THE BLOG
01/23/2009 12:53 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Obama Lobbyist Rule Doesn't Apply to Lobbyists: Obama

The week, President Obama announced that lobbyists wouldn't be allowed in his administration and nominated a defense lobbyist to be deputy Secretary of Defense.

The rule, and it's an inspiring rule, is that lobbyists can't work for agencies they've lobbied in the last two years. The nominee is William J. Lynn, who was working for Raytheon until late last Thursday. Since then, of course, he's had his memory scrubbed clean with a powerful amnesia agent -- not unlike the one in Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind -- and now he doesn't even know what Raytheon does.

It's like he was never Senior Vice President of Government Operations and Strategy at all.

Obama announced that the revolving door between government and lobbying would be slammed shut -- wait, can you slam a revolving door? -- "for as long as I am president." And broke the pledge while he was saying it.

Talk about hitting the ground running. That's fast.

An anonymous senior White House official explains:

When you set very tough rules, you need to have a mechanism for the occasional exception. We wanted to be really tough, but at the same time we didn't want to hamstring the new administration or turn the town upside down.

In other words, you can't let what you say get in the way of what you do.

--

Also this week, President Obama got a letter from forty-four senators and about 200 congressmen asking him to build more F-22 fighters. How good is the F-22? It's so good that we haven't lost a single one in Iraq or Afghanistan. We also haven't used one.

That's how valuable they are. They're too valuable to use in a war.

We're saving them up, in case the Soviet Union comes back. Or Mothra. Or the Soviet Union and Mothra, working together. And I wouldn't put it past them, either.

But Senator Patty Murray (D-Boeing) explains the real reason we need to keep building the world's heaviest fighter plane:

Continued F-22 production is critical to both the national security and economic interests of our country. At a time when we are looking to create jobs and stimulate the economy, eliminating the $12 billion in economic activity and thousands of American jobs tied to F-22 production simply doesn't make sense.

Not spend money? She's right. That's crazy talk.

Unlike building a plane you won't use.

Here's something cool about the F-22, I mean aside from all the aeronautical engineers it keeps out of trouble: Not only does it weigh three times as much as the Skyhawks John McCain used to heroically crash, it actually weighs more than John Kerry's swift boat. That's bipartisanship.

Why is it so huge? To make it invisible. See, an ordinary fighter-bomber carries its missiles on the outside. (So you know it's a boy.) An F-22 carries its armament on the inside, to decrease its radar signature. Naturally, putting a bomb bay on a fighter jet means you have to make it larger, which makes it easier for radar to spot.

By Yuri Andropov.

None of this matters, since it's just a make-work project anyway. Like a new post office. Only larger and heavier.

During his confirmation hearings Wednesday, William Lynn promised -- if confirmed -- to supervise a strategic review and decide the fate of the F-22.

I wonder if he'll remember that Raytheon is making three billion dollars on it.