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Tags: Janet Napolitano

Under Sequester, the Sky Is 2 Percent Lower and Dropping, Honest!



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The Tuesday edition of the Morning Jolt offers a look at which side is really being stubborn in the sequester fight, the mixed bag of revealed nominees for the Nobel Peace Prize, and . . .

Obama’s Cabinet: the Sky Is Falling, and It’s All Sequester’s Fault, Honest!

No sooner than one cabinet secretary apologizes for peddling implausible lines about the sequester’s effect . . .

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Monday he misspoke when he recently claimed schools were already firing teachers in anticipation of sequester cuts taking effect.

“When I said ‘pink slips’ that was probably the wrong word,” Duncan said to reporters, according to multiple reports. “Language matters, and I need to be very, very clear.”

. . . another one gets herself into trouble:

Both the Transportation Security Administration and U.S. Customs and Border Protection predict sequestration budget cuts will mean more time stuck in line for travelers using America’s airways, but three days in, only some of those increases have materialized.

Enter your airport’s information on the TSA’s website for a quick listing of line times at each security checkpoint. A spokesperson at Reagan National Airport said Monday that neither Reagan nor nearby Dulles International Airport were seeing a change in wait times.

TSA’s press office said on Friday that the sequester would not trigger an immediate increase in wait times, but as they put in place a hiring freeze and see staffing levels drop, peak wait times at large airports could go up to an hour or more.

A second website allows flyers to see which airports are experiencing flight delays, which can also lengthen travel time.

The only airport showing delays on the Federal Aviation Administration website Monday afternoon was San Francisco International where weather was slowing planes out of the gate.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Monday waits at Customs had already gone up by 150 to 200 percent.

Look at the bright side: we got the Secretary of Education to concede that “language matters.”

The administration’s “Washington Monument” strategy continues.

Above, the “Fallout” of the Sequester.

Meanwhile, Rick Wilson points out that on February 13, the TSA signed a contract for $50 million on new uniforms.

“Let the sky fall,” as Adele sang.

Tags: Arne Duncan , Janet Napolitano , Campaign Advertising

Meet Napolitano’s ‘Low Risk’ Released Illegal Immigrant



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This morning, Homeland Security Janet Napolitano says that the several hundred illegal immigrants who were released from detention centers last week were, “very low-level, low-risk detainees.”

Boy, we better hope so.

The first illegal immigrant profiled by New York Times in its coverage of the releases… stretches the definition of “very low risk”:

Among those released in the past week was Anthony Orlando Williams, 52, a Jamaican immigrant who spent nearly three years in a detention center in Georgia.

“I’m good, man,” he said. “I’m free.”Mr. Williams, in a telephone interview from Stone Mountain, Ga., said he became an illegal immigrant when he overstayed a visa in 1991. He was detained in 2010 by a sheriff’s deputy in Gwinnett County, Ga., when it was discovered that he had violated probation for a conviction in 2005 of simple assault, simple battery and child abuse, charges that sprung from a domestic dispute with his wife at the time. He was transferred to ICE custody and has been fighting a deportation order with the help of Families for Freedom, an immigrant support group in New York.

Mr. Williams was released last Friday. “That was a long, long, long run,” he said of his detention, adding that he has an appointment this Friday at an immigration office in Atlanta at which he expects to receive the terms of his supervised release — “a list of things I have to abide by.”

If convictions for “simple assault, simple battery and child abuse” make you “low-risk,” what do you have to do for Janet Napolitano to consider you “high-risk”?

Tags: Illegal Immigration , Janet Napolitano , Sequestration

Release the Illegals, But Keep the Zombie Simulations & Steven Seagal



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The very first dollars the federal government stopped spending in the face of sequestration were the $16,400 to $164,000 per day it spends detaining “several hundred” illegal immigrants.

I suppose you could say not informing local and state law enforcement was a cost-saving measure, too. Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery tells Arizona reporters that “we don’t know what the criteria was to determine who was safe to release… we don’t know why they were detained in the first place, or the crimes they may have committed.”

The editors of the Arizona Republic reassuringly inform us, “These may all be non-violent offenders, but no one knows. We simply have no way to measure how much, if at all, our communities have been made less safe.”

The Immigrations and Customs Enforcement is part of the Department of Homeland Security under Secretary Janet Napolitano. Say, how have they been spending their money lately?

Columbus, Ohio recently purchased an “underwater robot” using a $98,000 UASI grant. Known also as a “remotely operated underwater vehicle,” the robot is mounted with a video camera providing full-color display to a vehicle on shore. Officials on the Columbus City Council went so far as to declare the purchase an “emergency,” not because of security needs, but because of “federal grant deadlines.”

If the money was not spent quickly, it would have been lost. The Columbus dive team, however, is responsible only for underwater search and recovery missions – not for rescue missions that may happen during a terror attack.

One of the team’s higher profile missions in recent years was the recovery of a $2 million “sunken treasure” in the Scioto River.

Apparently the only requirement to justify a purchase of an underwater robot with federal taxpayer funds is… a body of water.

In Keene, New Hampshire residents revolted against the town’s plan to acquire a BearCat, developing their own motto – “thanks, but no tanks.” Residents viewed the vehicle as an unnecessary purchase even though it is being paid for though a DHS grant worth $285,933. Although the town has had just two murders in the past 15 years, Keene Police Captain Brian Costa argued that “when this grant opportunity came up, it made a whole bunch of geographic sense,” since none of the five armored vehicles already in the state are not located in southwestern New Hampshire where Keene is located. He further stated that the vehicle would have been useful during the 2005 floods where the police department lost a cruiser.

The grant application for the BearCat cited the 2004 Pumpkin Festival and the 2007 Red Sox Riots, when the Red Sox won the World Series as examples of incidents when the BearCat could be used. The Pumpkin Festival is an annual event with 70,000 visitors, many who come to Keene in hopes of breaking the world record of lighting the most Jack’o’Lanterns.

And we all know how unruly and dangerous the Keene Pumpkin Festival can get.

One notable training-related event that was deemed an allowable expense by DHS was the HALO Counter-Terrorism Summit 2012. Held at the Paradise Point Resort & Spa on an island outside San Diego, the 5-day summit was deemed an allowable expense by DHS, permitting first responders to use grant funds for the $1,000 entrance fee. Event organizers described the location for the training event as an island paradise: “the exotic beauty and lush grandeur of this unique island setting that creates a perfect backdrop for the HALO Counter-Terrorism Summit. This luxury resort features over 460 guestrooms, five pools, three fantastic restaurants overlooking the bay, a world-class spa and state-of-the-art fitness center. Paradise awaits…”

The marquee event over the summit, however, was its highly-promoted “zombie apocalypse” demonstration. Strategic Operations, a tactical training firm, was hired to put on a “zombie-driven show” designed to simulate a real-life terrorism event. The firm performed two shows on Halloween, which featured 40 actors dressed as zombies getting gunned down by a military tactical unit. Conference attendees were invited to watch the shows as part of their education in emergency response training. Barker explained that, “the idea is to challenge authorities as they respond to extreme medical situations where people become crazed and violent, creating widespread fear and disorder.”

Finally, some wise research on the part of the federal government. So, can bullets stop a zombie or not?

A review of Arizona’s UASI grant awards shows that several police departments and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office used UASI grants to purchase armored vehicles.

In 2011, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office used two armored vehicles and a SWAT team to conduct a raid of the residence of a man suspected to be involved in cockfighting. The actor Steven Seagal, who was then filming his television show ‘Lawman,” participated in the raid and rode in one of the armored vehicles.

Simulated zombie attacks and Steven Seagal. Your tax dollars at work!

Tags: ICE , Illegal Immigration , Janet Napolitano , Pork , Sequestration

Everybody Who Had ‘Domestic Militia’ in the Pool, Pay Up



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In today’s Jolt, a look at the late-breaking news of the Times Square arrest . . .

Manhunt

This is how I like my counter-terrorism: No casualties and the good guys seem to be hot on the trail of the bad guys. As of this writing, we don’t know precisely who placed that car with various sundry incendiaries Saturday night, and the first 48 hours offered everyone a chance to suspect their favorite foe – Islamists, South Park critics, militia members, lone nuts, and in the case of New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, health care bill critics.  

But now, a few details are starting to come to light. Fox News informs us: “Federal authorities have identified a person of interest in Saturday night’s Times Square bomb attempt — a naturalized American citizen who was in Pakistan for several months and returned to the United States recently, investigative sources told Fox News. The latest developments seem to support investigators’ suspicions that there was a foreign connection behind the failed car bomb attempt in New York City, senior Obama administration officials told Fox News, shedding light on the growing body of evidence.”

Late-breaking update: “Authorities arrested a suspect in the attempted weekend car bombing in Times Square, NBC News’ justice correspondent Pete Williams reported early Tuesday morning. A U.S. citizen of Pakistani descent, Shahzad Faisal, was arrested Monday night on Long Island, Williams reported.”

Robert Stacy McCain: “When someone pointed out that the bomb was parked near the New York headquarters of Viacom (i.e., Comedy Central), I figured the perp might be a Muslim trying to avenge the “South Park” Mohammed episode, but I didn’t blog that hunch – or anything else about the Times Square bomb attempt – because I didn’t want to jump to a conclusion in the absence of evidence. And I still don’t want to jump all the way to a conclusion. Ace of Spades notes that NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg guessed “somebody with a political agenda that doesn’t like the health care bill or something.” And who knows? Maybe there are lots of Pakistani-Americans upset about the health care bill. “Or something,” as Mayor Bloomberg said.”

More from Fox News: “Sources say that evidence includes international phone calls made by the person of interest, who has not been identified publicly. The Associated Press identified the person as a man of Pakistani descent, citing unnamed law enforcement sources.”

Somehow I can’t picture your typical militia member, if there is such a thing, making a lot of international calls. “Hey, McVeigh, I’m all ready to blow up the theater showing ‘The Lion King,’ but I’ve got to call Buddy first; you know he’s still wintering on the Riviera.”

At Hot Air, they offer video of Charles Krauthammer making an obvious point that many of us probably hadn’t thought of yet: Khalid Sheik Mohammed’s trial in New York City looks pretty darn unlikely now, huh?

It’s tough to begrudge lawmakers who know very little and who want to sound reassuring, but in retrospect, these early assessments look a little foolhardy: “On Sunday morning, less than 15 hours after a car bomb had been found in a sport utility vehicle in Times Square, the homeland security secretary, Janet Napolitano, appeared on the NBC News program “Meet the Press” and said, “You know, at this point I have no information that it’s anything other than a one-off.”  Ms. Napolitano said almost the same thing on the ABC News program “This Week.”  A couple of hours later, Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, stood in front of a CNN camera in Times Square and said, “The odds are quite high that this was a lone wolf.”

I suppose we should be thankful that we were spared any declarations that ‘the system worked.’

Tags: Janet Napolitano , Mike Bloomberg

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