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16 February 2020

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Flavius

"BTW. McCabe IS NOT "off the hook." The particular charge DoJ is not going to try him for is the least of his problems."
So true...and he knows it. You'll notice they haven't yet indicted the FBI lawyer who made a material misrepresentation on the Page FISC affidavit either. Comey, McCabe, Clapper, Brennan are being investigated for their roles in having blown up the Presidential electoral process in the United States. The DoJ is not about to make itself up front look petty, vindictive, and stupid by indicting McCabe for spitting on the sidewalk. The Democrats would love to take advantage of that opportunity.
For those paying attention, this provides a welcome contrast to the way the political jihadists under Mueller conducted themselves - Flynn, Manafort, Stone, Papanobody. Ditto the Schiff impeachment debacle. Pure chickenshit made into red meat by an obliging institutional media.
It's heartening to see some evidence of judgement has returned to the Department.

divadab

Sir - if Bernie Sanders is a Marxist so was FDR. They are both New Deal Democrats, representing the working people against the rapacious oligarchs.

Further, Medicare for All is a bare minimum of what is required to uplift the citizens of this nation. It seems increasingly that we cannot stop the warmongers in their desire to dominate or destroy so the best policy is to improve the lot of the citizens. That's what Bernie is about.

Incidentally, a proposed Bloomberg/Clinton ticket epitomises the corruption and stupidity and incompetence of the Dem elite. Contemptible scum.

turcopolier

divadab

Oh, BS! FDR was nothing like Bernie. What, he created Social Security and that made him a commie? Medicare for all would beggar us unless we ration care like they do in places like Canada.

Jack

Sir,

The optics of the non-prosecution of McCabe is not looking good when the DOJ have prosecuted Stone and Flynn for the same thing. There’s no doubt we have a 2-tier justice system with a very corrupt prosecutorial system and a judiciary in lock step with them. The FISA court exemplifies this.

As far as the Orangeman is concerned he seems not much different than all the others. At the end of the day he hired Rosenstein, Wray, Sessions, Barr, Bolton, Kelly and Mattis. While he’s got the prerogative to declassify he shirked each time and passed the buck. His shtick of being the representative of the Deplorables is just that. He only cares about his own skin.

He’s completely in thrall of the Saudi bonesaw and Bibi’s maximalist visions.

The bottom line in my opinion is we have a broken political, media and governmental system as the people the voters encourage to run it are as corrupt as in any tinpot banana republic.

Personally I’d like to see Trump vs Bernie as it would implode the Democrats and show clearly how polarized the electorate really is and how venal the media have become. What will they do when they hate both candidates?

NancyK

divadad, rationed care is better than no care at all or care that bankrupts the family. I think most Canadian's prefer their system than ours. Having said that I don't agree with Medicare for all but I do think that individuals and families who cannot afford medical insurance should have affordable options available to them.

Sam Iam

Sir,

To help clarify Sander's world view, I'll present to this this snippet from a recent interview where he brings up modern-day China:

"It wasn’t so many decades ago that there was mass starvation in China. All right? There is not mass starvation today and people have got — the government has got to take credit for the fact that there is now a middle class in China. No one denies that more people in China have a higher standard of living than use to be the case. All right? That’s the reality.

On the other hand, China is a dictatorship. It does not tolerate democracy, i.e., what they’re doing in Hong Kong. They do not tolerate independent trade unions and the Communist Party rules with a pretty iron fist. So, and by the way, in recent years, Xi has made the situation even worse. So, I mean, I’ll give, you give people credit where it is due. But you have to maintain values of democracy and human rights and certainly that does not exist in China."

Deap

One bonfire that refuses to die and flamed up again today - Crowdstrike and the media's total refusal to even mention its name, which was the really critical part of the Ukrainian phone call. Not their phony quid pro quo.

All Democrat candidates need to questioned about Crowdstrike, since it led to two failed major Democrat-led actions against President Trump - The Mueller investigation and the Democrat impeachment.

Following article underscores what Larry Johnson has been reporting for years:

https://thenationalsentinel.com/2020/02/15/crowdstrike-claim-that-russia-hacked-dnc-server-remains-at-center-of-2016-spygate-scandal-hoax/

b

Sander is a no 'Marxist' at all.

I agree with this quote from Krugman (a Clinton guy):

The thing is, Bernie Sanders isn’t actually a socialist in any normal sense of the term. He doesn’t want to nationalize our major industries and replace markets with central planning; he has expressed admiration, not for Venezuela, but for Denmark. He’s basically what Europeans would call a social democrat — and social democracies like Denmark are, in fact, quite nice places to live, with societies that are, if anything, freer than our own.

The social democrat have always hated and fought against the communists who are the real Marxists.

Deap

FDR strongly warned not to unionize government employees.

Sanders demands all workers shall be unionized, which is the backbone of the Green New Deal - mandatory union membership, creating vast slush funds of union dues going directly to the Democrat party.

Fred

Divadab,

Just what has Bernie accomplished in 30 years in federal office, besides becoming a multimillionaire?

Deap

What happened to the speculation that breaking the whole " Trump coup" conspiracy would take down all government agencies, including the Gang of 8?

Consequently, more than the Democrats are interested in burying any loose threads that could cause something much larger to unravel? Wolfe gets off. McCabe gets off. Page/Strozk leer smugly over glasses of wine. Clapper-Bernnan-Comey free as birds.

John Merryman

The reality should not be so much about the personalities, as the processes driving them. We have this ideal of a nation of laws, not men, but the principle doesn't run that deep.
The medical situation, for instance, is rife with fraud and abuse. While some waste is necessary, the whole trial and error thing, our country's medical system is more about siphoning value out of the community, than effectively understanding the necessities of healthcare and trying to adequately provide for them, to the extent possible.
Which is not so much a healthcare issue, as it is a financial system issue. Here is a very insightful essay from Naked Capitalism, that could be applied across many fields;
https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2020/02/ship-the-airplane-the-cultural-organizational-and-technical-reasons-why-boeing-cannot-recover.html
Focus on the people distracts from the real issues.

eakens

Good luck getting rid of the private insurance companies, lobbies, lawyers, accountants, and other third party beneficiaries of the private insurance market. United Healthcare has revenues of nearly a quarter trillion dollars just by itself. It's better to focus on what is possible instead of what is noble.

It is the same reason we won't be able to end all the wars, and simplify the tax code in a meaningful way. Intuit (the maker of TurboTax) is one of the largest supporters of complicating the forms and processes by which to file taxes.

The bottom line is that these are massive, structural changes that they would take constitutional amendments to fix since every 4-8 years some carpetbagger shows up seeking to undo what the other carpetbaggers did, and the only thing they do is create another cottage industry regulated by an equally large bureaucracy.

If you want to champion anything, start with campaign finance reform since everything else is just noise.

james

basically you're saying 'the usa is screwed." that is what it sounds like to me..

Dwight

Our current system already beggars most of us. Expensive yet insecure coverage that potentially bankrupts us all from surprise billing. Incredible time-suck to protect yourself from such predatory practices. (Though it appears Medicare recipients are protected from such price gouging.).

Employer-based coverage constrains job changes, and leaves people without coverage when they get laid off because of illness. I see Medicare for All as enhancing liberty. Tying health care to your employer is kind of feudal. Take away the tax breaks at least so the market is fair. I wouldn’t mind paying premiums and copays, with monthly maximum, but wouldn’t mind paying through taxes either.

Diana Croissant

I am sorry, but my comment to this summary of the Democratic contenders is totally facetious. (Perhaps that is because if find all but Tulsi people who have been put forward by an obviously facetious group of people running the Democratic Party now.

Does anyone else suspect that Elizabeth Warren is making money on the side doing the voice for Pinocchio in the GEICO ads?

divadab

Whoa! Quite a few responses - will try to answer in order:

@turcopolier - well I have direct experience of the Canadian system and based on many experiences, the Canadian universal single-payer system is not "rationed" in any way wrt urgent care. Yes if you have elective surgery like an arthroscopic knee repair of which I've had two and my choice was wait 3-5 months in Canada or pay $5,000 stateside and get it done next week. I paid. The choice of paying for service should never go away IMHO and this is a flaw among many which I note with Bernie's plan. Nonetheless he is articulating a bargaining position to attain something I think essential to re-organize the US health insurance system. WHy as a society are we paying twice as a percentage of gdp than Canada? It's profiteering. ANd Inefficiency. Probably in reverse order of importance, but they each feed the other.

@NancyK - some mix of a universal medicaire-style system with extra insurance available for those who want to pay for it (private room, immediate service, that kind of upgrade) might work, don't you think?

@fred - well, since you ask, and tho I'm no expert in the history of Bernie I do know this - he was mayor of Burlington VT for quite a while and you should take a walk around and see how some of his intitiatives have made Burlington more livable. ALso he garnered between 20 and 40 % of the Republican vote in his long run as Congressman from VT. As Representative and Senator he is well known for his successful amendements to the benefit of ALL
rather than for the benefit of the few, or, himself. He is only recently a millionaire, I understand, as he wrote a very successful book which made him a couple of million. Other than that, he owns real estate - who of his vintage who bought real estate has not made money?

Anyhoo, Bernie or bust!

ISL

Dear Colonel,

I find I agree completely with all your points, except (respectfully) the intensity of your Bernie blast. If medicare for all is such a bad idea, then I await Trump to propose revoking ALL the communistic gov't medical care programs (including the free one congress gets).

Spark!!! spark!!! spark!!! Third rail.

Also, I note that Tulsi's has many more enemies. I continue supporting her (she is doing better than Steyer and Yang) in the hope that Bernie has had her as VP in mind all along or else that she will spend the next four years building a support base for 2024.

Barring the economy cracking or a new ME mess (perhaps by an Iranian proxy in revenge), I agree that the Dems will get trounced outside their coastal enclaves, particularly if the Dems continue to cheat the process. Nothings says stay home like having your vote stolen.

In the economic regards, the Corona Virus is a potentially massive black swan event - the Fed already has been printing 100 billion per month to stave off economic collapse for five months now (socialism for the banks!!!! Get a pitchfork) and no intention to slowdown for the foreseeable future, so it's not clear they have the bullets to deal with a, at a minimum, Corona shutdown of US supply chains. With a up to 24 day before symptoms appear, and false negatives of up to 80% in the very few who are tested, efforts to date by the US are just security theater.

Dwight

Even if Bernie were a communist rather than a moderate social democrat, we have checks and balances, and the Fifth Amendment protecting property rights.

turcopolier

Dwight

Just kidding yourself about how much damage he could do while president. Do you feel that way about Trump?

turcopolier

ISL
1. His plan would forbid insurance outside it. 2. The cost is massively prohibitive.

turcopolier

James

No. Trump is doing a good job except in the ME.

turcopolier

divadab

"wrt urgent care." What would you do if there were no available sources of treatment in the US?

turcopolier

b (old adversary) You may not like to admits that I know a lot about various forms of leftism but I (like many other former USI officers know a lot about you) I personally recruited quite a few "Social Democrats" who were really agents of the USSR until they switched sides. They were tested a lot. I admit that Bernie evidently never voted for the Communist Party candidate for president as John Brennan did, but his honeymoon on an Intourist visa in the USSR speaks volumes. As I recall you were quite pro-Warsaw Pact and anti-NATO during the Cold War.

Deap

Denmark retains its Lutheran sensibilities, if not their daily practice. It is very strict about immigration - very few are allowed in, closed borders, must speak Danish, turn over assets to the government, and no complaints about pork being on the menus.

Hygge celebrates thrift, simplicity and austerity. If you want Danish social democracy, you have to participate in the whole package. (Being of Danish heritage myself, I see nothin wrong with this but don't see many others living up to their unique lifestyle standards -

(NB: re-read Garrison Kielor's Lake Woebegon for further insights into Scandinavian heritage in the US - particuarly his footnoted treatise on 100 drawbacks being raised Scandinavian - US Scandinavians will laugh in self-recognition and also sadly nod in full agreement)

Danes laugh at our US welfare state and recognize it has nothing to do with their version of social welfare. Danish "socialism" provides workers with buy-in medical plans for more efficient delivery systems. It is by no means free government run health care or social welfare for all.

Norwegians are closer to this idealized model of "free stuff", but with even stricter about immigration controls and their system floats on massive amounts of fossil fuel extraction cash. Sweden, Finland, Iceland -- all have uniqiness in their social welfare systems that cannot translate to the US polyglot, poly-cultural model.

Danes also have suffered from high rates of depression and suicide. So Bernie, be sure to sign up for the whole package, and stop glossing over the missing details of your proposal for "Danish socialism".

Their system does work for the Danes and has a lot to like about it - but you have to plug in all the variables, so start by undoing the US welfare state plantation first and expect everyone to be a maker; not a taker.

Then give everyone a bike to replace their cars, and only then can you start handing out free health care - Danish style because their far more active lifestyle will define new models for health care needs.

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