New TSA Rules for Public Travelers not Releasable to the Public

A new TSA terror crackdown has swung into immediate action....against some travel bloggers:
The Transportation Security Administration is going after bloggers who wrote
about a directive to increase security after the incident.

TSA special agents served subpoenas to travel bloggers Steve Frischling and
Chris Elliott, demanding that they reveal who leaked the security directive to
them. The government says the directive was not supposed to be disclosed to the public.
OK, perhaps I am just a simple knuckle-dragging idiot, but I need someone to explain this to me...

The government says that rules specifically targeted at the traveling public, and rules that must be publicly announced to the traveling public while in transit....are not supposed to be disclosed to the traveling public????


Vital classified national security secrets to the NYT is no big whup, but unclassified rules for public citizens in the hands of those citizens is worthy of prosecution...This is not the transparency I was hoping for....

[Hat Tip: Confederate Yankee]


How Conservatives Are Made

#hhrs #tcot #rs #sgp
From The Corner:

"They Just Took My Money" [John J. Miller]
That's what my 8-year-old son said about the sales tax on the ride home from Borders a few minutes ago. He had a $10 gift card from Christmas, bought a Clone Wars book for $7.99, looked at the receipt, and wondered why he still didn't have a full $2.01 on it

This is how conservatives are made.
Congrats John, you must be very proud!

Crayola Akbar

Great...just great.
Two of the four leaders allegedly behind the al Qaeda plot to blow up a Northwest Airlines passenger jet over Detroit were released by the U.S. from the Guantanamo prison in November, 2007, according to American officials and Department of Defense documents. Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for the Northwest bombing in a Monday statement that vowed more attacks on Americans.

American officials agreed to send the two terrorists from Guantanamo to Saudi Arabia where they entered into an “art therapy rehabilitation program” and were set free, according to U.S. and Saudi officials...

Worst. Decade. Ever.

"Any time Dennis Kucinich is the voice of reason, you know you are really screwed..."

I vote for seeing more Al Gore impressions by Nick Gillespie

[Hat tip: Instapundit]


Captain Janet has turned on the Fasten Seatbelt sign...

...so please return to your cells seats for the remainder of the flight. Or else!

Now lets imagine you are on the tail end of your 10 hour flight home to the U.S. from Germany, or even a 14 hour leg back from the Far East, and you cross the magical 1-hour-until-landing threshold....and you encounter some fun new rules.

- Your tummy isn't reacting well to that second round of airline food? Sorry, you can't get up...keep your seat. I hope your neighbor doesn't mind the smell. (TSA Security Directive SD-1544–09-06, Para 2.1.1)

- Want to get some medication out of your carry-on stored in the overhead (or under the seat in front of you)? Sorry, it is forbidden to access them...you'll just have to hope you can hold out until you reach the gate. (TSA Security Directive SD-1544–09-06, Para 2.1.2)

- Want to use that cool, fancy TV screen mounted in the seat in front of you, or the cool in-flight wi-fi to pass the many hours? Sorry, it prohibited for the *entire* flight. (TSA Security Directive SD-1544–09-06, Para 2.1.3)

- Want to know what that interesting looking city/natural formation is that you are flying over? Sorry, its classified. (TSA Security Directive SD-1544–09-06, Para 2.1.4)

- Tired and cold after your double-digit flight to the Land of the Free? Sorry, you'll just have to shiver and be uncomfortable as blankets and pillows are verboten. And don't even think about having that book in your lap either. (TSA Security Directive SD-1544–09-06, Para 2.1.5)

So, sit up ramrod straight and breath in slow, shallow breaths, or we might have to hog-tie you for the sake of National Security.

This has been Captain Janet, and we want to thank you for flying TSA, because we know that when it comes to flying rules, you have no choice whatsoever.

Oh, and pay no attention to that guy in seat 19A who didn't break any of these new rules, but is still about to ignite the bomb in his pants....

UPDATE: Stupidity in action....(No offense to JetBlue)

Let the Furious Napolitano Spin Begin

"One thing I would like to point out is that the system worked" - Janet Napolitano on CNN

"Our system did not work in this instance" - Janet Napolitano on the Today Show

Janet, you're doin' a heck of a job....

Oh, and the 1970's called...it wants its fashion sense back....


Bad News? Blame Bush! (As Predicted)

Gateway Pundit says:
Pathetic. Obama White House Finds Way to Blame Bush for Detroit Terror Attempt

Blaming Bush for this flub was a stretch even for Obama.
But, it surprises no one.
Not that I want to crow too much (because it was such an easy prediction), but this is what I posted back on Christmas day....
OK, so we the press doesn't have the Bush administration to kick around anymore, but I will bet you dollars to doughnuts that someone with connections to the Obama Administration will appear on CNN or MSNBC and present the spin that this was somehow the fault of Bush Administration policies.

Mark my words....
Fish. Barrel. Gun.

UPDATE: Check out Verum Serum as well....

"Janet, You're Doin' A Heck of A Job"

In the finest tradition of using Presidential words to attempt to reassure the American public about the competence of an arguably less-than-competent administration flunky, I would recommend that President Obama should curtail his vacation to make the following statement....
"Janet, You're Doin' A Heck of A Job"

I think it would go over like gangbusters....it did wonders for Bush.

UPDATE: BTW, if that isn't a perfect stunned mullet look on Napolitano's face, I am not sure what is... I know I feel safe....

UPDATE II: Of course looking like a stunned mullet doesn't look as bad as this:

That look seems to be all the rage with the kids on Pennsylvania Ave....

UPDATE III: Let the furious Napolitano spin and backtracking begin!

TSA Ups Screening for Domestic Grandmother Threat

Instapundit points out the TSA's new 'HORSE, BARN DOOR' security program. "Air security has always been a joke. It’s just an increasingly inconvenient one."
New Restrictions Quickly Added for Air Passengers

In the wake of the terrorism attempt Friday on a Northwest Airlines flight, federal officials on Saturday imposed new restrictions on travelers that could lengthen lines at airports...
As I said on Friday, if what is reported above by the NYT is true, then the TSA is focusing on the wrong threat:
If this jihadi was able to get as far as he did because he boarded a flight in relatively security-free Nigeria (hint: outside the USA), and then didn't get another security screening in Amsterdam (again outside the USA), then why do American holiday travelers now have to get the third-degree from TSA (hint: inside the USA) on their way home from Grandma's??
A commenter to that post reminded me that even Grandma's are not exempt from this misapplication of security (all in the name of the appearance of non-profiling).

But the ultimate point in is that TSA and HLS should spend more time working to get other countries to improve their security procedures (like re-screening passengers from unsecure airports), than further inconveniencing American air travelers.

Security, and unpredictable security at that, *IS* needed. But it should common sense in the way that is more concerned with terrorists, than the agendas of the zealots in the ACLU and CAIR.


Smart Diplomacy Fail

So, how's that Smart Diplomacy® working out for ya, Mr. President?
Obama the party crasher

Foreign leaders were avoiding the president in Copenhagen
Barack Obama is not used to being the guy not invited to a party. At the Copenhagen global warming conference, however, he found that not everyone wanted to hang with him. Our president can't take a hint.

They had tried politely to keep Mr. Obama at arms length, but since he showed up, decorum mandated that they find a way to save face.
The Copenhagen conference was a lesson in power and humility. The countries in the BASIC bloc demonstrated that the United States lacks the leverage necessary to convince them to make decisions that work against their national interests. And Mr. Obama is learning the uncomfortable lesson that there are limits to what his personal charisma can achieve.
I miss dem Cowboy Diplomatizin' days...

Given his current run of luck, perhaps President Obama should avoid the city of Copenhagen in the future. Apparently they didn't get the memo concerning the required genuflecting....


The Nigerian Firecracker

Geez, the Bush Administration sure has fallen asleep at the switch when it comes to preventing terrorism by letting this guy into the country....
King: Airline bombing suspect had 'significant terrorist connections'
By Michael O'Brien - 12/25/09 08:38 PM ET

The suspect in an alleged attempted bombing of a Northwest Airlines flight on Christmas was on a list "indicating significant terrorist connections," Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) said Friday.

King, the top Republican member of the House Homeland Security Committee, described the suspect in the attempted bombing of a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit as a 23-year-old Nigerian national with potential ties to al-Qaeda.

"He is a 23 year old Nigerian who is also - it's been confirmed to me - while he was not on a no fly list, his name was on a list for having terrorist connections," King said during an interview Christmas evening on CNN.
OK, so we the press doesn't have the Bush administration to kick around anymore, but I will bet you dollars to doughnuts that someone with connections to the Obama Administration will appear on CNN or MSNBC and present the spin that this was somehow the fault of Bush Administration policies.

Mark my words....

Though it is more likely to be an example of the return of 'The Wall' than anything else...

UPDATE: Let me add a separate but related thought... If this jihadi was able to get as far as he did because he boarded a flight in relatively security-free Nigeria (hint: outside the USA), and then didn't get another security screening in Amsterdam (again outside the USA), then why do American holiday travelers now have to get the third-degree from TSA (hint: inside the USA) on their way home from Grandma's??

UPDATE II: Welcome Instapundit readers, and Merry Christmas! Let me take this opportunity to ask that you spread some of your own Christmas cheer and support deployed and wounded service members this holiday season. Consider donating what you can to a worthy cause such as Fisher House or Soldiers' Angels. Thank you for any generosity....

Pelosi-Care Holiday Anthem

(to the tune of "Tannenbaum")

Pelosi-care! Pelosi-care!
It makes our health plans equal.
Pelosi-care! Pelosi-care!
I see a Commie sequel.

The current plan is just a start:
She'll take our freedoms all apart.
Pelosi-care! Pelosi-care!
Her chutzpah knows no equal.

Pelosi-care! Pelosi-care!
With Harry Reid's assistance,
Pelosi-care, Pelosi-care,
Will overcome resistance:

Oh, single payer's on its way!
The ghost of Marx will shout hurray!
Pelosi-care! Pelosi-care!
You'll buy at her insistence.

Pelosi-care! Pelosi-care!
The public is affrighted.
Pelosi-care! Pelosi-care!
Obama grins, delighted:

His leftist envy's proven pure;
His legacy is now secure!
Pelosi-care! Pelosi-care!
Some wrongs cannot be righted.

--Tom Riley


Lefty Mouthbreathers Bad for the Environment!

#hhrs #tcot #rs #sgp
This morning Instapundit said the following in relation to lefty environmentalists saying they are out to save the planet, but then ignoring/blocking the very types of solutions they say they want:
If you’re going to tell me that carbon dioxide is an unparalleled catastrophe for this planet, you’ve got to be willing to demonstrate your sincerity by, you know, endorsing other forms of energy. Otherwise, I’m inclined to think you’re a lying opportunist or something.
This is a very good point, but when it comes to Carbon Dioxide, I think he is missing a better counter-argument. I word re-word that statement as such:
If you’re going to tell me that carbon dioxide is an unparalleled catastrophe for this planet, you’ve got to be willing to demonstrate your sincerity by, you know, boycotting the breathing process. Otherwise, I’m inclined to think you’re a lying opportunist or something.
Of course the ultimate point is that CO2 is not a pollutant, but is a by-product of life on this planet, even the non-human, or even non-animal, kind....

But of course having every one stop breathing to prevent Global Warming is just not practical. I mean if we did we would have to change the movement slogan from "GO GREEN" to "GO BLUE"....and we have already printed up the signs and banners for the school propaganda campaigns....


That Bizarre Filibuster Thingy

Much like the sudden disappearance of the "No Blood For Oil" liberal objection to the ongoing war, we have also seen the sudden disappearance of the liberal's love affair with the filibuster.

E.J. Dionne as quoted in The Corner:
Of course what has happened on the health-care bill is enraging. It's quite clear that substantial majorities in both houses of Congress favored either a public option or a Medicare buy-in.

In a normal democracy, such majorities would work their will, a law would pass, and champagne corks would pop. But everyone must get it through their heads that thanks to the bizarre habits of the Senate, we are no longer a normal democracy.

Because of a front of Republican obstruction and the ludicrous idea that all legislation requires a supermajority of 60 votes, power has passed from the majority to tiny minorities, sometimes minorities of one.
I am not sure why this is a problem for Dionne, given that the Dems have apparently secured their needed 60 votes. But it is the process by which the Dems got those 60 votes that screams for the need of an official form of 'obstructionism'.

It is telling though that Dionne would consider Harry Reid dispensing billions of dollars, graft, and favoritism in back-room deals to be "normal democracy". Oh the horror that the GOP might consider using approved parliamentary tactic to try and counter-act this blatant Christmas shopping spree for votes.

But the best part of course is that Dionne used to loooove the filibuster when it was used to oppose the evil W. Leave to an astute WaPo reader to point this out....
E.J. Dionne Jr. ["Democratic fratricide," op-ed, Dec. 17] views the Senate as a "dysfunctional and undemocratic partisan hothouse," presumably because of the ability of 41 senators to prevent a bill from coming to a final vote.

Mr. Dionne has not always taken such a dim view of undemocratic procedures, however.

In 2003, he heartily approved of Democratic obstruction of two judicial nominations by President Bush: "The filibuster is the only way to prevent the president from creating a federal judiciary dominated by ideologues of his own persuasion, appointed to satisfy his political base" ["Order and the Courts," op-ed, May 9].

If a filibuster was justified merely to keep two conservatives off the bench, why should it not be used by senators who believe that the health-care bill would be a disaster for the country?

Richard L. Lobb, Fairfax
Kudos to Mr. Lobb, and the WaPo for actually running the letter.

A pox on Dionne for being a transparent, partisan hack. At least there is some transparency in Washington nowadays....


Global Warming Keystone Cops

If I happened to be a believer in Anthropogenic Global Warming, and a proponent of what is being bandied about in Copenhagen, right now I would be screaming, "For the love of Pete you idiots! Why don't you plan these conferences for the summer?!?!?"

I mean, what could be worse when you are trying to convince a non-plussed American public that Global Warming is a problem that requires immediate action and immediate infusions of American tax dollars, and then to battle the following headlines:

DC snowstorm forces Pelosi to cut short her global warming trip

NYC Expecting Up to 10 Inches of Snow

Up to 20-inches in DC

Alaska sees record snow: Five feet, 8 inches deep!
What with all the self-appointed smartest people in the world meeting in Denmark, you would think at least some of them could have figured out that it might make better propaganda if they could show their delegates sweating in un-air conditioned meeting rooms while working out an agreement.

Instead heretics like me get to cackle when Global Warming protests get snowed out, winters get worse, or they are forced to break out the shovels in Copenhagen....

I mean, how hard could it be for someone to think "We should do this in Vegas in July!"

Debauchery AND triple-digit temperatures. What could be better for the UN technocrat trying to make a point to us knuckle dragging layabouts without the threat of snow drifts distracting from the message.

Too hard apparently....but it doesn't bother me....



Everything we need to know about the legitimacy of the European Vacation Global Warming conference in Copenhagen:
Climate summit erupts in 'deafening applause' for Hugo Chavez...
These are the self-appointed intelligentsia who want to run your lives....
President Chavez brought the house down. When he said the process in Copenhagen was “not democratic, it is not inclusive, but isn’t that the reality of our world, the world is really and imperial dictatorship…down with imperial dictatorships” he got a rousing round of applause.

When he said there was a “silent and terrible ghost in the room” and that ghost was called capitalism, the applause was deafening.
Great, our new overlords are Chavanistas. And they are too stupid to even see through their love-sick eyes that he is insulting them to their faces. This is not the change I was hoping for.

On the flip side, something good did happen at the conference:
Blizzard Dumps Snow on Copenhagen as Leaders Battle Warming
You gotta love the Gaia that all these leftists worship. She has a wicked sense of humor....

That polar ice cap looks pretty good to me....

UPDATE: More Chavez-y goodness over at Fausta's place....


The Sticky Mess That is Obamacare

Instapundit quotes Ann Althouse:
“People just don’t want this bill. I think the big mistake was skipping the step of winning public support for a particular plan. It wasn’t enough that people believed there was a problem. People needed to believe the solution wasn’t worse than the problem. We were supposed to look away and trust them. The trust was never won, never earned. It’s been a horrific mess, and it just looks messier and messier as time wears on. Obama kept his distance, which looks pretty smart now.”
Two thoughts on this....

1) The main problem that has doomed Obamacare is that the American people have a general historic distrust of what comes out of Congress. If the people had a positive, or even neutral, opinion of our Congresscritters, then Obama may well have been able to sign a healthcare reform bill by now. But the fact that the effort was so closely associated with Congress and not the highly popular new president probably spelled its doom. Since 'Obama kept his distance', and every pronouncement came out of preening camera-hogs in the Capital rotunda, its was obvious who was making the sausage. The One should have expended his own newly bestowed political capital to push the bill over the goal line, but he left it to those people that all polls show that America distrusts.

2) At the same time, keeping his distance did not work for Obama. The simple fact that the term 'Obamacare' is synonymous with the effort to cede the government control of everyone's healthcare, shows that his attempts to remain above the fray failed. While he did avoid being seen as working the details in the trenches, it was clear from the White House that healthcare reform was considered one of Obama's 'legacy issues'. Thus it is clear to most American's that while Congress is making the sausage, it was the White House that is running the Red Hot cart on the corner, selling the product to the public at large....

I think Ann is wrong. Obama does not escape the mess, and he does not look very smart...


Put Away Your Pink Ribbons - Part II

1) There are those who have said there is no way that Obamacare 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 7.0 will lead to healthcare rationing.

2) Then there were those who said that the recommendation by the U.S Preventive Services Task Force against routine Breast Cancer screening wouldn't lead to reduced coverage to pay for said screenings.

20 States Have Now Cut Funding For Mammograms After Government Task Force Recommendations

As the economy falters and more people go without health insurance, low-income women in at least 20 states are being turned away or put on long waiting lists for free cancer screenings, according to the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network.
Hmmmm...I wonder what that portends for item #1?? Yeah that's what I thought....

Not the change I was hoping for.

[Hat Tip: Gateway Pundit]


Consequences of Delaying the Afghan Decision

Over at Bouhammer's Afghan Blog, an Afghan vet lays out why President Obama's delay in making a decision on an Afghan surge will make things a lot more complicated.
Dear Mr. President:
Posted By The Dude on December 6, 2009

Now that I’ve had a few days to ingest, digest, and perform my own mission analysis on your new plan for Afghanistan, I’m a bit concerned. My concerns are based from my experiences of being on one end of the spectrum at the tip of of the spear defending freedom in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border regions, to the opposite end of that spectrum in Kuwait serving in the logistical nerve center for both Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF).
Some points to consider....

- Winter is coming has already arrived in Afghanistan. Had this decision been made during the summer, any surge of forces to the north and the east of the country could have beaten the winter conditions. Now it will be more difficult.

- With the upcoming drawdown in Iraq, logistics hubs and transport will be very busy in 2010. Add ina surge to Afghanistan, and you get a logistics nightmare. Had this decision been made during the summer, then some of the surge movement could have preceded the Iraq drawdown, and thus avoided future scheduling conflicts. I feel for my Army logistician and Air Force airlift brethren over the coming year...

Perhaps this should not come as any surprise, especially concerning the office of the President of the United States, but decisions (or lack thereof) have consequences. And even seemingly trivial decisions can have cascading effects. However when it comes to military matters in times of war, there are no trivial decisions, and the cascading effects can have serious consequences.

It can only be in Washington where 'a decision delayed is a decision made'. I don't think they teach that up at West Point, Mr. President.


Obama Afghanistan Speech Word Count

President Obama's Afghanistan Speech Word Count: 'I' - 45, 'Afghanistan' - 39, 'Victory' - 0

Here is the word cloud for the speech:

(Wordle removes the most common english words, thus 'I' does not appear)

Nurse Pelosi says Turn Your Head and Cough

Many good Americans, though less by the day it seems, ask "What's wrong with passing this health care reform? Especially if it will lower costs and give coverage to those without it."

But many more people have realized however that this "reform" is not about either cost nor coverage. For those that are pushing it, this is not about health care, but rather about "health control".

While the Democrats may spout their assigned talking points about how Obamacare will bring gumdrops and candy canes, they will rarely admit their real motivation despite the fact that everyone knows what it is. That admission would not help them sell this lemon of a used car.

Apparently someone forgot to tell this to one of Nancy Pelosi's staffers. The one in charge of her website's "Mythbuster" feature.

In response to the 'myth' that "Health insurance reform could be unconstitutional…or violate the 10th amendment", Pelosi's website (is that like saying Obama's teleprompter?) says:
"Since virtually every aspect of the heath care system has an effect on interstate commerce, the power of Congress to regulate health care is essentially unlimited."
That's right...one of the leaders of the Congress is happy to let you know that she has your health care by the balls. Now turn your head and cough!

So the next time some nice lefty tells you it is all about high costs and the uninsured, and that the government would never ration your health care, just remember that Nurse Ratched Nancy Pelosi wants you to know her power is unlimited when it comes that health care, and then remember this, this, and this.

Like I said...it isn't about health care, it is about health control....

[Hat Tip: Jonah Goldberg]