Closing Thought–06Feb18

By now we all know what the GOP thinks of the latest tax cuts, although they like to call their obscenity as tax reform…..whether you are for them or against…the simple truth is that us average worker has cuts lasting 5 years and millionaires will last forever…..equality is a good thing a shame it does not apply to everyone.

Speaker Paul Ryan recently let it be known where his elitist ass stands…..

House Speaker Paul Ryan used Twitter to highlight a school secretary benefiting from the Republican tax overhaul, then deleted the tweet after online criticism that he is cheering an increase of $1.50 a week. The AP reported on Thursday that changes in tax withholding were sparking bigger paychecks, citing as one example Julia Ketchum of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, whose check went up $1.50 a week. She told the AP that the $78 a year would more than cover her Costco membership.

Ryan on Saturday posted a Tweet noting the secretary’s increase and linking to the AP story—which was quickly met with mockery, notes the Washington Post, particularly among those comparing the size of Ketchum’s windfall with that the nation’s wealthy. Typical was Rep. Joe Kennedy III, who tweeted that, “Meanwhile the wealthiest 0.1% of Americans receive an extra ~ $3,000 per week,” while a Post reporter notes that Ketchum’s $78 a year is less than Ryan makes in an hour as speaker. Ryan has posted several other examples of worker pay increases and bonuses since the overhaul, some as much as $1,000. Ryan’s spokeswoman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Gee….a whole $1.50 per week…..I mean really who could bitch about that?

Ryan quickly tried to rid himself of that unfeeling embarrassment….but people like me will not let it go….

It was an incredibly patronizing remark that drew immediate backlash and caused him to delete the tweet in humiliation.

But the internet is forever, and activists promptly made the $1.50 pay raise a rallying cry in favor of his Democratic opponent, Racine ironworker and union leader Randy Bryce.

According to a spokesperson from Bryce’s office, speaking to Shareblue Media, “From Saturday through 1 p.m. on Sunday, we raised $130,000 from 10,600 contributions.” Furthermore, 5,100 of those contributions were $1.50.

It is clear that Ryan’s laughable attempt to pretend the tax scam would benefit the middle class has completely backfired.

Who said the GOP was all about the rich….look at what they gave this secretary…..

I must take my leave…be well, be safe and see you guys tomorrow….chuq

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Was The Election Rigged?

I would bet that some Right wing dullard is rolling his/her eyes for they think this is a post about the election that brought Trump to the height of power, the presidency of the United States.

Well as much as I hate to pee on their parade…it is not about their man crush…….

Most of my regular visitors know that I like some history and I truly enjoy imparting a little knowledge to them…..and this is a little knowledge on some contentious elections in our past…..

“There is no serious person out there who would suggest somehow that you could even rig America’s elections, in part because they are so decentralized and the number of votes that are cast,” the president added. “There is no evidence that has happened in the past, or instances that will happen this year.”

While such complaints have been rare before votes were cast, they were very prominent in certain post-presidential elections, as was evidence that votes weren’t always counted properly.

http://dailysignal.com/2016/10/18/rigged-election-past-presidential-contests-sowed-doubt-and-nearly-led-to-violence/

I do enjoy this stuff….hopefully my reader learned something that they may not have known…..

Macedonia?

Macedonia is not necessarily Macedonia.

Ever heard of Philip of Macedonia?

Of course you have….he was the father of Alexander the Great……

No history lesson this time….however a geography lesson is called for…..

There is a debate and an argument going on these days in the region….there is a Macedonia that came into being after the collapse of Yugoslavia and a state within Greece that is called Macedonia…..the dispute is just who gets to claim the name of Macedonia…..

Greece and neighboring Macedonia have been at loggerheads for more than a quarter-century over an issue at the heart of the newer nation’s existence and identity: its name.

The term “Macedonia” is a source of such nationalist fervor on both sides that the dispute has left the Balkan country without a universally recognized name and unable to join international institutions such as NATO.

The country emerged from the breakup of Yugoslavia in 1991, and was recognized by the United Nations in 1993 under the provisional name Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. International institutions still use that officially, although more than 130 countries simply refer to Macedonia.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/ap-explains-macedonia-greece-name-dispute-goes-back-171658609.html

This might seem like a minor dispute to most Americans but in reality it is a major source of contention in the Balkans….

More than 100,000 protesters from across Greece converged on Athens’ main square on Sunday to protest a potential Greek compromise in a dispute with neighbouring Macedonia over the former Yugoslav republic’s official name.

The dispute broke out after Macedonia gained independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. Greece argues use of the name implies territorial claims on its own province of Macedonia, once home of Alexander the Great.

Hundreds of buses brought protesters in from around the country, while more people arrived on ferries from the islands. Chanting “Hands off Macedonia!” and “Macedonia belongs to Greece!” the protesters converged on Syntagma Square, in front of the Greek parliament

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/04/hundreds-of-thousands-join-macedonia-name-protest-in-athens

What’s in a name?

https://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2018/02/04/582506402/for-two-countries-the-dispute-over-macedonias-name-is-rooted-in-national-identit

Afghanistan Again

There is a new fantasy film out about how we won the Afghan War….that is not completely true but Hollywood will do everything possible to put a positive spin on the war…..

But maybe Americans should spend more time learning about some of the realities of war and less about the macho bullshit.

Just a thought.

Where to begin?

The recent high-profile bombings in Afghanistan have reignited a debate about the state of the war. In its recently released quarterly report to the U.S. Congress, the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction (SIGAR) publicly complained that the Department of Defense (DoD) was not being fully transparent: “SIGAR was informed that DoD has determined that although the most recent numbers are unclassified, they are not releasable to the public.”

The report continued that “this development was troubling” and pleaded for more information like government control of territory and attrition rates for Afghan forces. The U.S. military quickly responded by releasing additional data. “It was not the intent…to withhold or classify information which was available in prior reports,” Navy Captain Thomas Gresback, a spokesman for the U.S. military in Afghanistan, said in a statement. “A human error in labeling occurred.”

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/02/01/the_state_of_the_afghan_war_112993.html

Supposedly Trump has a “new” approach  to the Afghan War and by most accounts it is not something that will lead to a way out of a quagmire….

Though US troops are nominally “advisers” in Afghanistan, the new approach, with its substantial escalation of the war, is expected to be dramatically more dangerous for rank-and-file troops being deployed, and likely to lead to an increase in casualties.

That’s because the “adviser” label is applied no matter where the troops are deployed or what they’re doing, and in the new Afghan escalation, many of those US troops are being embedded more deeply than ever before.

Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie confirmed that the military’s view is that the troops are being put into increased danger, warning that casualties are likely to result.

Advisory embedding at higher levels of the Afghan military has been common, but these moves rarely put US troops out anywhere near combat situations. The new strategy is likely to put many of them right on the front lines with the Afghan military.

This is a problematic situation, because not only does it risk casualties for US troops engaged in combat, but close proximity to Afghan combat troops has, historically, led to a substantial increase in insider attacks killing and wounding US troops as well.

(antiwar.com)

Apparently there is the typical good news-bad news when it comes of Afghanistan…..Good news Trump listening to his genera;ls…bad news is they are leading the US down a wrong path…..

As the Trump administration escalates America’s military involvement in Afghanistan and Syria, one wonders what happened to the Donald Trump who decried the former war as a “total disaster” and bellowed over and over “It’s time to come home”—and who pledged to do nothing in the latter war but “bomb the shit out of ISIS.”

Yet Trump is sending more troops to Afghanistan (the longest war in U.S. history) and broadening our mission in Syria (arguably the most complex conflict we’ve ever sleepwalked into).

What happened to Trump is that, however stubborn and overconfident he’s been on most matters he’s sounded off about (health care, climate change, immigration, protectionism), when it comes to the use of military force, he has deferred to his inner circle of generals.

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/01/trumps-generals-are-leading-him-into-hopeless-quagmires-in-afghanistan-and-syria.html

Our longest war and yet there is NO light at the end of this tunnel…..Americans keep fighting and dying knowing there is NO foreseeable end to this conflict…..

I believe that Einstein had a name for this strategy.