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Friday, June 26, 2009

The More Things Change...

Jim is on vacation in the swamps of the Florida Panhandle, send alligator repellent!
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The Air Force doesn't want any more F-22 Raptors.

The Pentagon doesn't want any more F-22 Raptors.

The Secretary of Defense doesn't want any more F-22 Raptors.

The President doesn't want any more F-22 Raptors.

As a tax payer, I don't want any more Goddamned F-22 Raptors. Don't get me wrong, it's a hell of an aircraft. The most advanced in the world. Watching it fly is an amazing experience. It was designed to counter the most sophisticated air defense the Soviets could field - and if there actually still was a Soviet Union, the F-22 would scare the collective Red commie bejebbers out of them.

Just one little problem, there isn't a Soviet Union any more. Hasn't been for quite some time as a matter of fact.

Unfortunately, down there in Jesusland where they teach Creationism and the special conservative bible history instead of, well you know, actual fact based reality, the Soviet Union is still going strong. Conservatives are convinced that we need those F-22's. They want to be ready in case Sarah Palin gives the alarm like a modern day Paul Revere from Alaska when the Rooskies surge enmasse across the Bearing Sea.

The Senate Armed Service Committee voted yesterday to add $1.75 billion to the defense budget in order to purchase another seven F-22's from Texas-based Lockheed-Martin. The committee didn't mention how these super cool and super expensive aircraft will help defuse roadside IED's, find insurgents hiding in caves, hunt down the actual emboldened purveyors of false populism who actually, you know, blew up the Twin Towers, or in any way help defeat the actual threats that soldiers face in the current war.

But hey, as long as it keeps good little Jesus humpin' conservatives employed, it's good for the nation. Right?

I'm curious though if any Conservative lawmaker actually knows the definition of the word hypocrisy. Especially those who screamed, and continue to scream, about the President's economic stimulus package as "full of pork." Funny how it's pork when it's money for roads and schools and bridges and poor people and such, but it's not pork when it's billions for airplanes designed to fight an enemy that does not exist and we don't need and nobody in the military actually wants. Funny how it's socialism when it's money to keep millions of American automaker employees in blue states afloat, but it's not socialist pork when it's money to keep a handful of Texans employed - Texans who keep mumbling sullenly about seceding from the Union by the way.

The President has threatened to veto the bill unless the F-22 and other unnecessary and unrequested funding is removed. Normally I'm not a fan of holding up the Defense Appropriations Bill. I can't tell you how many times those of us in the military have been screwed by Capital Hill shenannigans, going months without funding in the middle of a war without the gear or money we need to do our fucking jobs. But this time around I'm with the President. He needs to veto this bill, and keep vetoing it, until the dead bloated white elephant of the F-22 is removed.

It's about Goddamned time that people understand something: the Cold War is over.

Cold War spending should be over too.

11 comments:

  1. But you don't understand the real reasoning. 187 isn't a prime number.

    Well neither is 194, but it is closer to a prime than 187.

    Totally valid reason.

    Besides, what is 1,750,000,000 of other people's dollars to you.

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  2. I agree, Jim. But it's not just the Texans. Note the funding amendment was added by Sen. Chambliss. (The planes are assembled in a Georgia plant.)

    http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/business/stories/2009/06/26/lockheed_senate_vote.html

    That doesn't change your point, of course. I just feel a bit worse knowing my dipshit senator is a key player.

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  3. Yeah, but you're discounting the ever present event of the Iranian Air Force getting the F18 ripp-off off the ground. It's going to happen RSN.

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  4. Well, gee, thanks, Jim, for sharing your FLORIDAISWHERETHECRAZYGOESTODIE meanderings.

    I was in a good mood today, and now I have to write my Senator and Representatives because I have hypertension.

    Enjoy your vacation, asshole..

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  5. Nothing says love to many Congressional districts like another aircraft carrier. Make a naval version of the F-22 and build a new carrier to carry them -- and everybody wins!

    The scary thing is that the F-22 is sufficiently capable and stealthy, that it might be a damned good air superiority machine for the Navy... I hate it when I sense that someone might smell a worthwhile idea in the middle of a humorous taunt. (grin)

    Dr. Phil

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  6. Yes, the planes are assembled at the Lockheed Martin plant in Marietta, Georgia. Well over a thousand people in multiple shifts in a massive complex just on the other side of Dobbins Air Force Reserve Base. Know several folks that work there.

    I lived less than a mile down the road from the base for several years. You could hear them testing the jet engines from the house. And when they got those birds ready to fly, they had the AF flyboys come over and play with them!! Interesting, but noisy!

    I suspect this is a grandstand approach aimed at appeasing the local Lockheed unions, not dumping the entire Lockheed workforce along with support & supply chains out in the dust on US41. Which would distroy the already staggering 9.4% unemployment rate in this state into double digits.

    Nice thought, but at the expense of keeping the war machine rolling?

    Who are they trying to kid? Get a clue Saxby...this is exactly WHY I did not vote for you!!

    WendyB_09

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  7. Doc, the F-22 requires special care and environmental controls, it would never, never stand up to the rigors of sea service. Neither the stress of carrier operation nor the sea environment.

    And that's part of the problem, the F-22 is a strictly AF aircraft, it can't be used by the other services and it requires special support - you're not just buying a couple new planes, you're buying new hangers and environmental controls and spares and special tools and special training and specially trained crews and specially fuel facilities and special weapons and special security and you're doing it for the next thirty years. F-22's can't be serviced or housed or supported by facilities and crews already in existence. You build seven new planes, you're building a couple billion in new infrastructure to go with them. This was done on purpose, it's how the AF gets new stuff, it's how senators ensure their constituents get new jobs (building new hangers and fuel cells and support facilities and getting hired as guards for those stealthy machines and etc on local bases), and it's how the whole thing works. These planes need a whole raft of shit that you're not seeing in the budget, stuff that will have to be added later because once you have the planes you have to have new fuel trucks and start carts and and tools and tie-down cables and improved runways and all the shit nobody ever thinks of in advance. When all is said and done, that $1.75 billion is more like 15 billion and counting over the life of those planes - and that's for seven planes, multiply that times 200 and you're in the real ballpark. And the more planes the more it costs, not the less, the price per unit goes down but the cost of spares and facilities and training and etc keeps right on counting until the day the last one is decommissioned.

    See, that's the part they never seem to mention.

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  8. Oh I know, Jim. I was just trying to cause trouble. Because if one puts out a "good" idea, someone will run with it no matter what constraints reality wants to put on it.

    Dr. Phil

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  9. Besides, do you know how many B$ you could soak up trying to come up with an F-22N? How much did the Navy put in the, what was it, the A-12 program? And how many A-12s are in service today? (grin)

    (ducks)

    Dr. Phil

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  10. $120 Billion.

    Is what the A-12 program cost, Phil. We got a couple of really cool concept paintings out of it, and no airplanes.

    When they asked the Admiral and the two captains what happened to the money, they just shrugged and kind of shuffled their feet.

    Then they got promoted.

    Yeah, I remember the A-12 program.

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