Skip to main content

Night Owls
If all national security-related spending requested for fiscal year 2015 were taken into account the U.S. defense budget would be more than a trillion dollars. The budget discussed below is Pentagon spending only and does not include many items that a reasonable reading of "defense" would encompass, including care and maintenance of the nation's nuclear arsenal, various elements of caring for veterans of past wars and the interest on money borrowed to pay for those past wars. Even so, the defense budget, though it has declined since 2009 (mostly due to less spending in Iraq and Afghanistan) is gargantuan, far, far higher when adjusted for inflation than it was during the Cold War.

Winslow Wheeler writes An Inadequate Defense Budget? Compared to Whom? Compared to When?

Many Republicans and numerous Democrats, especially on the House and Senate Armed Services Committees, have been characterizing the US defense budget as inadequate. They propose to release the Pentagon from the statutory spending caps set by the Budget Control Act of 2011 and its "sequestration," which would keep some, but not all, Pentagon spending in the neighborhood of $500 billion, annually, for several years. The Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Secretary of Defense and any other Pentagon official near a microphone have been cheering them on.

There is a major mismatch between the actual size of the US defense budget and the characterization of inadequacy given to it.  The enormity of the US defense budget, even under sequestration, is readily apparent in both relative and absolute terms.That we today declare ourselves inadequately funded at a far higher level of spending than we budgeted against a much larger, much more hostile threat is remarkable.  More money in the face of lesser threats is not quite the penury so many claim. [...]

budget
This graph shows the Pentagon's post-World War Two budgets in dollars adjusted for inflation. Note how today's so-called "inadequate" spending compares to average annual spending during the Cold War (the dashed, horizontal line, which occurs at the $355 billion level).
That we today declare ourselves inadequately funded at a far higher level of spending than we budgeted against a much larger, much more hostile threat is remarkable. More money in the face of lesser threats is not quite the penury so many claim.

Second, we should listen closely when today's political and military leaders asset they cannot manage at the spending levels they face under the Budget Control Act. They are quite correct to say they are unable to do so. Recent history proves that.

• Our military hardware is outrageously expensive, but much of it is a step backwards in performance.

• Since the mid-1990s Congress has increased money for DOD pay and benefits but huge portions of it has been for indiscriminant, across-the-board military pay raises, double pensions for many armed service retirees, bigger benefits for the survivors of World War Two veterans and much else that is intended to buy off political constituencies rather than address real security problems, let alone the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

• Under the full-on spigot of the post-9/11 era, the Pentagon's civilian and military leadership has bloated itself to historically unprecedented levels of overhead, including military staff, civilian government employees and contracted-out personnel.

• In their ultimate malfeasance, none of our national security leaders have bothered to fundamentally understand the dimension of the overspending problem as the Pentagon remains unaudited and un-auditable twenty-four years after the passage of the Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990-intended to require the Pentagon to understand and report what it does with its money.

The relationship of US defense spending to that of presumed threat nations and the girth of contemporary defense spending compared to a time of greater threat does not call into question the adequacy of the size of today's US defense budget; it calls into question the competence of current US political and military leadership, both in the Pentagon and in Congress.


Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2006We Need You to Save the Internet!:

Sounds hyperbolic, no? It's not. The House Commerce Committee is likely to vote as early as Wednesday on legislation that would essentially hand over the keys to the Internet to the giant telcos, AT&T, Verizon, Time Warner, and Comcast.

It's hard to imagine that the Internet, that vast free-flowing world of entertainment, enlightenment, education, and interaction could be fettered, but under this legislation it very well could be. Internet service provision in the U.S. is covered by telecommunications law, and has operated under the idea of "network neutrality." In it's early years, telephone companies provided most Web service, and carried most of the traffic. Because of the nature of laws regulating phone service, Web traffic was handled just like phone traffic, each "call" being equal. That means every page you surf to on the Internet is served up just like any other, as far as your ISP is concerned. You can go from Amazon.com to Aunt Harriet's family history blog equally.

Here's what's at stake with this legislation.

The nation's largest telephone and cable companies— including AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and Time Warner—want to be Internet gatekeepers, deciding which Web sites go fast or slow and which won't load at all.

They want to tax content providers to guarantee speedy delivery of their data. They want to discriminate in favor of their own search engines, Internet phone services, and streaming video—while slowing down or blocking their competitors. ...

On the Internet, consumers are in ultimate control—deciding between content, applications and services available anywhere, no matter who owns the network. There's no middleman. But without net neutrality, the Internet will look more like cable TV. Network owners will decide which channels, content and applications are available; consumers will have to choose from their menu.


Tweet of the Day:

I got 100% smarter once I decided that any fact that disagrees with my opinions is a lie.
@Wolfrum


On today's Kagro in the Morning show, Cliven Bundy, ladies and gentlemen! Greg Dworkin parses Kaiser polling on healthcare in four southern states, and then sets the agenda for the day with Harold Pollock's "Pre-Occupied with Medicaid Expansion." Did Occupy "accomplish" anything? Was it a thing that could be measured by that metric? Is the drive for concrete results what sets the "Moral Mondays" movement apart from it? Are they set apart from one another? Also: NC Gop Senate field all deny climate change. And about that "US is an oligarchy" thing, let's take another look at that.



High Impact Posts. Top Comments.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Ol'Clive Bundy Had A Ranch, (10+ / 0-)

    E-I-E-I-0.
    And on that ranch, he had some cows, E-I-E-I-0.
    With a moo-moo here, and a moo-moo there,
    here a moo, there a moo, everywhere a moo-moo.
    Ol' Clive Bundy had a ranch, E-I-E-I-0.

    Ol' Sean Hannity and Senator Rand, E-I-E-I-0.
    They backed Clive's play and his bullshit line, E-I-E-I-0.
    With bullshit here, and bullshit there,
    here some shit, there some shit, ever'where-ever'where bullshit-bullshit.
    Ol' Sean Hannity and Senator Rand, E-I-E-I-0.

    Ol' Clive Bundy talked of slaves, N-E-G-R-O.
    Then Sean and Rand, they crapped their pants, N-E-G-R-O.
    With more crap here, more crap there,
    here some crap, there some crap, jockey-shorts, boxer-shorts filled with crap-crap.
    Ol' Clive Bundy talked of slaves, N-E-G-R-O.

    Sean Hannity 4/24/2014

    Ol'Sean Hannity disavowed, N-E-G-R-O.
    Released red herring, "It ain't about, Clive," N-E-G-R-O.
    "It's gubmint's fault, gubmint's fault,
    sure I fucked up, but it's gubmint's fault."
    Ol'Sean Hannity disavowed, N---E---G---R---OOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

    To quote the greatest philosopher of the 20th century: "I yam what I yam, and that's all what I yam."

    by franklyn on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 08:31:59 PM PDT

    •  Say are those Cliven Hoof marks on Sean's Back nt (4+ / 0-)

      I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

      by JML9999 on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 08:58:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  franklyn: are we a couple now/yet ? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      franklyn

      i'm a bird.
      what are you ?

      we could make it work, ya know ...

      i can juggle chainsaws, so i should be able to learn to play the banjo, e-a-s-y.

      and ha! - i NEVER wear clothes, so you wouldn't ever have to ask "that" question. and ha! - even better: you would get to use your IMAGINATION to select IMAGINARY clothing for me, which should be a two-fer enticement.

      um, let's shift to kosmail ? ;)

      TRAILHEAD of accountability for Bush-2 Crimes? -- Addington's Perpwalk.

      by greenbird on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 04:38:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  A couple of what? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greenbird

        I'm tempted to say that I'm a dog. A bird dog. But that was, Johnny. A whole other story. Anyway, I'm not sure what I am, unless it would be a raccoon. Not that I'm kinky with masks, but I can be quite inventive when the need arises.
        I suppose we could make it work. I don't know. Maybe I'll check with a couple of ex-wives.
        By the by, you keep juggling chainsaws and you may never play the banjo.
        I rarely wear clothes, myself. I catch a lot of flack for that from television personalities.
        Finally, "..shift to kosmail?" They don't get any shiftier than me. Come on down. ;)

        To quote the greatest philosopher of the 20th century: "I yam what I yam, and that's all what I yam."

        by franklyn on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 09:29:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Zombie Reagan wanders the MIC (9+ / 0-)
    In their ultimate malfeasance, none of our national security leaders have bothered to fundamentally understand the dimension of the overspending problem as the Pentagon remains unaudited and un-auditable twenty-four years after the passage of the Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990-intended to require the Pentagon to understand and report what it does with its money.

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 08:34:21 PM PDT

  •  1,015,849 registered users on dKos now. (13+ / 0-)

    Here are the 10 newest registered users on dKos.  Hope to see their comments and diaries here soon!  (If they're not spammers.)

    Anthony1840dee8
    modelajansi0444ufz7
    wongthy (user #1,015,842: spammer)
    Joseph2615hzr0
    bellluis98 (user #1,015,844: spammer)
    patsbutton
    thmsmorrow
    Mercedes12345
    Mohammadv37
    modelajansi4655hnt7


    And since our society is obsessed with numbers that end in a lot of zeros as milestones, here's a special shoutout to users:
    #1,015,300: mariasallen (spammer)
    #1,015,400: Ryan8221bfy4
    #1,015,500: gidneygidney
    #1,015,600: Logan6654ppm4
    #1,015,700: Jayden5320mwf1 (spammer)
    #1,015,800: sallyw

    We've added 561 more users in the last two days.  There's definitely been a recent increase in spammers in the last couple weeks.


    And for your Diary Rescue music pleasure, here's Eminem's "The Real Slim Shady", as done with SpongeBob.

  •  The WW2 survivor expenditures will... (8+ / 0-)

    ...probably be going down over the next 5 or so years, considering that most veterans and their spouses now alive are well in their nineties. Dunno what we're going to do with that damned F-35, though.

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 08:36:26 PM PDT

    •  Reagan and Bush Job programs (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jeff Y

      The spikes coincide with Reagan and Bush jobs program.  Reagan did not actually incur extensive long term expenses other than huge interest payments, but Bush I and II left us with well over 10,000 amputations and severe brain injuries that we will cost the taxpayer non-trivial amounts for the 30+ years, which we must of course pay.  Not to mention 40 years of pensions that will take us into the middle of this century.

      There was a time when the US needed a draft to get soldiers, then we needed to pay the soldiers well to get highly qualified soldiers.  But honestly, we don't need that many soldiers anymore.  Automation and, frankly, the distaste for land wars just means that we don't need all these people.  Most equipment we buy appears to be so that we can have excuse to hire people to work on it.  An aircraft carrier requires 3000 people, and we have like more than the entire world combined.

      The solution, of course, is to get more people into civilian jobs.  That is, of course, where people should work in a democratic free market country.  Democratic because educated privately employed people are going to be less likely to vote for a government that will merely keep them employed, and, you know, free market because free market.  Obama has done a very good job of moving people out of governement jobs and into the private sectors.  It has resulted in higher unemployment overall, but I think unemployment checks and welfare checks are cheaper than gratuitous government jobs, because I am not one of these bible thumping right wing extremeness.

      •  WRONG (2+ / 0-)

        Actually, that is one of our biggest problems, good NCO's and Technicians take YEARS to grow,  Language school is Ten Months (average), and then you need to fund maintaining proficiency.  While we can probably safely predict where the most likely crisis are (The Middle East?), You can't just throw all the Chinese and Russian Specialists overboard.

        And even Infantrymen are only really good for between twelve and twenty years in peacetime.  The Knees are shot by then, sometimes sooner.

        Which is what Bush I did to quickly downsize, throw a lot of the Russian Specialists overboard (The cold war is over, we won, Russia will never again be a problem...) (Including me)

        Yes, the staffs are enormously bloated.  No mater what we do, we will be paying most of them some kind of pension for the next forty years, but the alternative is to choke off all new intake.

        First thing we should do is decimate the Flag/General Officer corps.  Just line everyone up and hand every tenth one in DC his/her retirement papers, and tell the agencies to replace them with someone at the O-6 level (Colonel/Navy Captain).  And make it a legal requirement to collect that General Officers retirement check that they settle more than 150 miles from DC.

        The money is only an issue because of the low Federal Revenue base,  Raise taxes and we could comfortably support the existing force structure.

        In the dark shadow of the Great Satan of Retail

        by OzarkOrc on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 11:08:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hey, I LIKE this idea! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JeffW
          First thing we should do is decimate the Flag/General Officer corps.  Just line everyone up and hand every tenth one in DC his/her retirement papers, and tell the agencies to replace them with someone at the O-6 level (Colonel/Navy Captain).  And make it a legal requirement to collect that General Officers retirement check that they settle more than 150 miles from DC.
          But make it 300 miles.  And when handing out the every-tenth-one retirement papers, do it separately by service so that random chance won't unbalance the services.  

          "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." -- Sen Carl Schurz 1872

          by Calamity Jean on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 11:56:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I finally have a minute (10+ / 0-)

    to watch the Jon Stewart vids in BruinKid's diary that made front page today. I'm laughing my ass off knowing what we all know now and Stewart didn't know at the time. Good times.

    •  The best part is Hannity basically asking Stewart (9+ / 0-)

      to slap him down again.

      bangs head on wall photo: Stick Dude Bangs Head on Wall thavatar_1500.gif

      “I would like to get rid of the homophobes, sexists, and racists in our audience. I know they're out there and it really bothers me.” ― Kurt Cobain

      by Jeff Y on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 08:50:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I can't wait... (6+ / 0-)

      to see what Jon has in store for tonight.  :-)

      At the same time, if it becomes an epic 10-minute-or-longer segment, damn, that's gonna take longer to transcribe it all.  :-\

      In the end, it's all Hannity's fault.

      •  You need a scribe (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        high uintas

        and I can play my keyboard like a scribing electronic riff. If we ever put our powers together, we'll be unstoppable.

      •  BruinKid: that's if we all even MAKE IT TO (0+ / 0-)

        tonight. but if we do, tonight, Friday, 25 April 2014, will be a specially-designated day here at the perfect orange nipple, home of "MOUSE TITS" and "The Kiddie Pool" and other deranged-arrangements of hyper-cyber bits.

        YOU, BruinKid, will see to that by assuring us of viewing said "1-minute-or-longer segment" by Jon Stewart, transcribing it for us language-impaired ESL creatures, if not hugging the crap out of Steveningen as you accept his offer to riff -!free of charge!- his MOZART II-"It's All Over Now Baby Blue"-quality transcription services, so that we expectant forms of higher and higher life can watch AND listen to AND read -- over, and over -- what the combination of "Cloven Bendy;" Hannity: the Arby's of news; Jon Stewart; BruinKid; and Steveningen has wrought on this truly asteoid-impact-quality-unforgettable day ...

        what has now further been combined in such a way that the few survivors will know JUST WHAT THE HELL happened.

        thanks. i can't wait.
        (i mean it: i have 25 special browser tabs pre-loaded with choice music, to be played for me alone, as my personal, private commemoration. isn't that brilliant of me ? i'm so proud of myself now. see -- even if i'm not a survivor, anyone finding my box will see how i had PLANNED to commemorate, and perhaps my name will be a small addition to the big list above.)

        TRAILHEAD of accountability for Bush-2 Crimes? -- Addington's Perpwalk.

        by greenbird on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 05:12:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I consider the "Eek, a Mouse!" defense budget. (12+ / 0-)

    I mean really, there are no significant enemy armies out there. This is paranoia on steroids. Or MIC corruption. Depends on your angle of view.

    Trust, but verify. - Reagan
    Vote, but Occupy. - commonmass

    When the rich have tripled their share of the income and wealth yet again, Republicans will still blame the poor and 3rd Way Democrats will still negotiate.

    by Words In Action on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 08:41:11 PM PDT

  •  Bad day for the nations fringe right wing nutbags (11+ / 0-)

    First it was Cliven Bundy who self-immolated, and now this.

    Accused KKK Killer Was Once Caught Having Sex With a Black Male Hooker:

    Frazier Glenn Miller, the ex-klansman and lifelong bigot who faces trial for killing three people at two Kansas Jewish centers earlier this month, ran up quite a rap sheet—including the time cops caught him in a car having sex with a black male prostitute dressed as a woman.

    That revelation was part of a long, deep investigation into Miller's chilling background as a self-styled soldier for the white nationalist cause.

    In the course of their investigation, authorities also learned the stunning details of Miller's arrest a year earlier. Raleigh police officers had caught Miller in the back seat of a vehicle, in mid-act with a black male prostitute masquerading as a woman.

    "It was pretty shocking," says McCullough, "because of his personal stances that he had taken and what he was now accused on engaging in."

    http://gawker.com/...

    “I would like to get rid of the homophobes, sexists, and racists in our audience. I know they're out there and it really bothers me.” ― Kurt Cobain

    by Jeff Y on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 08:45:12 PM PDT

    •  Yanno... A person could die laughing... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jeff Y

      ... and choking on her/his own spittle because of what these reichwingnuts do.

      Makes me wonder what Jon and/or Stephen will say if they cover this.

      Bwahahahahahahahahhaaaaaaaaaaaa....

      I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

      by NonnyO on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 10:45:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  see that sofa over there ? see that kitten on it ? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW, Jeff Y

      i'm heading over there.
      i need to rest.

      it's been a "long, deep" day already.

      i have not been tested for this level or duration of laughing.
      oh, JY, it's NOT JUST YOU.

      not by a long, deep shot.

      TRAILHEAD of accountability for Bush-2 Crimes? -- Addington's Perpwalk.

      by greenbird on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 05:15:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Only in America can the unintelligentsia elevate (11+ / 0-)

    some new hero to the level of an Abraham Lincoln one minute, and twenty-four hours later relegate that same hero
    to the level of a cockroach in a latrine.

    "The soil under the grass is dreaming of a young forest, and under the pavement the soil is dreaming of grass."--Wendell Berry

    by Wildthumb on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 08:46:51 PM PDT

    •  That's only because (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW, Jeff Y

      they can't publicly acknowledge that they agree even with his latest comments.

      You know in their minds they're saying "Yep, he's damn right.  Those lazy negros!  They were better off!"

      At least we know that for at least some of them, their mind-to-mouth filters do work on occasion.   But they don't think it's wrong - they just fear the public ridicule that rightly comes with being a racist asshole.

      "There was no such thing as a "wealthy" hunter-gatherer. It is the creation of human society that has allowed the wealthy to become wealthy. As such, they have an obligation to pay a bit more to sustain that society than the not-so-wealthy." - Me

      by Darth Stateworker on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 09:02:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Rand Paul and Dean Heller are certainly hoping (6+ / 0-)

      that America quickly relegates Bundy to 'cockroach in a latrine' status.

      And it's up to us to remind people of it when Paul makes his vain run for president in 2016 and when Heller runs for re-election for his senate seat.

      “I would like to get rid of the homophobes, sexists, and racists in our audience. I know they're out there and it really bothers me.” ― Kurt Cobain

      by Jeff Y on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 09:15:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "Unintelligentsia" Nice! I also like "Illiterati." (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenbird, Wildthumb, JeffW
  •  So Piketty, Warren & Lewis are dominating (9+ / 0-)

    the book sales chart (HuffPo: Occupy Amazon).

    You think Party leadership are onto this?

    Or would they call us effing retards for suggesting they might want to take heed and proceed accordingly?

    Trust, but verify. - Reagan
    Vote, but Occupy. - commonmass

    When the rich have tripled their share of the income and wealth yet again, Republicans will still blame the poor and 3rd Way Democrats will still negotiate.

    by Words In Action on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 08:47:00 PM PDT

  •  Wars Are Additive (7+ / 0-)

    There's no Korea War treaty, we haven't finished paying for Vietnam by a long shot, the Cold War is still fully on [our subs are not tailing Al Qaeda's dhows under the polar ice cap], and now there's the war on terror.

    This is why I posit that our only chance to deal with climate change is to legislate a type of state of war on it --but that in itself would not be enough.

    The legislation would have to specifically retask the biggest Cold War and Son Of Cold War military contractors to work on climate change: alt energy, carbon sequestration and such, so that there would be no point in their attempting to lobby government to keep them employed in the mayhem industry.

    Climate change is essentially as eternal a mission as Cold War, after all the science says it will take centuries to make any real headway against it even if we were all raptured away on Tuesday. So the contractors would have every self centered logistical reason to lobby for more work against climate change, and there'd be the added benefit that unlike killing Moose-lims, they'd be solving a real defense threat that we actually have.

    And it doesn't matter that they are completely and utterly incompetent in the climate change business. We can't fire them, we haven't the political power to end their mission, so what do we care if it takes them time to get up to speed and hire subcontractors to do the actual work?

    We can't afford to hire anybody else to do it.

    It might as well be They Whom We Must Obey.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 08:47:56 PM PDT

  •  MSNBC: Cliven Bundy (6+ / 0-)

    Of course, the main topic tonight was about Cliven Bundy's ridiculously racist comments, and the right-wing backtrack from them.  Chris discussed this with Jon Ralston, Michael Eric Dyson, and Karen Finney.  Rachel talked with Rep. Steven Horsford (D-NV).  Ari Melber, still filling in for the injured Lawrence, had on Eugene Robinson and Jonathan Capehart.  Ed talked with Zerlina Maxwell and Mike Papantonio.

    Chris also discussed the issue of racial polarization with Christina Greer, Sam Seder, and Robert George.

    Chris also updates us that VICE's Simon Ostrovsky has been released by his pro-Russia captors, and interviewed actor Timothy Simons, who plays Jonah in HBO's Veep.

    Rachel also focused on the impact that Rick Santorum is having in the Colorado Senate race, talking with Lynn Bartels.

    Ari also looked at the state of the 2014 Senate races with David Axelrod and Howard Dean.  He looked at Georgia's new gun law with Lucia McBath, the mother of Jordan Davis.  He talked with Tomiko Brown-Nagin about the back and forth between Justices John Roberts and Sonia Sotomayor over the issue of race.  And he looked at how the IRS "scandal" has been flipped on its head with Dana Milbank.

    Ed also talked about Obamacare's growing popularity in the South with Wendell Potter, Keystone XL with Art Tandrup and Casey Camp, blasted Rand Paul for continuing to focus on non-existent voter fraud, and the bad TPP trade deal with Lori Wallach.

  •  i've gone insane before ... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, JML9999, Jeff Y, Words In Action

    this year's crop has something new.
    when i discover what it is, i'll let you know.

    TRAILHEAD of accountability for Bush-2 Crimes? -- Addington's Perpwalk.

    by greenbird on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 08:53:43 PM PDT

  •  For a certain perspective (9+ / 0-)

    one could say portions of the defense budget are underfunded:

    1.  Pay rates for our service members.
    2.  VA funding.
    3.  Retirement for our service members.

    Ad nauseum.

    Essentially, anything that has to do with the human component of our military is lacking.

    But we sure do pay all those DOD contractors well for useless shit we don't need and/or overpriced shit we could get far less expensively elsewhere.

    Hmm - I think I see how we could fix this...

    "There was no such thing as a "wealthy" hunter-gatherer. It is the creation of human society that has allowed the wealthy to become wealthy. As such, they have an obligation to pay a bit more to sustain that society than the not-so-wealthy." - Me

    by Darth Stateworker on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 08:56:53 PM PDT

  •  Wow... (4+ / 0-)

    the Student Wellness Commissioner at UCLA opens up about her own sexual assault in her second year at UCLA.  This comes just a few weeks after a good friend of hers (whom I'm also friends with) was arrested for sexual assault, which completely blindsided her.

  •  Ron Paul fans react to Cliven Bundy (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jeff Y, Words In Action, onionjim

    I see they're using the "our movement cannot fail, it can only be failed by fake libertarians" excuse.  Here's a sampling of what they're saying.

    yay more emotional liberals offended at WORDS. How bout a real argument. Not an emotion lol.  Cliven Bundy is also not a libertarian and his own individual lol so I don't expect him to do and think what I do. The problem is that Americans are little whiny babies about any WORDS that hurt their emotions. If you can't handle your emotions, that's not my problem, it's a problem from within yourself.

    The media/government has successfully turned this situation into an American vs American problem again instead of Americans realizing it's American vs government, not the citizens vs each other.

    And this.
    The establishment is doing with Bundy exactly what William N. Grigg says it is doing: following the formula of "vilify, isolate, annihilate." And it's totally working. Support for his plight is dropping everywhere among both conservatives and libertarians who have been led by the nose by the New York Times to focus on a totally irrelevant and misleading sound bite, making it all the easier for the state to cage or murder him. And even sound libertarians are playing right into its hands.

    Does anyone really think their priorities would have been straight if, in the lead-up to Waco or Ruby Ridge, libertarians dwelt on some sexist peccadillo of Koresh or Randy Weaver's far more explicit racism, just as the New York Times, and the FBI, and the ATF might have wanted them to?

    It is not some culturally conservative inclination, or some desire to be gleefully anti-PC and contrarian, that leads me to be infuriated by the libertarian response to this "story". It's a simple desire to focus on the paramount issues and the paramount enemies at hand, and to not see us capitulate to such blatant and cynical manipulation.

    And to push back against attempts to vilify, isolate and annihilate Bundy, is not to "exalt" him. The cause is his plight in the jaws of Leviathan, not his "greatness" or "sainthood".

    If the government becomes even more tyrannical, are we going to scour the opinions of every one of its victims, and only stand up for those who we'd invite to a dinner party?

    And there's even a black woman who they found to support Bundy's original cause of not believing in American government!  Her video's gone viral as they desperately share this among themselves to convince themselves they're still right.

    As my Ron Paul friend wrote:

    Government straw man: completely change the subject from a federal mafia unjustly extorting and stealing land to someone's speech in regards to something absolutely unrelated like claims of racism. Screaming RACIST always seems to be the method used for the side who has no real argument in the first place.
    Yeah, it's all misdirection.  We're all sheeple/statists, and that shit.  Yep.
  •  Yo Meteor Blades ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, Words In Action

    You still up ? I haven't read it, what didn't you like about Kinzer's Nicaragua book ?

    The free market is not the solution, the free market is the problem.

    by Azazello on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 09:32:34 PM PDT

  •  This is just sad (7+ / 0-)

    Hopefully she lives long enough to see the Idaho bigot law overturned.

    Idaho Bigots Won't Let Elderly Gay Veteran Be Buried With Her Wife:

    Madelynn Taylor, 74, served six years in the Navy. Madelynn Taylor grew up with the woman she would eventually marry in Oregon, in 1995. Madelynn Taylor is welcome to be buried in the veterans' cemetery in Idaho, where she now lives. But not with her now-deceased spouse, thanks to an anti-gay state law.

    CBS's local affiliate in Boise explains the sadmaking, then angrymaking, situation in the video above. The problem is that Idaho won't recognize Taylor's marriage, even though it lasted longer than marriage bigots' tenuous hold on U.S. public opinion:

    http://gawker.com/...

    “I would like to get rid of the homophobes, sexists, and racists in our audience. I know they're out there and it really bothers me.” ― Kurt Cobain

    by Jeff Y on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 09:37:04 PM PDT

  •  We're in campaign mode here in Colorado (0+ / 0-)

    Multiple ads attacking Mark Udall and Cory Gardner - some from AFP, some from the League of Conservation Voters and now some from Udall's team.

    It's going to be a long year.

  •  The most quoted man in America? Anymore, (0+ / 0-)

    Claude Rains.
    Personally, I'm shocked-shocked to find that we're so fucking naive?
    That being said, I've always believed that if someone is an asshole, they have to prove it to me. Otherwise--stereotypes.

    To quote the greatest philosopher of the 20th century: "I yam what I yam, and that's all what I yam."

    by franklyn on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 10:17:08 PM PDT

  •  Inadequate with respect to the unslakable greed (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    johnnygunn, JeffW, Laconic Lib

    of the MIC.

    To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

    by UntimelyRippd on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 10:28:25 PM PDT

  •  Couple of interesting articles (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BMScott, onionjim, Laconic Lib

    So..., fracking and drilling for oil is safe right in the middle of some of the richest earth that grows grain for the nation..., huh?  Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight....  You gonna invite Monsanto to do their GM grain testing there, too?

    North Dakota finds more radioactive oil waste | AP | 24 April 2014
    [More at link.]
    BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota confirmed Thursday the discovery of a new radioactive dump of waste from oil drilling, and separately a company hired to clean up waste found in February at another location said it removed double the amount of radioactive material originally estimated to be there.

    The Canadian company hired to clean up the largest dump found so far, located at an abandoned gas station in Noonan, also said that is suspects the soil at the site is contaminated and samples were being analyzed.

    The twin disclosures highlight a growing problem from North Dakota's booming oil development — illegal disposal of oil filter socks, which are tubular nets that strain liquids during the oil production process and contain low amounts of radioactive material. Health officials have said that radioactive filter socks increasingly are being found along roadsides, in abandoned buildings or in commercial trash bins — sometimes those of competing oil companies.

    These Genius Dolphins Are Using Sea Sponges as Tools
    The Atlantic | Megan Garber | 24 April 2014
    [More at link.  The web page also has hyperlinks embedded in the text in some places.]
    The first thing to know is that dolphins can be divided into two groups, and those groups are "spongers" and "non-spongers." The non-spongers are the dolphins that are probably the ones you think about when you have occasion to think about dolphins: smooth, sleek, nimbly darting through the water.

    But the spongers! The spongers are slightly less physically nimble, but possibly much more intellectually nimble, than their fellow cetaceans. And that's because, as they swim, they carry sea sponges in their beaks—an activity that may help to protect their sensitive snouts from sharp rocks, stingrays, urchins, and other things that might plague them, particularly as they forage for food along the seafloor. Dolphin sponging is a recent discovery: In 1997, scientists observed a group of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins engaging in the practice in Shark Bay, off the coast of Australia.

    The behavior, Justin Gregg notes in his book Are Dolphins Really Smart?, has since been traced back to approximately 180 years ago, to a single female who has been nicknamed "Sponging Eve." Scientists now believe that more than 60 percent of all female dolphins in the area practice sponging. And while the behavior seems to be transmitted for the most part along mother-daughter lines, as many as half of the males born to "spongers" in the area grow up to become spongers, too.

    I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

    by NonnyO on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 10:30:10 PM PDT

    •  Truly fascinating! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NonnyO

      If they look closer, those aren't sponges, they're dolphin cell phones. Heh.

      A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

      by onionjim on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 03:46:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  ;-) Wouldn't surprise me! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        onionjim

        Dolphins are very smart!

        Actually, I found a second news story from Live Science that adds info and has a photo of a dolphin with a sponge covering it's nose.  Looks fascinating!  I'd love to see video of this behavior.  I love dolphins!

        Dolphins Put Sponges on Snouts to Snag Elusive Snacks

        Between chimps, gorillas, birds (think it was crows or ravens on a Nature video several years ago, IIRC), now dolphins, etc., the whole construct of "tool users" being more "human" and more intelligent takes different turns.

        I've never been daft enough to think humans are the smartest creatures on the planet (just look at some of our crazy politicians and "news" anchors - many animals are much more intelligent, compassionate and empathetic).  I love to watch Nature shows about our fellow creatures on this little blue marble in the universe.

        I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

        by NonnyO on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 04:03:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Also crows. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NonnyO

          There are videos of a crow using a peice of trash to sled down a roof, carry it up to the peak, and slide again. A lab study shows crows will use a wire to pull a hunk of food out of a tube, they even bent the wire to make a hook. Amazing.

          A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

          by onionjim on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 04:33:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  :-) Go back to the second link (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            onionjim

            There's a section of some ten animals and birds who have been known to use tools they've made, and brief one-paragraph descriptions of same.

            Animals are amazing!  :-)

            I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

            by NonnyO on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 05:10:15 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Where Was the Peace Dividend? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    barleystraw, JeffW

    After the end of the Cold War?
    Makes one think the military-industrial complex needs constant war.

  •  Dems should run on "inadequate defense budget" (0+ / 0-)

    noise from the gop. They should ram that back down their throats.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 01:04:05 AM PDT

  •  The Cold War Liberals (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Thatsitfortheotherwon

    ended up winning the Democratic Party after all.  Imagine that, yet an inescapable conclusion.  Most pathetically for America and the world, this has happened after the Cold War should have been over.  The US, under "bipartisan" leadership, has had no idea how to be magnanimous victors.  The Russians accepted defeat.  That does not require permanent submission on their part in all things.   They have bowed to, accepted US global hegemony.  That doesn't mean they have no vital strategic interests in places like the Black Sea.  This scatological silliness on the part of Poland and the Baltic states only advances the date when the expense of empire causes the cascading collapse of the American order.  No one has threatened them at all.  This "mini-surge" of US troops and warplanes into northeastern Europe does more to threaten Russia from those countries than anything that's happened vice versa.

    We hear endless talk of the "lessons of Munich".  Was Versailles without lessons?  Were not the agendas, public and private, at Munich driven in large part by the consequences of Versailles?  Our post-Cold War posture has made the victors at Versailles appear the very models of statesmanship, restraint and balance.  We repeat the behavior and act all surprised when it provokes a similar reaction.  Are we truly too stupid to grasp this?  Or is the apparent surprise an act, a sham, a deliberate stage along the road to a 1945-style "total victory" over the smoking ruin of a Russia rather than a 1918 armistice?  There's a small problem with that notion. Russia would not be the only smoking ruin.  

    Pay no attention to the upward redistribution of wealth!

    by ActivistGuy on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 01:15:00 AM PDT

  •  Or "For what?" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW

    We have no enemies current or foreseeable that require as large a defense force as we have, which is basically welfare for war contractors and officers. How about turning some of those swords into plowshares already?

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 04:57:31 AM PDT

  •  Evidently those $500 toilet seats are now $1000 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW

    Remember the scandals of the 1980s with defense contractors selling dollar-store household items to the Pentagon at Nintendo gamestation prices?  They're baaaack!

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site