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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

I Say Again, America, You Are the World's Warmonger

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Andrew J. Bacevich  pens a magnificent, wholly unsolicited letter to the editor of the New York Times, A.G. Sulzberger. He asks for some coverage our nation has needed for some time. It's a letter I wish most all adult Americans would read and be exposed to.

On Seeing America's Whole Wars: 

A Memo to the Publisher of the 
New York Times

On Seeing America’s Wars Whole
Six Questions for A.G. Sulzberger
By Andrew J. Bacevich

March 20, 2018

Dear Mr. Sulzberger:

Congratulations on assuming the reins of this nation’s -- and arguably, the world’s -- most influential publication. It’s the family business, of course, so your appointment to succeed your father doesn’t exactly qualify as a surprise. Even so, the responsibility for guiding the fortunes of a great institution must weigh heavily on you, especially when the media landscape is changing so rapidly and radically.

Undoubtedly, you’re already getting plenty of advice on how to run the paper, probably more than you want or need. Still, with your indulgence, I’d like to offer an outsider’s perspective on “the news that’s fit to print.” The famous motto of the Times insists that the paper is committed to publishing “all” such news -- an admirable aspiration even if an impossibility. In practice, what readers like me get on a daily basis is “all the news that Times editors deem worthy of print.”

Of course, within that somewhat more restrictive universe of news, not all stories are equal. Some appear on the front page above the fold. Others are consigned to page A17 on Saturday morning.

And some topics receive more attention than others. In recent years, comprehensive coverage of issues touching on diversity, sexuality, and the status of women has become a Times hallmark. When it comes to Donald Trump, "comprehensive" can’t do justice to the attention he receives. At the Times (and more than a few other media outlets), he has induced a form of mania, with his daily effusion of taunts, insults, preposterous assertions, bogus claims, and decisions made, then immediately renounced, all reported in masochistic detail. Throw in salacious revelations from Trump’s colorful past and leaks from the ongoing Mueller investigation of his campaign and our 45th president has become for the Times something akin to a Great White Whale, albeit with a comb-over and a preference for baggy suits.

In the meantime, other issues of equal or even greater importance -- I would put climate change in this category -- receive no more than sporadic or irregular coverage. And, of course, some topics simply don’t make the cut at all, like just about anything short of a school shooting that happens in that vast expanse west of the Hudson that Saul Steinberg years ago so memorably depicted for the New Yorker.

The point of this admittedly unsolicited memo is not to urge the Times to open a bureau in Terre Haute or in the rapidly melting Arctic. Nor am I implying that the paper should tone down its efforts to dismantle the hetero-normative order, empower women, and promote equality for transgender persons. Yet I do want to suggest that obsessing about this administration’s stupefying tomfoolery finds the Times overlooking one particular issue that predates and transcends the Trump Moment. That issue is the normalization of armed conflict, with your writers, editors, and editorial board having tacitly accepted that, for the United States, war has become a permanent condition.

Let me stipulate that the Times does devote an impressive number of column-inches to the myriad U.S. military activities around the planet. Stories about deployments, firefights, airstrikes, sieges, and casualties abound. Readers can count on the Times to convey the latest White House or Pentagon pronouncements about the briefly visible light at the end of some very long tunnel. And features describing the plight of veterans back from the war zone also appear with appropriate and commendable frequency.

So anyone reading the Times for a week or a month will have absorbed the essential facts of the case, including the following:

* Over 6,000 days after it began, America’s war in Afghanistan continues, with Times correspondents providing regular and regularly repetitive updates;

* In the seven-year-long civil war that has engulfed Syria, the ever-shifting cast of belligerents now includes at least 2,000 (some sources say 4,000) U.S. special operators, the rationale for their presence changing from week to week, even as plans to keep U.S. troops in Syria indefinitely take shape;

* In Iraq, now liberated from ISIS, itself a byproduct of U.S. invasion and occupation, U.S. troops are now poised to stay on, more or less as they did in West Germany in 1945 and in South Korea after 1953;

* On the Arabian Peninsula, U.S. forces have partnered with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud in brutalizing Yemen, thereby creating a vast humanitarian disaster despite the absence of discernible U.S. interests at stake;

* In the military equivalent of whacking self-sown weeds, American drones routinely attack Libyan militant groups that owe their existence to the chaos created in 2011 when the United States impulsively participated in the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi;

* More than a quarter-century after American troops entered Somalia to feed the starving, the U.S. military mission continues, presently in the form of recurring airstrikes;

* Elsewhere in Africa, the latest theater to offer opportunities for road-testing the most recent counterterrorism techniques, the U.S. military footprint is rapidly expanding, all but devoid of congressional (or possibly any other kind of) oversight;

* From the Levant to South Asia, a flood of American-manufactured weaponry continues to flow unabated, to the delight of the military-industrial complex, but with little evidence that the arms we sell or give away are contributing to regional peace and stability;

*Amid this endless spiral of undeclared American wars and conflicts, Congress stands by passively, only rousing itself as needed to appropriate money that ensures the unimpeded continuation of all of the above;

*Meanwhile, President Trump, though assessing all of this military hyperactivity as misbegotten -- “Seven trillion dollars. What a mistake.” -- is effectively perpetuating and even ramping up the policies pioneered by his predecessors.

This conglomeration of circumstances, I submit, invites attention to several first-order questions to which the Times appears stubbornly oblivious. These questions are by no means original with me. Indeed, Mr. Sulzberger (may I call you A.G.?), if you’ve kept up with TomDispatch -- if you haven’t, you really should -- you will already have encountered several of them. Yet in the higher reaches of mainstream journalism they remain sadly neglected, with disastrous practical and moral implications.

The key point is that when it comes to recent American wars, the Times offers coverage without perspective. “All the news” is shallow and redundant. Lots of dots, few connections.

To put it another way, what’s missing is any sort of Big Picture. The Times would never depict Russian military actions in the Crimea, eastern Ukraine, and Syria, along with its cyber-provocations, as somehow unrelated to one another. Yet it devotes remarkably little energy to identifying any links between what U.S. forces today are doing in Niger and what they are doing in Afghanistan; between U.S. drone attacks that target this group of “terrorists” and those that target some other group; or, more fundamentally, between what we thought we were doing as far back as the 1980s when Washington supported Saddam Hussein and what we imagine we’re doing today in the various Muslim-majority nations in which the U.S. military is present, whether welcome or not.

Crudely put, the central question that goes not only unanswered but unasked is this: What the hell is going on? Allow me to deconstruct that in ways that might resonate with Times correspondents:

What exactly should we call the enterprise in which U.S. forces have been engaged all these years? The term that George W. Bush introduced back in 2001, “Global War on Terrorism,” fell out of favor long ago. Nothing has appeared to replace it. A project that today finds U.S. forces mired in open-ended hostilities across a broad expanse of Muslim-majority nations does, I suggest, deserve a name, even if the commander-in-chief consigns most of those countries to “shithole” status. A while back, I proposed “War for the Greater Middle East,” but that didn’t catch on. Surely, the president or perhaps one of his many generals could come up with something better, some phrase that conveys a sense of purpose, scope, stakes, or location. The paper of record should insist that whatever it is the troops out there may be doing, their exertions ought to have a descriptive name.

What is our overall objective in waging that no-name war? After 9/11, George W. Bush vowed at various times to eliminate terrorism, liberate the oppressed, spread freedom and democracy, advance the cause of women’s rights across the Islamic world, and even end evil itself. Today, such aims seem like so many fantasies. So what is it we’re trying to accomplish? What will we settle for? Without a readily identifiable objective, how will anyone know when to raise that “Mission Accomplished” banner (again) and let the troops come home?

By extension, what exactly is the strategy for bringing our no-name war to a successful conclusion? A strategy is a kind of roadmap aimed at identifying resources, defining enemies (as well as friends), and describing a sequence of steps that will lead to some approximation of victory. It should offer a vision that gets us from where we are to where we want to be. Yet when it comes to waging its no-name war, Washington today has no strategy worthy of the name. This fact should outrage the American people and embarrass the national security establishment. It should also attract the curiosity of the New York Times.

Roughly speaking, in what year, decade, or century might this war end? Even if only approximately, it would help to know -- and the American people deserve to know -- when the front page of the Times might possibly carry a headline reading “Peace Secured” or “Hostilities Ended” or even merely “It’s Over.” On the other hand, if it’s unrealistic to expect the ever-morphing, ever-spreading no-name war to end at all, then shouldn’t someone say so, allowing citizens to chew on the implications of that prospect? Who better to reveal this secret hidden in plain sight than the newspaper over which you preside?

What can we expect the no-name war to cost? Although the president’s estimate of $7 trillion may be a trifle premature, it’s not wrong. It may even end up being on the low side. What that money might otherwise have paid for -- including infrastructure, education, scientific and medical research, and possibly making amends for all the havoc wreaked by our ill-considered military endeavors -- certainly merits detailed discussion. Here’s a way to start just such a discussion: Imagine a running tally of sunk and projected cumulative costs featured on the front page of the Times every morning. Just two numbers: the first a tabulation of what the Pentagon has already spent pursuant to all U.S. military interventions, large and small, since 9/11; the second, a projection of what the final bill might look like decades from now when the last of this generation’s war vets passes on.

Finally, what are the implications of saddling future generations with this financial burden? With the sole exception of the very brief Gulf War of 1990-1991, the no-name war is the only substantial armed conflict in American history where the generation in whose name it was waged resolutely refused to pay for it -- indeed, happily accepted tax cuts when increases were very much in order. With astonishingly few exceptions, politicians endorsed this arrangement. One might think that enterprising reporters would want to investigate the various factors that foster such irresponsibility.

So that’s my take. I’m sure, A.G., that journalists in your employ could sharpen my questions and devise more of their own. But here’s a small proposition: just for a single day, confine Donald Trump to page A17 and give our no-name war the attention that the Times normally reserves for the president it loathes.

I’m not a newspaperman, but I’m reminded of that wonderful 1940 Hitchcock movie Foreign Correspondent. I expect you’ve seen it. Europe is stumbling toward war and Mr. Powers, head honcho at the fictitious New York Globe, is tired of getting the same-old same-old from the people he has on the scene. “I don't want any more economists, sages, or oracles bombinating over our cables,” he rages. “I want a reporter. Somebody who doesn't know the difference between an ism and a kangaroo.”

His rant requires deciphering. What Powers wants is someone with the combination of guts and naiveté to pose questions that more seasoned journalists trapped in a defective narrative of their own creation simply overlook.

So he pulls the decidedly unseasoned and spectacularly uninformed John Jones off the police beat, renames him Huntley Haverstock, sets him up with an expense account, and sends him off to take a fresh look at what gives in Europe. Haverstock proceeds to unearth the big truths to which his more sophisticated colleagues have become blind. Almost singlehandedly he alerts the American people to the dangers just ahead -- and he also gets the girl. Terrific movie (even if, given Hitchcock’s well-documented mistreatment of women, it may be politically incorrect to say so).

Anyway, A.G., we need you to do something approximating what Mr. Powers did, but in real life. Good luck. I'm in your corner.

Andrew J. Bacevich, a TomDispatch regular, is the author of America’s War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History and other books.

Follow TomDispatch on Twitter and join us on Facebook. Check out the newest Dispatch Book, Alfred McCoy's In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of U.S. Global Power, as well as John Dower's The Violent American Century: War and Terror Since World War II, John Feffer's dystopian novel Splinterlands, Nick Turse's Next Time They’ll Come to Count the Dead, and Tom Engelhardt's Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World.

Copyright 2018 Andrew J. Bacevich

Quote of the Day -- On This President

Image result for Retired Lt. Col. Ralph Peters

"Fox has degenerated from providing a legitimate and much-needed outlet for conservative voices to a mere propaganda machine for a destructive and ethically ruinous administration. When prime-time hosts — who have never served our country in any capacity — dismiss facts and empirical reality to launch profoundly dishonest assaults on the FBI, the Justice Department, the courts, the intelligence community (in which I served) and, not least, a model public servant and genuine war hero such as Robert Mueller — all the while scaremongering with lurid warnings of “deep-state” machinations — I cannot be part of the same organization, even at a remove. To me, Fox News is now wittingly harming our system of government for profit."

--Retired Lt. Col. Ralph Peters

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

March For Our Lives Kansas City----This Saturday!!

In coordination with the national March For Our Lives in Washington, DC with the students from Parkland, Florida.

The March For Our Lives takes place Saturday in Kansas City, Mo., as well as in our nation's capital and more than 700 other locales. Beginning at noon locally, this is our chance to show that overwhelming numbers of Americans of all ages support new restrictions on gun purchases and ownership. Background checks for every gun sale in America and other common sense regulations for the sale and possession of lethal weapons -- and the gadgets that increase their killing potential -- are necessary in order to increase public safety and reduce gun violence.

Please come out to rally at Theis Park (formerly Volker Park), just south of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, where a full program of speakers and performers will be dishing up plenty of food for thought along with creative artistry. When the program winds down about 3 p.m., those who wish to march will embark on a solemn memorial march to the Plaza and back, remembering the 17 lives taken last month at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida; the 206 lives taken in school shootings since the Columbine High School tragedy in Colorado in 1999; and the 7,000 children killed by gunfire in the United States since the December 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

We'll have live music while participants are arriving at the rally, and a group of UMKC Conservatory dancers will perform new choreography created for this event. Mayor Sly James will speak at 2 p.m., and you will also hear from some of the determined teenagers from the metro area who have taken a huge role in creating this day of peaceful protest. There will be modern slam-poetry, traditional speeches, and songs both old and new. Local long-time activists and families who have lost loved ones to gun violence will also speak.

For a peaceful, smooth-running event causing as little environmental harm as possible, please observe these best practices.

1. Carpool to the event with friends, family or neighbors. Park in any available UMKC parking lot, then walk a few blocks north to the park. If you have the Lyft app, you can arrange for a free ride courtesy of the Lyft company from your parked car to Theis Park. Disabled or elderly people may park at the Kauffman Gardens parking lot, which will also be the dropoff location for Lyft rides.

2. Bring signs, if you like, promoting reasonable solutions to this horrible problem. Bring a peaceful, reasonable sense of comradery and a healthy respect for our right as Americans to peaceably assemble and demand redress of grievances. Certainly, as a people, we are aggieved.

3. No leaflets or flyers! Please do not pass out leaflets or other items that people would tend to lose track of or leave behind as trash. You can save money and bring a page or two of information you want to share and then ask people to snap a picture of it with their phones to have it for reference, or give your web address to follow up. Don't leave our hard-working volunteers with trash to clean up at the park.

4. Do bring food and drinks, a blanket or camp chair to sit on, a hat or sunglasses, and keep yourself comfortable. We will not be selling anything at the event. Portable toilets will be available, and trash cans will be at hand.

5. There will be sign language interpreters, some designated seating for disabled people and a couple of ADA-compliant port-a-potties.

6. Moms Demand Action volunteers will be staffing the event, wearing bright red T-shirts with their logo, so you should be able to find a staff person if you need to report an issue. Paramedics will be on hand if needed, and police officers will provide security.

7. If you choose to march at the rally's end, you must stay on the sidewalks on the route and cannot block streets or intersections. Megaphones will not be allowed during the march portion, but we can chant.

Please remember, the most powerful thing we can do as a nationwide movement right now is to show up, all across the country, to stand together on this day and to say with one voice, "Never Again!"

See you there!!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Here's That "American Exceptionalism"

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Worst vacation policies of any developed country

Most expensive health care of the top 17 industrialized nations

And check that out--also the least effective health care of those same 17 nations

We own more guns than any other nation.

Americans own more guns than residents of any

 other country

Our gun homicide rates are more than 25% higher than other high-income nations.

America's gun culture vs. the world 

in 5 charts 

Oh, yeah. We're exceptional, all right.

At least we have Grand Canyon, eh?

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Quote of the Day -- Sunday Edition

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Entertainment Overnight - A Song for You

Sing it, brother Ray.

I've been so many places in my life and time
I've sung a lot of songs
I've made some bad rhymes
I've acted out my life in stages
With ten thousand people watching
But we're alone now
And I'm singing this song to you

I know your image of me is what I hoped to be
I treated you unkindly
But darling can't you see
There's no one more important to me
Baby can't you see through me?
'Cause we're alone now and I'm singing this song to you

You taught me precious secrets 
Of a true love
You wanted nothing
You came out in front
When I was hiding
But now I'm so much better
And if my words don't come together
Listen to the melody
'Cause my love is in there hiding

I love you in a place
Where there's no space or time
I love you for my life
You're a friend of mine
And when my life is over
Remember when we were together
We were alone
And I was singing this song to you

I love you in a place
Where there's no space or time
I love you for my life
You're a friend of mine
And when my life is over
Remember when we were together
We were alone and I was singing this song to you

We were alone 
And I was singing this song to you
We were alone and I was singing this song
Singing this song to you

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Now Look Who Says This President Is An Actual Threat to National Security

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A retired four-star Army general said that he believes that President Trump is a “serious threat to US national security.”

Retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey tweeted Friday that he reached the conclusion about Trump because the president “is refusing to protect vital US interests from active Russian attacks.”

“It is apparent that he is for some unknown reason under the sway of [Russian President Vladimir] Putin,” he added. 
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It's not MSNBC. It's not one of the three networks. It's not "Left Wing" or Liberal (librul) or Democrat or anyone else.

At what point are we collectively concerned?

Who has to point out how wrong this man, this President, is until we believe them and do something about him and so, our situation, our national situation?

At what point do we do something?

The FBI and CIA and Robert Mueller are all investigating if there was collusion between Russia and this President, to get him elected, as we know. Heck, more than one source has said there was collusion already, given the evidence.

How soon, America?

Another Huge "Gift" From President Trump and the Republican Party

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Have you seen this yet?

U.S. national debt exceeds $21 trillion 

for first time 

About a year ago, President Trump pledged to eliminate the national debt "over a period of eight years." But for the first time in history, the national debt surpassed $21 trillion this week, according to the U.S. Treasury.

When Mr. Trump took office on Jan. 20, 2017, the national debt was $19.9 trillion, according to U.S. Treasury data. Since then, the GOP-led Congress has passed a $1.5 trillion tax cut bill and a two-year spending deal which, together, are expected to drive the deficit and debt further upward. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimates annual deficits could top $2.1 trillion per year in the next decade, which would send the national debt soaring even higher.
Is fiscal conservatism dead?

Republicans railed against the national debt level under the Obama administration, when it jumped from $10.6 trillion to $19.9 trillion, nearly doubling, but few have been as outspoken about the situation with Republicans controlling Capitol Hill and the White House.

Insane. Insanity. Fiscal insanity and irresponsibility.

They're spending their way to huge debt, after railing about over-spending and debt and deficits for the previous 8 years. 

And for what?

So they could hand over yet more of the nation's wealth to the already-wealthy and corporations with their big "trickle down economics" tax bill they just passed.

Nation and middle- and lower- and working-classes be damned.

Now they're coming after Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

We have GOT to vote these people out.


Reputedly, a Canadian Asks Some Very Good and Relevant Questions of Us

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Two Headlines That Say It All

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You've maybe read or heard that the retail chain Toys R Us is going out of business shortly, right? Going bankrupt? It can't keep up with online toy sales so it's having to shut down, right?

With that in mind, check out these two headlines on that subject. They say everything. Here's the first.

Bankruptcy judge approves $14M 

Toys R Us executive bonus payout

And here, here's the second.

Oh yes.

The deck is stacked, ladies and gentlemen.

And it's stacked, severely, against most of us.

Not done there, here's another beauty.

What scandals? Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan 

gets $4.6M raise

Wells Fargo bank has untold scandals and so, fines, from the government, for scamming their own customers out of millions of dollars but what does the CEO get? 

A huge pay raise.

Because, sure, that makes sense.

You or I would be fired, forget about a raise.

Oldest Irish-owned Business in America? Happy St. Patrick's Day, Kansas City!

Did you know this?

The oldest Irish-owned business in America 

is right here in Kansas City

If you've never been, go.

Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone.

Let's be careful out there.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

What Tying Health Care to Profit(s) Gets You

Yes sir/ma'am, this, this, among many other things, is just what, exactly, tying health care to profit and profits gets a nation---us.

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U.S. Health Care Ranked Worst 

in the Developed World

Note two things about the article--First, it is from Time magazine, not some wild, irresponsible rag and two, it was published June 17, 2014.  As prices and costs for health care in our nation get ever-higher, this only becomes more true and only gets worse.

This study is from just last year.

Here are some of the other things tying health and health care to profits gains you.

So congratulations, America. The rest of the world knows better than this. We pay more, far more, than any other nation for health care and we have the worst medical outcomes.

Aren't we brilliant?  Seems "exceptional" to me, right?

Will you EVER learn?

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Who, Exactly, Is President Trump Tryng to Protect?

This happened yesterday, last evening.

Rex Tillerson condemns Russia 

for UK nerve agent attack 

So what did Trump do today? What did he tweet within the last 2 hours?

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Is our President, Donald J Trump, protecting or trying to protect Russia, ladies and gentlemen? Or someone in it?

Let's ignore that he fired yet one more person of the highest rank in his own administration and by tweet, no less, the coward.

Who, really, is this Republican President working for?

Again, who is he trying to protect?

Monday, March 12, 2018

How Insane This Republican President Is

Extending the most bizarre Presidency in the history of our nation, bar none, at this moment, this same President's own political party is creating bills to undo the man's own very recent handiwork.

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GOP Talks of Bill to Thwart Tariffs

Here's what's happening:

Republican lawmakers are openly discussing legislation to limit President Donald Trump’s trade powers after the White House detailed plans last week to impose global tariffs on U.S. imports of steel and aluminum.

It seems Benedict Donald decided, out of the blue and on his own, that he thought we should put tariffs, taxes on aluminum and steel because, you know, we just aren't a wealthy enough country yet. Once he made the decision, he created unilateral Executive Orders, taxing these more, trade agreements and partners be damned.

Now, bad as that is, what's great is that his own political party realizes and understands how crazy this all is, so they're writing a bill to limit his own very powers so he doesn't pull this kind of nonsense in the future.

Ya' just gotta' love these Republicans.

Well, when they aren't destroying the nation or environment or some such, anyway.

This is, as I have said before, the unprecedented Presidency, without doubt.

Friday, March 9, 2018

The Time Has Come. Our Time Has Come

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Yes sir and ma'am. The time has come.

Our time has come.

The time to put people, people's lives, Americans, innocent Americans, at that, as a higher priority than weapons and weapon ownership has come. Is now.

No one's talking eliminating guns in the nation, either.

Not remotely.

We're not proposing doing away with the 2nd Amendment or confiscating all the weapons in the country.

It's just that the taking of, again, innocent American lives must end.

A few simple, obviously necessary, helpful, intelligent regulations of weapons only makes sense.  Three that come to mind are:

  • Background checks, required, coast to coast, for mental stability and criminal history, for all weapons purchases to finally, finally close the gun show loophole
  • Making the maximum number of shots per clip to be 10
  • Re-instituting the Assault Weapons Ban

This is no way asking too much. And again, people would still have their weapons if they wish.

It should have ended long ago.

This is a grassroots effort and movement. It's coming from the people. It started with the students and we mustn't let it stop.

Let's do this.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Great News Day Yesterday!

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The last 12 to 24 hours have brought some pretty fantastic news, frankly, and on two fronts. First, out of the Koreas, North and South.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has agreed to suspend nuclear and missile tests while engaged in negotiations with South Korea, Seoul's government announced Tuesday morning. According to the office of South Korean president Moon Jae-in, Kim has agreed to hold an inter-Korean summit on the border between the two Koreas in late April, the first of its kind since 2007.

South Korea also said that Kim expressed willingness to begin talks with the United States about "denuclearization and normalizing relations"; President Trump has said that North Korea must be willing to denuclearize before negotiations begin.

"The North Korean side clearly stated its willingness to denuclearize," Moon's office said. "It made clear that it would have no reason to keep nuclear weapons if the military threat to the North was eliminated and its security guaranteed."

Now we just need our President to not exacerbate the situation with any tweeting or comments. Good luck to us all and God help us on that. It's starting to look like, of the two, our President Trump and their Kim Jong Un, Mr. Un is the sane one. Let's hope they both are.

Then there is this, regarding the Russia investigation of this President and his White House.

Former Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg spent much of Monday on a media tour, granting interviews to CNN, MSNBC, NY1, the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and other outlets as he declared his intention to ignore a subpoena from special counsel Robert Mueller.

The subpoena, which Nunberg supplied to multiple outlets and then held in his hand as he appeared on television, demanded he turn over all documents he had from November 1, 2015 to the present that related to President Trump and former Trump campaign officials Carter Page, Corey Lewandowski, Hope Hicks, Keith Schiller, Michael Cohen, Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, Roger Stone, and Steve Bannon.

In his multiple interviews, Nunberg said that it would take too much time to sort through that "ridiculous amount of documents," and that he would ignore the subpoena's demands and an order by Mueller to appear before a grand jury on Friday.

"Screw that," he said on CNN. "Why do I have to go? Why? For what?" Nunberg essentially dared Mueller to hold him in contempt of court and jail him. "Let him arrest me," Nunberg told the Washington Post.

But by Monday night, the ex-Trump aide had begun to change his tune. Nunberg told the Associated Press that he is "going to end up cooperating" with the special counsel, although he would like Mueller's team to narrow the subpoena's scope of inquiry. After a day of publicly proclaiming his intent to defy Mueller, Nunberg appeared to back away from his plan to fight.

Here are just a few of the quotes from Mr. Nunberg yesterday:
  • "Trump may well have done something during the election with the Russians."
  • "You know [Trump] knew about [his son's Trump Tower meeting with a Russian lawyer]. He was talking about it a week before. ... I don't know why he went around trying to hide it."
  • "I was told that [Russian pop star Emin Alagarov] had offered to send women up to Trump's room [while he was in Moscow] but Trump didn't want it. He's too smart for that."
  • "I believe [former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser] Carter Page was colluding with the Russians. ... Carter Page is a weird dude."
Finally, this.

Another Republican, Senator Thad Cochran, is to resign from Congress. Unfortunately, it's because of poor health which I would wish on no one but hey, at least another Republican will be out of office. That's the upside to an otherwise unfortunate situation.

Incredible. An incredible--and good--day.

Maybe great, even. Here's hoping it continues.


Monday, March 5, 2018

Idiocy and Death-Enabling Irresponsibility Out of the Florida Statehouse

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Florida Senate rejects ban on assault weapons, 

votes to arm teachers

Idiots. Irresponsible, death-enabling, Right Wing, Republican idiots. On top of an extremely recent shooting death of 17 students, this is what they do.

Then there's also the thoughtlessness. And heartlessness.

Think of it.

Think of your teachers from school.

Now think of them armed. With weapons.

What part of that even SEEMS like a good idea?