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Thread: 2017 American Political Scene

  1. #46
    Senior Contributor Doktor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    doktor,

    dude, your argument consists of 'well, people have been wrong before so why should we trust any figure.'

    this is not something that can be debated.
    Exactly. Just like estimates.
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

    To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

  2. #47
    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
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    Nice. So if it takes 10 years to build one out, not an impossibility, then we put all other buildings and staff at risk? Eternal capital give me a break.

    Luckily Hilary got out before they can blame her for the next attack when it comes.

  3. #48
    Senior Contributor bonehead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbm3fan View Post
    Exactly what the hell is with this? If he sides more with Putin than our intelligence agencies then I have a word for that.

    http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/04/politi...ump/index.html
    Be careful what word you use. In addition to getting political, our "intelligence" agencies have shown gross incompetence both domestically and globally.
    Removing a single turd from the cesspool doesn't make any difference.

  4. #49
    Global Moderator Defense Professional JAD_333's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbm3fan View Post
    Nice. So if it takes 10 years to build one out, not an impossibility, then we put all other buildings and staff at risk? Eternal capital give me a break.

    Luckily Hilary got out before they can blame her for the next attack when it comes.
    The article you posted referenced the following provision in the bill, and said that it would affect security at US embassies. I suppose the author had to write something eye grabbing, but he's wrong.

    Restriction on Funding Subject to Opening Determination.–Not more than 50 percent of the funds appropriated to the Department
    of State for fiscal year 2017 under the heading “Embassy Security, Construction, and Maintenance” may be obligated until the Secretary
    of State determines and reports to Congress that the United States Embassy in Jerusalem has officially opened.
    Security, in this context, means continuation of State's long-range program to improve security at all its embassies and legations, much of which is complete. Most of what remains to be done has already been "obligated" to contractors, suppliers, etc. "Obligated" is the key word here. Since Congress only appropriates money for one year's worth of expenses at a time, yet also authorizes multi-years programs, the costs in each of the out-years are 'obligated' and included in subsequent annual budgets until the authorization is fulfilled. So any projects State has already contracted would not be affected. Only authorized projects not yet contacted would be, and then only some of them. State wouldn't necessarily be crippled from obligating an urgent project in full, but it would have to put less urgent projects in limbo to stay under 50%. The embassy wouldn't take long to establish. It can be a small rented building with basic staff, while the real day-to-day work is done somewhere else. This wouldn't lessen the symbolism and political impact of it.

    This is all academic, since the bill has little chance of passage in its present form. Mainly, I just wanted to deflate the implications of the article.
    To be Truly ignorant, Man requires an Education - Plato

  5. #50
    Idiot Mode [ON] OFF Senior Contributor YellowFever's Avatar
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    2 random thoughts

    1) since JAD made it look like I started this thread, it better have over 20 pages before it dies or I will trolll every one of you till the end of your WAB lives.

    2) just realized this is the first time I wouldn't mind seeing the first lady in a bikini....

  6. #51
    Idiot Mode [ON] OFF Senior Contributor YellowFever's Avatar
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    Sorry just wanted to lmao one more time before re-engaging in this thread...


  7. #52
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    https://www.washingtonpost.com/power...2fd_story.html

    Conservatives ready to support $1 trillion hole in the budget

    By Kelsey Snell and David Weigel January 5 at 6:35 PM

    Some of the most conservative members of Congress say they are ready to vote for a budget that would — at least on paper — balloon the deficit to more than $1 trillion by the end of the decade, all for the sake of eventually repealing the Affordable Care Act.

    In a dramatic reversal, many members of the hard-line House Freedom Caucus said Thursday they are prepared later this month to support a budget measure that would explode the deficit and increase the public debt to more than $29.1 trillion by 2026, figures contained in the budget resolution itself.

    As they left a meeting with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Thursday, some of the conservatives said that spending targets contained in the budget for fiscal 2017 are symbolic. The real goal of the budget legislation, they argued, is to establish an opportunity to finally make good on GOP promises to repeal President Obama’s signature domestic achievement.

    “I just came to understand all the different ideas about where we go next,” said Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.), a member of the House Freedom Caucus that typically opposes massive spending increases. Schweikert now says he will probably vote for the budget resolution.

    The growing conservative consensus comes nearly one year after the approximately 40-member group announced it would rather torpedo the entire budget process than vote for a fiscal blueprint that increased spending without balancing the budget.

    But fiscal discipline now seems to be taking a back seat to the drive to repeal Obamacare.

    “I’d like to see a replacement on Obamacare pretty quick,” said Rep. Brian Babin (R-Tex.). “Would I like to see [the budget] balance? Certainly. Absolutely. I’ve got 13 grandchildren, and I don’t want to see them buried under $30 trillion of debt.”

    The Freedom Caucus has not taken an official position on the budget — 80 percent of them need to agree to do so — but many members said the dramatic spending increases created in the 2017 budget measure were only technicalities. They contend that voters understand some sacrifices need to be made to gut the health-care law.

    Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) told reporters that the group will decide Monday on an official position on the budget.

    “The real question is: Does it change the top line number on what we’re spending?” Meadows said. “Does it increase spending — or does it become a vehicle that maintains our current spending levels and allows us to repeal” the Affordable Care Act?

    Other Republicans, including Paul, still question whether it is ever acceptable to support deficit increases, no matter how symbolic. Paul described Thursday’s meeting, which attracted 23 Freedom Caucus members and Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), as a first step.

    “I wanted to make sure that conservatives in the House knew that, together, we can have impact and influence on what the budget will be,” Paul said. “I heard one person say that, well, we’ll vote for this now, but we won’t in four months. My point is that the Republican leadership will come back and say, ‘You already voted for it once; why not vote for it a second time?’ ”

    Many in the conservative clique emerged ambivalent about Paul’s argument.

    “I’m not staking out a position on the budget just yet,” Babin said after the meeting.

    Mainstream Republicans are urging their typically implacable conservative colleagues to turn a blind eye to the spending numbers for now. Republican leaders are using a complicated quirk of the budget process to repeal Obamacare without the threat of a blockade by Senate Democrats.

    Budget legislation is considered under special rules in the Senate that allow a simple majority of 50 senators rather than the normal 60 needed for almost everything else. There are 52 Republicans in the Senate this year, and there is virtually no hope that any Democrat would agree to dismantle Obama’s health-care law.

    The budget introduced this week in the Senate includes instructions for committees to begin repealing the ACA. GOP leaders want Republicans to focus on language requiring members of four committees to produce bills seven days after Trump’s inauguration that each would save $1 billion over a decade by slashing ACA elements.

    Not all conservatives are convinced. Paul is joined by deficit hawks like Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.) who worry their voters won’t countenance even a seemingly meaningless vote to increase the deficit.

    “If you’re going to do a symbolic budget resolution, why not put in a good number?” Brat asked Thursday. “People are very cynical, and I need a message so I can go back home with a straight face.”

    The collective shrug from other conservatives is the latest evidence that Paul’s protest would be a familiar, lonely one. His floor speech attacking the budget measure for making no attempts at deficit reduction — it projects a $9 trillion increase in the debt by 2026 — was preempted by statements from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), pledging to vote for the resolution anyway.

    That position has made Paul one of very few Republicans still talking about the debt as a national crisis worth building legislation around. During his presidential campaign, which ended after the 2016 Iowa caucuses, Paul made a number of attempts to draw attention to the national debt and to promote his annual plans to balance the budget with steep spending cuts.

    Months later, most of the Freedom Caucus — 17 members — voted against the GOP’s 2016 budget on debt-reduction grounds. The new budget resolution makes even fewer concessions on debt reduction. For Republicans who frequently described the debt as a threat to their children’s futures, it’s a difficult sell.

    “We want to keep in mind the overall picture, both the deficit and how tired people are Obamacare,” said Rep. Randy Weber (R-Tex.). “I do think there’s a danger of the Republicans actually owning this.”
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  8. #53
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    Latest report on the hacks during the US election (Background to “Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions
    in Recent US Elections”: The Analytic Process and Cyber Incident Attribution); https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/ICA_2017_01.pdf

    Clapper & Co giving evidence to Armed Services Committee on cyber attacks (including China, Iran etc);



    If this should go in the International Defence and Terrorism bit please move; wasn't sure.

  9. #54
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    Sympathies but our American friends are screwed. Putin won this round.

  10. #55
    Senior Contributor Doktor's Avatar
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    *grabs popcorn*

    Is this how Obama retaliates to the Russian interference?
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

    To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

  11. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markobee View Post
    Sympathies but our American friends are screwed. Putin won this round.
    This is what happens when you have a former KGB agent going up against a community organizer.
    Far better it is to dare mighty things, than to take rank with those poor, timid spirits who know neither victory nor defeat ~ Theodore Roosevelt

  12. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    This is what happens when you have a former KGB agent going up against a community organizer.
    I suppose the west can't get too grumpy considering what we did in Iran, Nicaragua etc..

    Still sucks though

  13. #58
    Idiot Mode [ON] OFF Senior Contributor YellowFever's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    This is what happens when you have a former KGB agent going up against a community organizer.
    Name:  Bh15-7GCAAAJAU9.jpg
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  14. #59
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    Well funny..
    But at least Obama knows checkers.. Trump will be playing snakes and ladders

  15. #60
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    joe,

    This is what happens when you have a former KGB agent going up against a community organizer.
    eh...how much did Bush intimidate Putin?

    point is -not- "bush sucked too" but just to point out that Putin, and Russia in general, is necessarily more aggressive precisely because one can only do so much against a nuclear power. Putin invaded Georgia in 2008 because he was pretty confident NATO would not respond. in Ukraine, to a point-- up until the US began indicating not-so-subtly that the price the Russians would pay would go up exponentially the further west they went.

    we'll need to do the same here. Obama has stated that Russia will pay a proportional price, and a start has been made; but unfortunately given the timing it will be up to the next President to continue making Russia pay such a price. I do not see that happening.

    which means the next time I hear a conservative use the term 'useful idiot' there will be a glaring example right there.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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