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Janet Napolitano to head University of California system: Rotating the 1%

Janet Napolitano, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), will resign from that office to be nominated for President of the University of California system. Her departure from DHS is expected in six weeks, at the beginning of the fall term. says:

In a statement, Napolitano called her role leading DHS “the highlight of my professional career” and said that the 240,000 employees of the department have “worked together to minimize threats of all kinds to the American public.”

“After four plus years of focusing on these challenges, I will be nominated as the next president of the University of California to play a role in educating our nation’s next generation of leaders,” she said.

My father used to tell me, “Be careful what you do well, or you may find yourself doing it for the rest of your life.” :-) Not so with members of the upper class of American society, who rotate from one highly-paid position to another unrelated one, “with a little help” from their friends (“the buddy system”). Neapolitano, who arguably has failed significantly on the issue of immigration, may in part be a casualty of the politics of that issue, while moving on to another corrupt bureaucracy. :-) (You folks from outside California may be unfamiliar with that characterization of the UC system, but ask an alumnus.) I have also questioned the wisdom of Napolitano’s choice of maintaining a “Windows PC” architecture in a department concerned with “security.” :-)

The Los Angeles Times first reported the appointment, which comes after what the paper describes as a “secretive process” to make the unusual appointment of a high-profile political figure to lead the huge university system.

Napolitano has been a polarizing influence in Washington, D.C. She has received the criticisms of Republicans in Congress, who have become experts at sniping and obstructing at the same time, :-) with regard to measurement of the increase of security forces at U.S. borders and her knowledge of the “Fast and FuriousATF gun-running operation. Congressional Republicans have also second-guessed her handling of the Boston Marathon bombing (“hindsight [something that some congressional Republicans, living in the past, :-) are often GOOD at] is always 20-20”).

Napolitano was the first female valedictorian of Santa Clara University and a former governor of Arizona. She will take over an educational system with over 200,000 students and an annual budget of $24 billion.

-Bill at

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