Tag Archives: sequester

Rebuttal of William Hartung’s blatant lies about the threat environment

Display of might

The leftist “BreakingDefense” website has recently (on Dec. 12th) published yet another utterly ridiculous leftist screed, this time by ignorant anti-defense hack William Hartung from the far-left “New America Foundation”, an organization that seeks to turn America into a socialist, militarily weak country. In that garbage screed, Hartung falsely claims that:

1) The world is much safer now than during the Cold War and there is no significant threat to America’s or her allies’ security;

2) US military superiority is uncontested and there’s no one able to contest it;

3) The US spends too much on defense and should cut it by $100 bn per year, below Cold War average levels;

4) The only threats to US security on the horizon are the politically-correct threats of man-made climate change, disease, hunger, and nuclear-armed terrorists, and potential “miscalculations” in the current territorial disputes in East Asia. Hartung falsely claims none of America’s current or future security challenges can be solved through the “traditional means of military power”;

5) The Ryan-Murray budget deal would give an additional $20 bn to the DOD every year and would effectively increase defense spending.

All of Hartung’s claims are patently false. All of them.

1) Despite his pious denials, the world is far, far more dangerous than at any point during the Cold War except the Cuban Missile Crisis over 50 years ago. It is, in fact, more dangerous than at any point since WW2, again excluding only the CMC. During the CW, the US had to deter only one hostile superpower. Today, it has to deter and keep in check TWO hostile superpowers with large nuclear arsenals – Russia and China – as well as a nuclear-armed and belligerent North Korea, soon to be joined by a nuclear-armed Iran. It also has to fight terrorist organizations, such as AQ and Hezbollah, around the world. To cut US defense spending even further (after all the previous, pre-sequestration rounds of defense cuts implemented by the Obama admin) would be suicidal. No, the US is not spending too much on defense; if anything, it is spending too little. The world is decidedly NOT safer now than during the Cold War; for all of the above reasons, it is far MORE dangerous.

2) US military superiority is mostly a thing of the past already. Russia and China both wield large, modern, and growing nuclear arsenals as well as large, modern conventional militaries. In most categories of weapons, they’ve already matched or bested the US and are now working on closing the remaining few gaps. Their Flanker fighters are superior to everything the US flies except the F-22 and upgraded F-15C/Ds. Their PAKFA, J-20, and J-31 stealth fighters will best everything on the planet except the F-22 (whose capability they will nonetheless approach). Their Sovremenny and Type 052 DDGs are better than the USN’s DDGs, their submarines are quieter than the USN’s (who also sucks at ASW), and the PLAN already has far more attack subs than the USN does. In a few years, the PLAN will have more submarines, and more ships, in total than the USN. They both also have IRBMs, a class of weapons the US does not have, and China also has a huge arsenal of GLCMs. It is now also developing a stealthy, intercontinental bomber capable of reaching the CONUS.

But most troublingly, these countries (and on a lesser scale, rogue states like the DPRK and Iran) have fielded large, multi-layered networks of anti-access/area-denial weapons and capabilities that can shutter the US military out of entire war theaters completely, by destroying US land bases, USN surface ships, US satellites, and crippling US cyber networks as well as denying access to their airspace to all but the most stealthy a/c (F-22s and B-2s, plus the future LRSB/NGB). Their air defense systems can shoot any nonstealthy aircraft from hundreds of kilometers away. This means the US will have to acquire a wholly new series of long-range strike platforms that can access even the most heavily-defended countries, hit their assets, and operate at great distances, as well as disperse, harden, and fortify its current land bases and upgrade its air and missile defenses. This cannot be done on the cheap – it will require significant and sustained investments.

So Hartung’s claim that there’s no threat to US military supremacy is also a blatant lie – like the rest of his screed.

3) How much money the US has spent on defense in decades past is completely irrelevant to how much money should it be spending on defense right now. The only way to determine the right amount is to ask: “What exact capabilities (and thus weapons) do we need, at what level of sophistication, and at what quantity, and how much will it cost to recruit, house, feed, equip, train, maintain, care for, and compensate such a military?” Only this way can the right amount of defense spending be determined.

Raw figures and exclamations, like “oh my gosh, we’re spending $480 bn to $500 bn per year on defense, can’t we provide for our security with that amount?” and “oh my gosh, we’re spending more than during the Cold War on defense!” are utterly irrelevant and childish. Not to mention that the dollar is worth far, far less today than during the Cold War, and that as a share of the federal budget and of GDP, the US now spends LESS on defense than at any point since FY1940.

Hartung, whose goal is to totally gut America’s defense, OTOH, wants to arbitrarily cut US defense spending deeply so that it will be woefully inadequate.

4) Despite Hartung’s blatant lies that the world’s current security threats cannot be solved by military means, nothing could be further from the truth. Today, the biggest threats to America’s and its allies’ security are: an ascendant and aggressive China, a resurgent and aggressive Russia, a nuclear-armed NK preying on its southern neighbor and the US itself, an Iran speedily developing nuclear weapons and BMs, and terrorist groups of global reach like Hezbollah and AQ. These threats cannot be defeated by ANYTHING other than military means – because the ONLY thing these potential aggressors understand and respect is military strength. It’s the only thing that can deter and if necessary (Hezbollah, AQ) defeat them.

5) Contrary to Hartung’s blatant lies, the Ryan-Murray budget deal would not add a penny to the defense budget. It would only slightly reduce the amount of sequestration-required budget cuts the DOD would have to make in FY2014 and FY2015: by roughly $20 bn this FY and $9 bn the next, out of over $50 bn in cuts mandated by the sequester for every FY going forward thru FY2022. After FY2015, the sequester would return in full force.

Even before sequestration, the DOD had already cut almost a TRILLION dollars out of its budget: in over $330 bn in cuts resulting from the killing of over 50 crucial weapon programs by Sec. Gates, $178 bn in his later “efficiencies”, and $487 bn under the first tranche of BCA-mandated (pre-sequester) budget cuts. Sequestration is only the newest series of defense budget cuts being implemented by the Obama administration, which targeted defense for deep cuts as soon as it took office. Any claim that Ryan and Murray want to add any amount of money to the defense budget is a flat-out lie.

6) The Stimson Center’s proposals are useless, because they would “achieve” $25 bn in “savings” only by deeply cutting the military’s MUSCLE – America’s military CAPABILITIES, not the fat. Specifically, the Army would see even deeper cuts than those proposed by Obama, and the Navy’s planned SSBN replacement fleet would get cut from the barely-adequate planned number of 12 to just 10 boats. This is the defense policy of a madhouse.

7) Hartung shows his true colors when he calls on Congress not to spare the DOD at all from the sequester… but does not object to Congress reducing the scheduled sequester cuts to nondefense (domestic) discretionary programs, the vast majority of which are unconstitutional. This proves, once again, that Hartung’s goal is NOT to save taxpayers money, but to gut America’s defense.

And for that, he should be damnated forever as the traitor he is.

Shame on Hartung for lying so blatantly, but above all, shame on BD and its editors, Colin Clark and Sydney Freedberg, for publishing his litany of blatant lies and thus giving him yet another avenue to lie to the public, as if he didn’t have enough. Shame on you, Messrs. Clark and Freedberg!

House GOP Has Nothing to Offer Conservatives

GOP surrenders principlesHere’s the situation: You’re in a high–stakes negotiation with an untrustworthy opponent. The opposition has violated every agreement the two of you have made in the past. Enforcement mechanisms are weak or non–existent.

In other areas of mutual interest your opponent regularly violates the law and dares you to do something about the violation. Your weak and vacillating leadership can’t be counted on in a pinch. And finally, the opposition lies shamelessly to the state media, doing its best to paint you as a fanatic and pathological liar.

So what do you do?

Bomb Iran is a good answer, but it’s not the answer for this question, because I’m talking about negotiating a budget deal with Democrats.

The Republican House leadership decision in this case was to sell out their conservative base in a brazen attempt to insure their own re–election at the expense of the nation’s fiscal future.

Rep. Paul Ryan (R–WI) and Sen. Patty Murray (D–Sneakers) have presented us with a plan that shatters the spending ceiling that was the main result of the bruising sequester fight, dilutes the small budget cuts from the sequester and raises taxes (Ryan calls it a “fee” but if the feds get more money and it comes from our pockets it’s the same as a tax).

Ryan even has the gall to say the deal will balance the budget in ten years and sidestep the threat of government shutdowns in January and October 2014.

And those dates are what are really important for craven House negotiators. In fact, the real motivation for the deal is Ryan’s shutdown statement. House Republicans still think they suffered a near–death experience in the recent government shutdown. But instead of seeing Jesus and a bright light, they saw a Mayflower moving van and a bright white resume. For them if it’s a choice between selling out to the Democrats and losing their cushy Congressional job, sellout is just another word for job security.

The risk of a potential shutdown in January and October of an election year was simply too much uncertainty for these stalwarts to bear. So instead of simply passing a continuing resolution as has been done for the past few years and keeping the sequester savings, Ryan decided to remove all uncertainly and cave in this year.

Ryan and Speaker Boehner (R–Risible) think they can get away with this lie to conservatives because the result of increased federal spending and budget busting won’t have the personal impact on voters that Obama’s insurance lie had. You don’t get a letter from the government cancelling your future. You get a Chinaman repossessing the Washington monument.

The rationalization for this total surrender is threefold according to our betters: The agreement restores some defense spending reduced by the sequester, cuts the budget and brings the entire budget into balance in ten years.

Let’s start at the top. Ace negotiator Ryan was able to restore $2 billion in Pentagon spending next year in return for letting Democrats increase wasteful social spending by $ 22 BILLION! That’s a ratio of 11 to one in welfare to warfare spending.

The sequester was bad enough — defense took half the cuts, while social spending took the other half spread over countless pointless programs — but this disaster in multiplication makes that deal look positively prudent.

Second the budget cut. I admire Ryan’s poker face as he announced $26 billion in cuts over ten years. This means the federal government will be cutting $2.6 billion a year out of a budget that’s over $1 trillion! For comparison purposes, the city of Washington, DC spends more than $2.6 billion in four months. In 2012 the IRS issued $11 billion in fraudulent income tax refunds. In the same year the government wasted $95 billion in programs identified by the Government Accounting Office that duplicated other wasteful government programs.

In federal terms, Ryan’s $2.6 billion is pocket change.

Finally, the budget balances in ten years. This is not because spending will finally be brought in line with revenue, which is how individuals balance budgets. No, Ryan is hoping that federal tax revenues will grow enough through a recovering economy to finally match the spending right now. In the other nine years the deficit continues to pile up.

This is like a drunk driver careening the wrong way down the interstate hoping his blood will absorb enough of the booze for him to regain control before the car hits the bridge abutment.

David Stockman, Reagan’s budget director who saw firsthand how Republicans agreed to increase taxes for Democrat spending cuts that never came, says, “First, let’s be clear—it’s a joke and betrayal. It’s the final surrender of the House Republican leadership to Beltway politics and kicking the can and ignoring the budget monster that’s hurtling down the road.”

Earlier this week reporter Paul Kane of The Washington Post seemed confused that TEA party members were mounting challenges to incumbent Republican senators. The answer is simple; conservatives have no reason to support big government incumbentcrats, regardless of whether they are Senators or Congressmen. Keeping the likes of Boehner or Ryan or Orrin Hatch in office is not the be all and end all of our existence. If nothing else even an unsuccessful primary can be a wakeup call for these whited sepulchers.

Why fight for them if they won’t fight for us? Why waste the gas necessary to drive to the polls to vote for these weaklings?

The only difference between these Republicans and Nancy Pelosi is we go broke slower and there’s a slim chance we won’t have to attend a same–sex marriage ceremony to qualify for Social Security benefits.

Retreating to a compound in Idaho is looking better and better. And since Janet Reno is no longer attorney general, we might even survive until the Chinese foreclose.

How Advice from Three Frenchmen Could Have Won the Shutdown Battle

Don't let the floppy hats fool you. The Three Musketeers could have helped during the Shutdown fight.

Don’t let the floppy hats fool you. The Three Musketeers could have helped during the Shutdown fight.

Speaker John Boehner is the Adm. Karl Dönitz of Republican politics. Hemmed in on one side by the pounding batteries of the Mainstream Media and on the other by a mob of howling leftists eager to send him to a self–criticism session on MSNBC — Boehner desperately tries to negotiate a surrender to Supreme Commander Obama that will leave him with a shred of dignity and continued access to the Congressional tanning bed.

What really sticks in Boehner’s craw is the realization he’s going to be stuck with the blame for the shutdown defeat! He warned the caucus what would happen if they followed a strategy designed by crazy people. But no, they were intoxicated by the crowds at the rallies and stem–winders on the Senate floor. Victory was at hand!

Yet now the loonies are out of the picture and here Boehner sits in the ruins of the Shutdown Bunker wondering if Harry Reid will allow him to smoke at the signing ceremony.

That’s what Boehner gets for trying to fight a two–front war. The struggle over Obamacare should have been either the continuing resolution shutdown or the debt ceiling. Not a bizarre push–me­—pull–you that blurred the two issues and made the public think the country hitched a ride with Thelma & Louise.

Giving credit where credit is due, Boehner started out well. The House GOP passed the initial continuing resolution with everything funded but Obamacare and sent the bill to the Senate where is disappeared like it was term limits legislation. So the government was at impasse.

It’s possible that if Boehner had donned a turban and started enriching uranium, Obama would have agreed to negotiate with him, but there wasn’t enough time to install the necessary number of centrifuges in the Rayburn office building.

During past shutdowns our leaders attempted to limit the inconvenience. This was a policy the Obama Administration could not afford to follow, as I pointed out last week, because after losing the sequester a painless shutdown would help make the case for even smaller government.

That’s why the Spite House made sure this shutdown hurt as many civilian bystanders as possible. Collateral damage was the order of the day. In total disregard of negative publicity Obama used his human drones in the Park Police to close the WWII monument, national parks, private businesses, roads, athletic fields and anything else they could get away with.

It drove Obama’s approval rating down to Jimmy Carter Land at 37 percent, which is an all time low for the light bringer. Yet he held firm, ironically enough employing the Nixon “madman” strategy. As Nixon once said, “I call it the Madman Theory… I want the North Vietnamese to believe I’ve reached the point where I might do anything to stop the war. We’ll just slip the word to them that, “for God’s sake, you know Nixon is obsessed about communism. We can’t restrain him when he’s angry—and he has his hand on the nuclear button.”

The only difference is Obama — totally lacking a foreign policy — uses the Madman theory to intimidate his Republican domestic opposition. It’s remarkable that a fellow who wears mom jeans and would probably have trouble bench-pressing a juice box, is so eager to roll the dice when other’s futures are at stake.

So as the nation’s busy borrowers at the Treasury threatened to crash into an unyielding debt ceiling, Boehner was genuinely worried that Madman Barack might actually cause the country to default, if it meant he would win the confrontation.

So Boehner blinked and surrendered.

Here is where the Frenchmen could have provided the margin of victory.

If only Boehner had employed the Three Musketeer Strategy the county and the GOP would have won in the long run. The Three Musketeer’s motto was: One for All & All for One.

Instead of allowing craven porkmeister Sen. Mitch McConnell (R–I’m not for sale, but I rent cheap) to seize the agenda and pass a combination government funding and debt ceiling agreement, Boehner should have had the House pass a bill that did that AND required everyone, every company and every member of Congress and their staff to submit to Obamacare this year without any waivers.

One for All & All for One; with the “All” in this instance being Obamacare. That way the fight is still about Obama’s signature bill, the one he shut down the government to save, but in a brilliant bit of political ju–jitsu his bill is turned against him.

Making the entire country suffer under the full Obamacare this year would have resulted in a disaster at the polls for Democrats in 2014. What’s more, the administration knows it, which is why it exempted employers from the mandate until AFTER the election.

Even better the Three Musketeer bill has the virtue of simplicity: all the money and all the Obamacare. With only two elements the MSM could not bury coverage of the Obamacare waiver removal, as it buried Obama’s plunging poll ratings. (Most poll stories trumpeted declining GOP ratings in the headlines and only mentioned the new low for Obama as a passing aside.)

A Three Musketeers bill would have been a poison pill for the administration. Signing it means a disaster at the polls next year. Not signing it and defaulting because Republicans were too bi–partisan and Obama didn’t want his signature bill to take effect for everyone would be a PR disaster even the MSM could not ignore. And Democrats would still face a wipeout in 2014. All victory would have required was for Boehner to hold fast regardless of Obama’s choice.

If the signature bill of the president is so good for the country, as the MSM claims, then Republicans should have done their best to make sure the nation gets it, as H. L. Mencken used to say, “good and hard.” After all, what’s wrong with using “settled law” to unsettle the populace?

Their Finest Hour with Allan Bourdius – Anarcho-capitalism-style – October 14th

TFHRsquare - 300x300

TFHRsquare - 300x300
When: Monday, October 14th, 10pm Eastern/7pm Pacific

Where: Their Finest Hour with Allan Bourdius

What: Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it – or to not repeat the parts that should be. We’re in a solemn hour in the cause of freedom, and yes, we’re only ever one generation away from losing it. Allan Bourdius of the Their Finest Hour blog (theirfinesthour.blogspot.com) brings his conservative/libertarian fusion (“conservatarian”) perspective to the events of the day and contextualizes them with facts and history to arm the forces of liberty to better our communities and our society, open eyes, and win converts – so that one day our children, still with freedom intact, can look back and say of us, their parents: “This was their finest hour.”

Tonight: The country’s in the hands of toddlers, at least if you pay attention to the drivel coming from the left. They must have their way, or else! Listen tonight as Allan discusses shutdown, and the debt-ceiling with Twitter’s favorite anarcho-capitalist – Michelle Ray (@GaltsGirl). There probably will some talk about bacon, coffee, and potatoes. (Yes, you’ll have to tune in to find out why taters are important!)

Listen to internet radio with CDNews Radio on BlogTalkRadio

Government Has Met the Enemy & It Is Us

Taxpayers sent to back of the bus as feds barricade MLK monument.
Taxpayers sent to back of the bus as feds barricade MLK monument.

Taxpayers sent to back of the bus as feds barricade MLK monument.

Americans are learning to their great surprise that Smokey the Bear has big, sharp teeth.

Formerly warm and cuddly branches of government — the Park Service, Forest Service and other granola–based management teams — have suddenly turned on innocent taxpayers who only wanted to scratch behind their ears.

You’re no doubt familiar with the WWII veterans who removed barriers the US Park Police erected to block the formerly law enforcement–free WWII Monument on the Mall. (Best sign of the Shutdown: “Normandy was closed when we got there, too.”) But that’s only one of many incidents.

The Washington Post interviewed a visitor from San Antonio who “expressed indignation at the petty ways that officials prevented people from enjoying national landmarks.” Her family had no problem looking at the cemetery itself since putting barriers in front of each tombstone was too much for even Smokey Bear. But they were unable to peek inside Arlington House because “they put black plastic in the windows so we couldn’t look in.”

If the reporter could have found a spokesperson not literally manning the barricades, I’m sure the response would have been the plastic was simply part of the annual preparations for the ‘Old Virginny Haunted House of Slavery’ that takes place in the mansion every October.

(SEEMarse’ Robert with blood on his hands! GASP as Stonewall Jackson sleeps during Christian services, dreaming of denying women the right to fight on the front line! SCREAM as Virginia terrorist Col. John Mosby provides inspiration for modern TEA party insurgents while he works for a TOTAL GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN!)

Any intimation that plastic–covered windows are a Glad bag thumb in the eye to conservatives is simply more delusional ranting from a party on Cruz control.

As the shutdown continues it’s obvious there is an air of desperation surrounding this whole petty, vindictive exercise on the part of the Obama Administration. The illegality, over reaction and simply hateful response of “public servants” to the actual public is so obvious even the media can no longer ignore it.

The question is why the federal tantrum? The answer is the Spite House (thank you Michelle Malkin) can’t afford to lose this fight like they did the sequester. Instead of being “the end of life as we knew it,” the sequester has become an accepted fact of life. Sequester was designed to be so destructive to defense that responsible Republicans would rescue the Pentagon, even if it meant more deficit spending on social programs.

The calculation failed. Setting a spending cut precedent was so important Republicans decided the 2,666 miles separating China from the USA would have to defend the country for now. In the event of a Chinese invasion, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D–LaRaza) would remove any hostile intent by putting them on the fast track to citizenship.

Budget talks now start with the sequester cuts as the baseline, and not an extraordinary one–time nick to the budget. Obamacrats can’t risk the public leaning they can function without 100 percent of the federal government.

Which is why duplicitous, politically motivated “public servants” are working hand–in–hand with the White House to provide the maximum inconvenience with the least blame for the administration. A painless 5 percent sequester, followed by a 17 percent government shutdown that isn’t a disaster for someone might create a climate where rolling back the size of government becomes a reality.

Hence the no–knock shutdowns. The Washington Times found Bruce O’Connell, the owner of the Pisgah Inn located on the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina, fighting the arbitrary shutdown of his business. According to the story, “O’Connell said his workers are not federal employees, and his fire, police and rescue services all come from the county, so he isn’t drawing any federal funds.”

Uncle Sam’s only role before the shutdown was taking money from him in the form of fees. In the light of the nation’s budget situation, staying open would make money and possibly prevent that sequester–enabled Chinese invasion. Instead Obama spends money to prevent income after O’Connell refused to close. That act of defiance won him a visit from park rangers who were suddenly stationed in his driveway turning away paying customers.

Under the rule of law, as opposed to the rule of bureaucratic whim, if the Park Service thought it had the authority to close the inn it would have requested an injunction from a federal judge. O’Connell’s failure to close is a civil matter, not a criminal matter. There is no threat to public safety, only a threat to Big Government collectivists. Since time and the law were not on its side, the Obama administration used implied force to perform an arbitrary seizure.

Here in the Washington area, our rulers dispatched Park Police to close Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington. Once again the facts don’t support federal action. Mount Vernon is owned by the Mount Vernon Ladies Association, the only investment the Park Service has is shared ownership of a parking lot.

The service could have posted a sign on their half of the lot warning drivers to park at their own risk and beware of paint chips stirred up by passing motorists. Instead the Park Service closed the entire facility, which is simply illegal, until the doughty Ladies Association fought back and reopened.

The feds tried the same shuffle with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, instructing him to close several parks. Gov. Walker not only refused to close any parks, he also ordered state officials to remove barricades the feds had installed to prevent taxpayers from using their own facilities.

(This act of courage could backfire, as federal memories are long. If Wisconsin some time in the future suffers a hurricane or the glaciers return I predict federal response will be very slow.)

Walker has the advantage of controlling his own law enforcement resources and in a pinch, the Wisconsin National Guard. So he can prevent illegal attempts at seizures by having his people intimidate their people.

Unfortunately, the rest of us don’t have that option when “public servants” stop serving the will of the people and start imposing their will on the people.

Happy Day-After Sequester Day

Obama failures

For weeks leading up to the big sequestration event, we were told how the country’s critically needed services were going to come to a grinding halt. Thousands of planes would be grounded because FAA air traffic controllers would be laid off, houses would burn down due to all of the laid-off firemen, and we wouldn’t be able to count on the police because there would be fewer of them (and with people having fewer guns, we would be in real trouble, wink wink).

Rep. Maxine Waters said 170 million Americans would lose their jobs. (I hope you guys are smarter than this; there aren’t that many jobs in the U.S.) I think I even heard the Earth could possibly move in the opposite direction. Well, maybe not, but close.

Democrats are good at spinning fairy tales.

Why do Democrats think we are such idiots? Well, maybe we are. They need to cut $82 billion from a $4 trillion budget. That’s 2 percent of the budget. It’s negligible. Budget? There is no budget. So why is it so difficult to cut 2 percent from something that doesn’t exist?

We do have $4 trillion in expenses, but certainly we could cut 2 cents on every dollar, considering the federal government overpays as much as $50 billion for goods and services every year (according to Sen. Tom Coburn).

Mr. President, stop playing games and act like a leader. I have been saying on my radio show that he needed to stop campaigning and get back to Washington, lock himself in a room with House and Senate leaders and – taking the lead from Sheriff Joe Arpaio – feed them bologna sandwiches, give them pink underwear, and don’t let them out until they have a plan. The American people deserve that.

Apparently the president heard my show, flew back to D.C. on Friday, went into a room with only Republican leaders and tried to browbeat them into dropping the cuts and giving him more revenue (read: tax increases). When they refused, he walked out. Great negotiating skills.

After that, he went to his pre-arranged press conference and miraculously had a 20-minute speech prepared (because he can’t just “talk” to the public), in which he proceeded to blame Republicans for everything.

The president got his tax increase in the first round of negotiations back in January. He was downright deceitful because, as he said in his speeches, after those meetings he would meet with “the other side” to lay out meaningful cuts and take a balanced approach moving forward.

Republicans should have learned from the days of President Reagan. At the time, Democrats agreed to give Reagan the funds to secure the border, both physically and with human resources, in exchange for amnesty. What did the Democrats do in Congress?They reneged on the deal. Amnesty came, but nothing else did. And we, the American people, got screwed. Now we have eight times the number of illegals in a relatively short period of time.

Once again, Democrats are hiding the facts. Why exactly does money have to be taken from first responders? Is that really the only place we can cut? I guess if you’re looking to bamboozle the American public, it might be a good idea.

There’s more than $32 billion in grants for green and alternative energy research and development. Why can’t we start there instead of public safety? We don’t need green energy to keep our homes from burning down, or crime out of the streets, or our emergency rooms open. Friday, another green energy company that received a government grant closed its doors. Why doesn’t the president just flush the money? It wouldn’t be as painful.

According to Sen. Coburn, there are a few other areas we can make cuts without impacting vital services for public safety:

* Nearly $700,000 went from the National Science Foundation to a New York-based theater company so it could develop a musical about climate change and biodiversity.

* Close loopholes in the food stamp system to reduce widespread abuse such as the exotic dancer who earned more than $85,000 a year in tips, but also collected nearly $1,000 a month in food stamps while spending $9,000 during that time period on “cosmetic enhancements.”

* Although NASA has no plans or budget for any manned spaceflights to Mars, the agency spends about $1 million each year on developing “the Mars menu.” It’s an effort to come up with a variety of food that humans could eat one day on Mars.

* A $325,000 grant was awarded for the development of “Robosquirrel,” a robotic rodent designed to test the interaction between rattlesnakes and squirrels.

* An estimated $70 million is lost on the production of pennies. According to the Waste Book, “The cost to produce a penny in 2012 is more than two times its actual value.” After billions of one-cent coins are manufactured and sold at face value every year, taxpayers are left to cover the loss.

* Billions of dollars of government-owned real estate sits empty while we rent or lease billions of dollars in office space.

And these guys want to manage health care? Buy your plot while there is still room.

These guys couldn’t manage growing grass.

SNL and ‘Obama’ on Sequestration

fake obama snl

fake obama snlWhile the president is still trying to blame Republicans for the  cuts certain to impact some families and federal workers due to the sequester, it appears the comedians from Saturday Night Live see it somewhat differently.  In their opening skit this weekend, in typical irreverent style, the SNL cast mockingly portrays this president as somewhat uninformed and not knowledgeable on budgets. As the fake Obama says, “I could explain it in financial terms or in human terms,” Obama said. “But since I have no idea how money works or how budgets work, I’ll go with human terms instead.”

After bringing in several federal workers who share how they will be affected by the budget cuts, the President explains  that America will survive.

“Trust me, nine months from now, you won’t remember this sequester ever happened,” he said. “Why? Because there will be another way worse financial crisis to deal with.”

Two things to take from this parody: One, that the writers of SNL are no longer peeling grapes for their hero and two, the above quotes have a real element of truth in them.

You can watch the opening skit below or at NBC.

“I Am Not A Dictator!”

obama assertive

“O Duck Luck, ” says Hen Pen, “the sky is falling!”
“Why, how do you know it?” says Duck Luck.
Obama Chicken Little told me.”

And so goes the story of another famous alarmist, Chicken Little. President Obama has attempted for the past few weeks to raise alarm about the awful “cuts” that would affect everything. The economy will be hurt and crippled for years, other results include millions of furloughed federal employees, and a non-functioning military. All because those darned Republicans would not agree with him to further increase spending.

Stoking more fear and animus, the president now seeks to paint the entire fallout from the ever-so-slightly decreased future spending on Republicans. The president specifically named John Boehner and Mitch McConnell as the responsible parties. And although Obama has to yet figure out how to paint the reluctance to support spending as either racist, or to invoke class warfare narratives, we need only to give it time, and his friends will spin furiously until a good excuse develops. It is their nature.

The president, when asked by the adoring press, what more he could have done to ensure sequestration did not take effect, blurted out, “I am not a dictator…”, and says he could not send the Secret Service after Republicans to prevent their planes from taking off. From your mouth to Uncle Joe’s ears, eh Mr. President? If only leadership were that easy – but, then again no one has ever made a good case for your leadership abilities.

In blurting out his most recent excuse for his failure (or was sequestration itself the failure? Obama previously supported it), the president again reveals his juvenile mindset when it comes to politics. It is frequently his way or else. If things do not go his way, then the most dire circumstances will occur. How can you nudge people into thinking or behaving the “right way”? Send your sycophants out to do the dirty work for you. Bob Woodward’s being threatened by a White House insider is the most recent example.  Have your supporters engage in some name-calling and belittle your opponent. It is all in a day’s work for any grade-school bully.

For a president who has also: bemoaned the fact he has to work with Congress and wished he could work around them, threatened to use executive orders to accomplish things that Congress balks at doing, and who actually has a “kill-list” that gives him the final ability to determine who has the ultimate right, that is, to exist – when he claims, “I am not a dictator…”, if he is not, he is the closest thing the country has ever had to one. The rights so valued and inherent in each of us have slowly continued to erode away, and with a president such as Obama, this will be a long four years.

We Were Sequestered Before It Was Cool

Sequester pruningThe Ministry of Truth for the Obama administration has been experiencing some traction problems in the DC area. The scare stories regarding the collapse of the air travel system in the event of sequester are simply not motivating people in spite of the fact the Mainstream Media (MSM) has dutifully spread the word.

We are warned that in the event of sequester, massive TSA layoffs will result in airline passengers waiting up to three hours before they can be groped by a highly–trained government sex harasser. Slashing the budget by two cents on every dollar will also mean TSA guards won’t be changing rubber gloves between touchy–feely sessions.

Female passengers, who undergo nearly nude full–body scans, will be relieved to learn this drastic reduction torpedoes the ink budget. TSA can no longer afford to print particularly comely images for posting in the lunchroom. And since it’s too costly to store the pictures on government hard drives, TSA will ask remaining employees to work overtime and upload the images to their Facebook accounts for safekeeping.

According to the White House, you aren’t even safe on board the aircraft. Air traffic controllers will be awakened from their control tower naps and told to go sleep at home. The few remaining will be grumpy and sleepy, with a consequent slowdown in takeoffs and landings.

Assuming one gets in the air, passengers will be shocked to learn airlines will no longer offer free in–flight meals and instead expect passengers to pay handsomely for sandwiches wrapped and catered by 7/11. Wait, that’s already happened. Sorry, false alarm.

All in all it’s a horrible foretaste of privation and delay, yet not a single Republican Congressman is hanging from a lamppost. In fact there is so much indifference here that Obama has taken his nationwide Hyperventilation Tour on the road.

The reason for our calm in the face of the impending storm is that Metro, our local DC subway system, has essentially been sequestered for the past two years and life has continued. It’s more inconvenient, spontaneous and ad hoc — at least when it comes to arriving on time — but it is life.

I’ve long contended Metro is the only mass trans system run by an improv group, but now the passengers are joining in the fun. Take this week for instance: Tuesday morning on the Silver Line (this is DC, so everything has to do with money) crack Metro crews were testing equipment. As the WaPost reports, one of the brakes began to lock up. Like the spinster on the way to church who assumes a flat tire will heal itself, the crew continued operating the train trying to get off the track before rush hour or looming obsolescence caught up with them.

They didn’t make it. The wheel wore down to a nub, a pantoodler fell off and sliced through 60 cables and the system ground to a halt. The only thing left to do was call AAA and wait for the tow truck.

Metro officialdom predicted repairs would be complete by noon, but it took a total of nine hours. Metro sent alerts to passengers twice and then their thumbs got tired. So between 7 AM and 2 PM Metro passengers were on their own, which is a not uncommon condition. Then a train malfunctioned on the Yellow Line. There was a track problem on the Blue line. And another train shot craps on the Green Line.

And those are just the unplanned shutdowns.

The system regularly closes entire stations on the weekend and as a matter of fact the Reagan Airport station will be shut for three days beginning March 1st. (I guess they figured what with the sequester and all, no one will be flying anyway.)

Metro limits the number of trains on holidays and shuts escalators for months at a time forcing passengers to trudge upward toward daylight from the bowels of the system. Recently on a single day Metro passengers suffered seven electronic thefts and every last one of them was during daylight hours! Thieves evidently rest during the night so they can read the manuals and learn how to download apps.

The reason Metro ‘service’ is such a gamble is management didn’t bother with routine maintenance for the past 15 or so years. I’m guessing the thinking was: We’re the government, what could go wrong? So current passengers pay for the mistakes of past incompetent management, a situation young people are soon to encounter with regard to Social Security taxes.

Frankly, I’m hoping the full effect of the sequester hits when the majority of members of Congress are out of town. That way if they can’t get back, they can’t resume spending.

Obama’s Weekly Address: Congress Must Act Now to Stop the Sequester

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This is the transcript of President Obama’s Weekly Address for Saturday, February 23, 2013, released by the White House.

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WASHINGTON, DC—President Obama used this week’s address to urge Congress to stop the harmful automatic cuts that threaten thousands of jobs and affect our national security—called the sequester—from taking effect on March 1st. The President and Congressional Democrats have already put forward solutions to avoid these cuts and reduce the deficit in a balanced way, and now it’s time for Congressional Republicans to compromise by closing some loopholes that protect the wealthiest Americans so that we can reduce the deficit in a balanced way and create jobs for the middle class.

The audio of the address and video of the address will be available online at www.whitehouse.gov at 6:00 a.m. ET, Saturday, February 23, 2013.

Remarks of President Barack Obama
As Prepared for Delivery
The White House
February 23, 2013

Hi, everybody. Our top priority as a country right now should be doing everything we can to grow our economy and create good, middle class jobs.

And yet, less than one week from now, Congress is poised to allow a series of arbitrary, automatic budget cuts that will do the exact opposite. They will slow our economy. They will eliminate good jobs. They will leave many families who are already stretched to the limit scrambling to figure out what to do.

But here’s the thing: these cuts don’t have to happen. Congress can turn them off anytime with just a little compromise. They can pass a balanced plan for deficit reduction. They can cut spending in a smart way, and close wasteful tax loopholes for the well-off and well-connected.

Unfortunately, it appears that Republicans in Congress have decided that instead of compromising – instead of asking anything of the wealthiest Americans – they would rather let these cuts fall squarely on the middle class.

Here’s what that choice means. Once these cuts take effect, thousands of teachers and educators will be laid off, and tens of thousands of parents will have to scramble to find child care for their kids. Air traffic controllers and airport security will see cutbacks, causing delays across the country. Even President Bush’s director of the National Institutes of Health says these cuts will set back medical science for a generation.

Already, the threat of these cuts has forced the Navy to delay the deployment of an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf – affecting our ability to respond to threats in an unstable part of the world. And just this week, the Pentagon announced that if these cuts go through, almost 800,000 defense employees – the equivalent of every person in Miami and Cleveland combined – will be forced to take unpaid leave.

That’s what this choice means. Are Republicans in Congress really willing to let these cuts fall on our kids’ schools and mental health care just to protect tax loopholes for corporate jet owners? Are they really willing to slash military health care and the border patrol just because they refuse to eliminate tax breaks for big oil companies? Are they seriously prepared to inflict more pain on the middle class because they refuse to ask anything more of those at the very top?

These are the questions Republicans in Congress need to ask themselves. And I’m hopeful they’ll change their minds. Because the American people have worked too hard for too long to see everything they’ve built undone by partisan recklessness in Washington.

I believe we should work together to build on the more than $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction we’ve already achieved. But I believe we should do it in a balanced way – with smart spending cuts, entitlement reform, and tax reform. That’s my plan. It’s got tough cuts, tough reforms, and asks more of the wealthiest Americans. It’s on the White House website for everyone to see. And it requires Democrats and Republicans to meet half way to resolve the problem. That’s what the American people expect. And that’s what you deserve.

We just need Republicans in Washington to come around. Because we need their help to finish the job of reducing our deficit in a smart way that doesn’t hurt our economy or our people. After all, as we learned in the 1990s, nothing shrinks the deficit faster than a growing economy that creates good, middle-class jobs. That has to be our driving focus. That has to be our North Star. Making America a magnet for good jobs. Equipping our people with the skills required to fill those jobs. Making sure your hard work leads to a decent living. That’s what this city should be focused on like a laser. And I’m going to keep pushing folks here to remember that.

Thanks.