Healthcare, Unemployment, and Flying Solo

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Good Morning!
After a day off that was part extra rest/part scrambling to keep up…I’m back at it this morning. I’ll explain in a moment.

First, The News:

So the President is going to come out today and say he’s added some of the Republican suggestions to the Healthcare bill, that he wants the vote soon, and that he’s willing to skirt Senate rules to get the bill passed. The gamble for Democrats is that the American voters will see action on Healthcare(even a bill that’s not very popular) is better than doing nothing. They’re also betting they can paint Republicans as obstructionist. That they’ll say no to just about anything.
Republicans are betting that by saying no, voters already angry with Washington will support their stand and vote to replace Dems in the House and Senate.
Here’s the thing. I don’t get the sense that any of this as actually about Healthcare or Helping the American people. The jockeying here is for political positioning. No one is falling all over themselves to actually pass a good bill that makes sense.

So Sen Jim Bunning of KY backed down and allowed a motion to move forward for emergency funding of an extension of unemployment benefits. Bunning objected to the vote because he wanted to know how we are going to pay for it. Not a terrible idea…in fact it’s was the Democrats (The President himself) who passed this new rule last November.
Here’s what happened.
The Dems tried to pass this extension as “emergency” funding. The rules say the Senate can fund something on an Emergency basis without identifying how they’ll pay for it. The hitch is, you have to have “unanimous consent” . So Sen Bunning objected, and the stalemate over the bill ensued.
Bunning’s point is legitimate, and he offered an amendment to pay for the unemployment benefits. His idea was to cut off a tax break to paper companies. Apparently the Paper Lobby is string in congress. The amendment failed and the emergency funding passed.
Bunning may have had a point here but he lost the PR battle. His message probably would have hit home with a lot of Americans…especially the ones on a tight budget because someone in their house is out of a job. The problem is, he was out there on his own. No one in his own party wanted to support him. Bunning ended up looking like a cranky, mean spirited old guy who wanted to kick a bunch of people while they were down.
I see both sides of this…and maybe there was a better way to go about making this point, but Bunning has a point for sure.

Did you hear the tapes of the kid in the control tower at JFK? Some Air traffic controller let his kid up into the control tower on a day when he was out of school. What’s worse, he let the kid get on the radio with airplanes, some 0f them were IN THE AIR!!!!
The worst part of this? This guy isn’t going to get fired…he’s in the Air Traffic Controllers Union. He’ll get a slap on the wrist. The Union should come out right now and say they’re revoking this guy’s membership, that his actions don’t reflect the standard the Union’s other controllers set, and that they don’t believe someone who uses this poor of judgement should be controlling air traffic in this country. It won’t… of course, and that’s the sad part.
The men and women who run air traffic in this country work under some of the most stressful conditions of any workplace. They are also understaffed. I would be irate with my co-worker if they pulled a stunt like this.

Flying Solo
Speaking of flying solo. Sally was out of town on business yesterday which I why I was absent. Just me and the boys for most of the day and I did OK. It’s a lot to think about when you haven’t done it all by yourself before. Thankfully I have a wife who set me up for success, and two great kids. Our only snag came when we were getting ready for bed. I had JT all changed and in his pajamas when he started to FREAK OUT. He was hungry and I was only a couple minutes from feeding him, but he threw a hissy fit as I was trying to change Will. The problem came when he decided he needed to crawl into my lap as he was screaming…he climbed OVER his brother’s head, and tried to grab on to me…meanwhile, Will is now naked, his brother set a pick for him so he saw the opportunity to rollover and try to get away…I made a dive for him while holding up JT so he wouldn’t fall and looked like one of those cartoon characters that catches five things with his hands, feet, and nose…
Everyone was fed, and bedded down for the evening on schedule…They went to sleep quickly…and I did the same.

I’ll see you all next week.

1 Comment

  • Chappy15

    As an airline pilot, I can see the outrage for this incident at JFK, with that said, this is a professional issue not a safety issue. In the control tower there is two controllers watching the flights depart and land. So this child even if they made the wrong call, the other controller would have corrected them. This sort of thing happens from day to day. From a pilots perspective, the public believes that pilots must obey everything controllers say, this is far from true, if a pilot believes a controllers direction is wrong they won't do it if it comprimises safety, they would ask if the controller again what they wanted. In my opinion, firing this controller goes a little to far, my take would be to suspend the controller for a few weeks. The controllers in the NYC area are some of the best, and since the FAA doesn't want to hire new controllers like they should, we can't afford to get rid of good ones. Was this controllers actions unprofessional, absolutely, did it compromise safety? I don't believe it did. The union has already come forward saying it was unprofessional and the public really shouldn't worry about this incident as it really isn't a big deal to those in the aviaiton industry.

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