Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

May 13, 2016

Friday Free Forum

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Arnold Bogis on May 13, 2016

William R. Cumming Forum

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Comment by William R. Cumming

May 13, 2016 @ 2:49 pm

Another Friday the 13th!

Hey this comment somewhat repetitive!

Defining PREPAREDNESS: The overall come as you are governmental capability of both civil government and military units to respond and recovery and to provide logistics and mobilization [in essence scaling up] when events and occurrences exceed anticipated plans and 24/7/365 resources including personnel, training, equipment, existing funding and operational capacity.

Frequently I have identified shortages in preparedness and wondering how various nation-states, principally the U.S., react to large scale catastrophic events.

It took the World Bank from 1944 [when formed at Bretton Woods] until the early 90’s to decide that natural hazards were a worthy foe of both the developed world and the undeveloped world.

Note that even subtle changes in natural hazards like sea level rise seem to be difficult for humans to understand and adapt. A human life and usually individual experience too short a period of record for humans to adapt to hazards.

How is it that state created local units can respond and recovery when even local police and fire inadequate?

Again viewing local police and the Fire Service as first responders perhaps 10% of those forces should be subject to federal funding, standards, and training!

Comment by William R. Cumming

May 14, 2016 @ 2:30 am

The statute most in need of extensive revision by Congress:

The National Security Council was established by the National Security Act of 1947 (PL 235 – 61 Stat. 496; U.S.C. 402), amended by the National Security Act Amendments of 1949 (63 Stat. 579; 50 U.S.C. 401 et seq.). Later in 1949, as part of the Reorganization Plan, the Council was placed in the Executive Office of the President.

Comment by William R. Cumming

May 14, 2016 @ 2:39 am

The military/civil interface needs reform if HS and DHS are largely second career functions and organizations IMO!

CRS on Goldwater-Nichols Reform:


Comment by William R. Cumming

May 14, 2016 @ 2:52 am

Background: The Federal Deficit and the Budget Control

The Budget Control Act of 2011 was enacted in response to congressional concern about rapid growth in the federal debt and deficit. The federal budget has been in deficit (spending exceeding revenue) since FY2002, and incurred particularly large deficits from FY2009 to FY2013. Increases in spending on defense, lower tax receipts, and responses to the recent economic downturn all contributed to deficit increases in that time period. In FY2010, spending reached its highest level as a share of GDP since FY1946, while revenues reached their lowest level as a share of GDP since FY1950. The BCA placed statutory caps on most discretionary spending from FY2012 through FY2021. The caps essentially limit the amount of spending through the annual appropriations process for that time period, with adjustments permitted for certain purposes. The limits could be adjusted to accommodate (1) changes in concepts and definitions; (2) appropriations designated as emergency requirements; (3) appropriations for Overseas Contingency Operations/Global War on Terrorism (OCO; e.g., for military activities in Afghanistan); (4) appropriations for continuing disability reviews and redeterminations; (5) appropriations for controlling health care fraud and abuse; and (6) appropriations for disaster relief. Source: CRS Report R42506, The Budget Control Act of 2011 as Amended: Budgetary Effects, by Grant A. Driessen and Marc Labonte

Comment by William R. Cumming

May 14, 2016 @ 2:58 am

Extract from a CRS rept:

The Obama Administration released a new National Security Strategy (NSS) on February 6, 2015. It was the second NSS document to be published by the Administration; the first was published in May 2010. The 2015 document states that its purpose is to “set out the principles and priorities to guide the use of American power and influence in the world.” The NSS is a congressionally mandated document, originating in the Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986 (P.L. 99-433, §603/50 U.S.C §3043).
The 2015 NSS emphasizes the role of U.S. leadership; the words “lead,” “leader,” “leading,” and “leadership” appear 94 times in the context of the U.S. role in the world. It also acknowledges national limitations and calls for strategic patience and persistence.
The 2015 report retains much of the underlying thought of the 2010 version. However, its emphasis appears to shift away from the U.S. role in the world being largely a catalyst for action by international institutions to one that reflects more involved leadership both inside those institutions and between nations.
It also takes a tougher line with both China and with Russia, while emphasizing the desirability for cooperation with both.
The 2015 report raises a number of potential oversight questions for Congress, including the following:
? Does the 2015 NSS accurately identify and properly emphasize key features and trends in the international security environment? Does it adequately address the possibility that since late 2013 a fundamental shift in the international security environment has occurred that suggests a shift from the familiar post-Cold War era to a new and different strategic situation?
? Does the 2015 NSS qualify as a true strategy in terms of linking ends (objectives), means (resources), ways (activities), and in terms of establishing priorities among goals? Is it reasonable to expect the unclassified version of an NSS to do much more than identify general objectives?
? Does the 2015 NSS properly balance objectives against available resources, particularly in the context of the limits on defense spending established in the Budget Control Act of 2011? Are Administration policies and budgets adequately aligned with the 2015 NSS?
? As part of its anticipated review of the Goldwater-Nichols act, how should Congress define its role in shaping national security strategy? Should Congress do this through an independent commission, or in some other way?
? Are NSS statements performing the function that Congress intended? How valuable to Congress are they in terms of supporting oversight of Administration policies and making resource-allocation decisions? Should the mandate that requires the Administration to submit national security strategy reports be repealed or modified? If it should be modified, what modifications should be made?

Comment by William R. Cumming

May 14, 2016 @ 3:10 am

Note Bene! Homeland Security strategies or revisions thereto in unclassified format have never been issued during the Obama Administration.

The first Homeland Security Strategy was issued in July 2002 even before enactment of a Homeland Security Act in November 2002 and effective fully March 1, 2003.

Although a statutory Homeland Security Council exists the HS staffing was merged with the NSC staff first by President Obama and then later renamed the NSC staff.

President Obama has taken little interest in the problems of HS and EM during his Administration. Perhaps the greatest civil challenge he has faced was response and recovery to Storm Sandy and he largely let the Democratic Governor of NYS and the Republican Governor of N.J. lead the charge.

IMO fraud, waste, and abuse largely highlighted the ends of the $60B appropriated for Storm Sandy reonse and recovery.

The offshore event in the GOM shorthand the BP Oil Spill cannot yet be fully evaluated for the effectiveness of response and recovery.

Comment by William R. Cumming

May 14, 2016 @ 3:14 am

In spring 2002 the Bioterrorism Response and Health Preparedness Act enacted. Since supplemented and revised by legislation it appears to me that health preparedness now effectively stove piped from HS and EM and the energy provided by the fall 2001 anthrax attacks largely attenuated.

Congress not worried enough to fund adequate ZIKA virus efforts.

Comment by William R. Cumming

May 14, 2016 @ 3:17 am

At this point IMO the best that can be hoped after the fall elections that whomever wins is that the almost 10,000 politically vetted slots in the federal Executive Branch are reduced by at least 1/2.

Comment by William R. Cumming

May 15, 2016 @ 3:59 pm

Nephew of a friend, Dr. Ted Pierson, PhD key play er for NIH on ZIKA.

Comment by William R. Cumming

May 15, 2016 @ 4:00 pm

Could anyone provide a definition for PROTOFACIST?

Comment by William R. Cumming

May 17, 2016 @ 6:28 am

I have vowed to avoid political choices until after all Presidential candidates selected by convention or otherwise but now clear to me that in less than 5 months the American voters will be faced with depressing choices in their votes. A racer to the bottom and both Dems and Republicans have failed to provide governance or leadership.

And the VP running mate choices may be long postponed and decide an election based on coalition not the majority of American voters.

Please vote!

Comment by William R. Cumming

May 17, 2016 @ 6:36 am

While Director Comey of the FBI may not know what a SECURITY REVIEW is in fact it is the first step when a compromise of NATIONAL SECURITY is alleged to have occurred.

And I have long advocated release of the redacted pages of the 9/11 Commission Report.

Another footnote as we approach September 11th of this year, there is now no doubt that an incorrect legal opinion from the GC’s office of then FBI prohibited the opening of Moussawi’s computer and thus 9/11/2001 events occurred.

Perhaps it is wise not to look back when a new Administration comes in but I keep hoping Richard Clarke will receive the MEDAL OF FREEDOM the highest civilian award.

Comment by William R. Cumming

May 17, 2016 @ 6:38 am

Russian American friends [largely Ukrainian?] tell me that the Kremlin has over 20,000 of HRC’s e-mails and understands completely that they can probably can influence the outcome of the American election.

Comment by William R. Cumming

May 17, 2016 @ 6:40 am

Three Presidential candidates still remain and all appear totally ignorant of American nuclear strategy and policy and recommend all read
schwartz’ book RIGHT OF THE BOOM-The aftermath of Nuclear Terrorism!

Comment by William R. Cumming

May 17, 2016 @ 6:41 am

Both parties are reviewing retired Flag Ranks for the VP running mate job!

Comment by William R. Cumming

May 17, 2016 @ 6:44 am

Predicting President Obama will pardon Retire General David Petraeus before leaving office.

Comment by William R. Cumming

May 17, 2016 @ 7:34 am

Disclosure: Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota and delivered by Ms. Norah Winthrop, M.D., on August 4, 1942, about 5 P.M. Most male M.D.s already drafted. If my information correct Norah still holds Minnesota records for assisting in vaginal deliveries.

I have been racking my brain as to potential VP running mates for both parties. If they want to win of course.

Here is an oldie but goodie post from one of my former blogs:

Tim Pawlenty–Mitt’s VP?
Posted on June 21, 2012 by vlg338
Rate This

If John McCain had picked this man he would still be President and Tim VP! But failing to do so it looks 95% confident that Mitt will pick this man as VP!

So get to know him because he is an able politician and deeply conservative. More so than Mitt. And Tim is NO Harrold Stassen.

Tim Pawlenty

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Pawlenty)
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Tim Pawlenty

39th Governor of Minnesota
In office
January 6, 2003 – January 3, 2011
Lieutenant Carol Molnau
Preceded by Jesse Ventura
Succeeded by Mark Dayton
Majority Leader of the Minnesota House of Representatives
In office
January 3, 1999 – January 3, 2003
Governor Jesse Ventura
Preceded by Ted Winter
Succeeded by Erik Paulsen
Member of the Minnesota House of Representatives
from District 38B
In office
January 3, 1993 – January 3, 2003
Preceded by Art Seaberg
Succeeded by Lynn Wardlow
Personal details
Born Timothy James Pawlenty
November 27, 1960 (age 51)
Saint Paul, Minnesota, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Mary Anderson
Children Anna
Alma mater University of Minnesota
Profession Lawyer
Religion Baptist / Evangelical
Timothy James “Tim” Pawlenty (play /p??l?nti/;[1] born November 27, 1960) is an American politician who served as the 39th Governor of Minnesota (2003–2011). He was a Republican candidate for President of the United States in the 2012 election from May to August 2011.[2] He previously served in the Minnesota House of Representatives (1993–2003) where he served two terms as majority leader.

Pawlenty was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota and raised in nearby South St. Paul. He graduated from University of Minnesota with a B.A. in political science and earned a J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School. His early career included working as a labor law attorney and the vice president of a software company. After settling in the city of Eagan with his wife, Pawlenty was appointed to the city’s Planning Commission and was elected to the Eagan City Council at the age of 28. He won a seat as a state representative in 1992, representing District 38B in suburban Dakota County. He was re-elected four times, and voted majority leader by House Republicans in 1998.

After winning a narrow Republican primary in 2002, Pawlenty won a three-way election for Governor of Minnesota, and he was re-elected in 2006 by a margin of one percent. His campaign platform focused on balancing the budget without raising taxes. During Pawlenty’s governorship, he eliminated his state’s budget deficit using spending cuts and borrowing heavily from earmarked funds. Pawlenty did not raise income taxes during his governorship, but did enact targeted increases in sales tax and user fees. His administration advocated for numerous public works projects, including work on the Northstar Commuter Rail Line, and the construction of Target Field, a Major League Baseball stadium in Minneapolis. He signed a bill mandating 20% ethanol in gasoline by 2013. He cut health care spending to help balance the budget, and signed an executive order rejecting federal funds related to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. He led worldwide trips for business leaders and trade delegations to explore trade opportunities. In the 2007–2008 term he served as chairman of the National Governors Association.

Pawlenty was rumored as a contender for president as early as 2005, and was closely involved with U.S. Senator John McCain‘s presidential campaign in 2008. Pawlenty began early steps toward a run in late 2009. He formally announced his presidential campaign in May 2011, running on a strongly conservative platform. A day after coming in third place in the August 13, 2011 Ames Straw Poll,[3] Governor Pawlenty announced that he was withdrawing from the race.[2] On September 12, 2011, Pawlenty announced his endorsement of former Governor Mitt Romney of Massachusetts.


1 Early life, education, and early career
2 Minnesota House of Representatives
3 Governorship
3.1 Election, 2002
3.2 Reelection, 2006
3.3 State budget
3.3.1 Minnesota Supreme Court case
3.4 Funding projects
3.5 Education
3.6 Transportation
3.7 Crime
3.8 Ethanol
3.9 Health
3.10 Foreign relations
3.11 Other activities
4 McCain presidential campaign, 2008
5 Presidential race, 2012
5.1 Early steps
5.2 Book tour and political positions
5.3 Announcement
5.4 Ames Straw Poll and withdrawal
5.5 Endorsement of Mitt Romney
6 Personal life
7 Public image
7.1 Political views
7.2 Approval ratings
7.3 Electoral history
8 Records
9 References
10 External links

Posted in Governance | Leave a comment

Comment by William R. Cumming

May 17, 2016 @ 7:39 am

Hey! Pick your choice for Trump and why? Next week HRC’s running mate! My choice!

Comment by William R. Cumming

May 17, 2016 @ 10:16 am

I have posted a short review of Benjamin Schwartz’ 2015 book RIGHT OF BOOM-The Aftermath of Nuclear Terrorism on Amazon books.

Comment by William R. Cumming

May 17, 2016 @ 2:54 pm


Comment by William R. Cumming

May 18, 2016 @ 4:20 am

More comments?

Comment by Tom Russo

May 18, 2016 @ 4:33 pm

Health Preparedness is funneled through DHHS/CDC depending on the capability…administratively which is not to say program missions are not shaped by DHS depending on threat status. FEMA/EM is out of the health preparedness orbit.

Comment by William R. Cumming

May 19, 2016 @ 1:28 am

Is the SCOTUS list of the Donald ploy or substance? Indications the list drafted by the Heritage Foundation but could be worse. All sitting current federal and state judges.

Can you name the most important HS decision to-date by SCOTUS? Hint! Not a criminal case!

Comment by William R. Cumming

May 19, 2016 @ 1:30 am

Tom! DHS not FEMA has about 200 FTE assigned to its medical unit. Do you know much about that organization?

Comment by William R. Cumming

May 20, 2016 @ 9:36 am

Storm Sandy resulted in huge profits for some insurers:


Comment by Competent Authority

June 23, 2016 @ 4:32 am

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