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Journal Archives

On Costliest U.S. Warship Ever, Navy Can't Get Munitions on Deck

(Bloomberg) -- Only two of 11 elevators needed to lift munitions to the deck of the U.S. Navy’s new $13 billion aircraft carrier have been installed, according to a Navy veteran who serves on a key House committee.

“I don’t see an end in sight right now” to getting all the elevators working on the USS Gerald R. Ford, the costliest warship ever, Democratic Representative Elaine Luria of Virginia said in an interview. The ship was supposed to be delivered with the Advanced Weapons Elevators, which are moved by magnets rather than cables, working in May 2017.

It’s another setback for contractor Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. -- and for the Navy, which had said in December it planned to complete installation and testing of all 11 elevators before the Ford completed its post-delivery shakedown phase this month, with at least half certified for operation.

© Getty Images USS Gerald R. Ford Begins Builder's Sea Trials
The USS Gerald R. Ford sea trials off the U.S. East Coast.

Instead, the shakedown phase has been extended to October and the vessel won’t have all the elevators installed -- much less functioning -- by then, according to Luria, a 20-year Navy surface warfare officer whose served on two aircraft carriers and as shore maintenance coordinator for a third.

“Essentially, the ship can’t deploy,” Luria said. “It can’t carry ammunition.” She said the Navy and Huntington Ingalls are trying to solve new problems with doors and hatches lining elevators shafts that don’t meet specifications.

Navy Secretary Richard Spencer, who’s currently filling in as acting deputy defense secretary, said in January that he told President Donald Trump to fire him if the service couldn’t fix the weapons elevators by July. Instead, Trump praised the Ford as “phenomenal” on July 22.


Hannity Says Trump Will 'Devastate' Iran with America's 'Military Might,' President Replies...

Hannity Says Trump Will 'devastate' Iran with America's 'military Might,' President Replies That's 'an Understatement'

resident Donald Trump, who once threatened North Korea with "fire and fury like the world has never seen," called a suggestion by Fox News host Sean Hannity that he would "devastate" Iran militarily without even putting troops on the ground "an understatement."

Tensions between Iran and the U.S. have intensified in recent weeks over attacks on oil tankers in the strategically-important Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf, through which most of the world's oil passes. Washington accuses Tehran of orchestrating the attacks, which it denies.

Iran has also said it is now breaching the landmark 2015 nuclear deal by increasing its uranium enrichment beyond the agreed threshold. The Trump administration pulled the U.S. out of the nuclear deal, reimposing sanctions on Tehran.

The remaining signatories—the U.K., France, Germany, Russia, China, and the European Union—remain committed to keeping the deal alive, though Trump's withdrawal may prove to be a terminal blow.

Trump appeared via phone on Hannity's Fox News show on Thursday night. Hannity asked Trump about Iran.

"I think I've known you for over, nearly 25 years. I know your mindset on this very well," Hannity said. "I said it on the air in a message to the Mullahs that they'd better be careful. You will not put boots on the ground. You are probably going to show some level of patience.

"But, at the end of the day, if they force you, I believe, knowing you, my belief is you will devastate them… And I do believe that, if pushed, the military might you would unleash will be mighty and it won't require boots on the ground, am I right?"

Trump replied: "Well, I think that in the case of Iran, they know that even better than you do, and probably even stronger than you said it… I think what you said might be somewhat of an understatement."


Economy Propped Up On Govt Debt? US Economy Dodges The Threat Of Painful Spending Cuts

WASHINGTON (AP) — The budget agreement that congressional leaders and President Donald Trump forged late Monday lifted a big potential drag on the U.S. economy for this year and next.

Under the agreement, the economy was spared from a series of deep spending cuts that were set to take effect under a far-reaching budget law enacted in 2011. Monday’s agreement nullified those cuts and increased spending by $320 billion over two years.

Still, that additional spending isn’t expected to deliver a significant boost to the economy. That’s because the $320 billion figure is somewhat misleading. It’s an increase compared with the deep cuts that would have been required under the 2011 law. But it’s only a small gain compared with the current level of spending.

“It’s not so much that it’s a big boost, but it’s a pain that was avoided,” said Michael Pugliese, an economist at Wells Fargo Securities.

Like most economists, Pugliese hasn’t revised his economic forecasts based on Monday’s deal. He still expects economic growth to slip to 2.6% this year, a solid pace, from 2.9% in 2018.

Still, the budget deal preserves the higher levels of federal spending that have helped support the economy under Trump as he prepares to seek re-election. The agreement also lifts the limit on the government’s borrowing authority for two years, thereby avoiding a difficult battle that twice bedeviled the Obama administration and weighed on consumer sentiment and the financial markets.

The increase in the government’s borrowing authority, also known as the debt ceiling, has been a partisan flashpoint that has ignited epic political fights. If the debt ceiling isn’t raised, the government can no longer borrow and is forced to default on some of its obligations. It’s a prospect that can panic financial markets by eroding confidence in the United States as a place to invest.


Doing Charles Ponzi proud, indeed...with the taxpayers being the suckers.

Yeah it is... here you are. My first foray was with the Houston area BBS groups with 300baud

dial-ups, so yeah...I've been around too.

Unless the DEMS do something really dumb, Trump will not be reelected. Bookmark it.

You were doing great until this "First they are a bastion of Western Civilization..." .

I stopped there.

Debka: Urgent Consultations in Washington, Moscow on Reported US-Russian Submarines in Firefight

NOTE: DEBKA has been proven unreliable in the past but at times they do get things right.

Jul 2, 2019 @ 22:24 Diane Shalem

First reports reaching DEBKAfile’s military sources say that a US submarine intercepted a Russian nuclear sub in American waters opposite Alaska. The Russian sub escorting the nuclear submarine responded with a Balkan 2000 torpedo and scuttled the US vessel. Urgent consultations in both the White House and the Kremlin were taking place on Tuesday night. US Vice President Mike Pence called off an appearance in New Hampshire after being recalled to Washington for a conference called by President Donald Trump without explanation.

Russian President Vladimir Putin cancelled an engagement and headed for the Kremlin to confer with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and military chiefs, after learning that 14 submariners died in a fire that broke out on a nuclear-powered “experimental submarine in Russian waters.” This account carried in Russian media varies in most respects from the first reports reaching this site and may refer to a separate incident. They report between 14 and 17 members of an AS-12 nuclear powered submarine died of poisonous fumes caused by a fire aboard the vessel. The submarine was described as experimental and unarmed but often used in spy missions. It is unclear how many of the 25 crew survived. Local media suggest four or five are receiving treatment in Severomorsk’s military hospital for poisoning and concussion injuries. Another news account said the majority of the officers died in or on their way to hospital. These reports do not cite the cause of the fire.

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