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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "corruption" (Page 17)

When You’re Worth $906 Billion – You Can Buy a LOT of Government

Westlake Legal Group Bezos-Crown When You’re Worth $906 Billion – You Can Buy a LOT of Government Politics Outsourcing National Security Government Contracting Government Front Page Stories Front Page Department of Defense democrats Cybersecurity Cronyism corruption Congress Cloud Computing Business & Economy Barack Obama amazon web services amazon Abuse of Power

Uber-huge Big Tech company Amazon – is a monster (Market Cap: $906 billion).  Amazon founder and chief bottle washer Jeff Bezos – is the world’s richest human.

It appears that from their July 5, 1994 beginning – getting huge was Bezos’ only objective.  For nearly two decades, Amazon Retail sacrificed profits to growth – and to killing-in-antitrust-violating-fashion more and more of its competitors.

Amazon: Nearly 20 Years In Business And It Still Doesn’t Make Money

Amazon’s No-Profit Model: Bleed Competitors to Death – Then Do Exactly What They Did:

“A key component of Amazon’s murderous business model – was operating for a quarter century making…almost no money whatsoever.  And for many quarters at a time – actually losing coin.  This from 2013:

“‘Amazon: Nearly 20 Years In Business And It Still Doesn’t Make Money:

“‘The company’s net profit margin has broken one billion dollars only once in the past nine years, in 2009. After reporting a loss last year, the world’s largest online store is expected to end this year with $349 million in net profit on nearly $75 billion in revenue. That’s close to the profit it made in 2005 ($359 million) on just a fraction of the revenue ($8.5 billion)….

“‘The net result of nearly two decades in business is that Amazon’s trailing 12-month price-to-earnings ratio stands at an alarmingly high 550.’

“Those tiny profits – off of those massive revenues.  How is this possible?

“Because Amazon’s objective wasn’t money – it was growth:

“‘The company barely ekes out a profit, spends a fortune on expansion and free shipping and is famously opaque about its business operations….’

“And Amazons no-profit forced growth – comes at the expense of everyone besides Amazon selling…anything Amazon sells.

In March 2006, Amazon started Amazon Web Services (AWS).  A cloud computing company – which generates lots of profits.  All of which are plowed into Amazon Retail.

To subsidize Amazon Retail’s no-profit, expansive growth – and murder of Amercian retail.

Amazon’s Secret Weapon: Cloud Subsidizes Retail:

“For the first time ever Amazon separated retail revenue from cloud services during a quarterly briefing last week and guess what? Amazon is a lousy retailer.

“It reported a loss of $57 million on $22.7 billion in revenue….Retailers have always suspected this, but now they have the facts. Amazon is subsidizing its retail division from profits made from cloud services.”

And now we know Bezos had at least two objectives in focusing on growth versus…everything else.

Artificially, illegally killing competitors – and getting big enough to get in on the biggest game of all:

Government cronyism.

Amazon mainly, maniacally concentrated on growth at the expense of profitability – to get a seat at the only tables that anymore really matter…governments’.

Of course, getting government cronyism – requires bribes of government.  Oops – I mean lobbying Congress for redress of grievances…and contributing coin to political campaigns and elected officials.

For-Trillion-Dollar-Amazon – that’s no problem at all.

In fact, government cronyism helped fuel Amazon’s continued growth.  Which is the vicious-est of circles.

Amazon bribes government…Government subsidizes Amazon…Which allows Amazon to better bribe government…Which means even more government subsidies for Amazon…Which….

Four Ways Amazon’s Ruthless Practices Are Crushing Local Economies:

“Jeff Bezos has forged an empire by exploiting low-wage workers and extracting billions in government subsidies.”

Bezos knows what anyone paying any attention at all knows:

There is NO better return on your investment – than an “investment” in government and its cronyism.

Kick in a few hundred thousand dollars a campaign cycle in contributions – and you’re set up for billions in government money on the other end.

As but one obvious example….

80% of DOE Green Energy Loans Went to Obama Backers:

“Four out of every five renewable energy companies backed by the Energy Department was ‘run by or primarily owned by Barack Obama financial backers.’…

“Those companies’ ‘political largesse is probably the best investment they ever made in alternative energy….It brought them returns many times over.’”

The federal government spends $4.5 trillion per year.  Gee…I can’t imagine why K Street is all glass and steel and lawyer appeal.

You want actual, real campaign finance reform?  You don’t silence We the People – you shrink the government’s wallet.  If The Feds spent $4.5 billion per year – K Street would look like Caracas, Venezuela.

Until we do shrink the government, we’ll keep getting stuff like this….

‘Impressive and a Little Scary’: How Amazon and Jeff Bezos Made Washington a Second Home:

“Amazon is already deeply embedded in Washington and has plans to further entrench itself in the nation’s capital, putting it close to power brokers as well as billions of dollars in government contracts.

“While major tech companies have ingrained themselves in the capital in recent years, none are as present as Amazon, according to policy and lobbying experts.…

“Many companies have cozied up to Washington, but none have accrued the kind of presence and reach that Amazon will soon boast….

“‘I think they see there is a lot of profit to be made in government contracts and want to be part of that,’ said Frank Pasquale, a University of Maryland law professor.

“‘Maybe some of the Amazon executives in the area will end up going to the same country club as antitrust or tax policymakers and end up offering jobs or internships to bureaucrats or political appointees’ kids, or engage in similar soft corruption.’

“‘There are a lot of opportunities for influence once you get your own people insinuated into the elite clubs, schools, and other social venues in D.C.’”

“Jobs (and) internships to bureaucrats (and) political appointees’ kids….”

How very, VERY cozy.

“(E)lite clubs, schools and other social venues in D.C.”

ALL paid for with money taken from us by The Feds – and then slathered generously upon the likes of Bezos and his well-compensated stable of Crony Makers.

I would say “Lather, rinse, repeat” – except that connotes something clean.

Did someone say “government contracts” – ???

Amazon Seeks to Dominate Government Contracting

Amazon’s Biggest Customer May Soon Be the US Government

The ‘Amazon Amendment’ Would Effectively Hand Government Purchasing Power Over to Amazon

The Details of the CIA’s Cloud Deal with Amazon

Amazon’s Other Secret Cloud Win

But ALL of this massive Amazon cronyism – were but mere appetizers to what could be the hugest cronyism main course in history.

Uber-Crony Amazon – Is About to Get the Biggest Crony Deal In DC’s Awful History

Here’s Why Amazon is Heavily Favored to Win the $10 Billion Defense Department Cloud Computing Contract

“Here’s why Amazon is heavily favored” – ???  Massive cronyism, natch.

The Amazon-Defense Department (DoD) cronyism is so obvious and pathetic…it’s actually a little sardonically humorous.

The Obama Administration started a new sub-agency in the DoD – in charge of tech procurement.  And hired thereby was a huge Obama fan by the name of Deap Ubhi.

Where was Ubhi working when the Obama Administration hired him?  Why…Amazon Web Services, natch.

The DoDs multi-provider contract process – then suddenly became a sole source contract process.

And the contractor description was rewritten – so that only Amazon Web Services met the specifications.

Shocker.

When Ubhi was outed for his inside-out Amazon cronyism – he recused himself…from a contract process he had already thoroughly corrupted.

And two weeks after his recusal – Ubhi quit the DoD…and went back to work for Amazon Web Services.

Nothing crony going on there.

That is a revolving door – crammed inside a phone booth.

Thank God – there is a new sheriff in in this rotten town.

Gone is the world’s-largest-cronyism-generator-ever Obama Administration.

Replaced by the “Drain the Swamp” Donald Trump Administration.

The DoD was originally supposed to award the could computing contract – sometime in the late summer or early fall of 2018.

But several Trump Administration officials serially examined the monstrous heinousness – and they all made the obvious determination that this is a monstrous heinousness.

All the way up the government food chain – to new Defense Secretary Mark Esper.  Right after taking his oath of office, the good Secretary fully slammed the brakes on the whole monstrous heinousness….

Pentagon Will Not Award Cloud Contract Until New Defense Secretary Completes Review

This is no mere cursory glance….

Esper Has No ‘Hard Timeline’ for Review of $10 Billion JEDI Deal

Amazon long ago made what for more than a century has been a very safe bet:

They put most or all of their eggs – in the government cronyism basket.

And it paid off handsomely – for quite a long while.

But then We the People had finally had enough.

And We elected a man – who promised to not allow this monstrous heinousness to continue unfettered and unimpeded.

And now he’s keeping his word.

Much to Amazon and Bezos’ crony chagrin.

And to the detriment of their crony business model.

The post When You’re Worth $906 Billion – You Can Buy a LOT of Government appeared first on RedState.

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Following the money: MIT director resigns under fire over Epstein corruption

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In every scandal since Watergate, investigators know that the first task is to follow the money. At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, administrators made sure that no one could easily follow Jeffrey Epstein’s money after his conviction for sex trafficking. After being accused of a cover-up, Media Lab director Joi Ito has resigned, while MIT promises a top-to-bottom scouring of its fundraising processes:

The announcement comes a day after the New Yorker reported that Media Lab director Joi Ito and his colleagues worked to conceal the financier’s donations and affiliation with the program. Epstein died last month in jail as he faced federal charges of sex trafficking of minors. …

According to the New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow, Epstein was listed as a “disqualified” donor in MIT’s database, and the Media Lab classified his donations as anonymous and kept his name off Ito’s calendar. In a September 2014 email obtained by Farrow, Ito asked Epstein to help fund a researcher, writing “Could you re-up/top-off with another $100K so we can extend his contract another year?”

In a subsequent email with the subject line “Jeffrey Epstein money,” Farrow reports, Ito instructed his staff to “make sure this gets accounted for as anonymous.” Farrow writes that staff also raised objections to a 2015 visit from Epstein, according to Signe Swenson, a former employee at the lab who resigned in 2016.

The money added up to $1.7 million over the past decade since Epstein’s release from what little jail time he actually did. Ito did more than just hide Epstein’s influence from the university, however. He also got Epstein to park his money in Ito’s own initiatives, while Ito rationalized that he never saw Epstein traffic underage girls:

On Aug. 15, five days after Epstein’s death, Ito disclosed in a blog post that the Lab had accepted money from the billionaire “through some of the foundations he controlled” and that the donations had been made with his knowledge and permission. Ito also disclosed that he allowed Epstein to “invest in several of my funds which invest in tech start-up companies outside of MIT.”

Ito apologized for his dealings with Epstein but insisted that “in all of my interactions with Epstein, I was never involved in, never heard him talk about, and never saw any evidence of the horrific acts that he was accused of.”

That sounds very similar to the rationalization in the Rodney Dangerfield movie Back to School: “In Mr. Melon’s defense … it was a really big check.” Epstein wrote a lot of really big checks in his attempts to worm his way back into the good graces of the elite. Ito and MIT might just be the first of many institutions where investigators will go to follow the money.

It won’t just be Academia under the microscope. The Daily Beast reported yesterday that Epstein’s obsession with young models wasn’t limited to Leslie Wexner’s Victoria’s Secret stable. Epstein had ties to modeling agencies that may have added other channels for his predation on young women and girls, at least one of which is an industry leader:

For years, the perverted multimillionaire faced accusations that he sexually abused underage girls brought to him by Jean-Luc Brunel, the owner of the MC2 modeling agency who, according to civil court filings, housed his models in Manhattan apartments owned by Epstein. (Brunel has denied these allegations.)

But Epstein’s ties to the industry run deeper than previously reported.

The financier regularly dropped by the New York offices of one of modeling’s biggest agencies—Next Model Management—according to sources familiar with the business, and lavished funds on charities connected to Next co-owner Faith Kates and her family. Brunel owned a 25 percent stake in Next with his brother, according to previously unreported court documents. And when Brunel’s relationship with Next soured, he and Epstein tried to expand into deals with the renowned agency Elite Paris. …

On Wednesday, the French newspaper Le Parisien reported that authorities in France are seeking Brunel as part of their probe into Epstein, and that they recently interviewed two women who say they were Brunel’s victims in the late 1970s and early ’80s. According to police, Brunel was in Paris this summer before he took off. He may be in Brazil.

Less public, however, was Epstein’s relationship with Next model-maker Faith Kates. The 61-year-old Kates founded the business in 1989, and built it into one of the most respected agencies in the industry. Her partners at the time included Brunel and Lorenzo Pedrini, a former male model who appears in Epstein’s little black book of contacts. Spectrum Models co-owner Joel Wilkenfeld later merged his agency with Kates’ budding shop.

The Daily Beast outlines the connections but doesn’t provide significant evidence of exploitation — so far. One has to wonder why Kates didn’t get ahead of the Epstein story by disclosing all this when Epstein was arrested. Perhaps she thought Epstein would fight his way out of the trap, but after he committed suicide, Kates had to know that every move Epstein ever made would get scrutinized — especially in connection to an industry that profits off of underage girls. The connection between Epstein and the modeling agency is curious, but so too is the fact that Kates sat on that information.

It sounds like the MIT situation. Ito knew he had something to hide. Does Kates think she has something to hide too? That’s a question that even following the money might not answer fully — but following the money will lead to others who face the same question.

The post Following the money: MIT director resigns under fire over Epstein corruption appeared first on Hot Air.

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Christine Blasey Ford’s Attorney Admits She Wanted ‘An Asterisk’ Next To Kavanaugh’s Name Before He ‘Takes A Scalpel To’ Roe v. Wade

 

Westlake Legal Group christine-ford-620x433 Christine Blasey Ford’s Attorney Admits She Wanted ‘An Asterisk’ Next To Kavanaugh’s Name Before He ‘Takes A Scalpel To’ Roe v. Wade SCOTUS Ryan Lovelace Justice Brett Kavanaugh Front Page Stories Featured Story democrats Debra Katz Culture corruption Congress christine blasey ford Allow Media Exception #metoo

Christine Blasey Ford testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool)

 

The Daily Caller obtained a video of Christine Blasey-Ford’s attorney, Debra Katz, speaking to a group of the University of Baltimore’s Feminist Legal Theory Conference in April. Katz admits that part of Blasey-Ford’s motivation for accusing now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault in July 2018 was political.

Katz said, “In the aftermath of these hearings, I believe that Christine’s testimony brought about more good than the harm misogynist Republicans caused by allowing Kavanaugh on the court. He will always have an asterisk next to his name. When he takes a scalpel to Roe v. Wade, we will know who he is, we know his character, and we know what motivates him, and that is important; it is important that we know, and that is part of what motivated Christine.”

According to the Daily Caller, the video was first reported by Ryan Lovelace, a writer for the National Law Journal, for his new book, “Search and Destroy: Inside the Campaign Against Brett Kavanaugh.”

Lovelace told the Daily Caller, “A lot of people ask if Christine Blasey-Ford was lying. To know that, you have to know her motivation. Since she has not talked to me directly, the best way I can understand what she is thinking is by what her lawyer is saying. And her lawyer says that she is motivated, at least in part, by Roe v. Wade protecting legalized abortion. It contradicts what both Ford and her lawyers told the press.”

During her testimony before the Senate, “Ford had maintained that she came forward out of a sense of civic duty to provide information that she thought senators needed to know before voting on Kavanaugh,” said Lovelace. “This calls into question everything that Ford and Katz have previously said. I think if we knew in September what we know now, there would have been all kinds of questions at the hearing about this.”

Lovelace also told the Daily Caller he “believes there will be more scrutiny going forward, saying that this is part of the reason he penned “Search and Destroy.” He added that, “I want people to look for themselves and to understand for themselves.”

Ford’s political motivations were apparent to most Republicans and any Democrat who was willing to admit it. Not a single aspect of her bizarre story of a sexual assault she claimed happened 37 years prior could be corroborated. She wasn’t even quite sure of the year it happened.

Since that time, college acquaintances have come forward with stories which describe Blasey-Ford as the opposite of the wounded, fragile child-woman she portrayed during her testimony.

I disagree with Lovelace that there will be more scrutiny going forward. There should have been an immediate investigation of Blasey-Ford’s claims. There were so many pieces of her story which didn’t add up.

No one should be surprised to hear of Debra Katz’ remarks. The situation was pretty clear at the time. Actually, I believe her motivation was purely political, but if Katz had admitted that, she would have put both Blasey-Ford and herself in legal jeopardy. Blasey-Ford and her handlers engaged in character assassination on a scale we’ve never seen before…At least until John Durham’s findings are released, that is.

The post Christine Blasey Ford’s Attorney Admits She Wanted ‘An Asterisk’ Next To Kavanaugh’s Name Before He ‘Takes A Scalpel To’ Roe v. Wade appeared first on RedState.

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Perpetually Ungrateful Kuwait – Continues to Screw Our Company and Its Executive

Westlake Legal Group Kuwait Perpetually Ungrateful Kuwait – Continues to Screw Our Company and Its Executive trade Taxes tax cuts republicans repatriation Politics Policy Patriotism News National Security national interest military Middle East law Kuwait International Affairs Hillary Clinton Government Front Page Stories Front Page Foreign Policy Energy Economy Dubai donald trump Department of Defense Cronyism crony socialism crony capitalism crony corruption Clinton Foundation Campaigns Business & Economy Amerca First

The Only Reason This Kuwaiti Flag
Isn’t an Iraqi Flag – Is US

 

Most of the world is neither a friendly nor appreciative place.

No matter what we in the United States do to help the rest of the planet – no matter how much for how many countries – we only continue to be hated and reviled.

A lot of it is not our fault.  Because human nature.

Life is high school on steroids.

Most people in high school really didn’t like the varsity quarterback.  He was athletic.  And popular.  And dated multiple cheerleaders.  Most of the rest of the student body resented him much more than even those who liked him – liked him.

The United States – is the world’s high school quarterback.  Our economic and military prowess – is going to be resented.

The rest of it – is our fault.  Because human nature.

We do insist on sticking our enormous proboscis into all sorts of things and places – where neither it nor we belong.

We have a particular affection for armed invasions – for all the (publicly asserted) right reasons, of course.

We are now almost two decades into Afghanistan.  Which started righteously – we were attacked on 9/11/2001 by Islamist freaks based out of there.

But what should have been at most a six-month endeavor – has dragged on and on and….  With no end in sight.

The things we were told prevented us from leaving in Year Three and Year Eight, and Year Twelve, and… – are exactly the same things we are told prevent us from leaving now.  With no end in sight.

A sad, horrible, horrendous waste of blood, time and treasure – by any rational measure.

One of the many follies this Afghani folly’s proponents have incessantly put forward – since even before we invaded – is that our efforts would “win the hearts and minds of the Afghans.”

Ummm…they still have not.

Green on Blue Attacks:

“‘Green on blue attacks’ is the name given to a growing series of incidents where seemingly rogue Afghan security forces turn their guns on their NATO counterparts.”

Protestors Burn U.S. Flag in Pakistan and Afghanistan

In fact, we never will “win the hearts and minds.”  In Afghanistan – or anywhere else on Earth.  Most especially under arms.

As French politician Maximillian Robespierre knew:

“The most extravagant idea that can be born in the head of a political thinker is to believe that it suffices for people to enter, weapons in hand, among a foreign people and expect to have its laws and constitution embraced. No one loves armed missionaries; the first lesson of nature and prudence is to repulse them as enemies.”

Even when we do do a country a real solid – in exactly the right way – it doesn’t help or matter.

In August 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait.  The United States led a 35-nation coalition that rapidly expelled Iraq.  After which we all got the heck out – and returned Kuwait to the Kuwaitis.

So we’re Kuwait’s eternal heroes, right?  They love US forever, yes?

Not so much:

“Kuwait votes against the United States 67% of the time (at the United Nations).”

Which brings us to today.

Much of Kuwait’s economy – is business centered on and around raising oil from beneath their feet and selling it.  A lot of help in so doing – comes from US.

One such US company – is KGL Investment Company:

“A Kuwaiti investment fund is calling on the Kuwaiti government to clarify its position over close to $500 million of the fund’s assets which are currently stuck in a Dubai bank, after growing concerned about possible efforts by some Kuwaiti individuals to seize the money.”

Kuwait and Dubai have frozen KGLs half a billion dollars – and then some:

“This is just one part of a wider dispute which includes allegations of corruption and embezzlement involving Russian businesswoman Marsha Lazareva, managing director of KGL Investment (KGLI), which sponsored The Port Fund.

“Lazareva was handed a 10-year jail sentence by a court in Kuwait in May. Her lawyers, Washington D.C.-based law firm Crowell & Moring, say she was subjected to a ‘show trial’ and have started proceedings to set up an international tribunal to examine the case.”

So Lazareva and her four-year-old son were held captive in Kuwait until she was released on bail.  On a ridiculous conviction and facing ridiculous fines.

A great and growing group of people are calling for action – including from the Donald Trump Administration:

Lawmakers From Both Parties Request Action from Treasury to Help Businesswoman Stuck in Kuwait

Both inside and outside government – and the US:

“Among those advocating for Lazareva’s release are Neil Bush, the son of the late President George H.W. Bush, Louis Freeh, former director of the FBI, Jim Nicholson, former United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs, former U.S. Representative Ed Royce, Sergey Lavrov, foreign minister of Russia, British Barrister Lord Carlile and members of UK Parliament….”

Why all this Kuwaiti nonsense?  Besides innate ungratefulness?  Kuwaiti cronyism:

“Behold Agility Logistics.  A Kuwaiti company – with close ties to the Kuwaiti government.

“Agility’s CEO, Essa Anwar Al-Saleh – is a former Chairman of Kuwait’s Gulf Bank.  So he exercised significant power over Kuwaiti commerce and finance.

“And it appears Al-Saleh still does.  Agility is a KGL competitor – with the home nation advantage.  The Kuwaiti government appears to be (holding the Lazarevas and) freezing KGLs coin – to benefit Agility.”

In fact

“Agility, a Kuwait-based multi-billion dollar logistics company spawned by the U.S. invasion of Iraq….”

…we made Agility’s very existence possible.

Yet again – no appreciation.  Only antagonism.

Oh: Agility has a long history of screwing its clients.  Including US:

“The Defense Logistics Agency suspended Agility, which specializes in logistics, in November 2009 after its parent company Public Warehousing Company K.S.C. was indicted in Atlanta on $6 billion in fraud charges stemming from food services contracts for troops in Iraq, Kuwait and the Middle East region.”

Defense Contractor Resolves Criminal, Civil and Administrative Liability Related to Food Contracts:

“Agility Pays $95 Million and Gives Up $249 Million in Claims to (the US) DOD.”

So you have an ungrateful Kuwait – screwing a US company and its executive and thumbing its nose at US.

So as to benefit its crony, corrupt in-house company – that has already, repeatedly screwed US.

This cacophony of nonsense has dragged on, and on, and….

It is high time we bring it to an end.

Ingrate Kuwait has already held the advantage for far too long.

Please note: This piece has been updated.  We wrote Mrs. Lazareva and her son are being held captive in Kuwait.  They were – until she was finally released on bail.  Please forgive the error.

The post Perpetually Ungrateful Kuwait – Continues to Screw Our Company and Its Executive appeared first on RedState.

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Amazon’s Once Hard-Wired $10 Billion Crony Pentagon Deal – Keeps Fraying

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We less government types are perpetually chagrined by the very many failings of government.

We want government to do so very little – per the Constitution.  Yet government does so very much – in defiance of the Constitution.

We would like government to do things well.  But we know human nature renders that nigh impossible.

For oh-so-many-reasons – including, especially, our Wallet Rule:

If you go out on a Friday night with your wallet, and you go out the following Friday night with my wallet – on which Friday night are you going to have more fun?

Obviously, you’re going to have a whole lot more fun with my wallet – because you don’t care what my wallet looks like at the end of the evening.

Well, government is always on other peoples’ wallets – ours.  In gambling parlance – they’re playing with house money.

Government will thus never spend money as wisely or well as the people who earned it – from whom government takes it.

Our Wallet Rule explains oh-so-much of they very many wrongs committed by government.

Especially cronyism.

Why would government engage in best practices – and do business with the best private providers offering the best performances at the best prices?

When they can instead do business with the private providers – who best bribe them?

After all, the major money wasted isn’t theirs – it’s ours.  So it’s no skin off of their noses – it’s our proboscises being peeled.

Throughout our nation’s history of ever-expanding government, the one regular exception to our ongoing, rolling, massive disappointment – is the military.

First: Because national defense is one of the few things the federal government is actually supposed to do – per the Constitution.

The Founding Fathers were pretty bright individuals.  Two-hundred-and-forty-plus years later – we have time and again found:

The further government strays from the Constitution – the worse it does and things get.  The closer government hews to the Constitution – the better it does and things get.

Second: Unlike…well, just about the entire rest of the government, the Defense Department (DoD) is not entirely populated by cubicle-d, lifeless, bureaucrat lifers given exorbitant salaries  and benefit packages – for doing nothing but harm to We the People.

The core and the face of the DoD – are the incredible, incredibly brave men and women in uniform.  Who VOLUNTEER to put their lives on the line for almost no money – in defense of We the People.

Most of the rest of government – is seriously unserious.

The DoD – is engaged in deadly serious business.

Because of this, cronyism is less likely to arise in the DoD.

Because of this, when it does it is orders-of-magnitude more dangerous – and orders-of-magnitude more important that we ensure it never actually comes to pass.

The Barack Obama Administration loved cronyism – any and everywhere it could get it.  And most unfortunately, it tried to set the all-time record for the biggest crony deal ever – with the DoD.

Uber-Crony Amazon – Is About to Get the Biggest Crony Deal in DC’s Awful History

Amazon Web Services (AWS) – the cloud computing wing of the massive Amazon (Market Cap: $891 billion) empire – was in Spring 2018 about to be handed a $10 billion, sole-source contract to provide ALL the cloud backup for the entirety of the DoD.

The government contract process – began as a search for multiple providers.  Because having only one – is titanically stupid.

But then the cronyism kicked in.

The Obama Administration created a new wing of the DoD – to oversee the contracting process for tech.  And hired as its head – a man by the name of Deap Ubhi.  Who was at the time working for…Amazon Web Services.

Can you guess what happened next?

The cloud contract suddenly transmogrified from multi-source – to sole source.  And the contractor description was rewritten – so that only Amazon met the specifications.

By then, the Donald Trump Administration had succeeded the Obama Administration (thank God).  So in Spring 2018 when it was announced that Amazon was on the verge of the largest crony deal in history – red flags flew and sirens wailed.

What was supposed to then be a two-to-three month process of bringing the cronyism in for a landing – became a quintessential “Drain the Swamp” moment.

Not just because there was a new sheriff in town.  Not just because the cronyism was historically huge.

But because awarding Amazon the sole backup for the entire DoD – would put our men and women in uniform in deadly serious jeopardy.

Because when Amazon goes offline – and every online company does…routinely – the entire DoD would go offline.

And then military personnel in dangerous places – counting on Amazon-backed-up data to get out – would be left deaf, dumb and blind.  And very prospectively – dead.

It is now September 2019.  The cloud contract remains – un-awarded.  Though it is still sole-source.

And beyond all sense and sensibility – Amazon remains in the running.  They should have already cheated their way out consideration.  And Microsoft – and only Microsoft – has been added as a contender.

Just last month, then-newly-sworn-in Defense Secretary Mark Esper ordered a review of the contract process.

Swamp Creatures who spent more than a year defending the cronyism – have now done a 180 and are complaining the process has taken too long…and demanding that Amazon get its cronyism already.

With no self-awareness or sense of irony – the Swamp Creatures are doing so in the name of resisting political pressure.

As if the massive Amazon cronyism that got us to this point – wasn’t the very definition of political pressure applied.

And with no self-awareness or sense of irony – the Swamp Creatures are saying the delay is putting our military men and women in harms way.

No, Swamp Creatures.  Consigning the entire DoD to Amazon and only Amazon – is what will exponentially increase the danger for our military men and women.

They have two parachutes when they jump out of airplanes.  They should have more than one cloud backup upon which to rely.

Here’s hoping Secretary Esper’s review – ends entirely the existing, utterly corrupt DOD cloud contracting process.  And we begin anew – cronyism…and Amazon…free.

Measure twice – cut once” – is almost never government standard operating procedure.  But it should be.

Most especially when its life-or-death – as this eminently is.

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IG Report Reveals Comey’s Briefing to Trump On the Steele Dossier Was a Setup

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Former FBI Director James Comey reacts after bumping something under the table, during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, Thursday, June 8, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

While James Comey is asking for an apology after the DOJ failed to prosecute him for mishandling classified information, the actual facts within the new IG report on the former FBI Director’s behavior paint a damning picture.

One specific revelation involves Comey’s “defensive” briefing to Trump about the Steele dossier, including the infamous Moscow sex allegations and “pee tape.” As Byron York shares over at the Washington Examiner, there’s far more to the story than we’ve been previously told and it essentially confirms that it was a setup.

Let’s dive in.

On Friday, Jan. 6, 2017, Comey, along with CIA head John Brennan, national intelligence chief James Clapper, and NSA Director Mike Rogers, met with Trump in Trump Tower in New York. Together, they briefed the president-elect on the findings of the intelligence community investigation into Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election.

But the group, and especially Comey, had bigger plans than that. Before the meeting, they agreed that after briefing Trump on Russian efforts, the others would leave and Comey would stay to brief Trump alone about the Steele Moscow sex allegation.

Comey and top FBI officials prepared meticulously for the moment. The IG report says Comey had a planning meeting with FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, chief of staff James Rybicki, general counsel James Baker, and “the supervisors of the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election.” (It is unclear who was in that last group, although the now-famous FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page played large roles in the investigation.)

Everything that happened that day ran through the Obama cabal of Brennan, Clapper, Rogers, and Comey. McCabe and FBI counsel were also involved. If that sounds unusual for what is supposed to be a simple briefing, that’s because it was. Trump had already been elected, but instead of just treating him normally, the FBI were planning everything with the hope of Trump providing them evidence for their Trump-Russia investigation, otherwise known as Crossfire Hurricane.

The IG report says the group “agreed that the briefing needed to be one-on-one, so that Comey could present the ‘salacious’ information in the most discreet and least embarrassing way.” But however it was presented, the FBI leaders worried that Trump might “perceive the one-on-one briefing as an effort to hold information over him like a ‘Hoover-esque type of plot.’” That was a reference to the FBI’s notorious founding director J. Edgar Hoover, who relished keeping (and using) embarrassing secrets on top political leaders.

The group discussed how Trump might react. In particular, they considered whether he would “make statements about or provide information of value to the pending Russia interference investigation” known as “Crossfire Hurricane.”

Perhaps Trump would say something incriminating. The FBI officials made plans for Comey, immediately after leaving the meeting, to write down everything he could remember about whatever Trump said. Comey also wanted to discuss Trump’s reactions with top aides immediately. Comey told the inspector general it was “important for FBI executive managers to be ‘able to share in [Comey’s] recall of the salient details of those conversations.’” Bureau officials also wanted to be able to respond if Trump publicly “misrepresent[ed] what happened in the encounter.”

So, preparations were made. “Comey said he had a secure FBI laptop waiting for him in his FBI vehicle and that when he got into the vehicle, he was handed the laptop and ‘began typing as the vehicle moved,’” the report says. He worked on his account as the FBI car took him to the New York field office, where aides had set up a secure video teleconference with Rybicki, McCabe, Baker, and the “Crossfire Hurricane” supervisors. Comey continued to work on his memo after that and sent the group a final version the next day, Saturday, Jan. 7.

In other words, this was a setup.

The intention was not to simply brief Trump as they would a normal president. Rather, they were looking to seed information his way and hoped that he’d then incriminate himself in some manner. Comey was ready and waiting to memorialize the conversation on official channels, another completely unheard of aspect of all this, if Trump said anything they could use against him. The entire thing was an exercise in entrapment that ultimately failed.

Shortly after the meeting took place, it was leaked to CNN, most likely by James Clapper. None of this was a coincidence.

With the hook provided to the news media, the narrative that Trump was a Russian agent who liked his bed peed on by prostitutes was set into motion. For the next two years we dealt with completely ridiculous conspiracy theories, not just daily, but sometimes hourly from the mainstream press.

Comey would try to defend himself to the IG, insisting that there was no leak. As York spells out, that simply makes no sense at all.

Comey tried to talk Trump out of his suspicions. “Comey said that, among other things, he remembered telling Trump that the source of the information was ‘not a government document, and it’s not classified,’” the report said. “Comey also remembered telling Trump that to ‘speak of it as a leak doesn’t make sense’ because ‘a lot of people in Washington had [the information],’ and Comey said he told Trump that he had previously warned Trump that it might soon be published by the media.”

Comey’s explanation was disingenuous at best. Leaked information could be terribly damaging whether or not it was classified. And yes, some media figures had the dossier — Steele had been desperately trying to get them to report it for months. But the media did not know that Comey had briefed Trump on the Moscow sex story. That was the leak that gave the media the go-ahead to report on the existence of the dossier and then for BuzzFeed to publish the whole thing. If it was important enough for the nation’s top intel chiefs to brief the president-elect, wasn’t it important enough for the public to know? It was the leak of the meeting that set off the chain of events surrounding the dossier and the Trump Tower briefing.

This new report is really bad for James Comey. Don’t be gaslit by the fact that the IG found he didn’t give classified information to the media. He was still found to have mishandled it. Worse, his behavior was found to be extremely subversive and corrupt. He was acting as a political actor in all his interactions with Trump from the moment he was elected. The now infamous briefing was clearly just a pretense to try to gather incriminating information on Trump and to provide a hook to the media so the dossier could be spread far and wide.

While much of this stuff has fallen out the limelight since Robert Mueller so thoroughly crashed and burned, it can’t be forgotten. This kind of corruption must be punished. Further, the actions of the media were incredibly abhorrent, with their conspiracy mongering and constant slander. Perhaps all these actors hope people just forget what happened? Time certainly dims outrage, but I have a feeling this is going to linger, as it should.

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It Sure Looks Like Ilhan Omar Illegally Funneled Campaign Money to Carry Out Her Affair

Westlake Legal Group ilhan-omar-stinkeye-620x317 It Sure Looks Like Ilhan Omar Illegally Funneled Campaign Money to Carry Out Her Affair tim mynett The Daily Caller Politics Minnesota Ilhan Omar Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Election Divorce Filings democrats corruption campaign funds ahmed hirsi affair 2020

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., listens as Office of Management and Budget Acting Director Russell Vought testifies before the House Budget Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 12, 2019, during a hearing on the fiscal year 2020 budget. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

As my colleague streiff covered a few days ago, rumors of Rep. Ilhan Omar having an affair with a married man were essentially confirmed. In a divorce filing, the Tim Mynett’s ex-wife revealed that her then husband had confessed the affair to her back in April. This was before Omar left her current husband, Ahmed Hirsi. The filing also shows that Omar is lying about the affair given the dates in question.

Oddly enough, CNN and MSNBC have both not reported on the story. Just an honest oversight, I’m sure. But CNN did manage to find time to white knight for her yesterday after the Alabama GOP called for her expulsion from Congress. The two biggest newspapers in the country are also ignoring the story, something they’d never do if this were even a local Republican official.

There’s a lot more to the story though and details are starting to emerge. One of the more striking aspects is that Omar may have flaunted campaign finance law to funnel money to her lover’s company, either to help enrich him, to keep him around, or both. As Joe Gabriel Simpson says above, almost one third of Omar’s campaign funds have gone to Mynett’s company for “consulting” and “travel expenses,” which coincidentally paid for Mynett to be present with Omar to carry out the affair.

The excessive travel is mentioned by Mynett’s ex-wife in the divorce filings as well.

Overall, over $200,000 was spent in less than a year with Mynett’s company via Omar’s campaign coffers. Almost all that money was spent after the primary and in a general election race that was D+36. In other words, the “consulting” costs simply don’t add up. Further, she’s paid Mynett’s company $160,000 in 2019, an off election year where there’s usually very little spending by Congressional campaigns. The idea that she needed to spend that much cash with a single man during that specific time period for legitimate reasons is highly improbable. Oh yeah, and she was having an affair with him. Come on.

The next question is whether this is illegal and a new complaint to the FEC alleges it was.

Report via the Daily Caller. To reiterate, all the mainstream, liberal outlets are blacking out this story.

Rep. Ilhan Omar violated campaign finance law by using campaign funds to pursue an affair with married Democratic consultant Tim Mynett, according to a complaint filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) Wednesday.

Omar’s campaign has disbursed $223,000 to Tim Mynett’s company, E. Street Group, LLC, from August 2018 through June 2019, mostly for fundraising consulting, FEC records show. But on April 1, her campaign began making payments to E. Street Group for “travel expenses.”

Less than a week later, on April 7, Tim Mynett confessed to his wife that he was “romantically involved with and in love with” Omar, according to a divorce filing Tuesday by Dr. Beth Jordan Mynett.

Beth Mynett said in her filing that her husband’s “more recent travel and long work hours now appear to be more related to his affair with Rep. Omar than with his actual work commitments.”

Keep in mind that Omar has been caught using campaign funds for personal use before. She was found to be in violation of campaign finance law in Minnesota and had to pay a fine not too long ago. It looks like her flaunting of the law didn’t end with state elections or federal immigration statutes.

The timing of the Omar campaign’s travel reimbursements to E. Street Group coinciding with the start of Omar’s alleged affair with Tim Mynett is suspect, according to an FEC complaint filed Wednesday by the conservative National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC).

“If Ilhan for Congress reimbursed Mynett’s LLC for travel so that Rep. Omar would have the benefit of Mynett’s romantic companionship, the expenditures must be considered personal in nature,” NLPC said in its complaint.

The NLPC noted that FEC regulations prohibit the use of campaign funds for personal travel unless the candidate’s personal funds are used to reimburse their campaign.

“Rep. Omar’s filings do not reveal subsequent reimbursements for Mynett’s travel,” the NLPC stated.

Omar also failed to designate the expenditures as being for the primary or general election, which is a violation of FEC rules.

Perhaps she has the receipts to cover all this up and hand wave it away? That’s not out of the realm of possibility. The FEC needs to be looking hard at this though if they want to maintain any credibility. Regardless, what we are seeing here is just brazen. Having an affair with a consultant while he’s using campaign funds to fly to Omar to carry out the deed? It’s pretty incredible stuff and it’s the kind of thing that would be a blockbuster story if she weren’t an inter-sectional icon on the left. A kid smirked at a guy? National news. Ilhan Omar carries out an affair with someone she was paying with campaign funds? Not a peep. The mainstream media are either too dishonest or too fearful to even touch what is clearly a major revelation that deserves more digging.

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“Dramatic escalation”: FBI raids homes of two UAW presidents in corruption probe

Westlake Legal Group cbs-uaw-raid “Dramatic escalation”: FBI raids homes of two UAW presidents in corruption probe United Auto Workers The Blog raids fiat Federal Bureau of Investigation donald trump corruption 2020 election

A four-year probe into union corruption kicked into high gear yesterday as the FBI raided the homes of two United Auto Workers presidents. Both Gary Jones and his predecessor Dennis Williams are targets in a Department of Justice investigation into payoffs that might upend the auto industry. It might also disrupt Big Labor’s political standing before the election, as the UAW is one of the biggest unions in the country, especially in the private sector.

CBS News called it a “dramatic escalation” last night:

Federal agents on Wednesday descended on the homes of top officials with one of the nation’s largest unions. FBI raids on the homes of Gary Jones — the current president of the United Auto Workers (UAW) and Dennis Williams his immediate predecessor — signaled a dramatic escalation of a four-year probe into illegal payments to union officials.

The corruption investigation has so far led to the convictions of eight people linked to the UAW and to Fiat-Chrysler involving bribes and kickbacks designed to influence the nation’s sixth largest union’s bargaining position at contract talks with automakers. …

In all, the FBI raided six locations in four states: Michigan, California, Missouri and Wisconsin. These operations could undermine the confidence of nearly 160,000 UAW members in their negotiating team at the beginning of a new round of contract talks.

“Obviously something is going on and it needs to be cleaned up, period,” UAW employee Joseph Johnson said.

The FBI isn’t talking about what they found, but the neighbors are. USA Today reports that one of Jones’ quick-thinking neighbors grabbed some binoculars at the start of the raid to see what law enforcement wanted. “Wads of cash” was part of their haul:

One neighbor, 47-year-old J. Kevin Telepo, became so intrigued that he grabbed his Swarovski binoculars, sat in his dining room and zoomed in on Jones’ garage. That’s where he saw FBI agents combing through all sorts of stuff: cash, a golf bag and what appeared to be a safe, he said.

Telepo said he saw the agents counting “wads” of cash. He texted his wife and neighbors about the raid.

“FBI raiding neighbor’s house” read the first text.

“What did he do?” responded his wife.

He wrote back: “Not sure. FBI & IRS. Pile of cash in garage.”

Until now, both Fiat Chrysler and the UAW have insisted that the corruption scandal only involved “a few bad actors.” The DoJ has secured convictions on seven lower-level people, but this looks as if the FBI suspects that the corruption goes all the way to the top — in the UAW, at least. Jones, in fact, won election as an outsider who would clean up the UAW:

Throughout the two years since the corruption probe became public, the UAW and FCA have insisted that the illegal payment scheme involved just a few bad actors.

Jones, a certified public accountant, was elected president last year. Previously based in Kansas City, Missouri, as a regional director for the union, he was seen as an outsider who could help the organization move past the payments scandal.

But federal prosecutors have aggressively expanded the corruption probe.

If this goes to the top of the UAW, then it’s likely to go to the top of the automakers, too. That should have everyone nervous, especially the workers. They have a contract negotiation going on at the moment, with their current contract expiring in mid-September. If union leadership has been taking payoffs, good luck getting that contract passed by the rank and file.

Others see a more nefarious reason for the “dramatic escalation,” and it’s spelled T-R-U-M-P. Still, they want new leadership at the UAW anyway:

UAW member Sean Crawford, who works at GM’s Flint Assembly plant, said the news will have a “really negative impact” on bargaining.

“Call me cynical but I feel the Trump administration willfully timed this to coincide with our negotiations so that the union would lose faith in the leadership,” said Crawford. “We’re getting ready to go into one of the biggest negotiations of our lifetime and we’re possibly going to lose faith in our union.”

Crawford said the union leadership is to blame and should take responsibility for its actions in the corruption scandal.

This escalation could put one of the biggest private-sector unions on the sidelines as the 2020 election heats up, so conspiracy theories about Trump ordering the expansion may gain some credit. It’ll be tough to lay the timing on Trump, though, since the investigation started well before he was elected. The UAW might still adopt that as a defense, but if the FBI hauled out “wads of cash” from the homes of its present and past presidents, it’s not going to stick.

The post “Dramatic escalation”: FBI raids homes of two UAW presidents in corruption probe appeared first on Hot Air.

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Bill Barr Booked a Party at Trump’s Hotel and the Left Lost Their Minds, Then the Facts Came Out

Westlake Legal Group bill-barr-smiling-620x317 Bill Barr Booked a Party at Trump’s Hotel and the Left Lost Their Minds, Then the Facts Came Out Trump hotel Politics misleading Liberals Front Page Stories Front Page freak out Featured Story fake news eric swalwell donald trump doj democrats DC corruption bill barr Barbara Boxer

Attorney General William Barr appears before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee to make his Justice Department budget request, Wednesday, April 10, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

It’s almost like they are overlooking relevant facts on purpose to push a narrative. Nah, couldn’t be.

If you got on political social media today, you probably witnessed about eight hours of freakout centered on Bill Barr hosting a party at the Trump Hotel in DC. Here’s a sampling of some of the flailing about that took place.

From the headlines and the responses, you’d think Barr was evil incarnate, reaching a level of corruption never before seen in modern American politics. Taking DOJ money and using it to pay $30,000 to Donald Trump’s hotel? Beyond the pale.

Well, it would be if that was what actually happened.

So what’s really going on here? This wasn’t government money. It wasn’t funneling DOJ funds to Donald Trump or mixing business with pleasure. Rather, Bill Barr took his own money and booked a 4 hour party at Trump’s hotel for his friends and family, totaling about 200 attendees. Real scandalous stuff.

This entire outrage is stupid. Barr is free to spend his money as he wants. If he wants to burn a ridiculous sum on a Christmas party, more power to him. It wouldn’t be my choice, but it’s his money. The idea that this is corruption or a conflict of interest simply doesn’t add up. I saw one person suggest this was a “bribe.” Why would Barr need to bribe Trump? Wouldn’t it be the other way around if you buy into the conspiracy theories about them being in league together?

And does anyone think Trump cares about the few thousand dollars his business will clear after all the staff, food, and facility expenses are paid? Of course he doesn’t. The guy may not be as rich as he claims, but he’s still filthy rich.

I do like the fact that Barr seems to enjoy triggering these people. It’s refreshing to see a political appointee throw some shades on and ignore the woke mob for a change.

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Did CNN Put One Of Its Contributors Who Supports Trump On Ice?

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Would CNN ( also known as the Fredo Network) put a paid contributor on ice for defending President Trump in a safe, honest venue like a Prager University video? Damn right they would. The way that Trump jackhammers them on a daily basis you really can’t blame them.

According to various reports around the interwebs, Trump’s 2020 advisory board member and CNN contributor Steve Cortes might have been put on ice from commentary on the network. President Trump has noticed.

From Mediaite…

“Where’s Steve?” Trump has repeatedly asked — according to two unnamed officials who have heard the president make the remark in the White House.

The Trump surrogate recently got in some hot water with his colleagues over his characterization of media reporting on the president’s comments about Charlottesville. In a video for PragerU, Cortes accused the media of committing “journalistic malfeasance” by saying that Trump described Nazis as “very fine people.”

“Calling this a ‘malicious lie’ (which it’s not) and ‘journalistic malfeasance’ (which it’s also not) is a weird thing for someone who is a paid CNN commentator to say, given the network’s accurate reporting on the matter,” said CNN’s Oliver Darcy, in response.

I love how Darcy just says this is not true out of hand. If you actually watch the Prager University video it makes some points that Darcy and his pals would have trouble refuting without a teleprompter. Which means words that someone else wrote and or approved for them. ( Prager university video below for YOU to take a look.)

Now if my understanding is correct on how most contracts work on the news side of things in cable T.V. than Steve is getting paid no matter if they use him or not. Each contract is individualized to a certain degree but generally, that is how they go. Plus he is an at-will employee so if they want to pay him to sit they can do that until his contract runs out and then he can shop his services elsewhere.

I absolutely believe that CNN would “punish” someone this way for putting out an argument that goes against the narrative that is peddled and might deserve a fair debate. The powers at CNN don’t want any part of that. They just wanna cover-up for Fredo and Don and hope they can get a bigger share live than Rachel Maddow gets in re-runs.

Check out the video below and let me know what you think about it or if the Fredo network would do such a thing as freeze out a Trump surrogate that they are paying for his point of view.

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