Closing Thought–24Mar17

A Little Something For Your Mind To Consider

Remember a couple of years ago all the hoopla about our internet privacy….we all joined one defense site or another…..once that slid from the headlines we found other crap to rant about….

Then there are all those Obama haters that have blamed him for everything short of World War One….but he did try to protect us on the internet….then we elected this dude named Trump and some thought that sanity would return to government….Hahahaha…..how foolish can we be?

It looks like the Trump government has decided to say f*ck all those internet users………

The U.S. Senate on Thursday voted 50 to 48 to repeal regulations requiring internet service providers to do more to protect customers’ privacy than websites like Alphabet Inc’s Google or Facebook Inc .

Under the rules approved by the Federal Communications Commission in October under then-President Barack Obama, internet providers would need to obtain consumer consent before using precise geolocation, financial information, health information, children’s information and web browsing history for advertising and internal marketing.

The vote is a victory for internet providers such as AT&T Inc, Comcast Corp  and Verizon Communications Inc that had strongly opposed the rules.

(Raw Story)

Maybe all you mental midgets that worship this Trump dude should take a good long look at the things his government is doing…..but that is out of the question for that would mean they have to be honest with themselves…..beyond their capabilities.

That be it for the week….I begin my weekend and my relaxation….hope you guys enjoy yours also….chuq

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.

This Week In Congress

Most readers have NO idea what the Congress will be doing on any given week….granted mostly they will be in adjournment.

So from time to time I feel that I should let them, my readers, know what their money will be doing…after all it is their tax money that pays these spineless toads.

Defense and veterans hearings for the week of March 13.

All the congressional action will start Today, Monday, with testimony about the nude photos scandal within the Marine Corps….

Source: This week in Congress: The Marine Corps scandal

At least our elected representatives will be doing something other than kissing the ass on donors this week….but do not get use to it….it will short lived.

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?

State Of The Ego Speech–2017

Last night our newly elected president gave his first speech before a joint session of Congress….it is a much anticipated speech and many were expecting good things and some not so good….

But I will be honest…I did not watch or listen to the speech….I prefer to print it out and read it for myself that way I am not biased by lip smacking pundits one way or the other…..(in case you might would like to try my technique)…..

Source: Full transcript of President Donald Trump’s first speech to Congress

Now the question is….how did he do for his first time (they say you ever forget your first time)…….I found 12 lines within the speech that I think I should highlight….

  • “When we celebrate our 250 years of glorious freedom, we will look back on tonight as when this new chapter of American greatness began.”
  • “We are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all of its very ugly forms.”
  • “We cannot allow a beachhead of terrorists to form inside America. We cannot allow our nation to become a sanctuary for extremists.”
  • “We will work with our allies, including our friends and allies in the Muslim world, to extinguish this vile enemy from our planet,” referring to ISIS.
  • “Mandating every American to buy government-approved health insurance was never the right solution for our country,” he said, calling on Congress to “repeal and replace ObamaCare.”
  • “I have ordered the Department of Homeland Security to create an office to serve American victims,” he said, referring to crimes committed by undocumented immigrants. “The office is called VOICE—Victims Of Immigration Crime Engagement. We are providing a voice to those who have been ignored by our media, and silenced by special interests.”
  • “Education is the civil rights issue of our time.”
  • “We’ve spent trillions and trillions of dollars overseas, while our infrastructure at home has so badly crumbled.”
  • “People turned out by the tens of millions, and they were all united by one very simple, but crucial demand, that America must put its own citizens first, because only then, can we truly ‘Make America Great Again,'” he said, referring to his election win.
  • “We want all Americans to succeed—but that can’t happen in an environment of lawless chaos. We must restore integrity and the rule of law at our borders,” he said, promising that construction would soon start on “a great wall along our southern border.”
  • But: “I believe that real and positive immigration reform is possible, as long as we focus on the following goals: to improve jobs and wages for Americans, to strengthen our nation’s security, and to restore respect for our laws.” (Before the speech, he suggested he was softening his position on allowing more undocumented immigrants to stay.)
  • “Everything that is broken in our country can be fixed. Every problem can be solved. And every hurting family can find healing, and hope.”

This did one thing….it calmed the nerves of the freaking GOP…..they now have a vision (even a minor vision) that they can work with going forward.

Was it a brilliant speech?  Not even close but it was a pretty good speech….at least it was not a rehash of his election rhetoric….I am guessing that he finally decided to use a speech writer which was a wise choice.

I am sure that hiding in the dark corners of reality there will be some that think this was a game changer of a speech….

No Change, No Way

Since the Dems had their butts handed to them by Trump in the last election they have been running around looking for their moral compass with the hope of returning to their spot in the limelight…..they say that the leadership of the DNC is their first place to start and will build from there…..

Dems proved Saturday that they are the same spineless toads they have always been……by electing a Clinton-ite to DNC chair…….

Tom Perez was elected as the new chair of the Democratic National Committee on Saturday, replacing interim chair Donna Brazile, Politico reports. Perez, who served as Labor secretary under Barack Obama and is a former civil rights lawyer, won during the second ballot after falling a single vote shy in the first round of voting, according to Yahoo News. Perez’s victory ends a four-month race during which he campaigned on returning to organized labor as the central economic message of the Democratic Party.

Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, finished second in the race for DNC chair. Despite having a similar message to Perez, Ellison was backed by Bernie Sanders while Perez was backed by members of the Obama administration and was seen as the establishment choice, the Hill reports. He’s now faced with reuniting those two opposing factions of the party. NBC News tweets that Perez’s first move as chair was to make Ellison deputy chair. Ellison then told his supporters to “give everything you’ve got” to help Perez succeed, MSNBC tweets.

This is not new leadership…just more of the same…..

If they win next time around it will not be because of new leadership…..but rather a hatred of the leadership from the White House.

“Repeal And Replace”–A Slower Pace

With all the chanting during the campaigns of 2016…the one that so many want to happen over night is the “repeal and replace” of Obamacare (ACA)…..ever notice those that chant the loudest are the ones that do not need or use it?

Obamacare is hated by many….but The ACA is so  misunderstood that few know what it is……

Ask some if they want ObamaCare repealed and they’ll say yes, but ask those same people if they want the Affordable Care Act repealed and they may have a different answer. That despite the two being one and the same, the New York Times reports, a fact that apparently a “sizable minority” of people don’t realize, per a new survey by Morning Consult. Around 17% of those who participated in the poll said they believed ObamaCare and the ACA were two different health-care entities, while another 18% just weren’t sure.

Younger people (ages 18 to 29) seemed to have the most head-scratching over this, as did those making less than $50,000 a year—both groups that could be hit hard by a repeal, the Times notes. This “apparent confusion,” per Fortune, also extended into what people believed would happen if the ACA were indeed repealed, with 29% thinking incorrectly that Medicaid coverage and private insurance subsidies would remain untouched, while another 24% admitted they didn’t know.

Typical in an age of misinformation and lies……

There is a growing problem with the promise…..not as easy as anyone thought it would be……a good slogan but not so good in action…..

How goes President Trump’s plan to immediately repeal and replace ObamaCare? It seems to be getting gummed up in the realities of DC politics. Trump himself acknowledged Sunday in an interview on Fox News that things might stretch into 2018. “It’s very complicated,” he said. “I would like to say by the end of the year at least the rudiments, but we should have something within the year and the following year.” Related coverage:

  • In a story about the delays, the New York Times notes the shift among some GOP lawmakers from “replace” to “repair,” and points out that lawmakers are facing angry crowds of people worried about losing coverage at town hall meetings—”the mirror image of 2009, when Tea Party activists assailed Democrats who supported the law.”
  • With this shift toward “repair,” the Wall Street Journal reports on growing friction from conservative Republicans in the House worried about losing momentum. The 40 members of the Freedom Caucus are agitating to push ahead with immediate repeal, which they see as the necessary first step.
  • The Journal story has this quote from Heritage Foundation exec Dan Holler: “House action is sort of imperative to get this kick-started and going. I think the longer this drags on, the more people are starting to understand the chance of a repeal is slipping away. Certainly it’s becoming harder and harder with each passing day.”
  • But more important than timing are the tough decisions Republicans must make on substance, writes Jennifer Rubin at the Washington Post. Among them: “If they are determined to get rid of the individual mandate, are they willing to defend near-universal ‘access’ instead of near-universal coverage?” Full column here.
  • House Speaker Paul Ryan promises progress, though he avoids a time frame in this update of what’s happening on Capitol Hill.
  • Supporters of the Affordable Care Act should avoid gloating, cautions an analysis at CNN. Remember that Trump already signed an executive order aimed at undercutting the law, and while Congress may seem to be softening on going further, the repair vs. replace shift may be mere semantics. “The risks to the program are very real in the coming months,” writes Julian Zelizer. “Rather than listening to what Republicans are saying, Democrats would be better served to watch what they are actually doing.” Full column here.

Such is life in DC…broken promises and wasted talk…..