I liked this graf:
Leading defense wonks, particularly those on the left, have harsh words for the exemption. “Ridiculous,” said Laicie Olson of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. “Completely inappropriate,” said Lawrence Korb of the Center for American Progress. “A political decision,” said Charles Knight of the Project on Defense Alternatives.
That’s from my post-SOTU piss-and-vinegar piece on this dumbass decision, published at the Washington Independent. There’s much more. And you know what? I hope that by Tuesday it’s completely inoperative. Because on Tuesday, we’ll have briefings from Defense Secretary Gates, Adm. Michael Mullen and Undersecretary of Defense Flournoy on the Quadrennial Defense Review and the fiscal 2011 defense budget. That budget is big. Real big. And not just because of the Afghanistan extended-surge. That’s going to cost an additional $33 billion, on top of what’s typically a $120-odd billion request for the wars. Last year Obama and Gates asked for $537 billion for the non-war defense budget — the stuff the services buy and what they typically do and the maintenance and personnel costs of all of that. The new request for that stuff? Apparently $549 billion, a 2 percent increase or about par with the inflation rate.
I’d like to hear Gates and Mullen and Flournoy talk about what fat they’re going to cut and what muscle they’re going to build up. I’d like to hear them recognize that this is a massive amount of spending, more than Bush’s defense budgets. I’d like a pony and for the iPad to change its lame-ass name so I don’t feel bad about buying it and for my lactose intolerance to abate so I can enjoy ice cream again.