Guest Post: EXTEND & PRETEND: Stage I Comes to an End! The Dog Ate my Report Card

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Gordon T. Long of Tipping Points

EXTEND & PRETEND: Stage I Comes to an End! The Dog Ate my Report Card

Both came to an end at the same time: the administration’s policy to Extend & Pretend has run out of time as has the patience of the US electorate with the government’s Keynesian economic policy responses. Desperate last gasp attempts are to be fully expected, but any chance of success is rapidly diminishing.

Whether an unimpressed and insufficiently loyal army general, a fleeing cabinet budget chief or G20 peers going the austerity route, all are non-confidence votes for the Obama administration’s present policies. A day after the courts slapped down President Obama’s six month gulf drilling moratorium, the markets were unpatriotically signaling a classic head and shoulders topping pattern. With an employment rebound still a non-starter, President Obama as expected was found to be asking for yet another $50B in unemployment extensions and state budget assistance to avoid teacher layoffs. However, the gig is up: the policy of Extend and Pretend has no time left on the shot clock nor for another round of unemployment benefit extensions. A congress that is now clearly frightened of what it sees looming in the fall midterm elections is running for cover on any further spending initiatives. The US electorate has been sending an unmistakable message in all elections nationwide.

The housing market is rolling over as fully expected and predicted by almost everyone except the White House and its lap-dog press corp. Noted analyst Meredith Whitney says a double dip in housing is a ‘no brainer’ with the government’s HAMP program clearly a bust as one third of participants are now dropping out. The leading economic indicator (ECRI) has abruptly turned lower, signaling the economy is slowing rapidly without the $1T per month stimulus addiction, which has kept the extend and pretend economy on life support.

The gulf oil spill that was initially stated as 1000 barrels per day has been revised upwards faster than the oil can reach the surface. It now appears to be north of 100,000 barrels per day. A 100 percent miss is about in line with the miss on how many jobs the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) was going to create.  Also, it appears the administration can’t even get its hands around the basics of administration management during any crisis event.  Teleprompter politics doesn’t work when real problems must be resolved. There is no credibility left for Extend & Pretend nor for this president and his congressional majority.

In foreign policy the Chinese decided to ‘unpeg’ the Yuan from the US dollar, days prior to the G20 summit in Toronto, taking the wind out of the US administration’s attack plan. Congress had been expectantly raising the rhetoric levels and making the Chinese Yuan the culprit.  The market sold off hard the day the Chinese made the announcement, which tells you all you need to know about this administration’s understanding and abilities to formulate effective foreign and domestic public policy.

White House policies are unmistakably in shambles. We are rudderless with terribly outdated Keynesian zealots at the helm as the storm continues to worsen.  Stage I of Extend & Pretend is over – RIP!



Before we can identify what needs to be done, what the administration is likely to do and how we can preserve and protect our wealth through it, we need to first determine where we are going wrong. Surprisingly, no one has assessed the results of the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act 2009 (ARRA) which was this administration’s cornerstone program to place the US back on the post financial crisis road to recovery. Let’s briefly review it.


The chart above was one of the central charts used in persuading the public that the ARRA was absolutely necessary. This chart assisted in convincing the public that something they would previously have never accepted was the required course of action. I tried to find this chart on the ARRA’s touted web site and found that it has disappeared, including the links to the original discussion papers. Is it any wonder? It was like a school child telling his parents the dog ate his report card. Fortunately, I had a copy in my database.

It isn’t just the failure to achieve the zero line in the second chart above that should be frightening. The failure to achieve the required 150K to 200K level which adds the new entrants from college, immigration, military personnel returning to civilian work force etc. indicates we are still in seriously rough waters. The falling Civilian Employment rate below is the correct way to assess the ARRA’s results.



As analyst David Rosenberg at Gluskin-Scheff reports:

“the ECRI index moved closer to fully discounting a recession. The spot index fell 0.6% in the June 25th week to 122.2 – the lowest level since the week of July 29th of last year when the S&P 500 was 975, so please, do not tell us that 1,000+ is still somehow a “cheap” level. The growth rate in the ECRI index dropped further, to -7.7% from -6.9% on June 18th and -5.8% on June 11th – this was the eighth week in a row of deterioration. It may end up being different this time, but never before has a -7.7% print sent off a “head fake”. In fact, the only two false signals occurred at levels that were not as negative as what we have on our hands today: the -4.5% print in 1998 after the LTCM debacle and -6.8% in the aftermath of the crash of ’87.”


We can safely conclude either:

  1. The administration completely under estimated the extent of the economic crisis, even though we were well into it when the ARRA was introduced.
  2. The administration was unable to secure the actually required stimulus amount which was likely 4-5 times that approved.
  3. The administration failed to implement the program in a timely manner.
  4. The administration failed to diagnose the problem correctly and that in fact it is a structural problem versus a cyclical and liquidity problem, as they still insist it to be.

I personally believe it is all four of the above.



The recent G20 meeting in Toronto may very well have been a historical cusp. For the first time at a major summit the leaders refused en mass to follow US leadership. G20 leaders chose ‘austerity’, while the US firmly advocated ‘stimulus spending’.

The politically crafted joint release outlined ‘austerity, once the recovery was in place’. How this will be determined  is conspicuously missing, and to me it says no agreement was reached.

Ironically,  political pressures from a disgruntled electorate in the US indicates further stimulus spending is not likely to fly, while in Europe the austerity cuts are threatening the very fabric of the European social net which the public has begun rioting against.  We have both conflicting approaches between G20 camps while in turn they have conflicts with their own electorate base.  Maybe we should give Obama to the Europeans and we take Cameron or Merkel?

This is absolutely not the time for a failure to reach a fully agreed to and globally coordinated policy initiative that will arrest the current financial malaise. The lack of a clear understanding of what will work, what needs to be done and how it is to be done with an agreement amongst country leaders does not bode well for a successful outcome.

We must conclude that the first post-globalization crisis has been met with a resounding failure of coordination. Similarly, this was also the earmark of the political wrangling during the early stages of the 1930’s Great Depression.


Keynesianism has failed! Somewhat unknowingly there is a sense growing that these are not cyclical problems but rather are in fact structural problems - a belief that the financial crisis was not an unexpected event but rather a product of deeper and serious underlying strategic problems. President Obama and his Economic team remain in a shrinking camp of zealots who believe that further stimulus spending is still required. There is an overwhelming shift towards austerity which was evident by the recent G20 summit with one lone exception – the US.

When the Bank of International Settlements  (BIS), ECB President Jean Claude Trichet  and even former Democratic cabinet faithful Robert Reich come out publically strongly advocating austerity, you know opinion has changed.  The last spike however had to have been when Mr. Bubbles himself, former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, wrote in a June 18th  Wall Street Op-Ed piece.



Alan Greenspan, former Chairman , Federal Reserve

Wall Street Journal 06-18-10

As the primary architect of stimulus and easy money to fight everything that even remotely smelled of a slow down or problem from the 1997 Asian Crisis, Y2K, the Tech Bubble through to 911 it is an amazing turnaround and of significance from Alan Greenspan to go so publically on the record. For former followers of ‘Green-Speak’ it is unusually crystal clear!

Even CNBC recently had troubles corralling the lone voice of sanity amongst its cadre of empty headed parrots when Rick Santelli in an off CNBC private interview on an Eric King interview was heard saying:

  • On Spending Cuts: "Listeners, this is going to be the most important thing I am going to say: we need to maintain the focus on spending, the politicians in my lifetime always spend. If we end up spending way more than we can take in, in essence the deficit panel becomes a tax panel. We must stop spending before we talk about VAT taxes or taxing Americans more, we need to get spending under control. The ratings of congress are the lowest they have been in history”.
  • On Austerity: "Nobody wants that. But there is a silver lining - the UK have conditions in their economy worse than the US, but they came up with an austerity plan, and we see that their currency has been rewarded. The GDP has risen about 10% in a very short period of time."
  • On Keynesianism: "The Keynesians are both right and wrong. I don't think Keynes advocated the kind of helicopter-Ben spending  that many say he promoted. He promoted the kind of stimulus that created jobs, that's more the medicine for a cyclical downturn, we have a structural issue because of the bubble credit scenario." ”


Extend & Pretend was intended to give banks the time to restore their balance sheets versus the very politically unpopular choice of nationalization, which was debated during the height of the 2008 financial crisis. It was also intended to give time for the massive stimulus injections and the $13T of Lend, Spend and Bend (Guarantee) initiatives to ignite a rebound in the economy. It didn’t and the gig is now up!


The problem is actually pretty simple. We have more debt than productive growth can support. Debt has been losing its marginal productivity for years now and it no longer increases GDP. Rather, we abruptly reached debt saturation and now growth in debt reduces GDP. We have such levels of mal-investment and excess balance sheet gearing that increased debt now directly subtracts from productive money. Stimulus spending no longer will add sustained job growth.


The general public worries about two things: Having money to spend and having a job with which to earn the money. Everything else evolves or springs from having these first two. Politicians’ foremost job, if they are to get re-elected, is to deliver on this. Americans vote with their pocketbook.

They say that in a depression everyone is a Keynesian. That may be true until it is evident that it doesn’t work. Never have we had such debt levels from which to test this saying. What hasn’t changed is that when people are frightened they reach out to anyone that offers security or a sellable chance of restoring pre-crisis status quo stability - a person or administration that represents a chance to return things to the way they were. What was once unacceptable, even deplorable, is suddenly seen to be an option. The messenger of the solution is seen to be some sort of hero or messiah. This was precisely what led to the ascent of Adolf Hitler and many other now hated villains of history. They offered hope through new policy initiatives when none other did. They are now villains because their solutions turned out to be horribly wrong. Even if they were wrong headed ideas, if they were expedient they were latched onto by a desperate public. Are we fast approaching such a period over the next two years in America or are we already there?



Powerful countries have a tendency to solve inevitable political conflicts and/or inabilities to persuade the electorate through the use of geo-political events. These events act as catalysts that force a direction to be taken and politically unpopular measures to be enacted.

There are many examples of this occurring, but one that is well documented with recorded first hand testimony and achieved a major political initiative is the Vietnam War era “Gulf of Tonkin” incident. President Lyndon Johnson staged and manipulated this ‘false flag’ event to secure the dramatic escalation of troops and funding of the Vietnam War against overwhelming public and political resistance. It gave the administration the cover to execute its predetermined agenda. The public was intentionally hoodwinked.

I fully expect something like this to occur within the next 90 days and prior to the fall midterm elections. Whether it is Iran, Korea, a BP triggered financial collapse, a cyber attack, or some other geo-political event – expect the fallout to move public opinion towards further ‘stimulus spending’.

The government must find an excuse to push another $5T (minimum) into the US economy.

I suspect the Federal Reserve and White House Administration are now convinced that without further massive stimulus, the US economy is headed into a deflationary depression.

We are presently at the cusp as shown in the chart below, which I have labeled as a “Critical Point” or more technically a “Chaotic Transient”. We can go either way. The determination is a function of the public policy initiatives which the administration chooses.




I would like to offer another illustration by SocGen's Dylan Grice in his latest weekly piece "Double dips, siren calls and inflationary bias of policy." It was recently published by Zero Hedge. I have inserted three charts and links to make the message clearer within today’s geo-political tensions.

Margaret Thatcher, who came to power oddly enough on a "mandate to smash inflation, smash the unions and downsize government", saw her popularity immediately slide to 25% as people realized the very real pain associated with austerity and a regime fighting run away government. On very rare occasions, the people of a country do end up making the decision to take on hardship, instead of kicking the can down the road. Yet they promptly grow to regret their decision. So what was it that saved the government, and allowed the Conservatives a second term in which to complete the painful austerity project?

The declaration of war by Argentina's General Galtieri over the Falkland Islands. The result was soaring popularity for the Iron Lady, and the rest is history.

Looking forward, now that all of Europe is gripped in austerity, (and make no mistake - this very same austerity is coming to the US on very short notice with crashing popularity ratings for all political parties), has the political G-8/20 elite focused a little too much on a Falkland war? Is war precisely the diversion that Europe and soon America hope to use in order to deflect anger from policies such as Schwarzenegger’s imposition of minimum wage salaries? Is there a Gallup or some other polling "unpopularity" threshold that the G-20 is waiting for before letting loose all those aircraft carriers recently parked [1] next to the Persian Gulf, the Israeli jets in Saudi Arabia [2] or the recent US troop buildup [3] on the Iran border? [4] (Italics is my addition: see the charts I have added for [X] locations. I have also added [5] for the highly symbolic July 4th weekend visit of Hillary Clinton to Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia)



Troops have been removed from Saudi Arabia and there are bases in Iraq

Like the World Cup, if you can goad your opponent into reacting, you may be awarded the winning penalty shot.

Continuing from Mr. Grice:

The Thatcher experience shows how fragile support for painful economic policies can be even when the democratic mandate for those polices has been won. Like the Canadian and Scandinavian austerity experience in the 1990s, the painful programs adopted succeeded as much by luck as by political bravery. And this is what worries me. It's not that I'm ideologically wedded to one side or the other, it's that the precedents just aren't encouraging. The required austerity will be deeply painful and politically risky. Policymakers won't make it happen, so the bond market will make it happen instead.



The financial market charts reflect the current geo-political situation perfectly. The markets have now reached our targeted 38.2% Fibonacci retracement projection, which I have been calling for in my monthly newsletter.

What happens next? It is either one of the following alternatives, which future political policy decisions and actions will determine.


We will get a dramatic insertion of new Federal Reserve stimulus in the amount of $5T. This will be the last element required in the manufacturing of a Minsky Melt-Up (see: EXTEND & PRETEND - Manufacturing a Minsky Melt-Up). An accelerating Velocity of Money will bring on inflation in the items we “need to have” versus the things we think “we want”. It will be a time of PROTECTING your wealth from the ravages of inflation or possibly hyperinflation.

It is important to appreciate, and contrary to popular perception, it isn’t solely the printing of money that will bring on elevated inflation. It is also the result of a stealth supply shock in basic necessities coupled with a demand shock associated with population. Let me explain.

When the 2008 financial crisis hit, businesses began immediately preserving cash. Capital expenditures were slashed and new projects placed on hold or shelved indefinitely. For industries with long lead times to bring on new and increased production, such as is common in mining, food processing and generally overall in basic commodity businesses, this crimps their abilities to meet ramp ups for any near-to-intermediate term demand. Meanwhile, the Asian and Emerging markets of the world continue to be able to afford to eat better and consume larger quantities of the basic staples of life. These economies have not been hit as hard as the developed economies. This combination along with a future weakening US dollar is going to seriously propel consumer inflation in the US and accelerate Money Velocity when the Fed overlays QE II.


If the government is not successful in its reflation efforts, then we can expect a dramatic sell-off in financial assets. The market will retest and break through the 2008 lows of 666 in the S&P 500. It will be a time to PRESERVE your wealth from the onslaught of asset devaluation.


We have now entered into Stage II of Extend & Pretend or what I would prefer to call Preserve and Protect. We must watch key events extremely closely as they unfold, but with a clear understanding of the framework in which they happen. Government policy initiatives, geo-political events and economic trigger points must all be scrutinized.

For those wanting to follow this PRESERVE & PROTECT stage, and to know which Tipping Points will mark the way, then sign-up for e-mail notification of the releases of the Preserve and Protect article series and follow daily developments at Tipping Points.

It is going to prove to be one of the most interesting times in history. Let it be one of the most profitable for you and not the devastating period it will be for most.

The ‘dog ate my report card’ didn’t work in school and it didn’t work again!

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Crisismode's picture

I suspect the Federal Reserve and White House Administration are now convinced that without further massive stimulus, the US economy is headed into a deflationary depression.


You suspect?

My take is that it's a dead certainty.


doublethink's picture


Blame The Chinese Yuan!


(Reuters) - The U.S. Treasury Department again declined to label China a currency manipulator in a long-delayed report issued late on Thursday that is likely to provoke Congressional calls for tougher methods with Beijing.


Ripped Chunk's picture


Yes, blame others instead of the banksters and "corporate titans" 

Bear's picture

You are wrong.

Men are greedy ... All men will attempt to maximize their (influence, power, wealth, etc.) ... the fix we are now in was created when the natural greed of business (wealth) allied with the natural greed of political leaders (power) leading to the repeal of Glass-Steagall in 1999 fueled by the natural greed (influence) of Greenspan.

The Banksters and Corporate Titans were only doing what they are paid to do ... maximize profit. The political leaders who did not uphold their oaths failed us:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States    Clinton, Bush I and II, and Obama

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God

pan-the-ist's picture

All men are not greedy. Most people are content and want to be left alone.  They probably don't travel in your circle but that doesn't mean they don't exist.  Most people I know want to be treated fairly by their car dealer and their government.  Most people expect that when they put money into their retirement some fucking greedy banskter won't be trying to take it.  Some people are scammers, chiselers, takers, criminals.  Don't project yourself on other people and then generalize.

Boilermaker's picture

Amen brother.  I don't need to be rich.  I just need to be able to provide and, hopefully, in a comfortable fashion.  I'm always amazed at those that would literally kick an old lady in her toothless gums for an extra dollar.  Ironically and sadly, it's normally those that need it the least.

Bear's picture

You are right (I overstated) not all men seek power, influence, or wealth, but most will try to optimize their circumstances and when given a job to do will try to do it well. I think the banksters did (and are still doing) a good job optimizing their circumstances, i.e. maximizing the profits of BAC, C, GS, JPM, etc. But that is my point ... They should be restricted from doing the job of extracting the cumulative savings of generations of Americans by those we elected to protect us from enemies foreign and domestic. It's our leaders who failed us.


Chump's picture

"Its our leaders who failed us."

Ponder that statement.

Who really failed?  Who fell for the promises that could never be kept?  Who desired freedom from the responsibility of thinking and acting for themselves?

Put another way, how did those leaders achieve power for years on end in the first place?

There are a lot of places to point fingers, but we first have to point the finger at ourselves and move out from there.

AssFire's picture

Deflationary Depression??? End of Day's??

Whhooaa, I just wanted to know who LeBron picked.

papaswamp's picture

If he is smart he will pick income tax here

Boilermaker's picture

That's true!  Of course, it's also the worst real estate market in the US...but...

Rusty Shorts's picture

 - xcuse me for butting in here, but I think everyone should see this.

Market Manipulation On Display


DocLogo's picture

wow, great video... does that happen with all stocks, etc?

B9K9's picture

I just love these types of hyperbole laced missives; true tin-foil stuff. Look guys & gals, life is much more mundane. It doesn't take Hollywood flash & boom to kill people. In fact, people die everyday from the most ordinary circumstances.

Absent insane systems like Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan and/or Stalinist Russia engaged in existential wars, governments have very little power in the way of guiding markets. If the Fed & were so powerful, then why bother with all the MSM green-shoots blather and PPT market manipulation? I mean, why hassle bluffing & puffing if you've actually got the cards?

Ben was fighting a short-term deflationary event. All he had in turn was short-term monetary tools & techniques (QE, swaps, etc) combined with short-term government fiscal measures (ie Keynes). Extend & pretend was really all about extending & pretending until some new long-term economic miracle/driver came up.

But there is no miracle forthcoming, hence we are now going to experience a long-term deflationary depression. Blowing up the $USD doesn't buy you anything - it's the same exact end result as default, but with a more pissed off populace.

Obamacare was the high-water mark of this administration. Once the meme starts getting passed around that austerity will collapse the federal government, this is going to become a key selling point come November.

Hussein is an affirmative-action quota boy. Unlike dirty SOBs like Nixon & Clinton who really, really wanted the job and were willing to do anything to get it, this guy is wondering why he even accepted the position offered to him by Goldman. What's in it for him? Pussy? No, not right now. So, screw it.

We are now rudderless. There isn't going to be any radical announcement or movement by this administration. The Dems in DC have reached a collective acceptance that Nov will determine our/their fate. So expect more drift & malaise as we progress through summer & near fall.

Like I said above regarding Hollywood explosions, we don't need any excitement to get us where we are going. We're going there regardless - it's already baked in - now we proceed.

anony's picture

Only crazy, insane, and criminal classes enter politics in the first place because they really can't do anything productive in the private sector.

Ergo, if the definition of insanity is expecting different results, by doing the same thing repeatedly, the only possible next step would be?

Stage II, of course.

See your trillion, and raise you two more. 

traderjoe's picture

The only part about your comment that I disagree with is the first one. Politics is a fantastic career path - great perks, prestige, speaking engagements, not really much work (per se), very little oversight, can retire early and be a talking head, etc. I'm not in it, but I can see the attraction for the self-indulgent. 

wiskeyrunner's picture

If they don't extend unemployment benifits the people will go nuts and lash out. I think they will extend them we are in a no growth economy, we can't just let these people starve while bankers buy new 30k watches.

cossack55's picture

Sure we can.  Its called Darwinism.  We have a history of it. 

Rusticus's picture

If it were Darwinism the TBTF banks would have gone the way of T Rex.

Eally Ucked's picture

Of course they have to delay revolt by extending all those benefits. But whatever they do has the same end. There is no more space for little guys to borrow and feed the so called "service economy". Until 07 they were using HELOCS to fund their purchases, housing never goes down mentality is finished for now and there is no other cash cow around.

Printing is good for a while but at some point it will work in opposite direction. For now they are trying to use policy that you have to be positive about economy and future and spend those ever diminishing dollars, at least, at the slurpees joint, this keeps economy going?

What is really left of US economy, corn, Apple phones and military spending funded by borrowed money. That oil spill will cause much more damage to US than everybody thinks.

Boilermaker's picture

Uhhh...iphones are made in China but "designed" in the US.

suckapump's picture

The gulf oil spill that was initially stated as 1000 barrels per day has been revised upwards faster than the oil can reach the surface. It now appears to be north of 100,000 barrels per day. A 100 percent miss is about in line with the miss on how many jobs the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) was going to create.

Not to be too much of a stickler for math, but 1,000 -> 100,000 is a factor of 100, which equates to a 10,000% error. But hey, what are a few orders of magnitude between friends, right?

wiskeyrunner's picture

As we near the election I suspect now the Obama has kissed and made up with Israel the stock market may put on a show.

SilverIsKing's picture

What would LeBron do?

Ned Zeppelin's picture

"The government must find an excuse to push another $5T (minimum) into the US economy.

I suspect the Federal Reserve and White House Administration are now convinced that without further massive stimulus, the US economy is headed into a deflationary depression."


centerline's picture

Great post.  Thank you.

doomandbloom's picture

the dog ate my stress test too...

gridlocked's picture

Im pretty sure we have over 1,000 overseas

military bases now and many of those countries

don't want us there.

still kicking's picture

really 1,000?  try maybe 50

Teaser's picture

Al Gore invented this wonderful device that some of use all the time.  We call it the "interwebs".  Really, it's a set of tubes that Al Gore constructed that connects companies, governments and even individual homes!  What you do, is you use "The Google"  or "The Bing", you write down your question, and put it in the tube and away it goes.  Then, you get a whole lot of answers back!  Then, you have to read.  Reading is HARD, but worth it.  And the next time you see Al Gore, if he's not in prison, thank him for the greatest invention ever!


Officially the Pentagon counts 865 base sites, but this notoriously unreliable number omits all our bases in Iraq (likely over 100) and Afghanistan (80 and counting), among many other well-known and secretive bases.



RingToneDeaf's picture

I think it is closer to 1,000 maybe more.

It all depends upon how they are counted.

Google it, I was surprised.

Now how many countries have US bases?

Try 135 countries with US bases. Again how big does a base have to be to be counted?


gmrpeabody's picture

It has to have at least 1 guy giving orders, and at least 1 guy following ordes. That sounds like a base to me.

tasmandevil's picture

plus one john wayne or james dean or james brown not john travolta

Harry Bender's picture

Or just one Chuck Norris...

DosZap's picture

Personally I think we need to close down ALL but the VERY most essential.

Japan has wanted us out,for years...........good...get the FO.

Germany also...............

South Korea.......same.(nuke umbrella covers there, from anywhere).NK, get's too frisky, Neutron......

Protect yourselves Bitches.(no need to be there, Nuke umbrella extends globally for US, and allies.)

Just these, have cost us  Trillions over the last 60yrs.

still kicking's picture

I did look it up and I stand by my number (i'm a little over at 50) those small outposts are not true bases.  It's like trying to claim the dollar store is the equivalent of the mall.

Shameful's picture

90 days is a bold statement.  I mean Americans love to watch videos of people getting killed from the air, but they better manufacture a good reason.  Maybe a photo set of Ahmadinejad killing and eating Bat Boy.

"Bat Boy dead, America mounts bold new offensive"


spinone's picture

+10.  I love Bat Boy references

StychoKiller's picture

"Two-headed Baby Kills Own Mother!"

P-K4's picture

The leadership is failing miserably and all they can do is prescribe more Viagra (stimulus)... it reminds me of the old addage "(Richard) for brains."

binky's picture



The total of America's military bases in other people's countries in 2005, according to official sources, was 737. Reflecting massive deployments to Iraq and the pursuit of President Bush's strategy of preemptive war, the trend line for numbers of overseas bases continues to go up.


original story --

still kicking's picture

The details go on to specify 38 large and medium sized bases.  The hundreds of small outposts in Afganistan and Iraq probably make up most of the other 699 small bases.

DocLogo's picture

It's not the size of the base that counts, it's the girth of the bombs

Teaser's picture

Make sure you thank Al Gore for the Interwebs you used to glean that valuable information!  He spent a lot of time building all these tubes, in between chasing skirts.  How the man ever did it all boggles the mind!