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Trump revoked Brennan’s access because he believes that Brennan has exhibited “erratic conduct” and questionable credibility. I would suggest that the reasons for revocation of Mr. Brennan’s security clearance apply more to TOTUS and the White house staff than anyone else. On the other hand it is apparently alright for Mick Mulvaney to remove protections against predatory lending for the Military and other Americans . It is Ok to separate children and parents who are legally seeking asylum, it is lawful to assess tariffs under the guise of fair trade correction. This President’s has one goal and that is to be a better President than previous White House occupants but apparently has no clue how to do it. The thoughts for action come into his head with no rational background and the details are left to lackeys who are afraid not to do what he wants no matter the consequences. Where is the Congress in all of this?  The seat fillers led by the Dupublican party  are sitting quietly on the side while certain factions of their party  keep coming up with  unfounded reasons for committees to investigate  voter fraud, undocumented workers committing crimes and undoing the ACA. The US’s standing in the world is at possibly an all time low and our greatest Allies have taken a step back to try to understand what is happening here. This is in effect the isolationism that eventually put us in jeopardy and eventually 2 world wars. The intervening years with American leadership (however flawed) has assisted in a more peaceful world with a larger amount of prosperity. It is well to remember that  no system of government is perfect but always correctable  and able to be tweaked for the better. What we currently have is essentially a “Rogue” state tacitly condoned by the in power party and many of its constituents, some of whom appear to be un or under informed.

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Kevin Kallaugher for Aug 19, 2018 Comic Strip

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Trump cancels military parade, blames D.C. officials for high cost
Dartunorro Clark 41 mins ago

President Donald Trump said Friday he has canceled a planned military parade this fall in the nation’s capital because of the “ridiculously high” price tag given by D.C. officials.
“The local politicians who run Washington, D.C. (poorly) know a windfall when they see it. When asked to give us a price for holding a great celebratory military parade, they wanted a number so ridiculously high that I cancelled it,” Trump tweeted.
“Never let someone hold you up! I will instead attend the big parade already scheduled at Andrews Air Force Base on a different date, & go to the Paris parade, celebrating the end of the War, on November 11th. Maybe we will do something next year in D.C. when the cost comes WAY DOWN. Now we can buy some more jet fighters!”

On Thursday, a defense official told NBC News that the upper estimate of the cost of the parade was $92 million, a figure first reported by CNBC. The potential cost was way above initial estimates.
The military parade was requested by Trump earlier this year.
The Department of Defense said Thursday that the parade was delayed until 2019.
“The Department of Defense and White House have been planning a parade to honor America’s military veterans and commemorate the centennial of World War I,” said Col. Rob Manning on Thursday. “We originally targeted November 10, 2018 for this event but have now agreed to explore opportunities in 2019.”

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Wouldn’t TOTUS’ time be better spent actually looking for ways to spend money to help the country’s needs in infrastructure rather than a parade to celebrate his own ego. We (some of us) elected a President (so some of us thought) not a dictator wannabe.MA.
Courtney Kube 11 hrs ago

WASHINGTON — The multimillion-dollar military parade through the nation’s capital requested by President Donald Trump has been delayed until 2019, a Defense Department spokesman said Thursday.
“The Department of Defense and White House have been planning a parade to honor America’s military veterans and commemorate the centennial of World War I,” said Col. Rob Manning. “We originally targeted November 10, 2018 for this event but have now agreed to explore opportunities in 2019.”
Earlier Thursday, a defense official told NBC News that the upper estimate of the cost of the parade was $92 million, a figure first reported by CNBC.

The estimate had risen substantially since February, when White House budget director Mick Mulvaney told Congress the price could be $10 million to $30 million.
The cost was initially reported as $12 million, and was based on the cost of the victory parade held in the capital after the 1991 Gulf War, said the official. The Washington Post estimated the cost of the 1991 victory parade as $8 million.
The defense official told NBC News that the internal estimate of the cost of the parade rose to $25 million after adjusting for more than 25 years of inflation. But that estimate did not take into account expenses borne by other federal agencies and some nonmilitary line items.
The $92 million figure is the current uppermost estimate, said the official, and includes security, transportation and other expenses.
“The American Legion appreciates that our president wants to show in a dramatic fashion our nation’s support for our troops,” American Legion National Cmdr Denise Rohan said in a statement posted to Twitter. “However, until such time as we can celebrate victory in the War on Terrorism and bring our military home, we think the parade money would be better spent fully funding the Department of Veteran Affairs and giving our troops and their families the best care possible.”
As NBC News first reported, serious planning for the parade began in June, four months after Trump directed the Defense Department to organize it.
“There is only one person who wants this parade,” said a senior U.S. official at the time, referring to Trump.
Trump got the idea for the parade while viewing France’s Bastille Day Parade in July 2017.
“We’re going to have to try to top it,” he later told French President Emmanuel Macron.
By January, Trump was floating the idea with military leaders and in late February, he made it official with a memo to Defense Secretary James Mattis.
A March memo laid out the skeleton of a plan: a parade from the White House to the Capitol to include only wheeled vehicles (because tanks could damage the streets), capped by a big display of air power and vintage aircraft, with themes including veterans, women in the military and medal of honor recipients.
After that, three months went by with no major planning. With so many more pressing issues, the parade just was not a high priority for the military, a senior defense official said.
Officials recommended that the route begin at the Capitol, pass the White House and end at the National Mall, and the date was moved up a day to Nov. 10, from Nov. 11.
Some Washington lawmakers have raised concerns about the cost of a parade, with Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., calling it a “fantastic waste of money to amuse the president.” And some analysts have said that without an important military victory to justify the parade, it smacked of North Korean-style posturing.
“There’s no reason to do it aside from bolstering Trump’s ego,” Thomas E. Ricks, a military historian and veteran national security reporter, told NBC News this year.

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The specific words of the saying the signs borrowed from vary; the most commonly cited version of Niemöller’s pseudo-poem, however—the one quoted by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, as a lyrical manifestation of the evils of political apathy—reads like this:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
It is a reference to the Holocaust. It is also, however, a warning about the ease with which such an event could occur again, if we of the present allow ourselves to become ignorant of the lessons of the past. Niemöller, born in 1892, was German, and a Protestant. Initially a supporter of Hitler’s rise to power, Niemöller came to oppose him in the years leading up to the war: In 1933, he became the head of a group of opposition clergy members, the Pfarrernotbund, or the Pastors’ Emergency League. For that, in 1937, he was arrested and sent to the concentration camps—first to Sachsenhausen and then to Dachau. He survived until the end of the war, when the Allies liberated him and his fellow prisoners. Niemöller returned, after that, to the clergy—and he focused, for the rest of his life, on reconciliation as both a political and a theological aspiration. “First They Came” emerged from that effort.

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When did lying to gain an office become the norm? There was always campaign rhetoric but it was more coloring a little outside the lines. In this age of mass media coverage these line squibbles have become outright lies ala prewar Germany. The German information machine seems to be a model for the Trump method of governance by False hood and abetted by a self serving Congress whose sole objective is to appease their big donors and feather their own nests. One can liken the current administration to the Georgian rule over the “Colonies” prior to the Declaration. That declaration led to the fight for independence which was won by a smaller and lesser equipped forces. Taking that information , isn’t it time we as voters did it again? Our objective should be to have better representation than we have had for many years. The problem is not who the President is, it’s the long serving members of Congress who have abdicated their oath and duty to serve with honor under the Constitution. The conundrum is do we personally evaluate each member at election time based on what they have done in the seat or accept what they tell us?

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Bob Bryan 3h

President Donald Trump’s tariffs have put US businesses in the crosshairs of a trade war.
Bill Yeargin, the CEO of US boat manufacturer Correct Craft, warned about the consequences of Trump’s trade fights in an op-ed on Monday.
“We have found ourselves in the crosshairs of a trade war, one that will drown out the effects of tax reform and risk our industry’s promising future, taking American workers and consumers down with it,” Yeargin wrote.
The CEO also laid out the three big reasons that Trump’s tariffs hurt US businesses.

President Donald Trump’s tariffs are hitting US businesses with a triple whammy, according to one manufacturing CEO.
Bill Yeargin, the CEO of US boat manufacturer Correct Craft, laid out in an op-ed for the Washington Examiner how harmful Trump’s recent tariffs are for both his own company and the US economy as a whole.
Yeargin’s firm builds a slew of popular boat brands, such as the specialty ski brand Nautique. Correct Craft employs more than 1,300 American workers and has six manufacturing plants around the US, but despite the homegrown nature of the business, Trump’s tariffs are taking a toll.
The Correct Craft CEO said Trump’s trade fights are leading to higher costs and threaten boat sales. In fact, Yeargin said the tariffs pose an existential threat to the US boat manufacturing industry.

“We have found ourselves in the crosshairs of a trade war, one that will drown out the effects of tax reform and risk our industry’s promising future, taking American workers and consumers down with it,” he wrote.
In laying out the threat the trade war poses, Yeargin identified the three ways that Trump’s trade fights are contributing to pain for US manufacturers:
Tariffs caused the price of imported parts to increase: Tariffs act as taxes on imports, which in turn cause the prices of the goods hit with those taxes to increase. Trump slapped both Chinese aluminum sheet and all aluminum, two important elements for boat manufacturing, with substantial tariffs. Additionally, Trump’s tariffs on Chinese goods added an extra duty to pieces of boat engines, and the next wave of tariffs could hit “300 different component parts used by the marine industry.” So Correct Crafts costs are increasing, cutting into profits.
The prices of US goods are also increasing due to market distortions: Correct Craft sources nearly all of the aluminum sheet used in its boats from the US — more than 90% according to Yeargin — but this has not protected the company from price increases. As domestic producers have seen foreign prices rise, so too have US aluminum producers used this new pricing power. According to Yeargin, the price of domestic aluminum has risen by 20% to 30% due to market distortions created by the tariffs.
Retaliatory tariffs on US exports are hurting American companies that send goods abroad: Yeargin said that retaliatory tariffs on boats by Canada, Mexico, and the European Union — which represent a large portion of the firm’s overseas sales — will harm sales and “puts the industry’s $1.8 billion in recreational boat and engine exports and the jobs of Americans in jeopardy.”
Yeargin says Trump’s trade policies will come back to bite the US
Correct Craft can respond to combination of these three factors in a few different ways. The company can lay off workers to bring down labor costs, increase prices on consumers, or move its manufacturing outside of the US to a country not facing tariffs (similar to Harley-Davidson’s decision).
Given these worrying options Correct Craft faces, Yeargin concluded that Trump’s trade policies will ultimately come back to bite the US.
“Many Americans are understandably tired of longstanding and unfair trade agreements, and President Trump should be applauded for concentrating the world’s attention on the issue,” the Correct Craft CEO wrote. “However, his administration’s current trade policies of increasing protectionism are unfairly targeting US manufacturing industries, and will cause lasting damage to US businesses, jobs, and families.”

The problems aren’t just limited to boat manufacturers. American firms that produce everything from TVs to nails to lobster traps are dealing with similar cost pressures.
The cost increases are already forcing these firms to make tough choices. Some US businesses have had to lay off workers, while others are raising prices on consumers to handle the hit.
Regardless of how these companies are managing, it’s clear that Trump’s trade fights are taking a toll on American business.

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Stephen Miller Is an Immigration Hypocrite. I Know Because I’m His Uncle.
If my nephew’s ideas on immigration had been in force a century ago, our family would have been wiped out.
By DAVID S. GLOSSER
August 13, 2018
Let me tell you a story about Stephen Miller and chain migration.
It begins at the turn of the 20th century, in a dirt-floor shack in the village of Antopol, a shtetl of subsistence farmers in what is now Belarus. Beset by violent anti-Jewish pogroms and forced childhood conscription in the Czar’s army, the patriarch of the shack, Wolf-Leib Glosser, fled a village where his forebears had lived for centuries and took his chances in America.
He set foot on Ellis Island on January 7, 1903, with $8 to his name. Though fluent in Polish, Russian and Yiddish, he understood no English. An elder son, Nathan, soon followed. By street corner peddling and sweatshop toil, Wolf-Leib and Nathan sent enough money home to pay off debts and buy the immediate family’s passage to America in 1906. That group included young Sam Glosser, who with his family settled in the western Pennsylvania city of Johnstown, a booming coal and steel town that was a magnet for other hardworking immigrants. The Glosser family quickly progressed from selling goods from a horse and wagon to owning a haberdashery in Johnstown run by Nathan and Wolf-Leib to a chain of supermarkets and discount department stores run by my grandfather, Sam, and the next generation of Glossers, including my dad, Izzy. It was big enough to be listed on the AMEX stock exchange and employed thousands of people over time. In the span of some 80 years and five decades, this family emerged from poverty in a hostile country to become a prosperous, educated clan of merchants, scholars, professionals, and, most important, American citizens.
What does this classically American tale have to do with Stephen Miller? Well, Izzy Glosser is his maternal grandfather, and Stephen’s mother, Miriam, is my sister.
I have watched with dismay and increasing horror as my nephew, an educated man who is well aware of his heritage, has become the architect of immigration policies that repudiate the very foundation of our family’s life in this country.
I shudder at the thought of what would have become of the Glossers had the same policies Stephen so coolly espouses— the travel ban, the radical decrease in refugees, the separation of children from their parents, and even talk of limiting citizenship for legal immigrants — been in effect when Wolf-Leib made his desperate bid for freedom. The Glossers came to the U.S. just a few years before the fear and prejudice of the “America first” nativists of the day closed U.S. borders to Jewish refugees. Had Wolf-Leib waited, his family likely would have been murdered by the Nazis along with all but seven of the 2,000 Jews who remained in Antopol. I would encourage Stephen to ask himself if the chanting, torch-bearing Nazis of Charlottesville, whose support his boss seems to court so cavalierly, do not envision a similar fate for him.
Like other immigrants, our family’s welcome to the USA was not always a warm one, but we largely had the protection of the law, there was no state-sponsored violence against us, no kidnapping of our male children, and we enjoyed good relations with our neighbors. True, Jews were excluded from many occupations, couldn’t buy homes in some towns, couldn’t join certain organizations or attend certain schools or universities, but life was good. As in past generations, there were hate mongers who regarded the most recent groups of poor immigrants as scum, rapists, gangsters, drunks and terrorists, but largely the Glosser family was left alone to live our lives and build the American dream. Children were born, synagogues founded, and we thrived. This was the miracle of America.
Acting for so long in the theater of right-wing politics, Stephen and Trump may have become numb to the resultant human tragedy and blind to the hypocrisy of their policy decisions. After all, Stephen’s is not the only family with a chain immigration story in the Trump administration. Trump’s grandfather is reported to have been a German migrant on the run from military conscription to a new life in the United States, and his mother fled the poverty of rural Scotland for the economic possibilities of New York City. (Trump’s in-laws just became citizens on the strength of his wife’s own citizenship.)
These facts are important not only for their grim historical irony but because vulnerable people are being hurt. They are real people, not the ghoulish caricatures portrayed by Trump. When confronted by the deaths and suffering of thousands, our senses are overwhelmed, and the victims become statistics rather than people. I meet these statistics one at a time through my volunteer service as a neuropsychologist for the Philadelphia affiliate of HIAS (formerly the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society), the global nonprofit that protects refugees and helped my family more than 100 years ago. I will share the story of one such man I have met in the hopes that my nephew might recognize elements of our shared heritage.
In the early 2000s, Joseph (not his real name) was conscripted at the age of 14 to be a soldier in Eritrea and sent to a remote desert military camp. Officers there discovered a Bible under his pillow which aroused their suspicion that he might belong to a foreign evangelical sect that would claim his loyalty and sap his will to fight. Joseph was actually a member of the state-approved Coptic church but was nonetheless immediately subjected to torture. “They smashed my face into the ground, tied my hands and feet together behind my back, stomped on me, and hung me from a tree by my bonds while they beat me with batons for the others to see.”
Joseph was tortured for 20 consecutive days before being taken to a military prison and crammed into a dark unventilated cell with 36 other men, little food and no proper hygiene. Some died, and in time Joseph was stricken with dysentery. When he was too weak to stand, he was taken to a civilian clinic where he was fed by the medical staff. Upon regaining his strength, he escaped to a nearby road where a sympathetic driver took him north through the night to a camp in Sudan where he joined other refugees. Joseph was on the first leg of a journey that would cover thousands of miles and almost 10 years.
Before Donald Trump had started his political ascent promulgating the false story that Barack Obama was a foreign-born Muslim, while my nephew, Stephen, was famously recovering from the hardships of his high school cafeteria in Santa Monica, Joseph was a child on his own in Sudan in fear of being deported back to Eritrea to face execution for desertion. He worked any job he could get, saved his money and made his way through Sudan. He endured arrest and extortion in Libya. He returned to Sudan, then kept moving to Dubai, Brazil and eventually to a southern border crossing into Texas, where he sought asylum. In all of the countries he traveled through during his ordeal, he was vulnerable, exploited and his status was “illegal.” But in the United States, he had a chance to acquire the protection of a documented immigrant.
Today, at 30, Joseph lives in Pennsylvania and has a wife and child. He is a smart, warm, humble man of great character who is grateful for every day of his freedom and safety. He bears emotional scars from not seeing his parents or siblings since he was 14. He still trembles, cries and struggles for breath when describing his torture, and he bears physical scars as well. He hopes to become a citizen, return to work and make his contribution to America. His story, though unique in its particulars, is by no means unusual. I have met Central Americans fleeing corrupt governments, violence and criminal extortion; a Yemeni woman unable to return to her war-ravaged home country and fearing sexual mutilation if she goes back to her Saudi husband; and an escaped kidnap-bride from central Asia.
Trump wants to make us believe that these desperate migrants are an existential threat to the United States; the most powerful nation in world history and a nation made strong by immigrants. Trump and my nephew both know their immigrant and refugee roots. Yet, they repeat the insults and false accusations of earlier generations against these refugees to make them seem less than human. Trump publicly parades the grieving families of people hurt or killed by migrants, just as the early Nazis dredged up Jewish criminals to frighten and enrage their political base to justify persecution of all Jews. Almost every American family has an immigration story of its own based on flight from war, poverty, famine, persecution, fear or hopelessness. Most of these immigrants became workers, entrepreneurs, scientists and soldiers of America.
Most damning is the administration’s evident intent to make policy that specifically disadvantages people based on their ethnicity, country of origin and religion. No matter what opinion is held about immigration, any government that specifically enacts law or policy on that basis must be recognized as a threat to all of us. Laws bereft of justice are the gateway to tyranny. Today others may be the target, but tomorrow it might just as easily be you or me. History will be the judge, but in the meantime the normalization of these policies is rapidly eroding the collective conscience of America. Immigration reform is a complex issue that will require compassion and wisdom to bring the nation to a just solution, but the politicians who have based their political and professional identity on ethnic demonization and exclusion cannot be trusted to do so. As free Americans, and descendants of immigrants and refugees, we have the obligation to exercise our conscience by voting for candidates who will stand up for our highest national values and not succumb to our lowest fears.
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Dr. David S. Glosser is a retired neuropsychologist: formerly a member of the Neurology faculties of Boston University School of Medicine and Jefferson Medical College.

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AUGUST 13, 2018
Kuttner on TAP
Far too many—but not enough to save the Republican House.
There is, of course, well-justified alarm at the return of voter-suppression tactics that evoke the Old South before the 1965 Voting Rights Act, and the brutal period after 1877, when Jim Crow laws and official terrorism crushed the original Reconstruction.
Worse, the 2013 Shelby County v. Holder Supreme Court ruling neutered the Voting Rights Act; Republican voter-suppression tactics inspired by the South migrated north, and the Trump Justice Department is now on the side of the suppressors. And if that were not enough, extreme gerrymandering in more than a dozen states translates a 50-50 popular vote election split into a Republican-majority House.
So why on earth should one be optimistic? Well consider the special election in Ohio’s 12th Congressional District, now awaiting a possible recount.
Ohio happens to be a state that has used both voter-suppression tactics and extreme gerrymandering. The 12th District, which has been in Republican hands for three decades, was engineered to keep it that way. In addition, the Republicans who run Ohio purged voting rolls and made voting more difficult.
The result? A structural tilt to the GOP. But even so, in this district that was carried by Donald Trump by 11 points in 2016, the result was effectively a draw.
So democracy may be bruised and battered, but yet it lives. And a cleansing blue wave will more than offset the suppression and the gerrymandering. ~ ROBERT KUTTNER

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No matter where you live and what you believe, the purpose of our current administration’s actions are clear. Those actions do not include the well-being of 99% of Americans and by extension our long time allies. The Right from mid center to far right has one goal at any cost and  that is to get what they want with no regard to the overall effect on the rest of us. The far Left is not much better but is inherently more humane. The outsized staging of hand selected  rallies is indicative of the farce that this administration presents to us on a daily basis. Our neer do well Congress is populated by self serving members who have their hands in the DEEP pockets of  Conservative business moguls not to be confused with conservative Christians and other conservatives. These factions each have an agenda that does not and will not serve the majority of us. The Business folks are looking at changing laws that enhance their bottom line, the Christians are looking to change laws that alter our personal lives according to their religious beliefs. These 2 factions are the leading pushers of  “Conservative” high court justices. This type of court packing is why there are no limits on campaign spending which results in billions being spent on elections. The dividing of voters by party and sub sects is why we have such poor Governance as we are not getting the best available representation. Even a dirty glass pane is still transparent and we need to see through the dirt of irrational and disingenuous rhetoric to replace the poor representatives that we currently have. Remember there’s talk and there’s talk with the truth somewhere in between. Peer through the glass and its soiled coat to see it. It is still our choice.

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