Napolitano To Head Homeland Security

So sez Politico:

Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano (D) has been chosen to serve as secretary of the vast and troubled Department of Homeland Security for President-elect Obama, Democratic officials said. Napolitano is a border governor who will now be responsible for immigration policy and border security, which are part of Homeland Security’s myriad functions.

I've never really understood what the Department of Homeland Security does so I will not venture to comment if she is a good choice. I am pleased to see a woman chosen for a high profile post.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

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  • Display: Sort:
    I wish it could be disbanded. (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by ThatOneVoter on Thu Nov 20, 2008 at 07:50:56 AM EST

    Me too... (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by kdog on Thu Nov 20, 2008 at 08:45:39 AM EST
    but once a new unnecessary bueracracy is created, it is almost impossible to disband it.

    Once lips are firmly planted on the teet, you ned the jaws of life to get 'em off.

    "I'll tell ya the name of the game, boy...they call it riding the gravy train."


    Arizona (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Nasarius on Thu Nov 20, 2008 at 08:05:20 AM EST
    Politico doesn't say, but Wikipedia indicates that Arizona Secretary of State Jan Brewer (a Republican) would become governor.

    That's a rather unfortunate side effect, especially in a red state.

    Maybe it's just me... (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by Dadler on Thu Nov 20, 2008 at 10:25:42 AM EST
    ...but the entire phrase and title "Homeland Security" makes me very uncomfortable.  It is a moniker that feeds a xenophobic tendency and, worse, posits this as so essential it's a permanent part of the people's government.  

    You wanna protect the nation?  Then start by having the nation take care of itself, its own needs, its own citizens, and stop worrying so much about controlling others' quests to do the same.    

    Bad news for Arizona (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Maryb2004 on Thu Nov 20, 2008 at 10:39:37 AM EST
    They have a wingnut legislature with only a Democratic governor and her veto power to stand in the way.  Now they will have a Republican Governor.  After living that way for four years in my own state, I have great sympathy for the the rational people in Arizona.

    DHS should be dissolved.  It is worthless.

    Dept of Homeland Security (4.50 / 2) (#7)
    by Carolyn in Baltimore on Thu Nov 20, 2008 at 08:56:14 AM EST
    Creating it was a way of getting rid of civil service rules in that agency, stripping protections from civil servants who were transferred by fiat into the new agency. I believe the Dems fought semi-successfully in retaining many protections but many also went by the wayside. Bush version on union-busting.
    It also created a huge agency with no real oversight (I forget who was before Lieberman but he has sucked). It has a huge budget and has been very efficient at transferring tax dollars to Bush cronies through secret no-bid contracts.
    It put immigration, border security, airport security, FEMA, etc under one roof. The name sounds Nazi - when Bush started talking about the 'Homeland' I heard 'Fatherland' and puked.

    I think Napolitano will be effective in cleaning it up.

    Couple of special stupidities---- (none / 0) (#13)
    by wurman on Thu Nov 20, 2008 at 11:20:07 AM EST
    The US Coast Guard was moved to this phony agency.

    The Transportation Safety Admin became the key element of this burro-crassic disaster.  As we've seen & experienced, that mob has given us rules & regulations that would've made Heinrich Himmler blush.


    does that mean (none / 0) (#3)
    by lilburro on Thu Nov 20, 2008 at 08:12:18 AM EST
    Rand Beers is going to be rewarded for his homeland security transition team work by getting CIA?  

    or do people still refuse to believe that involvement with an Obama transition team will lead to an appointment of some sort?

    I hope so myself (none / 0) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Nov 20, 2008 at 08:13:41 AM EST
    Beers is solid.

    He has (none / 0) (#5)
    by lilburro on Thu Nov 20, 2008 at 08:17:22 AM EST
    the perjury problem re: Colombia but his positions and committment to national security w/o torture, warrantless wiretapping or rendition outweigh that for me.

    Can't have too many Beers. (none / 0) (#8)
    by LarryInNYC on Thu Nov 20, 2008 at 09:03:18 AM EST
    That's my feeling, anyway.

    Too bad (none / 0) (#14)
    by lilburro on Thu Nov 20, 2008 at 11:33:41 AM EST
    AP:  Who's In the Running



    John Brennan, former director of the National Counterterrorism Center



    Apparently he is the only one in the running.  WTF.


    Well it is only in the AP's little virtual world (none / 0) (#17)
    by slr51 on Thu Nov 20, 2008 at 05:58:48 PM EST
    ... that he is even in the running, let alone the only one.

    oh yeah? (none / 0) (#18)
    by lilburro on Thu Nov 20, 2008 at 08:57:31 PM EST
    Don't read the WSJ or NYT?

    Quid pro quo? (none / 0) (#9)
    by robrecht on Thu Nov 20, 2008 at 09:58:08 AM EST
    Wonder if Obama bothered to get anything from McCain in return for Napolitano not running against him in 2010?  Support for Healthcare, for example?

    The rumor is that Obama (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Paladin on Thu Nov 20, 2008 at 01:22:12 PM EST
    appointed Napolitano and "forgave" Lieberman in order to get McCain's support on key issues moving forward.  But who knows.

    HomeSec should never have been created (none / 0) (#11)
    by blueaura on Thu Nov 20, 2008 at 10:26:57 AM EST
    It was created in a knee-jerk reaction after 9-11. Its name somehow implies that there is a difference between securing the "homeland" and defense, since there are two separate departments for them. Of course lately our Dept of Defense has behaved more like the Department of War that it used to be.

    Really, shouldn't "defense" and "homeland security" be synonymous? What are "defending" if not the "homeland"?

    But as kdog says, now that the department is created, it's not likely to go anywhere. Hopefully Napolitano can provide the firm hand it needs to make sure it does what it needs to do, and no more.

    Napolitano (none / 0) (#16)
    by Roosevelt Fan on Thu Nov 20, 2008 at 02:15:56 PM EST
    I'm familiar with Napolitano, having lived in AZ for 20+ years. I doubt she was tapped as a favor to McCain. She was always seen as honest, skilled and a rising star. Add to that her hands-on experience as a governor dealing with border issues, she should fit HS like that proverbial glove.

    I agree that having such an agency -- especially with that name -- is unsettling at minimum. I also agree that dismantling it is highly unlikely. That said, having somebody trustworthy, smart, capable and (gasp!) likeable in the spot is truly heartening.

    As for turning AZ even more right-leaning by elevating Jan Brewer into the gov's seat, true, it does remove the Democratic exec's veto. But, AZ has been struggling for years to go more conservative after the Babbitt administration. It was just a matter of time before it tipped across the line. Fortunately, there are some sane heads there (especially in the more liberal Tucson) so, the pendulum has at least a 50-50 chance of swinging back to blue over the next cycle (4-8 years). Note on Jan Brewer: She's been around for eons, and as far as I recall isn't a religio-rightie. Still too conservative for the state, in my opinion, but not necessarily reactionary.

    McCain's strength in AZ is likely as solid as Barry Goldwater's was, so I don't think the Obama people had to dangle too many political carrots in front of him vis-a-vis 2010. Likely compromises were made, but probably focused more on the Senate, pressing national issues, and how he might be a balancing force from the right. Vital since it seems the Republicans have determined they need to go even further in that direction to survive as a party.

    Me, I'm pleased with Janet Napolitano's selection for all reasons. And, yes, one of them definitely is that she's a she.

    Doesn't matter what Obama dangled, (none / 0) (#21)
    by BrassTacks on Fri Nov 21, 2008 at 12:23:10 AM EST
    McCain won't play ball unless he wants to.  

    I think she was picked because of the big illegal immigration issue in AZ.  Not sure what that might mean, as far as Obama's attitudes toward illegal immigrants.  But heck, I don't know what most of his views are.


    Drama alert: (none / 0) (#19)
    by lilburro on Thu Nov 20, 2008 at 08:58:58 PM EST
    Jake Tapper reports:

    ABC News can report that Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano has emerged as President-elect Barack Obama's top pick to be secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. The job is still not a done deal, but the border-state governor is as of now poised to be the first female DHS secretary.

    - jpt

    Color me unimpressed (none / 0) (#20)
    by BrassTacks on Fri Nov 21, 2008 at 12:20:33 AM EST
    With ALL of Obama's choices so far.

    What might Napalitano know about terrorism?  That's the only part of Homeland security that I care about, assuming that even that part does anything.