Holder & Napolitano must go

Three jihad attacks on US soil in six months should cost Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano their jobs, says John Andrews in the May round of Head On TV debates. But Susan Barnes-Gelt dismisses the Times Square bomber as "an inept dissident" and condemns talk of jihad and sharia as "fear-mongering." John on the right, Susan on the left, also go at it this month over offshore drilling, the Kagan Supreme Court nomination, school reform, and the McInnis-Hickenlooper race for governor. Head On has been a daily feature on Colorado Public Television since 1997. Here are all five scripts for May: 1. NEW YORK CITY BOMB

Susan: Alert citizens and quick response of law enforcement combined to avoid tragedy in mid-town Manhattan when an inept dissident tried to set off a car bomb in Times Square. The Pakistani-American claims ties to the Taliban. Stateless terrorism may be the greatest threat to America's security.

John: Susan, please. Your “stateless terrorism” is a meaningless euphemism. The threat to America is fundamentalist Islam. Its goal is a global superstate, erasing America. Obama won’t even mention Islam with its violent jihad and its theocratic sharia law. Fort Hood, Detroit, Times Square, all in six months. This president needs to wake up.

Susan: John, your Fox News talking points ignore the fact that US intelligence caught the wanna be Times Square bomber in 53 hours and no one was injured. Your so-called fundamentalist global superstate is fear-mongering and does nothing to mitigate the need for a watchful public and fully integrated intelligence community.

John: Counting on luck for the bombers to fail and then bragging about catching them is NO way to keep America safe from this fanatical enemy. Jihad seeks the destruction of our country, nothing less. This is a war situation, not a crime situation. Obama should fire Napolitano and Holder.


John: It’s a long way from Athens to Denver, but the Greek financial collapse may determine the identity of Colorado’s next governor. People are starting to realize that taxing, spending, and borrowing all will push every state, including ours, over the edge. Republican Scott McInnis gets that. Democrat John Hickenlooper doesn’t. Advantage McInnis.

Susan: Scott McInnis gives flip-flops a bad name. Does he or doesn't he? Give to charity? Support crippling anti-tax initiatives - Prop 101 and Amendments 60 and 61 - slated for this November's ballot? Is he pro-choice - as he claimed in 1998 - or pro-personhood, as he claims today?

John: You’re really making it too complicated. The choice for governor is between a big-city mayor who’s soft on taxes, soft on spending, soft on debt, soft on unions, and a former congressman, former cop, who’s tough on all those things. Colorado can’t afford Hickenlooper. We need the solid steadiness of Scott McInnis.

Susan: Even the conservative-leaning Denver Post suggests McInnis ought to form a closer relationship with the truth! No one really knows what he stands for, what his vision for Colorado's future includes or what kind of executive he'd be. Coloradans don't want a hot-tempered flip-slopper. Hickenlooper's the better choice.


John: New research shows that mandating wind energy has worsened air pollution and raised electric rates. America needs all the oil and gas we can develop, onshore and offshore. The big spill off Louisiana is too bad, but this tough old planet has survived worse spills from tankers and rigs. The word is still – Drill, baby, drill.

Susan: You mean spill baby spill . . . thanks to Bush's policies - there's virtually no oversight over offshore permitting or safety. The Minerals Management Service is one of the most corrupt federal agencies. A balanced energy policy may include offshore drilling, but the rules of the game must change.

John: I hope Barack and Michelle invite you to their Christmas party, because you sure do pitch those White House talking points. President Obama and Secretary Salazar took office 15 months ago, not 15 minutes ago. Blaming Bush doesn’t work any more. The spill is Obama’s very own Katrina.

Susan: The spill left 11 workers dead and 17 injured. It runs from Louisiana to Florida and threatens to turn north - up the Atlantic seacoast. It's shut down fisheries, damaged habitats and killed tourism. Lax regulators, pitiful Congressional oversight and corporate greed are to blame. Let's hear it for cheap oil.


John: Supreme Court should uphold the Constitution exactly as written, so as to limit government and safeguard liberty. The court has no business expanding government or inventing entitlements. President Obama doesn’t believe that. Neither does Justice Sotomayor, his first nominee. Neither does Elena Kagan, his latest nominee. She should not be confirmed.

Susan: Elections have consequences - perhaps none more long-lasting than judicial appointments. And as for expanding government - the court's conservatives have jeopardized individual rights, despite the Constitution. Wing nuts from both parties are angry about Kagan's appointment. She's a smart qualified moderate.

John: At 50, if confirmed, Prof. Kagan could be tilting the Constitution to the left for 35 years. We need an 18 year limit for Supreme Court justices, similar to Colorado’s 12 year limit that was on the ballot. In Colorado, at least we can vote liberal justices off the court.

Susan: Kagan is no ideologue. She was a superb dean of Harvard Law School - bringing together a fractious, high profile faculty to deliver a vastly improved academic experience for students. Her experience as a practitioner, political advisor and senior administrator equip her well for a high court dominated by life-time jurists.


Susan: The best bill that came out of this year's legislative session is the educator effectiveness bill. This law will not single-handedly solve K-12 education challenges. But by connecting evaluations of teachers and principals to student success - the measure recognizes that educators are key to quality education – DUH!

John: Colorado parents, taxpayers, and voters should be outraged at the CEA teacher union exerting its muscle to keep bad teachers in charge of our kids and on our payroll. Teacher reform only passed because a few courageous Democrats stood with Republicans to fight for better schools. For once, the greedy public union lost.

Susan: The alternative public, teacher's union - American Federation of Teachers - endorsed the bill. It takes reasonable people on both sides to solve most problems. The educator effectiveness bill won't be a game changer without lots of additional reforms. There's plenty of blame to go around.

John: I agree, keep pushing Now that teacher tenure is tied to test scores, let’s expand charter schools and parental choice. Hats off to the Democrats who defied the union to support this bill, including Mike Johnston and Christine Scanlan in the legislature, Gov. Ritter, and even the Obama administration.

Why won't GOP call jihad by name?

David Petteys of Act for America, Denver chapter, and Michael Del Rosso of the Claremont Institute recently compared notes on the strange reluctance of Republicans running for office to identify our jihadist enemy in plain language. Here is their exchange: PETTEYS: Our friend Michael Del Rosso recommended that the following question be asked of every candidate: “In your opinion, what is the greatest threat to our country and what would you do about it?”

Recently I had the opportunity to actually ask this question of Jane Norton, the front running GOP Senatorial candidate here in Colorado. I am happy to say her response was this:

“Islamic Terrorism, and we need to get over this idea that the rights of terrorists have priority over the lives of American citizens.”

Although I would prefer the term “Islamic Jihad” as opposed to Terrorism, it is a step forward. Certainly preferable to the answer you’d get from most Democrats who would talking needing to "save the planet from climate catastrophe by cracking down on the evil oil companies”.

I’m also happy to report my Congressman Mike Coffman’s office notified me today that he was joining Sue Myrick of North Carolina’s “Counter Terrorism Caucus” as a result of my suggestion.

DEL ROSSO: Dave, I would NOT accept Terrorism as an answer from this candidate.

A couple of weeks ago I put the following query to three of the seven Republican candidates attempting to reclaim Virginia's 5th District US House of Representatives seat for the GOP: "America has been in a shooting war for over 8 years with over 5,000 KIA, tens of thousands wounded, and a trillion dollars spent, with no end in sight. Who is our Enemy, what is their Doctrine, and what is their Objective?" Each time the exchange went generally this way:

Candidate: “We’re fighting Terrorists.”

Me: That makes as much sense as saying “Our Enemy is Tanks.” Terrorism is a tactic, not an enemy.

Candidate: “We’re fighting Muslim Extremists.”

Me: “How do you know their Extremists? How do you know they are not actual Mainstream Muslims?”

Encountering a bewildered look and no response I further asked “Have you ever read the Quran? Any book on Islamic jurisprudence and doctrines? Have you read the 9-11 Report?”

Every time, the candidate's answers to all three were “No.”

So I informed each of them: “You just admitted that you have no basis in fact, you have no knowledge, in making any claim about who are enemies are. How can you presume to ask me to vote for you to be my Representative when you have not even taken the trouble to identify our enemy 8 years into a war?”