Chait's view of the attempted car bombing in Times Square:

Rushing to take credit for a bungled attack is fairly pathetic. It's another piece of evidence of al Qaeda's severely degraded capability of launching attacks on American soil, where leaving a smoke-filled car in Manhattan is an operation worth boasting about. The Christmas bombing likewise failed on account of miserably low quality.

Yglesias's question:

I don’t quite get why this is prompting so much less freaking-out than the Christmas underpants bomber did. Both seem on a par to me amateurish failures that seem to indicate that whichever people might be inclined to kill American civilians don’t have much in the way of capacity. Is the country learning? Maturing? Or is it just that airplane-related incidents have some special grasp on the public imagination?

Mixmaster at Balloon Juice recounts playing with firecrackers as a youth:

Apparently, the masterminds behind this device lacked the experience of a ten-year-old boy, since they didn’t know that M-80s tend to fizzle and can’t blow up shit. And they must not get basic cable, otherwise they would have put a hell of a lot more gas in that car to get those tanks to explode quicker. But they are clearly public relations geniuses, because the attention they’re getting is way out of proportion to their bomb-making skills.

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