Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Jump right into the political fray

I was going to start out with some easy get-to-know-me posts (or describe the black mold we found in the bedroom this weekend and my subsequent sinus infection, but quickly decided that snot stories do not make for good blogging,) instead, this recent news story has me thinking.

After a bit of looking around at who would be building these 28 new high-tech helicopters, and where. First, I do think that 28 is a bit excessive, even if they do need a couple of decoys plus a couple hot spares a third of that number sounds better. Second, the company tasked to provide these whirlybirds is Lockheed Martin, based out of Maryland and the production plant is in New York state. I like that the work would go to a US-based company and be produced in the US. Third, most of the news reports, and McCain's comments make it seem like the new fleet of 'copters is an expense Obama is indulging in. In fact, Bush awarded the contract over 4 years ago. I found these press releases.

Finally, that news release mentions that some of the major components in the new helicopter are not US-made, which is not as good for US jobs. But we also have to consider that if countries that buy from the US or supply the US probably need a boost to their economy to continue to trade. If the government does not purchase at least some of these new Marine One helicopters, Lockheed Martin will be yet another employer looking to slash jobs. We could look at a portion of the purchase price as a part of the stimulus bill.

On the topic of President Obama and Marine One, I enjoyed the story of him first saluting the marine at the foot of the helicopter stairs, and then shaking the Corporal's hand. The president asked Williams' name and said it was an honor and he appreciated the service. Since that young marine is from Eastern Missouri, it was covered in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. While finding the link, I saw a blogger getting getting the story wrong, thinking that the president did not salute and therefore disrespecting the armed forces. I also found this photo of our lanky prez bumping his head on Marine One just a few days later.

(AP photo / February 9, 2009)

Headline: Obama bumps head when boarding Marine One
The solution for the 6-foot-1 president? Duck!
(Baltimore Sun / February 10, 2009)

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