But What Is The Strategy?

The good news is…..thinking……thinking……not much but since we are about to spend our national asses off in defense maybe we should take a look at what we would get for the money.

An essential element is missing from President Donald Trump’s plan for boosting the budgets of the U.S. military services by $54 billion in 2018. How, exactly, does the commander in chief intend to use the world’s most potent fighting force?

Beyond the threat posed by the Islamic State and other militant groups, Trump doesn’t articulate what he’s defending the country from. Defeating what Trump and his aides call “radical Islamic terrorism” doesn’t require an additional investment of tens of billions of dollars. And Trump, whose “America First” mantra suggested an isolationist approach, has viewed Russia as a potential partner, not an adversary.

Source: Trump’s defense budget boost raises questions on strategy | PBS NewsHour

To be fair, and yes I can do that, to Trump there has not been a real strategy for decades……all want to boost the military but none have any idea of how they will be used….I guess the strategy is that we will play it by ear for now……problem is we need to stop wasting time and sit down and look at the future of our services……

There have been many National Security Strategy (NSS) development efforts over the past decades. But it appears we have not had a traditional, thorough, objective national strategy review and update since 9/11. As taught in our military education system, force structure determination must begin with a review of the NSS. The last two NSS products were issued by the Obama Administration in 2010 and 2015. The 2010 strategy was cited as a significant departure from previous strategies, with one point being the elimination of reference to Islamic radicalism.

Source: National Military Strategy Development—Time for a Revolutionary Approach | RealClearDefense

We have a written review every so often….but like most things it does not look deep enough in the international situation….they cover the problems in our face and never tries to find the ones in the shadows….I do not expect too much from the Trump admin…..they seem to think more money means better military…..that is the M-IC talking in the review.

Just a few months into the Trump administration, it still isn’t clear what course the president’s foreign policy will ultimately take. What is clear, however, is that the impulsiveness, combativeness, and recklessness that characterized Donald Trump’s election campaign have survived the transition into the presidency. Since taking office, Trump has continued to challenge accepted norms, break with diplomatic traditions, and respond to perceived slights or provocations with insults or threats of his own. The core of his foreign policy message is that the United States will no longer allow itself to be taken advantage of by friends or foes abroad. After decades of “losing” to other countries, he says he is going to put “America first” and start winning again.

Source: A Vision of Trump at War – Council on Foreign Relations

Time for a real National Security Strategy (NSS)….but that will take thought and that is simply not available in the Trump WH.

Believe me when I tell you that Twitter is not the answer.

God, I Love This Stuff!

I could not leave today until I had my say about health care…..after all the vote is tonight and we will be done with Obamacare.

In case you are not aware there will be a vote (maybe not) on the replacement for Obamacare or as it is now being called Trump care and/or Ryancare.  I love it because these twats in DC make it out like it is rocket science…..

Trump has been having a hard time trying to push this abortion through the House so he decided to flex his political muscle and take on the naysayers….

With a House vote on the American Health Care Act just hours away on Thursday, it still didn’t appear as if the Republican replacement for ObamaCare had the necessary votes, the Washington Post reports. Republicans can only afford for 22 GOP representatives to vote against the bill (it’s assumed no Democrat will vote for it), but 36 are on the record as saying they’ll vote against it. Another 14 GOP reps say they’re leaning toward voting against it. But the vote could’ve still been close, as President Trump held a last-second negotiating session with the super-conservative House Freedom Caucus. At least a dozen representatives said they could switch their vote depending on the results of that negotiation.

The Freedom Caucus—having already gotten Trump to agree to removing a required minimum level of “essential” benefits from insurance plans—wanted all facets of Obama’s Affordable Care Act repealed if its members were going to support the AHCA, Politico reports. That includes two popular parts of the ACA that Trump has vowed to preserve: allowing adults up to 26 years old to stay on their parents’ insurance plans and prohibiting the denial of insurance due to pre-existing conditions. But following Trump’s negotiation attempt, the caucus’s chairman said there’s “no deal,” according to the AP, and Republican lawmakers emerged saying that the Thursday vote might be delayed, notes the Hill. The GOP’s ObamaCare replacement isn’t just unpopular with lawmakers: Vox reports a newly released poll shows only 17% of the public approves of it, while 56% disapproves.

He says parts of Obamacare can stay as part of the new plan….and yet it looks a lot like Obamacare……but with more benefits for the wealthy than the other one….

The vote will be tonight…..

STOP THE PRESSES!

GOP House leaders delayed their planned vote Thursday on a long-promised bill to repeal and replace ObamaCare, in a stinging setback for House Speaker Paul Ryan and President Trump in their first major legislative test, the AP reports. The decision came after Trump, who ran as a master dealmaker, failed to reach agreement with a bloc of rebellious conservatives. Moderate-leaning Republican lawmakers were also bailing on the legislation, leaving it short of votes. The bill could still come to a vote in coming days, but canceling Thursday’s vote was a significant defeat. It came on the seven-year anniversary of President Obama signing the Affordable Care Act.

The Republican legislation would halt Obama’s tax penalties against people who don’t buy coverage and cut the federal-state Medicaid program for low earners. It would provide tax credits to help people pay medical bills, though generally skimpier than Obama’s statute provides. It also would allow insurers to charge older Americans more and repeal tax boosts the law imposed on high-income people and health industry companies. The measure would also block federal payments to Planned Parenthood. In a count by the AP, at least 30 Republicans said they opposed the bill, enough to defeat the measure. But the number was in constant flux amid the eleventh-hour lobbying. The bill would be defeated if 23 Republicans join all Democrats in voting “no.”

Now that just sucks for Ryan and Trump…..all their chest thumping and what did they accomplish?

Absolutely NOTHING!

Time for the alt-Right horde to start their whining and bitching…HAhahaha…God I love this shit!

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…

The “Lone Wolf” Scenario–Redux

Terrorism is not too much the rage right now…..people are more worried about protecting the prez from criticism for his over loaded mouth…..I have been teaching a course on terrorism and right now there is not much interest….but all that will change as soon as we have another attack by a single player that wants some headlines.

While writing that paragraph and BAM!  It’s baaaaaack!

A knife-wielding man went on a deadly rampage at the heart of Britain’s seat of power Wednesday, first using what NBC News describes as a 4×4 vehicle to mow down pedestrians on London’s Westminster Bridge before stabbing an armed police officer to death inside the gates of Parliament. Five people were killed, including the attacker, and about 40 others were injured, the AP reports. Lawmakers, lords, staff, and visitors were locked down as the man was shot by police within the perimeter of Parliament and just yards from entrances to the building itself after he scaled the security wall toward the Parliament’s grounds. He died, as did two pedestrians on the bridge, and the police officer. A doctor who treated the wounded said some had “catastrophic” injuries. Three teenage French students were among those injured on the bridge, the Guardian reports.

Police said they were treating the attacks as a terrorist incident and had launched a full counterterrorism investigation. There was no immediate claim of responsibility. “We are satisfied at this stage that it looks like there was only on attacker,” said Metropolitan Police counterterrorism chief Mark Rowley. “But it would be foolish to be overconfident early on.” The threat level for international terrorism in the UK was already listed at severe, meaning an attack is “highly likely.” Wednesday was the anniversary of suicide bombings in the Brussels airport and subway that killed 32 people, and the latest events echoed recent vehicle attacks in Berlin and Nice, France. As lawmakers were voting inside Parliament, many reported hearing the sound of gunshots. Parliament was locked down for two hours, and adjoining Westminster subway station was shuttered.

Not since 9/11 has the US been attacked by multiple attackers….most of the attacks that followed were carried out one or two perps.

That is where the problem is….how to stop the “Lone Wolf”…..I have covered this phenom in the past….trying to get people to understand the danger of the “Lone Wolf”….but read it for yourselves…..

Source: The “Lone Wolf” Scenario – In Saner Thought

We have been fighting the War on Terror for 16+ years and all that time we are NO closer to identifying or control the “lone wolf” scenario…..

…….the subject of a new bipartisan report that warns of a serious flaw in U.S. defenses against homegrown terrorism: the lack of an effective, comprehensive system for finding, redirecting and rehabilitating Americans who may be on a path to violent extremism. Unless such a system is put in place, the report says, law enforcement officials will be left to try to prevent attacks only after the would-be terrorist becomes operational.

Source: Report: U.S. lacks system for spotting, defusing homegrown extremist threats – The Washington Post

We have spent a fortune on homeland security to the point of building a worthless wall that will cure all the immigration ills this country has…..and yet they are NO closer to figuring out a way to identify and eliminate the Lone Wolf….

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?