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Marine Corps’ King Stallion Helicopter Costs a King’s Ransom to Taxpayer (Opinion)

Not exactly chump change…

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President Donald J. Trump’s ‘America First’ foreign policy is important to maintain. He was spot on when he advocated dialing back the costly nation building of the past. Using the resources saved from investments in Iraq and Afghanistan infrastructure to invest at home is an issue that helped launch Trump into the presidency. It is consistent with the Trump Doctrine to not make unnecessary expenditures on military hardware that is overpriced and unnecessary.


The CH-53K King Stallion helicopter will cost an already hurting taxpayer a King’s Ransom. That is too much of a burden during these troubling times.

Our nation just breached $26 trillion in national debt and this year has proven to be a year with record spending according to Forbes citing the Congressional Budget Office. To make sure our nation does not go bankrupt, we are going to have to find savings in every aspect of the federal budget. The Pentagon provides for the national defense, yet there are opportunities for tens of billions in savings if the federal government becomes smarter with acquisition strategies and to makes sure they are spending money on hardware that will make America safer. Some ideas don’t seem to be subject to any cost benefit analysis.

One aspect of the rebuilding of America is to be smart about how the Pentagon allocates resources. There is a swirling controversy about the United States Marine Corps (USMC) plans to purchase the super expensive CH-53K King Stallion helicopter. This vehicle was designed for deploying Marine troops forward in a war, because the designs allow for heavy lifting of heavy equipment, and troops, in a desert terrain. The scenario where these specialized helicopters would be used to air drop in Marines and equipment seem not to be likely to happen any time in the near future, because these seem to be offensive weapons that allow for the movement of heavy equipment and troops over 100 miles quickly to establish advanced base operations. These were not available, nor necessary, during the Iraq and Afghanistan initial war efforts, yet the American military imposed stunning victories in a short period of time. It is hard to find a scenario where the tens of billions in investment will return a better national defense than we have now.

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One of the biggest problems with the plans to deploy these helicopters is the excessive cost. According to a Popular Mechanics in a story titled, “Meet the Helicopter That’s More Expensive Than the F-35,” the cost will be approximately “$31 billion for 200 helicopters.” The report indicates that ‘between March 2016 and April 2017, the total acquisition cost of the helicopters rose 6.9 percent” and “each CH-53K will now cost $138.5 million, up from $131.2 million one year ago.” That is too much for a helicopter.

Think about it this way, if my budget is $20K for a car, I am not going to go out and purchase a million-dollar Ferrari racing car. I don’t need a car that goes that fast, even though I would love to have one, nor do I need to drive to and from work in a luxury car. Yet the Pentagon has gone out and designed the Ferrari of helicopters and they want you to pay for 200 of them. It makes no financial sense to buy 200 of them, nor will this fleet of luxury helicopters enhance national security.

Rational minds at the Defense Department have looked at more inexpensive alternatives for the CH-53K King Stallion to provide a mix of tools that will work on the battlefield. The Pentagon is actively entertaining the idea to dial back the number of King Stallions and acquire modified CH-47F Chinook helicopters maintained currently by the Army that are smaller and have a lower lift capacity to provide a mix of helicopter capabilities. Having diversity in the Marine helicopter fleet makes sense, because a fleet of 200 King Stallion helicopters seems one dimensional when we have no idea the challenges the Marines will face in the next ten to twenty years.

President Donald J. Trump’s America First policies are popular. The taxpayers have already paid a King’s Ransom to get the economy back on track, more spending on unnecessary aircraft seems inconsistent with the Trump Doctrine on foreign policy and a recipe for taxpayer revolt.

Edward Woodson is a lawyer and host of “The Edward Woodson Show,” which airs weekdays on WZAB Miami, streaming online at EdwardWoodson.com.

Opinion

Biden Mandate Busted Again, This Time in Lone Star State

It was a BRUTAL smackdown at that!

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From the very moment that Joe Biden began to speak about a federal vaccine mandate, there were concerns about its constitutionality.  You see, this is a nation founded on the ethos of freedom, and there is nothing more authoritarian than forcing a population to undergo unwanted medical procedures.

And, thusly, in the weeks following the Commander in Chief’s declaration, a number of judicial bodies took up the argument, and with devastating results for the White House.

The latest smackdown comes to us from Texas.

A federal judge in Texas Friday blocked the federal government from enforcing President Biden’s vaccine mandate for federal employees, arguing that he didn’t have the authority to do so “with the stroke of a pen and without input from Congress.”

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Biden has pushed several different iterations of vaccine mandates in recent months, including one for large businesses which the Supreme Court blocked and another for healthcare workers which it allowed to go into effect.

There was no beating around the bush, either.

Judge Jeffrey Vincent Brown of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas Friday ruled against the administration on a separate mandate generally applying to federal employees.

“While vaccines are undoubtedly the best way to avoid serious illness from COVID-19, there is no reason to believe that the public interest cannot be served via less restrictive measures than the mandate, such as masking, social distancing, or part- or full-time remote work,” Brown wrote. “Stopping the spread of COVID-19 will not be achieved by overbroad policies like the federal-worker mandate.”

And, given the narrowest of margins in Congress, there is little doubt that any attempt to ratify this mandate legislatively would fail.

From the very moment that Joe Biden began to speak about a federal vaccine mandate, there were concerns about its constitutionality.  You see, this is a nation founded on the ethos of freedom, and there is nothing more authoritarian than forcing a population to undergo unwanted medical procedures. And, thusly, in the weeks following the Commander in Chief’s declaration, a number of judicial bodies took up the argument, and with devastating results for the White House. The latest smackdown comes to us from Texas. A federal judge in Texas Friday blocked the federal government from enforcing President Biden’s vaccine mandate for federal employees, arguing that he didn’t have the authority to do so “with the stroke of a pen and without input from Congress.” Biden has pushed several different iterations of vaccine mandates in recent months, including one for large businesses which the Supreme Court blocked and another for healthcare workers which it allowed to go into effect. There was no beating around the bush, either. Judge Jeffrey Vincent Brown of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas Friday ruled against the administration on a separate mandate generally applying to federal employees. “While vaccines are undoubtedly the best way to avoid serious illness from COVID-19, there is no reason to believe that the public interest cannot be served via less restrictive measures than the mandate, such as masking, social distancing, or part- or full-time remote work,” Brown wrote. “Stopping the spread of COVID-19 will not be achieved by overbroad policies like the federal-worker mandate.” And, given the narrowest of margins in Congress, there is little doubt that any attempt to ratify this mandate legislatively would fail.

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News

Fact Checkers Make Exception for Liberal-Leaning News Outfit

Perhaps one of the several other “fact checking” corporations would like to take a stab at it?

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If there was ever a reason to doubt the authority and authenticity of the mission of the so-called “fact checker” organizations it is this:  There are more than one of them.

You see, if “facts” and “truth” were binary, there wouldn’t be a glut of competing companies out there attempting to sell their services to social media corporations and other media outlets.  We wouldn’t have any disparity whatsoever.  There would be one fact-checking group because, as stated in their creeds, there should be but one set of “facts”.

The entire industry is a bit of a scam, if we’re ready to be that honest with ourselves.  And, if we’re not, there are plenty of examples out there of these companies massaging the narrative in order to maintain their lucrative contracts.

NewsGuard, the establishment “news rating” project that claims to fight untrustworthy media outlets, is cautiously defending NPR as the establishment media outlet continues to claim that U.S. Supreme Court justices Neil Gorsuch and Sonya Sotomayor are at odds over masks, even after a statement from both Justices and Chief Justice John Roberts debunking the story.

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On Tuesday, NPR released a story claiming that Justice Sotomayor had opted to work remotely after Justice Gorsuch refused a request from Chief Justice Roberts that all justices mask up when on the bench.

Later in the day, a Supreme Court source told Fox News that neither Justice Roberts nor Justice Sotomayor had made any such request.

But then:

Despite the total breakdown of the initial story, Newsguard refuses to make any judgments on NPR’s reporting, arguing that the situation is still unfolding.

Prior to the statement from Chief Justice Roberts, Newsguard maintained that the facts of the story were still unclear.

“There are two conflicting reports, one from NPR and one from Fox News, both citing anonymous sources,” said Matt Skibinski, general manager of Newsguard. “It’s hard to say anything definitive about either report without more information.”

But Newsguard cannot hide from this fact:

However, even after all three Justices named in the story – Gorsuch, Sotomayor, and Roberts – made public statements debunking it, while NPR refused to issue a correction, Newsguard maintained that the story was still unfolding.

Perhaps one of the several other “fact checking” corporations would like to take a stab at it?

If there was ever a reason to doubt the authority and authenticity of the mission of the so-called “fact checker” organizations it is this:  There are more than one of them. You see, if “facts” and “truth” were binary, there wouldn’t be a glut of competing companies out there attempting to sell their services to social media corporations and other media outlets.  We wouldn’t have any disparity whatsoever.  There would be one fact-checking group because, as stated in their creeds, there should be but one set of “facts”. The entire industry is a bit of a scam, if we’re ready to be that honest with ourselves.  And, if we’re not, there are plenty of examples out there of these companies massaging the narrative in order to maintain their lucrative contracts. NewsGuard, the establishment “news rating” project that claims to fight untrustworthy media outlets, is cautiously defending NPR as the establishment media outlet continues to claim that U.S. Supreme Court justices Neil Gorsuch and Sonya Sotomayor are at odds over masks, even after a statement from both Justices and Chief Justice John Roberts debunking the story. On Tuesday, NPR released a story claiming that Justice Sotomayor had opted to work remotely after Justice Gorsuch refused a request from Chief Justice Roberts that all justices mask up when on the bench. Later in the day, a Supreme Court source told Fox News that neither Justice Roberts nor Justice Sotomayor had made any such request. But then: Despite the total breakdown of the initial story, Newsguard refuses to make any judgments on NPR’s reporting, arguing that the situation is still unfolding. Prior to the statement from Chief Justice Roberts, Newsguard maintained that the facts of the story were still unclear. “There are two conflicting reports, one from NPR and one from Fox News, both citing…

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