The Foil Hat Patrol

I know that I usually shut it down for the day with my closing thought….but I just could not let this piece of crap go without something said.

You know how all the lovely Right wing defenders of the faith, Trump have been having a field day trying to decide what is fat and not…..especially the “wiretapping” bullsh*t…these micro-cephalics actually believe the silliness their master tells them……and then there is Spicer…this dude is the biggest mental midget of the WH bunch……

Trump’s press dude had to double down on his bosses bullsh*t accusation…..

Then there was this accusation that the Brits helped Obama with his nefarious wiretapping scheme……really I kid you not…..

James Bond was not working with Barack Obama to spy on Donald Trump, or so say British spy chiefs after the White House cited a report that claimed Obama had asked UK intelligence agency GCHQ to carry out surveillance at Trump Tower. The allegations cited by press secretary Sean Spicer are “nonsense. They are utterly ridiculous, and should be ignored,” says a GCHQ spokesman. While defending Trump’s wiretapping allegations Thursday, Spicer mentioned a Fox and Friends report in which Fox judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano claimed three intelligence sources had told him the Obama administration partnered with GCHQ to carry out Trump surveillance so there would be “no American fingerprints on this,” the Guardian reports.

Spicer said the Fox report and others cast “into concern some of the activities that may have occurred during the 2016 election,” BuzzFeed reports. BBC security analyst Gordon Corera says it is highly unusual for GCHQ to comment on its work—and to use the phrase “utterly ridiculous”—but “it’s a sign of just how seriously they take it. The allegations are so sensitive that the agency clearly felt they could not let them go unchallenged.” Tim Farron, leader of Britain’s Liberal Democrats party, accused Trump of “compromising the vital UK-US security relationship to try to cover his own embarrassment.”

It seems the the WH had to do some damage control for the Spicer’s bombshell……

The White House has reportedly apologized to the British government for its allegations that a UK intelligence agency helped then-President Obama to wiretap Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign. An anonymous White House official tells CNN that national security adviser HR McMaster talked to his British counterpart Thursday, telling him that Sean Spicer’s comment was “unintentional” and that the UK concerns “were understood and heard and … would be relayed to the White House.” The official also says the British ambassador to the US called Spicer Thursday to discuss the matter. CNN describes the conversations Spicer and McMaster had with British officials as “what amounted to an apology,” while the Telegraph refers to them as formal apologies.

But both CNN and the Telegraph are citing anonymous sources, and the White House has not confirmed. A spokesperson for British Prime Minister Theresa May says, per the BBC, that the British government made it clear to the US that the allegations are “ridiculous and should have been ignored.” The spokesperson says May has “received assurances that these allegations won’t be repeated,” but a former UK foreign secretary tells the BBC that’s not enough: “That’s not the same as saying it was rubbish in the first place.” UK intelligence agency GCHQ had earlier slammed Spicer’s allegations as “nonsense.”

These guys in the WH are too humorous…..but the most funny are those slow speaking and even slower thinking supporters of Trump…

I apologize for the break in tradition…..but this one is just too good to ignore….

Have a good weekend my friends….chuq

Closing Thought–17Mar17

Happy St. Paddy’s Day…..if you are Irish….if not then happy Friday afternoon…..either a beer is a good idea.

Well the big news for a week now is the new health bill that is awaiting in Congress…..and the health debate that is slowing down the internet with all the loonies ranting on their blogs….

I have noticed two things….the people that bitch about the Obamacare are the ones that will not need it….they get free medical in ways like the VA……and two the new bill basically says…”if you cannot afford health care then you do not deserve it”…….and the new bill gives the patient a choice….but if there is NO money what choice do you have?

But in case you have not heard how the GOP answer to health care will effect the people of this country…I can help…….

24 million people will lose coverage over 10 years.

14 million people will lose coverage by 2018.

7 million fewer people will have employer-sponsored coverage in 10 years.

14 million fewer people will have Medicaid coverage in 10 years.

$880 billion will be cut from Medicaid over 10 years.

15 to 20 percent premium INCREASE in the individual market in 2018 and 2019.

Are you an older American?

If you are then bend over you are about to meet the president……

There is a secret tax in the Republican health care bill that GOP supporters are trying to keep hidden. Older Americans are going to pay an increasing in premiums that amounts to a 20%-25% tax on their health insurance.

Source: The Age Tax Is Trumpcare’s Dirty Little Secret That Republicans Don’t Want You To Know

But the best story is one about the health care that our spineless Congress toads have as one of their entitlements……

What’s good for the goose should be good for the governmental gander. That’s the position of Daniel Jimenez, a 30-year-old from Portland, Ore., who thinks that in the wake of the GOP’s recently introduced American Health Care Act, members of Congress should have to pick from the same health-care offerings as other Americans, reports the Oregonian. Specifically, per the petition Jimenez started, that means congressional members and their dependents would lose any health care subsidies, especially if they go back to the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, a pre-ObamaCare offering of inexpensive private health plans (after the Affordable Care Act passed, they were required to get coverage through an ACA-created plan or exchange).

Jimenez says in his petition, which now has more than 350,000 signatures, that some politicians have no concept of the health care expenses shouldered by most Americans, mainly because they’ve gotten used to cushy government health benefits. “If private health care is good for the American citizen, it should also be good for the people that defend it,” he writes. The driving force behind Jimenez’s petition: his father’s death from cancer. His dad didn’t have coverage through his job, and so he put off seeing a doctor when he became sick. As the GOP and President Trump try to finalize their new health plan, Jimenez, who now lives in New Mexico, says he thinks of his father and “whether he would have made it if he had early access to cost-effective health care.”

I think this is a great idea….let the toads suffer with the rest of us…..then they could actually mean it when the say “I feel your pain”……

My weekend begins now…..I am shutting down my mind for a couple of days….hope everyone has a good weekend ….peace out my friends…..chuq

Where’s The Trump Doctrine?

I have been a critic of our new master about his ideas and his actions in the field of international relations…..I have been watching what he does and so far I still have no idea what his agenda really is….of course we all know what he has stated as his agenda but actions do not bear out those statements.

I have been reading lots of sources to see if anyone has an idea of the direction our foreign policy will eventually lead…..these two sources that I felt I needed to share for those that are in the same state of confusion as me……

Tomorrow, German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet face-to-face with President Trump for the first time, each to take the other’s measure. Mr. Trump has previously criticized Mrs. Merkel for her open-door immigration policy and, by implication in his criticism of NATO, for Germany’s paltry defe…

Source: Where’s the Trump Doctrine? | The American Spectator

Trump has forced many long time bureaucrats, those that actually know what is what, to resign or has fired outright.

The problem is that we have a civilian run government and Trump has replaced many of those civilians with generals……where will this lead?

Here we are, two months into the Trump Administration—that’s approaching 5 percent of his first term—and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis remains the only Trump-tapped Pentagon poobah.

He’s the lone confirmed civilian appointee inside the Defense Department, according to a nifty job tracker from the Washington Post and the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service that’s tracing 53 senior Pentagon positions.

The Army secretary is listed as “WITHDRAWAL PENDING” and the Navy secretary is branded “FAILED.” Last week, reports surfaced that Trump’s choice to oversee the Air Force is in trouble. Forty-eight of the 53 posts carry the label “NO NOMINEE.”

Source: Filling in the Blanks at Trump’s Pentagon | The National Interest Blog

How long can this country’s national security be held in balance without those people that keep it so?  People that have been trained and have the experience of moving through the wheels of government….there is a time when amateurs are not the best way forward…..

There is a good reason that civilians are needed in the mix for foreign policy…..military men were not trained to do so……they are trained for war not avoiding it.

According to retired Army colonel and bestselling author Andrew Bacevich, the American military is today being used to solve problems it was not designed to solve. Current U.S. foreign policy, he said, is “based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the efficacy of military power, particularly American military power,” which leads foreign-policy elites to select objectives that do not align with our frequently misunderstood strategic reality. As a result, Bacevich concludes, “we engage in wars that are unnecessary and counterproductive, notably in large parts of the Islamic world.”

Source: Why America’s Military Shouldn’t Be Managing International Affairs | The National Interest

I know Trump won the election….big f*cking deal!

He needs to buck up and do something to help secure our security and to sure up our foreign policy….slogans are NOT the answer.  Did you understand that?  Solutions need more than some cute slogan on a hat.

The Budget Of The Century

The new federal budget is making news these days…..and boy is it a whopper of a budget……and as one would think since the GOP is ruling the roost the social programs will be hit and hit hard…..

A rundown of thoughts of the new federal budget……pending budget.

President Trump’s first budget proposal was officially unveiled Thursday morning—and it delivers exactly what he promised. The proposal—titled “America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again”—contains cuts that the Washington Post says could be the biggest reduction in federal programs since the post-World War II drawdown. The Environmental Protection Agency and the State Department are the hardest-hit agencies according to budget previews, with cuts of around 30%. Military spending would be beefed up by $54 billion under the proposal, $1.5 billion is earmarked for a border wall, and Homeland Security would get a 6.8% funding increase. A roundup of coverage about the $1.15 trillion spending plan:

  • The document is here.
  • Politico reports that the budget is “red meat” for Trump’s base, with deep cuts to their most disliked government agencies and programs, though it is also what’s known as a “skinny budget” because it is so short on details. A more detailed budget will be out in May.
  • The AP lists winners and losers. The latter group includes the departments of Energy, Labor, and Transportation, along with after-school programs and many independent agencies supported by tax dollars.
  • White House budget director Mick Mulvaney acknowledged that the cuts would lead to job losses, Reuters reports. “You can’t drain the swamp and leave all the people in it,” he said during a budget preview Wednesday. He said that White House officials had looked at Trump’s campaign speeches, and “turned those policies into numbers.”
  • The New York Times reports that congressional Republicans have already declared parts of the plan dead on arrival. “The administration’s budget isn’t going to be the budget,” Sen. Marco Rubio told reporters. “We do the budget here. The administration makes recommendations, but Congress does budgets.”
  • The Hill notes that such proposals tend to be “little more than guidance” for lawmakers—and that the Senate shot down Obama’s 2015 budget 98 to 1.
  • The AP reports that the budget funds Trump’s boost for the Pentagon, the biggest since Ronald Reagan’s, with cuts to conservative targets including the National Endowment for the Arts, legal aid for the poor, and the AmeriCorps national service program.
  • NBC notes that Trump’s proposal, which makes cuts to 12 out of 15 Cabinet agencies, only covers the “discretionary” quarter of the $4 trillion budget for the fiscal year that starts in October. The portion dealing with issues including taxation, Social Security, and Medicare is due in mid-May.
  • The Washington Post reports that the budget proposal’s elimination of funding for public broadcasting means that Big Bird’s doom has been predicted once again, though public broadcasting has survived previous “zero funding” proposals all the way back to Richard Nixon.

Now that we know what is being said about the new budget… about we look at the programs destined for the trash heap……

  • Corporation for Public Broadcasting ($445 million): Funds local public television and radio stations, including PBS and NPR.
  • National Endowment for the Arts ($148 million): Funds after-school programs, art shows, musical productions, and more as part of its goal of getting Americans involved in the arts, according to Quartz.
  • Northern Border Regional Commission ($8 million): An economic development agency for New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine, according to USA Today.
  • Chemical Safety Board ($11 million): Investigates and makes safety recommendations following chemical accidents at federal facilities.
  • Legal Services Corporation ($385 million): Provides free legal advice to low-income Americans, funding more than 9,000 full-time legal staff.
  • National Endowment for the Humanities ($148 million): Provides scholarships in literature and culture.
  • United States Institute of Peace ($35 million): A federal think tank with 300 employees that focuses on conflict resolution.
  • United States Interagency Council on Homelessness ($4 million): Federal agency tasked with responding to and reducing homelessness.
  • Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars ($11 million): Provides scholarships in social sciences and humanities.
  • Denali Commission ($20 million): An economic development agency for Alaska.
  • Inter-American Foundation ($22 million): Promotes “citizen-led grassroots development” in Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • Delta Regional Authority ($25 million): An economic development agency for eight states in the Mississippi Delta region.
  • African Development Foundation ($30 million): Encourages economic development in Africa.
  • US Trade and Development Agency ($60 million): Promotes US transportation, energy, and telecommunications exports.
  • Overseas Private Investment Corporation ($83 million): Promotes private investment from US in the developing world.
  • Appalachian Regional Commission ($146 million): Works to improve the economy in Appalachia, according to Politico.
  • Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation ($175 million): Also known as Neighborworks America, it helps affordable housing programs.
  • Institute for Museum and Library Services ($230 million): Funds 35,000 museums and 123,000 libraries around the country.

Corporation for National & Community Service ($1.1 billion): Also known as AmeriCorps, it coordinates and promotes community service around the country.

All the programs that have been hated by the GOP for decades…..but let’s say this budget passes (I do not think that it will)……how will it effect those people that supported Trump during his his to the tower?

As a candidate, President Donald Trump promised to focus on revitalizing predominantly rural and small-town industries across America, claiming that “[f]amily farms are the backbone of this country” and that “coal is coming back.” President Trump visited these small towns and rural areas promising voters he would “create massive numbers of jobs” and that he would “rebuild … your communities.” But the agenda that Trump is advancing—reflected in his “skinny budget” released today as well as in his reported past policy proposals and statements—reveals his bait and switch on voters in these very communities.

Source: 10 Ways President Trump’s Agenda Will Harm His Supporters in Rural and Small-Town America – Center for American Progress

This all leads me to thank all those members of the “Ignorati” that helped elect this person and they can oversee the destruction of the American society….Are You Satisfied? (to quote Wild Bill Hickcock)

Let me close with a quote from Press Sec Spicer…..”just because you get less money does mean it is a cut”…..I love these people….only the “Ignorati” could give us this collection of mental midgets.

What if the U.S. Invaded Syria and Nobody Noticed?

I have been watching the conflict in Syria since the beginning….I have watched the players form, fight, change sides and destroy……and in all that time the US has been slowly but slowly building up its forces in the region….as if there was something big about to happen.

We have a new president and he has promised to destroy ISIS and even considered an all out conflict in Syria….with whom we are not quite sure… all this time few Americans have noticed the conflict beyond some passing diatribe about the past history of the region……

The media should be covering this more

While everyone was paying attention to the latest crazy Trump story, United States Marines deployed to Syria.

Did you hear about that? If you didn’t, it’s not your fault. The news has been all Trump all the time.

Source: What if the U.S. Invaded Syria and Nobody Noticed?

What will it take to get Americans to actually care that the country is heading head long into another war that will turn into yet another quagmire?
To answer the question….NO one will notice….most are too busy with their little lives to care about our troops and their families or the damage this is doing to us internationally.

But It Is Human Nature

On several occasions the topic of human nature has come up mostly in the comment section and by several of IST’s regular readers.

Human nature is one of those subjective topics that leads to many different interpretations….depending on one’s personal outlook or philosophy…..I recently read a pretty good look at this topic and would like to share it here and get others thoughts on the article…..

Across the globe, a collective freak-out spanning the whole political system is picking up steam with every new “surprise” election, rush of tormented souls across borders, and tweet from the star of America’s great unreality show, Donald Trump.

But what exactly is the force that seems to be pushing us towards Armageddon? Is it capitalism gone wild? Globalization? Political corruption? Techno-nightmares?

Rajani Kanth, a political economist, social thinker, and poet, goes beyond any of these for the answer. In his view, what’s throwing most of us off kilter— whether we think of ourselves as left or right, capitalist or socialist—was birthed 400 years ago during the period of the Enlightenment. It’s a set of assumptions, a particular way of looking at the world that pushed out previous modes of existence, many quite ancient and time-tested, and eventually rose to dominate the world in its Anglo-American form.

Source: Have we been denying our human nature for four hundred years?

So my friends….any thoughts on this piece?

How the US Could Solve Its Retirement Crisis

If you are a working stiff then you probably are looking forward to retirement so that you may pursue interests that so far you have neglected……right?

AS glamorous as retirement looks there is one small problem……very few Americans are set up to actually go into retirement……is there an answer to the problem?

Retirement accounts are gilt-edged investments that enrich the economy, the safety net and the social fabric.

Too many Americans are saving little to nothing for retirement. According to one study, 45 percent of working-age households “do not have any retirement account assets.” Congress could sharply improve the numbers by adopting dynamic scoring of retiree distributions. The move could lead to millions of new accounts, and a fairer sharing of the US’s retirement promise.

That promise was the whole idea behind a breakthrough reform over 40 years ago. Let’s see where it came up short, and how the country can still make good for those left behind.

In 1974, a far-sighted Congress created a new benefit for workers not covered by traditional pensions. It set up Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), combining pre-tax employee contributions with tax-deferred capital gains. A major sweetener, employer contributions, came later with 401(k)s.

Source: How the US Could Solve Its Retirement Crisis

I do not endorse everything I write about…..some times I am just doing the FYI thing…..