A Tax Dollar$ Twofer
$13.3 billion aircraft carrier finally ready for action
After 14 years of development and delays, the most expensive and often troubled next-generation aircraft carrier, USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) is finally ready for deployment. The aircraft carrier cost $13.3 billion in total, and was approved by the U.S. Navy in late 2021.
Initially, the aircraft carrier was expected to be deployed in 2017, eight years after the construction began in 2009, which is more than the usual aircraft carrier building timeframe of five years. But the difficulties in the development process and a series of delays due to reliability problems with multiple new technologies caused a five-year delay over the already longer than usual building timeframe…
Unfortunately, much of the new equipment ran into some serious technical problems including its propulsion system, aircraft-launching electromagnetic catapults, and the most pervasive of them; the advanced weapons elevators (AWEs) that lifted aircraft bombs and missiles to the flight deck. And it took five years to gradually solve all the problems.
An outstanding example of wasting tax dollars to maintain profits, power and jobs via politics within the military-industrial complex. It ain’t news and it ain’t new. Bureaucratic theft has long been a way of life within our government, The Feds just do it at the largest scale possible.
$21 billion moon rocket ready for first launch (maybe)
An important test for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) is slated to get underway (again)…NASA has been working on the SLS for more than a decade. The goal of the project was to create a launch vehicle that could lift heavy payloads and transport them farther out in the solar system. It’s also at the heart of NASA’s plans to return to the moon. Development was originally supposed to cost $18 billion with an initial launch in 2016. It has been delayed at least 16 times, and the cost has crept over $21 billion between 2011 and 2021…
In early April, the agency paused the test because of issues with the launch tower. Last week, NASA filled the core stage about halfway with liquid oxygen before discovering a manual vent valve was left in the wrong position. And then it spotted a stuck check valve in the upper stage. Due to the valve issue in the upper stage, known as the Cryogenic Propulsion Stage, NASA will skip fueling this part of the vehicle. Luckily, only two of those critical events are connected to the upper stage. The upper stage was completed by United Launch Alliance four years ago, far ahead of most of the vehicle. However, NASA does not believe the delays are to blame as the valve is rated to last for 20 years or more.
…Additional delays will most likely push back the latest June 2022 launch window. When it does launch, Artemis 1 will send an uncrewed Orion capsule around the moon and back to Earth. The Artemis missions won’t be cheap. NASA estimated about $2 billion per launch, but a government report said the true cost is probably closer to $4 billion.
The Wet Dress test scheduled for Thursday, the 14th, was canceled. When this will move forward is anybody’s guess. An outstanding example of wasting tax dollars to maintain profits, power and jobs via politics within the military-industrial complex. It ain’t news and it ain’t new. Bureaucratic theft has long been a way of life within our government, The Feds just do it at the largest scale possible.
Bottom of the stack, now…
Top of the world, Ma! Top of the world!
[Yes, I know how obscure this is…]
And then there’s this…
Texas Deep Freeze disaster had a backup plan. It failed, as well.
Thomas Ryan Allison/Bloomberg
Texas’ days-long power outages during last February’s deep freeze almost stretched into weeks or even months thanks to a string of failures at “black start” generators.
More than half of the state’s 28 black start generators, which are crucial for bringing a collapsed grid back to life, experienced outages themselves, according to a new report by The Wall Street Journal. Of the 13 primary generators, nine encountered trouble, as did six of 15 secondary generators acting as backups in case the primary backups failed. Some had trouble getting enough fuel to run, while others were damaged by the cold weather.
Every North American grid has black start generators, but there’s no nationwide standard regulating them. Each state or grid operator decides how to operate the generators. Some use a mix of fossil fuel generators and hydroelectric dams…
But Texas no longer has any hydroelectric black start facilities. All of its black start generators use natural gas as a primary fuel, and only 13 generators at six sites can use fuel oil as a backup. When natural gas supplies run short, generators without an alternate fuel source are unable to provide vital services to the grid. Plant operators are required to maintain a reserve supply of fuel, but it wasn’t clear during the February freeze that they were all fulfilling this obligation. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, which manages most of the state’s electrical grid, is reportedly in the process of trying to recover some of the payments made to black start facilities that failed during the outage.
The Black Start facilities were getting regular payments to provide an emergency service. When this disaster struck, they were unable to provide that service. IMHO, they not only do not deserve payment for that immediate incident, they must be able to provide proof of previous readiness or refund payment for some or all of that previous period.
Feds unraveling conspiracy details on the DC riot
Melina Mara/Washington Post
FBI agents around the country are working to unravel the various motives, relationships, goals and actions of the hundreds of Trump supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Some inside the bureau have described the Capitol riot investigation as their biggest case since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and a top priority of the agents’ work is to determine the extent to which that violence and chaos was preplanned and coordinated…
An indictment Friday night charged a member of the Proud Boys, Dominic Pezzola, 43, of Rochester, N.Y., with conspiracy, saying his actions showed “planning, determination, and coordination.” Another alleged member of the Proud Boys, William Pepe, 31, of Beacon, N.Y., also was charged with conspiracy.
One of the comments cited in the FBI memo declared Trump supporters should go to Washington and get “violent. Stop calling this a march, or rally, or a protest. Go there ready for war. We get our President or we die.”
RTFA. Classic coordination for demonstrations is always fertile ground for folks who prefer violence over public support for whatever political position. Poisonally, I think they need to have their heads examined if they believe they can rollout a Banana Republic coup in a nation with inertia and ennui designed into the genetics of political processes.
Preferably, the exams should be conducted by a prison doctor.
Don’t tell me what I must do!
Happy Flag Day
Christian lawmakers blame Satan after Twitter poll tells the truth
95.8% of people responding to the poll said they don’t prefer Christians. Har!