Tag Archives: TSA

Two White Men Hold United States Hostage

18 Jan

The Hug That Sank 800,000 Jobs

We are now in day 28 of the government shutdown–the longest government shutdown in US history. What a national embarrassment; I suppose it probably provides poor sad Theresa May some cold comfort. Let us just be clear and use facts about why the government is shut down. 45 has continued to lie about the safety of our southern border. He and Faux/Fox News have used fear to scare his base of support into spending nearly 6 billion dollars on a racist wall. However, Trump is not holding the country hostage alone: he has his loyal sycophant and award-winning hypocrite Mitch McConnell to help strangle the country. Lest we forget, during this shutdown Trump and all of Congress are still being paid their full salary.

More on the spineless, sexist, lying, egotistical, hypocritical, bigot, Mitch McConnell: this is the same bully who proposed the identical initiative that the Democrats are now to prevent a government shutdown–the same initiatives that he won’t allow to reach the senate floor, even though they passed by UNANIMOUS CONSENT in December. Party over politics and a huge fuck you to the American People to demonstrate his loyalty to the Dark Lord Covfefe Hamberders (are you missing Dan Quayle now?), and his loyalty to Putin, who gave him 3.5 million dollars. The Dark Turtle from Kentucky says he won’t allow a “show vote” that 45 won’t sign. This despite the fact that he allowed TWELVE votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act that he knew President Obama wouldn’t sign; he’s also allowing an anti-choice measure onto the floor this week, even though it has no chance of passing the house. Those are the very definition of show votes. Racist, sexist hypocrisy much, Mitch?

Let us talk about the serious and far-reaching impact of Trump’s racist temper tantrum. Over 800,000 employees are affected by the shutdown and going without pay; this includes 54,000 Customs and Border Protection agents, 53,000 TSA agents, 42,000 Coast Guard employees, up to 88% of Homeland Security are working without pay. Maybe it is just me, but this does not make me feel safer. In fact, Trump’s tantrum has put the nation in jeopardy.

More than 380,000 people will be furloughed. This directly impacts NASA, the IRS, the Department of Commerce, the National Park Service. It seems to me this does not take an economics degree to understand that this is bad for the economy. Refund checks will now be delayed. There are now new barriers to homeownership, as there are now delays in processing and approving loans. This also negatively impacts all local economies that depend on tourism dollars to visit national parks.

While it is a Sisyphean task to keep track of all of the lies from Trump and his administration, it is important to note two huge whopper lies here.  Trump claimed that all of the previous presidents supported the wall, which in fact, is NOT true. Trump also made the claim that 63,000 Americans had been killed since 9/11 by people at the southern border. Again, this is NOT true. In fact, the number was made up by the self congratulating racist Steve King, who has now been censured for his charm free comment: “White nationalist, White supremacist,–how did that language become offensive?” I don’t even know how to unpack that, except to say that I’m grateful that at least a handful of Republicans have denounced King’s comments.

CALL TO ACTION: I implore you! Make those phone calls! Let Mitch know he can’t hide in his shell while the country suffers. Call your Senators! Thank the Democrats for holding firm and demanding that Congress perform its Constitutional duty of checks and balances. Demand that Republicans put their constituents before a pointless racist wall and force Mitch to allow a vote on measures that will easily pass.

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Poor Rand Paul: He Found Out He is not Above the Law

24 Jan

I am Above the Law!

When will Americans learns that elected Tea Party officials are allowed to be governed by a completely different set of rules than us everyday Americans?  I want to know what kind of Tea the Party is brewing and who is drinking it.  All Rand Paul had to do was get through security at the Airport in Nashville.

Apparently a millimeter wave scanner detected an “anomaly” in the area of his knee, according to Senator Paul, and TSA agents then said he’d have to undergo a full-body pat-down. Paul said he wouldn’t submit to such a search and offered to show agents his knee, instead. They said that wouldn’t suffice. There are rules in place (however excessive we might find them) to protect all passengers, even senators. as aTSA representative observed:

Passengers who refuse to complete the screening process cannot be granted access to the secure area in order to ensure the safety of others traveling.

But of course Sen. Paul feels there are separate but equal rules that his position entitles him to apply.  Yes, Plessy V. Ferguson is alive and well.  How sad that our poor old, sad old, dear old Rand was treated like any average American at the airport.  I’m sure his unpleasant and bitter brew of tea at the airport will only give him the stamina he needs to go forward and strip away the 14th amendment to block folk from voting. After that, Rand can finally conquer and put a stop to the unstoppable Gay Agenda.  Then he can get on to the business he was headed to Washington for when he ran afoul of the TSA, stopping women and ensuring they can’t be trusted with choices around their own bodies.  He is kind of like a Papa Stalin.

Peekin’ & Gropin’: That Won’t Keep Us Safe from Their Harms

26 Nov

In the ongoing saga of the TSA v. Common Sense, the latest set of security standards has created the most colorful ruckus so far. I’ve been pondering a post on this for a couple of days, and wouldn’t you know it, someone beat me to it. Mark Morford’s piece is funny, pointed, and brilliant. He makes the main points I was planning to make, at least at first. A few quick points, inspired by reading his words, that I think merit comment or amplification:

  1. The TSA is repeatedly closing the barn door after each horse gets out. Every new security measure is reactive, a strange strategy for safety. Tom the Dancing Bug illustrates this point brilliantly.
  2. We are also imposing increasingly heavy burdens on travelers within the United States in response to threats that have originated outside our country. The liquid-toting bomber, shoe bomber, underwear bomber, and $4200 package bombs all originated from airports that do not follow TSA guidelines.
  3. The TSA is touting a CBS News poll that finds 80% of Americans favor the use of the peek-a-boo scanners. A little closer analysis of the very skimpy poll, however, shows some big flaws:
    • There is no explanation in the questions of what the scanners do in a poll taken before there was widespread public awareness of the issue;
    • The poll was taken of the general populace, not of people who travel frequently or who have been subjected to these measures;
    • The poll sets up a false dichotomy of scanners v. racial profiling; and
    • As any supporter of full marriage equality will tell you, we should never put civil rights up to a popular vote.
  4. This new, excessive set of measures places an increased burden on already vulnerable categories of travelers such as the elderly, handicapped and transgender communities.

At the end of the day, we really need to ask ourselves if we’re on the right track. Should we continue to spend millions on a reactive infrastructure that humiliates and inconveniences millions of Americans or put that investment into more effective intelligence work that might actually intercept a terrorist before (s)he acts? Our color-coded, bomb in the toothpaste, strip for the camera approach serves mostly to increase our national sense of fear. Sounds to me like the terrorists are winning.

(title adapted with all due respect to Burt Bacharach; image ©2010 R. Bolling)

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