Category Archives: Veterans

The Worst and the Dumbest in the Trump Administration

David Halberstam once wrote a book about the Kennedy and Johnson men called The Best and the Brightest. The theme of that book was despite the qualifications and acclaim these public servants had earned before and during most of their White House Service, most still offered the Presidents poor advice on how to handle the war in Vietnam.

Now if most of the people regarded as the best and the brightest at that time helped lead this country into one of the worst foreign and military policy periods in our countries history, imagine what the President’s aides, probably some of the worst and dumbest to serve, can do to us.

Saturday Night Live actually captured the problem with a segment (link below) with actor Bryan Cranston, reprising his role of Walter White from “Breaking Bad,” becoming the nominee to head the Drug Enforcement Agency (D.E.A.) illustrating that the Administration’s goal to put people who oppose these departments at the head of them.

It has become so bad with the Trump choices that most sane people are scared if Jeff “I never met an immigrant I liked” Sessions resigns as the Attorney General. Just who are among this cast of incompetents in or headed to the Trump Administration.

Betsy DeVos

This ultra-rightwing fanatic became our Secretary of Education despite promoting policies such as vouchers so religious schools can be partially subsidized with public monies. Since becoming the Secretary of Education (after a less than stellar performance at her confirmation hearings where she thought guns were needed in some schools to fight off grizzlies), she has been a champion for student loan companies who want to make the industry more profitable for them.

DeVos has also turned off people with her inattention to special education and civil rights. Walking out of a question and answer session with the Parkland High Students was not helpful either With no background in any sphere of public education, one has to ask, what is she doing there if not to undermine public education?

Scott Pruitt

Not a week goes by when there is not some controversy involving Scott Pruitt, the former anti-Environmental Protection Agency (E.P.A) Oklahoma Attorney General who, wait for it, became the head of the E.P.A.  Pruitt has fashioned himself as a cross between a Sun King and a mob figure between not allowing scientists to speak their mind about the environment, making environmental rules and regulations more business-friendly and wasting public monies on first-class travel (to avoid contact with the people), installing a new “Bat Phone-Cone of Silence” communication system, and increased security detail that most other cabinet heads do not get.

This is all while he had a very nice residential rental arrangement courtesy of lobbyists whose pipeline expansion he approved. Finally, his arrogant behavior displayed when he asks his motor entourage to blast sirens so he can arrive at events quicker make people wonder if Scottie needs to be beamed out of the E.P.A. at the earliest opportunity.

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Donald Trump wants to throw himself a military parade in honor of ‘Dear Leader’

You may recall that the Washington Post in an interview with Donald Trump reported on January 18, 2017, How Donald Trump came up with ‘Make America Great Again’:

All of which raises the questions: How can greatness be measured and sensed? What does it even mean?

“Being a great president has to do with a lot of things, but one of them is being a great cheerleader for the country,” Trump said. “And we’re going to show the people as we build up our military, we’re going to display our military.

“That military may come marching down Pennsylvania Avenue. That military may be flying over New York City and Washington, D.C., for parades. I mean, we’re going to be showing our military,” he added.

The same day, the Huffington Post reported, Trump Sought Military Equipment For Inauguration, Granted 20-Plane Flyover:

During the preparation for Friday’s transfer-of-power, a member of Trump’s transition team floated the idea of including tanks and missile launchers in the inaugural parade, a source involved in inaugural planning told The Huffington Post. “They were legit thinking Red Square/North Korea-style parade,” the source said, referring to massive military parades in Moscow and Pyongyang, typically seen as an aggressive display of muscle-flexing.

RussianMilitaryParade
Russian military parade before the Tomb of Lenin in Moscow

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North Korean military parade in Pyongyang

The military, which traditionally works closely with the presidential inaugural committee, shot down the request, the source said. Their reason was twofold. Some were concerned about the optics of having tanks and missile launchers rolling down Pennsylvania Avenue. But they also worried that the tanks, which often weigh over 100,000 pounds, would destroy the roads.

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Book Review: They Were Soldiers: How The Wounded Return from America’s Wars — The Untold Story

Tammy and I have a running joke about how easily she sobs during a movie or when reading a book and how I never do.

Not this time. Reading Ann Jones’ They Were Soldiers: How the Wounded Return from America’s Wars: The Untold Story, I didn’t just sob, but broke down a few times. They were anger-fueled breakdowns, but breakdowns nonetheless.  Continue reading

When our less-than-less-than-do-nothing Congress returns in September …

US CapitolOur less-than-less-than-do-nothing Congress decided to start its August recess early, failing to address legislative priorities, as they hightailed it out of town on July 14 for a seven-week recess.

Congress will return the day after Labor Day. “D.C. Work Week” days are only scheduled in the House until September 30. The Senate is scheduled to work the first week of October as well. (Schedules are subject to change).

September 30 is an important date that has not received much media attention. It is the end of the Fiscal Year. The House has passed five spending measures and the Senate has passed just three, leaving Congress with unfinished appropriations bills that need to be addressed following the August recess.

There is not enough time for this dysfunctional Congress to actually complete its essential job function on time.

None of the individual appropriations bills have been sent to the President, and it is likely that a stop-gap continuing resolution (CR) spending bill will be needed to fund the federal government past the end of the fiscal year on September 30.

With our less-than-less-than-do-nothing Congressional members wanting to get back to their districts to campaign some more for reelection in October — as if they deserve to be reelected — it is unlikely that the  Republican House Freedom Caucus has enough support to shut down the federal government in an election year stunt, but you never know.

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The ‘morally tainted’ John McCain

Journalist Cokie Roberts didn’t mince words Tuesday in describing GOP politicians who continue supporting Donald Trump despite having serious misgivings. “They’re morally tainted” she said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

“I mean there’s just no question about that. You can’t say, ‘He’s a racist and what he says is textbook racism, but I support him because he’s the nominee of my party.’”

Cokie Roberts was lookin’ at you, John McCain.

E.J. Montini of The Republic writes, McCain is sticking with Trump. Period. End of story:

McCainTimeVeterans delivered petitions to John McCain’s office this week asking the senator to drop his support for Donald Trump. There were more than 100,000 signatures. They did the same thing earlier this month at his office in Washington, D.C. At that time a Muslim veteran from Arizona called McCain “courageous” and a “man of honor” and was among those who asked him to dump Trump.

It didn’t happen.

It is NOT going to happen.

At a gathering with veterans in Phoenix this week McCain again was asked to rescind his endorsement of Trump.

He refused.

He said in part, “I certainly do not want Hillary Clinton as president of the United States and four more years of a failed national security policy.”

When pressed a little more McCain said, “I have covered that issue completely and I have nothing more to say about it. I am supporting the nominee of the party and I will continue to run my own campaign. I certainly do not want Hillary Clinton as president of the United States and four more years of a failed national security policy.”

We’re done now.

The senator has made things clear.

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GOP leaders have a ‘moral, ethical obligation’ to repudiate Trump

KHAAANIn every presidential election there is a turning point, a pivotal moment, to which historians will assign significance as the reason for victory or defeat. We may well be witnessing that moment right now.

Donald Trump has made the strategic insane decision to attack the Gold Star parents of a fallen American hero because this thin-skinned megalomaniac Islamophobic bigot cannot stand being criticized by them. Members of his own party, the media, and public opinion are hardening against him. This may become known colloquially as The Wrath of Khan (spoofing the Star Trek film by the same name).

Think Progress reports:

KahnKhizr Khan is the father of Humyun Khan, a Muslim U.S. Army Captain who was killed in Iraq while heroically protecting his men from an attack on their compound. His emotional anti-Donald Trump speech at the DNC will go down as one of the convention’s most memorable moments. But Trump’s response to the speech made matters worse — instead of simply acknowledging Humyun’s heroism and the Khan family’s loss, he went after Khan’s wife, insinuating that her Muslim faith forbade her from contributing to her husband’s remarks.

Asked for his response to Trump smearing his family during a CNN interview on Sunday, Khizr said it’s time for leading Republicans to repudiate their party’s presidential nominee. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) have a “moral, ethical obligation to not worry about the votes but repudiate [Trump], withdraw the support,” Khan said.

“If they do not I will continue to speak,” Khan continued. “I have received tremendous support from Republicans saying to me that they have never voted for the Democrats, [but] this year they are not going to vote Republican because of this candidate.”

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