Tuesday, December 06, 2016

The opposition to the nomination of General Mattis is not about a highly respected general, but, the reverence to the rule of law.

December 1, 2016
By Dan Lamothe

President-elect Donald Trump (click here) said Thursday he has chosen retired Marine Gen. James N. Mattis, who has said that responding to “political Islam” is the major security issue facing the United States, to be secretary of defense.

“We are going to appoint Mad Dog Mattis as our secretary of defense,” Trump told a rally in Cincinnati, the first stop on a post-election “thank-you tour.”

To take the job, Mattis will need Congress to pass legislation to bypass a federal law stating that defense secretaries must not have been on active duty in the previous seven years. Congress has granted a similar exemption just once, when Gen. George C. Marshall was appointed to the job in 1950.

Earlier Thursday, Jason Miller, a spokesman with the Trump transition team, tweeted that no decision had been made, but Trump’s son Donald Jr. retweeted a report saying that Mattis got the job....

It is disquieting the Trump family is more privy to the decisions of this administration than anyone else. This type of 'tweet' is typical of what is transpiring. Why is that okay?

Then there is a hint of 'special treatment' with these actions by Congress. But, as I have stated there is a very good chance the path this Congress and President are heading down is hubris. Hubris is what got us into the Iraq war. Cheney and "W" went on tour to promote the war in Iraq as part of the war on terror. If one remembers the mood of the country, it was primarily confused. "Go enjoy your life," but, we have terrorists about so be careful while your are enjoying your life and stockpiling duct tape.

Hubris is real. It attempts to take political campaigns and make them real. Some of that is the business of the government that was a part of that political campaign and some is unrealistic and not based in reality. That lack of reality is a very big lead into corruption. Making truth out of lies is a dangerous path for the USA. I think the "W" years is the most recent proof of that. 

This administration used making of hubris to win an election. The campaign was laced with lies and personal attacks. Lies and personal attacks don't make for governance so much as power brokering. So, the journalists have their hands full, but, I am sure that is the way they like it.

The "W" years proved to have all this 'personality' to legislation such as "Terri's Law." So, to some extent Mattis appearing in a funding bill is more of the same. But, I think this nomination is more hubris than necessary. Tough guy Marine General Mattis retired during the Obama years. It is supposed to be a way to rub President Obama's Democratic nose in the fact he could not keep such a man inspired enough to continue in the Marine Corp.

Mattis agrees with President Obama in a two state solution between Palestine and Israel, but, he is highly critical of the Iran Agreement. He also believes the Iran Agreement is not reversible and the USA has to live with it. Somehow, with an American general stating the USA will just have to live with it, is reassuring. Very much so.

General Mattis also believes ISIS/Daesh sees Iran as a neutral country of which it has befriended. That is bizarre.

Iran was not invaded by ISIS/Daesh because Iran has a strong military that once fought a war with Saddam Hussein. Daesh is a manifestation of the old Ba'athist. It is just simple. The wacko that leads him was once a prisoner of the USA and also stated to be affiliated to al Qaeda in Iraq. 

Daesh established itself in a very covert manner in Syria only to hold a civil war that destabilized Assad. Iran is a Shia majority and Daesh is Sunni although it does not find a reason to bond with other Sunni; Daesh rather kill them. Daesh is not a manifestation of Iran. They were not created to allow Iran to expand it's influence into Iraq. Iran does not and has not needed a war to influence Iraq. Iraq is a Shia majority as well. They are natural allies. As I stated before national building doesn't work, while generals such as Mattis think nation building is what the USA does best.

I can't believe Trump is actually interested in Mattis because Mattis strongly believes Russia is interested in breaking up NATO. Hello? This is the antagonist to Putin's dreams of Trump's election, a very big thumb on the scale. 

Maybe that is why Congress is so eager to place an exemption into the USA funding. Congress will have a Secretary of Defense that actually believes NATO is a valuable ally. I think Congress is afraid of their new Republican leader.

Oh, yeah. There is this.

James N. Mattis, director since 2013. (click here)
Retired General, U.S. Marine Corps. Commander, United States Central Command, 2010 to 2013. Commander U.S. Joint Forces Command, 2007 to 2010. NATO Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, 2007 to 2009.

At least Don Rumsfeld only had a Wall Street interest in Big Pharma.

General Dynamics' net income rose to $701 million, or $2.09 per share, in the fourth quarter, from $495 million, or $1.40 per share, a year earlier. Analysts on average expected revenue of $8.04 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.Jan 28, 2015

No matter how you look at Trump's nominations and appointments are
Wall Street. This administration is going to cost the American people. There is
never going to be a modest budget and the national debt be damned.

28 January 2015
By Reuters

General Dynamics, maker of Gulfstream jets, tanks and U.S. Navy ships, (click here) reported a 42 percent jump in fourth-quarter profit and said quarterly aircraft orders were at their highest in more than three years.
The company said operating margins rose to 12.8 percent in the quarter from 11.5 percent a year earlier.
Weapons makers in the United States have cut costs to increase profitability in the face of lower defense spending. They have also held up their stock prices by returning cash to shareholders through buybacks and strong dividends.

General Dynamics said on Wednesday it returned about $4.2 billion to shareholders through stock repurchases and dividends in 2014, more than triple the amount paid the previous year....

The law:

10 U.S. Code § 113 - Secretary of Defense (click here)
The law Congress is circumventing is the very definition of the Secretary of Defense. It is outrageous to realize the US Congress is indulging and pandering to a newly elected President by defying the Constitutional Law of the definition of the US Secretary of Defense. How many of the laws that exist in this country will be demised and undermined by this Congress in hubris and pandering to the new president and the electorate they have to continue to blow joy up their skirts?

This is outrageous and the US House already knows they have a problem with passing the nomination because they are practicing brinkmanship over funding in order to achieve the amendment. Typical cowardliness of the USA Republican Congress. The won't debate it honestly as a free standing bill, but, they'll hide behind the very funding of the government to insure they slickly pacified their electorate and their new Republican leader. The Republican Congress does that a lot because they nothing but corrupt; ie: The CitiGroup Amendment. (click here)

I thought the Republicans were the great defenders of the US Constitution? NOT! They are the great defenders of Wall Street and the impoverishment of the American people. Here is another example of how Republican hubris is more important than the country and it's "Rule of Law." 

Kind of a strange picture, Right? Whales spouting moist air at the same time at an angle the sun created a rainbow.

It is an odd picture, but, it is America to own it.

Whoa! (click here) Sunlight creates rainbows from the spouts of two gray whales at Channel Islands National Park off the California coast. The waters surrounding Channel Islands are home to more than 27 species of whales, dolphins and porpoises – representing about one-third of cetacean species found worldwide. If you’re hoping to catch a gray whale sighting, try visiting the park during mid-December to mid-March when they migrate. Photo courtesy of Larry Goldman.

Ventura is serviced by Amtrack, Greyhound, and airport shuttle services from the Santa Barbara and Los Angeles International Airports. Oxnard Airport has scheduled commuter service.

Island Packers is the park’s concessionaire for boat travel departing from Ventura and Channel Islands Harbors to all of the islands. A variety of trips, from half-day to multi-day, are offered. For prices, schedules, and reservations, write or call:
Island Packers, 1867 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura, California 93001. Phone: 805-642-1393....

A day after the Climate Crisis came to the forefront of the USA's priorities, there are many standing to join the renaissance.

06 December 2016
By Jocelyn Timperley

A group of financial heavyweights, (click here) including media magnate and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Wall Street banker and former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, has today urged businesses and governments across the world put in place actionable plans to incorporate climate risk into their decision-making.

The new report from the bi-partisan Risky Business Project, which aims to provide a business-focused assessment of the economic risks and opportunities related to climate change, argues tackling climate change is both economically and technically achievable and would create significant new opportunities for American business.

The Risky Business Project is co-chaired by Bloomberg, Paulson, and billionaire investor and environmental donor Thomas Steyer....

I would encourage Mr. Steyer to invite the former Vice President Al Gore to join the group.

...The group also details how the required investment in clean energy would more than pay for itself in the long run, yielding a predicted average of $366bn in savings a year from reductions in spending on fossil fuels....

It is obvious to most people working to invoke change to reverse the trend of the Climate Crisis that it is a very expensive path to allow this level of heat in Earth's troposphere. The investment in to alternative energies and conservation strategies will more than pay for themselves in only a few years. The lives that will be saved alone when Earth achieves a normal balance with the help of such investments is worth the effort.

The scientists in the world, including those of the IPCC, know how to restore this planet to it's lush state that will return a troposphere of live and protection for generations to enjoy it. 

We are living on a garden of beauty if only appreciated as the very common home we all share.

Sometimes there are heroes waiting in the wings that come forward because the status of their dreams become mainstream. Sometimes it is a simple as that. I look forward to the successful outcomes and with Vice President Al Gore as an observer and adviser the results will be insured.

Nation building doesn't work.

The Taliban are not defeated. They have been reconstituting in Pakistan since they were chased from Afghanistan by the USA military. If "W" hadn't diverted the war in Afghanistan to Iraq this would have been over already.

Osama bin Laden is dead. The occupation of Afghanistan has been nothing more than the USA military keeping a toe hold into the region. The war against al Qaeda is over. There are stranglers of the original regime still alive or so we are lead to believe. Even the one eyed Mullah Omar has been dead for years. Fifteen years is nearly a full generation and nothing has changed that much. The war was against al Qaeda.

I wish the new leadership within Afghanistan a peaceful existence with those that seek stability in the region including Saudi Arabia.

If the trillions of US spent in this hideous war that was over years ago had been spent in Puerto Rico, the conditions would be extremely different and quite possibly the waiting list for a pediatrician would be months long.

December 6, 2016
By Carlotta Call

A hilltop overlooking Kabul, where a $100 million Saudi-funded mosque and education complex was to be built. Construction was scheduled for completion this year, but the hilltop site remains a dusty lot where boys fly kites and drug addicts crouch beside a cemetery wall.

Kabul, Afghanistan — Fifteen years, (click here) half a trillion dollars and 150,000 lives since going to war, the United States is trying to extricate itself from Afghanistan. Afghans are being left to fight their own fight. A surging Taliban insurgency, meanwhile, is flush with a new inflow of money.

With their nation’s future at stake, Afghan leaders have renewed a plea to one power that may hold the key to whether their country can cling to democracy or succumbs to the Taliban. But that power is not the United States.

It is Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia is critical because of its unique position in the Afghan conflict: It is on both sides.

A longtime ally of Pakistan, Saudi Arabia has backed Islamabad’s promotion of the Taliban. Over the years, wealthy Saudi sheikhs and rich philanthropists have also stoked the war by privately financing the insurgents.                  

The United States is not a perfect country. It has a dark side that should be contained. Exonerate Ethel Rosenberg in a ceremony befitting the sincere greatest of the USA.

Ethel Rosenberg at her high school graduation.

...Ethel Rosenberg (click here) was a victim of this mass hysteria, this "scoundrel time" as Lillian Hellman called it.

Mr. President, it is now time to right this wrong. It is time to exonerate Ethel Rosenberg.

Her sons, Michael and Robert Meeropol, are hoping to see you today. Please see them. Please accept the petition that I and 40,000 others have signed -- and I now ask everyone reading this to sign it also: www.rfc.org/ethel.

Here's what the Boston Globe had to say on the matter last week when they called upon you to heed this call and exonerate her: https://www.bostonglobe.com/op inion/editorials/2016/11/23/fo r-ethel-rosenberg-presidential -pardon/Hh7NyQed8ZIRSaueBqnadK /story.html

Do the right thing, Mr. Obama. Issue a proclamation exonerating Ethel Rosenberg. And everyone reading this, please click here and sign the petition: www.rfc.org/ethel....

This is the chair where she died at the age of 37 years old.