Need more evidence that Russia is an ‘evil empire’, as President Reagan once described the Soviet Union? Iran announced this week that they are allowing Russians to use military bases in their country. This comes after Russia sent its military to Syria to help prop up the government there which is fighting a civil war, after the Syrian government used chemical weapons on its own people.
So Russia’s new bases in the Middle East are in Syria and Iran, two of the most brutal regimes in the world, one of which-Iran- exports terrorism throughout the region and is the major financial backer and weapons supplier to the terror group Hezbollah.
After the Obama Administration abandoned traditional allies like Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt and leaving a power vacuum in the region, Russia has rushed to fill it and its influence has grown. Unfortunately, it is using its new power to engage its brutal and terrorist allies.
The Kingdom of North Korea has threatened war…on John McCain and Ted Cruz. Yes, the final straw was when John McCain referred to North Korea’s leader Kim Jung Un as ‘the crazy fat kid’ and the ‘kid’ couldn’t take it any more.
Continue reading “North Korea Threatens War…”
Quick takes on the gift that keeps on giving, and one that we wish would stop giving. Continue reading “Mid-Week Quick Takes”
Senate committees have been considering the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) and the full Senate is scheduled to vote a week from Friday. Gorsuch was nominated to replace Antonin Scalia, who dies last year. As usual, the nomination has created a partisan battle.
Continue reading “SCOTUS Nomination Vote Next Week”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions today held a press conference in which he warned ‘sanctuary cities’ that they faced repercussions and a cut in federal funds. So called ‘sanctuary cities’ are those who have said they will refuse to cooperate with any federal law enforcement officials on enforcing immigration laws. Continue reading “Attorney General on Sanctuary Cities”
Isn’t it ironic that hardline conservative Republicans are the ones that have saved Obamacare?!
The healthcare reform bill proposed to replace Obamacare was pulled from consideration yesterday due to a lack of votes to get it passed. A number of conservatives said they would not vote for the bill primarily because it was too expensive, though it saved $1 trillion over 10 years.
The proposed bill would have eliminated the requirement to buy insurance if you didn’t want to, eliminated the requirement to buy mandated benefits you didn’t want (like sex change coverage required by Obamacare) and would have saved $100 billion/ year. Yet politicians who have campaigned for 7 years about replacing Obamacare are now responsible for making sure it stays in place because the replacement legislation wasn’t perfect and get everything they wanted.
And politicians wonder why people think they all lie. Mark it down–Thinking Man predicts more than one of those politicians who saved Obamacare will lose their next election.
Last week President Trump released his budget proposal for discretionary spending (deficit projections and the budget projections for entitlement programs are released later and they actually make up over 70% of the federal budget, but I digress). One thing you have to say about Donald Trump is that he is not a man of half measures and his first budget is no exception.
The proposed budget increases defense spending by $54 billion and has cuts in other places of roughly the same amount, which seems to indicate that Trump intends to bring down the huge federal spending deficits by simply freezing spending, rather than increasing it every year as has been the case almost routinely.
Before we get into some of the details, let’s remember a couple of things that happen during budget time when budget cuts are being discussed, and these are true in government, in business, and in pretty much any context when talking about budgets (even family budgets often). Every time, without exception, when there is talk of budget cuts, here is what will happen:
- The person or department who is threatened with cuts will tell you that they will have to cut the most popular thing, or the thing that will have the biggest impact or the thing that is most critical. Why? As a tactic to ‘show what could happen’ if they don’t get all their money.
- They will scream that the program in question only costs _____ cents a day or _____ dollars person and so it doesn’t even save much money. Well, that is really somewhat of a silly response. Overall, when divided among 350 million people in the US then most things are small by comparison. Almost everything is cheap when you look at it like that. But a savings of a hundred million here and a hundred million there—which is less than 30 cents per person—adds up to some real money.
Budgets are about choices. Very rarely do opposing sides disagree that some program needs money or some issue would be better off with increased funding. The disagreement comes in making choices about how much money and where the money is going to come from. Any responsible politician (which I realize is somewhat of an oxymoron) realizes that the money supply is not endless. Continue reading “Proposed Budget Released”