Travel Newsstand for Oct. 18-31, 2017
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Read all about it! Trump Travel Ban 3.0: An odd case of déjà vu all over again. Spread the news: Vegemite goes upmarket in Australia. The big battle over a small jet for Delta Air Lines from
Trump Travel Ban 3.0: Déjà Vu All Over Again
Stop me if you've heard this one: President Trump signs an executive order promulgating a travel ban. But just hours before it is due to come into effect, it is shot down by federal district judges in Hawaii and Maryland. No, you don't have a case of déjà vu. It happened again this week. Even the judges are the same players we heard from when Trump tried his initial mess of a travel ban in January and then replaced it with Version 2.0 in March. The second travel ban was headed to a Supreme Court showdown until the Trump Administration changed gears last month, released Version 3.0 of the ban and informed the nation's highest court that earlier attempts were moot.
With Travel Ban 3.0 about to go into effect this week, however, the entire process started again and the federal district courts intervened and temporarily stayed enforcement. Although legal scholars and observers have suggested that Travel Ban 3.0 is well-crafted and would withstand judicial scrutiny, federal district court judges Derrick Watson in Honolulu and Theodore Chuang in Baltimore again were unconvinced. Both rulings referred back to what is turning out to be the travel ban's Original Sin: Candidate Trump's inflammatory 2015 rhetoric calling for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States." Both the Watson opinion and the Chuang opinion see the same bias. Chuang called Travel Ban 3.0 an "inextricable re-animation of the twice-enjoined Muslim ban." Counterpoint? A well-regarded Conservative scholar believes neither court ruling is on solid legal ground.
Either way, however, we seem headed back to the Supreme Court--unless the Trump Administration goes for Travel Ban 4.0 and afflicts us all with what that noted legal sage Yogi Berra called "déjà vu all over again."
The Land Down Under
Every culture has some "odd" foods--but then there's Vegemite, the inky and icky yeast extract spread that many Australians adore. It's so deeply integrated into the Aussie psyche that Vegemite regularly appears in iconic bits of international Australian identity. Watch Down Under, the global 1980s hit by the band Men at Work. One set of lyrics involves a Brussels bread merchant who identifies a visitor as Australian and immediately gives him a Brobdingnagian Vegemite sandwich. (Well, Vegemite and oil cans of Foster's Lager.) And it's that cultural ubiquity we consider today. Vegemite may have a questionable culinary reputation, but no one questions its appeal to all strata of Australian society. Well, until now. The paste's manufacturer has introduced an upscale version called Blend 17. It is sold in what The New York Times calls "achingly artisanal" packaging and it costs twice as much (about US$5.50) as a traditional jar of Vegemite. But is it better? Television personalities are taste-tasting it, newspaper critics are comparing new and old versions and, of course, Internet critics are having their say.
Big Battle Over Small Plane From
Like most business travelers, I'm not a plane geek. They are the moral equivalent of staplers. I use them because I need them. That goes double for planes that don't exist yet. Still, the tale of the new CSeries jet from Canadian manufacturer Bombardier is getting interesting.
The smallish, single-aisle aircraft got a big boost last year when Delta Air Lines ordered 75 aircraft and took an option on 50 more. But Delta ran into opposition from Boeing--an old frenemy with which it clashed over the Export-Import Bank. Both companies careen between protectionism and free-market principles as suits their respective purposes. In this case, Boeing went all protectionist and lobbied hard for onerous tariffs on the Canadian jet. It found no support in the Obama Administration, but discovered a friendly ear in the Trump Administration. Trump's Commerce Department last month slapped tariffs of as much as 300 percent on the aircraft. That generated pushback from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and British Prime Minister Theresa May, who got involved because Bombardier has a plant in Northern Ireland.
Also furious? Edward Bastian, the normally protectionist chief executive of Delta. He claimed last week that Delta would never pay the tariff on CSeries planes. And as if by magic, Bombardier found a solution. European manufacturer Airbus swooped in on Monday (October 16) and took a 50.1 percent stake in the CSeries project. A European parent wouldn't necessarily exempt the CSeries from the tariffs, but in 2015 Airbus opened a plant in Alabama. If the CSeries planes are assembled there, probably no tariffs. For its part, Bastian said yesterday (October 18) that Delta wasn't involved in the Airbus-Bombardier deal.
Tight Connections ...
Get REAL More than a decade after Congress gave Homeland Security and the TSA the power to insist that state drivers licenses hew to a federal security standard, the so-called REAL ID process is still a mess. The latest REAL ID map shows that about half the states are not compliant. Will the TSA refuse some state licenses as identification at airport security checkpoints? The TSA says yes, starting in 2018. But the TSA says that every year only to relent at the last minute.
Plane insane Jeff Immelt retired as chief executive of General Electric earlier this month, but some dirt is emerging. Like how he often had a second, nearly empty corporate jet follow him around on business trips. GE said the two-plane strategy was for "business-critical or security purposes."
Sporting life Pro sports teams were once good customers of Trump Hotels. Not anymore, says The Washington Post. In other words, sports is boycotting Trump while Trump calls for boycott of the NFL. -- Joe Brancatelli
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