Craig and Votel disagree on Yemen

The new health plan . . . three phases:

  • Pass repeal-plus proposal
  • HHS regulatory actions
  • Pass future legislation with Dems

The GOP wants to “perfect” the plan.  One leader feels the GOP “is” moving “too fast.”  He would like for others to “weigh-in” and slow it down to a 4-week (or so) process.  He agrees that millions ‘could’ lose their health insurance with the new plan.  This same leader agrees that a ‘wall‘ is still needed in the south to keep drugs out.

The WH is saying it did not know that Mike Flynn was a foreign agent.  However, last November, Rep. Elijah Cummings sent a letter to Pence about Flynn and a possible “conflict of interest.”  http://www.businessinsider.com/elijah-cummings-letter-to-mike-pence-about-flynn-turkey-lobbying-2017-3

Rep. Elijah Cummings, the ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent Pence a letter on November 18 requesting more information about the potential conflicts of interest posed by Flynn’s lobbying work.  Cummings sent the letter four days after both The Daily Caller and Politico reported that Flynn’s consulting firm, Flynn Intel Group Inc., had been hired to lobby for Turkish interests.

HAS the WH fully vetted everyone ‘in’ the WH?  Are there any more foreign agents in the WH?  Based on Cummings letter, the WH should’ve known about Flynn prior to appointing him.  On 9/15/16 Flynn filed a form with Congress about his lobbying on behalf of Turkey — so, once again, the WH should’ve known (but failed to).  Turkey is an American ally; however, the leader of Turkey is controversial.  http://time.com/4410491/turkey-president-erdogan-history/

 Erdogan . . . he had his detractors: “He has, it is true, also displayed an autocratic streak, running roughshod over political rivals, tossing enemies into jail and intimidating the media,” TIME reported in a 2011 profile. “Critics say Erdogan ‘s government is censoring the Internet, muzzling regulators and interfering in academic institutions. But to his admirers, these failings pale against his successes. Democratic, economically ascendant and internationally admired: as political templates go, Turkey’s is pretty irresistible to people shaking off decades of authoritarian, impoverishing rule—and to Westerners worried about what those people might do next.” And in 2013, his “heavy-handed” response to protesters in Istanbul’s Taksim Square drew the world’s attention to those people in Turkey who wanted a new leader.

Re: Trump’s claim Obama tapped his wires:

  • Still no evidence of this
  • Spicer won’t talk about it
  • POTUS-DT has said he may not accept Committee findings once the “I” has been completed

The US economy may’ve improved . . . DT says current stats are “good” but past stats are “phony.”  One pundit:  Fitting facts to suit policy instead of fitting policy to facts is a bad practice, and this POTUS is doing it all over the place.  Accurate stats are very important as they:

  • trigger unemployment insurance
  • the Consumer Price Index determines the amount on social security checks
  • the ongoing Community Survey (mandatory) guides 400 billion dollars in federal funding/spending

http://poe.house.gov/2017/3/poe-make-the-american-community-survey-voluntary

This week, Congressman Ted Poe (TX-02) introduced H.R. 1305, a bill that would make the American Community Survey voluntary.  Critics say if this happens the reliability of the data will suffer.  The WH is downplaying the role of accurate data.

Re: January’s Navy Seal Yemen raid (which resulted in the death of Navy Seal Ryan Owens).  Gen. Joseph Votel, US Central Command, says after a deep study he found no evidence of misconduct or incompetence and he’s satisfied things there were no improprieties.  He said his force was fired upon from multiple directions.

Iona Craig (a London reporter) tells a different story:

https://www.poynter.org/2017/the-intercept-exposes-trumps-tall-tale-on-the-botched-yemen-raid/451863/

Craig says (paraphrasing):

  • All three were present: poor decisions, bad judgment, incompetency
  • The mission was poorly planned
  • The raid proceeded despite intel their element of surprise has been blown
  • She went to Yemen, made a study, saw with her own eyes aftermath, etc
  • The village was sprayed with US firepower from US air strikes and US helicopters
    • The Seals were pinned down by villagers, who didn’t know they were Navy Seals
    • The incoming firepower killed civilians . . . the village has been devastated
    • The village is being bombed regularly now since the botched raid

 

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