|Some things are humorous but not funny|
Here’s an interesting round-up of stories suggesting the TRANSPORTATION SECURITY ADMINISTRATION KEPT BODY-IMAGE SCANNERS (AND THE ASSOCIATED AGGRESSIVE PAT DOWNS) OUT OF SERVICE OVER THE HOLIDAY WEEKEND. If so, it was a cynical effort to dampen growing concerns about the TSA’s new security measures — so the TSA could proclaim “Opt-Out” day had become “TSA Appreciation Day” – and one that is likely to fail. As I noted here, the body-image machines and new pat downs have only been installed in less-than-twenty percent of the airport security lanes in the country, so if their use is objectionable to many travelers, then the groundswell will return as the TSA puts the new scanners and policies in place.
Once again a government agency has overstep it bounds. Expect to see a quiet change in policy.
TSA agent: “I myself would be just as confident flying before these new procedures took place as I would be flying right now.”
Passengers may be unhappy over long lines and enhanced security at the airports, but it’s a feeling shared by many at TSA.
“THERE’S A LOT MORE TENSION BOTH BY OFFICERS, FELLOW OFFICERS, AND PASSENGERS,” one Pittsburgh TSA officer told KDKA’s Jon Delano in an exclusive interview.
TSA officers don’t like the new aggressive pat-downs of passengers either.
“I TRULY FEEL THAT IT IS MORALLY AND ETHICALLY WRONG TO DO IT,” the agent noted. “This does not make flying safer. It’s just taking away American citizens rights.”
And all the horror stories at other airports only make things worse.
“EVERYBODY SHUDDERS WHEN THEY HEAR THAT BECAUSE THEY KNOW THAT IS NOT WHAT WE’RE SUPPOSED TO BE DOING,” the agent said.
It appears not everyone at TSA has gotten the word that they should be telling people they are simply making it safer in the skies. It isn’t.
AP-CNBC Poll: Cut services to balance the budget
To ease surging budget deficits, AMERICANS PREFER CUTTING FEDERAL SERVICES TO RAISING TAXES BY NEARLY 2-1 IN A NEW POLL. Yet there is little consensus on specific, meaningful steps - and a wariness about touching two gargantuan programs, Social Security and Medicare.http://www.realclearpolitics.com/news/ap/politics/2010/Nov/30/ap_cnbc_poll__cut_services_to_balance_the_budget.html.
An Associated Press-CNBC Poll showed WIDESPREAD ANXIETY ABOUT BUDGET SHORTFALLS exceeding $1 trillion a year. EIGHTY-FIVE PERCENT WORRY THAT GROWING RED INK WILL HARM FUTURE GENERATIONS - the strongest expression of concern since AP polls began asking the question in 2008. FIFTY-SIX PERCENT THINK THE SHORTFALLS WILL SPARK A MAJOR ECONOMIC CRISIS IN THE COMING DECADE
The last statement about 56% of the voters having widespread anxiety about budget shortfalls spells doom for the Democrats. As much as they try to blame the trillion dollar deficits on the Republicans, it doesn’t wash with the public.
Surprise: A politician being political
I recently was involved in postings on line. A liberal commented that rather than blame the government we should realize “The government is US.” I took exception to that saying the government is made up of bureaucrats and that the government in neither efficient nor effective, but political. The commentator then said, “The government is not political.” Besides being wrong, this person is very naïve.
In Greece earlier this month, Al Gore made a startling admission: "FIRST-GENERATION ETHANOL, I THINK, WAS A MISTAKE." Unfortunately, Americans have Gore to thank for ethanol subsidies. In 1994, then-Vice President Gore ended a 50-50 tie in the Senate by voting in favor of an ethanol tax credit that added almost $5 billion to the federal deficit last year. And that number doesn't factor the many ways in which corn-based ethanol mandates drive up the price of food and livestock feed.
Sure, he meant well, but as Reuters reported, Gore also said, "One of the reasons I made that mistake is that I paid particular attention to the farmers in my home state of Tennessee and I had a certain fondness for the farmers in the state of Iowa BECAUSE I WAS ABOUT TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT."
In sum, Gore demonstrated that POLITICIANS ARE LOUSY AT FIGURING OUT WHICH ALTERNATIVE FUELS MAKE THE MOST SENSE. Now even enviros like Friends of the Earth have come to believe that "LARGE-SCALE AGRO-FUELS" ARE "ECOLOGICALLY UNSUSTAINABLE AND INEFFICIENT." That's a polite way of saying that producers need to burn through a boatload of fossil fuels to make ethanol.http://townhall.com/columnists/DebraJSaunders/2010/11/30/you_can_stop_paying_for_al_gores_mistake/page/full/
Will Obama Triangulate?
All that said, as I’ve argued before, I believe OBAMA IS GOING TO DO SOME TRIANGULATION because, 1) HE HAS NO OTHER OPTION–big left-wing initiatives are closed off for now; 2) he wants to get re-elected. You’ll often hear conservatives say Obama is such a sincere left-winger that he won’t and can’t move to the center. But he was just as sincere a left-winger in 2008, when he CAMPAIGNED ON TAX CUTS AND EXAMINING THE BUDGET LINE-BY-LINE and living within our means. It’s basically an axiom of American political life that liberals who want to get elected or re-elected president have to trim their sails. And we can assume that Obama, no matter what he says about how he’s willing to be a righteous one-termer, wants to get reelected.
The problem Obama has is that although he ran on tax cuts and fiscal responsibility, he now has a record of favoring tax increases and throwing fiscal responsibility to the wind.
Some counter intuitive hygiene
I always rub my hands vigorously when using warm air dryers in public restrooms. Bad practice– according to recent research from two institutions in the UK. USING PAPER TOWELS TO DRY YOUR HANDS IS FAR MORE HYGIENIC THAN USING ELECTRIC HAND DRYERS which can actually increase the amount of bacteria on hands and can spread cross contamination in public washrooms, note researchers at the University of Westminster (1) and the University of Bradford. (2)
Keith Redway and Shameen Fawdar from the University of Westminster report THAT PAPER TOWEL DRYING REDUCED THE AVERAGE NUMBER OF BACTERIA ON FINGER PADS BY UP TO 76 PERCENT AND ON THE PALMS BY UP TO 77 PERCENT. By comparison, ELECTRIC HAND DRYERS ACTUALLY CAUSED THE AVERAGE NUMBER OF BACTERIA COUNTS TO INCREASE by 194 percent on the finger pads and by 254 percent on the palms. Jet air dryers increased the average number of bacteria on the finger pads by 42 percent and on the palms by 15 percent
I shake my hands and then dry them on my pants.