POTUS and Omnibus, No Line Item Veto?

By: Denise Simon | Founder’s Code

2232 pages of stupid and everyone should take the time to just scan the $1.3 trillion spending bill. I got to page 184 last night and went to bed mad. There is no line item veto, but there should be. President Trump can veto the whole truckload of crap and should. In place of the line item veto, he can wield his pen and sign an Executive Order eliminating countless crazy spending things or suspend some of the acts for the rest of his term. Something like the Food for Progress Act. And we are still bailing out the healthcare insurance companies…. anyway…there is also $687 million to address Russian interference. Just what is that plan?

1, How about the Cloud Act? Foreign governments get access to our data? WHAT?

2. Okay how about Trump’s “wall funding.” It’s not a wall. It’s repairs, drones and pedestrian fencing – no construction.

3. Then we have the House Freedom Caucus with their letter to President Trump:

So…need more?  Conservative Review has these 10 items for your consideration.Here are the top 10 problems with the bill:

1) Eye-popping debt: This bill codifies the $143 billion busting of the budget caps, which Congress adopted in February, for the remainder of this fiscal year. This is on top of the factthat government spending already increased $130 billion last year over the final year of Obama’s tenure. Although the Trump administration already agreed to this deal in February, the OMB put out a memo suggesting that Congress appropriate only $10 billion of the extra $63 billion in non-defense discretionary spending. Now it’s up to Trump to follow through with a veto threat. It’s not just about 2018. This bill paves the road to permanently bust the budget caps forever, which will lead to trillions more in spending and cause interest payments on the debt to surge past the cost of the military or even Medicaid in just eight years.

Keep in mind that all the additional spending will be stuffed into just six months remaining to the fiscal year, not a 12-month period. A number of onerous bureaucracies will get cash booster shots instead of the cuts President Trump wanted.

Remember when Mick Mulvaney said the fiscal year 2017 budget betrayal was needed so that he could do great things with the fiscal year 2018 budget? Good times.

2) Bait and switch on the wall: Since this bill increases spending for everything, one would think that at least the president would get the $15 billion or so needed for the wall. No. The bill includes only $641 million for 33 miles of new border fencing but prohibits that funding for being used for concrete barriers. My understanding is that President Trump already has enough money to begin construction for roughly that much of the fence, and pursuant to the Secure Fence Act, he can construct any barrier made from any This actually weakens current law.

3) Funds sanctuary cities: When cities and states downright violate federal law and harbor illegal aliens, Congress’ silence in responding to it is deafening. Cutting off block grants to states as leverage against this dangerous crisis wasn’t even under discussion, even as many other extraneous and random liberal priorities were seriously considered.

4) Doesn’t fund interior enforcement: Along with clamping down on sanctuary cities, interior enforcement at this point is likely more important than a border wall. After Obama’s tenure left us with a criminal alien and drug crisis, there is an emergency to ramp up interior enforcement. Trump requested more ICE agents and detention facilities, but that call was ignored in this bill. Trump said that the midterms must focus on Democrats’ dangerous immigration policies. Well, this bill he is supporting ensures that they will get off scot-free.

5) Doesn’t defund court decisions: Some might suggest that this bill was a victory because at least it didn’t contain amnesty. But we have amnesty right now, declared, promulgated, and perpetuated by the lawless judiciary. For Congress to pass a budget bill and not defund DACA or defund the issuance of visas from countries on Trump’s immigration pause list in order to fight back against the courts is tantamount to Congress directly passing amnesty.

6) Funds Planned Parenthood: We have no right to a border wall or more ICE funding, but somehow funding for a private organization harvesting baby organs was never in jeopardy or even under discussion as a problem.

7) Gun control without due process: Some of you might think I’m being greedy, demanding that “extraneous policies” be placed in a strict appropriations bill. Well, gun control made its way in. They slipped in the “Fix NICS” bill, which pressures and incentivizes state and federal agencies to add more people to the system even though there is already bipartisan recognition that agencies are adding people who should not be on the list, including veterans, without any due process in a court of law. They are passing this bill without the House version of the due process protections and without the promised concealed carry reciprocity legislation. Republicans were too cowardly to have an open debate on such an important issue, so they opted to tack it onto a budget bill, which is simply unprecedented. The bill also throws more funding at “school violence” programs when they refuse to repeal the gun-free zone laws that lie at the root of the problem.

8) More “opioid crisis funding” without addressing the problem: The bill increases funding for “opioid addiction prevention and treatment” by $2.8 billion relative to last year, on top of the $7 billion they already spent in February. This is the ultimate joke of the arsonist pretending to act as the firefighter, because as we’ve chronicled in detail, these funds are being used to clamp down on legitimate prescription painkillers and create a de facto national prescription registry so that government can violate privacy and practice medicine. Meanwhile, the true culprits are illicit drugs and Medicaid expansion, exacerbated by sanctuary cities, as the president observed himself. Yet those priorities are jettisoned from the bill.

9) Student loan bailout: The bill offers $350 million in additional student loan forgiveness … but only for graduates who take “lower-paid” government jobs or work for some non-profits! This was a big priority of Sen. Elizabeth Warren.  Government created this problem of skyrocketing student debt by fueling it with subsidies and giving the higher education cartel a monopoly of accreditation, among other things. Indeed, this very same bill increases Pell grants by $2 billion. But more money is always the solution, especially when it helps future government workers.

10) Schumer’s Gateway projects earmark: Conservatives had a wish list of dozens of items, but it’s Schumer’s local bridge and tunnel project that got included. While the bill didn’t contain as much as Schumer asked for (remember the tactic of starting off high), the program would qualify for up to $541 million in new transportation funding. Also, the bill would open up $2.9 billion in grants through the Federal Transit Administration for this parochial project that should be dealt with on a state level. New York has high taxes for a reason.


Mitch McConnell Has Strong Ties To The Communist Chinese And His Corruption Runs Very Deep

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

Alex Wong | Getty Images

I have written on the corruption of Mitch McConnell and his wife Elaine Chao a number of times. I was very disheartened when Chao became the Secretary of Transportation for the Trump administration. The dynamic duo are fully in bed with the communist Chinese and have been for many years. Peter Schweizer has a new book called Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends that digs into the background of the McConnells and their family wealth and where it came from. It’s not a pretty picture and it should not only tick you off, it should alarm every American out there.

To be fair, it’s not just McConnell. This is happening on both sides of the political aisle. From Denise Simon – she has several pertinent points on Kerry and Biden and their Chinese corruption to keep in mind for 2020:

1. China plants industrial espionage operatives in the U.S. that steal government contract secrets and then sells them back to China. The FBI caught at least one of them.

2. Through cyber espionage, China has stolen much of the F-35 technology, more than 50 terabytes.

3. John Kerry and Joe Biden did exactly the same thing as Hillary… sold access for money while exploiting it all as diplomatic missions under the title(s) of bi-lateral agreements.

4. Subpoena former Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and ask him about the CFIUS approvals of Chinese backed enterprises. We need to go back to former Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner… did he set the table for all this with Obama’s approval creating that ‘Asia Pivot’?

5. What does Congress know about foreign investments and when do they know it? They get reports, but who is asking questions, anyone?


The bottom line is that the Chinese are buying off our politicians. Enriching them and their families in exchange for military and economic concessions for China. Schweizer cites the family of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as a particularly troubling example.

“In the case of Mitch McConnell, there’s just simply no question that the economic fortunes of his family rest upon the good graces of the Chinese government,” he said. “The vast bulk of the family wealth is tied up in a shipping company called Foremost Group. Really beginning back in 1993 — I talk about it in the book — he and the family worked to cultivate that relationship with the Chinese government, and the Chinese government set up a series of things that have made the family wealthy.”

“The ships for the family business are basically built by the Chinese government,” he noted. “The Chinese government finances the construction of those ships. They provide the crews to man those ships. They provide a lot of the clients, the contracts that they service. They ship a lot of goods around for Chinese state-owned companies.”

“And Mitch McConnell’s in-laws — his father-in-law and his sister-in-law — have served on the board of let’s just say very sensitive military-related contractors in China,” he added. “The Chinese government is not going to do that to somebody that it does not have a level of political trust to.”

Money from this convenient arrangement for the McConnells has “flowed directly to Mitch McConnell himself,” including at least one gift in the $5 million to $25 million range from his in-laws, with the added expectation of a sizable inheritance when his father-in-law passes away.

It wasn’t always this way though. When McConnell first came to Congress, he was a very strong China hawk. He was also was one of the most outspoken voices criticizing China’s massacre of dissidents at Tiananmen Square. But that was decades ago and since then, the Chinese have made him an offer he can’t refuse. “Then he married Elaine Chao. Then in 1993, he took a trip with his father-in-law as a guest of the China State Shipbuilding Corporation, which is the largest military contractor in China. After that, when these economic ties were forged, his views let’s say began to ‘evolve,’” Schweizer said. And so did the inherent corruption and complicity.

McConnell has muted his criticism of the Chinese. He is also far more open to trade with the communist regime and he is much less critical of its monetary policies, going as far as threatening to use the legislative “nuclear option” to shut down consideration of a bill in 2010-2011 that would have taken action against China as a currency manipulator. The bill ended up passing 65-35, with McConnell one of the few Republicans voting against it. McConnell infrequently tries to sound tough on China, but no one with any sense is buying it. Judge McConnell by what he does, not by what he says.

“If the Chinese government became angry at Mitch McConnell, they could severely damage the family business. They could essentially shut it down. If they said, ‘We’re giving you no more contracts, we’re pulling away your crews, we’re not going to build you any more ships,’ the Foremost Group — which is the shipping company that the McConnell family has — it would essentially almost go out of business, if not completely go out of business,” Schweizer cautioned. In national security, you call that being ‘compromised’.

“There is an unprecedented situation where you have a powerful family, the McConnells and the Chaos, and you have family members in that family serving on very, very sensitive corporate boards,” Schweizer added, referring back to the China State Shipbuilding Corporation and the appointment of McConnell’s sister-in-law Angela Chao to a board seat at the state-run Bank of China. “The Bank of China corporate board is made up of Chinese executives that have served in government. It is an arm of the Chinese government, used to advance the diplomacy of the government of China. To have family members on the boards of such sensitive entities, and to try to argue that that’s not going to have any influence on you is just laughable. There’s no other word for it. It’s laughable,” he said. And he’s right.

Not only that, but Schweizer points out that McConnell’s father-in-law James Chao, “has been close friends with Communist leaders in China.” China is our enemy… I would call that a conflict of interest to put it mildly. “He went to school with some of them. Jiang Zemin, who for the longest time was the Chinese premier, was a classmate of his. And when Jiang Zemin would travel to the United States, he would have private meetings on a regular basis not just with James Chao, but with Mitch McConnell and Elaine Chao,” he said.

Schweizer depicted Elaine Chao as “very muted on criticizing China at all” during her time serving in the administrations of both George W. Bush and Donald Trump. In fact, he described some of her interviews with Chinese-language publications as “shocking in her statements that Republicans are trying to gin up the China threat because they need an enemy.”

I want you to ponder a moment and just think what we would learn if everything was revealed about our politicians as it should be. They have written disclosure laws and regulations that hide their dealings with enemy states and in unsavory ventures. Schweizer pointed out that China’s system of influencing American politicians through their families is simply a mirror image of how business is done in China, where foreign business leaders understand that hiring the children of senior officials is the best way to gain access to the Chinese government.

“We have got to correct the ability for this to happen in an undisclosed way, or we are screwed when it comes to dealing with the Chinese because they will more than likely have plenty of opportunities to successfully buy off and forge these commercial relationships with American political elites. The amounts of money are just so eye-popping. The temptation is just so great. You’re going to have very few people that are going to be willing to resist it,” he warned. Schweizer added that from the Chinese perspective, it’s a “great investment” to “toss a few billion dollars at American political elites and get a softened position from them.”

LevinTV host Mark Levin just called for Senator Mitch McConnell to step down as Senate majority leader and be investigated for corruption. Levin cited a New York Post article detailing new corruption allegations made against McConnell and his wife, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao via Schweizer’s new book. Levin called the allegations “stunning” and “absolutely shocking and disgusting.” “Mitch McConnell should be removed for all the reasons I’ve said before, but especially now, as majority leader,” Levin said. “And there ought to be an ethics investigation looking into his background. And I am damn serious about it.” I could not possibly agree more.



Homeschooling: The Best Hope for America’s Future

By: Lloyd Marcus

A 7 year old in 2nd grade came home and said, “Mom, Dad, guess what. Our teacher read us the funniest book. It was so silly. It was about a prince who was getting married, but he didn’t marry a princess. He married a prince! Isn’t that so silly Mom?” The book read to the confused child to introduce 7 year olds to same sex marriage is “King and King” by Linda de Haan.

Without parental knowledge or consent, 5 year old Jacob entering kindergarten came home with a “diversity book-bag.” Inside was a book introducing kindergartners to same sex households, celebrating Clifford and her dad’s “partner”, Henry — selling homosexuality to 5 year olds disguised as diversity. The book is “Who’s in a Family” by Robert Skutch. http://bit.ly/2FPJQDh

Folks, if my public school arrogantly usurped such authority when I was a kid, my stocky little-over-5 -foot black mom would have been outraged. She’d march to my school and angrily confront the principal, “Who do you people think you are? How dare you take such liberty with my 9 months!”

Please correct me if I am wrong. But all I see is parents passively allowing Leftists to mold and shape students into their image. God commanded parents. “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 Where is the outrage over government usurping authority to dictate the morals, principles and values instilled in your child, overruling God-ordained parental authority?

With Leftists pushing over 70 genders and growing onto the mainstream http://bit.ly/2iytyY7, Leftists are banning teachers from addressing students as “boys and girl”, calling the term mean-spirited and non-inclusive. http://fxn.ws/2aSCFyy

Notice this tactic routinely used by Leftists. While Americans are minding their own business, Leftists attack, pushing their outrageous ideas on us, while portraying themselves as victims of our intolerance, hate and aggression.

Whitney Houston was correct when she sang, “I believe the children are our future.” This is where the true battle for America’s future is being fought; in the hearts and minds of our kids. A haven of rest, healing and safety for parents and their children is homeschooling.

This is why Leftists are attacking, using government to politically bomb these safe havens, hellbent on making homeschooling illegal. http://bit.ly/2HFakHT

Homeschooling is far superior to government indoctrination camps, obsessed with teaching social justice, white guilt, gun control, homosexuality, abortion and conspiring against and disobedience to parents.

Eighty-two percent of public schools are failing. http://bit.ly/2IvVlBB Despite spending $1.4 billion annually, around $16,000 per student, reading proficiency rates for Baltimore high school grads is around 11%, with 12% in math proficiency. And yet, the Baltimore school system graduates around 70% of its students every year. In other words, a large number of Baltimore’s graduates can barely read their diplomas. http://bit.ly/2FPjrFw

Years ago, circumstances forced my brother and his wife to remove their 10-year-old son from a private Christian school. Making the adjustment into public school was stressful for their son. He was hated for raising his hand too often, knowing the correct answers. He was even bullied because of his posture, taught to sit correctly in his chair. To survive, my nephew purposely dumbed-down.

My black buddy was a Baltimore cop who headed city sponsored mentoring programs, youth choirs and more. Ten years ago, he retired and moved to Montana. He moved back to Baltimore three years ago and was asked to resume working with youths. My buddy said seeing youths throwing rocks at police cars, hating cops, rioting, and no officials willing to support real discipline, my buddy said he wants nothing to do with Baltimore’s youth crisis. My former Baltimore cop buddy said he is also soured by city officials’ insane hatred for guns.

Leftists tend to share a bigotry of lowered expectations regarding minorities. I argued with a Miami white middle school teacher who, despite parent’s objections, she thought Hispanic students should not be forced to learn English. I’ve read numerous biographies of immigrant celebs who said learning English was crucial to their success in America.

In California, public schools pushed to allow black students to speak Ebonics rather than being pressured to learn correct English. http://slate.me/1rzRfwH

Popular among home-schoolers is the VARK model theory which outlines 4 kinds of learners. http://bit.ly/2piEZE5 Some kids are visual learners. There are auditory learners, reading/writing learners and kinesthetic learners. By understanding how your child processes information, you can design a teaching program that is right for them. This ain’t happenin’ in government school-halls of mass mediocrity.

Meeting countless families with children in my 10 years of traveling as a political activist, I learned to immediately recognize home-schooled children. They were happy, calm, polite, articulate, filled with information and confident; always looking me in the eye when speaking to me.

Until parents get their act together and begin taking back public education; running for school boards, putting their feet down, and more, homeschooling is the way to go — the best hope for America’s future.

Lloyd Marcus, The Unhyphenated American
Help Lloyd spread the Truth: http://bit.ly/2kZqmUk


FB’s Zuckerberg Apologizes, Privacy Protection Not Solved

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Just how literate are you about social media platforms and the use of your keystrokes/interaction on Facebook?

Zuckerberg hopes you are not too literate regarding your data on Facebook and he says he is sorry, won’t happen again….really? Media even uses the trending hashtags for their headlines and lead news items applying their own political twist. How about those apps you keep installing? Danger zone? Yup…

Everything you do on Facebook is sold elsewhere and other platforms such as Twitter or Instagram are databases and are being analyzed. The revenue for these social media companies comes from selling you and you cannot opt out unless you divorce yourself from the relationship and go back to old fashioned communications. Well sorta…

Paul Ford penned an interesting solution below that should begin an interesting debate…

Silicon Valley Has Failed to Protect Our Data. Here’s How to Fix It

It’s time for a digital protection agency. It’s clear ethics don’t scale, and it’s not just Facebook’s problem.

Illustration: Sally Thurer for Bloomberg Businessweek

Over and over in the last 20 years we’ve watched low-cost or free internet communications platforms spring from the good intentions or social curiosity of tech folk. We’ve watched as these platforms expanded in power and significance, selling their influence to advertisers. TwitterFacebookLinkedInGoogle—they grew so fast. One day they’re a lovable new way to see kid pix, next thing you know they’re reconfiguring democracy, governance, and business.Facebook’s recent debacle is illustrative. It turns out that the company let a researcher spider through its social network to gather information on 50 million people. Then the Steve Bannon-affiliated, Robert Mercer-backed U.K. data analysis firm Cambridge Analytica used that data to target likely Trump voters. Facebook responded that, no, this was not a “breach.”

OK, sure, let’s not call it a breach. It’s how things were designed to work. That’s the problem.

For years we’ve been talking and thinking about social networks as interesting tools to model and understand human dynamics. But it’s no longer academic—Facebook has reached a scale where it’s not a model of society as much as an engine of culture. A researcher gained legitimate access to the platform and then just … kept going, and Cambridge Analytica ended up with those 50 million profiles. The “hack” was a true judo move that used the very nature of the platform against itself—like if you gave MacGyver a phone book and he somehow made it into a bomb.

What’s been unfolding for a while now is a rolling catastrophe so obvious we forget it’s happening. Private data are spilling out of bankscredit-rating providersemail providers, and social networks and ending up everywhere.

So this is an era of breaches and violations and stolen identities. Big companies can react nimbly when they fear regulation is actually on the horizon—for example, Google, Facebook, and Twitter have agreed to share data with researchers who are tracking disinformation, the result of a European Union commission on fake news. But for the most part we’re dealing with global entities that own the means whereby politicians garner votes, have vast access to capital to fund lobbying efforts, and are constitutionally certain of their own moral cause. That their platforms are used for awful ends is just a side effect on the way to global transparency, and shame on us for not seeing that.

So are we doomed to let them take our data or that of our loved ones and then to watch as that same data is used against us or shared by hackers? Yes, frankly. We’re doomed. Equifax Inc. sure won’t save us. Do we trust Congress to bring change? Do we trust Congress to plug in a phone charger? I’ll be overjoyed to find out I’m wrong. In the meantime, turn on two-factor authentication everywhere (ideally using a hardware dongle like a YubiKey), invest in a password manager, and hold on tight.

The word “leak” is right. Our sense of control over our own destinies is being challenged by these leaks. Giant internet platforms are poisoning the commons. They’ve automated it. Take a non-Facebook case: YouTube. It has users who love conspiracy videos, and YouTube takes that love as a sign that more and more people would love those videos, too. Love all around! In February an ex-employee tweeted: “The algorithm I worked on at Google recommended [InfoWars personality and lunatic conspiracy-theory purveyor] Alex Jones’ videos more than 15,000,000,000 times, to some of the most vulnerable people in the nation.”

The head of YouTube, Susan Wojcicki, recently told a crowd at SXSW that YouTube would start posting Wikipedia’s explanatory text next to conspiracy videos (like those calling a teen who survived the Parkland, Fla., shooting a “crisis actor”). Google apparently didn’t tell Wikipedia about this plan.

The activist and internet entrepreneur Maciej Ceglowski once described big data as “a bunch of radioactive, toxic sludge that we don’t know how to handle.” Maybe we should think about Google and Facebook as the new polluters. Their imperative is to grow! They create jobs! They pay taxes, sort of! In the meantime, they’re dumping trillions of units of toxic brain poison into our public-thinking reservoir. Then they mop it up with Wikipedia or send out a message that reads, “We take your privacy seriously.”

Given that the federal government is currently one angry man with nuclear weapons and a Twitter account, and that it’s futile to expect reform or self-regulation from internet giants, I’d like to propose something that will seem impossible but I would argue isn’t: Let’s make a digital Environmental Protection Agency. Call it the Digital Protection Agency. Its job would be to clean up toxic data spills, educate the public, and calibrate and levy fines.

How might a digital EPA function? Well, it could do some of the work that individuals do today. For example, the website of Australian security expert Troy Hunt, haveibeenpwned.com(“pwned” is how elite, or “l33t,” hackers, or “hax0rs,” spell “owned”), keeps track of nearly 5 billion hacked accounts. You give it your email, and it tells you if you’ve been found in a data breach. A federal agency could and should do that work, not just one very smart Australian—and it could do even better, because it would have a framework for legally exploring, copying, and dealing with illegally obtained information. Yes, we’d probably have to pay Booz Allen or Accenture or whatever about $120 million to get the same work done that Troy Hunt does on his own, but that’s the nature of government contracting, and we can only change one thing at a time.

When it comes to toxic data spills, it’s hard to know just how exposed you are. Literally all of us have been hacked—hard and a lot and mostly behind our backs. At least we could start to understand how bad it is. We could teach high school students to check the DPA site, to manage their own breaches. You’d go to the website to get good information about recovering from identity theft or a new social security number (we should also get rid of social security numbers as identification, but that’s another subject). It would have the forms you need to restore your identity, assert that you’d been hacked, and protect yourself. A nice thing for a government to do.

Let’s keep going! Imagine ranking banks and services by the number of data breaches they’ve experienced. Or a national standard for disclosure of how our private information is shared. (These ideas have been floated before in lots of different forms; the point is, how nice would it be if there was one government agency insisting on it in the same way that we have nutrition labels and calorie counts on our packaged foods?) The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was headed in this direction—if it can survive the current maelstrom, maybe its mandate could be expanded.

So: Lots of helpful information, plenty of infographics, a way to track just how badly you’ve been screwed, and, ideally, some teeth—the DPA needs to be able to impose fines. I’m sure there’d be some fuss and opposition, but, come on. The giants have so much money it would hardly matter. And consider this from their perspective: How much better will it be to have your lawyers negotiate with the DPA’s lawyers instead of being hauled before Congress every time someone blows a whistle on your breaches?

The EPA’s budget is more than $8 billion, a little on the high side for the digital version. You could pull this off with $15 million or $20 million for tech infrastructure and to support a team—four engineers to build the platform, some designers, and then a few dozen graphic artists to make the charts and tables. Add on $2 billion for management and lawyers, and you’ve got yourself a federal agency.

I know that when you think of a Superfund site, you think of bad things, like piles of dead wildlife or stretches of fenced-off, chemical-infused land or hospital wings filled with poisoned families. No one thinks about all the great chemicals that get produced, or the amazing consumer products we all enjoy. Nobody sets out to destroy the environment; they just want to make synthetic fibers or produce industrial chemicals. The same goes for our giant tech platforms. Facebook never expected to be an engine that destroys America. Lots of nice people work there. Twitter didn’t expect to become the megaphone of despots and white nationalists. But the simple principles of “more communication is better” and “let’s build community” and “we take your privacy seriously” didn’t stand a chance under the pressure of hypergrowth and unbelievable wealth creation.

Unfortunately, ethics don’t scale as well as systems. We’ve poisoned ourselves, and more than a little. Given the money and power at stake, it’s going to be hard to get everyone to admit we’re sick. But we owe ourselves—and, cliché though it may be, we owe our children—to be more pragmatic about treating the symptoms.


With Increase in Pentagon Budget, Can U.S. Compete with Russia/China?

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

WASHINGTON — Hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed his military has successfully tested a hypersonic cruise missile, the head of the Pentagon’s high-tech workshop says the U.S. is on track for a series of hypersonic prototype tests in the coming years, thanks to a big spending increase in the fiscal year 2019 budget request.

Even with that funding boost, Steven Walker, the director of the Pentagon’s DARPA, warned that it is time for America to come to grips with the fact that a national push is needed if the U.S. is to keep pace with competitors in the hypersonic realm.

Hypersonic flight — going Mach 5, or five times the speed of sound — has been a dream of military planners for years, for obvious reasons. Any weapon system able to move that quickly would be able to avoid conventional missile and air defenses, and would have benefits both for manned or unmanned systems.

The X-51A Waverider, a U.S. Air Force test program, has successfully shown hypersonic flight is possible. But Russia may have passed the U.S. in this crucial technology. (U.S. Air Force graphic)

“We have lost our technical advantage in hypersonics,” Selva said Jan. 30 at an event hosted by the Defense Writers’ Group. “We haven’t lost the hypersonics fight.”

Whereas both those nations threw a ton of money at developing a specific capability, the U.S. has invested to “come up with a family of hypersonic systems that work without necessarily trying to close all the technology pieces at the front end,” Selva said. “We’re going to start flying these systems in 2019, you’ll see lots of flight tests, and we’re excited that these will be systems that will be very capable that we can use from standoff” range, Walker said. “These are not going to be just flying propulsion concepts through the air.” More here.


Michael D. Griffin, the undersecretary of defense for research and engineering, today spoke to more than 500 senior leaders from the U.S. government and defense industry to explore the impact of integrating directed energy capabilities into the national security enterprise at the 2018 Directed Energy Summit at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center here.

Directed energy weapon systems employ lasers, microwaves and particle beams against enemy targets.

Griffin has been in this arena since the 1980s and worked for the first three directors of the original missile defense agency.

“Directed energy was then in our view an important part of our future portfolio because only directed energy could offer the kind of extended magazine, if you will, the extended range, speed of light delivery of the kill,” Griffin said. “It was the only way that in the long run you could see yourself competing with the threat and coming out on top.”

Directed energy has gone through a lot of evolutions over the years, Griffin added.

Superpower Competition

Griffin said there’s a recognition that superpower competition is again on the rise, and the United States must modernize its military if it wants to maintain its position of global preeminence.

“We will not win in a man-to-man fight,” Griffin said. “We have to have the technological leverage. That realization was responsible for the creation of my office, to elevate the role of technology maturation and deployment and I believe it is responsible for the renewed interest in directed energy weapons.”

And, directed energy is more than big lasers, the undersecretary said.

The undersecretary asked his audience to consider directed energy systems such as high-power microwaves, different laser designs and particle beam weapons.

“Each of these systems has its own advantages and each has its own disadvantages,” he said. “We should not lose our way as we come out of the slough of despondence in directed energy into an environment that is more welcoming of our contributions. We should not lose our way with some of the other technologies that were pioneered in the ’80s and early-’90s and now stand available for renewed effort.”

In his capacity as undersecretary for research and engineering, Griffin said he is going to be very welcoming of other approaches that may not have had a lot of focus in recent years or decades.

Directed Energy Venues

There are four venues, he said, in which directed energy can serve: land, air, sea and space.

He urged the audience to not forget that because the technologies are fundamental and can be applied across those domains, all of which are important to them.

The basing strategies, the warfighting tactics, techniques, procedures, the logistics support requirements, the manpower that is needed for support, all of these things are different and are required to be different because of the different venues in which they will have to operate, he added. More here.