Yeah, I have to keep using scare quotes, because they’re a reflection of this country and its insistence on finding a terrorist around every corner.
The latest “crisis” is that, like last year, the Department of Homeland Security is in faux-danger of not being funded. Congress, as usual, is fighting. The whole brouhaha is fake, of course, since we all know the bureaucratic behemoth will be funded at the eleventh hour. But the battle gives our elected representatives a chance to preen and posture — hey, at least there’s something they do well!
No worries, though, because the TSA is considered “essential” to the nation’s security:
If the agency is shut down, roughly 30,000 of its 230,000 employees will be furloughed. The rest, deemed essential, would be expected to continue working, but without receiving their regular biweekly paychecks.
Transportation Security Administration officers at airports, Border Patrol agents, frontline law enforcement officials, and members of the Coast Guard would be required to report to work. But many administrative and front office staff members would be sent home, creating concerns about the day-to-day operations of the department.
At the T.S.A., which screens 1.8 million passengers daily, roughly 5,500 — or about 10 percent — of its employees would be furloughed, forcing some of the security screeners and officials in the field to be diverted to help with those administrative tasks. Law enforcement officers serving in the Federal Air Marshal Service, however, would be exempt.
Ha ha, that means longer lines at the airport, and more terroristy, un-vetted people being shunted to the Pre-Check lines.
And lest we forget — even the Mall of America is at risk! Oh, noes!
A new terror alert right when there’s a DHS budget impasse? Gee, how convenient.