I was going to post my Current Events Write-Up tomorrow, but the links are piling up, so I’ll share them today!
The Trump Cabinet, or Potential Cabinet, or Trump Advisors, or Trump Allies
ABC This Week Transcript for December 4, 2016
I tape ABC This Week while I am at church, then I watch it when I come home. I liked something David Petraeus said:
“Well, I think [Trump]’s actually quite pragmatic. In our
conversation what I enjoyed most frankly was the discussion of issues,
or say campaign rhetoric, if you will, and then placing that in a
strategic context. As an example, he is not anti-trade, he is against —
he’s anti-unfair trade. The wall — well, the wall would be a — an
element in a comprehensive effort to shore up our security on the
southern border, which, by the way, as we discussed, would include more
help to Mexico for the problems that it has in the broader rule of law
area, and, indeed, perhaps with its southern border, which is so
challenged, as well.”
I like the part about the U.S. helping Mexico with law enforcement
and border protection. But shouldn’t something also be done to
alleviate the poverty in Mexico that encourages Mexican immigrants to
Vice-President-elect Mike Pence said something about Medicaid that
concerns me, from a compassion-for-the-poor perspective, but I am
“With regard to Medicaid, though, I will tell you, there’s a real
opportunity, there’s a real opportunity as we repeal and replace
ObamaCare to do exactly what the president-elect also said on the
campaign, and that is block granting Medicaid back to the states. Allow
states to do what Indiana was able to do, in part in the last couple of
years, and that is innovate. We actually — we actually have people on
Medicaid the first time in the history of the program that actually have
to make a monthly contribution to a health savings account to receive
full benefits. We want to give states even greater flexibility in
innovating and creating the kind of health care solutions that will work
for their population.”
When I heard this, I wondered: Do the poor of Indiana need to
contribute to a Health Saving Account from their own pocket, as if they
have the money? It seems so, but the amount is from $1 to $28. Anyway,
this article talks about how Indiana handles Medicaid, going into what people see as the positives and negatives of its approach.
The Federalist: Kellyanne Conway Would Be a Feminist Hero If She Were a Democrat, by Julie Kelly
I like this part: “After taking the helm of the listless Trump
campaign in August, Conway helped shape a more disciplined candidate,
with a message focused on a stronger economy and national defense.
Conway is like the pretty brainiac who tamed the school jock, got him to
shut up in class, and made him carry her books. Hell, she even got him
to study once in a while.”
Forbes: Tom Price’s Health Plan Doesn’t Let Insurers Impose Pre-existing Condition Exclusions—-Sort Of, by Seth Chandler
Tom Price is President-elect Trump’s selection for Secretary of
Health and Human Services. In 2015, as a congressman, Price proposed
the Empowering Patients First Act of 2015. According to this article,
the Act would have exempted patients from pre-existing conditions
exclusions if they had their health insurance for eighteen months. But,
as the article says, there would still be challenges: what if you don’t
have health insurance, for example, and you want to buy some? Would
you have to pay more if you have a pre-existing condition, or would you
be denied coverage for that condition? This legislation, like
Obamacare, is trying to navigate between two extremes. On the one hand,
we don’t want the horrors depicted on Michael Moore’s Sicko, of people
paying into policies and then their health insurance doesn’t cover
something because it is a “pre-existing condition.” On the other hand,
we don’t want a situation in which people lack insurance, then they
suddenly buy it once they get sick. This article offers constructive
criticism of Price’s legislation.
American Conservative: Mattis on Our Way of War, by Jon Basil Utley
James Mattis is Trump’s selection for Secretary of Defense. In the quotes of Mattis in this article, and in the wikipedia article about
him, Mattis comes across as someone who is judicious, cautious,
learned, and concerned about not provoking anti-American sentiment
abroad. He also supports a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine,
which may set him apart from some of the other Trump appointees.
Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity: Trump’s Promised ‘New Foreign
Policy’ Must Abandon Regime Change for Iran, by Ron Paul
On the other hand, there may be cause for concern! Ron Paul
contrasts Trump’s reservation about regime change during his campaign,
with some of the belligerent statements by his appointees.
Breitbart: How Ben Carson Can Save the Liberal Millennials Who Disdain Him, by Greg Ferenstein
Ben Carson has been selected by Trump to be Secretary of Housing and
Urban Development. Ferenstein talks about free-market approaches that
Carson can pursue to increase housing and help alleviate economic
Yahoo Finance: Student Debtors, This Trump Ally Wants to Be Your Friend, by Shahien Nasiripour
“U.S. Representative Tom Reed this week formally endorsed a law
originally proposed by House Democrats. Though a long shot, the
bill would do more for America’s roughly 42 million student debtors than
the one proposed two years ago by Warren, the liberal firebrand from Massachusetts.”
American Conservative: A Populist-Conservative Melting Pot, by Robert Verbruggen
I loved this article because it said what I have been thinking.
Trump’s cabinet looks like an interesting mix! You have establishment
Republicans, but also populists who diverge from the establishment.
Some of my favorite passages: “The treasury secretary will promote huge
tax cuts while free-trade deals are being fed through a shredder, and
everyone’s heads will explode at the Wall Street Journal.” “A
wild bit of speculation: the conservatives will have the upper hand
while Republicans control Congress, but the populists will find more
common ground with Democrats—who if history is any guide will gain seats
Other Domestic Policy and Issues
Info Wars: Standing Rock Water Protectors vs. Globalist Agitators
Info Wars is Alex Jones’ site. Alex Jones is a conspiracy theorist
and has spoken positively of Trump. My heart is warmed that his site is
speaking in favor of the protesters at Standing Rock.
ABC News: Donald Trump Meets with Climate Advocate Al Gore, by Jordyn Phelps
I am concerned about Trump’s selection of Scott Pruitt for EPA, but I am pleased that Trump met with Al Gore.
Forward: The ‘Anti-Semitism Awareness Act’ Is the Opposite of What Jews and Muslims Need Now, by Rachel Roberts
Rachel Roberts is a friend of mind. We both attended Jewish
Theological Seminary. She expresses concerns about the “Anti-Semitism
Awareness Act,” which is sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League. She
is concerned that it may conflate anti-Semitism with criticisms of
Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.
I have come across a lot of articles that defend Trump’s phone
conversation with the President of Taiwan, or at least that deny it’s
the beginning of the apocalypse! For a sample, see the articles about
this issue in The Weekly Standard, The Ron Paul Liberty Report, The Daily Beast, The Daily Wire, and Reason. (Just click on the links, and that will take you to the articles.)
Some of my favorite articles about the topic:
Foreign Policy: How Bad Was Trump’s Taiwan Phone Call, by Michael Green
This article argues that Reagan managed to improve relations with
both Taiwan and China! It also talks about the difference of opinion
within his Administration on Taiwan, as even some of the Cold War hawks
opposed outreach to Taiwan.
American Conservative: The Folly of Provoking China, by Daniel Larison
This article presents another perspective. “Our hawks tend to
overlook nationalist sentiment in other countries, and they dismiss how
other states define their vital interests, and then they agitate for
policies that meddle in the very issues that can trigger a nationalist
Is Trump Calling Out Xi Jinping?, by Patrick J. Buchanan
My impression is that Buchanan wants to applaud Trump on the Taiwan
phone conversation, but he has some reservations. Buchanan also notes
where China’s interests overlap with ours.
New York Times: Bob Dole Worked Behind the Scenes on Trump-Taiwan Call
So this conversation wasn’t some careless faux-pas on Trump’s part. Bob Dole worked on it.
Off-Guardian: Red-Baiting, Putin-Scaremongering Democrats Are Now Suddenly Worried About Offending China, by Caitlin Johnstone
The title says it all!
The Humanist: Ron Capshaw’s review of Richard Weikart’s Hitler’s Religion
Was Hitler a Christian? This article argues that the public Hitler
used Christian rhetoric, but the private Hitler disdained Christianity
and held pantheistic beliefs.
Ron Paul Liberty Report: FDR’s Pearl Harbor Bait, by Jacob G. Hornberger
This article argues that FDR egged the Japanese on. Some of the comments underneath the article disagree.
Book Plunge: Science and Religion
3 hours ago