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Bloomberg Tue, Oct 16 12:09 PM CDT

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday blamed rising federal deficits and debt on a bipartisan unwillingness to contain spending on Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, and said he sees little chance of a major deficit reduction deal while Republicans control Congress and the White House.
“It’s disappointing but it’s not a Republican problem,” McConnell said in an interview with Bloomberg News when asked about the rising deficits and debt. “It’s a bipartisan problem: Unwillingness to address the real drivers of the debt by doing anything to adjust those programs to the demographics of America in the future.”
McConnell’s remarks came a day after the Treasury Department said the U.S. budget deficit grew to $779 billion in Donald Trump’s first full fiscal year as president, the result of the GOP’s tax cuts, bipartisan spending increases and rising interest payments on the national debt. That’s a 77 percent increase from the $439 billion deficit in fiscal 2015, when McConnell became majority leader.
McConnell said it would be “very difficult to do entitlement reform, and we’re talking about Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid,” with one party in charge of Congress and the White House.
“I think it’s pretty safe to say that entitlement changes, which is the real driver of the debt by any objective standard, may well be difficult if not impossible to achieve when you have unified government,” McConnell said.
Politically Unpopular
Shrinking those popular programs — either by reducing benefits or raising the retirement age — without a bipartisan deal would risk a political backlash in the next election. Trump, during his campaign, promised he wouldn’t cut Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid, even though his budget proposals have included trims to all three programs.
McConnell said he had many conversations on the issue with former President Barack Obama, a Democrat.
“He was a very smart guy, understood exactly what the problem was, understood divided government was the time to do it, but didn’t want to, because it was not part of his agenda,” McConnell said.
“I think it would be safe to say that the single biggest disappointment of my time in Congress has been our failure to address the entitlement issue, and it’s a shame, because now the Democrats are promising Medicare for all,” he said. “I mean, my gosh, we can’t sustain the Medicare we have at the rate we’re going and that’s the height of irresponsibility.”
Divided Government
McConnell said the last major deal to overhaul entitlements occurred in the Reagan administration, when a Social Security package including a raise in the retirement age passed with divided government.
McConnell said he was the GOP Senate whip in 2005 when President George W. Bush attempted a Social Security overhaul and couldn’t find any Democratic supporters.
“Their view was, you want to fix Social Security, you’ve got the presidency, you’ve got the White House, you’ve got the Senate, you go right ahead,” McConnell said. The effort collapsed.
The Office of Management and Budget has projected a deficit in the coming year of $1.085 trillion despite a healthy economy. And the Congressional Budget Office has forecast a return to trillion-dollar deficits by fiscal 2020.
During Trump’s presidency, Democrats and Republicans agreed to a sweeping deal to increase discretionary spending on defense and domestic programs, while Trump’s efforts to shrink spending on Obamacare mostly fell flat.
Republicans also passed a 2017 tax overhaul projected to add more than $1 trillion to the debt over a decade after leaders gave up on creating a plan that wouldn’t increase the debt under the Senate’s scoring rules. However, McConnell, like many Republicans, has said growth will more than make up for the lost revenue.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California reacted to McConnell’s comments Tuesday by saying the rising deficit is a direct result of the GOP tax cut enacted in December 2017.
“In budget after budget, congressional Republicans have exposed their cynical agenda: give massive, unpaid-for handouts to further enrich big corporations shipping jobs overseas and the wealthiest 1 percent, and stick seniors, children and families with the bill,” Pelosi said in a statement. “Under the GOP’s twisted agenda, we can afford tax cuts for billionaires, but not the benefits our seniors have earned.”

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Apparently blaming someone else is the new norm in politics along with willingness to lie to win at any cost, this occurs across party lines however the party in power gets more press since they have set us on a path of division. Ignoring the fact that the “Tax Reform Bill” has been the main cause of the deficit which was predicted by
The Senate’s Official Scorekeeper
Says the Republican Tax Plan
Would Add $1 Trillion to the Deficit.  My question is who is telling the truth, the numbers or Mitch? MA
By JUGAL K. PATEL and ALICIA PARLAPIANO UPDATED DEC. 1, 2017
Senate Republicans’ $1.5 trillion tax cut would not pay for itself, according to a report released on Thursday by the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation. The report is a significant setback for Republicans, who have asserted that the tax cuts would grow the economy enough to cover the cost of the plan.
Yuval Rosenberg, The Fiscal Times Tue, Oct 16 4:44 PM CDT
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks after the Republican weekly policy lunch on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 19, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
The quotes: “It’s disappointing, but it’s not a Republican problem. It’s a bipartisan problem: unwillingness to address the real drivers of the debt by doing anything to adjust those programs to the demographics of America in the future.”
McConnell also called the failure to reform entitlements “the single biggest disappointment” of his time in Congress and said that, because of the popularity of the programs in question and the risk of a political backlash, entitlement reform likely has to come through bipartisan compromise. “I think it’s pretty safe to say that entitlement changes, which is the real driver of the debt by any objective standard, may well be difficult if not impossible to achieve when you have unified government,” he said.
The context: McConnell’s comments, in an interview with Bloomberg, come a day after the Treasury Department said that the deficit grew to $779 billion in fiscal 2018, up 17 percent from the year before.
It’s true that, as the population ages, Medicare and Social Security are the main drivers of projected long-term U.S. debt, along with rising interest payments.
At the same time, budget watchers note that the GOP tax cuts passed last year are expanding the deficit rather than paying for themselves, as Republicans claimed they would. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget said recently that legislation enacted in fiscal 2018, including tax cuts and spending increases, would add $445 billion to next year’s deficit — or 46 percent of the projected total.
Democrats argue that it’s unfair to single out safety-net programs for blame — and to put them on the chopping block — when repeated tax cuts and unfunded wars have contributed mightily to the debt over the last 20 years.
Democratic leaders seized on McConnell’s comments as evidence that Republicans were pursuing an agenda aimed at shrinking the government by starving it of revenue via tax cuts for the rich and then slashing safety-net programs for low- and middle-income Americans. “It’s gaslighting for the GOP to blow a $2 trillion hole in the deficit to give the rich a tax cut then suggest cutting Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid as the only fix for that new deficit,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer tweeted Tuesday.
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It is unfortunate that many Americans who are devoted “TOTUS’ supporters can only pick out 1 or two reasons they voted and supported him. Any one of their reasons is enough to terminate that support but the entertainment value appears to hold sway. MA.

Matt Bai 2 hours 5 minutes ago

Before he was treasury secretary, Steve Mnuchin was a movie producer, so maybe he’d appreciate that when I think about him showing up at this “Davos in the Desert” confab in Saudi Arabia next week, my mind goes to “Lost in Translation,” the film with Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson.
I picture Mnuchin and Fox anchor Maria Bartiromo, who as I write this might be the only journalist still planning to attend, wandering aimlessly through a sleek hotel and passing joyless hours with exotic teas at the hotel bar (it’s a dry country), unable to understand what anyone around them is saying, ruminating quietly on lives gone horribly awry.
On the plus side, I guess, there won’t be a line for the treadmills.
Pretty much the rest of the English-speaking world — governments, investors, media celebrities — seems to have concluded, reasonably enough, that celebrating the Saudi kingdom’s cosmopolitan future isn’t the tasteful thing to do right now, with all indications pointing to the savage murder of a Washington Post columnist by an army of Saudi thugs who carted a bone saw to Istanbul.
I mean, when you’ve brutalized a dissenter in a way that shocks the Turkish government, you have to know that you’ve really set the bar high.
But all that’s of little concern to the American president, who so far seems bent on sending Mnuchin to the annual conference anyway, and who continues to hedge and make excuses for his Saudi friends, thus isolating the United States, yet again, from the larger world community.
“They’re investing tremendous amounts of money” in American products, President Trump said of his “great ally” Saudi Arabia, which he claims — dubiously — has signed on to buy $110 billon in American-made weaponry.
Trump’s detractors will say that this is just another example of his being amoral and impulsive, bowing down to murderous autocrats because he aspires to be one of them. But that’s not giving Trump enough credit.
The president is absolutely pursuing a strategy here, which he laid out in his very first day on the job. And it’s not just morally bankrupt. It’s economically reckless, too.

In truth, every modern president has struggled to find the right balance between America’s lofty ideals and our strategic interests. During the Cold War that dominated the second half of the last century, Washington often came to see ruthless right-wing regimes in Asia, Latin America and Africa as necessary bulwarks against communism. It wasn’t a good look.
And since the emergence of Islamic terrorism as an overarching threat, no country has tested this balance as much as Saudi Arabia. The Saudis repress women and dissidents, but they’ve also lent out their land for U.S. military bases, and they’re seen as a crucial counterweight against Iranian influence.
Both George W. Bush and Barack Obama tried to walk that line between values and realpolitik in the region, and they mostly ended up talking about the former while ceding to the latter.
Trump, however, represents a radical departure from his predecessors, Republican and Democrat. He makes no pretense of balancing moral imperatives, or even military objectives, against the economic agenda that is his only real priority.
He made that exceedingly clear in an inauguration speech striking for its total indifference to moral leadership. Expanding on his “America First” philosophy, Trump laid waste to an American century in which he said we’d spent too much energy and money worrying about what happened to people in other countries.
“We will seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world,” Trump said then, “but we do so with the understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their own interests first.”
Trump was articulating not so much his governing philosophy — he doesn’t have one — as his business philosophy. When you’re cutting the ribbon for a casino or some towering condo building, you don’t trouble yourself about whether the guy holding a shovel next to you is mob-connected (or, like your son-in-law, a slumlord).
No, if you’re a certain kind of businessman, you ask yourself only one question: Will this deal make money? You’re not in the business of morally policing your partners, as long as they’re not brutalizing you.
And this, to give Trump the benefit of the doubt, is probably why he appears so beholden to foreign bullies. It’s why he shrugs at Turkish goons beating up peaceful protesters near the White House, and betrays only the slightest irritation at the Russians trying to execute a man and his daughter in England, and remains untroubled by the horrific genocide of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar — all while lashing out bitterly at Canadian dairy farmers.
If it doesn’t threaten American factories or farms, Trump isn’t especially interested. Abstract values aren’t something he loses a lot of sleep over, in foreign policy or in life.
Trump’s supporters — both the ones who wave signs at his rallies and the Chamber of Commerce kind — tend to love this about him, and I get why. They’ve had enough nation-building and finger-waving and coalition-leading for one century.
The idea of a president focused only on American jobs and industry, without all the other noise, has strong appeal in communities where Americans have often felt overlooked, and where they can’t really afford to worry about how the Saudis handle their critics.
Except that there’s a problem with this formulation. It assumes that America’s economic interests have nothing to do with its moral imperatives. And in the long term, that’s just wrong.

America’s most vital export isn’t cars or soft drinks or computer chips. It’s our culture. It’s our brand.
American businesses thrived overseas in the 20th century not just because we made a bunch of stuff, but because the stuff we made signified the American creed. In every part of the world, they watched our cowboy movies and smoked our cigarettes because they admired us. They knew Americans aspired to moral courage and the rule of law, even if we often fell short of the goal.
Coke didn’t just taste good; it tasted like America. Fords weren’t the best-driving cars on the road; they were the symbol of an empowered middle class.
Trump is, if nothing else, a brand master. He built his own, after all, with little more than fast talk and big hair. He did it so effectively that foreign investors were willing to plunk down millions on a property just because it carried his gold-plated name.
But he doesn’t seem to understand the risks he’s taking with ours. He can’t seem to grasp that, unlike a casino or a skyscraper, America’s potential for profit is inextricable from its moral standing. Without the enduring legacies of Lincoln and Roosevelt and Kennedy and Reagan, we’re just another country growing soybeans.
The American president should react at least as strongly as our bankers to the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, because we ought to stand for the right to dissent, and for the freedom of our press, and for basic humanity. That’s reason enough.
But we ought to do so, too, with the clear understanding that there is no such thing as “America First” without holding firm to American ideals.

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To The Supporters of  “conservative values” and the Republican (Dupublican) party, this is what the “Party of Mitch” has wrought. If you  rely on these so called entitlements then you could be in the line of fire for these cuts. To me the choice is clear change the leadership in Congress. MA

Nicole Goodkind 12 hrs ago

After instituting a $1.5 trillion tax cut and signing off on a $675 billion budget for the Department of Defense, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that the only way to lower the record-high federal deficit would be to cut entitlement programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
“It’s disappointing but it’s not a Republican problem,” McConnell said of the deficit, which grew 17 percent to $779 billion in fiscal year 2018. McConnell explained to Bloomberg that “it’s a bipartisan problem: Unwillingness to address the real drivers of the debt by doing anything to adjust those programs to the demographics of America in the future.” The deficit has increased 77 percent since McConnell became majority leader in 2015.
New Treasury Department analysis on Monday revealed that corporate tax cuts had a significant impact on the deficit this year. Federal revenue rose by 0.04 percent in 2018, a nearly 100 percent decrease last year’s 1.5 percent. In fiscal year 2018, tax receipts on corporate income fell to $205 billion from $297 billion in 2017.Still, McConnell insisted that the change had nothing to do with a lack of revenue or increased spending and instead was due to entitlement and welfare programs. The debt, he said, was very “disturbing” and driven by “the three big entitlement programs that are very popular, Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid…There’s been a bipartisan reluctance to tackle entitlement changes because of the popularity of those programs. Hopefully, at some point here, we’ll get serious about this.”
President Donald Trump promised to leave Medicare untouched on the campaign trail, but Republican leaders like House Speaker Paul Ryan and Florida Senator Marco Rubio have long indicated their desire to cut entitlement programs to pay for their tax cuts.
“You have got to generate economic growth because growth generates revenue,” Rubio said at a Politico conference late last year. “But you also have to bring spending under control. And not discretionary spending. That isn’t the driver of our debt. The driver of our debt is the structure of Social Security and Medicare for future beneficiaries.”
“We’re going to have to get back next year at entitlement reform, which is how you tackle the debt and the deficit,” Speaker Ryan said on a conservative radio program around the same time.
Democrats, meanwhile, jumped on McConnell’s admission as proof that Republicans had long-planned to cut entitlement spending to fund the tax cuts that largely benefit corporations and wealthy Americans. “The truth comes out! This was their deceptive plan all along,” said Representative Lois Frankel of Florida.
“When Republicans in Congress said their tax cuts to wealthy multinational corporations would pay for themselves, they lied,” wrote Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan on Twitter. “Now, they’re going to try to come for hardworking people to foot the bill by slashing Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. We can’t let them.”
A recent Pew poll found that the majority of both Democrats and Republicans thought the rising federal deficit and cost of healthcare were major problems facing the U.S.– something that Democrats are taking note of and will try to package into their midterm campaign platforms over the next three weeks.
“Every Republican Senate candidate is on the hook for Mitch McConnell’s plan to cut Medicare and Social Security. First it was jeopardizing pre-existing conditions coverage, then it was pursuing an age tax that would charge older Americans more for care, and now it’s targeting the benefits Americans have paid into,” wrote Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesman David Bergstein in a statement. “This platform is disqualifying, and just like taking away coverage for pre-existing conditions, it’s exactly what GOP candidates don’t want to be talking about weeks before the election.”

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Hillary Clinton called  some of Trump’s supporters a “Basket of Deplorables” during the 2016 campaign.  She was wrong, the deplorables were and are the cadre of people in Trumps inner and inner, inner circle of the White house and by extension his cabinet secretaries. It has been shown that the Administration as described by TOTUS as the “best people” are really not the best as indicated by the revolving door that highlights this administration. This administration has shown by its actions that it will take someone else to make “America Great Again” as the current governors have neither the will or the way to maintain what was already in place. The next administration will spend the first year in correction mode to repair the damage done by this one and the neer do well Congress. Our responsibility as voters is to elect the best people and that means turning out the old guard who have held sway for too long. The 2 leaders in Congress along with their “gangs” have usurped the power of the people with an unending stream of lies, half truths and not so subtle innuendos on truth. It takes courage to vote against what you have thought was correct for so long but consider the source of that information (which has long been suspect). If you have been paying attention you will understand that  division was and is used to achieve the goals of an incompetent leader whose actions are solely for his personal benefit and ego. The track record of TOTUS is to lie and lie again with assured calm as pathological liars do. This nation cannot survive under an administration that cannot utter the truth and the truth is out there for all of us to see no matter what misinformation comes from D.C.

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The truth is always there, one needs to turn a page occasionally. MA

03 Oct, 2018 – 00:10 4

Ranga Mataire Senior Writer
China’s adoption of liberal economic policies has led to its renewed drive in strengthening economic ties with Zimbabwe and the rest of Africa. In the aftermath of the Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), we must resist the slightest extension of what is true and fake. We must resist the temptation to be swept by a social media frenzy fed on ignorance.
A lot of blatant lies have been peddled about China being the new colonial power in Africa.
The taunts have gone into overdrive even coining phrases such as “debt trap diplomacy” to describe China’s relations with Africa. You hear a supposedly learned MDC legislator like Charlton Hwende saying the “Chinese are the new colonisers and must not be embraced, but fought.” Really?
Others have advanced social media monkeyshines that obfuscate the ability to discern reality from bluster.

I think now is the time to resist the temptation of being intellectual zombies and go deeper in unravelling the crux of the Africa-China relations.
We need to unravel why the West, particularly the United States, is piqued by China’s blossoming relations with Africa.
Now is the time to refuse the blurring of memory and dig deeper into the core of China-Africa relations and why America’s foreign policy towards Africa is somewhat maladjusted.
Now is surely the time to counter lies with facts unflaggingly and pronounce the greater truths of Africa’s yearning for equal humanity and decency.

Every valuable ideal should be restated, every observable argument made, because a horrible idea left unchallenged will eventually be accepted as normal.
China is not irreproachable, but much of what people are fed with is nothing, but hoopla. Here is why.
It is a lie that Zambia’s power utility, Zesco as well as the country’s airport were taken over by China because the country defaulted on loans. The truth is in the case of the airport, the construction is ongoing, which makes it improbable for any defaulting so early in the project. And yet stories were written about all this without the slightest verification.
Now is the time to debunk the myth that Africa is colonised by China as if there is a better coloniser out there. This myth also ignores the agency of our own African leaders in negotiating deals that benefit the continent best. We create the impression that Africa is cursed in not having a leadership capable of negotiating in our best interest.
Chinaphobia would have us believe that Chinese loans are dominating Africa. This is a lie. Simple research reveals that China’s $115 billion to Africa between 2000 and 2016 is still less than two percent of the total $6,9 trillion of low and middle income countries’ debt stock. China is thus not the biggest driver of debt grief in Africa.
Now is the time to debunk the myth that Chinese loans are leading us to a labyrinth which will force us to forfeit our mineral resources.

A 2016 report written and researched by Mark Curtis titled “The New Colonialism: Britain’s Scramble for Africa’s Energy and Mineral Resources” reveals the extent to which British companies now control Africa’s key mineral resources, notably gold, platinum, diamonds, copper, oil, gas and coal. It documents how 101 companies listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) — most of them British — have mining operations in 37 sub-Saharan African countries and collectively control over $1 trillion worth of Africa’s most valuable resources.
Britain’s firms hold mineral licences across 37 African countries covering a massive 1,03 million square kilometres. This is four times the size of the UK and nearly one-twentieth of sub-Saharan Africa’s total land area. These are the facts that one cannot get from social media titbits. The criticism about Chinese loans deliberately ignores decades of damage done by IMF and the World Bank loans across Africa and the rest of the developing world.
Now is the time to tell the truth about the allure of Chinese money. United States has about $1,8 trillion of Chinese money. What all this shows is that much of the Sinophobia is driven by ignorance. Ignorance of the fact that IMF and World Bank loans come with austerity obligations which in many instances have left African countries poorer and yet we can’t say the same about Chinese loans.
The truth is that Chinese loans are not inherently good or bad. It all depends on what we choose to make of them. What is clear is that unlike the Americans, Chinese foreign policy towards Africa seeks multi-polarity and not dominance or just conditional aid.
In their book, “International Politics: Enduring Concepts and Contemporary Issues,” Robert J. Art and Robert Jervis argue that third world states want both wealth and power and seek to use international for and organisations to advance their interests in ways that are viewed as antagonistic by most industrialised nations. Art and Jervis put in perspective the inherent conflictual nature of relations between the US and Africa, with the former perpetually seeking to entrench its hegemonic influence while the latter is highly suspicious of Washington’s “philanthropic” overtures couched with a myriad obligations.
The truth is that Africa-US relations are marked by clear difference in value system born out of varying historical perspectives and how the two situate themselves in the global scheme of things.
One would have expected that in the post-colonial, post-Cold War and post-communist containment period, relations between Africa and the United States must surely be informed by the need to establish a new international economic order based on mutual respect and the sanctity of sovereignty.
Sadly, US foreign policy towards Africa has failed to evolve from being omniscient to humanistic. It has failed to move away from its fixation on blackmailing and blacklisting “deviant” states through imposition of sanctions and even waging wars. Zimbabwe and Iran are typical examples that have been at the mercy of the “Big Brother”.

It is surprising that even with the full knowledge of its lopsided foreign policy, especially when juxtaposed with China’s multi-polarity and non-interventionist approach, the US continues with its impetuous intrusive and fatally destabilising attitude.
In contrast, China has succeeded in creating a mutually beneficial economic platform far different from America’s conditional aid. Before its emergence as a serious global power, the period succeeding the Cold War was characterised by Britain, France and United States as major powers with significant interest and influence in Africa, south of the Sahara.
It was China’s adoption of liberal economic policies that led to its renewed drive in strengthening economic ties with Africa. China focused on debt cancellation and offered aid without political conditions and consequently gained valuable diplomatic support to defend its international interests. It therefore comes as no surprise that China has today emerged as an influential player on the African continent. It is because of its goodwill.
Most African nations find China’s foreign policy dynamic, constructive and flexible especially as it seeks to intensify its involvement in security issues and multilateral organisations. Majority African nations have welcomed China because its presence provides a mix of political and economic incentives, which creates a win-win situation.
While the West, particularly Britain, is far ahead in terms of its foothold on Africa’s mineral wealth, more and more African nations are finding China a more appealing and better economic partner for trade than the West. Another factor that makes China an amenable partner is the fact that it disavows the legitimacy of outside interference in the domestic affairs of individual states and no political conditions are attached to its development assistance.
The massive Chinese investments in Africa undertaken since 1989, underline its acceptance as an equal partner in development even though its investments are being pushed by a ballooning industrial growth appetite for resources that are abundant in Africa.

Now is the time for the media, on the left and right to play its true role of educating and informing instead of being bamboozled by social media frenzy devoid of any systematic analysis. It is time to be nimble and clear-eyed and be active and not reactive.
What is often missed in the framing of China-Africa relations in comparison with the US is that the latter is stuck in immortalising its self-importance in world affairs. America is stuck in 1782, when writers and poets waxed lyrical about it being the “first nation.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson triumphantly viewed the US as a “last effort of the Divine Providence on behalf of the human race,” while Herman Melville considered his countrymen a “peculiar chosen people, the Israel of our times: we bear the ark of liberties of the world.”
It seems nothing has changed since then.

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Slide 31 of 92: Steve Breen/The San Diego Union-TribuneSlide 40 of 92: Chan Lowe/Tribune Content AgencySlide 37 of 92: Michael Ramirez/The Las Vegas Review-JournalSlide 42 of 92: Steve Breen/The San Diego Union-TribuneSlide 47 of 92: The News in CartoonsSlide 55 of 92: Drew Sheneman/Tribune Content AgencySlide 51 of 92: David Horsey/Tribune Content AgencySlide 57 of 92: The News in CartoonsSlide 70 of 92: Drew Sheneman/Tribune Content AgencySlide 74 of 92: The News in CartoonsSlide 83 of 92: The News in CartoonsSlide 89 of 92: Chan Lowe/Tribune Content Agency


 

CBSNews 6 hrs ago
The man who brought the first-ever charges against Chinese hackers says the U.S. is not doing enough to combat cyber warfare.

John Carlin, who served as assistant attorney general for national security in the Obama administration, told “CBS This Morning” on Friday that what troubles him most about America’s lack of preparedness is what could happen the next time we get into a military conflict.
“Our very fighter jets with our research and development that spent years in the making could be used against us to kill our servicemen,” Carlin said.

Carlin’s comments come the same week as the arrest and extradition of Chinese intelligence officer Yanjun Xu. He is accused of stealing intellectual property and trade secrets from U.S. aviation and aerospace companies.
“It’s one of the first times ever, if not the first time, that we’ve been able to catch one of the puppet-masters from overseas in China who’s running intelligence operatives inside the United States day in, day out and stealing secrets,” Carlin said.
Carlin is the co-author of “Dawn of the Code War: America’s Battle Against Russia, China, and the Rising Global Cyber Threat,” which comes out October 16.
“One of the reasons I wrote the book is that there are so many instances that people think are science fiction that have already happened, including terrorists stealing from retail companies personally identifiable information of customers in order to have plots to kill them, including Chinese espionage that’s driven companies into bankruptcy costing real jobs inside America,” he said.
According to a report from the U.S. trade representative, China’s economic espionage costs the U.S. between $225 and $600 billion a year. Carlin says we’re particularly vulnerable because our entire economy, our military and our electrical grid are dependent on digital technology that never accounted for risk.
“China in particular along with Russia, North Korea, and Iran recognize that vulnerability and they’re hitting us day in, day out. We are in a code war now. And to [FBI] Director Wray’s point, what we’re seeing is, when it comes to next generation technology, artificial intelligence, the way all of our phones connect wirelessly, that China is getting the lead and they’re doing it not by playing fair, not by investing in research and development, but by stealing it and using our own technological know-how against us.”
Carlin says we need to do better right now.
“The technology that we’re basing this on, the internet itself, uses a protocol that was never designed with security in mind…. Devices, our cars, the pacemakers in our hearts are now using that same technology. We can’t make the same mistake that allowed our Social Security numbers to get stolen to cause actual life-and-death consequences. And there are actions that we can take.”


Jason Owens,Yahoo Sports 14 hours ago

Colin Kaepernick talked about why he chose to kneel while accepting one of Harvard’s highest honors on Thursday. (AP)
Colin Kaepernick was one of eight recipients of the W.E.B. Dubois Medal from Harvard on Thursday for his work in social justice.
Comedian Dave Chapelle and artist Kehinde Wiley were among the others awarded “Harvard’s highest honor in the field of African and African-American studies.”
Kapernick improvises acceptance speech
After receiving a rousing ovation, Kaepernick appeared to scrap his prepared remarks for an off-the-cuff speech shared by WHDH Boston’s Eric Kane that addressed his recent Nike deal and the first time he took a knee in protest.

“I had a short speech written, but it just didn’t seem true to what it should’ve been with the authenticity and the passion and the inspiration that’s been in this room,” Kaepernick said to start a speech that he requested not be broadcast.
Why Kaepernick kneels
He went on to talk about the first time he took a knee and the response from Oakland’s Castlemont High football team, whose players took a knee the next week to support him. He visited the team on game day.
“One of the young brothers says ‘We don’t get to eat at home, so we’re going to eat on this field,’” Kaepernick said. “That moment has never left me.
“And I’ve carried that everywhere I went. And I think that’s the reality of what I’ve fought for, what so many of us have fought for. People live with this every single day.”

Kaepernick on Nike and sacrifice
Kaepernick also addressed his Nike campaign and what sacrifice means to him.
“I go to what recently happened with the Nike campaign where, to believe in something even if it means sacrificing everything quote became huge,” Kaepernick said. “As I reflected on that, it made me think of if we all believe something, we won’t have to sacrifice everything.”
Kaepernick made a call to action for people in the room and people of privilege to stand up for those in need.
“I feel like it’s not only my responsibility, but all our responsibilities as people that are in positions of privilege, in positions of power, to continue to fight for them and uplift them, empower them,” Kaepernick said. “Because if we don’t, we become complicit in the problem. It is our duty to fight for them, and we are going to continue to fight for them.”
Kaepernick: Love drives the resistance
He concluded by focusing on love, not divide being the driving force behind his protests.
“I go back to something I said in a speech previously, that love is at the root of our resistance, and it will continue to be, and it will fortify everything we do.”

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The party in power has advanced another neer do well to a high profile position in government. It is pretty clear that the Dupublicans have done all that they can to maintain power at whatever cost. Our CIC, Senate and House leaders are too busy staying in office to do the job of representing  ALL Americans (you know-the people they so readily invoke when they tell us what THEY want). What I fail to understand is why there appears to be such strong support for people whose amoral (immoral?) character is evident by so many  who profess to be religious. In other countries  religion seems to overshadow the government, is it possible that the “conservative Evangelicals” are doing the same via voting for imperfect candidates who happen to support specific items of their agenda? We as voters have to  forget what the main poLItical* parties say and look at what they do as the two are often different. We have a group of 535 cowards who we elected to do what’s best for US not themselves. The positions  of Congressional representatives have  been about power for years now while coincidentally governing and except in rare cases that has always been “OK” for most of us. The big issue is the tacit approval by us because we seemingly do not care enough to read what they are doing but we listen to pundits, talking heads and utterances from outside sources who are armed by our representatives with what they want us to hear. The idea of “only the best people” will be chosen to serve in the administration has become a code word for people who will kow tow to TOTUS while following their own agenda which does not and has not do anything for the often cited “American People”. This administration is all about rolling back any and all previous administration actions that benefit “ALL Americans” not just a select few. Look at EPA, Education, Housing actions which affect the all Americans from the poorest to the middle class and often beyond. Think about the potential  changes to our way of living via Supreme Court decisions and decide if we are going in a good direction. We will certainly hit a low before we get to a “normalcy”.

*LI is capitalized reflecting the basis of many political speeches these days

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