Comments


  • reyrey

    Your response caused me to wonder why even bother to blog for state my opinion... I stated several times that the President took blame for the systemic failure by doing so he rebuked the ridiculous statement by Janet Napolitano. How is that being apologetic?

    Homeland Security has a lot of responsibility and it's not solely for the purpose of war, we have a Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State, Joint Chiefs and the CIA knew about 17 intelligence agencies and the current president and vice president to handle that role…. FEMA, TSA, Immigration and Customs, the Civil Air Patrol, and the Secret Service all answer to Homeland Security.

    Abdulmutallab has already been questioned by the FBI and the ball will rest in his court because we have all the evidence and witnesses needed to convict him; it is in his best interest to cooperate. …How do you know he hasn’t?...Think back, you think his father would have turned him in to a country that was going to torture him…

    Risking 100 innocent lives is nothing but fear mongering without a truth certain.. The better question would be: Do I have confidence in the FBI? Yes, they have been shown to be great interrogators.

    BTW Come on, Al Qaeda does not care about “stinking smoke detectors” it's all about fundamentalist mindset and meeting their maker… I think they had second thoughts they were not really true believers…. It's all speculation on our part.

    January 6, 2010 at 11:42 a.m.

  • Mike, once again, you are being an apologetic for this administration. Ms Napolitano had no credential to be head of Homeland. Attorney General is not the same as having background in intelligence. As far as this guy not initiating the system in the bathroom, mmm, let me see, there are smoke detectors in the bathroom. Keep in mind that this was a liquid type of initiating system and it would take a lot more to initiate the system that using conventional methods. ie. blasting cap. So, coming back to Reed, my argument was that Reed was a reference point. He was tried and found guilty and he is in prison. Now, this other guy, he has all kind of lawyers and there is no way we can get information from him. We know that there are other attacks in process, just waiting for the green light. Once again, the question comes down to this guy receiving due process like a regular American. We know that he has information that we need to avert the next attack, so I will ask you this. Are you willing to risk over 100 innocent life's? It is easy for us to "risk" other people's life on a principle, so this question would be better to be asked to possible victims.

    January 5, 2010 at 7:08 p.m.

  • Mike..."Each year they will say that no individual taxpayer can pass a line by line IRS audit"

    I absolutely believe that! Just like I don't think anyone can drive across Houston from city limit to city limit without violating some traffic laws regardless of how careful they are. This is one reason why I lust for an overhaul of the tax system. There's gotta be some way to make it not only fair, but also sorta simple. It's ridiculous that the tax laws are the way they are. Every special interest with six figures for a congress critter can get some sort of specific tax exemption or credit. The average citizen can't, but if you've the money for contributions, watch your tax bill fall. Hell, if you ask the IRS the same question more than once, you'll get different answers each time. Even THEY don't know and we're expected to. Our Founders fought a revolution to break away from England and one of the big reasons was to eliminate taxation without representation. What do you think they'd think of the way taxation WITH representation has evolved in this country?

    January 5, 2010 at 5:37 p.m.

  • Mike

    It only takes one seed for a plant to develop,

    January 5, 2010 at 3:08 p.m.

  • waywardwind

    That's the thing about personal opinions; we don't have to prove or disprove them, so I disagree with a couple of your points.

    1. I believe we have a lot of construction firms that are reclassifying legitimate employees as contract labor to avoid paying matching payroll taxes.
    2. Each year around April 15th, a CPA will be a guest of C-SPAN to help people with their taxes. Each year they will say that no individual taxpayer can pass a line by line IRS audit..i.e. accounting every bank transaction such as depositing poker winnings, selling undocumented personal property, all those $3 taxable bank interest etc.
    3. I'll really don’t think the Internal Revenue is interested in jailing anyone for current or back taxes. They just want their money…i.e. Sunday's 60 Minutes had a segment about the Internal Revenue forgiving those who were laundering money in Sweden ; just to avoid paying over $15 billion in income taxes….They paid the back taxes with interest;no jail time.

    I don't believe the White House would have protected Timothy Geithner or Tom Daschle.. All it takes is one disgruntled employee at the Internal Revenue Service; the blow back would have been devastating…i.e. There was a unfounded rumor that the White House threatened to close an air base in Nebraska, if Senator Ben Nelson did not vote for the health care reform bill... A Republican legislator threatened a congressional inquiry until Senator Nelson debunked the rumor. Now, the IRS is currently investigating House and Means Committee Chairman Charlie Rangel’s questionable rental property transactions.

    January 5, 2010 at 1:43 p.m.

  • newearth

    Perhaps it is my fault but I cannot understand that reasoning. The Supermax facility in Florence, Colorado, is where the federal government has safely housed convicted terrorists—Ramzi Youssef (who attacked the World Trade Center in 1993), Terry Nichols (who helped blow up the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma in 1995), Ted Kaczynski (the Unabomber), and many others —without suffering any sort of terror attack. Some of those warehoused in the H-Unit and are allowed only one hour a day of sunshine, others have been kept under suicide watch…. I don't know if people feel safer knowing that they will be tortured everyday or the fact that there are 90 miles from our shores. The prisoners at Supermax are pretty bad hombres and much more dangerous than many of those those are in Guantánamo Bay…. That's what we always have done; we lock up the biggest and baddest criminals in a federal prison…. No one has escaped and many will not ever see any sort of civilian life again.

    January 5, 2010 at 1:11 p.m.

  • Not thinking ahead; I believe keeping terrorist with terrorist, not with people who are in jail because of murder, drugs, violence who could be easily convinced to join the terrorist and their unjust and cruel idealism, and they become terrorist but here on American soil. Are we not smart enough to see how this is wrong and that we as a nation are actually birthing terrorism.
    As far as Yemen, nobody should fly out of there, they should do their own screening, and if not then they should get of the business. Mess up once, you lose.

    January 5, 2010 at 11:34 a.m.

  • Mike,

    You and I are well qualified at something, but that does not make us competent to lead DHS, you’re theory has no credence here, she is a politician so (IMO) she is disqualified.

    Bush choose Julie Meyers to head up (ICE) Immigration and Customs Enforcement, (IMO) was a mistake, she was a former federal prosecutor with zero law enforcement experience, it was the blind leading the blind.

    Bush never did impress me with some of his picks, and that goes for this President as well.

    Napolitano, should have done just a little home work before making a statement on the contents of that report, again it showed the like of competence on her part, you can’t discount that fact.

    January 5, 2010 at 11:25 a.m.

  • Mike...I agree completely with you that mistakes and errors can be made on taxes. I'm in the middle of one with the infernal revenooers right now over a mistake I made on my return in 2007. My problem was that I read the instructions, and attempted to follow them. The IRS said I did something wrong and wants more money. The thing that makes me the maddest is that they're charging me interest and penalties since the return was submitted two years ago, but they only notified me five weeks ago. I have sworn on my wife's head that I will NEVER again attempt to do my own taxes. Saving a few bucks by not taking it to the CPA isn't worth the hassel. You said, " I think it would be very reasonable to assume that about 80% of the 535 legislators have fudged or made human errors while filling out their income tax returns. I believe that percent is probably higher amongst the constituents." I have to disagree with that. You are probably right about the congress critters fudging, but I think the vast majority of ordinary citizens are honest and try to do the right thing. I think that they read the instructions in the 1040 booklet and try to do their best to follow the instructions, regardless of how confusing they might be simply because of the power and reputation of the IRS. For typical honest citizens who try to follow the rules but make a mistake, the IRS is a bigger threat than what Archie Bunker used to call "Deese Here Guys".

    That being said, I don't believe the problems with the people BO has nominated -- and other presidents before him -- were mistakes due to misunderstanding the instructions in the tax package received along with the 1040. For one thing, these are all very wealthy people whose taxes would be far too complicated for an individual to attempt to tackle. I believe the omissions were deliberate attempts to circumvent paying the taxes due. People like those aren't afraid of the IRS because they have friends in high places to protect them -- the White House, for example.

    January 5, 2010 at 11:09 a.m.

  • I understand that is your opinion but her predecessors said she is well-qualified in that position….That holds more clout.

    Come on this is little old me..Victore and waywardwind cannot pull the wool over my eyes..:-)..We know who we are.

    The directive that caused the Republican all the hysteria, that DHS report, you mentioned-- which was, by the way, initiated by a Bush administration official -- was always based more on a partisan scheme than reality.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2009/06/...

    You know that's the trouble with a single view with single sources.i.e. Some have thought that President Obama's taking the stage and taking blame, let down his subordinates, when he admitted their failures, to some it seemed like he was grandstanding.

    I think we still need to find out why the potential bombers didn't try to detonate their bombs in the bathrooms; did the chicken out at the last minute?

    National Security Adviser, John Brennan, said arguing amongst ourselves over trivial matters and calling for the heads of those that are working hard each day to make us safe, is what Al Qaeda wants.

    January 5, 2010 at 10:55 a.m.

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    January 5, 2010 at 10:45 a.m.

  • Janet Napolitano may have an impressive resume, she may look good on paper, but that does not make her competent to lead the nation largest law enforcement community and other agencies. She has displayed the like insufficient competence to lead. As an example; returning war vets could became right wing extremist, and the system worked, and it goes on. That leads me to believe her credentials are not credible. I think one can admit that sometimes the President just don’t pick the right people for the job. This is not a right wing expose’ on Janet Napolitano, she is just incompetent to lead DHS.

    January 5, 2010 at 10:25 a.m.

  • No,because in my response to Victore I posted "In a letter to Homeland Security he had to correct his previous testimony."He was not honest in his first interview. So,he either forgot,was coached by the interviewers or lied his first interview.

    I would not be angry if the candidate failed his confirmation process but I was just stating that I am a forgiving person and it is my opinion that he has made up for his mistakes by working diligently and patting his resume. I also said,I could never hold it against anyone for voting against him based on their opinion.

    January 5, 2010 at 10:20 a.m.

  • Yo, Mike...you conveniently omitted another problem Mr. Southers has...honesty. Maybe Southers has the affliction described by Roger Clemens as "misremembering" certain information.

    January 5, 2010 at 10:10 a.m.

  • dollysdad

    I think I understand when you're coming from but an ultimatum from the lunatic fringe is not the answer.

    Sure, it will go easier on the innocent Muslims or other minorities if we somehow put a stop to the attacks on the homeland… Last year we had 12 attacks and three were successful.

    It is my opinion that it would not be feasible nor economically sound to close the borders and account for every single individual living in the United States. First, September 12, 2001 would have been an ideal time to seal the borders, in the guise of national security, but it would be impossible to do that now.

    January 5, 2010 at 9:46 a.m.

  • Waywardwind
    I am just as guilty as anyone in pointing out the faults of others without looking at those that I happen to like or those of my own. That is just human nature.

    I voted for Bill Clinton although I knew about his extramarital affairs, but I thought he could do a lot better job than George H. W. Bush....I liked George H. W, Bush ;voted for him over Dukakis..... We have put so much scrutiny on politicians that it is very difficult to find that perfect candidate. I think it would be very reasonable to assume that about 80% of the 535 legislators have fudged or made human errors while filling out their income tax returns. I believe that percent is probably higher amongst the constituents.I would probably be scratching my head if the IRS randomly pulled my return and asked me the specifics of a business decision deduction I made several years ago.... No stats;no excuses; just my opinion.

    I don't profess to have any knowledge about what law enforcement officers are prone to do but he was reprimanded. I made my mistakes in the workforce and I paid for some of them it is just my opinion that he has overcome his error in judgment but I know I could be wrong. I cannot fault those that do not agree with me because the shoe will eventually be on the other foot.

    I like to think that I'm truthful, so I will remind you that you had it in for Janet Napolitano since day one, when you thought she was targeting right wing extremist; even though I told you that she would just carrying out a directive from the previous administration. I agree her statement was terrible and I would like to think that President Obama has let her know it was. I did notice that the president took to the podium for two straight days to take blame for a systemic failure. That alone was a rebuke of her statement…… IMO

    January 5, 2010 at 9:17 a.m.

  • reyrey

    I don’t think we dropped the ball with Richard Reid because he is serving a sentence at the Super Max in Colorado for a botched attempt. We have all the evidence and witnesses to try, prosecute and imprison the current failed bomber. He will eventually get a life sentence.

    We just sent 30,000 troops to Afghanistan, how much louder can you say we are at war?

    The Obama administration will use the tools that are grounded in the rule of law and subject to congressional and judicial review. He will not have second-rate lawyers write a memo to justify torture.

    Janet Napolitano has an excellent resume; after all she was a United States Attorney for the District of Arizona and a governor dealing with matters of Homeland security on a daily basis prior to her nomination. I believe those are comparable qualifications of her predecessors. It is my opinion that you don't fire a top-level official for a PR mistake. I bet she doesn't make that mistake again and she will probably be on a short leash and will be provided with talking points for the next few months. President Obama would not have a Cabinet if he yielded to all of the right wing criticism and calls for removal of those they seem to be the boogie man.

    January 5, 2010 at 8:46 a.m.

  • Mike..."The fact is, the vetting processing board did not think that one incident disqualified Mr. Southers from consideration because of his outstanding resume. He will likely pass if given an up or down vote…"

    I have no doubt he'll pass on an up or down vote. Those politics you don't want to have a voice in this important security debate will ensure he gets the job. I'm just wondering if his "outstanding resume" included his conducting illegal criminal background checks on a person who wasn't under investigation by the authorities. Just like the people who "forgot" to pay their taxes, he gets a pass because of politics. Are you suggesting that there is no one with comparable experience to do the job who isn't prone to use law enforcement for his own personal ends?

    If the administration will stop issueing entry visas to people from predominately muslim countries, and do something to secure the borders, the problem would be considerably smaller.

    I don't really care if the president makes a public statement for each incident or not, nor do I care how long it takes if he does make a statement. The one big thing that bothered me about the panty bomber was Napolitano's statement that the sytem worked. This statement proves she hasn't a clue as to the seriousness of her job. The only thing that worked was the sense of self-preservation the passengers showed by stopping ol' abdul blowmyuhuhsoff from detonating his panty bomb.

    January 5, 2010 at 7:46 a.m.

  • Mike,
    The Richard Reed incident happened way before Homeland was created, so we dropped the ball there. And as far as this president taking his time, do remember the little incident with Ft Hood. He gave a shout out to a Congressional Medal Winner, tsk, tsk, too bad that this person was not MOH winner and well, he went off for over three minutes before he said anything. Now, not using Military courts is basically saying that we are not at war. We are basically saying to the rest of the world that anything that is plan at Langley can be prosecuted in another country. I mean, 9/11 was planned in another country and carried out here in the U.S. Although I am not much for finger pointing, I do believe that someone has to be held accountable and Ms Napolitano should be the one. You can argue as much as you want in her favor but you know as well as I do that she has not business being the head of Homeland Security. Obama's reasoning for her selection, that she was from a border state. She had not background in intelligence, NONE. And her replied when she first came on TV, that the system worked!! I thought that she was joking but honestly, she didnt have a clue of the implications. This was not another Reed incident. It was planned for the airplane to be bombed near its destination in that way, it could be traced back to terrorists. Yes, I used that word, terrorists. The timing was perfect and is not over yet.

    January 4, 2010 at 10:51 p.m.

  • All I’m saying is that, if you’re going to put someone in this high caliber position, I would hope it would be someone of high ethical standards. I don’t believe you want someone that might border on making civil rights violation.

    If he had a complaint or concern about one of his family members he should have gone to the police or within his own agencies, those options were available to him even that far back… I’m sure the Washington Post made a FOIA request to the FBI that was full of black lines, but if a FOIA request is made to (OPR) the pages may not be so dark. But I don’t believe everything that papers write anyway…

    I hope you had a great holiday

    Have a good day

    January 4, 2010 at 1:58 p.m.

  • Victore

    Since we are writing about the character of Erroll Southers, then full disclosure should be given.

    In a letter to Homeland Security he had to correct his previous testimony because he actually ran two background checks himself, instead of just having the San Diego police do it a single time.

    He stated concern for his young son, as the reasons he ran the background check on his estranged wife’s boyfriend. This does not excuse the action he took because of reasons that you stated but he was censured by his FBI superiors 20 years ago.

    This information came from the Washington Post website last Thursday.

    January 4, 2010 at 1:27 p.m.

  • I know DeMint’s reason, but my point is the FBI agent would have been fired 20 years ago after an investigation that would have been conducted by (OPR) Office of Professional Responsibility, you just don’t do that, I don’t care what federal agencies you work for. Then the agent and the FBI would have been subject to a law suit.

    January 4, 2010 at 1:07 p.m.

  • Victore
    The fact is, the vetting processing board did not think that one incident disqualified Mr. Southers from consideration because of his outstanding resume. He will likely pass if given an up or down vote…Senator DeMint told Fox News Sunday that Mr. Southers views on unions was a reason he was holding up the vote.

    I know the talking points but nevertheless. Richard Reid (shoe bomber) was held in a civilian jail, interrogated by the FBI, convicted by a civilian jury and imprisoned at Super Max in Colorado….The system works.

    We are going to have the hearings but it won't heighten the priority on terrorism because this administration had already sent in drones to kill key Al Qaeda leaders in Yemen. The administration put out a memo last week and said “Just because the president is not thumping his chest and feigning bravery; doesn't mean that action is not taking place beyond the spotlight.” I'm paraphrasing but this is a methodical president; not a cowboy mentality of” bring it on.”

    January 4, 2010 at 12:55 p.m.

  • The overview that you have explained is correct, although you have left out some important issues.

    As far as the former FBI agent; he violated federal law and most likely state law by doing a criminal back ground check on his ex-wife boy friend. Those checks are on a need to know bases…

    You mention the shoe bomber; there was no play book during that time frame other than the old laws dating back to the 70’s that deals with high jacking, which were vague in their content.

    If body the scanners work put them in use without a doubt. The safety of the flying is of great importance... You cannot place a price tag on safety.

    As far as hearings on these issues, let’s have them, just maybe we can some sort of priority back in this administration. We cannot take terrorism lightly in any form or fashion…

    We need to be profiling people in airports. The same type of profiles that are conducted by DEA, when a large sums of drug money is being carried through airports. When you have a person paying cash for a one way ticket no baggage, the ticket agent should have contacted airport officials. This could have been prevented.

    January 4, 2010 at 12:24 p.m.