Closing Thought–20Feb19

With another government shutdown looming on the horizon it was all the MSM could talk about for this week…..but some other disturbing news was reported quietly and with without fan fare…the National Debt has reached $22 Trillion….trillion with a “T”….

The national debt is the total of the annual budget deficits. The Congressional Budget Office projects that this year’s deficit will be $897 billion — a 15.1 percent increase over last year’s imbalance of $779 billion. In the coming years, the CBO forecasts that the deficit will keep rising, top $1 trillion annually beginning in 2022 and never drop below $1 trillion through 2029. Much of the increase will come from mounting costs to fund Social Security and Medicare as the vast generation of baby boomers continue to retire.

The national debt has passed a new milestone, topping $22 trillion for the first time.

The Treasury Department’s daily statement showed Tuesday that total outstanding public debt stands at $22.01 trillion. It stood at $19.95 trillion when President Donald Trump took office on Jan. 20, 2017.

The debt figure has been accelerating since the passage of Trump’s $1.5 trillion tax cut in December 2017 and action by Congress last year to increase spending on domestic and military programs.

Despite the rising levels of federal debt, many economists say they think the risks remain slight and point to current interest rates, which remain unusually low by historical standards. Still, some budget experts warn that ever-rising federal debt poses substantial risks for the government because it could make it harder to respond to a financial crisis through tax cuts or spending increases.

(AP)

Scary number, right?

Not to worry….now that the Dems control the House the GOP will once again focus on the National Debt…..not so important when they are in control but let them lose that control and they go batcrap crazy over the DEBT!

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National Security Crisis

Here we go!

It seems everyone has a national security crisis they want to champion…..and each one helps DoD rape the Treasury of funds.

Just another justification for more money, more money, more money…….

The National Defense Strategy Commission began as a congressional panel to review America’s national defense strategy. It turned into yet another justification for ever-greater military spending. In the panel’s view, America is weak, isolated, beleaguered, and endangered. Unless military spending is greatly increased, Washington will lose its ability to run the world and a new dark age will envelop the earth.

Indeed, the barbarians are already at the gates. Complained the NDSC: “The security and wellbeing of the United States are at greater risk than at any time in decades.”

That, alas, is to be expected since “America’s military superiority—the hard-power backbone of its global influence and national security—has eroded to a dangerous degree.” Foreign conquest may be just one battle away. “Rivals and adversaries are challenging the United States on many fronts and in many domains,” the NDSC says. Not just China and Russia, but Cuba and Venezuela. What is a superpower to do?

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/congress-creates-a-commission-to-justify-military-waste/

NO MORE!

Please….it is time for the Congress to help check the Pentagon budget.

Granted it will be hard especially with so many Congresspeople on the payroll of the defense contractors.

The US can NO longer afford more wars they cannot afford the ones they fight now.

War is good business!

The United States has now been continuously at war for more than seventeen years. It is still fighting an active war in Afghanistan, has yet to fully defeat ISIS in Syria and Iraq – much less establish a state of lasting security in either country – and is playing a role in low level conflicts against extremist and terrorists in many other parts of the world.

The U.S. government, however, has never developed a convincing method of reporting on the cost of the wars, and its estimates are a confusing morass of different and conflicting Departmental, Agency, and other government reporting that leave major gaps in key areas during FY2001-FY2019.

It has never provided useful forecasts of future cost, instead providing empty “placeholder” numbers or none. It has failed to find any useful way to tie the cost estimates it does release to its level of military and civil activity in each conflict or found any way to measure the effectiveness of its expenditures or tie them to a credible strategy to achieve some form of victory.

https://www.csis.org/analysis/americas-military-spending-and-uncertain-costs-its-wars-need-transparent-reporting

DoD is looking to ask Congress for even more funds…..”war” funds…….

The U.S. Defense Department is planning to ask Congress for a massive increase to a controversial war account often criticized as a “slush fund” in order to circumvent mandatory spending limits, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the discussions.

The increase would amount to a reversal for President Donald Trump’s White House budget director, former Republican Rep. Mick Mulvaney, who for years campaigned against what he saw as former President Barack Obama’s abuse of the account, calling it a “slush fund.” After he was tapped for the job, Mulvaney told Senate lawmakers that he would seek to eliminate the fund altogether.

https://outline.com/VpU9ga

Like I said…..the price is too damn high!

AMERICANS…….. speak up…..Enough Is Enough!

Feel The Bern!

Run Bernie Run!

All us people that supported Bernie in 2016 have been waiting for him to step up in the 2020 contest.

The wait is over!

Last time, he was the underdog, notes NPR. This time, he’ll be one of the favorites. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday told Vermont Public Radio that he is entering the 2020 race for president. The 77-year-old joins a crowded field, with big names including Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Amy Klobuchar already in the mix. “We began the political revolution in the 2016 campaign, and now it’s time to move that revolution forward,” said the independent senator. He will campaign on familiar issues, including universal health care and a $15 minimum wage.

As the Washington Post notes, a big challenge facing Sanders is that many of his 2020 rivals already embrace policy positions he’s pushing. In his announcement, Sanders didn’t mince words when talking about the man he hopes to replace as president. “I think the current occupant of the White House is an embarrassment to our country,” Sanders said. “I think he is a pathological liar. … I also think he is a racist, a sexist, a homophobe, a xenophobe, somebody who is gaining cheap political points by trying to pick on minorities, often undocumented immigrants.” (Sanders wants to raise taxes on the richest Americans.)

Now the MSM can make sure we all know he is a Democratic Socialist……sad that this nation has to use labels and not policies……the GOP is gearing up and some of the Dem candidates will join in…..candidates like Harris……

For now I like Bernie but I am leaning more to Tulsi at this stage of the process…..but I will be watching..

Is it possible that there is a path for Bernie to win?

Bernie Sanders is a famous, successful loser.

When he announced his run for the Democratic nomination in April 2015, Sanders trailed Hillary Clinton in the polls by nearly 57 percentage points. By spring of 2016, some polls showed him within single digits. Sanders was no longer an obscure senatorial frump from Vermont — he was a bona fide political phenomenon whose primary success embodied the Democratic Party’s leftward drift.

But 2020 is not 2016. Sanders kicked-off his 2020 run early on Tuesday, and as he navigates his second presidential primary, he’ll need to prove he can build on his past success, not coast on his 2016 coalition.

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/bernie-sanders-2020-democratic-nomination-kickoff/

A few takes on the Bernie candidacy…..

  • Wide appeal? A common knock against Sanders is that his democratic socialist views would make it hard for him to win in a general election. But Sanders’ campaign says his appeal among minorities, the white working class, and independent voters could help him win in unexpected places, including typically red states such as West Virginia, Iowa, Ohio, and Indiana, reports Politico. The story talks to Sanders’ pollster.
  • Trump team: The president’s campaign is already out with a line of attack using the s-word. Sanders “has already won the debate in the Democrat primary, because every candidate is embracing his brand of socialism,” says the campaign, per the AP. Among other things, it cites Sanders’ support of a Medicare-for-all system.

  • The challenge: An analysis at Vox agrees that many of the issues championed by Sanders in 2016 have now been accepted by his Democratic rivals. In a way, that’s good for Sanders. “On the other hand, Sanders has to make the case that he’s still the progressive that voters should choose. He’s remained consistent; he’s fighting for the same things today that he was in 2016. The question is: Can he win at his own game?”
    Sign of trouble? David Weigel of the Washington Post writes that Hillary Clinton came off her 2008 loss in the primary by building on her support to become the 2016 frontrunner. Sanders has not done the same, he says. “In early polls of Iowa and New Hampshire, where he won 50 percent and 60 percent of the vote, support for the senator from Vermont has ranged from the low teens to 30 percent.”
    The basics: Axios has a primer on Sanders’ life and policies. One question surrounds his age of 77. More than half of Democratic county party leaders in Iowa said in a recent poll that they wanted a young candidate.

The fact that gives me a smile is that Bernie’s candidacy will have corporate Dems, like Kamala, will be running scared and their voice, MSM, will start the slander and the misinformation…..

With a launch of the Bernie Sanders 2020 campaign on the near horizon, efforts to block his trajectory to the Democratic presidential nomination are intensifying. The lines of attack are already aggressive—and often contradictory.

One media meme says that Bernie has made so much headway in moving the Democratic Party leftward that he’s no longer anything special. We’re supposed to believe that candidates who’ve adjusted their sails to the latest political wind are just as good as the candidate who generated the wind in the first place.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/02/12/bernie-2020-campaign-has-corporate-democrats-running-scared/

FEEL THE BERN!

Those Religious Hypocrites

I grew up in the South and the Southern Baptist tradition…..no I was not a member of that bunch….my grandfather always told me to never turn my back to a Baptist or a knife will be the result.

I also remember in the 1980s when the “Religious Right” rose with Reagan and became the “moral compass” of the GOP…..and ever since the GOP has pretended to hold the “moral high” ground because of the support from the Southern Baptist pulpits.

And then Trump was elected and their “moral high ground” and the Baptist found themselves wallowing in the slime and muck of sexual issues…plus turning blind eyes to sexual abuse and assault in the name of Jesus (personally thought….a bunch of assholes that need to burn)

I bring all this up because of something I recently read……

In all, since 1998, roughly 380 Southern Baptist church leaders and volunteers have faced allegations of sexual misconduct, the newspapers found. That includes those who were convicted, credibly accused and successfully sued, and those who confessed or resigned. More of them worked in Texas than in any other state.

About 220 offenders have been convicted or took plea deals, and dozens of cases are pending. They were pastors. Ministers. Youth pastors. Sunday school teachers. Deacons. Church volunteers.

Journalists in the two newsrooms spent more than six months reviewing thousands of pages of court, prison and police records and conducting hundreds of interviews. They built a database of former leaders in Southern Baptist churches who have been convicted of sex crimes.

The investigation reveals that:

• At least 35 church pastors, employees and volunteers who exhibited predatory behavior were still able to find jobs at churches during the past two decades. In some cases, church leaders apparently failed to alert law enforcement about complaints or to warn other congregations about allegations of misconduct.

• Several past presidents and prominent leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention are among those criticized by victims for concealing or mishandling abuse complaints within their own churches or seminaries.

• Some registered sex offenders returned to the pulpit. Others remain there, including a Houston preacher who sexually assaulted a teenager and now is the principal officer of a Houston nonprofit that works with student organizations, federal records show. Its name: Touching the Future Today Inc.

• Many of the victims were adolescents who were molested, sent explicit photos or texts, exposed to pornography, photographed nude, or repeatedly raped by youth pastors. Some victims as young as 3 were molested or raped inside pastors’ studies and Sunday school classrooms. A few were adults — women and men who sought pastoral guidance and instead say they were seduced or sexually assaulted.

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/investigations/article/Southern-Baptist-sexual-abuse-spreads-as-leaders-13588038.php

This is a disgusting lot.  Granted not all are of this ilk but if you turn a blind eye to this abuse then you are part of that problem

This is just another reason why I continue to say that these religious types have lost any claim to the “moral high ground”….

I do not mind a religious person….but live by what you preach or shut the fuck up.  PERIOD!

Then some say that the rise of Trump came from ex-churchgoers that had lost faith in the government…..

If you’ve ever been to a Donald Trump rally, you’ll notice it doesn’t match the impression left by the media coverage of the president’s base.

Anger, for instance, isn’t the prevailing mood. Hopefulness is more characteristic. But there’s more. There’s something about these rallies that goes beyond politics, and his harshest critics have found it fearful. “Trump has harnessed the kind of emotional intensity from his base that is more typical of a religious revival meeting than a political rally,” liberal religion scholar Reza Aslan wrote, “complete with ritualized communal chants.”

This isn’t unprecedented. At Barack Obama’s 2008 rallies, fans fainted, and those blessed with an Obama handshake pondered never washing that hand again. Obama was more than a politician. He was nearly a religious figure for his base. Something similar is going on with Trump.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/why-ex-churchgoers-flocked-to-trump/

“The only thing worse than a liar is a liar that’s also a hypocrite!” ~ Tennessee Williams

“The true hypocrite is the one who ceases to perceive his deception, the one who lies with sincerity.” ~ Andre Gide

And favorite…

“Hypocrites are those who apply to others the standards that they refuse to accept for themselves.” ~ Noam Chomsky

A wee bit of music……

The Sub-Continent Smolders!

Since independence India and Pakistan have been at each other’s throat…it all began in 1947….https://indianexpress.com/article/research/here-is-a-history-of-india-pakistan-conflict/

We are now in the 21st century and not much has changed on the sub-continent…..the latest incident around the region known as Kashmir is igniting more hostilities…..

The militant attack in India-ruled Kashmir has once again put New Delhi and Islamabad on a war footing. Analysts at the Munich Security Conference say it is a setback to those who wish to see lasting peace in the region.

41 Indian paramilitary troops were killed on Thursday in a suicide bombing in the Pulwama district of India-administered Kashmir. The Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed, which translates as “The Army of Mohammed,” claimed responsibility for the deadly attack, according to local media.

It was not the first time that the Islamist group allegedly perpetrated an attack in the Indian part of Kashmir, although the Thursday assault was the deadliest in the disputed region.

Read more: Fresh violence in Kashmir exposes the need for diplomacy

https://www.dw.com/en/why-kashmir-attack-could-spark-a-military-confrontation-in-south-asia/a-47541203

The Kashmir thing is a spillover from the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan……https://original.antiwar.com/Nauman_Sadiq/2019/02/11/kashmir-insurgency-the-spillover-of-the-soviet-afghan-jihad/

The fact that India is in control of the mountainous region known as Kashmir just keeps the rhetoric between the two countries escalated…..back and forth the accusations fly and the newest incident is NO different……https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-india-kashmir-attacks-pakistan/pakistan-rejects-links-to-attack-in-indian-controlled-kashmir-idUKKCN1Q32RS

Each time there is an incident the closer these two, India and Pakistan, come to another armed conflict…..you did know that these two have fought a couple of “wars”, right?

It is hard to imagine that Kashmir, one of the most beautiful places on earth and inhabited by a peaceful populace, could be the bone of contention between India and Pakistan. Unlike similar disputed territories around the world, the main reason that Kashmir is at the center of strife has more to do with political reasons than with religious ideology, despite the fact that has been a melting pot of different religious faiths.

https://www.thoughtco.com/history-of-the-kashmir-conflict-1770394

Why do the hate each other so much?

Then there is Kashmir……why do they fight?

Those videos did more in a few minutes than I could do in 1000 words…..

I watch this region because it is one of those that could ignite into a shooting war and the US would be drawn into……we DO NOT need another war…regardless of what the neocons and the M-IC want…..why is this important? They are both nuclear powers.

Watch and Learn!

Turn The Page!