Warm Southern Breeze

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Politics is the art of compromise, and politics first begins in the home, because no one always gets their own way all the time. Sometimes, Daddy gets his way, sometimes Mama gets hers. And by mutual consent, on occasion, the children get theirs. But NOBODY gets their way all the time!

Contradicting Adam Parkhomenko

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, October 9, 2021

Adam Parkhomenko recently wrote a brief political Opinion piece which was published on the website Today’s Big Stuff dot com and entitled “This might be our last chance to listen to Hillary.

Full Disclosure: Mr. Parkhomenko is a 30-something political consultant/strategist who has an extensive record of support for Hillary Clinton, worked briefly on the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2008 as an Assistant Campaign Manager during the Democratic primary, and in 2003, while then a 17-year-old student at Northern Virginia Community College, established the candidate-unaffiliated website VoteHillary.org, an in an effort to convince voters to support her 2004 campaign to be the Democratic Party’s Presidential nominee. He promoted his piece on Twitter, writing that, “I haven’t written about Hillary Clinton in a few years but I hope you will take three minutes and read this and retweet to pass it on. I worked for her for over a decade and I think what she’s saying is important and we should listen to.”

Young Mr. Parkhomenko’s ardor for his preferred candidate could be understood in the light of his obvious zeal for her, and overlooked, or even forgiven, since such eagerness often overlooks another’s flaws, because often, when in love, “the object of one’s desire can do no wrong.”

Mr. Parkhomenko couches the introduction of his threadbare piece as Hillary being a political prophetess or seer by using metaphoric imagery such as “time machine,” “villagers,” and “danger that was coming.” Naturally, that presupposes that the “villagers” are morons, or at least seriously daft in some manner.

Of course, one could suppose where he was headed with such colorful descriptors, which is the shaming “but they didn’t listen,” the I-told-you-so taunt of “it turned out she was right,” along with a repeat of the earlier “and the villagers are ignoring her again.”

Next, he takes square aim at blaming external factors, rather than a flawed candidacy, by writing pointedly, “first of all because she’s a woman. And second of all because her name is Hillary Clinton.”

I suppose her name could have been “Rapunzel,” or “Juliet” and she would have been blamed for cakes and biscuits not rising, or any other such nonsensical tripe. That’s not to say that women have not been subjected to some type of sex-based discrimination, for they have. But to blatantly assert or claim, that she was “repeatedly invited by the national media to just go away despite,” he further attempts to spread blame so thinly that it’s quite easy to see through.

It also reminds one a childhood moralistic tale entitled, “The Remarkable Story of Chicken Little,” in which the protagonist, a hen character named “Henny Penny,” had an acorn to fall on her head, and then loudly, though erroneously, warned exclaiming that, “THE SKY IS FALLING! THE SKY IS FALLING!

Mr. Parkhomenko seems to express bafflement, and befuddlement that his favorite candidate never won the nation’s highest political office, and quoted her, writing that “I’m astonished that more people don’t see, or can’t face…” That quote, of course, was a statement made in agreement by Ms. Clinton in a non-challenging, puff-piece interview with Jennifer Senior, a staff writer at The Atlantic during the Atlantic Festival, where she appeared “virtually” live, Thursday, September 30, at 2:00 p.m. ET.

Mr. Parkhomenko added his own remarks which echoed a similar sentiment by writing “why in the world would the villagers ignore someone who…,” and similarly “why would they ignore someone who…”

So let’s examine just a few things, as he has, in order to allow him – or, anyone else – to more clearly see a picture which apparently, has not yet emerged.

FULL DISCLOSURE: Though I loathed her, and still do, I voted for Hillary Clinton over the Republican candidate, because: 1.) She had some experience in politics, and was 2.) “The devil you know,” whereas the Republican candidate was utterly inexperienced politically, and was “the devil you didn’t know.”

First, like it, or not, Hillary is a lightning rod. And to remind our readers, a lightning rod is a metal stick placed vertically atop elevated structures in order to DRAW lightning, and thereby allow it to be run (conducted) to ground through circuits and conduits in order to prevent damage to the structure. Again, a lighting rod attracts lightning, which is a powerful, and natural destructive force. And that describes Hillary to a ‘T’ — a lightning rod.

To be characterized as a “lightning rod” – a thing which draws powerful, troubling and destructive forces – is not a good thing. Read the rest of this entry »

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Swing Voters Hold Key To United States Future

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, October 3, 2021

GOP Voters Did NOT Want A Second Helping Of Trump

And, in their estimation, Trump v2.0, i.e., Trump 2024, is 100% OUT OF THE QUESTION.

Comments from the focus group referenced in the article linked below illustrate the GREAT NEED for our nation to be focused upon PROGRESS & CHANGE.

Regardless of anyone’s opinion, or any nation’s actions, catastrophic, or otherwise, tomorrow will happen.

It’s inevitable.

PROGRESS WILL OCCUR.

BUT, we could all do something to PREVENT bad things from happening, and should. We should improve conditions for our residents and humanity, rather than to allow them to suffer by negligence and neglect.

And yet, whether we do, or don’t, the sun will still rise.

Time marches on.

Recall the adage,

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.”

That quote is by Dr. Jessie Potter, PhD (1922-1994), Founder/Director, National Institute for Human Relationships, Oak Lawn, Illinois; faculty member University of Illinois Medical School, Northwestern University Medical School, who was featured speaker at the Friday opening of the seventh annual Woman to Woman Conference, in an article entitled “Search For Quality Called Key To Life” by Tom Ahern, published in “The Milwaukee Sentinel” of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on 24 October 1981; the quote appearing on Page 5, Column 5.

In my estimation, and in the estimation of that focus group’s members, America and American policy – domestic, and international – has REGRESSED, rather than progressed.

Progress supposes improvement. It’s like progressing from 3rd Grade to 4th Grade, or beyond. Progress implies a journey, and ALWAYS supposes improvement — getting from “Point A” to “Point B,” and beyond.

Like the primarily-Republican voters in this focus group, I too, have voted FOR candidates who were neither my first, nor best, choice. Sometimes, you vote for “the devil you know,” rather than “the devil you don’t know.”

I voted for Hillary, though I utterly loathed her for various reasons; besides being a proverbial “lightning rod” for controversy and division, rather than unity, another one being that she demonstrably screwed Bernie, and though what she did was not illegal, it was exceedingly unethical, and that she did it in secret, was very telling about her character. Had she not done that, Bernie would have most likely been the Democratic party‘s nominee – NO ONE ELSE had crowds the size of his – NO ONE.

But, because she had governmental experience, and was the nominee, I held my nose and voted FOR her. Similarly, I voted FOR Biden, though again, I much rather preferred Bernie, because I thought and hoped that Biden would essentially be a “yes man” to the party’s Progressive ideas. And quite frankly, I don’t think he’s ever demonstrated effective LEADERSHIP with ideas.

BIDEN is a conciliator, and after the previous administration, our nation was very ready for significant “conciliation.”

“Boring government” can be a good thing, per se — at least insofar as what it’s compared to in the immediately preceding administration.

Bold new ideas are not Biden’s forte. That’s Bernie’s bailiwick. And, as we all know, sometimes, “you gotta’ go along, to get along.”

We’re not even a year — 8 months 13 days, or; 36 weeks 3 days, or; 255 calendar days – into this administration, and yet, the prognosticators, pundits, and political soothsayers are busy at work. In my way of thinking, that demonstrates a deep longing for CHANGE. Not change from the GOP, but fundamental, wholesale CHANGE in governmental operations, i.e., PROGRESS.

Do we need change in our nation?

You bet your sweet bippy we do!

The colloquialism “politicians are like diapers on babies; both need changing regularly” is not mere hyperbole, it is true.

Consider our income tax system.

No one genuinely “likes” paying taxes – has anyone, ever? Even though it’s a patriotic duty, I don’t think so. But in your and my lifetime, the graduated income tax system in our nation has been highly compressed (there are now fewer brackets than ever), and the top rate for the highest income earners (multi-millionaires & multi-billionaires) has been so significantly reduced, that the net effect is a so-called “flat tax,” in which everyone – the wealthy and the impoverished – pays the same percentage rate, regardless. That’s an inherently unjust system, simply because the wealthy and the impoverished pay the same price for a gallon of milk, or loaf of bread. It just takes a BIGGER BITE out of the poor man’s paycheck, than it does the wealthy… who probably owns the farm –and– the bakery –and– the store that sells it.

It simply boggles my mind to know that Jeff Bezos, by FAR the world’s wealthiest man -and- his corporation Amazon, PAID NO INCOME TAX LAST YEAR… or, the year before, or the year before that. And he wasn’t the only one, not by a long shot. Elon Musk and Warren Buffett are also on that list of shame. Men whose names are practically household words, like Bill Gates, Rupert Murdoch and Mark Zuckerberg all come to mind. They too, paid little, if any, personal income tax compared to the Average American. To my way of thinking, that’s just plain wrong. Maybe you think differently.

What angers me particularly, is that, Read the rest of this entry »

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Let’s Talk About… Critical Race Theory

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Before we enter into a discussion about Critical Race Theory, let’s ask a question, or two.

First, is discrimination based upon skin color, ethnicity, national origin, or any other factor, something that can be eliminated by law?

Or, is it a flaw, a character defect permanently present in humanity?

At its root, racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, and other ‘isms and phobias are based upon an inherent dislike, even to the point of hatred, of others who are dissimilar in some aspect, and because of that dissimilarity thereby become the object, and target of scorn and hatred from and by a perpetrator. Any discriminatory behavior by the perpetrator is justified by the same upon the alleged differences in the object (the one(s) being discriminated against), i.e., the victim(s), and subject, i.e., the perpetrator – the “hater” and “hatee,” if you will.

Various laws, including liberal laws regardless of their age, have thus far failed to eliminate such innately discriminatory practices, and damages, from law, or from business. The myriad laws in our nation touching upon the slave trade, slavery, and discrimination stand as ongoing evidence of that fact.

Everything Old Is New Again

In Abraham Lincoln’s day, a segment of the Republican party then called “Radical Republicans” — a faction within the Republican party comprised primarily of Northern altruists, industrialists, former Whigs, practical politicians, etc., led by Thaddeus Stevens in the House of Representatives, and Charles Sumner in the Senate, from about 1854 until the end of Reconstruction in 1877 — were renown for their goal of immediate, total, and completely permanent eradication of slavery, without compromise. They were opposed even by members of their own party, as well as by Democrats.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

Today, within the Democratic party, the Progressive faction is opposed by “moderates,” and they’re all opposed by Republicans.

And even within the Republican party today, there are also splinters and divisions. The “Trumpers” aka sycophants of the 45th POTUS, and the more level-headed, even-keeled moderate faction of the party.

There are lessons to be learned from history… if only we’ll learn them. And sadly, it seems as if we’re condemned to repeat them, time, and time, and time again.

It was Spanish-born American philosopher/poet George Santayana (1863-1952) who wrote that…

“Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

–– George Santayana (1863-1952), Spanish philosopher, writing in The Life of Reason: The Phases of Human Progress (1905-1906), Vol. I, “Reason in Common Sense”

So… what about Critical Race Theory?

What is it?

Where’d it come from?

Who invented it?

What does it say, do, or advocate?

The very heart, the “nut,” or crux of the matter is addressed above, and could be stated this way:

Is it possible to eradicate discriminatory practices, and any associated damages, through legislation, and if not, to what extent are such discriminatory practices present, and how can they be rectified, or ameliorated, if at all?

Essentially, Critical Race Theory is a sophisticated, esoteric, high-level legal academic pursuit, which acknowledges that, to this point historically, laws (again, even liberal laws, regardless of their age) have failed to eradicate racism, racist practices, and discrimination, and asks if legal avenues (laws) are able to eradicate it, or if it’s a fixture permanently etched upon the human heart, and thereby inherently present in all laws, and if so, to what extent.

So yes, it’s a broadly-encompassing theoretical legal academic pursuit, and a question which possibly, might never be answered. Yet, there is understanding to be gained by such pursuit, and it is just plain wrong to chastise those who pursue such high-level questions and thinking.

16th Century Thought Police, and The Law of Unintended Consequences

Such chastisement is akin to the Church’s history of punishing or excommunicating scientists “back in the day” who posited that Read the rest of this entry »

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White Tennessee Residents In A Slave Trade Town Oppose Teaching Slavery History

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, September 23, 2021

In a small Tennessee town with a population of 83,454 — comparatively, Huntsville, AL has 100,000 more — where, in the public square, in front of the county courthouse, from which numerous lynchings occurred, on the site of a former slave trading market, stands a statue known by locals as “Chip,” so nicknamed for the chip in his hat.

“Chip” has been around since 1899, and, in a sense, could be thought of as a relative “newcomer” to the community, per se — which was founded 1799 — though an enduringly stalwart one, at that.

“Chip” is made of the finest Italian marble, and, according to the United States Geological Survey, which measured, calculated, and installed a marker upon its base in 1931, stands 648.82 linear feet above sea level. Nearby Nashville is only slightly more elevated at 1160 feet above sea level.

While “Chip’s” maker is largely unknown (though it is thought to be one of many such replicas installed), what is known about him is who commissioned him — the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

You see, “Chip” is homage to the Confederacy, and to Confederate soldiers.

Upon its base is enscribed the following: Read the rest of this entry »

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Partisan Hacks Abound

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, September 20, 2021

One would NOT mention something if it were NOT part of the equation.

It’d be like mentioning Tostitos at a cake-baking contest, the theory of relativity to 3rd Graders, a taco soup recipe to Chinese citizens in Shenzhen, or the merits of a ’57 Chevy during discussion of a cardiac surgical procedure. TOTALLY out of place.

The very fact that SHE — Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett — mentioned it, is sufficient.

“My goal today is to convince you that this court is not comprised of a bunch of partisan hacks.”

— Supreme Court Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett, Sunday, 12 September 2021, at the McConnell Center, University of Louisville, KY, a venue created by Kentucky Republican Senator Mitch McConnell

Similarly, one would NOT need to be convinced if a thing, saying, or claim had utterly no credibility. It’d be like claiming (falsely) that “the sun rises in the west.” Any casual observer can plainly see that the sun appears to “rise” in the east, because of the Earth’s rotation upon its axis. That is to say, Earth spins in an “easterly” direction.

But, what else could be said about a court that INCREASINGLY issues “emergency” rulings, colloquially known as the “Shadow Docket,” WITHOUT proceedings, WITHOUT hearing ANY argument?

That tactic DENIES citizens their Constitutional RIGHT TO BE HEARD IN AN OPEN & PUBLIC COURT OF LAW.

NO ONE BUT she brought up that topic.

So, yeah… Amy Coney “I’m not a partisan hack” Barrett, Read the rest of this entry »

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Letter To A Longtime Friend

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, September 20, 2021

Following are excerpts of a letter to a long-time friend who has historically voted for Republicans… almost exclusively, at all levels – local, state, and federal.

I have not.

As I recall, the last Republican for whom I voted was Reagan in his first campaign. Yet, I have not voted for Democrats whom I either do not like, nor think they would do a good job. And, I would vote for a Republican… if I could find one worth voting for.

I cannot.

And the party nowadays is in wholesale disarray, which further complicates matters. One faction wants to tear it all down, while another radicalized faction has actually attempted to burn it all down by attempting to overthrow its Constitutionally-ordered processes… and to add insult to injury, it was at the behest of the sitting President. And neither faction wants to repair anything, much less economic infrastructure.

“Privatize it all!” is their battle cry.

Yet, he is like me in this regard: He is not now, nor has he ever been, a member of ANY political party. He is also like me insofar as he cares for the future of our nation, which, more specifically, means We the People — the Common Man.

“Blind Men Appraising an Elephant,” c.1800-1850, by Ohara Donshu (d.1857), Japanese Edo Period, Brooklyn Museum

But, to casual observers, they would not know that how we are similar, and would rather, note our seeming dissimilarities, when in fact, the opposite is true. We are more similar, than not — at least we are, on an essentially basic, fundamentally root level.

As I have long stated, we — he, I, and many others who, superficially seem to disagree — are like the proverbial blind men describing an elephant, which is an ancient moralistic tale about human nature with origins in the Indian subcontinent which is known as far back as circa 500 BCE.

“Our individual views of the universe may be different from one another’s because we each encounter only one small part of what is there. The ancient Hindu parable of the six blind men and the elephant — wherein each man describes only the part of the elephant he is touching, forming an incomplete representation of the whole — is an illustration of such individual differences. The elephant, a metaphor for the universe, is perceived by one man as a snake (because he feels the trunk), by another as a tree (because he feels the leg), and so on. However, individual differences in perception are not usually as large as the differences between the six blind men’s percepts of the elephant. The differences are not so large because perception is a complex phenomenon resulting from multiple small effects, such as many different genes and accumulated experiences, acting mostly separately.”

— “Individual Differences In Perception,” entry by Ariella Popple, PsyD, PhD, in “Encyclopedia of Perception,” E. Bruce Goldstein, ed., 2010, SAGE Publications, Inc., Thousand Oaks, California


Hey Bud-E! How you are?

Still taking a licking, and keeping on ticking?

How’re your eyes? Still in your head?

Your eyes we can fix. My hearing, we can’t.

I’m going deaf.

No kidding.

My hearing loss is now much more significant than previously. And, I contend that it was because of the loud *!*BOOMS! *!*BANGS*!* & *!*EXPLOSIONS*!* to which I was exposed while in the Army. Training, of course. And so far, I’ve been denied a Service-Connected Disability rating. But, to be certain, I’ve not hammered the piss out of ‘em — the VA, that is — to get such a rating, and more importantly TO GET HEARING AIDS WHICH I DESPERATELY NEED!

You see, T, my good friend, this – my example – is but ONE of MILLIONS MORE exactly like me. Good and decent pubic education, college degreed, honorable service to our nation, and despite it all, not having healthcare insurance, nor the ability to shell out $10,000, or more, for hearing aids. And if my glasses break, I’m similarly up shit creek. And forget about my teeth. I’ve not seen a dentist in I-don’t-know-when. My next-door-neighbor D, who is 1 year younger than I, and a widower, had all his teeth pulled recently so that he could get fitted for dentures. ALL of that he had to shell out of pocket. ALL OF IT. And he delivers flowers for a living. A very modest paying job – not even $15/hr.

I’m fully certain that you KNOW that I am unapologetically FOR THE PEOPLE. And, I think you know me well enough to know that, by NO MEANS, am I “anti-business,” and rather, am anti-BIG BUSINESS — a scenario in which profiteering comes first, and people are an afterthought. THAT is a “cardinal sin,” because it demonstrates conclusively that, LITERALLY, we (our nation, our people, by and through our elected officials) DO NOT CARE FOR OUR OWN. And, I know the Scriptures well enough to know (and, I would hope that you do, also) that such a tact is 100% diametrically opposed to Biblical/Judeo-Christian principles. And indeed, it is against the principles of EVERY religion.

“If anyone fails to provide for his own, and especially for those of his own family, he has denied the faith [by disregarding its precepts] and is worse than an unbeliever [who fulfills his obligation in these matters].”
1 Timothy 5:8 AMP

For TOO LONG we have disregarded the sage, prophetic advice of POTUS Dwight David Eisenhower, a 2-term Republican, who, before campaigning for President, during WWII was Supreme Allied Commander – our nation’s last 5-star general.

And concurrently with that, we have continued to reduce income tax rates upon the wealthiest Americans, and their corporations, while simultaneously reducing and compressing the number of income tax brackets, thereby placing an increasingly undue responsibility and burden upon the impoverished and working families. Again, that burden has shifted AWAY from upon the wealthy, to be foisted upon the poor. Such an action is fundamentally UNJUST.

In his Farewell Address to the nation, delivered January 17, 1961, as POTUS, that speech, now known as the “Military Industrial Complex” speech, he warned about what we are now experiencing in our nation, and in part said: Read the rest of this entry »

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Republicans: “THE SKY IS FALLING!! THE SKY IS FALLING!!”

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, September 6, 2021

Spendthrift Democrats ignore looming bankruptcy of Social Security and Medicare
By Liz Peek, Opinion Contributor — 09/04/21 03:00 PM EDT
Liz Peek is a Fox News contributor, conservative commentator, former partner of the now-defunct major bracket Wall Street investment banking firm Wertheim & Company, who worked as a oil industry research analyst on Wall Street over 20 years.

https://thehill.com/opinion/finance/570809-spendthrift-democrats-ignore-looming-bankruptcy-of-social-security-and


Liz Peek’s “bash piece” is purely tripe.

Let’s take it line-by-line — all my remarks are highlighted in GREEN and some are emboldened.

Here’s her opening line:

Are Democrats serious about confronting the impending collapse of Social Security and Medicare? It sure doesn’t seem so.

WOLF! WOLF! WOLF! Remember the Aesop’s fable of “The Boy who Cried ‘WOLF!'”?

Next line:

Instead of focusing on the looming bankruptcy of these programs, Democrats are pushing to spend $4-$5 trillion on a progressive wish-list of expensive new federal giveaways. Perhaps they believe that promising voters free college, free child care, free elder care and so much more will distract them from realizing that our most important safety nets are falling into disrepair.

“Federal giveaways,” she writes. You mean like TAX CUTS FOR THE WEALTHY & THEIR CORPORATIONS? That’s CORPORATE WELFARE. And we mustn’t forget Jeff Bezos who paid NO INCOME TAX, nor did his MEGA CORPORATION AMAZON. And then, there’s the “Paris Hilton Tax Cuts,” which DOES NOT TAX inheritance… even though it’s like winning the lottery. They did NOTHING TO EARN IT. And that’s just a drop in the bucket.

Next line.

Moreover, President Biden and congressional Democrats want to significantly hike taxes to pay for shiny new entitlements. But taxpayers are already facing big hits just to maintain the ones we already have.

Refer to the preceding paragraph about income tax rates for individuals, and corporations, and those who do NOT pay income taxes — the wealthy. They DO NOT see the paying of taxes, including income taxes, as being a patriotic duty. And yet, it is. During the 2-term Republican administration of President Dwight David Eisenhower, income tax rates upon the wealthiest Americans was 90%+, and upon corporations was 50%+. AND DURING HIS ADMINISTRATION, OUR NATION GREW LIKE GANGBUSTERS. Some complain about “tax and spend.” And yet, that is EXACTLY how it works. And the spending goes RIGHT BACK INTO THE PRIVATE SECTOR, which is where it originated. Presently, in 2021, the highest personal income tax rate is 37%, while the highest corporate income tax rate is 21%.

Next couple of paragraphs.

This week, the trustees of the Social Security and Medicare programs released their annual reports; the news is not good.

The bottom line: Both funds are running out of money, faster than expected. Both Medicare and Social Security will need to be propped up, the sooner the better. Specifically:

    • Medicare’s Part A Hospital Insurance trust fund will go broke in five years; outlays are projected to exceed income by nearly $600 billion over the next 10 years. Over the longer term, we would need a 27 percent increase in the payroll tax or a 16 percent spending cut to keep the program running.
    • Gross spending on Medicare will increase from 4.1 percent of our entire economy this year to more than 6 percent over the next 20 years.
    • Social Security will become insolvent in 13 years. Under current law, the administration cannot guarantee full benefits to today’s retirees.
    • The trustees’ report says that Social Security will run cash deficits of $2.4 trillion over the next 10 years, equal to 2.3 percent of total taxable payrolls.
    • Social Security is estimated to post a cash-flow deficit of $147 billion this year, equal to almost 0.7 percent of GDP

The date of projected insolvency for these entitlements moved closer over the past year; the proposed remedies from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB) become more draconian as time goes on.

The link provided by the author, Liz Peek, was NOT to an official United States Government website. It was to a group calling themselves “Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.” And even that group DID NOT present a link to official sources. Yeah… that sounds about right. Find someone who’ll agree with you on everything you say, and present that echo chamber as reality.

Here’s the “2021 ANNUAL REPORT OF THE BOARDS OF TRUSTEES OF THE FEDERAL HOSPITAL INSURANCE AND FEDERAL SUPPLEMENTARY MEDICAL INSURANCE TRUST FUNDS“:
https://www.cms.gov/files/document/2021-medicare-trustees-report.pdf

Here’s the Social Security Administration’s “SUMMARY OF THE 2021 ANNUAL REPORTS“:
https://www.ssa.gov/OACT/TRSUM/index.html

Here’s the “Fact Sheet: 2021 Social Security and Medicare Trustees Reports” from the United States Treasury:
https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/Fact-Sheet-2021-Social-Security-and-Medicare-Trustees-Reports.pdf

Here’s the Social Security Administration’s “Social Security 2021 Trustees Report.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Dear Congress, When Will You Ever Learn?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, August 30, 2021

On July 20, 1969, the engineers in Mission Control at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas breathed a collective sigh of relief combined with exuberant joy at 1618 that afternoon when Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong made the following transmission:

Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.

Like NASA’s Eagle, the Lunar Module moon landing spacecraft of so many years ago, Hurricane Ida — a category 4 storm with devastating 150mph winds, catastrophic storm surge, and life-threatening flooding combined with widespread power outages, and more destruction yet to be discovered — has landed, exactly 16 years to the day that Hurricane Katrina devastated the Pelican State.

And like a salmon returning to its spawning spot, Ida came ashore at the exact same location as Katrina – New Orleans.

But with this landing, there is no joy in Mudville. There is no collective sigh of relief. There’s only Heartache v2.0, and even more tragically, with apparently little-to-no lessons learned.

Now, as our nation is on the precipice of some modicum of advancement, with massive spending on sorely-needed national infrastructure, both hard and soft, there seems to be absolutely no discussion of amelioration of either storm damage, or other environmental disaster associated with global climate change.

And sadly, there’s been no discussion of purchasing, designing, or creating a fleet of aerial supertankers to extinguish forest fires which have occurred with regular and increasing frequency in the west.

It’s not as if it can’t be done, for the Dutch embarked upon such a plan following a particularly disastrous North Sea Storm the night of Saturday, January 31 – Sunday, February 1, 1953 in which flooding over 18 feet above mean sea level devastated the Netherlands, wreaking death and destruction
• flooding 9% of total Dutch farmland,
• drowning over Read the rest of this entry »

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America’s Military Budget Must Be Halved… AT LEAST

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, August 30, 2021

It is NOT an “unpatriotic” matter to assert, or claim, that America’s military budget is out of control. Numerous boondoggles over the past several years – most notably the F-35 program, now recognized as an untenably disastrous failure – have proven as much.

Former WWII Supreme Allied Commander, 5-star General, and 2-term Republican President, Dwight David Eisenhower, warned in his January 17, 1961 Farewell Address that,

“We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United State corporations.

“This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence-economic, political, even spiritual-is felt in every city, every state house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

“We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

• See: “The US Air Force Quietly Admits the F-35 Is a Failure“; By Joel Hruska, February 25, 2021 at 8:38 am
• See also: “The U.S. Air Force Just Admitted The F-35 Stealth Fighter Has Failed“; By David Axe, February 23, 2021, 08:00am EST
• See also: “What Went Wrong with the F-35, Lockheed Martin’s Joint Strike Fighter?“; By Michael P. Hughes, Scientific American, The Conversation US, June 14, 2017
• See also: “This Country Is Spending $1.7 Trillion on Planes That Don’t Work“; By Charles P. Pierce, February 25, 2021
• See also: “F-35 Failure: The Air Force Wants a Different Replacement for Its Aging F-16 Jet Fighters“; By Mark Episkopos, February 25, 2021
• See also: “Israel Is Hiding That Its State-Of-Art F-35 Warplane Was Hit By Syrian S-200 Missile – Reports“; SouthFront: Analysis & Intelligence, 2017-10-17T 09:56:39+00:00
• See also: “The F-35 tells everything that’s broken in the Pentagon“; By Dr. Sean McFate, PhD, 03/11/21 01:00 PM EST
• See also: “The sad saga of the F-35: Too big to fail, too expensive to fly“; By Jamie McIntyre, Senior Writer, March 18, 2021 11:00 PM

In conjunction with that measure, of slashing the budget for the Department of Defense, we must also require a period of national service from our young people – two, or three, years of mandatory service after high school graduation is NOT too much to expect from, or ask of them in return for the blessings of liberty for ourselves, and our posterity. Plus, it would make Congress and the President think long and hard – twice – before so freely sending their children into harm’s way.

The money saved should be redirected toward other, much more needful things at home, such as Read the rest of this entry »

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Working Toward A Change In American Foreign Policy

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, August 28, 2021

As you read this OpEd, initially, it seems to move toward the idea of nation building, but then, directs itself toward more direct involvement Congressional management and oversight of foreign policy, the constitutionally-mandated Separation of Powers, encourages a SCOTUS decision on the extent of Presidential War Powers, and curtailing the use Executive action to enact foreign policy by skirting such oversight, asserting that Executive diplomacy is not a formal treaty, and therefore not subject to Congressional oversight.

In short, while illustrating problems in American foreign policy through Executive action, it places the onus of responsibility upon Congress, where it rightfully belongs, and relegates the President’s role to primarily one of public persuasion in such matters.

Ours is a constitutional democratic republic, and we should act like it, rather than falling prey to “the grandiose belief” … of the “irresistible the siren call of personal diplomacy” by Presidents.A


What Trump’s Disgraceful Deal With the Taliban Has Wrought

by Dr. Kori Schake, PhD
August 28, 2021

Dr. Schake is Director of Foreign and Defense Policy Studies, and Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

Before joining AEI, Dr. Schake was the Deputy Director-General of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London. She has had a distinguished career in government, working at the US State Department, the US Department of Defense, and the National Security Council at the White House. She has also taught at Stanford, West Point, Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, National Defense University, and the University of Maryland.

The American Enterprise Institute is an independent, non-profit, public policy think tank dedicated to defending human dignity, expanding human potential, and building a freer and safer world.

The work of their scholars and staff advances ideas rooted in their belief in democracy, free enterprise, American strength and global leadership, solidarity with those at the periphery of our society, and a pluralistic, entrepreneurial culture.

AEI scholars are committed to making the intellectual, moral, and practical case for expanding freedom, increasing individual opportunity, and strengthening the free enterprise system in America and around the world. Their work explores ideas that further those goals, and AEI scholars take part in this pursuit with academic freedom. AEI operates independently of any political party and has no institutional positions. Their scholars’ conclusions are fueled by rigorous, data-driven research and broad-ranging evidence.


Believing you’re uniquely capable of bending things to your will is practically a requirement for becoming president of the United States. But too often, in pursuit of such influence over foreign policy, presidents overemphasize the importance of personal diplomacy. Relationships among leaders can build trust — or destroy it — but presidents often overrate their ability to steer both allies and adversaries.

Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev had built such a solid relationship that during the Reykjavik summit most of Reagan’s administration worried he would agree to an unverifiable elimination of nuclear weapons. Bill Clinton believed his personal diplomacy could deliver Palestinian statehood and Russian acceptance of NATO expansion. George W. Bush believed he looked into Vladimir Putin’s eyes and saw his soul, and Barack Obama believed he could persuade Mr. Putin it wasn’t in Russia’s interests to determine the outcome of the war in Syria.

But in both hubris and folly, none come close to matching Donald Trump. For someone who prided himself on his abilities as a dealmaker and displayed an “I alone can fix it” arrogance, the agreement he made with the Taliban is one of the most disgraceful diplomatic bargains on record. Coupled with President Biden’s mistakes in continuing the policy and botching its execution, the deal has now led to tragic consequences for Americans and our allies in Kabul.

Mr. Trump’s handling of Afghanistan is an object lesson for why presidents of both parties need to be Read the rest of this entry »

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All Afghanistan REALLY Wants Is…

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, August 25, 2021

While it may sound simplistic,

I have long maintained – and in the last 20 years often said – that what the United States needs to do with regard to Afghanistan, is…

Send select, expert teams from the USDA, about 40 or 50 John Deere tractors, combines, and various other farming & harvesting equipment (and give JD a tax break for donating them, they’ll appreciate that) — and truckloads of seed corn, wheat, soybeans, wheat, grain sorghum, and other foodstuffs, including silage/forage, and show the people how to use and care for the tractors, plant, tend, and harvest, the crops, care for/manage the soil, and their animals.

Why?

All those people REALLY want to do is:

1.) Feed themselves, and;

2.) Feed their livestock.

Help them solve those two problems, and we’ll have a friend for life.

And, for the faithful, there’s this matter to consider as well:

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him a drink. If you do this, you will make him feel guilty and ashamed.”
— Romans 12:20 (GWT)

The Nation Suffers From Severe Localized Food Insecurity:

Due to civil conflict, population displacement, and economic slowdown – the food security situation worsened in recent months due to the impact of COVID‑19 as informal labor opportunities and remittances declined; between November 2020 and March 2021, about 13.15 million people were estimated to be in severe acute food insecurity and to require urgent humanitarian assistance, including 8.52 million people in “Crisis” and 4.3 million people in “Emergency”; the food security of the vulnerable populations, including IDPs (Internally Displaced People) and the urban poor, is likely to deteriorate as curfews and restrictions on movements to contain the COVID‑19 outbreak limit the employment opportunities for casual laborers (2021).

Yes, there are problems to be overcome – most notably low education levels perhaps being the most problematic – and the language barrier can be, and has been, relatively easily overcome. But education Read the rest of this entry »

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Florida Nuts Best In Nation

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, August 21, 2021

Florida man, eh?

El Stupido MAXIMO!

Ron DeSantis, Republican Florida Governor

Goddamn Ron Deathsantis is a FUCKING MORON!!

Let’s put this in perspective, shall we?

Try this on for size:

DeSantis maintains clothes can be detrimental for children’s development and that younger children simply don’t wear clothes properly. But board members in the counties of Broward, home to Fort Lauderdale, and Alachua, home to Gainesville, decided not to allow parents to easily opt out of the clothing mandate as surging cases of severe second degree sunburn fueled by climate change began straining hospitals.

How does THAT fit, eh?

Yup.

Deese Flahda fokes ah nutz!

Oh… and WHO IS LITERALLY DEFUNDING GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS, INCLUDING PUBLIC SCHOOLS?

Yup. You guessed it!

Goddamn Republicans.

Banana Republics are run by Banana Republicans.

Banana Republicans specialize in, and are expert at, a psychological manipulation technique called “projection.”

Projection is the practice of accusing others of doing the very thing that the accuser is doing. They “project” the action upon others whom they hope to revile by so doing.

Banana Republicans accuse Democrats of “defunding” the police, and yet, here they (Ron Deathsantis being their chief exemplar) are, LITERALLY defunding the “socialist” public schools.

Oh… and ANOTHER THING:

Banana Republicans decry “socialism” (though they NEVER actually define it) as being government involvement in anything.

So, using that measure, that metric, that (perverted) “definition,” ALL government is socialist — which makes Ron Deathsantis the Chief Socialist of the Socialist State of Florida.

––//––

Florida Threatens To Pull School Funding Over Mask Mandates Read the rest of this entry »

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Taliban Spokesman: Afghanistan To Have “No democratic system at all”

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, August 18, 2021

“There will be no democratic system at all because it does not have any base in our country. We will not discuss what type of political system should we apply in Afghanistan because it is clear. It is sharia law and that is it.”
— Waheedullah Hashimi, Taliban spokesman in an interview with Reuters, Wednesday, August 18, 2021

In a previous entry, I had written in part that, Read the rest of this entry »

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The Real Questions On Kabul’s Rapid Fall

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Lawmakers unwilling to admit their own errors, claim to be shocked at the Taliban’s rapid coup of Afghanistan and the fall of Kabul, its capitol city, and a very public takeover of the nation’s presidential palace, are feigning dismay at what they blame as “failures” either by/from the intelligence community, or military, or both.

The “Blame Game” is a long-running, well-known, and popular political pastime among the Beltway insiders crowd. And, if you’re an elected official, regardless your party affiliation, lack thereof, or political philosophy, you’re a Beltway Insider.

As I opined in a previous entry,

I applaud POTUS BIDEN for ceasing the 20-year failed social experiment of the sociocultural-political elites – those with high-powered degrees from Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Johns Hopkins, Georgetown, and others (no disrespect to the institutions, or to education) — who built their careers, increased their fortunes, and padded their CV’s playing “nation building” with practically unlimited American tax dollars (we’ve burned a TOTAL of at least $2.6 TRILLION on that good-for-nothing wasteland hell-hole money that COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER SPENT HELPING OUR NATION, OUR PEOPLE), using the “expendable” lives of men and women from rural America and elsewhere far removed from the ivory-towered intelligentsia, all in the erstwhile hopes that somehow, they could foist upon a people a liberal democracy — by force, if necessary — who have no interest in such a type of government.

Our nation is upon a dangerous precipice, of having fallen sway to the narrow handful of ivory-towered Ivy-Leagued sociocultural-political elites who have Read the rest of this entry »

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Thoughts on America’s Afghan Experiment

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Soprano Amalie Materna (1844-1918) as the character Brünnhilde in Richard Wagner’s “Der Ring des Nibelungen” at Bayreuth, Germany, 1876 – conjectural origin of the idiom “when the fat lady sings.”

What can anyone say about people that will cling to the body of a jet aircraft as it takes off, and then as it begins to reach altitude, fall to their deaths? Or stow away in a wheel well, where they are crushed by the mechanisms, or freeze to death at altitude?

Morons.

And desperate.

But still, morons.

They are utterly lacking common sense, stupid, and fundamentally absent the knowledge or intelligence to understand that such actions would be fool hardy at best, and – as it turned out – fatal at worst.

What would you say?

How would anyone describe it?

And yet, “it ain’t over ’til the fat lady sings.”

So goes a colloquial saying meaning “don’t count your chickens until the eggs are hatched.”

Speaking of eggs, they can’t be unscrambled.

And this matter may very well be exactly illustrative of that axiom.

But, I do hear her warming up.

The so-called “fat lady,” that is.

There’s also this to consider: Read the rest of this entry »

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Dumbing Down Our Kids: Censorship is Alive and Well

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, August 15, 2021

Many make the mistake thinking that anti-censorship laws – the First Amendment, most notably – apply to business. They do not. Anti-censorship laws apply ONLY to government.

Instances of such mistaken thought have been on display of late, particularly with respect to some of the foolish remarks made by certain Congressional Representatives, and Senators, while in Committee hearings with the CEOs of Twitter and Facebook pursuant to their banning, or temporarily blocking certain high profile users of their service in the dissemination of lies, which were not merely false, but disruptive, tended toward incivility, and inciting public unrest.

Censorship is sometimes called “prior restraint,” because it prohibits an action, in this case, speech or other First Amendment rights, from occurring, or being exercised. It is not done after the fact. It is ALWAYS done beforehand.

But, with respect to private enterprise, non-governmental entities, businesses and such, they are free to their heart’s delight to censor. There is NO LAW prohibiting them from exercising that prerogative.

On May 10, 1933, university students in Opera Square in Berlin and elsewhere throughout Nazi Germany burned thousands of books in an ominous cleansing of anything considered un-German from the national culture. (U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, National Archives and Records)

When it comes to matters of education, the ideological equivalent to censorship is banning books, and book burning – both practices which have historically been employed by authoritarian, totalitarian regimes, and not just in modernity.

Historians of Read the rest of this entry »

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Sunday-to-Monday Roundup: Taliban Afghan Coup

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, August 15, 2021

GOPers are blaming POTUS Biden for the Taliban’s Afghan coup.

Morons.

Pope Calls for Peace in Afghanistan
https://thehill.com/policy/international/567919-pope-calls-for-peace-in-afghanistan
Sunday, August 15, 2021
Today, Pope Francis called for a peaceful end to conflict in Afghanistan as a Taliban-led government coup appears imminent.

Reuters reported that in his Sunday address from Saint Peter’s Square after his homily, the Pope said in part that, “I join in the unanimous concern for the situation in Afghanistan. I ask all of you to pray with me to the God of peace so that the clamour of weapons might cease and solutions can be found at the table of dialogue. Only thus can the battered population of that country – men, women, elderly and children – return to their own homes, and live in peace and security, in total mutual respect.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Russian Facebook Meddling Behind Anti-Vax/Anti-Mask Uproar

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, August 12, 2021

Far from being a “Batman” logo, the Russian GRU, is that nation’s military foreign intelligence unit, and is a “holdover” from Russia’s Communist days, and remains chock full with communists. Remember: Just because Russia allegedly isn’t “communist” any more, does NOT mean that they’re not, or that they’re now America’s “friend.” They are NOT. The same folks that were in power when Russia was openly communist are STILL IN POWER. And that includes Vladimir Putin.
Their logo reads: RF Armed Forces MILITARY INTELLIGENCE

This PROVES my suspicion, that RUSSIA has been, and remains the culprit behind all this hubbub about anti-vaxxers.

Only an enemy could have created such dissension in our nation – which works to their advantage.

America has NEVER been like this… EVER!

And you know what else?

You’ll NEVER hear Tucker Carlson, Fox News, nor any other so-called “conservative” talking heads mention this.

And you know what else was “covered up,” per se?

The twelve GRU officers who were mentioned in the Mueller Probe indictments.

But hey… that’s old news.

“While Trey Gowdy went on his “Benghazi 2.0” tirade during the Strozk hearing, and random Democratic Congressional members used the probe to attack the FBI, the government of Russia was silently toasting members of their security services on a job well done. Meanwhile, the Russian government seems to be able to breathe a sigh of diplomatic relief, and pat their intelligence officers on the back. After all, President Trump is as giddy as a virgin teenage boy on prom night about meeting Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin in Helsinki. “I wonder if he’ll be my new best friend?”

But this is not.

NSA-CISA-NCSC-FBI Joint Cybersecurity Advisory on Russian GRU Brute Force Campaign

Press Release – July 1, 2021
FORT MEADE, MD – The National Security Agency (NSA), Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) released a Cybersecurity Advisory today exposing malicious cyber activities by Russian military intelligence against U.S. and global organizations, starting from mid-2019 and likely ongoing.  This advisory is being released as part of Read the rest of this entry »

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“Kill All The Republicans.”

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, August 2, 2021

If coronavirus disease could talk, that’s what it would say.

Because right now, those whom have resisted getting vaccinated are largely conservative White Republican men.

A recent poll conducted by Monmouth University’s Polling Insitute found that 73% of self-identified Republicans oppose face mask and social distancing guidelines in their state, while 16% of those who remain vehemently opposed to getting the vaccine “believe Covid is a hoax or they are unlikely to get infected. Which means there may be very little that can be done at this point to change their minds,” said Patrick D. Murray, Founding Director of Monmouth University’s independent Polling Institute. Among those who admit they will not get the vaccine if they can avoid it, 70% either identify with or lean toward the Republican Party, and only 29% of Republicans blame vaccine opposition for most of the recent rise in COVID-19 infection cases.

Ron DeSantis (b.1978), Republican Governor of Florida since January 8, 2019, barely defeated Andrew Gillum, the Democratic Mayor of Tallahassee by a margin of 0.4%. At age 42, he is the nation’s youngest governor.

And they’re dying like flies in places like Florida, where Republican Governor Ron DeSantis — who himself is vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen single-dose viral vector-type vaccine — has steadfastly refused to do anything to protect his state’s citizens from the ravages of coronavirus disease infection, and has staunchly refused mandating face/nose covering use in public spaces, and even recently signed an executive order PROHIBITING school districts from requiring staff and students to wear protective masks.

That, as news of findings published by the CDC of an outbreak in Provincetown, Barnstable County, Massachusetts – a resort town and summertime getaway location on the tip of Cape Cod – occurring among fully-inoculated individuals after participating in summer events and large public gatherings between July 3 and July 17, in which 469 cases of COVID-19 infection were identified among Massachusetts residents who had traveled there, of which 346 (74%) occurred in fully vaccinated persons. Testing identified the Delta variant in 90% of specimens from 133 patients.

The “great unknown” — even among researchers — throughout development, testing, and emergency approval of the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNtech mRNA type vaccines, and the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen viral vector type vaccine has been: Read the rest of this entry »

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Republican In Legal Peril: No mo’ Mo?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, August 1, 2021

California U.S. Representative Eric Swalwell (RIGHT), a Democrat for the state’s 15th Congressional District, listens to testimony of U.S. Capitol Police officer Harry Dunn describing the Trump-led terrorist attacks upon Congress at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 as Congress was preparing to certify the election results.

The Alabama GOP Mo-ron Brooks, POS45, and his corrupt lying entourage will likely end up in prison… hopefully – if there’s any justice at all in this violently topsy-turvy world.


In a Federal Court filing Tuesday, July 27, 2021, the United States Department of Justice served notice that they will not be representing Alabama GOP Representative Morris “Mo” Brooks-CD5 in California Democratic Representative Eric Swalwell’s-CD15 lawsuit against him, Donald John Trump, Donald J. Trump, Jr., and Rudolph Giuliani.

“Brooks submitted a request to the Department of Justice (“Department”) for certification under the Westfall Act that he was acting within the scope of his office or employment as a Member of Congress at the time of the conduct alleged in the Complaint. Brooks later petitioned this Court for a scope-of-employment certification, and the Court called for the United States to respond by July 27, 2021.”

Explaining that “If the Department certifies that Read the rest of this entry »

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“It was an attempted coup that happened that day.”

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, July 27, 2021

“It was an attempted coup that happened that day.”

— Aquilino Gonell, U.S. Capitol Police Sergeant partial testimony before the January 6th Select Committee, about the 2021 domestic terrorist attacks upon our nation’s government at the U.S. Capitol.

In their testimony today, Tuesday, 27 July 2021, the U.S. Capitol police have made NO MISTAKE describing what the Trump supporters are who attacked our U.S. Congress at the Capitol Building that day —

TERRORISTS.

The only mistake that the U.S. Capitol Police made that day, is that… Read the rest of this entry »

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Kenneth Starr Helped Jeffrey Epstein Avoid Federal Prosecution

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr departs his home September 10, 1998, in McLean, VA. The 445-page Starr report on the investigation into the affair between President Clinton and former White House Intern Monica Lewinsky was delivered to Congress Wednesday afternoon.
KHUE BUI/AP

Here’s your QAnon pedophile network boss.

Would you be surprised to know that it’s Kenneth Starr?

Remember: The [radical right-wing] QAnon conspiracy theory [falsely] claims that Democrats are involved in a global cannibalistic pedophile network, and that anti-Trumpers were directly involved in an attempt to destroy the 45th President’s efforts in office because he was onto their game and was rooting them out of “deep state” government bureaucracies and big business. The never-Trump movement began as intra-party opposition by prominent conservative Republicans to prevent him from being nominated, and later morphed.

And it is worth noting, that the pernicious QAnon conspiracy theory has long been discredited by numerous independent individuals, none of whom worked together, and that like many other conspiracy theories – and viruses – continually evolves, ever changing various elements of itself to potentially become as  damaging as possible.

There’s always at least one element of truth in every lie, no matter how far-fetched the lie is, for without it, the entire house of cards falls apart. That’s just how fragile conspiracy theories are. They CANNOT survive independently, and like all parasites, need hosts in order to perpetuate.

Great Saint James (top center) and Little Saint James (lower center) islands in the U.S. Virgin Islands were owned by Jeffrey Epstein.

And in this instance, pedophilia is the solitary bit of truth.

From that single germ, the conspiracy begins to grow. Assertions of the existence of international cartels or networks are built upon the fact that Epstein was known to frequently fly abroad to various nations, and between 1995 and 2013 logged at least 730 flights to and from Teterboro Airport, NJ – a small, general aviation reliever “corporate” airport, just 12 miles from midtown Manhattan, where he maintained a seven-story, including basement, 18,814 square foot residence at 9 East 71st Street, on the posh Upper East Side of Manhattan. The pilots’ flight logs of his travel to and from Teterboro Airport represent only about a third of his total air travel between 1995 and 2013, and consist of thousands of flights. He was arrested at Teterboro Airport July 6, 2019 returning from Paris.

His international travel was facilitated by ownership of several jet aircraft and helicopters, including a Cessna Citation jet, a Gulf Stream jet, and a Boeing 727 jet airliner nicknamed “Lolita Express,” along with two Caribbean islands — the 78-acre Little Saint James, and the larger adjacent 165-acre Great Saint James, in the U.S. Virgin Islands — and was known to host notable guests on the them, among whom are known to have been former U.S. President Bill Clinton, accompanied by his Secret Service agents, because flight itineraries, manifests and passenger lists detail that he flew there as Epstein’s guest at least 26 times.

Jeffrey Epstein, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Department booking photo, 27 July 2006, following his indictment for soliciting prostitution.

Other notable personalities who Epstein hosted regularly included such high-profile individuals as Donald Trump, renown Harvard University Professor of Law, emeritus, Alan Dershowitz, the UK’s Prince Read the rest of this entry »

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Texas and Delaware Compared -or- Why Greg Abbot is a Moron

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, July 13, 2021

The Texas Governor, a wheelchair bound cripple (that itself is an enlightening story revealing his sadly hypocritical character), has attempted to compare Texas with Delaware by noting that TX has Early Voting, whereas DE, nicknamed “The First State,” does not.

His attempt is a poor false equivalency (“when someone incorrectly asserts that two or more things are equivalent, because they share some characteristics, despite the fact that there are also notable differences between them“).

I would imagine that most Texans with any sense of pride in the Lone Star State would be insulted by such a benighted attempt to compare the picayune Delaware to the formidable Texas.

By so doing, Greg Abbott and other Banana Republicans demonstrate what utter morons they are by daring to compare Texas with Delaware.

Why not compare the USA with Chile? Guatemala? Sri Lanka?

It ought to be self-evident to even the most dense person why there’s practically no genuine comparison. Read the rest of this entry »

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Texas Governor Greg Abbott

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, July 13, 2021

“You can shine your shoes and wear a suit.
“You can comb your hair and look quite cute.
“You can hide your face behind a smile.
“One thing you can’t hide,
“Is when you’re crippled inside.”

– John Lennon, “Crippled Inside,” from his 1971 album “Imagine”

Everything is BIGGER in Texas.

Including assholes.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott leaves the podium after speaking at the 11th annual National Catholic Prayer Breakfast May 7 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Washington. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn) See BREAKFAST May 7, 2015.

The news item linked below, is from Daily Wire, a so-called “conservative” reporting outlet.

Texas’ BIGGEST problem is an incompetent and crippled Governor.

It’s not just his legs that are lame.

https://www.dailywire.com/news/governor-abbott-democrats-who-fled-texas-to-stop-democracy-will-be-arrested-immediately-upon-return

But then, what can one say about a 26-year-old man who, as new Vanderbilt University Law School graduate studying for the upcoming bar exam, while out jogging with a friend on July 14, 1984 in Houston’s wealthy River Oaks neighborhood, in a freak accident, had an oak tree to fall upon him, and then, sued the landowner, and the tree service company, and won a literal tax-free insurance jackpot for life?

Abbott’s settlement included Read the rest of this entry »

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Cheating On Taxes, Bumming A Ride, And Economic Growth

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Renown U.S. economist John Kenneth Galbraith (1908-2006) identified an economic theory – the “horse and sparrow” – which he described thusly:

“If you feed the horse enough oats,
some will pass through to the road for the sparrows.”

Today, we call that “trickle down” economics – the theory popularized and promoted by POTUS Ronald Reagan. Never mind that the word “trickle down” just sounds so very wrong – the picture of urine being foremost – but the renown London School of Economics has recently put the kibosh on that idea, after studying history of 38 nations over 50 years which did the same thing – cut taxes on the wealthy in the hopes that it would provide economic stimulus of various and sundry types.

It did not.

For anyone who’s been paying even the slightest amount of attention, they would know that the world’s wealthiest man – Jeff Bezos – paid practically no income taxes on his vast personal fortune, neither did his corporation, Amazon. He was by no means the only one who shirked their patriotic duty by cheating the government, there were many more – billionaire pal Elon Musk is among them.

Dr. John Kenneth Galbraith, PhD, was a noted economist and author, the Paul M. Warburg Professor of Economics, Emeritus, at Harvard University, former Ambassador to India, and former Presidential Advisor. Internationally renown for development of Keynesian and post-Keynesian economics, he was equally well-known for his wit and candor, evidenced in his prolific writings, which included over 30 books. His last book was a 1999 memoir “Name-Dropping,” in which he wrote about the historical individuals whom he’d known in his long, colorful life as an economist, professor, ambassador, and lifelong liberal.
Harvard University News Office image handout

As well, PayPal founder Peter Thiel, another billionaire, took unfair and unjust advantage of a Roth IRA – a savings vehicle created and designed to benefit the working families of America – and using tricks and maneuvers not available to the average person, turned a retirement account worth under $2000 in 1999, into a $5 billion tax-free windfall by the end of 2019. That same year, Forbes estimated his net worth at $2.3 billion – less than half of his Roth IRA’s value.

In stark contrast, the average Roth IRA was valued at $39,108 at the end of 2018.

So, we have one perspective, but let’s put things in even more clear focus, shall we?

How much is $5 billion?

If every single one of the 2.3 million people in Houston, Texas were to deposit $2,000 into a bank today, the total of all their accounts would still not equal what Peter Thiel has in his Roth IRA.

Of course, since a Roth IRA is a retirement income savings vehicle, taxation of deposited funds is not just significantly deferred until after the 60th birthday of the depositor, it is 100% TAX FREE FOREVER. So in essence, he cheated the system.

While you, I, and other patriotic Americans are dutifully paying our income taxes like the loyal citizens we are – paying for all of our nation’s governmental services, military service members salaries, defense budget, and more – most all wealthy Americans are very happy to continue shirking their responsibilities to pay their fair share, and are even more happy that you, I, and every other red-blooded patriotic American are picking up the tab for them.

This article details exactly how PayPal billionaire Peter Thiel truly cheated a system which was NOT designed for wealthy individuals.
https://www.propublica.org/article/lord-of-the-roths-how-tech-mogul-peter-thiel-turned-a-retirement-account-for-the-middle-class-into-a-5-billion-dollar-tax-free-piggy-bank

This article cites prospective Congressional action which will likely be taken following publication, and discovery of the abuses of the Roth IRA by Peter Thiel, and other ultra-wealthy individuals.
The Ultrawealthy Have Hijacked Roth IRAs. The Senate Finance Chair Is Eyeing a Crackdown.
https://www.propublica.org/article/the-ultrawealthy-have-hijacked-roth-iras-the-senate-finance-chair-is-eyeing-a-crackdown

Now, as for the Horse And Sparrow Theory, a research paper by the London School of Economics found that, contrary to the assertions of those who promoted them, tax cuts upon the wealthy DO NOT improve the economy in any way whatsoever.

The study examined Read the rest of this entry »

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Gerrymander 2021: Republicans To Choose Voters

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, June 28, 2021

“Redistricting is like an election in reverse! It’s a great event. Usually the voters get to pick the politicians. In redistricting, the politicians get to pick the voters!”

— Thomas Hofeller (1943-2018), Republican National Committee Redistricting Director, GOP strategist and district mapmaker at “Redistricting & Census 2000,” an event sponsored by the National Conference of State Legislatures, (see video at 33:50–34:24), at Henry Gonzales Convention Center, San Antonio, Texas

Should politicians choose their voters?

Or, should voters choose their politicians?

That’s the essence of what will be the next great political fight to come from Republicans.

And, if things go the way that many expect them to go, the GOP will crown themselves the victor.

“The fix is in,” as the saying goes.

Here’s one recent news item detailing how the formerly-Grand Old Party will manipulate the system:

Republicans Eye Nashville Crack-Up To Gain House Seat
By Reid Wilson – 06/20/21 04:32 PM EDT

“Republicans plotting to maximize their advantages in state legislatures across the country during the decennial redistricting process are considering cracking apart Tennessee’s largest city, an ambitious move that could signal how aggressively the party will try to rig maps in its favor in the coming months.

“In preliminary conversations, top Republicans in the Volunteer State have contemplated dramatically redrawing the boundaries of a district anchored in Nashville, one of just two U.S. House seats in Tennessee held by a Democratic member of Congress.

“The move would put the squeeze on Rep. Jim Cooper (D), the dean of Tennessee’s congressional delegation and a presence in Washington since he first won his district in 1982, save for an eight-year absence after he lost a race for a U.S. Senate seat in 1994.

“Cooper has never had trouble winning reelection: He ran unopposed in 2020, and he hasn’t taken less than 62 percent of the vote since the Republican wave of 2010.

“Cooper’s strength lies in Nashville’s Davidson County, home to about four in five of his constituents. The county gave President Biden almost two-thirds of the vote in 2020, while the smaller but more Republican suburbs in Dickson and Cheatham counties voted heavily for former President Trump.

“Nashville and Davidson County have been wholly contained within one congressional district since at least the 1950s, a logical function of its role as the population epicenter of Middle Tennessee.

“But if Tennessee Republicans decide to divide Davidson County between neighboring districts, Cooper may find himself facing the unpalatable decision to run in a district that is much more favorable to Republicans: All three of the neighboring districts — held by Reps. John Rose (R) to the north and east, Mark Green (R) to the west and south and Scott DesJarlais (R) to the southeast — gave Trump at least two-thirds of the vote.

“Tennessee has changed dramatically, in a lot of ways,” said Gregory Gleaves, a Republican strategist in Nashville. “I don’t think it would be that unusual for Nashville to get split. It happens in other states. There’s no law saying Davidson County is the one county that can’t be split.”

“Democrats would have little ability to resist the GOP power play. Republicans hold 26 of 33 seats in the state Senate, and 74 of 99 seats in the state House of Representatives. Gov. Bill Lee, also a Republican, has the final say in approving any new district maps.

It’s always going to be chopped up to the advantage of the ruling party. So that’s expected,” said state Rep. Antonio Parkinson (D), the chairman of the Tennessee state legislature’s Black Caucus. “It makes it harder for Democrats to get elected.”

“Cooper’s office did not respond to a request for comment. But he is no fan of partisan gerrymandering: Cooper introduced legislation earlier this year that would require states to create independent and bipartisan redistricting commissions.

Voters should continue to choose their elected officials — not the other way around,” Cooper said in a statement introducing the bill in January. “The redistricting process shouldn’t be about protecting the powerful and we need to fix it.”

“The U.S. Census Bureau has not put out block-level population data that will inform state legislative mapmakers, after the pandemic delayed data collection and analysis, so any potential plans to split Nashville are preliminary at most.

“But redistricting experts say they see the move to divide Tennessee’s biggest city among multiple districts, diluting the power of Nashville’s voters and giving Republicans a chance to pick up a seat, as emblematic of a strategy the GOP will use in other states.

This is a common tactic used by state legislators especially in order to crack voters into different districts,” said Ari Goldbloom-Helzner, a computational research analyst at the Electoral Innovation Lab at Princeton. “It makes it difficult for those groups to constitute a majority in electing a representative of their choice that represents their community.”

“Several other cities have been chopped between districts for partisan gain, too: In the last decade, Texas Republicans split Travis County, home of liberal Austin, among five separate congressional districts, four of which are held by Republicans. Pennsylvania Republicans drew district lines so bizarre in the increasingly Democratic Collar Counties around Philadelphia that the state Supreme Court set a new map of boundary lines in place for the 2018 elections. In Michigan, liberal Lansing is divided between districts held by Reps. Tim Walberg (R) and Elissa Slotkin (D), after Slotkin defeated Republican incumbent Mike Bishop in 2018.

“As the Census Bureau prepares to deliver new block-level data to states, Republicans and Democrats are beginning to outline strategies they will implement to take full advantage of the control they wield.

“Republicans, by dint of their advantage in so many state legislatures, will have a leg up. The GOP holds complete control over the redistricting process in 20 states that will collectively send 188 members to the House of Representatives. Democrats control the entire process in only seven states that account for 72 members of Congress.

“Sixteen states will draw new boundary lines through independent or bipartisan commissions or through power-sharing agreements because both Democrats and Republicans hold at least one lever of government. The seven remaining states send only one at-large member to Congress.

“The Republican advantage is less than it was a decade ago, just after the 2010 election handed the GOP control of a large number of governorships and state legislative chambers. But recent Supreme Court rulings have removed some of the guardrails that constrained legislatures last time around, potentially giving Republicans and Democrats alike greater freedom to exercise their control over the redistricting process.”
https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/559207-republicans-eye-nashville-crack-up-to-gain-house-seat

See also: The Path To The Supreme Court’s Big Gerrymandering Decision Led Justices Through Tennessee
by Joel Ebert, The Tennessean, July 4, 2019, 10PM CST
https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2019/07/05/supreme-court-partisan-gerrymandering-debate-barker-vs-carr/1623807001/

See also: Grand Divisions Episode 58: A Look At A Landmark Supreme Court Case With Tennessee Ties And Gerrymandering
by Joel Ebert, The Tennessean, July 9, 2019, 5AM CST
https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2019/07/09/tennessee-gerrymandering-baker-v-carr-supreme-court/1676767001/

If it’s wrong for one party to do it, it’s wrong for the other party to do it — regardless of which one is in power. Both parties would decry such an unjust and inequitably lopsided measure if the other one did it.

It’s not mere politics. The problem is very real, and is a dangerously destabilizing force upon our free and independent Constitutional processes, most notably upon voting, by making it ineffectual, null and void, and jeopardizing our national security and our democratic republic. In essence, it is a theft and usurpation of power out of the hands of The People, and into the pockets of politicians.

All that is thanks in large part to Thomas Hofeller, a Republican strategist who some say “perfected” the art of gerrymandering – a manipulative process designed to usurp power from the people, and instead, give it to politicians.

However, HR1 and companion bill S1, would put a stop to such abusive practices by establishing independent, nonpartisan redistricting boards in all 50 states, which is but one reason why that bill is so very important. It also puts an end to the abuses of “dark money,” and brings to a screeching halt the disastrous “money is free speech” SCOTUS ruling in Citizens United.

After Hofeller’s death, his daughter Stephanie discovered what amounted to a veritable treasure trove of information, all which was from his work drawing maps that would significantly benefit Republicans. What was embarrassing, was that all of his work was designed to limit the political influence of Blacks, Hispanics, and other non-White people. Stephanie’s discovery of his arguably racist work was so shocking, that the Republican party in North Carolina – where Hofeller’s maps work was successfully utilized by the GOP – sought to legally prevent her from publicly releasing his work.

They were unsuccessful.
See: https://www.TheHofellerFiles.com/
See also: https://election.princeton.edu/2020/01/13/the-hofeller-documents/

Thomas Hofeller’s work creating gerrymandered exclusionary political maps was nationwide and included redistricting in Arizona, Florida, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia, as well as Nassau County New York, and Galveston, and Nueces counties in Texas.

Hofeller was also significantly responsible for the idea of a prospective Census question “Is this person a United States citizen?” which was eventually nixed by the judicial system.

Stephanie said that her father’s stated objective was to use the manipulative process of gerrymandering to “create a system wherein the Republican nominee would win. State legislature, it doesn’t matter who votes for what. Congress, it doesn’t matter who votes for what. And president, it doesn’t matter.”

Ms. Hofeller said that Read the rest of this entry »

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Oregon US Representative Earl Blumenauer Introduces Blueprint to Legalize Marijuana

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, June 17, 2021

PREDICTION:

Cannabis WILL be legalized within the next 6 – 8 months at the Federal level.

As state after state, and nation after nation is legalizing or decriminalizing cannabis in one form, or another, the United States is facing a decision which was made nearly 100 years ago to make illegal a practically harmless substance, which itself has shown, and continues to show significant promise for the amelioration of serious disease, malady, and human suffering.

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, in their 2017 “Drugs of Abuse” report,

“No deaths from overdose of marijuana have been reported.”

The National Cancer Institute has written that it’s impossible to overdose on cannabis, because our body’s cannabinoid receptors — the chemicals that bind to THC — are not located in areas of the brainstem that control respiration. For that reason, a “lethal dose” of cannabis is like the flying spaghetti monster: It DOES NOT EXIST.

In stark contrast, the CDC has stated in January 2018 that

excessive alcohol use led to approximately 88,000 deaths.

Significantly greater lethality comes from tobacco use, and in April 2018, the CDC stated that

cigarette smoking kills more than 480,000 Americans each year.

In 1972, the Schaffer Commission, officially, the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse, issued a report entitled Marihuana: A signal of misunderstanding which was the first report by the United States Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse, was largely dismissive of specious claims that there was danger in its use, and recommended ending marijuana prohibition and adopting other methods to discourage use.

Specifically, it debunked false claims made about cannabis, and found that, contrary to earlier assertions made about during efforts to keep it illegal,

“marihuana was usually found to inhibit the expression of aggressive impulses by pacifying the user.”

It stated further that,

“neither informed current professional opinion nor empirical research, ranging from the 1930’s to the present, has produced systematic evidence to support the thesis that marihuana use, by itself, either invariably or generally leads to or causes crime, including acts of violence, juvenile delinquency or aggressive behavior.”

Another infamously false claim that marijuana use caused “insanity,” was similarly debunked, and the Commission wrote that

“previous estimates of marihuana’s role in causing crime and insanity were based on quite erroneous information.”

They even warned that
maintaining cannabis’ illegal status
“carries heavy social costs”
and that
“the better method {to discourage its use}
is persuasion
rather than prosecution.”

And in fact, they wrote that “we reject the total prohibition approach and its variations” and instead recommended “a decriminalization of possession of marihuana for personal use on both the state and federal levels.”

A portion of their recommendation was regulation, and wrote in part that “by establishing a legitimate channel of supply and distribution, society can theoretically control the quality and potency of the product.”

Of course, none of the recommendations were followed, and instead, Nixon, the paranoid president who maintained an “enemies list” (and recorded conversations, and narrowly missed criminal indictment, for which reason he resigned the Presidency), initiated his now-infamously-failed “War on Drugs,” and kept marijuana listed on Schedule I.

Nixon’s Domestic Policy Advisor, John Erlichman (1925-1999), was quoted by Dan Baum in Harper’s Magazine April 2016, and said the following of Nixon’s War on Drugs:

“The Nixon campaign in 1968,
and the Nixon White House after that,
had two enemies:
The antiwar left and Black people.
You understand what I’m saying?
We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be
either against the war or Black,
but by getting the public to
associate the hippies with marijuana
and Blacks with heroin,
and then criminalizing both heavily,
we could disrupt those communities.
We could arrest their leaders,
raid their homes,
break up their meetings,
and vilify them night after night on the evening news.
Did we know we were lying about the drugs?
Of course we did.”

Such statements seem to very clearly suggest that laws prohibiting cannabis consumption were left in place for one purpose alone, and that is to use the instrument of law to keep under foot those who might be socially undesirable – most notably, the poor, and ethnic minorities – and that is an egregious abuse of law, and contradicts almost every idea of equality under law in our Constitution.

Our Federal government, along with State and Local governments, regulates and taxes beverage Alcohol and Tobacco (which is 2/3 of the ATF’s name), and does so successfully, and in the process, generates significant revenue for all three levels of governments. Along with that, entrepreneurial enterprises in those two industries hire almost countless numbers of people, and generate significant revenue nationally, and globally through export.

The Libertarian think-tank Cato Institute, in their statement which decries that which they call the “nanny state,” quotes late, former POTUS Ronald Reagan in former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan’s book “The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World,” as having said, “Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves.” (Penguin Press, Chapter 4, (p. 87), 2007.)

In keeping with the overall sentiment expressed in the Shafer Commission report, Read the rest of this entry »

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50 Years Of Failure – Total Wa$te Of Time And Money

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, June 17, 2021

How long does it take to see a failed social experiment for what it is – a total, abysmal failure, which has taken a wrecking ball to society?

Apparently, at least 50 years.

We learned much more quickly with beverage alcohol.


The War On Drugs: 50 Years Later

After 50 Years Of The War On Drugs, “What Good Is It Doing For Us?”

https://www.npr.org/2021/06/17/1006495476/after-50-years-of-the-war-on-drugs-what-good-is-it-doing-for-us

When Aaron Hinton walked through the housing project in Brownsville on a recent summer afternoon, he voiced love and pride for this tight-knit, but troubled working-class neighborhood in New York City where he grew up.

He pointed to a community garden, the lush plots of vegetables and flowers tended by volunteers, and to the library where he has led after-school programs for kids.

But he also expressed deep rage and sorrow over the scars left by the nation’s 50-year-long War on Drugs. “What good is it doing for us?,” Hinton asked.

As the United States’ harsh approach to drug use and addiction hits the half-century milestone, this question is being asked by a growing number of lawmakers, public health experts and community leaders.

In many parts of the U.S., some of the most severe policies implemented during the drug war are being scaled back or scrapped altogether.

Hinton, a 37-year-old community organizer and activist, said the reckoning is long overdue. He described watching Black men like himself get caught up in drugs year after year and swept into the nation’s burgeoning prison system.

“They’re spending so much money on these prisons to keep kids locked up. They don’t even spend a fraction of that money sending them to college or some kind of school,”  said Hinton, shaking his head.

Republican President Richard Nixon explains aspects of the special message sent to the Congress, June 17, 1971, asking for an extra $155 million for a new program to start his infamous social experiment which he called the “War on Drugs.” He labeled addiction and drug misuse “a national emergency” and said the money would be used to “tighten the noose around the necks of drug peddlers and thereby loosen the noose around the necks of drug users.” In 50 years, his plan has proven to be an abysmal failure. Behind him on the LEFT is Egil Krogh, Deputy Director of the Domestic Council. At right is Dr. Jerome Jaffe, MD who Nixon recruited to lead a new drug strategy. (AP Photo/Harvey Georges)

Hinton has lived his whole life under the drug war. He said Brownsville needed help coping with cocaine, heroin and drug-related crime that took root here in the 1970s and 1980s.

His own family was scarred by addiction.

“I’ve known my mom to be a drug user my whole entire life. She chose to run the streets and left me with my great-grandmother,” Hinton said.

Four years ago, his mom overdosed and died after taking prescription painkillers, part of the opioid epidemic that has killed hundreds of thousands of Americans.

Hinton said her death sealed his belief that tough drug war policies and aggressive police tactics would never make his family or his community safer.

The nation pivots (slowly) as evidence mounts against the drug war

During months of interviews for this project, NPR found a growing consensus across the political spectrum — including among some in law enforcement — that the drug war simply didn’t work.

“We have been involved in the failed War on Drugs for so very long,” said retired Major Neill Franklin, a retired Major with the Baltimore City Police and the Maryland State Police who led drug task forces for years.

During a press conference this week, he said, Read the rest of this entry »

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Joe Manchin, Kyrsten Sinema & John C. Calhoun Walk Into A Bar…

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, June 12, 2021

Joe orders a Black Russian, Kyrsten orders a White Russian, and John C. Calhoun orders a filibuster.

Nobody got any drinks.

West Virginia U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, a Democrat in his 2nd term has an illustrious history as a public servant which began with election to the state’s House of Delegates, then to the State Senate, and from there to statewide office as WV Secretary of State, and then as Governor.

In a June 6, 2021 Op-Ed published in the Charleston Gazette-Mail, he announced his opposition to H.R.1 – the “For the People Act of 2021” – ostensibly because of a wholesale lack of Republican support for it, including opposition to the idea of eliminating the filibuster.

Among other things, the bill would unify election law throughout the 50 United States by establishing uniform standards for federal elections, establish non-partisan independent state redistricting commissions in all 50 states, establish a Federal Judicial Code of Conduct, outlaw any action that would “corruptly hinder, interfere with, or prevent another person from registering to vote” or assisting another to register to vote, mandate “motor voter” registration when applying for a driver license, prohibit partisan voting registration “dirty tricks” to cull voters without their knowledge, require voter-verified permanent paper ballots, mandate early voting, as well as numerous other significantly beneficial improvements to national security and election law.

Relatedly, Arizona Senator Krysten Sinema, a Democrat two years into her first term, has announced her opposition to eliminating the filibuster – a procedural tool most often used by the minority to thwart legislation, by requiring at least 60 votes to proceed, thereby preventing it from even being discussed, in order to effectively kill the prospective measure.

The Senate’s 2 Independents – Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and Angus King of Maine – caucus with the Democrats, and in the case of now-rare tie votes, the Vice President Kamala Harris would cast any tie-breaking vote… if it weren’t for the filibuster – which has now degenerated into a mere threat, with no real “action” required to “activate” it, per se. It has become the quintessential model, and most public example of, pathological passive-aggressive behavior – doing nothing (the passive behavior) to control, or manipulate others (the aggressive behavior).

Back To The Future

At one time, or another, Republicans and Democrats have separately expressed desire to eliminate the obstructionist tactic of the filibuster, which was not supported by the Founders, but rather, was a response to Vice President Aaron Burr’s criticism (shortly after his indictment for the murder of Alexander Hamilton) that the Senate’s rules were a mess, with numerous rules that duplicated each other, and in particular, singled out the “previous question” motion. So, when the Senate met the next year in 1806, they eliminated the “previous question” motion of parliamentary procedure, which functionally ceased debate using a simple majority vote… because Aaron Burr told them to.

Deleting that rule did not immediately cause filibusters to break out all over, but merely made it possible for them to happen — because there was no longer a Senate rule that could have enabled a simple majority to cut off debate. It was only several decades later in 1837 that the minority exploited the insufficient limits on rules of debate, and had the first filibuster.

There were three essential reasons why the filibuster was so rare, and infrequently used before the Civil War, because:

1.) The Senate operated by majority rule, and Senators expected that matters would be brought to a vote;
2.) The Senate had little work to do in that era, and there was plenty of time to wait out any opposition, and;
3.) Voting coalitions in the Senate were not as polarized as they later became.

Catch-22

As our nation grew, and added states, so did the Senate add more members. With growth, came increased work. And by 1880, every Congress had at least one episode of filibustered obstructionism, most of which were unconcerned with important matters of the day, and instead were focused upon trivial, inconsequential matters.

So, when filibusters did occur, Senate leaders tried to ban them. Throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries Senate leaders tried to reinstate the “previous question” motion – but they failed repeatedly – and ever since, have long sought a procedure to end debate on any given matter.

More often than not, senators gave up any hope for reform when they became aware that opponents to the elimination of the filibuster would kill any such effort at changing the rules to eliminate the filibuster — ironically, by filibustering — thereby putting the majority’s other priorities at risk. Because they were unable to reform the Senate’s rules, leaders developed other innovations such as unanimous consent agreements, which measures were an option of second resort for managing a chamber which by then, was prone to filibusters.

In response, the Senate changed… but not by much.

“Unanimous Consent” agreements emerged like mushrooms after a springtime rain shower. And then, cloture was created in 1917 during the waning days of World War I. Not “simple majority” cloture, but “supermajority” cloture. The Senate filibustered for 23 days following President Woodrow Wilson’s proposal to arm merchant marine ships during WWI. It also ground to a halt all other work in the Senate. The President criticized the Senate by saying it was

“the only legislative body in the world which cannot act when its majority is ready for action. A little group of willful men, representing no opinion but their own, have rendered the great government of the United States helpless and contemptible.”

In response to President Wilson’s withering criticism, a bipartisan Senate committee was formed to negotiate the form of the rule. Five of the six Democrats supported a simple majority rule; one Republican supported a supermajority rule; and one Republican preferred no rule. Negotiators then struck a compromise:

1.) Cloture would require two-thirds of senators voting;
2.) Opponents promised not to block or weaken the proposal, and;
3.) Supporters promised to drop their own proposal for simple majority cloture — a proposal which was supported by at least 40 senators.

Rule 22 – the cloture rule, to cease filibuster by a two-thirds majority vote – was adopted 76-3, on March 8, 1917.

Just Say No

Without Senators Manchin and Sinema’s support on vital bills forwarded from the narrow Democratic majority House, it’s practically assured that Republicans – who control 50 Senate seats – will once again, control movements of all legislation, despite the fact that when they were in control as the majority, they “circled their wagons” and got things done, even with Democratic opposition.

And, at a recent press event in his home state on May 5, 2021, Senate Minority Leader Kentucky Republican “Moscow” Mitch McConnell said,

“One hundred percent of our focus is on stopping this new administration.”

So, it very much looks like the Senate’s legislative “Grim Reaper” is back to his old manipulative tricks, despite being in the minority – just because he can.

Prophecy Fulfilled

As many political scientists, politicians, and analysts have observed, increasingly, the formerly Grand Old Party is losing grassroots support on a broad basis. But, it’s not as if such problems weren’t predictable. On February 1, 1993 Washington Post Reporter Michael Weisskopf wrote that:

“The gospel lobby evolved with the explosion of satellite and cable television, hitting its national political peak in the presidential election of Ronald Reagan in 1980.

“Unlike other powerful interests, it does not lavish campaign funds on candidates for Congress nor does it entertain them. The strength of fundamentalist leaders lies in their flocks. Corporations pay public relations firms millions of dollars to contrive the kind of grass-roots response that Falwell or Pat Robertson can galvanize in a televised sermon. Their followers are largely poor, uneducated and easy to command.

“The thing that makes them powerful, is they’re mobilizable. You can activate them to vote, and that’s particularly important in congressional primaries where the turnout is usually low. Some studies put the number of evangelical Americans as high as 40 million, with the vast majority considered politically conservative,” said Seymour Martin Lipset (d.2006), professor of public policy at George Mason University.”

What Michael Weisskopf wrote caused such an outrage and an uproar, so much so to the extent that the Post was moved to write some type of retraction as a “correction.”

It’s always easier to ask forgiveness, than permission.

But, what Weisskopf wrote about the predominately Rural, Republican-voting, White Protestant Evangelicals – that “Their followers are largely poor, uneducated and easy to command” – was true then, and it’s even more true now.

Folks don’t get mad because of falsehoods, or scurrilous accusations.

They get mad because of truth.

While campaigning for the Republican party’s nomination, after winning Nevada’s Republican caucuses on February 23, 2016, the later-45th President exclaimed, “I love the poorly-educated!”

Of course he does — because they’re too stupid to know when they’re being played for a fool. And he played them like a fiddle – like Nero, while Rome burned.

The once-Grand Old Party has demonstrably become the Party of Poorly-Educated, Low-Skilled, Poorly-Paid and Often-Impoverished, Rural Working Class Whites who watch and believe Fox News like religion – especially men – who twice voted for Trump, still believe his Big Lie, earn well under $50K annually, and increasingly vote Republican – against their own best self-interest.

They support candidates whose exclusive guiding political philosophy is to refuse endorsing higher wages, healthcare, education, and other matters of direct concern to them and their families, and magically believe that a privatized, laissez-faire free market everything will solve all problems. They are becoming, or have become, a minority voting bloc whose interests are not represented by the political party for which they increasingly vote.

They are, in essence, deluded.

We’re Going Down

In the few days before the January 6 insurrectionist attack upon Congress at the Capitol, led by far right-wing extremist Kentucky Republican Representative Read the rest of this entry »

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A Taxing Proposition

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, June 9, 2021

“Taxes are what we pay for civilized society, including the chance to insure.


A penalty, on the other hand, is intended altogether to prevent the thing punished.”

–– U.S. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., dissenting opinion, “Compañía General de Tabacos de Filipinas v. Collector of Internal Revenue,” 275 U.S. 87, October term 1927, p100

On that court were Chief Justice William Howard Taft; Associate Justices Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.; Willis Van Devanter; James C. McReynolds; Louis Brandeis; George Sutherland; Pierce Butler; Edward T. Sanford, and; Harlan F. Stone.

Holmes, Brandeis, and Taft are the only names many remember from that group.

Then-POTUS Warren G. Harding, a Republican, nominated Taft, also a Republican, to become Chief Justice (1921–1930) following the death of CJ Edward Douglass White, a Democrat, whom Taft had appointed as CJ in December 1910, while Taft was serving as President (1909–1913). Taft is, to-date, the only individual to have ever served in both positions – President, and SCOTUS Chief Justice.

But, here are a couple interesting facts:

1.) From July 4, 1901 until December 23, 1903, Taft was Governor-General of the Philippines, having been appointed by POTUS William McKinley. Having held that office previously, he should have recused himself from the 1927 case “Compañía General de Tabacos de Filipinas v. Collector of Internal Revenue.” But, he did not.

2.) Edward Douglass White served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War, was a strident segregationist, and upheld racist laws which came before the court, including the notorious Plessy v. Ferguson case which gave rise to the “separate but equal” doctrine, and reinforced racist practices in the United States.

Today, such obvious conflicts of interest would not be tolerated. And I note this with a mark of appreciation: Justice Brett Kavanaugh recently recused himself (did not participate in) from a recent case before the court, because his father held some stock in one company being represented to the court.

Technically, “involvement” at that level exclusively doesn’t violate ethics rules, but having erred on the side of caution – exercised jurisprudential reservation – is commendable. That is because it demonstrates Read the rest of this entry »

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America Invented Global Narcotraffickers

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, June 4, 2021

Make no mistake, I openly advocate for the wholesale legalization, taxation, and regulation of cannabis similarly as is done for beverage alcohol — though I have not always. And yet, as a licensed healthcare professional, I am under no misguided notion that there are genuine scientific considerations to be had.

Like many others, this is not a simple matter, per se — it is as complex as we human beings, with myriad matters which “Just Say ‘NO!’” has never, nor will ever, satisfy. Science and understanding is not advanced by the word “NO!”

Similarly as well, there is practically no disagreement that historic American jurisprudence on the matter not only had its genesis with deep roots in racism – which remains to this day – but has almost single-handedly created the global criminal cabal of narcotrafficking enterprises that have now become international terrorist organizations. It has now become a matter of national security, and not just for the United States. Global security is predicated upon addressing these concerns.

Jesus Malverde is a mythical figure, allegedly born as Jesús Juárez Mazo on December 24, 1870, just outside Culiacán, the state capital of Sinaloa, whom is said to be the “patron saint” of “narcotraficantes” (drug traffickers), and is known by his devotees as “el ángel de los pobres” (the angel of the poor).
According to legend, he was a lifetime resident of Sinaloa, an historically poverty-stricken area which is now recognized as the de facto headquarters location for a bloodthirsty global narcotrafficking cartel bearing the state’s name, which is infamous for their nefarious misdeeds, cold-blooded murders, and other heinous acts.
The legends, which vary widely, typically assert that Malverde was a “Robinhood” type character, who stole from the wealthy and distributed to the poor. In reality, narco-money has significantly revitalized Sinaloa, and to a large extent, reinforced ancient customs, including the veneration of folk saints as Jesus Malverde.

It is, in fact, fueling the civil sociopolitical upheaval in Central American nations such as Read the rest of this entry »

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GOP Insurrectionists

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, June 2, 2021

The Insurrectionist wing of the Republican Party has problems.

Fox News Republicans…

…Live in their own little world.

But most objective observers already knew that – or, at least, strongly suspected it.

Now, scientific research has shown it to be true.

On practically every issue in society touching upon government has policy, or law, Fox News Republicans are far right wing extremists on everything.

And, their opinion of the 45th President is similarly high – and disturbingly so, at 98%.

The negative correlation – that of overwhelmingly negative views of high-profile Democrats – is no less than 93%.

There is in many cases a disparity between Fox News Republicans (FNRs) and Republicans (Rs). For example, FNRs gave the 45th President an 80% Strongly Approve (SA) rating, while Non-Fox News Republicans (NFNRs)  gave him 42% Strong Approval (SA). There were similar disparities between FNRs and NFNRs on matters of economic importance, with FNRs expressing 86% SA, while NFNRs were 53% SA.

Even on handling of the coronavirus pandemic, FNRs were almost double the SA difference with 59%, while NFNRs were 29%. And on dealing with protests following police killings of Black Americans, FNRs had 55% SA, while NFNRs had 28% SA.

The disparity, chasm, and gulf between FNRs an NFNRs demonstrates that the Once Grand Old Party is not merely fractured, fissured, or split, but broken asunder, and perhaps beyond repair.

The differences and the issues were almost stereotypical in their responses, whether Abortion, Appointment of SCOTUS Justices, Jobs/Unemployment, Immigration, Federal Deficit, Trade Agreements, Healthcare, coronavirus pandemic, Foreign governments’ interference in US election, Racial inequality, Increasing disparity between rich & poor, and climate change. The differences between FNRs an NFNRs was at least 3%, and as great as 20%+.

And this is telling, as well:

“Fox News Republicans are more likely than all Americans and non–Fox News Republicans to say that Confederate symbols are more symbols of Southern pride than symbols of racism. More than nine in ten Fox News Republicans believe that both Confederate flags (92%) and monuments to Confederate soldiers (94%) are symbols of Southern pride. Non–Fox News Republicans are only somewhat less likely to say the same about flags and monuments (81% and 87%, respectively). All Americans are much more divided, with 47% who say the flag is a symbol of Southern pride and 59% who say the same of Confederate monuments.”

And interestingly, they also believe that they are victims of discrimination:

“Consistent with their other views on discrimination, more than eight in ten Fox News Republicans (83%) agree with the statement that “discrimination against white Americans has become as big a problem as discrimination against Black Americans and other minorities.” Two-thirds of non-Fox News Republicans (66%) agree with the statement, compared to just 42% of all Americans.”

Fox News Republicans
• Urban/Suburban 79
• White 81
• Male 57
• Evangelical/Mainline Protestant 36/21
• No College Degree 70
• Attend religious services once or more weekly 46
• Almost evenly distributed ages 30-65+ 30-49/30; 50-64/28; 65+/32
• Household income $50,000-$100,000 43

The survey was conducted in all 50 states by Read the rest of this entry »

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Is White Supremacy The New World Order?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, May 31, 2021

Let’s get one thing straight: The United States Department of Justice, agencies of National Security, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation should waste no time in rounding up White Supremacist scum and prosecuting them for every imaginable crime, hate crime, treason, using RICO statutes, and every law enforcement tool available to them.

The Capital Police should have used flame throwers to quell the goddamned insurrectionists, and cooked those domestic terrorist motherfuckers to a toasty, black, crispy piece of garbage.

Every. God. Damn. One. Of. Them.


From the Past, a Chilling Warning About the Extremists of the Present

By Neil MacFarquhar
May 1 ,2021

June 18, 1984 – Alan Berg, a liberal Jewish attorney talk show host in Denver, Colorado at KHOW Radlo, lies slain in the driveway of his townhome, next to his black VW Beetle convertible. He had returned from dinner date with his wife and was gunned down in retaliation for speaking his views opposing White Supremacy and racism by members of White Supremacist group “The Order” who illegally modified a semi-automatic MAC-10 to become a fully automatic submachine gun, and was shot 12 times. (Photo By Lyn Alweis/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

They robbed an armored car outside a sprawling Seattle shopping mall.

They bombed a synagogue in Boise, Idaho, and within weeks assassinated a Jewish talk radio attorney host in Denver.

Then a month later, they plundered another armored car on a California highway in a spectacular daylight heist that netted more than $3.6 million.

What initially seemed to F.B.I. agents like distant, disparate crimes turned out to be the opening salvos in a war against the federal government by members of a violent extremist group called the Order, who sought to establish a Whites-only homeland out West.

Their crime spree played out in 1984. Fast forward to 2021. Federal agents and prosecutors who dismantled the Order see troubling echoes of its threat to democracy in the Capitol riot and the growing extremist activity across the country.

“When you see the country as politically and philosophically divided as it is today, that makes it more likely that somebody could take advantage of these times to bring about another revolutionary concept like the Order. We stopped the Order. We did not stop the ideology,” said Wayne F. Manis, the main F.B.I. agent on the case.

Those who tracked the Order say the legacy of the group can be seen in the prominent role that far-right extemist organizations like the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers played in storming the Capitol on January 6.

“Many of the participants of these groups today come from the same sources as the Order. I think they might be just as committed to totally changing democracy as we know it,” said Gene Wilson, the lead prosecutor, who went on to become a U.S. Magistrate Judge in Seattle before switching to private practice.

The agents who played central roles in disbanding the Order still consider it the most important case of their lives. Given the Order’s “potential for violence and destruction,” said Mr. Manis, no other domestic group posed a similar threat to the United States.

The Order collapsed after Read the rest of this entry »

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iPhone Coronavirus Party In Vietnam

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, May 30, 2021

Who doesn’t like their iPhone?

The world’s most popular smartphone is ubiquitous.

And we Westerners must genuinely appreciate the slave labor used to manufacture the parts that go into the handheld electronic communication device.

And without access to cheap slave labor from our Oriental brothers and sisters in Vietnam, China, and other Southeast Asian nations, we couldn’t enjoy using the electronic devices that so captivate our attention, anesthetizing us to their, and others’ suffering.

The liberal ideal of so-called “free trade” has been perverted.

Rather than being used by our nation as a tool to sow seeds of freedom, and cultivate the fruits of liberty, it’s being abused to enslave others far from our shores in the guise of “profitability” and “progress.”

Aided and abetted by their Wall Street corporate masters and pecuniary overlords, American slavery has been exported as a material good to enrich the few at the expense of the many.

And Republicans scoff at Massachusetts Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren’s chastizement of JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and other banksters who enriched themselves, and their corporate coffers, by TENS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS by simply continuing to charge overdraft fees to their customers who’d lost their livelihoods, jobs, and income during the the coronavirus pandemic – even though the Federal Reserve not only cut them significant fiscal slack, but also encouraged them to pass such beneficence along to their customers by forgiving such fees.

They did no such thing.

And what will democratic, freedom-loving American beneficence and largesse do in this instance?

My bet is on “Nothing.”

Gotta’ make no’ munny fuh massa’.


Vietnam Detects New Highly Transmissible Coronavirus Variant : Coronavirus Updates

https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2021/05/29/1001590855/vietnam-detects-new-highly-transmissible-coronavirus-variant

Vietnam has detected a new coronavirus variant that is highly transmissible and has features of two other strains.

“Vietnam has uncovered a new COVID-19 variant combining characteristics of the two existing variants first found in India and the U.K.,” Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said, according to Reuters. “That the new one is Read the rest of this entry »

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Moscow Mitch McConnell Redux As Senate “Grim Reaper”

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, May 26, 2021

“Some folks just need killin’.”


Moscow Mitch McConnell Redux As Senate “Grim Reaper”

https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/555877-mcconnell-returns-as-senate-grim-reaper

By Alexander Bolton, 05/29/21 05:52 AM EDT

Too bad he didn’t hit his head and die. The world would have been much better off without “Moscow” Mitch McConnell, seen here as then-Kentucky Republican Senate Majority Leader proudly displaying the Nike brand athletic shoes which he blames for his fall which ironically, injured his LEFT shoulder.

The Senate’s self-proclaimed “Grim Reaper” has returned.

Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell of KY is keeping his Republican conference largely unified, and it’s creating major obstacles to President Biden’s legislative agenda.

McConnell has maintained the loyalty of his fellow GOP senators despite repeated attacks by former President Trump, who has called on Senate Republicans to oust him as their leader.

And it was McConnell’s opposition to a House-passed bill establishing a bipartisan January 6 commission that snuffed out the legislation in the Senate on Friday.

One GOP senator said the measure would have garnered enough votes to pass the chamber and eventually land on POTUS Biden’s desk had McConnell not gotten involved.

“The vote on the commission would have had 60 votes in the absence of McConnell’s position,” said the Republican lawmaker who ended up voting against the bill.

The senator said the vote outcome was a good example of just how influential McConnell is in the conference.

McConnell warned GOP senators at a Republican lunch earlier this week that Read the rest of this entry »

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A Radicalized Supreme Court

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, May 24, 2021

Democratic senators say if the Supreme Court strikes a blow against Roe v. Wade by upholding a Mississippi abortion law, it will fuel an effort to add justices to the court or otherwise reform it.

The Supreme Court’s conservative majority this week agreed to hear the Mississippi case, which could dramatically narrow abortion rights by allowing states to make it illegal to get an abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

“It will inevitably fuel and drive an effort to expand the Supreme Court if this activist majority betrays fundamental constitutional principles,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“It’s already driving that movement,” he added.

Senator Blumenthal said it doesn’t mean that a Congress led by Democrats would immediately be able to add justices to the court, but he suggested it would add momentum to reform efforts at a minimum.

“Chipping away at Roe v. Wade will precipitate a seismic movement to reform the Supreme Court. It may not be expanding the Supreme Court, it may be making changes to its jurisdiction, or requiring a certain numbers of votes to strike down certain past precedents,” he said.

No one knows for sure when the Supreme Court will hand down its decision on the Mississippi abortion law, but it is widely expected to hear arguments after it convenes in October. That could set up a decision next year.

Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D), another member of the Judiciary Committee, said the court’s review of the Mississippi law raises serious concerns.

“It really enlivens the concerns that we have about the extent to which right-wing billionaire money has influenced the makeup of the court and may even be pulling strings at the court,” he said.

“We’ve got a whole array of options we’re looking at in the courts committee,” Senator Whitehouse said of the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States, which President Biden established by executive order in April.

Senator Whitehouse said even if Read the rest of this entry »

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Electric Automobiles: Putting The Naysayers To Rest

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, May 17, 2021

A friend in Alabama, whom is the quintessential example of a Trump supporter – a White, poorly-educated, hard-shell, far right-wing, Christian Baptist Evangelical RINO – recently sent this to me.

I have no idea where he found it – I didn’t ask, and he didn’t say – though I rather suspect that, more likely than not, he found it on Facebook somewhere. (And indeed, that is the case.) So I can’t, and won’t attempt, to vouch for the claims made in the accompanying description, which is, as it’s read, but an oblique, limp, halfhearted, milquetoast denunciation of renewable energy and Electric Vehicles – and a phenomenally poor one, at that.


“This is Read the rest of this entry »

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Gaetz Of Hell: Joel Greenberg Cops Pleas To 6 Federal Felonies, Child Sex Trafficking, Identity Theft, Wire Fraud, Conspiracy, Etc.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, May 14, 2021

No ham sandwich needed.

Solomon “Sol” Wachtler (b.1930), the former Republican Chief Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals, coined the phrase “indict a ham sandwich” in a January 1985 interview with Marcia Kramer and Frank Lombardi of the New York Daily News.

In part, the article read that:

“In a bid to make prosecutors more accountable for their actions, Chief Judge Sol Wachtler has proposed that the state scrap the grand jury system of bringing criminal indictments.

“Wachtler, who became the state’s top judge earlier this month, said district attorneys now have so much influence on grand juries that “by and large” they could get them to “indict a ham sandwich.”

A month later, the New York Times noted that Judge Wachtler believed that Grand Juries “operate more often as the prosecutor’s pawn than the citizen’s shield.”

That belief – that Prosecutors can get Grand Juries to do whatever they want them to do – may sound familiar to anyone who has read, or heard, news items of the criticisms of almost any Grand Jury in the United States.

But, of course, the adage doesn’t always true.

At least not in this instance, when the Feds have the goods on their will-plead-guilty-Monday-morning 17 May 2021 suspect – such as DNA and fingerprints – and as an unexpected by-product of the investigation are – more than likely –  working on another very closely-related suspect, who – as of yet – remains unnamed, and unindicted.

That as-yet unnamed, and unindicted suspect would be Florida’s Republican Representative for the 1st Congressional District, Matt Gaetz.

Gatez and Greenberg are each quintessential examples of a Florida Manchild. They’re each multi-millionaires from daddy’s money – Greenberg from his father’s dental clinics, and Gaetz from his father’s pharmaceutical interests – and are, as such, spoiled brats and children of privilege who think the world is their oyster.


One “Florida Man” in the headline, of course, is Joel Greenberg, who was formerly a Tax Collector for Seminole County, Florida, and a very good buddy to the other Florida Man, the Banana Republican Florida Representative Matt Gaetz of the state’s 1st Congressional District in Fort Walton.

After his election to public office, Greenberg immediately began ingratiating himself to Trump supporters, and spoke at a rally in Sanford, FL in late 2016. Investigative reporting by the New York Times found that Greenberg and Gaetz had initially met one another through their support of Trump some time in 2017 and in June that year, Gaetz suggested to Greenberg that he consider campaigning for U.S. Congress. And on July 8 that year, Greenberg posted on Twitter a picture himself, along with convicted Federal felon, Nixon aficionado and political dirty-trickster Roger Stone, and Gaetz.

In this September 30, 2019, file photo, Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg talks to the Orlando Sentinel during an interview at his office in Lake Mary, Florida. As a key figure in the federal investigation of Republican Representative Matt Gaetz, Greenberg is expected to plead guilty to criminal charges next week. Joel Greenberg will appear Monday, 17 May 2021 in Federal court in Orlando, Florida for a change of plea hearing, according to court documents. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel via AP, File)

Investigation into Greenberg’s dealings was first initiated by the Secret Service, in response to complaints that he improperly used county resources to mine Bitcoin… after cryptocurrency mining computers he’d purchased with taxpayer dollars for his private personal use caused an electrical system overload, resulting in a fire, which altogether caused over $7000 worth of uninsured damage to Seminole County property.

When the Feds wrapped up their investigation into Greenberg and his activities, they had leveled a 33 count indictment of violating several Federal laws – on charges ranging from stalking to sex trafficking, and conspiracy to fraud – so a plea deal down to 6 is a significant reduction – a very nearly 82% reduction.

David Weinstein, a former Assistant US Attorney for the Southern District of Florida said of Greenberg’s plea deal that, “His cooperation requires him to be providing truthful testimony and to provide it at the government’s request.”

As part of his plea agreement, on Monday, 17 May 2021 in Orlando at the George C. Young Federal Annex Courthouse in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Joel Greenberg will admit to recruiting women for commercial sexual exploitation, paying them over $70K from 2016 to 2018, including at least one underage girl then-aged 17, whom he paid to have sex with him, and with others, including Matt Gaetz.

Greenberg’s Plea Agreement, which he signed, and was filed Friday, 14 May 2021, states that he will plead guilty to:

Count One: Sex Trafficking of a Child – 18 USC § 1591
Count Eight: Producing a False ID – 18 US § 1028(a)(1)
Count Nine: Aggravated Identity Theft – 18 USA § 1028A
Count Fourteen: Wire Fraud – 18 USC § 1343
Count Twenty-Four: Stalking – 18 USC § 2261A
County Twenty-Six: Conspiracy – 18 USC § 371

Minimum & Maximum Penalties

Count One: Mandatory Minimum 10 years, up to life, $250,000 fine, supervised release not less than 5 years up to life, special assessment $100

Count Eight: Maximum sentence 15 years, $250,000 fine, 3 years supervised release, special assessment $100

Count Nine: Mandatory Minimum 2 years (consecutive to any other conviction), $250,000 fine, 1 year supervised release, special assessment $100

Count Fourteen: Maximum 20 years, $250,000 fine or 2x gross loss caused by offense – whichever is greater, 3 years supervised release, special assessment $100

Count Twenty-Four: 5 years maximum $250,000 fine, 3 years supervised release, special assessment $100

Count Twenty-Six: Maximum 15 years, $250,000 fine or twice gross gain or loss caused by offense – whichever is greater, 3 years supervised release, special assessment $100 – because offense was committed while on pre-trial release, and was warned about it

Federal prosecutors say that Greenberg abused his public office as Tax Collector for Seminole County, Florida not only by embezzling $400,000, but also by improperly using a statewide driver license database to “investigate” information about sexual partners, including a then-17-year old girl with whom he, and others had paid to have sex with.

He was also charged with numerous violations of the Federal Driver’s Privacy Protection Act, on multiple counts of producing a fraudulent identification document and creating false identification documents, along with aggravated identity theft.

Specifically, Greenberg also abused his elected office by using “his access to the Seminole County Tax Collector’s Office to take surrendered driver licenses before they were shredded,” and then he “used the surrendered driver licenses that he had taken to cause fake driver licenses to be produced that had his photograph but the personal information of the victims whose driver licenses he had taken.”

Prosecutors also say that Greenberg’s corrupt house of cards began to crumble with a series of falsified letters which Greenberg had crafted and mailed [fraudulent use of U.S. Mail] which purported to be from a non-existent “very concerned student” enrolled at a private prep school where Brian Beute – a Republican candidate for Tax Collector and political opponent – taught music, and falsely alleged that the music teacher (Greenberg’s political opponent) had engaged in sexual misconduct with another student.

As part of that Roger-Stone-initiated ruse, he also created fake social media accounts in order to pose as Beute, or others, in an attempt to discredit him.

But his problems began in earnest last summer when he was arrested on charges of stalking his political opponent.

Republicans excel, are expert in, and frequent users of, the tactic of psychological projection – falsely claiming that an opponent is engaging in the very activities which they (the accuser) are/have engaged in.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Roger B. Handberg III testified in court that investigators found Greenberg’s fingerprints and DNA on the letters, and traced the fake social media accounts to his computer’s IP address.

Prosecutors say that Greenberg initially met the under-age girl through Read the rest of this entry »

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The “Gig” Economy is A Rigged Economy

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, May 13, 2021

“If I don’t have gas, I don’t work,” said Ronald Ross, 47, a DoorDash driver in Atlanta, as he fueled up his Chevy sedan.

Asked about government requests to avoid hoarding, he said:
“Forget that. It’s first come first serve. People have to look out for themselves. As long as they’re peaceful and all.”

https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/panicked-drivers-southeast-us-swarm-pumps-ignore-pleas-stop-hoarding-2021-05-12/


I ordered pizza recently from Little Caesars – they use DoorDash. They don’t have their own delivery driver employees like most other pizza companies do – even small ones. And unlike other standard traditional transactions in which one pays the vendor for their product, in the DoorDash model, you pay them EVERYTHING. The merchant does not bill.

DoorDash charged very handsomely for the service (various “fees” and such), and their total was about $10 – almost ½ the pizza price – most of which ($9) went to them.

There was a space for a tip. I purposely left it blank because Read the rest of this entry »

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Research: 550,000+ Firearm-Related Hospitalizations 2000-2016

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, May 5, 2021

States in the Deep South lead the nation in average per capita firearm-related hospitalizations.

Average Firearm Injury Hospitalization Rate per 100,000, 2000–2016

1.) Louisiana – 24
2.) Tennessee – 18
3.) Alabama – 16
4.) Missouri – 16
5.) Maryland – 16
6.) Michigan – 14
7.) Illinois – 13
8.) North Carolina – 13
9.) South Carolina – 13
10.) Mississippi – 13
11.) Arizona – 13
12.) Arkansas – 12
13.) Delaware – 12
14.) Pennsylvania – 12
15.) Nevada – 12
16.) California – 12
17.) Oklahoma – 11
18.) Texas – 10
19.) Kansas – 10
20.) Indiana – 10
21.) Ohio – 10
22.) Kentucky – 9
23.) Virginia – 8

The national average is 10.

Ongoing and recently updated research by the RAND Corporation – a nonprofit, nonpartisan, research organization working in the public interest to develop solutions to public policy challenges to improve communities nationally, and worldwide by making them healthier, and more prosperous, safer, and more secure – showed that nationally:

“In 2018, 39,740 individuals in the United States were killed by firearms, making firearm violence the second leading cause of injury death in the United States (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], undated).

“As part of the Gun Policy in America initiative, RAND researchers developed a longitudinal database of state-level estimates of inpatient hospitalizations for firearm injury between 2000 and 2016. This database was first released in 2021 and is free to the public.

RAND researcher Dr. Andrew Morral, PhD who is the Senior Behavioral Scientist, and Director of the National Collaborative on Gun Violence Research there, tweeted recently (April 28) that:

“Why are firearm hospitalizations not correlated with gun ownership in observed state hospitalization data or our estimates? Because they chiefly result from criminal assaults (vs. suicides) and these are not correlated with household gun ownership.”

This type of research is a phenomenally difficult proposition, and highly complicated undertaking, and the entirety of the paper is spent detailing and explaining their methodology, and sources, because not every state provides information to, or participates in HCUP, the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project.

As well, data had to be compared and cross-referenced with other similarly related databases, such as the FBI’s annual UCR – Uniform Crime Report.

And then, they get into the math – the statistical analysis – and explain the formulae used, which then has to be checked with other external mathematical models to determine, and ensure a high level of accuracy. In short, this is not “relaxing reading” by any stretch of the imagination – it is highly technical explanations of phenomenally difficult work, which only indirectly points to the significance of their findings.

HCUP is the Nation’s most comprehensive source of hospital care data, including information on in-patient stays, ambulatory surgery and services visits, and emergency department encounters. HCUP enables Read the rest of this entry »

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Gun Control Now A Matter Of National Security

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Why Gun Control Is Now a Matter of National Security

Opinion
By Steven Simon, Jonathan Stevenson
04/22/2021 06:30 PM EDT
https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2021/04/22/why-gun-control-is-now-a-matter-of-national-security-484323

Steven Simon, an International Relations Professor at Colby College, served on the National Security Council during the Clinton and Obama administrations, including as Senior Director for Counterterrorism.

Jonathan Stevenson, a Senior Fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies and Managing Editor of Survival, served on the National Security Council as Director for Political-Military Affairs, Middle East and North Africa, from 2011 to 2013.

For all the tragic mass shooting headlines this year, the American gun control debate seems permanently stuck. Last week, nine people were killed by AR-15 fire in Indianapolis; before that, 10 died in Boulder, and eight in Atlanta. Despite the anguish over the past month — and despite a push by President Joe Biden — Congress looks unlikely to take any immediate action.

We share Biden’s view that the level of U.S. gun violence is a “national embarrassment.” But as National Security Council veterans who have specialized in counterterrorism — with direct experience involving far-right American terrorism, burgeoning jihadism, and Northern Irish extremism in the 1990s — we also see a new threat rising, one that has the potential to change the urgency of the debate: the growing, and heavily armed, American militia movement, which made a show of force on January 6.

Armed demonstrators protest outside of the Michigan State Capitol on January 17, 2021 in Lansing. – Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Increasingly, as militias acquire and stockpile weapons, they’re turning guns from a public-health concern into a threat to national security. And it’s possible that if proponents of reform — including advocacy groups, congressional leaders and Biden — began addressing it that way, they’d have a chance of energizing the debate against the National Rifle Association and its allies. Indeed, the shock of the insurrection has increased the political burdens of an NRA in internal disarray and offered a new perspective on the need for significant gun control legislation.

As America learned on January 6, anti-government militia groups are more than willing to jump walls, break doors and disrupt the underpinnings of our democracy. These groups, with transnational ties, also enjoy easy access to high-power, high-capacity, small-caliber semiautomatic weapons—many of which can be converted to fully automatic. The concern isn’t that these weapons will somehow enable militias to challenge the U.S. military on the battlefield, which they certainly will not. It is that they make mass casualty attacks against political or cultural adversaries both easy to carry out, and easy to frame as inspirational events of the kind that mobilize insurrection.

The executive orders Biden issued earlier this month imposing restrictions on gun kits and devices that turn pistols into rifles are marginal safeguards and rather thin gruel overall. But his call for reviving the federal ban on assault weapons is more promising and an acknowledgment that serious action is required. An important additional measure would be more rigorous required background checks. At least one key Republican senator, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, has expressed openness to working with Biden on a gun bill.

Generating bipartisan consensus for an effective crackdown on firearms will always be difficult. While gun control is now unlikely to lose existing supporters, it is also unlikely to win many new ones. But reframing the issue as a national security imperative could galvanize passive backers now focused by the assault on the Capitol on maintaining political stability in the United States. A plausible objective would be to Read the rest of this entry »

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Didn’t Feel The Bern? It Was Because Of Hillary.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, May 1, 2021

Donna Brazile, publicity photo

There are probably plenty of reasons to dislike Donna Brazile, the twice-former interim DNC Chair – not the least of which was the discovery that, following a WikiLeaks email dump, she’d been sharing debate questions with Hillary, and subsequent to a second release of the tranche, she resigned in shame from her position at CNN as a political commentator/pundit.

Perhaps she was trying to redeem herself, or, maybe she was trying to hold a light illuminating the damning evidence of HRC’s unethical behavior and corruption (though not illegal), or maybe she was hoping to drive another nail into Hillary’s political coffin, or “throw some others under the bus,” and even if it was a cathartic political “kiss and tell,” her motivation for what she wrote is not the question.

It is ~what~ she wrote in her book “Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns that Put Donald Trump in the White House” that tells the story.

She discovered that because of the party’s fiscal indebtedness, a backroom deal had been struck with Hillary and the DNC in August 2015, just Read the rest of this entry »

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