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The [Wednesday] Papers

"Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan's private remarks during his 18 months at the Pentagon have spurred accusations that he is boosting his former employer Boeing, people who have witnessed the exchanges told Politico - fueling questions about whether he harbors an unfair bias against other big military contractors," Politico reports.

"Shanahan, who spent 31 years at Boeing before joining the Pentagon in mid-2017, has signed an ethics agreement recusing him from weighing in on matters involving the mammoth defense contractor. But that hasn't stopped him from praising Boeing and trashing competitors such as Lockheed Martin during internal meetings, two former government officials who have heard him make the accusations told Politico.

"The remarks raise questions among ethics experts about whether Shanahan, intentionally or not, is putting his finger on the scale when it comes to Pentagon priorities. They also call new attention to a recent decision by the Pentagon to request new Boeing fighters that the Air Force has said it does not want - a request that Bloomberg has reported came after 'prodding' from Shanahan."

Boldface mine.

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Reminder:

"Seven weeks after announcing that it would move its headquarters out of Seattle, the Boeing Company selected Chicago as its new home," the New York Times reported in 2001.

"Boeing, the world's largest maker of commercial aircraft, chose Chicago over Dallas and Denver after it was promised tax breaks and incentives that could total $60 million over 20 years by the city and the State of Illinois."

Just three more years to go! It's like Bobby Bonilla's contract.

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Also:

Boeing just had a record year, with $10.3 billion in profits.

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Back to today's Politico piece:

"Shanahan is the first Pentagon chief to come purely from the private sector since the 1950s and has virtually no government or policy experience . . .

"Shanahan's experience at Boeing is 'his only reference point,' [a] former Trump administration official said. 'He doesn't have a lot of other experiences to draw on. He owns it in a powerful way because he doesn't have the military experience, he doesn't have the experience in government. So when he talks about those things, he's very forceful.'"

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"Shanahan's critics are misreading his comments, according to two currently serving officials, who requested anonymity to speak about internal discussions. While Shanahan regularly recounts his experience working on major programs at Boeing, they say, he has not said the company should have won the F-35 contract.

"He's not talking about Boeing right now; he's really speaking more to his experience, his leadership. His insight is, 'I've seen this, I've done it,'" one Defense Department official said.

Right. He's speaking from his experience - at Boeing.

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"The late Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) was among those expressing qualms about Shanahan's ties to Boeing during his confirmation hearing to be deputy secretary in June 2017. 'I am concerned that 90 percent of defense spending is in the hands of five corporations, of which you represent one,' McCain told Shanahan. 'I have to have confidence that the fox is not gonna to be put back into the hen house.'"

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From the Daily Beast last December:

"A much smaller contract perhaps is the most troubling. On Dec. 21, Bloomberg reported that the Pentagon would request funding in the 2020 defense budget for a dozen upgraded F-15X fighters worth $1.2 billion. Boeing builds the 1970s-vintage, non-stealthy F-15 at its plant in St. Louis.

"The Air Force for years has said it does not want more F-15s, instead preferring to order F-35 stealth fighters from Lockheed for around the same price as the F-15X, per plane. But the Pentagon reportedly overruled the Air Force and added the new Boeing fighters to the budget.

"Shanahan 'prodded' planners to include the planes, according to Bloomberg - this despite the requirement that Shanahan recuse himself from decisions involving Boeing."

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From "Boeing Executive Named to Pentagon Will Face Many Potential Conflicts," The Center for Defense Information, March 2017:

"Unsurprisingly, disclosure forms show Boeing has lobbied on the need to lift defense spending caps, putting both Boeing and Shanahan in line with the proposed Pentagon budget. As Boeing noted in a recent SEC filing, 'We derive a substantial portion of our revenue from the U.S. government, primarily from defense related programs with the U.S. DoD . . . Future budget cuts, including cuts mandated by sequestration, or future procurement decisions associated with the authorizations and appropriations process could result in reductions, cancellations, and/or delays of existing contracts or programs. Any of these impacts could have a material effect on the results of the Company's operations, financial position and/or cash flows.'"

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From the Los Angeles Times/Tribune Newspapers, March 2008:

"Since taking the helm of the 787 program, Shanahan has declined media interviews so that he can focus on solving the problem at hand, Boeing executives said."

That was written with a straight face. #PuffPiece

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"[H]e is said to be just as comfortable donning work overalls as he is wearing pinstriped suits, seamlessly moving between the factory floor and the company's mahogany-paneled boardroom."

An engineer for a manufacturing company better be! A media trope that reminds me of the dating profile cliche of woman who is just as comfortable in jeans and a t-shirt as high heels and and an evening gown.

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From Devdiscourse last week:

"Patrick Shanahan was thrust into the spotlight during his debut as acting U.S. defense secretary on Wednesday, sitting next to President Donald Trump as he publicly disparaged Shanahan's predecessor, lampooned the war in Afghanistan and called Syria a land of 'sand' and 'death.' The former deputy defense secretary officially took office during the New Year's holiday on Tuesday, issuing a statement saying that he looked 'forward to working with President Trump to carry out his vision.'"

"Trump's vision for the second half of his four-year term in office came into view on Wednesday as he spoke exhaustively during a cabinet meeting about America's wars, and his displeasure with them. Shanahan, a former Boeing executive, sat silently at Trump's side, often expressionless, as television cameras rolled."

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Bonus Space Force coverage!

From the Tribune last August:

"A Trump appointee, Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, had begun preparing the congressional-ordered report on whether to create an independent space force.

"A former senior Boeing executive, Shanahan was familiar with the cumbersome Air Force procurement system. He became the administration's space force point person, consulting with Pence, Rogers, the Air Force and other Pentagon players, and the space council.

"I can hear my dad kind of whispering in my ear, 'Don't screw anything up,' " Shanahan told reporters Aug. 9, adding: "There are extensive military operations going on throughout the world right now, and they're heavily reliant on space."

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And just last week from Space News: Shanahan Keeps Tight Grip On Space Force Planning.

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New on the Beachwood . . .

Muting R. Kelly
Calling on Sony and Live Nation, as well a number of other entities still supporting his music, to drop R. Kelly for good.

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NBC Reporter's Kiss-Off
Inside the media's national security state.

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Overhauling Illinois' Unconstitutional Prisons
Preventable deaths, unnecessary pain and suffering.

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Sports Betting Should Come With A Consumer Warning
"Please gamble responsibly" is not enough.

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Myopic 2000
An interview with the bookstore owner 18 years ago.

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The U.S. Postal Inspection Service Year In Review
What a year it was - package devices, natural disasters, scams, and more.

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ChicagoReddit

1/19 Popular Chicago bar to be first to demo new cryptocurrency point-of-sale platform from r/chicago

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ChicagoGram

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ChicagoTube

Sound Warehouse, 1986

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood McRibTipLine: Back in slack.



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Posted on January 9, 2019


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BOOKS - The GOP's Favorite Serial Killer.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Tribune Tower's Luxury Living.


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