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unhappycamper's Journal
unhappycamper's Journal
December 3, 2013

Second day of prostitution ring court-martial begins


Second day of prostitution ring court-martial begins
Posted: Tuesday, December 3, 2013 6:56 am | Updated: 8:30 am, Tue Dec 3, 2013.

FORT HOOD- Today marks the second day of proceeding in the court-martial of a 37-year-old noncommissioned officer accused of paying for sex with a low-ranking female solider.

Master Sgt. Brad Grimes is charged with conspiring to patronize a prostitute, patronizing a prostitute, committing adultery, solicitation to commit adultery and dereliction of duty. Grimes allegedly conspired with another Fort Hood NCO, Sgt. 1st Class Gregory McQueen, to arrange to have sex with a female private first class at the Killeen La Quinta Inn in February, according to prosecutors. McQueen has not been charged with anything.

Yesterday's proceeding included testimony from the female solider, who claimed Grimes paid her $100 for sex. The solider also provided details about an alleged ring of "escorts" on post.

Prosecutors also played a 90-minute video of Grimes being questioned by Fort Hood's Criminal Investigation Division. In the video, Grimes admitted to going to the hotel, paying for a room and buying condoms, but said he changed his mind and did not have sex with with the female solider.
December 3, 2013

VA doctors renewed prescriptions without seeing patients


VA doctors renewed prescriptions without seeing patients
By The Center for Investigative Reporting
Dec. 2, 2013

Doctors at the San Francisco VA Medical Center regularly renewed prescriptions for highly addictive narcotic painkillers for veterans they had never seen, according to a new report by the Department of Veterans Affairs' inspector general.

The report also documented seven cases of opiate overdose among patients at the facility and determined doctors "did not consistently monitor patients for misuse."

The auditor's review comes at a time of heightened scrutiny of the VA's painkiller prescription practices.

In September, The Center for Investigative Reporting revealed that VA prescriptions for four opiates - hydrocodone, oxycodone, methadone and morphine - surged 270 percent between 2001 and 2012. That far outpaced the increase in patients and contributed to a fatal overdose rate among VA patients that the agency's own researchers put at nearly double the national average.
December 3, 2013

Sen. Murray seeks expansion of behavorial therapy for military families


Sen. Murray seeks expansion of behavorial therapy for military families
Staff writer
November 27, 2013

Two of Miranda Fort’s three children have different developmental disabilities that affect the way they relate to the world.

To help them, doctors recommended both try behavioral therapy that would teach them social and coping skills.

Yet that treatment, known as applied behavioral analysis, is covered for only one of the two children under the Navy family’s Tricare health insurance. The other daughter, Josie, can’t get the therapy because she has not been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, the condition for which Tricare offers the treatment.


Her family is working to make that goal happen as fast as possible by getting behind a proposal from U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., that would compel the insurance agency to expand its offerings for behavioral therapy. The Forts joined Murray on Tuesday at a Seattle press conference to promote the effort.
December 3, 2013

Boeing might find another customer for its (KC-46A) 767-based aerial tankers


Boeing might find another customer for its 767-based aerial tankers
By John Gillie
Staff writer
December 2, 2013 Updated 17 hours ago

The spin-off sales that Boeing hoped would result from the U.S. Air Force's decision to pick the Boeing 767-based KC-46A as its next generation aerial tanker are beginning to materialize.

Israel is considering leasing KC-46As from Boeing to replace its older Boeing 707-based aerial refuelers, Flightglobal.com is reporting.

The KC-46A is a twin-engine tanker derived from Boeing's 767 airliners. After a long and contentious fight with rival planemaker Airbus, Boeing won the Air Force contract for 179 of the tankers to replace the KC-135 tankers which the Air Force now flies.

The KC-46A will be built in Boeing's Everett wide-body aircraft plant where the 767 has been assembled since the early '80s.
December 3, 2013

(MO) Senate, House plan hearings on Boeing incentives


Senate, House plan hearings on Boeing incentives
The Associated Press
December 3, 2013 Updated 20 minutes ago

JEFFESON CITY, Mo. — Committees of the Missouri House and Senate have scheduled hearings on incentives aimed at helping to persuade Boeing Co. to build its 777X commercial aircraft in the state.

Lawmakers on Monday opened a special session called by Gov. Jay Nixon to consider a package of up to $150 million annually in incentives for Boeing.

On Tuesday, a Senate committee plans to meet at 5 p.m. to consider the proposal. The House Economic Development Committee is scheduled to consider that chamber's legislation following the conclusion of the Senate hearing.

Missouri is among several states seeking to win the 777X. Nixon says the state is facing a Dec. 10 deadline to submit an offer to Boeing.
December 3, 2013

(IL) Lawmakers convening special session on pensions


FOR USE MONDAY DEC. 2 AND THEREAFTER - FILE - In this Aug. 15, 2012 file photo Mike Phillips, and other union protesters, supporters, and labor leaders boo Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn in protest saying he is betraying the Democratic party's tradition of supporting working men and women, during Governor's Day at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield. As lawmakers prepare to address a breakthrough solution to the state's $100 billion unfunded pension liability, the unions that represent Illinois' government employees are mobilizing against it. The members of the "We are One Coalition" are preparing to descend on the offices of lawmakers they think they can persuade to vote no when the General Assembly convenes beginning Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013 in Springfield.

Lawmakers convening special session on pensions
The Associated Press
December 2, 2013 Updated 9 minutes ago

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois lawmakers were poised Tuesday to vote on a plan to solve the state's $100 billion pension crisis — a proposal many are calling the most important vote of their careers and one that could deeply reduce the retirement benefits of hundreds of thousands of workers and retirees.

Gov. Pat Quinn and other supporters on Monday stressed the importance of the vote, saying approving the legislation is a crucial step toward improving Illinois' disastrous financial situation. Quinn, a Chicago Democrat, planned to travel to the state Capitol in Springfield and said he would meet with as many legislators as possible to try to get them to vote yes.

"I think (this is) the most important fiscal vote that will ever be taken by the General Assembly in my lifetime," he said Monday at an unrelated event. "We need to erase the liability and move Illinois forward. That's what I'm committed to and I think everyone who is interested in the future of Illinois, the common good, what's good for taxpayers should join us in urging a yes vote."

Illinois has the worst-funded pension systems of any state in the nation, primarily because lawmakers failed for decades to make the state's full payments to the funds.
December 3, 2013

Obama's Pick To Lead Air Force a Former Exec for Major Defense Contractor


Obama's Pick To Lead Air Force a Former Exec for Major Defense Contractor
by Brandon Conradis
on December 2, 2013 1:39 PM

If President Obama's nominee to head the Air Force is confirmed, she'll be at the helm at a time when a new round of major military cutbacks is expected to hit -- potentially hurting the bottom line of the mammoth defense contractor where she was a top executive.

Deborah Lee James, whose nomination was announced in August, headed the technology and engineering sector at Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), a defense company that recently changed its name to Leidos. The company is consistently among the top 20 defense contractors by revenue.

SAIC lobbies extensively on Capitol Hill, spending more than $2 million in 2012 and just under $1.5 million so far in 2013. Among the issues it has weighed in on over the past two years are the Defense Authorization Act, cybersecurity and acquisitions.

SAIC's PAC has been especially generous to pro-military lawmakers in Virginia, where the company is based. In both the 2012 and 2014 election cycles, the PAC donated $10,000 each to Reps. Randy Forbes (R-Va.), Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) and Jim Moran (D-Va.), all of whom have strong ties to the defense industry. Overall the PAC has donated just under $200,000 to candidates in the 2014 election cycle so far.
December 3, 2013

Exposed: Globally Renowned Activist Collaborated With Intelligence Firm Stratfor


Exposed: Globally Renowned Activist Collaborated With Intelligence Firm Stratfor
Mon, 12/2/2013 - by Carl Gibson and Steve Horn

Serbia’s Srdja Popovic is known by many as a leading architect of regime changes in Eastern Europe and elsewhere since the late-1990s, and as one of the co-founders of Otpor!, the U.S.-funded Serbian activist group which overthrew Slobodan Milošević in 2000.

Lesser known, an exclusive Occupy.com investigation reveals that Popovic and the Otpor! offshoot CANVAS (Centre for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies) have also maintained close ties with a Goldman Sachs executive and the private intelligence firmStratfor (Strategic Forecasting, Inc.), as well as the U.S. government. Popovic’s wife also worked at Stratfor for a year.

These revelations come in the aftermath of thousands of new emails released by Wikileaks' “Global Intelligence Files.” The emails reveal Popovic worked closely with Stratfor, an Austin, Texas-based private firm that gathers intelligence on geopolitical events and activists forclients ranging from the American Petroleum Institute and Archer Daniels Midland to Dow Chemical, Duke Energy, Northrop Grumman, Intel and Coca-Cola.

Referred to in emails under the moniker “SR501,” Popovic was first approached by Stratfor in 2007 to give a lecture in the firm's office about events transpiring in Eastern Europe, according to a Stratfor source who asked to remain confidential for this story.
December 3, 2013

113th Congress, going down in history for its inaction, has a critical December to-do list


Among the items on the must-do list, the confirmation of the new Fed chair is the top priority. Janet Yellen has cleared the Senate banking committee and already had more than enough support from Republicans to clear a 60-vote filibuster hurdle before Democrats unilaterally changed the rules and made all confirmations subject to a simple majority.

113th Congress, going down in history for its inaction, has a critical December to-do list
By Paul Kane, Published: December 1

The good news for Congress as it heads into the final workdays of the year is that, for the first time in five years, there are no edge-of-the-cliff December crises threatening to bring the country to its knees.

The bad news is that whatever gets done in December will still be part of a year with record-low congressional accomplishment.

From the confirmation of a new Federal Reserve chairman to the expiration of dairy pricing rules, House and Senate leaders head into the final month of 2013 with a checklist that is short but critical. But even a final burst of activity would do little to change the historic arc of this calendar year under the Capitol dome.

According to congressional records, there have been fewer than 60 public laws enacted in the first 11 months of this year, so below the previous low in legislative output that officials have already declared this first session of the 113th Congress the least productive ever. In 1995, when the newly empowered GOP congressional majority confronted the Clinton administration, 88 laws were enacted, the record low in the post-World War II era.
December 3, 2013

Pentagon Approves Record Sale of Advanced Arms to Countries at War


Congress will decide if deal first struck by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in April should go through.

Pentagon Approves Record Sale of Advanced Arms to Countries at War
Sunday, 01 December 2013 10:38
By Jo Erickson, Mint Press News | Report

Selling weapons used to be a cut-throat business. With a no-questions-asked policy, it has led in the past, to the selling of weapons to support African conflicts, leaving Angola, Somalia, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic Congo awash with AK-47 semi-automatic rifles and very little else.

Today’s high-tech weapons manufacturers are enjoying record sales. The State Department’s Military Assistance Report stated that it approved $44.28 billion in arms shipments to 173 nations in the last fiscal year. One of the more controversial is the Defense Department’s plans to sell Saudi Arabia $6.8 billion and the United Arab Emirates $4 billion in advanced weaponry, including air-launched cruise missiles and precision munitions. The trouble is – has anyone asked where these weapons will ultimately end up?

Boeing Co. (BA) and Raytheon Co. (RTN) sent a message of support from the Obama administration for setting up the deal with these two close allies in the Middle East.

This historic deal will be the first U.S sales of new Raytheon and Boeing weapons that can be launched at a distance from Saudi F-15 and U.A.E. F-16 fighters. But this is just part of Saudi Arabia’s military shopping list.

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