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Nothing can elude us!

© Matt Davies

The government has built a national security and intelligence system so big, so complex and so hard to manage, no one really knows if it’s fulfilling its most important purpose: keeping its citizens safe. – Washington Post

Meanwhile, Republicans are still coming up with petty excuses for blocking the confirmation of Obama’s intelligence chief.



  1. patriotsgt wrote:

    What do people expect! Hello, “GOVERNMENT”, does that give anyone a clue. They will always make it bigger, less efficient, un-optimally redundant and entirely too expensive.
    We could balance the budget if we trimmed 10% from each; intel, mil, dhs, doj, treas (irs). Thats not even looking at all the other entities like; AG, Energy, HHS, Interior, etc. We could easily trim all those by 5-10% as well. Heck, while we’re at it lets trim congressional budgets, anyone think you congressman or senator needs that many staffers? And offices?

    Wednesday, August 4, 2010 at 6:42 am | Permalink
  2. Falkelord wrote:

    If you actually find 5-10% of the budget in each of those departments and list them right here, I will literally douse myself in gasoline and light myself on fire in front of the white house, which will probably end up on national television, at my expenses including travel and lodging.

    Seriously though. Look at the problems we had with children being on the “no-fly list” because their names were similar or the same as suspected terrorists. A simple cursory search of google with the term “toddler no fly list” brings up several hundred results. The fact that the government (and I don’t mean Obama’s administration, I mean the government as a whole) is incapable of letting TSA employees allow a toddler whom they can clearly see to be let onto a flight is just mind boggling. That kind of security isn’t protecting anyone. Maybe the only bomb in the 8 year old’s pants stems from the terrible in-flight food. My point being that the intelligence system we have now is terribly inaccurate (we don’t even know where Osama bin Laden is hiding out, let alone if he’s even still alive) and needs to be fixed. The redundancy of our government is otherwise there to protect against loopholes (like what happened when Sachs bet against the market). Our government as a whole, while terribly slow, is highly efficient. That’s bureaucracy. 2 financial disasters in 70-odd years? That’s a pretty good track record compared to many other countries.

    Here’s some good reading and watching respectively for the toddlers and the TSA:

    Wednesday, August 4, 2010 at 10:41 am | Permalink
  3. Falkelord wrote:

    small correction: when I said “the government (and I don’t mean Obama’s administration, I mean the government as a whole)”

    it should have read: “this government system (and I don’t mean Obama’s administration, I mean the intelligence system as a whole)”

    I tend to write my statements as they come through my head and also tend to forget where I need to correct myself :\

    Wednesday, August 4, 2010 at 10:43 am | Permalink
  4. patriotsgt wrote:

    @ Falkelord
    Good points. I won’t list the budget cuts because I’d hate to get blamed for setting you on fire. LOL

    The problem with most gov’t agencies and mainly TSA is a lack of common sense. When they have so many new workers however, it’s hard to evaluate each for their ability to make independent judgements. Hence a “one size fits all” mantra with no deviation. One quick fix for TSA would be to require a date of birth/ gender/ with the name on the watch list or at least an age range ie. 30-40 year old male. Theres that common sense thing again.
    I agree this is a gov’t issue, not an Obama issue.
    I’d dissagree on the issue of our Gov’t being “highly efficient”, do they get the job done eventually, yes. Do they try to cover all the bases, yes. Speedy or efficient are not what I would use, except if describing a well run drive thru operation at a fast food joint.

    Wednesday, August 4, 2010 at 1:21 pm | Permalink
  5. falkelord wrote:

    Haha I appreciate your generosity. I guess I should have clarified too though: when I say efficient, I don’t mean time efficient but rather that they cover all bases. Personally, I’d prefer that to knee jerk reactions (see shirley sherrod). But your fix for the TSA is something I can definitely agree on 😀

    Wednesday, August 4, 2010 at 5:29 pm | Permalink
  6. ebdoug wrote:

    Let me tell you my IRS experience, not yet resolved: I’ve been a preparer for 28 years and 7000 tax returns. I prepared my mother’s return through 2009 because she died at age 94, not sad.
    I file her 2009. Because she died in March, she gets a large refund of her estimated taxes. Her state return is promptly deposited.
    But the week of April 15th this year we get a letter from the IRS that her 2008 return has been audited. She owes 15K. Now when we did some research, we found that the auditor who must get paid, I suspect, with our tax money, decided the 2007 income needed to be put on the 2008 return even though it was clearly marked 2007, and I’m put it on 2007. My name was not on her return as I was a “non paid preparer.” My brother sent in on April 28th all the necessary documents as executer of her estate with all the new addresses, mine and his, not the nursing home. Many phone calls to the IRS telling them exactly what happened.
    Last month after hearing nothing, we started again calling. This time I get a nice person in Austin who was in the building when it was hit. They had no record after two months that they could talk to me. He said one thing that gave me a clue: “The people who issue the refund are a different department.”
    My brother called the second week of July.”Of course, we agree with you and have released the check.” Even though he had sent everything about new addresses, they had ignored all that and sent it to the nursing home who marked it “deceased” and returned it to the IRS who did nothing.
    Now the check department is separate. We had to mail the return as it had a “1310” to show she was deceased and my brother’s name and address as executor. New department. Ignores all that and mailed the check (which would have been directly deposited had the moron in auditing not made the mistake) mails the check to the nursing home. You got it “stamped deceased”
    Now my brother had to resend everything to the two departments. And we are waiting for the three weeks to be up for him to get the refund before he starts on his state representatives.
    Any of you who have had companies, just look at the waste here, besides my brother can’t close the estate.
    So I would say “How about 50% of the employees at the IRS can go?”

    Saturday, August 7, 2010 at 8:34 am | Permalink