Over at Travel and History I have penned an article about the History of the Democratic Party of the United States called, not surprisingly, the ” History of the Democratic Party “. Based mostly on a very abbreviated version of Wikipedia material, we learn among other things that political cycles for both the Democrats and Republicans tend to last a long time, and that a major Democratic Dynasty ended with the election of Abraham Lincoln, ushering in a lengthy Republican era. More recently things seem to be switching a bit more dramatically as collectively we very foolish voters (yes, I mean YOU and ME) swing wildly from the right to the left, failing as always to find a smart balance of clear thinking in foreign policy, economics and social policy. Democrats and liberals continue to fret over policies in the USA that are far more progressive than the majority of countries, while conservatives call for budget cutting everywhere but where it’ll have the greatest positive effect – the defense budget.
It’s obvious and clear we need to trim the excesses of a society that has been drunk on prosperity since WWII but can no longer afford a massive, uninspired bureaucracy nor afford to coddle the self-absorbed and out of touch elite class. We need a new party based on the founding principles of individual freedoms, entrepreneurial innovation and efficiency, community involvement, and other good stuff.
The recipe is not complicated – it’s called the US Constitution and Bill of Rights, but it must be interpreted in modern terms and without the bizarre cognitive biases that infect the right (such as advocating for mixing church and state) or the left (such as higher taxes and bureaucratic problem solving).
As usual I agree with your point on the bloated DoD budget–and though not sympathetic to the Ryan-Randian sorts, think the Demos are hardly superior to the GOP in terms of cutting defense spending. I suggest the DOD funding’s a big part of the political funhouse–getting the funds for whatever military project the brass and defense contractors have in mind, regardless of whether the GOP or Dem admin’s in power.
The top Generals call the shots, really–and Prez and legislature follow orders. They tell Hillary or Gates what to do (like, take out Khaddafi…), and they pass it along to BO. Same for funding new projects–we need 20 new supersonic jets, so approve the 50 million, and Congress does (as they recently did with a big F-Death contract in Edwards). Many towns and cities depend on the F-Death DoD contracts of course, and the entire military infrastructure–especially in SoCal. Kinder ,gentler military dictatorship, ya’ll–and has been since like Eisenhower.
Scuzi–I was off by a few million–the F-35’s are $90 mil….per plane
“””The F-35 is designed to be the core tactical fighter aircraft for the U.S. military, with three versions for the Air Force, Navy, and the Marine Corps. Each plane clocks in at around $90 million.
In a decade’s time, the United States plans to have 15 times as many modern fighters as China, and 20 times as many as Russia.So, how many F-35s do we need?
Washington intends to buy 2,443, at a price tag of $382 billion.
Add in the $650 billion that the Government Accountability Office estimates is needed to operate and maintain the aircraft, and the total cost reaches a staggering $1 trillion.
In other words, we’re spending more on this plane than Australia’s entire GDP ($924 billion).
The F-35 is the most expensive defense program in history, and reveals massive cost overruns, a lack of clear strategic thought, and a culture in Washington that encourages incredible waste.
Holy Babylonian mama of Moloch, ratman