Closing Thought–08Oct21

There was a day when Americans cared about the possibility of a nuclear war that would destroy our way of life…..now no one seems to care about that possibility…..we use to protest the building of more bombs that kill and the building of more nuclear power plants…..now no one gives a crap. My concern never waned.

So just how many nukes does the US have on hand?

In a reversal of Trump administration policy, the State Department on Tuesday disclosed the number of nuclear weapons in the US stockpile, the AP reports. It said this will aid global efforts to control the spread of such weapons. The number of US weapons, including those in active status as well as those in long-term storage, stood at 3,750 as of September 2020, the department said. That is down from 3,805 a year earlier and 3,785 in 2018. As recently as 2003, the US nuclear weapon total was slightly above 10,000. It peaked at 31,255 in 1967.

The last time the US government released its stockpile number was in March 2018, when it said the total was 3,822 as of September 2017. That was early in the Trump administration, which subsequently kept updated numbers secret and denied a request by the Federation of American Scientists to declassify them. “Back to transparency,” said Hans Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists. He said the Biden administration was wise to reverse the prior administration’s policy.

Kristensen said disclosing the stockpile number will assist US diplomats in arms control negotiations and at next year’s Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty conference, which will review the disarmament commitment made by nuclear powers who are treaty signatories, including the United States. The Biden administration is conducting a nuclear weapons posture and policy review that is expected to be completed early next year. At the Conference on Disarmament last February, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, “President Biden has made it clear: the US has a national security imperative and a moral responsibility to reduce and eventually eliminate the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction.”

And yet those are NOT enough….the US is building more weapons as an upgrade or so we are told.

I was against nukes in all forms since the late 60s and my position has never faltered…..but I seem to walking that path pretty much alone these days.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Debt Ceiling–The Game

The big news other than abortion and congressional antics has been the debt ceiling….if it was not raised then the government would shutdown….and the game began……

The Repubs, as usual, played it tough before they cave and do a deal that would extend the functioning of government….at least for a short while……

As usual the game was all too predictable……

The Senate dodged a US debt disaster Thursday night, voting to extend the government’s borrowing authority into December and temporarily avert an unprecedented federal default that experts warned would devastate the economy and harm millions of Americans. The vote of 50-48 in support of the bill to raise the government’s debt ceiling by nearly a half-trillion dollars brought instant relief in Washington and far beyond. Congress has just days to act before the Oct. 18 deadline after which the Treasury Department has warned it will quickly run short of funds to handle the nation’s already accrued debt load. The House is likely to return to approve the measure next week. The White House signaled Biden’s support, with principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre saying the president would sign a bill to raise the debt limit when it passed Congress.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Thursday an agreement has been reached with Republicans to extend the government’s borrowing authority into December, temporarily averting a debt crisis. “We’ve reached agreement,” Schumer announced as he opened the Senate, reports the AP. “Our hope is to get this done as soon as today.” Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell had offered to accept a short-term extension on Wednesday, shortly before Republicans prepared to block legislation to suspend the debt limit until December of next year.

The agreement sets the stage for a sequel of sorts in December, when Congress will again face pressing deadlines to fund the government and raise the debt limit before heading home for the holidays. McConnell and Senate Republicans have insisted that Democrats would have to go it alone to raise the debt ceiling and allow the Treasury to renew its borrowing so that the country could meet its financial obligations. Further, McConnell has insisted that Democrats use the same cumbersome legislative process called reconciliation that they used to pass a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill and have been employing to try to pass Biden’s $3.5 trillion measure to boost safety net, health, and environmental programs.

McConnell said in his offer Wednesday that Republicans would still insist that Democrats use the reconciliation process for a long-term debt-limit extension. However, he said Republicans are willing to “assist in expediting” that process, and in the meantime Democrats may use the normal legislative process to pass a short-term debt-limit extension with a fixed dollar amount to cover current spending levels into December. Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy’s take: Assuming final details in the emergency legislation are in order, “for the next three months, we’ll continue to make it clear that we are ready to continue to vote to pay our bills and Republicans aren’t.” McConnell: “This will moot Democrats’ excuses about the time crunch they created and give the unified Democratic government more than enough time to pass stand-alone debt-limit legislation through reconciliation.”

Does all that sound the least bit familiar?

The end result was all too predictable….it is the same game with the same result year after year.

Another waste of time because it is not something that needs the wasting of this valuable time….a ploy all too familiar……especially with the approach of an election year.

These are the games politicians play to avoid the heavy lift the country needs badly.

Turn The Page!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”