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Thursday, February 01, 2007
Not sure this is a good idea, Nancy.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but you actually want the U.S. Air Force to provide transportation for you, your staff, family and the CA delegation? Free? At your beck and call?
You actually want the military -- whom you've criticized, threatened and basically undercut -- to provide YOU with free air service? Cross-country? At tax-payer expense?
I have a suggestion. (OK -- scratch that one. Here's another.)
Do what most of us did who worked for the government in Vietnam. Go stand-by. Hop a flight -- any flight -- that is going in the direction you want to go. Rub elbows with the troops who also ride these flights. Carry your own luggage AND pillow; secure your behind in a cargo net or one of those flip-down metal seats. Hear the roar of the engines .... pack your own lunch .... relieve yourself behind a drape in the back of the plane.
Maybe THEN you will gain a better understanding and appreciation of the U.S. military.
But know what? I betcha Bush gives in. Sure, the former SotH traveled with a communications system, but I don't think he demanded that his family, staff and state delegation fly along with him.
I only hope someone keeps an account of the mileage AND who the Air Force is chauffeuring in your name. Maybe we can deduct the incurred expense from the military budget.
Makes me wanna frow'up.
Posted at 08:48 pm by Gull
February 3, 2007 08:00 AM PST
Gag! I thought she was talking about military "hops." What a witch with a capital "B". I hope he doesn't give in, but you're right, he may.
February 5, 2007 09:07 PM PST
Wasnt Hastert immediately given military aircraft right after 9/11. Oh wait, that's not supposed to count 'cause he was a Republican - right??
February 5, 2007 11:14 PM PST
You'll be posting a correction right? I mean you wouldn't want to mislead your readers would you? Oh, and in the future you might want to stick to reliable sources, not the Mooney Times.
February 6, 2007 01:58 AM PST
Sure it "counts," Shack. Even tho' I'd forgotten he was a Republic.
The difference is -- Hastert was provided military air travel for HIMSELF for official travel, NOT for his family, staff or delegation.
As of news yesterday, Pelosi did get the Prez's approval for the same use which Hastert was given!
February 6, 2007 02:22 AM PST
MarkyMarkyMarky!! Why on earth would I post a correction when your comment is so revealing?!?! Duh.
The TRUTH is, Marky -- no one who reads this blog needs an upshoot liberal think-tank hack spreading YOUR version of reliable sources. LOL
On second thought -- I was wrong about one thing. The Prez did not give in to Pelosi's request to give her fam damley and friends free air travel at OUR expense!
Come on back by sometime, y'all heah? The truth is always so ... so ... so liberating, doncha think?
|Honest Republican |
February 6, 2007 05:57 PM PST
Nancy Pelosi has not made a request to use our military jets to travel. The Sargent at Arms of the House made a request on her behalf, since Hastert had regularly using such flights to get home to his district.
February 6, 2007 06:17 PM PST
Thanks for posting. Today I saw an article referencing a response to the request for a larger jet. The Air Force has been instructed to provide Pelosi a larger jet to allow a cross-country flight without stop-overs for re-fueling.
I don't know if Hastert's travel distance required refueling -- thus, a smaller plane may have been sufficient for his needs.
I'll await to learn if the government, indeed, is going to be hauling Pelosi's associates and family on these junkets. That would be a no-no, IMO, and at least subject to reimbursement.
At this time, I can only assume that the more gas you can carry, the fewer stops you need.
Sure makes sense to me.
February 6, 2007 06:37 PM PST
The office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is pressing the Bush administration for routine access to military aircraft for domestic flights, such as trips back to her San Francisco district, according to sources familiar with the discussions.
The sources, who include those in Congress and in the administration, said the Democrat is seeking regular military flights not only for herself and her staff, but also for relatives and for other members of the California delegation. A knowledgeable source called the request "carte blanche for an aircraft any time."
"They are pressing the point of her succession and that the [Department of Defense] needs to play ball with the speaker's needs," one source said. The request originally went to the Pentagon, which then asked the White House to weigh in.
Mrs. Pelosi's request is not new for a speaker, who is second-in-line in presidential succession. A defense source said the speaker's regular access to a military plane began after the September 11, 2001, attacks. Rep. J. Dennis Hastert, Illinois Republican, who was speaker at the time, started using U.S. Air Force planes for domestic travel to and from his district for security reasons. A former Hastert aide said the congressman did not use military planes for political trips or regularly transport his family.
The defense source said Mr. Hastert requested a plane with good communications so he could conduct legislative business. The military flights increased to the point the speaker used a military plane for many, if not all, flights to his Illinois district, the former aide said.
Sources said Mrs. Pelosi's request goes beyond what Mr. Hastert received. The speaker's legal counsel is spearheading the talks.
An aide to Mrs. Pelosi, who asked not to be named, confirmed yesterday that discussions are ongoing with the administration. "It would be done for security reasons," said the aide, adding that the speaker has used military aircraft for at least one trip back to San Francisco.
The aide asserted that the administration was using a Washington Times reporter, in effect, to negotiate with the speaker's office by leaking information about Mrs. Pelosi's request. Asked if the speaker was seeking increased access to military planes, the aide took the question, but did not call back.
A Pentagon spokesman referred questions to Mrs. Pelosi's office. A White House spokeswoman said last night she had no information on the request.
The rules for congressional travel on military aircraft are contained in Defense Department Directive 4515.12.
Congressional access to military passenger jets is generally restricted to official trips abroad, or for domestic flights to military bases or events to which the Pentagon invited the lawmaker. Al Qaeda attacks on the U.S. changed the procedure in the case of the speaker.
U.S. Air Force travel for VIPs such as members of Congress is first-rate. The planes are staffed with stewards who serve meals and tend an open bar. Communications suites allow members to conduct business while traveling.
Such flights are one of Congress' cherished perquisites, providing lawmakers a chance to visit foreign lands at government expense. Official duties are often mixed with sightseeing and fine dining.
But trips to war zones are not junkets. Since the September 11 attacks, the Air Force has flown hundreds of congressional delegations, or "co-dels," to various war theaters. Mrs. Pelosi just completed a fact-finding trip to Afghanistan and Iraq.
Upon her return, she repeated her demand that President Bush not send more troops to Iraq.
February 6, 2007 06:39 PM PST
Here is the link for the article posted BELOW:
Washington Times, Feb. 1, 2007
February 6, 2007 06:42 PM PST
oops ---- make that "the article posted ABOVE!!!!!
And if there is a different version of this scenario, I'd really be interested in seeing the direct link to a published article -- rather than "hearing" what someone else said someone else said about it .....
February 7, 2007 02:28 PM PST
2-7-07 and still waiting on a link to the published article referenced by Honest Republican.
Here's another summary that you may find of interest:
|Broadway Carl |
February 8, 2007 11:17 AM PST
1) The House Sergeant at Arms, not Pelosi, initiated inquiries into the use of military aircraft. House Sergeant at Arms Wilson Livingood, who has served in his position since 1995, released a statement today clarifying the facts. He writes, "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." Additionally, Livingood writes, "I offered to call the U.S. Air Force and Department of Defense to seek clarification of the guidelines [which governed Speaker Hastert's use of a plane]."
2) A larger plane was requested because Hastert's plane required refueling to travel cross-country. The Washington Times says a larger plane was requested to accomodate Pelosi, "her staff, other Members and supporters." That's not true. In fact, the plane used by Speaker Hastert was too small for Pelosi since it "needs to refuel every 2,000 miles and could not make the nonstop haul to California. 'The Air Force determined that [Pelosi's] safety would be best ensured by using a plane that has the fuel capacity to go coast-to-coast,'" a Pelosi spokesperson said.
If this is the case and Pelosi needs a non-stop according to the Air Force, wouldn't it be nice if every member of Congress, Democrat and Republican, who flies home to California every weekend on the taxpayer's dime, had access to the flight. It would save a lot of money wouldn't it?
I hope Speaker Pelosi invites members of Congress to save taxpayer money. It sure would shut people up on yet another non-issue.
February 8, 2007 05:02 PM PST
Now, even Tony Snow is pointing out that this is hooey.
February 8, 2007 05:21 PM PST
Not sure I understand what you mean, John. Please clarify. I've not seen TS's comments.
Last nite in an interview with Greta, Pelosi had the opportunity to refute her contention RE: wanting a larger plane to transport friends and family ..... She didn't.
The letter she recieved from the Pentagon yesterday seems to have resolved the issue -- unless she wishes to appeal it. Or whine some more.
My sentiments haven't changed.
Security is a concern for every Congressman. What about #4, #5, etc., who also stand in line for the presidency? All our elected officials receive bunches of fringe benefits -- most of which are now eliminated by their own policy revisions.
So do they (or Pelosi) now expect taxpayers to pick up the slack -- to provide the fringe benefits they "gave away" in the name of ethics reform? THAT idea (while I'm sure there will be "work arounds" for a few fringes) is pure ca-ca.
|Broadway Carl |
February 8, 2007 05:49 PM PST
Here's part of the Tony Snow story.
"The White House on Thursday defended House Speaker Nancy Pelosi against Republican criticism that her desire to fly in an Air Force transport plane is an extravagance."
"This is a silly story and I think it's been unfair to the speaker," White House spokesman Tony Snow said.
...But Snow on Thursday said the negotiations over Pelosi's transport have been conducted solely by the House sergeant-at-arms and the Pentagon, with no direct involvement by the speaker or her office — or the White House.
|Broadway Carl |
February 8, 2007 05:54 PM PST
One more thing:
MR. SNOW: Well, I'll reiterate our position. The question -- the RNC has put out a statement on Speaker Pelosi and travel arrangements, and I'll just repeat our position, which is, as Speaker of the House, she is entitled to military transport, and that the arrangements, the proper arrangements are being made between the Sergeant of Arms office in the House of Representatives and the U.S. Department of Defense. We think it's appropriate, and so, again, I think this is much ado about not a whole lot. It is important for the Speaker to have this kind of protection and travel. It was certainly appropriate for Speaker Hastert. So we trust that all sides will get this worked out.
Q So, Tony, is it inappropriate for the RNC then to make an issue out of this, and say -- I mean, ridiculing her as "non-stop Nancy, flights of fancy"?
MR. SNOW: Jonathan, you know what my position is. I will let you draw whatever conclusions you may, but our position is pretty clear on this one.
February 8, 2007 06:18 PM PST
I totally agree with TS .... It's been blown out of proportion -- by both "sides." While I'm not a Pelosi fan by any stretch of the imagination, my concern is and has been that she could have ENDED this row if SHE had spoken her desires/needs immediately. I hold her as responsible as her detractors.
PS: ANYTIME you want to clarify or "contest" any post here ------- you're welcome to do so!
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