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Keeping planes up. Getting Americans out.

   The lead editorial in today's Buffalo News asks what is usually a rhetorical question. And answers it. [Sort of like talking to yourself. And answering.]
- How many must die?
    How many people have to die before Congress and the Federal Aviation Administration force regional Dash8 airlines to bring their hiring, training and work-load rules up to standards they should have met long ago?
   Apparently, the answer is 50.
   It's all about the Airline Safety and Pilot Training Improvement Act of 2009, sponsored by, among others Rep. Brian Higgins, Rep. Chris Lee and Rep. Louise Slaughter. It is all a response, of course, to the February crash of Continental Connections Flight 3407 in Clarence Center, which killed 49 people in the plane, one person on the ground, and led to all sorts of startling revelations about the shoe-string budgets and starvation wages carried into the air by the pilots of such so-called regional carriers. The bill would, among other things, require a lot more training before pilots could carry all those souls aloft.
   Will that increase the cost of airline tickets? Maybe. But it will also increase the possibility that every takeoff you buy will come with the safe landing you have a right to expect.

   The other editorial notices that the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq may be going a little quicker, or a lot, depending on whose advice we take.
- Starting to smell
    The head of the Department of Defense says American troops may be leaving Iraq a little faster than planned, rotating out three brigades by the end of this year instead of the two now on the list. At least one of the Army’s top experts on the subject says we should remove our troops a lot faster, pulling out every man jack of them in barely 12 months.
   However quickly our troops do exit Iraq, Americans must not allow themselves the luxury of thinking the war is over.
   It goes on in Afghanistan.
Related:
- Gates says Army isn’t large enough to meet the demands of two wars
- U.S. Adviser’s Blunt Memo on Iraq: Time ‘to Go Home’  [Memo text]

-- George Pyle/The Buffalo News  

Editorials: Today's edboard

Good day, everyone:

I was off yesterday and the editorial board didn't meet. Today we did get together, but we'll be very shorthanded this summer week so there won't be as many topics in progress as usual.

What we did decide to look at this morning was the bid to extend the cash-for-clunkers program, the state's projected $2.1 billion deficit (sooner or later, they're actually going have to CUT SPENDING. Aren't they?) and American involvement in Afghanistan.

-mike vogel

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