🇺🇸 Another Flight Fiasco

Plus, we finally know why we grow wisdom teeth as adults.

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Good morning, and happy Tuesday! Colby McFadden found the remains of an American flag when he responded to a fire at Larry Hickson's home. The two veterans then bonded over their shared respect for Old Glory.

Plus, this is how much of what you read on the internet could be generated by artificial intelligence by 2025.

Also, read more about one of the fastest-growing cyber crimes in America, plus how to protect yourself.


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📉 January 13, 2023: President Biden Job Approval: Approve 46, Disapprove 52 (Rasmussen Reports)

📈 January 11, 2023: President Biden Job Approval: Approve 50, Disapprove 47 (Economist/YouGov)

📉 January 11, 2023: Congressional Job Approval: Approve 21, Disapprove 54 (Economist/YouGov)

📉 January 11, 2023: Direction of Country: Right Direction 29, Wrong Track 60 (Economist/YouGov)


TRENDING

Left: Trump Is the Big Winner in Biden Documents Discovery David Smith, The Guardian

Left: Two Words No President Wants To Hear Zachary Wolf, CNN

Left: Now It's All Rainbows & Giggles for Djokovic in Australia Benjamin Hart, NY Magazine

Right: Will Biden Think Twice About Running for Reelection? Joe Concha, The Hill

Right: Lockdowns Had Little Impact on Covid John Stossel, Reason

Right: How Open Borders, Illegal Labor Undermine Middle Class Steven Camarota, NY Post


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QUICK CLICKS

No Room in NYC, Air Strike Shock, Mafia's Most Wanted Man

US: Biden blasts 'fiscally demented' Republicans in MLK Day speech (NBC News)

World: As elites arrive in Davos, conspiracy theories thrive online (AP)

World: Brazil’s military blocked arrests of Bolsonaro rioters, officials say (WaPo)

US: Eric Adams says New York City doesn’t have ‘room’ to host more migrants (The Guardian)

US: No visitor logs exist for Biden's Wilmington home, site of classified doc discovery, WH Counsel's Office says (Fox News)

World: Ukraine yellow kitchen: Shock at image of apartment wrecked by strike (BBC)

US: Man wearing a Jesus Saves t-shirt at Mall of America is ordered to take it off or leave (Daily Mail)

World: Mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro, Italy's most wanted man, arrested in Sicily (CNN)


TRAVEL

Another Flight Fiasco

Last Wednesday, the FAA was forced to temporarily ground all US flights due to a system outage. This involved the FAA's Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) which alerts pilots of safety hazards. To date, investigators have said this doesn’t appear to have been the result of a cyberattack.

Reporting from the Left: Historic transportation crises haunt Buttigieg (Axios)

Reporting from the Right: Rep. Nancy Mace files bill requiring Buttigieg to fly commercial until FAA, Southwest debacles resolved (Fox News)

From The Flag: It’s been a challenging past month for the airline industry, after storms heavily impacted holiday travel – notably causing Southwest Airlines’ operations to meltdown. This latest fiasco puts additional scrutiny on the entire industry and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. Here’s more from both sides.


RIGHT-LEANING SENTIMENT

Buttigieg Was Happy To Blast Southwest, But Ignored His Own House

  • It’s not even clear that the NOTAM system is still needed, as many airlines have worked around its outdated structure.
  • While Buttigieg was quick to point fingers during Southwest’s meltdown, he showed no awareness of the FAA’s shortcomings.
  • The new Republican majority in the House of Representatives should begin exploring impeachment proceedings against Buttigieg.

“Pete Buttigieg’s Big Airline ‘Glitch’” Editorial Board, Wall Street Journal: “Only a couple of weeks ago, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg roasted Southwest Airlines for problems that led to thousands of canceled flights. Yet Mr. Buttigieg was no model of contrition Wednesday after airlines were grounded nationwide by a mega-meltdown at the agency he oversees, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). ‘This is an incredibly complex system,’ Mr. Buttigieg said. ‘Glitches or complications happen all the time.’ … But a systemwide crash is not a glitch. At first the FAA resorted to a telephone hotline to keep planes flying, but this backup quickly became overwhelmed. … Some airlines, including JetBlue and Delta, believed that operations could continue despite the Notam outage, according to a Journal report. Pilots say the alerts often are irrelevant and unintelligible, and JetBlue reportedly developed a backup system because of a past Notam outage.”

"Pete Buttigieg Is Terrible at His Job" Chadwick Moore, The Spectator: “Almost a year ago, the Federal Aviation Authority, under the helm of transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg, announced that the aviation briefing known as NOTAM, or Notice to Airmen, would undergo a name change. … NOTAM, Mayor Pete’s Department of Transportation declared, wasn’t gender inclusive and… it should henceforth be referred to Notice to Air Missions, not Airmen. While Mayor Pete preoccupied his department with scrubbing the bigotry out of an acronym, it never occurred to the Biden administration’s Chief Diversity Hire that the system itself might need some tending-to. … (The) FAA system failure came just weeks after Southwest Airlines ruined Christmas when its outdated computer system led to thousands of canceled flights — something that the transportation secretary brazenly mocked… As he wagged his finger at the airline, Mayor Pete was oblivious that his own computers might need a tune-up.”

One more opinion piece from the Right: Boot Buttigieg Jim Nelles, American Greatness


LEFT-LEANING SENTIMENT

The Airline Industry Will Keep Crumbling Without Proper Regulation (and Funding)

  • The US government has failed to adequately oversee regulation of the airline industry, and its infrastructure has fallen behind.
  • Federal officials and private airlines are both frustrated by a lack of funding for the FAA, as its equipment is in need of major upgrades.
  • Flights likely could have continued without the NOTAM system, but under federal law that’s not allowed.

“The FAA Meltdown Proves It’s Time to Finally Fix Air Travel” William J. McGee, New York Times Opinion: “Since the late 1970s, this country has not seen its industries as in need of governance, and so has allowed them to flounder and flail. We have neglected to adequately fund or respect our administrative agencies. The airline industry and air transportation system are ground zero for this disastrous governing philosophy, which has endured across multiple presidential administrations, under both Democrats and Republicans. Much of the rest of the world — Europe, East Asia and the Middle East — uses more sophisticated, accurate and reliable satellite-based systems for tracking air traffic. Here, we are mired in a political fight between airlines and lawmakers over who will pay for the Next Generation Air Transportation System, or NextGen, which is badly needed to modernize our air navigational system‌‌. So NextGen has been adopted in a partial and piecemeal fashion.”

“FAA is years away from upgrading the system that grounded all US flights” Pete Muntean, CNN: “Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has held multiple meetings with top FAA officials since Wednesday’s meltdown and ‘has made it very clear’ he wants the NOTAM database updated much faster than the FAA’s planned timeline… In its budget estimate for 2023, the FAA requested $29.4 million for its Aeronautical Information Management Program, which includes the NOTAM system. Describing the system, the administration said it needs to ‘eliminate the failing vintage hardware that currently supports that function in the national airspace system.’ Meanwhile, the FAA is stuck addressing new technology, including drones and electric helicopters, with its outdated technology… ‘We need to bring equipment online a lot faster than we are,’ the source said… Airlines, fielding their own share of government criticism for schedule collapses, have also sounded the alarm about a lack of funding, limited staffing, and outdated FAA technology.”

One more opinion piece from the Left: Why Air Travel Melted Down...Again Jeff Wise, New York Magazine


FLAG THIS

Time Flies: How (and Why) Airlines Make Flights Longer

Schedule creep, also known as “padding,” refers to the fact that flight times have gotten longer over the years.

In the 1960s it took five hours to fly from New York to Los Angeles, but that same trip now takes six hours or longer – even though the airports are no further apart.

Airlines have extended flight times to account for potential delays, meaning if your NYC to LA flight only takes five and a half hours, you feel like it made great time (BBC).


FLAG FINDS

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WATERCOOLER

Military Industrial Complex, Crazy Marathons, Why We Grow Wisdom Teeth

On January 17, 1961, Dwight D. Eisenhower ends his presidential term by warning the nation about the increasing power of the military-industrial complex. Click here to watch his speech.

NPR: Buying a home became a key way to build wealth. What happens if you can't afford to?

Conde Nast Traveler: 10 most unique marathons around the world

Popular Science: We Finally Know Why We Grow Wisdom Teeth as Adults

Today I Learned that Joe Jackson would hold a belt as the Jackson 5 rehearsed, ready to strike his children if they stepped out of line. Michael Jackson was terrified of his father. “I have thrown up in his presence because when he comes in the room and this aura comes and my stomach starts hurting."