EXCLUSIVE: Secret New UAS Shows Stealth, Efficiency Advances
A large, classified unmanned aircraft developed by Northrop Grumman is now flying—and it demonstrates a major advance in combining stealth and aerodynamic efficiency. Defense and intelligence officials say the secret unmanned aerial system (UAS), designed for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions, is scheduled to enter production for the U.S. Air Force and could be operational by 2015.
Funded through the Air Force’s classified budget, the program to build this new UAS, dubbed the RQ-180, was awarded to Northrop Grumman after a competition that included Boeing and Lockheed Martin. The aircraft will conduct the penetrating ISR mission that has been left unaddressed, and under wide debate, since retirement of the Lockheed SR-71 in 1998.
Neither the Air Force nor Northrop Grumman would speak about the classified airplane. When queried about the project, Air Force spokeswoman Jennifer Cassidy said, “The Air Force does not discuss this program.”
The RQ-180 carries radio-frequency sensors such as active, electronically scanned array (AESA) radar and passive electronic surveillance measures, according to one defense official. It could also be capable of electronic attack missions.
This aircraft’s design is key for the shift of Air Force ISR assets away from “permissive” environments—such as Iraq and Afghanistan, where Northrop Grumman’s non-stealthy Global Hawk and General Atomics’ Reaper operate—and toward operations in “contested” or “denied” airspace. The new UAS underpins the Air Force’s determination to retire a version of the RQ-4B Global Hawk after 2014, despite congressional resistance. The RQ-180 eclipses the smaller, less stealthy and shorter-range RQ-170 Sentinel.
Read all of this at Aviation Week.
H.J.Res. 15: Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the twenty-second article of amendment, thereby …
…removing the limitation on the number of
terms an individual may serve as President.
EMPEROR OBAMA – GET USED TO IT.
An Economists’ Oscar Wilde
Few people can have read the autobiographies of Edward Gibbon and John Stuart Mill without musing on the agreeable prospect of parallel works by similar figures. The qualifications are simply stated: Such an author would need to possess great intellectual gifts along with a compelling writing style and an interesting life in stirring times, lived in the company of remarkable acquaintances.
During the years of the recent financial crisis, marked as they have been by heroic, if controversial, measures by our central bankers, one such candidate stood out. It was he who, some 140 years ago, coined the central banker’s golden rule in times of such disaster: The lender of last resort must lend freely, against good collateral, and at interest rates high enough to dissuade borrowers not genuinely in need. For good or ill, our current central bankers have been much more generous, bending this classic mantra which Walter Bagehot first articulated in Lombard Street, the 1873 book that established him as the pioneering theorist of the modern financial system. But Bagehot (1826–77) was far more than just an economist. During his 17 years as the editor of the London-based weekly The Economist, he increased the magazine’s influence and produced a stream of articles and books that, in many cases, are as relevant today as they were in his lifetime.
A decade and a half ago, during the crisis of the British monarchy brought on by the death of Princess Diana, Bagehot was once again the sage whose wisdom was widely cited. Bagehot’s 1867 book The English Constitution stressed the distinction between the “Efficient” part of the system, which did the work, and the “Dignified” (we might say decorative) part, which was symbolically important but functionally feeble. The monarchy, Bagehot noted, provided the dignity, while the royal family offered an institution to the public of comforting familiarity, with wayward sons, mad aunts, saucy grandmothers, and drunken cousins. “A family on the throne is an interesting idea,” he observed. “It brings down the pride of sovereignty to the level of petty life.” Constitutional stability, and not just good manners, required a certain discretion about the regal family’s intimacies. “We must not let in daylight upon magic,” as Bagehot put it.
Read it all HERE.
This Is America’s Most Top Secret Volleyball Court.
Yoda still standing: Office of Pentagon futurist Andrew Marshall, 92, survives budget ax.
Someone’s Been Siphoning Data Through a Huge Security Hole in the Internet .
China’s New Air-Defense Zone Is a Creeping Effort to Assert Sovereignty | .
Snowden Civil War.
An Obamacare regulation issued by the Office of Personnel Management in October treats the U.S. Congress—which employs more than 11,000 staffers and which spent $4,329,000,000 on its own operations and $3,454,253,000,000 to fund the full government in fiscal 2013–as a “small business.”
The regulation treats this federal tax subsidy paid by the U.S. Treasury as if it were an “employer contribution” made by the owner of a small business.
Subsection D of Section 1312 of the 906-page Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is entitled: “MEMBERS OF CONGRESS IN THE EXCHANGE.”
It says: “Notwithstanding any other provision of law, after the effective date of this subtitle, the only health plans that the Federal Government may make available to Members of Congress and congressional staff with respect to their service as a Member of Congress or congressional staff shall be health plans that are—(I) created under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act); or (II) offered through an Exchange established under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act).”
Ordinary citizens who buy their Obamacare-mandated health insurance through one of the individual exchanges set up under the law do not get an “employer contribution.” Moreover, such individuals can only qualify for a federal subsidy to buy their insurance on the exchange if they earn less than 400 percent of the poverty level.
Four hundred percent of the poverty level for a family of four is currently $94,200. Members of the House and Senate are paid a base annual salary of $174,000. A congressman would need to have a family of 9—including a spouse and 7 children—in order to qualify for a subsidy in the individual Obamacare exchanges. (So long as the spouse did not earn an income, in which case they would need to have more children to qualify.)
Read the full story at CNS News.
Proposed Cuts Would Barely Dent Massive Growth of Food Stamps
Food stamp spending is at historic highs—it has doubled twice since 2000. Now some on Capitol Hill say the House is trying to make major cuts to the program, but they’re really making some much-needed policy reforms that would achieve modest savings.
The House bill proposes a small 5 percent reduction, while the Senate proposes a mere one-half of 1 percent. Even if the House’s reforms are accepted, food stamp spending is projected to be nearly double 2008 levels. It is also projected to remain at or near historical highs into the foreseeable future.
The House’s savings come from closing loopholes and ending policies that are currently undermining the integrity of the program. These policies have allowed states to artificially boost food stamp levels and expand the program beyond its intended population. While the House takes steps in the right direction to reform food stamps, the Senate does hardly anything.
Food stamps should be reformed to ensure that the program is serving those it is intended to serve. It should also be reformed to promote self-sufficiency through work, thus helping those who are able by encouraging self-sufficiency.
“Past performance is no guarantee of future results:
? “How to Save the GOP”
— Headline at the Atlantic, May 22nd, 2013.
? “The Democratic Party: How It Can Save Itself”
— Headline at the Atlantic, today.
What a difference a few months and a stillborn socialized medicine scheme can make.” —Ed Driscoll
If the NSA Could Hack Into Human Brains, Should It?
A thought experiment for the surveillance agency’s former lawyer
Read it all HERE.
Another Hate Crime Hoax: Mom Spray Painted Racist Graffiti Spray On Own House, Blamed Son’s High School Football Team…
The Internal Revenue Service quietly proposed new regulations aimed at 501(c)(4) organizations during the Thanksgiving recess that Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, called “a crass political effort by the Administration to get what political advantage they can, when they can.”
Tea Party groups and other conservative organizations were apparently singled out by the IRS starting in 2010, and the heavy hand of government suppression of these groups may have greatly attributed to Obama’s re-election, an American Enterprise Institute study revealed in October.
The Washington Post reported last week the Treasury Department said the new rules “may be both more restrictive and more permissive than the current approach.” The new rules focus on organizations known as “social welfare” groups that regulated within section 501(c)(4) of the tax code. Conservative political operations, liberal groups before them, began to organize under the 501 (c)(4) umbrella in the past ten years, and having such a tax status would allow these organizations from disclosing their donors.
A 54-year-old rule says that an organization can become a social welfare organization “if it is primarily engaged in promoting in some way the common good and general welfare of the people of the community.” The new IRS regulation now says “campaign-related political activity” cannot count towards a group’s social welfare mission. Such a regulation would discount numerous conservative advocacy groups either seeking for or wanting to maintain a 501(c)(4) tax status.
Issa released a statement that, in part, said, “This new effort by the Obama Administration to limit traditional advocacy efforts by social welfare organizations will have a much more profound impact on grassroots and community organizations than on the well-heeled groups it supposedly targets. The fact that the Administration’s new effort only applies to social welfare organizations — and not powerful unions or business groups — underscores that this is a crass political effort by the Administration to get what political advantage they can, when they can.”
Sources: Breitbart, House.gov.