Two days ago I posted A "near upset" & "Nancy's plane." If you’re not familiar with it, please give at least the “Nancy’s plane” part of it and the comment thread a look before proceeding with this post.
You’ll see the second commenter Dukeeng93, hereafter De93, says:
John - I believe you are mischaracterizing the "plane truth. I know this is NPR but still - there's more and less to the story...I responded
I stand by what I posted.De93 later posted this:
I plan to post on the main page tomorrow using your comment as a starting place.
In the meantime, you and others who think I mischaracterized might want to take a look this ABC News report that was available to you along with the less "fact-filled" NPR report you used:
Be sure to read the description of the C-32.
Speaker Pelosi knew exactly the kind of plane she was asking for.
John - I'll await your post, then. I wonder how the quote "Did you find yourself wondering why she didn't just asked George Sores, Bill Gates, Jay Rockefeller and Duke’s BOT Chair Bob Steel to chip in for it? They could’ve paid for Nancy's plane without touching their next month's lunch money." can be made relevant, for example, to a government official asking for the same rights given her predecessor from another party.Folks, in this post I don’t seek to persuade De93 that I didn’t mischaracterize the plain truth.
I feel like your statement "When Nancy began her reign as Speaker by demanding the taxpayers foot the bill for a jetliner, that was a tip-off the Dems’ congressional leadership might not earn much approval from the American people, wasn't it?" misses the points that her Republican predecessor also had a plane, and that the logistics of the situation and the security concerns - then and now - merited a different aircraft that was requested, NOT BY THE SPEAKER, but by the sergeant at arms of the house (CNN, 2/9/2007 )
Also note in the CNN article above, the White House comes out in *support* of Speaker Pelosi's request, stating, "It is important for the speaker to have this kind of protection and travel." Your ABC story did not have all the information that was presented by NPR the day after and by CNN two days later. Some of the "facts" were akin to the ones that we've heard "kept changing" in other cases of media misinformation.
I look at the line, "Were you surprised Madam Speaker demanded the citizens pay for the plane after she’d promised to eliminate “fat-cat” congressional perks?" and what *I* see is the woman who's second-in-line to the presidency getting secure transport paid for by the government, just as had been provided to her predecessor, with the modification that she lives further away and thus needs a different plane. She did not *specifically* request a particular aircraft; the request was made for her and reiterated by her to have an aircraft wit (sic) appropriate range.
I just want to provide some information De93 didn't and then leave you to decide whether I mischaracterized the truth.
First, what De93 offers is only the final “Pelosi-Dem-MSM” version of a story with a number of “evolving” versions as Pelosi and her allies in Congress and the media scurried to distance themselves from a February 1 Washington Times story based on unnamed Pentagon sources.
The Times story said Pelosi and her aides had been demanding the government provide the military equivalent of a luxury jetliner of a 737 or 757 type for her travel to and from her home district in San Francisco. (I couldn't link to the Times story, but this page attempts to link, and you may have more success than I did. - JinC)
Following publication of the Times story Pelosi and her allies began offering various explanations and accusations.
For instance, just the day before CNN’s Feb. 9 story containing the final “Pelosi-DemMSM” version, ABC News reported:
[…] Pelosi charged that the Pentagon is treating her request for a military plane differently than that of her predecessor because she is a woman.Notice in this version of “Nancy’s plane” story, Pelosi, in contradiction of what De93 says, acknowledges she made a request to the Pentagon. She complains it's not being taken as seriously as it should (by which I think she means complied with immediately) because she’s a woman.
The Speaker told gathered reporters, "As a woman, as a woman speaker of the House, I don't want any less of an opportunity than male speakers when they have served here," implying a sexist undertone to the recent criticism.
"This is something that's very strange that the Department of Defense and the Pentagon, which I have been a constant critic of the war in Iraq...has decided that they will go public about a conversation on an issue that applied to the other Speaker," Pelosi continued, referring to former Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill.
But that’s not all.
Speaker Pelosi finds it “strange” that “a conversation” about her plane request should come to the public’s attention.
Well, yes, how did that happen? Why is the public being let in on what’s going on in Washington?
Nancy wonders if it didn’t happen because she’s been “a constant critic of the war in Iraq.”
For anyone who doesn’t get what was really going on, a little further along in the ABC News report we read:
Late Wednesday afternoon, one of Pelosi's closest allies in the House, Rep. John Murtha, D-Penn., chairman of the key Appropriations Committee subcommittee on defense, told CNN that the Pentagon was making "a mistake" by leaking information unfavorable to the speaker "since she decides on the allocations for the Department of Defense."Good old Jack Murtha. We need to thank him for providing today’s civics lesson.
On the other hand, he sure ruined Pelosi’s and De93’s “the woman as victim” spins.
As for where the White House stood on the question of Nancy’s plane, the following is from the same ABC story:
The White House today was asked if it's "a good idea" for Pelosi to "have a large government military jet available to her to go back and forth to California?"It was the size (and amenities) of the plane, not secure transport for Speaker Pelosi or gender discrimination, which was the issue in the story of Nancy’s plane.
"After Sept. 11, the Department of Defense -- with the consent of the White House -- agreed that the speaker of the House should have military transport," replied White House spokesman Tony Snow. "And so what is going on is that the Department of Defense is going through its rules and regulations and having conversations with the speaker about it. So Speaker Hastert had access to military aircraft and Speaker Pelosi will, too."
The White House deferred all questions about the size of the plane to the Pentagon.
Once more from the ABC News story
There are four types of planes available at the 89th Airlift wing, at nearby Andrews Air Force Base - the C-20 Hastert once used, C-21s which are even smaller than the C-20 and thus not able to fly nonstop to San Francisco, and the fabled C-32. (That’s the jetliner that can take a couple of dozen congressional colleagues and “working” reporters from DC to Frisco and back for the weekend. – JinC.)Do you really think Pelosi and her aides couldn’t tell the difference between a C-32 jetliner and a C-37A which can carry about 12 passengers and is about the size of the plane Hastert used?
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 [which Hestert flew], since they look so similar.
I hope you take a look at what I said in A "near upset" & "Nancy's plane" and then decide if I mischaracterized the truth.
Thanks for reading.