Duncan Hunter Keeps Bogus Plane Alive Through Earmarks

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Presidential candidate and Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter has kept a useless defense project alive for years even though it has been repeatedly rejected by Pentagon officials because the project’s maker is a regular contributor to his campaigns, reports ABC News.

An experimental plane that is designed to take off straight up and then fly 700 mph has never gotten more than a few feet off the ground and has crashed four times in four years. Useless, you say? Completely. And the Pentagon agrees. Military analysts have consistently rejected the aircraft as technically flawed since 1986.

So why does the plane continue to be funded? Because San Diego-area congressmen, who have tons of defense interests and contractors to represent, consistently create earmarks to keep it alive. The biggest offenders are presidential candidate Duncan Hunter, former chairman and now ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, and former congressman Christopher Cox, who is now chairman of the Securities Exchange Commission.

Cox received $18,000 in contributions from the plane’s creator, DuPont Aerospace. Hunter has received at least $36,000 from DuPont for his congressional campaigns and current presidential campaign.

There will be a hearing on the plane tomorrow — you have to love Democratic leadership in Congress; oversight exists! — and Hunter is expected to testify. Representatives from DuPont will be right there with him, which is fitting because together they’ve bilked American tax payers for millions.

(Hat tip, POGO blog.)

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

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Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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