Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Best and the Brightest

The bride and I have been living in this house for 15 years, the former owner left a bookcase full of mostly crap, but a few weeks ago, found this thick paperback gem. The blasted thing took me three months to read.
The Best And The Brightest is a book written by the Pulitzer Prize winning author David Halberstam.
The book is not a novel so if you are looking for excitement stop right here. It is written like a documentary. The book was published in in 1972, had started as a article to be written for Harper's Weekly magazine and became the deep study eclipsing what the weekly could offer.
The process starts with the selection of the team of advisers and cabinet secretaries that John F. Kennedy was assembling during his Presidential campaign. The Senator had been seen in professional circles as an moderately intelligent man with a nondescript records in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. His image as a young conservative Democrat, participation in Massachusetts politics, substantial financial resources and Harvard connections made the President-Elect's offers of public service very attractive to renowned scholars and leaders of industry.
The first team that he assembled was made of men we still remember today.

  • Dean Rusk as Secretary of State, a Georgia man, born to meager means. Rusk became a scholar by a less prestigious route that his contemporaries. An education completed at Oxford and UC Berkeley. Rusk was a an extremely loyal secretary, who had doubts about the build up in Vietnam. He, learned  during his time in the Truman administration, and did his best to discern what  the President's wishes were and to support that position. As a southerner, Dean Rusk manages to survive in office through the end of Lyndon Johnson's term.
  • Robert McNamara as Secretary of Defense. McNamara was an industry man, plucked out of the Ford Motor Corporation. A man with excellent industrial credentials and a penchant for applying operations analysis problem solving to system control. McNamara was staunch advocate for the Vietnam War effort, in public, for the President's team approach, for both Kennedy and Johnson. Over time he developed personal opinions otherwise, that subtlety expressed led to a firing by Johnson.
  • McGeorge Bundy was Special Assistant for National Security Affairs. Bundy was the prize of Kennedy's team. He was hired away from his position of Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard. He had been named to that post at the age of thirty-four, making him the youngest dean in the school's history. Bundy served a a filter for both Kennedy and Johnson, but as being primarily interested European issues managed to hold the Vietnam issues at arms length.
  • Maxwell Taylor was military adviser to President Kennedy. He came to the team from being Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  Taylor was thought of as a politician's general, very popular. His experience with large ground scale wars in WWII and Korea led him to advise poorly on the build up and execution of the war. Later as things began to unravel Taylor acted in obstructive way.
The best way to describe what happened in Vietnam, at least from this book. Is to start with he end of World War II. Nearing the end of the war Roosevelt made clear that he saw the situation the French had in Vietnam was mainly a colonialism issue, which made the insurrection there a civil war, and something to be avoided.
World War II ended with Truman as POTUS. Policies were continuing as Roosevelt had established until Joe McCarthy's Red Scare. The Communist hunts put the Democrats in the unenviable position of having been in power when most of the accused were active in government.  
This led to the elections of Eisenhower many Republicans. During this eight year long administration, there was monetary and equipment support given to the French fighting in Southeast Asia.  
Enter the Democrats and John F. Kennedy, smarting from eight years on the outside and fearing being labelled as soft on Communism. They were World War II veterans and intended to show the world how tough they were. They assembled team described was convinced that they were the smartest politicians of their time. To start, they jumped irrationally into Cuba, against expert advise and gotten their asses spanked. Then they managed to be manipulated by Nikita Khrushchev in Europe. They were in a mood to be assertive when the cries for assistance were arriving from South Vietnam. Advisers were sent, reports were scrubbed by Taylor's officers. The situation for years did not improve, decisions were made to bomb North Vietnam in hopes of softening it's position, it failed. 
President Johnson sent ground troops which the Army continually sought to increase in size. This team failed to use for critical decision making were intelligence reports and advice that North Vietnam was not being seriously hurt by the bombing and the North Vietnamese population of draft ready men was larger by two times the most men the United States ever had in country. Every time the US added men to the force the North Vietnamese just sent more men down trails.
By 1966, the Congress and public were on to President Johnson's stealthy build up, his administration was doomed.
There are many parallels to what we see of politicians today. 
  • They are arrogant.
  • They ignore history.
  • They filter truth to fit leadership objectives.
  • They lie to the public.
I liked to book very much, it is full of of character interaction and dynamics.

Lillian

This is for the granddaughter of good friends.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Difference Between Oo and oO

Two young guys appear in court after being arrested for smoking dope.
The judge says, "You seem like nice young men, and I'd like to give you a second chance instead of jail time. I want you to go out this weekend and try to convince others of the evils of drug use. I'll see you back in court Monday."
On Monday, the judge asks the first guy, "How did you do over the weekend?"
"Well, your honor, I persuaded 17 people to give up drugs forever."
"Seventeen people? That's wonderful. How did you do it?"
"I used a diagram, your honor. I drew two circles like this: Oo. Then I told them that the big circle is your brain before drugs and the small circle is your brain after drugs."
"That's admirable," says the judge. Then he turns to the second guy. "And how did you do?"
"Well, your honor, I persuaded 156 people to give up drugs forever."
"Wow!" says the judge. "156 people! How did you manage to do that?"
"Well, I used a similar diagram," the guy says. "I drew two circles like this: oO.
Then I pointed to the little circle and said, 'This is your asshole before prison?"

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Inside Deal?

Why should any person be surprised?
The press showed any interest and having this issue be solved in a transparent manner.
The President's racist attack bitch showed no interest in the truth.
Frankly, after the barking in the House of Representative, the Congressmen seemed resigned to saving it as campaign topic, never really driving the power of the subpoena to real effect, or applying a sense of urgency pressing on all fronts.  Instead, they accept what are obvious bullshit answers, and let pass clear acts of obstruction of justice. At least the Republicans in Congress have their campaign issue, it sure beats having to defend the shit job they've been doing.
FBI Agents Believe An 'Inside Deal' Protected Hillary Clinton:
“FBI agents believe there was an inside deal put in place after the Loretta Lynch/Bill Clinton tarmac meeting,' one source told the New York Post.
Back on topic. The email issue arose from research on the Benghazi debacle. People were digging because four men died, including an ambassador. The executive branch was being both dismissive and dishonest when asked to explain what happened. We have death, that leads to lies intended to divert and issue around an election, that leads to evidence of ineptitude and evidence cover up. Nobody is in jail and four men are still dead.
No money for the RNC as long as McConnell and Ryan are in place.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

School Today


After picking her son up from school one day, the mother asks him what he did at school. The kid replies, "I had sex with my teacher." She gets so mad that when they get home, she orders him to go straight to his room. 
When the father returns home that evening, the mother angrily tells him the news of what their son had done. As the father hears the news, a huge grin spreads across his face. He walks to his son's room and asks him what happened at school, the son tells him, "I had sex with my teacher." 
The father tells the boy that he is so proud of him, and he is going to reward him with the bike he has been asking for. On the way to the store, the dad asks his son if he would like to ride his new bike home. His son responds, "No thanks Dad, my butt still hurts."

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Welcome Fellow Americans, Welcome to Puerto Rico

Welcome to their debts that is....
Remember the old commercials, Puerto Rico has become the Greece of America, citizens insistent on maintaining an unsupportable level if welfare.

Congress.org presents MEGAVOTE released on June 14, 2016 and for Georgia's 13th Congressional District.
Recent Congressional Votes
  • Senate: Fiscal 2017 Defense Authorization – Cloture on Additional Domestic Issues Money Amendment
  • Senate: Fiscal 2017 Defense Authorization – Cloture on Additional Defense Money Amendment
  • Senate: Fiscal 2017 Defense Authorization – Cloture on the Bill
  • House: Ozone Standards – Passage
  • House: Puerto Rico Aid – Passage
  • House: Fiscal 2017 Legislative Branch Appropriations – Passage
Upcoming Congressional Bills
  • Senate: Fiscal 2017 Defense Authorization
  • Senate: Fiscal 2017 Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations
  • House: IRS and Free Speech
  • House: Fiscal 2017 Defense Appropriations
Recent Senate Votes:
Fiscal 2017 Defense Authorization – Cloture on Additional Domestic Issues Money Amendment Vote Rejected (43-55, 2 Not Voting)
The amendment would have increased funding levels for domestic issues by $18 billion above and beyond the current levels specified by the 2015 budget agreement. Sixty votes were needed to end debate on the amendment.
Sen. Johnny Isakson voted NO
Sen. David Perdue voted NO
Not enough to stop talking about spending money.

Fiscal 2017 Defense Authorization – Cloture on Additional Defense Money Amendment Vote Rejected (56-42, 2 Not Voting)
The amendment would have redirected $18 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations funding to go to authorizations above and beyond the current levels specified by the 2015 budget agreement. Sixty votes were needed to end debate on the amendment.
Sen. Johnny Isakson voted YES
Sen. David Perdue voted YES
Still not enough to stop talking about spending money.

Fiscal 2017 Defense Authorization – Cloture on the Bill Vote Agreed to (68-23, 9 Not Voting)
The bill authorizes $602.2 billion for discretionary defense spending in fiscal 2017, including $59 billion for operations overseas.  It allows the Defense Department to plan and design a stateside facility to one day house the detainees currently held at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. However, it keeps existing prohibitions on Guantanamo’s closure, including blocking any funds authorized in the bill to be used for actually constructing a stateside replacement. The bill requires women to register for the draft, starting Jan. 1, 2018, and creates a commission to examine whether the Selective Service is still needed.
Sen. Johnny Isakson voted YES
Sen. David Perdue voted YES
Now that is enough to stop talking about spending money.

Recent House Votes:
Ozone Standards – Passage Vote Passed (234-177, 22 Not Voting)
The measure extends for eight years EPA's deadlines for implementing its new air pollution standards for ground-level ozone so they wouldn't have to be implemented until 2025, rather than 2017, and it modifies the general process by which EPA develops National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone and other pollutants, including by requiring reviews of pollutant standards every 10 years rather than every five years.
Rep. David Scott voted NO
Not surprising, David Scott stands for the EPA, and the EPA stands for deconstructing American industry.

Puerto Rico Aid – Passage Vote Passed (297-127, 11 Not Voting)
The bill establishes entities and procedures for Puerto Rico to address its current fiscal crisis, including creation of a financial oversight board to oversee and manage the finances of the U.S. territory and a process under which the island's outstanding debt could be restructured.
Rep. David Scott voted YES
Said it earlier, these are the initial steps pointed at a bailout. I am completely against bailouts of any sort, whether they be corporate or governmental.

Fiscal 2017 Legislative Branch Appropriations – Passage Vote Passed (233-175, 26 Not Voting)
The bill provides a total of $3.5 billion for operations of the House of Representatives, joint House-Senate items and legislative branch entities such as the Library of Congress, the Capitol Police, Government Accountability Office and Government Publishing Office. It continues to freeze the pay of lawmakers.
Rep. David Scott voted NO
Have to agree with the pay freeze, frankly I don't think they should be paid more than the average family gross income, that would put some perspective in their stilted viewpoints.

Upcoming Votes:
Fiscal 2017 Defense Authorization - S2943
The bill would authorize $602.2 billion for discretionary defense spending in fiscal 2017, including $523.9 billion  for the Department of Defense, $59 billion for operations overseas and $19.2 billion for national security programs within the Department of Energy.
Department money should be separated, this sort of packaging allows waste in all parities budgets.

Fiscal 2017 Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations - HR2578
The bill would fund the Commerce and Justice departments and NASA. It also would include language that would prevent the administration from spending money to transfer Guantanamo Bay detainees to the United States or find places to house them here.
Fund it.

IRS and Free Speech - HR5053
The bill would prohibit the Treasury Department from requiring that the identity of most contributors to 501(c) tax-exempt organizations be included in annual returns, regardless of the size of the contribution — a restriction that would apply to donors to 501(c)(3) charitable organizations and 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations.
A trivial rule to hinder a department that has been used to abuse citizens, by many different presidents.

Fiscal 2017 Defense Appropriations - HR5293
The bill would provide $575.7 billion in discretionary defense spending, including $517.1 billion subject to spending caps for fiscal 2017 and $58.6 billion in uncapped Overseas Contingency Operations funding.
Having just watched 13 Hours, shortage of funding leads to death, whatever it takes, use the presumption that we are always behind in cash reserve.

MegaVote is powered by the CQ-Roll Call Group
Copyright (c) 2016.


Free Drinks

"As good as this bar is," said the Scotsman, "I still prefer the pubs back home. In Glasgow , there's a wee place called McTavish's.... The landlord goes out of his way for the locals. When you buy four drinks, he'll buy the fifth drink."
"Well, Angus," said the Englishman, "At my local in London , the Red Lion, the barman will buy you your third drink after you buy the first two."
"Ahhh, dat's nothin'," said Paddy Sheehan, the Irishman. "Back home in me favorite pub in Galway, the moment you set foot in the place, they'll buy you a drink, then another, all the drinks you like, actually. Then, when you've had enough drinks, they'll take you upstairs and see dat you get laid, all on the house!"
The Englishman and Scotsman were suspicious of the claims. "Did this actually happen to you?"
"Not meself, personally, no," admitted the Irishman, "but it did happen to me sister quite a few times."

Saturday, July 2, 2016

The Nail

A blonde city girl named Amy marries a Colorado rancher.
One morning, on his way out to check on the cows, the rancher says to Amy,
"'The insemination man is coming over to impregnate one of our cows  today.
so I drove a nail into the 2 by 4 just above where the cow's stall is in
the barn.
Please show him where the cow is when he gets here, OK?
The rancher leaves for the fields.
After a while, the artificial insemination man arrives and knocks on the
front door.
Amy takes him down to the barn. They walk along the row of cows and when
Amy sees the nail, she tells him, "'This is the one right here."
The man, assuming he is dealing with an air head blond, asks, "Tell me
lady, 'cause I'm dying to know; how would YOU know that this is the right
cow to be bred?"
"That's simple," she said. "By the nail that's over its stall," she
explains very confidently.
Laughing rudely at her, the man says, "And what, pray tell, is the nail
for?"
The blond turns to walk away and says sweetly over her shoulder, "I guess
it's to hang your pants on."






Friday, June 17, 2016

Britain May Leave EU

We Americans should not think that the results of this Brexit vote are a reflection of admiration or lack thereof for our President Barack Obama. That said the continental press will freak out if the Brits exit the EU, and stateside, there will be criticism for the President's failure to push the trend in the globalist direction.

Brexit Causes Elites Angst -- But Britain May Leave EU Anyway

I am for whatever the citizens of Britain choose, sovereignty first.
On a vote like this, here in the states, the Democrats would be looking for a way to sneak it by the goalie.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Gone With The Wind

Breitbart has taken journalism to new heights with the following story.
In an article titled Bar Brawl Erupts at Florida Sloppy Joe’s over Fart Police Say, a minor brawl is described.
Apparently, some regular farted, because he felt comfortable, I presume. Some nearby patrons took offense and things got a little physical.
The other couple left the establishment before police arrived. Ultimately, McBride, who police say smelled of alcohol, received hospital treatment and no charges were filed. The fight is now gone with the wind.
Been to the bar, its a great place. The doors are wide open and if there was some gas it would have been washed away like the happy memory of Ernest Hemingway.
Some people just cannot hold their gas.