From spending $150 million on private villas for a handful of personnel in Afghanistan to blowing $2.7 billion on an air surveillance balloon that doesn't work, the latest revelations of waste at the Pentagon are just the most recent howlers in a long line of similar stories stretching back at least five decades.
For all his earlier flirtations with the Democratic Party, the Donald is a product of the same right-wing extremism that has flushed moderates out of the Republican Party, reduced political discourse to a debate over the relative size of bank accounts and genitalia, and revealed "politically incorrect" talk to be naked racism, sexism, and xenophobia. Trump is a rogue elephant, and he might just lead the entire herd over the electoral cliff. It's a drama that's almost Shakespearian in its combination of low comedy and fratricidal bloodletting.
Imagine parents endlessly praising their son as "the smartest, handsomest, most athletically gifted boy since God created Adam." We'd conclude that they were thoroughly obnoxious, if not a bit unhinged. Yet the military remains just this sort of favored son, the country's golden child. And to the golden child go the spoils.
Four Horsemen are running loose: War, Poverty, Racism and Climate Change. They may have other names, but these are how they appear to me in my political nightmares. And the riders are human. They're the ones leading us right now, behind the façade of democracy. Confronting them -- stopping them -- will take a movement independent of politics as usual, but not independent of the political process itself.
Despite all the meetings, promises, and apocalyptic threats, global carbon emissions have risen from the Kyoto Protocol of 1997 until today -- from around 6.5 billion metric tons per year to nearly 10 billion. If both China and the U.S. had tackled this issue back in 2001, perhaps we wouldn't currently be in this pickle. Chalk that up as another opportunity cost (which might just cost us the planet). Instead of haggling over currency, hacking, and sea-lanes, the two superpowers should be thinking big. Between them, the U.S. and China account for nearly one-third of the global economy, nearly one-quarter of the world's population, and more than two-fifths of the world's carbon emissions. What these two countries do by definition has an enormous global impact.
OK, well perhaps all Government have their own idiocy but we are clearly the World's idiots with our RIDICULOUS military budget, which is "officially" $711Bn, but that doesn't count the portion of our debt that comes from our Military Adventures and the cost of the interest it takes to service that debt.