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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Department of Defense"

Did TTSA’s main UFO guy ever actually work on the AATIP program?

Westlake Legal Group Elizondo-1 Did TTSA’s main UFO guy ever actually work on the AATIP program? To The Stars Academy The Blog Luis Elizondo John Greenewald Harry Reid Department of Defense AATIP

In all of our coverage thus far of those wild UFO videos released by the Navy (they prefer “UAP” for Unidentified Aerial Phenomena but I’m old school), we’ve seen some amazing things, but have also been left with many questions. For one thing, the remarkable disclosures of perhaps literally “out of this world” stuff have been awfully slow in arriving. We have the three videos and some great interviews with the pilots and other military/government personnel involved in these encounters, but that’s about it. There are hints about “exotic metamaterials” being worked on, but nothing of a peer-reviewed nature has emerged.

Also, journalists have been digging into Tom DeLonge’s To The Stars Academy of Arts & Sciences, the driving force behind most of this material. They’ve certainly generated a lot of excitement and supposedly have bigger reveals to come. I’m personally grateful that DeLonge and company were at least able to bring awareness to the existence of the AATIP program.

But with all that said, we keep running into these pesky questions about the accounts we’ve heard over the past two years. Many of them focus on the man who is probably the biggest name in the organization aside from DeLonge himself. That would be Luis Elizondo. He’s been repeatedly billed as the guy who ran AATIP (the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program started at the request of Harry Reid back in 2009). One of the first questions is what the actual name of the program is or was. It’s alternatively referred to as the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification program. And at least at one point, the government was talking about the Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications Program (AAWSAP) which may have turned into AATIP later or spawned it off as a separate effort.

But the bigger, looming question is about Elizondo himself. I’m certainly not the first person to bring this up and I’m riding on the backs of a lot of researchers who have done painstaking work on this. But here’s the big unknown. Elizondo is regularly introduced as the guy who ran the AATIP program for years. If anyone should know about the military’s efforts to figure out what’s been buzzing around in our skies, it’s him, right?

Right. Except there is virtually no evidence that he ever even worked on the program. One person to pick up on this curious story was Keith Kloor at The Intercept. He kept poking around and asking questions, but only ever found one reference to a confirmation of Elizondo being in AATIP. It came from a Politico story from December 2017 (right after the first Navy video was released and covered in the New York Times.) A Pentagon spokeswoman named Dana White was quoted as saying that “the program existed and was run by Elizondo.” But she left that job later on and another Pentagon spokesperson, Christopher Sherwood, told Kloor that he “could not confirm” White’s statement.

Enter John Greenewald, proprietor of The Black Vault (who we’ve tapped as a source here before). Greenewald has been relentless, launching a blizzard of FOIA requests to the government and the military trying to get to the bottom of this mystery. And it really is a mystery, because the more rocks he kicked over, the more strange inconsistencies came to light. If you want to go for a deep dive on the subject, peruse this two-year timeline of details regarding AATIP that John has assembled.

To be clear, there is no doubt that Elizondo worked for the government for a long time before he retired and joined TTSA. And he was in very deep, with one of the highest security clearances available. But where did he work and how, if at all, was it related to AATIP? Greenewald’s relentless digging finally turned up some documents showing that Elizondo was the director of the National Programs Special Management Staff (OUSD)(DoD) or NPSMS. What is NPSMS? We have almost no idea. It barely exists in public records, but you had to have an awfully high level of clearance to be aware of it. (The first rule of NPSMS Club is you don’t talk about NPSMS Club.)

But Greenewald did find a couple of important documents where both the agency and Elizondo show up. (I’ll include John’s video at the bottom explaining where this information came from.) One of them had to do with something very secretive concerning our old terrorist friend Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. We don’t know what was going on with KSM, but there was some special program in place that dealt with him. And if you wanted to be approved to work on it, you had to go through Elizondo. He and his office controlled access to highly restricted SAP programs.

Elizondo’s name also shows up in Harry Reid’s first letter to the Deputy Secretary of Defense asking for the AATIP program to be established. At the very end, there are a few names listed, including Reid’s, and then a bunch of them that are redacted. But one name is not. It’s Elizondo’s. But that doesn’t mean that he was actually running or even involved in the AATIP program. More likely is the idea that anyone wanting to be involved in the highly secretive AATIP program would need to be cleared by Elizondo and the NPSMS first.

Here’s the kicker. John finally got current Pentagon spokesperson Susan Gough to look into the question and respond. She is also quoted in a very recent Bloomberg Government article. And just to be on the safe side, I contacted her myself last night and she was nice enough to confirm it a third time. Here’s her statement:

Luis Elizondo had no assigned responsibilities in the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program and was not assigned or detailed to the Defense Intelligence Agency.”

When a group is making extraordinary claims such as the ones coming from TTSA, they really need to get everything right. The history of Luis Elizondo and his involvement in the program that involved those Navy videos and supposed recovered exotic metamaterials and all the rest is central to this story. They’ve repeatedly said that he ran the program. The Pentagon denies it. How do we square this?

I’ll toss out a couple of possibilities since all of this stuff is so classified we may never know. Take your pick of which you like best. One option is that he really did run AATIP but the information is so deep and so classified that even the government officials we’re asking either don’t know about it or still won’t talk about it. (But if that’s the case, why is he allowed to blab about it on the Discovery Channel?) Possibility two… he was really involved in a lot of black bag stuff and had access to all these people in the military (that part is clearly true), but he’s “polishing up his resume” a bit by adding in the part about running AATIP to make his experience more relevant to the UFO questions.

As I said, we still don’t know for sure. Anyway, here’s John’s video showing how he uncovered Elizondo’s paper trail, what little there is of it. I found it fascinating and it’s not that long.

The post Did TTSA’s main UFO guy ever actually work on the AATIP program? appeared first on Hot Air.

Westlake Legal Group Elizondo-1-300x159 Did TTSA’s main UFO guy ever actually work on the AATIP program? To The Stars Academy The Blog Luis Elizondo John Greenewald Harry Reid Department of Defense AATIP Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Big Crony Amazon Has Dumped $1.5 Million Into Seattle City Council Races

Westlake Legal Group Bezos-Crown Big Crony Amazon Has Dumped $1.5 Million Into Seattle City Council Races 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

Buying America’s Governments – One City at a Time

 

That’s not a massive over-contribution at all.

We’ve oft written about huge companies using their huge wallets – to dictate huge cronyism from huge governments.

No gaggle of companies has done it more and more effectively – than the Big Tech companies.

Silicon Valley Robber Barons Are Using Government As a Weapon Against Us

Silicon Valley Gets Government Favors – While Boosting Leftists And Blocking Conservatives

The Obamas’ $50 Million Netflix Deal: Cronyism Comes Full Circle

Google, The Barack Obama Administration – And Even More Questionable Policy

Obama 2012 and Facebook: Your Privacy, Diminished

Sometimes Big Tech companies screw up – and demand the wrong cronyism.  So they demand more cronyism – to get themselves out of their self-inflicted jams.

Facebook Looks to Cronyism Its Way Out of Its Cronyism

And no Big Tech company has mastered the art of cronyism – quite like Amazon.

We have written a lot about Amazon – over a lot of years.  One of the conclusions we’ve reached?

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ goal from the outset – was to get huge enough to bend governments everywhere to his will.  And part of that the process was – in anti-competitive fashion – to murder every other retailer on the planet.

It’s why Amazon has gone decades – rarely turning a profit.

The Amazon Era: No Profits, No Problem

Why Amazon Has No Profits (And Why It Works)

Amazon Never Makes Money But No One Cares

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

Amazon Killed Toys ‘R’ Us – But Much More Dishonestly Than The Way You Think

Again, Bezos’ objective wasn’t profits – it was growth.  And it worked – like a charm.

Now Amazon is gi-normous (Market Cap: $874 billion).  And gi-normous Amazon is dictating terms to governments…everywhere.

And the government reciprocal gifts – keep getting bigger and bigger and….

Amazon: One of the Biggest of Bigfoot Cronyism-Recipient Lobbyists

Something Is Rotten in Amazon’s Request for HQ2 Proposals

Why The Post Office Gives Amazon A $1.46 Subsidy on Each Box

Top Amazon Boss Privately Advised US Government on Web Portal Worth Billions to Tech Firm

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

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

How does over-sized Amazon secure such over-sized cronyism from over-sized governments?

By dumping over-sized money into political races…everywhere.

Heads up, HQ2 recipient Arlington, Virginia.

Amazon Drops Additional $1 Million-Plus into Seattle City Council Races, With Ballots Out This Week:

“Amazon is dropping an additional $1 million-plus into Seattle’s pivotal City Council races, boosting its spending on politics in its hometown this year to an unprecedented $1.45 million.

“The corporate giant has now shelled out more on the council races than any other business or union….

“Amazon’s outlay is the largest ‘in anyone’s memory’ by a single entity in a Seattle election cycle, said Wayne Barnett, executive director of the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission.

“The record-breaking sum is the latest sign that the company with 53,000 local employees, once content to stay on the political sidelines, is now throwing its weight around….

“Amazon alone has contributed more money to the Chamber’s PAC than the candidates the Chamber opposes have collectively raised with their own campaigns….”

We ain’t the hugest of union fans – but this woman ain’t just whistling Dixie:

“‘One of the richest corporations in the world just invested an unprecedented amount of money to attempt a hostile takeover of Seattle’s local government,’ Rachel Lauter, executive director of the union-backed Working Washington advocacy group, said in a statement.”

It is indeed Amazon’s attempted wholesale purchase of…Seattle.  But it’s even bigger than that:

“‘This isn’t just about Seattle, it’s about the 2020 national elections. Amazon is warning presidential candidates who say they share Seattle’s values that it will stop at nothing to protect its power and profits.’”

It is indeed about the 2020 national elections.  And then some.

Because Amazon has cronyism everywhere to preserve, protect and defend.

Get this:

“‘We are contributing to this election because we care deeply about the future of Seattle,’ Amazon spokesman Aaron Toso said Tuesday in a statement.

“‘We believe it is critical that our hometown has a city council that is focused on pragmatic solutions to our shared challenges…’”

Yeah.  Ok.

Except…Amazon always ends up getting massive un-shared government cronyism.

The massive cost of which – is force-shared by all the rest of us.

Over and over and over and over again….

None of which is good for anyone.

Except, of course, Amazon.

The post Big Crony Amazon Has Dumped $1.5 Million Into Seattle City Council Races appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group Bezos-Crown-300x200 Big Crony Amazon Has Dumped $1.5 Million Into Seattle City Council Races 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  Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Amazon Is So Huge – It Dictates Terms to Almost Everyone on Almost Everything

Westlake Legal Group bezos_laughing Amazon Is So Huge – It Dictates Terms to Almost Everyone on Almost Everything 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

The Crony Joke’s On Us

 

One of the very many national course corrections President Donald Trump is making – is renegotiating REALLY-bad-for-US global trade deals.

We have been the planet’s largest economy for more than half a century.  Our current Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is $19.4 trillion.

And our trade deals – look like we have the purchasing power of a five-year-old with an empty piggy bank.

So Trump renegotiates.

But President Trump has repeatedly assured everyone on the planet:

“The word ‘reciprocal’ is the most important word with Donald Trump when it comes to what the subject….  I want reciprocal. If they’re going to charge us 100 percent for a motorcycle, it should be 100 percent the other way, too….  I’m a free trader. Totally. I’m a fair trader. I’m all kinds of trader, but I want reciprocal.”

Trump wants equal terms with our trading partners.  No more – no less.

Trump isn’t threatening the world with throwing our considerable weight around – to get unfair advantages for US.

That’s what huge companies like Amazon do.

Amazon is an inconceivably huge Big Tech monster (Market Cap: $849 billion).

All by its onesies – it’s almost 0.5%…of the entire US economy.  That is, again, inconceivably huge for one company to be.

Because of Amazon’s hugeness:

Every time Amazon decides to do something – it is given unfair advantages…at the expense of everyone else.

Every time Amazon decides it wants something – it is given unfair advantages…at the expense of everyone else.

It is given these unfair advantages – by feckless, crony governments.

US governments at every level are all exceedingly willing to capitulate and prostrate themselves – so as to best please Master Amazon.

It’s as if they’re all auditioning for Kevin Bacon’s role in a looming remake of Animal House.  (Which is a remake that should never, EVER happen.)

Again: Amazon’s government cronyism – never, ever takes place in a vacuum.

Cronyism has a few winners – and a whole lot of losers.

Amazon’s cronyism – results in more losers than just about any cronyism ever.

Amazon sells…everything currently on offer on Planet Earth.

Thus, government cronyism for Amazon screws…just about everyone else on Planet Earth.

Of course brick-and-mortar retailers – of all sizes – are royally screwed.

So is every online retailer – not named Amazon.

Which of course means every business that attends to those retailers – is also screwed.

Manufacturers, packagers, shippers and many, many more industries’ players – all screwed.

All to help Massive Amazon.  Who needs the help less…than just about any other company on the planet.

When Amazon decided to simultaneously site its second headquarters in two US cities – governments all across our land lined up to screw everyone else besides Amazon.

Amazon’s HQ2 Was a Con, Not a Contest

Amazon HQ2: Magnet for Corruption

Something Is Rotten in Amazon’s Request for HQ2 Proposals

And governments did so – at the expense of…every one of their existing citizens.

It’s like Sanctuary Cities – for Monster Amazon.  Metropolises spending tons of citizen tax money – to entice foreigners to relocate there and displace them.

The Darker Side to Winning the Amazon HQ2 Sweepstakes

With Amazon HQ2, the Losers Are the Winners: Why Economic Development Subsidies Hurt More than They Help

One city that won the Crony Amazon HQ2 Contest – was close-to-DC Arlington, Virginia.

Shocker: Amazon wanting to be close to the DC – the Cronyism Capitol of America.

Shocker: Amazon has already long been priming the DC pump.

Amazon Is Flooding D.C. With Money and Muscle: The Influence Game:

“Since 2012, Amazon has ramped up spending by more than 460 percent.…”

Shocker: It’s working.

Amazon: One of the Biggest of Bigfoot Cronyism-Recipient Lobbyists

Why The Post Office Gives Amazon A $1.46 Subsidy on Each Box

Because cronyism, that’s why.

Think it’s fair to UPS and FedEx – to lose out on all of that Amazon shipping business…because of Government Post Office cronyism?

But the prize on which Amazon has long had its Sauron eye – is the biggest pots of money of all:

Government contracts.

Amazon: Government Has an Ongoing Problem Issuing Monopoly, Crony Contracts

And as we’ve seen since decades before Trump was sworn in as President:

The DC Deep State contains millions of Swamp Creatures.

Trump wants to Drain the Swamp.

DCs Swamp Creatures continue to countermand Trump’s Drain the Swamp mandate.

Top Amazon Boss Privately Advised US Government on Web Portal Worth Billions to Tech Firm

“Amazon executive Anne Rung communicated with a top official at the General Services Administration (GSA) about the approach the government would take to create the new portal, even before the legislation that created it – known to its critics as the ‘Amazon amendment’ – was signed into law late last year.

“Amazon Amendment” – ???

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

Well isn’t that special.

That’s Amazon Retail.  How’s Amazon Web Services – Amazon’s cloud computing wing – doing on the government monopoly front?

Quite well, natch.

Amazon Web Services Just Opened a New Cloud for the U.S. Government

Amazon and CIA Ink $600 Million Cloud Deal

Pentagon’s $1 Billion Cloud Deal May Signal New Era in Government Buying:

“The (Amazon) contract caught many industry players by surprise, in part due to the $950 million value and partly because it was awarded without a traditional government procurement. This deal may be a harbinger for how the Defense Department plans to purchase certain technologies moving forward.”

Harbinger indeed….

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

The Defense Department cloud contract – is worth $10 billion.

And Amazon rigged it – so that they would get the whole thing.

Cronyism: Having Your Ex-Employees Award Government Contracts…:

“…makes it much more likely you’ll get government contracts.”

Meet Deap Ubhi:

“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….

“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.”

But thankfully, Trump’s Swamp draining is starting to bear fruit – and lay bare the Creatures.

Which means less cronyism.

And better government policy.

All of which is bad news for Uber-Crony Amazon.

CIA Long Relied Exclusively on Amazon for Its Cloud Computing. Now It Is Seeking Multiple Providers for a Massive New Contract

The CIA is now looking to do things right.

And the DoD?

Pentagon Pauses $10 Billion Contract That Embroiled Amazon in Controversy:

“The Pentagon is hitting pause on a massive, first-of-its-kind cloud computing contract after President Trump cited critics’ accusations of favoritism toward Amazon.

“Mark Esper, the new defense secretary, is re-examining the project just weeks before the winner was expected to be announced.”

That is excellent news.

For everyone in the United States.

Except for Monster Crony Amazon.

Which is even more good news for everyone else in the United States.

The post Amazon Is So Huge – It Dictates Terms to Almost Everyone on Almost Everything appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group bezos_laughing-300x257 Amazon Is So Huge – It Dictates Terms to Almost Everyone on Almost Everything 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  Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

A Tech Company Wants To Win Favor With The Trump Administration By… Bankrolling Jerry Nadler?

Westlake Legal Group jerry-nadler-monkey-face-j-620x317 A Tech Company Wants To Win Favor With The Trump Administration By… Bankrolling Jerry Nadler? Oracle Jerry Nadler Front Page Stories Featured Story donald trump Department of Defense democrats campaign contributions big tech amazon 2020

Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., gives his opening statement as former special counsel Robert Mueller testifies before the House Judiciary Committee hearing on his report on Russian election interference, on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, July 24, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

While all this other impeachment stuff has been going on, it’s still politics as usual in Washington D.C. in virtually every other regard.

Did you know, for example, that there has been a been tech battle over a massive Department of Defense contract for cloud computing services? It’s true, and it’s led to one of the frankly funniest political strategies I’ve ever seen.

A company called Oracle was trying to beat out Amazon for the contract. They did not win, and apparently they are very upset about it. The contract has not actually been awarded (the finalists are Amazon and Microsoft), but they are so upset that they’ve admitted to contributing to a Hillary Clinton-Chuck Schumer consultant-run anti-Amazon astroturf effort that possibly isn’t complying with lobbying rules in some sort of quasi-trolling effort.

Well, it seems that that’s not enough, and Oracle is just out for blood. They are also doing some serious lobbying of the Trump Administration, who will be awarding the contract. Not entirely sure what their goal is outside of “Screw Amazon over!” because by everything I’ve seen it’s impossible for them to get the contract at this point. They have also decided to essentially bankrolling Rep. Jerry Nadler’s 2020 campaign.

Obviously, Nadler is the chair of the Judiciary Committee, so his favor is something Oracle does need to win over at some point. However, it’s probably not the greatest strategy to lobby both the Trump Administration AND Jerry Nadler when the latter has been openly calling for Trump’s impeachment since pretty much the beginning. It just seems like you might alienate one in promoting the other, and the former definitely controls what happens in the Department of Defense.

Keep in mind, too, that this isn’t a situation where Oracle has been a major contributor to Nadler in the past. They went from not ranking among Nadler’s top donors in the past two election cycles to being his fourth-largest donor for the 2020 election.

Trump is definitely not the sort to condone anyone playing nice with the enemy and to Trump, who has admitted in the past that he donated to whatever politician he thought would help him out most, if he were made aware of Oracle’s spending habits I very much doubt Oracle would be getting a government contract as long as Trump holds the White House.

The post A Tech Company Wants To Win Favor With The Trump Administration By… Bankrolling Jerry Nadler? appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group jerry-nadler-monkey-face-j-300x153 A Tech Company Wants To Win Favor With The Trump Administration By… Bankrolling Jerry Nadler? Oracle Jerry Nadler Front Page Stories Featured Story donald trump Department of Defense democrats campaign contributions big tech amazon 2020  Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

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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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.

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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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Trump, Fox News Decry Amazon’s Looming $10 Billion Defense Department Cronyism

Westlake Legal Group trump-maga-hat-border-SCREENSHOT-620x332 Trump, Fox News Decry Amazon’s Looming $10 Billion Defense Department Cronyism 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

President Donald Trump and his Twitter account – are indispensable weapons in the war against the Left-Deep State-Swamp cabal.

The vast majority of Republicans and the Right’s alleged leaders are…quite frankly useless in this (and almost every other regard).  They have stood by and silent while the Left took over everything – Washington, D.C., the schools, colleges, media, Hollywood and now Big Tech.

We on the Right are now entirely surrounded.  Most of our alleged friends – aren’t.

We the Normal – have had enough.  And have decided to FINALLY fight back.

A decade ago, we tried to do things nicely – with the Tea Party Movement.  Which was met with open hostility and slander by nigh everyone – including a whole lot of our alleged friends.  Remember but one of the very pleasant, thoroughly cordial responses – “Tea Baggers?”

But we didn’t get mad – we started to try to get even.  We tried to be nice – and were rudely, summarily dismissed.  So “Here,” we said – “have some Trump.”

Trump is almost always the only voice in politics opposing the ongoing, rolling Leftist narrative in this country.

Which sadly – due to ongoing, rolling Republican-Right inaction – has become the Leftist status quo in this country.

Trump used his Twitter account – and his innate good sense and pro-America, pro-sanity boorishness – to win the White House.

The Presidency is, of course, and incredibly dynamic and demanding job.  Every second of the work day – which never ends – there are probably two dozen other things of relatively equal import to consider besides the one you’re considering.

So getting the President’s attention – is a titanic achievement.  If Trump’s attention is drawn by something that falls into his anti-Left, anti-Swamp-Deep State purview – real change to the awful status quo becomes possible.

In DC, cronyism is a coin of the realm.  It’s a large part of what makes The Swamp and The Deep State – The Swamp and The Deep State.  The Swamp is the terrible status quo – The Deep State ensures it continues in perpetuity.

Cronyism is: Big Business bribes Big Government.  And Big Government rewards Big Business – with huge government money contracts.

Nigh always at the exorbitant over-expense of We the Taxpayers.  Far too often at the expense of what’s actually best for the business of government – no matter how dangerous for people it also ultimately becomes.

To wit: The Department of Defense (DoD)’s contract “bid” process to hire outside cloud computing backup.

When started – the process made strategic and economic sense.  The DoD was looking for multiple providers – in an open bidding process.

Multiple providers – because you have at least two backups of your smartphone.  Having several for the entirety of the DoD – is thoroughly rudimentary.

But then The Swamp took over.

The Barack Obama DoD hired an Amazon employee – to run the DoD cloud backup bid process.  So very crony.

Suddenly, the process went from looking for multiple providers – to looking for just one.  And the contractor description was rewritten – so that only Amazon met the specs.  So very crony.

We anti-Swampers continued to make just enough noise – to repeatedly delay the crooked process, not end it.

We’d point out the Swamp corruption – and the Deep State would again auto-incorrect back to cronyism.

All the while, bigger and bigger megaphones started decrying the mess.

And a contract that was supposed to awarded last summer – is still un-awarded this summer.

Last week – some of the very few at-all-worthwhile DC Rs weighed in.

Republicans Are Right: Defense Department Must Delay Amazon’s Massive Cronyism

But of course if worthwhile Republicans weigh in – the far-more-numerous Swamp-Deep State Republicans immediately respond.

Republican Lawmakers Ask Trump Not to Delay Pentagon Cloud-Computing Contract

Then came Fox News.  Specifically the show “The Next Revolution” – hosted by British-import populist Steve Hilton.

Hilton delivered a five-minute, eighteen-second on-air soliloquy about the abject heinousness the DoD cloud contract has become.

Then came the biggest anti-Swamp-Deep State megaphone of all – President Trump.

President Trump retweeted the Fox News segment.  And – quite thankfully:

Trump ‘Looking Into’ Pentagon’s JEDI Contract

Trump to Request Review of Pentagon Cloud-Computing Contract

Of course, the Swamp-Deep State defenders of the status quo – won’t stand idly by:

“Steve Kelman, a former federal procurement official now at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, said it would be improper for any president to influence the contracting process.

“‘It’s not appropriate and it’s definitely not typical for a president to intervene on a contract,’ he said. ‘That should be left to the Civil Service.’”

Oh look – a college professor…who was a government procurement bureaucrat.  He’s a Swamp-Deep State twofer – defending the Swamp-Deep State.  Shocker.

Amazon – seeing its massive cronyism maybe slipping away – responded in full-on Swamp-Deep State fashion.

Amazon Hires Trump-Allied Lobbyist Jeff Miller as President Threatens to Intervene in Battle over Pentagon Contract

Oh look – more lobbyists.  A now-longstanding Amazon tradition.

Amazon Increases Lobbying As It Eyes $10 Billion Technology Deal

Amazon Steps Up Lobbying Spending by 400%

Amazon Ups Their K Street Spending

This DoD deal – has become as deeply Deep State-Swampy as things in DC can get.

And that is REALLY saying something.

Here’s to Trump’s attention to it.

And – really important to actually Draining the Swamp – here’s to Trump ENDING it.

The post Trump, Fox News Decry Amazon’s Looming $10 Billion Defense Department Cronyism appeared first on RedState.

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Republicans Are Right: Defense Department Must Delay Amazon’s Massive Cronyism

Westlake Legal Group pentagon-swamp-amazon.png-620x292 Republicans Are Right: Defense Department Must Delay Amazon’s Massive Cronyism 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

And then they should kill it.

Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio recently became the latest Republican to weigh in on a huge hunk of cronyism the Department of Defense (DoD) is on the verge of almost certainly handing to uber-crony Amazon.

Rubio Calls for Delay of Defense Department’s $10 Billion Cloud Bid:

“Senator Marco Rubio is calling for the Defense Department to delay awarding its $10 billion cloud contract to ensure ‘a fair and open’ contest.

“Rubio, a Florida Republican, wrote a letter to National Security Adviser John Bolton asking him to direct the Pentagon to hold off on choosing a winner for the controversial project. In his letter, dated Thursday, Rubio said the project, known as the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud or JEDI ‘suffers from a lack of competition’ and ‘will result in wasted taxpayer dollars.’

“‘Our warfighters deserve the best capability possible and the taxpayers deserve the best value possible,’ Rubio wrote. ‘Unfortunately, moving forward with the JEDI procurement will not further that goal.’…

“Rubio joins other key Republican lawmakers who have pressured the Trump administration to intervene in the Pentagon’s plan to choose just one winner for the deal.”

Other key Republican lawmakers?

Lawmakers Press Trump, Pentagon Over $10 Billion JEDI Cloud Deal:

“Two key Republican lawmakers are trying to pressure the Trump administration to intervene in the Pentagon’s plan to award $10 billion in cloud-computing services, citing concerns about the handling of the bid, which rivals say favors Amazon.com Inc.

“Representative Steve Womack of Arkansas, who serves on a panel that funds the department, wrote to President Donald Trump seeking his ‘personal attention’ for the award, saying that the president should approach the contract the same way he pushed for a lower price for new Air Force One planes being built by Boeing Co.

“Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, who chairs the chamber’s Homeland Security Committee, asked in a June 24 letter to Acting Defense Secretary Mark Esper that the award — expected to come as soon as next month — be delayed until an inspector general investigation of the process is complete….

“‘The JEDI program has the potential to waste hundreds of millions of dollars on technology that may not be the latest and most secure,’ Womack wrote in his letter, which is dated June 12.

“He also criticized the bid for ‘limiting competition’ through the criteria for the award.

“In March, lawmakers responsible for defense funding ordered the Pentagon to justify making the contract a single award. Womack, a longtime skeptic of the contract, said Defense Department reports on the issue had been ‘completely unsatisfactory.’

“Johnson noted news reports on potential conflicts of interest raised in a lawsuit by Oracle Corp., which sued in federal court to stop the award. The Pentagon launched an internal review and an investigation by the department’s inspector general.”

Potential conflicts of interest?

Cronyism: Having Your Ex-Employees Award Government Contracts…

“…makes it much more likely you’ll get government contracts.

“Meet Deap Ubhi….”

The Barack Obama Administration’s Defense Department hired Ubhi to oversee the DoDs awarding of the JEDI cloud computing contract.

Where was Ubhi working when Obama came calling?  Amazon Web Services – Amazon’s cloud computing company.

Well isn’t that special.

When Ubhi clambered aboard the Obama DoD, JEDI was going to be awarded to multiple providers in an open and fair process.

And you certainly want multiple providers for any cloud backup gig.  Certainly one as big as the DoDs.

You, Gentle Reader, almost certainly have multiple backups currently running on your computer and your phone.

The military won’t send a paratrooper out of a plane with only one chute.

A reasonable cloud contract award would be: five companies – each responsible for 40% of the backup.  That’s 200% – meaning two companies for each byte of data.

Because a whole lot of very brave men and women will be betting their lives on getting the data they need – exactly when they need it.

That’s what the DoD contractor process was.

Enter Ex-Amazon employee Ubhi.

Suddenly, the multiple provider contract – was transmogrified to sole source.  Meaning only one provider – for the whole thing.  $10 billion worth of cloud backup work – all for only one company.

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

Well isn’t that special.

Oh – Ubhi was finally outed for his titanic crony obnoxiousness.

At which point Ubhi absurdly declared himself recused – long after his damage had been done.

And two weeks after that, Ubhi quit the DoD – at which point he was promptly hired by…Amazon Web Services.  Or should we say RE-hired.

Well isn’t that special.

It is this titanic crony obnoxiousness to which these Republicans are rightly objecting.

It is only reasonable to delay the contract’s award – at least until, as Senator Johnson says, the Inspector General investigation is concluded.

At which point, the titanic crony obnoxiousness Amazon received will be officially documented.

At which point, the JEDI process should go from delayed – to dead.

The post Republicans Are Right: Defense Department Must Delay Amazon’s Massive Cronyism appeared first on RedState.

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A ‘Drain the Swamp’ Test: Will the Trump Admin Reward Amazon’s Killer Cronyism?

An ironic thing about government cronyism.  Only the hugest companies – who need the government help the least – can afford to bribe and buy it.

(This is NOT a call for Little Guy cronyism.  We’d like everyone treated equally by the government and the law – per the Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment.)

Monster company Amazon (Market Cap: $979 billion) seems to have spent its entire existence – building to get big enough to cash in on cronyism.

A business model – that is working wonders.  Wherever there is government – there is Amazon getting cronyism.

Does Amazon’s Bezos – the Richest Man Ever – Need So Much Government Cronyism?

Amazon: One of the Biggest of Bigfoot Cronyism-Recipient Lobbyists

Amazon: Government Has an Ongoing Problem Issuing Monopoly, Crony Contracts

The Post Office Gives Amazon a $1.46 Subsidy on Each Box

Amazon’s HQ2 Was a Con, Not a Contest

Amazon Isn’t Paying Its Electric Bills. You Might Be

And prospectively looming before us – is the most monstrous of monster crony deals ever.

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

“‘According to an internal strategy document…the Pentagon aims to award a 10-year ($10 billion) cloud computing contract…to a single company.…’

The Department of Defense (DoD) is about to outsource the entirety of its digital backup.  And they’re about to do it – to but one company.

Does ANYONE think a single backup is sufficient?

The DoD doesn’t send a single paratrooper out of a plane with just one chute (except for ridiculously low drops – the exception to the rule).

Yet the DoD is about to put every single military man and woman way out on a single-backup, very thin limb.

Military men and women in harm’s way – relying on data to stay alive – will only have one backup on which to rely.

When we called this killer cronyism – we weren’t kidding.

 

Westlake Legal Group cronyism-1-620x332 A ‘Drain the Swamp’ Test: Will the Trump Admin Reward Amazon’s Killer Cronyism? Politics Outsourcing National Security military 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

How on Earth did the DoD arrive at this nonsensical place?  Massive Amazon cronyism, natch.  Get this – from April 2018:

Cronyism: Having Your Ex-Employees Award Government Contracts…:

“…makes it much more likely you’ll get government contracts….

“Meet Deap Ubhi….Ubhi’s LinkedIn headline says he works for USDS (a Defense Department sub-agency) – but his employment history says he works as ‘Product Director’ for Defense’s DDS.  Sounds like procurement to me.

“And where did Ubhi work immediately prior to government? Why look…uber-Big Tech company Amazon….And Ubhi didn’t just work for Amazon. He worked for Amazon Web Services (AWS) – Amazon’s cloud storage company.”

Get that?  Obama’s DoD hired Ubhi…from Amazon’s cloud computing company.  And put him in charge of…the DoDs cloud computing outsource contract.

When Ubhi arrived – the contract wisely called for multiple providers.  Ubhi transmogrified it – to one provider.  And then drafted the contractor description in such a way – only Amazon qualified.

When caught by the Donald Trump Administration, Ubhi recused himself from the contract process – long after he’d already done the requisite Amazon damage.

And two weeks after that, Ubhi quit the DoD – and went back to work for Amazon’s cloud company.

This isn’t cronyism bread crumbs.  These are whole loaves strewn between Amazon and the DoD.

The Trump Administration did well catching Ubhi.  Most unfortunately, they have otherwise allowed this crooked, crony train to continue rambling down the rails.

We are currently looking at an August awarding of the DoD cloud contract.  It is still sole source – and Amazon is still looking like the runaway winner.

And the DoD – chock full of Deep Staters – is surreptitiously, disingenuously defending its cronyism.

Pentagon’s Messaging on JEDI: Without It, Our Adversaries Win and Troops Lose:

“Some of the Pentagon’s leading tech officials warn that further delays in the department’s planned $10 billion cloud contract could damage overall national security posture.”

Get that crooked DoD framing of the issue?

They are passive-aggressively asserting those of us opposed to their cronyism – are opposed to cloud outsourcing.

No…we are opposed to the crony titanic mess you’ve made of it.

And there is a very easy way to end the delay of the contract award.

Un-crony the contract award process.

This is a huge opportunity for the Trump Administration – to keep its very many promises to “Drain the Swamp” of the Deep State cronyism so thoroughly on display here.

Clearly, the DoD is pretending this mess is Situation Normal – and ignoring the All Fouled Up.

Someone in the White House needs to intervene – and override the DoD process as currently constituted.

To end the cronyism.

And to restore the sanity of multiple providers – for the safety of our military men and women.

When the Situation is truly Normal – we’ll stop opposing.

And the delays will end.

The post A ‘Drain the Swamp’ Test: Will the Trump Admin Reward Amazon’s Killer Cronyism? appeared first on RedState.

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