While we were all laughing or crying, depending on your ideology, about the first presidential debate…..and debating who won that “fart fest”…… the Congress did something spectacular…….they passed a budget!
That is right….this dysfunctional pack of do nothing cowards did one of their most important task……to see that the government is funded and functioning….
Acutely partisan and all but dysfunctional, Congress has completed its most elementary task after an intense weekslong struggle, finalizing a deal to fund the government just days ahead of a shutdown deadline, the AP reports. The legislation extends existing spending levels a mere 10 weeks, past Election Day, while finally addressing the Zika crisis with $1.1 billion and providing long-sought help for the residents of Flint, Mich., as well as flood victims in Louisiana. After a last-minute burst of deal-making, the legislation passed the Senate on a 72-26 vote Wednesday and was backed by the House 342-85 in a late-night vote.
Republicans, defending a fragile Senate majority and eager to get a handful of vulnerable incumbents back home to campaign for re-election, accused Harry Reid of holding up a deal to keep GOP lawmakers off the campaign trail. Democrats lobbed their own allegations, all but accusing Republicans of racism for holding up money for people affected by lead-tainted water in Flint. The situation produced frustration all around as lawmakers of both parties lamented their inability to get their basic work done, even if each party insisted the other was to blame. Yet even as they stumbled to a messy solution, some lawmakers were already looking ahead to next year, when much weightier tasks await the next Congress and a new president in what may be an even more fraught era of divided government.
Oh Yeah….they also gave Obama his first veto override when Congress voted down his veto of the 9/11 Bill…..
It’s Monday and I hope everyone had an enjoyable weekend….but now it is time to get busy……
Every Congress we are confronted with the way we shall spend our revenue….and as most people know we seldom do that under budget. And that brings on the endless whining and sobbing over the busted budget.
One side tries to get cash for social programs like education, environment, etc and the other is all about cutting spending and at the same time trying to eliminate some revenue….(you business men out there explain that to my readers)….and in the end the Congress pushes the signing of a budget to the very limit of time and even threaten to screw the country if they do not get their way…..(a mature solution is seldom on the books)……
But the one area that most agree with needing more and more money is the Pentagon or as most call it the “defense budget”…..one can understand the need for a good secure nation but the problem is all the cash that the Pentagon gets it also pisses much of it away…..
Late last year, I spent some time digging into the Pentagon’s “reconstruction” efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, countries it invaded in 2001 and 2003 in tandem with a chosen crew of warrior corporations. As a story of fabled American can-do in distant lands, both proved genuinely dismal no-can-do tales, from roads built (that instantly started crumbling) to police academies constructed (that proved to be health hazards) to prisons begun (that were never finished) to schools constructed (that remained uncompleted) to small arms transfers (that were “lost” in transit) to armies built, trained, and equipped for stunning sums (that collapsed). It was as if nothing the Pentagon touched turned to anything but dross (including the never-ending wars it fought). All of it added up to what I then labeled a massive “$cam” with American taxpayer money lost in amounts that staggered the imagination.
Source: The Amount of Our Taxpayer Money the Military Pisses Away Is Just Unbelievable | Alternet – Linkis.com
It is ridiculous the amount of taxpayer money that is wasted or “stolen” for lack of a better word….and yet it is the same debate every session….no one is willing to make the Pentagon more economically sound…..why is that?
Plug the waste hole and some of the social programs to get some cash…just a thought. But nope! No one cares about those millions but the 100’s that someone may use for food stamps and some stroke out and go a days rant about the fraud…..
I have been writing a blog now for 10 years and I have always kept with my beliefs that we should not rush into conflict for any reason short of an attack on the nation proper……I can justify the invasion of Afghanistan but not the occupation for 14 years…..in all that time I have also been a keen observer of the budget battle especially the money that will be earmarked for the military or what we call the defense budget…..
This year is no different……I have been watching the battle for the budget on the Hill…..I have watched the propaganda machine go into full tilt boogey…..The Russian are coming seems to be the war cry…..
In early April, a battalion of senior military officials appeared before a Senate panel and testified that the US Army is “outranged and outgunned,” particularly in any future conflict with Russia. Arguing for a much bigger budget for the Army, they claimed that, absent a substantial increase in funding, the Russians would overtake us and, even scarier, “the army of the future will be too small to secure the nation.”
The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming! And before you know it, Brooklyn will be renamed Putingrad.
Source: The Civil War Inside the US Military – Antiwar.com Original by — Antiwar.com
It will be interesting to see where this budget, the final budget, will lead our military….will the armed conflicts continue to rise or will calmer heads prevail?
We are a world away from the election and it is all consuming in the media….few are watching what is happening in the world today….instead they try to focus on the world of tomorrow…..at least after the next election……and while everyone is otherwise distracted news keeps coming out of the Pentagon about the wars we are fighting……
Always on the look out to escalate their involvement in the war against ISIS, Defense Secretary Ash Carter today told reporters that the Pentagon is planning a series of proposals for the Obama Administration to approve more activities for the thousands of US troops on the ground in Iraq.
“We’re talking about more of the things that we did in Ramadi, but we are talking about additional things of the kind that we’ve offered previously,” Carter insisted. Though that seems deliberately vague, he is known to have pushed the idea of US attack helicopters and embedded US troops in Iraqi combat units previously, and those are likely among the proposals.
They are trying to live up to the promise of “No Boots On The Ground” (GOD I hate that term…..these are people that you degrade by using that term ad nauseum)…..but on the other hand we keep sending more and more “small units” to these embattled regions….what part of that is no more troops? And the American people keep buying the bullsh*t coming out of the Pentagon……
Is this leadership in the world? That is the question you need to ask yourself before you vote in the next election and put someone in the White House that will continue to keep Americans in danger…….
The new defense budget is out…..check it out and tell me if any of it sounds like leadership or just more of the same…….below is the testimony of John Kerry on the defense budget……
Well, Mr. Chairman, thank you very much. Ranking Member Engel, all the members of the committee, I’m privileged to be here to have a chance to present the 2017 budget and to answer your questions. And obviously I know most of them will be sort of more with respect to policy, et cetera. But I will try to be very rapid in this opening.
First, our request for resources this year – $50 billion – is equal, as Ranking Member Engel reminded everybody, to about 1 percent of the entire federal budget. One penny on the dollar is everything we do with respect to diplomatic security, development security, relationship security, all of the things we do with our embassies, AID, everything. And I would suggest very respectfully to the members of this committee it is a minimum – minimum – price for the leadership that we offer to the world, that we are currently engaged. I think, as the chairman said, I can’t remember a time where there are as many hotspots, as many difficult challenges because of the transformation taking in the world right now taking place. And as a result, we are engaged in more places simultaneously than at any time that I can remember in my public life.
Source: John Kerry: Strengthening US Leadership in a Turbulent World | World Affairs Journal
This does not sound like a plan…..just an extension of the failed policies for the last 20 years…..more war is NOT making the world a safer place…..
Russia is once again that looming threat that it was during the Cold War……we hear almost daily about some new antic of Putin to get the world to notice him.
With all the problems in the Middle east why would Russia be a priority right now?
Simple answer….the budget debate.
You see we have allocated the funds for our battle with ISIS in Syria and Iraq,,,,that will not be a point of contention. But there are still some cuts to military spending pending……and there we have the rub!
We need a good reason to expand the contracts and the spending…….and since we probably could use the Middle east because of the failures that few will openly admit to…..we need a threat to justify lots more money……and what better threat than an ascending Russia?
The case is being made as I type……we will be hearing a lot more about the pending threat from Russia.
Source: Obama’s Russian Roulette by Kenneth G. Eade — Antiwar.com
Soon the budgetary debate will begin and as usual domestic programs will take it in the ass and more money will be sought to fund the US and its constant interventions….
Of course a selling point for all covert funding will be the usual culprit…National Security.
Source: Shortchanging National Security | Center for American Progress
What will be on the menu for the sloths in Congress? ISIS? Russia? Iraq? Syria? What will be the winner….we know that domestic programs will be the loser…..now we need to work on the big winner.
We need those big guns and airplanes that are nothing but an expensive paper weight…….we don’t need to feed children or educate them and we damn sure do not need to protect the environment (all sarcasm, in case you were unsure)…..
As the train wreck diminishes in its importance the media will move and so should you……..
Get Involved! If you do not appreciate the continuous war that we have found ourselves fighting….LET SOMEONE KNOW!
This madness must end! Please Do your part!
Do not be one of those bitching cowards that picks his bitches from the day’s headlines…….if your privacy is truly a concern….then…….
Send a message for all to see and hear!
Take Action: Oppose $96 Billion Slush Fund for War.