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Keyword: boondoggle

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  • The future of the automobile is being reshaped in California

    11/19/2015 6:51:57 AM PST · by SeekAndFind · 15 replies
    Los Angeles Times ^ | 11/19/2015 | Jerry Hirsch
    Within walking distance of Tesla Motors' Palo Alto headquarters and across the street from Hewlett-Packard, Ford Motor Co. has set up a new Silicon Valley outpost. With a team of 100 reporting to a former Apple engineer, the Detroit giant is researching how humans experience machines, running autonomous-vehicle driving simulations and testing software that examines how bicycles and cars interact. "For 100 years, automobiles have been a mechanical engineering industry," said the center's director, Dragos Maciuca, who on his morning commute drives past a nearby research center of German automotive electronics and parts supplier Bosch. "Now, there is the shift...
  • Report: DHS spends $1B to digitize, only 1 immigration form available online

    Published November 09, 2015FoxNews.com Facebook1838 Twitter386 livefyre1375 Email Print Now Playing DHS reportedly botched digitization of immigration docs Never autoplay videos A Department of Homeland Security agency spent more than $1 billion in taxpayer money to digitize immigration paperwork -- and after a decade of work, only has managed to put one document online. The Washington Post reported Monday that officials at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services still are only able to offer a single form -- out of nearly 100 -- for online applications, and make a single fee payable electronically. All other forms can still only be...
  • Boondoggle Train

    11/05/2015 10:55:03 PM PST · by Brad from Tennessee · 8 replies
    City Journal ^ | November 4, 2015 | By Chris Reed
    In November 2008, California voters narrowly approved Proposition 1A, which provided $9.95 billion in government money for a statewide bullet-train network. The initiative passed, even though the California High-Speed Rail Authority had been legally required to release a detailed, updated business plan by October 1 of that year, so that voters would have time to learn exactly how the state planned to finance what was then billed as a $43 billion project—and no updated plan was in view. Rail officials failed even to release a preliminary report before the election, claiming that state legislators’ long delay in passing the fiscal...
  • Saudi Arabia in $11.25bn deal to buy US warships

    10/20/2015 7:15:27 AM PDT · by sukhoi-30mki · 3 replies
    arabianBusiness.com ^ | 20 October 2015
    Saudi Arabia will buy up to four Littoral Combat Ships from the US in a deal that could be worth $11.25bn as the kingdom seeks to modernise its navy, Bloomberg has reported. The agency quoted an unnamed American official as saying that the US State Department has approved the sale under the Foreign Military Sales program, which will allow the Saudis to negotiate contracts for the ships. The Littoral Combat Ship is designed in two versions by defence manufacturers Lockheed Martin and Austal. According to Bloomberg, the US is offering a version of the ship called the Multi-Mission Surface Combatant,...
  • Navys Future Frigate Will Be Optimized For Lethality, Survivability; Will Not Retain LCSs Speed

    10/15/2015 7:12:16 PM PDT · by sukhoi-30mki · 15 replies
    USNI News ^ | October 15, 2015 | Megan Eckstein
    WASHINGTON, D.C. Whereas a high sprint speed was a driving factor in designing the Littoral Combat Ship, the follow-on frigate will instead be optimized for lethality and survivability, the Navys frigate program manager said Thursday. As the LCS program transitions to a multimission frigate, the 40-knot sprint speed requirement will go away to allow for more armor, more weapons, an over-the-horizon missile and full-time anti-torpedo protection, Capt. Dan Brintzinghoffer said at an American Society for Naval Engineers event. This change, he said, is a recognition of simple physics. If we dont change anything [in the hull design] and add...
  • PawSox Officials Say New Stadium Deal Officially Dead

    09/19/2015 8:00:49 PM PDT · by raccoonradio · 23 replies
    CBS ^ | 9/19/15 | CBS
    PROVIDENCE, R.I. Officials with the Pawtucket Red Sox say the baseball club will end its pursuit for a proposed stadium on waterfront land in downtown Providence. PawSox Chairman Larry Lucchino said in a statement Saturday that the group tried hard to make the deal work, but Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo determined the land was not suitable for a new ballpark. A spokesman for House speaker Nicholas Mattiello said Friday that negotiations between the state and the Triple-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox had stopped. It is disappointing that negotiations have ended at the I-195 property. I thought...
  • Zumwalt: The Navy's massive, high-tech destroyer is here (pictures)

    09/07/2015 4:38:42 PM PDT · by lbryce · 65 replies
    CNet ^ | September 7, 2014 | US NAVY
    Zumwalt: The Navy's massive, high-tech destroyer is here (pictures) The cutting-edge warship finally enters the water, chockablock with an all-electric integrated power system, an advanced gun system, radar-reflecting angles, and a striking inward-sloping tumblehome hull. Next-gen Zumwalt-class destroyer General Dynamics Bath Iron Works launched the first of the Navys next-generation Zumwalt-class destroyers on Monday at its Bath, Maine, shipyard. The 610-foot-long ship is chockablock with new technologies including radar reflecting angles, a striking inward-sloping tumblehome hull, an all-electric integrated power system, and an advanced gun system.
  • Saudi, US near deal for two Lockheed warships

    09/03/2015 6:29:15 AM PDT · by sukhoi-30mki · 2 replies
    Reuters ^ | September 03, 2015
    WASHINGTON: Saudi Arabia is in advanced discussions with the US government about buying two frigates based on a coastal warship that Lockheed Martin Corp is building for the US Navy, and could reach agreement by the end of the year, according to sources familiar with the talks. The frigate sale, valued at well over $1bn, will be the cornerstone of a long-delayed multibillion dollar modernisation of the Royal Saudi Navys Gulf-patroling eastern fleet of ageing US warships and would include smaller patrol boats. It underscores the strong business and military ties between the two countries, despite tensions over the US-led...
  • Carr: Boston 2024 boondoggle united opponents (Olympic bid)

    07/28/2015 3:38:39 PM PDT · by Brad from Tennessee · 9 replies
    Boston Herald ^ | July 28, 2015 | By Howie Carr
    Finally, at long last, someone has gone broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public. And it couldn’t have happened to a nicer bunch — Boston 2024. There is a God. The lesson here is from Abraham Lincoln: You can’t fool all of the people all of the time — even in Massachusetts. It’s a great victory for the people, but it could easily have gone the other way. What if Marsha Coakley had been elected governor? The state would already be on the hook for $5 billion in cost overruns. Like most flim-flams, the Boston Olympics collapsed abruptly. Perplexing,...
  • Navy to name new ship after Kansas City

    07/22/2015 6:38:02 AM PDT · by KC_Lion · 25 replies
    KMBC ^ | Jul 20, 2015 | Kris Ketz
    KANSAS CITY, Mo. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus announced Monday that a new ship will be named the USS Kansas City. The ship will be the next Independence variant littoral combat ship, a type designed for a variety of missions that include mine warfare, surface warfare and anti-submarine warfare. It will be 419 feet long and can travel up to 40 knots. It will be built in Mobile, Alabama. A similar ship, the USS Independence, is shown above. Mabus made the announcement at Kauffman Stadium before the Royals game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. A Navy replenishment oiler was also named after...
  • Navy's newest combat ship in water

    07/18/2015 3:11:00 PM PDT · by george76 · 32 replies
    CNN - WJXT ^ | Jul 18 2015 | Brad Lendon
    The U.S. Navy's newest combat ship, the USS Little Rock, slid into the waters of Marinette Marine Shipyard in Wisconsin on Saturday morning. .. the 378-foot-long, 3,000-ton littoral combat ship with only a 13-foot draft is ideal for the missions the Navy faces in shallow waters around Pacific Rim, where the Navy is increasing presence as it keeps an eye on China, which is expanding its naval forces and its presence in the South China Sea. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said the launching of the Little Rock is emblematic of the Navy's commitment to have a fleet of 304 ships...
  • U.S. Marines nearing F-35B combat readiness declaration

    07/18/2015 2:57:23 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 19 replies
    Reuters on Yahoo ^ | 7/18/15 | Andrea Shalal
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Marine Corps' top aviator flew to an Arizona air base this week as part of a final effort to certify the combat-readiness of an initial squadron of 10 Lockheed Martin Corp F-35B fighter jets, their pilots and technicians. Marine Corps officials were due to brief Lieutenant General Jon Davis, deputy commandant for aviation, on a week-long review which included operational and simulator flights in five core mission areas, an inspection of the maintenance department, and academics for both pilots and technicians. If Davis is satisfied, he will brief Marine Corps Commandant General Joseph Dunford, who...
  • Delays in Zumwalt Destroyer Program Hamper Production of DDG-51s at Bath Iron Works

    07/16/2015 10:32:51 AM PDT · by sukhoi-30mki · 8 replies
    USNI News ^ | July 15, 2015 | Sam LaGrone
    Delays in the construction of the first two of three next-generation Zumwalt-class (DDG-1000) guided missile destroyers at the General Dynamics Bath Iron Works shipyard are partially to blame for slowing work on two Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) destroyers being built at the Maine yard, USNI News has learned. Several sources told USNI News that due to myriad reasons including the size of the yard, the composition of the workforce at BIW and continued setbacks in the delivery of the first two next-generation Zumwalts production of the future Burkes Rafael Peralta (DDG-115) and Thomas Hudner (DDG-116) have been delayed by...
  • The F-35: Is the world's most expensive weapons program worth it? (DoD Obamacare)

    07/16/2015 8:12:53 AM PDT · by MadIsh32 · 21 replies
    CNN ^ | 07/15/2015 | Zachary Cohen
    Three years behind schedule and some $200 billion over its original budget, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program is finally set to become operational this month. The fighter jet has been in development for nearly 15 years, weathered half a dozen years of testing and experienced myriad hardware malfunctions and software glitches along the way. Once it's declared ready for combat, it will be the most expensive weapons system in world history. It will also be the most advanced in the sky. The F-35, also referred to as the Joint Strike Fighter, is touted as the most lethal and versatile...
  • Multi-purpose hybrid pier-park planned for (St. Pete) Florida

    07/14/2015 8:20:28 AM PDT · by Justa · 21 replies
    gizmag ^ | 14 July 2015 | Stu Robarts
    The city of St. Petersburg in Florida is to gain an exciting new public space. The St. Petersburg Pier will be redesigned as a hybrid pier-park accommodating a variety of outdoor activities and facilities for entertainment and public events. The Pier-Park is located in the city of St. Petersburg in Florida, US The Pier-Park will retain the inverted pyramid that already exists The Pier-Park will have a large welcome plaza The Pier-Park will be a redevelopment of the existing St. Petersburg Pier Although unusual, the pier-park concept is not unprecedented. New York's planned Pier 55, for example, is designed to...
  • The Not-so-Obvious Design Feature of Apple Watch That Everyone is Missing

    07/11/2015 6:00:18 PM PDT · by Swordmaker · 38 replies
    The Mac Observer ^ | July 10, 2015 | by John Martellaro
    When a revolutionary new product is launched, the first instinct is to understand it by relating its most obvious features to what we already know. In time, it becomes apparent that the analogies we formed, to understand the device, failed to properly inform us of the new way of doing things invited by the product._______________________Source: Apple _______________________ Nowhere is this more obvious than with the Apple Watch. To understand it as a wristwatch that has some fancy features is to miss the relationship it has with the iPhone. The proper, elegant partitioning of tasks is one key area that is...

    06/18/2015 5:33:20 AM PDT · by sheikdetailfeather · 40 replies
    Facebook ^ | 6-17-2015 | Mark Levin
    Mark Levin 12 hrs THE TPA BOONDOGGLE IS BACK AND ... I am told that John Boehner is telling the GOP members that if they vote to pass the TPA, a bill later with restrictions on immigration, among other things, will be passed to reign in Obama's actions. Boehner pulled the same trick against Congressman Marlin Stutzman not long ago, when Kevin McCarthy promised if he voted to let the massive budget bill go to the House floor, the GOP leadership would replace the bill on the floor with a smaller spending bill. But McCarthy lied to Stutzman. The...
  • In their universe, a costly train is success

    06/03/2015 6:39:35 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 14 replies
    Pioneer Press ^ | 6-3-15 | Joe Soucheray
    The political class -- they build themselves new office buildings and such -- live in a different universe from the rest of us, and the rest of us are getting routinely pickpocketed. No greater proof of this truth exists than the remarks of St. Paul's own City Council Member Dave Thune last week after Metro Transit released the financial figures for the first six months of the Green Line. Passengers boarding the Green Line from its debut in June, 2014 through the end of the year paid $6.21 million into the farebox, or about 35.8 percent of what it costs...
  • Massive statewide solar plan gets Minnesota PUC approval

    05/29/2015 8:41:01 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 23 replies
    Pioneer Press ^ | 5-28-15 | tom webb
    State regulators approved Minnesota's first industrial-scale solar energy project Thursday, a mammoth 21-site setup that will dot the Twin Cities exurbs and beyond with acres of solar panels. The unanimous vote by the Public Utilities Commission advances the ramp-up phase of large-scale solar energy in Minnesota, with this single $250 million project promising up to 100 megawatts of power by 2016. Currently, fewer than 15 megawatts of solar power are estimated to be generated in Minnesota -- so the swift addition of 100 megawatts would represent more than a six-fold increase, with other huge projects on deck. The project is...
  • Green Line's $6.21M in 2014 fares pay 35.8 percent of expenses

    05/29/2015 6:16:02 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 17 replies
    Pioneer Press ^ | 5-28-15 | Fredrick Melo
    While Metro Transit's Green Line isn't exactly paying for itself through passenger fares, it's doing a better job than most other Minnesota public transit options. Passengers boarding the state's second light-rail line from its debut in June through the end of 2014 paid $6.21 million into the fare box, or about 35.8 percent of what it costs to operate the 11-mile route. "I think 35 percent is a really good percentage," said St. Paul City Council member Dave Thune. "I love it. I think it has been a success. The kind of traffic it's seeing, going from one end of...
  • Plenty of ideas would trump that $2 billion train

    05/04/2015 6:29:56 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 10 replies
    Pioneer Press ^ | 4-28-15 | Joe Soucheray
    As recently as 2010, the estimated cost for the Southwest Light Rail Transit line was estimated to be $1.2 billion, or about the cost of a new football stadium. Then the cost jumped to $1.7 billion because somebody spun the magic wheel. Now the cost is projected to be $2 billion. OK, $1.994 billion, but if they find an endangered earthworm or an especially exotic cattail, all bets are off and the project will shoot over $2 billion in a European minute, for the Metropolitan Council loves to keep playing Europe. The train stops are called Royalston, West Lake, Blake...
  • Mass transit is more than light rail - and still costly

    04/01/2015 6:06:46 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 18 replies
    Pioneer Press ^ | 4-1-15 | David Montgoery
    Light rail is controversial because of its price tag -- the recently finished Green Line linking downtown St. Paul with Minneapolis cost $957 million. Supporters, though, say it's justified along dense routes where it can move many people more efficiently than buses can. <<>> Taxpayers shoulder the majority of the cost. In the metro area, fares account for about $100 million in revenue last year -- about 30 percent of the operating cost of transit. Federal grants play a big role in paying for new transitways and vehicles -- 55 percent of capital costs last year. But federal taxpayers covered...
  • Software Glitch Causes F-35 to Incorrectly Detect Targets in Formation

    03/26/2015 6:50:26 AM PDT · by Doogle · 37 replies
    Military.com ^ | 03/24/15 | Kris Osborn
    Engineers are trying to fix the F-35s software package after it was discovered the sensors for the Joint Strike Fighter malfunction when detecting targets when the aircraft flies in formation. Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, Program Executive Officer, F-35, said he didnt have a date when the correction would be made. However, he said the problem would not delay the declaration of the Marine variant of the aircraft, the F-35B, ready for combat. When you have two, three or four F-35s looking at the same threat, they dont all see it exactly the same because of the angles that...
  • Chinatown businesses, supporters unhappy about impacts of high-speed rail work

    03/23/2015 3:07:25 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 10 replies
    Fresno Bee ^ | March 22, 2015 | BY ANDREA CASTILLO
    Around 25 business owners and supporters of Fresnos Chinatown gathered Sunday afternoon to share their concerns about the imminent high-speed rail construction along Kern and F streets. Chinatown Revitalization Inc. listed many concerns including that Spanish and Chinese speaking business owners have not been notified of the construction. Verta Gonzalez, who runs Floreria Rubi at 1515 Tulare St., said she had no idea about the coming construction. Gonzalez said business owners who speak English perhaps are able to defend themselves better. Its like they think Mexicans dont matter, she said of the rail authority. Rail authority spokeswoman Lisa Alley said...
  • George Will: The Export-Import Bank's grip

    03/13/2015 6:15:20 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 6 replies
    NEWSOK ^ | 3-12-15 | George Will
    WASHINGTON Conservatives next disappointment will at least be a validation. The coming reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank will confirm their warnings about the difficulty of prying the governments tentacles off what should be societys private sphere. The bank, which exists to allocate credit by criteria other than the markets preference for efficiency, mirrors the market-distorting policies of foreign governments. These policies favor those countries exports that compete with Americas. Much of what the bank does is supposedly to level the playing field. When Fred P. Hochberg, the banks chairman and president, defends it, an old joke comes to mind:...
  • US Navy: One Year Delay in Zumwalt Class Destroyers

    03/10/2015 6:10:42 AM PDT · by artichokegrower · 5 replies
    Marine Link ^ | March 10, 2015 | Joseph Keefe
    General Dynamics Corp will deliver two Zumwalt-class destroyers a year later than planned, U.S. Navy officials said, blaming complications related to new technology. The Navy is adjusting its official baseline for the $22 billion DDG 1000 ship program to reflect the new delivery dates but the change will not trigger a mandatory review since the resulting cost increase will be under 15 percent, a defense official told Reuters, requesting anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.
  • MNsures birth: A tale of incompetence, report suggests

    02/18/2015 5:45:22 AM PST · by TurboZamboni · 2 replies
    MPR ^ | 2-17-15 | Bob Collins
    Todays release of the review of MNsure from the Office of the Legislative Auditor leaves a big question for MNsures board of directors and the Commerce Department: What were you thinking when you put such incompetence on the payroll? This one page in the report concerning the development of the technological infrastructure by MNsure is a how-to on developing something that is sure to fail. MNsure rejected the auditors finding on this point, saying it contradicts the facts. It contends the I.T. agencys participation was robust, although it acknowledges its expertise was not utilized in the early stages of the...
  • As high-speed rail gains momentum, U.S. can look to Europe's example

    02/16/2015 5:02:12 PM PST · by Oldeconomybuyer · 38 replies
    Los Angeles Times ^ | February 15, 2015 | By ANASTASIA LOUKAITOU-SIDERIS
    Most of the debate over the building of the nation's first bullet train, in California, has focused on the economics of such a monumental undertaking and its projected $68-billion first-phase price tag. Largely ignored amid the excitement over the railway's recent official groundbreaking is the physical impact and design challenges that cities will need to grapple with as they prepare for high-speed rail. California should look to rail systems across Europe to fully understand the challenge of building a transportation hub that connects to the community. To make the most of California's once-in-a-lifetime chance at building a thriving transportation network,...
  • U.S. Navy says renaming LCS ships as "frigates"

    01/15/2015 8:38:13 AM PST · by sukhoi-30mki · 26 replies
    Reuters ^ | Jan 15, 2015 | Andrea Shalal
    Jan 15 (Reuters) - U.S. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus on Thursday said the Navy would rename the modified Littoral Combat Ships it plans to build in coming years as "frigates," given their enhanced capabilities. "One of the requirements of the Small Surface Combatant Task Force was to have a ship with frigate-like capabilities. Well, if it's like a frigate, why don't we call it a frigate?" Mabus told the annual conference of the Surface Navy Association. Mabus said the changed designation would apply primarily to the next 20 ships to be built, but 32 earlier Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) that...
  • The Growing Inanity of California High-Speed Rail

    12/29/2014 5:01:34 PM PST · by george76 · 50 replies
    The Antiplanner ^ | December 29, 2014
    Los Angeles Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthornewho claims to be an unabashed supporter of high-speed railreviews Anaheims new train station and finds it oddly antiseptic. Hawthorne doesnt care that taxpayers spent $2,764 per square foot for what is essentially a big glass tent. He is a little disturbed that the design is so dysfunctional that train passengers exit onto an uncovered platform, take the elevator or stairs [up] to a pedestrian bridge, and then enter the building at its highest interior level only to have to go back down again to get to ground level. ... While Hawthornes critique is...
  • Canceling the DDG-1000 Destroyer Program Was a Mistake

    12/12/2014 9:24:49 AM PST · by C19fan · 1 replies
    National Defense ^ | December 12, 2014 | Ben Freeman
    The U.S. Navys DDG-1000 Zumwalt-class destroyers are extraordinarily expensive. Since 2009, the cost of the ships has increased 34.4 percent, according to the Congressional Research Service. Each of the three Zumwalts being built will cost taxpayers around $3.4 billion. And, thats on top of the more than $9 billion in research and design funding that has gone into this program. Are they worth the price? The Navy didnt think so in 2009 when Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced the program would end with the procurement of just three ships, down from the 32 ships the Navy had initially planned...
  • The USAF Has To Re-Paint Its Trucks Because The F-35 Cant Fly On Warm Fuel

    12/09/2014 10:47:29 AM PST · by Idaho_Cowboy · 90 replies
    Daily Caller via Yahoo ^ | December 9, 2014 | Staff
    After a year of several fleet-wide groundings for the F-35, the latest problem to plague the fifth-generation fighter is forcing the U.S. Air Force to revamp an entirely separate fleet to support the militarys most expensive plane yet. The F-35 can only fly on jet fuel under a certain temperature due to a range of heating issues attributed to the F-35B variants short takeoff and vertical landing engine. According to the USAF, the dark-green trucks that carry that fuel absorb too much heat from the sun to keep the planes in the sky.
  • U.S. to give $3 billion to international climate fund

    11/15/2014 6:35:35 AM PST · by TurboZamboni · 25 replies
    NYT/Pioneer Press ^ | 11-14-14 | Coral Davenport and Mark Landler
    WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama soon will announce that the United States will contribute $3 billion to a new international fund intended to help the world's poorest countries address the effects of climate change, according to a senior administration official. Obama is expected to make the announcement at a summit meeting of the Group of 20 industrial powers this weekend in Brisbane, Australia, on the heels of his landmark announcement this week that the United States and China will jointly commit to curbing greenhouse gas emissions over the next decade. The two announcements, both unveiled at prominent global meetings with...
  • Obamas Ebola plans: A new boondoggle?

    11/12/2014 6:20:29 AM PST · by JustaCowgirl · 18 replies
    Fox News Politics ^ | Nov 12, 2014 | George Russell
    So far, the Administration has largely limited itself to providing a broad-brush sketch of the various areas where it intends to shower funds, including $4.64 billion for immediate needs and another $1.54 billion as a contingency to ensure that there are resources available to respond to the evolving epidemic both domestically and internationally, as the White House declared on November 5.
  • Commodore Young takes command of Navy's newest ships (Littoral combat ships in Mayport FL)

    11/08/2014 10:55:53 AM PST · by 2ndDivisionVet · 22 replies
    The Fremont Tribune ^ | November 8, 2014 | Chris Zavadil
    A Fremont native is playing a key role in a historical transition taking place in the U.S. Navy. Capt. Paul D. Young on Friday became the first commodore of LCS Squadron 2, a new unit created by the Navy to launch a class of ships that is still under construction. Young assumed his leadership post during a command establishment ceremony at the Mayport Naval Station in Florida. The task before him is nothing less than building the new squadron from the ground up, and then overseeing six new Littoral Combat Ships as they are put to sea. His first two...
  • Britain orders more F-35s as part of biggest-ever defence project

    10/28/2014 11:30:55 AM PDT · by sukhoi-30mki · 5 replies
    The Daily Telegraph, UK ^ | October 28, 2014 | Alan Tovey, Industry Editor
    UK orders four more F-35B stealth jets as partners work to reduce the cost of the controversial fighter-bomber British defence and engineering companies including BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce have been given a boost after the Ministry of Defence struck a deal to order the first production batch of F-35 fighter-bombers. Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said the MoD had reached an agreement in principle to buy four F-35 Lightning II stealth aircraft. About 15pc of each aircraft is manufactured in Britain and BAE is the only tier one partner in the F-35 programme, which is headed by Lockheed Martin and is...
  • Massive U.S. aid overwhelms Afghans

    09/14/2014 3:36:26 AM PDT · by huldah1776 · 21 replies
    The Washington Examiner ^ | September 13, 2014 | Mark Tapscott
    American officials have spent billions of tax dollars "setting up projects or programs that the Afghans cannot or will not sustain once international forces" leave Afghanistan, according to a government watchdog. "Afghanistan is a case study in projects and programs set up without considering" whether they can be continued, said John Sopko, Special Inspector-General for Afghanistan Reconstruction. Sopko's comments came in a speech Friday to a meeting of the Center for Security Studies at Georgetown University. The problem is the sheer magnitude of the reconstruction effort, which is bigger than any ever before undertaken by the U.S. "Last year, the...
  • Obama Appoints Democrat Operative Who Oversaw Stimulus Boondoggle as Ebola Czar

    10/18/2014 5:37:07 AM PDT · by george76 · 37 replies
    TPNN ^ | October 17, 2014 | Matthew Burke
    Even though earlier this week, the official Obama Regime spokesman, Josh Earnest, announced to the nation that there was no need for an Ebola Czar, Obama announced his new Ebola Czar on Friday, a Democrat Party operative with no experience in the health care or medical industries. Ron Klain, a lawyer who oversaw the implementation of the failed Obama 2009 Stimulus Porkulus plan, also served as chief of staff to buffoonish Democrat Vice President Joe Biden and global warming huckster and fraud, former vice president, Al Gore. Think Solyndra.
  • SolarCity loan deal could propel rooftop market

    10/14/2014 5:01:40 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 16 replies
    Administration Propaganda ^ | 10-14-14 | Jonathan Fahey
    A new financing offering could make home solar cheaper and more attractive to homeowners, and keep the adoption of home solar growing. The offer, announced by SolarCity this week, is a loan that allows homeowners to install their own solar system on their roof for little or no money down, and pay less for electricity. Previous plans, while popular, turned off some because the solar company owned the system. "The value proposition is becoming clearer and less complicated for consumers," says Patrick Jobin, an analyst at Credit Suisse. "Solar is going mainstream." SolarCity's new loan deal and current similar deals...
  • Jacksonville-built Super Tucano first made in U.S. rolls off the line

    09/25/2014 12:05:41 PM PDT · by sukhoi-30mki · 28 replies
    Jacksonville Business Journal ^ | Sep 25, 2014 | Jensen Werley
    The first A29 Super Tucano manufactured in the United States made its debut today in a ceremony at the Embraer facility at Jacksonville International Airport. The light air support defense plane, contracted by the U.S. Air Force from Sierra Nevada Corp. and built by Brazilian-based Embraer, has passed its military certifications and was officially approved for use by the Air Force. The Afghan National Army for light air support will eventually use the plane. "The capability speaks for itself," said Taco Gilbert, vice president of the Sierra Nevada Corp. "It's gotten its air worthiness approval, which is a stamp of...
  • Wind Turbines but no Power

    09/14/2014 8:44:00 AM PDT · by rktman · 30 replies
    canadafreepress.com ^ | 9/13/2014 | Dr. Klaus L.E. Kaiser
    The highly touted, government-subsidized, unreliable, intermittent and expensive "alternative power" schemes currently in vogue are nothing but a phenomenal waste of money
  • Consumer Reports: Tesla Model S has more than its share of problems

    08/12/2014 11:51:13 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 7 replies
    Reuters ^ | Mon Aug 11, 2014 6:51pm EDT | Bernie Woodall
    Consumer Reports, which last year gave top marks to electric carmaker Tesla Motors Inc.s Model S sedan, now says the car it owns has had more than its share of problems. While the car has impressed staff at the influential U.S. consumer magazine with its smoothness, effortless glide and clever, elegant simplicity, there have been many quirks that might dampen consumers experiences, Consumer Reports said in a statement on Monday. [] Just before the car went in for its annual service, at a little over 12,000 miles, the center screen went blank, eliminating access to just about every function of...
  • Army announces new camouflage uniform pattern (again!)

    08/02/2014 7:57:33 PM PDT · by Timber Rattler · 107 replies
    Stars & Stripes ^ | August 1, 2014 | Chris Carroll
    The Army has selected a new camouflage pattern to begin fielding next year, an unidentified senior Army spokesperson announced in a statement late Thursday. The Army has confirmed through testing that the pattern would offer exceptional concealment, which directly enhances force protection and survivability for Soldiers, according to the statement from the Army. The pattern will be used in all combatant commands, including Afghanistan, the Army said. Uniforms and equipment with the existing pattern wont be discarded, but replaced only as they wear out. The pattern was developed by the Army under the name Scorpion W2 to replace the much-maligned...
  • Navy begins weighing future of littoral combat ship; or whether to replace it

    08/01/2014 11:08:49 PM PDT · by sukhoi-30mki · 15 replies
    AL.com ^ | August 01, 2014 | By Michael Finch II
    MOBILE, Alabama -- It's judgment day for the littoral combat ship. The July 31 deadline has passed for a task force of U.S. Navy officials to collect information for a new or improved small surface combatant. In a released statement the Navy said it will begin reviewing the preliminary findings that will decide the future of the littoral combat ship, or whether to replace it. "Because the task force alternatives will be considered as part of (the fiscal year 2016 budget) deliberations, the Navy will not comment publicly on the report's findings until budget decisions within the defense department are...
  • Analyst: F-35C to Cost $337 Million Apiece in FY15

    07/30/2014 6:27:11 PM PDT · by ClaytonP · 49 replies
    A longtime defense analyst and critic of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program says taxpayers next year will pay between $148 million and $337 million per jet, depending on the model. Winslow Wheeler, a staff member at the Project On Government Oversight who has worked on national-security issues for the Senate and the Government Accountability Office, detailed his cost estimates for the Lockheed Martin Corp.-made fifth-generation stealth fighter in a recent article on Medium​.com. Wheeler puts the per-plane production price tag at $148 million for the Air Force’s F-35A, which can take off and land on conventional runways; $251 million...
  • (Non-existent) Stealth destroyers, (broken) littoral combat ships headed to Pacific

    07/29/2014 7:20:54 AM PDT · by pabianice · 25 replies
    Stars and Stripes ^ | 7/29/14 | Robson
    Stealth destroyers, littoral combat ships headed to Pacific, Mabus says With $3.3 billion Zumwalt, Navy trying for smallest blip on radar Sometime next year, the USS Zumwalt will begin testing the Tomahawk missiles, GPS-guided munitions and "total ship" computing systems that will make the $3.3 billion vessel the most advanced destroyer in Navy history. Scope of Navy's LCS program uncertain, despite no clear replacement The lighter, faster surface fleet of the future may get heavier than Navy leaders have planned, as high-ranking skeptics at the Pentagon try to convince lawmakers that the service is relying too much on a new...
  • Is Detroit's New Light Rail Line America's Greatest Boondoggle?

    07/25/2014 10:28:15 AM PDT · by 1rudeboy · 74 replies
    reason.com ^ | July 24, 2014 | Jim Epstein
    A $137 million three-mile train is coming to a nearly deserted avenue in a bankrupt city. Growing up in the 1940s, Robert Fogelson remembers banging on the typewriter and peering out the window at his fathers office in a Manhattan skyscraper. Then "[my dad] would take us for lunch to a nearby Schrafts, a chain of restaurants that was popular with housewives like my mother, who regularly went downtown to shopto socialize ...or to meet my father for a play or a movie." Fogelson hadnt decided yet what he would do with his life, "[b]ut I took it for granted,"...
  • Pentagons big budget F-35 fighter cant turn, cant climb, cant run

    07/15/2014 9:06:15 PM PDT · by Rabin · 34 replies
    Reuters ^ | July 14, 2014 | David Axe
    The U.S. military has grounded all its new F-35 Joint Strike Fighters following an incident on June 23, when one of the high-tech warplanes caught fire on the runway of a Florida air base. The no-fly order which affects at least 50 F-35s at training and test bases in Florida, Arizona, California and Maryland. F-35 is on track to become by far the militarys most numerous warplane. It was designed to replace almost all current fighters in the Air Force and Marine Corps and complement the Navys existing F/A-18s.
  • Social Security Disability: What Happens When It Runs Out of Money?

    07/17/2014 3:05:46 PM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 39 replies
    motley fool ^ | 7-6-14 | Dan Caplinger
    Social Security helps not only retirees but also roughly 9 million of people suffering from disabilities. Unfortunately, the trust fund that covers disability payments is in even worse financial condition than the trust fund that covers retirement benefits. What will happen when the disability program's trust fund runs out? In the following video, Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool's director of investment planning, talks about the two Social Security trust funds, noting that the latest estimates give the retirement trust fund about 20 more years before it runs out of money, but the disability trust fund is slated to be used...
  • Who'll Build the Roads?

    07/16/2014 4:14:50 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 21 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | July 16, 2014 | John Stossel
    "Tea party members don't think there's a federal role in transportation!" complained Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, last week, near the site of a $5.8 million highway project. If only most tea party members were that radical. While Brown and other big-government folks worry that Republicans will cut spending, Republicans debate adding another $10.5 billion to the Highway Trust Fund to keep it going another year -- without deciding how to reform it. Now, there's no doubt some roads and bridges need work. But too little transportation money spent by government goes to building and repairing roads. As Cato Institute transportation...