BAM! The Hammer Drops!

aworked in the Middle East I saw many do the same when they were away from home nation….chuqI apologize for this late post….but I was dealing with doctors ans such and got the news later than most.

Finally something comes out of the Mueller investigation…..we have our first felon…….

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty Friday to making false statements to the FBI, becoming the fourth person charged in a wide-ranging investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller. Flynn admitted lying to the FBI about his conversations during the Trump transition with Russia’s ambassador to the United States, reports the AP. (You can read the charge against him here.) One prosecutor said Flynn contacted the ambassador at the direction of “a very senior member of the transition team,” reports the Washington Post. With the plea, Flynn confirmed suspicions that he is now cooperating with Mueller. “My guilty plea and agreement to cooperate with the Special Counsel’s Office reflect a decision I made in the best interests of my family and of our country,” Flynn said in a statement. “I accept full responsibility for my actions.”

The guilty plea makes the retired Army lieutenant general the first person to have actually worked in the Trump White House to face formal charges in the investigation, which is examining possible coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign to influence the outcome of the 2016 election. Flynn, who was interviewed by the FBI just days after Trump’s inauguration, was forced to resign in February after White House officials said he had misled them about whether he had discussed sanctions with the Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak. Mueller’s team announced charges last month against three other Trump campaign officials, former chairman Paul Manafort and his business associate Rick Gates, and a former foreign policy adviser, George Papadopoulos.

Fearless Leader has got to feel the noose tightening around his worthless neck……

  • Trump’s laywer, Ty Cobb, argues Flynn wasn’t actually that close to the president, calling him a “former Obama administration official” in a statement, USA Today reports. The statement goes on to downplay the connection between Flynn’s guilty plea and the White House.
  • But the AP chronicles the rapid political rise inside the administration of the man it calls “Donald Trump’s favorite general.”
  • David French at the National Review argues it’s very likely there are bigger things to come as Flynn is pleading guilty to lying about actions that likely weren’t illegal. French says either “Flynn is the victim of a monstrous injustice” or “we’re still only seeing the tip of the Mueller investigation iceberg.”
  • Chris Cillizza at CNN agrees, as Flynn hasn’t been charged with anything involving his dealings with Turkey. That means he’s likely cooperating to help Mueller bring down someone even higher up—possibly Jared Kushner, Donald Trump Jr., or the president himself.

Listen closely and you will hear the anuses of Don. Jr, Jared and the big guy himself slamming shut.

Trump has been showing signs of mental stress and this situation could push his feeble mind over the rim….

But will the Constitution prevail?

Turn The Page!

Advertisements

Closing Thought–01Dec17

One For The Road!

When I was a young man I worked in Iraq 1979-1980 and while liquor was available it was frowned upon by the more devout Muslims.  But it was allowed under the regime of Saddam.

I am sure that most people will know just what a mess Iraq has been since we invaded in 2003….but now that ISIS is on the run it would seem that liquor is once again available in Iraq….

This from a newspaper that I read from Iraq……

These days as you head into Karmah, one of the smaller cities in the central Anbar province, you may notice a small store on the way into town. It’s not a big shop but its doors are wide open and it is selling alcohol. It is an unusual sight in this province, where conservative traditions and religious customs prevent the open sale and consumption of alcohol. But things have changed since the extremist group known as the Islamic State was in charge here.

“While we were displaced we lived in both Baghdad and in northern Iraq,” says Ahmad Abu Ali, a 44-year-old local; Karmah was part of the territory controlled by the extremist Islamic State, or IS, group and Abu Ali and his family fled their hometown. “And we used to see a lot of these shops there, close to where we lived. To us, it was an indication that these cities were safe and secure.”

“Although the drinking of alcohol is against our religion, the shop is a good sign. It is proof that the militants who once had such a big role in this city, and those who supported the militants, no longer play a part here,” Abu Ali explains. “Each person can practice their own religion. And when we saw this [the alcohol store] it gave us hope.”

http://www.niqash.org/en/articles/society/5782

Does this count as a return to normalcy?

That is it fore my friends….see you guys tomorrow with lots more stuff….chuq

The “Slap And Tickle” Effect

AS I surf through the news daily  I am amazed at the amount of news we Americans do not get because of the preoccupation the media has with all these sex scandals…..hour after hour of blind speculation and accusation….And it get worse with each passing week…..Lauer is the newest dastard.

Did Clinton scandal start this downward spiral?  Did Bubba start this fixation on the sex aspects of power?

I mean there is a whole story being built around a 21st century slavery ring in North Africa….and yet I know too much about the sex preferences of some weird judge running for an office he is NOT qualified to hold.

Yes, these are serious charges against these many diverse men…..yes their disrespect for women would fill volumes….but I ask….who did not know this was happening in our society?

Is the media going to adequately explain such behavior?

Hell NO!

This is just too easy to report than actual news….but I read an op-ed from Europe about this newest phenom for the US media….

While the Yemenis wonder whether the Saudi Crown Prince will ever stop bombing them with American weapons, and the President threatens to take on North Korea, the US media mainly talks about the sexual harassment of women by powerful men.

It all started with testimonies that a judge running for the US Senate from the fiercely Republican state of Alabama. had tried to seduce teenagers in the past. His accusers were rapidly followed by a complaint against a famous Democratic comedian turned Senator, followed by similar revelations about a famous television personality, Charlie Rose. Like broken records, the testimonies of women who were molested years or even decades ago, alternate with opinions as to the offenders’ proper punishments, superseding everything else going on in a world that the United States claims to lead.

The only mitigating factor is that the back story is more complicated than in other cultures, touching on both religion and politics. In the nineteen fifties, in boys’ fathers’ spacious cars parked in secluded places, American teenage girls allowed themselves to be ‘petted’, and the onus was on them not to ‘go too far’. In the sixties, the women’s liberation movement and the hippies brought ‘free love’ to communes and suburbia. Although the women’s liberation primer, The Second Sex, published in 1953, was written by French philosopher Simone de Beauvoir, it produced a much more robust feminist movement in the US than in Europe.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/only-in-america-the-medias-coverage-of-sexual-harassment-of-women-by-powerful-men/5619501

Then I read a piece in a Libertarian leaning site, Unz Review….

The current sexual harassment obsession may eventually subside but until then, matters will probably get worse. And by “worse” we don’t mean just additional victims accused of long past increasingly petty offenses. Rather, social justice warriors will soon join the crusade and their involvement will be far more odious than digging up dirt about celebrities behaving badly. But, the good news is that this involvement may eventually help cool the insanity.

Everyone in the entertainment business (and politics) knows that most young women flirt to advance their professional careers. Conversely, most men, whether straight or gay, are often governed by their libidos and usually welcome opportunities to score. The problem arises if women are a bit too sexually appealing and men a bit too amorous when a quid pro quo opportunity arises. In other words, the seduction urge is hard-wired into countless human encounters so it just a matter of how it is directed.

http://www.unz.com/article/a-modest-proposal-to-end-the-sexual-harassment-mania/

I say again…..I am NOT saying that these stories of sexual predators are not important but they should NOT suck all the oxygen out of the news…..and a real conversation needs to be had….as it is the talks are black and white and the grey areas are just ignored.

Updated:  Add an article in The American Conservative……

Is it okay to proposition a woman for sex after drinks? To initiate a workplace romance? To behave like a Casanova and bed as many partners as possible under the catchall excuse that you’re just “playing the field”? Twenty years ago those questions would have elicited a resounding “Yes! What are you, some sort of neo-Puritan?” Today the answers aren’t so clear. I keep thinking we’ve reached the eye of the #MeToo storm, only for another powerful man to be felled by lurid accusations and another think piece to spot fresh perils of untrammeled male sexuality. The topography of our sexual landscape is changing, with little indication of what it will look like once the winds have died down.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/metoo-becomes-a-revolution/

Lies And War

For twenty five years or more the US has been listening to the damnable lies told by Israel about Iran and its capabilities to attack Israel.  Most of these lies were wild accusations that he cowards in Congress ate up along with the cash that Israel was offering….

But since a minority of Americans went to the polls and voted the sleazy of Wall street into the presidency those lies have been getting louder and more outrageous…

It is bad enough that Fearless Leader is thumping his chest over North Korea he also is lying his ass off about Iran….

A decade and a half ago, in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, President George W. Bush’s administration conjured up not only terrifying images of nuclear mushroom clouds but also of Saddam Hussein plotting with Osama bin Laden to attack the United States.

Mr. Bush himself declared that Mr. Hussein “aids and protects terrorists, including members of Al Qaeda” while Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld called links between Iraq and Al Qaeda “accurate and not debatable.”

It wasn’t true, of course. But it helped make the case for war.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/29/opinion/is-trump-going-to-lie-our-way-into-war-with-iran.html

For many years, major U.S. institutions ranging from the Pentagon to the 9/11 Commission have been pushing the line that Iran secretly cooperated with Al Qaeda both before and after the 9/11 terror attacks. But the evidence for those claims remained either secret or sketchy, and always highly questionable.

In early November, however, the mainstream media claimed to have its “smoking gun” — a CIA document written by an unidentified Al Qaeda official and released in conjunction with 47,000 never-before-seen documents seized from Osama bin Laden’s house in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

The Associated Press reported that the Al Qaeda document “appears to bolster U.S. claims that Iran supported the extremist network leading up to the September 11 terror attacks.” The Wall Street Journalsaid the document “provides new insights into Al Qaeda’s relationship with Iran, suggesting a pragmatic alliance that emerged out of shared hatred of the United States and Saudi Arabia.”

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/11/23/how-us-ties-to-link-iran-to-al-qaeda/

After all that effort….the debunking began……

For many years, major U.S. institutions ranging from the Pentagon to the 9/11 Commission have been pushing the line that Iran secretly cooperated with Al Qaeda both before and after the 9/11 terror attacks. But the evidence for those claims remained either secret or sketchy, and always highly questionable.

In early November, however, the mainstream media claimed to have its “smoking gun”—a CIA document written by an unidentified Al Qaeda official and released in conjunction with 47,000 never-before-seen documents seized from Osama bin Laden’s house in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/translated-doc-debunks-narrative-of-al-qaeda-iran-alliance/

But o amount of debunking will shut up the lying of pea-brains like Sen. Cotton of Arkansas or the lip service of a weak minded president….

Israel has considered Iran to be Israel’s major enemy since the end of the Gulf War of 1991. But why, it might be asked, did the neocons promote war with Iraq, rather than Iran, in 2003? The neocons were in accord with Israeli thinking but planned to begin with Saddam’s Iraq, the elimination of which, they believed, would pave the way for regime change elsewhere in the Middle East. This especially included Iran, which bordered Iraq. Despite all-out efforts by the neocons to have the U.S. attack Iran after occupying Iraq, this failed to materialize, and later President Obama moved in the opposite direction, overriding strong opposition from Israel and its American supporters, and made a deal with Iran that precluded its development of a nuclear weapon, which had been the professed main concern of Israel.

Now with the Islamic State’s significant loss of territory, which the U.S. helped to bring about, Israel and its American supporters are expressing deep concern that the void left by its defeat is being filled by Iran, which supposedly threatens to attain regional hegemony. President Trump, who takes a very negative view of the nuclear deal and describes Iran as a terrorist state, is promoting a tougher line toward Iran. However, Israel and its American myrmidons see Trump’s hard-line position as insufficient, contending that much more must be done to effectively counter the Iranian threat.

http://www.unz.com/article/trumps-anti-iranian-foreign-policy-not-enough-for-neocons-and-other-israelophiles/

And Then There Is Syria

For a couple of years ISIS sucked all the oxygen out of any news there was from other terrorist groups like AQ…..but now with the help of oh so many players the caliphate is struggling on its last legs…..

“There can be no doubt about it, the ISIS of just two years ago was the most powerful, well-led, generously-armed and resource-efficient paramilitary force in modern history, having carved out for itself an empire between two sovereign states and devastating their armies in the process. However, this is no longer so. The days of the Islamic State consuming Syria like a cancer are over.” The Defeat of ISIS, Andrew Illingworth, Almasdar News

Russia and its allies have expelled ISIS from its last urban stronghold in Syria. Now the Syrian coalition will turn its attention to the numerous hotspots around the country where al Qaida-linked groups have dug in waiting for the Syrian Army to make its final push.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/11/24/isis-last-stand-end-times-for-the-caliphate/

Fearless Leader will no doubt take all the credit for any defeat of ISIS….although it would have been a joint effort….that does not play well in Trump’s sand box.

But do not rejoice just yet…..the neocon Institute for the Study of War has a prediction for Syria……

Al Qaeda is growing stronger in Southern Syria. An assassination campaign targeting mainstream opposition commanders and governance officials is facilitating al Qaeda’s consolidation of power along the borders of Jordan and Israel. Southern Syria stands at increasing risk of becoming a second Idlib Province, which currently serves as a formidable safe haven for al Qaeda.

Syrian opposition forces that could serve as a viable alternative to both Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Salafi-jihadist groups are under attack in Southern Syria. A recent wave of assassinations beginning in August 2017 has killed over eleven ranking anti-regime opposition commanders and governance officials in Dera’a and Quneitra Provinces. These assassinations have remained largely unclaimed. The unidentified perpetrators have targeted armed and political opposition officials using car bombs, roadside improvised explosive devices, and armed gunman. Of the forty-two attempted assassinations observed by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) from August 5 to November 21, 2017, approximately fifty-five percent successfully killed opposition fighters, commanders, or governance officials. More than half of the attempts targeted former or current U.S.-backed opposition groups. The Assad regime and the Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) are likely responsible for many, but not all, of the assassinations in Southern Syria.

http://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/al-qaeda-clearing-path-dominance-southern-syria

The warmongers are set up Syria as the next battle field for their perceived new war with Iran and Hezbollah……with the Saudis making the difference…..

Hezbollah’s deep involvement in Syria has been one of the most important factors that contributed to shape the conflict during the years 2013-14. The beginning of 2013 witnessed a shift from what was primarily an advisory mission to one where Hezbollah forces took on a direct combat role, with the decision to lead the ground assault on al-Qusayr, a primarily Sunni town in the Homs province.

The impact of Hezbollah’s involvement has been felt not just on the battlefield, where the regime had gained significant momentum, but also in Lebanon where growing sectarian tensions have undermined the country’s overall stability. Since its intervention in Syria, Hezbollah has steered its strategy on three main lines: training and support to Shiite militias and the Syrian army, creating military hotspots in the south to close the border between Syria and Lebanon in terms of anti-Israeli positioning and increasing its weight in the region by ensuring the Assad regime’s survival, vital to the arrival of supplies from Iran. The presence of Lebanon’s militias on the battlefield proved decisive for Assad. In fact, Hezbollah applied the techniques of guerrilla warfare they had already employed in 2006, during the war against Israel. Such techniques include the construction of underground tunnels between the Qalamoun area and the area behind the Bekaa Valley, as to counter Al Nusra guerrillas and other Salafi forces.

http://mediterraneanaffairs.com/syria-hezbollahs-continuous-transformation-throughout-civil-war/

Why do I say the Saudis?  Easy answer…..they have been aching for a war with Iran and now that they have the US on their side…..it may not be long……

To understand the context for these developments we first need to quickly summarize what has taken place in Syria and the rest of the Middle-East in the past few years.

The initial AngloZionist plan was to overthrow Assad and replace him with the Takfiri crazies (Daesh, al-Qaeda, al-Nusra, ISIS – call them whatever you want). Doing this would achieve the following goals:

  1. Bring down a strong secular Arab state along with its political structure, armed forces and security services.
  2. Create total chaos and horror in Syria justifying the creation of a “security zone” by Israel not only in the Golan, but further north.
  3. Trigger a civil war in Lebanon by unleashing the Takfiri crazies against Hezbollah.
  4. Let the Takfiris and Hezbollah bleed each other to death, then create a “security zone”, but this time in Lebanon.
  5. Prevent the creation of a Shia axis Iran-Iraq-Syria-Lebanon.
  6. Breakup Syria along ethnic and religious lines.
  7. Create a Kurdistan which could then be used against Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran.
  8. Make it possible for Israel to become the uncontested power broker in the Middle-East and forces the KSA, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait and all others to have to go to Israel for any gas or oil pipeline project.
  9. Gradually isolate, threaten, subvert and eventually attack Iran with a wide regional coalition of forces.
  10. Eliminate all center of Shia power in the Middle-East.

But Hell read the full plan for yourself……..

http://www.unz.com/tsaker/israel-saudi-arabia-setting-preconditions-for-war-with-hezbollah/

The problem with all these lies and trump (no pun intended) charges si that Hezbollah is NO threat to the US……

Western-backed militants are in retreat, Bashar al-Assad remains president, Hezbollah has stretched its wings regionally, Israeli power is in decline, and Iran is on the rise. Not a pretty result for Washington’s multi-billion dollar investment in the Syrian conflict, especially if it was intended to change the map of the region to favor U.S. interests.

The Trump administration is therefore moving to hit its regional adversaries on alternative, non-military fronts—mainly, employing the sanctions tool that can cripple economies, besiege communities, and stir up public discontent.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/hezbollah-is-not-a-threat-to-america/

This is all so much games being played at the expense of our military and their families.

My Favorite Nin-Cum-Poop

AS a foreign policy wonk I have railing about the incompetency of our SecStaste, Rex Tillerson……this guy may have been a whiz kid at Exxon but as far as the State Department goes he has been a dud and is making a case every day as the worse SecState ever!

Recently at a Q & A he gave an answer that shows just how out of touch this bean brain is…….

The occasion took place Tuesday at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C., where he delivered a speech bubbling over with boilerplate, interesting only for his warnings of Russian aggression and his touting of America’s allies as our most vital strength—both sentiments at odds with those of his president, a sign of his scant influence within the administration.

The eyebrow-raisers came during the Q&A session, when he was asked to explain the sharp reductions in the State Department’s budget and the hollowing-out of its diplomatic corps. Tillerson replied that the cuts are “reflective of an expectation that we’re going to have success … in getting these conflicts [around the world] resolved” and, therefore, won’t need to have so many officials dealing with them.

This may rank as the silliest comment ever made by a Cabinet secretary.

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/war_stories/2017/11/rex_tillerson_is_making_a_great_case_for_himself_as_worst_secretary_of_state.html

Fearless Leader and Tillerson have done nothing but make a mockery of the State Department from the beginning…..

A number of stories bubbled up over the long holiday weekend, the juiciest being the news that Michael Flynn’s lawyers have informed the president’s lawyers that they can no longer participate in joint communications, which is taken to mean that Flynn is likely now cooperating with the special counsel in the Russia investigation. This is big news, if true. It could even be a watershed moment if, as suspected, Flynn will be required to offer up a bigger Trump-operation fish than himself. The names “Kushner” and “Trump Jr.” are the only ones that come to mind. Stay tuned for more excited speculation through the end of the year.

But the other big story that had social media humming over the four days was this alarming New York Times piece about the apparent dismantling of the Department of State under Rex Tillerson. This has been a recurring theme in the political press for a while, but it seems to have reached critical mass as more and more career diplomats are leaving or being squeezed out while the leadership is largely absent.

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/42715-tillerson-and-trump-wreak-havoc-at-state-it-s-a-right-wing-tradition

To be fair….the problems at State may not not be the fault of Fearless Leader….at least according to The American Conservative……

The bad news? President Donald Trump may be dismantling the State Department. The good news? No recent president has made much use of those diplomats anyway, so they are unlikely to be missed. And that’s really bad news.

Recent stories try hard to make the case that something new and dark has crept into Foggy Bottom. Writing for the December 2017 Foreign Service Journal, American Foreign Service Association President Barbara Stephenson sounds the alarm on behalf of the organization of American diplomats she heads: “The Foreign Service officer corps at State has lost 60% of its Career Ambassadors since January… The ranks of our two-star Minister Counselors have fallen from 431 right after Labor Day to 369 today.”

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/dont-blame-donald-trump-for-eclipsing-the-state-department/

If true then this could be what is adding fuel to the replacement fire for Tillerson…..

President Trump is reportedly planning to oust Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, with CIA Director Mike Pompeo potentially replacing him.

The swap could come in the next several weeks, The New York Times reported, citing senior administration officials. Still, the Times added that it is not clear whether Trump has approved the plan, which was devised by chief of staff John Kelly.

Some administration officials had in the past suggested Tillerson could be replaced by U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley, but Pompeo has become the favorite to take the role due to his rapport with Trump, the Times reports.

The Associated Press also reported that the Pompeo swap is under consideration.

Under the plan, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) would replace Pompeo as CIA chief once Pompeo is moved to the State Department.

Cotton is expected to take the CIA job if offered, according to the Times. A spokeswoman for Cotton said his focus is on serving Arkansas in the Senate.

Tensions between Trump and Tillerson have been brewing for months.

(thehill.com)

Cotton to CIA?  Now here would be a disaster waiting to happen.  Cotton is a staunch neocon warmongering douche that would be a horrible pick for the agency….but on the upside at least this pea brain would be out of the Senate.

But what can we expect from a Fearless Leader that has NO experience with foreign affairs other than putting his name on buildings and such?

Plus this could be the best formula if a war with Iran is what Fearless Leader really desires…..especially when an ass kisser is head of the CIA.

Looks like I will not have Tillerson to kick around anymore…….but on the bright side…..I will have a brown nose douche at CIA……he is a feckless fool…….perfect for the Trump administration.

Does Body Count Really Need To Be Reported?

Recall the mass killings in Vegas recently?  How about those killed while at Sunday prayer?  Think back years ago to the killings of school children?

I bring all this up because I have bitched about the body count figures that the media is fixated on for I believe it will drive the next whako with a gun.

Body counts are high and the next guy may want to beat the current record…..I just do not see the need to emphasize the amount of deaths….

The day after the gun massacre at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, filmmaker Michael Moore—whose 2002 documentary “Bowling for Columbine” tackled that watershed mass shooting—took note of a particular fact. “As of yesterday,” he told his millions of Twitter followers, “Columbine is no longer one of the 10 worst mass shootings in US history.”

CNN had already published the full scorecard: “2 of the 5 deadliest mass shootings in modern US history happened in the last 35 days,” announced the headline. The CNN list of “the 10 deadliest single-day mass shootings in modern US history” was subdivided by tallies of the dead.

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/11/mass-shootings-body-counts-media-1/

Am I wrong to question the need for these body counts?

What say you?