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A couple of weeks ago Sen. Richard Shelby (R–Alabama) threw a temper tantrum over the fact that an Air Force contract that would have brought jobs to Alabama was being held up. To register his displeasure he placed a blanket hold over all of Barack Obama’s nominees who need Senate confirmation.

Well, he must be plenty pissed now:

Northrop Grumman Corp. said Monday that it was dropping out of the race for a $35-billion Pentagon contract to build 179 aerial refueling tankers, leaving its rival Boeing Co. as the sole bidder for one of the largest military contracts in U.S. history.

….But it also represents a huge blow to California’s struggling aerospace industry. Northrop had said the contract award would have created more than 7,500 local jobs, even though the plane would have been assembled in Alabama. Follow-on contracts could involve building 300 to 400 additional tankers valued at more than $100 billion over several decades.

Yep, that was the contract. And now it’s gone because, says Northrup, the Pentagon’s new specifications “dramatically favors” Boeing’s smaller refueling tanker over Northrop’s offering. I wonder what Shelby will do for an encore?

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