Closing Thought–11Dec19

The Dems wanted to prove that they did not go to DC justn to impeach the president…..plus they needed to give their members some cover in the close elections in 2020….for these reasons they helped pass the new NAFTA that Trump promised….

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday announced agreement on a modified North American trade pact, handing President Trump a major Capitol Hill win on the same day that Democrats announced impeachment charges against him, per the AP. Crediting Democratic negotiators for winning stronger provisions on enforcing the agreement, Pelosi said the revamped United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement is “much better” than the North American Free Trade Agreement and “infinitely better than what was initially proposed by the administration.” “This is the right thing to do for our trade situation, for our workers,” she said. In a tweet, Trump said the revamped trade pact—his top Capitol Hill priority along with funding for his long-sought border fence—”will be the best and most important trade deal ever made by the USA. Good for everybody – Farmers, Manufacturers, Energy, Unions.”

Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico’s foreign relations secretary, said the three countries’ negotiating teams would meet Tuesday “to announce the advances achieved.” NAFTA eliminated most tariffs and other trade barriers involving the US, Mexico, and Canada. Critics, including Trump, labor unions, and many Democratic lawmakers, branded the pact a job killer for the US because it encouraged factories to move south of the border, capitalize on low-wage Mexican workers, and ship products back to the US duty-free. Weeks of back-and-forth, closely monitored by Democratic labor allies such as the AFL-CIO, brought the two sides together, though Trump had accused Pelosi of being too wrapped up in impeachment. More protectionist and labor-friendly, USMCA contains provisions designed to nudge manufacturing back to the US.

This is nothing but a political gimme to the president…..just a way to help Dems in the states that depend on trade for their economy.

This is just NAFTA 2.0, as it has been labelled)…..it is weak…..

The revised U.S.—Mexico—Canada Agreement (USMCA), announced today by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and endorsed by the AFL-CIO, represents a significant improvement on the draft agreement first released in 2017. Negotiators for labor and House Democrats strengthened the provisions on labor rights, environmental standards, and the enforcement of these rules, and also removed costly and egregious new protections for corporations, including giveaways by the Trump administration to pharmaceutical companies.

But the changes embodied in the USMCA still constitute Band-Aids on a fundamentally flawed agreement and process. Powerful multinational corporations have used and controlled the negotiation of trade and investment deals to facilitate offshoring and the deregulation of the U.S. and global economy, as noted by the Machinists Union, which has announced its opposition to the USMCA. The original North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) resulted in the loss of at least 680,000 U.S. jobs due to growing trade deficits with Mexico alone. It also caused downward pressure on the wages of nearly 100 million U.S. workers and the devastation of manufacturing communities across the United States, especially in the industrial Midwest and battleground states—with far-reaching social and electoral consequences.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/12/10/us-mexico-canada-agreement-weak-tea-best

Like I wrote…this is a weak piece of manure that does little but give Dems some cover for their upcoming elections back home.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Tulsi, My Candidate

As the new year approaches and with it the start of the races that will determine the Dem nominee…..and as it approaches the candidates are dropping like flies……but through all that my candidate is still in there punching and scrapping for all the support she can get.

My support is for Rep. Tulsi Gabbard for she is the only truly antiwar candidate and we need to hear that point of view in this age of endless war.

She makes her points on war whenever she can get the coverage…..think about it…..$6.4 trillion spent on war…..while the rest of the Dem field cares less about the waste of money and especially the waste of human life……

The Democratic establishment is increasingly irritated. Representative Tulsi Gabbard, long-shot candidate for president, is attacking her own party for promoting the “deeply destructive” policy of “regime change wars.” Gabbard has even called Hillary Clinton “the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party.”

Senator Chris Murphy complained: “It’s a little hard to figure out what itch she’s trying to scratch in the Democratic Party right now.” Some conservatives seem equally confused. The Washington Examiner’s Eddie Scarry asked: “where is Tulsi distinguishing herself when it really matters?”

The answer is that foreign policy “really matters.” Gabbard recognizes that George W. Bush is not the only simpleton warmonger who’s plunged the nation into conflict, causing enormous harm. In the last Democratic presidential debate, she explained that the issue was “personal to me” since she’d “served in a medical unit where every single day, I saw the terribly high, human costs of war.” Compare her perspective to that of the ivory tower warriors of Right and Left, ever ready to send others off to fight not so grand crusades.

Tulsi Gabbard: Wake Up and Smell Our $6.4 Trillion Wars

MSM spends more time trying to tear down Tulsi’s candidacy then actually caring what her message is….

Progressive journalist Michael Tracey claimed Tuesday that MSNBC is has dropped all pretenses for their “contempt” towards Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii).

The political news contributor said the left-leaning network has treated her fellow 2020 Democratic candidates, including businessman Andrew Yang and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) unfairly, but he argued that with Gabbard it, “crosses a certain threshold.”

“Fundamentally they’re beholden to whatever the market incentives are and right now it’s within their market interests to depict Tulsi as an infiltrator, as a Trojan horse in the Democratic Party and not deal on the substance with what she’s saying which is why over and over again they tar her as a Russian plant essentially,” Tracey told Hill.TV.

“There’s nobody who can really offer any kind countervailing view because it’s just not economically advantageous for them at this point,” he added.

https://thehill.com/hilltv/rising/472056-progressive-journalist-msnbc-doesnt-try-to-hide-contempt-towards-gabbard

So far all the attempts to lessen her appeal have failed……even the “major” candidate that attacked her, Kamala Harris, is out of the race…Tulsi is still standing.

However she has decided to not participate in the December Debate…..

The next Democratic debate is Dec. 19—but Rep. Tulsi Gabbard isn’t keeping that night free in her calendar. The candidate, who needs to get above 4% in one more state or national poll to qualify, says she won’t be taking part even if she makes the cut, the Hill reports. “For a number of reasons, I have decided not to attend the December 19th ‘debate’—regardless of whether or not there are qualifying polls,” the Hawaiian lawmaker tweeted Monday. “I instead choose to spend that precious time directly meeting with and hearing from the people of New Hampshire and South Carolina.” Gabbard’s highest level of support is in New Hampshire, where two recent polls put her at 6%, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports.

I understand why she is doing this….but I think it is not a well informed decision…but then I am not the candidate….or on her campaign team.

She may not become the nominee but I am proud of her for standing her ground and not waffling like Biden or Mayor Pete….

A good sign for Tulsi is that she is the darling of social media…..in spite of the MSM and Corporatist candidates  attempt to assassinate her character and campaign…..

Over the last three months, stories about Gabbard have averaged 858 interactions on social media (likes, comments, shares) — more than any other candidate.

https://www.axios.com/tulsi-gabbard-2020-democrats-controversial-1116925e-daaf-4df3-ac5d-dd5fd7704425.html

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

VOTE!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Judiciary Impeachment Saga–Day 3

That is Day 3 of the House Judicial Committee portion of the process.

Here we go we are moving closer to the Senate every day……the House has issued 2 articles for impeachment….read them for yourself……https://www.politico.com/news/2019/12/10/articles-of-impeachment-trump-abuse-obstruction-full-text-pdf-080185

House Democrats are on course to impeach President Trump by Christmas, with a big announcement expected Tuesday morning. Sources tell the New York Times that the House Judiciary Committee worked through the night Monday to prepare articles of impeachment to be unveiled at a 9am news conference by Nancy Pelosi and other House leaders. The sources say the articles will charge Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. “A lot of us believe that what happened with Ukraine especially is not something we can just close our eyes to,” House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Eliot Engel said, per the AP, after leaving a meeting of committee chairmen at Pelosi’s office late Monday.

The meeting followed a daylong House Judiciary Committee hearing in which Trump’s conduct was described as a “clear and present danger” to national security. Pelosi said Monday night that no final decision had been made, the Washington Post reports. “You think I’m going to tell you the articles of impeachment?” she said to reporters. “We’re in a place where our members, our leadership of our committees of jurisdiction have now gotten the last input,” she said. “They’ll make a determination, a recommendation as to how we will go forward and what the articles will be.” Sources tell Politico that the House Judiciary Committee is expected to vote on the articles Thursday, which will be followed by a vote on the House floor to impeach Trump.

Then the presser about the whole process…..

Tuesday brought another historic milestone in the impeachment process against President Trump. Nancy Pelosi and Democratic leaders unveiled two articles of impeachment against the president—abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, reports the Hill. Trump, meanwhile, lashed out in a morning tweet. “To Impeach a President who has proven through results, including producing perhaps the strongest economy in our country’s history, to have one of the most successful presidencies ever, and most importantly, who has done NOTHING wrong, is sheer Political Madness!” he wrote.

In Tuesday’s news conference, House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler said Trump brought this on himself by using the powers of his office to “seek a personal benefit,” a reference to Trump’s dealings with Ukraine. “He endangers our democracy, he endangers our national security,” said Nadler, per the AP. The 2020 election “is at risk,” he added, and “that is why we must act now.” Next steps: The judiciary panel is expected to approve the articles of impeachment as early as Thursday and send them to the full House for a vote next week.

I link to the articles of impeachment one more time….maybe that will prod people into actually read them….(probably wishful thinking for FOX News will give them the BS they want to hear)…..

Read the full text of the articles of impeachment below: 

Not to worry there is more.

It’s not over until the House vote.

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Afghanistan Papers?

Yes…our longest ever war, almost 2 decades, has been a mess from the very beginning……something that I and most other foreign policy geeks have been writing and saying for many years….and now we are vindicated!

Just as the Pentagon Papers blew the lid off the Vietnam War so shall the “Afghan Papers”……

[This story has been optimized for offline reading on our apps. For a richer experience, you can find the full version of this story here. An Internet connection is required.] 

A confidential trove of government documents obtained by The Washington Post reveals that senior U.S. officials failed to tell the truth about the war in Afghanistan throughout the 18-year campaign, making rosy pronouncements they knew to be false and hiding unmistakable evidence the war had become unwinnable.

The documents were generated by a federal project examining the root failures of the longest armed conflict in U.S. history. They include more than 2,000 pages of previously unpublished notes of interviews with people who played a direct role in the war, from generals and diplomats to aid workers and Afghan officials.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/confidential-documents-reveal-us-officials-failed-to-tell-the-truth-about-the-war-in-afghanistan/ar-BBXY8l1

If you one of those that think that the WaPo is radical Left literature than here is a FOX report as well…..https://www.foxnews.com/us/us-misled-public-afghanistan-officials-vent

Trillions spent and NO one has any idea what the mission is suppose to be or accomplish…..

The Washington Post is out with a damning picture of the 18-years-and-counting Afghanistan war, and it’s based on the government’s own interviews with key players in the conflict. The upshot: US officials have lied to the public repeatedly since the war began in 2001, “making rosy pronouncements they knew to be false and hiding unmistakable evidence the war had become unwinnable,” writes Craig Whitlock. The newspaper obtained the interviews—conducted by the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR—after a three-year legal fight under the Freedom of Information Act. The fallout could be big: Media writer David Folkenflik of the NPR calls this “the pentagon papers of our times.” A quick taste:

  • A top general: “We were devoid of a fundamental understanding of Afghanistan—we didn’t know what we were doing,” Gen. Douglas Lute, who served as Afghan war czar under presidents Bush and Obama, told the government interviewers in 2015. “What are we trying to do here? We didn’t have the foggiest notion of what we were undertaking.”
  • More from him: “If the American people knew the magnitude of this dysfunction … 2,400 lives lost,” said Lute, who blamed what the Post describes as “bureaucratic breakdowns” in Congress, the Pentagon, and the State Department.
  • Skewed numbers: “Every data point was altered to present the best picture possible,” Army Col. Bob Crowley told government interviewers. “Surveys, for instance, were totally unreliable but reinforced that everything we were doing was right and we became a self-licking ice cream cone.”

Acknowledgment: The head of SIGAR, the group that conducted the interviews as part of a “Lessons Learned” government project, says the documents show “the American people have been constantly lied to.”

Dig into the Post investigation here.

5 Infuriating lessons from the Paper…..

1) The government suppressed its own “Lessons Learned” 

2) Staggering Amount of Money Wasted

3) Who are the ‘Bad Guys’?

4) It was all fake news, lies and spin

5) Eighteen Years In, two parties responsible, no one accountable

Read the breakdown in the American Conservative……https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/5-infuriating-findings-in-the-afghanistan-papers/

But for those that have a hard time with the big words…..there is a video….

I would bet, if I were a gambling man, that this report will have the same effect on veterans as the Pentagon Papers did……veterans will be pissed……

hen the Defense Department’s top-secret history of the Vietnam War, known as the Pentagon Papers, was leaked in 1971 and revealed how the government had long misled the public about the progress the United States had made during the Vietnam war, combat veterans like 22-year-old Marine Guy Mazzeo, were enraged at then-Defense Secretary Robert McNamara.

On Monday, Mazzeo, now 70, said he understood the anger from veterans of the Afghanistan war over a damning report in The Washington Post which details how presidents, politicians and Pentagon officials misled and, in some instances, lied to the U.S. public about the war effort in America’s longest-running war.

The documents created by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR, were obtained by the Post under the Freedom of Information Act, and only after the Post sued SIGAR on two separate occasions in federal court to compel the release of the documents. SIGAR argued that the records were privileged and that the public had no right to see them, reported the Post.

https://www.newsweek.com/afghan-war-report-enrages-veterans-gold-star-families-even-more-us-died-they-lied-1476292

This is typical of the Pentagon…they are seldom ready for that “next war”……https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-us-armys-worst-tradition-never-ready-for-the-next-war

Vets are pissed by the report but what about the rest of American society?  Will they take the time away from Swamp People to learn the truth about our longest war?

My thought is…they WILL NOT!

And it will get even worse with the amount of amateurs we have running our foreign policies……

I want to read the whole report for myself….but that is just me.

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More On North Korea

The war of words and insult has erupted again between Kim and Trump……my recent post on NK…..https://lobotero.com/2019/12/09/north-korea-us-the-way-it-has-always-been/

We all have heard and some of the bloggers keep repeating the humanitarian horror stories about life within the borders of NK…..and yet the US went to the UN to block needed legislation…..

While the US was initially one of the countries that wanted a UN Security Council meeting on North Korea’s human rights situation, the Trump Administration has changed its mind, and is now refusing to sign the authorization, effectively blocking the meeting.

Officials are not saying why they decided to block the UN meeting, but North Korea warned last week that they would view the meeting as a “provocation,” and this gives the appearance that the US is trying to keep them placated.

The State Department took their comments a different way, saying they still support a meeting that would be a comprehensive review of North Korea’s missile firing since May, even though President Trump has long insisted he didn’t object to those tests. That meeting is set for Wednesday.

The State Department is suggesting that recent missile launches were an “escalatory DPRK provocation,” and it seems either way the US is going to use a UN Security Council meeting to rail against North Korea.

Though some speculated blocking the human rights meeting was a sign that the US had not given up on nuclear talks, they seem to be continuing to avoid negotiating directly with North Korea.

(antiwar.com)

This action the US is why I say for the world to come into the 21st century we need to abolish the permanent status of the 5 major powers on the UNSC…….of which the US is one.

Not to worry this is not the last report you will read the US “special” relationship that Trump has with Kim.

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