January 2, 2010

Another Drudgtaposition.

Drudge does commentary. You just have to figure out what he's trying to say with his juxtapositions — Drudgtapositions. Like this one today:



Why illustrate "Napolitano announces international airport security campaign" with a wall on which there are tiny side-by-side photographs of Obama and Napolitano? That means something. But what?

What is Drudge trying to say?
Obama has failed to assume the dominant "decider" role.
Obama impressively gives equality to the heads of departments.
Things are organized and secure now.
Obama and Napolitano are small and ineffectual.
We are so screwed.
  
pollcode.com free polls

99 comments:

Rialby said...

According to a story linked from Drudge last night, Obama was briefed prior to leaving on vacation that Al Qaeda was planning a Christmas attack. Despite this, he did nothing in response and still left for his vacation in Hawaii.

Rialby said...

That piece that was linked to was filed by Newsweek as reported by Politico.

BT said...

I miss Drudge's radio show.

Meade said...

Small and ineffectual is the correct answer.

So small and so ineffectual that his substitute - Janet Incompetano - isn't... even... there.

Rialby said...

So, in light of the "briefed but onward with vacation" story, Drudge is saying... Obama and his 1st Lt. Janet are invisible although still in power as they craft new policies behind the scenes that will supposedly keep us all safe.

SteveR said...

I think with government organizations, the Prez pic goes to the left, not above. We are still screwed.

pinkmonkeybird said...

Interesting to me, are the results of your poll. I assumed that most of Althouse's readers were people who, like Althouse, voted for Obama. While credit must be extended to Althouse for having her eyes opened to her mistake and adopting a critical posture of this Lame-In-Chief president, the fact that a crushing majority of visitors to this blog opted for "We are so screwed" in the poll, is telling.

AlphaLiberal said...

I agree with David Brooks!

"That mature attitude seems to have largely vanished. Now we seem to expect perfection from government and then throw temper tantrums when it is not achieved. We seem to be in the position of young adolescents — who believe mommy and daddy can take care of everything, and then grow angry and cynical when it becomes clear they can’t." .

Let's also note that Michael Chertoff has been going all over TV promoting full body scanners while representing a company that manufactures them!

Their are profit reasons for amping up the hysteria.

Chip Ahoy said...

I do not know what Drudge intends to say through juxtaposition, except perhaps to hint at deplorable interior design.

One thing about facebook is it allows me to see the interiors of the homes of relatives I know little about. It's depressing. They are all pretty much designed this same way with pristine little clusters of small pictures, mostly photographs of themselves, groupings of small decorator objects, small mirrors. Everything small. Arranged apparently so that an intruder would know, Papa Bear, Mamma Bear, Baby Bear, without actually meeting anybody. It's as if their interior-designing minds say, "This is my idea of design right here, [ ], [ ], [ ]."

Nobody ever looks at a wall and goes, " [ ) ) ) B L A M ! ( ( ( ] " with art.

Nobody. And that makes me sad.

Cedarford said...

" Rialby said...
According to a story linked from Drudge last night, Obama was briefed prior to leaving on vacation that Al Qaeda was planning a Christmas attack. Despite this, he did nothing in response and still left for his vacation in Hawaii."

===================
And what?
Do you believe the chief executive should drop everything else and head to some deep underground bunker command post on any rumor of a minor enemy attack?? (or crime planned - if you buy the Obama-Napolitano-Holder Leftist lawyer spin on radical Islamist attacks).

I think Carter did some meaningless symbolism back in his day that only won him my parents contempt..announcing he wouldn't go on a vacation because all he cared about were "The Hostages".

In Rialby's world, what does he do? Cancel all recreational activities during the winter so he can be free at a moment's notice to "Help the Heroes" in case a terrorist launches a minor attack? What does Rialby do during the whole hurricane season - call his peeps and say his schedule is open if anyone wants or demands he rush to a hurricane disaster area?

What exactly should the President do? HIs job, or be jerked to the scene of the latest "crisis" as chief executive, or as "Consoler in Chief" to each tragedy?

I found the whole Leftist cant about President Bush having to personally respond to 1000 incidents a day AND attend "Heroes Funerals" - tedious.
I find the same stupid taunt on the right directed at Obama equally as tedious.

Cedarford said...

Oh, and I agree with Alpha Liberal on this one.
We have devolved to a nation of loud-mouthed brats expecting others to meet all our needs without a smidgeon of sacrifice and personal responsibility on our parts.

On the Right and Left.
We want perfect safety, thrilling wars on behalf of ungrateful Freedom Lovers, and tax cuts and no Draft.
We want social justice with others taxes paying for it and perfect safety with no new energy development and full enemy rights.

Of course, Alpha and I would strongly disagree on the solutions - but Rialby's post is an example of such brattish whining.

ricpic said...

If Barack Obama was visited by a higher power in his sleep and awoke to order all of the security arms of our federal government to emulate all the safety procedures perfected by the Israeli government it wouldn't matter. Why? Because procedures are only as effective as the personnel who put them into practice. Not that there aren't millions of Americans fully capable of performing as well as the Israelis. Our government doesn't want them. It actively discriminates against them. Job #1 is "righting past wrongs." It follows that at every level, top to bottom, our security agencies are stocked with those who CAN'T DO THE JOB!

AlphaLiberal said...

WTF? Do I agree with Cedarford too?

Okay, maybe I did party too much this week!!

AlphaLiberal said...

I've got lib friends now saying yes to more full body scanners. If you don't want that you are a "privacy freak."

No, I just want to have a little dignity left. And I can't stand the idea that this little band of rich spoiled radicals can make us do all these things to ourselves.

AllenS said...

Watch what you say, AL. Gitmo is still open.

Rialby said...

Cedarford... ranting.

Um, wow. Don't know where to start really.

For 7 years all I heard from the Left was that W was asleep at the switch. Wild theories fell into one of these categories:

a) Bush was an ineffectual president whose laziness got 3,000 Americans killed
b) Bush ignored warnings because he wanted 9/11 to happen so that he could invade the Middle East
c) Bush ignored "warnings" because he, Cheney, Rice and Karl Rove were behind the attacks of 9/11

What did the Left want Bush to do?

downtownlad said...

I'm not bothered by full body scanners at all. But the idea that we are going to stop all forms of terrorism is a joke.

It's not that hard to kill people. Life goes on. I can't worry about this stuff.

Sorry, but the right wing is really made up of a bunch of wimps. And notice how they all live in in places that will never get attacked - like Wisconsin.

I don't know any New Yorkers that are actually scared of terrorism.

Rialby said...

DTL: terrorism, yawn

You sound like my very liberal friend who during a discussion about terrorism 5-6 years ago said, "9/11 wasn't really that bad, only 3,000 people died, we could take a 9/11 a day for a year and it still wouldn't be a big deal".

Rialby said...

So, assuming that Bush was just lazy back on 8/6/01 and decided that it was too much of a hassle to do anything about an attack are we now saying that Obama is just like Bush was back in 2001? Does this deserve an "Obama is like Bush" tag?

Zachary Paul Sire said...

the fact that a crushing majority of visitors to this blog opted for "We are so screwed" in the poll, is telling.

Telling? Of what? Uh, these are Althousians voting. No it's not.

AlphaLiberal said...

Here's the Janet Napolitano quote which has caused the kerfuffle.

"Once this incident occurred, everything went according to clockwork, not only sharing throughout the air industry, but also sharing with state and local law enforcement. Products were going out on Christmas Day, they went out yesterday, and also to the industry to make sure that the traveling public remains safe. I would leave you with that message. The traveling public is safe. We have instituted some additional screening and security measures, in light of this incident, but, again, everyone reacted as they should. The system, once the incident occurred, the system worked."

The reason for the outrage around this statement is not obvious. Those who criticize it, like Fox News leave out the part where she said "once the incident occurred."

Mogget said...

I don't know any New Yorkers that are actually scared of terrorism

That's why the reaction to the recent flyover by Air Force One was so low key and all.

Rialby said...

David Brooks: "Now we seem to expect perfection from government and then throw temper tantrums when it is not achieved. We seem to be in the position of young adolescents — who believe mommy and daddy can take care of everything, and then grow angry and cynical when it becomes clear they can’t."

This is really too rich. A big government moderate writes that we shouldn't expect government to take care of "everything". This, while the party of big government continues to try to take control of more and more of our economy... because they can take greater care of us than we can of ourselves. Irony defined.

Cedarford said...

From Alpha's link in NYTimes to Brook:

Many people seem to be in the middle of a religious crisis of faith. All the gods they believe in — technology, technocracy, centralized government control — have failed them in this instance.

In a mature nation, President Obama could go on TV and say, “Listen, we’re doing the best we can, but some terrorists are bound to get through.” But this is apparently a country that must be spoken to in childish ways. The original line out of the White House was that the system worked. Don’t worry, little Johnny.

When that didn’t work the official line went to the other extreme. “I consider that totally unacceptable,” Obama said. I’m really mad, Johnny. But don’t worry, I’ll make it all better.


Fortunately Obama did not then announce he was going to proactively start rectal and anal probes of all save those flying on government and private jets to address the Al Qaeda use last summer of their first "butt bomb". Along with electronic strip seaches.

With announcement he was going to be jerked from his vacation so he could "counsel the near-air tragedy victims of trauma in Detroit and help heal them", immediately borrow 30 billion from the Chinese so he could buy latex gloves from India, scanning machines from Chertoff's Israel clients, and lots of KY from Johnson&Johnson.
And announce he was going to go on TV to give a new hour-long speech that would re-emphasize tolerance, Islamic jihadi legal rights while reassuring all Americans that Government would make their lives totally safe...and a new sort of jobs program for airport security "digital heroes".

Michael Chertoff then announced he had accepted a million dollar lobbying fee from Johnson&Johnson - but that had nothing to do with his new strong advocacy of body cavity searches.

"Just as faces can be electronically blurred to safeguard people's privacy from electronic body scanners, Johnson&Johnson will be selling hoods at 10.95 passengers can buy in airports to don when they get probed by the new "digital heroes" who will keep us all perfectly safe. If they have any squeamish privacy issues."

PS - Alpha's defense of schoolmarm Napolitano is a little lame. She did not only say the system worked perfectly...But without any research or consultation with the nation's security apparatus RUSHED to spiel the Obama Administration Party Line that "this was an isolated incident", "no evidence anyone other than the alledged suspect was involved".
She was not only clueless, she set her boss to look clueless.
And he also lapsed into "Lawyer midset" - where the "suspect" was "safely in the hands of law enforcement" who were "working hard to collect evidence".

MaggotAtBroad&Wall said...

Small and ineffectual is the best of the options provided.

But what he's really saying is they are both absent. Barry physically, Nappy mentally.

Rialby said...

Finally, Cedarford, you got around to the real culprit - the Joooos.

I guess I should have added "Mossad" to my list of the culprits behind 9/11 above so I could get you to subscribe to that theory.

The Crack Emcee said...

Chip, your comment made me think of two things - first, Frank Zappa:

"Everything that we have is American made/It's a little bit cheesy but nicely displayed,..."

And the second is a conversation I had with my roommate, when we noticed the microwave disrupted the television signal, turning everyone into gargoyles:

Me: "You know, if I lived alone, instead of using the television in the usual manner, I'd probably figure out a way to keep the mic on and just play music for sound."

Roomie: I am literally saving you from yourself."

Syl said...

I've got lib friends now saying yes to more full body scanners. If you don't want that you are a "privacy freak."

I think this kinda points out why it was important for the Dems to run things for a while. (Not TOO long, though) All through the Bush years they were telling us they could do it better.

So far they're not. But then it also looks like Obama may be inching closer and closer to Cheney so who knows. And as pointed out in the quote, many libs are having second thoughts about accusing govt of scaremongering and are actually trying to be more practical about the issue.

But until I sense the Dems realize that national security is the top priority of the federal government, I won't trust them much.

BJM said...

@AL

Their are profit reasons for amping up the hysteria.

I'm shocked, shocked! that personal profit would enter into the equation.

bgates said...

I can't stand the idea that this little band of rich spoiled radicals can make us do all these things to ourselves

I know it. I'm so sick of Pelosi, Dodd, Frank, Obama

-wait, which little band of rich spoiled radicals were you talking about?

Old Dad said...

The reasons that we are so screwed are only partly political. Large bureaucracies are inherently incompetent and corrupt. Moreso, when poorly led. Napolitano is incompetent. Her ridiculous comments last Sunday are only the latest evidence, and proper context doesn't help. The words "the system worked" in reference to the Christmas fiasco should never have been uttered in any context. It was politcally stupid, and practically idiotic.

David Brooks argues reasonably that flawed human institutions are flawed human institutions. That dosn't mean, though, that some progress isn't possible.

In my opinion, the President should have responded immediately, put a tie on and uttered some safe banalities. Politics is part of his job. At some reasonable distance, say two or three days, He should have fired Napolitano, and reported on the results of the investigation. TSA should have initiated nothing new. At some future date, as soon as practical, the President should tell us calmly and rationally what can reasonably be expected. There is nothinng to be done to eliminate the threat. However, we probably can do a better job of keeping panty bombers who have been ratted out by their fathers off airplanes.

Instead, we're keeping our laps safe for Democracy.

We're screwed.

KLDAVIS said...

Obviously, the plan is to throw some ideas at the wall and see what sticks. The American people were conned into electing a disinterested applicant requiring immense on-the-job training for a war time CiC. We are so screwed.

newscaper said...

Chip Ahoy,

"Art" as you use it becomes merely a designer's accessory for the room, a decoration, rather than capital "A" Art that actually moved someone in its own right.

People see it all the time on design shows and in high $ corporate buidlings and *properly* see thru it. Instead of merely being pedestrian, they are seeing thru the fakery.

It doesn't help that much of modern art is unaesthetic and/or non-representational crap, a Gramscian fraud, however unknowing the 'artist'.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Allow me to attempt a couple of consistent overlays here.

a) Inchoate warnings are not actionable. Not by Obama, Bush, or anyone else. Obama received an inchoate warning. It should have been otherwise, but it wasn't.

b) Bush's greatest failure as President was the lack of an absolute cleansing within America's intel system. It remains parochial, power-hungry, politicised, and somewhat corrupt.

c) It almost cost us 21 dozen lives, because actionable information was hoarded within the context of inter-agency rivalry.

d) That shit has got to stop, but Obama's not the type to do it, and Bush didn't. Jamie Gorelick who has been a key part of the problem is a key part of the Obama administration.

e) Full body scan at an airport or even a government building doesn't bother me at all because I'm choosing to enter a specific environment within which threats must be controlled.

f) Body scan at a check-point on the street? That's a profound threat to my liberty, and must be resisted by whatever means necessary.

Now, for consistency (slightly off-topic) ...

1) Require me to insure my driving in order to keep a driver's license? -- it bothers me not a bit, because I'm choosing to enter a licensing agreement.

2) Require me to carry medical insurance? That's a profound threat to my liberty, and must be resisted by whatever means necessary.

I do not need a license to walk on the street. I do not need a license to exist. These issues are nibbling at the same big question.

Kirk Parker said...

AL,

"I agree with David Brooks! "

OK, I've been tending to the opinion that Brooks' writing is worthless, so thanks for confirming that!

As I said elsewhere:

His argument might make sense in some contexts, but in regard to an agency whose entire premise is taking power, freedom, and authority away from the average citizen and giving it to "specialists", I'd say the cynicism is well warranted.

edutcher said...

On the issue of Chertoff, just because he may make money on it doesn't automatically make it a bad idea.

Needless to say, we should be profiling aggressively on the Israeli model. Try a few of the body scanners and see how they turn out.

As for dtl, he's still in Michael Moore mode. That's so last decade.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Allow me to attempt a couple of consistent overlays here.

a) Inchoate warnings are not actionable. Not by Obama, Bush, or anyone else. Obama received an inchoate warning. It should have been otherwise, but it wasn't.

b) Bush's greatest failure as President was the lack of an absolute cleansing within America's intel system. It remains parochial, power-hungry, politicised, and somewhat corrupt.

c) It almost cost us 21 dozen lives, because actionable information was hoarded within the context of inter-agency rivalry.

d) That shit has got to stop, but Obama's not the type to do it, and Bush didn't. Jamie Gorelick who has been a key part of the problem is a key part of the Obama administration.

e) Full body scan at an airport or even a government building doesn't bother me at all because I'm choosing to enter a specific environment within which threats must be controlled.

f) Body scan at a check-point on the street? That's a profound threat to my liberty, and must be resisted by whatever means necessary.


Points well made and on the money, brother Bart.

Kirk Parker said...

AL,

"The reason for the outrage around this statement is not obvious to the clueless like myself".

There, FIFY.

"Those who criticize it, like Fox News leave out the part where she said 'once the incident occurred.'"

Meanwhile, the clueful realize that nobody gives a damn if the paperwork is properly filled out after the disaster takes place.

Lance said...

Alternative options:

f) Pres. Obama and Sec. Napolitano are no more effective than their pictures hanging on the wall.

g) Obama and especially Napolitano are politically worried more about TSA employees than about U.S. citizens generally.

Jimmy James said...

h) Nobody cares what Drudge "thinks," except a certain blogger whose obvious envy of this phony journalist is beyond pathetic.

Opus One Media said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Opus One Media said...

or this alternative:

e. the rabid right needs something so they will actually turn to a hack like Drudge for inspiration

why oh why in the world would anyone give Drudge the time of day.

Jim O said...

No, Alphaliberal @ 12:16. You've picked her answer up just a point were it might have made sense, and ended it at the point where it might have continued to make sense, had she ran out of the studio before answering Candy Crowley's follow-up questions.

Ever see one of these things: "..."? They are for leaving stuff out at the beginning of a quote, or the middle, or for stuff that came out the part you copy. They're called ellipses. You didn't use any.

It's ironic indeed that you seem to have bought Napolitano's claim that her words were taken out of context.

Just go two posts down on this blog, watch the whole interview, and get back to us.

Admit it. She has no more business being in charge of our security that do you or I.

jeffmacguy said...

According to an AP story last night, Obama had been briefed and was planning a response regarding the Christmas Day incident.
Why is it that when I hear stories like that, my immediate thought is "he's planning how to respond in a way that buys the most political points, not in a way to deter future attacks..."

rhhardin said...

Usually Obama has at least eight flags in the background for annoucements.

SteveR said...

jimmy james, your lack of context regards Althouse and Drudge renders you an idiot, at best.

Papa Ray said...

When Napolitano was appointed by Obama 20 percent of our population cheered and said "finally someone who will stop this madness"

While the rest of us moaned and thought "Well, there goes our security."

So now one year later, we have had 14 attacks or attempted attacks on our Nation. The security still sucks unless your a little old lady or a terrorist.

No..wait, they still hassle little old ladies.

It is apparent that this PC crowd can't figure out who the enemy is and profile for them. Not just by age, color, race or nationality, but all the other profile methods too.
You know like the Israelis know how to do.

So now we will get real pat downs crotch and ass and tits and everywhere else, full body scans, possible strip searches if you give them any crap, delays, missed flights and once your on the plane, you must obey five or more other rules and boy if you so much as raise your voice you will be zip tied and your mouth taped and turned over to the TSA idiots at the next stop.

While the terrorists just keep on keeping on with much better results than this last time.

We are in such fracking good hands...Right?

Just take the slow boat or the train. OH...new regs there too?

Papa Ray

tom swift said...

Oh, we're screwed, all right.

The problem is that Obama, Mapolitano, et all can't even catch the softballs. We're being billed for a major league ball team, but not getting even Little League results. I have nothing against Little League, but am not too wild about overpaying so grossly for it.

Just for laughs sometime, estimate how much lost productivity costs the US when everyone traveling by air has to waste a minimum of two hours standing around while Homeland Security pretends to do its job. There has to be a more economical way to get such lousy results.

As for Drudge, all I know is that he's too much of a bunny-hugger for me.

Cedarford said...

40 billion dollars have been spent on "airflight security" since 2003. The focus has almost been entirely on "offending potentially dangerous objects" rather than on "who are the offending, potentially dangerous people"?

Of that 40 billion, perhaps 5 billion was well-spent and the rest was used to buy largely useless machines and inflict on the general public a collective, useless punishment one prominent security critic identified as "security theater".

It is crazy. We are told that some ranting, radical Islamoid is not a threat as long as he has less than 3 oz's of shampoo...or any other object on him we can see that "could be a weapon, factoring in any outlandish scenario where toenail clippers could Doom Us All!" If the Islamoid does nothing illegal - such as videoing airport security - well NO LAW WAS BROKEN - ergo - no threat. Like the Mormon kid who had a .22 bullet in the bottom of his backpack who was dragged off for hours of questioning.

And the reactive thing - if we are to avoid focusing on the fact that "not all Muslims are terrorists, but pretty much all terrorists are Muslim." - is to add another layer of security theater that both Left and Right wing believers holds is the solution to continue to worry about objects, not people getting on planes.....the superwhamadyne new high tech miracle machine!

Meant to address yesterdays problem.

Full body scan at an airport or even a government building doesn't bother me at all because I'm choosing to enter a specific environment within which threats must be controlled.

Ignorant stuff.
(1)A considerable part of travel is not people exercising leisure time choices, but traveling out of conditions for employment or personal necessity. Same with "going into government buildings".
(2)Everyone in security has been talking about "the next thing" for years being internally hidden explosives...or explosives not detectable by sniffers molded into common objects or fabric (RDX line had been knitted into headcaps by the IRA back in the 70s)
So the necessary measures to "Keep Us All Perfectly Safe if WE are Still Determined Not to Want to ID Islamoids" - do not end with superwhamadyne 50 million dollar scanners operated by someone who 3 months ago was asking if we wanted our order "Supersized" or with cheese.
It means we have to proactively anticipate "butt bombers" and have the same "supersizer" people trained to do rectal and vaginal cavity searches. And inspect each article of clothing worn and allow No Objects on board.

Jim said...

The reason for the outrage around this statement is not obvious. Those who criticize it, like Fox News leave out the part where she said "once the incident occurred."

Sorry Al, an accurate reading of the CNN transcript (http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0912/27/sotu.01.html) shows that you are just an Obama administration apologist who buys their excuses for their incompetence hook, line, and sinker.

Here is the offending passage:

"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."

Tell the truth please.

Big Mike said...

I don't hold it against Obama that he left on vacation despite (allegedly!) having been informed of a likely Christmas attack by al Qaeda. I do hold it against him that he took so long to respond, not to mention that his response was pretty weak.

Whether he likes it or not, whether David Brooks or Alpha or C4 or downtownlad likes it or not, the Presidency is a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 209 weeks a term, job. Out in the real world there are lots of people who accept that their vacations might be interrupted by a crisis and that they have to take time from the beach and the golf course to attend to it. Perhaps Brooks, and Alpha, and C4, and dowtownlad aren't in that kind of position, professionally. But not only is Obama in that position, but he deliberately campaigned for that position.

There is also the symbollic aspect of the Presidency. Heading out to the golf course while people are wrestling with a serious crisis is not the symbol we the people are looking for.

Finally, I'd like to point out that the left made considerable to-do about Bush continuing to go through a silly photo-op at the Emma Booker elementary school even thought the attacks on the World Trade Center had happened. But there's an important asymmetry between Bush's response and Obama's -- on 9/11/2001 al Qaeda had not previously used American airliners to attack the United States. On 12/25/2009 the United States government, headed by Barack Obama, knew that this was a possibility, and knew that suicide bombers might try to smuggle expolosives on board in carry-on containers or hidden in clothing (Richard Reid). Why did he not have a contingency plan in place as to what to say? Hardly anyone thinks it's when al Qaeda next attacks, not if.

ricpic said...

The Love Song Of Jimmy James

All the players are beyond pathetic;
Except for me, the sideline guy,
Who mocks those who give it a try:
Goes without saying I'm copasetic.

traditionalguy said...

The importance of your safety or my safety to President Obama is clearly non-existant. That is why the real Action Taking Arms of the Administration of the US Government have been thrown under the bus by putting zero competant hacks over them, like a president used to use the Ambassador to Lichtenstine post only for a political payoff. That raises a good question: What does Obama see as his duty and to whom does he owe it? It is clear from his conduct that he owes to you and to me nothing except chaos and confusion. This cannot go on much longer.

Big Mike said...

Meanwhile, as regards Napolitano, some parts of the system worked but the main part -- where a person who should have had easily a half dozen red flags waving violently in the air -- was allowed to board a US-bound plane. That was a huge breakdown even if all he had in his underpants was his genitalia.

It doesn't help that Napa-on-the-job started off as DHS Secretary by blessing a study that claimed American combat veterans needed special watching because they were likely to get involved with right-wing militias. Maybe if her agency spent more time worried about Jihadists and less about US veterans, they would get somewhere.

Big Mike said...

Oops. My post of 2:17 should end with:

Everyone thinks it's when al Qaeda next attacks, not if.

It's really tough to proofread your own words.

edutcher said...

Mike, your point about the photo op is only the beginning. The Lefties love to whine about it because the response of the Bush II administration was pretty good; not great, but that would have meant telling Tommy Daschle to shove it, etc. Now that the Lefties have had their shot, we see how good it was.

What impressed me is that, at the moment he is informed of the magnitude of what happens, Dubya doesn't turn a hair. He keeps his cool and leaves at the first available moment without any melodrama or scaring the Hell out of a bunch of little kids.

Kipling would have been proud.

Chip Ahoy said...

I'll be sticking to my guns on this. They (my family) are not seeing through art that is transparently seen through. They haven't a designer bone in their bodies, collectively and wouldn't know art when it's presented to them, and would reject anything larger than notebook size. They do not understand art. Period. Nor design. It's pathetic. As pathetic as these two undersized understated portraits that inform what the whole room is about. I know this because not one of my own family has ever understood my own art, nor cared to own any. I know by the questions they ask.

This room is about [flag] [bink] [bink] [flag].

Does design get any more prosaic than that?

I see the civilian analogs of these same types of government rooms on facebook. All. The. Time.

(The design apparent in the photographs is as uninteresting as the posts themselves. One relative is posting daily snippets of zodiac things. The rest is all facebook-related activities, but that's another complaint.)

Stencils of ivy from a package where crown molding would go. See? They lack the creativity to design their own stencils, much less, say, a tromp loeil if they must paint something themselves to express their own creativity. A cluster of two straw fans from some alien culture disconnected with everything else along with a mirror too small and placed too high to be of any use as a mirror. Leaving far more negative space than its fills and giving the impression that the source of design interest is exhausted. And if a wall is mirrored then it's mirrored with self-sticking mirror squares instead of a full piece of glass. So a viewer is left with the thought, "Jesus Christ, what a shit job of mirroring." Or, heaven forbid, a full size mirror in an interesting frame hung in a useful place at an level appropriate for for both adults and children, one that is actually used as a mirror or one that cleverly doubles the size of the room visually. All pieces inevitably hung too high as if never viewed while seated. I'm saying, I see the easy way out at every design decision as if all those interior decisions were made in a moment of stress at Home Depot.

I'm not against family portraits, no, not at all, but why must they be the 8x10's provided by the photographer in frames picked up at Hobby Lobby?

In total, it's almost as art-averse as what the Persians do by sitting on the floor with framed photographs of Islamic notables hung at the ceiling and angled downward as if untouchable and gazing from above at the things going on in the room. Almost as bad, but not quite.

I acknowledge that conversely they think I'm strange too.

That's my view and I'm sticking with it.

elHombre said...

Well, we are screwed, but an option I would have preferred is:

Obama stands behind the scenes on decisions so he can avoid taking responsibility when things go wrong.

@Cedarford: I don't think Obama's critics on the right are whining. I think they are just practicing the Alinksy "rule" by holding the other guy to his own standards, i.e., appearing to judge Obama the way the Obots judged Bush.

Big Mike said...

@elHombre, shhhhhh.

Don't give the game away.

David said...

1. As to the Drudge photo:

Not only are they equivalent, they are absent--and small.

2. Brooks is sort of right in concept but wrong in applying the concept to this incident. We can't stop them all. Some will get through. We do demand an unattainable perfection after something happens. But this incident exposed a lot of unnecessary flaws:how we compile the lists, how we use them, the attitude and priorities of top leaders, technology deficiencies, screening deficiencies and (yes) old fashioned bureaucratic bungling.

3. Obama introduced some bad policies that are going to cause a lot of problems. But to me the real scandal is that there apparently was no serious review of the security apparatus and its workings when He took office. Big Sis can't really do that All By Herself because the structure is such a mess that she is only in charge of a small part.

Who's in charge of the whole picture? Obama.

Who told us and still tells us that everything Bush did was screwed up? Obama.

Who failed to insist on a hard headed review of the whole structure by someone operating under his direct personal authority? Obama. Obama. Obama.

Homeland Security is a screwed up, pork laden, bureaucratic, overcomplicated, poorly focused mess. For this I do blame Bush in part, but also Congress and the radical left and probably my mother in law (may she rest in peace.)

But Obama was the guy who was going to fix these things.

He didn't even try.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Nobody cares what Drudge "thinks," except a certain blogger whose obvious envy of this phony journalist is beyond pathetic

I don't get why people call Drudge a 'journalist'.

What is he journaling or writing. It seems that his site just links to news stories that Drudge thinks are interesting or that are breaking news.

He doesn't write any article or report on anything. It seems to me to be more performance art-ish than anything.

I guess the meaning of journalist and journalism has changed dramatically since I was in school.....or else people just don't know what they are talking about.

OH....and we are sooooo screwed.

David said...

DHQ: Journalism is keeping people informed about what is important. By that standard Drudge is pretty impressive.

AprilApple said...

Trooferism is alive and buried deep inside the leftwing psyche.

So crotch bomber was a "nothing to see here" moment.

Except it wasn't. He could have killed hundreds on Obama's watch.
The left now (as always) look like assholes who care more about their sad lies and tired
conspiracy theories than the safety of the flying public. (poor weftie is constipated and needs tax-payer funded health care... boo hoo – GWB killed Lincoln and JFK! And kicked a puppy) Sad left-wing mental-incompetence rules the day.

Body scans or crotch bombs – you pick, babies.


The crotch is the last frontier for the suicide bomber.

It is reasonable to conclude that the TSA has had some level of success in keeping the traveling public safe –
albeit by reactionary measures.
Better than nothing from a bloated government run system. Oooo – Napolitano has the answer: Lets unionize the feds. That way it will become even MORE of a waste of money and even more inefficient.

LonewackoDotCom said...

The Drudge photo is part of the latest effort by the "r/w noise machine" to get Napolitano out of office. Some of the top r/w leaders probably know that wouldn't solve anything other than to let the system off the hook and avoid reforms. Other than this and their outbursts during the summer about the "r/w terrorists" report, they've mostly ignored her.

Meanwhile, I've got over 80 Janet Napolitano posts since 2003, detailing how she's enabled illegal activity in AZ and now on a national level.

Can anyone direct me to, for instance, Instapundit taking her to task over that? Back in Novemeber I wanted people to go to one of her appearances and ask her a question designed to reveal how she isn't doing her job; I got absolutely no help with that.

R/w leaders are for the most part non-serious clowns, just putting on a show rather than trying to solve problems and improve government.

cokaygne said...

Well I voted for small and ineffectual. After seeing the left-vs.-right feeding frenzy of the past week, I do worry that we are screwed.

Face it, liberals, you find national security ikky. You'd rather talk about health reform or card check or whatever is the cause du jour. Unfortunately for you and the rest of us, the only thing the president really has to take seriously during his entire term is national security, and we are stuck for the next 3 years with a team that does not take it as seriously as health reform.

The fact that liberals are pacifist wimps doesn't let you conservatives off the hook. Your talented guys are busy making money somewhere. On the off chance that a conservative wins office, he usually turns out to be too stupid or uncaring to govern effectively. On domestic issues that can be a plus. On national security putting a stupid asshole into office can turn out to be disastrous. Remember "Brownie"?

I'm probably wrong about this because he has so disappointed me this past year, but I hope Obama calls in Napolitano and whoever the DNI is and reads them the riot act. Specifically, Napolitano needs to tell TSA to drop the phony, ineffective, and theatrical harassment of American citizens, and profile the bad guys no matter how much some liberal constituency objects. The DNI needs to fire a lot of people over this. How the undie bomber was allowed to keep his US visa and go to Yemen for advanced AQ training and then board a US-bound plane after his own father told the US embassy (we're talking about you, Hillary) he is a nut job and his UK visa was revoked is a scandal of the greatest magnitude. Heads, at all levels, must roll over this one.

wv: inainin which describes the state of TSA today

Julius Ray Hoffman said...

When we Americans are faced with a problem and with uncertainty, we look from a distance to our leaders.

What do we want from them? We don't need them to solve the problem, and we don't need them to reassure us. What we do want is to see that they are flexible, competent, reasonable people who can demonstrate leadership and do what needs to be done. We want to see an Alpha man in that position (like Dick Cheney), or alternatively a woman with alpha man characteristics (like Hillary Clinton when she isn't groveling). We want to see somebody with a little bit John Wayne or Teddy Roosevelt in him. Instead we are faced with the disappointment of seeing little pictures of valueless salespeople whose principles are blowing around like dust in the wind. Unfortunately, all four of the Pres and VP candidates from 2008 were pathetic weakminded people and it is only now, when faced with the impact of our collective choice, that we realize how screwed we are going to be for at least the next three years.

RLB_IV said...

The portraits make them appear small and insignificiant.

The only thing worse would be a rice papered wall and shag carpet on the floor.

Mian said...

I expect Napolitano will soon resign, stating that she did so "in the best interest of the agency and best interest of the president."

That's what Michael Brown said when he resigned from FEMA.

Oh wait: Janet Napolitano = Michael Brown.

Can bi-partisanship be far behind?

Bruce Hayden said...

DHQ: Journalism is keeping people informed about what is important. By that standard Drudge is pretty impressive.

I would agree with this. You would probably have most of the important news if you were to follow Drudge and the AP, or and the NYT, or and the WaPo, etc. You are likely to get more from Drudge than any of those, including that advantageous to the other side. Indeed, I would be interested in where anyone here thinks they can get better national (and sometimes international) coverage than Drudge. Most of the national sites are almost vacant as far as anything that would make Obama or the Democrats look smaller, weaker, or more corrupt.

Yes, Drudge isn't perfect as a journalist, but he is very good at getting out the important news of the day.

Eclecticity said...

I would have liked to see this option on the poll:

"Obama and Napolitano, are joined at the hip. He picked her. Her failings are his."

EDH said...

Breaking News: It appears Obama has already reassigned Napolitano.

John said...

Lonewhacko, I disagree. The point is not to hurt Napolitano. It is to tar Obama by association with the head of an unpopular department, who recently said a stupid thing. The fact that the department head is a heavy and rather homely apparent lesbian probably makes it more effective with most swing voters. Nasty, but I bet it works (with the tiny portion of the electorate who saw it and wasn't already decided).

As far as the whole "he went on vacation after a warning," well, if I was appearing on a talk show I would say that to hurt Obama, and it would work. But I don't think any swing voters are reading here, so we can drop that. It is as much bullshit as when the left attacked Bush all "he was warned about 911." The problem is that the president gets like 5 warnings like that a day. Most of them never materialize. If anyone here knows how to sort the true warnings from the noise, the CIA wants to hire you.

But no one can.

- John from Queens

Big Mike said...

@John from Queens, you absolutely don't get it.

The point is that Napolitano is not up to her job. She has been in her position less than 11 months and has embarrassed the government in a major fashion twice -- first by her strange insistence that US Army verterans were potential domestic terrorists, and now by her strange assertion that "the system worked" when, in fact, red flags were waving all over the place on this guy. In which universe is she the right person for this job?

And, yes, Obama does bear some responsibility for picking her. He arguably bears even more responsibility for hiring her as head of DHS than Bush did for picking Michael Brown to head FEMA, since Napolitano is a cabinet officer and direct report to the President.

Almost Ali said...

Credit where it's due; it was Dust Bunny who said:

"We are sooooo screwed."

MadisonMan said...

One of the selections should have been 'Talking to Obama or Napolitano is like talking to a brick wall'

Cedarford said...

DBQ - "I don't get why people call Drudge a 'journalist'.
What is he journaling or writing. It seems that his site just links to news stories that Drudge thinks are interesting or that are breaking news."

DBQ, Drudge and various people have said that Drudge is less a journalist than an enormously effective Editor and news collator that has a great "what's important or interesting" site you can read at a glance, drop off a tip at, or link to a few hundred columnists and global news sites..
His success at this is evident. I think he might have slipped a bit from when he was spending 12-14 hours a day at it...but the product is still hugely popular.

Similar to Instapundit. A sparse, fast offering of what's up where you can take Reynold's word for it or bore in to his links for more detail.

LonewackoDotCom said...

Big Mike: who's up to her job? It's a pretty tough job and there aren't too many people besides Superman who could do it.

Where you might hang your hat is the place where her opponents have a blind spot. Like her predecessors, she's "doing her job" rather than "doing her job description". The former involves promoting BHO's agenda, specifically helping him push amnesty. Of course, those opponents won't mention that for various ideological or financial reasons. Some support her "doing her job", others are dependent on those who make money from her "doing her job".

Firing her is like that: it would "solve everything", if by "solve everything" you mean "papering over systemic problems".

It all boils down to what is is.

traditionalguy said...

Not only that but Obama's Global Warming czar is a total failure. Just when all the Florida oranges are about to freeze 3 weeks before the old frost dangers used to begin, there are still no emergency CO2 generators in action to warm the globe. WTF? We demand that these honchos that claim that they can control earth's weather get to work and warm this winters deep freze back up quick.

Almost Ali said...

For the record, David Brooks is a pansy-ass - a good writer, but still a Starbucks-sipping pansy-ass. And from the outset, not a particularly clever example of a closet-liberal.

Regarding Drudge, his pictures are often worth a thousand words - and today's side-by-side, ten thousand.

Because Obama is a hyper-liberal pansy-ass, and Nepolitano fits in his shadow.

Moral: The phone rang at 3:00am Christmas morning; NO ONE ANSWERED. And they've been lying through their teeth ever since.

Steve said...

When I first heard our homeland secretary say how proud she was that it only took 60-90 minutes to notify planes in the air of the incident, I thought she mispoke and meant 60-90 seconds. but, alas, she meant what she said. did one person make all the calls? how many planes landed during that time -- thus exposing themselves to the critical period w/o any notice?

we're sitting ducks

MayBee said...

When I first heard our homeland secretary say how proud she was that it only took 60-90 minutes to notify planes in the air of the incident,

Yeah, that was weird. And it wasn't even all the planes in the air- just those traveling over the Atlantic to the US.

How long did it take to get all the planes grounded on 9/11?

Almost Ali said...

Probably the only way to get Obama off his pansy-ass, and pronto, is to goad Al Qaeda into insulting African-American women.

If he fails to get off his pansy-ass then - Michelle will go all ghetto on him.

traditionalguy said...

We may yet not be screwed if the dis-illusionment with Obama's nonsense spreads to the news media. Will they be forever under his spell as a Black President that can never be opposed no matter how much intentional damage he does?

M Jordan said...

It isn't that Obama should have gotten on Air Force One and flown back to Washington upon hearing the news of the Scrotum Bomber. It's that he shouldn't transmit that sensation that he just want to be interrupted from eating his pancake, so to speak. And then for him to go flying across the island because some friend's son cut himself on a surfboard ... I dunno, doesn't quite add up to the look and feel of a guy who really gives a damn.

MayBee said...

One thing that bothers me that Janet said to Candy Crowley was that they didn't panic and shut down all the airline traffic.

And I'm just trying to figure out what that was supposed to mean. As far as I know, airline traffic was only shut down on 9/11 and for a few days after. Is she snarking on that?

Big Mike said...

@lonewacko, I think you're focusing on the wrong question. Replacing Napolitano will not "solve everything." No one sane expects that. But leaving her in place solves nothing and clearly that's not acceptable.

Look at these new rules! No one can get up in the last hour of the flight? What if you got diarrhea from eating airport food? Do you have to sit there and mess yourself? Would you want to be that traveller? Would you even want to be seated near that traveller? Somebody with common sense needs to be in the role of DHS Secretary so he or she can tell the TSA "whoa" when they go overboard.

Almost Ali said...

If the new rule was in effect on Christmas day, Jasper would have been shot by an air-marshal before he defused the bomber.

Not to mention the subsequent decompression.

Meanwhile, the we're-so-screwed, 96% crowd (me included) certainly know all new rules aimed at the flying public are baby-bottle pacifiers.

zefal said...

Cedarford:

They could have publicly raised the alert level. But I think they are loathed to do this because they accused Bush of using it for political purposes. So I think they painted themselves in a corner and we get to pay for it in increased risk to our lives.

obama: The gift that keeps on giving it to us.

Don Meaker said...

Information is the currency of Bureaucracy. Constipation of information is the purpose of management. The bureaucratic model is, by its nature, not adequate for disseminationg intelligence. Rather an internal intelligence market must be created where the gatherers are compensated for finding and providing time critical information. Interpreters like stock traders are compensated for correct filters and actions, and massive parallel paths threated to leave the inefficient in the dust, hopefully with monetary losses as a warning to others.

Dogwood said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dogwood said...

How long did it take to get all the planes grounded on 9/11?

It took hours to ground thousands of planes. All international flights not yet in American airspace were diverted to other countries or returned to their point of origin.

Domestic flights were directed to the nearest airport capable of handling the plane.

As for Brooks, I'm not looking for perfection, but the red flags on this one were so evident there is no excuse.

He paid cash (red flag) for a one-way ticket (red flag) and checked no luggage (red flag). Oh, and his dad warned the CIA that his son was a nutjob (red flag).

IIRC, the first three red flags have been red flags since 9/11/01 and should have been enough to get him pulled into a private room for some quality one-on-one time with security personnel.

Perfection isn't possible from human beings (thus the above deletion), but catching the obvious isn't asking too much.

Big Mike said...

OK, at 2:31 I said "easily a half dozen," but Dogwood can only find four -- though they're a very big four. The primary one I'd add is that, based on some news reports, he didn't have a passport with him. Why they would let Abdulmutallab on the flight without one is such a mystery to me that I'm having a hard time believing the story is true.

6p00d834518db669e2 said...

Whenever I see photos of "important people" (at least in their own minds) lined up like that, it comes across to me as an unconscious expropriation of an Eastern Orthodox iconostasis.

Dogwood said...

...but Dogwood can only find four -- though they're a very big four.

Don't take my list as comprehensive. I'm sure there were others, but when I heard the first three, I couldn't believe the guy was allowed on the plane.

JAL said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JAL said...

JAL said...
No..wait, they still hassle little old ladies.

92 year old white haired 4'4" Caucasian woman who cannot walk without her 4 wheeled walker, being accompanied by her middle aged daughter. Checked a bag, had tickets (hers was one way !!!) paid for by credit card over a month peviously. Travelling companion had a round trip ticket.

Yup. They are random pat downs.

A complete waste of time and resources. And our tax money.

Drudge picture? A statement on the inconsequence of these two individuals.

The people who chose and put up the pictures? A couple of "who cares" Federal employees.

AllenS said...

Yes, we are so screwed. Because of this political bullshit called PC, we are unable to defend ourselves. I cannot fault Obama or Bush. This has been developing for a long, long time.

March 1785. When they inquired by what right the Barbary states preyed upon American shipping, enslaving both crews and passengers, America’s two foremost envoys were informed that “it was written in the Koran, that all Nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon whoever they could find and to make Slaves of all they could take as prisoners, and that every Mussulman who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise.”

After 9/11 Bush said: "This crusade, this war on terrorism is gonna take awhile. And the American people must be patient. I'm gonna be patient"

It didn't take long before Bush was forced to appologize, saying he regretted using the word crusade. Then came the PC statement that Islam is a religion of peace.

Barack Hussein Obama? Why even go there. He'll do nothing.

We are so screwed, but we have nobody to blame but ourselves.

Almost Ali said...

Why they would let Abdulmutallab on the flight without one [passport] is such a mystery to me that I'm having a hard time believing the story is true.

It's no mystery; he was ushered through by a screener, a fellow Muslim. Of course, there'll never be an official acknowledgment - cause diversity.

But for the passengers, we'd also wouldn't have known there was a second arrest after the plane landed. Courtesy of a sniffer-dog, and residue of PETN.

The up side is that we now know what we're all in for.

SukieTawdry said...

To David Brooks and everyone who agrees with him: We're not the ones who think government should be the answer to all questions. It's government that apparently thinks it is, or should be, the end all be all to all.

I'm guessing the federal government could become pretty damned proficient/efficient in executing it's Constitutionally prescribed duties. But instead it's got to inject itself into seemingly every aspect of human endeavor (how many laws and regulations are there now on US books? I don't remember the number, but I do remember that it's horrifyingly high). He who would be Jack of all trades will be master of none is an axiom that can be applied to government as well.

And, yes, we are so screwed. This situation begs for profiling, but political correctness will never allow it. A good start IMO would be to simply let air travelers know that if any of the following apply, they will be subjected to increased scrutiny: One-way ticket purchase; paying with cash; no checked luggage; named on the terrorist watch list (personally, I would deny anybody whose name is on that list entry into the US); traveling from and/or passport issued by a country known to be a center of terrorist training/activity.

Nobody expects perfection, but we do have a right to competence. At the very least.

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