The Republican Brain

No that is not an oxymoron!  (Although if it were it would be a damn good one)

These days the actual conservs do not think for themselves instead they out source that function to a think tank, the Heritage Foundation.

Most of my regulars know that I do not think much of so-called think tanks…..the reason is that most of them have a conclusion and then set about making stats and such fit what they want to report to say.

The worst among these fake intellectual endeavors is the Heritage Foundation……this group decides what the GOP will offer as way of policy and they, the politicians, do as they are told…..but to get a better grip on how this “foundation” works…….

The mood was jubilant two days after the November 2016 election at a Washington, D.C., panel co-hosted by two powerhouse conservative thinktanks—the American Enterprise Institute and the Heritage Foundation.

In his opening remarks, Heritage president Jim DeMint rejoiced that Donald Trump’s election had “preserved our constitutional republic.” Panelist John Yoo, a Berkeley law professor best known as the architect of George W. Bush’s justification for torture, drew laughs with feigned surprise at the audience size. “I thought everyone at Heritage was working over at transition head quarters,” Yoo quipped. “I asked the taxi cab driver to take me to Trump transition headquarters, and he dropped me off here.”

Source: The Right-Wing Machine Behind the Curtain

The radical conservative Heritage Foundation has spent 40 years trying to gut the federal budget. Now Trump is proving to be the perfect tool.

Many of its proposals are lifted straight from the recommendations of an elite ultra-conservative D.C. think tank: the Heritage Foundation.

Trump’s Budget proposal, released on Thursday, echoes none of the populist, anti-establishment themes of candidate Trump’s campaign for higher office. Instead, it calls for a large increase in defense spending while reducing spending for a variety of popular domestic programs.

That’s not surprising considering where those ideas came from. Rather than bringing in new ideas from outside of the Beltway, many of its proposals are lifted straight from the recommendations of an elite ultra-conservative D.C. think tank: the Heritage Foundation.

Source: Trump the Outsider Outsources His Budget to Insider Think Tank

It is disgusting to out source your policies, policies that are not anything promised while luring idiots to his cause, but that is how you do it when a bunch of screaming amateurs are running the Greatest country on the planet.

All the American people can do now is bend over and wait for the insertion….sans Vaseline.

2017 Defense Budget

I have written about the overall budget and how it will most likely effect the people of this country…..not a pretty picture….but I can take heart that word has come down that Trump will get some push back on these social cuts…..

One area that needs to be covered separately is the pending Defense budget…..Trump is asking for huge increases with all the “savings” he has found by crapping on social programs…..a look at those parts of the Defense budget…..

The Pentagon’s request for $30 billion in additional funds for the current year will go toward new aircraft and weapons and the fight against Islamic State, according to officials who on Thursday detailed President Donald Trump’s federal budget supplement. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

By presenting the majority of its fiscal year 2017 defense supplemental funding request as base budget dollars rather than special war funding, the Trump administration has set itself on a collision course with Congress, top Pentagon budget officials confirmed Thursday. – Defense News

President Donald Trump’s new budget proposal promises to lay the groundwork for his much-anticipated military buildup. But it is already being criticized as over-hyped. – Politico

The White House released its Fiscal Year 2017 supplemental funding request today, which had been touted as being focused on gaining near-term readiness but may come too late to fully support operations and maintenance additions in this current year. – USNI News

Mackenzie Eaglen writes: President Trump is proposing to increase military spending in his first budget blueprint to Congress. By how much is debatable, since there is no agreed-upon baseline from which to measure growth. But one outcome is clear: the president’s proposed defense budget increases are inadequate to meet his stated goals of rebuilding the U.S. military. – The Hill

Todd Harrison writes: As was the case some thirty years ago in the Reagan buildup, the decisions made today will determine the capabilities available thirty years from now—and most of the men and women who will serve in that future force have not yet been born. Military and civilian leaders are latching on to the idea of a “readiness crisis” in the hopes of securing short-term budgetary gains. But they would be wise to slow down and consider the long-term consequences of how they grow the defense budget. – Defense One

This is all too worrisome…..this country has been at war for 25 years or more and this budget does nothing to change that trajectory…..if anything it makes it worse.

The Pentagon can’t properly train and support the people and weapons it already has. Simply adding more won’t solve the problem — and could undermine long-term readiness.

As the budget debate kicks into high gear this week, many in Congress and the new Administration are pushing for a substantial increase in the defense budget. Much of the justification for this increase rests on the notion that the military is experiencing a “readiness crisis.” In recent Congressional testimony, the Army noted that two-thirds of its Brigade Combat Teams are not at an acceptable level of readiness because of personnel shortages, maintenance backlogs, and insufficient training. Of those that are ready, the Army says that “only three could be called upon to fight tonight in the event of a crisis.” In the same hearing, the other Services echoed the Army’s claims. The Navy reported that “overall readiness has reached its lowest level in many years,” and the Air Force reported that it is “now able to keep only half of our force at an acceptable level of readiness.”

Source: Trump’s Bigger Military Won’t Necessarily Make the US Stronger or Safer – Defense One

I do not believe that this is the answer to “Making America Great Again”…..

The Budget Of The Century

The new federal budget is making news these days…..and boy is it a whopper of a budget……and as one would think since the GOP is ruling the roost the social programs will be hit and hit hard…..

A rundown of thoughts of the new federal budget……pending budget.

President Trump’s first budget proposal was officially unveiled Thursday morning—and it delivers exactly what he promised. The proposal—titled “America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again”—contains cuts that the Washington Post says could be the biggest reduction in federal programs since the post-World War II drawdown. The Environmental Protection Agency and the State Department are the hardest-hit agencies according to budget previews, with cuts of around 30%. Military spending would be beefed up by $54 billion under the proposal, $1.5 billion is earmarked for a border wall, and Homeland Security would get a 6.8% funding increase. A roundup of coverage about the $1.15 trillion spending plan:

  • The document is here.
  • Politico reports that the budget is “red meat” for Trump’s base, with deep cuts to their most disliked government agencies and programs, though it is also what’s known as a “skinny budget” because it is so short on details. A more detailed budget will be out in May.
  • The AP lists winners and losers. The latter group includes the departments of Energy, Labor, and Transportation, along with after-school programs and many independent agencies supported by tax dollars.
  • White House budget director Mick Mulvaney acknowledged that the cuts would lead to job losses, Reuters reports. “You can’t drain the swamp and leave all the people in it,” he said during a budget preview Wednesday. He said that White House officials had looked at Trump’s campaign speeches, and “turned those policies into numbers.”
  • The New York Times reports that congressional Republicans have already declared parts of the plan dead on arrival. “The administration’s budget isn’t going to be the budget,” Sen. Marco Rubio told reporters. “We do the budget here. The administration makes recommendations, but Congress does budgets.”
  • The Hill notes that such proposals tend to be “little more than guidance” for lawmakers—and that the Senate shot down Obama’s 2015 budget 98 to 1.
  • The AP reports that the budget funds Trump’s boost for the Pentagon, the biggest since Ronald Reagan’s, with cuts to conservative targets including the National Endowment for the Arts, legal aid for the poor, and the AmeriCorps national service program.
  • NBC notes that Trump’s proposal, which makes cuts to 12 out of 15 Cabinet agencies, only covers the “discretionary” quarter of the $4 trillion budget for the fiscal year that starts in October. The portion dealing with issues including taxation, Social Security, and Medicare is due in mid-May.
  • The Washington Post reports that the budget proposal’s elimination of funding for public broadcasting means that Big Bird’s doom has been predicted once again, though public broadcasting has survived previous “zero funding” proposals all the way back to Richard Nixon.

Now that we know what is being said about the new budget…..how about we look at the programs destined for the trash heap……

  • Corporation for Public Broadcasting ($445 million): Funds local public television and radio stations, including PBS and NPR.
  • National Endowment for the Arts ($148 million): Funds after-school programs, art shows, musical productions, and more as part of its goal of getting Americans involved in the arts, according to Quartz.
  • Northern Border Regional Commission ($8 million): An economic development agency for New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine, according to USA Today.
  • Chemical Safety Board ($11 million): Investigates and makes safety recommendations following chemical accidents at federal facilities.
  • Legal Services Corporation ($385 million): Provides free legal advice to low-income Americans, funding more than 9,000 full-time legal staff.
  • National Endowment for the Humanities ($148 million): Provides scholarships in literature and culture.
  • United States Institute of Peace ($35 million): A federal think tank with 300 employees that focuses on conflict resolution.
  • United States Interagency Council on Homelessness ($4 million): Federal agency tasked with responding to and reducing homelessness.
  • Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars ($11 million): Provides scholarships in social sciences and humanities.
  • Denali Commission ($20 million): An economic development agency for Alaska.
  • Inter-American Foundation ($22 million): Promotes “citizen-led grassroots development” in Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • Delta Regional Authority ($25 million): An economic development agency for eight states in the Mississippi Delta region.
  • African Development Foundation ($30 million): Encourages economic development in Africa.
  • US Trade and Development Agency ($60 million): Promotes US transportation, energy, and telecommunications exports.
  • Overseas Private Investment Corporation ($83 million): Promotes private investment from US in the developing world.
  • Appalachian Regional Commission ($146 million): Works to improve the economy in Appalachia, according to Politico.
  • Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation ($175 million): Also known as Neighborworks America, it helps affordable housing programs.
  • Institute for Museum and Library Services ($230 million): Funds 35,000 museums and 123,000 libraries around the country.

Corporation for National & Community Service ($1.1 billion): Also known as AmeriCorps, it coordinates and promotes community service around the country.

All the programs that have been hated by the GOP for decades…..but let’s say this budget passes (I do not think that it will)……how will it effect those people that supported Trump during his his to the tower?

As a candidate, President Donald Trump promised to focus on revitalizing predominantly rural and small-town industries across America, claiming that “[f]amily farms are the backbone of this country” and that “coal is coming back.” President Trump visited these small towns and rural areas promising voters he would “create massive numbers of jobs” and that he would “rebuild … your communities.” But the agenda that Trump is advancing—reflected in his “skinny budget” released today as well as in his reported past policy proposals and statements—reveals his bait and switch on voters in these very communities.

Source: 10 Ways President Trump’s Agenda Will Harm His Supporters in Rural and Small-Town America – Center for American Progress

This all leads me to thank all those members of the “Ignorati” that helped elect this person and they can oversee the destruction of the American society….Are You Satisfied? (to quote Wild Bill Hickcock)

Let me close with a quote from Press Sec Spicer…..”just because you get less money does mean it is a cut”…..I love these people….only the “Ignorati” could give us this collection of mental midgets.

Closing Thought–16Mar17

More Wall Stuff!

There has been lots of back and forth around the Trump promise of a wall on our Southern border…it is gonna be expensive….Mexico will not pay for it…and the government could do what it does best….steal land from the people.

Rumors are that to pay for this abortion then the budget for the Coast Guard and TSA will be smaller….

Texas landowners along the U.S.-Mexico border have begun receiving notices from the federal government saying that they’re coming to either buy, or take, parcels of land for Trump’s pointless border wall. According to the Texas Observer, landowners are receiving “Declarations of Taking” notices that offer a price for the piece that the government wants. If the landowners refuse that, then they may see those parts of their property taken via eminent domain.

One landowner, Yvette Salinas, got her notice back in January. She’d been dreading it for a while because of George W. Bush’s focus on a border fence. Under Obama, she’d been able to relax a bit because he focused on patrolling and monitoring the border in ways that didn’t include taking land and building a wall.

Source: Bigot President Trump’s Border Wall Sh*t Just Got Real – Texans Receive Notices To Sell Or Have Their Land Taken | If You Only News

So Mr. Trump you will steal from the people to get your way?  Then sir you are a true Republican.  I guess in hindsight it would be cheaper to just steal the property than buy it…..

I find it amazing that a party, the GOP, of limited government has no problem using it to get their way…..like most Repubs hypocrisy rules.

The wall will make the US a more secure nation, right?

Did  mention that we, this country, have water on 3 sides?  And a lower budget for the Coast Guard that protects our watery borders makes good sense (sarcasm)….

What Price The Wall?

WE all have heard the grand scheme to protect the homeland from the invasion of the “benefits” snatchers….that scheme would be that all impressive WALL.

The big question is where will we cough up the cash to pay for this monstrosity without raising taxes?  Or just how will this effect the security of the homeland?

According to the “fat man in the bathtub” this, the Wall, will go a long way to protecting the nation from the influx of those rabid bad guys waiting at the border to come flooding in to cause chaos and mayhem….

First, you mental midgets that think this is a good idea do realize that this country has water on 3 sides, right?

Personally, I think that the Wall is a dumb idea from the inception….great slogan but has little practical application.

Then I saw a report on one way being considered to help pay for this abortion….

The Trump administration, searching for money to build the president’s planned multibillion-dollar border wall and crack down on illegal immigration, is weighing significant cuts to the Coast Guard, the Transportation Security Administration and other agencies focused on national security threats, according to a draft plan.

The proposal, drawn up by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), also would slash the budget of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which provides disaster relief after hurricanes, tornadoes and other natural disasters. The Coast Guard’s $9.1 billion budget in 2017 would be cut 14 percent to about $7.8 billion, while the TSA and FEMA budgets would be reduced about 11 percent each to $4.5 billion and $3.6 billion, respectively.

(WaPo)

Think about that for a minute you mindless dolts.

Budget cuts for Coast Guard and TSA….entry points far greater than that damn land bridge that you are so concerned about.

There is already a push back against this sort of “solution”…..

House Republicans and the nation’s largest association of retired military officers have called on the Trump administration to scrap a reported plan for a major cut in the Coast Guard budget, in part to pay for the proposed wall on the Mexican border.

“We cannot defend our homeland and continue critical security missions without the U.S. Coast Guard. It is as simple as that,” Rep. Frank LoBiondo, a New Jersey Republican and member of the House Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee, said in a statement.

“Whomever is advising President Trump that the service could do more with even less is detached from the facts and reality on the ground,” he said.

I realize that it is early in the process but to consider this line of thought is truly moronic….but what can we expect from a group that has NO idea what they are doing?

Guess that check from Mexico bounced, eh?

Bill…..Bill…..Who’s Got The Bill?

We have been bet about the head with the slogan “repeal and replace” for about 7 years….and the new dude in the Oval Office has made it a cornerstone of his presidency.

There has been much confusion on what will the plan be…..but after many hours of debate and promises there seems to be a plan in the Congress to do just what was promised…..

One small problem….no one is saying where the bill is or what it will entail….

As of Thursday, a new version of House Republicans’ ObamaCare repeal and replace bill is available for review by members and staffers on the House Energy and Commerce panel, but they’ll have to do a bit of work to see it: There’s just one copy, kept in a dedicated reading room, and no other copies are being given to lawmakers to take with them, Bloomberg reports. The new draft “is being treated a bit like a top-secret surveillance intercept,” the site notes, after an outdated draft was leaked last week and quickly derided—Republicans are looking to avoid the same thing happening again. But they might be doing too good a job, as lawmakers are struggling to locate the shrouded-in-secrecy draft:

  • Rep. Frank Pollone, the top-ranking Democrat on the above-mentioned panel, has been on a quest to find the copy of the latest draft so he can read it. So far, he’s had no luck, even when he went by the room it’s supposed to be kept in. NPR follows his search.
  • Sen. Rand Paul went on his own search for the bill Thursday, tweeting about his progress and bringing along a copy machine in case he found it. More on his quest, and a look at some of the Democrats poking fun at the “Where’s the bill” fiasco, at the Washington Post.
  • It didn’t help that the rumored location of the secret bill got leaked, leading reporters to join in the hunt. A ton of people showed up at the room, but none of them located the bill. Vox has more.
  • The House Energy and Commerce committee is tentatively scheduled to vote on the secretive bill next week, reports the New York Times, which has criticism from Democrats claiming Republicans are “playing hide-and-seek” with the bill.

I understand the fear of a leak….but in this case since it is suppose to be something for the citizens of this country….why keep it a secret….is there something nefarious going on?  I recall the secrecy around the TPP and all the grief around that plan….

Is the bill that bad that it must be hidden until the last moment?

The Day Diplomacy Died

There is no secret that I am a liberal….and no I am not talking about some political BS (so you mental midgets on the Right can hold your twisted tongues) in this case I am referring to a theory of international relations which states…..

Liberalism emphasizes that the broad ties among states have both made it difficult to define national interest and decreased the usefulness of military power. Liberalism developed in the 1970s as some scholars began arguing that realism was outdated. Increasing globalization, the rapid rise in communications technology, and the increase in international trade meant that states could no longer rely on simple power politics to decide matters. Liberal approaches to international relations are also called theories of complex interdependence. Liberalism claims the following:

  • The world is a harsh and dangerous place, but the consequences of using military power often outweigh the benefits. International cooperation is therefore in the interest of every state.
  • Military power is not the only form of power. Economic and social power matter a great deal too. Exercising economic power has proven more effective than exercising military power.
  • Different states often have different primary interests.
  • International rules and organizations can help foster cooperation, trust, and prosperity.

That also means that I believe that diplomacy is the best way to deal with conflicts than the use of military might be only the last resort.

The title says “the day diplomacy died” and I use it with good reason…..

The Trump administration is proposing a 37 percent spending cut for the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), according to multiple reports.

U.S. officials say the suggested decrease would likely require laying off employees, including security contractors at diplomatic facilities overseas, The Associated Press said Tuesday.

The AP said development assistance would likely take the biggest hit, citing officials familiar with the proposal.

(thehill.com)

This move will seriously injure the State Department and its efforts internationally.

In essence this could kill any and all diplomatic missions around the globe…..the State Department will not be needed….so turn over all international situations over to the Defense Department…..and we can settle all disputes with our military might.

Without the influence of the US in diplomatic situations the hegemony will go to those that use diplomacy over military……our so-called “exceptionalism” will be greatly diminished.

And not to mention the harm this could do to our national security…….

Source: President Trump’s Proposed Budget Is Bad for U.S. National Security – Center for American Progress

This is all a purposed policy change……we can only hope that sanity will return to the process…..but I have my doubts.