A Cabinet that needs some work

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Inaugural events will no doubt steal the spotlight the next few days, as they should. We're swearing in our first African-American president.

It's a big deal.

But as celebrated as he will be, Barack Obama deserves no less scrutiny than any other chief executive. And some of his Cabinet picks are problematic, to put it diplomatically.

An attorney general candidate who can't define terrorism? A climate czar appointee who throws in with a major-league socialist organization? A treasury secretary candidate who owed tens of thousands in unpaid federal income taxes?

Tell us the new president won't simply get a pass on all this.

Carol Browner, whom Obama tapped to be the director of his administration's energy and climate policies, was listed as recently as last week "as one of 14 leaders of a socialist group's Commission for a Sustainable World Society, which calls for 'global governance' and says rich countries must shrink their economies to address climate change," The Washington Times reported.

In other words, tie our economy's hands while giving the smaller, outrageously polluting nations a free pass.

Other socialists evidently caught wind quickly of the hot potato they had in Browner; they took her name and bio off the Socialist International's Web site by Thursday, although a photo of her speaking at SI's summit in Greece was still available a few days ago.

Then we come to Treasury Secretary-designate Timothy Geithner, who would be charged with, among other things, overseeing the Internal Revenue Service. Trouble is, he has a spotty record of paying his own taxes.

From 2001 to 2003, when he worked for the International Monetary Fund, he paid no Social Security or Medicare taxes. An Obama spokesman called that a "common mistake" at the IMF, though the IMF has since tartly said otherwise. Geithner's income tax returns for those years are a tangled mess because of an evident failure to pay self-employment taxes. Look for this issue to come up significantly when his confirmation hearing convenes Jan. 21.

But perhaps the most outrageous and potentially dangerous choice for Obama's Cabinet is Eric Holder, who is up for the attorney general's post.

Bear in mind that, now more than ever, it is the attorney general's job to prosecute terrorists and help prevent acts of terror.

Yet, the stance that Holder has taken on terrorism is, in a word, bananas.

A few years ago, after Holder left his Clinton administration post in the Justice Department to re-enter private law practice, he joined a civil suit to defend Chiquita Brands International, most famous for its global distribution of bananas from all corners of the world, including the terrorism-torn nation of Colombia.

In March 2007, Chiquita pleaded guilty to "engaging in transactions with a specially-designated global terrorist" -- specifically, funneling more than $1.7 million in protection money to terrorist groups AUC and FARC. The sentence was a $25 million fine over five years, with no jail time for top Chiquita officials -- widely considered a sweetheart deal.

Then, in the civil case, he uncorked this outrageous assertion: saying in a court memorandum aimed at dismissing complaints against the company, "There is no clearly defined rule of international law prohibiting material support of terrorism. Indeed, there is not even consensus on the definition of terrorism."

So the person whom Obama wants to head up America's legal defense against terrorism can't even tell you what terrorism is.

Not exactly change to believe in.

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GLC
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GLC 01/17/09 - 01:18 am
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The point of this Editorial

The point of this Editorial is not quite clear. It seems to be reaching. Is it to show the imperfection in some of Obama's appointees? Is it to suggest that his recommendations should get more scrutiny? Is it to suggest that the people mentioned should not get appointed? Or, is it just to be critical?

LBenedict
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LBenedict 01/17/09 - 02:20 am
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Obama's Treasury Secretary

Obama's Treasury Secretary nominee STOLE money. He worked tax-free, and as a perk, he was given a check at the end of each year to pay his projected federal income tax. He took the checks but NEVER paid taxes. Liberals and Obama say that it was a simple mistake...bull!!! He stole, period, and we all know what would happen if any one of us did that, and the media and Congress give this yahoo a pass. Eric Holder is part of the Waco murders and pardon-party hosted by Bill Clinton, to include the pardon of Rich. And this nut job Obama picked to be climate guru is a rock-solid socialist and has numerous credentials to back it up. The point of the Editorial is quite clear. Imagine if Bush or McCain made selections such as these. Shucks, the one choice McCain did make was scrutinized to the point where we know more about Piper Palin's child and Sarah Palin's wardrobe than we do about Obama's Certificate of Live Birth that he refuses to produce, and his long ties and relationships with American terrorists who hid out for 10 years and one of whom was on the FBI's most wanted list. Again, what if this were not Barack Obama, but George Bush or John McCain making these choices?

grouse
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grouse 01/17/09 - 03:05 am
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No one got a bigger pass than
Unpublished

No one got a bigger pass than George W. Bush.

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 01/17/09 - 05:32 am
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GLC, your post defies itself.

GLC, your post defies itself. The purpose of this editorial is all of the things you listed. Americans, especially Obama supporters, are in the mood to give him a pass on all criminals and radicals nominated for cabinet positions. How stupid would it be to accept a cabinet of ALL criminals? Obama is deeply indebted to the Chicago political machine and all who make it up, along with those in ACORN. He's totally immersed in the socialist/Marxist philosophy and has many "pay backs" to contend with. Let's hope his actions improve drastically as he grows into this job, but in the mean time, let's help him by holding him responsible for his actions. Let's not just follow him blindly off a cliff.

elliottness
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elliottness 01/17/09 - 06:14 am
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pat, you're just as pathetic

pat, you're just as pathetic as this rag paper is.your guy lost.the election is over.no one is giving obama a pass on anything, he hasn't even been sworn in, or been on the job one day yet.the committees that will vote on the nominations have more info on these people than this paper does,let them do their job.had mcsenile been elected it would have looked good him bringing palin,with her dirty laundry, a pregnant still in school daughter,and the father of the babys mother in trouble with the law herself.and, who knows who he would have selected?you guys knock this president, but don't mention his dismal 8 year disaster.since this paper wants to clean up things, lets start by going back to 2000 and reopening that fraudulent election that the 5 conservative judges awarded to bush.lets reopen the 2004 election, they had a whistleblower who was going to tell how he rigged the machines for rove,but wow! he mysteriously got killed in his own plane the day before he was to testify.oh, and lets not forget how rove was called bush's brain, boy doesn't that elicit confidence in all us voters? that's why i wouldn't vote for anyone in your phony party if my life depended on it.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 01/17/09 - 06:54 am
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It is a strange beginning to

It is a strange beginning to a Presidency. Let's all hope Obama can get things together before long.

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 01/17/09 - 07:27 am
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elliotness, calm yourself,

elliotness, calm yourself, read your post, are you sure that's how you want to be known?

Riverman1
79581
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Riverman1 01/17/09 - 07:53 am
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I liked the part about Rove

I liked the part about Rove rigging the voting machines and then the guy's plane crashed. LOL. It feels good to be Republican when I see things like that.

overburdened_taxpayer
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overburdened_taxpayer 01/17/09 - 08:44 am
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elliottness took off his tin

elliottness took off his tin hat again and they are telepathically speaking to him. Hey Elliott protect yourself put the hat back on and block those signals. Oh and quit drinking the kool-aid too.

dashiel
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dashiel 01/17/09 - 09:35 am
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Certainly Obama's choices

Certainly Obama's choices should meet the highest standards. Otherwise we might end up with people like Donald Rumsfeld, Henry Paulson and Alberto Gonzales.

LBenedict
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LBenedict 01/17/09 - 09:50 am
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2000 was fraudulent? I guess

2000 was fraudulent? I guess so. Let's see here - a Gore campaigner designed the ballot for West Palm Beach; the day after the election, Gore's team hired a Texas ad agency to call West Palm voters and ask who they voted for and then planted the bug in their ears that they may not have voted for Gore; then a Chicago Daley swoops in on Florida; oh yeah, Dan Rather declared Gore the winner in Florida before the polls closed. The FACT is that of all one-sided rags, The New York Times conducted its own investigation and stated that if everything in question counted, Bush would have won Florida by more than was officially reported. Gore rigged Florida and fell short. Another thing, if Gore won Tennessee, his home State, Florida would be a non-issue. If we didn't have the Electoral College, Gore would have won...but since the Dems have for so long made up rules as they go, they are ultra-miffed that they didn't get their way and be given an unchallenged walk at trimming fat from the Constitution. If you want to discuss a fraudulent election, let's discuss 1960's Kennedy purchase, or, 2008's Frankentheft...weeks after the election someone finds an envelope of ballots in his trunk??

SandyK2005
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SandyK2005 01/17/09 - 10:02 am
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"A climate czar appointee who

"A climate czar appointee who throws in with a major-league socialist organization?" ---- It fits. Only the Commie types would be so interested in micromanaging peoples' daily lives. Crap, they cry over plutonium packs in satellites, making our current crop dead in much less time (and considering the longevity of made possible by nuclear power packs of the Pioneer 10 and 11 after ALL these years) is a tragic waste of knowledge for some nutheads' idea "it can contaminate Earth". Those people don't realize all it takes to wipe out Earth is if the Sun "burps" ONE a major X-Class flare our way. Forget "global warming" forget even coal powered plants, we're all cooked within 3 days!

LBenedict
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LBenedict 01/17/09 - 10:07 am
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Yes Sandy, and what the

Yes Sandy, and what the commies also fail to state is that the annual temperatures of Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn have increased over the past few years...so... are there SUVs and fossil fuels there??? I spose it simply couldn't be the cyclical nature of things.

ITDoc
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ITDoc 01/17/09 - 10:31 am
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A real furniture cabinet

A real furniture cabinet constructed this poorly would only be would only be worthy of displaying Obama Residential Coins.

effete elitist liberal
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effete elitist liberal 01/17/09 - 10:48 am
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Once again Mike ("Oh,

Once again Mike ("Oh, puleeeze") Ryan raises the question of whether he is simply ignorant or basically dishonest. His review of Eric Holder's role in the Chiquita Banana case is classic Ryan. First, Holder, at the time in private practice, was hired to represent the American corporation and it was his job to put his client's case in the best possible legal light. Holder wrote as a legal opinion that the definition of terrorism is not clear in international law. Ryan twists this to mean Holder "can't even tell you what terrorism is." Holder is an attorney. In his professional role, his job is to determine what the law is, period. The other little problem in Ryan's piece is he "forgot" to mention that the "sweetheart deal" was with Bush's Justice Department and Bush's little mouse of a AJ, Alberto Gonzales. Gonzales, in his public role as AJ, wanted to let Chiquita off easy as Chiquita is a big contributor to Republican candidates. The real crime here should be laid on the steps of the Bush administration. By the way, the $25 million goes to the Justice Department, not to the Columbian victims!

I4PUTT
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I4PUTT 01/17/09 - 11:02 am
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Why is it a partisan thing to

Why is it a partisan thing to question all nominees and their credentials? I think this should always be done. If you want to be in politics, your life is & should be open to public scrutiny. I think certain things should be mandatory to qualify to run for public office. A birth certificate should be one. This would end all of this speculation about citizenship. Tax records would be another. Then there would be no surprises along the way. For appointees, a wise politician would certainly ask to see all of these things before announcing the appointees name.

Motorman5039
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Motorman5039 01/17/09 - 11:29 am
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Yawn....

Yawn....

Motorman5039
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Motorman5039 01/17/09 - 11:39 am
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If I'm not mistaken all of PE

If I'm not mistaken all of PE Obama's cabinet picks will be presented before the U.S. Senate for confirmation or rejection by a simple majority...If I'm not mistaken 75% of Americans are satisfied with PE Obama's picks...If I'm not mistaken the AC is just being critical for the sake of being critical as usual..But that's okay, it is still good to see all sides, whether they have a valid point or not...

Motorman5039
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Motorman5039 01/17/09 - 11:41 am
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patriciathomas: Get over it

patriciathomas: Get over it okay, your hillbilly crew wasn't choosen by the American people okay...So you can talk about ACORN, you can talk about whatever, you are just blowing smoke and saying nothing!!!You're like the Gamecocks, nothing here to see folks move along!

ITDoc
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ITDoc 01/17/09 - 11:43 am
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"Get over it okay, your

"Get over it okay, your hillbilly crew wasn't choosen by the American people okay"-- Dat's rite. Da peeps in da hoodz got a man now. Y'all can see how good we takes care of da big cities. We blowin da ganja smoke all da way to DC homeys!

effete elitist liberal
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effete elitist liberal 01/17/09 - 11:58 am
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Motorman5039: In fact, it's

Motorman5039: In fact, it's good to hear from the AC's editorial "brain trust" ESPECIALLY when they have no valid point. It exposes them for what they are: ideologically entrenched, mindless shills for the Far Right. The AC is the Jurassic Park of journalism: its editorial board, headed by Mike Ryan are dinosaurs who haven't figured out yet that they're extinct. This is not a problem for most AC readers, of course; they haven't evolved past the Neanderthal stage themselves.

mable8
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mable8 01/17/09 - 12:09 pm
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Unfortunately, AC, he will

Unfortunately, AC, he will get a 'pass' on his nominees; but what can you expect from an individual who has questionable associations and still 'won' the presidency? I am not at all surprised by his appointees. Crookedness begets crookedness and all the fine rhetoric isn't going to make it go away.

effete elitist liberal
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effete elitist liberal 01/17/09 - 12:11 pm
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ITDoc: in fact, the vast

ITDoc: in fact, the vast majority of Barack Obama voters were white, including me. And yes, we whites in the suburbs also have our man now.
Yes, he will take care of our deteriorating urban areas for a change, as well as our roads, bridges, and schools, all with your tax money, ITDoc. We liberal white folks will be sipping chardonnay and munching pate all the way to Washington, and loving every minute of it! I suggest you and your racist friends get together over Big Macs and a few beers on Tuesday and
talk about the "good ole days" when black folks didn't get so uppity....

jack
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jack 01/17/09 - 12:15 pm
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Motormouth, where o you get

Motormouth, where o you get the 75% Americans approve of Obama's picks? The Source your rear end?

jack
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jack 01/17/09 - 12:19 pm
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The thing about Obama's

The thing about Obama's selections are it seems the Senate Repubicans have lost their gonads and afraid to confront them on the major issues. EEL, I didn't vote for Obama and drink good wine and enjoy fine dining all the time. BTW, my best friend happens to be black.

effete elitist liberal
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effete elitist liberal 01/17/09 - 12:26 pm
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jack: let's hear it for white

jack: let's hear it for white guilt! Doesn't it feel good to announce to the world just how tolerant you are? Otherwise, the only point I can find in your post is that you're not ITDoc! If you want a gold star and a pat on the back for that fine achievement, you're welcome to them....

femacamper
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femacamper 01/17/09 - 12:41 pm
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If so, jack, you don't even

If so, jack, you don't even realize you are a token white.

disssman
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disssman 01/17/09 - 12:51 pm
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He couldn't be as bad as

He couldn't be as bad as Georges guy that went around putting clothes on the statues, could he?

convertedsoutherner
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convertedsoutherner 01/17/09 - 01:05 pm
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Again a conversation about

Again a conversation about barry hussein and it turns to race. Those that question him and his associates and it must be a problem with race. This is what we have to look forward to for the next 4 years. barry hussein has chosen cabinet members that have done illegal activities and he continues to want a pass on everything he does. If this were a republican, we would hear all kinds of outrage. When will reality sink in and the followers of O begin to want what's best for the country and not just tokens to their annointed one. Maybe after the coronation, they MIGHT begin to see what's happening.

ITDoc
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ITDoc 01/17/09 - 01:11 pm
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"ITDoc: in fact, the vast

"ITDoc: in fact, the vast majority of Barack Obama voters were white, including me" --- if that were indeed the case, please explain where all those white Obama supporters were on December 5, 2009 when Jim Martin was soundly and resoundly defeated by Saxby Chambliss? Simple: no black in him, no backing him.

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