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That's what I like about McCain.





ocalhoun
Washington Post
July 16, 2009
Pg. 3

Quote:
McCain Protests Amendment By Reid

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) complained angrily about Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid's legislative tactics after Reid (D-Nev.) attached the the annual defense authorization bill an amendment that would extend federal hate crimes protections to gay men and lesbians and the disabled.

McCain unsuccessfully sought to remove the hate crimes amendment from the broader defense spending measure.

"I've watched the defense authorization bill move its way through Congress, and occasionally, including at other times, I've seen amendments put on the bills which are non-germane," McCain said on the Senate floor. "But I haven't seen the majority leader of the Senate, whose responsibility is to move legislation through the Senate, take a totally non-relevant, all-encompassing controversial piece of legislation and put it on a bill that is as important to the nation's security as this legislation is."

Reid countered that McCain has never fully supported the hate crimes legislation.

It doesn't matter if you support the hate crimes legislation or not... You have to agree it has no place in a defense spending bill.


Washington Times
July 16, 2009
Pg. B1

Quote:
Inside The Ring

By Bill Gertz

Wynne vs. McCain

Former Air Force Secretary Michael W. Wynne is challenging Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, and Senate Democrats who want to block further production of advanced F-22 fighter bombers.

Mr. McCain, ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, has joined ranks with Committee Chairman Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan and other Democrats in opposing a Republican effort to add $1.75 billion to the current defense budget for seven F-22s, which would keep open the production line beyond the planned purchase of 187 jets.

Debate on funding the additional F-22s was halted July 14 and will resume next week. President Obama has threatened to veto the defense spending bill if the F-22 money is included.

Nearly all military leaders, as well as the more honest politicians, agree that we don't need more F-22's, especially since the F-35 will soon replace it. (The F-35 is slightly less capable, but is much cheaper and can do vertical landings and takeoffs, making it more versatile.)

The politicians trying to push for more F-22 production are mostly just trying to keep F-22 related jobs in their states. Saving a few hundred jobs is not worth $1.75 billion.
Vrythramax
ocalhoun wrote:
It doesn't matter if you support the hate crimes legislation or not... You have to agree it has no place in a defense spending bill.


Absolutly right! This is one of the major problems in American politics, bills get weighed down with so many riders and attachments that many time a simple bill that would have cost $20 million ends up with a proposed request for funding of hundreds of millions of dollars. And NO I am not exaggerating!

It seems whenever a bill comes across that looks like it will pass without a lot of fanfare, everyone wants to attach their own little piece of agenda to the bill until it becomes a monster of funding. It also has the added benefit of becoming propaganda for politicians (wanting to smear their opposition) who scream "he didn't want to vote for the Help Starving Kids bill!", when starving kids was only a fractional part of the bill.

Politicians of today certainly could have made Niccolò Machiavelli look up and say WTF!?! How'd they do that?!?
deanhills
Totally agreed. What worries me even more is that Bills get these riders attached without people being aware that they are there. There has to be some rule that if they attach riders that the whole bill has to start from scratch again. I still marvel at how quickly these Bills seem to make their way through the system, such as in January with the bail-out package. Sort of horrified me! I remember we had a thread at the time about whether members of Parliament actually read the Bill as technically it had gone through much too fast for them to have had the time to study through the contents, sort of wonder how democratic the system really is. The political system of having people representatives doing all the yaing and naying seems to have the effect of disengaging American citizens from making real input and contributions. Especially when someone like Obama puts a "hurry hurry" urgent stamp on the Bill as he is doing with the Healthcare one. So Americans are becoming more like chair critics and contributors to polls than actual participants in the process.
Vrythramax
deanhills wrote:
... What worries me even more is that Bills get these riders attached without people being aware that they are there. There has to be some rule that if they attach riders that the whole bill has to start from scratch again.


I don't think there is any law that prohibits that behavior, which is why they do it all the time.

I think the rule here is that once a bill passes, and if the money is specifically earmarked for a particular project, not a "general" budgeting thing sort to speak, then the money must by law be spent on that particular item/agenda. However, if the money is not budgeted out clearly when the bill is passed, the money can be diverted anywhere towards just about any project...even to the point that the original purpose dies from lack of funding.

ocalhoun...step up if you see me shooting myself in the foot here...like you wouldn't anyway Laughing
deanhills
Vrythramax wrote:
deanhills wrote:
... What worries me even more is that Bills get these riders attached without people being aware that they are there. There has to be some rule that if they attach riders that the whole bill has to start from scratch again.


I don't think there is any law that prohibits that behavior, which is why they do it all the time.

I think the rule here is that once a bill passes, and if the money is specifically earmarked for a particular project, not a "general" budgeting thing sort to speak, then the money must by law be spent on that particular item/agenda. However, if the money is not budgeted out clearly when the bill is passed, the money can be diverted anywhere towards just about any project...even to the point that the original purpose dies from lack of funding.

ocalhoun...step up if you see me shooting myself in the foot here...like you wouldn't anyway Laughing
OK - now if we go back to the Bail-out Bill and the 1.2-trillion dollars, wonder how specific the money has been allocated for projects? Twisted Evil
coolclay
I really liked/like McCain as well. He absolutely is an honest man, and really is bipartisan, not so much as some politicians but more than most, and a heck of a lot more than Obama. Either way whether he won the presidency or not, he still is in a very important position to really help our country. It's about time they stop building more F-22's while I think they are absolutely the most bad@ss jets of all time. They are ridiculously expensive and in this day and age are they really necessary. Especially when we already have plenty of them.
Vrythramax
deanhills wrote:
OK - now if we go back to the Bail-out Bill and the 1.2-trillion dollars, wonder how specific the money has been allocated for projects? Twisted Evil


With an amount so large I would imagine that quite a bit of the budgeting would be "discretionary", and end up re-routed to other pet projects of the current administration. That really is an incredible amount of money when you stop to think about it.
deanhills
Vrythramax wrote:


With an amount so large I would imagine that quite a bit of the budgeting would be "discretionary", and end up re-routed to other pet projects of the current administration. That really is an incredible amount of money when you stop to think about it.


I found an interesting description as well as visuals about what one trillion US dollars look like:

This is what it looks like, visually: http://www.pagetutor.com/trillion/index.html

Quote:
What's a trillion dollars?

A trillion dollars = $1,000,000,000,000.

That's 12 zeroes to the left of the decimal point. A trillion is a million million dollars.

The U.S. government spends more than the entire Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Australia, China and Spain combined. If you laid one dollar bills end to end, you could make a chain that stretches from earth to the moon and back again 200 times before you ran out of dollar bills! One trillion dollars would stretch nearly from the earth to the sun. It would take a military jet flying at the speed of sound, reeling out a roll of dollar bills behind it, 14 years before it reeled out one trillion dollar bills.

What is frightening is that government will continue to grow in America unless citizens prevent it. If government stays on the course it's been on for the past forty years without a radical change, the federal government will have a $10 TRILLION BUDGET by the year 2010.

Foolish politicians make pronouncements about the strength of the economy. The total debt obligation of the United States now exceeds 46 TRILLION DOLLARS.

American workers now net almost 30 percent less in real wages than they did in 1973. After taxes, two paychecks in a family barely equal the purchasing power one had thirty years ago.


Source of quote: http://100777.com/node/455
Moonspider
ocalhoun wrote:

Nearly all military leaders, as well as the more honest politicians, agree that we don't need more F-22's, especially since the F-35 will soon replace it. (The F-35 is slightly less capable, but is much cheaper and can do vertical landings and takeoffs, making it more versatile.)

The politicians trying to push for more F-22 production are mostly just trying to keep F-22 related jobs in their states. Saving a few hundred jobs is not worth $1.75 billion.


This could be the subject of another debate, but I have to say that I disagree with you (and obviously others) on this subject.

The F-22 is a replacement for the F-15, whereas the F-35 is a replacement for the F-16. The F-35 is a very capable aircraft, but it is not an air superiority fighter. It’s a strike fighter. The F-22 would be used to provide cover for the F-35s flying strike missions, for example. The F-22 is far stealthier than the F-35 (even far stealthier than the “stealth” fighter), is faster and carries more payload. The F-35 is vulnerable to certain modern air defense systems which the F-22 is not.

The F-35 will be invaluable to the Navy Department, of course. The Navy got out of the air superiority business when it allowed the F-14 to retire without a replacement, leaving the F/A-18 as the only fighter aircraft. And the VTOL variant will be an excellent replacement for the Marine Corps’ Harrier as well as their F/A-18s.

Besides, last I heard President Obama wanted to kill the F-35 as well. But even if that program (which is behind schedule) does stay in the budget, it may be years before the first operational F-35s hit bases and carriers. If we approve the F-22 Raptor, production will be completed before the F-35 even goes into production.

My concern is that if we let these programs slide in favor of systems and priorities based solely on the Long War, we place the United States in a position where it is only prepared to fight the last war (the Long War) instead of the next war. (Of course, this is a common adage in the military, that we’re always fighting the last war.)

What if the next war is against a more capable, traditional enemy with modern fighters and air defense systems? If we don’t purchase the F-22, with what will we fill the skies if necessary? Maybe we should just purchase the best fighter in the world from the Russians, the Su-30. Or better yet, buy the Su-30s from the Chinese so they’ll keep supporting our debt. Wink

I don’t relish the modern United States Air Force being comparable to the 1930s U.S. Army Air Corps in terms of fighter production versus the rest of the world.

On another note, I can’t help but think of the irony of it all. Here we are debating 0.26% of the defense budget, the inclusion of a $1.75 billion fighter program when we’ve spent several hundred billion dollars to save jobs and stimulate the economy. (Yet unemployment is now higher than the administration predicted it would be at the first of the year if we didn’t pass the stimulus package!) So heck, let’s just spend the measly $1.75 billion to keep upwards of 90,000 people employed (depending on the estimates) and to get Lockheed-Martin stocks back up. Wink

Respectfully,
M
handfleisch
Given the grotesque bloating of the US war machine, just about any cut that is proposed by high-level politicians -- McCain flashbacked to his old self on this one, and Obama lead the charge to cut the F-22s -- has got to be a-ok. And given that bloat and the easy pass military spending gets, anything that's proposed to be cut has got to be a real money hole or boondoggle or redundant or all of the above. It's just a drop in the ocean, but given the size of the ocean of military waste, that drop will represent hundreds of millions or billions of dollars.

article added on edit
Quote:
Quote:
Obama wins fight to limit fighter jets

By JIM ABRAMS, Associated Press Writer Jim Abrams, Associated Press Writer – Tue Jul 21, 6:59 pm ET

WASHINGTON – The Senate voted to terminate further production of the Air Force's topline F-22 fighter jets Tuesday, giving President Barack Obama a major spending victory and siding with the Pentagon's desire for smaller jets better suited to 21st century wars.

F-22 supporters complained the action would be a blow to long-term national defense — and cost thousands of jobs in the middle of the recession.

The 58-40 vote to cut the money from a $680 billion defense bill was a hard-fought victory for Obama, who had threatened to veto defense spending legislation if it included funds for more F-22s. Wavering lawmakers heard repeatedly from Vice President Joe Biden, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and other senior administration officials.

The vote was "a signal that we are not going to continue to build weapons systems with cost overruns which outlive their requirements for defending this nation," declared Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who joined Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin in arguing for cutting off production.

The $1.75 billion was aimed at adding seven F-22s to the current plan to deploy 187 of the twin-engine stealth planes. Of those 187, the Air Force has received 143 and is waiting for delivery of 44 more.

Gates, first appointed by President George W. Bush, wants to shift military spending to programs more attuned to today's unconventional wars. The F-22, designed for midair combat, has been irrelevant to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and therefore unused there.



http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090721/ap_on_go_co/us_defense_spending
Vrythramax
handfleisch wrote:
Given the grotesque bloating of the US war machine, just about any cut that is proposed by high-level politicians -- McCain flashbacked to his old self on this one, and Obama lead the charge to cut the F-22s -- has got to be a-ok. And given that bloat and the easy pass military spending gets, anything that's proposed to be cut has got to be a real money hole or boondoggle or redundant or all of the above. It's just a drop in the ocean, but given the size of the ocean of military waste, that drop will represent hundreds of millions or billions of dollars.

article added on edit


Please don't double post quoted articles.
handfleisch
Vrythramax wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
Given the grotesque bloating of the US war machine, just about any cut that is proposed by high-level politicians -- McCain flashbacked to his old self on this one, and Obama lead the charge to cut the F-22s -- has got to be a-ok. And given that bloat and the easy pass military spending gets, anything that's proposed to be cut has got to be a real money hole or boondoggle or redundant or all of the above. It's just a drop in the ocean, but given the size of the ocean of military waste, that drop will represent hundreds of millions or billions of dollars.

article added on edit


Please don't double post quoted articles.


I misread your other post and thought you were closing the other thread.
Moonspider
So what's the plan if we do not purchase more F-22s? Are we going to produce more fourth generation fighters to fill the fighter aircraft gap? Upgrade the F-15s? According to General Darnell, we could have a requirement gap of more than 800 aircraft in the U.S. Air Force by 2024. (I won't speak to the forecast gaps in the Naval Department, which includes the Marine Corps, since that is only affected by the F-35 program.) (1)

This will dramatically impact the Air National Guard, who have already seen a 44% reduction in squadrons since 1999.

The F-15 was developed in the 1960s and had an original service life out of the factory of 4,000 hours. Now we're pushing that to 16,000 hours. To upgrade F-15Cs, upgrades which still mean that they are less capable than the fifth generation air superiority fighters of other nations, will cost about $3 billion. This will enable them to keep flying beyond 2014. (Those upgrades cover only the radar, engines, and structural upgrades.) (2)

1. http://armed-services.senate.gov/Transcripts/2008/04%20April/Airland/08-36%20-%204-9-08.pdf
2. http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/aircraft/f-15-life.htm
ocalhoun
Moonspider wrote:
So what's the plan if we do not purchase more F-22s?

We use the F-22's already in existence, supplemented by older fighters, of course.

Air superiority is not a critical issue right now, or in the near future. As long as older fighters continue to get periodic upgrades, we'll be just fine in that department for a long time.

Given a real threat, the existing F-22's could be sent in first to establish superiority, then after the bombers have made flaming bits of metal out of any remaining enemy fighters and air defenses on the ground, the older air superiority fighters (and the ground-attack fighters) can maintain that superiority, backed up by a small number of F-22's in case they come up against a new threat they can't handle.
Wave 1: F-22's escorting B-2 bombers, supported by electronic warfare planes take out pretty much all enemy air defenses. (radars, enemy fighters, SAM sites, et cetera)
Wave 2: F-16's, F-15's, and F-35's pick off any stragglers, supported by electronic warfare planes, and B-1 bombers.
Wave 3: (kept in reserve in case a new, unexpected threat comes up) A supply of F-22's, and one or two B-2's.

We already have over 100 F-22's, with over 180 authorized to be built.
As long as no other country can field hundreds of comparable planes and counter the other planes in the arsenal, air superiority is assured.
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