Saturday, August 26, 2017

Generals purchase a trillion dollar plot for America in the Graveyard of Empires

On Monday evening August 21st, 2017 President Donald Trump looking like a hostage, made a stony speech to the American people regarding his generals taking over the war in Afghanistan.  It was the first major speech given since the removal of Donald Trump’s longest and most ardent supporter of the Trump Agenda, Steve Bannon.  The speech should have been entitled:   “Generals purchase a plot for America in the Graveyard of Empires.”

Trump, in a morose tone spoke about the huge debt of gratitude owed to our military families especially since 911.  It was evident how heavy his heart felt as he told those families they would be called upon once again to sacrifice their loved ones to that bottomless pit in Afghanistan. When Trump, with the enthusiasm of a hostage read off his prepared list of reasons why the decision to sacrifice more troops to the unwinnable war is crucial to American interests, it didn’t resonate.  

Reading from his script, President Trump said “our nation must seek “an honorable and enduring outcome worthy of the tremendous sacrifices.”  Really??  What outcome can possibly be worth the tremendous sacrifices already made?  Whose children will be the last to die in the war in Afghanistan, the children of those Americans who already died in Afghanistan?  But then that would be fine with the war profiteers.

Steve Bannon was the only one left putting the brakes on the Pentagon and State Department’s ravenous appetite for war.  With Bannon gone, The Intercept is reporting “The White House is now run entirely by Hucksters, Democrats and Generals.”  



There is no one left in the White House who has any idea what they’re doing. At least nobody conservative.

President Donald Trump never tires of reminding audiences that he is not a politician, and he proves it on an hourly basis. He is by turns a nationalist, a populist, and a demagogue — but rarely acts as a traditional conservative.  With the far-right White House strategist Steve Bannon gone, the team left behind appears to be ill-equipped to maneuver the political challenges needed to turn the administration’s ambitious policy goals into successes…

Trump’s new chief of staff, John Kelly, is a retired general. His national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, is an active-duty general and the bane of Breitbart, the far-right website Bannon used to run…  Trump’s tepid 35 percent support, meanwhile, is concentrated among readers of Breitbart — which Bannon may return to. But no matter what Bannon does or says, his firing will be seen by some of his base as a betrayal of the cause, further eroding his support, leaving Trump further isolated.

As John Kelly’s opponents are dispatched one by one, a defenseless Trump may find himself among the targets. “Generals tend to suck at chief of staff, because the job is so political, but they tend to be good at getting a president to resign,” said one former senior Bush administration official.  Just ask Richard Nixon, or his chief of staff, retired General Al Haig.

That’s laughable, “Trump’s tepid 35 percent support is concentrated among readers of Breitbart.”  The media is so insular, so removed from the American people after 16 years of an unwinnable war, it’s as if they inhabit a different planet and speak a different language. 

No, America will not accept an escalation of the Afghanistan war based on “our nation must seek an honorable and enduring outcome worthy of the tremendous sacrifices that have been made”, especially the sacrifices of lives.”  The Generals are giddy with their new found money and power and they are on a spending spree.  From The Anti-Media:


Trump’s Pentagon to Spend Nearly $500 Million on Gitmo Construction

On top of that, the Pentagon wants to spend $124 million to build a new barracks for prison troops, and another $100 million on a “migrant tent city,” which would come with housing for another 5,000 US ground troops.

The Gitmo facilities were described as falling apart years ago, though President Obama’s pretense of eventually closing the detention center outright had them holding off on upgrades. With Trump eager to fill the location back up, they are facing significant construction costs.

While President Trump is still trying to sort out exactly how to word his executive order, but the plan is clearly to expand the detention center at Guantanamo Bay and start throwing more detainees into the facility. The Pentagon’s planning ahead on picking up spending at the site…

The Pentagon envisions some $500 million in new spending, with roughly half set aside for a five-bed hospital, leading to criticism that THE PLAN COSTS $50 MILLION PER BED. Pentagon officials, however, warn that the old hospital is in serious risk of flat out collapsing.

Really?  You’re warning us that the old Gitmo is in “serious risk of flat out collapsing” and you want a billion dollars to build a new, and improved Gitmo.  Shit, bulldoze the disgusting reminder of the Bush torture chambers.  Talk about tearing down painful memorials.  Whatever prisoners you have evidence to try, put on trial and let the court settle it.  Put hardened criminals in American prisons.  We can take it, we’ve been doing this a long time.

Gee whiz with America $17.7 trillion in debt who’s going to pay for all that?  Our politicians spend for war like they are playing with Monopoly money.  They talk about raising “the debt ceiling” to pay for misadventures like the 16-year debacle in Afghanistan as if they are just placing bets at a craps table.  The change of Treasury Secretaries from one administration to the next is just Treasury passing the hymn book from Secretary to Secretary, no change of tune, second verse same as the first. 

We were warned about this during February, 2016 the last year of the Obama Administration.  From Sovereign Man:


Here’s why (and how) the government will ‘borrow’ your retirement savings

According to financial research firm ICI, total retirement assets in the Land of the Free now exceed $23 trillion.  $7.3 trillion of that is held in Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs).  That’s an appetizing figure, especially for a government that just passed $19 trillion in debt and is in pressing need of new funding sources.

Even when you account for all federal assets (like national parks and aircraft carriers), the government’s “net financial position” according to its own accounting is negative $17.7 trillion.  And that number doesn’t include unfunded Social Security entitlements, which the government estimates is another $42 trillion.

The US national debt has increased by roughly $1 trillion annually OVER THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS.   The Federal Reserve has conjured an astonishing amount of MONEY OUT OF THIN AIR IN ORDER TO BUY A BIG CHUNK OF THAT DEBT.  But even the Fed has limitations.

The Federal Reserve prints up money out of thin air, the charges the U.S. taxpayers interest on those worthless securities to fund their debt.  Then when those funds are gone, congress allows the Treasury to crack into private and public pensions to fund their debt.  Then the Federal Reserve who’s practically insolvent, buys up the private and pension fund debt with their worthless Reserve Notes.  What a scam.

According to its own weekly financial statement, the Fed’s solvency is at precariously low levels (with a capital base of just 0.8% of assets).  And on a mark-to-market basis, the Fed is already insolvent. So it’s foolish to think they can continue to print money forever and bail out the government without consequence…  

But it’s just as foolish to expect them to continue bailing out America, especially when they have such large economic problems at home.  US taxpayers own the largest share of the debt, mostly through various trust funds of Social Security and Medicare.  But again, given the $42 trillion funding gap in these programs, it’s mathematically impossible for Social Security to continue funding the national debt.

Social Security is not supposed to fund the national debt.  Thanks to George W. Bush’s tax cuts, the entire burden of funding the government has shifted from the rich who make their money not by working, but basically gambling other people’s money, to the working poor.

This reality puts the US government in rough spot.

It’s not like government spending is going down anytime soon; it already takes nearly 100% of tax revenue just to pay mandatory entitlements like Social Security, and interest on the debt.  Plus the government itself estimates that the national debt will hit $30 trillion within ten years…

And if you think it’s inconceivable for the government to borrow your retirement savings, just consider the following:

1)   Borrowing retirement funds is becoming a popular tactic.

Forced loans have been a common tactic of bankrupt governments throughout history.

Plus there’s recent precedent all over the world; Hungary, France, Ireland, and Poland are among many governments that have resorted to ‘borrowing’ public and private pension funds.

2)   The US government has already done this with federal pension funds.

DURING THE MULTIPLE DEBT CEILING FIASCOS SINCE 2011, the Treasury Department resorted to “extraordinary measures” at least twice in order to continue funding the government.  What exactly were these extraordinary measures?  They dipped into federal retirement funds and borrowed what they needed to tide them over.

In fact, the debt ceiling debacles were only resolved because the Treasury Department had fully depleted available retirement funds.

3)   They’ve been paving the way to borrow your retirement savings for a long time.

Two years ago the government launched a new initiative to ‘help Americans save for retirement.’  It’s called MyRA. And the idea is for people to invest retirement savings ‘in the safety and security of US government bonds’.  Since then they’ve gone on a marketing offensive involving the President, Treasury Secretary, and other prominent politicians.

(Most recently Nancy Pelosi published an Op-Ed in the San Francisco Chronicle a few days ago promoting the program.)  They’ve also proposed a number of legislative reforms to ‘encourage’ American businesses to sign their employees up for MyRA.

Just last week, Congress introduced the “Making Your Retirement Accessible”, or MyRA Act, which would charge a penalty to employers whose workers don’t have a retirement account.  The proposed penalty is $100. Per worker. Per day.

Imagine a small business with, say, 10 employees who don’t have retirement accounts. The penalty to Uncle Sam would be a whopping $30,000 PER MONTH.  There’s a word for this. It’s called extortion.  Obviously when facing a $30,000 monthly penalty, an employer will pick the easiest option.

Given the absurd amount of government regulation on the rest of the financial industry, MyRA is the fastest choice.  This isn’t about fear or paranoia. It’s about facts.  And the reality is that the government in the Land of the Free is moving in the direction of borrowing more and more of your retirement savings.

If you still remain skeptical, remember that last year the government stole more from its citizens through Civil Asset Forfeiture than thieves in the private sector…  Or that just 45-days ago a new law went into effect authorizing the government to strip you of your passport if they believe in their sole discretion that you owe them too much tax.

No judge. No jury. No trial. They just confiscate your passport.  This is happening. It’s a reality that rational, thinking people should plan for.

You know, back in 2000 George W. Bush ran on privatization of Social Security and tax cuts for the rich.  He didn’t win the votes in congress on Social Security but he won big time with the help of Democrats to cut taxes on millionaires who, through those tax cuts are billionaires today. What they didn’t tell you is this:  after the controlled demolition of the Twin Towers on 9/11 and the huge financial cost to American workers, they passed the trillion dollar tax cuts for the rich.

In order to continue with the tax cuts for the rich and fund the unending wars in Iraq and Afghanistan plus all the other wars, congress came up with a funding parlor trick called “raising the debt ceiling.”  Congress allowed itself to borrow trillions from public and private pension funds to pay the bills that mounted up from the untaxable trillions in Derivatives trading, untaxable Wall Street profits and untaxable war profiteers. 

Each year as a trillion more was piled on the debt, congress would raise the “debt ceiling” without debate.  What they really were raising was the amount they would allow themselves to borrow from your pension/retirement/savings account.   From CNBC:


Mitch McConnell: 'Zero chance' US fails to raise the debt ceiling

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says there is "zero chance" the U.S. government will fail to raise the debt ceiling.  Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin wants Congress to lift the borrowing limit by the end of September.  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday insisted the U.S. government will raise the debt ceiling and avoid defaulting on its debt.

"There is zero chance — no chance — we won't raise the debt ceiling. No chance," McConnell said at an event in Kentucky with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. "America's not going to default. And we'll get the job done in conjunction with the secretary of the Treasury."

Mnuchin has called for Congress to pass a bill to increase the borrowing limit by the end of September. By then, the Treasury will have exhausted its so-called extraordinary measures to continue its borrowing authority and risks defaulting on its debt.

So billionaire Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin will have exhausted his so-called “extraordinary measures” by September.  Remember what those extraordinary measures are?  Those extraordinary measures are stealing every last dollars from our retirement accounts and our pensions that was authorized the last time the debt ceiling was raised.  Now Mnuchin needs a new authorization lifting the amount he may steal from the nation’s retirement funds or the country will default on its debt.

DURING THE MULTIPLE DEBT CEILING FIASCOS SINCE 2011, the Treasury Department resorted to “extraordinary measures” at least twice in order to continue funding the government.  What exactly were these extraordinary measures?  They dipped into federal retirement funds and borrowed what they needed to tide them over.

In fact, the debt ceiling debacles were only resolved because the Treasury Department had fully depleted AVAILABLE retirement funds.

This is insane.  Why do the American people allow this heist to happen and then thank the politicians for “avoiding the fiscal cliff” by robbing us blind to pay for their wars and Wall Street’s untaxed profits.  And Mitch McConnell just matter-of-factly says “it’s a done deal.”  Everyone agrees. Well guess what Mitch, not everyone agrees, the people don’t. 

The Democratic Party has become a wing of the Republican Party.  But now, Donald Trump is threatening the raising of the debt limit if his Wall is not funded.   From Bloomberg:


Trump Shutdown Threat Complicates Congress's Debt Ceiling Plans

President Donald Trump’s threats to shut down the government in October over border wall funding triggered concerns on Capitol Hill and could complicate Congress’s job of raising the debt ceiling…

Trump has made clear for months he wasn’t happy with the last bipartisan spending deal in May…   At the time, he tweeted that a "good" government shutdown may be needed…  House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters Wednesday that lawmakers aren’t interested in a government shutdown in October… 

Conservatives in the Republican Study Committee and House Freedom Caucus are pushing for deep cuts to entitlement tied to the debt ceiling which moderates in the party are not prepared to vote in favor of. That means Republicans will likely need to assemble a bipartisan vote that includes Democrats…

Bell said that in light of Trump’s stance, the Senate may choose a different path for the debt ceiling.  "A partial government shutdown prompted by failure to pass appropriations is one thing; a threatened default is in a different galaxy," he said. "While no one has a real plan that I can understand… 

Congress could also temporarily lift the debt ceiling…  “In a divided government when two parties were fighting in 2011, that was not an option,..” “In complete control government where leaders acknowledge that the debt ceiling has to be lifted, this is a viable option and why we are not too concerned…”

One solution may be to find a deal that allows both sides to claim victory. Congress could try to pass a portion of the $1.6 billion requested by Trump, or it could approve additional border security funding for other purposes…

So the Koch Brothers’ Freedom Caucus not only wants to raise the limit on how much the Treasury can “borrow” from the public and private pensions held in trust, no that’s not enough.  “The Conservatives in the Republican Study Committee and House Freedom Caucus are pushing for deep cuts to entitlement tied to the debt ceiling…  Get those a*& holes out of there.  The worst part is that members of the Freedom Caucus were brought into the Trump Administration by Mike Pence. 

What’s even more revolting than slashing entitlements as a sweetener to get more votes to “raise the debt limit” to fund escalation of the war in Afghanistan, is that everyone in Congress knows this is bullsh*t.  The war in Afghanistan isn’t ever going to end, it’s part of the Pentagon’s 20-year plan for war.  One of the very few honest congressman is speaking out is Thomas Massie of Kentucky.  From Free Thought Project:


Brave Congressman Explains How US Keeps Afghan Heroin Trade Alive at Your Expense

Congressman Thomas Massie blows the lid off the US subsidized opium trade and taxpayer funds flowing into the hands of the Taliban in Afghanistan.

This week, President Donald Trump, just like his predecessor Obama, promised to continue the utterly corrupt failure of a brutal occupation that is Afghanistan—despite running on a campaign to end it. 

For decades, the United States has been subsidizing—to the tune of billions of US tax dollars—failed projects, infrastructure, military, police, and yes, even terrorism. Yet Afghanistan is worse off today than they were before the government lied to Americans, claiming they were responsible for 9/11 instead of Saudi Arabia.

In a recent speech on the state of the Afghanistan quagmire, Congressman Thomas Massie (R) KY, exposed some hard truths that very few people in Washington are courageous enough to address…

For years, Massie has pointed out that the US has blown billions of dollars on failed projects alone. As of last year, the number of failed projects totaled over 100 billion.  To put this number in perspective, the entire amount of money the United States allocates to spend on rebuilding America’s crumbling highways every year is less than half of what it’s blown on failed projects alone in Afghanistan.

In addition to $ trillion+ war, we've spent $113 billion rebuilding Afghan... that's 2x our own $50 billion annual federal highway spending!  Massie noted that hundreds of millions of dollars were spent on a hydroelectric damn that the US thought the Taliban would destroy.

However, they did not destroy it. Want to know why, Massie asked, “They get the electricity! We’re paying the light bill for the Taliban now.  They get 30 percent of the electricity in exchange for not blowing it up, or shooting the operators who are running the damn.”  US taxpayer dollars go to a hydroelectric dam in Afghanistan that provides 30% of its power to the Taliban. What's the goal in Afghanistan?

But it’s not just the wasted money giving terrorists electricity, THE US IS ALSO PROTECTING AND FUNDING THE DRUG TRADE.  Of that wasted $100 billion, $8 billion was spent failing to eradicate the Afghan opium trade. Not only did (the) this massive amount of money not stop the opium trade and production but it doubled it!

USA spent $8 billion to eradicate poppy in Afghanistan and they doubled annual production of poppy (opium). What's wrong with this picture?  Western profiteers are making a figurative killing off of heroin for the literal killing of people in Afghanistan…

The lunacy of continuing the occupation in Afghanistan, knowing the only ones who benefit from it are warlords, drug cartels, the CIA, terrorists, and the military industrial complex, is staggering.  Innocent people will die, your children’s children will be forever indebted to the Federal Reserve, and the global war machine—which knows no home country—will be empowered and expanded. For what?

“I had hoped the Afghanistan war would end soon, but now it’s inevitable that babies born during the war will be deploying to the war in 2019,” Massie said shortly after Trump’s speech Monday night.

President Trump, drain the swamp.  Your Administration has been overrun with military swamp monsters who know only war. You very somberly gave your obligatory Afghanistan speech on Monday, but by Tuesday you were ready for war.  You burst onto the stage on Phoenix and took on the Republican establishment full frontal.  From The Hill:


The Memo: Trump allies say he needs a GOP scalp

Republicans on Capitol Hill lament President Trump's aggressive behavior toward them, but some people in the president's orbit are urging him to up the ante even further.  They say that, far from making nice, Trump needs to instill fear so that lawmakers do not feel at liberty to thwart him.

“Most members of Congress are arrogant, and until a scalp is actually taken they are going to continue to be defiant,” longtime Trump friend Roger Stone told The Hill. “All he needs to do is punish one incumbent and I think you’d see a sea-change…”  Other Trump loyalists join Stone in arguing that the president should neither forgive nor forget…  

On Friday, Trump complained about the Senate’s filibuster rule, which has been a longtime vexation to him even as McConnell has indicated he has no interest in getting rid of it...  And the president took aim at Corker, who had publicly called his “stability” and “competence” into question…

Public Policy Polling, a Democratic-leaning firm, last month found only 30 percent of Republicans approving of McConnell’s job performance, while 46 percent disapproved. For Trump, 81 percent of Republicans approved and only 16 percent disapproved...

Stone argued that Trump is “far more popular and more influential with Republican primary voters than any members of Congress and any member of the United States Senate, and he has enormous leverage to go into party primaries.”
“It is of first importance that the military be subordinate to civilian government”
― John Rawls

On Monday evening August 21st, 2017 a stoic President Donald Trump announced the Generals have taken over the Afghanistan War and would be sending more family’s children to serve as cannon fodder to keep the war profit gravy train running.  By Tuesday Trump was in his element.  Knowing the future lies not in the Party Elite but the people, Trump renewed his commitment to a fair and just America for all its people. 

While many hold out hope for the future under President Trump, the Deep State is fighting to control the President.  Right now the Generals have a bottomless wallet and their first purchase was a trillion dollar plot for America in the Graveyard of Empires”

By Patricia Baeten

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