I had a good time guest-hosting for Rush today, and you can find a few moments from the show here. It was, however, somewhat disrupted by breaking news.
I began by noting the recent debacle at the TSA. Not content with a 96 per cent failure rate when it comes to detecting prohibited items, the TSA was also entirely unaware that 73 persons on the terrorist watch list are currently working at US airports. These are the guys you see at the airport zipping straight past the security line - the baggage handlers and bathroom cleaners and concession-stand employees, the fellows with the security badges that enable them to bypass the downtrodden throng of bedraggled Americans shuffling shoeless past the federal genital-gropers. And 73 of the guys with those security passes are on the terrorist-watch list. They're the "known wolves" - the ones who, after the atrocity, are revealed to have been in the official databases all along, as with the Boston Marathon bombers and the panty bomber and the fellows who wanted to kill Pamela Geller in Texas. Seventy-three known terror suspects managed to get jobs at US airports. I wonder how many would-be terrorists not known to the watch-list compilers are also gainfully employed at O'Hare and LAX and the rest.
One reason the TSA missed these guys is fairly obvious. As I said on the show:
You set up a lavishly funded agency to prevent terrorists from getting on the plane and the agency is not allowed to look at the terrorist watch list. The United States' answer to any problem is to create a new acronym and place it in the alphabet soup of the federal government.
So the feds created a new acronym - and then prevented them accessing the other acronyms' data. So we have a money-no-object terrorism-prevention agency that, every Thanksgiving, issues rules on the consistency of pumpkin pie you're permitted to take on a plane, and which detained a man at San Francisco airport for a suspiciously large penis, because apparently the TSA has rules on maximum penis size, and if it's in excess of that you have to check it and put it in the hold. So the TSA is doing a bang-up job when it comes to dried-out moisture-free pumpkin pies and federally regulated penises but it has no idea who the terrorists are or whether they're working in the Dunkin' Donuts down by Gate 47.
I would have liked to have heard what the homeland-security honchos had to say for themselves at today's scheduled Senate hearing, but about 40 minutes into the show the Senate hearing on security breaches at the TSA had to be evacuated because of a security breach. That's almost too perfect a summation of the Big Security State - except that 90 minutes later the White House press briefing room also had to be evacuated because of a "suspicious package".
It didn't last long, fortunately. The "suspicious package" turned out to be the President's missing ISIS strategy that someone had left in a brown paper bag under Helen Thomas' seat. But, as I said on the air, I couldn't recall the IRA ever pulling off the simultaneous evacuation of both Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament. You can hear some of the audio here:
"Some guy has just shut down the United States Senate and the White House within a space of a couple of hours," Steyn said. "The TSA hearing will not resume today, so they get to live another day before anyone gets to throw those tough questions at them. The big security state in this country is not working and that is the lesson of these two things today. Someone on the same day has just managed to get the Senate and the White House shut down. That is an appalling reflection on American security."
~We also explored The New York Times' latest Marco Rubio scandal du jour: It took him years to pay off hundreds of thousands of dollars of mortgage and student debt! Oh, and he once treated himself to an $80,000 speedboat! Everybody knows that, when a normal politician is hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, all he has to do is give one $700,000 speech on African diarrhea to a bunch of Saudi princes. As for the boat, David Jack Smith Tweeted:
You know if the NYTimes thought they could get away with it, they'd call Rubio: Speedyboaty Gonzales
Indeed they would. But the Times oppo-research machine has staked out Speedyboaty Gonzales' adobe, and they're determined to crush him like the cucaracha he is: hacienda the campaign for him.
On the other hand, despite all their attention to Marco Rubio's stop-sign infractions, the Times in its remorseless forensic examination of candidate motoring records has absolutely no interest in this:
Mocking the NY Times for all the attention they've given Marco Rubio's driving record, Mark Steyn revealed something today from Hillary Clinton's past that should put the NY Times to shame for focusing so much on Marco Rubio's speeding tickets.
He explains how Clinton's limo driver, back in 2001, in what he calls a 'driving Miss Hillary' situation, crashed through an airport security fence at 35mph with her in the back, injuring a police officer and only stopping because the police officer needed medical treatment.
~And, of course, I noted bachelor presidential candidate Lindsay Graham's wish for a "rotating First Lady". We've all felt the need for one of those. And we chewed over the parlous state of free speech in the American academy, where "safe space" is a euphemism for "one-party state":
The 'safe space' is a totalitarianism concept and where cultures go to die. If you're wondering why free speech is on the rocks in the United States and around the free world it's because our children are being held hostage in the safe space the first 20 years of their life.
~I'm hopeless at plugging, so I'm still getting emails from listeners demanding to know, "What's the title of that climate-change book you said you're part of?" Well, just to make it easy to remember, we called it Climate Change - and then added the critical kicker: The Facts. So it's called Climate Change: The Facts, and it features me along with some of the world's sanest scientists. I'm proud to say it's currently Number One on the Climatology Hit Parade, but look out, Michael E Mann's dire book - whoops, sorry, I mean Michael E Mann's Dire Predictions book - is hard on our heels at hit sound #176,649.
Don't forget you can always order Climate Change: The Facts direct from the SteynOnline bookstore, and I'll be happy to autograph it for you. If you can't wait for that, it can be yours in seconds via Kindle. And I'll be talking about the book on Friday morning live on stage in Washington, DC.