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Zorro

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Gender: Male
Hometown: America's Finest City
Current location: District 50
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 14,371

Journal Archives

Who Signs Up to Fight? Makeup of U.S. Recruits Shows Glaring Disparity

The sergeant in charge of one of the busiest Army recruiting centers in Colorado, Sergeant First Class Dustin Comes, joined the Army, in part, because his father served. Now two of his four children say they want to serve, too. And he will not be surprised if the other two make the same decision once they are a little older.

“Hey, if that’s what your calling is, I encourage it, absolutely,” said Sergeant Comes, who wore a dagger-shaped patch on his camouflage uniform, signifying that he had been in combat.

Enlisting, he said, enabled him to build a good life where, despite yearlong deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, he felt proud of his work, got generous benefits, never worried about being laid off, and earned enough that his wife could stay home to raise their children.

“Show me a better deal for the common person,” he said.

Soldiers like him are increasingly making the United States military a family business. The men and women who sign up overwhelmingly come from counties in the South and a scattering of communities at the gates of military bases like Colorado Springs, which sits next to Fort Carson and several Air Force installations, and where the tradition of military service is deeply ingrained.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/10/us/military-enlistment.html

Buck Henry, 'Graduate' screenwriter who co-created 'Get Smart,' dies at 89

Source: Washington Post

Buck Henry, a comedian who created the satirical spy sitcom “Get Smart” with Mel Brooks, was a frequent early host of “Saturday Night Live” and turned “plastics” into a countercultural catchword with his Oscar-nominated screenplay for “The Graduate,” died Jan. 8 at a hospital in Los Angeles. He was 89. The cause was a heart attack, said his wife, Irene Ramp.

A restless entertainer, Mr. Henry dabbled in improvisational comedy as well as theater, television and film. He received an Academy Award nomination for co-directing the 1978 afterlife comedy “Heaven Can Wait” with star Warren Beatty; wrote scripts for the sex farce “Candy” (1968), based on the novel by Terry Southern, and the Barbra Streisand screwball comedies “The Owl and the Pussycat” (1970) and “What’s Up, Doc?” (1972); and appeared as a droll supporting actor in nearly every film he helped create, including a turn as an anxiety-inducing hotel clerk in “The Graduate” (1967).

“I never wanted to stay at anything very long,” he told the New York Times in 2002, while performing in a Broadway revival of the Paul Osborn comedy “Morning’s at Seven.” “I’m moderately lazy, and I’m interested in much too large a list of things other than my career.”

Mr. Henry maintained a close association with “Saturday Night Live,” where he hosted 10 episodes in the show’s first five seasons and helped establish its transgressive brand of humor.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/buck-henry-graduate-screenwriter-who-co-created-get-smart-dies-at-89/2020/01/09/c133ffc0-3295-11ea-a053-dc6d944ba776_story.html

Trump's ignorance has created an international crisis

During the early morning hours of Sept. 15, 1950, Gen. Douglas MacArthur would lead U.S. troops on the most audacious amphibious landing in U.S. history. The assault at Inchon in South Korea was viewed beforehand as being so reckless that the Joint Chiefs of Staff dismissed the proposal out of hand. “We drew up a list of every conceivable and natural handicap,” one naval officer remembered later, “and Inchon had them all.”

To succeed, U.S. troops would have to navigate their way through a tortuous, heavily fortified channel before facing some of the most deadly tides in Asia. With U.S. soldiers pinned down on the southeastern tip of the Korean Peninsula, failure at Inchon could have led to total defeat in Korea.

MacArthur’s arrogant belief in his own infallibility allowed him to see opportunity where others saw only peril. But the legendary general brought more than a bloated ego to battle; he also carried with him a mastery of military history and, with it, the knowledge of Japan’s successful 1904 landing at the same treacherous port. That insight served MacArthur well and reversed, almost overnight, the grim trajectory of America’s so-called Forgotten War.

President Trump’s decision last week to assassinate the most powerful military figure in the Middle East was, likewise, audacious. But unlike MacArthur at Inchon, Trump likely did not grasp the gravity of his decision. How could he? The former reality-TV star has long been ignorant of world history and current events. During a 2015 interview, then-candidate Trump did not even know who Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani was. After prompting, Trump mistakenly identified the Iranian general as a Kurdish commander. Once Trump’s ignorance was revealed, the frustrated candidate weakly attacked the interviewer for “throwing around names of people and where they live.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trump-has-all-of-macarthurs-arrogance--but-none-of-his-strategic-wisdom/2020/01/06/f883370a-30cb-11ea-9313-6cba89b1b9fb_story.html

McConnell's coverup for Trump cannot make this one thing disappear

We live in endlessly absurd times. And one peril of being surrounded by full-saturation absurdity is that we often fail to register just how monumentally ridiculous each individual absurdity that confronts us really is.

Case in point: Now that former national security adviser John Bolton has announced that he’d testify at President Trump’s impeachment trial if subpoenaed, Senate Republicans are gravitating toward a see-no-evil, hear-no-evil defense: We don’t need Bolton’s testimony, because we already know Trump is innocent — and we already know we’re acquitting him.

That’s ridiculous enough on its own. But at the core of this emerging defense is another absurdity so spectacular that it’s almost impossible to do it justice with mere words.

It is a reasonable possibility that Bolton has a level of direct knowledge of Trump’s thinking and motives in freezing military aid to Ukraine — one of the most corrupt acts at the core of this whole scandal — that exceeds that of any other living human being.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/01/07/mcconnells-coverup-trump-cannot-make-this-one-thing-disappear/

It's Republicans, not Democrats, threatening our constitutional order

During the House of Representatives’ impeachment probe, Republicans denounced the process with a common refrain — Democrats were betraying the nation’s Founders by warping the Constitution to suit their partisan purposes. “The Founders were very concerned about a partisan impeachment,” Republican Rep. Douglas A. Collins of Georgia insisted in his opening statement in the House’s impeachment hearing.

And, in a way, congressional Republicans are right. But not for the reasons they think. In fact, it is Republicans’ position on impeachment that would trouble the Founders because the party’s partisan rigidity threatens to upend the proper constitutional order.

The Founders decried partisanship in any facet of American government. They could not then have imagined the two-party structure that solidified over the next two centuries. Nor could they have fathomed the partisan polarization that currently colors every aspect of American political life.

In the 18th century, political thinkers viewed parties as unnaturally divisive and manipulative. Rather than representing competing ideologies and interests, parties poisoned politics by disrupting consensus and privileging special interests over the common good. In Federalist 10, James Madison defined parties, then called “factions,” as any group “adversed [sic] to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/01/07/its-republicans-not-democrats-threatening-our-constitutional-order/

FYI "McCarthy" is on PBS' American Experience tonight

It's a 2 hour show. I'll be tuning in.

FBI raids home, office of lobbyist Michael Esposito

Source: Washington Post

FBI agents investigating a lobbyist who has claimed close ties to President Trump and his family searched the man’s Northern Virginia home and D.C. office early Thursday morning looking for evidence of possible fraud, according to people familiar with the matter.

Michael Esposito’s business has boomed in the Trump era, but Trump, White House officials and senior Republicans have said he greatly exaggerated his claims of access to the president and his inner circle.

Following a Washington Post story in November on Esposito’s business, the FBI is investigating to see if Esposito may have defrauded his clients or engaged in any other type of financial fraud, the people said.

Esposito did not respond to phone messages or emails requesting comment, and no one answered the door at his home in Sterling Friday morning.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/fbi-raids-home-office-of-lobbyist-michael-esposito/2020/01/03/bcf05dc0-2e38-11ea-bcb3-ac6482c4a92f_story.html



I'm sure this is just another deep state witch hunt.

It does seem there's a lot of Republican witches these days.
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