Rep. Shuster and Sen. Alexander need remedial prioritization training

posted at 12:11 pm on December 10, 2013 by Jeff Dunetz

After gaining a reputation of avoiding the crucial issues facing the United States it seems as if Congress is finally addressing what they see as a priority problem facing the nation, the use of cell phones on airplanes.  As reported in The Hill:

Political momentum to keep a ban on cellphone calls during flights gained momentum Monday as lawmakers said it would be crazy to allow them.

Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) became the second lawmaker after Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) to offer legislation to keep the ban in place.

“Let’s face it, airplane cabins are by nature noisy, crowded, and confined,” said Shuster, the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. “For those few hours in the air with 150 other people, it’s just common sense that we all keep our personal lives to ourselves and stay off the phone.”

“For passengers, being able to use their phones and tablets to get online or send text messages is a useful in-flight option,” Shuster said. “But if passengers are going to be forced to listen to the gossip in the aisle seat, it’s going to make for a very long flight.”

As someone who has spent years on the Long Island Railroad listening to loud personal calls and business negotiations, I must admit the sentiment of these two legislators is right on. However, their actions are way off.  The two admit the issue isn’t passenger safety (unless you count the passengers who’s extended conversation leads to their smart phones being shoved where the sun doesn’t shine).

Republicans are supposed to be the party dedicated to keeping the government’s paws out of the business of private corporations.  And while passenger safety is within the accepted purview of Washington, passenger sanity is not.

Even if one disagrees and believes Congress is justified in regulating cell phones on planes for non-safety reasons, if one were to prioritize the key issues needing congressional attention it is doubtful cell phones on airplanes would appear in the top few dozen.

Perhaps Rep. Shuster and Sen. Alexander need some remedial prioritization training.

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so we add them to the traitor list?

WryTrvllr on December 10, 2013 at 12:14 PM

This is as good as it gets with Alexander. He’s a tool.

hip shot on December 10, 2013 at 12:16 PM

I’m not worried about the ban being overturned. Not because I support it, but thankfully phones aren’t designed to work at 35000 feet.

nobar on December 10, 2013 at 12:17 PM

Maybe someone can attach a rider imposing a federal ban on people taking too many items into the express lanes at grocery stores. That’s really annoying too.

Flange on December 10, 2013 at 12:18 PM

Lamar! temporarily distracted from his passion for internet taxation increases.

Behold, our elected betters.

aquaviva on December 10, 2013 at 12:19 PM

I’d rather Alexander focus his attention on the stupid, rather than on the the destructive. Which seem to be our only options with him.

besser tot als rot on December 10, 2013 at 12:20 PM

“But if passengers are going to be forced to listen to the gossip in the aisle seat, it’s going to make for a very long flight.”

Then walk to your destination instead.

What next, no sleeping on a flight because snoring will make other people get an ache in their tummy-tum?

Bishop on December 10, 2013 at 12:20 PM

As someone who has spent years on the Long Island Railroad listening to loud personal calls and business negotiations, I must admit the sentiment of these two legislators is right on.

You crazy? I love that. Better than any soap. And you can actually talk to the stars!

If they talk loudly about their private lifes, you should just interrupt them and start asking them questions about it. Is Pete your friend or boy-friend, for example and how long do you know each other. Or is Judy your mother or your sister?

It can make for a very interesting trip!

Valkyriepundit on December 10, 2013 at 12:22 PM

Nanny state Republicans.

aquaviva on December 10, 2013 at 12:22 PM

The partner bill to this would one that allows the use of cell phone blockers.

The phone companies have been running a similar “scam” for years. Customer #1 pays for caller ID. Customer #2 pays for caller ID block. Then customer #1 can pay for No Caller ID Call Rejection.

Not me. I just don’t answer the phone if I don’t feel like it.

BobMbx on December 10, 2013 at 12:24 PM

If this isn’t a safety issue they why shouldn’t it be left to the discretion of the individual air lines?

tommyboy on December 10, 2013 at 12:31 PM

I dislike cell phones and find the manners of many people who use them to be lacking. That said, what a load of crap to think that the government should regulate their use on airplanes because it’s annoying.

mchristian on December 10, 2013 at 12:34 PM

Too Much Time on there Hands, ..me thinks!!

canopfor on December 10, 2013 at 12:35 PM

PRIMARY THEM!!!!

WryTrvllr on December 10, 2013 at 12:36 PM

If this isn’t a safety issue they why shouldn’t it be left to the discretion of the individual air lines?

tommyboy on December 10, 2013 at 12:31 PM

We can’t trust the private sector to make common-sense decisions. Government is required.
///

Bitter Clinger on December 10, 2013 at 12:37 PM

I wonder if ObamaPhones are exempt, or have a waiver thingy!!
(sarc)

canopfor on December 10, 2013 at 12:38 PM

Somebody remind those two bozos that not every little thing needs congress to stick their noses in it. The airlines will either find a way to make money off it or they won’t allow it. I doubt the flight attendants will want to put up with fights involving boozed up passengers and their smart phones against other boozed up passengers.

major dad on December 10, 2013 at 12:40 PM

OT: Filibuster Threat Gone, Senate Approves Appeals Court Nominee

Republican Senators Murkowski and Collins voted to confirm – Obama hails it as a bi-partisan victory.

kcewa on December 10, 2013 at 12:41 PM

Make them sit in the back….where the smokers used to be exiled.

“Will that be phoning or non-phoning?”

BobMbx on December 10, 2013 at 12:41 PM

Come on! The “world’s greatest deliberative body” is considering this?? Give me a break! I’m embarrassed to be a Tennessean.

tngmv on December 10, 2013 at 12:44 PM

Rep. Shuster and Sen. Alexander live in a Beltway bubble where people, mostly their staffs, insist that every goofy idea they think of is akin to the second coming. This just shows how out of touch all politicians in DC are.

E9RET on December 10, 2013 at 12:45 PM

The two admit the issue isn’t passenger safety (unless you count the passengers who’s extended conversation leads to their smart phones being shoved where the sun doesn’t shine).

.
Ever been in a movie theater when the cell of some jackass in the row behind you goes off, probably with some rap crap? How did you feel? It’s why I stopped going to movie theaters. Think I wouldn’t try to throw some jackass out the door at 30,000 feet? Think again.

ExpressoBold on December 10, 2013 at 12:46 PM

Republican Senators Murkowski and Collins voted to confirm – Obama hails it as a bi-partisan victory.

kcewa on December 10, 2013 at 12:41 PM

Good job, Alaska, really dodged the bullet by not nominating Murkowski’s opponent.

Bishop on December 10, 2013 at 12:46 PM

they did. she ran 3rd party and won.

WryTrvllr on December 10, 2013 at 12:48 PM

Ah shiite, shows you what I know.

Amended: Good job, Alaska, for electing Milkcowski over that idiot who wanted to defy Dog Eater.

Bishop on December 10, 2013 at 12:51 PM

WE NEED MORE LAWS!

These “Republicans” are doing their best to control us, so lay off of them.

I just hope, instead of just maintaining the ban, they pass a new law to codify it completely. And that bill should be no less than 2500 pages, with regulation authority to add and modify it going to the TSA. The NSA needs to have enforcement ability because, after all, they know exactly where we are and who we are talking to at all times via our cell phone signals.

NOMOBO on December 10, 2013 at 12:56 PM

If people are entitled to their loud never ending phone conversations, I’m entitled to use the sounds of my phone to cover up theirs, right? That’s because I don’t think the Granny Fondlers will allow me to take a canned air horn on board with me.

rottenrobbie on December 10, 2013 at 1:01 PM

I dislike cell phones and find the manners of many people who use them to be lacking. That said, what a load of crap to think that the government should regulate their use on airplanes because it’s annoying.

mchristian on December 10, 2013 at 12:34 PM

I heartily agree. The government is VERY ANNOYING

NOMOBO on December 10, 2013 at 1:02 PM

“For those few hours in the air with 150 other people, it’s just common sense that we all keep our personal lives to ourselves and stay off the phone.”

Mark these words and etch them into the Shuster Memorial some day.

mankai on December 10, 2013 at 1:02 PM

Conversations between passengers on a plane can annoying… as can be the way the guy sitting next to me drinks his Coke… as can be the way the lady on my other side holds the book she is reading… and I’m none too thrilled with the sound of the shoes of that guy who shuffles his way to the restroom…

Help me, government! Regulate, regulate, regulate all!

mankai on December 10, 2013 at 1:07 PM

That’s what headphones are for!

I put mine on with the music of my choice and all that other “noise” is pushed to the background.

taznar on December 10, 2013 at 1:13 PM

CRUCIFY THEM! They are dead to me.

WryTrvllr on December 10, 2013 at 1:14 PM

Make them sit in the back….where the smokers used to be exiled.

“Will that be phoning or non-phoning?”

BobMbx on December 10, 2013 at 12:41 PM

Oooh-make them be in the last boarding zone so they have to check their bags if the flight is full.

talkingpoints on December 10, 2013 at 1:16 PM

so we add them to the traitor list?

WryTrvllr on December 10, 2013 at 12:14 PM

Well it’s the season for making lists and checking them twice.

I don’t know about Schuster, I’d have to look him up.

Cornyn, Enzi and Roberts are on my “to be put on a different list” list. Alexander, however, is on my needs to be replaced list along with Graham, and it is a serious disappointment that Alexander does not have a primary opponent yet.

This cell phone action by Alexander is not a deal breaker, but just another blinking neon sign reminding to any who watch that he needs to go. His ACU rating is measly 77.6 while his 2011 and ’12 ratings are actually below his lifetime at 75 and 69 respectively. That means his past is all he has to go on for showing he knows what conservatism might be.

One might argue it’s the ACU or it’s only the ACU. Well, Heritage Action gives Alexander a 46% for the 113th Congress. Only 7 other Republican senators have a worse rating (from low to high) — Snowe, Chiesa, Murkowski, McCain, Kirk, Hoeven, and his colleague from TN, Corker. Wicker is tied with Alexander.

Dusty on December 10, 2013 at 1:27 PM

“Perhaps Rep. Shuster and Sen. Alexander need some remedial prioritization training.”

Sure. The Telecom Lobby will handle that.

Tsar of Earth on December 10, 2013 at 1:42 PM

It’s a small issue for small minds. Anything more complicated than this and the politicians in DC couldn’t comprehend it.

I traveled in Japan, and everybody on the trains there turns their phone ringers off when they board. Everybody uses SMS so as not to annoy their neighbors by yakking on the phone, and the government doesn’t have to pass any annoying regulations, because people there care what others think of them. Here in America we just don’t give a flip how annoying we are to others so we need the government to pass laws telling us not to be asses.

Socratease on December 10, 2013 at 2:18 PM

I hate the Nannystate from the right, I hate the Nannystate from the Left and I hate the Nannystate from the ‘moderates’.

These guys need remedial lessons on clues, getting thereof.

I would give them 2 cents, each, but they would overspend them.

ajacksonian on December 10, 2013 at 2:31 PM

Lamar Alexander reminds me of creepy Orrin Hatch.

In the beltway too long, smug, pompous, contemptible and have remained at least a taxpayer’s limo distance from reality for 30-plus years.

viking01 on December 10, 2013 at 2:33 PM

Primary Time!

Let those who wish to talk on planes fly on planes that allow same;
and let the rest of us fly on planes that don’t.
Let the airlines self-select their passengers.
And, sit down and shut up.

Another Drew on December 10, 2013 at 2:54 PM

Dusty on December 10, 2013 at 1:27 PM

ACU? ACU??? ACU???????

Do they rank democrats? How do they stack up?

WryTrvllr on December 10, 2013 at 3:13 PM

[WryTrvllr on December 10, 2013 at 3:13 PM]

It’s harder to get a handle on relative rankings with the ACU spreadsheets. They list by state and by the issue votes ACU chooses. A mid 70′s rating is darn good compared to Dems in the ACU. Nelson (FL) is a 32. Pryor (AR) is an 18. Udall (CO) is an 8. Begich’s (AK) rating is a 5.

Heritage’s ranking is better for looking at the relationship you are interested in. In Heritage’s they are all together listed by rank, so the top is all R’s and the bottom all D’s and the transition is where it is interesting. The problem with Heritage is that Sens and Reps are mixed together, so it’s kind of messy in that sense.

Here’s Heritage’s list and the start of the ACU’s webpages dealing with ratings.

Dusty on December 10, 2013 at 4:50 PM

Somewhere in America…

a tiny little problem/issue/annoyance/whatever…

AND BIG GOVERNMENT MUST PASS A BIG GOVERNMENT SOLUTION!

Marcola on December 10, 2013 at 5:09 PM