Sunday, January 31, 2016
One of the ultimate underwriters of U.S. global power and national security is the capability of its nuclear arsenal. Rogue states, nations that sponsor terrorism as a matter of policy, and openly belligerent countries are all held in check by the threat of America’s nuclear power, which holds the definitive answer to such nations' use of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). As most international arms experts concur, without this worldwide deterrent against states large enough to back large-scale terrorist organizations, these organizations' use of WMD would be substantially more likely and considerably less restrained. Given this, we’d like to think our federal government would be first in line to safeguard and maintain this arsenal. But we would be wrong.
We recently learned from a top Obama administration official that U.S. nuclear deterrent capability is rapidly waning, with no remedy in sight. In a letter not released to the public, U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz asked White House budget director Shaun Donovan to revise the fiscal 2017 budget proposal, effectively implying that the nation’s nuclear capabilities were at stake as a result of a projected $5.2 billion shortfall, which as yet has not properly been addressed in the budget. Even Moniz, normally a reliable shill for the administration, has recognized the critical importance of the shortfall.
In the arcane language of government financial programming, this problem is known as “broken glass”: a program that is “unexecutable” — i.e., dead — without additional funding. In this case, that’s a lot of glass. Some of the critical infrastructure Moniz references in his missive includes the roughly half of all nuclear facilities that are approaching half-century-old milestones, as well as the geriatric strategic computer systems that bear directly on the efficacy and reliability of America’s nuclear arsenal.
Of course, there’s also the fact of the aging ballistic sub fleet; the more-than-half-century-old B-52 fleet; the halting of new warhead design, construction and testing by the administration’s peace-at-all-costs arms-control wonks; and a host of other “minor” issues associated with U.S. nuclear surety, but we don’t want to haggle over a few billion dollars' worth of restoration to critical national defense. We’ll simply note in passing that all of them have been ignored for the better part of a decade, and we’ll leave it at that.
Apart from the criminally negligent abandonment associated with the commander in chief’s most important job — namely, protecting the nation — are the outright lies. Recall in the 2010 “New” Start Treaty with Russia, His Worldpeacedness secured Senate ratification to a 30% cut in warheads only after the Senate made him promise to modernize existing warheads and facilities. Setting aside the foolhardiness of relying on an unsecured future promise from anyone in the Obama administration — let alone from the head of the rotting fish itself — not only did Obama break his word to the Senate, but he has also accelerated the decline of the very warheads and facilities he promised to modernize.
As evidence, witness the testimony of Obama’s former secretary of defense, Bob Gates, who last fall told Congress that Obama’s “political aspiration” is “to get rid of nuclear weapons.” Obama hasn’t changed much since he was a dope-smoking young peacenik. As a result, then-Secretary Gates was unable even to “[try] to make the ones that we already have more reliable and safer.”
Notwithstanding the current crisis, the bigger question is, who, if anyone, will fix it? With “The Donald” not even knowing what the “nuclear triad” is — forgivable for a layman, but a presidential candidate? — and Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders unwilling to preserve the remainder of that triad, we have little reason for optimism. And what if, in the dead of some otherwise calm night, an “unscheduled sunrise” suddenly appears over an American city in the not-too-distant future? Then all bets are off. What will we respond with then?
Hillary Clinton, analyzed
Perhaps we should pity Hillary Clinton. Yes, one hand, she’s a power hungry politician who never let an ethics rule stop her quest for the White House. But perhaps she never let go of her childhood motivations. Perhaps she’s still trying to rectify the abusive home life of her childhood. Blogger Ann Althouse caught an insightful essay by Camille Paglia delving into the origins of Clinton’s feminism. Paglia, who is a feminist thinker and a bundle of contradictions such as her Left-leaning Libertarianism, disdains Clinton for how she handled the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Paglia argues that Clinton never got broad appeal from men because her brand of feminism disdains men:
“Childhood photos of Bill Clinton show his gregarious, fun-loving charm already fully formed. The young Hillary Rodham, in contrast, looks armored, with a sharp gaze and a tense, over-bright smile. Like many first-born daughters, she became her father’s favorite son, marginalizing her less self-assured and accomplished brothers.
"The ‘enabling’ with which Hillary has been charged in her conflicted marriage may actually have been the pitying indulgence and half-scornful toleration that she first directed toward her brothers. She demoted her husband to a fraternal role — the shiftless ‘bad boy’ in chronic need of scolding and spanking.”
And that isn’t the only clue. The Washington Free Beacon’s David Rutz points out that Clinton employs cliché after cliché in her speaking. Can she articulate an original thought, hold an original opinion? This is her last shot at the presidency. The desperation is almost palpable.
Government admits the economy stinks — now what?
The U.S. economy has just suffered through the worse ten-year period in terms of economic growth since the Great Depression. This lost decade of despair and hopelessness has led to more than 6 million more Americans aged 16-64 dropping out of the workforce than would normally be expected.
With the near-disastrous Gross Domestic Product for the fourth quarter of 2015 being announced at 0.7 percent annualized by the Bureau of Economic Analysis and just 2.4 percent for the year, America cannot be allowed to continue down this pathway to the poorhouse.
Yet, rather than help the economy, President Barack Obama’s pen and phone have energized an alphabet soup of federal agencies to enact expensive, job strangling regulations that are turning towns in Kentucky into ghost towns and replacing store clerks with self-help check out stands.
While denying the transport of oil through the efficient and safe Keystone XL pipeline, they are also making it significantly expensive to ship oil by rail at the exact time oil producers are struggling for every cent due to falling prices.
Non-union manufacturers are being harassed as OSHA is now allowing union representatives to participate in safety inspections of their shops.
Potential copper mines are being stymied, farmers are being threatened with EPA inspections of their land, and coal leases on federal lands have been stopped.
Even those who need a wood burning stove to keep them warm in the winter are now forced to buy top of the line models costing five figures or go cold.
High tech companies like Disney and others continue to use the lack of effective enforcement of our nation’s immigration laws to turn away and replace skilled Americans in favor of less expensive foreign imports, and with all the talk of job creation, there are actually fewer people aged 16-64 working in America in 2015 than in 2007.
What can Congress do in the face of a thirty front war where it seems a constitutionally unhinged Chief Executive can run rampant disrupting private sector growth?
Simple answer, assert their Article One authority when Obama is pushing for a must-pass bill, like the upcoming Puerto Rico bailout.
If Speaker Ryan is serious about reasserting Article One, and this author has no reason to believe otherwise, he needs to look to his right to create a GOP bill where the compromise to Obama is that Puerto Rico gets bailed out. What Obama has to give is the inclusion of legislation like Representative Ken Buck’s comprehensive bill, The Article I Consolidated Appropriations Amendments of 2016, of already vetted riders designed to rein in the President and reinvigorate the economy.
As knowing Washington insiders are always quick to tell conservatives, you need compromise to make anything happen, on the Puerto Rico bill it is Obama that is asking for action, and GOP leadership holds the cards.
The just released GDP numbers confirm what most Americans know from their own economic circumstances and choices, the economy stinks, and now many economists are coming to the conclusion that it is only going to get worse. Now is the time for the GOP leadership in Congress to assert themselves and forcibly cut the regulatory binds that the Lilliputian left has used to tie down our Gulliver like economy.
Our leaders can no longer pretend that we can afford to wait for the long, eight-year national nightmare to end before the government boot gets taken off the throat of the job creators. Any time Obama wants anything, I repeat anything, from Congress a price has to be extracted that helps make America great again. For the American people failure is not an option, and failure to try is the ultimate surrender.
The GOP Congress just needs to read their own campaign material and fundraising letters to know what to do. Now they need to regain the trust of the voters by going Nike, and just doing it.
Rand Paul: 'If You Want to Defend the Country, It Begins With Border Security'
Closing down mosques to prevent radicalization, as Sen. Marco Rubio once suggested, is a "huge mistake," Sen. Rand Paul said Thursday at the Republican debate in Des Moines.
"But I would say that if you want to defend the country, it begins with border security. And this is where I've had my disagreement with Senator Rubio."
"When he brought forward the 'Gang of Eight' bill to give citizenship to those who came here illegally, I put forward an amendment that says we should have more scrutiny on those who are coming as students, those who are coming as immigrants, those who are coming as refugees, because we had two refugees come to my town in Bowling Green and try to attack us.
"Marco opposed this because...he made a deal with Chuck Schumer that he would oppose any conservative amendments. And I think that's a mistake, and I just don't think Marco can have it both ways. You can't be in favor of, defend us against Islam -- radical Islam -- if you're not for border security."
Rubio jumped in with a response:
"The first thing -- I don't know of anyone who's not in favor of fully vetting people that are trying to come into this country, other than perhaps Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. I think we all support that. Rand's amendment was not the right way to do it.
"I do believe that people who are trying to come to the United States -- this country has a right to know who they are and why they are coming.
"And that's why I've been clear, when I am the president of the United States of America, we don't know who you are, and we don't know why you're trying to come to the United States, you are not going to get in, because the radical threat that we now face from ISIS is extraordinary and unprecedented, and when I'm president, we are keeping ISIS out of America."
Elsewhere in the debate, Rubio insisted that he does not support "blanket amnesty."
"What I've always said is that this issue does need to be solved. They've been talking about this issue for 30 years, and nothing ever happens. And, I'm going to tell you exactly how we're going to deal with it when I am president.
"Number one, we're going to keep ISIS out of America. If we don't know who you are, or why you're coming, you will not get into the United States.
"Number two, we're going to enforce our immigration laws. I am the son and grandson of immigrants. And I know that securing our borders is not anti-immigrant and we will do it.
"We'll hire 20,000 new border agents instead of 20,000 new IRS agents. We will finish the 700 miles of fencing and walls our nation needs. We'll have mandatory E-verify, a mandatory entry/exit tracking system and until all of that is in place and all of that is working and we can prove to the people of this country that illegal immigration is under control, nothing else is going to happen.
"We are not going to round up and deport 12 million people, but we're not going to hand out citizenship cards, either. There will be a process. We will see what the American people are willing to support. But it will not be unconstitutional executive orders like the ones Barack Obama has forced on us."
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Posted by JR at 1:27 AM