After somehow breaking our supply chain in the middle of a recession, America’s “chestfeeding” secretary of transportation, Pete Buttigieg, managed to grind air traffic to a halt this week.
Say what you will about his miraculous prowess on paternity leave, the man is a walking economic crisis. His single-handed incompetence managed to do what took dozens of terrorists plotting for years to do on 9/11.
The Federal Aviation Administration’s Notice to Air Mission (NOTAM) system — which airmen flying planes must consult to determine where they can safely land planes full of humans — crashed this week. Even worse was the emergency alternative to allow airmen to land planes safely in the unlikely event that NOTAM ever went down.
“A backup, redundant system kicked in Tuesday night, but the data was corrupted and officials didn’t consider it reliable,” according to The Wall Street Journal. “Some U.S. airline officials believed the issues had been resolved late Tuesday night but within a few hours it appeared that the situation wasn’t improving, they said.”
But don’t you dare suggest that NOTAM is anything less than a top priority for Mr. Buttigieg — whether he is on paternity leave, riding his bike down the block, tracking down racist bridges in Brooklyn or fully engaged at the Department of Transportation. Just last year, Mr. Buttigieg updated NOTAM.
Previously, NOTAM was an acronym for Notice to Airmen, which hurt Mr. Buttigieg’s feelings because it said “airmen.” Such abusive language, he believed, was exclusionary of women, womyn, nonbinary persons, trans, two-spirit, lesbian and other pilots. Such offensive heresy at the Department of Transportation could one day lead to the exclusion of men from “chestfeeding.”
In other words, catastrophe.
So, Mr. Buttigieg swung into action and transitioned NOTAM from “Notice to Airmen” into its new name: “Notice to Air Mission.” In other words, Notice to Airmen is NOTAM’s “dead name.” So, don’t use it. And if you do, you are racist and homophobic and “transphobic” and don’t care about Americans or the traveling public.
Speaking of the traveling public, hundreds of innocent American passengers decided not to trust Mr. Buttigieg’s updated air travel system and took the federal government’s train system from Virginia to Florida. A train ahead of them derailed, and they were trapped for 37 hours.
Understandably panicked passengers called 911 to report that they had been kidnapped, which forced the friendly Amtrak conductor to scold passengers for calling the police. And to inform them that they, in fact, had not been kidnapped — but that they were still not allowed to get off the train.
Meanwhile, back at the White House, everybody is just thrilled with Mr. Buttigieg’s performance running the Department of Transportation now that he is back from paternity leave.
Chief of Staff Ronald Klain reacted angrily after one news outlet on the internet observed: “A historic string of air, rail and supply-chain meltdowns has plagued Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s first two years in office.”
“This is a ridiculous take,” Mr. Klain snapped on Twitter. “As we have reopened the economy and accelerated its growth, there have been many challenges. @SecretaryPete has done an incredible job in tackling them and getting America moving again — without the kind of disruptions we’ve seen in other countries.”
So, there you have it. The problem with travel in America today is that the economy under President Biden is just so blistering hot that you cannot handle it.
Please try to keep up. Maybe take some paternity leave.
• Charles Hurt is the opinion editor for The Washington Times.
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