Upsetment
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House passes bill affecting overtime pay

House passes bill affecting overtime pay | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Do you get paid for overtime work? The House of Representatives just passed a bill you may want to know about.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
This is your Republican Party taking care of the blue-collar worker; yep, just like the Mafia takes care of people. So instead of paying you time and a half for working those extra hours when they need you, your bosses will be able to just give you regular pay for leave-time when they don't need you. I wonder when we'll see general strikes in the US. Personally, I would try to find a job with an employer who wants no part of this wage-thievery. 
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Alabama congressman: “People who lead good lives” don’t have preexisting conditions

Alabama congressman: “People who lead good lives” don’t have preexisting conditions | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Mo Brooks says people without pre-existing conditions have "done things the right way" VIDEO
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I wonder if he would like to exempt the people in his district from that particular protection. That way, he could be sure to weed out the bad folks. Or, alternatively, perhaps this will make the voters there rethink what kind of asshole their congressman just might be. 
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Shooting of black teen in Dallas suburb did not meet ‘our core values,’ police chief says

Shooting of black teen in Dallas suburb did not meet ‘our core values,’ police chief says | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Balch Springs reversed a claim that vehicle Jordan Edwards was riding in backed toward officers “in an aggressive manner.”
Kenneth Weene's insight:
We don't yet know if a cop's weapon killed this kid, but we do already know that the first reaction of the police was not to find out what happened but to somehow blame the driver, who was absolutely guiltless. It is that kind of blue-wash policing that makes me so strong a supporter of Black Lives Matter and similar effort. No matter what the outcome, this young man's life is lost and his family devastated. Was it a cop who is culpable or perhaps another kid just being dumb? In the end, is it not our society that must take responsibility for our gun culture?
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Trump Invites Rodrigo Duterte to the White House

Trump Invites Rodrigo Duterte to the White House | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The two leaders spoke late on Saturday and addressed the Philippines’ violent campaign against drugs, which has been condemned by human rights groups and many Western governments.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Clearly, Nr. Trump likes strongmen rather than democratic leaders. This should surprise us given his recent criticism of our own constitution. That said, I do believe it is time for America to stop making believe we have the moral high-ground and can lecture other countries about how they should treat people. We may not approve of the current regimes in Turkey, Egypt, or the Philippines, but we need their cooperation. One reason for aid is to use it to pressure other countries to move towards what we consider are important values such as freedom of press, speech, and religion and towards responsive justice systems. However, in recent years, our own records on many of those values has become spotty at best. 

One more thing, while Duterte is not somebody I want to see in power anywhere—he is pretty much a ruthless thug—he is dealing with a drug and crime situation that is in large part the result of American behavior in the past. Our hands are hardly clean. 
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“Labor is being paid first again”: American Airlines investors complain after company gives pilots and flight attendants raises

“Labor is being paid first again”: American Airlines investors complain after company gives pilots and flight attendants raises | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Some shareholders say they are frustrated that corporate profits went to actual workers before them VIDEO
Kenneth Weene's insight:
There is an inherent conflict between capital and labor. Both want to maximize income. That conflict is an essential part of capitalism. Sadly, many investors don't want capitalism. They only want profits. When companies are not prepared to compete in the labor market there can be two reasons. One the industry involved may not fit the capitalist model and may require government as an investor or provider of land (yes, airports are part of that) or if it is only specific members of an industry then perhaps that company has to go as long as competition for consumers remains. Sadly, American investors while claiming that they want capitalism don't really want anything of the kind. They see government not as a mechanism to keep the competition among land, labor, and capital fluid and open or the process of sales to be honest and based on information but rather a guarantee of profits. That distortion of the system is a major problem one aspect of which is income inequality. Is it time to rethink our economy. If nothing else, our citizens have to better understand that it is a hybrid of capitalism corporatism, and socialism, a hybrid that needs to be carefully kept running. 
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Conservative presidential candidate paints bleak picture of Iran

Conservative presidential candidate paints bleak picture of Iran | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Ebrahim Raisi expressed support for economic policies that led to high inflation in Iran.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I cannot help but wonder if there is an opportunity here for better American-Iranian relations, perhaps through trade and manufacturing. That may seem like a strange notion, but perhaps it is time for the US to reach out and suggest some economic ties. One way would be for American small business—especially those businesses that serve our growing Islamic community—to begin importing Iranian food, especially lamb and goat. How about offering investment in plant to produce products that will be needed in the Middle East, for example getting Carrier or another air-conditioning company to start manufacturing. The US government could push some of our reluctant allies, like Saudi Arabia, to import those air-conditioners which might even help move Sunni-Shia relations. Isn't it time to call in some of our chits to make the world a little better. I want Iran to once again be a friend to America rather than an enemy. The shah is long dead and it is time to work to bury the enmity. 
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Trump says he'll revisit 'horrible' US-South Korea trade deal, demands payment for missile defenses

Trump says he'll revisit 'horrible' US-South Korea trade deal, demands payment for missile defenses | Upsetment | Scoop.it
"I informed South Korea it would be appropriate if they paid. It's a billion-dollar system," Trump said. "It's phenomenal, shoots missiles right out o
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I guess being POTUS is a little more complicated than Mr. Trump figured. First, there is the issue of free trade. Does he really think that tariffs work for the betterment of America? Second, there is the question of mutual defense and who pays for what. I do agree with him that it is time for South Korea to bear some of the cost of its own defense. Providing land is hardly sufficient. However, we can't sell our best defensive weapons, not even to an ally. Of course, this may be an opening salvo for negotiations, but I fear that he doesn't get the process. Meanwhile, in Seoul, his words have consequences that may poison our relationship with another ally. Subtlety, thy name is not Trump. 

My suggestion, negotiate a new defense treaty with clear financial contributions from Korea in return for our presence. Otherwise, we could start removing our personnel and weapons. My guess is that Seoul doesn't want that to happen. 
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White House: Military Preparations 'Underway' for North Korea

White House: Military Preparations 'Underway' for North Korea | Upsetment | Scoop.it
President Trump has determined a course of action for responding to North Korea's continued nuclear missile development program.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
George W. Bush identified an axis of evil, Iraq, Iran, and North Korea, which had to be addressed. Bush attacked Iraq and we know how wonderfully that has gone. Obama negotiated with Iran and while there are certainly issues, things have been going decently and Iran might even become an ally in the fight against ISIS as well as a market for American-built airplanes. So, now is it time for Trump to end up in a military adventure in North Korea? And of course, this time we are dealing with China, a nation that is not about to let our military go unchallenged. I don't see things going well. 
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Violent Extremism Takes Root in Burkina Faso

Violent Extremism Takes Root in Burkina Faso | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Over the last year, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and Ansarul Islam have sought to turn the northern part of Burkina Faso into a stronghold through which they could potentially build a new alliance with the Islamic State and turn parts of Burkina Faso into a sanctuary for jihadist recruitment and training following ISIS’ losses in Iraq and Syria.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
If American foreign policy was truly on top of things, this is a country where we would be offering economic, educational, and military support and where we would be building an alliance with other countries. This French speaking country which edges the major states of West Africa, especially Nigeria with its oil wealth offers little resistance to an extremist takeover. It is also a way for those extremists to leapfrog over the more stable central African regimes such as Mali. And, Burkina Faso's gold reserves would be a great way to finance the ongoing efforts of extremists. For get just pursuing an active war against Islamic extremism, we must get into the prevention area, just as we would with any malignant disease. 
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Bye bye, Bernie: He’s not fit to captain the Democratic ship if he can’t stop chasing the great white male

Bye bye, Bernie: He’s not fit to captain the Democratic ship if he can’t stop chasing the great white male | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The Democratic Party is selling out women and all marginalized groups in favor of Bernie Sanders’ dangerous myths VIDEO
Kenneth Weene's insight:
The real problem I have with Bernie Sanders is not that he isn't inclusive of all the values that progressives hail but that he has not articulated a clear vision for the future of the Democratic Party or the country. While he is clearly a strong supporter of small cities and small business and moral living, these do not make for a coherent whole. One of the reasons that this problem exists for him and for any Democrat is the issue of abortion. There is no issue more divisive in America. Obama skated across the issue by simply saying the underlying theology was above his pay-grade. It was and is. 

Many Democrats would insist that a woman's right to choose is a value that cannot and must not be compromised. Sanders, quite correctly, sees it as an issue to be considered but not one to live or die by. However, it behooves him to come out with a clear statement that supports a woman's right while recognizing those who disagree. He has to find that middle ground. And, any leader for the party must do so. 

Another issue on which the Democrats will need a clear statement is guns. Sanders has been more pro-gun in his career than many Dems, which is an issue for some. The real issue here, however, is that the Republicans have—as with Right to Life and The War on Christianity—defined themselves as the protectors of fundamental American values. This leaves Bernie and any Democrat with the responsibility to identify other basic values that the Republicans are violating. 

Such issues used to be the family farm (long gone, that one) and the small business (but allowing S-Corps to grow has obfuscated that one). Fighting for racial equality is one, the one that Obama best used. However, that threatens many Americans. Universal education is another (except then we run into the religion thing). 

So what should the new American values be, the ones for which Bernie or any leader of the Democratic party must stand? And, who can best articulate those goals? 

Here are a few I would propose: Universal healthcare, universal education with free college and assistance starting careers, less work and more leisure with full income, universal decent housing, universal employment, support for those who cannot live on their own (but with clear supervision), rehabilitative justice, and personal safety for all—especially women, and government protection of the marketplace to make sure that consumers are not being cheated or misled. Innovation, information, education, well-being, and personal freedom should be the marching words of this new party. 

Of course, I am a liberal and a Broody New Englander. My values come, as do most peoples' from my background and experience. Which brings up the next thing about the Democratic party as it exists today. There is an absence of personal involvement. A strong progressive party that emphasizes government in service to the people must be based on the support of the people not on the energy coming from the top. I know with hundreds of millions of Americans it is impossible for a leader to know each and every one of us. However, he should know those who know who know until that chain is connected. It should not be a chain of lobbyists and special interest representatives but a chain of community. 

Anyway, I wish Bernie well, but I don't see him as the savior of the Democrats. Who that might be? I guess we'll have to see if a real leader will step forward. Any suggestions? 
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Watchdog: Delayed testing could add $1B to F-35 program

Watchdog: Delayed testing could add $1B to F-35 program | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The Government Accountability Office warned of "cascading F-35 testing delays."
Kenneth Weene's insight:
More planes, more bombs: do we really need more weapons or do we need to step back from reckless military spending and wasteful military engagements? Assuredly, even those who believe we need more and better weapons have to take pause when the overruns and delays mount. By the time the F-35 is deployed, it will have overrun its costs by billions and arrived years late. Before he was elected Mr. Trump called this program "out of control." Now, he wants even "more of this pork sausage, please." How about you? Do you think we should order more F-35s or perhaps start rethinking our defense industry and its boondoggles? 
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Air strikes are not an effective tactic of war, but we keep using them anyway

Air strikes are not an effective tactic of war, but we keep using them anyway | Upsetment | Scoop.it
American military involvement in Afghanistan has been ongoing since 2001, making it the longest foreign war in American history. Maybe it’s because there doesn’t actually seem to be an end to…
Kenneth Weene's insight:
There are three purposes to bombing. The first and most useful is destruction of the enemy's combat capacity. Bombing a convoy, a fleet of ships, or perhaps a naval base is an effective action. The second is destruction of the capacity to wage war, most typically by destroying manufacturing and energy production. During World War II, for example raids were mounted to stop German ballbearing production. Typically, even when factories are totally destroyed as in the city of Dresden, production doesn't come to a grinding halt but quickly resumes even if that has to be in the unlikeliest of locations. The third reason is to terrorize the populace (and the government) of an enemy into capitulation. We know from Nazi attacks on Britain that this can as easily lead to stiffened resistance. Such a terrorist approach can only work when the enemy is already reeling, for example the atomic bombing of Japan at the end of World War II. It also requires a willingness on the part of the attacker to engage in behavior that will be condemned by all, which is why the bombing of Hanoi did not include destroying the dams which would have led to horrific flooding of the North Vietnamese capital. 

So why has bombing become such a prominent part of American strategy? Because it limits danger to American service personnel is one reason. However, perhaps the biggest reason that the American military uses bombs as a first approach is the incredible profit to be made from building planes and making bombs. It is far easier to get congress to support a military methodology that will produce jobs and more jobs, especially when those jobs are spread across congressional districts and of course state lines. 

Does this mean we should scale back our air force? Perhaps. But, more importantly, it means we should question our willingness to go to war, to drop munitions by the tons on other lands. 
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The memory of the Holocaust must be handed down 

The memory of the Holocaust must be handed down  | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Sirens wailed across Israel and thousands marched at Auschwitz on Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
As Mr. Trump said in his video message, "The mind cannot fathom the pain, the horror and the loss. Six million Jews, two-thirds of the Jews in Europe, murdered by the Nazi genocide. They were murdered by an evil that words cannot describe and that the human heart cannot bear.” 

Here is a link to my poem about the Holocaust. I hope you'll find it meaningful and will share it. 
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Exclusive: U.S. senators seek sanctions, other ways to address Venezuela crisis

Exclusive: U.S. senators seek sanctions, other ways to address Venezuela crisis | Upsetment | Scoop.it
An influential group of Republican and Democratic U.S. senators will file sweeping legislation on Wednesday to address the crisis in Venezuela, including sanctioning individuals responsible for undermining democracy or involved in corruption, Senate aides said.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
With Venezuela descending towards chaos it's good to see one part of the US government getting concerned and actually wanting to do something diplomatically. However, the big issue for us shouldn't be about CITCO but the internal disarray of a neighboring nation, a disarray that could easily lead to problems with its closer neighbors, particularly Columbia. 

But, what to do? Isn't that always the question. Certainly, some aid should be offered and some malefactors sanctioned, but the bigger issue for Venezuela is the lack of a functional economy. While Chavez may have been a well-meaning leader, about the only thing he actually helped to develop is the country's rich musical traditions. The vast income from oil went to making the poor happy rather than to creating industries and educating for the future. There is always a balance to be found between the immediate needs of a country's people and their future. No matter what the politic philosophy of a government, it has to find that middle ground. Sadly, Venezuela has not found it, but perhaps by offering not just financial and humanitarian aid but also investment, the US can make a difference. 

One of the most important tools the US has at hand is food. Venezuela imports almost 2/3 of its food supplies. By helping to allay that food pressure during this time of economic instability, we can hope to win a major public relations coup. At the same time, by helping the agricultural base of that country, which represents 1/4 of its land and 10% of its people, we could help Venezuela move towards stability. Of course, increasing its industrial base by targeted investment would also make a great difference since that base is currently reeling under the lack of investment. 


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Wilbur Ross Says Syria Missile Strike Was ‘After-Dinner Entertainment’ at Mar-a-Lago

Wilbur Ross Says Syria Missile Strike Was ‘After-Dinner Entertainment’ at Mar-a-Lago | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Speaking at the Milken Institute Global Conference on Monday, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross recalled the scene at Mar-a-Lago on April 6, when the summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping was interrupted by the strike on Syria.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I don't know whether to be amused or horrified by this revelation. If shooting off missiles is an after-dinner entertainment, what the hell kind of madman have we elected? At least Mr. Ross recognizes that the people who work for the government are mainly dedicated and competent. Now to the tax plan. Do we need a better plan? Sure. There are way too many nooks and crannies in the present law; just ask the Trump cabinet who take advantage of so many of those loopholes. Simplification will be great for everyone except accountants. However, that simplification doesn't mean catering to the rich and to the imaginary persons of corporations. And, it doesn't mean relying on regressive taxes such as increase gas tax as an alternative to progressive taxes such as the income tax. 
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Turkey, Russia clinch agreement on S-400 air defense system deliveries

Turkey, Russia clinch agreement on S-400 air defense system deliveries | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Turkey will purchase Russia’s anti-aircraft missile systems as it «needs to strengthen its air defense capabilities,» the country's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said
Kenneth Weene's insight:
What the hell happened to Aquarius; we seem to live in the age of arms sales! Meanwhile, against whose missiles does Turkey want to protect herself? I think they see a war coming with the Kurds that may involve the US. Yes, a war within NATO. Then, too, there is Iran right there waiting to do something; what isn't clear. Most important to Erdogan, however, is cementing a positive relationship with Moscow, a country that could become a great trading partner for Ankara. And on Putin's end of the deal there is the ambition to not only leverage Turkey away from the west but also to build a regional alliance—actually the natural one for Russia—of Moscow, Ankara, and Tehran. That would be the culmination of the dreams of Alexander I and would, in conjunction with Russian hegemony in most of Eastern Europe and the Stans of western Asia, fulfill the goals of the Soviet  Union without the communist part. Well played, Vladimir. 

Meanwhile, pack in the swamp of Washington, the US is still making believe it is the major country in the world, the great super power. In reality, the world is slowly crumbing into a three tier cake, the Russian bloc which we're discussing here; the Chinese block which will slowly develop in Asia, and the Euro-American block which has been itself losing focus and breaking apart while America squanders its might in Afghanistan, Iraq, and possibly now North Korea.

The big questions are: will Turkey actually join a Russian block, historically kind of questionable and what will the potential great power of India do? And, in the end, which block will get the wealth of Africa. There the Chinese are moving forward and strangely only the Muslim fundamentalists may stand in their way. Might there even come a time when Washington will be again backing Al Qaeda? This time not against Moscow but Beijing? 

In the end, Marx was right and wrong. History, at least modern history, is primarily about economics, but value comes not from labor but trade and resources. Oh well, I'm old and will be gone before the US has to rethink the Harriman Doctrine, which underlies so much of what we have screwed up. 
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North Korea's Nuclear Weapons Not Reason Enough for War

North Korea's Nuclear Weapons Not Reason Enough for War | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Trump said that he operates under the assumption that Kim Jong Un is “rational.” But is he willing to bet nuclear apocalypse on that?
Kenneth Weene's insight:
The problem with North Korea isn't that Kim wants to start a war. The problem is that he wants to sell those weapons and thereby obtain the unlimited wealth that is his personal desire. Terrorists, emerging states, and armies engaged in civil wars are all looking for the big edge. Be it better missiles or dirty bombs, they really don't care as long as it gives them the win. And, sitting in Pyongyang is an arsenal that every want-to-be potentate creams for and every rational government fears. The real question is how to get China to join in the task of bringing Pyongyang to heel. Saber rattling is not going to help. This is a job for realpolitik. We need a Kissinger, a Bismarck, or a Metternich, somebody who actually sees the chessboard of diplomacy for what it is and not what they want it to be.  
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As Trump addresses NRA, some gun owners concerned about going too far

As Trump addresses NRA, some gun owners concerned about going too far | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The week Trump becomes the first president to address the NRA in more than 30 years, a new poll shows a majority of gun owners do not support some of the gun lobby’s more aggressive positions.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Is the NRA no working against the views of the majority of its membership? Has the Democratic Party taken the wrong tack on guns? Can we come together on a gun policy that encourages reasonable ownership by the many while providing safety from the irrational, incompetent, and criminal? What do you think is reasonable? For me it is background checks, concealed carry permits administered by the states (not the federal government), prohibition of silencers without a permit, limiting magazine size, and encouraging the development of safe guns, which have a protection against being fired by anyone not on the device's data base. I also believe that while exposure of children to guns and gun use should be part of education, those who endanger—whether intentionally or by neglect—should lose their right to have guns at least until there are no children in their homes and vehicles or likely to visit their homes. 
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Trump complains Saudis not paying fair share for U.S. defense

Trump complains Saudis not paying fair share for U.S. defense | Upsetment | Scoop.it
President Donald Trump complained on Thursday that U.S. ally Saudi Arabia was not treating the United States fairly and Washington was losing a “tremendous amount of money” defending the kingdom.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
The blunderbuss POTUS seems to have little notion of the effect his words can have on foreign relations. While I support pushing for more money from those countries on which we rely for defense, the fact is that Saudi Arabia has its own fairly decent military and that many of its weapons are bought from the United States. And, when we attacked Iraq (2 times) the Saudis gave us support by allowing us to use bases and by providing help with logistics. I'm not a big fan of Riyadh, but this is not the way to move forward with an ally whose help we want in the fight against ISIS. How about simply asking them to pay more for specific services or contributions  especially if we are to help them in Yemen (a questionable endeavor which will exacerbate our relationship with Iran) on the basis of American being overextended. We certainly should push to get more from them, but not in a churlish manner. 
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Berkeley paradox: Birthplace of free speech now offended by it

Berkeley paradox: Birthplace of free speech now offended by it | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The uproar over Ann Coulter's scheduled talk underscores a shift in public understanding about freedom of expression – particularly on college campuses. The talk, set for April 27, has been called off.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I do not like Ann Coulter. However, I respect her right to speak and the right of those who wish to listen to what she has to say. As somebody who grew to manhood during the days of Vietnam and Civil Rights protests, I am appalled that students are shutting down the dialogue that is so essential to not only the body politic but also to their own growth. Do you agree that all sides should have access to the microphone? 
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Mnuchin Can’t Guarantee That Middle Class Won't Pay More In Taxes (VIDEO)

Mnuchin Can’t Guarantee That Middle Class Won't Pay More In Taxes (VIDEO) | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on Thursday could not guarantee that middle class families would not pay more under the White House’s detail-free tax proposal. Mnuchin evaded the question multiple times in an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. “This is about middle-income tax cuts,” Mnuchin said, asked how the proposal he announced Wednesday with National Economic Director Gary Cohn would affect a family of four earning $60,000 a year. “And although we’re not releasing the specific numbers, this is about creating economic effects and tax cuts for the middle class.” “But don’t the details matter?” Stephanopoulos asked. “Why can’t you say how this is going to affect a middle class family?” “The issue is that we are working with the House and the Senate, and our objective is to turn this into a bill that will pass, and the President will sign,” Mnuchin said. “Can you guarantee that no one in the middle class is going to pay more?” Stephanopoulos asked. “That’s our objective, absolutely,” Mnuchin said. “Is it a guarantee?” Stephanopoulos asked. “I can’t make any guarantees until this thing is done and on the President’s desk, but I can tell you that’s our number one objective in this,” Mnuchin said. Mnuchin similarly evaded Stephanopoulos’ questions about upper income taxes. The host asked repeatedly about the alternative minimum tax, without which Trump would have saved tens of millions of dollars in 2005, the most recent year for which some of his tax returns were made public. Trump has proposed repealing the alternative minimum tax. “Let me just say this isn’t about President Trump’s tax returns; this is about the American public’s tax returns,” Mnuchin said. The interview recalled the roll-out of the plan Wednesday — just in time for Trump’s 100th day in office, on April 29 — in which Mnuchin and Cohn handed out a one page outline of the tax plan to reporters, but offered virtually no information otherwise. Pressed repeatedly about Trump’s tax returns, Mnuchin refused to pursue the topic. Eventually, though, he assured Stephanopoulos that the White House was meeting with some important stakeholders in the effort to reform individual and corporate taxes. “We’ve met with hundreds and hundreds of business executives who have had input into this,” he said. Watch the exchange below via ABC:
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Just read the last five lines of this article and you'll see where we the people stand when it comes to this administration's concerns about taxes. I wonder if Joe the Plumber would like to ask Mr. Trump a couple of pointed questions. And that before we get to how the deficit will affect our nation, and there would be a bigly deficit with this "plan(?)"! 
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United Airlines Passenger Was Violent in Removal, Police Report Says

United Airlines Passenger Was Violent in Removal, Police Report Says | Upsetment | Scoop.it

Thomas Demetrio, left, and Stephen Golan, lawyers for Dr. David Dao, along with Dr. Dao’s daughter, Crystal Dao Pepper, spoke with the media on April 13 in Chicago. Newly released documents from police say Dr. David Dao flailed his arms and fought with an officer, a claim his lawyer called “utter nonsense.”

Kenneth Weene's insight:
Meanwhile, United has failed to meet several deadlines imposed by Washington lawmakers to answer questions about the matter. Can anyone else smell a whitewash here? This is a case of assault. That assault was perpetrated under the direct responsibility of United Airlines, which is a person according to Citizens United. For such an assault, there should be prison time, at least a year. Obviously, we can't send a corporation to prison, but we can shut it down for a year or, and this would be my choice, we can take an amount equal to the profits that would normally be made during that sentence time. In this case, I think justice would be served by taking one year's income from United Airlines and giving it to Dr. Dao. Of course, that's predicated on United having profits. If they claim to not, I would simply look at revenues for a year and give him that amount. How do others feel about such justice towards corporations. After all, SCOTUS has given them personhood so that implies responsibility. 
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The Play-by-Play of Trump's Call to Space That You Were Waiting for

The Play-by-Play of Trump's Call to Space That You Were Waiting for | Upsetment | Scoop.it

President Trump got the opportunity to call the International Space Station to congratulate station commander Peggy Whitson and makes an incredible faux pas.

Kenneth Weene's insight:
File this under OMG: Forget that Trump thinks it is his military and ignores that the Space Station belongs to other nations as well, the real faux pas of his phone call is "I have to say there's tremendous military application in space, We're rebuilding our military like never before." With those two sentences he appears to be abrogating a treaty of fifty years, one which prohibits the militarization of space. Of course, we may well be planning to break that agreement, and other countries may also. However, if that is the secret plan, then he has just revealed to secret military information, which would be treason. Can anybody stop the mouth that will start a war? How dangerous is he? 
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Canada vows to fight ‘unfair and punitive duty’ as Trump slaps tariff on softwood lumber

Canada vows to fight ‘unfair and punitive duty’ as Trump slaps tariff on softwood lumber | Upsetment | Scoop.it
U.S. President Donald Trump has intensified a trade dispute with Canada, in a move that drew swift criticism from Ottawa, which vowed to sue if needed
Kenneth Weene's insight:
This will make American lumber companies happy, especially those that have taken a hit from the decline in newsprint production. However, it will drive up costs for consumers. Get your seatbelt fastened before you head off to HomeDepot. More to the scary point for me is the implicit call that American lumber companies be allowed to cut in national forests. That is the hidden agenda when such cutting is called an unfair advantage for Canadian producers. As he heat us a trade war with one of our closest friends and allies, Mr. Trump moves us away from one friend that has consistently worked with us in foreign affairs. Anybody want to take bets on how the court case will end up? My guess, the US will lose and will end up facing a bigly fine along with reparations. Of course, if Mr. Trump is still in the White House, he'll try to refuse to pay and to settle for pennies on the dollar. IMO, America is becoming the home of the shyster.
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Afghan war costs US $1 trillion, hastening retreat

Afghan war costs US $1 trillion, hastening retreat | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The Afghanistan war has cost the U.S. taxpayer nearly $1 trillion and billions more is at stake after involvement officially ends this month.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Whether we blame Bush W or Obama, the simple fact is that a hell of a lot of money has gone down the river under their combined watches. Worse, it apparently has bought nothing either for America or for the people of Afghanistan. Sadly, many people just don't get it; but IMHO constantly spending on military adventurism is about as sensible as allowing our infrastructure to fall apart or our educational system to deteriorate. In other words, this money could have been better spent and in the process good jobs for Americans would have been created. I am not saying that we don't need some military; of course we do, but just as the Roman Army eventually led to the downfall of the republic and just as the British navy couldn't keep the sun from setting on the empire, so too the United States' military is not going to save the American Century. That can only be accomplished by diplomacy and innovation. 
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