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September 06, 2007

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The GAO states that after the largest government merger in more than half a century, DHS met fewer than half of its performance objectives, or 78 of 171 directives identified by President Bush, Congress and the department's own strategic plans

But those are old benchmarks that don't take the context of the current situation into account.

It's almost hard to believe that Chertoff's name is being seriously bandied about as a possible AG. And then you remember who he is replacing ...

DHS met fewer than half of its performance objectives, or 78 of 171 directives identified by President Bush, Congress and the department's own strategic plans

time for a No Agency Left Behind plan. any agency that fails to meet its goals will have its federal aid cut. that'll teach em!

The DHS has also forgotten to inforce the Hoemland Security Act of 2002, Presidenital Directives 7&8, the NIPP 0f 2006 on its own Federal Agency's like the FAA

Funny how the Pentagon and Homeland Security can go to the effort of explaining why they don't have to do their job, but cannot bother to do their job.

Keep at it GAO

Well, this does give us some insight into why the adminstration is optimistic about its Iraqi counterpart--after all, the Bush adminstration can't seem to meet benchmarks, either.

Wow, for a second I thought this was a mislabeled post about the Iraqi government.

Cleek:

"Time for a No Agency Left Behind plan; any agency that fails to meet its goals will have its federal aid cut. That'll teach 'em."

That dovetails nicely with Grover Norquist's and his knee-padded pledges' plan to defund all agencies that MEET their goals. We must do more with less; in fact, if we can get it for free, then we'll have Larry Craig's idea of a budget.

By the way, as long as Homeland Security clears all airport restrooms of needy tap-dancers, I feel good to go ...... yeah, that's about right.

What folks don't know is that Osama Bin Laden was in the stall to the OTHER side of the cop in Minnesota tapping out the message: "If we pin down enough U.S. tax dollars in Iraq, my contacts in the White House can cut reimbursement rates for Medicaid.... Dick? Is that you?"

That's more than three taps. We need to raid the Arthur Murray Dance Studios and make sure suspicious people haven't been requesting dancing lessons with no intention of appearing in a musical.

The truly annoying point here is that lots of DHS responsibilities, especially in the disaster response area, are just a matter of organization and planning. There are no great strategic or political decisions to be made.

You have to figure out how to do things like deliver food, water, and medical supplies to affected areas, how to provide shelter and emergency medical care, etc., and do all this when transportation is difficult. How, sometimes, to evacuate large numbers of people.

I'm not claiming this is easy. I am claiming that a serious, well-staffed agency that devotes intelligent effort to this task can do it. And I also claim that this is an important government function. Natural disasters occur, and when they do lots of lives are at stake and lots of people need emergency assistance. Making sure there is an effective response is not some minor bureaucratic task.

This is probably why Chertoff's name is now off the AG short list. Not because Chertoff has failed at DHS (failure has never been an impediment to working for the Bush administration), but because his confirmation hearing would call too much attention to how ill-protected the country is.

The government's miserable response to Hurricane Katrina showed us exactly how ill-prepared we are to deal with another terrorist attack.

I think you're assuming that the government *wanted* an effective response to Katrina. I don't think they did. Driving large numbers of primarily democratic voters out of Louisiana benefits the GOP, a fact that cannot have been lost on Karl Rove.

Think of government as a hedge fund, and its actual results are then "marking it to market".

togolosh, a cynic would say the same about a new terrorist attack. Ask "we are just one bomb away from our goals" Addington.

OT - WTF is this headline blaring that bin Laden will "address the american people" on the sixth anniverary of 9/11 I see right now on CNN and Fox sites?

I am a volunteer firefighter in a rural community. The only effects that we have experienced from DHS are: t-shirts with their logo, a few "training" sessions that make no sense and new fire gear that is so cheap that most of us have gone back to our old gear. We have no idea who heads up DHS in our area because they keep changing.

Oh yeah, our radios still suck.

Only the Coasties came out of that mess looking remotely decent, but I guess that just means it takes more than four years to destroy 200 years of tradition....

This write-up is all wrong. In its primary mission, disbursing largesse to Lockheed and SAIC and Booz-Allen and the usual gang of Beltway "entrepreneurs", DHS excels. Travel to DC sometime, and you can savor all the garrison-state sector money sloshing around.

For what it's worth, the recent report on Iraq is that it was meeting only 3 of its 18 benchmarks, or roughly 17%, and this review of DHS suggests that it is meeting 5 of its 24 criteria, or around 21%. Sadly, I believe we are in an environment where we have defined competence down to a virtually meaningless level.

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