NM Governor fights for COVID-19 aid for tribal nations

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham raised alarms with President Donald Trump Monday about “incredible spikes” in coronavirus cases in Navajo Nation, warning that the virus could “wipe out” some tribal nations, according to a recording of a call between Trump and the nation’s governors obtained by ABC News.

“I’m very worried, Mr. President,” Governor Lujan Grisham said, as she followed up on a request she made to the Department of Defense last Wednesday for a 248-bed U.S. Army combat support hospital in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Grisham told Trump she had not yet received a response.

“The rate of infection, at least on the New Mexico side — although we’ve got several Arizona residents in our hospitals — we’re seeing a much higher hospital rate, a much younger hospital rate, a much quicker go-right-to-the-vent rate for this population. And we’re seeing doubling in every day-and-a-half,” she said.

Wow, that’s something,” the president replied.

She added: “And it could wipe out those tribal nations.”

New Mexican tribal nations waited almost a week for an answer to Governor Lujan’s request for aid from the Feds. Trump got back to her this afternoon [Tuesday, 31st], saying, he’d approved a “field hospital” for the Navajo Nation and others in the state.

That was announced by the governor, Tuesday afternoon. No one, yet, has any info if this is supposed to be the Combat Support Hospital in Albuquerque…or something else.

Do you realize we’ve never stopped bombing Afghanistan?

Since 2016, we’ve increased airstrikes as much as 780% though combat operations in Afghanistan officially ended in December 2014…


US Air Force

US and coalition combat operations in Afghanistan officially ended in December 2014, and the numbers of CFACC-controlled airstrikes dropped from 2,365 for that year to just 947 in 2015 (the lowest figure recorded since 2009). The strike rate began to rapidly rise again in 2016 with 1,337 recorded, and rose again in 2017 with 4,361. It rose markedly again in 2018 with 7,362, before peaking at 7,423 in 2019.

Gee, what might have happened in 2016 to spark increased bombing of one of those little nations on our kill-list? Hmm?

BTW, there aren’t any more “coalition” forces operating over Afghanistan. It’s all our military, folks.

Save $1.2 trillion that the Pentagon doesn’t need

“Need” being the operative word.

❝ The Pentagon could save more than $1.2 trillion with a number of tweaks to its spending plan for the next decade, including canceling the creation of a Space Force and nuclear weapons projects, according to a report by the Center for International Policy.

❝ The report, “Sustainable Defense: More Security, Less Spending,” offers new strategies that challenge the National Defense Strategy by encouraging more diplomacy (specifically in regard to the Iran nuclear deal) and less military confrontation to cut costs. It also says the NDS “exaggerate[s] the challenges posed by major powers” like China and Russia.

❝ The report offers Congress several solutions to reduce Defense Department spending in the short term, including restricting overseas contingency operations funds, cutting the Pentagon’s private contractor workforce by 15 percent, blocking plans for the Space Force, avoiding placing weapons in space and rolling back the nuclear modernization plan. Capitol Hill is in the middle of a funding debate over fiscal 2020 military spending.

The rationale of last resort from tame economists for inflated military budgets is the production of non-consumable goods. They produce jobs, profits and little or no inflation. Meaningless in an economy that has Wall Street wankers whining over a lack of inflation and our tax base for items we actually could use has been reduced by the butt-kisser in the White House. Making less available for items like healthcare and education.

Pentagon + White House = Ignore Law, Add $97.9 Billion to Budget

❝ US defence officials previously feared that rising interest rates and growing federal debt would push the government’s net interest costs so high that they would squeeze out funding available for personnel, training, equipment, modernisation, maintenance, and more. Interest rates are now higher and the debt is now larger, but Pentagon budget officials are no longer worrying about either…

❝ The national defence budget – as well as the ‘domestic’ budget – is legally capped by the 2011 Budget Control Act. However, the White House’s Office of Management and Budget instructed the Pentagon to use the uncapped Overseas Contingency Operations account to bypass the legislated limits, which were meant to lower discretionary spending and begin lowering the US public debt. Pentagon officials said about USD97.9 billion was shifted into the unlimited OCO account.

So far.

With the Fake President in office, who cares about budgets, the rule of law or how big a bill you drop on American taxpayers?

Pentagon admits their Humvee replacement sucks!

❝ According to the Pentagon’s in-house watchdog, the replacement for the U.S. military’s Humvee is in serious trouble.

The new Joint Tactical Light Vehicle (JLTV) is “not operationally suitable” because of deficiencies in “reliability, maintainability, training, manuals, crew situational awareness, and safety,” a new report says. The vehicle is so bug-ridden that it requires contractors in the field to fix problems, and is so large and loud that it’s easily detectable on the battlefield…

❝ …All four vehicle types are encountering mechanical problems during field trials including, “engine wiring problems, flat and damaged tires…A “health monitoring system” designed to bring problems to the attention of maintainers is not accurate and “reduces crew and maintainer confidence in the system.” One last mechanical problem: The doors on some vehicles didn’t work.

❝ The vehicles are faulted for having a “large visual and loud aural signature, increasing detectability…troops riding inside have poor visibility and that the TOW anti-tank missile launcher, capable of destroying tanks to ranges of up to 2.48 miles, is slow and difficult to reload…the vehicles are so large fewer of them can fit on the military’s Maritime Prepositioned Force ships, cargo ships that carry floating arsenals of Army and Marine Corps equipment, ready to link up with ground troops and quickly enter battle.

RTFA for ever more silliness. How many years has our military spent designing their own vehicles – which suck? Do they ever learn how to make doors work the first time?

Pentagon ready to bioengineer insects for peaceful projects — that’s all [they say]


JasonOndreicka/iStock

❝ The Pentagon is studying whether insects can be enlisted to combat crop loss during agricultural emergencies…The bugs would carry genetically engineered viruses that could be deployed rapidly if critical crops such as corn or wheat became vulnerable to a drought, a natural blight or a sudden attack by a biological weapon.

❝ The concept envisions the viruses making genetic modifications that protect the plants immediately, during a single growing season…But some critics find the whole thing creepy.

A team of skeptical scientists and legal scholars published an article in the journal Science…arguing that the…program opens a “Pandora’s box” and involves technology that “may be widely perceived as an effort to develop biological agents for hostile purposes and their means of delivery”…”The DARPA program is easily weaponized”.

As a signatory to the multilateral Biological Weapons Convention we joined the most global of treaties banning biological weapons. I realize that doesn’t mean a whole boatload in the era of Trumplicans. Aside from the automatic antagonisms between the Pentagon and those scientists who have chosen a path to aid nations and human beings which doesn’t include offensive weapons — the BWC seems the best vehicle to require political and fiscal transparency on the question. This needn’t interfere with legitimate research and prototyping.

Of course, I worry about rogue governments ready to turn their backs on existing treaties and international agreements of ANY kind if they think it will advance their ideology and maybe line a few pockets along the way. So, yes, we have to keep on eye on where this Pentagon research leads. A fight that may be easier to construct after the coming mid-term election…and 2020.

Frankly, like many already concerned about dangerous if not apocalyptic abuses of CRISPR – I think folks need to spend more time worrying about what gets produced on an experimental basis in the garage of some populist nutter. This truly doesn’t cost as much as rocket science.

Pentagon censoring war news

❝ [We have] an increasingly adversarial relationship between Defense Secretary James Mattis’ Cabinet department and the reporters who cover it. Chief among the complaints, according to defense reporters who spoke to POLITICO, are declining access to Mattis and other military officials, as well as a sense that reporters are not receiving the information they need to keep the public informed about America’s military activities.

Mattis has not briefed reporters on-camera in the Pentagon since April, while his chief spokesperson, Dana White, has not done so since May.

❝ Kevin Baron, the executive editor of Defense One, said Trump’s simultaneous war on the press and hyperfocus on media have combined to fundamentally change interactions inside the Pentagon.

“It’s definitely like no time that I’ve ever seen, and this is my 10th year on the Pentagon beat,” he said. “We used to have the secretary of defense and the chairman of the joint chiefs side by side in briefing room at least once a month, and if we didn’t get once a month, we complained. We’re so far beyond the way things used to be, and it’s all because of Trump.”

“In the First Amendment the Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must have to fulfill its essential role in our democracy. The press was to serve the governed, not the governors. The Government’s power to censor the press was abolished so that the press would remain forever free to censure the Government. The press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of government and inform the people. Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government.” Hugo Black, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, 1971.

Think it’s difficult to start a nuclear holocaust?

❝ Serving as a US Air Force launch control officer for intercontinental missiles in the early Seventies, First Lieutenant Bruce Blair figured out how to start a nuclear war and kill a few hundred million people…When he quit the Air Force in 1974, Blair was haunted by the power that had been within his grasp, andhe resolved to do something about it. But when he started lobbying his former superiors, he was met with indifference and even active hostility. “I got in a fair scrap with the Air Force over it,” he recalled. As Blair well knew, there was supposed to be a system already in place to prevent that type of unilateral launch. The civilian leadership in the Pentagon took comfort in this, not knowing that the Strategic Air Command, which then controlled the Air Force’s nuclear weapons, had quietly neutralized it…

❝ …The system the military designed was “structured to drive the president invariably toward a decision to launch under attack” if he or she believes there is “incontrovertible proof that warheads actually are on the way.” Ensuring that all missiles and bombers would be en route before any enemy missiles actually landed meant that most of the targets in the strategic nuclear war plan would be destroyed—thereby justifying the purchase and deployment of the massive force required to execute such a strike.

Interesting, scary, well-researched in-depth work of journalism. Take the time to read it. Please.

Most Americans, I am certain, haven’t the slightest clue about any of the information contained in the “unsafety procedures” actually in place to manage the largest nuclear arsenal in the world.