Category Archives: Foreign Affairs

News Roundup – John Oliver, Trump, Bowling Green, Yemen

I didn’t watch the Last Week Tonight show after the election. John Oliver was exactly right. This is NOT normal. Trump is not normal. We have no idea what Trump is going to do. This is a leaky White House. I really, really want to give Trump the benefit of the doubt, but I still believe that he does not have the intellectual curiosity to be a good president. Remember, we had a long national discussion about Bush and his lack of being curious. He just accepted information that was given to him. You simply can’t do that.

Great opinion piece by John Marshall at Talking Points Memo. He argues that Trump was never a populist; rather, he is a nationalist. This could be a good thing, but it could also be interpreted negatively. From the perspective of a nationalist, it would seem that the fact that America is an open and inclusive society, embracing abd loving our melting pot, is one of our strengths. Trump, however, has adopted a different type of nationalism.

Paul Krugman has put my fear into words. It seems as if we are picking fights with everyone. Why would we want to pick a fight with Australia? BTW, what does “putting Iran on notice” actually mean? I have a bad feeling that we are going to be at war with someone pretty soon.

There is so much going on that it is easy to miss things like a raid on a compound in Yemen. For me, American casualties are never a good thing. We need to think long and hard about everything we are doing any time any American soldier dies. Was the raid worth it? So far, I don’t have any idea. I understand the problems with counterterrorism. The purpose of this raid was to stop what exactly? As the American soldiers approached the target they knew that they had lost the element of surprise. So why press on? Was this that important? I don’t know. We lost a $75 million MV-22 Osprey (an aircraft that got a terrible reputation 20 years ago as it was being developed).

Have you heard anything about the Bowling Green Muslim Massacre? Nope, neither had I.

So, it is Black History month. The White House usually does something to honor Black Americans. Trump was Trump. He started on the topic of Black History, covering the basics – Martin Luther King, Fredrick Douglass, and Harriett Tubman. He then veered off the subject into nothingness. It isn’t that I think that our president needs to be an expert on Black History, but he should at least pretend that it is important to America. That’s all that I ask…maybe that’s too much.

What stories are you following?

News Round Up – Lochte, Hot, Earthquake, EpiPen

lochte

I am not sure how to explain a man working all his life to be successful and then, on a whim, flushing it all down the toilet. That is exactly what Ryan Lochte did. Lochte lied to authorities in Rio. He has been formally charged with filing a false robbery report. This is a man who performed brilliantly in the Olympic pool. He was a set up to collect at least tens of thousands of dollars in sponsorships. He has lost almost all of that. Sometimes, it is extremely hard to explain human behavior.

Man, it is hot and I hope that you like hot, because the long-term outlook is for more heat!!

italian earthquake

This is just terrible. From WaPo – In this 12th-century town, as many as 70 percent of the homes were vacant in the off-season. There were fewer people on the streets. Numerous teenagers had left for good. And that was before the earthquake. As the search through the ­debris continued and hopes dimmed that rescuers would find more survivors, cities and towns hit hard by Wednesday’s devastating temblor in central Italy began to process the full extent of the disaster. Churches fell. Piazzas were ruined. Neighborhoods were leveled. The body count was at least 250 and set to grow. But in many of those towns, already fighting a long battle against depopulation, a deeper anxiety began to spread.

Yuck!!  EpiPen monopoly – A two-pack of the injectors, which release epinephrine to stop an allergic reaction, has risen from less than $100 in 2007 to $608 today. Mylan said the company never intended for patients to pay the full price, expecting insurers would carry the load. “We recognize the significant burden on patients from continued, rising insurance premiums and being forced increasingly to pay the full list price for medicines at the pharmacy counter,” chief executive Heather Bresch said in a statement. (Oh, and here’s the good part.) The debate is the latest to embroil Congress in the battle over increasing drug costs and their role in escalating health insurance premiums. EpiPen’s rising price is particularly notable because state and federal legislation have been key to the drug’s rapid growth. Annual prescriptions for EpiPen products have more than doubled in the past decade to $3.6 million, according to IMS Health data. Mylan benefited from factors including failed competitors, patent protections and laws requiring allergy medications in schools. Having a virtual monopoly has facilitated the rapid price hike. Mylan reached $1 billion in sales for the second time last year.

 

Nice, France

One of the problems we have in our society is that we love to talk about bad stuff. It really doesn’t matter what it i. If it is bad, we talk. We tweet and we blog.This is our problem. We need to stop. So I’m thinking about curbing my own blogging about these events. What are your thoughts?

From WaPo:

A truck rammed into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day in the French Riviera city of Nice on Thursday night, killing at least 84 people in an apparent terrorist attack in which the driver also opened fire on revelers before being shot dead by police.

The truck struck the crowd after a fireworks display for the French national day on the Promenade des Anglais, a seaside walk in this southern French city. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve announced early Friday that in addition to the dead, another 18 people were in critical condition.

The victims included a vacationing father and son from Lakeway, Tex. The city’s children’s hospital said it had treated more than 50 minors in the attack, including some that still hung between “life and death,” said communications director Stephanie Simpson.

In the aftermath of the attack, the large white truck remained on the palm-lined boulevard, its screen riddled with bullets.

Witnesses described total chaos, with the crackle of gunfire and people screaming as they fled the scene. Graphic video and photographs flooding social media showed the bodies strewn for a mile along the boulevard where the truck plowed into the crowd. Revelers ran while sirens blared.