I'm back, after walking away from this blog almost ten years ago. Things have been pretty good for the last eight years or so, and there wasn't much to complain about. But here, on December 16, 2016, things are already headed South.
The Electoral College hasn't even voted and it's still over five weeks until the inauguration, but we've already have an international crisis, military contracts cancelled, the entire manufacturing sector threatened by random presidential actions, a campaign that has continued long past the election, and other crises too numerous to mention.
This one is my favorite so far. On the morning of December 6, 2016, the president-elect's early morning tweet-strike blasted:
"Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion. Cancel order!"
And thus, even before attaining the actual presidency, he accomplished something our enemies could only dream of -- he shot down Air Force One.
No one knows the actual cost of the new Air Force One replacement program. It's still in its infancy, with only a small fraction actually committed. So it's hard to figure where the president-elect got the $4 billion from. But the replacement does have to be built or some future president will end up flying commercial or bumming rides on the vice-president's plane.
In addition, the Air Force One contract represents a lot of money to an American manufacturer and thousands of jobs during the construction and maintenance of the new aircraft. Boeing is the only US manufacturer qualified for this, and it would be nice if the president's plane were to be built in America (unlike the cheap goods that he and his family foist on an unwitting public).
So, as an American patriot, and as a veteran, I would like to propose a few solutions to this thorny problem.
- This old standby is a no-brainer. In fact, your contributions, of any size, will probably be tax deductible. The president-elect probably won't contribute. He's a billionaire who gives nothing to charity. And he doesn't need the deduction since he doesn't pay taxes.
- If you think that spending the night in one of the president-elect's glitzy palaces is the way to go, you'll be thrilled at the idea of spending the night in a real Presidential Suite. Be sure to make your reservations well in advance. You never know when you'll have to share your accommodations during a Twitter-induced international crisis.
- All that's needed is to figure out what sort of reward to give away for each pledge level. We'll start with "Thank you" cards at the lowest level. Then, perhaps a little higher up will yield a personal letter from the CEO of Boeing, thanking you for keeping jobs in America. Next up would be the hats and T-shirts with the Make Air Force One Great Again (MAFOGA!) logos. At the top, for a seven-figure donation, a trip with the president-elect to play at one of his golf courses. (Seeing as the event will be held at one of his properties, the president-elect will make money on this as well. A win-win for both the country and the pres.)
- Imagine your friends' surprise when, instead of hailing a cab, you reach for your phone and open the Uber-AF1 app. Soon, a Secret Service SUV pulls to the curb, and then whisks you to Air Force One to be transported to the destination of your choice. Note: This won't be cheap, since the plane costs hundreds of thousands just for a short trip (and you pay the tolls). But it's sure to impress your friends in this new world where glitz and gold plating pass for taste and where wealth now passes for class.
Bake sales and fundraisers
- This will be a nationwide effort, involving schoolchildren and their parents. Who can resist Air-Force-One-shaped cookies or a beautiful cake, decorated with miniature oil wells.
- The president-elect probably doesn't know this, since he thinks the figure he quoted is for just one airplane. But Boeing, like a lot of merchants, has a special deal on Air Force One sales. When you buy one Air Force One for a couple of billion, Boeing throws in a second one for free, in a Buy-One-Get-One deal. So you actually get the plane, plus a spare. What a deal! How could the president-elect, who thinks of himself as a wheeler-dealer, resist this one?
Air Trump One
- This one will put the president-elect's deal-making skills to their biggest test yet. Here, he will negotiate the contract on his own, with the purpose of licensing the planes the same way he does his hotels and golf courses.
It'll be interesting to see how the next four years turn out. As Bette Davis famously said, "You'd better fasten your seat belts. It's going to be a bumpy ride."
-- This article is still in progress.
Come back later to see if I finished it. --