Democrats Move on National Security Posted by: Dale Franks
on Tuesday, January 09, 2007
For any Democrats who wonder why their party is perceived as weak on National Security issues, they need look no further than the very first bill put before the House this Congress, HR1. As part of this bill, Section 1221 proposes to put the Proliferation Security Initiative essentially under the control of the UN:
...[T]he President should strive to expand and strengthen the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) announced by the President on May 31, 2003, with a particular emphasis on the following...
(2) Working with the United Nations Security Council to develop a resolution to authorize the PSI under international law...
(5) Expanding and formalizing the PSI into a multilateral regime to increase coordination, cooperation, and compliance among its participating states in interdiction activities.
So, the Democrats, having decided that WMD proliferation is such a potential threat to the United States, apparently think that the best thing to to is to turn responsibility for it over to the UN. Presumably this is because the UN is more concerned with American security than the government of the United States.
As House Minority Leader John Boehner put it:
America's national security is the sovereign responsibility of America alone. It should not be outsourced to foreign governments and international bodies.
"Unfortunately, the Democrat proposal will undermine the effectiveness of the PSI by forcing the United States to seek the permission of foreign governments before attempting to interdict illicit WMD material, and by providing all members of the UN access to the strategies, routes, and participating countries in the program.
It is one thing to announce that the US is willing to participate in some multilateral non-proliferation regime. It is another thing entirely to submit the PSI to the approval of he UN, and to give other nations a veto over actions that would strengthen American security.
Let's just file this under "global test".
But, wait, it gets better.
§408 of HR1 states:
SEC. 408. TRANSPORTATION SECURITY ADMINISTRATION PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT.
(a) Elimination of Certain Personnel Management Authorities- Effective 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act—
(1) section 111(d) of the Aviation and Transportation Security Act (49 U.S.C. 44935 note) is repealed and any authority of the Secretary of Homeland Security derived from such section 111(d) shall terminate;
(2) any personnel management system, to the extent established or modified pursuant to such section 111(d) (including by the Secretary through the exercise of any authority derived from such section 111(d)) shall terminate; and
(3) the Secretary shall ensure that all TSA employees are subject to the same personnel management system as described in subsection (e)(1) or (e)(2).
So, the current personnel management system for TSA employees, which gives the Secretary considerable hiring and firing authority must be terminated and replaced by:
(e) Personnel Management System Described- A personnel management system described in this subsection is—
(1) any personnel management system, to the extent that it applies with respect to any TSA employees by virtue of section 114(n) of title 49, United States Code; and
(2) any human resources management system, established under chapter 97 of title 5, United States Code.
Hmm. So, let's flit over to 5 USC 97, and try to figure out what that's all about.
Ah, here it is in §9701, which requires the new personnel system to:
(4) ensure that employees may organize, bargain collectively, and participate through labor organizations of their own choosing in decisions which affect them, subject to any exclusion from coverage or limitation on negotiability established by law
In other words, TSA baggage screeners get to unionize, and get all the other job protections that, say, file clerks at the Department of the Interior get. Can you say "jobs for life"? As Rep Peter King (R-NY) puts it:
King cited last summer's alleged plot in Britain to blow up U.S.-bound airliners. King said if Transportation Security Administration screeners had union protections, he wondered if "would we have been able to move round the inspectors as quickly as possible" in the stepped-up U.S. security precautions that followed.
I don't wonder about it at all.
So, there you have it. Two big national security ideas from the Democrats. Giving the UN responsibility for the PSI, and giving TSA security guards union protections for their jobs, and eliminating the DHS Secretary's authority to terminate them for n substandard performance, without going through the tortuous personnel actions that prevent other government workers from being fired.
Hmm. Anyone interested in giving odds on the possibility of a veto if this goes through Congress as is?
The previous Democratic administration put Hazel O’Leary as head of the Energy Dept., and she decided that different color badgers for different levels of security were bad for self-esteem. The head of White House security was Craig Livingston, whose security qualifications consisted of being a night club bouncer. This was evidently wholeheartedly approved by the Democrats in Congress, many of whom are still there. Does anyone actually believe these people really care about, much less know anything about, security? On the other hand, I am perfectly willing to believe that they have no malicious intent in their stupidity, just as I am perfectly willing to believe that someone with an IQ of 40 has no malicious intent when they throw a lit stick of dynamite into a crowded room because it looked so cool in the Saturday morning cartoons.
What are the odds of a veto? Beats me. It wouldn’t surprise me if it sailed through the White House with only a signing statement giving any indication of Presidential displeasure.
The previous Democratic administration put Hazel O’Leary as head of the Energy Dept., and she decided that different color badgers for different levels of security were bad for self-esteem.
Frankly, I wouldn’t like it either. Badgers not only have an unpleasant, musky smell, but they can be vicious little buggers, too. If I had to go around reeking of rancid badger musk, and covered with scratches and bite marks, my self-esteem would be pretty low, too.
And they’re quite heavy for their size, which makes lugging them around inconvenient.
And how you’d get them to sit still for the dyeing process I’ll never know.
Bush will probably sign it for the same reason he caved on having a DHS in the first place: he’ll use it as a bargaining chip to get funding for Iraq / WOT. Same tactic Johnson used for Vietnam. Of course, Bush is to naive to realize that the current crop of Dems is thoroughly dishonest, and will take whatever he offers then renege.
At last, that exchange of lines in the movie makes sense - "if you’re federales, show us your badgers!" "Badgers? We don’t have no badgers!" no wonder the bandito was angry, only an American would ask to see their badgers, knowing full well they didn’t have any.
Regarding George’s Veto power, I think that’s why he keeps using signings, because no one has told him under the Constitution that he doesn’t have to sign bills into law.
But, I’m feeling safer all the time! and am more angry with the Republicans than ever for forcing us to vote them out of office to bring them back to their senses.
I’m not mad at the Dems, they’re just being Dems. Acting mad at them would be like acting surprised when pigeons crap all over the place.