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Pelosi, Pentagon and planes (UPDATED)
Posted by: McQ on Thursday, February 08, 2007

**Update - House Rebukes Speaker Pelosi (see below)**

**Update - House Sergeant at Arms says he's the one who requested the larger airplane, not Pelosi (see below)**


Let's begin with this:
"After Sept. 11, the Department of Defense — with the consent of the White House — agreed that the speaker of the House should have military transport," replied White House spokesman Tony Snow. "And so what is going on is that the Department of Defense is going through its rules and regulations and having conversations with the speaker about it. So Speaker Hastert had access to military aircraft and Speaker Pelosi will, too."
Why? The Speaker of the House is third in line to the Presidency. So it makes sense that in order to enhance security military transport should be made available given the new security environment brought on by 9/11.

The administration has made it clear she can have one.

Fine. So what's the problem? Well, Speaker Pelosi wants a different plane than Hastert was given. Why? Well she wants one which will reach California without refueling somehow believing that a refuling stop, most likely at an Air Force base enroute, somehow is a security risk.

Sorry, I don't buy that at all. But claiming that is a problem means she can move up from a C20 to a C32.

The difference?

C-20:
[T]he military version of the Gulf Stream 3 business jet, a twin-engine turbo-fan aircraft that seats 12 passengers with a crew of five.
C-32:
[A] luxurious and specially configured version of the Boeing 757-200 commercial intercontinental airliner. The plane seats 45 passengers with business-class accommodations and a crew of up to 16, depending on the mission. It features a communications center, a fully enclosed stateroom for the primary passenger, a changing area, a conference facility, an entertainment system, and a convertible divan that seats three and folds out to a bed.
The C-32 can cost up to $22,000 an hour to operate while the C-20 obviously costs much less to operate.

So why the security strawman? Well, my guess is to disguise the real reason for wanting a bigger plane despite Pelosi's claim that she doesn't care what plane she gets, just so it will reach California non-stop:
"She was offered the same aircraft that the previous speaker had," Putnam said yesterday. "It sat 12 people, and she refused it, didn't think it was big enough for all of her friends and supporters. In fact, she specifically requested that supporters be able to travel."
Of course Pelosi denied that she "specifically requested" that supporters be able to travel:
Pelosi's office denied that she wanted anyone to be able to travel on the plane other than those Hastert was able to bring along — security, staff, family and members of Congress going to the same airport.

"It has nothing to do with family and friends and everything to do with security," Pelosi said Wednesday. The sergeant at arms, she said, thinks "there is a need for this security. They have asked for it to continue. It is up to the Air Force and administration to do that."
Now if she really means that, a C-20 refuling at a secure air base on the way to California fills the bill. I really don't think "security" is the problem and, in this case, have a tendency to believe the story coming out of the Pentagon vs. the Speaker's office.

The solution? Well there really is one and it will call the security bluff Pelosi is putting out there:
There is also the C-37A — a military version of the Gulf Stream 5, which is about the same size as the C-20, but is able to fly nonstop to California. One military source who asked not to be identified says that it may be that Pelosi and her aides were shown a C-37A and didn't understand that it was different and more potent than a C-20, since they look so similar.
ABC News apparently made the Speaker's office aware of the difference:
Would Pelosi be willing to use a smaller plane than the lavish C-32 as long as it could fly coast to coast?

"Yes," said a Pelosi aide.
Heh ... we'll see.

UPDATE: From a source in the House of Representatives via email:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's demand to have regular use of a luxurious C-32 for flights to her San Francisco home and other official trips was publicly rebuked by the U.S. House today via the Cantor amendment to the Advanced Fuels Infrastructure Research and Development Act (H.R. 547) by a vote of 385-23.

As originally reported in the New York Post, the aircraft has a game room, stateroom, showers, a communications center and seats 42 to 50 people and it costs taxpayers $22,000 an hour to operate, according to the Air Force.

"The request by Speaker Pelosi to have a private jumbo-jet is an extravagance that taxpayers should not have to pay for," said Cantor.
Most likely this was slapped on the bill at the last minute and it wouldn't surprise me if most of those voting didn't even know it was there ... which would make it even more of an embarrassment for the Democrats than it already is.

UPDATE II: From "The Political Ticker":
The House Sergeant at Arms said Thursday he was the one who requested a larger military aircraft to transport House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to her San Francisco district non-stop, not the California Democrat herself as some GOP critics have alleged.

"The fact that Speaker Pelosi lives in California compelled me to request an aircraft that is capable of making non-stop flights for security purposes, unless such an aircraft is unavailable. This will ensure communications capabilities and also enhance security," House Sergeant at Arms Bill Livingood said in a statement. "I made the recommendation to use military aircraft based upon the need to provide necessary levels of security for ranking national leaders, such as the Speaker."
 
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McQ,

Did you see this:

Tomorrow morning, Speaker Nancy Pelosi will step out of her Georgetown home and into a government-owned black Chevy Tahoe sport-utility vehicle.

That gas-guzzling truck will take her directly to the Rayburn House Office Building – where she will be the lead witness on a global warming hearing held by Science and Technology Committee.

The Tahoe emits 11 tons of greenhouse gases per year, according to U.S. Department of Energy. The agency ranks it as “one of the worst” vehicles on the road, according to www.fueleconomy.gov, a non-partisan government web site.


The 2005 Chevy Tahoe 1500 4WD gets 15 miles per gallon in city driving.

Rep. Pelosi’s vehicle is also exempt from federal gasoline taxes.

Rep. Pelosi voted to raise the federal gasoline tax five times in the past six years.

Rep. Pelosi is chauffeured by the U.S. Capitol police, a legislative-branch force which owns a fleet of Chevy Tahoe SUVs.

“Everyone had a hunch that Speaker Pelosi was a limousine liberal, but the hypocrisy in this takes it to a whole new level,” Brad Dayspring, a spokesman for the Republican Study Committee, told Pajamas Media.

Only yesterday, Speaker Pelosi was faulted for demanding personal use of a U.S. Air Force C-32 jet, the size of Boeing 757-200, that emits some 50 tons of greenhouse gases for every round trip to her San Francisco home.

In addition to Speaker Pelosi, House Majority leader Steny Hoyer, House Minority leader John Boehner, as well as the Democratic (Rep. James Clyburn) and Republican party (Rep. Roy Blunt) whips also enjoy free SUV service – but none of them are burning tax-free gasoline to go to a global warming hearing tomorrow.
 
Written By: A fine scotch
URL: http://
I guess what strikes me about this story is that I never knew Hastert was given a military plane at all, I don’t ever recall it being reported, but the media is giving it play about Pelosi.

Perhaps it would seem less like conservative media bias if there had been stories about Hastert jetting around in a G3 on the taxpayers dime before they came out with stories about Pelosi jetting around on more taxpayers dimes.

Hastert got a plane that could get him home without refueling, in the absence of stories about his travels, I can’t help but assume that he would have been able to have any plane he wanted without a peep in the media, and Pelosi’s requests would have been made public regardless of whether they were unreasonable or not.

Also, there is another plane, the military variation of the G5 that is smaller than the C32 but has enough range to get her to California without refueling.

Her office indicated that a smaller plane with enough range would be fine.

I am saying that this is making a mountain out of a molehill becuase not even a molehill was made of Haster flying the G3.

Cap
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
I guess what strikes me about this story is that I never knew Hastert was given a military plane at all, I don’t ever recall it being reported, but the media is giving it play about Pelosi.
The point isn’t that Pelosi is being given access to a military plane, like Hastert. That’s not news, and it wasn’t news when Hastert was Speaker. McQ said as much: it makes perfect sense that the Speaker of the House have access to military transport.

The point is that Pelosi is insisting on a much bigger plane than she really needs, and her stated reasons for wanting it don’t make any sense.
 
Written By: steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
Hastert got a plane that could get him home without refueling, in the absence of stories about his travels, I can’t help but assume that he would have been able to have any plane he wanted without a peep in the media, and Pelosi’s requests would have been made public regardless of whether they were unreasonable or not.
It isn’t about he or she having a plane. As I pointed out that’s a given. She should have a plane.

Instead the story is about her deciding that the same plane Hastert had wasn’t good enough due to a bogus reason (security problems with refueling?) and claiming she wanted the bigger plane for that reason only when, in fact, it appears she really wants that plane for other reasons (flying supporters).

That’s news, especially from someone who deplored waste, arrogance and abuse within the ranks of her political rivals when they were in power.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Cap - I think the reason this is getting so much attention is in the above post by A fine Scotch. The hypocrisy of Pelosi and her ilk draws the attention.

And did you actually write ’conservative media bias’??? You left off the humor/snark tag I believe....
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
The C-32 can cost up to $22,000 an hour to operate while the C-20 obviously costs much less to operate.
And think of the global warming emissions!!!
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
A fine scotch-

Don’t you realize that the Speaker of the House needs a 4WD Tahoe? After all, they’re safer in a crash, and we can’t have our politicians getting injured if their drivers hit something...

It’s only us [scoff]citizens[/scoff] that should be forced to drive tiny little light cars, because it doesn’t matter if we die in crashes. We’re not legislators, after all...
 
Written By: Brad Warbiany
URL: http://unrepentantindividual.com/
Brad,

I also really enjoyed the fact that her gas is tax exempt and she’s voted to raise the gas tax five times in six years.

Do as I say, not as I do!
 
Written By: A fine scotch
URL: http://
You guys are profoundly seriously. I mean, a whole $22,000 an hour to fly the person second in lone to the presidency around. Ridiculous!

This plane should be reserved for critical government employees only, such as Laura Bush and the Secretary of Commerce.

This Pelosi-ite boondoogle could cost on the order of a million dollars! It is critically important that we spend all of our time investigating this issue. Other things, such as the 343 tons of cash we have shipped into Iraq, hundreds of millions of which were misused or unaccounted for, are not nearly as important.

Keep up the fine work.
 
Written By: Andy
URL: http://
Everybody riding in a government owned vehicle is riding with "gas tax exempt" gas. Fueling is done with a GSA credit card, and when the bill is sent from the accepting company, the taxes are removed.

I think the point was the irony of riding in a gas hog, and paying less for gas (which encourages consumption) to a "Global Warming" conference.

Cap, be honest. Do you think that, lacking the mountain/molehill publicity, that she *wouldn’t* be riding a C32 with "supporters" (read: large campaign contributors)?

Keep an eye on this one. If the Dems control Congress for two more terms, or take the Presidency in ’08, she’ll be riding that big plane, because, at that point, the Pentagon will have an indication that they’re going to have to kiss butt with the Dems to "get along".
 
Written By: bud
URL: http://
This Pelosi-ite boondoogle could cost on the order of a million dollars! It is critically important that we spend all of our time investigating this issue. Other things, such as the 343 tons of cash we have shipped into Iraq, hundreds of millions of which were misused or unaccounted for, are not nearly as important.
Translation: "It doesn’t count when it’s our people doing the waste, fraud and abuse."
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Translation: "It doesn’t count when it’s our people doing the waste, fraud and abuse."

Reiteration: Your people, including Laura Bush, fly around in the $22,000 an hour plane already. And I never heard a peep about it. In other words, you are only concerned about such things to score partisan points. How noble of you!

Also, yes, any sensible person should be more concerned with $4 billion in fraudulent or unaccounted for spending than a million or so dollars a year.

The volume of outrage in the right wing blogosphere about Pelosi-plane-gate is about two orders of magnitude greater than the concern over hundreds of millions of dollars that have probably gone to buy weapons that kill young Americans in Iraq. Again, you are so profoundly serious.

I await your diatribe against excessive copier use by Democratic staffers.
 
Written By: Andy
URL: http://
Yeah Andy, Hillary never went no-where when she was First Lady did she.

Let us know when Nancy becomes First Lady, would you?

Doesn’t matter that there’s already an example of the sort of aircraft accomodations the Speaker of the House receives does it?
Nope.
So let’s move the goal posts and drag in all kinds of other crap (which really has no bearing on the discussion at hand).
Also, yes, any sensible person should be more concerned with $4 billion in fraudulent or unaccounted for spending than a million or so dollars a year.
Yeah! A million here, a million there, chump change! Fugedaboudit!
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Your people, including Laura Bush, fly around in the $22,000 an hour plane already. And I never heard a peep about it. In other words, you are only concerned about such things to score partisan points. How noble of you!
And, of course, she’s the first and only first lady ever to do that, correct? Look up the term "straw man" will you?
Also, yes, any sensible person should be more concerned with $4 billion in fraudulent or unaccounted for spending than a million or so dollars a year.
You can’t quite wrap your head around the fact that the woman who so denounced waste, fraud and abuse among her political rivals is now engaging in waste, fraud and abuse since assuming power, can you?

You keep trying desperately to change the subject (uh, that’s called a "red herring" - you should be proud, two logical fallacies in one comment).
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
The C-32 is also the replacement Air Force One when the VC-25 won’t fit into where the president is going. And as such is equiped with all the nifty trapings of the office (private stateroom, etc).

Seems like the C-37 is a perfect fit. We even have more of them than the C-20.
 
Written By: Ryan
URL: http://
From the original article quoted in the post:
it may be that Pelosi and her aides were shown a C-37A and didn’t understand that it was different and more potent than a C-20, since they look so similar.
This comment by an unnamed military source is getting dangerously close to "girls don’t know airplanes".
 
Written By: D
URL: http://
Perhaps it would seem less like conservative media bias . . .
It’s left wing media bias, Cap. Quit lying.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
I knew it! A Clinton is at fault!

BTW, pointing out logical fallacies is sooooooo 2006.

The point is that if Nancy is being hypocritical about waste, fraud, and abuse (which she is in many ways, but this is not a particularly egregious example), then what are you if you are spending more time being concerned with a hypocritical politician (oh my god!) than you are with much larger scale fraud.

If you think hypocrisy is more important than hundreds of millions of dollars funding insurgent and sectarian warfare, then you are simply a bad judge of the relative important of political issues.

Pelosi: Hypocrite, probably corrupt.
You: Not able judge the obvious importance of issues. Not obviously unintelligent, but not particularly wise.
 
Written By: Andy
URL: http://
Heh - I guess you missed previous posts where McQ has complained about waste, mismangement, and fraud in Iraq.

No surprise there.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
mangement?
errrr, yeah.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
BTW, pointing out logical fallacies is sooooooo 2006.
So’s committing them.
The point is that if Nancy is being hypocritical about waste, fraud, and abuse (which she is in many ways, but this is not a particularly egregious example), then what are you if you are spending more time being concerned with a hypocritical politician (oh my god!) than you are with much larger scale fraud.
Not very familiar with this blog, are you Andy?

I love it when someone beams in, comments on one post and then attempts to brand the blog based onb their ignorance about the place.

But thanks for stopping by.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
D- "This comment by an unnamed military source is getting dangerously close to "girls don’t know airplanes"."

I just took a look at the C-20 and C-37A on Google images. From a cursory glance, they look like the same plane. And that’s from someone like me, who spent most of ages 12-15 with the desire of becoming an Air Force test pilot. They look quite similar.
 
Written By: Brad Warbiany
URL: http://unrepentantindividual.com/
I just took a look at the C-20 and C-37A on Google images
[snark]
What, you mean you can’t visualize it just by hearing the model number?!!!!
I’m sure, speaking for the rest of the guys here, that you’re just going to have to try harder Brad!
[really snarky] I know I knew exactly the difference without having actually look at photos, and I’m sure most of the others did too!
Not being able to do that would only be something a girl would be guilty of!
[/really snarky]
[/snark]
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
The point is that Pelosi is insisting on a much bigger plane than she really needs, and her stated reasons for wanting it don’t make any sense.
Her stated reason, primarily, is that she wanted to get to CA without having to stop, just like Hastert did.

Her office had already indicated that a smaller plane with the necessary range, would be fine.

Case closed.

But we still never heard about Haster flying around in a G3, which you’d think a liberal media would whine to high heaven about???
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
"Not very familiar with this blog, are you Andy?"

Quite familiar, actually.

It’s a bunch of pretend libertarians who complain about infringements upon liberty only when it’s by Democrats, and who have taken some of the most illiberal (in the classical sense) positions on war and executive power, and always seem to minimize the transgressions of Republicans. You’d be a lot more credible if you dropped the libertarian pretense.

It’s sort of the counter to Ron Paul, who is a libertarian but labels himself as a Republican for political purposes.
 
Written By: Andy
URL: http://
Nancy Pelosi being forced to land at a lonely Air Force airstrip in Flyover America surrounded by nothing but airman in the middle of the night? I think that is her biggest security risk.

Frankly, if airport security isn’t good enough for the Speaker of the House (either party) then the solution is to make commercial air travel safer, not to remove them from commercial air travel.
 
Written By: Phelps
URL: http://www.donotremove.net
It’s a bunch of pretend libertarians who complain about infringements upon liberty only when it’s by Democrats, and who have taken some of the most illiberal (in the classical sense) positions on war and executive power, and always seem to minimize the transgressions of Republicans. You’d be a lot more credible if you dropped the libertarian pretense.
Heh ... right Andy. You just shot whatever lingering credibility you might have had in the head.

Have a nice day.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Her stated reason, primarily, is that she wanted to get to CA without having to stop, just like Hastert did.
And there’s no legitimate reason for having to fly to CA nonstop, other than she wants to. Hastert could fly to his home state nonstop simply because it was closer to Washington, not because he demanded it.

Pelosi’s stated reason for wanting this was security, which, as McQ pointed out, doesn’t make sense.

Had Hastert asked for a more costly plane than he needed, I’m sure it would have been news. But he didn’t, and it wasn’t.

Case closed.
 
Written By: steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
The single greatest political attribute of many libertarians is their bitter, bitter humor. Hit & Run is often incredibly amusing. But it’s almost impossible to have a sense of humor when you’re a partisan apologist. This goes for both the deathly unfunny left and right wing sites. Unfortunately, you guys are falling deep into the unfunny camp.
 
Written By: Andy
URL: http://
without having to stop, just like Hastert did
Bogus argument.

So, Nancy can’t have a full lunch or whatever, because Hastert was never in the air long enough to have one when he flew. Is that going to be the level you’re playing at with this?


 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Unfortunately, you guys are falling deep into the unfunny camp.
You’re just compelled to keep trying, aren’t you Andy?

First Law of Holes. Find it. Review it. Put it to work for yourself.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
And there’s no legitimate reason for having to fly to CA nonstop, other than she wants to. Hastert could fly to his home state nonstop simply because it was closer to Washington, not because he demanded it.
You have no idea whether this is true or not, there was no information released about what Haster may or may not have requested, declined, anything, because the Executive Branch did not bother making it public information or the so-called liberal media didn’t think that a Speaker flying in a government G3 was newsworthy.
Pelosi’s stated reason for wanting this was security, which, as McQ pointed out, doesn’t make sense.
You may not think it is worth the extra expense for her NOT to have to stop, but that’s your opinion, it DOES make sense, you don’t agree that it is worth the difference.
Had Hastert asked for a more costly plane than he needed, I’m sure it would have been news. But he didn’t, and it wasn’t.
How would you even know if he had, the Executuve Branch would not have people talking to the press about the REPUBLICAN Speaker’s transportation requests, so how could it become news?

Pelosi’s mountain was Hastert’s molehill

Cap
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
If you think hypocrisy is more important than hundreds of millions of dollars funding insurgent and sectarian warfare, then you are simply a bad judge of the relative important of political issues.

Pelosi: Hypocrite, probably corrupt.
You: Not able judge the obvious importance of issues. Not obviously unintelligent, but not particularly wise.
I don’t see hypocracy as a particularly significant evil, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth pointing out Pelosi’s.

And the "hundreds of millions of dollars funding insurgent and sectarian warfare" may be a bigger problem, but the solution isn’t as simple. What proof do you have that "hundreds of millions of dollars" are used in this way in Iraq? The insurgents sure don’t seem to get much bang for the buck . . .
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
You have no idea whether this is true or not, there was no information released about what Haster may or may not have requested, declined, anything, because the Executive Branch did not bother making it public information or the so-called liberal media didn’t think that a Speaker flying in a government G3 was newsworthy.
Wow. Left wing reading comprehension . . .
You may not think it is worth the extra expense for her NOT to have to stop, but that’s your opinion, it DOES make sense, you don’t agree that it is worth the difference.
Again . . . reading comprehension. Sometimes it’s better to be quite . . .
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Pelosi’s stated reason for wanting this was security, which, as McQ pointed out, doesn’t make sense.
You may not think it is worth the extra expense for her NOT to have to stop, but that’s your opinion, it DOES make sense
It Does?

Are you telling me the Speaker of the House needs to worry about security landing at United State Air Force Bases located somewhere between Washington DC and San Fransisco?

If she needs to worry about security on an Air Force base then she probably should ask for fighter escort as well, maybe an AWACS plane just to be sure, and she’d better not actually go to her house when she lands in California.
It could be a security risk!

 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
the so-called liberal media didn’t think that a Speaker flying in a government G3 was newsworthy.
Right, and Pelosi flying around in a G3 wouldn’t have been newsworthy, either. I don’t see any hint of media bias, despite your protestations.
You may not think it is worth the extra expense for her NOT to have to stop, but that’s your opinion, it DOES make sense, you don’t agree that it is worth the difference.
I was talking about security, not expense. Pelosi said she wanted to fly nonstop for security reasons. As looker pointed out, if the Speaker of the House stopping at an Air Force Base in the contiguous United States is at risk, then God help us all.

You’re trying to prove some kind of right-wing bias in the media, and you’re doing a crummy job of it.

I don’t think that Pelosi’s real reason for wanting a bigger jet was security concerns. (If it was, then she’s too stupid to be holding public office.) I think that she was back-pedalling once word got out that she was being a bit more extravagant than her predecessor. If she takes a smaller plane, then this all goes away, but it is clearly an example of the sense of entitlement that permeates government.

Oh, if you think Hastert flying a G3 was a bad thing, please provide the readers here with the following information:

1. The air miles between Washington D.C. and any city in Illinois.
2. A list of all military transports with a range less than the above number

I’m guessing that you won’t find many transports with such a limited range, but I don’t know this for certain.
 
Written By: steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
McQ,

I think your snarky reply of Andy not being familiar with the blog went over his head. He was not able to deduce that you were saying you have complained about such things by Republicans. Low reading comprehension is an issue with many people and I think you should spend a great deal more time being explicit and careful in how you approach such poor souls.

Definitely don’t tell him to search your archives for examples, because such a task would likely lead him to feel inadequate, which would be a very insensitive thing for you to do.

I suggest you e-mail Shark and get tips on how to graciously respond to such difficulties, if he is not available Michael Wade or Bithead could help.
 
Written By: Lance
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
Cap - your claim seems to be that the commentors and bloggers here wouldn’t have gripped if a Republican had been found p*ssing away tax dollars.

Do you actually read what’s posted on this site very often?
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
I think your snarky reply of Andy not being familiar with the blog went over his head.
Boy that would be a surprise.

Andy thinks a lot of himself but he’s a stereotypical troll. First show up and tell everyone how screwed up their opinion is and how great yours is.

Then, when you get your a** handed to you, resort to calling those who write the blog names and other writing other infantile things.

I mean how many thousands of times do you have to see that to immediately write someone like that off and begin poking fun at them? Which brings us to this:
I suggest you e-mail Shark and get tips on how to graciously respond to such difficulties ...
I’m afraid old Shark would have swallowed him whole, but then asking Shark about gracious replies is akin to asking Kos about voting Republican. Neither is programed for such activities.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
I do think a lot of myself, because I’m typically correct, instead of being a reactionary tool of the right wing noise machine. Of course, this issue, like so many others, appears to be quite different from how Republican blogs, like QandO (look, we’re SO libertarian!) have represented it.

The House Sergeant at Arms was the one who made the inital recommendation, based on security considerations, for a plane that could fly non-stop:
STATEMENT BY SERGEANT AT ARMS

In December 2006, I advised Speaker Pelosi that the US Air Force had made an airplane available to Speaker Hastert for security and communications purposes following September 11, 2001.

I told Speaker Pelosi that Speaker Hastert used the Air Force plane for travel to and from his district, however, I was uncertain of the rules and guidelines governing use of the plane. I offered to call the U.S. Air Force and Department of Defense to seek clarification of the guidelines.

Subsequently, several members of the Speaker’s staff and members of the Office of the Sergeant at Arms met with representatives from the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the U.S. Air Force liaison office to discuss the rules and guidelines which governed Speaker Hastert’s use of a plane. Several questions were posed to the Air Force and we are awaiting a response.
And the clarification:
For Immediate Release

February 8, 2007

As the Sergeant at Arms, I have the responsibility to ensure the security of the members of the House of Representatives, to include the Speaker of the House. The Speaker requires additional precautions due to her responsibilities as the leader of the House and her Constitutional position as second in the line of succession to the presidency.

In a post 9/11 threat environment, it is reasonable and prudent to provide military aircraft to the Speaker for official travel between Washington and her district. The practice began with Speaker Hastert and I have recommended that it continue with Speaker Pelosi. The fact that Speaker Pelosi lives in California compelled me to request an aircraft that is capable of making non-stop flights for security purposes, unless such an aircraft is unavailable. This will ensure communications capabilities and also enhance security. I made the recommendation to use military aircraft based upon the need to provide necessary levels of security for ranking national leaders, such as the Speaker. I regret that an issue that is exclusively considered and decided in a security context has evolved into a political issue.
Keep up the good work!
 
Written By: Andy
URL: http://
The House Sergeant at Arms was the one who made the inital recommendation, based on security considerations
OK, so the House Sergeant at Arms is the idiot and the Speaker didn’t bother to override his recommendation.

IMO, any individual of our elected leadership is replaceable. That’s why we have elections.

 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
It’s left wing media bias, Cap. Quit lying.
You linked to this...
A Measure of Media Bias
Tim Groseclose
Department of Political Science
UCLA
Jeff Milyo
Department of Economics
University of Missouri
December 2004
Here’s what that liberal rag, The Wall Street Journal had to say about this "study"....

Dow Jones responds to UCLA media bias "study"

Statement by a spokesman for Dow Jones and Co.:

The Wall Street Journal’s news coverage is relentlessly neutral. Of that, we are confident.

By contrast, the research technique used in this study hardly inspires confidence. In fact, it is logically suspect and simply baffling in some of its details.

First, its measure of media bias consists entirely of counting the number of mentions of, or quotes from, various think tanks that the researchers determine to be "liberal" or “conservative." By this logic, a mention of Al Qaeda in a story suggests the newspaper endorses its views, which is obviously not the case. And if a think tank is explicitly labeled “liberal” or “conservative” within a story to provide context to readers, that example doesn’t count at all. The researchers simply threw out such mentions.

Second, the universe of think tanks and policy groups in the study hardly covers the universe of institutions with which Wall Street Journal reporters come into contact. What are we to make of the validity of a list of important policy groups that doesn’t include, say, the Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, the AFL-CIO or the Concord Coalition, but that does include People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals? Moreover, the ranking the study gives to some of the groups on the list is simply bizarre. How seriously are we to take a system that ranks the American Civil Liberties Union slightly to the right of center, and that ranks the RAND Corp. as more liberal than Amnesty International? Indeed, the more frequently a media outlet quotes the ACLU in this study, the more conservative its alleged bias.

Third, the reader of this report has to travel all the way Table III on page 57 to discover that the researchers’ "study" of the content of The Wall Street Journal covers exactly FOUR MONTHS in 2002, while the period examined for CBS News covers more than 12 years, and National Public Radio’s content is examined for more than 11 years. This huge analytical flaw results in an assessment based on comparative citings during vastly differing time periods, when the relative newsworthiness of various institutions could vary widely. Thus, Time magazine is “studied” for about two years, while U.S. News and World Report is examined for eight years. Indeed, the periods of time covered for the Journal, the Washington Post and the Washington Times are so brief that as to suggest that they were simply thrown into the mix as an afterthought. Yet the researchers provide those findings the same weight as all the others, without bothering to explain that in any meaningful way to the study’s readers.

Suffice it to say that “research” of this variety would be unlikely to warrant a mention at all in any Wall Street Journal story.




 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
Cap - your claim seems to be that the commentors and bloggers here wouldn’t have gripped if a Republican had been found p*ssing away tax dollars.

Do you actually read what’s posted on this site very often?
Actually, I do, and it is heavily slanted toward favoring Republicans, but that’s not my issue, blogs are by nature opinions not jounrnalism. My "gripe" is the MSM playing this story for days now, CNN, NBC, MSNBC, FOX, etc... and there were never stories about Hastert flying the G3. I am sure that some liberals tried to get the media to play this story, but Republicans get their stories planted. It starts with a story on some obscure rag, then it’s picked up by the Washington Times, and then played by FOX, and the rest of the MSM follows along.

This story was planted by DOD, if it was going to be picked up, it should been fact checked, because there is no evidence that Pelosi has made any claims of requirements other than wanting to make it to California without refueling.

That QandO picked this up is SOP, and I don’t fault QandO for having an anti-Pelosi bias, but the MSM just regurgitated this garbage story.

The John Edwards blogging story is the same tactic, plant a nothing story, let it echo around for a couple days, and voila, you have a manufactured scandal.

I mean for crying out loud, what kind of a journalist would repeat the accusations of bigotry from a guy who has uttered these gems...
"People don’t trust the Muslims when it comes to liberty." [MSNBC’s Scarborough Country, 2/9/06]

"Name for me a book publishing company in this country, particularly in New York, which would allow you to publish a book which would tell the truth about the gay death style." [MSNBC’s Scarborough Country, 2/27/04]
"The gay community has yet to apologize to straight people for all the damage that they have done." [MSNBC’s Scarborough Country, 4/11/05]
Addressing former Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) in a press release, Donohue said: "[W]hy didn’t you just smack the clergyman in the face? After all, most 15-year-old teenage boys wouldn’t allow themselves to be molested. So why did you?" [10/4/06]

"I’m saying if a Catholic votes for Kerry because they support him on abortion rights, that is to cooperate in evil." [MSNBC’s Hardball, 10/21/04]
"We’ve already won. Who really cares what Hollywood thinks? All these hacks come out there. Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular. It’s not a secret, OK? And I’m not afraid to say it. ... Hollywood likes anal sex. They like to see the public square without nativity scenes. I like families. I like children. They like abortions. I believe in traditional values and restraint. They believe in libertinism. We have nothing in common. But you know what? The culture war has been ongoing for a long time. Their side has lost." [MSNBC’s Scarborough Country, 12/8/04]

"Well, look, there are people in Hollywood, not all of them, but there are some people who are nothing more than harlots. They will do anything for the buck. They wouldn’t care. If you asked them to sodomize their own mother in a movie, they would do so, and they would do it with a smile on their face." [MSNBC’s Scarborough Country, 2/9/06]
And who could take a guy seriously after he responded to actual past written examples of anti-Catholic bigotry from right wingers as follows (this has a Swift Vets tie in too, oh goody)...
In 2004, Media Matters first detailed anti-Catholic comments made by Jerome Corsi, who, as co-author of Unfit for Command (Regnery, 2004), was one of the ringleaders of the smear campaign by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth against Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) — a Catholic presidential candidate. Among Corsi’s bigoted comments:

CORSI: "So this is what the last days of the Catholic Church are going to look like. Buggering boys undermines the moral base and the laywers rip the gold off the Vatican altars. We may get one more Pope, when this senile one dies, but that’s probably about it."
CORSI: "Boy buggering in both Islam and Catholicism is okay with the Pope as long as it isn’t reported by the liberal press."
Corsi also called Islam "a worthless, dangerous Satanic religion," and a "cancer that destroys the body it infects" and claimed of Muslims: "RAGHEADS are Boy-Bumpers as clearly as they are Women-Haters — it all goes together."

Despite the uproar surrounding Corsi’s comments, Donohue apparently remained silent at the time, and subsequently dismissed the comments as "quips." A search of the Nexis database yields no examples of Donohue denouncing — or even commenting on — Corsi’s anti-Catholic remarks.

A search of the Catholic League’s website for "Corsi" yields only one result — a 2006 news release in which Donohue defended Corsi (who is referred to in the release as "Jerry Corsi"). The Catholic League release stated, "Corsi once made anti-Catholic jokes on the Internet, and later apologized for doing so," and quoted Donohue describing Corsi as "someone who once made anti-Catholic quips for which he has long apologized."
So let’s compare, shall we...
Catholic League president Bill Donohue is demanding that presidential hopeful John Edwards fire....
The worst of the John Edwards blogger’s comments certainly show disdain for the church and they use graphic language (as if we should care?)...
“Writing on the Pandagon blogsite, December 26, 2006, Amanda Marcotte wrote that ‘the Catholic church is not about to let something like compassion for girls get in the way of using the state as an instrument to force women to bear more tithing Catholics.’ On October 9, 2006, she said that ‘the Pope’s gotta tell women who give birth to stillborns that their babies are cast into Satan’s maw.’ On the same day she wrote that ‘it’s going to be bad PR for the church, so you can sort of see why the Pope is dragging ass.’ And on June 14, 2006, she offered the following Q&A: ‘What if Mary had taken Plan B after the Lord filled her with his (you can go see the Catholic League statement to see the rest of this sentence, it’s graphic),’ to which she replied, ‘You’d have to justify your misogyny with another ancient mythology.’



“On November 21, 2006, Melissa McEwan said on AlterNet that ‘some of Christianity’s most prominent leaders—including the Pope—regularly speak out against gay tolerance.’ On November 1, 2006, on her blogspot Shakespeare’s Sister, she referred to President Bush’s ‘wingnut Christofascist base’ when lashing out against religious conservatives. On February 21, 2006, she attacked religious conservatives again, this time saying, ‘What don’t you lousy motherf—-ers understand about keeping your noses out of our britches, our beds, and our families?’ Currently, the very first entry under ‘Greatest Hits’ on her website [where she brags about being appointed to Edwards’ campaign] is titled, ‘On C—-s’. In her article she boasts that she is the ‘Queen C—- of F—k Mountain.’
And here’s Corsi... "Corsi once made anti-Catholic jokes on the Internet, and later apologized for doing so," and quoted Donohue describing Corsi as "someone who once made anti-Catholic quips for which he has long apologized."
CORSI: "So this is what the last days of the Catholic Church are going to look like. Buggering boys undermines the moral base and the laywers rip the gold off the Vatican altars. We may get one more Pope, when this senile one dies, but that’s probably about it."
You people....

Cap


 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
Way to throw the kitchen sink into the argument, Cap!

Oh, by the way...you keep making this point:
and there were never stories about Hastert flying the G3.
As I said before, nobody would have given a crap about Pelosi flying in a G3, either. So there’s no story there, even though you think it proves some kind of right-wing media bias.

You’re smarter than this tack, Captin. It really is beneath you.
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
The House Sergeant at Arms was the one who made the inital recommendation, based on security considerations, for a plane that could fly non-stop:
Yup and that was posted in an update before you found your way back here. Uh, you did read the updates, right?

And, of course that doesn’t explain away the so-called "security concerns" excuse or whether she wanted to take supporters on the plane as reported, which are two important points to the story. But, of course, you continue to ignore those.

So keep up the good work, Andy.

 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Yes, facts that support my argument are so damning to my cause.

You claimed that Pelosi was abusing her power. Whether or not there are legitimate security concerns (the expert in charge of House security seemed to think so), Pelosi did not abuse her power in any way.

You’re a run of pipe in the right wing BS distribution system. Quite an achievement!
 
Written By: Andy
URL: http://
Yes, facts that support my argument are so damning to my cause.
Not the point Andy, quit trying to change the subject.
You claimed that Pelosi was abusing her power. Whether or not there are legitimate security concerns (the expert in charge of House security seemed to think so), Pelosi did not abuse her power in any way.
Nonsense. Again, the point you continue to ignore, unsurprisingly, is the request to fly supporters. That is an abuse of power. And whether the "expert in charge of House security" deems her concern legitimate, it doesn’t pass the common sense test.

A secure AF base would add no security threat. So, unless you’re just predisposed to swallow irrational arguments because they fit your argument, it’s not something that is really "supports your argument". Obviously, to an rational observer, that was an excuse, not a reason.
You’re a run of pipe in the right wing BS distribution system. Quite an achievement!
You’re a troll ... and that’s pretty common.

And please, continue to ignore those arguments which don’t fit your predispostion. The hole just keeps getting deeper for you.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
You mean the "request to fly supporters" that came via the RNC? Wow, that’s a substantiated fact. Pelosi has said she would rather fly commercial non-stop.

If you can’t understand the potential need to fly the Speaker possibly across the country as fast as possible after a major government decapitation, I’m not sure how any facts or reasoning will affect your thinking.

The guy in charge of security deemed it necessary. You? You’re a blogger who repeats RNC talking points. I’m going to go with the security guy.

I will also note your lack of outrage regarding a politically motivated leak from the Pentagon concerning travel and security arrangements for the 3rd most important government official.
 
Written By: Andy
URL: http://
If you can’t understand the potential need to fly the Speaker possibly across the country as fast as possible after a major government decapitation, I’m not sure how any facts or reasoning will affect your thinking.
Wow. Just wow.

This is simply the perfect example of your inability to think beyond your partisan bias.

This isn’t about flying the Speaker across the country "as fast as possible after a major government decapitation". This is about routine trips home.

If, in fact, a ’major decapitation’ were to take place, then an alternate aircraft could be designated to get her there as fast as possible.

But nice try at again changing the subject.
The guy in charge of security deemed it necessary. You? You’re a blogger who repeats RNC talking points. I’m going to go with the security guy.
LOL!

Well of course you are. Common sense ... phaaa, overrated, isn’t it?

You’re a joke Andy and you have to almost to China by now.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Yes, McQ, your common sense is far more relevant than what the guy in charge of House security thinks.

This may be a hard concept for your to understand through your RNC-supplied, rose colored glasses, but the reason that the plane is used for routine trips is so that it’s always available, near the Speaker. Since we can’t exactly plan around a terrorist attack, we don’t want to wait for a suitable plane, which may be sitting in Seattle or some AF base in Nevada, to fly out and pick up the Speaker.

Perhaps you plan to preposition long haul aircraft at every potential stop that the Speaker may make? Boy, that sounds like an extremely cost effective solution!

Fess up. Admit it. You’ve been used by the RNC to get out a fake story. Your assumptions were wrong, your aspersions were shown to be foolish, and now you’re simply being a partisan hack.

Not only that, but you don’t seem to think that the security of the Speaker is as important as that of the First Lady or various Secretaries. I wonder if it has anything to do with her party. Hmmmm. You’re so serious about our national security!
 
Written By: Andy
URL: http://
Yes, McQ, your common sense is far more relevant than what the guy in charge of House security thinks.
Heh ... yeah, whatever Andy.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Well, now that your opposing argument has boiled down to a valley girl-ish "whatever," allow me to suggest you graciously cede the argument to the facts and move on.

Or, since you seem to believe that your common sense is superior to the professional expertise of the Congressional security staff, you could submit an application for House Sergeant at Arms.
 
Written By: Andy
URL: http://
When addressing "valley girl" logic it is best to speak their language in the hope they’ll "get it".

Unfortunately, not even that has helped you.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
I think that there seems to be some confusion in the linked story in Update II between a "larger" aircraft (one that can fit all her political supporters, etc.) and an aircraft that has the capacity to fly to SF without refueling. The House Sgt at Arms requested the latter; he did not request a "larger" aircraft.
 
Written By: A.S.
URL: http://
Q was duped again by a planted story.

The original story that came from anonymous sources at the DOD claimed that Pelosi was requesting a luxury 757 to fly to CA with an entourage of staff, family, and political supporters.

The actual story is that the Sgt at Arms requested ANY plane that could get her to CA non-stop if available.

Do extra stops compromise security? More than no extra stops do.

Cap
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
Q was duped again by a planted story.
Right, Cap ... keep on believin’.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Why not just give her a broomstick? It doesn’t need refueling so she can fly nonstop, and it has the advantage of being stealthy, due to its nonmetallic construction. And do not overlook the environmental advantages; no pollution, no use of scarce natural resources, no noise, etc.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Right, Cap ... keep on believin’.
Oh sorry, my mistake, you weren’t duped by a planted story, you pushed it along without concern with the merits of the story.

I think I’m done here, I miss Henke.

Cap
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
I think I’m done here, I miss Henke.
You’ve been done here for quite some time, so why not go see if you can find him?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
"If you can’t understand the potential need to fly the Speaker possibly across the country as fast as possible after a major government decapitation,"

If such a thing ever happens, the last place she would want to be is Washington. The security folks would probably tell her to stay away, as they did to the Pres. on 9/11. There are plenty of mililtary sites near her district with excellent communications facilities, and if necessary there are long-distance military aircraft on the west coast that could be used if necessary.
In any case, there is no reason to get carried away with the idea that a Speaker of the House is so absolutely vital to the security of our great nation. She is another political hack, just like Hastert. The nation will survive or not with or without either of them.


 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
What stunning displays of stupidity.

The discussion about the plane was between the House Sergeant at Arms and the Pentagon. Neither Pelosi or the White House were involved.

Pelosi is quite happy to fly commercial just as she has always done. And that’s her only pressure. If she’s to be flown back and forth, she’d like a direct flight like she’s been getting to date. I’m actually from a "fly-over state" and I understand her request.

It is part of every Congressman’s job to go back and forth between DC and their district. It’s environmentally wise for one Rep to go back and forth than for tens of thousands of constituents to do it - not to mention it’s more fair to less well-off constituents.

Even the White House views this as a "silly story."

Oh, and the ferrying of supporters bit is cut from whole cloth. There are rules on how such planes are used. Immediate family can accompany her but they have to pay for their seats. Other Congressmen can accompany her but they must be approved by the House Ethics Committee.

Thanks to Jack Murtha we’ll see how well those rules have been enforced for the past 6 years...

Lastly, why are so few people asking why the Air Force has a plane kitted out in such luxury? If this place is so chock full of "libertarians" who are supposed interested in government waste
 
Written By: Kevin Lyda
URL: http://
Lastly, why are so few people asking why the Air Force has a plane kitted out in such luxury? If this place is so chock full of "libertarians" who are supposed interested in government waste.
Oh grow up!

It’s "kitted out" that way because we send diplomats and the President, vice president and cabinet members on very important international trips in which they negotiate at a very high level. The idea is to have them arrive both rested and prepared.

What the planes aren’t for is commuter flights for friends and family as a perk.

That was the point.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog

 
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