Even more important than saving Otis - saving face

F-15Otis isn't closing, but its F-15 fighter planes are still going to Barnes Air National Guard Base in western Massachusetts.

And for this our state's politicians are declaring victory?

"Otis has a new lease on life," said Sen. Edward Kennedy in a statement from his office.

"Otis will remain an active Air National Guard facility," Attorney General Tom Reilly is quoted as saying in today's Cape Cod Times - albeit one without any airplanes.

Maybe we could designate Otis a national marine military sanctuary, to retain a military presence at the base and keep out riff-raff like wind turbines.

And speaking of Congressman Bill Delahunt, today's Times says that "while many employees of the 102nd may have to move with the F-15s," according to Delahunt, "there will be new positions created."

"Cape leaders will now work (with) the Air National Guard and the National Guard Bureau to craft new missions, Delahunt said. A logical new mission, he suggested, is the creation of a regional homeland security center."

Yes, seeing how Homeland Security performed such a bang-up job helping the tens of thousands of people displaced by Katrina, let's plop a sluggish,  non-communicative  bureaucracy right in the middle of another coastal area susceptible to hurricanes.

Now that's thinking outside the box.

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