You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘military industrial complex’ category.
Unless you read one of the big newspapers you will never hear of this… From yesterday’s sequestration hearings on Capitol Hill:
United States Army Chief of Staff Raymond T. Odierno elaborated on the impact that these indiscriminate, across the board cuts would have on military readiness in the Pacific and the United States Pacific Command.
“First, as I talked about 80% of our force having to stop training this year that includes our forces in Hawai’i, that includes our forces in at Fort Lewis that are in PACOM so they will be significantly degraded capabilities that they would have to respond to anything that goes on within Pacific Command. Additionally, the Army is responsible for providing a significant amount of communication support, intelligence support, logistical support to the PACOM Theater. Their ability to do that will also be affected by sequestrations specifically in the Fiscal Year 13 but beyond. We have tried to fence our capability in Korea to make sure they are at the highest readiness level. We will continue to do that. But the cuts in family programs, cuts in soldier programs, cuts in our civilians will also impact Korea as well. So for us it has a significant impact on our ability in the Pacific for the next several years,” said Odierno.
- 80% of our forces will have to stop training this year.
- Communication support, intelligence support, logistical support to the PACOM Theater; their ability to do that will also be affected by sequestrations specifically in the Fiscal Year 13 and beyond.
- Our capability in Korea to make sure they are at the highest readiness level. We will continue to do that to the best that our finances will allow us. But cuts in family programs, cuts in soldier programs, cuts in our civilians will also impact Korea as well…
- Just as we trim the forces in South Korea, North Korea puts us on a Defcom 4.
It is obvious with yesterday’s nuclear explosion on the northern half of the Korean Peninsula, we can’t cut the Pacific. If we try we are going to run cost overruns. This is just as silly as your boss setting financial goals that have never been proposed before and you simply know you will go over them. You accept that because it is impossible to meet them.
So how can we fix it?
We need just $86 billion extra per year. That is a lot for you and me, but for the wealthy, that is nothing. In fact Kinder Morgan just bought out Caldone for 8% of that: $5 billion. Prior to that, it just spent $21 billion on El Paso Gas. One company buying another company it didn’t need. Comcast just bought NBC for $13 billion. That’s almost half the total amount needed, thrown away on another company that would have been fine if left alone. See how easy it is?
Just a few more companies like that, and we could pay enough to keep our military in top shape. We don’t need sequestration.
Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, $86 billion is nothing to them. Each alone could cover the cost of our military.
Point is, we have the money just sitting there. Sitting out there all alone, saying “take me, take me.” All we have to do is go get it, and we can cut our deficit at the same time as we keep ourselves protected by having a first rate defense.
It is no different than a family of four on a tight budget, stopping beside a field of wild strawberries and picking their next few meals.
We can do this… $86 billion on just the top richest 400 people is only $215 million each… That is nothing, nothing to them. What farmer will miss having wild strawberries getting picked out of his hay crop? As a nation, let’s just take it; it is there, it is begging for it, and we’d be doing an awful lot of good for everyone involved….
Courtesy of Office of Management and Budget.
The fiscal cliff. We are arguing over more revenue. We are arguing over tax hikes. We are arguing over the age of Social Security and Medicare commencement. We are arguing over defense. We are arguing over education. We are arguing over discretionary cuts….
When in truth, we should be taking the all of the above approach considering the problem….
This is our generation’s WWII… We are in for the fight of our life, and we have to get this right. There is no room for error….
If one takes this analogy between our economy and WWII further, one could say we are in the pre-years of WWII now, the late 30′s. We are making small amendments to our armed services, buying a few planes here and there, and as the crises worsens, we send some of our stuff overseas.
But it takes the loss of our fleet in Pearl Harbor, to WAKE US UP!…. In a matter of days, the entire Pacific was under Japanese control. All of European civilization but for Britain, was under Nazi Germany’s control…. Just like that…
Had we had our battleships in war mode, Pearl Harbor never would have happened. Had we rushed to France’s aid, probably WWII would have stalemated, and who knows what kind of world we would have today….
Bottom line, is that we need to do all of the above right now… Republicans need to give in on taxes, Democrats need to give in on entitlements. Corporations need to start re-investing now, ahead of the curve. The wealthy, need to pay up a lot more. Everyone needs to chip in….
What we don’t need are arguments because “my side” doesn’t feel like it is treated fairly unless “your side” gives up something…
Just everybody give up everything… You going to later, if you don’t do it now, so, … let’s fix it now…. while the price is still low…..
Issa’s hearing just got the lowdown on what happen that night Stevens died.
It is a very gripping tale of what went down. They were attacked. There was no warning. It was a 9/11 surprise that took everyone by surprise.
From the account of the attack, everything went according to plan. There were no glitches. There were no acts of cowardice. There were no mistakes made. Adequate and proper procedures were in place especially knowing the anniversary of 9/11 was intact. I was most impressed how the counsel of Turkey was walked out to the front gate by Stevens and they noticed the calmness of the city in the desert night. One hour later, Stevens would be dead.
Blaming the State Department for this incident is similar to blaming Rudy Giuliani for the 9/11 attack on New York, his city. It is stupid, arrogant, idiotic, and could only come from a Republican thug like Issa. He deserves to be deported.
There is something horribly sick in this Republican’s brain. Imagine blaming Giuliani for the loss of the twin towers. This Republican thug Issa deserves punched in the face, a thousand times. This Republican thug deserves to be outcast from the country he stole all his money from. America is too good for this thug Issa.
These guys who died were heroes. Stevens is a hero. Not some scum like Issa implies, who deserved to die for his cowardice. Just like if Giuliani had been a Democrat, this same thug Issa would have probably said it is a damn shame Rudy Giuliani didn’t die to rid ourselves of his disgusting caricature.
If someone had brought up that Giuliani was a hero, thug Issa would have dismissed that as poppycock. “He’s only acting that way to disguise his role in the tower’s collapse. He’s the mayor, he needs to die.”
Issa represents the soul of the Republican party at its darkest. That soul in hell would have no shame standing next to souls from parties such as the Nazis. Brown Shirts, or Red Communists, or the Spanish Inquisition. They would all be compatriots. Issa is simply in it for Issa. He is replaying Joe McCarthy’s role,… not of cleaning out communists from America, but making Joe McCarthy famous and important, and a household word. Issa is disgusting.
This attack and the real drama that ensued makes the State Department’s actions commendable. In offense and defense, truth is not a player. Obfuscation and distraction and fooling the other side, are as rightfully at home here, as they are on a football field. If the State department had announced the truth of the matter on the day Romney stepped forth and castigated in an embarrassing example of how he would lead in foreign affairs, then every Arab would see that every Embassy, every consulate was undermanned and an easy target.
All it took was forty men. You think you can’t find 40 disgruntled men in every country in which we have diplomatic relations? Hell, you can find 40 disgruntled men in Issa’s own district. Is he suggesting he now needs a bodyguard of 100 soldiers to now protect him?
The level of security to prevent this kind of surprise attack is unprecedented. In all honesty, we probably had sufficient security to repel such an attack in Baghdad. Other than that, every embassy, every consulate across the world was vulnerable to similar attacks.
It makes obvious sense that to protect American lives across this planet, especially those in areas where 40 disgruntled men having access to RPG’s can easily be found, one would not give out details that showed how easily every embassy, every consulate could now be attacked.
Obama should be commended. His state department acted very professionally in this crises. One can assume now that this has become public knowledge, sufficient security at a very large expense, including A10′s are now stationed to be at any hotspot within 5 minutes.
If you are going to castigate the Commander in Chief for Libya, you had better throw Rudy Giuliani in jail right now too. This Republican sham is easily seen. Republicans are the true enemy of Mohamed. Not the America Public.
Issa should be zip stripped and gagged, and kicked out of a car in Freedom Square in Cairo, with a sign, Ugly American, pinned to his back.
I’m joking, but they are not. It is time all Republican scum be humiliated, and exposed for the ugly frauds they are in public. Romney, Ryan, Issa, Boulton, Dan Senor, Cofer Black, Christopher Burnham, Michael Chertoff, Eliot Cohen, Norm Coleman, John Danilovich, Paula J. Dobriansky, Eric Edelman, Michael Hayden, Kerry Healey, Kim Holmes, Robert Joseph, Robert Kagan, John Lehman, Andrew Natsios, Meghan O’Sullivan, Walid Phares, Pierre Prosper, Mitchell Reiss, Jim Talent, Vin Weber, Richard Williamson, Dov Zakheim.
Romney/Ryan excluded, these people are the ones responsible for $1.5 trillion dollars of the national debt categorized under Iraq and Afghanistan. $1.5 trillion that future generations of American children will have to pay, out of which we simply got nothing, nothing at all. Not respect, not financial gain, not even a simple “thank you.” We’ve have exited Iraq, (Romney says we need to go back in) We are exiting Afghanistan in 2014 (Romney says we need to stay there indefinitely)
This new truth that came to light, really shows that President Obama was willing to take political heat just before an election which he could still lose, in order that American lives could be protected and made safe, before the truth came out. An America that can still elect a thug like Republican Issa, really doesn’t deserve as great of a self-sacrificing man as we currently have as Commander in Chief of the United States of America, a man who would put American lives above his own career. This nation is truly blessed to count such a man among its citizens.
Comparisons to Vietnam may come up.
But Afghanistan is not Vietnam. There is no giant wall of communism that will progress if we walk.
We have to remember our mission.
Our mission was not to defeat the Taliban. Our mission may have appeared that way for a while, when the Taliban and Al Qaida were in cahoots together…. but the Taliban, kooky as they are, are Afghanistan’s equivalent to our conservative wing over here… There is no reason they and moderates cannot work together….. In retrospect, their views and those of Santorum, mimic each other perfectly.
No, our mission was to protect the Afghans…. and remove Al Qaida. The second half was accomplished last May.
So then, what is the biggest problem in Afghanistan?
It is: that a majority of its citizens don’t want us to be there…
Now if we were occupiers, that would be their tough luck. Just like the Russians, we’d throw down the gauntlet and say… “chase us out then.” and at some future point, we’d eventually leave…
So since we will leave anyway, and they don’t want us there anymore, pulling out is a win-win situation. We have a time-table to pull out and we might as well stick with it considering that all the expense, the lives laid down, the infrastructure built… are not appreciated…
Just like in Vietnam….
So expect the Republicans to capitalize on the impending collapse of Afghanistan, and say they would have stayed and fought it out.
…. Just like in Vietnam…
So, recognize that President Obama is taking the right path. If Afghans wanted to live together in peace, they could have figured it out by now… If they want to fight for the hell of it, putting American troops between the two antagonists… will make no difference in the outcome….
It is what it is….
Would any American support a law imposed on us by the Soviet Union?
Would any American support a law imposed on us by Communist China?
Would any American support a law imposed on us by Islamic Iran?
Would any American support a law imposed on us by Mexico?
Would any American support a law imposed on us by Canada?
Would any New Yorker support a law imposed on them by South Carolina?
Would any South Carolinian support a law imposed on them by New York?
Would any Delawarean support a law imposed on them by Alaska?
When put in this perspective, the phrase…”it’s the law…” rings rather hollow…
It’s the law… of what? It’s the law of…. who? It’s the law decided by whom?…… What reference does this law have to me?
Such is every Americans feeling to corporate law… These laws were applied to the lawbooks without our knowledge. These laws were applied to the lawbooks without our approval… There laws were applied to the lawbooks not in an open environment, but subtlely sneaked in, unannounced, unnoticed, unapproved, unsubstantiated, and unconstitutional…..
These laws that are being upheld, benefit a very thin percentage of people, a razor thin percentage of people. at the expense of the majority…..
Rick Santorium stands up and states we are a nation of law. We follow the rule of law…
Yes, we will follow a rule of law onto which a majority of us signs on to… But nowhere in our contract with America did we agree to follow laws that have not been sanctioned by the Constitution as being legal. Nowhere in our contract with America, did we agree to follow the phantom that corporations were human beings. that corporations had just as much right as people to write laws, get them passed, and then uphold them… as if they were people….
There are times when breaking the law, is better than following it…
If you don’t believe me, just ask Jesus.
Gotta be brief.
We learned all Republicans are not what Fairfax VA wants them to be. They are a diverse group of people bound together by ideals.
We learned more about Romney. That he and his ilk like Bain Capital are responsible for the economic woes we now face.
We learned that unlimited money is wasted on well informed voters. Romney spent more and won, but usually the Massachusetts candidate always wins in New Hampshire… After all metropolitan Boston, the capital of Massachusetts, is New Hampshire’s largest city…
We learned Huntsman really isn’t the dufus he was made out to be on all previous debates and media commentary.
We learned that Ron Paul, is probably too old to be president, even though we may admire his libertarian streak that resonates through every American.
We learned that Iowa was just a game, with big money alligning itself behind one candidate, then another, then another, then another, then another, and Rick Santorum now has just faded away….
We learned New Hampshire is not as flakey conservative (meaning they are more informed than most) as large parts of the rest of the nation.
We learned that often the wrong people get put in as front runners. Buddy Roemer gets a standing ovation in Nashau, among supporters of all the other candidates… (It was the best talk of the campaign so far)… Yet, the only Republican runner who has been a reelected governor, and reelected Congressman, is not allowed on stage at any debates.
You put a two-timing philanderer Pizza mogul as the prime presidential candidate, but shut out a 4 term Republican Congressman who was also a 2 term Republican governor? One who resurrected a state that was as bad off and as corrupt, as is Washington now? C’mon.. This election process is not natural.. it is staged. It is a Selection Process, not an election process……
We learned already that Citizens United will have to be overturned. It is now apparent we won’t have any fair elections until both corporations and the wealthy can no longer funnel enormous wealth into election cycles.
And most importantly, we learned the Republicans have no ideas on how to get us out of the mess… Since summer, not one good idea to get American jobs back into high gear, has come out in any campaign.. Instead we have gotten piped in music decrying who is the most conservative…
How will they get jobs roaring again?
The recession has popped a lot of dreams… It has forced a re-evaluation of priorities. It has put reality in the forefront.
So wiping off the table of everything, everything, and sitting down to a blank space, and asking myself, … what do I want, by the time I die.
A country where working people can earn enough to raise a family, build a modest savings, own a home and secure their retirement,”
After watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” you can be sure it can’t happen on a Republican’s watch….. For that dream to happen, we need protection from corporations and Big Money; not giving them more and more of what we make.
We need more money funneled away from big business, to be reinvested into the Middle Class… Since they haven’t done it voluntarily, we’ll have to force it.
Republicans can’t force anyone to do anything. They are putz’s. It will take a government of all Democrats to make Americans who die, at least die happy that they were able to secure:
“A country where working people can earn enough to raise a family, build a modest savings, own a home and secure their retirement”.
Obama could not have picked a better 2nd man.
This is classic Biden to those of us who have watched him grow over the years… There is of course much denial-ability, so it will never get proven, … but the track marks are there… and I’m beaming, I’m so proud to be a Delawarean today…
If any of you have ever been in a decision making position, most of you know that you are being asked to decide the future of events that on paper you have jurisdiction over, but in reality, are way beyond your control.
The best way to get what you want is to point those larger forces in the direction you want to go,… so they carry you along in their current….
If Democrats and Republicans do not agree to another $1.5 trillion in cuts later this year, then automatic cuts of about $500 billion in both national security and Medicare provider spending will be triggered, beginning in 2013. Republicans think the threat of cutting Medicare will force Democrats to bargain, and Democrats hope that the threat of defense cuts will force Republicans to bargain
But what is really happening is something else: Both Democratic and Republicans leaders have realized that they don’t have enough political heft on their own to cut a deal. So they are pointing a gun to the knee caps of corporate lobbyists for the defense contracting and medical provider communities and saying, “Help us, or else.”
This is the part Biden helped craft….. And this is also the part to which Eric Cantor subscribed, giving him the rare praise of being a “smart man”. John Boehner and President Obama, also joined in….
“Under the agreement, a failure to reach an agreement in December would lead to $50 billion in cuts per year in the 50% national security spending account for the next 10 years. So to save their own skin, military contractors, who spent $146 million lobbying Congress in 2010 with more than $16 million in political donations from PACs, will have to get in the game, urging Republicans to find savings in other places. In practice, that will likely mean new revenue, collected by ending corporate tax breaks and eliminating expenditures. If the plan works as Democrats would like, Republicans will be forced to raise taxes with the help of the military industrial complex.”
Ah Ha! Gotchu!
Oh, but wait a minute….. isn’t there another half?
“The other half of the trigger would cause a 2% decrease in reimbursements for Medicare providers (not recipients), pulling about $50 billion a year off their bottom line for a decade. That means lobbyists for hospitals and doctors will also have a dog in this fight. Hospitals and nursing homes alone spent more $107 million lobbying Congress in 2010.”
“Hospitals have already started running ads on cable television protesting the potential cuts, under the banner of a group called The Coalition To Protect America’s Health Care.”
“Like defense contractors, they are the hostages now, and they must advocate for Democrats and Republicans to come together on a final deal in the fall, before the trigger gets pulled. In the deficit debate, Congress has proved itself inept at fighting for the common interest. In turning the gun on special interests, they are essentially outsourcing that job to Washington’s most effective actors.”
(Btw. Hats off to Michael Scherer; I’ve quoted him rather extensively for his writing was done so well. I could find little to improve upon)…..
Somewhere in the discussion, hopefully over a glass of Maker’s Mark, came this question: how can we make our enemies (the lobbyists) be an integral part of this plan, thereby insuring it will pass?
(Note: Lobbyists are the biggest enemy to good government. Far worse than evangelists, socialists, and communists.)
So the brilliance of this agreement, is that it addresses the question: of how can we get the forces of Eisenhower’s “military industrial complex” who’ve always scuttled budget control in the past, and the forces of the AMA, hospitals, insurance giants, and pharmaceuticals, who’ve always scuttled any attempts to control skyrocketing medical costs, to work together with Republicans and Democrats on controlling the budget deficit…..
We do it by pulling the trigger on a large chunk of their change, if an agreement is not forthcoming……
His good sense didn’t come from Scranton, so it must have been Delaware, that put it in there….