THE WAR ON WHAT EXACTLY?  1:24 pm August 5, 2011

Fancy Fighter Jets Costing Nation Zillions of Dollars Do Not Work

by Kirsten Boyd Johnson

the most expensive Happy Meal toy in the universe.So what do these double super killer stealth F-35 fighter jets go for these days? A few million dollars? A hundred million? A BILLION DOLLARS? No, none of those things. It is actually more like, “a trillion dollars.” We were going to do a cute listicle of “things that are less expensive and yet crucially able to employ/feed/educate a large quantity of humans more than a fighter jet,” but you cannot do that list because everything is cheaper than a F-35 Lightning II fighter jet program. Everything on Earth. YOU CAN BUY AUSTRALIA for less than this fighter jet program. Oh boohoo, more liberal outrage over the insane costs of a good killing machine. OH WAIT: they do not actually work. Haha, do they ever work? No, they are hanging out in Texas like a bunch of sad garden gnomes polluting the landscape with their tacky, trillion-dollar existence.

Is this even news? Fighter jets actually never seem to work.

From Bloomberg News:

The Pentagon today suspended ground and flight operations of Lockheed Martin Corp.’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter after a power failure on a plane at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.

The suspension grounds all 20 F-35’s that have flying status, said Pentagon spokesman Joe DellaVedova, in a written statement.

A turbo machine that provides power to start the engine failed during an engine run yesterday, forcing an engine shutdown, he said. No injuries to the pilot or ground crew occurred.

The incident involved the AF-4 variant of the conventional takeoff and landing fighter jet.

We are not military strategists, but if buying one less fancy fighter jet program can put the high school graduating classes of 27 states through college 216 times over and build an emissions-free subway line that goes from Boston to San Diego and back again via Peru, then THAT IS WORTH ONE LESS FIGHTER JET. [Bloomberg News via The Atlantic]

 

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{ 212 comments }

nounverb911 August 5, 2011 at 1:26 pm

What percentage of the jet is made in Boehner's district?

ALIVE! August 5, 2011 at 1:29 pm

All of it, Katie.

(Same answer for every member of Congress.)

OneDollarJuana August 5, 2011 at 1:31 pm

The genius of the Defense Department is truly found in its vast spreading of the wealth. There are defense bases, projects, and military contractors in every state of the country, making defense cuts kryptonite to politicians.

Sue4466 August 5, 2011 at 1:36 pm

If only there were schools in every state and district in the country.

Oh wait.

flamingpdog August 5, 2011 at 1:36 pm

There are poorz in every state of the country, but cuts to the poorz aren't kryptonite. Why's that?

MissusBarry August 5, 2011 at 1:42 pm

That's just because they're systematically disenfranchised.

SayItWithWookies August 5, 2011 at 1:48 pm

Their lobbyists suck.

Terry August 5, 2011 at 1:54 pm

The poorz don't donate heavily to campaigns, unlike the aerospace and defense firms.

iburl August 5, 2011 at 1:53 pm

98%

nappyduggs August 5, 2011 at 1:26 pm

"Fancy Fighter Jets Costing Nation Zillions of Dollars Do Not Work
Just joining the club, amirite?

SpurningBeer August 5, 2011 at 1:46 pm

If you add all the fighter jets that work less than full-time, the problem is even more severe.

YasserArraFeck August 5, 2011 at 1:48 pm

and let's not forget "discouraged jet fighters"

flamingpdog August 5, 2011 at 1:49 pm

Yes!

LesBontemps August 5, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Not to mention the high costs of retired fighter jets.

Madfall August 5, 2011 at 1:26 pm

These things must be invaluable for fighting against all the countries that have super-duper advanced airforces.

ArmoredLibunatic August 5, 2011 at 1:42 pm

I've always wondered why we need a Macross reject when existing low-tech solutions work just fine.

…dammit, engage Nerd Drive!

The wider wings work better in low-speed close support situations and allow for tighter maneuvers, which is what you need in mountain regions like Afghanistan. And those things are built like tanks; they've managed to come home with almost half a wing shot off! The terrorists have nicknamed the things "Silent Death," for Alah's sake! The only improvements I can think of is to make it more phallic! FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF–

onemoretime79 August 5, 2011 at 4:29 pm

That link was fuckin' awesome, as in hilarious so thx

Dashboard_Jesus August 7, 2011 at 1:54 am

oh yeah just what we need, MORE phallic guns for the penis-impaired

Lionel[redacted]Esq August 5, 2011 at 1:48 pm

Yeah, but when the space aliens attack, or the Mexican aliens for that matter, you will be happy we have the best!

Madfall August 5, 2011 at 1:54 pm

Somehow I feel sure you could defeat the Mexican air force with your aircraft from about thirty years ago.

MittsHairHelmet August 5, 2011 at 1:26 pm

Money well spent.

YasserArraFeck August 5, 2011 at 1:27 pm

if they'd only kicked in the extra 100 billion for the extended warantee…….(100,000 miles, 1,000 dead browns or 3 unprovoked military actions, whichever comes first)

SayItWithWookies August 5, 2011 at 1:49 pm

Don't forget the rustproof undercoating.

jus_wonderin August 5, 2011 at 2:36 pm

Does it come with floormats or are those extra?

Fukui_sanYesOta August 5, 2011 at 3:55 pm

They're extra if you go for the "crying eagle superimposed on the twin towers" option.

Biel_ze_Bubba August 5, 2011 at 3:22 pm

When the Microsoft OS crashes on these things, it really crashes.

GOPCrusher August 5, 2011 at 4:41 pm

The Wagon Queen Family Truckster. You think you hate it now, just wait until you drive it.

nounverb911 August 5, 2011 at 1:27 pm

Sounds like we have another Osprey on our hands.

V572 Coif of Destiny August 5, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Nope, they're actually flying, with no more than an acceptable level of casualties.

BaldarTFlagass August 5, 2011 at 1:40 pm

I was up in St Louis back in June; I was staying at the Ballpark Hilton and it turned out it was "Marine Week" in St Louis. There was a bunch of different equipment parked out in the Busch Stadium parking lot, including some helicopters and an Osprey. I'm in the elevator talking to this female Marine major wearing aviators wings, and I asked her about the airworthiness of the Osprey. She just rolled her eyes and said "I'd best offer no comment, although I will say that I'm going to be very happy to continue flying my H-53."

ArmoredLibunatic August 5, 2011 at 1:48 pm

The H-53 is a sexy beast… in a hulking, Death by Snu-snu Amazon sort of way.

prommie August 5, 2011 at 1:52 pm

Yes, but they are a perfected technology and relatively inexpensive, so the pentagon wants nothing to do with them.

ifthethunderdontgetya August 5, 2011 at 1:27 pm

Haha, they are hanging out in Texas like a bunch of sad garden gnomes polluting the landscape with their tacky, trillion-dollar existence Rick Perry.

And his hair.
~

OneDollarJuana August 5, 2011 at 1:32 pm

Maybe Rick Perry can pray that Jeebus will fix them right after He fixes the drought.

PristinePantalones August 5, 2011 at 3:19 pm

He's had so much success with prayer so far.

Jerry Fjord August 5, 2011 at 1:34 pm

Oh, Texas, so much to answer for.

Barb August 5, 2011 at 1:29 pm

They should sell one to Sarah Palin so that she can get to and from jury duty quickly and then back on her "Long and Whining Road" tour.

ifthethunderdontgetya August 5, 2011 at 1:31 pm

I believe "stealth" and "Sarah Palin" are enemies.

At the very least, they've unfriended each other.
~

NorthStarSpanx August 5, 2011 at 1:42 pm

Except I don't think she's got near enough money in her PAC anymore to pay for a super-patriotic-Real-American shrink-wrap job on one of those babies.

Lionel[redacted]Esq August 5, 2011 at 1:47 pm

Perhaps FOX News will get her one?

metamarcisf August 5, 2011 at 1:38 pm

There is an application in Quay County for a Horse Racing License which can then be turned into a gaming license, allowing up to 600 slot machines. The operation is prposed to be housed on a plot of land, east of the City of Tucumcari next to K-Mart. The decision on the license is to be made sometime after Sept. 2nd.

Barb August 5, 2011 at 1:47 pm

And Jeffery is in that meeting right now, lol. You had me at "K-Mart"

Fare la Volpe August 5, 2011 at 1:47 pm

She already has a personal jet chartered just in case a sudden case of pregnancy forces her to return to Alaska immediately. Nothing safer than a woman in labor riding a plane.

Barb August 5, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Howdy Fare! The rumor on that front is that she has herpes. No, I don't think that is at all funny. "They" say that she chose to get back to Alaska and have the baby to hide the herpes and then she didn't cough up her medical records during the campaign and just brought a note from her doctor instead.

NorthStarSpanx August 5, 2011 at 2:01 pm

Explains her reoccurring lip sores. I love it when they (meaning people who have Herpes) explain it away as a sunburn, a bug bite, or that they tripped and hit their lip on a door, range of excuses.

If people would come clean about herpes, perhaps it wouldn't be one of the most transmitted, insidious STD's around.

GOPCrusher August 5, 2011 at 4:45 pm

At first I thought, I hate to see what Tawd's crank looks like, but then Sarah doesn't strike me as the kind of woman that would satisfy her man orally.

ifthethunderdontgetya August 5, 2011 at 1:29 pm

Note to self: Kirsten Boyd Smith hates Freedom™!
~

freakishlywrong August 5, 2011 at 1:29 pm

This either is or isn't good news for John McCain.

flamingpdog August 5, 2011 at 1:39 pm

It could be good news for America is we'd just send him up in the air, piloting all of them.

GunToting[Redacted] August 5, 2011 at 1:41 pm

He will manage to crash one of these before long.

powersuit August 5, 2011 at 1:30 pm

I read that these things have a range of 600 miles. Wow, that means they are good for what, 20 mins flying time? I can get 450 miles on a tank of gas in my Altima; maybe I should bolt some wings on it and lend it to the miltary. I'd be cheaper and just as useful.

MissusBarry August 5, 2011 at 1:38 pm

And super stealthy…nobody's watching for attack-Nissans and they're a fuckload quieter than jets.

Terry August 5, 2011 at 1:59 pm

So, what was Nissan making in the late 30's and early 40's?

MissusBarry August 5, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Nobody's watching for attack-Nissans anymore.

/fixed

OneDollarJuana August 5, 2011 at 1:39 pm

Shoot, the Germans had the Messerschmidt Komet in WWII which would go just under 700 mph with wings made of wood. Meh.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messerschmitt_Me_163

Sue4466 August 5, 2011 at 1:39 pm

Probably more useful. They could run errands in your Altima.

orygoon August 5, 2011 at 1:31 pm

"We are not military strategists"

Of course you aren't. Obviously, this program needs more money to make it right.

Biel_ze_Bubba August 5, 2011 at 2:57 pm

None of us are … but maybe someone has the imagination to explain the thinking behind grounding the airplanes when the million-dollar turbo-gizmo that starts the engine isn't working.

BlueStateLibel August 5, 2011 at 1:32 pm

But this is EXACTLY why Leon Panetta is right when he whines that the Pentagon needs more money…the expensive toys don't work!

Maybe we could just sell them to PBS so they can do a 15-part series "A History of Over-Priced Military Junk that Doesn't Work."

edgydrifter August 5, 2011 at 1:32 pm

We bought a bunch of super pew-pew future planes that don't fly for shit? I say we loan them to Chimpy, WALNUTS and Ice-Man Inhofe, for obvious reasons.

Radiotherapy® August 5, 2011 at 1:32 pm

Can't we just pray this away?

Biel_ze_Bubba August 5, 2011 at 3:07 pm

Drought, famine, pestilence, lakes turning to blood, etc. etc… more good times in Texas.
The eleventh plague visited upon Egypt was when the Pharaoh's hideously expensive stealth chariots wouldn't start … or it would have been if they hadn't caved after ten. Texans are more obtstinate.

Graham Cracker August 5, 2011 at 3:37 pm

Can't we just pray this away?

It will make them fly straighter!

GOPCrusher August 5, 2011 at 4:53 pm

These planes don't fly as designed because God hates fags.

-Fred Phelps

Callyson August 5, 2011 at 1:32 pm

Lockheed Martin: We never forget who we're working for…
…but basic engineering skills, well, those sometimes escape our memory…

GeorgiaBurning August 5, 2011 at 5:52 pm

It's much easier to outsource any real work, who wants a bunch of stuck-up nerds who know science hanging around the office. Its more fun and profitable to find projects where the customer is paying cost plus "administrative overhead" plus ten percent.

V572 Coif of Destiny August 5, 2011 at 1:33 pm

Didn't ex-Sec-Def Gates kill this one? Or was it the F-22? In any case: adiós, puestos de trabajo

SayItWithWookies August 5, 2011 at 1:52 pm

I believe the F-22 was cheap and effective — so yeah, that's the one that's dead.

not that Dewey August 5, 2011 at 3:58 pm

Some other venerable military contractor had developed a redundant and unnecessary design for the engine, which the Pentagon specifically asked them not to do, but whose headquarters were in some small-government Republican's district, so they went ahead and designed it anyway, and presented the taxpayers with an invoice.

I believe it was this that Gates killed.

V572 Coif of Destiny August 5, 2011 at 4:43 pm

That was a separate deal, welfare for GE or maybe Lieberman’s beloved United Technologies. Gates snuffed the F-22:  <a href="http://www.slate.com/id/2223287/http://www.slate.com/id/2223287/<br />

not that Dewey August 5, 2011 at 5:25 pm

So it was. Who can keep track of all this crap, anyway?

Lucidamente1 August 5, 2011 at 1:33 pm

I defer to whichever genius it was who said "the ideal weapons system is one assembled from parts made in all 435 Congressional districts."

BaldarTFlagass August 5, 2011 at 1:43 pm

I don't think they have reached that lofty goal just yet, but they are pretty close. Dwight Eisenhower called it in his farewell speech, but they made him scratch the last word when he warned us against the "Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex."

Jerry Fjord August 5, 2011 at 1:33 pm

Nobody said they had to work. But don't they look cool as fuck…henh, henh *snort*

MiniMencken August 5, 2011 at 1:34 pm

The guys handicrafting copies of AK-47s in Peshawar must be very impressed by these planes. Ditto the Somali militiamen.

GOPCrusher August 5, 2011 at 4:55 pm

I bet the pilots that fly B-52's are overwhelmed by the modern technology of the F-35.

JoshuaNorton August 5, 2011 at 1:34 pm

So the Pentagon needs what? About 2 dozen more because they look so kewl?

So the top brass gets to sit in the cockpit and go "vroom, vroom"?

Heh, heh. I said "Cockpit".

Crank_Tango August 5, 2011 at 1:35 pm

Laugh all you want libtards, but have you seen the japs' new zeroes? Or the me262? Or the soviet firefox?

you'll be sorry when there are dogfights all over the place and we can't participate.

Other projects we should be supporting are battleships, horse cavalry, and trebuchets.

JoshuaNorton August 5, 2011 at 1:38 pm

Or the soviet firefox?

If it's like Mozilla's Firefox they'll crash about 8 times a day.

Crank_Tango August 5, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Dude, you don't remember Clint Eastwood stone cold stealing that shit?

Preferred Customer August 5, 2011 at 3:34 pm

The Achilles Heel of that thing is that you must think in Russian, and who does that? I sort of doubt that even Russians think in Russian.

LionHeartSoyDog August 5, 2011 at 1:45 pm

Redcoats marching into battle in formation, also.

Fare la Volpe August 5, 2011 at 1:52 pm

Have you seen how small the budget is for rapiers, katanas, and Viking Longboats? This is an outrage!

SorosBot August 5, 2011 at 1:54 pm

We also have a big giant robot gap with the Japanese. Why won't Congress fund the giant robot project we need to protect America?

JimmyCarlBlack August 5, 2011 at 1:55 pm

Finish the dang fence Maginot Line!

Radiotherapy® August 5, 2011 at 2:15 pm

See, that's why we need 11 Carrier Task Force Groups and 100 nuclear subs and….

Crank_Tango August 5, 2011 at 2:18 pm

nuclear wessels, also.

lumpenprole August 5, 2011 at 3:49 pm

How about an expensive mega tank that has to be hauled to the battlefield where it promptly breaks down because it relies on a billion gizmos too complex to be understood? Oh? Got some of those, have we? How about fleets of invisible planes to spy on the people rifling through our computers? Oh. Maybe fill the pirate infested seas with WWII surface fleets?

ArmoredLibunatic August 5, 2011 at 1:35 pm

No words can express what I feel, but zany emotes can.

Radiotherapy® August 5, 2011 at 1:35 pm

Maybe the Chinese are in need of some our crappy products

Oblios_Cap August 5, 2011 at 1:42 pm

We'll probably sell a few of these to our "allies".

iburl August 5, 2011 at 1:54 pm

Like Lybia? Whoops, that was 9 months ago.

Mumbletypeg August 5, 2011 at 3:04 pm

WIN

Biel_ze_Bubba August 5, 2011 at 3:16 pm

So long as they get a fresh coat of lead-based paint before we ship 'em.

GOPCrusher August 5, 2011 at 4:58 pm

If the Chinese high speed train project is any indication, the Chinese may have already caught up with America in crappy product development.

MrFizzy August 5, 2011 at 1:36 pm

Smart business – start a job that pays by the hour and can never be finished.

Biel_ze_Bubba August 5, 2011 at 3:17 pm

I prefer the Wall Street approach: work that pays a million dollars an hour and is finished before lunch on Monday.

BaldarTFlagass August 5, 2011 at 1:36 pm

Well, they look really cool and will make excellent static displays at USAF Air Combat Command bases nationwide. We're already lobbying for one down here at Lackland.

Oblios_Cap August 5, 2011 at 1:58 pm

I imagine that you can eat eggs off the sidewalk at Lackland these days. I went there TDY during my Third Classman summer at USAFA for Operation Non-Com. It was too damn hot.

BaldarTFlagass August 5, 2011 at 2:25 pm

106 today. Been over 100 all month. Black flag is up. If it weren't for rivers, lakes, swimming pools, and air conditioning, 90% of the population wouldn't be here (self included).

Terry August 5, 2011 at 2:04 pm

It's funny that a base called Lackland is surrounded by pretty much nothing BUT land. No, Canyon Lake and some small rivers don't count.

BaldarTFlagass August 5, 2011 at 2:22 pm

Actually, it's surrounded by KB Homes subdivisions these days.

Grief_Lessons August 5, 2011 at 1:37 pm

We are closing the non-flying plane gap with the Ruskies.

YasserArraFeck August 5, 2011 at 1:37 pm

I didn't know GM was in the aircraft business…

Oblios_Cap August 5, 2011 at 1:38 pm

The pentagon's slacking. We have been wasting a lot more on the Star Wars system that doesn't work, either. Aren't we still pouring $$$ down that shithole?

PuckStopsHere August 5, 2011 at 1:38 pm

How come we're not just buying these from the Chinese like we do with everything else? I'll be Walmart would sell 'em for less.

OneDollarJuana August 5, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Actually, we're probably buying the planes "brains" from Chinese computer manufacturers.

neiltheblaze August 5, 2011 at 1:38 pm

Thank Cthulu we didn't waste all that taxpayer money on aid for women with dependent children, or old people's hip replacements, or fixing bridges or anything.

MrFizzy August 5, 2011 at 1:40 pm

Don't forget that we borrow 40% of every dollar from China to build these fucking useless things. Wait, there's more…China is who we're building the planes to defend ourselves against. Strangely Strangelovian.

PuckStopsHere August 5, 2011 at 1:41 pm

Gentlemen, PLEASE! There is no fighting in the War Room!

MrFizzy August 5, 2011 at 8:42 pm

One of my favorite lines from my favorite movie. Another: "Even the normal phone lines are down"

Lionel[redacted]Esq August 5, 2011 at 1:55 pm

Well, when we decide not to pay them back, we better be ready to defend ourselves!

Biel_ze_Bubba August 5, 2011 at 3:19 pm

We're in trouble if the Chinese ever wise up.

GOPCrusher August 5, 2011 at 5:04 pm

And the Chinese can't even design their own aircraft, they have to reverse engineer Russian designs.

MissusBarry August 5, 2011 at 1:40 pm

And to think, I get upset when a $10 coffee pot craps out after a couple years. Good thing I don't work for DoD.

Preferred Customer August 5, 2011 at 3:37 pm

Don't worry. You'd be fired instantly for buying a coffee pot that only cost $10.

Sue4466 August 5, 2011 at 1:41 pm

It's times like this that make me thank Jebus the GOP held the line on subsidies to rural airports.

SorosBot August 5, 2011 at 1:43 pm

But we need these stealth fighter jets, because of all the potential enemies we face with their own fleets of modern jet fighters, like um… there's… uh…

…maybe aliens? Yeah, let's go with aliens, like in Independence Day.

flamingpdog August 5, 2011 at 1:48 pm

Can we put our current Preznit in the lead attack fighter when the aliens arrive?

Crank_Tango August 5, 2011 at 1:52 pm

No, but the VP will gladly drive the lead attack camaro…here I go again on my ownnnnn…..

SorosBot August 5, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Now it's our last President that supposedly used to be a fighter pilot, we can conscript him to lead.

flamingpdog August 5, 2011 at 7:42 pm

Nah, I see Dubya more in the part of the drunken cropduster pilot.

Chillwaver August 5, 2011 at 2:16 pm

Or get McWalnutz to kamikaze his way into the alien mothership.

x111e7thst August 5, 2011 at 1:43 pm

We need fancy fighters that don't work to keep the Chinese building fancy stealth bombers that don't work. And vice versa.

flamingpdog August 5, 2011 at 1:43 pm

Shouldn't we consider buying Australia for a trillion dollars? That whole country started out as a penal* colony, and the US is the biggest imprisoner of folks in the world right now, with private industry having a big thumb in the whole bidness. Think of all the jobs!

*tee hee, I said "penal".

SmutBoffin August 5, 2011 at 1:43 pm

The Pentagon responded that a plan for a bake sale (OPERATION GRAMMA'S NUT CLUSTERS) is moving forward. Cookies will be $100000 each and collateral damage is expected to be low.

Goonemeritus August 5, 2011 at 1:45 pm

Think of defense spending as celery when the nation is on a fiscal diet it’s the one thing you can still gorge on.

Come here a minute August 5, 2011 at 1:47 pm

Don't you worry your purty little head about this fighter jet — it paid a lot of hard-working contractors' salaries. It is completely made of jobs.

HobbesEvilTwin August 5, 2011 at 1:47 pm

So the F-35 fighter jet works as well and as often as a certain reservist jet pilot from Texas.

BaldarTFlagass August 5, 2011 at 1:48 pm

There's a very interesting Nova episode, Battle of the X-Planes, about the competition between Lockheed and Boeing for the design/construction contract for this plane. Worth a watch, last time I looked it was available on Netflix streaming…

gurukalehuru August 5, 2011 at 1:48 pm

I haven't worked out all the bugs yet, but here's the plan…they're building a new tallest building in the world now in Saudi Arabia, despite the fact that the latest world's tallest building, in Dubai, is losing money faster than a drunk in Vegas. So, we fly this sucker into it, like a reverse 9/11. The Saudis are forced to invade the U.S. and after they win and take over, they can pay off all of our debts with their oil billions.
It worked for the Duchy of Grand Fenwick.

Doktor Zoom August 5, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Nice try, but without the Quadrum Bomb, we won't have a chance.

Oblios_Cap August 5, 2011 at 2:05 pm

Would Ice-nine work?

littlebigdaddy August 5, 2011 at 1:51 pm

With a range of 600 miles, that makes them very useful for attacking Calgary.

YasserArraFeck August 5, 2011 at 1:55 pm

fight the Calgarians over there, so we don't have to fight them here…makes perfect sense to me

Lionel[redacted]Esq August 5, 2011 at 1:58 pm

Please. They are in Texas and California. Clearly they are designed to take out the highly sophisticated Mexican air force.

YasserArraFeck August 5, 2011 at 2:03 pm

Gotta repel the Molson hordes

DahBoner August 5, 2011 at 2:28 pm

"very useful for attacking Calgary"

I hear beaver attacks are a big problem up there…

InnerPrincess August 5, 2011 at 3:37 pm

Calgary? Please, 600 miles only gets the plane to Wichita, KS!

bureaucrap August 5, 2011 at 1:52 pm

"…a bunch of sad garden gnomes polluting the landscape with their tacky, trillion-dollar existence. "

So you're saying they're like [Donald Trump/The Koch Brothers/Bill Gates/Sam Walton]?

I'm not sure which is worse, the thought of the planes or the thought of the trillionaires polluting the landscape.

BaldarTFlagass August 5, 2011 at 1:53 pm

I'm put in mind of an old bumper sticker I used to see around 20 years ago, something to the effect of "In my world the schools would get all the money they needed and the Air Force would have to hold a bake sale to buy a B-1 bomber."

emmelemm August 5, 2011 at 8:29 pm

I still see those bumper stickers. (Out here in librul paradise, Seattle.)

Dashboard_Jesus August 7, 2011 at 2:57 am

I remember seeing those in the 80s, hell even my (Republican) Mom had one!

prommie August 5, 2011 at 1:55 pm

You know, when I am delusional and at the height of my rationalizing and wearing my rose-colored glasses, I think to myself that Obama did obtain for himself a debt limit bill that mandates across-the-board cuts to defense spending, if the bipartisan comittee fails to come to an agreement. Think about that one. IF the bipartisan committee fails to come to agreement? That would be WHEN the committee fails to come to agreement. He set them up to fail, because its the only way he could get defense spending cuts, is something I sometimes fantasize. But then I come to my senses, and realize that Hopey McUnicorn just got rolled.

JoshuaNorton August 5, 2011 at 2:04 pm

All's the Repugs need is for Harry Reid to appoint one Blue Dog and they'll get what ever they want out of the deal.

GregComlish August 5, 2011 at 2:42 pm

Seriously. Republicans are just going to accuse the democrats of being "soft on defense" and then they're going to cave like a bunch of bitches.

Dashboard_Jesus August 7, 2011 at 3:00 am

funny I JUST heard that EXACT same thought come out of Randi Rhodes' mouth as I was reading this thread…synchronicity or WTF? (yummm, Randi Rhodes' mouth :)

Sharkey August 5, 2011 at 1:56 pm

HOW MAK ERRPLAIN? WHERE WEENGS GO?

DahBoner August 5, 2011 at 2:26 pm

Outsourcing to El Salvador sure made sense, eh?

flamingpdog August 5, 2011 at 7:48 pm

Weengs go on Buffalo. Especially the fiery ones.

Troubledog August 6, 2011 at 8:25 pm

HOW IS BABBY FORMED? HOW GIRL GET PRAGNENT?
http://www.somethingawful.com/flash/shmorky/babby

Lionel[redacted]Esq August 5, 2011 at 1:56 pm

I think you all are forgetting just how cool they will look when they make Top Gun II.

north_of_moscow August 5, 2011 at 2:10 pm

You mean that volleyball movie?

north_of_moscow August 5, 2011 at 1:56 pm

We need to get rid of Medicaid and Social Security so we can put these poor unemployed jets back to work.

DashboardBuddha August 5, 2011 at 2:56 pm

May I borrow that comment?

edit: too late…I did, but I cited you. did you feel it?

prommie August 5, 2011 at 1:57 pm

So whats the big problem? McCain personally destroyed way more jets than that. Hell, he almost sunk an aircraft carrier, and killed 80 sailors.

Fare la Volpe August 5, 2011 at 2:01 pm

Overachiever.

SayItWithWookies August 5, 2011 at 1:57 pm

Clearly the solution to this problem is for the DoD to commission a second alternate engine for this baby, just like the ads (from Westinghouse? Lockheed? Shit, they were ubiquitous and I can't remember who they were for) said.

Guppy06 August 5, 2011 at 1:58 pm

We need a new air-superiority fighter to counteract the Taliban's… um… fleet of hot-air balloons?

poncho_pilot August 5, 2011 at 3:54 pm

it could be Ron Paul's version of storming San Juan Hill. The Bluff Riders?

Guppy06 August 5, 2011 at 4:42 pm

I'll be interested in reading about the Paultard Blimp in the latest publication of Jane's All The World's Airships.

Fare la Volpe August 5, 2011 at 1:59 pm

Meanwhile my job is trying to figure out where we'll get $2,000 to fix the A/C in a 100 degree summer.

Fuck I hate living.

jus_wonderin August 5, 2011 at 2:46 pm

"In my day, we didn't have fancy schmancy air conditioning, and we liked it!"

Of course, we dropped like rocks from heat exhaustion.

Lionel[redacted]Esq August 5, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Remember:

Helping the poor or the sick = Socialism

Building needlessly expensive military equipment that doesn't work = Freedom.

Do you need a chalk board to understand this?

northernbassist August 5, 2011 at 2:03 pm

Great–what are we going to use to shoot at Bruce Willis in the new movie "Die Hard, you Tea Party Douchebags, Die Hard?"

MissusBarry August 5, 2011 at 2:03 pm

Completely OT, I was just looking on Facebook and saw a picture of a five year old with a scoped rifle on a bipod next to the woodchuck he'd just shot (his dad is so proud) followed by a girl spewing about her wonderful husband taking her glamping (thanks, wonkette, I wouldn't have had a clue what this meant). Think it's time to do some purging and possibly emigrate.

prommie August 5, 2011 at 2:05 pm

Glamping? I missed that memo.

MissusBarry August 5, 2011 at 2:25 pm
johnnyzhivago August 5, 2011 at 2:05 pm

By the time these things actually work, there won't be anyone in the US with the education to actually fly them.

GOPCrusher August 5, 2011 at 5:10 pm

We can just outsource it to India.

weejee August 5, 2011 at 2:06 pm

/snark off

Mmmm, the F22, which the F35 is to replace is the only production "5th Generation" aircraft out there and it has flown no combat missions in either Iraq or Afghanistan. To continue with this effort to go one more giant step to fight an aircraft foe that does not exist seems to me to be nothing more than a flight of masturbatory delight for some DoD flyboyz and Lockheed execs and stockholders.

Fukui_sanYesOta August 5, 2011 at 4:06 pm

Hmm, not quite sure that's right. The F-22 is a not-for-export 5th gen, whereas the F-35 is, hence its use of some Rolls-Royce engine technology.

There are three levels of international participation. The levels generally reflect the financial stake in the program, the amount of technology transfer and subcontracts open for bid by national companies, and the order in which countries can obtain production aircraft. The United Kingdom is the sole "Level 1" partner, contributing US$2.5 billion, which was about 10% of the planned development costs

The UK are buying the F-35 to put on their two new nuke carriers. Yes, the UK can waste billions as well.

johnnyzhivago August 5, 2011 at 2:07 pm

BTW, $30 billion a plane, you would think they could come up with a more creative paint scheme than a coat of WalMart flat gray garage floor paint.

Chillwaver August 5, 2011 at 2:12 pm

How many of these jets were designed by Texas A&M Aerospace Engineering graduates?

poncho_pilot August 5, 2011 at 2:47 pm

well…since they seem to be having technical difficulties…all of them, Katie?

DoktorThompson August 5, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Lockheed Martin: We never forget the majority shareholders we're working for.

mavenmaven August 5, 2011 at 2:18 pm

put them on cinderblocks and sell them to rednecks as lawn ornaments

Preferred Customer August 5, 2011 at 3:40 pm
DahBoner August 5, 2011 at 2:24 pm

"Fancy Fighter Jets Costing Nation Zillions of Dollars Do Not Work"

This means we can't raise taxes on Rich people. When will you little people understand the workings of Big Gum'mint?

owhatever August 5, 2011 at 2:40 pm

We have to spend the money so that our fighter jocks can continue to lick the fighter jocks of every other nation.

jus_wonderin August 5, 2011 at 2:44 pm

Couldn't we just sell them on CraigsList "as is"?

poncho_pilot August 5, 2011 at 2:45 pm

these must be the private jets the wealthy don't want taxed.

scionkirk August 5, 2011 at 2:56 pm

But it's the only thing that can possibly save us from bearded men living in caves!

Beowoof August 5, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Well the trouble is clearly they are being built in Texas. Texas is last in high school diplomas. I think there is a correlation. If they were built in say Vermont where the state has the highest smart ranking, things may be different.

WVUer21 August 5, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Can't snark about this. I was in the USAF in '01-'02, and even then everyone knew this was a waste of time and uber loads of cash. Thank you, military industrial complex.

widestanceroman August 5, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Has a (R) said that these planes are essential to create jobs yet (even though it's the government, so it cannot by law create a job)?

GOPCrusher August 5, 2011 at 5:15 pm

Yes. Cue Boehner crying on camera that stopping development of the F-35 is further proof that President Obama is a job killer in 3……2…….1……

smitallica August 5, 2011 at 3:16 pm

So when you say they "don't work," does that mean they're NOT capable of killing innocent Pakistani civilians?

ManchuCandidate August 5, 2011 at 3:18 pm

Great purchase Canada City. 30 Bajillion fucking dollars for a Hanger Queen.

FatGirlPartyHat August 5, 2011 at 3:25 pm

These are a failure almost 20 years in the making. Wanna see how it all started? http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/Battle_of_the_X

Maybe Boeing should have won the contract.

imissopus August 5, 2011 at 3:33 pm

$1 trillion for the fleet, but they did throw in the undercoating.

James Michael Curley August 5, 2011 at 3:44 pm

"they are hanging out in Texas like a bunch of sad garden gnomes polluting the landscape" Sounds like the six months after Viet Nam I and a bunch of chopper jocks spent in Fort Hood when we were assigned to a tank company.

poncho_pilot August 5, 2011 at 3:50 pm

this reminds me of the book i just read about the AK-47. specifically about the Vietnam War and the collusion between arms manufacturers and the Springfield Armory.

Doktor Zoom August 5, 2011 at 9:29 pm

I've been meaning to read that; somebody posted the Esquire excerpt of Chivers' book a while back; this article mostly looks at the scandalous path that led to the adoption of the Mattel-16. (Warning: Annoying autoplay ad)

Nostrildamus August 5, 2011 at 3:54 pm

Well, at least it's $1 trillion those stinkin' teachers won't get their socialist hands on.

VinnyThePooh August 5, 2011 at 4:01 pm

Did anybody bother checking the fuel tanks?

chascates August 5, 2011 at 4:08 pm

I thought they had been working on these things for five and a half years now! FIVE AND A HALF YEARS!!!

GeorgiaBurning August 5, 2011 at 5:59 pm

Since they're built in Texas a football analogy is appropriate. One of these planes costs as much as TEN NFL stadiums complete with luxury boxes. The cost of two of them could buy season tickets for the entire US population. You'd still need to pay for your parking, we're not socialists.

ttommyunger August 5, 2011 at 8:45 pm

Just one more reason that Leon Panetta moved that torn pocket of a mouth of his to say that we needed to cut SS and Medicare so we could spend more money on worthless expensive shit like this.

mrbubb August 6, 2011 at 12:03 am

I just want to wake up from this nightmare to find I'm safe in my bed in Copenhagen, passed out from too much weed and filthy sex with fire-breathing nordic goddeses. ("I'm as horny as the hatrack in a viking bar!)

lulzmonger August 6, 2011 at 1:14 pm

An enemy able to launch assloads of dirt-cheap drones running on Radio Shack technology could probably kill this piece of poo deader than Sarah Palin's soul in five minutes flat (assuming it can stay airborne & intact that long) – & at fighter speeds they wouldn't even need munitions, just plain old brute inertia – so your ULTRAMEGAKILL MARK 5 DESTRUCTOTRON 2000™ will cost out at $x-billion per minute per poo-mobile in combat.

Hmm … I just sensed a sudden massive disturbance in the Forces, a sensation like legions of arms lobbyists climaxing …

Exactly like the Ford Pinto … if the Pinto cost as much as the GNP of Peru.

Warpde August 6, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Well, look at it on the bright side.
Kind of hard to kill civilians when you cant get it up.

Kind of hard to make more civilians to kill under the same cir"cum"stances.

Walkinwiddaking August 6, 2011 at 5:42 pm

Pierre Sprey has been critical of both the F22 and F35 programs for years.
http://www.counterpunch.org/wheeler05012009.html

As a side note, he had a hand in developing the A10 and I believe the F16 aircraft. Two very lethal and successful air platforms.

Robinee August 7, 2011 at 4:47 pm

Well. . . that's why they are stealth. Cannot be seen because they never fly.

AnHarmonica August 7, 2011 at 5:39 pm

Think of how many Sgt. Yorks we could get for that!

magginkat August 8, 2011 at 2:34 pm

The planes are nothing more that high falutin' toys for the fly boys. We have no use for them what-so-ever. This is insanity at it's worst stage. The military expenditures will be the death of this country unless it's stopped.

politics_nerd August 16, 2011 at 11:31 pm

Fly them in loops over tea party meetings, hoping for the best.

YasserArraFeck August 5, 2011 at 1:49 pm

or don't suck enough….

Dashboard_Jesus August 7, 2011 at 1:32 am

sucking WIN!

OneDollarJuana August 5, 2011 at 2:01 pm

And they traditionally don't vote. No snark, this is one area where I believe they get a reap a bit of what they sow. Or don't sow.

WunkRocker August 5, 2011 at 3:52 pm

But they could you know, throw orange grand children under the subway train. You know, hypothetically.

Gleem_McShineys August 5, 2011 at 6:16 pm

With votes, of course!

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