The Defense Department has more than 1 million contractors, civilians, and uniformed personnel on its payroll.
Anna Giaritelli reports: A Pentagon-commissioned study in 2015 found the Defense headquarters wasted $125 billion. But upon learning of the study’s results, military leaders ordered the findings never be released to the press or public, according to a report published Monday evening.
In January 2015, the Pentagon learned it could cut $125 billion in administrative costs at the Arlington, Va., facility over the next five years. But Defense leaders chose to keep the report secret in fear lawmakers would cut funding, the Washington Post found.
The Defense Business Board study stated all of these cutbacks could take place without any military employees being terminated. The federal advisory board of corporate executives and consultants recommended that some employees be encouraged into early retirements and their positions be eliminated through attrition, while overcompensated contractors would be cut back. Read the rest of this entry »
Show of force comes amid transition to Trump
The missiles “can destroy U.S. Asia-Pacific bases at any time,” the dispatch from the official Xinhua news agency reported.
The flight tests were disclosed by China Central Television on Nov. 28 and coincide with President-elect Donald Trump’s high-profile announcements of new senior government officials.
Disclosure of the missile salvo launch comes as Trump announced on Thursday that he will nominate retired Marine Corps. Gen. James Mattis as his defense secretary. Mattis is one of the Corps’ most celebrated warfighting generals. Read the rest of this entry »
Trump election does not slow gun sales
So far this year, the FBI has processed24,767,514 checks through its National Instant Criminal Background Check System, known as NICS, which puts 2016 more than 160,000 checks above the yearly record set in 2015. The record comes after November 2016 set its own monthly record with 2,561,281 checks, nearly 320,000 more than the previous record set last November. This gun sales spike has lasted for over a year and resulted in monthly records for 19 straight months.
November’s record comes as the firearms industry is beginning its seasonal upswing with millions of Americans purchasing firearms in the lead up to the holiday season. That upswing is likely to add to 2016’s record because December has traditionally seen the highest number of NICS checks for the year.
The number of checks processed through the FBI’s system is generally considered one of the strongest indicators of gun sales in the United States because nearly all sales made through federally licensed firearms dealers require a NICS check. However, the number of NICS checks made in a given period of time is not a perfect representation of the number of guns actually sold in that same period of time for a number of reasons. Read the rest of this entry »
‘How was I supposed to know that cowboy George Bush would announce he wanted us ‘dead or alive’ and then invade Afghanistan to hunt us down?’Posted: November 29, 2016
To get you in the spirit, here’s a video of the CEO of BulletSafe (a bulletproof vest the Daily Dealer team tested out in person) shooting through Thanksgiving dinner with a .50 cal Desert Eagle…(read more)
“It doesn’t matter what the origins of the Second Amendment were,” says Cody Wilson, creator of the first 3D-printed gun and author of the new book, Come and Take It: The Gun Printer’s Guide to Thinking Free. “With the internet, we can transform this thing into right to resistance on a global scale. If it’s just a fact that the government serves guns now, this is just a point of political life.”
CORRECTION: The Ghost Gunner sells for $1,500 not $250. The deposit is $250.
[Order Cody’s book “Come and Take It: The Gun Printer’s Guide to Thinking Free” from Amazon.com]
The full transcript of this interview is available here.
Reason is the planet’s leading source of news, politics, and culture from a libertarian perspective. Go to reason.com for a point of view you won’t get from legacy media and old left-right opinion magazines. Read the rest of this entry »
Though Donald Trump’s presidential victory represents the greatest opportunity for policy changes that have widespread impact, there were many unexpected wins at the state and local levels. The National Rifle Association won in nearly every race where it invested money.
The NRA spent more than $30.3 million in the presidential race, up from just over $12 million in 2012. $19.7 million of that went to opposing Hillary Clinton and $10.6 million went to supporting Donald Trump, according to an analysis of Federal Election Commission documents by the Center for Responsive Politics. The group invested another $20 million in six Senate races and won five of them.
Hillary Clinton’s defeat comes after she staked out the most aggressive gun control positions for a major party candidate in modern memory.
“She has been more forceful on guns/gun lobby than any other person who ever seriously ran for president,” one of Clinton’s advisers wrote in an email posted by WikiLeaks in October. “Certain members of the dem caucus [sic] were freaking out about [her gun positions.]”
Audio first published in October 2015 by the Washington Free Beacon showed Clinton telling donors privately that she believed the Supreme Court was “wrong on the Second Amendment.” When asked about her opposition to the court’s landmark District of Columbia v. Heller decision at the final presidential debate, Clinton claimed she was concerned about protecting toddlers from unsecured guns but did not reverse her position.
Just two weeks after audio of Clinton’s comments on the Supreme Court was published, she endorsed an Australian-style mandatory gun buyback scheme at a public rally. Read the rest of this entry »
The world is at the start of a renaissance in hypersonic flight, but the U.S. will need steady commitment and funding if it wants to lead the way.
MOJAVE, California — The world is at the start of a renaissance in supersonic and hypersonic flight that will transform aviation, but the effort will need steady commitment and funding if the United States wants to lead the way, congressional leaders and industry officials said at a forum late last month.
“What’s exciting about aerospace today is that we are in a point here where suddenly, things are happening all across the board in areas that just haven’t been happening for quite a while,” said former U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Curtis M. Bedke.
“There was a period where engine technology had just sort of stagnated — a point where all materials technology was going along at about the same pace,” Bedke added. “There just wasn’t much happening. But suddenly, in all sorts of areas that apply to aerospace, things are happening.”
Bedke was one of five panelists to speak Oct. 27 at the Forum on American Aeronautics here at the Mojave Air and Space Port. Sponsored by the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, the forum was hosted by committee chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, and member Steve Knight, R-Calif. Bedke, Smith and Knight were joined by David McBride, director of NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in California, and Craig Johnson, director of business strategy and development for Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works. Former Mojave Air and Space Port CEO Stu Witt moderated.
Knight has taken the lead on the House Science Committee in getting NASA’s aeronautical program to focus on a new set of experimental aircraft. He said his passion for these programs isn’t just about improving American aviation — it’s personal. Read the rest of this entry »
ZHUHAI, China (Reuters) –Tim Hepher and Brenda Goh report: China showed its Chengdu J-20 stealth fighter in public for the first time on Tuesday, opening the country’s biggest meeting of aircraft makers and buyers with a show of its military clout.
“It’s a change of tactics for the Chinese to publicly show off weapons that aren’t in full squadron service yet, and demonstrates a lot of confidence in the capability, and also a lot of pride.”
— Sam Roggeveen, a senior fellow at the Sydney-based Lowy Institute
Airshow China, in the southern city of Zhuhai, offers Beijing an opportunity to demonstrate its ambitions in civil aerospace and to underline its growing capability in defense. China is set to overtake the U.S. as the world’s top aviation market in the next decade.
Two J-20 jets, Zhuhai’s headline act, swept over dignitaries, hundreds of spectators and industry executives gathered at the show’s opening ceremony in a flypast that barely exceeded a minute, generating a deafening roar that was met with gasps and applause and set off car alarms in a parking lot.
“I think we learned very little. We learned it is very loud. But we can’t tell what type of engine it has, or very much about the mobility. Most importantly, we didn’t learn much about its radar cross-section.”
— Greg Waldron, Asia Managing Editor of FlightGlobal
Experts say China has been refining designs for the J-20, first glimpsed by planespotters in 2010, in the hope of narrowing a military technology gap with the United States. President Xi Jinping has pushed to toughen the armed forces as China takes a more assertive stance in Asia, particularly in the South China and East China seas.
“It is clearly a big step forward in Chinese combat capability,” said Bradley Perrett of Aviation Week, a veteran China watcher.
State-owned Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) was also bullish on China’s appetite for new civilian planes, estimating the market would need 6,865 new aircraft worth $930 billion over the next 20 years.
The COMAC forecast – similar to long-term outlooks from well-established rivals Boeing Co and Airbus Group – said China would make up almost a fifth of global demand for close to 40,000 planes over the next two decades. Read the rest of this entry »
More emails from Hillary Clinton campaign staffers were made public by WikiLeaks this week, granting insight into the campaign’s deceptive attacks on your rights and the extent to which Clinton is in league with the country’s most powerful anti-gun forces. Further, the emails provide more information about Clinton’s insistence on pursuing gun control by executive order.
Medium.com purports to be “a community of readers and writers offering unique perspectives on ideas large and small.” However, there’s nothing unique about the perspective of a January 12 item purportedly authored by a gun control advocate who was the victim of domestic violence. In fact, according to leaked emails, the piece was authored by Clinton campaign consultants and planted on Medium.com by campaign staff.
On January 8, Clinton campaign chair John Podesta forwarded an email titled, “Draft medium post on guns.” The author of the original email is not clear from the WikiLeaks archive. The email states, in part:
Hey everyone –
Ron Klain wrote a riff for HRC and sent it to Teddy on guns. We thought it could make a strong Medium post from someone who could really speak to this issue (not HRC and not someone on our campaign).
Here’s the draft, which I edited and can personalize depending on who we want to use as an author. A survivor of gun violence? An advocate or family member?
If we can find someone, and if folks want, we could get this posted today to Medium in someone’s name (not us). Here it is, let me know your thoughts!
The email goes on to provide a draft of the commentary.
Ronald Klain is a prominent Democratic operative who served as the chief of staff to both Vice President Al Gore and Vice President Joe Biden. Most recently, Klain has consulted on the Clinton campaign.
From the email, it appears Klain developed an anti-gun commentary intended to be used by Clinton herself. However, the campaign seemed to have thought the item would carry more weight if it appeared under the name of someone outside the campaign who had a history with the issue.
The plan outlined in this email was carried out, as on January 12 a piece titled “I’m With Hillary” was posted to Medium.com with Clai Lasher listed as its author. Lasher was shot by her stepfather in 1970 and is a survivor engagement lead at Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety. Just as the email suggested, portions of the piece were personalized for Lasher. The majority of Klain’s commentary was not altered.
This incident should prompt the public to question just how much of the pro-Clinton content appearing in the media has been directly orchestrated by the Clinton campaign itself.
Recently released emails also give more insight into the unsavory nature of the Clinton campaign’s attacks on Democratic rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). The emails show that Clinton’s anti-Sanders messaging was tailored to the racial background of the target audience. In a February 7 email exchange between Democratic consultant Mandy Grunwald and Clinton campaign staff, potential attacks on Sanders were discussed. Specifically, the emails contemplated using the gun issue to attack Sanders’ support among African Americans. In one email, Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook wrote, “We may need to use guns tactically in the AA community–just like we’ll have tactical skirmishes on crime bill, etc.”
During the Democratic primaries, Sanders called on Clinton to produce the transcripts of her paid speeches to Goldman Sachs. Clinton refused, but WikiLeaks obtained the transcripts and has made them available to the public. While much of the speeches address financial and foreign policy, during a June 4, 2013 question and answer session with Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, Clinton used the forum to take a swipe at NRA.
Despite NRA being a nonpartisan organization that routinely supports candidates across the political spectrum, Clinton blamed NRA, in part, for what she perceived is an increase in partisanship that stymied her preferred agenda. In doing so, Clinton gave a ham-handed retelling of an instance where NRA pursued the best interests of our members by supporting the opponent of a Tennessee lawmaker that had obstructed the passage of important Right-to-Carry legislation. Clinton characterized NRA’s vigorous defense of the rights of the state’s gun owners as unreasonable. Read the rest of this entry »
Mason launched two Standard Missile-2s (SM-2s) and a single Enhanced Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) to intercept the two missiles that were launched about 7 P.M. local time. In addition to the missiles, the ship used its Nulka anti-ship missile decoy
Sam LaGrone reports: The crew of a guided-missile destroyer fired three missiles to defend themselves and another ship after being attacked on Sunday in the Red Sea by two presumed cruise missiles fired by Iran-backed Houthi-forces, USNI News has learned.
During the attack against USS Mason (DDG-87), the ship’s crew fired the missiles to defend the guided-missile destroyer and nearby USS Ponce (AFSB(I)-15) from two suspected cruise missiles fired from the Yemini shore, two defense officials told USNI News.
Mason launched two Standard Missile-2s (SM-2s) and a single Enhanced Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) to intercept the two missiles that were launched about 7 P.M. local time. In addition to the missiles, the ship used its Nulka anti-ship missile decoy, the sources confirmed. Mason was operating in international waters north of the strait of Bab el-Mandeb at the time of the attack.
According to a defense official on Monday, Mason “employed onboard defensive measures” against the first suspected cruise missile, “although it is unclear whether this led to the missile striking the water or whether it would have struck the water anyway.” The official did not specify that the defensive measure was a missile fired from the ship.
USNI News understands, as of Monday, the crew of the ship was uncertain if the suspected cruise missile was taken out by an SM-2 or went into the water on its own. In the Monday statement, the Pentagon said an investigation was ongoing.
The second missile launched from Yemen hit the water without being struck by a U.S. interceptor, the Pentagon said. Read the rest of this entry »
BEIJING (Reuters) – The United States and South Korea are destined to “pay the price” for their decision to deploy an advanced missile defense system which will inevitably prompt a “counter attack”, China’s top newspaper said on Saturday.
“If the United States and South Korea harm the strategic security interests of countries in the region including China, then they are destined to pay the price for this and receive a proper counter attack.”
Tension on the Korean peninsula has been high this year, beginning with North Korea’s fourth nuclear test in January, which was followed by a satellite launch, a string of tests of various missiles, and its fifth and largest nuclear test last month.
South Korea aims to deploy the system on a golf course, a defense ministry official said on Friday.
But the plan has angered China, which worries that THAAD’s powerful radar would compromise its security and do nothing to lower temperatures on the Korean peninsula.
In a commentary, the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily said China’s opposition to THAAD would never change as it was a serious threat to the regional strategic security balance.
“Like any other country, China can neither be vague nor indifferent on security matters that affect its core interests,” the newspaper said in the commentary, published under the pen name “Zhong Sheng”, meaning “Voice of China”, often used to give views on foreign policy. Read the rest of this entry »