Closing Thought–13Aug20

I friend of mine has been doing research for a paper she is writing on sex scandals through history…..I thought that might interest my readers as well as I know I have many that are history buffs.

Let’s begin with ancient history sex scandals that you may not be aware of…….

For this first entry we travel back to ancient Rome to look at a scandal that took place in the home of Julius Caesar, although it mainly concerned his wife, Pompeia.

Back then, there was a winter festival called Bona Dea where the rites were performed exclusively by women. In fact, men were not allowed to attend or even know of what happened during that sacred ceremony. Each year, the festival was hosted in the house of one of the senior magistrates and it was considered a great honor. In 62 BC, the ceremony took place in the home of Julius Caesar who, at the time, held the position of pontifex maximus. As was tradition, Caesar and all his male servants left for the day while his wife, Pompeia, and his mother, Aurelia, oversaw the festivities with the help of the Vestal Virgins.

Yes our ancestors had their “randy” moments….but what about our nation and its fearless leaders?  For more on their sexcapades…..

Most of us history buffs know all about Jefferson’s assignations….but are there others?

Of course there are…..and the list is really long…..

For these listed people, either the scandal, or the behavior which gave rise to it, occurred while they were occupying their high federal offices, and one or the other date may be used here, even if coverage of the scandal was entirely posthumous. Politicians’ sex crimes are not covered in this particular list, regardless of whether there has been a verdict yet……

We all remember Clinton and the Blue Dress….and of course the most recent one with a female named Stormy….but there is so much more and so much more of interest than those two “famous” sex scandals.

Her research is on-going and she seems to be finding lots of “scandals”……

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“lego ergo scribo”

2020 Not Looking Good

For Trump that is……

Donald the Orange keeps talking and with his open mouth his poll numbers slide……and Biden peasants dance.

Democratic and liberal aligned groups have put out 17 House polls taken in April or later. Republican aligned groups have put out 0. That’s a very bad ratio for Republicans.
Interestingly, Republicans were the ones dominating the polling landscape in the first quarter of the year. From January through March, Republican and conservative groups released 10 polls compared with the Democrats’ 2.
The April turning point lines up well with when the coronavirus pandemic became the headline story of the year. It’s when President Donald Trump’s approval rating started an almost continuous decline that remains unabated.
More on the Trump GOP……
Remember when they moved the convention from North Carolina to Jacksonville?
And then the humiliation the campaign had in Tulsa with a promoted millions wanting tickets to less than 7,000 that showed up…it was embarrassing and Trump was livid.
There is reports that the Jacksonville event may be an embarrassment as well so Trump is considering cancelling the convention to avoid more humiliation…

To console himself, Trump still has moments of magical thinking. “He says the polls are all fake,” a Republican in touch with Trump told me. But the bad news keeps coming. This week, Jacksonville, Florida—where Trump moved the Republican National Convention so he could hold a 15,000-person rally next month—mandated that people wear masks indoors to slow the explosion of COVID-19 casesAccording to a Republican working on the convention, the campaign is now preparing to cancel the event so that Trump doesn’t suffer another Tulsa–like humiliation. “They probably won’t have it,” the source said. “It’s not going to be the soft landing Trump wanted.”

With the coronavirus raging through Florida, a one-third capacity turnout would have been a big number for Trump’s acceptance speech. Trump’s rallies have long been used as an ego-boosting tool, and now that his own incompetence has taken them away, Donald Trump has nowhere to get his cult leader fix.

Trump To Cancel Jacksonville Convention To Avoid Being Humiliated

But keep in mind that polls are worthless…they bare solely a snap shot for the day.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Battle Of The Pentagon

As most Americans are aware of, at least not those that read IST, the Pentagon gets money it does not need.

I have written before that as long as the people are calling for defunding this or that….why not start looking more closely at the budget of the Pentagon….I mean the waste there out stretches the imagination and they get away with it.

Maybe just defund out endless wars would be a better place to start.

Arguments for “ending endless war” dovetail seamlessly with the M4BL invest-divest framework. Indeed, M4BL has issued a call to cut military expenditures and reallocate funds to domestic infrastructure and community wellbeing. But the similarities go beyond shared demands to shift funding priorities. The call to end America’s permanent war footing involves a transformative vision of its own: abandoning a posture of American military dominance.

Rethinking U.S. military primacy is a necessary corollary to ending state-sanctioned violence at home because America’s wars abroad sustain and feed into militarized and racialized domestic policing. Beyond the conveyor belt of equipment, training, and manpower that circulates between America’s wars – within our borders and overseas – lie massive vested interests in what today is best understood as the military-industrial-policing complex. And this complex profits from and entrenches the very forms of racialized state violence that protesters oppose.

Defund America’s Endless Wars

Recently the Progressives tried to introduce a b ill that would cut the Pentagon’s budget by 10%…….centrists Dems went hand in hand with Repubes to defeat the idea of the cut……but the idea is gaining popularity and has a good chance of winning this debate…

This comes on the heels of two major votes in the House and the Senate to cut the Pentagon budget by 10 percent. Both amendments were soundly defeated.

Yet while the picture may look bleak, there is cause for optimism about reducing the Pentagon budget. In fact, conditions look more favorable today than they have at any time for at least a decade. That’s owed to organizing inside of Congress, an energized progressive foreign policy movement, and a new national reckoning over budget priorities propelled into the nation’s consciousness by the national uprisings over systemic white supremacy and the coronavirus crisis.

Comparing the recent votes to cut the Pentagon budget with a similar vote in 2017 illustrates the point. Three years ago, the House voted on an amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill to cut the Pentagon budget by one percent, or just $7 billion. That year, 35 percent of House Democrats supported the cut. Contrast that with today’s House effort, led by Representatives Barbara Lee and Mark Pocan, which sought to chop 10 percent, or $74 billion, off the Pentagon’s topline. Today, 40 percent of House Democrats supported the amendment, despite the fact that members of their own party wrote the bill. And in a parallel Senate effort, led by Senators Bernie Sanders, Ed Markey, and Elizabeth Warren, nearly half of the Democratic Caucus voted for the amendment, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who has not been known to be supportive of such measures.

Why we will win the fight to cut the Pentagon budget

Not to worry…the M-IC machine will hit back and help keep any cuts from happening….this piece gives good sound reasons for not cutting the Pentagon budget….

It’s election season. Politicians at both the federal and state levels are looking for ways of bolstering their reelection prospects. One way of doing this is to stage public spectacles, the modern version of ancient Rome’s gladiatorial games, designed to gain support for politicians from average voters. The most recent example of this strategy in action has been a campaign of attacks on so-called Big Tech: companies such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Google.

There have been antitrust investigations and even calls to break up these tech giants. Whether it is lawsuits by state attorneys general or hearings before congressional committees, the goal is to demonize these companies primarily for their success. The trouble is that in seeking to score near-term political points, these politicians are not only maligning great American companies but threatening the nation’s economic health and national security.

Did you see where they say that these acts will threaten our economic health and national security?

That is M-IC speak that actually means it will cut our profits and that is unacceptable.

Finally there is a push to defund the Pentagon and it has bi-partisanship… it will help defund the police as well…..

Many liberals and progressives in the Democratic Party have been loudly calling for the defunding of police departments around the country after the tragic death of a black man, George Floyd, at the hands of a white Minneapolis police officer. While defunding the police — not to be confused with disbanding the police — means different things to different people, most advocates propose redirecting a portion of city and county police budgets to social programs, mental health intervention, combating homelessness, and affordable housing programs.

Conservatives and Republicans have generally pushed back against calls to defund the police. They typically maintain that the level of police misconduct is overstated, that police departments just need to be reformed, and that violent crime and property crime will increase if police department budgets are cut. In response to some major cities calling for defunding the police, Donald Trump simply said, “We won’t be defunding our police. We won’t be dismantling our police. We won’t be disbanding our police. We won’t be ending our police force.” Certainly the president knows that funding levels for police departments are decided on the local level without any input whatsoever from the federal government?

Defund the Pentagon

Just thinking out loud!

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I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Saudi Nuke Program

Recently the Trump admin has decided to give nuke technology to the Saudis…..not to worry you can read all about it here…. (3 different post on the subject…check them out)…..

Then I read that the Saudis and the Chinese are working together on their nuke programs……WTF?

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has reportedly built a uranium-enrichment facility with help from China that could put the kingdom one step closer to creating a nuclear weapon.

The facility is being built in a remote desert in the country’s northwest region and has raised concerns from the United States and other allied nations about Riyadh’s nuclear development plan, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

The facility will reportedly extract yellowcake uranium from uranium ore.

Yellowcake uranium….you remember that right?

It was used to justify the invasion of Iraq in 2003….and now we will trust one of the most untrustworthy international p;layers with the development of yellowcake…..

At what point does the Trump oligarchy draw the line in the sand?

To expand on this…China seems to be developing a Middle East Kingdom with their policies…..

American policymakers have long assumed that Chinese and American goals in the Middle East are largely complementary. Beijing, so the prevailing wisdom holds, is fixated on commerce, with a special emphasis on oil and gas. “China’s strategy in the Middle East is driven by its economic interests,” a former senior official in the Obama administration testified last year before Congress. “China … does not appear interested in substantially deepening its diplomatic or security activities there.” According to this reigning view, China adopts a position of neutrality toward political and military conflicts, because taking sides would make enemies who might then restrict China’s access to markets.

This oft-repeated shibboleth ignores clear signs that China is very actively engaged in a hard-power contest with the United States—a contest that the Chinese occasionally acknowledge and are capable of winning. In 2016, Xi Jinping toured the Middle East for the first time in his capacity as president of the People’s Republic of China, visiting Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Iran. Chinese propaganda hailed the trip as a milestone. The Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a white paper on its Arab policy, the first of its kind. “We will deepen China-Arab military cooperation and exchange,” the paper read. “We will … deepen cooperation on weapons, equipment and various specialized technologies, and carry out joint military exercises.”

The Middle East may well be out of the news spotlight because of the pandemic….but there is still more going on than the media is willing to report.

For FYI….this is the unredacted IG report that Pompeo wanted NO one to read….but now you can…..a fascinating 20+ pages…..

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I know, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”