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Member since: Wed Mar 16, 2005, 11:12 AM
Number of posts: 60,364

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Pentagon finalizes $7.8 billion in F-35 contracts with Lockheed


Pentagon finalizes $7.8 billion in F-35 contracts with Lockheed
By Andrea Shalal-Esa
WASHINGTON | Fri Sep 27, 2013 7:02pm EDT

(Reuters) - The Pentagon on Friday said it had finalized two contracts with Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) valued at $7.8 billion for 71 more F-35 fighter jets, citing what it called significant reductions in the cost of the new radar-evading warplane.

The U.S. Defense Department said it signed a $4.4 billion contract for a sixth batch of 36 F-35 aircraft, with the average cost of the planes down 2.5 percent from the previous deal. All but $743 million of that amount had already been awarded to the company under a preliminary contract.

The two sides also signed a $3.4 billion contract for 35 aircraft in a seventh batch, which reflected a 6 percent drop in the average price from the fifth group, it said in a statement.

The Pentagon's F-35 program office said the cost of each F-35 conventional takeoff A-model jet would drop to $98 million in the seventh batch of jets, excluding the engine, from $103 million in the sixth lot. It marks the first time the price of the jet will have dipped below $100 million.

unhappycamper comment: This camper maintains that this pig costs around $243,000,000, but I do not know if the $250 grand helmet is included (after it's fixed).
Posted by unhappycamper | Sat Sep 28, 2013, 09:59 AM (3 replies)

2 U.S. Army vets accused of plot to kill DEA agent


Former sniper instructor known as 'Rambo' allegedly recruited four others in scheme to import cocaine

2 U.S. Army vets accused of plot to kill DEA agent
Michael Winter, USA TODAY
9:17 p.m. EDT September 27, 2013

Two former U.S. Army snipers, including a 20-year veteran labeled a "contract killer," and a retired German sharpshooter have been charged with plotting the murders-for-hire of an American drug agent and an informant in Africa, the Justice Department announced Friday.

The planned assassinations, which were never carried out, were part of a conspiracy to fly hundreds of kilograms of cocaine into the United States from Colombian drug traffickers who were actually confidential sources for the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Two other ex-military snipers, one from Germany and the other from Poland, were arrested in Estonia and charged only with drug crimes as part of the scheme, which stretched from Asia to Africa and to the Caribbean. The plot leaders decided the pair would "not be able to handle" the killings, which were called "bonus jobs," the indictment states.

Prosecutors portrayed the five as ruthless mercenaries.
Posted by unhappycamper | Sat Sep 28, 2013, 09:52 AM (0 replies)

NSA Chief: 'Yes' - Our Desire Is To Collect All US Communications


NSA director General Keith Alexander at Senate Intelligence hearing, Thursday September 26, 2013

NSA Chief: 'Yes' - Our Desire Is To Collect All US Communications
- Jacob Chamberlain, staff writer
Published on Friday, September 27, 2013 by Common Dreams

Asked whether the National Security Agency should collect all communications of U.S. residents at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Thursday, NSA Director General Keith Alexander replied, "I believe it is in the nation's best interest to put all the phone records into a lockbox – yes."

Alexander, who was joined by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Deputy Attorney General James Cole, went on to maintain the the NSA's collect-it-all approach to communications surveillance in the U.S. and around the world is necessary—urging Senators not to be moved by the rising tide of public discontent that has surged since NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed a trove of incriminating evidence through several newspapers, exposing the agency's unconstitutional surveillance practices.

Alexander blamed "sensational headlines," not the actual dragnet surveillance practices revealed in the media, for public anger—a notion that seemed to be shared by most of the Senators at the hearing, who are supposed to be in charge of NSA congressional oversight.


And as Kevin Gosztola at FireDogLake reports, "Multiple senators used their time to express the opinion that the media was to blame for sensationalizing what Snowden had exposed when there was nothing corrupt going on at the NSA and oversight was occurring properly." He adds, "It was a sham of a hearing."
Posted by unhappycamper | Sat Sep 28, 2013, 09:44 AM (5 replies)

EXCLUSIVE: Former Gov. Don Siegelman Brings the Hammer Down on Tom DeLay from Prison


Alabama's former Democratic governor issues statement to The BRAD BLOG, slamming the former GOP House Majority Leader for his part in a $20 million 'money laundering' conspiracy to defeat him...

EXCLUSIVE: Former Gov. Don Siegelman Brings the Hammer Down on Tom DeLay from Prison
OpEdNews Op Eds 9/26/2013 at 16:40:11
By Brad Friedman

Ever since last week's reversal of former GOP Rep. Tom DeLay's 2010 money laundering convictions by a 2-to-1 partisan decision of a three-judge Texas appeals court panel, we have been contrasting the Texas Republican's treatment in the judicial system with that of Alabama's former Democratic Governor Don Siegelman.

Now, the last Democratic governor to serve Alabama is speaking up for himself, in a statement he's furnished to The BRAD BLOG from federal prison, slamming DeLay for what he describes as his part in a $20 million criminal conspiracy with convicted GOP uber-lobbyist Jack Abramoff, Karl Rove, Ralph Reed, Grover Norquist and others to defeat him in his bid for re-election, and to ensure he never took office again.

Siegelman is currently serving a 6.5 year sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution in Oakdale, Louisiana for something that 113 bi-partisan former state attorneys general agree had never been regarded as a crime until Siegelman was convicted for it. (Watch 60 Minutes' 2008 story on Siegelman's outrageous prosecution here.)

In his statement, the former governor speaks out against "The Hammer" and hammers him hard for what he describes as collusion to "engineer a money laundering scheme to defeat me in my race for re-election as governor and to elect Karl Rove's and Tom DeLay's Republican colleague from the U.S. House, then Congressman Bob Riley."
Posted by unhappycamper | Sat Sep 28, 2013, 09:35 AM (0 replies)

Weapons of Mass Destruction (F-35) Wanted?


State Democratic "Leaders" Push For "National Scandal" to Come to Vermont

Weapons of Mass Destruction Wanted?
General News 9/27/2013 at 11:28:28
By William Boardman

Vermont city to consider protecting neighbors from Air Force F-35 attack

With Vermont's highest elected officials still deep in Defense Dept. denial over the disaster that is the Air Force's F-35 strike fighter, a local city council threatens to bring some military sanity to Vermont (but nowhere else) by exercising its landlord right to reject as a tenant a weapon of mass destruction that will wreak havoc on the local neighborhood.

This initiative comes from four members of Vermont's Progressive Party on the Burlington City Council, who plan to introduce a resolution on October 7 effectively barring the F-35 from being based in the middle of Vermont's most populated area. In contrast, Vermont's official "leadership," almost all Democrats, still thinks basing nuclear-capable warplanes in a Vermont community is a dandy idea.

Whatever they say -- which is next to nothing -- Vermont's governor, two Senators, lone Congressmen, Burlington mayor, and most of the legislature remain effectively committed to a fool's errand on behalf of the military-industrial complex, one that will do nothing good for the vast majority of their constituents and will do real harm to many of them. These representatives consistently refuse to meet with their constituents for serious discussion of health, safety, cost, and other issues. This is what the breakdown of American representative democracy looks like up close.

John McCain calls F-35 fighter-bomber "worse than a disgrace"

In Washington, at a Senate Armed Services Committee meeting on September 19, Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona was telling Pentagon officials that continuing cost overruns have made the F-35 the first trillion-dollar weapons program and "have made it worse than a disgrace". it's still one of the great, national scandals that we have ever had, as far as the expenditure of taxpayers' dollars are concerned."
Posted by unhappycamper | Sat Sep 28, 2013, 09:24 AM (0 replies)

Who Will "Punish" Us? Photographs and Testimony about United States' Use ***graphic pix***


Fallujah White Phosphorous Victim

Who Will "Punish" Us? Photographs and Testimony about United States' Use of Chemical and Radiation Weapons
OpEdNews Op Eds 9/27/2013 at 10:17:29
By Mike Rivage-Seul

It is extremely interesting to compare the U.S. response to the use of chemical weapons in Syria and its suppression of evidence of similar weapons use by the U.S. and U.K. in Fallujah in March and November of 2004.

We all know about the U.S. reaction to the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

In the face of denials by the Syrian government, and on evidence that remains secret and other indications provided by photographs, testimonies of eye-witnesses, accusations of the al-Qaeda-affiliated rebels, and deductions derived from consideration of the delivery mechanisms necessary to launch such weapons, the U.S. government was determined to "punish" the al-Assad government for the heinous crime of using chemical weapons.

Such circumstantial evidence was considered more than sufficient for president Obama and secretary of state Kerry.

Syria Chemical Weapons Victims

Fallujah (depleted uranium) Weapons Victim

Fallujah Aborted Fetuses

unhappycamper comment:

More depleted uranium birth defects: https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&site=imghp&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1280&bih=594&q=depleted+uranium+babies

More White Phosphorus pix: https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&site=imghp&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1280&bih=594&q=depleted+uranium+babies#hl=en&q=white+phosphorus&tbm=isch

Posted by unhappycamper | Sat Sep 28, 2013, 09:17 AM (6 replies)

The Administration's Official Response to Saving the Post Office is total B.S.


The Administration's Official Response to Saving the Post Office is total B.S.
OpEdNews Op Eds 9/28/2013 at 04:35:26
By Scott Baker


The official White House response to this petition is total B.S.

It is the prefunding requirement that is responsible for over 80% of the budget shortfall.

In contrast, the cost-cutting suggestions made by Dana Hyde of the OMB would result in a diminution of services that would make the Post Office less competitive over time and lead to its marginalization and maybe elimination, along with nearly a million jobs it provides. Dana Hyde does not even address the issue of the 75-year healthcare pre-funding agreement - which no other private or public agency has to do - which people who have actually fought to save the Post Office, from the petition-writer to Senator Bernie Sanders have publicly recognized as the primary cause of the Post Offices' difficulties. She doesn't address real possibilities for reform, like issuing bonds, providing banking for the unbanked, or providing state licenses from Post Office, that would expand services instead of contracting them by, as she suggest, reducing service to just 5 days a week.

Unfortunately, this kind of cost-cutting, middle class service robbing response, is typical of Obama's neo-conservative Office of Management and Budget.
Posted by unhappycamper | Sat Sep 28, 2013, 09:02 AM (4 replies)

Sen. Ron Wyden: NSA "repeatedly deceived the American people"


Agent Jimmy

Sen. Ron Wyden: NSA "repeatedly deceived the American people"
OpEdNews Op Eds 9/27/2013 at 17:14:45
By Glenn Greenwald

The Senate Intelligence Committee yesterday held a hearing, ostensibly to investigate various issues raised about the NSA's activities. What the hearing primarily achieved instead was to underscore what a farce the notion of Congressional oversight over the NSA is.

In particular, the current chair of the Senate Committee created in the mid-1970s to oversee the intelligence community just so happens to be one of the nation's most steadfast and blind loyalists of and apologists for the National Security State: Dianne Feinstein. For years she has abused her position to shield and defend the NSA and related agencies rather than provide any meaningful oversight over it, which is a primary reason why it has grown into such an out-of-control and totally unaccountable behemoth.

Underscoring the purpose of yesterday's hearing (and the purpose of Feinstein's Committee more broadly): the witnesses the Committee first heard from were all Obama officials -- Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, NSA chief Gen. Keith Alexander, Deputy Attorney James Cole -- who vehemently defended every aspect of the NSA. At the conclusion of their testimony, Feinstein announced that it was very, very important to hear from the two non-governmental witnesses the Committee had invited: virulent NSA defender Ben Wittes of the Brooking Institution and virulent NSA defender Timothy Edgar, a former Obama national security official. Hearing only from dedicated NSA apologists as witnesses: that's "oversight" for Dianne Feinstein and her oversight Committee.

Democratic Sen. Mark Warner stated the obvious to Gen. Alexander: "a lot of Americans have lost trust in what you're doing." But of course they all spent the entire afternoon blaming Snowden and "the media" for this development rather than taking any responsibility themselves. The very idea that meaningful reform of the NSA will come out of this annexed, captured, corrupted Committee is ludicrous on its face.
Posted by unhappycamper | Sat Sep 28, 2013, 08:35 AM (0 replies)

Carrier Theodore Roosevelt needs more repairs


Carrier Theodore Roosevelt needs more repairs
By Dianna Cahn
The Virginian-Pilot
© September 28, 2013

Less than a month after returning from four years in the shipyard, the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt is canceling at-sea exercises to get more work done, a Navy official said.

The carrier returned from its midlife overhaul Aug. 29 and went out for its sea trial soon afterward.


The ship was supposed to go out again this week, but immediately upon its return, officials decided to keep it at the pier at Norfolk Naval Station for repairs to the propulsion system, said Cmdr. Mike Kafka, spokesman for Naval Air Force Atlantic.

Kafka called the repairs part of the “life-cycle maintenance within the propulsion plant.” He declined to address directly a report that the ship had propulsion trouble during the recent exercises.
Posted by unhappycamper | Sat Sep 28, 2013, 08:19 AM (2 replies)

Owner of region's largest painkiller clinics banned from practicing medicine while N.C. Medical Boar


Owner of region's largest painkiller clinics banned from practicing medicine while N.C. Medical Board investigates
By John Ramsey
Published: 07:52 PM, Thu Sep 26, 2013

The founder of the region's largest pain management company can no longer practice medicine in North Carolina while the state Medical Board investigates his six clinics.

The board made public Thursday an agreement signed by Dr. Aaron Gootman that bars him from "any act that requires a license to practice medicine" until its investigation is complete. Both parties agree that the move "is in the public interest," according to the document.

In July, The Fayetteville Observer reported on several allegations that Gootman was irresponsibly prescribing painkillers to patients in Fayetteville and neighboring counties at his Cape Fear Pain and Laser clinics.

One patient, Ann Butler, overdosed on painkillers prescribed at Gootman's clinic in Sanford. Butler was given a prescription for Oxycontin - one of the most powerful painkillers on the market - despite having been released from jail six days earlier for prescription fraud. Moore County deputies accused Butler of visiting seven doctors' offices, including Gootman's, in an attempt to obtain opiate painkillers, such as Percocet and Vicodin.
Posted by unhappycamper | Sat Sep 28, 2013, 08:12 AM (1 replies)
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