“One of the leading causes of obesity is the misbelief that, when it comes to juice, ‘100%’ means ‘sugar-free.” – Mokokoma Mokhonoana
In the Philippines, there been a long tradition of Pork Barrel or specific payout for government projects for Representatives in the Lower House, the House of Representatives and the senators in the Senate. Because this week has been hectic in touch with tradition. There are back and fourth. There is no end in sight for this rodeo. I will show pieces of it, because, I cannot make sense of it.
If there is, then there is, if its not, its not. However, after the recent week action in the headlines and following the wires. I got nothing. Because, even I am unsure. It is hard to know if there is Pork Barrel within the ratified Budget for 2019, which was ratified on Friday on the 8th February 2019.
Let me show some statements that isn’t coherent, reporting that is not backing each other. From various of sources. Since I feel this is important, because there is lack of consistent messaging, therefore, the truth might surface later. However this is what I have by today.
GMA Reported: “Senators took exception to allegations by House appropriations chairman Rolando Andaya Jr. that they will get P3 billion each in pork allocation in the 2019 budget. Senate President Vicente Sotto III, in a text message, said the accusation of P3 billion per senator as pork “is a slur against the Senate.”” (Amita Legaspi – ‘ No P3-B pork in 2019 budget, senators insist’ (08.02.2019) link: https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/nation/684334/no-p3-b-pork-in-2019-budget-senators-insist/story/).
CNN Philippines Reported: “He was referring to the funds that current House committee on appropriations chair Rolando Andaya said were illegal insertions made by Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno — a charge Diokno has repeatedly denied. Lacson said that around P51 billion of the controversial P75 billion funds have been distributed to all members of the House of Representatives in P20 million chunks. “Of this amount, 20 billion pesos was distributed equally among the almost 300 congressmen, which translates into P60 million per congressman plus additional allocations to those close to the leadership of the House of Representatives. These are all embodied in the General Appropriations Bill (GAB) or the House version transmitted to the Senate,” Lacson said” (CNN Philippines Staff – ‘Lacson: New House leadership continued pork barrel mess’ 08.02.2019, link: http://cnnphilippines.com/news/2019/02/08/lacson-andaya-arroyo-pork-barrel-2019-budget.html).
Manilla Standard Reporting: “In total, the Senate proposed some P25.4 billion in adjustments while the House introduced P20.65 billion in realignments or a total of P46.35 billion under the DPWH where legislators can identify specific projects. Andaya confirmed that each congressman will get P160 million in itemized projects” (Maricel Cruz and Macon Ramos-Araneta – ‘Congress approves budget’ 09.02.2019, link: http://www.manilastandardtoday.com/mobile/article/287358).
Sen. Franklin M. Drilon Press Release: “The minority leader also denied reports that senators will get P3 billion in pork allocation, including a province in the Visayas getting more than P3 billion. He called the allegation “grossly unfair”” (Franklin M. Drilon – ‘Drilon says no to 2019 national budget’ 08.02.2019, link:http://www.senate.gov.ph/press_release/2019/0208_drilon1.asp).
Sen. Leila M. de Lima Press Release: “Kudos to my colleagues in the Minority bloc – Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon and Senators Bam Aquino, Risa Hontiveros and Kiko Pangilinan – and, of course, to Sen. Ping Lacson, for their rejection of the pork-laden 2019 budget” (Sen. Leila M. de Lima – ‘Sen. Leila M. de Lima on her colleagues’ rejection of the pork-laden 2019 budget’ 09.02.2019, link: http://www.senate.gov.ph/press_release/2019/0209_delima3.asp).
We are clearly seeing mixed messages, but both sides of this. Where the allocated funds are seen as differently. Therefore, we will see if these allocated funds are for the Pork Barrel or not. Since, the various explanation for these funds are really special. They are showing something and how to interpret the budget itself.
If one side is lying, than they are receiving funds and telling porkies. I am not sure, because if it is, they have tried to be sophisticated, but somewhere the funds leaked out. Someone spoke out and then the ones loyal to the President and the Government calling it “offensive”. Which makes it all weird. Since, why should people lie about special pay-outs, wouldn’t that be a happy-day to see your bank-account to be pregnant?
The Pork Barrels are there maybe or maybe not. By this report and these statements, it could be anything. Certainly porky porkies and even slices of pork chop from those Pork Barrels. Peace.
Letter To Whitaker:
Letter to Pat Cipollone:
Letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray:
Letter to DNI Coats:
Letter to CIA Director Gina Haspel:
Letter to SDNY:
Letter to Stephen Mnuchin:
Letter to NSA Director Paul Nakasone:
Letter to IRS Commissioner Rettig:
Today, came yet another blow to the Department of Justice, as the President Donald J. Trump got his wish. He got rid of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Even if that is victory for something, that one of the unfavorable West Wing goons left the White House. Still, there are lingering problems on the horizon, that cannot be escaped at first.
First the successor, which seems not to be the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is the man in-charge of the Special Counsel Robert Mueller and the man who gave him the opportunity to investigate in the first place. The successor, unless he or she recuses themselves, could interfere in funding and in collection of evidence gathering. Yet another level of tampering with the investigation.
Just like the President has done with firing Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Coomey, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara and so on. The massive amounts of firing and tampering of evidence is a clear message from the President. He has long pushed the Attorney General Sessions. And today, the day after the Midterms, he unleash another salvo against the state.
There is nothing normal about this presidency, as there are several of the Trump Campaign Team of 2016, who has started to work together with Special Counsel, as they have pleaded guilty and gotten a plea agreement. Others has already started to serve time. There are Michael Flynn, Alexander Van Der Zwaan, George Papadopolous, Michael Cohen, Rick Gates, Samuel Patten, and Paul Manafort. That is just in the near sphere of the President.
This is not following the leads, as there been talks of grand jury of Roger Stone. Other wondering, when they are appearing to met with the Mueller. As there family members, as there Russian indicted and other people connected who is part of the case.
Therefore, with the knowledge from all these people, who have all been in close range of the President and within his sphere. There are a lot of evidence and gathering of intelligence, that could build a strong case against anyone. As the Special Counsel are collecting and building a case against the big-fish. That is why he has accepted plea agreements and going up the food-chain.
That is why today’s action is a sad one. That AG Sessions resigned or fired. Is a worrying sign, if the Republicans care, they would warn this and ensure the investigation continues. Nevertheless, but they have been spineless in actions towards the President. While we have to wait and see what this will do to Rod Rosenstein and his office as the Deputy. If the President dares to fire him, who resides over the Investigation.
Today, is not a good sign of the further implicated investigation, who is still going. As the President are trying to spite fear and also acts more reckless. Peace.
“WHITEHOUSE: Devil’s triangle?
KAVANAUGH: Drinking game.
WHITEHOUSE: How’s it played?
KAVANAUGH: Three glasses in a triangle.
KAVANAUGH: You ever played quarters?
WHITEHOUSE: No (ph).
KAVANAUGH: OK. It’s a quarters game” (Washington Post – ‘Kavanaugh hearing: Transcript’ 27.09.2018).
I have been bugging out by this, not because Barney Stinson in How I Met Your Mother in the third season, episode 17 named the ‘The Goat’ explained what the Devil’s Triangle is or the “Devil’s Three way”. Which is two men and woman doing the nasty. However, what is bugging me is how one party has taken total control of the Capitol Hill and they doesn’t care of the checks and balances of the government. The only thing they value is to control and have power. Not for the message the party is sending.
That the day that Brett M. Kavanaugh was confirmed and voted in the Senate as the Associate Judge in the Supreme Court. The American Government is proven, that the values of the checks and balances of power is dying. The three branches isn’t checking each other, but just procedural manifested to fix it for the one party. Which happens to have the Executive Branch (President), the Legislative (Congress) and Judicial (Supreme Court). That is proven with what happen on the 5th October 2018. As the Senate just got barely enough votes for having yet another judge at the Court. They did this without investigating the alleged crimes and cleaning the name of the judge. But this is in the same country, that you get shot in your car if your reaching for the dash in the wrong neighborhood.
The Capitol Hill is really become the devils triangle, where the moral backbone and proof that the Good Ol’ Party or the Republicans for that matter, does only live by one rule; theirs the rest can be screwed. If that is destroying families, deporting long-living now citizens and closing their borders. If it is hazardous trade policies, destruction of taxes and tax-relief for the riches, while the poorest are losing their benefits. The whole time has been a pillage to serve the donors and the multi-national corporations and not serving the public. The Republicans are really showing their imbalance and their greed.
The same greed is now showing with power. That the President is careless and reckless, that has been shown in business and now in politics. His ignorance and his blatant disregard for people have been shown since day one. That is why his petty politics also establish the precedence of controlling power, not ensuring the people are cared for or if the procedures are followed. As long as his use of the Executive Power is used for his personal agenda and not for the betterment of the Republic. That is why he has appointed a man like Kavanaugh. Even pushed it through, limited the scope of “investigation” and not even cared for the possible victims of the sexual assaults done by the judge. Because, as long as the Supreme Court has enough his side, he can take power again, when needed.
All three arms of the government is all under control for now by the Republicans. They have talked about caring about fiscal spending (scrapped it when they got in power), caring about procedure for appointments (not cared for that when they are power) and they are continuing this behavior. The last strike was with the Supreme Court this week.
They are serving the devils triangle, being two men screwing one woman. They are clearing screwing the lady justice and taking her from all angles. They are not leaving anything up to chance to secure yet another seat there. So, when in need like after the re-count of Florida for George W. Bush, they will have the upper-hand and enough votes to secure their causes. Just like whatever the Republicans are up to now.
What we do know now, is that no initial part of their play is about justice, rule of law or fair process. The whole government is about control, ensuring their men are in charge and at whatever cost. They will play victims, they will play petty and outrages, but only as a facade for their purpose. Just like they have done. They will do it again and again.
I just wonder, how long the US citizens accept to be screwed like this, in this devils triangle by the all the branches of government. Because, that is what is happening and the world is seeing it. Peace.
“The Alabama Constitution of 1901 expressly provides five grounds for impeachment: willful neglect of duty, corruption in office, incompetency, intemperance in the use of liquor or narcotics, and “any offense involving moral turpitude while in office, or committed under color thereof, or connected therewith.” It provides almost no guidance, however, and much less any mandates, as to how either house of the Legislature must conduct its respective part of the process” (House Committee of Alabama, P: 44, 2017). What is Moral Turpitude: “Moral turpitude is a legal concept that refers to any conduct that is believed to be contrary to the community standards of honesty, justice, or good moral values. While there is no one exact definition of acts that are considered under moral turpitude, they are typically described as any acts of vileness or depravity, or of sexual immorality, whether in a private or social context. One example of moral turpitude is murder. To explore this concept, consider the following moral turpitude definition” (Legal Dictionary – Moral Turpitude)
There are interesting times in Alabama, United States, a grand corruption case and impeachment of the Governor Robert J. Bentley, because of the Trump Administration and their scandal this has been silently going on. Even if it is interesting as the precedence for this trial is misuse of his office and of campaign funds. That the House of Representatives in the State was able in 2016 to put forward the case and file it. Proves that the other representatives in Alabama want the state to be just in front of their citizens, not just a place for the Governor Bentley to eat.
As Gawker itself noted in March 2015: “That the Bentleys are making sure they can the suppress details of their divorce is not a surprise—they had already been doing it for months. According to documents filed by Dianne Bentley, the two have been separated since January—things appear to have been so bad that the First Lady had to be convinced to attend Bentley’s inauguration on January 19—but as AL.com notes, the two have “gone to great lengths to hide [that] fact.” For instance, on July 24, more than seven months after their separation, both Robert and Dianne used their Twitter accounts to wish each other a happy anniversary, with Dianne writing, “God has blessed us w/ 50 years of marriage.” (Sargent, 2015).
That the two term elected Alabama Governor Bentley has misused his position, not only been unjust to his wife with the affair at the Alabama State House, he had also let his unelected adviser Rebekah Mason, who could use her close relationship to control the Governor. Therefore, she was de facto Governor, as she had to be in the room when decisions we’re made. This proves alone, not only the misuse of public funds and use of state budget on her place inside his campaign team and as consultant firm.
“Those in Montgomery who work with the governor said Mason, 43, is an integral part of his team and that her influence has continued to grow” (…) “You can’t get to the governor unless she clears it,” said one legislator, who asked that his name not be used. “Some people resent that.” (…) “Earlier this year, Mason was named one of “The 50 Most Powerful and Influential People in Alabama” by the conservative site Yellowhammer.com, who described her as “part of the very small circle of the governor’s closest advisors.” (…) “From crafting State of the State Addresses to coordinating external efforts to advance the governor’s agenda, Mason is involved in all of it. No one has the governor’s ear more than she does. No one,” the site noted” (Gore, 2015)
The consultant firms that Governor INC hired to work for him. The Alabama House Judiciary Committee’s report, even as the Governor has worked to deliver as little information as possible, there are clearly evidence of the misuse of the Executive power in the State. Not only falling in love with another woman, than the ones who the Governor was married to. Just take a look!
“By insisting that Governor Bentley is entitled to due process under the federal Constitution, he implicitly asserts that he owns the Office of the Governor of the State of Alabama and that his suspension or removal from office is a deprivation of his property. This is wrong” (House Committee of Alabama, P: 14, 2017).
“The very purpose of impeachment – to protect the public from an abusive official – would be undermined if the Executive were shielded from the full reach of the Committee’s investigative authority in this circumstance. Thus, the “alleged misconduct of a chief executive that is sufficient to warrant an impeachment inquiry should not, as the [Governor’s] contention suggests, present a reason for exempting him from accountability; rather it should have the opposite effect.” (House Committee of Alabama, P: 23, 2017).
Governor Bentley withheld documentation:
“Leaving aside for the moment the question of the applicability of that privilege as asserted by a Governor against a co-equal branch of government in an impeachment investigation, Governor Bentley certainly should have produced all non-privileged documents responsive to the Committee’s request. In most circumstances, it is the burden of the subpoenaed party to support specific claims of privilege by describing the nature of the documents withheld” (House Committee of Alabama, P: 30, 2017).
No disclosing his Cell-phones:
“Despite multiple witnesses stating that Governor Bentley has consistently used three cell phones, Governor Bentley provided no documents responsive to the Committee’s request for a list of his cell phones or mobile devices (Item 29). He objected that the request “seeks information outside of the possession, custody or control of the Office of the Governor.”109 The Committee sought, without success, to determine if Governor Bentley was drawing a distinction between an “Office of the Governor” cell or so-called “burner” phone and a “Robert J. Bentley” cell or burner phone. The Committee noted that the document labeled OTG009338 (Ex. 5-CC) is a cover page for a selection of text messages from a phone that is referred to as “Governor state phone.” At a minimum, Governor Bentley’s “state phone” was in the possession, custody or control of the Office of the Governor” (House Committee of Alabama, P. 32, 2017).
Witnesses and Governor refused to testify:
“On October 24, 2016, the Committee, through Special Counsel and pursuant to Amended Committee Rule 6, sent to the Office of the Governor notices for the transcribed testimony under oath of Governor Robert J. Bentley, Zach Lee, Wesley Helton and David Byrne. Despite follow-up requests, the noticed persons have declined to testify” (House Committee of Alabama, P: 34, 2017).
“A number of law enforcement personnel and other staff members we interviewed were suspicious that the confidentiality agreements were designed to conceal the Bentley-Mason relationship. On the other hand, Seth Hammett maintains that the agreements were not intended for that purpose and resulted entirely from his concern that the Office of the Governor did not adequately control who attended meetings, or the flow of information in those meetings. Hammett was concerned that this lack of information control could result in the leak of sensitive information from the Office. He claims the agreements were specifically designed to address that concern. Information security was a consistent theme of the changes Hammett made after he took over as chief of staff, and according to him, such concerns were his primary motivation for the structural changes he implemented in the Office” (House Committee of Alabama, P: 57, 2017).
Rebekah Mason’s employment:
“As noted above, Rebekah Mason joined Governor Bentley’s 2010 campaign and then transitioned into his Administration, first as Communications Director and later as Communications Advisor. Beginning February 2011, she was paid a salary of approximately $98,000 per year, which was reduced after March 2012 to approximately $48,000 per year” (…) “In July 2013, Mason left formal employment with the Office of the Governor to begin work on Governor Bentley’s re-election campaign, although she was at the Capitol in Governor Bentley’s office on a regular basis, having maintained a parking space and keycard access. While working on the campaign, Mason was paid through her company, RCM Communications, Inc., which was incorporated on July 19, 2013. A review of publicly-available campaign finance records reveal that RCM Communications received money from Bentley for Governor, Inc., and was not paid by any other political candidate in Alabama. Bentley for Governor, Inc.’s publicly-available filings reflect that RCM Communications was paid monthly for “Consultants/Polling” and received reimbursement for transportation, lodging, food, and administrative expenses. From July 31, 2013, through November 13, 2014, Bentley for Governor, Inc. paid RCM Communications $426,978.43, which included $184,515.00 for “Consultants/Polling” and $220,346.00 for “Advertising.” (House Committee of Alabama, P: 57-58).
Lewis on the Mason’s connection with the Governor:
“Lewis had never met the dermatologist from Tuscaloosa who was on the verge of becoming Governor that November, but he accepted an offer from the commander of the DPU to serve as Dr. Bentley’s protective detail leader should he be elected Governor. Lewis met Dr. Bentley and his family on Election Day and was immediately impressed. Lewis saw Dr. Bentley as a family man and recalled that “he just expected us to handle things above board, to be responsible in what we did. And, you know . . . he was a religious man. He was a Christian, and he had that reputation already so you knew that you had to toe the line when you were around him.” (Ex. 9-B)” (…) “After Robert Bentley was elected Governor, the relationship between the two men grew close. Lewis recalls: “[T]he governor was like a father figure to me when we first started. We’re very close. We would talk about anything.” (…) “As Governor Bentley’s affair with Mason evolved, Lewis noticed that Governor Bentley “started to change.” Lewis’s relationship with Governor Bentley soured, and Lewis ultimately came to distrust Governor Bentley. He noted: “I knew that if the governor would betray his own family, there’s nothing to stop him from coming at me.” (House Committee of Alabama, P: 62, 2017).
“Nonetheless, on multiple occasions, and with a frequency that increased as the relationship between Governor Bentley and Mason grew, Lewis found himself overruled by Governor Bentley. Lewis recalls one occasion when he instructed Governor Bentley’s Director of Scheduling Linda Adams, while planning for a trip, not to put Mason on the State plane. Later that day, Governor Bentley called Lewis and ordered him to put Mason on the flight. Lewis recalls telling Governor Bentley: “Sir, I disagree with that, but you’re the governor and I will respect your wishes.” Lewis believes this conversation was the beginning of the deterioration of his relationship with Governor Bentley” (House Committee of Alabama, P: 79, 2017).
Using the Wallace elevator:
“Mason also often came into Governor Bentley’s office without the staff’s knowledge. It is believed this occurred because she was allowed to maintain keycard access to the capitol even though she was no longer a State employee. It was also reported that she was able to arrive in Governor Bentley’s office through an unobserved elevator that moved directly between Governor Bentley’s personal office on the first floor of the capitol and the press office in the basement. (Ex. 5-I at 3-4). This elevator was put in by Governor George Wallace after he was shot and is referred to as the “Wallace Elevator.” (House Committee of Alabama, P: 67, 2017).
Control of 2015 budget:
“A stark example of Mason’s control was her role in State budget negotiations in 2015. Spencer Collier told us that in years past, the budget process was initiated by a meeting with State Finance Director Bill Newton and his staff. At the conclusion of that meeting, Collier would meet with Governor Bentley to discuss strategies for addressing any potential cuts. However, in 2015, ALEA was required to meet with Mason and Jennifer Ardis to set budget priorities” (House Committee of Alabama, P: 69, 2017).
The report show’s the connection between Rebekah Mason and Governor Robert Bentley is clear, where the involvement went passed the employee and employer. The details that comes through the report proves the close relationship and the Mrs. Bentley divorce as she understood, because the Governor wasn’t a James Bond. He couldn’t keep himself away from the consultant and the campaign contributor. That even she had to be on the State planes, even as she wasn’t anymore a state employee, the security detail had to accept it. So Lewis said many times it was a bad idea, still the Governor had to have her with him. Just as she had to give him advice on the State Budget. This here proves that an unelected lover can become important.
“The First Baptist Church of Tuscaloosa has expelled Republican Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley and a female staff from its membership amid a raging controversy over an inappropriate audio recording that suggested the governor had an extramarital affair. Bentley was a deacon in the church” (…)”While church discipline is a church family matter, both Governor Robert Bentley and Mrs. Rebekah Mason are no longer members of First Baptist Church Tuscaloosa. I continue to pray for each of them,” Senior Pastor Gil McKee told Christian News Network on Friday” (Hicap, 2016).
So in last month the Church that both cheaters comes from have expelled them, the place they met before they went to Montgomery to become State Officials. Therefore, the Christian Family man because of love life and is extramarital affair, can not also lose all his credibility, but also expelled from his Christian fellowship. That shows the consequences of the Conservative Republican state that Governor Bentley has run.
Therefore, the State impeachment and the clear report proving the misconduct and misuse of power. As well as his unethical affair that also has implicated his office as the Executive, proves how Bentley got hooked on power and on the newfound love. So the former deacon is clearly not following his own teachings when it comes to an affair on the outside of his marriage, as he did what he could to have the consultant close and also keep the divorce silent too. Since he wanted his image to stay relevant. Certainly, the maladministration and the possible use of State property to usher in the relationship can be seen as “involving moral turpitude while in office” (Alabama Constitution 1901).
So that he misused the Alabama state to have an affair with Rebekah Mason, she was apparently married woman, so them both was having affairs for different reasons. The Governor Bentley is bad enough for selling his Christian Family Values, while being unfaithful and having an affair with a married woman, also misusing his position as Executive to get her on trips and get her hired through straw-companies, as campaign consultant, instead of directly in the State House. That shows the level of extent and that the Governor hired and sacked people to keep it secret as well. Even if he bad at keeping it low-key… Peace.
Legal Dictionary – ‘Moral Turpitude’ link: https://legaldictionary.net/moral-turpitude/
Gore, Leade – ‘Who is Rebekah Caldwell Mason? Gov. Bentley’s advisor paid $426,978 in 2014 election’ (03.09.2015) link: http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2015/09/who_is_rebekah_caldwell_mason.html
Hicap, Jonah – ‘Baptist Church expels Alabama governor, female staff over admitted explicit calls’ (29.03.2016) link: https://www.christiantoday.com/article/baptist.church.expels.alabama.governor.female.staff.over.admitted.explicit.calls/82816.htm
Representatives House of Alabama – ‘ THE IMPEACHMENT INVESTIGATION OF GOVERNOR ROBERT BENTLEY PRE-HEARING SUBMISSION OF SPECIAL COUNSEL’ (07.04.2017)
Sargent, Jordan – ‘Alabama Governor Robert Bentley Won’t Say Whether He Fucked a Staffer’ (09.03.2015) link: http://gawker.com/alabama-governor-robert-bentley-wont-say-whether-he-fuc-1728112971