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ISIS Intervention Has A Shocking Price Tag
In an interview that aired Sunday on “60 Minutes,” President Obama claimed that U.S. intelligence agencies underestimated the rise of ISIS. This is a very strange thing to admit. The President has basically admitted that the most heavily funded intelligence agencies in the world do not have their finger on the pulse. They are unable to track the velocity of growth of what has been advertised as the most severe terror threat to the U.S. sense 9/11.
Why would Obama bring this up?
Perhaps he is doing this not to review prior failings, but to prepare the public for the future amounts of blood and treasure that will be spent. He could be posturing in order to prepare the American people for the possibility of sending U.S. ground troops to fight ISIS. Or President Obama could have claimed ISIS was underestimated in order to justify the huge sum of money that already has been spent bombing them. Or maybe it is a combination of both.
BenSwann.com reports on the high cost of bombing ISIS:
Last week, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel presented reporters with a price-tag that is shocking many war-weary Americans. According to Hagel, roughly $7 million to $10 million per day has been spent on U.S. operations against the Islamic State (ISIS) since June 16, when American troops were first deployed to assess the Iraqi military and advise its commanders.
That number brings U.S. military efforts against the Islamic State to nearly a billion dollars thus far, with an expected $2.4 billion to $3.8 billion price tag for the year if air and ground operations continue as planned. These expected budget cost analysis were released Monday by the non-partisan think tank, Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.
The analysis also noted an even higher price tag for the fight against ISIS could be expected if an increase in air-strikes and ground troops occurs, with annual costs possibly reaching $13 billion or even $22 billion.
The amount of money that has already been spent bombing ISIS and other “terrorist” groups in Iraq and Syria is staggering. It is insulting that President Obama continues to authorize the expenditure of tax payer dollars without formal approval in congress. Up until this point, the President has justified the campaign against ISIS by pointing to authorizations to fight terrorism from ten years ago.
It is time to have a debate on how ISIS should be handled. The government cannot be allowed to rely upon decade old legislation, and the people need to stop allowing themselves to be so easily manipulated by fear.
The U.S. government rushed to invade Iraq in 2003. Several years later, after destroying much of the infrastructure and putting in place a puppet government, an environment conducive to the creation of ISIS existed in the country.
What makes the leaders in the U.S. think they can produce a stable society by bombing and increasing the level of U.S. government intervention in the region once again?
McCain Would Back Rand Paul
John McCain says he would work with Rand Paul if he was elected President and claims he has Rand’s ear on issues of foreign policy. Is this the kiss of death for the Rand Paul for President Campaign?
“I’ve seen him grow, and I’ve seen him mature, and I’ve seen him become more centrist,” McCain told The New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza, who wrote a long profile of Paul.
“I know that, if he were president or a nominee, I could influence him, particularly some of his views and positions on national security. He trusts me particularly on the military side of things, so I could easily work with him. It wouldn’t be a problem.”
I wonder how supporters of the Junior Senator from Kentucky feel about McCain’s claim that he is able to influence Rand Paul. It can’t be a comfortable picture to imagine. If McCain’s statement is truthful, then it should be a red flag regarding the dangerous forces Senator Paul is allowing to penetrate his inner circle. McCain is the last person (with the exception of maybe Lindsey Graham) that libertarians would want having influence over foreign policy.
Sometimes I think that John McCain goes home at night to a big map of the world and moves “his armies” around the globe as if he is playing the board game Risk. The man is a warmonger to the core and he represents the complete opposite direction Rand needs to be moving in order to develop a foreign policy of peace and prosperity.
F.C.C. Eliminates Sports Blackout Rule
The Federal Communication Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to eliminate its sports blackout rule. For nearly four decades the blackout rule has prevented cable and satellite systems from televising National Football League games that did not meet certain criteria for ticket sales.
The removal of the rule will most likely not have any impacts in the short-term, as the NFL currently has broadcast contracts in place that extend through 2022.
The move is unlikely to eliminate the league’s attempts to black out games, which it can do on local broadcast channels when tickets to a game are not sold out. Because of the sport’s soaring popularity, however, only two N.F.L. games were blacked out locally last season.
The N.F.L. strongly opposed the F.C.C. action. But Commissioner Ajit Pai, a Republican, echoed the sentiments of the five commissioners by saying: “It is not the place of the federal government to intervene in the private marketplace and help sports leagues enforce their blackout policies. It is the commission’s job to serve the public interest, not the private interests of team owners.”
While there probably will not be any noticeable changes to NFL broadcasting contracts in the near future as a result of this ruling, it is still important to give the commission credit for getting this one right.
Commissioner Ajit Pai was correct when he said, “It is not the place of the federal government to intervene in the private marketplace…”, but he lost some credibility when he finished the sentence by saying, “…and help sports leagues enforce their blackout policies.”
It is debatable that the NFL is a “private” organization, but it is important to prohibit the NFL wherever possible from using the government as a shield from competition in the marketplace. Ending the blackout rule is a good place to start, but there are many more areas that need addressed. Copyright, trademarks, and tax payer funded stadiums are a few areas where the NFL (and all professional sports) need to be knocked down from their pedestal.
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