Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Scrooge McDonalds Serves Up a Nothing Burger

President Donald Trump sought to break the government shutdown impasse Saturday, offering to extend protections for young people brought to the country illegally as children, if Democrats give him $5.7 billion for his long-promised border wall. But Democrats dismissed the offer as non-starter, calling on Trump to re-open the government first.
It was Trump who first tried to yank protection for the Dreamers, because protectng the Dreams was an Obama thing and if there is one certainty with Trump, whatever Obama was for, Trump is against-- which is the reflexive nay-saying of an unrepentant toddler.

Last year, Trump offered to extend temporary protection for the Dreamers for his full $25 billion for the Ignoble Wall of Trump. The Democrats countered with being willing to fund the IWoT if Trump would agree to a path to citizenship for the Dreamers. That smacked too much of amnesty for the Republicans, so the deal died.

Trump seems to be wholly unwilling to climb down from his figure of $5.7 billion, a number he couldn't get to when the Republicans controlled the House of Representatives. He's not getting $5.7 billion for his IWoT; Trump's been trading his claim to be a master negotiator to that of a hostage-taker.

Oh, sure, Republicans and their fellow-travelers bleat that the Democrats are to blame for the shutdown. But remember this:
"I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck, because the people of this country don’t want criminals and people that have lots of problems and drugs pouring into our country. So I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down. I’m not going to blame you for it." -- Trump, 12/11/18
Trump's a real estate guy. He ought to know that not budging from the asking price only works if the other party has to make a deal. The Democrats don't have to make one, since the blame for the shutdown rests with Trump, as he said in his own words.


CenterPuke88 said...

I stand by my prediction, the chaos at KATL on Monday, Feb 4th will cause a solution if one isn’t found first. Amusingly, “exceptions” for staffing to cover training the Atlanta Center and TRACON personnel on the plans for the Super Bowl have been issued. No word on how the reservations lines will get done.

ac2usn said...

Ask Don Brown (Get The Flick) about inadequate training prior to operational implementation. Hint it does not go well.


DTWND said...

Once the staffing levels drop to the point where services have to be curtailed and delays become excessive, then the general public will understand the idiocy of this situation. ‘It doesn’t affect me, why should I care’ will quickly become ‘Hey, somebody needs to do something!’

Post strike, when staffing levels were at a minimum, GA had a limited amount of IFR slots available to them and VFR radar advisories (flight following) were nearly non-existent. If this shutdown lasts more than two months, I would guess that may happen again.


CenterPuke88 said...

Dale, that’s the other thing that is being whispered about. With 18% of the current Controller workforce eligible to retire immediately, and the incentive not to retire early phasing out for those born 1965 or later, this pebble pushed over the edge could have serious knock on impacts. The FAA’s stats for retirement don’t consider a significant increase in retirements that may happen because the math no longer favors staying till age 56 (mandatory retirement). With staying a wash, retiring to start getting pay raises (COLA adjustments) and become immune to this kind of stupid game playing is no longer a non-credible strategy.

Consider the impacts of the sequester a few years ago, with 7-10% or so of the Controller workforce furloughed on any given day, within a week the Congress critters passed legislation to fund the FAA because of delays. That was 7-10% system wide, spread evenly...a 9% staffing reduction (half the eligible Controllers do the math and retire) from an unbalanced selection of facilities would have serious impacts. A few years ago, some major facilities had over half their staffing comprised of eligible to retire Controllers (JFK, for instance), and I doubt much progress has been made.

Staffing is at a 30 year low, and while technology has made us more efficient, there is a huge experience sink that is impacting the system right now as the bulge of Controllers hired post-Reagan retire. Given the low staffing and stop-start training, much of this knowledge is not being passed on, and the various post-war lessons on such events worry me.

CenterPuke88 said...

Update, reports that almost 2% of the current FAA Controller workforce has turned in retirement paperwork “earlier than expected” and resignations have begun. The retirements are people leaving between one and nine years before the FAA planned to replace them, the resignations are people’s replacements simply walking, all while we work with staffing at 30 year lows. Best keep that Mk I eyeball on a swivel.