The Widdershins

Glorious disappointment…

Posted on: October 5, 2015

If loss of innocence is the price you pay for life lessons, the shipping and handling cost for such discovery is the disappointment one feels from unrealized expectations.  Trouble is, unrealistic expectations are always moving targets scampering about like over-caffeinated bunnies.

Personally, I was well into my fourth decade before learning that silently projecting even minimal expectations on others, be it family, friends, or business associates, was nothing more than rolling out the welcome mat for world-class disappointment.  That’s a hard lesson and one I’m not sure I‘ve yet mastered.

What I have learned is that constantly reminding oneself of unmet expectations is the surest way to keep things in perspective, thereby making sure every tomorrow surprises you with new discoveries.  For example:Hillary Fiorina

When I’m reminded thinking it was impossible for someone to set back women’s rights more than a vice presidential nominee who couldn’t name a newspaper or magazine she read while passing the time surreptitiously surveilling Russia, Carly Fiorina then comes along as a presidential candidate.

It begins with Fiorina living some kind of Sixth Sense type existence where she’s the only person who sees videotape that isn’t there.  Next, her major selling point is a lie about a hardscrabble upbringing rather than the real one of privilege, further built around a half-truth of working as a secretarial intern, and wrapping it up in a fiction of her being something other than an abject failure as C.E.O. at H.P.

But, Fiorina’s greatest talent so far is tearing down another woman with lies, innuendos, and half-baked conspiracy theories.  That might be politics as usual, but to me there’s plenty of disappointment there.

When I’m reminded that it can’t get worse than someone killing 20 first graders and six of their teachers, then there’s another mass killing.  Last week on the 274th day of the year, the Oregon killings were the 294th mass shooting of the year.  Yet, the country hardly works up a collective whimper.

US-CRIME-SHOOTING-OREGONWe add to the toll of senseless death not just with “event murders,” but we pile up bodies with over thirty deaths every single day.  Succumbing to the inevitability of the NRA’s omnipresence, we blithely accept there is now loose in society the equivalent of a gun for each man, woman, and child in the country.

We know that reducing the numbers of guns through commonsense regulation reduces the number of suicides, but the NRA is made rich by being a pro-suicide organization.  Our government, with what little background checking there is, accedes to gun lobby demands that if the check isn’t completed in 72 hours, the applicant gets the gun by default no matter what the results are.  Think about that for a moment – first, the default position is giving a gun to someone whose background hasn’t been checked, and second, and by far the most anger-making, the inconvenience of a mass shooter outweighs the lives of anonymous victims yet to be selected.

If that’s not disappointment enough, sober up on the fact that one of two major political parties finds it expedient to prostitute itself to the NRA and other trade groups whose sole job is to make it politically palatable to accept increasing numbers of mass killings.  That’s beyond disappointment, that’s just pure evil.

There’s the reminder that trickle down, supply-side economics has never worked – not once, not ever.  Armed with that undisputable fact, you find the Republican candidates like Jeb! Bush and Forrest Trump trotting out tax plans recycling the same failed plans to enrich the rich and add Trillions with a “T” to the deficit.

The actual napkin upon which the Laffer Curve was hatched. It is signed by Laffer and given to Donald Rumsfeld and dated in 1974. A day of economic infamy.

The actual napkin upon which the Laffer Curve was hatched. It is signed by Laffer and given to Donald Rumsfeld and dated September 13, 1974. A day of economic infamy.

This economic/political sloganeering, like every other identical plan to lower taxes since 1981, is the divine inspiration of an actor and a football player who became star-struck with the buffoonery of an economist who believed tax rates alter the brain function of the world’s wealthy.  The economist believing in magical, mystical brain remodeling is ironically named Laffer.  Honestly, does any more need be said?

Disappointment grows almost as fast as does the self-indulgent quackery.

You don’t need a reminder to remember congressional inquires sprout like toadstools after a spring rain when Republicans are in charge of Congress.  After seven (7) independent inquiries, the Special Super-Dooper, immaculately conceived, spiky-haired chaired, Benghazi Committee has lasted longer than the Watergate Committee, the Iran/Contra Inquiry, the Warren Commission on the Kennedy assassination, the Church Commission revamping the nation’s intelligence agencies, and the investigation into the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Benghazi Dead HorseBenghazi is a tragedy looking for a scandal that isn’t there, but of course, never being satisfied with the mere waste of money or the futile waste of energy, the fact checkers want to focus on the “gotcha aspects” of four obscure congressional inquiries having lasted longer than Benghazi.  Disappointment always follows when you try to plumb the depths of the contagion known as HDS (Hillary Derangement Syndrome).

This list of disappointments is long and virtually inexhaustible.  Here’s what takes the sting out of it for me: I remind myself of what it must be like to be a traitor to feminism like Carly Fiorina, an NRA executive paid to write press releases excusing mass killings, or a politician making political points on the deaths of Americans.  When I do that, being disappointed isn’t such a bad thing at all.  In fact, I’m reminded of how gratifying disappointment can be.

I’ll be out-of-pocket some this week so if I don’t quickly respond to comments, please don’t let that slow you down.  I’ll catch up.

This is an open thread itching for your thoughts and insights.

Have a most glorious week!

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63 Responses to "Glorious disappointment…"

Well, silly, don’t you know that Benghazi is much, much worse than Watergate/JFK?Pearl Harbor and everything rolled up into one steaming mass? Of course it must be diligently re-investigated. The nation hangs in the balance.

As I’ve said before, I do own a firearm, a pistol. When I purchased it I had to fill out a form from the ATF and then the store owner had to call the info in to the F.B.I. I downloaded the form first and filled it out so I had that done at the time of purchase. Then here’s what happens:

Since you’re purchasing a gun from a Federal Firearms Licensee, or FFL, you’ll have some paperwork to fill out. (If you were purchasing a firearm at a gun show or from a private seller, you might hand over payment and walk out with your new gun with few or no questions asked.) Specifically, you’d fill out Form 4473, which includes 16 questions relating to your background, drug use, and criminal history. The gun store would then contact the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System online or by phone and supply your answers plus your Social Security number.

From its inception in 1998 until the end of 2014, NICS processed a total of 202,536,522 transactions, 1,166,676 of which have been denied.

At this gunshop the owner called in the info and it took all of maybe 15 minutes to get through the check. If I had been prior military, in some instances it can take longer. But, there is no way in hell that the default should be that if it takes longer than 72 hours you get your gun no matter what!

Prolix here’s the other scary part of the 72 hr thing:

When a check requires more information, the FBI has only three days to make a final determination on the buyer. If a decision can’t be made in that time frame, the FFL is allowed by law to go ahead and sell the firearm. The dealer is also not required to notify the FBI when a sale has been made after a three-day delay.

It would likely be prudent then for the FBI to assume that the sale has been made. That said, is there any mechanism for retrieval of the weapon should a problem be found?

@4: Here’s what happens:

Say my background check is denied after that three-day period. Then what happens to my gun?

If the FBI determines after the three-day period that the buyer was prohibited, the agency sends out a retrieval notice to the ATF. The ATF is then responsible for getting the gun back.

And we know how well the ATF is funded and staffed. This is the agency that we know still uses microfiche and that’s because it is written into law that way:

If you’re wondering why the ATF doesn’t replace its kludge of a system with a state-of-the-art database management system that could locate documents in minutes instead of days, it’s because there are laws against it. The agency is restricted by the Firearms Owners Protection Act from creating a national database of gun registrations, sales or owners. The influential National Rifle Association gets fidgety at the mere mention of a centralized firearms database. So ATF must concentrate on accessing, integrating and managing the records that are available under current law.

And to your specific question chat:

If disqualifying information is discovered after the three-day approval deadline, it becomes a “delayed denial,” in which case ATF agents have the sensitive job of repossessing the firearm. Those potentially dangerous situations could be minimized if the FBI and ATF were better at information sharing. At the time of our interview, Holgate was due to meet with the FBI within a few days to discuss next steps. One idea is to include a subset of Form 4473 data in the FBI NICS to establish more data consistency and introduce fewer errors.

This article was written in 2013 and I really doubt anything has changed since then.

http://www.informationweek.com/applications/atfs-gun-tracing-system-is-a-dud/d/d-id/1109062?

Does not sound particularly promising.

@6: Oh no, not at all.

Prolix’s post is so true its depressing. What a mess the rethugs have made of everything. And now, they say the McCarthy idiot is going to be the next speaker. Check out how incredibly stupid he sounds. You can’t make this stuff up:

http://www.salon.com/2015/10/05/kevin_mccarthy_is_a_total_dope_this_bumbling_yahoo_is_about_to_be_second_in_line_to_the_presidency/

This is hopeful. The Democrats on the Benghazi committee actually show some balls:

http://www.politico.com/story/2015/10/benghazi-clinton-house-republicans-mccarthy-214441

The situation with guns is even worse than I wrote — here’s a newer estimate on the guns to people ratio:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonkblog/wp/2015/10/05/guns-in-the-united-states-one-for-every-man-woman-and-child-and-then-some/?wpmm=1&wpisrc=nl_wonk

I can’t get the chart to embed, but there are 357 million guns versus 317 million people.

And the argument goes, more guns make things safer — just how many guns will everyone have to carry to make things good and safe? I say more guns in bars — more guns in anger management seminars — more guns in impulse control sessions — more guns in juggling classes. That will undoubtedly make things safer.

@9 Here’s a copy of the letter from the Dems on the committee with Cheryl Mill’s full answers…

http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/255921-dems-release-closed-door-benghazi-testimony

And there is another aspect of guns that is so often overlooked in the debate about proliferation. Those 357 million guns — their life cycle is commonly said to be between 14 and 17 years, but that is conservative. Guns can last forever.

That is the reason that gun rights activists, not the sane ones, but the rabid camo clan, always want gun legislation to sunset. It takes a while to flush the guns out of the system.

For instance, the assault weapons ban lasted only ten years. In the first years, there was hardly a blip on the incidence rate, but as the years wore on, there was a reduction. During years 8, 9, and 10 — there was a statistically significant reduction in the use of assault weapons, but at the end of year ten, the legislation sunsetted and wasn’t reenacted.

Convenience of this kind is much easier when it is preplanned by the gun merchants of death.

@11, thanks for that GA — it is about time the Dems started giving the Repubs some of their own medicine.

@8, Annie, listening to McCarthy is like blazing new horizons in belching up a word salad. There was a transcript of a prepared speech, a prepared speech, and it made no sense whatsoever.

He’s a little bit Yogi Berra, a dash of Chewbacca spoken through a Vulcan translator. They may change the word malapropism to McCarthipropism.

@8, here’s a piece by Dana Milbank on McCarthipropism:

McCarthy called for “an effective politically strategy to match the military strategy,” and he lamented that “we have isolated Israel while bolding places like Iran.” He blamed President Obama’s White House for “putting us in tough decisions for the future,” but he voiced hope that a “safe zone would create a stem the flow of refugees.” And he scolded the Department of Veterans Affairs for failing to assist returning servicemen “who fought to the death in Ramadi.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/for-rep-mccarthy-the-likely-new-house-speaker-words-still-fail-him/2015/09/28/67082056-661d-11e5-8325-a42b5a459b1e_story.html?wpmm=1&wpisrc=nl_opinions

@14, yes, he sounds like an imbecile. My kid could do a better job.

btw, I don’t know about the Yogi Berra + Chewbacca comparison. Yogi and Chewie are great guys, uh, and wookies. I’ll give ya the Vulcan translator though!

Like McCarthipropism!

@15, wow. It gets worse and worse. He’s a rep for Bakersfield, a horrible, godforsaken place in the inland part of the state and is a rethug stronghold.

Even more horrifying, Jason Chaffetz, the guy who lives in his office, has filed for the Speakership. Methinks he wants to upgrade his living quarters.

This is everything you will ever need to know about Carly Fiorina:

Famed California pollster Joe Shumate was found dead in his home one month before Election Day 2010, surrounded by sheets of polling data he labored over for the flailing Senate bid of Carly Fiorina.

Upon his death, Fiorina praised Shumate as “the heart and soul” of her team. She issued a news release praising him as a person who believed in “investing in those he worked with” and offering her “sincerest condolences” to his widow.

But records show there was something that Fiorina did not offer his widow: Shumate’s last paycheck, for at least $30,000. It was one of more than 30 invoices, totaling about $500,000, that the multimil­lionaire didn’t settle — even as Fiorina reimbursed herself nearly $1.3 million she lent the campaign. She finally cleared most of the balance in January, a few months before announcing her run for president.

“Occasionally, I’d call and tell her she should pay them,” said Martin Wilson, Fiorina’s former campaign manager, who found Shumate after the pollster collapsed from a heart attack. “She just wouldn’t.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/carly-fiorinas-first-political-campaign-had-a-surprising-problem-money/2015/10/04/c4bdcdd2-50be-11e5-933e-7d06c647a395_story.html?wpmm=1&wpisrc=nl_politics

@18, if Machiavelli and Mata Hari had a love child, it would be Jason Chaffetz only with less morals and more ambition.

@11, good read, thanks!

@14, Prolix, I thought you would enjoy reading McCarthy’s gobbledygook speech. It’s kinda funny, even if it is a huge embarrassment.

@18, LOL! They’re really scraping the bottom of the barrel now.

@15: Wasn’t Zsa Zsa from Hungria?

My Gawd! Can you see that appearing on the Sunday Talk Shows? Of course I think he would fit in purrrrrfectly on the MSNBC morning tawk show.

@22 and 24, Hungaria is the eastern most part of the Republic of Sangria.

Prolix@19:
Struggling campaigns often set up payment plans or hold fundraisers to pay their bills. Fiorina’s staff members said they asked her to do the same. She declined.

In a meeting the day after, campaign workers said, she thanked her professional staff and shared a meaningful memory with each of them.

So I wonder what the going rate is for a *meaningful memory* and can you cash it?

@25: I thought it was in some place like that. Could be that it’s in real tiny print on the map and that makes it hard to read the name.

LOL @myself @24: As I was typing I tried to automatically correct “hungria”.

Chaffetz’s speaking abilities aren’t so great either on the fly. When PP’s Cecile Richards scalded him over that ridiculous “chart” he said “Wah…Wah… We’ll get to the bottom of the truth.” I think she had just done that for him.

@GAgal: True. He was flopping around like a fish outta water.
(fixed this..I can always tell when I’ve been at the computer too long and my eyes start drying out or something)

Well well well…the gift that keeps on giving.

@31, love it! Thanks Fredster.

@annie: Actually kat had put it up over skydancing and it was a link from another blog. I figured no one would care about sharing between friends. 😉

Oh this is just too funny. The guy who does the Bobby Jindal cartoon (I suspect an unhappy state worker) has done one that
is just funny as all get out. It won’t fit in a comment space so you’ll just have to go here to see it.

Great post and comments, guys and dolls!

I must defend my good friend Kevin McCarthy’s use of language when he refers to Hungary. He is obviously operating at a high linguistic level and attempting to reach a diverse population! “Hungria” is the Spanish word for Hungary so McCarthy was no doubt directing that comment to his many Latino amigos. “Hungaria” is the old Latin word for Hungary. I have sometimes heard elderly Hungarians still refer to their country as “Hungaria” so if McCarthy used that name he must have been thinking of them. A very thoughtful guy who cares about seniors! The official name for the Republic of Hungary is actually Magyar Koztarsasag or Magyarorszag for short. The people of Hungary are Magyars and their language is Magyar.

Carry on.

To be serious, the possibility that Kevin McCarthy or Jason Chaffetz would be second in line to be President is horrifying. For the sake of the country, I hope the Republicans can find a better alternative for the Speakership.

@36, Beata, and that alternative would be……..?

Our neighbor, Jim Jordan from Ohio, is one of the movers and shakers in the Freedom Caucus (the free range psychotic Tasmanian Devils). The Freedom Caucus has meetings and they drink from a large phallic challis filled with a Viagra mix chased with steroids.

The roid ragin’ Freedom Caucus is the glee club for young Mr. Chaffetz — there’s no telling what they did to haze him for membership.

And all hail Hungria!

And if I was Chaffetz, I would be employing a food taster. Chaffetz took over Darrell Issa’s committee and from what I’ve read, Mr. Issa is less than happy. He is the Viper you know.

@37: Prolix, I don’t know the answer to that question. Besides Kevin McCarthy, Jason Chaffetz and Jim Jordan, other possibilities for Speaker currently include Daniel Webster, Tom Price and Jeb Hensarling. So who is the best of the worst?

@39, Honestly, gun to my head, I’d have to go with McCarthy. Methinks he’s in a close race with a box of hair as far as intelligence goes and he will undoubtedly be the STD of this political cycle — he will just keep on giving. Without giving a cent, he could be the biggest contributor to Hillary’s election.

Chaffetz is smart and ruthlessly ambitious. Jim Jordan is a frustrated insurrectionist. Jeb Hensarling is a bitter Texan who probably has a tattoo that says, “I got mine, sorry about your luck.” Tom Price is a bitter Georgian who probably has a tattoo that says, “I got mine, sorry about your luck,” but it is intertwined with a caduceus. Daniel Webster, I don’t know much about other than he hangs out with the devil.

Just my two cents.

The official name for the Republic of Hungary is actually Magyar Koztarsasag or Magyarorszag for short

Yeah, well have ole Kev try that one for size.

@41: God bless you!

@37:
The Freedom Caucus has meetings and they drink from a large phallic challis filled with a Viagra mix chased with steroids.
Is that a joke because I can’t tell anymore.

@43, Sue — LOL!

Beata @ 35, LOL!

Sue, they could be like Skull and Bones. 😯

I was amazed to see this article on Vox that points out the bullshit hypocrisy of the media in regards to Joe Imbiben and Hillary:

“Imagine how the press would react if Hillary Clinton did what Joe Biden just did.”

http://www.vox.com/2015/10/6/9464357/joe-biden-authentic

@47: And as much as I hate to do it, here’s the link to the Politico piece.

http://www.politico.com/story/2015/10/joe-biden-beau-2016-214459

This is kinda eerie. Robert Kennedy, 1968 in Roseburg, OR. 47 years and we’ve gotten nowhere. (video wouldn’t play for me)

http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2015/10/in_1968_robert_f_kennedy_calle.html

@47 & 48, I’m amazed that the media has made it such a big story. It wasn’t that big a deal that he used his son’s death as a storyline with the Morespleen Dowdy. Not hard to figure out when the quotes were first person, there were two people in the room, and one of the two is dead. My guess it was the live one being quoted.

As Annie says, if this was Hillary there would not be a pitchfork or torch left to buy in the country.

@50: There were more than two people sitting at the table when Joe Biden and Beau Biden were talking. Hunter Biden was there, too. Who knows who else was present? Other members of the large Biden family? Close friends of Beau ( many of whom have been urging Joe to run ever since Beau died )? The conversation recounted in Dowd’s column did not take place on Beau’s deathbed. It occurred at a table where Joe, Beau, and Hunter were siting. A number of other people may have been at that table as well, any of whom could have told Dowd what Joe, Beau, and Hunter ( who is quoted by Dowd in the column ) said.

I am sick of the Joe Biden bashing regarding his son. It is disgusting.

Did anyone bash Biden for this before today? I think the point was not so much to bash Biden as to point out the media’s hypocrisy about Hillary. Which I think is about time. The men are held to much lower standards than Hillary.

Since Beau Biden died, I have commented that I think its a huge mistake for Joe to run. Not only because I want Hillary to win, but because it takes a long time, years, to return to normal after losing a child. My husband cried several times a day for over a year when his son died. I can’t imagine snapping back to full strength after something like that, and I think it would be very bad for the country to have a president who is mourning. Being president must be the most strenuous, stressful job in the world. It seems insane to me that people encouraging Biden to run because it would take his mind off his grief.

From the Vox piece:

“The point of this is not to beat up on Biden. Leaks to the press — to humanize yourself, or to attack your enemies — are part of how every politician plays the game.

But the revelation is a reminder that we should be highly skeptical of the way “authenticity” is commonly treated by the political media. Because if it got out that a politician deemed to be less of a straight talker — like Hillary Clinton — did something like what Biden just did, she’d be ripped to shreds.”

From the Politico piece:

“According to multiple sources, it was Biden himself who talked to her, painting a tragic portrait of a dying son, Beau’s face partially paralyzed, sitting his father down and trying to make him promise to run for president because “the White House should not revert to the Clintons and that the country would be better off with Biden values.””

No one here is bashing Joe Biden.

I never said anyone here was bashing Biden but I have seen it elsewhere even before the Politico article.

I stick by what I wrote about Dowd’s column @51. If anyone wants to dispute that, go ahead.

I don’t blame Biden at all. I do have a problem with his “friends and advisors” who keep pushing him when he’s not ready. Two weeks ago, he was on Colbert staring at the floor, shaking his head no and said (not for the first time) “I’m not ready.” Do they think before the weekend, he’s going to spring up out his chair and say “Okay! I’m ready!” It’s mean, it’s cruel and it’s wrong to ignore what he’s been saying. It makes me wonder about their agenda, not his.

@57: Thanks for clarifying that Beata. 🙂

Correction: Biden didn’t say “I’m not ready”. He said “I’m not there.”

My guess is that Biden will decide not to run. I would like to see him become a powerful advocate for brain tumor research instead. It would give his life a new purpose after he leaves the Vice Presidency and it would honor Beau’s memory.

@61, that would be a perfect, fitting job for him to take on. It would be truly meaningful, and add stature to his legacy.

@61: Beata that would be a great idea. Maybe start a Beau Biden foundation or something similar.

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