Pentagon used taxpayer dollar$ meant for masks and swabs to buy military hardware


Trump and his latest Pentagon errand boy

A $1 billion fund Congress gave the Pentagon in March to build up the country’s supplies of medical equipment has instead been mostly funneled to defense contractors and used to make things such as jet engine parts, body armor and dress uniforms.

The change illustrates how one taxpayer-backed effort to battle the novel coronavirus, which has killed more than 200,000 Americans, was instead diverted toward patching up long-standing perceived gaps in military supplies…

The payments were made even though U.S. health officials think major funding gaps in pandemic response still remain. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in Senate testimony last week that states desperately need $6 billion to distribute vaccines to Americans early next year. Many U.S. hospitals still face a severe shortage of N95 masks. These are the types of problems that the money was originally intended to address.

Did you expect the Independent Duchy of Pentagonia to become responsive to democracy and the needs of the whole nation…just because our sleazy, outdated electoral college put a thug from Wall Street in charge of the national treasury?

Republican platform is more important than you think, Mitt

A poll released Monday by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press included an unexpected result: Americans say they are more interested in the party platforms released during the conventions than the speeches…

That must be a letdown for the two campaigns…But it shows real wisdom on the part of the American people…

…The quadrennial party platform is a useful document, reflecting the compromises hammered out among relevant players: activists, interest groups and the presidential campaign. After spending weeks haggling over language, they emerge with a political vision that all can live, and govern, with.

That produces some oddities. The 2012 Republican platform warns against “our dependence on foreign imports of fertilizer,” for example, while demanding that “any value added tax or national sales tax must be tied to the simultaneous repeal of the Sixteenth Amendment, which established the federal income tax.” It recommends the formation of a commission to study whether we should return to the gold standard, the last vestige of which was abandoned under President Richard Nixon.

Too often, discussion of party platforms begins and ends with such wacky bits. It shouldn’t. The Republican platform takes up a consequential 62 pages. The section on economic recovery, for example, is quite detailed about the party’s reigning philosophy of economic growth and how to achieve it. The main problem it cites is too much government; the solution is to cut spending, cut regulations and unleash the private sector to perform its wonders.

Let’s repeat the same foolishness that got us the Great Recession. GWB – THE SEQUEL.

The platform states: “Our vision of an opportunity society stands in stark contrast to the current Administration’s policies that expand entitlements and guarantees, create new public programs, and provide expensive government bailouts. That road has created a culture of dependency, bloated government, and massive debt.”

What’s notable about this is how unrelated it is to our current predicament…In fact, long-run projections for the size of government are not very different today than they were before Obama became president, and the economy began tanking well before the Republicans were out of power.

Republican economists differ somewhat on solutions. Most understand that the failure in ethics and oversight that confounded Greenspan made the housing bubble-and-crash possible. Republican politicians ascribe the guilt to programs started decades before – following current Republican ideology which premises no responsibility for anything. It’s what American conservatism has become.

Read the platform.