Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Flight Delay Rebuke: Congress exposes the FAA's air-traffic furlough gambit
It isn't quite Ronald Reagan breaking the 1981 air-traffic controllers strike by firing 12,345 of them, banning them from government employment for life, and decertifying their union. But it's close enough for cheering. On Thursday night the Senate unanimously reversed the Federal Aviation Administration's sequester furloughs, and the House followed on Friday with a veto-proof majority, 361 to 41.
Remember when the sequester's spending cuts were going to incite mass uprisings for higher taxes? Instead, Senate Democrats and the White House blinked, not least because the FAA's transparent political strategy was to use incompetent government as a bludgeon on behalf of bigger government. The American public waiting in departure lounges figured this out, which is presumably why the political capitulation is so total.
The FAA's all-hands furloughs managed to convert a less than 4% FAA budget cut into a 10% air-traffic control cut that would delay 40% of flights. The 6,700 flights that the FAA threatened to force off schedule every day is twice as many delays as the single worst travel day of 2012.
Passengers with their baggage check in for a flight at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on Wednesday.
The Democratic surrender has non-elected liberals in full revolt, claiming Washington somehow bowed to wealthy business travellers-as if the 99% don't save for vacations and two million people aren't in the air every day. Their advice is that the White House should have let the delays mount until Congress also agreed to turn off the entire sequester for low-income housing grants, Meals on Wheels and everything else.
Let us hope for the sake of the poor that other bureaucracies are managing the modest sequester cuts more responsibly than the FAA. But the larger point is that from the beginning the FAA's delays were deliberate and avoidable. The FAA has ample legal discretion to protect core services but chose instead to maximize disruption. It is a sign of the FAA's institutional culture of failure that it can't even sabotage itself successfully.
The Senate bill clarifies that the FAA has the authority to cut waste and nonessential items before it lays off controllers-which the White House falsely claimed the sequester law prohibited it from doing. The six-page bill also specifically identifies $253 million in discretionary unspent airport grants that can be used for air control instead. That's among the $34 billion in so-called "unobligated funds" that the Department of Transportation has on hand this year despite sequestration.
Prior to its bipartisan humiliation, the FAA tried to promote the illusion that it was doing a good job until the sequester came along. While we're glad passengers will now endure fewer pointless delays, the FAA will be dysfunctional no matter how much money it gets and deserves to be punished for its recklessness with a more Reaganesque solution.
To wit, Congress ought to abolish the FAA and privatize the air navigation system the way that Canada and other developed countries have. A nonprofit corporation funded by user fees would make better cost-benefit decisions, tap capital markets, replace old-fashioned technology in a timely way and discipline high labor costs.
In addition to NavCanada, Germany, France, Australia and more than 50 others have made the transition to commercial airspaces. No less than Al Gore tried do this when he was Vice President, only to be routed by the unions. Republicans should try again as a plank of a platform to reform and modernize a government that serves itself before it serves America.
President Obama's latest sequestration gambit backfired for the same reason his previous attempts this year have flopped. The sequester cuts, while often dumb, aren't hollowing out the basic services that voters expect from their government. They are showing instead that government can safely and sensibly be cut if politicians are willing to set priorities and make choices.
New study confirms economy was destroyed by Democrat policies
A new study from the widely respected National Bureau of Economic Research released this week has confirmed beyond question that the left's race-baiting attacks on the housing market (the Community Reinvestment Act--enacted under Carter, made shockingly more aggressive under Clinton) is directly responsible for imploding the housing market and destroying the economy.
The study painstakingly sorted through failed home loans that caused the housing market collapse and identified an overwhelming connection between them and CRA mortgages.
Again, let's review:
-President Bush went to Congress repeatedly for years warning them that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were going to destroy the economy (17 times in 2008 alone). Democrats continuously ignored him, shut down his proposals along party lines and continued raiding the institutions for campaign contributions on their way down.
-John McCain also co-sponsored urgently critical reforms that would have prevented the housing market collapse, but Democrats shut that down as well, along party lines, and even openly ridiculed anyone who suggested reforms were necessary...to protect their taxpayer-funded campaign contributions as the economy raced uncontrollably toward the cliff.
-No one was making bad loans to unqualified people until Democrats came along and threatened to drag banks into court and have them fined and branded as racists if they didn't go along with the left's Affirmative Action lending policies...all while federally insuring their losses. Even the New York Times warned in the late 1990s that Democrats continuing to force banks into lowering their standards would lead to this exact catastrophe.
-Obama himself is even on the record personally helping sue one lender (Citibank) into lowering its lending standards to include people from extremely poor and unstable areas, which even one of the left's favorite blatantly partisan "fact-checkers," Snopes, admits (while pretending to 'set the record straight').
-Even The New York Times admitted that there is "little evidence" of any connection between the "Republican" deregulation measures Obama blames, like the Gramm-Bleach-Liley Act (signed into law by a Democrat), and the collapse of the housing market.
But non-Fox media have spent years deliberately and relentlessly inoculating people against the facts, training them to mindlessly blame Bush for being in charge when Democrat policies destroyed the economy. So here we sit, to this day, still watching Obama excuse and shrug off endless economic failures, illegal government takeovers and utter national bankruptcy with zero accountability.
Is Media Blacking Out Story of Pro-Life Catholic School Bus Fire-Bombing?
Our team here at LibertyNEWS.com is pretty much aware of everything crossing the wires throughout the day. Yesterday, from our view, the wires failed to include a particularly peculiar story about a school bus being fire-bombed in Illinois. The school bus belonged to Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Academy and reports from local sources suggest the incident may have occurred as retaliation for the closing of an abortion facility in Rockford, IL.
Pro-Life Corner has more:
"A large school bus, owned by Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Academy, that is well known throughout Rockford for its beautiful pro-life pictures and words asking people to"pray to end abortion", was fire bombed on Friday night. The damage was extensive to the bus as windows were broken in on both sides and fire bombs were thrown inside to cause maximum damage.It has been speculated that this bombing of a pro-life Christian school bus is in retaliation for the closing of the Rockford abortion mill that is located not far from where the school bus was attacked."
Not only has the media largely ignored this story, the local media was engaged in propaganda against the pro-life agenda the very day the fire-bombing occurred:
"On the day this pro-life school bus was viciously attacked, the Rockford Register Star ran a story about an attack against a building made by a pro-lifer TWELVE YEARS AGO!
They brought up again the story of Fr. John Earl who damaged the Rockford abortion mill in 2000. Fr. Earl paid his debt to society and has been a model citizen ever since for over a decade, but the Register Star brings up that 12 YEAR OLD STORY again, using Father Earl's reassignment to a new parish as an opportunity to rehash what should now be a thing of the past and yet they ignored a current attack- the firebombing of a pro-life school bus."
Where is the media on this? How is it not news that a possible hate crime just took place against a Pro-Life Catholic academy?
Welfare, lax immigration control and "Celebrating Diversity" created two terrorist monsters
Not only were Tamerlan, the Boston terrorist currently burning in Hell, and Dzhokhar, the Boston terrorist soon to be burning in Hell, on welfare, but their whole family was on the government dole.
This isn't as much a case against welfare as it is a case against immigration reform. In their time in this country this family did nothing but take and added nothing but misery.
The famous plaque at the Statue of Liberty reading, "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free" is a not the call for every degenerate, miscreant and slacker to come suckle the government teat as liberals would have you believe. In fact, the whole poem is a beacon of hope saying anyone can come here and make of their life what they will.
It's the story of America. It's the hope and opportunity that your life will be as good as you can make it, unlike most of the rest of the world. We have no caste system, the only limits on your life are set by you and your abilities. It is declaring that we are the only nation where someone can do anything, where even the child of worthless, absentee parents who shirk their responsibility can grow up to be president.
Enter the Tsarnaevs.
They came to this country legally.and got on welfare. Why was a family that literally brought nothing to the table allowed to immigrate? I haven't seen an answer yet, but I suspect asking the question will be called "bigoted." As would asking why we should legalize millions of unskilled workers when we have too many of them already.
In the days since the Boston terrorist attack, we've learned the Tsarnaev family - except for Uncle Ruslan - is exactly the type of people a functional immigration system should be designed to keep out. It's not, and despite all the lip-service being paid by advocates, the "reform" making its way through the U.S. Senate won't do anything about it either.
That the Tsarnaev family, a group exhibiting behavior rarely seen outside of meth-infested trailer parks, came to this country and took, then left and left these children behind is a disgrace. That so many on the political left have even entertained the idea, now being pushed by Mama Tsarnaev, that America is somehow to blame for their radicalization is an even bigger one.
It started when The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder asked, "What is it about America that so alienates young men?" in the context of wondering about "the possibility that something about America is radicalizing people of all sorts." Others soon followed suit in suggesting America had a major share of the blame, including the woman from whose loins these creatures sprang.
Well, I'll take the bait.
Aside from what appears to be awful parenting, the Tsarnaev boys were immediately engulfed in a progressive ideology. Generous social services for all-comers is a staple of the left's Utopian philosophy. They lived in a progressive state, attended schools similar to those across the country where self-esteem was given, not earned, and still turned out to be monsters.well, you see where this is going.
The progressive philosophy is designed to make you "feel" good about yourself, but for merely existing, not doing anything. It's designed to "celebrate diversity," not assimilation. This line of thinking not only granted cover to the Tsarnaevs to care about their former homeland more than the one providing for them, but "alienated" them from this country more than anything else.
The United States has a history of self-segregation. Every major city has a "Little Italy," "Chinatown" and the like, but they've shrunk. They didn't shrink because outside forces overtook them, they were overtaken by outside forces because the goal was to assimilate. New immigrants moved there as a transition from their old home to their new one. They lived there while they learned the language, culture and the ability to move out. Progressives have reversed this trend.
This trend has been reversed to the point that the winner of the $338 million lottery winner in New Jersey, who immigrated to this country 26 years ago, needed a translator at his press conference to express his joy.
New immigrants are told they don't have to assimilate, that they shouldn't. Not that they have to give up their culture, but suggesting they might want to embrace the culture and language of their new homeland is now a bridge too far. Perhaps that was a factor in why immigrants who've lived here for nearly all of the impressionable part of their lives would identify more with a land that is nothing more than a distant memory than the one that welcomed them.
So if progressives seek to assign responsibility for why the terrorist now burning in Hell and the other terrorist who should soon join him in those flames felt alienated from society, they need look no further than the nearest reflective surface.
Of course blame for any terrorist attack lies firmly with the perpetrators. But since liberal progressives seek to assign blame elsewhere, have no delusions that if there is any extra to go around it is firmly on their hands.
There is a new lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- on his usual vastly "incorrect" themes of race, genes, IQ etc
For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (Updated as news items come in). GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten.
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Posted by JR at 12:40 AM