Monday, November 24, 2008

Monday Morning Rant 65

Hope and change, the staple of the Obama campaign has reached the point where, now elected, “push” has come to “shove.” During the next sixty days, he (The One) is challenged to assemble a group of capable people to serve the people in various cabinet positions. For lifetime politicians this is a rare moment to reward your friends, play the quid pro quo card, and give back to those who have shaken the money tree for your election. Many judgments are then made as to just exactly who the successful candidate owes the most to.

In a perfect world, these appointments would be drawn from a pool of the most talented, knowledgeable, and experienced available. Sadly, this is rarely the case. As we look at his picks so far there is an emerging commonality which is becoming rapidly clear. He would appear to be choosing former Clinton party hacks for these coveted positions. What in the world is that all about? Hillary is the apparent choice for Secretary of State. Although not confirmed, even the thought is bizarre. It may be an extension of the old saw that; “a wise man keeps his friends close—and his enemies closer.” The denizens of “foggy bottom” are mostly lifers at State and will do the operational heavy lifting. However, the SOS is the voice of the department and the one who gets the photo ops with foreign dignitaries and all the neat trips to countries with names the average person cannot even pronounce.

The Attorney General’s job is slated to be taken by Eric Holder. He defines the term of Clinton intimate. Who else would enable the pardon of a Clinton pal and fugitive from justice, Marc Rich, and sign off on the illegalities of the Elian Gonzales capture. You do remember the photos of that pre-dawn raid; with Kevlar clad armed gunsels taking down that eight year old to return him to the Cuban Communist paradise don’t you? He was also instrumental in the pardon of villains from the Weatherman Underground. A Clintonista through and through; he is a highly questionable call. Have we run out of honest law abiding attorneys to man that critical post?

Health and Human Services is supposedly to be run by Tom Daschle of South Dakota. He was dumped by the folks in South Dakota as Senator from a high ranking position in D.C. Under an ethics cloud surrounding the purchase of a million dollar home in D.C. and the active lobbying effort of his wife on behalf of aviation issues he was involuntarily retired. As part of the Clinton team, no one questions where his loyalties lie. Given his attitude toward taxation—he never saw one he didn’t like—he does give one pause that he will be tasked with bringing a new health plan on line.

Bill Richardson, due to his Hispanic heritage and the ethnic make-up of his home state, New Mexico, will add to the “rainbow factor” in the new cabinet as Secretary of Commerce. It is not certain whether his defection from the Clinton campaign team was a help or a hindrance.

Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas, bypassed for the vice-presidential nod, has been tapped for his Secretary of Labor. The irony here is her support of abortion as opposed to her possible positions on “labor.”

In the selection of current Arizona governor, Janet Napolitano, for Secretary of the Department of Home Land Security, Obama has picked a strident foe to those who would protect our borders. She labored long to defeat the will of the citizens of Arizona in fiscally protecting itself from the drain of excessive costs of providing healthcare, instate tuition, and other services for illegal immigrants. A Clinton political appointee—US attorney for Arizona—it is a stretch to see her as effective in protecting US interests along the borders.

Finally, we have the Treasury Secretary. At last, a winner! Timothy Geithner actually has the credentials to manage the job. His peers, upon announcement, showed their confidence and the stock market soared. So what does all this mean?

It means that I have serious reservations about a man who is in the driver’s seat and chooses to offer a collection of individuals who have close ties to the rivals he so disparaged during the primaries. Does he have no close qualified friends and associates who he would trust with these political plums? If your closest associates are the likes of Ayers, Rezko, Dohrn, Pfleger, Alinsky, and Wright, it is unlikely that you would readily be able to consult your Roladex for suggestions. If you had won elections by disqualifying the other candidates in order to run un-opposed you would be unlikely to come away with anybody who would trust you.

Surely he could have persuaded someone from the Daley machine in Chicago to take one of these cushy jobs. At the least they are knowledgeable in how to “run” things. Much is made about how desirable it would be to go have a beer with and maybe take in a ball game with a candidate. That is a, possibly overrated, first step in forming the associations from which trust blossoms. Given his level of total self-interest, it is possible that he has no real friends. How sad! Regardless of claims of “hope and change” it smacks of “business as usual.”

For the birds

I have had more comments and emails about the birds and feeders than any subject I have ever posted on (nearly 300.) I am encouraged to realize the level of humanity and consideration for God’s creatures that our readers evidence. A hearty round of applause is hereby offered.

The first ten pound sack of bird food (Pennington’s) is nearly gone. The highest count was eleven at one time. Counting flitting birds is a challenge at best, but rewarding. No newcomers have visited in recent days and I still am concerned for the possibility of overfeeding.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

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