36 thoughts on “News/Politics 3-10-17

  1. Well this is his baby, not Trump’s. He should take the heat.

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/right-targets-ryan-%E2%80%94-not-trump-%E2%80%94-on-obamacare-plan/ar-AAo5QUX?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=U452DHP

    “President Trump has so far managed to avoid becoming a target for the conservative backlash to Speaker Paul Ryan’s ObamaCare repeal and replace plan, even as the White House vigorously whips support for the bill.

    Ryan hasn’t been so lucky.

    Breitbart News, which has long been one of Ryan’s most vocal foes, panned his American Health Care Act as “Speaker Ryan’s ObamaCare 2.0.”

    Powerful conservative groups Club for Growth and FreedomWorks, whose leaders discussed the issue with Trump on Wednesday, have branded the bill as “RyanCare.” A FreedomWorks digital ad included a photoshopped image of former President Obama laughing with his arm around the Speaker.

    And in an interview with Breitbart, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said Ryan is working to deceive Trump about the bill, accusing the Speaker of “trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the president.”

    Conservative media, outside groups and Tea Party lawmakers have been nearly unanimous in directing their anger at Ryan and GOP leadership, while crediting Trump with being open to helping them improve the bill and negotiate better terms – even as the White House puts its muscle behind the bill’s passage.

    “What we’ve seen from President Trump in 49 days in office is that he’s working to keep the promises he made on the campaign trail, so I’m encouraged and optimistic about that,” said Tea Party Patriots president Jenny Beth Martin, who met with Trump on Wednesday.

    “What concerns me is that we don’t trust the leadership in the House or the Senate to keep their promises.””
    —————————

    And why would they? They rarely keep their promises.

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  5. I’ve been trying to comment on the Huff Po story about Samantha Bee mocking a cancer patient with a “Nazi Haircut”. but they keep removing my comments. I’m not sure what the problem is. The comments are along the lines of “this was not a mistake. This was judging on based on looks without knowing anything else about the person.” or pointing out that the guy was a registered Democrat and a never Trumper. They like their bubble.

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  6. It’s not pro-Russia, it’s anti-CIA. And given what we know about their record, they’ve earned the skepticism and suspicion.

    If there is a plot by the CIA, you can bet Evan McMullin is in on it. Just like with the now completely debunked Trump “dossier”. He should be more worried about what his friends at the CIA were up to, and running damage control. Or heck, even searching for those Iraq WMDs. But no, nothing productive out of ol’ Evan, just more crying and whining.

    It’ll be interesting to see if the little frauds name is in the Wiki releases to come, and there’s a lot more to come.

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  7. And meanwhile, Trump is getting down to business.

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/us-jobs-wages-show-solid-gains-in-trumps-first-full-month/ar-AAo6tgz?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=U452DHP

    “U.S. employers added jobs at an above-average pace for a second month on outsized gains in construction and manufacturing, showing the labor market continued its steady growth in the new year.

    The 235,000 increase in jobs followed a 238,000 rise in January that was more than previously estimated, the best back-to-back rise since July, a Labor Department report showed in Washington on Friday. The unemployment rate fell to 4.7 percent, and wages grew 2.8 percent from February 2016.

    While unseasonably warm weather may have boosted the payrolls count, the data represent President Donald Trump’s first full month in office and coincide with a surge in economic optimism following his election victory. The figures also validate recent comments by Federal Reserve officials that flagged a likely interest-rate increase this month.

    “The economy is riding a wave of optimism in the wake of the election,” Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist of jobs website Glassdoor, said before the report was released.”
    ————————

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  8. National bankruptcy?

    Well unlike all the R’s and D’s that ran up the tab, Trump hasn’t run up the debt, at least not yet. In fact, quite the opposite….

    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2017/03/amazing-us-debt-decreased-60-billion-since-trump-inauguration/

    “On January 20th, the day of the Trump Inauguration, the US Debt stood at $19,947 billion. On March 8th, more than a month later, the US Debt load stood at $19,879 billion. Trump has cut the US Debt burden by $68 billion and 0.3% in since his inauguration!”

    “With Trump the stock market is up, jobs are increasing, salaries are increasing and debt is down…

    Winning, Winning, Winning, Winning.”
    ——————-

    And here’s the Treasury numbers to back it up.

    https://www.treasurydirect.gov/NP/debt/search?startMonth=01&startDay=20&startYear=2017&endMonth=02&endDay=21&endYear=2017

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  9. Another false meme put to bed.

    http://hotair.com/archives/2017/03/10/top-centcom-general-no-bad-judgement-valuable-gains-from-yemen-raid/

    “Are we finally seeing the end of the media debate over the “botched” special forces raid in Yemen? Unless you were hiding under a rock you surely heard about this one. Navy SEALs launched an attack on an Al Qaeda stronghold which resulted in the death of one Navy SEAL, injuries to several others and significant damage to one of the aircraft used in the raid. After word leaked out, two conflicting narratives immediately emerged. NBC News was quick to declare the operation a failure, saying that it produced no significant gains in either gathering intelligence or taking out high-value targets. Shortly thereafter, other reports indicated that the opposite was true.

    Now we finally have input from somebody who should know. Gen. Joseph Votel testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee and said that while the experience definitely provided many lessons which they will take forward, there was no fault to be found and the operation was a highly productive one. (Associated Press)

    The top U.S. commander for the Middle East told senators Thursday that he has completed an exhaustive review of the Yemen raid that killed a Navy SEAL, and has concluded there were no lapses in judgment or decision-making surrounding the operation.

    Gen. Joseph Votel, who heads U.S. Central Command, said he sees no need for additional investigations into the January mission that triggered debate in Washington over what went wrong and whether important intelligence was actually gathered. It was the first military raid authorized by President Donald Trump…

    Votel, who presided over an internal review, said he was “looking for information gaps where we can’t explain what happened in a particular situation or we have conflicting information between members of the organization. I am looking for indicators of incompetence or poor decision making or bad judgment throughout all this.”

    In the end, he said, “I was satisfied that none of those indicators that I identified to you were present. I think we had a good understanding of exactly what happened on this objective and we’ve been able to pull lessons learned out of that, that we will apply in future operations.” He said there was no need for an additional investigation.

    Votel added that he believes the U.S. gained valuable information on al-Qaida militants.
    There was definitely a “debacle” taking place here, but it wasn’t in the form of the conduct of our special forces or the planning of the operation. The true collapse which took place was on the part of either the media or malcontents inside the government seeking to undermine the Trump administration. (Though at this point I would put my money on a combination of the two.) We have zero reason to doubt the testimony of the general and even the most partisan among us should have approached the story with a more gentle hand. The planning of this operation began months before Barack Obama left office, but the final approval was given by President Trump so the responsibility lies on his shoulders for better or worse. Still, this was something which evolved over a span of time encompassing both administrations.”
    ————————–

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  10. If you want to hammer Trump, find something legitimate to complain about. Something like this….

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2017/03/a-dangerous-candidate-for-the-top-doj-civil-rights-job.php

    “The Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice was at the center of much of President Obama’s “transformative” agenda. It took a leading role on issues ranging from local police practices, to voting procedures, to transgender matters, to employment quotas, to immigration. In all instances, the Civil Rights Division advanced the left’s position.

    The amount of mischief the Civil Rights Division can produce is vast. One of the great things about President Trump’s ascendancy is the prospect of putting a stop to the mischief and setting a conservative course. The appointment of a strong, sound conservative Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights is crucial to accomplishing this.

    I was shocked, therefore, to learn from sources I trust that Harmeet Dhillon is a leading candidate for this position. Dhillon is a former board member of the ACLU (in San Francisco, no less) and a past donor to ultra-liberal Democrat Kamela Harris.

    These facts strongly suggest that Dhillon has certain liberal sympathies and holds certain liberal views. As discussed below, this turns out to be the case.

    Thus, the selection of Dhillon for a position as important as Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights would be a stunning betrayal of conservatives by the Trump administration. Conservatives believed (and still do) that President Trump would eschew political correctness and identity politics, relieve local police departments of excessive federal oversight, clamp down on voting fraud, and take a hard line on illegal immigration.”

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  11. Well look what we found….. 🙄

    http://legalinsurrection.com/2017/03/irs-releases-nearly-7000-tea-party-documents/

    “It is astonishing how much is being revealed about the “Deep State” since Donald Trump was inaugurated less than two months ago.

    This week, Wikileaks published almost 9,000 documents from the CIA about the agency’s own malware used to hack into anyone’s electronics make it look like the cyber-attack came from Russia.

    Now, after years of struggling for real justice from the Obama Administration that falsely claimed Tea Party groups were never targeted, citizen activists now have access to nearly 7,000 documents related to the illegal man-handling of their tax status applications by the Internal Revenue Service.

    The Internal Revenue Service has located 6,924 documents potentially related to the targeting of Tea Party conservatives, two years after the group Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit for them.

    The watchdog group intended to find records regarding how the IRS selected individuals and organizations for audits that were requesting nonprofit tax status.

    The agency will not say when it will make the documents available to the public.

    “At this time, the Service is unable to provide an estimate regarding when it will complete its review of the potentially responsive documents,” the agency said. “The Service will begin producing any non-exempt, responsive documents by March 10, 2017, and, if necessary, continue to produce non-responsive records on a bi-weekly basis.”

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  12. Still cleaning up Obama’s messes, and Obama’s lackeys are still not talking about their illegal acts and the damage they caused.

    http://legalinsurrection.com/2017/03/atf-agents-skip-hearing-on-ice-agent-jaime-zapata-murder/

    “The House Oversight Committee held a hearing today over the Department of Justice Inspector General’s report that showed the ATF missed numerous opportunities to arrest the two men linked to the guns used to murder ICE Agent Jaime Zapata in February 2011.

    However, Ronald Turk, ATF associate deputy director and chief operating officer, and William Temple, ATF’s special agent in charge of the Dallas Field Division, refused to show up and testify. This left Chairman Jason Chaffetz fuming.”

    “From The Daily Caller:

    ATF Acting Director Thomas Brandon told the hearing the two men skipped “voluntarily,” but he agreed with their decision.

    “There is no excuse for that, and we will not tolerate that,” Chaffetz said, signing the subpoenas in the middle of the hearing. Appearing before Congress is “not optional,” he said.

    The Zapata family has been waiting six years to receive answers into Jaime’s death.

    The ATF identified Otillo Osorio and Robert Riendfliesh as running around 40 firearms in November 2010, but the IG found that no one within the agency did anything to stop them.

    The IG did not describe the steps agents should have taken, but the investigators “believe that there clearly was probable cause to arrest both Osorio brothers and Morrison after ATF witnessed the Osorios complete a transfer of 40 firearms on November 9, 2010.”

    The notorious Mexican drug cartel Los Zetas used some of those guns to murder Jaime and injure his partner Victor Avila just 200 miles north of Mexico City in February 2011.”

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  13. Double face palm.

    Got a genetic predisposition to something? Too bad for you because your employer and govt. just decided it’s a handy new way to stick it to you.

    Next time pick better parents…. 😞

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/careersandeducation/house-republicans-would-let-employers-demand-workers%E2%80%99-genetic-test-results/ar-AAo5Qb1?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=U452DHP

    “Giving employers such power is now prohibited by legislation including the 2008 genetic privacy and nondiscrimination law known as GINA. The new bill gets around that landmark law by stating explicitly that GINA and other protections do not apply when genetic tests are part of a “workplace wellness” program.

    The bill, H.R. 1313, was approved by a House committee on Wednesday, with all 22 Republicans supporting it and all 17 Democrats opposed. It has been overshadowed by the debate over the House GOP proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, but the genetic testing bill is expected to be folded into a second ACA-related measure containing a grab-bag of provisions that do not affect federal spending, as the main bill does.

    “What this bill would do is completely take away the protections of existing laws,” said Jennifer Mathis, director of policy and legal advocacy at the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, a civil rights group. In particular, privacy and other protections for genetic and health information in GINA and the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act “would be pretty much eviscerated,” she said.”

    “Employers got virtually everything they wanted for their workplace wellness programs during the Obama administration. The ACA allowed them to charge employees 30 percent, and possibly 50 percent, more for health insurance if they declined to participate in the “voluntary” programs, which typically include cholesterol and other screenings; health questionnaires that ask about personal habits including plans to get pregnant; and sometimes weight loss and smoking cessation classes. And in rules that Obama’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued last year, a workplace wellness program counts as “voluntary” even if workers have to pay thousands of dollars more in premiums and deductibles if they don’t participate.

    Despite those wins, the business community chafed at what it saw as the last obstacles to unfettered implementation of wellness programs: the genetic information and the disabilities laws. Both measures, according to congressional testimony last week by the American Benefits Council, “put at risk the availability and effectiveness of workplace wellness programs,” depriving employees of benefits like “improved health and productivity.” The Council represents Fortune 500 companies and other large employers that provide employee benefits. It did not immediately respond to questions about how lack of access to genetic information hampers wellness programs.

    Rigorous studies by researchers not tied to the $8 billion wellness industry have shown that the programs improve employee health little if at all. An industry group recently concluded that they save so little on medical costs that, on average, the programs lose money. But employers continue to embrace them, partly as a way to shift more health care costs to workers, including by penalizing them financially.”
    ———–

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  14. When greed and consumption are considered virtues, and a people have little or no loyalty to their country or countrymen, there is no government that can produce a beneficial outcome—short of Divine intervention. That’s pretty much where we are, I think. Pray.

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  15. So if employers are not allowed to move more of the healthcare costs to employees, what are their other options?

    1. Fire some of the employees and replace them with machines.
    2. Shut down the plant and move production to Mexico.
    3. Sell the whole business and move to Switzerland.

    As noted in my opening post yesterday, in order to contain healthcare costs, it is actually important that employees and Medicare recipients pay more of their own healthcare costs.

    On yesterday’s intergenerational transfers, a young, two-income couple who each make $80,000 a year is paying 15.3% of what their employer is willing to pay them straight to retired or disabled persons via the Social Security and Medicare Ponzi schemes. That is over $24,000 a year. The subsidies from Grandpa to the kids are obvious. The large subsidies going the other way are hidden, but many of the kids are starting to figure it out and they are saying:

    Singapore, Chile, New Zealand or Switzerland?

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  16. It’s a serious problem for any nation when government jobs outnumber manufacturing jobs—but that is what happens when a country offshores its manufacturing. Still, we’re trying to turn the tide…

    (CNSNews.com) – The United States added 28,000 jobs in manufacturing in February and 8,000 in government, according to numbers released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    So far in 2017 (January and February), the U.S. has gained 39,000 manufacturing jobs and 25,000 government jobs.

    Nonetheless, in February, government jobs in the United States outnumbered manufacturing jobs by 9,942,000.

    That is down from is down from the 9,956,000 margin that government jobs had over manufacturing jobs in December 2016, according to the BLS numbers.

    http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/terence-p-jeffrey/us-adds-28000-jobs-manufacturing-and-8000-government

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  17. Buying property in Switzerland may become a little more iffy in the future.

    The Swiss government has announced plans to tighten the acquisition of property by citizens from countries outside Europe.

    Under the draft bill, buying property in Switzerland for people living outside the European Union or the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) could become subject to approval by the authorities.

    The reform is aimed at closing loopholes in the current legislation and reducing the administrative burden for the local authorities, according to a statement by the justice ministry.

    http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/real-estate_foreign-property-purchase-to-face-restrictions/43020342

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  18. Switzerland is almost purely private insurance. I’m not sure they have poor people in the Alps. The others are a blend. Singapore’s is truly amazing as they have a co-pay for every single charge and spend less than a third of what we do.

    Singapore is in most respects the most well run place on earth, but a Texan needs his space. The Chileans look like Mexicans so I think I could be happy there. I have come to realize that the Maori and the Tongans are basically the Mexicans of New Zealand. I like those folks and New Zealand has lots of golf courses.

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  19. Debra, I don’t think I would want to buy property in Switzerland. That probably would just be a summer place. I understand the climate of Singapore is like that of Houston.

    Of course in NZ and Chile, the seasons are reversed.

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  20. California manufacturing jobs are green jobs– better for the world’s carbon footprint. It’s just hard to change things when no-growthers are in charge.

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  21. Cleaning out the holdovers. Good.

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/attorney-general-seeks-resignations-46-us-attorneys-203024610–politics.html

    “Attorney General Jeff Sessions is seeking the resignations of 46 United States attorneys who were appointed during prior presidential administrations, the Justice Department said Friday.

    Many of the federal prosecutors who were nominated by former President Barack Obama have already left their positions, but the nearly four dozen who stayed on in the first weeks of the Trump administration have been asked to leave “in order to ensure a uniform transition,” Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said.”

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  22. It is hard to believe how international North Fort Worth has become. We ate at a Japanese place last night. On one side of us was a woman and her son from Ethiopia. On the other side was a Cambodian young man on a date with a native Texan girl. At the table in front of us was a group of engineers. The old engineers were old white men. The young engineers were all Middle Eastern men except for one young lady who looked like she was from Finland. On our left five Japanese men with Beatles haircuts shared a table with 3 Mexican ladies and a young boy. Also at our table was a young native Texan couple. The man was a roughneck and was extremely well mannered. Everyone seemed to really enjoy the diverse company.

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  23. Wow. It just keeps getting worse.

    The FBI recently dropped a bunch of charges against a guy suspected of being involved with, or possessing, child porn. They did so to not disclose their methods.

    http://gizmodo.com/fbi-drops-all-charges-in-child-porn-case-to-keep-sketch-1793009653

    “The FBI claims to have used “network investigative techniques” (also known as malware) in order to uncover people’s real identities on the network. In court, however, the agency refused a request for information about its techniques, choosing to drop all charges against a defendant rather than reveal its secret spying methods. Federal prosecutor Annette Hayes explained the move a court filing on Friday.

    “The government must now choose between disclosure of classified information and dismissal of its indictment. Disclosure is not currently an option. Dismissal without prejudice leaves open the possibility that the government could bring new charges should there come a time within the statute of limitations when and the government be in a position to provide the requested discovery.””
    —————————-

    But now some have been exposed, and it appears some of those methods are questionable.

    Perhaps a class action suit against Best Buy is appropriate. They clearly violated their customers rights and privacy. It’s one thing where child porn is involved, but quite another when they go beyond that. And they clearly did.

    http://www.ocweekly.com/news/fbi-used-best-buys-geek-squad-to-increase-secret-public-surveillance-7950030

    “Recently unsealed records reveal a much more extensive secret relationship than previously known between the FBI and Best Buy’s Geek Squad, including evidence the agency trained company technicians on law-enforcement operational tactics, shared lists of targeted citizens and, to covertly increase surveillance of the public, encouraged searches of computers even when unrelated to a customer’s request for repairs.”

    “Jeff Haydock, a Best Buy vice president, told OC Weekly in January there has been no arrangement with the FBI. “If we discover child pornography in the normal course of serving a computer, phone or tablet, we have an obligation to contact law enforcement,” he said, calling such policy “the right thing to do.”

    But evidence demonstrates company employees routinely snooped for the agency, contemplated “writing a software program” specifically to aid the FBI in rifling through its customers’ computers without probable cause for any crime that had been committed, and were “under the direction and control of the FBI.”

    Multiple agency memoranda underscore the coziness with Best Buy, including one that stated, “The Louisville Division has maintained [a] close liaison with the Greek Squad management in an effort to glean case initiations and to support the division’s Computer Intrusion and Cyber Crime programs.”
    ————————-

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  24. Count me on the side of the FBI and Best Buy. My wife even favors cruel and unusual punishment for child molesters and those involved with child porn. As a Texas moderate, I think the death penalty would be sufficient.

    My guess is that the FBI was really looking for radical Muslims plotting a new 9/11 when they stumbled upon the pervert.

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  25. Ricky, my big hesitation with that one is that child pornographers often store their stash on the memories of innocent people. How they do it is beyond my technological know-how, but knowing that the “war against drugs” has led to the seizure of cars, money, and other possessions of people who’ve never bought or sold drugs, and knowing that child porn has ended up on computers of innocent people, and knowing that law enforcement can and does frame people, I’m nervous about invasions of privacy even for a great cause, like finding child pornographers.

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  26. Cheryl, I agree with you that the seizure of assets from dope addicts/pushers sometimes affected innocents. I also understand that perverts may store files on the computers of others. However, I don’t have a problem with Best Buy employees assisting the FBI catch any kind of criminals and I don’t have a problem with the FBI or other law enforcement using sophisticated search techniques to track and catch any person who downloads child porn.

    I view child porn and child molestation as being as great a threat to the country as terrorism. If we can eliminate child porn, we can greatly reduce child molestation which is a horrible problem. If we can reduce child molestation, we will reduce other types of perversion. I suspect that draconian penalties would have a strong deterrent effect.

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