Posts Tagged ‘Airport’

House of Representatives Passes $819 Billion Economic Stimulus Package

January 29, 2009

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, H.R. 1, Congress’s latest economic stimulus package.  That bill passed 244-188; 11 Democrats broke ranks, while all of the voting Republicans voted against it.  First, I would like to commend the 11 Democrats who voted against the $819 billion “stimulus” bill.  This bill is an atrocity to the Congressional system of appropriations.  Instead of focusing on true STIMULUS (after all, it is an “economic STIMULUS package”), the Democrats in the House packed the bill with billions of dollars of un-stimulating spending.  For those of  you who want to read the sources, here’s the version of the bill as it was introduced (it has been slightly changed, but not too much), here’s the summary from the House Appropriations Committee, and here’s the cost estimate from the Congressional Budget Office.  And here’s the link to the roll call vote, Roll number 46.

Let’s take a look at the  following, keeping in mind that this is just a fraction of the spending packed in the 647-page bill (which I unfortunately didn’t have the time to quite get through, although I skimmed most of it): $650,000,000 for digital TV converters, $400,000,000 for habitat restoration, $250,000,000 for NASA climate research, $600,000,000 for the government to lease plug-in and alternative-fuel vehicles, $500,000,000 for airport security, $150,000,000 for bridge removal by the Coast Guard, $1,700,000,000 for National Parks Service maintenance, $200,000,000 to clean up leaking underground sewage storage tanks, $850,000,000 for wildland fire management, $150,000,000 for maintenance at the Smithsonian Institution, and $50,000,000 for the National Cemetery Administration to make cemetery repairs.  And this is all after some apportionments were taken out.  The Republicans urged Democrats to take out some of the unnecessary spending, such as making funds available for “family planning” and contraceptives, as well as $200,000,000 to revitalize and re-sod the National Mall, but I think those were the only 2 spending things that were cut out of the bill.  Either way, the point is – there’s a heck of a lot of spending.

Now, I am not saying that the expenditures in this bill are unimportant.  Clearly bridge removal, airport security, wildland fire management, etc. are very important; however, Congress has an apportionment process for a reason.  This bill takes the traditional apportionment process and throws it out the window, and that is absolutely unacceptable!  The Democrats essentially drafted this bill telling THEIR caucus members, “If you want money apportioned for something, stick it in this ‘stimulus package’ and we’ll get it passed no questions asked,” and that’s exactly what happened.  Keep in mind, a normal apportionment bill is debated for days, but here the House Democrats crammed what would have been hundreds of apportionment bills into one bill and debated it on the floor for ONLY THREE DAYS.  That’s right folks – this was introduced on January 26, and it was passed on January 28.  That is both unacceptable and just plain DANGEROUS.  Half of the Representatives don’t even know what all is in the bill!

If Congress wants to spend money, that is perfectly fine, but they need to do it through the proper channels of apportionment, not by hijacking the taxpayers’ wallets under the guise of an “economic stimulus package.”

So where were the Republicans in all of this?  I’ll tell you.  They were left out until the very end.  Not ONE Republican had any real input while this bill was drafted.  Sure, Obama met with Republicans and “took their input,” but no Republican ever put a pen anywhere near this bill as it was being written.  The only input they had was on the floor of the House during debate and when they were proposing amendments.  And how many Republican amendments were passed?  Only two, neither of which spared us from the utter fiscal disaster that this bill is.

I was watching C-SPAN on-line late last night (waiting for the House to upload the Congressional record so I could look stuff up and write a story on this for my newspaper column) and quite a few Republicans took a strong stand against the bill.  In particular, the Representative from the Central Michigan Area, Dave Camp (R-MI4) submitted an amendment that would have changed the stimulus package to a pure tax-cut instead of this ridiculous spending spree / tax-cut combo, but that substitute bill (labelled as an amendment) failed along party lines, with 2 Democrats crossing over.

Personally, I don’t think that a spending spree is what we need right now, but even if the Democrats insist on increasing spending, they need to do it through the proper means of apportionment instead of shoving it into one big bill.  That way, maybe at least some of the frivolous spending will fail, but the way it’s going right now, the Democrats are on board with this “all or nothing” crap.  I really don’t see how the Democrats think that all this spending is going to stimulate the economy, especially since some of this stuff is just so focused, like repairing graves at national cemeteries.  Sure, it’s probably a good expenditure, but it’s not economic stimulus.

Hopefully the Senate votes against their version of this bill, but somehow I don’t see that happening.  If they could at least cut out some of the spending though, it’d make me a little happier.

We’re gonna be in for a rough period if Congress keeps this kind of stuff up.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Breaking News: FAA’s Flight Plan System Has Failed

August 26, 2008

Breaking news that just came in.  The Federal Aviation Administration’s flight plan system for the Eastern part of the country, based in Atlanta Georgia has faled.  The FAA is saying that control towers can still see all airplanes and that there is no reason for immediate concern – there is no risk in planes crossing paths or anything like that; however, delays are popping up all along the airports in the Eastern part of the country.

As of now, there’s no clue what has caused this.

I’ll keep you updated.

Update as of 3:57 P.M.: there are no airplanes taking off at all anywhere on the east coast.  The wwest coast is still having flights leave and come in.  The Department of Homeland Security has confirmed that this is NOT a result of terrorism.

People are being allowed to deboard planes if they want.

The FAA is encouraging people to check with their airline to see if their flights are taking off before heading  to the airport.

The FAA has delays posted on their website, but I’m not sure how updated it is.  Chicago is having major delays, but some airports on the east coast aren’t listed as having delays at all.  The map is available here: http://www.fly.faa.gov/flyfaa/usmap.jsp.

Update as of 7:16 P.M. EDT: The computer glitch has been repaired, according to the FAA.  As of now, the system in Utah is processing ALL flight plans.  They will start using the Atlanta computer tomorrow, because they believe switching back now would overload the system and crash it.

Again, check with your airline for specific information on delays before you head to the airport.

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican
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Clinton “Sleep Deprived” When She Misspoke; What About the 3:00 A.M. Phone Call?

March 26, 2008

Alright, so last week Hillary Clinton was in Washington, D.C. and was discussing her trip to Bosnia in 1996.  She said the following concerning her landing at Tuzla airport: “I remember landing under sniper fire. There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base.”

CBS later released footage that showed that there was no sniper fire and that the plane landed routinely.

Clinton then said at a press conference in Greensburg, PA, “So I made a mistake.  That happens. It shows I’m human, which for some people is a revelation.”

 OK, that’s fine – plenty of people misspeak (including myself), but then she said this: “I was sleep-deprived, and I misspoke.”

And then the trouble started.  Do you remember that ad about the red phone ringing at 3:00 A.M.?  If not, see the video below:

HEHE – I just found this regarding that ad – I find this one quite amusing:

OK – back on track.  Now, personally, I could care less if she was sleep deprived – I get 5 hours of sleep a night – I understand not sleeping.  I don’t think the misspeaking was a big deal, but a lot of people are making fun of her about the 3:00 A.M. phone call ad and the fact that she misspeaks when sleep deprived.

On MSNBC’s website, Brian Hussein makes a comment saying, “She was ‘sleep-deprived’ and ‘misspoke’?  Would she be sleep-deprived and “misspeak” when the phone rings at 3 AM?  Perhaps she’d confuse the housing crisis with sniper fire and order a carpet bombing of Wall Street? <– insert sarcasm here,” and Sue from Bloomington, IN says, “She was sleep-deprived?  I hope she’ll be wide awake enough to answer that 3 a.m. phone call without misspeaking.  ‘you know, they told me there were snipers, you know and I just, you know, told them to take military action, you know….or was that Iraq?’”

So, this could become quite an embarrasment to her campaign, along with the revelation that the girl in the ad, Casey Knowles, is actually an Obama supporter.

All this infighting and McCain might not even have to campaign!

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Wanna Do Something Fun? Let’s Take a Fake Bomb into an Airport!!!!

September 24, 2007

Boston’s Logan International Airport had a scare a couple days ago when an M.I.T. art engineering (sorry – my error from earlier) student, Star A. Simpson, came in to pick up a friend.  She had an innocent art engineering class (sorry – my error) project pinned to her backpack.  That piece of art was a circuit board with lights.  She had modelling clay in her other hand, and just walked away when asked about it by the customer service agent.

The agent called State troopers who responded in full force, arresting her at gunpoint.  Had she not have put her hands up immediately and dropped the clay, she probably would’ve been shot on the spot.

 The MORON pleaded not guilty to charges of disorderly conduct and possession of a hoax device!  COME ON!  You brought a CIRCUIT BOARD into an airport and just turned around when questioned about it.  It’s almost like this was just deliberate.

Her professors say she’s a great kid (but kinda weird – NO REALLY – YOU THINK – she took a bomb-look-alike into an airport!)

She needs to be fined quite a bit for this display of pure stupidity.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican


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