04/17/2019 08:53 PM Are You Ready for the 400-page Mueller Report? [by airforce]
Everybody else is, and my guess is that by this time tomorrow, all hell is going to break loose Every word is going to be examined closely, and the spin doctors will be spinning like never before. And since at least some of it will be redacted, well...

Here we go.

Onward and upward,
3 15 Read More
04/15/2019 04:12 PM Happy Tax Day! [by airforce]
Here are six ways the government is spending your money. And yes, there are many more infuriating ways, but only limited room in this article.

Happy April 15, everyone! The federal government collects about $3.5 trillion in tax revenue each year, according to the White House Office of Budget and Management. Here, in no particular order, are six of the more infuriating ways that money has gone to waste.

1. $300,000 on 391 coffee mugs

In what world do coffee mugs go for more than $750 a pop? In a special world we call the Pentagon.

To be fair, these weren’t exactly normal mugs. As Reason‘s Zuri Davis explained in October, the specialty metal mugs can be plugged into aircraft and have the ability to reheat beverages while in flight. Unfortunately, their odd shape make them susceptible to shattering, thus necessitating replacements.

Since 2016, the Air Force has spent $326,785 on 391 of those mugs. The exorbitant cost was due to a combination of factors, including rising prices for raw materials and the fact that some of the suppliers who produced the necessary parts no longer made them. Maybe next time the Air Force should just give its crews some Red Bull.

2. $400,000 to promote asset forfeiture…in Paraguay.

You know how various federal and local police agencies can take suspected criminals’ money and other possessions, often without even obtaining a conviction? Apparently, the State Department loves the concept so much that it decided other countries need to do it as well.

Paraguay’s government established an agency in charge of seizing assets back in December 2017. The U.S. government allocated $400,000 to support the new agency’s “strong and sound institutional growth from the beginning and help it become effective at managing and liquidating seized and forfeited assets for the benefit of Paraguayan national interests.”

Which is worse? Watching the U.S. government seize its own citizens’ property, or being forced to fork over money to help a foreign government seize its people’s possessions too?

3. $13.6 million to hire two border agents

In November 2017, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) awarded a $297 million contract to an outside company called Accenture, with the understanding that it would recruit and hire 7,500 more agents in five years. Ten months into the contract, we got a progress report: The agency had paid Accenture $13.6 million in return for two accepted job offers.

Granted, more CBP agents is not necessarily a good thing. But what a way to blow a few million bucks. Thankfully, CBP terminated the contract earlier this month.

4. More than $325,000 for Mike Pence’s national anthem stunt

Remember back in the fall of 2017, when President Donald Trump said some mean things about NFL players who kneel during the pregame playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner”? You may also remember how Vice President Pence made a big point of leaving an Indianapolis Colts game early after several players knelt.

HuffPost calculated last year that the stunt cost taxpayers at least $325,000 once you consider Secret Service expenses, travel expenses, and the money it costs for the vice president to fly on Air Force Two. All this for nothing more than a political stunt. And why should taxpayers foot the bill for high-profile politicians to attend sporting events in the first place?

5. $333,000 to study bars on the U.S.-Mexico border

“The U.S./Mexico border is a unique macro context for drinking, with increased alcohol availability due to the lower minimum legal drinking age in Mexico of 18 years and an increased number of venues for on premise consumption of alcohol (bars, clubs, restaurants),” according to a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant for the 2018 fiscal year.

Is that something U.S. taxpayers should worry about? Apparently so: The NIH gave the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation $333,210 to study the phenomenon.

One of the study’s goals: to determine whether “younger Mexican Americans in the border cities will be more likely to drink in public venues such as bars and clubs than at home and with family than age matched Mexican American and Whites in Valley cities.”

6. Nearly $3 million to study dance clubs

Here’s another questionable NIH grant to the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation. In 2018, the group got $180,304 to study “the high risk behaviors…of young adults who patronize clubs.”

“This project targets young, working adults who frequent clubs that feature Electronic Music Dance Events (EMDE) and engage in high risk behaviors,” the grant’s public health relevance statement reads. “These high risk behaviors are excessive alcohol use, drug use, physical and/or sexual aggression, and unsafe behaviors upon exiting from clubs.”

It’s worth wondering question why taxpayers should have to pay $180,304 for this kind of research. But the actual number is much higher—about $2.9 million since 2014, according to the Washington Free Beacon.

Are you in the Tulsa area, and want to vent your outrage at this? Join me and a handful of other folks this afternoon at four o'clock. Bring your own sign, and open carry is encouraged.

[Linked Image]

Onward and upward,
1 12 Read More
04/11/2019 04:11 PM Julian Assange Arrested [by airforce]
British police have arrested WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange "on behalf of the U.S.." Here is a video of police dragging him out of the Ecuador embassy.

The lesson, I suppose, is that Freedom of the Press is great - as long as they don't have too much freedom.

Stay tuned.

Onward and upward,
4 37 Read More
04/02/2019 03:58 PM If Trump Closes the Mexican Border... [by airforce]
...America will run out of avocados and guacamole in three weeks. That will be about two weeks after the last U.S. auto plant shuts down. I don't think President Trump was really serious about closing the border, but you never know.

If President Donald Trump follows through on what can only be described as a completely unhinged threat to close the U.S.-Mexico border, Americans would run out of guacamole about two weeks after the last American auto plant shuts down.

Those two consequences—one purely cosmetic, the other deeply devestating—do a pretty good job of summing up the importance of cross-border trade between the U.S. and Mexico. Without really ever thinking about it, millions of Americans depend on that trade for everything from the cars they drive to the food they eat—and a lot more.

America's strategic avocado supply would be exhausted in just three weeks if imports from Mexico were stopped, according to NBC News.

"You couldn't pick a worse time of year because Mexico supplies virtually 100 percent of the avocados in the U.S. right now," Steve Barnard, president and chief executive of Mission Produce, the largest avocado supplier in the world, told NBC News. "California is just starting and they have a very small crop, but they're not relevant right now and won't be for another month or so."

America gets nearly half of its avocado supply from Mexico, and replacing that market share with imports from Peru or elsewhere would be difficult on short notice. And the number of avocados currently growing in California won't magically double in the next month before they are ready to be harvested.

Meanwhile, the 2.4 million Americans working in auto manufacturing would be facing almost immediate layoffs.

FALLOUT ALERT: The entire US auto industry would shutdown within a week if President Trump goes ahead with his pledge to close the US-Mexican border because automakers rely on parts imported from Mexico, according to Kristin Dziczek of the Center for Automotive Research.
— Jeff Zeleny (@jeffzeleny) April 2, 2019

While many other industries also rely on U.S.-Mexico trade, the auto industry is particularly sensitive to disruptions at the border because of international supply chains established in the decades since the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Thanks to a provision in NAFTA that allows car parts to cross the border multiple times but get taxed just once, the parts that are assembled to build a single car seat might zig-zag their way between the two countries several times—as Bloomberg demonstrated in a useful 2017 infographic—before being installed in a sedan built in South Carolina or a truck in Michigan. Shutting the border would put an end to all that.

Those cross-border supply chains have bolstered manufacturing jobs on both sides of the Rio Grande—there's been a 50 percent increase in American auto-making jobs since 2011, according to the American Automotive Policy Council, and greater job prospects in Mexico have been credited with slowing illegal immigration.

The interdependence of American and Mexican markets—to say nothing of America's demand for avocado toast—should give Trump $600 billion worth of reasons to avoid closing the border. That's how much trade occurs every year between the two countries, and about $137 billion of that total is food. Not just avocados, but also tomatoes, other fruits, and liquor.

Closing the border would not be, as Trump says, a "profit-making operation." Quite the opposite. Slamming the border shut would disrupt supply chains, destroy jobs, and ensure that many businesses and people no longer make a profit or a living. It could send both countries into an economic tailspin. And it would mean no more guacamole, too.

Onward and upward,
8 104 Read More
03/31/2019 03:57 AM Border Is Beyond Broken [by ConSigCor]
The Border Is Beyond Broken

Left doesn't want to secure border because it would prevent thousands of Dem votes

By Jon Bowne | INFOWARS.COM Saturday, March 30, 2019

Mexico warns that a caravan of over 20,000 Central Americans is heading towards the U.S. Border.

Meanwhile, Arizona Central reports, “U.S. Border Patrol officials in Arizona said they have started releasing migrant families from their custody into the streets of Yuma because processing centers can’t cope with the large numbers of arriving families and minors. Additionally, Princeton Policy Advisors researcher Steven Kopits projects that in 2019, there will be up to 500,000 illegal aliens at the southern border who successfully cross into the U.S. undetected by Border Patrol agents.”

“This year, the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Catch and Release policy — whereby border crossers and illegal aliens are readily released from federal custody into the interior of the U.S. — is on track to release roughly 434,000 border crossers and illegal aliens into the country by the end of the year. This projection is based on current estimates that more than 36,000 border crossers and illegal aliens have been released from DHS custody every month since the beginning of the year,” reported Breitbart News.

Alarms are going off as the USA tumbles headlong beyond the breaking point.

As the surge continues to be unmanageable, Trump’s warning that the borders will be closed sets up yet another fight with Congress as another partial government shutdown could begin soon if negotiations continue to stall.

Trump Admin Cuts Off Aid To El Salvador, Guatemala & Honduras Over ‘Massive Caravans’

'We were paying them tremendous amounts of money. And we’re not paying them anymore,' says president

By Saturday, March 30, 2019

The United States will no longer provide foreign aid to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, the State Department announced Saturday.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has ordered the State Department to cut off all aid to the three nations – collectively known as the Northern Triangle – for their failure to address the waves of caravans traveling to the U.S. southern border.

“At the Secretary’s instruction, we are carrying out the President’s direction and ending FY 2017 and FY 2018 foreign assistance programs for the Northern Triangle. We will be engaging Congress as part of this process,” a State Department spokesperson said in a statement.

President Trump warned reporters Friday that he may shut down the southern border over Mexico’s failure to stop “massive caravans” coming from the Northern Triangle.

“We have right now two big caravans coming up from Guatemala, massive caravans, walking right through Mexico,” Trump said. “So Mexico is tough, they can stop them. And if they don’t stop them, we’re closing the border.”

President Trump: “Massive caravans walking right through Mexico. So Mexico’s tough. They can stop them but they chose not to. Now they’re going to stop them. And if they don’t stop them, we’re closing the border. We’ll keep it closed for a long time, I’m not playing games.”

— The Hill (@thehill) March 29, 2019

“We were paying them tremendous amounts of money. And we’re not paying them anymore. Because they haven’t done a thing for us. They set up these caravans,” he added.

Mexico warned the U.S. that the “mother of all caravans” comprised of nearly 20,000 people has formed and is making its way to the border.

“We have information that a new caravan is forming in Honduras, that they’re calling ‘the mother of all caravans,’ and they are thinking it could have more than 20,000 people,” Mexico’s Interior Secretary Olga Sanchez Cordero said Wednesday.
2 35 Read More
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