Advertisements

Tag Archive: Budget Cuts


IRS Warns Of Possible Shutdown

 

 

 

 

 

” The IRS is considering its own temporary shutdown due to recent budget cuts enacted by Congress, its chief said Thursday.

  IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said furloughs — forced unpaid days off for employees as part of an IRS closure — is one idea reluctantly being tossed about to save money, though they are hoping they will not have to go there.”

 

 

” “ People call it furloughs; I view it as: Are we going to have to shut the place down? And at this point, that will be the last thing we do, … but there is no way we can say right now that that wont happen,” Koskinen told reporters at a Thursday press conference on the upcoming tax season. “Again, I would stress that would be the last option.”

  He said a shutdown would mean the IRS would “close the agency for a day, two days, whatever days it would take to close the gap that we can’t otherwise close in a reasonable way.”

  The agency estimates each closed day would save $29 million. “

 

Politico

 

 

I think we can all agree that , given recent reports , that the IRS has plenty of room for belt-tightening . 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

$39,643,352 Worth Of NIH Funding That Could Have Gone To The Ebola Vaccine

 

 

 

 

” The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has spent more than $39 million on obese lesbians, origami condoms, texting drunks, and dozens of other projects that could have been scrapped in favor of developing an Ebola vaccine.

“ Frankly, if we had not gone through our 10-year slide in research support, we probably would have had a vaccine in time for this that would’ve gone through clinical trials and would have been ready,” said NIH Director Francis Collins, blaming budget cuts for his agency’s failure to develop a vaccine for the deadly virus.

  However, the Washington Free Beacon has uncovered $39,643,352 worth of NIH studies within the past several years that have gone to questionable research.

  For instance, the agency has spent $2,873,440 trying to figure out why lesbians are obese, and $466,642 on why fat girls have a tough time getting dates. Another $2,075,611 was spent encouraging old people to join choirs.

  Millions have gone to “text message interventions,” including a study where researchers sent texts to drunks at the bar to try to get them to stop drinking. The project received an additional grant this year, for a total of $674,590.

  The NIH is also texting older African Americans with HIV ($372,460), HIV and drug users in rural areas ($693,000), HIV smokers ($763,519), pregnant smokers ($380,145), teen moms ($243,839), and meth addicts ($360,113). Text message interventions to try to get obese people to lose weight have cost $2,707,067.

  The NIH’s research on obesity has led to spending $2,101,064 on wearable insoles and buttons that can track a person’s weight, and $374,670 to put on fruit and vegetable puppet shows for preschoolers.

  A restaurant intervention to develop new children’s menus cost $275,227, and the NIH spent $430,608 for mother-daughter dancing outreach to fight obesity.

Sexual minorities have received a substantial amount from the NIH. The agency has now spent $105,066 following 16 schizophrenic LGBT Canadians around Toronto for a study on their community experiences.

  The total for a project on why gay men get syphilis in Peru is now $692,697 after receiving additional $228,425 this year. The NIH is also concerned about postpartum depression in “invisible sexual minority women,” with a study that has cost $718,770.

  Millions went to develop “origami condoms,” in male, female, and anal versions. The inventor Danny Resnic, who received $2,466,482 from the NIH, has been accused of massive fraud for using grant money for full-body plastic surgery in Costa Rica and parties at the Playboy mansion.

  How transwomen use Facebook is the subject of another NIH study worth $194,788.

  The agency has also committed $5 million to “mine and analyze” social media to study American’s attitudes toward drug abuse, and $306,900 to use Twitter for surveillance on depressed people.

  The NIH has also spent $15,313,372 on cessation studies devoted to every kind of smoker imaginable. Current studies are targeted at American Indians ($2,899,954); Chinese and Vietnamese men ($424,875); postmenopausal women ($4,151,850); the homeless ($558,576);Korean youth ($94,580); young schizophrenics ($397,802); Brazilian women smokers ($955,368);Latino HIV-positive smokers($471,530); and the LGBT community ($2,364,521).

  Yale University is studying how to get Heavy Drinkers to stop smoking at a cost of $571,799. Other projects seek to use Twitter to provide “social support to smokers” ($659,469), and yoga ($1,763,048) as a way to quit.

  An NIH project studying sighs cost taxpayers $53,282.

  On Tuesday, Health and Human Services (HHS) had to outsource efforts at an Ebola vaccine to the Baltimore-based Profectus BioSciences Inc. The company will receive $8.6 million to research and test their vaccine, a fraction of NIH funding that went to the above projects. “

 

Thanks to Elizabeth Harrington and Washington Free Beacon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Republican Cuts Kill

 

 

 

 

” The Agenda Project is a progressive non-profit political organization founded in 2010 by  author Erica Payne. This ad, featuring clips of Mitch McConnell, Pat Roberts, and many other Republicans implies that austerity cuts to the CDC and NIH are responsible for the 2014 Ebola outbreak. This ad will run in Kentucky and other states leading up to the election. “

   If the CDC hadn’t been corrupted and politicized into the “State Nanny” , monitoring every aspect of our lives from guns to organic foods and stuck to dealing with actual , you know , diseases they would be better prepared to deal with the Obama Dem’s “Open Borders , Americans be damned policy” consequences . Read about the history of the CDC’s “mission creep” below .

Real Clear Politics

 

 

Almost 8,000 Navy Chiefs Face Ax

 

 

 

 

” Almost 8,000 senior enlisted personnel must go before a continuation board later this year to determine whether they can continue to serve or must retire.

  The board — the first since early 2013 — will convene Oct. 27, according to a Navy document released Aug. 14.

  At risk are between 7,500 and 8,000 retirement-eligible active and reserve E-7s, E-8s and E-9s with at least at least three years’ time in rate.

  But there is a big upside to the process: Clearing out senior enlisted who have engaged in misconduct or whose performance has slipped noticeably makes way for hot running sailors to move up.

  The board has no exceptions; even the most senior sailors — up to and including Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Mike Stevens — will have their records reviewed.”

 

 

     These military purges serve multiple purposes for the Obama regime: They free up moneys to fund more “social programs” read: vote buying , they rid the service of the most experienced war fighters thus continuing Obama’s policy of weakening our national security and they allow the tyrant to install personnel more loyal to himself all under the guise of being more responsible with our taxpayer dollars . 

 

USA Today

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Army To Force Out 550 Majors; Some In Afghanistan

 

 

 

” About 550 Army majors, including some serving in Afghanistan, will soon be told they have to leave the service by next spring as part of a budget-driven downsizing of the service.

  Gen. John Campbell, the vice chief of the Army, acknowledged Friday that telling troops in a war zone that they’re out of a job is a difficult task. But he said some of the soldiers could join the National Guard or the Army Reserve.

  The decision to cut Army majors comes on the heels of a move to slash nearly 1,200 captains from the ranks. Army leaders were criticized at the time for giving 48 of them the bad news while they were deployed to Afghanistan.

  The Army declined to say how many majors will be notified while they are at the battlefront.

” The ones that are deployed are certainly the hardest,” Campbell told reporters. “What we try to do there is, working through the chain of command, minimize the impact to that unit and then maximize the time to provide to that officer to come back and do the proper transition, to take care of himself or herself, and the family.” “

 

 

 

More here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Australia’s Global Warming Budget Is About To Get Slashed By 90 Percent

 

 

 

 

” Australia’s conservative coalition is set to cut more than 90 percent of the funding related to global warming from their budget, from $5.75 billion this year to $500 million, over the next four years.

  Environmentalists and leftist politicians in the country protested the move by conservative Liberal Party Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s governing coalition to slash funding for climate programs, arguing such funding for green energy and reducing carbon dioxide emissions were necessary to stop global warming.

  But Abbott’s government shot back, saying that the country needed to reduce the size of government and improve the economy.

” The coalition government acknowledges the role of renewable energy in Australia’s energy mix,” said Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane. “There is over $1 billion in funding for existing renewable projects to be completed over the coming years.” “

 

Read more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Michelle Obama Riverdances Through Dublin, Helps Rack Up $7,921,638.66 Vacation Tab For Taxpayers

Barack Obama, Michelle Obama

” When it comes to tracking the cost of Obama family vacations there are two primary challenges.  First, the Obamas are prolific jet-setters, so there are many details to track. And second, the Obama administration, clearly embarrassed by these lavish and frequent family vacations, stonewalls the release of records at every turn.

  But we have been relentless in pursuit of this information. Our attorneys file the lawsuits and make our case, and our investigators pour through pages of records and crunch the numbers. And the information we’ve uncovered – information that would otherwise remain under lock and key – shows that the Obamas have a disturbing lack of regard for taxpayer resources.

  Most recently, when reviewing the Obama family travel log, Judicial Watch recently obtained records from the U.S. Department of the Air Force and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security revealing that President Obama’s June 2013 trip to Belfast, Ireland, including a Dublin sightseeing side trip by Michelle Obama, her daughters, and her entourage, cost the taxpayers $7,921,638.66. (Per usual, and owing to the enormous public interest in Michelle Obama’s luxury travel, our discovery earned quite a bit of press coverage.)

Here’s the breakdown from the two agencies.

  •  According to the Department of Air Force documents, the flights to, from, and around Ireland for the June 17 – 19, 2013 trip totaled 33.6 hours at $228,288 an hour, which comes to a flight expense alone of $7,670,476.80  (These records came in response to a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information lawsuit filed on January 13, 2014.)
  •  According to the DHS documents, the total cost for “security and/or other services” for the Dublin side-trip by Michelle Obama and her entourage was $251,161.86, including $55,004.85 at the Shelbourne Hotel and $70,855.44 at the Westbury Hotel. Vehicle rental charges were $114,721. (These records also came in response to a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information lawsuit filed on January 13, 2014.)

  Now I can hear the White House’s defense. This was a business trip. It’s all about diplomatic relations, etc., etc.  And while this might at times be true for the president, it is certainly not true for the other members of the First Family.”

Read on

 

Army Goes To War With National Guard, Seizes Apache Attack Helicopters

 

 

 

 

” All of the Guard’s AH-64 Apache helicopters are scheduled to go to the active Army, and there’s nothing its top brass can do about it.

“ None of us like what we’re having to do,” National Guard Chief Gen. Frank Grass told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday, the military website Defense One reported. “My big concern right now is figuring out how I’m going to move, and how many states I’m going to have an impact on, and what’s the cost of facilities and to retrain pilots. I’ve got to tackle that because the decision’s been made.”

  Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno told members of Congress on Tuesday that the move will save $12 billion through fiscal year 2017, Defense One reported.

  When the logistics are worked out, the Army’s fleet of OH-58 Kiowa helicopters will be divested, its newly acquired Apaches will fill its reconnaissance and scouting needs, and the National Guard will be given UH-60 Black Hawks.”

     Anybody who believes this is about saving money is deluded . This is a power grab pure and simple . While the Feds go about disarming the State guard units so as to deny the states any offensive air assets in the event of an “emergency” , the same Dept of Defense continues to up-armor local police departments with billions in free ordnance .

    Here’s a cost saving idea General , how about you sell the excess MRAPS to allies , thus keeping them out of podunk towns across America and use the proceeds to let the National Guard to keep the Apaches . These ongoing deployments and re-deployments appear to be “battle space preparation” on the part of the Feds .

    Looking at this situation from another angle , the disarming of the Guard plays right into the Obama administration’s continued efforts to destroy American readiness . The Guard has played a pivotal role in the “War on Terror” for the past decade and now the fliers will be unable to train . Just another sop to our enemies as King Obama softens us up for his terrorist cronies .

    Read the rest  

Then again maybe this piece from December’s Conservative Infidel helps clarify the Fed’s motives … 

14 Governors : Prepare State Militia Defenses, To Be Ready Against Obama’s Rogue Federal Forces

 

” Obama fearing a revolution against him by the states, has moved swiftly by nationalizing nearly all National Guard Forces in multiple states; Georgia, Alabama, Kansas, Minnesota, Tennessee, Virginia, Louisiana, South Carolina – to name a few. The Governors of the Great States of Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia still have under their Command-and-Control the State Defense Forces to go against U.S. Federal forces should the need arise. Also important to note: There are NO U.S. laws prohibiting National Guard troops from also joining their State’s Defense Forces. This dilemma occurred during the Civil War with many “citizen soldiers” choosing to serve their states instead of the Federal Government.”

Food Stamp Benefits Will Be Cut Just Before The Holidays

 

 

 

” A recession-era increase in food stamp benefits is set to expire Nov. 1, leaving millions of families struggling to keep food on the table as the holidays approach. And that may not be the last cut to vital food assistance programs they will face in coming months.

As NBC News reports, the decrease in benefits comes as lawmakers also are considering billions of dollars of additional cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which has served as a lifeline to millions of households struggling under a weak economy and high unemployment.

According to recent government data, 23 million households rely on the program to help feed their families. After the food stamp benefit increase expires, a family of four can expect to receive $36 less each month. As NBC notes, that translates to four fewer chickens every month.”

 

    There seems to be some disagreement as to how much the monthly reduction in SNAP benefits will be as the article and graph above attest .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

17,679 Things The Federal Government Has Done Since Sequestration

 

 

” Opponents of the sequester say budget cuts are ruining America and that austerity kills. Reason offers a look at what the feds have been up to since the cuts kicked in.

Over at Politico, they’re quasi-blaming the Navy Yard shooting on cuts.

The president of MIT says sequestration is “choking the innovation economy.”

The Center for American Progress frets that “austerity kills.”

The Atlantic says cuts are “undermining what makes America great.”

The FBI is threatening a 10-day shutdown.

But has sequestration forced government to grind to a halt? To help answer that question, Reason offers this snapshot of what the feds have been up to over the last few months since the cuts kicked in.

Below is a listing of the 17,679 entries published in the Federal Register since sequestration took effect on March 1, 2013. The Federal Register doesn’t capture everything the government has done, of course. But it gives an idea of what this austere, cut-to-the-bone budget has left intact. Click on the links for details about each announcement.”

 

 

 

  • 2013-04790 (3/1/13)
    Selection and Functions of Farm Service Agency State and County Committees
  • 2013-04823 (3/1/13)
    National Organic Program: Notice of Policies Addressing Kelp, Seeds and Planting Stock, Livestock Feed, and Responding to Pesticide Residue Testing
  • 2013-04787 (3/1/13)
    Oranges, Grapefruit, Tangerines, and Tangelos Grown in Florida; Redistricting and Reapportionment of Grower Members, and Changing the Qualifications for Grower Membership on the Citrus Administrative Committee
  • 2013-04863 (3/1/13)
    Filings Required of Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements and Certain Other Related Entities
  • 2013-04862 (3/1/13)
    Ex Parte Cease and Desist and Summary Seizure Orders-Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements
  • 2013-04730 (3/1/13)
    Special Local Regulation; Annual Marine Events on the Colorado River, Between Davis Dam (Bullhead City, AZ) and Headgate Dam (Parker, AZ) Within the San Diego Captain of the Port Zone
  • 2013-04731 (3/1/13)
    Safety Zone; Underwater Escape Event, Seaport, East River, NY
  • 2013-04818 (3/1/13)
    Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder Fishery; Quota Transfer
  • 2013-04815 (3/1/13)
    Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by Catch Vessels Using Trawl Gear in the Western Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska
  • 2013-04822 (3/1/13)
    Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands; 2013 and 2014 Harvest Specifications for Groundfish
  • 2013-04812 (3/1/13)
    Harmonization of Airworthiness Standards-Miscellaneous Structures Requirements

 

This is a tiny sample . For the rest go here .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Austerity Myth

 

 

 

 

” Europe’s struggles prove that “austerity” fails!

With a condescending sigh, they explain that Europe made deep cuts in government spending, and the result was today’s high unemployment. “With erstwhile middle-class workers reduced to picking through garbage in search of food, austerity has already gone too far,” writes Paul Krugman in The New York Times.

One problem with this conclusion: European governments didn’t cut! If workers pick through garbage, cuts can’t be a reason, since they didn’t happen.

Some European countries tried to reduce deficits by raising taxes. England slapped a 25 percent tax increase on the wealthy, but it didn’t bring in the revenues hoped for. Rich people move their assets elsewhere, or just stop working as much.

Iceland was hit by bank collapses — but government ignored street protests and cut real spending. Iceland’s budget deficit fell from 13 percent of gross domestic product to 3. Iceland’s economy’s is now growing.

Canada slashed spending 20 years ago and now outranks the U.S. on many economic indicators.

Around the same time, Japan went the other way, investing heavily in the public sector in an attempt to jump-start its economy, much as the U.S. did with “stimulus” under President Obama. The result? Japan’s economy stagnated.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Afghanistan Might Be the Marines’ Last Fight

” “They’re a service in search of mission,” said Gordon Adams, an American University professor and defense budget expert.

Because of this lack of mission and ongoing budget pressures, the Marines are becoming an endangered branch. In the age of DOD austerity, they represent low-hanging fruit that could easily be picked from the Pentagon’s tree.

 The Marines’ small budget and relatively small force size might seem like an advantage. They are in the process of scaling down their forces from a peak of 202,100 to 182,100 by 2017 – a drawdown that was quietly announced last year.  Their $19.1 billion budget is also considered tiny compared to other Pentagon programs.

In this case, small size and budget are working to the Marines disadvantage. They’re not “too big to fail,” and their moribund mission is reflected in a force that hasn’t performed amphibious assaults for 73 years.

This problem became acute during the Afghan war. The Army was conducting the majority of the ground offensives, and Special Forces were performing many of the high-risk missions once performed by Marines. The other military branches were marginalizing them while illustrating just how outdated their core competency had become.”

 

 

 

 

Update : A well-informed reader offers us a brief history lesson on a previous attempt on the government’s part to mothball the oldest branch of the US military , the USMC …

 

” History repeats itself stutters again. Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson, who served during the Truman presidency from March 28, 1949 until September 19, 1950, focused on cutting defense spending “to the bone and through the bone” as well as on unifying the military services. It was evident that the Marines, “unnecessary” because we had an Army, would have to go.

Then, when North Korea (greatly assisted by Russia) invaded South Korea on June 25, 1950, it quickly became evident that garrison troops from General MacArthur’s Japan and ROK forces in Korea were incapable of holding them. The ROK forces and the few American forces in Korea were forced south and it became necessary to hold the Pusan Perimeter lest they be driven quickly into the sea. Army troops, sent from the U.S. and whereever else available, often disembarked at Pusan with their rifies unloaded, not zeroed and still packed in cosmoline. Their crew served weapons were frequently in comparable condition.

Things were a mess and it was obvious almost immediately that it would be necessary for a horribly shrunken U.S. Marine Corps to call up the reserves to help salvage the situation. The Marines, including many from the reserves,played a significant role in General MacArthur’s September 15, 1950 amphibious invasion at Inchon.

Not oddly, the talk of diminishing/eliminating the Marine Corps became silent when their necessary role, as well as what would likely have happened if they had been disbanded, became obvious.” 

 

Many thanks to danmillerinpanama

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pelosi Can’t Thank Troops On Mother’s Day Because Of Sequestration

 

 

 

 

” The inimitable Nancy Pelosi has added yet another casualty of sequestration to the ridiculous list of “forced cuts” created by the Democrats in their continuing effort to blame Republicans for the budget impasse.

She can’t travel to Iraq on Mother’s Day to thank America’s moms and grandmothers for their service to our country:

“Every year for the past few years on Mother’s Day I’ve taken a delegation to Afghanistan – or Iraq – to say thank you to our moms – and by the way, our grandmothers – who are serving there – to also thank all of our troops for what they do to protect America’s families. I won’t be going this particular weekend because we don’t have – you know, under sequestration – we don’t have (inaudible).” “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHAT MONTY PYTHON CAN TEACH CONSERVATIVES ABOUT SEQUESTER POLITICS

 

 

 

 

 

” One of my favorite Monty Python movies excerpted on the channel is Life of Brian. The film’s stoning scene is actually very instructive for today’s Republican party. In fact, a comment made by the person about to be stoned should be front and center in the mind of every Republican who ever proposes cuts in government spending.

Sounds a little far-fetched, but let me explain.

The scene starts like this: in Jerusalem, 33 AD, a man is brought in front of a crowd holding stones, and a magistrate announces the defendant’s name and the conviction of blasphemy. The sentence will be death by stoning.

The magistrate yells out the charge of “blasphemer,” as the man was caught saying the name of Jehovah, and angrily points at the defendant. The defendant explains that he was merely complimenting his wife’s cooking, saying it was “good enough for Jehovah.” The crowd gasps, ready to start the stoning, and the magistrate yells “he said it again!” The prisoner says “what, Jehovah?” The magistrate shouts “hey, you’re only making it worse for yourself!” To which the man says “how can it get any worse?”

Then he begins dancing and crying out “Jehovah! Jehovah!” to the outraged crowd. But you can’t really blame the guy. If ever he had any inclination to say the name “Jehovah” out loud, he might as well say it now and as many times as he wants. He is about to get stoned to death for saying it anyway. At this point he really has nothing to lose, and it certainly won’t get worse than getting stoned to death.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘I’m Not The Young Muslim Socialist I Used To Be!’ Obama Blasts His Critics And Even Mocks Michelle’s Hair At Correspondents’ Dinner

 

 

 

 

” Pictures of him with Michelle-style bangs, quips about Jay-Z and sideswipes at the media and his political foes helped Barack Obama win laughs at this year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

The traditional send-up speech saw the President earn some laughter at his own expense but also land some funny blows against the media and the Republican Party. 

The President opened with a soft joke about his time in office but increasingly moved onto more controversial territory – even joking about ‘burning books with Michelle Bachmann’.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Senate Passes Bill To End Air Traffic Control Furloughs

 

 

 

” Without any debate, the Senate unanimously passed legislation giving the Department of Transportation flexibility to use unspent funds to cover the costs of air traffic controllers and other essential employees at the Federal Aviation Administration.

The House of Representatives, which is expected to approve the measure, could take it up on Friday, capping a feverish effort by Congress to end the flight delays that were snarling traffic at major U.S. airports and angering travelers.

Some Senate aides said the measure would also give the FAA flexibility to keep open nearly 150 “contract towers” at smaller airports that are staffed by non-FAA employees who help control takeoffs and landings.”

 

 

Illustration by Gary Varvel

 

 

 

 

 

 

Democrats Looking To Retreat On FAA Furloughs

 

 

 

 

” Senate Democrats are beginning to realize that President Obama has dealt them a losing hand on Federal Aviation Administration furloughs linked to sequestration, and they are now trying to minimize the damage.

The entire purpose of sequestration was to inflict pain on the American people until they forced Republicans to raise taxes. But the reality is that the federal government is perfectly capable of reducing the growth of its spending, while still performing what few vital functions it actually performs. And the FAA is a great example.

President Obama requested $15.172 billion to run the FAA for 2013 and Congress initially gave him $16.668 billion. The sequester has since cut the FAA’s budget by $669 million, leaving the agency with $15.999 billion. That’s right: Even after the sequester “cuts,” the FAA actually has more money to spend this year than Obama originally asked for to begin with.”

 

 

 

 

 

Obama Administration Has SLASHED Budget For Domestic Bombing Prevention By 45 Per Cent, Says Former Homeland Security Assistant Secretary

 

In February, President Obama issued a National Policy for Countering Improvised Explosives. 'We must not become complacent,' he wrote

 

 

 

 

” Under President George W. Bush, the Department of Homeland Security had $20 million allocated for preventing the use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) by terrorists working inside the United States. The current White House has cut that funding down to $11 million.

That assessment comes from Robert Liscouski, a former Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for Infrastructure Protection, in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15 that killed three Americans and injured at least 173 others. 

He told MailOnline that the Obama-era DHS is, on the whole, about as well-positioned as it was during the Bush administration to handle the aftermath of the April 15 bombings in Boston, ‘but the Obama administration has continued to cut the budget for offices such as the Office for Bombing Prevention from $20 million started under Bush, to $11 million today.’

But little is known about what role OBP actually plays in attempting to prevent bombings at public events that could be considered target-rich environments

Patrick Starke has headed the office since August 2012. He has lengthy security management experience with a defense contractor, in the Navy, and as an explosive ordnance disposal officer.

On February 26 the Obama White House issued a lengthy National Policy for Countering Improvised Explosive Devices. Obama wrote in an introduction to that document that ‘we have no greater responsibility than providing for the safety and security for [sic] our citizens, allies, and partners … The use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) threatens these interests by killing, injuring, and intimidating citizens and political leaders around the world.’

‘We must not become complacent,’ he wrote.

The policy document included statements about ‘enhancing our focus on protecting American lives’ and ‘screening, detecting, and protecting our people, facilities, transportation systems, [and] critical infrastructure.’ “

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reduced Flying Hours Forces Grounding Of 17 USAF Combat Air Squadrons

 

 

 

 

” REDUCED FLYING HOURS FORCES GROUNDING OF 17 U.S. AIR FORCE SQUADRONS BEING GROUNDED DUE TO REDUCED FLYING HOURS. See complete list below.

““Historically, the Air Force has not operated under a tiered readiness construct because of the need to respond to any crisis within a matter of hours or days,” Hostage said in the statement. “The current situation means we’re accepting the risk that combat airpower may not be ready to respond immediately to new contingencies as they occur.” — ACC Commander Gen. Mike Hostage”

From the AIR FORCE TIMES, link is below:
” WASHINGTON — The Air Force will begin grounding combat air squadrons Tuesday in response to forced spending cuts that have eliminated more than 44,000 flying hours through September, according to internal documents obtained by Air Force Times.

The Air Force’s budget for flying hours was reduced by $591 million for the remainder of fiscal 2013, making it impossible to keep all squadrons ready for combat, according to an April 5 memo signed by Maj. Gen. Charles Lyon, director of operations for Air Combat Command. The across-the board spending cuts, called sequestration, took effect March 1 when Congress failed to agree on a deficit-reduction plan.

Seventeen combat-coded squadrons will stand down effective Tuesday or upon their return from deployments, according to the documents. The Air Force will distribute 241,496 flying hours that are funded to squadrons that will be kept combat ready or at a reduced readiness level called “basic mission capable” for part or all of the remaining months in fiscal 2013, the documents said.

“Units will stand down on a rotating basis so our limited resources can be focused on fulfilling critical missions,” ACC Commander Gen. Mike Hostage said in a statement.

The grounding includes F-22s from the 1st Fighter Wing’s 94th Fighter Squadron at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va. The squadron is returning from a deployment to the Pacific where airmen participated in a high-profile exercise in South Korea.

Other squadrons to stand down when they return to the U.S. include F-16s from the 4th Fighter Squadron at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, which is returning from a deployment in the Pacific; B-1B Lancers from the 34th and 37th Bomb Squadrons at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D.; and A-10s from the 354th Fighter Squadron, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.

The other grounded units include B-52s from the 2nd and 5th Bomb Wings, F-15Es from the 336th, 492nd, 494th and 391s Fighter Squadrons; F-16s from the 77th Fighter Squadron, 555th Fighter Squadron, 18th Aggressor Squadron and the Thunderbirds; and A-10s from the 81st Fighter Squadron, which will close as a result of the fiscal 2013 National Defense Authorization Act.

Grounded associate units — active units sharing aircraft with Air National Guard and Reserve units — include the 158th, 169th, 187th, 442nd and 917th squadrons. Only active-duty pilots in those units are affected by the standdown.

Any flying hours not used by the grounded squadrons will be reallocated to meet Air Combat Command requirements. Additionally, all combat aircraft will stand down the last seven operation and maintenance days in September, the memo said.

“Historically, the Air Force has not operated under a tiered readiness construct because of the need to respond to any crisis within a matter of hours or days,” Hostage said in the statement. “The current situation means we’re accepting the risk that combat airpower may not be ready to respond immediately to new contingencies as they occur.”

Air Force officials had warned that mandatory budget cuts would lead to a reduction of flying hours by 18 percent, with readiness dropping to “sub-optimal levels,” according to information provided to Congress. The drop in flying hours would mean that it could take up to six months to repair the damage to readiness, the Air Force warned lawmakers in a February presentation.

Average aircrews lose currency to fly combat missions within 90 to 120 days of being grounded, and it takes from 60 to 90 days to conduct training to return aircrews o mission-ready status, according to Air Combat Command.

“We’re entering uncharted territory in terms of how we’ve had to take this year’s cuts and make adjustments to mitigate the most serious impacts,” Hostage said. “Remaining as mission-ready as possible for combatant commanders is our priority, and we’re prioritizing spending to ensure this imperative is met.”

Units and aircraft affected
Air Combat Command officials announced a stand down and reallocation of flying hours for the rest of the fiscal year due to mandatory budget cuts. The limitation of flying hours means squadrons will stand down or maintain readiness at the reduced “basic mission capable” level, while others will remain at full “combat mission ready.”

 

The affected aircraft and units, by airframe:

F-22
94th Fighter Squadron — Grounded April 9

27th Fighter Squadron — Basic mission capable through September

3rd Fighter Wing — Two squadrons combat mission ready through September

15th Wing — One squadron combat mission ready through September

49th Wing — One squadron combat mission ready through September

F-15 C/D
67th Fighter Squadron — Basic mission capable through September

44th Fighter Squadron — Basic mission capable through July, then Combat mission ready through September

48th Fighter Wing — One squadron combat mission ready through September

F-15E
366th Fighter Squadron — Grounded April 9

335th Fighter Squadron — Combat mission ready through September

48th Fighter Wing — Two squadrons stand down April 9

391st Fighter Squadron — Stands down April 9

F-16 C/D
8th Fighter Wing — Two squadrons combat mission ready through September

77th Fighter Squadron — Stands down April 9

55th Fighter Squadron — Combat mission ready through September

79th Fighter Squadron — Basic mission capable through July, then combat mission ready through September

555th Fighter Squadron — Stands down April 9

510th Fighter Squadron — Combat mission ready through September

13th Fighter Squadron — Combat mission ready through September

14th Fighter Squadron — Basic mission capable through September

51st Wing — One squadron combat mission ready through September

57th Wing — One squadron (Thunderbirds) stands down April 9

158th Fighter Wing — One squadron stands down April 9

169th Fighter Wing — One squadron stands down April 9

187th Fighter Wing — One squadron stands down April 9

354th Fighter Wing — One squadron stands down April 9

4th Fighter Squadron — Basic mission capable until redeployment

421st Fighter Squadron — Basic mission capable through September

A-10C
75th Fighter Squadron — Basic mission capable through July, then combat mission ready through September

51st Wing — One squadron combat mission ready through September

52nd Fighter Wing — Closing

442nd Fighter Wing — One squadron stands down April 9

917th Wing — One squadron stands down April 9

HH-60G
18th Wing — One squadron combat mission ready through September

48th Fighter Wing — One squadron combat mission ready through September

B-1B
7th Bomb Wing — One squadron combat mission ready through September

28th Bomb Wing — Two squadrons stand down April 9

B-2
509th Bomb Wing — Two squadrons combat mission ready through September

B-52
2nd Bomb Wing — One squadron stand down April 9

5th Bomb Wing — Two combat squadrons combat mission ready through September

E-3B/C/G
3rd Bomb Wing — Basic mission capable through September

18th Wing — One squadron basic mission capable through September

552nd Air Control Wing — One squadron basic mission capable through September

SE-4B
55th Wing — One squadron combat mission ready through September

EC-130H
55 Electronic Combat Group — One squadron combat mission ready through September

OC-135B
55th Wing — One squadron combat mission ready through September

RC-135S
55th Wing — One squadron combat mission ready through September

RC-135U
55th Wing — One squadron combat mission ready through September

RC-135V/W
55th Wing — One squadron basic mission capable through September

TC-135W
55th Wing (training) — One squadron basic mission capable through September

WC-135C/W
55th Wing. — One squadron combat mission ready through September”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even Piers Morgan Criticizes Obama Over Lavish Vacation Spending

 

 

 

 

” On Wednesday, April 3, President Obama announced he would be returning 5% of his paycheck to the federal treasury in a show of shared sacrifice with federal workers facing furloughs because of the sequester. The news came as he once again flew about the country pushing his anti-Second Amendment policies and only days after another lavish vacation indulged by the first family was in the news.

Morgan lambasted Obama’s attempt to spread the pain of austerity to his own household calling it a “pointless exercise” and despaired that the President wasn’t doing something more substantive.

Early in January a calculation of tax dollars spent on Obama vacations came to over 20 million tax dollars. But Keith Koffler estimated that the even the $20 million price tag for the first family’s lavish vacations was actually way too low because it didn’t take into account things like flying the President’s advance teams around the world to prepare Obama’s destination for his impending arrival.

Morgan’s ratings have been cratering for some time despite his oft-repeated high dudgeon on guns. Last month his ratings sunk to a new low finding only 87,000 viewers in the key 25-54 demographic.”

 

 

 

For some perspective on Dear Leader’s sacrifice click on the link below . 

 

 

 

Illustration by Glenn McCoy

 

 

 

 

 

WHAT SEQUESTER? STARS ALIGN (AGAIN) AT OBAMA’S WHITE HOUSE

 

 

 

 

” That means while ordinary Americans can no longer take a stroll through the White House , Obama and his family continue taking lush vacations and hosting lavish parties for their celebrity peers.

“As part of their ‘In Performance at the White House’ series, the President and First Lady will invite music legends and contemporary major artists to the White House for a celebration of Memphis Soul music. The program will include performances by Alabama Shakes, William Bell, Steve Cropper, Al Green, Ben Harper, Queen Latifah, Cyndi Lauper, Joshua Ledet, Sam Moore, Charlie Musselwhite, Mavis Staples and Justin Timberlake, with Booker T. Jones as music director and band leader.

It’s not so bad, though. Reg’lar folks can still “enter” the White House and see next week’s “In Performance” concert via a live streaming link.”

 

 

 

 

Loss Leader

 

 

 

” I’m glad to see a concerned senior Army officer respond to my recent piece on the risks of brain drain inside the U.S. military. Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges undoubtedly speaks for many senior leaders in each service who feel exactly the same way about this looming challenge: “Hey, we don’t even have a problem!”

Maybe, maybe not. Frankly, I remain worried. The issue is not that the best and brightest in the military have already left. My concern is that the worst effects of the ongoing drawdown are still to come — and may well be years away. The people who must ultimately judge whether Hodges’s defense is sound are the junior officers and sergeants wrestling with tough individual decisions about staying in or leaving the service. But for the Army, now is the time to look for leading indicators and craft proactive strategies to avert what could easily become one of the worst unintended consequences of shrinking the force.

Each service will have unique challenges keeping top-drawer talent as numbers drop, budgets tighten, and opportunities to serve in combat dwindle. But the Army most of all faces a perfect storm of vexing issues. It is gradually coming down from a wartime high of nearly 570,000 troops, planning to hit 490,000 by 2017. Most Army leaders and defense analysts expect that number will decline farther — perhaps to 400,000 soldiers or less. Officer and NCO reductions — voluntary and otherwise — under that scenario could number in the tens of thousands.

At the same time it gets smaller, the Army is leaving a decade of combat that has energized the force with an unparalleled focus and sense of mission. The next Army will largely be a garrison force based almost entirely in the United States, with limited opportunities to serve abroad. Even its planned exercise program to rotate units regularly overseas is jeopardized by lack of funding. Convincing experienced combat leaders that this force will be an empowering, exciting place to serve is the ultimate challenge. The bare bones remedies Hodges outlines are not nearly adequate to the task. Fundamental change is needed. Here are a few ways to do it: “

 

 

Senate Votes To Keep White House Closed, Slaughterhouses Open

 

 

 

 

” Senators voted Wednesday to make the first significant changes to the budget sequesters, shifting money to keep slaughterhouse inspectors on the job full time but refusing to rearrange money to reopen the White House for public tours.

The votes came as the Senate debated and passed a bill to fund the government through the rest of the fiscal year — sending it back to the House for final expected approval later this week and averting a government shutdown.

Without that addition money, federal inspectors were going to have to be furloughed, and meat-packing plants can’t operate without inspectors on site. That would have made a serious dent in U.S. meat production.

Industry officials had predicted that the U.S. would produce 2 billion pounds less beef and pork and 3 billion pounds less poultry if the inspectors were furloughed.

Senators nibbled away what they considered the worst parts of the sequester, but they declined to undo President Obama’s decision to cancel White House tours — a move he made earlier this month as one of the casualties of the budget sequesters, setting off a chorus of complaints from Congress and the public.

Sen. Tom CoburnOklahoma Republican, offered an amendment to restore the White House tours, proposing to cut $8 million from spending on national heritage areas in the National Park Service budget.

Mr. Obama himself had proposed the heritage area cuts last year.”

 

 

 

 

Dems preserve US-Mexico food stamp ‘partnership,’ while USDA prepares for meat inspector furloughs

image

” Salmonella outbreaks. E. coli outbreaks. Millions of dollars in economic losses.

 These are among the scenarios the Obama administration warned about last month as it claimed the sequester would force the U.S. Department of Agriculture to furlough meat inspectors. 

  But while the administration prepares to take that step, it continues to pursue a “partnership” with the Mexican government to “raise awareness” about food stamps among immigrants from that country.

   When a top Senate Republican proposed cutting off funds for that program last week — in the form of an amendment to a budget resolution — Democrats on the Budget Committee shot it down. It’s hard to put a firm price on the cost of the partnership, which was launched under the George W. Bush administration.

   But an aide to Sen. Jeff Sessionns, R-Ala., who has railed against the partnership for months, said it could easily be in the millions. Since 2004, the program has blossomed to include dozens of meetings and conferences and health fairs with Mexican officials — all of which cost money, not to mention the cost to the food stamp program of new enrollees brought in as a result of this partnership . “