Thursday, April 06, 2017

"Real Clear Politics and FiveThirtyEight have Trump's approval ratings at 40.2 as of today and 40.4 as of yesterday.

The 10/9/12, 2:30 PM entry is from Mr. Trump's own twitter account.

Trump acted prematurely. Putin had called for a UN Security Council resolution regarding the chemical attack. Putin was speaking in Sochi at the time Trump delivered weapon attack into Syria. During his talk he stated the USA needs to stop blaming Russia regarding chemical attack if it didn't want the same. There were steps to take before such an attack. Trump is going to set the world on fire. There are steps to take LONG BEFORE missles are released. 50 surface to surface missiles. What is the destructive force of Tomahawks? Casualties. China and Russia should not over react, but, continue at the UN condemning such aggression without global consent. "W" was frustrated with the process, too. What a mess this is!
How does Russia feel about Trump now?

The Tomahawk was used in Libya. 90 were deployed to disarm the Qaddafi air war. The missiles are precision guided and collateral damage can be minimized.

Approval ratingDates
Most recent weekly average38Mar 27-Apr 2, 2017
Term average to date41Jan 20, 2017-present
High point, weekly average45Jan 20-29, 2017
Low point, weekly average38Mar 27-Apr 2, 2017
High point, three-day average46twice; last on Jan 23-25, 2017
Low point, three-day average35Mar 26-28, 2017

You know when problems such as Syria arises; the USA is not under attack and whether Populous Trump likes it or not he has NO authority to do ANYTHING except defend the sovereign USA. Such acts  require input by the US Congress.

What bothers me is that at the time the bombs were falling Tillerson was stating Assad had no future in Syria. Did we just declare war on Assad? Such a war opens weaknesses for Assad. That interprets into strength for Assad's enemies including Daesh.

Trump has caused a power void and Daesh is probably exploiting it already.

Plainly, the USA has no dog in this fight. Such aggression require a REASONABLE time frame with weapons deployment as the last resort. If Putin closes Russia's diplomatic corp from its previous mission  we are looking at the return of "The Cold War" at the very least.

Russia is citing their own sources to deny the chemical weapons attack in Syria.

We have witnessed attacks on hospitals in order to demoralize the rescue efforts. Attacking unarmed rescue workers in a war zone is an international crime.

April 5, 2017
By Jeffery Marcus

The Russian government (click here) has sharply contested accounts by witnesses and international leaders of a chemical attack that killed more than 100 people in northern Syria on Tuesday. Here’s what the available evidence tells us about the reliability of Russia’s account....

...There is no evidence that online video and photographs were fabricated. The images showed that scores of people, including children, died on Tuesday in Khan Sheikhun, in northern Syria, suffering symptoms consistent with having breathed in some sort of nerve agent, like sarin. Rescue workers and survivors described these symptoms as well....

According to AlJazeera there is confirmed use of chemical weapons. Second guessing authority can't go on forever. Sooner or later someone needs to recognize the scientists involved with these chemicals and their control even at storage facilities. If an investigation finds a crime has been committed, then it has been committed.

Any undermining of the United Nations for the purpose of Wall Street profits carry out permission for atrocities because perpetrators never are stopped.

April 6, 2017

Autopsy results (click here) have revealed that chemical weapons were used in an attack which killed more than 80 people in Syria's Idlib province, according to Turkey's justice minister.
Thirty-two victims of Tuesday's attack were brought to Turkey where three subsequently died.
"Autopsies were carried out on three of the bodies after they were brought from Idlib. The results of the autopsy confirms that chemical weapons were used," Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said, quoted by state-run Anadolu news agency.
"This scientific investigation also confirms that Assad used chemical weapons," Bozdag added, without giving further details....

The Kurds have made incredible progress into Syria. Daesh has been relegated to lines in the sand.

The USA is debating entering Syria, BUT, please don't kill the Kurds. It happens all the time. As soon as NATO moves into Syria, Turkey ends up killing Kurds.

Daesh is held up in cities. They are using human shields to protect them. Wow. 

Peshmerga of Rojava during a conference in Iraqi Kurdistan.

February 25, 2017

Kurdish officials (click here) rejected statements of Anas al-Abdah, the President of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces, who suggested that the Rojava Peshmerga forces are part of the Free Syrian Army (FSA).
“At the beginning of formation of the Rojava Peshmerga, the main goal was to train them to return to Syrian Kurdistan and to defend the region, but because of problems with the PYD they failed to reach a deal,” Zara Salih, a senior Yekiti politician told ARA News.

However, Salih said there was also no deal with the Syrian coalition. “The Peshmergas are not part of the FSA and they will never go to other areas [than Kurdistan]. The only possible solution is that the US guarantees both the Rojava Peshmerga and YPG [People’s Protection Units] to protect Syria’s Kurdish region and fight ISIS and other terrorist groups,” Salih said....
In my reading I have never found the Pestmerga forces to be part of any Free Syrian Army. The Kurds are autonomous. Turkey needs to end it's hatred and desire for ethnic cleansing of the Kurds. Kurds are not the enemy.

“The Rojava Peshmergas are not part of Turkey’s or the Syrian coalition’s agendas,” he said.

There needs to be a clear understanding that killing Kurds in addressing any issues with Daesh is as much a war crime as other atrocities in Syria.

...Not a single coalition soldier (click here) died in Kurdistan during the Iraq war, nor has a single foreigner been kidnapped in the areas administered by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). With the cooperation of citizens, the Kurdistan Region’s security forces have kept the area safe and stable. Security responsibility was formally transferred from the Multinational Forces to the KRG in May 2007....

...The Kurdistan Region has international airports in Erbil and Slemani, with direct flights to and from Europe and the Middle East. A new international airport is under construction in Duhok.

The majority of people in the Kurdistan Region are Sunni Muslims, mainly of the Shafi’i School. Some Muslims in the Region follow Sufi orders.
There are also a large number of Christians of different churches, such as Syrian Catholic, Syrian Orthodox, and Assyrian Church of the East, Armenian, and Catholic Chaldean.
A religion that is practiced only in Kurdistan is Yezidism, which has tens of thousands of adherents. The Kaka'i faith is also practiced in the Kurdistan Region.
The Kurdistan Regional Government protects people’s freedom to practice their religion and promotes inter-faith tolerance.
Thousands of Christian families have fled violence and threats in other parts of Iraq and found refuge in the Kurdistan Region.
For further reading about religion in Kurdistan, see the book Kurdistan Land of God, bilingual in English and German, by Francois-Xavier Lovat.

They need to be sent to a wildlife preserve until it can be determine if they can survive in the wild.

6 April 2017
By Christina Russo and Adam Cruise

Last year (click here) more than 30 young elephants were captured from the wild in Zimbabwe and flown by plane to China. The elephants – some reported to be as young as three – were dispersed to a number of zoos throughout the country, including the Shanghai Wild Animal Park, the Beijing Wildlife Park and the Hangzhou Safari Park, according to conservationists.
But what are their lives like now?
This week, 12 of the calves went on show at the Shanghai park. The Weibo page for the zoo says their average age is four. The photos there were reviewed by Yolanda Pretorius, vice-chair of the Elephant Specialist Advisory Group of South Africa, who commented: “Overall their body condition seems to be slightly below average but it does not look as if they are starving. One of the elephants has temporal gland secretions and I am not sure whether this is a good or bad sign. In the wild, elephants mostly secrete from their temporal glands when they get excited.”...

Democrats should have done this last year.

These nominations are too important. The Democrats broke tradition when the GOP obstructed judges nominated by President Obama to the court. There is a little too much sense of tradition in the Democrats to permit the Republicans to carry out a travesty in obstructing perfectly qualified nominations to the Supreme Court. 

Merrick Garland worked all his life toward fulfilling the demands of the US courts and he was qualified. The entire obstruction by the Republicans was based in politics and nothing more. The court is at two extremes when it comes to their votes. It isn't good for the country. The Democrats came all the way to instilling the Nuclear Option at every other level of judicial nomination, they should have taken the Supreme Court.

April 4, 2017
By Stephen B. Presser

The coming battle (click here) over the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch as an associate justice of the United States Supreme Court is ostensibly about whether the nominee is in the "mainstream" of American constitutional jurisprudence.

The American Bar Association, a group that is not known for leaning to the right in recent years, has bestowed its highest rating of "well-qualified" on Gorsuch, and, from some parts of the academy and even the higher reaches of former Democrat administrations, Gorsuch has been lauded as a judge of exceptional even-handedness, intelligence and wit. And yet, it is now clear that the Democrats in the Senate will mount a filibuster against the nomination, the first time this has ever been done for purely partisan reasons....

The current extremist administration in the White House likes to think of the USA Constitution as it was in 1776. That takes the idea of tradition too. I sincerely believe the friendly, bipartisan nature of the US Senate is over. I firmly believe it died with the Late Robert Byrd. During the "W" years he was able to draw on the strengths of the US Constitution and persuade both parties to see the way forward. As of today the US Senate no longer has dignity so much as blatant power.

The United States of America's governance is far more important than political agendas.

August 6, 2017
By Karoun Demirgian

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) (click here) temporarily recused himself Thursday from all matters related to the committee’s ongoing probe into Russian interference in the presidential election, as House investigators look into ethics charges against him.

The House Ethics Committee released a statement Thursday saying it had “determined to investigate” allegations that “Nunes may have made unauthorized disclosures of classified information, in violation of House Rules, law, regulations, or other standards of conduct.”
Nunes denied the charges as “entirely false and politically motivated,” blaming “several leftwing activist groups” for filing complaints with the Office of Congressional Ethics. Nunes said his recusal — which only applies to the committee’s Russia investigation — would be in effect while the House Ethics Committee looks into the matter, noting that he had asked to speak with that committee “at the earliest possible opportunity in order to expedite the dismissal of these false claims.”

In the meantime, Nunes said, Rep. K. Michael Conaway (R-Tex.) will take the lead on the Russia investigation, with assistance from Reps. Thomas J. Rooney (R-Fla.) and Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) — who also sits on the Ethics Committee....

The allogations about Nunes may be partisan, but, truthful. Democrats are getting used to being the "heavies" when protecting the country.

...The ethics committee (click here) has multiple ways it can open an investigation into a member of Congress -- either through a complaint, a resolution of the House, referral from the Office of Congressional Ethics or a decision by the committee members to investigate one of their colleagues.

Based on the laws cited in the Ethics Committee's public statement, the members of the committee decided on their own to investigate Nunes, citing the panel's investigatory authority over "certain unauthorized disclosures of intelligence."

Nunes blames "several left-wing activist groups" for filing "entirely false and politically motivated" accusations against him, but it's unclear to whom he's referring.

"The Committee is aware of public allegations that Representative Devin Nunes may have made unauthorized disclosures of classified information, in violation of House Rules, law, regulations, or other standards of conduct," said House Ethics Chairwoman Susan Brooks, an Indiana Republican....

There is concrete proof about Nunes involvement. The question is not such much ethics as law. I suppose the US House has to settle for an ethnics investigation given the fact Trump's AG is not carrying out issues of law, so much as politics.

March 28, 2017
By Ryan Lizza

...The evidence is now clear (click here) that the White House and Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, have worked together to halt what was previously billed as a sweeping investigation of Russian interference in last year’s election. “We’ve been frozen,” Jim Himes, a Democratic representative from Connecticut who is a member of the Committee, said.

The freeze started after last Monday’s hearing, where James Comey, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, revealed that the F.B.I. has been investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia since last July. Comey also said that there was no evidence to support Trump’s tweets about being wiretapped.

Today, the House panel was scheduled to hear from three top officials who had served under the Obama Administration: Sally Yates, the former Deputy Attorney General, who briefly served as acting Attorney General, before being fired by President Trump; John Brennan, the former head of the C.I.A.; and James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence. But last week Nunes cancelled today’s hearing.....