Sunday, February 3, 2008

Defense Dept.'s Weapons Programs Wasteful

What have Hillary Clinton and John McCain done to change this corrupt system. Nothing, of course. And if either one is elected you can expect more of the same. The military-industrial complex is alive and well. And that won't change unless we force from power the two-party system:

The Defense Department's major weapons programs have suffered cost overruns in the billions of dollars, years-long delays and quality shortfalls because of poor acquisition practices by the department, according to a report released yesterday by the Government Accountability Office.

The GAO warned that the cost of designing and developing weapons systems could "continue to exceed estimates by billions of dollars" if the Defense Department doesn't improve its acquisition practices.

The report, which focused on 11 troubled weapons programs, said contractors had "poor practices" for systems engineering and relied on "immature designs, inadequate testing, defective parts and inadequate manufacturing controls."

The report said the Defense Department did not provide effective oversight as projects were being developed, and often entered into weapons-development contracts before engineering of the project had been analyzed, driving up costs.

In addition, the report said, the Pentagon often pays the cost of the contractors' mistakes, providing the companies with little incentive to perform higher-quality work. "Risk," the report said, "is not borne by the prime contractor, but by DOD.

Bush Proposes Budget With $400B Deficit

Bush's going away gift to the nation:

The spiraling growth of Medicare and the high cost of renewing President Bush's tax cuts are squeezing popular education, health, housing and anti-poverty programs in the budget blueprint that he hands lawmakers Monday.

Even with difficult-to-digest proposals to curb Medicare costs and kill programs to repair dilapidated public housing, fund community action agencies and provide food to the elderly poor, Mr. Bush's $3 trillion budget will project deficits around $400 billion this year and next.

Mr. Bush's submission is already absorbing brickbats from Democrats castigating him for inheriting a government in surplus and leaving Washington with a budget deficit that is likely to break the $413 billion record set four years ago, once war bills and the cost of giving the economy a fiscal jolt with tax rebate checks are factored in.

"The next president is going to inherit a colossal mess because of the fiscal irresponsibility of this president," Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., chairman of the Budget Committee said Saturday.

Mr. Bush's budget will demonstrate a way to produce balance in four years and still renew tax cuts on income, investments and people inheriting large estates - cuts now scheduled to expire at the end of 2010. The cost of renewing those tax cuts exceeds $300 billion by 2013, according to congressional scorekeepers.

Poll: Clinton, Obama Neck-and-Neck

It looks like the Democratic race will continue after Tuesday's primaries. Both Clinton and Obama will split most of the delegates, which means there will be no clear cut winner. On the contrary, Obama is surging. And the longer the race continues the better for the Illinois Senator. He has plenty of money and he is getting major endorsements. African-Ameicans are increasingly believing that Obama can win, and the Clinton race-baiting has backfired. The more the American people listen to Barack Obama the more they like him. As for Hillary, she is running out of dirty tricks. Although, expect a few fake tears between now and Tuesday:

Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are running neck-and-neck in California, New Jersey and Missouri two days before the sprawling "Super Tuesday" presidential showdown, according to a Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby poll released on Sunday.

Obama has a slight lead in California and is virtually tied with Clinton in New Jersey and Missouri heading into the biggest day of voting in a U.S. presidential nominating campaign, with contests in 24 states from coast to coast.

"It looks like we have some serious horse races going on with Clinton and Obama," said pollster John Zogby said. "However it turns out, we can be pretty sure it is too close to be resolved on Tuesday."

Japan finds Insecticide on Bags of Chinese Dumplings

Now Japan has been hit by a free trade mentality that ignores China's disregard for human life, and puts profits above the same. It is only a matter of time before Americans start dying before we wake up to our dangerous trade policies. We know now our government can't be trusted to protect us:

Investigators found insecticide on the packaging of six bags of Chinese-made dumplings among millions being recalled after a tainted batch sickened 10 people in western Japan, police said Sunday.

Chinese and Japanese food safety officials meanwhile prepared for Sunday evening talks in Tokyo on the tainted dumplings that prompted a nationwide scare over imported food.

Investigators detected methamidophos on the outside of six bags of dumplings made by Tiangyang Food Processing Ltd., and found that one of those bags had two tiny holes, a Hyogo prefecture (state) police official said. The official spoke on condition of anonymity citing policy.

Whether the dumplings inside are contaminated is under investigation, the police official said.

The bags were among items that were recalled from Sojitz Food Corp., a wholesaler, he said, adding that investigators have yet to determine how the products were delivered to Sojitz.

Predictably the Chinese are stonewalling:
China's product safety agency announced Saturday that tests on the ingredients of dumplings made by a Chinese company found none of the insecticide cited by Japanese authorities.

Japanese authorities say dumplings made by Tianyang were contaminated with methamidophos.

Chinese experts tested 30 ingredients in dumplings from the same batch as those exported to Japan and found no trace of the insecticide, said the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.

- Chinese dumpling scare hits Japan (CNN)
- Insecticide-Tainted Dumplings From China Sicken 175 in Japan