188. Current Issues, Briefly #6 (Turkey, Impeach, Candidates, Medicare)

18 Oct

This is the 6th of a series of blogs with brief discussions of current issues. The material is based on my Tweets (@RichardLeeWB), unpublished thoughts, and descriptions of various publications that I feel are worth repeating and emphasizing.

Trump Loves Autocrats; Why?

Trump appears to favor (even love) the leaders of North Korea, Turkey, and Russia. I have thought a lot about this. A couple of years ago, he talked about tyrants in history that he admired. I think he dreams of ruling the entire planet. He does not like traditional democracies (France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, etc.) because they are a contrast and subversion for his narcissistic goals. He revels in the fact that so many buildings have his name on them. All this would not be so bad, but many of his policies are cruel and have resulted in thousands of injuries and deaths. The “why” is based on his father’s teachings and upon his many years of huge financial support from his father. He learned that he could take great risks and even go bankrupt and still survive in style. His large family, probably contributes to his confidence.

Trump Trashes Science 

Trump’s most far reaching and perhaps most serious mistake is ignoring and undermining science. There is no way Trump can support science because its goal is to find truth and Trump is the master of scams and lies. Most obvious is his disbelief in global warming as the result of human activity. He cannot believe this because some of his major financial supporters deal in fossil fuels for energy, a major source of dangerous greenhouse gases. Scientists also point out the dangers of various pollutions and toxins, which are a part of some manufacturing  processes. Trump relies on some of these manufacturers for his support. He abolishes helpful regulations developed by experts in various scientific areas.

Trump Trashes our Kurd Allies 

Trumps abrupt and thoughtless decision to remove 1000 of our troops from Syria has been a major disaster. Removing the troops is a good long term goal, but it must be done carefully, and coordinating with all involved. This includes Syria (maybe), Kurd representative, Turkey,  Russia, and our own international experts in the State Dept. We cannot have a President that makes decisions in this way.

Trumps WORST deed so far, defines his presidency. Giving to Turkey, what was to be a homeland for our ally the Kurds, and setting the conditions for thousands to die, is an atrocity. His lies about this situation are grotesque. It was primarily the Kurds that defeated ISIS.

Why does Turkey now have a right to take over a 20 mile wide area in northern Syria? Just another Trump scam: Turkey wins and our friends the Kurds lose. How do the Kurds and Syrians feel about this? If Turkey needs a safe zone it should be in Turkey.

Re the agreement of Pence and Turkey about the safe-zone, it seems to me that Turkey has won and our friends the Kurds have lost. Turkey has gotten their safe zone without a battle, and likely thousands of Kurds have lost their homes and are now immigrants. Trump says the Kurds are happy now, really?

Yesterday’s meeting at the White House was very significant because it was a rare time that Trumps policies could be effectively challenged. His withdrawal of troops from Syria has been widely condemned and in the meeting, Pelosi’s questions led to his meltdown.

For the first time in recent years, a substantial number of Repubs have spoken against Trump. A House resolution condemning his removal of US troops from Syria (ignoring Kurd safety) was passed by all Dems and 66% of Repubs. Also, some Repub leaders (e.g. Linsey Graham and Mitt Romney) admonished him.

Trumps planning is brilliant. Have a phone call with Turkey giving them implied permission to attack Kurd held Syrian areas. So Turkey attacks and now master negotiator Trump reneges and imposes hopeless sanctions. Our President is an amateur and Repubs accept him!

Impeachment Advances

Yesterday, Mick Mulvaney (W.H. Chief of Staff) in a state of confusion, perhaps, fully admitted that Trump ordered a delay of funds for Ukraine survival, until they investigated a political adversary. This quid-pro-quo characterization was in stark contrast to what Trump stated repeatedly.

In a recent press conference, Mick Mulvaney argued that there could not be a “cover up” because the call-to-Ukraine transcript was released to the public. Sad to say, but Mulvaney ignored the fact that Trump does not understand many US laws and just goofed.

Impeachments are supposed to be based on “crimes,” but I think that it is only fair to our people that other types of wrongdoing be considered, e.g.: significant lies, support of enemies, undermining parts of gov like FBI, CIA, & State Dept, & ignoring valid roles of Congress.

We can now add the Syrian US-troop removal with Kurd slaughter to reasons for impeachment. Some other reasons are obstruction of justice, neglecting climate-change, foreign influence on election, undermining FBI, etc, ignoring subpoenas, ruined Iran deal, & destructive trade wars.

The irony of Trump’s tarnished presidency is that he could have done a few things differently and saved his reputation. But like the scorpion (and the frog, fable) certain bad acts are in his nature. For example, he did not need to coerce Zelenski, or neglect climate-change.

Democrat Candidates

Here is why candidate Elizabeth Warren is my top choice. First, is her long dedication to supporting the non-rich. She speaks well, is enthusiastic, strong, ethical, and intelligent. She has good, thoughtful plans, which are idealistic; and remember, Congress makes all final choices..

After the debate of Oct15, I felt very proud to be a Democrat and felt all candidates did well. All of them handled criticism admirably, and made good points. Elizabeth Warren is still my first choice. Also impressive is Amy Klobuchar. Regretfully, a great candidate, Jay Inslee. had already quit.

Plans that Dem candidates propose should not affect voters except that they demonstrate attention to issues and analytical ability. Details of most plans don’t matter because it is Congress that makes laws. E.g. Warren has many intelligent plans, but don’t worry about details.

Medicare for All
Considering Medicare-for-all vs private insurance. In the long run, Medicare is cheaper because no money goes to highly paid executives. The goal for private insurance is making money and rejecting claims, not so for Medicare. All considered, for most people, private insurance is not best.
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Re “Medicare for all.” Complaints about this are wrong. I have had Medicare for 15 years (with low-cost AARP sup) and have had a major operation and many visits at very low cost. My operation was with the best local surgeon. I freely chose all my doctors and had the best. I Love it.

 

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