Will They “Agree To Disagree”?

5 days and counting before the big day that so many are looking forward to…..Trump will become president instead of president-elect.  (Let the peasants dance)

He, Trump, has been putting together his cabinet and now these people are going though Congressional scrutiny to determine if they are the right people for their designated jobs…..

If you are a supporter of the new lord high ruler then you may be aware of his positions on certain issues (somehow I doubt this but there could be a miracle in there)….but there is a slight problem brewing….some of these appointees are not holding to the line that Trump laid forth during his campaign…..

One of the themes emerging from coverage of this week’s confirmation hearings is points on which Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees have disagreed with him on major issues. Examples from the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal:

  1. Retired Gen. James Mattis, the defense chief nominee, “classified Russia as the principal threat to the US and expressed little hope that Washington would develop a substantive partnership with Moscow, as Mr. Trump has suggested.” (The Journal)
  2. Mattis also said the US must abide by the “imperfect ­arms-control agreement” with Iran that Trump has threatened to dismantle because “when America gives her word, we have to live up to it and work with our allies.” (The Post)
  1. Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson’s comments on climate change didn’t sync with Trump’s prior statements that it is a hoax, saying America must “maintain its seat at the table on the conversations around how to address the threats of climate change, which do require a global response.” (The Post)
  2. Retired Marine Corps Gen. John F. Kelly, picked to lead Homeland Security, didn’t sound enthused about Trump’s plan for a border wall with Mexico. “A physical barrier in and of itself will not do the job,” he said, adding, “it has to be really a layered defense.” (The Times)
  3. Trump has said he would bring back waterboarding, but his pick to run the CIA, Mike Pompeo, is opposed. Pompeo said he would “absolutely not” follow orders from the president to use the interrogation technique. (The Journal)
  1. Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions also called waterboarding illegal, and, when asked about Trump’s proposed ban on Muslim immigrants (one he has since modified to refer to troubled nations, not religion) said, “I have no belief, and I do not support the idea that Muslims, as a religious group, should be denied admission to the United States.” (The Times)

On Friday morning, Trump himself didn’t sound concerned about the disagreements. “All of my Cabinet [nominees] are looking good and doing a great job,” he tweeted. “I want them to be themselves and express their own thoughts, not mine!”

The last line shows maturity….(if you believe that sort of con job)………but there is a problem with it….these people serve at the leisure of the president….basically that means to put it simply….do it my way or hit the highway.

Who will win this battle?

We will see who has principles and who is a spineless toad……my guess would be the later.

Is A Bipartisan Foreign Policy Possible?

This world, the one that Trump is about to inherit, is a confusing and dangerous one….what is needed by this country is a Bi-Partisan foreign policy….one that both sides of the coin can agree on and work at keeping the country and the world a safer place….(a pipe dream in the making I fear)

But with the atmosphere in DC these days is that a realistic dream?

This report was authored by none other than a Clinton appointee, Albright….she is a neocon no matter anything else and this is her take on the possibility….

With dangers growing around the world, it’s more urgent than ever.

Seventy years ago this week, as the Truman administration was defining its approach to the Cold War, Republican Senator Arthur Vandenberg coined a phrase and proclaimed a principle: “politics stops at the water’s edge.” Vandenberg acknowledged that Americans had “earnest, honest, even vehement” differences on foreign policy. But, he wrote, “so long as we can keep partisan politics out of foreign affairs, it is entirely obvious that we shall speak with infinitely greater authority abroad.”

Following the most divisive presidential campaign in our country’s modern history, calls for bipartisanship may seem old-fashioned and naïve. But a bipartisan approach to foreign policy is achievable and remains essential for our security at home and stability around the globe.

Source: Yes, a Bipartisan Foreign Policy Is Possible—Even Now – POLITICO Magazine

A very optimistic appraisal….I think personally that it is nothing more than wishful thinking….but to be fair we will not know for sure until 20Jan and the days after the coronation.

Closing Thought–13Jan17

“Seven Days In May”

I finished my course on Terrorism about mid-December….the students were a lot more informed than most give them credit….of course there is always one that wants to challenge everything one says….but that makes the course interesting….I was feeling a bit sad because I would not be lecturing this year….at least for now.

Then I got a bit of good news….a friend read an op-ed that I had written for Ace News Room….he contacted me and said that he thought it would make a good mini course….about 3-4 weeks long.

In case the reader would like to check out the op-ed……

Did you ever see the movie mentioned in the title? It was a movie from the 1960’s (more on that shortly)….with biggies of the day…Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster….an excellent novel and a good movie.

Source: “Seven Days In May” | Ace News Room

My friend and colleague has decide to approach the dean about a course on coup d’etat….we will see if anyone else is interested in the subject.

The course would include and intro to what a coup d’etat is and then a history of the act and then what goes into preparing and executing the coup…..there is more to this subject than just a label.

It would make for interesting course and one that the students could walk away from with more knowledge than they had when they walked in.  It should be a required course of study for anyone majoring in Conflict analysis and management…..

That is all for me today my friends….do as I do….try to enjoy your weekend….there will be time for more of this stuff next week.

Closing Thought–12Jan17

Lately there is has been a wealth of stories in the news about Puerto Rico…most of it having to do with the island going bankrupt…..but there is a new twist to the story of this island state…..

Puerto Rico’s new rep to the US Congress filed a bill Wednesday that would turn the island into the 51st US state by 2025. The bill is the first step in a renewed quest for statehood that’s to include a referendum letting Puerto Rico voters choose between independence and statehood, Resident Commissioner Jenniffer Gonzalez tells the AP. She filed the bill less than a day after she was sworn in as Puerto Rico’s first female congressional representative, saying she aims to secure equal treatment for the more than 3 million US citizens living in the US territory. “We are treated as second-class American citizens,” says Gonzalez, a Republican who once served as speaker of the island’s House of Representatives.

The bill also aims to relieve a decade-long economic crisis that’s sparked a recent exodus of more than 200,000 Puerto Ricans to the mainland. If Congress ultimately accepts Puerto Rico as a state, the island would receive roughly $10 billion in additional federal funds a year, Gonzalez says. Puerto Rico became a US territory in 1898 and gained limited political autonomy when the US approved its constitution in 1952. However, islanders can’t vote in presidential elections, and their congressional representative has limited voting powers. Statehood is a top priority for Puerto Rico’s new governor, Ricardo Rossello, who has said he plans to hold elections to choose two senators and five representatives to Congress and send them to Washington to demand statehood, a strategy used by Tennessee to join the union in the 1700s.

The US has been raping the island for decades maybe it is time for them to enter into the union…..but first…..what says the people of Puerto Rico?

This should be their decision not some isolated fat cat in the Congress…..

Good day my friends…I look forward to your visits….

Tea For The Tillerson–Addendum

I wrote a piece earlier today on the president-elect’s choice for SecState….and his stand on issues that may impact his decisions as the secretary….

After his confrontation with Rubio there is a whole deal brewing around what could possibly happen if Rubio votes NO…..

When secretary of state nominee Rex Tillerson testified before the Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday, he faced the toughest scrutiny from Marco Rubio. The pair had a a number of testy exchanges, with Rubio skeptical that the ExxonMobil chief would be as tough as he needed to be on Russia in particular. As Quartz explains, this raises a potentially serious problem for Donald Trump’s nominee: The committee has 11 Republicans and 10 Democrats, meaning if Rubio votes against Tillerson, that could prevent the committee from sending his name to the full Senate for a final vote. (The GOP’s Lindsey Graham also sounded a bit skeptical, notes CNN.) “I’m prepared to do what’s right,” said Rubio after the hearing, per Real Clear Politics. “I’m not analyzing it from a partisan standpoint.”

All of which sets up three scenarios: The most likely seems to be that Rubio will vote yes, content with having made his point about Russia. The second is that he’ll vote no and Republicans will find a Democrat on the panel to flip. The third scenario is perhaps the least likely, but also “fascinating,” writes blogger Allahpundit at Hot Air: In this case, the committee votes against Tillerson, but Mitch McConnell, under pressure from Trump, sends his name to the full Senate anyway. The Senate then has a tough decision: “Do they defer to the committee by voting no on Tillerson, knowing how angry Trump will be? Or do they make Trump happy by voting to confirm,” which sets a precedent for ignoring committee judgments and thus makes “plum committee assignments” less valuable than they used to be.

Now this will be interesting…..to see how Rubio handles his vote and how McConnell handles the aftermath….

If Rubio stands by his guns then I will have found a new respect for the person that I have not had at all.

Will he keep his cajones or will the GOP remove them for him?

Tea For The Tillerson–Redux

I have said many times that the most important position in the new cabinet forming is that of the SecState…….and as the confirmation hearings begin for the Trump nominee, Tillerson, it might be a good idea to get a handle on his positions on different issues…but first during his confirmation hearing Sen. Rubio stated when he wanted Tillerson to call Putin a war criminal……

Rubio addressed that relationship immediately, asking Tillerson if he’d label Putin a “war criminal.” When Tillerson replied that he “would not use that term,” Rubio described the deaths of 300,000 Chechen Republic civilians in Putin-ordered bombings and the killing of civilians in Aleppo by Russia-backed Syria. Tillerson hedged, saying he’d need to see classified information first. “None of this is classified,” the New York Times quotes Rubio as replying. “People are dead.”

Wait!  I do not support this guy but this is a bit hypocritical…..would you label Obama a war criminal for the civilian deaths drone strikes cause?

Onward to Tillerson on the issues……

Rex Tillerson is a bit of a cipher on U.S. foreign policy, unless you view international relations purely through the lens of energy interests.

As the former chief executive officer and chairman of ExxonMobil Corp., Tillerson has vast experience dealing with foreign governments, security threats, as well as the State Department. But as an oilman, his goal was solely financial profit, not furthering the interests of the United States. “I had to do what’s best for my shareholders,” Tillerson told shocked State Department officials in 2011 after ignoring their pleas not to circumvent Iraq’s central government by making a deal directly with Iraqi Kurds. During his professional career, Tillerson has largely judged success through dollar figures, not nebulous measures such as whether a foreign state is becoming more democratic or more human rights friendly.

Source: Tillerson on the issues – POLITICO

Our reputation on the international stage and we had best pick the right person for the job…..I do not think this is the right person.

Closing Thought–11Jan17

It’s all those damn “welfare queens”……..

Has anyone noticed that the dullards on the Right have not moved past the Reagan years?  35 years after the “Great Ronnie” and they still hate anyone that needs food stamps or help surviving.

And they are still pushing their “patriotic” stuff about the military….they worship those vets and will thank them for their service whenever the cameras are on.  But basically that is as far as the “patriotic” theme goes.

So my question is…..how do they feel about soldiers families that cannot survive without assistance like food stamps?  Are these people as worthless as the Ronnie “welfare queens”?

25 percent of the nation’s total active duty and reserve personnel – that are seeking aid from food pantries and other charitable programs across the country, according to a rare inquiry about the food insecurity of troops and veterans conducted by Feeding America, a hunger relief charity, that will be released Monday. Another 2.37 million households including veterans receive assistance from food pantries that are part of Feeding America’s network (this figure doesn’t include households where both a former and current service member reside).

The help is sought for various reasons, experts say: For active duty, pressures include low pay, poor financial planning by junior soldiers, the difficulty for spouses to hold steady jobs amid base transfers and deployments, and the higher costs of living in some states.

Now that we have a new “ruler”, a Congress dominated by the GOP I am sure that food stamps will be in the firing line…along with Obamacare….

Basically, who cares about those damn soldiers and their families?  They should have made better choices with their lives, right?  (Hopefully you realize that that statement was sarcasm)

To be fair (something not known on the Right) there have been reports that our newly elected prez will do something about the military pay….what that is is anyone’s guess….but hopefully he will do the right thing for the troops and their families.