Saturday, March 31, 2012

Senator McCaskill Ask Tough Questions about DoD Contracting

Youtube video - Uploaded by on Mar 29, 2012

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill recently chaired a Senate hearing aimed at exploring a seemingly simple question—is it cheaper for American taxpayers when the federal government contracts with private companies, or uses federal employees?—and highlighted the fact that the answers are not as clear as previously thought.

My thoughts:

Having been in the business of government contracting and witnessed first-hand how "Corrupt" government contracting is within the Dept of Defense, I applaud any Senator or Congressman or woman, for their efforts in trying to tame what's sadly become such a wild uncontrollable beast. As America has been at war for over a decade...

One point the Senator makes is how government contractors are sitting side my side federal employees.  In my experience, I witnessed government contractors provide consultant advice to my former Commanding Officer, aiding him in making critical strategic warfare decisions, which included budget decisions!!

Let's keep in mind these contractors are working for "Private" companies.  

So you best believe, they are taking this "Inside Information" back to their companies to let them know what future planning and development are coming down the pike with the U.S. military, and what the command’s budget limits are!!
While active duty military personnel, transfers from one command assignment to another; every 2-3 years, civilian contractors remain on staff and easily become an integrate member of the command. 

In most cases, what I experienced at my last command, the civilian contractors, especially the senior budget analyst was considered the command's the "Subject" matter expert.  

Government contracting has become so rampant, that military units commanding officers and budget officers loosely assign command duties and responsibilities to civilian contractors.  Such responsibilities are in violation of Federal Acquisition Regulation, also known as the FAR.

These responsibilities are considered to be "inherently governmental functions, which are considered duties that can only be performed by “government employees” not defense contractors!!

Case in point, in early 2007 after I was fired from my job for blowing the whistle on my former boss, instead of replacing me with an active duty military Supply Corps officer; my former commanding officer (Capt. John Sturges) appointed 3 civilian contractors to do the work of 1 Navy officer.  

Instead of gainfully employing me, I was directed to stay at home, for 2 years, this was before and after my military court martial trial.  My only military duties were to call and report in to work no later than 0730 each morning, while still collecting my military paycheck.

During this time, I made numerous complaints to the Dept of Defense IG about the blatant abuse of American tax dollars

Nearly all of my complaints were stonewalled and the Navy IG investigators selectively chose which of my allegations to investigate and which ones to ignore.   

I was severely punished for blowing the whistle on my former bosses.

News Videos and articles of my case:

At the time, my annual military salary was roughly $120K, when the salary of 3 defense contractors (including fees and other added cost to their company) was close to $400-600K.  

The contractors worked for a veteran stocked-owned defense contracting company which has since increased its revenues by hundreds of millions, of tax dollars.

The veteran stocked owned currently monopolizes a certain sector of the Navy's expeditionary logistics warfare mission.

As you can see, as a result of this 10 year WAR, defense contracting has become BIG BUSINESS.  Defense contractors are scoring big bucks (of American's tax dollars) with the HELP of senior military officers, looking to cash in their "Post Government Employment "Retirement" Plan."

Before the senior officers retire they will approve/award a defense service contract to a particular company to perform various services. The norm is usually for consultant services.  After the senior officers retire, he/she is immediately rehired by the company, as Quid Pro Quo for their efforts. 

In the event the Feds are tipped off on their Ponzi Scheme, the company (Prime Vendor) will begin to shuffle the employees around a number of their "Subcontracts or Sub-companies".  

One day a defense contractor may be working for company X, a few weeks later, he/she may show up to work with a polo shirt advertising a new company logo.  This is an indicator that something shady is going on....

Food for thought:  The Truth is Not So Self-Evident!!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Did Rick Santorum Call Barack Obama a “Government N*gger?”

The title of this online article was enough to catch my eye, but after watching the brief youtube video clip, I'm convinced that Rick Santorum did have a slight slip of the tongue. 

 You be the judge and watch the video for yourself.

All I have to say is, Rick, "Tell us how you really fell about OUR President! 

 WoW, Only in America will a man  stoop to such lows to try to win the vote of Americans by using a racial slur, which best describes someone of immoral character, who chose to stoop to such lows!!

Cast your VOTE

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Defense Contractors Plead Guilty in Contract Fraud

Yesterday ABC Channel 10 News San Diego reported:
"7 Plead Guilty In NAS North Island Fraud Scheme"

Scheme Involved More Than $1M In Bribes, US Attorney Says 
SAN DIEGO -- Four Navy officials and three defense contractors pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiracy and other charges stemming from a wide-ranging fraud and corruption scheme at the North Island Naval Air Station.

Defense contractors Michael Graven, John Newman and Paul Grubiss provided Navy officials with more than $1 million in cash, checks, flat-screen television sets and home remodeling services, prosecutors said.

In return, the Navy officials, Donald Vangundy, Kiet Luc, David Lindsay and Brian Delaney, placed millions of dollars in fraudulent orders with the defense contractors, according to the government.

Vangundy, Luc, Lindsay and Delaney were employed at the Navy's Fleet Readiness Center at NAS North Island and worked in the Navy's "E-2/C2" aircraft program, which is dedicated to maintaining the tactical readiness of the Navy's E-2 and C-2 aircraft.

According to prosecutors, the Navy paid Graven's company, X&D Supply Inc. of Carlsbad, at least $2.26 million, while Newman's Poway-based "Company A" collected at least $3.31 million and Grubiss' "Company B," also based in Poway, netted $1 million.

Dhe defense contractors prepared and submitted fraudulent invoices to the Department of Defense, making it appear that they were billing for goods and services within the scope of legitimate government contracts, according to court papers. Ultimately, the DOD paid more than $5.5 million in connection with the fraudulent invoices.

The investigation into corruption at NAS North Island was initiated on the basis of citizen complaints, said U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy.

She said the complaints followed the July 2009 indictment of six people on fraud and corruption charges centered at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command. As part of the SPAWAR case, the government publicized a hotline dedicated to the reporting of possible waste, fraud and abuse related to government and military contracts.

Sentencing for all seven defendants in the NAS North Island corruption case is scheduled July 2.

Food for thought:
It appears that the some crooked defense contractors are not afraid to "Admit" to their guilt.  But other's, like the ones who are still scamming the government (they know who they are) hope to be like Barnie Madoff, "get away with it for several decades" before turning themselves in!

In the end, justice always prevails!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Trayvon Martin Killing Investigation Starts Over

Today, CBS News reports-
The investigation in the killing of Trayvon Martin is essentially starting from scratch, with the news special prosecutor and a team of investigators quietly re-interviewing witnesses and examining evidence related to the unarmed teen’s shooting death.

The 17-year-old Martin has been dead for a month, and George Zimmerman, his admitted killer, remains free after telling authorities he was forced to shoot Martin in self-defense.

The Sanford Police Department’s lead investigator initially pursued manslaughter charges against Zimmerman, but was told by the state attorney that there wasn’t enough evidence.

On Friday February 26th, the night Martin was killed, police questioned Zimmerman for five hours at police headquarters.  The police report noted Zimmerman was “bleeding from the nose and the back of the head.”

Police did not administer a drug and alcohol test or an immediate background check on Zimmerman, although they did both on Martin.

The next day, detectives re-enacted the shooting with Zimmerman at the scene. They also discovered Zimmerman had two prior arrests: one for assaulting a cop, the other for domestic abuse.

For the next two weeks, lead investigator Chris Serino pursued a manslaughter charge against Zimmerman.

Police interviewed at least six witnesses. But none of them saw how the confrontation began or the shooting that ended it.

Public pressure grew. On March 12, police gave the case to State Attorney Norm Wolfinger. He told them they needed more evidence to arrest Zimmerman.

Trayvon Martin's frustrated parents took their plea for justice to Washington Tuesday.

At a congressional forum on neighborhood watch groups and racial profiling, they thanked Democratic lawmakers for their support.

"As I said before, and I'll say it again - Trayvon was our son, but Trayvon is your son," Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon's mother said.

Now, acting Sanford police chief Darren Scott is trying to calm a firestorm of criticism that race played a role. "I would like to answer questions here, but I will not comment at this time."

Tuesday, Scott said Angela Corey, the new special prosecutor won't let him talk publicly about the case. "It's not in the police department's hands right now, ok?" Scott said. "I can't pass judgment right now on anyone right now, so we're going to allow the outcome of this investigation.

But to Martin's angry parents and their lawyer, Ben Crump, this is double-standard justice. "It's bad when George Zimmerman makes a bad decision to do things with a racial implication," Crump said. "But it's a tragedy when an institution of law enforcement does it because that's all we have to believe in. If that fails us, what can his parents do? What can they do?"

Help Petition President Obama to Amend the 1964 Civil Rights Act for Protection of American's Human Rights

Hi, I'm Trayvon Martin speaking to you from Heaven.

This was me, buying a bag of Skittles and canned Ice Tea for my little brother. Less than an hour later; I was shot to death by an "armed" white-hispanic neighborhood watchman, because I was a young black man, wearing a "hoodie" walking through a neighborhood, without a loaded weapon, on my way home.

As you can see, I was "armed" with love for my little brother.

My killer, who remains free, was "armed with hate” for me, because I was a young black man wearing a "hoodie" walking through a neighborhood, on my way home, to give my little brother a bag of skittles and a canned ice tea.

Dr. King wants YOU, your FAMILY and FRIENDS and all of AMERICA to petition President Obama to Amend the 1964 Civil Rights Act, "For Better Protection of ALL American's HUMAN RIGHTS!"

It’s the only way our young black, brown and yellow men and women will be protected in the rough streets, violent and non-violent neighborhoods of America.

As hard working parents of our young children, how can we expect that our children will be protected by State Law (while we are away from home, working, at times 2 or 3 jobs, just to keep a roof over our heads and food in our mouths) if our children are not being protected under "Federal Law?”

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Former NAACP leader accuses Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson of ‘exploiting’ Trayvon Martin

Yesterday the Daily Caller reported:
Former NAACP leader C.L. Bryant is accusing Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton of “exploiting” the Trayvon Martin tragedy to “racially divide this country.”

“His family should be outraged at the fact that they’re using this child as the bait to inflame racial passions,” Rev. C.L. Bryant said in a Monday interview with The Daily Caller.

The conservative black pastor who was once the chapter president of the Garland, Texas NAACP called Jackson and Sharpton “race hustlers” and said they are “acting as though they are buzzards circling the carcass of this young boy.”

Jackson, for example, recently said Martin’s death shows how “blacks are under attack” and “targeting, arresting, convicting blacks and ultimately killing us is big business.”  

George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain, killed Martin, a 17-year-old black man who was unarmed at the time of his death, last month. Zimmerman has claimed to have shot Martin in self-defense and has not been charged with a crime.

But Bryant, who explores the topic of black-on-black crime in his new film “Runaway Slave,” said people like Jackson and Sharpton are being misleading to suggest there is an epidemic of “white men killing black young men.”

The epidemic is truly black on black crime,” Bryant said. “The greatest danger to the lives of young black men are young black men.”

Bryant said he wishes civil rights leaders were protesting those problems.

“Why not be angry about the wholesale murder that goes on in the streets of Newark and Chicago?” he asked.

“Why isn’t somebody angry about that six-year-old girl who was killed on her steps last weekend in a cross fire when two gang members in Chicago start shooting at each other? Why is there no outrage about that?”

Bryant said he worries that “people like Sharpton and those on the left” will make Martin’s death a campaign issue in the presidential race.

He speculated that they will “turn this evolving tragedy of this young man into fodder to say… if you don’t re-elect Obama then you will have unbridled events or circumstances like this happening in the streets to young men wearing hoodies.” 

He also criticized President Obama for his “nebulous statement” responding to Martin’s death that “if I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”

“What does that mean?” Bryant asked. “What was the purpose in that?

Food for thought: 
C.L. Bryant, does bring forth some very interesting points that has plagued black communities for several decades.  However, I don’t agree with his statements that the two civil rights leaders are exploiting the tragic death of Trayvon Martin.

By no means should Trayvon’s death be considered more important than a young black girl getting killed in a cross fire of a gang shot out.

Any death of a child or an innocent person warrants the attention of community leaders especially if the matter impacts the residents of that community.

Rev. Jackson and Rev. Sharpton are amongst a few surviving 1960s Civil Rights leaders and I truly commend their efforts for addressing this issue because it strikes at the heart of millions of Americans whose children wears “hoodies”, have black friends and are racially profiled just because of their race or ethnic background.

This is a social awareness issue which demands federal attention because the murderer of Trayvon Martin has yet to be arrested and charged with committing this heinous crime.

C.L. Bryant is free to campaign for what he believes in, just like other activists and advocates are free to campaign about issues they are passionate about.

But at the end of the day, “Can we all just “get along!!”

Monday, March 26, 2012

President Obama's Visit to South Korea

Yesterday NPR reported:
“Along Korea's DMZ, No Sign That Tensions Are Easing”

As part of his visit to South Korea for the Nuclear Security Summit with 52 other heads of state Monday, President Obama is paying a visit to the military armistice line that has divided the Koreas.

North Korea's new leader Kim Jong Un made an unannounced visit to the DMZ earlier this month. There have been hopes that the recent change of leadership in North Korea might lead to improved relations. Kim, who is in his 20s, took power three months ago following the death of his father, Kim Jong II.

Tension is ratcheting up again, however, after North Korea announced a plan for a rocket launch in April. The country says the launch is for scientific purposes. U.S. officials and nuclear experts say the same technology is used to test ballistic missiles.
Nowhere is that tension more acute than at the armistice line.

.....Lt. Col. Taylor, who is always armed and wearing a bulletproof vest when he's near the demarcation line, says the responsibility of his battalion also includes protecting visitors, to ensure they don't provoke the North Korean guards. But he's also witnessed the opposite.

"From the [North Korean] soldiers, they do engage sometimes in immature behavior, throat slashing gestures ... they will, ah, open up their holsters, flip very quickly, to give the impression that they might be thinking of drawing their weapon," Taylor says.
He says his soldiers, all of whom are hand-picked to work on the front line, behave more professionally.

Read more:

Sunday, March 25, 2012

President Obama to Sign Bill Prohibiting Congressional Insider Trader


On Friday, reported:
"STOCK Act passes: Insider trading ban heads to Obama"

After weeks of delays, the Senate on Thursday sent a bill banning congressional insider trading to President Barack Obama for his expected signature.

The Senate voted 96 to 3 to pass a watered-down STOCK Act, which would bar members of Congress, their staff and some federal workers from profiting from non-public information obtained through their jobs.

“I believe those who make the laws should live under the same laws as everyone else,” Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), who authored an early version of the bill last fall, said in a statement. “The passage of this legislation is an important step toward restoring trust in our government.”

Living under the "Same Laws!!"
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), who was also involved in shaping the STOCK Act, echoed Brown, calling it “a strong bill with teeth” and a “good step forward” to begin reestablishing trust with the American people.

Others downplayed the significance of the legislation. “It’s a modest gesture,” Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) told POLITICO, adding that he believes lawmakers are already prohibited from insider trading under existing law.

In a statement, President Obama said: “After I sign this bill into law, Members of Congress will not be able to trade stocks based on nonpublic information they gleaned on Capitol Hill.  It’s a good first step.  And in the months ahead, Congress should do even more to help fight the destructive influence of money in politics and rebuild the trust between Washington and the American people.”

In early February, the Senate approved a tougher version of the legislation on a near-unanimous vote. But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell agreed this week to move forward on the House-passed bill, which dropped two provisions that had been in the Senate-passed package — a move that infuriated a handful of lawmakers from both parties.

Food for thought: