Tag Archives: Janet Napolitano

TSA Plans No Retreat

Do you think the TSA, under the direction of Janet Napolitano, cares what the American public thinks about grossly invasive and, in my opinion, unconstitutional airport screenings? Think again.

Despite viral objections to new technology and procedures, the Transportation Security Administration PLANS NO RETREAT on airport screening, officials tell [POLITICO] Playbook. But the administration is having conversations with pilots’ unions about their loud objections to the full-body scanners and alternate patdowns, and a resolution is expected this week. As Thanksgiving approaches, look for more 9-11 families and other “security validators” to make the case in the media for rigorous screening. The fire on this story was lit by Drudge, along with CNN and USA Today, and the complaints by pilots were a propellant. Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano scored a front-page headline, story and photo in USA Today on Monday with her call for patience and vigilance by the traveling public.

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The Obama Principle

Update 3:  Sure, IBD is saying it now, but, remember, you heard it here, first.

Update 4: This time, Gregoire’s name really is being bandied about as a possible choice to head the Department of Interior. God. Help. Us. All.

You may be familiar with the 1969 book, The Peter Principle, in which Dr. Laurence J. Peter and Raymond Hull promulgated the theory that, “in a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence.” This came to mind when I heard yesterday, via @nwdigest, that a “top Democrat” from Washington is rumored as a potential replacement for Interior Secretary Ken Salazar if he runs for governor of Colorado. I wonder if that’s code for Christine Gregoire.

If so, a new theory will need to be formulated. I’d like to suggest the Obama Principle: “in a political hierarchy, players tend to rise beyond their level of competence in direct proportion their WTF!?! factor.”

Obama’s Administration would seem to be a case study. Does Janet “The System Worked or Didn’t Work” Napolitano ring any bells for you? Or “Safe Schools” Czar Kevin Jennings, perhaps?

It seems Christine Gregoire would be a perfect fit for this Administration. She’s certainly proven herself to be incompetent. During her tenure as Attorney General, two avoidable errors cost the State millions of dollars. One of those errors led to the forced resignation of Janet Capp, who sued and eventually settled with the State to the tune of $1.5 million. “Gregoire said the settlement was a “good deal” for taxpayers. She estimated that it would have cost the state more than $500,000 to try the case.” I admit to having weak math skills, but it occurs to me that $500,000 is $1 million less than $1.5 million…so I’m going to conclude that the only way this could have been a “good deal” for the taxpayers is if Gregoire expected to lose in court on the merits of the case.

Either that or her math skills are even worse than mine, which could go a long way toward explaining our current budget situation. Speaking of the budget, Gregoire’s incompetence is truly remarkable. In just five years under her leadership, Washington has plunged from a series of budget surpluses and a fat rainy day fund to a situation so dire, the State Treasurer is warning that the State is about to go broke.

Gregoire’s dismal record on public safety and her penchant for blaming others for her own shortcomings (Gregoire has long-standing experience in this highly prized skill) add to her qualifications for an appointment to any position within the Obama Administration.

As much as I would love for Washington State to be rid of Gregoire, an Administration appointment would be a travesty. So I suppose she’s in.


Update 1: I heard a rumor that the “top Democrat” in question was Jay Inslee rather than Christine Gregoire. I don’t know if that’s accurate or not, but Inslee is another Democrat I’d like to see out of Washington politics. Inslee would qualify for a position in the Administration, not by The Obama Principle, but due to his long-time membership in the Church of Global Warming. However, Salazar has declined to run for governor of Colorado, making continued speculation pointless.

Update 2: Liz Mair tells us “Word on the street in the Evergreen State is that she is actively seeking a new job, specifically in the Obama administration, which would enable her to resign her office and move on to better and brighter things.” I can’t say that I blame Gregoire; being governor undoubtedly isn’t as much fun as she thought it was going to be.

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Shorter Napolitano: “All’s Well That Ends Well”

I don’t really know all that much about Janet Napolitano but after her appearance on CNN’s State of the Union, I give her an F  for her ability to evaluate the effectiveness of U.S. safety measures. Or as President Obama would say, she earns a solid B+. Napolitano’s assessment, from the transcript.

What we are focused on is making sure that the air environment remains safe, that people are confident when they travel. And one thing I’d like to point out is that the system worked. Everybody played an important role here. The passengers and crew of the flight took appropriate action. Within literally an hour to 90 minutes of the incident occurring, all 128 flights in the air had been notified to take some special measures in light of what had occurred on the Northwest Airlines flight. We instituted new measures on the ground and at screening areas, both here in the United States and in Europe, where this flight originated.

So the whole process of making sure that we respond properly, correctly and effectively went very smoothly.

I missed the show, so I don’t know if  Napolitano managed to keep a straight face while letting this drop or not. I’m not sure how anyone could seriously say the system worked when a bomb was successfully smuggled onto a flight bound for the U.S.  We have the incompetence of the would-be terrorist to thank for the failure of the attack as much as any success of the system. Still, I’m glad she’s is feeling good about how smoothly everything went and how everyone played their proper role, self-esteem being so important.

Apparently Secretary Napolitano sets a very low bar. I’d rather not have to rely on inept terrorists and brave, quick-thinking passengers to keep me safe on a flight. I’d rather that people whose behavior has become so problematic that family members report them to the U.S. embassy have their visas rescinded. Call me crazy.

Unfortunately, the new procedures being put in place (the ones we’re hearing about, anyway), appear to be regrettably misguided and reactionary. The measures, which seem designed to deny would-be terrorists access to and opportunities to deploy their cleverly smuggled bombs, seem more likely to inconvenience law-abiding passengers than thwart a determined terrorist. What’s to keep a terrorist from launching into action 90 minutes prior to landing rather than 59 minutes?

More importantly, will airport sales of Depends surge as passengers are forced to remain in their seats for the last hour of the flight? Should I buy stock?

Even sensible precautions such as pat downs become nonsensical when applied evenly across the board to blue-eyed grandmothers and young Muslim men with ties to al Qaeda who have recently returned from Yemen “vacations.”

Either Janet Napolitano deliberately chose to mislead the American people by calling this situation a success or she doesn’t have the mental capacity to perform her duties competently.

(As  is becoming the norm, if you want all the details of a story that might reflect poorly on the Obama Administration, read the Telegraph. God bless the Brits.)

Update: Jimmie hits all the relevant points with his signature snark.

Update 2: Jimmie has more to say about Janet Napolitano, who plays the “out of context” card.

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