Closing Thought–17Mar21

If you celebrate the day or looking for a good excuse to get drunk…then you are an amateur….

The pandemic that is running its course through our nation has created another problem. Greed and Fraud.

The pandemic has cost billions in fraud….identity theft for one and there is so much more….and to the tune $63 billion….

With the floodgates set to open on another round of unemployment aid, states are being hammered with a new wave of fraud as they scramble to update security systems and block scammers who already have siphoned billions of dollars from pandemic-related jobless programs. The fraud is fleecing taxpayers, delaying legitimate payments and turning thousands of Americans into unwitting identity theft victims. Many states have failed to adequately safeguard their systems, and a review by the AP finds that some will not even publicly acknowledge the extent of the problem. The massive sham springs from prior identity theft from banks, credit rating agencies, health care systems and retailers. Fraud perpetrators, sometimes in China, Nigeria or Russia, buy stolen personal identifying information on the dark web and use it to flood state unemployment systems with bogus claims.

The US Justice Department is investigating unemployment fraud by “transnational criminal organizations, sophisticated domestic actors, and individuals across the United States,” said Joshua Stueve, a spokesman for the department’s criminal division. The Labor Department inspector general’s office estimates that more than $63 billion has been paid out improperly through fraud or errors—roughly 10% of the total amount paid under coronavirus pandemic-related unemployment programs since March. California has been the biggest target, with an estimated $11 billion in fraudulent payments and an additional $19 billion in suspect accounts. Colorado has paid out nearly as much to scammers—an estimated $6.5 billion—as it has to people who filed legitimate unemployment claims.

What kind of person or corporation is driven by greed in this time of misery and sorry?

Time to identify and prosecute these slugs of society….make them pay triple of what they have stolen.

Thoughts?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

More Stupidity From The GOP

I know what to pick since every time they open their mouths stupid flies out.

This may become a regular post for IST….we need to know the level of stupid that one party can sink to….

Let’s start with Minority leader in the Senate….McConnell……

The big issue for the Senate is the filibuster…..

Abolishing the filibuster is not a road Democrats should even consider going down, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell warned Tuesday. The Republican said that if Democrats do away with the legislative filibuster, as some progressives are pushing for, the Senate would become a “100-car pileup.” He vowed that Republicans would bring the chamber to a standstill by withdrawing consent on routine issues. “Nobody serving in this chamber can even begin … to imagine what a completely scorched-earth Senate would look like,” McConnell said, per the New York Times. “None of us have served one minute in a Senate that was completely drained of comity, and this is an institution that requires unanimous consent to turn the lights on before noon.”

McConnell’s warning came the day after Sen. Dick Durbin said the filibuster, which requires most legislation get at least 60 votes to pass, was “making a mockery of American democracy” and should be abolished, Axios reports. McConnell said that if Democrats get rid of the filibuster and Republicans regain the majority, they would erase liberal policies and bring in “all kinds of conservative policies with zero, zero input from the other side.” Abolishing the legislative filibuster would require 50 Democratic votes, and Sens. Krysten Sinema and Joe Manchin have said they would oppose the move, the Hill reports. When asked earlier this month if he would reconsider, Manchin told a reporter, “Never! Jesus Christ, what don’t you understand about ‘never’?”

Once again this is about party and not the country…..typical for a group that lies continuously about their love of the country.

Then their is one of Wisconsin’s senators, Ron Johnson, trying to defend his wildly racist statement….

Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin took much flak last week when he told interviewer Joe Pags that he was never concerned about his safety during the Capitol riot. “Now, had the tables been turned—Joe, this could get me in trouble—had the tables been turned, and President Trump won the election, and those were tens of thousands of Black Lives Matter and antifa protesters, I might have been a little concerned,” said Johnson. Critics accused him of racism, but Johnson is now defending himself in a Wall Street Journal op-ed headlined “I Won’t Be Silenced by the Left.” For starters, Johnson argues that the vast majority of those at the Capitol on Jan. 6 were peaceful protesters, and he accuses Democrats “and their media allies” are pushing a false narrative that “all present were ‘armed insurrectionists’ determined to overthrow the government.”

These “false narratives” extend to BLM protests in various US cities throughout 2020, Johnson writes. He argues they were more violent and destructive than his critics are willing to acknowledge. “It was also sadly predictable that liberals would hurl the accusation of racism,” he writes. “This isn’t about race. It’s about riots. The rioters who burned Kenosha weren’t of any one ethnicity; they were united by their radical leftism.” Read his full column. For a counterpoint, see Chris Cillizza at CNN, who thinks it’s ridiculous to argue that BLM protests were more dangerous than the Capitol riot. For him it boils down to this: “The vast majority of rioters on January 6 were White. The crowds at the Black Lives Matter protests in the summer of 2020 were not predominantly White. That’s it. That’s the difference Johnson is talking about.” Read Cillizza’s column.

My thought if this turd did not fear the crowd then why not show leadership and try to calm the situation…..or is it that he agreed with their insurrection?

More Ronnie lunacy…..

Let’s move to the games being played in the House…..

Since the GOP is afraid to attack the success that Biden has had they choose to go South to the border….

The pandemic may still be issue No. 1, but another topic is fast becoming a major issue for both parties—the border. Republicans say looser immigration policies under President Biden have created a crisis, while Democrats blame Donald Trump for leaving behind a broken system. Coverage:

  • GOP critics: “There’s no other way to claim it than a Biden border crisis,” said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy upon a visit to Texas on Monday, per USA Today. McCarthy said border patrol agents told him suspected terrorists were trying to cross, and Newsweek reports that GOP Rep. John Katko echoed that claim.
  • Pushback: Democrats disputed the allegations about terrorists and demanded evidence, reports the Washington Post. “Weird as the Chairman of the subcommittee on Intelligence and Special Operations and a border state member of Congress haven’t heard anything about this,” tweeted Rep. Ruben Gallego, an Arizona Democrat. “Gonna ask for a briefing. Pretty sure he is either wrong or lying,” he said of McCarthy.
  • The politics: NBC News sees this as a strategic shift by Republicans to turn immigration into a hot topic ahead of the 2022 midterms. That makes sense given that Biden is getting generally high marks for his handling of the pandemic, notes an analysis at the Post. “The Republicans will turn around and use this for a political weapon against Democrats—that we’re weak on the border, we’re not doing enough, we’re letting everybody in,” says moderate Texas Democrat Henry Cuellar. “I’ve been warning the party and the administration: Don’t let this get out of hand, because all you’re going to do is you’re going to give Republicans an issue.”
  • Democrats, too: Cuellar isn’t the only Democrat worried, notes the Hill. “Whatever message was sent—it was sure interpreted the wrong way,” says West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, referring to Biden’s unwinding of some Trump immigration laws. “It’s a crisis—oh, it’s a crisis.” In terms of signals from Biden, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said last week that Central Americans “see him as the migrant president.”
  • Numbers up: Illegal crossings are way up since Biden became president. More than 100,000 detentions were logged in February, up 28% from the previous month. And as of Sunday, the Border Patrol was holding 4,200 unaccompanied minors, up 31% from the previous week, reports CBS News. (The issue of minors is particularly acute.)
  • In defense: “The Biden administration is trying to fix the broken system that was left to them by the Trump administration,” Nancy Pelosi said Sunday House press chief Jen Psaki told reporters Monday that the administration is facing “a significant problem and a significant challenge, and I think we haven’t … been hiding about that.”

They have NOTHING else.  So they will return to the lies and misinformation on the border…..it is easier than having policies.

Move to the state of Alaska…..and the GOP vs Murkowski…..

The Alaska Republican Party previously censured Sen. Lisa Murkowski for voting to convict former President Trump after his impeachment trial and now doesn’t want her to identity as a GOP candidate in next year’s election, a member of the party’s State Central Committee said Tuesday. “The party does not want Lisa Murkowski to be a Republican candidate,” said Tuckerman Babcock, immediate past chairman of the state party. The vote to censure Murkowski was 53-17 at a Saturday meeting in Anchorage, he said. “It went further than censure, which was strong,” Babcock said. “But it also directed the party officials to recruit an opponent in the election and to the extent legally permissible, prevent Lisa Murkowski from running as a Republican in any election.”

The censure resolution also faulted Murkowski for supporting Rep. Deb Haaland as Interior secretary and for demanding Trump’s resignation after the riot at the Capitol. It’s a watershed moment for GOP politics in Alaska, the AP reports. Murkowski has been in the Senate since 2002, when her father, former Sen. Frank Murkowski, selected her to finish his unexpired term after he was elected governor. A Murkowski has represented Alaska in the US Senate since 1981. Babcock said he couldn’t speak about how the party will recruit a candidate, but said he would wait to see who Trump might endorse in the race and see if that person is a viable candidate. Murkowski hasn’t said whether she will seek another term in 2022. In 2010, she won as a write-in candidate after losing the Republican primary.

I say screw them….she should do what her conscience tells her to do….something the GOP cannot tolerate….a thinking politician.

Then there is the idiot from Arkansas, Tom Cotton, who has a hard on from Columbia University for their graduation ceremonies….

Republican Sen. Tom Cotton caused an uproar Tuesday by blasting the multicultural graduation ceremonies offered by Columbia University as “segregation.” He was apparently outraged by a Fox story that said the university would host “six separate graduation ceremonies based on income level, race, ethnicities.” Cotton and other commenters seemed to believe the university was separating students by race and income for different commencement ceremonies, when the different ceremonies are in fact optional additions to the main April 30 commencement ceremony and have been offered for years at Columbia and many other universities, the Columbia Spectator reports. Cotton slammed Columbia as a “woke university embracing segregation” and said it was part of a bigger “problem” that also involved schools, corporate HR departments, and the Biden administration.

The six extra ceremonies at Columbia, which do not overlap with each other or with the main ceremony, include Native, Asian, Latino, and Black graduations, along with the Lavender graduation for LGBT students and one for first-generation, low-income students, USA Today reports. Members of the latter group spent years pushing for their own ceremony before the first one was held in 2017, the Spectator notes. Columbia tweeted that the separate ceremonies, which will be held virtually this year, are voluntary and in most cases “evolved from ceremonies originally created by students and alumni.” Fortune reports that Columbia chemical engineering professor Faye McNeill strongly criticized the “disingenuous and bile-filled” take on graduation events. “It takes a special kind of negativity” to target these events, especially after the very difficult year students have just endured, McNeill tweeted.

Seems the GOP is still rudderless as always…..and they continue to play games instead of formulating policies to move this country forward.

Most are motivated by hate disguised as concern for the country.

Time for Americans to kick these useless slugs out of government and never let them return.

Watch This Blog!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Kill The Filibuster

The big word for early 2021 is ‘filibuster’

And now for that civics lesson that you missed in class……

The Senate filibuster first captured the American imagination in Frank Capra’s 1939 movie “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” when Jimmy Stewart’s character spoke for more than a day, and more recently in 2013 when Texas state Senator Wendy Davis spoke for 13 hours to try to block a bill imposing new restrictions on abortion.

The popular image of a lone lawmaker mounting an impassioned hours-long argument belies the reality in today’s Senate, where a mere threat is often enough to initiate a filibuster and hold up a bill.

A filibuster can only be stopped if 60 senators vote to end debate in a process called cloture.

In 1975, the Senate reduced the requirement for limiting debate to three-fifths of the Senate – currently 60 senators.

The argument against killing the filibuster is that it would break with tradition…..that tale is pure fiction…..there is NO tradition of a filibuster until the 19th century……

To be clear the Constitution makes mention of a ‘filibuster’……go ahead check it out……( run to Google if you do not know the Constitution)….there is NO mention whatsoever.

Now the Dems are trying and calling for the end of the practice…..but can they or should they end this practice?

The two Dem senators that will make the riddance of the filibuster have made their thoughts be known…….Democrats might consider looking at what Manchin and Sinema like about the filibuster. Sinema recently said, “Retaining the legislative filibuster is not meant to impede the things we want to get done. Rather, it’s meant to protect what the Senate was designed to be. I believe the Senate has a responsibility to put politics aside and fully consider, debate, and reach compromise on legislative issues that will affect all Americans.” Last year, Manchin said, “The minority should have input — that’s the whole purpose for the Senate. If you basically do away with the filibuster altogether for legislation, you won’t have the Senate. You’re a glorified House. And I will not do that.” (WaPo)

The saying is the the US Senate is where good bills go to die…..and the filibuster is the tool used to kill those good bills.

The Washington Monthly has weighed in to this debate……

If you care about American democracy, you need a Congress that works. If Congress can’t pass legislation or ratify treaties or confirm appointments, democracy isn’t working. And if Congress isn’t operating under some network of rules, some version of what the pros call “regular order,” then it can’t stand up to the president. It can’t be a check or a balance, like the founders intended.

If the Democratic Party ever hopes to govern this country, it needs to end the filibuster.

The reality lies in the arithmetic. Right now, there are 21 states with two Republican senators. That 42 votes is enough by itself to uphold a filibuster, to kill senate action on any legislation.

Looking at the list of those 21 states, an objective observer can see it is not likely to change its party loyalty any time soon: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming. The loyalty of these states to the GOP defines the partisan power of the filibuster.

How to Make Congress Stronger

My thought is if we cannot kill the filibuster then change it where 3/5 of the Senate need to be present for the whole process of bill debate.

Personally I think the a quorum is all that is needed for consideration of a bill….that sounds more constitutional to me.

Something needs to change in our government….we have enough obstructionism and stagnation….if we are ever to move past the events of the past then do the right thing and start the process of change and start with the Senate and the filibuster.

Have any thoughts?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Biden Takes On Iran

After the disastrous programs of the Trump years Biden has done little to help the tensions between Iran and the US and its allies….

They, the US, would like to return to the days of the ‘Iran Deal’ and prevent them from getting that much feared nuke weapon.

But yet it is perfectly okay for all nations around the region to possess these horrible weapons. But that is a post for another day.

And a “bi-partisan’ group of lawmakers (they work together when war is involved but not when equality is in question)….have sent a letter to Biden on Iran…..

A group of 140 bipartisan members of the House is urging President Biden to seek a more “comprehensive” agreement with Iran, which means the group of lawmakers opposes a revival of the original 2015 nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA.

In a letter sent to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, 70 Democrats and 70 Republicans said President Biden “must seek an agreement or set of agreements with Iran that are comprehensive in nature to address the full range of threats that Iran poses to the region.”

“As Democrats and Republicans from across the political spectrum, we are united in preventing an Iranian nuclear weapon and addressing the wide range of illicit Iranian behavior,” the letter reads. The effort was organized by Reps. Anthony Brown (D-MD) and Michael Waltz (R-FL).

Bipartisan Group of 140 Lawmakers Urge Biden Not to Rejoin Original Iran Deal

The letter must have worked for the Biden admin has given its word on the issue of the deal…..

State Department spokesman Ned Price said the Biden administration has no plans to make any “unilateral gestures” to jump-start talks with Tehran to revive the nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA.

“We will not offer any unilateral gestures or incentives to induce the Iranians to come to the table,” Price told reporters. “If the Iranians are under the impression that absent any movement on their part to resume full compliance with the JCPOA that we will offer favors or unilateral gestures, well, that’s a misimpression.”

Price was reiterating the administration’s stance that the US will not give Iran relief from crippling economic sanctions before Iran reduces the activity of its civilian nuclear program. Since the US is the party that withdrew from the deal in 2018, Tehran is calling on President Biden to act first. Iranian officials have been clear that they are ready to quickly abide by the limits set by the JCPOA once the US lifts sanctions.

Price also repeated another stance of the administration, that they wish to seek a stricter deal after a revival of the JCPOA. He said if the agreement was restored, it would be a “necessary but insufficient development.”

“Insufficient because we would then seek to lengthen and strengthen the terms of that deal, using it as a platform to negotiate follow-on arrangements to address these other areas of profound concern with Iran’s behavior in the region,” Price said.

(antiwar.com)

Sanctions?

Yeah they are easier than doing real work to find common ground.

Sanctions hurt the average Iranian more than the government…..my thoughts on why sanctions are barbaric…..https://lobotero.com/2020/10/14/sanctions-what-are-they-good-for/

Sadly there is common ground but the war hawks and their owners do not want a deal…..it is more lucrative to keep the pressure on Iran.

Please tell me the change in foreign policy we can expect?

So far it looks the same as it ever was.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”