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Has Bush betrayed GOP values?
The Desert Sun ^

Posted on 12/10/2003 11:33:12 AM PST by Stew Padasso

Edited on 05/07/2004 5:43:37 PM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]

"The majority of Repub-licans, at the urging of the president and GOP congres-sional leaders, voted for the $7 trillion prescription drug entitlement to become the nationís new welfare-state party, depriving the Democrat Party of its sole claim as champion of big government."

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bush43; gop; heritagefoundation; medicare
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To: Stew Padasso
The last Republican to serve in the White House was this man . .

(Unfortunately, the U.S.A. is unable or unwilling to produce another leader such as Ronald Reagan.)

51 posted on 12/10/2003 1:12:25 PM PST by Happy2BMe (2004 - Who WILL the TERRORISTS vote for? - - Not George W. Bush, THAT'S for sure!)
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To: Orangedog
(difference between a hamster & a gerbil?..there's more dark-meat on a hamster!)

I thought there was more Gere meat around a hamster.

52 posted on 12/10/2003 1:15:06 PM PST by Richard Kimball
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To: YaYa123
"If Howard Dean and Al Gore can rid the DNC (and the country), of Clinton power, we can get back to the days of honest political debate, civilized discourse, and reasonable conversation with the other side of the political aisle."

Man, are you naive!
53 posted on 12/10/2003 1:15:30 PM PST by vanmorrison
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To: Orangedog
"I kind of liked being the party that starved babies, killed old folks and poinsoned the air and water."

Yes, Yes, Yes!!!
"Those were the days my friend, we thought they'd never end..."

It was fun wasn't it? Fueled by hate, motivated by anger...that's what we were like for 8 long, long years, and that's what the democrats are experiencing now.

During the second Bush Administration, because of Bush compromises in the first administration, even when they anger and perplex us conservatives, I'm hopeful Washington politics returns to civility, with honest, decent politicians on both sides of the aisle. Democrats will lose all credibility if they continue to portray Bush as some kind of racist, idiot, madman, intent on enriching his oil friends. Their rhetoric is over the top already.

I think voters have already, and will continue to note the difference in the rhetoric of both sides. Conservatives are basically decent, even when they get strident. Democrats are not. That won't have a swaying impact on hardcore liberal activists, but it will on the majority of Americans who consider themselves liberal voters. I think President Bush is helping to make the Democratic Party obsolete, at least they'll never be the majority again.

President Bush, conservative talk radio, the internet, and the new conservative print media are winning the war of words. Losing a few battles along the way is part of the winning strategy.

54 posted on 12/10/2003 1:25:23 PM PST by YaYa123 (@President Bush Is An Environmentalist....He's Cleaning Up The Air In
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To: vanmorrison
"Man, are you naive!

Could be, but what the heck. I hope you live long enough to prove me wrong...or right.

55 posted on 12/10/2003 1:29:33 PM PST by YaYa123 (@Pollyanna
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To: Southack
Thanks - and bumping for later
56 posted on 12/10/2003 1:36:18 PM PST by malia (BUSH/CHENEY '04 *A Cherished Constitutional right - the right to vote and have it counted - once.)
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To: Fast 1975
"All unconstitutional"


57 posted on 12/10/2003 1:38:43 PM PST by Southack (Media bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: Southack
Vote him out!
58 posted on 12/10/2003 1:41:14 PM PST by Howlin (Bush has stolen two things which Democrats believe they own by right: the presidency & the future)
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To: Stew Padasso
Has Bush betrayed GOP values?

Well, by failing to veto an unconstitutional campaign finance reform bill he's betrayed the Constitution.
59 posted on 12/10/2003 1:42:48 PM PST by aruanan
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To: Southack
You forgot one thing. He signed the CFR bill, you know, the one that lets the government decide what is proper speech in an election year. Today, by a narrow decision, the SC decided that the first ammendment of the US Constitution is not as the framers wrote it but rather the government can decide what speech is proper or not. The next bit of anti-constitutional law that he will sign is the return of the fairness doctrine which will destroy conservative talk radio. If you care I can illustrate how this will do what the liberals can't.

You are correct, GWB has done a lot of things that require more of my money and takes some of my freedoms away, (money is freedom and liberty) the problem is, he is not conservative. BTW, was the CFR a response to Perot and Forbes? If it was, GWB either is stupid, a disloyal President, or just plain out to lunch. You pick one. I did vote for him and because of the slate, will vote for him again. That is indeed how bad the political choices have become.
60 posted on 12/10/2003 1:49:04 PM PST by Final Authority
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To: Orangedog
No, he seems to be sticking with the values of todays GOP....record pork barrel spending, suppression of free speech before elections, bigger, more intrusive government....

And a total denial of Christian values or doctrines in favor of humanism and evolution.

61 posted on 12/10/2003 1:50:22 PM PST by biblewonk (I must try to answer all bible questions.)
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To: Southack; belmont_mark; ALOHA RONNIE; maui_hawaii; Travis McGee; Jeff Head; ntrulock; Alamo-Girl; ..
I plan on voting for GWB, but I will definitely be holding my nose. E.g., The GWB defense record is in fact quite mixed.

You listed the highlights. Let's look at the low-lights, which no RAT would, nor could, outline: I would have to tell you that the President has in fact posed a serious obstacle to proper funding of the DOD.

When he came in, it was in absolute crisis, needing another $200 billion immediate infusion to replace broken and worn-out equipment, depleted reserve strength, exhausted armament inventory, R&D and build new aircraft, new ships, and to replace at least two of the 5 Army divisions that Clinton knifed. Cheney had campaigned on replacing those two divisions. Instead, the paltry $15 billion made over Clinton's veto was all that GWB relied on as 'a substantial increase.' Note, the cost of inflation for the DOD exceeded that $15 billion 'increase' by about $8 billion. And GWB was ignoring the extreme degree of dilapidation and depletion left him as a 'poison pill' by Bubba. Refusing to do the supplemental emergency appropriation that was clearly warranted in June he proposed only a paltry $35 billion increase for the whole year...stiffing the obvious need for the $200 billion. No new divisions. No additional new ships. No additional new planes. Was basically only enough to pay for the paltry pay raises of the existing personnel. Hence the extraordinary need by Rumsfeld to do everything on the shoe-string basis, with fewer boots on the ground. Concretely this has negative results: Osama and Saddam got away. It allowed a lot of the Fedayeen to get away and 'melt into the landscape' to fight from ambush another day.

Meanwhile, Clinton-Gore had sold off one of the key US-owned supplies of oil & gas the US military needed....Teapot Dome to a known socialist-supporting front company: Armand Hammer. Now the military needs to BUY oil & gas on the open market. Adversely affecting training and readiness issues.

No reductions of the Clinton-holdovers in the staff.
Continued Clintonization of 'Technology Review' staffing. Ie., decimation of said staff and mission to keep the tech out of communist/enemy hands.
Perpetuation of the 'don't ask, don't tell' insanity, Perpetuation of the US army's 'Blue-Helmut' missions to 60 nations. No roll-back of the over-stretch whatsoever. Caved in, ignominously, and for expressly cavil political calculations, to the Marxist media movement to surrender our operational use of the naval live-fire training base at Vieques, Puerto Rico. The base's value is currently in excess of $15 billion if placed on U.S. mainland, and would not provide an equally effective training environment. And no replacement of the still missing two Army divisions, post 9-11!

The Navy is still declining...ordering fewer ships than we are retiring. No replacement for the retiring F-14 Tomcat, the only long-range naval interceptor capable of protecting the Fleet against the supersonic cruise missiles the RUssians are selling willy-nilly to our enemies.

And the ABM you are so pleased with, appears (at least based on publicly disclosed programs) to be underfunded, and mis-directed. He appears to only be deploying for real the Clinton ground-based defense in Alaska...which can only defend 1-degree of azimuth attacks on the USA. He has consistently scuttled actual go-aheads on deploying the Aegis SM-3 anti-missile system, despite its near-perfect intercept record. He has failed to deploy Brilliant Pebbles. He has failed to re-activate Safeguard (it's better than the nothing currently deployed). He has decommissioned the 100 Peacekeeper MX missiles. He has decommissioned 6 Trident missile submarines. He has decommissioned half of the B-1B bomber fleet, despite their proving to be the most flexible, utilitarian and powerful bomber, bar none in the Iraq war. And then he signed the Moscow Treaty, which was totally unecessary, locking us into forced reductions of our nuclear warhead count down to 1,700. Meanwhile, the provisions on the Russians are expressly non-enforceable.

Then we need to look at the rest of your civil issues with similarly appropriate caution:

Signed into law the No Child Left Behind legislation delivering the most dramatic education reforms in a generation (challenging the soft bigotry of low expectations)

Actually a regurgitation of the facile framing of the issue as made by Karl Rove ( I heard him at the Midwest GOP Leadership conference say the identical nonsense). In fact, it abets and accelerates the Teddy Kennedy program of creating, in effect, a National school board with a whole slew of Kennedy-edicts and mandates that the local schools have to abide by. No actual improvement in the schools. Makes the divestituture of the last remnants of 'local control' almost complete. Schools continue to erode as the 'PC' Marxists continue unchecked as they have long since co-opted the Dept. of Education. No actual reform at the Dept. of Education... or in this bill. Just more federalization. More mandates. Which means less education. Less innovation. Just paper shuffling. Standards continue to be compromised, i.e., watered-down, erased.

Reorganized the INS in an attempt to safeguard the borders and ports of America and to eliminate bureaucratic redundancies and lack of accountability.

More facile double-talk. These are Non-credible assertions. Actually, he Reduced the number of personnel available to patrol. Fought against congressional attempts to budget and increase border patrols. Consistently has ignored evidence that the border weakness has led to many Chinese and Arab infiltration across the borders. Fought against the rights of border patrol organizations to organize and operate to assist in detection and tracking of infiltrators...aiding and abetting the 'civil rights' attacks against these groups. Cut a not-so-secret deal with Vincente Fox to destroy the border, and give Mexico 'carte blanche' to dump their unwanteds on the U.S. And now RINO-Tom Ridge...a close personal buddy of GWB, is openly saying its time to legalize the illegals.

Signed trade promotion authority

As used, this has resulted in a lack of fair trade, undercutting hundreds of thousands of US jobs, while making virtually ZERO headway for US-manufactures sales abroad. Lost 2.7 million U.S. jobs, while simultaneously, U.S. firms increased hiring in China and India by over 3 million. 2+2=4 . This is a brazen and fraudulent wealth transfer program, from the U.S. to the 'Third World'. The US needs the jobs more. Let them get their own.

Committed US funds to purchase medicine for millions of men and women and children now suffering with AIDS in Africa

Actually, he committed $10 billion of OUR money to this 'noble' cause. While there are many lamentable innocents in the tragedy, the fact is that much of it is the result of 'bad actors' i.e., malefactors spreading it through willfulness. And the African governments turn a blind eye to their witch-doctor approach to the problem. And as if our money is the missing if the African countries...Muslim/Marxist racist anti-white apartheid cesspools, were without resources. They have the world's greatest proven reserves of all minerals and precious metals and diamonds, etc. I.e., They need a good kick in the butt, and toppling of their tyrannies. We are propping up those tyrannies instead. Not good. Especially since he was not elected by us to be a spendthrift with OUR money. Selected strong conservative judges

As a local radio personality would say, "We don't know that." One was clearly pro-abortion. We do know though, that he has failed to go to the mat for any of his Court of Appeals nominees that the RATs have brazenly blocked. He could have made recess appointments, or shut down the government spending machines, and held the RATs hostage. But he caved.

And Don't Forget. He also did a 180-degree flip-flop on the Campaign Finance Reform bill of John McCain, despite his previously clear and well-reasoned four main objections to what he later termed 'a good bill.' Now we have the spectacle of the same five 'justices' (Sp?) on the Supreme Court who defend abortion to the hilt (literally), with 300 pages defending the constitutionality of its provisions which clearly were unconstitutional prohibitions on free speech. We will see if the only end run available, the 'Free Press' can be used. Problem: The 'RATS' already own most of it.

Conclusion: A Mixed Bag. And not driven by individual necessary compromises on specific bills with an opposing party. But outright general policy abdication. Sorry, but that's the way it looks.

62 posted on 12/10/2003 1:52:10 PM PST by Paul Ross (Reform Islam Now! -- Nuke Mecca!)
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To: Fast 1975
Bump. Time for constitutionalists to scream from the windows, 'we are not going to take anymore'.
63 posted on 12/10/2003 1:53:37 PM PST by Paul Ross (Reform Islam Now! -- Nuke Mecca!)
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To: Happy2BMe
The last Republican to serve in the White House was this man . .

64 posted on 12/10/2003 1:54:48 PM PST by Paul Ross (Reform Islam Now! -- Nuke Mecca!)
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To: KantianBurke
As for me, I'll vote third party. Probably Constitution Party.

Republicans are treating me like democrats treat blacks-assume they will vote for them because they have nowhere else to go.

Well, this Southerner is leaving the GOP's plantation.
65 posted on 12/10/2003 1:57:41 PM PST by rebel
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To: RckyRaCoCo
The irony is that if Dean won, the government would grow at a slower pace because Republicans would oppose any of HIS big spending ideas. Strange.
66 posted on 12/10/2003 1:57:55 PM PST by rcofdayton
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To: petercooper
I totally forgot about the funding of Palestinian terrorists too... let me add that to the list
67 posted on 12/10/2003 1:59:03 PM PST by thoughtomator (The U.N. is a terrorist organization)
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To: Stew Padasso
When liberals attack from the right. what a flamin
68 posted on 12/10/2003 1:59:40 PM PST by Tempest
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To: Final Authority
Today, by a narrow decision, the SC decided that the first ammendment of the US Constitution is not as the framers wrote it but rather the government can decide what speech is proper or not.

Didn't you read how that was dismissed earlier in the thread? We don't need all that TV and radio advertizing...we have bumper stickers and blogs![/soaking in sarcasm]

The next bit of anti-constitutional law that he will sign is the return of the fairness doctrine which will destroy conservative talk radio.

And when that happens we'll have the same group here telling us that we don't need talk radio anymore...we have instant messaging!

We've forgotten who we are, where we came from and what the prize was. Now it's party over principle and screw the constitution, just as long as we take an issue away from the dems.

69 posted on 12/10/2003 2:01:57 PM PST by Orangedog (difference between a hamster & a gerbil?..there's more dark-meat on a hamster!)
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To: aruanan
I honestly couldn't remember the genesis of the CF bill, but found this article which answered some of my questions, and explains much else I didn't know:

"Bush Signs Campaign Finance Bill, Lawsuits Filed
By Jeff Johnson Congressional Bureau Chief
March 27, 2002

Capitol Hill ( - President Bush signed into law the first significant changes to campaign finance rules since the 1970s Wednesday. But opponents of those revisions have already mounted their legal challenges to the new law.

"I believe that this legislation, although far from perfect, will improve the current financing system for Federal campaigns," Bush said in a statement.

The president cited three key components of the "Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act" (BCRA) he says will improve the campaign finance system:

preventing unions and corporations from making unregulated "soft-money" contributions; raising the limits on individual contributions; and expanding contribution disclosure requirements and compelling speedier compliance with existing regulations.

"These provisions ... will result in an election finance system that encourages greater individual participation, and provides the public more accurate and timely information, than does the present system," Bush claimed.

But the president also took issue with other provisions of the legislation.

"I believe individual freedom to participate in elections should be expanded, not diminished," he said, "and when individual freedoms are restricted, questions arise under the First Amendment."

Specifically, Bush questioned limiting individual contributions to political parties in connection with federal elections and what he called "the broad ban on issue advertising."

"Taken as a whole, this bill improves the current system of financing for Federal campaigns, and therefore I have signed it into law," he said. "I expect that the courts will resolve these legitimate legal questions as appropriate under the law," Bush predicted.

The president would not have to wait long for that prediction to be proven accurate. The National Rifle Association was waiting when the federal court for the District of Columbia opened its doors Wednesday morning. "We have filed suit to invalidate this unconstitutional infringement on the First Amendment rights of the NRA and our four million members nationwide," said Wayne LaPierre, NRA executive vice president, and James Jay Baker, executive director of the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action in a joint statement.

"The authors of this law have delivered a clear and straightforward message not only to NRA but to all American citizens. That message is this, 'Keep your mouths shut. Stay out of our political debates. Be quiet,'" the statement continued.

"Our response is this: the First Amendment protects us from such directives from the government. The First Amendment does not allow Congress to make laws which deny us the right to speak out on issues, the right of our members to associate together on public policy issues and the right to petition our government for redress of grievances. That is what this lawsuit is about," they added.

The chief congressional opponent of BCRA, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), also filed suit in federal court to block the Federal Election Commission and the Federal Communications Commission from enforcing the new law.

"Today's filing is a first step in what is becoming an evolving omnibus constitutional attack spearheaded by Senator McConnell," said Judge Kenneth Starr, former U.S. Solicitor General, Whitewater Independent Counsel, and lead attorney for McConnell and six other plaintiffs.

Starr, working on behalf of the Southeastern Legal Foundation, is also representing Rep. Bob Barr (R-Ga.), the National Right-to-Work Committee, Americans for Tax Reform, ProEnglish, and the 60 Plus Association.

A statement by the Foundation says McConnell's lawsuit raises a host of critical constitutional questions regarding the new campaign finance law, pointedly referring to it as legislation that creates "a new crime of incitement to political action."

The primary sponsors of BCRA, Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), and Reps. Martin Meehan (D-Mass.) and Christopher Shays (R-Conn.), have announced their intention to intervene in the lawsuits to assist the Department of Justice, which is charged with defending it in court. Attorney Seth Waxman, also a former U.S. Solicitor General, will lead the members' legal efforts.

"We're confident the landmark campaign finance reform bill signed into law today by President Bush will stand up to any constitutional challenge in court," the four said in a joint statement.

But the NRA views the potential outcome much differently.

"The law imposes severe civil and criminal penalties on citizens who have the audacity to speak out on issues of concern," the group explained in its statement, "and we do not believe that the Constitution of the United States of America and the U.S. Supreme Court can possibly allow such a result."

Under a special provision of BCRA, the lawsuits will be considered under "expedited review," meaning challenges will be heard out of sequence from the normal court calendar because of the potential impact on plaintiffs.

70 posted on 12/10/2003 2:06:34 PM PST by YaYa123 (@Pollyanna
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To: RightWhale
The Federal Debt was on the way to being paid off until the Fed and OBL screwed things up. But it's improving and will be on the way to being paid off once more.

Can I borrow your rose-colored glasses?

You've been reading - and believing - that DNC crap again.

Show me just one year in the last 20 (or more) when the Federal Debt was not larger than the previous year. Just one. Show me.

71 posted on 12/10/2003 2:15:04 PM PST by jackbill
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To: jackbill
I know that. We were so close, but things broke the wrong way. Nevertheless, we were close and perhaps next time we will make the grade. The Federal debt should be gone in 12 years if we don't get carried away on foreign adventures and various social programs. Not the deficit; the debt. It can be done. Hip! Hip! Hurray!
72 posted on 12/10/2003 2:19:18 PM PST by RightWhale (Close your tag lines)
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To: Paul Ross
"he signed the Moscow Treaty, which was totally unecessary, locking us into forced reductions of our nuclear warhead count down to 1,700."

Down to 2,200 nuclear warheads for us, actually, with NO LIMITS on the destructive power of each warhead (which is why we've been upping the destructive power of our keepers).

And what sort of planet is going to exist should we use up 2,200 of 50 MegaTon nuclear warheads in such a short period that we haven't built their replacements (we can freely replace those warheads that we use, per the Moscow Treaty)?

You want *more* Tridents at sea?! You want *more* boots on the ground?!

You need to read Paul Kennedy's The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, for *overspending* on Defense is second only to underspending for killing super-powers, historically.

The F-14 is great, but manned fighters are fast-becoming anachronisms. Where we need pilots, remotely-piloted aircraft will be the wave of the future, and in other areas we will be well-served by unmanned, autonomous drones that can carry more ordinance and make more extreme manuevers due to not having the weight and vulnerabilities of a person on board. So why blow money on systems that we are already obsoleting?

Oh no, President Bush didn't spend more on today's technology than the most hawkish of Pentagon suppliers wanted! What will we ever do?!

Frankly, Bush and Rumsfeld are kicking ass. The old guard of the Pentagon is no doubt hating every moment of having modern adults in charge, no doubt, because that means that they have to change (something that they aren't accustomed to doing).

Our ABM system is going up even as we speak. Our armies are unstoppable. Our aircraft rule the skies. Our navy controls all of the world's oceans, bar none.

We don't need more ships. We don't need more army divisions (we aren't "stuck" in Iraq, we can pull our forces out for whatever other battles we need, and retake Iraq at our leisure, for instance). We don't need to waste money on fighter jets that will be little more than obsolete aerial weapons platforms in 5 years, either.

The key is that we are modernizing, and I fully expect to hear quite a bit of right-wing carping about it along the way.

But our performance is uncontestable, in every sense of the word.

73 posted on 12/10/2003 2:22:12 PM PST by Southack (Media bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: YaYa123
Individual contributions should never have been limited. But contributions of individuals though political groups or other groups that represent the interests of members of the group should not be limited by placing limitations on the amounts of money or ways the money is spent by these groups. This is an assault on the voluntary association clause. It's as grievous an assault on the body politic as that snake LBJ's assault on charitable groups by holding their tax-exempt status hostage to their remaining silent on political matters.
74 posted on 12/10/2003 2:22:53 PM PST by aruanan
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To: Southack
Signed CFR, rolling back the 1st Amendment. He signed a law banning political speech.

Signaled that if SCOTUS ruled against Texas making laws against sodomy, he would do nothing.

Invoked LBJ's legacy in signing the largest medical entitlement program since medicare.

Look, I want to vote for the guy again, but you can't reward cowardice either. You VETO anything abridging speech.
75 posted on 12/10/2003 2:23:08 PM PST by RinaseaofDs (Only those who dare truly live - CGA 88 Class Motto)
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To: Stew Padasso
76 posted on 12/10/2003 2:23:22 PM PST by Kay Soze (As society must bear huge medical costs of ones "recreational activities", it must exert influence)
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To: RightWhale
You forgot the sarcasm tag.
77 posted on 12/10/2003 2:32:14 PM PST by jackbill
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To: jackbill
I almost never use the sarcasm code since--apparently only I know this--I employ irony.
78 posted on 12/10/2003 2:42:52 PM PST by RightWhale (Close your tag lines)
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To: Stew Padasso
Ah, more illumination from the Stupid Party. And Republicans wonder why they were in the wilderness for fifty years.

When you become the majority party, you act like the majority party. Punish enemies, reward friends. It's what makes government go.

It does no good to "stand by one's principles" if the people aren't ready to endorse what you believe in. The Dems never had a problem with this; which is why they were in power for so long.

Be Seeing You,


79 posted on 12/10/2003 2:44:22 PM PST by section9 (Major Kusanagi says, "Click on my pic and read my blog, or eat lead!")
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To: Happy2BMe
Great pic of a great man.

How far the party has fallen since.
80 posted on 12/10/2003 2:52:16 PM PST by Tauzero (Avoid loose hair styles. When government offices burn, long hair sometimes catches on fire.)
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To: Final Authority
(That is indeed how bad the political choices have become.)

Right. The Repubs know this and count on us voting for them since they are only communist lite.
81 posted on 12/10/2003 2:52:50 PM PST by HoundsTooth_BP
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To: Paul Ross
nice summary
82 posted on 12/10/2003 3:01:38 PM PST by Tauzero (Avoid loose hair styles. When government offices burn, long hair sometimes catches on fire.)
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To: scrutiny
Here's the Hardball transcipt in which he mentions that issue:

DEAN: Not with a 10-foot pole, am I touching that one.
Where we’re at right now in this cycle is that we need somebody to mitigate the power of corporations. Corporations are not bad things. They’re neither good nor bad. But the problem is, they’re a bad influence on society if they get too much power, because their basic interest is the bottom line. And they forget that human being have-human beings have souls. We’re not meant to be simply cogs in a machine.

And right now, we’re at that cycle where we are cogs in a machine. When I first went to Iowa, the lesson I learned from about 20 ordinary people was, we don’t trust our employers anymore because they don’t value us, because they’ll move our jobs anyplace, including offshore.

MATTHEWS: How do we reregulate America? Is that what you want to do, put-enforce more public policy?

DEAN: I want accountability. What I really want is accountability. I don’t think it’s OK for ordinary people to invest in mutual funds and then find out that you’ve been cheated in the stock market.

I don’t think rMD+IT_rMD-IT_it’s OK for Enron to steal ordinary working people’s pensions. If the CEOs goes broke, so be it. They took a lot of risks. They made a lot of money. There are a lot of ordinary people who have nothing to retire on because of what happened at Enron. And its Tyco and its Global Crossing, and again and again. And this administration is permitting it and winking at it. And I’ve had enough of that.

MATTHEWS: What about the Democrats that went along with...
MATTHEWS: Travel, the Democrats’ Ted Kennedy was part of that deregulation, the deregulation of radio. There are so many things that have been deregulated. Is that wrong trend and would you reverse it?

DEAN: I would reverse in some areas.
First of all, 11 companies in this country control 90 percent of what ordinary people are able to read and watch on their television. That’s wrong. We need to have a wide variety of opinions in every community. We don’t have that because of Michael Powell and what George Bush has tried to do to the FCC.

MATTHEWS: No, seriously. As a public policy, would you bring industrial policy to bear and break up these conglomerations of power?

MATTHEWS: Well, how about large media enterprises?

DEAN: The answer to that is yes.
I would say that there is too much penetration by single corporations in media markets all over this country. We need locally-owned radio stations. There are only two or three radio stations left in the state of Vermont where you can get local news anymore. The rest of it is read and ripped from the AP.

MATTHEWS: So what are you going to do about it? You’re going to be president of the United States, what are you going to do?

DEAN: What I’m going to do is appoint people to the FCC that believe democracy depends on getting information from all portions of the political spectrum, not just one.

MATTHEWS: Well, would you break up GE?
MATTHEWS: GE just buys Universal. Would you do something there about that? Would you stop that from happening?

DEAN: You can’t say-you can’t ask me right now and get an answer, would I break up X corp...

MATTHEWS: We’ve got to do it now, because now is the only chance we can ask you, because, once you are in, we have got to live with you.

MATTHEWS: Are you going to break up the giant media enterprises in this country?

DEAN: Yes, we’re going to break up giant media enterprises. That doesn’t mean we’re going to break up all of GE.

What we’re going to do is say that media enterprises can’t be as big as they are today. I don’t think we actually have to break them up, which Teddy Roosevelt had to do with the leftovers from the McKinley administration.

MATTHEWS: ... regulate them.

DEAN: You have got to say that there has to be a limit as to how-if the state has an interest, which it does, in preserving democracy, then there has to be a limitation on how deeply the media companies can penetrate every single community. To the extent of even having two or three or four outlets in a single community, that kind of information control is not compatible with democracy.

MATTHEWS: How-how far would you go in terms of public policy?
MATTHEWS: This is not-what you describe is not laissez-faire. It’s not capitalism.

DEAN: It is capitalism.

MATTHEWS: How would you-what would you call it?

DEAN: I am absolutely a capitalist. Capitalism is the greatest system that people have ever invented, because it takes advantage of bad traits, as well as our good traits, and turns them into productivity.

But the essence of capitalism, which the right-wing never understands ” it always baffles me-is, you got to have some rules. Imagine a hockey game with no rules.

83 posted on 12/10/2003 3:25:01 PM PST by Born in a Rage
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To: Southack
I never said our forces are not great. But they are also not the best we have ever had.

I'm sorry, but the 'modernization' excuse is just that. And Kennedy's book is pathetic. The U.S. has NEVER spent enough on defense. As a percentage of GDP, even at the $400 billion level, after adjusting for inflation we are well under what we were down to during the mid 30's prior to being attacked at Pearl Harbor. And btw, we are NOT AN EMPIRE. So none of your prognostications about our falling due to excess military spending apply. And as for economizing, We always fight the next war with last year's or older, technology. That is the ONLY economical way. The next stage of technology being developed will then be in the NEXT war. So keeping the not-so-old, 'old stuff' in fighting trim is actually the only truly economical way to go, while continuing to do the R&D for future warfighting technologies, and deploying if appropriate.

As for Rummy kicking ass, well, I am waiting for it to result in actual improvements in airframes. The ABM is NOT going up that Reagan promised. We are being given a Clinton-designed bogus 'imitation' ABM. And he keeps stonewalling on giving the go-ahead for the seabased Aegis system which could be done for under $6 billion. And guess what, he is also turning a blind eye on a number of other golden opportunities to save the service money: i.e., he could at a stroke triple the services troop-airlift by picking up for a song the Boeing airliners sitting idle in the desert in California. Which would simultaneously rejuvenate the airline manufacturer and restore jobs to the country. Rummy, who I love like my favorite uncle, unfortunately caved to the Prez on the Moscow missile treaty. He bucked it a good while, but then got unequivocal orders to cease.

Your concerns about military over-spending are warped. Just maintaining our previous deterrent only cost $4 billion a year. The Dismantling that has been ordered will cost over $20 billion! And that $20 billion comes from the DOD budget! Money that could have gone to giving us real capability, not robbing us of what we already have. Granted, the treaty says 2,200, not 1,700...but GWB has ORDERED the reduction to 1,700...lamely hoping the Russkies will do likewise. They have already announced they are in no hurry at all. And in fact, they think their First Strike weapons, the SS-18s are just peachy, and will keep them for another 17 years.

As for why we need 2, fact we really need 6,000 or more to be able to plausibly survive a number of first strike scenarios from the Russians and in combination with the Chinese Axis...or at the very minimun 3,500. A surviving fraction that could deliver a sufficiently devastating response to prevent these people from being tempted by thoughts of 'winning'. Donald Rumsfeld actually agreed with the Joint Chiefs of Staff on that number. So you and GWB are the ones out in left field. GWB has perpetuated the Clinton-ordered 'stand-down' non-alert posture that conceivably could catch us badly off guard. 'Looking-Glass' continues to languish.

More reason to seriously question the President's true seriousness about national security.

As for RPV's replacing the F-14, it is not going to happen. They are perhaps 15 years away. What you don't realize is that the F-14, in many ways is way ahead of the F-18 or the F-35 JSF for the mission of interception. And the future, hypothetical, RPVs will be limited to reconnaissance and air support. But as for interception...they are non-starters...they are not supersonic, nor are they immune from jamming or weather issues. And the lack of the visual information only a cockpit can give makes for a real loss of pilot situational awareness for combat. And as for ships, the Admirals have concurred that we have too few for the missions already committed. We need to deploy more than we are per year. We have a shortfall, based on all the commitments we have...if push comes to shove of 200 ships. We can't currently fight two wars let alone three simultaneously...Rummy's brave talk notwithstanding. We are fully occupied with Iraq. North Korea & Taiwan is a powder keg...and we are just bluffing. If it goes. Hence the talk of sizing the force to handle only one war at a time...tells you what is really happening. And Hence GWB's ignominous kow-towing to the PRC Chairman...doing effectively, his own version of the "Three-NOs." GWB's gambles with our security are gambles no honest conservative would take. Period.

Oh, btw, we are NOT increasing our RV warhead yields at all. We are not producing ANY nuclear warheads at all. In fact, we are going the other way. When Clinton 'modernized' the Minuteman-III he lowered its accuracy and shortened its range. We have a subtantial reduction in counterforce capability thanks to Clinton and now GWB retiring the MX missiles. We are researching...repeat...researching only bunker busters in the small sub-kiloton range. Nothing else. And the ABM going up is comrade Xlinton's design. I am so reassured. Not.

84 posted on 12/10/2003 3:34:00 PM PST by Paul Ross (Reform Islam Now! -- Nuke Mecca!)
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To: Paul Ross
"We can't currently fight two wars let alone three simultaneously...Rummy's brave talk notwithstanding. We are fully occupied with Iraq."

That's just silly.

We are *rotating* troops out of Iraq, for crying out loud! If we were stretched thin we wouldn't be able to have the luxury of rotating seasoned troops out of combat.

Nor do we even have to maintain our present force levels in Iraq. We could pull most or all of our troops out of Iraq to smash Syria or Iran or even North Korea. Re-taking any lost territory in Iraq would be child's play for our military, once we finished whatever hot spots had flared up elsewhere.

So we don't need more troops.

We control the entire world's oceans, so we don't need more ships, either.

We also control the world's skies, and while the F-14 is great, it is still just an aerial platform for launching anti-aircraft and anti-ground ordinance. We've got lots of such aerial platforms, some of them rather stealthy (unlike the F-14), and others don't even have a pilot to worry about losing.

85 posted on 12/10/2003 3:45:09 PM PST by Southack (Media bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: Paul Ross; hchutch
When Clinton 'modernized' the Minuteman-III he lowered its accuracy and shortened its range.

False. MMIII is significantly more accurate now--it has received the W87 and Peacekeeper guidance package.

We have a subtantial reduction in counterforce capability thanks to Clinton and now GWB retiring the MX missiles.

Yeah, because we actually agreed to a treaty that required it.

Of course, we have a supreme advantage in counterforce systems that we know will actually work...bombers. Nobody's live-fired an ICBMunder anything approaching combat conditions. Today's ICBM "test launches" in the US, Russia, and China are done after the missiles are extensively checked out by very scarce factory technicians, and only score about as well as space boosters that receive a similar level of prelaunch maintenance and checkout prior to flight (75%-80% reliability across all phases of flight). Combat reliability is extremely questionable, and is probably under 50%. (I would personally put it at about 40%, tops, for US missiles, and 25% for Russian and Chinese missiles.)

Meanwhile, the US bomber force has demonstrated a remarkable ability to deliver the goods over the years. Even against fully-alerted defenses with minimal (read: nearly nonexistent) Iron hand support (Operation Linebacker II), it took 100 SAMs to generate one hit against a B-52. And the performance of Russian and Chinese air defenses has been nothing to write home about, as Matthias Rust and the SIGINT folks who monitored the KAL 007 shootdown can attest.

86 posted on 12/10/2003 3:46:25 PM PST by Poohbah ("Beware the fury of a patient man" -- John Dryden)
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To: Stew Padasso
Good question. Let's look at Free Republic's two favorite Republicans:

1. Bush has refused to stop the invasion of illegal aliens.

2. Bush conducts a War on Terror but declines to make war on the biggest terror sponsor of them all: Saudi Arabia.

3. Bush supported and signs the unconstitutional "Patriot" Act.

4. Bush tells Israel to dismantle its walls, fences and settlements in hopes of fostering "peace" with the Arabs.

5. Bush tells Taiwan not to declare its independence from Red China.

6. Bush expands the cost and scope of government (aside from operations in Afghanistan and Iraq and War on Terror)

7. Bush does nothing to extradite murderers, including cop killers, who escape to Mexico to flee justice.

8. Schwarzenegger fails to embrace abolition of the California car tax

9. Schwarzenegger thinks giving drivers licenses to illegal aliens is a good idea as long as it's done "right"

10. Schwarzenegger tries to put a $15 billion bond-tax on the citizens of California

11. Schwarzenegger's idea of a spending cap applies only to the General Fund, leaving other sources open

And the list goes on and on.... I remember in 1994 the Republicans came to power vowing to shrink government and slash the outrageous spending.

Now, its the Republicans building up big government and spending money like crazy. What the hell?

And Bush? If he signs that "Assault" Weapons Ban Reauthorization, he finally loses my vote.
87 posted on 12/10/2003 3:47:37 PM PST by StoneColdGOP (McClintock - In Your Heart, You Know He's Right)
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To: Orangedog
He has promised to sign the extension of the assault weapons ban if it reaches his desk...and it will, so he will, just like with CFR.

I really believe that will be the Rubicon and if Bush crosses it'll be Deja Vu '92 with a Low IQ named "W".
Conservatives and constitutionalists will vote third party en masse.

88 posted on 12/10/2003 3:48:45 PM PST by Vidi_Vici_Vinnny (An armed man is a Citizen. An unarmed man is a Subject.)
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To: Paul Ross
"in fact, they think their First Strike weapons, the SS-18s are just peachy, and will keep them for another 17 years."

Um, no. You should subscribe to Janes. Russia's Satans are being retired in 2007.

2 October 2000
Russia's strategic forces stumble

RUSSIA'S STRATEGIC nuclear forces have entered the millennium with a broad range of financial, technological, diplomatic and organisational problems. By the middle of this year future prospects were further clouded by the politicisation of the reform debate, linked to the succession struggle for the post of minister of defence. It seems unlikely that the Kremlin will be able to stabilise the operational capabilities of the force. The question is whether the force will continue to erode in a controlled or haphazard way.

Strategic nuclear forces

As with all combat branches of the Russian armed forces, the strategic nuclear forces face the future severely hamstrung by financial problems. This was demonstrated on 27 June when Strategic Rocket Forces (Raketnye voiska strategicheskogo naznacheniya - RVSN) troops from the base at Sibirskiy were forced to stage a commando raid on the neighbouring electric power company, which threatened to shut off power to the base due to a continuing failure to pay its bills. As in the rest of the armed forces, monthly pay for the missile troops has been erratic.

The RVSN remains the main element of the Russian strategic forces, being responsible for about 90% of the strategic missions even though it possesses only about 60% of the missiles and warheads. Funding for RVSN operations has been meagre, as has the maintenance budget.

Russia currently fields 780 intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), of which about 60% are beyond their warranty life. Most Russian liquid-fuelled missiles of the fourth and fifth generation have a warranted life of seven to 10 years in operation. At the end of this period they must be removed from their silo and sent back to the plant for remanufacture as the corrosive oxidant can begin to leak, electronics deteriorate, and the warhead has to be serviced. This cannot be done in the silo due to the use of transport-launch containers that envelope the missile.

In the past, missiles have been rebuilt several times, extending their life to 25 years. The problem is that 226 of the missiles - Voevoda (SS-18 'Satan') and Molodets (SS-24 'Scalpel') - were built in Ukraine and so cannot be sent back to their original plant for rebuilding. A limited reserve of missiles can be substituted, but this is a finite resource that will be exhausted. The older UR-100NU (SS-19 'Stiletto'), built at the Khrunichev plant near Moscow, is being rebuilt to extend its useful life until about 2010. The 360 Topol (SS-25 'Sickle') mobile ICBMs that make up almost half the force are the newest missiles to enter service. Their manufacturing plant at Votkinsk is still in operation, and there is a reserve of about 50 missiles that can be substituted for time-expired missiles.

To further complicate matters, the main manufacturer of inertial-guidance platforms, Khartron, is also in Ukraine. When missiles are left on active alert with the inertial guidance unit fully operating, the system has an expected life of about three years. Since spares on these guidance units are dwindling, the RVSN has to face the choice of removing a significant portion of the missile force from ready alert, or allowing the force to become non-functional due to worn out guidance platforms.

Although figures have not been published, it is assumed that a smaller portion of the current missile force is kept on ready alert than a decade ago, if only to conserve spares. As a result of these trends, the Voevoda force will have to be retired by 2007, when it will become unsupportable. This will drop the total RVSN missile force size to about 600 ICBMs and drop the warhead count from the current 3,540 to about 1,740. This is planned under the second Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START II) in any event.

At the moment, the only new missile entering the force is the Topol-M (SS-27), an evolved version of the Topol. In view of the current debate over procurement funding priorities, it is not certain that Topol-M production will continue at recent levels - barely 10 missiles a year. As a result, the RVSN ICBM force is likely to shrink regardless of treaty considerations.

The 1997 appointment of Igor Sergeyev, former commander of the RVSN, as defence minister helped to focus attention on the need for RVSN modernisation. Sergeyev is the first RVSN commander to have served as defence minister. He has argued forcefully that it is the strategic nuclear forces that make Russia a great power.

Sergeyev's procurement priority was the Topol-M ICBM effort, with the aim not only of halting the erosion of the force size but of firming up the defence industries on which the RVSN is so dependent. Priority or not, Topol-M funding has been barely adequate and, to date, only two regiments (20 silo launchers) have been deployed. Tests of a more survivable, but more expensive, road-mobile version were scheduled to begin in July 2000, only to be put off indefinitely due to a lack of funds and the current controversies over future Russian force structure.

Dead in the water

If the funding situation for the RVSN has been poor, it has been catastrophic for the navy. Funding has been so low that missile submarine patrols have become uncommon. Of the 62 strategic-missile submarines in operation in 1990, by 2000 only about 20 are still nominally functional, armed with 348 missiles. The state of the Project 941 Akula-class ('Typhoon') nuclear-powered ballistic-missile submarines is parlous. At least three are non-functional. Plans to rehabilitate the surviving three have been constantly delayed. The R-39 (SS-N-20 'Sturgeon') missiles on board will be age expired by 2003. This class may disappear over the next few years from neglect and lack of funding.

The Project 667BDRM Delfin ('Delta IV') is in slightly better shape. The lead boat of the class, Verkhoture, was supposed to go back to the Zvezdochka yard in 1993 for a major overhaul. Due to lack of funding it received only a medium-level overhaul seven years behind schedule, which was completed in July this year. These delayed overhauls will lead to a decline in reliability and premature retirement.

The missile situation for these submarines is not much better. The plant in Krasnoyarsk that manufactured the liquid-fuelled R-29RM (SS-N-23 'Skiff') closed in 1996 due to a lack of orders. The other submarine-launched ballistic-missile (SLBM) plant at Zlatoust that produced the solid fuel R-39 has also been idle due to a lack of orders.

Modernisation of the submarine force is dead in the water. Although the keel for the first submarine of the new Borey class has already been laid, the programme was halted by the cancellation of the troubled 3M91 Bark (SS-NX-28) missile in 1999. The missile development effort was 73% complete and the conversion of the first Akula-class submarine was 84% complete when this happened, throwing the entire submarine programme into turmoil.

Work has begun on a solid fuel follow-on missile called the Bulava, a co-operative effort between the Moscow Institute of Thermotechnology, which developed the Topol, and the Makeyev bureau in Miass, which has designed most Russian submarine ballistic missiles. The Makeyev design bureau, which has never been fond of solid-fuel propulsion, is pushing a liquid-fuelled alternative, the Sineva, derived from the earlier R-29RM. Either way, it is unlikely that a new submarine will be completed until near the end of the decade, if at all.

Unless funding patterns change it is possible that the submarine missile force could either disappear or shrink to insignificance by the end of the decade.

89 posted on 12/10/2003 3:52:51 PM PST by Southack (Media bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: Southack
See the article about GWB's kow-towing to China over Taiwan. I am truly ashamed of his performance. Pathetic for such a 'SUPER' power.

And you still fail to get it about the F-14. The Phoenix missile system which ONLY the F-14 can carry is the premier fire & forget missile for long-range high-speed intercepts. So your postulated 'alternates' don't wash. There is nothing else currently, nor on the drawing boards that can do the mission the F-14/Phoenix system currently does.

90 posted on 12/10/2003 3:53:54 PM PST by Paul Ross (Reform Islam Now! -- Nuke Mecca!)
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To: StoneColdGOP
"1. Bush has refused to stop the invasion of illegal aliens."

President Bush signed the workplace verification bill to prevent hiring of illegal Aliens
S. 1685, the Basic Pilot Extension Act of 2003, was signed by President Bush on December 3, 2003.
It extends for five years the workplace employment eligibility authorization pilot programs created in 1996. It expands the pilot programs from the original five states to all 50 states.

91 posted on 12/10/2003 3:55:35 PM PST by Southack (Media bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: StoneColdGOP
"3. Bush supported and signs the unconstitutional "Patriot" Act."

Nonsense. There is *nothing* unconsitutional in the entire Patriot Act.

I've read it.

92 posted on 12/10/2003 3:57:13 PM PST by Southack (Media bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: StoneColdGOP
"4. Bush tells Israel to dismantle its walls, fences and settlements in hopes of fostering "peace" with the Arabs."

Incorrect. Bush said that the closer that the wall was to the Green Line, the less the U.S. would publicly complain.

93 posted on 12/10/2003 3:58:08 PM PST by Southack (Media bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: Southack
Jane's is frankly not tracking with the realities of the SS-18 force. Hence I don't subscribe to it.
94 posted on 12/10/2003 3:58:40 PM PST by Paul Ross (Reform Islam Now! -- Nuke Mecca!)
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To: Paul Ross; Southack
The Phoenix missile system which ONLY the F-14 can carry is the premier fire & forget missile for long-range high-speed intercepts.

If the Phoenix could actually hit anything in combat, which it has not. Four rounds fired over Iraq during Southern Watch: zero hits. The Phoenix is a Falcon on steroids, and the Falcon was an unmitigated piece of crap.

A 100-mile range missile with a pK of 0.00 is worthless.

95 posted on 12/10/2003 3:59:22 PM PST by Poohbah ("Beware the fury of a patient man" -- John Dryden)
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To: Stew Padasso; All
Everyone is free to vote for Dean if they believe that will change this situation.
96 posted on 12/10/2003 4:00:03 PM PST by squidly
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To: Paul Ross
Jane's is frankly not tracking with the realities of the SS-18 force.

Care to offer information demonstrating these alleged realities?

97 posted on 12/10/2003 4:00:36 PM PST by Poohbah ("Beware the fury of a patient man" -- John Dryden)
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To: Poohbah
False. MMIII is significantly more accurate now--it has received the W87 and Peacekeeper guidance package.

False right back at you.

Los Angeles Times
August 9, 2001
Pg. 1

Upgraded Missiles Found Less Accurate

Defense: The Minuteman IIIs, which carry nuclear warheads, have a shorter range too.

By Peter Pae, Times Staff Writer

A $4.5-billion Air Force program to upgrade aging Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles has come under fire following tests showing the refurbished missiles are less accurate and have a shorter range than the ones they are replacing, according to interviews and internal Pentagon documents.

The test results come as the Bush administration is proposing to disarm all Peacekeeper MX ICBMs, which would leave the 1960s-vintage Minuteman III as the mainstay of the nation's land-based nuclear arsenal.

Hoping to extend the life of the Minuteman, the Pentagon last year quietly began installing new guidance and propulsion systems on 500 missiles currently housed in hardened silos in Wyoming, Montana and North Dakota.

But according to internal assessments obtained by The Times, the upgraded models either had "miss distances" that were "considerably larger" than their predecessors or had "reduction in range" during several tests last year.

The assessments concluded the tests "did not decisively demonstrate that the accuracy key performance parameters had been achieved."

Defense analysts said the problems are not severe enough to jeopardize the missile's overall effectiveness. But it could mean added costs for taxpayers, as the Pentagon reports suggest the shortcomings stemmed from the Air Force's decision to try to upgrade the missiles on the cheap, without a full-bore overhaul.

Air Force officials initially chalked up the problems to development jitters that could be corrected, but two follow-up tests in the last six months raised alarms within the Pentagon, according to one source familiar with the program. The most recent test in June showed once again that an upgraded missile was not as accurate.

"The Air Force now agrees there is a problem," said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because some of the information is classified.

The test assessments were written by the Pentagon's Office for Test and Evaluation, which declined to comment on the results, saying the documents were classified.

The Air Force, which is running the program, also declined interviews but issued a statement Wednesday downplaying the test assessments. It said two test flights were conducted for the new propulsion system, one of which was prematurely terminated during flight after a booster failed to separate.

The separation problem was unrelated to the upgrade program, the statement said, adding that all test objectives for the new propulsion system "were successfully met in the two test flights."

The Air Force also said it completed six flight tests of missiles with the new guidance system.

"Test results to date indicate a small accuracy bias that does not affect the overall weapon system effectiveness," the statement said. "A software update is planned over the next year to correct the bias."

The costs of that software upgrade and the actual performance record of the upgraded missiles were not addressed in the statement. It also was not clear by how much the refurbished missiles missed their mark. The current Minuteman can hit a target within a 360-foot radius.

A spokeswoman for TRW Inc., the main contractor for the upgrade, also declined to comment about the tests, saying they were classified. She did say that "we're in the early stages of a flight test program" and described the problems as "routine."

"We're extremely confident that if you ask the Air Force, this program has their full support," said spokeswoman Janis Lamar.

But the source familiar with the program said the problems are more severe, and Air Force officials have begun reviewing other options that could be costly, including a more comprehensive upgrade or scrapping the upgrades altogether.

"This has happened enough times now that the Air Force is agreeing it needs to do something," the source said.

The $4.5-billion program was designed to make the 30-year-old Minuteman functional until 2020. The Pentagon already has spent $600 million upgrading computers in the control room where missile operators launch the missiles. Upgrading the propulsion system, which entails replacing the solid propellent in the rocket, is expected to cost $2.6 billion, while modernizing the guidance system is slated to cost $1.9 billion. About three dozen missiles have been upgraded so far under a program that is scheduled to last until 2008.

Defense analysts also said problems with the upgrades could hinder Bush's plan to dismantle the Peacekeeper MX ICBM program, which the president is seeking in hopes of appeasing Russia's concerns about his push to build a more robust national missile defense system.

"With the MX missiles being retired, the reliability and accuracy of the Minuteman will be all the more important," said Philip E. Coyle, a senior advisor for the Center for Defense Information, a Washington-based think tank, and a former Pentagon chief for test and evaluation.

According to sources and Pentagon documents, the upgrades appear to have been doomed from the beginning.

Citing costs, the Air Force insisted on retaining the Minuteman's old inertial measurement unit, the brains of the guidance system developed in the 1960s, while refurbishing only the electronics around it, such as the computer, signal converters and power units.

In replacing the propulsion system, the Air Force was confronted with having to use materials that are environmentally acceptable, while disregarding those that now are prohibited by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Pentagon report said "the requirement to use environmentally acceptable materials has increased Propulsion Replacement Program stage weights and slightly reduced the total propellant volume. These factors indicate a reduced overall range performance."

A Minuteman III has a range of about 6,000 miles, according to the Federation of American Scientists. It is unclear, however, how much of its range was diminished, because the information is classified.

Defense analysts, who were told of the test results Wednesday, said they were puzzled by the accuracy problems, because the requirements weren't that onerous. In fact, the Pentagon just wanted the upgraded Minuteman to have the same capabilities as its older model.

"How they would allow it to go uncorrected, I'm at a loss to understand," said John Pike, a defense policy analyst for, an Alexandria, Va.-based think thank. "It's particularly puzzling, since Minuteman III has been around so long and what they're trying to do doesn't involve path- breaking technology."

Moreover, the companies making the upgrades also helped develop the more modern guidance system on the Peacekeeper MX, a long-range missile capable of carrying 10 warheads in its nose. "With the fact that [the Minuteman] has been continuously modernized and maintained and overhauled, it certainly led me to believe that the latest upgrade was a low-risk undertaking and not the sort of thing that would have a shortfall in performance," Pike said.

The Minuteman and Peacekeeper missiles represent the land-based leg of a nuclear triad that includes the Air Force's B-52 and B-2 bombers and the Navy's Trident nuclear submarines. Bush has proposed eliminating all 50 Peacekeeper missiles.

How the test shortfalls will play out politically is unclear, because the U.S. has been looking to reduce its stockpile of nuclear weapons with the collapse of the Soviet Union and Cold War tensions.

Under a 1994 U.S.-Russian pact, the two nations no longer aim their long-range nuclear missiles at each other. The missiles are set on a trajectory that ends in the ocean, although pre-programmed wartime targets are stored in the missile's computer and can be switched on within 10 seconds.

Two Air Force officers sealed in a fortified capsule 100 feet below ground operate the control room where, with the turn of their keys in unison, they can start the sequence to launch a Minuteman III missile. The missiles each hold three nuclear warheads capable of wiping out several major cities.

98 posted on 12/10/2003 4:03:42 PM PST by Paul Ross (Reform Islam Now! -- Nuke Mecca!)
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To: Paul Ross
That article is from over two years ago, and there's been a get-well program since then.

Believe it or not, when hardware doesn't perform to spec in tests, it gets reworked and retested until it does.

Still, only a moron stakes the survival of his nation--whichever nation that is--on the combat performance of his nation's ICBM force. They just have not been combat-tested, and the results from "test and evaluation," where the missiles get checked out with a fine-tooth comb, are not encouraging.
99 posted on 12/10/2003 4:08:44 PM PST by Poohbah ("Beware the fury of a patient man" -- John Dryden)
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To: Southack
Come live in Southern California and tell me he's doing something SUBSTANTIVE to stop the illegals.

He's playing nice to his amigo Vicente Fox and not bringing the subject up. Same reason he won't get the cop killers and other murderers in Mexico extradited back to the U.S.
100 posted on 12/10/2003 4:09:22 PM PST by StoneColdGOP (McClintock - In Your Heart, You Know He's Right)
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