Sunday, July 11, 2010

Homeland Security Takes Back Seat To Politics

The third time was the charm. After two nominees had to drop out, the Transportation Security Administration has a new administrator. Former FBI Deputy Director John Pistole (interesting name for a someone in law enforcement, no?) was recently confirmed to head the agency. Unions have been pushing to get their hands on TSA employees regardless of how that would affect airport security, but Pistole has not yet taken an official position on collective bargaining for TSA officers.

In the meantime, according to FNC, many other key jobs in homeland security remain unfilled:
Vacancies in the United States' intelligence leadership, including the director of national intelligence and his chief deputies, are raising alarms over a potential "train wreck" of vulnerability, intelligence sources and others on Capitol Hill tell Fox News.
The goal of the national director is to maximize assets across the intelligence community. But the senior Republican on the House intelligence committee says that is not happening because the position, the nation’s top intelligence official, is now subordinate to the White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan.
“The other DNIs have always been very, very professional. They've never been political. Under this administration, John Brennan has politicized intelligence. That's the danger here,” Rep. Pete Hoekstra of Michigan said, adding that Brennan is not subject to congressional oversight as a presidential appointee.
The job opened up when previous Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair was forced out last month after a series of apparent intelligence failures raised questions about the country's preparedness for detecting and stopping new terror plots.
If Hoekstra's allegations are valid, then the Justice Department isn't the only agency that has been politicized in opposition to the public interest.

Along these lines, a proponent of sanctuary city policies recently got a key job in the administration:
The widow of a Houston police officer killed by an illegal immigrant was "shocked" to learn that the city's former police chief has landed a top immigration job with the Obama administration, her lawyer told on [June 25].
That's because Joslyn Johnson, whose husband, Rodney Johnson, was killed in 2006, is suing former Houston Police Chief Harold Hurtt for failing to enforce federal immigration laws. She claims her husband would be alive today if the city had bothered to check up on the gunman's immigration status.
Now that Hurtt is taking a job to oversee partnerships between federal and local officials with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Johnson -- and other critics -- say they're concerned the official who resisted immigration enforcement in Houston will now be in charge of promoting it.

France's Government Employees: "Fonctionnaires" are Dysfunctional

In this weak economy, millions of private sector workers have been thrown out of work, or forced to accept pay and/or benefits cuts. In the meantime, public sector salaries are out of control, pushing the states and the federal government to the brink of bankruptcy. Why should taxpayer-supported government employees be immune from the "magic of the marketplace"?

When someone like New Jersey Governor Chris Christie seeks to rein in the bloated public sector bureaucracy, the unions and the media typically start throwing around scare tactics about reduced police safety services among other things. No one wants first responders to be taken off the grid; it's the jobs of do-nothing paper pushers that should come under scrutiny. For one thing, have you ever wondered about those "unessential" employees on the state payroll that are allowed to stay home following a snowstorm?

Here's an example from France via the London Telegraph in which a whistleblower puts the "dis" in dysfunctional:
A French civil servant who lifted the lid on the wastefulness of the country's state sector in a book describing a "five-hours-a-week" culture where people competed to take the longest coffee breaks has been suspended.
Zoé Shepard, her pen name, confirmed France's worst fears about its "fonctionnaires" – its 5.2 million civil servants – in a book recounting how they compete to see who will hover longest at the coffee machine, draw up sick notes to stay weeks away from the office or while away the day on Facebook.
In Absolument Dé-bor-dé (Absolutely Snowed Under), subtitled How to Make 35 hours Last a Month, nepotism is rife and taxpayer's money wasted, with one local civil servant even signing off his visit to a prostitute as "travel expenses".

DOJ Whistleblower: Justice Department is Lawless

Is anyone really surprised that the Obama is presiding over the most politicized Justice Department in history? Consider the purely political lawsuit challenging the Arizona immigration law, dropping the Philadelphia voter intimidation case despite a default judgment against the perpetrators, and now allegations that the DOJ facilitates ACORN-like vote fraud according to whistleblower J. Christian Adams, a lawyer who worked in the agency's Voting Rights section:
In November 2009, the entire Voting Section was invited to a meeting with Deputy Assistant Attorney General Julie Fernandes, a political employee serving at the pleasure of the attorney general. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss Motor Voter enforcement decisions.
The room was packed with dozens of Voting Section employees when she made her announcement regarding the provisions related to voter list integrity:
We have no interest in enforcing this provision of the law. It has nothing to do with increasing turnout, and we are just not going to do it.
Jaws dropped around the room.
It is one thing to silently adopt a lawless policy of refusing to enforce a provision of federal law designed to bring integrity to elections. It is quite another to announce the lawlessness to a room full of people who have sworn an oath to fairly enforce the law.
Adams recently gave this interview on FNC following his testimony before the U.S. Civil Rights Commission:

Should the Republicans take control of Congress after the November, one of their first legislation actions should be to require photo ID in all 50 states to vote. This in addition to requiring full enforcement of Section 8 of the Motor Voter Law.

Blatant vote fraud is what the Democrats really mean by voter "outreach." That's how "Stuart Smalley," among others got elected to Congress. Democrats want every vote counted rather than every legal vote counted. Think of it as a form of community organizing...

Addendum: The lawyer (and now federal prosecutor) who represented the American Taliban is quarterbacking the DOJ's legal effort to block Arizona's immigration law. That speaks volumes about the administration's priorities, does it not?