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DC Cronyism, Subsidized Stadiums and Private Planes – and the National Anthem

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Looks Just Like Commercial Coach, N’Est-Ce Pas?

Cronyism is a coin of the realm in Washington, D.C.

Money is of course Capitol currency – DC spends $4 trillion of ours a year.

Regulation also carries DC clout – the city regulates us to the tune of $2 trillion in compliance cost per annum.

That’s $6 trillion worth of DC power. Which gets DC’s denizens – a metric ton of campaign cash. And that campaign cash – pays for lots and LOTS of cronyism.

Cronyism gets the government to tax and regulate your business’ competitors – and/or exempt yours. The ultimate form of phony favoritism. More

Less Government in Air Traffic Control, Please

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

It’s Way Past Time
to Buzz the Government Tower

Perhaps the most we’ve ever collectively thought of the nation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)’s Air Traffic Control (ATC) – was in 1981, when newly minted President Ronald Reagan had to deal with an ATC union strike.

The ATC was demanding seventeen times more than the amount of money and benefits – than was in the deal to which they had just agreed. (A deal that was itself double the average government employee raise).

Reagan’s response…wasn’t mitigated. He fired every striking ATC employee.

Flash forward to now – and it is inordinately difficult to say the government-run ATC is worth the huge coin. It is what every government-run entity is – grossly wasteful and inefficient. Any steps towards less government…would be most welcome. More

Senator McCain is a Crony’s Best Friend

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

McCain’s Anti-Cronyism Is…Blurry

For a guy who has allegedly spent his political career trying to make and do right – after his being named in the late 1980s Keating Five scandal – Arizona Republican Senator John McCain certainly still likes to do a whole lot for high-donating cronies.

A Keating Five refresher:

“The Keating Five were five United States Senators accused of corruption in 1989, igniting a major political scandal as part of the larger Savings and Loan crisis of the late 1980s and early 1990s. The five senators – Alan Cranston (Democrat of California), Dennis DeConcini (Democrat of Arizona), John Glenn (Democrat of Ohio), John McCain (Republican of Arizona), and Donald W. Riegle, Jr. (Democrat of Michigan) – were accused of improperly intervening in 1987 on behalf of Charles H. Keating, Jr., Chairman of the Lincoln Savings and Loan Association, which was the target of a regulatory investigation by the Federal Home Loan Bank Board (FHLBB).”

Sounds an awful lot like cronyism to me – old school, vintage edition.

McCain’s being named made him hyper-sensitive to the charge – and hyper-and-over-re-active trying to play catch up. More

Since They All Have Nukes and Missiles – We Absolutely Should Have Missile Defense

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Bring On the Counter-Boom

In the 1994 movie “Maverick,” there is a huge, climactic poker tournament.  James Garner’s character Cooper is charged with security – he is to ensure every player turns in their weapons prior to play.

Play ensues and tensions rise, and suddenly nigh every player draws guns they aren’t supposed to have – and a massive shootout ensues. After which James Coburn’s character The Commodore disgustedly shouts “Your security didn’t work a damn Coop – everybody’s got a gun.”

And so it is with the “global community”’s decades-long efforts to prevent the global proliferation of nuclear weapons.  We have a long, proven track record – of being utterly incapable of stopping any nation that wants nuclear weapons from obtaining them.

In the 1990s, then-Democrat President Bill Clinton took a titanic victory lap celebrating the deal he cut to prevent North Korea from going nuclear.  Here he is back in the day, describing its incredible effectiveness – doing his best Neville Chamberlain impersonation:

“North Korea will freeze and then dismantle its nuclear program.  South Korea and our other allies will be better protected.  The entire world will be safer as we slow the spread of nuclear weapons….The United States and international inspectors will carefully monitor North Korea to make sure it keeps its commitments.” More

Center-Right Groups Sign Letter in Opposition to Senator McCain’s Terrible Military Amendment

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

All Opposed…

May 16, 2016

Chairman Mac Thornberry, Chairman John McCain, Ranking Member Adam Smith, and Ranking Member Jack Reed:

Despite costing American taxpayers over $2 billion more than needed (and willfully rejecting the requests made by not only the House Armed Services Committee but also by high-ranking officials in the Department of Defense and in the Intelligence community), the Senate Armed Services Committee–led by Senator John McCain–is seeking to cripple America’s ability to reliably launch some of the country’s most important defense satellites used to secure our nation’s border and track terrorists and drug cartels. Senator McCain’s actions undermine our national security and are the antithesis of good fiscal governance.

America depends on a network of highly sophisticated military satellites to serve as the “eyes in the sky” keeping the Pentagon and our intelligence agencies informed about threats from ISIS, drug smugglers trying to penetrate our borders, and other matters of vital national security.

In order to launch those military and spy satellites into space, the Pentagon needs a reliable launch rocket capable of carrying the heaviest payloads and reaching the ‘high orbits’ where many of those satellites must be deployed. Currently, only one rocket in the space fleet is capable of carrying those heavy payloads and reaching the highest orbits, and unfortunately, though the rocket is built in America, it uses an engine core made in Russia. It’s called the Atlas rocket, and its new American-made engine won’t be ready for three more years. More

Behold Senator John McCain’s Terrible Military Amendment

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Wonder What’s
Behind That Smile?

Arizona Republican Senator John McCain has over his decades in government built a reputation based largely on a few key tenets. As a genuine Vietnam War hero, and as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, he is one of the lead defenders and proponents of all things military. He relentlessly champions “good government” – i.e. spending government money more wisely and well. And he has engaged in a relentless pursuit of “campaign finance reform” so as to allegedly remove the undue influence of political donors on policy decisions.

What the Senator is currently doing calls all of these reputation-al tenets into serious question.

McCain, McCarthy Team Up to Ban Russian Rocket Engines: “Two Republican powerhouses (Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain [Ariz.] and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy [Calif.]) teamed up Wednesday to introduce a bill that would stop U.S. military reliance on Russian-made rocket engines (RD-180) for its national security space launches.”

Except you can’t actually end our reliance on Russian rockets – unless you have a viable alternative ready to go. The United States does not. As McCain’s Senate colleague Richard Shelby (R-AL) points out: “Given the current volatility of our relationship with Russia, our nation needs to develop a reliable, American alternative to the RD-180 as soon as possible. Unfortunately, that may not be for another four to five years at best.”

How important to what we do is the RD-180? “Today, approximately two-thirds of our military, intelligence community, scientific and weather satellites are launched into orbit on the Atlas 5, which uses the Russian RD-180 rocket engine.” More