Closing Thoughts–10Aug18

As long as I was writing about corruption  how about our current Sec. of Commerce?

There has always been a story about the greed of some in public office….but it seems that with the present administration of Our Dear Leader has more than his fair share……but one of the best is his choice for Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, sets a new benchmark for greed and corruptibility….

Forbes magazine, a much respected business publication has issued a story about the “Chief Grifter” in charge at the Commerce Department……

The buzziest political story of the day comes courtesy of Dan Alexander at Forbes, who’s out with some devastating allegations against Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. Alexander interviewed 21 people who say that Ross, through his private equity firm WL Ross & Co., “siphoned or outright stole a few million here and a few million there.” All told, the allegations add up to more than $120 million, prompting this jarring assessment: “If even half of the accusations are legitimate, the current United States secretary of commerce could rank among the biggest grifters in American history,” writes Alexander. Ross denies this, asserting that “the SEC has never initiated any enforcement action against me,” though Alexander notes that Ross’ firm did get hit with a $2.3 million fine in 2016. One lawsuit against the firm is in the appeals stage, and two others have been settled.

The story details the alleged transgressions—some involving allegations of improperly calculated fees to clients—but it’s also drawing attention for something on a much smaller scale. In demonstrating that Ross has a reputation for frugality, Alexander writes this: “Two former WL Ross colleagues remember the commerce secretary taking handfuls of Sweet’N Low packets from a nearby restaurant, so he didn’t have to go out and buy some for himself.” Other tales of being a cheapskate, including unfulfilled pledges to charity, follow, and a commerce official dismisses them as “petty nonsense.” Besides, the official adds, Ross doesn’t add sweetener to his coffee. Click to read the full story, which accuses Ross of trying to mislead Forbes about his wealth in order to climb the rankings of the rich.

I wish this was the one and only “leader” acting like a self-centered toad….but then that would be a lie….this administration is built on greed and corruption.

Peace Out!

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To Protect The President

I have watched the GOP slowly but slowly become the party of Trump…..and these slugs will do whatever they must to protect the president…

Sorry but their oath of office is to the country, the Constitution, and the rule of law…..NOWHERE in the oath does it say that the president must be protected at any cost…..

That gutless wonder in the House of Representatives, Devon Nunes, has proved my accusation……

“If Sessions won’t unrecuse and Mueller won’t clear the president, we’re the only ones. Which is really the danger.” That was just some of what House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes said in audio recorded at a private July 30 fundraiser in Spokane, Wash., and aired in part on the Rachel Maddow Show Wednesday night (listen to clips here). The Washington Post interprets the comments as an apparent shift “from criticizing the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election to strategizing about how to blunt its impact should it imperil President Trump.” And in that effort, retaining control of Congress is key: “If we do not keep the majority, all of this goes away,” he’s heard saying on the tape, which was secretly recorded by a member of the progressive group Fuse Washington who’d paid $250 to attend the event. More:

  • The other comments getting pickup center around Deputy Atty. Gen. Rod Rosenstein and the desire of hard-line House Republicans to see him impeached, something the Los Angeles Times reports some members suggest they’ll rally for again next month. Nunes indicated that might not be the case. While NBC News reports Paul Ryan has been a roadblock in the impeachment effort, Nunes described two others: the midterms and the Supreme Court. “You have to decide what you want right now because the Senate only has so much time. Do you want them to drop everything and not confirm the Supreme Court justice [Brett Kavanaugh], the new Supreme Court justice? … The question is the timing of it right before the election.”
  • The Post notes that even had Nunes been speaking publicly, he might have said much the same: “This, after all, is the adamantly pro-Trump lawmaker who in February released a memorandum accusing the intelligence community of conspiring against the president.”
  • Indeed, the Hill has this comment from Nunes’ rep: “These are sensible ideas, I’m glad Chairman Nunes talked about them.”

Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu didn’t share that sentiment, tweeting, “Under our Constitution, the duty of Congress is not to clear the President. The duty of Congress is to be a check and balance on the Executive Branch, and to pursue the facts wherever they may lead. Devin Nunes should resign for perverting the oath he took.”

https://www.rawstory.com/2018/08/maddow-obtains-tape-devin-nunes-confessing-gop-plan-impeach-rosenstein-must-impede-investigation-goes-away/

This should piss off every American voter…..but it illustrates how our beloved country is changing and taking the government with it.  This is what I always going on about…I bet this tool has a copy of the Constitution in his pocket as a prop but has NO idea what it really means.

You know I remember when the House of Representatives had no tolerance for ethics scandals…….yeah me too….but that was when we had statesmen in Congress today we have a bunch of spineless and worthless people that owe their existence to corporations and wealthy slugs.

Back in 2006, a series of financial, ethical, sexual scandals involving MZM, Jack Abramoff, and improper relationships with congressional pages was a key factor in House Republican’ losing their majority. Eager to prove they had learned their lesson, then-Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) vowed in 2010 that if the GOP won back the majority, he (as majority leader) and his conference would ensure the highest possible ethical standards.

“I think as the Republicans emerge as a new governing majority, it is incumbent upon us to institute a zero-tolerance policy,” Cantor vowed at the time. “We understand there were reasons for our being fired in ’06 and ’08. Some of that had to do with ethics violations. I mean we had several members under public investigations during the time of the ’06 elections. I think we’ve learned that that’s not a good way to gain the confidence of the people and that we ought to be instituting a zero-tolerance policy here.”

https://thinkprogress.org/house-gop-broken-promise-zero-tolerance-ethical-scandals-chris-collins-363f5129695e/

As usual it is …of course we stand against ethic abuses but not when it is our people committing them …..

In 25 years when we look back at these days it will be known as the “Age of Corruption and Cruelty” (sorry do not know who coined this phrase but I think it was conservative Charlie Sykes)……

Maybe I should spend time explaining the Constitution to the d/bags that we elect……

Turn The Page!

Enter The Starship Troopers?

(Apologies to Robert A. Heinlein)

Obama (remember him) had the idea of a space force….. well not to worry it was picked up by Our Dear Leader, Trump….but if you do not remember the Obama thing……https://lobotero.com/2009/01/06/militarization-of-space/

Plus more recent posts…….below post has references to most of the thoughts I have had on this “proposal” so far……

https://lobotero.com/2018/08/01/to-the-stars-and-beyond/

I bring this up because just recently the whole idea (Obama’s) is being promised by 2020 by Dear Leader’s front man, Pence…….

“Space force all the way!” So tweeted President Trump on Thursday after his VP outlined the White House vision to have a new US Space Force in operation in a scant two years. This would be no small feat: Mike Pence detailed a plan in which the Space Force would be a sixth military service on par with the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard—and the first new addition since the Air Force came along in 1947, reports the Washington Post. Details:

  • Why? The Pentagon increasingly relies on space technology—satellites, for example—and the White House argues that it’s time for a dedicated force to protect American interests above, particularly from Russia and China. “Just as we’ve done in ages past, the United States will meet the emerging threats on this new battlefield,” said Pence. “The time has come to establish the United States Space Force.”
  • Congress’ role: Only Congress can create a new branch of the military, and Pence promised that the White House would work closely with members and produce a budget for it next year, reports the AP. Bipartisan support seems to be there: GOP Rep. Mike Rogers and Democratic Rep. Jim Cooper, members of the House Armed Services panel, said in a joint statement that the move is overdue and would “result in a safer, stronger America.”
  • New position: The plan calls for a new civilian position of assistant secretary defense for space who would report directly to the defense chief, reports Axios.
  • The changes: Instead of creating the branch from scratch, the plan involves a major restructuring of current space systems, reports NBC News. As part of that, a “unified combatant command” called the US Space Command would be established and led by a four-star general. “This would seemingly reorganize the warfighting chain of command for space—something that’s separate from what the Space Force would do,” per the Verge, which digs deep into the nitty gritty of the possible changes. Also to be established would be a Space Development Agency and a Space Operations Force.

The US will assert its dominance in space for generations to come……

President Donald Trump wants Congress to allocate $8 billion over the next five years for space security systems as it establishes a U.S. Space Force as the sixth branch of the military, Vice President Mike Pence said.

“It’s not enough to have an American presence in space,” Pence said Thursday in a speech at the Pentagon. “We must have American dominance in space. And so we will.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-08-09/pence-says-space-force-to-assert-u-s-dominance-in-orbit

Personally, I think it is a waste to time and money and is being used as a diversion……but I am not alone…..

“But how are we going to pay for investments in public infrastructure, public education, socialized medicine and renewable energy?” “Aw, f**k it. Who knows. Let’s just spend that money on a Space Force instead!”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/08/09/idiotic-wasteful-ridiculous-mike-pence-pilloried-he-puts-his-serious-face-make-case

But if you are still not sure then maybe some further reading will help…..please give these a try…..

https://www.defensenews.com/space/2018/08/09/think-space-force-is-a-joke-here-are-four-major-space-threats-to-take-seriously/

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/08/07/space_force_on_the_horizon__maybe_113690.html

https://spacenews.com/space-force-pentagon-moving-closer-to-trumps-vision/

https://consortiumnews.com/2018/08/05/winning-an-arms-race-in-space-remains-a-futile-fight/

Keep in mind that the formation of another branch of the military will require Congressional approval…..not looking too good right now…..and after the mid-terms may look even worse.

So I Have Written!

Turn The Page!

Yemen: Finally The Media Has Noticed!

I have been writing about the war that the Saudis have waged on their poorer neighbor to the South…..in all that time, a couple of years, the largest group to suffer have been the civilians especially the children…..I touched on this just recently……https://lobotero.com/2018/07/27/why-not-yemen/

Kids trapped in a cave endless reports with live feeds……children dying from bombs or starvation not really that important to the media or the world at large.  And that is pathetic and disgusting!

Finally the Saudis have committed a crime that could not be ignored…..

An airstrike hit a bus in a market in northern Yemen on Thursday, killing at least 43 people, including children, and wounding as many as 63, according to Yemen’s rebel-run Health Ministry. The airstrike came from the Saudi-led coalition fighting Shiite Houthi rebels in the country, and the coalition said it was in retaliation for a missile fired at the kingdom the previous day. Yemen’s rebel-run Al Masirah TV aired dramatic images of wounded children, their clothes and schoolbags covered with blood as they lay on hospital stretchers, per the AP. The attack took place in the Dahyan market in Saada province, a Houthi stronghold that lies along the border with Saudi Arabia. The bus was ferrying local civilians, including many children, according to Yemeni tribal leaders.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said an ICRC-supported hospital received dozens of dead and wounded following the attack. “Scores killed, even more injured, most under the age of ten,” adds the head of the ICRC in Yemen. Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition said the attack targeted rebels who had fired a missile at the kingdom’s south, killing one person and wounding 11 others. The coalition said Wednesday’s projectile, fired toward the southwestern Saudi city of Jizan, was intercepted and destroyed but its fragments caused the casualties. The spokesman insisted Thursday’s attack was a “legitimate military action.” Saudi Arabia backs Yemen’s internationally recognized government and has been at war with the Houthis since March 2015. The rebels control much of northern Yemen, including the capital, Sanaa.

It is f*cking sad that it takes an atrocity like this to get the attention of the MSM…..

Warning:  Video is graphic so pleas be advised

Saudi Arabia should be held accountable…if they are they will just use some oil wealth to make this barbaric act go away…..and the US will just turn a blind eye to the people that gave us AQ and ISIS……their money talks and will protect.

So I Have written!

Turn The Page!

Will It Be Perpetual War?

IN the beginning war could only be declared by act of Congress and then along came the attacks of 9/11 and the Congress gave their powers up to the president to declare war whenever the mood struck him.

The Authorization for the Use Of Military Force (AUMF) gave the president unlimited power to decide what was a war and when to go fight…..the Congress took a backseat….

In 2018 a bi-partisan bill has taken a new step forward…..

In the near future, Congress will debate a new Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF). I use the word “debate” lightly. So far, no hearings have been scheduled, and no testimony is likely to be heard unless something changes. That’s a shame, because this is a serious matter, and this is a deeply flawed AUMF.

For some time now, Congress has abdicated its responsibility to declare war. The status quo is that we are at war anywhere and anytime the president says so.

So Congress—in a very Congress way of doing things—has a “solution.” Instead of reclaiming its constitutional authority, it instead intends to codify the unacceptable, unconstitutional status quo.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/rand-paul-congress-moves-to-give-the-president-unlimited-war-powers/

Yes I wrote that this was a bi-partisan bill……so how do the Dems fit into this bill?

If there is any surprise that Senate Democrats, most of whom are virtually indistinguishable from pro-war Republicans, are about to coalesce in support of the newest version of the Authority for the Use of Military Force of 2018 (AUMF), then you have seriously not been paying attention.

The proposed AUMF of 2018 would replace AUMF 2001 and  repeal AUMF 2002 while it will codify an “uninterrupted authority to use all necessary and appropriate force in armed conflict” against  the Taliban, al Qaeda, ISIS and as yet unidentified “designated associated forces” who might “pose a grave threat to the US” in whatever country they occupy.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2018/04/25/democratic-partys-war-history-and-aumf-2018

There is a provision in the new AUMF that has a disturbing consequence…..

……..a bipartisan group of six lawmakers, led by Sens. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and Tim Kaine, D-Va., is proposing a new AUMF that would greatly expand who the president can place in indefinite military detention, allin the name of restricting presidential power. If the Corker-Kaine bill becomes law as currently written, any president, including Donald Trump, could plausibly claim extraordinarily broad power to order the military to imprison any U.S. citizen, captured in America or not, and hold them without charges essentially forever.

https://theintercept.com/2018/05/01/ndaa-2018-aumf-detention/

I smell a challenge to this new attempt…..does not seem to be in the spirit of the Constitution…..

But we will see……it looks like more of the same or in other words….perpetual war.