Not getting much media coverage during the week was Capitol Hill testimony on the state of the U.S. military with the Army’s top general declaring ground forces face a high level of risk if there is a major conflict with countries such as China or Russia, notes Grumpy Editor.
Years of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, constrained budgets and troop cuts have had a cumulative effect on U.S. military forces, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley tells a House budget hearing.
Milley, 39th Army chief of staff, describes as a "great power war" against one or two of four countries --- China, Russia, Iran, North Korea --- would pose greater challenges for the U.S.
The four-star general reveals the Army's readiness is not at a level appropriate for what Americans expect to defend them.
Gen. Robert Neller, Marine commandant, joined Milley in informing lawmakers that upticks in military mishaps are affected by funding shortfalls that have led to less training, citing the crash of two Marine helicopters in Hawaii in January that killed 12.
“We track this very closely and the simple fact is that we don’t have enough airplanes to meet the training requirements for the entire force,” reveals Neller.
IN CASE YOUR FAVORITE NEWS OUTLETS MISSED THESE…
Look for a major reduction of news out of Washington for the next two weeks. Lawmakers are on a two-week recess…Most media now identify the GOP presidential front-runner as “businessman Donald Trump,” rather than far out and flowery earlier descriptions. Interesting, too, is that when Trump addresses rallies now, TV news channels air about one or two minutes of his speech, then spotlight protesters (mostly away from the rallies), often with a split screen with no Trump audio. Meanwhile, figuring it had a "scoop," CNN this morning featured a lengthy interview with a key protester who distrupted a Trump event in Arizona…It may not make front pages around the nation, but Wednesday is National Puppy Day to inspire canine-lovers to pick up a pooch…Just about every drug commercial on TV urges viewers to “ask your doctor.” Ever try to reach your doctor these days? It’s virtually impossible. Seems advertising agency copy writers --- apparently in fine health --- are unaware of the current situation with overworked medics. Equally difficult: obtaining doctors e-mail addresses…CBS Corp. is considering exiting the radio business, once a steady contributor to the broadcaster’s bottom line…Citing lessened competition, the Department of Justice files a lawsuit aimed at blocking Tribune Publishing, Chicago, which owns the Los Angeles Times, from acquiring newspapers in nearby Orange and Riverside Counties. Tribune has been eyeing Freedom Communications which publishes the Orange County Register and the Press-Enterprise in Riverside County…How big is the adult coloring book craze? Sales of such books for grownups, who are reading newspapers less, shot up to about 12 million last year from one million in 2014…The Washington Times reports: “Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton said Thursday that the southwest border is secure enough that the government should now turn its attention to trying to legalize illegal immigrants.” (Maybe she has missed TV footage and newspaper accounts of surging illegal border crossings.)
Unheard of in earlier years:
Quarter-page ads running in a western newspaper tout medical marijuana with a “one day sale.”