Closing Thought–04Sep20

Daily we have reports on the track of the Covid-19 virus here in the US….but seldom do we get the actual costs of contracting the virus.

A guy in Washington got his bill for his treatment of the virus…..7 figures!

One of the first COVID-19 patients in the US, Michael Flor of Seattle spent 62 days in the hospital and two weeks in a rehab facility—then returned home to a $1.1 million medical bill. There were thousands of charges on the 181-page bill, he tells KOMO News. An earlier story from ABC 13 explains that he was charged $9,700 for each day in the ICU, $80,000 for 29 days on a ventilator, and more. Fortunately, Medicare, supplemental insurance, and Congressional funding to help hospitals with coronavirus costs kicked in, and he only had to pay about $3,000. Even so, Flor’s story highlights the shell shock that could come for many coronavirus patients.

The news station says one national survey of healthcare claims found the average charge of a COVID hospitalization for someone without insurance is around $73,000; with insurance, it’s around $38,000. The full cost of COVID hospitalizations for this year in the US is expected to be $17 billion, and one actuary studying that cost and its consequences says it will end up increasing taxes and insurance premiums: “What happens with the entire system is that COVID-19 is going to be expensive.” But, she notes, the true cost may not be known for quite some time, as the long-term effects of the disease are still being uncovered. As for Flor, the Seattle Times highlights his full story here.

Personally I think that the media needs to re-port the costs as well….maybe that will scare the idiots that do not wear masks into realizing what they will be paying in the future.

Then there is the cost for the vaccine when it is finally approved for use…..for those casual readers that may have missed my post on the vaccine…..https://lobotero.com/2020/06/17/remember-that-vaccine/

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Disrespect Of Veterans

There is a report in the latest edition of the Atlantic magazine…..it seems that the president calls deceased soldiers as “losers” and “suckers”…..

When President Donald Trump canceled a visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery near Paris in 2018, he blamed rain for the last-minute decision, saying that “the helicopter couldn’t fly” and that the Secret Service wouldn’t drive him there. Neither claim was true.

 

Trump rejected the idea of the visit because he feared his hair would become disheveled in the rain, and because he did not believe it important to honor American war dead, according to four people with firsthand knowledge of the discussion that day. In a conversation with senior staff members on the morning of the scheduled visit, Trump said, “Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers.” In a separate conversation on the same trip, Trump referred to the more than 1,800 marines who lost their lives at Belleau Wood as “suckers” for getting killed.

Belleau Wood is a consequential battle in American history, and the ground on which it was fought is venerated by the Marine Corps. America and its allies stopped the German advance toward Paris there in the spring of 1918. But Trump, on that same trip, asked aides, “Who were the good guys in this war?” He also said that he didn’t understand why the United States would intervene on the side of the Allies.

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2020/09/trump-americans-who-died-at-war-are-losers-and-suckers/615997/

Just the hint of disrespect for our troops and veterans would be political fatal….so why is this acceptable today?  But I guess those days are gone to be replaced by hateful speech and Tweets.

Apparently Trump hates some vets….especially those that died in service to their country….if you will recalled his comments about Sen. McCain during the 2016 election cycle…..and by “logical truth” (For god sake look it up!) if you are a Trump supporter then you will disrespect veterans as well.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

The Issue Of Foreign Policy

I have said there are a few policy and issues that should be foremost in the voter’s mind before they cast that ballot. One is economics and the other (to my mind) is foreign policy.

For instance the foreign policy of our present president.(I am not a fan of his policies)…..I am not alone in criticism of Trump’s policies…….

The majority of senior GOP national security figures denounced Trump, even after he became their party’s nominee. Thanks at least in part to his foreign policy heresies, Trump defeated over a dozen other Republican candidates, broke both the Bush and Clinton dynasties, and won perhaps the most shocking presidential election in American history.

For advocates of foreign policy realism and restraint, November 8, 2016 was the high point. But both at home and abroad, Trump has since led and governed as a mostly conventional Republican, albeit with an extra dollop of incompetence and chaos. America First has become little more than a slogan and an attitude. With a few important exceptions, the reality of President Trump has not matched the rhetoric of candidate Trump.

Grading Trump’s foreign policy

For decades, long before the Trump years, this country’s foreign policy has been one of endless wars and subterfuge….

As the United States sinks deeper into a multi-faceted global crisis that no politician seems able or even willing to address, one hears more and more often demands for radical change in who runs the country and to what end. Of course, Donald J. Trump offered such a dramatic shift in priorities four years ago, but he has been unable to deliver due to his own inability to execute and the ill-conceived machinations of those whom he has chosen as advisers. The Democrats for their part are offering little beyond a repeat of their 2016 pander to grievance groups in an effort to cobble together an unassailable majority based on buying off the party’s various constituencies.

But there is one area where change could come dramatically if either party were actually motivated to do something that would truly benefit the American people, and that is in the area of foreign and national security policy where the president has considerable power to set priorities and redirect both the State and Defense Departments. Unfortunately, foreign and national security policy is almost never discussed during the presidential campaigns and this time would already appear to be no exception. That means that the one thing that is a constant amidst all the smoke and mirrors is the continued bellicosity of both parties on the world stage.

https://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/lets-talk-u-s-foreign-policy-it-is-the-root-cause-of-many-evils/

As the election approaches there is one thing to be certain…..no matter which candidate, Biden or Trump, wins will the foreign policy change in the coming years…..

These are not merely grifters or desperate bids for attention by unscrupulous and avaricious Beltway swamp creatures. Though there are those too: the so-called Lincoln Project, helmed by neocon operative Rick Wilson, which is an outside group of Republicans (including former RNC Chair Michael Steele) devoted to defeating Trump in November.

As the historian David Sessions recently tweeted, “Basically nobody in liberal circles is taking seriously the consequences of the fact that the exiled cadre of the Republican Party are building a massive power base in the Democratic Party.”

The merger between Democrats and neocons is not merely confined to the world of electoral politics; it is already affecting policy as well. Over the summer, in response to the New York Times’ dubious “Russia bounty” story, Democratic Congressman Jason Crow teamed up with Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney (daughter of the former vice president) to prohibit the president from withdrawing troops from Afghanistan. Republicans and Democrats in the Senate and the House Armed Services Committee also collaborated to pass an amendment that imposed restrictions on Trump’s plan to withdraw troops from Germany, showing, if nothing else, that the bipartisan commitment to the new cold war is alive and well.

https://braveneweurope.com/marshall-auerback-james-carden-the-rotten-alliance-of-liberals-and-neocons-will-likely-shape-u-s-foreign-policy-for-years-to-come

Trump has given the nation’s voters lots of lip service about these endless wars…..now ask just which one of these wars has he actually ended?

These days the U.S. is the world’s most militaristic power, threatening, droning, bombing, invading, and occupying far more countries than any other nation. Operating on the well-established principle that might makes right, American presidents routinely intervene with neither domestic nor international legal warrant, as in Syria today. Washington also routinely sanctions allies as well as adversaries, insisting that every person in every nation follow US dictates.

Today America is lawlessly engaged in low-level aggression against Syria. US troops have occupied much of the north, protecting the Kurdish zone known as Rojava, seized Syrian oilfields in the east, for both politics and profit, and cut Syrian roads, including the main route to Baghdad, Iraq – based solely on the president’s illegal orders. Imagine the Syrian army invading Montana, guarding a secessionist ministate, occupying the state’s shale oil fields, and blocking highways heading east toward Washington, D.C.

The US also is engaged in a dangerous minuet with Turkey, which occupies part of Rojava. Ankara views Syrian Kurds as a threat and twice invaded northern Syria, including last fall after pushing America aside. Turkey established the “Syrian Interim Government,” dominated by radical Islamist insurgents who have murdered and ethnically cleansed Kurdish inhabitants. The Pentagon admitted that Turkey “actively supports several hardline Islamist militias and groups ‘engaged in violent criminal activities’.”

When Will Donald Trump Stop Even One Endless War?

To answer my question…Trump has not ended any of our endless wars…..so any promises to do so now is nothing but a campaign promise to be ignored once re-elected……

Never let it be said that I bitch but offer NO solutions……I wrote my thoughts on my op-ed blog, Gulf South Free Press…….https://gulfsouthfreepress.wordpress.com/2020/03/15/a-new-foreign-policy/

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“lego ergo scribo”

Voting Twice Explanation

Yesterday there was a massive uproar over something our Dear Leader has said…..for those that are not regular readers…..https://lobotero.com/2020/09/03/just-do-it-twice/

To be fair and balance there has been an attempt to clarify what the president told his supporters to do…..

The White House is pushing back against the allegation that President Trump is encouraging people to break the law by voting twice. “The president is not suggesting anyone do anything unlawful,” press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said on Fox News Thursday, per Mediaite. “What he said very clearly there is make sure your [mail-in] vote is tabulated, and if it is not, then vote.” Background and new developments:

  • What he said: The controversy stems from Trump’s comments to supporters Wednesday, in which he said: “On your ballots, if you get the unsolicited ballots, send it in and then go make sure it counted. And if it doesn’t tabulate, you vote. … And then if they tabulate it very late, which they shouldn’t be doing, they’ll see you voted and so it won’t count. So, send it in early and then go and vote.” Trump made similar comments in a TV interview with WECT, per the Hill: “So let them send it in, and let them go vote. And if the system is as good as they say it is, then they obviously won’t be able to vote. If it isn’t tabulated, they will be able to vote. So that’s the way it is, and that’s what they should do.”
  • Clarification: On Fox, host Sandra Smith told McEnany that what Trump suggested would “obviously” be against the law. “He said, ‘Send it in early and then go and vote.’ Isn’t that telling someone to go vote twice?” Nope, said McEnany. “The president said send it in early, go and see if it’s been tabulated; if it hasn’t been tabulated, then vote,” she said. Trump “wants verification. Democrats want a whole new fraudulent system of mail-in voting never tried before in American history, and what Democrats are saying to you is, ‘Trust us, but don’t verify.’ What this president is saying is verify your vote.”
  • New tweets: In a series of tweets Thursday, Trump echoed what McEnany said. He encouraged people who get mail ballots to return them as early as possible. “On Election Day, or Early Voting, go to your Polling Place to see whether or not your Mail In Vote has been Tabulated (Counted),” he wrote. “If it has you will not be able to Vote & the Mail In System worked properly. If it has not been Counted, VOTE (which is a citizen’s right to do).” Doing so will ensure “THAT YOUR PRECIOUS VOTE HAS BEEN COUNTED, it hasn’t been ‘lost, thrown out, or in any way destroyed.'”
  • A reminder and a plea: The president’s original words caused enough of a ruckus that North Carolina’s Board of Elections issued a statement reminding people that it’s a felony to vote twice, reports the Washington Post. And the board’s executive director said mail-in voters should not do what Trump suggested and go to the polls on Election Day to verify that their mail ballot was counted. “This is not necessary, and it would lead to longer lines and the possibility of spreading COVID-19,” said Karen Brinson Bell.
  • Facebook’s action: Facebook says it will delete videos of Trump’s original comments because they violate “policies prohibiting voter fraud,” reports Politico. Posts that share such video without context or clarification will get yanked, says the company.
  • What the AG says: Asked about Trump’s original suggestion on CNN, Attorney General William Barr said he doesn’t know each state’s rules but backed Trump’s assertion that mail voting is vulnerable to fraud, reports the AP. It’s like “playing with fire,” he said. Michigan’s attorney general was pretty clear about the idea of trying to vote twice: “Hey folks. Attorney General (Dana) Nessel here—top law enforcement official in Michigan, for those keeping track. Don’t try this at home. I will prosecute you.

Did that clear it up for everyone?

NO?  Then you are not alone.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”