Reducing the Size of the Federal Government, 150,000 New U.S. Soldiers at a Time

During his no-really-I'm-one-of-you CPAC speech yesterday, John McCain stressed his budget-slashing bonafides:

Senator Clinton and Senator Obama want to increase the size of the federal government.

I intend to reduce it.

McCain does have a legitimate claim on impressive limited-government activism -- he continues to oppose the prescription drug benefit, for example, and his threat yesterday to veto every earmark-laden bill was not idle, and hinted at what I think would be the best thing about a McCain White House.

But it ain't earmarks swelling the government. As Mercatus economist Veronique de Rugy catalogued in the L.A. Times earlier this week, it's defense and war spending. And what would a President McCain do about that particular elephant in the budget room? Read his Foreign Affairs essay from last fall. An excerpt, with some relevant phrases bolded for emphasis:

I will increase the size of the U.S. Army and the Marine Corps from the currently planned level of roughly 750,000 troops to 900,000 troops. Enhancing recruitment will require more resources and will take time, but it must be done as soon as possible.

Along with more personnel, our military needs additional equipment in order to make up for its recent losses and modernize. We can partially offset some of this additional investment by cutting wasteful spending. But we can also afford to spend more on national defense, which currently consumes less than four cents of every dollar that our economy generates -- far less than what we spent during the Cold War. We must also accelerate the transformation of our military, which is still configured to fight enemies that no longer exist.

America needs not simply more soldiers but more soldiers with the skills necessary to help friendly governments and their security forces resist common foes. I will create an Army Advisory Corps with 20,000 soldiers to partner with militaries abroad, and I will increase the number of U.S. personnel available to engage in Special Forces operations, civil affairs activities, military policing, and military intelligence. We also need a nonmilitary deployable police force to train foreign forces and help maintain law and order in places threatened by state collapse.

Today, understanding foreign cultures is not a luxury but a strategic necessity. As president, I will launch a crash program in civilian and military schools to prepare more experts in critical languages such as Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, and Pashto. Students at our service academies should be required to study abroad. I will enlarge the military's Foreign Area Officer program and create a new specialty in strategic interrogation in order to produce more interrogators who can obtain critical knowledge from detainees by using advanced psychological techniques, rather than the kind of abusive tactics properly prohibited by the Geneva Conventions.

I will set up a new agency patterned after the erstwhile Office of Strategic Services. A modern-day OSS could draw together specialists in unconventional warfare, civil affairs, and psychological warfare; covert-action operators; and experts in anthropology, advertising, and other relevant disciplines from inside and outside government. Like the original OSS, this would be a small, nimble, can-do organization. It would fight terrorist subversion around the world and in cyberspace. It could take risks that our bureaucracies today rarely consider taking -- such as deploying infiltrating agents without diplomatic cover in terrorist states and organizations -- and play a key role in frontline efforts to rebuild failed states.

As we increase our military capacity, we must also enhance our civilian capacity. As president, I will energize and expand our postconflict reconstruction capabilities so that any military campaign would be complemented by a civilian "surge" that would build the political and economic foundations of peace. To better coordinate our disparate military and civilian operations, I will ask Congress for a civilian follow-on to the 1986 Goldwater-Nichols Act, which fostered a culture of joint operations within the military services. The new act would create a framework for civil servants and military forces to train and work together in order to facilitate cooperation in postconflict reconstruction.

We must also revitalize our public diplomacy. In 1998, the Clinton administration and Congress mistakenly agreed to abolish the U.S. Information Agency and move its public diplomacy functions to the State Department. This amounted to unilateral disarmament in the war of ideas. I will work with Congress to create a new independent agency with the sole purpose of getting America's message to the world -- a critical element in combating Islamic extremism and restoring the positive image of our country abroad.

Whole thing here. It is not, to say the least, a recipe for reducing the size of the federal government.

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  • ||

    some of his positions are reasonable, and he's right that "understanding foreign cultures is not a luxury but a strategic necessity". but voting for him would be like voting for Teddy Roosevelt; no one who thinks we do not need to maintain a worldwide empire should vote for war-without-end McCain. Our 'national greatness' doesn't rest on foreign conquest.

  • Alice Bowie||

    I definitely DON't want this guy or any other guy for president if they have plans to cut domestic benefits and increase military spending

  • ||

    If you read McCain's speech with a Klingon accent, it makes much more sense.

  • Episiarch||

    I definitely DON't want this guy or any other guy for president if they have plans to cut domestic benefits and increase military spending

    How about we cut military spending and domestic benefits?

    McCain is a crazy motherfucker. We need that picture that Weigel has where McCain is open-mouthed with his veins popping out.

  • Egosumabbas||

    I'll play devil's advocate here. Essentially McCain is correct on the military budget. A lot of our military budget is spent on cold war era programs, like super-duper stealth fighters, invincible battle tanks, and the like. If we trimmed down a lot of these programs, and instead spent the money on more numerous and more effectively trained personnel, we'd be doing far better in our current engagements overseas. So yes, it *sounds* like expanding the military, but it will be cheaper even in the short term.

    Now, I will not argue the point that having a more effective military might actually encourage more foreign intervention (every hammer needs a good nail), that's for a completely different discussion :)

  • John||

    Don't we still have an organization patterned after the OSS?

    Isn't it called the CIA?

  • ||

    A lot of those recommendations are quite reasonable. We could all of things and still achieve a net reduction in military spending, but it would require scaling back on things like new nuclear submarines, new jets, and oh yeah, the Iraq War.

    Too bad McCain isn't in favor of doing any of that.

  • ||

    He really wants to infiltrate every other nation on Earth with Americanism, by force if necessary. In fact, he probably prefers force over all other means like trade and sharing of ideas. I think I'd rather have Hillary and now I have to go pour salt onto my papercut.

  • ||

    So McCain's a candidate who wants a smaller government for which we all have to make sacrifices?

    I can't get behind that.

  • Rhywun||

    One would think that 750,000 troops is enough to defend America. Oh wait, they're all somewhere else now, aren't they?

  • ||

    I was listening to McCain the other day. He was going on about how we all need to make sacrifices, more sacrifices. ...on and on about how not making sacrifices is a threat to American society.

    I think it was the worst speech I've heard since the "Ask what you can do for your country" speech.

  • ||

    I will set up a new agency patterned after the erstwhile Office of Strategic Services. A modern-day OSS could draw together specialists in unconventional warfare, civil affairs, and psychological warfare; covert-action operators; and experts in anthropology, advertising, and other relevant disciplines from inside and outside government.

    Don't we still have an organization patterned after the OSS?

    Isn't it called the CIA?


    Gee John. Thanks. Thanks for beating me to the only constructive thing I will have to say all day. But I put the quote up. Nyah Nyah Nyah.

  • Egosumabbas||

    @Nick:
    He really wants to infiltrate every other nation on Earth with Americanism, by force if necessary.

    You'd be surprised how many "libertarians" think this way (though I'm not among them). See samizdata, Neil Boortz, and Dennis Miller. They believe the only way to convince some people to accept liberty is through force, because they will not be convinced through rational argument. Call it Militant Libertarianism if you will.

  • ||

    McCain should be the first to sacrifice, like bowing out of the race, with his boy Huckabee, and then we all win as Ron Paul is last man standing. That would be a sacrifice that would make me respect McCain and I'd even call him a hero.

  • Egosumabbas||

    To follow up with my comment, on the other hand these "militant libertarians" will never vote for McCain. Yeah, I don't get it either.

  • The AntiHumanist||

    What concerns me most is how saleable McCain's military policies sound: agree or disagree with them, but many voters will hear a competency on these issues that the Democrats will lack. Like it or not, many Americans--maybe most Americans--are militaristic and imperialist: for all of the disapproval in retrospect, most Americans supported the Iraq War when it was first mentioned. If the Democrats want to triumph on these issues, unfortunately, they will have to borrow from McCain, while emphasizing that the primary difference between them and him is they imply that while they are for them, they actually will not utilize them.

  • david||

    Actually, I think McCain is on the right track here. There are very few functions of the federal government, Constitutionally speaking, but Defense is one of them. Increasing the size and capability of America's military can be offset by cutting non-Constitution stuff - Social Security, Medicare, certain Cabinet departments, etc.

  • ||

    Matt,

    Don't you get bored writing about this guy? I mean, in the whole realm of current events, there has got to be something else going on that interests you, right?

  • ||

    McCain doesn't thrill me but,defense is part of the purpose of the federal government.S.S,medicare,departments of energy,agriculture.,EPA,education,DEA,and many other programs are not.Face it.Until every one from farmers,ranchers,major corps.,cities.and on and on,stop demanding and getting federal dollars the budget will grow.

  • ||

    I can't say I'm a fan of massive military spending. As Gore Vidal said, if you have a large military you're going to feel the need to use it. But there are two things I am in complete agreement with: First, train soldiers to carry out proper interrogations. None of the Gestapo shit that we've seen from Bush. Second, an increase in the size of the diplomatic corp. I remember reading a comparison of the size of the diplomatic corp. to the military, and the diplomatic corp. was ridiculously small by comparison. Sure you need a big stick, but you need the soft voice too.

  • thoreau||

    Can we return him to Hanoi for a rebate?

  • ||

    Given our current role in the world, I'm okay with some spending on defense. However, I don't think we have to outspend the entire planet, since we're only likely to take on some small percentage of it in any likely war scenarios. Also, I get weirded out at the idea of spending $100-300 million for a single fighter (the F-22--the numbers seem to vary, depending on the source). I think the whole F-22 program cost something like $60 billion, though I could be wrong. For a plane that we don't use. For $60 billion, we could establish a Moon colony.

  • VetsAgainstMcCain||

    McCain is a short-tempered, delusional, political opportunist. He's toast once his skeletons come out.

    http://www.vietnamveteransagainstjohnmccain.com/

  • Episiarch||

    But how much will the Sardaukar legions cost? Has anyone considered that? Padishah Emperor McCain needs his Sardaukar shock troops.

  • ||

    Episiarch,

    From the prison island, Cuba Secondus.

  • ||

    Will come the Sardaukar.

  • ||

    OK smart guys, and what will you be saying after Canada invades?

    Really though, between our local militarized police departments, and the 2nd amendment granting arms to all the "hunters and sportsmen", a land invasion of the US wouldn't go too smoothly even with no US ground troops.

  • ||

    Episiarch -

    Fremen are cheaper (work for Spice) and better...

  • ||

    Huh? The Canadians don't have any Sardaukar.

  • ||

    It's funny, in 2000, a bunch of Republicans formed an organization to smear John McCain's military record. Nobody questioned that they were Republicans, working on behalf of another Repbublican.

    In 2004, a bunch of Repblicans formed an organization to smear John Kerry's military record. No one questioned that they were Republicans, in the service of a Republican.

    Now, the first group makes a comeback, and people are going to try to blame them on Hillary Clinton.

  • Episiarch||

    So is Ron Paul actually...Ron Paul Atreides?

  • ||

    Nor is Hillary Clinton a member of the Bene Gesserit. Stop trying to change the topic, joe.

  • ||

    Pro Libertate,the F-22 is replacing aircraft that are 25-30 years old.In a way the fact our Navy[larger then almost all others combined] and our Air Force[stealth fighters and bombers] and ground forces[think M1 Abrams tank]are so superior it make a large scale war all most impossible.Before WW II many countries were considered 'great powers' due to military power.World wars used to happen quite often if you include the French and British conflicts in the 17th and 18th century.Europe has seen it's longest period of peace because of our might.

  • ||

    Europe has seen it's longest period of peace because they decided to trade with each other rather than fight. Prosperity trumps bloodshed...accept here. We love us a good asswhooping.

  • ||

    Can't we do a lot of this by shifting funding around? Why do we need to spend equally on the Army, Navy and Air Force? GE doesn't divide it's costs equally between GE Finance, NBC, Health Care, etc, but based on individual P&Ls. Shouldn't our military operate on funding as needed? Or is socialism ok when it comes to the military?

  • Episiarch||

    Did you know Ron Paul's name is a killing word?

  • ||

    Spending on the F-22 is a lot more defensible than the JSF.

    Europe has seen it's longest period of peace because they decided to trade with each other rather than fight. From 1946-1989?

  • ||

    Europe has seen it's longest period of peace because they decided to trade with each other rather than fight. Prosperity trumps bloodshed

    Umm, August of 1914 would like a word.

    While things now are pretty much nothing like then, this "trade trumps war" thing is sometimes a bit overblown.

  • ||

    Nick,France's biggest trading partner was Germany before WW II.Russia and Germany before Hitler invasion.After the war we took over much of their defense after much of Europe was destroyed.The face off between the US and USSR was all so a factor.The time for expanding by conquest is over.We a have our faults but our allies and their enemies know not to resort to overt military force.In truth it is a world of our making.

  • ed||

    Europe has seen it's longest period of peace because they decided to trade with each other rather than fight.

    And they emasculated the priests and kings. That had to precede large-scale open trade.

  • ||

    Couldn't we have a world-beating fighter that cost less than a football stadium? And why should we hurt our great economy by sucking wealth from it to ensure the stability of the rest of the world? I don't think Europe would launch into another massive war if we stopped providing our services. The budget for the military this year is over 1/2 a trillion, U.S. That's ludicrous, given the low threat level these days. The terrorist threat is one millionth of what we faced in the U.S.S.R., and China and Russia today are waaaaaaaaaaay behind us.

  • ||

    After I hit enter I knew it needed a million qualifiers, like Western European nations decided to trade with each other, and us. And maybe they were really tired from fighting. And....

    Michael, who else was gonna trade with the French? Only a country that was pulling itself up from being blamed for WWI would stoop that low. I kid, but not really.

  • ||

    Obama is looking better and better to me.

  • ||

    Pro Libertate, we should charge South Korea and Japan and Germany and everyone else who we defend rather than spend our own money. If they don't pay, we walk. We hold all the good cards yet we keep folding early.

  • ||

    he budget for the military this year is over 1/2 a trillion, U.S.

    To help yourself wrap your head around this number, $500 billion is the entire yearly wages of 16.67 million workers making $30K a year. Ponder that on the tree of woe.

  • ||

    Nick,I had to laugh out loud.That was great!

  • Alice Bowie||

    Can we return him to Hanoi for a rebate?

    Thats not a nice

  • ||

    "While things now are pretty much nothing like then, this "trade trumps war" thing is sometimes a bit overblown."

    How is it overblown? There's alot of truth in the saying "when goods don't cross borders, armies will."

  • ||

    but it would require scaling back on things like new nuclear submarines, new jets, and oh yeah, the Iraq War.

    Too bad McCain isn't in favor of doing any of that.


    Iraq War, no, but actually McCain has repeatedly spoken and voted in favor of cutting purchases of B-2s, Seawolf subs, and C-130 military transports, among others. He's repeatedly claimed that unnecessary weapons systems and military bases should be closed in order to save "$20 billion" that would pay for his modernization plans.

    I don't think that there's actually enough savings in those kind of programs to make up for the Iraq War spending, certainly, but you are being unfair there.

  • ||

    Like the original OSS, this would be a small, nimble, can-do organization. It would fight terrorist subversion around the world and in cyberspace. It could take risks that our bureaucracies today rarely consider taking -- such as deploying infiltrating agents without diplomatic cover in terrorist states and organizations -- and play a key role in frontline efforts to rebuild failed states.



    Leaving aside the utterly preposterous assumptions which underpin this proposal, would we be replacing the CIA, or merely adding another mob of money-grubbing bureaucratic turf warriors to our already plentiful supply?

  • ||

    "Pro Libertate, we should charge South Korea and Japan and Germany and everyone else who we defend rather than spend our own money. If they don't pay, we walk."

    Better yet, we should let them take care of their own defense. Nowhere in the Constitution does it state that America's troops should be used for defending other countries.

  • ||

    Yes, why not send a bill? Why are we subsidizing these countries? It might've made sense after WWII and even during the Cold War, but why now? Why worry so much about the Middle East when we get the lion's share of our oil from elsewhere? Why cater to China so much when there are many other nations that can product cheap stuff for us without the internally oppressive and externally aggressive (politically, that is) nonsense? Are we just stupid?

    I did hear something from McCain that sounded rational enough. He said that he was lukewarm on the last round of tax cuts because they didn't come with a complementary set of spending cuts. Hard to argue with that, because without spending cuts, they're just taxes deferred.

  • FrBunny||

    "Now, the first group makes a comeback, and people are going to try to blame them on Hillary Clinton."

    Now joe is pre-emptively striking based on his definitive vision of the future. We'll make a Republican out of you yet, it seems. :)

  • ||

    In fact, he probably prefers force over all other means like trade and sharing of ideas.

    Perhaps, but he also has a 100% rating on free trade from CATO, on issues including not just trade agreements but also farm subsidies, and refusing to pander to anti-Japanese or anti-Chinese sentiments. He's called retaliatory protectionism a "murder-suicide" pact.

    I certainly understand being annoyed at McCain's rhetoric and philosophy in general, but some of the criticisms here have nothing to do with his actual voting record.

  • ||

    $1.1B global military spending of which we are nearly HALF.

    This is corporate welfare and MIC stimulus of the highest order. We face NO strategic threat that responds to conventional military weapons and tactics and we are light-years ahead in technology. While this won't hold forever, at present a minimum 1/3rd reduction in the Pentagon's budget would be a reasonable start and still be more than our top 3 adversaries combined.

  • Bob1313||

    "we are light-years ahead in technology"

    [begin snark]If only we were ahead in units of time, rather than distance.[end snark]

  • ||

    "Now, the first group makes a comeback, and people are going to try to blame them on Hillary Clinton."

    Hillary's gotta get past Obama before she can even start thinking about McCain.

  • anon||

    I hate to admit it, but some of the budget items that seem unnecessary now (like the air-superiority fighter) might be needed in the next conflict.

    Go with the axiom "Generals always fight the last war" - the current problem with Iraq is that Rummy fought Desert Storm again, and left far too troops to maintain order post-invasion. The generals who fought Desert Storm were pleasantly surprised when it didn't turn into Vietnam like they expected. Vietnam was supposed to be like Korea - keep the status quo. Korea was supposed to be like WW2, which (at least at the beginning) was supposed to be a defensive stalemete like WW1, which was supposed to be quick and clean.

    Sooo. Never know what's coming next. It could be what we least expect. I dunno: Pakistan gets nasty; protected French muslims assissinate Obama. Who knows.

  • ||

    Thank you, John Thacker. Good info.

    Fr. Bunny,

    Future? The future is now.

    JP | February 8, 2008, 10:33am | #

    McCain's treachery runs deeper than adultery and Congressional scandals:

    Google "Vietnam Veterans Against John McCain."

    I bet the Clintons will use this to "swiftboat" him if he does too well...

  • ||

    There are things that can and should be cut in the military.Korea can defend themselves and our fleet and air power is just around the corner.As for Japan,they agreed not to keep a standing army or navy and we do need bases.Europe should learn to take care of themselves.The Middle East is a problem.Though we don't get much oil from we do depend on a stable world price.Someone said the military is 500 billion.The sad part is the rest of the budget is 2.5 trillion!

  • ||

    Given that McCain has sounded correct on issues occasionally, I give him about a 1.236% chance (yes, that's a precise estimate) of actually being a limited government president. Maybe he just needs to be president to let his true colors show. I sure hope so, 'cause I think he's going to get the job.

    Michael Pack,

    Don't get me wrong, I object to most of the other dollars spent, too. I'm a libertarian, after all.

  • ||

    "without spending cuts, they're just taxes deferred."

    Unless the tax cuts stimulate the economy which results in increased revenue.

  • ||

    bookworm,

    Sure, but why not cut spending, too? Even Democrats could do that, if they wanted to. And, of course, there's the age-old question about why we don't cap spending and drastically limit deficits. State governments to that, kinda sorta.

  • ||

    State governments do that, I mean.

  • ||

    How is it overblown? There's alot of truth in the saying "when goods don't cross borders, armies will."

    Umm, well, there that whole WW1 and 2 thing. The USA and Japan were trade partners pre WW2. Then there was the US Civil War. I'm sure with a modicum of effort we could find plenty of other examples.

    Don't get me wrong, I like trade and think it can be very helpful in easing tensions, etc., but its no panacea. Heck, under certain circumstances it can be troublesome. Anyone recall the Japanophobia of the 80's?

  • ||

    Europe has seen it's longest period of peace because they decided to trade with each other rather than fight.



    Longest period of peace? Since what, 1997 when they were ethnicly cleansing each other?

  • ||

    Off topic -

    Am I the only one who completely misses typos and omitted words until somebody (usually the originator) points it out?

    Proofreading is an occupation I'm completely unqualified for.

  • ||

    J sub D,

    Occupational hazard for me--I read and draft contracts all day.

  • ||

    Re,your right there.Yugoslavia was the last remnant of WW I and the failed peace treaty.They slapped a bunch of people together and called it a country.It was doomed from the start,just like the USSR.By the way,did you notice how the EU ran to us?

  • FrBunny||

    "Future? The future is now." - joe

    Bring the facts, joe. Link to an instance where "a bunch of Republicans [who] formed an organization to smear John McCain's military record ... working on behalf of another Repbublican" is blamed on Hillary.

    I don't attest that it hasn't happened, but I certainly haven't seen it, and I'm skeptical that you have either. I promise to humbly acquiesce if you give me a good one.

  • FrBunny||

    joe - Just read the italicized part of your post. Please be gentle. You win.

  • ||

    Occupational hazard for me--I read and draft contracts all day.

    Me too. I can spot a missing serial comma in other people's work at 20 paces, but am mostly blind to my own typos.

    Probably something incredibly revealing in that, but, whatever . . .

  • n0rd1x||

    I guess the city of Berkley will not be very helpful in meeting that recruiting goal.

  • ||

    Fr. Bunny,

    It's never a good bet to take the Under on Clinton-hate.

    You see people blame that obvious right-wing "Barrack HUSSEIN O'bama" emails on Hillary Clinton.

  • Kolohe||

    McCain does have some good ideas here (but a heck of a lot of wishful thinking as well)

    150,000 more troops but not simply more soldiers but more soldiers with the skills necessary

    Even with "more resources" to enhance recruiting, the army just barely made is 80,000 goal last FY and did it with only 79% of the people being *high-school* graduates (goal was 90%), and with 40% of the people scoring below the 50th percentile on the ASVAB. (Note to Garrison Keeler fans that the median recruit does not score the median score because you want to reject the lower tail)

    So I have no idea how he expects to up this by both quality *and* quanity - additional 25,000 (army share) per year to plus up to his desired end strength before the end of his hypothetical first term.

    We can partially offset some of this additional investment by cutting wasteful spending. But we can also afford to spend more on national defense which currently consumes less than four cents of every dollar that our economy generates

    Yeah, everyone loves to cut 'wasteful spending.' And a straight talker should point out that is consumes (DOD + DHS) 17 cents of every federal dollar and 43 cents of every discretionary federal dollar - and about 30-40 cents of every federal dollar that is not deliberately set aside for another purpose. Raising this is like spending more than half your income on your house - possible but fiscally unwise.


    The rest of the stuff I more or less agree with; although Rumsfeld came in on the wave of RMA and botched it up so much and alienated so many people that it probably is moribund for at least another decade.

    The central problem is that no one has articulated, even after almost two decades now, a satisfactory post cold-war geo- strategic vision (I'm looking at y'all, Drs. Rice and Berger) Instead , we've be lurching ad-hoc from crisis to crisis, and anyone currently not in the spotlight has been coasting on inertia - which bites everyone in the ass when it's there turn on the stage.

  • Kolohe||

    does the urkobold have 'to be conjugation' and 'there/their/they're' guides for tards in his publishing arm?

  • Urkobold™||

    NATURALLY. THE URKOBOLD HAS THE FULL TEXT OF STRUNK & WHITE TATTOOED ON ALL OF THE CHESTS OF HIS WRITERS AND EDITORS. BACKWARDS, SO THEY CAN BE READ IN A MIRROR.

  • ||

    Europe had its longest period of general peace from 1815-1914. Let me know when its 2045, then the record will be broken.

  • ||

    McCain does have a legitimate claim on impressive limited-government activism -- he continues to oppose the prescription drug benefit, for example

    Huh?

    Damn i have to change my good thing/bad thing about McCain list.

    Bad things

    War with Iran
    Higher taxes
    Outlaw political speech on internet (and probably the radio)

    Good things

    Less stupid immigration laws
    just as stupid or a little less stupid government health care programs.

  • ||

    Europe had its longest period of general peace from 1815-1914. Let me know when its 2045, then the record will be broken.

    The break up of Yugoslavia was after 1945

  • ||

    You see people blame that obvious right-wing "Barrack HUSSEIN O'bama" emails on Hillary Clinton.

    In joe's magical world Hilary has been nothing but kind and fair in regards to her primary contest with Obama.

    More like jolly game of lawn tennis then a back room phone bank of dirty tricks operators piling on anything they can get their oily fingers on.

  • ||

    If you read McCain's speech with a Klingon accent, it makes much more sense.

    Reading joe's comments while imagining him as Musalini on a podium works the same way.

  • ||

    Spending on the F-22 is a lot more defensible than the JSF.

    I find it funny that joe defends the F-22 for its cost effectiveness when we live in the world of predator drones.

    Can you guys post more comments about how joe is right about something he is completely wrong on...I love those.

  • ||

    I think it was the worst speech I've heard since the "Ask what you can do for your country" speech.

    I guess, but Kennedy did cut taxes and he did it because he thought it would help the economy...and after the floundering up and down recessions of the 50s...it worked.

    History aside...McCain is going to raise taxes to the roof and it is going to seriously fuck up the economy....and if McCain dies before he wins the White House Obama will do the same thing.

  • ||

    "Umm, well, there that whole WW1 and 2 thing. The USA and Japan were trade partners pre WW2. Then there was the US Civil War. I'm sure with a modicum of effort we could find plenty of other examples."

    We would have never gone to war with Japan if it hadn't been for FDR's provoking of Japan to get them to attack us as a back door to war in Europe. As to the US Civil War, the North's high tariffs was a main instigator in bringing about the South's secession.

  • ||

    (Western) Europe was only relatively peaceful on their continent between 1815-1914. They spent much of that time raping Africa and Asia, but since there was so much raping to be
    done in so many places, they divided areas of conquest somewhat peacefully. It was trade (or the stealing of other continents' wealth) that kept them from being at each other's throats.

    So, if you want to call that their longest peaceful period, go ahead. It was post WWII that they decided to trade amongst each other in a less restrictive fashion than ever before, because they were tired after the war, and we were handling security. They were smart to let us. It allowed them to recover, but it also cost Eastern Europe dearly. Now they are trading with Eastern Europe and things are better (unless you were killed in Yugoslavia).

  • ||

    In joe's magical world Hilary has been nothing but kind and fair in regards to her primary contest with Obama.

    In joe's magical world's he's written literally dozens of posts criticizing Hillary Clinton's tactics during this campaign.

    But this is where the magical thinking of the joshua cornings of the world comes in: once you accept Hillary Clinton as the Evil She-Beast, every bad act that you can think up a reason to blame on Hillary Clinton must therefore have been done by Hillary Clinton. Denying this obvious truth is the act of the Satanic Hillary worshippers, for there can be no other reason to doubt her culpability in every single bad act.

    PS - The F-22 is an air superiority fighter, dumbass. Predator drones are ground-attack aircraft only, and are incapable of effective air-to-air combat against manned aircraft.

    Just STFU, corning.

  • ||

    "McCain doesn't thrill me but,defense is part of the purpose of the federal government"

    But we don't need to spend that much. We only need to spend as much as we need for our own defense, not for policing the world.

  • BakedPenguin||

    NATURALLY. THE URKOBOLD HAS THE FULL TEXT OF STRUNK & WHITE TATTOOED ON ALL OF THE CHESTS OF HIS WRITERS AND EDITORS. BACKWARDS, SO THEY CAN BE READ IN A MIRROR.



    The worst part was that the URKOBOLD made us pay for the tattoos ourselves. Well, made me pay for mine, anyway.

  • ||

    PS - The F-22 is an air superiority fighter, dumbass. Predator drones are ground-attack aircraft only, and are incapable of effective air-to-air combat against manned aircraft.

    YA cuz the US has been in a lot of air to air wars lately...and it never uses the F-22 to bomb.

    The joe bullshit stacks.

    Attacks on Obama may or may not be coming from the Hilary camp...but up until Romney suspended they all were coming from the left....you claim that it has been from the right wing is dead wrong and checking if it came from Hilary is a good place to start.

  • ||

    BP,

    I heard that the Urkobold made VM tattoo himself.

  • BakedPenguin||

    thx, Pro Lib - that makes me feel better.

  • ||

    "Like it or not, many Americans--maybe most Americans--are militaristic and imperialist: for all of the disapproval in retrospect, most Americans supported the Iraq War when it was first mentioned."

    I think the American public's militarism and pacifism has run in cycles.

    The American public was demoralized after World War I and as a result was opposed to getting involved in World War II until Pearl Harbor. The public maintained their militarism throughout the Cold War until Viet Nam demoralized them. We maintained that pacifism until Desert Storm reinstilled a sense of jingoism in us because it was such an easy victory with only about 300 casualties. Bosnia was also an easy war with very little casualties. If the public accepted the 2nd Gulf War, it was because they thought it would be another cake walk. Now we are over 3000 American deaths and the public is once again becoming war weary.

  • ||

    These things already exist--run by Titan, KBR, Blackwater, and others. If McCain wants to make them regular Army no wonder conservatives hate him.

  • ||

    Like it or not, many Americans--maybe most Americans--are militaristic and imperialist

    We're mostly a pretty reactive bunch when it comes to going to war. Our entry into WWII was a reaction to Pearl Harbor, the first Gulf War was a reaction to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq were reactions to 9/11.

    I know, I know "Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, Saddam was pure as the driven snow on that one", but the invasion of Iraq was still very much a reaction to 9/11.

    Maybe all "militaristic imperialists" rationalize what they do as reactions, but in the American case I think it would be hard to imagine us really firing up the war machine if people would leave us (and our friends) be.

  • ||

    Between 1815-1914 there was the Franco-Prussian war,war between Italy and Austria,Austria and Prussia,Prussia and Sweden and the Ottomans against Russia and Great Brittan .As a matter of fact Bismark's policy was 'one war at a time'.This time period gave us the charge of the light brigade and Florence Nightengale and a Germany forged from 'blood and iron'.Hardly a time of peace in Europe.

  • ||

    We would have never gone to war with Japan if it hadn't been for FDR's provoking of Japan to get them to attack us as a back door to war in Europe.

    FDR's moves against Japan were all in response to Japan's aggression against China. You can argue that we had no business defending China, but we also did not have to approve of it by continuing to sell Japan the stuff she needed to fight.

    As to the US Civil War, the North's high tariffs was a main instigator in bringing about the South's secession.

    Well, I guess I can pretty much ignore you as a source of informed commentary from now on.

  • ||

    Oh,I forgot.Between 1815 and 1914 Italy was unified through war,just like Germany.

  • economist||

    Really, he voted against Medicare Part D? Maybe this guy isn't so bad after all. Well, except for McCain-Feingold, class warfare rhetoric, and his proposal to occupy Iraq for the next 100 years.

  • ||

    I consider my self a libertarian and I don't have too much problem with an increase in spending for activities focused on foreign affairs. Yes, the Iraq War is a costly boondoggle, but our foreign policy and diplomacy is a disgrace. Reform is needed. Given that this area is one of the most important jobs of the Federal Government, I'm not overly bothered.

    Now at the same time we need to shrink the Federal role in the domestic sector. If McCain can actually reign in the pork and welfare (corporate and public) while restoring Civil Liberties trampled by the War on Terror and the War on Drugs, I will be tickled pink. I'm not sure if he's the best person for the job, but I think he'd be better than Clinton or Obama.

    Benjamin

  • VM||

    If McCain can actually reign in the pork and welfare (corporate and public) while restoring Civil Liberties trampled by the War on Terror and the War on Drugs, I will be tickled pink.

    and puppies. don't forget your puppies. and ponies.

    methinks your hopes for Mccain being any different from HRC is deluded.

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