The Morning Flap: February 26, 2013
These are my news headlines for February 25th through February 26th:
- Kerry defends liberties, says Americans have right to be stupid – Secretary of State John Kerry offered a defense of freedom of speech, religion and thought in the United States on Tuesday telling German students that in America “you have a right to be stupid if you want to be.”
- Rothenberg: Can Obama Put the House In Play in 2014? – It’s far too early to know whether Democrats will have some, or even any, chance to win back the House next year; candidate recruitment has just begun, the number of retirements (and open seats) is uncertain and the president’s popularity more than 20 months from now is an open question. But we do know that history, as The New York Times’ Nate Silver pointed out in a column last November, suggests that Democrats will have a very tough road to 218 seats.Going back to the election of 1862, the only time the president’s party gained as many as 10 seats was, well, never. Even in 1934, the best showing by the president’s party in House elections since the Civil War, the president’s party gained only nine seats.
- Infantile Conservatism – Pat Buchanan goes after Jennifer Rubin’s = The Washington Post’s Conservative – We outlasted the evil empire of Lenin and Stalin that held captive a billion people for 45 years of Cold War, and we are frightened by a rickety theocracy ruled by an old ayatollah?Rubin’s blog may be the Post’s idea of conservatism. Ronald Reagan wouldn’t recognize it.
- America’s Red State Growth Corridors
- Ron Johnson: John Boehner could lose post
- Poll: Hispanics heavily Democratic – Hispanics in America are more than twice as likely to lean Democratic than Republican, a new poll says.Fifty-one percent of Hispanics identified as Democrat or leaned Democrat, compared with 24 percent who said they were Republican or leaned GOP, according to a Gallup poll out Monday. Twenty percent identified themselves as independent. The rest are undecided or did not respond.
- Napolitano warns that sequester would affect border security – I thought the Obama Administration said the Mexican border was already secure and that illegal crossings had decreased?
- Dems, GOP tee up rival sequester bills in Senate as deadline nears –
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2013-02-25 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2013-02-25
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2013-02-23 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2013-02-23
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2013-02-24 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2013-02-24
- tOscars 2013 Live Commentary — Nikki Finke’s Live Snark – Oscars 2013 Live Commentary — Nikki Finke’s Live Snark #tcot
- Oscars 2013 Live Commentary — Nikki Finke’s Live Snark – Four Hours Of Unfunny Seth MacFarlane; Unnecessary Michelle Obama; ‘Argo’ Wins Best Picture #tcot
AZ-Sen: Senator John Kyl to Retire – Seat Downgraded to Leans Republican
Arizona Republican Senator John KylAt 68 years old, Arizona U.S. Senator John Kyl is calling it quits.
Three-term Sen. Jon Kyl will announce his retirement at a noon ET news conference Thursday in Phoenix, two Republican sources confirmed to Fox News.
The Arizona lawmaker, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, will be the fifth senator scheduled for re-election next year to announce a departure from Congress in 2012.
Kyl, 68, served four terms in the House before winning a Senate seat. In 2006, he was named one of the 10 best senators by Time Magazine.
“He’s leaving now at the top of his game, he has money in the bank, and he’s one of the few long-term incumbents who doesn’t face a Tea Party challenge,” a senior Senate GOP aide with knowledge of Kyl’s decision said.
Kyl has never lost an election, and would not have been expected to lose a vote for a fourth term. He will be 70 years old when he leaves.
Good for Kyl as he leaves with enough years to enjoy life and leaves at the top.
For Republicans, this may not be so good as this seat would be an easy hold for them. In fact, Larry Sabato has downgraded GOP prospects to “Leans Republican.”
So, who are mentioned as possible replacements?
Republicans: Rep. Jeff Flake, former Rep. John Shadegg and probably countless others in the Arizona Legislature
Democrats: Former Arizona Governor and Homeland Security Chief Janet Napolitano and Rep Gabrielle Giffords (if she rehabs in time).
Day By Day by Chris Muir April 25, 2009 – Snake EyesSecretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano is an embarassment. So, if you display a Don’t Tread on Me Flag then you are a right-wing extremist who bears watching by law enforcement?
Do these folks at the April 15th National Tax Day Tea Party look like subversives or domestic terrorists?President Obama should ask Secretary Napolitano for her resignation.
Technorati Tags: Day By Day, Janet Napolitano, Don’t Tread on Me
Canada Asks: How Did United States Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano Get Her Job?
Secretary Janet Napolitano of the Department of Homeland SecurityWell, Napolitano is a former Democrat Governor of Arizona and a Democrat Party political hack. But, Canadians have a point in asking the question.
In an interview broadcast Monday on the CBC, Ms. Napolitano attempted to justify her call for stricter border security on the premise that “suspected or known terrorists” have entered the U. S. across the Canadian border, including the perpetrators of the 9/11 attack.
All the 9/11 terrorists, of course, entered the United States directly from overseas. The notion that some arrived via Canada is a myth that briefly popped up in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, and was then quickly debunked.
Informed of her error, Ms. Napolitano blustered: “I can’t talk to that. I can talk about the future. And here’s the future. The future is we have borders.”
Just what does that mean, exactly?
Just a few weeks ago, Ms. Napolitano equated Canada’s border to Mexico’s, suggesting they deserved the same treatment. Mexico is engulfed in a drug war that left more than 5,000 dead last year, and which is spawning a spillover kidnapping epidemic in Arizona. So many Mexicans enter the United States illegally that a multi-billion-dollar barrier has been built from Texas to California to keep them out.
In Canada, on the other hand, the main problem is congestion resulting from cross-border trade. Not quite the same thing, is it?
What an embarassment.
President Barack Obama should ask for Napolitano’s resignation.
Technorati Tags: Janet Napolitano, Homeland Security, Canada
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano Blames Canada for 9/11 Hijackers?
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, right, and Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif., speak on their way to a news conference after touring the Los Angeles port complex at the Port of Los Angeles Coast Guard Station on Monday, April 13, 2009, in Los AngelesWell, first it was the release of the DHS report on right wing extremists and now it is a FLAP with Canada over 9/11 for Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.
Ottawa was rushing to defend its border security on Tuesday amid a diplomatic scuffle with the U.S., which erupted after Washington’s homeland security chief suggested that the 9-11 terrorists entered the U.S. through Canada.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano made the comments during a media interview earlier this week, much to the chagrin of Canadians on both sides of the border.
In recent years, Ottawa has invested a great deal of effort into dispelling perceptions among Americans that Canada’s border is an easy entry point for terrorists planning attacks on U.S. soil.
“Unfortunately, misconceptions arise on something as fundamental as where the 9-11 terrorists came from,” said Michael Wilson, Canada’s ambassador in Washington.
“As the 9-11 commission reported in 2004, all of the 9-11 terrorists arrived in the United States from outside North America. They flew to major U.S. airports. They entered the U.S. with documents issued by the United States government and no 9-11 terrorists came from Canada.”
Clearly, Napolitano is incapable of doing the job. Now, she insults Canada for no apparent reason. But, tries to backtrack:
Later, Napolitano’s staff attempted to tamp down the controversy by blaming the comments on a simple misunderstanding, said Wilson, who was the keynote speaker at the Border Trade Alliance meeting in Washington Tuesday.
“Her comment from her people is that she misunderstood,” Wilson said, adding that he was planning a personal meeting with Napolitano in the near future.
The furor began when Napolitano was asked to clarify statements she had made about equal treatment for the Mexican and Canadian borders, despite the fact that a flood of illegal immigrants and a massive drug war are two serious issues on the southern border.
“Yes, Canada is not Mexico, it doesn’t have a drug war going on, it didn’t have 6,000 homicides that were drug-related last year,” she said.
“Nonetheless, to the extent that terrorists have come into our country or suspected or known terrorists have entered our country across a border, it’s been across the Canadian border. There are real issues there.”
When asked if she was referring to the 9-11 terrorists, Napolitano added: “Not just those but others as well.”
However, Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan downplayed the comments and said that Napolitano is well aware that Canada was not the source of the 9-11 terrorists.
“We spoke about it back in March, and we were sharing a chuckle at the fact that the urban myth does circulate,” he told CTV’s Power Play.
“Ms. Napolitano understood quite clearly, then and now, that none of the September 11 terrorists came through Canada, as the 9-11 Commission found.”
Secretary Napolitano should apologize and then resign.
Video: One Question Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on MSNBC Avoids Right Wing Extremism Report Flap
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano APOLOGIZES To Veterans Over DHS Report
Technorati Tags: Janet Napolitano, Canada, Homeland Security
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano APOLOGIZES To Veterans Over DHS ReportHomeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano was feeling the heat over the Obama Administration’s controversial DHS report targeting rightwing extremism.
Republicans on Wednesday said a Homeland Security Department intelligence assessment unfairly characterizes military veterans as right-wing extremists.
House Republican leader John Boehner described the report as offensive and called on the agency to apologize to veterans.
The agency’s intelligence assessment, sent to law enforcement officials last week, warns that right-wing extremists could use the bad state of the U.S. economy and the election of the country’s first black president to recruit members.
The assessment also said that returning military veterans who have difficulties assimilating back into their home communities could be susceptible to extremist recruiters or might engage in lone acts of violence.
“To characterize men and women returning home after defending our country as potential terrorists is offensive and unacceptable,” said Boehner, R-Ohio.
The commander of the veterans group the American Legion, David Rehbein, wrote to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano expressing concern with the assessment, which made its way into the mainstream press after conservative bloggers got wind of the analysis.
Rehbein called the assessment incomplete and said it lacked statistical evidence. He said the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing by military veteran Timothy McVeigh, cited in the report, was one instance of a veteran becoming a domestic terrorist.
“To continue to use McVeigh as an example of the stereotypical ‘disgruntled military veteran’ is as unfair as using Osama bin Laden as the sole example of Islam,” Rehbein said in the April 13 letter.
Napolitano defended the assessment and others issued by the agency.
“Let me be very clear â€” we monitor the risks of violent extremism taking root here in the United States,” Napolitano said in a statement. “We don’t have the luxury of focusing our efforts on one group; we must protect the country from terrorism whether foreign or homegrown, and regardless of the ideology that motivates its violence.”
Now, the Secretary has apologized – finally and belatedly.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano apologized to veterans after a report issued by her department said troops returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were at risk for being recruited by right-wing extremists.
“To the extent veterans read it as an accusation … an apology is owed,” she said during an on-air interview on FOX News Thursday, a day after veterans’ groups and members of Congress blasted her for the report, which they said libeled members of the armed forces.
“This was an assessment, not an accusation,” Napolitano continued. “It was limited to extremists those who seek to commit violence within the United States. And all this was meant to do was to give law enforcement what we call ‘situational awareness.'”
“The last thing I want to do is offend or castigate all veterans. To the contrary, let’s meet and clear the air,” she said.
A footnote in the report, “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment,” said that while there is no specific information that domestic right-wing terrorists are planning acts of violence, such acts could come from unnamed “rightwing extremists” concerned about illegal immigration, abortion, increasing federal power and restrictions on firearms — and singled out returning war veterans as susceptible to recruitment.
“If there’s one part of this report that I would rewrite … it would be that footnote,” Napolitano said.
Obviously, someone in the Obama administration has gotten to the Secretary and instructed her to apologize and let the flap blow over. I don’t think it will and her ill-timed remarks has alerted the public to the heavy handed tactics of this Secretary and Obama.
Comparing American veterans to a domestic terrorist Timothy McVeigh is over the top. And, the broad generalizations about veterans, pro-life groups, federalists and supporters of gun rights is BIAS and an unfair political characterization.
Will such pro-life organizations like the Knights of Columbus be visitied by your friendly DHS agents for possible subversive activities? How about the Catholic Church? The National Rifle Association?
Now, Secretary Napolitano should RENOUNCE this report and then RESIGN.
Department of Homeland Security Sends Police 9 Page Report Warning of Rightwing Extremist Activity
Technorati Tags: Janet Napolitano, Homeland Security