Closing Thought–09Feb17

Where Has The Anti-War Movement Gone?

As a young man and combat veteran I became a staunch anti-war activist that continues to this day….in my protest days the movement against war was a strong presence and slowly but slowly the idea of anti-war has died….there are a few of us left that speak out but for the most part the movement is dead.

Many of us have the same feelings and beliefs we have held all along but the movement around us just shriveled up and died…for lack of a better explanation…..

Sadly the death of this movement was brought about by the media and the Left, who in the day supported it…that is until it got its way and then it became just as pro war as the other party.

But what would explain this?  The video below attempts to answer any questions you may have about this movement and its lack of support these days.

This is a program by Newsbud……Click here to follow more news and reports at Newsbud.com

More history for you…..this musical interlude comes from a lesser known group of the “Acid Rock” days……

“Repeal And Replace”–A Slower Pace

With all the chanting during the campaigns of 2016…the one that so many want to happen over night is the “repeal and replace” of Obamacare (ACA)…..ever notice those that chant the loudest are the ones that do not need or use it?

Obamacare is hated by many….but The ACA is so  misunderstood that few know what it is……

Ask some if they want ObamaCare repealed and they’ll say yes, but ask those same people if they want the Affordable Care Act repealed and they may have a different answer. That despite the two being one and the same, the New York Times reports, a fact that apparently a “sizable minority” of people don’t realize, per a new survey by Morning Consult. Around 17% of those who participated in the poll said they believed ObamaCare and the ACA were two different health-care entities, while another 18% just weren’t sure.

Younger people (ages 18 to 29) seemed to have the most head-scratching over this, as did those making less than $50,000 a year—both groups that could be hit hard by a repeal, the Times notes. This “apparent confusion,” per Fortune, also extended into what people believed would happen if the ACA were indeed repealed, with 29% thinking incorrectly that Medicaid coverage and private insurance subsidies would remain untouched, while another 24% admitted they didn’t know.

Typical in an age of misinformation and lies……

There is a growing problem with the promise…..not as easy as anyone thought it would be……a good slogan but not so good in action…..

How goes President Trump’s plan to immediately repeal and replace ObamaCare? It seems to be getting gummed up in the realities of DC politics. Trump himself acknowledged Sunday in an interview on Fox News that things might stretch into 2018. “It’s very complicated,” he said. “I would like to say by the end of the year at least the rudiments, but we should have something within the year and the following year.” Related coverage:

  • In a story about the delays, the New York Times notes the shift among some GOP lawmakers from “replace” to “repair,” and points out that lawmakers are facing angry crowds of people worried about losing coverage at town hall meetings—”the mirror image of 2009, when Tea Party activists assailed Democrats who supported the law.”
  • With this shift toward “repair,” the Wall Street Journal reports on growing friction from conservative Republicans in the House worried about losing momentum. The 40 members of the Freedom Caucus are agitating to push ahead with immediate repeal, which they see as the necessary first step.
  • The Journal story has this quote from Heritage Foundation exec Dan Holler: “House action is sort of imperative to get this kick-started and going. I think the longer this drags on, the more people are starting to understand the chance of a repeal is slipping away. Certainly it’s becoming harder and harder with each passing day.”
  • But more important than timing are the tough decisions Republicans must make on substance, writes Jennifer Rubin at the Washington Post. Among them: “If they are determined to get rid of the individual mandate, are they willing to defend near-universal ‘access’ instead of near-universal coverage?” Full column here.
  • House Speaker Paul Ryan promises progress, though he avoids a time frame in this update of what’s happening on Capitol Hill.
  • Supporters of the Affordable Care Act should avoid gloating, cautions an analysis at CNN. Remember that Trump already signed an executive order aimed at undercutting the law, and while Congress may seem to be softening on going further, the repair vs. replace shift may be mere semantics. “The risks to the program are very real in the coming months,” writes Julian Zelizer. “Rather than listening to what Republicans are saying, Democrats would be better served to watch what they are actually doing.” Full column here.

Such is life in DC…broken promises and wasted talk…..

Are You Ready For 2020?

Let me be one of the first to come at you with 2020 election news (is that a heavy sigh I hear?)……no need to worry about the Repubes for if Donald makes it 4 years he will want to extend his autocratic rule….that leaves the Dems.

Who will be the man/woman of the hour?  Sanders? NO!  Warren?  She is making a case and extending her exposure…so maybe.  But let’s look outside the “popular” Dems shall we?

One school of thought among Democrats is that they should borrow from the book of Trump and go with more of a celebrity than a traditional politician in 2020. Well, how about a little bit of both? At the National Journal, Josh Kraushaar makes the case for Al Franken as a viable contender. The 65-year-old Saturday Night Live alum seems to be finding his groove in the Senate, having emerged as one of the “most aggressive and effective questioners” of President Trump’s Cabinet nominees. Expect that to continue with Supreme Court pick Neil Gorsuch. Franken, though, has learned to balance his toughness with levity, and his authentic self is emerging after years of keeping things closer to the vest, writes Kraushaar.

True, his “deeply liberal politics” might not fly with moderate voters, but Franken has done something that Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have not: proven he can “win support outside the most progressive precincts.” He easily won re-election in 2014 while other Democrats struggled nationwide, and he did so with the support of working-class residents in rural areas—a group that propelled Trump to victory. In fact, he shares some of the president’s views on trade issues, having fought for tariffs against Chinese steel. “This is Al Franken’s mo­ment in the spot­light,” writes Kraushaar, “and if he chooses, he could par­lay his good for­tune in­to a bid for the pres­id­ency in 2020.” Click for the full column.

Really?

Why not?  We have had a former actor and have a reality star….so why not a former comedian?

Only a matter of time before the news cycle starts naming names and bombarding the viewer with endless mind numbing coverage….I just wanted to one of the first…..you may hate me later…LOL

Fusion–Word Of The Day

We have added a word to the vocabulary that is a bit confusing…..FUSION.

Most people immediately think of nuclear power and such when the word is mentioned……We have Fusion food, the combining of several different cultures for a unique flavor…..then we have Fusion Jazz, to some it sounds like the musicians are all playing a different song but it is more improv than anything….and finally we have a Fusion Center.

Okay now…what is a Fusion Center?

Basically it is a program under the auspices of the Dept. of Homeland Security……

“A fusion center is a collaborative effort of two or more agencies that provide resources, expertise and information to the center with the goal of maximizing their ability to detect, prevent, investigate, and respond to criminal and terrorist activity.”

Fusion centers contribute to the Information Sharing Environment (ISE) through their role in receiving threat information from the federal government; analyzing that information in the context of their local environment; disseminating that information to local agencies; and gathering tips, leads, and suspicious activity reporting (SAR) from local agencies and the public. Fusion centers receive information from a variety of sources, including SAR from stakeholders within their jurisdictions, as well as federal information and intelligence. They analyze the information and develop relevant products to disseminate to their customers. These products assist homeland security partners at all levels of government to identify and address immediate and emerging threats.

Beyond serving as a focal point for information sharing, fusion centers add significant value to their customers by providing a state and local context to help enhance the national threat picture. Fusion centers provide the federal government with critical state and local information and subject matter expertise that it did not receive in the past – enabling the effective communication of locally generated threat‐related information to the federal government. Integrating and connecting these state and local resources creates a national capacity to gather, process, analyze, and share information in support of efforts to protect the country.

Now that there is a general definition and description of what these are…I shall move one…..this story is by the Future of Freedom Foundation….keep in mind it has a Libertarian tilt to their reporting….

When it comes to mindless excess in the war on terror, it is difficult to compete with the 70+ fusion centers bankrolled by the Department of Homeland Security. They began to be set up around the nation shortly after 9/11 as federal-state-local partnerships to better track terrorist threats. But the centers have been a world-class boondoggle from the start.

Fusion centers have sent the federally funded roundup of data on Americans’ private lives into overdrive. As the Brennan Center for Justice noted in 2012, “Until 9/11, police departments had limited authority to gather information on innocent activity, such as what people say in their houses of worship or at political meetings. Police could only examine this type of First Amendment-protected activity if there was a direct link to a suspected crime. But the attacks of 9/11 led law enforcement to turn this rule on its head.”

Source: A Billion Dollars of Federally Funded Paranoia – The Future of Freedom Foundation

Oh goodie….another government program that gets lots of cash and accomplishes little……the American way.

The End Of Separation Of Church And State?

We have a new lord and master and he is flexing his muscle(take that anyway you like) against the whole fabric of the republic……

Ever heard of the “Johnson Amendment”?

The Johnson Amendment regulates what tax-exempt organizations such as churches can do in the political arena.

Under terms of the 1954 legislation (named for its principal sponsor, then-Sen. Lyndon Johnson), churches and other nonprofit organizations that are exempt from taxation “are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office,” according to the IRS website.

Organizations claiming tax-exempt status cannot collect contributions on behalf of political campaigns or make any statement for or against a particular candidate. Clergy are not allowed to endorse candidates from the pulpit. (Despite Trump’s promise to “totally destroy” the amendment, the president does not have the authority to do so on his own. Only Congress can repeal a law, in this case an amendment to the tax code.)

Yes, President Trump took the opportunity of the National Prayer Breakfast to drag Arnold Schwarzenegger and his weak Celebrity Apprentice ratings. But he also brought up something arguably just as important: the Johnson Amendment, which he vowed to “totally destroy.” Here’s what you need to know:

  • The Washington Post has a great explanation of the Johnson Amendment, which basically bans churches and charities from participating in political campaigns unless they give up tax-exempt status.
  • Getting rid of the Johnson Amendment is part of Trump’s emerging “agenda of religious nationalism,” in which the president is linking being American with being Christian, the Atlantic reports.
  • MSNBC weighs in on why promising to “totally destroy” the Johnson Amendment is important. One such reason is that it would allow political parties and candidates to “funnel campaign donations through tax-exempt churches” with no oversight.
  • While the Johnson Amendment is wildly unpopular with the religious right, that’s not necessarily the case elsewhere, the Independent reports. A survey last year found 79% of people didn’t think pastors should endorse candidates. And some religious leaders believe churches would be hurt by entering the partisan world of politics.
  • In addition to the Johnson Amendment and Celebrity Apprentice, Trump also discussed foreign relations, telling those in attendance, “just don’t worry about” the “tough phone calls I’m having,” apparently in reference to threatening to invade Mexico and picking a fight with Australia, MarketWatch reports.
  • Outside the National Prayer Breakfast, around 150 members of local churches were protesting Trump’s Muslim travel ban. One Christian author at the protest tells Yahoo News it’s important for the church to “stand up and be on the right side of history.”

For all those religious d/bags….this amounts to a theocracy in waiting….remember that?  That is what some accuse the “sharia” BS of wanting to establish here in the US….same goddamn thing!

Source: Trump’s Plan to ‘Totally Destroy’ the Johnson Amendment Is a Massive Gift to the Christian Right | Alternet

I say okay…but they start paying taxes on every dime that comes through the door.

You are kissing your rights good-bye slowing and steadily….are you happy now?

But we shall see just how strong the Congress and the Constitution really are……