Lies, Damn Lies, And The News


This is CNN:

FAA furlough reprieve: ‘No fair!’

Millions of travelers frustrated by airport delays may be relieved that Congress did an about-face this week, passing legislation to end the furloughs of FAA air traffic controllers.

But advocates for everyone else directly affected by the so-called sequester are miffed with the selective undoing of what were supposed to be across-the-board cuts.

“We’ve got to save the traveling public but I ask the question about 5,000 children in Texas that will lose Head Start or the millions of seniors or our military families that will lose the support because we’ve got the sequester,” Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a Democrat from Texas, said Friday.

Joseph Beaudoin, a former federal air traffic controller who now heads the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, was glad to see Congress reverse his former colleagues’ furloughs. But he is worried about all the other federal government workers who aren’t so lucky.

“Last month, Congress took action to ensure that furloughs could be avoided for TSA agents, meat inspectors and border patrol agents. However, hundreds of thousands of federal employees providing services across the United States still face furloughs,” Beaudoin said in a statement. “We’ve had enough of the reactionary legislative response. It is time for Washington to come together to agree to smart, sensible approaches to tackling the budget.”

The liberal activist group was more scathing, contending the reversal was “solely to appeal to wealthy contributors who fly frequently.” It issued an online petition to “demand that any emergency legislation to eliminate airline delays caused by the sequester also restore cuts to Head Start, cancer clinics, housing assistance, food pantries, and unemployment insurance.”

Meanwhile, NDD United — a coalition of 3,200 groups focused on public health, medical research, education and other areas — sent a letter to Congress before the FAA reprieve was passed. “Damage control is not a sound fiscal policy. We urge you to reject any efforts to pick favorites and instead fix sequestration, once and for all,” the letter said.

The news media is supposed to inform and enlighten. This article does neither. What it does is misinform, but it is so carefully worded that you really can’t say it’s untrue.

If you didn’t know any better and just skimmed the article you would get the impression that Congress decided to restore the cuts to the FAA caused by the sequester. But this bill does not restore one red cent of spending.

See, what happened is this: Congress and the White House couldn’t agree on a budget. That triggered the Sequester. Contrary to popular belief (thanks to our press corpse) the Sequester is not some draconian plan to shove grandmothers off of cliffs. All it is is a default budget for the federal government.

This default budget reduces some federal spending by about 3 percent compared to last year. Because it only applies to certain parts of the budget, even after the Sequester the total federal budget for this year will be slightly higher than last year.

Even though the Sequester was originally a White House idea, for political reasons Obama wants to make the Sequester cuts as painful as possible, thus causing public pressure that will force the GOP to agree to tax increases and other stuff he wants but they oppose. That is why we heard dire warnings for months before the Sequester finally took effect on March 1st.

The Obama administration claims (based on their interpretation of the law) that their hands are tied and they have no choice but to furlough air traffic controllers, cutting their hours by 10%. What this bill does is give the FAA discretion as how the cuts are implemented so as to keep the ATC’s on the job. In other words, their hands will be untied.

If it was up to me I would have done nothing. Let Obama play his games. It’s been years since I’ve flown anyway (except for trips via the Free Mexican Air Force) But apparently some animals are more equal than others.

It should be noted that the GOP previously proposed a similar bill that would have given Obama more discretion as to how to make all the Sequester cuts, but he threatened to veto it and it never passed. He wants to cause pain. His Sequester policy apparently is “This is gonna hurt you more than it’ll hurt me”.


About Myiq2xu - BA, JD, FJB

I was born and raised in a different country - America. I don't know what this place is.
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60 Responses to Lies, Damn Lies, And The News

  1. the end of his term can’t come soon enough……

  2. fif says:

    Meanwhile, he and Michelle are still having exclusive parties at the WH, taking expensive vacations, and he still hits the golf course regularly – all at taxpayer expense – but the press trumpets pieces about seniors losing their Meals on Wheels.

    • DeniseVB says:

      If it costs the taxpayers 1.4 billion a year to support the First Family, imagine how much we’d save if they cut back 10% ? It was no surprise when I saw the first staff members furloughed were in the WH budget office 😉

  3. myiq2xu says:

    In his weekly address, President Obama said on Saturday that the fix to the air traffic delays is only a “Band-Aid.”

    “But these cuts are scheduled to keep falling across other parts of the government that provide vital services for the American people. And we can’t just keep putting Band-Aids on every cut. It’s not a responsible way to govern,” Obama said. “There is only one way to truly fix the sequester: by replacing it before it causes further damage.”

  4. DeniseVB says:

    The Chicago Tribune gets it 😀 Obama’s upset the sequester just isn’t hurting us enough, so roll out the ATC furlough’s and hold us hostage on the tarmac and damn the Republicans !!!

    The article is pretty tough on him, almost thinking he was hoping for a plane to crash. Wow, from his hometown paper, our President deliberately wants us to hurt. Sicko.

  5. Somebody says:

    Air traffic controllers are still furloughed. You won’t hear that on the news either.

    I don’t know if the bill has been signed or if it is sitting on some desk in the senate because the house and senate version are not exact. It could be it was signed but by the time it was the FAA administrator and others had gone home for the weekend, but the furloughs are still going on.

    I assure you, you won’t hear that in the news. The media is so lazy they won’t bother and if there are delays they’ll blame them on weather or what have you, since they no longer have the FAA twitter feed pointing out every staff shortage. Things are flowing better today because they’ve eased some of the restrictions from on high that were slowing things down for “safety”…….translation the guys that are working today are getting their butts kicked, it’s an ugly day for ATC, at least where I am.

    It could be that there is some information out there being sent to employees but we wouldn’t know. Here’s another little gem. On an employee’s furlough day their access to their official FAA email, as well as employee express (pay and leave statements, schedules, etc) are blocked. I don’t know why it seems really silly. Today and yesterday being a classic case in point with the bill moving through and things being fluid…….dutiful employees checking to see if word came down from on high.

    Just to make sure every employee knew that their access would be blocked on their furlough day the FAA sent a certified letter to each and every employee to inform them of that……pissing away who knows how much money. Not to mention creating work for somebody to block and unblock access.

    Disgusted doesn’t begin to describe how I feel. Never in 31 years have we witnessed such politics. Oh sure things would swing this way or that with changing administrations, but the core mission of ATC was never politiczed until now. I’m not a legal expert, but based on experience of past administrations, I don’t think there was ever a problem with moving money around. Other agencies that are under this current sequestration seem to have the authority to move money around and I don’t buy that the DOT/FAA didn’t. Disgusted indeed.

    • lildoggy4u says:

      The media is all in DC getting their hair done for the big dinner! Wat too busy to report anything except the menu and the glorious hollywood celebs they hope to meet.

    • Propertius says:

      [T]he core mission of ATC was never politiczed until now.

      Not even by Reagan when he broke the union? That seemed pretty political to me at the time.

      • Somebody says:

        I suppose you could look at the firing of the controllers as political, but what you have Reagan do?

        Federal employees do not have the right to strike. They know that, they are informed of that upon employment, it is not a secret. Reagan told the controllers they would be breaking the law if they went on strike, he gave them a chance to return to work and fired the ones that didn’t heed his warning.

        If he had let them continue the strike do you seriously doubt that every federal agency would have followed suit in the coming years?

  6. DeniseVB says:

    I don’t know why this article made me think of myiq, but hey, it’s Dixie Chick Natalie Maines giving political advice 😀

    • 49erDweet (D) says:

      Lord, please let my granddaughters grow up to be as bold as, but a lot smarter than Dixie Chicks..

      • DeniseVB says:

        Funny that US gave her a platform to say “it’s okay to criticize the President” but never ask her how she feels about Obama doubling down on Bush’s “war crimes” mistakes 😀

        This was the same rag-mag in 2008 gave the Obamas a schmoopy lovers cover then gave the Palin family an un-photo-shopped trailer trash cover the following week.

  7. Somebody says:

    Helenk I replied to you in last night’s thread about the PATCO guy you knew and what he said about the strike.

  8. DeniseVB says:

    Sarah tosses another ninja star at Obama for his historic, first sitting President, visit to PP.

  9. DeniseVB says:

    He’s baaaaaack ! Just announced for NYC Mayor 😀

  10. votermom says:

    Via aoshq, remastered anti NRA poster

  11. myiq2xu says:

    Here we go again:

    A Mississippi man whose home and business were searched as part of an investigation into poisoned letters sent to the president and others has been arrested in the case, according to the FBI.

    Everett Dutschke, 41, was arrested about 12:50 a.m. Saturday at his Tupelo home in connection with the letters, FBI spokeswoman Deborah Madden said. The letters, which allegedly contained ricin, were sent last week to President Barack Obama, Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi and earlier to an 80-year-old Mississippi judge, Sadie Holland.

    Madden said Dutschke was arrested without incident. She said additional questions should be directed to the U.S. attorney’s office. The office in Oxford did not immediately respond to messages Saturday.

    Dutschke’s attorney, Lori Nail Basham, did not immediately respond to phone or text messages Saturday.

    Charges in the case were initially filed against an Elvis impersonator but then dropped. Attention then turned to Dutschke, who has ties to the former suspect and the judge and senator.

  12. HELENK says:

    this is something we should write our congress critters to pass

  13. HELENK says:

    does anyone think backtrack will have the class to do this?

  14. Somebody says:


    The FAA furlough have now officially ended. Employees are receiving phone calls telling them to report for duty.

    I guess it takes time to trickle down??? What a clusterfuck, these guys work 24/7 so some of them have missed their shifts and some of them are getting calls part way through their shifts, etc.

    I don’t know how it will be resolved in the end. I don’t know when the official end in DC was. So will the guys told not to come in this morning be charged leave??? Not be paid as per normal furlough or what? What about people being called in to complete partial shifts?

    I just hope nobody is charged with being AWOL. You may not know this but because of the nature of their job they are subject to being AWOL and/or subject to being forced into work if needed. I doubt anybody in the agency has the balls to try and put somebody furloughed and then not furloughed on AWOL, but who knows.

    • Somebody says:

      FYI my husband is in the partial shift category. He was told he could come in or burn leave. We don’t know how the first part of his shift will be handled, but if they charge him leave that is utter BS.

      He’s about to retire so he’s been saving up his leave to cash in when he retires. OPM is woefully behind so it’s taking about 6 months to get a pension check, hence why we prefer to save every hour of leave to help tide us over while we wait for a pension check.

      Like I said a complete clusterfuck.

    • HELENK says:

      are ATC subject to being forced assigned? when they are the youngest qualified and and there is a vacancy with no one else to fill it they are it. Got stuck with that a lot on the railroad

      • Somebody says:

        Technically yes. You can be forced assigned an area, which has to do with what airspace you work, they really try not to do that and rarely do. If they do it usually goes by seniority.

        You can also be forced assigned shifts, which they do a lot. In a technical sense it goes by seniority, but the way the crews and shifts work there is only a small pool to draw from. They wouldn’t switch somebody on a different crew with different days off. My husband has been there 31 years and he routinely has his schedule changed. They have to move them around for a variety of reasons. It may have to do with somebody that is off sick or on maternity leave or it may have to do with a rocket launch or some military exercise where they might need extra staffing.

        As far as being forced to move to another location for an assignment, yes they can do that, but they rarely do. If they force you to move they have to pay for it, so it’s just not something they typically do.

        • HELENK says:

          for me it was: it could be my day off or I was working one shift and someone marked off and if I was qualified on a desk or a territory , if no one senior to me took the job I had to work another shift. If it was my day off and I answered the phone, I was it.
          As a train dispatcher it was on my day off that I could be drafted due to FRA rules on hours worked. or if I had 8 hours off between shifts

        • Somebody says:

          Basically the same thing, except after the brewhaha of those 6 controllers caught sleeping they made it 9 hours between shifts. The 9 hour rule has only been in effect for a couple of years.

          They first ask for volunteers, but if there are no takers they just move you or make you come in on your day off, paying you overtime of course.

    • 49erDweet (D) says:

      Expected that. It is “evidence” and storable, but goes back to the owner when the case is adjudicated and the time for all appeals has run out. Could be decades.

      • Propertius says:

        I’m sure his heirs will welcome the return of a dilapidated, bullet-ridden hull in 20 years.

        • myiq2xu says:

          That boat is worth money. It’s a collector’s item now.

        • Somebody says:

          I agree it is a collector’s item and one day will probably fetch a pretty nice price. The question is how long with the feds keep it, because as the headlines fade so does the boat’s value.

          If I owned that boat, I would have listed it on ebay the next day, LOL!

        • Propertius says:

          Good point – I think I’ll go our and buy an old boat and some ammo.

          Does Boston PD use 9mm, 10mm, or .40?

      • myiq2xu says:

        I doubt that the boat has much evidentiary value. Unless they are worried about getting sued by Shitstain for excessive force.

  15. Somebody says:

    BTW Klown……funny picture of the controllers in the tower, but that would never happen.

    No electronic devices are allowed in the control room, not even cell phones. If you’re caught using any kind of electronic device in the control room it’s a firing offense.

    Although sleeping on the graveyard shift is also a firing offense and a while back there were 6 guys caught doing that. Several of them were eventually fired though…..the rest suddenly sought an early retirement. They all should have been fired, they knew the rules.

  16. HELENK says:

    the backtrack show the usual no class

  17. HELENK says:

    looks like the Nevada mental patient dumping in finally making some headlines. Story on Fox now. outrage from Nev Governor and Suit by California attorney general

  18. Propertius says:

    [I[t’s been years since I’ve flown anyway

    Lucky you. I’ve flown 33 times so far in 2013.

  19. yttik says:

    …… “demand that any emergency legislation to eliminate airline delays caused by the sequester also restore cuts to Head Start, cancer clinics, housing assistance, food pantries, and unemployment insurance….”

    Why do we need cancer clinics? Didn’t the President solve all our medical problems with Obamacare? Hasn’t he “saved or created” enough jobs that we no longer need THREE YEARS of unemployment extensions? Hasn’t he now put a record breaking number of Americans on food stamps, making us less dependent on food pantries?

    • Somebody says:

      Amen yttik, preach it!!

      Hasn’t it been proven again and again that Head Start is in fact not much of a Head Start and a waste of money?

      Unemployment, oy! Just look at parts of Europe where they had these ridiculous unemployment benefits and once benefits were shortened people managed to find work AND the economy began to make a full recovery.

      The cancer clinics I do agree with fixing. Those Medicare and Medicaid patients are still getting their treatment, except they’re getting it in hospitals instead of clinics and it’s costing us more.

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