Posts Tagged ‘napolitano’

4th March
written by Sean Noble









Did you know that one piece of Starbucks’s banana walnut bread has 490 calories? A quick google search of “calories in banana nut bread” shows that a piece of your average, homemade version contains less than half that many. When I heard this surprising information, I couldn’t help but think of our federal government’s budget compared to the budgets of hardworking taxpayers. Taxpayers trim the fat in their family budgets and live within their means, but Washington? They don’t cut the fat, their priorities are bananas, and they’re all nuts.

Just look at former Arizona governor Janet Napolitano’s sequester shenanigans. As the Homeland Security Secretary, Napolitano oversees the nation’s airports. This morning, she claimed our airports, specifically LAX and Chicago’s O’Hare, were experiencing major delays because of sequestration “budget cuts,” which both airports have denied. Only in bloated Washington can a reduction in the rate of spending increase be considered a cataclysmic cut.

The current administration is so bananas, it manufactures crises to make cheap political points. But, this time, they just might have gone too far. Poll after poll shows that the American people want spending cuts. They know Washington can cut back. So what’s an ideologue who’s completely incapable of compromise to do? Feign catastrophe of course. For weeks, President Obama described post-sequester America as a world of near-chaos with rotting food on grocery store shelves, youth roaming the streets, and pay cuts for U.S. Capitol janitorial staff. Like so many of Obama’s nutty claims, not one of these things actually happened.

30th December
written by Sean Noble

Let’s say your boss is on vacation and something big happens at the office. You don’t want to bother him, so you tell everyone that there is nothing to worry about, “the system worked. Then, a couple days later your boss is compelled to hold a press conference to admit that there was a “systemic failure.” Quite the opposite of “the system worked.” You’d probably then be a little worried about whether you were going to keep your job.

So DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano is probably not feeling all that secure right now. Obama hasn’t thrown her under the bus yet. But using “systemic failure” must make Napolitano cringe. As she was doing serious damage control about how her comments were related to the aftermath of the attack, Obama did, kind of, come to her defense:

Mr. Obama appeared to be trying to contain the damage on Tuesday, offering “systemic failure” as a substitute diagnosis for “system worked.” He framed Ms. Napolitano’s statement by saying she was right that “once the suspect attempted to take down Flight 253, after his attempt, it’s clear that passengers and crew, our homeland security systems and our aviation security took all appropriate actions.”

Remember what happened after the last president defended a top official in a crisis? “You’re doing a heckuva job, Brownie.”

I’m not certain Napolitano should feel much comfort in the comments from Obama. Brown resigned within days of being praised by President Bush.

28th December
written by Sean Noble

Air travel. We Americans do a lot of it. More than most countries, by a long shot. I do quite a bit myself – by Dec. 31 I will have logged nearly 200,000 miles this year alone.

What disturbs me about the botched attack by a young Nigerian radical on a Northwest flight from Amsterdam to Detroit is that it could have easily been thwarted.

A 23 year-old man buys a one-way ticket with cash and has no luggage on an overseas flight. Are you kidding me? I buy a one-way ticket on my credit card on any flight other than US Airways (the carrier I use the most) and I am almost always selected for secondary security screening.

The New York Times reports that Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano initially said “the system worked.” Of course that is absurd, and she quickly had to backtrack on that statement, trying to brush it aside as being taken “out of context.”

From the New York Times article:

Ms. Napolitano was not the only Obama administration official to initially portray the episode, in which passengers and flight attendants subdued Mr. Abdulmutallab and doused the fire he had started, as a test that the air safety system passed.

Robert Gibbs, the White House spokesman, echoed the positive comments Ms. Napolitano made on ABC’s “This Week, ” saying in an interview on “Face the Nation” on CBS that “in many ways, this system has worked.”

But counterterrorism experts and members of Congress were hardly willing to praise what they said was a security system that had proved to be not nimble enough to respond to the ever-creative techniques devised by would-be terrorists.

Congressional leaders said the tip from Mr. Abdulmutallab’s father, Alhaji Umaru Mutallab, should have resulted in closer scrutiny of the suspect before he boarded the plane in Amsterdam. Senator Susan Collins of Maine, the ranking minority member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said his visa should have been revoked or at least he should have been given a physical pat-down or a full-body scan.

“This individual should not have been missed,” Ms. Collins said in an interview on Sunday. “Clearly, there should have been a red flag next to his name.”

I have blogged a number of times (here, here and here) about Napolitano not being ready for prime time as DHS Secretary. She has proven it once again.

13th May
written by Sean Noble

DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano continues to have her named dropped as a potential nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court.

As you may recall, I have blogged on this possibility before (here and here) and still believe that it is her only course of action in staying in a profile position in public service since I don’t think she can ever be elected to the Senate from Arizona.

5th May
written by Sean Noble

There is an interesting backlash on the left to the idea of Napolitano getting nominated to the Supreme Court. Left-of-center columnist Stephen Lemons, who writes for the left-wing, but highly entertaining Phoenix New Times, plucks Napolitano in his “Feathered B*****d” column.

“If Toobin knew anything about Nappy,” I wrote in February, “he’d know she’s a gutless, careerist cipher, who left Arizona with a billion dollar deficit, a rock-bottom ranking in education, and a legacy of hate and intolerance spearheaded by nativist pols such as state Senator Russell Pearce and Sheriff Joe Arpaio, whom she never really took on during her six year tenure.”

To be sure, the right would go ape if she’s nominated. She incurred their wrath over that unclassified assessment on rightwing extremism, which DHS sent out to cops nationwide. And she’s been prone to flubs in its wake… nominating Nappy to be a Supreme would be like thowing the Limbaugh-ites a hunk of raw meat. So I’d be surprised if it happened.

On the other hand, Nappy has a talent for failing upward. Despite her do-nothing approach to local politics, Arizona Dems slavishly worshipped her, and the populace in general awarded her with reelection. Never mind that she shortly thereafter fled the state, leaving it in dire economic straits. That’s classic Nappy, putting her own self-interest above all others. And that’s why you can never totally count her out.

That’s a pretty fair and balanced assessment, even from a left-winged, feathered… uh, well, you know.

5th May
written by Sean Noble

 It’s not every day that I can say that I’m way ahead of the curve in comparison to Arizona Republic columnist Ed Montini.  He has posted a column discussing the possibility of Janet Napolitano getting tapped for the Supreme Court to fill the vacancy left by Justice Souter.

I wrote about this issue back in early February.  Here’s what I said at the time:

I was one of the people that was shocked that Governor Napolitano took Department of Homeland Security.  I was shocked because I have always viewed her as a pretty political animal.  Anyone who has ambition for higher elective office is taking a huge risk in heading up DHS.  Politically, it’s almost a no-win situation.  Do your job perfectly, no fumbles on major disasters, no terrorist attacks, nobody notices.

But one slip-up can be career-ending.

That is, unless you have your sights on the Supreme Court.  Then it begins to make a lot more sense.  Take on the responsibility of the largest agency in the Federal government, do a competent job, and tee yourself up for a nomination to a justice for SCOTUS.

Bottom line: don’t be surprised if Napolitano gets tapped for the bench.

Now that Secretary Napolitano has had a couple months under her belt, it’s more clear than ever that the only place she can land is the Supreme Court.  The number of clumsy missteps she has made over the last few weeks have been near-fatal for seeking a future elective office.

25th April
written by Sean Noble

DHS Secretary Napolitano has “apologized” to the American Legion for her the report by DHS that warned of various conservatives being potential terrorists.

The Saturday edition of the Arizona Republic covers the heat that Napolitano has taken for this report and a variety of clumsy moves.  Reporter Dennis Wagner called me yesterday to get my take.  I told him that I didn’t think she would resign or get fired, and that I was disturbed by her willingness to call conservatives “terrorists” while at the same time refusing to call members of Al-Queda terrorists – or to even use the words terror or terrorism.  That, I said, made me question her understanding of the true threats we face from actual terrorists.

Wagner didn’t use my central thesis, but instead some side comment.  Of course, I’m not surprised.

Still, Sean Noble, a Republican political consultant and blogger, said Napolitano’s mistakes are stunning because of her background and her position in the Obama administration.

“If she’s surprised by the criticism, then she wasn’t thinking about the level of responsibility that she has,” he said. “There is partisanship, you bet. But that’s how the game is played.”

The problem with that quote is that it’s taken out of context, and implies that I think this is all a game.  National security is not a game.  Napolitano is facing severe criticism because people are worried about her judgment. And I remain concerned.

This story covers a statement released by Congressman Shadegg.  He and I have not talked about this issue, so I was a little surprised at how similar our thinking was on this.

23rd April
written by Sean Noble

In the spirit of offering advice to those who won’t ask for it, I would suggest that DHS Secretary Napolitano put down her shovel and try to climb out of the hole she is in.  Fox News is reporting that there is an increasing number of calls for her resignation following a series of missteps including issuing a report that calls me, and people like me, a threat to national security, then refusing to apologize to veterans and now saying that some of the 9-11 hijackers came in from Canada.

“I don’t know that the secretary understands the depth of the disruption that she’s caused,” Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, told FOX News on Thursday, referring to the report on extremist threats. “I think the appropriate thing to do is for her to step down and let’s move on.” 

“Mr. President, fire that woman,” said Rep. John Carter, R-Texas, complaining that Napolitano’s comments on the controversial report were half-hearted. “To go on television and say your apology to be, ‘I’m sorry you were offended by this report,’ that’s no apology.” 

Of course, Napolitano had an arrogant response which demonstrates she still doesn’t get it.

But she rebuffed those who say an apology is not enough. 

“That’s what they’re going to get,” Napolitano said. 

Ms. Napolitano, stop.  Just stop.


22nd April
written by Sean Noble

U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, in January 2009.

I don’t typically agree with Canadians, nor do I have much affinity to things Canadian.  Their health care system is deadly, it’s too cold, they play hockey rather than baseball, etc. 

Good things from Canada?  Vince, my favorite rental car guy who owns the Avis franchise at Bell and 3rd Street in north Phoenix; bacon that goes well with pineapple on pizza; a less restrictive atmosphere for film-making and T.V. production; Evangeline Lilly (Kate on the awesome-ist T.V. show Lost).

A new thing I like from Canada is this commentary about DHS Secretary Napolitano, entitled “The Border for Dummies.”  Ouch.

Can someone please tell us how U. S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano got her job? She appears to be about as knowledgeable about border issues as a late-night radio call-in yahoo.

In an interview broadcast Monday on the CBC, Ms. Napolitano attempted to justify her call for stricter border security on the premise that “suspected or known terrorists” have entered the U. S. across the Canadian border, including the perpetrators of the 9/11 attack.

All the 9/11 terrorists, of course, entered the United States directly from overseas. The notion that some arrived via Canada is a myth that briefly popped up in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, and was then quickly debunked.

Informed of her error, Ms. Napolitano blustered: “I can’t talk to that. I can talk about the future. And here’s the future. The future is we have borders.”

Just what does that mean, exactly?

What does she mean?  That is a great question, but don’t expect a straight answer.


16th April
written by Sean Noble

The drumbeat of criticism continues against Napolitano for her lumping veterans, pro-lifers and anti-immigration activists into the same category as anarchists and white supremacists.

She hasn’t apologized, but weirdly says that “if offense was taken an apology is owed.”   Well, Secretary Napolitano, offense was taken – and you know it – so apologize already.  Say it, “I’m sorry.”  See, that’s not so hard.

Update: Here is a great post by fellow blogger Peter Roff that points out that the right-wing report is very different than the left-wing report.