Archive for the ‘America Strong’ Category

BREAKING: Sheriff David Clarke Likely To Be Appointed To BIG POSITION In Trump Administration

Sheriff David Clarke of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, is reportedly under consideration for a position with the Department of Homeland Security, that of Assistant Secretary at the DHS Office of Partnership and Engagement. That office coordinates interaction and outreach to state, local and tribal officials and law enforcement.

GOPTheDailyDose reports,

Clarke has often said he’d serve if called upon and met with President Trump in Trump Tower last November. He spoke at the Republican Convention in Cleveland.

With the pace of the confirmation process thus far under the obstructionist stunts of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer being just beyond that of standing still, it’s fortunate that no Senate confirmation is required for the position. One senior administration official cautioned it’s “not a done deal yet,” and there will likely be an effort by Democrats to derail the high-profile supporter of President Trump.

Given the fact that Democrats have squandered what little credibility they had in the beginning of the Trump administration through their “obstruct everything” course of action, the possibility is strong that Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the immoral anti-American parasites would simply be met with instructions from the White House to just “go pound sand.”

They may attempt to attack Sheriff Clarke over the 2016 dehydration death of an inmate in his jail who had been denied water for seven days. Clarke hasn’t said a lot on the subject, but he did respond to the calls for Governor Walker to remove him which were being advanced by a pro-illegal alien group, a natural enemy for the outspoken lawman.

Sheriff Clarke wrote that the group, Voces de la Frontera, is a “pro-criminal illegal immigration movement.” He noted, “They couldn’t beat at the ballot box so they are resorting to asking the governor to undo an election that was will of the people. This is what scummy people and organizations do.”

In March, in response to a lawsuit filed by the inmate’s family against Sheriff Clarke, the public servant sent a statement to the Associated Press, which read,  in part, “I have nearly 1000 inmates. I don’t know all their names but is this the guy who was in custody for shooting up the Potawatomi Casino, causing one man to be hit by gunfire, while in possession of a firearm by a career convicted felon?” He added, “The media never reports that in stories about him. If that is him, then at least I know who you are talking about.”

Additionally, the left will likely attack for an NRA trip that Sheriff Clarke took to Russia, their perfect catchall nemesis for any political situation, in which he and others in the group met with Dmitry Rogozin, one of Vladimir Putin’s deputies. We’re not interested in their contrived outrage, Mr President. We’re concerned about the illegal aliens who are killing Americans, clogging up our roads and social welfare systems, and taking over our country. That’s what Clarke can help fix, that’s what’s important.

Just based upon those two incidents alone, Clarke seems like the perfect man for the job. But he offers much more. He also is well aware that you’ll never please the left and they can’t be reasoned with because they don’t want resolution. They seed turmoil as their medium of change. Hopefully President Trump has arrived at that same conclusion during his first 100 days of trying unsuccessfully to deal with them and will simply go with the best person for the job.

Afghan Explains Difference Between Trump and Obama

By Martin Lioll

In a question-and-answer session at his residence, Afghan ambassador to the United States Hamdullah Mohib revealed that his conversations with the president led him to believe that Donald Trump “wants to win” the war on terror in Afghanistan.

In contrast, “all the (President Barack) Obama administration wanted to do was not lose” the war in Afghanistan, the diplomat said.

According to Independent Journal Review, the exchange came during a dinner for Gold Star wives that Mohib held in March.

His depiction of the president also seemed to dispel the media depiction of Trump as intellectually shallow.

“I’ve personally met with President Trump at Mar-a-Lago and the president has had two phone conversations with (Afghan) President Ghani,” Mohib said.

“One call was after he won the election and one after (Trump) became president. Before the calls, we were advised to keep conversations short because, we were told, Trump will not be interested in the details of the call and does not have a long attention span, so it would be pointless to have a long call.

“However, we were pleasantly surprised at how much time President Trump spent asking very informed questions,” Mohib revealed. “The first time the presidents spoke, the questions Trump asked impressed us. ‘How can you win in this fight (against terrorism)?’ he asked. ‘What do you need to become financially independent?’ and ‘How can American business invest in Afghanistan? How can we develop businesses and mining in your country?’”

That, he said, was a huge difference from the prior administration.

“Asking these types of questions for our country is something the Obama administration never did,” Mohib said. “The Obama administration was the most academic administration we have ever had to deal with, but the Trump administration has been the most thoughtful and intelligent.

“Trump continually asked, ‘How can you win? What does Afghanistan need to win?’ in reference to our fight with terrorism. Trump wants to win. Sincerely. All the Obama administration wanted to do was not lose.”

This sent a dangerous message to the terrorists, said Mohib, who has been his country’s ambassador to the U.S. since September 2015.

“The Obama administration was hesitant with us,” he explained. “The enemy could sense that. When the Obama administration announced its plans to pull troops out of the region, they announced the exact date they would do it.

“All our enemies had to do was wait (Obama) out,” he continued. “They knew the date they had to hang on until — which gave them the will to fight. They used that time to recruit and build up resources.”

We more or less knew that the former administration played not to lose in Afghanistan and had hindered the war on terror with its tactics, but it’s interesting to hear it from the mouth of Hamdullah Mohib. And he should know — according to a Washington Postprofile, the 32-year-old practically grew up in refugee camps and was sent to England to escape the clutches of the Taliban.

One thing’s for sure — for at least the next four years, things are going to be very different.

H/T GOP the Daily Dose

Please like and share on Facebook and Twitter with your thoughts on what Ambassador Hamdullah Mohib said.

Another Anti-American Judge Rules Against Trump

In an interview with the Washington Examiner on Wednesday, President Trump said that he might break up the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which has been exceedingly hostile to his executive agenda since January.

“Everybody immediately runs to the 9th Circuit,” Trump told the paper. “And we have a big country. We have lots of other locations. But they immediately run to the 9th Circuit, because they know it’s semi-automatic.”

Trump’s latest judiciary defeat didn’t come expressly from the 9th Circuit, but that’s where the case is headed should the Justice Department appeal the ruling.

In a decision rendered Tuesday, U.S. District Judge William Orrick blocked the implementation of an executive order President Trump signed on January 25th, guiding the Department of Justice to withhold federal monies from cities and counties that are not in compliance with national immigration law. Although the executive order explicitly states that federal agencies should only withhold funds to the extent that it is legal under congressional law, the judge decided that Trump’s order, if carried out, would be in violation of the Constitution.

In prior rulings, the 9th Circuit put the kibosh on two different versions of Trump’s immigration ban targeting several Middle Eastern countries, claiming that because these countries were predominantly Muslim, the orders were in violation of the First Amendment.

In the interview, Trump accused Democrats of purposely bringing lawsuits against his administration in jurisdictions where they are more likely to get a favorable ruling.

“You see judge shopping, or what’s gone on with these people, they immediately run to the 9th Circuit,” Trump said. “It’s got close to an 80 percent reversal period, and what’s going on in the 9th Circuit is a shame.”

Beyond the obvious biases of the 9th Circuit, the objectivity of Judge Orrick himself is up for debate. Orrick was an active supporter of President Obama, having personally donated more than $30,000 to his election campaign and having bundled more than $200,000 in total. For his tireless dedication, he was appointed to his current federal judgeship. When you consider the extent to which Obama made amnesty towards illegal immigrants a focus of his agenda, one can easily make the argument that Orrick should have recused himself from this case.

After eight years of defending Obama’s right to make law from the Oval Office, liberals have suddenly decided that it’s important to limit the power of the president. Funny how that happens. What’s not so funny is their commitment towards protecting immigrants at any costs – costs paid by American citizens who will be victimized by individuals who have no business in this country.

Another Obama Initiative Bites The Dust

By the time Trump’s done, the Obamas will be just a memory.

Much to the delight of school kids around the country, Michelle’s school lunches program is already under the ax and now another of her initiatives is about the bite the dust..

President Trump plans to end ‘Let Girls Learn,’ former first lady Michelle Obama’s girls education program, according to a Monday CNN report.

The Hill reports,

“Moving forward, we will not continue to use the Let Girls Learn brand or maintain a stand-alone program,” an email from Peace Corps acting director Sheila Crowley to employees reportedly reads.


The Trump administration gave order to cease the program’s operation immediately, according to an internal document obtained by CNN.

Aspects of ‘Let Girls Learn’ will continue, although the brand name of the program will no longer be used.

The Obamas started the program in 2015. It aimed to increase educational opportunities for young girls in developing countries.

“‘Let Girls Learn’ provided a platform to showcase Peace Corps’ strength in community development, shining a bright light on the work of our Volunteers all over the world,” Crowley continued. “We are so proud of what ‘Let Girls Learn’ accomplished and we have all of you to thank for this success.”

The Peace Corps and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) primarily ran the ‘Let Girls Learn,’ an inter-governmental program.

A spokesman for the Peace Corps told CNN Monday they plan to continue their efforts to facilitate the education of girls.

“The Peace Corps continues to prioritize girls’ education and empowerment programming,” the spokesman said. “Girls’ education and empowerment has been a hallmark of our work over the past 56 years and we look forward to continuing those efforts with our interagency partners. We remain dedicated to the passionate work of our volunteers and staff to empower and educate girls in their communities.”

Jeff Sessions: Congress can ‘find a host of ways’ to fund border wall

– The Washington Times – Monday, April 24, 2017

Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday said Congress can find ways to fund the border wall so it won’t put the burden on the American people.

Congress can find a host of ways to pay for this wall. It can be done by people who come to our country through Mexico,” Mr. Sessions said on “Fox & Friends.” “It can be paid for over time.”

The attorney general also said the wall will save money in the long term with fewer border patrol agents and other security resources being required at the border. Mr. Sessions also said it will lead to a reduction of crime throughout the United States overall.

“We get this barrier fixed. It’ll save us so much money. It’ll reduce the amount of drugs and criminals that come into the country,” he said.

As to the question of a government shutdown over the border wall funding, Mr. Sessions said that’s up to Democrats.

“It’ll be the Democrats that shut down the government down to block the funding of the wall,” he said. “That’s what the question is.”

Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, then-candidate Donald J. Trump frequently told the American people that he was going to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and that Mexico was going to pay for it.

 Unsurprisingly, Mexico and pro-amnesty politicians have pushed back against the idea that any border wall will be constructed, but that hasn’t stopped the Trump administration from following through with its promise.

The White House has stressed the importance that partial funding for the border wall be included in talks over the upcoming budget, but Democrats are unsurprisingly trying to obstruct. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi even went so far as to bizarrely claim that President Trump wanting to build the wall was a “sign of weakness.”

Despite all of the liberal objections, Attorney General Jeff Sessions revealed that the wall could be easily paid for by reducing tax credits improperly given to illegal immigrants.

Speaking with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on Sunday’s This Week, Sessions explained how the wall will be paid for:

“We’re going to get paid for it one way or the other,” Sessions said of the wall. “I know there’s $4 billion a year in excess payments, according to the Department of the Treasury’s own inspector general several years ago, that are going to payments to people — tax credits that they shouldn’t get. Now, these are mostly Mexicans. And those kind of things add up — $4 billion a year for 10 years is $40 billion.

“There are a lot of ways we can find money to help pay for this.”

A thought to remember

A thought to remember, Marx said, “Remove one freedom per generation and soon you will have no freedom and no one would have noticed.”
There was a chemistry professor in a large college that had some exchange students in the class.
One day while the class was in the lab, the professor noticed one young man, an exchange student, who kept rubbing his back and stretching as if his back hurt.
The professor asked the young man what was the matter.
The student told him he had a bullet lodged in his back. He had been shot while fighting Communists in his native country who were trying to overthrow his country’s government and install a new communist regime.
In the midst of his story, he looked at the professor and asked a strange question.
He asked: “Do you know how to catch wild pigs?”
The professor thought it was a joke and asked for the punch line.
The young man said that it was no joke. “You catch wild pigs by finding a suitable place in the woods and putting corn on the ground. The pigs find it and begin to come every day to eat the free food.
When they are used to coming every day, you put a fence down one side of the place where they are used to coming. When they get used to the fence, they begin to eat the corn again and you put up another side of the fence.
They get used to that and start to eat again. You continue until you have all four sides of the fence up with a gate in the last side.
The pigs, which are used to the free corn, start to come through the gate to eat that free corn again. You then slam the gate on them and catch the whole herd.
Suddenly the wild pigs have lost their freedom. They run around and around inside the fence, but they are caught. Soon they go back to eating the free corn. They are so used to it that they have forgotten how to forage in the woods for themselves, so they accept their captivity.”
The young man then told the professor that is exactly what he sees happening in America & Canada. The government keeps pushing us toward Communism/Socialism and keeps spreading the free corn out in the form of programs such as supplemental income, tax credit for unearned income, tax exemptions, tobacco subsidies, dairy subsidies, payments not to plant crops (CRP), welfare entitlements, medicine, drugs, etc., while we continually lose our freedoms, just a little at a time.
One should always remember two truths:
There is no such thing as a free lunch, and you can never hire someone to provide a service for you cheaper than you can do it yourself.
If you see that all of this wonderful government “help” is a problem confronting the future of democracy in America & Canada, you might want to share this with your friends.
If you think the free ride is essential to your way of life, then you will probably not share this.
BUT, God help us all when the gate slams shut!

Think about this 
Quote for today: “The problems we face today are there because the people who work for a living are now outnumbered by those who vote for a living.”

We don’t recognize how good we have it in the USA!

A very interesting read, a Marine’s View of what is really going on.  This young man is articulate and has a flare for colorful language, and descriptive prose, Scorpions, Chiggers & Sand Fleas.  It’s a great letter, a must read for every American citizen.

From a Recon Marine in Afghanistan :

From the Sand Pit

It’s freezing here.  I’m sitting on hard cold dirt between rocks and shrubs at the base of the  Hindu Kush  Mountains, along the Dar’yoi Pamir River, watching a hole that leads to a tunnel that leads to a cave.  Stake out, my friend, and no pizza delivery for thousands of miles.

I also glance at the area around my ass every ten to fifteen seconds to avoid another scorpion sting.  I’ve actually given up battling the chiggers and sand fleas, but the scorpions give a jolt like a cattle prod.  Hurts like a bastard.  The antidote tastes like transmission fluid, but God bless the Marine Corps for the five vials of it in my pack.  The one truth the Taliban cannot escape is that, believe it or not, they are human beings, which means they have to eat food and drink water.  That requires couriers and that’s where an old bounty hunter like me comes in handy.

I track the couriers, locate the tunnel entrances and storage facilities, type the info into the hand held, and shoot the coordinates up to the satellite link that tells the air commanders where to drop the hardware.  We bash some heads for a while, and then I track and record the new movement.  It’s all about intelligence.  We haven’t even brought in the snipers yet.  These scurrying rats have no idea what they’re in for.  We are but days away from cutting off supply lines and allowing the eradication to begin.  But you know me; I’m a romantic.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: This country blows, man.  It’s not even a country.  There are no roads, there’s no infrastructure, there’s no government.

This is an inhospitable, rock-pit shit-hole ruled by eleventh century warring tribes.  There are no jobs here like we know jobs.   Afghanistan offers only two ways for a man to support his family, join the opium trade or join the army.  That’s it.  Those are your options.  Oh, I forgot, you can also live in a refugee camp and eat plum-sweetened, crushed beetle paste and squirt mud like a goose with stomach flu, if that’s your idea of a party.  But the smell alone of those ‘tent cities of the walking dead’ is enough to hurl you into the poppy fields to cheerfully scrape bulbs for eighteen hours a day.

I’ve been living with these Tajiks and Uzbeks, and Turkmen and even a couple of Pashtu’s, for over a month-and-a-half now, and this much I can say for sure: These guys, are Huns, actual, living Huns.  They LIVE to fight.  It’s what they do.  It’s ALL they do.  They have no respect for anything; not for themselves, their families, or for each other.  They claw at one another as a way of life.  They play polo with dead calves and force their five-year-old sons into human cockfights to defend the family honor.  Just Huns, roaming packs of savage, heartless beasts who feed on each other’s barbarism.  Cavemen with AK-47’s.  Then again, maybe I’m just a cranky young bastard.

I’m freezing my ass off on this stupid hill because my lap warmer is running out of juice, and I can’t recharge it until the sun comes up in a few hours.  Oh yeah!  You like to write letters, right?  Do me a favor, Bizarre.  Write a letter to CNN and tell Wolf and Anderson and that awful, sneering, pompous Aaron Brown to stop calling the Taliban “smart”.  They are not smart.  I suggest CNN invest in a dictionary because the word they are looking for is “cunning”.  The Taliban are cunning, like jackals, hyenas, and wolverines.  They are sneaky and ruthless, and when confronted, they are cowardly.  They are hateful, malevolent parasites who create nothing and destroy everything else.

Smart?  Bullshit!  Yeah, they’re real smart,  Most can’t read, but they’ve spent their entire lives listening to Imams telling them about only one book (and not a very good one, as books go).  They consider hygiene and indoor plumbing to be products of the devil.  They’re still trying to figuring out how to work a Bic lighter.  Talking to a Taliban warrior about improving his quality of life is like trying to teach an ape how to hold a pen.   Eventually he just gets frustrated and sticks you in the eye with it.

OK, enough.  Snuffle will be up soon, so I have to get back to my hole.  Covering my tracks in the snow takes a lot of practice, but I’m good at it.

Please, I tell you and my fellow Americans to turn off the TV sets and move on with your lives.  The story line you are getting from CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC and other liberal news agencies is utter bullshit and designed not to deliver truth but rather to keep you glued to the screen so you will watch the next commercial.  We’ve got this one under control.  The worst thing you guys can do right now is sit around analyzing what we’re doing over here.  You have no idea what we’re doing, and you really don’t want to know.  We are your military, and we are only doing what you sent us here to do.

From a Jack Recon Marine in  Afghanistan , Semper Fi.

“Freedom is not free, but the U.S. Marine Corps is paying most of your share”.

Send this to YOUR FRIENDS so that people there will really know what is going on over here.

God Bless America .

PS  Why would any civilized country
want to bring these barbarians
into their cities or states. 

To do so is total suicidal insanity!


By John F. Di Leo –

Reflections on government procurement and the Buy American Act

President Donald Trump traveled to southeast Wisconsin to make a speech and issue a proclamation: that he would require that – on the big government spending projects of his administration – everything had better be Made in America.

Hopefully, no one will quarrel with the intent.

A country should be proud of its manufacturing sector, and if tax dollars are to be spent at all, the preference ought to be that they be spent giving business to their own companies, employing their own people, utilizing their own local resources.  It’s important not only for the economy, but for national security as well.  Such an intention is good and honorable.

But we all know what the road to Hell is paved with, don’t we?

The Residency Rule

Before we analyze this rule, let’s spend a moment contemplating a rule with which we’re all familiar: the residency rule that many cities have in place for their employees.

Lots of cities decree that if you want to be a policeman, fireman, school teacher, or other city employee, you have to live in the city that issues your paycheck. The theory is, this keeps fine, upstanding citizens in the neighborhoods (especially important if the city is suffering a loss of fleeing taxpayers), and it keeps rents and home values up for everyone.  Granted, it limits the hiring pool a bit, but the bigger the city, the more manageable that should be. In theory.

So it is that many cities have specific neighborhoods, like Chicago’s northwest side and Milwaukee’s southwest side, for example, that become well-known for being particularly safe because they’re chock full of policemen. Fine, as far as it goes, right?

Until the property taxes, or crime levels, or school system collapses of such a city reach the point at which it becomes unwise to raise children there, or even becomes unaffordable or unsafe to remain at all.  A city may lose good employees when this rule drives them out, to search for other jobs that allow freedom of residency.  But perhaps, sometimes, the cities decide it’s worth the tradeoff.  It’s their choice, after all; that’s what home rule is all about.

And so the cities write rules to manage their residency rule, to deal with a grace period upon time of hiring, or to deal with marriages between city employees and suburbanites, or to deal with employees who own multiple properties, like a couple of small apartment buildings in different towns as their chosen investment method.

The questions get thorny: what if a new employee can’t sell his suburban house within the 30, or 60, or 90 days of his grace period?  Surely we can’t make him sell at a loss just because it’s a slow housing market.  Or what if his child is a junior in a suburban high school; surely we won’t make our new teacher, policeman, or fireman move his kid to a new school at a time like that, just to satisfy this rule, will we?

There are dozens of such questions, and each city writes their rules, and builds in provisions for exceptions.  Every city may handle it differently, and that’s their right.

We all recognize the value in the original goal of a local residency requirement, but we also see the complexity that it causes.  The devil is in the details.

The Buy American Act

Now, in this context, we can address the national issue of a “Buy American” rule.

For the exact same reasons – all good reasons – that cities have residency requirements, nations may want a rule that tax dollars are spent on their own taxpayers.

We want a thriving economy.  We want a strong business sector, full employment, profitable manufacturers.

Because of the scale involved in the national government’s purchases, federal spending can be a huge portion of the GDP.  It shouldn’t be, of course – government is much too big already – but to the extent that we’re stuck with it, it makes sense to at least direct those purchases of asphalt and concrete, steel beams and armaments, toward businesses that keep the most Americans employed.

This is the goal that President Trump reinforced this week, and it’s nothing new; the first major Buy American Act dates all the way back to 1933, and was signed by outgoing President Hoover for the incoming Roosevelt Administration to enforce. There have been plenty of permutations of this well-intentioned concept since.

The Complexity of Manufacturing

As we’ve seen, even a rule as simple as a local residency rule can become complicated in application, as different cities have different levels of affordable real estate for renters, homeowners, parents, and investors.  Cities need to carve out both permanent exceptions and individual waivers all the time, or risk missing out on desirable employees, while mindful of the fact that too many exceptions will infuriate their existing employees who live with the same rule.

By the same token, when the national government attempts a Buy American provision, therefore, it encounters plenty of problems that it likely never anticipated, because so few people in government know anything about the world of manufacturing.

Let’s start by assuming that we do manufacture this kind of product in the United States, so domestic sourcing is at least an option.  What is that product made of?  Is it a single item, such as an injection-molded article of plastic or a cast iron product poured in a foundry?

Or is it a complex manufactured product, like a huge water pump to keep a highway underpass clear during rainstorms, or a whole electrical power station for an airport or army base? Such products have Bills of Material – a manufactured product’s “recipe,” if you will – listing hundreds, or even thousands, of materials.  Cast or molded parts, wire and cable, nuts and bolts, sheet steel and brass rods, dials and controls.

No single company manufactures all those parts, so a manufacturer sources them from vendors all over the world.  Perhaps wire and cable made in the USA, nuts and bolts made in South Korea, dials made in Germany, cast steel parts made in the USA, molded plastic parts made in Mexico, gaskets made in China… the possibilities are endless.

If we require the finished product to be made here, that’s an accomplishment.  That does indeed satisfy the first goal of spending money on American companies that put Americans to work.  But then there is always an effort to go further, to the next tier of production, and manage those purchased raw materials and components as well.

When the government implements a Buy American rule, it first has to decide how far down to go in this supply chain.  In recent years, the choices have run the gamut from final manufacture all the way to requirements of 100% American content, right down to the rawest of raw materials.

Imagine requiring, for example, that a steel part be not only formed here, but made of steel that was alloyed here, of iron, chromium and carbon that were pulled out of the earth and processed here too.  Sound easy?  Well, not so much.  We have plenty of iron in the USA, but chromium just can’t be practically sourced here; most of it comes from South Africa, Turkey, India or FSU sources like Russia and Kazakhstan.  So at a certain point, it becomes impossible to mandate domestic sourcing… and that “certain point” varies by product, by material, by industry.

So at some spot in the sourcing process, we have to stop trying to control it.  We just have to.  We don’t make lots of nuts and bolts in the USA anymore; we’d like to, but we just don’t.    And we make lots of wire and cable here, but maybe not the exact kind that the power station contractor or the pump manufacturer needs for this particular finished product.  So we have to allow them some flexibility in sourcing, if we want our finished product to work.

But all these industries – yes, all of them – have lobbyists in Washington, lobbyists (and unions and reporters and donors and businessmen) who will point out that making the bridge or power station or water pump here is nice, but we really need to create jobs for the American steel industry too, and the American fastener industry, and the American wire and cable industry, and the American electrical controller industry…

Every administration, and even more so, every individual agency issuing government contracts, has to make this decision:  Where to draw the line? Where to give up and realize that the goal of making every single government dollar create an American job is just impossible?

Complexity and Practicality

These rules add complexity to the government contracting process, and also often-unmanageable complexity for the contractors and their subcontractors.  The myriad vendors on these government projects have different skill levels, and the farther back you go from the primary contractor, the less the others upstream may understand just what their commitment actually is.

In addition to making a great product at the right price, delivering it on time at the right place, they now have to meet rules of content origin that vary from contract to contract, but that always bear the exact same title: a “Buy American clause.”

What good is a commitment that means something different in every bid, especially when the contractor offering the project for bidding probably doesn’t understand the commitment himself?

If the vendor can’t meet a requirement because the part isn’t made here at all, he can seek a waiver, of course… but seeking, proving, and obtaining such waivers are an added cost, adding to the cost of the project… and if a vendor knows he’ll need such waivers, he may drop out entirely, costing the bid some potentially good vendors.

In most of the government projects authorized in the 2009 ARRA, for example, simple US origin was required – meaning that the product had to be manufactured here, but they didn’t dig deeper into the materials therein.  The following year, the government revised it, and most 2010 contracts from the 2009 ARRA had an almost impossible 100% US content requirement, extending right into raw materials.

This made compliance difficult for many products, and accomplishment often impossible, which meant more products having the total waiver: when it becomes impossible to meet a Buy American clause, you just give up and fill the order with a foreign product.

Foreign products have no requirement for US content at all, so once you have a waiver on the origin of the “master” finished product, it gets made in Canada or Mexico or Europe instead, and no Americans are hired at all.   This overly-ambitious version of a Buy American clause is truly the textbook example of the old saying, “The perfect is the enemy of the good.”

So, here is our quandary: Should the government impose a Buy American clause, if it’s so difficult?

Of course we should.  But it’s time to standardize it, and make it reasonable.  If the Trump administration wants to ensure that its projects employ lots of Americans, it needs to abandon the overly-ambitious clauses of the past, and apply a reasonable requirement, based on those used by the Ex-Im Bank or NAFTA in determining US origin.

We can require US manufacture, and set a percentage of minimum US spend on the manufacturer’s purchased materials, such as “50% or 75% must be US-manufactured parts as well. “  Something along those lines.

But we need to put an end to these promises that “Every product will be made of US steel!” that the lobbyists and unionists insist upon. Such pie-in-the-sky promises create more work for lawyers, bean-counters and foreigners than they do for American workers.

Copyright 2017 John F. Di Leo

John F. Di Leo is a Chicagoland-based Customs broker, writer, and actor.  A former county chairman of the Milwaukee County Republican Party, he has been a recovering politician for twenty years.

Toyota announces $1.33 billion investment in Kentucky plant – AMERICA WINS AGAIN – THANK YOU DONALD TRUMP

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Toyota said Monday it is investing $1.33 billion to retool its sprawling factory in Georgetown, Kentucky, where the company’s flagship Camry sedans are built.

No new factory jobs are being added, but Toyota says the upgrades amount to the biggest single investment ever at one of its existing plants in the United States. The retooling also will sustain the existing 8,200 jobs at Toyota’s largest plant, where about one-fourth of all Toyota vehicles produced in North America are made, the automaker said.

“This major overhaul will enable the plant to stay flexible and competitive, further cementing our presence in Kentucky,” said Wil James, president of the plant, which also assembles the Avalon and the Lexus ES 350.

The updates at the Kentucky plant are part of Toyota’s plans to invest $10 billion in the United States over the next five years, said CEO Jim Lentz of Toyota Motor North America, in a news release.

President Donald Trump, in a paragraph added to Toyota’s news release at the White House’s request on Sunday night, praised the investment and said it is “further evidence that manufacturers are now confident that the economic climate has greatly improved under my administration.” The paragraph cited the National Association of Manufacturers’ first-quarter outlook survey. It found that 93.3 percent of manufacturers are somewhat or very positive about their company’s outlook, a record high that’s up from 77.8 percent in December.

But the Toyota investment has been in the works for years as it gears up for production of the revamped 2018 Camry, long the top-selling car in the U.S. Toyota has said the Camry’s new underpinnings were designed four or five years ago, and the factory upgrade is needed to build the new car which goes on sale late in the summer. The 2018 Camry features a new exterior design, an upgraded interior and a new engine. The plant recently added more than 700 workers to support its launch.

“The (production) line itself is being retooled to accommodate this change,” Toyota spokesman Scott Vazin said.

Toyota is betting that the changes will solidify Camry’s premier sales position. That dominance is under threat from the popularity of SUVs.

“When the 2018 Camry hits the roads later this year, I’m convinced that it will have heads turning,” James said Monday.

The automaker said the plans call for updating equipment at the Kentucky plant to streamline production and for construction of a new paint shop.

James said the upgrades will position the plant “to compete globally for new models, build ever-better cars for our customers now and enable us to respond quicker and more capably to market demands.”

The investment follows the automaker’s decision in 2013 to spend $530 million in the plant to begin building the luxury Lexus ES 350 in Kentucky.

Last year, the Kentucky plant produced more than 500,000 vehicles.

State and local officials attended an event Monday at the Georgetown plant to celebrate the automaker’s investment.

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin said Toyota’s investment is “further proof of their commitment to producing American-made cars.”

“Thank you for this investment,” Bevin said. “Words don’t even begin to fully express the gratitude that the commonwealth of Kentucky has for Toyota, for your investment, for your partnership.”

Kentucky economic development officials sweetened Toyota’s existing incentive agreement with the state as a result of its latest investment.

State officials added up to $43.5 million in tax incentives, making Toyota eligible for up to $190 million in incentives that span multiple projects. The performance-based incentives allow Toyota to keep a portion of its investment through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job retention and new capital investment targets, state officials said.

Against the Islamic State, the U.S. Focuses on the Battle, Not the War

During his campaign for office, U.S. President Donald Trump promised a plan to defeat the Islamic State. Now, his administration is taking steps to deliver on that promise. On Wednesday, the global coalition to counter the Islamic State held its first meeting since the Trump administration took power — and its first congress with representatives from all 68 members since mid-2016. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson opened the session, held at State Department headquarters in Washington, by declaring the fight against the Islamic State as the United States’ chief priority in the Middle East. But notably absent from the meeting’s agenda was a clear answer to arguably the most important question hanging over the campaign to oust the jihadist group from Iraq and Syria: What happens after the military operations in Mosul and Raqqa are over?

By holding the meeting so early in its tenure, the Trump administration has emphasized the United States’ commitment to the military effort against the Islamic State and its role as the campaign’s leader. Its focus, however, ends with the battlefield. In Iraq, the fight to retake the city of Mosul is nearing its final stages after months of grueling battle. A diverse array of Iraqi forces have made steady gains in the campaign to clear thousands of Islamic State militants from their stronghold, backed by coalition advisory, artillery and air support. Once the city itself has been reclaimed in the next few months, offensives on the jihadist group’s remaining pockets in Nineveh and Kirkuk provinces will begin.

What is a Geopolitical Diary?
The offensive on the Syrian city of Raqqa, by contrast, is only just starting. The battle for the city itself will begin in a matter of weeks, but in the meantime, the Syrian Democratic Forces, with heavy support from U.S. troops, have moved quickly to isolate the city. In fact, U.S.-backed fighters marked a critical step in this phase Wednesday when they captured a beachhead south of the Euphrates River. Beyond the tactical reasons for the move, encircling the city will also enable the United States to carve out its own theater in the fight. Washington is trying to limit Russian and Iranian interference in the operation to pursue its ideal battle plan.

But the end of the fighting will not necessarily signify the end of the war. And in the long term, it will be regional powers — not the United States or most of its coalition partners — that shape the future of the reclaimed territories. The Kurdish-Arab borderland in northern Syria and Iraq will be a significant theater for competition among local factions and regional competitors alike. Turkey, despite its frustrations with the United States and Russia in Raqqa, is still committed to maintaining a long-term presence in the region. To that end, it is working to establish safe zones in northern Syria and to preserve its economic and security ties with northern Iraq. Ankara’s goals, however, will invite the attention of rival Iran, which also intends to manage the retaken territory in Syria and Iraq as it sees fit. Of course, the instability in these regions will make governing them a difficult and dangerous endeavor for outside powers, but that won’t stop them from vying for influence there, often with competing visions.

Russia, meanwhile, sees its involvement in Syria as long-term strategic leverage that it can use in its dealings with the United States. In the short term, though, it has been all but cut out of the Raqqa campaign. The Syrian Democratic Forces’ offensive to close the circle around the city blocked a sizeable portion of Highway 4, a crucial route that loyalist forces, with Russia’s backing, planned to use to reach the Raqqa battlefield. With no easy inroad to the operation, Russia will have a harder time using its support for loyalist troops in Syria as a bargaining chip with the United States.

The global coalition has its work cut out for it in the military campaigns that lie ahead. Compared with the more clear-cut tactical aspects of the effort to rid Mosul and Raqqa of the Islamic State, however, the task of stabilizing the territories in the group’s wake is far murkier. And the more progress the countries fighting the Islamic State make on the battlefield, the starker the divisions among them become. As Washington focuses on combating the extremist group in Mosul and Raqqa, questions over how to divvy up political power in those cities, foster economic growth, prevent radicalization and provide for victims of the violence loom large. Each member of the global coalition against the Islamic State has a different answer, as do the regional and local actors involved in the fight.