Bernie Sanders, Swamp Creature

One of the puzzling things about the Obama administration is that, despite his leftwing rhetoric, President Obama did not attempt to reform the military-industrial complex.  It could be said that President Eisenhower, in naming the military-industrial complex in his farewell speech of 1961, did more than President Obama to that end.

Another Democrat with an image as a peace and love candidate is Senator Bernie Sanders. Strangely Sanders has nothing bad to say about the F-35. Senator Sanders’ excuse for not speaking ill of the F-35 is that the plane is a fait accompli, and he would rather have jobs in Vermont than South Carolina, for example.  Some Vermonters have complained about that.  There is a plan for the Vermont Air National Guard based at the Burlington Airport to get the F-35, replacing the aging F-16s, starting in 2019.

The F-35 is more than four times louder than the F-16. For the 94 decibel peak noise level produced by the F-16, the allowed time duration for a worker to that level of noise is one hour each day. For the 115 decibel produced by the F-35, the allowed time duration for worker exposure is only 28 seconds per day. Understandably, the residents of Burlington are concerned.  Senator Sanders does not share their concerns.

Another event in the life of the hairshirt-wearing Senator Sanders that seemed to be out of character is that, soon after losing the Democratic primary to Mrs Clinton, he bought a lakeside vacation home for $575,00, bringing his tally of homes to three.  When you examine the list of Congressional beneficiaries of defense sector donations provided by the Center for Responsive Politics you see that he gets a lot of love from defense contractors.  All donations took place during the 2015-2016 election cycle and were released by the Federal Election Commission on Wednesday, September 21, 2016:

Sanders, Bernie (D)


Thornberry, Mac (R-TX)


Cruz, Ted (R-TX)


McCain, John (R-AZ)


Frelinghuysen, Rodney (R-NJ)


Granger, Kay (R-TX)


Ayotte, Kelly (R-NH)


Forbes, Randy (R-VA)


Turner, Michael R (R-OH)


Smith, Adam (D-WA)


Visclosky, Pete (D-IN)


Bernie Sanders tops the list, well ahead of any Republican. I have continued the list down to the next Democrat, Pete Visclosky of Indiana, to show that Senator Sanders stands alone. For some reason the defense sector was able to figure out an investment in Senator Sanders would provide a high rate of return, that, paraphrasing Shakespeare in Henry V, he was a hollow bosom that they could fill with treacherous crowns.

And thus another mystery is solved in part – how the abominable F-35 has been able to survive for so long. It is just a question of how many vacation homes it took.

David Archibald is the author of American Gripen: The Solution to the F-35 Nightmare.

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