Archive for the ‘Lockheed’ Category

Your morning jolt: Michael Thurmond offered U.S. Labor post

The state’s unemployment rate jumped to more than 10 percent in June, the highest ever recorded in Georgia — though we’re fairly certain no one was counting during the Great Depression.

That’s nearly half a million people looking for work in this state, up 65 percent over June 2008.

State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond will testify at a U.S. Senate hearing (Johnny Isakson a ranking member) on Thursday. The topic will be re-training an army of American workers.

And this is where Georgia politics kicks in. We understand that Thurmond, who had been gearing up to enter the Democratic race for lieutenant governor, was recently offered a post within the U.S. Labor Department.

Thurmond is perhaps the most valued African-American stump speaker in the Georgia Democratic party, and plans have been afoot for him to run on an informal, biracial ticket with former Gov. Roy Barnes.

Thurmond has discussed the offer with Democratic lawmakers and other officials. Acceptance would …

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Your morning jolt: F-22 fight moves from sniping to data

In the last 24 hours, the looming confrontation between the Obama Administration and Congress over the F-22 stealth fighter has moved to the next level — from sniping to the rolling out of detailed arguments.

Near the close of business on Thursday, The Hill newspaper in D.C. posted an article that set a hefty per-hour pricetag on the Marietta-assembled F-22 Raptor — along with the worries of John Murtha, lead dog on defense spending in the House.

Murtha advocates more spending on the Raptor, but:

He also expressed some concern with the F-22 costs.

“We got problems with the F-22, there is no question about it. We are talking about $50,000 per hour to fly that plane,” he said.

The $50,000 price tag per hour is for operating and maintaining the F-22, according to data from the House Appropriations Defense panel.

This morning, the Washington Post sets the price of the F-22 slightly lower — at $44,000 per hour — but adds a large focus on the problems of upkeep:

The …

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Why Mrs. Gingrey doesn’t fluff her husband’s pillow

On MSNBC this week, U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey was defending the F-22 Raptor against those who say the plane hasn’t seen much action.

Said the Marietta congressman:

”I have a .44 Magnum that I keep under my pillow every night for the last 15 years. Everybody in my neighborhood knows I’ve got it. And I haven’t had to use it.

“That’s the same thing with this F-22 Raptor.”

See for yourself, in this YouTube clip posted by the liberal group Think Progress:

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Dangling Marietta’s F-22 in front of the Japanese

You’ve heard this one: A butterfly flaps its wings and a hurricane is spawned a hemisphere away.

Here’s another one: Kim Jong Il, North Korea’s dear leader, points a missile at Japan — and a Lockheed worker in Marietta keeps his job.

This from UPI in Tokyo:

U.S. defense officials are preparing a version of the stealth F-22 Raptor that Japan has expressed strong interest in buying.

While the Department of Defense is working to design an export version of the Raptor, U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, this week sent a letter to Japanese Ambassador the United States Ichiro Fujisaki saying that the F-22 would likely carry a price tag of $290 million.

Japan has made it known it would like to buy 40 F-22s, made by Lockheed Martin and Boeing, so the potential value of the deal is more than $11 billion.

There is competition, of course.

Japanese defense officials are reportedly looking at other aircraft, including Lockheed’s F-35 and the Eurofighter Typhoon, which is …

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Your morning jolt: Candidates beg for spare change

On Tuesday, with a June 30 deadline only seven days away, Karen Handel begged for spare change.

“Any amount you can contribute right now will go a long way in helping us meet our goals next week,” the Republican candidate for governor said.

At five days out, John Oxendine , a GOP rival, asked supporters to empty their pockets, else a Democratic bogeyman will reign over them. “I am running to protect the traditional values Georgia holds dear from Roy Barnes and the liberals in Atlanta,” he said.

Republicans and Democrats alike, whether running for governor or something else, see the end of the month as a kind of CRCT test for grown-ups.

The size of a candidate’s treasury in the first six months of this year will be read as a measure of strength and viability — could determine the size of his/her treasury for the next six months as well.

There will be exceptions. Democrat Roy Barnes specifically declared that he wouldn’t start his campaign until next month, …

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Your morning jolt: Southern GOP governors and the Voting Rights Act

This morning, the Associated Press takes a look at reactions of Republican governors toward this Texas lawsuit the U.S. Supreme Court will hear late this month, aimed at overturning the toothiest provisions of the Voting Rights Act.

Says the AP:

Republican Govs. Sonny Perdue of Georgia and Bob Riley of Alabama have asserted in court filings that the continued obligation of their states to get advance approval for all changes involving elections is unnecessary and expensive in view of significant progress they have made to overcome blatant and often brutal discrimination against blacks.

Perdue in particular singled out Section 5 of the the Voting Rights Act, which means any election law must receive federal approval before it goes into effect. See an earlier post on the topic here. To continue:

Riley said blacks in Alabama register to vote and cast ballots in proportions similar to whites and that black lawmakers make up about one-quarter of the Legislature, reflecting the …

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Did Obama just call the F-22 a Cold War relic?

For a Republican, Rep. Phil Gingrey of Marietta was fairly complimentary of President Barack Obama’s big speech last night.

But there were a couple things the president said that make him worry, according to my AJC colleague Bob Keefe in Washington.

First was the mention of a carbon cap-and-trade plan, which Gingrey said would really hurt Georgia — since the state doesn’t produce much in the way of renewable fuels, but is home to big-time coal burning companies like Atlanta-based power company Southern Co.

But what really worries Gingrey was Obama’s line about reforming defense spending “so that we’re not paying for Cold War-era weapons systems we don’t use.”

Gingrey and other Georgia members of Congress are pushing hard for the president to keep funding the production of F-22 fighter jets that are assembled in Marietta. Obama is expected to make a decision on F-22 funding on March 1.

Asked if he thought Obama were referring to the F-22, Gingrey said:

“You …

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