Fruit-of-the-Loom Bomber update

Yesterday, I maligned President Obama. I cast an aspersion that should have remained un-cast. I hurled an insult that should have been left un-hurled. Yes, I was wrong. But I want everybody to know that I am man enough to admit it.

After he gave his speech saying, “We will not rest until we find all who were involved and hold them accountable,” I incorrectly said that he and Michelle then went to “grab a bite to eat.”

He actually went snorkeling. Word has it that there also may have been a stroll through the links.


I know what you’re thinking. Why should he rush home when Janet “The System Worked” Napolitano is hot on the job? Consider: Obama is plain tuckered out from jetting about the globe collecting prizes and apologizing for his citizens’ success. He deserves this vacation. Hell, before he comes home to work (Sunday!) on this terrorist-thing, he might even get in some fishing.

And old Nervous Nappy is working, she is. She went right to it, penning an opinion piece for USA Today, where she was forced—how she must have hated it!—to use the T-word when describing wannabe murder Abdulmutallab’s actions.

She said that she took “swift action immediately following last week’s incident.” Ah, “incident.” I suppose she just can’t help herself. The proper word, of course, is attack (which she did use later). But to consistently use the proper word would be to admit that the problem is larger than, as her boss put it, one “isolated” extremist.

Of course, I don’t want to risk wrongly accusing the president again. It might be that by “isolated” he meant “terrorist who was trained and aided by a well-financed Islamist organization whose motto is ‘A good American is a dead American, and an individual who announced that he was the first of many others like him.” If so, then he was spot on. Can somebody check on that for me?

Nervous Nappy’s “immediate actions” mostly consisted of having TSA agents pat down baby diapers—which, I suppose, saved a lot of mothers from having to check for action themselves.

However, there is no indication that security officials will now be allowed to use the most probative piece of information in screening. Almost certainly, it will not be used. It might hurt somebody’s feelings!

What’s a plane crash or two compared to the tears caused by the realization that you were selected for higher scrutiny because of your religion or place of origin? Far better to frisk Granny from Gainesville and let a few of us be blown up, than allow the insidiousness of “profiling” to creep in.

More Nappy: the attack “failed due in no small part to passengers and crewmembers who acted quickly and courageously.” “In no small part”? Friends: the attack did not fail. It succeeded in every way except its body count was lower than anticipated.

When you say “failed”, you allow yourself to breathe a sigh of relief that is premature. We were three drops of urine short of bitter grief and another unforgettable tragedy. This was anything but a failure.

The entire sequence of events was a Charlie Foxtrot of the highest order, a 10 on a scale of 10, a number not reached since Jimmy Carter decide to play Lawrence of Arabia. The only good that can come out of this mess—I hope—is that the most grossly incompetent of Obama’s employees will be cast out beyond the gates.

Nervous Nappy, for one, has got to go. She should be put on the first flight out of D.C. And she should personally be made to frisk every co-passenger and to put a stopwatch on each of their bathroom breaks.

After all, Nappy might get lucky and catch one of the other terrorists that Abdulmutallab told us were out there, waiting to attack. Now that would be an action worthy of the chief of the Department of Homeland Security.


  1. So It’s Napolitano’s fault they don’t screen people in Nigeria?
    Interesting concept.

  2. Briggs

    Tommy T,

    It is. Don’t forget that the terrorists old man phoned our people in Nigeria and told them to look out for his boy.

  3. Katie

    To date there have been two Christmas-bomber speeches—after the first, he was on the links and had to be called back to the compound as child of golf partner was involved in minor accident with surfboard. The second speech apparently was followed by a snorkeling outing. Let us reflect if others had the misfortune to govern at such a time—there would be hoarse cries that this is no time for vacation, that the American people need their leader in DC, that someone should align his priorities with his JOB.

  4. Rick

    We have to forgive dear Janet, after all, she’s got our resources busy monitoring the real threat – “Right-wing extremists” and soldiers returning home from war.

  5. Bill Gannon

    I don’t know why you pick on “Nappy”, so much. She is, after all, rumored to be Frank Drebins main squeeze. And Tommy T seems to adore her, too. So that’s two votes. Is that a groundswell of support abuilding?

  6. Skill is limited, but barking incompetence knows no bounds.

  7. Doc,

    You’re letting your panties get twisted.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  8. Ari

    Sorry Matt, but I have to disagree with you a bit here.

    Getting rid of Napolitano wouldn’t do squat. Not a thing. Political appointees and the career bureaucrats are practically members of different organizations. The real problem isn’t that one organization failed– it’s the whole damn apparatus.

    Turf wars, lack of communication, and a DHS which doesn’t really “integrate” for squat all compound to mean that even if Napolitano hadn’t made a silly gaffe and cranked up the stupid at TSA, the whole system would still be incredibly broken.

    I interviewed for DHS years ago, and the thing my interviewer told me at the start was: “You have to be very fluid at this job, because quite frankly DHS still doesn’t know what it’s there for… I mean.. uh…” It wasn’t inspiring.

    In the end, we need to rebuild our entire intelligence apparatus from the ground up (in my not-so-humble opinion.) Quite frankly the previous administration did a HORRIFIC job at “integrating” the organizations, and may have actually made it worse since 9/11, since we now have an organization that spends more time and money on these issues and further distracts us.

    I think righteous anger about this is fine, but let’s not cast stones just to cast stones. Let’s talk about what would make a difference. I’m not interested in this case in being partisan– I’m interested in getting our intel up to speed. There is NO communication, NO synthesis, NO action. Even if someone had tried to act on Daddy’s statement, something tells me that someone somewhere along the way would have been hamstrung by a clearance issue or a departmental issue or…

    Time to start over, I say.

  9. Ari

    Oh, and let’s face it:

    If we actually DO make TSA more logical and have them ease up on the bullcrap, then the Glenn Beck types will be bleating out, “what happened to my plaaaaaaanes?” and claim that Obama isn’t taking terrorism seriously enough. Even though, in reality, making people not read Kindles on planes exactly one hour before landing isn’t doing crap. But get rid of that restriction, and someone will say, “YOU AREN’T SERIOUS ABOUT THE WAR ON TERROR.”

    If we actually DO any kind of profiling, then everyone with a skin shade darker than Italian will be getting a couple of fingers up the behind every time he flies– yours truly included. Let’s face it, TSA guys are… well… special.

    The problem isn’t as simple as probing Muslim McMohammed Al-Islam’s butt every time he flies. It’s actually having competent people as well as reasonably good organizations that communicate all working toward logical, meaningful goals.

    Giving TSA broader authority just means more fingers in my nether regions, and I somehow doubt it would stop Abdul Muslimson from doing something nefarious. We really need to probe deep into the bowel of the problem before we find that which taints our ability to keep noxious types off planes. (Yes, that was all intentional. I grow witty after long days of work…)

  10. Briggs


    Interesting, but not surprising, anecdote!

    The kind of profiling I had in mind is specifically from flights originating overseas and using probative information, not skin color. I am also with you about giving TSA more authority, which is the last thing we need. Your word “special” for these folks applies strongly.

    But there are, of course, other organizations that should pull their heads out of their kiesters—another point on which we agree, including the part about the previous administration—organizations that already have all the authority they need.

    And that is why Nappy must go. You are certainly right that the DHS has multiple problems, but they cannot be fixed by a leader in which nobody has any confidence. You can’t have a boss who was, until recently, content to call acts of terrorisms “man made disasters.” Also, the Canadian government is still furious with her for her comments that the 9/11 terrorists came through that country. There is no way she can be effective.

    I wouldn’t worry about Beck. The man can weep on command. He should have gone into Italian opera.

  11. Doug M

    For years I have railed aginst the stupidity of having to x-ray my shoes because of one idot and his failed bombing attempt. If we add up all the wasted time waiting in line to have our shoes checked, it sums to about 150 years of wasted time per year. Two lifetimes are wasted each year.

    So now we have cap’n underpants. Because of the various security hoops we jump through our terrorist is able to smuggle only a couple of oz of high explosive. He can’t get any detonator aboard, and so fails to blow.

    I don’t know. It doesn’t seem reasonable to me that we can keep every whack job off of our airplanes. I am wondering if we shouldn’t say how thrilled we are that the system works as well as it does.

  12. Briggs


    WABC radioman Mark Simone has a good suggestion: have two airplanes, screen one like El Al, and screen the other TSA-style on which would ride the ACLU and other privacy worriers. See which one people want to fly on.

  13. Katie

    If Ms. Napolitano is shown the door, my nominee for new DHS chief is Rudy Giuliani. He isn’t going to be tied down with a pesky run for the senate or NYS governorship. He understands what’s at stake and no one can argue that he doesn’t. He isn’t going to mince words or hide the threat. I think a man like this could shake up the operations DHS and make a positive, possibly life-saving decisions. But, if Ms. Napolitano is replaced with a political functionary, inexperienced in security, who happens to be next in line for a top job… then, no hope for positive change, just more-of-the-same, do-nothing, don’t-care operations. It would be as if Ms. Napolitano never left her desk.

  14. 49erDweet

    Thank you, Ari, for your detailed input. The whole idea of creating a federal agency [Motto: Our HR standards will surpass the lowest guidelines – but just barely] to do the security screening has achieved its predictable results. It’s not that there aren’t great individual screeners or locations. It’s the whole thing was a bad idea taken to additional ridiculously illogical steps. And I don’t think anyone in government has the will to really “fix it”. Instead we will endure patch after patch while the leaking lifeboat slowly slips beneath the waves . . . . OK, I’m depressed. It was like deputizing the local DMV clerks and putting them in charge of homicide investigations. Yes, they are public servants, and yes, they might close a case or two – but would it really have been a wise move? Naw. Neither was using the stroke of a pen to reclassify entry level “screeners” into a federal peace officer classification. DMV clerks they might be. US Marshals they ain’t.

  15. Bill Gannon

    Yeah, but now they’ve got pretty badges.

  16. James Gibbons

    While I agree that Nappy and the current administration aren’t too bright about all this it appears that Bush wasn’t either.

    Title: Software fraudster ‘fooled CIA’ into terror alert

    Sounds more like the Keystone Cops than the CIA.

  17. J. Peden

    It is. Don’t forget that the terrorists old man phoned our people in Nigeria and told them to look out for his boy.

    Yes, but it wasn’t an “official” airport screening, so Tommy T is right against that fact also. The “interesting” thlng arises because we just don’t know why Nigerians – or is that Nee-jher-ians – don’t want to help a bro out here at the airport anyway. Especially with Michelle given OO status to supplement her impressive biceps, triceps, and no doubt quadraceps, not to mention the massive glutes, and…..probably some secret weapons aka “unmentionables”.

    Regardless, anticipating Obama’s first statement, and apparently fearing charges of “racism” – as though Black Presidents should always be forced to work like back in the days of “Selma” – Fox did in fact call it an Obama “break from his vacation”. It sounded fully respectful, although from there on, I just couldn’t focus. I’m afraid I might could be a racist. I don’t have Parkinson’s yet either, the details of whose relevance I will not bore you with, because such understanding is beyond the reach of mere mortals such as yourself, and because…..

    We must get back more urgently to your use of the racially charged term, “boy”. The only thing I want you to see, in order for you to possibly understand your unconscious self, is that Diaper Dandy Man’s father surely calls him “son”, not “boy”. The really important implication for you here is that no matter what anyone else tells you, you obviously don’t have Parkinson’s disease…yet. Just consider that good luck for the time being. But, briefly, Michael J. Fox does have Parkinson’s and he’s not a racist. So there’s that on the other hand.

  18. Briggs

    J. Peden,

    You missed your calling in becoming an official racism sniffer for corporate America. Think of the consulting opportunities! Not to mention the pay you’d make from editing Michael J. Fox’s press releases.

  19. Abdullard paid $3000 cash for his ticket and had no luggage. He had no visa. His own dad called the embassy and told them his son was grade A lunatic.

    The screeners in Europe were not incompetent — they were in on the plot… obviously… you don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to figure that out. No “screener” puts a person like that on a plane without full knowledge out what is going on.

    Whether Nappy Incompetano was in on the plot or not, I don’t know. Probably not. Our fearless leaders are drunk most of the time, or jacked up on something stronger.

    Or possibly in on the plot. Nappy wants you to fear returning soldiers, those who weren’t killed outright in the latest foreign affair (we have always been at war with Eastasia). And Republicans. Fear them. It’s all about fear. Fear is their psyop weapon of choice. Our own leaders are terrorists. It’s plain as day. You can’t deny it.

    And the fear/terror/panic/hysteria political psyop game is working. Most people fear Nappy, and Obombo, and Bidet, and all those evil dwarks. It is rational to fear our leaders. I certainly do.

  20. Ari

    Interesting article in NY Daily today about pay schemes for screeners in different countries.

    Surprise surprise, Israel actually pays their folks a decent wage, and guess what? They get decent people. We’re shocked about this?

    One of the biggest problems in this country, if I may be so bold, is our attitude that we should always contract out to the lowest bidder. I don’t want the lowest bidder x-raying my bags.


    I don’t like your false dilemma, mostly because you assume I want to fly on any American-based airline.

    And it’s still a false dilemma, no? 😉

  21. Low wages? Come on. The highest paid government officials in the world are incompetent, at best, or pro-terrorist. Shovelling cash at those who wish to blow you up has never worked.

    If Europe wants to fly terrorists over here, then ban all flights from Europe. Simple as that. If anybody want to come for a visit, they can swim over.

  22. Ari


    C’mon, that’s a bit silly.

    First off, I implore everyone to separate the average civil servant from political appointees, as they are different beasts altogether. For example, the average FSO in State has absolutely nothing to do with Clinton or any of her predecessors. The average person at HHS has nothing to do with Sebelius. Etc etc.

    And for that matter I know plenty of guys working in DC who are anything but overpaid. Especially Hill staffers, but they’re a special case. Last I heard, the average TSA security flunkie makes around $30K a year. They start at $24K Not exactly a bounty. Israeli’s version of the TSA makes significantly more, when you adjust for cost of living.

    Next, pro-terrorist? Really? Look, whether or not they’re misguided in how they want to deal with these issues by no means makes them “pro-terrorist.” They’re no more pro-terrorist than Rumsfeld was “pro-tyrant” because of his work with the previous Iraqi regime.

    Europe doesn’t “want” to fly terrorists over here, and something tells me that the Dutch government are none too happy about this. They screwed up– big time, yes– but it was not a unilateral screw up, and I doubt that anyone in Amsterdam is too thrilled about what happened.

    Besides, I like traveling, and I want to be able to take round trips to Paris. So there.

  23. James Gibbons

    Ari: Back in the late 70s the U of Oregon was building a new telescope. They got a bid from a low cost and low quality contractor. All the scientists knew it would cause problems but the decision was out of their hands. To this day it still can’t track long exposures.

    However, when the contract is big (and these scanners are above the $100K figure) you get the politicians involved. Consider the Air Force tanker deal where Washington state stepped in and tried to get Boeing the job. I don’t think it is still final. I wonder if there will be this type of fighting and delays for any scanner deal.

    We also need to consider that the whole body scanners are all fairly new technology (a gravy train for the suppliers), and the bad guys are working on ways to get around them. I don’t think they are very good at doing more than a surface scan so body cavity explosives will be the next response. There are also questions about scanner health effects. I like how they call the one scanner a “soft” x-ray device. True, some x-rays are called “soft” but they can still cause tissue damage and I don’t like being scanned by them.

  24. Well then Ari, you have nothing to deter you. After all, according to Nappy, “the system worked.” The “system” seems to be that you, a fellow passenger deprived of every weapon down to a toenail clipper will be required, under pain of your own death, to overwhelm your seatmates who are attempting to ignite the explosives in their underwear.

    Frankly, I like that system, since I NEVER fly. It’s no skin off my nose. And by the way, I have zero desire to pay for any security guards, or “system,” or scanners, or what-have-you, since I do not travel by air.

    Why should I pay for your safety when you don’t give a rap about it? Why do I always have to pay for whatever it is you want? This gun-to-the-head robbery is bumming my trip. Why don’t you come over and try to rob me directly? You’ll find out what real security looks, sounds, and feels like.

  25. J.Peden

    You missed your calling in becoming an official racism sniffer for corporate America.

    Sometimes we must work a little outside the system. It takes a villiage or now even a tribe, you know, and we homeless and perimeter scavengers must do our part or the delicate balance will be fatally disrupted. And even though it seems to work in warding off racism, it appears Mr. Fox certainly does need some help simulating Parkinson’s for on camera purposes, so I submit I’m just the one to provide it, too.

  26. And then, after you subdue the insaniac who just tried to blow you and the whole plane load to kingdom come, be prepared to be sued by said insaniac for violating his Constitutional rights.

    The level of discompetence shown by this event defies vocabulary. Mass lunacy.

    I am surprised that Mr. Abdullard was not beaten into hamburger by his fellow travelers. You know, deplaned in buckets. Swabbed off the deck.

    But he is fortunately just a suspect now, alleged to have perpetrating an incident, and he will be humanely tried and judged, and probably set free for technical reasons. Maybe then he will be ground up into dog chow in some back alley by non-governmental justice wreakers.

    Air travelers don’t need flight screeners — they need claw hammers.

  27. Briggs


    Aren’t you a sweetheart. Coulter can be a wee bit over the top, but this article seems fair enough.

  28. Jade

    Matt wrote:
    Aren’t you a sweetheart. Coulter can be a wee bit over the top …

    Well, that’s definitely something that you and Coulter have in common. 😀 Hahahha…. enjoying your posts. 😀

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