Politics

Dear Barbara Boxer, you ignorant slut

From Barbara to my junk-mail folder:

I am pleased to let you know about Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s recent announcement of a new rule to protect airline passengers’ rights. The new rule includes much of the Boxer-Snowe legislation, the Airline Passenger Bill of Rights, which addresses limits on tarmac delays.

I first introduced the Airline Passenger Bill of Rights with Senator Olympia Snowe in 2007, following several incidents at airports where passengers were forced to remain on airplanes for as long as 11 hours. The Boxer-Snowe Airline Passengers Bill of Rights (S.213) is currently pending before the full Senate as part of the FAA Reauthorization bill.

Specifically, the Department of Transportation’s new rule limiting tarmac delays includes three central components of the Boxer-Snowe Airline Passenger Bill of Rights:

* Airlines must give passengers the option to deplane after they have been stuck on the tarmac for three hours.
* Airlines must provide food, water, access to medical treatment and working restrooms while passengers are trapped on the tarmac.
* Airlines must provide passengers with delay information on their websites as well as information on how to make formal complaints.

This is a victory for passengers who have been mistreated, and I thank Secretary LaHood for acting to protect passengers’ rights. This shows that the Department of Transportation understands that no passenger should ever be held captive for hours on an airplane without food, water or sufficient restrooms.

As good as this new rule is, it doesn’t give passengers permanent protection because it could be overturned by a future administration. That is why I will keep working to see that the Boxer-Snowe Airline Passenger Bill of Rights becomes law.

Sincerely,

Barbara Boxer
United States Senator

My response to Barbara on her web site:

What I’m interested in is you spending less of your time on ridiculous airline rights and more on getting out of the airline business all together. I’m interested in you spending less time fussing over “rules” and “laws” that don’t really mean anything (or which put bandages on much larger problems) and allowing the Fed-whipped airlines the ability to recover from decades of regulatory subservience. It is a tedious perennial lie that airlines are free to engage in business without overwhelming Federal regulation. That lie is evident every time I look at the taxes/regulatory fees I pay when buying a plane ticket.

Your newsletter about the Boxer-Snow intervention is smoke and mirrors. You think we’re stupid enough to think that these fool bills protect us, when all they do is enshrine the problem at the heart of a massively powerful federal government: the way to solve problems is with more regulations.

Quick question: who had a larger role in informing your proposed legislation, lawyers and lobbyists or your voters? You are beholden to only one of those groups, but I suspect you paid more attention to the other.

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