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Sunday, March 28, 2004

Government Of the Corporations, By the Corporations, and For the Corporations
Left I On the News cites two recent news stories about how the Bushies have been handing out the grandkids money to their corporate buddies.

One article concerns a huge giveaway to Boeing for aerial refueling tankers. The funding was stuck into one of the post-9/11 pork bills by Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), and had/has the support of House Speaker Dennis Hastert (from Boeing's headquarters state of Illinois) and Rep. Norman D. Dicks (from Boeing's manufacturing base in Washington state), as well, of course, of the White House. Boeing itself was given the "task" of rewriting the specifications for the tankers, eliminating 19 of 26 requested features so that it's 767 could meet the requirements and "beat out" competitor Airbus' bid (which met more of the requirements and was $10 billion less, but they're FRENCH, y'know).

Among the original Air Force requirements Boeing eliminated was that the new tanker be equipped to refuel all the military services' aircraft, refuel multiple aircraft simultaneously, and carry passengers, wounded troops and cargo. Boeing also eliminated an Air Force requirement that the new tankers be at least as effective and efficient as the 40-year-old KC-135 tankers they would replace.

Well, when you're only paying $23 billion, you can't expect everything. And kudos to Sen. John McCain for making a stink about this.