by BEEGE WELBORN
Well, knock ME over with a feather! It wasn’t that long ago that one of Tucker Carlson’s biggest failings – I mean hammer him unmercifully complaints – was that he was a TOOL OF PUTIN for having the temerity to question where billions upon billions upon billions of U.S. taxpayers dollars were going in relation to the spigot of cash headed to Zelensky and Ukraine.
“How DARE you?!” they cried. “Democracy is UNDER ATTACK – We must DEFEND IT AT ALL COST!!” And when he pretty rightfully asked were we defending democracy or enriching a dictator and his oligarch friends in the meantime, the sputtered indignation at his treacherous query knew no bounds. Why should there be any sort of accounting for so noble a cause? I mean, look – Zelensky lives in fatigue trousers and wooly pully sweaters – he’s practically a war hero himself! Of course those billions and bazillions are in the best and purest of trustworthy hands.
If they stayed in those hands. But no one could tell anyone if they did. And you sure as Schlitz weren’t allowed to ask, you spreader of Russian propaganda!!
A year ago May, Kentucky’s Senator Rand Paul was pilloried in the press and by both parties for putting the brakes on one of the first big aid packages to Ukraine, for simply wanting an accounting method designated to track where the billions were going. He “defied” leaders.
Rand Paul stalls Senate passage of $40 billion in Ukraine aid
Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul defied leaders of both parties Thursday and delayed until next week Senate approval of an additional $40 billion to help Ukraine and its allies withstand Russia’s three-month old invasion.
…Paul, a libertarian who often opposes U.S. intervention abroad, said he wanted language inserted into the bill, without a vote, that would have an inspector general scrutinize the new spending. He has a long history of demanding last-minute changes by holding up or threatening to delay bills on the brink of passage, including measures dealing with lynching, sanctioning Russia, preventing a federal shutdown, the defense budget, government surveillance and providing health care to the Sept. 11 attack first responders.
You can tell what a crank they think he is by the litany of complaints in the paragraph.
NO TIME FOR ACCOUNTING – DEMOCRACY IS AT STAKE!
The November elections changed the tenor of that argument a bit, especially as our ugly fiscal situation started coming into focus. The House GOP was a tad more inclined to be on board with parsing the Ukrainian purse, whilst still supporting the outlays.
…Though congressional leaders generally support continued aid to Ukraine, some have been careful in their assessments of ongoing oversight efforts.
Senate Armed Services Chairman Jack Reed, D-R.I., said “we can always do more” when it comes to tracking the aid being sent overseas. But so far, he added, the Pentagon has been regularly reporting on the progress of Ukraine aid to Congress.
Ranking member Roger Wicker, R-Miss., said the oversight provisions already in place are “probably adequate.”
But, he said, “We are very mindful that the American people want their generous contributions to be well spent. And I do think that’s in the national interest.”
Dude – we’re talking tens of billions. I don’t want “probably adequate.” In no way is that going to cut it. Look at what we lost HERE during COVID or any natural disaster when they hand out FEMA debit cards. I mean, come on – this is all going overseas to Corruption Central to begin with.
Adequate. ‘Tis to laugh.
When there are – just the other day – even more miraculous (!!!) billions of dollars found that can be sent to Ukraine?
The Pentagon has overestimated the value of the weapons it has sent to Ukraine by at least $3 billion — an accounting error that could be a boon for the war effort because it will allow the Defense Department to send more weapons now without asking Congress for more money.
The acknowledgment Thursday comes at a time when Pentagon is under increased pressure by Congress to show accountability for the billions of dollars it has sent in weapons, ammunition and equipment to Ukraine and as some lawmakers question whether that level of support should continue.
LAY YOUR HAND ON THE DASHBOARD AND SAY ‘HALLELUJAH’
Amazing. Billions were never “oopsed” and found when I was counting literal gallons of JP-5 for missions at the end of a Marine Corps fiscal year. That Zelensky must sail under a lucky star, no?
Turns out, maybe his friends do, too. Or at least they’re lucky enough to be navigating by Zelensky’s star power.
“Ukrainian officials have been using the war with Russia as a smokescreen by which to enrich themselves by “extorting, plundering and weakening commercial rivals” to create a new political elite, reports POLITICO.” https://t.co/T3MMkdQHw0
— Ned Ryun (@nedryun) May 24, 2023
Well, how about that? Color me shocked this made it into Politico, of all places. It makes me think it’s pretty blatant, whatever is going on and it’s probably pretty bad.
One woman, trying to get answers and save her company, “Smart Holding” (formerly owned by a sanctioned Russian named Novynski), told her story. There were some havey cavey goings-on with official records that had no explanation.
..According to Kiryanova, however, Novynskyi’s activities should be irrelevant to Smart Holding. He hasn’t been involved in managing the company since 2013, and last year, he divested himself of ownership. He receives no income from the company and can never resume ownership, she said.
…Informally, the company was told authorities believed Novynskyi was still the beneficial owner but was offered no evidence. Authorities also said a criminal case was being opened against the trustees on suspicion of being Russian agents.
“This was followed by a series of police raids at our head office and our subsidiaries,” Kiryanova explained. Ukraine’s security services seized $96 million in assets, and the deeds to 40 companies and 30 natural gas wells. “The property of pro-Russian oligarch Vadym Novynskyi, who is involved in aiding the aggressor country, was seized,” the SBU announced in a statement. Smart Holding has donated more than $20 million to war-related humanitarian causes.
Then came the offer-too-good-to-refuse.
…Yet, hours before the raids, the company was approached with a fire-sale buyout offer for its natural gas interests from foreign investors — British and American — who have no history in the energy sector. They said they’d face no problems, as “they would be able to resolve any issues with the office of Ukraine’s President.” The offer — a third of what the businesses are worth — was declined. So far, the company has had to layoff 3,000 staff members, and it now fears that Metinvest — which has about 60,000 employees and is majority owned by Ukraine’s richest person, Rinat Akhmetov — could be next.
Ladies and germs, that’s nothing but an old-timey shakedown.
There are more stories.
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