Going, going, gone…


Click to enlargeDOD photo

❝ One striking image shows the Marine Corps generals who will have left the Trump administration, after the president praised their service…

The photo above, taken in 2013, marked the first time six four-star Marines Corps generals were actively serving in the Marines.

Knowing Marine tradition of dedication to defense of this nation and its Constitution – the eventual departure of these Marines is precisely what I expected.

Trump’s White House is run like Game of Thrones for Morons


Way too honest to last with Trump

❝ National security adviser H.R. McMaster has become the latest target of the leaks and infighting that have dogged the Trump administration’s early days.

❝ President Trump has tried to put an end to White House staffers placing palace intrigue stories, which peaked last month with a war of words between chief strategist Stephen Bannon and senior adviser Jared Kushner that played out in the press.

Now, McMaster, a favorite of Washington’s GOP and foreign policy establishment, finds himself in the crosshairs of anonymous White House officials as the administration mulls ramping up the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan.
Those close to the White House describe the latest scuffle as another power struggle between rival spheres of influence. Foreign policy experts see the leaks as a reflection of a broader internal dispute over the appropriate level of U.S. involvement in the Middle East.

❝ Once again, Bannon is rumored to be at the center of it.

❝ …Bloomberg View columnist Eli Lake reported that Trump was boiling over with rage at McMaster and had berated him in front of White House staff…The story said that Trump at one point “screamed” at McMaster on a phone call for assuring South Korean officials that the U.S. would foot the bill for a missile defense system, contradicting the president.

RTFA for all the plot lines, mis-characterization of characters, myths and legends counter to any rational evidence-based history. It makes for comic opera. It also describes a swamp filled with competing bigots and fools sucking up to the ignoranus-in-chief.

National Popular Vote bill now has 61% of the 270 electoral votes needed to activate


Click to enlarge

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the National Popular Vote bill on April 15, making New York the 11th state to enact the law.

On March 25, the Republican-controlled New York Senate passed the bill by a 57–4 margin, and the Democratic–controlled Assembly passed the bill 100–32…

The National Popular Vote bill has now been enacted into law by 11 states possessing 165 electoral votes (61% of the 270 electoral votes needed to activate the bill)…

The National Popular Vote bill has been introduced in every state where it has not yet been enacted. One of the most important things you can do to support the National Popular Vote bill is to write your state legislators and statewide elected officials asking them to support the National Popular Vote bill. You can quickly and easily send an e-mail to your state legislators by going to http://www.NationalPopularVote.com/write. Our system will provide several suggested letters, which you can edit.

The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The shortcomings of the current system of electing the President stem from state winner-take-all statutes…Because of these state winner-take-all statutes, presidential candidates have no reason to pay attention to the issues of concern to voters in states where the statewide outcome is a foregone conclusion. In 2012, four out of five states were ignored…Two-thirds of the general-election campaign events (176 of 253) were in just 4 states (Ohio, Florida, Virginia, and Iowa)…

State winner-take-all statutes have allowed candidates to win the Presidency without winning the most popular votes nationwide in four of our 57 presidential elections—1 in 14 times. A shift of 59,393 votes in Ohio in 2004 would have elected John Kerry despite President Bush’s nationwide lead of over 3,000,000 votes. A shift of 214,393 votes in 2012 would have elected Mitt Romney despite President Obama’s nationwide lead of almost 5,000,000 votes.

Like gerrymandering, both of the TweedleDeeDeumb parties always figure they can use corrupt systems to their own benefit when they’re in power. I hope, I feel that the average American would rather be guaranteed that each of our votes counts the same as anyone else’s vote.

Need more details? RTFA and/or go to http://www.NationalPopularVote.com.

Latest Snowden release: NSA has been bugging EU offices

The United States has bugged European Union offices and gained access to EU internal computer networks, according to secret documents cited in a German magazine on Saturday, the latest in a series of exposures of alleged U.S. spy programs.

Der Spiegel quoted from a September 2010 “top secret” U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) document that it said fugitive former NSA contractor Edward Snowden had taken with him, and the weekly’s journalists had seen in part.

The document outlines how the NSA bugged offices and spied on EU internal computer networks in Washington and at the United Nations, not only listening to conversations and phone calls but also gaining access to documents and emails.

The document explicitly called the EU a “target”

Martin Schulz, the president of the European Parliament, said that if the report was correct, it would have a “severe impact” on relations between the EU and the United States.

“On behalf of the European Parliament, I demand full clarification and require further information speedily from the U.S. authorities with regard to these allegations,” he said in an emailed statement.

Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn told Der Spiegel: “If these reports are true, it’s disgusting.

Another day in the life and times of transparency in the government of the United States.

Family finds $45,000 – and returns it to previous homeowners

Arnold and Ilene Bengerter
Ilene and Arnold Bangerter

He hit the mother lode, but not once did Josh Ferrin even think of laying claim on the more than $45,000 cash that he found in his garage. In fact, he gave it all back. “You can’t make plans for money like this that’s found in a situation like this,” Ferrin said. “It just doesn’t feel right to do anything but give it back.”

Within an hour of closing on his first home, Josh Ferrin, an artist for the Deseret News, used the keys to take his first official look inside.

While taking it all in, he noticed a tiny scrap of carpet peeking out of a small door in the ceiling of a workshop at the back of the garage. He got a ladder and climbed up to explore the unseen space. It was dark and musty, but Ferrin could see a black metal box sitting there.

It was a heavy metal box — the kind used to haul ammunition during World War II — and it was filled with cash, old stamps, bond certificates and other random memorabilia.

“I immediately closed it, locked it in my truck and called my wife. ‘You won’t believe what I just found,'” he said. Tara Ferrin immediately knew the couple had to return the money to its rightful owners.

However, Arnold Bangerter, the former homeowner, passed away in November 2010 and his youngest son, Dennis Bangerter, the executor of Bangerter’s estate, had just signed the 1950s red-brick rambler away…

“Going through those boxes, I felt like I had a peek into his life,” Josh Ferrin said about the man who left the surprising find. “This is a beautiful outcome and it feels good to be a part of it. It’s a rare opportunity to be able to do something extraordinarily honest.”

Arnold Bangerter, an fisheries biologist for the former Utah Department of Fish and Game, had purchased the home in 1966 and lived there with his wife, who died in 2005…

The money is being divided among Mr. Bengerter’s six children. From honest folks in Bountiful, Utah.