by Bill Sloat
Ohio native was first American to orbit earth, flew 149 combat missions in WWII and Korea
Glenn is under construction in San Diego, where a keel-laying ceremony
signifying the initial step in construction was held earlier this week.
When it enters the fleet, which is expected in 2015, the vessel will be
837 feet long and displace 80,000 tons when loaded. Navy officials say
they can use it for both warfighting and humanitarian missions. The ship
was in the Pentagon budget before the current debate over the fiscal
cliff and defense spending cuts got under way. Meanwhile, NASA is no
longer able to put astronauts in orbit because funding for manned
flights ended when the space shuttles were grounded.
was a Marine pilot who became one of NASA’s seven original Mercury
astronauts. He was friendly with John F. Kennedy, who recruited him to
become a politician. During his years in the Senate, he was among Ohio’s
most popular elected officials. Glenn ran for president in 1984 but
didn’t make it out of the primaries. He was a flop as a national
Navy officials say they plan to build three ships similar to the USNS John Glenn, which
are designed as giant sea-going supply and troop platforms. They can
carry three hovercraft for amphibious operations. The Navy calls the
ships Mobile Landing Platforms and says the design is based on the huge
commercial supertankers that carry crude oil from Alaska.Glenn is in his nineties and attended the keel-laying ceremony. He is active and campaigned last fall for President Barack Obama’s reelection.
by Andy Brownfield
Posted In: Budget
at 04:31 PM | Permalink
Statement of principles presented to staffer outside of West Chester office
Activists gathered on Thursday outside of the West Chester
office of U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, asking the House’s top
official to look at reducing military spending when coming up with a
The group of nearly two dozen — which included nuns, a
veteran, a retiree advocate, a small businessman and progressive
activists — held signs reading, “It is time for Nation Building in the
United States. Cut Massive Pentagon Budget Now!” and “End Tax Breaks for
“We’re here today in front of Speaker of the House John
Boehner’s West Chester office to drive home the fact that we believe
that over 50 percent of the budget magically, this elephant in the
House, has failed to be discussed as we discuss taking away services
that provide human needs,” said David Little of Progress Ohio.
“Any discussion that fails to address excesses in that budget is failing the American people.”
Little added that it was possible to support the troops and veterans without spending billions on pointless wars.
Butler County attorney and Navy veteran Bruce Carter said the military can be more efficient in what he called the changing
“When you refuse to have a discussion on over half of the
budget, that’s like trying to tell the Bengals to win a game without
going over the 50 yard line,” he said.
The group had a letter to deliver to Boehner, which contained what they called a statement of principles.
“We believe in a holistic approach to the budget crisis,
and in order to protect the middle-class, cuts to the Pentagon need to
be at the forefront,” the letter states. “We understand that Pentagon
cuts are a controversial issue, however, Pentagon cuts in the sequester
do not threaten our national security.”
The letter suggests that some of the money currently being
spent on the Defense Department goes to providing services for veterans.
The military accounted for about 52 percent — or $600 billion — of discretionary spending in fiscal year 2011.
In contrast, education, training and social services collectively made up 9 percent of the budget.
The group of four activists weren’t allowed into Boehner’s
office, but a young staffer met them outside. He said that the speaker
thought everything should be on the table when it came to budget cuts.