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Monthly Archives: January 2019


Is it possible that the Neer do wells are attempting to do their jobs?.MA
The Hill-Alexander Bolton and Jordan Fabian 1 hr ago
Frustrated Republicans say it’s time for the Senate to reclaim more power over foreign policy and are planning to move a measure Thursday that would be a stunning rebuke to a president of their own party.
GOP lawmakers are deeply concerned over President Trump’s reluctance to listen to his senior military and intelligence advisers, fearing it could erode national security. They say the Senate has lost too much of its constitutional power over shaping the nation’s foreign policy and argue that it’s time to begin clawing some of it back.
“Power over foreign policy has shifted to the executive branch over the last 30 years. Many of us in the Senate want to start taking it back,” said a Republican senator closely allied with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
They plan to send Trump a stern admonishment by voting Thursday afternoon on an amendment sponsored by McConnell warning “the precipitous withdrawal” of U.S. forces from Syria and Afghanistan “could put at risk hard-won gains and United States national security.”
The resolution also expresses a sense of the Senate that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and al Qaeda pose a “continuing threat to the homeland and our allies” and maintain an “ability to operate in Syria and Afghanistan.”
It’s a pointed rebuttal to the claim Trump made on Twitter in December that “we have defeated ISIS in Syria.”
Speaking on the Senate floor, McConnell said his amendment “simply re-emphasizes the expertise and counsel offered by experts who have served presidents of both parties,” a subtle rebuff of Trump’s tweets from earlier in the day mocking his intelligence advisers as “naive.”
Trump stunned Republican senators Wednesday by lashing out at Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and CIA Director Gina Haspel after they contradicted some of his optimistic claims about the threats posed by North Korea and ISIS. The senior intelligence officials also angered Trump by testifying that Iran is in compliance with the nuclear treaty it signed with Western powers under the Obama administration.
Trump tweeted “the Intelligence people seem to be extremely passive and naive when it comes to the dangers of Iran. They are wrong!” The president added in a follow-up tweet about Iran: “Perhaps Intelligence should go back to school!” Trump appeared to be responding to television news coverage that focused on how the testimony contradicted his views on global threats.
Exasperated Republican lawmakers quickly pushed back against the criticism, urging the president to show more restraint.
“I don’t know how many times you can say this, but I would prefer that the president stay off Twitter, particularly with regard to these important national security issues where you’ve got people who are experts and have the background and are professionals,” said Senate Republican Whip John Thune (S.D.). “In most cases I think he ought to, when it comes to their judgment, take it into consideration.”
Thune praised Coats, a former senator, as “an incredibly capable, principled guy” who “is very committed to doing the right thing for the country.” Thune predicted that most Republican senators will vote for the resolution urging Trump to exercise caution in assessing troop forces in Syria and Afghanistan.
“It reflects the widely held view in our conference – again – you want to trust our military leaders when it comes to some of these decisions,” he said.
He added that “a number of our members” talk to the president on a regular basis “and have articulated to him that they think that the policies that currently he wants to employ with regard to Syria, for example, are not the right ones.”
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), who has emerged as a high-profile counterweight to the president on foreign policy issues, said, “I have full confidence in our intelligence community and its leadership. They are highly sophisticated and capable, and I take them at their word.”
“Precipitous withdrawal from Syria would put our allies at risk and be detrimental to our allies in the region,” he added.
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said “this is an intel community that the president has largely put in place.”
“I have confidence in them, and I think he should, too,” he said.
Coats told the Intelligence Committee on Tuesday that U.S. analysts believe “North Korea will seek to retain” its ability to deploy weapons of mass destruction and “is unlikely to completely give up its nuclear weapons and productions capabilities because its leaders ultimately view nuclear weapons as critical to regime survival.”
The statement undercut Trump’s praise of a declaration made with North Korea last year pledging to normalize relations in exchange for the “denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”
Coats also testified that U.S. intelligence does not believe that Iran is undertaking any “key activities” to produce a nuclear device. On the subject of ISIS, Coats warned that the group is planning a comeback and numbers thousands of fighters in Syria and Iraq.
Haspel warned that North Korea is committed to developing a long-range missile that could strike the United States and corroborated Coats’s testimony that Iran is still in compliance with the nuclear deal.
Trump and some of his supporters have long accused a so-called deep state of national security and intelligence officials of attempting to subvert his presidency. But one former White House official who worked on national security issues chalked up Trump’s reaction on Wednesday to his penchant to hit back at critics, no matter who they are.
“Trump is always going to respond to somebody who is going against him or who he thinks is trying to make him look bad,” the official said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re the intelligence community. It doesn’t matter if you’re the Agriculture secretary.”
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), another member of the Intelligence panel, praised Coats and Haspel as “great patriots” who “tell it like it is.”
“Sometimes facts are inconvenient,” Cornyn said.
“But they work for him,” he added, referring to Trump. “He ought to call them on the phone.”
Asked about Trump’s tweeted criticism, Cornyn said: “Just say no. No more Twitter.”
Trump has long disagreed with the intelligence community and the national security establishment on a long list of issues, especially engagement with Russia. That dynamic has caused resentments to fester.
“Whether there is merit to it or not, Trump views the Russia conversation as a direct threat to his legitimacy and he is very sensitive about it,” the former official said. “He’s not willing to give an inch on that.”
The hearings also struck a nerve among some of the president’s supporters, which amplified the issue on cable television.
Fred Fleitz, former chief of staff to national security adviser John Bolton, said Coats should be fired over his comments to Congress.
“I gotta tell you, I would let him go because of this and I’ve thought this for some time,” Fleitz said Tuesday in an interview with Fox Business Network’s Lou Dobbs, a Trump favorite. “I think Mr. Coats is a great guy, but intelligence is to inform presidential policy. It’s not supposed to undermine it. It’s not supposed to second-guess presidential policy.”
Fleitz also said the intelligence community should stop issuing an unclassified, public assessment of threats to the U.S. because it “undermines” Trump’s policies.
“This is crazy. This has to stop,” he said.
A turning point for many Republicans was Trump’s unexpected announcement on Dec. 19 that “we have won against ISIS” and he would order the withdrawal of 2,000 American troops from Syria. The next day, Secretary of Defense James Mattis announced his resignation, citing policy differences and his concern over the future of U.S. alliances.
Even before that, there was growing sentiment within the Senate GOP conference to constrain Trump’s power as commander in chief. Seven Republicans voted with Democrats on Dec. 13 for a resolution directing the president to withdraw U.S. forces from participating in the civil war in Yemen. It marked the first time the Senate successfully passed a resolution under the 1973 War Powers Act, which was enacted to constrain executive power at the end of the Vietnam War.
McConnell has tried to shift focus away from the differences between Trump and Republican senators on national security by highlighting divisions among Democrats over the resolution on Syria and Afghanistan.
“Democrats objected to a vote on this amendment, apparently because it would expose a rift among their membership. A division between those Senate Democrats who still subscribe to this vision for American leadership and their colleagues who have abandoned those principles at the urging of the far left – or are too afraid to take either position,” McConnell said on the Senate floor.
Democrats, however, were quick to pounce on Trump’s comments and draw a comparison to the president’s controversial joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin last year when he appeared to give equal weight to U.S. intelligence findings that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election and Putin’s categorical denial.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) accused Trump of undercutting U.S. intelligence officials. “It gives a great opening to our adversaries who can discredit our intelligence agencies, who can say: ‘Well look, even the president of the United States doesn’t believe his intelligence agencies so why should we believe what the intelligence community says about Russia’s intervention in our election? Why should we believe what the intelligence community has to say about Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal?’ ” he said Wednesday.

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“No man, for any considerable period of time, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the truth.” *Nathaniel Hawthorne*

It is now well documented that our Commander in Thief is an inveterate liar and has a staff of purveyors of his ill advised and patently false statements. It is no longer practical to say TOTUS misspoke or TOTUS meant something other than what he has stated. We are in the grips of a news cycle that has pitted “real” news against the “entertainment” news that TOTUS prefers to believe since it serves his purpose. The “resident” seeks glory in the face of serious problems, affirmation in the face of information that contradicts his statements and has consistently attacked allies who in their roles as such know more about word affairs and their links between them. The one “ally” that has skated is Russia who is a major bad actor on the world stage. It is unfortunate that his “base” is unable see beyond his “reality show” rhetoric and actions since all of the poor decisions made by this administration affects them as well as the rest of the country. In plain words our current administration from top to bottom is comprised of radical thinkers whose sole objective is to further agendas that serve them and TOTUS at the detriment of the entire United States while being aided and abetted by the neer do well Congress.

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It is clear that TOTUS is not as stable or as genius as he has stated.MA
The leaders of top national intelligence agencies released their annual report on worldwide security threats, challenging many of Trump’s false talking points.

By Marina Fang

President Donald Trump on Wednesday unleashed a stream of insults at the nation’s intelligence officials after they published a report directly contradicting some of his most frequent false claims about foreign policy.
Trump, who has regularly undermined and questioned the work of institutions and officials in his own administration, referred to “the Intelligence people” as “extremely passive and naïve” and suggested they “should go back to school.”

@realDonaldTrump

donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump
….a source of potential danger and conflict. They are testing Rockets (last week) and more, and are coming very close to the edge. There economy is now crashing, which is the only thing holding them back. Be careful of Iran. Perhaps Intelligence should go back to school!

76.9K
7:56 AM – Jan 30, 2019
The Intelligence people seem to be extremely passive and naive when it comes to the dangers of Iran. They are wrong! When I became President Iran was making trouble all over the Middle East, and beyond. Since ending the terrible Iran Nuclear Deal, they are MUCH different, but….

80.3K
7:50 AM – Jan 30, 2019

Tom Toles Comic Strip for January 31, 2019

 

 

 

Trump’s string of tweets came after the leaders of the top national intelligence agencies on Tuesday released their annual report on worldwide security threats. The report challenged many false talking points frequently made by the president, who is known to not read his regular intelligence briefings, preferring to receive important information from Fox News, his favorite cable news network.

Dan Coats, Trump’s director of national intelligence, testified before the Senate Tuesday that intelligence officials have no evidence to conclude that Iran is close to producing a nuclear weapon — contradicting Trump’s claim that Iran is “coming very close to the edge.”
Coats also contradicted Trump’s previous claim that the U.S. had defeated ISIS, telling senators that “ISIS is intent on resurging.”
The report also detailed Russian efforts to interfere in U.S. elections, as well as the threat of climate change on national security.
Trump has taken Russian President Vladimir Putin’s word over that of his own intelligence officials’ conclusion that the country’s government interfered in U.S. elections, amid the ongoing investigations into whether his 2016 campaign colluded with Russia.
The president has also falsely propagated the conspiracy theory that climate change is a hoax.

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Apparently TOTUS has no idea what global warming is or what it means. This could explain why he is against it or is he just as ignorant as we think he is?MA

Michael Burke 8 hrs ago
Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump
In the beautiful Midwest, windchill temperatures are reaching minus 60 degrees, the coldest ever recorded. In coming days, expected to get even colder. People can’t last outside even for minutes. What the hell is going on with Global Waming? Please come back fast, we need you!

111K
8:28 PM – Jan 28, 2019

 
President Trump on Monday asked “what the hell is going on” with global warming as states in the Midwest prepare to face wind chills as low as minus-65 degrees below freezing this week.
Trump in a tweet also urged global warming to “come back fast.”
“In the beautiful Midwest, windchill temperatures are reaching minus 60 degrees, the coldest ever recorded. In coming days, expected to get even colder. People can’t last outside even for minutes. What the hell is going on with Global Waming? Please come back fast, we need you!”

Northeast and Midwest states will face sub-freezing cold temperatures as a polar vortex descends on that portion of the country this week.
Trump has repeatedly denied the existence of climate change and has sometimes pointed to individual weather events as evidence that climate change isn’t real. Others have pointed out that weather is the day-to-day atmosphere and can vary significantly, while climate is the average weather over a long period of time.
During a massive snowstorm in the Midwest and Northeast earlier this month, Trump mocked global warming by writing in a tweet that it “wouldn’t be bad to have a little of that good old fashioned Global Warming right now.”
“Be careful and try staying in your house. Large parts of the Country are suffering from tremendous amounts of snow and near record setting cold. Amazing how big this system is. Wouldn’t be bad to have a little of that good old fashioned Global Warming right now!” he tweeted at the time.

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The Tax Cut?- reminds me of the “chicken in every pot and a car in every garage” statement issued by the GOP in the 30’s. Apparently many are still caught up in “buzz words” with no facts. Our future depends on voters who are informed on the issues rather  than the catch phrases that sound good and mean nothing.MA

The White House had predicted the massive fiscal stimulus package would boost business spending and job growth.

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) ― The Trump administration’s $1.5 trillion cut tax package appeared to have no major impact on businesses’ capital investment or hiring plans, according to a survey released a year after the biggest overhaul of the U.S. tax code in more than 30 years.
The National Association of Business Economics’ (NABE) quarterly business conditions poll published on Monday found that while some companies reported accelerating investments because of lower corporate taxes, 84 percent of respondents said they had not changed plans. That compares to 81 percent in the previous survey published in October.
The White House had predicted that the massive fiscal stimulus package, marked by the reduction in the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent, would boost business spending and job growth. The tax cuts came into effect in January 2018.
“A large majority of respondents, 84 percent, indicate that one year after its passage, the corporate tax reform has not caused their firms to change hiring or investment plans,” said NABE President Kevin Swift.
The lower tax rates, however, had an impact in the goods producing sector, with 50 percent of respondents from that sector reporting increased investments at their companies, and 20 percent saying they redirected hiring and investments to the United States from abroad.
The NABE survey also suggested a further slowdown in business spending after moderating sharply in the third quarter of 2018. The survey’s measure of capital spending fell in January to its lowest level since July 2017. Expectations for capital spending for the next three months also weakened.
“Fewer firms increased capital spending compared to the October survey responses, but the cutback appeared to be concentrated more in structures than in information and communication technology investments,” said Swift, who is also chief economist at the American Chemistry Council.
According to the survey, employment growth improved modestly in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to the third quarter. Just over a third of respondents reported rising employment at their firms over the past three months, up from 31 percent in the October survey. The survey’s forward-looking measure of employment slipped to 25 in January from 29 in October.
(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by David Gregorio)

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Associated Press•January 27, 2019
NBC News’ Tom Brokaw blasted for comments on Hispanics, apology

NEW YORK (AP) — NBC’s Tom Brokaw says he feels terrible that his comments on “Meet the Press” Sunday that Hispanics should work harder at assimilation “offended some members of that proud culture.”
The former “NBC Nightly News” anchor tweeted in response to a social media backlash to what he had said earlier in the day during a discussion of the proposed border wall.
On the show, Brokaw said that many Republicans fear the rise of a new constituency in American politics “who will come here and all be Democrats.
“Also, I hear, when I push people a little harder, (people who say) ‘well, I don’t know whether I want brown grandbabies,'” he said. “I mean, that’s also a part of it. It’s the intermarriage that is going on and the cultures that are conflicting with each other.”
The 78-year-old journalist said he’s been saying for a long time that Hispanics need to work harder at assimilation.
“They ought not to be just codified in their communities but make sure that all their kids are learning to speak English, and that they feel comfortable in the communities,” he said. “And that’s going to take outreach on both sides, frankly.”
Brokaw received some immediate pushback from another panelist on the political talk show, Yamiche Alcindor of PBS. “I grew up in Miami, where people speak Spanish, but their kids speak English,” she said. “And the idea that we think Americans can only speak English, as if Spanish and other languages wasn’t always a part of America, is, in some ways, troubling.”
The web site Latino Rebels and its founder, Julio Ricardo Varela, pointed out online that a 2015 Pew Research Center survey found that nearly two-thirds of Latinos in the United States were born in the U.S. Hispanics make up 18 percent of the nation’s population.
The National Association of Hispanic Journalists also tweeted that it voiced its concerns about Brokaw’s “inaccurate commentary” to NBC.
Pew also found, in a 2016 survey of young Latino adults, that 41 percent say that English is their dominant language, 40 percent say they are bilingual and 19 percent speak Spanish primarily.
Brokaw’s comments are both xenophobic and factually incorrect, Varela said.
“We as a community are creating the new America right before your very eyes, Mr. Brokaw,” the Latino Rebels web site said. “Sorry if it doesn’t fit your perceptions of what America should be like. That future is bilingual, bicultural, at times in English, other times in Spanish. Our community is defining this future. Not you.”
NBC News had no comment Sunday on Brokaw, who has served in something of an emeritus role at the network since stepping down as lead anchor in 2004.
On Twitter, Brokaw said that he’s worked hard to knock down false stereotypes and pointed out that all sides need to work harder at finding common ground. He said he believes in “dialogue not division.

OK, so a well seasoned newsman cannot convey his personal feelings without a producer and teleprompter which indicates to me that he is similar to TOTUS who when left on his own just blathers out more nonsense except TOTUS never apologizes.MA

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Tom Embury-Dennis
,The Independent•January 28, 2019
Donald Trump has launched a furious attack on two Fox News reporters over their coverage of his border wall negotiations, and accidentally involved a random teenage girl in the ensuing furore.
In a tweet, the US president criticised chief White House correspondent John Roberts and and another person he wrongly believed was Washington-based journalist Gillian Turner over their “understanding” of the issue.
But instead of naming Ms Turner in his tweet, he included the Twitter handle of a teenager from California named Jillian Turner.
“Never thought I’d say this but I think @johnrobertsFox and @JillianTurner @FoxNews have even less understanding of the Wall negotiations than the folks at FAKE NEWS CNN & NBC!” Mr Trump tweeted.
“Look to final results! Don’t know how my poll numbers are so good, especially up 19% with Hispanics?” he added, referring to a poll published earlier this month showing 50 per cent of Hispanics approved of his job performance.

The president later deleted the tweet and reposted it with the correct Twitter handle, @GillianHTurner, but not before Jillian Turner was caught up in the thousands of responses routinely generated by any of Mr Trump’s tweets.
Ms Turner said she was “kinda pissed” over the president’s mistake.
It is unclear what coverage by Mr Roberts and Ms Turner the president was referring to, though both appeared on Fox News Sunday over the weekend.
Fox News has been contacted for comment.

Mr Trump’s outburst comes just days after he caved in to increasing pressure to reopen the government without securing $5.7bn (£4.3bn) in funding for his proposed “steel slats” border wall across the US-Mexico border.
He agreed on Friday to sign a spending bill keeping federal agencies open for three weeks while negotiations between Republicans and Democrats continue over border security.
But he threatened another government shutdown if talks fail to deliver on his wall demands, and suggested he may use emergency presidential powers to bypass Congress completely.

To all TOTUS supporters who are OK with whatever he says and does, just remember that this is how WWII began with a little known little man was aided and abetted by a avid trickster and wordsmith with a knack for creating buzzwords to infuriate and gain the trust of the public which eventually concluded in the death of millions of Europeans and the massive army that left a country devastated and with few young men to rebuild it. In modern times we only have to look at Syria, Venezuela, parts of Turkey, Afghanistan and Iraq. Always in the wings are the Chinese and Russia waiting for an opening which TOTUS is apparently making available through ineptitude and ego.


“TRUMP READY FOR SECOND SHUTDOWN President Donald Trump is prepared to shut down the government again or declare a national emergency if Congress won’t give him money for his border wall, according to Mick Mulvaney. The acting chief of staff told CBS Trump didn’t want another shutdown, but was “willing to do whatever it takes to secure the border.” Mulvaney refused to directly answer a question about whether government-contracted employees would be reimbursed for wages they missed during the 35-day shutdown.
By Emily Goodin, U.Ss. Political Reporter For Dailymail.com
Published: 10:57 EST, 27 January 2019 | Updated: 17:22 EST, 27 January 2019

” TOTUS and his minions are still pushing the lies surrounding his reason for immigration practices, “the wall push” and many of his dubious if not outright illegal actions through executive orders with the big bold signatures  and small group photo ops. The manufactured border crisis plays well with his base who apparently actually believe his total package of fabrications. The statements made by TOTUS regarding “conversations” with border patrol members who have “stated” that the “wall” is necessary are patently false! The “fake” narratives continued from the top to bottom of his administration would ( if they were bricks) create a wall! These Goebbelsesque  narratives have been the basis of his administration from day one and his base has drank it  like the “Jim Jones Kool aid”. His Ultra Conservative backers are ragging him because he “caved” on the Shutdown not because it caused harm but because they want it “their way” and none of them seem to have any sympathy for even their supporters who have suffered under this immoral action. 2020 is replace TOTUS and his administration year.

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Rob Rogers Comic Strip for January 24, 2019 Ken Catalino Comic Strip for January 23, 2019 Drew Sheneman Comic Strip for January 24, 2019 Tim Eagan Comic Strip for January 25, 2019 Tom Toles Comic Strip for January 25, 2019

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Chris Britt Comic Strip for January 21, 2019 Drew Sheneman Comic Strip for January 22, 2019 Tom Toles Comic Strip for January 23, 2019

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