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When Presidential Pets Attack, And Other Signs The World Is Ending This Week
The wolf will lie down with the lamb, the monkey will do god knows what with the deer, and the Portuguese water dog will get you angry comments on Breitbart. You can be forgiven for feeling apocalyptic vibes these days.
Which is why Task & Purpose offers you this at-a-glance Friday roundup of the good, the bad, and the deeply fucked up in recent military and diplomatic news… plus a few pop-culture signs of Armageddon. Lock and load!
- This is the week we all learned what kompromat is. Does Russia have some on the president-elect? I don’t know. Neither does anyone else, apparently. But “Penthouse” is putting up $1 million for video proof. (Wait, “Penthouse” still exists?)
- If we’re going to talk about U.S. intelligence reports, let’s talk about the community’s new public assessment that “for better and worse, the emerging global landscape is drawing to a close an era of American dominance following the Cold War.” For… better? Wait till you get to the part about the Indo-Pakistani war of 2028 going nuclear.
- Here’s fresh video from a European watchdog of a Russian artillery battery firing into Ukraine and violating cease-fire terms — or, as they call it in Eastern Ukraine, “Thursday.”
- The largest U.S. military brigade in Europe since the USSR’s fall landed in Germany this week — 3,500 troops and 2,500 vehicles fanning out across Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, and the Baltic states. The move is intended to aid NATO allies, check Russian adventurism, and remind everyone how badass the Eighties were.
— Already Happened (@M3t4_tr0n) January 11, 2017
- Iranian lawmakers voted this week to boost military spending, also expanding the nation's controversial ballistic missile program. That vote came the day after a U.S. destroyer fired warning shots at a group of approaching Iranian small boats. The president-elect has said that if such maritime harassment happens on his watch, Iran’s boats “will be shot out of the water.”
- Abdul Ali Shamsi, a young Kandahar deputy governor who was restoring many Afghans’ faith in government, was among 11 people killed in by bombers on Tuesday. It was the last of three bombing attacks across Afghanistan Tuesday that killed as many as 60.
- Watch this video of hundreds of DoD mini-drones swarming a flight of F-18s and tell me the apocalypse isn’t nigh.
- Defense secretary nominee and lovable mad dog Jim Mattis had his confirmation hearings this week. He didn’t kill anyone, yet, and he appears set to take over the Pentagon without a hitch, despite reports he's clashing with the president-elect. On Thursday, he also told the Senate Armed Services Committee that we don't have a strong enough military to deter Russia. Time to get bullish on defense industry stocks.
- The directors of the National Nuclear Safety Administration — the agency responsible for managing America’s nuclear stockpile — are being let go as of Jan. 20, and replacements have yet to be hired. Want to get your finger on the button? Polish off that resume and send it to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Sunny, one of the Obamas’ two Portuguese water dogs (and definitely not “girly”), reportedly attacked an 18-year-old woman who was visiting the White House, leaving a bite mark on her face. If you think that’s bad, wait till you see what Sunny was emailing on his private server.
The Trump administration wants to shift billions of dollars from government-run veterans' hospitals to private health care providers. That's true even though earlier this year the administration vehemently denied it would privatize any part of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The privatization of essential government services is nothing new, of course. Over the years, countries have privatized dozens of services and activities that were once the sole domain of governments, such as the provision of electricity and water, road operations and prisons and even health care, with the ostensible aim of making them more efficient.
But before going down that road, the question needs to be asked whether privatizing essential human services such as those for military veterans serves the public interest. New research we recently published suggests that privatization may come at a social cost.
KENT COUNTY, MI – The ACLU is demanding an investigation after a Grand Rapids-born U.S Marine combat veteran was held for possible deportation.