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Sun Dec 30, 2012, 07:35 PM

 

What about the giant elephant in the room?

All this clamor over raising taxes on the wealthy, and cutting spending for social security, medicare and medicaid.

Yet not a word is spoken against the huge, wooley mammoth standing in the center of the room.

What about the U.S. Defense Dept that is bigger than the rest of the world combined? Seems like no member of congress wants to mention DOD spending. Is that who writes the largest political campaign checks?

When it comes down to austerity and where to pare down the budget spending, WHERE'S THE BEEF?
It's where it always is, sitting in the middle of the room. Yet no member of congress dares to breathe a living thought against it.

85 replies, 12059 views

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Arrow 85 replies Author Time Post
Reply What about the giant elephant in the room? (Original post)
Jack Sprat Dec 2012 OP
Angry Dragon Dec 2012 #1
moman Dec 2012 #2
The Wielding Truth Dec 2012 #64
patrice Dec 2012 #3
grahamhgreen Dec 2012 #4
spanone Dec 2012 #5
Cleita Dec 2012 #6
freshwest Dec 2012 #8
Cleita Dec 2012 #10
dballance Dec 2012 #15
Blue_In_AK Dec 2012 #17
freshwest Dec 2012 #18
dballance Dec 2012 #37
freshwest Dec 2012 #49
lunatica Dec 2012 #72
maddiemom Dec 2012 #73
SummerSnow Dec 2012 #75
Jackpine Radical Dec 2012 #32
Heather MC Dec 2012 #41
dballance Dec 2012 #43
lunatica Dec 2012 #70
Blue_In_AK Dec 2012 #16
freshwest Dec 2012 #19
lunatica Dec 2012 #71
CrazyOrangeCat Dec 2012 #7
Demo_Chris Dec 2012 #9
DrewFlorida Dec 2012 #11
Ian62 Dec 2012 #77
DrewFlorida Dec 2012 #82
Ian62 Jan 2013 #83
DrewFlorida Jan 2013 #84
pediatricmedic Dec 2012 #12
bobclark86 Dec 2012 #22
Ian62 Dec 2012 #78
L0oniX Dec 2012 #13
think Dec 2012 #21
Blue_In_AK Dec 2012 #14
The Wizard Dec 2012 #20
Left Turn Only Dec 2012 #23
Taverner Dec 2012 #24
BobbyBoring Dec 2012 #67
Abbraxus Dec 2012 #25
Jack Sprat Dec 2012 #30
polynomial Dec 2012 #34
JDPriestly Dec 2012 #46
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #26
UnrepentantLiberal Dec 2012 #27
think Dec 2012 #28
Stinky The Clown Dec 2012 #50
Initech Dec 2012 #29
mostlyconfused Dec 2012 #35
Jack Sprat Dec 2012 #38
BobbyBoring Dec 2012 #68
creeksneakers2 Dec 2012 #31
MADem Dec 2012 #33
coalition_unwilling Dec 2012 #36
BobbyBoring Dec 2012 #66
SF Dockworker Dec 2012 #39
pasto76 Dec 2012 #40
YOHABLO Dec 2012 #42
daybranch Dec 2012 #44
Jack Sprat Dec 2012 #45
latebloomer Dec 2012 #47
SF Dockworker Dec 2012 #48
pediatricmedic Dec 2012 #53
Recursion Dec 2012 #60
Skittles Dec 2012 #54
SF Dockworker Dec 2012 #65
Recursion Dec 2012 #58
Ken Burch Mar 2013 #85
judesedit Dec 2012 #51
bhikkhu Dec 2012 #52
gtar100 Dec 2012 #55
AllyCat Dec 2012 #56
SHRED Dec 2012 #57
DirkGently Dec 2012 #59
barbtries Dec 2012 #61
obxhead Dec 2012 #62
Doctor_J Dec 2012 #63
Octafish Dec 2012 #69
Jack Sprat Dec 2012 #74
ProudProgressiveNow Dec 2012 #76
Egalitarian Thug Dec 2012 #79
Peaceful Protester Dec 2012 #80
Peaceful Protester Dec 2012 #81

Response to Jack Sprat (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 07:45 PM

1. How else are we going to destroy the rest of the world if we don't have

the biggest military
that is the republican wet dream

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Response to Jack Sprat (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 07:45 PM

2. And Whats the Deal Anyway?

The so called 500 billion "sequestration" over ten years comes to 50 billion a year.You take the 88 billion being blown in Afghanistan this year and the 74 billion that Panetta and the Pentagon said they didn't need in this years "Defense" budget and theres three years of "sequestration" right here!

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Response to moman (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 12:42 PM

64. It is senseless how these factors can be ignored by the RW and the focus and demon becomes the poor

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Response to Jack Sprat (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 07:48 PM

3. No, no, no, "Look at the shiny object over there!" Just like a "lot" of "people" on the internet

want you to.

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Response to Jack Sprat (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 07:48 PM

4. Thank you. It's simple, not rocket science.

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Response to Jack Sprat (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 07:49 PM

5. yea, i thought we all had to suffer.....not the military.

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Response to Jack Sprat (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 07:53 PM

6. Can't talk about that!

I mean, those Talibans, Castroite, Chavistas or even space aliens are out there to get us.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #6)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 08:13 PM

8. I thought the space aliens were already here. Now I'm disappointed. No, wait, they run the MIC.

Still disappointed and feeling helpless.

Who runs this planet, anyway?

We need new management here!




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Response to freshwest (Reply #8)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 08:17 PM

10. I for one welcome our space overlords when they arrive. They can't fuck things

up any worse than we have.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #10)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 08:36 PM

15. Maybe you need to remember that Twilight Zone episode "To Serve Man"

The one where the aliens came and fixed everything so there was no war and plenty of food for everyone. The problem was they were exporting humans to their planet to eat.

I'm old enough now that I'm probably not tender meat anymore though.

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Response to dballance (Reply #15)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 08:49 PM

17. Oh, that's kind of like that old Rod Taylor Time Machine movie,

except the "aliens" were underground. I loved that movie back in my hippie days.

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Response to dballance (Reply #15)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 08:56 PM

18. One of their scariest episodes. Right up there with 'It's on the wing!' by the Shat.

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Response to freshwest (Reply #18)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 10:27 PM

37. The Twilight Zone is STILL Classic

They had some damned good writers. Very thoughtful and intelligent shows. Too bad I don't see many of those anymore despite the fact I have a selection of thousands of shows on the hundreds of cable channels.

I think TV was better when I was a kid and we only had 3 major network channels and PBS.

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Response to dballance (Reply #37)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 11:17 PM

49. I agree. The Twilight Zone also covered a lot of moral issues. I recently found a newer episode.

The Twilight Zone: Season 1, Episode 3 Shades of Guilt (25 Sep. 2002)



A black man begs Matt McGreevy for a ride in his car since he is being pursued by someone, but Matt refuses and drives on, and sees him being attacked by a group of gang members behind him, though does nothing. That night, Matt suffers several wounds he can't explain to his wife, and the next morning appears to have gained a tan overnight and learns that the man, a college professor named John Woodrell, was beaten to death in a gang hate-crime. His family and friends point out he didn't know who the man was or why he was running, but Matt, defensive about not being racist, still regrets not helping him since he knows why he didn't stop. It may be too late, though, since his skin continues to darken until he's mistaken for a mixed, then an African-American, man, then he looks exactly like the victim.


I stumbled on a film with Shatner I'd never heard of made way back in 1962, of all things. You can find it under this title on youtube.

Shame (1962) / William Shatner / Historical Film on Racism In The South

The Twilight Zone often put people in situations that made people question themselves.

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Response to dballance (Reply #37)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 02:48 PM

72. Have you watched AMC in the last few years?

Breaking Bad, Mad Men, The Rubicon, The Walking Dead, all of them excellent shows that keep you on your chair's edge. Adult themed shows too. Makes other channels' regular programming look superficial and infantile.

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Response to lunatica (Reply #72)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 03:51 PM

73. AGREE.

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Response to freshwest (Reply #18)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 04:11 PM

75. The Talking Tina doll was scary too.

"I'm talking Tina and I hate you"...that scared me.

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Response to dballance (Reply #15)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 10:11 PM

32. They wouldn't dare eat me.

I have 68 years worth of toxins stored in my body fat. Including DDT, no doubt, in case they happen to be giant insectoids.

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Response to dballance (Reply #15)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 10:40 PM

41. The Aliens still treated us better than republicans

before they cooked us.

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Response to Heather MC (Reply #41)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 10:46 PM

43. I DO Generally have the desire to tell the GOP to BITE ME /eom

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Response to dballance (Reply #15)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 02:42 PM

70. Here's the photo for that episode

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Response to Cleita (Reply #10)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 08:38 PM

16. I'm looking forward to their intervention as well, Cleita.

"Heaven" knows we need it.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #10)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 09:03 PM

19. Ob, no, you missed the whole thing. They are here and fucked it because they're just visiting.

They're ripping off everything on their way to the next planet to rip off. That's why WMD and war doesn't bug them because 'They're not human!!!1!!!'

Honest to gawd, do you think Darth Cheney is a member of homo sapiens? Why do you think they have the space program? It's how they're going to get away! We're doomed, er, screwn!1!!1!!



Where's Will Smith when we need him?

Apply and liberally as needed...

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Response to Cleita (Reply #10)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 02:44 PM

71. They could fuck it up much more

that thing on Trump's head is an alien and look what it makes Trump do!

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Response to Jack Sprat (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 07:55 PM

7. DU rec

Starve the war machine. Starve that hideous beast.

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Response to Jack Sprat (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 08:14 PM

9. I think that's how you know it's all a sham

 

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Response to Jack Sprat (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 08:23 PM

11. That would be taken care of by not reaching a deal, which is exactly why republicans want a deal.

If we go over the cliff, the defense budget automatically takes a big cut.

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Response to DrewFlorida (Reply #11)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 05:20 PM

77. I think you have been watching too much GOP propaganda

 

The defense budget takes a cut of $24bn in sequestration for 2013 from the current military spend of $1,219bn.

Or about 2%.

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Response to Ian62 (Reply #77)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 11:50 PM

82. Your information is appreciated, your rudeness is uncalled for, typical of what's wrong with DU.

The inability to have civil dialogue and exchange information without puking outrage onto anyone who has a different view or does not already have that information you possess, is exactly what is wrong with politics today. I didn't know enough about the budget discussion/sequestration and therefore you label me as watching GOP propaganda. You couldn't be further from the truth, I have done far more than most for progressive causes over the past two Presidential elections and have worked very hard at refuting GOP propaganda.

You are an ass for your rudeness to me, it's rude people like you who continue to create division rather than understanding within this forum and Democrats in general.

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Response to DrewFlorida (Reply #82)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 05:41 AM

83. Sorry I didn't mean to be rude

 

I will bear your comment in mind in the future.

The GOP and MIC propaganda is all pervasive.

I should have said "subjected to" too much MIC propaganda.


It appears on ALL TV channels and ALL the main papers.

Not quite so much on MSNBC but how much anti military spending do you see even on there?

The politicians outright lie about military spending every day.
Boehner : "the military cuts (in the fiscal cliff sequestration) will have a drastic effect on our National Defense."
Total garbage - they could find $24bn from petty cash.
But nobody - not from the GOP or the Dems or the mainstream media calls him out about it.

You won't see any analysis of military spending from any mainstream media outlet or any politician.

This was a great one on here
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022048300
Military spending is 60% of discretionary spending.
Education gets 6%.
DHS gets over half what America spends on public Education (3.5% of discretionary spending).

Switzerland spends $700 per person per year on civil and national defense.
America spends over $4,000.
If America spent the equivalent per person as Switzerland it would spend $220bn a year - not $1,219bn.
There is ALL of America's budget deficit right there. (91% of it)

America has got it's priorities all wrong.
And nobody in the mainstream even discusses it.

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Response to Ian62 (Reply #83)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 12:06 PM

84. Yes, I know how much the U.S. spends on military and I think it's rediculous, what I didn't

know was how much the defense department cuts were under sequestration, I thought they were much higher, according to you they are not so large. I usually stay very well informed through many various websites and MSNBC / Current TV.

Apology accepted, I'll do my research on the numbers!

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Response to Jack Sprat (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 08:32 PM

12. That's like the biggest money maker and employer in this country

There would be millions of highly paid and skilled people out of work if we cut the DoD spending. It's the biggest welfare system on the planet at this point.

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Response to pediatricmedic (Reply #12)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 09:14 PM

22. Good point...

We can only buy so many iPhones before we get sick of them. New aircraft system that can't hit a target? Oh, bring it on!

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Response to pediatricmedic (Reply #12)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 05:35 PM

78. Not millions

 

There would be some job losses in the defense industry if real cuts were made - I am talking $500bn+ of annual cuts. (Not the tiny $24bn in the fiscal cliff as it stood.)

You could cut the current Pentagon budget of $105bn a year for 7,000 "contractors" still in Iraq.
That works out at $15 million per job.
I wouldn't be adverse to losing those 7,000 jobs. Not if it means saving most of that $105bn. They are probably blackwater merceneries.

You could massively cut the $170bn currently spent on building and supplying foreign bases.
The building of foreign bases employs a lot of foreign native workers - not Americans.
If you brought the 138,000 military currently stationed in Germany, Japan, South Korea, UK and Italy home - your supply costs would go down significantly.

Similarly stopping the war in Afghanistan would save $88bn a year. It wouldn't mean job losses (well a tiny amount maybe - you wouldn't buy so many bullets).

Cuts to the US defense budget does not affect exports.

America had 79% of the global arms trade in 2011.
http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175592/engelhardt_monopolizing_war

The defense industry currently receive special tax breaks. They are also making record profits. You could cut the Corporate Tax break - that wouldn't cost jobs.

Also labor costs for the arms industry are about the lowest proportionally of just about any industry and the LEAST productive economic activity.

E.G. You create three times as many jobs for every dollar you put into education compared to every dollar put into the arms industry.

If you want to create jobs - you don't spend your money on the arms industry.

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Response to Jack Sprat (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 08:33 PM

13. Food for bombs.

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Response to L0oniX (Reply #13)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 09:10 PM

21. Now that's food for thought......nt/

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Response to Jack Sprat (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 08:35 PM

14. Precisely!

It has always been so...or at least it's always been so in my lifetime, which has been a pretty long time.

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Response to Jack Sprat (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 09:08 PM

20. Social Security recipients

don't make secret payments to Cayman accounts. Defense contractors........

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Response to Jack Sprat (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 09:16 PM

23. All for one and one for all

The military, corporations, and politicians tied the most perfect not over the decades. Military contracts are spread very strategically across the country providing great jobs and tax revenues while the corporations continue to back the sympathetic politicians. Why is it, that the majority of Americans want us out of Afghanistan, but our representatives, once again, aren't listening? We the people have given up control.

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Response to Jack Sprat (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 09:19 PM

24. Exactly! KILL THE EMPIRE!!!!

 

Empires are expensive and dangerous

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Response to Taverner (Reply #24)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 02:31 PM

67. And they all end the same way!

We are following Rome 21st century style. They had gladiators, we have cage fighting and other nice sports. They had chariot races, we have NASCAR. Bread and circuses! Keep the plebes amused and they let you rob them blind!

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Response to Jack Sprat (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 09:27 PM

25. Defense spending

I'd like to see a chart to see what components make up the defense budget. How much is for retirees vs active personnel costs vs tanks, airplanes, ships, etc. I wouldn't mind building one less aircraft carrier or two and use the money to build schools, repair infrastructure, hire teaches, etc. However I'd hate to see retirees and active duty personnel get screwed.

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Response to Abbraxus (Reply #25)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 09:58 PM

30. Yes, but who is likely to be screwed?

 

Never the vast military machine itself. Always the people, (the veterans, the retirees, the VA). I, too, would hate to see people screwed, but it is exactly what the republicans want to do with people on social security and medicare. They want them to bear the costs of austerity, despite the fact that they themselves gave tax cuts while waging 2 wars lasting 10 years and still counting with Afghanistan.

It's outrageous that they are putting the burden on the people who did not want the war in Iraq nor the historically low tax rates on the top income group.

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Response to Abbraxus (Reply #25)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 10:17 PM

34. Yep Abbraxus is on target

Abbraxus hit the sweet spot of the Congressional Ponzi scheme
Yep, Abbraxus point out the truth for the American military industrial complex.

Their pension funds are heavy investments, and likely insider portfolio coupled to tightly held individuals in the Congress and the Senate. A cut in jobs means those pension people are going to cash in. Ho ho ho.

Many can be totally convinced even the mainstream media has deliberately avoided any analysis of these insider situations. Holy Sam hill especially MSNBC, CNBC or better Bloomberg. Just think about it over the years these political people have had knowledge of and inside information about legislation for all that military stuff. Yeow eee. Not a fiscal cliff, but scandals up the wahzoo.

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Response to Abbraxus (Reply #25)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 10:52 PM

46. Good point. I would like to see some overseas bases closed.

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Response to Jack Sprat (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 09:30 PM

26. How else can we ensure a new generation of "terrorists" to keep the arms industry healthy?

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Response to Jack Sprat (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 09:33 PM

27. "Is that who writes the largest political campaign checks?"

 

And the banks and Wall Street and the insurance companies and the pharmaceutical companies and the oil companies and the...

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Response to think (Reply #28)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 12:11 AM

50. Think what that would do for The Arts in this country.

Amazing. Sadly amazing.

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Response to Jack Sprat (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 09:45 PM

29. Over $1 TRILLION spent on defense, not one member of Congress willing to address this.

And we can't afford anything else. Definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

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Response to Initech (Reply #29)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 10:19 PM

35. I thought it was just under $700 billion last year

and about 18% of the federal budget.

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Response to mostlyconfused (Reply #35)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 10:31 PM

38. Most of the funding of Iraq and Afghanistan wars

 

came from supplementary spending bills off the main budgets, but exacerbating the annual federal deficits and the national debt just as if they were.

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Response to Jack Sprat (Reply #38)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 02:34 PM

68. That was true under Bush the lesser

Obama put them on the books and now gets blamed for the run away spending. Logic Republican style!

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Response to Jack Sprat (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 10:08 PM

31. I wish there was more of a movement

to cut military spending.

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Response to Jack Sprat (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 10:13 PM

33. Check those Congressional portfolios...bet you'll see a LOT of military industrial stocks in 'em.

Then check those Congressional families...and see how many relative dullards, who by accident of birth or marriage, are related to a sitting Congresscritter, and are lucky enough to have great jobs with that very same military industrial complex...

It's all down to buttered bread, you see. Those lobbyists know this. Patronage is alive and well.

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Response to Jack Sprat (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 10:21 PM

36. The irony is that this military has managed to lose 2 wars in little over 10 years. That's got to be

 

some kind of record for loser-dom.

The U.S. military: the biggest Keynesian stimulus program in the history of the known universe.

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #36)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 02:24 PM

66. HEY! We didn't lose!

They were both ties, just like Nam!

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Response to Jack Sprat (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 10:32 PM

39. Are increasing drone strikes in Pakistan OK though?

 

Fair enough...but are we all OK with our administration increasing drone stirkes in Pakistan?

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Response to Jack Sprat (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 10:37 PM

40. yep. just like the cost of the wars, no discussion is serious unless this is mentioned

wanna cut the deficit? PLENTY of waste and abuse in the DOD budget

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Response to Jack Sprat (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 10:45 PM

42. All that military might and couldn't stop 9/11 form happening .. huh?

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Response to Jack Sprat (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 10:47 PM

44. do not forget the gorilla

the ridiculously low tax rates paid on capital gains.

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Response to daybranch (Reply #44)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 10:52 PM

45. I think that the gorilla

 

is in the category of corporate welfare and investor welfare. If you pay lower rates than workers make by the sweat of their brain and brawn, that's a obvious entitlement of another kind.

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Response to Jack Sprat (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 11:03 PM

47. How about a large bull?

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Response to Jack Sprat (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 11:05 PM

48. Maybe we should keep some of it though just in case

 

I mean what's to stop Putin or Chavez or Ahmadinijhad from putting offensive nuke missles in Cuba like in 1962

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Response to SF Dockworker (Reply #48)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 01:15 AM

53. We don't cut it all, that would be suicide, but trimming half a trillion would be doable

Cutting the budget back to $500 or $600 billion without any foreign adventures would still give us a strong military.

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Response to pediatricmedic (Reply #53)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 10:57 AM

60. Any cut would come out of GDP, is the worry

Doing anything to reduce the deficit this year is pretty stupid, IMO, since spending is for the most part spending. But, yes, we could meet our strategic needs with about half a trillion less than we spend now pretty easily (of all people, Rumsfeld was very vocal about this both back when he was Ford's SecDef and when he was W's).

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Response to SF Dockworker (Reply #48)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 05:05 AM

54. let me guess

you own a lot of guns

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Response to Skittles (Reply #54)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 02:22 PM

65. Let me tell you

 

Actually not a single one.

I just don't completely trust that some wouldn't like to see us vaporize no matter how nice we talk to them.

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Response to SF Dockworker (Reply #48)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 10:55 AM

58. Welcome to DU



ILWU?

Actually getting rid of all of Defence would contract the economy by as much as getting rid of all of Social Security, and I don't think anybody's advocating it.

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Response to SF Dockworker (Reply #48)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 09:09 AM

85. The missiles weren't put in Cuba without provocation.

They were put there because the first thing JFK did was to let the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba go through. It's not as if Cuba owed it to us to remain sitting ducks to a second attack. ANY OTHER COUNTRY would have accepted Soviet DEFENSIVE missiles on their territory if we'd pulled the same shit on them.

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Response to Jack Sprat (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 12:51 AM

51. Exactly

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Response to Jack Sprat (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 01:00 AM

52. True - it was even more ridiculous last time around

when there was all the uproar over NPR funding, about how that was the kind of thing we just couldn't afford in these difficult times. Of course, NPR funding is one hundredth of one percent of the budget, and would be enough to buy one and one half of a new fighter jet per year. Not enough to fly one anywhere or hire a pilot...but the stupidity of it.

Which is why I was pretty stunned that that actual agreement came out with defense spending cuts, and big defense spending cuts at "the cliff" if other things weren't worked out. How Obama got them to agree to that - unique times!

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Response to Jack Sprat (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 06:25 AM

55. The US military is killing the very thing they say they are trying to protect.

Bleeding us dry from the inside out.

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Response to Jack Sprat (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 08:42 AM

56. Lobbyists for the defense contracts make the NRA lobbyists

look like fluffy white bunny rabbits.

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Response to Jack Sprat (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 10:57 AM

59. Yep. Let's try some laser-jet-robot austerity first.


No one's talking about it though. Not Republicans. Not Democrats. That bread is buttered on both sides, apparently.

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Response to Jack Sprat (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 11:05 AM

61. i've noticed that too

it never comes up. they want to slash school lunches and meals on wheels for chrissake and never once do they bring up this huge drain on our resources. it's almost as if the MIC lobby is even stronger than the NRA.

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Response to Jack Sprat (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 11:17 AM

62. Offense Dept.

I'm sick of it being called the defense dept. Our military has always been used for an offensive position, not a defensive one. I'm sick of this huge lie to the entire world.

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Response to Jack Sprat (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 11:37 AM

63. I thought we were done with Chris Christie threads until the primaries

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Response to Jack Sprat (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 02:37 PM

69. It's always four more years of Cheney.

1. Promote domestic oil and gas production at any cost to reduce America’s dependence on unfriendly foreign suppliers, thereby increasing Washington's freedom of action.

2. Keep control over the oil flow from the Persian Gulf (even if the U.S. gets an ever-diminishing share of its own oil supplies from the region) in order to retain an “economic stranglehold” over other major oil importers.

3. Dominate the sea lanes of Asia, so as to control the flow of oil and other raw materials to America’s potential economic rivals, China and Japan.

4. Promote energy “diversification” in Europe, especially through increased reliance on oil and natural gas supplies from the former Soviet republics of the Caspian Sea basin, in order to reduce Europe’s heavy dependence on Russian oil and gas, along with the political influence this brings Moscow.

SOURCE: http://www.tomdispatch.com/archive/175560/

War Inc and Empire work for the one-tenth of one-percent Ownership Class.



Excellent post, as always, yours, Jack Spratt. Every word and memorable analogy.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #69)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 04:01 PM

74. Informative and apt article

 

on tomdispatch, Octafish.

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Response to Jack Sprat (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 05:12 PM

76. K&R nt

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Response to Jack Sprat (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 05:43 PM

79. K&R except there's a whole herd of the proto-pachyderms ruining the carpet. n/t

 

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Response to Jack Sprat (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 10:21 PM

80. Blowback, Sorrow and Consequences

Chalmers Johnson - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chalmers_Johnson#The_Blowback_series

"In Blowback, I set out to explain why we are hated around the world. The concept "blowback" does not just mean retaliation for things our government has done to and in foreign countries. It refers to retaliation for the numerous illegal operations we have carried out abroad that were kept totally secret from the American public. This means that when the retaliation comes -- as it did so spectacularly on September 11, 2001 -- the American public is unable to put the events in context. So they tend to support acts intended to lash out against the perpetrators, thereby most commonly preparing the ground for yet another cycle of blowback.




"The Sorrows of Empire was written during the American preparations for and launching of the invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq. I began to study our continuous military buildup since World War II and the 737 military bases we currently maintain in other people's countries. This empire of bases is the concrete manifestation of our global hegemony, and many of the blowback-inducing wars we have conducted had as their true purpose the sustaining and expanding of this network. We do not think of these overseas deployments as a form of empire; in fact, most Americans do not give them any thought at all until something truly shocking, such as the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, brings them to our attention. But the people living next door to these bases and dealing with the swaggering soldiers who brawl and sometimes rape their women certainly think of them as imperial enclaves, just as the people of ancient Iberia or nineteenth-century India knew that they were victims of foreign colonization."




"In Nemesis, I have tried to present historical, political, economic, and philosophical evidence of where our current behavior is likely to lead. Specifically, I believe that to maintain our empire abroad requires resources and commitments that will inevitably undercut our domestic democracy and in the end produce a military dictatorship or its civilian equivalent. The founders of our nation understood this well and tried to create a form of government – a republic – that would prevent this from occurring. But the combination of huge standing armies, almost continuous wars, military Keynesianism, and ruinous military expenses have destroyed our republican structure in favor of an imperial presidency. We are on the cusp of losing our democracy for the sake of keeping our empire. Once a nation is started down that path, the dynamics that apply to all empires come into play – isolation, overstretch, the uniting of forces opposed to imperialism, and bankruptcy."

Dismantling the Empire: America's Last Best Hope

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Response to Jack Sprat (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 10:56 PM

81. What if instead of ignoring the information,

Last edited Wed Jan 2, 2013, 06:40 PM - Edit history (1)

that had been received on August 6, 2001 in the presidential daily briefing titled:

'Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States'

containing FBI provided CONTENT, conveying very important PROACTIVE information:

"...parallel activities tracked by the FBI consistent with preparations for hijacking..."




Someone had decided the president should take one very simple step: follow up on all additional information then get on television and make the case for increased airport security screening. If the POTUS had taken these precautions, would people still think expanded presidential powers could somehow make up for incompetence?

...Should we automatically increase the powers of the POTUS every time a failure occurs...

Imperial Militarism: the Military-Industrial Complex, the Pentagon, the CIA, the Patriot Act, the United States Naval Station Guantanamo Bay detention center in Communist Cuba, the National Defense Authorization Act, the Department of Homeland Security, torture, spying, indefinite detention wo/trial, preemptive war, invasion, occupation, drone strikes, etc...

...in order to, all of the sudden, defend ourselves or did we have it correct prior to 9/11?

As Washington continually finds it easier to re-authorize this network of expanded presidential powers, we will face unchecked actions, expenditures and blowback. The debate over the debt will be one-sided, controlled by hawks and framed around 'European-style Socialist Programs' (a Republican term for the Social Safety Net).

NOTE: The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), ALONE, which has been re-authorized year after year, has a price tag of $662 billion attached to it.

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