Posts tagged defense
Pentagon ‘big winner’ in $1T omnibus bill (Defense contractors too, Taxpayers lose)
Everyone is dancing around up in DC today. The defense contractors, the Pentagon, the members of Congress with boondoggle weapon system projects in their districts. (Which is to say nearly every member of Congress.) Happy days are hear again! Down with the sequester say the Republicans.
Small government? Are you kidding? Look at us. We LOVE to spend the taxpayer’s money. Just as much as the Democrats. We just forced the taxpayers to buy a whole bunch of Abrams tanks. (Which happen to be made in Speaker Boehner’s district.) Abrams tanks! Can you believe it? We have no idea where we will use these tanks mind you. They make no sense at all frankly. But hey, here comes the pork America.
And guess what? This is the best part. You know who’s going to pay for these tanks engineered to fight on the plains of Poland? You’re kids! They are the ones who will pay for it! This is a sweet deal America. – I mean not for the kids, but what do they know?
Money for the military is how the GOP plays the same games it accuses the Democrats of playing. The military is the vehicle by which your tax dollars are disseminated to favored groups of people. It’s how the GOP gives out goodies (payed for by you.)
The tired argument is that defense is at least an enumerated power in the Constitution, in contrast with say, food stamps. But it is DEFENSE which is enumerated, not a world wide global police and expeditionary force.
We have no business with a military as large as we have now. And I say this as the son of a military officer and one who has great respect for the military. How are we ever going to get our house in order if the supposedly small government inclined in Congress keep appropriating our tax dollars for a military which is far too large already?
The truth is anyone who says that they favor small government but cheers increased spending on the military (at this point for sure) should ask themselves if they are actually for small government at all. The Pentagon is big big big government.
The lobbyists are dancing a jig in Gucci Gulch today. Is that what you want?
(From The Hill)
“The big winner is the Defense Department. They should be breaking out champagne in the Pentagon,” said Gordon Adams, a defense budget expert and former Clinton official.
The omnibus spending bill provides about $497 billion for the Defense Department in 2014 — about the same as in 2013. But the Pentagon also received $85.2 billion in overseas contingency operations (OCO) for the war in Afghanistan, roughly $5 billion more than it requested for 2014.
Before last month’s budget deal that relieved $22.4 billion in sequestration cuts, the 2014 defense budget would have been around $475 billion.
The OCO funding, which Adams said is the “cherry on top of the dessert,”
Image credit: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org
About Nick Sorrentino
Nick Sorrentino is the co-founder and editor of AgainstCronyCapitalism.org. A political and communications consultant with clients across the political spectrum, he lives just outside of Washington DC where he can keep an eye on Leviathan.
Ron Paul Rewind: Defense Spending vs. Empire Spending
Last year, debate “moderators” from Fox News had a hard time understanding the difference between legitimate spending on defending the U.S. versus the wasteful spending on the military empire. Dr. Paul explained it with passion and in true smackdown form, leaving the warmongers on stage, and in the audience, speechless.
Video capture from the Fox presidential debate added to original post.
By Tyler Durden
In just under 30 minutes, Peter Schiff and Doug Casey muse on many facets of the crumbling edifice of the status quo that is our current world.
From Gold’s relatively imminent rise to $5,000 and beyond, to investor ignorance of reality, Casey & Schiff swing from discussions of the US as political entity going forward to ‘escape from America’ plans for personal and wealth assets, and the realization that the biggest casualty (of US indebtedness), aside from individual liberty, is the value of the dollar – as taxing the middle class is unpopular with both parties – leaving only one route for the government – the inflation tax. Owning gold, silver, and foreign assets is preferred and while the rest of the world is also printing, the US is likely to beat them all.
People “are clueless with respect to the true state of the global economy,” with regard to inflation, fiat currencies, and specifically what will happen to the dollar. The conversation is wide-ranging and absolutely must-see as they remind market-watchers that “the whole thing is artificial,” as you can’t just keep printing money and monetizing debt without the dollar imploding with monetary policy descending (along with its trillion dollar coin) into ‘Three Stooges’ comedy.
The conversation weaves to some endgame discussions which bring Peter to discuss his father, who he sees as a political prisoner, and his views on the future…
“the biggest change that is coming to the global economy is a realignment of global living standards.”
There is something here for everyone…
By Michael Snyder
Economic Collapse Blog
This is the time of the year when Americans run out to their favorite retail stores and fill up their shopping carts with lots of cheap plastic crap made by workers in foreign countries where it is legal to pay slave labor wages. By doing this, the American people are actively participating in the destruction of the U.S. economy. You see, buying products that are made in America is not just a matter of national pride. It is a matter of national survival. If we do not support American workers, they are going to continue to see their jobs shipped out of the country.
If we do not support American businesses, they are going to continue to die off at a staggering rate. Last year, the United States had a trade deficit with the rest of the world of 558 billion dollars. More than half a trillion dollars that could have gone into the pockets of U.S. workers and U.S. businesses went overseas instead. If that money had stayed in the country, taxes would have been paid on that mountain of cash and our local, state and federal government debt problems would not be as severe.
As a result of our massive trade imbalance, we have lost tens of thousands of businesses, millions of jobs and trillions of dollars of national wealth. Both major political parties have sold us out on these issues, and we are getting poorer as a nation with each passing day. We desperately need a resurgence of economic patriotism in the United States before it is too late.
Yes, I know that it is very tempting to buy foreign-made products. After all, they are almost always cheaper.
But most people don’t often think about why they are cheaper.
Unfortunately, in the name of “free trade” American workers have been merged into a global labor pool where they have to compete directly for jobs with workers on the other side of the globe that live in countries where it is legal to pay slave labor wages. This makes employing American workers a tremendous liability.
If a company hires you and pays you 10 to 15 dollars an hour with benefits, how is it going to compete with another company that pays workers a dollar an hour with no benefits on the other side of the planet?
Both major political parties are pushing this emerging “one world economic system“, but it is absolutely killing American jobs. We have already seen a mass exodus of jobs and businesses out of this country, and wages for the jobs that remain in the United States are being forced down because there are hordes of unemployed workers that are willing to take just about any decent job they can find.
It has become painfully obvious that our politicians are not going to do anything to help us on these issues, so what we need is a mass awakening among the American people.
We need to educate people that buying things that are made in America is good for the economy and that buying things that are made elsewhere is bad for the economy.
But for now, most Americans are clueless. They will line up on Black Friday morning and trample one another in a desperate attempt to save a few bucks on cheap plastic devices that were made on the other side of the planet.
And they will pay for much of this “shopping” with credit cards.
Credit card debt is on the rise once again. In fact, average credit card debt per borrower was 4.9 percent higher in the third quarter of 2012 than it was in the third quarter of 2011. It looks like most of us didn’t learn our lessons from the last financial crisis.
But not all Americans enjoy the shopping that is typically involved with this time of the year. One recent survey found that approximately 45 percent of all Americans think that there is so much financial pressure associated with the holidays that they wouldn’t mind skipping them completely.
Just days before Thanksgiving, the US Senate was planning on taking a vote on the National Defense Authorization Act, but there has been a slight delay. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky has proposed an amendment halting the vote. In it, Paul reaffirms the sixth amendment guaranteeing a fair a speedy trial to all Americans which has been threatened by the NDAA. Brian Doherty, senior editor for Reason.Com, give us his take on the latest development.
Patrick Clawson, member of the globalist-controlled think-tank and neo-con influenced Washington Institute for Near East Studies (WINES); recently spoke about the use of false flags as a necessary way for instigating a war with Iran. Clawson remarked that Obama has had a difficult time “getting the US into a war with Iran” and advocating the use of conventional means (i.e. using a false flag to provoke a military strike).
Clawson said: “If in fact Iran is not going to compromise, then it would be best if someone else started the war. . . One can combine other means of pressure with sanctions. We could step up the pressure. I mean, look people – Iranian submarines go down all the time. What if one of them did not come back up? Who would know why?”
Through AIPAC, the US government supplies Israel with:
• Defense intelligence and military security
• Technologies that facilitate defense and military equipment
• Science and agricultural products
The WINES attempts to coerce the US Congress into following their “recommendations” with conferences, the Military Fellows Program (which has ties to the Council on Foreign Relations and the RAND Corporation), the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress , and secret meetings; as well as a multitude of publications and research reports. WINES instill Zionist propaganda and demonize Arabs and Muslims. However, they are hand-in-hand with one of the largest Zionist-controlled and pro-Israeli lobby in the US.
The neocon phenomenon consists of Zionists and sympathizers that dictate and coerce US foreign policy to reflect the agendas of the Zionist regime. According to neocon Irving Kristol, founder of the movement and the Commentary Magazine , the neoconservative agenda is explained as: “The historical task and political purpose of neo-conservatism is to convert the Republican Party and American conservatism in general, against their prospective wills, into a new kind of conservative politics suitable to governing a modern democracy.”
The Navy was all set to roll out its upgraded spy drone, a 44-foot behemoth. Then one of its Global Hawks crashed into an eastern Maryland marsh on Monday. It’s the latest setback for the Navy’s robotic aircraft.
An unarmed RQ-4A Global Hawk went down during a training exercise near the Naval aviation base at Patuxent River, Maryland on Monday, CNN reports. Local news has footage of the wreckage. No one was hurt except the Navy’s pride.
But ouch, that pride. As AOL Defense reports, Thursday marks the debut of a new pimped-out Global Hawk at Pax River, as part of the Navy’s newest iteration of its Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Program. BAMS, as it’s known, uses a Global Hawk outfitted with Navy-specific sensors to spy on a whole lot of ocean and beach. In this case, the Navy was set to debut two new, powerful 360-degree radars aboard its Global Hawks, with range in the hundreds of miles, as part of a $1.16 billion contract signed in 2008.
It’s unclear if the Global Hawk that crashed was actually carrying the new radars. Even if it wasn’t, the drone programs run by Naval aviation look increasingly star-crossed. In April, technical glitches forced the Navy to ground its robotic Fire Scout helicopters despite praising their performance in counternarcotics operations to the high heavens. Then the Navy decided to spend another quarter billion dollars on an upgrade.
A more ambitious Navy drone program would, for the first time, allow an armed drone to take off and land from the deck of an aircraft carrier. But the so-called X-47B won’t be ready until 2018 at the earliest. For now, the stealthy, batwing-shaped robot makes people who see it fear an alien invasion. Don’t ask about drone submarines, since they’re an immature technology.
Drones crash, and however embarrassing this current crash is, the Global Hawk is a robotic workhorse. But it didn’t take long for the Twitter-borne drone watcher @drunkenpredator to rechristen BAMS “Bits of Aircraft in Maryland Soil.”
Bradley Manning defence gets report on WikiLeaks damage to US interests
Judge rules that Obama administration must hand over documents assessing leak of diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks
Bradley Manning, the US soldier accused of being the source of the biggest leak of state secrets in American history, has won a partial victory in his battle to force the government to disclose vital information that could help his defence.
The judge presiding over his trial at Fort Meade in Maryland has ordered the US government to hand over several confidential documents relating to the massive leak to the whistleblower website WikiLeaks.
In particular, the Obama administration must now disclose to Manning’s lawyers some of the damage assessments it carried out into the impact of the leak on US interests around the world.
Should those assessments reveal that the US government found that the fallout from WikiLeaks was limited, that could be used by Manning’s defence to argue his innocence against some of the charges he faces, such as aiding the enemy. If the soldier is found guilty, the information might then prove invaluable in reducing any sentence.
As a result of the ruling, Manning’s defence team was handed the main findings of a state department investigation into the impact of WikiLeaks on Tuesday evening.
Though the information has not been made public, it is likely to include the assessments of embassies across the globe of the effects on their work of the publication of hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables.
In addition, Manning’s defence lawyers will now also be able to see a redacted report into WikiLeaks by the defence intelligence agency. It was also revealed that the FBI carried out its own inquiry into the leak of confidential material to WikiLeaks, which the Manning’s defence lawyers will also now pursue.
[CIM} Watch the three videos which are include at the end of Doug Wead’s post below.
By Doug Wead
War Breaks out in GOP: Broken bones
“In yet another instance, Ron Paul supporter Alex Helwig, Chairman of the Rules Committee who made the motion to remove the chair, was arrested by Shreveport police and released. During his brief detainment, some of his fingers were broken and when he returned to the event he was walking with aid of a cane.”
Join the discussion at Doug Wead
This report from inside the Ron Paul campaign gives you a glimpse of the resistance from establishment Republican Party operatives as they seek to hold power. Meanwhile, the GOP continues to experience its transformation. Ron Paul supporters are enduring false arrests, detainment, broken bones and slander as they simply exercise their constitutional rights of voting and participating in party politics. Keep in mind, the final outcome, as explained to me, was a good one. And in spite of brutal tactics from some in the establishment who are trying to cling to power, the Republicans of Louisiana will be represented in Tampa. Most of them will be supporters of Ron Paul, cheering on the GOP nominee.
Here is the report:
“Louisiana GOP officials ignored the vast majority of duly elected delegates and attempted to use illegally adopted rules to deny Ron Paul supporters an opportunity to attend the Republican National Convention in Tampa. Louisiana has 46 delegates. Five were pledged to Mitt Romney based on the March 23rd primary result and Rick Santorum received 10, meaning most delegates were contestable at the state convention.
“Delegates to the state convention were chosen at caucus meetings on April 28th. Ron Paul slates won four of six congressional district contests. Of the approximately 180 delegates attending the state convention, 113 voted to remove the LAGOP chairman when he failed to respond to requests for information and other motions from delegates. Nearly two-thirds of the delegates began physically moving their chairs, literally turning their back on the GOP chair appointed by the party hierarchy.
“In another instance, State Central Committeeman and Ron Paul supporter Henry Herford Jr. of Franklin Parrish was attacked by some security officials who didn’t realize that the body had voted out the previous chairman. Mr. Herford has a prosthetic hip and according to a doctor at the scene it appears as though the prosthetic was dislocated and may require replacement. The injury occurred as he was beginning to call to order the newly re-formed convention.
“In yet another instance, Ron Paul supporter Alex Helwig, Chairman of the Rules Committee who made the motion to remove the chair, was arrested by Shreveport police and released. During his brief detainment, some of his fingers were broken and when he returned to the event he was walking with aid of a cane.
By Rand Paul Review
Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) is the last man standing in the Republican presidential race besides presumptive victor Mitt Romney, even after a strategy statement misunderstood by many as “dropping out.” Since that announcement, Paul has won his second state, Minnesota (Maine was the first), and is on target to end up controlling presidential voting delegations in such states asIowa, Louisiana, and Missouri. Far from fading as a cultural force, Paul continues to draw huge crowds, sometimes over five thousand students, on campuses as well.
As the presidential field has shaped up to a certain Obama vs. Romney in the major parties, the desire for a challenger championing either the serious right or serious progressive left grows. And Ron Paul—though he continues to deny any third party plans and his political machine has clearly hitched itself to the GOP for now—is strangely a viable candidate for either role, should he choose to accept it.
Paul is in many ways the rightest of right wingers, with his desire to kill the income tax, end governmentinterference in medical care, and get to a balanced budget in three years with no tax hikes. A third party Paul, should he make such a radical choice, would provide a choice for right-wingers dissatisfied with Romney’s small-government bonafides.
Yet despite Paul’s impeccable Tea Party credentials on tax and spending issues, he would be an even more appealing choice to progressives dissatisfied with President Obama. Even while running for the GOP presidential nod, Ron Paul has presented a political vision in many respects to the left of the Democratic Party.
President Obama wants to continue and expand every aspect of the war on drugs, including the war onstate-legal medical marijuana operations. Paul thinks government attempts to arrest people for actions that harm only themselves are inherently illegitimate. Obama’s administration has set records in deportations. Paul mocks border walls as un-American in Republican candidate debates.
Obama approves of enormous bailouts to huge financial institutions, and his administration’s high-level economic planning is run almost entirely by insiders from such institutions. Ron Paul is opposed to what he (and leftists) calls “crony capitalism.” Paul’s free-market policies would leave corporations with no more power over the American people than the corporations get by selling people things, things people choose to buy. (Unlike the products of the hated health insurance companies, which ObamaCare mandates that we all purchase.)