Archive for the ‘appointments’ Category

All The President’s Men: Where’s The Congressional Oversight?

March 11, 2009

On day one of the Obama Administration, we saw the Chief of Staff of the White House, the Chief of Staff to the President of the United States, make a gesture in public that we considered to be distainful, undignified and inappropriate.  But there’s no law against that.  Then we saw the same Chief of Staff to the President of the United States attack an individual American citizen: using a friendly and eager to please media as his assassin.  Rahm Emanual attacked Rush Limbaugh.

If any one of these actions had been carried out by a military officer serving any of the Pentagon’s Generals or Admirals, he’d be out of a job and on the way toward retirement.

Related:
The president may not have what it takes

This is more than inappropriate.  This is something Congress should examine.  Not after the fact: Congress should confirm presidential appointees that feel they have only one loyalty to one man — even as they serve all Americans (and take our tax dollars as their pay and influence the spending of trillions of our tax dollars).

When Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) pulled his pocket sized copy of the U.S. Constitution out to criticize the President of the United States for naming White House policy czars, he wasn’t just acting like a crazy old coot.  He was making a very important point; as reiterated below by  Bruce Ackerman in today’s Washington Post….
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For the first 150 years of our nation’s history, the Senate confirmed all leading members of the executive branch. But modern presidents have increasingly gained the power to make key appointments unilaterally — with President Obama taking this process to new heights. His White House czars such as Lawrence Summers and Carol Browner are likely to overshadow the Cabinet secretaries in their respective domains. Yet, as presidential assistants, they escape the need for Senate scrutiny. After the abuses of the Bush White House and the failed nominations in Obama’s own transition, this practice should be reconsidered.

By Bruce Ackerman
The Washington Post

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co
ntent/article/2009/03/10/AR2009031002
839.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

Related:
Obama’s clumsy, smirky staff and unelected appointees are sinking him

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From Politico
February 25, 2009

Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), the longest-serving Democratic senator, is criticizing President Obama’s appointment of White House “czars” to oversee federal policy, saying these executive positions amount to a power grab by the executive branch.

In a letter to Obama on Wednesday, Byrd complained about Obama’s decision to create White House offices on health reform, urban affairs policy, and energy and climate change. Byrd said such positions “can threaten the Constitutional system of checks and balances. At the worst, White House staff have taken direction and control of programmatic areas that are the statutory responsibility of Senate-confirmed officials.”

While it’s rare for Byrd to criticize a president in his own party, Byrd is a stern constitutional scholar who has always stood up for the legislative branch in its role in checking the power of the White House.

Read the rest:
http://www.politico.com/news/sto
ries/0209/19303.html

Related:
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/11/te
rrific-tax-subsidized-acorn-mob-teams-up-
with-la-teachers/

Incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel gestures prior ... 
Incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel gestures prior to the inauguration ceremony of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States, in Washington, January 20, 2009.(Jim Young – UNITED STATES/Reuters)

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Obama’s Anti-Israel, Pro-China Intel Pick Freeman Withdraws

March 10, 2009

While still a candidate for preident, then Senator Barack Obama had to go an extra mile or two to convince American Jews he was not anti-Israel.  Then he went to Israel and to the wailing wall.

But after he was elected he nominated Charles Freeman for a top intelligence job, even  though Freeman was a well known anti-Isreal guy.

Freeman is also decidedly pro-China…..

China uses naval showdown with U.S. to flex muscle

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News Today from AFP:

A veteran US diplomat and vocal Israel critic, Charles Freeman, has withdrawn from contention for a top US intelligence post, US intelligence director Dennis Blair announced Tuesday.

Freeman “has requested that his selection to be Chairman of the National Intelligence Council not proceed. Director Blair accepted Ambassador Freeman?s decision with regret,” Blair’s office said in a statement.

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Obama’s nominations to top jobs (Bill Richardson, Tom Daschle, Tim Geithner) have not all panned out.  But many of the losers once nominated to top government jobs are now gone — thanks due to the Congress, the lame vetting process used by Team Obama and the media including people like Michelle Malkin…..

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/10/a
nd-another-one-bites-the-dust-charle
s-freeman-out/

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Politico

The controversial appointee to chair President Barack Obama’s National Intelligence Council walked away from the job Tuesday as criticism on Capitol Hill escalated.

Charles W. Freeman Jr., the former ambassador to Saudi Arabia, had been praised by allies and by the director of national intelligence, Dennis Blair, as a brilliant, iconoclastic analyst. Critics said he was too hard on Israel and too soft on China, and blasted him for taking funding from Saudi royals. 

Freeman “requested that his selection to be Chairman of the National Intelligence Council not proceed,” Blair’s office said in a statement. “Director Blair accepted Ambassador Freeman’s decision with regret.”

The withdrawal came after Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) grilled Blair at a Senate Armed Service Committee hearing Tuesday. Lieberman cited his “concern” about “statements that [Freeman] has made that appear either to be inclined to lean against Israel or too much in favor of China.”

Read the rest:
http://www.politico.com/news/st
ories/0309/19856.html

A veteran US diplomat and vocal Israel critic, Charles Freeman, ...

Rethink Practice of Governors Filling Vacant U.S. Senate Seats

December 31, 2008

Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate seat was allegedly for sale in Illinois.  Then the tarnished Governor made a circus out of appoining a new U.S. Senator and there seemed a strong message in his news conference that the seat was reserved for African Americans.  Only.

Why shouldn’t the people decide?

Blago’s pick said the appointment was legal.  Great: but it that how we want one of only 100 national lawmakers to get into office?  He’s legal?  So is a lot of seafood….
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Above: Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich, right, named Roland Burris to replace President-elect Barack Obama in the Senate. Photo: Amanda Rivkin for The New York Times

In New York, a lady with a big name and not much to say is the leading contender for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Hillary Clinton.  The lady with the big name and lots of money hasn’t shown much interest in politics or issues previously and seems unable to articulate positions on many topics today, you know?
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So in New York we have a celebrity auction for the U.S. Senate.  Why not decide on “American Idol”?

Why can’t the voters decide?

Governors appointing U.S. Senators seems to make a mockery of democrocy and takes away a key right and priviledge of every voter: to see, evaluate and decide for themselves after a “campaign.”

What we have now in these two “appointment” capers is a media circus of attention and vote by writers, reporters and pundits of the “high profile” possibilities.

These are the last people on earth I trust with my vote…

And if the voters are not asked to decide then put into place a “caretaker” system that allows a person of stature, wisdom and skill to fill the Senate seat while promising not to run in the next election.  At that time we can go back to an elected Senator with unknown wisdom and skill….

John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia

Related:
Blagojevich Playing The “Race Card”? Hurting Illinois, Obama, African Americans?
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Caroline Kennedy Has “Nothing to Say” (And Says It Badly)
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From CNN:
http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/1
2/31/illinois.senate/index.html

New York Gov. David Paterson speaks during a news conference ... 
New York Gov. David Paterson speaks during a news conference in Albany, N.Y., Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2008. Caroline Kennedy has told Paterson that she’s interested in the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Hillary Rodham Clinton, making her the highest-profile candidate to express a desire for the job.(AP Photo)