Posted by: maboulette | September 19, 2019

Trump Spreads False Rumors


Ilhan Omar

President Donald Trump promoted a false smear of Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar on Wednesday. 

FALSE TWEET

Trump amplified a tweet from comedian and conservative commentator Terrence K. Williams. The text of the tweet — which Williams later deleted — claimed that “Ilhan Omar parties on the anniversary of 9/11.” A video showed footage of the Minnesota congresswoman dancing; Williams said in the video, “Girl, what in the world were you celebrating on the anniversary on 9/11?”

She wasn’t celebrating on the anniversary of 9/11.

Facts First: The footage of Omar dancing was from Friday, September 13. She was attending an event, called Breaking Concrete Ceilings, connected to the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Annual Legislative Conference.

RESPONSE TO TRUMP

In response to Trump’s tweet, Omar tweeted: “This is from a CBC event we hosted this weekend to celebrate black women in Congress. The President of the United States is continuing to spread lies that put my life at risk. What is Twitter doing to combat this misinformation?”

As of 1:30 pm, Trump’s tweet that had amplified Williams’ tweet remained active even after Williams deleted the underlying post.  Where the dancing video came from:

SEPTEMBER 13

The video Williams wrongly described was first posted on September 13 by Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. Green wrote, “Can someone name something better than @IlhanMN dancing to @lizzo? Because I can’t think of anything. #CBC2019 #CBCWeek #cbcweekend.”

Omar herself tweeted out Green’s video minutes later on September 13.

Trump tried to use Williams’ tweet to tarnish not only Omar but the Democrats more broadly. He wrote in his own quote-tweet promoting Williams’ tweet: “IIhan Omar, a member of AOC Plus 3, will win us the Great State of Minnesota. The new face of the Democrat Party!”

REMAIN ONLINE

Twitter was criticized by supporters of Omar for allowing the tweets from Williams and Trump to remain online. A Twitter spokesperson told CNN that Williams removed the video, not Twitter itself.

TRUMP’S HISTORY WITH OMAR AND WILLIAMS

This was not the first time Trump has smeared Omar, one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress. He made two false and inflammatory claims about her in July alone.

BASELESS TWEET

This was also not the first time Trump had shared a baseless tweet from Williams. In August, he amplified Williams’ conspiracy theory that the death of accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein was connected to the Clintons.

DESCRIBED WILLIAMS

When Trump was asked about his decision to share Williams’ claim about Epstein, he described Williams as a “very respected conservative pundit.” He noted that Williams had “half a million followers.”

Posted by: maboulette | September 18, 2019

Trump and Secrets


phone call

Washington Post has just reported that Trump call with a foreign leader is part of a whistleblower complaint.  The whistleblower complaint that has triggered a tense showdown between the U.S. intelligence community and Congress involves President Trump’s communications with a foreign leader, according to two former U.S. officials familiar with the matter.

PROMISE MADE

Trump’s interaction with the foreign leader included a “promise” that was regarded as so troubling that it prompted an official in the U.S. intelligence community to file a formal whistle blower complaint with the inspector general for the intelligence community, said the officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

NOT NONE WHICH FOREIGN LEADER

It was not immediately clear which foreign leader Trump was speaking with or what he pledged to deliver, but his direct involvement in the matter has not been previously disclosed. It raises new questions about the president’s handling of sensitive information and may further strain his relationship with U.S. spy agencies. One former official said the communication was a phone call.

WH NO RESPOND

The White House did not respond to requests for comment. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence and a lawyer representing the whistle blower declined to comment. 

URGENT CONCERN

Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson determined that the complaint was credible and troubling enough to be considered a matter of “urgent concern,” a legal threshold that ordinarily requires notification of congressional oversight committees.

REFUSE TO SHARE

But acting director of national intelligence Joseph Maguire has refused to share details about Trump’s alleged transgression with lawmakers, touching off a legal and political dispute that has spilled into public and prompted speculation that the spy chief is improperly protecting the president.

CLOSED SESSION

The dispute is expected to escalate Thursday when Atkinson is scheduled to appear before the House Intelligence Committee in a classified session closed to the public. The hearing is the latest move by committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) to compel U.S. intelligence officials to disclose the full details of the whistleblower complaint to Congress.   Maguire has agreed to testify before the committee next week, according to a statement by Schiff. He declined to comment for this story.

RELEASED WEDNESDAY EVENING

The inspector general “determined that this complaint is both credible and urgent,” Schiff said in the statement released Wednesday evening. “The committee places the highest importance on the protection of whistleblowers and their complaints to Congress.”

FILED 8/12

The complaint was filed with Atkinson’s office on Aug. 12, a date on which Trump was at his golf resort in New Jersey. White House records indicate that Trump had had conversations or interactions with at least five foreign leaders in the preceding five weeks.

PUTIN

Among them was a call with Russian President Vladimir Putin that the White House initiated on July 31. Trump also received at least two letters from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during the summer, describing them as “beautiful” messages. In June, Trump said publicly that he was opposed to certain CIA spying operations against North Korea. Referring to a Wall Street Journal report that the agency had recruited Kim’s half-brother, Trump said, “I would tell him that would not happen under my auspices.”

Posted by: maboulette | September 17, 2019

DOD No Longer Funding Border Barrier Projects


border wall

The Defense Department is no longer moving forward with three border barrier projects in California and Arizona, according to a court filing Monday.

REVERSAL AUTHORIZATION

The move is reversal of an earlier Pentagon authorization for about 20 miles of fencing, lighting and other border infrastructure that would have used $2.5 billion in funds redirected from a counter-drug fund. That authorization, announced Aug. 27, was based on what was then determined to be “lower-than-expected contract costs.” But the Defense Department revealed in the Monday filing that the department would not be able to cover the costs of the project.

DOD FUNDING

The Defense Department initially authorized the funding after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers determined that it would likely be able to afford the projects using the counter-drug funds, but the Army Corps said it would not know the full financial situation until later in the fiscal year.

ARMY CORPS

The Army Corps ultimately advised the department that the funds would not cover the project, prompting its withdrawal on Sept. 13, according to a document attached to the court filing.

KEYSTONE CAMPAIGN PROMISE

The border projects are part of a larger effort by the Trump administration to use Pentagon funds to deliver on President Donald Trump’s keystone campaign promise of a border wall. Earlier this year, the president demanded Congress come up with billions of dollars for a wall on the border with Mexico. After Congress declined that request and the government went into its longest shutdown in U.S. history, Trump declared a national emergency to divert defense funds toward border barriers.

LEGAL CHALLENGES

Tapping into Pentagon funds for a border wall has prompted numerous legal challenges, including by the House, which argued it violated Congress’ constitutional power of the purse. A judge later dismissed the House suit.

SUPREME COURT

The Supreme Court gave the green light in July for the administration to use $2.5 billion in Pentagon funds to replace already extant border infrastructure in California, Arizona and New Mexico, overturning blocks imposed by lower court

Posted by: maboulette | September 15, 2019

Another Deadly Pandemic is Coming — And the US Is Not Ready


pandemic

One hundred years after the Great Influenza pandemic of 1918, global health leadership stands at a crossroads. The United States continues to expand its policy of isolationism at a time when international cooperation in health could not be more important. The state of pandemic preparedness and the necessary steps for protecting the people throughout the world is the topic of The Scowcroft Institute for International Affairs’ 2nd Annual White Paper.

PANDEMIC

As pandemic policy scholars, with two of them spending the majority of their career in the federal government, believe – it is essential to prepare the country and the world for the next pandemic. It is not a matter of if, but when, the next disease will sweep the world with deadly and costly consequences.

TOPIC AREAS

There are many topic areas that national leaders must address to create better preparedness and response capabilities, but it is believed three are most urgent. These include targeting the resistance to antimicrobial agents that has come about because of overuse and misuse of antibiotics; ensuring continuity of supply chains; and improving and strengthening leadership

BEFORE PENICILLIN.

Prior to Alexander Fleming’s discovery of penicillin, even the smallest scratch could be deadly. Its discovery, however, helped contribute to the perception that man had conquered disease, despite Fleming’s warning that “the thoughtless person playing with penicillin treatment is morally responsible for the death of a man who succumbs to infection with the penicillin resistant organism.” Now, 70 years later, society is quickly reaching the precipice of that reality.

ANTIBIOTIC OVERUSE

The problem of antibiotic overuse and misuses is extensive. In fact, in the United States, 80 percent of all antibiotic use occurs in the agricultural sector and the majority of this use is nontherapeutic, meaning it is not medically necessary. Misuse of antibiotics also occurs frequently in the human health sector, however. The Review on Antimicrobial Resistance estimated that if changes are not made, the world could witness 10 million deaths annually due to antimicrobial resistant infections.  To help prevent this public health threat from reaching that level of crisis with potential catastrophic implications, four actions are recommend.

NUMBER 1

First, an increase of investment needs to be made by the federal government and the private sector into research, development and production of new antimicrobials. In 2014, WHO also called for greater investment in discovering new antimicrobials, but in the last 50 years, only one new class of antibiotics has been discovered.

NUMBER 2

Second, governments throughout the world need to create stronger internationally harmonized regulatory systems for agriculture production and veterinary use of antimicrobials. For example, in the United States, antibiotics cannot be purchased without a prescription from either a medical doctor or a veterinarian (for the agricultural sector). But many countries in the developing world have no oversight for animal or human use of antibiotics. In some places, particularly African countries, many antibiotics can be purchased over the counter.

NUMBER 3

You may already have experienced the third recommendation, if your doctor has sent you home from an appointment without an antibiotic prescription because your illness was viral. Healthcare providers and consumers need to decrease misuse and overuse of antimicrobials in human health by only prescribing antibiotics in cases of bacterial infection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued guidelines for this, including recommendations for patients.

NUMBER 4

Last, governments throughout the world need to understand that fighting antimicrobial resistance requires a collaboration between animal health, human health and environmental health. This idea, known as One Health, works to bring together researchers and professionals from these three areas to address disease-related challenges. While these actions require monetary and time investments, they are essential. Without taking these actions society may find itself in a post-antibiotic world. This world, as former Director-General of the World Health Organization Margaret Chan explained in 2012, means “the end of modern medicine as we know it. Things as common as strep throat or a child’s scratched knee would once again kill.”

SUPPLY CHAINS

Modern society is able to function and flourish in large part because of the global supply chains transporting parts, equipment and supplies with speed, efficiency and just-in-time delivery, which allows business to keep carrying costs low because they can order what they need and have it shipped quickly, or “just in time.”  Global supply chains, which consist of production specialization through comparative advantage, has enabled great economic development, but their just-in-time structure also leaves them exceedingly vulnerable. Components of the critical medical infrastructure, such as components essential to running life support machines or insulin for diabetics, are always in transit.

WHAT DO THIS MEAN

This means that even a localized disease could deprive people of needed medical supplies. For example, if an epidemic hits a town in Asia where N95 masks, which are used to protect people from hazardous substances, are manufactured, there may no longer be any N95 masks to be shipped to the United States or elsewhere. The United States experienced supply chain breakdown when Hurricane Maria caused a disruption in the supply of small bag IV saline. A manufacturer in Puerto Rico that produces nearly half of all the saline utilized in the U.S. had to halt production because of the hurricane.

INTERCONNECTEDNESS

This interconnectedness of the global economy and the expansiveness of medical supply chains means that a disruption anywhere along the line could spell disaster worldwide. To help prevent such a disaster, the federal government needs to understand the United States’ critical supply chains. The federal government and private sector should be aware of likely points of breakdown.

NEEDS TO BE UNDERSTOOD

Once there is understanding, the U.S. must implement new policies that enable private sector innovation to diversify production and transportation where possible. Diversification of production and transportation means that there is not just one production source for critical supplies. Thus, a disruption in one geographical location would not cripple the entire supply chain.

DISEASES AND BORDERS

Diseases do not respect borders, and for this reason, pandemics are a global threat. Therefore, the U.S. must address the threat of pandemics in cooperation with all other nations and with multilateral institutions such as the World Health Organization, the U.N. Security Council, UNICEF and more. It is believed that investment in global health security, such as the establishment of a permanent fund for influenza preparedness and response, and remaining engaged with the international community to prevent an outbreak from becoming a pandemic is the best way to protect the American people.

IN ADDITION

Additionally, it is believed that the U.S. should commit to pandemic preparedness by creating a position of authority within the White House that transcends administrations and elevates pandemics as existential threats to a national security priority. There is a need to have decision-making authority and oversight vested at the highest levels of government.

QUICK DECISIONS

In the midst of a pandemic, decisions must be made quickly. Quick decision-making can often be hindered by the absence of high-level leadership. The need for high-level leadership, coordination and a new strategy are essential to mitigate the threat of pandemics, but these fundamental pandemic preparedness gaps persist.

GREAT PANDEMIC IS COMING

The next great pandemic is coming. The true question is: Will we be ready when it does? Right now, that answer is no, because the country lacks the sufficient safeguards that have been outlined. But if the United States chooses to elevate the issue of pandemic preparedness and biosecurity as a national security priority, it could be. Outbreaks are inevitable, but pandemics are not if action is taken now.  

 

Posted by: maboulette | September 15, 2019

Dems Call For Kavenaugh’s Impeachment


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WASHINGTON (AP) — At least three Democratic presidential candidates are calling for the impeachment of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in the face of a new, uninvestigated, allegation of sexual impropriety when he was in college.

LAST YEARS INVESTIGATION

Kavanaugh was confirmed last October after emotional hearings in the Senate over a sexual assault allegation from his high school years. The New York Times now reports that Kavanaugh faced a separate allegation from his time at Yale University and that the FBI did not investigate the claim. The latest claim mirrors one offered during his confirmation process by Deborah Ramirez, a Yale classmate who claimed Kavanaugh exposed himself to her during a drunken party.

DENIED IMPROPRIETY

When he testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee last year, Kavanaugh denied all allegations of impropriety .

DEMS

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., said after the new report that “Brett Kavanaugh lied to the U.S. Senate and most importantly to the American people.” She tweeted: “He must be impeached.”  A 2020 rival, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, tweeted that “Confirmation is not exoneration, and these newest revelations are disturbing. Like the man who appointed him, Kavanaugh should be impeached.

OTHERS

Their comments followed similar ones from Julian Castro, a former U.S. housing secretary, on Saturday night. “It’s more clear than ever that Brett Kavanaugh lied under oath,” he tweeted. “He should be impeached and Congress should review the failure of the Department of Justice to properly investigate the matter.”

LIES

Republicans currently control the Senate, making it virtually impossible to impeach Kavanaugh, who was nominated by President Donald Trump.  Trump, who fiercely protected Kavanaugh during his contentious confirmation process, dismissed the latest allegation as “lies.”  In a tweet Sunday, Trump said Kavanaugh “should start suing people for libel, or the Justice Department should come to his rescue.” It wasn’t immediately clear how the Justice Department could come to the justice’s defense.

ADDED

Trump added that they were “False Accusations without recrimination,” and claimed his accusers were seeking to influence Kavanaugh’s opinions on the bench.

Posted by: maboulette | September 11, 2019

Is The President A Drug Addict?


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Donald Trump sniffing and heavy breathing during his Jan 9th speech on border security, reinforced claims that he regularly snorts Adderall to get through situations that require his concentration and attention to detail. 

APPRENTICE

Former “Apprentice” and NBC staffer Noel Casler, who is now doing stand up comedy, revealed during one of his routines that Trump is a “speed freak” who crushed up Adderall and snorts it because of nervousness and difficulty reading.   Casler said Trump “can’t read” and promptly gets “really nervous” when confronted with cue cards.

“He’s a speed freak. He crushes up his Adderall and he sniffs it because he can’t read and he gets really nervous when he has to read cue cards. I’m not kidding. This is true. I had a 24-page NDA, non-disclosure agreement. I didn’t know, then, he was becoming president,” he said.

 CONCERNS FLARE AMID SHOCK

Trump sniffing is almost as much of a mystery as his tax returns. But shocking new allegations that he is a long-term habitual abuser of the stimulant Adderall raises new concerns about his mental and physical condition.  These concerns were heightened by Trump’s doctor of 35 years, Harold Bornstein who revealed that Trump wrote his 2016 campaign medical report himself.

HEALTH REPORT

The report was released during a heated debate over his and rival Hilary Clinton’s health. Clinton released a detailed report from her doctor while Trump released a one-page letter signed by Bornstein. It stated that, if elected, he would “be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.”  He dictated that whole letter. I didn’t write that letter. I just made it up as I went along,’ Bornsten told CNN.

DECISION

The doctor’s decision to come forward was allegedly prompted by what he called a “raid” on his office during this time.  Keith Schiller, Trump’s personal bodyguard. and two other men spent a half hour rummaging through his office and took all of the president’s medical records.  The unsettling visit came after Bornstein revealed that he’d prescribed Propecia to the president for years to restore his growth.  After he took office, Trump was examined by Navy doctor Ronny Jackson, then the top White House physician. He also said Donald Trump’s health was glowing in a report last January that also raised eyebrows.  For one, his report contained the fiction that Trump is 6-feet, 3-inches tall and weighs 239 pounds. His height is actually closer to 6-feet, 1-inch, and he looks considerably heavier than 239 pounds.  Given Trump’s known lack of exercise and his poor diet of fast food and diet Coke, Jackson said he just “assumed” Trump had “good genes.”

AS SPEECH CONTINUED

Trump sniffing grew more pronounced as the speech went on. By the time he neared the end, he Trump sniffing was loud and pronounced. Such behavior is consistent with individuals who inhale drugs.  Adderall is an amphetamine with a chemical makeup similar to methamphetamine and MDMA (ecstasy), according to medical references.  It’s typically used to treat patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It effects parts of the brain that control hyperactivity and impulses.  It also improves attention and focus, which Trump would need to get through his speech.  Crushing up and snorting the drug would be one way to get an immediate high.

ADDERAL

Adderall is listed with heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine on the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Schedule II list of controlled substances. That list classifies the drug as one with a high potential for abuse, with the ability to lead to psychological and physical dependence.  The drug is most often abused by college students, who use it to help concentrate while studying for exams.

PRESCRIPTION

Trump would need a prescription to get the drug, unless he is receiving it through illegal means through a prescription to someone else.  “Over time, those habitually using Adderall develop a tolerance to the drug and are unable to function normally without it,” according to the Addiction Center, which works with nationally recognized drug addiction rehab facilities.

DURING DEBATES

Trump sniffing also stood out during speeches and debates during the 2016 campaign. His heavy breathing and sniffing last night did not go unnoticed on Twitter. Casler, who also worked for Trump’s Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageants, said Trump routinely hit on teenage contestants and invited them up to his penthouse suite in what he portrayed as a solicitation for sex in exchange for pageant favors.

SO THE STORY GOES

He elaborated: “I worked on a bunch of those beauty pageants [Trump] had in the ’90s, too. That was good idea. Miss Teen Universe? That’s like giving Jeffrey Dahmer a cooking show. He would line up the girls on the side of the stage and he would inspect them, literally. He would stick his little freaking doll fingers in their mouth and look at their teeth. I’m not kidding. This is true. He’d line ’em up like they were pieces of meat. He’d be like ‘You, you, and you. If you want to win, I’m in the penthouse suite. Come and see me.’”

 

 

Posted by: maboulette | September 9, 2019

The Meaning Of Socialism and What It Offers the United States


firefighters

I have seen the word “socialism” thrown around on Facebook when I am not certain the people using it really don’t know what they are talking about.  Socialism is a political ideology advocating for an egalitarian redistribution of wealth and power in society through the redistribution of society’s means of production (or means of making money).  Socialism, it the simplest terms, involves making more of an effort to balance the scales between the rich and the poor.

LEFT-WING POLITICAL THOUGHT

Nowadays, the term refers to a wide band of left-wing political thought. Some socialists believe that workers or communities should manage businesses as stakeholders, what is known as a cooperative, while others advocate for varying degrees of governmental ownership and administration.

IDEOLOGY EMERGED

By the time the 19th century rolled around and industrial capitalism was in stride, working conditions were INHUMANE. Children were forced into the workplace; workers’ days were long and difficult. With few rights, workers had no safety provisions and minimal pay. This was reflected in the dismal conditions and poverty that working-class people lived in.

REACTION TO WORK CONDITIONS

Socialism was a reaction to all this, and as an intellectual idea, first found its footing among the French elite, where two schools of socialist thought emerged: utopian and revolutionary. While the former group advocated reform, the latter believed that capitalism could only be overthrown through violence.

 EARLY 20th CENTURY

In the early 20th century, socialist ideals would change the world, as working people began to organize through trade unions and, later, in political parties. The writings of German philosopher Karl Marx also served to spread and define socialist ideals.

IS THIS COMMUNISM

Is socialism the same thing as communism? In short, no. Trump’s criticism of Sanders is either wrong or simply exploiting a confusion that stems from the Cold War. At the time, “communism” and “socialism” were used virtually interchangeably in U.S. politics to vilify leftist thinkers.

DISTINCT DIFFERENCE

There is, however, a distinct difference. Although Marx’s writing was a school of far-left socialist thought, it was also a rejection of it and denounced many socialists as part of the problem. Marx instead imagined the ideals of socialism absolutely as communism. Marx believed communism, in which all class boundaries and notions of private ownership would eventually end, was the endpoint of all socialism.

COMMUNISM

Communism required the state own and manage the distribution of wealth and property according to need. There were many countries throughout the 20th century that tried to implement communism, from the Soviet Union to Vietnam, Cuba to China. When economic difficulty continued, however, the dream of a classless utopia often fell to a violent authoritarian regime in which an opportunistic ruling political class and, often, a dictator commanded all material wealth and violently oppressed dissenters.   Socialism is a more moderate—yet still radical—economic philosophy that seeks to empower the worker through co-ownership of industrial and production capacity and through consensus, whether governmental mechanism or through smaller syndicates.

 EUROPEAN DEMOCRACIES

Within current European democracies, however, socialism’s principles exist alongside capitalism. In these countries, citizens pay higher tax rates to the government but benefit from universal pre-paid healthcare, free college tuition, and social welfare programs. This broad social welfare system exists complementary to a free economy with lightly regulated businesses that sometimes pay lower corporate tax rates than U.S. businesses.  This is the kind of democratic socialism that Sanders professes. He has consistently praised Denmark’s model of government. In 2013, he wrote an essay praising the “extraordinary security and opportunity” that the Danish government offers its citizens, describing it most recently as “a very different understanding of what freedom means … ending the enormous anxieties that comes with economic insecurity.”

 SOCIALISM VS DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISM

 Democratic socialism is a type of socialism.  Democratic socialism exists within a larger democracy, therefore the term.  In other words, democratic socialists want to achieve their political goals – shifting the balance of power and wealth in society – specifically through democratic means (voting, union, etc.).

 Here is how the Democratic Socialists of America explains it on its website:

 “Democratic socialists believe that both the economy and society should be run democratically – to meet public needs, not to make profit for a few.  To achieve a more just society, many structures of our government and economy must be radically transformed through greater economic and social democracy so that ordinary Americans can participate in the many decisions that affects our lives.”

 BRINGS TO THE US

Socialism brings us free schools for our children, police protection, fire stations and help in fighting fires, some hospitals and medical clinics, Medicare, Medicaid, social security, 8 hour work days, time and ½ for overtime, no children working, policies that support working against climate change,  road/infrastructure, libraries, and military/defense.

 So, before you get into any political discussions and start throwing this word around – at least know what you are talking about.

 

 

 

 

Posted by: maboulette | September 8, 2019

Taliban Talks Hit a Wall Over Deeper Disagreements


camp-david-laurel-lodge

Even as President Trump blamed a recent Taliban attack for his decision to call off nearly yearlong negotiations with the insurgents, officials suggested on Sunday it had more to do with the Taliban’s resistance to the American terms for a peace deal, and a rushed plan for a Camp David summit meeting.

TRUMP IS SLIPPING

This would make anyone wonder, who in their right mind brings Taliban to Camp David during the anniversary week of 9/11 attacks on our country?  Especially when there was actually no conclusion to any deal. Trump’s mind is slipping.

TALKS HIT A WALL

Talks that once were on the verge of a breakthrough had hit a wall over how the deal should be finalized and announced, they said.  It hit a wall over – HOW TO ANNOUNCE IT!

DARING STRATEGY

With the president himself showing more engagement in the talks in recent weeks after boiling criticism of a deal that was finalized “in principle,” the Trump administration had set in motion a daring strategy: Fly the insurgents’ leaders and the Afghan leader, Ashraf Ghani, to American soil.

CAMP DAVID

At Camp David, the traditional retreat of many presidents, separate meetings with each side would then lead to a grand announcement by Mr. Trump, according to Afghan, Western and Taliban officials with knowledge of the peace talks. The Americans were also rushing to finalize outstanding issues, including disagreements over prisoner release, before the meeting on Sunday.

TRICKING THEM

The Taliban leaders, however, having refused to negotiate directly with the Afghan government until after the group had an agreement with the United States, had compared the proposal to the Americans’ tricking them into political suicide’ .  This is believed by many to just be a “photo op” for the President.

GREAT NEGOTIATOR

President Trump campaigned on being a great negotiator (remember “The Art of the Deal”), but there is not one deal that the great negotiator has made that has shown any of his winning skills.  Only one more reason not to vote for his reelection.

Posted by: maboulette | September 7, 2019

Hillary and Trump


Hillary and Trump

President Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign website mocks 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton by showing her as commander in chief when users reach an error page.  The background of the campaign website’s 404 error page shows Clinton speaking into a microphone in front of the Capitol while standing at a lectern with the presidential seal.

SHE LOOKS GOOD THERE

“Oops! This is awkward,” the page reads. “You’re looking for something that doesn’t exist…”

HOW LONG THIS HAS BEEN UP

It is unclear how long the error page has displayed that particular image and message. Trump’s campaign team did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

SPARRING

Trump and Clinton have sparred since the former secretary of State lost the 2016 presidential election. Most recently, Clinton fired back at Trump over his allegations that Google manipulated the vote in her favor.  “Google manipulated from 2.6 million to 16 million votes for Hillary Clinton in 2016 Election!” Trump had claimed earlier in the day.

CLINTON

Clinton pointed out that the study Trump referenced was “debunked” and its methodology discredited.  “The debunked study you’re referring to was based on 21 undecided voters,” Clinton tweeted. “For context that’s about half the number of people associated with your campaign who have been indicted.”

What a great sense of humor she has!!

Posted by: maboulette | August 31, 2019

Is Pollution Connected with Mental Health


Image result for images of pollution

Higher levels of environmental pollution correlate with higher incidences of a range of mental disorders, a new study has identified.

USA AND DENMARK

In this study, researchers identified associations between environmental pollution and risk of neuropsychiatric disorders. They presented exploratory analyses of 2 independent, very large datasets: 151 million unique individuals, represented in a United States insurance claims dataset, and 1.4 million unique individuals documented in Danish national treatment registers. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) county-level environmental quality indices (EQIs) in the US and individual-level exposure to air pollution in Denmark were used to assess the association between pollution exposure and the risk of neuropsychiatric disorders. These results show that air pollution is significantly associated with increased risk of psychiatric disorders. Researchers hypothesize that pollutants affect the human brain via neuroinflammatory pathways that have also been shown to cause depression-like phenotypes in animal studies.

US STUDY

In the US study, the levels of environmental pollution were determined from air, water and land quality measurements, in addition to population density and traffic. The incidences of various mental illnesses were determined within each US county. Counties with the worst land quality showed a 19.2% increase in diagnosis rate of personality disorder. The worst air quality gave a 27% increase in the incidence of bipolar disorder and a 6% increase in the incidence of depression.

DENMARK STUDY

For Denmark, the study identified participant’s levels of air pollution exposure during their childhood. The incidence of schizophrenia was 148% higher for individuals that experienced the highest levels of air pollution, compared to individuals that experienced the lowest. The incidence of bipolar disorder, personality disorder and depression also increased with increasing childhood exposure to air pollution.

PREVIOUSLY IDENTIFIED

It has previously been identified that both genetic and social factors, in addition to environmental factors, can also predispose people to mental illness. The researchers hypothesize that air pollutants could impair cognitive function, possibly through acting on the neuroinflammatory pathways that have been shown to contribute to depression in animal studies.

MORE RESEARCH NEEDED

More research is needed to determine how environmental, social and genetic factors interplay to understand the causes of mental illnesses and develop effective treatments.

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