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Sunday, April 23rd open thread: ‘Something to Remind You’

April 23, 2017

open-thread  Here is the open thread for Sunday, April 23rd. Please feel free to post links to interesting articles and to discuss whatever issues arise during the course of the day. Nothing is off-topic here.

  Last week  we discussed 7 stories, did you miss any of them? If so there is an easy way to make sure it does not happen again. I understand that all of you are busy and cannot always find the time to check the blog for updates so why not subscribe to America’s Watchtower and receive email updates whenever I write a new post? That is the easiest way to follow the blog to ensure you never miss another post.

  In addition to subscribing you can also follow America’s Watchtower on Facebook and Twitter by clicking the links on the right. But you will get more than that for I often post links to articles I probably will not be writing about so it is a great way to keep up with what is happening.

 The Twitter widget in the sidebar is fully interactive. This widget updates my tweets in real time and allows you to respond to or retweet my tweets right from the blog. It also allows you to tweet me right from America’s Watchtower. How cool is that! If you do not have a Twitter account what better reason do you need to sign up for one!

  As you might have noticed by many of my musical selections, I love sad, depressing music for some reason. Not to get too philosophical but I think it might be a counter-balance to my sometimes overly-optimistic attitude in life. I heard this some earlier in the week and I was struck by the sadness and longing I felt in it so I have decided to share it. On the surface it sounds like a song about someone who is going to pick up and move out in order to start over however the line “so when the day comes and the sun won’t touch my face, tell the ones who cared enough that I’ve finally left this place” sounds to me as if the subject is contemplating suicide.

  Remember:When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.” (Isaiah 43:2 KJV)

  Here is Staind performing “Something to Remind You” live from last year:

frui diem

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Donald Trump secures the release of Egyptian American charity worker who was held prisoner in Egypt

April 21, 2017

 We all remember  the hype in the mainstream media after Barack Obama negotiated a prisoner exchange to secure the return of Bowe Bergdahl to American soilIn that deal five GITMO detainees were released in return for one American deserter and the media went crazy hailing the swap and we all remember the high profile press conference with the parents of said deserter. It was supposedly a great day to be an American.

  Aya Hijazi is an Egyptian American charity worker who has been imprisoned in Cairo for three years, you might not have heard of her because the mainstream media has not covered her story, but late last night she returned to America, along with her husband and four other Americans, after Donald Trump worked behind the scenes to secure her release.

Read more…

Donald Trump signs bill giving veterans more options for healthcare

April 21, 2017

  On Wednesday Donald Trump signed a bill, the Veterans Choice Program Extension and Improvement Act, which is designed to help veterans get healthcare if they are having trouble with Veterans Affairs. Here is more:

President Donald Trump  signed into law on Wednesday the Veterans Choice Program Extension and Improvement Act, which “eliminates the original sunset date on the Veterans Choice Program” and “gives veterans who are unable to schedule an appointment at a VA facility in a timely or convenient manner the ability to receive care from an eligible non-VA health care.”

“Using funds that have already been appropriated for this program, this gives our nation’s heroes the peace of mind they deserve while this administration works with Congress to enact comprehensive reform and modernization at the VA,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said.

“The veterans have poured out their sweat and blood and tears for this country for so long, and it’s time that they’re recognized, and it’s time that we now take care of them, and take care of them properly,” the president said before signing the legislation.

“That’s why I’m pleased today to sign into law the Veterans Choice Program Improvement Act,” Trump said, which “ will extend and improve the Veterans Choice Program so that more veterans can see the doctor of their choice.”

Trump said the bill will ensure that veterans “don’t have to wait and travel long distances for VA care.”

  In addition to extending the Veterans Choice Program this bill will also also allow veterans who do not live near a Veterans Affairs facility to seek appointments from other approved outlets which are closer to home. This will also help with the Veterans Affairs backlog, and as Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, this is a good day for veterans:

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

Jason Chaffetz might not finish his term

April 20, 2017

 Yesterday Jason Chaffetz, citing his desire to be back home with his family, announced he was not going to run for reelection in 2018 and today we are learning that he might not even finish his term.

  Here is more:

U.S. Representative Jason Chaffetz, the Republican chairman of a House committee with broad investigative powers, said on Thursday that it is possible he could leave office before his term finishes next year, The Wall Street Journal reported.

“My future plans are not yet finalized, but I haven’t ruled out the possibility of leaving early,” Chaffetz told the Journal a day after the Utah congressman announced he would not run for re-election in 2018.

Chaffetz’s staff in Washington, D.C., and in Utah did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

In Utah, officials have begun running informal scenarios on how and when to hold a special election should Chaffetz resign, but have not been formally notified of the congressman’s intentions, Mark Thomas, the state’s director of elections, told Reuters.

  Yesterday I speculated that there could be more to this story than we are being told and now I am almost certain there is. It is possible that Jason Chaffetz hates being away from his family so much that he has no desire to finish his term, and if this is the case I can understand that. I hate being away from my family for extended periods of time so I can relate to that, however if that is the case he should not have run for reelection in the first place.

  Is there more to this story? Does Jason Chaffetz have an issue with Donald Trump? He did say he was going to vote for him but stopped short of endorsing him. Has he come to the realization that he simply does not like the culture in Washington? Does he have a deal in the works which he cannot refuse? Or is it something else?

  I do not know the answer to any of these questions but something is wrong with this story…

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

Jason Chaffetz will not seek reelection in 2018

April 19, 2017

  In what I can only explain as a surprising turn of events House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz has announced he will not seek reelection in 2018. Here is more:

House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said Wednesday he will not run for reelection next year, ending a fast-rising political career, at least for now.

“After long consultation with my family and prayerful consideration, I have decided I will not be a candidate for any office in 2018,” he wrote on Facebook. “I have made a personal decision to return to the private sector.”

  He is saying that he does not believe politics should be a career and that is why he is stepping away…for now:

Read more…

Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill on free college tuition: ‘we can’t just start having the government pay for everything’

April 18, 2017

 One of the staples of failed (or should I say, screwed over by his own party) Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders’s campaign was free college tuition for everybody.  Naturally this has enticed the young people in this country and other Democrats have hopped on board the free tuition train. While it sounds great nobody on the left who supports this idea seems to be asking how it will be paid for.

  In a rare moment of clarity on the debt and economic issues Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill admitted college tuition is expensive and our focus should be on other issues when it comes to government spending. She went on to admit the government cannot pay for everything.

  Here is more:

“Free college tuition is a great goal except it’s really expensive. It’s really expensive and we are struggling with how we’re going to pay for what we have in place right now in terms of Medicare,” McCaskill said.

“We have a demographic bubble that is moving into the system and we have interest rates going up and we owe a lot of debt. And if we’re not careful, we’re going to get so far under that we could be Greece.”

“So while I’m a very big supporter of Medicare and a very big supporter of for example expanding Medicaid in Missouri – it’s inane that has not been expanded in Missouri – I also want to be mindful of the fact that we can’t just start having the government pay for everything,” she continued.

“When people talk about that and they point out countries where that happens, people are paying 70 percent of their income in taxes in those countries.”

  This is something the Republicans have been saying for years, and have been labeled as haters for, and it is downright shocking to hear a Democrat talk like this. I feel like I am living in the Bizarro world right now. 

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

House Ways and Means Chairman calls for a Justice Department investigation into Lois Lerner

April 18, 2017

  Last week it was reported that some House Republicans were going to file charges against Lois Lerner for illegally targeting conservative groups in 2012 but as of yet nothing has happened. But today maybe the first step may have been taken as House Ways and Means Chairman, Kevin Brady, has requested a Department of Justice investigation into Lois Lerner’s activities.

  Here is more:

The chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee called on the Department of Justice (DOJ) to review evidence that Lois Lerner “broke the law to target Americans for their political beliefs.” The request comes after the DOJ refused, under the Obama Administration’s leadership, to investigate allegations of wrongdoing by the former IRS Exempt Organizations Division director.

Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX), joined by Tax Police Subcommittee Chairman Peter Roskam (R-IL), sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions requesting an investigation into allegations that Lerner used her division’s power to target American citizens’ applications for non-profit status, or political action committees, based upon the citizen’s political beliefs.

 “Taxpayers deserve to know that the DOJ’s previous evaluation was not tainted by politics,” the two chairmen wrote in the letter obtained by Breitbart Texas. “We respectfully request the Department of Justice to take a fresh look at the evidence presented in the attached referral in order to restore taxpayers’ trust in the IRS.”

Brady and Roskam sent information to the U.S. Attorney General disclosing findings of a three-year investigation by their committee that uncovered “evidence of willful misconduct on the part of Ms. Lerner.”

  As was mentioned in the block quote above, Barack Obama’s DOJ refused to investigate this scandal despite her not cooperating with the Congressional investigation and taking the Fifth, and you may remember that Lois Lerner was allowed to retire with her full pension.  A reward for a job well done?

Read more…