The Internet Is Evil!

I used to be entirely more active on the Internet than I am today. I was Show Running about 5 or 6 regular features and writing about 8 or 9 posts a week (of course I used Sockpuppets, they were all labeled by function And identified as me, besides my and pyrhho’s sharp disagreement over the “One Diary A Day” Policy came shortly after I joined and was very public. kos knew exactly what I was doing and let me do it because he wanted the content.), and engaged in a fierce battle with Elise for the 6th or 7th spot on the most frequent commenter list over at dK, all in addition to my activities at DocuDharma as Admin and Managing Editor and the 14 or so (maybe more, I was very busy) pieces a week I contributed over here.

During almost 15 years of constant Trolling (I am as obnoxious and unrepentant as ever) I’ve never been doxxed. On certain levels I’m not really surprised, while I have my accomplishments in Meatspace I’m not exactly famous except among a particular crowd who are in fact obligated to stand and applaud when I am introduced entering a room. I own a Tux too, cheaper than real clothes.

But I’ve always been extremely careful not to link my Meatspace Identity to my blogging activity and I must admit that despite striving for a level of emotional honesty I’ve deliberately misled my audience about details that I feel would expose me. For instance it’s easy to guess that Lake House is on a lake somewhere in a remote part of New Hampshire however there are a lot of places like that. I’ve pretty much changed the names of the non-public people I write about and I elide dates that are not part of my public Internet record. Other times I’m an observer and not the protagonist or the other way round. They’re all true enough in the way that memoirs are.

I have mixed feelings about my policy of strict separation. On the one hand it’s prevented me from sharing some interesting stories that I think are too personal, on the other hand it’s enabled me to make a few observations about folks I know, and who know I write (because I’m fairly open and honest about it if I already know you), that they might not find represents them in the best light. I solace myself with the fact that either they are too polite to mention it or don’t care enough to read it.

Things I don’t do are Sock to feign approval of my policy positions or to hide my hand while making a pretense of friendship (or neutrality) and secretly undercutting people. You may not understand exactly how I’m insulting you, but you’ll get the message I’m sure and I always sign my work.

Now on to the strange and savage tale of the Mittster or as we on the Internet know him- Pierre Delecto.

‘C’est moi’: Mitt Romney admits to running secret Twitter account under the alias ‘Pierre Delecto’
By Allyson Chiu, Washington Post
October 21, 2019

For years, Pierre Delecto’s presence on Twitter largely went unnoticed. Operating a bare-bones account with the handle @qaws9876, the user’s limited activity revealed only an interest in politics — namely, supporting Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah). So when “Pierre Delecto” started trending Sunday on the social media platform, people were understandably confused.

On Sunday, Twitter users lost their collective minds when they learned that Pierre Delecto wasn’t a bot or a random Romney superfan, but an account run by the Republican senator himself. As Delecto, Romney, who has become one of President Trump’s most vocal GOP critics, used the account to like critical tweets about the president, while also occasionally defending himself against detractors. By early Monday, the unusual pseudonym was a trending moment on Twitter and had been mentioned in more than 47,000 tweets.

The Romney-Delecto connection was first made by Slate’s Ashley Feinberg, who went hunting for the secret account after the senator mentioned its existence to the Atlantic in a profile published Sunday. In a follow-up call with Atlantic reporter McKay Coppins, Romney confirmed that the account, which has since been made private, is his.

“C’est moi,” Romney said after being asked about Delecto.

Romney brought up his covert Twitter persona during an interview with the Atlantic as he discussed Trump lashing out at him on social media. The 72-year-old senator has condemned Trump for allegedly attempting to get officials in Ukraine to dig up dirt on former vice president Joe Biden and slammed the president’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria. In response, Trump has labeled Romney a “pompous ‘ass’” and called for his “impeachment,” though senators cannot be impeached.

According to Coppins, Romney shrugged off Trump’s insults and grabbed an iPad off his desk during the interview.

“He explained that he uses a secret Twitter account — ‘What do they call me, a lurker?’ — to keep tabs on the political conversation,” Coppins wrote.

The senator declined to name the account, noting only that he was “following 668 people,” listing journalists, late-night comedians and athletes, Coppins reported.

But those slim details were more than enough for Feinberg, who previously discovered that former FBI director James B. Comey was on Twitter using the alias “Reinhold Niebuhr.”

The process, Feinberg wrote, hinged on the assumption that “Romney, a known family man, would want to keep close tabs on his offspring.” Instead of targeting his family members with tens of thousands of followers, Feinberg homed in on a public account belonging to Allie Romney Critchlow, the senator’s oldest grandchild. Critchlow’s account “has just 481 followers, making digging through them an annoying-but-not-impossible feat,” Feinberg wrote.

Then, as Feinberg looked through Critchlow’s followers for users who “appeared to make an effort to conceal their real identities,” one caught her attention: Pierre Delecto.

A deeper dive into Delecto’s account found that it matched the description Romney gave to the Atlantic. The account was created in July 2011, shortly after Romney announced he was going to run for president, Slate reported. Beyond politicians, political reporters and pundits, Delecto follows late-night hosts Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon and athletes such as New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and former Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre, according to Slate.

The clues pointing to Romney continued to add up, Feinberg wrote. The first user Delecto followed was Tagg Romney, the senator’s eldest son. The account later followed a number of people associated with Romney, such as advisers, aides and reporters who have covered him.

Another clue was Delecto’s Twitter activity. In the past eight years, Delecto has liked 257 tweets and only tweeted 10 times, all of which were replies to other Twitter users. According to Slate, Delecto liked nearly 70 tweets that either came directly from Romney’s official accounts or were posts quoting from those accounts.

Screen shots from the account show Delecto liking tweets that praised Romney’s criticism of Trump’s Syria decision. Delecto also liked tweets denouncing Trump, including one that read, “If this is a stable genius, I would hate to see what an unstable idiot would do,” and another criticizing the president for playing golf amid the Syria crisis.

But perhaps even more telling were Delecto’s sparse tweets, several of which defended Romney.

“Only Republican to hit Trump on [Mueller] report, only one to hit Trump on character time and again, so Soledad, you think he’s the one without moral compass?” Delecto wrote earlier this year in response to a critical tweet from journalist Soledad O’Brien, who had called out the senator for his “utter lack of a moral compass.”

The account’s most recent tweet, dated Saturday, appeared to be a tongue-in-cheek response to conservative radio host and blogger Erick Erickson applauding Romney for taking a public stand against Trump.

“Don’t read the comments, ever,” Delecto wrote.

Social media users quickly became obsessed with the bizarre moniker the senator chose for his alter ego.

As some praised Romney for the name, describing it as “exquisite” and “objectively terrific,” others were reminded of equally distinctive pseudonyms used by public figures in the past.

It remains unclear exactly how Romney decided on “Pierre Delecto,” but that didn’t stop eager Twitter sleuths from trying to figure it out.

People suggested that “Pierre” might come from Romney’s time spent as a missionary in France and that “Delecto” could be a reference to the Latin phrase “in flagrante delicto,” which translates to “while the crime is blazing,” according to Merriam-Webster.

More rules for Trolls- don’t use Twitter. Ever.

Don’t Follow, don’t Like, don’t Retweet

And don’t Tweet. I have an account, it’s under my name, I have exactly 1 Tweet.

“I have no thoughts I can express in 140 characters or less.”


Temporarily at North Lake to take the pulse (WMUR surprisingly empty of ads Sunday 11 pm, full tilt otherwise. Add Klobuchar and Sestak to Steyer and Gabbard in terms of spenders, the front runners are all personal appearances) where I had a big blow and power problems Friday. Took the weekend to tune the configuration but everything seems to be working now.

Unfortunately I also have a full agenda on what could be the only good weather this week so as Atrios says things will probably still suck, but I didn’t fall off the face of the earth either.

I think of the Mika and Joe show as both farce and tragedy. Scarborough is abusive ON THE AIR. The defense of Conservatism and the status quo that led us to what they now consider the death of the Republican Party and the Republic itself is darkly ironic in the classical sense (the audience perceives fatal character flaws that the protagonist does not which lead to their inevitable doom).

So they’re not hah hah funny but it’s a good enough summary of what’s happened since Friday.



The Breakfast Club (Negotiable)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:00am (ET) (or whenever we get around to it) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

 photo stress free zone_zps7hlsflkj.jpg

This Day in History

Thomas Edison perfects workable electric light; Anthrax scare claims first of two U.S. postal workers in Washington, DC; Britain wins Battle of Trafalgar; Actress and author Carrie Fisher born.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

Everything is negotiable. Whether or not the negotiation is easy is another thing.

Carrie Fisher

Continue reading

The Breakfast Club (crowd dispersal)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

 photo 807561379_e6771a7c8e_zps7668d00e.jpg

AP’s Today in History for October 20th

‘Saturday Night Massacre’ takes place during Watergate scandal; Gen. Douglas MacArthur returns to Philippines; Jacqueline Kennedy weds Aristotle Onassis; Three Lynyrd Skynyrd members die in plane crash.

Breakfast Tune 5-string Banjo: Peterloo Massacre (Including lyrics and chords)

Something to think about, Breakfast News & Blogs below


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Backs Bernie Sanders at Packed NYC Rally
Andrea Germanos, Common Dreams

“I am back,” Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders said Saturday, as he spoke to over 25,000 people at a rally in New York City that featured Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who endorsed the Vermont senator’s White House bid.

The capacity for the rally was 20,000, but so many people came the campaign had to turn people away, said Sanders. According to the campaign, nearly 26,000 people were in attendance.

“Our priority is not only defeating Donald Trump,” Ocasio-Cortez told the crowd. “It’s defeating the system of which he is a symptom.”



Something to think about over coffee prozac

The Centrism of Elizabeth Warren
  Continue reading

Pondering the Pundits: Sunday Preview Edition

Pondering the Pundits: Sunday Preview Edition” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

On Sunday mornings we present a preview of the guests on the morning talk shows so you can choose which ones to watch or some do something more worth your time on a Sunday morning.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

The Sunday Talking Heads:

This Week with George Stephanopolis: The guests on Sunday’s “This Week” are: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; and ranking Democratic member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ).

The roundtable guests are: Former Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ); former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D); Republican strategist Sara Fagen; and former Sen. Heidi Keitkamp (D-ND).

Face the Nation: Host Margaret Brennan’s guests are: Rep. Jim Himes {D-CT); Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX); Gen (Ret.) Raymond Thomas, Commander of U.S. Special Operations Command; Michael Morell, former CIA Deputy Director; and William Burns, former Deputy Secretary of State.

Her panel guests are: Susan Davis, NPR; Jamal Simmons, Hill.TV; Michael Steel, Republican strategist; and Paula Reid, CBS News White House Correspondent.

Meet the Press with Chuck Todd: The guests on this week’s “MTP” are: Former Republican Rep. Justin Amash (I-MI); 2020 Democratic presidential candidate South Bend Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg; and former presidential envoy Brett McGurk.

State of the Union with Jake Tapper: Mr. Tapper’s guests are: Rep. Francis Rooney (R-FL); disgraced Gen. (ret.) David Petraeus; 2020 Democratic Presidential candidates Sound Bend, IN Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

His panel guests are: Rep. Joe Negusis (D-CO); Conservative commentator Amanda Carpenter; Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI); and Jen Psaki, former Obama WH Communications Chief.

The Breakfast Club (Jokes)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:00am (ET) (or whenever we get around to it) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

 photo stress free zone_zps7hlsflkj.jpg

This Day in History

British surrender at Yorktown decides American Revolution; Stock market crash hits Wall Street in late 1980s; Napoleon’s forces begin retreat from Moscow; Concorde makes first landing in New York

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.

Will Rogers

Continue reading

“What A Dump!”

Despite my parochiality I’ve been in some pretty impressive public spaces including a few fairly high rent hotels (I hate Atrium lobbies the most) including the Ritz-Charlton in Naples which I’ll admit deserves it’s reputation and The Grand Hotel on Mackinaw Island (ok, it’s charming if you like a slice of Victoriana and they wait on you hand and foot, don’t mind the horse poop).

When left to my own devices I’m a fairly big fan of “What is cheapest?” though you can find many many interesting places that aren’t too costly. This summer I stayed at a place that had both a Hot Tub and a Water Slide. I ask you, what else do you need?

Next to Atriums the most disappointing things to discover are rooms that are obviously… not well maintained. I’m not talking puddle of blood but if the carpet is sticky…

Well, ick.

So now Doral, Unindicted Co-conspirator Bottomless Pinocchio’s failing resort, is back in the news along with plenty of pictures and a repair bill. In his own words- “What A Dump!”

It looks dingy and run down. It has 10 pools none of which have been inspected in over 12 months and then there are the notorious bedbugs. There are problems with the food service too, of course if you get your meals from McDonald’s (which actually gets visited by the Health Department once in a while) or incinerate your steaks to shoe leather that may not matter to you so much.

Did I say ick?

So Unindicted Co-conspirator Bottomless Pinocchio will tap the Treasury for repairs (highly illegal but in the grand scheme it falls in the rounds) and slap a fresh coat of paint on his White Elephant and we’ll all pretend everything is normal.

Pondering the Pundits

Pondering the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from> around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Pondering the Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

William H. McRaven: Our Republic Is Under Attack From the President

If President Trump doesn’t demonstrate the leadership that America needs, then it is time for a new person in the Oval Office.

Last week I attended two memorable events that reminded me why we care so very much about this nation and also why our future may be in peril.

The first was a change of command ceremony for a storied Army unit in which one general officer passed authority to another. The second event was an annual gala for the Office of Strategic Services (O.S.S.) Society that recognizes past and present members of the intelligence and Special Operations community for their heroism and sacrifice to the nation. What struck me was the stark contrast between the words and deeds heralded at those events — and the words and deeds emanating from the White House. [..]

These men and women, of all political persuasions, have seen the assaults on our institutions: on the intelligence and law enforcement community, the State Department and the press. They have seen our leaders stand beside despots and strongmen, preferring their government narrative to our own. They have seen us abandon our allies and have heard the shouts of betrayal from the battlefield. As I stood on the parade field at Fort Bragg, one retired four-star general, grabbed my arm, shook me and shouted, “I don’t like the Democrats, but Trump is destroying the Republic!”

Those words echoed with me throughout the week. It is easy to destroy an organization if you have no appreciation for what makes that organization great. We are not the most powerful nation in the world because of our aircraft carriers, our economy, or our seat at the United Nations Security Council. We are the most powerful nation in the world because we try to be the good guys. We are the most powerful nation in the world because our ideals of universal freedom and equality have been backed up by our belief that we were champions of justice, the protectors of the less fortunate.

Paul Krugman: Democrats, Avoid the Robot Rabbit Hole

The automation obsession is an escapist fantasy.

One of the less discussed parts of Tuesday’s Democratic debate was the exchange that took place over automation and how to deal with it. But it’s worth focusing on that exchange, because it was interesting — by which I mean depressing. CNN’s Erin Burnett, one of the moderators, asked a bad question, and the debaters by and large — with the perhaps surprising exception of Bernie Sanders — gave pretty bad answers.

So let me make a plea to the Democrats: Please don’t go down the robot rabbit hole.

Burnett declared that a recent study shows that “about a quarter of U.S. jobs could be lost to automation in just the next 10 years.” What the study actually says is less alarming: It finds that a quarter of U.S. jobs will face “high exposure to automation over the next several decades.”

But if you think even that sounds bad, ask yourself the following question: When, in modern history, has something like that statement not been true.

Margaret Garnett and Preet Brahara: Remaining Silent About Corruption Should Not Be an Option

New York City requires its employees to blow the whistle on wrongdoing, and that approach is working.

Over the past few weeks, the country has been riveted by the news of a whistle-blower within the intelligence community who filed a formal complaint alleging wrongdoing by President Trump. In turn, we have watched the whistle-blower defamed by the president and his allies, even accused of treason, despite meticulously following the lawful process to report possible criminal conduct. This took remarkable courage. There was no legal obligation to report it, and serious risks to career, reputation and even personal safety for doing so. [..]

Now consider a system in which there is an obligation to report corruption, to point a finger at waste, fraud and abuse. You don’t have to imagine it, because New York City government imposes an uncommon obligation on public servants, requiring them to report wrongdoing or jeopardize their jobs and professional advancement if they do not.

The city has a long and storied history of public corruption scandals. But out of that history grew this unusual and effective rule for combating corruption. An executive order, first issued by Mayor Ed Koch in 1978 and ratified by every mayor since, directs that all New York City employees have an obligation to report to the city’s independent Department of Investigation any instance of corruption, waste, fraud or abuse by public officials or city contractors. Failure to report can be cause for discipline or termination. The law arose after scandals within city government went unchecked, despite city employees’ having knowledge of the corruption that fueled them. All city employees now receive regular anti-corruption training from the D.O.I., which underscores the obligation to report wrongdoing as well as the legal protections they have when they do report.

Amanda Marcotte: House Democrats: It’s time to include Trump’s shady Syria/Turkey deal in impeachment inquiry

As with the Ukraine fiasco, Trump appears to have put his self-interest ahead of our national interest in Turkey

Even by Donald Trump’s basement-level standards, there’s something bizarre about the president’s behavior in deciding to allow a Turkish invasion of Syria aimed at pushing the Kurdish population out of the area — a move that is, for all intents and purposes, an act of ethnic cleansing. Less than two weeks ago, Trump, apparently spontaneously, acceded to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s request that the U.S. pull a small number of troops out of the area to clear the way for what swiftly turned into a slaughter. Since then, Trump’s attempts to justify this betrayal — not just of the Kurds, but of basic human decency — have been alarmingly erratic, well beyond his existing baseline of constant, impulsive dramatics.

Trump has veered between trying to deny responsibility for giving leeway to Erdoğan, claiming some higher motivation and implying that the Kurds had it coming anyway. But this chaos-monkey act appears to have a specific goal, which is to scare off congressional Democrats who might want to take a closer look at exactly why Trump — a man who only ever acts out of self-interest — prioritized Erdoğan’s genocidal urges over the opinion of his own advisers and Republican colleagues, especially when Trump needs their support over the impeachment inquiry.

Trump’s desperation to keep anyone from looking too closely here is all the more reason to do so. In fact, Democrats need to seriously consider expanding the impeachment inquiry to look at why, exactly, Trump is so eager to please Erdoğan, even above his own party. It’s certainly not because of some principled disagreement over the U.S. presence in Syria, since Trump has no principles outside of his personal self-interest. So the question is, what is Trump getting out of this, and have any laws been broken in selling out American interests to Turkey?


Guns or Butter?

Like Quantum Mechanics (or indeed General Relativity), Modern Monetary Theory is a problem for some people because it’s not intuitive and apparently contradicts in some respects lived experience. We know apples don’t fall up for example but that’s simply an accident of failing to observe what is an extremely rare phenomena. The math that predicts that possibility as well as solving some more mundane problems with uncanny predictive accuracy is rock solid, what needs to be expanded is your perception of reality. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

MMT is much less complicated than Quantum Mechanics but also faces this imaginary barrier and I don’t know what happens to you when you talk about Economics but with me people’s eyes generally glaze over in about 30 seconds and by the time I get finished discussing the true nature of money and taxes they’ve either found some excuse to wander away or pass out from boredom. In a nutshell Taxes don’t pay for Government activity, they exist to create demand for currency. There is no theoretical limit to Sovereign Debt or Deficits and the only practical limit is Inflation in non-native Inputs, which, depending on how your economy is structured, can have a greater or lesser impact. Japan would notice Oil Price Inflation quite keenly, the House of Saud not so much.

But why waste your time even with that though there are much stronger arguments that MMT represents a truer model of the current Economy than Classical, Liberal (not what you think it means in this context), Keynesian, Neo-Classical, Neo-Liberal, and Neo-Keynesian (sorry Paul) ones. Skip that argument entirely and explain we can afford nice things without venturing beyond the bounds of Samuelson (who is actually very supportive of MMT in abstract but eventually falls back on the old evidence-free tropes and canards).

I picked this up over at Yves’ Place

Researchers Detail How Slashing Pentagon Budget Could Pay for Medicare for All While Creating Progressive Foreign Policy Americans Want
by Julia Conley, Common Dreams
Thursday, October 17, 2019

The Institute for Policy Studies on Thursday shared the results of extensive research into how the $750 billion U.S. military budget could be significantly slashed, freeing up annual funding to cover the cost of Medicare for All—calling into question the notion that the program needs to create any tax burden whatsoever for working families.

Lindsay Koshgarian, director of the National Priorities Project at the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), took aim in a New York Times op-ed at a “chorus of scolds” from both sides of the aisle who say that raising middle class taxes is the only way to pay for Medicare for All. The pervasive claim was a primary focus of Tuesday night’s debate, while Medicare for All proponents Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) attempted to focus on the dire need for a universal healthcare program.

At the Democratic presidential primary debate on CNN Tuesday night, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) was criticized by some opponents for saying that “costs will go down for hardworking, middle-class families” under Medicare for All, without using the word “taxes.” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), on the other hand, clearly stated that taxes may go up for some middle class families but pointed out that the increase would be more than offset by the fact that they’ll no longer have to pay monthly premiums, deductibles, and other medical costs.

“All these ambitious policies of course will come with a hefty price tag,” wrote Koshgarian. “Proposals to fund Medicare for All have focused on raising taxes. But what if we could imagine another way entirely?”

“Over 18 years, the United States has spent $4.9 trillion on wars, with only more intractable violence in the Middle East and beyond to show for it,” she added. “That’s nearly the $300 billion per year over the current system that is estimated to cover Medicare for All (though estimates vary).”

“While we can’t un-spend that $4.9 trillion,” Koshgarian continued, “imagine if we could make different choices for the next 20 years.”

Koshgarian outlined a multitude of areas in which the U.S. government could shift more than $300 billion per year, currently used for military spending, to pay for a government-run healthcare program. Closing just half of U.S. military bases, for example, would immediately free up $90 billion.

“What are we doing with that base in Aruba, anyway?” Koshgarian asked.

Other areas where IPS identified savings include:

  • cancellation of current plans to develop more nuclear weapons, saving $20 billion
  • a total nuclear weapons ban, saving $43 billion
  • ending military partnerships with private contractors, saving $364 billion
  • production cuts for the F-35—a military plane with 900 performance deficiencies, according to the Government Accountability Office—saving $17.7 billion
  • a shift of $33 billion per year, currently used to provide medical care to veterans, servicemembers, and their families, to Medicare for All’s annual budget.

“This item takes us well past our goal of saving $300 billion,” Koshgarian wrote of the last item

As Koshgarian published her op-ed in the Times, progressive think tank Data for Progress released its own report showing that a majority of Americans support a “progressive foreign policy” far less focused on decades-long on-the-ground wars, establishing military bases around the world, drone strikes, and arms sales.

“The public rejects the predominant, fear-based framing and policies; instead, they want to see a revamped, demilitarized American foreign policy focused on international cooperation, human rights, and peacebuilding,” wrote Data for Progress.

“Voters want to see U.S. funding go to domestic needs such as healthcare, or to other national security tools like diplomacy, instead of to the Pentagon and more endless war,” according to the report.

Polling more than 1,000 ppl with YouGov, Data for Progress found that 73 percent of Democratic primary voters ranked numerous issues—including economic challenges and the climate—as more important to them than national security and military funding.

Progressive national security proposals proved popular with respondents, including closing Guantanamo Bay, ending arms sales to Saudi Arabia, and leveraging military aid to Israel to force it to adopt better human rights policies toward Palestinians.

“There is a clear appetite for progressive reforms to U.S. foreign policy,” wrote Data for Progress.

In her op-ed, Koshgarian acknowledged that remaking the U.S. military as a truly “defense-based institution, rather than a war machine and A.T.M. for private contractors, will require major changes.”

But, she wrote, “that’s no excuse for continuing to spend hundreds of billions in ways that make our world more dangerous and deny us the ability to seriously invest in things like jobs, healthcare, education, and all that makes our lives better.”

There you go. Spending cuts? I got your spending cuts right here baby, and as Yves correctly points out- “the Pentagon has various black budgets, an “official” one and covert ones.”


Arbitrary goals, invented glory, permanent brain damage.

The Breakfast Club (Living Messages)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:00am (ET) (or whenever we get around to it) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

 photo stress free zone_zps7hlsflkj.jpg

This Day in History

Inventor Thomas Edison dies; Three scientists share Nobel prize for DNA work; Anthrax scare hits CBS in New York; Two U.S. athletes suspended for Mexico City Olympics protest; Rock star Chuck Berry born.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

Our children are the living messages we send to a future we will ever see… Will we rob them of their destiny? Will we rob them of their dreams? No – we will not do that.

Elijah Cummings (January 18, 1951 – October 17, 2019)

Continue reading

Load more