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Trump's speech didn't drone, and was, if graded on style points, a rousing success. There's style and there's substance. The content areas were masterfully crafted to dangle carrots that would appeal to partisan ideologues of both parties, on the way to soft-pedaling major cuts of everything dear to Democrats so he could achieve the "budget neutrality" demanded by Teabag Republicans.

The Detangler: Trump's Perpetual War Machine—Larry Wines

The Detangler: Trump's Perpetual War Machine—Larry Wines

Throw in a new agency to trumpet every incident of crime committed by an immigrant—but still no authorization for the Center for Disease Control to monitor gun violence—and there's red meat for the Glenn Beck crowd.

A more substantial part of the reason significant money must be generated is so he can ask congress to fund a major infrastructure bill that will fix single-digit percents of America's rapidly crumbling bridges and roads. Imply along the way that America will soon deploy high-speed trains to finally catch-up with Europe and Japan, and you'll get cheers.

But most of the redirected money is proposed for a wholly nebulous but shockingly massive increase in military spending.

Meanwhile, the Nat'l Counterterrorism Center is sounding a new kind of alarm: about drones of all kinds, not just the flying kind, in the hands of nefarious actors.

US Lt. Gen. Michael Nagata said, "Ask yourself, what could a robot the size of a penny, with the ability to cut through computer cables, do in a command and control center?"

The same discussion warned that small drones in the hands of terrorists may be used to "swarm" US military personnel, positions, deployed concentrations, or bases, and there is no obvious defense against it.

Which implies, quite obviously, that an expensively deployed presence of the well-armed, well-fed, highly trained US military in somebody else's country will be vulnerable to the military's biggest fear: a small, rather cheap, "asymmetrical" force, capable of striking from a multiplicity of tiny and primitive positions, each holding one or two fighters who strike without being identified or engaged.

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Yet an across-the-board 10% spending increase for the Pentagon to "beef up" the military is proposed by President Trump.

There's a rather nebulous old expression that "parts is parts." Yet, in government, it's an inscrutable notion that dollars are dollars.

The total budgets of the US State Department and the EPA together equal about $46 billion. That's about $10 billion less than the amount Trump proposes as an INCREASE to the Defense Department's budget. Yet Trump wants to cut the budgets of both those federal agencies to pay for his military increase.

Gerald Celente, publisher of "Trends Journal," told RT On Feb. 24th, "They're going to spend more money on the military. Why? They haven't won a war since World War II. We live in a nation of crumbling infrastructure. That's where we need to spend the money."

Speaking of trends, what's evident in that department? Try this one. At Trump's de facto State of the Union speech Tuesday night, there were two notable pairings. One was Sen. John McCain (R) AZ, with Sen. Lindsay Graham (R) SC -- the two glaringly biggest war hawks in either house of congress, who whispered back and forth. The other pair included Rep. Keith Ellison (D) MN, the man recently touted as the Berniecrat who could have saved the party -- until he became the loser of last Saturday's vote for Democratic Party chair. He was sitting kissy-kissy close to -- wait for it -- Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D) FL, the woman who, as party chair, abrogated the 2016 primary election process to give the nomination to Hillary Clinton, and had to resign because of it.

Hope and change? Nope, and no change back from the losing bets you placed: not on the hopeful bet that Trump would be the foil of the perpetual war machine. And not on the bet you placed on the Democratic Party finding its way back to New Deal ideology.


Parts is parts. So expect the Pentagon's $600 hammers and $2400 toilet seats will make a come back.

Larry Wines