The "sense of entitlement" was perceived on both sides. That is, the military views providing the aircraft for congressional leaders as being only slightly lower in priority than providing similar transport for the President. That is not a priority set by Pelosi, or Hastert before her, but by the President's directive following 9/11. It is also clear that, when Pelosi first became Speaker, that it took a period of time for her staff to become familiar with procedures and policies governing travel.
Do I agree with the Presidential directive on travel by Congressional leaders? Not really, as I noted before. Hastert had a plane fully dedicated to his personal use. Pelosi has used the same plane for almost all of her travel. Her travel seems to have been more extensive because San Francisco is further away than Illinois and because she seems to be more involved in foreign policy. The one time there was an issue with the size of the plane was for an oversees trip involving more than 30 people -- all traveling in an official capacity. Some of the passengers had to be dropped because of capacity considerations.
My own experience is that providing such benefits creates attitude issues where the beneficiaries do develop an unwarranted sense of their own importance. I tend to think we would be better off if the President and all other elected officials traveled on commercial flights as long as they were not in hostile territories. Of course, I feel the same about all those corporate execs using company helocopters to go golfing on Thursdays and corporate jets to go on vacation, and I felt the same about the government car I was provided when I was in politics (I returned it to the car pool) and the golf club membership that i was required (but refused) to maintain, at company expense, as a Partner in a major accounting firm. However, if security considerations require that military flights be used, I would not expect the officials affected to travel less. As it is, flights on the aircraft used regularly by Pelosi (and Hastert before her) take longer than commercial flights because of the more limited range and speed of the aircraft. When her family is involved, they also cost more than she would have had to pay buying tickets commercially since her husband and children pay full commercial airfares without discounts. Maybe that's why they normally travel on commercial flights for all personal travel. Personally, I won't fly in 12-seat planes (which is what Pelosi receives) for long travel because I don't believe they are safe. When that is my only option, I normally drive or cancel the trip.
I'm not a fan of Pelosi. However, she has a job to do and it is clear that she works at it very hard. Much of that work involves high volume travel -- much of that for events that may need to be rescheduled with little notice. Using our military to provide such a service is probably a misuse of resources that ends up with poor service and high cost. I suspect that all involved would be happier if the military were taken out of the picture.
Pelosi is certifiable. Like that little junket to Rome, I'm sure to straighten out the Popes uninlightened views. I'd say the third in charge is running the show, hard left rudder.
"The longer you let a dog go in the wrong direction the more they think they are going in the right direction" Don Remien.
Was bored and read the emails. The most interesting/disgusting item:
In '07 a handfull of Democrats wanted to take a military jet to Mexico and Honduras with a convenient, 24+ hour layover in the Virgin Islands. They were told that since no Republicans were on the trip it was considered partisan and not available for military aircraft support. They recruited a Republican Congresswoman from Wyoming who'd already announced she wasn't running for re-election to go and then they were able to get their military taxi service and free vacation.
Why doesnt Pelosi just fly on her broom........
"Communism only works in Heaven, where they don't need it, and in Hell, where they already have it" Ronald Reagan
Needing military aircraft for her safety reasons???? I believe the terrorists are smart enough to know that a living Nancy Pelosi can do a lot more damage to our country than pretty much anything they can do.......I think she is safe.
Why not worry about something that you can do something about!
How about you find something in the our governments plans that you do like and work your ass off to make it happen.
Do something good for one American, volunteer spend some money to help the economy.
All your nervous tight butted wall streeters quit bitching and make something good happen!