Left Justified


Military Parade Scheduled for Veteran’s Day

March 12, 2018 by Gail Nussbaum in Politics

Saint-Cyriens le 14 juillet 2007 sur les Champs élysées à Paris. Un lieutenant a des soucis avec son sabre (devant l’arrêt de bus). Photo courtesy of Adrien Marquette.

A memo released last week by the Pentagon announced that there will be a military parade taking place this coming Veteran’s Day, on November 11, 2018. The parade was requested by President Donald Trump but will not put on display some of the largest military hardware which the president had hoped to see.

The parade will include soldiers from the different defense branches and will focus on the expanding role of women serving. US air power will also be highlighted with examples of modern and historic war planes included in the ceremony. Many veterans’ groups will join, including the ceremonial Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps.

To protect “local infrastructure” the parade will not have tanks rolling down the road between the White House and the Capital.

“This parade will focus on the contributions of our veterans throughout the history of the U.S. military, starting from the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 to today, with an emphasis on the price of freedom,” added the office of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in a guidance to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Trump was inspired to have a military parade in the US after he enjoyed the Bastille Day celebration on his recent visit to France. Trump’s idea was first met with skepticism by lawmakers from both sides of the aisle. Congressmen and senators from both parties were upset that such a display of force feels and looks like the behavior of authoritarian regimes.

White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney estimates the cost of the parade could reach $30 million.

Trump Economic Advisor Cohn Considering Exit Over Tariff Issue

March 4, 2018 by Gail Nussbaum in Politics

Gary Cohn, senior economic advisor to President Donald Trump, could be leaving his position as director of the National

Director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn | 7/25/17 (Official White House Photo by Evan Walker)

Economic Council in response to the president’s imposition of high tariffs on steel and aluminum announced last week by Trump.

This is not the first time Cohn’s continuation as economic advisor to Trump has come into question. The first time Cohn seriously considered stepping down from his position was after Trump’s comments about White Supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia after a march there ended in violence. Cohn had written several versions of resignation letters after Trump appeared to praise the racists while criticizing the protesters against them. In the end Cohn did not send his resignation to the president. Cohn was instrumental in getting Trump’s big tax cut bill passed last year.

Now however, despite Cohn’s heroic efforts to dissuade Trump from imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum, he could not change Trump’s mind, and might not be willing to take this last, deep insult. This new blow might just be the last straw for Cohn. Allies of Cohn began to think he would finally leave after the stock market fell 500 points in response to Trump’s announcement.

The imposition on tariffs is a violation of one of Cohn’s core beliefs about economic prosperity and growth: that protectionism is economically backward and does not lead to increased prosperity.

“It’s just something he feels very passionate about and he is incredibly good at making the case,” said someone close to Cohn. However, this person is not certain this will be the decision that forces Cohn out.

Cohn is not alone in his disapproval of tariffs. Larry Kudlow, and outside advisor who is frequently mentioned as a possible successor to Cohn, was critical of the president’s announcement.

“All that will happen with steel tariffs is you will raise prices for all import users and that includes businesses and of course consumers,” Kudlow said. “You will wind up hurting millions of people to help 140,000 people in the steel industry. You will be hurting car buyers. Is that really what you want to do?”

Democratic Party Snubs Senator Feinstein

February 26, 2018 by Gail Nussbaum in Politics

President George W. Bush shakes hands with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger as he talks with the media after touring the Rancho Bernardo neighborhood Thursday, Oct. 25, 2007, with Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and FEMA Director David Paulison.

The senior Senator from California, Dianne Feinstein, failed to receive the necessary 60% of her party’s votes to get an uncontested endorsement, an embarrassing, if expected outcome of her re-election bid.

Her more progressive rival, Kevin de León received 37% while Feinstein, who has been a California senator since 1992, only got a lukewarm 54%. The vote revealed a rivalry between centrist Democrats like Feinstein versus a more progressive position within the walls of the party.

De León, the state Senate leader, declared his receipt of 37% of the votes a victory for his difficult race for the support of his party.

“The outcome of today’s endorsement vote is an astounding rejection of politics as usual, and it boosts our campaign’s momentum as we all stand shoulder-to-shoulder against a complacent status quo,” de León said. “California Democrats are hungry for new leadership that will fight for California values from the front lines, not equivocate on the sidelines.”

Despite her less than overwhelming support from her own party, Feinstein is doing well among voters in California, outpolling de León 46% to 17%. Feinstein also has the financial backing needed to retain her seat in the Congress with $10 million cash on hand compared to de León’s $500,000.

While addressing the convention music began to play to signal that her time to speak had run out. Feinstein noted that “I guess my time is up.”

Supporters of her rival did not miss the opportunity to chant back at the 84 year old grand dame of California politics: “Time’s Up! Time’s Up!”