WELCOME BACK.
LAST WEEK, OUR NATIONAL NIGHTMARE OF A CLOSED GOVERNMENT ENDED, 
RETURNING US TO OUR NATIONAL NIGHTMARE OF AN OPEN GOVERNMENT.
BUT IF OUR NATION WERE TO TAKE ONE LESSON FROM THE SHUTDOWN — WHICH, OF COURSE, WE
WON’T — MAYBE WE’D THINK A LITTLE MORE ABOUT THE THINGS WE ARE AND AREN’T WILLING TO SPEND
MONEY ON. THIS YEAR, WE’VE ALLOTTED MORE THAN
SEVEN HUNDRED BILLION DOLLARS IN DEFENSE SPENDING. THAT’S MORE THAN THE GOVERNMENT SPENDS ON
EDUCATION, TRANSPORTATION, ENERGY, AGRICULTURE, SPACE, JUSTICE, THE ENVIRONMENT, VETERANS,
HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, COMMERCE, HOMELAND SECURITY, HOUSING, THE INTERIOR, LABOR, THE
TREASURY AND THE STATE DEPARTMENT COMBINED. THAT IS SUCH A HUGE NUMBER THAT IF YOU 
TYPED IT INTO A CALCULATOR AND TURNED IT UPSIDE DOWN, IT WOULD SAY 
“USE THIS MONEY TO HELP PAY FOR UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE, YOU BOOBS.”
OUR GIGANTIC MILITARY BUDGET WOULD BE A LOT EASIER TO FORGIVE IF IT WERE ACTUALLY
MAKING US SAFER. BUT A LOT OF IT IS NOT.
WE REGULARLY THROW UNIMAGINABLE SUMS OF MONEY AT MILITARY PROJECTS THAT SHOW NO SIGNS OF
EVER BEING USEFUL. LIKE FLYING OVER FOOTBALL GAMES OR, YOU
KNOW, INVADING IRAQ.
A MORE RECENT EGREGIOUS EXAMPLE IS THE DEVELOPMENT OF 
THE F-35 AIRCRAFT, WHICH HAS GONE VASTLY OVER ITS ALREADY ENORMOUS BUDGET.
THE F-35 WAS SUPPOSED TO BE THE CROWN JEWEL IN THE MILITARY AIR FLEET.
ACTUALLY IT WOULD HAVE BEEN CHEAPER TO MAKE IT OUT OF ACTUAL CROWN JEWELS.
WE’VE ACTUALLY MANAGED TO BRING THAT DOWN TO AROUND 
89 MILLION DOLLARS PER PLANE, MOSTLY BY NOT ORDERING
THE CLEANING KIT AND STURDY LEATHERETTE CARRYING CASE, BUT IT’S STILL PRETTY DARN PRICY.
THAT WOULD BE A CRAZY AMOUNT OF MONEY EVEN FOR A PLANE THAT WORKED, WHICH THE F-35 DOES
NOT. AT A MOCK DEPLOYMENT IN 2016, 
ONLY ONE OUT OF SIX F-35’S COULD ACTUALLY TAKE OFF DURING TESTING. 
ALTHOUGH THAT COULD BE AN ADVANTAGE, SINCE THE ENEMY WILL NEVER EXPECT TO SEE FIGHTER
JETS “DRIVING” TOWARD THEM. 
SURPRISE! THE F-35 ALSO SUFFERED FROM A RADAR GLITCH
THAT COULD ONLY BE RESOLVED BY HAVING THE PILOT TURN THE RADAR OFF AND ON AGAIN.
LIKE A WIRELESS ROUTER. IT’S OKAY, THEY’RE HIGHLY TRAINED FIGHTER
PILOTS SO THEY CAN GET THROUGH THE VERIZON TECH SUPPORT MENU AT 50,000 FEET.
OTHER F-35 “OOPSIES” INCLUDE THE JET’S SOFTWARE, WHICH WAS SO HOPELESSLY SCREWED UP, TECHNICIANS
HAD TO GO OFF BASE TO USE COMMERCIAL WIFI ACCESS,
DOWNLOAD THE NECESSARY FILES AND BURN THEM TO CD’S.
SO WE’LL BE FINE AS LONG AS WE ONLY INVADE PLACES THAT ARE NEAR 
A STARBUCKS WITH FREE WIFI. OH, AND THE F-35 ALSO HAD ONE OTHER “TEENY”
PROBLEM. A
BLOWTORCH SURROUNDED BY FUEL? THESE THINGS ARE 89 MILLION DOLLARS.
HEY AIR FORCE, GIVE ME HALF THAT MONEY AND I WILL SELL YOU A 
MUCH MORE AFFORDABLE EXPLODING PLANE. THE ENGINE IS A FORK IN A MICROWAVE.
DON’T SAY NO OR YOU’RE AGAINST THE TROOPS. SO HOW DOES A 
COUNTRY THAT CAN’T AFFORD TO OFFER ITS CITIZENS HEALTH CARE DROP ALMOST HALF-A-TRILLION DOLLARS
ON A BUNCH OF PLANES THAT DON’T WORK? IT ALL COMES DOWN TO A SLOPPY CIRCLE JERK
BETWEEN THREE POWERFUL GROUPS. THE PENTAGON NEEDS SOMEONE TO BUILD BLAMMO
MACHINES THAT WILL VAPORIZE PEOPLE WE HATE. SO THEY GIVE ASS-LOADS OF MONEY TO 
DEFENSE CONTRACTORS, WHO SPREAD EACH PROJECT AROUND AS MANY CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS  AS
POSSIBLE, PROMISING LOTS OF FAT, JUICY JOBS THAT LEGISLATORS
WILL DO ANYTHING TO PROTECT. AND WHEN THEY ALL SHARE A SPECIAL HUG, 
A CRAZY-ASS PLANE THAT WE DON’T NEED IS BORN. THIS HAPPY THROUPLE IS COMMONLY KNOWN AS 
“POLITICAL ENGINEERING.” AND FOR PROJECTS LIKE THE F-35, IT’S THE ONLY
KIND OF ENGINEERING THAT WORKS. EVEN 
BERNIE SANDERS, ONE OF THE MOST OUTSPOKEN CRITICS OF EXCESS MILITARY SPENDING, 
FELT COMPELLED TO BRING SOME OF THE PORK HOME TO HIS STATE.
WHO KNEW VERMONT WAS SUCH A MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL POWERHOUSE?
THAT EXPLAINS BEN & JERRY’S NEW FLAVOR DEATH BY CHOCOLATE AND DRONES.
UNFORTUNATELY, THE MAN BEST EQUIPPED TO STOP THIS NONSENSE IS DONALD TRUMP, AND HE IS ALL
IN. OKAY, THAT SOUNDS DUMB, BUT HE DOESN’T MEAN
YOU “LITERALLY” CAN’T SEE IT. OKAY, BUT HE MEANS YOU LITERALLY CAN’T SEE
IT ON RADAR, NOT LIKE YOU LITERALLY CAN’T SEE IT IF IT’S RIGHT NEXT TO YOU.
THEN TRUMP’S AIDES HAD TO GET HIM TO ANOTHER EVENT SO THEY PRETENDED TO THROW A TENNIS
BALL THE OTHER WAY. GO ON, GO GET IT! LIKE MOST THINGS PRESIDENT TRUMP ENDORSES,
THE F-35 HAS BEEN A COLOSSAL WASTE OF MONEY. BUT IT’S HARD TO STOP.
IF YOU TRY TO ACTUALLY SCRUTINIZE OUR MILITARY BUDGET THE WAY YOU’D SCRUTINIZE ANY OTHER
GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, PEOPLE SAY YOU’RE AGAINST THE TROOPS. 
WHICH I AM NOT! I’LL HAVE YOU KNOW MY FAVORITE PARTS OF 
MALE STRIP SHOWS ARE THE MILITARY-THEMED PARTS.
BUT IF YOU DON’T TRUST MY PEACENIK OPINION, MAYBE YOU’LL TRUST 
THAT OF THE LATE JOHN MCCAIN, WHO CALLED THE F-35
PROGRAM “A SCANDAL,” “A TRAGEDY” AND “DISGRACEFUL.” 
YES, NATIONAL DEFENSE IS IMPORTANT, AND THAT COSTS MONEY.
BUT IT’S NOT “SUPPORTING THE TROOPS” TO STICK THEM INTO BILLION-DOLLAR 
FORD PINTOS. THEY DESERVE BETTER, AND SO DO THE REST OF
US. WE’LL BE RIGHT BACK.