Napolitano To DHS; Skeletor To Be Buried

images.thumbnail.jpegAs most of you know, I firmly supported Janet Napolitano for Attorney General in the new Obama administration. It looks as if Eric Holder will be the Attorney General instead, but CNN has just announced that Napolitano will be the choice for Department of Homeland Security. Here is the Reuters headline:

U.S. President-elect Barack Obama’s top choice to lead the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, CNN reported on Wednesday, citing multiple sources.

The Democratic governor, a supporter and campaigner for Obama’s presidential campaign, had been reported to be on a short list of people to fill cabinet posts in the new administration.

Assuming she makes vetting and is confirmed, Janet will make a fantastic Secretary of DHS. Some of the skills and abilities I pointed out as qualifications for AG will serve her very well as Homeland Security.

Napolitano is well versed and experienced with constitutional law and civil rights, having been mentored as the hand picked protege of one of the country’s great Constitutional scholars and authorities, John P. Frank, one of the two legal fathers of the Miranda decision. She has sizable long term experience not only as the Arizona Attorney General (a huge office), but also as chief executive of an entire state government as Arizona Governor. Of critical significance, she was the US Attorney for the District of Arizona for six years under President Clinton, prior to her terms in state office as Arizona’s AG and Governor.

The job ahead is going to, in addition to the legal skills, require someone with Federal experience and the established ability to manage a giant bureaucracy. Janet Napolitano has a very rare combination of background and experience to fit that bill. The attention to bureaucratic detail, not just in Washington DC, but in all of the 93 US Attorney district offices is going to have to be immense. Wholesale institutional change needs to be implemented, and malefactors rooted out.

Janet Napolitano has this ability in droves over any other candidate discussed for AG. She is spectacularly good at bureaucratic detail and getting big entities working as an efficient team. Janet has an incredibly feel good aura around her, and it is contagious to those working with and for her. She is a master team builder, both in terms of efficiency and competence as well as morale and attitude. Janet has already exhibited her turnaround skills in her transformation of the Arizona Executive branch, which was in shambles when she took over.

Additionally, as governor of a critical border state, and head of the National Governor’s Association, Napolitano will have the credibility and experience with state governors that is necessary for many of the operations and coalitions that form the backbone of the DHS operation.

The best news of all is that there will finally be an honest and competent person in the critical post that Michael Chertoff has been defiling the last few years. It will will be good to bury the tenure of Skeletor and put that era behind us once and for all.

Janet is a first rate choice. She will make us, America and the Obama Administration proud.

73 replies
    • bmaz says:

      We can but hope eh? Heh heh.

      Masaccio – He did owe her. She did a whole lot for him and came out very early in his candidacy when few others had. Having been pretty close to the Clintons in some regards (Bill appointed her US Atty) it gave cover to a lot of other people to jump on board; especially out west and among the Governors (She was head of the Natl. Assoc.). For being mostly below the radar (a specialty of how she works) she really was huge in getting the whole ball of wax rolling well for Obama.

    • azportsider says:

      If there is, I guarantee Janet will kick his sorry ass.

      I’m with bmaz on this one. She’ll be terrific. It’s just too bad there aren’t two of her, one for DHS (can we rename this, please?), and the other to run the DOJ. Both departments are in desperate need of her organizational and managerial abilities.

  1. foulis says:

    Goodbye, Skeletor, I hope you get the rubber glove treatment the next time you go through airport security.

  2. klynn says:

    Obama plays a great hand. She will be able to watch Joe. I would have loved to see Joe’s face when her appointment was announced…Detail, transparency…I wonder how long before Joe has a personal reason to “cut back” on committee work?

      • neurophius says:

        oh, but I’m sure he’s planning on providing “oversight” of the Obama administration…

        or was, before Obama had a little chat with him about keeping the committee chairmanship

      • klynn says:

        Oh, I know…Just the thought of eyes watching him gives me the giggles on so many levels.

        It is not about the committee leadership, or lack there of, it’s watching what he does with all the information at his disposal while holding the committee leadership position. Someone will now watch this activity.

        Obama has a sense of humor.

    • foulis says:

      As I live north of the 49th and have no understanding of US politics, does Joe the Weasel, as chairman of DHS committee get to watch her or is it the other way around?

        • Loo Hoo. says:

          But I wonder a couple of things. How much control does Lieberman have over other committee members? What would happen if Napalitano says No Border Wall and Lieberman says Yes Border Wall. Do they have equal access to intelligence?

      • klynn says:

        In this case, I think the messaging from Obama is something along the lines of Robert De Niro in Meet The Parents. De Niro signals with his hand, two fingers raised toward his eyes, followed by pointing his index finger back at Ben Stiller’s character, in order to message, “I’m watching you!”

  3. MadDog says:

    While not the AG position (for now), I think Janet will have a critical impact on many important issues such as:

    1. Illegal immigration policies. She (and even McCain) may be able to swing a fair and balanced approach through Congress. If so, Repugs can kiss the Hispanic vote goodbye for the next generation.

    2. Terrorist Watchlist. I’d expect a good deal of improvement in how this is created, maintained, and corrected. Bet Ted Kennedy’s name is the 1st one removed.

    3. Homeland Security Council – Either this will be resurrected (after Junya created it and then left it starve) with more importance, or it may be integrated into the National Security Council (my preference) and the Secretary of DHS added to the list of statutory members.

    4. Making businesses who employ illegal aliens pay! Instead of bringing John Law down on the workers, I’d expect that DHS would finally throw off the pro-business protection racket of Junya and crew, and finally crack the whip on corporate criminals with mucho big fines and substantial jail terms.

    There are a ton of other DHS areas that I’d expect to get Janet’s (and Obama’s) attention. Make it happen Janet!

    • bmaz says:

      Important point about McCain. The Repubs might be more inclined to confirm her out of fear that she would take out McCain (who just announced formation of his reelection committee today by the way) in 2010. It is a seat they don’t want to lose, and she is one who might well could beat him.

      • Redshift says:

        If so, they’d be fooling themselves. Cabinet secretaries don’t have to serve for four years, and I suspect that leaving for a prominent post at the height of her popularity as governor (and not being present for much of the pain that is likely to come down on governors in the next two years) could leave her in a fine position to challenge McCain if she still wants to.

    • chrisc says:

      4. Making businesses who employ illegal aliens pay! Instead of bringing John Law down on the workers, I’d expect that DHS would finally throw off the pro-business protection racket of Junya and crew, and finally crack the whip on corporate criminals with mucho big fines and substantial jail terms.

      That will be change we can believe in! Before she was fired (supposedly for not focussing on border cases) Carol Lam got a rare guilty plea from the owners of a fence company that repeatedly hired illegal aliens even after being warned about it. (Ironic note: that company won the contract for the border fence) Lam wanted the owners to spend some time in the pokey. After she was fired, the new USA in San Diego did a new plea agreement which included a fine and probation but no time for the owners.

      Our current immigration policies are inane. Everybody is losing. Prosecuting business owners under the current laws isn’t the final answer either. But currently we are wasting an enormous amount of time, money and resources on a policy that is mostly political.

  4. JohnLopresti says:

    We could benefit from more clerks to the originators of the Miranda concept, one which has acquired global interest. Miranda represents the kind of spread of good law about which AJ Scalia and the pruriently strict constructionists prototypically might stay awake nights gnashing teeth and writing ever more parsimonious conceits for their next rights-stripping opinion. I hope director Napolitano works with some of the outfits who are trying to find prettier ways to demarcate and barrier the borders. Her successes should be a beacon for other career attorneys looking for promise and hope in the region, like a few contributors on the prior thread about the early nominees for other places in the administration. I hope BO has plans to relieve some of the dangers of the territory she will oversee by improving foreign relations and foreign economies. I had been looking at other parts of the modern world during her rise and successes, I wish her well; I think last time I visited the arid SW a gent named FifeX, a former business entrepreneur, was tenuously still in the governor post in that state.

  5. ThingsComeUndone says:

    So we can have her investigate Joe Lieberman’s lack of investigating, collusion with Bush. Cool death by a thousand cuts.

  6. Mnemosyne says:

    She sounds like an excellent choice for a difficult job, much as I loathe the existence of that department.

    As an early and very top priority, I’d like to see her change the departmental name. To something just a trifle less, um, ’30s Germanic.

    And then either get rid of the no-fly list entirely, or make it at least marginally transparent, so people on it can find out why and whether they can get off it.

    • Redshift says:

      I was thinking the same thing, but I think that a name change would have to go through Congress. And it’s tough to find a name for it that doesn’t either sound “Germanic,” or like a euphemism for the KGB (like “Department of Domestic Security,” which is about the least offensive I can come up with.)

      To me, that says a lot about whether it should exist as a cabinet department at all…

  7. waynec says:

    Great news, your enthusiasm shines through. She sounds like a terriffic choice. And renaming Homeland Security is very good idea.

  8. SWEG says:

    DHS needs to be shut down. It was a horrible idea designed to cash in on fear. Mr. Obama tear down this piece of ever growing shit.

  9. FormerFed says:

    As I have stated before, I selfishly wish she could stay as our Gov and take out Mac in 2010, but she will do a great job in this position. She may have more impact there than even as the AG.

    Obama is putting together a really solid team, now I wonder who will be Treasury?

  10. SunnyNobility says:

    Excellent news. A fresh perspective on the Homeland Security monolith is so past due.

    Perhaps she can enlist James Lee Witt in some capacity to advise/help in sorting out FEMA. Seems clear its function (whatever the hell it now is), and its budget (whatever that is) belong under a different and substantially more transparent aegis.

  11. gussmith says:

    I just registered at Firedoglake (although a steady reader) because I am pleased to show support for Gov. Napolitano. She is a fine governor in Arizona who believes in taking responsibility. The federal role in immigration has been a sore issue that she can now address at “Homeland Security”.

    But first, please, we have got to get rid of that name. We have never referenced our country as a “homeland”. The word is diminishing of the grandeur it should convey. Let Ms Napolitano begin the search for a new and enlightened title. Later, we can get rid of the agency …..

    • SunnyNobility says:

      Couldn’t agree more. DHS must be disassembled asap.

      iirc, its purpose as initially sold to the public was to efficiently coordinate numerous overlapping agency functions that contribute to our security.

      In reality, it immediately drew a dark screen over functions that should be open and subject to scrutiny in any democracy, while sowing seeds of fear of undisclosed threats and of the agency itself. All under the rubric of anti-terror.

      Intimidating language was selected for not only the title of the department, but also the chillingly renamed ICE. (no comment re: the imagery of selecting skeletor)

  12. randiego says:

    I have to confess I read the diary at Kos regarding having Holder’s back – the author made a lukewarm argument I thought.

    I’m over Holder, but here’s what I want to know: Is the Clinton SoS nomination sort of a media-smokescreen? A media distraction/misdirection to allow Obama to quietly make his nominations?

    I think she would be ok. But, with Bill’s complex entanglements, it seems like sort of a non-starter.

  13. bmaz says:

    I dunno. I’ll say this, she is pretty heavyweight, and worked pretty hard for him, for Obama to be using her as a toy or diversion pawn. The guy won’t even stick it to Lieberman, why would he be hanging Clinton out to dry like that? I don’t think so. They first discussed it a few days earlier than reported; then there was the pretty public foray to Chicago for them to meet in person. Then the flat out admission it was under consideration and multiple internal sources saying indeed she had been offered and tentatively accepted. Nobody has substantially walked that back. That tells me it is true. I think they are beyond vetting at this point and are actively cleaning up and making sure that everything for the future is locked down on Bill Clintons CGI gig and what not. A lot of complicated stuff involved there and maybe a trillion dollars in play; that program is pretty amazing and big. Makes sense that even with his willingness, it takes a few days to sort out and makes sure is locked down properly. Once it is, they will announce.

    That is my guess anyway.

  14. semidi says:

    This is SOOOOO not going to be pretty.

    The GOP is going to tear her apart during her confirmation hearing; during her second term as governor, Phoenix has become America’s kidnapping capital and Arizona is a serious corridor for Mexican drug and illegal immigrant smuggling. I’m not saying that these facts are her fault — but you can bet the GOP will. And then there’s the rumors about her sexuality which most Arizonans have ignored for years; expect those to be trotted-out by the American Taliban faction of the Republican Party.

    • bmaz says:

      Well, not sure what you base those wild claims on, but they do not jive overall with what I see in Arizona. In fact, my observation here, and I am involved in the criminal justice system to an extent, is quite the opposite. I would, offhand, say that drug and illegal immigrant issues are both decreasing. Granted, some of this is due to the unconstitutional and abhorrent policies of Joe Arpaio and Andrew Thomas in Maricopa County; but still. I can also see no noticeable increase, as you describe, in the incidence of kidnapping, although that is harder for me to gauge. Certainly little, if any, of what you say is supported by the FBI/DOJ statistics on violent crime, which are available through the end of calendar year 2007.

      As to your allegations regarding her sexuality, so you believe that type of bigotry will be blatantly raised in the committee and on the floor of the US Senate before all the cameras? Really? You are aware, are you not, she skated through confirmation previously for the position of US Attorney, right? You are aware, are you not, that right wing homophobe Len Munsil, who ran against her for Governor tried his best to paint her with this slur and got humiliated in the process, right? The reason that the scurrilous rumors you blithely bandy about are ignored here in Arizona is that there has never been any evidence to support them demonstrated. May be good enough for you, but it sure as hell has never met the burden of proof with anyone else before.

      • semidi says:

        Bmaz, google “Arizona + kidnap capital of America;” you’ll find a few right-wing, anti-immigration sites touting the story. You can also got this link:…..8;sp=true.

        You don’t have to agree with the assessment of local law enforcement — hell, you can even prove them wrong with federal statistics. But when have facts ever gotten in the way of a good Republican smear campaign?

        And yes, I firmly believe that there will be something planted in the media about her sexuality during her confirmation hearing, and it may even become an issue in the hearing itself. Where have you been that you don’t know how dirty the GOP plays? And the party has never been more desperate than it is now.

        I’m not trying to tear Napolitano down (I voted for her twice), I’m saying that this is what she’s in for, and if you want to see her in DHS, then get ready to defend her against such charges.

        It’s time that the blogosphere starts anticipating and planning for the next four to eight years of swiftboating that the right will be doling out, rather than reacting after the fact.

  15. Xenos says:

    What does reality have to do with it? Hell, her first name is Janet, which is enough by itself for Limbaugh to run with a Janet Reno 2.0 meme for a few weeks.

    The slanders and slurs are coming. Maybe the rumor of a really controversial FCC commissioner, someone like Mark Green or Ralph Nader, would preoccupy and flip out the Limbaughs and Hannitys so much that they would forget to work the smears on people like Napolitano, Holder, and Clinton.

  16. skdadl says:

    Your DHS is one of the departments we have most contact with. The sort-of counterpart here is the equally awfully named Department of Public Safety (memories of Robespierre, anyone?), although customs and immigration are still separate.

    Our police ‘n’ paranoia guys, especially the current crop, have been dead keen on continentalizing discussions with Chertoff, who was here last spring and spoke condescendingly to Canadians about how naive we are, eg, to believe that our fingerprints are our personal property. He made it clear that he considers them his property — he wants them for his satellite. Well, you all don’t need me to tell you how charming he is.

    So I’m glad to hear about Napolitano, and I hope she has some interesting inspirations about how to turn the paranoia regimes around. They call what they are doing “security,” but that’s obviously one of their little Orwellian in-jokes. Security for the free flow of goods and capital, maybe, but ordinary folks are for penning-up.

    We need a Department of Liberty or two, methinks.

    • phred says:

      We need a Department of Liberty or two, methinks.

      What a great idea — thanks for that!

      And thanks for the post bmaz — best news I’ve heard coming out of the transition yet…

  17. WilliamOckham says:

    This is excellent news …. for John McCain.
    [Ok, I just did that because I always wanted to, but it does appear to help McCain by removing his one real threat to reelection.]

    DHS was an absolutely horrible idea, but it doesn’t follow that we should dismantle it now. Departmental re-orgs have huge costs and are almost never a good idea. Better for Napolitano to rationalize the current structure than try to undo the Frankenstein monster.

  18. Phoenix Woman says:

    She sounds like she’s going to be for DHS what James Lee Witt was for FEMA: The person who took a messed-up Republican turkey farm and made it into a model agency. (Alas, Witt’s good work was undone when Bush came in, but maybe Napolitano can restore it.)

  19. beth meacham says:

    I don’t think the Pubs are going to go after Gov. Janet. She’ll have both Kyl and McCain on her side, she’ll have Obama holding JoeLie’s balls.

    Kyl and McCain both want her occupied elsewhere — she’s a dead certainty to take one or the other of their seats if she stays in AZ. She’s incredibly competent, and she knows how to handle the wingnuts.

    • bmaz says:

      I think that is exactly right. As to Semidi’s fear, I understand the thought; I just don’t see it gaining much, if any traction. The GOP is literally desperate to retain Senate seats. If they punk Napolitano, she is going to take McCain out in 2010. That is a given. her numbers are already favorable to McCain; piss of the Arizonans, who do uniformly like and respect her, and it would guarantee a clobbering of McCain.

      Remember, it is only the Senate here for confirmation; not the childish bomb throwers in the House. I think she will be fine.

      Semidi – As to the crime, one Reuter’s article with a buch of Sheriff Joe loving right wing crap does not the truth make. I checked on the kidnappings angle because that was the element I was not sure on. My prosecutor friends tell me that any rise is mostly illegal on illegal, and even with that, there is no great surge that offends the senses. Now, that is not to discount the wrong of illegal on illegal crime; but that is not what is going to influence right wing hacks. As to the drug and illegal immigrant smuggling, those are both actually decreasing.

      Maybe I will be proven wrong, but I see no basis in any of this that she will not pass confirmation.

  20. Mary says:

    I’m happy about the appointment. What are the chances that she or Obama — anyone for that matter, will ante up that we need to change the name with the change in focus?

  21. pdaly says:

    Glad to see that bmaz’s pick for AG at least got DHS.

    I wouldn’t have recognized the importance of her choice in the traditional media had I not been reading along here all this time.

    Maybe this is a good point to ask: where IS the Dept of Homeland Security, horrible name that it is?
    We all know more about the locations of CIA and NSA than we (or at least I) do about DHS.
    I’ve never seen a subdepartment in Boston. Is DHS in every city? Does anyone have friends working at DHS?

    My hope: that Janet Napolitano approaches the competent intelligence officials whom were ousted (and outed) during Bush’s reign of terror. Napolitano could rehire those people who know first hand the dangers of intelligence misused by politicians for base political ends. They could help Napolitano ferret out or counter the shenanigans by any domestic, politically tainted worker bees installed by the Bush team.

    Under Napolitano’s supervision (and Obama’s leadership) no more crudely constructed forgeries lighting the path to war.

    • JimWhite says:

      My hope: that Janet Napolitano approaches the competent intelligence officials whom were ousted (and outed) during Bush’s reign of terror. Napolitano could rehire those people who know first hand the dangers of intelligence misused by politicians for base political ends. They could help Napolitano ferret out or counter the shenanigans by any domestic, politically tainted worker bees installed by the Bush team.

      I’m with you on that. I also am against Gates staying at DOD because I want to see a similar program of bringing back senior military officers who have “retired” in disgust rather than carry out the Bush military policy. That would be much easier to accomplish with a new SecDef.

      • Sara says:

        “I’m with you on that. I also am against Gates staying at DOD because I want to see a similar program of bringing back senior military officers who have “retired” in disgust rather than carry out the Bush military policy. That would be much easier to accomplish with a new SecDef.”

        I actually like the idea of Gates at DoD for perhaps a year. Gates is part of the old GHWBush clan — Scowcroft, Baker, who opposed the invasion of Iraq, but with insufficient determined effort. What will be on his desk for the next year will be withdrawal from Iraq, and it is, in my mind, wise to give the elder bushies lots of hands-on responsibility for that. Typical Republican Rhetorical Political Plays in the past have included “Who Lost China” — part and parcel of McCarthyism, and what we still hear, the defunding of combat in Vietnam after 1972 — and I am much in favor of getting out of Iraq in a way that significantly includes preventing that political play as a result of getting out of Iraq. Obama can put in place any number of deputy secretaries under Gates, one of whom could easily move up to succeed him in a year or 18 months.

        What I worry about at DoD is how deep seeded some Neo-Con persuasions may be, given who has been elevated in the non-political appointee civilian side of the Pentagon during the Bush years, and who has been promoted to the upper regions of the Officer Classes of the Services over the past 8 years. I suspect lots of “burrowing in” on the part of Cheney’s people, and change in these personnel streams will take work.

        From a progressive perspective — I think we need to start making a case for a good look at outsourcing, both at DoD and at Homeland Security. In both departments we nearly have hollow divisions, they are little more than contractors managing (quite badly) various contracts for goods and services and even policy. It is not cheaper as was promised in the early days of outsourcing, and as we know given the Cunningham case and all — it is subject to fraud, and much abuse.

        By the way, Richard Clarke has, as the last chapter in his recent book, an agenda for reforming the DHS — and yes, renaming it too. Perhaps Napolitano could take a good look at him as Deputy for the Department, and with her and Obama’s revisions, look at Clarke’s agenda for starting points. He believes the department should really be focused on Transportation Security — ports, protection and security of chemical plants and refineries and all, and above all Cyber Security, particularly as it involves the workings of things like the grid, pipelines, financial cyber applications, and all. He would peel off things such as FEMA, making them again independent agencies. Clarke has served as an advisor to Obama ever since he came to DC in 2005 — and I would assume from what Clarke has said in support of Obama, that his prescription is pretty much the direction in which Obama wants to go.

  22. Mary says:

    OT – Mukasey busy using the NYT to help recast himself as a defender of law before he leaves office

    An effort by the New York Police Department to get broader latitude to eavesdrop on terrorism suspects has run into sharp resistance from the Justice Department in a bitter struggle that has left the police commissioner and the attorney general accusing each other of putting the public at risk.

    disagreement, in which the Bush Justice Department has taken a more cautious approach than police officials, is something of an unexpected twist for an administration that has more often seemed willing to stretch legal boundaries to fight terrorism.

    Apparently Kelly wanted to tap phones in public places to see what he could trawl. A virtuous Mukasey said, Nuh uh sisterbrother. We know about all this super duper secret stuff involving requests related to classified investigatiosn — we know about exchanges of letters between Kelly and Mukasey that have not been released, but which have been described to the NYT as making Mukasey look like he has suddenly remember the Constitution — we know about all this… how? Bc someone went chirping to the NYT about a non-story. Surveillance requests from earlier this year by Kelly and turned down. The story is? Umm, the ONLY story is taht “HEY GUYS, LOOK AT HOW MUKASEY ISN’T AS SLIMEY AS YOU MIGHT THINK!”

    The Judy Miller Times has a new friend.

  23. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Bush plays tiddly winks, Cheney chess. Obama, it seems, plays three-dimensional chess.

    Presumably, Obama’s support for Lieberman came at the expense of commitments (from Dem caucus members, not just the unreliable Joe), to support ”more important” initiatives and nominations, Napolitanos’ among them. Oddly, this may assure us that Joe will now hold hearings. The good news is that Napolitano can readily hold her own against Joe and his more openly Republican colleagues.

    Napolitano’s work at DHS could take a decade. But she might also kick-start its reform and complete its integration, while looking for her successor. With national visibility, she could then return to take McCain’s senate seat from him in 2010. The prospect of Obama’s administration is that the possible and the good may coalesce.

  24. LabDancer says:

    Couple of thoughts.

    I would think Napolitano’s being a governor, as well as the arc of her career, makes HER more suited to DHS than Holder for DHS. See where I’m going here? The main controversy with the NSA is its spying on Americans, and that engages the jurisdiction of the DHS a lot more than that of the DoJ.

    Meanwhile [I realize that I’m rationalizing here], Holder has a far better claim to being a creature of the pre-Bushie DoJ, and if part of the job of restoring the DoJ involves having in mind a model for what one is seeking to achieve, and assuming the President-Elect is generally satisfied that the pre-Bushie model was fine, then Holder has at least the same claim to cred as does Napolitano.

    There is a long-term hiring model for law enforcement organizations that goes along the lines of either [a] run and rinse: hire inside then hire outside then repeat, or [2] run, run and rinse: hire inside hire inside hire outside then repeat. Based on that, the Bushie run of Ashcroft to Gonzales to Mukasey was more in the nature of French wash, spread the dirt, perfume over the stench. There are two approaches to dealing with removing the rot: [1] total flush, a massive and somewhat indiscriminate high colonic – for which one could make strong arguments as both justified and justifying the appointment of a strongly principled leader like Napolitano, or [2] surgery to cut out the cancer – for which one could make a strong argument for Holder being better suited, depending …

    Depending that is on which approach the Decider Elect believes is most compelling. I would think that both these approaches have been considered by Obama, and given the access each of these principals have had to Obama, he’s listened to the best proponent of each. Indeed, for all we know they may have agreed to surgery.

    Moreoer, depending what Obama does with the NSA and CIA appointments, I think we can agree that a Security Team with both Napolitano and Holder on it looks pretty formidable.

    Second thought – I’m convinced we’re at the point that no one gives a friggin flying donut hole what if anything Napolitano does with her most private life – unless it involves men’s washrooms in public airports, young impressionable Congressional pages, hookers [regardless of price range, kink and gender impression preference], non-humans [excepting out Xenon], and going on Howard Stern.

    For crying out loud- one of the top lions of the 110th Congress pride is an openly gay loud proud indomitable quick-thinking mercilessly funny four-eyed lisping Massachusetts jew – and the most reliably adult and fun political show on cable that’s not on Comedy Central is an openly gay proud indomitable quick-thinking charmingly funny Rhodes scholar lefty lesbian.

    In this context, Napolitano has patiently and repeatedly responded that she is not lesbian, I don’t think there’s even the whisper of a suggestion of a rumor of her private inclinations being in the least predatory, exploitative, commercial, kinky, PETA-objectionable, or otherwise alien or bizarre.

    So I have to conclude provisionally that the idea of a forthcoming Beltway rumor campaign is even less likely than the surfacing of the Michelle “whitey” tape.

  25. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    He believes the department should really be focused on Transportation Security — ports, protection and security of chemical plants and refineries and all, and above all Cyber Security, particularly as it involves the workings of things like the grid, pipelines, financial cyber applications, and all.

    Great comment, Sara; especially about Clarke’s views.
    I remain convinced that the Bushies didn’t raise cybersecurity enough because they were utilizing it for both Abramoff-Rove fundraising (casino gambling, and offshore money) as well as to fund black ops. I’m also convinced that cyber security is involved in aspects of the mortgage meltdown, so IMHO your point really deserves more repetition and resonance.

    Clarke’s comments about cyber security need a lot more emphasis IMHO, but then how that fits with more FBI investigators (including forensic accountants) is not at all clear to me.

    Napolitano’s appt seems like very encouraging news.

  26. LabDancer says:

    In all the non-excitement of the Nodrama neonatal administration, did we miss that Holder would be the first black AG?

    Oops, sorry; forgot about Ed Meese.

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