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Bad News For Congressman Chaffetz

There's a tiny item in today's WaPo about what a costly failure those airport air-puffer screening machines have been. In addition to being slow and unreliable, the $150,000 electronic sniffers are forever getting "clogged" and "confused," requiring an additional $48,000 apiece in operating costs. So, after shelling out $30 million for 207 of the little suckers in 2004, the TSA stopped distributing them in 2006 and is now set to retire the ones still in use.

What will take their place? More whole-body imaging machines of the sort that are already giving Utah freshman Rep. Jason Chaffetz the willies. In addition to introducing legislation to ban the imaging machines (his first bill ever), Chaffetz, in one of his adorable nightly cot-side chats, cautioned everyone traveling in airports currently using this technology to "think twice about doing it."

Hmmm. Just think about the kind of excitement taking that advice could generate in your average security line. 

On the other hand, this news should encourage all Americans to heed their mothers' warning to make sure they always have on clean underpants before leaving the house. 

--Michelle Cottle