McCain aides lobbied for Airbus

mccain320.jpg

When I snarkily commented a while back that while the rest of the presidential field was flying around on chartered Boeing 737s, only Sen. John McCain was campaigning from a French built Airbus A320, I had no idea that McCain’s choice in aircraft was anything more than symbolic. But in the wake of the controversial Air Force refueling contract, we’re learning that McCain’s connections to both Airbus and the tanker contract are closer than anybody imagined.

It was McCain who authored an amendment undermining “buy American” rules that formerly required military equipment to be manufactured in the United States, and McCain who “prides himself in the role he played blocking an earlier version of the tanker deal that gave the contract to Boeing.” And now we learn that three of McCain’s current top aides have been lobbying the Air Force — and presumably McCain — on behalf of Airbus.

Top current advisers to Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign last year lobbied for a European plane maker that beat Boeing to a $35 billion Air Force tanker contract, taking sides in a bidding fight that McCain has tried to referee for more than five years.

Two of the advisers gave up their lobbying work when they joined McCain’s campaign. A third, former Texas Rep. Tom Loeffler, lobbied for the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. while serving as McCain’s national finance chairman.

[...] McCain, the Republican presidential nominee in waiting, has been a key figure in the Pentagon’s yearslong attempt to complete a deal on the tanker. McCain helped block an earlier tanker contract with Boeing and prodded the Pentagon in 2006 to develop bidding procedures that did not exclude Airbus.

McCain’s campaign claims that “they never lobbied him related to the issues,” so I guess those two letters McCain wrote the Defense Department were purely coincidental.

In December 2006, just weeks before the Air Force was set to release its formal request for proposals, McCain wrote a letter to the incoming defense secretary, Robert Gates, warning that he was “troubled” by the Air Force’s draft request for bids.

The United States had filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization alleging that Airbus unfairly benefits from European subsidies. Airbus in turn argued that Boeing also receives government support, mostly as tax breaks.

Under the Air Force proposal, bidders would have been required to explain how financial penalties or other sanctions stemming from the subsidy dispute might affect their ability to execute the contract. The request was widely viewed as hurting the EADS-Northrop Grumman bid.

The proposed bid request “may risk eliminating competition before bids are submitted,” McCain wrote in a Dec. 1, 2006, letter to Gates. The Air Force changed the criteria four days later.

Rep. Norm Dicks called the removal of the subsidy language a “game changer” that “tilted to Airbus.”

“The only reason that they could even bid a low price is because they received a subsidy,” Dicks said last week. “And Senator McCain jumped into this and said that (the Air Force) could not look at the subsidy issue — which I think is a big mistake, especially when the U.S. trade representative is bringing a case in the (World Trade Organization) on this very issue.”

And it’s not just partisan bloggers like me who are questioning the intersection between McCain’s interference in the tanker contract and his close ties to Airbus lobbyists.

“The aesthetics are not good, especially since he is an advocate of reform and transparency,” said Richard Aboulafia, an analyst with the aerospace consulting firm Teal Group. “Boeing advocates are going to use this as ammunition.”

Damn right they are. (And if any Boeing advocates want to forward me some ammunition, I promise strict confidentiality.)

Meanwhile, as WA’s Democratic congressional delegation has been noisily defending Boeing and cheering on their decision to officially protest the contract, our region’s lone Republican, Rep. Dave Reichert, has been awfully damn quiet about the loss of 9,000 local jobs and the role of the man he’s endorsed for president. But then, what do you expect from the 419th most powerful man in Congress… a man who lost his bid for a coveted Appropriations Committee seat to an Alabama congressman who had just days before publicly endorsed Airbus over Boeing?

Geez… the only thing more damaging for Reichert than campaigning with President Bush might be campaigning with presidential wannabe and French aerospace enthusiast John McCain.

Comments

  1. 1

    YLB spews:

    Oh my! Look for Faux News to start sporting french accents as McCain flys the French-friendly skies.

    It’s just… nothing describes it.

  2. 2

    YLB spews:

    I think the wingnuts must be caught in a bind – what triggers their hate more?

    French or Hispanic sounding accents?

  3. 3

    ArtFart spews:

    Evidently Mr. McCain has taken great pains to demonstrate himself to be corrupt enough to meet the Neocon standard for holders of high office.

    It remains to be seen whether the American public will continue to demonstrate a matching level of stupidity to allow themselves to be ruled and ripped off by these charlatans.

  4. 4

    Jim, (a genuine musician) spews:

    And are supposed to be surprised?

    Maybe we can get McCain to campaign here at least 10 times, always arriving in his chartered A320.

    s/
    The Pianist
    (never to be confused with a bagpipe operator)

  5. 6

    Tlazolteotl spews:

    I think Boeing needs to change their name to “Freedom Flies”!

    Seriously, though, as much as I would like to see this reversed, because I think that we should not outsource our military either to other countries or to scoundrels, you can’t really argue that Boeing gets no subsidies.

    On the other hand, it’s beginning to look more and more like the Stray Cock Express©™ is not as straight and narrow as the old man would like us to think, eh? No wonder Cindy Lou McWho turned to drugs!

  6. 7

    spews:

    Goldy,

    Great pointgs.

    On this and similar issues, however, one could fault Darcy too! Why is she so quiet? Why are YOU rainsing this sisue rather than her?

  7. 8

    Tlazolteotl spews:

    Oh wait. This is great news for Republicans, right?

    I’d love to be a fly on the wall in The Hair’s office, though! I’m thinking someone needs to messenger the guy some Tagamet, stat!

  8. 9

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    The DOW is UP 415 points…and Boeing is down a buck.
    And Richard Pope wants to raise State Taxes on Boeing??
    Boeing gets plenty of tax breaks in Washington.
    Why??
    Because if Washington did not COMPETE for the business, they would LEAVE. Remember Gary Locke’s last minute panic list of Boeing incentives jammed thru in crisis mode??
    Locke came to realize Boeing was serios about moving.
    Perhaps Boeing would have fared better had they competed more aggressively. Boeing did have that “issue” on a prior contract, didn’t they??
    You would think they would have taken this bid more seriously.
    Will be interesting to see how the Washington political corps fights this. Will they get all the facts first? Or just emotionally rail against the military to grandstand for the folks in Washington?
    Time will tell.
    PS–I wish Boeing had gotten the contract.
    The fallout hurts many other industries…suppliers, subcontractors & others who directly deal with Boeing…and retail, hospitality, construction and others who indirectly impact…not to mention the jobs.

  9. 11

    Milo spews:

    Rove was on FAUX Newz the other night saying WA state will be going to McCain in Nov…this sure can’t help.

  10. 12

    rhp6033 spews:

    Cynical @ 9: Yep, the market went back up. Almost recovered all the ground that it lost over the past tow weeks!

    Funny what 200 billion in money dumped into the “financial markets”, along with arrainging of European and Canadian central banks to purchase U.S. mortgage-backed securities at fire-sale prices, will do! This means that as of today, the DJIA has gained an impressive 2.06% average per year during Bush’s Presidency!

    Oh, and where is that 200 billion coming from? I’m assuming that it’s not coming from thin air. Remember the primary economic maxim: “There’s no such thing as a free lunch”.

    I assume that throwing money at problems and selling U.S. assetts to foreign banks is a central part of the basic Republican economic theory? If so, anyone care to share what they plan to do next week?????

  11. 13

    rhp6033 spews:

    Breaking News: Admiral Fallon resigns as commander of the U.S. Central Command (the commander of the area of the world which includes the Middle East).

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23578902/

    Fallon was the guy who was openly critical of the strategy behind the “Petraus Surge” in Iraq, and barely concealed his distaste for the politics-driven military strategy in Iraq. Recent articles have indicated that the Bush administration considered him to be an obsticle to military action in Iran. Yesterday commentators were wondering how much longer he could hold out in the Pentagon with so much political muscle pushing against him. Now we know.

    Although Gates insisted it was Fallon’s suggestion that he resign, and a statement was issued in Fallon’s name indicating that he believed his presence was becoming a “distraction”, the timing of the “voluntary resignation announcement” was rather strange. Fallon is currently in Iraq touring bases there, and the announcement came shortly after an Esquire magazine article went to the presses reporting on Fallon’s battles with the Bush administration over the Iran issue.

  12. 14

    rhp6033 spews:

    Yep, Reichart must be wondering who, if anybody, is going to rescue him this time around.

    Bush is already looking longingly at Crawford, and seems to have pretty much checked out of the Presidency, in the same way as he marked his final years in the Texas Air National Guard. Last time around Bush came to raise money for him, but this time he just sent Laura, and that might be the end of it.

    His colleagues in Congress have already pushed him aside in his bid for a seat on the Appropriations Committee.

    In his quest for the same seat, he has earned the emnity of the chairman of the Congressional Campaign Committee, who also wanted the same seat, and who decides who gets a share of that committee money for their re-election campaigns.

    Now the Republican Presidential Candidate is McCain, who has now earned the wrath of voters in Western Washington by twice pissing on Boeing, and telling the workers there that they better get used to it. Reichart can hardly ride on McCain’s coattails in the Puget Sound region. But as party politics go, Reichart’s duties as a two-term Congressman aren’t to have the party use scarce resources to protect his seat. Instead, he is expected to use the money and political base he should have been collecting over the past four years to bring in votes in his district for McCain! So instead of riding on McCain’s coattails, Reichart is going to be expected to be stumping for McCain!

    A wiser man might just find some excuse to resign, give somebody else a chance, and coast into retirement. But Reichart will probably go down with the ship, because that’s all he knows how to do.

  13. 16

    FreedomLover spews:

    YLB says:

    Oh my! Look for Faux News to start sporting french accents as McCain flys the French-friendly skies.

    It’s just… nothing describes it.
    03/11/2008 at 12:17 pm

    “Faux News” stopped sounding clever the 10th time it was used back in the mid 1990s. Anything more original then that? You do know that FNC is beating the absolute snot out of CNN nightly for years.

  14. 17

    Sempersimper spews:

    “FreedomLover” is SUCH a 2002 name. Anything more original than that?
    And what are you and yours beating the snot out of these days?

    NOVEMBER=Priceless

  15. 18

    FreedomLover spews:

    What’s priceless is the Dems have a super majority in the WA state house and can’t implement the “prog” agenda and Goldy dedicating many posts about it. LOL. Heck, if Democrat majorities can’t succeed in implementing full-on socialism at ANY level, I have nothing to worry about. As long as the economy is going good, I don’t CARE who’s in office.

  16. 19

    spews:

    Mr. Cynical,

    “The DOW is UP 415 points…and Boeing is down a buck.”

    No shit, Sherlock! What did you expect? Boeing just lost a HUGE contract to their only serious competitor thanks, in large part, to McCain.

  17. 20

    Tlazolteotl spews:

    Oh, and where is that 200 billion coming from?

    Why, from Ben’s helicopter, of course! Wheeeeeee!

    @18 The economy is going great, if you’re Exxon! If you don’t think $110-per-barrel oil isn’t going to be bad for the rest of us, though, you must have flunked your Econ102 class.

    I love how the markets went up today after the Eliot Spitzer news. Talk about “irrational exuberance!”

  18. 21

    spews:

    “FreedomLover,”

    ““Faux News” stopped sounding clever the 10th time it was used back in the mid 1990s.”

    You got it wrong, Squirt. We don’t use the term because it is perceived as clever. We use it because it is accurate.

  19. 22

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Darryl–
    Isn’t it ironic that the anti-Military crowd is crowing for a military contract?
    Boeing is suffering from more than the contract.
    Despite Gary Locke’s last minute, panicky crisis management Boeing giveaway to keep Boeing here….Boeing is rightly looking for more fertile, profitable environments to be more competitive.
    Are you aware of some of the Boeing lobbying efforts in Olympia?
    Why not report them?
    Richard Pope wants Boeing to pay more.
    I’ve been out of Boeing stock since it hit 100.
    Hard to jump back in now.

  20. 23

    The Blatantly Obvious spews:

    Let’s see: French Fries and French Toast became “Freedom Fries” and “Freedom Toast”.

    One can only surmise that “FreedomLover” is actual FrenchLover, which would explain his appearance at a time the “FrenchLoving” McCain Lobby shafts America and hands The US defense over to the French.

    It all makes perfect sense when you think about it.

  21. 24

    The Blatantly Obvious spews:

    Mr. I blathers “Isn’t it ironic that the anti-Military crowd…”

    Uh, no. Mr. I, it is ironic that you think liberals are anti-Military. We simply prefer our Military to be used responsibly, and intelligently. Not as fodder for a bunch of incompetent, greedy corporate toadies. And then after feeding the troops to the woodchipper of an asinine and unnecessary war, not caring for them when they come home.

    That is the real anti-Military crowd, Mr. I. And you are a cheerleader for that crowd.

  22. 25

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    I thought Repukes hated the French? Did that change when a rightwinger became prime minister? Is giving them Boeing workers’ jobs a reward for swinging to the right? Just askin’.

  23. 26

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Of course, we all know Republicans don’t give a flying fuck about American workers.

  24. 27

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    In other news, I see Rethuglicans are threatening to impeach Spitzer if he doesn’t resign. For what, getting laid by a prostitute? How does that constitute malfeasance in office? Fuck them!

    They want to impeach a Democratic governor for patronizing a brothel, but they refuse to cooperate with impeaching a vice president who committed treason. Fuck them!

    Hey, I’ll tell you fascists what I’ll do. I trade you Spitzer for Bush and Cheney. Deal?

  25. 28

    IAFF Fireman spews:

    “I thought Repukes hated the French?”

    Hey RR, the dems are in control now. How in the hell can this be a republican thing? More examples of Cheap Labor Liberalisim that Goldy Loves.

  26. 30

    GBS spews:

    McCain stands ZERO chance of winning the White House.

    I don’t care what the blather mouths on the right say, following the devastating 9/11 attacks this country pulled together to support America not the fucking French!!

    So fucking what if the tanker deal would’ve cost us a few billion more dollars?? Fuck, who cares if it would’ve cost us another $10 billion?? What are we spending in Iraq per month? 6, 8, 10, 12 billion dollars per month. Next month will be the 5th anniversary of the war. 60 continuous months of draining our economy for a war Bush lied us into and had no strategy to win the war Because Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld “knew better” than our military commanders. And conservatives have the gall to say Airbus was more competitive??? LMAO.

    Conservatives who make statements like that have no idea how the economy works on any level. Letting $40 billion dollars slip out of the US economy is more expensive then keeping $50 billion dollars in our economy. It gets recalculated to other industries, other companies, other workers, other families and returns to the US Treasury in the forms of many payroll, sales and business taxes. Once the congress writes a check to the French that same scenario gets played out in France. French union workers spend US dollars in France on French car dealers, French home builders, French bankers, French restaurants, etc. They get the benefit and not a fucking dime returns to the US Treasury.

    Now it turns out the double talk piece of shit has multiple Airbus lobbyists working on his campaign. Puhhhh-lease, that’s the straw that breaks the camel’s back. The final slap in the face to the US military, military families, working middle-class families and every patriotic American alive or dead.

    If any of you yum-yums believes that the military will vote overwhelmingly Republican this year as they have in years past, you’re full of it. More importantly, the sheer numbers of military families just aren’t going to subject themselves to any more failed Republican polices. They just aren’t going to do it. Especially not for another 100 years.

    This November, like the November 2006, Republicans will be routed and bum rushed out of office.

    Get used to it boys and girls; there’s new national party in charge and they’re called Democrats.

  27. 31

    rhp6033 spews:

    And for anybody who doesn’t think that Bush hasn’t already mentally “checked out” of the White House:

    http://www.bobrivers.com/onthe.....de=article

    Bush normally spends the entire month of August on vacation, but he volunteered to spend some time campaigning for McCain. Can’t imagine why McCain would want him to do that. But is he actually going to interrupt his vacation to give the customary goodbye speech at the Republican Convention?

    I wonder how many more days Bush is going to be on vacation for the remainder of this year? It’s going to be an impressive record he’s going to have established, by the time he leaves office.

    By the way, why in the world would anybody want to spend August in Crawford, Texas????? That’s just silly.

  28. 32

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Rog–
    Spitzer appears to have done waaaaaaaaay more than merely poke a ho’. Spitzer loves the law Rog.
    He should appreciate that they throw the book at him.
    Perhaps Spitzer ought to prosecute himself!.
    Spitzer seems to be much better at prosecuting wrongdoers than following the laws he covets so much.
    Spitzer tried to destroy many peoples reputations….more than a few unfairly.
    He used a shotgun in his prosecutorial approach.
    How will Eliot do in prison??

  29. 33

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    This just in–
    Roger Rabbit is Client #9…and it wasn’t $4,300, it was 4,300 carrots.

  30. 34

    PuddyPrick, The Fact Finding Prognosticator... spews:

    rhp6033: “McCain, who has now earned the wrath of voters in Western Washington by twice pissing on Boeing”

    Twice pissing on Boeing? Wasn’t it Boeing who tried to illegally get the contract the first time and people lost their jobs?

  31. 35

    FreedomLover spews:

    No wonder Hannah is dispirited in a vulgar madhouse that constitutes the comments section of this blog.

  32. 36

    proud leftist spews:

    31
    I’d have no complaint if Bush left for Crawford tomorrow and stayed on vacation the rest of his term. I wouldn’t even mind if got his regular salary throughout that time. He can’t do as much harm while out cutting brush then he can when he’s idling away his time in the White House.

  33. 37

    PuddyPrick, The Fact Finding Prognosticator... spews:

    In everyday news Pelletizer is as stupid as ever. He typed: “I see Rethuglicans are threatening to impeach Spitzer if he doesn’t resign. For what, getting laid by a prostitute?”

    The NYS Assembly Republicans in the House minority and many Donkey in the majority are both pizzed at Spitzer. Looks like Spitzer was doing some strange money dealings. And even on the donkey side he doesn’t have many friends.

  34. 38

    PuddyPrick, The Fact Finding Prognosticator... spews:

    A late night comedy sampling…

    JON STEWART: But obviously, the big story tonight known by anyone with a television or a Google alert set to prostitute.

    DAVE LETTERMAN: Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen. I’ve been thinking about something. Let me ask you a question. Do you think it’s too soon to be hitting on Mrs. Eliot Spitzer?

    JAY LENO: New York Governor Eliot Spitzer admitted publicly he was involved in a prostitution ring. Which means Hillary Clinton now only the second angriest wife in the state of New York.

  35. 39

    YLB spews:

    The “Freedom Fries” are going to go down great with the shit sandwich voters are going to serve to Republicans in November!

  36. 40

    Hannah spews:

    I would still like to see the breakdown of our Armed Services Committee on who in that committee voted to give EADS (Airbus) this tanker deal!!!!!

  37. 41

    PuddyPrick, The Fact Finding Prognosticator... spews:

    It’s time for a PuddyHistory lesson. Which donkey said these? How many got a pass?

    1) It was a very, very bad mistake. I’ve already said that, I will continue to say it. I have to live with that for the rest of my life.

    2) Indeed, I did have a relationship with Miss Lewinsky that was not appropriate. In fact, it was wrong.

    3) I engaged in adult consensual affair with another man. Which violates my bonds of matrimony.

    4) I have acted in a way that violates my obligations to my family, but I have disappointed and failed to live up to the standard I expected of myself. I must now dedicate some time to regain the trust of my family.

  38. 42

    harry poon spews:

    re 16: The DoubleSpeak of your moniker ‘FreedomLover’ dates back even farther — to 1984.

  39. 43

    PuddyPrick, The Fact Finding Prognosticator... spews:

    Hannah, The Air Force let the contract.

    ASC members can be found at armed-services.senate.gov

  40. 44

    IAFF Fireman spews:

    With all of Goldy’s rants about the big bad McCain contributing to Boeing’s loss and the loss of American jobs, I had to go out for a drive. So, I jumped in my American/Union made Dodge Diesel and put the key in the ignition. As the engine roared to life, I realized yet another level of hypocrisy by Goldy.

    Goldy has bragged about driving a NISSAN. A FOREIGN MADE AUTOMOBILE. He happily admits that he has never ever paid any Union dues in his entire life. Instead of actually doing something American jobs going overseas, Goldy encourages it. Instead of standing on principal against Non-Union Radio shops, Goldy jumps at every chance to work at one. Ahhhhhh, the hypocrisy will never cease to amaze me. All of you Cheap Labor Liberals.

  41. 46

    YLB spews:

    big bad McCain contributing to Boeing’s loss

    The Republican fireman and union member excuses it! Speak French much fireman?

    Raggin’ on Goldy is called misdirection. Totally junior high and it isn’t going to work.

  42. 47

    spews:

    Alleged Fireman @44,

    Um… my 2001 Nissan Altima was built in Tennessee, and FYI, I betcha my trade balance with Japan is a helluva lot better than yours. I’ve actually shipped tens of thousands of dollars of product to Japan. What have you ever had for sale other than your lies?

    And as to your efforts to discredit me as a union buster, good luck with that.

  43. 48

    Eliot Spritzer spews:

    Bush “volunteered to spend some time campaigning for McCain. Can’t imagine why McCain would want him to do that …”

    Peggy Noonan at WSJ’s opinionjournal.com implies that only Typhoid Mary’s help would be more welcome to the McCain campaign.

  44. 50

    Tlazolteotl spews:

    Hannah, nobody in Congress voted for who to let the contract to. The decision was made by the Air Force. If you look on the Hearings section under March 5, 2008, you will see that Wynn testified – according to the news stories, that was what he was testifying about, but they don’t have any transcripts of the testimony posted yet.

    http://armed-services.senate.g.....fm?id=3137

    Congress voted on an appropriation for the tankers, but not on who was to get the contract, the contractors in the Air Force were to put out the criteria and get bids. The unfortunate thing is that Boeing was involved in some very shady dealing with Air Force insiders on this deal and that played a large role in costing them this contract.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....15_pf.html

  45. 51

    IAFF Fireman spews:

    “Um… my 2001 Nissan Altima was built in Tennessee’

    Assembled by NONUNION workers. So let me get this straight, buying from a foreign company who assembles in America with nonunion workers is okay? What exactly are you ragging on McCain about?

    “What have you ever had for sale other than your lies?”

    Not in Sales. I work for a living.

    “And as to your efforts to discredit me as a union buster, good luck with that.”

    Then let’s compare Union Dues paid in 2007. Betcha mine is more.

  46. 52

    Hannah spews:

    @ 50 – thanks for the info! Can’t wait to see that testimony to see who within the Armed Services Committee chose EADS! And yes, Boeing was involved in shady dealings in the past, but part of me believes that certain info was held from Boeing during the final contract negotiations.

  47. 53

    rhp6033 spews:

    Puddy @ 34: Try to follow the time-line.

    1. The Air Force had been saying for quite some time that they needed new tankers.

    2. 9/11 occured. Domestic airlines cancelled orders for new Boeing aircraft by the buckeful. It looks bad for Boeing.

    3. SARS hits Asia. Asian airline postpone orders for new Boeing Aircraft. Boeing is now in serious economic danger.

    4. The Air Force is authorized to buy new tankers. But Bush’s tax cuts get priority, so Bush doesn’t want to pay for them, he wants those charges put off on future Presidents. So Boeing comes up with a lease/option plan, which spreads the cost over a longer period, but is also more expensive to the taxpayer, in the long run (like all lease plans). The contract is being pushed through quickly, because due to 9/11 and SARS, Boeing is on the verge of having to shut down the 767 line entirely, which would raise the cost even higher to ramp it back up again.

    5. McCain’s lobbying buddies from Airbus complain about the package. McCain holds up the contract for the better part of a year, criticizing the lease/option part of the deal.

    6. Just about the time the contract is going to go through DESPITE McCain’s efforts to kill it, the Runyon scandal is revealed, and the contract is cancelled. A Boeing CEO loses his job, a Pentagon procurement officer plus two Boeing employees go to jail. The whole process starts over again.

    7. Boeing manages to survive the downturn without the Air Force tanker contract, although the 767 line is kept open at the slowest possible production rate, and currently only 767 freighters are being built there.

    7. The Air Force issues new contract specs. It is concerned that the subsidy case might impact delivery perforance, so it asks each bidder to discuss this in their bid. Airbus complains – it doesn’t want to talk about it’s subsidies from the European governments. McCain complains, and the requirement is eliminated from the bids.

    8. The deadline for issuing a decision keeps getting moved back – by months. Requirements are changed in order to keep Airbus in the bidding. Boeing offers the Air Force either a 767 or 777 airframe, but the Air Force says it prefers the smaller airframe, for economy of operation.

    9. After more delays, the Air Force finally awards the contract to Airbus – just a week after McCain is named the Republican nominee for the White House.

    The time-line indicates that the mis-deeds of Stoncipher’s protoge’s had nothing to do with McCain’s problems with the Boeing contract. In fact, McCain seemed to have a problem with Boeing being involved anywhere in the process. At every point he exercised his influence, it was in favor of Airbus. Boeing workers aren’t going to forget that.

  48. 55

    PuddyPrick, The Fact Finding Prognosticator... spews:

    Clueless Idiot@46:

    Parles tu Francais? Mon ami! Sacre bleu! Je ne savais pas que tu parle Francais.

    Excusez moi s’il vous plait. Je n’ai pas su ou j’ai oublie que vous etes .5 Espagnol

    Hablas Espanol? Buenos dias Pendejo! Mi Amigo!

    Au revoir! Adios!

  49. 56

    rhp6033 spews:

    Hannah @ 52: You are missing the point. The Air Force made it’s decision. It hasn’t gotten to Congress yet. The Armed Services Committee hasn’t gotten an opportunity to vote on it yet, and won’t, until after Boeing’s protest is resolved.

    At this stage in the process, the selection of the provider is SUPPOSED to be non-political. The Air Force selection committee is supposed to be protected from any political influence, whether from Congress or the White House. The politicians don’t get to become involved until the money is being appropriated for the project, at which point the military’s preference is clearly on the record.

    What we are concerned about is whether McCain, the Alabama Senators and Representatives, or people within the White House, improperly exerted political influence in favor of Airbus on this process or ultimate decision.

    Senators and Congressmen from the various districts helped or hurt by this decision may fuse and fret and fume, but it really is just grandstanding at this point. They may even launch an investigation of the process (although Boeing’s protest through the GAO office will probably short-circuit that approach). But at this point they can do nothing more.

  50. 57

    PuddyPrick, The Fact Finding Prognosticator... spews:

    You know I have another take on this. What if the Air Force was saying FU McCain for screwing up the first deal in 2003 and making us wait another few years and sending it overseas and to Alabama?

    Maybe the Air Force has been watching the 787 program delay after delay and said huh? Do we trust Boeing?

    Ever driven by a Boeing plant parking lot and watch all the foreign cars pull into the lot every weekday?

    These are simple questions from another PuddyStudy.

  51. 58

    PuddyPrick, The Fact Finding Prognosticator... spews:

    rhp6033: While your time line seems probable, where did you get the facts? I know you are no historian as the facts previously presented by you on this blog prove me right!

  52. 60

    PuddyPrick, The Fact Finding Prognosticator... spews:

    Since Delusional Don Joe likes to use Bidness Week, Puddy will too:

    http://www.businessweek.com/gl.....op+stories

    “Even Boeing’s tanker victories in Japan and Italy have been tarnished. Japan received its first tanker in February, about a year late, and Italy’s program is about two years behind schedule, with the first aircraft now expected for delivery in the next few months. Although some of the delay stems from modifications requested by the customers, Boeing has acknowledged technical problems as well.”

  53. 62

    rhp6033 spews:

    Puddy @ 58: I work with (but not for) Boeing, and did so through this entire process. I was involved in deals whereby Boeing was trying to get airlines to purchase 767’s in order to keep the line open while it waited for the 767 Tanker contract. I remember it pretty well. If you want to do a time-line search yourself, you could search the news articles for the past decade and construct it yourself. I don’t have time right now to go into that much detail.

    The important point was that McCain held up the original 767 Tanker contract which was awarded to Boeing for many months BEFORE there was any indication of Boeing impropriety in the contract award.

  54. 64

    rhp6033 spews:

    Puddy @ 60: New aircraft systems always have delays, especially when the customers have unique requirements. I don’t know much about the Italian projects, but the Japanese projects had quite a few requirements added on, including some which required FAA approval (which can take a long time). By the way, those planes use 767 airframes, but are completely different from the proposal given to the Air Force.

    Of course, they can always rely upon Airbus, which has never produced a late plane? Oh, yea, there’s the A380, which is what – two or three years behind the original schedule? Oh, and I’m sure they won’t have any problems with little things like building an aircraft manufacturing plant in Alabama, training brand new workers, working out the logistics kinks, right?

  55. 65

    rhp6033 spews:

    Puddy @ 63:

    How much of the Boeing 767 is built outside of the U.S.? Where is final assembly?

    How much of the Aribus A330 is built outside of the U.S.? Where is final assembly?

    Have you seen a make/buy plan for either plane? I have.

  56. 68

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Strange how the same people who think it’s okay to give billions of dollars taken from working folks to big companies have a seizure if you give food stamps or a health checkup to a poor kid … their values are fucked up.

  57. 70

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @28 “Hey RR, the dems are in control now.”

    Really? I thought Bush was running our government. Did he become a Democrat? Is he going to put all you repukian traitors on trial? It’s about time someone waterboarded you.

  58. 72

    rhp6033 spews:

    Oh, by the way, it wasn’t that long ago that any airline which wanted landing rights at Charles d’Gaule Airport (CDG) in Paris found their applications for landing slots sitting permanetly in the “under consideration” stack, until they agreed to purchase some Airbus jets, at which point it would be magically approved – but only in proportion to the number of jets purchased. This was pretty unpopular with the airlines, because it forced them to “mix” their fleets with both Boeing and Airbus aircraft, thereby increasing crew training, spares, and maintenance requirements, and making it more difficult to shuffle flight crews to meet demands.

    Now the Bush administration has signed the “Open Skys” agreement with the European Union, which brings down barriers between foreign airlines and U.S. carriers. No longer do mutually-recipricol treaties have to be negotiated for landing rights. Instead, any carrier can fly anywhere they want, provided there are open landing slots or they can purchase them.

    Of course, this is a terrible time to do this, from the perspective of the U.S. carriers. They haven’t made significant purchases of wide-body airplanes since 9/11, and they can’t afford to now (some are just now getting in line for the 787, but deliveries will be after 2015).

    This means U.S. fleets are getting pretty old and long in the tooth. Their operating costs are getting much higher than the foreign (higher fuel costs, more “C” checks, more heavy maintenance). And it’s just a lot less pleasant to fly in a 20 or 30-year-old plane than it is in a new one. A lot of passengers may fly on the European carriers, and never go back to the U.S. carriers – especially if their lower costs allow them to offer tickets at the same or a lower price.

    And with the U.S. carriers in continued deep financial difficulties, and with the U.S. Dollar at new lows against the Euro, how many U.S. carriers will be tempted to sell landing slots at U.S. airports to their European competitors? And what chance will they have of ever getting those landing slots back (we aren’t building any new airports, if you haven’t noticed).

    Oh, and in today’s news, the EADS management informed their Board of Directors that they wanted to take advantage of the cheap dollar to buy a “mid-size U.S. Defense and Aerospace Company”. My guess? Northrup-Grumman.

  59. 73

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @29 “Ummmm, he faces a helluva lot more serious crimes than solicitation.”

    You seem to be reading a lot more into the news story you linked to than is there. Money laundering? Tax evasion? That’s just overzealous prosecutors throwing in the kitchen sink for paying the prostitute in cash instead of putting it on his Discover card. They’re going to let him plead to a misdemeanor, for chrissakes. A MISDEMEANOR!!!

    This is nothing. Nothing! Every Republican in the country pays for sex. There isn’t a single Republican wife anywhere who didn’t marry for money.

  60. 74

    rhp6033 spews:

    Remember that if EADS buys Northrup-Grumman, then the whole pretense of the bid by an American company goes up in smoke. And don’t forget that they will be using U.S. taxpayer money to pay for it.

  61. 75

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    I’ll tell you want Spitzer is guilty of. Fighting for consumers. Taking out corporate crooks. Exposing the corruption and greed of the Repugnant Party and its supporters. The guy was a threat to their rackets so they took him out by dangling a whore in front of him. Betcha she was wearing a wire. Betcha dirty Republican money found its way into her hot little hands on the other side of the green door. She’s another Paula Jones.

  62. 77

    ByeByeGOP spews:

    Still waiting on any of the republican idiots to tell us why LA Senator Vitter (R) shouldn’t resign – because sure enough he used a high priced call girl service – and he’s a US Senator – with more power than most Governors. Again – we see how hypocrites think.

    By the way, the majority of GOP sex scandals usually involve gay sex – at least Elliott did it with a girl!

  63. 78

    Sempersimper spews:

    @55 Duppy

    I find it very interesting that you use the French familiar or intimate form of address with YLB. (tu instead of vous) Are you lovers, family, or just buddies?

  64. 79

    Don Joe spews:

    Since Delusional Don Joe likes to use Bidness Week, Puddy will too

    I see that the Terrorist is still smarting from getting his but kicked on the Econ front last Friday/Saturday. Hell, by now, that welt on his backside is permanent. Does that mean I should stop kicking his ass?

  65. 80

    IAFF Fireman spews:

    “You seem to be reading a lot more into the news story you linked to than is there. Money laundering? Tax evasion? That’s just overzealous prosecutors throwing in the kitchen sink for paying the prostitute in cash instead of putting it on his Discover card. They’re going to let him plead to a misdemeanor, for chrissakes. A MISDEMEANOR!!!”

    Tell that to the people he prosecuted.

    http://www.breitbart.com/artic....._article=1

    “What’s the value of those contracts?”

    Does it matter?

    “I thought Bush was running our government.”

    Does that mean that he can make laws and pass legislation? Does that mean tha the can pass a budget? Oh wait, no he can’t.

  66. 81

    Don Joe spews:

    IAFF @ 80

    I’m not sure I understand your point. Are you suggesting that Spitzer laundered money through an escort service? Everyone else seems to think that the problem stems from his paying for services rendered.

  67. 82

    proud leftist spews:

    RR: “Every Republican in the country pays for sex. There isn’t a single Republican wife anywhere who didn’t marry for money.”

    What is the old line from Tropic of Cancer, is it “She laid on her back and fiddled with her hat while he thumped away at her”? That’s how I picture Republican sex. She lays back and thinks of Mother England, as they said in the Victorian Age, while he gets his pebbles off.

  68. 85

    GBS spews:

    @ 80:

    Yeah, it does matter. $40 billion vs. a few million are worlds apart economically.

    Believe me when I say the ability to conduct aerial refueling is tactically much more important than what weapon a few Special Forces operators might use on “certain missions.”

    Your point to create a straw man argument of hypocrisy is in an of itself hypocritical.

  69. 88

    ByeByeGOP spews:

    Actually the Governor of New York has not been charged with ANY crime. I seem to remember the wingers claiming that when their boys were caught dinking each other – it was okay because no crime had been committed.

    When there’s a charge – you can talk about a charge – until then, you’re just jacking off assholes.

    And when will Vitter be charged? Soon I hope.

  70. 89

    Hannah spews:

    WHO THE HELL CARES IF HE PAID FOR SEX??? Almost every freakin’ politician does so let the whole paid for sex thing go!

  71. 90

    YLB spews:

    55 – Stupes, save the French for your pal the right wing fireman who’s voting for French loving McCain.

    As for the Spanish:

    Chinga te buey!

  72. 91

    IAFF Fireman spews:

    “Yeah, it does matter. $40 billion vs. a few million are worlds apart economically.”

    Libs are claiming the injustice to the American worker, because the jobs are going overseas. So are you telling me that 1 job is less important than 100 jobs? What is the magic cutoff for the you Libs?

    “Believe me when I say the ability to conduct aerial refueling is tactically much more important than what weapon a few Special Forces operators might use on “certain missions.”

    Really? I know a number of soldiers, sailors and airmen that would argue that each job is as equally important as the rest. That each has a specific needed function. When you take away the ability from one, it affects the other.

    “Your point to create a straw man argument of hypocrisy is in an of itself hypocritical.”

    Then you are missing the point. The simple fact is, you libs are getting your panties in a wad over the boeing deal, but aren’t over the Coast Guard Helicopter deal. Why? If you libs want to claim that you are the party for the American Working Union man and woman, then each job should be as equally important as the next.

    It is funny though, seeing the number of FOREIGN made cars at Liberal events. Why not buy American? That’s what you are asking the US Air Force to do. Shouldn’t you lead by example? This is where the hypocrisy comes in. You Libs have a Do as I say, not as I do attitude. And Goldy, with his Cheap Labor Liberal movement is one of your leaders.

  73. 92

    Rujax! spews:

    IAFF Fireman:

    Shit in a bowl and pour it down your throat you ignoramus.

    YOU are the one supporting the assholes that are taking down YOUR standard of living and YOU are too fucking stupid to see it.

    What a narrow minded selfish tool.

  74. 93

    The Blatantly Obvious spews:

    @ 91 “If you libs want to claim that you are the party for the American Working Union man and woman, then each job should be as equally important as the next.

    As the next 100? As the next 1000? We should waste as much energy as possible saving one job, while letting 10,000 drift away? Your argument is not only disingenuous, it is down right silly.

    It is funny though, seeing the number of FOREIGN made cars at Liberal events. Why not buy American? That’s what you are asking the US Air Force to do.

    Well, beyond the astoundingly unsupported bullshit of the first sentence, you attempt to claim that if a, oh lets claim its a “conservative wackjob”, buys a foreign car, it has the same effect as the US Air Force buying a major military support system from a foreign producer?

    I am gonna give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you are joking. Are you one of these satirists who post so often on HA?

    P.S. whenever a wingnut starts a sentence with “you libs” you can easily assume what follows is complete and utter bullshit.

  75. 99

    Mike spews:

    Northrop Grumman Sets the Record Straight Concerning the U.S. Air Force KC-45A Misinformation
    LOS ANGELES — March 10, 2008 — Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) said today that since the Air Force’s selection of the Northrop Grumman KC-45A, numerous erroneous comments continue to be repeated in the media and in Congress. Northrop Grumman wants to set the record straight on the following points:

    Northrop Grumman, a Los Angeles-based company with over 120,000 employees, is the KC-45A tanker prime contractor

    * A contract between the U.S. Air Force and Northrop Grumman
    Corporation for the Northrop Grumman KC-45A was signed on Feb.
    29, 2008.

    * Northrop Grumman KC-45A primary subcontractors include EADS-North
    America, General Electric, Honeywell, AAR Cargo Systems, Sargent
    Fletcher, Knight Aerospace Products, Parker and Telephonics.

    Jobs

    * The Northrop Grumman KC-45A U.S. supplier base includes 230
    companies in 49 states.

    * The Northrop Grumman KC-45A tanker will support more than 25,000
    direct and indirect jobs in the United States — a conservative
    estimate based upon the U.S. Department of Commerce aerospace
    industry jobs projection formula.

    * Using more recent data from our suppliers and applying the Labor
    Department’s formula for projecting aerospace jobs at the state
    and regional level, the KC-45A will employ approximately 48,000
    direct and indirect jobs nationwide.

    * Assembly and militarization of the Northrop Grumman KC-45A tanker
    will take place in Mobile, Ala., resulting in the creation of
    1,500 jobs in the United States.

    * Job creation was not a part of the evaluation criteria, in
    accordance with federal law.

    * The Northrop Grumman KC-45A tanker program does not transfer any
    jobs from the United States to France or any other foreign
    country.

    Repayable Loans / WTO Dispute Issue

    * The U.S. Department of Defense ruled that the disputes involving
    Boeing and Airbus currently being adjudicated by the World Trade
    Organization were not relevant to the U.S. Air Force’s KC-X
    Tanker competition.

    Acquisition Process

    * The KC-45A competition underwent the most rigorous, fair and
    transparent acquisition process in Defense Department history.

    * Throughout the process, both competitors in the KC-45A
    acquisition hailed the Air Force for conducting a fair and open
    competition.

    * The size of the proposed tanker aircraft was not dictated by the
    Air Force nor was size an established criteria — each contractor
    was free to propose the best solution and platform to meet Air
    Force warfighter requirements.

    * Both contractors had ample opportunity in the protracted
    acquisition and source selection process to propose the best
    aerial refueling capability to meet the warfighter’s
    requirements.

    Reduced Risk to the Government

    * The first Northrop Grumman KC-45A tanker aircraft was built in
    July 2007 and flown in September 2007.

    * The Northrop Grumman KC-45A Aerial Refueling Boom System has
    completed 73 test flights totaling more than 200 flight hours.
    The boom completed the first in-flight fuel transfer on Feb. 29,
    2008 passing 2,000 pounds of fuel to a Portuguese Air Force F-16
    combat aircraft.

    * The Northrop Grumman KC-45A is based upon the Royal Australian
    Air Force KC-30B Multirole Tanker — which has been built, flown,
    and is undergoing flight tests. It will be delivered on schedule
    to the Royal Australian Air Force in early 2009.

    * Boeing’s proposed KC-767AT tanker and refueling boom were never
    built, flown or tested.

    Industrial Base

    * The Northrop Grumman KC-45A tanker program will create a new
    aerospace manufacturing corridor in the southeastern United
    States.

    * The KC-45A program helps return competitiveness to the U.S.
    aerospace industry.

    Foreign Content

    * All modern jetliners are built from a global supplier base, and
    the two entrants in the KC-45A competition are no exception.

    * Boeing’s proposed tanker includes parts manufactured in Japan,
    United Kingdom, Canada and Italy.

    * Northrop Grumman tanker includes parts built in the United
    Kingdom, Germany, Spain and France — countries exempt under the
    Buy America Law.

    * The Northrop Grumman KC-45A will include approximately 60 percent
    U.S. content. It is America’s tanker.

    Foreign Suppliers to U.S. Military Programs

    * There are numerous examples of transatlantic cooperation on vital
    U.S. military programs. Foreign suppliers currently play
    essential roles in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the VH-71
    Presidential Helicopter and the C-27J Joint Cargo Aircraft
    program.

    * No sensitive military technology will be exported to Europe. For
    the KC-45A program, a commercial A330 jetliner will be assembled
    by American workers in EADS’s facility in Mobile. The aircraft
    will then undergo military conversion in an adjacent Northrop
    Grumman facility. All of the KC-45A’s critical military
    technology will be added by an American company, Northrop
    Grumman, in America, in Mobile, Ala.

    Northrop Grumman Corporation is a $32 billion global defense and technology company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.

  76. 100

    PuddyPrick, The Fact Finding Prognosticator... spews:

    Delusional Don Joe:

    Au contraire. Economic butt smacking? Truly delusional.

    waaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa

    Jay Silverheels says: You tell funny joke.

  77. 101

    PuddyPrick, The Fact Finding Prognosticator... spews:

    Rhp6033@65: Sorry Darryl thought post #61 wasn’t relevant to the conversation so I guess those questions will go unanswered.

    Talk to the punk “moderator”.

  78. 102

    PuddyPrick, The Fact Finding Prognosticator... spews:

    Hey Darryl: Again I post relevant to the thread @61 and BBG@77 gets a pass.

    More proof of you being a punk!

    BBG – Even Karl Rove said the other night Vitter should resign. He said Larry Craig should resign. Most of us on the right said on HorsesASSholes Vitter should resign.

    But being another butt of HorsesASSholes, you prove to all being a 16%er means you have a disease. Memory disease that is. You missed the posts on both. Neither got a pass from Puddy.

  79. 103

    PuddyPrick, The Fact Finding Prognosticator... spews:

    Idiot@78: I used the tu form because it’s singular vs vous which is normally plural.

    Now Clueless Idiot does have many voices screaming in that vast echo chamber (one eye has a neon sign “Space Available” and the other eye has a neon sign Vacancy”) call his hat rack so vous may have worked. But then again… it’s personal between the Clueless Idiot and me.

  80. 104

    PuddyPrick, The Fact Finding Prognosticator... spews:

    @90Clueless Idiot:

    In Puerto Rico I learned it as chinga tu m _ _ _ _!

  81. 105

    Don Joe spews:

    Terrorist @ 100

    Well, that certainly explains why you invoke my name in the completely unrelated context of a thread in which I hadn’t participated.

    If I hadn’t kicked your ass, I wouldn’t be inside your head. Since you’ve shown that I’m inside your head, it’s clear that I kicked your ass.

  82. 106

    PuddyPrick, The Fact Finding Prognosticator... spews:

    Darryl: What is irrelevant? Boeing people screaming about their potential loss of jobs when they drive foreign cars to work? Don’t they think about their union brothers in Detroit? While the UAW shrinks because their IAM brothers drive foreign cars is relevant. So why did you erase my post? It hit home?

    You can’t argue fly American if you don’t drive American. Yes GBS, I know what you drive and if that’s your only car it holds for you too. BTW, PacMan drives an American made truck from Detriot. That’s why IAFF Fireman has a valid point on Goldy driving foreign. So Darryl you drive foreign too. Well isn’t that telling. I drive American because my bro-in-law works at an American car company. So to me it’s telling about Boeing workers.

  83. 107

    PuddyPrick, The Fact Finding Prognosticator... spews:

    No Delusional Joe. I have a great memory. I remember things Donnageddon wrote in 2006. I remember things Boeing Bob wrote. I remember things headless lucy wrote. How do you think I can spot one of his pseudonicks so quickly? I don’t know why God gave me a great memory but I thank him everyday. So if you want to puff yourself up go ahead.

  84. 109

    GBS spews:

    IAFF Fireman @ 91:

    “Believe me when I say the ability to conduct aerial refueling is tactically much more important than what weapon a few Special Forces operators might use on “certain missions.”

    Really? I know a number of soldiers, sailors and airmen that would argue that each job is as equally important as the rest. That each has a specific needed function. When you take away the ability from one, it affects the other.

    WOW!~ Did you really say this?? REALLY?!?!?!

    Are trying to tell me that some guy fresh out of boot camp washing pots and pans in the galley of an aircraft carrier is as tactically important as refueling a F-15 Strike Eagles providing tactical air support over our troops engaged in a firefight in Iraq?

    Do you REALLY “know” a number of soldiers, sailors and airmen who would whole-heartedly agree with you on that point?

    Is some guy pushing paperwork at Ft. Hood really as tactically important as refueling a B-2 Stealth bomber over the Indian Ocean so it can make a bombing run on the Taliban in Afghanistan??

    Puhhhh-leeeaaasssseee, stick to what you know bro, fighting fires. That’s tough, hard and heroic work and I applaud you for that. In fact, thank you for doing what you do.

    But, having you chime in on military matters to me is like me telling you that a 2 1/2 fire hose is just as tactically important to fighting a fire as using a bucket of water.

  85. 110

    GBS spews:

    Puddy @ 106:

    Hey, man, I can exempt my two Porsches from this arguement because I cancel them out with my Jeep Cherokee and my Ford Ranger.

    Yes, I remember seeing you and PacMan piling in his truck. It was, in fact, as they say Detroit Steel.

  86. 112

    PuddyPrick, The Fact Finding Prognosticator... spews:

    GBS, I bet if we took a poll most donkey here drive foreign and don’t think anything about it. Yet, these same 16%ers go apoplectic on the Boeing deal.

    One day I will film the cars going to a Boeing plant and youtube it. Many will gasp once they see the number of foreign cars.

  87. 113

    GBS spews:

    Wazzzz up, my brother from another mother?

    Is that the squabble for you, Boeing workers not driving American cars?

    No outrage from you that in 5 or 8 years from now some RADICAL ANTI-AMERICAN SOCIALIST get elected president of France that disagrees with our foregin military policies and opts to hold hostage our tankers? Right at time when the current fleet of KC-135’s are no longer airworthy? One of our most mission critical components in our nations military assets?

    C’mon. . . . nuff said.

  88. 115

    IAFF Fireman spews:

    “WOW!~ Did you really say this?? REALLY?!?!?!”

    I was in reconnaissance for the US army for a number of years. The Fire Service has a great number of military members, who have served from cook to Special Forces to Pilot. And yes, I do a number of Soldiers, Sailors, Marine and Airmen that will say that each position is there for a reason. Tell me, if there were nobody to scrub those pots and pans, how could those pilots launch off the aircraft carrier without having eaten?

  89. 116

    GBS spews:

    IAFF @ 115:

    C’mon grow up. You’re already shifting your reasoning. “every positoin is there for a reason” is NOT the same at tactical importance.

    You simply CANNOT equate refueling CAP’s as the same level of importance as scullery duty.

    You’re grasping at straws. BTW, when you’re at GQ for prolonged periods of time, you’re lucky to get a dry bologna sandwhich. So guess what? When the birds have to launch to defend the carrier the piots will launch with empty stomachs.

    Sheeeeeeeeeeshh.