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"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32
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Author:  Tony Phyrillas
Bio: Tony Phyrillas
Date:  February 12, 2007
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Air Pelosi hits turbulence

It's time for the mainstream media to start telling the truth to the American public about the big money liberals who control the Democratic Party.

Nancy Pelosi, the new speaker of the House and self-appointed national plumber, ("Drain the swamp in Washington, D.C.") may be preparing for a crash landing on a runway called liberal hypocrisy.

If you haven't been following the growing scandal, Madame Pelosi is not content with the private jet U.S. taxpayers provide her to jaunt between San Francisco and Washington, D.C. She wants a big plane. A really big plane. A Boeing 757 to be specific. A plane that costs taxpayers $15,000 an hour to fly.

The previous speaker, Dennis Hastert, was satisfied with the 12-seat Gulfstream 3 jet the government provided to carry him between Washington, D.C., and his home district in Illinois. And Hastert is a really big guy.

The petite Pelosi apparently needs more leg room. The military version of the Boeing 757-200 can seat between 175-190 passengers. Pelosi has lots of grandchildren, but how much room do those kids need? Pelosi can take dozens of staffers, friends, family members and political supporters on non-stop, coast-to-coast flights.

And this new plane is way better than first class. "The planes are staffed with stewards who serve meals and tend an open bar," according to the Washington Times.

According to the Washington Examiner, revving up the new luxury plane "to fly the speaker home to San Francisco, drop her off, and fly back and get her would cost taxpayers around $300,000 — while round-trip commercial fares start at $233."

The larger plane requested by Speaker Pelosi would include 42 business class seats, a fully enclosed state room, an entertainment center, a private bed, state-of-the-art communications system and a crew of 16, according to CNN.

First-class air travel is just the beginning of the amenities the political aristocracy in Washington provides for itself.

When on the ground, Pelosi is driven around by a government-owned SUV that is exempt from the gas tax when used for business related travel. Pelosi not only doesn't pay anything to get around, but she doesn't even pay the gas tax that millions of Americans pay each day. This is the same Nancy Pelosi who voted to raise gasoline taxes at least five times.

CNN reported that Pelosi recently requested use of a military plane to attend a retreat in Williamsburg, Va., less than 150 miles (or a two-hour drive) from Washington, D.C.

Republicans on the Hill got a chance last Friday to dig into Pelosi when the San Francisco liberal appeared before the House Science Committee to drum up support for fighting global warming.

Not only does Pelosi's luxury Boeing 757 cost taxpayers about $15 million a year, but it certainly doesn't do anything for keeping the air between Washington, D.C., and California any cleaner. What would Al Gore say? Isn’t Pelosi contributing to global warming?

Here's some quotable quotes about the Pelosi plane flap:

"The jet that Pelosi has produces 10,000 pounds of carbon dioxide an hour, far more than the previous speaker used," said Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C.

"By commandeering a huge government plane for her personal transport to California, this is totally contradictory to the alarm bells we heard her ringing in the Science Committee just a few hours ago," said Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif.

"I do not question the imperative of providing for the safety of the speaker of the United States House of Representatives," said Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind. "On the subject of whether this is a silly debate, I think it is silly to question the right of the minority to question public expenditures."

Granted, a case can be made for protecting national leaders in the post-9/11 world, but a personal jumbo jet for the speaker of the House is over the top. Pelosi is a multimillionaire who can afford to make her own travel arrangements.

It's another example of how politicians — regardless of party affiliation — fleece the taxpayer. The Democrats may have replaced the Republicans as the majority in Congress, but the American taxpayer is still the loser.

It's time for Pelosi to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. It's time for the mainstream media to start telling the truth to the American public about the big-money liberals who control the Democratic Party. They're no different than Republicans.

Tony Phyrillas (Columnist)

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Biography - Tony Phyrillas

Tony Phyrillas is a leading conservative political columnist and blogger based in Pennsylvania. He is a veteran journalist with 25 years experience as a reporter, editor and columnist for several newspapers. Phyrillas received recognition for column writing in 2010 from the Associated Press Managing Editors, in 2007 from Suburban Newspapers of America and in 2006 from the Society of Professional Journalists, Keystone Chapter. A graduate of Penn State University, Phyrillas is the city editor and political columnist for The Mercury, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning daily newspaper in Pottstown, Pa. In addition to The Mercury website (, his columns are featured on more than a dozen political websites and blogs. Phyrillas is a frequent guest (and occasional host) on talk radio and has been a panelist on the "Journalists Roundtable" public affairs TV program on the Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN). Phyrillas was named one of the '10 Leading Greek-American Bloggers in the World' in 2007 by Odyssey: The World of Greece magazine. ranked Phyrillas the Most Influential Political Blogger in Pennsylvania for three consecutive years (2007-2010). You can follow Phyrillas on Twitter @TonyPhyrillas

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