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Member since: Tue Dec 30, 2014, 06:11 PM
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Proposed Defense Budget For Fiscal 2016 Brings Cheer To Lockheed

Source: Forbes

Published February 6, 2015

President Obama has proposed a significant hike in the country’s defense budget for the fiscal year 2016, bringing cheer to major defense contractors such as Lockheed and Boeing. Over the past few years, as the government slashed its defense spending due to spending limits mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2011, overall contract volume fell for most defense contractors including Lockheed.

The budget proposes an increase in the overall defense budget by about 4% to $585.2 billion in fiscal 2016, from $560.3 billion in the current fiscal year. However, the base defense budget in this overall budget has been proposed to grow at a much higher rate, as the allocation for overseas contingency operations has been proposed to decline to $50.9 billion, from $64.2 billion. The decline in OCO was expected, as troops continue to withdraw from Afghanistan. After accounting for this decline in OCO, the base defense budget, which includes military personnel and procurement costs, has been proposed to grow by a whopping $38 billion or 7.7% in the fiscal year 2016.

If this budget is approved by Congress, the increase in weapons procurement will benefit Lockheed, which is the largest defense contractor of the U.S. government. Specifically, the defense budget for fiscal year 2016 proposes spending $10.6 billion on purchasing 57 F-35s. Lockheed is the main contractor developing this fighter jet. The company produced and delivered 36 F-35s in 2014.

Read more: http://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2015/02/06/proposed-defense-budget-for-fiscal-2016-brings-cheer-to-lockheed/

The article mentions 57 new F-35s - a product already shown to be the worst boondoggle in military aircraft history.

My thanks to NobodyHere, who first brought this article to my attention in an earlier post.

The dark side of Winston Churchill’s legacy no one should forget

Washington Post
Published February 3, 2015
By Ishaan Tharoor

The dark side of Winston Churchill’s legacy no one should forget

There’s no Western statesmen — at least in the English-speaking world — more routinely lionized than Winston Churchill. Last week marked a half century since his funeral, an occasion that itself led to numerous commemorations and paeans to the British Bulldog, whose moral courage and patriotism helped steer his nation through World War II.

The power of his name is so great that it launches a thousand quotations, many of which are apocryphal. At its core, Churchill’s myth serves as a ready-made metaphor for boldness and leadership, no matter how vacuous the context in which said metaphor is deployed.

But there’s another side to Churchill’s politics and career that should not be forgotten amid the endless parade of eulogies. To many outside the West, he remains an unvarnished racist and a stubborn imperialist, forever on the wrong side of history. Churchill’s detractors point to his well-documented bigotry, articulated often with shocking callousness and contempt. “I hate Indians,” he once trumpeted. “They are a beastly people with a beastly religion.” He referred to Palestinians as “barbaric hordes who ate little but camel dung.” When quashing insurgents in Sudan in the earlier days of his imperial career, Churchill boasted of killing three “savages.” Contemplating restive populations in northwest Asia, he infamously lamented the “squeamishness” of his colleagues, who were not in “favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilized tribes.”

Churchill’s racism was wrapped up in his Tory zeal for empire, one which irked his wartime ally, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt. As a junior member of Parliament, Churchill had cheered on Britain’s plan for more conquests, insisting that its “Aryan stock is bound to triumph.”

India, Britain’s most important colonial possession, most animated Churchill. He despised the Indian independence movement and its spiritual leader, Mahatma Gandhi, whom he described as “half-naked, seditious fakir.” Most notoriously, Churchill presided over the hideous 1943 famine in Bengal, where some 3 million Indians perished, largely as a result of British imperial mismanagement. Churchill was both indifferent to the Indian plight and even mocked the millions suffering, chuckling over the culling of a population that bred “like rabbits.”

Leopold Amery, Churchill’s own Secretary of State for India, likened his boss’ understanding of India’s problems to King George III’s apathy for the Americas. Amery vented in his private diaries, writing “on the subject of India, Winston is not quite sane” and that he didn’t “see much difference between (Churchill’s) outlook and Hitler’s.”

At: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2015/02/03/the-dark-side-of-winston-churchills-legacy-no-one-should-forget/

Argentine president ends China trip with 22 cooperation deals

Buenos Aires Herald
Published February 5, 2015

CFK ends China trip with 22 cooperation deals

President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner ended her official trip to China and is travelling back to the country after signing 22 new bilateral agreements to boost the strategic alliance, that dealt with communications, culture, nuclear energy and aerospace technology.

During her three-days visit the head of State met with top Chinese businessmen and with China’s President Xi Jinping, Prime Minister Li Keqiang and Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress Zhang Dejiang.

Li expressed to the Argentine president his “satisfaction for the fruitful agreements reached” that “will boost” the relations between the two countries. Ms. Kirchner in turn pointed out that the bilateral relation is “a high priority” of her administration.

Source: http://buenosairesherald.com/article/181254/cfk-ends-china-trip-with-22-cooperation-deals-

U.S. economy cools in fourth quarter, but consumer spending shines

Source: Reuters

U.S. economic growth slowed sharply in the fourth quarter as weak business spending and a wider trade deficit offset the fastest pace of consumer spending since 2006. The slowdown followed two back-to-back quarters of bullish growth and is likely to be short-lived given the enormous tailwind from lower gasoline prices. Other data on Friday showed consumer sentiment jumped to an 11-year high in January.

Gross domestic product expanded at a 2.6% annual pace after the third quarter's 5%, the Commerce Department said in its first snapshot of fourth-quarter GDP. A gauge of underlying demand, which excludes trade, inventories and government, increased at a 3.9% pace. That compared to the third quarter's 4.1% rate. Analysts said the data indicated domestic fundamentals were strong enough to cushion the blow on growth from weakening overseas economies.

For all of 2014 the economy grew 2.4%, compared to 2.2% in 2013. The report came two days after the Federal Reserve said the economy was growing at a "solid pace," an upgraded assessment that keeps it on track to start raising interest rates this year.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/01/30/us-usa-economy-idUSKBN0L30BC20150130

It should be noted as well that since President Obama took office, GDP has grown by an average of 2.2% - compared to 1.6% during the Bush administration.

Argentine government moves to dissolve domestic intelligence agency

The Guardian
Published January 26, 2015
By Jonathan Watts

Argentine government moves to dissolve domestic intelligence agency

Argentina’s president announced a major shakeup of her country’s intelligence network on Monday in her most combative step yet to address the fallout from the death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman.

In her first televised address since the prosecutor’s body was found at his apartment on 18 January, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner said she would support a bill to dissolve the existing structure – which employs more than 2,000 people – and replace it with a new federal intelligence agency.

It follows a protracted struggle with the intelligence agency that has come to light after the suspicious death of Nisman, which the president blames on rogue spies who are trying to undermine her.

Government officials have pointed the finger of blame at spies whom they say were working with Nisman and feeding him wiretap information.

Chief among them is Antonio Stiusso, who until last month was the general director of operations and eavesdropped on the president’s political opponents. He was fired when Fernández discovered he was working with Nisman to build a case against her. He is believed to be in the U.S.


Nisman case: Argentina’s Jews are (unwittingly) serving the far right

Published January 27, 2015
by Dr. Meir Margalit

Argentina’s Jews are serving the far right’s silent revolution
I ask myself how these wise and good-hearted people could have fallen into a trap and wound up on the same side as the country’s fascists.

It has been proved once again that in Argentina truth is stranger than fiction. What appeared to be a conspiracy theory has taken on real form. Dark forces from the past are returning, keen to reap vengeance on the Kirchner family because late Argentine President Néstor Kirchner, the husband of his successor Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, put them on trial for crimes against humanity.

About a week ago I wrote in Haaretz’s Hebrew edition that the murder of prosecutor Alberto Nisman reeked of a well-timed right-wing conspiracy, in cahoots with former police and army officials, to overthrow the government and destroy Argentina’s democracy, still weak after 30 years.

And the (Jewish) community doesn’t notice that the far right is latching onto the legitimate protest and building the revolution's foundations based on its criticism. Not only does this attempt not serve the Jews, but you don’t have to be a historian to know that it will target them sooner or later.

So Argentina’s Jews, whose pain is real, have become pawns in the hands of foreign interests who have nothing to do with them. Worse, they are serving a historical process that has been timed by forces that not only care nothing about the Jews, but will settle accounts with them the first chance they get.


The plot thickens in the Nisman case: car leads to more Intelligence questions

Buenos Aires Herald
Published Saturday January 25, 2015.

The late AMIA special prosecutor Alberto Nisman drove an Audi that belonged to the company Palermopack SA, whose owner is the son-in-law of Hugo Anzorreguy. Anzorreguy led the Intelligence Secretariat (SI, formerly known as SIDE) during Carlos Menem’s tenure, and was being investigated by Nisman for having covered up the 1994 AMIA terrorist attack that killed 85 people.

Palermopack, the company that owned the car used by the late prosecutor, is run by Fabián Aníbal Picon, Anzorreguy’s son-in-law, according to information confirmed by former Airport Security Police (PSA) chief Marcelo Sain. Picon is allegedly linked to Eugenio “Pipo” Ecke, who reportedly worked for former CIA agent Frank Holder.

Relatives of the victims of the AMIA bombing were tapped. Former Metropolitan Police head Jorge “Fino” Palacios, who also took part in the inquiry into the AMIA attack, was accused of recording phone conversations of opposition politicians (those opposed to the current right-wing mayor, Mauricio Macri). Nisman also accused Palacios of being involved in a plot to cover up the attack.

Source: http://buenosairesherald.com/article/180288/car-leads-to-more-intelligence-questions

Nothing new: Nisman's report fails to fan flames of conspiracy.


A complaint with no proof, but chock full of politically-charged assertions contradicted by both established fact and Interpol.

How do you say Benghazi in Spanish?
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