Archive for the ‘F-22’ Category

Air Force insiders foresaw breathing woes for F-22 pilots

The final Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor fighter jet is rolled off the assembly line in Marietta last December.  The aircraft, regarded as the world's premier 5th generation fighter, will be delivered to the Air Force in 2012 after receiving a top secret coating and other testing. Brant Sanderlin, bsanderlin@ajc.com

The final Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor fighter jet is rolled off the assembly line in Marietta last December. The aircraft, regarded as the world's premier 5th generation fighter, will be delivered to the Air Force in 2012 after receiving a top secret coating and other testing. Brant Sanderlin, bsanderlin@ajc.com

Some interesting history on the Marietta-made F-22, via the Associated Press:

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan — Years before F-22 pilots began getting dizzy in the cockpit, before one struggled to breathe as he tried to pull out of a fatal crash, before two more went on television to say the plane was so unsafe they refused to fly it, a small circle of U.S. Air Force experts knew something was wrong with the prized stealth fighter jet.

Coughing among pilots and fears that contaminants were leaking into their breathing apparatus led the experts to suspect flaws in the oxygen-supply system of the F-22 Raptor, especially in extreme high-altitude conditions in which the $190 …

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Your morning jolt: Nathan Deal raises big money for transportation sales tax campaign

If we’ve given the impression that Gov. Nathan Deal has only spoken up for a statewide transportation sales tax, we hereby apologize.

Deal’s not merely dipping a toe in the water. He’s hip-deep in the effort.

Click here to see the invitation for a May 23 fundraiser for the statewide arm of the campaign, hosted by the governor but held at the Atlanta home of former Cousins Properties CEO Tom Bell.

Just in case you’ve got some loose change in your pocket, you can become a “platinum” sponsor for only $100,000. Which is no big deal. The metro Atlanta sales tax campaign has a category for gifts of $250,000 and more.

Deal also hosted a fundraiser in Savannah this week. And will show up at yet another in Augusta next month.

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This is the upset that has Washington talking this morning. From the Lincoln, Neb., Journal Star:

In a dramatic, come-from-behind dash to the finish line late Tuesday evening, state Sen. Deb Fischer of Valentine laid claim to the Republican Senate …

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Saxby Chambliss: On a likely primary challenge, and problems with the F-22

I’d originally sought a conversation with U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss to discuss the problems of the F-22, outlined a day earlier on CBS’ “60 Minutes.”

But by the time we talked on Thursday, the defeat of U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar in Indiana was an unavoidable topic. Chambliss said he was, of course, “bothered” by the defeat of any Republican incumbent, and declared his friend to be “a gentleman and just a great statesman.”

“But when you look back, Dick had been here for 36 years, he did not own a house in Indiana, had issues relative to not going home often enough,” Chambliss said.

Lugar was also damned by FreedomWorks and the tea party movement for his bipartisanship – he had served as U.S. Sen. Barack Obama’s mentor on foreign policy.

So there’s the natural question of whether Luger should serve as a warning for Chambliss, who has spent the last 18 months pushing for a bipartisan solution to the federal debt crisis.

Georgia’s senior senator said he …

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Kasim Reed: New Falcons stadium would fetch Super Bowl

Updated at 12:55 p.m.: See new material below.

Original: Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed says he doesn’t view removal of funds for a College Football Hall of Fame from a proposed state budget as any barometer of state Capitol enthusiasm for a new, publicly financed stadium for the Atlanta Falcons.

“I don’t take any message from it at all,” Reed said. “I know that the governor is committed to the stadium effort, that the Falcons are committed to it, and my message is real clear. We’re going to honor our commitment to be completely supportive to building a stadium. And that’s where I am.”

The mayor spoke about the a new Falcons stadium at the tail end of an interview about voter approval for a renewal of an essential sewer sales tax.

Reed says there’s still much negotiation to be done – and that he’s not likely to be deeply involved in those talks:

”The other parties can go on and work on their part of the equation. I’m only speaking for me, and what I have …

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Your morning jolt: Four Florida polls put Mitt Romney in driver’s seat

If you haven’t been polled Florida, you don’t have a phone:

– According to a Quinnipiac University survey released this morning:

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has a 43 – 29 percent lead over former House Speaker Newt Gingrich among Republican likely voters in Florida, the nation’s first big-state presidential primary…. This compares to a 38 – 29 percent Romney lead in a January 27 survey.

An NBC/Marist survey also shows Mitt Romney with a 15-percentage point lead over Newt Gingrich.

Public Policy Polling of North Carolina shows a somewhat closer contest:

PPP’s second day of tracking in Florida finds little change in the state of the race. Mitt Romney leads with 39% to 32% for Newt Gingrich with Rick Santorum at 14% and Ron Paul at 11%. Romney and Santorum are both down a single point from Saturday’s polling while Paul has gained 2 points and Gingrich has stayed in place.

— The survey showing the tightest race comes from Newsmax and InsiderAdvantage of …

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Your morning jolt: GOP tries to paint John Barrow with Solyndra debacle

The National Republican Congressional Committee has taken aim at 51 House Democrats – including Savannah’s John Barrow – for their support of a loan program included in the stimulus package that made the Solyndra solar debacle possible.

As Barrow pointed out in this space last week, the New York Times notes that the Georgia congressman is blaming the GOP abandonment of earmarks:

“Congress has not been as good a custodian of the people’s money in the past and as a result of past abuses of the earmarking process, with highly placed members of Congress abusing their incredible influence at the closing stages of the appropriations process,” Barrow said. “The political repercussions of that have been to forswear all earmarks, which is basically Congress abandoning its responsibility to decide how the people’s money gets spent.”

One other argument you’re likely to hear Barrow make: The loan program that allowed Solyndra is the same one that is guaranteeing $8 billion for the …

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GOP control of House could revive the F-22 fight

The takeover of the U.S. House by Republicans could prompt a revival of the fight for additional funding for the Marietta-built F-22 stealth fighter, U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey said Friday.

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U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey, a Republican from Marietta. AJC file

“This isn’t just for the sake of home-cooking, but also for the sake of the country,” Gingrey said in a telephone interview.

But Gingrey conceded that concerns over spending and the federal deficit could make the funding battle a difficult one. The planes have a price tag of $120 million each. “We would have to look at it with a very, very sharp pencil,” he said. “It would take some negotiating.”

Suggestions from the debt commission, made public this week, may hold some possibilities A three-year freeze on federal pay and a 10 percent reduction of the federal workforce “are things that really get me excited,” the Marietta congressman said.

Production of the F-22 ended with its omission from the 2009 defense bill. Critics …

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A ‘broad’ apology to Sarah Palin

The Daily News-Miner in Fairbanks, Alaska, has published a front-page apology to Sarah Palin for a headline referring to the former governor’s speech in Hong Kong this week: “A broad in Asia.”

The apology, in part, reads:

There can be no argument that our use of the word “broad” is anything but offensive. To use this word to describe someone of the stature of the former governor — who is also the former vice presidential nominee of the Republican Party — only adds to the anger that many people appropriately feel.

The Wall Street Journal appears to have been the American news outlet with the resources to take Palin’s speech most seriously. Palin gave the plane no specific mention, but she may have taken up for the Marietta-made F-22 in one passage noted by the newspaper:

Speaking on China policy, the former governor criticized the Obama administration for cutting back on some defense spending, suggesting that it sends a worrisome signal to allies depending on …

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Your morning jolt: AFLAC chief is neutral in debate, but thinks health care is a right

Dan Amos, the chairman and CEO of AFLAC, thinks health care is a right, and that the United States has something to learn from Japan, where the Columbus-based company does about three-fourths of its business.

But Amos nonetheless has declared his neutrality in the American debate.

Denis O’Hayer at WABE (90.1FM) tracked Amos down at an economic forum at Emory University. Is health care, O’Hayer asked, a right that should be available to all Americans?

Replied Amos:

“I certainly hope that’s the case. I’m no politician, so I don’t know what the actual rules will be. But certainly I believe we want everybody to be covered in some form if we can find a method to get there.”

And what’s to learn from Japan?

Originally, when they came up with national health care, they had no co-pays and deductibles. It then went to 10 percent, it then went to 20 percent, it’s now to 30 percent. Those voids of 30 percent deductibles have allowed us to come in and offer additional …

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Gingrey: Pentagon not ‘forthright with facts’ in F-22 fight

In May, Washington was all a-bother about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s claim that she was “misled” by the CIA when it came to issues of torture.

Now another member of Congress feels he’s been done wrong by a highly esteemed portion of the executive branch. On the House floor today, U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Marietta) declared that the Pentagon had not “been forthright with the facts” when it came to this week’s fight over the F-22 in the Senate.

Not that he’s saying anyone was misled.

Here’s the clip:

Funding for seven additional stealth fighters was stripped from a defense appropriations bill on Tuesday by the Senate. At issue is a Congressional Quarterly article published Thursday, citing a Pentagon report that the replacement F-35 was two years behind schedule.

(Insider the Air Force magazine tells us they published the same information in November, but the fact seems not to have gotten much attention.)

On Friday, Gingrey said:

Given that the need to …

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