Closing Thought–21Nov19

After I returned from Vietnam and left the Army I was a staunch opponent of ROTC on college campuses and later in the program called JROTC…where the military comes tomhi9gh schools and recruits…..my opposition was for naught for the program made it into the high schools in my area.

The rising costs of war and the dwindling amount of recruits has made the idea of a “national service” return to the backrooms in the Pentagon….

Over the past five years, retired Army Maj. Gen. Dennis Laich and Col. Larry Wilkerson along with members of the All-Volunteer Force Forum have traversed the country in an effort to address what they see as a looming crisis in the military — dwindling numbers of qualified and interested recruits for a military straining at the seams.

And they’ve got the solution: Bring back the draft.

The pair, along with William Hartung, director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy spoke to a crowd of a few dozen attendees in the Capitol Visitor’s Center Tuesday.

https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-military/2019/11/19/rising-costs-dwindling-recruit-numbers-increasing-demands-may-bring-back-the-draft/

So the Army has decided to avoid the unpopularity of a draft the Army has decided that brain washing the young would be acceptable…..

Well the Army is beefing up their JROTC program…..

One of the Army’s biggest strategic challenges over the next few decades will be continuing to staff its all-volunteer force amid a shrinking population of capable and interested youth — but high school JROTC units could be part of the solution.

The Army has been “tearing apart” its recruitment data to figure out how to boost its accessions in an increasingly competitive job market. One of the solutions potentially on the horizon involves more focus on the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps at high schools.

The service, which is trying to grow to 500,000 active-duty soldiers by 2028, has found that Americans at high schools with JROTC programs are more than twice as likely to enlist after graduation, according to Maj. Gen. John R. Evans, Jr., who helms Army Cadet Command.

“And you don’t have to even participate in the program,” Evans told a crowd at an Association of the U.S. Army forum Wednesday. “The mere presence of the program at your high school has at least a corollary effect on your desire or your willingness or your propensity to serve your nation. So, pretty powerful data point there for us.”

https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-army/2019/11/07/how-increased-footprint-in-high-schools-may-help-army-fix-recruiting-shortfall/

I still believe that ROTC does not have a place on a campus unless it is a military academy…..and the young do not need a good washing of the brain…..they need an education not uniforms.

But that is me.

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

All That Noise About Obama

In 2008 the US elected a black man, a Dem, and the noise about socialism and Marxian economics were everywhere especially on the Right and their official news source, FOX News……

As an aged socialist I tried to tamp down the BS and set the record straight but the mental midgets like a slogan and an insult over facts……I tried to point out that the way Obama let the corporations run rampant and make the laws…….. makes Obama a lot of things but a socialist is just wishful thinking by the mentally slow.

Then in one fell swoop Obama opens his mouth and craps on the stupidity spread by the Right…..(he made my point for me….thanx)……

Barack Obama is very unlikely to give his official endorsement to one of the Democratic candidates running for president until the primary is over, but he is offering words of advice that seem aimed at the more left-leaning ones. On Friday, the former president offered what the New York Times calls an “unusual warning” before the Democracy Alliance, a group of wealthy liberal donors, cautioning candidates against pushing progressive ideas that may still be a hard sell for many citizens, like mandatory firearm buybacks, erasure of student debt, and decriminalizing border crossings, per the Washington Post. “This is still a country that is less revolutionary than it is interested in improvement,” Obama said. “[Americans] like seeing things improved. But the average American doesn’t think that we have to completely tear down the system and remake it. And I think it’s important for us not to lose sight of that.”

While he didn’t name names, both papers point out he’s likely referring to Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who’ve called for “political revolution” and “big, structural change.” The recent late entry into the race by Deval Patrick, and an apparent run by Mike Bloomberg, both of whom are considered more centrist, is a sign that some Dems are wary of their chances against Trump with increasingly left-leaning ideas. Not that No. 44 is against innovating—he just appears to want to move incrementally and strike a balance. “Even as we push the envelope and we are bold in our vision, we also have to be rooted in reality and the fact that voters, including Democratic voters and certainly persuadable independents or even moderate Republicans, are not driven by the same views that are reflected on certain, you know, left-leaning Twitter feeds or the activist wing of our party,” he told the crowd.

With this one statement Obama proves everything I said when he was elected….change was NOT coming….he is a Centrist…..he is just a black big business Dem like Clinton the only difference is Obama is truly black and Clinton was just wishful thinking……

Obama A Progressive….. my ass!

All I can say now is….I TOLD YOU SO!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Democratic Debate #5

I start each of these posts with the same thought…”I do this stuff so you do not have to”…..you are welcome!

The fifth debate of 2019 is in the can……and as usual it was mostly a beauty contest and not a true debate…..

The November Dem debate was last night ….and the summaries are as follows……

Ten Democratic candidates are debating in Atlanta—including five of the senators who will serve as jurors if there is an impeachment trial for President Trump. Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and Amy Klobuchar are on stage, along with Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Tulsi Gabbard, Andrew Yang, and Tom Steyer. The first question at the debate, which is being hosted by the Washington Post and MSNBC, was on impeachment. Warren, asked if she would try to convince fellow senators to convict Trump, said: “Of course I will.” More:

  • Warren added that US Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland, who testified earlier in the day, should never have been appointed to the position in return for donating $1 million to Trump. Harris said the impeachment inquiry proves “we have a criminal in the White House,” the Guardian reports. Sander stressed that to defeat Trump, Democrats need to focus on issues beyond the inquiry, while Biden argued that the fact Trump and Vladimir Putin don’t want him to be president helps make the case for his candidacy.
  • Warren and Booker clashed over her proposed wealth tax. “I’m tired of free-loading billionaires,” Warren said. Booker called the tax “cumbersome,” saying: “We as Democrats need to fight for a just taxation system” but “Democrats also have to talk about how to grow wealth as well.”
  • Buttigieg argued that Democrats shouldn’t turn off Republican and independent voter with massive social programs like Medicare for All, reports the New York Times reports. He invoked President Obama and said: “Even on issues where Democrats have been on defense, like immigration and guns, we have a majority to do the right thing, if we can galvanize, not polarize that majority.” Sanders promised to pursue Medicare for All in his first week in office.
  • Harris and Gabbard clashed after Gabbard slammed the “ongoing Bush, Clinton, Trump foreign policy doctrine of regime change war.” Harris accused Gabbard of “buddying up” to Steve Bannon and said it was “unfortunate” that one of the candidates onstage was somebody who “during the Obama administration spent four years full time on Fox News criticizing President Obama.”
  • A line from Klobuchar is going viral: “If you think a woman can’t beat Donald Trump, Nancy Pelosi does it every single day.”
  • Sanders declined to disavow “Lock him up” chants directed at Trump, saying “the people of this country are catching on to the degree this president thinks he is above the law.”
  • Booker said he would deal with the housing crisis by giving tax credits to people who paid more than a third of their income in rent, while Warren and Steyer said they would use federal funds to build affordable housing, the AP reports.
  • On paid family leave, Klobuchar declined to commit to more than three months, saying: “We have an obligation as party to, yes, be fiscally responsible, yes, think big, but be honest.” Yang said the only countries that don’t provide paid leave for new moms are the US and Papua New Guinea, and “we need to get off that list,” Politico reports.
  • In a discussion of climate change, Biden accused Steyer of having a terrible record on the issue, saying: “My friend was producing more coal mines and produced more coal around the world … than Great Britain.” Steyer said like unlike Biden and Warren, the issue was his No. 1 priority.
  • On foreign policy, “Donald Trump got punked” by North Korea, Harris said. “He has conducted foreign policy since Day 1 borne out of a very fragile ego,” she said, calling the president the “greatest threat” to America’s national security.
  • Yang got some laughs when he was asked what he would say in his first conversation with Vladimir Putin after being elected president. “Sorry I beat your guy,” Yang responded.
  • Sanders, asked about the US relationship with Israel, said the US need to think about the Palestinians as well, reports FiveThirtyEight. “It is no longer good enough for us simply to be pro-Israel, I am pro-Israel, but we must treat the Palestinian people as well with the respect and dignity that they deserve,” he said.
  • Booker criticized Biden for opposing marijuana legalization, saying he thought he “must have been high” when he remarked on the issue recently. Biden went on to say he “comes out of the black community” in terms of support and claimed to have been endorsed by the “only African-American woman that had ever been elected to the United States Senate.” The Guardian notes that he was quickly corrected by Harris, the second African-American woman to have been elected to the Senate.
  • On abortion, Warren declined to denounce Louisiana’s Democratic governor for signing a strict anti-abortion bill in the law, but promised to defend abortion rights.
  • Buttigieg and Gabbard, who are both veterans, clashed on foreign policy, with Buttigieg slamming Gabbard’s “outlandish” claim that he wanted to send the US military to deal with Mexican drug cartels, MSNBC reports. He responded to her suggestion he was inexperienced by questioning her judgment in sitting down with murderous dictator Bashar al-Assad.
  • In closing statements, Booker urged voters to help him qualify for the December debate. Yang warned that the American dream is vanishing. “Our kids are not alright,” he said. “They’re not all right because we’re leaving them a future that is far darker than the lives that we have led as their parents.” Steyer said he was best qualified to call Trump “a fraud and a failure on the economy,” and Klobuchar said she was the candidate who could carry “red districts, suburban purple districts and bright blue districts.”

Sorry Biden supporters Uncle Joe looked his age and tired….he did not gain many more supporters.  Booker had a good night but will it be enough?  Harris needed a win and the best she did was a draw…..

We heard all the usual terms like “on day one”……slogans are the fodder for the pundits and the headlines…..I do not think many people changed their minds on who to support…..I did not…..I support Gabbard and still do so….even as the media tries desperately to get her support to wane……Me?  I do not let toadies working for corporations tell me who my candidate should be.

Sen. Harris is still doing the work for Hillary and Mayor Pete is still a centrist that will change NOTHING if elected….and the candidate that MSNBC’s Matthews wants to be the president….he still has a hard on for the “hard Left”…..I listened to the Dems talk like Neocon warmongers……and then the pundits jumped into the same boat…..

Who was the biggest loser in this debate…once again it was the voter…they had very little diversity just the same non-starter policies with some new window decoration.

Image

THe MSM pulled NO punches in their attacks on Tulsi……they want her gone, the only antiwar candidate…..now once they succeed who will they come for next Yang or Steyer…..once they eliminate all the “radicals” they will then set their sights on the Left leaning meaning Warren, Sanders…then they will have the roster they want…..centrists fighting it out……

I aw nothing in this debate that has changed anything…..As the election comes closer it is shaking out as a usual election…..the voter will hold their nose and vote for the least offensive candidate….policies be DAMNED!

Status quo wins again!

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Congressional Impeachment Hearing–Day 4

I watch so you do not have to….your are welcome.

The impeachment saga continues……Day 4 and the EU ambassador, Sondland, the guy that has more versions to his tale than hairs on his butt….

Sondland’s testimony should be the topping on the impeachment pie……

  • Who is Sondland? NBC takes a look at Sondland’s background—and why he is so important to the impeachment inquiry. The businessman, who donated $1 million to Trump’s inauguration before he was named ambassador to the EU, is one of the “three amigos” who dealt with Ukraine policy, and allegedly pressured officials to investigate the Bidens, after ambassador Marie Yovanovitch was ousted in May.
  • “Tough questions.” The AP predicts that Sondland will face tough questions from both parties about Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukraine’s president, and about testimony from earlier witnesses. Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman testified Tuesday that Sondland told Ukrainian officials in a July 10 meeting that they would need to “deliver” before President Volodymyr Zelensky could meet Trump. “Ambassador Sondland referred to investigations into the Bidens and Burisma in 2016,” Vindman testified.
  • “Omnipresent shadow.” Kyle Cheney at Politico calls Sondland an “omnipresent shadow” behind the witnesses who have testified so far. The testimony suggested “that Sondland can pull together all of the far-flung elements of Democrats’ impeachment investigation and provide clarity—or sink the probe into further confusion—with his testimony on Wednesday,” he writes.
  • A lot of explaining to do. Sondland will have to answer for inconsistencies that have emerged in his story, the New York Times notes. In closed-door testimony, he said he never thought military aid to Ukraine was linked to the investigations Trump was pushing for, but he later revised his testimony to say he told the Ukrainians that “resumption of the US aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anticorruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks.”

US Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland’s testimony as part of the House impeachment inquiry. President Trump had a different take: “It’s all over.” Politico reports that in comments to reporters, Trump had this to say of Sondland: “I have not spoken to him much. This is not a man I know well. He seems like a nice guy, though.” But as for Sondland’s recollection of a September phone call in which Trump explicitly said “I want no quid pro quo,” the president said this: “That means it’s all over. This is the final word from the president of the United States. I want nothing.” You can read Sondland’s opening remarks in full here. Highlights:

On quid pro quo: In what the Guardian describes as Sondland “pointing a finger directly at Trump,” he said this: “I know that members of this committee have frequently framed these complicated issues in the form of a simple question: Was there a ‘quid pro quo?’ As I testified previously, with regard to the requested White House call and White House meeting, the answer is yes. Mr. Giuliani conveyed to Secretary Perry, Ambassador Volker, and others that President Trump wanted a public statement from President Zelensky committing to investigations of Burisma and the 2016 election. Mr. Giuliani expressed those requests directly to the Ukrainians. Mr. Giuliani also expressed those requests directly to us. We all understood that these prerequisites for the White House call and White House meeting reflected President Trump’s desires and requirements.”

  • On Giuliani: “Secretary Perry, Ambassador Volker, and I worked with Mr. Rudy Giuliani on Ukraine matters at the express direction of the President of the United States. We did not want to work with Mr. Giuliani. Simply put, we played the hand we were dealt. We all understood that if we refused to work with Mr. Giuliani, we would lose an important opportunity to cement relations between the United States and Ukraine. So we followed the President’s orders.”
  • On the suspension of aid: “In July and August 2019, we learned that the White House had also suspended security aid to Ukraine. I was adamantly opposed to any suspension of aid, as the Ukrainians needed those funds to fight against Russian aggression. I tried diligently to ask why the aid was suspended, but I never received a clear answer. In the absence of any credible explanation for the suspension of aid, I later came to believe that the resumption of security aid would not occur until there was a public statement from Ukraine committing to the investigations of the 2016 election and Burisma, as Mr. Giuliani had demanded.”
  • A “bombshell”: At the Atlantic, David A. Graham presents what he says were the two key sentences of Sondland’s opening statement: “Everyone was in the loop. It was no secret.” Writes Graham, “Sondland’s testimony shows that far from freelancing a crazy scheme, he was working closely with the president and with top policymakers in the administration, keeping them apprised.”
  • A three-letter word: Daniel Goldman, the Democrats’ lawyer, asked Sondland if he remembering saying to President Trump that the Ukrainian president “loves your ass” during a July 26 call at a Kyiv restaurant, reports CNN. Sondland replied that it “sounds like something I would say. That’s how President Trump and I communicate. A lot of four-letter words. In this case, three letters,” he said to laughter.
  • A major blow? CNN writes there was one “major blow” for Democrats that came when Sondland repeatedly answered Goldman by saying Trump never directly verbally linked the aid with an announcement of investigations. But he did reference other top officials as being in the loop, among them Mike Pence, whom Sondland says he mentioned the apparent link to while in a meeting. Sondland said Pence “nodded like he heard what I said.”
  • Ken Starr weighs in: In speaking to Fox News on Wednesday, the head prosecutor in Bill Clinton’s impeachment hearings said Sondland’s testimony “doesn’t look good for the president, substantively.” Starr continued, “It’s over … The articles of impeachment are being drawn up, if they haven’t already been drawn up. … This obviously has been one of those bombshell days,” said Starr, who added that Democrats will claim Trump “committed the crime of bribery.”

The GOP on the committee tried to turn it into a fiasco (as usual)….Jimbo Baggins and Willy the Weasel did what they always do….try to turn the hearing into a bigger circus….

All in all the day was in the win column for the Dems and impeachment…..

The Debate was yesterday as well…..summary to come….

Watch This Blog!

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Now South Korea Is Angry

First NK is pissed and now we, the White House, have managed to piss off the South……

I have written that North Korea’s Kim has stated that he is finished with Trump and his brand to stupid (my term)……but Trump and the amateurs he hires have also pissed off the South Koreans…..

The huge $920 million annual fee South Korea has already agreed to pay the US for keeping troops in their country didn’t last long, as President Trump quickly upped the demand to an unprecedented level, approaching $5 billion.

On Monday, the US negotiator was upbeat to start talks, expecting a compromise to be reached. Tuesday the talks fell apart in a matter of minutes, as the US walked out as soon as South Korean officials resisted the massive increase.

This $5 billion annually is believed to be considerably more than the troops actually cost, and the Pentagon has defended the number publicly only on the grounds that South Korea could afford to pay it. Privately, the suggestion is that Trump came up with the number off the top of his head, and it became policy.

South Korean officials aren’t too happy, especially with how quickly the US walked out of the talks, and US officials are now saying they’re giving them time to “reconsider” the demands. South Korean officials warned the move shows signs of eroding trust.

There is also a sense among South Korean officials that this whole thing is a bluff by the US, noting that there has been no suggestion that the US might reduce troop levels or withdraw if they don’t get their way.

(antiwar.com)

Since they, South Korea, cannot make a deal with the US…their next logical step….CHINA.

The defence ministers of South Korea and China have agreed to develop their security ties to ensure stability in north-east Asia, the latest indication that Washington’s long-standing alliances in the region are fraying.

On the sidelines of regional security talks in Bangkok on Sunday, Jeong Kyeong-doo, the South Korean minister of defence, and his Chinese counterpart, Wei Fenghe, agreed to set up more military hotlines and to push ahead with a visit by Mr Jeong to China next year to “foster bilateral exchanges and cooperation in defence”, South Korea’s defence ministry said.

Seoul’s announcement coincided with growing resentment at the $5 billion (£3.9bn) annual fee that Washington is demanding to keep 28,500 US troops in South Korea.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/china-signs-defence-agreement-south-140554626.html

Trump may punish South Korea by removing some US troops from the nation….

South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper, quoting an unnamed US diplomatic source, says that President Trump is considering withdrawing 4,000 US troops from South Korea, and suggested the possibility of pulling out entirely, if South Korea doesn’t pay massive cost-sharing increases that Trump is demanding.

The US and South Korea agreed to a $920 million annual cost-sharing payment earlier this year, but Trump is now demanding $4.7 billion. South Korean officials have balked at that, and this week’s talks ended almost immediately with the US delegation leaving.

South Korean officials had previously downplayed the seriousness of the US demands, saying there was no sign the US was actually going to leave. It’s unsurprising, then, that US officials are leaking to South Korea’s press things that would benefit US negotiations.

US special representative to North Korea Stephen Biegun also bolstered this position, saying that he wants US troops to stay in South Korea but that “that doesn’t mean anybody gets a free ride.”

All of this suggests the US is going to push for Trump’s full $4.7 billion demand, though with South Korea having made defense agreements with China in recent days, the South Koreans are probably viewing US demands as less and less vital.

(antiwar.com)

Just another massive screw up by the amateur in the White House and the Toadies he hires.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”