1) The TSA excesses are creating strange bedfellows. Charles Krauthammer writes today about the "idiocy" of the TSA's approach to airline security, including the nuttiness of body-searching the same pilots who will soon have the flight controls in their hands. David Weigel, via Andrew Sullivan has his own analysis of why, as in the case of Krauthammer, the TSA is proving the one issue that can bring about previously elusive bipartisan unity.
1A) Bonus idiocy point about strip-searching the pilots, as a United pilot pointed out to me yesterday. I don't know this first hand, but I'm told that most airline cockpits come equipped with a safety device known as the "crash axe." This is to allow the flight crew to break through cockpit windows or doors, if needed for escape from a crashed plane. Even my little Cirrus propeller airplane comes with a crash-hammer, whose "safety" purpose is to let you get out through the cockpit windows but which, like the "crash axe," would work perfectly well to brain someone.
So, pilots must be patted down, to make sure they have nothing hidden in their underwear; and we insist on this safety-first step before trusting them not only to fly the plane but to do so with an axe in arm's reach? Where in God's name is the logic of taking pen knives or over-3-ounce tubes of toothpaste away from them in these circumstances? I think this is the kind of "security" "strategy" for which the term WTF was invented.