After U.S. officials agreed last week that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons on its people, politicians and pundits resumed making the case for a U.S. intervention in Syria. And they speak as if the budget cuts affecting the Air Force and Navy won’t affect our ability to launch operations overseas. Their heads apparently aren’t around that reality yet. Continue reading
My colleague Timothy Whiteman highlighted last Thursday the number of Air Force squadrons that will have to cease training later this year because the Air Force doesn’t have funds for the flying hours. This is real, and it is astounding. It will mean that, at a certain point in the near future – as early as this fall, if no additional funds become available – the cost of mounting an operation big enough to eliminate Iran’s nuclear weapons-related installations is likely to be too high. Continue reading
Two to three years ago, the United States Department of Defense had enough military forces on station in, or readily deployable to, the Persian Gulf region (the “CENTCOM AOR” – area of responsibility – or Southwest Asia, as it is called in the military) to execute a limited strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities without asking Congress for special funding. The military could have performed such an operation “out of hide,” as quickly and seamlessly as the president wanted it to.
Four to five years ago, moreover, the U.S. Continue reading
But here’s the odd thing: even with the sequester cuts, federal government spending in FY 2013 will still be greater than it was in FY 2012.
In his quest to get the debt ceiling raised, President Obama issued a threat in his Wednesday press conference that troops won’t get paid and veterans’ pension payments will be delayed. He warned of delays in Social Security payments as well. It’s important to understand that these comments constitute a threat (which may or may not be a hollow one). Obama is not stating some inescapable reality, to which he along with the rest of us is subject. If retirees and vets see a delay in their payments, it will be because Obama himself decides to hold the payments up. Moreover, Obama is not caught in a trap when it comes to paying the troops; Continue reading
With so much riding on the fiscal cliff talks, I figured there would be tremendous interest in knowing just what House Speaker John Boehner and President Barack Obama said to each other on this topic last week. You’ll be delighted to know that I had planted a secret microphone (OK, actually 3 or 4, but who’s counting? I’ve got this great technician, goes by the initials J.S.) and this is what I learned:
The PBS NewsHour has yet to invite a hard core conservative on the program to talk about the fiscal cliff. Last week, they had NYT’s columnist, left-wing economist, and Obama cheerleader – Paul Krugman to detail his view. Then, they had Sen. Bob Corker ( R-TN), but the December 6 broadcast was the most interesting. PBS invited the Norquist of the left Max Richtman, of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, that we shouldn’t be in a rush to reform our entitlement spending. After all, when the unfunded liability of both programs is around $100 trillion dollars, what’s the big hurry? Where’s the fire? Continue reading
Christmas Winter solstice/holiday time – and Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett seems tepid to reject the federal-state health care exchange program, which will be instituted under Obamacare. Mitt Romney implemented a similar program, at the state level, when he was Governor of Massachusetts – which explains why conservatives were unable to make the 2012 election a referendum on Obamcare. As Grace-Marie Turner at Forbes wrote in her column on December 1o, “at least 21 states have said they definitely or probably will not set up state exchanges, with Ohio, Wisconsin, Maine, Nebraska, South Carolina, Georgia and Indiana most recently joining the opposition.” Continue reading
Is it revenge of the squishy Republicans? It sure isn’t the reaffirmation of conservatism within the Republican Party. On December 4, Matthew Boyle at Breitbart reported that the House GOP had begun purging conservatives from various committees. In a time when Republicans need strong, principled conservatives to thwart the aggressive expansion of the state under Obama, Speaker Boehner and company inanely decide that they’re the problem. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Squishy Republicans are part of the problem. President and CEO of FreedomWorks Matt Kibbe aptly said at BlogCon Charlotte last spring that sometimes “you need to beat the Republicans before you can beat the Democrats.” Continue reading
Yesterday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) put forth a counter-offer to the President’s politically unrealistic and economically unintelligent “plan” on the fiscal cliff. That plan, which was hammered by Heritage and me yesterday (see how I did that? I’m as important as Heritage!) seems to have been in response to public opinion on the fiscal cliff debate, which a new Washington Post/Pew Research poll shows puts far more blame on the GOP than on President Obama.