Category Archives: Politics

The Coarsening of Society

I enjoy using my WordPress app on my iPhone through the day. It tells me what’s going on with this website. Some days it’s pretty quiet, other days interesting. A few days ago, Lex’s tale of Piddle Packs was read 100s of times around the world. It was fun to watch. At my first check, 200 people had read it. By the end of the day, 400 had read it. This went on for the next few days, in smaller numbers each succeeding day. Someone had probably referenced it on a blog and people read it – with many passing the link on to who-knows-where to others via email. In my mind, I imagined readers from around the world laughing or at least smiling. I’d like to think that Lex was smiling, too.

He’s had some that have over a few days built into the 1000s, but who’s counting? Some funny, some thought provoking.

He continues to touch people around the world, even 9 years later.

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A Post From Lex Twice As Critical Today

What kind of people, in the name of political short-term gain, would give a wreckage of a country to those who follow us?

Time is running out to the point of no return.

If there is a lesson in all of this it is that our Constitution is neither a self-actuating nor a self-correcting document. It requires the constant attention and devotion of all citizens. There is a story, often told, that upon exiting the Constitutional Convention Benjamin Franklin was approached by a group of citizens asking what sort of government the delegates had created. His answer was: “A republic, if you can keep it.” 

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Only Nixon Could Go To China

Posted By lex, on February 29th, 2012

Leon Panetta is a Democrat who served in the White House budget office. In Congress he chaired the House Budget Committee. And he led the intelligence and military operations that led to DevGru popping Osama bin Laden.

In short, he is the perfect man for these lean times:

“No budget can be balanced on the back of defense spending alone,” said Mr. Panetta, “For that matter, no budget can be balanced on the back of discretionary spending alone.”

Discretionary spending refers to that portion of federal expenditure that is set each year by Congress, as opposed to the automatic mandatory spending every year on entitlement programs, like Social Security and Medicare.

“Real deficit reduction only happens when everything is on the table – discretionary [spending], mandatory spending, and revenues,” Mr. Panetta said.

The planned spending reductions in the administration’s new defense budget would result in a “smaller, leaner” force, he said.

“But at the same time it should be agile, it should be flexible, it should be ready, and it should be technologically advanced,” he added.

Nonetheless, Mr. Panetta acknowledged, “I can’t reduce the [defense] budget by half-a-trillion dollars and, frankly, not increase risks” to national security.

Preach it, brother.

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Second Order Effects

Posted By lex, on January 7th, 2012

Even those who have not traditionally been counted among DoD’s allies are waking up to the idea that budget cuts, and the consequent drying up of defense-driven research and development innovation could have transformational effects – in the wrong direction:

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Lady MacBeth

Posted by lex, on January 7th, 2012

You know, I believe I’ve seen this play before.

Glamis thou art, and Cawdor, and shalt be
What thou art promis’d. Yet do I fear thy nature,
It is too full o’ th’ milk of human kindness
To catch the nearest way.

– Macbeth Act 1, scene 5, 15–18

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Acts of Conflation

By lex, on December 5th, 2011

In NRO’s The CornerAndy McCarthy punches holes in the notion that Operation Fast and Furious – also known more colloquially as the Gunwalker Fiasco – was somehow inherited from President Obama’s predecessor:

The key to their strategy is conflating two very different programs: Operation Fast & Furious and a Bush era ATF initiative known as “Operation Wide Receiver.” In the questions from Judiciary Committee Democrats (principally, Senators Dianne Feinstein and Chuck Schumer — there may have been others but, again, I didn’t see the entire hearing), it emerged that Wide Receiver began in 2006, when Alberto Gonzales was the Bush administration attorney general. Senator Schumer took pains to describe Wide Receiver as involving the “tracing” of firearms that crossed into Mexico. As we shall see, Wide Receiver’s notion of tracing was night-and-day different from the tracing involved in the reckless gun-walking approach employed by Fast & Furious. Obviously, however, Democrats hope that if they get enough help from their friends in the media, the public will miss the distinction.

Mission Accomplished, courtesy of the New York Times:

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Defense to Perjury

Posted By lex, on October 4th, 2011

If House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa gets their way – the latter uncowed by rather ridiculous mainstream media smears – US Attorney General Eric Holder will soon find out whether the codicil “probably” is sufficient to defend himself on the charge of lying to Congress:

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Shut Up, They Explained

Posted by lex, on October 5th, 2011

Almost alone among mainstream media outlets, CBS News reporter Sharyl Atkisson has been digging away at the Gunwalker Scandal. In an interview yesterday with Laura Ingraham, she told how she that White House and Justice Department spokespeople have been “screaming at her” in response to her questions about what the Attorney General knew, when. They told her that, “the Washington Post is reasonable, the LA Times is reasonable, the New York Times is reasonable, I’m the only one who thinks this is a story, and they think I’m unfair and biased by pursuing it.”

And now, CBS seems to agree:**

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Odd Statement

Posted By lex, on March 8th, 2011

In this otherwise mundane article about the usual foreign policy tug of war within the Capital Beltway – Libya, this time – we find an interesting insight into President Obama’s grasp of history:

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Filed under Carroll "Lex" LeFon, History, Military, Politics, Politics and Culture

Bad Idea

Posted By lex, on March 8th, 2011

Former George W. Bush national security adviser Stephen Hadley has what might be the worst idea I’ve seen in a long time. And I’ve seen a lot of bad ideas *:

Stephen Hadley, national security adviser to Obama’s predecessor George W. Bush, said Washington should look at the potential for funneling arms to Gadhafi’s opponents.

“Obviously, if there is a way to get weapons into the hands of the rebels, if we can get anti-aircraft systems so that they can enforce a no-fly zone over their own territory, that would be helpful,” Hadley told CNN.

I can’t imagine he’s talking AAA pieces, not in the kind of density required to make a difference over all of eastern Libya. Nor do I suspect he’s talking Patriot batteries – far too much training time involved.. That pretty much leave man-portable air defense systems like the Stinger.

We gave a grunch of these to the mujaheddin in Afghanistan back when the Soviets were playing the Great Game. I’m a little surprised that they ever forgave us, it went that badly for the Hinds and Hips. Slaughter of the innocents ain’t in it, and there must have been much weeping on the home front.

After the Russians went home, we spent $55 million trying to get them back again. We never did get every one, and it was four or five years until commercial airliners could breathe a sigh of relief – by then the shelf life of the system had expired.

Last thing we need to do is arm god-knows-who in Libya with MANPADS.

Some jobs you just don’t outsource.

03-01-21 Original URL gone; replacement found – Ed.

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