Boeing takes a direct hit

Boeing is gearing up for a new fight over the KC-X tanker competition but out of the blue, it took a direct hit on the Airborne Laser program, which uses the 747 as the platform.

A California Member of Congress, and a Democrat at that (Ds generally tend to favor Boeing over Republicans), called the ABL program “insanity.” Politico, which covers politics but not usually defense items, gave this piece prominate placement on its website.

5 Comments on “Boeing takes a direct hit

  1. Unfortunately, the ABL is “low hanging fruit” WRT the tough choices that have to be made on what is going to be cut from the defense budget. The democrats haven’t warmed up to missile defense like their counterparts across the aisle. Boeing should be more worried about the FCS, which is fraught with problems from what I read–and cost over runs.

  2. Scott, will you ever quit being such a partisan hack? Our dear elected Democrats are nearly uniformly anti-defense, as well as anti-First Amendment when it suits their needs. Need more proof? Read this:

    Editorial: Silly bill would forbid Boeing from threatening to leave state
    Seattle Times 03/26/2009
    (Copyright 2008)
    Six Democratic legislators have introduced a bill to stop Boeing from threatening to move out of Washington. That’s right: threatening to move. Such is a silly end to a silly story.
    The tale begins with a different bill, one that would forbid any company from requiring employees to attend a meeting about labor issues. The bill is organized labor’s, which calls it the “Worker Privacy Act.” We argued on this page that it violates federal labor law, employers’ free-speech rights and simple fairness.
    At the time, we were told the bill was snake venom to Boeing, and would be just the thing to scare the company into moving to North Carolina. Boeing officials had not said that to us. Its friends had said it, and to everyone who would listen.
    The bill looked like it might pass until two weeks ago, when the story broke that the Washington State Labor Council was caught sending a threatening e-mail about it. Democratic leaders said immediately the bill was dead, and that they were sending the radioactive e-mail to the Washington State Patrol.
    Why had they called the cops? The supposed reason was a statement that if politicians didn’t pass the bill they would get “not another dime from labor.” But it wasn’t illegal to say that. A “threat” not to donate money is fully within labor’s rights, or anyone’s.
    Democratic leaders didn’t want to risk losing Boeing — and they were right. Ethics was not the reason the bill was killed. It was the excuse. Gov. Christine Gregoire confirmed this later when she said she would have vetoed the bill because of its effect on Boeing.
    All of which left labor’s supporters sore. Now comes House Bill 2316, sponsored by Rep. Brendan Williams, D-Olympia, and several labor Democrats. Under this bill, it would be illegal for a lobbyist to “threaten any legislator … with the relocation of manufacturing jobs,” including jobs “involving commercial airplane manufacturing … ”
    No more threats from Boeing! The state’s biggest manufacturer might leave, but it could never threaten to leave. Then again, if Boeing were really planning an exit, wouldn’t lawmakers want to know?
    All of this is what politicians are doing instead of filling the projected budget deficit, now $9 billion.

  3. Joker misses the point.

    First, the news item is about Congress, not Washington State.

    Second, Democrats in Congress tend to be more inclined to support Boeing than Republicans (exceptions noted, of course); the item was not about the Defense budget overall.

    Third, the silly Washington State bill is all about keeping Boeing in the state and is irrelevant to the discussion at hand.

  4. Except the Kansas Congressional Delegation, which is dominated by Republicans and is ferociously pro-Boeing. So much for the Democrat versus Republican slant on the KC-X competition.
    In my mind, this is less about political party affiliation and more about regional politics. And the Alabama contingent is so close minded by any standard, that they can’t see the writing on the wall.
    They may want to stop criticizing the vast majority that favors a Boeing KC-X award, and start encouraging future Boeing investment in their community. Maybe a second 787 assembly line for example?

  5. As previously noted, there are exceptions to the party line support alluded to. In the case of Kansas, there are two Senators and four Congressmen. Only three of the six have been vociferously vocal.

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