Hey Pelosi, Here's Your Astroturf!

Occupy Wall Street is Van Jones’ bottom up, top down, inside out strategy at work. The fringe leftist radicals were hoping the Tea Party would go violent so they could be blamed, but since the Tea Party didn’t oblige, the fringe leftist radicals are calling their own out on to the streets. Of course, in complete contradiction with reality, the fringe leftist radicals will conjer up a way to blame their actions on the Tea Party.

This 100% astroturf “movement”, completely manufactured by “progressives” who seek to destroy the American way of life, are “progressive” Tea Party copycat wannabees. Is it any surprise that this action was initiated by Van Jones, a self avowed Communist? That reality is certainly no accident. Now, the protestors are joined by “progressive” propoganda minions MoveOn.org (funded by anti-American “open borders” champion George Soros) and multiple unions like the Chinatown Tenants Union, the Transit Workers Union, community organizations such as the Working Families Party and United NY. Their demand are simple. What do they want? FREE STUFF!! When do they want it? ALL THE TIME!! Their “message”? Capitalism, mortgage bankers, commodity traders and corporations are all evil. In short, they’re a bunch of tax the rich Communist nitwits who’re in dire need of a bath.

Americans should laugh at and ignore these “progressive” useful idiots who’re clogging the streets and being arrested by the hundreds. Let the current White House occupant and his “progressive” political allies call out the muscle against their own followers, upon whom their re-election chances rely.

Hey Pelosi, Here’s Your Astroturf!

100 Best Restaurants for Wine Lovers in America

Harvest season is here! In celebration of crush season, a magical and exhilarating time for winemakers, as ripened grapes journey from vine to barrel, OpenTable, the world’s leading provider of online restaurant reservations and part of Booking Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG), today released its 100 Best Restaurants for Wine Lovers in America. Featuring restaurants across 26 states, from sizzling steakhouses to Italian cucinas, French brasseries to seafood eateries, the list offers wine lovers everywhere the opportunity to pair an upcoming dining experience with the perfect vintage.

Featuring exquisite vintage wines from renowned wineries as well as those harvested from local vineyards, the list highlights some of the country’s best, including Bottega Napa Valley in California, Balthazar in New York and Sixty Vines in TexasNew York is the most recognized state, with 12 restaurants on the list, followed by California with ten and Nevada and Texas with eight apiece. Additional states represented include AlabamaArizonaColoradoConnecticutFloridaGeorgiaHawaiiIllinoisIndianaLouisianaMarylandMassachusettsMinnesotaMissouriNew MexicoOhioOregonPennsylvaniaSouth CarolinaTennesseeVirginiaWashington and the district of Washington, D.C.

“Whether you’re a wine aficionado or a novice looking to expand your palate, this year’s list showcases a variety of restaurants that carefully curate the finest wine selections to complement their menus,” said Caroline Potter, Chief Dining Officer at OpenTable. “From deep dives with sommeliers to approachable tastings to find the perfect pairing for any meal, these winning restaurants have earned rave reviews for their stellar dining experiences and impressive wine offerings.

The 100 Best Restaurants for Wine Lovers list is generated solely from more than 12 million verified OpenTable diner reviews for more than 28,000 restaurants in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. collected between August 1, 2017, and July 31, 2018. All restaurants with a minimum “overall” score and number of qualifying reviews were included for consideration. Qualifying restaurants were then scored and sorted according to the percentage of reviews for which “notable wine list” was selected as a special feature.

Based on this methodology, the 100 Best Restaurants for Wine Lovers in America according to OpenTable diners, are as follows (in alphabetical order):

100 Best Restaurants for Wine Lovers in America
Abe and Louie’s Boston – Boston, Massachusetts
Al Biernat’s – Oak Lawn – Dallas, Texas
Altius – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Angelina’s Ristorante – Bonita Springs, Florida
Annie Gunn’s – Chesterfield, Missouri
Balthazar – New York, New York
Barolo Grill – Denver, Colorado
The Bistro at Gervasi Vineyard – Canton, Ohio
Bistro Jeanty – Yountville, California
Bohanan’s Prime Steaks and Seafood – San Antonio, Texas
Bones – Atlanta, Georgia
Bottega Napa Valley – Yountville, California
Bouchon – Yountville, California
Boulevard – San Francisco, California
Boulud Sud – New York, New York
Brennan’s – New Orleans, Louisiana
Butcher & Singer – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Café Monarch – Scottsdale, Arizona
Campiello – Naples – Naples, Florida
Carlo & Johnny – Cincinnati, Ohio
Charleston – Baltimore, Maryland
Charleston Grill – Charleston, South Carolina
Charley’s Steak House – Tampa – Tampa, Florida
Chicago Cut Steakhouse – Chicago, Illinois
Collage Restaurant – St. Augustine, Florida
Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant – Multiple Locations
Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House – Multiple Locations
Del Posto – New York, New York
Delmonico Steakhouse – Las Vegas, Nevada
Devon Seafood + Steak – Hershey – Hershey, Pennsylvania
Eiffel Tower – Las Vegas, Nevada
Emeril’s Restaurant – New Orleans, Louisiana
Filomena Ristorante – Washington, D.C.
Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck – Dallas, Texas
Flight Restaurant & Wine Bar – Memphis – Memphis, Tennessee
Gallaghers Steakhouse – Manhattan – New York, New York
Geronimo – Santa Fe, New Mexico
Giada – The Cromwell – Las Vegas, Nevada
Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse – Chicago – Chicago, Illinois
Gordon Ramsay Steak – Paris Las Vegas – Las Vegas, Nevada
Gotham Bar and Grill – New York, New York
Gramercy Tavern – New York, New York
Grill 23 & Bar – Boston, Massachusetts
GW Fins – New Orleans, Louisiana
House of Prime Rib – San Francisco, California
Hugo’s Cellar – Four Queens – Las Vegas, Nevada
Iron Bridge Wine Company – Columbia – Columbia, Maryland
J. Gilbert’s – Wood Fired Steaks & Seafood – Glastonbury – Glastonbury, Connecticut
Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse – Nashville – Nashville, Tennessee
Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab – Multiple Locations
Killen’s Steakhouse – Pearland, Texas
L’Auberge Chez Francois – Great Falls, Virginia
Le Coucou – New York, New York
Le Diplomate – Washington, D.C.
Mama’s Fish House – Paia, Hawaii
Manny’s Steakhouse – Minneapolis. Minnesota
Maple & Ash – Chicago, Illinois
Marea – New York, New York
Mariposa – Sedona, Arizona
Mastro’s Ocean Club – Newport Beach – Newport Beach, California
The Metropolitan Grill – Seattle, Washington
Mitchell’s Ocean Club – Easton Town Center – Columbus, Ohio
The Modern – New York, New York
Mon Ami Gabi – Las Vegas – Main Dining Room – Las Vegas, Nevada
Mustards Grill – Yountville, California
Nostrana – Portland, Oregon
Old Ebbitt Grill – Washington, D.C.
OMBRA Cucina Italiana – Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
The Olde Pink House Restaurant – Savannah, Georgia
Osteria Mozza – Los Angeles, California
Panorama – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Pappas Bros. Steakhouse – Multiple Locations
Parc – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Passionfish – Pacific Grove, California
Peninsula Grill – Charleston, South Carolina
Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille – Birmingham – Birmingham, Alabama
Petit Louis Bistro – Roland Park – Baltimore, Maryland
Pier W – Cleveland, Ohio
Portland City Grill – Portland, Oregon
Quartino – Chicago, Illinois
The Refectory Restaurant & Bistro – Columbus, Ohio
Restaurant August – New Orleans, Louisiana
Restaurant R’evolution – New Orleans, Louisiana
RingSide Steakhouse – Uptown – Portland, Oregon
River Cafe – Brooklyn, New York
RPM Italian – Chicago, Illinois
RPM Steak – Chicago, Illinois
Shanahan’s Steakhouse – Denver, Colorado
SINATRA – Encore at Wynn Las Vegas – Las Vegas, Nevada
Sixty Vines – Plano – Plano, Texas
Sparks Steak House – New York, New York
St. Elmo Steak House – Indianapolis, Indiana
Steak 44  – Phoenix, Arizona
Steak 48 – Houston – Houston, Texas
Top of the Hub – Boston, Massachusetts
Top of the World Restaurant – Stratosphere Hotel – Las Vegas, Nevada
Trattoria Lisina – Driftwood, Texas
Ulele – Tampa, Florida
Vintana Wine & Dine – Escondido, California
Vivace Restaurant – Tucson, Arizona

May Real Estate Market the Fastest on Record; Prices Up 6.3%

The typical home that sold in May went under contract in 34 days, according to Redfin (www.redfin.com), the next-generation real estate brokerage. May broke April’s record of 36 days, which was the fastest month Redfin had recorded going back to 2010.  Amid the speed, the national median home sale price rose to $305,600, a 6.3 percent increase from May 2017 across the 174 markets that Redfin tracks.

The number of newly listed homes for sale increased 4.3 percent compared to May of last year, driving a 3.6 percent increase in the number of homes sold. However, the overall supply of homes declined 5.4 percent during the same time period. Just 2.5 months of supply remained at the end of the month, compared to the six months that generally signals a balanced market.

Market Summary

May 2018

Month-Over-Month

Year-Over-Year

Median sale price

$305,600

1.5%

6.3%

Homes sold

292,900

18.4%

3.6%

New listings

373,500

7.6%

4.3%

All Homes for sale

728,300

5.6%

-5.4%

Median days on market

34

-3

-4

Months of supply

2.5

-0.3

-0.2

Sold above list

27.6%

1.3%

1.2%

Median Off-Market Redfin Estimate

$289,600

0.8%

7.4%

Average Sale-to-list

98.6%

0.3%

-0.1%

Among homes that sold in May, 27.6 percent sold above their list price, the highest percentage Redfin has recorded, indicating strong competition for the few homes available. At the same time, nearly a quarter of homes for sale had a price drop in May, the highest percentage of price drops since September of 2017.

“Prices are still increasing, but not at the same rate we saw earlier in the spring,” said Redfin senior economist Taylor Marr. “The record percentage of homes sold above list price is at odds with the higher percentage of price drops in May. This tells us that while it’s still very much a seller’s market, price growth and rising mortgage rates may be pushing buyers to the limit of what they’re able to pay.”

For the seventh month in a row, San Jose topped the nation with price growth over 25 percent. The supply of San Jose homes fell 13.8 percent compared to last year. That drop is actually the smallest decline in a 16-month stretch of inventory declines, an indication of the intensity of San Jose’sinventory shortage. A bit of good news for San Jose buyers: the number of homes newly listed in May ticked up 11.2 percent compared to last year.

After a prolonged period of inventory declines, some metro areas are finally seeing more homes hit the market. Washington, D.C. and Portland, OR have now had four months in a row of year-over-year increases in inventory. Seattle inventory increased for the second month in a row, up 17.4 percent in May compared to last year.

“Two months of growing inventory is a positive sign for Seattle buyers, but the previous 43 consecutive months of inventory declines won’t be reversed overnight,” said Jessie Culbert, a Redfin agent in Seattle. “Even so, we can already feel a slight easing in the market. Homes are still selling quickly and often over-asking, but where last May a seller may have gotten 15 to 20 offers, this May it was two to five.”

Other May Highlights

Competition

  • Denver was the fastest market, with the typical home going under contract in just six days. Seattle and Tacoma, WA were the next fastest markets at seven median days on market, followed by Boston and Grand Rapids, MI at eight median days on market.
  • The most competitive market in May was San Jose where 83.8% of homes sold above list price, followed by 79.6% in San Francisco, 76.2% in Oakland, 63.1% in Tacoma, WA, and 61.9% in Seattle.

Prices

  • San Jose had the nation’s highest price growth, rising 27.6% since last year to $1,250,000Tacoma, WA had the second highest price growth at 19.6% year-over-year, followed by Memphis, TN (16.9%), Las Vegas, (15.9%), and Rochester, NY (15.4%).
  • No metros saw price declines in May.

Sales

  • Thirteen out of 73 metros saw sales surge by double digits from last year. Warren, MI led the nation in year-over-year sales growth, up 38.5%, followed by Baltimore, up 31.8%. Camden, NJrounded out the top three with sales up 24.7% from a year ago.
  • Buffalo, NY saw the largest decline in sales since last year, falling 17.2%. Home sales in Rochester, NY and Baton Rouge, LA declined by 16.6% and 12.8%, respectively.

Inventory

  • Indianapolis had the largest decrease in overall inventory, falling 37.7% since May of last year. Rochester, NY (-37.1%), Buffalo, NY (-32.8%), and Milwaukee (-22.9%) also saw far fewer homes available on the market than a year ago.
  • Portland, OR had the highest increase in the number of homes for sale, up 35.3% year over year, followed by Detroit (28.4%) and Allentown, PA (24.4%).

Pricing Strategy

  • To see trends in sellers’ pricing strategies, Redfin compares the list price to the Redfin Estimate, Redfin’s automated home-value estimate. When sellers consistently price their homes below the Redfin Estimate in a market, this can indicate a common strategy to deliberately underprice to create a bidding war.
  • The median list price-to-Redfin Estimate ratio was 93.2% in San Francisco, the lowest of any market. This indicates the typical home for sale in May was listed at 94.1% of its estimated value. Only 5.9% of homes in San Francisco, CA were listed for more than their Redfin Estimate.
  • Conversely, the median list price-to-Redfin Estimate ratio was 102.4% in Miami and 102.1% in West Palm Beach, FL, which means sellers are listing their homes for more than the estimated value in those metro areas. In Miami, 84.7% of homes were listed above their Redfin Estimate, the highest percentage of any metro.

Snopes Gets Key Facts Wrong On Ocasio-Cortez Campaign Finance Scandal

The left-leaning fact-checking website Snopes butchered facts about a PAC controlled by Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her top aide in a story published Thursday.

Ocasio-Cortez and Saikat Chakrabarti, her former campaign chair and current chief of staff, obtained majority control of Justice Democrats in December 2017. The PAC, which had raised more than $1.8 million before her June 2018 primary, has been widely credited with manufacturing her upset victory over incumbent Democrat Joe Crowley.

Snopes reporter Dan MacGuill falsely claimed in his story that Chakrabarti, who served as executive director of Justice Democrats in 2018, “was not an official agent or officer” of the PAC. He also failed to acknowledge the fact that he and Ocasio-Cortez are members of the PAC’s three-member board of directors, according to archived versions of the Justice Democrat website and corporate filings obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Justice Democrats’ board of directors on March 23, 2018. (Screenshot/Wayback Machine)

Former Federal Election Commission member Brad Smith told TheDCNF that Ocasio-Cortez and her top aide “could be facing jail time” if they knowingly and willfully withheld their control over Justice Democrats from the commission in order to bypass campaign contribution limits.

Snopes joins CNN, ABC News, NBC News, The Washington Post, Business Insider and Market Watch in failing to disclose the facts surrounding Ocasio-Cortez’s control over the PAC in stories about the freshman Democrat’s mounting campaign finance scandals.

Archived copies of the Justice Democrats website reveal Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti held “legal control over” the PAC starting in December 2017, and that Chakrabarti was one of its “major players” up until January 2019.

Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti continue to serve as “governors” of Justice Democrats, according to the PAC’s filings with the Washington, D.C. Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Saikat Chakrabarti listed as governors of Justice Democrats on March 8, 2019, at 2:28 pm. (Screenshot/DCRA)

MacGuill did not return a request for comment.

UPDATE! Benghazi CIA Operators Told To Stand Down; Fallen Navy Seal Dad “The President & Hillary Did Not Tell Me The Truth”

CIA Operators, Glenn Dougherty and Tyrone Woods, heard the cries from the CIA safe house nearby.  All accounts have these men fighting until their deaths.  But what we know now is that not only did they send 3 separate requests for help, they were told to “Stand Down”.  Fox News reports that

Former Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods was part of a small team who was at the CIA annex about a mile from the U.S. Consulate where Ambassador Chris Stevens and his team came under attack. When he and others heard the shots fired, they informed their higher-ups at the annex to tell them what they were hearing and requested permission to go to the consulate and help out. They were told to “stand down,” according to sources familiar with the exchange. Soon after, they were again told to “stand down.”

They ignored those orders.  They went to the rescue of Ambassador Stevens and the other Americans on scene.  They took fire, rescued as many as they could, but could not find Ambassador Stevens, so they returned to the CIA “annex” located a few miles away.  At that point they started to receive mortar fire, and they called again for help.  And that request was denied, too. They were denied a total of 3 times.

 FOX  is the only Main Steam Media reporting on Benghazi, you can find the whole report here.  This part of this story is still breaking, we will continue to update as needed. Update below.

There are some stories that hit a chord, when you sit down to write, there is a fear you won’t convey the proper words, sometimes there are no words.  Being that the Main Stream Media is ignoring “all things Benghazi” its up to us, regular Americans, to do “their” job and spread the truth.  To spread the truth so these heroes will not have died in vain.  With that said, this  story will enrage you, and it should.

Charles Woods is the father of Tyrone Woods, the ex-Navy Seal who answered the call from the Benghazi “CIA Safe House” which was attacked on September 11th, 2012.  Tyrone didn’t make it out alive, but not before he fought valiantly for  several hours, taking out dozens of terrorists.  When Tyrone’s body was brought back via Andrew’s Air Force base, his father Charles was on hand to receive his slain son’s flag draped coffin.  After Obama and Hillary spoke, Charles was greeted separately by Obama and Hillary.  As Obama greeted Charles, Charles stated:

“…his face was pointed toward me, but he could not look me in the eye, he looked somewhere over my shoulder, and his handshake was like a dead fish.  I am a retired Judge, and it was my job to know when someone is telling the truth, his voice was not forceful–not like ‘I am really sorry about this Mr. Woods’, no he was not sorry or remorseful.  I could tell he wasn’t being truthful.  I didn’t speak out before, but after I learned they knew, I want to know who it was that gave the order to not protect…to not send in troops? ” (emphasis mine)

Mr. Woods goes on to relate his encounter then with Hillary Clinton.  Hillary, gave him a “hug”, and he thanked her for taking the time to come and speak with him.  Mr. Woods goes on to state:

“…..first off she said she was “sorry”, her countenance was not good, she then tells me ‘we will make sure the person who made that film is arrested and prosecuted’ and I could tell, she was not telling me the truth, I mean she is smarter than me, I’m sure, and she knew she was not telling me the truth…”

Charles Woods also was incensed by VP Joe Biden.  Blundering Joe is one thing, but what he said to Mr. Woods is so crass  and in this case, so offensive:

….then Joe Biden in a real ‘boisterous” voice says ‘yea, I’ve gotten a call like that in the middle of the night, hey let me ask you something, did your son always have balls the size of cue balls?’

Yea, Joe, I’m sure watching that live feed, watching men who go in and take fire, realizing at some point they were it, no back-up would be coming, God forgive you, Obama and Hillary.  God help us.  Obama, you- Joe and Panetta were meeting at 5pm during this attack, and CIA sources report it would be the POTUS who would have to say “stand down”.  And all you have to offer this slain hero’s Dad has to do with the anatomy of his private parts?

Let me say why this story is so very important right now.  Charles Woods says he is a man of faith, and that one thing he knows for sure—is that his son did not die in vain.  As it stands, this story—Tyrone Woods’ story and all 4 dead Americans, their deaths may well be swept under the rug by the Main Stream Media, the Benghazi cover-up forgotten in a few weeks.  So, for these Americans deaths to be not in vain, we must make this the turning point—it would be the turning point in this Election if it had the same press as a Cindy Sheehan.

This Country may well perish for lack of knowledge–information.  I know one thing, most Americans are good honorable people.  Many are just not “plugged in” to these events, and they then have no idea that we have a President who lies, who dishonors, who is so arrogant, who is condescending.   He thinks he can “lecture” and use “mock anger” as he did in that second debate over Benghazi.   I don’t think I will ever forget his superb acting when he reeled around at Romney saying “I take it as an offense for anyone to suggest that I don’t take this seriously, it is I who has to stand over those graves, meet those families, and to suggest I or anyone in my Administration would politicize such a thing…well is despicable”.

No, they Obama, Biden, and Hillary just stood over those coffins and lied, and they felt no remorse.  These people do not  represent me,  they do not represent who America is—this really has nothing whatsoever to do with Politics.  This has to do with honor, and decency, who who we are as Americans.  I know many of you wanted to believe that Obama was going to be the next Abe Lincoln, a man who would bring us all together.  You wanted to believe he would be fair, that he was for the poor, he was for the disenfranchised. I am sorry, I wanted that too—but its time to face the truth.  He is none of those things.

Are we so numb to Charles Wood’s pain?   We can’t bring his son back, a son who died for our Freedom.  But we can honor him, by promising to do what we can, to restore America’s honor.  And that has to start with the defeat of Obama and his regime.

Hear Charles Woods interview on FOX here.

November Jobs Report: 155,000 Jobs Added, Unemployment Steady At 3.7 Percent

The U.S. economy added 155,000 jobs through the month of November and the unemployment rate held steady at 3.7 percent, according to Department of Labor (DOL) data released Friday.

Wages hit 3.1 percent growth over a year last month, the first time in nearly a decade that wages have broken the 3 percent benchmark. Wage growth held steady at 3.1 percent through November from a year before.

The 3 percent benchmark has not been hit in year-over-year wage growth since April 2009. The increase in wages is an effect of the historically tight labor market as employers offer better pay to attract workers, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report data fell for jobs added under experts’ predictions of 198,000 jobs added, according to WSJ. Jobs data from October was revised downward from 250,000 to 237,000.

The unemployment rate hit a near-five decade low in September when it fell to 3.7 percent. It fell 0.2 percent from the month before and hit the lowest rate since 1969.

The four-week average of new jobless claims — a proxy for the number of workers laid off each week — hit 228,000 Thursday. The economy is producing so many jobs that the unemployment rate remains at historically low levels, despite the jobless claims number. The number of people collecting unemployment benefits sank by 74,000 and remains at the lowest level since 1973, MarketWatch reports.

Planes, Space and Submarines: Here’s What’s In the Pentagon’s 2020 Budget Request

“Today the Department of Defense rolls out our FY 2020 budget proposal.,” Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan said in a statement. “With the largest research and development request in 70 years, this strategy-driven budget makes necessary investments in next-generation technology, space, missiles, and cyber capabilities. The operations and capabilities supported by this budget will strongly position the US military for great power competition for decades to come.”

The FY 2020 Budget maintains momentum from the sustained funding increases enacted in FY 2017, FY 2018, and FY 2019 to repair damaged readiness, and the Budget marks a key next step in how the Defense Department operationalizes the 2018 National Defense Strategy. The FY 2020 Budget is a major milestone in meeting this challenge and resourcing the more lethal, agile, and innovative Joint Force America needs to compete, deter, and win in any high-end potential fight of the future by:

    1. investing in the emerging space and cyber warfighting domains
    2. modernizing capabilities in the air, maritime, and land warfighting domains
    3. innovating more rapidly to strengthen our competitive advantage
    4. sustaining our forces and building on our readiness gains.

The $718.3 billion budget’s largest conventional military line items include funding for 78 F-35s, 4 nuclear submarines, 3 destroyers, and a nuclear-powered carrier. The wish list, which represents the largest shipbuilding request in 20 years, also includes numerous support ships, aircraft and ground vehicles.

Space, where a portion of a future war may be waged got a huge lift. The Space Force got its first line item and the funding is requested for numerous GPS and surveillance satellites and their launches.

The budget also includes a 3.1% pay raise for members of the military, funding to modernize the military health system, and funds to provide childcare and education to service members’ children.

This DoD fashioned the proposed budget to project power through competitiveness, innovation, and readiness. It recognizes that future wars will be waged not just in the air, on the land, and at sea, but also in space and cyberspace, increasing the complexity of warfare, according to the Pentagon. Congressional approval of the FY 2020 Budget will help America meet current operational commitments and outpace the threats posed by China and Russia through maintaining our competitive advantage, even as DoD spending remains near a record low as a share of the U.S. economy.

Specifically, the Department’s FY 2020 budget builds the Joint Force’s capacity and lethality by investing in:

Cyber ($9.6 billion)

    • Supports offensive and defensive cyberspace operations – $3.7 billion
    • Reduces risk to DoD networks, systems, and information by investing in more cybersecurity capabilities – $5.4 billion
    • Modernizes DoD’s general purpose cloud environment – $61.9 million

Space ($14.1 billion)

    • Resources the initial establishment of the United States Space Force – $72.4 million
    • 4 National Security Space Launch (aka EELV) – $1.7 billion
    • 1 Global Positioning System III and Projects – $1.8 billion
    • Space Based Overhead Persistent Infrared Systems – $1.6 billion

Air Domain ($57.7B)

    • 78 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters – $11.2 billion
    • 12 KC-46 Tanker Replacements – $2.3 billion
    • 24 F/A-18 E/F Super Hornets – $2.0 billion
    • 48 AH-64E Attack Helicopters – $1.0 billion
    • 6 VH-92 Presidential Helicopters – $0.8 billion
    • 6 P-8A Aircraft – $1.5 billion
    • 6 CH-53K King Stallion – $1.5 billion
    • 8 F-15EX – $1.1 billion

Maritime Domain: $34.7 billion and the largest budget request in more than 20 years for shipbuilding

    • COLUMBIA Class Ballistic Missile Submarine – $2.2 billion
    • 1 CVN-78 FORD Class Aircraft Carrier – $2.6 billion
    • 3 Virginia Class Submarines – $10.2 billion
    • 3 DDG-51 Arleigh Burke Destroyers – $5.8 billion
    • 1 Frigate (FFG(X)) – $1.3 billion
    • 2 Fleet Replenishment Oilers (T-AO) – $1.1 billion
    • 2 Towing, Salvage, and Rescue Ship (T-ATS) – $0.2 billion
    • 2 large unmanned surface vehicles – $447 million

Ground Systems ($14.6 billion)

    • 4,090 Joint Light Tactical Vehicles – $1.6 billion
    • 165 M-1 Abrams Tank Modifications – $2.2 billion
    • 56 Amphibious Combat Vehicles – $0.4 billion
    • 131 Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicles – $0.6 billion

Multi-domain and nuclear triad ($31 billion)

    • B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber – $3.0 billion
    • Columbia Class Submarine – $2.2 billion
    • Long-Range Stand-Off Missile – $0.7 billion
    • Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent – $0.6 billon

The FY 2020 Budget funds preferred munitions at the maximum production rate.

    • 40,388 Joint Direct Attack Munitions – $1.1 billion
    • 10,193 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System – $1.4 billion
    • 125 Standard Missile-6 – $0.7 billion
    • 1,925 Small Diameter Bomb II – $0.4 billion
    • 9,000 Hellfire Missiles – $0.7 billion
    • 430 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile – $0.6 billion
    • 48 Long Range Anti-Ship Missile – $0.2 billion

Highlighting the enduring importance of missile defeat and defense, the FY 2020 Budget funds the sustainment of the surge in missile defense investment we undertook in FY 2018 and FY 2019, while also investing in Missile Defense Review efforts at $13.6 billion. The missile defeat and defense investments for FY 2020 include:

    • 37 AEGIS Ballistic Missile Defense (SM-3) with Install – $1.7 billion
    • Support for Missile Defense Review (e.g., Land-Launched Conventional Prompt Strike, Extended Range Weapon, Space-based Discrimination Sensor Study) – $1.5 billion
    • Ground Based Midcourse Defense – $1.7 billion
    • 37 THAAD Ballistic Missile Defense – $0.8 billion
    • 147 Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC-3) Missile Segment Enhancements – $0.7 billion

The FY 2020 Budget continues the Department’s emphasis on innovation and technology, which will enhance our competitive advantage. The Budget highlights emerging technology projects including:

    • Unmanned / Autonomous projects to enhance freedom of maneuver and lethality in contested environments – $3.7 billion
    • Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning investments to expand military advantage through the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC) and Advanced Image Recognition – $927 million
    • Hypersonics weapons development to complicate adversaries’ detection and defense – $2.6 billion
    • Directed Energy investment to support implementation of directed energy for base defense; enable testing and procurement of multiple types of lasers; and increase research and development for high-power density applications – $235 million

The FY 2020 Budget increases the readiness, lethality, and agility of the Joint force by increasing our military end strength.

    • Funds readiness to executable levels across services – $124.8 billion
    • Total military end strength will increase from FY 2019 projected levels by approximately 7,700 in FY 2020
    • Active end strength will increase by approximately 6,200 from FY 2019 projected levels to FY 2020, with the largest increase in the Air Force
    • Reserve Component end strength will increase by approximately 1,500 from FY 2019 projected levels to FY 2020, with the largest increase in the Army Guard and Reserve

The FY 2020 Budget provides the largest military pay raise in 10 years and robust support to our most valued asset—our military members—and their families. The Budget:

    • Provides a competitive compensation package
    • Includes a 3.1 percent military pay raise
    • Continues to modernize and transform our Military Health System
    • Spousal/community support
    • Continues family support programs with investment of nearly $8 billion for:
      • Child care for over 180,000 children
      • Youth programs serving over 1 million dependents
      • DoD Dependent Schools educating over 76,000 students
      • Commissary operations at 236 stores

Facilities investment is a continuing area of emphasis. This funding:

    • Supports the National Defense Strategy by investing in key operational and training facilities
    • Enables timely maintenance of critical infrastructure
    • Improves Quality-of-Life for Service Members and their families
    • Provides funding for Marine Corps and Air Force hurricane-related facility repairs at Camp Lejeune and Tyndall Air Force Base

The FY 2020 Budget contains critical funding for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) and an emergency budget request, totaling $173.8 billion, which is subject to the same congressional oversight requirements as the base budget. These pieces of the request are vital to our budget as a whole and our ability to support the National Defense Strategy. The FY 2020 OCO/Emergency request contains four categories:

    • Direct War Requirements: Combat or combat support costs that are not expected to continue once combat operations end – $25.4 billion
    • OCO for Enduring Requirements: Enduring in-theater and CONUS costs that will remain after combat operations end – $41.3 billion
    • OCO for Base Requirements: Funding for base budget requirements in support of the National Defense Strategy, financed in the OCO budget due to the limits on base budget defense resources under the budget caps in current law – $97.9 billion
    • Emergency Requirements: Funding for military construction for emergencies, to include border security and reconstruction efforts to rebuild facilities damaged by Hurricanes Florence and Michael – $9.2 billion

Long-term strategic competitions with China and Russia are the principal priorities for the Department, and require both increased and sustained investment, because of the magnitude of the threats they pose to U.S. security and prosperity today, and the potential for those threats to increase in the future.

China to Help Fund Latest EU Bailout Package? No Deal

French President Nicolas Sarkozy placed a phone call to China’s President Hu Jintao after European leaders reached another last-minute deal to increase bailout funding in an attempt to tackle the regions worst debt crisis in over two decades. Apparently, Sarkozy’s pleas for China to contribute upwards of $100 billion (U.S.) to the EU bailout fund fell on deaf ears, as China’s refusal to buy EU bonds was reported early Friday morning, much to the dismay of the Global media that had been reporting that China would be buying upwards of $100 billion dollars worth of the EU’s bonds.

 

 Sarkozy attempted to woo public opinion and apply Global pressure by taking to the media in an interview right after his phone call to China’s President in which he stated:  “If the Chinese, who have 60 percent of global reserves, decide to invest in the euro instead of the dollar, why refuse?”  The answer to that question can be found in China’s state media announcement that Europe must take responsibility for the crisis and not rely on “good Samaritans” to save the continent.  Maybe China simply sees the U.S  as a good investment, and the EU..not so much.  China currently holds approximately $3.2 trillion dollars in foreign exchange reserves and was looking for “attractive, solid, safe investment opportunities according to Claus Regling, the chief executive of the European Financial Stability Fund. (EFSF) Mr. Regling is currently on a world tour talking to governments about how the EFSF might be structured so the EU bonds it sells to make money will look “more attractive” As Communist leaders in China try to deal with soaring housing costs and food prices while exporters are struggling to stay afloat, selling EU bonds to China right now is off the table.

The EFSF has already “announced” an increase of some measures including quadrupling the firepower of the fund to one trillion euros ($1.4 trillion). Now the main problem is just where that cash infusion will come from. As stock markets rallied on the recent news of the EU bailout fund quad-rupling, the EFSF is seen to be scrambling to raise the funds.  Isn’t that akin to be placing a bet on an as yet unfunded entity?  China certainly thinks so.

The EFSF fund was set up in May 2010 and is designed to provide financial assistance to European economies at risk of default, such as Greece, Ireland and Portugal. Here we  some 17 months later, and the crisis is now looming larger than ever. Next up on Regling’s EU bailout begging tour is Japan, whom as also offered “vague promises” ( just like China in the beginning) that Japan might be willing to expand it’s already large contributions to the EU’s bailout fund. We can expect Japan to take the route China has in refusing to bury itself in the EU bailout debacle simply because, as The People’s Daily Communist media outlet in China stated: “The (EFSF) summit did not reach any decision on institutional reform and therefore did not eliminate concerns over the (causes of) the European debt crisis at the root.”

Adding to the fact that the EFSF has apparently promised a $1.4T cash infusion into the EU bailout fund without first securing the actual funding, is that, as is usually the case, China will want to put certain “conditions” on their participation in buying EU bonds to increase the EU bailout fund. Those conditions: Greater market access in Europe and silence on their currency manipulation which most economists say is being unfairly undervalued. That tidbit comes to us from IHS Global Insight analyst Ren Zianfang.  Didn’t the U.S. Senate recently pass legislation calling for sanctions against China for undervaluing their currency? Yes they did, as you can see here.

In another shocking revelation, (sarc) also on Friday, a deputy Chinese finance minister said Beijing needs to learn how the new investment vehicle will work before deciding whether to invest.

China wants details on the amount of bonds issued by Italy and other individual European governments that might be guaranteed by the fund, Zhu Guangyao said at a separate briefing. Oh the nerve of those Chinese, wanting petty “details” before committing another $100T to the EU bailout fund!

So the Global market rallied on the EFSF’s recent announcement that they will quadruple the EU bailout funding. All they need to do now is find the money to put into the fund. What a dysfunctional mess of an organization. This is a grand example of how the EU Global government has become so involved with the European banking system that it has exasperated the European financial crisis tenfold, and instead of helping European countries to pull out of the recession, it now threatens to drag the U.S. and the rest of the world down with it.

 

 

 

New Star Wars 8 Trailer to be Unveiled During … Monday Night Football [Facepalm]

The second trailer for the next installment of the Star Wars story, The Last Jedi, will be released Monday night during the NFL game between the Vikings and Bears.

The trailer will be shown at half-time during Monday Night Football which might reinvigorate, for a single game, interest in a sport-in-decline due to the national anthem protests. The #takeAKnee B.S. has resulted in the NFL going from one of America’s favorite sports to the bottom of the list.

The movie is expected to have a 2-and-a-half-hour runtime, the longest of any Star Wars film yet. YouTuber Mike Zeroh put out a video discussing some leaked shot descriptions from the trailer.

Rumors and gossip have surrounded the movie for months. What does the title mean? Is Rey Luke’s daughter? What happened to Kylo Ren? YouTuber Mike Zeroh doesn’t answer those questions but he did put out a video that discusses some leaked shot descriptions from the trailer.

A force tree, Kyber cystal, and a book burning? Who knows, but if you’re a Star Wars fan you might want to tune in for halftime tomorrow night (or just wait until after the game when we post it here.)

Tickets for the new movie will go on sale after the trailer’s premier and theaters are expected to sell out for the first showings on Dec. 15 almost immediately.