Closing Thought–28Mar17

Did someone mention golf……does anyone remember all the grief Obama took in Right wing media every time he took off to play golf?

Our new president has him topped!

President Trump stayed away from his Florida resort for the weekend, but not from Trump properties: He was at the Trump National Golf Club in Virginia on Saturday and Sunday and dined at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC, on Saturday night, reports the Washington Post, which calculates that Trump has spent all or part of 21 of the first 66 days of his presidency at Trump-owned properties. Golfweek notes that Trump—who repeatedly criticized then-President Obama for golfing and said that he would be too busy to golf when president—has now visited golf courses 13 times since Jan. 20. The White House said Trump was in meetings, though photos emerged of him riding in a golf cart and wearing golf attire Saturday.

On Sunday, during a brief visit to the Virginia club in which the White House said he held three meetings, a photo emerged of Trump watching the Golf Channel with two people. Critics accuse Trump of hypocrisy and complain that he is providing his businesses with a lot of free publicity. “It is normal for presidents to get out—and it can be a boost for small businesses across the city and the country,” Robert Weissman of nonprofit group Public Citizen tells the New York Times. “But with President Trump, he spends his downtime as a walking advertisement for his businesses. It is a major departure from historic norm and degradation of the office.” (Sean Spicer says Trump’s golf habit is totally different from Obama’s.)

As long as we are talking about Mar-a-Lago Golf Club…..this one is just rich.

It seems that the Trump entourage may have forgot something on the last visit……

Surprising what can be found in the lost and found bin!

I read this and could not resist this compelling story…..it seems an unusual item was found waiting to be claimed in a golf course “lost and found” bin.

PALM BEACH, FL—Noting that it had already been there for almost two weeks, Mar-a-Lago assistant manager Chris Mahoney reportedly wondered Monday if anyone was coming to collect the nuclear briefcase from the club’s lost-and-found. “Someone noticed it in the dining room and dropped it off, and it’s just been sitting at the bottom of the bin ever since,” said Mahoney, adding that he had been asking people coming to collect their lost scarves and sunglasses if they might also have misplaced a briefcase attached to a pair of handcuffs. “You’d think whoever it belongs to would have realized that they lost it by now. Well, I’ll give it a few more weeks—if no one claims it after 60 days, it’s up for grabs, and I can see if someone on my staff wants it.” At press time, a man had mistakenly claimed the briefcase as his own before getting home to discover all the unfamiliar buttons inside.

Spoiler Alert!

This is NOT a real story but one published in The Onion.

2017 Women’s History Month–Pocahontas

Pocahontas….not some Disney character but the real-life person from the days of Jamestown.

Not much is known about this memorable woman. What we do know was written by others, as none of her thoughts or feelings were ever recorded. Specifically, her story has been told through written historical accounts and, most recently, through the sacred oral history of the Mattaponi. Most notably, Pocahontas has left an indelible impression that has endured for more than 400 years. And yet, many people who know her name do not know much about her.

Source: Pocahontas: Her Life and Legend – Historic Jamestowne Part of Colonial National Historical Park (U.S. National Park Service)

Sad but true…most Americans know the character and not the person…..there is so much more to Pocahontas and her life…..

She is among the best known Native Americans in history, but the modern-day descendants of Pocahontas, who four centuries ago married an English colonist and sailed across the Atlantic Ocean, show little interest in her.

On March 21, ceremonies in the United States and England will mark 400 years since her death. But there will be no event to honour that date on the Pamunkey Indian Reservation in Virginia where her tribespeople now live.

Source: Will the real Pocahontas please stand up? | | Al Jazeera

Why Are Republicans So Cruel?

I have seen and heard many accounts of what the GOP has in store for the country and in that time I have heard many ask the question….why are Repubs so cruel?  Why is that they hate the poor?

You know that is a great question and one that I did not have an answer to but I have thought on this to see where it would take me.

In the 50’s the GOP was soundly in the category of “on the people’s” side….but what the hell happened?

I have my opinion but I am biased and should not be allowed to voice my opinion.

Let’s look at today’s GOP……

Republican Paul Ryan, like most other members of the United States Congress, is a millionaire.Christa Patton is 68 years old. She is frail and no longer able to leave her home. She lives on a fixed income. Patton told Van Jones on a recent episode of his CNN show “The Messy Truth” that she would not be able to eat without the Meals on Wheels program.

Paul Ryan is the speaker of the United States House of Representatives. By his own account, in college he used to hang out with his friends and drink beer while sharing his dreams of cutting Medicaid. When Ryan was 15 years old, his father died from a heart attack caused by alcoholism. Ryan and his family then received his father’s Social Security survivor’s benefits. Ryan used that money to attend college. This was not the only money that Paul Ryan received from federal government. His family built its wealth from receiving government contracts.

Source: Why Are Republicans So Relentlessly Cruel to the Poor? | Alternet

If anyone has a better idea then please share and we will take it from there…..

Whatever Generals Want Will Generals Get?

Since few in the American blogosphere care little about our adventurism overseas….it falls on my shoulders to keep the focus where it belongs…..war is never the answer.

With a new president we will have new goals especially in the field of international relations and war…..we already fight on just about every section of the globe and much taxpayer money goes to extending those wars…..but what do the generals want?

US African Commander Gen. Thomas Waldhauser today confirmed that he is still seeking increased authority to carry out attacks in Somalia, seeking President Trump’s permission for more “flexibility” in carrying out airstrikes and using ground troops in the country.

It was reported last month that the Pentagon was looking to expand involvement in Somalia, though Waldhauser today confirmed that the White House has not granted them the permission that they were seeking, leaving unclear what the holdup is, as the Trump Administration is sending more and more forces across Africa.

According to Waldhauser, the changes would not just open up an increase in operations in Somalia, but also allow the pentagon to provide increased direct aid to the Somali National Army, including potentially putting embedded troops in with them in areas close to combat forces.

It seems that Africa is getting a lot of attention…..

In a press briefing at the Pentagon today, African Command leader Gen. Thomas Waldhauser announced that the US intends to keep ground troops in Libya for the foreseeable future to support “friendly forces,” and to “degrade” the ISIS forces that remain in the country.

Waldhauser did not specify how many US troops are in Libya now, or how many will stay, but did estimate that there were less than 200 ISIS fighters left in Libya. The US had announced the end of the anti-ISIS campaign in Libya back in December, but never fully withdrew from the country.

The US forces were in Libya trying to help the “unity” government defeat ISIS in the city of Sirte. US officials repeatedly claimed the city was totally surrounded, and that no ISIS fighters would get away, though when the fighting finally ended, a substantial number of ISIS fighters did in fact get away.

Waldhauser hinted that the US operations in Libya would primarily be airstrikes going forward, saying that the US needs to have troops on the ground for “precision airstrikes” and “close-air support operations.” He added that the last US airstrikes, in January, involved US troops meeting face-to-face with allies on coordinating the strikes.

(antiwar.com)

Seems warmongering runs deep in the Trump administration….will this escalate beyond their capabilities to handle?

Well let’s look at Trump’s Wars…..

President Donald Trump is no stranger to conflict escalation. In his short time in office, he has managed to successfully escalate disputes against the media, immigrants and the intelligence community. Yet Trump’s most important escalation has been in the War on Terror, substantially increasing the U.S. commitment to wars in Yemen, Syria and elsewhere. Unfortunately, these steps are likely only to draw America deeper into some of the world’s most intractable conflicts

Source: Trump’s Wars | Cato Institute

What are the chances that this will become a hydra, a monster with many heads?

We Are Back To National Security

The latest terrorist attack in London has us Americans again thinking about national security…..we will put some of the insanity aside and start ranting on about protecting ourselves from the coming range war with terrorists.

Our security will depend on the federal budget…who gets what and who gets cut….all paths lead to the national security….if true how does this new proposed budget look on that front?

US President Donald J. Trump’s draft budget, which proposes to increase defense spending by slashing funding for the US Department of State and foreign aid, would imperil national security efforts and weaken the US stance on the world stage, according to two US lawmakers—one a Democrat and the other a Republican.

“You cannot balance the budget on the back of discretionary spending,” said Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA). “If [increased defense spending] comes at the expense of the State Department, it’s not a recipe for success; it’s a recipe for making our national security weaker.”

Source: Lawmakers: Trump’s Budget Will Weaken National Security | RealClearDefense

Money could be a problem with our security but what about the policies that the money will fund?

The recent North Korean missile tests raise questions about contradictions in President Donald Trump’s national security policies. During his campaign Trump implied that the United States should fight fewer wars overseas and demanded that US dependents, Japan and South Korea, do more for their own defense, perhaps even getting nuclear weapons. Yet a recent article written by David Sanger, a national security reporter for the New York Times, noted that Trump had tweeted that North Korean acquisition of a long-range missile “won’t happen” and that his administration was considering preemptive military strikes on North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs or reintroducing US tactical (short-range) nuclear missiles into South Korea, which were removed twenty-five years ago. So which is it – demanding US allies do more or ramping up America’s efforts to make them even more reliant on American power? And this is not the only Trump policy contradiction.

Source: Inconsistencies in Trump’s National Security Policies by — Antiwar.com

We need to hold our national security in the same arms that we hold some of our outdated beliefs.

National security policies will effect us all….we should pay closer attention and stop worrying about the midgets in this world.