Repeal And Replace

I usually close down my posting day with the “Closing Thought” but there are times when stuff happens and I need to rub it in…..

The GOP has been everywhere on the airways tell us ignorant peons that their new health bill will solve all the ills of society…..Trump sped down to the Capital and worked his magic to save the dying bill…..after one vote pulled an attempt to save their piece of work for the wealthy the GOP ran around skipping and jumping trying anything to save their precious bill…..

And in the end the patient crapped out and “repeal and replace” has been put on hold…..

A House vote on the American Health Care Act was canceled just before it was scheduled to happen, avoiding what the AP says would have been a “humiliating defeat” for President Trump and GOP leaders while still being—according to Politico—a “staggering defeat” for Trump and Paul Ryan. On Thursday, Trump had demanded a vote on the Republican replacement for ObamaCare despite it appearing primed to fail. On Friday, CNN reports Trump called Ryan and asked him to pull the bill without a vote. Sean Spicer says Trump “left everything on the field” trying to make a deal to get the AHCA approved. Hospital and insurer stocks saw an immediate improvement with the news there would be no vote, according to Reuters.

What can I say?

All that work and the best you guys could do was piss it up…..

You guys crapped in your chili…….Time for a new slogan dudes.

A Coup Of A Different Color?

I have been writing and speaking about the possibility of a coup happening in Foggy Bottom.  Mostly it is a “what if” scenario.  Students find it a fascinating subject and seem to devour every word during the speech.

At first I was concerned about a possible military coup simply because of the amount of generals that Trump has placing in key positions….I even wrote a bit on this possibility….

A couple of my closing thoughts posts were on this subject.

Source: Closing Thought–13Jan17 – In Saner Thought

Source: Closing Thought–07Mar17 – In Saner Thought

Then I started thinking that all the problems that Trump is having with leaks in his administration I have changed my thinking into a “soft coup”….meaning that it is a takeover of the government without the use of violence and destruction…the Constitution can be used in this coup…the 25th amendment……

The answer lies in Section 4 of the 25th Amendment to the Constitution.

The amendment states that if, for whatever reason, the vice president and a majority of sitting Cabinet secretaries decide that the president is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office,” they can simply put that down in writing and send it to two people — the speaker of the House and the Senate’s president pro tem.

The site Vox took a look at this type of coup……

Source: The 25th Amendment, explained: how a president can be declared unfit to serve – Vox

With all the leaks and the reports of conflict of interests and the ranting, mindless ranting and of course the leaks all seem to be leading down a path for the use of the Constitution.

The American Conservative is also looking into this possibility…..

We Americans have long regarded coups as undesirable political turmoil afflicting nations in Africa, Asia and Latin America in which governments are changed by force rather than through the ballot box. During the past several weeks, political commentators are beginning to use the word when describing the series of events that began last summer with the claim that Russia was somehow interfering in our national election on behalf of one candidate. To be sure, no one expects the country’s armed forces to march on the White House and force Donald Trump out, but some commentators are suggesting that a political environment is deliberately being created that will either make it impossible for Trump to govern or, if the pieces fall together nicely, will provide grounds for impeachment. As those who might be promoting that kind of regime change are civilians who will not be resorting to armed insurrection, it might be most correct to refer to the possible coup as “soft” or even “stealth.” Conservative radio host and author Mark Levin refers to it as a “silent coup.”

Source: A Soft Coup, or Preserving Our Democracy? | The American Conservative

Has anyone heard of Wikileaks?  Of course you have it has been in the news for years and now its founder is writing about a soft coup by Mike Pence…..

Over the weekend we noted chatter that some saw Mike Pence as “the Deep State’s insurance policy,” and now, judging by tweets from Wikileaks’ Julian Assange, that may well be the Clinton/Intelligence Officials plan…

Source: Assange Claims Hillary, Intel Officials “Quietly Pushing A Pence Takeover” | Zero Hedge

I know….I know….all this sounds like some sort of conspiracy theory and it is in a manner….but there are too many analyst and pundits that are starting to think along these lines to not take it a bit more seriously.

Just keep an eye on the upcoming Congressional hearings and investigations…..those could be very telling of something in the wind…..and the Constitution will make it a bit more justified sounding.

Keep in mind that DC is a town full of predators and predators are always looking for a vulnerability…..even the mighty will become prey.

Closing Thought–23Mar17

This day in History!

On this day in 1919 the movement known as Fascism was born……

Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was the first twentieth-century fascist dictator in Europe.

Source: On this day in 1919: Mussolini founds his radical Party and modern Facism is born

Moving on to the meat of the thought……

I recall in history class we use to talk about the suspicion that some governments had that they had “spies” in all positions keeping an eye on their bosses….making sure that they stayed on track with the approved dialog.

Off the top of my head there was that political experiment in Germany and the one within the Soviet Union….controlled for political purity…..ring any bells?

What made me think of those weasels of history was something I read about the Trump admin…….

The White House has installed political appointees at Cabinet agencies to track secretaries’ loyalty to the president and his agenda, the Washington Post reports, citing unnamed officials. Under the unusual arrangement, which has created tensions within the Cabinet, White House aides sit in on Cabinet meetings and report to White House deputy chief of staff Rick Dearborn (above left, with Trump adviser Stephen Miller).

From the Washington Post:

The political appointee charged with keeping watch over Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt and his aides has offered unsolicited advice so often that after just four weeks on the job, Pruitt has shut him out of many staff meetings, according to two senior administration officials.

At the Pentagon, they’re privately calling the former Marine officer and fighter pilot who’s supposed to keep his eye on Defense Secretary Jim Mattis “the commissar,” according to a high-ranking defense official with knowledge of the situation. It’s a reference to Soviet-era Communist Party officials who were assigned to military units to ensure their commanders remained loyal.

Read Full Article »

That is what makes for a strong government….trust those around you…..secure political purity.
Speaking of spying on people…..
Is it possible that the president could spy on his political opponents?

The controversy continues over President Trump’s Twitter storm accusing President Obama of wiretapping him. On Monday, members of Congress peppered FBI Director James Comey with questions about the claims, who once again dismissed them as lacking support. Even Devin Nunes, the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, who originally defended Trump’s claims, has defected. “I don’t think there was an actual tap of Trump Tower,” the congressman said last week at a news conference. None of these statements seem to have affected President Trump, however, who continues to stand by his accusations.

Source: Could the President Spy on His Political Opponents? | The American Conservative

Yes, the games politicians can play…games we all pay for in the end.

Well sports fans that is my last words of the day…..tomorrow will be tomorrow…..be well, be safe…..chuq

This Was The Week That Was (So Far)

Our new president has had a bad week….but according to the alt-Right news and the toads in their blogs it is all a made up agenda by the “liberals’ or is it the “apologist” or maybe “globalists”….oh Hell who knows who they want to blame for the idiot they elected?

Back to the point of this post…..Mr. Trump is having a really shitty week

It wasn’t the best of news cycles on Monday for President Trump, who will presumably be displeased with negative headlines on multiple fronts. The biggest: FBI Chief James Comey told Congress that he sees no evidence to support Trump’s claims that President Obama wiretapped him. Plus, Comey confirmed that the FBI is investigating possible links between Russia and the Trump campaign during the election. Also making news:

  • Low numbers: The daily tracking poll at Gallup has Trump’s job-approval rating at 37%, his lowest mark so far, and his disapproval rating rose to 58%. It’s being chalked up to controversy over his wiretapping comments and opposition to the GOP health care plan, reports CNN.
  • Net worth:Forbes says Trump’s net worth has fallen $200 million since he took office to $3.5 billion. That drops him 220 spots to 544 in its ranking of the world’s richest people. Trump’s decline, however, isn’t about politics but about the New York real estate market.
  • Stephen Hawking: The famed physicist said in an interview that he’s not sure he’d be welcome in America under Trump because of his opposing views on the environment. See story.
  • Billboard: An anti-Trump billboard in Phoenix is making headlines thanks in part to its dollar-shaped swastikas, per Fox News.
  • Loyalty: The Washington Post has an unflattering front-page story about the White House that says it has installed senior aides in Cabinet departments whose main job is to monitor the loyalty of Trump’s secretaries. ProPublica also reported elements of the story here. Presidents Obama, George W. Bush, and Clinton did not use such a system.

Trump recently went on and on about the money owed by Germany for NATO ops…well it seems that his SecDef does not agree with his rant…..

Defense Secretary James Mattis said Wednesday that NATO does not calculate “past money owed” and Germany is on track to meet its alliance commitments, despite President Trump claiming that the country owed money.

“I cannot give you an accounting for past money owed, because that’s not the way we do that in NATO,” Mattis told the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee. “We do it through capabilities. That’s the commitment each nation makes.”

How humiliating to be contradicted by a subordinate…..

There is more…..an FBI investigation of the Russian thing….I could go on with this subject for many more words….but why?  We all have a good idea what it that is being said…just move on…..

Today is the big day….the House vote on Trumpcare replacement for Obamacare…..but the bad news is there seems to be a lack of votes in favor of it….

  • Reuters explains the stakes: 216 GOP votes are needed, which means the party can suffer only about 20 defections. There are two major camps of concerned GOP parties: centrists who worry an ObamaCare repeal will hurt their constituents, and fierce conservatives who think the replacement isn’t aggressive enough.
  • An $85 billion bone was thrown to moderates, reports Politico, which explains that per the amendment, that amount would be earmarked as tax credits for those ages 50 to 64, whose premiums would soar under the American Health Care Act. For context, it gives this scenario from the Congressional Budget Office: a 64-year-old making $26,500 would see what he pays explode from $1,700 to $14,600.
  • But there’s a twist, observes Matthew Yglesias at Vox: The amendment doesn’t define those tax credits, instead shifting that task to the Senate. His take: “This is a very unusual way to legislate and reflects House Republicans’ desperation to push through basically anything as soon as possible and pass the buck to the Senate.”
  • Also at Vox, Ezra Klein bullets the other substantial changes: The amendment bumps up the repeal of some ObamaCare taxes in a concession to those who want to erase the Affordable Care Act ASAP; prevents the rollover of used tax credit money into a Health Savings Account, ostensibly because anti-abortion activists feared the money could then fund abortions; and gives more wiggle-room around how states handle Medicaid. Klein’s take: the “tweaks” are designed to win over conservatives, but don’t really address the bill’s “flaws.” More here.
  • Axios expects “drama” between now and Thursday night, in part because of what the amendment doesn’t address. More here.
  • As for what’s next, the Washington Post gives context to Trump’s Tuesday meetings: They indicate “GOP leaders and the president consider larger-scale talks with key blocs of House members to be essentially complete. The effort now turns toward persuading individual members to vote for the package.”
  • The AP reports on the message Trump presented: Pass it or there may be hell to pay, essentially. How Rep. Walter Jones framed it: “If you don’t pass the bill there could be political costs,” those costs being lost seats.
  • Will it work? The Wall Street Journal reported Monday night that House Freedom Caucus Chair Rep. Mark Meadows says more than 21 members remain a “nay.”

The big question is will the Repubs play ball?  They are a spineless bunch so any guess is as good as another.

This is going down as his worst week ever….and the reign is only 60+ days old……it can get worse…

Did Congress Grow A Set?

I have been going on and on about a spineless Congress that allows these multiple wars to be fought without authorization…..well that could be not the case soon….

While the Pentagon provides plans for the Trump Administration for a major escalation of the US involvement in the war in Syria, new bipartisan legislation is being pushed in both the House and the Senate aiming to oppose the escalation and put legal obstacles in the way of it.

Reps. Barbara Lee (D – CA) and Walter Jones (R – NC) are pushing one such bill, aiming to force Congress to debate US involvement in Syria, and to repeal the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) to prevent the administration from using it as an excuse for the operation.

With the repeal of the AUMF, the bill would also explicitly forbid the deployment of additional US ground troops to Syria without any permission from Congress. The bill is gaining some support in both parties, though past efforts to repeal the AUMF, and to try to limit the wars in Iraq and Syria, have never gained enough support to pass

This is just one of the bills aimed at US policy is Syria, with Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D – HI) and Sen. Rand Paul (R – KY) offering a bipartisan “Stop Arming Terrorists Act,” which would forbid US government funds from being used to support al-Qaeda, ISIS, or any other terrorist group.

The Gabbard bill would also require the Director of National Intelligence to provide up to date lists every six months of the individuals and groups forbidden to receive aid, either because they are terrorist groups or are working with them. This is another piece of information that the CIA has previously, desperately, sought to avoid as part of its arming program.

(antiwar.com)

Granted this is not a unanimous bill and there is not a consensus but any stretch….but it is a step forward of applying the breaks to a spiraling war business that wants a war at the drop of a hat.

I can only hope that sanity will return to the way we authorize war.

The Perfect Spokesman

It is nothing new that hypocrisy runs rampant in Foggy Bottom…..it just has to after all it is a town dedicated to the subject.

Americans live and breath hypocrisy all this back and forth about fake news or alternative facts is just an extension of this.

Then there are those purveyors of this are everywhere but the its use has hit the popularity chart with the election of the new man in DC and to spread this hypocrisy he has hired the perfect person as Press Secretary, Sean Spicer.

He is the perfect spokesman……for example…….the idiots on the Right gave Obama grief for doing what every president has done since the invention of TV…play golf and guess what Trump plays golf and he is taking time away from DC to do so…..but now it is not a problem….why?

Amid a plethora of headlines like the Washington Post‘s recent “How much is Donald Trump’s travel and protection costing, anyway?” Sean Spicer Monday defended President Trump’s golf habits. Responding to a question from Yahoo White House correspondent Hunter Walker about the 10 golf trips Trump has taken to Florida since becoming president—specifically, how they are any different from the golf games then-President Obama played, which were often criticized by Trump before he became president—Spicer explained that Trump himself has talked about “how you use the game of golf” for diplomatic purposes, Politico reports.

“You saw him utilize this as an opportunity with [Japanese] Prime Minister [Shinzo] Abe to help foster a deeper relationship in southeast Asia … and have a growing relationship that’s going to help US interests,” Spicer said. He added, per the Washington Post, that Trump isn’t necessarily always playing golf when he heads to the golf course; sometimes he’s just having meetings. Walker followed up by asking why, then, the media is not hearing details from these meetings, to which Spicer replied by saying, multiple times, that Trump is “entitled to a bit of privacy.”

Stolid Crier Of  The “Ignorati”…….

That is only one example…there are so many more and only been on job for 60 days……

Wanna add anything?

Are You A Collectivist?

Anybody here ever watch Star Trek–The Next Generation?

If so then you will recall the Borg….the nemesis of the Federation.  But what were the Borg?

……Their existence is in the Collective where each drone was part of the collective consciousness……they all received the same thoughts and information from those that were assimilated…..

And that got me thinking about “collectivism”……

Scratch your head and repeat after me…..HUH?

These days someone is always labeling others with some insulting tag or another…..such as “globalist”, “socialist”, “Fascist”, “apologist”…..so why not “collectivist”?

So onto a definition…..trying not to confuse too many at one time…..

Collectivism is a form of anthropomorphism. It attempts to see a group of individuals as having a single identity similar to a person. The collective is claimed to have ideas, and can think. It has purpose, and it acts to achieve goals. It even has a personality, called culture. It claims to have moral rules the collective should follow. It claims to have collective rights, as well.

Since the collective is actually just individuals interacting, the collectivists have to change their views of individuals. They morally evaluate people according to the results of the collective. If the collective manages to accomplish something great like land on the moon, every individual is given equal credit. If a nation goes to war, everyone is to blame. And if an individual refuses to acknowledge the superiority of his collective, than he is a traitor and is eliminated. This is the result of collectivism.

Collectivism demands that the group be more important than the individual. It requires the individual to sacrifice himself for the alleged good of the group. Although different from altruism, collectivism complements it well. Altruism demands sacrifice for others, collectivism demands sacrifice for the group. Collectivism leads to altruism.

Now that you have a handle on what collectivism is all about…..we will move onto what brought about the thought process that gave you this post.

We have a new way of thinking about our place in this society…..first of all….America has always been great and these days it needs to find itself again

Those involved with the America First revival and the campaign to “make America great again” seem to be forgetting that America was made great in the first place with freedom. Personal freedom and civil liberties, and economic freedom with the protection of private property rights, freedom of contract and association, and especially free markets.

It was the philosophy of individualism upon which America was founded and in which the people had real freedom — and thus, prosperity.

unfortunately, Donald Trump’s collectivist agenda involves a mystical nationalism with policies of authoritarian governmental controls, certainly not promoting individualism and inviolable free markets.

Source: Are You A Collectivist?

I have noticed that some bloggers fall into this trap….they just repeat the lousy info they have assimilated….in essence they are part of the “hive”…the collective.

“Resistance is futile….You will be assimilated”……..would make a great slogan for Breibart and other hate filled sites.