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Cherokee
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^^you're missing my point. presuming i'm correct (and i may absolutely not be) it will take years to fix the waste problem. in the meantime, we have to continue spending on defense in accordance with the threats in the world as well as the state of our rivals' militaries. china and russia are catching up (more so china, russia to an extent). that implies we have to ratchet things up.

it's either that or, stop it all, focus on the waste entirely and watch china/russia continue to overcome us

[Edited on March 16, 2017 at 1:22 PM. Reason : a]

3/16/2017 1:22:03 PM

moron
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We don't need to be spending more on DoD when we're supposedly stepping back from a war footing.

Trump is basically signaling he wants the US to become a dedicated war machine, if you think he intends to be non-interventionist you're pretty naive at this point.

We're cutting medicare, health care, environmental protections, consumer protections, public education, science and medical research, charity, public broadcasting, he's ditching the idea of the US being a melting pot, all the while boosting spending on military.

This is basically the wet dream of Bush era Neocons like John Bolton.

He just admitted during his rally recently he intended to ban all muslims. If you don't see how all of this points to Trump admin being deranged, i'm not sure what to tell you.

[Edited on March 16, 2017 at 1:33 PM. Reason : ]

3/16/2017 1:32:10 PM

Bullet
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Quote :
"So, if we need $54 billion more (minus whatever% of waste comes with that) to accomplish the above mission now, I'd argue practically speaking we have to."


That sounds really vague. To stop imminent ongoing threats?

3/16/2017 1:33:30 PM

Cabbage
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Quote :
"china and russia are catching up (more so china, russia to an extent). that implies we have to ratchet things up."


Oh really?

3/16/2017 1:39:39 PM

moron
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per capita
http://ritholtz.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/image003.png

[Edited on March 16, 2017 at 1:49 PM. Reason : ]

3/16/2017 1:49:12 PM

A Tanzarian
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Trump has pledged to stop using ketchup on his Waygu steaks. That will save several dozen dollars a year.

+1 for personal sacrifice

3/16/2017 1:50:44 PM

0EPII1
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TF is this?

https://twitter.com/kupajo322/status/838921907013476352

One particular sentence had me ROTFLing.

"If President Trump tells you something..."

3/16/2017 1:55:52 PM

synapse
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I thought I read somewhere that the 54 billion would be used for operations, additional cruises etc and not for hardware etc right?

3/16/2017 2:00:11 PM

Cherokee
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Quote :
"We don't need to be spending more on DoD when we're supposedly stepping back from a war footing."


Except, we aren't. We are positioning in Eastern Europe, Japan, Australia, South Korea and trying to in the Philippines as well. Add to that that we are probably about to increase our footprint the Middle East for Syria, Iraq and Iran. Any vets on here receiving continuous calls to re-enlist and head to "Kuwait?"

Quote :
"Oh really?"


I said "catching up," not that they've eclipsed us yet. Do you want to let them run past us? Put another way, they are catching up to our capabilities based on current spending.

Quote :
"I thought I read somewhere that the 54 billion would be used for operations, additional cruises etc and not for hardware etc right?"


Could be correct here, but the operations/cruises (cruises I presume fall under operations) relate to what we're doing globally (mentioned above).

I promise I'm not saying we should fund defense for the sake of it. But I'm not going to pretend that the world can remain generally peaceful by decreasing our defensive spending to the point that we are no longer advancing research, upgrading existing weapons and testing/deploying new weapons.

Given this, again, two options: Focus all political capital on eliminating the waste now and risk that taking a decade while our adversaries catch up. Or, try to focus on both the waste and our current defensive posture, realizing that we have to increase it somewhat to maintain or gain relative strength. If people were chanting "Fix the waste" instead of "Lock her up" maybe I'd feel more optimistic.

[Edited on March 16, 2017 at 2:47 PM. Reason : a]

[Edited on March 16, 2017 at 2:48 PM. Reason : a]

3/16/2017 2:46:57 PM

Cabbage
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Quote :
"I said "catching up," not that they've eclipsed us yet. Do you want to let them run past us?"


And I posted



Do you really think they're about to run past us?

3/16/2017 2:59:42 PM

Cherokee
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^our expenditures (granted, including the waste here) keep that divide the way it is.

so yes, if we do not increase spending in accordance with needs and they do increase spending, the distance between those bars is going to decrease, thus decreasing our relative advantage.

you also need to look at it in groups. you have to look at the strategic threat posed by the combined expenditures of say, russia and china, to our expenditure.

not a single person criticizing our defense spending (and it absolutely warrants criticism) is proposing HOW to fix the problem in a pragmatic, realistic way that accounts for political reality. democrats talk about universal health care. republicans want congress spending their time prosecuting hillary clinton. then the next election comes up, nothing has been done regarding defense reform and low and behold - none of the representatives lose their jobs. why would they change their focus?

[Edited on March 16, 2017 at 3:02 PM. Reason : a]

[Edited on March 16, 2017 at 3:03 PM. Reason : a ]

3/16/2017 3:00:49 PM

Cabbage
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Yeah, it's a really neck and neck race.

3/16/2017 3:03:15 PM

Cherokee
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again, you're only looking at the budget. you are not taking into account what the budget provides. you need to compare the capabilities that exist with each threat and ourselves versus what each budget is, and then factor in growth and how the growth in said budget impacts those capabilities.

do this - subtract the 150 billion in waste from our column. now go look at budget versus capabilities for our enemies. factor in their projected growth and try to interpolate what happens if we do not increase our budget.

keep doing it by changing what % of the eliminated waste gets reinvested back into defense. point is, there is a certain level that has to increase year over year. at the moment, that increase has to account for whatever it contributes to waste. you can target both at the same time but if you solely focus on waste, you're moving backwards.

Look I could be wrong here, but no one is arguing with any logic. People are just going "look at the gap in numbers, why should we worry." Context and substance matter.

[Edited on March 16, 2017 at 3:10 PM. Reason : a]

3/16/2017 3:07:08 PM

Cabbage
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I see no reason to believe that, even when all of your factors are accounted for, a commensurate gap between us and China or Russia would still not be present. It's not like China and Russia have zero waste.

I mean, there's a huge fucking gap in that graph. You're the one trying to explain it away with unsupported hypotheticals. Give me some concrete evidence that the gap is much narrower than it appears to be, not a bunch of "what ifs".

3/16/2017 3:16:11 PM

thegoodlife3
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Quote :
"But I'm not going to pretend that the world can remain generally peaceful by decreasing our defensive spending to the point that we are no longer advancing research, upgrading existing weapons and testing/deploying new weapons."


why can't spending levels stay the same instead of increasing the defense budget by more than $50 billion?

spending that much just for the sake of spending it in favor of other domestic programs is the definition of waste

[Edited on March 16, 2017 at 3:31 PM. Reason : what has changed over the last year to warrant such an increase?]

3/16/2017 3:29:24 PM

synapse
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Quote :
"It's not like China and Russia have zero waste."


For sure, but I'd imagine their military industrial complexes are more efficient than ours per $ spent.

Quote :
"The DoD has reported that the PLA Air Force (PLAAF) is "rapidly closing the gap with western air forces across a broad spectrum of capabilities," and that China "will endeavor to shift its focus from territorial air defense to both defense and offense."

While there have been reports that the Chinese will overtake the US in air superiority by 2030, Air Force Gen. Lori J. Robinson said that training and support for US pilots gives them an "unbelievably huge" advantage over the Chinese pilots.

But China has been stepping up its training programs with increasingly realistic drills that are less scripted and more improvisational.

Additionally, the Chinese are developing fifth-generation aircraft, the J-20 and J-31, which are said to rival the US's coming F-35 Joint Strike Fighter."


Quote :
"China's navy regularly makes headlines by expanding its defensive perimeter outward throughout artificial islands in the South China Sea. China is effectively boxed out of the deeper pacific by a string of islands and nations around its borders.

It has also made a point of modernizing its naval vessels, especially in the area of submarines and antiship cruise missiles.

China plans to increase its submarine fleet from 62 to as many as 78 by 2020, according to the US Department of Defense. It is also undergoing efforts to build additional aircraft carriers, and currently using its current vessel, the Liaoning, to train on and design carrier-ready aircraft.

This testimony from an expert on China's navy before Congress in July 2015 illustrates just how far the PLA has come:

China is on course to deploy greater quantities of missiles with greater ranges than those systems that could be employed by the US Navy against them. China is on track to have quantitative parity or better in surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) and anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCMs), parity in missile launch cells, and quantitative inferiority only in multi-mission land-attack cruise missiles (LACMs)."


http://www.businessinsider.com/chinese-us-military-comparison-2016-8

http://www.rand.org/paf/projects/us-china-scorecard.html

3/16/2017 3:34:34 PM

Cherokee
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Quote :
"why can't spending levels stay the same instead of increasing the defense budget by more than $50 billion?"


because
Quote :
"advancing research, upgrading existing weapons and testing/deploying new weapons"


but really, because our adversaries are catching up and increasing their spending

[Edited on March 16, 2017 at 3:59 PM. Reason : a]

3/16/2017 3:59:03 PM

thegoodlife3
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you have to provide evidence to back up an empty statement like that

especially for an increase in spending as much as this

3/16/2017 4:03:22 PM

Cherokee
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Quote :
"you have to provide evidence to back up an empty statement like that

especially for an increase in spending as much as this"


see post above mine for starters

btw, an aircraft carrier costs 13 BN. that's one piece of hardware. a new submarine is 2 BN. a 54 BN increase is not as dramatic as it sounds. isn't it less than 10% of the current/previous budget?

http://www.military.com/daily-news/2014/12/18/congress-again-buys-abrams-tanks-the-army-doesnt-want.html

also, some more info regarding waste.

[Edited on March 16, 2017 at 4:13 PM. Reason : a]

3/16/2017 4:09:39 PM

moron
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But unless the military asks for a new aircraft carrier or submarine, why build it? Where/why are we deploying these? And those take years to build anyway, that's no good for an imminent threat.

I thought Americans were tired of wars, trump mocked bush for this, trump voters routinely cited Obama drone program as something they hated. This boost in military funding will cutting other programs doesn't make sense.

3/16/2017 5:03:28 PM

A Tanzarian
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Quote :
"On after-school programs, Mulvaney said services intended to help feed hungry students in order to improve their academic performance deserve to be cut because proof of that progress has not materialized.

“They're supposed to be educational programs, right? I mean, that’s what they’re supposed to do. They're supposed to help kids who don't get fed at home get fed so they do better in school,” Mulvaney said. “Guess what? There's no demonstrable evidence they're actually doing that. There's no demonstrable evidence they're actually helping results, helping kids do better in school… the way we justified it was, these programs are going to help these kids do better in school and get better jobs. And we can’t prove that that’s happening."


Compassionate Conservatism ©

3/16/2017 5:04:48 PM

synapse
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Quote :
"btw, an aircraft carrier costs 13 BN. that's one piece of hardware. a new submarine is 2 BN. a 54 BN increase is not as dramatic as it sounds"


Like I said I don't think this is being spent on hardware, but I'd prefer it was.

Then there's this:

Quote :
"Here’s the truth: The Trump administration measured its $54 billion increase against budget caps put in place by the 2011 Budget Control Act. But the Obama administration routinely spent above those caps, and it accounted for a large portion of that $54 billion in its last budget projection. “Just to keep what you have now, $35.5 billion are already spoken for,” says Katherine Blakeley, a research fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

That leaves $18 billion. Now, for sure, to most other government agencies $18 billion would be an epic windfall. (That’s basically NASA’s entire budget.) But in the Defense Department, it doesn’t go that far.
So … how should the Defense Department spend their whole NASA’s worth of dough? Defense wonks have a few ideas."


[Edited on March 16, 2017 at 5:27 PM. Reason : https://www.wired.com/2017/03/trump-spend-extra-54-billion-defense/]

3/16/2017 5:08:57 PM

Cherokee
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Quote :
"But unless the military asks for a new aircraft carrier or submarine, why build it? Where/why are we deploying these? And those take years to build anyway, that's no good for an imminent threat.

I thought Americans were tired of wars, trump mocked bush for this, trump voters routinely cited Obama drone program as something they hated. This boost in military funding will cutting other programs doesn't make sense."


So, you also have to plan ahead for what's going on down the road. You can consider the investments/advancements China is making on stealth fighters and training, for instance, as something that needs to be addressed now.

Say it takes them 5 years spending CNY X to gain 10% relative advantage.

Say it takes us 5 years to build a next generation stealth fighter and train to use it (obviously it's not 5 years, but just for comparison's sake).

If a 10% gain for the Chinese is considered critical by our military strategists, you have to start investing now so that when they reach that 5 year mark, we've also reached a 5 year mark with new technology/better training.

In the meantime, you also have to spend money on technology/etc. needed today such as re-enlistment bonuses, health care, recruiting, training, maintenance, repairs, training ops, regular ops, etc.

Keep in mind too that part of the reason China is able to catch up as quickly as it is is due to our horrific cyber security. We spend 20 years R&D on a stealth fighter. The Chinese steal the designs (or even just basic designs). That shaves off like 5-10 years of their effort to catch up. Even if they didn't get critical intel with respect to, say, the paint we use or whatever, simply getting the aerodynamic shape right alone saves them a lot of time.

Until we can prevent them from doing that we also have to invest based on that threat alone.

More accurately speaking, though, Synapse's post alone mentions the Chinese intention to increase the submarine fleet pretty substantially. If it takes then 10 years to do it, we should start increasing/modernizing our fleet as well. Means we'd have to start now.

As for the second part of your quote, people are always tired of war, especially the ones that live through it and fight in it. The problem with politicians is that they campaign on that message. Then they are given all of the intelligence and assessments on what's going on in the world and they go "well shit, WW3 if we don't keep fighting these small brush fires everywhere."

Humans, at least at present, operate on a zero sum game. Until that changes within us, the world will operate on the premise that if you aren't gaining power you're losing it elsewhere.

Edit
Sorry, I think I missed another point you made in your statement. While they may not be asking for, say, 3 aircraft carriers or 26 submarines at the moment, the cost of logistics with respect to supporting ongoing ops while also training/rotating/repairing/maintaining is very significant. So in that respect, that 54 BN could go pretty quick.

Wasn't the war in Iraq or something costing like $1 BN a day at one point? Maybe that was Afghanistan (or both combined).

Either way, it goes quick.

And of course, some element of this increase is for pandering, for providing money for pet projects and for political posturing (I'm tough on ISIS - I support the military - etc.).



[Edited on March 16, 2017 at 6:17 PM. Reason : a]

[Edited on March 16, 2017 at 6:25 PM. Reason : a]

3/16/2017 6:12:38 PM

NyM410
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He is embarrassing our country on a daily basis. Now with our closest ally, the UK by his ridiculous claims.

He is seriously a mentally ill man.

3/16/2017 6:42:55 PM

thegoodlife3
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yet some are still caping up for his absurd budget

3/16/2017 7:00:01 PM

NyM410
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It has a less than zero chance of passing the House. No point in even discussing it. MIGHT get 50 yays.

3/16/2017 7:39:04 PM

Cherokee
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Quote :
"He is embarrassing our country on a daily basis. Now with our closest ally, the UK by his ridiculous claims.

He is seriously a mentally ill man."


Shit, what did he do now?

3/16/2017 7:39:45 PM

eyewall41
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Acosta: Press briefing was depressing to watch
http://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2017/03/16/sean-spicer-wiretap-claims-press-brief-depressing-acosta-tapper-lead.cnn
Anyway I wonder if anyone realizes Trump's budget eliminates funding for programs like meals on wheels, home heating assistance, and an organization that helps homeless vets and that is the tip of the iceberg.

3/17/2017 1:30:42 AM

BEU
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I mean the news is covering it. I still don't know why lower income people vote Republican. The vast majority of the changes have been biased towards helping the richest.

3/17/2017 7:40:10 AM

dtownral
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because most voters aren't sophisticated enough to understand what actually happens in government so they base their voting on who says things they like and the democratic party has completely abandoned working class issues in favor of identity politics

its pretty simply really

3/17/2017 8:30:51 AM

jbtilley
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Quote :
"And I posted



Do you really think they're about to run past us?"


You're looking at individual countries. I think the goal is to be able to defend ourselves when the rest of the world eventually unites against us.

[Edited on March 17, 2017 at 8:34 AM. Reason : -]

3/17/2017 8:33:51 AM

NyM410
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^^^^^ Spicer (on Trump's behalf) accused British intelligence, with no evidence but the word of a 9/11 truther, of colluding with Obama to wiretap him illegally. Thankfully it appears that we have a good man (McMasters) on the NSC now who already officially apologized to Britain. Imagine if Flynn was still around...

Here is the thing that bothers me. Trump is such a sociopath that he simply can't admit he made something up. Honestly, the media and even myself would accept it if he simply said "I shot tweets off the cuff without having any information. I'll try harder to restrain myself from doing that in the future." His bar is so infinitesimally low that if he did that the story would go away.

[Edited on March 17, 2017 at 8:37 AM. Reason : X]

3/17/2017 8:37:04 AM

rjrumfel
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Good ol' Rex is indicating that his way to fight the nuclear armament of North Korea is more...nuclear armament.

3/17/2017 8:38:17 AM

synapse
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Quote :
"I still don't know why lower income people vote Republican. The vast majority of the changes have been biased towards helping the richest."


They aren't the ones benefitting from meals on wheels or homeless vet programs, and they're big fans of rich people.

3/17/2017 8:41:30 AM

NyM410
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^^ I mean Trump said that multiple times compaigning.

Some of the worst takes in political history were "take him seriously, not literally."

3/17/2017 8:46:16 AM

Cherokee
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Quote :
"I think the goal is to be able to defend ourselves when the rest of the world eventually unites against us."


That's actually part of my point.

Take the Korean War - we weren't just fighting North Korea. We were fighting against all of the aid, training and weapons the Soviet Union provided them. And then of course, it turned into the Chinese flooding across the border so we were fighting them as well.

In modern context, you can think of regional alliances based on our footprint. In SE Asia, you're looking at China/North Korea/Russia. Russia/China are also working to pry the Philippines away from us.

In the Middle East, you're looking at Russia/Iran/Syria/Hezzbolah.

In Africa you're looking at China and the beginnings of Russia as well.

Sprinkle in a little Al Qaeda/ISIS and Boko Haram and you can see how this adds.

Edit - Wanted to add this, in fairness, since I just saw this today:
Quote :
"Downturn. Russia's defense budget is taking its deepest hit since the bad old days of the 1990s, Jane's reports. The numbers out of Russian Federal Treasury show that Russia's defense budget has been slashed by a quarter in 2017 relatively to last year. Russia had hoped to be spending more on defense and modernizing its weapons. But falling oil and gas prices as well as Western sanctions following its invasion of Ukraine and annexation of Crimea have taken a toll on the Russian treasury and Moscow's ability to subsidize a defense expansion."


http://www.janes.com/article/68766/russia-announces-deepest-defence-budget-cuts-since-1990s?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=New%20Campaign&utm_term=%2ASituation%20Report

[Edited on March 17, 2017 at 9:51 AM. Reason : a]

3/17/2017 9:41:51 AM

TerdFerguson
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Economic might is the military might of the 21st century.

$54bn is slightly more than what the highway trust fund distributes every year. It's roughly what the US invested in solar panels (public and private) last year.

Worried about the Middle East or Russia? Invest in other forms of energy and suddenly the Middle East's importance is diminished and Russia can't even make its pension payments. China? Goose our GDP and China will trip all over itself to fall in line and trade with us as they try to keep their billion workers employed, etc.

There are opportunity costs to investing in the military. Would you rather be a country who's first reaction in a conflict is to reach for its pistol or a country that can open or close its wallet and get people to fall in line?

3/17/2017 10:04:17 AM

MONGO
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The thing that fascinates me about the GCHQ story is that Spicer read a quote from Andrew Napolitano on Fox & Friends as proof that GCHQ ordered the wire tap. He literally got his intelligence for that claim from Fox News.

3/17/2017 10:38:36 AM

Cherokee
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That's where Trump gets his PDB.

3/17/2017 12:17:56 PM

NyM410
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Embarrassing us again. Yay!

3/17/2017 2:41:20 PM

Cherokee
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http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/17/politics/donald-trump-angela-merkel/index.html

Quote :
"Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump finally addressed his claim that his White House predecessor wiretapped him Friday, joking that he and German Chancellor Angela Merkel had "something in common, perhaps."

The President was asked by a German reporter why his White House had cited a Fox News report that claimed that the British surveillance agency GCHQ had been used to wiretap Trump Tower during the election campaign.
He did not apologize to the British government after it said that the report of UK surveillance was "ridiculous."
Turning to Merkel, who was angry to find out after leaks by Edward Snowden that the US National Security Agency had tapped her phone, Trump said "at least we have something in common"."

3/17/2017 3:29:21 PM

moron
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Even though Trump is an idiot for continuing to push this statement when everyone is saying it's a lie, that's a pretty funny response.

3/17/2017 3:31:24 PM

bdmazur
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I think Trump intentionally leaked his 12-years-old tax return to distract from the wiretapping investigation results. It was a pretty smart move, because it mostly worked.

3/17/2017 4:34:06 PM

eyewall41
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3/18/2017 9:44:29 PM

GrumpyGOP
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Quote :
"china and russia are catching up (more so china, russia to an extent). that implies we have to ratchet things up."


I'm really not convinced that they are. Their militaries are improving, but that's different from saying that they're closing the gap.

But more importantly, the problems that the U.S. military has are not best fixed by handing them more money. There are systemic problems that DoD, Congress, and the President ought to be focusing on that would cause our defense dollars to go a lot farther. And all of them ought to start with a procurement and contracting process that is so politicized, inefficient, and corrupt that it poses a threat to national security.

About the only way I would be in favor of an increase in military spending, at this point, would be if it was used to cover universal 2-year conscription. That would actually have some positive spillover effects, rather than just dumping more money into a military-industrial complex that is offering declining returns on investment.

3/19/2017 9:53:21 AM

Cherokee
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^agree on the 2 year thing. I'd almost argue 2-4 years prior to undergrad would be HIGHLY beneficial.

Quote :
"And all of them ought to start with a procurement and contracting process that is so politicized, inefficient, and corrupt that it poses a threat to national security. "


Soon as most people stop chanting "lock her up" and start chanting "fix the government" I think that's possible.

^^fucking killed me

[Edited on March 19, 2017 at 1:07 PM. Reason : a]

3/19/2017 1:07:27 PM

NyM410
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Democrats will be MASSIVELY disappointed today just like Republicans were when Comey hit the hill last summer.

[Edited on March 20, 2017 at 8:33 AM. Reason : But the Orange guy is shook at least]

3/20/2017 8:33:14 AM

synapse
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Quote :
"Democrats will be MASSIVELY disappointed today..."


How so?

3/20/2017 8:45:23 AM

NyM410
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Just feel that whatever Comey says today won't meet wild expectations. I've thought all along Russia did coordinate with WL to deligitimize Clinton but not to have Trump win but rather cause chaos.

Too many Dems expect him to talk about collusion.

3/20/2017 9:05:05 AM

Cherokee
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Yea I think today is primarily about the Trump wiretapping allegations.

3/20/2017 9:09:38 AM

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