Gates Has a Big Problem: Defense Secretary Robert Gates says he has "a big problem" with the House Armed Services Committee addition of 12 F-22 Raptors to the 2010 defense budget. He told reporters at the Pentagon June 18 that the reason is "because it continues the F-22 program, which is contrary to the recommendations I made to the President." However, Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii), who as chairman of the committee's air and land forces panel put forth the additional Raptors, says we need them to provide "breathing room" to keep F-22 production going while debate continues on national strategy as the Pentagon works through the Quadrennial Defense Review. For Gates that debate is obviously over. In a direct slap at the professional opinion expressed recently by Air Combat Command boss Gen. John Corley that the current national military strategy requires more than 187 F-22 fighters, Gates told the reporters: "Frankly, to be blunt about it, the notion that not buying 60 more F-22s imperils the national security of the United States I find completely nonsense." With that statement, Gates not only derides Corley's judgment but also that of Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz, who has acknowledged the fiscal constraints that make a smaller F-22 force necessary, but who has stated publicly that the current military requirement is for 243 Raptors. Asked when he would recommend a presidential veto, Gates said, "I'm not going to go that far at this point." Abercrombie, however, meeting with reporters, openly ridiculed the notion of a veto, claiming that President Obama would be uncharacteristically foolhardy to veto a defense bill over the issue of a few airplanes. Abercrombie added that, in any event, a veto would be met in a flash with an override by huge supermajorities in each chamber. (Gates press briefing transcript)
Corley's Rationale: In making his unvarnished military assessment of the high risk he sees in halting F-22 production at 187 aircraft, Air Combat Command boss Gen. John Corley upheld his sworn duty to Congress to "provide his unbiased opinion on all matters of military importance," according to a June 19 statement from ACC. It's important to note, too, that in Corley's written response to a direct request from Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) about the F-22 risk factor, Corley noted that USAF leaders had asked for and received ACC views, but he also acknowledged that they and DOD leaders were faced with "tough choices … in balancing current warfighting needs against fiscal realities." That, in our view, shows integrity. Among the factors, ACC says Corley used in making his assessment were the need for homeland defense, combatant commanders' requirements, opposing air and ground threats, ongoing reductions in fighter force structure, and the rapidly aging fighter force—all part and parcel of the Defense Strategy Force Planning Construct. For Defense Secretary Robert Gates to dismiss Corley's assessment as "nonsense" is nonsensical.
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We tend to go on about the F-22 quite a bit here at EIP.
Update from Saturday: We decided on a computer, Gentle Reader, and we should have a new Gateway LX 6810-01 in our hot lil hands by the end of the week. One of the more interesting things about computer shopping is reading all the customer reviews. Someone always gets a lemon and they are NOT shy about telling the world about it… it doesn’t seem to matter what brand or model computer you look at. So… we have our fingers crossed here at El Casa Móvil De Pennington in hopes our previous good luck with computers holds. That luck has been substantial, too. We’ve bought every single one of our computers over these inter-tubes, with the exception of our first two. And the only reason we didn’t buy those online is online shopping didn’t… ummm… exist at the time.
Speaking of our first computer… it was one of these. I bought my XT in early 1986, and it was the model that did NOT come with a hard drive; it had two 5.25” floppies. I bought a 10 megabyte… yes, MEGAbyte… Seagate hard drive from a mail order firm and installed it myself. The drive only cost about 300 Yankee Dollars, if I recall correctly. The XT itself was about $1500.00, if memory serves. As far as connectivity went, I had a 9600 bps outboard modem to access BBSes and the like. You cannot imagine how impressed I was when I upgraded to a 19.2 Kbps modem. Oh, the power and the glory!
We’ve come a long way, Bay-bee. But ya know what? I miss those clickety old IBM keyboards. Those things were built to last, in addition to having the best feel of any keyboard I've ever used. They were heavy enough to have made damned good weapons, too... and I'm sure someone, somewhere, beat the snot out of another person using one. I wouldn't take odds on anyone surviving a determined attack with that keyboard.