National Review “Never Trumpers” Hold a Summit

Almost exactly 14 months since the editors at conservative National Review published an entire issue dedicated to being “Against Trump,” the magazine held an “ideas summit” titled “Working on a Path Towards Conservatism.”

This doesn’t exactly represent suing for peace, particularly since panelist Peter Wehner, of the Ethics & Public Policy Center, evidently believes the nuclear attack codes should be put in a blind trust during the Trump administration. Yet it appeared that, at least on the Trump side, there were no hard feelings, since Kellyanne Conway, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and HHS Sec. Tom Price appeared at the two–day event.

That may change after the rest of Wehner’s remarks reach the Oval Office. He had no problem personally attacking Trump by recycling the Opposition Media’s false attack lines.

That’s something that struck me about the National Review crowd. During the primary, when Trump appeared at the Values Voters Conference before an audience of evangelicals and conservative Christians, he made a passing reference to “Little Marco” and the crowd immediately booed him to show the remark was out of line.

Yet when Wehner emphatically declared Trump is “erratic, cruel, vindictive and morally corrupt” no one in the crowd of movers–and–shakers let out a peep. It was as if he was speaking before assembly line workers at the “Don’t Blame Me, I voted for Evan McMullin” bumper sticker plant.

The entire “Ideas Summit” atmosphere was one of lukewarm support for president. I can recall no speakers praising the Trump budget that zeroed out agencies conservatives have railed against for decades, yet the crowd gave Speaker Paul Ryan a partial standing ovation after he spent a half hour essentially asking the audience “are you going to believe me or your lying eyes” with regard to his Obamacare Lite bill.

But that’s not all! Ryan’s performance even reminded me of an all–time classic advertising account executive joke, but to learn which joke, you’ll have to click on the link below and finish my column at Newsmax.com:

https://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/national-review-obamacare-lite-against-trump-paul-ryan/2017/03/22/id/780209/

 

United Airlines Package Tours Now Include Hospitalization!

I’m old enough to remember when the United Airlines slogan was: “Fly the Friendly Skies of United.” Now, according to Twitter wag GoodJuJu, the new motto is: “Our Service Will Knock You Out!”

It’s a cinch the passengers on United Express Flight 3411 got more than they bargained for — I knew United was upgrading seating and entertainment on those annoying puddle–jumper jets, but that floor show looked like a Trump rally!

CEO Oscar Munoz’ response to the incident was so inept he may as well have let the cop who cold–cocked the passenger handle the news conferences. At least that guy had some impact. The only mistake Munoz didn’t make was announcing that in the future all United passengers will be required to turn their cell phones off when they get a boarding pass.

Munoz began Unitedsplaining by blaming 69–year–old Dr. David Dao for all the trouble, claiming he was “belligerent.”

Alternate motto: If You Don’t Need a Wheelchair Before You Board, You May Need One After!

As a PR person I could have told Munoz he was going to have trouble selling that when Dr. Dao was an elderly, paid up, sober and seated passenger who just wanted to go home. On Monday a man claiming to be a United Express pilot called the Rush Limbaugh Show and, displaying the same concern for the paying customer that Munoz has, said, “Flying is a privilege.”

For pilots, yes. For passengers, no.

Flying for a passenger is a commercial transaction; not a boon bestowed on an unworthy recipient. In this case the good doctor’s “privilege” was revoked for because plane was overbooked.

Overbooking occurs when the airline sells the same seat more than once. The practice received official approval back when the Civil Aeronautics Board regulated airlines. (You can only sell a single item to multiple buyers when the government approves — think chair in a VA hospital waiting room — otherwise you go to jail.)

Then airlines lost money when a passenger called to make a reservation and didn’t show up, because the booked seat remained empty. This may be hard for modern consumers to believe, but back in those days a passenger would make a reservation and get a seat assignment WITHOUT PAYING A DIME! If he changed his mind at the last minute the airline lost money.

Even if the spontaneous passenger paid before changing his mind, it was easy to get a refund and fly another time.

Meanwhile, the market changed but government hasn’t. Why does that sound familiar? Passengers now pay extra to make a reservation on the phone, many tickets are non–refundable and the ones are refundable have a $250 change fee, plus added fare if the new flight is more expensive.

Even if overbooking was justifiable, United’s implementation wasn’t. Like many corporations United supports the free market when it helps make money, but dislikes the market when it costs money.

Airlines raise prices as flight times approach because the few remaining seats are more valuable, but it wants to put a lid on prices when it needs to buy the seats back. Here United needed four seats and it began the bidding at $400 and a free hotel room with meal vouchers, if the passengers gave up their seats.

That was too low, so the offer was increased to $800.

Still no takers, but instead of going up to $1,200 to see if that would bring demand in line with supply, the airline bypassed the market and decided to use force.

That money–saving decision that cost United $1.4 billion in stock valuation after the public became aware of the incident.

Overbooking, like free checked bags, is a relic of the past. When fans don’t show up for football games the team loses out on parking and concession revenue, but even rapacious Dan Snyder doesn’t overbook Redskins’ games.

If overbooking is allowed to continue it should be as a percentage of the load factor and airlines should be required to keep bidding until passengers relinquish their seats voluntarily, not at gunpoint.

The load factor for domestic flights has been on a steady climb since 2002, when it was 70.4 percent. So far in 2017 the load factor is 84.6 percent. Jet fuel prices are down and ticket sales are up. It’s a wonder United has any frustrations to take out on passengers.

I’ve flown United since it was called Continental. It’s my airline of choice and my frequent flyer level is so high, there’s no chance of me being bumped. But I will say this: In the future if I were a physician, I’d think twice before answering when a flight attendant asks, “Is there a doctor on board?”

Does Anyone Recall Voting for Ivanka?

Evidently the Russians should have gotten the agreement in writing before they “hacked the election for Trump,” because it appears their handshake deal wasn’t worth the exchange of skin cells. When Trump launched 59 cruise missiles at a Syrian air force base it put Putin in the same position that has evidently been occupied by a number of stiffed contractors that have done business with Trump, Inc.

Unintentionally ironic ad doesn’t say anything about how the kids think like insiders.

Initially Trump’s attack was comprised of 60 missiles, but it appears the one containing Trump’s campaign promises veered off into the Mediterranean.

Peter Wehner, a particularly supercilious “Never Trump” moralizer, expressed concerns about Trump having access to the nuclear codes, but I think the person to worry about is Ivanka. She’s supposed to be the driving force behind Trump’s rumble on the runway, but my question is: Who elected her?

Trump may live over the office, but that doesn’t mean the United States is the family store. The White House is not one of those unaffiliated mega–churches where husband and wife are the co–pastors and the kids run the youth ministry.

His attack ran counter to everything Trump said about Middle East intervention during the campaign. Deplorables expected to get was a US embassy in Jerusalem, voiding the Iran agreement and a hands–off policy in Syria’s civil war. What we got was no U–Haul in Tel Aviv, quiet acceptance of Obama’s Iran surrender and meddling in Syria.

Trump’s attack was entirely in keeping with past GOP Middle East policy: Expensive and utterly pointless.

And that’s not the half of it. Even the description of the attack is troubling. How? Well to learn that it’s click on the link and go to Newsmax.com for the exciting conclusion.

https://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/ivanka-republican-rino/2017/04/12/id/783989/

 

Russell Moore: A Baptist Shepherd Who Doesn’t Care Much for His Sheep

Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, may not have to suffer deplorables gladly for too much longer. This week he met with the head of the SBC’s executive committee to discuss his estrangement from the 81 percent of Evangelicals who voted for President Trump.

Moore survived the meeting, but I wouldn’t advise asking for money to redecorate his office next year.

To his credit Moore is a staunch defender of marriage, the unborn and the Bible’s instruction on homosexuality, but his grasp of other culturally relevant theology is spotty at best. When Moore discusses illegal aliens, race and politics it sounds like New York Times Revised Version.

Moore is so out of step on those topics I’m surprised he wasn’t invited to be a speaker at the Herd of Heretics conference sponsored by the Virginia Baptist General Assembly, details here.

Moore could probably finesse those issues if he wasn’t such a Pharisee concerning Trump. He was and is a loud and incessant Never Trumper. As former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee observed, he’s “utterly stunned that Russell Moore is being paid by Southern Baptists to insult them.”

Moore cast a write–in ballot for president, observing, “If you lose an election you can live to fight another day and move on, but if you lose an election while giving up your very soul then you have really lost it all, and so I think the stakes are really high.”

Moore can enable the victory of a candidate who believes the unborn have no rights without getting so much as a smudge on his angelic robes, but voting for Trump means your soul is powering the HVAC in Trump Tower.

To learn more about Rev. Moore the White Guilt pastor and the response of Deplorable Baptists to his hectoring you’ll have to click on the link below and finish reading at Newsmax.com.

https://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/baptist-evangelical-sbc/2017/03/14/id/778689/

 

Climate Change Doesn’t Affect NWS Forecasts

How long would firemen remain the nation’s genial mascot if they forced you to move into a hotel for a few days because you smelled smoke in the garage? As you were wondering if ten years of chainsaw, lawn mower and leaf blower gas cans were about to be launched into a low earth orbit while you waited for firemen to arrive, once the truck arrived the first responders weren’t worried.

They knew in 30 seconds the smell originated in an overheating freezer, and unplugging it solved the problem. But the brass was concerned.

The chief worried that since your house didn’t go up in a giant fireball, you would be so relieved that you’d fail to view the problem as the narrow escape from a fiery death that it was.

Consequently, you might be tempted to plug the freezer back into the socket after they departed; potentially melting you and the lamb chops if the freezer shorted out while you slept.

That’s why, to impress the gravity of the situation on your family, the chief delivered a scary, arm–waving lecture and ordered you to earn two nights of Hilton points at Embassy Suites.

Unlikely you say? Tell that to the National Weather Service.

It was responsible for scaring airlines into canceling 9,000 flights, schools into closing, the federal government into delaying three hours, the DC Metro into cancelling transit services for the handicapped and a variety of other private businesses into shutting down on Tuesday for a storm that put a mere 2 inches on snow on the ground in Washington, DC.

Even worse, the NWS knew “Winter Storm Stella” was going to be more on the order of Snow Shower Sweetie but it refused to revise the forecast. The Associated Press reports, “After announcing that snow could reach record levels in the city, NWS meteorologists in New York and other Northeast cities held a conference call Monday afternoon about computer models that dramatically cut predicted totals.”

Taking a cue from “climate scientists” who never cut back on their hyperventilating over smoldering polar bears – in spite of their computer model’s failure to come close to predicting how the climate has changed – the weather service took a stern line on sleet.

Instead of calling off the evacuation of the Eastern Seaboard, they decided to stick with hysteria. This monumentally bad decision relied on that byword of the modern bureaucrat: “Extreme caution.”

These Chicken Littles felt people wouldn’t view a storm with a potential for just two to seven inches of snow as a harbinger of the apocalypse. Which is right, since it isn’t.

Greg Carbin, chief of forecast operations at the Weather Prediction Center observed, “I actually think in the overall scheme that the actions [by states and cities] taken in advance of the event were exceptional.”

If “exceptional” is another word for lunatic overreaction, then right on!

The NWS thought costing taxpayers millions of dollars in lost time, revenue and emergency daycare was a small price to pay if it prevented one granny from slipping on her way to the mailbox.

In their defense the weather wardens at the NWS are under a certain amount of pressure from the incoming Trump administration. Since it rained on him at the inauguration, the president has felt the NWS might be secretly participating in the “resistance.”

I’ve written the NWS is under a severe hiring freeze warning, which comes at a bad time for the organization because it’s been down 650 employees and no has appeared to notice. The solution for the weather mavens is to reinvent the NWS and make it part of the nation’s public safety apparatus, which the Washington Post says might allow NWS to exploit the hiring loophole Trump left for agencies involved in the military, public safety or public health.

If the NWS brass can finesse this textbook example of mission creep, the guy who eyeballs the rain gauge at the airport will join Seal Team 6 on the front lines of homeland defense.

Downgrading “Winter Storm Stella” into “Scattered Flurries Flo” and lifting the No Fly Zone on the East coast might have been accurate, but it wouldn’t enhance the sense of urgency management wants to convey to the White House.

Just mentioning these potential cuts in a previous column was enough to unleash hounds of humidity. My protestations that I’ve had my own Wi–Fi weather station on the roof for years fell on deaf ears connected to a dangerous high–anger zone.

I’ve suggesting the NWS concentrate on getting the data and let the private sector handle the forecasts, which in the case of the Weather Channel have proven to be more accurate. This latest exercise in paternalism and over–reaction hasn’t changed my mind.

Helping Chuck Schumer Commit Political Suicide

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is preparing to offer Majority Leader Mitch McConnell the gift of a lifetime, but I don’t know if McConnell is astute enough to accept it. Mitch McClellan’s career has been defined by a gopher–like reluctance to risk anything that causes him to stray too far from the safety of his den. (To learn how McConnell earned the nickname “Mitch McClellan,” click here.)

Accepting Schumer’s gift will require Mitch to go head–to–head in the arena of public opinion, which he is evidently reluctant to do since, like most of the Republican leadership in Congress, he doesn’t believe enough in conservative principles to make a compelling case in public.

This is why Trump is president and McConnell isn’t, but that’s another column entirely, which can be found here.

So let me explain another missed opportunity for Republicans to show the American public just how far out of the mainstream Democrats are.

AP reports Schumer “has concluded that denying President Trump his wall is perhaps the surest major defeat Democrats can hand the President in his first year.” And he plans to do it by filibustering the wall.

This is the biggest tactical error Schumer has made since he didn’t object to Fauxcahontas being sworn in.

If only McClellan would exploit Schumer’s gift.

So what can the Curator of the Senate do to exploit Schumer’s gift? All the exciting details can be yours by clicking on the link below and being whisked to my Newsmax.com column. Thanks.

http://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/mitch-mcconnell-chuck-schumer-border-wall-filibuster/2017/03/07/id/777474/