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Archive for February 12th, 2011

James Carafano: Reagan’s Military Buildup a Model for Secure Defense

Posted by Dr. Fay on February 12, 2011

In this article  by Heritage Foundation research fellow James Jay Carafano at the Washington Examiner,  he discusses how President Ronald Reagan’s military spending policies could be used as a model by the current Congress to responsibly strengthen our national defense.

Reagan’s buildup was the model for a secure defense

By: James Carafano 02/06/11 8:05 PM

They called him “Cap the Knife.”

After stints as director of the Office of Management and Budget and Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, Casper Weinberger had a rep.  He was the guy in government determined to rein it in.

So when President Reagan picked him to head the Pentagon, many expected Weinberger to continue his cost-cutting ways.  But Cap and the Gipper both knew that defense required a different mind-set: The size and scope of the military should be determined by what is needed to protect the nation, not by how much money is available after budgeting for other federal functions has been completed.

The Constitution enumerates more specific powers and responsibilities to “provide for the common defense” than for any other obligation of national government.

Reagan and Weinberger inherited an American military that had gone “hollow” after four years of neglect under the Carter administration.  Meanwhile, the Soviets had gone on the offensive seemingly everywhere. To keep America safe in a dangerous world, Cap the Knife oversaw double-digit increases in defense spending.

As the Reagan administration rebuilt America’s hoary arsenal, it bent every effort to be a good steward of tax dollars. The media hyped stories of high-priced hammers and toilet seats, but the Reagan administration actually introduced more reforms and oversight in government contracting that any president since Eisenhower. It was under Reagan, for example, that the Federal Acquisition Regulations were first established.   

The Reagan model should guide the new Congress in its handling of the Pentagon budget.  

The last Congress failed utterly to meet its responsibilities, passing no budget, not even a defense appropriations bill. Instead, government has been operating under a continuing resolution set to expire March 4.

There is talk of extending the CR through the end of the fiscal year.  That would leave the Pentagon more than $18 billion short of what it needs this year to fund operations, repair equipment, train our forces, and maintain readiness. Simply extending the CR “will be a disaster for us,” said Defense Secretary Robert Gates. “We will have real problems.”

These are not problems that could be easily fixed in next year’s budget. Shortfalls in readiness pile up, putting even more pressure on future budgets.
 You don’t gain efficiencies by just cutting defense funds.  Less defense spending just gets you less defense.  But we could be getting a bigger bang for our defense buck.  That, however, would require Congress and the administration to follow the Reagan formula of: 1) enacting reforms that make the Pentagon operate more efficiently; and 2) basing defense requirements on strategic needs.

Congress now faces a Reagan moment.  It has an opportunity to tame big government without undermining national defense.  And it has two ways to make the most of this opportunity.  It could pass an adequate defense appropriations bill for FY 2011 and leave the rest of the budget under the CR.  Alternatively, Congress could leave everything under a CR, but stipulate an $18 billion increase in defense funding, and the reductions in other areas needed to offset that increase.

Heritage Foundation budget expert Brian Riedl has demonstrated that it’s quite possible to cut at least $170 billion from the budget over the next two years without taking a penny from defense and without undercutting the government’s ability to meet any of its constitutional responsibilities.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s birthday.  Congress could find no better way to honor his legacy than to do its budgetary duty in a way that ensures peace through strength without wasting the taxpayers’ money.

Examiner Columnist James Jay Carafano is a senior research fellow for national security at the Heritage Foundation (heritage.org).

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PALIN FLASHBACK: ‘Going Rogue’ Palin trumps best sellers in first week

Posted by Dr. Fay on February 12, 2011

This article posted at Reuters describes the success of Governor Palin’s first book during the first week after its release.

‘Going Rogue’ Palin trumps best sellers in first week

Nov 25, 2009 15:55 EST

Watch out James Patterson, Stephen King and Dan Brown. Sarah Palin has you beat — at least this USA-POLITICS/PALINweek.

All that experience on the campaign trail has served Palin well. The 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate, who is popular among many U.S. conservatives, has excelled in the first week of her multi-state, campaign-style media tour to promote her new book which was released on Nov. 17.

The former Alaskan governor’s memoir, “Going Rogue: An American Life” topped the charts in its first week of publication.  Nielsen Bookscan said the new author eclipsed best-sellers Patterson and King whose books also debuted that week.

In a comparison of other first week book sales by current or past presidents or vice presidential candidates, Palin came in second only to former President Bill Clinton who sold about 606,000 copies of his memoir ”My Life” in its debut week.  The former Republican vice presidential candidate’s sales at 469,000 were just above Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s “Living History”.

The figures don’t include numbers from big box stores Wal-Mart, Sam’s, BJs or libraries.

USA-POLITICS/MCCAIN-PALINFans have told of driving for hours to wait in long, snaking lines at Palin’s book-signings which are reminiscent of last year’s campaign stops.

Palin’s sales were far above those of President Barack Obama, for his 2007 best-seller “Audacity of Hope”, which garnered him so much success as he launched his run for the presidency.

Palin, who stirred controversy with her new book even before it landed on the shelves, complained in her memoir that she was “all bottled up” last year by advisers to her running mate, the Republican presidential candidate John McCain.

After the book was published, McCain strongly defended the top advisers from his 2008 campaign who were sharply criticized by Palin in “Going Rogue.”

For more Reuters political news, click here.

Photo credits:  Reuters/Larry Downing (Palin’s book on sale at a book store) ; Reuters/Rebecca Cook (Palin signs books in Grand Rapids, Michigan on Nov. 18)

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Sarah Palin hires chief-of-staff

Posted by loricalabrese on February 12, 2011

CNN has learned that Sarah Palin has added a veteran Republican strategist to serve as chief-of-staff for her political action committee, Sarah PAC, one of the biggest indicators yet that the 2008 vice presidential nominee is planning a run for the White House.

POLITICO also confirmed the report late Friday night that Michael Glassner will serve the key role.

Michael Glassner, an attorney and longtime adviser to former Kansas senator and presidential candidate Bob Dole is familiar with Palin since he managed vice presidential operations during John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign. Glassner was in charge of overseeing Sarah Palin’s travel, schedule and communications. A Jersey City resident, Glassner is a former executive at IDT Corp., a global communications company based in Newark and began coordinating vice presidential details even before McCain chose a running mate.

“We are happy and excited that Mike is joining our team,” Sarah PAC spokesman Tim Crawford told CNN.

As Politico reports, “One of the key hurdles most Republican operatives say Palin has to clear in order to seriously run for president is hire an experienced staff. Glassner is a step in that direction.”

As published on Examiner.com

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Video: Sarah Palin on Egypt and the Tea Party

Posted by Dr. Fay on February 12, 2011

Governor Palin shared her thoughts with Judge Napolitano on Freedom Watch on Thursday about the situation in Egypt and about the Tea Party.  The video can also be viewed here.

President Mubarak has since resigned.  Yesterday Governor Palin tweeted:

Media: ask “Will Obama Admin exert as much ‘constructive’ pressure on Iranian govt to change & allow freedom ~ as they just did for Egypt?”

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »