Just when you thought you KNEW what nearly caused the government shutdown!

(9 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

(Wanted this to be days’ earlier, but it wasn’t possible.  So, TMC’s diary here seemed a perfect place to comment, but then the comment became very long . . . . so!)

While traveling to an appointment last Thursday (April 7th), I listened to David Sirota, filling in for Thom Hartmann.*  Sirota began by talking about Pentagon horrendous wastes, even to the extent that the Pentagon has an Entertainment Division.  Essentially, the Pentagon puts up money to back films about war and for war and does everything, with money included, to discourage film makers from making films that are against war.  He said he has detailed that information in his book, “Back to Our Future.”

Several veterans (one of VietNam era) called in speaking about the excesses of Pentagon spending and blatant waste.  Both discussed Halliburton and Blackwater, in particular.

Sen. Sherrod Brown joined Sirota on the show.  Sen. Brown pointed out (and as Sirota had written about “Budget Showdown Aims to To Quietly Exempt Pentagon and Focus All Cuts on Social Programs” that what had really been holding up any agreement to the budget proposal was because everything that could be done was being done to ensure defense cuts would not be had period.  And that every day, the Repugs and the Tea Partiers threw in more and more cuts, some with hundreds of pages attached, that no one had time to even read, thus, making the shutdown more eminent.  So, the circus that had us all involved was really to make sure that there were NO Pentagon cuts.  Sen. Brown explained the many, many areas that could withstand substantial and much greater cuts without cutting any of the social programs so vital and he hopes President Obama will present them.

7 April 2011 12:34 ET

Robert Gates: US Iraq troops ‘could stay longer’

(Gates met with troops in Baghdad)

US troops could if required by Iraq stay in the country beyond the agreed withdrawal date of 31 December, 2011, the US defence secretary has said.Robert Gates, who is visiting Iraq, says an extended military presence is an option.

“If folks here are going to want us to have a presence, we’re going to need to get on with it pretty quickly in terms of our planning,” he said. . . . .



Big protest in Baghdad to demand U.S. leave Iraq

Khalid D. Ali,Tim Arango, New York Times

(04-10) 04:00 PDT Baghdad – —

A day after Defense Secretary Robert Gates suggested that American troops could remain here for years, tens of thousands of protesters allied with Muqtada al-Sadr, the radical anti-American Shiite cleric, flooded the streets demanding an end to the American military presence. . . . .

Now, about that “mystery” budget to be voted on this coming Thursday and its contents?  

Well, it’s somewhere between here:

By my math, it’s about 79 percent of what we wanted,” said Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, chairman of the Budget Committee and architect of the Republicans’ longer-term fiscal proposal, which includes more than $4 trillion in reductions. Mr. Ryan’s aggressive budget proposal earlier in the week helped soothe some of the most combative Republican freshmen by reminding them that the more consequential fiscal negotiations lie ahead. . . . .

and here:


New federal budget deal includes provision to delist wolves

Provision to delist wolves comes as judge rejects a settlement that would have done the same thing.

WASHINGTON – Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson got his rider delisting wolves in Idaho and Montana into the budget bill that prevented the government shutdown Friday.

And it came just in time.

On Saturday, U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy of Missoula rejected a settlement between 10 environmental groups and the Obama administration that would have removed wolves from the endangered-species list and allowed Idaho and Montana to resume state management of wolf populations – which included hunting seasons. . . . .

One thing seems certain, however, because you can hardly read anything without their  mention — that being, Medicare and Mediaid, and threats to them, are definitely in the mix.  

Obama will weigh in on Wednesday with his plan for long-term debt-reduction plan, which was noticeably absent from his 2012 budget proposal in February.

*[Note: There is no transcript of this program, as yet.  Thom Hartmann does have pod-casting available, but you must pay for it, I believe!]  

25 comments

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  1. “Shared sacrifices?”  

     

  2. You know it made front page of David Icke’s site right.  Meanwhile there is a definitive silence of the sheeple lamestream news over a second quake in Japan and the continuing fallout of toxic shit which stays toxic longer than the guys who built the Sphynx in Egypt.

    Four month lead times on your personal radiation detector.

    Might be time to blow the 401K on hookers and coke, ya think.

  3. TV off and on indicate that Pres. Obama is definitely planning government healthcare cuts through Medicaid and Medicare — how and to what extent remains to be seen.

    This is so very frightening and will spell “death” for many people.  

    Only in America could something so cruel be considered.

    There are so many facts that are totally ignored.

    How many Americans, who worked all their lives in this country, paid their taxes and FICA taxes earned wages sufficient enough from them to save an adequately for retirement?

    For all Americans who had no Unions during all the years of work in this country, many workplaces had no pensions, profit-sharing plans or 41-k’s.  When a job was lost, they lost everything, their healthcare, vacations, everything and had to start all over again.

    The wages for women ran far behind for years and years, no matter what job they performed.  The wage disparity, generally, for over 20 years now has grown to great disproportionate gaps between the rich and the poor.  The so-called “middle-class” has been steadily losing out in income all of those years.

    Those on Social Security, disabled, children and seniors, have seen no COLA’s in two years and this year, the Social Security Funds will be defunded by the 2% that working people will not be paying into the FICA funds.  

    The Medicare premiums have gone up each year.  The supplemental healthcare plan premiums have gone up each year.  Drug costs have gone up each year.  Food costs continue to spiral.  

    Now, they want to make cuts to Medicare and Medicaid?  

    Where in the f..k is the “shared sacrfices” that all those bastards have been talking about?  Where?  If the “sacrifices” were truly being “shared,” there would be no need to cut vital programs that we, in fact, pay into.  In fact, as Sen. Brown says, there are so many areas they could cut wasteful spending, they would never have to touch any of the social programs period.

    No, there is zero interest in doing the right things to reduce the budget at all.  WE have been paying for the wars.  WE had our pensions, 401-k’s robbed from us. WE had our homes foreclosed on.  WE were required to bailout the Wall Street and Bank criminals.  And over the period 2001 – 2010, the Bush Tax Cuts cost us $2.4 trillion.  Now, there will be an added $700 billion added to the deficit for two more years of Bush Tax Cuts.  All of this on the backs of the now decimated “middle-class.

    And the wealthy corporations, the rich individuals and their “shared sacrifices” are where in the mix???

    And there’s no intent to totally impoverish the already poor and the “upper-poor” (formerly the so-called “middle-class”), such that they will become sick and die?????

  4. for the “lift.”  🙂

  5. That is the political/economic/military atmosphere which has been orchestrated during the Bush/Obama labels over the last ten years. The conversation creates the artificial perception, and these in turn take on the face of “reality”. This manipulation is as old as Pharaoh, and is done for the same reasons that controlled the Egypto-Athenian psyche: The need to live in an ordered, synchronized society that reflects language, iconography and mathematics. It seems to be man’s unique, zoological adaptation that “he” names poltics, society, culture etc.

    Man is still very new with this nonsense, but “he” sure as hell takes it seriously. The industrial revolution and technology have done nothing to change the need for order, except perhaps to create even more demands for social conformity. Right now we are witnessing those that can influence this order, under the imprimatur of the so called written constitution, trying to create a “new” narrative within the overarching American Mythology.

    From my vantage point, I look at what’s going on now in an oscillating sort of way, swinging from disbelief on one end to bemused detachment on the other while passing through phases of disgust and nausea in between.  

  6. read this in today’s Chicago Tribune newspaper titled “Congress tries to finalize budget details for 2011,” by Lisa Mascaro, Tribune Washington Bureau.  Could not find the exact same titled article, but found this, which is the exact same article with a different title:  “Details Emerge on ’11 Federal Budget.”

    The article discusses some of the “deals” reached — so, you may want to peruse it.  

    Of note:

    One department, the Pentagon, was notably spared from the cuts and will have its budget boosted by $5 billion when the deal goes before lawmakers later this week.(emphasis mine)

    Also,

    The deal blocks money to transfer detainees from the Guantanamo Bay detention center in Cuba to criminal courts in the United States [in other words, no possiblity of any of those long detained persons, who have never been charged with anything, getting a remotely fair trial]. . . . .

    A proposal that would take wolves off the endangered species list, allowing them to be hunted in Western states, would be retained, but a proposal that would have loosened restrictions on shotgun and rifle sales was dropped . . . . [WTF — why?  Do they want to extinct wolves?  This makes me so sick!](emphasis mine)

     

  7. A friend of mine who follows right wing programs found this and sent it to me.

    a must read even though it feels really wierd to agree with the wingers:

    SENIOR CITIZEN NAILED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Alan Simpson, Senator from Wyoming , Co-Chair of Obama’s deficitcommission, calls senior citizens the Greediest Generation as hecompared “Social Security” to a Milk Cow with 310 million teats.August, 2010.  Here’s a response in a letter from a unknown fellow in Montana …  I think he is a little ticked off! He also tells it like it is !  “Hey Alan, let’s get a few things straight..    1. As a career politician, you have been on the public dole for FIFTY YEARS!  2. I have been paying Social Security taxes for 48 YEARS (since I was15 years old. I am now 63).  3 My Social Security payments, and those of millions of otherAmericans, were safely                     tucked away in an interest bearing account fordecades until you political pukes decided to raid the account andgive OUR money to a bunch of zero ambition losers in return forvotes, thus bankrupting the system and turning Social Security into aPonzi scheme that would have made Bernie Madoff proud.  4. Recently, just like Lucy & Charlie Brown, you and your ilk pulledthe proverbial football away from millions of American seniorsnearing retirement and moved the goalposts for full retirement fromage 65 to age 67. NOW, you and your shill commission is proposing tomove the goalposts YET AGAIN.  5. I, and millions of other Americans, have been paying intoMedicare from Day One, and now you morons propose to change the rulesof the game. Why? Because you idiots mismanaged other parts of theeconomy to such an extent that you need to steal money from Medicareto pay the bills.  6. I, and millions of other Americans, have been paying income taxesour entire lives, and now you propose to increase our taxes yetagain. Why? Because you incompetent bastards spent our money soprofligately that you just kept on spending even after you ran out ofmoney. Now, you come to the American taxpayers and say you need moreto pay off YOUR debt.  To add insult to injury, you label us “greedy” for calling                     “bullshit”on your incompetence. Well, Captain Bullshit, I have a few questionsfor YOU.  1. How much money have you earned from the American taxpayers duringyour pathetic 50-year political career?  2. At what age did you retire from your pathetic political career,and how much are you receiving in annual retirement benefits from theAmerican taxpayers?  3. How much do you pay for YOUR government provided health insurance?  4. What cuts in YOUR retirement and healthcare benefits are youproposing in your disgusting deficit reduction proposal, or, asusual, have you exempted yourself and your political cronies?  It is you, Captain Bullshit, and your political co-conspiratorscalled Congress who are the “greedy” ones. It is you and your fellownutcases who have bankrupted America and stolen the American dreamfrom millions of loyal, patriotic taxpayers. And for what? Votes.That’s right, sir. You and yours have bankrupted America for thesole purpose of advancing your pathetic political careers. You knowit, we know it, and you know that we know it. And you can take thatto the bank, you miserable son of a bitch .  If you like the way things are in America , delete this. If youagree with what a fellow Montana citizen says,   Since when is social security an entitlement when we’ve been paying it all these years.  

    PASS IT ON!!!!*/      

    Best regards

    (from)

    Robert Tompkins  DJ / Owner

    24 Straub Dr

    Pleasant Valley, NY 12569

    [email protected]

    He said, “PASS IT ON!!!!*/”

    I thought of you when I read this, tahoe.

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