Closing Thought–15May18

There are many examples of how government kicks the can down the road.. …on spending, budgets, immigration ans war…..but the one part of the government that you do not expect waffling is from the judiciary….

Well we cannot depend on them to do the right thing…

A while back a lawsuit was brought forth challenging the legality of the so-called war on ISIS……

Federal Appeals Court judges are hoping to continue to dodge ruling on a lawsuit in which a soldier challenged the legality of the unauthorized war on ISIS. The judges now are asking the lawyers to tell them whether or not the lawsuit even matters anymore.

Capt. Nathan Michael Smith filed the lawsuit back in 2016, claiming the war is illegal. The judges say that now, since Smith will be leaving the military later in May, his own personal interest in the case is essentially gone. Moreover, they argue that the war seems to be wrapping up.

Of course, Smith filed this case way back in 2016, and had to appeal after the first judge refused to rule on it. The current panel took the case in October, and has effectively just sat on the case since then. Now, they too seem set to refuse to rule on the case.

There are, of course, serious legal reasons to challenge unauthorized US wars. Federal judges are so unwilling to rule on these questions, however, as to make the courts effectively useless as a check on power.

(antiwar.com)

I see the cowardice of the Legislative Branch is nothing exceptional….it also extends to the Judicial Branch as well.

In other words we have a government of cowards from the Executive to the Legislative to Judiciary….

We can be so proud of what we have created over the past couple of decades…….a government of do-nothing toads.

My Tuesday postings is a wrap….I can go now and call Hannity for some sage advice. (Sorry I could not keep a straight face after that statement)

Gotta bounce…do stop by later tomorrow…..be well, be safe….chuq

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Hill 397

Hill 397?…..maybe if I give a movie reference (movies that I will not watch….. I was there I do not need to remember the insanity) Hamburger Hill……..an exercise in futility.

Sorry children time for your history lesson so that maybe you will not make the same mistakes as your elders….

The battle was the result of a renewed effort in early 1969 to neutralize the North Vietnamese forces in the A Shau, a 45-kilometer-long valley in southwestern Thua Thien Province along the border with Laos. The A Shau sheltered enemy Base Area 611 and had long provided a major infiltration corridor for Communist forces from the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Laos to the coastal cities of northern I Corps Tactical Zone.

The valley’s formidable terrain was dominated at its northern end by what local Montagnard tribesmen called the “mountain of the crouching beast,” Dong Ap Bia. On military maps it was simply Hill 937, so labeled for its height in meters. Several large ridges and fingers ran out from its summit, one of the largest extending southeast to a height of 900 meters and another reaching south to a 916-meter peak. The steep slopes of Dong Ap Bia were cloaked by a heavy undergrowth of sawtooth elephant grass, thick stands of bamboo, and double-and-triple canopy jungle. It was an area long occupied by the NVA and it was fortified with bunkers, spider holes, deep tunnels and trenches.

http://www.historynet.com/hell-on-hamburger-hill.htm

Made for a good movie for Hollywood but war is anything but a source for entertainment.

I want my readers to remember the men and women that fought and died in Vietnam do not let them be removed to the dust bins of history.

That Big Drug Deal

Just what we have been waiting on for a year or more….that big drug deal……this will be our biggest deal yet for affordable medication, right?

Bullah*t!

Trump and Sec of the mundane announced their new “blueprint” for lower drug prices……

Drug policy experts and price advocates on Friday panned a long-overdue speech by Donald Trump on drug prices.

As part of the speech, the US health secretary, Alex Azar, suggested drug companies should be required to disclose pharmaceutical prices in advertisements as an incentive to set lower prices.

Along with the speech, the president released a “blueprint” to lower drug prices. However, many proposals had already been made public in the administration’s budget and most were technical rule changes which can be accomplished without Congress. Drug policy analysts said most the proposals would be unlikely to “materially harm industry”. Following Trump’s speech, health stocks rose.

The administration’s blueprint also proposed lifting the pharmacist “gag” rule, so pharmacists can tell consumers when a drug is cheaper without their health insurance. Such provisions are written into contracts between pharmacists and benefit managers, who act as middlemen between the consumer and the health plan.

(theguardian.com)

Did you read that stocks soared because of this announcement?  If this did not benefit the drug industry massively would their prices have soared?  I think not!

President Trump’s long-awaited plan to bring down drug prices will mostly spare the pharmaceutical industry he previously accused of “getting away with murder” and instead focus on increasing private competition and requiring more openness about costs, per the AP. In Rose Garden remarks at the White House, Trump called his plan the “most sweeping action in history to lower the price of prescription drugs for the American people.” (The plan is here.) But it does not include his campaign pledge to use the massive buying power of the government’s Medicare program to directly negotiate lower prices for seniors. The Washington Post notes that the idea was the one feared most within the industry. The Wall Street Journal reports that drugmakers and pharmacy-benefit managers “suggested privately they were relieved to avoid harder blows from the plan.”

Instead, the administration will pursue a raft of old and new measures intended to improve competition and transparency in the drug-pricing system. Those include a proposal requiring drugmakers to disclose the cost of their medicines in their TV advertisements. Health Secretary Alex Azar said the Food and Drug Administration would immediately examine requiring that information in TV ads. The proposals also include banning the pharmacist “gag rule,” which Trump said prevents druggists from telling customers about lower-cost options so they can save money, and speeding up the approval process for over-the-counter medications so patients can buy more drugs without prescriptions. It’s an approach that avoids a direct confrontation with the powerful pharmaceutical lobby, but it could also underwhelm Americans seeking relief from escalating prescription costs.

Just another con job for the ignorant and lazy…..one good question to ask……”How the heck is this going to lower drug prices in this country?”

Officially ditching his campaign promise to challenge the pharmaceutical industry head-on and allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices—a betrayal that may have something to do with the fact that the White House is currently occupied by former Big Pharma executives in key posts—President Donald Trump on Friday formally unveiled a plan ostensibly aimed at cutting medicine costs that analysts and progressive critics are already slamming as wholly inadequate and “pharma-friendly.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/05/11/trumps-pharma-friendly-drug-plan-denounced-doing-little-or-nothing-lower-prices

This is the same as it ever was…..A Huge Con Job By A Con Artist!

Niger (But It’s Classified)

When I was in the hospital for surgery special ops troopers were killed in the West African nation of Niger…of course there was much confusion and false info circling around the deaths of which I wrote several post on…..https://lobotero.com/2018/03/20/explain-niger-please/

The Pentagon promised to have an answer to everyone’s question by January of 2018…..and four months later an explanation has been issued….

The Defense Department found no single cause, but rather “individual, organizational and institutional” errors, including insufficient training and preparation, caused the death of four US soldiers and at least five Nigerien soldiers in a bloody Special Forces mission in Niger, according to an eight-page summary report. The Oct. 4 ambush took the lives of Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson, Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright, and Sgt. La David Johnson. In all, the investigative team interviewed 143 witnesses, reports the Washington Post. It “examined documentary, photographic, audio, video and testimonial evidence,” per CNN. One survivor even returned to the battlefield with the team. The patrol was submitted and approved as a low-risk recon assignment, but the team was actually on a high-risk mission searching for Islamic State leader Doundoun Cheffou; their true mission was never approved by the proper chain of command, though the team notes this was a result of “sloppiness” rather than an intent to deceive.

The patrol, which did not rehearse the mission before setting out and was missing key equipment and training, encountered light fire at first but then was engaged by a larger group of militants on motorcycles and in trucks mounted with machine guns. The report found that the arrival of French Mirage planes disrupted the fight and may have saved lives, reports the New York Times. The remains of three of the US soldiers who were killed were retrieved quickly, but the body of La David Johnson was not retrieved until the evening of Oct. 6. The delay in recovering Johnson’s body had led to speculation that he had been taken captive. That speculation was bolstered by locals who said that they saw the body and that Johnson’s hands appeared to be tied behind his back. The report, nevertheless, concluded that his hands were not bound and he was killed in action while “actively engaging the enemy.” The full report remains classified

As usual the American people may NEVER know the truth about these deaths for the report will be classified.

The Pentagon’s newly released 8-page report on the Niger incident had a very clear narrative. From the moment local commanders endorsed the mission to the recovery of the four bodies of slain US soldiers, the report goes out of its way to lionize everyone’s actions, and downplay errors.

This makes sense, because underlying these conclusions is the fact that the Pentagon has no intention of holding anyone to account for the mistakes made. Yet the summary report’s decision to tread very lightly on a lot of potentially embarrassing specifics means that it ultimately raises a lot more questions than it answered.

http://theantimedia.com/pentagon-report-niger-raises-questions/

I will be dead and gone if the truth is ever known.

Wars We Don’t Know

WE all know about our endless wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria and some even believe that is the extent of our involvement overseas….well that naivete is so cute…..we are ass deep worldwide in all sorts of warfare.

Just a couple off the top of my head…..

Somalia….

The U.S. military is dramatically expanding its operations at a former Soviet air strip in Somalia, constructing more than 800 beds at the Baledogle base, VICE News has learned. The construction at the secretive base marks the latest example of America’s growing and controversial shadow war in Africa.

Baledogle’s expansion is one part of what appears to be a massive U.S. military infrastructure development project in the Horn of Africa country that will see at least six new U.S. outposts built this year, according to multiple defense contractors who spoke to VICE News.

https://news.vice.com/en_us/article/xw7nw3/somalia-is-looking-like-another-full-blown-us-war

Then there is Yemen…..

The Saudis and its Peninsula allies have been bombing Yemen for several years…..now there is a new twist…the US has troops helping the Saudis destroy Yemen…..

The US military is more deeply involved in the Saudi War in Yemen than officials ever admitted. In fact, new evidence suggests the Pentagon lied to Congress during the March debate about US involvement, presenting the US role at present being limited to targeting and mid-air refueling of Saudi warplanes.

The New York Times is reporting on Thursday that there are actually a small number of US special forces on the ground at the Saudi border with Yemen. Those troops have not only been on the ground since late 2017, but are there on a mission to help the Saudi military fight Yemen’s Shi’ite Houthi movement.

No public debate took place with respect to this deployment. Indeed, the Pentagon appears to have gone to great lengths not to tell the American public or the Congress about the Green Berets they sent to the border. The Green Berets are intended to help the Saudis “locate and destroy” Houthi missile caches, and attack Houthi launch sites inside Yemen.

This has been going on despite the Trump Administration telling Congress that America’s involvement in Yemen was purely “non-combat,” and again, despite the Pentagon repeatedly saying that America’s sole involvement in Yemen was logistics and support for the air war.

(antiwar.com)

Lies to fight a war….go figure!

http://theantimedia.com/us-army-special-forces-secretly-fight-houthis-yemen/

American mercenaries, like Blackwater, maay be the saving graces of the US military…..

The Pentagon is interested in having contractors provide two fixed-wing aircraft and two helicopters on call to rescue wounded American special operators in and around Yemen if necessary, as well as to perform various other missions. The announcement comes as it becomes increasingly clear that the U.S. military’s own aerial casualty evacuation capabilities are stretched thin and just months after it weathered serious criticism over relying heavily on private companies for these services following a deadly ambush in Niger.

http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/20598/us-special-operators-scattered-across-yemen-might-soon-rely-on-contractors-to-rescue-them

Wait!  Wait!

You mean the best trained, best equipped military in the world…a military that got a huge increase in their budget will need the help of mercenaries?

A study showed that there is not enough able bodied recruits for our numerous endless wars….they are unfit to serve.

Huh?

The state of physical fitness in the United States has long been a topic of concern among the nation’s leaders. Declining fitness measures on the part of military draftees played an important role in prompting President Dwight Eisenhower in 1956 to establish the President’s Council on Youth Fitness. In 1960, John Kennedy, then the president-elect, felt so strongly about the subject that he wrote a multipage article, “The Soft American,” for Sports Illustrated.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/05/07/not_fit_to_fight_rethinking_military_recruitment_standards_113413.html

Time to re-think this war thing…..somebody is f*cking the pooch……we can NO longer afford endless war.