Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano denied that the Administration's 45% cut in the budget for bomb prevention would have made any difference. “As I have said many times before, the greatest threat comes from right-wing extremists,” Napolitano maintained. “Even at the lower funding amounts we have successfully continued to suppress this most dangerous element. We, like everyone else, were taken completely by surprise by these Muslim extremists.”
Minority Whip Representative Steny Hoyer (D-Md) blamed the bombing on the “Republican sequester.” Hoyer was unmoved by the seeming illogic of casting the sequester's 2% decrease in spending growth as decisive. Neither was he deterred by the fact that the sequester was President Obama's idea. “Well, the President never thought it would stick,” Hoyer retorted. “Besides, everybody now thinks it was the GOP's idea.”
Representative Peter King (R-NY) asked that “retailers be required to report persons who buy pressure cookers, pellets, ball bearings, or nails—anything that might be used to construct a bomb—to police. I've been working on legislation to require beefed up background checks for gun purchases, and that's important, but as events in Boston have shown, we may need background checks for a wider range of potentially dangerous items.”
Former Congressman Barney Frank (D-Mass) contended that “the bombing thoroughly rebuts the case for small government. I think that most people would eagerly exchange the freedom that right-wingers are saying is the American birthright for a government big enough to protect them from being blown away. A government with the manpower to search every bag and pat down every person entering any public transportation vehicle or any building that is open to the public would have the support of an overwhelming majority of voters.”
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel saw the incident as evidence for the superiority of police surveillance over an armed citizenry for defending the country. “I would say that even if everyone in the country were armed they'd still be vulnerable to terrorist bombs,” Emanuel argued. “I'd make the case that if all the money people spend on buying guns were instead invested in more extensive surveillance government would be better prepared to apprehend the perpetrators of heinous crimes and counter any threats to existing authority.”
Former GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney espied a “silver lining in this terrible tragedy. We saw President Obama give a superb speech at the memorial. It was much better than I could've done. In hindsight, I guess I'd have to say the voters made the right decision last November.”
MSNBC's Chris Matthews called the indication that the bombing was undertaken by Islamic jihadis “truly disappointing. If it had been a Timothy McVeigh type of guy we could've used that to bolster the President's campaign for gun control. Now every redneck in the country is going to think he needs a gun to fight off alien enemies. It's a crucial lost opportunity.”
The revelation that the attack was carried out by two ex-patriots moved Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov to blame the crime on America's “toxic values. The appalling depravity that is on display in every corner of the country drove these two deeply religious young men to strike a blow for decency.” Kadyrov rued the slaying of one of the bombers as a “true tragedy. America's violent culture has claimed yet another innocent victim.”
President Endorses Rubio Immigration Legislation
President Obama heartily endorsed Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio's proposed 800-page immigration reform bill. “This bill would speed the normalization of life for immigrants already living here while providing the Administration with much needed flexibility in enforcement,” Obama declared.
Under the bill, all those currently living here illegally would be granted amnesty if they come forward and identify themselves. At the same time, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would be given five years to come up with a plan for improving border security.
“The trust Senator Rubio's bill demonstrates for our efforts to manage the problem is impressive,” the President said. “I have been told that there are over 400 categories under which officers of the DHS would have the authority to exempt or excuse actions taken by those who have entered the country illegally. This latitude moves us from a position of rigid reliance upon written rules to one where human judgment can intervene. It makes me confident that real people rather than static words will govern the America of the future.”
Tension with North Korea Builds
Saying he was “fed up with the nutso actions of this goofball gook,” Secretary of State John Kerry threatened North Korea's Kim Jong-un “if he continues to taunt us with his threats to launch his nuclear missile.”
The former decorated Vietnam veteran warned Kim “Don't make me come over there. If I have to I will kill you and cut off your ears. Don't think I won't. I've done it before. In case you weren't aware, I served in Vietnam. And if you ask those who served with me they'll tell you I was a virtual Genghis Khan. So, don't mess with me.”
Meanwhile, President Obama expressed his disbelief that North Korea even possesses a nuclear missile. “I don't believe that have such a device,” Obama asserted. “I'm calling their bluff. I say go ahead and launch it.”
The words of the President and Secretary of State appeared to have little impact on Kim who vowed he would destroy the United States unless his demands are met. The demands are reported to include immediate withdrawal of all US armed forces from the Eastern Hemisphere, complete dismantling of all US intercontinental missiles, the payment of $3 trillion in reparations for the Korean War, and the appointment of former NBA basketball player Dennis Rodman as US Ambassador to Korea.
Kerry said he “would be willing to accept all of these demands except one as the basis for further discussions aimed at a peaceful resolution of our two nations' differences. There's no way the President can support the appointment of Dennis Rodman as ambassador to anywhere. He simply has not made a big enough donation to the Democratic Party.”
In related news, Kerry urged Congress to drop further investigation of last September's attack on US Embassy personnel in Benghazi. “I think former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton put this issue into its proper focus when she asked, 'at this point what difference does it make?' We can't revive those who were killed. And now that the person who was in charge has left the government what's the point of trying to allocate responsibility?”
Administration Pressures Washington DOT
A series of signs critical of President Obama may cost the State of Washington its share of federal aid for highway construction. The signs are on private property but can be seen by travelers on I-5 about 90 miles south of Seattle near the town of Chehalis.
“Interstate highways are 90% funded by the federal government,” said USDOT Secretary Ray LaHood. “It is improper that they be exploited for the communication of messages opposing the government.”
The Secretary added “we'd regret having to resort to withholding funds, but when people don't show the appropriate respect for all the President is trying to do for the country we can't just sit back and take it. State officials aren't going to be allowed to hide behind a 'freedom-of-speech' argument in order to evade taking action. We think the prospect of losing hundreds of millions of dollars in federal aid will inspire them to find a way to eliminate these affronts.”
WSDOT CEO Lynn Peterson acknowledged “feeling frustrated by the difficult position we're in. We can't afford to lose this money. Our contention that there is no proof the signs are having any impact was rejected by the USDOT. They say that waiting for proof would set a bad precedent.”
“We can't just tear down the signs,” Peterson complained. “We don't own the property they're on. Trying to screen them from view is impractical. Any obstruction we might erect on our right-of-way could simply be avoided by moving the offending signs a few dozen yards. Our best bet might be to try to induce the locals to take action.”
The “inducement” reportedly under consideration is a threat by WSDOT to close the Chehalis on-ramp to I-5. The idea is that if drivers from the local area lose their access to the highway they may prevail upon the town council to zone these signs out. It's also felt that fear of possible retaliation from angry neighbors might cause the owners of these signs to take them down themselves.
Dem Admits Gun Bill Wouldn't Have Prevented Newtown Massacre
Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), author of a just defeated gun control bill, acknowledged that “this bill wouldn't have prevented the murder of those Sandy Hook school kids. In fact, it's likely that nothing we could pass would impede any determined criminal from carrying out plans to kill innocent victims.”
“The point is to overcome a feeling of helplessness by giving the appearance of remedial action,” Manchin explained. “The only thing that might deter or decrease the body count in these shooting sprees would be if an armed victim or good Samaritan were to cut the spree short by returning fire. The problem with this, though, is that it would vindicate a world view that we Democrats find extraordinarily distasteful.”