Closing Thought–09Jun17

Another WW2 Vet Comes Home!

Great news….another WW2 vets remains have been found and returned home….

More than 70 years ago, a US Army plane was headed for India on a supply mission. It never arrived, and no one went looking for the doomed aircraft or the eight men on board because military officials had no way of pinpointing where it went down. All signs of the mission were lost until 2006, when a hiker in India spotted a wing and panel sign inscribed with the bomber’s name. It wasn’t until 2015 that the US Defense Department investigated the crash site and found the remains of 1st Lt. Robert Eugene Oxford. On Thursday, Oxford will finally be returned home and laid to rest with full military honors in his hometown of Concord, Georgia, the AP reports. Photos of Oxford’s seven fellow crewmen, none of whom were found, will be placed inside his coffin for burial.

Oxford’s plane departed Kumming, China, on Jan. 25, 1944, said Staff Sgt. Kristen Duus at the Defense Prisoners of War/Missing in Action Agency. Oxford was declared dead two years later. Oxford’s family didn’t know the wreckage had been found until 2007. Harmful weather coupled with access issues and security delayed recovery operation efforts until late 2015, Duus said. Officials say a DNA analysis of Oxford’s remains matched his niece and nephew. Though Oxford’s parents, siblings, and any other relatives who saw him leave for World War II have all died since he went missing, a relative said the niece and nephew were “shocked and excited” when they heard the news. Duus said Oxford is one of 74 veterans who have been identified so far this year.

Welcome home

May he now Rest in Peace

Another Friday comes to an end….time to ready myself for the weekend and some down time.  Enjoy yours as I will mine  chuq

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Across The Pond

While the US was debating who did what over some sinner in the Oval Office…..the UK was having an election….I am not sure how important it is bur I am sure that there are many that will fill me in on the  nuances of UK politics…..but until then I have a breakdown from the media…..

Theresa May appears set to stay on as prime minister despite the spectacular failure of her attempt to increase the Conservative Party’s majority with an early election in the UK. The BBC reports that May, whose party lost 12 seats in Parliament, leaving it without the majority needed to govern alone, is planning to form a government with Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party. With 326 seats needed to form a majority, the DUP’s 12 seats would give 330 or 331 votes on legislation, depending on how the final undeclared race turns out. The opposition Labour Party says it is also ready to form a minority government, though there is little chance of it forming a coalition with 326 seats. The latest:

  • Sources tell the Guardian that May has cut a deal with the DUP and will meet with the Queen Friday afternoon to confirm her plan for a new government. “We want there to be a government. We have worked well with May. The alternative is intolerable,” a DUP source says, adding that the party will try to ensure there is a Conservative prime minister as long as leftist Jeremy Corbyn leads the Labour Party. Other sources, however, tell the BBC that the DUP is still examining the “messy” situation and talk of a coalition is premature.
  • Corbyn’s Labour Party came second, but vastly outperformed expectations by picking up dozens of seats and denying May a majority, reports the Washington Post. “The prime minister called the election because she wanted a mandate,” Corbyn told supporters, urging May to step down. “Well, the mandate she’s got is lost Conservative seats, lost votes, lost support, and lost confidence.”
  • The surprise result cast doubt both on the Brexit negotiations, which are scheduled to start in just 10 days, and on plans for a second referendum on Scottish independence, the AP reports. The pro-independence Scottish National Party lost 20 of its 54 seats. Paul Nuttall, leader of the pro-Brexit UKIP party, resigned after losing the party’s only seat in Parliament. He told supporters the party has a “great future” as the “guard dogs of Brexit.”
  • The results in full can be shown here. UKIP’s share of the vote is down more than 10% since the 2015 election, which resulted in gains for both Labour and the Conservatives.
  • The Independent looks at the DUP and the implications of the small party holding the balance of power. In Northern Ireland, the party has fought hard to block same-sex marriage and the lifting of the ban on abortion.

One more in the election……

Source: 5 takeaways from the UK election – POLITICO

This is the best I could do on short notice…..but if there is any adjustments that need to be made I hope my Brit friends will set the story straight….thanx…..

Finally, Comey Speaks

Okay the big day has come and gone….the only part we mere mortals will get is the public hearing the rest will be behind closed doors…..

So far I have read a couple dozen analysis of the hearing and most did bot watch or listen to the thing at all…..they hated Comey from the start and they let that hate cloud everything they do….but I have come to expect that from the Right…they will write little unless it is negative and hateful.

My opinion…..Comey was composed and straight forward in his answers…GOP members were the typical grandstanding and sniping…partisan BS…the only GOPer that impressed me was the chairman Sen. Burr…he was professional and statesman-like…McCain seemed like he was in a drug haze and made little sense…..the Dems were well the Dems….only Angus and Warner actually had anything intelligent to ask…….the rest was just throwing crap at the wall……both sides git their grandstanding in for the folks back home…..

I am sure that there are some out there that saw it completely different because…..well…..because they are just partisan and will like nothing said as an answer (and that is as polite as I am going to be)…

So there is much that needs to be said about this hearing so I will break it down…..

The highly anticipated testimony of James Comey before the Senate Intelligence Committee is underway, and he’s being grilled on his private conversations with President Trump. The former FBI chief’s opening statement was released in advance, and in it he talks about how Trump asked him for loyalty and suggested that he ease off the investigation of Michael Flynn. (“He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”) But did Trump cross the line into obstruction of justice? (At least one analysis thinks not, based on the opening statement.) That’s part of what senators will be trying to figure out. Outlets such as CNN are providing live coverage. Some standout lines:

  • ‘Lies’: After his firing, Comey says “the administration chose to defame me and more importantly the FBI by saying the organization was in disarray, that it was being poorly led, that the workforce had lost faith in its leader. Those were lies, plain and simple.”
  • Key question: GOP Sen. Richard Burr, the committee chair, asked Comey if Trump asked him to stop the Russia investigation. Comey’s response: “Not to my understanding, no,” per the Guardian.
  • Key quote: “I don’t think it’s for me to say whether Trump obstructed justice,” Comey said to Burr.
  • Why the detailed notes? “I was honestly concerned that he might lie about the nature of our meeting,” Comey said of Trump, when asked why he began chronicling their meetings.
  • A distinction: GOP Sen. James Risch, referring to Trump’s request on the Flynn investigation: “He did not direct you to let it go. He did not order you to let it go. He said ‘I hope.'” Comey’s takeaway: “I took it as a direction. He’s the president of the United States, with me alone, saying, ‘I hope this.’ I took it as this is what he wants me to do.”
  • No Trump inquiry: “While you were director, the president of the United States was not under investigation, is that a fair statement?” Risch asked. “That is correct.” replied Comey.
  • Tapes: Comey told Sen. Dianne Feinstein that he’d seen Trump’s tweet about possible tapes of their conversations. “Lordy, I hope there are tapes,” he said.
  • Russian hacking: “There should be no fuzz on this whatsoever,” said Comey. “The Russians interfered in our election in the 2016 election cycle … and that’s about as unfake as you can get.”
  • Date night: Comey said he had to break a date with with his wife to dine with Trump, who had personally called to issue the invitation. “In retrospect, I love spending time with my wife, I wish I had been there that night.”  (He will pay for this later, LOL)
  • Just ‘a matter’: Comey said he felt “queasy” when Loretta Lynch, attorney general under President Obama, suggested altered language about the FBI’s inquiry into Hillary Clinton’s email. “I wanted to know, was she going to authorize us to confirm we had an investigation. And she said: ‘Yes, but don’t call it that. Call it a matter.’” He did so when announcing it.
  • Memos: He said he has turned over all his Trump memos to special counsel Robert Mueller.
  • Leak: Comey admitted asking a friend to leak his Trump memo to the press.

But if you do not like my breakdown of the hearing then you can go and read the full text of the hearing and make up your own analysis…..

A transcript of Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Source: Full text: James Comey testimony transcript on Trump and Russia – POLITICO

After all is said and done nothing has really changed…..if you dislike Trump then you still dislike Trump and if you are a Trump boot licker then you are still licking those boots.

Now behind closed doors may be a different story….but we may never know…..

A Deal That Is Not A Deal

The good news when Trump was Saudi Arabia he let the world know that a deal had been struck and it would mean jobs back home……$110 billion was the price tag that he pushed……

What does this deal really mean in the long run……

It turns out that the $110 billion Saudi Arabia arms deal that the Trump administration announced in May is actually “fake news,” according to the Brookings Institution.

Bruce Riedel, a senior fellow and director of the Brookings Intelligence Project, writes that everyone with whom he has spoken in the defense industry and on Capitol Hill says that the supposed $110 billion deal is actually “a bunch of letters of interest or intent, but not contracts.”

In fact, a lot of these proposals, which the Pentagon calls “intended sales,” are just arms that defense contractors speculate that the Saudis might want at some point. Many were even proposed during the Obama era.

For example, the Pentagon proposed to sell the Saudis four frigates for $11.25 billion in 2015, but since then, no contracts have been signed

Read the full Brookings Institution article here.

As usual with this president……a promise does not mean a reality…..will any of his promises ever translate into real jobs for Americans?

Oh Blackwater

I could turn my readers onto a Doobie Brothers tune….but in this case I am talking about the private army of Eric Prince……

This organization by now has changed its name to out run bad press and the tax man many times……name changes but the boss remains……it is a private security firm, a private air force and a contracted intel gatherer…..I have been keeping my eye on the doings of this group……

Source: Blackwater Enters The World Of James Bond – In Saner Thought

Source: ‘Blackwater Air’ – In Saner Thought

The boss, Eric Prince has even been used by Trump and his cronies as a go between with Russia……

Days before President Donald Trump’s inauguration, Blackwater founder Erik Prince met with a Russian close to President Vladimir Putin in the Seychelles islands to create a communication back-channel between Trump and Russia, according to The Washington Post.

Officials with the United Arab Emirates brokered the January 11 meeting in the hopes of helping to encourage Russia to distance itself from Iran, a major Kremlin ally. The Trump administration has often expressed its skepticism of Iran, and Trump often derided the US nuclear deal with Iran on the campaign trail.

Source: Erik Prince set up secret meeting to create Trump/Russia backchannel – Business Insider

Now it seems the Prince has developed a plan for Afghanistan……

Lost in the cascade of stories of potential White House criminality and collusion with foreign governments is the Erik Prince affair. It is reported that Prince, the brother of controversial  Education Secretary Betsy Devos who established his power in Washington with his mercenary army Blackwater during the Iraq war, met with Russian intermediaries in an obscure Indian Ocean archipelago to establish back-channel communication with Moscow, possibly in coordination with the efforts of Jared Kushner, who last week was reported to have sought a White House back channel to the Kremlin.

Bloomberg reports that during the presidential transition late last year “Prince was very much a presence, providing advice to Trump’s inner circle, including his top national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn.” While President-elect Trump, in reality show style, paraded administration applicants through the gilded front doors of of Trump Tower for the gauntlet of cameras, Prince “entered Trump Tower through the back,” reports Bloomberg.

Source: Erik Prince’s dark plan for Afghanistan: Military occupation for profit, not security – Salon.com

This slug is a danger to the US and the world and all in the name of profit.

I will continue to monitor the doings of this mercenary and his deadly game….