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Monte Wolverton | Wackos and Gun Rights

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Section(s): 

‘Who the hell is this person?’ Trump’s Mar-a-Lago pal stymies VA project

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  • The intercession of a well-connected Florida doctor infuriated those overseeing the $16B contract.
  • Related: Fired VA Secretary Shulkin Issues Dire Warning: Vets should not have to wait years for benefits.

Arthur Allen, Politico

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04/30/2018 | A West Palm Beach doctor’s ties to Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago social circle have enabled him to hold up the biggest health information technology project in history — the transformation of the VA’s digital records system.

Dr. Bruce Moskowitz, an internist and friend of Trump confidant Ike Perlmutter, who advises the president informally on vet issues, objected to the $16 billion Department of Veterans Affairs project because he doesn’t like the Cerner Corp. software he uses at two Florida hospitals, according to four former and current senior VA officials. Cerner technology is a cornerstone of the VA project.

Arthur Allen is the eHealth editor for Politico Pro.

Full story … 

Related:

Fired VA Secretary Shulkin Issues Dire Warning: Vets should not have to wait years for benefits. Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • Part 1: Fired VA Head David Shulkin Issues a Dire Warning on His Way Out the Door
  • The former Obama appointee fears privatization could harm veterans for years to come.
  • Part 2: Vets should not have to wait years for benefits
  • The Trump administration and Congress need to follow through on … reforms, give the VA the resources it needs, and hold the agency accountable.

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Fabricating a War on Iran

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Photo by futureatlas.com | CC BY 2.0

Once again, fear is being manufactured to justify war: 14 years after destroying Iraq, the US government has Iran in its sights.
Related: Selected Articles | How the US Engineers the "Truth", Week Ending April 28, 2018

Serge Halimi, Counterpunch

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January 10, 2018 | Secretary of State Colin Powell brandished a vial he claimed contained anthrax at the UN Security Council on 5 February 2003, and showed satellite photos of secret sites where chemical weapons were supposed to be manufactured. He later admitted the story was fabricated, but not before it had served as a PR launch pad for the Iraq war.

On 11 December 2017 the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, appeared with huge fragments of what she claimed was an Iranian missile that had missed its target. She maintained it had been fired from Yemen at a Saudi civil airport, ‘a G20 country’ and had ‘the potential to kill hundreds of innocent civilians in Saudi Arabia … Just imagine if this missile had been launched at Dulles Airport or JFK. Or the airport in Paris, London or Berlin. ’Never mind it could not have travelled that far.

Serge Halimi is president of Le Monde diplomatique

Full story … 

Related:

Selected Articles | How the US Engineers the "Truth", Week Ending April 28, 2018, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • https://www.globalresearch.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/newsmedia-400x239.jpg“Lying” in mainstream journalism has become the “new normal”: mainstream journalists are pressured to comply. Some journalists refuse. Lies, distortions and omissions are part of a multibillion dollar propaganda operation which sustains the “war narrative”.bWhile “Truth” is a powerful instrument, “the Lie” is generously funded by the lobby groups and corporate charities.
  • When the Lie becomes the Truth, there is no turning backwards. 


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We're shining a light on those beholden to the gun lobby.

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  • After a mass shooting — like clockwork — our elected officials offer thoughts and prayers, but do little to nothing to enact common sense gun policies that protect us from gun violence. This needs to stop.
  • Related: Exposing the Gun Industry Profiteers

Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund

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February 24, 2018 | It's time to follow the money. 

After a mass shooting — like clockwork — our elected officials offer thoughts and prayers, but do little to nothing to enact common sense gun policies that protect us from gun violence.

This needs to stop.

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Take%20Action%20Today%20button_0.jpg We've had enough of these lawmakers who are beholden to the gun lobby. It's time to Throw. Them. Out. Follow the money, find out if your Member of Congress accepted money from the NRA, and then tell them you've had enough. 

It's been ten days since the tragic mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 students and staff members were shot and killed, and more than a dozen injured. Thoughts and prayers alone are not enough to honor the victims of mass shootings. We need lawmakers who will enact commonsense gun laws.

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Take%20Action%20Today%20button_0.jpg So this election, we're going to throw out the politicians who are beholden to the gun lobby. Follow the NRA money, and see which of your elected officials is loyal to the gun lobby.

Thanks for standing with us in this fight.

Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund:  Everytown is a movement of Americans working together to end gun violence and build safer communities. Gun violence touches every town in America. For too long, change has been thwarted by the Washington gun lobby and by leaders who refuse to take common-sense steps that will save lives.

Full story … 

Related:

Exposing the Gun Industry Profiteers, Derek, LittleSis.org via ActionNetwork.org 

Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs, which is a big investor in the gun retailer Bass Pro.http://www.dailypublic.com/sites/default/files/styles/full_width/public/2018/Mar/blankfein-1.jpg?itok=NfGHD2MK

(Here's) a series that surveys the main gun profiteers, takes a closer look at gun retailer Bass Pro-Cabela’s and its backing from Goldman Sachs, and examines Wells Fargo’s major ties to the NRA and firearms industry.

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Special Project | Explained: The Way Forward on North Korea

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Part 1: The North Korean Crisis: On the Brink of a Breakthrough or a Bust?
Part 2: A series of one-pagers that help explain what a strategy should look like
Related: A Murderous History of Korea

Center for American Progress

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Part 1: The North Korean Crisis: On the Brink of a Breakthrough or a Bust?

Monday, March 19, 2018 | The planned meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un took the world by surprise. This diplomatic opening is a positive and necessary step forward toward addressing the nuclear threat from North Korea, but the upcoming diplomatic process—and especially the summit meeting—are a minefield for the United States and its allies. What does it all mean, what should the United States do now, and what comes next? For analysis on recent developments on North Korea, please join the Center for American Progress for an event with former senior government officials and North Korea experts.

Full story … 

Part 2: North Korea poses a serious challenge to U.S. national security.

Monday, March 19, 2018The United States needs a proactive, comprehensive, and consistent strategy on North Korea—one that is led by diplomacy and bolstered by deterrence, pressure, and containment. While the United States has been dealing with this threat for decades, events often move quickly and unpredictably on the Korean Peninsula. With so much uncertainty over the future of U.S. policy on North Korea, the Center for American Progress has created a series of one-pagers that help cut through the noise and explain what a strategy should look like; outline specific recommendations for each component of the strategy—diplomacy, deterrence, and pressure; and sift through the myths surrounding the North Korea policy debate.

• The Way Forward on North Korea
• The Costs of Preventive War with North Korea
• The Case for Deterrence
• The Case for Diplomacy with North Korea
• Ramping Up Pressure to Contain North Korea
• Myths About North Korea

The Center for American Progress is an independent nonpartisan policy institute that is dedicated to improving the lives of all Americans, through bold, progressive ideas, as well as strong leadership and concerted action. Our aim is not just to change the conversation, but to change the country.

Full story …

Related:

https://portside.org/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/field/image/koreawar_0.jpg?itok=-2jKP4c6A Murderous History of Korea, Bruce Cumings , London Review of Books

  • In the West, treatment of North Korea is one-sided and ahistorical. No one even gets the names straight. But if American commentators and politicians are ignorant of Korea’s history, they ought at least to be aware of their own.
  • Related: Battlefield Earth: All the Countries John McCain Has Wanted to Attack
     

Full story ... 

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The Violent American Century: War and Terror Since World War II ~ John Dower

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  • A timely, compact, and utterly compelling exposé of the myriad contradictions besetting U.S. national security policy. John Dower has written a powerful book. —Andrew J. Bacevich, author of America's War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History
  • Related: Tomgram: Nick Turse, Killing People, Breaking Things, and America's Winless Wars

Reviewed in TomDispatch

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http://www.tomdispatch.com/images/managed/violentcenturydower_118.jpgMay 16, 2017 | World War II marked the apogee of industrialized “total war.” Great powers savaged one another. Hostilities engulfed the globe. Mobilization extended to virtually every sector of every nation. Air war, including the terror bombing of civilians, emerged as a central strategy of the victorious Anglo-American powers. The devastation was catastrophic almost everywhere, with the notable exception of the United States, which exited the strife unscathed and unmatched in power and influence. The death toll of fighting forces plus civilians worldwide was staggering. 

The Violent American Century addresses the U.S.-led transformations in war conduct and strategizing that followed 1945—beginning with brutal localized hostilities, proxy wars, and the nuclear terror of the Cold War, and ending with the asymmetrical conflicts of the present day. The military playbook now meshes brute force with a focus on non-state terrorism, counterinsurgency, clandestine operations, a vast web of overseas American military bases, and—most touted of all—a revolutionary new era of computerized “precision” warfare. In contrast to World War II, postwar death and destruction has been comparatively small. By any other measure, it has been appalling—and shows no sign of abating.

John Dower is the winner of numerous national prizes for his historical writings, including the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.

Full story …

Related:

Tomgram: Nick Turse, Killing People, Breaking Things, and America's Winless Wars,

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Nick Turse, TomDispatch.com

  • If you’ve ever wondered how those inside the planet’s self-proclaimed mightiest military force assess their handiwork over these last 15 (or for that matter 50) years, it’s fortunately no longer necessary to guess. Thanks to TomDispatch’s Nick Turse, we now have a document from within that military which will answer your every question on war, American-style, even if those answers beg questions all their own.
  • Related: You Must Be Kidding!


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Exposing the Gun Industry Profiteers

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Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs, which is a big investor in the gun retailer Bass Pro.

(Here's) a series that:

  • surveys the main gun profiteers,
  • takes a closer look at gun retailer Bass Pro-Cabela’s and its backing from Goldman Sachs,
  • and examines Wells Fargo’s major ties to the NRA and firearms industry.

Derek, LittleSis.org via ActionNetwork.org

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April 13, 2018 | The tragic school shooting in Parkland, Florida placed a renewed focus on the gun industry. While many pointed their criticism - and rightly so - at the NRA and the gun lobby’s bought-off politicians, we also thought it was important to look at the key profiteers - the banks, hedge funds, asset managers, and top executives - who hold a lot of power within the gun industry.

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To this end, we put together a series that surveys the main gun profiteers, takes a closer look at gun retailer Bass Pro-Cabela’s and its backing from Goldman Sachs, and examines Wells Fargo’s major ties to the NRA and firearms industry.

Some of these articles also appeared in the Public and Truthout, while the focus on Wells Fargo even found its way onto MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews.

LittleSis.org: a free database detailing the connections between powerful people and organizations. We bring transparency to influential social networks by tracking the key relationships of politicians, business leaders, lobbyists, financiers, and their affiliated institutions.

Full story … As indicated, above.

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War Pay: The Pentagon Wants to Spend $716 Billion Next Year

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  • Part 1: The Pentagon Wants to Spend $716 Billion Next Year 
  • And they’re justifying it by playing on fear.
  • Part 2: War Pay
  • 
Another Good Year for Weapons Makers Is Guaranteed

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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Part 1: The Pentagon Wants to Spend $716 Billion Next Year
 

https://www.thenation.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/afghanistan-mattis-nicholson-ap-img.jpg?scale=896&compress=80US Defense Secretary James Mattis and US Army General John Nicholson meet the Afghan delegation in Kabul, Afghanistan, on April 24, 2017. (Jonathan Ernst / Pool Photo via AP)

And they’re justifying it by playing on fear.
 
Danny Sjursen, Tom Dispatch

February 20, 2018 | Think of it as the chicken-or-the-egg question for the ages: Do very real threats to the United States inadvertently benefit the military-industrial complex or does the national security state, by its very nature, conjure up inflated threats to feed that defense machine?

Back in 2008, some of us placed our faith, naively enough, in the hands of mainstream Democrats—specifically, those of a young senator named Barack Obama. He would reverse the war policies of George W. Bush, deescalate the unbridled “Global War on Terror,” and right the ship of state. How’d that turn out?

Danny Sjursen is a US Army strategist and former history instructor at West Point. He served tours with reconnaissance units in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has written a memoir and critical analysis of the Iraq War, Ghostriders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge.

Full story … 



 

Part 2: War Pay

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Another Good Year for Weapons Makers Is Guaranteed 


William D. Hartung, Tom Dispatch

January 11, 2018 | As Donald Trump might put it, major weapons contractors like Boeing, Raytheon, and Lockheed Martin cashed in “bigly” in his first year in office. They raked in tens of billions of dollars in Pentagon contracts, while posting sharp stock price increases and healthy profits driven by the continuation and expansion of Washington’s post-9/11 wars. But last year’s bonanza is likely to be no more than a down payment on even better days to come for the military-industrial complex.

President Trump moved boldly in his first budget, seeking an additional $54 billion in Pentagon funding for fiscal year 2018. That figure, by the way, equals the entire military budgets of allies like Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and Japan. Then, in a bipartisan stampede, Congress egged on Trump to go even higher, putting forward a defense authorization bill that would raise the Pentagon’s budget by an astonishing $85 billion. (And don’t forget that, last spring, the president and Congress had already tacked an extra $15 billion onto the 2017 Pentagon budget.)  The authorization bill for 2018 is essentially just a suggestion, however -- the final figure for this year will be determined later this month, if Congress can come to an agreement on how to boost the caps on domestic and defense spending imposed by the Budget Control Act of 2011. The final number is likely to go far higher than the staggering figure Trump requested last spring.

William D. Hartung, a TomDispatch regular, is the director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy.  His most recent book is Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military-Industrial Complex.

Full story … 

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