Trump Slashes Neocon Dreams by Cutting Bloated F-35 Budget to Pay for Border Wall

By Jose Nino – 2/14/2020

The Pentagon is looking to divert $3.8 billion, mostly from its fiscal 2020 weapons procurement budget, to help fund President Donald Trump’s border wall, according to a report from Defense News.

Defense News listed the items that are expected to be cut:

A mass of aircraft purchases including F-35 joint strike fighters, C-130J cargo aircraft, MQ-9 Reaper drones and P-8 maritime surveillance planes, as well as ground vehicles and

In sum, the plan would take $2.202 billion in FY20 defense appropriations and $1.629 billion in FY20 overseas contingency operations funding and direct it towards the wall. The wall on the southern border is a crucial plank of President Donald Trump’s campaign.

Air Force and Navy aviation spending make up the bulk of the Pentagon’s cuts, with aircraft procurement being slashed by $558 million for Navy and Marine Corps and $861 million for the Air Force.

In the Navy’s case, the Pentagon plans on cutting two of the six F-35B short takeoff and landing aircraft that Congress tacked on to the FY20 budget. It will also slash two MV-22 Ospreys, claiming that “current funding is more than sufficient to keep the production line open.” Further, the Navy plans on eliminating funding for one of the nine P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft funded in FY20, declaring that the additional aircraft is “[in] excess to the 117 aircraft required.”

As far as the Air Force’s budget is concerned, the Pentagon cut funding for four of the eight C-130Js that Congress added for the Reserve and Air National Guard. The department said that funding for those aircrafts can be re-allocated for fiscal year 2021.

The request would get rid of eight MQ-9 Reaper drones, cutting off most of the funding Congress added for an increase of 12 MQ-9s. “The program is currently undergoing a strategic review,” the department noted in a written justification. “Procurement, if necessary, can be rescheduled to a later fiscal year.”

It additionally peels off $156 million for advanced procurement for the F-35A and cuts $180 million for light attack aircraft for the Air Force.

The Army expects to lose $100 million in funding for National Guard Humvee modernization and $194.5 million in Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck funding.

The reprogramming request also implements cutbacks of $650 million in advanced procurement funding for an America-class Amphibious Assault Ship, LHA-9. This ship is currently being built in Mississippi at Ingalls Shipbuilding. According its website, Huntington Ingalls Industries claims that the advanced funding Congress provided, “enables a hot production line and a supplier base of 457 companies in 39 states to build this powerful warship.”

The reprogramming also reduces funding for one expeditionary fast transport ship, which is built in Alabama at Austal USA. The Republican Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Alabama Senator Richard Shelby has taken a particular interest in this project. According to the reprogramming document, the ship was viewed as “excess to current programmatic need.”

“The procurement exceeds the program-of-record requirement,” the document highlighted. “This is a congressional special interest item.”

Furthermore, the National Guard and reserves are set to lose approximately $1.3 billion in what the reprogramming request views as unnecessary funding. This decision was made due to historic under-execution of the previous year’s funds.

This is a solid win for America First and big blow against neoconservatives, neoliberals, and other factions that suck up the military-industrial complex.

The quicker that Trump’s wall can be built, the better.

Reporter Claims Authorities ‘Hiding’ 300 Coronavirus Cases & 1 Death In Shanghai

by Tyler Durden

Summary:

  • Japan reports first virus death

  • President Xi says China will minimize impact from virus

  • Chinese leadership scapegoats local officials

  • Death toll and case count soared last night: There are more than 60k cases worldwide, and more than 1300 deaths

  • EIA joins OPEC in warning about upcoming drop in oil use, the first in a decade.

  • HHS Secretary says CDC will announce another confirmed COVID-19 case in US on Thursday

  • 21 people in Spain released from quarantine

  • US admin reportedly questioning China’s reporting

  • White House reportedly “doubts” China’s coronavirus numbers

  • CDC warns more infections possible after first US case confirmed in Texas (15th overall)

  • 2 Russian women attempt escape from quarantine

  • EU could close border if outbreak worsens

  • Kudlow says US “disappointed” in China virus response

  • Shanghai reports 300+ more cases

* * *

Update (1400ET): President Trump just reportedly said during a radio interview that he believes China is handling the outbreak “professionally.”

This after a slew of frustrated messages from his administration and officials including Larry Kudlow.

* * *

Update (1320ET): Following last night’s admission that local officials in Wuhan were undercounting the number of cases, a reporter appears to have found evidence that more than 300 unreported cases are active in Shanghai, as well as 1 previously unreported death.

So China is tightening the lockdown in Shanghai to hide the truth about the outbreak? That’s unconfirmed for now.

* * *

Update(1250ET): Not long after reports claimed the White House is widely skeptical of Chinese numbers, Trump’s top economic advisor Larry Kudlow appeared on television to say the US is “disappointed” in how China has handled the virus response, and that the Trump administration wishes there was more clarity.

Specifically, the US was most hurt by China’s refusal to accept an American team of experts from the CDC, who offered to help.

The US economy would be at 3% growth if not for the virus, he added.

* * *

Update (1230ET): As Beijing insists that it’s safe for foreign nations to soon lift their travel restrictions on China, CNN reports that the European Union is considering closing its borders if the outbreak really escalates.

They cite a Croatian health official, who said the plan is in the works, though he strongly suspects that it won’t be necessary.

The WHO has said that level of restriction isn’t necessary, but that’ hasn’t stopped Russia from closing part of its border and other countries restricting travel by Chinese.

* * *

Update (1215ET): For the second day in a row, the CDC has warned that more confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the US are inevitable, especially as the testing of ~800 evacuees from Wuhan continues.

After confirming the US’s 15th case at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, officials warned that “there may be additional cases” identified during this period.

The 15th patient was a “solo traveler” from China who has been quarantined “since arriving at Lackland Air Force Base from Wuhan.

They remain in isolation at a local hospital.

Officials assured the public that there’s no risk to the local community, according to CNN.

“We are right in the middle of that incubation period so it is not surprising” that the individual developed symptoms, McQuiston said.

“For the most part the people in quarantine are not doing much associating with each other,” McQuiston said.

Across the ocean in Russia, two women being held under quarantine over fears they might have contracted the virus managed to escape, citing the appallingly poor conditions of their medical detention, according to the NY Post.

Both of the women were hospitalized with flu-like symptoms after returning the Hainan region in southern China that is popular with Russian tourists because of its tropical environment.

In honor of US stocks turning green, we’d like to share this memorable clip of hazmat-suit-wearing person spraying an office down with disinfectant as China continues to slow lurch back to work.

Remember, it’s just like the flu – except much, much worse.

If it was really so mild, would authorities be treating anybody even suspected of having the virus like this?

But as the lockdown begins to lift in Beijing, here’s how people are reacting to…well…being around other people.

Update (1150ET): Citing a senior White House official, CNBC reports that the White House doesn’t have “high confidence” in the coronavirus numbers coming out of China.

CAP

The U.S. does “not have high confidence in the information coming out of China” regarding the count of coronavirus cases, a senior administration official told CNBC.

The official also noted that China “continues to rebuff American offers of assistance.”

The current thinking is there must be a reason why they won’t allow the CDC to send over personnel to help with the virus response.

Meanwhile, Jennifer Zeng tweeted out video of migrant workers being forced to sleep outside because of the draconian lockdown.

How much longer until President Trump demands evidence that the virus wasn’t bioengineered?

* * *

Update (1015ET): Following last night’s debacle over China reporting, Fox News’ Edward Lawrence reports that administration sources say they believe China is under reporting the number of coronavirus cases by at least 100,000 in China.

CAP

Additionally, Lawrence notes that administration sources say scientists working on how the coronavirus spread are having difficultly getting to the sight on where the first case happened.

CAP

We suspect Chinese authorities will do their best to keep any “help” from the west at arm’s length for fear of discovering the truth behind this deadly outbreak.

Jennifer Zeng meanwhile tweeted a video of migrant workers in Jiangsu province being reduced to sleeping in the streets or woods thanks to the lockdown.

* * *

Update (0950ET): Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Thursday morning that the CDC is preparing to announce another confirmed coronavirus case in the US later in the day. That would be the 15th case in the US.

The announcement hit US stocks just minutes after the open.

In Europe, CNN reports that 21 Spaniards who returned from Wuhan on an evacuation flight have been released from Gomez Ullah Hospital in Madrid. The Spanish Health Ministry said the individuals had finished their quarantine stretches.

* * *

Update (0915ET): Even China’s state-controlled press is beginning to sound alarmist as it becomes increasingly clear that the epidemic is anything but ‘contained’.

CAP

Meanwhile China’s CDC has reportedly declared ‘War Time Status’ to authorize war-time conditions on quarantine, supplies, management and, of course, control & discipline.

CAP

If you thought the lockdowns were bad, it looks like Beijing is about to get pretty creative as it tries to walk the balance of pushing the public to get back to worked and protecting them from the virus.

In Xiaogan, in Hubei Province, two young men were forced to kneel in the street after violating restrictions of traveling outside.

Reuters adds that Huanggang, another city in Hubei, that it will tighten epidemic controls by “sealing residential complexes and only allowing essential vehicles on roads.”

Patients quarantined in China’s hospital jails are clearly hoping that their patriotic socialist principles of valuing the common good over individual liberty will see China through.

In other news, the EIA warned earlier that the COVID-19 outbreak would cause the first drop in oil use in a decade.

CAP

* * *

Update (0750ET): News out of China is presenting yet another lesson in contrasts.

In his latest remarks, President Xi said his government is striving to hit China’s development targets, and that the government will “definitely be able to minimize impact from the virus,” according to Chinese state media that has been relayed to English-language newswires.

He also pledged to maintain the development momentum of China’s economy.

Meanwhile, over in Macau, the government of the beleaguered casino paradise is planning to hand out vouchers to residents allowing to buy food to try and help boost local consumption once the outbreak starts to subside, Bloomberg reports.

They can only be used at local restaurants and businesses over the next 3 months.The government is also planning to reduce some taxes and fees to help people recover (a rare example of fiscal stimulus directed at main street).

Here’s a video report published on NHK’s site (please excuse the excess text):

 

TRUMP HATER MISTAKES RED CAP FOR MAGA HAT, PUNCTURES EX-NYPD COP’S FACE

Trump Hater Mistakes Red Cap For MAGA Hat, Punctures Ex-NYPD Cop's Face

Man celebrating 50th birthday wore a hat saying ‘Make Fifty Great Again’

  – FEBRUARY 12, 2020

A former NYPD detective who was celebrating his 50th birthday in Nashville, Tennessee was sucker-punched by a woman who thought his red cap was a MAGA hat.

Staten Island resident Daniel Sprague was talking with his wife and friends at a bar called The Stage in downtown Nashville when a stranger spun him around and hit him in the face, shouting, “How dare you?”

“I was outside with my friends when some grabbed me from behind, spun me around and punched me in the face,” Sprague said.

On Facebook, Sprague wrote, “A misguided soul possibly not alone, who I’m assuming was not very literate, spun me around, punch (sic) me in the face and grabbing (sic) my hat while she was yelling ‘how dare you’ leading me to think she thought it was a MAGA hat.”

However, the hat actually read, “Make Fifty Great Again,” to commemorate Daniel’s birthday.

He was also wearing a t-shirt that said, “Making America Great Since 1970.”

When the woman hit Sprague, she may have been wearing a ring or holding a key because it left a gash in his cheek that was “pretty deep and goes to the bone.”

“She has issues, I feel bad for her,” he told WSMV.

Sprague and the assailant were escorted out of the bar by bouncers before he could call the police, but he did file a report the following day.

The former NYPD cop did say The Stage is a “great bar with great security and very professional.”

Touching on the political climate that likely led to the attack, Sprague told WSMV, “This is wrong,” and said people can’t just go around assaulting others “because somebody has a political opinion that doesn’t match theirs.”

“I love Trump, but I wouldn’t hit someone who had a Bernie hat on,” he added.

The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department confirmed they received Sprague’s report and he’s currently waiting to hear back from detectives.

UVA SAYS ‘MULTICULTURAL STUDENT CENTER’ IS OPEN TO ALL RACES AFTER “TOO MANY WHITE PEOPLE” RANT GOES VIRAL

UVA Says 'Multicultural Student Center' is Open to All Races After "Too Many White People" Rant Goes Viral

Some still think racial segregation is progressive.

  – FEBRUARY 13, 2020

The University of Virginia has released a statement clarifying that its ‘Multicultural Student Center’ is open to students of all ethnicities after a video rant by a black student claiming there were “too many white people” went viral.

As we reported yesterday, a video released by Young America’s Foundation shows a black woman telling other students, “Public service announcement, excuse me, if y’all didn’t know this is the MMC and frankly there are just too many white people in here, and this is a space for people of color.”

This contradicted the UVA’s own website, which stated that the facilities at the ‘Multicultural Student Center’ “are open to everyone, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, ability, ethnic or national origin, sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Following the controversy, the University released another statement re-affirming this position.

“In order to foster the diversity of experience and ideas that make UVA a great and good place to study and work, these centers are open to all members of the University community,” the University wrote.

CAP

So although some of its students may support racial segregation in the name of progressivism, thankfully the UVA doesn’t.

However, according to a report in the Cavalier Daily, “Several other students tweeted in solidarity with the student in the video, saying that white people did not frequently visit the MSC when it was located in the basement of Newcomb Hall.”

This begs the question; If white people rarely even visit the center, how many white people is “too many white people”?

YOUTUBE DELETES VIDEO OF RAND PAUL SAYING NAME OF CIA WHISTLEBLOWER ON SENATE FLOOR

YouTube Deletes Video of Rand Paul Saying Name Of CIA Whistleblower on Senate Floor

Paul called the move ‘A chilling and disturbing day in America’

– FEBRUARY 13, 2020

Google-owned YouTube is proving their allegiance to the Democratic Party by assisting in the censorship of anyone who dares utter the name of alleged CIA “whistleblower” Eric Ciaramella.

Ciaramella is reportedly the individual who filed a complaint about President Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, resulting in the Democrats’ latest impeachment witch-hunt.

After Chief Justice John Roberts refused to read a question from Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) containing the name of the alleged “whistleblower” during the Senate impeachment trial in late January, Paul read the name himself during his floor speech.

Paul argued Justice Roberts singled out Ciaramella by refusing to read the question, saying, “By not allowing the question, he’s sort of confirming to the public who it is. I have no idea who it is.”

After footage of Paul’s floor speech was uploaded to YouTube, the video platform deleted the clip.

A YouTube spokesperson announced, “Videos, comments, and other forms of content that mention the leaked whistleblower’s name violate YouTube’s Community Guidelines and will be removed from YouTube.”

Don’t worry though, YouTube isn’t singling out Sen. Paul, spokesperson Ivy Choi also bragged, “We’ve removed hundreds of videos and over ten thousand comments that contained the name. Video uploaders have the option to edit their videos to exclude the name and reupload.”

Paul responded to the YouTube decision, telling Politico, “It is a chilling and disturbing day in America when giant web companies such as YouTube decide to censure speech,” adding, “Now, even protected speech, such as that of a senator on the Senate floor, can be blocked from getting to the American people.”

Continuing, Sen. Paul explained, “This is dangerous and politically biased. Nowhere in my speech did I accuse anyone of being a whistleblower, nor do I know the whistleblower’s identity.”

CAP

The censored question Paul asked was, “Manager Schiff and counsel for the #president, are you aware that House intelligence committee staffer Shawn Misko had a close relationship with Eric Ciaramella when at the National Security Council together, and are you aware and how do you respond to reports that Ciaramella and Misko may have worked together to plot impeaching the President before there were formal House impeachment proceedings?”

Sen. Paul discussed the matter on Fox News:

WHO DUBS CORONAVIRUS ‘PUBLIC ENEMY NUMBER 1’

WHO Dubs Coronavirus 'Public Enemy Number 1'

Death toll rises as virus continues global spread

Deutsche Welle – FEBRUARY 12, 2020

More than 1,000 people have so far lost their lives to the new coronavirus, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called on the world to act and warned that “a virus is more powerful in creating political, economic, and socialist upheaval than any terrorist attack.”

“If the world doesn’t want to wake up and consider this enemy virus as public enemy number one, I don’t think we will learn from our lessons,” he said. “It’s the number one enemy to the whole world, and to the whole of humanity.”

CAP

The number of fatalities from the virus reached 1,113 on Wednesday after China’s hardest-hit Hubei province reported 94 new deaths and three more were reported elsewhere in the mainland. In its daily update, the province’s health commission also confirmed another 2,105 new cases on Tuesday, the lowest since January 30.

Ghebreyesus, who previously served as the Ethiopian foreign minister, called on investing in prevention measures and helping countries with weaker health systems, He warned that “if this virus makes to (a country with) a weaker health system, it will wreak havoc.”

“For now it doesn’t seem so, but it doesn’t mean it will not happen. It may,” he said.

The virus has already paralyzed China’s economy as many large companies urged their employees to stay at home in order to curb the spread of the disease.

Meanwhile, an additional 39 cases have been reported on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which was being quarantined for a second week off the coast of Japan.

The new reports bring the total number of cases on the ship, which has 3,700 passengers and crew on board, to 174. A quarantine officer was also found to be infected with the virus.

COVID-19

The WHO chief also announced a new official name for the disease, saying that the agency has dubbed it COVID-19.

The “CO” stands for “corona”, “VI” stands for “virus”, “D” for disease, and “19” for the year 2019, as the virus was first officially confirmed in December last year, according to Ghebreyesus.

The UN health agency intentionally avoided names that could be linked to a geographical region, an animal, or a group of people, he said.

‘We are not defenseless’

The WHO is currently hosting a conference of 400 medical experts who should prepare a “roadmap” for the outbreak response, including discussion on possible treatments.

“They will take time to develop, but in the meantime, we are not defenseless,” Ghebreyesus said, noting that a first vaccine “could be ready in 18 months.”

CAP

Ghebreyesus also recommended washing your hands, keeping at a distance from people who are coughing, and — if you are coughing yourself — covering your mouth with a tissue or your elbow.

There are now more than 44,200 confirmed cases across China, based on previously released figures from the government.

Separately, Chinese epidemiologist and senior medical advisor Zhong Nanshan told the Reuters news agency that the outbreak would likely peak before the end of February.

“I hope this outbreak or this event may be over in something like April,” said the 83-year-old Zhong, who was also involved in fighting the 2002-2003 SARS epidemic.

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