His bunker ain’t deep enough – Trump still needs a higher fence!

Crew installing additional, higher, fence

After cowering in the White House bunker didn’t work out for Trump, nor the ridiculous photo-op that followed it, the building itself is being surrounded by shabby fortifications: a fence to prevent protestors getting too close to the executive mansion.

“In addition to the new fencing, which now extends past the EEOB down 17th Street, @abdallahCNN reports that additional concrete barriers have been installed behind existing fencing at 17th and Pennsylvania Ave. NW.”…

The funny thing about Trump is that you know that he has asked for a moat. Less funny is that he doesn’t trust the Secret Service to keep him safe.

Our chickenshit wannabe Führer appears to be about as much of a coward as his idol, Adolf.

Bullies’ brains are different

An international team of neuroscientists scanned the brains of lifelong bullies and found something grim: Bullies’ brains appear to be physically smaller than other brains.

“Our findings support the idea that, for the small proportion of individuals with life-course-persistent antisocial behaviour, there may be differences in their brain structure that make it difficult for them to develop social skills that prevent them from engaging in antisocial behaviour,” said lead author Christina Carlisi, a researcher at the University College London…

The study found that the brains of people with lifelong patterns of “stealing, aggression and violence, bullying, lying, or repeated failure to take care of work or school responsibilities” were different, physically, from those of the other participants…

A key exception: The brains of people who exhibited anti-social behavior as teenagers but not as adults showed no such abnormalities. That’s good news for reformed bullies, but bad news for the lifers.

And if we’re dealing with bullies who make it to the top tier of American government – not surprising – you have to wonder if small distorted brains correlate with small hands and other smallish bits, eh?

Pentagon mistakenly thought Trump more than an ignorant bully

When top American military officials presented President Donald Trump with the option to kill Maj. Gen. Qassim Soleimani, Iran’s most powerful commander, they didn’t actually think he would take it, reports the New York Times. Pentagon officials usually include a far-out option when they present possibilities to the president in order to make the others seem less extreme. The other options presented to Trump…included strikes against Iranian ships or missile facilities or militias backed by Iran that are operating in Iraq. “The Pentagon also tacked on the choice of targeting General Suleimani, mainly to make other options seem reasonable,” reports the Times…

…things changed when protesters gathered outside the U.S. embassy in Baghdad on Tuesday…Trump became increasingly angry at the images he saw on television as protesters stormed the embassy. Suddenly, Trump was worried that failing to respond to the protests would look weak. By Thursday, Trump had decided to go forward with the killing of Soleimani and “top Pentagon officials were stunned,” reports the Times.

Don’t be surprised at stink when you rely on shit-for-brains!

Krugman Op-Ed: Privilege, Pathology and Power

Wealth can be bad for your soul. That’s not just a hoary piece of folk wisdom; it’s a conclusion from serious social science, confirmed by statistical analysis and experiment. The affluent are, on average, less likely to exhibit empathy, less likely to respect norms and even laws, more likely to cheat, than those occupying lower rungs on the economic ladder…

So what happens to a nation that gives ever-growing political power to the superrich?

Modern America is a society in which a growing share of income and wealth is concentrated in the hands of a small number of people, and these people have huge political influence — in the early stages of the 2016 presidential campaign, around half the contributions came from fewer than 200 wealthy families. The usual concern about this march toward oligarchy is that the interests and policy preferences of the very rich are quite different from those of the population at large, and that is surely the biggest problem.

But it’s also true that those empowered by money-driven politics include a disproportionate number of spoiled egomaniacs. Which brings me to the current election cycle.

The most obvious illustration of the point I’ve been making is the man now leading the Republican field. Donald Trump would probably have been a blowhard and a bully whatever his social station. But his billions have insulated him from the external checks that limit most people’s ability to act out their narcissistic tendencies; nobody has ever been in a position to tell him, “You’re fired!” And the result is the face you keep seeing on your TV.

But Mr. Trump isn’t the only awesomely self-centered billionaire playing an outsized role in the 2016 campaign…

…It’s not trivial. Oligarchy, rule by the few, also tends to become rule by the monstrously self-centered. Narcisstocracy? Jerkigarchy? Anyway, it’s an ugly spectacle, and it’s probably going to get even uglier over the course of the year ahead.

RTFA. Krugman expands the number of blivets on the target range – or, rather, the Republican Party has. From Sheldon Adelson to Paul Singer, billionaires who buy newspapers and instruct reporters to snoop on judges investigating their own criminal links, billionaires who want tax laws changed on million dollar art purchases.

Paul Krugman is always entertaining reading – even if the subjects are otherwise as exempt from oversight as a Super-Pac donors list.

Toronto imam charged in 5 sex assaults

Members of a Scarborough mosque have expressed shock and disbelief that their “nice” and “humble” religious leader has been charged with a string of sexual assaults. Mohammad Masroor, the imam at the Baitul Mukarram Islamic Society…faces 13 charges involving sexual offences and death threats relating to five alleged victims…

Det. Const. Karen Armstrong said Masroor used his position of leadership “to his advantage.” She said Masroor, who teaches in the mosque as well as in private homes, knew the alleged victims…

The victims are both male and female,” Armstrong said. “We believe there are other victims as (the accused) has lived and worked worldwide.”

Masroor taught in Florida, Michigan and Bangladesh before coming to Canada, according to police. He has also lived and taught in Germany, France, Hungary, Singapore and Sri Lanka but police said the investigation is not limited to those areas…

Members of the mosque were especially upset that the allegations come during the holy month of Ramadan…

Yes, I think he’s actually a Romulan pretending to be a Vulcan.

Thanks, James

Extortion and bullying complaints in California Republican primary

Photographs by David McNew/Getty Images

Accusing his rival, Meg Whitman, of trying to illegally “manipulate” the election for governor and intimidate him into quitting the race, Republican Steve Poizner on Monday reported her campaign to state and federal law enforcement authorities.

Poizner, the state insurance commissioner who is squaring off against Whitman, the billionaire former EBay chief, in a GOP primary in June, gave reporters an e-mail received by one of his advisors from her consultant Mike Murphy. In it Murphy asked, “Is there anything we can do to get SP to reconsider this race?” He added, “We can spend $40m+ tearing up Steve if we must…”

This was followed by an offer to bankroll a campaign in 2012 for Congress against Diane Feinstein.

In Poizner’s letter to law enforcement agencies, he said Murphy had threatened in a call to another aide to put the candidate “through the wood chipper.”

Poizner told reporters that the attempts at coercing him to drop out violated state and federal law.

Whitman “does not have the right to try to manipulate this election process by clearing the field through intimidation and threats,” Poizner said. “Voters need to have choices…”

Murphy said he had attempted “to avoid a costly and unnecessary Republican primary,” let Poizner out of a sinking campaign and unite Republicans behind his own candidate to defeat Democrat Jerry Brown.

Har! Throw some Amerika First Teabaggers and anti-abortion nutballs into the mix, as well. Let ’em all stew together.