Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Helicopter grandparent

Everyone who's not a wingnut bonehead has figured out Republican bullshit on the Presidential helicopter foofaraw, and that is today's good news. John McCain has proven to be just another source of that bullshit.

Here's one good example of the people seeing through the empty suits on the right (February 24th, 2009 9:50 am ET):

This is nothing but partisan bickerfest. Bush orders the dang things and the rethugs blast Obama.

If a contract was signed by Bush, we may be STUCK with the bill.

Nothing new there.

There's a lot of uneducated speculation out there about why the President would need 28 helos (the number he apparently already has at his disposal) and why the new helos cost $400 million apiece. Since one big pile is better than two little piles, I'll add my own semi-educated speculation.

If Obama (or Duhbya and others before him) were merely the president of a Fortune 500 company, he could wait for a chopper to be repaired. Meanwhile, he could take a, say, limo or a cab or a walk. The President of the U.S. has to have fast transportation available to him every second of every day. Six sigmas ain't good enough. Twenty-eight may be too many, but, given the usual repair and refit cycle for most cutting edge aircraft (for high performance fighter jets, sometimes 24 hours of work on the ground per hour of flight time), it may be just right.

Anyone who has seen the real footage of Stingers in action in "Charlie Wilson's War" should understand why post-9/11 helicopters should be very secure. No helicopter can outrun a $100,000 shoulder-fired missile, so it had better have cutting edge electronics for early warning, incredible maneuverability plus pilots who know how to use it, and a shitload squared of effective countermeasures against all types of homing. Surviving a close-in missile launch is probably still a dicey business.

Update: Some really good stuff here, including this nostril exfoliator by MissMudd:
I loved the part when that fluffy swath of comb-over kept twisting in the wind while he was trying to look pertinent.

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