Smartass marketing person who thought this one up deserves a raise. Or maybe a kick in the butt.
❝ In a bombshell article, The Washington Post reported that the Pentagon hired an outside consulting firm to identify ways to streamline its bureaucracy. It turns out the American military needs a lot of back-office support to keep running and that’s where most of the waste, fraud and abuse piles up.
The consultants did their job and identified $125 billion worth of unnecessary spending. The recommended plan called for some simple, common-sense changes such as making early retirement more attractive, streamlined information technology departments and cutting back on civilian contractors.
If the U.S. military made these changes, it could save more than a hundred billion in taxpayer dollars over five years…So…the suits at the Pentagon buried the report out of fear Congress would use it to cut the defense budget…
❝ “We’re spending a lot more money than we thought,” reads the first line of the report.
No shit. But here’s the thing, for the people who spend their days watching the Pentagon for waste, fraud and abuse neither the report nor its suppression came as a surprise.
“This report confirms what anyone who’s paying attention already knows: there are a lot of opportunities to increase efficiency and effectiveness without increasing spending,”…Mandy Smithberger of the Project on Government Oversight…
She’s right. Budget hawks have long known that the Pentagon’s $600 billion plus annual budget is rotten to the core…
❝ The Pentagon’s property management division employs 192 thousand people, yet has no idea how much property it owns nor how much it’s worth. Existing best estimates say the U.S. military owns half a million properties on 30 million acres across the globe.
It’s worth — the Pentagon accountants think — around $800 billion total. Worse, as of a 2014 according to the Government Accountability Office, the property managers have literally no idea what’s going on in half those buildings.
The United States Department of Defense [sic] is the largest single employer on Earth. They pay little more than lip service to the kinds of efficiency many long-standing government agencies offer. When the Pentagon echos the Republican lying mantra of “jobs, jobs, jobs…” they mean jobs for themselves, their kin, their retirement, their individual and personal investments, commitments, to suppliers.
RTFA for a quick journey through the fiscal corruption of our military-industrial complex. Incidentally, you’ll find a link to the actual 77-page report inside the article. It’s been removed from any featured spot on any DOD website; but, it’s still up and alive.
Our latest creepy Republican liar-for-president is appointing one of the sleaziest and most corrupt public officials in the United States to head the Environmental Protection Agency. This is like appointing B’rer Fox to oversee hen-house construction. Backdoor guaranteed.
Scott Pruitt is known to take press releases from his Oklahoma oil and gas buddies and reprint them on his official letterhead as state attorney general – as if they were the product of his own research. Scumbag politician of the worst sort.
BTW, Snopes.com has already verified the article and searched deeper finding an article in Popular Mechanics that preceded newspaper coverage.
❝ The U.S. Secret Service is the hot, new “amenity” at Trump Tower, where desperate brokers are trying to lure well-heeled clients into the building on Fifth Avenue that has served as President-elect Donald Trump’s home as well as his campaign and transition headquarters.
Less than a week after Trump was elected, prominent New York real estate agency Douglas Elliman blasted out an email with the subject: “Fifth Avenue Buyers Interested in Secret Service Protection?” to advertise a $2.1 million, 1,052-square-foot condo in the tower on 721 Fifth Avenue…
❝ Trump was the developer and sponsor of Trump Tower when it was built 33 years ago, but most of the 263 units are individually owned. Trump Tower does not retain a portion of the sales but since the building is managed by Trump Corporation, it retains a processing fee for unit sales which is about $2,000 per application plus $250 per additional adult dweller, as part of its service as manager of the building.
The condominium collects the common charge, but Trump manages the garage and vendors like the bar and restaurant in the building…
Not exactly a plus for the reputation of realtors, eh?
❝ After fueling the 20th century automobile culture that reshaped cities and defined modern life, gasoline has had its day.
The International Energy Agency forecasts that global gasoline consumption has all but peaked as more efficient cars and the advent of electric vehicles from new players such as Tesla Motors halt demand growth in the next 25 years. That shift will have profound consequences for the oil-refining industry because gasoline accounts for one in four barrels consumed worldwide…
❝ “Electric cars are happening,” IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said in an interview in London, adding that their number will rise from little more than 1 million last year to more than 150 million by 2040.
❝ The cresting of gasoline demand shows how rapidly the oil landscape is changing, casting a shadow over an industry that commonly forecasts decades of growth ahead. Royal Dutch Shell, the world’s second-biggest energy company by market value, shocked rivals this month when a senior executive said overall oil demand could peak in as little as five years.
The IEA doesn’t share Shell’s pessimism. While the agency anticipates a gasoline peak, it still forecasts overall oil demand growing for several decades because of higher consumption of diesel, fuel oil and jet fuel by the shipping, trucking, aviation and petrochemical industries…
❝ For Philip Verleger, president of the consultant PKVerleger LLC in Colorado and a veteran oil-market analyst, the IEA’s outlook is one of the more optimistic outcomes for the global industry.
“Refiners across the globe can only hope that this forecast turns out to be right — because all the indications are today that consumption is going to begin dropping not in 2030, but probably in 2020,” said Verleger. “It’s the best news a dying patient can hope to get.”
Just in case you wondered what the truly global giants of fossil fuels talk about when they tell each other the truth. Quit reading PR releases from the American Petroleum Institute, the Koch Bros. or their flunky on Fifth Avenue.
❝ Light smoking and not smoking every day are perceived by many to be effective strategies for reducing the health risks associated with tobacco use, but results from a new study appear to confirm that there is no safe level of exposure to cigarettes.
❝ Long-time, low-volume smokers — even those who smoked less than a single cigarette a day — had significantly higher mortality risks compared with individuals who had never smoked and smokers who had kicked the habit, according to a prospective, cohort analysis that included more than 290,000 middle-age and older participants in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study.
Compared with never smokers, long-time smokers who reported smoking less than one cigarette a day had a 64% increase in mortality over the study period, and those who reported consistently smoking one to 10 cigarettes a day had an 87% greater chance of dying.
❝ “In support of the 2010 Surgeon General’s Report, our results provide further evidence that there is no risk-free level of tobacco smoke exposure,” Maki Inoue-Choi, PhD, of the National Cancer Institute in Rockville, Md., and colleagues…
RTFA for details and more scary stuff than I need reminding of. So glad I quit smoking 58 years ago.
❝ On Sunday Donald Trump took to Twitter in what has become a regular SNL-bashing session.
It was supposed to be business as usual, but musician and civil rights activist Danielle Muscato had enough.
❝ On Sunday, she brought the fire in a string of coherent, scathing tweets.
It goes on from there and thoughtful people – by the thousands – are sharing her feelings, her critique.