How Could This Be?

That is the question so many people and pundits alike are asking about the state of our democracy…..so many reasons and so little time to correct the discrepancies…..

I guess we can blame the Dems or the GOP or the nation as a whole or fear or a wealth of other reasons but to me there is only one reason…..

Ever heard of the Telecommunications Act of 1996?

Of course you have not…..for it is too mundane for your attention as long as Swamp People is renewed to care.

President Bill Clinton signed the Telecommunications Act of 1996. The act, signed into law on February 8, 1996, was “essentially bought and paid for by corporate media lobbies,” as Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) described it, and radically “opened the floodgates on mergers.”

The negative impact of the law cannot be overstated. The law, which was the first major reform of telecommunications policy since 1934, according to media scholar Robert McChesney, “is widely considered to be one of the three or four most important federal laws of this generation.” The act dramatically reduced important Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations on cross ownership, and allowed giant corporations to buy up thousands of media outlets across the country, increasing their monopoly on the flow of information in the United States and around the world.

“Never have so many been held incommunicado by so few,” said Eduardo Galeano, the Latin American journalist, in response to the act.

Democracy in Peril: Twenty Years of Media Consolidation Under the Telecommunications Act

To me all this division has been fed by the corporate media to drive the news cycle to what they want the reports to be.

But do not take my word for it….this is the summary offered by the Clinton White House of what the act contains….

…this legislation will lead all Americans into a more prosperous future by preparing our economy for the 21st Century and opening wide the door to the Information Age.

Universal Service

The President and Vice President want to ensure that all Americans have access to the benefits of the information superhighway. The Act ensures that schools, libraries, hospitals and clinics have access to advanced telecommunications services, and calls for them to be connected to the information superhighway by the year 2000. It will help connect every school child in every classroom in America to the information superhighway — opening up worlds of knowledge and opportunities in rural and low-income areas.

The V-Chip

Because President Clinton and Vice President Gore believe strongly that families should be able to exercise control over how the media influences their children, the Act includes a provision calling for a computer chip, called the V-Chip, to be installed in every new television set. This provision is critical to give parents control of the television programming that comes into their homes by allowing them to block electronically violent or other objectional material.

Media Ownership

Because President Clinton and Vice President Gore believe that diversity of voices and viewpoints is critical to our democracy, the Act will prevent undue concentration of television and radio ownership. The Act limits the number of stations one entity can own to stations that reach up to 35 percent of all national TV viewers, and keeps existing rules that forbid one

company from owning two TV stations in a local market, or a newspaper and TV station in the same market, or a newspaper and cable in the same market. The Act also maintains the ownership ban of a cable company and a broadcast company in the same market.

Phone Service

The President and Vice President believe that when the walls of regulations are brought down, prices come down for American consumers. This Act breaks down the Berlin Walls of regulation that previously kept local Bell Telephone companies and long-distance telephone companies from competing with one another, while keeping safeguards in place to ensure competition and serve the public interest.

Fancy words….that shows the ends that the MSM will go to own the news and the news cycle…..as well as making certain candidates proper for the American voter…

Is it any wonder that the nation’s “liberal” cable news stations CNN and MSNBC can barely contain their disdain for Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign and even (to a lesser degree) for that of Elizabeth Warren while they promote the nauseating center-right candidacies of the bewildered racist and corporatist Joe Biden, the sinister neoliberal corporate-militarist Pete Butiggieg and even the marginal Wall Street “moderates” Amy Klobuchar and Kamala Harris? Next time you click on these stations, keep a pen and paper handy to write down the names of the corporations that pay for their broadcast content with big money commercial purchases.

Money Talks, Bullshit Walks on Cable News

I Read. I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Does Anyone Remember Benghazi?

All the news of the back and forth of the newest Congressional Hearing…..Does anyone recall the Benghazi Hearings?

I know it is a lifetime ago in news years but it was a big deal….I remember the partisanship that flowed from that hearing…the vile accusations and of course the hypocrisy……

News has come out that some of the so-called evidence was doctored (I have only one source)……

Below is a reminder of just insidious leading Republicans became in their pursuit of doing everything possible to derail presumed Democratic Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton’s chances of winning the 2016 election.

Take for instance the bombshell revelation that the Central Intelligence Agency reached out to Democrats serving on the Select Committee on Benghazi on Saturday, October 17, 2015 to confirm that Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) had altered documents provided to the committee by Hillary Clinton.

CIA Confirms: Trey Gowdy Altered Documents To Frame Hillary Clinton

The article is well sourced….and I will be checking for other sources of this information.

I was always against these hearings because they were a “witch hunt” (a popular term these days)….I was opposed because I thought they were asking the wrong questions….they should have asked why the ambassador went to a dangerous area for a meeting with such a small security force?

That was the question that needed an answer….but instead a game was played at the expense of the ambassador’s family.

That was pathetic, sad and extremely tacky.

I appears the the GOP was guilty of the very same things they accuse the Dems of doing…..maybe they should stop pointing fingers and do their job with integrity…I know a lot to ask be at least try.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Closing Thought–21Aug19

There are questions in life that we ask ourselves…..like whatever happened to the AMC Pacer….or the Pet Rock……but the one mystery is whatever happened to those deficit hawks?

A term for American politicians who emphasize limitation of federal budget. Usually fiscal conservatives, they advocate increased taxes and reduced government spending in order to lessen budget deficits.

Well that sounds like the GOP…… well except for the increased taxes thingy.

They disappear when Repubs control the levers of power in one form or the other.  They only appear when Dems are leading the charge of the country and then it is the so-called entitlements that become the mechanism of control spending….it is the social safety net that causes the problem…not the endless expensive wars or the defense spending for future weapons.

There is a Repub in control first the White House and the Senate….and they, the Hawks, have slinked back into the shadows to await the results in 2020.

I mean now is the best time for them to rear their lying heads with a deficit so large it makes me gag to write the numbers…..

The federal government spent a record $3,727,014,000,000 in the first ten months of fiscal 2019 (October through July), according to the Monthly Treasury Statement released today.

While spending that record $3,727,014,000,000, the government ran a deficit of $866,812,000,000.

Before this year, the most that the federal government had ever spent in the first ten months of a fiscal year was in fiscal 2009, when the Treasury spent $3,576,745,930,000 (in constant June 2019 dollars, adjusted using the Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation calculator).

https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/terence-p-jeffrey/3727014000000-federal-spending-sets-record-through-july-treasury-runs

Where oh where have the mindless drones gone?

If I recall just 5 years ago this subject was of great interest….and yet now….nothing…the sound of crickets.

Not to worry it should return to prominence as soon as the present resident of the White House gets kicked to the curb.

Learn Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Reparations?

Closing Thought–26Jun19 (Happy Birthday To Me)……

We are having a debate about the possibility of reparations for savagery of slavery…..this debate in Congress was a big thing in the media…..for a couple of weeks and then it died down as the Dem debates came around.

The hearings in Congress on the reparations thingy…..

The topic of reparations for slavery is headed to Capitol Hill for its first hearing in more than a decade, with writer Ta-Nehisi Coates and actor Danny Glover set to testify before a House panel next Wednesday. The hearing’s stated purpose: “to examine, through open and constructive discourse, the legacy of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, its continuing impact on the community, and the path to restorative justice.” The June 19 date of the hearing before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties coincides with Juneteenth, a cultural holiday commemorating the emancipation of enslaved blacks in America, per the AP. Ex-Democratic Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, the longtime sponsor of House Resolution 40, first proposed the measure calling for a study of reparations in 1989. Conyers reintroduced the bill every session until his resignation in 2017.

Texas Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, the resolution’s new sponsor, introduced it earlier this year and pushed for the hearing. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in February she supports a reparations study, a topic that hasn’t been the subject of a House hearing since 2007. Reparations had been a fringe issue until Coates’ 2014 essay in the Atlantic, “The Case for Reparations,” thrust the topic back into the national discourse. Lethal Weapon star Glover has spoken in favor of the issue for years. The reparations debate became part of the 2020 presidential race early, as several Democratic primary candidates signaled their support for compensating slaves’ descendants, though not in a traditional sense of direct payouts to black Americans. Most have been vague on specifics, offering policies addressing economic inequality that could disproportionately benefit blacks .

Now reparations are not the focal point of this post just a little background…..what I want to show is just how out of damn touch the GOP truly has become……and to do that all I need is for the Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell to open his mouth…..

When asked about reparations for slavery on the eve of a House hearing on the issue, McConnell said reparations “for something that happened 150 years ago, for whom none of us currently living are responsible,” were not a good idea. Besides, he suggested acts, such as electing Barack Obama president, could be considered a form of compensation.

“We tried to deal with our original sin of slavery by fighting a Civil War, by passing landmark civil rights legislation, elected an African American president,” McConnell said. “I don’t think we should be trying to figure out how to compensate for it. First of all, it would be hard to figure out whom to compensate.”

(USA Today)

If you have nothing intelligent to say or to add then throw Obama into the conversation…..(pathetic political BS)……

Do I need to add anything?

That was probably the most moronic statement uttered by a GOP leader.

Love–Duncan Hunter Style

There are times that politicians show their human side and succumb to the primal needs….Gary Hart comes to mind….. even those accusations against our current standing president……and then there is California’s Duncan Hunter…..seems he got caught with his fingers in the campaign pie to pay for his love travels…..

US Rep. Duncan Hunter of California illegally used campaign money to finance romantic flings with lobbyists and congressional aides, spending thousands of dollars on meals, cocktails, and vacations, federal prosecutors say. A government court filing Monday detailed allegations about the married Republican congressman’s affairs with five women following an indictment last year charging Hunter and his wife with misspending more than $200,000 in campaign funds on trips and other personal expenses, the AP reports. Margaret Hunter, who served as the six-term congressman’s campaign chairwoman, pleaded guilty this month to one count of corruption and agreed to testify against her husband.

In the new motion, prosecutors reconstructed Rep. Hunter’s alleged clandestine lifestyle, providing times when he arrived for and left liaisons and listing a range of expenses he represented as campaign-related activity, such as paying for dates with a woman who had become his lover shortly after she started working in his office. He used his campaign treasury for even seemingly incidental purchases—a $7 beer at a hotel bar while on a ski trip with one of the women, and an Uber ride after a liaison with another lobbyist in October 2015. The government’s filing suggested that Hunter tapped into campaign funds because he had no other money to finance his romantic relationships. During a weekend ski trip with a lobbyist, his personal bank account had a negative balance and he had been hit with $33 fees six times for overdrawing the account, prosecutors said

Yet another turn…..it is rumored that his attorneys will ask for the trial to be moved to a district that voted for Trump.  This guy even threw his son under the bus and accused him of taking money (not for sex like his father but for vid games)…looks like his wife threw him under the bus…..what a great loving family.

It is bad enough that the GOP wants to pick who their voters are with gerrymandering and now they want to decide who gets justice and who does not.

What a pathetic party that allows this sort of crime to continue in its ranks.

Closing Thought–17Jun19

Something we hear very little about these days, with all the election and legal wrangling to news of our War on Terror……believe it or not we are still trying to counter terrorism across the world………and as a law the president must inform Congress of our efforts as a national security thing…..

The text of the letter sent by President to the Congress outlining the US military efforts across the world……

Dear Madam Speaker:    (Dear Mr. President:)

I am providing this supplemental consolidated report, prepared by my Administration and consistent with the War Powers Resolution (Public Law 93-148), as part of my efforts to keep the Congress informed about deployments of United States Armed Forces equipped for combat.

MILITARY OPERATIONS IN SUPPORT OF UNITED STATES COUNTERTERRORISM EFFORTS

In furtherance of counterterrorism efforts, the United States continues to work with partners around the globe, with a particular focus on the United States Central and Africa Commands’ areas of responsibility. In this context, the United States has deployed United States combat-equipped forces to conduct counterterrorism operations and to advise, assist, and accompany security forces of select foreign partners on counterterrorism operations. Specific information about counterterrorism deployments to select countries is provided below, and a classified annex to this report provides further information.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/text-letter-president-speaker-house-representatives-president-pro-tempore-senate-6/

This is a good idea but my question is…what about the troops in Central Asia….are they not armed and ready for combat?

Closing Thought–03Jun19

The big stories on the MSM this past weekend was Trump on Brexit…..royal protocol…..Liverpool wins…..Trump’s mouth in England……and this is American media……but a story that needed attention was overlooked for some dribble that informs NO one.

I read a report over the weekend that I had to re-read again and again…..ever read something that you thought could be extreme stupid or very arrogant?

I had one of those thoughts about something a Congressman had to say……

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Alpine, said he probably killed “hundreds of civilians” while serving as an artillery officer in Fallujah.

His comments were made public Monday on the latest episode of the podcast “Zero Blog Thirty.”

“I was an artillery officer, and we fired hundreds of rounds into Fallujah, killed probably hundreds of civilians,” he said. “Probably killed women and children if there were any left in the city when we invaded. So, do I get judged too?”

Hunter recalled this story in response to a question about the actions of Navy SEAL Edward R. Gallagher who is on trial in San Diego accused of war crimes including shooting at civilians. Gallagher has pleaded not guilty.

During the podcast, Hunter was asked specifically about one of the individuals Gallagher is accused of killing, a teenage ISIS fighter. According to prosecutors, the SEAL stabbed the teen who was brought in for medical treatment.

“I frankly don’t care if he was killed,” Hunter said. “I just don’t care.”

The Congressman added that he has seen photos and videos from the Gallagher case and has talked to other SEALS who served with him who say they don’t believe the charges. Hunter also said Gallagher should be given a break and that the ISIS fighter he is accused of killing was going to die anyway.

https://www.kpbs.org/news/2019/may/30/congressman-hunter-says-he-probably-killed-hundred/

https://shareblue.com/duncan-hunter-brags-killing-hundreds-women-children/

Did this “person” just admit to being a war criminal?  Or he just stupid? Could he be lying to impress? Or maybe thinks he is above the law as most arrogant pricks believe.

Personally, I believe only a moron would admit to killing “hundreds” of civilians.  This macho chest thumping is typical……there is NOTHING macho about war….but few realize that fact.  Plus this macho d/bag just admitted to being a war criminal.

My grandfather gave me some good advice…”Never start your mouth until your brain is in gear”……I pass it on to Mr. Hunter.

News Update:  As of 03Jun19 there is nothing in the news about this confession…..