28 thoughts on “News/Politics 5-4-17

  1. Hmmm. Maybe Trump was right about Andrew Jackson after all. Jackson made some poor decisions (a couple of them real doozies). But as President, in some ways he was a deal maker as Trump aspires to be.

    …..Consider Buchanan’s response to the dress rehearsal for the Civil War dubbed “Bleeding Kansas” by New York Tribune editor Horace Greeley. From 1856 to 1859, Kansas, not yet a state, was torn between anti-slavery “Free-Staters” and pro-slavery “Border Ruffians.” Rival bands of armed men roamed Kansas killing. President Buchanan did nothing to stop the violence.

    Buchanan also did nothing when South Carolina seceded. Buchanan believed that secession was illegal, but that the U.S. Constitution gave the federal government no authority to stop it.

    Suppose someone other than Buchanan had been president when South Carolina seceded? Someone who did not hold Buchanan’s futilitarian beliefs. Someone like — oh, I don’t know — Andrew Jackson.

    A president in Jackson’s mold could have prevented the Civil War. Jackson provided the blueprint in his successful handling of the Nullification Crisis of 1832-1833.

    The Nullification Crisis arose over an issue which divided North and South almost as bitterly as slavery: tariffs. The North relied on a high tariff to provide revenue and to protect its manufacturers. The South, with little manufacturing, opposed tariffs. The clash between the sections over the tariff came to a head with the passage of steep tariffs in 1828 (the so-called “Tariff of Abominations”) and 1832.

    Jackson’s own vice president, John C. Calhoun, had given Southerners the means to fight back. Calhoun was the anonymous author of the “South Carolina Exposition and Protest” which argued that any state could “nullify” a law the state deemed unconstitutional. On November 24, 1832, South Carolina passed an “Ordinance of Nullification” declaring the 1828 and 1832 tariffs null and void within its borders. South Carolina then refused to collect federal import tariffs.

    Jackson, like Abraham Lincoln after him, believed passionately in Union. Jackson demonstrated his devotion to Union at a Jefferson Day dinner also attended by Calhoun. Calhoun proposed the toast: “The Union — next to our liberty, the most dear!” This was in response to Jackson’s toast: “Our federal union — it must be preserved!”

    President Jackson’s response to South Carolina’s Ordinance of Nullification was twofold. Jackson was open to compromise and worked to bring down the tariff. But Jackson also made clear that if necessary he would use force. On March 2, 1833, Congress enacted a “Force Bill” granting Jackson the discretion to use troops against South Carolina. This proved to be unnecessary. Congress’ enactment of a compromise bill lowering tariffs over the next ten years persuaded South Carolina to abandon nullification.

    Had Jackson been president in 1860 he would have crushed South Carolina’s latest rebellion with the same firmness. Using a small amount of force early on when just one state had seceded could have prevented the massive bloodletting of the Civil War which killed 800,000 Americans on both sides….


    Liked by 1 person

  2. The recent dramatic demonstrations of the loss of free speech at our universities is probably a public reflection of what has been going on inside those universities for many years: the loss of free thinking and reasoning. Here’s an article on the condition of real education at our universities.

    …The university faces crises almost everywhere of student debt, university finances, free expression, and the very quality and value of a university education.

    Take free speech. Without freedom of expression, there can be no university.

    But if the recent examples at Berkeley, Claremont, Middlebury, and Yale are any indication, there is nothing much left to the idea of a free and civilized exchange of different ideas.

    At most universities, if a scheduled campus lecturer expressed scholarly doubt about the severity of man-caused global warming and the efficacy of its government remedies, or questioned the strategies of the Black Lives Matter movement, or suggested that sex is biologically determined rather than socially constructed, she likely would either be disinvited or have her speech physically disrupted. Campuses often now mimic the political street violence of the late Roman Republic.

    Campus radicals have achieved what nuclear strategists call deterrence: Faculty and students now know precisely which speech will endanger their careers and which will earn them rewards. The terrified campus community makes the necessary adjustments.

    As with the German universities of the 1930s, faculty keep quiet or offer politically correct speech through euphemisms. Toadies thrive; mavericks are hounded.


    Liked by 4 people

  3. I am feeling generous this morning. I will rule that the following is infantile, but stops just short of idiocy:

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Feeling libertarian this morning:

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Obama created those new rules just so he could spy on the Democrat’s opposition. And spy he did.


    “During his final year in office, President Obama’s team significantly expanded efforts to search National Security Agency intercepts for information about Americans, distributing thousands of intelligence reports across government with the unredacted names of U.S. residents during the midst of a divisive 2016 presidential election.

    The data, made available this week by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, provides the clearest evidence to date of how information accidentally collected by the NSA overseas about Americans was subsequently searched and disseminated after President Obama loosened privacy protections to make such sharing easier in 2011 in the name of national security. A court affirmed his order.

    The revelations are particularly sensitive since the NSA is legally forbidden from directly spying on Americans and its authority to conduct warrantless searches on foreigners is up for renewal in Congress later this year. And it comes as lawmakers investigate President Trump’s own claims that his privacy was violated by his predecessor during the 2016 election.

    In all, government officials conducted 30,355 searches in 2016 seeking information about Americans in NSA intercept metadata, which include telephone numbers and email addresses. The activity amounted to a 27.5 percent increase over the prior year and more than triple the 9,500 such searches that occurred in 2013, the first year such data was kept.

    The government in 2016 also scoured the actual contents of NSA intercepted calls and emails for 5,288 Americans, an increase of 13 percent over the prior year and a massive spike from the 198 names searched in 2013.

    The searches ultimately resulted in 3,134 NSA intelligence reports with unredacted U.S. names being distributed across government in 2016, and another 3,354 reports in 2015. About half the time, U.S. identities were unredacted in the original reports while the other half were unmasked after the fact by special request of Obama administration officials.

    Among those whose names were unmasked in 2016 or early 2017 were campaign or transition associates of President Trump as well as members of Congress and their staffers, according to sources with direct knowledge.

    The data kept by ODNI is missing some information from one of the largest consumers of NSA intelligence, the FBI, and officials acknowledge the numbers are likely much higher when the FBI’s activity is added.”


  6. Ricky,

    Do you doubt that happened? I don’t. And this new evidence just re-enforces that. He clearly was “tapp-ing” Trump associates, business partners, and his transition team. He did what Trump accused him of, and I’d bet more.

    It’s shameful and disgraceful when a sitting President resorts to using the US spy apparatus for his own personal gain and that of his party. He should be ashamed, but he has no class, or respect for his office, so I’m sure he’s not.

    And you’re OK with that? Or is Trump’s misspelling the real crime here, ‘cuz that’s all you ever seem to focus on?


  7. AJ, The Cult position has changed. On Monday, the Orange One told CBS, “I don’t stand by anything” with regard to the tapp tweets. You are now free to defend some other inane comment.


  8. Great column on climate change, he really did nail it with reasonableness. I cannot fathom how that particular issue has become so philosophically and politically driven (all under the guise of “science”). The very nature of both science and fields such as climate change (yes, it happens) should be based on an open-minded inquiry that will, by nature, change as more knowledge and better – longer records are available.

    Instead, a “conclusion” has been adopted first and all the data is being pushed into a template that supports that conclusion (which is so obviously now politically driven).

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Hmmm. From a friend on FB:

    New rule: You cant claim to be pro life if you just voted to deny healthcare to millions of children (as well as adults) who were unfortunate enough to have a preexisting condition. Notice they made sure they dont have to follow the same rules. The total lack of empathy for the “common folk” is disgusting and I hope they rot in Hell for it.


  10. In order to protect spokesmen and Cult members from embarrassment (see Spicer) or worse (see Nunes) the Trump Cult has now introduced a 60 day waiting period following statements or Tweets of The Leader. During this waiting period, cultists are not encouraged to put themselves at risk by frantically trying to defend The Leader’s unusual and/or bizarre positions. If after 60 days, The Leader has not contradicted or abandoned his position, cult members are encouraged to defend him.


  11. DJ – That sounds exactly like something YF would post. In fact, she has posted something very similar in the past. One of her habits is to write “Fun fact: . . .” & then something that is not fun at all, but a bitter diatribe.

    She recently came close to calling me a Nazi sympathizer (& her comment could be taken as actually having said that) for standing up for free speech for even those one thinks of as hateful, including Nazis. I pointed out that allowing someone to speak or march doesn’t mean anyone has to listen.

    Another time she accused me of condoning hate speech. I informed her that allowing something is not the same as condoning it.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Well they’re calling it a success, Ryan’s plan is already DOA in the Senate. The bribes he included to get it out of the House are exactly what will doom it in the Senate.


    “Several key Senate Republicans said they will set aside the narrowly passed House health-care bill and write their own version instead, a sign of how difficult it will be to deliver on seven years of promises to repeal Obamacare.

    Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, who chairs the Senate health committee, and Roy Blunt of Missouri, a member of GOP leadership, both described the plan, even as the House was celebrating passing its repeal after weeks of back and forth. The decision will likely delay even further the prospect of any repeal bill reaching President Donald Trump’s desk.

    Hospital stocks dipped on the House vote, but quickly bounced back on the news the Senate would start over with its own version, with the BI North America Hospitals Index up 0.9 percent at 2:39 p.m. Hospitals fear the winding-down of Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion will leave them with more customers who can’t afford to pay.

    Trump celebrated the House vote with a news conference at the White House, standing alongside dozens of Republican lawmakers.

    “This has really brought the Republican Party together,” he said.

    But in the wake of the House’s razor-thin 217-213 vote, the Senate made clear it was going in a different direction. Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski, who has been very critical of the House bill, said Thursday she hopes they start with “a clean slate” in the Senate.

    To get some kind of bill through his chamber, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will need to unite moderate and conservative wings of the party that want to pull the measure in entirely different directions. The GOP controls the chamber 52-48, meaning he can lose no more than two Republicans and still pass it, given the united Democratic opposition.

    The added sweeteners that helped win crucial GOP support to get the House bill through that chamber had made it even more difficult to get it through the Senate. One of the many obstacles with the House version is that it could run afoul of budget strictures governing the procedure under which the bill is being handled. “


  13. And no word yet on whether this particular detail will remain in the Senate version. We don’t have 51 pro-life R Senators, the bare minimum to get it included in a passable bill. But it will have to do for now.


    “In passing their health-care bill, Republicans have also taken a first step toward dramatically slashing federal dollars for Planned Parenthood clinics.

    The women’s health provider stands to lose roughly 30 percent of its revenue under a provision in the GOP health-care bill to block it from getting Medicaid reimbursements for one year unless its hundreds of clinics stop offering abortions.

    The defunding measure took a backseat to larger negotiations over the American Health Care Act, as House GOP leaders struggled to get enough members on board. And it’s far from final passage, likely to run up against opposition in the Senate.

    But the passage of the AHCA in the House represents a big, initial victory for conservatives who have long sought to undercut the country’s largest abortion provider and who extracted a promise from President Trump during his campaign that he’d sign a bill defunding Planned Parenthood.

    “Congress is going to vote to repeal and replace Obamacare,” Vice President Pence said at a gala Wednesday hosted by anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List. “And when they vote to repeal and replace Obamacare, we will finally defund Planned Parenthood.”

    Republicans included the defunding language in the measure rewriting the Affordable Care Act so that it would be subject to special rules designed to pass it by a 50-vote majority in the Senate. They see that as the surest way to ensure they don’t need Democratic votes in the Senate for passage — Republicans hold a 52-to-48 vote margin in the Senate.”


  14. The Stasi comes to mind.

    Can someone explain in simple English to this simpleton WHY it was so crucial to take out provisions for pre-existing problems?

    Other than saving money.

    And I’m with the folks who keep wondering why Congress gets better health insurance than anyone else.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. In the movie Idiocracy, it is the soft drink Brawndo that consumes 60% of the country’s GDP.

    In the actual Idiocracy, it is healthcare spending that consumes 20% (the percentage continues to grow) of GDP.

    In the movie Idiocracy, it is the time traveler (the only person left on earth with an IQ of 100) who is berated by the mob for his efforts to wean them from spending on Brawndo.

    In the actual Idiocracy, it is poor Ryan (the only political leader left with an IQ of 100) who is berated by the mob for his efforts to reduce their healthcare spending.


  16. Like

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