Sunday, March 26, 2017

DAY 65 (and 66): The Return of Pelosi

Welcome to SPLINKERNEWSMAX, the news blog that isn't afraid to say what others have said, after making sure no one got in trouble for saying it.  SplinkerNewsMax is not owned by any major media corporation, although we are willing to entertain offers.

Keep your eyes open for my upcoming book "144k: The first 144,000 Fun-Filled Minutes of Trump." (Title a work in progress and copyrighted, patent pending;  reuse of this title or anything contained herein may result in tiny twinges of guilt.)

DAY 66: Trump still has not released his tax returns. I don't know much about fancy politics and such, but it seems to me that a president who is under criminal investigation for colluding with Russia to steal an election, and who is the first president since Nixon to withhold his tax returns, he might be a president with something to hide.

Trump's was elected on four main promises: 1. Defeat ISIS.  2. Repeal and Replace ObamaCare. 3. Build a wall and make Mexico pay for it.  4. We're going to have great trade agreements and manufacturing jobs will flow into our great country.

ISIS is in trouble.  The Obama doctrine that Trump is currently following is working.  You can hate Obama, blame Obama, whatever.  But we have to admit that the overall strategy in defeating ISIS has not changed.  Trump's repeated half-promise to work with Putin to defeat terrorism, is terrifying in itself, but that hasn't happened yet and we'll save that nugget for another day.

That leaves us with tactics.  The day to day stuff.  And we have taken a serious hit here over the last few days.

At least 61 civilians were killed yesterday in the battle for Mosul, Iraq.  The Pentagon is investigating whether this was the result of a U.S. airstrike that took place in the area at the time of the casualties, with reports are estimating were in the 200s.  Now, the Iraqi government is saying that there does not appear to be evidence of an air strike, and that ISIS may have hearded civilians into one building and booby trapped it.

Either theory is horrifying.  Personally, I believe the pentagon will investigate the incident and give us an honest assessment.  It may very well have been ISIS and not airstrikes, even though we have acknowledged that airstrikes did take place.

I'm putting this out here for a few reasons.  Essentially, because it is a major tragedy, and major tragedy in parts of the world where people are more brown than white, tend to be glossed over here in the West.

No matter who ends up getting the blame on this one, it is another incident where the innocent pay the price.  As far as the war on ISIS goes, we are in a situation where the people of Iraq have little love for ISIS OR the Iraq army.  And for good reason.  Both have been responsible for raining misery down on the mothers,  children and men of the country.

It's a major concern and highlights just how difficult it is to win the war on terrorism.  Yes, you can crush the bad guys with military force.  But terrorism thrives when people are crushed.  Crushing the bad guys is a key ingredient to any terrorism campaign.  Because terrorism is cheap and easy. And recruitment tends to skyrocket when people are miserable.

We will never win the war on terror. Just as we will never win the war on drugs.  But there are ways to increase security and make terrorism less effective.  I respectfully suggest that fighting ISIS is not an easy thing, that Trump could learn a few lessons here from the previous administration, and that there is no secret plan (as promised) to stamp out ISIS.

Perhaps most importantly, cutting funding to the State Department virtually guarantees that, should military force be the only tool in our toolbox, the war on terrorism is not going to go well.  Fighting fire with fire under these circumstances, simply won't work.  If it would, we wouldn't need a 54 billion dollar military budget increase just to fight these idiots.  I'd like to think that our 600 billion defense budget is already more than enough to get that job done.

We must still be in Day One:
Our president promised, over an over, and over, that when he was president, he would repeal and replace ObamaCare on Day one. And so, the trusting public, knowing they had finally found a man who spoke nothing but truth and only had their interests at heart, gave him the presidency.  Then, just to be safe, they gave him the Congress and the Senate.  They gave him the DNC emails, plenty of Russian money... they gave him everything. 

Day ONE! The disaster that is ObamaCare is gone. 

It was a promise that many people believed. Of course, many people also believed that their health care subsidies, ability to get health insurance with a pre-existing conditions, and their access to prenatal health care, were all magically bestowed upon them under something called the "Affordable Care Act," and that all this was very different from horrible "ObamaCare."  They also wanted to make sure that the government got out of Medicare, believing that government interference in Medicare would ruin everything.

I can't believe I have to say this, but I take nothing for granted anymore: 
The Affordable Care Act IS Obamacare, and Medicare IS a government program. 

There are a lot of reasons why the repeal and replacement of ObamaCare was a spectacular failure. The obvious one being that the president is a lousy negotiator. I mean, he's really terrible. He didn't read the bill, didn't really know what was in the bill, and didn't agree with what little he did read.  He didn't take the time to learn how his own party felt about the bill.  He also never bothered to put anyone in his administration who knows how politics work.  

In short, the president is a complete failure.  Whether he will learn this spectaular failure is anyone's guess.  I'm guessing "no."

A few other people have proven to be out of their depth on the Republican side this week. With healthcare, it's Paul Ryan.  His job is to whip No's into Yes and not to advance to the brink of a vote until he does so.  Ryan put forth a plan that was doomed out of the gate. Everyone in Congress knows that whatever they put before the senate, is going to get changed, and it is going to change into something more moderate than whatever they put in front of the senate.  So, if you're a tea party "All In" kind of poker player, you want to see your plan go to the senate with a brutally conservative agenda.  Deep in your grinch heart, you know the plan won't be passed without changes, but at least your name is on something that agrees with your anti whoville agenda. 

As I'm sure you have heard the pundits say by now, you can bet your last unaffordable Xanax that House minority leader Nancy Pelosi, wouldn't have screwed the pooch on this. 


The bastard of House Republican failed to whip enough votes up to pass a bill that would have been a true disaster.  A bill that around 17% of American's approved of. He could have done better. But he needed a better plan, a better president and better support. 

But the King's bastard (the guy on the right), has been determined for years to destroy Mr. Ryan.  His Breitbart newspaper made it a major lead every few days waaaaay before Trump decided to take Russian money and run for president.  

A paranoid person might believe that Bannon was betting the plan would fail, so that he could whisper in Trump's ear, "See? The Ryan is trying to do destroy you."

But Trump told the world that he liked Speaker Ryan.  That the House bastard should keep his job.  We saw it on TV!

Then, there was a strange tweet from our mental giant: "Watch Judge Jeanie on Fox News tonight at 9:00 pm."

That's some tweet!  The Russian president of the United States, the day after his biggest disaster in his eternally short presidency, told the nation to watch Jeanie on Fox.  So I watched!  And what did I see?  (Well, nothing.  Because I think she's fake news and I never watch her, but what did I hear?) .  I saw Judge Jeannie take a rusty scissor to Paul Ryan's nut sack. Judge Jeannie called on Ryan to quit.

Our president bases all his decisions on three things.  Fox, conspiracy media, and Putin. 
So what do yo think Trump wants Ryan to do?  Anyone?  

The Republican chairperson of the House Intelligence committee cancelled Tuesday's public hearing, where former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and former CIA Director John Brennan were all set to testify.

Nunez clearly has made a choice to protect the president, rather than investigate him.  That's a perfectly reasonable choice.  But it disqualifies him from being on the House Intelligence Committee.  The purpose of the Committee is to investigate the Russian hacking of the election and any ties the Trump administration or anyone else may have had to the hack. 

If Nunez wants to protect the president, let him apply for a Secret Service job, or let him leave the intelligence committee.  It's clear he, at best, doesn't know what he's doing and, at worst, is sabotaging the committee's work in order to protect the president. Remember, all this comes after Nunez had to apologize for taking information to the president about something that he couldn't talk about but probably was intelligence reports of Trump's people talking with Russian operatives, without even discussing the matter with his democratic counterpart, Adam Schiff.

It is a virtual certainty that Tuesday's hearing would have revealed damaging information regarding the Trump campaign.  Possibly more.  The only reason not to go forward with the hearing, as far as I can figure, is to protect the president (and protect the nation from another tweet storm).

Nunez has got to go.

Why yes.  Yes it did.

It turns out Michael Flynn may have discussed the possibility of turning over the arch enemy of Turkey's president.  It's pretty cool cloak and dagger stuff.  Just ask  The Wall Street Journal .  That FAKE NEWS liberal hippy rag is at it again.

There's also reporting that Trump's administration team spent the weekend making Xanax cocktails and purging all the information on their cell phones.  Because, why not?

That's it!
I can't handle any more today.
It's 9:49 am.
Good morning!

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