Happy New Year

Here’s a link to Karl Rove’s column today recommending some resolutions for President Obama and others.

I liked this one:

Ambitious Republicans should resolve to run next year. There will be a wave of voter support for GOP positions, but authenticity, passion and conviction matter. Voters can smell them, so bone up on the issues and say what you believe, not what someone tells you to say.

Afghanistan

Some news sucks.

Eight Americans working for the CIA have died in a bomb attack in Afghanistan, the worst against US intelligence officials since 2001.

Killed by an Afghan soldier. Trained by Americans.

Hindsight is 20/20

There were a ton of failings with the Detroit underwear bomber. But I don’t believe these particular failings should be leading to this quote by Dick Cheney:

“[W]e are at war and when President Obama pretends we aren’t, it makes us less safe,” Cheney said in a statement to POLITICO. “Why doesn’t he want to admit we’re at war? It doesn’t fit with the view of the world he brought with him to the Oval Office. It doesn’t fit with what seems to be the goal of his presidency – social transformation—the restructuring of American society.”

All the failings leading to this bomber would have happened under a Republican unless you believe that al-Qaeda had not been working on this little underwear scheme under Bush because Bush was such a tough guy.

The one thing that gets me is how can a young man with a Muslim name flying from Lagos to Detroit without luggage not be given a once over??

That has little to do with this President and everything to do with political correctness that has been running rampant for years.

So yes, fix the “system” that clearly failed. But until and unless that system includes some serious profiling, we’ll know that no administration, left or right is taking this was on extremist Muslim terrorists seriously.

And until people in the administration who never want to be identified quit leaking stories to the press for reasons I’d have to say that it’s the media that seems to think this really isn’t war.

UPDATE: We will only ever hear about the failures of intelligence systems and not the successes which happen every day. We need to realize that.

The Required Underpants Terrorist Post

Brought to you byThe Stupid Agency”. (a great title of a must read post by Professor Bainbridge)

A couple of things to note here.
No matter what list a person is on or not on,
young Muslim men buying tickets to the US
with cash and
without luggage
should get a second screening.
Hello??

The main thing the 9/11 report noticed is that bits of information were never connected. What in this incident shows that things have changed?
A young Muslim man, who was given a multi-entrance VISA, who has been to Yemen, who’s own connected and reasonable dad suggests he could be a problem, maybe should be looked into before said VISA expires.

If “the system” in place is actually, “assume someone else will take care of this problem”, is the system, then yes, “the system worked”. Sadly, it didn’t work with Hasan. Napolitano needs to be part of the unemployment numbers.

The new fix is not a fix.

  • The underpants dude didn’t use anything out of his carry on bag.
  • The underpants dude didn’t do anything in the bathroom other than get ready to die.
  • The underpants dude didn’t have a paperback in his lap. It won’t help now that you won’t either.
  • The passengers around the underpants dude did as they were told which is to say, they stayed in their seats. A man 3 rows behind the underpants dude decided that maybe saving the plane would be worth getting into trouble with the stewardess for disconnecting his seat belt. How will making a rule that everyone must remain in their seat help?
  • It doesn’t help to expand a watch list that is not actually watched.
  • And finally, by immediately treating this as a criminal thing vs an act of war – in spite of the confession by the underpants dude – we now do not get to question said dude without his lawyer present. Maybe this “new” way will help us win the hearts and minds of jihadists, but I’m pretty sure they mean what they say when they suggest that jihad is about killing the infidel and not about Abu Graib or civil liberties at Gitmo.
  • Back to the first link…..feeling helpless is horrible. Being made uncomfortable and even more inconvenienced does not make us less helpless. We have actual tools at our disposal including psychology. TSA has about 15 people you walk through at those screening areas. Each of those minimally paid people knows that they will not actually be responsible for anything because there are 14 others that surely ‘would have caught it’ if it was a problem. Reduce that number, pay them better, train them more, allow them to profile, use technology, and did I mention fire Napolitano.

    Living within your own Head

    This is a big category today. When I was 18 I didn’t know what I wanted to be “when I grew up”. But everyone said, “go to college, it will teach you how to think.”
    I’m curious where all the evidence is of college educated thinking people is these days.

    Let’s start with Hugo Chavez who is opening a group of discount socialist stores owned by the government.

    “They’ll see what’s good. We’ll show them what a real market is all about, not those speculative, money-grubbing markets, but a market for the people,” said Chavez in his drive to change Venezuela from a market-based economy to a socialist one.
    …..
    Chavez said the Comerso chain of stores will include “a network of subsidiaries” that will sell new vehicles directly imported from China and Argentina, “without capitalist intermediaries.”

    “We’re going to defeat speculation. Private individuals in sales can still sell, but they’ll have to compete with us and with a people who is now fully aware,” Chavez said.

    That’s right. Hugo’s government is selling imported goods to it’s people at much closer to cost than capitalists do. Which will lead to capitalists being driven out of business, which will lead to more unemployment and people in need of discount stores where goods are imported leading to manufacturers being driven out of business. Soon Venezuela will be just as happy as the Middle East, but without the cheap oil. It’s oil is actually hard to extract and not nearly as reliable. In what world is all this a good thing???? oh yeah – Hugo Chavez’s head.
    ………………….

    How about Senator Nelson’s head? In what world would he think that making the concessions for 100 billion dollars for Nebraska vs religious faith would work? Does he not even know any Nebraskans?? Or how people disdain two faced hypocrites?

    How did Nelson gain such leverage in the legislative process in the first place? Because many assumed that his objections to abortion coverage in the health bill were serious — not a cover, but a conviction.

    Like Gersen,

    I can respect those who are pro-life out of conviction and those who are pro-choice out of conviction. It is more difficult to respect politicians willing to use their deepest beliefs — and the deepest beliefs of others — as bargaining chips.

    In a single evening, Nelson managed to undermine the logic of Medicaid, abandon three decades of protections under the Hyde Amendment and increase the public stock of cynicism.

    Thanks Senator Nelson. You suck.

    And now Senator Nelson is acting like he doesn’t really even want the money for just Nebraska. He had hoped to get coverage for all the states Medicaid programs. Because…..get this:

    “Why should states be forced to pay for a (federal) unfunded mandate?” he said.

    (ht threesources)

    Yes, in his world, “why should the states…” have to pay for something the federal government requires……
    as he votes to require INDIVIDUALS TO PAY FOR SOMETHING THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT REQUIRES!!! What is wrong with him….oh – yeah, he lives within his own stupid head.
    …………………

    Let’s see, we’ve covered Latin America, and Health Care reform….how about Global Warming?
    As in everywhere, people in Antarctica have gotten sick of tourists. Who doesn’t hate tourists. So they, those important research scientists who apparently arrive in Antarctica by transporter beam, have decided that 40,000 tourists a year are causing the ice caps to melt. But not them. Research is good.
    …………………..
    Even the NYTimes has noticed the lack of thought in other people’s analyses. Today in a story about UCLA’s end of life care costing twice as much as the Mayo clinic they mention a study about how all this money doesn’t do much good, however:

    Remarkably, it [the study] pays no attention to the ones who survive.

    Hello.
    ……………….
    Ooh – and let’s not forget this little file on putting helicopters down in Wilderness Areas. You know, those areas set aside as actual, not Disney like wilderness.
    Why are they going to do this….? Because they need to put collars on the wolves. In the wilderness. HUH?????

    ……………….
    Let’s go back to global warming. Drudge linked to this story about pets being worse than SUVs as far as carbon footprints are concerned. How do you get out of this problem?

    “Everyone should work out their own environmental impact. I should be allowed to say that I walk instead of using my car and that I don’t eat meat, so why shouldn’t I be allowed to have a little cat to alleviate my loneliness?”

    Things have gotten so bad that this woman has to justify her cat ownership by suggesting she walks more than other people.
    Good Lord. These Global Warmists somehow use their own examples of how life should be led without realizing they could do “better”. Ted Kazynski’s lifestyle should be the epitome of how we all should live and if we don’t, we need to make excuses for our choices just like that woman has been forced to do by those who are holier than she.

    Obama

    Here is a column about Obamaspeak that had a few choice quotes:

    For connoisseurs of Obama-speak, the address featured a trifecta, combining three of his favorite rhetorical tropes. There was the vague reference to “those who” question his agenda; the “false choice” they use to deceive the public; the determination to “be clear” and forthright, in contrast with those dishonest naysayers.

    These devices are useful as signals that the president is about to mislead us.

    and of course

    From now on, when you hear Obama speak, try replacing “let me be clear” with “let me lie to you,” and see if it makes more sense.