Late on the night of April 8, 2011, Washington's leaders announced that they'd just done something extraordinary. They had agreed to cut the federal budget -- and cut it big.
"The largest annual spending cut in our history," President Obama called it in a televised speech. To prevent a government shutdown, the parties had agreed to slash $37.8 billion: more than the budgets of the Labor and Commerce departments, combined.
At the Capitol, Republicans savored a win for austerity. There would be "deep, but responsible, reductions in virtually all areas of government," House Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers (R-Ky.) promised a few days later, before the deal passed.
Nearly two years later, however, these landmark budget cuts have fallen far short of their promises. In some areas, they did bring significant cutbacks in federal spending. Grants for clean water dried up. Cities got less money for affordable housing. to be fair the 2011 bill also reduced out year budget authority and that constrained domestic spending a bit in FY 2012 and more so in FY 2013- in fact the FY 2013 effect is responsible for the initial -0.1 GDP number for the quarter ending dec 31
But the bill also turned out to be an epic kind of Washington illusion. It was stuffed with gimmicks that made the cuts seem far bigger -- and the politicians far bolder -- than they actually were.
Yesterday, as a task force of 125 officers, some riding Snowcats in the rugged terrain, continued their search, it was revealed that Dorner has become the first human target for remotely-controlled airborne drones on US soil.
A senior police source said: "The thermal imaging cameras the drones use may be our only hope of finding him. On the ground, it's like looking for a needle in a haystack."
Asked directly if drones have already been deployed, Riverside Police Chief Sergio Diaz, who is jointly leading the task force, said: "We are using all the tools at our disposal."
The use of drones was later confirmed by Customs and Border Patrol spokesman Ralph DeSio, who revealed agents have been prepared for Dorner to make a dash for the Mexican border since his rampage began.
He said: "This agency has been at the forefront of domestic use of drones by law enforcement. That's all I can say at the moment."
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.