Archive for July 2nd, 2016

Fire Birds — Videos

Posted on July 2, 2016. Filed under: Blogroll, Communications, media, Movies, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Raves, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Technology, Video, War, Weapons, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , |

Nicolas Cage/Tommy Lee Jones/Sean Young (Fire Birds) Full Movie Action Military Thriller

Fire Birds

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Fire Birds
Firebirdsposter.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by David Green
Produced by Bill Badalato
Screenplay by Nick Thiel
Paul F. Edwards
Story by Step Tyner
John K. Swensson
Dale Dye
Starring
Music by David Newman
Cinematography Tony Imi
Edited by Norman Buckley
Dennis M. O’Connor
Jon Poll
Production
company
Touchstone Pictures
Nova International Films
Distributed by Buena Vista Pictures
Release dates
  • May 25, 1990
Running time
87 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $22 million
Box office $14,760,451[1]

Fire Birds (originally titled Wings of the Apache and released internationally under that name) is a 1990 actionthriller film directed by David Green and produced by William Badalato, Keith Barish and Arnold Kopelson. The storyline was conceived by retired Lt. Colonels Step Tyner and John K. Swensson and retired Marine Capt. Dale Dye[2] and developed into a screenplay written by Paul F. Edwards, Nick Thiel and uncredited David Taylor. The film stars Nicolas Cage, Tommy Lee Jones and Sean Young. Cage is cast as a helicopter pilot attempting to help dismantle a drug cartel in South America. Jones plays his pilot instructor and senior ranked military officer during his flight training, while Young portrays his love interest.

Production of the film was a co-production between the Walt Disney Studios and Nova International Films. It was commercially released under Disney’s Touchstone Pictures label. The movie featured elaborate aerial stunt sequences, involving combat helicopters.

Fire Birds premiered in theaters nationwide in the United States on May 25, 1990 grossing a modest $14,760,451 in domestic ticket receipts. The film was met with negative critical reviews before its initial screening in cinemas; generally due to its melancholy dialogue and striking plot similarities to the more popular 1986 action film Top Gun, starring Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis.[3]

Plot

A joint task force operation between the Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Army has been formed to dismantle one of the largest drug cartels operating in South America. Multiple attempts to assault the cartel’s mountainous compound have been thwarted by a (fictional) Scorpion-attack helicopter piloted by a mercenary pilot, Eric Stoller (Bert Rhine). After having several aircraft shot down, most notably a pair of UH–60 Black Hawks and their AH–1 Cobra escorts, the army turns to the new AH–64 Apache attack helicopter, which can match its enemies’ maneuverability and firepower.

Pilot Jake Preston (Nicolas Cage) is subsequently enlisted in the Apache air-to-air combat training program. Earlier, Preston was the sole survivor of a previous air-attack by Stoller. Upon his arrival at the training course, he encounters his ex-girlfriend Billie Lee Guthrie (Sean Young), who broke off their relationship to pursue a separate career flying OH–58 Kiowa scout helicopters which often work alongside the Apache as target identifiers and designators. Jake’s arrogance and loose improvised style quickly earn him the mixed respect and chagrin of veteran pilot and flight instructor Brad Little (Tommy Lee Jones). During the training schedule, Preston is revealed to be suffering from an eye dominance disability, which makes it difficult for him to utilize the Apache’s visual input. Using an unconventional but effective training method, Little helps Preston deal with his handicap.

A formation of military aircraft consisting of four Apaches and Guthrie’s Kiowa, flies down to South America to provide air support for a DEA mission to hunt down and arrest drug cartel leaders. However, they are soon attacked at their base camp, and one Apache is destroyed. With another Apache left to protect the DEA personnel, Preston, Little and Guthrie attempt to seek out Stoller. They soon locate his position, as well as a pair ofDraken jet fighter aircraft who are also protecting the cartel. Little destroys one aircraft, but is shot down in aerial combat by Stoller. He survives, but his Apache is disabled. Stoller later targets Guthrie, but Preston reaches their coordinates and engages him in a fierce dogfight. Using the Apache’s maneuverability near a mountainous peak, Preston manages to trick Stoller into flying past him; then attacks and destroys his helicopter. Meanwhile, Guthrie uses one of the Stinger missiles onboard Little’s downed Apache to destroy the remaining enemy aircraft. With no air support, the cartel’s defenses cease, and their leaders are later apprehended. As an injured Little is loaded onto a Medevac helicopter, he expresses pride in both Preston and Guthrie.

Cast

Actor Nicolas Cage (l) portrayed pilot Jake Preston, and Tommy Lee Jones (r) played Brad Little

Production

Sets and equipment

Filming for Fire Birds was shot primarily on location in Arizona as well as at Fort Hood, Texas army base, home of the Army’s Apache Training Brigade (21st Cavalry Brigade (AIR COMBAT)[4]) .[5] Extensive aerial stunt sequences were coordinated with the National Guard of the United States, the United States Army and the United States Air Force.[6] Between technical advisers, stuntmen, and pilots, over 100 personnel were directly involved in the production aspects of the film.[6] AH-64 Apache, UH-60 Blackhawk, AH-1 Cobra, MD Helicopters MD 500 and OH-58 Kiowa rotorcraft, as well as Saab 35 Draken aircraft were employed during filming. Technical assistance from McDonnell Douglas service representatives was also utilized during production.[6] The helicopter training aerial stunt sequences were designed by Richard T. Stevens who also coordinated visuals for the film, Top Gun.[7] Scenes from the movie, also features as static shots from MicroProse Gunship 2000computer game.

Soundtrack

The original motion picture soundtrack for Fire Birds, composed and conducted by David Newman, was not officially released to the public when the movie was released, however Intrada has released a special collection of the soundtrack.[8]

Reception

Critical Response

Among mainstream critics in the U.S., the film received mostly negative reviews. Rotten Tomatoes reported that 10% of 21 sampled critics gave the film a positive review, with an average score of 3 out of 10.[9]

Hal Hinson, writing in The Washington Post said, “Fire Birds is a primitive dogfight movie, with Nicolas Cage and Sean Young as its stars, that serves as a kind of extended commercial for the U.S. Army and its AH-64 Gunship helicopter”. He bluntly noted that “it would be hard to reduce filmmaking to its basics more than Fire Birds does. It’s more video game than motion picture – the first coin-operated movie.”[10] Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times offered a negative review; commenting: “It was tempting to say that I might have liked this movie more if I’d never seen Top Gun; but the fact is, if Top Gun had never been made, Fire Birds would still have seemed like a completely ordinary movie.” He continued, “the aerial sequences in Top Gun are so superior to the confusing helicopter battles in this film, there’s no contest there”. He concluded: “I was really left unmoved by it.”[11] In the Deseret News, critic Chris Hicks wrote that the film’s “predictability isn’t the worst of Fire Birds’ problems. The dialogue is so hokey you’ll have a hard time not laughing out loud. Did I say dialogue? Make that pontificating soundbites.” He further expanded on his viewpoint saying, “the most obnoxious aspect of Fire Birds, however, is how everybody tells Cage’s character how wonderful he is at every opportunity — including Cage himself, who has a big scene in a chopper simulator where he screams “I am the greatest!” after every target he hits.”[12]

“the movie plays as if it had been patched together between midnight and 3 A.M. One might go along with the suggestion that the Arizona desert and the Catamarca Desert, South America, look alike, but would they really have the exact same rocks?”
—Vincent Canby, writing in The New York Times[7]

Vincent Canby writing in The New York Times saw the film as having “many laughs, all of them unintentional” while pointing out that actor Cage “plays the sort of B-picture role that might once have suited William Gargan. Unlike Mr. Gargan, though, Mr. Cage insists on acting. Mr. Cage simply won’t quit. He never listens to or sees anybody else in a scene, being too busy monitoring his own utterly mysterious, attention-getting responses.” He did though compliment Jones and Young on their performances saying, “Mr. Jones and Miss Young are somewhat better. He has a secure, cool manner that registers well on the screen, and she can seem to be intelligent”.[7] The Variety Staff, felt Fire Birds had a “tongue-in-cheek aspect” and that “Camaraderie and rat-a-tat-tat dialog may have started out as fun a la Howard Hawks’ classic Only Angels Have Wings but emerges at times as a satire of the genre.” On Jones’s performance, they noticed how he was “dead-on as the taskmaster instructor who cornily singles out Cage for rough treatment”.[13] Film critic Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune gave the film a thumbs down review gruffly saying, “this movie had nothing to do with the drug wars at all” and that “they could have been having a competition for the olympics”. In reference to the drug wars, he openly wondered–why couldn’t the movie have been “written at that hard level?”[11] Similarly, Owen Gleibermanwriting for Entertainment Weekly viewed Fire Birds as “a third-rate knockoff of Top Gun and Blue Thunder“. Not impressed with the overall acting, he noted how Cage gave “a dull, one-note performance.” He did however, reserve praise for the stunts and visuals in the film saying, “the climactic air battle is well staged, though without the edge-of-the-envelope dread that made theTop Gun dogfights genuinely thrilling.” But in summing up his overall negativity for the movie, he expressed his dissatisfaction by lamenting, “the film practically pats itself on the back for featuring villains that have been in the news recently. Yet, with the exception of one anonymous enemy pilot, we never even get to see the bad guys. And so it’s hard to work up much enthusiasm for their destruction.”[14] Film critic Leonard Maltin‘s review was similar: “…Standard military issue with a ruptured-duck script and a complete lack of romantic chemistry between professional rivals Cage and Young. Jones doesn’t exactly evoke memories of Gregory Peck in Twelve O’Clock High when he pep-talks Cage into a ‘full-tilt boogie for freedom and justice’.”[15]

Box office

Fire Birds premiered in cinemas on May 25, 1990 in wide release throughout the U.S.. During its opening weekend, the film opened in a distant 5th place and grossed $6,358,761 in business showing at 2,006 theaters.[16] The film Back to the Future Part III opened in first place with $23,703,060.[17] The film’s revenue dropped by 58.9% in its second week of release, earning $2,611,812. For that particular weekend, the film fell one spot to 6th place still showing in 2,006 theaters. The film Total Recall, unseated Back to the Future Part III to open in first place.[18][19]For its final weekend in release, the film opened in 8th place showing at 1,539 theaters grossing $1,246,590 in box office business. The film went on to top out domestically at $14,760,451 in total ticket sales through an 3-week theatrical run.[1] For 1990 as a whole, the film would cumulatively rank at a box office performance position of 83.[1]

Home media

Following its cinematic release in theaters, the film was released in VHS video format on September 26, 1990.[20] The Region 1 Code widescreen edition of the film was released on DVD in the United States on February 3, 2004. Special features for the DVD include, a closed captioned French language track, Dolby Digital Surround Sound, and a Widescreen (1.85:1) enhanced feature for 16×9 televisions.[21] The film was released on Blu-ray by Mill Creek Entertainment on July 7, 2015.

References

Notes

  1. ^ Jump up to:a b c “Fire Birds”. Box Office Mojo. Retrieved: July 18, 2015.
  2. Jump up^ Liner notes, Fire Birds soundtrack album, Intrada RecordsSpecial Collection No. 241
  3. Jump up^ Pym, John. “Review: Firebirds” (aka Wings of the Apache).” TimeOut London. Retrieved: July 18, 2015.
  4. Jump up^ http://www.hood.army.mil/21cav/
  5. Jump up^ Green, David (Director). Fire Birds [Motion picture]. Hollywood, California: Touchstone Pictures, 1990.
  6. ^ Jump up to:a b c “Fire Birds.” Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved: July 18, 2015.
  7. ^ Jump up to:a b c Canby, Vincent. “Mpvie Review: ‘Fire Birds’ (1990).”The New York Times, May 25, 1990. Retrieved: July 18, 2015.
  8. Jump up^ Special collection of the soundtrack for ‘Fire Birds’.”intrada.com. Retrieved: July 18, 2015.
  9. Jump up^ “Review: ‘Fire Birds’ (1990).” Rotten Tomatoes. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved: July 18, 2015.
  10. Jump up^ Hinson, Hal. “Review: ‘Fire Birds’.” The Washington Post, May 25, 1990. Retrieved: July 18, 2015.
  11. ^ Jump up to:a b Siskel, Gene and Roger Ebert. “Review: ‘Fire Birds’.” At the Movies, May 25, 1990. Retrieved: July 18, 2015.
  12. Jump up^ Hicks, Chris. “Review: ‘Fire Birds’.” Deseret News, June 1, 1990. Retrieved: July 18, 2015.
  13. Jump up^ Variety Staff. “Review: ‘Fire Birds’.”. Variety, January 1, 1990. Retrieved: July 18, 2015.
  14. Jump up^ Gleiberman, Owen. “Review: ‘Fire Birds’ (1990).”Entertainment Weekly, June 1, 1990. Retrieved: July 18, 2015.
  15. Jump up^ Maltin 2009, p. 456.
  16. Jump up^ “The Top Movies, Weekend of May 25, 1990.” The Numbers. Retrieved: July 18, 2015.
  17. Jump up^ “Weekend Box Office Results for May 25–28, 1990.” Box Office Mojo. Retrieved: July 18, 2015.
  18. Jump up^ “Weekend Box Office Results for June 1–3, 1990.” Box Office Mojo. Retrieved: July 18, 2015.
  19. Jump up^ “The Top Movies, Weekend of June 1, 1990.” The Numbers. Retrieved: July 18, 2015.
  20. Jump up^ “Fire Birds VHS Format.” Amazon.com. Retrieved: July 18, 2015.
  21. Jump up^ “Fire Birds: On DVD.” MSN Movies.. Retrieved: July 18, 2015.

Bibliography

  • Maltin, Leonard. Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide 2009. New York: New American Library, 2009 (originally published as TV Movies, then Leonard Maltin’s Movie & Video Guide), First edition 1969, published annually since 1988. ISBN 978-0-451-22468-2.

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_Birds

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Self-Driving Technology Proves Fatal With Tesla Crash — No Consistent Sustainable Profits Ever — High Stock Prices Promoted By Wall Street Investment Bankers– Tesla Is Speculation Not An Investment — Drivers and Investors or Buyers Beware! — Videos

Posted on July 2, 2016. Filed under: American History, Articles, Autos, Blogroll, Business, Climate, Culture, Economics, Education, Energy, Entertainment, Environment, Faith, Freedom, Friends, government spending, history, Inflation, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Investments, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, Natural Gas, Natural Gas, Newspapers, Nuclear Power, Oil, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Press, Radio, Rants, Raves, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Resources, Reviews, Television, Transportation, Unemployment, Video, Wealth, Wisdom, Work, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

Tesla Driver Killed In Crash with Autopilot System Driving

Tesla Autopilot death highlights autonomous risks

Tesla Crash Could Hurt Sentiment On Driverless Cars

Tesla’s Autopilot System Is Creepy And Wonderful

A Real-Time Commute on Autopilot

Tesla Model S – Official Walkthrough HD

2014 Tesla Model S vs 2014 Mercedes-Benz S550! – Head 2 Head Ep. 54

Why A Tesla Acquisition Of SolarCity Makes Sense – All stock deal valued at $2.8 billion

How a Tesla SolarCity buy would impact investors

Tesla – Solar City Deal. How will this Impact Investors?

Tesla’s Solar City Bail-In

Scum and Scummer. Let’s take a look at Goldman Sachs (GS) and Tesla (TSLA) (May 18, 2016)

Investment banks struggle, Tesla’s mass-market model | FirstFT

Tesla Tumbles on Goldman Skepticism

Is Tesla Getting a Boost from Goldman Sachs?

Tesla Wants to Buy SolarCity for $2.9B. Does a Deal Make Sense?

Tesla’s Solar City acquisition conference call w/ Elon Musk [Full]

Elon Musk Explains Tesla Acquisition of SolarCity | Partial

Tesla and Solar City Merger – How To Profit With Powur And The Potential Tesla Solar City Merger

Tesla Cars: A Loss Leader for Innovation?

Tesla: No Profit Until 2020?

Tesla’s Earnings Miss the Mark: What Happened?

Elon Musk says Profits from Tesla are mostly re-invested

Tesla motor hacked!

Why Tesla’s Stock Is Heading to $200: James

Jim Chanos: Tesla Is an Overpriced Car Company

Elon Musk defends Tesla for not being profitable (2012.11.13)

Tesla Motors Model S: Part 33 of Many! Problems Resolved

Tesla Motors Model S: Part 17 of Many! ISSUES! PROBLEMS!

Tesla Motors Model S: BATTERY FAILURE!!! TESLARATI.com

Tesla Motors Model S — Dead 12v Battery — What to do to get back up and running (Roadside Service)

How the Tesla Model S is Made | Tesla Motors Part 1 (WIRED)

[yotuube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_lfxPI5ObM]

How Tesla Builds Electric Cars | Tesla Motors Part 2 (WIRED)

Electric Car Quality Tests | Tesla Motors Part 3 (WIRED)

Fatal Telsa crash shows limits of self-driving technology

 DEE-ANN DURBIN

The U.S. government is investigating the first reported death of a driver whose car was in self-driving mode when he crashed. Joshua D. Brown, 40, died May 7 when his Tesla Model S, which was operating on “autopilot,” failed to activate its brakes and hit a truck in Florida.

The crash raises questions about autonomous and semi-autonomous cars, their capabilities and their limits. Here are answers to some of those questions:

___

Q: ARE THERE SELF-DRIVING CARS ON U.S. STREETS RIGHT NOW?

A: Yes, but in limited numbers. Various companies, including Google, Ford and Uber, have test fleets of autonomous cars running in specific areas, including Mountain View, California, and Austin, Texas. Right now, those vehicles always have a steering wheel, brakes and a driver ready to take over in case of a problem, but prototype cars without steering wheels are also being developed.

___

Q: HOW DO THEY WORK?

A: A network of cameras, radars and lasers feeds information to the car’s computers, helping to fill in the gaps in the GPS system, which knows how to get the car from point to point. Cameras let the car see what’s around it, while radar senses things in the dark or in inclement weather. Lasers constantly scan the road and give a three-dimensional picture of what’s going on.

___

Q: ARE THERE LAWS ALLOWING SELF-DRIVING CARS?

A: Right now, it’s a patchwork. Eight states — including Nevada, Michigan, Florida and Tennessee — and Washington D.C. have laws allowing autonomous vehicles. Other states have legislation in the works. Later this summer, the federal government is expected to release guidelines for the safe deployment of autonomous vehicles.

___

Q: WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF SELF-DRIVING CARS?

A: Self-driving cars have the potential to save lives by anticipating accidents before they happen. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said Friday that 90 percent of car accidents are caused by human error, and distracted or drowsy driving accounts for some 13 percent of those crashes. The accidents cost about $870 billion a year globally.

___

Q: CAN I BUY A SELF-DRIVING CAR?

A: No. A few automakers offer cars and SUVs with semi-autonomous modes that can perform some functions without help from the driver, including maintaining a set speed, braking, changing lanes and even parallel parking. Semi-autonomous features can be found on high-end vehicles from Tesla, Mercedes-Benz, Infiniti and Volvo. Some lower-priced models have them, too. Toyota, for example, plans to make automatic emergency braking standard on its vehicles by 2017, ahead of a self-imposed deadline of 2022 that most automakers have agreed to.

___

Q: WHEN WILL COMPLETELY SELF-DRIVING CARS BE AVAILABLE TO CONSUMERS?

A: That’s not yet clear. Volvo plans a large-scale test of driverless cars in Sweden next year. Google wants to make cars available to the public around the end of 2019. BMW, Intel and Israel’s Mobileye have teamed up to roll out the cars by 2021.

IHS Automotive, a consulting firm, predicts that the U.S. will see the earliest deployment of autonomous vehicles, with several thousand on the road by 2020. That number will rise to 4.5 million vehicles by 2035, IHS says. But even if the vehicles are on the road, they might not be in your garage. The earliest self-driving cars might be on-demand taxis, employee shuttles or other shared vehicles.

___

Q: WHAT ARE THE TECHNICAL CHALLENGES TO GETTING AUTONOMOUS CARS ON THE ROAD?

A: Driverless cars need detailed maps to follow, and companies are still mapping roads. They also can have trouble staying within lanes in heavy rain or snow. And, as the Tesla crash showed, there will always be scenarios that driverless cars can’t foresee or navigate correctly. Brown’s car didn’t see an oncoming tractor-trailer because it was white against a brightly lit sky. Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the car’s radar is also designed to tune out what looks like overhead signs to prevent false braking.

___

Q: HOW COULD THE TESLA AUTOPILOT NOT SEE SOMETHING AS LARGE AS A TRACTOR-TRAILER?

A: Raj Rajkumar, a computer engineering professor at Carnegie Mellon University who leads its autonomous vehicle research, said computers can’t be programmed to handle every situation. But Tesla may need to adjust its radar, he said.

Tesla would not comment directly on the radar and computer programs, but the company issued a statement saying that it continually advances its software by analyzing hundreds of millions of miles of driving data. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is looking at the design and performance of Tesla’s system as part of its investigation.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/fatal-telsa-crash-shows-limits-185423753.html

Tesla has plenty of customers, but still no profit

Tesla is a hot mess—there is no path to profitability

Michael Pento, president of Pento Portfolio Strategies

Tuesday, 3 May 2016 | 1:55 PM ET

Tesla shares got a little pop in after-hours trading Wednesday after the electric car maker delivered an earnings report in line with expectations and an optimistic outlook.

But I think the stock’s run is already over.

The primary reason? Profitability.

Elon Musk

Getty Images
Elon Musk

Tesla stock soared for a few months starting in February following news that pre-orders for the electric-car maker’s Model 3, with a price tag of $35,000, were approaching 400,000 units.

But, as well-known short seller Jim Chanos so perfectly put it in an interview with CNBC: “We have all kinds of questions on the profitability of the business.”

First, the Model 3. This was Tesla’s play for an “affordable” electric car but it appears to be affordable for everyone EXCEPT Tesla.

Tesla loses more than $4,000 on each of its high-end Model S electric sedans; and that model’s cost is between $70 and $108k. With margins like that, one has to assume a $35k Model 3 can’t be the answer to solving Tesla’s red ink.

Tesla’s income statement reveals the company is hemorrhaging cash at a robust clip. Furthermore, according to TheStreet Ratings, they have a net profit margin of -26.38 percent and a quick ratio of 0.49, which means they have 49 cents in available cash to pay every $1 of current liabilities.

Worse than its lousy earnings and cash flow, Tesla is grossly overvalued compared to its peers. Tesla’s market cap is more than $30 billion, compared to Fiat Chrysler at around $10 billion and Ferrari at around $8 billion. Being valued at 3x more than FCAU — an established and profitable company — looks especially absurd when considering FCAU produces annual sales of over $130 billion, while Tesla produces revenue of only $4 billion.

Furthermore, Tesla’s market cap is nearly two-thirds of General Motors‘ market cap. This is despite the fact that General Motors has a history of selling 10 million cars at a profit each year and Tesla sold less than 100,000 cars last year at a loss. They would have to sell 6.6 million cars this year to justify its current valuation. With less than 400,000 cars on pre-order that doesn’t appear likely anytime soon.

In a February interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box, Former GM executive Bob Lutz noted that, “[TSLA] costs have always been higher than their revenue…They always have to get more capital. Then they burn through it.”

First, he pointed out that, on the back of falling oil prices, demand for electric vehicles (EVs) is slowing. Second, there is growing competition that will cut into Tesla’s margins as prices for EVs fall. Tesla has a lot of competition over the next few years. The industry is already awaiting the Apple car with bated breath that is set to launch in four years. And GM’s Chevy Bolt is similarly priced with a similar range and is set to come out this year. And then we have the Nissan Leaf expected to more competitive in the coming months and years. And add to that first generation vehicles like the BMW i3.

And in China, they have the EV Company LeEco, which recently unveiled its very first electric car that includes self-driving and self-parking capability using voice commands via a mobile app. Besides LeEco, there is another Chinese EV auto maker that sold more electric cars last year than Tesla, Nissan or GM, it’s called BYD Co. and is now targeting the U.S. market.

Lutz believes that competition from industry heavyweights like these could “kill” Tesla in the future.

“The major OEMs like GM, Ford, Toyota, Volkswagen, etc … they have to build electric cars, a certain number, in order to satisfy the requirements in about half of the states. Those have to be jammed into the marketplace, otherwise they can no longer sell SUVs and full-size pickups and the stuff that they really make money on. So that is going to generically depress the prices of electric vehicles,” Lutz warned.

Lutz also explained that companies such as General Motors will not be making any money on their “Tesla killer.” They are making these vehicles to appease Washington.

“The majors are going to accept the losses on the electric vehicles as a necessary cost of doing business in order to sell the big gasoline stuff that people really want. Well, Tesla does not have that option,” Lutz said.

But Musk has a strategy for driving down the cost of his electric car that hinges on achieving economies of scale, bringing down the production cost of the battery pack by 30 percent. This hinges on the success of their future Nevada home called the “Gigafactory.”

The Gigafactory is a one-stop shopping in battery-pack production. The company currently buys battery packs through a deal with Panasonicand has partnered with Panasonic in this venture. Production volume at the Gigafactory is anticipated to be the equivalent of over 30 gigawatt-hours per year; this would mean the Gigafactory would produce more storage than all the lithium battery factories in the world combined. The $5 billion dollar plant is as big as the Pentagon Tesla, and Tesla is hoping to produce 500,000 lithium ion batteries annually.

Musk recently laid out his Energy-branded battery ambition in rock star glory. At the event spectacle, Musk declared that his batteries would someday render the world’s energy grid obsolete. “We are talking about trying to change the fundamental energy infrastructure of the world,” he said.

Musk envisions his affordable, clean energy will one day power the remote villages of underdeveloped countries as well as allowing the average homeowner in industrial nations to go off the grid.

But before you sever your ties with your electrical company, it’s worth noting that not everyone thinks Musk’s plans are achievable – at least not in the time frame he envisions.

Panasonic, the supplier of the lithium-ion cells that form the foundation of Tesla’s batteries, and partner on the company’s forthcoming battery factory — calls Musk’s claims a lot of hyperbole.

“We are at the very beginning in energy storage in general,” said Phil Hermann, chief energy engineer at Panasonic Eco Solutions. “Most of the projects currently going on are either demo projects or learning experiences for the utilities. There is very little direct commercial stuff going on. Elon Musk is out there saying you can do things now that the rest of us are hearing and going, ‘really?’ We wish we could, but it’s not really possible yet.”

And far from the grand stage with little fanfare buried in their November 10Q Tesla also sought to tamper investor’s expectations: “Given the size and complexity of this undertaking, the cost of building and operating the Gigafactory could exceed our current expectations, we may have difficulty signing up additional partners, and the Gigafactory may take longer to bring online than we anticipate.”

With a company saddled with debt and cash-strapped, who is going to shoulder the burden of a delay in the Gigafactory realizing its full potential? That would be shareholders through stock dilution or the American tax payer – but most likely a combination of both. There are those who believe that Musk’s real genius is in following government subsidies.

Tesla’s model relies strongly on a “green” administration. According to the Los Angeles Times, all of Musk’s ventures: Tesla Motors, SolarCityand Space Exploration Technologies, known as SpaceX, together have benefited from an estimated $4.9 billion in government support. The figure underscores a common theme running through his emerging empire: a public-private financing model underpinning long-shot start-ups.

The promise is that the Tesla stockholders and the tax subsidizing public will greatly benefit from major pollution reductions as electric cars break through as viable alternative and gain access to mass-market production.

And frankly, I’m not convinced that electric cars are even good for the environment. First, it’s important to note that at this time, these cars don’t power themselves — they are plugged into an outlet in your garage that connects to an electric power plant. Second, there are a lot of environmental questions about the lithium battery itself. In a 2012 study titled “Science for Environment Policy” published by the European Union, a comparison was made of the lithium ion batteries to other types of batteries available such as; lead-acid, nickel-cadmium, nickel-metal-hydride and sodium Sulphur. They concluded that the lithium ion batteries have the largest impact on metal depletion, making recycling more complicated.

Musk may be a genius and a visionary but the truth is that Tesla has an unproven business model and a stock that is massively overpriced. Even if some year in the distant future there exists the charging infrastructure and pricing available to make electric vehicles conducive to supplant the internal combustion engine, Tesla faces an onslaught of competition that will most likely drive its profit margins further into the red for years to come.

So, as far as I’m concerned, the stock is not a buy — no matter what earnings say. The math just doesn’t add up.

Commentary by Michael Pento, the president and founder of Pento Portfolio Strategies and author of the book “The Coming Bond Market Collapse.” His weekly podcast is “The Mid-week Reality Check.”

Disclosure: Neither Michael Pento nor the firm own any positions in Tesla stock. However, several Pento clients own puts on Tesla.

http://www.cnbc.com/2016/05/03/tesla-stock-is-not-a-buy-no-matter-what-earnings-say-commentary.html

 

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

First The CIA Director Now The State Department Contradict Obama’s Islamic State, Syria and Iraq Policies — The Hillary Clinton Support Network Of Lying Lunatic Leftists Throws Obama Under The Bus — Work Place Violence — Hate Crime — Terrorist Act — Radical Islam — Radical Islamic Terrorist — Radical Islamic Terrorist Jihadists — Face Reality and Stopping Lying Obama — Radical Islamists Are A Majority of The World’s 1,600+ Million Muslims And Want Sharia Law — Ban All Radical Islamists From United States Permanently — Videos

Posted on July 2, 2016. Filed under: American History, Ammunition, Articles, Blogroll, Books, British History, Business, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), College, Communications, Computers, Congress, Constitution, Corruption, Crime, Crisis, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Demographics, Diasters, Documentary, Drones, Drug Cartels, Economics, Education, Elections, Employment, European History, External Hard Drives, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, Foreign Policy, Freedom, Friends, government, history, Homicide, Illegal, Immigration, Islam, Islam, Language, Law, Legal, liberty, Life, Links, media, Middle East, Missiles, National Security Agency (NSA), National Security Agency (NSA_, Newspapers, Nuclear Proliferation, People, Philosophy, Photos, Pistols, Police, Political Correctness, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Press, Radio, Radio, Raves, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulations, Religion, Religious, Religious, Resources, Rifles, Security, Shite, Speech, Spying, Strategy, Sunni, Talk Radio, Television, Trade, Unemployment, Union, Unions, Video, War, Wealth, Weapons, Welfare, Wisdom, Work, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Project_1

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 701: June 17, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 700: June 16, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 699: June 15, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 698: June 14, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 697: June 13, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 696: June 10, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 695: June 9, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 694: June 8, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 693: June 6, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 692: June 3, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 691: June 2, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 690: June 1, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 689: May 31, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 688: May 27, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 687: May 26, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 686: May 25, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 685: May 24, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 684: May 23, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 683: May 20, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 682: May 19, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 681: May 17, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 680: May 16, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 679: May 13, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 678: May 12, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 677: May 11, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 676: May 10, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 675: May 9, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 674: May 6, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 673: May 5, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 672: May 4, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 671: May 3, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 670: May 2, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 669: April 29, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 668: April 28, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 667: April 27, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 666: April 26, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 665: April 25, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 664: April 24, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 663: April 21, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 662: April 20, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 661: April 19, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 660: April 18, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 659: April 15, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 658: April 14, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 657: April 13, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 656: April 12, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 655: April 11, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 654: April 8, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 653: April 7, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 652: April 6, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 651: April 4, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 650: April 1, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 649: March 31, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 648: March 30, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 647: March 29, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 646: March 28, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 645: March 24, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 644: March 23, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 643: March 22, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 642: March 21, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 641: March 11, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 640: March 10, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 639: March 9, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 638: March 8, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 637: March 7, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 636: March 4, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 635: March 3, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 634: March 2, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 633: March 1, 2016

Story 1: First The CIA Director Now The State Department Contradict Obama’s Islamic State, Syria and Iraq Policies — The Hillary Clinton Support Network Of Lying Lunatic Leftists Throws Obama Under The Bus — Work Place Violence — Hate Crime — Terrorist Act — Radical Islam — Radical Islamic Terrorist — Radical Islamic Terrorist Jihadists — Face Reality and Stopping Lying Obama — Radical Islamists Are A Majority of The World’s 1,600+ Million Muslims And Want Sharia Law — Ban All Radical Islamists From United States Permanently — Videos

Radical Islam: The Most Dangerous Ideology

What ISIS Wants

The rise of ISIS, explained in 6 minutes

The Basics of Islam 8: Robert Spencer on The Meaning of the Word “Jihad”

Robert Spencer Moment: Trump Was Right.

Robert Spencer on Hannity on the Orlando jihad massacre

The Basics of Islam 1: Robert Spencer on “Islamophobia”

What Does Jihad Really Mean? | For the Record

CIA Director Grave Warning: ISLAMIC STATE Dangerous As Ever

Gorka: CIA director no longer spreading Obama’s narrative

CIA CHIEF CONTRADICTS PRESIDENT OBAMA ON ISIS

Robert Spencer speaks on the Syrian refugee crisis and the Islamic idea of hijrah

State Department diplomats slam Obama’s Syria policy

Diplomats slam Obama’s Syria policy

Dozens of State Department officials just revolted against Obama’s Syria policy

How will Trump react to the diplomats’ memo on Syrian war?

Syria’s war: Who is fighting and why

The war in Syria explained in five minutes | Guardian Animations

State Department dissent memo critical of Obama policy on Syria and Assad

State Department Demands Policy Shift In Syria | MSNBC

DHS Whistleblower Phil Haney exposes Obama administration during Press Conference

DHS Whistleblower Exposes Government’s Submission To Jihad (FULL Press Conference)

Government Insider BLOWS WHISTLE on Obama’s ‘Countering Violent Extremism’ Policy

State Dept Under Fire For Including Syria In Top Foreign Policy Moments – America’s Newsroom

Ben Shapiro: The Myth of the Tiny Radical Muslim Minority

Obama gives speech in Orlando

Obama goes on tirade against Trump over ‘dangerous’ Muslim ban, ‘radical Islam’

Obama on ‘Radical Islam’

Speech by President Barack Obama After Counter-ISIL Meeting

President Obama On Orlando Shooting

Top Ex-CIA Agent Has ‘Chilling Warning’ About Obama’s Plans for Islamic State!

CIA Director on Islamic State

CIA Director John Brennan on ISIS and Global Threats at CSIS

CIA Chief Warns Islamic State Isn’t Finished Yet

CIA’S Brennan: Islamic State’s Momentum Blunted in Syria, Iraq

Shariamerica: Islam, Obama, and the Establishment Clause

Full Event: Donald Trump Rally in Dallas, TX (6-16-16)

 

An ’embarrassing’ break: Dozens of State Department officials just revolted against Obama’s Syria policy

 

At least 51 “mid-to-high-level State Department officials” have signed a dissent channel cable breaking with President Barack Obama’s policy on Syria and calling for US airstrikes on the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The cable was provided to several news outlets on Thursday, including The New York Timesand The Wall Street Journal.

“Failure to stem Assad’s flagrant abuses will only bolster the ideological appeal of groups such as Daesh, even as they endure tactical setbacks on the battlefield,” the cable reads, according to The Journal.

Daesh is an alternate name for ISIS, aka the Islamic State or ISIL.

“We are aware of a dissent channel cable written by a group of State Department employees regarding the situation in Syria,” State Department spokesman John Kirby told The Wall Street Journal.

“We are reviewing the cable now, which came up very recently, and I am not going to comment on the contents,” he said.

The officials who signed the document “range from a Syria desk officer in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs to a former deputy to the American ambassador in Damascus,” and have all been involved in formulating or carrying out the administration’s Syria policy.

That policy has largely emphasized defeating the Islamic State over bolstering Syria’s anti-Assad rebel groups.

According to the American Foreign Service Association, the dissent channel is “a serious policy channel reserved only for consideration of responsible dissenting and alternative views on substantive foreign policy issues that cannot be communicated in a full and timely manner through regular operating channels and procedures.”

It is available to all “regular or re-employed annuitant employees” of the State Department and the US Agency for International Development.

The number of officials – at least 50 – who have signed the internal document calling for military action against Assad is unusual, a former State Department official who worked on Middle East policy told The Journal.

“It’s embarrassing for the administration to have so many rank-and-file members break on Syria,” they said.

Fighters of the Syria Democratic Forces (SDF) sit in a look out position in the western rural area of Manbij, in Aleppo Governorate, Syria, June 13, 2016. REUTERS/Rodi SaidFighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces sit in a lookout position in the western rural area of Manbij. Thomson Reuters

The cable calls for the Obama administration to place more emphasis on defeating Assad – whose brutality is seen by many experts as the driver of Syria’s jihadist problem – by arming and regaining the trust of Syria’s moderate opposition.

That, in turn, will “turn the tide of the conflict against the regime [to] increase the chances for peace by sending a clear signal to the regime and its backers that there will be no military solution to the conflict,” the cable reportedly says.

The CIA-backed factions of the Free Syrian Army – the majority of which are Arab and battling forces loyal to Assad – have at times clashed with Pentagon-trained fighters associated with the Syrian Democratic Forces, who are predominantly Kurdish and focused on defeating the Islamic State.

Their divergent military objectives and ethnicities have bred mistrust and fighting that is ultimately counterproductive to the cause of the revolution.

Several high-ranking government officials, moreover – including Robert S. Ford, a former ambassador to Syria, and Obama’s former defense secretary, Chuck Hagel – have left their positions over Obama’s failure to act decisively against Assad, whose brutality continues to fuel a bloody revolution that has left over 400,000 people dead and millions displaced.

“Many people working on Syria for the State Department have long urged a tougher policy with the Assad government as a means of facilitating arrival at a negotiated political deal to set up a new Syrian government,” Ford told The New York Times on Thursday.

Free Syrian Army IdlibProtesters carry Free Syrian Army flags and chant slogans during an antigovernment protest in the town of Marat Numan in Idlib Province, Syria, on March 4. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

“The moral rationale for taking steps to end the deaths and suffering in Syria, after five years of brutal war, is evident and unquestionable,” the cable said. ” The status quo in Syria will continue to present increasingly dire, if not disastrous, humanitarian, diplomatic and terrorism-related challenges.”

Assad crossed Obama’s now infamous “red line” for airstrikes in 2013, when he used chemical weapons to kill more than 1,000 people in the eastern Damascus suburb of Ghouta. Obama backed away from that red line when Assad agreed to a Russia-brokered deal to destroy his chemical-weapons stockpile.

Some experts say, however, that the entire stockpile has not been destroyed as promised.

The administration insists that it has maintained throughout the nearly five-year civil war that Assad “must go.” But that stance has been muddled as the administration continues to soften its position on Assad’s future.

“The US’ Syria policy has always been in the head of one man, and one man only: Barack Obama. No one else has ever really had a say in what happens in Syria,” Tony Badran, a Middle East expert and researcher at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told Business Insiderin a previous interview.

“Obama has owned it since day one – and from day one, he never intended to remove Assad,” he said.

The cable addresses Russia’s bombing campaign in Syria as well, asserting that Moscow and Assad have not taken past ceasefires and “consequential negotiations” seriously.

Russia entered the war in late September 2015 on behalf of Assad under the guise of fighting ISIS. Russian warplanes have primarily targeted non-jihadist, anti-Assad rebel groups, however, many of which are backed by the US, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia.

Government warplanes bombarded the besieged Syrian town of Darayya with barrel bombs last weekend, shortly after food aid was delivered to the town for the first time in nearly four years.

http://www.businessinsider.com/state-department-officials-call-for-airstrikes-on-assad-2016-6

Chart: Obama Admin. On Pace to Issue One Million Green Cards to Migrants from Majority-Muslim Countries

The Obama Administration is on pace to issue more than a million green cards to migrants from majority-Muslim countries, according to an analysis of Department of Homeland Security data.

A chart released by the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest Friday details the surge in immigration to the U.S. from majority-Muslim countries since President Barack Obama took office in 2009.

Specifically, in the first six fiscal years of Obama’s presidency (FY2009 – FY2014), his administration issued 832,014 green cards to migrants majority-Muslim countries, the most of which were issued to migrants from Pakistan (102,000), Iraq (102,000), Bangladesh (90,000), Iran (85,000), Egypt (56,000), and Somalia (37,000).

The total 832,014 new permanent residents do not include migrants on temporary, nonimmigrant visas — which allow foreign nationals to come to the U.S. temporarily for work, study, tourism and the like. As the subcommittee notes, the number also does not include those migrants who overstayed the terms of their visas.

Obama Admin On Track To Issue 1M GCs (1)

Regardless, as the subcommittee explained in its analysis, the U.S. is playing host to immigrants from majority Muslim countries at an increasing pace.

Between FY 2013 and FY 2014, the number of green cards issued to migrants from Muslim-majority countries increased dramatically – from 117,423 in FY 2013, to 148,810 in FY 2014, a nearly 27 percent increase. Throughout the Obama Administration’s tenure, the United States has issued green cards to an average of 138,669 migrants from Muslim-majority countries per year, meaning that it is nearly certain the United States will have issued green cards to at least 1.1 million migrants from Muslim-majority countries on the President’s watch. It has also been reported that migration from Muslim-majority countries represents the fastest growing class of migrants.

Green cards, or Lawful Permanent Residency, puts immigrants on the path to citizenship and allows for lifetime residency, federal benefits, and work authorization. Included in the totals are refugees, who are required to apply for a green card after one year of residency in the U.S. Unlike other types of immigrants, refugees are immediately eligible for welfare benefits including Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), food stamps, and Medicaid.

A report from the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) indicated that in FY 2013, 91.4 percent of Middle Eastern refugees (accepted to the U.S. between 2008-2013) received food stamps, 73.1 percent were on Medicaid or Refugee Medical Assistance and 68.3 percent were on cash welfare.

Green Card Totals, FY09-FY14:

Pakistan (102K), Iraq (102K), Bangladesh (90K), Iran (85K), Egypt (56K), Somalia (37K), Uzbekistan (30K), Turkey (26K), Morocco (25K), Jordan (25K), Albania (24K), Afghanistan (21K), Lebanon (20K), Yemen (20K), Syria (18K), Indonesia (17K), Sudan (15K), Sierra Leone (12K), Guinea (9K), Senegal (8K), Saudi Arabia (9K), Algeria (8K), Kazakhstan (8K), Kuwait (6K), Gambia (6K), United Arab Emirates (5K), Azerbaijan (4K), Mali (4K), Burkina Faso (3K), Kyrgyzstan (3K), Kosovo (3K), Mauritania (3K), Tunisia (2K), Tajikistan (2K), Libya (2K), Turkmenistan (1K), Qatar (1K), Chad (1K)

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/06/17/obama-admin-pace-issue-one-million-green-cards-migrants-majority-muslim-countries/

51% of U.S. Muslims want Sharia; 60% of young Muslims more loyal to Islam than to U.S.

Really, what did you expect? A considerable portion of U.S. domestic and foreign policy is based on the assumption that Islam in the U.S. will be different: that Muslims here believe differently from those elsewhere, and do not accept the doctrines of violence against and subjugation of unbelievers that have characterized Islam throughout its history. But on what is that assumption based? Nothing but wishful thinking. And future generations of non-Muslims will pay the price.

Muslims_Pray_Capitol

“Meanwhile, An Islamic Fifth Column Builds Inside America,” by Paul Sperry, IBD, October 1, 2015 (thanks to Pamela Geller)

In berating GOP presidential hopeful Ben Carson for suggesting a loyalty test for Muslims seeking high office, CNN host Jake Tapper maintained that he doesn’t know a single observant Muslim-American who wants to Islamize America.

“I just don’t know any Muslim-Americans — and I know plenty — who feel that way, even if they are observant Muslims,” he scowled.

Tapper doesn’t get out much. If he did, chances are he’d run into some of the 51% of Muslims living in the U.S. who just this June told Polling Co. they preferred having “the choice of being governed according to Shariah,” or Islamic law. Or the 60% of Muslim-Americans under 30 who told Pew Research they’re more loyal to Islam than America.

Maybe they’re all heretics, so let’s see what the enlightened Muslims think.

If Tapper did a little independent research he’d quickly find that America’s most respected Islamic leaders and scholars also want theocracy, not democracy, and even advocate trading the Constitution for the Quran.

These aren’t fringe players. These are the top officials representing the Muslim establishment in America today.

Hopefully none of them ever runs for president, because here’s what he’d have to say about the U.S. system of government:

• Muzammil Siddiqi, chairman of both the Fiqh Council of North America, which dispenses Islamic rulings, and the North American Islamic Trust, which owns most of the mosques in the U.S.: “As Muslims, we should participate in the system to safeguard our interests and try to bring gradual change, (but) we must not forget that Allah’s rules have to be established in all lands, and all our efforts should lead to that direction.”

• Omar Ahmad, co-founder of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the top Muslim lobby group in Washington: “Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Quran should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth.”

• CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper: “I wouldn’t want to create the impression that I wouldn’t like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future.”

• Imam Siraj Wahhaj, director of the Muslim Alliance in North America: “In time, this so-called democracy will crumble, and there will be nothing. And the only thing that will remain will be Islam.”

• Imam Zaid Shakir, co-founder of Zaytuna College in Berkeley, Calif.: “If we put a nationwide infrastructure in place and marshaled our resources, we’d take over this country in a very short time. . . . What a great victory it will be for Islam to have this country in the fold and ranks of the Muslims.”…

https://www.jihadwatch.org/2015/10/51-of-u-s-muslims-want-sharia-60-of-young-muslims-more-loyal-to-islam-than-to-u-s

John O. Brennan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
John O. Brennan
John Brennan CIA official portrait.jpg
Director of the Central Intelligence Agency
Assumed office
March 8, 2013
President Barack Obama
Deputy David Cohen
Preceded by Michael Morell(Acting)
5th United States Homeland Security Advisor
In office
January 20, 2009 – March 8, 2013
President Barack Obama
Preceded by Ken Wainstein
Succeeded by Lisa Monaco
Director of the National Counterterrorism Center
Acting
In office
August 27, 2004 – August 1, 2005
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by John Redd
Personal details
Born John Owen Brennan
September 22, 1955 (age 60)
Jersey City, New Jersey, U.S.
Spouse(s) Kathy Pokluda
Alma mater Fordham University
University of Texas, Austin

John Owen Brennan (born September 22, 1955)[1][2] is an American government official who is the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. He has served as chief counterterrorism advisor to U.S. President Barack Obama; his title was Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, and Assistant to the President.[1][3][4] His responsibilities included overseeing plans to protect the country from terrorism and respond to natural disasters, and he met with the President daily.[5][6]Previously, he advised President Obama on foreign policy and intelligence issues during the 2008 presidential campaign and transition.[7] Brennan withdrew his name from consideration for Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in the first Obama administration over concerns about his support for transferring terror suspects to countries where they may be tortured while serving under President George W. Bush.[3][5] Instead, Brennan was appointed Deputy National Security Advisor, a position which did not require Senate confirmation.[3][5][8]

Brennan’s 25 years with the CIA included work as a Near East and South Asia analyst, as station chief in Saudi Arabia, and as director of the National Counterterrorism Center.[3][5][9]After leaving government service in 2005, Brennan became CEO of The Analysis Corporation, a security consulting business, and served as chairman of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance, an association of intelligence professionals.[10]

President Barack Obama nominated Brennan as his next director of the CIA on January 7, 2013.[11][12][13] The ACLU called for the Senate not to proceed with the appointment until it confirms that “all of his conduct was within the law” at the CIA and White House.[14] John Brennan was approved by the Senate Intelligence Committee on March 5, 2013 to succeedDavid Petraeus as the Director of the CIA by a vote of 12 to 3.[15]

His term as CIA Director coincided with revelations that the U.S. government conducted massive levels of global surveillance, that the CIA had hacked into the computers of U.S. Senate employees, and the release of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture.

Early life and education

Brennan, the son of Irish immigrants from Roscommon, was raised in North Bergen, New Jersey.[9] He attended the Immaculate Heart of Mary Elementary School, and graduated from Saint Joseph of the Palisades High School in West New York, New Jersey before enrolling at Fordham University in New York City.[5]

While riding a bus to class at Fordham, he saw an ad in The New York Times that said the CIA was recruiting, and he felt a CIA career would be a good match for his “wanderlust” and his desire to do public service.[5] He received a B.A. in political science from Fordham in 1977.[3] His studies included a junior year abroad learning Arabic and taking Middle Eastern studies courses at the American University in Cairo.[3][5] He also received a Master of Arts in government with a concentration in Middle Eastern studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 1980.[5] He speaks Arabic fluently.[9]

Brennan is married to Kathy Pokluda Brennan, with whom he has had one son and two daughters.[2][3][16]

Career highlights

Brennan with Kathleen Sebeliusand Rahm Emanuel, White House, April 2009

Brennan began his CIA career as an analyst, presumably in the Washington D.C. area, and spent 25 years with the agency.[1][5][17] At one point in his career, he was a daily intelligence briefer for President Bill Clinton.[5] In 1996 he was CIA station chief in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia when the Khobar Towers bombing killed 19 U.S. servicemen.[5] In 1999 he was appointed chief of staff to George Tenet, then-Director of the CIA.[3][5] Brennan became deputy executive director of the CIA in March 2001.[3] He was director of the newly created Terrorist Threat Integration Center from 2003 to 2004, an office that sifted through and compiled information for President Bush’s daily top secret intelligence briefings and employed the services of analysts from a dozen U.S. agencies and entities.[18] One of the controversies in his career involves the distribution of intelligence to the Bush White House that helped lead to an “Orange Terror Alert“, over Christmas 2003. The intelligence, which purported to list terror targets, was highly controversial within the CIA and was later discredited. An Obama administration official does not dispute that Brennan distributed the intelligence during the Bush era but said Brennan passed it along because that was his job.[19] His last post within the Intelligence Community was as director of the National Counterterrorism Center in 2004 and 2005, which incorporated information on terrorist activities across U.S. agencies.[3][20]

Brennan then left government service for a few years, becoming Chairman of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA) and the CEO of The Analysis Corporation (TAC). He continued to lead TAC after its acquisition by Global Strategies Group in 2007 and its growth as the Global Intelligence Solutions division of Global’s North American technology business GTEC, before returning to government service with the Obama administration as Homeland Security Advisor on January 20, 2009.[10]

On January 7, 2013, Brennan was nominated by President Barack Obama to be director of the Central Intelligence Agency.[21]

Counterterrorism advisor to President Obama

In late 2008 Brennan was the reported choice for Director of the CIA in the incoming Obama administration. Brennan withdrew his name from consideration because of opposition to his CIA service under President George W. Bush and past public statements he had made in support of enhanced interrogation and the transfer of terrorism suspects to countries where they might be tortured (extraordinary rendition).[3][5][22] President Obama then appointed him to be his chief counterterrorism advisor, a position that did not require Senate confirmation.[3][5][8]

Brennan and President Barack Obama at a meeting of the Homeland Security Council, May 2009

In August 2009, Brennan criticized some Bush-administration anti-terror policies, saying that waterboarding had threatened national security by increasing the recruitment of terrorists and decreasing the willingness of other nations to cooperate with the U.S.[23] He also described the Obama administration’s focus as being on “extremists” and not “jihadists“. He said that using the second term, which means one who is struggling for a holy goal, gives “these murderers the religious legitimacy they desperately seek” and suggests the US is at war with the religion of Islam.[23]

In an early December 2009 interview with the Bergen Record Brennan remarked, “the U.S. intelligence and law enforcement communities have to bat 1.000 every day. The terrorists are trying to be successful just once”.[5] At a press conferences days after the failed Christmas Day bomb attack on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, Brennan said U.S. intelligence agencies did not miss any signs that could have prevented the attempt but later said he had let the President down by underestimating a small group of Yemeni terrorists and not connecting them to the attempted bomber.[1][24] Within two weeks after the incident, however, he produced a report highly critical of the performance of U.S. intelligence agencies, concluding that their focus on terrorist attempts aimed at U.S. soil was inadequate.[17] In February 2010, he claimed on Meet the Press that he was tired of Republican lawmakers using national security issues as political footballs, and making allegations where they did not know the facts.[25]

Drone program

In April 2012 Brennan was the first Obama administration official to publicly acknowledge CIA drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. In his speech he argued for the legality, morality, and effectiveness of the program.[26][27][28] The ACLU and other organizations disagreed. In 2011/2012 he also helped reorganize the process, under the aegis of the Disposition Matrix database, by which people outside of war zones were put on the list of drone targets. According to an Associated Press story, the reorganization helped “concentrate power” over the process inside the White House administration.[29][30][31]

In June 2011, Brennan claimed that US counter-terrorism operations had not resulted in “a single collateral death” in the past year because of the “precision of the capabilities that we’ve been able to develop.”[32][33] Nine months later, Brennan claimed he had said “we had no information” about any civilian, noncombatant deaths during the timeframe in question.[33][34] The Bureau of Investigative Journalism disagreed with Brennan, citing their own research[35] that initially led them to believe that 45 to 56 civilians, including six children, had been killed by ten US drone strikes during the year-long period in question.[33] Additional research led the Bureau to raise their estimate to 76 deaths, including eight children and two women.[33] According to the Bureau, Brennan’s claims “do not appear to bear scrutiny.”[33]The Atlantic has been harsher in its criticism, saying that “Brennan has been willing to lie about those drone strikes to hide ugly realities.”[36]

According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, Brennan’s comments about collateral death are perhaps explained by a counting method that treats all military-aged males in a strike zone as combatants unless there is explicit information to prove them innocent.[33][37]

CIA Director (2013–present)

Nomination

Brennan being sworn in as CIA Director, March 8, 2013

United States PresidentBarack Obama twice nominated Brennan to serve as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.[11][12]

Morris Davis, a former Chief Prosecutor for the Guantanamo Military Commissions compared Brennan to Canadian Omar Khadr, who was convicted of “committing murder in violation of the law of war”.[38] He suggested that Brennan’s role in targeting individuals for CIA missile strikes was no more authorized than the throwing of the grenade Khadr was accused of.

On February 27, 2013, the Senate Intelligence Committee postponed a vote, expected to be taken the next day on the confirmation of Brennan until the following week. On March 5, the Intelligence Committee approved the nomination 12–3. The Senate was set to vote on Brennan’s nomination on March 6, 2013. However, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul began a talking Senate filibuster of the vote, citing President Barack Obama and his administration’s use of combat drones, stating “No one politician should be allowed to judge the guilt, to charge an individual, to judge the guilt of an individual and to execute an individual. It goes against everything that we fundamentally believe in our country.”[39][40] Paul’s filibuster continued for 13 hours, after which Brennan was confirmed by a vote of 63–34.

Brennan was sworn into the office of CIA Director on March 8, 2013.[41]

See also

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_O._Brennan

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts Portfolio

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or DownloadShows 695-701

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or DownloadShows 685-694

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or DownloadShows 675-684

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 668-674

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 660-667

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 651-659

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 644-650

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 637-643

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 629-636

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 617-628

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 608-616

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 599-607

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 590-598

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 585- 589

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 575-584

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 565-574

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 556-564

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 546-555

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 538-545

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 532-537

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 526-531

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 519-525

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 510-518

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 500-509

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 490-499

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 480-489

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 473-479

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 464-472

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 455-463

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 447-454

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 439-446

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 431-438

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 422-430

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 414-421

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 408-413

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 400-407

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 391-399

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 383-390

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 376-382

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 369-375

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 360-368

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 354-359

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 346-353

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 338-345

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 328-337

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 319-327

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 307-318

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 296-306

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 287-295

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 277-286

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 264-276

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 250-263

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 236-249

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 222-235

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 211-221

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 202-210

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 194-201

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 184-193

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 174-183

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 165-173

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 158-164

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows151-157

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 143-150

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 135-142

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 131-134

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 124-130

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 121-123

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 118-120

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 113 -117

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 112

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 108-111

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 106-108

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 104-105

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 101-103

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 98-100

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 94-97

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 93

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 92

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 91

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 88-90

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 84-87

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 79-83

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 74-78

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 71-73

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 68-70

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 65-67

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 62-64

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 58-61

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 55-57

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 52-54

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 49-51

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 45-48

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 41-44

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 38-40

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 34-37

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 30-33

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 27-29

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 17-26

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 16-22

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 10-15

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 01-09

 

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...