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Author: TriSec    Date: 08/14/2018 12:03:23

Good Morning.

Whelp, just days after mocking soldiers for asking for a pay raise, the Thrombosed Hemorrhoid has gone and signed a $717 Billion defence bill into law.

President Donald Trump went to Fort Drum in upstate New York on Monday to sign the nearly $717 billion National Defense Authorization Act, which includes a 2.6 percent military pay raise and could set the stage for creation of a Space Force.

Trump never mentioned Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, a harsh critic who is battling brain cancer, in his remarks to troops at the base, home to the Army's much-deployed 10th Mountain Division, although the bill is named the "John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019."

In a statement marking the signing, McCain never mentioned Trump, with whom he has clashed on a range of issues from health care to the Helsinki summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"This year's NDAA represents an important opportunity to implement an effective approach to confront a growing array of threats," McCain said, adding that the administration's National Defense Strategy "outlined a framework for identifying and prioritizing these threats," with an emphasis on building readiness to deter China and Russia.

In a hangar at Fort Drum, with an Apache attack helicopter as a backdrop, Trump said, "The NDAA is the most significant investment in our military and in our warfighters in modern history, and I'm very proud to be a big, big part of it."

Putting the NDAA in place will give impetus to his plan to create a Space Force as a sixth branch of the military, he said.

"Space has become a warfighting domain. Adversaries are weaponizing space," Trump said. "They want to jam transmissions," but "we'll be catching them very shortly.

"We must have American dominance in space," he said while gesturing to Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford, who attended the signing. "Gotta get it, Joe. Right Joe?"

Trump devoted much of his speech to touting job creation and the economy, but said the NDAA will boost the size of the military by 15,000, while adding 13 new ships, 77 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters and full funding for the new strategic B-21 Raider bomber.

But he can't even get that right. During his speech, he touted the fact that it's the first pay raise soldiers have received in over ten years. Not quite.

"We just approved $700 billion for our military," Trump said. "So we’re going to be having the best equipment ever known. And next year, $716 billion. So I wanted to let you know. And, by the way — I know you don’t care about this — but that also includes raises for our military. First time in 10 years."

That’s flat wrong. In fact, the last time that service members didn’t receive an annual pay increase was in 1983.

And that was only because of a one-time technical quirk.

Trump was "totally incorrect," said Todd Harrison, director of defense budget analysis at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "The military has gotten a pay raise each and every year."

We'll channel our old Cost of War segment here -

717 billion written out is $717,000,000,000 .00

The current population of the United States is 325,700,000.

You, me, and everyone you know, including that baby just taking its first breath as I write this, is on the hook for our share of $2,201.41

But moving on, it's nice to be ruled by the elite shadow class, isn't it? Our old friend Paul Rieckhoff has been sounding the alarm this past week about the secretive cabal that is actually running the V.A. Never mind the appointees or so-called public face of the agency. If you belong to Mar-a-Largo, and get face time with the proprietor, guess what? You get a government agency to play with!

Of all the business entanglements and obvious conflicts of interest Donald Trump brought to the Oval Office, there’s one shining example that stands out from the pack: his for-profit-club Mar-a-Lago, or as he likes to call it, the “Southern White House.” The Palm Beach resort is a commercial enterprise, and the president has used every single one of his trips there, often accompanied by foreign leaders, to advertise its splendor to potential paying customers, for whom the membership fee doubled just before inauguration. Even when he’s not there, Trump is promoting the place, off-handedly mentioning that the dining room happened to serve “the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake that you’ve ever seen” when he decided to bomb Syria. But according to a new report, baked goods and front-row seats to a dinnertime North Korean strategy session aren’t the only things a Mar-a-Lago membership will afford you. For example, according to reports, three lucky individuals who’ve ponied up the cash have effectively been given free rein to oversee a federal agency.

According to ProPublica, Bruce Moskowitz, a Palm Beach doctor; Ike Perlmutter, the chairman of Marvel Entertainment; and Marc Sherman, an attorney, have essentially been calling the shots at the Department of Veterans Affairs since Trump was inaugurated. What the men lack in any government or U.S. military experience they make up for in being members of the president’s club, which has apparently afforded them the opportunity to “lean on V.A. officials” and “steer policies affecting millions of Americans,” all without “any transparency, accountability, or oversight.” According to documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act and interviews with former officials, the trio speak with higher-ups at the V.A. on a daily basis, “reviewing all manner of policy and personnel decisions.” When former V.A. chief David Shulkin, whom the troika installed in 2017, was preparing to make a presentation to the president about a research effort on suicide prevention, officials had to get approval from the “Mar-a-Lago Crowd” first. “Everything needs to be run by them,” a former official told ProPublica. “They view themselves as making the decisions.”

Now, I don't know about you, but I can look through history and see some rare examples of a benevolent dictatorship. There's even a term for it, "Enlightened Despotism". While we certainly don't have that kind of despot in charge, I do find it to be interesting to search through world leadership styles for a comparison. I keep coming back to the "Cult of Personality". Mr. Trump and his friends must be so proud to emulate the likes of Stalin, the Kims, or indeed....a certain Bavarian corporal with a funny mustache.


16 comments (Latest Comment: 08/14/2018 20:46:05 by Will in Chicago)
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