05.26.11

Business as usual: Defense spending bill

Posted in War On Terror at 1:15 pm by George Smith

Even though bin Laden is dead, you’d never know it by looking at proposed Pentagon appropriations.

Sure, some Congressman make noise, a trivial bit of legislation on Libya which probably has no chance is passed by the House, and the Associated Press reporter writes like it’s a new tomorrow.

But it means nothing.

War-spending and footing aren’t going anywhere. The national security infrastructure won’t have it, the political leadership is captured or actively complicit, and the American people — as much as they are sick of this endless national export — have been removed from the equation.

AP:

The Republican-controlled House on Thursday overwhelmingly passed a $690 billion defense bill that limits President Barack Obama’s authority on reducing nuclear weapons and deciding the fate of terrorist suspects.

On a 322-96 vote, the House approved the broad defense blueprint that would provide a 1.6 percent increase in military pay, fund an array of aircraft, ships and submarines and increase health care fees slightly for working-age military retirees …

[Here’s one of the more laughable parts of today’s theatrical presentation, elicited after a modest proposal to draw down troops in Afghanistan was defeated.]

“It’s more than people are weary,” Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., sponsor of the amendment, said shortly after the vote. “They’re frustrated and not quite sure what we’re doing there. We got (Osama) bin Laden.”

In another sign of exasperation with war, the House overwhelmingly backed a measure to the bill barring any taxpayer dollars for U.S. ground forces or private security contractors in Libya with the exception of those involved in rescue missions of U.S. service members. The vote was 416-5.

The business of war is, along with Wall Street, America’s most protected business.


But for everyone else:

The latest U.S. growth estimate for the first quarter showed an unrevised 1.8 percent rise, but that was below expectations, and corporate profits unexpectedly shrank while weekly jobless benefit claims rose.

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