November 30, 2004


Ridge resigns Homeland Security post (Associated Press, November 30, 2004)

Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, whose name became synonymous with color-coded terror alerts and tutorials to the public about how to prepare for possible attack, is resigning, U.S. officials said Tuesday.

Ridge submitted his resignation in writing to President Bush on Tuesday morning, said officials who confirmed the departure only on grounds of anonymity. [...]

Among those mentioned as possible candidates for Ridge's replacement are Bernard Kerik, interim Minister of the Interior for Iraq and former New York City police commissioner, Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Joe Allbaugh and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Mike Leavitt and White House homeland security adviser Fran Townsend. Others are also believed to be interested in the job, including Asa Hutchinson, undersecretary for border and transportation security in the Homeland Security Department.

How about Joe Lieberman as Secretary with Bernard Kerik as his Deputy. If Democrats don't want to give up a Senate seat you could go with Bob Graham.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 30, 2004 2:44 PM

How about we just scrap the whole DHS instead? Between the FBI, CIA, SS, DEA, ATF, INS & Customs I'd say we have enough acronymic organizations to keep us going.

Posted by: JB at November 30, 2004 2:54 PM

Valid point by JB about reducing govt but it probably won't happen. Washington DC mindset is to create a new agency to show that they are serious about something regardless if it works or not.

As for new Homeland Secretary I don't know how effective Lieberman would be. And Graham was so nutty in the presidential race he may have lost credibility to run it.

Posted by: AWW at November 30, 2004 2:59 PM

Lieberman would be an ineffective administrator, which is why his deputy matters. Graham has run FL, he could run an agency.

Posted by: oj at November 30, 2004 3:04 PM


Why not put them all under Homeland Security?

Posted by: oj at November 30, 2004 3:05 PM

I was going to contribute to this conversation but just took a chug of a freshly opened bottle of what I thought was Cherry Coke. It's actually this new "Vanilla Coke" stuff, and let me just state for the record -- why not here? -- that it absolutely sucks. So disgusting I now cannot add anything of value to this thread.

Posted by: Semolina Pilchard at November 30, 2004 3:15 PM

I am still pushing John Reed.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at November 30, 2004 3:16 PM

Well for starters, CIA legally can't do anything in the "Homeland"...

But how is that really going to eliminate any of the bureaucracy that this administration, and past ones, have put in place? Just placing a new label on a package doesn't change the contents. Sadly, AWW is probably right, and I don't think we'll see a true reduction in governmental power and scope for a very long time, if ever - which will be a contributing factor to the eventual collapse of the Union, when it happens.

Posted by: JB at November 30, 2004 3:19 PM

Bob Graham used to be a sane guy and then he ran for President. I don't know what happened to him because he started saying some bizarre things. I remember him when he was my governor in Florida and he was well respected.

Posted by: pchuck at November 30, 2004 3:24 PM


The CIA, theoretically, helps secure the Homeland.

Posted by: oj at November 30, 2004 3:27 PM


You've learned a very important lesson--never, ever, switch from something you like to something new.

Posted by: oj at November 30, 2004 3:28 PM

OJ - fair enough, but this does nothing to address the unsettling problem of the government gaining more powers through new police and itelligence agencies.

Also, Semolina didn't purposely switch to Vanilla Coke - which is just as bad as he says it is.

Posted by: JB at November 30, 2004 3:41 PM

What about Giuliani?

Posted by: H. Ratliff at November 30, 2004 3:51 PM


What "new" powers?

Posted by: oj at November 30, 2004 3:54 PM

"new powers"

They can check my library records. heh heh

Posted by: h-man at November 30, 2004 4:03 PM

I'll give Pepsi Vanilla "**" out of four.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at November 30, 2004 4:06 PM

by the way, what exactly do you Blue Staters have in your public libraries that you're embarrassed to have people know you ckecked out?

Posted by: oj at November 30, 2004 4:08 PM


"My Pet Goat", as read by the President.

Posted by: jim hamlen at November 30, 2004 4:34 PM

And the reason Bush should nominate a Democrat is . . . . ????

Posted by: erp at November 30, 2004 5:54 PM

To lure them.

Posted by: oj at November 30, 2004 5:56 PM

Just as long as he finds somebody who understands that (1) airport security has some goal slightly more important than harassment of citizens, and (2) DHS officers (especially but not only TSA personnel) who have contact with the public and arrest powers should be held to reasonable standards of professionalism.

Posted by: Random Lawyer at November 30, 2004 6:17 PM

Well, I don't know. I must have hit the TSA on my lucky day(s), but I just did a round-trip to L.A. for Thanksgiving week and had the minimum of hassle at Dulles and LAX (the search was more thorough at Dulles for some reason, I breezed through LAX TSA in about two minutes and even Dulles only took about 10 minutes). Flying on non-peak days (the 20th and 27th) may have had more than a little to do with it, to be sure.

Posted by: Joe at November 30, 2004 6:29 PM

Echoing Joe...


Minor pat downs and hassles at the airport versus dead people & exploding planes...

That's a tough one.

Security still isn't tight enough. 9/11 took $100-250 billion out of the economy in one morning, and people are whining about inconveniences at the airport.

I'd send anyone who complains to one year in the Congo or Uganda.

Whining simps!

[Nothing in the preceding message should be contrued as an endorsement of incompetent & bloated bureaucracy]

Posted by: BB at November 30, 2004 7:47 PM

Maybe I'm just parroting what I hear elsewhere - I'll be quite honest, I don't have the time to read every article and explore every nuance of the powers vested to the DHS, or other agencies. I have to rely on what I hear from MSM, independent media (ie weblogs), and general public perception. That said, it is logical to conclude that the more agencies and people a government has working for it, that the more overall control it has. This just helps to encourage more growth in government, which at this point, I'm pretty much opposed to, regardless of the reasons. If the government couldn't do the job of protecting the country with the resources it already had, a new agency won't save us.

If this sounds like a weak rebuttal, that's because it is - I'm just suspicious of government programs in general, I thought you leaned the same way as well. It's that, more than specific incidents, that make me think the DHS is a load of hooey.

Posted by: JB at November 30, 2004 8:43 PM


They could--all that's changed is the organizational chart and the express purposes of existing law enforcement techniques.

Posted by: oj at November 30, 2004 11:12 PM


Ain't complaining. Just saying that cops need to demonstrate courtesy and professionalism and travelers need to show respect for the badge, if not for the man wearing it. That's easier for all concerned when the system doesn't do idiotic things (e.g., the nail clippers that you can now fly with again) and when the guy at the top doesn't feel compelled to say Mineta-stupid PC things on national television every day.

Posted by: Random Lawyer at December 1, 2004 11:15 AM