While the Republican and Democratic Parties play Kabuki for the citizens with the "Fiscal Cliff", pretending division over how to recolonize the North American continent, the Senate voted 98 to Zero to pass National Defense Authorization Act 2013.
"The Senate’s defense bill authorized about $525 billion Pentagon spending, $88.5 billion for the war in Afghanistan and $18 billion funding in the Energy Department."
That's $631 billion. Keep in mind that's only half of the total bill for national defense, intelligence and national security programs which now total at least $1.2 trillion per year.
Nothing to see here, move along. The NDAA has passed for fifty one straight years although this is only the second time it's been unanimous.
It's clear, the United States is a military Empire and the show must go on. The reason for the unanimity is because there is nothing the politicians consider controversial with the bill.
"The defense bill always enjoys broad bipartisan support, but the unanimous vote highlighted the lack of controversial issues this year that have made the bill sometimes divisive in past years."
Other than the astronomical cost, the continuation of the global military Empire, noncontroversial details include a new round of sanctions against Iran, a permanent ban on ever transferring detainees from Guantanamo Bay, and continued funding for the occupation of Afghanistan.
And the indefinite detention of American citizens without charge policy passed with NDAA 2012 appears to have been swept under the proverbial obfuscation rug.
"Oh, and lest we forget, the Senate version also included the Feinstein Amendment, which nominally was supposed to ban open-ended military detention of American citizens captured on American soil, but was so awkwardly worded and filled with loopholes that proponents of the detention voted for it because they believe it will make it even easier for the military to capture Americans under the new law.
The fiscal cliff was never going to happen because it included future reductions in defense spending.
I'm always reading about how divided our political system is, how the two major parties cannot work together.
This is proof that they can, and when it appears they aren't, they really are.