Sleazy Military Contractors Are Crying Foul Over Drones -- They Stand to Lose Billions
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And if drones replace manned fighters — which they could, right now — all that wonderful cash will be out of reach, because as I keep saying here, drones have this one unforgivable flaw: They’re cheap. The MQ1 Predator, our main attack drone, costs $4 million per copy. That’s about two percent of what the F-35’s planned cost, and since you can safely double the planned cost, the MQ1 really costs about 1% of what the F-35 will cost.
One percent. For a lot of suffering USAF procurement officers, Texas congressmen, and DoD contractors out there, that’s the difference between a Maserati and a mere Porsche, a beach house in La Jolla vs. one in Oceanside, where beaches are infested with non-millionaires. It’s a real-live moral dilemma, a heart-rending tragedy, which is why they’ve triggered their tame pundits and the media outlets they place ads in to start moaning about how eeeeeevul drones are.
Big, big money. And where’s it go? The simplest answer is “in the pockets of some sleazy Congressmen from Texas, naturally.” “Texas”: that’s the answer to a lot of questions, like, “What’s America’s biggest cross to bear?” Texas, Texas, Texas. U. S. Grant knew it long ago; you read his memoirs and you can tell that for him the worst part of the Mexican War was that we killed all those poor campesino conscripts just to please the Anglo Tejanos, a group Grant hates with every cell in his body, especially as they repaid the favor of being liberated from Mexico at US taxpayer expense by seceding and fighting to bring down the US just twelve years later.
These guys breed true, unfortunately, so now, 150 years later, we’ve got a whole cowboy cabal from Texas fighting to make sure the US wastes a trillion dollars on this dog, the F-35. The leader of this pack of jackals is Congressman Mike McCaul. I have to tell you a little about him, because it’s so incredibly gross you won’t believe it without the details.
McCaul’s the wealthiest member of Congress, but not because he’s another Bill Gates. Nope, McCaul picked an older, sleazier but just as effective method of getting rich: he married a rich woman who happened to be the daughter of the guy who owns Clear Channel, a huge conservative/Southern media conglomerate. Yep, that’s one way to get rich that doesn’t take any skills at all beyond sneaking a peek at your sweetie’s bank statement and then telling her with a straight face, “Awww, darlin’ of course ah luv U fer U an’ not yer daddy’s money, an’ by the way how soon can we tap that well once we’re hitched?” Boom, a few quick pickup lines, then one quick wedding and McCaul was worth $300 million.
With that kind of connection — not just money, but friendly media coverage guaranteed — McCaul had an easy ride to Congress, where his main claim to fame (before he started pushing the F-35) was forcing the Army to hold Christian ceremonies for every dead soldier, even the atheists, or Muslims, or Jews, or goddamn Zoroastrians. That’s the kind of thing that goes over big with Texas voters, and like all this “moral” crap, it also happens to work perfectly when you want to siphon off a huge chunk of tax money, because the suckers just can’t follow all the math in that stuff. All they know is “He’s for prayer.”
When the VA complained that McCaul was forcing Christian ceremonies on non-believers, he squawked back that the VA had “banned” Christian prayer. That was a flat-out lie, and the VA said so and proved it, but you can bet it played huge with his idiot constituents in the Dallas suburbs. This shit is why I can’t watch King of the Hill: I grew up with these people, it’s not cute to me. Makes me dream of crop dusters with tanks of nerve gas making a nice lazy slow pass over Hank Hill’s house, and Dr. Oz would probably say that’s unhealthy or something. You might think Hank Hill is cute, but he voted for McCaul, and he will again unless ... oh yeah, nice slow easy passes, the sweet vapor drifting down on the Dallas suburbs …