Remember Benghazi!

Closing Thought–18Feb20

It was just a couple of years ago…..I know that is a lifetime thanks to social media….and the GOP was chest thumping and looking for blood from the Obama administration because of the death of the American ambassador in an attack in Benghazi, Libya.

We had months and months and lots of insulting words uttered by those dim witted Repubes….and in the end there was not much that could be done except bitch and moan…..

So I found this story interesting from the Trump administration……

The Trump administration has left an organization created in honor of Chris Stevens, the US ambassador killed in the 2012 Benghazi attack, out of its next budget. The fiscal 2021 budget proposal eliminates the $5 million requested for the nonprofit Stevens Initiative, part of the $420 million cut from the State Department’s cultural and educational programs, the Washington Post reports. The Stevens Initiative funding has been cut for the past two years, but Congress put it back in both times. A State Department official said it’s possible the $5 million for the program—the same amount it has received the past two years—could show up elsewhere in the budget before the final version is approved. The organization advocates online exchanges among US, Middle East, and North Africa students.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made his name investigating the Benghazi attack, Foreign Policy points out, and blaming Hillary Clinton, his predecessor, and other Democrats for the deaths of four Americans. Pompeo was a second-term congressman from Kansas at the time. Donald Trump said the same things in campaigning on the issue in 2016. “By the way, with Benghazi and with our ambassador—remember? That’s all Hillary Clinton, folks,” Trump said. The Stevens Initiative says it’s helped tens of thousands of students with virtual cultural exchanges. A colleague of the ambassador to Libya said Stevens’ interest “was in communities we couldn’t otherwise reach.”

If you thought the Repubes would be up in arms after using the deaths as a political tool….then you will be hearing the sound of crickets.

Typical from the cowardly Repubes…..but not to worry since all money issues originate in the House then I believe it will be put back in…..

I Read I Know, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Drain The Swamp!

Of all the slogans and chants from the 2016 election that one sticks out in my mind……a new face and a new call for the Swamp to be drained’

As usual this is a subject/promise that I have watched closely and even wrote about it in 2019…..https://lobotero.com/2019/10/22/drain-the-swamp-drain-the-swamp/

Sadly Trump has not drained the Swamp he is just added to it and built one of his liking…..the impeachment process has brought out all the critters in Trump’s swamp

The defense’s opening statements of Trump’s impeachment trial. Justice, however, was not one of them. Power, absolutism, corruption and denial were present, but a quest for justice certainly wasn’t, not even within the narrow confines of these stunted proceedings. The process continues in less than twenty-four hours with the likelihood that the show will continue to produce more repetition, denial and obstruction, which is how I would describe business as usual in Washington on most days. The impeachment process has just consolidated it all and put it on television. One thing I have had confirmed during my viewing is that there are a lot of lousy and overpriced attorneys who only seem smart because their clients are not.

Saturday the 25th of January the morning newspapers provided commentary on the sideshows that tend to accompany political spectacles in DC. This included coverage of remarks by the impeachment spokesperson Adam “Don Quixote” Schiff in which he referred to GOP heads ending up on a pike if they opposed Trump. Two Republican senators–Collins of Maine and Murkowski of Alaska–objected to that characterization. I think their objections had to do with the GOP’s inability to comprehend metaphor. Although, if heads on a pike was still a thing, I can certainly think of a few Senators whose heads would be perfect there.

The Swamp That Trump Built

I have written about this topic many times….simply the administration will change but the Swamp remains.

And the Trump swamp gets deeper by the month….and with a new election on the horizon we should hear more about something that will NEVER happen.

Change NEVER comes……reform is the best that this system can do…..and reforms are easily overturned by the next megalomaniac that inhabits the White House.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

The Pete And Amy Show

College of Political Knowledge

#4 in series

The buzz after New Hampshire is the rising stars of Mayor Pete and Amy Klobuchar…..and things need to be said about them both……plus another debate is just days away….

I will start with Mayor Pete……

I am a foreign policy wonk and want my candidate to answer some hard policy questions and so far Pete has ducked all of them to the point of looking like he is running scared…..why is that?

Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg is emerging as a Democratic frontrunner, which naturally will increase scrutiny on his domestic and foreign policy positions. But he’s creating a problem for himself on the latter: His campaign is no longer providing fresh answers to foreign policy questions from interested parties like the media.

A fixture of the presidential campaign cycle is that organizations — from interest groups to think tanks to news outlets — ask candidates questions, often via surveys, to better grasp where the candidates stand on key issues. This is particularly true on foreign policy, since a president has almost unilateral authority to run global affairs, and it’s good for voters to know how a candidate would wield such power.

But the Buttigieg campaign has a new stance: If it’s a question the candidate has answered before, anywhere, he’s not going to give a fresh response on a questionnaire. Instead, he’ll merely point back to a previous statement he’s made on the issue

https://www.vox.com/2020/2/12/21132909/pete-buttigieg-foreign-policy-questions

After the first two votes Pete is doing well….some call it winning but can he he keep it up?

The weight of his presidential campaign hung on one week in February. He needed to win in Iowa — the kind of stunning, historic victory that would validate his name across the country. Then he needed to go to New Hampshire and prove himself there, too.

Pete Buttigieg did both of those things. But an extraordinary two weeks have left the 38-year-old former mayor without a clear path to the presidency.

After raising tens of millions of dollars last year, his campaign is facing unusual financial pressures having spent much of that money in and on Iowa, leaving some of his organizing staff uncertain if they still have jobs. And in the contests ahead, he will compete against two well-funded opponents, a steady Bernie Sanders and a strengthening Michael Bloomberg, as he faces an imminent test of his greatest vulnerability: support from voters of color.

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/henrygomez/pete-buttigieg-democratic-primary-2020-iowa-new-hampshire

It takes lots of cash….so far many donors are holding their funds to see where the Dem wind blows….will it be to Pete or maybe to Amy……

Many have said the “Klobmentum”….the “Big Mo” in Amy-land.

Is she for real or just another flash of popularity that soon disappears when the media chooses elsewhere to focus?

The Klobmentum is real.

At least, that’s one narrative coming out of the New Hampshire primary, where the senator made an impressive showing, coming in third behind Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg — and beating onetime frontrunners Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren.

The result capped a week of good news for the Minnesota senator, including a post-debate fundraising haul of $2.5 million in just two days. Klobuchar’s path to the nomination is still uncertain, and her dismal support among black voters is likely to hurt her in other early primary states, like South Carolina. But her rise — and the ways she’s been able to point out gender bias without triggering backlash — may say something about what it takes to win favor as a woman running for president in America today.

https://www.vox.com/2020/2/13/21133782/amy-klobuchar-nh-primary-new-hampshire-2020

According to the MSM Amy is the best choice for those “moderates” (those Dems that want the status quo to remain entrenched)……but is she?

“Hello, America. I’m Amy Klobuchar and I will beat Donald Trump.”

With those words, the newly surging contender for the Democratic presidential nomination greeted supporters in New Hampshire after a surprise third place finish. The senator from Minnesota not only managed to beat heir presumptive Joe Biden in the Granite State, Klobuchar more than doubled his vote count — and did the same to Elizabeth Warren, who needed to show she could compete in her home region. Thanks to a strong debate performance last week — and despite a fifth-place finish in Iowa, a state in her own home region — Klobuchar’s fortunes are on the rise as a potential new option in the moderate lane of the Democratic primaries.

https://theweek.com/articles/895464/why-moderates-should-think-twice-about-klobuchar

Right now these two Dem candidates are the talk of the town….and that shall continue until the media does not want it so.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

VOTE!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

What Is The Fourth Estate?

I know you have heard the term “Fourth Estate”, right?

In case you are ignorant of the term…..let me assist you…..

The term “fourth estate” is used to describe the press. Describing journalists and the news outlets for which they work as members of the fourth estate is an acknowledgment of their influence and status among the greatest powers of a nation, the author William Safire once wrote.

The term goes back centuries when it applied to any unofficial group that wielded public influence, including a mob.

https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-the-fourth-estate-3368058

Now that you have the background on the term “Fourth Estate”….that is NOT what this post is about.

The Fourth Estate is a term used within the Pentagon to mean any thing other than military ……..

The term “Fourth Estate” — first popularized as a way to describe the press as a non-governmental actor in society — has in recent decades been appropriated as shorthand for the Defense Department’s agencies and activities that are not part of the military branches: the Departments of the Army, Navy, and Air Force.

The distinction between these “DOD Components” and the “military components” is laid out in DoD Instruction 7730.64. As a 2018 GAO report put it, the “DOD has defined Fourth Estate organizations as DOD organizations, other than the
military services, that have DOD manpower resources.”

These organizations include the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, DOD field activities, and the combatant commands. The list also includes more than two dozen defense agencies, including the: Defense Logistics Agency, Defense Finance and Accounting Service, Defense Contract Management Agency, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Missile Defense Agency, and more.

https://www.defenseone.com/news/2020/02/what-pentagons-fourth-estate/162939/

Now you know something that does not mean a damn thing to you….but at least you can say you learned something thanx to the old professor….

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

There Is An Afghan Deal!

Could his be the beginning of something good?

The 7-day “reduction in violence” negotiated between the United States and the Taliban is set to begin on Feb. 22, an Afghan government official who spoke on condition of anonymity told Task & Purpose on Monday.

Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen reported on Monday that the US and Taliban have finalized the language of the Afghanistan peace deal. The US has not confirmed this yet, but had indicated in recent days that such a deal was imminent.

Afghan CEO Abdullah Abdullah confirmed the deal is finalized, saying that his understanding is that the signature depends on the success of the reduction of violence. If all goes well, the deal should be signed by all sides by the end of February.

The exact language of the deal has never been public, though indications are that it was effectively finalized in October of last year and has not substantially changed. The deal sees the US commit to a withdrawal from Afghanistan, negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban, and a commitment by the Taliban to fight al-Qaeda and ISIS to keep them out of the country.

The deal should end a 19-year US occupation of Afghanistan, and bring American troops home. It is expected that NATO forces will be withdrawing with the US, and the Afghan factions will reach a power-sharing deal.

This is a good start….and I hope that it can be expanded and the US troops can finally come home for that much needed rest.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”