900,000 Real Jobs Waiting to be Created

That’s right. There are 900,000 jobs that the government could be and should be creating right now … and they are “government” jobs which existed about 20 years ago … and were axedunder the auspices of a “peace dividend”.

That’s right. I’m talking about DoD jobs including 600,000 active duty military positions.

At no time in our history since World War II (as far back as the data goes that I researched) has the United States tried to fight a war, or wars, with so few active duty personnel.

I served in the military from 1980 to 1984. During that period there were approximately 2,000,000 active duty personnel. The military, by that time, had already been drastically reduced from the Viet Nam era peak of approximately 3,400,000 active duty personnel.

The post Viet Nam active duty strength remained relatively constant until the end of the first Iraq War. Then under the Bush I and Clinton administrations the “peace dividend” was declared and the number of active duty personnel has been steadily declining since. By January of last year, the total active duty number had reached a low of less than 1,380,000. During his last State of the Union address, George Bush II announced his plan to recommend adding about 100,000 members to the active duty military. The latest data (January 2009) put the number of active duty member at slightly over 1,409,000.

I personally felt it was a fatal mistake after 2001 of the Bush administration not to increase the military strength back to approximately 2,000,000 … especially with its ambitious plan to attack Al Queda in Afghanistan and later to invade Iraq. It just didn’t make sense. Former President Bush’s plan last year to increase forces by 100,000 was basically too little too late especially after years of demoralizing failures which might have been prevented with greater manpower.

Technology simply can’t do it all. That was Donald Rumsfeld’s lesson. I’m not sure that he actually learned it. And, I don’t know that Defense Secretary Gates knows any better than Rumsfeld. Looking at the monthly numbers since January 2008 indicate that manpower has only increased by 35,000 … hardly 100,000.

Increasing the active duty military from 1.4 million to 2 million is only an increase of 600,000. So, where do the other 300,000 jobs come from?

A review of the statistics indicate that there is generally one civilian DoD employee for every 2 active duty members. There’s the other 300,000 jobs.

President Obama has vocalized a position of getting the “situation in Afghanistan” under control and continuing the fight against Al Queda and the Taliban there while leaving approximately 50,000 troops in Iraq.

Yet, when commanders in Afghanistan asked for 35,000 additional troops, Obama only authorized sending 17,000. Why?

They just don’t exist.

In spite of all of the warm and fuzzy feelings that a lot of people have about Barack Obama being elected president, he hasn’t necessarily made the world or this country a safer place to live in. Our enemies still exist and they are just as determined as ever to destroy our culture, society and country.

There is no indication that the world is a safer place to live than during the last years of the Cold War when we maintained a military force of 2,000,000 active duty personnel. In fact the last time our forces were near its current low was in 1950 … just before the onset of the Korean Conflict.

Training bases will have to be enlarged and some reactivated. Stateside active duty bases will have to be enlarged and some reopened.

Instead of the “collateral damage” that many communities experienced from the base closings over the past 20 years, there will be “collateral” benefits. Many new jobs will be created in the civilian sector related to construction and services. New businesses and opportunities will emerge.

Probably, the most significant benefit will be to the morale of the current active duty members and those that will join them.

Disregarding the obvious risk of being assigned to zones of conflict, there are too few active duty personnel trying to do too many jobs. That is just a demoralizing to those that don’t enter war zones.

In addition, there are too many civilian contractors “doing” jobs that were once performed by active duty personnel. These contractors have no vested interest in the well being of active duty personnel like other active duty members would have. Simply talk to someone on active duty and you will understand what I’m talking about regarding civilian contractors. Unfortunately, many of the current active duty members are too young or too new to the service to know that many of their frustrations regarding being on active duty were once nonexistent when other active duty personnel were performing many of these jobs. They sense something is wrong but frequently can’t put their finger on it while constantly complaining about trying to get services from people who “just don’t seem to care”.

In addition, where there is a DoD presence in the form of a military installation, there are per capita payments made to the local communities for services provided to dependents such as payments to public school systems.

So, what will it cost? The current DoD budget is around $580 billion. What if it costs another $300 billion?

To me, this is a win-win solution. We need the augmentation of the military and we need the directed infusion of capital into our economy. This seems infinitely preferable to the undirected and wildly flailing appearance of the approach the administration seems to be taking to date.

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Linda Ketner, Liberal Democrat, on the Economy and Deregulation: Part II

One of Linda Ketner’s recent ads during the campaign is to rail against the Republicans for deregulation. In her ad she states that eight years ago the Republicans passed into law legislation that overturned laws from the 1930’s which were designed to protect Americans from Wall Street … or something pretty close to that.

I don’t know what she’s referring to that was passed eight years ago … but in 1999 President Clinton signed into law the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act which overturned the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933.

According to an article on MoneyNews.com, MoneyNews – Clinton: Deregulation Not to Blame for Crisis, the Glass-Steagall Act, among other things, separated commercial and investment banking.  Former President Bill Clinton stated in an interview with Business Week that the legislation he signed didn’t completely deregulate the banking industry. In fact he said in answer to a question about this,

“No, because it wasn’t a complete deregulation at all. We still have
heavy regulations and insurance on bank deposits, requirements on banks
for capital and for disclosure.”

Former President Clinton went on to add,

“I thought at the time that it might lead to more stable investments
and a reduced pressure on Wall Street to produce quarterly profits that
were always bigger than the previous quarter,”

and,

“I have really thought about this a lot. I don’t see that signing that
bill had anything to do with the current crisis. Indeed, one of the
things that has helped stabilize the current situation as much as it
has is the purchase of Merrill Lynch by Bank of America, which was much
smoother than it would have been if I hadn’t signed that bill.”

Maybe Ms. Ketner needs to check her dates … or she was talking about something else, but … this sounds suspiciously like what she was referring to. She was talking about deregulation and the current financial crisis, wasn’t she? Well, so was former President Clinton on Oct. 1, 2008.

I suppose Ms. Ketner is more of an expert on the economy than President Clinton. After all, she has been advocating low interest loans in South Carolina since 1991 of the type that got Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into trouble in the first place.

I also thought it was noteworthy that such great Democratic minds as Senators Chuck Schumer, Chris Dodd,  Dick Durbin, Tom Daschle, John Edwards, John Kerry and Joe Biden all also voted for this bill. That quite a list of current Democratic economic and financial experts as well as presidential and vice-presidential hopefuls. And don’t forget about former Democratic President Bill Clinton.

But then, Ms. Ketner knows more about the economy than any of them. After all, she grew up in a town of 500, taught high school and college, runs a business and is a member of a struggling middle class family …right? I wonder if she taught History … or Economics … a lot of dates to remember, facts to get straight ( or make politically correct ) and theory to understand.

Linda Ketner is the Democratic candidate for the South Carolina First Congressional District.

Ms. Ketner, you need to take this issue up with Bill Clinton, because he says what you’re saying “just ain’t so”.

Ms. Ketner needs to come up for air and check her facts.

Barack Obama’s Acceptance Speech in Denver

Barack Obama has finished his speech and all of the Democrats at Mile High Stadium are now celebrating and an emotional and inspiring arrrangement of music is playing in the background like a score accentuating the climax of a major Hollywood blockbuster.

I’m sure for many, it was a very inspirational speech … full of a lot of ambitious plans and lofty ideals. Personally, I admire ambitious plans and lofty ideals.

Anyone who has followed political campaigns for a few cycles, let alone half a decade, have heard it all before.

Change. Change. Change.

I’ve been listening to that mantra for the past 50 years beginning with the JFK that Obama alluded to. Sometimes it’s worked and sometimes it hasn’t as far as winning a political election.

Barack Obama is simply one more JFK, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. He’s also another George McGovern, Michael Dukakis, Al Gore or John Kerry.

Win or loose, they all have the same message … change, change change. And what do we get? More of the same, same same.

All a person simply needs to do is look at who is in Congress … Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Dick Durbin, Ted Kennedy … the very same people who, after promising the most unified and cooperative Congress in the history of the United States, wound up giving us one of the most divisive, vindictive and unpopular Congresses in the history of the United States … one which Barack Obama was part of … consistently towing the Democratic Party line … more consistently than any other Democrat currently in Congress.

I suppose what struck me the most about Obama’s speech, other than it’s typically inspiring rhetoric, was it’s consistent and absolute hypocrisy.

Accuse McCain of doing nothing about renewable energy for his 30 years in Congress? What about Biden’s 35 years of doing nothing … as well as Ted Kennedy’s, Harry Reid’s, Dick Durbin’s … all of these senior senators that are going to kick him around like a beach ball just as John Kennedy was by the senior Democratic senators did during Kennedy’s administration. And Barack Obama is more “junior” than Kennedy was.

Education, energy, defense,reducing bureacracy, natural disasters, and on and on … ad infinitum. It’s a great shoppng list. Too bad it’s an old one that been presented time and time again by men more capable than Barack Obama.

Obama attacks lobbyists … but simply look a the who’s who list of Democratic rats that cautiously waited to see who was ahead or who it looked like was going to win before jumping on his band wagon … or look at the even more dispicable list of political cronies who either bailed on or betrayed Hillary and Bill Clinton to grab a brass ring on the winning ticket. Those are the real lobbyists who have their own strings of “registered” lobbyists who will perpetuate the system in Washington.

Barack Obama isn’t going to change that. If any of these people actually thought he would, Obama would be a distant memory known as another failed “also ran”.

While Howard Wolfson is now talking about the “meat and potatoes” in Obama’s speech, I’m sitting here wondering … “What meat and potatoes???”

I have sat here and intently listened to a generic, generalization of a laundry list which is, at least, nearly as old as I am.

What’s new????

Where is the change????

“Barack, if you want change, then ask all of those Democratic voters you have gathered there in Denver to vote out all of those old democratic cronies that have been clinging to your coat tails for what seems like eternity. Shake them off and make a real change.

“And get rid of that David Axelrod. It’s hard for people to take your cry of, “Foul.” seriously when the hypocrisy of your doing the same thing … and frequently first … is dirtying the water. That boat just doesn’t float with anyone who has half a brain.”

If you’re under 10 years old, then this is a new and inspiring speech. If you’re older than 10, then you just haven’t been paying attention for the past however many years.

Even the venue is reminescent of events that took place around 70 years ago. And that’s a little creepy.

Bill Clinton’s Speech at Democratic National Convention 2008

After a rousing and protracted round of applause, Bill Clinton gave an enthusiastic endorsement for Barack Obama apparently laying aside all of the animosity that attracted so much attention during the Democratic primary campaigns. In doing so, Bill Clinton requested that the nation return to the prosperity of the 1990’s under the Clinton administration.

One of his last points was that like he, Bill Clinton, in 1992 was young and accused of being too young and inexperienced to be president, Barack Obama is also being accused of being too young and inexperienced to be president. Clinton claimed that, as his presidency was successful, Obama’s presidency will also be successful.

Bill Clinton did leave out any reference to John Kennedy who was also a very young president.

What Clinton also failed to point out were the differences in the world situation today compared to the beginning of his presidency, situations like the current Iraq War, the resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan and the resurgence of Russia as a threat to peace and stability in Europe, problems and threats that Bill Clinton didn’t have to face. A young and relatively inexperienced John F. Kennedy did have similar problems and his inexperience was exhibited by an ineffective meeting with Nikita Khrushchev, resulting in the construction of the Berlin Wall, the Cuban Missile Crisis which nearly led to World War III and the guarantee of Cuba remaining a communist state by selling out the Cuban exiles in the United States and elsewhere. Clinton, in contrast, was inaugurated president in a time of relative peace. The immediate threat created by Iraq following its unprovoked invasion of Kuwait had been eliminated by the first Iraq War under the Bush administration and the Soviet Union had already been dissolved through the efforts of Ronald Reagan. Neither did Clinton mention his failed policy and withdrawal from Somalia, his failure to neutralize bin Laden when an opportunity arose, his failure to recognize the Al Quaeda threat that existed after the first bombing of the World Trade Center which led to the 9/11/2001 attack on the World Trade Center or his failed negotiations with North Korea, to name a few. He also failed to mention it was his policy and administration which began the process of globilization or the American economy which, as claimed by many, has led to the loss of many high paying American jobs manufacturing jobs as well as jobs in the technology sector. During his administration the process of outsourcing of jobs to foreign countries began in full force.

Clinton did take credit for a period of prosperity during the 1990’s. He failed to mention that the economy was already recovering from a mild downturn in economic growth in the first part of the 1990’s prior to his inauguaration nor did he mention that many of his expensive and socialistic plans were curbed by the election of a Republican controlled Congress two years after his election which led to the moderation of many of his policies and plans.

Clinton stated that Barack Obama would be a staunch defender and supporter of the Constitution failing to recognizie Obama’s equivocation of the Second Amendment and his ardent support for a judiciary which is prone to legislate from the bench and not follow the Constitution, effectively bypassing the elected legislative branch of government.

Clinton attacked to Bush administration for “cronyism” following the Katrina disaster in New Orleans several years ago, again failing to admit to the political cronyism exhibited by the then Democratic governor of Louisiana and the re-elected Democratic mayor of New Orleans resulting in billions of dollars of waste and fraud in Lousiana following Katrina. He also failed to mention that the citizens of Louisiana have since partially corrected that problem by electing a Republican governor for that state.

He did mention that Barack Obama has the background to deal with the changing population of the United States and the growing interdependence of the United States with the rest of the world. I suppose he was referring to Obama’s suggestion that all Americans should learn Spanish and that Obama with his history of multiculturalism would be more inclined to help Americans adjust to a position of more dependence on the rest of the world rather than achieving a degree of independence and security from world threats.

I suppose like those politicians of old, like the one that I heard many years ago,Once Upon a Time at a County Democratic Party Meeting …,Bill Clinton is one of those who put party first over all else. Bill Clinton is a great speaker. Everyone knows that the true sign of a great speaker is their ability to inspire as much by what they conveniently fail to say as what they actually do say.

Terry McAuliffe: Bill Clinton First Two Term President Since FDR

At first I thought, “Wait a minute. We’ve had a number of two term presidents since FDR.”

But on second thought, all of the elected two term presidents except for Clinton were Republicans. Right.

Let’s look at them:

Truman (Democrat) filled the unexpired term of Roosevelt and was re-elected once.

Next, Eisenhower (Republican) was elected to two terms.

Kennedy (Democrat) served almost three years of his first term.

Johnson (Democrat) finished Kennedy’s term and was elected for a full term once. He then announced he wouldn’t run for re-election.

Nixon (Republican) served his first term and was re-elected, then Watergate.

Ford (Republican) finished Nixon’s second term and was defeated in his run for re-election.

Jimmy Carter (Democrat) served one term and was defeated in his attempt to serve a second term.

Ronald Reagan (Republican) served two terms.

Bush, Sr. (Republican) served one term then was defeated in his attempt for a second term

Clinton (Democrat) served two terms.

Bush, Jr. (Republican) has served two terms.

Mr. McAuliffe was obviously referring to Democrats only.

Joe Andrew Again: Joe Claims He had an Epiphany

Wow!

This guy’s weird! Literally.

On Fox and Friends this morning, Joe Andrew basically stated in a live interview … I’m mentioning all of this because he also didn’t appear drugged … that he woke up one morning this week and decided that Barack Obama was the best candidate for the Democrats, that he has been inspired by Barack Obama like he was inspired by Bill Clinton back in the 1990’s.

It appears that, somehow, Joe found Barack’s repudiation of Jeremiah Wright inspiring. I’m a little reluctant to say awe inspiring because I would use Joe’s timing for changing his endorsement to be an act invoking awe.

While most sane Americans are raising questions in their minds about the suitability of Barack Obama to be president because of his extremely tardy and still rather lackluster repudiation and comdemnation of Jeremiah Wright and then, it appears, only because Wright basically called Obama a liar … a response to a personal attack and not necessarily a response to all of Wright’s other outrages … well … Joe finally gets an epiphany.

Does anyone other than myself get the impression that Joe’s timing chain is skipping a little?

Well, I think Joe’s been sitting at idle for a long time and his brain misfired repeatedly this week.

“Putt,putt, POW! … putt, putt, putt, POW! … Putt, putt, putt …”

Get a tune up, Joe. The smoke is clouding your mirror.

Bingo!!!! Ideology versus Theology

I knew something was stinking up the woodpile but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Then I ran across this post:

http://pullonsupermanscape.typepad.com/pull_on_supermans_cape/2008/03/

identity-religi.html

This is a must read for anyone trying to figure out what’s going on … and everyone should read it.

Basically, Barack Obama is Jeremiah Wright, just pulled out of the gutters of south Chicago and dressed in an Ivy League suit, cleaned up to be more palatable to moderate Americans.

This Black Liberation “Theology” is about a foreign to Christianity as Islam is. It’s no small wonder that Louis Farakan received an award from Wright’s church.

Wright is somehow justified because he “does good” in south Chicago. Well, Hesbollah and Hamas are praised for “doing good” in Lebanon and Gaza strip. If you buy one, you buy the other.

Barack Obama would love to make this about black versus white, the “oppressed” versus the perceived “priveleged” … turning the race card to his own advantage, inciting a type of social warfare … which he’s done, so far, fairly effectively.

Somehow, I get the feeling that American democracy hasn’t been so threatened internally since demagogues like William Jennings Bryan, Huey Long or Joe McCarthy. Each had their own political era and message, but the intent was just the same. No, I’d go further than that. He smells a little of Fidel Castro wooing the middle class in Cuba or even Hugo Chavez in Venezuela.

I’m curious as to how gullible the American public really is and am beginning to appreciate the precarious success of FDR against the likes of Huey Long in the 1930’s, basically a “moderate” populist against a demagogue.

The funny thing is that Bill Clinton has met his master, someone who can sweet talk the public better than he did for eight years. And, now that they’re in competition per his surrogate, Hillary, the same crowd that threw roses at his feet in adulation are now feeding him to the lions.

All hail Barack, the new master!!

And the sycophants are falling at his feet; ergo, Bill Richardson!