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Terror Alert System Overhaul

Many people believe that the color-coded terror alert system was lways designed to serve two purposes. One, to convey a vague sense of dread about tenuously credible but maddeningly abstract threats. And two, to convey a completely arbitrary vague sense of dread whenever it was politically expedient to do so. Yesterday, former duct tape czar Tom Ridge seemed to admit as much at a Washington forum. "There were times when [others in the Bush Administration] were really aggressive about raising it, and we said, 'For that?'"


Is it time, then, to reimagine the system and make it less random and more useful? As Ridge's successors at the Department of Homeland Security contemplate potential "improvements and adjustments," allow us to make a suggestion. With just a few minor tweaks, much like those employed on the recent food pyramid makeover, we think the terror threat system could evolve from an easily manipulated anxiety booster to an oddly calming distraction.

terrorchart.jpg

Ridge reveals clashes on alerts [USA Today]

DHS Considers Alternatives to Color-Coded Warnings [WaPo]

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It's the night before the two-night Democratic primary debate extravaganza, and we're already tired. Turns out having 20 candidates spread across two nights when only six or eight of them matter is not the must-see TV we all thought it was going to be! But that's not to dissuade you from getting excited! We're excited! We're so excited! We're so ...

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SCARED!

In case you need a reminder, here is how it's going to go down:

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Lately he's been blowing smoke from another orifice.

After a cursory examination of the TWELVE filings in the case against California Congressman Duncan Hunter just in the past 24 hours, we can confidently declare that that guy is a fucking idiot. The prosecutors have him by every last one of his short and curlies -- which is what happens when you use your campaign credit card to pay for hundreds of thousands of dollars of ski trips, video games, tuition, and plane tickets for the family rabbit.

A rational human being would have pleaded down a year ago and given up his congressional seat, since he could cash out and make a lot more money as a lobbyist anyway. But not Duncan Hunter! He made the federal government chase him down and document every last carton of cigarettes, round of tequila, and Uber ride of shame home from his many girlfriends' houses in a 60-count indictment filed last August. And still this dumb sumbitch refused to admit he was caught, even after his lovely wife (and co-conspirator) Margaret Hunter flipped on him this month -- which is what happens when you use your campaign credit card to carry on multiple affairs and you piss off the US Attorneys enough that they put every 7 a.m. Uber ride in your indictment.

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