Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Last Call For A War On The Board

Meanwhile, events in Kashmir have gotten so tense that India and Pakistan are all but in an open shooting war.

Tensions between nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan escalated sharply on Wednesday, following conflicting claims by both of having shot down each other’s fighter aircraft in aerial ‘dogfights’ in the disputed Kashmir region.

A day after Indian Air Force (IAF) fighters attacked an alleged terrorist camp deep inside Pakistan, Islamabad said it had captured one Indian pilot after his aircraft was shot down in the first air-to-air engagement between the two forces since their last major war in 1971.

Pakistan military spokesman Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor said the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) had shot down two Indian fighters after they strayed into Pakistani air space and captured one pilot.

He told reporters in Islamabad that one of the IAF aircraft crashed in Pakistan-administered Kashmir while the second was hit and “limped” back to its base on the Indian side of the disputed principality.

He also displayed the seized pilot’s identity documents, in addition to publicising video clips of the trussed-up and bloodied pilot on social media outlets, in which he identifies himself and reveals only his service serial number.

India has called on Islamabad to treat the officer humanely and in accordance with the Geneva Convention. In a demarche to a senior Pakistani diplomat from its embassy in Delhi, India’s foreign ministry has demanded the pilot’s swift return.

An Indian foreign ministry official provided a different account of the events that led to the pilot’s capture. Raveesh Kumar claimed that Pakistan had responded to Tuesday’s attack by the IAF on a terrorist camp deep inside its territory by launching a retaliatory strike early the following morning against Indian military installations in Kashmir.

There's every indication that this is only going to get worse, and may I remind everyone, India and Pakistan are both nuclear powers.  Commercial flights to Pakistan have been suspended and Indian PM Modi has effective slipped the leash on India's military.

It's going to get bad most likely, and quickly.

Ohio Gets The Gas Face

Over at the Cincinnati Enquirer, politics writer Jason Williams argues that the incoming 18 cents-per-gallon gas tax increase is the result of eight years of John Kasich's funding neglect as governor, and not current GOP governor Mike DeWine's fault.

The next time you hear John Kasich on CNN or on a campaign trail bragging about how he was such a budget hawk during his time as Ohio governor, remember this:

His parting gift to Ohioans was leaving the transportation budget in shambles. The fallout: The cost of your commute is likely going to increase beginning in July.

Kasich kicked the can for years on a long-term budget fix in order to help preserve his political future – leaving the state facing a projected shortfall of $1 billion a year for roads over the next decade.

As the legislature mulls new Gov. Mike DeWine's whopping 18-cents-per-gallon gas tax increase, don't forget this: This tax hike is very much a part of Kasich's legacy.

If the legislature approves DeWine's plan, Ohio's gas tax would increase to 46 cents per gallon – fifth-highest in the U.S.

Don't blame DeWine, who has the political capital to do this because he's in his job before retirement. His options are limited, especially considering the Kasich administration strapped the state with hundreds of millions in debt to fix roads and bridges.

I don't blame either of them...I blame Ohio's GOP state lawmakers who spent years cutting taxes for the rich and for fracking companies (the latter something Kasich actually tried to stop) and didn't give a damn about the state's roads or bridges.  Republicans had a supermajroity in both the Ohio House and Senate for years and did nothing to alleviate the problem then.

Now DeWine is stuck holding the bag, but he still has the same GOP majorities to get this past, and odds are they won't pass it, while Ohio's infrastructure continues to fall apart.

Williams goes on to say Kasich was too much of a coward to fix the budget and raise taxes in order to maintain his business-friendly image heading into 2020 and that's correct, but the tax issue isn't his problem, it's the Ohio State House, and it always has been.

Kids Are Still In Cages

And these kids in Trump™ Brand Immigrant Youth Detention Facilities are being sexually abused by the thousands, because the regime cares so very much about the sanctity of human life.

The Department of Health and Human Services received more than 4,500 complaints of sexual abuse against unaccompanied minors from 2014-2018, according to internal agency documents released Tuesday by Florida Democratic Rep. Ted Deutch. 
In addition,1,303 complaints were reported to the Justice Department during that same time frame, according to the documents. 
Deutch addressed the documents during a high-profile House hearing Tuesday on the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy that resulted in thousands of immigrant children being separated from their parents. 
He said that the documents "demonstrate over the past three years, there have been 154 staff on unaccompanied minor, let me repeat that, staff on unaccompanied minor allegations of sexual assault." 
"This works out on average to one sexual assault by HHS staff on unaccompanied minor per week," he added. 
Axios first reported the documents. 
"I am deeply concerned with documents that have been turned over by HHS that record a high number of sexual assaults on unaccompanied children in the custody of the Office of Refugee and Resettlement," Deutch said. "Together, these documents detail an environment of systemic sexual assaults by staff on unaccompanied children."

This should be a massive story leading to mass resignations from the Trump regime, but nobody cares.  And yes, I know that 2014-2018 means that this happened during the Obama administration too, but they're already all resigned, yes?  Sylvia Burwell has some questions to answer, certainly.

But current HHS secretary Alex Azar however has far more, as does Azar's predecessor, Tom Price.  In fact, Azar is already the fifth person to hold this position, acting or otherwise, in the Trump regime.  I'd like to hope that Rep. Deutch will be calling on them to elaborate.


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