Closing Thought–09Mar17

Our Man In Moscow!

I have been waiting to see just who our presidente would choose as the ambassador to Russia….it would very telling…..

Now I do not need to fret any longer…he has made his choice….and it leaves me a bit scratching my head……

A White House official says former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. is President Donald Trump’s choice to be the next US ambassador to Russia, the AP reports. Huntsman will be nominated for the diplomatic post as senior members of Trump’s administration face questions about their contacts with the Russian government. The White House official spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of a formal announcement.

Huntsman served as the ambassador to China during the Obama administration and speaks Mandarin. He had been considering a Senate run in 2018, a decision that would depend on whether Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, runs again. Huntsman in October called on Trump to drop out of the presidential race after the release of a recording on which Trump bragged about groping women.

By all accounts he was a good ambassador under Obama to China and now he heads to Moscow…..how did this person get two plum assignments for the State Department…the US two international rivals in all things….especially since Huntsman was so nasty to Trump during the campaigns…..Trump holds a grudge to the extreme yet not when it comes to Huntsman…

This is a bit suspicious to me…..there is more going on here than the placement of diplomats…me thinks.

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Did Russia Or Did It Not?

All this silly back and forth over the Russian influence over our elections and some of the players in that election may soon come to a head….

After screaming and yelling for some sort of investigation into the Russia thing….it appears as if some wishes are about to be answered….at least in the House of Representatives….

The House is moving forward with an investigation into Russia’s alleged attempts to tamper with the US election, scheduling the first public hearing on the matter for March 20, Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes announced. FBI Director James Comey, National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers, former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and former Attorney General Sally Yates have been invited to testify, CNN reports.

Nunes also told reporters he has not seen any evidence to support President Trump’s accusation that Obama wiretapped him, but that his panel will investigate the allegations, Reuters reports. On the Senate side, Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr told CNN Tuesday that he was not ruling out the possibility his panel would also look into Trump’s allegations. “We’re going to go anywhere there is intelligence or facts that send us,” he said. “So I’m not going to limit it one way or the other. But we don’t have anything today that would send us in that direction, but that’s not to say that we might not find something.”

The only question that needs answering now is….is this a show trial or will it be a real search for answers?

Is Anyone Listening?

I figured since there are some that only comment on a post that they feel is important I would throw another one in there about all this crap about some alleged wiretap….

I have written about this before….I said then and I say now….we will have to wait to see if there is a collective courage to actually investigate this accusation.

For almost a week there has been lots of ink thrown a paper about this accusation…..and so far not much more has been proven to be true or false…lots of chatter and dog whistle bullshit.

After reading a piece in the Hill I thought I would give my readers something else to think about when it comes to this issue.

President Trump unleashed a tweet storm accusing his predecessor of tapping his phone in the month prior to the election.

Let’s review what President Trump is claiming. He writes that “Obama has had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower,” that the tap happened “in October, just prior to Election,” and, most importantly, that an application for a wiretap had been”turned down by court earlier”.

President Trump did not provide evidence to support these claims, and he may be making up facts about an application for a wiretap. But let’s take him at his word for three important reasons.

Source: 3 reasons we should take Trump’s word on wiretapping … for now | TheHill

Trump–let this go!  Why?  Even if you are proven to be right what have you gained?  Well, we will know how devious politicians are…..for the people already think they are devious and corrupt….what else will this prove?

What does this accomplish?

Can “Trumpcare” Be Saved?

The big story for the week is that of the news “Repeal and Replace” con…..although the wire tapping is the big deal on alt-Right blogs…..which is just a silly waste of ink.

The GOP trotted out their version of a health care plan and in typical form it does not cover the most people…but it will help make insurance companies and lobbyists rich.

The push back on this plan has come from many sides….even moderates and Republicans…..conservatives think it is a waste of time and effort….Us old farts have AARP watching our backs (and making money doing so)….and they are not on-board with the new plan….

Provisions in the House Republicans’ Obamacare replacement bill that would raise insurance costs for older Americans are drawing resistance from the influential seniors’ lobby.

The American Health Care Act, as Republicans are calling it, would allow insurers to make premiums for older Americans five times what they charge younger workers ― provided that a state’s regulations allow for it. Obamacare had capped this ratio, known as an “age rating,” at 3 to 1.

The measure was chief among the reasons AARP, the nation’s largest organization for older Americans, cited in explaining its opposition to the House bill on Tuesday evening

Source: Republicans’ Obamacare Replacement Just Got A Powerful Enemy | The Huffington Post

I am sure someone will say….”At least they have a plan”….which will be one of the dumbest statements of the year so far.

But why is this roll out going so badly for the GOP?

The outlook for the GOP leaderships’ ‘repeal and replace’ bill looks bleak. That said, I would not underestimate the ability of GOP leaders to get their members to vote for basically anything in the crunch. Also remember that House Republicans have a 20+ vote cushion. But it’s worth reviewing what I believe are three key reasons why the current legislation looks to be on life support just a day after it was released.

Source: Why Repeal and Replace Is Going So Badly

With all this bad press and downer news around the new AHCA does not mean that it is dead on arrival.  All the push back means nothing.

The GOP leadership will calling in all the guns to get it passed no matter how vocal some members want to be….the donors and the lobbyists will go to the members and call in all the favors they have done in the past.

For you see these people are spineless and will do as they are told.

But let’s say these toads keep on with the hatred for Trumpcare and it fails……what could be the repercussions?

House Republicans have laid out their alternative for ObamaCare, and it continues to take heat from both moderates and conservatives. A look at the latest coverage:

  • How many might lose coverage under the new plan? The Congressional Budget Office has not weighed in yet, but Standard & Poor’s estimates up to 10 million people. Of those, 2 million to 4 million would drop from the ObamaCare individual markets, while the rest are currently covered by Medicaid, per CNBC.
  • People in their 50s and 60s are particularly vulnerable because the age-related tax credits aren’t as generous for them as the subsidies they’d replace, explains the New York Times.
  • President Trump said he is “proud to support the replacement plan,” and he warned GOP lawmakers behind closed doors that they face an electoral “bloodbath” if they fail to come through, reports CNN.
  • Vox thinks this tweet is telling: “Biggest obstacle to House health bill: 7 GOP senators on fence—4 who said didn’t adequately protect Medicaid, 3 who say bill too generous.” Its assessment of the criticism from both sides is here.
  • Paul Ryan makes his case in a USA Today op-ed that this is the smartest approach. He cites rising premiums under the “collapsing” current law.
  • Ryan’s problem, though, is that virtually all conservative health care experts hate the plan. Politico has details. (Another prominent voice on the right, Ann Coulter, wants to know who wrote this “piece of crap,” per Mediaite.)
  • Bustle lays out the next steps for the legislation here, while Jonathan Chait at New York can’t understand why Mitch McConnell is rushing a bill “everybody hates.

With all this ink about the plan….do you actually know what it states?  Educate yourself so you do not look and sound foolish……

Here is the plan itself.

One bright spot in all this chaos…..

Bernie Sanders didn’t win the 2016 presidential race. He didn’t even win the Democratic presidential nomination. Yet the United States may have just taken a bigger step toward the left-wing dream of single-payer health care than if the Vermont socialist had indeed become America’s 45th president.

And who can Democrats and progressives thank for this surprise gift? House Republicans.

Source: How GOP bumbling just made single-payer health care more likely

Now that is the simplest plan…..and is that not what all are looking for?

Terrorism: A History Of Violence

There has not been a major terrorist attack in awhile….so the issue has slipped from the headlines….so to keep the subject alive and the chattering Ignorati on their toes I will attack the subject whenever I get bored.

I recently had the opportunity to teach a course on Terrorism…..basically it was an introduction to the subject…..I wish I had had this article to use for my students would have made my life much easier and after all is that not what we all are looking for….an easier life?

This is an excellent look at the history of terrorism…..

As Max Hill is announced as the UK’s new terrorism legislation watchdog, Peter Oborne explains how David Anderson, the previous appointee, brought insight to one of the defining issues of our age.

Politicians of all parties and many countries have sought to persuade their societies that terrorism is a unique and special form of crime.

They place terrorists in a category of psychopathic evil, marked out by their capacity for inhuman violence. They place terrorists beyond the pale of civilised society and, therefore, beyond the reach of negotiation and settlement. They say that terrorism is the most dangerous and gravest problem of our time.

Most of this political narrative is self-seeking nonsense. It allows politicians to strike resolute poses. It allows them to seek and obtain special powers and to expend huge sums on combatting terrorist threats, to the great benefit of defence and security interests, both public and private.

Source: Terrorism: A history of violence | Middle East Eye

There is an ever expanding role for women in the field of terrorism….even reports are issued about the role of women…..

Source: NCF_RB_LS_policybrief_1320.pdf

Women are becoming more lethal. In jihadist organizations — including even Al Qaeda, which had long banned females from violent roles — women are increasingly taking part in terrorist actions.

Since 1985, terrorism’s so-called invisible women have accounted for a quarter of fatal attacks in Iraq, Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Chechnya, Sri Lanka, Morocco and Palestine. My research found that by mid-2008, women had acted as suicide bombers 21 times in Iraq’s markets and other civilian venues patronized by Shiites.

Source: Women terrorists increasingly take violent roles – latimes

And that was my historic perspective for the day….terrorism is a subject that needs understanding for it will be with us for many more years to come….