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?

Closing Thought–10Jan17

A Dollar For Your Thoughts…….

I have said in the past in oh so many rants about the work ethic of our elected officials…that they are no more than part-time employees and should paid as such.

But I found an even more pathetic way for them to attack people…..

The Republican House majority proposed and passed a rules package on the eve of the GOP seizing control of the House, Senate, and the White House, and it contains more than a few surprises.

Republicans received widespread constituent outrage in response to a proposal to gut an independent congressional ethics office and bring it under the thumb of lawmakers, and they rolled it back in response. But the rules package contained other significant changes , including rules expanding Congress’ power to haul private citizens to Capitol Hill for testimony, and the revival of an obscure rule that would allow Congress to individually target and slash the pay of government workers and programs.

The Holman rule, named after the congressman who first proposed it in 1876, was nixed by Congress in 1983. The rule, now reinstated for 2017, gives any lawmaker the power to offer amendments to appropriations bills that could, legislatively, fire any federal employee or cut their pay down to $1 dollar, if the lawmaker so chooses.

Source: New House rules allow Congress to slash the pay of individual federal workers

If anyone in Washington deserves to have their pay cut to $1 it is those slackers in the Congress….I mean think about it…..they work 110 days last year and get full time pay…..

Can you think of anyone that deserves the pay cut more?

Closing Thought–03Jan17

Ethics Be Damned!

I have often stated that I think those elected officials in DC are worthless d/bags and they have proven it again.

The new Congress, the 115th, I believe will have a free ride on ethics….hiring weasels to guard the hen house….

Did the swamp just vote against drains? House Republicans bucked party leaders Monday night with a vote that the New York Times reports will hobble and “effectively kill” their independent ethics watchdog. Under a change that comes as part of a rules package for the 115th Congress, which will be sworn in Tuesday, the non-partisan Office of Congressional Ethics will be put under the control of the House Ethics Office, which is run by House lawmakers, giving them the final say in investigating allegations of their own misconduct, PBS reports. The watchdog, which will be renamed the Office of Congressional Complaint Review under the proposal, will no longer be able to receive anonymous tips or make its investigations public. The OCE was created in 2008 after a series of scandals, including the one that sent corrupt GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff to prison.

House Speaker Paul Ryan was among those warning against the proposal, which was adopted by a vote of 119 to 74. Politico reports that lawmakers from both parties had complained that the OCE had been too aggressive in its investigations, and the effort to defang it was led by Republicans who had been investigated by the body. The proposal, which Congress will vote on Tuesday afternoon, was criticized by other watchdog groups, as well as Democrats. “The Republicans claim they want to ‘drain the swamp,’ but the night before the new Congress gets sworn in, the House GOP has eliminated the only independent ethics oversight of their actions,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement. “Evidently, ethics are the first casualty of the new Republican Congress.”

Transparency be damned!

Now the Congress will police itself…..do you trust these toads to police themselves?

I don’t!

Update:  As I was writing this post I got word that there seems to be a change in plans…..

House Republicans at an emergency conference meeting on Tuesday withdrew a proposal to gut an ethics watchdog.

The new Congress hadn’t even formally gaveled in on before GOP leaders held an emergency conference meeting to discuss the blowback against the party’s vote Monday evening to gut the chamber’s independent ethics watchdog.

Tuesday’s meeting came after President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpHouse GOP scraps plan to gut ethics watchdog after emergency meeting It’s no longer business as usual for the stock market this year Dem senator praises Trump for knocking House ethics move MOREissued a series of tweets questioning the timing of the changes, which would have put the independent Office of Congressional Ethics under oversight of the House Ethics Committee.

Source: House GOP scraps plan to gut ethics watchdog after emergency meeting | TheHill

Maybe someone is listening?

If so then it will be short lived.

What A Difference A Word Can Make

You have probably heard, as have I, your whole life that a single word could make a difference in so many ways…..so mind how you use your words……

Well our part-time Congress in a bi-partisan way have opened up a can of worms……which could be very difficult to shut if the need arises.

By removing a single word from legislation governing the military, Congress has laid the groundwork for both a major shift in U.S. nuclear defense doctrine and a costly effort to field space-based weaponry.

Source: Congress scrapped this one word from the law, opening the door to a space arms race – LA Times

Plus our brand new president has made it clear what he thinks about a nuke arms race……

Donald Trump woke everyone from their pre-Christmas slumber Thursday with a tweet calling for a strengthened and expanded US nuclear arsenal. His tweet followed remarks made earlier by Vladimir Putin in which he called for his country’s “need to strengthen the military potential of strategic nuclear forces,” per Yahoo. On Friday, Trump doubled down on his previous remarks during what Politico calls an “off-air conversation” on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “Let it be an arms race … we will outmatch them at every pass and outlast them all,” he said. (Politico notes some flip-flopping on nuclear issues, citing a March New York Times interview in which he said, “It’s a very scary nuclear world. Biggest problem, to me, in the world, is nuclear, and proliferation.”)

Not in on his latest stance, apparently: his own team. Per a transcript posted by NBC’s Katy Tur on Twitter, Trump’s new White House counselor Kellyanne Conway told Rachel Maddow Thursday night “we’re getting ahead of ourselves” when Maddow mentioned a “new nuclear arms race.” And, per a tweet by CNN’s David Wright, incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer insisted on Today Friday that “there is not going to be” an arms race and that “we will all be just fine.” A short time later on CNN’s New Day, Spicer said the remarks Trump made to Morning Joes’ Mika Brzezinski “was a private conversation. I was not privy to that,” per Mediaite. Daniel Dale of the Toronto Star wonders: “Is there any point of quoting clarifications from Trump spokespeople? They’ve proven to be unreliable interpreters of him.” One person shrugging off arms race chatter: Putin, who said Friday Trump’s tweet was “nothing new,” per Politico.

Oh goodie….a return to the good old days of the 1950’s…..the days of paranoia and fear…..oh how I’ve missed those days….

DACA–Repeal And Replace

Well for as long as I can remember the Repubs have been on their high horse about immigration….and this election was NO different…even the mighty Trump had lots to say about people coming to this country….most of it was the typical rubbish and campaign bullshit…and question now is after 20Jan17 will he, Trump, do something or will it be later down the political line?  Or will he leave the high lifting to others?

We know that Trump has had his rhetoric about Obamacare…the repeal and replace chant that has been around since about 2010….but what about DACA?

DACA?  Anyone scratching their head about now?

Let me help those of the slower persuasion…….DACA is an acronym for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals…..got it now?

The question is can this somehow be repealed and replaced?

Ike Brannon and Lyle Albright have written about it in Bill Kristol’s Weekly Standard…..(a conservative mag that has all the GOPer loyal reading)……let me say here and now that I do NOT subscribe to much written in this site….but some of it is well thought out and bears scrutiny.

The issue of illegal immigration was a central plank in the campaign of President-elect Donald Trump and played no small role in getting him elected to the White House. His populist, “America First” position spoke to the economic anxieties of many Americans, and it could be argued that he has a mandate to make immigration enforcement a key priority in the first year of his presidency.

There are different ways to address immigration, however, and the path Trump chooses will go a long way towards setting the tone for his administration, as well as in defining him as a leader. Handling immigration enforcement in the right way is an opportunity for him to show that he actually cares about solving problems, as opposed to simply scoring political points and managing public perception. And a big part of this opportunity involves how he intends to deal with President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Source: How Trump Can Repeal and Replace DACA | The Weekly Standard

Is this the action that will be pursued by the Trump admin?  Or does he have his own plan that he will find more to his liking?

There has been talk even promises about immigration reform for years now and little has been accomplished….is this the admin to actually do something on this issue?

Once again….we will have to wait for the days and years after 20Jan17 to see what direction he will choose….but rest assured that I will visit this subject later down the line. (you have been warned…tee hee)

Closing Thought–14Dec16

Benghazi–Is it finally over?

For what seems like a lifetime the American people have been head about the head and shoulders with the Congressional Benghazi investigation……and yesterday it was announced without fanfare that the investigation was over and the report submitted….

The special congressional investigation into the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi is officially over now that the panel filed its final report the day before the House adjourned for the year.

The Select Committee on Benghazi initially released its findings in June but remained in place for months afterward trying to declassify supporting documents like emails and interview transcripts for public release.

The final report, not including dissenting views from committee Democrats, clocks in at more than 322,000 words. It was added to the official House record without fanfare on Dec. 7 by Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., the panel’s chairman.

The panel, which spent more than $7.8 million over two and a half years, disbanded at the end of the 114th Congress, before a new Congress begins in January.

Interesting how fast the “investigation” was terminated after a GOP win at the polls….I am sure that it was just a coincidence, right?

How the U.S. Military Can Save $1 Trillion

On January 20th Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of these United States….and shortly after that he will face the yearly challenge of the budget….there ought to be lots of back and forth and accusations will fly…..

Only days left before the best comedy in town….the budget debate……

Our biggest budget will be that of the Pentagon with all its glory and secrets

The National Interest magazine has a suggestion for the Trump-ites and others to consider when decided what will be best for the Pentagon…..

Cut the U.S. military’s size, but retain its technical edge.

The United States could reduce Pentagon spending by over a trillion dollars in the next decade—spending $5.2 trillion rather than the currently planned $6.3 trillion— by adopting strategy of military restraint. That’s the bottom line of a study I produced along with several colleagues as part of “Developing Alternative Defense Strategies 2016,” an exercise organized by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, where groups from five think tanks used CSBA’s “Strategic Choices” software to reimagine the U.S. military budget.

The others all increased military spending. The teams from the Center for New American Security and the Center for Strategic and International Studies added a few percent—tens of billions a year for the decade. CSBA’s team added about ten percent, and the American Enterprise Institute’s twenty.

Source: How the U.S. Military Can Save $1 Trillion | The National Interest

But then I am NOT sure that the country wants to save money…they prefer to reduce tax revenue and then spend their asses off so they can piss and moan about the deficit next election……so they can cut revenue…..it is all so predictable.

My suggestion is crap on the F-35 and that worthless ship that the Navy cannot afford the ammo for its guns….this would be a good start…..then proceed from there….