New York (CNN) – Need help from city hall? If you are looking for a quick response, you might want to send a "tweet" as well as making that customary phone call.
The daughter of a 65-year-old Newark man did just that when she used Twitter to directly ask Mayor Cory Booker to help shovel her dad's driveway on New Years Eve.
Ravie Rave, otherwise known as @BigSixxRaven on Twitter, was at work and could not help her father shovel, so she sent a tweet to the mayor asking for assistance.
Five minutes later Booker messaged her back.
"I will do it myself where does he live?”
With over 1 million followers, Booker is one of the most active and followed politicians on Twitter, the popular social networking micro blog.
“Please @BigSixxRaven don’t worry bout ur dad,” Booker tweeted. “Just talked 2 him & I’ll get 2 his Driveway by noon. I’ve got salt, shovels & great volunteers.”
Twenty minutes after reading the first tweet, Booker knocked on the father’s door with a shovel in hand. He even had volunteers pitch in to help after seeing the conversation on Twitter.
Once the driveway was cleared, Rave tweeted back to Booker.
“My daddy is a happy man,” she wrote. “He took pictures of his Mayor shoveling his driveway! lol”
Thomas Kean, the Republican who chaired the bipartisan 9/11 Commission, said Obama counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan had sounded “a bit defensive,” in an interview that had just aired on CNN’s State of the Union.
Kean said Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab, the 23-year-old Nigerian who failed in his attempt to set off an explosive on an airplane about to land in Detroit, “probably did us a favor.”
“We had an administration which was not focused, as it should be, on terrorism and that’s understandable,” Kean said. “They were focused on health care and global warming and the economy. That’s very understandable. Secondly, we weren’t really focused on Yemen and the terrible things that are happening there. Now we are and that’s a good thing. And, thirdly, there were holes obviously and the [intelligence gathering] system wasn’t working well. We found out it wasn’t working well and the president understands it’s not working well and now we’re focused on fixing it.”
Kean directly repudiated Brennan’s earlier assertion that the circumstances that allowed AbdulMutallab to board a U.S.-bound plane on Christmas Day were different from those that led up to the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.
“We’ve killed some of the al Qaeda leaders and every dead al Qaeda leader is a success. But all we have is a body count,” former CIA analyst Michael Scheuer said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union.
But Scheuer suggested that such individual successes could be misleading.
“We now have al Qaeda – the main al Qaeda – in the Pakistan and Afghanistan theater. We have a fully fledged wing in Yemen. We have a full fledged wing in Iraq, a fully fledged wing in north Africa and a nascent wing in Somalia. How can [al Qaeda] be less threatening to us?”
The threat posed by al Qaeda is “much greater than it was on 9/11,” Scheuer told CNN Senior Political Analyst Gloria Borger.
On the same day that John Brennan, a top homeland security adviser to President Obama, said some detainees at the Guantanamo Bay facility would eventually be returned to Yemen, Scheuer suggested that trying to rehabilitate Gitmo detainees was a foolhardy endeavor.
Washington (CNN) – A leading Republican critic of the administration's homeland security efforts suggested Sunday that President Obama is making mistakes similar to those the Bush administration made in fighting al Qaeda.
“He has been completely distracted by other things,” Sen. Jim DeMint OF South Carolina said on CNN’s State of the Union.
Fellow Republican Thomas Kean, who chaired the 9/11 Commission, also cited distractions in his earlier interview on State of the Union.
“We had an administration which was not focused, as it should be, on terrorism and that’s understandable,” Kean said. “They were focused on health care and global warming and the economy. That’s very understandable.”
DeMint told CNN Senior Political Analyst Gloria Borger that Obama “is not focused on building the security and intelligence apparatus of our country.”
“The last administration – President Bush – made a huge mistake,” DeMint said, “by sending the Yemenis back” – a reference to freed prisoners from the Guantanamo detainee facility who returned to terrorist activity, including two Yemenis suspected of planning attacks against the U.S. and British embassies in Sanaa after their release. “The core leadership of al Qaeda now is made of those folks who were at the Gitmo prison. We can’t make that mistake again. So, it’s not just about this administration. It’s about losing our focus on security and I’m afraid politics and political correctness has become front and center in this debate.”
Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri , a longtime Obama backer, took issue with DeMint’s remark.
Washington (CNN) - Former Vice President Dick Cheney either "willfully mischaracterized" President Barack Obama's terrorism policies or is "ignorant of the facts," Obama's anti-terrorism czar said Sunday.
In comments on "FOX News Sunday" and NBC's "Meet the Press," John Brennan - the deputy national security adviser who is Obama's assistant on homeland security and counterterrorism - said partisan sniping diverts attention from the terrorists trying to harm the country.
Last week, Cheney said Obama had made the nation less safe by pretending there was no war against terrorists. Cheney, who spoke after the failed Christmas Day terrorist bombing of a U.S. airliner, was a main driver of the previous administration's controversial anti-terrorism policies.
Obama has ended or scaled back some of those policies, and Brennan said Sunday that critics were wrong to question the president's resolve.
"It's disappointing to me that either the vice president and others have willfully mischaracterized President Obama's position and actions, or they're just ignorant of the facts," Brennan said on the FOX program.
Washington (CNN) - The United States still intends to send some Yemeni detainees at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, facility back to Yemen despite a terrorist threat there, President Barack Obama's terrorism czar said Sunday.
John Brennan, the assistant to the president for homeland security and counter-terrorism, said on CNN's "State of the Union" that the failed Christmas Day terror attack on a U.S. airliner doesn't change the plan to close the Guantanamo facility.
On Saturday, Obama linked the airline bombing suspect to an al Qaeda affiliate based in Yemen.
Brennan called the failed attack on a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam, Netherlands, to Detroit, Michigan a "unique incident" that won't affect the process of closing the Guantanamo facility.
"We are making sure that we don't do anything that's going to put Americans at risk," Brennan said.
John Brennan, the assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, said on CNN's "State of the Union" that the security breakdown in the failed bombing of the Northwest Airlines flight was different from the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.
"It's not like 9/11," Brennan said, adding that the "system didn't work as it should have" due to "lapses" and "human error."
"There wasn't an effort to try to conceal information," he said, referring to the well-chronicled competition and turf wars among security agencies prior to the 2001 attacks, which was later blamed for the failure to prevent them.
"There is no smoking gun piece of intelligence out there," Brennan said of the failed Christmas bombing, allegedly planned by a Nigerian man who boarded the flight from Amsterdam, Netherlands, to Detroit, Michigan, with explosives in his underwear.