The place to post your comments without interrupting the single topic posts. However, be mindful of the strict rules!!

If you find the rules here are too confining, try the Morning Blog.

YOU MAY ONLY POST COMMENTS HERE IF:

THEY ARE OFF TOPIC, TO POST LINKS TO ARTICLES, TO COMMENT, TO SAY HELLO, TO HAVE A DIALOG, TO POST A VIDEO, TO PLAY, TO ASK QUESTIONS, TO HAVE OPINIONS, TO DISCUSS, TO POST KITTIES/PUPPIES/CARTOONS, TO TELL JOKES AND STORIES,

AND A BUNCH OF OTHER STUFF I CAN’T THINK OF RIGHT NOW.

BUT ABSOLUTELY, NO SPITTING, EYE GOUGING OR HITTING ABOVE OR BELOW THE BELT!!

You know the rules, now follow them! Please?

Every so often I intrude TO/OT with a personal pick of a site that I find important that I feel needs to be shared and not lost in the shuffle of the constant flow of thoughts on The Planet.

And yet with globalization, we seem to have developed a strange apprehension about the efficacy of our ability to apply the innovation and hard work necessary to successfully compete in a complex security and economic environment. Further, we have misunderstood interdependence as a weakness rather than recognizing it as a strength. The key to sustaining our competitive edge, at home or on the world stage, is credibility — and credibility is a difficult capital to foster. It cannot be won through intimidation and threat, it cannot be sustained through protectionism or exclusion. Credibility requires engagement, strength, and reliability — imaginatively applied through the national tools of development, diplomacy, and defense.

The Y Article

A National Security Narrative

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

H/T AB

16745
Leave a Comment

Please Login to comment
4840 Comment threads
11905 Thread replies
33 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
104 Comment authors
TOCBKalimaAdLibSteppenwolfkesmarn Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
TOCB
Member

Whoda thunk it?

The cheat says people who do what he does, are cheaters.

“Now, mail ballots, they cheat, OK? People cheat. Mail ballots are a very dangerous thing for this country,” said the president, who requested an absentee mail-in-ballot last month for Florida’s primary.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/voting-rights-disputes-in-virus-era-spark-court-battles/ar-BB12iBMW?ocid=spartandhp

Kalima
Admin

At a critical time like this, all they think about is profiteering. No one should be surprised.

By firing Glenn Fine, the Defense Department’s acting inspector general, they can steal taxpayers money to their heart’s content. Who is left to do the oversight?

Meet the Ignorant Cranks Behind Trump’s Big Hydroxychloroquine Push
A guy Jared Kushner found on Amazon, a quack, and Rudy Giuliani. What could go wrong?

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2020/04/donald-trump-hydroxychloroquine-push

TOCB
Member

We all know trump is a pathological liar, AND he is incompetent. We don’t know if the misleading claim that the USA has done more testing than any other nation is because of trump’s lying, or because of his incompetence. Yes, by now there have been more testing in the USA than any other nation, AND that is what trump said.

However, on a per capita basis, we still lag other nations, and we were very late to test, and tests are STILL not widely available.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/02/coronavirus-testing-how-some-countries-germany-south-korea-got-ahead-of-the-rest

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnxfhRIV4r0

During his Thursday night briefing with the coronavirus task force, President Trump repeated a claim that the United States has done more testing for the contagion on a per capita basis than any other country.
“We’re now conducting well over 100,000 coronavirus tests per day,” Trump said. “It’s over 100,000 tests a day. And these are accurate tests, and they’re moving rapidly, which is more than any other country in the world, both in terms of the raw number and also on a per capita basis, the most.”
While the United States has improved its testing numbers significantly, it still lags behind Germany and South Korea, for example, in terms of per capita testing.

During Wednesday’s briefing, Vice President Pence said more than 1.2 million tests have been performed on Americans. Given the population of the U.S. (about 327 million), that’s roughly 1 in every 273 people, as of April 2.
That’s a better testing per capita rate than the United Kingdom, which has tested about 1 in every 404 people. (The U.K.’s population is about 66 million, and it’s tested 163,194 people.)

South Korea, with its population of 51.5 million, has done 431,743 tests, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s approximately 1 in every 119 people.
Germany has done even better. It has tested about 1 in 90 people — 918,460, with a population of 82.8 million. Germany also happens to have one of the lowest fatality rates from COVID-19.
With 581,232 tests conducted, according to the Italian health ministry, and a population of roughly 60.5 million, Italy’s testing per capita is on par with South Korea — about 1 in every 104.

https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/04/02/826368789/fact-check-trump-claims-u-s-testing-for-coronavirus-most-per-capita-its-not

TOCB
Member

In 2016, Hillary Clinton put forth more policy positions than anyone in either party. Yet, the press insisted that they didn’t know why she was running for president. In 2020, Elizabeth Warren put forth more policy positions than anyone is either party. Yet, she received less than 15% of the vote in almost every primary contest. What is the primary thing these two candidates have in common?

It is too late for a female president in 2020. However, along with all of the other changes that will result from COVID-19, the advantages of having a female president MIGHT become more obvious. What are the advantages? There are many, but the most glaring one is that a female president would bring more compassion, caring and harmony to the federal government and the world. Imagine, if you will, what could be achieved in the world IF the most powerful man in the world, was a wo’man.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/obama-touts-elizabeth-warrens-coronavirus-recovery-proposals/ar-BB12eWoM?ocid=spartandhp

Kalima
Admin

The U.S. was beset by denial and dysfunction as the coronavirus raged
From the Oval Office to the CDC, political and institutional failures cascaded through the system and opportunities to mitigate the pandemic were lost.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2020/04/04/coronavirus-government-dysfunction/

Kalima
Admin

Tokyo going into lockdown tomorrow until the 6th of May. A month too late.

Hope everyone is well and doing ok?

Stay well and stay safe.

Happy Easter, Passover and Ramadan.

Hope to see you again soon.

TOCB
Member

I think forces are at work to reveal to the world that we are all connected, and in order for humans to reach a higher level of consciousness, we have to practice LOVE.

Be safe and be well.

Kalima
Admin

Thanks.

Especially at a time like this we should think of others who are more vulnerable than we are in our own country and abroad. I spent most of yesterday connecting with family and friends around the world to make sure they were doing ok. It felt good. We all want to survive this and hope we do.

Our business is closed for 4 weeks while we wait for the number of cases to drop. No word of government help yet. Some small businesses are refusing to close because the government has no power to demand that they do like in the U.K. and the U.S.

I saw young people passing by my house and wondered why they were out so early in the morning. In a city with over 13 million people, I pray that everyone will think of others and do the right thing. Helicopters have been flying over since last night. It’s eerie for a city that never sleeps.

No Golden Week this year.

Take care.

TOCB
Member

Of course trump has a rubber arm, and he uses it every day to pat himself on the back for acting so swiftly to ban travel to the USA from China. And no one can remain in trump’s orbit unless they too praise him for that every day. At this point it is more important what we do now and going forward, than what trump did or did not do early-on.

However, here are the FACTS:

The US intelligence community was warning President Donald Trump about an impending pandemic as early as January, The Washington Post reported.
Officials were giving Trump classified briefings on the matter at the same time the president was publicly downplaying the risk of the novel coronavirus and insisting the US was well prepared to handle the outbreak.
“The system was blinking red,” a US official told The Post. “Donald Trump may not have been expecting this, but a lot of other people in the government were — they just couldn’t get him to do anything about it.”

https://www.businessinsider.com/coronavirus-intelligence-warned-trump-of-pandemic-in-january-2020-3

Travel data of passengers arriving in the United States from China during the critical period in December, January and February, when the disease took hold in that country, shows a stunning 759,493 people entered the U.S.
“This is an astonishing number in a short period of time, illustrating how globalized our world has become. Just as people can hop continents with amazing ease, the infections they carry can too,” said Dr. Vinayak Kumar, an internal medicine resident at the Mayo Clinic and a contributor to the ABC News Medical Unit.
Those travelers from China included more than 228,000 Americans returning home and hundreds of thousands of Chinese nationals arriving for business, academics, tourism or to visit family.

President Donald Trump restricted travel from China effective Feb. 2, which likely saved lives. But by the time the president acted, much of the damage had already been unleashed, and some 18,000 Americans returned home from China in February and March, after the restrictions were in place. It’s unclear how intensive, if at all, the screening was for the Americans coming home at that point.

The data, gleaned from Commerce Department records and additional information compiled by U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the request of ABC News, represents the most detailed accounting yet of travelers coming into the U.S. from China and other countries where the virus quickly spread.
ABC News examined data from December, January and February on travelers entering the U.S. from eight of the hardest-hit countries: 343,402 arrived from Italy, 418,848 from Spain and about 1.9 million more came from Britain.

Combined with those from China, that’s more than 3.4 million people from just four countries — nearly half, about 1.5 million, Americans returning home. Travel from Italy and Spain wasn’t shut down until March 13, with U.K. arrivals restricted a few days later.
The data shows how a highly communicable disease can quickly move throughout an interconnected global community, spreading across the globe in a matter of hours. The novel coronavirus was off to the races before the international community knew what had hit it.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/travel/news/disaster-in-motion-34-million-travelers-poured-into-us-as-covid-19-pandemic-erupted/ar-BB125igw?ocid=spartandhp

We also have to fact-check the fact checkers. Factcheck.org recently reported that it is false that the trump administration cut the funding for pandemic monitoring.

As the COVID-19 disease caused by the new coronavirus has spread around the world, a number of politicians, news organizations and public figures have made the false claim that the Trump administration cut the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s anti-pandemic work in over 40 countries to just 10. The CDC told us that’s not true.
The claim appears to have been based solely on outdated news reports from early 2018 that said the CDC was preparing to dramatically reduce its work helping to prevent infectious-disease epidemics. Those reports said much of that work on the Global Health Security Agenda, a pact between over 60 nations that began in 2014, had been funded by a five-year, nearly $600 million supplemental package that was dwindling. That one-time funding, which Congress originally appropriated in response to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa in 2014, ran out at the end of September 2019.

https://www.factcheck.org/2020/03/false-claim-about-cdcs-global-anti-pandemic-work/

However, it appears that factcheck.org is factually incorrect. Here is why.

The truth? Right here:
President Reagan, in 1981, spent all or part of 42 days away from the White House “on vacation” at his home in Santa Barbara, Calif, according to Knoller. President Reagan and his wife, Nancy, also spent three or four days around New Year’s Day each year in Palm Springs, Calif., at the home of philanthropist Walter Annenberg. (In 1993 the late Mr. Annenberg founded the nonpartisan Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, which is FactCheck.org’s parent organization.)
So there you have it, in FactCheck’s own words — they’re connected to Ronald Reagan through Walter Annenberg.

https://timpanogos.blog/2012/12/23/factcheck-org-comes-clean-on-political-affiliations/

In spite of the factcheck.org claim that the trump administration did not cut funding to PREDICT, they IN FACT DID.

Again, here are the facts:

United States Senators Angus King (I-Maine) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) sent a letter to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) today requesting information regarding the agency’s recent decision to shutter PREDICT, a program established to identify and combat viruses that may generate global public health emergencies, such as the recent coronavirus.
The joint letter follows-up on a November request from Senator King, who asked for information on USAID’s decision to end PREDICT. In response to Senator King’s initial letter, USAID indicated that it intends to initiate a successor project – but just two months away from the project’s March 2020 closure, no additional details regarding this replacement have been released.
“Addressing and preventing the spread of coronavirus and potential pandemic disease outbreaks is a serious matter that requires adequate resources for and cooperation between experts throughout the federal government,” the lawmakers wrote in part. “That is why we write today to request information about the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) recent decision to shutter PREDICT, a program established to identify and combat viruses with the capacity to generate global pandemics.”
The USAID PREDICT program – launched in 2009 after the 2005 H5N1 bird flu sparked global fears of an epidemic – was designed to help identify and combat emerging pandemic threats like coronavirus. From 2009 to 2019, the PREDICT program identified nearly 1,000 new viruses, including a new strain of Ebola; trained roughly 5,000 people around the world to identify new diseases; and improved or developed 60 research laboratories. Despite its success, and just months before the emergence of 2019-nCoV, USAID announced that it would cease funding the PREDICT program. USAID has indicated that it intends to initiate a successor to PREDICT, but with no new details, Senators King and Warren are concerned that critical momentum will be lost.

https://globalbiodefense.com/2020/02/04/shutdown-of-predict-infectious-disease-program-challenged-by-senators-warren-and-king/

AdLib
Admin

Thanks TOCB for really laying out this case that Trump undermined the systems we did have in place to prevent a pandemic and didn’t act for months purely out of narcissism and greed for re-election.

Can you imagine how reduced the financial and medical devastation of COVID-19 would have been in the US if any other president had been in office and acted immediately in late December when this was clearly on the radar?

And if the PREDICT program had been fully funded and in place?

And the way Trump is using politics and petty spite to withhold ventilators and equipment from Dem states where the need is greater right now is just plain evil.

Trump has directly caused and will continue to cause deaths of Americans. He is and will be responsible for mass murder. And his morally corrupt mob and party, who happily declare that people should die to prop up the economy and help re-elect Trump, are just as evil and mentally ill.

These are such dark days and leading up to November, I am prepared for much more evil and devastation coming from Trump.

People need to keep it together between now and Nov, tune out from the news for a while if needed, definitely avoid watching Trump’s propaganda tv series masquerading as COVID-19 news conferences, do whatever keeps the stress down and the social distancing going but come Nov., GOTV (by absentee and mail would still be best) and invest time and energy in supporting Biden against Trump.

We will get through this dark time as Americans and the world have before but it will take strength, courage, strategy and determination.

TOCB
Member

but come Nov., GOTV (by absentee and mail would still be best) and invest time and energy in supporting Biden against Trump.

Republicans across the spectrum are doing everything they can to prevent as many people from voting as they can. Rather than postponing the Wisconsin primaries, the republican controlled legislature in that state is requiring them to go on today in spite of the social distancing order by all levels of the government, and conservatives on the Supreme Court refused to expand the time to allow voting by mail.

For decades, republicans have attempted to allow as few people to vote as possible, in order to improve republicans chances of winning elections.

TOCB
Member

Do we REALLY expect someone who is in an office as a public servant, to serve the public if they don’t care about the public?

TOCB
Member

What is the argument for NOT suspending short-selling during a financial crisis? Personally, I am against short-selling at ANY time, because all it does is to provide a tool for large fund traders to legally transfer wealth from little investors/traders to themselves.

What is the biggest driver of market selling,ALWAYS? FEAR AND PANIC! When large blocks of equities or quite frankly ANYTHING are sold, first of all it triggers automatic program-selling of particular equities as well as the entire market. And depending on the timing of trades, which are controlled by market makers, it allows those who have the power to control trading, to manipulate trades to their advantage.

https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/sec-chairman-not-banning-short-selling-coronavirus-stock-market-swings-2020-3-1029045615

The highest-ranking regulator on Wall Street said that he doesn’t think the US should do away with short selling, or betting against the stock market, even amid recent volatility brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
“We shouldn’t be banning short selling,” Jay Clayton, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, said in a Monday interview with CNBC. “You need to be able to be on the short side of the market in order to facilitate ordinary market trading.”
Markets have been roiled in recent weeks as the coronavirus pandemic spooks investors. In light of the increased volatility, a number of other countries including the UK, Spain, Italy, and South Korea have recently imposed rules that limit short selling amid the coronavirus pandemic.

At this point it is probably too late to ban short-selling because a lot of damage has already been done. There is already a mechanism to automatically suspend ALL trading, when the broader market drops by certain percentages between sessions. What is the logic for NOT also suspending short-selling as a mechanism for triggering a market shut-down???

Steppenwolf
Member

The November Elections,
What do we know?

Trump will lose the popular vote.
Trump will proclaim victory immediately.
Mitch McConnell will change the rules.
John Roberts will do what he is told.
President Obama will offer congratulations.
A-Rod and Kanye will get facetime.
Evangelicals will say it was God’s will.
Pelosi wants the pens.
Millions won’t riot.
Tens of thousands will have died.
The markets will skyrocket.
The markets will crash.
Rockets will blow up on the pad.
The MSM will say it was inevitable.
The blog press will quote Twitter numbers.
The wealthy will hoard.
The rich will get a bailout.
Barr will rewrite the Constitution.
Sessions will recuse himself.
Tyranny will be the norm.
And hate all the more.
Hope will be lost.
First Nations will be last.
The smoke will still linger.
The tears will be fresh.
No one will remember heros past.
We will finally see the true cost.

TOCB
Member

Trump fires the intelligence IG because the IG said the Ukraine whistleblower’s complaint was credible and urgent and that it should be investigated by Congress, as the law requires. Who is surprised by this? And why shouldn’t trump do this, when he has been shown that he can do whatever he wants to d? Who is going to stop him?

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/democrats-slam-trumps-dead-of-night-decision-to-fire-intelligence-community-ig/ar-BB12aozD?ocid=spartandhp

What I am waiting to witness is an Al Pacino moment from someone in the press or in Congress, when trump says someone is a disgrace, to say “YOU ARE A DISGRACE!”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9pEqEy80RA

Or at least a Joe Wilson moment where he tell Obama, ” You LIE!”

TOCB
Member

This is not a time for saying I told you so; or is it? The unique American health insurance model is to pay premiums to the private health insurance industry when we are young and healthy, and when we get old and need healthcare more, we depend on the government to take care of our health. There may be a more inefficient way of providing healthcare for a society, but I can’t for the life of me think of one.

So now the question for Joe Biden and so-called moderate Democrats, as well as so-called small government conservatives is how do you like your employer-based health insurance now? OR, is “socialism” sounding a little better to you now?

The tragic effects of our battle with the novel coronavirus are seemingly endless. But arguably the most mind-blowing is this: the very pandemic that threatens to infect and kill millions is simultaneously causing many to also lose their health coverage at their gravest time of need.
Here’s how: the virus has caused a public health crisis so severe that people have been forced to stay home, causing businesses to shutter and lay off workers. And with roughly half of Americans getting their health insurance from their employer, these layoffs mean not only losing their income but also their medical coverage. In other words, just as our need for medical care skyrockets in the face of a global pandemic, fewer will have health insurance or be able to afford it. According to one recent report, the cost of treatment for Covid-19 can run around $35,000. As the patient in the report exclaimed: “I was pretty sticker-shocked. I personally don’t know anybody who has that kind of money.”

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/27/coronavirus-pandemic-americans-health-insurance

I still think that Joe Biden is a better candidate than Sanders to run against trump, but he needs to drop that protecting the ACA bullshit (which btw, the trump administration is currently trying to have it declared unconstitutional, while at the same time telling Americans to sign up for it).

The worsening coronavirus outbreak may be stretching the limits of the U.S. health care system and overwhelming state governments, but that isn’t deterring a group of 18 state attorneys general from plowing ahead with a lawsuit that could overturn the Affordable Care Act within a year—a move that could disrupt the health care system at a time of deep crisis.
This fall, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is slated to argue in the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of 17 Republican attorneys general—and against 21 Democratic attorneys general—that Obamacare is unconstitutional and must be struck down immediately.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/gop-plows-forward-on-plans-to-kill-obamacare-coronavirus-pandemic-be-damned

Most Democrats have always wanted universal single payer. They just didn’t think they could get it if republicans controlled ANY part of the federal government. However, I thought I heard the secretary of HHS say yesterday that the federal government will cover the cost of ANY COVID-19 related healthcare cost. Although I don’t know how the executive branch of the government can simply decree that, I support it and it sounds a lot like universal single payer, except specifically for COVID-19.

I wonder how those 160 million people with employer-based healthcare insurance like it now? Or at least the 6 million of them who lost their jobs in the last couple of weeks?

TOCB
Member

Remember when you were VP and lived through H1N1 and Ebola?” Crenshaw wrote Thursday. “You could have added more PPE [personal protective equipment] to national stockpiles right? But you didn’t?”

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/dan-crenshaw-slams-biden-ex-obama-aide-for-criticizing-us-coronavirus-response/ar-BB126iDk?ocid=spartandhp

Politics has a great effect on our lives, including how our government is managed. Although it is probably not wise to allow politics to influence governmental decisions, we know it happens. Speaking the truth SHOULD NOT be confused or conflated with “politics”.

“Donald Trump’s Acting Navy Secretary shot the messenger – a commanding officer who was faithful to both his national security mission and his duty to care for his sailors, and who rightly focused attention on a broader concern about how to maintain military readiness during this pandemic,” Biden said in a statement to Reuters.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/biden-trump-administration-showed-poor-judgment-in-removing-warship-commander/ar-BB126czp?ocid=spartandhp

Although Biden’s comment COULD BE taken as a political statement, it is also a true statement, and I suppose Congressman Crenshaw’s statement(s) could be “his” truth, even though they are also political. It is definitely hypocritical to chastise someone for being political, while being political yourself.

Kalima
Admin

Why do networks continue to give him airtime? Just edit him out.

Commander of confusion: Trump sows uncertainty and seeks to cast blame in coronavirus crisis
Trump’s machinations have a dogged showman’s quality, trying to erase memories from his two months of playing down the covid-19 threat.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/commander-of-confusion-trump-sows-uncertainty-and-seeks-to-cast-blame-in-coronavirus-crisis/2020/04/02/fc2db084-7431-11ea-85cb-8670579b863d_story.html

TOCB
Member

Whatever the outcome of this pandemic is, trump’s future is severely jeopardized IF he is not re-elected, and ALL of his statements and decisions are based on that reality, and THAT reality is something the rest of us have to contend with, whether we like it or not. Our challenge is to find effective ways to contend with it.

Kalima
Admin

The only way is to listen only to the experts at home and abroad. He was already the worst “president” ever and now he is a monster. Those investigation on his response to this crisis will go down in infamy as future history is written. He wanted to be famous and now his incompetence, his lack of humanity and motivation for revenge will ensure it. The republicans who voted to acquit him are as culpable as he is. He should resign.

I now have to ignore his media hogging completely, and feel more sane because of it.

Hope that you and your family are ok. Stay safe.

TOCB
Member

Thank you Kalima. And you and yours as well. I am one of those stupid people who believe we are all connected and are co-creators of our realities, so I have to love EVEN trump. I don’t have to like what he says and does, but I have to love him as a human. He too is a projection of the source of consciousness, but he operates at a very low frequency.

Other than his very declining base, I don’t think anyone else gives any credence to what he says.

kesmarn
Admin

If your beliefs make you “stupid,” TOCB, count me among the stupid as well. It’s hard for me to use the word “love” in regard to Trump, but I suppose I would say that I wish him the best in this sense: I wish that he would discover what love is before he dies. Because it’s pretty obvious that he’s never given or received it at any point in his entire life.

TOCB
Member

Despite having committed to transferring 2,000 ventilators in military stocks to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Health and Human Services to fight the coronavirus outbreak, the Pentagon has not shipped any of them because the agencies have not asked for them or provided a shipping location, the Pentagon’s top logistics official said Tuesday.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/pentagon-says-it-still-hasnt-sent-ventilators-because-it-hasnt-been-told-where-to-send-them/ar-BB11YQHp?ocid=spartandhp

Trump is lying when he says the federal government is providing equipment to the states to combat COVID-19. His excuse for lying is that the governors of the states don’t know what they need, and that trump knows best. It is all about trump, and because of that the USA has far more cases of the virus than any other nation, and there is STILL no coordinated effort on the part of the federal government to mitigate the spread of the disease.

EVERYTHING that has been done, has been done by mayors, county judges and governors. So when Pence and others stand at the podium every day and praise trump for his “leadership”, they are praising a false god who is a lying sack of shit.