Not the party of Reagan

Theres and handsome devil!I’ve been amazed at the effect the Harriet Miers nomination has had on Republicans. It’s not that her being confirmed or rejected is that big of deal but instead it seems like the last straw for conservatives who have put up with unprecedented increases in entitlement spending and gutless leadership. While Bush has pursued the war on terror with a determination not seen since Truman virtually everything else he’s done has left conservatives wanting. Real conservatives don’t want their cake and eat it too. The Bush tax cuts made us happy but he followed them up with a god awful prescription drug benefit entitlement. The reconstruction, military response in Afghanistan, and economic stimulus after 9-11 was followed by more tax cuts and “No Child Left Behind”. After the “It’ll cost what It costs” comment from Bush after Katrina I think conservatives went into insulin shock and this horrible SCOTUS pick snapped them out of it.
I grew up being serenaded by benefactors of the Johnson welfare state blaming Reagan for consigning them to starvation and ridiculous TV movies about being homeless and getting no help from the Government. Nothing says spending cuts like a ketchup sandwich. It was glorious. When Bush was elected I dreamed of long nights watching cable news laughing at the strained arguments Democrats would make for why the cut of a certain block grant or entitlement DOOMED!! their favorite victim group. Well we’re now in the 5th year and I haven’t once seen Bush called “heartless” 1/100th as much as Ronnie or even Newt Gingrich. Welfare reform under
Clinton was the closest thing I’ve had and that’s pathetic.
The sad thing is that we can’t even wish we voted for the other guy (or party) because they’re even more pathetic. They’re just like that cloying guy that’ll say anything to get in a girls pants (See Stiffler in American Pie/American Wedding). For as good as Andrew Sullivan feels telling conservatives “I told you so” about Bush, at some level he must be relieved that Kerry wasn’t elected. He would have been an utter disaster.

Don’t agree?

Now I’m just looking forward to 2008. Hopefully we get a do over with McCain (or Condi).

UPDATE: Ugh. This is just nausiating.


The inevitable outcome of government control?

The safety issues raised in the following articles are interesting but probably insignificant. The odds of being in a plane crash in either a Boeing or Airbus plane are probably equal to being struck by lightning and being struck by lightning while holding a 3 iron aloft, respectively; both are very unlikely. However what the decision making behind these obvious lapses in design reveal is a recognition of the unusual environment in which Airbus exists. However much corporate welfare Boeing receives it’s still a private enterprise largely subject to the same market forces and liabilities as any other company while Airbus appears to be just another corporation, it's really just an extension of the governments of Spain, Britain, Germany, Austria, Belgium and France. This allows Airbus the luxury to pursue a volume business model (more jobs) and be less concerned by profits and quality. The effects of this strategy have been 2 fold: Airbus has supplanted Boeing as the unit sales leader and troubling patterns of safety system failure are beginning to appear. Most troubling is that the Airlines least likely to afford a top notch service crew seem to have the largest Airbus fleets. USAir/AmericaWest are the recent recipients of Airbus aircraft that were practically given away. Those who support initiatives to move to a government controlled healthcare system and support continued monopoly over K-12 education should keep an eye on Airbus in the years to come. However well meaning, government rarely achieves an adequate representation of society’s interests.

Here’s an article about an Airbus whistle-blower who’s actively being persecuted by the Austrian government for revealing a flaw in the new A380 that could cause a catastrophic loss in cabin pressure:

A year ago, Mangan told European aviation authorities that he believed there were problems with a computer chip on the Airbus A380, the biggest and costliest commercial airliner ever built. The A380 is a double-decked engineering marvel that will carry as many as 800 passengers — double the capacity of Boeing Co.'s 747. It is expected to enter airline service next year.Mangan alleges that flaws in a microprocessor could cause the valves that maintain cabin pressure on the A380 to accidentally open during flight, allowing air to leak out so rapidly that everyone aboard could lose consciousness within seconds.

Most passenger jets have two cabin-pressure valves, with separate motors operating each. Because aircraft makers want redundancy on safety systems, the planes have three motors for each valve, with different chips controlling each motor. The Boeing 777, for example, has cabin-pressure chips made by Motorola Inc., Intel Corp. and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. Most jetliners also have a manual override so that the pilot can take control in an emergency. Airbus has acknowledged that its designers faced challenges as they attempted to reduce the A380's weight. Early on, the company elected to go with four outflow valves on the A380, with only one motor on each valve, which is slightly larger than a cabin window. Each motor uses a TTTech controller chip, and there is no manual override system."Just there, I would not be happy," said Chris Lomax, a retired engineer who helped design the cabin-pressurization systems for Boeing's 737 and 747. "If all four valves [on the A380] were driven wide open, it would be nip and tuck for the crew to get their [oxygen] mask on and begin a descent."

Here’s another article detailing 67 incidents simply involving the nose landing gear of Airbus Aircraft since 1989:

The problems with JetBlue Flight 292 marked at least the seventh time that the front landing gear of an Airbus jet has locked at a 90-degree angle, forcing pilots to land commercial airliners under emergency conditions, according to federal records.
The locking of the nose landing gear on Airbus jets is one of several recurring problems with the plane's nose landing gear.A Canadian study issued last year documented 67 incidents of nose-landing-gear failures on Airbus 319, 320 and 321 aircraft worldwide since 1989.