TheDC Morning: TSA nudie scanner only detects bombs that look like bombs

Mike Riggs Contributor

1.) Michael Steele decides that he has done enough damage to the RNC — It appears that RNC Chairman Michael Steele spent some time reviewing his contributions to the health and wealth of the Republican Party this past weekend. What else could have catalyzed his decision–forthcoming tonight, a little birdie told FOX News–to not run for a second term as RNC failman? According to FOX, Steele “sent an e-mail to committee members Saturday night with the subject line, ‘conference call,’ in which “he asked members to join him ‘for a private conference call’ Monday evening.” Perhaps Steele will review his greatest hits before bowing out? Or maybe he has plans to anoint a successor! All we know is that the field of Steele challengers (Reince Priebus, Ann Wagner, Maria Cino, Saul Anuzis, and Gentry Collins, oh my!) will all need to find new campaign slogans: “I’m NOT Michael Steele” isn’t going to cut it now!

2.) Obama and Coburn no longer Best Friends for Life — Since 2004, Pres. Obama and Sen. Tom Coburn have been closer than your average Chicago Democrat and Oklahoma Republican. Coburn prays for Obama, he says, perhaps operating under the theory that it’s possible to kill someone with kindness. He also writes the president encouraging letters, in which the Senate scrooge presumably dots his i’s with tiny black hearts. “Late this past week, however, the debate over the president’s tax deal with Republicans – and a side debate about the nation’s deficit and debt – provoked some of the strongest barbs between Obama and Coburn to date,” reports The Daily Caller’s Jon Ward. When asked if the President had given any thought to Coburn’s argument for extending the Bush tax cuts across the board while also cutting spending, White House spox Robert Gibbs said, “You have to understand, regardless of your philosophical viewpoint, that the argument that Senator Coburn is making – and again, a friend of the president’s – doesn’t make a lot of sense.” Coburn quickly slapped back via his own spox: “Where is the White House’s plan? Where is their list of cuts? How many spending bills have they vetoed? The world wants to see action, not hear class warfare rhetoric and partisan pap.” That is some Burr-Hamilton stuff right there!

3.) TSA nudie scanner only detects bombs that look like bombs — According to a newly released study in the Journal of Transportation Security, the backscatter x-ray machine (which former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff has been peddling for cash, and which the Obama Administration has defended as a necessary inconvenience) would not be able to detect a pancake-shaped bomb taped to the tummy! “It is very likely that a large (15-20 cm in diameter), irregularly-shaped, cm-thick pancake with beveled edges, taped to the abdomen, would be invisible to this technology, ironically, because of its large volume, since it is easily confused with normal anatomy,” claims the study by Leon Kaufman and Joseph W. Carlson. “Thus, a third of a kilo of [pentaerythritol trinitrate–the explosive material used by the underwear bomber], easily picked up in a competent pat down, would be missed by backscatter ‘high technology.'” And that is why we call TSA’s antics “security theater.”

4.) Paul Ryan explains that the Sword of Fiscal Justice has two sharp edges — The reason Democrats can’t imagine cutting taxes for all Americans is that Democrats can’t imagine cutting anything, ever. This mindset bewilders a few people, like Rep. Paul Ryan. “I find it sort of interesting that after this massive spending spree that took place over the last two years, the creation of two new health care entitlements, now there’s concern about deficits when they have a chance of raising taxes,” Ryan said during a TV appearance on Sunday. “We’re going to come out of the gates going after spending…spending cuts, spending controls, reforms of the structure of spending,” Ryan added. Tall order! Let’s hope Democrats, and Americans who want to see their government spend less so long as it doesn’t spend less on them, can make room for humble pie.

5.) Is your college graduate flipping burgers? — As the number of college graduates has increased over the last two decades, so has the number of college graduates working in low-skilled jobs, reports the Fiscal Times. “In 1992, total college graduate employment was 28.9 million, with 5.1 million (17.5 percent) working in low-skill jobs,” the outlet reports. “In 2008, the number of college grads employed increased to 49.35 million, of which 17.4 million (35 percent) were in fields not normally requiring a college degree.” While the FT is hesitant to downgrade the value of a degree (Heaven forbid we concede that it’s possible to learn outside of a highly subsidized and isolated college classroom!), it does admit that “with the acceleration in the growth of college enrollment (up 14 percent between 1987 and 1997 and 26 percent between 1997 and 2007), our graduate population has for the moment outgrown job expansion.”

6.) Is the American Southwest fueling the drug war it so frequently complains about? — It seem that Americans are not only supplying the Mexican government with money to fight the drug cartels from which many Americans buy their weed, meth, etc.; we’re also supplying cartels with guns to fight the Mexican government (and each other). “Federal authorities say more than 60,000 U.S. guns of all types have been recovered in Mexico in the past four years, helping fuel the violence that has contributed to 30,000 deaths,” reports the Washington Post. Ironically, “Eight of the top 12 dealers are in Texas, three are in Arizona, and one is in California”–also known as “border states.”