THE FIVE days that make up the Thanksgiving travel season are notorious for jammed airports, packed planes and overall transportation misery. After this past summer -- the worst for flight delays since the federal government started keeping records in 1995 -- this week even more has the makings of a nightmare. That's why President Bush deserves half a cheer for trying to do something to alleviate the impending pain, even with stopgap proposals.A whole cheer they could not allow, however, because President Bush's actions didn't manage to solve every air-traffic control problem and smooth holiday traffic until the end of time, forever and ever, Amen.
President Bush is alleviating some problems in the short term by opening more "lanes" in restricted military air space to commercial air traffic. The increased lanes will allow pilots to avoid inclement weather delays and congestion delays. He'll do the same at Christmas in what seems to be a pretty effective, common-sense solution to a national problem that--Hallelujah!--doesn't involve creating a new bureaucracy.
If it works for both holidays, perhaps the paper will see fit to award him 3/4 of a cheer by January. The WaPo doesn't go around handing out portions of generally nebulous, immeasurable figures of speech for just anything, you know.