Friday, June 15, 2007

Earmarks again?

We have to give Dana high marks for perseverance and loyalty to friends like Duncan Hunter. Sadly, we once again have to give him low marks for his understanding of science or even for his adherence to the great Republican Virtue of controlling government spending.

The case in point is a sci-fi aircraft from Dupont Aerospace. In the last 19+ years the DP-2, a VTOL jet rumored to be able to fly a squad of soldiers and a humvee some 5000 miles at 700 miles per hours. So far, after burning through some $63 million in earmarked spending for friends of Hunter and Rohrabacher, the plane has yet to be able to get more than a couple of feet off the ground before coming back down "hard".
John Eney is an aerospace engineer who headed up the aircraft conceptual design group at the Naval Air Development Center Naval Air Systems Command. He led an onsite review of the DP-2 program in 1999.

"It's a pipe dream," he said.

In order to have the promised VTOL capabilities, the aircraft directs jet exhaust toward the ground. Eney says this would incinerate troops rappelling out of the aircraft.

Hunter "failed to understand the basic physics of this situation," he said.
So, where is the 46th free thinking Congressman in all of this?
California Representative Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican member of the House Science and Technology Committee, hailed duPont president Tony duPont as "a respected engineer" and "a maverick."

"When we come to the point where we don't (give) mavericks and free thinkers the chance to prove their theories, we're putting a great limitation on what our potential is for the future," said Rohrabacher.
Well, I guess Dana doesn't need to understand physics to be a Congressman. But, he should surely be smart enough to hire some staff who can research a problem and get him the facts. Mission Failed. This is about as bright as his dinosaur flatulence remarks regarding global warming.

If Dana wants to be known as a real free thinking radical standing up for what is right, maybe he should start by insisting the any project he supports has some basis in sound science before spending another $63 Million on a project that the military doesn't even want.

Is this being a good Republican? Is this being a good, don't like government waste Libertarian? Sorry, I forgot. Dana quit being a Libertarian when he got a real job as a speech writer. In any case, it isn't like he is doing what even the Republicans in his district say they want.

The best thing that the Republicans could do to keep this district is to find someone else to run, someone who practices what Republicans preach. Let Dana stay at home and play with the triplets. He can't do as much harm there.

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