Broadcast and print media during the week were so focused on heavy coverage of the Confederate flag being lowered in South Carolina that they missed a significant development --- further slicing the number of U.S. military personnel, observed Grumpy Editor.
How big of a cut? Elimination of about 40,000 active-duty military positions.
That’s equivalent to about three Army divisions.
Ex-military members are shaking their heads as the downgrading comes at a time when other nations, such as China and Russia, have been boosting their military and equipment.
The deterioration may not be over. Pentagon leadership said the cuts could expand with additional mandatory budget reductions from Congress.
The reductions are due to the Budget Control Act of 2011, that aimed to reduce defense spending. With another round of budget cuts, known as sequestration, the Army would be forced to reduce ranks by an additional 30,000 soldiers.
Critics said the cuts would leave America unable to respond appropriately to international threats.
Army Director of Force Management Brig. Gen. Randy George said further reductions would constitute a “significant risk.”
That development came on the heels of another shocker that failed to make front pages: With a shortage of U.S. Navy ships (lowest number since before World War II), the Marine Corps was exploring a plan to deploy its forces abroad in response to global hot spots --- by hitching rides on foreign vessels.
The current Navy is too small, said Jim Webb, former Secretary of the Navy under President Ronald Reagan. He pointed out when he left his post in 1988 there were 568 Navy ships vs. 280 today.
FYI, IN CASE YOUR FAVORITE NEWS OUTLETS MISSED THESE…
No way to boost a declining audience. CNN with Anderson Cooper’s segment on Friday fumbled exclusive live coverage of Donald Trump by cutting away for an in-studio panel discussion as Trump started to bring a half dozen people to the microphone to detail killings of family members by illegal immigrants, a hot topic stemming from a San Francisco incident in which a young woman randomly was shot and killed by an illegal alien felon who had been deported five times…Allied with that, anyone notice that San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, a former county supervisor, looked like a brass-heavy Army general when facing media in connection with the shooting of the young woman? Displaying his rank, he wore 16 clearly visible stars: four on each side of his shirt collar and four on left and right shoulders of his jacket…New way to mark an anniversary? The Wall Street Journal experienced an outage on its Web pages on Wednesday (it’s 126th anniversary) amid other same-day tech troubles at the New York Stock Exchange and United Airlines…ABC News reported former President George W. Bush charged $100,000 to speak at a 2012 charity fundraiser for U.S. military veterans severely wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan…Inflation barometer? Starbucks raised some drink prices by five to 20 cents…Accuracy of book best seller list raises eyebrows. The New York Times told book publisher HarperCollins it will not include Ted Cruz's new biography, “A Time for Truth,” on its best sellers list, even though the book has sold more copies in its first week than all but two of the Times' bestselling titles…Under a USA Today headline --- Apple's stock falls into the danger zone --- a story mentioned Apple shares “continued their steep fall, violating several ominous key levels and starting to cost investors some real money” adding, “The gadget maker’s shares Thursday cratered $2.53, or 2.1 percent, to $120.06 a share – their lowest closing price in five months.” So what happened on Friday, the next day? Escaping “the danger zone,” the stock jumped 2.67 percent or $3.21 a share to $123.28. Today, AAPL gained 1.93 percent or $2.38 to $125.66…Friends, fans and family were upset that under consideration is a name change from "Burbank Bob Hope Airport” to “Los Angeles Burbank Airport.” Now that should create confusion for fliers --- Los Angeles or Burbank? With a career spanning nearly 80 years, Bob Hope, who died in 2008 at age 100, appeared on stage, radio, television and in films, and was a key entertainer of troops overseas, making 57 tours between 1941 and 1991…Greece’s liquidity crisis was spilling over to some newspapers which faced a paper supply problem, mainly with payments.
A federal judge ruled that inmates in Cook County Jail, Chicago, have constitutional rights to access newspapers if they want them.
The jail currently bans newspapers.