Closing Thought–12Sep19

Health care has been a point of contention on the campaign trail for 2020….there are a wealth of “plans” to get the American people their health care…..from single payer to Obamacare.

Biden is the one that has hung his reputation and his campaign on Obamacare……but his support for the plan may be in jeopardy….Obamacare may be losing its luster….

The number of Americans without health insurance edged up in 2018—the first evidence from the government that coverage gains from President Obama’s health care plan might be eroding under President Trump, the AP reports. The Census Bureau also said in an annual report Tuesday that household income rose last year at its slowest pace in four years but finally matched its previous peak set in 1999. Median household income rose 0.9% in 2018 to an inflation-adjusted $63,179, from $62,626 in 2017. The data suggest that the economic expansion, now the longest on record at more than 10 years, is still struggling to provide widespread benefits to the US population. Solid gains in household incomes in the past four years have returned the median only to where it was two decades ago.

An estimated 27.5 million people, 8.5% of the population, went without health insurance in 2018. That was an increase of 1.9 million uninsured people, or 0.5 percentage point. More people were covered by Medicare, reflecting the aging of the baby boomers. But Medicaid coverage declined. The number of uninsured children also rose, and there were more uninsured adults ages 35-64. Though the increase in the number of uninsured Americans last year was modest, it could be a turning point, the first real sign that coverage gains under Obama could be at least partly reversed. This year, the number of uninsured could rise again because a previous Republican-led Congress repealed fines under the Affordable Care Act for people who remain uninsured if they can afford coverage.

If this is properly reported then Biden may have an epiphany and worm his way into some other plan…..or he could double down and use the media to help control any fallout from this report.

I prefer the Medicare For All and will vote that way for 2020…..

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

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Will Biden Stay In The Lead?

Poll after poll and pundit after pundit has told thew American people just what a great guy Biden is and the fine job he is doing as the Dem front runner.

If he is going to be anointed as the “man to beat Trump” then he needs more scrutiny than the press is giving him……the media is white washing everything about the candidate…..his lies and called a “misspoke” or gaffs or “Joe being Joe”…..but the candidate is far from being perfect as a candidate he is the only one to beat Trump…..is the best I can say about him…..

The media wants Biden…..the pundits want Biden….the DNC wants Biden and the DCCC wants Biden…..so do we crown him now?

But how about a closer look…..

Which brings us to Joe Biden. Like Hillary (and Bill) Clinton, he represents the corporate-establishmentarian wing of the Democratic Party. Also like Hillary, his main hook is the undisputable dreadfulness of the Donald.

So what, then, about Biden? Democrats need to talk about Joe. There’s little doubt that the 77-year-year-old former U.S Vice President is suffering from some measure of dementia. Confusing New Hampshire with Vermont, not knowing the name of the college where he just spoke, thinking that he met with Parkland school shooting victims when he was vice president, invading the centrist MSDNC host Joy Reid’s physical space to claim that she advocates “physical revolution,” inappropriate public touching (and sniffing), forgetting thoughts in mid-sentence, saying that the recent Dayton and El Paso mass shootings took place in “Michigan” and “Houston” – all of this and more (including the alarming frequency with which he looks lost and confused) suggest that Biden’s elevator is no longer running all the way to the top floor (if it ever was) as he nears his ninth decade of life. Executive function is no small matter. This is about aging, which some people (e.g. the still on-point Bernie Sanders) do more gracefully and cogently than others (e.g. Joe).

No Joe: On Character, Quality and Authenticity

I am no supporter of Biden and I have criticized him and the DNC for their favoritism in this election…they are firmly in-line with the corporatist Biden and they will bitch slap anyone that opposes Biden…….

The man quickly identified himself as a vice chair of the Democratic National Committee. He didn’t need to tell me that he was hopping mad.

Ken Martin was angry that my colleagues and I were handing out a flier—providing some inconvenient facts about Joe Biden—to delegates and activists as they entered the New Hampshire Democratic Party convention on Saturday. The headline, next to Biden’s picture, quoted a statement he made last year: “I don’t think 500 billionaires are the reason why we’re in trouble.”

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/09/09/why-dnc-vice-chair-bawled-me-out-sharing-critical-accurate-information-about-joe

Biden is slightly better than the lying toad in the white house….

Please do not let the DNC and the Media decide who you will vote for in 2020.

How will Biden fare in the 3rd Dem debate tonight in Houston?

That is the question.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

VOTE!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Bolton Is Out Excuses

Let me say here and now….I did not like the ideas and policies that John Bolton spent decades pushing…..and he should have known better than go to work for a person that takes NO advice but his own.

The president has lots to say about Bolton now that he is gone…..

The Hill calls it a “public rebuke of a top aide that would have been extraordinary before the Trump White House”: The president on Wednesday elaborated on his firing of John Bolton in an Oval Office meeting with reporters. Five standout things he said about his former National Security Adviser:

  • 1. “He made some very big mistakes.”
  • 2. “Frankly he wanted to do things—not necessarily tougher than me—you know John’s known as a tough guy. He’s so tough he got us into Iraq … but he’s actually somebody I had a very good relationship with. But he wasn’t getting along with people in the administration that I consider very important.”
  • 3. “As soon as he mentioned that, the Libyan model, what a disaster. Take a look at what happened to Gadhafi. I don’t blame Kim Jong Un for what he said after that. And he wanted nothing to do with John Bolton. And that’s not a question of being tough. That’s a question of being not smart to say something like that.” (Washington Post reporter Aaron Blake notes that comment was made 16 months ago. See this story for more context.)
  • 4. “John wasn’t in line with what we were doing and actually in some cases he thought it was too tough what we were doing. Mr. tough guy, you know, you had to go into Iraq.”
  • 5. “I hope we left on good stead, but maybe we haven’t,” the Guardian quotes Trump as saying.
  • CNN sees Trump as keeping his eye on the prize, and needing Bolton out of his way: “Trump’s first term, while succeeding in traumatizing US allies and causing global disruption, is largely bereft of the big wins the great dealmaker promised back in 2016.” With Bolton gone, “US diplomacy is likely to reflect its principal author even more closely. It will be more impulsive, less strategic, and more geared to creating iconic moments, like the President’s stroll into North Korea with Kim Jong Un.”
  • The Wall Street Journal similarly frames Bolton as a now-departed “counterweight” to Trump, and predicts his “exit could remove a barrier to a meeting at the United Nations with Iran’s president later this month, or to talks with members of the insurgent Afghan Taliban movement.”
  • Robert Schlesinger echoes that, writing at NBC News: “Bolton had become a foreign policy Dr. No, tamping down Trump’s desire to go for big, showy deals with North Korea, Iran and the Taliban. Whoever replaces him will know to cheer on Trump’s ideas, no matter how ill-conceived.”

Like I have said…I did not agree with much Bolton had to say but at least he was a professional in a White House staffed with amateurs.

Not all conservatives thought Bolton was a good hire for Trump……

It took far too long to happen, but Bolton’s firing is undeniably good news. Bolton is the embodiment of everything wrong with hawkish Republican foreign policy, and his role in the administration has been without question a purely destructive one. I have to admit I didn’t think it would happen. Bolton had prevailed again and again on policy, and despite pushing his own agenda and doing an abysmal job as National Security Advisor he remained in place. Whatever Trump’s reason was for getting rid of him, it was the right decision. Bolton ends his career as one of the worst National Security Advisors in U.S. history. He should never have been hired, but at least he is out of government. Now he can go shill for the Mujahideen-e Khalq (MEK) full-time.

Good Riddance, Bolton

Now we have another “interim” staffer…..

President Donald Trump’s national security advisor, that joy is likely to be shortlived due to the character of Bolton’s acting replacement, Charles M. Kupperman.

Kupperman has been a member of the boards of a number of defense contractors, including Lockheed Martin and Boeing. He served in the Ronald Reagan administration and boasts a decades-long relationship with Bolton.

The rumor mill is working over time with the departure of Bolton and the newest one involves Pompeo….

…administration officials are discussing the possibility of replacing Bolton with his chief rival, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Under this scenario, the country’s top diplomat would absorb the national security adviser role and do both jobs, according to a senior administration official and a source familiar with the possibilities.

That would make Pompeo the second person in history to have both jobs at the same time. The first, Henry Kissinger, was already President Richard Nixon’s national security adviser when he was appointed secretary of state in 1973, and filled both roles for two years.
 
(cnn.com)
As a foreign policy wonk I will be watching this situation as the results of the firing of Bolton unfolds.  The media likes to state that this is the 4th NatSec adviser in 3 years and they keep emphasizing the point…but keep in mind that them GOP God Reagan had 6 in 8 years….so this is nothing new for a Repub president to go through multiple advisers (that is my history lesson for the day)
 
“Lego ergo Scribo”

That Foggy Mountain Breakdown–Afghanistan

There is a wealth of opinions on the breakdown of the talks between the US and the Taleban…..all said the common opinion is that Trump was right cancel these talks for it gives the US time to revamp its Afghan strategy…..

U.S. President Donald Trump announced on Saturday that he had called off talks with the Taliban at Camp David. The meeting had probably been arranged to finalise a deal for the start of a U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.

The deal apparently had four main pillars: a Taliban guarantee not to allow foreign fighters to use Afghanistan to launch attacks outside the country; the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO forces; an intra-Afghan dialogue; and a permanent ceasefire.

The question marks over that plan are the credibility of any Taliban commitments, the exclusion of the Afghan government from the peace talks, and what happens next.

These problems are well known to any observer of Afghanistan and certainly to the U.S. lead negotiator, Zalmay Khalilzad. He may well have reached the best deal he could with the Taliban, but that doesn’t mean it was one worth taking. Fortunately, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Trump seem to have a perspective that’s different from the negotiating team’s.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2019/09/11/the_breakdown_of_ustaliban_talks_buys_time_to_reset_the_afghanistan_strategy_114737.html

Was Trump right to cancel these talks?

The new peace agreement thus far, painstakingly negotiated by U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad – a skilled former ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq and the United Nations – was between the U.S. and the Taliban only. The Camp David meeting was supposed to be a turning point, wherein the Afghan government of President Ashraf Ghani and the Taliban could come together, echoing former President Bill Clinton’s bringing together of the Palestinian Liberation Organization and the government of Israel in 2000, also at Camp David. (That attempt, too, died stillborn.)

The deal on the table reportedly included a U.S. withdrawal of its 14,000 troops, including a down-payment of around 5,000 leaving within a few months after the accord was completed. The Taliban were to provide guarantees that there would be no return to creating “safe havens” for groups like al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (which is rising in prominence within Afghanistan). There was also a provision to free thousands of Taliban prisoners being held by the Afghan government. All of this was to be cemented with a prolonged cease-fire – and it was that portion of the agreement that the Taliban failed to honor, continuing their attacks and killing another U.S. service member last week.

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-09-09/trump-was-right-to-cancel-the-taliban-talks

One of the media’s main sticking points is that there was NO Afghan government representation…..but once the US takes it on the lame the Taleban will once again become the government in power in Afghanistan.

Really the only thing to worry about is to take measures to assure the US that there will be no safe haven for terrorists like AQ and ISIS.

The governmental form matters not….for Afghanistan will be Afghanistan.

“Lego Ergo Scribo”