9:40 AM, Dec 12, 2013 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
Let me add a word to my comments from Tuesday night supporting the budget deal.
I continue to believe that, as a matter of policy, the defense increase—which at least begins to undo the very considerable damage from a wildly and disproportionately anti-defense sequester—swamps in importance everything else in the deal. Everything else is basically a wash. The defense increase is a real plus.
I continue to believe that, as a matter of politics, the deal is very good for Republicans. If passed, it takes another government shutdown off the table, and allows Republicans to focus on fighting President Obama rather than each other. In particular, it allows Republicans to focus on Obamacare.
And so I believe this is a good deal for conservatives. Let me put it this way: Even if you're a conservative who cares less than I do about defense and doesn't give much of a hoot about helping out the GOP as a whole, you should support or acquiesce in this deal. Building support for the delay, dismantling, and repeal of Obamacare is the most important domestic policy item on the conservative agenda. If conservatives defeat this deal, they're ensuring that at least for the next month—but maybe for longer—they'll be helping the administration in its desperate effort to distract from Obamacare and will be allowing the media, and to some degree the nation, to talk instead about a potential government shutdown and GOP infighting.
So, to my fellow conservatives: This may not have been the deal you'd have negotiated. But it now serves the cause of conservatism to approve it, move on, and re-focus on Obamacare.
4:25 PM, Dec 4, 2013 • By ROGER I. ZAKHEIM and THOMAS DONNELLY
House Armed Services Committee chairman Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon doesn’t look like an insurgent. The quintessential Californian – a man of Reaganesque optimism whose congressional district now includes the Gipper’s presidential library – McKeon has been a steadfast supporter of House speaker John Boehner in turbulent times. Yet, to the green-eyeshade editorialists of the Wall Street Journal, McKeon is leading a “rebellion” of defense hawks, an “act of masochism” threatening the Holy of Holies: the sequestration provision of the Budget Control Act (BCA). McKeon’s crime is that he’s hoping for a 2014 budget deal that would reduce the amount of defense sequestration by half.
3:08 PM, Oct 22, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
It is widely recognized that the effects of the Sequester are felt most emphatically at the Pentagon and in the services. As reported by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. at Breaking Defense, the point was driven home, yesterday, by chief of staff of the Army, General Ray Ordierno, who said:
The arguments that justified Obamacare are already being discredited. Here’s how to replace it.Sep 2, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 48 • By YUVAL LEVIN
In the continuing debate over Obamacare, both the law’s champions and its critics are now focused largely on the mechanics of implementation. This is understandable. The insurance exchanges are supposed to launch October 1, most of the law’s other major provisions take effect January 1, and every week seems to bring fresh news of some delay or dysfunction for critics to highlight and defenders to justify or dismiss.
1:21 PM, Aug 19, 2013 • By JERYL BIER
The latest sequester victim: lawyers. As of September 1, court-appointed panel attorneys for the federal defender program will be hit with a $15/hour reduction in compensation. The following announcement appeared Monday on the United States Courts website:
2:26 PM, Aug 13, 2013 • By JERYL BIER
Sequestration has been blamed for everything from cancelled White House tours to military cutbacks that threaten national security to government worker furloughs.
10:39 AM, Aug 9, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
"When word of a crisis breaks out in Washington, it's no accident that
the first question that comes to everyone's lips is: 'Where's the nearest carrier?'"
(President Bill Clinton, March 12, 1993, aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt)
Twenty years later, it appears that the answer to that question will soon be, "The carriers are in mothballs." Rusting away. We can't afford them any longer."
1:17 PM, Jul 30, 2013 • By JERYL BIER
While furloughs of civilian employees of the Defense Department have not lived up to the pre-sequester billing, the Pentagon is doing what it can to ease the pain for those who will be taking involuntary time off. The American Forces Press Service is reporting that the director of the Pentagon's Morale, Welfare and Recreation (WMR) program is urging furloughed civilians to tap into "fitness, recreational and educational services, often at no charge or for significantly less than one might pay just outside an installation’s gates." The list of "free or low-cost" offerings is extensive:
In the Air Force.2:25 PM, Jul 26, 2013 • By MACKENZIE EAGLEN
As the sequester sinks in and starts to hit the U.S. military, many have focused on the impact of unpaid furlough days for civilians, air shows grounded, and fireworks foregone.
Jul 22, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 42 • By GARY SCHMITT and THOMAS DONNELLY
In 2012, the Department of Defense spent a total of $651 billion, including the costs of fighting in Afghanistan. According to the budget plan submitted by the White House a few months ago, projected 2014 spending will be $547 billion. If, as seems nearly inevitable, the “sequestration” provision of the Budget Control Act is triggered, that figure will fall below $500 billion, a loss of more than 20 percent in just two years.
10:09 AM, Jul 1, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Remember how the sequester was supposed to ravage the landscape? The automatic spending cuts would, we were told, cause all manner of pain and suffering – inconvenience, even – as David A. Fahrenthold & Lisa Rein of the Washington Post report, we were warned:
9:09 AM, Jun 7, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Democratic National Committee communications director Brad Woodhouse blamed the latest jobs report on the sequester and the Republicans:
8:31 AM, May 30, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
It becomes more and more difficult to find the bad news about the sequester. Unless, that is, you are in the Pentagon and trying to figure out how to keep the Marine Corps fully equipped and trained and up to strength.