Daily Archives: October 30, 2010

Could Nancy Pelosi Leave Congress???

Could House Speaker Nancy Pelosi retire from Congress if the Republicans take over the House of Representatives on Tuesday? Time Magazine is speculating on that very notion:

If Democrats lose control of the House of Representatives next week, as most political observers expect, there is a good chance that the House Speaker will opt to spend time with her eight grandchildren rather than toil in the relative obscurity of the minority. Even if she wanted to stay on, it’s not at all clear that she would win the position of minority leader: seven Democratic incumbents and several candidates oppose her leadership — on Wednesday, North Carolina Representative Heath Shuler suggested he might challenge Pelosi for the spot — and another 20 have refused to say one way or another. Pelosi is more likely to leave gracefully, trading the red-eye slog for the pleasant commute between her San Francisco and Napa homes, and leaving the caucus in the hands of majority leader Steny Hoyer, who has been chafing in her shadow for decades.
Several Democrat leaders especially from California:

Other Democrats are sure to follow Pelosi out of the Capitol. After the GOP lost the House in 2006, 27 Republicans called it quits. But in the case of Pelosi’s Democratic cloakroom, the exodus could be deeper: five of the 20 current committee chairmen are her allies from California. Without their champion, some veterans such as Education and Labor Committee chairman George Miller, who has been in Congress since 1975, may be inclined to leave. Even if they don’t head for the exits, they might choose to abandon their gavels: Standards Committee chair Zoe Lofgren, also of California, is serving at Pelosi’s request and has made no secret of her distaste at being her colleagues’ ethical watchdog.

Congressional exits are nothing new; Pelosi predecessor Newt Gingrich know all to well:
A quick retirement is not an uncommon choice for the boss of the losing party; Newt Gingrich stepped down three days after losing five seats in 1998, saving his party a potentially divisive leadership election he could well have lost. And the only reason Denny Hastert (who succeeded Gingrich) lingered for more than a year after shedding his Speaker’s mantle in 2007 was to keep his Illinois seat warm for his son, who never made it past the primary.
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October Surprise:Bomb found Plane in Dubai was Headed for Chicago

Breaking News: Two packages that were heading for Chicago were bombs to detonate when it arrive at its destination were discovered by airport security in Sa’na, Yemen  and Nottingham, England on Friday. The packages were found on UPS jet and at a FedEx facility.

President Barack Obama notified overnight Friday. The president orders Pentagon US Navy Jet  escorts joined by Canadian Forces Jets planes heading for Boston, Philadelphia and New York City.

At a press conference President Obama said the threat was very credible From The Washington Post:

Two packages mailed from Yemen and addressed to synagogues in Chicago contained explosive material and represented a “credible terrorist threat,” President Obama said Friday, as authorities focused their investigation on an increasingly lethal affiliate of al-Qaeda.

It’s believed its Al Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula that is behind foiled attack:

U.S. counterterrorism officials suspect that the packages, which were intercepted in Britain and Dubai, were sent by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which had already demonstrated a flair for sophisticated bombmaking in an attempt to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day.

Obama did not specify any new security measures that would be taken or say that the nation’s terrorist alert level had been raised. But he described the threat as serious and pointed once again to Yemen as the source of a terrorist plot, saying his top terrorism adviser, John O. Brennan, had been in touch with that country’s president.

The two packages were intercepted at separate locations, one on a UPS plane at East Midlands Airport near Nottingham, England, and the other at a FedEx facility in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. Officials provided no details on the kind of explosives found, but they said they were looking at the possibility that the substance used was PETN, the same explosive used in the Christmas Day plot.

A U.S. official said the search for the devices was triggered by a “tip from a very close ally of the United States.” The tip was relayed to U.S. authorities Thursday and contained “very specific information” about devices in packages being shipped to the United States from Yemen, the official said.

Brennan, in a statement, said the United States was “grateful to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for their assistance in developing information that helped underscore the imminence of the threat emanating from Yemen.”

“We were looking for packages that were of concern,” Brennan said. He said he briefed Obama before the first package was found in Britain about 3:30 a.m. Friday local time.

No bombs were found on  planes  in Newark,NJ and Philadelphia and Kennedy Airport in New York. AP via Yahoo News:

U.S. authorities conducted searches of aircraft in Philadelphia, Newark, N.J., and New York City.

Since the failed Christmas bombing of a Detroit-bound airliner, Yemen has been a focus for U.S. counterterrorism officials. Before that attack, the U.S. regarded al-Qaida’s branch in Yemen as primarily a threat in the region, not to the United States.

Homeland Security ordered all packages from Yemen on a 72 hour hold.

In Chicago police and homeland Security on high alert. Security is tight at O’Hare International Airport and synagogues warned of packages from Yemen. From CBS Chicago(WBBM-AM Newsradio 780/CBS 2 News WBBM-TV/HD):

In Chicago, cargo terminals for both UPS and FedEx at O’Hare International Airport were immediately swept with bomb-sniffing dogs, and security around them was tightened as well.

There was no evidence found that any explosives reached Chicago or that they could have caused any damage if they did.

The Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago was notified of the situation at 10:30 a.m. Friday, and officials there are “taking proper precautions,” said associate vice president Linda Haase.

The organization is also advising local synagogues to take precautions, Haase said.

A law enforcement source tells CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine the word is out to synagogues in Chicago not to accept UPS packages from east of New York. The are asked to call Chicago Police if any delivery is attempted.

FBI spokesman Ross Rice added that while there are no identifiable or specific threats to the Chicago area, all churches, synagogues and mosques in the area are being warned to be vigilant for unsolicited or unexpected packages, especially those originating from overseas locations.

The events unfolded four days before national elections in which discussion of terrorism has played almost no role.

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