Screwballs? Right. All of us.

Here’s what’s going on right under our noses, and we’re not doing anything about it. MARINE LOG gave us this story last week:

1. “NASSCO lays keel of Mobile Landing Platform (MLP) ship.”

– “General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard in San Diego hosted a keel laying ceremony January 19 for the first Mobile Landing Platform (MLP) ship … Delivery of the first MLP ship is scheduled for May 2013. The 765-foot long ship will be used as staging areas for the Navy and Marines.” –

More junk for the military. Here’s what’s been revealed so far about this new toy. The U.S. taxpayers, of course, are picking up the tab, and the tab isn’t pin money. For starters, something like $ 125 million has already been allocated for what they call the “initial design” of the vessel.

And the construction cost, according to an earlier Navy announcement, will be “held down” to about $ 500 million. That isn’t the way the game is played, though. The real cost will be about three times the published estimate – something in the neighborhood of $ 1.5 billion – and the taxpayers won’t see a single dime of profit from that vessel’s operations.

[A shipyard like NASSCO could build more than 30 of our flexible, efficient and profitable container ships for that $ 1.5 billion, and the U.S. purchasers would make millions and millions of dollars from the operations of those patented container ships.]

2. But here’s an even better story from Mark Knoller of CBS.

– “Last year (2010) Obama flew in Air Force One 172 times … and with only 673 days remaining in Obama’s never ending presidential campaign, the incumbent’s travel pace will not likely slacken. At an Air Force-estimated cost of $ 181,757 per flight HOUR ( not to mention the additional travel costs of Marine One, Secret Service, logistics and local police overtime), that’s a lot of frequent flier dollars going into Obama’s carbon footprint … $ 80 million every time it takes off and lands.”

“According to Knoller, Obama made 65 domestic trips over 104 days … six trips to eight countries over 22 days … and six vacation trips over 32 days. He took 196 helicopter trips … squeezed in 29 rounds of left-handed golf … and spent $ 1.75 million to visit Hawaiian chums. He has spent many millions of taxpayer dollars flying around in Air Force One, and probably another $ 100 million on his entourage.” –

[We’re bigger screwballs than the clueless authorities in the Euro-zone and the maritime industry.]