May 16, 2013
Headline: Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, former Vice President Dick Cheney call Benghazi a cover-up
‘If you’re going to put people at risk, you have to try to protect them,’ says Rumsfeld.
‘They lied,’ says Cheney.
This is solid stuff.
Cheney and Rumsfeld are world-class experts in lies, cover-ups and deception, so they must not be trifled with.
Although the investigations into the false claims around WMD (which led to to the war in Iraq and the subsequent invasion of Afghanistan, and have cost some $3.7 Trillion and well in excess of 200,000 lives) have not yet started, it certainly makes sense to paralyze the U.S. government with multiple, continued and fruitless Benghazi investigations.
Thanks, Dick, for being you!
May 9, 2013
My friend Jack Flood lives the good life in Vermont. Sometimes, he does get fired up about things, and he’s been known to revert to some pretty salty language when things seem to be getting way out of control.
I say all of that because it was Jack who inspired me to look into this stuff about the “Benghazi Cover-up” that we are now reading and hearing about.
Sorry, Jack, we have to start with some really boring stuff.
The fiscal year for the 2013 U.S. Government began on October 1, 2012 and will end on September 30, 2013.
Total spending approved in this budget is $3.8 Trillion, so the costs to U.S. Taxpayers of just over $5 Billion to support our 535 elected officials who serve in the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate is just a drop in the bucket.
This $5 Billion number is way beyond the basic costs of salaries and benefits for our elected officials. It incorporates all of the costs of support staff, office expenses and so forth – what accountants call “fully loaded costs”.
When you look at the approximately 175 days Congress is in session, that $5 Billion annual number breaks down to about $30 Million per day, still just a drop in the bucket of our full $3.8 Trillion Federal budget.
That said: It is this $5 Billion annual investment of taxpayer dollars that we rely on to put in place the checks, balances and controls which we count on to ensure our overall Federal spending is wise, efficient and effective.
Those who are elected to the House of Representatives in the U.S. must be at least 25 years old; Elected Senators must be at least 30 years of age. These folks are adults, by any definition.
Jack asked: Over the past 2 years, what has our Congress accomplished that has any value to U.S. taxpayers?
I agreed to do some research and report back to him.
Frankly, I’m nervous. I’ve watched from the sidelines over the past several years while these elected adult citizens of the U.S. seem to pursue their own petty personal political games.
Jack is particularly interested in a current situation: A Congressional investigation into the tragic attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012 which resulted in the deaths of 4 American citizens.
Jack told me that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was called to testify on January 23, 2013 before the House Foreign Affairs Committee about the deadly assault in Benghazi.
At that apparently friendly, fact-finding hearing on January 23, a newly elected Senator from Wisconsin — Senator Ron Johnson – may have stepped a bit beyond the boundaries of decorum, resulting in an answer from Clinton that has been taken out of context: “What difference, at this point, does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again.”
I’m not sure about that answer. After all, wasn’t her husband almost impeached a few years back?
I plan to contact Kenneth Starr and dig a bit deeper before I agree to consider supporting Jack Flood in his quest to reduce wasteful spending by our elected officials in Washington.
May 8, 2013
We are on the slippery slope, but it may not be too late to stop the avalanche from happening.
If the avalanche does take place, our democratic society which has frequently been called “The Land of Opportunity” will revert to an oligarchy where a few uber-wealthy families completely control the economic destinies of the proletariat.
Imagine: Medieval Europe, reinvented in the 21st century!
Note: The Koch brothers (Charles and David) who are reportedly worth over $50 billion:
In 2011, Forbes called Koch Industries the second largest privately held company in the United States with annual revenues of about $98 billion. Charles and David Koch each own 42% of the company.
The Koch brothers spent some $400 Million in the 2012 elections attempting to elect right-wing candidates to the White House, the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House and various state governorships. There is no reason to think that similar efforts won’t continue into the future.
The Koch brothers have established or enabled dozens of right-wing organizations dedicated to: providing huge tax breaks to the rich and multi-national corporations; destroying trade unions and trampling workers’ rights; privatizing Social Security and Medicare; and eviscerating programs which backstop the lives of our middle class working families, as well as our neighbors who are retired and/or disabled.
The Koch brothers made their fortune in the fossil fuel industry, and are strongly supporting a massive disinformation campaign to discredit the science around ‘climate change’ and/or ‘global warming’. http://greenpeaceblogs.org/2012/04/02/koch-brothers-exposed-fueling-climate-denial-and-privatizing-democracy/
Most recently, the Koch brothers have announced their planned acquisition of the Tribune Newspaper chain — the nation’s second largest newspaper publisher. The Tribune Company chain includes such newspapers as the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, the Hartford Courant, the Orlando Sentinel, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Baltimore Sun, the Daily Press and The Morning Call — among other papers.
This is an outrageous and egregious slap in the face to our Declaration of Independence which formed the very foundation upon which the Constitution of the United States was based. At the time, the notion that “… all men are created equal” was a brand new paradigm in the history of mankind upon which to create a legitimate and enduring government.
The current shenanigans in Washington between the House, the Senate and the White House may be an early warning that even the best thought out ideas around governance have a limited life span, and that the pure thoughts of our Founding Fathers were bound to be adulterated and tainted by multiple generations of people who ran for – and were elected — to office with selfish and ulterior motives.