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Author Topic: Wake Up, America: Take 3  (Read 43041 times)
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Russ White

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« Reply #820 on: Mar 10, 2017, 06:40AM »

Going to keep posting them.........

American Health Care Act

Well, the long awaited GOP (Government of Putin) plan to replace the ACA, once they repeal it, has been released, and it is everything one would have expected. It is a disaster for the poor, the sick, and the elderly, and a massive windfall for the wealthy and insurance companies.

What is a surprise is how little support it is garnering from Republicans. There doesn’t seem to be anyone in the party who likes the proposal other than its architects, Speaker Paul Ryan, HHS Sec. Tom Price, and President Drumpf. For many in the GOP (Government of Putin) it still puts too much money into taking care of the least among us.

The House “Freedom” Caucus has openly reviled the plan as “ObamaCare-Lite”. For them, anything less than outright repeal of the ACA is a non-starter, period. They express ZERO concern for the 20 million or so Americans who would lose their insurance the day that happened. Without their support it is highly unlikely Speaker Ryan can whip up the 218 votes he need in the House to pass the legislation.

Republican Governors in states that accepted the Medicaid expansion granted under Obamacare vehemently oppose the new legislation because it will drastically reduce Medicaid funding they have used to benefit the most needy in their states. Those funds would be phased out starting in 2020, replaced by block grants with a cap on the size of the grants.

Former GOP (Government of Putin) Presidential candidate Gov. John Kasich of Ohio put it thusly, “Phasing out Medicaid coverage without a viable alternative is counter-productive and unnecessarily puts at risk our ability to treat the drug addicted, mentally ill, and working poor who now have access to a stable source of care.”

Since the Republicans intent is to pass the law through budgetary reconciliation so it won’t have to meet the 60 vote filibuster avoiding majority in the Senate, they cannot afford to lose the support of any Senators. That said, at least four Republican Senators have already stated they will not support the bill as written. That would make the bill dead on arrival in the Senate.

It’s always been obvious that the GOP (Government of Putin) is masterful at being an obstructionist minority party. It is now equally obvious they are completely incompetent as a governing party. That truly is the best hope for America over these next four years.
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Douglas Fur
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« Reply #821 on: Mar 10, 2017, 04:27PM »

Hey a free book on the man our "president" admires.
Advisor Bannon says he wants to deconstruct* the Federal government.
This book is about the demise of the Soviet state. Read the introduction and first chapter. The are a good template for how T-rump might deconstuct our government.
DRB
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http://wariscrime.com/new/putins-kleptocracy-owns-russia/
*As a side note deconstructivism was a part of language theory the new left system of analysis on which "politically correct speech" was based...
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« Reply #822 on: Mar 12, 2017, 12:20PM »

Going to keep posting them.........

American Health Care Act

Well, the long awaited GOP (Government of Putin) plan to replace the ACA, once they repeal it, has been released, and it is everything one would have expected. It is a disaster for the poor, the sick, and the elderly, and a massive windfall for the wealthy and insurance companies.

What is a surprise is how little support it is garnering from Republicans. There doesn’t seem to be anyone in the party who likes the proposal other than its architects, Speaker Paul Ryan, HHS Sec. Tom Price, and President Drumpf. For many in the GOP (Government of Putin) it still puts too much money into taking care of the least among us.


I dunno.  Does anybody remember back to the invasion of Iraq?  Congressman after congressman spoke elegantly against the war, then voted for it.  I will be surprised if this doesn't go the same way. 
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Russ White

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« Reply #823 on: Mar 23, 2017, 08:35PM »

Writing from Bali again.........

Holy Mackeral!

I am once again half a world away from home, enjoying a break from the non-stop ugliness and insanity that has taken over much of everyday life in the US. Fortunately, American politics have little impact on life here, so the embarrassment being an American one might feel visiting other parts of the world (Germany and Britain jump to mind, among many others) is not affecting me here.

Where to even start? I guess that's not really important, because no matter where you start, any discussion about what is going on in the US right now will eventually come around to the elephant in the room; Russia. Until the whole Russia issue is brought fully out into the open, and the legitimacy, or illegitimacy, of the Drumpf administration is fully litigated, nothing else can, or, at least, should, take precedence.

There are many pushing for Democrats to walk away from all Congressional activity, especially the confirmation process for a SCOTUS nominee, until such time as all the Russia issues are resolved. Should a suspected agent of the Russian government be allowed to make a lifetime appointment of a justice to the SCOTUS? It's hard to imagine a sane person thinking it's a good idea.

And the Russian issues are legion in breadth and scope. How deeply have Drumpf and his associates been involved in long term money-laundering activities by Putin and the Oligarchs who have stolen the wealth of the Russian people? Was there open collusion between the Russian government and the Drumpf campaign during the election? Did the Russian weaponization of information technology and subsequent interference in our election rise to the level of acts of war?

The answers to these questions are slowly, but surely, coming to light thanks to the diligent, persistent efforts of members of the much maligned free press. The answers that are being uncovered are not pretty, and seem to be predicting a scandal and Constitutional crisis for this country unequaled in our history. Russia could not have hoped for a better result.

It is incumbent on our elected representatives to set the resolution of these issues as the single most urgent priority in our National interest. Instead, GOP ( Government of Putin) Representatives and Senators appear to be slow walking and impeding Congressional investigations. The Republican chair of the House Intelligence Committee was an inner circle member of the Drumpf campaign. He is anything but an independent investigator. This is too important to be a partisan issue.

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« Reply #824 on: Mar 29, 2017, 12:35PM »

"This is too important for partisan bickering."
Exactly! The national intelligence agencies have agreed that a foreign state has interfered with our election.
The house intelligence committee has broken down into partisan bickering and Nunes has given them all a time out.
Senator McCain has called for an independent investigation. Anyone familiar with my posts knows my politics are about 540° opposed to most of John McCain's but I support his call for a real investigation without prejudice to the outcome. I think anyone who is concerned about the future validity of our elections needs to support Senator McCain's​ call for a thorough investigation. How can the people trust an election when foreign powers can hack and manipulate the outcome?
Please contact your Senators and urge them to support a complete and rigorous investigation.

DRB
Seola Creek.
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Russ White

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« Reply #825 on: Apr 08, 2017, 06:38PM »

Still in Bali........

Syrian Hypocrisy

President Drumpf launched a largely meaningless and wasteful Tomahawk missile attack on an airbase in Syria Friday morning. It was purportedly in response to the use of chemical weapons by Syrian forces, and Drumpf's reaction to videos of Syrian children affected and/ or killed in the attack. There are more holes in the whole of this affair than there are in a block of high quality Swiss Cheese.

First, and foremost in my mind, is the blatant hypocrisy of Drumpf's crocodile tears over the victims of this horrendous attack. These are the same people he is blocking from escaping the horrors being inflicted on them with his absurd refugee ban.

Then there's the complete reversal of the position he has held since he unleashed a torrent of tweets back in 2013 madly warning President Obama against taking military action in Syria, at a time when it might actually have had an effect, over a chemical attack that killed more than 10 times as many Syrian civilians. Or from just a week ago when Sec. State Tillerson said the future of the Syrian regime would be resolved by the Syrian people.

I find the initial reactions to the raid somewhat puzzling. Of course, knuckle-draggers everywhere are joyous someone is finally "kicking-ass", and GOP (Government of Putin) Congress folks are massively supportive, but even many Democrats are offering tepid praise and support. It's important to remember that in 2013 98 of these same Republicans signed a letter demanding President Obama come to Congress before he take any kind of military action in Syria. Then, when he did, they shuffled their shoes and couldn't quite muster the courage to actually take a stand. The cowardly hypocrisy is mind boggling.

Make no mistake. Today, the day after the attack, Drumpf is still the same lying, clueless con-man he was the day before he ordered it. At it's essence, this raid will have no positive effect on the civil war in Syria, and has the potential for massively counter-productive backlash.

What Drumpf is hoping is that it will deflect American's attention from the on-going criminal and espionage investigations into his money-laundering for Russian Oligarchs and the collusion between his campaign and the Russian propaganda war carried out for his benefit in the last election. It might have been a little more effective had he not colluded with the Russians by informing them, and thereby the Syrians, of the attack before it was launched.

A tellling side note to the attack; Drumpf owns stock in Raytheon, the maker of the Tomahawk missiles used in the attack. Even in his questionable exercise of American foreign policy Drumpf is using his office to line his own pockets.

PERSIST, America.
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Russ White

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« Reply #826 on: Apr 14, 2017, 09:03AM »

Back in the USA!! This week's Column;

Drumpf!

I was recently taken to task by a person for whom I have utmost respect and consider a friend. He takes exception to my using our President’s original family name rather than the Americanized version he goes by today.

I understand his point. He comes from a military and police background, and his position is that whether or not you respect the person in a position of authority, the position itself is deserving of respect. I get that. It is the basis for the concept of “chain of command” in the military and of “contempt of court” charges in the judicial system.

He also suggests I might have a better chance of communicating my ideas to those who question them were I to show that respect for the position. Maybe, although, from what I see going on in this country, I don’t see much in the way of open minds or hearts amongst the supporters of our “so-called” President.

That said, I am no longer a member of a paramilitary organization, and I hold that respect in civilian life must be earned, not merely bestowed on a position. And, this President has done little, or less, to warrant the respect the position of the Presidency deserves.

I use “the Donald”’s ancestral name of Drumpf in protest of his hateful and intolerant stance on immigration and acceptance of refugees. It is a reminder that we are all, unless we are native Americans, descendants of immigrants and refugees. Drumpf’s grandfather immigrated here from his native Germany to avoid being drafted into the military. After he made a fortune here running saloons of a questionable variety, he attempted to return to Germany. He was deported as a draft-dodger. A family tradition, evidently.

So, until/ unless I see signs that Drumpf is growing into the job his ego drove him to seek, and is earning the respect the position deserves, I will continue to use his ancestral name.

            *   *   *

Drumpf’s ignorance and ill-preparation for the Presidency was obvious throughout the campaign. There are signs he may actually be waking up to how woefully inadequate his understanding of the requirements of the job is. How many times, and on how many subjects, will we have to hear him say, “Who knew it would be so hard”. Unbelievably sad.

His positions on a myriad of subjects are spinning like the proverbial draedel.

Persist, America.
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bhcordova
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« Reply #827 on: Apr 14, 2017, 09:44AM »

Uh, Russ, 'Native Americans' immigrated here from Asia over the Bearing Strait land bridge
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Russ White

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« Reply #828 on: Apr 14, 2017, 10:00AM »

Indeed.
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BGuttman
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« Reply #829 on: Apr 14, 2017, 11:48AM »

Uh, Russ, 'Native Americans' immigrated here from Asia over the Bearing Strait land bridge

Yeah, but like the Maoris in New Zealand, the "red men" were here long before the Whites.

Also, since all three of us (Billy, Russ, me) were born in this country, we are all "Native Americans".

I cringe when I hear Trump describing Mexicans and Muslims.  Epithets similar to those hurled at the Irish in the mid 19th Century, Germans in the later 19th Century, Italians and Jews in the early 20th Century, and Chinese almost all the time.  We should have grown past this by now.
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Russ White

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« Reply #830 on: Apr 14, 2017, 01:45PM »

Actually, I was born in the US hospital in Landstuhl, Germany. But, point taken.
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« Reply #831 on: Apr 24, 2017, 06:17AM »

This week's effort;

100 DAYS

One thing we know about the current resident of the White House is nothing he says can be taken seriously. No matter what he says, tomorrow he is going to contradict himself or change his mind. The examples are legion.

We are approaching the 100 day mark of the “Drumpf Travesty”. It’s a good time to start evaluating the boasts  and promises of the candidate in comparison with the actual accomplishments and failures of the Presidency. So far, unsurprisingly, it is not a pretty picture.

Prior to the election, Drumpf put out a “Contract with the American Voter” outlining an ambitious program of activities to be accomplished in the first 100 days of the administration. While he has had some minor successes on some points of his “Contract”, even those have been plagued by missteps and confusion.

He did greenlight the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. But, he also promised it would be built with 100% American produced steel. OOPS! Turns out the steel for the pipeline had already been purchased, and it was produced in Russia, India, and Italy.

Getting his nominee for the SCOTUS confirmed required the GOP (Government of Putin) leadership in the Senate to invoke the “nuclear option”, changing over 200 years of Senate practice and tradition. So, even his successes are tempered with incompetency and evidence of his lack of suitability for the position.

Mexico is NOT paying for the wall, Obamacare is still the law of the land, and his Muslim ban remains an unconstitutional dream according to every court that has ruled on it. China is no longer a “currency manipulator” and NATO is no longer “obsolete”.

As I write this, the Congress is returning from a 2 week Easter recess. Unless they come up with a bill to fund the government before Day 99 on Friday, the government will shut down.

Drumpf is saying he will allow the government to shut down unless funding for the construction of his boondoggle wall is included. Even Republicans recognize the stupidity of that position. They control the Congress and the Presidency. 100% of the blame for a shutdown will fall on their shoulders. It would a disaster for them going into the 2018 mid-term elections.

So, 100 days in, we have the least productive, most incompetent administration in the modern history of this country. They are “The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight”.

Persist, America!
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« Reply #832 on: Apr 28, 2017, 07:06AM »

First in a series:

Tax Plan?

In an attempt to fulfill another of “The Donald’s” broken “100 Days” campaign promises, Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin, this week announced a “plan” for tax reform that was less than a page in length, and almost completely devoid of details. Someone in the room said, “it could have been written on the back of a cocktail napkin”. Now would be a good time to look back at the destruction wrought on the American economy the last time an economic theory was devised on the back of a napkin.

 

That, of course, was the “Laffer Curve”, the central pillar of the “Voodoo, Trickle-Down, supply-side” economic theory that has since been known as Reaganomics. Nothing has done more to destroy the American Middle Class than the ongoing infatuation of the GOP (Government of Putin, today) with this consistently disproven concept.

 

I’ve heard it called “Zombie” economics because it just won’t die. Drumpf plans to dig it up once again and inflict it on what remains of a dying American middle class. You will hear supporters spewing on about economic growth and how that will offset the revenue lost because those at the top are paying less in taxes. That is the shiny object they use to distract from the actual effects of this disastrous set of policies.

 

One need only look at the reality of the American economy for all Americans both before and after the implementation of “Reaganomics” to see the reality of its destruction. It is not a pretty picture. Let’s look first of all at the “economic growth” at the core of supporters’ arguments. 

 

Economic growth is a historically vacillating phenomenon. At the end of WWII the US economy was, essentially, the “Last Man Standing” as the industrial capacity of the rest of the world lay in ruins. We became the “supplier to the world” of pretty much everything that required manufacturing. This led to unprecedented growth rates over the next 3 decades while the rest of the world rebuilt.

 

As the rest of the world got back on its feet US economic growth began to fluctuate as global competition began to take ever larger market shares in manufacturing and the production of durable goods. That is irreversible. It is a pipe dream to believe that any significant long-term growth will be the result of tax strategy. That is NOT what taxes should be designed to do.

Persist, America.

 

First in a series……….
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« Reply #833 on: Apr 28, 2017, 08:44AM »

It's obvious what we need to do!  Destroy the rest of the world's manufacturing capabilities!  Then, we will have a positive balance of trade, our manufacturing sector will take off.  Problem solved! 
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« Reply #834 on: Apr 28, 2017, 09:53AM »

Can you say "North Korea"?
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« Reply #835 on: Apr 28, 2017, 01:09PM »

The sad part about the Laffer curve is that it is really just a concept.  It appears that economic growth increases with decreasing taxes to a point, and then additional decreases in taxes don't do any more good.  There is a peak where you get maximum "bang for the buck".  This isn't well detailed, but it's somewhere between a 35% tax rate and a 70% tax rate.  We have nobody paying on the upper part of the Laffer curve where a tax break will improve the economy.  In fact, we can probably increase the upper tax rate and stil be on the bottom part of the curve (where decreases in tax rate result in decreases of government revenue).


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Bruce Guttman
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Russ White

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« Reply #836 on: Apr 28, 2017, 01:38PM »

Exactly. I suspect the break over point is somewhere in the 50% range. It is like explosive and flammable ranges in chemistry. Within those ranges chemicals can be quite volatile. Outside of those ranges, not so much.
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« Reply #837 on: Apr 28, 2017, 03:30PM »

Actually, the term you are looking for is reactive.  Volatility is a function of the chemical and the temperature.
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Bruce Guttman
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« Reply #838 on: Apr 28, 2017, 07:19PM »

I stand corrected. I know from experience that flammable and explosive ranges are pretty concrete, and outside of them combustion is not possible. I suspect the same is true of the Laffer Curve.
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« Reply #839 on: Apr 28, 2017, 08:43PM »

Absolutely.  It's always fun to show that you can douse a lit cigarette in a cup of gasoline.  But mix air and gasoline vapors in the right proportion and you get a pretty good POP.

I had to investigate a fire in my process area one time.  We had walk-in ovens operating at 300 F to dry panels that were processed in Gamma Butyrolactone.  The ovens were designed with an exhaust sized to handle a truck full of panels safely.  But some operators decided to clean some mechanical parts in the gamma butyrolactone and rolled a cart full of wet parts into the oven to dry.  The fumes exceeded the capacity of the oven to vent.  Then the shaft for the exhaust blower rubbed against the skin of the oven creating a spark.  Result: fire between the inner and outer skins of the oven.  Fortunately there was no danger of igniting anything else, but we read the riot act to the operators about overloading the oven.

The Laffer Curve was developed when the top tax rate was 95%.  It does describe that punitive tax rates are counterproductive.   In fact, there was a 105% rate in Sweden and Ingmar Bergman used to keep his move director salary in the US because of the great penalty of bringing the money home.
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