I think I have found a new theme in my choices of blogging topics. Yesterday I posted on how member of the Obama administration and the mainstream media continue to be shocked by unexpected events. Only these events are really only unexpected to those that refuse to take off their rose-colored glasses. A day later and there are two more shining examples of this principle.
First up, we have an press briefing with two key members of Obama’s Department of Homeland Security–Secretary Janet Napolitano and Assistant to the President John Brennan. The full transcript is available here (hat tip Gateway Pundit), but this quote below says it all.
Question: What was the most shocking, stunning thing that you found out of the review? And, Secretary, to you, as well.
MR. BRENNAN: Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is an extension of al Qaeda core coming out of Pakistan. And, in my view, it is one of the most lethal and one of the most concerning of it. The fact that they had moved forward to try to execute this attack against the homeland I think demonstrated to us — and this is what the review sort of uncovered — that we had a strategic sense of sort of where they were going, but we didn’t know they had progressed to the point of actually launching individuals here. And we have taken that lesson, and so now we’re full on top of it.
SECRETARY NAPOLITANO: I think, following up on that, not just the determination of al Qaeda and al Qaeda Arabian Peninsula, but the tactic of using an individual to foment an attack, as opposed to a large conspiracy or a multi-person conspiracy such as we saw in 9/11, that is something that affects intelligence. It really emphasizes now the renewed importance on how different intelligence is integrated and analyzed, and threat streams are followed through. And, again, it will impact how we continue to review the need to improve airport security around the world.Emphasis mine. Let that sink in for a moment. The heads of homeland security were surprised in how determined Al Qeada is. What world have they been living in? Furthermore, they apparently discounted the idea of any attacks on U.S. soil that didn’t exactly mirror the coordinated attack on 9/11. Suddenly the pattern of TSA regulations make sense. Don’t worry about shoes. Enter the shoe bomber. OK, start scanning shoes. Don’t worry about toothpaste. Enter the toothpaste bomber. OK, start scanning toothpaste. I realize predicting the unknown is a difficult task and hindsight is 20/20 but to discount the idea of a single bomber? So we’ve had attacks planned by large numbers of people and single individuals. Is the DHS looking for attackers working in pairs or are we going to wait for that to happen to start looking?
Turning to the economy, late last night the Labor Department released information that U.S. employers cut 85,000 jobs in December and the jobless rate ticked up to 10.1%. How did Reuters react to the news? Why, it was unexpected!
U.S. employers unexpectedly cut 85,000 jobs in December, cooling optimism on the labor market’s recovery and keeping pressure on President Barack Obama to find ways to spur job growth.
The Labor Department said on Friday that November payrolls were revised to show the economy actually added 4,000 jobs rather than losing 11,000 as initially reported, breaking a streak of consecutive losses that dates back to December 2007.
With revisions to October, however, the economy lost 1,000 more jobs than previously estimated over the two months.
The unemployment rate was unchanged at 10 percent in December, but that reflected a surprisingly large number of people leaving the labor force.
Analysts polled by Reuters had expected nonfarm payrolls to hold steady last month, with the jobless rate edging up to 10.1 percent.Again, emphasis mine. They seem surprised to see poor indicators coming out of the economy. Aren’t you?
Looks like I may have to ask Kevin to add “Unexpected!” as a new category of post topics here at Wizbang.