Good News

The proposed cuts to the Department of Defense budget include a 30% reduction in contractors. (via General Stuck)

The Twitter keeps telling me that Elizabeth Warren is going to be nominated to be Momma Grizzly for Consumers, and all you credit-card using cubs will be protected by her might.

18 replies
  1. 1
    Craig Pennington says:

    <pedant> well, 27.1% as stated by Stuck</pedant> Still a good thing, though.

  2. 2
    Jayackroyd says:

    Can’t cut through the sarcasm here. Is there some reason Warren is not the obvious appointee? Is there some reason not to recess appoint her? Doesn’t usury suck when 10 year Treasuries are a 3%? And when the best yield I can get is worse than the EE bonds my grandfather gave me?

  3. 3
    LindaH says:

    @Jayackroyd: Well Elizabeth Warren is competent, and hight pro-consumer. The Repubs are not going to want to confirm her and even the pro-business Democrats may well be skittish. Being the best person for the job, when the job is good for consumers and bad for business, is one way to make sure you don’t get confirmed

  4. 4
    Resident Firebagger says:

    If Warren gets confirmed, Geithner and Summers will kneecap her somehow…

  5. 5
    gypsy howell says:

    Nominated and confirmed are two different things. I’ll go with “kabuki” for $100, Alex.

    Happy to be wrong about that.

    As for the military cuts — I’ll believe that when we actually spend less overall on ‘defense’ (hahahahaha) than we did the previous year. My guess- it’s just going to be directed to some other bloated part of the military budget.

    Again, happy to be wrong. Pretty damn sure about this one though.

  6. 6
    PeakVT says:

    Getting rid of contractors is a great idea, speaking as an ex-contractor. My last company’s overhead rate was 2.54.

  7. 7
    Jayackroyd says:

    @LindaH:

    My main point is I can’t tell what MrMix’s opinion on this is. I do not see a downside to the appointment, or why it justifies snark. She would seem to, at least, add some balance to a bankster-leaning economic team.

    As to opposition, he can recess appoint her. Goodness knows he is justified in doing whatever recess appointing wants to do, given the unprecedented behavior of the Republicans, putting party way way ahead of country.

  8. 8
    Craig Pennington says:

    On Warren, I thought the plan was recess appointment.

  9. 9
    cmorenc says:

    @Craig Pennington:
    I hope the plan is:
    a) nominate;
    b) let the GOP try to obstruct her nomination;
    c) use the GOP obstruction of Warren as campaign issue
    d) RECESS APPOINT HER ANYWAY. But to do that, the Administration has to wait until the Congressional recess part.

    QUERY: Can Obama “recess” appoint Warren during the upcoming couple weeks’ Labor Day Congressional recess (i.e. anytime Congress is temporarily out of session, or do they have to wait until the final end of the current Congress post-election?

  10. 10
    dmsilev says:

    @cmorenc: Any recess will do. At one point during the tail end of the Bush administration, Reid kept the Senate nominally in continuous session (ie someone from a neighboring state showed up once a day for a pro forma session) to keep Bush from recess-appointing more people.

    dms

  11. 11
    General Stuck says:

    Good News

    naw, the good news is we will have a full day of applying salve on all the progressive butthurt from Gibbs hurting their fee fees. And in this thread, of why Obama hasn’t appointed princess Elizabeth.

  12. 12
    Paul in KY says:

    We could re-balance the budget in several years if we cut the insane Pentagon budget in half. Keep soc-sec running forever, expand medicare, etc.

    Problem is that Repubs (those that control party, not their stupid sheep) don’t want to do any of that as they know how it would help the stuff I mentioned above that they hate.

  13. 13
    Sentient Puddle says:

    @Resident Firebagger: They’d have no power to do that. A little less cynicism where it’s entirely unwarranted, please.

  14. 14
    mclaren says:

    The Liz Warren appointment qualifies as good news…if it happens.

    The claim about cuts at the Defense Department qualifies as an obvious and transparent scam. How do we know? Because SecDef Gates will retire at the end of this year. Classic scam: Gates announces a plan for substantial DOD cuts, then he bails out, furor erupts, Gates is nowhere to be found — he’s living the good life in Boca with a mojito in hand and party girls on the prowl in his bungalow, so now he now only doesn’t have to take the heat, the proposed cuts die a swift death because Gates isn’t there anymore to shepherd them through congress.

    General Crackpot Fake Name should have learnt by now that the Pentagon hogs remain the Grand Masters of fiscal misdirection tactics when they slurp at the military-industrial trough. They know every trick in the book to squeeze cash out of the taxpayers for their little non-working doomsday weapon collection and their failed army led by inept cowards and staffed by rapists and gang members.

    Here’s a quick rundown of the classic scams the Pentagon brass use to keep the money flowing:

    [1] Bait and switch — claim they’re cutting huge amounts from the procurement budget merely by unrealistically reduced cost estimates going forward. When reality catches up, whoops! We need more money! Turns out not only were there never any cuts, much more cash must be pissed away to fix the inadequate force structure. Classic example: Iraq invasion, with grossly inadequate number of army corps. Later gets fixed by hiring mercs at fabulous pay rates to make up the difference. Classic bait & switch tactic, beautifully played by the Pentagon.

    [2] Pump and dump — overhype a new weapons system, then when it doesn’t work, claim there’s now no alternative since the other weapons systems that couldn’t done the same job were killed in order to fund this non-working piece of shite. So now costs double and triple and quadruple in a failed effort to make the overhyped weapons system work, but it never does, so eventually it gets written off without ever being deployed. Classic example: the F-35 joint strike fighter. So named because whoever dreamed us this misbegotten piece of junk must have toking a joint.

    [3] Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain — announce big cutbacks in in-theater forces and withdrawals of army units. Compensate by bringing in contractors to make up the difference. Pisses away vastly more money than adding more regular army personnel. Classic example? The “force drawdown” in Iraq announced last year — turns out the total U.S. armed forces are now bigger than they were when the so-called phony drawdowns were announced, Obama just swapped out army personnel for Blackwater mercs and there are now more Americans with guns in Iraq than before the bogus drawdown.

    [4] An army of none — lower recruiting standards and drag back elderly former National Guardsmen via stop-loss to avoid having to offer cash bonuses for competent new army recruits. Saves costs! The army gets cheaper! Except…all those misfits and gang members and fifty-year old ex-National-Guardsmen forced back into the army from their management jobs can’t hack it in-country, so the Pentagon has to supplement all the Crips and Bloods and fifty-year-olds with mercs, which costs a lot more. Classic example: the forced stop-loss rotations in Iraq that made more National Guard soldiers commit suicide than the enemy was killing. The stop-loss insanity got so demented, the army was calling back 50-year-old retirees to active duty because they’d served in the National Guard 30 years ago. Solved by pouring in mercs from Xe, but at huge cost.

    [5] Musical chairs — general or defense secretary Z announces huge sweeping changes and immense cutbacks. A leaner meaner more effective military! Conveniently, General or SecDef Z leaves for the greener pastures of private military contractor consulting, and once the firestorm blows over, the huge sweeping changes and immense cutbacks never get rammed through ’cause the general or SecDef ain’t there to shepherd ’em through and no one else wants to take the heat for it. Classic examples: too many to count. This scam goes on every 8 or 10 years. In the 70s it was called procurement reform — never got reformed. In the 80s it was called force structure modernization — never got modernized, the army still fights 2nd generation warfare designed to defeat a Soviet army pouring through the Fulda Gap, never has learned to use maneuver warfare the way the Germans did in WW II with their blitzkrieg. In the 90s it was called the peace dividend — didn’t happen. In the 2000s it was called Rumsfeld’s Revolution In Military Affairs. That scam was supposed to create a high-tech battlefield where supersoldiers with VR glasses would get networked via science fictiony battle helmets with HUD displays and personal UAV drones to do spotting for ’em and take out enemy targets. Never happened, all a con job.

    Now we get Gates’ latest scam. What will this version of The Big Con be called? Not Revolution In Military Affairs or Peace Dividend, those are taken…let’s see… How about “Force Uplift Command Knowledge generation-Y Omniscience Utility.”

    Or perhaps it’ll just be known by its acronym… F.U.C.K. Y.O.U.

  15. 15
    General Stuck says:

    @mclaren:

    General Crackpot Fake Name should have learnt by now that the Pentagon hogs remain the Grand Masters of fiscal misdirection tactics when they slurp at the military-industrial trough.

    Mclaren MCLAREN {{{MCLAREN}}}

  16. 16
    Mike in NC says:

    There’s no bigger waste of money than the ‘Senior Mentor’ program where retired 3 and 4 star generals get paid $440 an hour to advise “new” 3 and 4 star generals on how to do their jobs. Some of them make $250K a year on top of their six figure pensions and other income.

    What a crime when we have tens of thousands of unemployed and even homeless vets in this country.

  17. 17
    Bill Murray says:

    @General Stuck: it’s good to see the gate under the purity bridge was left open today.

  18. 18
    General Stuck says:

    @Bill Murray: So that is why you are here.

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