donald Trump have a persecution complex?

Twice in about a week, #President Donald Trump suggested that he is being persecuted more than any other politician in history. He said so before the graduating class at the Coast Guard Academy, claiming, “No politician in history, and I say this with great surety, has been treated worse or more unfairly.” Then he tweeted, just after Robert Mueller was appointed as a special counsel to investigate alleged ties between Russia and his campaign. “This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!” He also complained that he was being subjected to a double standard that was not applied to President Barack Obama or #Hillary Clinton.



 
‘Young Sheldon’ is a portrait of an annoying genius and a young boy

Spinoffs of hit TV shows rarely turn out well. But, if the trailer for “Young Sheldon.,” the spinoff of “The Big Bang Theory,” is any indication of the quality of the series, it might be the exception. The series, due to air in the fall, is essentially a portrait of an annoying genius as an even annoying #Young Boy. Nine-year-old Sheldon Cooper, living in a town in East Texas, is being bumped up to the ninth grade. What could go wrong?



 
How Roger Ailes changed the face of TV news forever

While it is unfortunate that #Roger Ailes went out of #Fox News and now out of life under a cloud of accusations of sexual harassment, that circumstance should not overshadow the enormity of how he changed the face of television news. No one who came of age after October 1996, the month Fox News came on the air, will understand the extent of his accomplishment. In a way, FNC has made more people mad than what Ailes is alleged to have done to female employees.



 
Ted Cruz to hold hearings on whether and how to amend the Outer Space Treaty

Space News is reporting that Sen. #Ted Cruz, R-Texas, the chair of the Senate subcommittee that oversees NASA, intends to conduct the second in a series of hearing regarding the future of the space program and commercial space. The subject of the planned May 23 hearings is the #outer space treaty and how it might be amended to account for the realities of 21st Century space exploration which is increasingly featuring private players as well as national space agencies.



 
Former FBI Director Robert Mueller appointed special counsel

Donald Trump Administration The boiling scandals that have emerged inside of it have come to the stage that by now seems inevitable. The bad news is that not more than a few months into the Trump presidency, a special counsel has been appointed. The good news is that person is #Robert Mueller, a former #Fbi Director who served under both President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama. Muller is well respected by both Republicans and Democrats and has a reputation for honesty and fairness. He is considered incorruptible and impervious to intimidation.



Wednesday, May 17, 2017

 
Donald Trump to propose an ‘Arab NATO’ during a visit to Saudi Arabia

One of the initiatives that President #Donald Trump intends to announce during the stop in #Saudi Arabia is the creation of what the White House calls an “#Arab NATO.” The idea is that pro-western Arab states, including Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt, would band together for mutual defense against enemies such as ISIS and Iran. The United States would provide a great deal of material and technical support to help bind the new alliance together. The massive Saudi arms deal is the first installment of that support.



 
Michael Moore declares that his next movie will bring down Donald Trump

#Michael Moore, the rotund left-wing, documentary filmmaker, fell on hard times during the Obama years, like many other people. He has not had a film of note since 2007’s “Sicko,” his polemic for government-run health care. Now, according to the Washington Times, Moore is reaching back to his glory days, when the anti-Bush movie “Fahrenheit 9/11” made him the voice of the anti-war and terror on the left. Get ready for the sequel, “Fahrenheit 11/9” the film that will, in its director’s view, will bring down the #Donald Trump presidency.



 
In ‘The Americans’ Philip & Elizabeth reach their breaking point (spoilers)

In the most recent episode of “The Americans,” entitled “Dyatkovo,” the two KGB spies are given what might be considered a dream assignment. They are tasked with tracking down and identifying a Nazi collaborator who has been living in the #United States since soon after the end of World War II. After they have confirmed her identity, they are to terminate her with extreme prejudice. If there are anybody that both Soviets and Americans hate with equal passion, it is the Nazis. The mission, as it turns out, is not quite as satisfying as one would think.



 
Can Elon Musk beat NASA in a race to Mars?

CNBC is reporting that SpaceX’s #Elon Musk may actually beat NASA to Mars, perhaps within the Trump presidency. While NASA’s #Journey To Mars program will not see astronaut boots on the Red Planet until sometime in the 2030s, Musk in contemplating launching a crew of his own as early as 2024, which would be in the last year of a hypothetical Trump second term. But, a number of problems exist that need solving before Musk can accomplish his dream of sending people to Mars.



 
NASA accused of inviting an alien invasion

A recent story in the American Spectator is accusing NASA of inviting an #Alien Invasion of Earth. At issues are deep space probes, including Pioneer 10, Pioneer 11, Voyager 1, Voyager 2, and #New Horizons that have either already left the solar system or will do so eventually. Each of these space probes contains plaques and other material meant for the attention of any aliens who might come across them in the interstellar gulfs.



 
Rosie O’Donnell endorses Ted Cruz’s opponent

The Hill is reporting that Rosie O’Donnell announced on Twitter how she has maxed out on her contributions to Rep. Beto O’Rourke, a Texas Democrat who is running to take Sen. #Ted Cruz’s Senate seat away from him. Cruz, employing some political jujitsu, is fundraising off of the tweet, pleading with Texans to in effect, save the Lone Star State from O’Donnell and other “out of touch liberals.”



 
Report suggests that Trump tried to get Comey to shut down Flynn investigation

A report in the #New York Times that President Donald Trump allegedly tried to influence then FBI Director James Comey to wrap up an investigation of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn has caused the latest firestorm and headache for the #White House. Democrats are calling for a special counsel and are even hinting at impeachment. Some media reports suggest that the Trump administration is teetering on the brink of collapse. But is the story much to do about very little? Some details suggest that it might be.