Bush Protects Bureaucracy, Rumor Patrol and Hell Freezes Over

Bush Administration Moves to Protect Key Appointees

November 2008 Bush Administration Moves to Protect Key Appointees

Between March 1 and Nov. 3, according to the federal Office of Personnel Management, the Bush administration allowed 20 political appointees to become career civil servants. Six political appointees to the Senior Executive Service, the government’s most prestigious and highly paid employees, have received approval to take career jobs at the same level. Fourteen other political, or “Schedule C,” appointees have also been approved to take career jobs. One candidate was turned down by OPM and two were withdrawn by the submitting agency.

The personnel moves come as Bush administration officials are scrambling to cement in place policy and regulatory initiatives that touch on issues such as federal drinking-water standards, air quality at national parks, mountaintop mining and fisheries limits.

A Conservative could rush to embrace the but Bill Clinton did it too defense, but that would be a public confession of yet another occasion where principled Conservatives prove to be as rare as the pygmy tarsier. There is a kicker, so these new career civil servants might want to keep an empty box by their desks,

career SES employees may be reassigned involuntarily within their current commuting area within 15 days, and beyond their commuting area within 60 days, but they retain their lucrative and permanent government posts…

President Obama, while thus far proving to be strangely absent the partisan vindictiveness we’ve had low these last eight years, could have these folks on rat patrol in Kabul or Baghdad.

Rumors Of Appointments. I’m trying to stay away from these, but it does look as though Eric Holder will be our new Attorney General,

“Eric H. Holder Jr., Deputy Attorney General during the Clinton administration, asserted in a speech to the American Constitution Society (ACS) that the United States must reverse “the disastrous course” set by the Bush administration in the struggle against terrorism by closing the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, declaring without qualification that the U.S. does not torture people, ending the practice of transferring individuals involuntarily to countries that engage in torture and ceasing warrantless domestic surveillance.

“Our needlessly abusive and unlawful practices in the ‘War on Terror’ have diminished our standing in the world community and made us less, rather than more, safe,” Holder told a packed room at the ACS 2008 Convention on Friday evening. “For the sake of our safety and security, and because it is the right thing to do, the next president must move immediately to reclaim America’s standing in the world as a nation that cherishes and protects individual freedom and basic human rights.””

Which to some extent is reassuring after reading Glenn Greenwald’s post about the possibility that John Brennan might be President Obama’s Director of National Intelligence. Holder does have one huge strike against him, his views on personal possession of marijuana, Eric Holder : Wanted Return of Mandatory Minimums and Tougher Pot Penalties. Obama at one time was for the decriminalization of pot, but changed policy positions during his run for president. Just what the country needs during a severe recession, using taxpayer funds to ramp up the prosecution of millions of pot smokers – small time users rarely see jail time, but its still a drain on judicial resources and can cost people their jobs if they have such an arrest on their record. Hopefully Obama will shift back to a more moderate view on simple possession when it comes time to actually govern.

Twenty years too late, but finally The Don of the Alaska Mob, Ted Stevens is out. Democrat Mark Begich, Not Palin, is the Future of Alaska.

Big Three CEOs Flew Private Jets to Plead for Public Funds

All three CEOs – Rick Wagoner of GM, Alan Mulally of Ford, and Robert Nardelli of Chrysler – exercised their perks Tuesday by flying in corporate jets to DC. Wagoner flew in GM’s $36 million luxury aircraft to tell members of Congress that the company is burning through cash, asking for $10-12 billion for GM alone.

I’m not pro bailout as much as a government underwritten bankruptcy – but it would not be called the B-word. And only on the condition that the entire cadre of top executives be shipped to exile on the Isle of Alba. I’m not sure what the reasoning was here – the private $36 million dollar jet uses less fuel?  For an interesting and maybe not safe for work take on the automaker crisis, see driftglass, How to save the U.S. Auto Industry

If that blogger American Power reads this he’s going to burst a major artery. Someone should check and see if hell hasn’t frozen over, Republican Kathleen Parker writes,  Giving Up on God

Simply put: Armband religion is killing the Republican Party. And, the truth — as long as we’re setting ourselves free — is that if one were to eavesdrop on private conversations among the party intelligentsia, one would hear precisely that.

[   ]…Which is to say, the GOP has surrendered its high ground to its lowest brows. In the process, the party has alienated its non-base constituents, including other people of faith (those who prefer a more private approach to worship), as well as secularists and conservative-leaning Democrats who otherwise might be tempted to cross the aisle.

Here’s the deal, ‘pubbies: Howard Dean was right.

It isn’t that culture doesn’t matter. It does. But preaching to the choir produces no converts. And shifting demographics suggest that the Republican Party — and conservatism with it — eventually will die out unless religion is returned to the privacy of one’s heart where it belongs.

No political party can forcefully eject religion from the public realm. That has its positives and negatives, but Obama said something during an interview that puts religion and the way the Right has played on it or exploited it in perspective,

I don’t’ think it’s wrong. I think that political leaders are subject to all sorts of vetting by the public, and this can be a component of that.

I think that I am disturbed by, let me put it this way: I think there is an enormous danger on the part of public figures to rationalize or justify their actions by claiming God’s mandate.

I think there is this tendency that I don’t think is healthy for public figures to wear religion on their sleeve as a means to insulate themselves from criticism, or dialogue with people who disagree with them.