Was That With A “T”?

I have written many times about the waste and the out right loss of funds budgeted for the Pentagon…..the latest article just makes my case for me…..

Twenty-one trillion dollars.

The Pentagon’s own numbers show that it can’t account for $21 trillion. Yes, I mean trillion with a “T.” And this could change everything.

But I’ll get back to that in a moment.

There are certain things the human mind is not meant to do. Our complex brains cannot view the world in infrared, cannot spell words backward during orgasm and cannot really grasp numbers over a few thousand. A few thousand, we can feel and conceptualize. We’ve all been in stadiums with several thousand people. We have an idea of what that looks like (and how sticky the floor gets).

(Read On……)

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-pentagon-cant-account-for-21-trillion/

You realize that amount is greater than the GDP of Australia?  We could fund a whole other country on the missing funds from the Pentagon

Isn’t our Pentagon a wonderful department…..that is my money, your money, the taxpayers money that no one can account for….time to a change.

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Good News For Net Neutrality?

There has been a war going on for net neutrality….Trump’s boy at the FCC does not want it to be all that free….the good news is that the Senate has voted to restore the neutrality, which is good but will the House do the right thing or just be another rubber stamp Trump?

The Senate has voted to kill a Federal Communications Commission rule that repealed the Obama administration’s ban on internet providers blocking or slowing down certain content. Back in December, in an effort to deregulate the internet, the FCC repealed “net neutrality” rules that ensured equal treatment for all web traffic. The Obama-era rule prevented providers such as AT&T, Comcast and Verizon from interfering with internet traffic and favoring their own sites and apps. Three Republicans joined with Democrats in voting to repeal the FCC rule that is scheduled to go into effect next month, the AP reports. The final vote was 52-47.

Telecommunications companies lobbied hard to overturn net neutrality, and critics, including the Trump administration, said over-regulation was stifling innovation. CNN says the measure to reinstate net neutrality will now “be sent to the GOP-led House, where it’ll likely go nowhere,” noting that Trump isn’t likely to back it either. Still, the AP notes, Democrats see their effort as something that will energize young voters who value unfettered access to the internet.

Will this bring about a happy ending……I think not Trump’s lackeys in the House will defeat net neutrality…..there is no way that these toads will do the right thing….

Keep those cards and letters flowing into the House….maybe someone will listen.

Closing Thought–15May18

There are many examples of how government kicks the can down the road.. …on spending, budgets, immigration ans war…..but the one part of the government that you do not expect waffling is from the judiciary….

Well we cannot depend on them to do the right thing…

A while back a lawsuit was brought forth challenging the legality of the so-called war on ISIS……

Federal Appeals Court judges are hoping to continue to dodge ruling on a lawsuit in which a soldier challenged the legality of the unauthorized war on ISIS. The judges now are asking the lawyers to tell them whether or not the lawsuit even matters anymore.

Capt. Nathan Michael Smith filed the lawsuit back in 2016, claiming the war is illegal. The judges say that now, since Smith will be leaving the military later in May, his own personal interest in the case is essentially gone. Moreover, they argue that the war seems to be wrapping up.

Of course, Smith filed this case way back in 2016, and had to appeal after the first judge refused to rule on it. The current panel took the case in October, and has effectively just sat on the case since then. Now, they too seem set to refuse to rule on the case.

There are, of course, serious legal reasons to challenge unauthorized US wars. Federal judges are so unwilling to rule on these questions, however, as to make the courts effectively useless as a check on power.

(antiwar.com)

I see the cowardice of the Legislative Branch is nothing exceptional….it also extends to the Judicial Branch as well.

In other words we have a government of cowards from the Executive to the Legislative to Judiciary….

We can be so proud of what we have created over the past couple of decades…….a government of do-nothing toads.

My Tuesday postings is a wrap….I can go now and call Hannity for some sage advice. (Sorry I could not keep a straight face after that statement)

Gotta bounce…do stop by later tomorrow…..be well, be safe….chuq

That Big Drug Deal

Just what we have been waiting on for a year or more….that big drug deal……this will be our biggest deal yet for affordable medication, right?

Bullah*t!

Trump and Sec of the mundane announced their new “blueprint” for lower drug prices……

Drug policy experts and price advocates on Friday panned a long-overdue speech by Donald Trump on drug prices.

As part of the speech, the US health secretary, Alex Azar, suggested drug companies should be required to disclose pharmaceutical prices in advertisements as an incentive to set lower prices.

Along with the speech, the president released a “blueprint” to lower drug prices. However, many proposals had already been made public in the administration’s budget and most were technical rule changes which can be accomplished without Congress. Drug policy analysts said most the proposals would be unlikely to “materially harm industry”. Following Trump’s speech, health stocks rose.

The administration’s blueprint also proposed lifting the pharmacist “gag” rule, so pharmacists can tell consumers when a drug is cheaper without their health insurance. Such provisions are written into contracts between pharmacists and benefit managers, who act as middlemen between the consumer and the health plan.

(theguardian.com)

Did you read that stocks soared because of this announcement?  If this did not benefit the drug industry massively would their prices have soared?  I think not!

President Trump’s long-awaited plan to bring down drug prices will mostly spare the pharmaceutical industry he previously accused of “getting away with murder” and instead focus on increasing private competition and requiring more openness about costs, per the AP. In Rose Garden remarks at the White House, Trump called his plan the “most sweeping action in history to lower the price of prescription drugs for the American people.” (The plan is here.) But it does not include his campaign pledge to use the massive buying power of the government’s Medicare program to directly negotiate lower prices for seniors. The Washington Post notes that the idea was the one feared most within the industry. The Wall Street Journal reports that drugmakers and pharmacy-benefit managers “suggested privately they were relieved to avoid harder blows from the plan.”

Instead, the administration will pursue a raft of old and new measures intended to improve competition and transparency in the drug-pricing system. Those include a proposal requiring drugmakers to disclose the cost of their medicines in their TV advertisements. Health Secretary Alex Azar said the Food and Drug Administration would immediately examine requiring that information in TV ads. The proposals also include banning the pharmacist “gag rule,” which Trump said prevents druggists from telling customers about lower-cost options so they can save money, and speeding up the approval process for over-the-counter medications so patients can buy more drugs without prescriptions. It’s an approach that avoids a direct confrontation with the powerful pharmaceutical lobby, but it could also underwhelm Americans seeking relief from escalating prescription costs.

Just another con job for the ignorant and lazy…..one good question to ask……”How the heck is this going to lower drug prices in this country?”

Officially ditching his campaign promise to challenge the pharmaceutical industry head-on and allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices—a betrayal that may have something to do with the fact that the White House is currently occupied by former Big Pharma executives in key posts—President Donald Trump on Friday formally unveiled a plan ostensibly aimed at cutting medicine costs that analysts and progressive critics are already slamming as wholly inadequate and “pharma-friendly.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/05/11/trumps-pharma-friendly-drug-plan-denounced-doing-little-or-nothing-lower-prices

This is the same as it ever was…..A Huge Con Job By A Con Artist!

9/11–A Misplaced Lawsuit?

We all remember the attacks of 9/11 we would not be much of an American if we did not……a few of us remember the terrorists that pulled off the attack…..most were  Saudis with a Moroccan and something other.

In the past there were rumblings of Americans wanting to sue the Saudis because of the attacks….those rumblings have pretty much subsided…..

So when I read an article about the possibility of another lawsuit because of 9/11 I was surprised to see who the bad guy was for this lawsuit……

 A US federal judge in New York ordered Iran to pay billions of dollars in damages to families affected by 9/11, ABC news reported on Tuesday.

Judge George B Daniels found the country liable to more than 1,000 “parents, spouses, siblings and children” involved in the lawsuit. Daniels said the payment amounts to $12.5m per spouse, $8.5m per parent, $8.5m per child and $4.25m for each sibling, according to the ABC report.

The lawsuit claims that Iran provided technical assistance, training and planning to the al-Qaeda operatives that conducted the attacks.

However, the official investigation on the attacks, known as the 9/11 Commission Report, said that Iran did not play a direct role.

http://theantimedia.com/us-judge-orders-iran-pay-billions-9-11-families/

More reading on this subject……

https://www.globalresearch.ca/iran-accused-of-providing-support-to-911-al-qaeda-operatives-us-judge-orders-tehran-to-pay-billions-to-families-of-911-victims/5638790

Seriously?  I am in amazement at this turn…I ask why?  Who does this ruling benefit?  Most of the terrorists of 9/11 followed a strict form of Sunni Islam and Iran is Shia …..why would they help these people?  Will this exonerate the Saudis?  If so then I say that their PR program has paid off.

Where is the proof?  Let me guess Israel right?

Reforms Are Needed (Pentagon)

$60 hammers or $300 toilet seats or that $45 wood screw….these are some of the spending irregularities that have been reported over the years…..plus there is always stories of money that has been lost by the Pentagon…..

A new Department of Defense Inspector General’s report, released last week, has left Americans stunned at the jaw-dropping lack of accountability and oversight. The glaring report revealed the Pentagon couldn’t account for $6.5 trillion dollars worth of Army general fund transactions and data, according to a report by the Fiscal Times.

The Pentagon, which has been notoriously lax in its accounting practices, has never completed an audit, would reveal how the agency has specifically spent the trillions of dollars allocated for wars, equipment, personnel, housing, healthcare and procurements allotted to them by Congress.

https://www.mintpressnews.com/audit-pentagon-cannot-account-6-5-trillion-dollars-taxpayer-money/219246/

The recent budget gave the Pentagon huge increases and some are saying that Congress needs to step up and make some reforms to the system to make the Pentagon more cash efficient……

In periods of budget increases, reforms and efficiencies tend to fall by the wayside. That should not be the case. The budget increases should be a chance to reflect and to re-assess efficiencies and reforms, especially those that require up-front investments to be executed. The Department of Defense needs to be a good steward of taxpayers’ dollars, regardless of future levels of the defense budget. Good stewardship includes being able to extract the maximum amount of value from every dollar spent, independent of the department’s budget. The Pentagon should take advantage of its increased budget to make sure that there is room to invest in creating efficiencies and reforming outdated systems.

1. The Pentagon should take advantage of its budget increase to enact business reforms that will lead to a more efficient and effective Defense Department.

2. From closing and realigning bases to providing school choice for military dependents, there are many opportunities for the Pentagon to improve its operations.

3. The Department of Defense will need congressional support to enact meaningful business reforms, and should seek Congress’s cooperation now.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/04/18/congress_should_pursue_pentagon_business_reforms_113338.html

 

Closing Thought–02May18

We all know the NRA believe that there should be guns in school and churches and just about any place you can think of……but back during their convention a couple of years a go they banned guns from the convention……I know say what?

Well we could write off that bit of hypocrisy as an accident ……but then when there is yet another bit of idiocy it becomes a case of true hypocrisy….

National Rifle Association members have been told they won’t be allowed to pack heat when Mike Pence speaks at its national convention this week—and the irony was not lost on Parkland school shooting survivors, among others. “You’re telling me to make the VP safe there aren’t any weapons around but when it comes to children they want guns everywhere? Can someone explain this to me?” tweeted former student Matt Deitsch, who helped organize the March for Our Lives rallies. The NRA says “firearms and firearm accessories, knives, or weapons of any kind will be prohibited in the forum” during the vice president’s Friday appearance at the Dallas event because of Secret Service regulations, Slate reports.

An NRA spokesman tells the Washington Post that even in open-carry states like Texas, it is against the law to bring firearms into areas being visited by Secret Service protectees. Parkland student David Hogg has circulated a petition that urges Pence to cancel the appearance, calling it a “slap in the face” to Americans hurting from gun violence. A similar gun ban was in place when President Trump spoke at the NRA’s convention in Atlanta last year. The Hill reports that White House officials have confirmed that Trump also plans to speak at this year’s convention, which is being held from Thursday to Sunday and will feature more than 20 acres of firearms exhibits, according to organizers. (In his 2016 speech to the convention, Trump promised to ban gun-free zones nationwide if elected.)

What happened to the a good man with  gun BS or is it that people that would show up to hear Pence do not fit in the good man scenario?

I love the hypocrisy….but since it is the Repubs and their controller the NRA then it makes perfect sense…..like I said…I love this sh*t!