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Things Trump Is Doing Right
#1
Finally I can now start this list.

It took a while.

Thing #1 - responding to Syrian use of WMDs (in this case, banned chemical warfare).

To be continued ....

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#2
He may not be effective, but in principle -- the use of chemical weapons on civilian populations should be understood to be a hanging offense.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#3
(04-07-2017, 10:22 AM)X_4AD_84 Wrote: Finally I can now start this list.

It took a while.

Thing #1 - responding to Syrian use of WMDs (in this case, banned chemical warfare).

To be continued ....

I agree.

Although its effectiveness should not be over-estimated.
http://abcnews.go.com/amp/International/...d=46641107

One other thing I liked:
http://www.politico.com/story/2017/04/tr...rld-236977
who wouda thot?

Some say he should have gotten congressional approval for this strike. I understand that, and liked it when Obama asked for it. But he didn't get it. So Trump is just demonstrating that he can be a big boy and take action. Whether a strike like this needs congressional approval is certainly an issue. He will need it for further action, as Schumer said.

What to do is a big question. This is a national security issue; I agree with our "president" on that. The US and EU could take some kind of concerted action, perhaps to set up and defend a safe zone where the people of Syria can escape to. But if Russia objects by threatening war, then what? Maybe nothing can be done, after all, except to make these punitive strikes, and watch the country continue to deteriorate into nothing but a Russian base, and the Syrian people wandering with no place to go. Will Trump still say they are unwelcome in the USA, now that he has been emotionally moved by their plight for the first time?

Meanwhile, our country has just taken a definitive step toward oligarchic dictatorship that could last for decades or centuries. So do we really have any business straightening out the world? Another good question.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#4
Nominating Gorsuch.
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#5
Back in Clinton 42's time, I declared the Clinton Doctrine a week before 42 did.  If a failed state or warlord government is committing crimes against humanity, specifically genocide, organized rape or political famines, the international community ought to intervene.  Towards the end of the Clinton administration, it almost looked like the international community was going to get into this habit.

Then came Bush 43.  At a time when Saddam was just about to sign oil contracts with Russia and France, the US went in and forced the oil contracts to be signed with US companies.  A whole lot of other things went wrong about that time.  Between them, the notion of the international community organizing to systematically stabilize failed states and prevent crimes against humanity thoroughly fell apart.  The Middle East got uglier instead of better.  The price of intervention in gold, blood and iron became clearer.  Trust among the major powers became less.  The notion of an international obligation to stabilize failed states committing crimes against humanity faded.

I can still see the advantages of the developed countries stepping on rogue states committing genocide.

I'd like to see it as a coordinated cooperative international effort, though.  The US playing world policeman without the consent and assistance of other countries is not ideal.

I also have a healthy distrust of Trump's motivations.  If he had a coherent policy that he had campaigned on and cleared with Congress before hand, that might be one thing.  The cynical part of me wonders, though, if Assad's use of chemical weapons was taken as a personal affront by Trump.  Whenever anyone opposes Trump, he is apt to swing back wildly.  Now, in this case, a swarm of Twitter posts wouldn't be considered an appropriate and balanced response.  Thus, he used the military illegally.  Trump himself has stated he speaks and acts intuitively, rather than with fact and well thought out policy.  This makes me nervous.

So, I've mixed feelings.
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#6
(04-07-2017, 11:24 PM)Warren Dew Wrote: Nominating Gorsuch.

If he upholds the Constitution as written and intended, yes.  If he legislates the Republican agenda from the bench, no.  I'm in wait and see mode.
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#7
Most of us have our values, and some of us have the idea that the ideal purpose of government is to facilitate the enrichment of extant elites who (those elites believe) can best handle resources. An economy works best, so goes the argument, when it can sweat workers to the fullest and ensure that every transaction that people other than themselves do turns a maximal profit.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#8
If Trump had not done anything, liberals would be sitting back and complaining about it.
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#9
(04-07-2017, 11:24 PM)Warren Dew Wrote: Nominating Gorsuch.

No, that's one of the worst things he done. The biggest step yet toward oligarchic dictatorship. Wrong thread.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#10
I'm extremely skeptical about this whole damn situation, warmongering neocons and leftist hypocrites are now claiming Trump is "becoming" president.  Can't fix our crumbling infrastructure, health care system, education system, help our vets but many politicians can agree to drop some bombs in a country full of brown people.  

Brian Williams nearly got a hard on looking at the missiles launch, repeatably calling the images beautiful.

Oh Trump had a change of heart when he saw pictures of some dead kids yet he won't let Syrian refugees fleeing this terrible war come in to america. Trump doesn't give a f**k about those kids and neither does these snake-like politicians and mainstream media networks broadcasting the images from Syria, they care about war for profit. Are we even sure who's fully responsible for the sarin gas attack, where's the evidence? 

It doesn't make any sense for Assad to do this kind of thing when he's got the rebels on their heels and days before Trump didn't consider getting rid of him a priority.
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#11
[Image: lk040917_color.jpg]

As with anything Drump does, it's not likely to work out real well. I think basically it was right to punish Assad for violating his 2013 agreement. Where did he get his new chemical weapons? Assad and Putin say they came from the rebels. Fat chance of that. Or maybe it's just a scheme cooked up by Trump, Putin and Assad to bump up the Drump's approval ratings. Wag the dog time. Now some are saying Assad did it again. So, more strikes? If the first strike was not too effective, maybe that's the right move. Or maybe it gets us in deeper.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#12
(04-07-2017, 11:24 PM)Warren Dew Wrote: Nominating Gorsuch.

No arguments on this one.  Trust me, the libertarians are really happy about this.
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard. -- H.L. Mencken

If one rejects laissez faire on account of man's fallibility and moral weakness, one must for the same reason also reject every kind of government action.   -- Ludwig von Mises
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#13
And now a carrier group that was scheduled to make happy near Australia is going to be cruising in the general vicinity of North Korea.  Do the North Koreans need to be slapped down more than the Australian Navy needs training?  Has Trump discovered the joy of blowing stuff up?

Bush 43's popularity consistently trended downwards, but surged big time just after he invaded somebody.  A red president can get a popularity bump by exercising the military.  Of course, as people saw the results of said invasions, the downward trend resumed.

Trump has sent some mixed signals.  He's not going to be the world's policeman.  He knows how to use the military more effectively that prior presidents.  Let's see if his next move is more effective than launching a bunch of half million dollar missiles in order to put an airfield out of commission for a day.  I didn't much care for the pictures of intact fighter jets sitting in hardened shelters that took some damage but did their jobs.

There is a Tom Clancy joke about two Soviet generals meeting in Paris.  One asks the other, "How did the air war go?"  By not putting boots on the ground, you can avoid quagmire.  Can you achieve anything from the air other than an expensive feel good high?
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#14
(04-08-2017, 09:34 PM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote: Trump has sent some mixed signals.  He's not going to be the world's policeman.  He knows how to use the military more effectively that prior presidents.  Let's see if his next move is more effective than launching a bunch of half million dollar missiles in order to put an airfield out of commission for a day.  I didn't much care for the pictures of intact fighter jets sitting in hardened shelters that took some damage but did their jobs.

If you think back to the supposed chemical attack by Assad in 2013 and the call to invade Syria at the time then this current attack looks much like that earlier one.  There are two problems with the conclusion that Assad carried out this latest attack.  First, is that Syria gave up its stockpile of chemical weapons.  Second, with the help of Russia he was winning and no doubt remembers what the pretext for last attempt at regime change was.

Given how long the deep state has wanted Assad out of the way and now that Trump appears to be setting the stage for another call for regime change I can only conclude that he has made his deal with them.  It looks like the neocons get their war despite Hillary's loss.
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard. -- H.L. Mencken

If one rejects laissez faire on account of man's fallibility and moral weakness, one must for the same reason also reject every kind of government action.   -- Ludwig von Mises
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#15
(04-08-2017, 08:35 PM)Galen Wrote:
(04-07-2017, 11:24 PM)Warren Dew Wrote: Nominating Gorsuch.

No arguments on this one.  Trust me, the libertarians are really happy about this.

Donald Trump wants to return America to the Good Old Days when most people thought it their God-appointed role to suffer for the Master Class, when people believed their Bibles instead of objective science, when people accepted pollution as the purest evidence of progress, and when WASP supremacy was the accepted norm.

Donald Trump makes me glad that I have no children. The suffering that I expect under him will die with me and not be a dubious inheritance  for anyone damned to poverty in a culture that values only elite status. If he is the wave of the future, then all that America will be able to do is to harvest its past and sell it off just to survive.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#16
(04-08-2017, 11:15 PM)Galen Wrote:
(04-08-2017, 09:34 PM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote: Trump has sent some mixed signals.  He's not going to be the world's policeman.  He knows how to use the military more effectively that prior presidents.  Let's see if his next move is more effective than launching a bunch of half million dollar missiles in order to put an airfield out of commission for a day.  I didn't much care for the pictures of intact fighter jets sitting in hardened shelters that took some damage but did their jobs.

If you think back to the supposed chemical attack by Assad in 2013 and the call to invade Syria at the time then this current attack looks much like that earlier one.  There are two problems with the conclusion that Assad carried out this latest attack.  First, is that Syria gave up its stockpile of chemical weapons.  Second, with the help of Russia he was winning and no doubt remembers what the pretext for last attempt at regime change was.

Given how long the deep state has wanted Assad out of the way and now that Trump appears to be setting the stage for another call for regime change I can only conclude that he has made his deal with them.  It looks like the neocons get their war despite Hillary's loss.

The Bush 43 White House was full of oil company executives and military people.  The military guys thought the US superiority in high tech would make it cost effective to use the military more.  The oil people didn’t like Saddam making oil deals with Russia and France.  I still see Iraq War II as barely masked colonial imperialism.  This was the original neo-con movement.  Put troops near the oil.  Take economic control of the oil.

Yes, in a conventional war, high tech allowed US forces a quick victory.  No, it didn’t help near as much when it turned into an insurgent war.  The US needed more boots on the ground than we had with the military shrunk from its Cold War levels.  We had to over use our reserve forces in order to barely keep our heads above water.  While initially Bush 43 thought he could pay for his war with oil money, this turned out to be nowhere near true.  The Bush era neocons were pretty much considered a failure and a political liability.  The stress on the economy from trying to fight the war without increasing taxes contributed to a massive economic collapse.  While some of the original neocons are still hanging about the Beltway, they are maintaining a pretty low profile.

The Republican response to this utter neocon disaster is to start calling Democrats neocons.  I consider this doublespeak and Big Lie.  The two parties have different styles and goals.  The Democrats have never favored building huge bases and embassies near the oil.  They would rather stabilize failed states and prevent crimes against humanity.  They also respect Powell’s Questions more.  They are less apt to commit to war without a clean path to victory.

This doesn’t mean I think Obama was a great success militarily.  He didn’t pull out anywhere near as fast as I think he should have.  Bush 43 created a mess.  Obama tried to hang onto as much of any good Bush 43 did, too much so in my opinion.  He didn’t have clean answers to Powell’s Questions, thus he should have pushed to get more boys home sooner.  Perhaps he kept friendlier regimes going in Afghanistan and Iraq.  Perhaps it might possibly have been worth it.  I am dubious about that.

I see two sets of objectives, quite different, both of which have been called neocon.  The Bush 43 neocons wanted troops near the oil.  The Clinton (42) doctrine was to suppress failed states committing crimes against humanity.  Neither approach has worked particularly well.  We’ve had several administrations attempting to do one thing, the other, or a mix, with the net result being an ever larger mess.

It might be too soon to try to say which approach Trump is taking.  For one thing, he is an intuitive guy, not a creator or follower of doctrines.  The talk suggests he saw ugly pictures of children dying horribly, and his gut intuition said ‘not on my watch’.  My gut sympathizes with his gut.  The instinct to strike back is quite understandable.  I try not to let my gut rule my head, though.  I’ll keep asking Powell’s Questions.

Syria isn’t that big an oil producer.  I don’t see a colonial imperialist “put troops near the oil” motivation driving the recent missile strike.  I don’t see Trump marching in with lots of armor divisions, controlling territory, building huge bases and embassies, suppressing the local insurgents, and installing a puppet state.  I really don’t see Trump imitating the original Bush 43 style neocon approach.

His talk at least is about doing something when warlord controlled failed states commit crimes against humanity.  This is closer to the Democratic position.  Some conservatives who proclaim ‘America First’ and shun the US role as the world’s policeman are not happy with Trump’s recent actions.

Me, I just hope somebody keeps asking Powell’s Question.  It might feel good to start throwing explosives around.  Does it help?  If one hasn’t got the commitment and plans to achieve victory, does sending more munitions and people into a region help the region?  If we have a quagmire, and we do have a quagmire, do we want to escalate things into a more destructive quagmire, or is less violence better for those living in the region?

Anyway, I don’t see this as a well thought out conspiracy led by deep state neocons of either flavor.  It seems to be more about Trump’s gut feelings.  This isn’t to say the deep state folks with various motivations and doctrines won’t try to turn Trump’s gut to their advantage.  Still, I don’t see one conspiracy or agenda as being dominant.  Washington is in a mess.  I’m trying to decide whether the GOP has split into two incompatible factions, or three.
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#17
The Daily Beast echoes my impression of Trump as an intuitive guy lacking people skills necessary to put together a functional organization.  I'll reprint the first few paragraphs of The Trouble With Trump’s White House Is Donald Trump to echo the impression I tried to give above, but the Beast goes on into full fledged anti-Trump rant mode.  I would not pretend the following isn't partisan, but it might be relevant partisan.

The Daily Beast Wrote:It took Donald Trump 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles to buy himself one day of kind coverage at the end of another otherwise terrible week. But what the president himself described as an impulsive reaction to heartrending photos of Syrian children gassed by Assad on his watch isn’t a coherent strategy to punish Assad for using chemical weapons.

Even supporters who hoped the strike would show Trump as a he-man leader willing to grasp the saber of state in his tiny hands and rattle it firmly, it failed to paper over the political crisis consuming his White House as his staff and family have become warring factions seeking his favor so that the story has become not about the president’s goals, policies, or accomplishments, but a group of people around him who make the Borgias look like the Brady Bunch.

Trump is faced with terrible options when it comes to rearranging the deck chairs on the SS White House, and those of us who warned you this was inevitable are ordering popcorn. The cancer in the presidency isn’t his staff—though they reflect his shoddy intellect, his shallow impulsiveness, his loose grasp of reality, and Chinese-menu ideology. The problem is Trump himself, and nothing and no one can change that.

The article ends with...

The Daily Beast Wrote:I’m always struck with how a simple phrase from Ralph Waldo Emerson captures politics over time, and how it captures the Trump administration perfectly.

That phrase? “An institution is the lengthened shadow of a man.”

The shambolic adhocracy of his White House is a perfect reflection of Trump’s own chaotic, disordered thought process and lack of mental discipline, and that’s not changing any time soon.

Definitely partisan.  Definitely spun.  More truth in it than I care for.

Apple - Oxford Wrote:shambolic |ˌSHamˈbälik|
adjective informal, chiefly British
chaotic, disorganized, or mismanaged: the department's shambolic accounting.

adhocracy |adˈhäkrəsē|
noun
a flexible, adaptable, and informal organizational structure without bureaucratic policies or procedures.
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#18
(04-08-2017, 07:25 AM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote:
(04-07-2017, 11:24 PM)Warren Dew Wrote: Nominating Gorsuch.

If he upholds the Constitution as written and intended, yes.  If he legislates the Republican agenda from the bench, no.  I'm in wait and see mode.

The NY Times covered the Gorsuch impact, and he's w-a-y outside the mainstream.  Here's a quote from a NY Times article on the man:
The NY Times:  The Government Gorsuch Wants to Undo Wrote:... The court’s ruling in Schechter Poultry Corp. v. the United States, along with another case decided the same year, are the only instances in which the Supreme Court has ever struck down a federal statute based on this rationale, known as the “nondelegation doctrine.” Schechter Poultry’s stand against executive-branch rule-making proved to be a legal dead end, and for good reason. As the court has recognized over and over, before and since 1935, Congress is a cumbersome body that moves slowly in the best of times, while the economy is an incredibly dynamic system. For the sake of business as well as labor, the updating of regulations can’t wait for Congress to give highly specific and detailed directions...

He's miles to the right of Scalia.  read the rest HERE.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#19
So far as I can tell, endorsement of President Trump at this stage implies little more than that one likes his ideology and agenda no matter what else can and does go wrong. His personality, extreme narcissism bordering on sociopathy (and I am tempted to believe that pathological narcissism is lower-grade manifestation of sociopathy), scapegoating, self-dealing, nepotism, cronyism, recklessness, coddling of a dictator at the expense of democratic leaders, conspiracy theories, and overall lack of self control all indicate big trouble.

In those I said nothing about his ideology unless it was a higher regard for Vladimir Putin than for Angela Merkel. All of what I recognize as pathology in the Trump Presidency would be just as bad with a liberal. Maybe we liberals are more careful about the leaders that we follow.

Elections have consequences, and when our side loses we need to adjust to the consequences of some legislation that we dislike. So it was for Republicans when Democrats got the Presidency while holding both Houses of Congress. But at least President Obama ran a scandal-free administration, recognized the merits of precedent and protocol, didn't betray those who voted for him, and chose democratic associates over dictators.

This said, some personalities and behaviors pose great danger when a leader expresses them -- and Donald Trump makes Ronald Reagan look really good by contrast. I disliked Ronald Reagan at the time, and think that his Presidency is one of lost opportunities. But I never feared him except for some raw talk about foreign policy.

I question whether Donald Trump believes in the Constitution, let alone the heritage of give-and-take that makes democracy work. One-sided government that decides that the faction in charge is to be arbiter of all into the indefinite future is tyranny, whether by the late Agosto Pinochet or by the late Fidel Castro.

Do we have a dictatorship yet? No. Prominent people aren't disappearing just because they disagree with the President or his cronies. there is not yet a formal censorship. Politicized militias and youth groups aren't emerging. We have yet to have a rigged election by those in charge. See what happens in 2018, let alone 2020. Leaders with dictatorial style do not yield power willingly.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#20
(04-08-2017, 11:15 PM)Galen Wrote:
(04-08-2017, 09:34 PM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote: Trump has sent some mixed signals.  He's not going to be the world's policeman.  He knows how to use the military more effectively that prior presidents.  Let's see if his next move is more effective than launching a bunch of half million dollar missiles in order to put an airfield out of commission for a day.  I didn't much care for the pictures of intact fighter jets sitting in hardened shelters that took some damage but did their jobs.

If you think back to the supposed chemical attack by Assad in 2013 and the call to invade Syria at the time then this current attack looks much like that earlier one.  There are two problems with the conclusion that Assad carried out this latest attack.  First, is that Syria gave up its stockpile of chemical weapons.  Second, with the help of Russia he was winning and no doubt remembers what the pretext for last attempt at regime change was.

Given how long the deep state has wanted Assad out of the way and now that Trump appears to be setting the stage for another call for regime change I can only conclude that he has made his deal with them.  It looks like the neocons get their war despite Hillary's loss.

We only control our national government.  Other governments do what ever the ruling faction dictates.  I doubt we'll be able to do much with Assad, and even if we could, what that would be is questionable in the extreme.  North Korea, on the other hand, is ruled by a whacknut kid with a bad haircut.  He's a tougher nut to crack than Assad, and 100 times as dangerous.  This one may be on a timeline we have little if any say in dictating ... or even influencing.  The Chinese don's want to tackle this either.  If war is coming, look there for its genesis.

If it comes, how will all the ideologues handle it?  I don't see much in the way of solutions, military, diplomatic or otherwise.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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