Monday, July 06, 2009

The LuLac Edition #869, July 6th, 2009



Pennsylvania state government enters its first full week without a general fund budget in place. Budget talks resume today. The Harrisburg Patriot reports that staffers for the four legislative caucuses were in and out of the Capitol on Sunday, checking numbers, reviewing some Department of Public Welfare issues and generally preparing for a long week. But any major moves toward resolution of a budget gap well in excess of $1 billion awaited the return of legislative leaders from the July 4 break.
The impasse between Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell and the Legislature has spilled into the new fiscal year, leaving the state with a sharply diminished ability to spend money, sign contracts and pay bills. Six other states Arizona, Connecticut, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina and Ohio, are working with delayed budgets and big deficits. In Pennsylvania, negotiators have not dealt with a $3.3 billion deficit left over from the just-ended fiscal year and they still disagree over how to solve an essentially identical problem in the coming year.
The fact that a budget is late is not a new thing in Harrisburg it's the seventh straight year for that, the product of a liberal, hard-charging Democratic governor trying to win over a Senate GOP majority dominated by conservatives. Rendell is proposing more than $2 billion in new taxes much of it from a 16-percent income tax increase saying his solution is less painful than cutting crucial programs and forcing counties and school districts to increase property taxes. He is also fighting for a big increase for public schools, saying that is the best way to guarantee a vibrant economic future in an aging state. This year's budget impasse is different from any in recent memory. The recession-wrought deficit is heftier and the partisan trenches seem deeper making it hard to envision a compromise. But they will eventually. They have to," said Barbara Hafer, a financial consultant who served eight years each as Pennsylvania's independently elected state treasurer and state auditor general. "This is a national and a world crisis. Look at the states around us. ... We aren't worse off than anybody else."


Robert McNamara, the cerebral secretary of defense who was vilified for prosecuting the Vietnam War, then devoted himself to helping the world's poorest nations. McNamara died at 5:30 a.m. at his home, his wife, Diana, told The Associated Press. She said he had been in failing health for some time. His death was first reported Monday by the Washington Post. For all his healing efforts, McNamara was fundamentally associated with the Vietnam War, "McNamara's war," the country's most disastrous foreign venture, the only American war to end in abject withdrawal rather than victory. Known as a policymaker with a fixation for statistical analysis, McNamara was recruited to run the Pentagon by President John F. Kennedy in 1961 from the presidency of the Ford Motor Co. He stayed seven years, longer than anyone since the job's creation in 1947. His association with Vietnam became intensely personal. Even his son, as a Stanford University student, protested against the war while his father was running it. At Harvard, McNamara once had to flee a student mob through underground utility tunnels. The great tragedy of McNamera was that even as he believed the war was unwinnable, he put on a public face of confidence that said otherwise. He continued to express public confidence that the application of enough American firepower would cause the Communists to make peace. In that period, the number of U.S. casualties dead, missing and wounded went from 7,466 to over 100,000. McNamara’s death is another benchmark in the divisive war that to this day haunts many Americans. Even as time goes on, the wounds of Vietnam are barely subsided and bubble to the surface when a reminder, like an overdue bill, comes due. The death of a high official like McNamera is one of those triggers that brings back the emotions of the Vietnam War. McNamera was 93.


At 2:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is one current politican who reminds me very much of McNamera. His name: Obama. May God have mercy upon the United States of American.

At 3:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really think you should have not written anything about this monster. All of his good works post Defense will never make upfor the damage he did to America.

At 5:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Robert McNamera was a disgrace to his office and his President. While LBJ is blamed for the war, maybe if Mr. President of Ford Motor Company had a set, he'd have told the truth to Johnson. Johnson would've listened because McNamera cowed him.

At 6:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To compare a war criminal like McNamera to our current President is and does border on treason.

At 6:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

McNamera was horrible at his job but even more horrible because he said one thing and did another in public. Ed Rendell does that but he wasn't responsible for 58,000 people, Americans getting killed in an unjust war.

At 6:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Comparing McNamara to Obama is just plain stupid and shows a lack of understanding from someone who is just grasping. McNamara's soul brothers in Hell will be Dick Cheney and Rumsfield and neither will live to 93! As a Vietnam
Veteran, I say good riddance to this bastard who sold us out and then wrote about it to try and clear his own conscience, period.
It didnt work and may he rot in Hell!

At 8:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey 645PM: Well put. History does repeat itself. No wonder why Rummie wanted to hold on so long, he wanted to break MaC'S RECORD OF INCOMPETENCE. and deception.

At 9:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Waste of space Dave. He should burn in hell. Write something else, please.

At 9:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I meant the intellectual cerebral part that yonk mentioned in his post.. sheeshh

At 9:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

6:45 Horrible as it is to wish someone pain, suffering and death,
I have long wished all that on Mac!
I too am a Vietnam Vet and from my point of view he earned damnation
as do the other two bastards mentioned! Next war lets send the "planners" first and see how their plans work out before we commit.

At 10:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He was a tormented man. Pride goeth before the fall though.

At 11:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anybody see Yonk's Facebook account? Real cool. Had to change the subject here.

At 11:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No man is all one thing or another. Even Obama is not the sainted savior some hope for. Just so Robert McNamara.

McNamara admits to having done monstrous things. He has said that had the U.S. lost WWII, he certainly, and Curtis LeMay possibly, would have been tried as war criminals for their part in planning the fire bombing of Japan that resulted in thousands of civilian deaths and injuries.
He knew almost from the beginning that VietNam was unwinnable militarily. He opposed how the war was being waged more than he opposed the fact of the war. But he did speak out to the President, which eventually led to his resignation. I had to laugh at the comment that said McNamara could have cowed Lyndon Johnson by telling him the truth about the war. The man was never born who could cow Johnson. And he knew the truth – he kept it from the public on many occasions.

Why McNamara never spoke out publicly at the time, I don’t know. Maybe it was a sense of loyalty to the Presidents he served. Maybe it was a typical CYA operation. When he finally did speak out, it was clear that he was conflicted. His own family members protested the war. He met with protesters face-to-face, even when they attempted physical violence on his person. He was aware of the divide the war created in the nation.

I don’t presume to know what was in his mind or heart. All the good things he accomplished (look it up) are forever tarnished by the debacle of VietNam. All these years later, the mere mention of his name brings up emotions every bit as vivid as they were during his tenure as Secretary of Defense.

And yet, what have we learned? Judging from the conflicts in Iraq and elsewhere, I’d say very little.

At 8:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

1107AM:::: Finally a sane voice in all of this.


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