Closing Thought–11Jan17

It’s all those damn “welfare queens”……..

Has anyone noticed that the dullards on the Right have not moved past the Reagan years?  35 years after the “Great Ronnie” and they still hate anyone that needs food stamps or help surviving.

And they are still pushing their “patriotic” stuff about the military….they worship those vets and will thank them for their service whenever the cameras are on.  But basically that is as far as the “patriotic” theme goes.

So my question is…..how do they feel about soldiers families that cannot survive without assistance like food stamps?  Are these people as worthless as the Ronnie “welfare queens”?

25 percent of the nation’s total active duty and reserve personnel – that are seeking aid from food pantries and other charitable programs across the country, according to a rare inquiry about the food insecurity of troops and veterans conducted by Feeding America, a hunger relief charity, that will be released Monday. Another 2.37 million households including veterans receive assistance from food pantries that are part of Feeding America’s network (this figure doesn’t include households where both a former and current service member reside).

The help is sought for various reasons, experts say: For active duty, pressures include low pay, poor financial planning by junior soldiers, the difficulty for spouses to hold steady jobs amid base transfers and deployments, and the higher costs of living in some states.

Now that we have a new “ruler”, a Congress dominated by the GOP I am sure that food stamps will be in the firing line…along with Obamacare….

Basically, who cares about those damn soldiers and their families?  They should have made better choices with their lives, right?  (Hopefully you realize that that statement was sarcasm)

To be fair (something not known on the Right) there have been reports that our newly elected prez will do something about the military pay….what that is is anyone’s guess….but hopefully he will do the right thing for the troops and their families.

Where’s The Proof?

Now this news ought to make for some interesting posts and keep the mentally deficient busy…..

There are conspiracies around every issue in this country these days…some are pretty clever and others are just from the stupid side of thinking.

Remember back in the day when Trump was a “birther”….he spent every minute of an interview railing against Obama as a Muslim or not born in this country…and demanded proof of his citizenship….remember those days?  (That question is for normal people not Trump supporters)

Anyway I read a piece in the WaPo (let me say here that I do not use them often as a source but from time to time they do have some interesting articles)……

First, a history refresher: For the past nine years, a smattering of Americans, most recently led by our now president-elect, have insisted that Barack Obama is a Muslim born in Kenya.

For years, Donald Trump was unrelenting in his insistence that Obama prove beyond existing proof that he was born in Hawaii and not in the African country of his biological father. That Obama said he is a Christian wasn’t enough to persuade Trump’s followers, who apparently know a Christian when they see one.

Source: If Obama is a Muslim, is Trump a Russian spy? – The Washington Post

Okay this is a bit much but so was the total bullshit about Obama.

How long before someone takes all of Trump’s defense of Russia as an indication that he is a secret Russia agent?  (Think Manchurian Candidate, the original not the cheesy re-make)

After writing this draft news broke……

CNN is reporting on bombshell classified documents presented to Donald Trump and President Obama last week. The intelligence documents allege that Russian operatives have—or at least claim to have—compromising information, both financial and personal, on Trump. The documents have been circulating since before the election—Mother Jones actually reported on them in October—and took on “a kind of legendary status among journalists, lawmakers, and intelligence officials,” according to BuzzFeed. US intelligence officials have now investigated the former British intelligence operative behind a lot of the information, as well his sources, and determined them to be credible. The FBI is investigating, and intelligence agencies want Trump to know that these allegations are out there.

The details inside the documents haven’t been verified, but BuzzFeed has published the documents in whole “so that Americans can make up their own minds.” The documents claim Russia has been “cultivating, supporting, and assisting” Trump for years. They state Trump surrogates and Russian government intermediaries met continuously to exchange information during the campaign and that Trump accepted intelligence on political rivals from the Kremlin. The documents also state that Russian operatives claim to have enough dirt to blackmail Trump, including “perverted sexual acts” recorded by Russian intelligence. The Trump campaign has not commented on the documents.

CNN?  Aren’t they the least trusted news site?

Donald Trump vehemently denied allegations of collusion between his campaign and Russia. Trump turned to Twitter to decry reports by CNN and BuzzFeed, calling it a “witch hunt” by the media.

“Fake news – a total political witch hunt!” the president-elect wrote after CNN reported that intelligence leaders had presented a two-page summary of a collection of memos claiming Russia had compromising information about him. The report also claimed that members of his team continued to pass information along to Russia.

Okay this is driving the news cycle for now….is that what it is suppose to do?  Divert attention?  If so from what?

Keep in mind none of this, like the “birther” bullshit, is confirmed……

So just as Mr. Trump asked those years ago….where’s the proof he is not a Russian spy?

The US Steps Up

The US has troops in Iraq and Syria in the fight against ISIS…that is ground troops….but their main job is to “advise and assist” the local forces in this fight…..but news has come out that US has stepped up and lauched an all US raid inside Syria……

US ground troops invaded eastern Syria on Sunday and attacked a group of ISIS fighters in Deir Ezzor Province, the Pentagon has confirmed. The incident took place in an unnamed small town along the Euphrates River, and the Pentagon said the goal was to capture ISIS leadership.

No captures appear to have happened, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, though two “leaders,” both heretofore unnamed in media reports on ISIS’ leadership, were said to have been among the 25 ISIS fighters slain. No US casualties were reported.

The Pentagon did not confirm the casualties, and according to local witnesses the operation lasted about 90 minutes, with US troops arriving in helicopters and departing the same way. Local news outlet Deirezzor 24 reported that US troops took a number of bodies with them.

Facing Kurdish advances in Raqqa and an Iraqi invasion in Mosul, Deir Ezzor is materially the last province which ISIS holds the overwhelming majority of, and in which they face little opposition. Syrian government forces control part of the provincial capital, but the surrounding area is virtually exclusively ISIS.

This incident amounts to the first major US ground offensive inside Syria, as the troops deployed into Syria on a more or less permanent basis are embedded with Kurdish YPG forces in relatively small numbers, and largely not on the front lines.

(antiwar.com)

Is this action a new phase for the use of US troops in this fight?

Could this be a “here we go again” sort of thing?

The World Of The “Deep State”

Now there is a term that is being used way too much these days…..just a decade ago it was used mostly by people that did analysis for think tanks….but thanks to this past election it has made its way into the main stream.

The problem is there are not many Americans that are aware of what this term actually means…..

There is the visible government situated around the Mall in Washington, and then there is another, more shadowy, more indefinable government that is not explained in Civics 101 or observable to tourists at the White House or the Capitol. The former is traditional Washington partisan politics: the tip of the iceberg that a public watching C-SPAN sees daily and which is theoretically controllable via elections. The subsurface part of the iceberg I shall call the Deep State, which operates according to its own compass heading regardless of who is formally in power

Source: Essay: Anatomy of the Deep State | BillMoyers.com

What got me to thinking about the term “Deep State” was a post I read on Washington Blog……

I have long held that America’s Deep State–the unelected National Security State often referred to as the Shadow Government–is not a unified monolith but a deeply divided ecosystem in which the dominant Neocon-Neoliberal Oligarchy is being challenged by elements which view the Neocon-Neoliberal agenda as a threat to national security and the interests of the United States.

I call these anti-Neocon-Neoliberal elements the progressive Deep State.

If you want a working definition of the Neocon-Neoliberal Deep State, Hillary Clinton’s quip–we came, we saw, he died–is a good summary: a bullying, arrogance-soaked state-within-a-state pursuing an agenda of ceaseless intervention while operating a global Murder, Inc., supremely confident that no one in the elected government can touch them.

Source: Trump Aims to Cut the Neocon Deep State Off at the Knees

The Deep State has been a fixture that most Americans were unaware of in the past……It will be interesting to see if Trump has it in his playbook top neutralize this group.  It has even invaded the political parties (if we call them that)…..

Crooked elections and wars with nuclear-armed countries are not supported by the base of either party, nor are they part of any party’s platform.  Whose agenda are they serving?

I had been hearing, off and on, about the Deep State, so I Googled and found an essay from 2014 on Moyers & Company called Anatomy of the Deep State by former Congressional staffer Mike Lofgren.

Source: U.S. Political Parties and the Deep State – LA Progressive

I am guessing that we will become far more familiar with the term “Deep State” in the next 4 years…..

10 Conflicts to Watch in 2017

This is an FYI piece….we have a new prez and the chances of an engagement that could turn ugly at the drop of a hat.

This is just a list of those possibilities…..

From Turkey to Mexico, the list of the world’s most volatile flashpoints got a lot more unpredictable this year.

The world is entering its most dangerous chapter in decades. The sharp uptick in war over recent years is outstripping our ability to cope with the consequences. From the global refugee crisis to the spread of terrorism, our collective failure to resolve conflict is giving birth to new threats and emergencies. Even in peaceful societies, the politics of fear is leading to dangerous polarization and demagoguery.

It is against this backdrop that Donald Trump was elected the next president of the United States — unquestionably the most important event of last year and one with far-reaching geopolitical implications for the future. Much has been said about the unknowns of Trump’s foreign-policy agenda. But one thing we do know is that uncertainty itself can be profoundly destabilizing, especially when it involves the most powerful actor on the global stage. Already, jittery allies from Europe to East Asia are parsing Trump’s tweets and casual bluster. Will he cut a deal with Russia over the heads of Europeans? Will he try to undo the Iran nuclear accord? Is he seriously proposing a new arms race?

Source: 10 Conflicts to Watch in 2017 | Crisis Group

Now you have NO reason to be surprised when one of these blows up in our faces…..