Closing Thought–02Dec16

GOP–When It Was A “Big Tent” Party……..

My grandfather, a man that I found to be an astute individual, was a Republican in his voting prime.  He always said that he could get behind their platform for it would strengthen the country and make it a much better place for ALL Americans.

The last time he voted was 1956…..

The years before Reagan and his assault on any one not privileged…aka “Welfare Queens”…..

If the GOP were still a party of ideas then I would be a Republican…but sadly they have long since vanished….replaced with a party of division, wealth and privilege……nothing they propose anymore will “make America great again”…..

Sadly there are no moderate or liberal Repubs left…..they have been replaced by the twats on the far Right….and that will be a worthless situation….very little if anything will be done in DC…..

Together, Donald Trump and his GOP cohorts who won on November 8 represent some of the worst tendencies in the country. Trump personifies our economic and social contradictions front and center, loud and clear. The mainstream media recognizes that Donald Trump certainly won, but few seem willing to discuss how the far right wrangled a significant victory on Election Day.

This should not be surprising. While members of the intelligentsia are now scrambling to vindicate our democratic system and call for unity, they spent years ignoring the cracks in its economic foundation. No doubt they would ignore the growing fissures now manifest, oblivious to the system poised to crash upon us. Their belief in the American status quo ushered Trump into the presidency.

Source: Let’s Face It: There Is No Moderate GOP

It took about 30 years for the GOP to go from a party of ideas to a party of immature BS…….The GOP will remain a stagnant party as long as they keep purging the Moderates and Liberals….the party will remain a party in name ONLY!

 

DoD, You Have A Leader

I have been waiting for two appointments made by PEOTUS Trump, SecDef and SecState these will be very telling in our pursuit of a Trump foreign policy.

SecState has been a yo-yo, a game of appearances and so far nothing of substance….but SecDef had been a relative silent choice….that is until yesterday….an unofficial official announcement was made that a choice had been made…..Gen. Mattis for SecDef….

Sources tell the Washington Post that Donald Trump has picked a “Mad Dog” for secretary of defense. That’s just one of the nicknames held by retired Marine Gen. James Mattis, who CNN notes is also known as the “Warrior Monk.” Apart from spending four decades with the Marines, Mattis was recently the chief of US Central Command—a role in which he clashed with President Obama over Iran—and spent time as the supreme allied commander of transformation for NATO. John McCain has called Mattis “one of the finest military officers of his generation and an extraordinary leader.” He has a “cult-like following” among infantry Marines and soldiers, the Military Times reports.

“He speaks truth to everyone and would certainly speak truth to this new commander in chief,” a former Pentagon official tells the Post. Mattis has raised eyebrows—to say the least—in the past with quotes such as “It’s fun to shoot some people” and, “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.” Trump has called him the “real deal.” Mattis would require a special waiver from Congress before being confirmed because he’s been a civilian for less than seven years. Despite a Trump transition spokesperson saying no decision has been made, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted that Mattis was offered the gig and an official announcement is expected next week.

Mattis sees Putin in a different light as Trump…will this be a point of contention between the two?

Trump, himself, made the appointment official in his Victory Tour he began yesterday….however there is a slight problem…you see he has been out of the military for 3 years and the law is it must be 7….he will need a waiver….which he will probably get for Congress is controlled…..but there may be some push back from the Dems…..just to be a pain in his ass.

What Is ‘Ethno-Nationalism’?

For at least a decade there have been accusations thrown around by the two so-called parties about each others agendas…..on the Right they seem to prefer the term “socialist” without knowing exactly what a socialist is all about…..and then on the Left they want to use the term “racist” or Fascist”……In my opinion both are wrong….so wrong….

After his election, Trump made his campaign dude, Bannon, his adviser….which was a smart move for the position does not need Congressional confirmation…..but once he was named the terms started flying around like flies on a turd.

This article appears in The American Conservative (yes I read that publication….surprise….surprise)…..

According to recent reports in the mainstream media, Steve Bannon is a supporter of “ethno-nationalism,” and that is scary. It is also, since everything the left doesn’t like is slapped with this label, “racist.” Sometimes, the word “white” is thrown in the mix of charges to make them extra scary, as in this tweet from the Southern Poverty Law Center. (If Bannon is a “white nationalist,” what work is “ethno” doing in that tweet? Or if he is really an “ethno-nationalist,” why is “white” thrown in except as a propaganda technique?)

To make their point, people are citing quotes from Bannon like this one: “‘When two-thirds or three-quarters of the C.E.O.s in Silicon Valley are from South Asia or from Asia, I think …’ he said, trailing off midsentence before continuing a moment later, ‘a country is more than an economy. We’re a civic society.’”

Source: What Is ‘Ethno-Nationalism’? | The American Conservative

I am not sure that I will agree with their conclusions but I felt that they needed some exposure…..it still sounds like a code word to me…

If I had heard this piece on audio only I would have sworn that was a piece by Pat Buchanan.

Below is an op-ed, not mine, on some afterthoughts of the Trump victory….

I was in the lobby of a theatre this week after the election, having an honest talk about Donald Trump. A lady came over to me and my friends and whispered, “keep your voice down or you’ll get arrested.” I told her she was being ridiculous and she responded that we all had to be careful. He would arrest his critics. I understand some people are upset. I’m upset. But paranoia leads to isolation. The worst thing we can do is silence ourselves, to act as if the danger is worse than it is. There are real problems. Let’s not pretend to have problems that don’t exist.

So what is the situation that shows itself in the election of Donald Trump?

Source: What Comes After Denial? Thoughts on Donald Trump’s Movement – Amor Mundi – Medium

Who Will Lead The VA?

Nothing is more needed than supreme leadership for our millions of veterans…..the VA is tasked with making sure that our vets get the best service and care possible.

So far I have not been impressed with the choices our new prez has been making for his new government….I see very little change from the days of Obama…he has made dismal choices so far in my opinion…..

Word has leaked out on just who he may task to lead the VA…it is a person that cannot finish a job once it is started……a person with more mouth than clout.

Does Donald Trump have a big job lined up for loyal supporter Sarah Palin? The former Alaska governor is a candidate to head the Department of Veterans Affairs, a Palin aide and a Trump transition team official tell ABC, which notes that the VA is the largest government agency, with more than 300,000 employees. USA Today reports that Palin appears to be very keen: In a Facebook post Wednesday, she praised Trump as a “commander-in-chief who will champion our vets.” She also shared a video from her SarahPAC political action committee on her ideas to fix the agency’s problems, along with an endorsement from son-in-law Dakota Meyer, a Medal of Honor recipient who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Chicago Tribune reports.

A spokesman for Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan tells Alaska Dispatch News that the senator would like to see Palin head the VA. “Alaska has more veterans per capita than any other state, making this position critically important for our state,” he says. Palin would be the first non-veteran in the role, though her son Track Palin is an Iraq veteran. ABC notes that former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, who spent 35 years in the Army National Guard, is also being considered for the post and, unlike Palin, has visited Trump Tower for meetings. Rep. Jeff Miller and Gen. Keith Kellogg have also been connected to the role.

If this is truly Trump’s choice then it will make me sick.  A loud mouth without guts or principles…..to look after our veterans.

I believe that only someone that has actually served in the military can know just what are the needs of a veterans.  I thought is Sen Chuck Hagel he is a conservative and has actually fought in a war and served as a soldier.

Palin’s service to Alaska only lasted a half term before she cut and ran…..the VA needs people of conviction and courage….of which she has NEITHER!

Is The TPP Finally Dead?

From the beginning I was opposed to this TPP that Obama and so many others championed….I recall what damage Clinton’s NAFTA did to the American economy….

There were a few issues in the Trump agenda that I could embrace….but I liked his rhetoric on international interventionism and especially his rhetoric on trade….both NAFTA and TPP……

Mercifully it appears that the TPP is finally dead…..

In spite of the hopes of many elite types for a last-minute resurrection, it appears that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is finally dead.  This is good news, but it took a long time to kill the deal, and the country is likely to pay a huge price for the execution.

The basic point that everyone should know by now is that the TPP had little to do with trade. The United States already had trade deals with six of the 11 other countries in the pact. The trade barriers with the other five countries were already very low in most cases, so there was little room left for further trade liberalization in the TPP.

Instead, the main purpose of the TPP was to lock in place a business-friendly structure of regulation. The deal was negotiated by a series of working groups that were dominated by representatives of major corporations. The regulatory structure was to be enforced by investor-state dispute settlement tribunals. This is an extrajudicial system that would be able to override US laws with secret rulings that were not bound by precedent or subject to appeal.

Source: The Slow, Painful Death of the TPP

We will have to wait and see if Trump will be true to his word……my optimism is at a low ebb right now.

Presidential War Is Unconstitutional

With the latest election I have been rather kind to the Obama admin….I have been busy trying to decide it the Trump admin will be better or worse for American involvement overseas……

But I shall rectify that oversight on my part…..

The wars that were are fighting now have NOT been authorized by Congress…..it stretches all the way back to the Bush admin…..if you think the Constitution is the law of the land then these wars are unconstitutional….period!

But let us take a look at the Constitution and war……

More generally, after 9/11, rather than following the congressional authorization and focusing like a laser beam on countering the original al Qaeda group and their patrons, the Afghan Taliban, the George W. Bush administration launched a general “war on terror,” which covered all terrorist groups of international scope, regardless of whether or not they focused on attacking US targets. In the end, this massive Bush administration violation of the narrow 2001 authorization led to illegal US drone wars and airstrikes in countries all over the Middle East and Southwest Asia, Somalia (against al-Shabab), Yemen (against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula), Pakistan (against the Pakistani Taliban), and Iraq, Syria, and Libya (against ISIS). The Obama administration then accelerated all these unconstitutional wars. Now Obama is trying shore up the already thin legal fig leaf, so that it can pass such travesties – which actually make Islamist groups more rabid each time the US intervenes – onto the incoming Trump administration. When Obama took office, he complained that he inherited from the Bush administration an economic meltdown and a military quagmire in Iraq, but he in turn is bequeathing a legal quagmire to his successor.

Source: Presidential War Is Unconstitutional – Antiwar.com Original by — Antiwar.com

Have you noticed that the Congress has refused to do its job and vote on the authorization of war….and since they have not done their job….all these “wars” are unconstitutional and should be halted until such time as the Congress acts on the authorization thing.

Will Pres. Trump uphold the Constitution?  Or is it just a prop like with all other politicians?

My Concerns For National Security

I have always said the foreign policy and national security should be paramount in Trump’s mind….but recently I read something that gives me concern….

George W. Bush and Bill Clinton received daily intelligence briefings after winning their elections, and Barack Obama was said to be an “avid consumer of intelligence” as president-elect. But US officials tell the Washington Post that Donald Trump has only had two intelligence briefings since defeating Hillary Clinton and has been turning down further briefings. The daily intelligence briefings include information on “global developments and security threats” from all 16 US intelligence agencies. “Trump has a lot of catching up to do,” one senior US official says.

But Trump’s team says the president-elect has simply been too busy putting together his administration. “National security is Donald Trump’s No. 1 priority, and I think he’s taking it very seriously,” a senior member of his transition team tells the Post. The official points to Trump’s meetings and phone calls with world leaders as evidence and says people criticizing Trump “need to get a life.” But government officials critical of Trump say it’s further evidence he doesn’t really care about the ins and outs of the job. A former deputy CIA director says Trump is “missing out on a golden opportunity.” On the other hand, Mike Pence has been receiving intelligence briefings nearly everyday. Read the full story here.

Sorry Donald but the prez needs to be able to walk, talk and chew gum all at the same time…..

I cannot tell if his hesitation to pick a SecState and SecDef is a good thing or a bad one…..I am anxious to see who he will choose for these two positions….that will be very telling of the direction Trump wants our foreign policy to travel.

As I watch the Trump government take shape there are a few concerns I have and I list them here……

  • Publicly reveal all potential international conflicts of interest among his business holdings and place all of his business assets in a blind trust—not managed by family members, which is an obvious conflict of interest—to avert running afoul of the emoluments clause of the U.S. Constitution.
  • Allow the IRS to indicate a timeline for the completion of his most recent audit so that he may fulfill his pledge to release his tax returns to further ensure no conflicts of interest in executing U.S. foreign or domestic policy.
  • Direct his choice for national security adviser, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, to publicly disclose all financial payments and consulting arrangements from foreign governments and to release a detailed record of all communications with Russian and Turkish officials or agents, including during the election period.
  • Join with his incoming secretaries of defense, state, and homeland security to provide details on his plan to defeat the Islamic State and clarify how his avowed war on radical Islamic terrorism will be waged and the metrics for which its success should be gauged.
  • Join with his national security appointees to clarify how his commitment to a no-fly zone over Syria will be enforced, what allies would participate in such an effort, and its likely duration.
  • Join with his incoming attorney general and secretaries of homeland security and defense to make an unequivocal vow that in their confirmation hearings, they will both recuse themselves and not impede investigations into Russian interference in the recent U.S. elections and links to WikiLeaks hacks.
  • Direct his secretary of state and U.S. Department of Defense nominees to reconfirm the nation’s long-standing commitment to treaty obligations to U.S. allies in NATO and in Asia.
  • Direct his incoming secretaries of defense and state to make clear their view of the illegal occupation of Crimea by Russian forces and the role of Russia in downing Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine.
  • Join with his national security appointees to explain the mechanics and ramifications of the United States canceling all pledged support to the United Nations for addressing the increasingly severe challenges of global warming.
  • Immediately outline the details of his plan to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon if he dismantles the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
  • Immediately commit publicly not to ban anyone from entering the United States based solely on race, religion, or any other basis that would violate U.S. values.
  • Immediately outline his plans for preventing North Korea from advancing its nuclear and missile programs.
  • Immediately commit to nonproliferation of nuclear weapons.

These are the aspects of foreign policy that will help make me more confident on the leadership of Donald Trump….I am not naive and realize that he may not address each of these issues…..but the ones he does will be very telling.