It’s been quiet on the foreign policy front as far as Trump is concerned–it’s been a few days since he threatened to attack anyone–but that doesn’t mean Trump’s foreign policy issues are going away. We need to seriously consider what has been happening both outside of the Trump administration but also inside. Most administrations surround themselves with people that are experts for a reason but Trump seems to think that’s a dumb idea. Meanwhile, Bannon thinks WWIII is going to happen. Based on his past remarks he might even be willing to start it himself. Which is scary. Really scary. Especially when you consider that Trump thinks Bannon is his man.
One thing we know about Iran is they don’t particularly respond well to American pressure. If we start threatening them militarily, if we start taking military action against them, that will give them an obvious incentive to try and restart their nuclear program. And that then places the United States in the position of whether or not it genuinely wants to go to war to try and prevent that. I think the Obama administration understood that that path was not the path we wanted to go down. I think we have to worry now, given the attitude of Mr. Trump and some of his closest advisers, that they actually see a conflict with Iran as being in the United States’ interest. The big problem, of course, is they also seem to want to have a conflict with almost the entire Islamic world, while at the same time getting some of the members of the Arab or Islamic world to help us with ISIS. Again, this is just an example of where their policies are deeply contradictory and, therefore, are unlikely to succeed.
The biggest recipient was the Fisher House Foundation, which supports families of veterans and received $392,000 from the former commander in chief from 2009 to 2015. That money appears to have come from sales of Obama’s children’s book Of Thee I Sing. Just before entering the White House, Obama finished a manuscript for the book, which he published with Random House. Obama pledged to donate all of his post-tax proceeds from the book to the Fisher House Foundation to support a scholarship fund for children of wounded and fallen soldiers.
Jokes aside, I think donating to charity should be an important part of everyone’s life if they can afford to do so. $5 counts. If you can’t donate money, donate time.
Some of my favorite places to donate to:
DonorsChoose – Help teachers in communities that need it. You can help them buy classroom supplies or fund special projects for their students.
Watsi – Help fund healthcare for individuals around the world.
In addition, I think donating to the ACLU, CAIR, and Planned Parenthood are all worthy as well considering the current events going on.
You can use VolunteerMatch to find opportunities to volunteer your time if you can’t donate money.
Leaks abound the Trump administration, which news that Trump isn’t in charge. Bannon seems to be pulling the strings and the latest leaks seem to confirm it:
But for the moment, Mr. Bannon remains the president’s dominant adviser, despite Mr. Trump’s anger that he was not fully briefed on details of the executive order he signed giving his chief strategist a seat on the National Security Council, a greater source of frustration to the president than the fallout from the travel ban.
Either Trump isn’t reading the Executive Orders he’s given, isn’t being fulling briefed on what the EO’s involve, or he isn’t being told what the implications of such orders are. All three alone are absolutely insane and amount to neglect but since most are in agreement that all three are happening then we have someone that is legitimately incapable of performing the job he was elected to do. His voters, although the minority, didn’t vote for Bannon. They voted for Trump.
Working from home means you get a lot of freedom in how you dress, how you eat, how many bathroom breaks you can take, and how and where to work but trying to stay motivated to work when there are so many distractions is rough. It takes a lot of discipline and the ability to focus, which on a lot of days I don’t have.
Stranger Things ended up being one of my favorite shows of the year not only for the shows story, or how cute those kids were, but also because of the references it made visually to some of my favorite childhood movies.
Clinton Can’t Escape Obama’s Legacy – Like him or not, Obama’s 8 years in office have been about as successful as possible. He’s implemented a health care system that’s insured millions and has made some much needed services cheaper, especially for women. His economic policies have lowered the unemployment rate. The next president has tough policy shoes to fill. Trump could potentially dismantle everything Obama fought for (everyone move to Canada!) and Hillary could bring another 4 years of Obama-ism.
Clinton depicted Trump as the rogue politician he is, one who qualitatively differs from all previous GOP nominees. Rogues (whether states or individuals) operate outside accepted norms or principles. This makes them seductive to some, even as they are a threat to most.
These drugs and supplements are aimed to be a hack of the heretofore most intractable condition of human existence, the invisible countdown clock with which evolution has equipped our bodies. They just might postpone the onset of the most common afflictions of our dotage, from cancer to heart disease to diabetes to Alzheimer’s. We won’t necessarily enjoy longer maximum life spans (though that’s a possibility), but we very well might enjoy longer health spans, meaning the vital, productive chunk of our lives before degeneration kicks in. — An MIT Scientist Claims That This Pill Is the Fountain of Youth
Last year I suddenly got very sick. It started as fatigue, in the spring, and by the end of the summer I could barely stay awake. Other issues popped up, making it difficult to do much of anything–I barely left the house and if I did it was only for short periods of time. I gained weight, my asthma became worse, and generally just felt like crap. My doctor began treating the symptoms while also looking for the cause. Severe anemia caused my fatigue and after months of taking three times the daily dose, my iron levels returned to the lower end of normal. I wasn’t as tired as I used to be but I definitely wasn’t as sharp. I worried that it was permanent.
I ran across Elysium Health’s Basis after reading about it on the internet. I did some research and figured it couldn’t hurt if I gave it shot. After taking Basis for a couple of weeks I began to feel more alert, have a bit more energy. While I don’t think Basis is the sole reason for it I definitely feel like it helped. It’s not a miracle, I’m not looking for a longer life, just a better one. I’ve been taking Basis for a few months now and I’m pleased with it so far.
Republicans have tried to make voter fraud a concern. For years they’ve battled “voter fraud” by trying to pass legislation that was meant to disenfranchise poor and minority voters–voter ID laws. But is voter fraud a real thing? Out of a billion votes cast, only 31 incidents of voter fraud have been found, and “this sort of misdirection is pretty common, actually. Election fraud happens. But ID laws are not aimed at the fraud you’ll actually hear about.” Voter Fraud is a myth. It almost never happens. It’s basically zero. But the GOP is still trying to beat a dead horse (just like how they keep trying to vote down the ACA).
When Donald Trump claimed, “the election’s going to be rigged,” he wasn’t entirely wrong. But the threat was not, as Trump warned, from Americans committing the crime of “voting many, many times.” What’s far more likely to undermine democracy in November is the culmination of a decade-long Republican effort to disenfranchise voters under the guise of battling voter fraud. The latest tool: Election officials in more than two dozen states have compiled lists of citizens whom they allege could be registered in more than one state – thus potentially able to cast multiple ballots – and eligible to be purged from the voter rolls. — The GOP’s Stealth War Against Voters
Trump put forth his economic plan recently. It’s definitely something. His economic advisors have turned him into Jeb Bush economically, which I guess isn’t as bad as it could be. The Upshot analyzed his plan a bit and found that the math just doesn’t add up. Trump stated that there were about 92 million Americans not working but when you break that number down you find that, while true, it isn’t quite what it seems. From The Upshot:
But the problem with that number (it actually is 94 million, if he’s referring to the Bureau of Labor Statistics number for adults not in the labor force) is that it includes a lot of people who aren’t working for good reason: They’re high school and college students; stay-at-home parents; people who are disabled; retirees.
Further, how does he plan to create jobs? Manufacturing jobs aren’t coming back, we are no longer specialized in those types of jobs and manufacturing things in the U.S. is not only more expensive but less efficient. That’s why Ford is moving small car production to Mexico. Stopping them, as Trump suggests, doesn’t make any sense from an economic stand point. Manufacturing cars in a more expensive country means those cars need to be priced higher to recoup production costs, which means less demand, which means less cars produced, which means slower production and less jobs. How can we keep manufacturing in the United States? Through automation, not people.
So if manufacturing jobs are going where will we find these magical jobs that trump wants to create? (Hint: Deregulation is not the answer.) Infrastructure programs would create millions of jobs, clean energy investment would create millions of jobs, strengthening small businesses would create jobs. Oddly enough, except for infrastructure spending, these are not programs that Trump has supported.
Edit: It’s important to note that achieving 3.5%-4% growth in a developed economy isn’t impossible but in order to do so you need not only jobs, but people. We currently don’t have enough people to achieve that growth. The good news is that there is a way to get the people we need in order to fill these jobs–through immigration, something that the GOP wants to severely limit.