Weekend Quick Takes

Vaccines for GITMO

On Friday, the Dept. of Defense confirmed that detainees at Guantanamo Bay would get vaccinations as soon as this week, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed who is accused of planning the 9/11 attacks, according to spokesman Michael Howard. 

Despite problems with vaccine rollout and the fact that most high risk populations have not yet been able to get the vaccine, the Biden Administration somehow thought that making terrorist prisoners a higher priority was a good idea.

After apparently sobering up, the Administration announced today that they were putting a ‘pause’ on the decision to vaccinate the prisoners until they had time to review the issue further.

Trumps Legal Team Quits

For the second time in the last 60 days, Donald Trump’s legal team has quit.

Trump’s trial on impeachment charges begins a week from tomorrow, and over the weekend came word that his legal team quit because they could not work with the bizarre defense that he wanted to mount. According to reports, Trump is insisting that his defense be that the election was stolen, which of course has nothing to do with the actual charges brought against him. Unless, of course, his defense is that if the election is stolen that justifies anything he wants to do, including incite a riot.

After working to prepare his defense, the legal team finally quit in exasperation. Working to spin it, Trump released a comment that they were still working to finalize his legal staff for the trial.  Yeah, one week before it begins.

But it’s ok. The incredibly sane and competent Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell will always be available to their normal stellar legal advice.

New York AG Corrects Cuomo’s Fudged Covid Numbers

New York Democratic Attorney General Letitia James released a report yesterday showing that the death totals for nursing homes in New York was 43% higher than Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Administration had been reporting.

Continue reading “New York AG Corrects Cuomo’s Fudged Covid Numbers”

They Can’t Be Serious? Can They?!

As if everything related to covid-19 and the pandemic isn’t wild enough, we now have Dr. Fauci and others not only calling for a mask mandate but suggesting that we should be wearing two masks for better protection.  Really?! Should we all just get HazMat suits for any time we leave the house?

Biden Begins Quickly To Shape Foreign Policy-Unfortunately

In Honor of Holocaust Remembrance…

Yesterday was Holocaust Remembrance Day, reminding us of the price 6 million Jews paid for the crime of being Jewish. In an historic event, the day was acknowledged in Morocco, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain for the first time after each of these Arab Muslim nations signed peace deals with Israel in the last few months

On Tuesday, the day before Holocaust Remembrance Day, Biden’s acting United Nations Ambassador Richard Mills announced to the UN that the US would renew relations with the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and would also reopen the PLO Mission in Washington DC  The Trump administration cut off most U.S. assistance to the Palestinians due to Palestinian leadership financially rewarding terrorists and their families, and ordered the PLO Mission closed in October 2018.

The strategy of refusing to run all peace negotiations through the PLO proved historically successful, with four Muslim majority nations recognizing and signing peace accords with Israel in the last 6 months.  John Kerry, President Obama’s Secretary of State infamously said he would never work with any Arab nation without including the PLO. When President Biden announced that he was nominating John Kerry to be a part of his cabinet, fears rose that there would be a move away from a Middle East policy that produced historic agreement and peace. It appears that move is taking place even faster than feared.

This Is Human Rights?

President Biden is considering rejoining and renewing funding for the UN Human Rights Council, which was discontinued under the Trump Administration. The Human Rights Council, as you would guess, is tasked with monitoring basic human rights around the world.  Current members include Cuba, Russia and China (who, by the way, has shipped hundreds of thousands of Uyghur people to forced labor camps). So in what universe does this sound like a good idea and a way to promote human rights?!

Vaccines, Incompetence and the Big Lie

There is an old joke asking how you know a politician is lying?  You know when their lips are moving, of course.

If we were honest, even most of his admirers would admit that the presidency of Donald Trump brought that to a new level. Well, it didn’t take long for that to become the ‘new normal’. When asked about the slow rate of vaccination, several governors are blaming the Federal government by saying the Feds need to ship more vaccines.

We can cut right to the point and just say ‘that is a big lie’. Governors who have failed to plan to effectively combat the biggest health crisis in a century aren’t about to take the blame. They have to put it somewhere and so they say they need to get more vaccines and blame the Federal government. If we look at the actual information we have, we can see the real problem pretty readily.

Continue reading “Vaccines, Incompetence and the Big Lie”

Little Noticed Part of Trump’s Legacy

Donald Trump is a polarizing figure. As such it’s hard to be objective in any discussion about his legacy. His worshippers think he could do no wrong and his detractors do not give him credit for even obvious accomplishments. 

There can be no doubt that Trump has accomplished some good things. Peace agreements between four Muslim-majority countries (three of which are in the Middle East) and Israel are historic by any measure. Operation warp Speed and the development of not one, but several, vaccines for coronavirus in less than ten months is a feat of government-private partnership.

Yet detractors will point out, among other things, that Trump’s abrasive and childish nature turned off allies overseas and divided a nation, even friends and families, at home and that he was one of only three Presidents to be impeached and the only one ever impeached twice.

Many have written of what they believe will be Trump’s legacy, both good and bad, and there are indeed many examples of both. Yet, frankly, for all but his most ardent followers, he will be remembered in history for his last two weeks in office and his actions leading up to the riots of Jan. 6.

There is, however, one area of the Trump Presidency that has been left without comment. To fill that gap, the discussion that follows explores that area and, to be objective, uses Trump’s criteria to measure Trump’s performance.

Continue reading “Little Noticed Part of Trump’s Legacy”

Biden’s First Executive Orders

Joe Biden was inaugurated yesterday as President. As promised, he signed several executive orders that undid Trump executive orders. One of those, was that Biden recommitted the US to the Paris Climate Agreement.

As this author wrote in 2017 as President Trump pulled out of the Agreement, the practical effect of the Paris accord was very small but the cost was very high.

In that piece (link provided below for ease), which is worth re-reading after President Biden’s actions, the discussion focused on objective measures which are often difficult to discuss since global warming/climate change has become almost a religion to so many people.

In short, it’s a bad agreement because: 1) China and India, the world’s two largest ‘offenders’, are not required to do anything on emissions for a decade. 2)  the US is required to foot the bill for several other countries to the tune of tens of billions of dollars, 3) it will cost the US economy an estimated trillion dollars is lost jobs and compliance expenses and 4) all of that is estimated, even by ardent environmentalist, to reduce the rate of increase in temperature by ONE DEGREE.  A pretty hefty price for one degree, even if everything works as well as proposed and every country completely complies.

Forget Paris. At a time our economy has already taken a big body blow, even if it were a good agreement now is not the time for the economy to take another hit.


Trump’s Legacy?

In retrospect, it’s clear that I should have shared my thoughts on the legacy of the Trump Presidency before January 6. My goal was to share some objective thoughts on a divisive figure, who I once felt gets too much praise from his worshippers and too much hatred from his detractors.

Yet the attack on the Capital, the very seat of our government, and the attempt to capture lawmakers who were meeting at the time forever sealed the legacy of Donald Trump. To all but those he said infamously (but shockingly prophetically) would follow him even “If I murdered someone on 5th avenue”, he will go down as the President who tried to overturn an election with violence. 

Let’s not be naïve and think that his selection of January 6 to hold a rally was coincidental. It was not. Yet few of us would have imagined the events that followed. After encouraging his followers to ‘march to the Capitol’ and show some strength, he was followed by his son Donald Jr., who encouraged followers to march to the Capitol and ‘fight’ for what was ‘right’ and then by his lawyer who encouraged the mob to put lawmakers through ‘trial by combat’. The mob obliged and attacked the Capitol, several photographed holding plastic handcuffs and wearing body armor while hunting for lawmakers amid a crowd chanting “Hang Mike Pence”.

Donald Trump’s legacy has been sealed for history. If you are like me, you still have trouble wrapping your mind around the events of Jan. 6 and that a number, though a very clear minority, of seemingly decent Americans excuse or minimize it. In my wildest imagination I never dreamed I would see video of someone beating a Capitol police officer with an American flag and people breaking windows to get into the House and Senate chambers, and I have not even been able to formulate words to say.

Yet, in coming days, Thinking Man will have some thoughts to share on what four years of a Trump Presidency have left us. Stay tuned.

The Capitol Attack-Some Short Notes

It is still hard to process all the events of last week’s attack on the US Capitol, the very seat of our government, and on the lawmakers who were meeting and were forced to flee.

The bigger picture issues are still yet to be addressed, and our leaders will need unbelievable wisdom to sort those out. There are several actions that are coming to light that would be of tremendous significance in normal times, but these are not normal times. Nevertheless, they are worth noting, especially since they involve public servants, who receive our tax dollars, which were involved in the attacks on our government.

Continue reading “The Capitol Attack-Some Short Notes”
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