Is COINTELPRO Reborn?

First some may ask….what the Hell is COINTELPRO?

Between 1956 and 1971, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) conducted a campaign of domestic counterintelligence. The agency’s Domestic Intelligence Division did more than simply spy on U.S. citizens and their organizations; its ultimate goal was to disrupt, discredit, and destroy certain political groups. The division’s operations were formally known within the bureau as COINTELPRO (the Counterintelligence Program). The brainchild of former FBI director j. edgar hoover, the first COINTELPRO campaign targeted the U.S. Communist party in the mid-1950s. More organizations came under attack in the 1960s. FBI agents worked to subvert Civil Rights groups, radical organizations, and white supremacists. COINTELPRO existed primarily because of Director Hoover’s extreme politics and ended only when he feared its exposure by his critics. A public uproar followed revelations in the news media in the early 1970s, and congressional hearings criticized COINTELPRO campaigns in 1976.

In their scope and tactics, these FBI operations occasionally went much further than the original anti-Communist COINTELPRO effort. They involved at least twenty documented burglaries of the offices of the SCLC, an organization headed by martin luther king jr. Hoover detested King, whom he called “one of the most reprehensible … individuals on the American scene today,” and urged his agents to use “imaginative and aggressive tactics” against King and the SCLC. To this end, agents bugged King’s hotel rooms; tape-recorded his infidelities; and mailed a recording, along with a note urging King to commit suicide, to the civil rights leader’s wife. The COINTELPRO operation against the radical Black Panther party, which Hoover considered a black nationalist hate group, tried to pit the party’s leaders against each other while also fomenting violence between the Panthers and an urban gang. In at least one instance, FBI activities did lead to violence. In 1969, an FBI informant’s tip culminated in a police raid that killed Illinois Panther chairman Fred Hampton and others; more than a decade later, the federal government agreed to pay restitution to the victims’ survivors, and a federal judge sanctioned the bureau for covering up the facts in the case.

More info available here……https://lobotero.com/2016/03/10/cointelpro-the-ghosts-of-protests-past/

The reason I ask the question and defined the government program for good reasons……it seems that the feds are doing similar tactics against the BLM….

As Black Lives Matter protests grew across the U.S. following the police murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, so did the federal government’s persecution of activists who marched in support of racial justice.

That’s according to a new report released Wednesday by the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) and the Creating Law Enforcement Accountability & Responsibility (CLEAR) clinic at the City University of New York School of Law.

“This is not the first or the last time the federal government has utilized coordinated attacks on Black activists as a means to suppress our right to protest,” Amara Enyia, policy and research coordinator for M4BL, said in a statement. “Historically, Black protestors have more often than not been met with governmental oppression and accompanying police violence as a result of our unwillingness to accept the systemic disregard for and mistreatment of Black lives.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/08/19/feds-targeted-blm-activists-foil-racial-justice-protests-report

In case you were too damn lazy to click on the report…. click here report do it now!

As someone who had his life scrutinized in the 70s I can feel for the tactics being used against the BLM and others.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Trump Hold-Over Policies

Biden is having to deal with a whole array of policies that are hold-overs from the Trump admin……policies like the border situation……the Afghan peace deal…….etc etc……

For those that depend on Medicare there ism a policy leftover that could further raise your costs when using the program…..

A little-noticed scheme hatched in the late stages of the Trump presidency has consumer advocates and universal healthcare proponents warning about a creeping attempt to further privatize Medicare—an effort the Biden administration is being urged to stop in its tracks.

On December 3, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)—then under the leadership of Seema Verma—unveiled an innocuous-sounding proposal titled the Geographic Direct Contracting Model (Geo) with the purported goal of delivering “Medicare beneficiaries value through better care and improved quality.”

But a look beyond the plan’s technocratic exterior reveals what Center for Health Journalismreporter and editor Trudy Lieberman described earlier this week as a privatization model that could “take root and potentially turn every senior into a customer of a privately-run managed care organization.”

“Perhaps due to the wonky nature of the discussion,” Lieberman added, “the proposed change has generated almost no media coverage although it would upend the health insurance for millions of Americans.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/03/13/advocates-sound-alarm-over-quiet-trump-era-move-could-further-privatize-medicare

This is something that needs watching and reporting…..the MSM has neglected this in favor of Beyonce, mundane Covid coverage and such mind numbing BS….this issue is important to millions of retired Americans and it should be treated like it is important.

Watch This Blog!

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, you Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Is The Era Of Reaganism Ending?

God I do hope so!

I have often stated that I was no fan of Reagan and his policies……to me he was the founder of what is happening in DC these days……he did not want the government to do anything for this country….instead he blamed it for all our ills.

Now look at the disruptive BS coming from the GOP these days…..Reagan was the father of this disruption.

Biden has said that the government needs to act to try and repair all the ills in this society……could this be a new stage of American government?

A common theme is emerging in coverage about President Biden from political observers on the left and right: His plans to dramatically expand the scope of the government—witness his $1.9 trillion COVID package and his $2.3 trillion infrastructure proposal—might just mark the definitive end of the Ronald Reagan era of small-government politics. But that’s assuming, of course, that Biden can get his infrastructure package and other measures through Congress. Examples:

  • Ronald Reagan famously declared that “government is not the solution to our problem” but the problem itself, notes David E. Sanger in an analysis at the New York Times. Biden’s “gamble” is “that the country is ready to dispense with one of the main tenets of the Reagan revolution, and show that for some tasks the government can jump-start the economy more efficiently than market forces.” The president is of the mind that the nation’s “political center of gravity” has been shifted by the pandemic and by a new focus on social and racial inequities.
  • In the New Yorker, Susan Glasser writes that the Biden administration is making a “real historical gamble.” Essentially, they are “advancing the proposition that the politics of the Reagan era—of endless tax cuts embraced by Republicans and of Democrats trying and failing to escape the label of big-government liberals—is finally over.” Lots of comparisons to FDR and LBJ are being tossed around, but Glasser says they should wait until we see what Biden actually gets passed.
  • Biden’s early moves suggest he is “eager and prepared to seize the opportunity to define the end of the Reagan era and shape the one to come,” writes Damon Linker at the Week. Linker thinks a comparison to FDR is more appropriate than to LBJ. The latter president expanded but mainly continued already existing policies. “What Biden is attempting now is something very different—a major leftward change of orientation from the preceding 40 years. That kind of swing hasn’t happened since 1933.”
  • All of this has conservative Matt Lewis pondering some big questions in the Daily Beast. “What if Biden turns out to be the liberal answer to Reagan?” he asks. Unlike Reagan, Biden’s party actually controls both houses of Congress, he notes. “What if Biden, who was often seen as a ‘transitional’ caretaker who was tolerable to get rid of Donald Trump, turns out to be a truly transformational president who brings about a new political consensus? Imagine the irony if Obama turns out to have been the John the Baptist to Joe Biden’s Jesus Christ.”

Yes the Reaganism of old is dead….even the GOP has abandoned most of his policies….the only thing that remains of Reaganism is the racist bigoted rhetoric.

It is beyond time for the government to do its part to uphold that social contract…..that social issue that so many have ignored for too long.

The US needs progress….without it we are a stagnant cesspool of political BS….it has begun and needs to be brought to a halt as quickly as possible.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–19Mar21

How many times have you heard what a draw those Blue States on the government…..all those programs that are draining the treasury with their liberal BS?  How many times?

The problem with that accusation is that it is pure bullsh*t…a “big lie”…..

States run by Republicans are far more dependent upon the help of the federal government than their Democratic-run counterparts, based on the latest annual study from Wallethub.com.

In ranking the 50 states, the financial website listed 11 red states among the 12 most dependent upon Washington D.C. No fewer than 19 of the 25 of the most-dependent states were Republican dominated. Conversely, 12 of the 14 states least dependent on the federal government were run by Democrats.

“Blue states are less dependent on federal government than red states,” the site observed, noting that in its 50-state ranking, red states ranked 20.68 in dependency to Washington DC, versus a much lower average ranking of 30.32 for blue states.

https://www.rawstory.com/federal-mooching/

I live in deep red Mississippi and the residents for the most part hate government programs that gives free money to those that they feel do not deserve it.

And yet Mississippi is in the top ten states that depend on government funds to continue their existence.

In 2020 Mississippi was number 4….in 2021 we are still the fourth highest recipient of federal funds….

The U.S. is a federal republic, meaning that power is held by both the central federal government, located in Washington, D.C., and by the governments of every state and territory that make up the union. But the “division of powers” isn’t as simple as it seems — and neither is the division of finances, since states rely on the federal government for money and various programs to help them operate. With all this in mind, SmartAsset crunched the numbers to see which states are the most dependent on the federal government.

To do this, we considered data on all 50 states across the following metrics: the federal share of state government revenue, the ratio of federal funding to income taxes paid, the percentage of workers employed by the federal government and the ratio of median earnings for federal workers to median earnings for private for-profit workers. For details on our data sources and how we put all the information together to create our final rankings, check out the Data and Methodology section at the end.

This is SmartAsset’s 2021 study on states most dependent on the federal government. Check out the 2020 version here.

https://www.moneytalksnews.com/slideshows/the-10-states-most-dependent-on-the-federal-government/

It always amazes me just how damn ignorant people can be……even when federal handouts benefit them and they still hate those that receive them…..

The voter in Mississippi has always voted against their best interests….just how stupid can they be.

Is your state cited?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Blame Privatization

It is absolutely NO mistake about it…I think the idea of privatization is and was a colossus brain fart.

In case anyone doubts my words of condemnation of the idea of privatization…..

https://lobotero.com/2016/06/22/the-history-of-privatization/

https://lobotero.com/2019/06/17/privatization-sucks/

Now that I have filled in a few blanks…..a little personal history…..

in 2005 after Katrina I fell off a ladder a broke my right leg in 4 places—two surgeries and 13 screws and I had my leg back….not mas good as it was but I could walk with a limp…..I was prescribed 2 opioids to help with the pain…morphine and oxycodone…..so I have an interest in the whole opioid abuse thingy that the president and the country is so involved in these days.

Let me say here….Blame Privatization!

The opioid abuse epidemic is one of the worst public-health crises in American history. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between 1999 and 2017, almost 400,000 people died in the U.S. from an overdose of either prescription or illicit opioids. In 2017 alone, opioids, more than one-third involving prescriptions, killed more than 47,000 individuals. And today, on average 130 people die each day from opioid overdoses.

The root cause of most cases of opioid addiction, particularly prescription-initiated addiction, is pain, a devastating but sometimes overlooked symptom. As a recent American Industrial Hygiene Association paper argues, “the opioid crisis should be seen primarily as a pain crisis, much of which is related to work.” Addressing that crisis precipitated another: treatment regimes that relied heavily on opioids. Today there’s little awareness that almost two decades ago, conservative members of Congress, in a burst of anti-regulatory zeal, championed the fight to eliminate the very ergonomics standard that was designed to reduce the high incidence of a number of common workplace injuries.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/08/01/how-deregulation-led-opioid-epidemic

Let us be honest!

Privatization and deregulation has caused more problems than it has cured…….and yet the GOP and some Dems keep pushing the for more of both

Learn Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Social Security 2100

As an old fart I am always watching to see what measures are proposed then taken by this government that would effect us elderly people.

Social Security has been a battlefield for generations…..the big lie that seems to surface with every election is that SS is going bankrupt…..

Arguably the biggest Social Security lie is the idea that the program will soon be bankrupt and not able to provide a benefit to future retirees. This lie is perpetuated by the latest annual report from the Social Security Board of Trustees, which calls for a major shift come 2022. In four years, the program will begin paying out more in benefits than it’s generating in income for the first time in 40 years. This shift is a result of a growing number of baby boomers entering retirement and thus lowering the worker-to-beneficiary ratio, an increase in longevity over many decades, and growing income inequality that has allowed the rich to live substantially longer (and collect a bigger Social Security check) than lower-income folks.

By 2034, a dozen years later, Social Security’s approximately $3 trillion in asset reserves is expected to be completely exhausted. It’s this excess cash depletion that has 51% of Americans, according to a 2015 Gallup survey, confident that they won’t receive a dime from the program by the time they retire. Thankfully, more than half of all Americans are wrong. 

Social Security has three funding mechanisms, and one of those funding sources ensures that the program is incapable of going bankrupt. Social Security’s lesser funding sources are the interest earned on its asset reserves ($88.4 billion in 2016) and the taxation of Social Security benefits ($32.8 billion in 2016).

(The Motley Fool)

Rep. John Larson has put forth a plan to strengthen Social Security…..it is called Social Security 2100 Act…..
Bill Text  | Full Press Release | Fact Sheet

For millions of workers, Social Security is all they have to keep them from destitution in old age. Even with Social Security’s guaranteed benefits, they struggle to make ends meet. Fortunately, Congress can easily strengthen retirement security by expanding Social Security. Congressman John Larson (D-CT) has a bill to do just that: The Social Security 2100 Act, which is supported by 90 percent of Democrats in the House of Representatives.

Nearly four in five Americans live paycheck to paycheck. In 2018, the Federal Reserve Board found that four in ten Americans could not afford $400 for an emergency expense. Low wages combined with the high cost of health care, housing and education prevent people from putting aside funds for retirement. The Government Accountability Office reported earlier this year that almost half of households headed by Americans aged 55 and older have no retirement savings.

Equally concerning, most companies no longer offer pensions to their workers—a guaranteed monthly income. Instead, if they are lucky, workers get small financial contributions toward their retirement that do not amount to a whole lot. 401k plans and other so-called “defined contribution” plans do little good if workers are forced to spend their income on basic needs and have no money to save.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/08/13/social-security-2100-path-protecting-americas-elderly-communities

A good plan but as long as Moscow Mitch has a strangle hold on the Senate this will probably go no where.

Read the act over and if you like what you see then let your representative and senators know…..

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

VOTE!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Defense Or War?

Let’s look at the Department of Defense……until 1949 was called the “War Department”…..

On this day in 1789, 07August, the War Department became an institution…

On this date, President George Washington signed into law a bill that established the U.S. War Department. The measure had moved through the First Federal Congress (1789–1791) with relatively little controversy. With Jonathan Trumbull, Jr., of Connecticut presiding over the Committee of the Whole, the House debated the authorization bill in late June 1789. Pro-Administration Representative Egbert Benson of New York introduced an amendment to include a phrase to the effect that the War Department Secretary would be “removable by the President,” echoing language that had been included in a much more rancorous debate a few days earlier about the duties and powers of the proposed Secretary of Foreign Affairs (later the Secretary of State). Roger Sherman of Connecticut and John Page of Virginia opposed Benson’s amendment, but it carried narrowly, 24 to 22. The entire bill passed the House easily on June 27, with little debate in an unrecorded vote. Soon thereafter, the Senate passed the bill. In choosing the department’s first secretary, President Washington preferred continuity. He nominated Henry Knox—a key aide during the American Revolution and, since 1785, the secretary of war under the Articles of Confederation.

In 1789 Congress created the War Department to administer the field army commanded by the president and secretary of war. After the War of 1812, Secretary of War John C. Calhoun reorganized the department and introduced a system of bureau chiefs with a commanding general in the field. The bureau chiefs advised the secretary of war and commanded their own troops and field installations. The secretary typically supported the bureaus in disputes with the commanding general. Congress regulated the bureaus in minute detail, and their bureau chiefs often relied on federal lawmakers for support. The Spanish-American War demonstrated a need for more effective control over the department and its bureaus, and the debate over how to do so reshaped the War Department during the twentieth century. In 1903 Secretary Elihu Root asserted department control by appointing a chief of staff and a general staff for planning. Yet, his successor, William Howard Taft, reversed this position, subordinated the chief of staff to the adjutant general, and reinvigorated the traditional secretary–bureau chief alliance.  Under the National Security Act of 1947, as amended in 1949, the War Department became the Department of the Army within the Department of Defense, and the secretary of the army became an operating manager for the new secretary of defense.

All this history is just the intro into something that I completely agree with…..the DoD is no longer about defense but rather WAR….so why not return to the days of yore and rename the institution to reflect its true nature……War Department or the Department of War.

As a nation, we have failed to heed President Eisenhower’s prescient 1961 warning to “guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.” Our failure to heed that warning—conversely the immense growth of the military-industrial complex—can, to a significant degree, be attributed to a simple change in nomenclature that was nothing short of Orwellian.

In 1949, the U.S. “War Department,” which had been established in 1789 and operated as such until 1947, was renamed the “Department of Defense”. The Secretary of War became the Secretary of Defense. As a result, no matter how offensive the nature our policies, objectives, military presence or weaponry, every dollar spent and every life lost in combat have been classified as necessary to the “defense” of this nation.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/07/20/why-we-must-restore-title-war-department

These conflicts are more about aggression than defense….so rename it the WAR Department.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Trump’s Government Overhaul

Does anyone besides me remember the promise by Donald Trump that if he was elected that he would overhaul the government….drain the swamp I believe was the term he used.  And the peasants cheered and danced.

Personally I did not bite on the loaded hook that he dangled……

The president has the right idea. But he forgot to include the people that can make it happen.

The executive order issued by President Donald Trump yesterday has a goal nearly every citizen and legislator would cheer: to “improve the efficiency, effectiveness and accountability of the executive branch.”

What’s not to like? The executive branch is an organizational basket case, and it sorely needs a re-think. For 238 years, citizen legislators and presidents have come to town with dreams of fixing public problems, hatching new agencies and programs to do it, many of which live long beyond the problem they were intended to solve. The slow aggregation of government initiatives has produced a $3.8 trillion per year government with at least 180 agencies. With each passing year, the government becomes more complex and incoherent — “kludgeocracy”, as political scientist Steven Teles termed it.

Source: Why Trump’s government overhaul won’t work

And then there is the budget……Trump being a Repub he will no doubt be in the mood for a skinny budget…..a budget that does wonders for the rich and screws the poor unmercifully….

So will Trump’s budget…..

The skinny budget should show how President Trump proposes to allocate these massive cuts. These details will help answer the following five questions about the Trump agenda in order to determine whether President Trump is trying to help ordinary Americans or using government to advance the narrow interests of powerful elites:

  • Does the budget protect basic living standards for American families?
  • Does the budget create good jobs?
  • Does the budget ensure a level playing field?
  • Does the budget launch partisan attacks on American democracy?
  • Does the budget make Americans safer?

Source: 5 Things to Watch in President Trump’s Skinny Budget – Center for American Progress

The answers my friend are blowing in the wind……

The War On Drugs–The Farce

I have been ranting about the massive wastes of taxpayer cash like the War on Drugs…….all those billions spent and nothing positive has happened to curb the flow of illegal drugs into the country.  If anything a case could be made that this program did more harm than good.

Prohibition comes to mind as an example of the ineffectiveness of a program……War on Drugs was the same results only 50 years later…..some things are NEVER learned.

But if you were to know what the program was really all about then you would be outraged….

Pres. Nixon was determined to have a war to destabilize the growing movements in the US….and thus the laughable program, the War on Drugs, was born……

At the time, I was writing a book about the politics of drug prohibition. I started to ask Ehrlichman a series of earnest, wonky questions that he impatiently waved away. “You want to know what this was really all about?” he asked with the bluntness of a man who, after public disgrace and a stretch in federal prison, had little left to protect. “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.

I must have looked shocked. Ehrlichman just shrugged. Then he looked at his watch, handed me a signed copy of his steamy spy novel, The Company, and led me to the door.

Source: Jezebel

Read more on this absolutely laughable program dreamed up in the mind of an idiot……(scratch idiot insert CROOK)…….

Source: Former Nixon Aid Reveals Why The ‘War On Drugs’ Was Created — The Reason Will Make You Sick | The Fifth Column

The War on Drugs has done more damage than good….another fine plan by government.

Just another fine example of how a GOPer will dream up crap and then blame the failure on the poor and minorities.

I know let’s hire another one and see what waste of money he can come up with this time.  I will bet it will be a hum-dinger!

Is It Growing Or Dying?

For many years we hear, reading and see all kinds of reports on the government….some say it is growing exponentially and others write that it is slowly withering away to a mere shell of its former self…..reports have been done for both sides of the argument….white papers are flying off the presses….and news anchors (depending on the ideology of the media) is trumpeting both sides of this issue….here is something to consider…..the government is indeed growing but , believe it or not, dying…all this at the same time….

As the American people age, a pernicious paradox has taken hold of the federal budget: “We are slowly dismantling the federal government, even as its spending is growing larger,” observes Robert Samuelson at the Washington Post. With every budget, lawmakers are slashing into discretionary spending, but with Social Security and various health entitlement costs rising, government spending is growing anyway. The result: “Governmental competence is being systematically degraded. … We are spending more and getting less.” By 2024, current projections show that all spending on non-entitlements will be just 7.4% of GDP—the lowest share since 1940. Cuts are hitting everything from the military (sort of) to medical research to the federal courts. Yet political debates never focus on this dynamic, in part because polls show the public isn’t concerned. “Both liberals and conservatives are complicit in this charade,” but ironically it’s liberals who most refuse to discuss entitlements. Hence another paradox: “The pro-government party in rhetoric has become an anti-government party in practice.” Click for Samuelson’s full column.

I recognize that I will change NO one’s mind or thinking on this matter……just wanted to throw this out there for a little debate……

Your turn……..