Our commander in chief, aka President Obama, has created quite the tempest in the teapot of our nation's capital. You see, he committed the sin of speaking the truth to us as if we're rational adults when he stated that "we don't have a strategy yet," for dealing with ISIS in the Mideast. For this he is being pilloried by the usual suspects (well that and the sin of wearing a tan suit. BTW, I think he looked mighty dapper. Kudos Mr. President for your sartorial boldness). Of course the talk that's making the rounds is all about how frankly speaking to the American people about grave matters is somehow a "mistake" in the high school like social environment that hangs heavy in the humid, heavy swampland of Washington D.C. in August. (Having lived in the District decades ago, I assure you that getting the hell out of town in August is a sign of both good judgment and marked sanity).
So why am I fine with the President's candidness? Simply put, it shows that we are employing the principle of "ready, aim, fire" instead of "fire, aim, ready" that is sadly found throughout history. In this I take great comfort in the fact that the President is taking the time to consider what actions are "feasible, acceptable, suitable, and complete." * In short, he's thinking and acting like a true strategist. Join me below the fold as I bloviate further on the concept of true strategy as well as explain why the phrase feasible, suitable, acceptable, and complete warrant quotes and an asterisk.
The other shoe has finally dropped. Secretary of Defense Hagel released today official word on how sequestration will affect the DoD civilian workforce. In a nutshell all the civilian employees (approx 800,000 of us) will be forced to take 11 days of unpaid furlough between June and the end of September. This translates into a rougly 4.2% pay cut for the year. You can read the full memo here: SecDef Furlough Memo
We all knew that this was coming, but here's the part, down in the second paragraph, that really made my head want to explode:
"...because our wartime budget is also subject to sequestration, we must utilize funds originally budgeted for other purposes in order to provide our troops at war
with every resource they need. To compound our problems, when we estimated future wartime operating costs more than a year ago, we planned on fuel costs below what we are currently experiencing. Taken together, all these factors lead to a shortfall in our O&M (Operations and Maintenance) accounts of more than $30 billion..." Emphasis added by me.
Follow me below the fleur de Kos for why this irks me to no end and why it should you too!
Okay, so I'm watching HBO's "Too Big To Fail" and its all I can do to not grind my teeth to the nub. Why am I pissed? Because this docudrama could just as easily be renamed "Hank & Timmy Heroicaly Save The World." And that infuriates me to no end. Just in case you don't understand why this storyline is a total crock, follow me below the Fleur d'Kos and I'll spell it out for you.
Wow! I'm stunned, numbed, and still letting it all sink in. What does this news mean? Where do we go from here. Were the last 10 years worth it and what will the next 10 years bring? Follow me below the Fleur-de-Kos as I live-blog my reaction as the news breaks.
Wherein two old soldiers, one Northern and one Southern, discuss the import of the American Civil War which started 150 years ago today.
One of my oldest friends, whom I have known my entire adult life, is a true Son of the South. We first met over 25 years ago when as a kid from small town Iowa I showed up in New Orleans for college. Bubba (yes, that's what we all call him), was one of the first people I had met. Being a local, Bubba showed me all the really good bars, bookstores, and restuarants that real New Orleanians frequent and have generally kept secret from all the tourists.
Bubba and I were both commissioned as Second Lieutenants together from ROTC all those years ago and we've kept in touch ever since. Like me, Bubba has had his life up-ended by 9/11, but with the double whammy of Katrina thrown in as well. Bubba finds himself on this important historical day on his third mobilization and second overseas deployment to "Southwest Asia" (Kuwait).
Much as the Civil War was a war of letters, the current wars (3 of 'em now, WOW!) is also leaving a mark upon literature, albeit in e-mail form. As avid amateur historians, Bubba and I have long discussed the impact of "the War" on how we came to where we are as a nation. Follow me below the fleur d' Kos for our latest e-mail exchange from today. After re-reading it, I was struck by how much the Civil War shaped both Bubba and me as well through our ancestors. Enjoy!
In fine techie-geek form, let me start with - HELLO WORLD! After many years of surfing dKos, and dropping the very rare comment every now and then, I'm finally de-lurking. And for good reason; with what is going on in Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, and with what I fear will soon spread to other red-state legislative bodies, I can't stay on the sidelines any longer. With that in mind, I marched my happy back-side today down to AFL-CIO affiliated AFGE Local 738, and did something that I thought I would never do in a 1000 years - I JOINED A UNION!
It's not that I've ever been anti-union (my own grandpa was a life-long union man), but its just something that I never thought I ever would do. Hell, some of my best friends have been union members. But me, join a union? Never crossed my mind. I mean, 10 years ago I was a Promising Young Junior Executive making six figures a year on Wall St. (I mean that literally - The Bank I worked for was about a block down the street from the New York Stock Exchange). I even had a subscription to the Wall Street Journal and read the OpEd page every day. Armed with my MBA, I was well on my way to life long membership in the plutocracy. Afterall, I was Management Material by God! So...what the hell happened? Follow my below the fold and I'll tell you about the long strange trip its been.