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Cut Military Waste to Win the War On Coronavirus COVID-19 (Opinion)

Point well made…

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Once again, the United States is fully mobilized for war. But this time the enemy is an unexpected one. Instead of fighting invaders from another country, we’re facing an invisible microbe. It will be difficult to know we are making progress, however we will defeat the novel coronavirus.

Still, as our gears up for this fight, it’s a reminder to all of us that the federal government’s main responsibility in a crisis is to protect Americans. In order to do so, it must now provide the funding necessary to keep the country going. If Washington goes broke, the rest of us are doomed.

So far in 2020, lawmakers have appropriated more than $2.5 trillion to the coronavirus crisis, and more spending will be needed to keep the economy going until the threat subsides. “The total amount owed by the federal government is about to top $25 trillion,” NPR reports, a number that politicians are, understandably, reluctant to talk about. But it is something they can take steps to deal with.

All this unexpected spending means lawmakers will have to find places to trim some spending they had already agreed to, in order to make more money available for the current emergency. One easy place to consider cuts is the wasteful F-35 program.

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This program has been going on for years, since the military decided in the 1990s to build a jet that could serve the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps all at once. It became the F-35, or Joint Strike Fighter.

But this sort of experiment has never worked. As long ago as the early 1960s, Defense Secretary Robert McNamara wanted a shared platform for the Navy and Air Force. McNamara’s aircraft policy failed. “The Tactical Fighter Experimental—initially known as the TFX, and later the F-111—proved to be so costly, and the services’ needs so incompatible, the Navy eventually pulled out of the program,” Matthew Fay explains.

This isn’t surprising. “The critical point too often ignored in discussions of the TFX/F-111 experience was the basic incompatibility of developing a single common airframe to undertake widely differing Air Force and Navy missions,” historian Richard Hallion wrote. That’s a lesson we’ve been learning with the F-35 as well.

About the only thing the jet does well is pile up costs.

“A 2015 Pentagon Selected Acquisition Report said that program costs had increased 43 percent from 2001, including unit cost (up 68 percent),” analyst Eric Tegler wrote in “Popular Mechanics” two years ago. “The report added that the F-35A’s cost per flying hour is $32,500 while the F-16C/D is $25,500.” That lines up with a GAO report from 2014 that found the F-35 fleet would have operating costs 79 percent higher than the aircraft it was to replace. 

Meanwhile, it’s increasingly expensive to keep the planes in the air. The GAO estimates it could cost $1.2 trillion to maintain F-35s over the lifetime of the fleet, more than double the cost of acquiring the jets.

The F-35 was designed to help protect the country. Yet it isn’t much good as a weapon; it’s barely used against our foreign enemies at all. Its weapons systems are unreliable, and it can’t provide protection to troops in the field. Meanwhile, existing (and far less expensive) planes such as F-18s and F-16s are frequently deployed to support troops and deliver ordinance. They can keep on delivering for years to come, at a much lower cost than the faltering F-35.

Tegler’s Popular Mechanics article notes that private analysts call the F-35 a “money pit.” That is simply an expense one that the U.S. government can’t afford as it gears up to stop a dangerous virus. We’d be safer without the F-35, and closer to a balanced budget, too.

James Lowe is a public policy analyst, and a two decade’s long radio industry veteran who is host of his own nationally syndicated radio show based in Kansas and carried on the iHeartRadio app. Find out more at jiggyjaguar.com

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NYC Restauranteurs Blast De Blasio’s Vax Mandates: ‘We’re Being Assaulted’

The trouble continues for Big Apple eateries.

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Just days ago, a wild and unruly bit of viral video made headlines, and reignited a national debate about the possibility of vaccine mandates throughout our great nation.

So far, the only real federal vaccine mandate has come in the form of an order from the Biden administration, declaring that all federal employees would be required to receive an inoculation against COVID-19, as well as employees of any private company with more than 100 workers.

But there are plenty of local and private ordinances that do require vaccination, including a controversial proclamation in New York City that requires vaccines for all restaurant customers.  The aforementioned viral video depicted a group of Texan tourists physically assaulting a restaurant hostess that asked for their proof of vaccination in order to dine in their establishment.

This shocking incident has New York City’s restauranteurs crying foul.

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“It’s gonna hurt my business for me to lose customers, to lose relationships with customers. We’re a neighborhood restaurant,” restaurant owner Massimo Felici said, according to NY1. According to the outlet, Felici said the mandate, barring unvaccinated people from dining indoors, has had a negative impact on his business.

“They’re making us police this. We are getting the ripple effect. We’re getting assaulted for it, accused for it whatever you wanna call it. That’s it. Period. It shouldn’t be us,” he added, noting the rules remain unclear to most, as unvaccinated individuals can still dine outdoors.

“You’d be surprised how many people are confused about what’s allowed and what’s not allowed. If you read that, it makes it sound like you cannot come into my restaurant for dinner if you do not have the vaccination,” he said of the city’s signs.

Other establishment owners lamented the reality of the mandates being bad for business, especially as restaurants continue to struggle to reach pre-pandemic prosperity.

Just days ago, a wild and unruly bit of viral video made headlines, and reignited a national debate about the possibility of vaccine mandates throughout our great nation. So far, the only real federal vaccine mandate has come in the form of an order from the Biden administration, declaring that all federal employees would be required to receive an inoculation against COVID-19, as well as employees of any private company with more than 100 workers. But there are plenty of local and private ordinances that do require vaccination, including a controversial proclamation in New York City that requires vaccines for all restaurant customers.  The aforementioned viral video depicted a group of Texan tourists physically assaulting a restaurant hostess that asked for their proof of vaccination in order to dine in their establishment. This shocking incident has New York City’s restauranteurs crying foul. “It’s gonna hurt my business for me to lose customers, to lose relationships with customers. We’re a neighborhood restaurant,” restaurant owner Massimo Felici said, according to NY1. According to the outlet, Felici said the mandate, barring unvaccinated people from dining indoors, has had a negative impact on his business. “They’re making us police this. We are getting the ripple effect. We’re getting assaulted for it, accused for it whatever you wanna call it. That’s it. Period. It shouldn’t be us,” he added, noting the rules remain unclear to most, as unvaccinated individuals can still dine outdoors. “You’d be surprised how many people are confused about what’s allowed and what’s not allowed. If you read that, it makes it sound like you cannot come into my restaurant for dinner if you do not have the vaccination,” he said of the city’s signs. Other establishment owners lamented the reality of the mandates being bad for business, especially as restaurants continue…

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Neighbor Recalls Bizarre Camper Movements at Laundrie Residence

This changes EVERYTHING.

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Brian Laundrie is without a doubt the most sought-after man in America today, and with good reason.

Laundrie returned home to Florida from a cross-country road trip on September 1st, driving a van belonging to his travel partner and fiancée Gabby Petito.  Petito, however, was not with Brian upon his return.

The disturbing developments continued, as Laundrie quickly lawyered up and refused to cooperate with police who were now investigating Petito’s disappearance during their road trip.

Just over a week ago, Brian went missing.  Just days after that, Petito’s body was found in Bridger-Teton National Forest with a coroner suggesting that her cause of death was homicide.

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The search for Brian Laundrie has largely been contained to the vast Carlton Reserve in Central Florida, where the young outdoorsman was said to have gone hiking before he vanished.

But neighbors are now revealing new details that could make Brian even more difficult to locate. 

A couple who live across the street from Brian Laundrie and his family told Fox News on Wednesday that they saw the 23-year-old and his parents leave their home in a truck with an attached camper about a week after Laundrie returned home alone from a cross-country road trip with his fiancée, Gabby Petito.

Authorities are still searching for Laundrie, who has been missing since last Tuesday and is a person of interest in Petito’s death, which has been ruled a homicide.

Charlene and William Guthrie, who moved to North Port, Florida, this summer, said they told authorities they’d seen Christopher and Roberta Laundrie attach what appeared to be a new camper to their truck and drive off for what the Guthries assumed was a weekend camping trip with their son.

“I saw them doing some work. And then when they prepared for their trip, I saw them loading the camper,” William Guthrie told Fox.

Laundrie is considered to be a skilled outdoorsman who may be able to remain “off the grid” for a considerable length of time, which has made the entire situation all the more worrisome for those seeking justice for Gabby Petito.

Brian Laundrie is without a doubt the most sought-after man in America today, and with good reason. Laundrie returned home to Florida from a cross-country road trip on September 1st, driving a van belonging to his travel partner and fiancée Gabby Petito.  Petito, however, was not with Brian upon his return. The disturbing developments continued, as Laundrie quickly lawyered up and refused to cooperate with police who were now investigating Petito’s disappearance during their road trip. Just over a week ago, Brian went missing.  Just days after that, Petito’s body was found in Bridger-Teton National Forest with a coroner suggesting that her cause of death was homicide. The search for Brian Laundrie has largely been contained to the vast Carlton Reserve in Central Florida, where the young outdoorsman was said to have gone hiking before he vanished. But neighbors are now revealing new details that could make Brian even more difficult to locate.  A couple who live across the street from Brian Laundrie and his family told Fox News on Wednesday that they saw the 23-year-old and his parents leave their home in a truck with an attached camper about a week after Laundrie returned home alone from a cross-country road trip with his fiancée, Gabby Petito. Authorities are still searching for Laundrie, who has been missing since last Tuesday and is a person of interest in Petito’s death, which has been ruled a homicide. Charlene and William Guthrie, who moved to North Port, Florida, this summer, said they told authorities they’d seen Christopher and Roberta Laundrie attach what appeared to be a new camper to their truck and drive off for what the Guthries assumed was a weekend camping trip with their son. “I saw them doing some work. And then when they prepared for their trip, I saw…

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