Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Insert your own Irish-related drinking joke here.
Posts Tagged ‘John McCain’
Remember last year’s story about how the Air Force was trying to kill the A-10 Warthog, with one now-cashiered general saying airmen talking to congress about saving the venerable plane was “treason?”
Well it appears that the Air Force has finally given up on attempts to kill America’s most effective tank-killing aircraft:
The U.S. Air Force is reportedly scrapping what has become an annual attempt to retire the A-10 Thunderbolts from the fiscal 2017 budget request being drawn up.
Maj. Melissa J. Milner, an Air Force spokeswoman on budget matters, said Wednesday she could not comment on the Defense One report that the Cold War-era attack aircraft had been spared indefinitely, but boosters of the plane affectionately known to ground troops as the “Warthog” hailed the move to keep them in the inventory.
“It appears the administration is finally coming to its senses and recognizing the importance of A-10s to our troops’ lives and national security,” said Rep. Martha McSally, a Republican from Arizona and a retired Air Force colonel who flew the A-10.
“With A-10s deployed in the Middle East to fight ISIS, in Europe to deter Russian aggression, and along the Korean peninsula, administration officials can no longer deny how invaluable these planes are to our arsenal and military capabilities,” said McSally, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, referring to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, also known as ISIL.
For the past three years, the Air Force has sought to begin mothballing the A-10s in favor of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to take over the close air support mission. Each year, the House and Senate have blocked the cuts.
In a statement, Sen. John McCain, a Republican from Arizona and the chairman of the defense panel, said, “I welcome reports that the Air Force has decided to keep the A-10 aircraft flying through Fiscal Year 2017, ensuring our troops have the vital close-air support they need for missions around the world.”
The debate over the A-10s appears to have been shelved as commanders in the Iraq and Syria air war increasingly call upon the Thunderbolts flying out of Incirlik air base in Turkey and other bases in the Mideast for attack missions.
Score a point for the restoration of sanity over institutional antipathy.
Just because Nancy Pelosi and company are doing their best to drag Zombie ObamaCare across the finish line doesn’t mean that there aren’t other bad ideas floating around Congress.
One bad idea that thankfully won’t be passing anytime soon was embodied in S. 3002, sponsored by none other than Sen. John McCain until he decided to withdraw it yesterday. It would have empowered the FDA to regulate food supplements, and regulating them would probably have meant banning some, and raising the prices of others in order to satisfy the FDA’s lengthy safety testing requirements.
This would have been a bad thing.
Make no mistake about it: There’s a whole lot of quackery in the health supplement business, with unprovable claims and inexplicable fads (shark cartilage, anyone?), and I’m sure that many health supplements (very possibly including some I take) do nothing more than make expensive urine. And like anything else, you can’t keep idiots from abusing them, which is why I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that some dope has managed to give themselves heavy metal poisoning or destroy their kidneys. (Just like those super-geniuses who managed to turn themselves blue ingesting colloidal silver.)
But the purpose of government is not to protect people from themselves, it’s to protect people from others. And my fear is that the FDA might well have started banning supplements left and right so as to respond to pressure from politicians who receive big bucks from the pharmaceutical industry (especially given how cozy the Obama Administration got with them when crafting the backroom deals to buy off their support for ObamaCare). Or maybe just because the employees of supplement makers aren’t members of the SEIU.
In my lifetime, I’ve probably benefited the most from two wonder drugs. One was Claritin, which managed to relieve allergies so well (without making you groggy the way old anti-histamines would) that it was well worth paying the $3 a pill price it went for if you didn’t have insurance just before it was made over-the-counter. (Now it’s more like 5 cents a pill if you buy the generic version at Sam’s.)
The other one was Melatonin. Throughout my 20s, I suffered from moderate chronic insomnia. My brain simply would not shut off when I laid down to go to sleep. And traditional anti-histamines-based sleep aids left me feeling like my skull was stuffed with cotton the next morning. When I was young I could get away with it, but the older I got the tireder I got. Until I tried Melatonin.
The difference was like (ahem) night and day. I take a pill a couple of hours before going to bed, resulting in a full night of REM sleep and no grogginess in the morning.here don’t appear to be any significant negative side effects, and my guess is that tens of millions of Americans are taking it to get a good night’s sleep.
Which is why I was worried that S. 3002 would have lead to a ban on Melatonin, especially since it’s already banned for over-the-counter use in Europe and Canada. Has it looked like it was going to pass, the first thing I was going to do was stock-up on a lifetime supply of the stuff. But why should I have to?
McCain evidently received a boatload of mail opposing the bill from constituents, and decided to actually pay attention to their complaints. (Which puts him one up on Obama, Pelosi and Reid.) So score one for the forces of liberty this time around.