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Daily Archives: December 22nd, 2018


Apparently TOTUS was infuriated upon receipt and publication of this letter on top of a legal setback provided by the high court and a government shutdown with is name on it. MA.
Dear Mr. President:
I have been privileged to serve as our country’s 26th Secretary of Defense which has allowed me to serve alongside our men and women of the Department in defense of our citizens and our ideals.
I am proud of the progress that has been made over the past two years on some of the key goals articulated in our National Defense Strategy: putting the Department on a more sound budgetary footing, improving readiness and lethality in our forces, and reforming the Department’s business practices for greater performance. Our troops continue to provide the capabilities needed to prevail in conflict and sustain strong U.S. global influence.
One core belief I have always held is that our strength as a nation is inextricably linked to the strength of our unique and comprehensive system of alliances and partnerships. While the US remains the indispensable nation in the free world, we cannot protect our interests or serve that role effectively without maintaining strong alliances and showing respect to those allies. Like you, I have said from the beginning that the armed forces of the United States should not be the policeman of the world. Instead, we must use all tools of American power to provide for the common defense, including providing effective leadership to our alliances. NATO’s 29 democracies demonstrated that strength in their commitment to fighting alongside us following the 9-11 attack on America. The Defeat-ISIS coalition of 74 nations is further proof.
Similarly, I believe we must be resolute and unambiguous in our approach to those countries whose strategic interests are increasingly in tension with ours. It is clear that China and Russia, for example, want to shape a world consistent with their authoritarian model – gaining veto authority over other nations’ economic, diplomatic, and security decisions – to promote their own interests at the expense of their neighbors, America and our allies. That is why we must use all the tools of American power to provide for the common defense.
My views on treating allies with respect and also being clear-eyed about both malign actors and strategic competitors are strongly held and informed by over four decades of immersion in these issues. We must do everything possible to advance an international order that is most conducive to our security, prosperity and values, and we are strengthened in this effort by the solidarity of our alliances.
Because you have the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects, I believe it is right for me to step down from my position. The end date for my tenure is February 28, 2019, a date that should allow sufficient time for a successor to be nominated and confirmed as well as to make sure the Department’s interests are properly articulated and protected at upcoming events to include Congressional posture hearings and the NATO Defense Ministerial meeting in February. Further, that a full transition to a new Secretary of Defense occurs well in advance of the transition of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in September in order to ensure stability Within the Department.

I pledge my full effort to a smooth transition that ensures the needs and interests of the 2.15 million Service Members and 732,079 DoD civilians receive undistracted attention of the Department at all times so that they can fulfill their critical, round-the-clock mission to protect the American people.
I very much appreciate this opportunity to serve the nation and our men and women in uniform.

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It is not far fetched to believe TOTUS is not thrilled with RBG, especially since his week is going so badly! MA
Ruth Bader Ginsburg Voted From Hospital To Block Trump Asylum Restrictions
Mary Papenfuss,HuffPost 7 hours ago

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg voted against President Donald
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg voted against President Donald Trump’s proposed immigrant asylum restrictions from the hospital where she had cancer surgery Friday, according to media reports.
NBC reported that Ginsburg voted from her hospital bed. National Public Radio and Mother Jones magazine said she cast the decisive vote in the 5-4 decision against the Trump administration shortly after her surgery to remove two cancerous nodules from her lungs. The ruling blocks the Trump administration from implementing new rules prohibiting people from seeking asylum if they cross the border illegally.
By Friday night Ginsburg, 85, was sitting up in her chair and calling friends, NPR reported.
The growths were found during tests Ginsburg had after she fractured ribs in a fall in her Supreme Court office last month.
Doctors at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York found “no evidence of any remaining disease” and scans taken before the surgery showed no cancerous growths elsewhere in her body, the court said in a statement. No additional treatment is planned.
“Ginsburg is resting comfortably and is expected to remain in the hospital for a few days,” the statement said.
Ginsburg, the court’s oldest justice, has served on the top court for 25 years. She has become something of a folk hero, an icon of liberals, and a favorite of “Saturday Night Live.”
She has been affectionately dubbed the “Notorious RBG,” a play on the name of the late rapper Notorious BIG and a homage to her strength.
“I will do this job as long as I can do it full steam,” Ginsburg said Sunday after a New York screening of “On the Basis of Sex,” a film about her years as a young lawyer.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

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TOTUS again has tried to shift blame for the shutdown to someone else after stating on National Television that he would and was willing to accept the blame for the Government shutdown. Even though the current “Paul Ryan House” added his dubious 5 billion to the spending bill the shutdown proceeds. Congress is unwilling to move forward with this abomination of a spending plan. TOTUS has blamed everyone but himself (as usual) and that stoppage was followed by the high court (which TOTUS had hoped to stack with pro Trumpers) has delivered another defeat on immigration. This illegal attempt at supplanting existing United States immigration law with his own (or Mr. Miller’s) version has failed as will many of the suspicious “Trump decrees” we have seen and his lick spittle cabinet minions have enforced or attempted to enforce to please the “Pecksniffian” demands of their boss. To paraphrase a movie phrase:” what we have here is a failure to communicate”. In the end his loyal base will be all that TOTUS has to back him since it seems that the radical right (Coulter and Limbaugh) have slammed him in recent times. As usual the “already Great Americans” have began to overtake the more radical left and right elements. We have to begin with the long serving Congress and elect people who are for ALL Americans and who follow the “real” American dream. Remember term limits begin in the voting booth.

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Mr. Lampert has touted his desire to maintain the Sears/Kmart system and associated brands but from the beginning he began to dig the current pit the company is in. With no experience in retail , he made the mistakes that many before him has and that is to make moves that work in the finance sector but not in retail. First move is determine who the long time existing retail managers are and embrace and learn from them. Second: reassure the front liners (the people who face the consumers daily),Third: maintain credit lines so that merchandise continues to flow into the stores. These few things never materialized as Mr. Lampert had no clue how retail works and apparently was not eager or willing to learn. I have always felt that no one can successfully run a business that they know nothing about, so the key is to learn the business while allowing those who do know it run it. Unfortunately this seems to mirror our country at this time.MA

msn money

Lauren Hirsch 14 hrs ago

Even as Eddie Lampert is trying to keep Sears alive, the company is preparing for its potential doom.

Sears’ chairman, Eddie Lampert earlier this month unveiled his $4.6 billion proposal to save Sears by buying the company out of bankruptcy through his hedge fund, ESL Investments. Such a deal is likely its last chance at survival. If Lampert can’t buy the company, it will likely need to liquidate and sell itself in parts. But as the deal faces increasing legal and financing challenges, the company is bracing for the reality it may not come together at all.
Sears’ advisers told the bankruptcy court judge this week the company is already planning to close a number of stores and solicit liquidation bids as a protection, should Lampert’s effort fall apart. The retailer is weighing closing to 50 to 80 more stores at the end of the year, people familiar with the situation tell CNBC. That could bring Sears’ footprint closer to 400. Lampert has said he wants to buy roughly 500 stores.
The company filed for bankruptcy on Oct. 15 with a little under 700 stores. At that time it said it would close 142 unprofitable stores, then in November it announced the closure of 40 additional stores.
The plans are a precaution. It is possible that Sears averts further store closures should Lampert seal a deal to buy the company and its 500-store footprint. But they are an implicit acknowledgement of the potential bleak reality that may lie soon in Sears’ future.
Lampert has yet to formalize and submit financing to support his offer for Sears, people familiar with the situation tell CNBC. Advisers spent much of Monday in active negotiations discussing the asset-backed loan that would support Lampert’s offer. Lending to Sears provides bank underwriting fees, but it also would require confidence in the business strategy of a company that hasn’t turned a profit since 2010.
Without formal financing, Sears last weekend missed its chance to be named a so-called stalking horse bidder in an auction for Sears. It still has until Dec. 28 to submit a formal offer for the company. Being named the stalking horse in a bankruptcy sale typically affords a number of perks, like a role in setting bidding procedures and a break-up fee should that bid be topped.
Meantime, Lampert is financing $1.8 billion of his bid by rolling over debt he already holds in the company. But that too carries uncertainty — and, now, formal pushback.
Some of Sears’ creditors have taken aim at some Sears’ transactions under Lampert’s leadership, including his spinoff of Lands’ End and transactions with Seritage Growth Properties, the real estate investment trust Lampert created through select Sears properties. Those creditors told the bankruptcy court judge this week they plan to contest a credit bid.
It remains unclear whether Lampert would be willing to backstop the credit portion of the bid with cash, should he not be able to use debt to fund it. It therefore remains unclear how else he would finance the bid.
Meantime, ESL is asking as part of its bid that the creditors agree to another stipulation: a release from lawsuits over his past transactions. With the threat of litigation looming large, that too is far from sure.
A spokesperson for Sears declined to comment.
In statement provided to CNBC, a spokesperson for ESL Investments said, “ESL Investments is working around the clock to try to keep Sears in business with a going concern proposal that would save tens of thousands of jobs and provide severance protections for eligible workers.”

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