Category Archives: politics

U.S. tourism drops, GOP to cancel primaries, Trump coerces NOAA, Dem controversy, and health concerns

Thanks for the updates.

The Secular Jurist

By Robert A. Vella

Tourism to the U.S. is declining due to international concerns over mass shootings, xenophobia, trade wars, and foreigners’ dislike of President Trump.  The loss of revenue to American businesses is estimated to be in the tens of billions from 2018-2020.  GOP officials in several states are planning to cancel their presidential primary elections in order to protect Trump from challengers to his reelection campaign.  Embarrassed by his contrived, inaccurate, and illegal publicized “weather forecast” for Hurricane Dorian, Trump apparently coerced the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) into rebuking its own National Weather Service (NWS) agency for having the temerity to tell the truth.  NOAA’s statement was suspiciously authorless and the timing of its release suggest that the White House ordered it as an act of retribution and to protect Trump’s prodigious yet fragile ego.  The Democratic National Committee (DNC) is involved in another internal party…

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Dare Call it What it Is: Race Hatred Blessed By the President — Padre Steve’s World: Official Home of the Anti-Chaps

 

Friends of Padre Steve’s World,

Another day, another race based mass killing, another fake message of support from the President.

This time it was El Paso, Texas. A young white man from Dallas, an admitted White Supremacist went to a Walmart at a mall. Using an AK-47 he went on a killing spree. When police confronted him he offered no resistance.  The latest casualty count is 20 dead and 26 wounded, but the count is still fluctuating.  In his manifesto retrieved from the 8Chan site preferred by violent White Supremacists, he wrote:

“This attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas. They are the instigators, not me. I am simply defending my country from cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by an invasion.” 

via Dare Call it What it Is: Race Hatred Blessed By the President — Padre Steve’s World: Official Home of the Anti-Chaps

IT’S NOT MENTAL HEALTH, IT’S WHITE SUPREMACY — THE LEON KWASI CHRONICLES

It’s also White Supremacy taking advantage of the First and Second Amendments.  Too many are now one-man “militias” under the auspice of helping the government wage race war on American soil.   

via IT’S NOT MENTAL HEALTH, IT’S WHITE SUPREMACY — THE LEON KWASI CHRONICLES

2 mass shootings, Trump fires Coats, Putin foe poisoned, Feds to cut interest rate, Earth Overshoot Day — The Secular Jurist

By Robert A. Vella What would be a Monday in America without more mass shootings? Trump fired the Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and replaced him with a Mueller-hating sycophant. The physician who treated Alexei Navalny, the imprisoned political foe of Russian strongman Vladimir Putin, suspects he was poisoned in jail. The decade-long period […]

via 2 mass shootings, Trump fires Coats, Putin foe poisoned, Feds to cut interest rate, Earth Overshoot Day — The Secular Jurist

State-Sanctioned Murder! — Filosofa’s Word

Does anybody remember Clayton D. Lockett? No, of course not. Allow me to refresh your memory. Mr. Lockett was brutally murdered by our own federal government on April 29,2014 in a botched execution. Lockett was administered an untested mixture of drugs that had not previously been used for executions in the United States. Although the […]

Why do we kill people

via State-Sanctioned Murder! — Filosofa’s Word

Robert Mueller’s Scheduled Testimony Today – Open Discussion

Former special counsel Robert Mueller is testifying before both the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees for a total of five hours Wednesday., July 24, 2019.   The Committees intend to get a “much clearer narrative” of the Special Counsel’s two-year investigation before the American people about Trump’s conduct.

I plan on watching, and found where it is being live streamed online.   The video is below and should be live when testimony begins.  Please join me in watching and comment below.  Based on Mueller’s history of sometimes being vague, and his press conference where he stated that if he came before Congress he would not go beyond what is written in his report, this should be interesting.

Mueller’s testimony is scheduled to be split before the two committees, with 3 hours before the Judiciary Committee and 2 hours before the Intelligence Committee.  There will be a 30 minute break between the two hearings, and Mueller can request breaks. Read the rest of this entry

Medicare Is Not Free Insurance

During the 2016 presidential campaign, we heard “Medicare for all” as the solution to insure all Americans.  We are hearing it again now in 2019.  Currently, Medicare is not 100 percent coverage at no cost to the insured.  If politicians in D.C. can’t make it available without costs to those with Medicare now, how are they going to make it a reality to all Americans?

I am guilty of thinking that after paying into Medicare for more over 40 years, that once I reached 65, I would have healthcare insurance for free.  I was mistaken.

Medicare has four (4) parts.  The parts are explained in a handbook.  As I write this, next to me is “The Official U.S. Government Medicare Handbook”.   The subtitle is “Medicare and You, 2019.”

Medicare Part A is “premium free” and only covers hospital admissions, skilled nursing facilities, hospice care, and home health care.  I found at this link that Medicare Part A has a $1,364 deductible for each benefit period.  Benefit periods begin with admission to a hospital through the date of discharge.  After 90 days of hospitalization, the insured is responsible for all hospital costs.

Medicare Part B covers doctor services.  If an insured is admitted to a hospital without Medicare Part B, they are responsible for the cost of doctor services.  There is a $185 deductible per year for Medicare Part B. After your deductible is met, Medicare Part B covers 80 percent of doctor services.

The current cost for Medicare Part B is $135.50 per month.  That amount might be higher depending on annual income.   Currently, most providers do not accept Medicare for vision and dental because what they pay for is limited. Read the rest of this entry

Mueller to testify, government secrecy, Supreme Court news, China-Canada tiff, NRATV, and ICE insight

The Secular Jurist

By Robert A. Vella

He didn’t want to, but former Special Counsel Robert Mueller will comply with a subpoena to testify in public before the House Judiciary and House Intelligence committees next month.  Whether or not Democrats will ask probing questions about his truncated prosecutorial decisions, as well as about his reluctance to investigate leads implicating President Trump in criminal behavior, will reveal how serious they really are about impeachment and their constitutional duty to check abuses of power by the executive branch.  Government secrecy, a trademark of authoritarian regimes, is obviously increasing under Trump as Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests are being undermined by administrative actions and policies on top of Monday’s egregious ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court.  Addition of the contentious citizenship question to the 2020 census has run into a logistical obstacle which can now only be overcome by overt intervention by the Supreme…

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Lori Lightfoot – Chicago’s First Gay, Black, Woman Mayor

Know Your Heritage

Chicago has elected its first black, female mayor, becoming the largest U.S. city to do so, and she is a University of Michigan alum.

Lori Lightfoot also made history by becoming the first openly lesbian candidate to run for the office. Chicago is now the largest U.S. city to elect an openly gay mayor. Lightfoot earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from UM in 1984, graduating with honors, before earning a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Chicago.

After receiving a full scholarship to the University of Chicago Law School, Lightfoot moved to Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood. With the exception of a one year clerkship on the Michigan Supreme Court in Detroit, she has lived in Chicago since 1986.

Most recently, Lightfoot served as a senior equity partner in the Litigation and conflict Resolution Group at Mayer Brown LLP before announcing her candidacy for mayor in May 2018.

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“A Symbol of Renewed White Identity and Common Purpose” What Trump is to White Supremacists and Nationalists

Padre Steve's World: Official Home of the Anti-Chaps

Friends of Padre Steve’s World,

Yesterday in Christchurch New Zealand an Australian White Nationalist not only committed mass murder against Muslims at worship in Christchurch’s two mosques. Before he did so he released a 74 page manifesto on Twitter, and announced it on 8chan, a website devoted to White Supremacism, Racism, and war against Muslims, Jews, dark skinned immigrants, and people on the political left. When he made his attack he announced to his followers that it would be carried live on his Facebook page.

He killed 49 men, women and children in cold blood, and wounded many more, live-streaming the whole event. It was an event made for social media and it became viral before media outlets and YouTube attempted to scrub it from their servers, but be assured, it will keep popping up in other places because White Nationalists will publicize it, and ghoulish people will,watch it and…

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A Danger to the Republic: Neo-Nazis and other Militants Embedded in the U. S. Military

Padre Steve's World: Official Home of the Anti-Chaps

Friends of Padre Steve’s World,

On February 15th a U.S. Coast Guard Lieutenant, who had served as an enlisted man in both the Marines and the Army National Guard was arrested. The man, Lieutenant Christopher Hasson has been charged with relatively minor gun and drug possession charges and will likely be charged with much more serious terrorism charges.

Hasson was caught because of how he used his work computer to research mass murders and was caught by a Coast Guard investigators using a program which monitors work computers for searches and activities to identify potential insider threats.

I read the news reports but did not write anything until today when I read the Court Filing by prosecutors from Justice Department in the District Court for Maryland. The filing https://int.nyt.com/data/documenthelper/625-us-v-hasson/be7a4841596aba86cce4/optimized/full.pdf#page=1 is quite specific in what it alleges that Hasson was researching, preparing for, and his ultimate goal of a White Homeland…

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Ralph Northam In Blackface, But What About The Medical School That Allowed that Ideology?

Today’s cable news carried the headlines about Virginia Democratic Governor Ralph Northam.  Northam is the 73rd Governor of Virginia, being elected in January 2018.  He attended Eastern Virginia Medical School.  He is a physician by occupation having served as an United States Army medical officer from 1984 to 1992.   Northam completed pediatric residency at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, and did a child neurology fellowship at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D. C. and John Hopkins Hospital.  Since 1992, Northam had been a pediatric neurologist at Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Norfolk, VA.

On February 1, 2019, a photo from Northam’s medical school yearbook’s page was released.  It shows an image of a person alleged to be Northham in blackface standing next to a person dressed in the hood and robe of the Ku Klux Klan.  A spokesman for Eastern Virginia Medical School confirmed that the image appeared in its 1984 yearbook.

I watched his press conference and could address Governor Northam’s excuses and inconsistencies, but there is something that weighs on me more.  That something is why would a medical school allow such an environment?  There is a presumptive thought that anyone who wants to practice medicine respects human lives regardless of skin color.  Apparently, Eastern Virginia Medical School did not instill respect for all humans in their curriculum. Read the rest of this entry

Michael Cohen postpones congressional testimony, claims ‘threats’ from President Trump and Rudy Giuliani

Trump’s veiled threats of blackmail or extortion on Cohen’s father-in-law are illegal. In my opinion, rather than depending on Congress to do more than use strong words, Cohen should file a criminal complaint against Guiliani and Trump.

The Secular Jurist

WASHINGTON – Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer and longtime fixer, announced through a spokesman Wednesday that he wouldn’t testify before Congress on Feb. 7 because of “threats” from the president.

[…]

“Due to ongoing threats against his family from President Trump and Mr. Giuliani, as recently as this weekend, as well as Mr. Cohen’s continued cooperation with ongoing investigations, by advice of counsel, Mr. Cohen’s appearance will be postponed to a later date,” said Lanny Davis, a Cohen spokesman. “This is a time when Mr. Cohen had to put his family and their safety first.”

Continue reading:  Michael Cohen postpones congressional testimony, claims ‘threats’ from President Trump and Rudy Giuliani

Commentary by The Secular Jurist:  Two weeks ago, I wrote the following regarding Michael Cohen’s scheduled congressional testimony:

Knowing Trump as Americans do now after two tumultuous years in office, it is conceivable that the president…

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Unpaid United States government workers interviewed

Dear Kitty. Some blog

This Washington Post video from the USA says about itself:

Furloughed employees rally against shutdown: ‘Stop playing politics with our lives’

Furloughed federal employees and supporters protested the ongoing government shutdown Jan. 10, urging President Trump and Congress to open the government.

From the World Socialist Web Site in the USA:

“We are being treated like pawns”

As payless payday looms, federal unions stage protests in US cities

By our reporter

11 January 2019

Friday will be the first payless payday for hundreds of thousands of federal workers forced to work without pay during the US government shutdown. Hundreds of thousands more are on furlough without pay, impacting everything from federal food inspections to environmental health and safety, services on Indian reservations and the operation of national parks.

The continuation of the government funding cutoff has put other programs in jeopardy, such as school meals and the Supplemental Nutrition…

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FDA looks to restart safety inspections for risky foods amid shutdown — Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories

The FDA is working to restore some food-safety inspections for products deemed high-risk, such as seafood and raw fruit, that have been suspended or delayed because of the government shutdown. “We’re taking steps to expand the scope of food safety surveillance inspections we’re doing during the shutdown to make sure we continue inspecting high risk…

via FDA looks to restart safety inspections for risky foods amid shutdown — Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories

‘Never been more depressed’: Trump kills Graham effort to end shutdown — Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories

President Donald Trump has rejected a plan proposed by a bloc of Senate Republicans who had hoped to break an impasse over the government shutdown, leaving Congress and the White House with little obvious way out of the extended battle over Trump’s border wall.On the 20th day of the shutdown, the GOP group tried to…

via ‘Never been more depressed’: Trump kills Graham effort to end shutdown — Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories

Donald Trump’s Personal Reason for the Government Shutdown; To Delay Emoluments Case

Department of Justice lawyers representing Donald Trump have asked a federal appeals court to indefinitely postpone all filings in an appeal related to a suit that the governments of Maryland and Washington, D.C. filed over Trump’s alleged violation of profiting from business his Washington hotel does with foreign countries.

Their argument?  Because they cannot work during a government shutdown.  Politico reports;

“The Department does not know when funding will be restored by Congress,” Justice lawyers wrote. “Absent an appropriation, Department of Justice attorneys and employees are prohibited from working, even on a voluntary basis, except in very limited circumstances, including ‘emergencies involving the safety of human life or the protection of property’. … Undersigned counsel for the Department of Justice therefore requests a stay of briefing on the President’s mandamus petition until Congress has restored appropriations to the Department.”

The court of appeals granted the motion. Read the rest of this entry

Defense Secretary James Mattis’ Letter of Resignation

December 20, 2018

Dear Mr. President:

I have been privileged to serve as our country’s 26th Secretary of Defense which has allowed me to serve alongside our men and women of the Department in defense of our citizens and our ideals.

I am proud of the progress that has been made over the past two years on some of the key goals articulated in our National Defense Strategy: putting the Department on a more sound budgetary footing, improving readiness and lethality in our forces, and reforming the Department’s business practices for greater performance. Our troops continue to provide the capabilities needed to prevail in conflict and sustain strong U.S. global influence.

One core belief I have always held is that our strength as a nation is inextricably linked to the strength of our unique and comprehensive system of alliances and partnerships. While the US remains the indispensable nation in the free world, we cannot protect our interests or serve that role effectively without maintaining strong alliances and showing respect to those allies. Like you, I have said from the beginning that the armed forces of the United States should not be policeman of the world. Instead, we must use all tools of American power to provide for the common defense, including providing effective leadership to our alliances. NATO’s 29 democracies demonstrated that strength in their commitment to fighting alongside us following the 9-11 attack on America. The Defeat-ISIS coalition of 74 nations is further proof.

Similarly, I believe we must be resolute and unambiguous in our approach to those countries whose strategic interests are increasingly in tension with ours. It is clear that China and Russia, for example, want to shape a world consistent with their authoritarian model – gaining veto authority over other nations’ economic, diplomatic and security decisions – to promote their own interests at the expense of their neighbors, America and our allies. That is why we must use all the tools of American power to provide for the common defense.

My views on treating allies with respect and also being clear-eyed about malign actors and strategic competitors are strongly held and informed by over four decades of immersion in these issues. We must do everything possible to advance an international order that is most conducive to our security, prosperity and values, and we are strengthened in this effort by the solidarity of our alliances.

Because you have the right to a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects, I believe it is right for me to step down from my position. The end date for my tenure is February 28, 2019, a date that should allow sufficient time for a successor to be nominated and confirmed as well as to make sure the Department’s interests are properly articulated and protected at upcoming events to include Congressional posture hearings and the NATO Defense Ministerial meeting in February. Further, that a full transition to a new Secretary of Defense occurs well in advance of the transition of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in September in order to ensure stability within the Department.

I pledge my full effort to a smooth transition that ensures the needs and interests of the 2.15 million Service Members and 732,079 DoD civilians receive undistracted attention of the Department at all times so that they can fulfill their critical, round-the-clock mission to protect the American people.

I very much appreciate this opportunity to serve the nation and our men and women in uniform.

James N. Mattis

Read the rest of this entry

Friday Roundup: Oil Prices, Mueller investigation, Trump, Clinton, N.C. Election Fraud, and a Bomb Threat

Thanks for the updates. Today I learned that yet another Trump appointee might resign. The revolving door makes my head swim.

The Secular Jurist

By Robert A. Vella

Here’s the news roundup for another busy Friday:

oil prices

Russia has negotiated a deal between bitter rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran to raise crude oil prices on the world market by implementing across-the-board production cuts (with exemptions) which have been long-desired by OPEC nations and which have been vociferously opposed by President Trump.  However, the cuts may benefit U.S. shale oil producers who struggle to compete when market prices are low.  OPEC’s move also boosts Vladimir Putin’s prominence on the world stage as the Russian strongman appears to be abandoning his close relationship with the weakening American president.

Mueller investigation

Later today, Special Counsel Robert Mueller will submit disclosures in the court cases involving Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen and his former campaign manager Paul Manafort.  Although the information will likely be redacted, as was evident in the court case for Trump’s former national…

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Former President George H.W. Bush Dies at 94 — Variety

Former President George H.W. Bush has died, his son, former president George W. Bush, announced Friday night. He was 94. “Jeb, Nell, Marvin, Doro, and I are saddened to announce that after 94 remarkable years, our dear Dad has died,” George W. Bush said in a statement. “George H. W. Bush was a man of […]

via Former President George H.W. Bush Dies at 94 — Variety

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