Patterico's Pontifications

1/15/2013

Debt Ceiling Examples

Filed under: General — JD @ 4:51 pm

[Guest post by JD]
Debt ceiling debate in a nutshell … or two *

US Tax Revenue. $2,170,000,000,000
Federal Budget. $3,820,000,000,000
Deficit. $1,650,000,000,000
National Debt. $14,271,000,000,000
Recent budget cuts. $38,500,000,000

Now, let’s remove 8 zeroes from the above, and use it as a household budget

Annual income. $21,700
Bills. $38,200
New credit card debt. $16,500
Family debt. $142,710
Family belt tightening. $38.50

Solution? Call VISA and ask for increase in credit limit

* reasonable approximations from a given point in time.

You come home from the office to find that a sewer back-up has caused flooding to your entire neighborhood, with water and sewage up to nearly your kitchen ceiling.

What would you do? Raise the ceiling, or remove the sewage?

– JD

135 Comments

  1. I denounce myself.

    Comment by JD (b63a52) — 1/15/2013 @ 4:52 pm

  2. Hey, that $38.50 was incredibly painful, so don’t get all snarky! We had to cook at home one day a week!

    Comment by Kevin M (bf8ad7) — 1/15/2013 @ 5:05 pm

  3. I say put it to a vote: Which program do we cancel: Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid?

    Comment by Kevin M (bf8ad7) — 1/15/2013 @ 5:07 pm

  4. We had planned on having deficits of 1,600,000,000,000 a year forever, but will only run deficits of 1,500,000,000,000 a year, or ONE TRILLION IN CUTS over the next decade.

    Comment by JD (b63a52) — 1/15/2013 @ 5:15 pm

  5. Apparently corporates just sold a very large amount of debt without a hitch. Only Apple and Microsoft have cash on hand.

    http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2013/01/municipal-bonds-where-to-in-2013-is.html

    So the question becomes when do investors ditch sovereign debt? Spain is now selling debt without recourse in the event of default.

    Why would anyone buy Cali debt? They’re in hock to bond purchasers for past debt. Scores of munis borrowed money to get Fed matching money and owe many times that gleaned.

    Rating agencies have postponed action to the point of scandal. Revenues aren’t flat, they’re falling.

    The game is about played out.

    Comment by gary gulrud (dd7d4e) — 1/15/2013 @ 5:16 pm

  6. Was that a $38.50 cut in the annual budget or was it spread over 10 years, for an average of $3.85 a year, with fingers crossed?

    Comment by Milhouse (15b6fd) — 1/15/2013 @ 5:41 pm

  7. Oblig: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Li0no7O9zmE

    Comment by Robocop (a910bd) — 1/15/2013 @ 5:46 pm

  8. Milhouse – yes

    Comment by JD (b63a52) — 1/15/2013 @ 5:47 pm

  9. You make this sound like some kind of problem or something. Obama and Biden told us everything was okay. Don’t you trust them?

    Comment by WarEagle82 (97b777) — 1/15/2013 @ 6:34 pm

  10. JD–

    Were the cuts specified, or to be named later?

    Comment by Kevin M (bf8ad7) — 1/15/2013 @ 6:35 pm

  11. Awesome post, JD. Really gets down to the point in a way I think people can understand.

    Especially that $38.50.

    Comment by Dustin (73fead) — 1/15/2013 @ 6:38 pm

  12. So Sandy is porked with only 49 thugs voting ‘Aye’.

    I wonder if Boehner took away the wrong lesson from his Speaker squeaker.

    Comment by gary gulrud (dd7d4e) — 1/15/2013 @ 6:39 pm

  13. porky porky chris christie is not a responsible steward of public finances Mr. gary

    Comment by happyfeet (ce327d) — 1/15/2013 @ 9:12 pm

  14. It’s all fun and games until people actually vote.

    Comment by Ag80 (b2c81f) — 1/15/2013 @ 9:15 pm

  15. Could you post those numbers in a fixed font with the decimal point aligned?

    I divided the US numbers by 4.82E+07 so that the income is
    about the same as the median household income, $45K:

    $079,253.11 Spending
    $045,020.75 Revenue
    $034,232.37 Borrowed
    $296,078.84 Debt
    $000,798.76 Spending Cuts

    Comment by TomK (8c6e2a) — 1/15/2013 @ 9:58 pm

  16. Shouldn’t that be $385 rather than $38.50 (in the interests of accuracy–it doesn’t really change the point).

    Comment by Jeff D. (b366e7) — 1/15/2013 @ 10:16 pm

  17. Off topic, but I asked this in another thread and never got an answer: I remember reading a few years ago that the gun manufacturers are small businesses with not much money, so that one lawsuit could bankrupt them. And that that was the point of Bloomberg’s plan, and is why Congress protected them. But now I read that they’re doing so well that pension funds and hedge funds are invested in them, and being criticised for it by the usual suspects such as NY Blowhard In Chief (and my former Councillor) Bill de Blasio.

    Comment by Milhouse (15b6fd) — 1/16/2013 @ 12:29 am

  18. When Obama has his gun contol event with and “for the children” perhaps he can stop and tell said children how he his borrowing on their backs.

    Comment by Bugg (b32862) — 1/16/2013 @ 3:51 am

  19. So I seed by the Sheriff Jester’s gun conference the reason Ken Salazar usually wears the cowboy hat.

    Cretinism.

    Comment by gary gulrud (dd7d4e) — 1/16/2013 @ 6:21 am

  20. JD, we have to remove the clog. That is Obama and every Democrap who follows him.

    Comment by PCD (1d8b6d) — 1/16/2013 @ 6:43 am

  21. TomK – I will try to re-format. I tried to use realistic numbers for one, which would inevitably skew the other.
    Jeff – you are correct. Should be $385.

    Comment by JD (b63a52) — 1/16/2013 @ 6:48 am

  22. I thought this article might be of interest.

    Rivkin and Casey: The Myth of Government Default

    To take up the first canard: Contrary to White House claims, Congress’s refusal to permit new borrowing by raising the debt ceiling limit will not trigger a default on America’s outstanding public debt, with calamitous consequences for our credit rating and the world’s financial system. Section 4 of the 14th Amendment provides that “the validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law . . . shall not be questioned”; this prevents Congress from repudiating the federal government’s lawfully incurred debts.

    …This means that a failure to raise the debt ceiling—to prevent new borrowing—does not and cannot put America’s current creditors at risk. So long as this government exists, and barring a further constitutional amendment, those creditors must be paid.

    Nor are they at risk in practice, since the federal government’s roughly $200 billion in tax revenue per month is more than sufficient to service existing debts. If the executive chose to act irresponsibly and unconstitutionally and failed to make any debt payments when they come due, debt-holders would be able to go to the Court of Federal Claims and promptly obtain a money judgment.

    These basic facts should inform any credible decisions by credit-rating agencies in establishing the government’s creditworthiness.

    Entitlement programs, it goes on to explain, are not part of the federal debt protected by the 14th Amendment. Neither are any contracts for services to be provided by vendors. Vendors and contractors are not creditors. Certainly grant recipients aren’t.

    As usual when Obama’s mouth is moving he’s lying. It’s not true that Congress has to pay it’s bills. It must pay its debts, which is money loaned to the government by creditors.

    As Rivkin and Casey point out:

    The distinction was recognized by the Supreme Court in Flemming v. Nestor (1960), which involved the power of Congress to modify Social Security benefits. The court noted that entitlements and “contractual arrangements, including those to which a sovereign itself is a party, remain subject to subsequent legislation by the sovereign.”

    Congress can reduce a wide range of payments to various beneficiaries at any time by amending the statutes that authorize them or simply by failing to appropriate sufficient funds to pay for them. Nor does Congress have any legal or constitutional obligation to borrow money to pay for entitlements.

    It seems Obama is setting the stage for another unconstitutional power grab. He’s deliberately confusing repaying debt, i.e. loans from creditors, with spending programs that were authorized by previous Congressional legislation.

    In other words, he’s totally unserious about reducing spending so he’s claiming that once a Congress authorizes spending subsequent Congresses are bound by their action. That they have a Constitutional obligation to pay for those programs.

    He knows better, of course. It’s just a sign of his contempt for the intelligence of the public that he’d say those things. And who can say he’s wrong for holding that opinion; they did just elect him to a second term.

    Comment by Steve57 (fe2b65) — 1/16/2013 @ 8:47 am

  23. Greetings:

    For good God’s sake, will you stop with your oppressive white male mathematics ???

    Comment by 11B40 (cf3c07) — 1/16/2013 @ 9:48 am

  24. I’ll say it once, I’ll say it a thousand times. New Zealand sorted a problem like this in 1990 and the party that did it (when they finally left office) were villified the entire time they were in opposition.

    The solution is pain, pure and simple. But in the US? Impossible.

    Comment by scrubone (e7e0ea) — 1/16/2013 @ 11:17 am

  25. scrubone, if there’s any pain then that’s just a sign of how out of hand the problem has become. The only reason there might be pain is because too many people are too dependent on government already.

    I realized this when the AARP released a statement recently calling on Congress not to cut entitlements to fix the budget crisis. Which is ridiculous, as if there’s a budget crisis it’s largely because of entitlement spending. The problem will only get worse, not better, if Congress gives into Obama and just raises the debt ceiling as he demands.

    Comment by Steve57 (fe2b65) — 1/16/2013 @ 11:54 am

  26. I love this ‘household budget’ example because it makes it easy for people to understand – what they leave out of the analogy though, is that the mom in this household works two jobs and takes care of the kids while the dad contributes nothing and has run up all the debt treating his wealthy pals to paintball parties.

    Annual income. $21,700
    Bills. $38,200
    New credit card debt. $16,500
    Family debt. $142,710
    Family belt tightening. $38.50

    So instead of telling the hardworking, efficient mom to cut the food and medicine, what if the dad got his wealthy pals to pay for their own paintball parties?

    This analogy works now and makes the solution so easy to act on (except for the friends of the dad, they cry no! Leave things things this way! wahh! unfair!).

    Comment by Mahalia Cab (1a3026) — 1/16/2013 @ 12:39 pm

  27. Okay, Mahalia, let’s stop talking in analogies and let’s start talking about real solutions.

    What items would you cut out of the federal budget?

    Comment by Chuck Bartowski (11fb31) — 1/16/2013 @ 12:53 pm

  28. Mahalia is a fiscal conservative.

    All the rich people in the US, and all their $, will not fix our spending problem.

    Comment by JD (840c05) — 1/16/2013 @ 1:13 pm

  29. Chuck – she wouldn’t. Maybe military.

    Comment by JD (840c05) — 1/16/2013 @ 1:14 pm

  30. Jeff – you are correct. Should be $385.

    But that’s over 10 years, right? So the $38.50 is actually correct, and I overshot the mark by suggesting it should be $3.85.

    Comment by Milhouse (15b6fd) — 1/16/2013 @ 1:14 pm

  31. what if the dad got his wealthy pals to pay for their own paintball parties?

    And what paintball parties would these be?

    The defense budget is the kids’ health insurance. It’s not paintball parties, it’s the guns that keep the family safe, and the whole block safe, including old Mrs Amirian who can’t defend herself with anything but her walking frame. Maybe it can be cut, but only with extreme care.

    Comment by Milhouse (15b6fd) — 1/16/2013 @ 1:21 pm

  32. I’m not 100% on this but paintball parties sound extremely gay

    Comment by happyfeet (4bf7c2) — 1/16/2013 @ 1:21 pm

  33. Still waiting for an answer to my question in #17. Come on, surely someone here knows the answer. I’m not looking to start a debate, I just want to know.

    Comment by Milhouse (15b6fd) — 1/16/2013 @ 1:22 pm

  34. Its only the Russkies, bit players at best but hostilities are well-launched:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-01-16/world-war-coming-currency-war-russia-warns

    The Dutch are joining the Germans in ordering their gold repatriated from Ben’s supervision. Germany contracted last quarter and this one will be worse.

    Japan is in full panic, tossing another 10 Trillion yen on the midden.

    Watching the markets at the end of February will be most entertaining.

    Comment by gary gulrud (dd7d4e) — 1/16/2013 @ 1:26 pm

  35. And since I’ve already gone off topic in this thread, let me do it again. Here’s an article from NetRightDaily about how the 0bamacare “tax” is set so low that lots of people are going to choose to pay it rather than buy insurance, and how this is a crisis for the system that 0bama and his crew will have to fix. Unintended consequences, incompetent planning, blah blah blah.

    Here’s the thing though: this isn’t something new, it was built in right from the beginning. The CBO assumed at the time that four million people each year would choose to pay the IRS rather than buy insurance. And indeed it was that very assumption that saved 0bamacare from being struck down.

    Here are some key quotes from the majority ruling in NFIB v Sibelius:

    Indeed, the payment is expected to raise about $4 billion per year by 2017.
    [...]
    First, for most Americans the amount due will be far less than the price of insurance, and, by statute, it can never be more. 8 It may often be a reasonable financial decision to make the payment rather than purchase insurance, unlike the “prohibitory” financial punishment in Drexel Furniture.
    8. In 2016, for example, individuals making $35,000 a year are expected to owe the IRS about $60 for any month in which they do not have health insurance. Someone with an annual income of $100,000 a year would likely owe about $200. The price of a qualifying insurance policy is projected to be around $400 per month.
    [...]
    Indeed it is estimated that four million people each year will choose to pay the IRS rather than buy insurance. See Congressional Budget Office, supra, at 71. We would expect Congress to be troubled by that prospect if such conduct were unlawful. That Congress apparently regards such extensive failure to comply with the mandate as tolerable suggests that Congress did not think it was creating four million outlaws. It suggests instead that the shared responsibility payment merely imposes a tax citizens may lawfully choose to pay in lieu of buying health insurance.

    In other words, the evidence that this a constitutional tax rather than an unconstitutional mandate is the fact that Congress expected millions of people not to buy insurance. If the “tax” had been pitched so high that everyone felt compelled to buy insurance instead of paying it then it would be an unconstitutional penalty rather than a constitutional tax, and this would be so *even if Congress had called it a tax*. The Court cited the precedent of Bailey v Drexel Furniture Co, in which the Court struck down a “tax” by deciding that it was really a penalty, and one reason it did so was that it was set so high that nobody would ever choose to pay it, they would just do what Congress wanted in order to avoid it.

    So this article’s assumption, that this comes as a surprise to Congress, and that the “tax” will have to be raised so that fewer people pay it, is wrong. If the “tax” is raised so high that it becomes more sensible for everyone to buy insurance, then the entire constitutionality of the scheme may collapse, and Chief Justice Roberts would gleefully strike it down for the exact same reason he originally upheld it.

    Comment by Milhouse (15b6fd) — 1/16/2013 @ 1:26 pm

  36. 32. Gay and hazardous. ‘Men’ half my age break bones like twigs stepping in holes, tripping on stumps, etc.

    Comment by gary gulrud (dd7d4e) — 1/16/2013 @ 1:34 pm

  37. hopefully they have obamacare

    Comment by happyfeet (4bf7c2) — 1/16/2013 @ 1:52 pm

  38. Flush the sewage.

    Comment by mg (31009b) — 1/16/2013 @ 2:17 pm

  39. 38. The GOP are have a veritable genius for getting the country behind their unrivaled courage and commitment:

    http://thehayride.com/2013/01/the-sandy-relief-bill-passes/

    The loyalists want Boehner to eject the faithless conservatives. No talk of Colon Powell or ‘No Labels’ Huntsman.

    They just want to give the Alien what he wants and lamely “Put it all on him”.

    Like sergeants waste time on the deserters when looking to hold the line when taking out a sniper by theyselves.

    Like anyone’s going to look to Republicans to rebuild the wasteland. When the shootin’ starts kill them first.

    Comment by gary gulrud (dd7d4e) — 1/16/2013 @ 3:14 pm

  40. republicans are stupid it’s all rape babies and chris christie porkfests with those ones

    Comment by happyfeet (4bf7c2) — 1/16/2013 @ 3:47 pm

  41. The Thugs that voted for both the CliffDiver and PorkemSandy bills.

    Rodney Alexander (La.), Lou Bartletta (Pa.), Tom Cole (Okla.), Jeff Denham (Calif.), Charles Dent (Pa.), Mario Diaz-Balart (Fla.), Michael Fitzpatrick (Pa.), Rodney Frelinghuyse (N.J.), Jim Gerlach (Pa.), Chris Gibson (N.Y.), Michael Grimm (N.Y.), Richard Hanna (N.Y.), Jaime Herrera Beutler (Wash.), Peter King (N.Y.), Leonard Lance (N.J.), Frank LoBiondo (N.J.), Frank Lucas (Okla.), Tom Marino (Pa.), Buck McKeon (Calif.), Pat Meehan (Pa.), Tom Reed (N.Y.), David Reichert (Wash.), Harold Rogers (Ky.), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Fla.), Jon Runyon (N.J.), Jim Shimkus (Ill.), Chris Smith (N.J.), Don Young (Alaska), C.W. Bill Young (Fla).

    Not suggesting, when the time comes and you find one of them at your elbow, that you waste a bullet.

    Your Rapala would cause less commotion.

    Comment by gary gulrud (dd7d4e) — 1/16/2013 @ 4:36 pm

  42. Thomas Friedman of the New York Times does not like Obama’s dishonesty.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/16/opinion/friedman-obamas-1-2-punch.html?_r=0

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 1/16/2013 @ 4:44 pm

  43. Reince Priebus head of the republican party. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. Obama has beat the republicans into submission. Republicans are Losers at governing, losers at communicating, losers of compromise, and have lost of millions of conservatives.

    Comment by mg (31009b) — 1/16/2013 @ 5:40 pm

  44. they creep me out with their weird social values and their lack of conviction about controlling spending and plus that whole Mike Huckabee thing and the way the keep fronting token minorities as if it said something deep and profound about their sad little party

    Comment by happyfeet (4bf7c2) — 1/16/2013 @ 5:53 pm

  45. the way *they* keep fronting token minorities I mean

    Comment by happyfeet (4bf7c2) — 1/16/2013 @ 5:53 pm

  46. traditional marriage, is weird, pikachu, we can always go with that diverse duo of Betamax Brown
    and Transom Newsom (I meant TransOcean, but you know)but the blanc mange designation I agree in part,

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 1/16/2013 @ 5:59 pm

  47. they’re not a national party anymore, and that’s a real problem

    Comment by happyfeet (4bf7c2) — 1/16/2013 @ 6:03 pm

  48. Well sometimes they do confirm Van der Leun’s admonition about ‘thirsting for death’ but that is per Yeats, ‘they lack all conviction’

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 1/16/2013 @ 6:07 pm

  49. here’s some rare good news for the failifornia jobs picture

    Dunkin’ Donuts plans to re-enter California in 2015

    Comment by happyfeet (4bf7c2) — 1/16/2013 @ 6:09 pm

  50. Isn’t that like willingly putting your foot in a bear trap?

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 1/16/2013 @ 6:13 pm

  51. To the question:
    “Okay, Mahalia, let’s stop talking in analogies and let’s start talking about real solutions.

    What items would you cut out of the federal budget?”

    This is easy – defense. In the 90s we saw balanced budgets coincide with base closures. It worked, we grew surpluses in the federal budget.

    We don’t need the same level of ground troops with changing technology for surveillance, drones, more nimble special forces, smarter diplomacy and most of all, international cooperation.

    But even if you disagree, and still own a leftover Cold War mindset, thinking that a muscular US presence in every portof call dissuades potential threats, there is still no good reason for privatized contracts.

    If we have a military conflict so important we need to send our sons and daughters into harm’s way, then they can have basic meals cooked by KP staff. To pay a $100,000+ annual salary for “hazard pay” so a Pizza Hut Express employee can microwave frozen junk food in a war zone is a miserable abuse of taxpayer money, but this is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to gouging and double billing by defense contractors. The biggest names have all been caught multiple times, as they relocate their headquarters to evade taxes.

    If we are serious about waging war, there should never be a profit motive (and carrying debt is even worse). This is what got the US in trouble economically, dwarfing the problem of welfare cheats, lazy minorities or those pesky senior hypochondriacs…

    For anyone interested in the history of a Republican Party that balanced budgets and projected strength, see President Eisenhower’s farewell message to the American people in 1961 when he abruptly turned whistleblower and described a cancer in the halls of power that intended to fake wars for profit.

    It was just a few years later when this came true, but back then it was mostly manufacturers and suppliers, not the service sector, the consultants or the mercenaries. Today the wealthiest zipcodes are not in Silicon Valley, but in the DC suburbs where private defense contractors suck the taxpayer dry without creating anything of value for our kids.

    At some point, our security will be compromised because the Army is no longer self-sufficient in every phase of operation, and because the economy has been bled dry already by 11+ years of unproductive ground wars. This is just what Osama bin Laden said was his rationale for attacking us – he knew well the extent of personal greed at the highest levels of our pay-for-play government, so why are we obliging him?

    Comment by Mahalia Cab (e46bab) — 1/18/2013 @ 1:12 pm

  52. omg that’s way too many words

    Comment by happyfeet (4bf7c2) — 1/18/2013 @ 1:24 pm

  53. This is easy – defense. In the 90s we saw balanced budgets coincide with base closures. It worked, we grew surpluses in the federal budget.

    LOL. If you think that cutting only defense will balance the budget, then you are an idiot. The department of defense gets about $800 billion every year. Even if that entire department were zeroed out (which would be national suicide) The deficit is twice that.

    Go back to the 90s, and tell me by what percentage the DoD’s budget was cut. Then tell me how much will be cut by using the same percentages in the year 2013. Then compare that to the current deficit.

    Then the rest of us here will just point at you and laugh.

    Comment by Chuck Bartowski (11fb31) — 1/18/2013 @ 1:29 pm

  54. If we are serious about waging war, there should never be a profit motive (and carrying debt is even worse). This is what got the US in trouble economically,

    Nonsense, coupled with outright lies. SOP for the fiscal conservative.

    Comment by JD (d420da) — 1/18/2013 @ 1:59 pm

  55. Your contempt for the military and the troops oozes from your every keystroke, Mahalia.

    Comment by JD (d420da) — 1/18/2013 @ 2:28 pm

  56. Mahalia Cab, why is it that basic math is beyond you? I mean, simple addition and subtraction.

    Your focus on the defense budget is asinine, its not that there isn’t room for improvement there. Its that its not the problem. Its not growing at the unsustainable rate that entitlement spending is.

    Grow up, Cab. Oh, and learn some basic math skills.

    Comment by SPQR (768505) — 1/18/2013 @ 2:31 pm

  57. We don’t need the same level of ground troops with changing technology for surveillance, drones, more nimble special forces, smarter diplomacy and most of all, international cooperation.

    Uhh, Mahalia “Julius Caesar” Cabb, how long have you been living in that cocoon of yours?

    We had plenty of surveillance assets over and actually at the embassy/CIA safehouse in Benghazi, ‘member? What the hell good did it do us?

    If you map the areas of greatest activity in our Preezy “kill list” Obama’s “so-secret-it’s-in-the-NYT” drone war it matches almost exactly with every area of disaster in the ME, South Asia, and North Africa.

    Oh, speaking of Benghazi, just how “nimble” were are special forces? You know, they’re not pretty effin’ nimble without some pretty expensive, traditional heavy assets. Like transport planes, aircraft carriers, and submarines. Under the Obama administration it would have been faster for them to swim from Sicily or Rota.

    Here’s a hint, darlin;’ they’re no more nimble now then they were under GWB. In some ways, a lot less.

    Smarter diplomacy? Are you part of Obama’s choom gang? Tell me, Mahalia, how many US embassies were attacked under GWB? I lost count of the ones attacked under Obama (you probably believed the WH lie that it was due to a video and had nothing to do with the Obama admin and its policies; it had everything to do with Obama’s policies).

    Thanks to Obama’s “smarter diplomacy” countries like the Sudan actually refused to let the US send in Marine security forces to protect embattled embassies. Why? Because they hold Obama in contempt, whereas they were at least afraid of GWB.

    Which is why, as an aside, they didn’t let our embassies come under assault when he was President. If you knew anything about which you’re spouting off about, which you clearly don’t, you’d know that per the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations the host country provides security for diplomatic missions. Our Marine guards are just there to provide interior security and protection to classified materials. Not to hold off the mob.

    In every single country where our embassies were attacked across the globe, it’s because the governments in those countries let it happen. Because they’ve weighed and measured the Preezy’s idea of “smart diplomacy” and they realize just how stupid and craven this guy is.

    International cooperation? Great. You know what that means under this administration? The Europeans asked us to kick the table over in Libya because Qaddafi was favoring US oil companies over their own. Stupidly, Obama agreed.

    The “Obama principle:” the US should only exercise military force if it will harm US interests.

    Now because of “international cooperation” and “smarter diplomacy” we handed over a treasure trove of weapons and military equipment to AQ affiliates throughout N. Africa. The result? AQ controls a huge swath of the Sahara and the Sahel. The developing quagmire in Mali? Thank our college-freshman President’s ideas of how the world works.

    France correctly calls the emboldened and strengthened AQ in part thanks to Obama’s actions abroad (you just keep repeating that WH mantra, hon’: “Bin Laden is dead and GM is alive” and avoiding reality) a “dagger at the heart of Europe.” You can thank Obama for creating that, too.

    International cooperation means that France has bitten off more than it can chew. Because it, like you, has convinced itself it doesn’t need those “cold war” forces. It can’t operate without massive US logistical support. In case you haven’t noticed, and I’m sure you haven’t unless it’s in one of Obama’s tweets, France is getting its ass handed to it in combat as well.

    We’re going to get dragged into combat as well.

    And when the Syrian AQ affiliates get ahold of that country’s massive biological and chemical weapons stocks you can thank Obama. And yourself. And everyone else who thinks like you. Because to secure those weapons would require best-case 75,000 troops. Where you gonna get ‘em? “Smaller” more “nimble” special forces? And that’s best case; assuming there’s no conflict in the region. Actually that’s “alternate universe” case. Sort of like the one you’re living in. Because it’s going to take those large, conventional forces you’ve convinced yourself are obsolete to fight in and take over the weapons stockpile sites.

    Your ideological blindness is obvious. You want a massive redistributive domestic budget. So you’ve convinced yourself to ignore reality almost in its entirety so you can pretend you’re right.

    Are you sure you’re not Obama? Because he’s done the same thing (the “mostly secular” Muslim Brotherhood will run Egypt as moderates; tell me another one).

    But while you’ve convinced yourself ignorance is bliss, don’t try to convince anyone else you’re a realist let alone a strategic thinker.

    Comment by Steve57 (4c041b) — 1/18/2013 @ 2:36 pm

  58. Sorry I wrote a book. It’s just that when people like this Mahalia Cab blindly repeat the willfully blind worldview of the Obama administration I get on a role.

    An oldie but a goodie:

    The Multitudinous Disasters Of The Obama Administration. Here: On Syria And Iran

    Barack Obama’s foreign policy is a train wreck. What’s more, it’s been a slow motion train wreck on a global scale. Any competent observer, and that doesn’t include Ms. Cab, spotted this train wreck unfolding years ago (it started with Obama’s painfully illiterate speech in Cairo in which he snubbed Mubarak by seating Muslim Brotherhood leaders front and center). It’s just grown worse. But as long as Obama keeps telling his brain dead followers he’s doing so much better than Bush they’ll believe him.

    World leaders, on the other hand, know they’re either dealing with an utter, juvenile fool or a man who’s deliberately undermining the security of the US.

    There are two reactions to this realization. Our enemies are happy either way. Our soon-to-be former allies are at first dismayed then realize they’re on their own. I give you Japan, which is openly discussing the idea that a US security agreement isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.

    Just one more example of the willful FP blindness of Obama. He’s stuck in the 1960′s world of his communist mentors. Talk about being stuck in a cold war mentality? He thinks it’s still a bipolar world. He’s looking for ways to get around the Constitution so he can get a hand-shake agreement with Putin on nuclear disarmament so he doesn’t have to submit a treaty to the Senate. Not even Harry Reid would sign on for that idiocy.

    Newsflash: It’s not the cold war anymore. He can agree with Putin to disarm, but what about China?

    While Mahalia Cab and Obama have been asleep at the switch, the PRC has built a massive underground complex that stretches over 3,000 miles. It’s designed to protect its strategic assets. The highly-politicized Obama-era intel agencies (because Obama, like Ms. Cab, would rather ignore reality outside our borders and focus on taking stuff away from “the rich”) consistently claim the PRC has approx. 300 warheads. Given the size of what analysts call “China’s underground Great Wall” That’s impossible to believe. It’s probably closer to 10 times that.

    And Obama wants to unilaterally disarm? I say unilaterally because Putin will never live up to this handshake agreement living right next to China. He’s just not that stupid, but he knows Obama is.

    So Obama is going to destabilize the entire region like he destabilized the ME and North Africa with his infantile grasp of how the world works. As China arms, what’s Japan going to do. They are already openly speculating the US can’t be relied upon; they can and no doubt will go nuclear (and they have the know-how and will to do so in a heartbeat) because they know they can’t rely on the US.

    India will increase its stockpile as well to provide a credible deterrent against China. They have had their differences in the past. As India goes, so does Pakistan. Meanwhile Israel and Iran will be having their little arms race, so more countries like Saudi Arabia will get in on the act.

    All because of Obama, who’s stuck in the cold war (you can pretty much always count on Obama doing exactly what he accuses others of doing). He came of age at the height of the nuclear freeze movement, tutored by left-wing/communist radical left-overs from the ’40s through the ’50s. So he’s going to undo what Ronnie Ray-gun did and be a hero to the leftists stuck in 1986 who still love Gorbachev.

    Comment by Steve57 (4c041b) — 1/18/2013 @ 4:05 pm

  59. Sorry; another wall-o-text.

    Comment by Steve57 (4c041b) — 1/18/2013 @ 4:06 pm

  60. Mahalia Cab; while you were in line for that Obama phone that you think that unemployed dad should pay for instead of hosting paint ball games for his rich dad, reality was happening:

    U.S. weighs military support for France’s campaign against Mali militants

    I’m sure you can ignore this as it doesn’t comport with your preferred budget priorities.

    The “Mahalia Cab Rule:” If it doesn’t help you get free stuff on someone else’s dime, it isn’t happening.

    Comment by Steve57 (4c041b) — 1/18/2013 @ 4:37 pm

  61. *for his rich dad friends*

    Comment by Steve57 (4c041b) — 1/18/2013 @ 4:37 pm

  62. Ms. Mahalia Cab? Paging Ms. Mahalia Cab. Please put down that Obamaphone you want those cuts in the defense budget to pay for and pick up the white clue phone in the lobby.

    WaPo: Algerian stance spoils U.S. strategy for region

    LONDON — The hostage crisis in Algeria has upended the Obama administration’s strategy for coordinating an international military campaign against al-Qaeda fighters in North Africa, leaving U.S., European and African leaders even more at odds over how to tackle the problem.

    …But Algeria’s unilateral decision to attack kidnappers at a natural gas plant — while shunning outside help, imposing a virtual information blackout and disregarding international pleas for caution — has dampened hopes that it might cooperate militarily in Mali, U.S. officials said. The crisis has strained ties between Algiers and Washington and increased doubts about whether Algeria can be relied upon to work regionally to dismantle al-Qaeda’s franchise in North Africa.

    “The result is that the U.S. will have squandered six to eight months of diplomacy for how it wants to deal with Mali,” said Geoff D. Porter, an independent North African security analyst. “At least it will have been squandered in the sense that the Algerians will likely double down on their recalcitrance to get involved. They’ve already put themselves in a fortress-like state.”

    Like Sudan, which I mentioned earlier in this comment thread, Algeria doesn’t give a rip about giving the finger to the Obama administration.

    Yeah, smarter diplomacy! Yeah, more international cooperation because the rest of the world thinks Obama’s just as dreamy as the American left! Yeah, “nimbler” special forces. (We can rely on our “smaller, nimbler” special forces when we expect countries like Algeria to provide the heavier conventional forces. At least, as long as we’re kidding ourselves we can.)

    Algeria: 32 militants killed, with 23 hostages

    With few details emerging from the remote site in eastern Algeria, it was unclear whether anyone was rescued in the final operation, but the number of hostages killed on Saturday – seven – was how many the militants had said that morning they still had. The government described the toll as provisional and some foreigners remained unaccounted for.

    Apparently some hostages were rescued. Quite by accident. They were being used as human shields, but the Algerians, who don’t really care how “nimble” their snake eaters are, also don’t really much care who gets shot as long as it’s all the bad guys and none of them.

    R.I.P. hostages.

    Thus endeth today’s lesson in gun control.

    Comment by Steve57 (4c041b) — 1/19/2013 @ 4:08 pm

  63. Piling on:

    Algerian hostage crisis throws spotlight on spillover of Libyan war

    Gee, whodathunkit?

    I guess nobody coulda seen this comin.’

    Not if the Messiah/Hillary!/Sheriff Joe brain trust couldn’t.

    But let’s cut the defense budget so we can redistribute the loot!

    Comment by Steve57 (4c041b) — 1/19/2013 @ 5:00 pm

  64. Oh, bye the bye, if anyone thinks this “spillover” that nobody-coulda-predicted is bad, just wait until you see the spillover that nobody-coulda-predicted when President Junior Miss declares victory for his policy in Syria after the al Nusra Front is in control of Assad’s weapon’s stockpiles.

    Now, who wants another helping of food stamps with a side of Obamacare and some nice subsidized green energy for dessert? Don’t worry, don’t cost nothing. Somebody else’s grandkids will be paying for it.

    Comment by Steve57 (4c041b) — 1/19/2013 @ 5:05 pm

  65. Comment by Steve57 (4c041b) — 1/18/2013 @ 2:36 pm

    We had plenty of surveillance assets over and actually at the embassy/CIA safehouse in Benghazi, ‘member? What the hell good did it do us?

    We had drones over the hostage site in Algeria, too (unarmed drones)

    Incidentally embassy is the wrong word for Benghazi, and even consulate is wrong. The State Department called it a mission, or a diplomatic post.

    There were actually two separate locations, not too far from each other. One was public, and mostly unoccupied – the Ambassador stayed there on the theory that going to the other place would reveal its existence or connection to the United States.

    The neighbors at the other place (which was really a CIA facility although most people there had diplomatic passports) didn’t know it was anything special, but some other people did.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (6ae430) — 1/19/2013 @ 6:16 pm

  66. Remember when yellow cake, was the main problem from over here

    http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2013/01/nigerien_jihadist_id.php

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 1/19/2013 @ 6:23 pm

  67. The Obama Administration’s position on Mali seems to be to do the minimum amount necessary. What happens of course, is because of wishful thinking and optimism, it’s always too little, and it fails.

    First they wanted to recognize the old government. Then they were going to train the military that had made a coup. This type of thing doesn’t easily work – it isn’t working in Afghanistan, albeit there they have to deal with the problem of enemy infiltrators into the army.

    Then they didn’t argue with France when France wanted to do it. (that’s still better than what Clinton did in Rwanda in 1994, where he actually stopped foreign intervention)

    But they wanted the least involvement, especially with anything lethal, and they didn’t help enough – the fighting was more difficult, the enemy better than thought.

    In the meantime, they are trying to get some other African countries involved. And there’s a UN Security Council resolution endorsing the fighting.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (6ae430) — 1/19/2013 @ 6:24 pm

  68. This is not leading from behind – this is getting pulled by the hand into the battle.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (6ae430) — 1/19/2013 @ 6:27 pm

  69. Apparently they were asking for Sheikh Rahman, and a relative newcomer Aafia Siddiqui, the MIT trained microbiologist to trade for the hostages,

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 1/19/2013 @ 6:51 pm

  70. 65. We had plenty of surveillance assets over and actually at the embassy/CIA safehouse in Benghazi, ‘member? What the hell good did it do us?

    We had drones over the hostage site in Algeria, too (unarmed drones)

    Incidentally embassy is the wrong word for Benghazi, and even consulate is wrong. The State Department called it a mission, or a diplomatic post.

    There were actually two separate locations, not too far from each other. One was public, and mostly unoccupied – the Ambassador stayed there on the theory that going to the other place would reveal its existence or connection to the United States.

    The neighbors at the other place (which was really a CIA facility although most people there had diplomatic passports) didn’t know it was anything special, but some other people did.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (6ae430) — 1/19/2013 @ 6:16 pm

    Yes, I knew “embassy” was the wrong word for whatever it was we had in Benghazi.

    But rather than try to fix it in a subsequent post I just gave up looking for the right word for “a flimsy diplomatic front for a ‘secret’ CIA operation that everyone in eastern Libya and western Egypt knew about.”

    I’m sure we had drones over that natural gas facility in Algeria; that’s the same point I was making about Benghazi.

    67. The Obama Administration’s position on Mali seems to be to do the minimum amount necessary. What happens of course, is because of wishful thinking and optimism, it’s always too little, and it fails.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (6ae430) — 1/19/2013 @ 6:24 pm

    68. This is not leading from behind – this is getting pulled by the hand into the battle.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (6ae430) — 1/19/2013 @ 6:27 pm

    Afraid you’re wrong, Sammy. Somebody has to be in front of you, and you behind, for anyone to drag you by the hand into anything.

    Yeah, leading from behind! Yeah, smart diplomacy!

    Remember when Obama jetted off to Copenhagen to personally make the bid to award Chicago the 2016 Olympics, lending the “prestige” of the office to the negotiations?

    And the committee awarded it to Rio?

    That set the tone for what we could expect from the Obamateur’s mad, “smart” diplomatic skillz. That time it was just funny. Nobody died from his incompetence.

    Comment by Steve57 (4c041b) — 1/19/2013 @ 7:15 pm

  71. when 2/3 of Mali has fallen, it’s probably a little too late,

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 1/19/2013 @ 7:19 pm

  72. 69. Apparently they were asking for Sheikh Rahman, and a relative newcomer Aafia Siddiqui, the MIT trained microbiologist to trade for the hostages,

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 1/19/2013 @ 6:51 pm

    I don’t know why they went to the trouble. All Obama’s newest, bestest buddy in the region Hosni Mubarak would have had to do was add her to his list of demands and Obama would have added it to the shopping cart.

    Along with a few extra F-16s and several more billion bronco bama bucks for gas. Maybe a commemorative trillion dollar platinum coin.

    Comment by Steve57 (4c041b) — 1/19/2013 @ 7:20 pm

  73. 71. when 2/3 of Mali has fallen, it’s probably a little too late,

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 1/19/2013 @ 7:19 pm

    Of course you’re right. But when did President “we’ll surge in Afghanistan but withdraw by a date certain” Obama strike you as having even a weak grasp of the demands of running a successful military operation?

    Comment by Steve57 (4c041b) — 1/19/2013 @ 7:23 pm

  74. Some people are just too stupid, or craven;

    http://ricks.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/01/18/the_obama_administration_s_inexplicable_mishandling_of_marine_gen_james_mattis

    Ricks, was the one who missed the anbar awakening, in ‘Fiasco’ then caught up in ‘the Gamble, and he put Broadwell in touch with a publishers,

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 1/19/2013 @ 7:28 pm

  75. Blast from the past:

    WSJ Washington Wire – Conway: U.S. Withdrawal Deadline Boosts Taliban in Afghan War

    The top U.S. Marine general made a sharp departure from the White House’s talking points on Afghanistan, saying President Barack Obama’s promised July 2011 deadline to start withdrawing troops from the country had given “sustenance” to the Taliban.

    “We know the president was talking to several audiences at the same time when he made his comments on July 2011,” Gen. James Conway told reporters on Tuesday. “In some ways, we think right now it’s probably giving our enemy sustenance….In fact, we’ve intercepted communications that say, ‘Hey, you know, we only have to hold out for so long.’”

    Comment by Steve57 (4c041b) — 1/19/2013 @ 7:32 pm

  76. http://lonelyconservative.com/2013/01/romneys-comment-about-mali-doesnt-seem-so-silly-or-off-topic-now/

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 1/19/2013 @ 7:41 pm

  77. narciso, yes, some people are too stupid and too craven.

    And pathetically unselfaware.

    A blast from the present:

    Earlier in the recently ended hostage situation in Algeria:

    “The United States does not negotiate with terrorists,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.

    Apparently Ms. Nuland didn’t get the word. A few days earlier:

    The Taliban, which harbored al Qaeda in Afghanistan in the lead up to the 9/11 attacks on America in 2001, will have an office in Afghanistan and engage in direct talks with the democratic government there, President Barack Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai affirmed at a joint White House news conference Friday.

    “Ultimately security gains must be matched by political progress, so we’ve recommitted our nations to a reconciliation process between the Afghan government and the Taliban,” Obama said. “President Karzai updated me on the Afghan government’s road map to peace, and today we agreed that this process should be advanced by the opening of a Taliban office to facilitate talks.”

    Comment by Steve57 (4c041b) — 1/19/2013 @ 7:47 pm

  78. Geez, what the hell was I thinking?

    *All Obama’s newest, bestest buddy in the region Hosni Mubarak would have had to do…*

    Clearly I meant Mohamed “cluckles” Morsi, that loveable Preezy of Egypt, who at this point could start holding up a copy of Mein Kampf while giving speeches about raising the children of Egypt on jew hatred and Obama would still claim the Arab Spring was one of his administration’s great foreign policy successes. Like Libya.

    And we’d keep printing up more bronco bama bucks to send to him.

    Comment by Steve57 (4c041b) — 1/19/2013 @ 8:00 pm

  79. Well probably not Mubarak, but you weren’t too far off;

    http://www.jtf.org/israel/israel.arab.moderates.part.one.htm

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 1/19/2013 @ 8:15 pm

  80. Second look at redeploying to Okinawa?

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 1/19/2013 @ 8:26 pm

  81. narciso @79, it’s hard to be too far off when describing an Arab leader giving a speech about nurturing their children on hatred of the Jews while holding up a copy of Mein Kampf (still a best seller in the region) and Obama would still call him a partner in the region and keep the aid and weapons flowing.

    Not just in Egypt. Same would go in Gaza or the West Bank. Israel’s “partners in peace” (fun fact: Palestine’s “ambassador” to the UK recently rejected the whole concept of a two state solution)

    Enjoyed the vid at the link. Yes, the WH is inept and useless. “We are in contact with the Algerian authorities and our partners in the region.” I bet they put the speaker phone on mute when this rodeo clown administration calls them. Earlier Hillary! did just that:

    Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said she spoke by telephone with Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal to get an update on Americans and others in danger at the sprawling Ain Amenas refinery 800 miles south of Algiers. She said the “utmost care must be taken to preserve innocent life.”

    I’m sure PM Sellal took the phone off mute at that point and said, “Oh, we’ll get right on that; keep that foremost in mind.”

    Then they sent in the Special Intervention Group.

    Here that would involve sending the cast of a TV show over to Lindsay Lohan’s to discuss her drug and alcohol use. In Algeria it involves sending in their special forces to kill everything that moves.

    The the PM called Hillary! back to tell her, “There’s your utmost care, babe.”

    To those guys taking “utmost care” means none of the terrorists gets away. When in doubt, burn the village to make sure.

    You can tell that this WH/college freshman dorm of an administration that’s agreeing to direct talks with the Taliban about the future of Afghanistan really doesn’t grasp that when some people say they don’t negotiate with terrorists, they really mean it.

    They had no clue what was going to happen when the Algerians refused outside help.

    Comment by Steve57 (4c041b) — 1/19/2013 @ 8:40 pm

  82. 80. Second look at redeploying to Okinawa?

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 1/19/2013 @ 8:26 pm

    No need for a second look. Now that Obama has set everything right in Africa, the ME, and SW Asia, our pivot to the Pacific is already well under way.

    The site of one of his earliest successes. You remember? After the NORKs sank the ROKN Cheonan and the dynamic foreign policy duo of Hillary!/Bronco Bama sprang into action. Demanding a “forceful response” from the “International community.” And they lectured the Chinese on how it was in their best interests to get harsh with the NORKs. And China said, “Sorry, what did you say? We had the phone on mute ‘cuz we were laughing and didn’t hear that last part.”

    And through “smart diplomacy extracted a strongly worded UN Security Council statement condemning nor sanctioning no one by name?

    The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2010/13 reads as follows:

    “The Security Council notes the letter dated 4 June 2010 from the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/2010/281), and the letter dated 8 June 2010 from the Permanent Representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/2010/294).

    “The Security Council deplores the attack on 26 March 2010 which led to the sinking of the Republic of Korea naval ship, the Cheonan, resulting in the tragic loss of 46 lives.

    “The Security Council determines that such an incident endangers peace and security in the region and beyond.

    “The Security Council deplores the loss of life and injuries and expresses its deep sympathy and condolences to the victims and their families and to the people and Government of the Republic of Korea, and calls for appropriate and peaceful measures to be taken against those responsible for the incident aimed at the peaceful settlement of the issue in accordance with the United Nations Charter and all other relevant provisions of international law.

    “In view of the findings of the Joint Civilian-Military Investigation Group led by the Republic of Korea with the participation of five nations, which concluded that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was responsible for sinking the Cheonan, the Security Council expresses its deep concern.

    “The Security Council takes note of the responses from other relevant parties, including from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, which has stated that it had nothing to do with the incident.

    Therefore, the Security Council condemns the attack which led to the sinking of the Cheonan.

    “The Security Council underscores the importance of preventing further such attacks or hostilities against the Republic of Korea or in the region.

    “The Security Council welcomes the restraint shown by the Republic of Korea and stresses the importance of maintaining peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and in North-East Asia as a whole.

    “The Security Council calls for full adherence to the Korean Armistice Agreement and encourages the settlement of outstanding issues on the Korean peninsula by peaceful means to resume direct dialogue and negotiation through appropriate channels as early as possible, with a view to avoiding conflicts and averting escalation.

    “The Security Council reaffirms the importance that all Member States uphold the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.”

    The NORKs were so shaken by the whole thing the Malignant Dwarf handed out medals to the crew of the sub involved on TV, followed by drinks and dancing in the Armada Lounge at the Pyongyang Army-Navy club.

    Comment by Steve57 (4c041b) — 1/19/2013 @ 9:08 pm

  83. “Now that Obama has set everything right in Africa, the ME, and SW Asia, our pivot to the Pacific is already well under way.”

    Steve57 – Murtha both avoided his time and was ahead of his time!

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 1/19/2013 @ 9:45 pm

  84. 83. Steve57 – Murtha both avoided his time and was ahead of his time!

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 1/19/2013 @ 9:45 pm

    Well, daley, perhaps he avoided his time. I guess that depends where he ended up. He might be wishing right about now that he could be cooling his heels at Club Fed instead. Instead of roasting them by an open fire.

    As far as being ahead of his time, definitely. The man who proposed “redeploying” our forces where they could do the least amount of good should we need to respond to a crisis in the Muslim world seems to have found a disciple in Obama.

    It’s really fitting, when you think about it, that his namesake the USS John P. Murtha (LPD-26) belongs to a class of of amphibious transports that, like Murtha’s chose of “redeployment” sites, will ensure US forces can’t get where they need to be to perform the mission.

    LPD-17 Reliability Issues Surface Again

    Aug 08, 2012 13:20 UTC by Defense Industry Daily staff

    Problems with USS New York [LPD 21] reportedly have the US Navy scrutinizing every ship built in the class’ 2 shipyards. Unfortunately, it’s just the latest installment in a long string of basic workmanship issues.

    …[Updates]Aug 1/12: Bolted. A new issue involving improperly installed bolts has emerged in the latest ships built by the Avondale shipyard near New Orleans. The Navy’s acceptance of LPD 23 Anchorage is now delayed, and LPD 25 Somerset is also affected.

    An Ingalls inspector discovered the issue, which could lead engine mountings to shear under sudden shock, or loosen enough over time to set up damaging vibrations in the ship’s propulsion systems. Fitted bolts that don’t meet the ultra-tight tolerances for engine mountings are being replaced, and the Navy is also checking the 520 applicable bolts on every other Avondale-built ship. The problem is apparently confined to the Avondale shipyard, which has been the source of so many previous problems with the class. Ingalls-built ships from the Mississippi shipyard are unaffected. Gannett’s Navy Times.

    In honor of Murtha of “Haditha Marine” fame the Sailors in the fleet have already chosen a nickname for his namesake. They’re calling it the “Fat Bastard.”

    Comment by Steve57 (4c041b) — 1/19/2013 @ 10:39 pm

  85. daley, I really should have added this, because as much as I disliked Murtha, if the Navy was going to name a ship after him it’s fitting it was one of the LPD-17s.

    While some teething problems are common for first ships of a new class, The new San Antonio Class stands out for their number and severity. All in a ship whose costs rose from about $700 million when the program was sold, to over $1.7 billion – then stayed at that drastically elevated level through subsequent vessels.

    Even at the bloated amount we’ll be overcharged for Murtha, Murtha will be “not effective, suitable, and not survivable in combat.”

    And then I vaguely recalled another story about Murtha’s new namesake:

    San Antonio officer cleared of negligence in drowning

    A military jury found a naval officer not guilty Friday night in the death of a sailor aboard the trouble-plagued amphibious transport dock San Antonio – a case that pitted the Navy’s principle of holding commanders at sea accountable against the perception that the crew was being blamed for the vessel’s flaws.

    Lt. Cmdr. Sean Kearns, 42, was charged with negligence for failing to properly train and supervise small-boat operations on Feb. 4, 2009. A rigid-hull inflatable boat being lowered from the ship flipped, throwing three sailors into the Gulf of Aden. Petty Officer 1st Class Theophilus Ansong was lost at sea.

    Kearns, who was the ship’s executive officer, chose to take the case to court-martial rather than accept a potentially career-ending reprimand like the one given to Cmdr. Eric Cash, the ship’s captain.

    Kearns said the verdict is more than a personal vindication.

    …Prosecutors did not address the major material problems that have plagued the ship.

    A parade of witnesses who specialize in training and inspecting ships did not convince the jury that Kearns violated written or traditional Navy standards.

    Prosecutors repeatedly insinuated that Kearns should have been on the bridge during the small-boat operation but did not produce any documents establishing that as common or accepted practice.

    Not only isn’t it usual for the XO to be on the bridge when launching the RHIB, it would have been useless.

    The LPD-17 doesn’t have a boat deck that the XO might have been able to see from either of the bridgewings (depending on which side you’re launching the RHIB from). Because of the “sexy” “stealth” design it’s got what’s called a boat valley which you can see in this pic just outboard of the stack. You can’t even see that sucker from the bridge.

    So, yeah, that’s a Murtha if I ever saw a ship that should have been called a Murtha. Fat, slow, overpriced, high maintenance, and death trap for the Sailors who are going to be unfortunate enough to operate her.

    Comment by Steve57 (4c041b) — 1/19/2013 @ 11:11 pm

  86. Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 1/19/2013 @ 6:51 pm

    Apparently they were asking for Sheikh Rahman, and a relative newcomer Aafia Siddiqui, the MIT trained microbiologist to trade for the hostages,

    I don’t think they were serious. Demands like that are made to cover up the real motive, and in fact they were asking for other kinds of things too, including that France should abandon the war in Mali.

    This was actually probably just an attempt to expand their asrea of control – a natural folowup —- and to deprive the government of Algeria of money, and possibly to get paid ransom.

    The government of Algeria seems to have been most interested in bringing this to an end quickly, and preventing any of the attackers from escaping – and they didn’t care what happened to the hostages and they very possibly didn’t anyone to secretly pay ransom.

    Algeria wouldn’t know if that happened, and it certainly could happen if any of the hostages were taken out of the country. So it is very possible they preferred the hostages be killed rather than held for any length of time, so as to make sure no ransom was paid.

    There were no Algerians or Moslems among them – the attackers had allowed any person who claimed to be a Moslem and proved it by reciting a verse from the Koran to leave.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (6ae430) — 1/20/2013 @ 11:00 am

  87. This has been a pattern since the Luxor massacre in 1997, whose mastermind Mustafa Hamza, was recently released by Morsy,

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 1/20/2013 @ 11:04 am

  88. In Luxor, they set out to kill and nothing else. Here they killed a few people to instill terror, but the people killed were all killed either by government bombing or in response to a storming.

    In Algeria the government was most interested probably in preventing the payment of ransom.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (6ae430) — 1/20/2013 @ 11:22 am

  89. In Afghanistan, these are supposedly break-away Taliban. They are being played for fools by the ISI.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (6ae430) — 1/20/2013 @ 11:25 am

  90. 70. Yes, France was in front.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (6ae430) — 1/20/2013 @ 11:28 am

  91. The United States really never pays ransom, (maybe companies and families have done that some times) but other countries do.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (6ae430) — 1/20/2013 @ 11:32 am

  92. 88. In Algeria the government was most interested probably in preventing the payment of ransom.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (6ae430) — 1/20/2013 @ 11:22 am

    In Algeria the government was most interested in marking its territory. They’re not interested in going into Mali, but they’ll be damned if AQIM thinks it can play in their sandbox.

    Again, I’m surprised how off-guard the Obama administration (and EU) were by how the Algerians ended this. Recall that the Algerians had already launched one assault on the facility.

    The Europeans (and possibly the US; it wasn’t in the article but that means nothing) asked the Algerians why they didn’t back off and negotiate.

    The answer from the Algerians was simple; they don’t negotiate with terrorists.

    Also keep in mind not all SOF is created equal. People see movies about the SEALs and they when they hear “Special Forces” they think “surgical precision.” That’s due to the tender sensibilities of Americans who can’t bear the thought of collateral damage. We get attacked and our liberal elites wonder why people don’t like us and respond to the latest atrocity by worrying about the always-descending-but-never-arriving anti-muslim backlash and suspending operations during Ramadan.

    The Algerians will happily napalm these AQIM a**maggots on Eid and they don’t care who’s in the vicinity. Plus “surgical precision” is expensive and if you’re willing to burn the village to save it why bother? Like a lot of the world’s Special Forces their idea of “surgical precision” is taking out your appendix with a shovel.

    With that in mind, they continued to refuse outside assistance. What did anyone think was going to happen?

    See, I don’t think math is hard. 1+1=2.

    WH PR Flack Carney and Hillary! continued to bleat about “communicating with the Algerian authorities and our partners in the region” in blissful ignorance.

    What are these perpetual adolescents doing in charge of our economy and foreign policy? Hillary! probably thought the Algerian idea of a Special Forces raid on the gas complex was going to look like the raid on Abbottabad she saw on monitor in the WH situation room.

    Comment by Steve57 (4c041b) — 1/20/2013 @ 11:55 am

  93. They’ve been fighting the predecessors to the AQIM, for twenty years now, having crushed the bulk of the insurgency, although there have been some recurrences.

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 1/20/2013 @ 12:35 pm

  94. narciso @93, I haven’t been following it too closely but I’m aware of that.

    But I’m aware enough that what I said goes double. They’ve got a track record. I don’t see how anyone could have expected the Algerians to back off and negotiate an end to these situations. They don’t negotiate with terrorists. That isn’t just something they have the PR flack say at a press conference. I don’t see how anyone can be surprised by how things went.

    And the thing is, I’m not criticizing the Algerians. Especially the Special Intervention Group. They’ve had a hard job to do, and no matter how bloody it was they didn’t take the easy way. There was no easy way; the fact any hostages survived is sort of icing on the cake.

    It’s us I’m criticizing; why do we elect baby ducks to whom the world dawns new each day and thus are continuously surprised by the glaringly obvious to represent our interests abroad?

    Comment by Steve57 (4c041b) — 1/20/2013 @ 1:50 pm

  95. well you got the gist of it, there’s a moment in
    Lake’s piece, where an unnamed CIA official, says they got few good leads from the Algerians, hence
    they disregarded much of their advice,

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 1/20/2013 @ 1:53 pm

  96. narciso, why would this guy listen to anybody?

    Obama: ‘Better Judgment’ on Foreign Policy

    By JAKE TAPPER (@jaketapper)
    July 25, 2007

    “One thing I’m very confident about is my judgment in foreign policy is, I believe, better than any other candidate in this race, Republican or Democrat,” Obama said.

    …Obama told the crowd of roughly 125 that he didn’t base his boast “simply on the fact that I was right on the war in Iraq, but if you look at how I approached the problem. What I was drawing on was a set of experiences that come from a life of living overseas, having family overseas, being able to see the world through the eyes of people outside our borders.”

    …Asked about his foreign policy credentials on ABC News’ “Good Morning America” in January, Obama said his “experience in foreign policy is probably more diverse than most others in the field. I mean, I’m somebody who has actually lived overseas, somebody who has studied overseas. You know, I majored in international relations.

    He lived in Indonesia as a kid, don’t you see? He’s traveled. Unlike any other American he has family overseas. Ok, maybe somewhere in this nation of immigrants there are people who have family overseas. And maybe they’ve even met them on brief visits like Obama did with the Kenyan side of his family.

    But no one, narciso, has Obama’s god-like power to see the world through their eyes. And, here’s the kicker, he studied international relations in college.

    He doesn’t listen to people. They’re wrong and he’s right. No doubt he lectured the Algerians about what was in their best interest in Mali. Like he did Netanyahu about how BB doesn’t know what’s in Israel’s best interest when it comes to Israel’s security. Like he did to Assad about distancing himself from Iran. Like he did to China about distancing themselves from the NORKs.

    He knows what’s best for everybody, narciso, cuz like every single US military brat ever born he lived overseas as a kid. And he traveled. And like about half of them he studied international relations as a result.

    So he knows what’s in everyone’s best interest.

    Do you see why I say these people must have to put the phone on mute when he or one of his minions calls to lecture them on what’s in their own best interest? So they won’t hear them laughing. It’s especially pathetic when a guy in his mid-40s brings up his college major as a qualification to be President.

    That’s why I derisively call him President Prom Queen or President Junior Miss. I’d expect that from a pageant contestant. Not a serious chief executive.

    These other world leaders probably have to mute their phone so to resist their urge to argue with him. If they told them they knew what’s in their country’s own best interest, Obama would probably pause, then haughtily ask where they got their Ivy League degree. They don’t need an Ivy League degree to know not to argue with a fool so they just let him drone on while they make fun and laugh.

    And this country elected him!

    Comment by Steve57 (4c041b) — 1/20/2013 @ 3:15 pm

  97. This country elected him TWICE!

    Comment by Steve57 (4c041b) — 1/20/2013 @ 3:18 pm

  98. Interesting this Times piece, four years or so, named the commander of this operation;

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/13/world/africa/13mali.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 1/20/2013 @ 3:47 pm

  99. “But no one, narciso, has Obama’s god-like power to see the world through their eyes. And, here’s the kicker, he studied international relations in college.”

    Steve57 – Another amazing Obama factoid, he is always, no matter what the situation, always, the only reasonable adult in the room.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 1/20/2013 @ 3:53 pm

  100. “LOL. If you think that cutting only defense will balance the budget, then you are an idiot. ”

    I said defense cuts helped balance the budget in the 90s, not that it would balance today’s budget by itself. We should use the same principle of spending less on the military, because it will have a benefit. The deficit is much larger because of Obama and Bush both, although Bush inherited a surplus and Obama inherited an economy in freefall.

    I know it hits a raw nerve that the Iraq war was faked, it was a terrible waste of lives and treasure that there should be accountability for. This is buried in fiscal debates because of ego – anyone that supported the Iraq war all the way has to make excuses now, even after we know exactly how the intel got cooked.

    It took a while to get the full story from top level whistleblowers, but the Administration knew there were never WMDs all along, planted stories in the Times, lied on TV and suckered all of Congress, the UN and coalition partners. One by one, everyone saw the light – Kerry, Hillary, Hagel. They were all duped because they trusted Cheney’s Iraq Team and got burned – worst of all was Colin Powell who could have otherwise been a shoo in for President,

    Those who marched in protest, the biggest coordinated protest in world history, were right – they mistrusted the reports, they knew it was stovepiped intel. But now we all have to pay the three trillion dollar bill so it’s hard to listen to talk about cutting spending on principle when they won’t own the fiasco that is Iraq.

    So. We have a bigger deficit now, it’s true, but saying we should not make defense cuts because it wouldn’t fix the whole problem all at once is the logic of a dunce. We should do all we can, obviously.

    No one here replied to the point about privatization, the added cost to tax payers of profiteers swimming in Pentagon contracts to do simple things the military has historically done for themselves. This is also hypocritical – if Solyndra was pay for play and that’s bad, why is Halliburton okay, with the same amount in revenue lost through double billing and overcharging? Because there are no principles being employed here, just partisan positioning.

    Note that the right never applies the same belt-tightening to defense, even though the privatization makes the military 1/3 inefficient. It makes conservatives giant hypocrites in fact, spending our kids money away on war, and it defines “neocon” as opposed to a legitimate conservative who know how to balance a budget. Legitimate fiscal conservatives do not make excuses, they simply balance budgets. We have nothing close to this in DC now on either side of the aisle, so we do seem screwed, but we can at least recognize what did work in the past, it was a tax code that forced the rich to create jobs by taxing the highest marginal rates at 70-90%, a successful Republican idea.

    The reason this worked was not because revenue was raised – no idiot would pay those rates willingly. It forced the rich, individuals and industry alike to create jobs. This gave us growth and THAT balanced the budget. So we’re not looking at this correctly. We need to see what fiscal conservatism did right, they told the rich it’s time to create jobs because the country needs it. The rich did because they had no choice – 90% taxes are not a choice. Why can’t we do this now? Because the neocons are at war with traditional conservative ideology, they want the ‘liberty’ to accumulate wealth even though it extracts it from the US economy with devastating ripple effects.

    What would get us much farther in deficit reduction is closing loopholes. The offshoring, the Delaware carve outs, the end to headquartering in the Caymans. There are trillions there to get, but the government is too in bed with corporations to make them pay their taxes and both parties are guilty of this. The next thing is raising tariffs. We have always had tariffs – the price of selling goods in the US. We killed our own jobs by lowering tariffs and it didn’t work. So we need to raise them again. If it starts a trade war, then we just need to pick winners and losers and make the Trade Office do it’s job for once.

    So the fuller answer is fiscally conservative tax policies based on those that are proven under Republicans, ending the race to the bottom on offshoring, ending corporate hostage taking on relocating, cutting defense and particularly the cost-plus no-bid contracts. Cutting Medicare only transfers those costs to the states, even though it’s in an unsustainable downward spiral, the alternative is going to mean sickness and death, a tough call to make if you need to one day get re-elected. And that brings us to campaign finance, where George Soros means more than you because he has more money. If we get money out of politics, we equalize voting so it resembles democracy.

    Comment by Mahalia Cab (4be6fb) — 1/22/2013 @ 2:49 pm

  101. oh god I hate ripple effects

    Comment by happyfeet (4bf7c2) — 1/22/2013 @ 2:55 pm

  102. The deficit is much larger because of Obama and Bush both, although Bush inherited a surplus and Obama inherited an economy in freefall.

    False like all your comments, Mahalia. FY 2001 was in deficit as passed, and further in deficit with the recession that began in February of 2001.

    I know it hits a raw nerve that the Iraq war was faked, it was a terrible waste of lives and treasure that there should be accountability for. This is buried in fiscal debates because of ego – anyone that supported the Iraq war all the way has to make excuses now, even after we know exactly how the intel got cooked.

    Lies on your part. The administration did not “cook” the intel. That was the conclusion of a bipartisan Congressional intelligence committee report.

    And your references to Halliburton are just more of the kooky fabrications.

    Your ignorance of how the higher marginal tax rates distorted the economy of the ’60′s is nothing short of astonishing. Along with the rest of your economic nuttiness. “Bring back the wonders of Smoot-Harley!!!!eleventy!!!”

    Comment by SPQR (768505) — 1/22/2013 @ 2:57 pm

  103. ==I know it hits a raw nerve that the Iraq war was faked==

    Mahalia Cab, clearly you took the time to block copy and post that long angry mostly OT comment at #100. However, when it starts with “LOL” and one of your first sentences begins with the statement I copied above, it is dead certain that the rest of your post will be worthless inane drivel and not worth the time to read it. Why do you bother?

    Comment by elissa (adfeba) — 1/22/2013 @ 3:00 pm

  104. Mahalia, just buy a t-shirt that says “I heart my delusions as much as I heart your money” and be done with it.

    Comment by Steve57 (4c041b) — 1/22/2013 @ 3:02 pm

  105. If the trolls and ‘bamabots put as much effort into creating economic growth as they do in tearing down their putative opponents on the ‘nets, we would be on Easy Street. As it is, they’ve got us overlooking Hardship Avenue daring us to jump.

    Comment by askeptic (b8ab92) — 1/22/2013 @ 3:17 pm

  106. I know it hits a raw nerve that the Iraq war was faked

    Lie

    3 trillion? Source, please.

    Nobody replied to your privatization comment about Pizza Hut because it was BS, but it did show your contempt for honesty and the troops.

    even though the privatization makes the military 1/3 inefficient.

    Asspull

    but we can at least recognize what did work in the past, it was a tax code that forced the rich to create jobs by taxing the highest marginal rates at 70-90%

    LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

    Taxing the successful at 70-90 creates growth!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The rest is the leftist wish list for new revenues to pay for their trillions in new spending.

    Remember folks, Mahalia is a fiscal conservative.

    Comment by JD (b63a52) — 1/22/2013 @ 3:18 pm

  107. 100 – Try writing paperback novels.

    Comment by mg (31009b) — 1/22/2013 @ 3:25 pm

  108. 106. I know it hits a raw nerve that the Iraq war was faked

    Lie

    Comment by JD (b63a52) — 1/22/2013 @ 3:18 pm

    Of course it’s a lie. Clearly if she hit anyone’s “raw nerve” it was mine, as I went on to write the equivalent of several chapters of the Old Testament when something she wrote tripped my trigger.

    But it wasn’t that, as much as she’d like to lie to herself and others and pretend.

    It was this:

    We don’t need the same level of ground troops with changing technology for surveillance, drones, more nimble special forces, smarter diplomacy and most of all, international cooperation.

    And it wasn’t so much a “raw nerve” she hit as my funny bone. That’s just such a gobsmackingly stupid thing to write. (Although when you think about it “the Iraq war was faked” is also stupid; really, the whole war? Like the Moon landing?)

    Comment by Steve57 (4c041b) — 1/22/2013 @ 3:30 pm

  109. Comment by Steve57 (4c041b) — 1/20/2013 @ 1:50 pm

    I don’t see how anyone could have expected the Algerians to back off and negotiate an end to these situations. They don’t negotiate with terrorists.

    The United States isn’t either. They would have tried to negotiate a surrender. And otherwise, if they looked like they were starting to kill hostages, plan a rescue mission. They would have planned a rescue mission . It’s hard to do worse than what happened. But then, this was not a rescue missio. The hostages were expendable.

    It looks very much like the Algerians had three goals:

    1) Prevent the terrorists from doing major structural damage to the facility.

    2) Prevent them from escaping with some hostages into Mali – with the goal of preventing anybody from paying ransom and enriching the terrorists.

    3) Minimizing loss of life of their own soldiers.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (976d9e) — 1/22/2013 @ 5:14 pm

  110. This resembles Mumbai in execution, but not magnitude obviously,

    http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/international/article4331750.ece

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 1/22/2013 @ 5:19 pm

  111. It seems like President Barack Obama really, really does not want to get involved in a war in Maali – although he also doesn’t want Al Qaeda et al to win.

    So they tried charging France money (I mean there is a budget proble, isn’t there?) but backed down.

    And then they decided to airlift men and equipment. It was close to an emergency – Al Qaeda was within 300 miles of the capital of Mali and advancing and there pretty soon might be no more independent Malia government.

    France has asked for U.S. planes to do mid-air refueling. The Administration is considering it, but doesn’t want to do it unless France can’t prevail without it.

    They also want African countries to do the job as possible.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (976d9e) — 1/22/2013 @ 5:20 pm

  112. At least one ‘cost of war at three trillion source’ is a Pulitzer winning economist writing in the Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/03/AR2010090302200.html

    Let’s accept that FY 2001 was in deficit as passed, but Feb 2001 is the Bush term. So if you want to blame any kind of recession on Clinton, then you must also blame Obama’s start on Bush – you shouldn’t use that yardstick because it hurts your overall case.

    The bipartisan Congressional intelligence committee report on Iraq was issued by the same people who cooked the intel, so let’s take that with a grain of salt. Besides, the most damning proof came out later and therefore supercede it.

    If you don’t think the intel on Iraq was cooked, you haven’t been following (on purpose I’m sure). There are State Dept and CIA whistleblowers who confirmed Cheney had killed a CIA dissent which said everything Curveball said was crap AT THE TIME.

    This was because the Germans who interrogated him also said AT THE TIME everything he said was made up. In the last 2-3 years, the Euro head of the CIA wrote a book on this, the head of the BND wrote a book on this, Colin Powell said so, and Powell’s #2 said he would testify. You should follow the reports.

    Everything the war was based on hinged on this. The SOTU speech, the NYT planted articles, the UN resolution, the AUMF, all of it. All of Congress played (treason) and the public still to this day clinging to the WMD story that never was. Mobile bio-weapons labs as a justification for 4,000 soldiers dying. Anybody care about justice for 4,000 hurting families?

    Curveball came forward and said he made it all up but even got help, was coached about what technical jargon to use to make the lie sell. Then it came out last year the fake WMD diagrams were created in the White House – taxpayer funded!

    Bush admitted the Iraq War intel was the worst blunder of his career (until the economy crashed). So I repeat, the Iraq war was faked and it will cost us three trillion. Do your homework.

    Halliburton was caught many times cheating, please just Google the facts before you waste anyone’s time. They paid more just in fines alone than Solyndra squandered in total. Double billing, ghost billing, bribes, rape, rape cover ups, and just recently found liable last month for poisoning deaths of troops due to cutting corners on safety.

    Do you ever read news that isn’t spoonfed by Fox and Breitbart?

    Let the world see that SPQR didn’t know Halliburton/KBR’s sordid past, accused me of lying before checking into the record fines they paid. The record stands.

    On the 50s-70s economy, can we agree that the budgets were balanced when the margina rates were 70-90%? We can dispute causes but we are not disputing those basic facts right?

    I feel fine if you want to hypothesize that those rates did not send the rich running for job-creating write offs, as long as you admit that the budgets were balanced when the marginal rates were that high, that’s a good stopping point for us. I know alissa get conspiratorial if I type too much.

    Note JD didn’t even understand what I was pointing out. He says above the tax rate of 70-90% is meant to create revenue, a liberal’s dream, showing he didn’t get it yet. Once again, when the rates are that high, nobody pays them. The whole point is to get the capital flowing towards jobs. The government doesn’t see that revenue. This is a Republican plan which worked.

    Obama is the one seeking to raise revenue, but only 3% which won’t do squat. His whole fiscal cliff deal to date is only increasing revenue 16% from where it was. This will not spur jobs either. Republicans of the 50s-70s knew what to do.

    Even Reagan held the marginal rate over 50% until the last half of his last term. This is how he created jobs – I remember it well, the days that taking risks was common because taxes were higher than business losses.

    To Steve, no the whole war was not faked, the only thing that was faked was the reason stated in the authorization bill Congress voted on. The claims of WMD that launched the war, the claim Iraq had ties to al Qaeda.

    The deaths and debt and interest are all real. The bill is now due, so even if the Democrats are 100% wrong to promote unsustainable entitlements, this does not erase Republican zeal for war spending which continues today, so what is the plan to pay for this portion of the deficit and current budget?

    Comment by Mahalia Cab (093238) — 1/23/2013 @ 1:50 pm

  113. The BND didn’t give us access to Alwan, besides, this is your authority,

    http://blogs.wsj.com/developments/2012/10/01/how-joseph-stiglitz-misread-the-risks-at-fannie-mae/

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 1/23/2013 @ 1:56 pm

  114. So, abiding by the FY-2001 Budget, which was passed prior to 30 Sept 2000 (the end of FY-2000) during the period of 20 Jan 01, and 30 Sep 01, was all on GWB?
    The first budget submitted to the Congress by the GWB administration would have been for FY-2002 (01Oct01 – 30Sep02).
    MC is just another math-challenged, but long-winded, fool.

    Comment by askeptic (b8ab92) — 1/23/2013 @ 1:56 pm

  115. Actually more then one ‘rocket surgeon’ vouched for Fannie Mae;

    http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2009/11/stiglitz_and_or.html

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 1/23/2013 @ 1:58 pm

  116. Just copying made up crap from nutty conspiracy sites, Mahalia. That’s all you got.

    You know the difference between Solyndra and Halliburton, Mahalia? Halliburton fed troops, built barracks, graded roads and laid down airstrips. (On a contract first signed in the Clinton admin BTW). Solyndra? Nuttin’.

    Comment by SPQR (768505) — 1/23/2013 @ 1:59 pm

  117. That link is effing hysterical. Surreal.

    Dick Cheney Assassination Squads!!!

    You are insane. And a liar.

    Comment by JD (4fbbe6) — 1/23/2013 @ 2:01 pm

  118. Oh, and Mahalia, WMD was not “the reason” in the Congressional authority for Iraq. There were a dozen reasons in the resolution.

    The constant among all this, Mahalia? Everything you write is false.

    Comment by SPQR (768505) — 1/23/2013 @ 2:03 pm

  119. That would be Seal Team 6, which took Bin Laden out, I didn’t dig too deeply into the crazy.

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 1/23/2013 @ 2:08 pm

  120. narciso, of course the BND did not give us access to Curveball, we never had any direct contact. The reason why was because he was a fabricator and they did tell us AT THE TIME to steer clear because he wasn’t even a good liar.

    Hear Tenet admit the CIA was told Curveball was lying yet, it “somehow” didn’t get to him, and he has no idea why:
    http://www.fas.org/irp/offdocs/wmd_tenet.pdf

    The accusations directly implicating Cheney and his deputy John McGlaughlin originate not from me or any website, but direct from first hand, principal accounts – from the mouth of Powell’s Chief of Staff at State who turned whistleblower and wants to testify so over 4,000 heartsick Goldstar moms can hear just why their boys died.

    http://www.addictinginfo.org/2011/09/16/ex-bush-insider-colonel-wilkerson-willing-to-testify-against-bush-and-cheney/

    Your criticism of Stiglitz is unrelated to the estimate of the cost of the Iraq war. Can you locate a debunking of this specific claim, because he’s by far not the only one saying this. Bloomberg, Reuters, you name it, economists from Harvard, Brown, (saying almost 4 trillion now) with comprehensive breakdowns and citations.

    Attacking one messenger is ineffective when there are so many others…

    Remember, we haven’t even begun to pay the ongoing care for veterans over the next 60+ years, but the direct costs for all the wars in aircraft carriers, bombs, hummers, bullets, fighter jets, fuel, the surges, and tidy profit for Green Zone contractors like Taco Bell Express has already been billed out at over 1.3T, just up to FY2011.

    We can all agree on one thing, whatever the cost of the Iraq war, we don’t have the money, it’s all borrowed. This makes shameless hypocrites of anyone complaining about government spending. You guys are still complaining about overspending, but ALL also calling to borrow more for war right now!

    To askeptic, I was advising NOT making excuses for Bush inheriting a bad economy because that thinking ends up helping Obama defenders in turn blame his inherited problems on Bush.

    Whatever you think about the shape Clinton left the country in, it was far better than Bush left it, period. But I always blame Clinton started the dominos falling with bad trade policy, and (to SPQR) we can agree Clinton is at fault for beginning the privatization of the military, I’m glad to see you admitting it was a horrendous idea!

    I wish though that you would look a bit more deeply on Halliburton – they “won” the lion’s share of defense contracts without making bids, a neat trick, and then they charged us, the taxpayer, rates like $800 for a 4 x 8 of plywood.

    This is when they’re not electrocuting soldiers, or lobbying Congress to allow them to keep cases of them drugging and raping their employees out of the American judicial system. If we want small, effective government, why wouldn’t they get their federal funding stripped if they pled guilty to bribery three times? What’s wrong with the military engineers building their own stuff? Do we want government to be small, or to be extra big and bloated?

    JD, debunk me! You’ll learn a lot trying…your friends are all watching you – take me down with facts, credible sources and citations. Otherwise this thread ends without back up of your lazy, kneejerk claims.

    Comment by Mahalia Cab (13c5bf) — 1/25/2013 @ 1:41 pm

  121. what kind of moron pays $800 for a 4 x 8 piece of plywood?

    Comment by happyfeet (4bf7c2) — 1/25/2013 @ 1:47 pm

  122. Stiglitz, furthered a scam, that probably cost in the trillions of dollars, which led to the current economic crisis, he also furthered a scheme by Chavez to seize control of the Central Bank. as for Wilkerson, like Bandar’s tennis playing bud Powell, I hope his 30 pieces of silver are well rewarded

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 1/25/2013 @ 1:48 pm

  123. I know the Oil For Food program, overcharged the cost of basic supplies, so that Obama could bill those nifty palaces, and Chirac and the German PM could be paid off,

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 1/25/2013 @ 1:53 pm

  124. Debunk you?! You do it yourself.

    This makes shameless hypocrites of anyone complaining about government spending. You guys are still complaining about overspending, but ALL also calling to borrow more for war right now!

    Lie

    Just like the no-bid nonsense with Chimpy McHitler$urton. Your uber-leftist tirades demand no debunking now as they have been thoroughly debunked all along the last decade.

    Did you even look at how they arrived at their “cost” of the war? Did you? Did we borrow the speculative opportunity cost of how much better those dollars would have been spent by the government?

    Comment by JD (b63a52) — 1/25/2013 @ 2:05 pm

  125. Cab, it is hilarious to see that you actually believe that nutty leftwing fantasylife.

    Comment by SPQR (edf7ec) — 1/25/2013 @ 2:12 pm

  126. Mahalia doesn’t even think our troops deserve Taco Bell.

    Comment by JD (4fbbe6) — 1/25/2013 @ 2:16 pm

  127. MC is as long-winded as SF, and less informative.

    Comment by askeptic (b8ab92) — 1/25/2013 @ 2:17 pm

  128. Mahalia – Wilkerson was a Bush insider? Complete crap. Rumsfeld said he never even met the man or knew who he was. He’s Powell’s butt buddy.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 1/25/2013 @ 3:41 pm

  129. This well balanced fellow;

    http://wearechangeseattle.org/wearechangela-meets-colonel-lawrence-wilkerson-the-9-11-commissions-findings-have-a-number-of-imperfections

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 1/25/2013 @ 3:43 pm

  130. Powell’s butt buddy? He’s the guy that turned Powell in, are you you really researching this? I think you are afraid to research this. The Chief of Staff of the State Dept. during 9/11 and start of both wars. Lifelong Conservative Republican with top honors after a lifetime of service.

    The video links above are all dead. I think you lazy blokes are made a feeble attempt to shoot the messenger, proving no basis of an argument, then found nothing in trying to smear the guy and gave up.

    narciso even invokes the Bible to call him a Judas, a traitor, but doesn’t mention a single thing the guy said or did that was wrong – was he wrong for breaking ranks? That’s like what happened to Scott McClellan when he went public saying the intel was cooked – they said traitor, turncoat, disloyal, but never said untrue…hmm…

    So until narciso finds anything the Colonel said about Cheney committing massive criminal treason by suppressing the BND dissent, I must assume he is unable to. Cheney is the traitor, he is the one you should be smearing, yet you all defend him kneejerk without evidence, he has you all over on the dark side of the force…

    Why, in discourse like this, do we attack the messenger instead of the specific message? Nobody is perfect. By this poor logic, you could say the Constitution is worthless because it was written by guys who owned other human beings as property.

    The answer to the question “was the Iraq War Intel cooked” is yes or no, with proof shown, not let’s first see who is suggesting this…that is the avoidance of someone who is wrong and won’t admit it.

    JD thinks we should be paying cost-plus to feed our troops unhealthy food. Okay, you have your opinion, me and Gen. MacArthur have ours. Yes, I looked at how they arrived at the cost of war, it was projected spending plus economic losses and I even pointed out the difference between the two. Your point? Even if we only look at the 1.3T, it’s money spent without pay-for and interest to accrue forever. So is this RIGHT or WRONG for our economy, please be sure to weigh in.

    When you say the statements I made were debunked, then I challenged you to show where, you failed. I think you actually looked and then came back here to post acting like you were to importnat to look. They couldn’t have been debunked “over the last decade” if they just happened in the last 2-3 years, so did you check the primary sources or not?

    Bush’s Chairman of the Joint Chiefs said the intel was cooked too, as well as other top brass, top DOJ CIA, etc.

    Here is what we were told were the reasons for invading Iraq. How many hold up and how many, now proven untrue, represent a failure of leadership?

    I added the numbers for easy reference. What’s your count of the results?

    HOW WRONG WERE WE, A LOT OR A WHOLE LOT?

    Whereas in 1990 in response to Iraq’s war of aggression against and illegal occupation of Kuwait, the United States forged a coalition of nations to liberate Kuwait and its people in order to defend the national security of the United States and enforce United Nations Security Council resolutions relating to Iraq;

    1 -Whereas after the liberation of Kuwait in 1991, Iraq entered into a United Nations sponsored cease-fire agreement pursuant to which Iraq unequivocally agreed, among other things, to eliminate its nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons programs and the means to deliver and develop them, and to end its support for international terrorism;

    2 – Whereas the efforts of international weapons inspectors, United States intelligence agencies, and Iraqi defectors led to the discovery that Iraq had large stockpiles of chemical weapons and a large scale biological weapons program, and that Iraq had an advanced nuclear weapons development program that was much closer to producing a nuclear weapon than intelligence reporting had previously indicated;

    3- Whereas Iraq, in direct and flagrant violation of the cease-fire, attempted to thwart the efforts of weapons inspectors to identify and destroy Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction stockpiles and development capabilities, which finally resulted in the withdrawal of inspectors from Iraq on October 31, 1998;

    4 -Whereas in Public Law 105-235 (August 14, 1998), Congress concluded that Iraq’s continuing weapons of mass destruction programs threatened vital United States interests and international peace and security, declared Iraq to be in ”material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations” and urged the President`to take appropriate action, in accordance with the Constitution and relevant laws of the United States, to bring Iraq into compliance with its international obligations”;

    5 – Whereas Iraq both poses a continuing threat to the national security of the United States and international peace and security in the Persian Gulf region and remains in material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations by, among other things, continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability, actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability, and supporting and harboring terrorist organizations;

    6 – Whereas Iraq persists in violating resolution of the United Nations Security Council by continuing to engage in brutal repression of its civilian population thereby threatening international peace and security in the region, by refusing to release, repatriate, or account for non-Iraqi citizens wrongfully detained by Iraq, including an American serviceman, and by failing to return property wrongfully seized by Iraq from Kuwait;

    7 – Whereas the current Iraqi regime has demonstrated its capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction against other nations and its own people;

    8 – Whereas the current Iraqi regime has demonstrated its continuing hostility toward, and willingness to attack, the United States, including by attempting in 1993 to assassinate former President Bush and by firing on many thousands of occasions on United States and Coalition Armed Forces engaged in enforcing the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council;

    9 – Whereas members of al Qaida, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq;

    10 – Whereas Iraq continues to aid and harbor other international terrorist organizations, including organizations that threaten the lives and safety of United States citizens;

    11 – Whereas the attacks on the United States of September 11, 2001, underscored the gravity of the threat posed by the acquisition of weapons of mass destruction by international terrorist organizations;

    12 – Whereas Iraq’s demonstrated capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction, the risk that the current Iraqi regime will either employ those weapons to launch a surprise attack against the United States or its Armed Forces or provide them to international terrorists who would do so, and the extreme magnitude of harm that would result to the United States and its citizens from such an attack, combine to justify action by the United States to defend itself;

    13 – Whereas United Nations Security Council Resolution 678 (1990) authorizes the use of all necessary means to enforce United Nations Security Council Resolution 660 (1990) and subsequent relevant resolutions and to compel Iraq to cease certain activities that threaten international peace and security, including the development of weapons of mass destruction and refusal or obstruction of United Nations weapons inspections in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 687 (1991), repression of its civilian population in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 688 (1991), and threatening its neighbors or United Nations operations in Iraq in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 949 (1994);

    14 – Whereas in the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution (Public Law 102-1), Congress has authorized the President “to use United States Armed Forces pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolution 678 (1990) in order to achieve implementation of Security Council Resolution 660, 661, 662, 664, 665, 666, 667, 669, 670, 674, and 677”;

    15 – Whereas in December 1991, Congress expressed its sense that it ‘supports the use of all necessary means to achieve the goals of United Nations Security Council Resolution 687 as being consistent with the Authorization of Use of Military Force Against
    Iraq Resolution (Public Law 102-1),” that Iraq’s repression of its civilian population violates United Nations Security Council Resolution 688 and “constitutes a continuing threat to the peace, security, and stability of the Persian Gulf region,” and that Congress, ‘supports the use of all necessary means to achieve the goals of United Nations Security Council Resolution 688”;

    16 – Whereas the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-338) expressed the sense of Congress that it should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove from power the current Iraqi regime and promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime;

    17 – Whereas on September 12, 2002, President Bush committed the United States to “work with the United Nations Security Council to meet our common challenge” posed by Iraq and to ‘work for the necessary resolutions,” while also making clear that ‘the Security Council resolutions will be enforced, and the just demands of peace and security will be met, or action will be unavoidable”;

    18 – Whereas the United States is determined to prosecute the war on terrorism and Iraq’s ongoing support for international terrorist groups combined with its development of weapons of mass destruction in direct violation of its obligations under the 1991 cease-fire and other United Nations Security Council resolutions make clear that it is in the national security interests of the United States and in furtherance of the war on terrorism that all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions be enforced, including through the use of force if necessary;

    19 – Whereas Congress has taken steps to pursue vigorously the war on terrorism through the provision of authorities and funding requested by the President to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such persons or organizations;

    20 – Whereas the President and Congress are determined to continue to take all appropriate actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such persons or organizations;

    21 – Whereas the President has authority under the Constitution to take action in order to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism against the United States, as Congress recognized in the joint resolution on Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40); and

    Comment by Mahalia Cab (a39ba1) — 1/30/2013 @ 2:35 pm

  131. The nuttiness just can’t stop.

    Comment by SPQR (768505) — 1/30/2013 @ 2:53 pm

  132. Your point? Even if we only look at the 1.3T, it’s money spent without pay-for and interest to accrue forever.

    Yet you support 800,000,000,000 stimulus added to baseline budget and Teh Won’s 6 trillion in increased debt.

    The rest is just your uber-leftist nuttiness.

    We should increase taxes to 70% to increase jobs!!!!

    Comment by JD (448fa8) — 1/30/2013 @ 3:17 pm

  133. Mahalia – save your breath. I won’t bother trying with a coo coo for cocoa puffs nutter like yourself. Are you a LIHOP or MIHOP? Kthxby

    Comment by JD (448fa8) — 1/30/2013 @ 3:26 pm

  134. JD, when did I EVER say I supported the stimulus? When did I say it was okay for Democrats to spend money our kids don’t have? I spoke about cutting defense to balance budgets like Eisenhower did, a proven fiscal conservative. But since you blundered into it, how do you feel about Bush’s stimulus checks? Did you go out and get a nice new flatscreen on your kids dime?

    You fine folks should learn about the Truman Commission, a WWII Senate commitee that slashed profits in war contracts because they didn’t want their kids to inherit war debt. And this was after we were attacked, not after we accepted WMD claims by the former CEO of the biggest defense contractor.

    So why do you refuse to see that current defense spending is going to screw your kids? Even if you swear these wars are necessary because you are “terrorized”, why build in over 1/3 in pure profit above cost?

    I’m not LIHOP or MIHOP, I’m WTFH. 9/11 Truth is a waste of time, especially if you suspect Cheney, because there is already evidence of high treason in hand with folks willing to testify. Were there the will to prosecute, he’d be cooked, but Cheney would take down everybody with him so we just “look forward” in this country.

    Obama is gutless, obviously, but Clinton was also afraid to prosecute Reagan and Poppy after they were so blatantly caught breaking the law in Iran/Contra. At least Clinton convicted a cotillion of underlings, because selling drugs to fund terrorists is ugly business.

    You’ve been hustled in Iraq. The Iraq war intel was stovepiped, and you have no apparent comeback for the news that Cheney ate Powell’s lunch knowing full well there were never, ever any WMD. It was the US who oversaw their disposal in the 90s.

    Wilkerson – who is selling no books – says Cheney had CIA agents secretly and illegally reporting to him at OVP, and that those agents made sure Powell, Congress and the NY Times got the claims made by Curveball only after they excised the key pages at the end that said Curveball was a fabricator.

    Even with this, Powell was refusing to make the WMD speech, because he felt one source was not enough. So Cheney gave him a second source, one never made public, an account that two Iraqi officials met with the 9/11 plotters!

    This testimony came from a secret prison, made under torture by a Libyan that was never privy to anything, recanted everything almost immediately and turned up dead soon after. Again, they told Powell about the terrorist claims, but not who made them or how they were obtained. Played like a fiddle.

    You also have the Italian letter and the Yellowcake forgery which proved very early on that someone was trying to lie us into war and that Cheney’s team was willing to break the law to intimidate critics. The Brits confirmed this in the Downing Street memos and more recently held the Chilcott Hearings to surmise that the UK was completely duped into the war and that Chris Dodd of all people was in on it.

    Wilkerson went public with all this and Powell has pondered aloud why Cheney and Tenet are not being investigated. I know this makes cuckolds of Democrats and Republicans alike, but this is important today because we are still in costly ground wars of choice. We don’t have more money to waste in Afghanistan looking for shadows in the hills. The USSR did this for 10 years, but without our line of credit, so they imploded economically, just like the terrorists planned.

    You guys have to stop criticizing the Dems for overspending if the Republicans are doing the same. Carter 1, Reagan 3, Bush 5, Clinton 6, Bush 10, Obama 16. That’s 8 trillion apiece, proving neither party is fiscally responsible, they are both bankrupting us and no serious discussion about cutting spending can ignore the defense budget.

    Republicans blaming Democrats sound as idiotic as Democrats blaming Republicans. The bigger problem is pay for play, money in politics and the complete and total ownership of our government by the banks, defense contractors, energy and pharma giants, so corrupt the unions and gun lobbies can’t appreciably manage squeeze in to buy a chunk of graft for their dollar anymore…

    Comment by Mahalia Cab (ea85d4) — 2/1/2013 @ 1:47 pm

  135. We should increase taxes to 70% to increase jobs.

    Yes, it worked before if you feel like cracking a history book.

    You make a business expenditure the way to avoid the 70% tax. A Republican idea that bore fruit.

    You have to admit that lowering taxes in the hope that the rich would VOLUNTEER to hire people with the extra money has failed miserably. There are no excuses for the economic record of 2001-2012 with no jobs coinciding with the greatest tax breaks in our history. Do you want to try it some more?

    Comment by Mahalia Cab (ea85d4) — 2/1/2013 @ 1:53 pm

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