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Tensions Rise Between Tillerson And Trump As The Threat Of War In N. Korea Looms

"GROSS: He's seen a lot of war, right. So do you have any idea what kind of war he's envisioning if we do go to war with North Korea? And I hate to even utter those words."

"FILKINS: Yeah, God forbid. I think there's a lot of different options. And, I mean, I've had some discussions about what those options are. I think they're all terrible. I think that the easy scenario to imagine - I mean, it's a terrible scenario - is the moment the United States strikes North Korea, say. And we're speaking only theoretically here. The North Koreans have at their disposal thousands of artillery rounds that are within striking range of Seoul. And I think, you know, metropolitan Seoul has how many people - 20 million people. And so you can imagine."

Trump Wanted Tenfold Increase in Nuclear Arsenal, Surprising Military

"President Donald Trump said he wanted what amounted to a nearly tenfold increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal during a gathering this past summer of the nation’s highest ranking national security leaders, according to three officials who were in the room.

Trump’s comments, the officials said, came in response to a briefing slide he was shown that charted the steady reduction of U.S. nuclear weapons since the late 1960s. Trump indicated he wanted a bigger stockpile, not the bottom position on that downward-sloping curve."

Public education alert: Americans still support nuclear weapons use

"In what may be the most depressing article I’ve read since the epithets “Rocket Man” and “Dotard” entered the global lexicon, The Harvard Crimson reports that public approval of nuclear weapons use remains strong in the United States. In an appearance at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, Stanford University nuclear expert Scott Sagan cited an August study that shows 60 percent of Americans supporting a decision to use atomic bombs that killed 100,000 Iranian civilians, if it meant that 20,000 American soldiers weren’t sacrificed in a ground attack on Iran, the Crimson reported. And almost 60 percent of those surveyed supported a nuclear air strike that killed two million Iranian civilians, if it meant 20,000 American soldiers didn’t have to lose their lives in an invasion."

Nothing More Sharply Divides Americans Than Politics. It Wasn’t Always Like This

"The partisan split in America is the highest it's been in two decades, with Republicans and Democrats holding vastly disparate views on race, immigration and the role of government, according to a new study from the Pew Research Center."

"Pew has been measuring attitudes on policy issues and political values dating back to 1994, and its latest check-in finds — perhaps unsurprisingly — that Americans are more divided than ever."

"The fact that Republicans and Democrats differ on these fundamental issues is probably not a surprise, but the magnitude of the difference is striking, and particularly how the differences have grown in recent years and where they've grown," Carroll Doherty, Pew's director of political research and one of the authors of the study, told NPR."

State sends out more money than it receives

Redistributing wealth from the rich (states) to the poor (states). What a novel concept. What will politicians think up next?

People forget at New York State has Wall Street and the largest metropolitan region in the nation. Of course, we will be sending a lot of the excess tax money from Wall Street to help people in poorer states, who have a lot less then New York residents who live high on the hog. Governor Nelson Rockefeller used to complain about this a lot -- and that was back when New York State was the most populated and by far the wealthiest. So it's not shocking people still complain about it.

Puerto Rico is all our worst fears about Trump coming real

"For the first nine months of his administration, observers have had occasion to wonder — and wonder, and wonder, and wonder — how exactly Donald Trump would manage to handle a real crisis imposed by external events rather than his own impulsiveness. The answer is now apparent in the blackened streets of San Juan and the villages of interior Puerto Rico that more than a week after Hurricane Maria struck remain without access to food or clean water."

"To an extent, the United States of America held up surprisingly well from Inauguration Day until September 20th or so. The ongoing degradation of American civic institutions, at a minimum, did not have an immediate negative impact on the typical person’s life."

"But the world is beginning to draw a straight line from the devastation in Puerto Rico straight to the White House. Trump’s instinct so far is to turn the island’s devastation into another front in culture war politics, a strategy that could help his own political career survive."

Obama Is Living in a Hillary Clinton Presidency

"Barack Obama, the president who presided over the regulation of Wall Street after the financial crisis struck, has seemingly learned the opposite lesson. On Monday it was reported by Bloomberg that Obama in August accepted $400,000 for a speech he delivered to Northern Trust Corporation, a wealth management bank. That was followed last week by a speech to the Carlyle Group, a private equity firm. It had also been previously reported that Obama was receiving $400,000 from the bond firm Cantor Fitzgerald to speak at a health care conference later this month.

There are some major differences between Clinton’s situation and Obama’s. Clinton was ramping up to run for president in a decidedly anti-establishment year—“anger at the financial industry had been building for years,” Clinton acknowledges in her book—while Obama is returning to private life, with no clear political future. But while Clinton may have learned (too late) that Democratic leaders are under intense pressure to repair an image that has been tarnished by accusations of elitism and corruption, Obama doesn’t seem to have received the memo."

Nixon’s Basic Income Plan

"[In 1969], Richard Nixon was on the verge of making these economists’ dream a reality by enacting an unconditional income for all poor families. It would have been a massive step forward in the War on Poverty, guaranteeing a family of four $1,600 a year, equivalent to roughly $10,000 in 2016."

"First, however, Nixon needed some evidence. Tens of millions of dollars were budgeted to provide a basic income for more than 8,500 Americans in cities around the country. The researchers wanted to answer three questions: (1) Would people work significantly less with a guaranteed income?; (2) Would the program cost too much?; and (3) Would it prove politically unfeasible?"

"The answers were no, no, and maybe."

Truck follows GPS directions onto boardwalk, leaving trail of damage behind

To be fair, a semi-truck in the 1970s got stuck on the Harrisburg Road Snowmobile Trail, and that was 40 years before GPS. http://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2015/12/tip-dont-drive-big-rigs-on-snowmobile-trails.html

"A tractor-trailer driver found himself in an unusual situation Wednesday morning because of what the driver said was a GPS error."

"Ventnor City Police Chief Doug Biagi said an officer spotted an 18-wheel tractor trailer the near Washington Avenue section of the Boardwalk around 5:30 a.m. Wednesday."

"According to the police chief, this is the second time in two months that a truck has come down the boardwalk in Ventnor. The first time was a building supply truck back in July."

Almost a year ago, I remember watching the Presidential debate, and while I disagreed with a lot with what President Donald Trump, I knew from my training that he was winning audiences over with his discussion of jobs, an issue that people care intensively about. While most Americans are employed, nearly every American wants a better job that pays better and requires less physical and mental effort. Few of us are totally happy with current jobs, and wish we could move farther up the later. Donald Trump, as the Republican candidate, and whose party was on the outside of White House, could claim to he was the outsider and could do better at creating jobs. He could also point to his experience as a businessman, rather then the ultimate political insider – the former first lady in the White House.

We all know what happened on November 6th. President Donald Trump snapped up critical swing states, and became the 45th President of the United States on January 20, 2017. His White House has been one of big roll outs of executive orders, but they haven’t really gotten any major legislation done. Most of the executive orders are reinterpretations of existing law, and while their dictates have inevitably impacted many families, they are hardly sweeping new policy that changes the lives most Americans. Obamacare remains the law of the land, and even if the president is doing everything in his power to undermine the law, there is no evidence that he’s doing much to change the good of the law has done for many families.

At the same time, the economy has kept humming along under Donald Trump. His boldest claims of accelerating growth beyond the normal growth of a healthy economy haven’t come true, but unemployment continues to drop and jobs keep being created. The tiny, but regionally important, at least in perception, coal industry continues to see an uptick in mining jobs, but that’s more due to the increase in natural gas futures, pushing some electricity generation to a limited extent from gas to coal. It’s not clear how long that trend will last. Inflation remains low, and the stock market keeps climbing. While some areas remained depressed and troubled in our nation, generally the economy is quite healthy. That could change going forward, and indeed the President’s policies on the economy will get a firmer imprint when he appoints several new regional governors to the federal reserve board, and ultimately replaces the fed chair in February 2018.

Most other things haven’t changed for the public. Shooters and hunters are certainly happy with the lower prices on firearms, more sales, and more available ammunition. It really sucked that it was hard to get 22lr ammo while President Obama was in the office. Certainly some of that was hording of ammunition by shooters and hunters, under the theory that ammunition would be harder to get under some future gun control law. But that hasn’t yet come to happen, and that’s unlikely. But it sure is nice to be able to just go to Walmart and be able to choose between a big box of cheap target ammo and more expensive sporting ammo, and no it’s likely to be in stock any time you go. I don’t know how much the election had to do with it – part of it may be Remington’s new factory for producing 22lr among other things – but a lot had to do with people’s changing thoughts on how much ammunition they need to buy today.

I don’t like how our President acts so unprofessionally, or his numerous stupid things he say that risk getting our country in trouble. Certainly the elevation of partisanship about the Confederate Flag isn’t a good thing, and the growing anger between the left and right isn’t healthy. But assuming our streets don’t break out into partisan warfare, or that angry minds on the left and right don’t turn to violence, rioting or terror to get their way, I think we will be okay. Things may seem bad, but I look back at the historical record from 1967 with all the riots and disorder in our country, and I think we really live in a time of great harmony and peace, even if our president is doing what he can to do to pour gasoline on the discontented in our country.

Albany coroners race could have Democratic Primary

"The latest sought-after job in Albany County — one with an annual salary of about $20,000 — is county coroner."

"Following a long, often contentious and disorganized Albany County Democratic Committee meeting Monday, two incumbent coroners secured the Democratic nomination for the part-time posts, although they faced challenges by at least four others."

Why the Elite Media Want You to Think Trump Is an Independent

"And while it almost certainly isn't something they're consciously attempting to argue, I suspect that another reason reporters might want to assert that Trump is an independent is that it serves as a defense of the two-party system and the larger stability of our democracy. One way to look at Trump is that he's the logical product of a party that has set about in recent years to promote fear of immigrants, distrust of scientific authority, the specific interests of white people, the belief that all problems have easy solutions, and a contempt not just for the media but for the idea of objective truth itself. Trump is proof positive that if you say Both Sides Do It, you're completely wrong."

"On the other hand, if Trump is an anomaly who stands outside the two parties and got elected essentially by accident, then the system is basically fine. Once he's gone and all this madness has come to its merciful end, we can return to the way things were without asking whether there's a profound rot within the GOP and within America itself that allowed this toxic buffoon to become his party's nominee and then the president."