34 thoughts on “News/Politics 5-15-17

  1. While the US President issued bizarre tweets about tapes of conversations with Comey and mulled firing much of his senior staff, China hosted a major economic conference announcing their New Silk Road plan which has been compared to The Marshall Plan.

    http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2017/05/14/quotes-from-leaders-at-chinas-new-silk-road-meeting.html

    The torch of world economic leadership is passing from the US to China even as the torch of idiocy may be passing from North Korea to the US.

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  2. I do not understand at all about N Korea’s obsession with nuclear and rockets. They think that it gives them power. But they have to know that if they hit the USA once that N Korea will soon be a radioactive desert. The Chinese have to know that too.
    This has long been a puzzle to me. I would have better things to do. This is no win for them.

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  3. They watched a pacifist drawing lines in the sand and brushing them away and now they have a crazy man whom “no one will allow to do something stupid to threaten world peace.”

    What would you do?

    Especially when your regime is failing, your people dying and everyone knows it. You have, theoretically, nothing to lose–especially if you get out to your villa in some haven before the rockets go up.

    Should it be Switzerland with all their stashed cash? No, too expensive and they’d stand out. How about a plantation somewhere in South America? Maybe they have friends in secluded places? Who knows? Revenge, anger, bitterness and Satan can make people do all sorts of inexplicable things. 😦

    I’m not worried. I’ll be in heaven.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. My heaven comment isn’t exactly blithe. I lived at ground zero for 20 years. My nuclear engineer used to tell me he was safer on a submarine than I was driving the car around town. If I mentioned nuclear weapons, he would say, “The thing about a nuclear attack, Michelle, is you want to go in the first explosion. The worst thing is to survive it and die a slow miserable death.”

    I’d also have trouble dealing with other survivors. I’ll take first strike and I’m out, thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Chas, North Korea is just the Asian version of Jesse Jackson/ Black Lives Matter. They misbehave and threaten worse misbehavior and other folks then give them free stuff.

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  6. So their defense is we can’t tell you because someone might kill us if they knew just how bad it was?

    Got it.

    It certainly an interesting way of keeping the public in the dark about govt’s abuses of taxpayers. If they know how bad it was, they’ll be ticked. Best not to tell them.

    http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/politics/2017/05/12/irs-execs-lives-risk-tea-party-case/101591538/

    “Details about tea party bias claims against the IRS could remain secret because current and former agency officials say their lives are in danger if they publicly testify about the case.

    Lois Lerner and Holly Paz both have argued in recent court filings that the threat to their lives outweighs the public’s right to hear their testimony about how IRS employees in Cincinnati and Washington D.C. handled applications for tax-exempt status from tea party groups.

    They recently filed evidence to support their claim under seal in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati. Though that evidence has not been made public, court records indicate it relates to death threats and other harassment the women say they endured after their names were connected to the bias claims against the IRS several years ago.

    Attorneys for the tea party groups suing the IRS say the argument against full disclosure doesn’t hold up. They asked the court Wednesday to make the IRS officials’ testimony public and to also open a May 19 hearing to the public.

    Their arguments, like most documents in the case, are not publicly available because U.S. District Judge Michael Barrett ordered them filed under seal. The hearing on May 19 will address those issues, but it, too, is closed to the public.”
    ————————-

    Shhhhh….. it’s a secret.

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  7. Well folks, thank your govt.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/microsoft-complains-state-hacking-tools-fuel-cyberattack-risks-1494803026

    “Microsoft Corp said that the software used in the global cyber assault that began Friday came from code stolen from the U.S. National Security Agency, adding that the attack should serve as a wake-up call for governments over the risks of hoarding such digital weapons for use against their enemies.

    The software giant’s statement is the most authoritative confirmation so far of the connection between the Friday attack and the code that appeared to be for cyberattacks and was disclosed in April by an anonymous group called Shadow Brokers, which said it had obtained it from the NSA. The U.S. spying agency has declined to comment on the matter.”
    ————————-

    No comment? Gee, I wonder why…… 🙄

    I know, I know…. it’s another secret we can’t know about, for our own good, of course.

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  8. Having come through the doom and gloom of the “Christian” school I attended, they thought it best to have us ready for a nuclear war, nuclear winter, etc. They told us we will be better off being the first to go. Personally I would rather death be quick and painless, rather than long, drawn out, and painful, and we all know I have zero nursing skills. No one would want me trying to take care of them.

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  9. It was 1967 or 68. I was in the Army in Germany, stationed in Heidelberg, about 2 miles from United States Army in Europe headquarters. I woke up to a LOUD siren one night. I knew it would take a fighter bomber 10 minutes to fly from the East German border to drop a nuke on Heidelberg; no use even getting up. I thanked God for Jesus, then I prayed that my family would get killed right away instead of getting radiation sickness or living through the aftermath of a nuclear attack. The house was 2 miles from North American Aviation where the Lunar Landing capsule was made.

    Horse shoes, hand grenades and atom bombs only have to be close…

    It only took a couple of seconds to realize that there was one of the guys of my unit in the hallway of our barracks cranking on a siren. It came from our Officers Quarters. Stolen. I knew that I believed in God and was one of his children after that.

    Liked by 6 people

  10. Some of us are old enough to remember how they taught us in elementary school to curl up under our desks during a nuclear attack.

    I remember asking my mom if I should crawl under my bed if I were home when the attack happened. I thought the bombs might just bounce back up.

    Ah, the innocence.

    Liked by 5 people

  11. War crimes.

    http://wtop.com/government/2017/05/us-accuses-syria-of-mass-executions-and-burning-the-bodies/

    “The Trump administration on Monday accused the Syrian government of carrying out mass killings of thousands of prisoners and burning the bodies in a large crematorium outside the capital.

    The State Department said it believed that about 50 detainees a day are being hanged at Saydnaya military prison, about 45 minutes from Damascus. Many of the bodies, it said, are then being burned in the crematorium.

    “We believe that the building of a crematorium is an effort to cover up the extent of mass murders taking place in Saydnaya prison,” said Stuart Jones, the top U.S. diplomatic for the Middle East.”

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  12. Winning.

    And even better, terrorist supporting regimes’ losing.

    http://legalinsurrection.com/2017/05/winning-usa-fracks-its-way-to-a-fuel-surplus/

    “Back in 2011, as that season’s presidential pandering was getting revved up, the President Obama said we can’t drill our way out of energy problems.

    President Obama called for the elimination of billions of dollars in oil industry tax breaks Friday, while stressing that the United States can’t drill its way out of high gas prices.

    “We can’t just drill our way out of the problem,” Obama said during an energy policy speech in Indiana Friday.

    I hate to admit it: Obama is right. We didn’t drill our way out, we fracked our way to a fuel surplus. There has been so much winning recently that OPEC is now complaining.

    The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) asked the U.S. to stop producing so much oil, according to a report Thursday.

    OPEC’s report blames the U.S. in particular because hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has greatly increased American oil production. The new production has led a lengthy period of very low oil prices. OPEC claims raising global oil prices will “require the collective efforts of all oil producers” and should be done “not only for the benefit of the individual countries, but also for the general prosperity of the world economy.”

    New American oil production is undermining OPEC’s efforts to keep global prices between $50 and $60 per barrel, with current prices hovering around $47 a barrel.

    “I think [OPEC] are now acutely aware that they don’t have the kind of influence they used to have 10 years ago, and that shale is now the swing producer in the market,” Tom Pugh, commodities economist at Capital Economics, told CNN Money.”

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I haven’t followed the fracking controversy closely at all, but I know many people are concerned about certain effects from fracking. I think one of the concerns is something getting in the water supply? Any validity to their concerns?

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Donna, If you’re talking about the one I just read, once again it’s just more hysteria with no basis in facts. It was so super secret, yet he was completely justified and authorized to do it. Here was the money quote….

    ———————
    “For most anyone in government discussing such matters with an adversary would be illegal. As president, Trump has broad authority to declassify government secrets, making it unlikely that his disclosures broke the law.

    “The president and the foreign minister reviewed common threats from terrorist organizations to include threats to aviation,” said H.R. McMaster, the national security adviser, who participated in the meeting. “At no time were any intelligence sources or methods discussed and no military operations were disclosed that were not already known publicly.”
    ———————-

    Like the whole Russia thing in general, it’s rife with unfounded speculation, over-dramatization, and breathlessly hoping it’s damaging to Trump, even though it’s probably untrue. A rather pathetic attempt really.

    If it’s that one, you can link it if you like, I’ll pass. It only encourages them. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. It used to be that CNN was jokingly called the Clinton News Network. Now all they can talk about it Trump. Can we impeach him? What does this mean? What does that mean? Did he go to the bathroom? Did he belch? Is it impeachable if he doesn’t go to the bathroom but he belches?
    If I go completely bonkers and kill my husband CNN ALL THE TIME will be the reason. I think it will be considered justifiable but perhaps I should check with Ricky first.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Ricky, its an interesting you have such an interest and admiration in Chinese economic policy. The Chinese no longer have an ideological bias and use gov’t to pragmatically direct the economy. They have a long term focus on renewable clean energy, they practice neo-colonialism in Africa in order to secure resources and food for their population, and know they are attempting to redirect existing trade routes. Meanwhile in Washington both parties continue to exercise blind faith in the free market. And thus they will eventually lose unless they see they are the economic fundamentalist not the so called Chinese Communist party.

    To add to Ricky’s idiocy torch, its been reported that NATO bureaucrats are dumbing down and shortening their policy papers to deal with Trump’s short attention span and small vocabulary.

    http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/05/15/nato-frantically-tries-to-trump-proof-presidents-first-visit-alliance-europe-brussels/

    Liked by 2 people

  17. More details on Trump’s disclosure of info to the Russians. Apparently the classified information came from an ally and was not supposed to be disclosed.

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  18. HRW, I wouldn’t say I admire Chinese economic policy. I simply report that they are becoming the world’s economic leader as the US struggles with an imbecile as a leader and people infatuated with sloth and protectionism.

    I like China’s position on trade and colonialism. I dislike their central planning. I don’t really believe what they are saying on green stuff. Environmentally, they are where we were 60 years ago. They need to clean things up for public health reasons. I doubt they will go full Al Gore on us.

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  19. As proof that Kristol is right, I turned to Fox tonight to see how Fox was covering the “Trump leaks info to the Russians” story. Instead of focusing on the actual allegations in the story, The Five focused solely on what government official leaked the story to the Washington Post and The New York Times. FoxNews is now TrumpNews and is virtually worthless.

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  20. http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2017/05/preliminary-thoughts-on-trump-revealing-classified-info-to-russia.php

    PRELIMINARY THOUGHTS ON TRUMP REVEALING CLASSIFIED INFO TO RUSSIA

    ________________________

    … The problem, if one exists, isn’t sharing information (classified or not — the president has the power to disclose such information, as I understand it) with Russia about ISIS’s intention and terrorist plots. Russia is a U.S. adversary in some important respects. However, we share a common interest with the Russians in combating ISIS. Russia is our potential partner, and probably our actual partner, in the fight against that outfit.

    The potential problem with what Trump did is identified by Post reporters Greg Jaffe and Greg Miller:

    “Trump went on to discuss aspects of the threat that the United States learned only through the espionage capabilities of a key partner. He did not reveal the specific intelligence-gathering method, but he described how the Islamic State was pursuing elements of a specific plot and how much harm such an attack could cause under varying circumstances. Most alarmingly, officials said, Trump revealed the city in the Islamic State’s territory where the U.S. intelligence partner detected the threat. … ”

    … Why is revealing the city a potential problem? Jaffe and Miller explain:

    The identification of the location was seen as particularly problematic, officials said, because Russia could use that detail to help identify the U.S. ally or intelligence capability involved. Officials said the capability could be useful for other purposes, possibly providing intelligence on Russia’s presence in Syria. Moscow would be keenly interested in identifying that source and perhaps disrupting it.

    That’s what this story boils down to, as I see it now. It’s possible that Trump, by identifying the city, gave the Russians enough information to figure out where the intelligence came from, and thus to disrupt that source in order to advance its interests in Syria, which diverge from ours in very important respects.

    How real is this possibility? We don’t know.

    … In sum, it seems clear that, unless the Post’s story is inaccurate on the key question of whether Trump revealed the city, the president told the Russians too much. Whether doing so caused serious harm is another matter.

    Trump’s adversaries in the government will tell us it did. His appointees and spokespersons will say it didn’t. I don’t think we in the public are in a position yet (and we may never be) to say who is right.
    ___________________________________

    Liked by 3 people

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