Fly Air Congress -- All First Class

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machinehead's picture
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 18 2008
Posts: 1077
Fly Air Congress -- All First Class

The Roll Call article says it all --

Last year, lawmakers excoriated the CEOs of the Big Three automakers for traveling to Washington, D.C., by private jet to attend a hearing about a possible bailout of their companies.

But apparently Congress is not philosophically averse to private air travel: At the end of July, the House approved nearly $200 million for the Air Force to buy three elite Gulfstream jets for ferrying top government officials and Members of Congress.

The Air Force had asked for one Gulfstream 550 jet (price tag: about $65 million) as part of an ongoing upgrade of its passenger air service. But the House Appropriations Committee, at its own initiative, added to the 2010 Defense appropriations bill another $132 million for two more airplanes and specified that they be assigned to the D.C.-area units that carry Members of Congress, military brass and top government officials.

Because the Appropriations Committee viewed the additional aircraft as an expansion of an existing Defense Department program, it did not treat the money for two more planes as an earmark, and the legislation does not disclose which Member had requested the additional money.

The Gulfstream G550 is a luxury business jet, which the company advertises as featuring long-range flight capacity that “easily links Washington, D.C., with Dubai, London with Singapore and Tokyo with Paris.” The company’s promotional materials say, “The cabin aboard the G550 combines productivity with exceptional comfort. It features up to four distinct living areas, three temperature zones, a choice of 12 floor plan configurations with seating for up to 18 passengers.”

The version Gulfstream sells to the military is reconfigured for the government with modest accommodations, not the luxury version sold to private customers, said a source familiar with the planes.

Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.) had submitted a request to the Appropriations Committee for a $70 million earmark for one airplane on behalf of Georgia-based Gulfstream, and Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) lists the airplane as one of the earmarks that he was asked to request, though his office said he never made the request to the Appropriations Committee.

“The committee saw fit to fund it at that level” without Kingston’s involvement, his spokesman said.

AH HA HA HA -- you gotta laugh -- private jets for clowns presiding over trillion-dollar deficits as far as the eye can see. If it were HUNDRED-trillion dollar deficits, maybe each klown would get his/her own jet. And so forth.

One is reminded of the latter days of the Soviet parliament, when its esteemed members would retire to their luxurious private dachas in the birch forests north of Moscow -- as long as they faithfully rubber-stamped everything put before them by the Premier and the Party.

Our own Potemkin democracy has devolved into a gauzy, gilded parody of the Soviet Union's latter days. 

It baffles me, comrades -- haven't we sold the corporatists enough rope to hang themselves by now? Or are they planning to hang us?

Davos's picture
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 17 2008
Posts: 3620
Re: Fly Air Congress -- All First Class

planning to hang us? 

No doubt what so ever. Now the military is headed this way for the flu. The flu? The flu which has a slightly higher mortality rate than the yearly flu? Is it remotly possible they are concerned about an economic meltdown worse than last years 1.5t dollar mess since this one will be at least 5t?

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