As if we needed yet another reason to NOT vote for The One… along comes the WSJ with this op-ed (Will Obama Gut Defense?... Capitol Hill Democrats want to target the Pentagon). The lede grafs:
Barney Frank will not soon be named secretary of defense or, insha'Allah, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. So there's really no reason to fear that his recent call to cut defense spending by 25% is a harbinger of what to expect in an Obama administration.
Then again, maybe there is.
When it comes to defense, there are two Barack Obamas in this race. There is the candidate who insists, as he did last year in an article in Foreign Affairs, that "a strong military is, more than anything, necessary to sustain peace"; pledges to increase the size of our ground forces by 65,000 soldiers and 27,000 Marines while providing them with "first-rate equipment, armor, incentives and training"; and seems to be as gung-ho for a surge in Afghanistan as he was opposed to the one in Iraq.
And then there is the candidate who early this year recorded an ad for Caucus for Priorities, a far-left outfit that wants to cut 15% of the Pentagon's budget in favor of "education, healthcare, job training, alternative energy development, world hunger [and] deficit reduction."
"Thanks so much for the Caucus for Priorities for the great work you've been doing," says Mr. Obama in the ad, before promising to "cut tens of billions of dollars in wasteful spending . . . slow our development of future combat systems . . . not develop new nuclear weapons."
Joe Biden also cut an ad for the group that was even more emphatic: "I'll tell you what we cannot afford . . . a trillion-dollar commitment to 'Star Wars,' new nuclear weapons, a thousand-ship Navy, the F-22 Raptor."
MY emphasis is on Ol’ Joe’s comments in that last paragraph. The National Missile Defense program has made some impressive progress over the course of the last few years, the Airborne Laser is in the flight testing stage of its development as we speak, and the Navy’s AEGIS/Standard Missile system proved it’s worth earlier this year. And that’s just one item on Ol’ Joe’s hit-list. Frequent readers of EIP should know how I feel about the Raptor, given as how the F-22 is something of a recurring theme for bitch-moan-and-complain posts in these parts.
As a military “survivor” of the Carter years I know only too well the negative effects of active cuts in the defense budget. Other, more recent veterans can attest to the impact “benign neglect” can have on national defense, as well… think
But Hey! What the Hell do I know, anyway? Well… it seems I know a little more than Joe Biden, if nothing else.
I find I’m a little bit out of it when it comes to politics, of late. A great good deal of my disinterest has to do with the fact the election is over for me. I cast MY ballot last week and I’ve done all I can do… personally… to affect the outcome. So my mindset is “let’s just get this shi’ite OVER with, if you please.” The sooner, the better. Just one more week and then it’ll either be cryin’ time or slack-jaw amazement at one of the greatest comebacks in American political history. I’m still holding out hope for the latter, ya know.
Speaking of politics… Blog-Bud Phlegmmy has come up with her very own and oh-so-unique way of harvesting Presidential Timber from the political forest, and calls it “The Toothpick Test.” Her first installment is here, the second is here. Here’s a sample, just to whet your appetite, Gentle Reader:
Some have expressed surprise at the elevation here of toothpick to political barometer, but it is indeed a very humble and yet marvelous device on closer examination. Let us consider the lowly toothpick which has been with us as long as the domesticated feline. Paleontologists have found scrapings on the teeth of neanderthals, which would seem to indicate that the dilemma of dislodging chunks of meat and veg from the grille predates such modern fancy grooming niceties as Dippity-Do, eyelash curlers and banana clips.
Picture the poor average guy (Joe the Caveman) out dragging his knuckles around just for giggles, hoping one day his descendents will quit inbreeding long enough to vote republican, except that he can't quite concentrate on such abstract concepts because he's got a bit of wolverine rib meat stuck between his molars. Ouch! Perhaps Joe picked the spine from an obliging nettle or succulent, and thus was the first toothpick born.
Phlegmmy’s on-going series is the brightest spot in what has become a dark, dark political scenario… she’s both enlightening and entertaining, to say the VERY least… with Art!