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June 22, 2008


You know, in the end the entire defense contracting industry is a huge racket. Both of them have probably paid decision-makers off. But for what it's worth, if were gonna give money to crooks, let's at least give it to american crooks.

Off thread but still.
I laughed until I cried (a bit). Really good production values.
John McCain">http://sobeale.blogspot.com/">McCain called his wife a *. (But you knew that.)

Was John McCain protesting corruption by Boeing - or that the corrupt decision went against the EADS folks making those big campaign donations?

For that matter, maybe it is totally innocent. I'd sure be sure not to cut Boeing any breaks after the initial contract was rescinded due to corruption. Still, it isn't enough to be actually honest - one must also be perceived as honest. "Reputation is what others think they know about you - integrity is what you know about yourself."

RepubAnon: I have no problem with his protesting the original Boeing contract. I have a big problem with the idea that he might have tried to influence the subsequent rebid. And I think it's at best an unforced error, again: if you must employ a gazillion lobbyists, it's relatively easy to not send letters to the Pentagon in support of their clients.

Totally off the top of my head, I remember reading that the decisive event in this was that Airbus actually built demo models of the the refueling boom and associated tech, while Boeing's response was just "yea, we can do that", and we all know how well that works for defense projects.

McCain would NEVER be influenced to do ANYTHING improper by lobbyists. He told us so.

Didn't this kind of story come up again and again in 2000 when McCain ran? It seems to me--and my memory is foggy here--that he has a habit of doing this kind of thing, and then pivoting on it by saying "yes, this is why we need to get money out of politics" or some crap like that.

Can you tell me which is worse, giving a contract to a German Co. that comes here and gives jobs to Americans or to American co that ships jobs to India???

There are three types of personalities common in Naval Aviation:

1. The quarterbacks who got As in calculus. You don’t see them on TV because the network managers do not want to broadcast images of strong white males. It threatens the agenda and the executives on a personal level. Everybody in the Airwing wants to be like these guys.
2. Good pilots who accept the reality that they are not calculus-quarterbacks and are nonetheless confident in their own skin.
3. Competitive people who aren’t of the same caliber as the calculus-quarterbacks and have a hard time coming to grips with it. Their personal insecurities usually manifest themselves in some sort of bravado. Extreme cases may end up in politics.

Srsly, how hard is it to get your top campaign staff to list their clients from the last few years and have your Senate staff keep you from writing or saying dumb things based on that? At some point, some of this has to stick and you come off as either too dumb, or too arrogant, to be trusted with the Presidency.

No question about the political tone-deafness of the McCain campaign when it comes to corporate lobbyists. And no surprise either; this is so business-as-usual for Bush-era Giveaway Government (has there been one this bad since the Grant administration?) that I wouldn't be surprised if there were Republicans who are surprised by the blowback. "What? What's the problem? This is how things are done."

That said, having some experience in Pentagon procurement, I'll offer the opinion that the picture offered by even detailed news coverage of the matter is almost guaranteed to be so shallow as to be useless.

It is, to be blunt, utterly naive to expect military procurement -- other than, say, for boots or copier paper -- to be substantively objective or politically insulated in any meaningful way. The technical interaction required is almost beyond management (have you ever designed an airplane?), the processes are painfully slow (Pentagon technology typically is at least a decade behind commercial technology), and the scale -- billions of dollars of public money -- is one of the major reasons that we have a government, Senators and all.

I'm all for bashing McCain, by any means. But we should keep in mind which reasons are sound and which are ... um ... convenient.

At times like that, having five lobbyists for EADS in senior positions in your campaign is a real problem, and a completely needless one.

"Needless"? How would he run his campaign without them?

As for whether this project was motivated by going to bat for friendly lobbyists or to combat waste, I would keep this in mind. This activity is no different than what he was doing for Lincoln Savings and Keating, except this time there really was bad conduct by the government (instead of by McCain's "client").

That's the problem when your agenda consists of which of the lobbyists that surround you seems to have the best pitch line.

if were gonna give money to crooks, let's at least give it to american crooks.

Northrop is a US company.

giving a contract to a German Co.

EADS is actually a European company.

But, yeah, they're all crooks.

1. The quarterbacks who got As in calculus. You don’t see them on TV because the network managers do not want to broadcast images of strong white males.

I don't know which implication here is funnier: The one where there's some significant number of Naval Aviation personnel on television from which ol' B.O.B.* is drawing his sample size, or the one in which white folks have a tough time getting on TV.

*BiO-sanitation Battalion, for fans of Disney's The Black Hole, of which I may be the only one living.

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