What Fresh Hell Is This?

August 29, 2010

Jack Kelly Sunday

This week, Jack Kelly (as usual) does his usual song-and-dance and spins away from reality.

The column is the usual conservative-speak about guv'ment spending/waste, blah-blah-blah with a bit of environmental snark thrown in.

Jack sets-up:
Defense Secretary Robert Gates raised eyebrows and ruffled feathers Aug. 9 when he announced plans to shut down Joint Forces Command, a headquarters in southeastern Virginia at which more than 6,000 military personnel, civilians and defense contractors work.

The closure will devastate the economies of the Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Hampton Roads area, so Mr. Gates' announcement brought the predictable squeals from Virginia's politicians.
But wait, I thought that the guv'ment didn't create jobs (we hear that all the frickin time from conservatives) but closing down this HQ will result in the loss of jobs? Huh.

In any event, Jack's thoughts on the closing:
There is something that doesn't seem right about cutting defense spending when we're in the midst of two wars. But even though I look askance at how the administration circumvented the rules with regard to base closing, I can't be critical of the decision itself.
So he's OK with the closing, just not how it was done. By the way what rules were circumvented? Jack doesn't say. Wouldn't it be a big story if, say, the Office of the Secretary of Defense had "circumvented the rules" in order to reduce the military budget?

If that was the case, where's the uproar about it?

You can see some of the other proposed "Efficiencies Initiatives" the SecDef has proposed here.

The environmental snark comes about in discussing the Delta Smelt (Hypomesus transpacificus) - which has been considered endangered since 1994. Its place in Jack's discussion seems, well, out of place. What does it have to do with a military base closing (a closing, that Jack agrees with).

Can't really wrap my head around Jack's column this week, sorry.

Go read Ed, instead.


EdHeath said...

Thanks for the shout out/link. That despite my having messed up my first sentence (I corrected it late in the evening).

A quick Google search reveals that news stories related to the Delta Smelt are from 2007-2008. Darn that Obama, running around the world counter clockwise really, really, really fast and arguing in front of the court to get the judge to shut off the water.

Bram Reichbaum said...

I thought this was a pretty tepid, almost rational Jack Kelley column, but I agree that line about "rules were circumvented" stuck out like a sore thumb. Kind of a blind, baseless accusation to lob into print without so much as a wisp of a suggestion of a glimmer of a hint what he might be talking about.