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Author: TriSec    Date: 01/24/2017 10:57:16

Good Morning.

It's our fourth day under the new regime.


Bursting like a sorry thunderclap over Washington, Mr. Trump wasted little time in starting to dismantle the last eight years. Among the number of executive orders he's issued (or are they dictates - where is Congress?) is a hiring freeze for some sectors within the Federal Government.


WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump is signing a memorandum that freezes hiring for some federal government workers as a way to reduce payrolls and rein in the size of the federal workforce.

Trump's directive is fulfilling one of his campaign promises. He tells reporters that members of the military will be exempted from the hiring freeze.

The new president has vowed to take on the federal bureaucracy, and the action could be the first step in an attempt to curtail government employment.

The memorandum signed by Trump's is similar to one that President George W. Bush signed at the start of his administration in 2001.


It's not known yet what kind of impact such a move is going to have, and it is noted that veterans are exempt, and unlike most of his actions, this one does have precedent, so we'll see.

Moving on to our wars, we're all aware of what Mr. Trump said recently about Iraq. It feels pretty certain that we're going to go back in and take what we want next time. I think all we're waiting for is some kind of Gleiwitz Incident before we start this all over again.

But then there's also Afghanistan. There has been no vocalization of what the next policy there is going to be. Our enemy there, perhaps taking advantage of our chaos, is calling for us to withdraw. Normally we'd laugh off such a thing, but these days - who the fuck knows?


The Taliban has called on President Donald Trump to withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan, saying it is a "quagmire" that has produced little but 15 years of destruction and death.

Trump has never stated what his policy is on Afghanistan, though he has said he supports U.S. troops stationed there and he appointed two former generals with extensive experience in Afghanistan to top security positions.

In an open letter to the new U.S. president published on a Taliban web page verified by the SITE Intelligence Group on January 23, the insurgent movement told Trump the United States has lost credibility after spending billions of dollars on a 15-year entanglement with no end in sight.

"The responsibility to bring to an end this war rests on your shoulders," it said.

The Taliban has repeatedly urged the United States and its allies to leave Afghanistan, ruling out peace talks with the Kabul government as long as foreign forces remain on Afghan soil.

While the United States sent tens of thousands of troops to Afghanistan when it first invaded in 2001 to oust Al-Qaeda, the number of U.S. forces in NATO's coalition this year has dwindled to 8,400.

Since coalition forces ended their main combat mission in 2014, the Taliban has made steady inroads against the Western-backed government in Kabul, with government forces now in control of only two-thirds of the country.

Trump's views on such foreign wars have been ambivalent. He has sharply criticized past U.S. administrations for their handling of conflicts in the Muslim world, but he has also pledged to eradicate militant Islamists around the globe.


Finally today, we'll take a look at our next war. Although there were recent rumours that the US and Russia had done a few joint bombing runs in Syria, it appears that it was just that - rumours. But what may change is a willingness to re-examine our strategy there with regard to the Great Bear.


WASHINGTON — The Trump administration on Monday opened the door to cooperating with Russia "or anyone else" to combat the Islamic State group in Syria, suggesting it could reverse a previous refusal to coordinate military action with Moscow as long as it backs the Syrian government.

"I think if there's a way that we can combat ISIS with any country, whether it's Russia or anyone else, and we have a shared national interest in that, sure, we'll take it," White House press secretary Sean Spicer said.

Asked if the openness extended to working with Syrian President Bashar Assad, who has been condemned internationally for killing civilians, Spicer said, "We're not going to get together with people under the guise of defeating ISIS if that's not truly their guise." He added, "So let's not take that too far."

Spicer also suggested that Trump already has told Defense Secretary James Mattis to change the U.S. approach to fighting the Islamic State.

"I think he has ordered it," Spicer said, adding that Trump would discuss the matter with Mattis during a visit to the Pentagon Friday.

"At that time, he will continue to have conversations about what he wants from them and the joint chiefs," he added, referring to the military service chiefs.

During the more than two years that President Barack Obama directed U.S. military action against ISIS in Syria, he resisted Russian overtures to coordinate military action. Obama believed Moscow was acting counter to U.S. interests by propping up Assad, whose government Obama called illegitimate. The Pentagon has maintained a hotline with the Russian military to deal with the narrower issue of avoiding air accidents in Syria.

With Trump in the White House, Moscow seems eager to draw the new administration into closer military cooperation, perhaps reflecting Trump's frequent statements during the presidential campaign that he welcomed opportunities to improve relations with Moscow.


With any leadership change, it seems like suddenly anything is possible. Unfortunately with this one...anything is indeed possible.

37 comments (Latest Comment: 01/24/2017 20:10:38 by Scoopster)
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Comment by Raine on 01/24/2017 14:05:56
Good Morning.

TriSec, What is the source of that first link? It is my understanding that Vets are not exempt. Members of the Active military are.

This hiring freeze is really messed up as there are already Backlogs at the VA and Social Security. Not being able to hire people is only going to make that worse.

Comment by TriSec on 01/24/2017 14:06:44
Oh, poop. I forgot to grab the link. BRB.


Comment by wickedpam on 01/24/2017 14:11:46
Morning

Comment by TriSec on 01/24/2017 14:13:18
Alright, got it - it was my usual military news source. (www.military.com). There was another story out there that indicated that such hiring freezes are usually meaningless - the government can get around that by using overtime, contract workers, temps, and part-timers.



Comment by Raine on 01/24/2017 14:20:56
Quote by TriSec:
Alright, got it - it was my usual military news source. (www.military.com). There was another story out there that indicated that such hiring freezes are usually meaningless - the government can get around that by using overtime, contract workers, temps, and part-timers.


Thanks for the link.

I read this in WaPo:
Trump’s memorandum states that “no vacant positions existing at noon on January 22, 2017, may be filled and no new positions may be created, except in limited circumstances,” although the freeze does not apply to military personnel.

“The head of any executive department or agency may exempt from the hiring freeze any positions that it deems necessary to meet national security or public safety responsibilities,” it reads, adding the head of the Office of Personnel Management can allow for hiring “where those exemptions are otherwise necessary.”


Then there is this from November: (which is much more bothersome regarding why he freezing things.)
Hiring freezes, an end to automatic raises, a green light to fire poor performers, a ban on union business on the government’s dime and less generous pensions — these are the contours of the blueprint emerging under Republican control of Washington in January.

These changes were once unthinkable to federal employees, their unions and their supporters in Congress. But Trump’s election as an outsider promising to shake up a system he told voters is awash in “waste, fraud and abuse” has conservatives optimistic that they could do now what Republicans have been unable to do in the 133 years since the modern civil service was created.








Comment by Raine on 01/24/2017 14:42:04



Comment by Raine on 01/24/2017 14:43:01
Quote by Raine:







Comment by Raine on 01/24/2017 15:04:12
10 O'clock and this administration has me exhausted.

Comment by TriSec on 01/24/2017 15:07:58
It's interesting being home while I'm waiting for my hours to ramp up at the store.

I can do things like listen to the friggin' BBC and post a comment or two without looking over my shoulder.


Comment by Scoopster on 01/24/2017 15:08:52
Mornin' all!
Quote by Raine:
10 O'clock and this administration has me exhausted.

No rest for the vigilant!

Yep.. tax credits to his own companies (that he still owns!) for these projects. There's a word for that.

Comment by Raine on 01/24/2017 15:14:33
Quote by TriSec:
It's interesting being home while I'm waiting for my hours to ramp up at the store.

I can do things like listen to the friggin' BBC and post a comment or two without looking over my shoulder.

IT's kinda nice to read that.

Comment by Raine on 01/24/2017 15:15:08
Quote by Scoopster:
Mornin' all!
Quote by Raine:
10 O'clock and this administration has me exhausted.

No rest for the vigilant!

Yep.. tax credits to his own companies (that he still owns!) for these projects. There's a word for that.


I saw that a few moments ago, I am so damn tired, already.




Comment by Mondobubba on 01/24/2017 15:21:07
Quote by Raine:
Quote by TriSec:
Alright, got it - it was my usual military news source. (www.military.com). There was another story out there that indicated that such hiring freezes are usually meaningless - the government can get around that by using overtime, contract workers, temps, and part-timers.


Thanks for the link.

I read this in WaPo:
Trump’s memorandum states that “no vacant positions existing at noon on January 22, 2017, may be filled and no new positions may be created, except in limited circumstances,” although the freeze does not apply to military personnel.

“The head of any executive department or agency may exempt from the hiring freeze any positions that it deems necessary to meet national security or public safety responsibilities,” it reads, adding the head of the Office of Personnel Management can allow for hiring “where those exemptions are otherwise necessary.”


Then there is this from November: (which is much more bothersome regarding why he freezing things.)
Hiring freezes, an end to automatic raises, a green light to fire poor performers, a ban on union business on the government’s dime and less generous pensions — these are the contours of the blueprint emerging under Republican control of Washington in January.

These changes were once unthinkable to federal employees, their unions and their supporters in Congress. But Trump’s election as an outsider promising to shake up a system he told voters is awash in “waste, fraud and abuse” has conservatives optimistic that they could do now what Republicans have been unable to do in the 133 years since the modern civil service was created.








If my father hadn't been cremated, there would be a small seismic event in Tarboro, NC.

Comment by Scoopster on 01/24/2017 15:31:47
Fun times.. our phone system has been hacked & someone made a buncha calls to Albania.

Comment by Scoopster on 01/24/2017 15:36:12
Ohi DoD selling arms to other countries!

To be fair this is nothing new - we sell used arms to other countries all the time.

Comment by Mondobubba on 01/24/2017 16:18:17
Comment by Raine on 01/24/2017 16:41:17
RoyAle just came backfrom the vet!

Who's a good boy?

Comment by Raine on 01/24/2017 16:41:38
Comment by Raine on 01/24/2017 16:42:21
Quote by Scoopster:
Fun times.. our phone system has been hacked & someone made a buncha calls to Albania.



Comment by Raine on 01/24/2017 16:43:13




(I do not condone violence)




Comment by Raine on 01/24/2017 16:45:45
Comment by Raine on 01/24/2017 16:46:49

OMG, this video!
Sorry it was auto play -- but serious watch it.

Comment by Mondobubba on 01/24/2017 17:01:19
Quote by Raine:




(I do not condone violence)




Neither do I.

Comment by Raine on 01/24/2017 17:40:40
Where is the world are Barack and Michelle?

Here.

Comment by Raine on 01/24/2017 17:50:25


Comment by TriSec on 01/24/2017 18:10:42
You know, I've spent my entire adult life teaching and training youth on how to be leaders. Surely that's worth something professionally?

I believe I have reached that stage where it's more important to me to do something that matters, instead of just making money for somebody else. Why should these things be mutually exclusive?



Comment by Mondobubba on 01/24/2017 18:31:44


Plus he made the whole thing about him. Typical. Oh, he also had shills there.

Comment by Scoopster on 01/24/2017 19:07:59



Comment by wickedpam on 01/24/2017 19:10:27
Quote by Scoopster:




I thought this was the MN legislature?

Comment by Scoopster on 01/24/2017 19:12:28
Quote by wickedpam:
I thought this was the MN legislature?

GDI.. when you drill down in the comments if mentions that.

Comment by wickedpam on 01/24/2017 19:15:59
Quote by Scoopster:
Quote by wickedpam:
I thought this was the MN legislature?

GDI.. when you drill down in the comments if mentions that.


Its still pretty messed up though. I mean how do you not cover cancer treatments, diabetes, and pregnancy?!

Comment by Scoopster on 01/24/2017 19:19:03
Quote by wickedpam:
Quote by Scoopster:
Quote by wickedpam:
I thought this was the MN legislature?

GDI.. when you drill down in the comments if mentions that.

Its still pretty messed up though. I mean how do you not cover cancer treatments, diabetes, and pregnancy?!

Most likely they want to get rid of coverage for all this so that they can make a shitload of money off their personal interest in insurance companies offering premium coverage plans.

Or it's a poison pill to get rid of the entire healthcare system.

Comment by Scoopster on 01/24/2017 20:10:38