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The Safest Way

In light of the breakdown of security procedures resulting in near catastrophe with the underwear bomber, the Obama Administration has announced an expanded no-fly list to reduce future risks to airline travelers. Drawing on a recent observation by Dianne Feinstein that “a very comprehensive no-fly list” would be “the greatest protection our country has,” the Obama Administration has announced the construction of a no-fly list that would include every person alive today on the planet.

President Obama, in announcing the plan, asked for patience in implementing the procedure:

I know this will take time. My administration will work day and night to construct the new list. We pledge to get this done by the end of 2010. It won’t be easy. But I wasn’t elected to take the easy path. That’s how we got into this mess to start with.

Critics wonder whether it is even possible to construct such a comprehensive list, but Home Security Administration official Thomas Worthington said that it was simply a matter of focus and commitment. To that end, the Obama Administration has simultaneously announced a massive expansion of employment at the HSA. These new jobs will be funded out of an expanded stimulus package, a “win-win situation for the American people,” said an administration spokesperson who declined to be identified. “The American people will be safer and the economy will be healthier.” Indeed, economists believe that such an expanded effort could bring the unemployment rate down to under 4% by the end of 2010.

While pleased to see her recommendation taken seriously, Senator Feinstein did express some concern about the new direction for safety policy. “I said that the no-fly list should include anyone with a ‘reasonable suspicion’ of being a terrorist. I think this may be taking ‘reasonable’ too far.”

But President Obama himself defended the expansion saying that the American people deserve air travel that is completely safe not just somewhat safe or kind of safe or a little safe. He challenged critics to come up with an alternative that would yield a smaller risk of a future incident.