Daily mortar and missile attacks against the Syrian capital Damascus have been ongoing for years but intensified in recent months. The often quoted Syrian Observatory notes:
... raising to 116 persons at least including 18 children and 14 citizen women, who were killed as a result of the fall of these shells since the beginning of escalation on the capital Damascus and its suburbs on the 16th of November, and the SOHR documented the injury of more than 563 persons who were injured in these daily targeting during 3 consecutive months.Other accounts report higher casualty numbers.
Maxim A. Suchkov @MSuchkov_ALM - 4:03 AM - 7 Feb 2018All these mortars and missiles were fired from east-Ghouta, a Takfiri held area consisting partly of densely urban blocks and partly of agricultural villages. Some 400,000 people originally lived in the area but the number of people living there now is likely less than half of that.
#Russia's trade mission in #Damascus got hit by 120-mm bomb & is badly damaged. Earlier Rus aid delivery point in the city came under fire killing two local Syrians, Rus non-gov delegation (Christian & Muslim leaders who brought collected aid) had to be evacuated.
Republicans love to caricature Democrats as big spenders whose only approach to any problem is to throw money at it. As with most caricatures, it is made easy by the fact that it is mostly true. At least when it comes to domestic entitlement programs, nobody can top the party of FDR and JFK when it comes to doling out goodies to favored constituencies paid for by picking someone else’s pocket.
However, Republicans are hardly the zealous guardians of the public purse they would have us believe. While quick to trash their partisan opponents for making free with taxpayers’ money, they are no less happy to do the same – at least when it’s called “national defense.”
Over the next five years, the Trump administration will spend $3.6 trillion on the military. The GOP-controlled Congress’s approved, with Republicans voting overwhelmingly in the affirmative, the “Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018” (HR 1892) and the “National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018” (HR 2810). With respect to the former, the watchdog National Taxpayers Union urged a No vote:
‘An initial estimate of approximately $300 billion in new spending above the law’s caps barely scratches the surface in terms of total spending. The two-year deal also includes $155 billion in defense and non-defense Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) spending, $5 billion in emergency spending for defense, and more than $80 billion in disaster funding. $100 billion in proposed offsets are comprised of the same budget gimmicks taxpayers have seen used as pay-fors over and over and are unlikely to generate much of a down-payment on this new spending.’Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) poses the question that few in Washington – and certainly few Republicans – are willing to ask: “Is our military budget too small, or is our mission too large?”
Ron Paul Rewind: No to Endorsing Mitt Romney, Yes to Endorsing Peace, Prosperity, Liberty, and the Constitution
At the 2012 Republican National Convention, Ron Paul told Fox News interviewer Neil Cavuto that Paul had no plans to endorse Mitt Romney or anybody else in the presidential election. Instead, Paul, who competed against Romney in the Republican presidential primary, said he endorses “the principles I have been talking about for a long time … peace and prosperity and individual liberty, the Constitution.”
Adam Dick on Alaska Radio: ‘Russiagate’ Indictments, School Shootings, and More
On Saturday, I was interviewed by hosts Joshua Bennett and Michael Anderson at KFAR radio in Fairbanks, Alaska regarding a number or issues in the news. The interview started with a discussion of the indictment of 13 Russian citizens and three companies that United States Special Counsel Robert Mueller had announced the day before.
Five Minutes Five Issues: Marijuana President, Attacking Assange, War Costs, School Shootings, Empire of Lies
A new episode of Five Minutes Five Issues is out. You can listen to it, and read a transcript, below. You can also find previous episodes of the show at Stitcher, iTunes, YouTube, and SoundCloud.
In Trump’s 2019 Budget, Lockheed Looms Almost as Large as State Dept
In great measure, the Pentagon runs on Lockheed Martin. The US armsmaker racked up $35.2 billion in sales to the US government last year, a preposterously large figure that positions them both as heavily reliant on the government for its profits, and gives them a level of influence unmatched.
Strike Two: US Again Launches 'Defense' Attack on Russian and Syrian Forces in Syria
For the second time in a week, US military forces occupying northeast Syria have attacked Syrian government forces, blowing up a Russian-made T-72 battle tank on Saturday. According to a statement made today by Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian, commander of U.S. Air Forces Central Command, US forces saw a Russian tank in Syria that "took a shot at us" and the US side called in an airstrike in "self-defense."