Friday, January 23, 2009

Thoughts on LaHood Hearing



First -- once again -- I’m outside my area of expertise. I have no special knowledge of Washington‘s ways, nor hardly any insight into the Transportation Department. I did spend a boring two hours listening to Congressman LaHood’s confirmation hearing. As the saying goes, “There’s 142 minutes of my life I’ll never get back.”

Mr. LaHood is evidently a fine, upstanding old man that has done gloriously good things in his 14 years in Congress and never once riled anyone. Just in case you have 142 minutes that you would like to waste, you can watch it here. The hearing actually gets started at the 17 minute mark. Congressman LaHood finally gets to read his statement at the 65 minute mark.

Sometimes, what you don’t see tells you more than what you see. Check the papers (or GoogleNews) this morning and you won’t see anything about Secretary LaHood. Not unless you really dig for it. A perfunctory confirmation hearing and no news on a Department that will (presumably) be spending billions of dollars in the near future. Hmmm.

I did find Secretary LaHood’s comment, that finding an FAA Administrator is proving difficult, rather interesting. I guess finding someone to volunteer as Captain of the Titanic isn’t easy.

In addition, it seems as if the Committee believes NextGen is a foregone conclusion. I wonder how many of the Committee members (much less Secretary LaHood) could give an accurate description of NextGen ? Perhaps no one can. The Wikipedia entry for NextGen is telling.

”NOTE: The information contained in this article is incomplete and out of date. The Federal Aviation Administration will be rewriting and updating this information in the weeks to come.“

Down here in the South, we refer to that as buying a pig in a poke.

Don Brown
January 23, 2009

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