This issue is a bit of a catch-22. No Republican leader is going to even attempt to reduce wasteful military spending, and any Democratic leader who brings up the idea is going to be met with criticism that he is going to completely gut the military. The current problem with our military is not a lack high-tech weaponry, it's the lack of soldiers. From Obama's website: "Obama will increase the size of ground forces, adding 65,000 soldiers to the Army and 27,000 Marines." I understand the need for us to maintain our technological superiority., but I agree with his priorities in this matter.
I can imagine why Obama's statements alarm you, but as much as Republicans try to paint him as such, Obama is not actually an 1960's-era liberal. Democrats are polling better than Republicans on national defense, and I'm happy to see them embracing stronger positions on this than they have in the past.
Rick, what do you mean by the statement "Slowing down current weapons projects only makes them more expensive over the long term"? You're probably right, but I'm not sure how that works. On the flipside of this dynamic, pushing ahead development of weapons projects, as Bush has done with missile defense, also increases the overall cost.
The problem with slowing down the contracting process for weapons systems occurs in the "out years" of the contracts - the extra years added on. Companies are allowed (usually) to make up 120% of the costs of development. Obviously, more years means more costs. And companies like to play accounting games so that the actual costs don't show up until those out years either.
It may look like a savings in the first years but you pay more in the end.
And to believe that Obama's liberalism isn't taken straight out of the 1960's, one need only see that clip. That is classic anti-defense rhetoric that we've heard from the 60's through today.
ed.Comment Posted By Aaron On 21.05.2008 @ 10:04
While the Constitution was designed to limit the destructive power of bad presidents, the last seven years have been a testament to what shenanigans are possible when the president and congress march in lock-step. If this happens with the Democrats in power, I'm hoping the relatively fractured nature of the Democratic party will prevent any really horrible laws from being passed.
No matter who is elected president, I believe the next administration will correct some of the abuses of the current administration. We'll see less cronyism, an independent Justice Department, and more openness in general. And I bet the Republicans, as the minority party in Congress, will conveniently rediscover fiscal responsibility and help make it a priority.
On a side note, I think that that Obama, a former Constitutional law professor, will do as much to protect and promote the Constitution as Bush, a former oil man, has done to favor the oil industry.Comment Posted By Aaron On 1.05.2008 @ 16:41
Rick, based on the accuracy of your figures, your knowledge of supercomputing, and your command of sarcasm, I'd say you're solidly in the elitist egghead camp. I have a ton of spare Obama literature if you need any.Comment Posted By Aaron On 25.04.2008 @ 12:47
Even if the Left did create this creature, they lost control of it a long time ago. It is now run by the free market -- ratings and advertising rule the day. Conservatives should rejoice.
I'm an Obama supporter, but I wasn't particularly offended by the questioning the other night. There have been a ton of debates, and some of the moderators are bound to ask questions that some people don't like.
The Right's view that the media has an overall leftward bias is absurd. There is plenty of evidence for "bias" on both sides of the aisle. During the leadup to the Iraq war and the 2004 election, I remember fuming about the media's rightward bias. But I was wrong. The fact is that there is no bias. If something makes people sit down, watch the news, and not change the channel, then it makes money for the network. And that's all that matters.
"Gotcha" politics is perfect for the type of sensationalist news coverage that we have today. "Gotcha" politics has destroyed the emphasis on objectivity that used to exist. It's the free market at work. What could be better?Comment Posted By Aaron On 18.04.2008 @ 17:21
This issue calls into question Obama's judgment? I totally disagree. The type of judgment you're talking about is the practice of judging every situation in life through the lens of a presidential campaign. Is your preacher a little nutty? Leave the church because the national press won't like your preacher. Are you serving on a board with some hippy wacko? Don't just ignore him -- leave the board because the national press won't like him.
Hillary Clinton has lived a good part of her life with her 'eye on the prize.' Many of her decisions in life were made with the presidential campaign in mind. Where has it gotten her? Everyone thinks she's phony and calculating. That's not the kind of judgment I want in a president.
George Bush hides behind his army of advisors and doesn't read the news. Anyone with a different point of view is banned from his town hall meetings. Where has it gotten him? Everyone thinks he's cowardly, close-minded, and out of touch. That's not the kind of judgment I want in a president.Comment Posted By Aaron On 18.04.2008 @ 16:17
This is a nothing story and I have proof.
There is a type of person who was born too late to be politically active in the 60's but now espouses radical 60's viewpoints. This is they type of person that Barack Obama has been accused of being, due to his limited association with Bill Ayers (I mean "William!" I don't know the guy!). As a moderate Democrat, I can spot these people as easily as (I'm guessing here) a moderate Republican might spot a survivalist or a KKK member. I call them hippies, but they're not exactly. And Obama isn't one of them:
- Hippies wear hemp pants and sandals. Obama wears suits and normal-person shoes.
- Hippies smell like body odor and patchouli. Obama has been described (by Joe Biden, who I trust) as "clean."
Hippies are usually white...
See? Case closed. Now can we please talk about the important issue -- that Obama once got into a fender-bender with a gay guy, so he's probably gay now.Comment Posted By Aaron On 18.04.2008 @ 13:04
Rick's completely right. These mini scandals are all about air time in the MSM. If the MSM is talking about Davis's gaffe, they're not going to be talking about Obama's. Regardless of whether Davis is truly racist or whether people have a right to be offended, this is definitely a tactical blunder during an election year.Comment Posted By Aaron On 15.04.2008 @ 08:39
"aaron what in the world did you just say? i mean really did any of it pertain to what rick wrote?"
Fair questions. I was commenting on the topic in general. I posted here because I like Rick's blog.Comment Posted By Aaron On 20.03.2008 @ 12:38
Political correctness is obviously alive and well in the right wing, but it has to do with patriotism rather than racial sensitivity. A person has to be very careful about how he phrases any criticism of American society or government if he doesn't want Republicans to freak out.
I personally think America is the greatest country in the world. However, I do occasionally get fed up with certain things. Let's suppose, very hypothetically, that we had a fiscally responsible president, and I used the words "Man, I hate this country!" instead of "Man, I hate that the government just raised my taxes so we could attack Iraq!" Would that really mean that I hate everything about America? Definitely not. But I would certainly offend the fragile sensibilities of any staunch Republicans within earshot.
The comments of Rev. Wright do not affect me in any way. They don't make me love my country any less, and I'm not worried that his parishioners will beat me up or overthrow of the government. And as a non-telepath I'm not convinced that they are representative of Wright's true feelings about America, or the true feelings of his congregation. The guy was a marine, and that's more than most people do to serve the country. The only reason his words are on the national stage is because of right-wing political correctness. Perhaps I should be more thin-skinned and easily offended, but I'm not.
As a preacher's kid, I've met a lot of preachers, and they're all a little kooky. Most intelligent people take what their preacher says with a grain of salt, even if they really like their preacher. I would suggest counting to ten and practicing what the right wing preaches about left-wing political correctness. I know itâ€™s fun to be angry, but ulcers are a real drag.Comment Posted By Aaron On 18.03.2008 @ 18:26
Awesome. I never expected to see someone outside of slashdot who knows what the heck an event horizon is. You made my day.Comment Posted By Aaron On 29.02.2008 @ 10:02