More to ignore, Book 75.......

Ten Thousan Marbles

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.....For an American liberal, however, the schadenfreude brought by Johnson’s collapse is mixed with envy. We are watching a still-functioning democracy dispatch its bombastic populist leader because his amorality and narcissistic dishonesty were simply too much. On Wednesday, a day after resigning as health secretary, Sajid Javid lambasted Johnson during Question Time in the House of Commons: “We’ve seen in great democracies what happens when divisions are entrenched and not bridged. We cannot allow that to happen here.” [...]

But, of course, Britain and the United States are very different countries, and not just because the U.K. is a parliamentary system, a generally more effective form of government than our own presidential system. British people are still evidently capable of being shocked by officials’ sexual harassment and shameless untruths, even when those officials are on their side. Their country is not heavily armed, and does not have a powerful faction that regularly threatens violence. Britain still appears to have some minimal social agreement about acceptable political behavior. Its government is falling apart precisely because its society is not. [...]

The quaint part is the near universal condemnation of their behavior, and the widespread acknowledgment that, after years of bullying and dishonesty, Johnson’s dissembling was the final straw. Imagine having final straws!......
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Why Boris Johnson ultimately resigned — and Trump never did​

Johnson was brought down by members of his party and government. Trump has stared down those in his party, even after the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

The resignation of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is testament to the power of elected politicians to hold their leaders accountable. It is a lesson that has been lost on Republican Party officials as they have weighed repeatedly how to deal with former president Donald Trump. [...]

Trump has never experienced what Johnson has just gone through. At no time have Republican leaders — senators, House members, governors, national or state party officials — collectively tried to confront him. After Jan. 6, 2021, there was talk among Trump’s Cabinet about invoking the 25th Amendment and declaring him unfit for the office, but it came to nothing. Lawmakers condemned him for the attack on the Capitol and then over time began to compliantly fall back in line......
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Boris Johnson’s demise is a massive victory for those in the UK who value the bedrock principles of democracy and parliamentary accountability. It is a long-overdue righting of Britain’s ship of state.

All of which stands in stark contrast to what is going on in the United States these days. How is it that Conservative parliamentarians in the UK were able to dispatch a narcissistic, power-hungry leader in two days of internal bloodletting, while their GOP counterparts in the US are still, 18 months after the January 6 insurrection, in thrall to the violent, irrationalist Trump cult?....
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Ten Thousan Marbles

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The News, or: An Incomprehensibly Vast Sea of Buttholes, Stretching Beyond the Horizon
ShowerCap

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Keeping up on current events, one winds up banging one’s head on one’s desk with some regularity, so I can’t be certain I’m not hallucinating most of this…that’d be preferable, honestly. I would like to request hallucinations of a more enjoyable nature, however. Cartoons or pornography, I’m not particular.......
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So, in my lonesome wanderings through the wasteland called “the news,” I stumbled across a conversation in which Alex Jones suggested to Marjorie Taylor Greene that she should run for president, because she’s “smarter” than Trump, and smoke’s been pouring out of my ears ever since.

The question, “who is less intelligent, Donald John Trump, or Marjorie Taylor Greene?” is…it feels almost too big wrap your mind around. Cosmic. Unknowable.

I mean, who can forget the spectacle of that dizzy twit, babbling about disinfectant injections and ultraviolet light, expectantly waiting to be showered with gratitude and hooker piss, while the world watched Deborah Birx’s soul flee her body? That dude’s pretty ****ing dumb.

But Marj’s brain resembles nothing so much as a single tapeworm, forever devouring its own ass end. This week alone, she fell for the shittiest imaginable photoshopping, yet still felt confident enough to dismiss recent mass shootings as Democrat false flag plots, based on nothing but the same voices in her head that told her Jewish space lasers cause wildfires.

It’s too close to call, folks.

I suppose the good news is, even bathsalt-garglers like Jones are looking to move on from the Deposed Dotard, thanks to the January 6th commission’s tight, sturdy work. Hey, I’ll take my silver linings where I finds ‘em. Times is hard........
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Ah, but who shall inherit the death cult high priesthood, and with it, the power to command America’s burgeoning, bloodthirsty, endlessly bilkable, white grievance blob? All sorts of putrid, viscous consensus seems to be congealing around Ron DeSantis, for his culture war cruelty. “See how effectively I harness the power of the state to harm the people you despise?” he coos, and because he does so without shitting himself or tweeting slurs, he comes off like Trump But Seriously a Genius, Bro…Republican standards are what they are.

Down in Florida, Ron-Ron’s malevolent “don’t say gay” bill just kicked in, and with it, the desired climate of fear. I confess I’m at a loss to explain what’s gained by making it unsafe for a public school teacher to display a photograph of their spouse in the classroom, beyond delighting the hateful…oh, silly me, it was right in front of me the whole time.

They have “civics boot camps” in DeSantistan now, and isn’t that a positively perky bit of branding? You can picture Snape sending Harry Potter to a civics boot camp, can’tcha?......
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Well, we’ve come to the “trans children fleeing Texas for their own safety” stage of American history, and y’know what, I’m starting to think the “don’t worry kid, democracy’s basically on autopilot” vibe my 7th grade civics textbook gave off was maybe a wee bit hubristic.......
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Republican gun laws once again ushered an angry young creep from homicidal ideation to mass slaughter with ease and accommodation you sure as shit don’t get at the post office, admittedly with an assist from the little turd’s father, who figured what his knife-collecting, violence-threatening spawn really needed was access to weapons of war. A toddler orphaned for your shitty judgment, Dad. Nice work.

Now, wingnuts hate the aftermath of a mass shooting, (this one absolutely ruined Illinois Republican gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey’s holiday festivities) because they know their official position is so socipathically batshit that only brain-dead nutjobs can regurgitate it without shame. On the other hand, there are no kinks in the “brain-dead Republican nutjob” supply chain.

It’s like a bad improv game, where you have to deliver an indignant jeremiad based on some drunken audience member’s random suggestion. “Weed!” bellows Laura Ingraham. “Uppity broads!” sneers Tucker Carlson. There aren’t a lot of options left, frankly. Once Republicans get around to blaming mass shootings on bike lanes, watermelon Oreos, and the season of That ‘70s Show they did without Topher Grace, they will have suggested literally everything except the glaringly obvious truth.

But if you want to see the issue through the eyes of a guy who’s spent years jabbing at his brain with an ice pick, check out Scott Adams’ Twitter feed, for some deep philosophizin’ on violence, mental health, and euthanizing your own children for the good of humanity. What the living ****, dude. We’re repossessing more than one “#1 Dad” mug this week. Jesus.......
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Boy, nothing exposes the all-consuming insecurity animating every single white supremacist better than a masked mediocrity march, of the type staged by…by…oh hell, one of those loser cosplay clubs…the Proud Boys? The Klan Kids? The “I’ve Built an Entire Personality Around Hating a Star Wars Movie” Gang? Really, who gives a shit?

“Ja we are the master race oh god please don’t tell my boss I was here or my mom or the girl at the Hardee’s I go to twice a week I don’t think she’s noticed the restraining order is about to expire.” ‘Course, I dunno why these creeps’re bothering with masks, considering the state of the discourse on the campaign trail........
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In the Arizona gubernatorial primary, Trump-endorsed candidate Kari Lake, with the true fanatic’s audacity, proclaimed her opponent’s refusal to embrace the debunked-a-thousand-times-o‘er Big Lie “disqualifying,” even “sickening," prompting Zombie George Orwell to slowly mouth, “damn, girl” at such a tidy bit of gaslighting.

Ol’ Donnie One-Term sure can pick ‘em. He’s also endorsed Kristina Karamo, who believes, in addition to the Big Lie, and all sorts of additional wacky, wacky shit, that abortion is a satanic child sacrifice ritual. As Michigan’s Secretary of State, Karamo would oversee elections, which maybe isn’t the best idea.......
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Seems Herschel Walker’s campaign staff are clear-eyed about their boss’ well-stocked buffet of shortcomings, calling him a “pathological liar,” among other, um, “criticisms,” so naturally they spend their days laboring to get him elected to the United States Senate, because you really can’t get anywhere in Republican politics anymore without enabling a manifestly unfit psychopath or two.......
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See, these skeevy little climbers’re aspiring Lindsey Grahams, each and every one dreaming of their glorious moment in the sun, manipulating their very own overmatched cretin, before they have their own subpoenas to defy, over their own crimes against American democracy. It’s the proto-fascist circle of life.

On the topic of Lindsepher Grahamwich, he’s still recovering in the burn ward at Walter Reed, alongside fellow “essential lapdog in Trump’s kennel” Kevin McCarthy, following release of a profile titled, “The Most Pathetic Men in America,”which you’ll enjoy, if you haven’t seen it already.........
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I guess Jim Comey and Andrew McCabe both, in another of those wacky coincidences that pop up from time to time under vindictive tyrants, received the same ultra-rare, ultra-intrusive, “random” IRS audit, which seems scandalous, sure, until you remember Hillary Clinton beat Vince Foster to death with a bottle of hot sauce, which she then used to season his face before eating it.......
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So, some asshat blew up this strange monument in Georgia, almost certainly motivated by dipshit wingnut conspiracy theories about “globalism” and “satanism,” because these days, the American experiment is mostly about figuring out how much schmuck terrorism modern society is willing to tolerate.

Again, I don’t want it to seem like I’m asking for better Nazis, but goddamn, we must have the stupidest right-wing extremists of all time. It’s a plague of dumb****s, hopped up on talk radio and ivermectin. We’re probably about six weeks away from some Dilbert acolyte detonating a dirty bomb next to some pizza parlor’s nonexistent basement..........
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Adam Kinzinger’s getting to be like that guy at the office who won’t stop yakking about his boring-ass kid, only instead of meandering anecdotes about junior hockey exploits, he keeps going on and on about all the threats of violence he and his family receive. I mean, yeah, the GOP’s feral base wants you dead for daring to place country above party, WE GET IT, DUDE........
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Honestly though, there’s just so goshdarn much right-wing violence to talk about these days. If you’ve got the stomach for it, here’s an article on the rise of online Christian fascist propaganda, which introduced me to the term “#ChristPilled,” and in so doing, sent a mighty shiver down my jaded, bathrobed spine. ChristPilled…yikes. Haven’t seen the last of that one.......
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It was certainly overdue, but the Conservative Party in Great Britain finally initiated the ritual defenestration of Boris Johnson, over his loutish incompetence and general asshattery, and I haven’t felt such anglophilic envy since I discovered the Stone Roses in college........
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Ok, that’s enough for now, I don’t have the strength to get into the shit that’s happening elsewhere; suffice to say, we’re not running out of awful.

Incidentally, next week’s blog is gonna be delayed till Saturday, owing to a rare opportunity to spend my Friday doing something more fun than sifting through the turds that fall from Tucker Carlson’s mouth. Stay safe out there, friends.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Ukraine Update: Russian logistics are back to playing a central role
kos

The first phase of the Putin’s War ended when Russia was unable to maintain supply lines to forces besieging Kyiv. The second phase shifted predominantly to the eastern Donbas front, where logistics were suddenly less important.

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Russia was able to take Kreminna, Rubizhne, Severodonetsk, and Lysychansk all within a few dozen kilometers of their main supply nodes—railheads. Note how the Izyum salient, with its longer supply lines, barely budged in three months. But to the east, not only could Russia avoid long, difficult lines of communication (supply), but they could literally send their tanks and artillery guns to nearby railheads to directly load up on ammo:




Russia is so incompetent with logistics, that they literally sent their heavy equipment to get their own supplies and ammo, rather than do what every other army in the world does—use far more efficient trucks. I can’t even imagine how many of these tanks and artillery guns broke down trying to get their own supplies. These vehicles aren’t built for long road trips.

But as stupid as that might’ve been pre-HIMARS (and other western long-range artillery), it’s now literally impossible. With Ukraine’s ability to reach out and touch anything within 85 kilometers of the front lines, Russia is in serious need of 1) new supply depots, well to their rear, and 2) more trucks to ferry supplies. And they better hurry, because their existing depots are going “boom!” every single night.



One Donetsk People’s Republic blogger says his side is in a state of “panic” over such attacks, like the one at Shaktersk, Donetsk, which led to the evacuation of locals.

Shakhtersk. BC warehouse. Amazing people quite correctly (our army is not mistaken) placed it within the reach of the [Ukrainians] and controlled MLRS and eventually got a successful result. The one they expected. And amazing people kept fuel and lubricants at the tank farm in the frontline district of Donetsk, and also... And again and again [...]
In the city, darkness and panic, ammunition is lost, the amazing person who did not move the stockpile further is unknown. And he won’t be known [...]
[Ukrainians] will destroy everything on the territory of the DPR. Both military and civilian.

This pre-war look at Russian logistics sketched out the exponential challenges of moving supplies over longer distances:

It is possible to calculate how far trucks can operate using simple beer math. Assuming the existing road network can support 45 mph speeds, a single truck can make three trips a day at up to a 45-mile range: One hours to load, one hour to drive to the supported unit, one hours to unload, and another hour to return to base. Repeating this cycle three times equals 12 hours total. The rest of the day is dedicated to truck maintenance, meals, refueling, weapons cleaning, and sleeping. Increase the distance to 90 miles, and the truck can make two trips daily. At 180 miles, the same truck is down to one trip a day. These assumptions won’t work in rough terrain or where there is limited/damaged infrastructure. If an army has just enough trucks to sustain itself at a 45-mile distance, then at 90 miles, the throughput will be 33 percent lower. At 180 miles, it will be down by 66 percent. The further you push from supply dumps, the fewer supplies you can replace in a single day.

Turns out, Russia’s lack of crates or forklifts means that loading and unloading their trucks takes far longer than one hour, more like 2-4x that time. Each Russian artillery shell weighs 114 lbs, and the crate with propellent is around 170 lbs. Each has to be loaded and unloaded by hand.

RussianArmyShells.jpg

Russian soldiers hamming it up with artillery shells

Imagine loading or unloading an entire truckfull of those crates, with nothing to grab on to, not even any handles. Yeah, that’ll take a while. Then multiply by the thousands of rounds Russian artillery consumes
per day.

Meanwhile, roads close to the frontlines are cratered messes, requiring travel at dramatically slower speeds, mostly during daylight. All the while, Ukraine is doing everything to make those roads impassable.




And this is hilarious:



The bridge had literally just reopened, rebuilt by Russia’s special railroad troops after retreating Ukrainian forces blew it. It was even blessed by an Orthodox priest.



But the bridge was within range of Ukrainian artillery, so an easy target. And it’s not the only one now within range thanks to newly arrived Western artillery and rocket systems.

Road travel in war time is hard. So instead of three daily trips, we’re probably talking one. Maybe. And remember, Russia must move everything that feeds an army—artillery and tank rounds, small arms ammunition, spare parts, food, water, fuel, etc.

Thus, the war is entering a third phase. The Battle for the Donbas might be ongoing, but this is a new kind of war. Russia’s need to reach deeper into Ukrainian territory to contest the twin strongholds of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk will rekindle the same logistical challenges we saw early in the war. In fact, they’ll be much worse, because Russia will no longer be able to stockpile ammunition next to railheads for easy dispersion to the front. HIMARS will require Russia to multiply and disperse smaller stockpiles away from those railheads, much further from the front. If Ukraine eventually gets ATACMS rockets for their HIMARS as rumored, with their range of 300 kilometers, Russia’s woes will only multiply. And then there’s this:




Russian artillery is still burning through their local supply of ammunition. We should see a decrease in fire intensity over the next week if Ukraine is indeed crimping Russian logistics.
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Take a look at the German/Dutch Panzerhaubitze 2000 (PzH 2000) self-propelled gun in action, there’s nothing like it:



The cannon can adjust so five rounds all land at the exact same time. I wouldn’t be surprised if these guys were behind this wall of fire down in the Kherson front:



This certainly looks like Kherson Oblast:



Here is a PzH 2000 getting loaded up with its full complement of 50 shells.



Ukraine has 12 of these from German and Dutch stocks.

Meanwhile, the U.S. is sending more HIMARS and, for the first time, long-range Excalibur precision-guided artillery munitions.



That’ll total 12 HIMARS, plus the nine M270 MLRS launchers the U.K. and Germany are sending. it’ll be a challenge to supply that many with a steady stream of pods.

M982 Excalibur rounds cost $112.8k each (or $112 million in this package alone). HIMARS/MLRS rockets cost around $130,000 each. Don’t be surprised if Ukraine stops getting launchers and guns, and most of the remaining allocated aid package goes to paying for expensive munitions and spare parts. That’s not a bad thing. Odds are good that ammo supply is the current bottleneck, not artillery guns or MLRS launchers.


(Tanks and infantry fighting vehicles is another matter...)
 

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