“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.
In a not to distant future the world has to all remember the legacy of men like reality star and real-estate supposed tycoon becoming President of the United States, that being Donald Trump winning the election in November 2016. That after a two year stint of campaigning and doing whatever he could become the Commander-in-Chief. That actually happen by all reach of margins off the electoral college and getting the position. So now in Michigan, there is seemingly a new type of race going to happen possibly between the Democrat Senator Debbie Stabenow and against Republican Robert James Ritchie aka Kid Rock.
There are some different reports on Kid Rock’s candidacy, let’s look at them:
“At least since “Devil Without a Cause”—his breakthrough LP, from 1998, which sold more than eleven million copies in the U.S.—Kid Rock has self-styled as a patriotic iconoclast, a rebel cowboy on a rampage against anything effete, élite, or soft. He is particularly enraged by rules or customs that might be construed as infringements on personal freedom, such as the choice to meld rap and rock into a shouty, bullish pastiche. He did not invent the right-wing-outlaw archetype—he’s preceded, in music, by the rock guitarist and N.R.A. activist Ted Nugent, the country singer Hank Williams, Jr., and others—but he nonetheless revels in its actualization” (Petrusich, 2017).
“If Rock is really preparing to run for Senate, it’s news to the Michigan Republican Party. The Michigan GOP has “not had any contact with him at all,” spokeswoman Sarah Anderson said Thursday, “so I can’t speak to the validity of it.” Although the state party does not endorse in Republican primaries, potential candidates typically talk to GOP leaders and activists around the state before launching campaigns. Rock caused an uproar Wednesday when he tweeted a mock image of a political lawn sign and said his website is “absolute YES” for real” (Gerstein, 2017).
“He also responded to incumbent Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow, who’d tweeted, “I know we both share a love of music. I concede he’s better at playing guitar and I’ll keep doing what I do best: fighting for Michigan.” His take? “I concede she is better at playing politics than I am, so I’ll keep doing what I do best, which is being a voice for tax paying, hardworking AMERICANS,” said Rock, who hasn’t kept his Trump-supporting ideology under wraps” (…) “ The “Kid Rock for U.S. Senate” website diverts from the typical parameters associated with campaign-affiliated sites in a number of ways. For example, campaign sites must confirm that potential donors are U.S. citizens before completing any transactions” (Czachor, 2017).
Now that we see this, it wouldn’t be shocking in the state of affairs in the United States that Kid Rock would suddenly become a politician. There been certainly a dozen other public figures who became politicians in the United States, even Ronald Reagan was in commercials before becoming President. Therefore, the legacy of the American Democracy would not be destroyed, but would be more of a show. Since the President of the current day is a former reality star and that is showing in his persona.
That this would be a special election in Michigan and the state would certainly become galvanized by such a candidate. As the Democrats knows the volatile state after other election losses of late. Not that the Republicans are Teflon, since the scandals surrounding the President keeps them more hurt and less to show for in their time as majority. Especially considering the devastating legislation’s trough the Congress. This will not benefit a Republican candidate in Michigan and the rest of the Senate races, but a wild-card might help. Certainly, a Kid Rock would be a wild-card and would be something else. After a while, the public see what something does as President and they want to vote for safety instead.
Time will tell, if it is a PR Campaign, if it is real start of campaign as the settling with FEC to become candidate has to happen. Also where he disclose what needed to the state before becoming a candidate. Clearly, he needs also to connect with the Republican Party. If he is not planning to run as an independent. But then the musician turned candidate will work against the two biggest parties. Than, he can’t only run on his celebrity status, but has to show that he is a genuine candidate.
Time will tell if he is a real candidate, who will follow protocol and become a possible senator. If he decides to do so, then the Michigan race will be special for the Senate in 2018. Peace.
Czachor, Emily Mae – ‘Kid Rock for U.S. Senate? ‘It’s not a hoax,’ he says. ‘It’s a strategy.’ (14.07.2017) link: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/la-et-entertainment-news-updates-july-kid-rock-1500056630-htmlstory.html
Gerstein, Michael – ‘Kid Rock amps up Senate tease with expletives’ (13.07.2017) link: http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/politics/2017/07/13/kid-rock-senate-run-comments/103678072/
Petrusich, Amanda – ‘Kid Rock’s Senate Run Is a Terrifying New Normal’ (13.07.2017) link: http://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/kid-rocks-senate-run-is-a-terrifying-new-normal
Who? Who elected this men in shiny suits and grins in the Capitol and who walk around like gentleman and ladies in Washington D.C. That is the question I ask today, since first the House of Representative under the key leader Paul Ryan passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA) to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This was done on the 4th May 2017 and they had such a wonderful victory speech by President Donald Trump in the rose garden. Than, after the vote, the CBO score came in and it showed no mercy to the ones who needs medical care or health care, neither was the legislation made for safety of the American people, more a tax-relief for the wealthy who pays for poor. So they can get health-care under current legislation. That is something sinister in the eyes of Republican Party in the United States. Therefore, they have behind closed doors in the Capitol or the Congress, worked to make a new Health Care Bill based on the House of Representative vote in May 2017. And by June the legislation made in the dark, has come to light. Yesterday, the leak of the “Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017” was also broke down by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), BCRA are the still an ugly duck compared to the ACA or Obama-Care. Just take look at important quotes from their report and it proves the devastating acts of the Senate and House of Representatives,
The quotes I have taken, is just like last go-around on the members of society who will be cut off from Health-Care by new legislation. How much monies the 1% saves and how much the wealthy get tax-relief is benign since it is so many lives at stake and so many more people who will not be covered or can afford a Health Care Plan or Health Insurance under the new legislation. That is more dire, than if the state saves a few billion dollars, because the rich cannot afford to have some solidarity because their need for golden showers and Bentley’s. Take a look!
“The Senate bill would increase the number of people who are uninsured by 22 million in 2026 relative to the number under current law, slightly fewer than the increase in the number of uninsured estimated for the House-passed legislation. By 2026, an estimated 49 million people would be uninsured, compared with 28 million who would lack insurance that year under current law” (CBO, P: 1, 2017).
“CBO and JCT estimate that, in 2018, 15 million more people would be uninsured under this legislation than under current law—primarily because the penalty for not having insurance would be eliminated. The increase in the number of uninsured people relative to the number projected under current law would reach 19 million in 2020 and 22 million in 2026. In later years, other changes in the legislation—lower spending on Medicaid and substantially smaller average subsidies for coverage in the nongroup market—would also lead to increases in the number of people without health insurance. By 2026, among people under age 65, enrollment in Medicaid would fall by about 16 percent and an estimated 49 million people would be uninsured, compared with 28 million who would lack insurance that year under current law” (CBO, P: 4, 2017)
“Medicaid. Enrollment in Medicaid would be lower throughout the coming decade, with 15 million fewer Medicaid enrollees by 2026 than projected under current law in CBO’s March 2016 baseline (see Figure 4). Some of that decline would be among people who are currently eligible for Medicaid benefits, and some would be among people who CBO projects would, under current law, become eligible in the future as additional states adopted the ACA’s option to expand eligibility” (CBO, P: 16, 2017).
Just think about it, 49 Million uninsured compared to 28 million. The 28 millions uninsured under current legislation should be the worry today, not make sure there are another 21 millions who joins the club of ill-health and possible side-effects of not affording to pay for their health care bills. The Republican party and the Senate, as the House of Representatives are morally bankrupt. They don’t care or have no issues making provisions for a possible 21 million citizens without health-care. That means, they can easily do so, since the donors and rich-backers needs a Tax-Holiday. That is the seriousness and the bottom-line. Nothing beautiful about this. Just hardcore tax-relief so fewer people can afford to treatment and get people healed through Health-Insurance. Seriously, who votes this gang of brothers in and who would accept this sort of treatment? Can someone please explain to me what this dude Mitch McConnell still doing in the Capitol when he can serve this sort of legislation?
The numbers themselves are insane and the other aspects of the law is bad. There aren’t any good news in this one, unless your wealthy and don’t care about the society you sponge of in general. That is what this bill does, it isn’t “Better Care Reconciliation of 2017”, so to translate to a proper name of the bill it should be named: “We don’t Care Act of 2017”. Sponsored by the honorable men and woman of the Republican Party, with they new slogan to the public: “because we don’t care! We don’t care if you cannot afford to go to the hospital, have a per-existing condition, planned parenthood or any sort of benefits because of your low-pay-grade, you are just a Smuck-On-Wheels for voting for us and we are making sure that you cannot be covered in the future”. Why you say? We the Republican’s Just don’t Care! Peace.
Congressional Budget Office – ‘H.R. 1628 Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017’ (26.06.2017)