Another Veto Issued

Oh goody our Dear Beloved Supreme Leader has issued is next veto……he has chosen to play favorites on the world stage and to let the Saudis and their minions, UAE, continue their assault on humanity.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday vetoed a bill passed by Congress to end US military assistance in Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen, the AP reports. In a break with the president, Congress voted for the first time earlier this month to invoke the War Powers Resolution to try to stop US involvement in a foreign conflict. The veto—the second in Trump’s presidency—was expected. Congress lacks the votes to override him. “This resolution is an unnecessary, dangerous attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities, endangering the lives of American citizens and brave service members, both today and in the future,” Trump wrote in explaining his veto. Congress has grown uneasy with Trump’s close relationship with Saudi Arabia as he tries to further isolate Iran, a regional rival.

Many lawmakers also criticized the president for not condemning Saudi Arabia for the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi who lived in the United States and had written critically about the kingdom. Khashoggi went into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last October and never came out. Intelligence agencies said Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was complicit in the killing. The US provides billions of dollars of arms to the Saudi-led coalition fighting against Iran-backed rebels in Yemen. Members of Congress have expressed concern about the thousands of civilians killed in coalition airstrikes since the conflict began in 2014. The fighting in the Arab world’s poorest country also has left millions suffering from food and medical care shortages and has pushed the country to the brink of famine.

I just cannot understand the lack of sympathy for children being killed, maimed and starved by out “good friend” the Saudis.

My question is how much does Trumpy owe the Saudis that he can turn his back on starving people?

What a disrespectful toad we elected…well you did for I did not vote for the ego-centric d/bag……are you proud?

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Tax Day=Pay Day

Today is when most Americans learn if they owe or get a trefund from the IRS…..the tax reforms of 2017 screwed many Americans out of their deductions…..but as usual corporations get a pay day…..

M-IC will be the big winners on Tax Day……

In tax season, most of us think more about getting our forms in on time—and getting our refunds—than about where our tax dollars actually go.

It’s probably no surprise that a significant portion—24 cents out of every dollar—of your taxes go to the military. But where those dollars go from there should be a national scandal.

Out of those 24 cents, just 5 cents go to our troops. But 12 cents go to corporate military contractors.

For a country that claims to celebrate our troops, with holidays and yellow ribbons and patriotic displays of the flag, we sure don’t put our money where our mouth is. Every year for tax day, my organization looks at where our tax dollars go. And every year, far more money goes to Pentagon contractors than to our troops.

All told, the average taxpayer handed over $1,704 to Pentagon contractors last year, compared to $683 for military pay, housing, and other benefits (except military health care, which has its own agency). Still, the taxes we pay for military contractors are more than twice as much as the average contribution for veterans’ health and benefits ($833).

 
Me?  I broke even this year….I was lucky…..most Americans will not be that fortunate.
 
Little do we know…..nothing good has come out of these tax cuts…….especially for the revenue of the nation…..
 
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And believe it or not……the Trump tax cuts are popular only with the uber rich….go figure……

Multiple polls show a majority of Americans don’t think they got a tax cut at all — even though independent analyses show they did. And only around a third of the country approves of the legislation itself, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, passed by Congress at the end of 2017.

So as Trump moves closer to full-time reelection mode later this year, he will have to battle a stark reality: While his personal rating on the economy remains high, his signature legislative achievement is widely viewed as a political dud, one that has drawn special anger in places with high state and local taxes and pricey housing markets where deductions were limited to reduce the overall cost of the tax plan.

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/04/15/donald-trump-tax-cuts-unpopular-1273469

Not to worry……this all comes around again next year.

 

Stir The Pot For War

The US foreign policy pundits have done all they can to stir the pot in the past……for Iraq, for Syria and those are just the most recent.

These people have lied to the American people in an attempt to get them to support their adventurism and intervention and their silly regime change fantasies.

Well nothing is new…the Trump Pentagon is set about lyimng to make an armed strike against Iran tolerable.

How are they doing this?

When the Pentagon starts throwing around estimates of who got killed and how in its assorted wars in the Middle East, they are often wildly inaccurate. Nowhere was this more apparent than a new briefing this week on estimates in the 2003-2011 Iraq War.

Designed for Special Envoy Brian Hook to give hawkish speeches on Iran, the briefing estimated that Iran was “responsible” for the deaths of 608 US troops during the Iraq War. This was an upward revision from a 2015 estimate of 500, and seemingly was only done to allow Hook to bring it up now.

A more accurate estimate would, of course, be zero deaths. Despite years of anti-Iran rhetoric, the US has never conclusively pinned a single death on the Iranian government or its forces. Rather, these deaths are all loosely attributable to Iraqi Shi’ite factions.

That anyone Shi’ite is necessarily under Iranian command is a popular conceit for US officials, and in Iraq, where 60 percent of the population is Shi’ite, there are no shortage of Shi’ites to blame, particularly militias that didn’t support the US occupation of Iraq.

Some of these groups had ideological ties to Iran, though other substantial factions, like the Mehdi Army, were nationalist groups that opposed both US and Iranian interference in Iraqi affairs. It is convenient for the US to blame Iran, however, so that’s what they’re doing.

Trying to make all Shi’ites equal Iran has continued beyond the Iraq War. In Syria, the US has routinely threatened Shi’ite militias for being “Iranian fighters,” and the entire justification for US meddling in the Yemen War is that the Shi’ite Houthi movement, whose form of Shi’a Islam is distinct from the one in Iran, must be in league with Iran.

This is the usual lie and if ignored then we will be in conflict with yet another country because of a damn lie perpetrated only as a way to enhance the profits of the M-IC.

This accusation is a LIE!

But that is what they do……they do as they are told by the defense industry…after all that is why the pay Congress to do their bidding.

Now the ante is upped……

The Trump administration is preparing to designate Iran’s Revolutionary Guard a “foreign terrorist organization,” an unprecedented move against a national armed force that could have widespread implications for US personnel and policy in the Middle East and elsewhere, the AP reports. Officials informed of the step said an announcement was expected Monday, after a monthslong escalation in the administration’s rhetoric against Iran, its support for militia groups in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Yemen, as well as anti-Israel groups in the region and beyond. It would be the first such designation by any American administration of an entire foreign government entity, although portions of the Guard, notably its elite Quds Force, have been targeted previously by the US.

Two US officials and a congressional aide confirmed the planned move. Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, seemed to anticipate the designation, saying in a tweet Sunday aimed at President Donald Trump that Trump “should know better than to be conned into another US disaster.” The designation, planning for which was first reported by the Wall Street Journal, comes with sanctions, including freezes on assets the Guard may have in US jurisdictions, and a ban on Americans doing business with it or providing material support for its activities. The designation could significantly complicate US military and diplomatic work, notably in Iraq, where many Shiite militias and Iraqi political parties have close ties to the Guard.

Just one brick in the wall……making a case for armed action…..and making the case for the US to involve itself in yet another war…..

When is enough enough with the American public?

The “Establishment” Awaits

WE all have heard about the “establishment” right?

These days some even call it “The Man”……but all in all it is the same…..

So what is this shadowy group we call the “establishment”?

To me, in politics, it is whichever group is in control of the government……but others have tried to define it as well…..this from 2016…..

No more sulfurous epithet has been sounded in our current presidential campaign than the charge that a candidate, media outlet, or party represents the “Establishment.” You knew what Bernie Sanders was feeling when he called Hillary Clinton the “candidate of the Democratic establishment”; you can taste his contempt in his brush-off of the Des Moines Register and the Concord Monitor’s endorsements of Clinton this weekend, calling it the work of the “media establishment.” So possessed with antiestablishmentarianist instincts is Sanders that for a short while he was even including Planned Parenthood and the Human Rights Campaign as part of an Establishment that is aligned against him.

Proving the plasticity and universality of the term, Hillary Clinton went on CNN last week to refute Sanders. “Are you the establishment?” Wolf Blitzer asked her. Unleashing her best verbal boomerang, Clinton responded that the true Establishment candidate is Sanders. “He’s been in Congress, he’s been elected to office a lot longer than I have,” Clinton said. “I was in the Senate for eight wonderful years representing New York. He’s been in the Congress for 25, and so I’ll let your viewers make their own judgment.”

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/01/what-is-the-establishment-now-213565

And this from npr.org….https://www.npr.org/2016/02/11/466049701/how-establishment-became-the-buzzword-of-the-2016-election

I thought about this after I read an article about the “establishment” and war…….

The question before us is a relatively simple one: What would be the criteria for removing our remaining troops from the Iraqi, Syrian, and more general Middle Eastern conflicts? Or, for that matter, from Afghanistan, where we have been trapped for more than 17 long years of still open-ended occupation?

If the answer to that question is that only when each of these countries is a healthy pro-American democracy, and Islamist terrorism has ceased to be an “enduring” threat to the West, then the answer, as the old Bob Mankoff joke has it, is “How about never — is never good for you?”

http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2018/12/andrew-sullivan-establishment-will-never-say-no-to-a-war.html

It matters not which party is in control……they all are beholden to the defense industry and the arms dealers….so a case will be made by the government to enter into an armed conflict….not out of necessity but rather out of corporate greed.

What Is The Military-Industrial Complex?

For years I have been writing about the “evils” of the military-industrial complex….how it controls our foreign policies….how it has a strangle hold on the members of Congress through massive donation to their election trunks……

Then I realized that I may not have given a clear definition of this situation…..yep a history lesson…..

The term “Military-Industrial Complex” was first used by Ike in his farewell speech…..

Now that you have heard the first use….let us go to the history books….

The term the”military-industrial complex” was made famous by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in his 1961 farewell address. Eisenhower warned:”In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.” Eisenhower (or his speechwriters) did not coin the phrase, but its previous usage referred to physical connections between industrial and military production, not political relationships. Eisenhower referred to a novel set of challenges facing the American polity in the Cold War, while other definitions refer to more general relationships between the military and industry.

One use of the term MIC refers to any set of relationships between military policy and industrial production. For example, scholars have examined the MIC in the former Soviet Union and in Latin American countries. Their concern is usually with the reciprocal influence of the military and industry on each other’s policies, rather than the hijacking of foreign policy by a collective interest in maintaining military-related production.

http://hnn.us/articles/869.html

The only good to come out of this is jobs……everything else is just making a few extremely wealthy and use to start conflicts worldwide.

This is a slightly different look at the infamous M-IC…..

Military-Industrial Complex is an unofficial phrase used to signify the “comfortable” relationship that can develop between government entities (namely defense) and defense-minded manufacturers/organizations. This union can produce obvious benefits for both sides – warplanners receiving the tools necessary for waging war (while also furthering political interests abroad) while defense companies become the recipients of lucrative multi-million or multi-billion dollar deals.

“War for profit” is not an exclusive approach for modern times as it drove the best and worst of old Europe for many decades – perhaps best exemplified by the naval arms race seen between France, Spain and Britain. The driving force behind these initiatives was generally in out-doing a potential foe and, therefore, forcing the establishment of a large standing military force to counter the moves of the potential enemy. The modern interpretation of this, as it relates to the Military-Industrial Complex, is only slightly altered in that the established military force is now utilized to further global interests – the enemy is no longer another nation per se but any organization not in line with presented ideals.

https://www.militaryindustrialcomplex.com/what-is-the-military-industrial-complex.asp

Further Reading for those interested……

https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2014/01/big-money-behind-war-military-industrial-complex-20141473026736533.html

https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-military-industrial-complex-is-real-and-its-bigger-than-ever

To illustrate how far the M-IC tentacles reach…..just look at the news of troop withdrawals issued by the president…..and the Dems are pretty silent even war-like in their response….

One month after President Donald Trump abruptly ordered thousands of troops to pull out of Syria and Afghanistan, only a handful of the Democratic Party’s likely 2020 presidential candidates have taken a stance on one of the most important U.S. foreign policy decisions in years.

The drawdown in Afghanistan and total withdrawal from Syria is expected to significantly alter the fight against the Islamic State militant group and potentially leave American-allied militias vulnerable as the U.S. begins to extricate its forces. The decision has also triggered backlash from the U.S. security establishment, including the resignation of top officials like former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/democrats-2020-syria-afghanistan_us_5c40f6d9e4b027c3bbbf849b

The party use to be a reliable source of accountability…that has vanished.

The assault on the M-IC has gone into the land of activism…..

The MIC maintains itself through support from politicians across the right and the left enabled by policies and lack of accountability to public. Public awareness raising about the existence and harm of this system is step one. We have seen awareness raising and education turn the tide of war before, when it drastically shifted public favor against the Iraq war and propelled it to be a key voting issue in the 2008 presidential primaries. Important progress was achieved then but the wars continue and it’s time to organize for structural policy changes. Some examples include

https://aboutfaceveterans.org/drop-the-mic-campaign/

Learn Stuff!

Class Dismissed!

It’s Alive!

Pentagon has a R&D unit called DARPA and some news has come out about one of their projects…..

How do you detect submarines in an expanse as large as the ocean? The U.S. military hopes that common marine microorganisms might be genetically engineered into living tripwires to signal the passage of enemy subs, underwater vessels, or even divers.

It’s one of many potential military applications for so-called engineered organisms, a field that promises living camouflage that reacts to its surroundings to better avoid detection, new drugs and medicines to help deployed forces survive in harsh conditions, and more. But the research is in its very early stages, military officials said.

https://www.defenseone.com/technology/2018/12/us-military-genetically-engineering-new-life-forms-detect-enemy-subs/153200/

This is fascinating news!  But after thinking about this situation….this is basically genetic engineering……is that ever a good thing?

Somewhere down the road this could go completely off track.

DARPA also was considering influencing people through their Twitter account…..does that sound familiar?

The activities of users of Twitter and other social media services were recorded and analysed as part of a major project funded by the US military, in a program that covers ground similar to Facebook’s controversial experiment into how to control emotions by manipulating news feeds.

Research funded directly or indirectly by the US Department of Defense’s military research department, known as Darpa, has involved users of some of the internet’s largest destinations, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Kickstarter, for studies of social connections and how messages spread.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/08/darpa-social-networks-research-twitter-influence-studies

I would like everyone’s thoughts on this thing…please.

More rest and care for my better half for the virus hit her a lot worse than it hit me…..she has been fighting it for almost a week…..she cares for me when as a man I am sick and we know how that is, huh?

I really would like a beer but I think I will wait a few more days before that happens…..

TTFN!

Who Owns The GOP?

Well to answer that question I would say pick a large corporation and the GOP has fingers in their wallets….but the one that owns the most spineless representatives of both parties is the Military-Industrial Complex (M-IC)……

These vultures are making record profits……feeding the Saudis weapon systems so the Saudis can destroy the poorest country in the Middle East, Yemen…..

There have been a few in the House that are trying to curtail the US involvement in this conflict….but now the GOP has stepped up and done what the M-IC wants….kill as much attempts to end the US involvement as possible…..

…a measure is being advanced at the behest of House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) aiming to derail House Continuing Resolution 138, a War Powers Act challenge which would force an end to the US military involvement in the Saudi-led War in Yemen.

Under the War Powers Act, any individual lawmaker is intended to be able to raise the matter of an unauthorized war for debate and a vote on the floor. Efforts to do so have failed, however, as the House leadership has used the Rules Committee to sidestep the issue.

This move to derail the debate is part of the first day of lame-duck House business, and Rep. Ryan and the other leaders seem to be hoping to turn the legal challenge of the war into a partisan issue. Minority Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) accused the Republican leadership of shirking Congressional responsibility.

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), however, is hoping to drum up enough Republican support for the legal challenge to prevent this, arguing that the legality of the Yemen War deserves a full debate and vote in the House.

(antiwar.com)

Those wishing to contact their lawmakers to tell them to vote against the attempt to strip privilege from H. Con. Res. 138 should do so quickly, as the vote is expected on Wednesday. You can do so by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 202-225-3121, or find the phone number for their specific representative here.

Speak up!  The US does not need to be part of the Saudi genocide of Yemen.