Sunday, December 18, 2016

F-35, criticized by Trump, employs nearly 1000 Mainers

In today's Maine Sunday Telegram, I have a piece on the F-35 program in Maine, occasioned by President-elect Donald Trump's critical tweet earlier this week.

Two takeaways: it employs - directly or indirectly - nearly 1000 Mainers. Secondly, for this reason it has had the enthusiastic backing of both of Maine's U.S. Senators, Rep. Chellie Pingree, and Gov. Paul LePage (who famously seized the opportunity, when inside an F-35 simulator at the local Pratt & Whitney plant, to express his interest in bombing the Press Herald building.) This pattern - minus the fantasy air strikes - is replicated in 45 states across the country, making the program politically bulletproof.

I've also written recently on the possible effects for Maine of Trump's proposals to defund NASA Earth Science research and to take an aggressive stance against Canadian softwood lumber imports.

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