15 February 2009

Three Strikes... You're OUT? Or Third Time's A Charm?

I've been a little distracted. But in the back of my mind, I've also been busy. I've been counting the bodies dropping out of the sky. (Don't be morbid. This is not about the plane crash in Buffalo.) It seems like they're piling up.
I'm referring to the number of President Obama's nominees that accept, and then back up once the confirmation process starts to look... icky. Or perhaps more properly sticky. Particularly in one federal agency.
Another nominee for the Commerce Secretary position, the Republican Senator from New Hampshire, Judd Gregg, has now withdrawn his nomination. The Senator cited policy differences.
Well, yeah, there's that. It's hard to be bipartisan when you aren't.
"The Senator will remain... a senator."
But look at this track record. Before Gregg, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson was nominated. He backed when an investigation into "pay to play" practices in his administration (Blago II?) was revealed.
Former U.S. Senator Tom Daschle (D-SD) withdrew his name as nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services. You remember him? He was formerly one of the most powerful men in Washington.
But after the people of the Great State of South Dakota voted him out of office, he became forgetful. He forgot that yes, you do look a gift horse in the mouth. If chauffeur-driven limousines are offered as part of the job, you may owe taxes on this "gift." Here's my question: was he doing his own taxes?
Also a nominee for the Obama administration-created created position of budget and government spending reform, Nancy Killefer, withdrew because she had a "tax issue" with the "DC unemployment tax." That's a very generous way to state someone owes back taxes, isn't it?
One of the nominees was in long-term limbo on her confirmation because her husband didn't pay $6400 in taxes on his business. Labor Secretary nominee Hilda Solis' hearing was hastily stalled; rescheduled last week and *poof!* things are now moving forward.
Not to be rude, but um, who wants to be the THIRD person nominated as Commerce Secretary? "Gee, thanks Mr. President! I'm very delighted to be your THIRD pick for this great honor and high office, serving you and the people of the United States. I'll do my best to deserve the honor you've bestowed on me, as your THIRD pick."
Ahhhh, the grandkids will be so proud!
Anyway "batter up," President Obama. We're going to need a Commerce Secretary so that your stimulus plan can get our economy rolling again fast.
Vetting: the process of investigating thoroughly, interviewing carefully, checking and rechecking the tax records and backgrounds of potential candidates for a job in order to eliminate as much as possible the potential for embarrassment in looking like you don't know what you're doing and can't choose honest people to work in your administration.

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