Politics

Crowbar
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Re: Politics

Postby Crowbar » Sun May 13, 2018 10:48 am

psu_dad wrote:Given the choice between (1) Letting this latest incident go away without further comment or (2) Issuing a statement that it was clearly a joke and people should lighten up, I hope the White House has the sense to opt for (1). Otherwise, there will be a media meltdown of biblical proportions.


What Kelly Sandler said was despicable.

However, I am far more pissed at Tom McInerney. Here is a guy who is a retired Air Force Lieutenant General who had the audacity to question John McCain's courage under extreme duress. What the f word is wrong with him?

As far as Sandler goes, she was probably just trying to impress her boss. This is the kind of crap we have come to expect from this White House, unfortunately.

All I can say as a member of the military/veteran community is McInerney should have known better and not gone there. And I am embarrassed McInerney is a part of the military/veteran community.
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Blue&White
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Re: Politics

Postby Blue&White » Sun May 13, 2018 12:47 pm

Completely agree. Sandler made a stupid, and nasty, comment in a private setting. She should have known better given how quickly thing lead out of the White House but, while the comment was mean spirited, it wasn't slanderous.

What McInerney said was both mean spirited AND slanderous. It's absolutely not true. I'm not a big fan of McCain but that was despicable. I keep reading how rank-and-file military and cops support Trump, but I really don't understand why that would be. I would think attacking former military members and Gold Star families would be a slight turn off. And, his surrogates calling the FBI "Nazis" also would, I think make rank and file cops a little bit unhappy. I would also think trying to loosen gun laws - which puts cops at greater risk - wouldn't be all that popular with them either. But, what do I know?

In other news - has anyone else at all followed the story (most of the reporting was done in December) that between 2008 and 2015 the US military was over budget 21 TRILLION DOLLARS? Just the army couldn't account for $6.5 trillion in 2015 alone. The army's budget for 2015 was $120 billion but they couldn't support journal entries 54 times what Congress authorized them to spend.

Some of this is going to be accounting issues vs. actual money spent but you can be sure of two things - that the military overspent its budget and that here has been some massive fraud. For all the screeching you hear about things like like medicaid and medicare fraud, those numbers don't get even close to what is being alleged here. It's insane amounts of dollars.

I've not seen a ton of traction on it but after 5 months I did notice an increase in the coverage. Maybe something will happen, but I'm not optimistic.
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psu_dad
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Re: Politics

Postby psu_dad » Sun May 13, 2018 1:34 pm

The Pentagon is like Godzilla. Politicians have been shooting at it for decades and it just breathes fire on them, stomps them flat and then and moves on. So don't make yourself crazy. Nothing is going to happen.
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LioninVa
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Re: Politics

Postby LioninVa » Sun May 13, 2018 2:42 pm

To be fair, I think you need to say Democrats have been shooting at it rather than politicians. Maybe not all Democrats, of course. But it is, by and large, more of a Republican fed beast. They don’t even pretend to try to contain it.

psu_dad
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Re: Politics

Postby psu_dad » Sun May 13, 2018 3:30 pm

I''m not talking about the size of the defense budget. I'm talking about the gross inefficiencies and money-wasting associated with the Pentagon and military spending. No one from either party has been able to make a dent in reforming this. Even the biggest "dove" among the Democrats becomes a "hawk" when an Air Force base in their district is considered for closing or a major defense contract that benefits their district is in jeopardy.
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Blue&White
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Re: Politics

Postby Blue&White » Mon May 14, 2018 9:15 am

In About-Face on Trade, Trump Vows to Protect ZTE Jobs in China

When this story broke over the weekend I was really surprised by it. I can't, for the life of me, understand how Trumps actions here are consistent with his "America First" trade policies. Taking down ZTE is just the kind of short-term leverage point you would expect him to be all over. I say "short term" leverage because what will happen next is Chinese firms will develop the means to cut out US suppliers from their sourcing pools. They won't risk being taken down by our policies again. It's the only logical long-term outcome from this move. But, ignoring that - his reversal on ZTE has upset people from both parties.

Here is the crazy thing about Trumps actions - ZTE wasn't targeted as part of the increasingly ugly trade rhetoric between Trump and China. They were targeted because of espionage fears. It has nothing to do with trade. So, why go out of our way to save them? We may not have intended to take them down but doesn't that send a clear message about if you want to do business with the US you must play by certain rules?

I don't get this at all.
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psu_dad
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Re: Politics

Postby psu_dad » Mon May 14, 2018 10:45 am

They won't risk being taken down by our policies again.

They just did. STE had their hand slapped back in 2016 for selling components to Iran. The sanctions imposed on them back then were lifted soon after when they agreed to fire the responsible executives and play nice. Apparently it was recently discovered they reneged on the 2016 agreement and they got slapped again. And apparently forgiven again.

This seems to be a relationship that benefits both countries financially, unlike many of the other one-sided deals that have produced the huge trade imbalance with China. But it's complicated by them not honoring our rules about where our technology can end up. They can't seem to play nice regarding that.
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Blue&White
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Re: Politics

Postby Blue&White » Mon May 14, 2018 12:00 pm

I think a company going down may get them to change their minds. And, 2 years is not a long time to find new suppliers for all their components. Over time, if Trump continues his trade policies, I expect China to move more and more business from the US.

As for their companies, I think the issues with company like ZTE are legitimate. That's why I am so surprised by Trump's actions here. This is the kind of situation where letting ZTE go down is not only completely consistent with his rhetoric but one he can capitalize and, while I wouldn't be so bold as to predict he would ever good good press, he is more likely to get an objective rendition of the facts and bipartisan support.

And yet he went the other way. The man is really baffling. I'm not even saying I agree or disagree with his decision here, as I don't really know all the facts that went into it. I just don't get why he would do this given what we know about ZTE and his views on business with China in general.
Alex Cora sucks. Mickey Callaway sucks. Baseball sucks. Everything and everyone just sucks. Is it football season yet?

psu_dad
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Re: Politics

Postby psu_dad » Mon May 14, 2018 12:22 pm

I don't really know all the facts that went into it.

I don't either, but it's been getting some buzz around here because of a local company (Acacia) that did something like 1/3 of their business with ZTE. Their stock fell off a cliff when the ZTE sanction was announced a few weeks ago.
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LioninVa
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Re: Politics

Postby LioninVa » Mon May 14, 2018 1:46 pm

The Trump tweet yesterday about China and ZTE really got some heads turning. I don't know what to expect, and I get the feeling that Trump doesn't either.

On to North Korea... Here are two tweets yesterday reporting on the developments in the summit. The second one is a response to the first...

Margaret Brennen (from CBS News):
@SecPompeo says sanctions relief dependent on North Korea getting rid of its chemical biological weapons program (CBW), & no longer holding America at risk via its “nuclear weapons arsenal” & missiles


Max Fisher (from the Failing New Your Times):
Deal taking shape:

• "Getting rid of chem/bio" to mean dismantling whatever stockpile DPRK declares
• Dismantle ICBMs; keep nukes & intermediate-range missiles
• Partial USFK withdrawal
• Little or no inspections/monitoring/verification
• US + UNSC sanction relief


Call me crazy, but this 'deal' looks like we are selling out the Asia Pacific region.