Friday, March 13, 2009

****Lockheed facing a decision by April on whether to end production of its F-22 Raptor fighter. [It's not YOUR responsibility, right?]
Lockheed already is facing a decision from U.S. President Barack Obama's administration by April on whether to end production of its F-22 Raptor fighter.

Obama takes US closer to total ban on cluster bombs [He's so lame compared to you and me; right]

The United States has stepped closer to a total ban on the use and export of cluster bombs with the signing by Barack Obama of a new permanent law that would make it almost impossible for the US to sell the controversial weapons.

The decision was hailed by opponents of the weapons as a "major turnaround in US policy" that overrode Pentagon calls to permit their continued export.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

DEM. Griffithpushes missile budget
U.S. Rep. Parker Griffith, D-Huntsville, testified Wednesday before the House Budget Committee and asked Congress to make the missile defense budget a top goal when prioritizing defense projects for fiscal year 2010.

"As the administration and Congress look to fund defense projects for 2010, we would be remiss to forget about the importance of missile defense," Griffith said. "According to the president's outline, the Department of Defense will have $533.7 billion for its base budget for 2010, which is a four percent increase from 2009 funding. While this is a moderate increase, we must keep in mind that we are spending billions of that increase on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq."

MCHUGH: Cutting defense too deeply

The hollow defense budgets, peace dividends and the procurement holiday that marked the Clinton administration's defense policy appear to be making a comeback.

The message hidden between the lines of the 2010 Defense Department budget released last week is that defense spending will decline in the coming years and that the military will be forced to do more with less. We've been down this road before; we cannot repeat the same mistakes.

*****BUSH APPOINTEE WRITTEN, Leaked EPA draft highlights new research on climate risks
Notably, the draft includes no authors from the Obama administration. A Bush administration draft (pdf), written last June, listed acting EPA air chief Robert Meyers, a political appointee, among its authors and contributors.  In the latest 161-page document, dated March 9, EPA officials include several new studies highlighting how a warming planet is likely to mean more intense U.S. heat waves and hurricanes, shifting migration patterns for plants and wildlife, and the possibility of up to a foot of global sea level rise in the next century.

Congress faces manpower vs. weapons choice
President Barack Obama and Congress are facing several years of painful trade-offs on national defense — a debate that in many cases will boil down to manpower vs. weapons.

"One thing we have known for many months is that the spigot of defense funding that opened on 9/11 is closing," Defense Secretary Robert Gates told the Senate Armed Services Committee in January.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

"You can't spend $3 trillion . . . on a failed war abroad and not feel the pain at home."
Spending habits  The U.S defense budget, always outsized, has become even more bloated in recent years. In the past eight years military spending has nearly doubled, with much of the increase devoted to financing the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. A year ago Joseph Stiglitz of Columbia University and Linda Bilmes of Harvard predicted that the Iraq war could cost the U.S. $3 trillion. Well before the current economic crisis arose, they warned that this expenditure was weakening the U.S. economy: "You can't spend $3 trillion . . . on a failed war abroad and not feel the pain at home." 

"President Obama better watch his back." [Cuz WE'RE not going to, right!?]
The Memorandum signals Obama's determination to cut down on wasteful government practices. In following through on his determination, President Obama better watch his back. He is challenging the most powerful vested interests in the U.S. – those behind black budget funding of highly classified projects that totally escape legislative oversight and media scrutiny.

If you value this "Subscription" suggest it to others. We've very little time left.

If you value this "Subscription" suggest it to others. We've very little time left.

Monday, March 9, 2009

*****Democrats OUT-PAD Repugs on Pentagon Budget!!! Wash. Post

When President Obama promised Wednesday to attack defense spending that he considers wasteful and inefficient, he opened a fight with key lawmakers from his own party.

It was Democrats who stuffed an estimated $524 million in defense earmarks that the Pentagon did not request into the 2008 appropriations bill, about $220 million more than Republicans did, according to an independent estimate. Of the 44 senators who implored Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates in January to build more F-22 Raptors -- a fighter conceived during the Cold War that senior Pentagon officials say is not suited to probable 21st-century conflicts -- most were Democrats.

SF CHRONICLE: Obama taking big political risk with budget [A CRUCIFIXION ! Oh boy!] Yes, I'm goading us.  [DAMN US IF WE JUST WATCH]
Amid a cratering stock market, huge job losses and continuing ad hoc bank interventions, President Obama is risking his presidency on the most ambitious remake of the federal government since Ronald Reagan, raising jitters among moderate Democrats and presenting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with the most daunting challenge of her career.For liberals who fretted just a month ago that Obama was acting suspiciously centrist, his $3.6 trillion budget is a call to arms. It is also a carefully woven matrix that tackles everything from global warming to health care with new spending and taxes.Pull out one piece, be it a quasi-tax on carbon or an end to charitable and mortgage interest deductions by the wealthy, and either the programs unravel or $1 trillion-plus deficits rocket higher.

President Barack Obama has invited U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the White House next week, the first meeting between the two since Obama took office, Washington's U.N. envoy said on Friday.

Subjects the two would discuss on Tuesday include Sudan, which has expelled 13 aid agencies after President Omar Hassan al-Bashir was charged with war crimes in Darfur by the International Criminal Court, Ambassador Susan Rice said.

They would also talk about efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, the global economic crisis, U.N. reform, climate change and U.N. peacekeeping operations, Rice said in a statement.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

******The cost of empire
Miriam Pemberton: US government spending $100B annually to maintain 1000 foreign military bases