Closing Thought–07Oct19 #2

In my younger days I was a huge fan of Cream…..Clapton, Bruce and Baker…..their music will live forever.

Sad news the drummer of Cream and Blind faith has died at 84…..

Ginger Baker, the volatile and propulsive British musician best known for his time with the power trio Cream, died Sunday at age 80, reports the AP. Baker wielded his blues power and jazz technique to help break open popular music and become one of the world’s most admired and feared musicians. With blazing eyes, orange-red hair, and a temperament to match, the London native ranked with The Who’s Keith Moon and Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham as the embodiment of musical and personal fury. Using twin bass drums, Baker fashioned a pounding, poly-rhythmic style uncommonly swift and heavy that inspired and intimidated countless musicians. But every beat seemed to mirror an offstage eruption—whether his violent dislike of Cream bandmate Jack Bruce or his on-camera assault of a documentary maker, Jay Bulger, whom he smashed in the nose with his walking stick.

Baker and his many admirers saw him as a rounded, sophisticated musician—an arranger, composer, and student of the craft, absorbing sounds from around the world. “He was so unique and had such a distinctive personality,” Stewart Copeland of the Police said in 2013. “Nobody else followed in his footsteps. Everybody tried to be John Bonham … but it’s rare that you hear anybody doing the Ginger Baker thing.” Baker teamed with Eric Clapton and Bruce in the mid-1960s to become Cream—one of the first supergroups and first power trios. The band broke up in 1968. He endured his old enemy, Bruce, when Cream was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993 and for Cream reunion concerts a decade later. Baker performed regularly in his 70s despite health issues. No stranger to vice and not a fan of modesty, he called his memoir Hellraiser: The Autobiography of the World’s Greatest Drummer. “John Bonham once made a statement that there were only two drummers in British rock ‘n’ roll; himself and Ginger Baker,” Baker wrote. “My reaction to this was, ‘You cheeky little bastard!'”

May he Rest In Peace.

In closing a little known album…Ginger Baker’s Air Force….

I Read, I Wrote You Know

Advertisements

Closing Thought–07Oct19

I have said many times that regardless what the political hacks say about Pres. Jimmy Carter I still think that he did the best he could for this country….and he may be the last statesman we elected to the office of president.

This man still at 95 gives back to the country he served….by give back I am not talking about trying to make as much cash as possible before they crap out…..I mean in service to the country with such organizations as Habitat For Humanity…..

At his advanced age he still does all he can even when he is not in the best of shape……like over the weekend when he took a fall…..

Former President Jimmy Carter had a black eye and 14 stitches after falling Sunday at his Georgia home, but made it to an evening concert in Tennessee to rally volunteers ahead of his 36th home building project for Habitat for Humanity. The 39th president fell earlier in the day at his home in Plains, Georgia, and required the stitches above his brow. By Sunday evening, Carter was on stage at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville with his wife Rosalynn, 92, to talk to volunteers and supporters of the building project, the AP reports. Carter turned 95 last Tuesday, becoming the first US president to reach that milestone. He told the crowd Sunday evening that he had to go to the hospital and get 14 stitches, “but I had a No. 1 priority and that was to come to Nashville and build houses.”

Carter wore an Atlanta Braves baseball cap, but his left eye was swollen and bruised and he had a white bandage above his eye. The Carters were introduced by country stars Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, who called the Carters the hardest working volunteers, and sang some duets during the concert and ceremony. Rosalynn Carter praised the country music couple for volunteering at previous Habitat for Humanity building projects, saying she once saw Yearwood way up in the rafters of a home working hard during construction.

Carter is an example of what ALL our ex-presidents should strive to be…a true statesman….sadly most fall way short of this bar because they put money over country.

IST wishes Pres. Carter a speedy recovery and a long life.

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

He’s Dancing As Fast As He Can

Warning:  This is an extremely long post…I apologize but this subject cannot be covered in my usual 350 words…..please read it and learn.

This whole impeach thing is just fascinating. Not because of the process playing out for I think there is enough evidence to hold the vote now and enough for a guilty verdict in the Senate…..but that would be if there were statesmen in the Congress and not a bunch of cowards that spend time trying to define the Constitution than actually working for their money.

None of that is fascinating…what is however is watching the president and his minions, Barr, Rudy, dance their way through the media trying to convince the American people there is nothing to see in these accusations.

What is most fascinating is that the tale changes almost daily trying to find that hook that can smooth the facts iver and make it appear that nothing of value is to be seen by searching the information out there.

Any watcher of American politics should be totally fascinated with these events and the saga as it unravels almost everyday.

These are just a few of the story lines in the past week….if you do not like the ones that have been reported just wait an hour they will change and will keep changing until something sticks.

Just a small reminder in case your are comfortably numb…..

I start on 02 October and Trump starts using a old reliable of a “coup”…….

Not for the first time, President Trump is falsely claiming a coup against him. “As I learn more and more each day, I am coming to the conclusion that what is taking place is not an impeachment, it is a COUP,” the president tweeted late Tuesday. Trump’s trade adviser Peter Navarro had suggested the same hours earlier, telling Fox Business that the impeachment inquiry was “nothing less than an attempted coup d’état,” reports the Hill.

Trump also claimed a failed coup in April, reports USA Today. “They tried for a coup, it didn’t work out so well,” he said of the Mueller report at the NRA’s annual meeting. Trump is likely to expand on his defense at a Wednesday press conference. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff will jointly hold one of their own, per NBC News, while the State Department’s inspector general will brief congressional committees on documents related to the Ukraine scandal.

Just a short time after his latest coup statement news comes out about yet another whistleblower…..

Tired of reading about the President Trump whistleblower complaint? Well there’s another complaint involving Trump that kind of flew under the media radar, Business Insider reports. Turns out a federal worker presented “an unsolicited communication” on July 29 summarizing allegations of “inappropriate efforts to influence” the compulsory IRS audit of tax returns filed by Trump and Vice President Mike Pence—at least according to a letter from Rep. Richard Neal to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Aug. 8. Neal added that the “grave charge” underscored “the pressing need for complete and meaningful oversight” of the mandatory audit program. For more, including Trump’s response:

  • Release it? Neal says he’s talking to lawyers about whether to release the whistleblower complaint. Revealing the complaint could help his lawsuit to obtain six years’ of Trump tax returns, according to Bloomberg.
  • Trump fires back: Trump’s attorneys say the whistleblower accusations are irrelevant to obtaining his tax returns, per HuffPo. The committee “does not explain how these allegations are in any way related to its demand to see six years of tax returns and return information, let alone why only the tax returns and return information can satisfy its supposed legislative interest,” they say.
  • An interview: Neal says his committee is seeking an interview with the whistleblower, WBUR reports. But he won’t say whether the complaint will affect his lawsuit or the impeachment inquiry.
  • Little-noticed, at first: The complaint emerged in an obscure court filing that was part of the continuing legal battle over Trump’s tax returns, CNN reports.
  • ‘Pretextual’: In July, Neal sued Mnuchin and IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig for the returns, but the administration refused, calling the request “pretextual” and saying Neal’s committee just wanted “to make the President’s tax returns public, which is not a legitimate legislative purpose.”
  • Is Trump hiding something? At the Washington Post, Catherine Rampell says it could be “legally dubious or even fraudulent” financial dealings or evidence that “Trump has been profiting off the presidency.” But “we don’t know exactly what he might be hiding.”

Pompeo is lying to the country…the MSM say he is misleading….bullshit!  HE IS LYING!

https://amp.businessinsider.com/mike-pompeo-misleading-statements-trump-ukraine-call-whistleblower-2019-10

Then on the rope line on the rope line on the way to Marine One Trump made things a little worse when he said that China should investigate the Bidens as well…..as if Ukraine was not bad enough…….some of us asked “what the Hell is this person harping on about”?

President Trump got into political hot water by suggesting that Ukraine investigate Joe and Hunter Biden. On Thursday, he not only doubled down, he made a similar request of China. “Likewise, China should start an investigation into the Bidens,” the president told reporters, per Politico. “Because what happened in China is just about as bad as what happened with Ukraine.” Details on what the president is talking about in regard to China, including a fact-checker’s analysis that labels Trump’s claims about the issue “false”:

  • The trip: In 2013, Hunter Biden traveled to China with his father, who was then the vice president and on an official visit, reports NBC News. At the time, Hunter Biden was involved with forming a Chinese equity company, per NBC. During the trip, Hunter Biden met with a Chinese banker who was his partner in the fund, though a Biden spokesman characterizes the visit as “social.” So does Hunter: “How do I go to Beijing, halfway around the world, and not see them for a cup of coffee?” he told the New Yorker in a profile.
  • What Trump says: “When Biden’s son walks out of China with $1.5 billion in a fund, and the biggest funds in the world can’t get money out of China, and he’s there for one quick meeting and he flies in on Air Force Two, I think that’s a horrible thing,” Trump said last week. Trump has said similar things of late, including, “The son took money from China—a lot of money from China.” On Thursday, he said he hasn’t formally asked China to investigate, but it’s “certainly something we could start thinking about,” per the AP.
  • Fact-checker: A Washington Post Fact-Checker post has labeled Trump’s claims “false.” For one thing, the claim of a $1.5 billion fund seems to come from right-wing author Peter Schweizer, and the Post says the fund came nowhere near that. An attorney for Hunter Biden says the fund was capitalized for about $4.2 million. “There is no evidence to support” the assertion of a $1.5 billion fund, writes Glenn Kessler. Nor does it appear that Hunter Biden has made money from the venture.
  • Measure of criticism: “One could argue Hunter Biden has been trading off his father’s name, and certainly arranging a handshake between a business partner and the vice president in China raises eyebrows,” writes Kessler. “But Hunter Biden did not raise money for the fund; instead, he was on a board that advised potential investors. He did not obtain an equity stake until after his father was no longer vice president—and that investment of less than half a million dollars has not yet yielded a payoff for Hunter Biden, according to his attorney.”
  • Back to Ukraine: A new phase of the Democratic impeachment inquiry begins Thursday with the private testimony to Congress of former Ukraine envoy Kurt Volker, reports NPR. Volker, who resigned on Sept. 27, met with Ukraine officials the day after Trump’s July phone call with Ukraine’s president to help them “navigate” Trump’s request about an investigation into the Bidens, per a whistleblower complaint. Volker will testify about his role in the controversy, including putting an adviser to the Ukraine president in contact with Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani.

Let’s be honest….the Dems in the House have enough votes to proceed….and the fun part now is to watch the dance of the Repubs and the White House to try and delay this process as long as possible…hopefully they can do so until after the voter in 2020…..

President Trump defended himself on Twitter and in person to reporters on Friday, insisting that his appeals to China and Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden were all about corruption, not politics. “Everything, to me, is about corruption,” Trump said, per CNN. “I don’t care about Biden’s campaign, but I do care about corruption.” He also said he’s not sure whether the White House will comply with House subpoenas in the impeachment inquiry, saying the decision would be up to lawyers. Related:

  • Daring Pelosi: The White House will be sending a letter to Nancy Pelosi essentially “daring” her to hold an impeachment vote, reports Fox News. The White House objects to Democrats beginning an impeachment inquiry without a formal floor vote, and the letter will state that the White House isn’t compelled to comply with Democratic requests until such a vote takes place, per the AP. Pelosi maintains the vote isn’t necessary for the inquiry to begin.
  • A ‘red wall’: Trump on Friday acknowledged that the House has enough votes to impeach him, though he’d only be removed from office if the Senate agrees by a two-thirds majority. Axios notes that Trump looks safe given that he has a “red wall” in the Senate—a reference to the 51 senators from states where Trump won in 2016. He needs only 34 of them to save him from impeachment. The analysis has all the particulars.
  • Romney speaks out: That “red wall” means that even if some GOP senators vote against Trump, he’s safe. On Friday, Mitt Romney moved closer to that opposition camp, with tweets calling Trump’s appeals to Ukraine and China on Biden “wrong and appalling.” He added: “When the only American citizen President Trump singles out for China’s investigation is his political opponent in the midst of the Democratic nomination process, it strains credulity to suggest that it is anything other than politically motivated.”
  • Bad news for Schiff: The Washington Post Fact Checker blog gives Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, who is leading the impeachment inquiry, a damning “Four Pinocchios” score for statements regarding the Ukraine controversy, including: “We have not spoken directly with the whistleblower. We would like to.”
  • Surprise criticism: One of Trump’s staunchest defenders, Tucker Carlson of Fox News, co-wrote an op-ed in the Daily Caller asserting that Trump should not have asked Ukraine’s leader to investigate Biden. “Some Republicans are trying, but there’s no way to spin this as a good idea,” write Carlson and Neil Patel. However, they are skeptical that it amounts to an impeachable offense.
  • Senate control: Trump may have enough votes in the Senate to stay in office, if it comes to that, but the Los Angeles Times notes that the controversy could cost Republicans control of the chamber in 2020 because of vulnerable senators in tight races. They include Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Susan Collins of Maine, Martha McSally of Arizona, and Cory Gardner of Colorado.

Finally on Friday, 04 October, the text of the conversation that started this whole circus was released……..and this is how the reports went….

Text messages provided to the House Intelligence Committee by former US Special Envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker were released by Democrats late Thursday night—and NBC News sees them as “explicitly linking” a potential White House meeting between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky with a Ukraine probe into the 2016 election. As NBC puts it, Trump has “long promoted the baseless theory that Ukraine—not Russia—was responsible for 2016 election meddling.” Texts after a July 25 call between Trump and Zelensky reference both the 2016 election and the company Hunter Biden worked for. Standout texts and related news:

  • On July 19, less than a week before Trump and Zelensky spoke on the phone, Volker texted US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland the following: “Had breakfast with Rudy [Giuliani] this morning—teeing up call with [Zelensky advisor Andrey] Yermak Monday. Must have helped. Most (important) is for Zelensky to say that he will help investigation—and address any specific personnel issues—if there are any.” CNN‘s read is that it reveals “how Giuliani was pushing for the call and for Zelensky to talk up the investigation.”
  • The morning of the call, Volker messaged Yermak the following: “Heard from the White House—assuming President Z convinces trump he will investigate/’get to the bottom of what happened’ in 2016, we will nail down date for visit to Washington.”
  • On Aug. 9, Volker and Sondland talked about a possible White House meeting and the statement Zelensky would make in announcing it. One line the two allegedly drafted, per NBC News: “We intend to initiate and complete a transparent and unbiased investigation of all available facts and episodes, including those involving Burisma and the 2016 US elections.” (Burisma is the gas company linked to Hunter Biden.)
  • The Hill reports that on Aug. 10, Yermak let Volker know he needed a confirmed date before any statement would be made. No date was confirmed and the statement was never made.
  • Then came the news that Trump had halted $400 million in military aid to Ukraine. “Need to talk with you,” Yermak messaged Volker on Aug. 29.
  • “Are we now saying that security assistance and WH meeting are conditioned on investigations?” Bill Taylor, a senior US diplomat in Ukraine, texted Sondland on Sept. 1, per the Washington Post. Sondland replied by asking Taylor to call him.
  • “As I said on the phone, I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign,” Taylor then texted on Sept. 9. Sondland responded that “the President has been crystal clear, no quid pro quo’s of any kind. The President is trying to evaluate whether Ukraine is truly going to adopt the transparency and reforms that President Zelensky promised during his campaign.”
  • In a Thursday night statement, Democrats expressed their view that the texts make clear that military aid and a meeting between the leaders “were being withheld in order to place additional pressure on Ukraine to deliver on the President’s demand for Ukraine to launch politically motivated investigations,” per the Hill.

Mitt speaks out and Trump lowers the ass rant……as usual Trump attacks anyone that does not fall in line and Mitt is the one that speaks truth to power…..Trump cannot let that go without hism usual BS.

President Trump is really going after Mitt Romney. In tweets on Sunday, the president kept hammering the Utah senator after calling for his impeachment the day before, Fox News reports. “The Democrats are lucky that they don’t have any Mitt Romney types,” Trump tweeted. “They may be lousy politicians, with really bad policies (Open Borders, Sanctuary Cities etc.), but they stick together!” This after Trump accused him Saturday of not knowing “how to win” and calling him “pompous,” saying Romney “begged me for my endorsement for his Senate run (I gave it to him), and when he begged me to be Secretary of State (I didn’t give it to him). He is so bad for R’s!”

Trump’s anti-Romney tweetstorm included insults—like “Pompous Senator” and “a fool”—along with the hashtag #IMPEACHMITTROMNEY, the Hill reports. And when Fox News reporter Kevin Corke asked whether Romney was “the new #JeffFlake,” Trump responded, “No Kevin, Jeff Flake is better!” This after Romney took Trump to task for asking Ukraine and China to investigate the president’s political foe, Joe Biden, and Biden’s son, Hunter Biden. “By all appearances, the President’s brazen and unprecedented appeal to China and to Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden is wrong and appalling,” Romney wrote. For the record, senators can’t be impeached but can be recalled in some states. Utah isn’t one of those states

As usual when dealing with Trump….. it is someone else who did it….this time it is not Obama but rather Trump’s Energy Secretary, Rick Perry…..

President Trump didn’t really want to call Ukraine’s president in the first place, he has told Republican members of Congress, but Rick Perry wanted him to. Trump told lawmakers this in a conference call Friday, Axios reports, saying that Perry asked him to talk to President Volodymyr Zelensky about a liquefied natural gas plant. The energy secretary, who reportedly plans to resign soon, wasn’t mentioned in newly released US-Ukraine texts or the White House’s detailing of the July call between Trump and Zelensky. A spokeswoman for Perry said he “absolutely supported and encouraged the president to speak to the new president of Ukraine” about energy and economic matters.

House Democrats are looking into Perry’s Ukraine involvement. He was an administration point person on the country, Politico reports, and was active in Trump’s attempts to push Ukraine to make changes. Perry delivered the message to do more to eliminate corruption and pressured the state-owned natural gas company to add Americans to its board. He has met with Zelensky and other officials repeatedly since he led the US delegation to Zelensky’s inauguration in May.

I am exhausted writing this post!

This is just about 4 days of last week and the news flew off the pressers (I am an old fart)….this whole thing is as clear as mud…..plus there is a new excuse everyday….trying to make any revelation moot….

Image

It gets sillier by the day….I promise to stop writing about this unless there is something really big that develops….(my fingers are bleeding and crossed)

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Kurds–Screwed Again

Stop me if you have heard this one before.

The US has a history of using the Kurds and then turning their back on them with disastrous results…..think Iraq….to help fill in the blanks here is a piece of history……https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/bs-xpm-1991-04-14-1991104040-story.html

Looks like Trump is holding with our pathetic tradition of using the Kurds and then throwing them to the wolves, so to speak…..this time it is in Syria…..you remember Syria from a year ago, right?

The White House said Sunday that Turkey will soon invade northern Syria, renewing fears of a slaughter of Kurdish fighters allied with the US in a yearslong campaign against ISIS. For months, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been threatening to launch a military assault on the Kurdish forces in northern Syria, many of whom his government considers terrorists. The Kurdish forces bore the brunt of the US-led campaign against ISIS, and Republicans and Democrats have warned that allowing the Turkish attack would send a troubling message to American allies across the globe, the AP reports. The announcement came after a call between President Trump and Erdogan, the White House said.

US troops “will not support or be involved in the operation” and “will no longer be in the immediate area,” in northern Syria, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in an unusual late-Sunday statement that was silent on the fate of the Kurds. It was not clear whether that meant the US would be withdrawing its 1,000 or so troops completely from northern Syria The White House statement Sunday said Turkey will take custody of foreign fighters captured in campaign against ISIS who have been held by Kurdish forces supported by the US. In December, Trump announced he was withdrawing American troops from Syria but was met with widespread condemnation for abandoning Kurdish allies to the Turkish assault.

The statement does not make it clear if U.S. troops will fully withdraw from Syria or if they will just relocate. The statement also says, “Turkey will now be responsible for all ISIS fighters in the area captured over the past two years.”

Seems just a continuation of the policies of the US towards the Kurds……use them to achieve a goal then thrown them to the wolves….a policy that has been employed more than once.

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

North Korea–The In And Out Meeting

Just recently the US and North Korea announced they would hold nuclear meetings after a long lull…

The talks were started after North Korea had another successful missile launch…this time from a sub off shore…

North Korea has confirmed that its latest missile launch involved a new kind of ballistic missile—and it’s one that has other countries very worried. Pyongyang says the missile launched early Wednesday was a Pukguksong-3 submarine-launched ballistic missile, which state news agency KCNA said “ushered in a new phase in containing the outside forces’ threat” to the country, reports Reuters. Analysts say that the missile, which is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, was probably fired not from a submarine but from a barge built for an underwater launch, the AP reports. The final stage of testing for the medium-range missile will be a launch from a submarine, says Kyungnam University expert Kim Dong-yub.

Kim estimates that the missile, which was launched in vertical mode and flew 280 miles before landing in the Sea of Japan, could have flown up to 1,240 miles if launched on a standard trajectory. Analysts say the launch demonstrates that the country can now launch missiles far from its own territory—and missiles launched from submarines are harder to detect.

Was it coincidence that the missile incident took place just days before the talks were to begin?

My thought is,,,NO WAY!

So North Korea comes to the negotiation table with a new feather in their hat…

On to Sweden and the talks (comment here…as I was writing this post the talks began and ended)…..

American and North Korean officials met Saturday in Sweden to resume talks—and walked away only hours later, Reuters reports. “The negotiations have not fulfilled our expectation and finally broke off,” said Pyongyang’s top negotiator, Kim Myong Gil. “The US raised expectations by offering suggestions like a flexible approach, new method and creative solutions, but they have disappointed us greatly and dampened our enthusiasm for negotiation by bringing nothing to the negotiation table.” The US team gave no immediate comment, and its leader—US Special Representative for North Korea, Stephen Biegun—apparently went back to the US Embassy in Stockholm.

Many analysts expressed hope the new working-level nuclear talks would lead to a third summit, per the BBC. The first, in Singapore in 2018, led to a hazy denuclearization agreement, while the second, in Vietnam in February, prompted President Trump to walk out. The latest attempt follows a Thursday report that North Korea had fired yet another ballistic missile. Its eleventh in 2019, this one was launched from a platform at sea and is capable of carrying a nuclear weapon. Observers said the launch looked like an attempt to pressure Washington before the Sweden talks

This meeting sounds more like a pay back for the short Hanoi meeting with Kim just a few months ago.

How about you?

But do not worry according to the American people this meeting went well…..

North Korea said the meeting had broken down, because the US brought “nothing to the negotiation table”.

Officials from the two countries met in Sweden on Saturday, in the hope of breaking their stalemate.

This came just days after North Korea tested a new missile, in a significant advance on earlier tests.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-49947836

Seriously?  Dom we believe a group that his proven to lie whenever the mood comes over them….well you may believe…I think they are trying to make sirloin out of bullshit.

I Read, I Wrote You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”