The Friendly Skies

With Mercury retrograde, it seems a good time to re-sume the Astroblog. Or perhaps it's a bad time... that's the thing about Mercury retrograde, you can't be sure. At any rate, it is appropriate.

Mercury rules transportation, and the FAA shutdown is a very Mercury retrograde story. Republicans want to cut $16.5 million dollars from the $200 million allotted for rural development, which Democrats would like to maintain. The stalemate has shut the FAA down (although the rest of the government is open for business... more or less).

The thing is, with the FAA shut down, it cannot collect revenue on passenger fares - those annoying fees that make every day a Mercury retrograde when you purchase a flight for one price then watch is climb as fees are added. It is estimated that the shutdown will cost as much as $1.2 billion in revenue - about 73 times the dispute amount of $16.5 million.

Passengers are still paying the fees, by the way - but they are going to the airlines rather than the FAA. You can't get much more Mercury retrograde than that.