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The Joke's On Us (Mark Steyn On Obama's KeyStone Cops Approach To Islamic Terrorism Alert)
National Review ^ | 1/02/2010 | Mark Steyn

Posted on 01/02/2010 4:24:07 AM PST by goldstategop

On Christmas Day, a gentleman from Nigeria succeeded (effortlessly) in boarding a flight to Detroit with a bomb in his underwear. Pretty funny, huh?

But the Pantybomber wasn’t the big joke. The real laugh was the United States government. The global hyperpower spent the next week making itself a laughingstock to the entire planet. First, the bureaucrats at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) swung into action with a whole new range of restrictions.

Against radical Yemen-trained Muslims wearing weaponized briefs? Of course not. That would be too obvious. So instead they imposed a slew of constraints against you. At Heathrow last week, they were permitting only one item of carry-on on U.S. flights. In Toronto, no large purses.

Um, the Pantybomber didn’t have a purse. He brought the bomb on board under his private parts, and his private parts weren’t part of his carry-on (although, if reports of injuries sustained in his failed mission are correct, they may well have been part of his carry-off). But no matter. If in doubt, blame the victim. The TSA announced that for the last hour of the flight no passenger can use the toilets or have anything on his lap — not a laptop, not a blanket, not a stewardess, not even a paperback book. I can’t wait for the first lawsuit after an infidel flight attendant confiscates a litigious imam’s Koran as they’re coming into LAX.

You’re still free to read a paperback if you’re flying from Paris to Sydney, or Stockholm to Beijing, or Kuala Lumpur to Heathrow. But not to LAX or JFK. The TSA were responding as bonehead bureaucracies do: Don’t just stand there, do something. And every time the TSA does something, you’ll have to stand there, longer and longer, suffering ever more pointless indignities. Last week, guest-hosting The Rush Limbaugh Show, I took a call from a lady who said that, if it helps keep her safe, she’s happy to get to the airport “four, five, whatever hours” before the flight. Try to put a figure on “whatever” and you’ll get a sense of where America’s transportation system is headed. Ten years ago, you got to the airport 45 minutes, an hour before the flight. Now, thanks to the ever more demanding choreographers of the homeland-security kabuki, it’s two, three, four, whatever. Look at O’Hare and imagine the size of airport we’ll need. And by then the Pantybomber won’t even need to get on the plane; he can kill more people blowing up the check-in line.

And remember, this was a bombing mission that “failed.” With failures like this, who needs victories?

Joke, joke, joke. The only good news was that the derision was so universal that the TSA promptly reined in some of their wackier impositions a couple of days later. But by then Janet Incompetano, the homeland-security secretary, had gone on TV and declared to the world that there was nothing to worry about: “The system worked.”

Indeed, it worked “smoothly.” The al-Qaeda trainee on a terrorist watch list, a man banned from the United Kingdom and reported to the CIA by his own father, got on board the plane, assembled the bomb, and attempted to detonate it. But don’t worry ’bout a thing; the system worked.

Twenty-four hours later, Secretary Incompetano was back on TV to protest that her words had been taken “out of context.” No doubt, the al-Qaeda-trained CIA-reported cash-paying crotch-stuffed watch-list member’s smooth progress through check-in was also taken “out of context.”

But by then the president of the United States had also taken to the airwaves. For three days, he had remained silent — which I believe is a world record for the 44th president. Since Jan. 20, 2009, it’s been difficult to switch on the TV and not find him yakking — accepting an award in Oslo for not being George W. Bush, doing Special Olympics gags with Jay Leno, apologizing for America to some dictator or other . . . But across the electric wires an eerie still had descended. And when the president finally spoke, even making allowances for his usual detached cool, he sounded less like a commander-in-chief addressing the nation after an attempted attack than an assistant DA at a Cook County press conference announcing a drug bust: “Here’s what we know so far. . . . As the plane made its final approach to Detroit Metropolitan Airport, a passenger allegedly tried to ignite an explosive device. . . . The suspect was immediately subdued. . . . The suspect is now in custody and has been charged.” Etc, etc, piling up one desiccated legalism on another: “Allegedly . . . ” “suspect . . . ” “charged . . . ” The president can’t tell an allegedly alleged suspect (which is what he is in Obama fantasy-land) from an enemy combatant (which is what he is in cold hard reality). But worse than the complacent cop-show jargonizing was a phrase it’s hard to read as anything other than a deliberate attempt to mislead the public: The president referred to the Knickerbomber as an “isolated extremist.” By this time, it was already clear that young Umar had been radicalized by jihadist networks in London and fast-tracked to training in Yemen by terror operatives who understood the potentially high value of a Westernized Muslim with excellent English from a respectable family. Yet President Obama tried to pass him off as some sort of lone misfit who wakes up one morning and goes bananas. Could happen to anyone.

But, if it takes the White House three days to react to an attack on the United States, their rapid-response unit can fire back in nothing flat when Dick Cheney speaks. “It is telling,” huffed the president’s communications director, Dan Pfeiffer, “that Vice President Cheney and others seem to be more focused on criticizing the administration than condemning the attackers.”

“Condemning the attackers”? What happened to all the allegedly alleged stuff? Shouldn’t that be “condemning the alleged isolated attacker”? The communications director seems to be wandering a bit off-message here, whatever the message is: The system worked, so we’re inconveniencing you even more. The system failed, but the alleged suspect is an isolated extremist, so why won’t that cowardly squish Cheney have the guts to condemn the attacker and his vast network of associates?

The real message was conveyed by Fouad Ajami, discussing the new administration’s foreign policy in the Wall Street Journal: “No despot fears Mr. Obama, and no blogger in Cairo or Damascus or Tehran, no demonstrator in those cruel Iranian streets, expects Mr. Obama to ride to the rescue.” True. Another Iranian deadline passed on New Year’s Eve, but the United States will set a new one for Groundhog Day or whenever.

And, just as the thug states understand they now have the run of the planet, so do the terror cells. A thwarted terror attack at Christmas is bad enough. Spending the following week making yourself a global joke is worse. Every A-list despot and dimestore jihadist got that message loud and clear — and so did American allies already feeling semi-abandoned by this most parochial of presidents. Expect a bumpy twelve months ahead. Happy New Year.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; Philosophy; Politics/Elections; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: 910thinking; 911forgotten; americainperil; bho4alqaeda; bho4theenemy; bho4weakness; bhodhs; bhovswot; biggovernment; clownsincharge; dnc2lose; dnc4alqaeda; dnc4weakness; dncfailure; dncvswot; enemydomestic; enemyinside; fauxpres; flight253; homelandsecurity; iran; islamicterrorism; jihadism; keystonecops; knickerbomber; marksteyn; middleeast; nationalreview; obama4theenemy; obamafailure; obamasfault; pantybomber; steyn; thesystemworked; thugstates; tsa; tsa4alqaeda; tsa4bombers; tsa4islam; tsa4terrorists; tsa4tsa; tsa4unions; tsaisajoke; tsavsusa; waronterror; whereisthebc
Mark Steyn writes this morning the Obama Administration's Keystone Cops approach to Islamic terrorism and complete indifference to the thug states on planet have made a joke of American national deterrence. One of the least noticed effects of Big Government is not only a dismissal of what's really important but a bumbling incompetence that manifests itself in addressing real threats to the country. Our enemies understand full well they have nothing to fear from America in the coming year. Happy New Year!

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find only things evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelogus

1 posted on 01/02/2010 4:24:10 AM PST by goldstategop
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To: goldstategop

Actually, the “yoke’s” on us (for real).


2 posted on 01/02/2010 4:33:05 AM PST by SonOfDarkSkies (Al Qaeda only hijacked commercial aircraft...Obama hijacked the White House!)
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To: goldstategop


3 posted on 01/02/2010 4:35:45 AM PST by Diogenesis ("Those who go below the surface do so at their peril" - Oscar Wilde)
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To: goldstategop
One of Steyn's underappreciated points is that an Al Qaeda jihadist doesn't even need to board a plane to commit mass murder. Thanks to the bunched check in lines mindlessly created in Western airports, a homocide bomber can blow himself up right in the check-in terminal, killing hundreds of people. To say nothing of the inconvenience of waiting hours to get screened before boarding your flight. At Ben Gurion airport, all that stuff is taken care of in under 25 minutes and there are no long lines to allow a homocide bomber to find an inviting target on the ground. We need to do things differently but we won't because political correctness is far more important than instituting sane and effective aviation security policies.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find only things evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelogus

4 posted on 01/02/2010 4:36:36 AM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: goldstategop
*Steyn-O-Bump*

...complacent cop-show jargonizing...

Exactly.

5 posted on 01/02/2010 4:36:45 AM PST by Yardstick
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To: goldstategop

Bambi’s only intellectual development comes from the Rev Wright’s and Bill Ayers of the world... he is not equipped for foreign policy. However, even if he was, as a Muslim, he would act exactly the same as he is.

Which begs the question...does he support our enemies our enemies out of incompetance or design?


6 posted on 01/02/2010 4:37:26 AM PST by ez ("Abashed the Devil stood and felt how awful goodness is..." - Milton)
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To: goldstategop

Bingo.

Mark Steyn is so facile at being Mark Steyn that it’s a good thing he is.


7 posted on 01/02/2010 4:38:30 AM PST by 9YearLurker
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To: goldstategop
And if the TSA was unionized... that would solve everything.

Is it too late for a 2010 resolution; and that being not to fly anywhere in 2010?
8 posted on 01/02/2010 4:40:58 AM PST by sjm_888
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To: ez

Design. It is planned; and the dhimmi public, helped
by the manipulating MSM, the greedy bankers and the
scheming foreign nationals, has come close to suicide.


9 posted on 01/02/2010 4:41:18 AM PST by Diogenesis ("Those who go below the surface do so at their peril" - Oscar Wilde)
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To: ez
The TSA restrictions could only have been drawn up by morons. The Pantybomber has no check-in luggage; he WAS the bomb! Banning more objects would not have eliminated the threat unless you could take him out of the equation and that can't be done without profiling. But better to impose a slew of stupid restrictions on airline passengers than to profile because its not politically correct to ban a human bomb from an airplane. All the TSA has guaranteed to jihadists is they have nothing to fear at all from its new regulations. And next time, they will succeed.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find only things evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelogus

10 posted on 01/02/2010 4:42:30 AM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: goldstategop
Janet Incompetano

LOL!

11 posted on 01/02/2010 4:43:16 AM PST by Rocky (Obama's ego: The "I's" have it.)
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To: goldstategop

Liberals called President Bush a moron.

Now, we have a brilliant liberal administration and frequent attempts by middle-eastern types to terrorize the population in the United States. (Notice that they can’t credibly blame the prior administration and woudln’t dare.)

It’s Absolutely amazing how the press and psychotic citizenry can characterize bright and dedicated people as morons and indoctrinated morons as brilliant intellectuals...absolutely amazing; the dangerous thing is that anyone who takes on the mantle of liberal Democrat becomes, instantly, a brilliant intellectual who has no patience with mere mortals. (Thinking of buying stock in a company that manufactures jackboots.)

IMHO


12 posted on 01/02/2010 4:43:59 AM PST by ripley
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To: goldstategop

Maybe the answer is a pre-security-check security check then. They frisk you right as you get out of your car. That way you can’t blow anyone up as you’re getting frisked later. Of course, that’s when al Qaeda switches to bombing malls.


13 posted on 01/02/2010 4:44:16 AM PST by Yardstick
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To: goldstategop

Mark Steyn punctures hot air and grasps reality better than anyone.

The “pundit” Chuck Todd says that Janet Incompetano is BO’s next choice for the Supreme Court (She’s BO’s favorite Cabinet Secretary except for Gates.) She should be sent packing back to Arizona.


14 posted on 01/02/2010 4:47:00 AM PST by Malesherbes (Sauve qui peut)
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To: goldstategop
In Obama's world, in a shooting battle, life footage would bring us the sounds of gunfire and thousands of shouts of "You have the right to remain silent!" and "Put down your weapon and step away!"

For three days, he had remained silent — which I believe is a world record for the 44th president.

Zingo!

The David Broders and Boston Globes spinning about how cool and calm and wonderful these boobs are has been darkly hilarious. They must sit around after each disaster and toss out ideas: "How about...he was suffering from FOOD poisoning, and..." "No, no, he has to appear strong, even though he was golfing." "Maybe we can say it's a new Zen thing, swinging the club promotes blood flow to the brain?" "That's not gonna fly...please, Mary, you're a woman what do YOU know about golf?" "I GOT IT! Steady, like he's in command!" "But won't that contradict our first story--which was that he intentionally wasn't making like this was a big deal....?"

That last one was the premise behind a piece posted on FR-wonder if the writer of that has reconsidered?

15 posted on 01/02/2010 4:48:19 AM PST by Darkwolf377 (Bostonian conservative, atheist prolifer)
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To: goldstategop

“King Barry the Incompetent” bump.


16 posted on 01/02/2010 4:48:35 AM PST by roaddog727 (It's the Constitution, Stupid!)
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To: goldstategop

Knickerbomber. LOL! Pure Styne.


17 posted on 01/02/2010 4:52:58 AM PST by kitkat (Obama hates us. Well, maybe a LOT of Kenyans do.)
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To: goldstategop

How much money are we giving Transportation Security Administration?
Anyone feel safer with this bunch of socialists and garbage in charge?
We certainly are not getting our moneys worth.
Obamma lamma ding dong and his chicago mob henchmen are going to get a whole lot of us killed.
And if and when it happens ALL HELL will break out.


18 posted on 01/02/2010 4:53:47 AM PST by Joe Boucher (This marxist punk has got to go.)
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To: sjm_888

Unless you positively have to do so, that’s a really good idea. In fact, after having been singled out for special treatment at a number of airports because I am clergy (that would be Anglican Catholic deacon at the time), I swore off flying altogether. It’s gotten to the point where airlines should be paying their customers, is how I see it.


19 posted on 01/02/2010 4:54:31 AM PST by BelegStrongbow (I'm still waiting for Dear Leader to say something that isn't a lie)
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To: goldstategop

“”””But, if it takes the White House three days to react to an attack on the United States, their rapid-response unit can fire back in nothing flat when Dick Cheney speaks””””


One of my favorite lines from this Steyn commentary.


20 posted on 01/02/2010 4:56:34 AM PST by Presbyterian Reporter
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To: ez
Design.
Anyone paying attention knew this 2 years ago.
21 posted on 01/02/2010 5:05:57 AM PST by Just A Nobody ( (Better Dead than RED! NEVER AGAIN...Support our Troops! Beware the ENEMEDIA))
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To: ez

The determination must be design. The safety of the nation is at stake. How you going to prosecute stupidity?


22 posted on 01/02/2010 5:06:03 AM PST by wita
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To: goldstategop

Bump. Forwarded it, as my relatives and friends are their own security. God protect them and America.


23 posted on 01/02/2010 5:06:24 AM PST by AmericaUnite
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To: goldstategop

What I would like to know is what excuse will Barry, and his incompetents, use if Hell-qaeda does bring down a plane. Listen, we will never be told Hell-qaeda brought the plane down. The excuse will be “pilot error”, “mechanical failure”, “geese”, “swans”, “empty fuel tanks”, “over loaded”, “wind sheer,” oh man, the list is endless. If the “panty bomber” would have succeeded, we would have never known it was terror related. I guarantee you and the main reason……… Too difficult to blame Bush.


24 posted on 01/02/2010 5:36:49 AM PST by DeadFurrow (Your rights end where mine begins.)
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To: goldstategop
Thank GOD Rush is OK.

But if he needed to take all of time off I would want Mark Steyn as permanent fill in host.

25 posted on 01/02/2010 5:44:12 AM PST by pietraynor (Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them. Ronald Reagan)
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To: Diogenesis

“Our enemies understand full well they have nothing to fear from America in the coming year. Happy New Year! “

It is clear that Obama needs another “crisis”

“A crisis is a terrible thing to wasre”

Rahm.


26 posted on 01/02/2010 5:49:23 AM PST by stephenjohnbanker (Support our troops, and vote out the RINO's!)
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To: stephenjohnbanker

Barry’s not ready for a “crises”. He needs “BarryCare” to pass first. Then a, well planned out, crises to take our minds off “BarryCare.”


27 posted on 01/02/2010 6:02:04 AM PST by DeadFurrow (Your rights end where mine begins.)
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To: DeadFurrow

There is no earthly excuse why this punk was allowed to fly in here.

He couldn’t fly into Heathrow(would have been arrested on the spot).

He couldn’t fly to Paris

He couldn’t fly to Sydney

or Rome.

Just here........


28 posted on 01/02/2010 6:12:44 AM PST by stephenjohnbanker (Support our troops, and vote out the RINO's!)
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To: goldstategop
The answer is obvious to anyone who saw "Animal House"; Double Secret Probation.


29 posted on 01/02/2010 6:13:10 AM PST by Walmartian (Wally "Angelo" Martian. A made man.)
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To: goldstategop
obama; airport security; satire; politics
30 posted on 01/02/2010 6:25:35 AM PST by Flag_This (ACORN delenda est)
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To: DeadFurrow

nobama is his own “crisis”.


31 posted on 01/02/2010 6:28:45 AM PST by hal ogen
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To: goldstategop
The 'Knickerbomber' ........

Photobucket

32 posted on 01/02/2010 6:42:30 AM PST by Jackknife (Chuck Norris grinds his coffee with his teeth, and boils his water with his rage)
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To: goldstategop

The S.I.E.U. and Andy Stern will fight you all the way!!!


33 posted on 01/02/2010 7:40:18 AM PST by danamco
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To: goldstategop

“...thanks to the ever more demanding choreographers of the homeland-security kabuki, it’s two, three, four, whatever. Look at O’Hare and imagine the size of airport we’ll need. And by then the Pantybomber won’t even need to get on the plane; he can kill more people blowing up the check-in line.”

This part has worried me since 9/11. Rather than screening the passengers BEFORE they get to the airport, we are stacking them up there, creating a juicy target indeed.

Let’s remember that the primary purpose of terrorism is to get media publicity. Attacking an airport would create much more bloodshed, be much more camera-worthy and would be much more accessible to the media than some remote wreckage site.

I never had a fear of flying, but have been becoming increasingly anxious while at airports.


34 posted on 01/02/2010 7:40:32 AM PST by walford (http://the-big-pic.org)
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To: goldstategop

TSA worker assaults newsman.mpg

http://www.youtube.com/user/crimefile

“On Dec 31 while at Terminal 2 of the Los Angeles Internationa Airport a TSA worker assaulted me while I was shooting some videotape on a public sidewalk. She is the star of this video but I have not named her on purpose. Maybe it’s time the TSA wokers learn thir job is not to aggravate paying passengers but to observe and report acts of terror. Had it been a White TSA worker against a black man this would be settled in the Whitehouse Rosegarden at a “BEER SUMMIT”. The LAX police did a fine job of investigation as expected.”


35 posted on 01/02/2010 7:40:55 AM PST by KeyLargo
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To: goldstategop
This is more brilliant Steyn.

Funny and frightening at the same time.

Thanks for the post, goldstategop.

And may the Lord protect us from the incompetant Marxist autocrat in the White House.

36 posted on 01/02/2010 7:55:44 AM PST by ohioWfan (Proud Mom of a Bronze Star recipient!)
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To: stephenjohnbanker

The earthly excuse is that he had a brother in the White House who condones his anti-American terrorism.


37 posted on 01/02/2010 7:57:01 AM PST by ohioWfan (Proud Mom of a Bronze Star recipient!)
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To: goldstategop
“The real message was conveyed by Fouad Ajami, discussing the new administration’s foreign policy in the Wall Street Journal: “No despot fears Mr. Obama, and no blogger in Cairo or Damascus or Tehran, no demonstrator in those cruel Iranian streets, expects Mr. Obama to ride to the rescue.” True. Another Iranian deadline passed on New Year’s Eve, but the United States will set a new one for Groundhog Day or whenever.

And, just as the thug states understand they now have the run of the planet, so do the terror cells. A thwarted terror attack at Christmas is bad enough. Spending the following week making yourself a global joke is worse. Every A-list despot and dimestore jihadist got that message loud and clear — and so did American allies already feeling semi-abandoned by this most parochial of presidents. Expect a bumpy twelve months ahead. Happy New Year.”
__________________________________________________________

God help Americans all. Without You Lord we can do nothing.
In Jesus NAME, AMEN.

38 posted on 01/02/2010 8:03:02 AM PST by geologist (The only answer to the troubles of this life is Jesus. A decision we all must make.)
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To: goldstategop

“Incompetano” bump


39 posted on 01/02/2010 9:04:00 AM PST by Christian4Bush (2010 is here. Time to Vote the Marxists Out. And then, to finish the job in 2012.)
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To: goldstategop; knews_hound

bump & a ping

It could be a Happy New Year if the moderates and independents who vote reliably for rats finally realize that their votes have enabled this gross incompetence and corruption.


40 posted on 01/02/2010 9:39:33 AM PST by neverdem (Xin loi minh oi)
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To: sjm_888

TSA appointee violated privacy, lied to Congress about it.

(H/T AoSHQ Headlines) Well, at least Erroll Souther’s not a tax cheat, right? Puts him ahead of the pack for this administration, it does.

The White House nominee to lead the Transportation Security Administration gave Congress misleading information about incidents in which he inappropriately accessed a federal database, possibly in violation of privacy laws, documents obtained by The Washington Post show.

[snip]

Southers first described the episode in his October affidavit, telling the Senate panel that two decades ago he asked a San Diego Police Department employee to access confidential criminal records about the boyfriend. Southers said he had been censured by superiors at the FBI. He described the incident as isolated and expressed regrets about it.

The committee approved his nomination Nov. 19. One day later, Southers wrote to Lieberman and Collins saying his first account was incorrect. After reviewing documents, he wrote, he recalled that he had twice conducted the database searches himself, downloaded confidential law enforcement records about his wife’s boyfriend and passed information on to the police department employee, the letter said.

http://moelane.com/2010/01/01/tsa-appointee-violated-privacy-lied-to-congress-about-it/


41 posted on 01/02/2010 9:59:47 AM PST by KeyLargo
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To: ez

It’s an open question whether Obama is a closet Muslim or not, but he is unquestionably a Muslim Sympathizer.


42 posted on 01/02/2010 10:18:23 AM PST by expatpat
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To: goldstategop

Someone called this “Security Theater” the other day - and it’s improvisational, with out any real hope of deterring terrorists who get as far as the security gates. (If I may extend the analogy a bit: The rest of us are stuck in standing room only, and can’t even make comments or rustle a candy wrapper for fear of being refused entry to the venue.)


43 posted on 01/02/2010 3:15:53 PM PST by hocndoc (http://www.LifeEthics.org (I've got a mustard seed and I'm not afraid to use it.))
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