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04 August 2011


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Col., I think that from the Tea Party and Republican perspective, the pattern has already been set.

As Obama has refused to fight- truly fight- on any number of issues with which he has already been confronted, what reason does anyone have to think he will begin to do so now?


Being a imagery thing guy working on many different projects, FAA work is one of our areas that generate lots of billable hours. Having received notice to suspend work till further notice on certain FAA projects hits home in a very real way for me.

President Obama is in the middle of unconditional surrendered. The Republican strategic implementation is working. No taxes on the top .01% will be allowed.


A simple approach is available to Obama. He should follow the Constitution and not use his Presidential power to operate the FAA without an appropriation. An order should issue immediately furloughing all FAA personnel next Tuesday coupled with a total flight ban effective Tuesday evening at midnight. The FAA would be funded by Sunday! Simple, just follow the Constitution as the TEA partiers want.


Col. Lang:

From your mouth to God's ears.



I assumed that the FAA shutdown was a foretaste of a Debt Crisis government seizure. But, it was not to be. Joe Biden and Mitch McConnell hammered out a last minute deal together that avoided a “default” and pushed the Oligarch’s Austerity Program forward and avoided Wall Street losing any money. I should have recognized that it was all theatre.

There is talk of polarized government. But there are actually three Players in the USA. First are the Tea Party radicals and supporters who hate government. The FAA shutdown is a perfect example of them acting out. The second group is the Public Servants, the Middle Class and the Poor who work for or receive support and protection from government. The Third is the Corporations, Oligarchs and their paid goons that milk citizens of any monies they can get.

Since the mid 1970s the Oligarchs and Corporate Interests have been in the ascendancy thanks to propaganda, wedge politics and marketing. They have managed to convince a significant portion of Americans to vote against their own economic interests and long term security. The Democratic Party has the same Paymasters as the GOP. The two parties have merged so closed together one cannot tell them apart (except for the Tea Party revolutionaries in the GOP).

If there was a progressive peoples’ party it would be pushing for jobs for Americans by rebuilding and expanding our infrastructure.

William R. Cumming

Once again the health and safety of the PUBLIC despite statements that it is not affected seem to ring hollow.

By my estimate NO AIRLINE in USA history has made money throughout its lifetime so why not just save all federal airline money including billing the airlines for military pilots that join up post service. This saving then could be used for rail transportation upgrades. Business can use phone, fax, video conference for 90 % of all interface with colleagues and customers. This industry is almost totally subsidized and that should end. Let the pigs fly?

Phil Giraldi

WP - What right does Obama have to suspend air travel? The commerce clause in the constitution gives him no such authority. What "power" does he have to operate FAA without an appropriation? Maybe you should go back and read what the constitution actually says.

Y'all are having a lot of fun bashing the Tea Partiers and there certainly is a lot worth bashing, but when it comes to their sentiments regarding big government and the budget they are spot on. This country is standing on the brink of a deficit that will do catastrophic damage to our children and grandchildren and the only response I am seeing is party politics and business as usual, suggestions for exchanging one statist big spender for another. Does anyone seriously think that Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell will sit down and do what is best for the country? They don't even know what that means anymore. BTW if FAA is like every other government agency I've been associated with you could probably fire half of them and it wouldn't make any difference.


The outcome in this matter will set the pattern for what remains of Obama's presidency. pl

Respectfully, FoolBama is done.

America wanted a Lion and got one, but unfortunately it was the Lion from The Wizard of Oz.

Step aside and let Shillary run, she has more "Cojoñes" than the Foolish and Cowardly One.


What caught my eye was the brazen crassness to which the FAA Inspectors were being approached by the powers that be

-- "Dozens of airport inspectors have been asked by the F.A.A. to work without pay and to charge their government travel expenses to their personal credit cards to keep airports operating safely." --


The Moar You Know

His fetish - and I use that word deliberately, as his response is both uncontrolled and automatic - for compromise, combined with his academician's desire to see the legislative process work as it should, not as it does - is a recipe for disastrous failure. Which we are reaping an ample harvest of these days.

A man with even halfway decent situational awareness would understand what he is up against. With regards to this president, even that was not required. Obama's enemies have said, clearly and repeatedly, how they intended to fight him. In spite of the specific and unambiguous messages that he's been repeatedly given, he does not seem to understand that he has enemies at all, much less ones who wish to insure that he fails at everything.

If one is not even aware that one is in a combat zone, the odds of a successful outcome strike me as being pretty poor.



You know, you do have a very good point. It wouldn't make a hill-of-beans worth of a difference.

Norbert M Salamon

Mr. Giraldi is correct, the USA and most of her residents [and the residents of most OECD countries] have lost their moral compass by allowing and demanding that their lifestyles be supported by their children's [and as yet unborn's] debt burden.

This FAA fiasco is but a foretaste of what is coming [it is notable that the Treasury losses more in foregone taxes than the cost of FAA - another sign of insanity in Congress], now that the GDP debt ratio exceedes 100% according to the Treasury
{ http://news.yahoo.com/us-aaa-rating-still-under-threat-204040123.html } putting the USA in that famous group of Greece, Italy, Ireland, Belgium and Japan.


Obama? One and done which is appropriate for one who would rather go along to get along rather than stand for principles he claims to believe in.


Phil Giraldi:

"What right does Obama have to suspend air travel? The commerce clause in the constitution gives him no such authority. What "power" does he have to operate FAA without an appropriation? ........................

..... BTW if FAA is like every other government agency I've been associated with you could probably fire half of them and it wouldn't make any difference."

With respect Mr. Giraldi, I think you are rather too harsh on the FAA and perhaps don't understand its role.

The FAA is the premier authority and source of Aviation regulation on this planet, and has lead the world for at least Fifty years in setting and maintaining operating standards on a day to day basis.

If you do anything to harm the FAA then Americans will receive an object lesson very quickly in what the term "Public Good" actually means as the entire aviation industry will grind to a halt in a hail of lawsuits within days because FAA operations provide the legal bedrock for the entire aviation industry.

As for their efficiency and competence, I for one, as a simple private pilot, would swap the Australian aviation regulator for the FAA in a heart beat and so would the rest of the worlds pilots as far as I can tell.

The point needs to be made that government created public institutions like the FAA, because they were natural monopolies not because they were "price competitive".

If you ever want to experience "for profit" regulation, I suggest you try, as a manufacturer, to deal with UL- Underwriters Laboratories - the Insurance Industry owned product standards setters, and see how much that costs you, and what you get.

dan of steele

am I the only one who believes Obama got exactly what he wanted?

both sides want to believe he is something he isn't, the right that he is a socialist and the left that he actually cares about the non-rich. all are wrong. obama serves his masters very well. the banks and insurance companies, as well as every other large corporation have got everything they wanted.



It's seems that the Cave-in'r-in-Chief has struck a 'deal' with the Boner-Speaker (oops I keep hitting that Boehner typo error), has been facilitated. So the FAA boys can put away their personal credit-cards, and not have to worry about Commerce Department mooching off their good-will.
Deal reached to fund FAA and put thousands back to work

Soo it appears we will see no fireworks taking place in D.C. until the next 4th of July.


Very different personalities:

A Bonaparte visits the Lincolns.



This is from the new biography of Obama's other by Janny Scott:

'After lunch, the group took a walk, with Barry running ahead. A flock of Indonesian children began lobbing rocks in his direction. They ducked behind a wall and shouted racial epithets. 'He seemed unfazed, dancing around as though playing dodge ball "with unseen players", Bryant said. 'Ann did not react. Assuming she must not have understood the words, Bryant offered to intervene. "No, he's O.K.," Ann said. "He's used to it".'

This is from the same book:

The manner in which Mr Obama dealt with the taunts and teasing played a formative role in his famous unflappability. Indonesian Kay Ikrana gara told the author: 'Self-control is inculcated through a culture of teasing.' Her husband, known only as Ikrana gara, added: 'People tease about skin colour all the time. If a child allows the teasing to bother him, he is teased more. If he ignores it, it stops.'

Neither pattern works well in the United States.


As a General comment, Obama now sees himself as a victim.


BTW if FAA is like every other government agency I've been associated with you could probably fire half of them and it wouldn't make any difference.

Dead on Giraldi, I have been involved with commmercial aviation for decades. The standard joke in the industry is, "Hi, we are from the FAA and we are here to help" The industry LOL!

Phil Giraldi

Thanks Walrus. I was being peevish and only referring to the fact that every civilian government agency that I have ever dealt with is way over staffed with layers of bureaucrats that do essentially nothing. I do appreciate that the FAA is a vital function, unlike the Departments of Education and Energy.

Mark Logan

NPR write up of the temporary compromise.


I would venture to guess neither side wishes to have a squabble in front of the public, not right now. Too many people have yet to process their disgust over the debt-limit drama.


Mr. Giraldi,

The FAA is charged with insuring aviation safety and has power under Title 49, Section 106 of the U.S. Code. Aviation air traffic control is under the FAA. If air traffic control is shut down for lack of funding, that would cause an emergency. The FAA Administrator is authorized to issue emergency regulations and could close the airways for all traffic that requires federally administered airports and air traffic control--the airlines. Flight without air traffic control is deadly. Regulation of interstate transportation falls clearly under the commerce clause of the Constitution.

Technically, the President cannot create "appropriations" under the Constitution and has no power to "fund" after funding runs out. Practically, though a President can shift things to cover emergencies. His ability to do that is severely limited.

It is illegal to work for the government for free, so the FAA employees cannot "volunteer" to work without pay.

Therefore, technically, an unfunded FAA should be shut down.

I think Walrus has it right. The FAA is a "Public Good" and the haters of government are not doing the country a service right now.

The point of my earlier post was that if a clear "Public Good" is shut down as a result of Congressional failures, it might get Congress to stop their current silliness and start functioning again. The latest Kabuki Theater has greatly damaged the nation and was unwise on all parts.

We need government and those who want to kill it are bad actors.

I apologize for having failed to issue an irony and sarcasm alert with my earlier post.


Mr. Giraldi:

"when it comes to their sentiments regarding big government and the budget they are spot on"

Then could you inform us what their sentiments are, exactly? If they oppose big government, then why do so many of them advocate military adventures overseas? If they believe in limited government with a libertarian bent, then why do their elected representatives worry so much about social issues such as abortion or homosexuality?

And if they are so concerned about the long-term sustainability of our republic, then why so many global warming deniers in their ranks?

The answers to all of these questions are simple. The big money donations from the Koch energy interests explain the latter, the nativist GOP strain of American exceptionalism explains the support for wars, and the theocratic wing of the GOP provides the rest.

Hence the Tea Party is not some new form of populist movement: it's a rancid old wine in new and expensive bottles. And what you call their "sentiments" I would call "their mere words", because in virtually every case, their actual deeds in Congress bear little resemblance to those "sentiments" they mouth so often.

The debt limit is a splendid example. Had the U.S. defaulted, the most important result is that we, the people, would pay a lot more for interest on our bonded federal expenditures. The Tea Party's stance in this case was the federal equivalent of a family that can afford to pay its bills deciding to skip a few mortgage payments just for the heck of it. That's an economically stupid tactic, and it doesn't change a thing, beyond throwing away money (and credit ratings, and perhaps even the family home) for no good purpose whatsoever.

Thus the Tea Party is exactly like every other modern corporate-friendly political movement: bought and paid for by special interests. Beyond their obtuse rhetoric, there's not a dime's worth of difference between them and the usual brand of politician-for-sale.

Babak Makkinejad


You are correct about FAA although Quantas has never had a crash - as far as I know.

Usually what people mean in US by de-regulation or other such sweet-talk (small government is the other one) is abandoning the regulatory structures that protects actual human beings so that unscrupulus men could make money at the expense of "Public Good".

That is a major reason that Nuclear Industry in US will never be able to grow; no one trusts them.

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