...So when McCain stood there in the Senate and held forth on the sanctity of senators' responsibilities as elected officials, all I could see was a guy with the kind of spectacular health insurance that availed him the treatment and resources needed to undergo serious brain surgery, fly 2,000 miles to give a speech and then vote in favor of depriving millions of people of their access to health care. The legislation he so vehemently denounced by day could have been properly ended by his hand during the procedural vote. He voted, instead, to keep it alive, and later that evening he voted to deprive millions of people access to health insurance while ending Medicaid as we know it. He lost, thankfully. I see no hero here...
Senate parliamentarian nixes two more Republican Trumpcare ideas
By Joan McCarter Wednesday Jul 26, 2017 · 8:01 AM PDT
From Daily Kos: The Senate parliamentarian has knocked out two more of the big ideas Senate Republicans included in their Trumpcare replacement bill, but cleared a scary one.
The Senate parliamentarian has ruled that more provisions of the Better Care Reconciliation Act—the Senate's Affordable Care Act replacement bill—don't comply with budget rules, meaning they'd need 60 votes to pass. These include a provision allowing insurers to charge older people more in premiums than under current law—the provision AARP has called an "age tax"—and the provision allowing small businesses to sell "association health plans," an important GOP priority.However, the provision allowing states to choose to receive a Medicaid block grant, rather than a per-person funding cap, does comply with budget rules, meaning it only needs 50 votes like the rest of the bill.
There's two more things that the parliamentarian says won't work, along with a raft of others including the political football of Planned Parenthood defunding. If Republicans really want to include these provisions, they'll have to come up with 60 votes or overrule the parliamentarian, neither of which is remotely likely to happen. The provisions struck down Tuesday were essential to the Republicans’ claim that their bill drives down premium costs. It did, for young people, by making premiums completely unaffordable for older people, which is why the AARP has called it an age tax. Why this matters now that the BCRA is all but dead anyway is that it likely constrains McConnell's long game—passing a shell of a bill to take to conference the House, where the maniacs can do what they will with it. However, they have the green light to destroy Medicaid, which is extremely disturbing.
Senators alarmed by Russian influence on U.S. politics
High-profile Trump campaign witnesses were absent from the hearing after agreeing to behind-the-scenes interviews. By JOSH GERSTEIN and KYLE CHENEY 07/26/2017 11:52 AM EDT
From Politico: Senators of both parties expressed alarm Wednesday that Russia and other countries are working to influence the U.S. political process — and said that the Justice Department is doing far too little in response.
Their comments came at a long-awaited Senate hearing on foreign influence on U.S. politics, which was earlier set to feature Donald Trump Jr. and Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. The top Trump campaign figures cut deals with the Senate Judiciary Committee to give their testimony behind the scenes, draining much of the drama from the hearing.
Still, lawmakers raised serious concerns about the broader issue at hand, with the June 2016 meeting between Trump Jr., Manafort, Jared Kushner and the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya hanging over the hearing.
"People should know if foreign governments, political parties or other foreign interests are trying to influence U.S. policy or public opinion," said the panel's GOP chairman, Chuck Grassley of Iowa. "Given recent Russian and other efforts to influence our election this law has never been more important. Unfortunately, it appears the Justice Department and FBI have been seriously lax in enforcement of the Foreign Agent Registration Act."
"Justice Department officials cannot even agree on what makes a good case for enforcement of the law," Grassley declared.
The committee's ranking Democrat, Dianne Feinstein of California, agreed that too little is being done to make sure people acting for foreign governments are registering.
"My conclusion is that authorities don't take the law seriously," Feinstein said.
FBI and Justice Department witnesses at the hearing declined to discuss specifics of the ongoing Trump-Russia probe, but a top FBI official described in unusually grave terms the threat of covert foreign efforts to affect U.S. policy.
“Our country is under relentless assault by hostile state actors and their proxies,” FBI counterintelligence chief Bill Priestap said. "They use people from across their governments and from all walks of life to pursue their desire to gain strategic advantage over the United States in whatever ways they can. ... Make no mistake: our economy, our national security and our way of life are being actively threatened by state actors today and every day." (Read more)
The military spends five times as much on Viagra as it would on transgender troops’ medical care
By Christopher Ingraham July 26 at 11:19 AM
From Washington Post: On Twitter this morning, President Trump announced a ban on transgender people serving in the military, citing “medical costs” as the primary driver of the decision. “Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail,” the president wrote.
Considering the prevalence of transgender servicemembers among the active duty military and the typical health-care costs for gender-transition-related medical treatment, the Rand study estimated that these treatments would cost the military between $2.4 million and $8.4 million annually.
The study didn't include estimates of these costs for reservists, because of their “highly limited military health care eligibility.” It also didn't include estimates for retirees or military family members, because many of those individuals may also have “limited eligibility” for care via military treatment facilities.
“The implication is that even in the most extreme scenario that we were able to identify … we expect only a 0.13-percent ($8.4 million out of $6.2 billion) increase in health care spending,” Rand's authors concluded. By contrast, total military spending on erectile dysfunction medicines amounts to $84 million annually, according to an analysis by the Military Times — 10 times the cost of annual transition-related medical care for active duty transgender servicemembers.
The cost of providing medical care to transgender servicemembers, in other words, is negligible, and hardly “tremendous,” as the president put it.
GLAAD On Transgender Service Ban: Trump Goal Is ‘Erase LGBTQ Americans’
By MATT SHUHAM Published JULY 26, 2017 10:53 AM
From TPM: An LGBTQ media advocacy organization lambasted President Donald Trump’s announcement Wednesday that he was ordering a ban on the service of transgender people in the U.S. military.
Trump’s decision reversed an Obama-era policy to allow service from openly transgender soldiers, and followed what was a six-month delay of that policy announced by Defense Secretary James Mattis on June 30.
“President Trump today issued a direct attack on transgender Americans, and his administration will stop at nothing to implement its anti-LGBTQ ideology within our government – even if it means denying some of our bravest Americans the right to serve and protect our nation,” the group’s president and CEO, Kate Ellis, said in a statement. “Today further exposed President Trump’s overall goal to erase LGBTQ Americans from this nation. Trump has never been a friend to LGBTQ Americans, and this action couldn’t make that any more clear.” The organization’s statement continued: “Today’s anti-LGBTQ announcement summarizes the full-scale attack on LGBTQ Americans by the Trump Administration. Since President Trump’s inauguration, the administration has stopped at nothing to erase LGBTQ acceptance from the federal government.”
Border Wall Tied to Trump Transgender Ban: Report
From Demo. Underground: Source: msn.com
The reasoning behind President Donald Trump’s sudden Twitter announcement Wednesday that upended Capitol Hill, the military and LGBT rights activists—that transgender people would be banned from military service—reportedly came down to one factor: funding for the billionaire’s much-hyped idea of constructing a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico.
In order to boost that funding, public funding of surgeries for transgender service members would be removed from a defense spending bill that would fulfill the president’s promises to increase military spending and construct that wall. Conservative Republicans and national defense "hawks" have been focusing on the costs of surgeries as the House tinkered with the bill, and Trump made his decision in order to make sure the bill would move forward, Politico reported, citing White House and congressional sources. .......................... A policy put in place by President Barack Obama, which is now being overturned, allowed transgender troops to serve openly. ........................................ The defense spending bill that is making its way through the House could now put aside $1.6 billion for the wall, but even that would only cover 60 miles in Texas and secondary or backup fencing along 14 miles in California, according to The Dallas Morning-News....................
*Big Enough: Harris Rosen spent the first half of his career making millions and the second half giving away millions. From Hell’s Kitchen in New York to a Quality Inn in Orlando, here is his story.(ucf)
*Skyrocketing Rents in California Signal a Broader US Housing Crisis - As rents become increasingly unaffordable throughout the metropolitan US, activists are looking at housing solutions beyond mere rent control, such as community land trusts -- successfully implemented in Cleveland -- and government-owned mixed-income housing projects with 99-year leases, such as those found in Vienna, Austria and Singapore.
Pierce: The Price of John McCain's Republican Loyalty
From Demo. Underground: It was an ugly day in the United States Senate on Tuesday, as ugly a day as has been seen in that chamber since the death of Strom Thurmond, who used to make a day ugly simply by showing up. The Senate took up the Motion To Proceed on whatever the hell hash Mitch McConnell wants to make out of the American healthcare system. (The decision now seems to be between whether we kick 30 million, 22 million, or 18 million of our fellow citizens to the curb.) There was a loud protest in the Senate gallery, and the Capitol police, who were everywhere, went out of their way to prevent any media coverage of the ensuing arrests. (In this, they were helped immeasurably by a bunch of little omadhauns from the office of the Senate sergeant-at-arms, one of whom was so insufferable that he was even money to get thrown out a window.) That was really ugly...
But the ugliest thing to witness on a very ugly day in the United States Senate was what John McCain did to what was left of his legacy as a national figure. He flew all the way across the country, leaving his high-end government healthcare behind in Arizona, in order to cast the deciding vote to allow debate on whatever ghastly critter emerges from what has been an utterly undemocratic process. He flew all the way across the country in order to facilitate the process of denying to millions of Americans the kind of medical treatment that is keeping him alive, and to do so at the behest of a president* who mocked McCain's undeniable military heroism...
For longtime McCain watchers, and I count myself as one of them, this is something of a pattern. In 2000, George W. Bush's campaign slandered him and his young daughter, and radical fundamentalist Christians joined in so eagerly that McCain delivered the best speech of his career, calling those people "agents of intolerance." By 2006, he was on Meet The Press, which ultimately always was the constituency he cared most about, saying that the late Jerry Falwell was no longer an agent of intolerance. He was hugging Bush, and he was speaking at Liberty University. All of this seems to support the theory that the best way to win over John McCain is to treat him as badly as possible...
I wanted this to be different. In 2000, I thought McCain might be the person to lead his party back to marginal sanity at least. But he wanted to be president, so he became like all the rest of them. Yes, he scolded that person who said Barack Obama was a Muslim, but he chose as his running mate a nutty person who still may believe he is. Yes, he put his name on a campaign finance reform bill, but he also voted for every member of the Supreme Court who subsequently eviscerated that law, and others like it, and he's been absent from that fight ever since. There have been very few senators as loyal to the party line as John McCain. He has been a great lost opportunity to the country. Now, he will end his career as the face of whatever wretchedness is brought on the country by whatever the bill finally is.
Trump Is Now Trying To Get The Acting FBI Director Fired As The President Is Cornered On Russia By Jason Easley on Wed, Jul 26th, 2017 at 10:19 am
From Politicus USA: Trump followed up kicking transgender people out of the military by calling for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to fire acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe.
Trump tweeted: Donald J. Trump ✔ @realDonaldTrump Why didn't A.G. Sessions replace Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, a Comey friend who was in charge of Clinton investigation but got.... 6:48 AM - 26 Jul 2017
Donald J. Trump ✔ @realDonaldTrump ...big dollars ($700,000) for his wife's political run from Hillary Clinton and her representatives. Drain the Swamp! 6:52 AM - 26 Jul 2017
First, Trump kicks transgender persons out of the military to please his dwindling base of support, and then he goes back to work trying to kill the Russia investigation. The President’s tweets were a message to Jeff Sessions that he can get out of Trump’s doghouse by firing the acting FBI Director and appointing a Trump ally so that the White House can take control of the Russia investigation. The Pr*sident Of The United States is actively working to sabotage and obstruction an investigation into himself, his presidential campaign, and his family. If Trump fires McCabe, Congress will be under immediate pressure to appoint an independent special prosecutor.
Donald Trump is escalating in his efforts to kill the Russia investigations, and he is firing away from having to deal with an independent prosecutor.
Cartoon: What gets called "treason"?
By Jen Sorensen - daily kos.com Tuesday Jul 18, 2017 · 7:00 AM PDT
U.S. energy secretary duped into fake interview with Russian comedians By Timothy Gardner Reuters on Wed, Jul 26th, 2017 at 1:41 pm
From Politicus USA: WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry optimistically discussed expanding American coal exports to Ukraine and other energy matters during a lengthy phone call this month with a Russian prankster who Perry thought was Ukraine’s prime minister.
Perry actually was talking with comedians known in Russia for targeting celebrities and politicians with audacious stunts, Energy Department spokeswoman Shaylyn Hynes said in a written statement.
Pranksters Vladimir Krasnov and Alexei Stolyarov are sometimes called the “Jerky Boys of Russia,” after an American duo who put out recordings of their prank phone calls in the 1990s. They have made faux calls to British singer Elton John, who thought he was speaking to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and others.
“These individuals are known for pranking high-level officials and celebrities, particularly those who are supportive of an agenda that is not in line with their governments. In this case, the energy security of Ukraine,” Hynes said.
During the 22-minute call on July 19, Perry, whose department oversees the U.S. nuclear weapons program, discussed a range of topics in a business-like tone, including sanctions against Russia and helping Ukraine develop oil and gas.
Perry said the Trump administration opposes Nord Stream 2, a Russian project to bring natural gas to Europe across the Baltic and that U.S. technology could help Ukraine develop gas.
“Giving Ukraine more options with some of our technology is, I think, in everyone’s best interest with the exception of the Russians, but that’s OK,” he said.
Perry also discussed the Paris climate accord and coal exports on the call.
The call, first reported by E&E news, was recorded and posted online. (http://bit.ly/2eMg35v)
It happened about a month after Perry met with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and his delegation at the Energy Department.
President Donald Trump said last month that Washington plans to offer Ukraine more coal exports from the United States because the eastern European nation’s industrial sector has difficulty securing coal from separatist-held regions.
It is unclear how the United States would bring more coal to Ukraine but Perry hinted on the call that the Commerce Department was working on it.
“The coal conversation at this particular point in time is with (Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross) and I full well suspect it will go forward,” he said on the call.
News of the call came the same day the U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to impose new sanctions on Russia.
*LESS THAN 24 HOURS AFTER DEMANDING RETURN TO 'REGULAR ORDER,' JOHN MCCAIN VOTES AGAINST DOING THAT(GOP POLITICS)
*REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN SAYS SENATE OPPONENTS OF TRUMPCARE SHOULD BE BEATEN (GOP POLITICS)
*100,000 PAGES OF CHEMICAL INDUSTRY SECRETS GATHERED DUST IN AN OREGON BARN FOR DECADES — UNTIL NOW(REALITY)
*COPS KILL INNOCENT MAN BY SHOOTING HIM THROUGH A CLOSED DOOR — AT THE WRONG HOUSE: LAWYER(GESTAPO USA)
*26 HOURS, 29 TRUMPIAN FALSE OR MISLEADING CLAIMS(TRUMP)
*WHY DOESN'T THE EARTH SWALLOW UP LIARS LIKE JASON CHAFFETZ?(WORTHLESS MEDIA)
*SEVENTY TOP HEALTH CARE CEOS RAKED IN $9.8 BILLION SINCE 2010(CAPITALISM)
*MODERN-DAY EUGENICS? PRISONERS STERILIZED FOR SHORTER SENTENCES(AMERICA)
*THIS MASSIVE NATURAL GAS PIPELINE WILL RUN RIGHT THROUGH NATIVE AMERICAN COMMUNITIES(Rights)
*DEMOCRATIC SENATORS INTRODUCE BILL TO BAN INSECTICIDE LINKED TO BRAIN DAMAGE (DEMO POLITICS)
*HOUSING DISCRIMINATION, REDLINING AND LACK OF LAND OWNERSHIP CREATED THE RACIAL WEALTH GAP(RACE MATTERS)
*TRANSGENDER BATHROOM BILL CLEARS TEXAS SENATE(EDUCATION)
~CONTAMINANTS IN WATER ARE LEGAL BUT STILL POSE BIG HEALTH RISKS, ENVIRONMENTAL GROUP SAYS(CURRENTS )
*SEN. WARREN LOOKING FOR GOP VALUES, FUGETABOUTIT(OPINIONS)
*FUCK YOU, JOHN MCCAIN BY THE RUDE PUNDIT(COMMENTARY)
*TRUMP ADMINISTRATION MOVES CLOSER TO UNDOING OVERTIME PAY RULE(PAYBACK)
*I DIDN’T KNOW I WAS POOR UNTIL I APPLIED TO COLLEGE(REAL PEOPLE)
*DONALD TRUMP IS RESPONSIBLE FOR HIS OWN BEHAVIOR BUT HIS PRESIDENCY IS THE FAULT OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE(COMMENTARY)
*LOCAL ECONOMIES IN SHAMBLES AS NORTH CAROLINA POLICE HUNT FOR ARMED NEO-NAZI (AMERICA)
*IF HELL HAD A BUDGET: THE GOP BREAKS THE TEN COMMANDMENTS(COMMENTARY)
*EVERYTHING THAT’S WRONG WITH THE DEMOCRATIC ‘REBOOT’ IN ONE LOUSY OP-ED (DEMO POLITICS)
*HOUSE REPUBLICANS ARE USING A SNEAKY TACTIC TO GRAB $1.6 BILLION FOR BORDER WALL FUNDING(GOP POLITICS)
*THE SHAMEFUL HISTORY BEHIND THE SCHOOL VOUCHERS MOVEMENT(EDUCATION)
Colonialism and Greed: Trump Considers Afghan War Expansion to Exploit Minerals
Trump is reportedly being encouraged by corporate executives to take advantage of Afghanistan's mineral wealth by Jake Johnson, staff writer
From Common Dreams: As the 16th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan approaches, President Donald Trump is reportedly being pressured by a billionaire financier and a chemical executive to extend the scope of the conflict for one simple, greedy reason: to exploit Afghanistan's mineral reserves. According to James Risen and Mark Landler of the New York Times, the Trump administration is "considering sending an envoy to Afghanistan to meet with mining officials" as the president is receiving encouragement from Stephen Feinberg, the billionaire head of DynCorp, and Michael Silver, the head of American Elements, a firm that specializes in "extracting rare-earth minerals."
"In 2010, American officials estimated that Afghanistan had untapped mineral deposits worth nearly $1 trillion," Risen and Landler note. This large figure reportedly "caught the attention of" the president, who has in the past argued that the biggest failure of the U.S. in Iraq was not"taking" the country's oil. Trump is hardly the first president to notice and eagerly examine Afghanistan's mineral reserves.
"In 2006, the George W. Bush administration conducted aerial surveys of the country to map its mineral resources," Risen and Landler note. "Under President Barack Obama, the Pentagon set up a task force to try to build a mining industry in Afghanistan—a challenge that was stymied by rampant corruption, as well as security problems and the lack of roads, bridges or railroads."
Nonetheless, Trump appears to be committed to the belief that mineral extraction "could be one justification for the United States to stay engaged in the country," despite warnings from security analysts that such a strategy could risk further deadly confrontations with the Taliban.
If Trump moves forward with a mineral extraction plan, Eric Levitz of New YorkMagazineadds, there is a serious "danger of feeding the Taliban top-notch propaganda. It's hard to win hearts and minds, when you're also trying to win minerals and mines."
"That sort of habit makes some people rich in the business world, at the expense of making others poor," Estes writes. "When you're talking about global politics and terrorism, however, people die, and nations fail."
As Common Dreamsreported earlier this month, the Trump White House has been consulting with high-profile war profiteers who have argued that the way forward in Afghanistan is to further privatize military operations in the country. White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon and senior advisor Jared Kushner reportedly "recruited" both Feinberg and Blackwater founder Erik Prince to lay out a war plan for the president.
Critics denounced this development as a step toward "colonialism," and commentators had similar words for Trump's apparent attraction to Afghanistan's mineral wealth.
Law professor and former White House lawyer Andy Wright concluded that the Timesreport lays bare Trump's "British Empire thinking," which places plunder over "threat-based security."[...]
Shocking DOJ report links Trump campaign manager to ‘upper-echelon’ of Russian mobsters Bob Brigham 26 JUL 2017 AT 16:48 ET
From Raw Story: As Pr*sident Donald Trump continues his cyberbulling campaign against Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Department of Justice has identified a Paul Manafort business associate as a top Russian mob boss. Dmytro Firtash – a Ukrainian oligarch and Vladimer Putin supporter with close ties to Paul Manafort – was accused of being in an “upper-echelon [associate] of Russian organized crime,” NBC News reports.
This could be a significant development as Special Counsel Robert Mueller seeks leverage over Manafort and federal investigators seek to get Manafort to “flip” and testify against President Trump.
After Firtash’s attorney’s tried to get bribery charges dismissed, the government responded with a 115-page filing against the Ukrainian oligarch with close ties to Russian President Vladimer Putin. Previously, Firtash has admitted to his involvement with the Russian mob.
“Also in 2008, according to a State Department cable posted by WikiLeaks, Firtash told U.S. Ambassador William Taylor that he got his start in business with the permission of one of Russia’s most well-known organized crime bosses, Semion Mogilevich,” NBC News reminded.
Firtish transferred $25 million into an escrow account to fund a business venture with Manafort to buy the Drake Hotel for $850 million. The Drake deal was named in a 2014 racketeering lawsuit, which was later dismissed.
The relationship between Firtash and Manafort was as political as it was financial. Manafort worked for Ukraine’s Party of Regions and Firtash was a major backer of the party.
NBC reported that, “Another leaked cable said that Manafort’s job in 2006 was to give the Party of Regions an ‘extreme makeover’ and ‘change its image from … a haven for mobsters into that of a legitimate political party.'”
GE, Invenergy build wind farm in Oklahoma, biggest in the U.S. By Reuters on Wed, Jul 26th, 2017 at 7:03 pm
From Politicus USA: (Reuters) – Power development company Invenergy LLC and General Electric Co on Wednesday announced plans to build the largest wind farm in the United States in Oklahoma, part of a $4.5 billion project to provide electricity to 1.1 million utility customers in the region.
The 2-gigawatt Wind Catcher wind farm is under construction in the Oklahoma panhandle and will come online in 2020. The facility will be linked to a 350-mile dedicated power line that will send the wind farm’s electricity to Tulsa.
American Electric Power Co Inc is asking utility regulators in Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma to approve plans to build the power line, which will serve customers of its Public Service Company of Oklahoma and Southwestern Electric Power Company regulated utility units.
The utilities also plan to buy the wind farm from Invenergy once it is built.
GE will provide 800 2.5-megawatt turbines for the project.
The cost of wind power has fallen dramatically in recent years, making it competitive with electricity generated from fossil fuels. The wind farm and transmission line are expected to save utility customers more than $7 billion over 25 years, the companies said in a joint statement.
The project will also support about 4,000 direct jobs during construction and 80 permanent jobs.
You read. You learn
From Demo. Underground: Dred Scott • 7 hours ago • 1) Trump owes Blackstone/ Bayrock group $560 million dollars (one of his largest debtors and the primary reason he won't reveal his tax returns)
2) Blackstone is owned wholly by Russian billionaires, who owe their position to Putin and have made billions from their work with the Russian government.
3) Other companies that have borrowed from Blackstone have claimed that owing money to them is like owing to the Russian mob and while you owe them, they own you for many favors.
4) The Russian economy is badly faltering under the weight of its over-dependence on raw materials which as you know have plummeted in the last 2 years leaving the Russian economy scrambling to pay its debts.
5) Russia has an impetus to influence our election to ensure the per barrel oil prices are above $65 ( they are currently hovering around $50)
6) Russia can't affordably get at 80% of its oil reserves and reduce its per barrel cost to compete with America at $45 or Saudi Arabia at $39. With Iranian sanctions being lifted Russia will find another inexpensive competitor increasing production and pushing Russia further down the list of suppliers. As for Iranian sanctions, the 6 countries lifting them allowing Iran to collect on the billions it is owed for pumping oil but not being paid for it. These billions Iran can only get if the Iranian nuclear deal is signed. Trump spoke of ending the deals which would cause oil sales sanctions to be reimposed, which would make Russian oil more competitive.
7) Rex Tillerson (Trump's pick for Secretary of State) is the head of ExxonMobil, which is in possession of patented technology that could help Putin extract 45% more oil at a significant cost savings to Russia, helping Putin put money in the Russian coffers to help reconstitute its military and finally afford to mass produce the new and improved systems that it had invented before the Russian economy had slowed so much.
8) Putin cannot get access to these new cost saving technologies OR outside oil field development money, due to US sanctions on Russia, because of its involvement in Ukrainian civil war.
9) Look for Trump to end sanctions on Russia and to back out of the Iranian nuclear deal, to help Russia rebuild its economy, strengthen Putin and make Tillerson and Trump even richer, thus allowing Trump to satisfy his creditors at Blackstone.
10) With Trump's fabricated hatred of NATO and the U.N., the Russian military reconstituted, the threat to the Baltic states is real. Russia retaking their access to the Baltic Sea from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia and threatening the shipping of millions of cubic feet of natural gas to lower Europe from Scandinavia, allowing Russia to make a good case for its oil and gas being piped into eastern Europe.
From Crooks & Liars: I've never gone wrong betting on the racism and arrogant ignorance of the Right: I've only erred occasionally on the point spread. And predicting Conservative behavior is dead-easy because traditionally they only have four basic settings:
Arrogant triumphalism: The aforementioned "We won! You lost! Bush is a genius! Suck it Libtards!"
All-out denialism: The aforementioned "Everything I see on non-Fox teevee is fake! Terrible lies by the terrible Murrica-hating Libtard media conspiracy!"
Bargaining: It doesn't matter whether or not I'm a brain-washed moron...because Both Sides!"
Running Away: As I pointed out back during the first Great Skedaddle back in 2009, because Conservatives are by nature abject moral cowards, their last "out" is doing like German soldiers did after the fall of Berlin: stop running away from the catastrophe they created only long enough to burn their uniforms. See, "I'm an independent."
The big difference this time around is that the implosion of the Failed Trump Administration is coming on so much faster and more spectacularly than the implosion of the Failed Bush Administration, that we now need to include a fifth basic setting for Conservatives:
Of course Conservatives are ignorant -- deeply and malignantly ignorant. This comes from letting lying demagogues like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity take a dump in their skulls for the last 20 years. But since the GOP OnStar only emits turns in one direction, traditionally the only way Conservatives have been permitted to be "wrong" about anything was that they were "not Conservative enough!". From Crain's, October, 2015: