Sunday, June 25, 2017

Chuck Hoster

Chuck Hoster
107 POSTS 0 COMMENTS
He likes hunting, dogs, and supports the troops at home and abroad.

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Crazy OpEd
"Well, darn - I thought Ryan and Pete were my friends... :("

Editor of the University of Alabama’s campus paper Marissa Cornelius writes, “If you’re white, you’re probably racist,” in a recent op-ed.

“White people must examine their own racist attitudes. I don’t necessarily mean you say openly bigoted things or that you like spending your weekends defending Confederate monuments (though you might be that brand of racist, too),” Cornelius states. “I just mean that you probably have a lot of internalized racist beliefs that you most likely haven’t spent a lot of time unpacking.”

“You being racist might not be entirely your fault. We’re raised in a society that devalues people of color with pretty much every opportunity it gets. We’re raised in a country where black people could literally be owned as few as four or five generations ago, and where they were actively being denied the right to vote during many of our parents’ lifetimes,” she continues. “We’re exposed to media that has type-casted people of color into a very narrow range of characters and tropes.”

“The fact that, yes, you have racist beliefs and attitudes, and these might even sometimes be manifested into racist words or actions.”

Pointing towards Maher, she writes, “Like almost all of white America, wants to believe that he is post-racial. But by holding on to this belief, we engage in a dangerous sort of erasure of the racism that still plagues this country, extinguishing any chance we might have to address these issues and to attempt to fix them. When we pretend we are post-racial, we ensure that this will never be the case.”

“It’s time for us as white people to accept that racism is embedded in all of us. This isn’t to say that you should be any less embarrassed and ashamed of any of your racists words or actions, it is to say that you should stop reacting with so much disbelief, with so much ‘I don’t have a racist bone in my body!’ with so much ‘I would have voted for Obama for a third time if I could have!’ When all your energy is going into denying and defending, you will have none left to go into reflecting and revising.”

Although, Cornelius cites no evidence to back her claims, she is definitely able to provide us an insight on the very mixed thoughts in terms of racism that college students now are experiencing.

Cornelius, a white female even went on to say that Americans that are not white cannot be labelled as racist, “as racism requires power, which is held by and large by whites.”

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Heightened Tensions
Let's everyone just remember, It's the right of PEACEFUL assembly.

CBS News anchor Scott Pelley, who is being replaced as anchor chair by the news channel, took, what is being called “parting shot” at Republicans. He said that Republicans played their part in bringing the baseball practice attack that injured five, including Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), upon themselves.

“It’s time to ask whether the attack on the United States Congress yesterday was foreseeable, predictable, and to some degree, self-inflicted,” Pelley began. “Too many leaders and political commentators who set an example for us to follow have led us into an abyss of violent rhetoric, which, it should be no surprise, has led to violence. Yesterday was not the first time.

“In December last year, a man with an assault rifle stormed into a Washington area pizzeria to free child sex slaves that Hillary Clinton was holding there — or at least that’s what political blog sites had said,” he continued, referring to the “Pizzagate” conspiracy theory. “He fired into a locked door to discover no children in chains.”

“Bernie Sanders has called the president the most dangerous in history,” Pelley said, “and the shooter yesterday was a Sanders volunteer.

“You might think that no sane person would act on political hate speech and you’d be right,” the anchor added. “Trouble is, there are a lot of Americans who struggle with mental illness.

“In February, the president tweeted that the news media were ‘the enemy of the American people,” Pelley continued. “Later, at a lunch for reporters, President Trump was asked whether he worried that language would incite violence. His pause indicated it had never crossed his mind. And then he said, ‘No, it doesn’t worry me.’

“As children, we’re taught ‘words will never hurt me,’ but when you think about it, violence almost always begins with words,” he said.

“In the Twitter world we’ve come to believe that our first thought is our best thought,” he concluded. “It’s past time for all of us — presidents, politicians, reporters, citizens, all of us — to pause to think again.”

For his remarks on Scalise and the horrific incident, Pelley was severely criticized all over social media.

Those on the right have noticed the clear bias in the coverage of the attack on congressional republicans last week with prior attacks. The Gabrielle Giffords’ attack in 2011 was immediately used by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to highlight the Republican rhetoric; however he did nothing to take responsibility of his own rhetoric that may have motivated the shooter in the recent shooting. What’s even more interesting is that the attacker, James T. Hodgkinson, had served as a volunteer on Sanders’ presidential campaign. A deeper look into his social media accounts showed a series of posts clearly exhibiting his hatred for Republicans and Trump.

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Jones Kelly Interview
Will Megyn Kelly try to turn the Alex Jones interview into Fake News?

Alex Jones, the famous right-wing conspiracy theorist and controversial radio show host, is of the opinion that his interview with Megyn Kelly from NBC, is a scheme to sabotage his platform, Infowars. Even though the interview hasn’t aired yet, Jones is calling it a hit piece.

After the trailer of the interview went on air, NBC and Kelly were widely excoriated for interviewing the controversial figure.

The criticism began when the mother of one of the Sandy Hook shooting victims reprimanded Kelly for interviewing Jones and giving him any spotlight whatsoever. Jones is quite infamous for claiming that the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting, which saw 20 children get massacred, was a hoax to divert the media and public’s attention from something much bigger.

Jones’ theory claimed that the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, was a hoax, made up by the local community.

Mother of Ana Grace Marquez-Greene, the six-year-old victim of the massacre, Nelba Marquez-Greene, took to twitter to show her anger and disgust over Kelly’s decision to interview the controversial radio show host.

After the trailer aired, she tweeted, “Hey @megynkelly, let me know if you want to give his victims equal air time. Promoting this fool is bad news. Do not encourage his abuse.”

After realizing that the trailer for his interview had gone quite viral, Jones asked NBC to not show the entire interview on air as it misrepresented his views.

Jones on Monday tweeted, “I’m calling for @megynkelly to cancel the airing of our interview for misrepresenting my views on Sandy Hook.”

“This is their big gamble, ‘Take Alex Jones down,’” Jones said during the Monday airing of his radio show. “This is pathetic. The only way I could fail was not doing it, and letting [NBC] rig it, and letting them interview me for four hours to edit it together, and then be able to show people what was really said.”

Jones furthered his conspiracy theories, adding that NBC production crew positioned the lighting in a way that made him look evil.

“They lit my face from the side and under, like you light somebody for a Halloween piece, for a horror movie,” he said.

Going on to call Kelly “the gorgon” and “Medusa,” Jones said that the only reason he agreed to the interview was because he wanted to “see the fembot.”

“I wanted to see the fembot,” Jones said. “I wanted to witness it for myself.”

Washington bureau lead for Alex Jones’ Infowars, Jerome Corsi insists that NBC and Kelly have conspired with “the deep state” to somehow disrepute and scandalize Alex Jones and his right-wing news outlet.

Corsi said, “She’s gotten a bigger megaphone, she’s gotten a bigger sponsorship from the deep state, and she’s about to do her hatchet jobs, which I think are going to ultimately fail and we will continue to beat by reaching the people directly through the internet.”

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Round 'em up!

Former speaker of the US House of Representatives, Newt Gingrich, who is also a staunch supporter of President Trump, advised the president to begin tracking down the people responsible for leaking information in violation of “secrecy acts” and have them thrown in jail. According to Gingrich, this move would cause the “leaks [to] dry up dramatically.”

“I want to draw a distinction,” Gingrich told “Fox and Friends” on Sunday. “There’s political garbage, there are people who go across to the Starbucks near the White House, and they sit and they tell insider stories. That’s unfortunate, and you ought to fire them if you can find them, but that’s not the same as violating the secrecy acts. People who violate the secrecy acts ought to go to jail.”

“What happened with the Manchester information, for example, after the bombing in Manchester, undermined the British investigation, weakened our relationship to our allies, and is dangerous,” Gingrich continued. “Whoever leaked that should go to jail. Now, you start putting a few people in jail, you’ll see the leaks dry up dramatically.”

Following the terror attack in Manchester on Monday, in which 22 people were killed and 60 others wounded, leaks from the intelligence community revealed confidential information regarding the UK’s investigation of the bomber and more such threats to the country.

Later on Thursday, UK authorities temporarily suspended sharing of any intelligence with US agencies after specifics about the investigation in the UK were leaked to the media.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, on Friday said that the US was ready to take “full responsibility” for the leaks.

“We take full responsibility for that and we obviously regret that that happened,” Tillerson said. “With respect to the release of information inappropriately … certainly we condemn that.”

Trump, on Sunday, took to Twitter to announce how UK PM Theresa May felt about the leaks.

“British Prime Minister May was very angry that the info the U.K. gave to U.S. about Manchester was leaked. Gave me full details!” Trump wrote.

The same day, Trump further dismissed any reports stemming from anonymous sources, saying, “Whenever you see the words ‘sources say’ in the fake news media, and they don’t mention names …. it is very possible that those sources don’t exist but are made up by fake news writers. #FakeNews is the enemy!”

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Thirsty for Power. Photo by DonkeyHotey

Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fl.) addressed President Trump’s tweet on Thursday, regarding him being the subject of a “witch hunt” after the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the alleged interference of Russia in the 2016 US presidential election.

“The president is entitled to his opinion, but we’re a nation of laws,” Rubio told reporters. “That’s not a criticism of the president. That is a reality that our institutions work. The acting attorney general has the authority to appoint a special counsel and has done so.”

On Wednesday, Robert Mueller, former FBI Director was appointed as special counsel to investigate allegations that Russia had meddled with the US presidential elections last year.

Rubio called Mueller a “person of high esteem” and admitted that he was fully confident in Mueller’s abilities to “conduct and independent, thorough and fair investigation.”

Referring to the appointment of Robert Mueller as special investigator in the ongoing investigation, President Trump tweeted on Thursday, “This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!”

He further added, “With all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign & Obama Administration, there was never a special counsel appointed.”

Ex-CIA official Phillip Mudd, in a show Wednesday night on CNN with Wolf Blitzer, was full of praise for Mueller.

“For four and a half years of sitting down the hall from [Mueller] I saw one two three times a day threaten meetings, personnel meetings, meetings with three attorneys general,” Mudd told Blitzer about Mueller’s stern and fair principles.

“I can tell you, every American who thinks that this is a moment of turmoil, whether they like the president or not, should breathe easy tonight,” he said. “Robert Mueller is solid ground. I saw presidents, kings, prime ministers, secretaries of state, CIA directors, the former U.S. Attorney in New York said he’s one of the best.”

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White Privilege
This is how all white people live right?

The University of Iowa is now training white students and faculty on how their skin color gives them the so-called “white privilege.”

“White privilege” is seen as the idea that just because you have a white skin color, you have things easy in life; in comparison to those with a darker skin color. Ben Shapiro was noted to discredit this idea in his speech at the University of Missouri, back in 2015. However, this theory has continued to influence several universities.

As indicated by College Fix, “Many universities continue to teach students — especially white students — that white privilege is a real and pressing problem that must be addressed to end racism.”

According to sources, the University of Iowa introduced a three day event titled as “Exploring White Identity for Effective Ally ship.”

The flier for the event read, “White identified people to discuss Whiteness and its privileges with other White people. This can be the first step to eliminating tokenism and increasing responsibility among allies to eliminate racism.”

This event was led by the university’s Chief Diversity Officer, Georgina Dodge and consisted of interactive exercises and a panel discussion.

The first day of the course focused on students, the second day on the entire community, whereas the third day was reserved for the faculty & the staff.

A copy of the campus’s document described the focus of the course. “White Identity is often left out of the ‘diversity’ conversation but is a crucial part of people and allyship. Creating a space where White-identified folks can discuss this, teach and learn from each other can address different challenges in eliminating racism,” indicated the document. “We are all part of the solution,” the document added, “and this opportunity to discuss the role of Whiteness in racial justice is an important one.”

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nuclear war

Democratic Rep. David Cicilline has claimed President Donald Trump is risking nuclear war with North Korea, authorizing a missile strike on a Syrian airbase and using the MOAB (mother of all bombs) in the Nangarhar province of Afghanistan, to bump up his own popularity.

Rep. Cicilline, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, believes that any preemptive strike against North Korea could lead to a war, and even more, a nuclear war.

“A preemptive strike, if it were to happen, is likely to ignite a very serious conflict, a war, and maybe even a nuclear war,” Cicilline said to MSNBC’s Ali Velshi. “It would expose American troops on the [Korean] peninsula to tremendous danger … The appropriate course is to really to reduce the rhetoric and try to de-escalate this and continue to use all the levers of diplomatic-economic power to try to achieve the right results here. And obviously, a preemptive strike has tremendously serious consequences that may well ignite a very significant war … This is very serious. I think what we have to be sure is that the president understands the implications of this kind of military action.”

Cicilline told Velshi that he “fears” Trump wouldn’t mind risking a nuclear war just to improve his popularity.

“What I fear is, [Trump] sort of got a political bump, he got a political bump from the Syria airstrike [and] the mother of all bombs strike in Afghanistan,” Cicilline said. “And we don’t want the president to be making decisions where he just sort of thinks more bombs are the way to build up his popularity, but rather they’re making decisions based on the national security interests of the United States and the long-term safety and security of the American people.”

Ever since Trump became the president, Cicilline has been one of the harshest critics of his administration and its decisions.

Earlier this year, in February, Cicilline said that the Trump presidency is similar to the Netflix science fiction TV show, “Stranger Things.”

“Like the main characters in ‘Stranger Things,’ we are now stuck in the Upside Down,” Cicilline said. “Right is wrong, up is down, black is white.”

The Upside Down is portrayed as a petrifying mirror-image of the real world, in the show, where monsters are shown to roam free and kill innocent people.

Elaborating on his reference to the TV show, Cicilline said, “This is not a TV show. This is real life. We have a president unlike any we have ever known. And like Mike, Dustin, Lucas and Eleven, we must remain focused on the task at hand and hold this administration accountable so we can escape from our own version of the Upside Down.”

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Karma will eventually catch up with health insurance pigs.

According to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation report, average premium for the silver plan of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) will rise by 19 percent if the government fails to fund the program’s cost-sharing subsidies.

The Affordable Care Act used cost-sharing subsidies as a means to curtail the cost of out-of-pocket expenses for low-income households by reimbursing insurance providers.

Ways and Means, and Energy and Commerce, the two House committees investigating the source of the funding for the subsidies, said they were unconstitutional. They found that the Obama administration had been funding the program without permanent adoption from the Congress. They also filed a lawsuit challenging the payments.

“With a legal appeal pending, the federal government and Congress are in a position to choose whether to continue reimbursing insurers for their cost,” Kaiser said.

The report states that if the government fails to fund the program through cost-sharing subsidies, premiums will rise significantly; from 9 percent in North Dakota to 27 percent in Mississippi.

“The analysis—based on cost-sharing subsidy payments and benchmark premiums in federal marketplace states in 2016, the most recent data available—finds that the estimated premium increase for silver plans would be higher (21%) in states that did not expand Medicaid under the ACA than in states that expanded Medicaid (15%),” the report notes.

“Cost-sharing subsidies are generally higher in states that have not expanded Medicaid because they have a larger share of enrollees with incomes from 100% to 150% of the poverty level, who get the biggest cost-sharing reductions.”

There are currently around 7.1 million Americans who receive these types of payments, accounting for almost 58 percent of the people who chose an Obamacare plan in 2017.

Additionally, it has been noted that these potential premium hikes would come after the Obama administration’s announcement in 2016 that premiums would increase by approximately 22 percent in 2017, after several insurers faced heavy losses.

President Donald Trump and several other Congressional Republicans have also repeatedly warned that Obamacare will ultimately collapse due to its own shortcomings, if it isn’t repealed soon enough.
With that said, health insurance providers continue to experience soaring profits. In February, one of the largest insurance providers, Aetna, doubled it’s quarterly cash dividends and announced a $3.3 billion share buyback. The company generated $2.3 billion in net income in 2016.

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Leaking

After serving as the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond for 13 years, Jeffrey Lacker resigned abruptly after confessing that he leaked confidential information to an analyst of a financial firm in 2013. Since his resignation, he has been questioned by several law enforcement agencies, including the FBI.

“I crossed the line to confirming information that should have remained confidential,” Lacker wrote in a statement he issued through his lawyer, on Tuesday. His lawyer confirmed that the investigation is now complete and no charges are expected to be filed against Lacker.

“It’s a tragedy, it’s sad,” says Richard Fisher, former head of the Dallas Fed bank who served alongside Lacker. “I never dreamed Jeff Lacker would have done what he says he has done.”

Jeffrey Lacker admitted to have leaked information in 2012, when the Fed was taking extraordinary steps to allow the US economy to recover after the financial crisis of 2008. The Fed’s every move was being monitored closely by investors around the globe, who were trying to profit by finding out the specifics of the Fed’s actions.

The Fed made a decision to buy more bonds in September 2012, in order to pump more money into the economy and try to boost growth. This policy is known as quantitative easing three, or QE 3 in short. At that time, Lacker was the only person who voted against QE 3.

Lacker admits that he spoke with an analyst at Medley Global Advisors, an economic advisory firm based in New York. He shared details with the analyst on October 2, two days before the details of the Fed’s September meeting were released to the public.

According to an investigation later conducted by ProPublica, Medley Global send a report its clients, primarily hedge funds, with intricate details about the types of bonds the Fed had decided to buy. The report by Medley was sent a day before the Fed released details to the general public.

“I deeply regret the role I may have played in confirming this confidential information and in its dissemination to Medley’s subscribers,” Lacker wrote in his statement.

The Federal Bank of Richmond is one of the 12 branches of America’s central bank. Vice president Mark Mullinix is now the acting head of the Richmond Fed.

The Federal Reserve also released a statement saying that is fully committed to maintaining the security of confidential information. It reassured that the officials at the central bank “cooperated fully with the independent law enforcement investigation into an unauthorized disclosure in 2012.”

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Maybe they think we already built the wall.

The head of the Department of Homeland Security reported that recorded illegal Mexican border crossings plummeted by almost 72 percent since December, to mark the lowest monthly figure in over 17 years, this March. The number of people caught crossing the border illegally fell to 12,000, last month.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said that the sharp decline in arrests is “no accident” and gave credit to Trump’s approach towards illegal immigration. He reported the figures in written testimony to a Senate committee ahead of an appearance on Wednesday.

The Washington Times also reported that former Border Patrol Chief David Aguilar, on Tuesday, told the Senate Homeland Security Committee that arrests declined 67 percent in March.

“This administration has said we’re going to address illegal immigration,” he told senators. “ICE has started working in the interior, unlike other times. So that message resonates.”

Several commentators credited President Donald Trump’s tough stance on immigration throughout the 2016 presidential campaign as the primary reason for the decline.

“Pat & Stu,” a radio show, discussed on Wednesday, that the decline in illegal border crossings could be temporary while Mexicans wait to see how US policies on immigration change under the new administration, before risking illegal entry. However, like many others, the hosts were quite pleased with the progress on curtailing the influx of illegal immigrants.

“The tough talk, I think, is a good short term thing here. And look, that’s better than what we’ve had; there’s no doubt about that. That goes back to not only the previous president but the one before that, and almost everybody else, really. I mean even if you go back to Reagan, this was his big problem issue for a lot of conservatives. So we’ll see what happens. We’ll see if the rhetoric matches up to the actions, which we have not seen yet,” Stu said.

While the Trump administration has not yet changed anything with regards to border patrolling, President Trump’s tough stance on immigration, including his plans to build a wall, and increased efforts to arrest illegal immigrants already living in the country are believed to have acted as deterrents.

However, it’s unclear if the decline in the number of illegal crossings will continue. The number of people caught trying to illegal cross the border into the US typically increases as the weather begins to warm, but arrests during the generally slower winter months were quite high than in previous years, so it is possible that many migrants rushed to the border before Trump took charge of the White House.

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