Thursday, February 08, 2007

Am I going to have to separate you children?

Have you heard about the latest hoo-ha going on in D.C. this week? Apparently certain folks are getting their undies in a bunch because the Speaker of The House wants to be able to fly home. Don't these people have more important things to do? Isn't there a health care crisis in this country and a disastrous war going on?

The gist of it is this: The previous Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert, was provided a plane by the Pentagon in order to fly home to his district in Illinois after September 11th. It was deemed a security issue. Since the Speaker is second in line for the presidency, they thought perhaps we should keep this person safe by making a military plane available for their use. Not a bad idea all around.

C-20 Jet that Hastert used

According to ABC News "Since Sept. 11, 2001, the speaker of the House of Representatives — second in the line of succession to the presidency behind the vice president — has received what the Air Force refers to as "shuttle service," the use of military planes to travel for security reasons. Pelosi's predecessor, Rep. Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., used a C-20, the military version of the Gulf Stream 3 business jet, a twin-engine turbo-fan aircraft that seats 12 passengers with a crew of five. "

That's all well and good if you only live 700 miles from Washington D.C. But what if your home district is over 2,800 miles away? Say you live in...Oh, I don't know...San Francisco? You would need a bigger plane to get you and your necessary staff safely home from time to time. Apparently that's just not Ok with some Republicans and certain members of Pentagon staff.
They're making a big stink out of Nany Pelosi's request for a plane large enough to get her to CA non-stop. She and her staff were shown the options and they seem to have been told that the C-32 (shown on the left) was the only plane available that could make the trip. Of course, this is a much larger plane and is usually used by higher-ups like the first lady. It has all kinds of nifty amenities and whatnot that, admittedly, seem like a bit much for a politician who is trying balance the budget.

A bunch of folks at the Pentagon are pissed off that this woman (who has been very outspoken about their war) has risen to a position of power, a position in which she could very well threaten their plans for said war. Since they are a bunch of mid to high level bureaucrats, they can really make her life difficult, by leaking what sounds like information pertaining to an abuse of that power. I work in a large corporation, I know more about bureaucracies than I ever cared to. All these angry little people have to do is spin the info just so and...voila! you have a new Democratic female Speaker who is requesting special perks at the tax payer's expense. Makes a nice non-story, huh? SO much for bi-partisanship. Personally I think the Republicans must be pretty desperate if they're already resorting to this kind of crap.

This woman just wants to be able to fly non-stop safely from her work in D.C. to her home district in San Fran. Turns out there is another plane called a C-37A that can make the trip.

C-37A jet
"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."

After reading the story (linked above) here's what it sounds like to me.

Nancy Pelosi and Staff: We need a plane that can fly non-stop to California.

Pentagon Bureaucrats: You can either have this teeny tiny plane that will have to stop and refuel at least once each way or this giant swanky plane that can make the trip.

Military Guy: (to Pentagon Bureaucrat) Hey, what about this middle plane that looks like the teeny tiny plane but can easily fly 3,000 miles without stopping?

Penatgon Buerocrat: Shhhhhh! Don't tell that anti-war, peace loving hippie woman about that! We're trying to make her look bad here.

Military Guy: is that helpful?

Nancy Pelosi and Staff: Ok, fine. I just want a plane that can fly me home non-stop.

Penatgon Buerocrat: (rubbing hands together and twirling mustache) Not to worry little lady. Muwa-ha-ha-ha!

Sounds like we are having a major communication problem here, folks.


Marz said...

lol - I love your little skit. Sounds realistic to me.

Missed you today.

Vicki said...

is that all the dirt they can find on her?! hmmmm, perhaps they should all just get back to work -- there oughta be enough to keep them busy w/o squabbling over ridiculous stuff that your play points out quite cleverly. meesh, i love your style. :o)