(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
(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. . . . .
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. . . . .
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!]