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Howard McKeon
  • "Deficit Hawks" Discover Government Spending They Can Love

    If it's one thing I've learned from suspending my critical thinking faculties and surrendering to the dulcet tones of Fox News, it's that government can't create jobs. Private investment multiplies to generate wealth and employment, government investment is burned in an OSHA-inspected job-killing funeral pyre.

    As Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon noted, "congressional Democrats and the administration continue to insist that we can spend our way out of this recession and create jobs, but the numbers just don't add up."

    Yet McKeon (R-California Aerospace Industry) has a different take on a very special part of the federal budget

    But at a hearing last week, McKeon, now the [Armed Services] committee chairman, argued against cuts to the military, saying, "We don't spend money on defense to create jobs. But defense cuts are certainly a path to job loss, especially among our high-skilled workforces. There is no private sector alternative to compensate for the government's investment."

    And he's not the only Member of Congress getting in touch with the inner John Maynard Keynes that awakens within  many-a-congressman with ties to defense contractors…

    The same Republicans who insist that federal spending doesn't create jobs and should be cut in the face of staggering deficits are leading the charge against smaller military budgets because about a million defense jobs would be lost.

    Pentagon accounts are coming down, and Republicans who repeatedly reject the idea that an infusion of federal dollars can produce new jobs now say the government should keep billions flowing to the makers of guns, tanks, aircraft and ships for the sake of sparing jobs in home districts and states. It's the newest of several arguments against reducing Pentagon budgets.

    To recap, government investment in infrastructure that will last thirty years or more: unconscionable socialism.  Spending on things meant to burst into flames/blow stuff up? Job-creating goodness.

    Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News/GettyImages


    Tags: Howard McKeon, Military, Unemployment
  • Repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy Takes Effect

    If you woke up this morning and the air smelled a little gayer, but also a touch safer, it wasn't thanks to the Broadway show tunes that lulled you to sleep last night. More likely, it was because as of 12:01 this morning, the policy known as Don't Ask, Don't Tell was formally consigned to the dustbin of irrationally prejudiced history.

    Turns out the moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward fabulousness

    The 18-year-old "don't ask, don’t tell" policy officially ended at midnight and with it the discharges that removed more than 13,000 men and women from the military under the old ban on openly gay troops. To mark the historic change, gay rights groups are planning celebrations across the country while Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will usher in the new era at a Pentagon news conference.

    The other side will be heard, too: Elaine Donnelly, a longtime opponent of allowing gay men and lesbians to serve openly in the armed forces, has already said that "as of Tuesday the commander in chief will own the San Francisco military he has created." Two top Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee — the chairman, Representative Howard P. McKeon of California, and Representative Joe Wilson of South Carolina — have asked the Pentagon to delay the new policy, saying commanders in the field are not ready. But the Pentagon has moved on.

    I have so many questions about this "San Francisco military" and the "Rainbow Warriors" who may now serve openly.  Will feather boas become mandatory accessories to the Army Combat Uniform? Will the score to La Cage aux Folles replace morning reveille? Will nefarious San Francisco values displace the martial virtues that keep us safe? A letter sent by top commanders to U.S. Army soldiers provides some guidance…

    For over 236 years, the U.S. Army has been an extraordinary force for good in the world. Our Soldiers are the most agile, adaptable and capable warriors in history — and we are ready for this change…

    Accordingly, we expect all personnel to follow our Values by implementing the repeal fully, fairly and in accordance with policy guidance. It is the duty of all personnel to treat each other with dignity and respect, while maintaining good order and discipline throughout our ranks. Doing so, will help the U.S. Army remain the Strength of the Nation.

    Sounds like business as usual. Except now, when gay soldiers do the difficult work of defending Congressmen McKeon and Wilson's rights to be petty and bigoted brats, they can do so while being true to themselves. Progress.

    Photo by Joshua Roberts/Getty Images News/Getty Images


    Tags: DADT, Elaine Donnelly, Howard McKeon, Joe Wilson, Leon Panetta, LGBT, Mike Mullen, Military
  • The Following 5 Democrats and 8 Republicans Called Sarah Palin a Pig and Hate Women in General

    It's bad enough that Barack Obama thinks Sarah Palin is a pig and seeks to "destroy her" and American women in general. But it gets worse: Research shows he was beaten to the punch by 13 of his Congressional colleagues!

    Roll Call, the newspaper of Capitol Hill, did a little digging into the Congressional Record and found 16 variations of the "lipstick on a pig" phrase have been uttered by 13 separate members of the 110th Congress. Behold the list of chauvinist, unpatriotic community organizers currently disgracing our government

    * Rep. Mike Michaud (D-Maine) on the Peru free-trade agreement: "Same old model with a little lipstick."

    * Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.) on trade policy: "You know the old saying about lipstick on a pig? Well, I smell bacon."

    * Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) on withdrawal in Iraq: "Calling this surrender a 'withdrawal' or a 'redeployment' is like putting lipstick on a pig. No matter what you call it, it is still a pig."

    * Rep. Lynn "Uppity" Westmoreland (R-Ga.) on energy policy: "The energy bills that were brought out this week was kind of like putting lipstick on a pig."

    * Westmoreland, again on energy policy: "It's almost like putting lipstick on a pig. You can make it look good, but it's only going to be a pig."

    * Westmoreland, yet again on energy policy: "So while we are passing these bills … it's been putting lipstick on a pig."

    * Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) on an omnibus spending bill: "There has been lipstick placed on this pig, but it's still a pig."

    * Rep. David Dreier (R-Calif.) on an ethics proposal: "They may have put lipstick on that pig, but it is still a pig."

    * Rep. Solomon Ortiz (D-Texas) on the president's veto of a children's health bill: "There's just no lipstick to pretty up this pig."

    * Ortiz on language in a border-wall bill: "That puts a little lipstick on the pig."

    * Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) on Republican moves on carbon emissions: "You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig."

    * Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Texas) on a children's health bill alternative: "We have a saying in Texas, if you put lipstick on a pig, it will still be a pig."

    * Rep. Howard McKeon (R-Calif.) on equal-pay legislation: "This amendment is the equivalent of putting lipstick on a pig."

    * Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) on wiretapping legislation: "It's very difficult to put lipstick on a pig."

    * Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) on Medicare legislation: "… trying to put lipstick on this legislative pig."

    * Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) on a college- cost bill: "You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig."

    Doesn't Obama have any ideas of his own? Is he so desperate for fresh sexist comments that he resorts to stealing them from Republican women like Virginia Foxx?

    At the very least, he could have broadened the statement to include other members of the animal kingdom, like former UN Ambassador John Bolton, who stated

    "We want a butterfly. We're not going to put lipstick on a caterpillar and declare it a success."

    Now that is an example of a non-sexist statement, and for two obvious reasons. One, here we're applying lipstick to a caterpillar instead of a pig. Two, Bolton is a Republican.


    Tags: Barack Obama, Barbara Boxer, David Dreier, House of Representatives, Howard McKeon, John Bolton, John Ensign, Linda Sanchez, Lynn Westmoreland, Mike Michaud, Mike Pence, Sarah Palin, Senate, Sheila Jackson, Virginia Foxx