When the gods dance...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Warmakers favor Obama over Romney

Mitt Romney certainly talks a lot about invading other countries and expanding the US military presence around the world, yet that hasn't stopped warmakers from backing his opponent. While Republican candidates in general still hold the support of the defense sector, in terms of the 2012 Presidential election, they've placed their bets on Barack.

This shouldn't be surprising, especially considering what TIME Magazine reported on back in October 2008, when Obama was running for President the first time. In an article titled "Obama Beats McCain in Defense Contributions", TIME quoted the Center for Responsible Politics, revealing how "Barack Obama's campaign pocketed $870,165 from defense-contractor sources, 34% more than the $647,313 in contributions McCain's campaign received from the same sector".

Indeed, since becoming President, Obama has paid back all of his corporate supporters, including his buddies in the military-industrial complex

Shortly after coming to office in January 2009, for example, Obama nominated the Vice President of Raytheon as his deputy Secretary of Defense. Predator drones, widely used in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Libya, are built with weaponry from Raytheon.

In July of 2010, First Lady Michelle Obama "christened" a ship built for the U.S. coast guard in Pascagoula, Mississippi, at the Northrop Grumman shipbuilding facility with Mike Petters, President of Northrop Grumman.

On November 6, 2010, during his trip to India, Obama announced a series of commercial deals, including "the purchase of 33 Boeing 737s by India's SpiceJet Airlines", and a "preliminary agreement between Boeing and the Indian Air Force to buy 10 C17 cargo jets". According to Komo News, the deal is worth between $1.7 billion to $2.9 billion.

The following year, in February 22, 2011, Boeing praised Obama for helping the company score a contract worth $35 million. "Presidents make a difference, and we all know that," Boeing General Vice President, Rich Michalski, told reporters. "It's his Cabinet. … He sets the tone."

On May 31, 2011, Obama nominated John E. Bryson, a director at Boeing, to the position of Commerce Secretary, as reported by the Washington Post.

By the end of 2011, it is reported by Forbes that the Obama Administration plans to put Raytheon-built missiles in Poland by 2018.

In January of 2012, Frank Kendall, a former executive with Raytheon, is nominated to become Deputy Secretary of Defense, replacing the former Deputy Secretary of Defense nominated in 2009, who, as mentioned previously, once worked for Raytheon.

Also in January, Robert J. Stevens, CEO of Lockheed Martin, is nominated to Obama's Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations

As for those "defense cuts" Obama has been talking about:

"Lockheed Martin appears to be the biggest winner in the Pentagon's new spending priorities, despite a slowing in the rate at which its signature F-35 fighter programs will ramp up," said Loren Thompson of the Lexington Institute, quoted by USNews.com. "The Pentagon has confirmed its plan to buy all 2,443 F-35s … rather than slashing production goals or eliminating one of the three variants."

And, also according to USNews: 

"Morgan Stanley is projecting Raytheon's stock will perform "in line" with projections. The firm "suffered only minimal damage" in the 2013 Pentagon budget, largely because it has positioned itself well through its electronics business, Thompson said. As the military relies more and more on upgrading existing platforms, Raytheon will be in line to do that work."

So, while Mitt Romney runs around appealing to Bush-era Republicans, droning on about how he wants to bomb Iran and make the United States a mighty global empire, it seems the military-industrial complex isn't buying it. Instead, they've chosen to back the guy who has truly backed them over the last four years.

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 Edit, 10/24: 

On 10/18, it was reported that of the top five military defense contractors, the largest three – Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Northrop Grumman – all gave President Obama more than Mitt Romney.

Following the last Presidential debate, the Huffington Post accurately noted: "As President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney furiously lobbed jabs and zingers at each other during Monday night's foreign policy debate, it would have been easy to miss one basic point of agreement: neither candidate favors decreasing the Pentagon's base budget."

"Obama and Romney were competing about who could spend more on the military," said Mattea Kramer, a senior research analyst at the National Priorities Project. "When you spend more than the next 10 countries combined, you have ... an overmatch."

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