Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Nightmare at 34,000 Feet



Trust me, there is nothing worse than being trapped on an airplane, hurtling westward, towards that den of iniquity known as Las Vegas -- Sin City itself -- and to read these truly frightening words;

”At our first meeting in November, Gingrich laid out for me his latest preoccupation, which, surprisingly, had nothing to do with stimulus or banking. “One of the projects I’m going to launch — we don’t have a name for it yet — is an air-traffic modernization project,” Gingrich told me excitedly. “You can do a space-based air-traffic-control system with half the current number of air-traffic controllers, increase the amount of air traffic in the northeast by 40 percent, allow point-to-point flights without the controllers having to have highways in the sky, and reduce the amount of aviation fuel by 10 percent. So it’s better for the environment, better for the economy. You have far fewer delays in New York, and by the way, you cut the number of unionized air-traffic controllers by 7,000.

“Our thematic is going to be — you’re going to love this — that if you have an air-traffic delay that’s not caused by weather, take the extra time at the airport and call your two senators and your congressman and demand they pass the modernization act,” Gingrich enthused. “Now, notice what I’m doing,” he said, leaning back and smiling. “I’m offering you a better value.” “


I can hardly contain my glee.

Newt Gingrich backing NextGen. It’s like manna falling from blogosphere heaven. I can run with this for weeks and months. Years even. People keep looking at Newt for President. Right now, the Republicans are wandering in the political wilderness and they are searching for their prophet. Please pick Newt.

For those that don’t know, Mr. Gingrich used to be my Congressman. I believe, at one time, Newt Gingrich had more air traffic controllers in his District than any other Congressman. If he wasn’t #1, he had to be close. I consider him nothing more that a political bomb-thrower. He’s extremely intelligent -- and shallow. I consider him the worst kind of politician -- really smart, usually wrong and uncaring about the consequences of his actions. In other words, the perfect guy to try and sell NextGen.

“Our thematic is going to be — you’re going to love this — that if you have an air-traffic delay that’s not caused by weather, take the extra time at the airport and call your two senators and your congressman and demand they pass the modernization act,” Gingrich enthused.

I don’t know if the New York Times Magazine reporter (Matt Bai) loved it, but I did. It epitomizes Newt Gingrich. Politics first and foremost -- at its basest, ugliest level. If you have the time, read the lengthy article.

Newt. Again.

For me, I’ve got to start writing the first of many blogs detailing just how wrong Newt Gingrich is. Having him pick my area of expertise as a place to make a stand is almost more than I can bear. On the road with limited time and limited internet access. Having to travel back to Georgia with all that wasted time on an airplane. It’s a nightmare.

Don Brown
March 3, 2009

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