Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Skunk's Other Life

On Monday, I wrote a post about the White House Correspondents Dinner in which I wondered what the hell Doobie Brothers guitarist Jeff "Skunk" Baxter was doing in attendance. As far as I was concerned, George Bush was trying to relive his glory days (musically and otherwise).

Then an alert reader suggested I delve a little deeper into what Mr. Baxter is up to these days. I must say I'm flabbergasted, but I certainly know why he was invited now. It turns out that the former Steely Dan and Doobie Brothers ax man is a consultant to the U.S. government on missile defense and terrorist tactics.

The self-described "unapologetic Republican" stumbled into this line of work due to his technical aptitude and a shrewd eye for seeing how existing military hardware could be used in unconventional ways. He ended up writing a brief paper on how the anti-aircraft Aegis missile system might be turned into a missile defense system. The paper found its way into the hands of a friend who happened to be a Republican congressman and soon Baxter was consulting for the Pentagon and other government agencies.

Today he consults for the Department of Defense, NASA and several defense contractors. And that's why he was at the White House Correspondents Dinner this past weekend. That and the moustache. It reminds George Bush of John Bolton.
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