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24 September 2008

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Pan

Pat,

I wholeheartedly agree on the need to let the voters know whom the candidates will appoint to cabinet posts. Let's see if Obama and McCain are serious candidates who will appoint adults to the posts.

Bill W, NH, USA

Barack Obama, please tell us you'll name Dr Ron Paul as your Secty of Treasury.

Jose

Col, not fair...you are trying to make sense out of the nonsense that is the American Presidential election system...

Just in...McSame has canceled his campaign so he can focus on the economic meltdown..

Clifford Kiracofe

Excellent idea! The public would have a better sense of what each candidate's team and direction would be.

It would be good to see Obama enlist some moderate Republicans to his cabinet.

WP

Unfortunately, there seems to be little difference between the two candidates on the economy. Both are apparently signing onto the Great Bailout that will result in the greatest transfer of wealth in American history. Certainly, that transfer is going to be in the wrong direction.

Only a bottoms-up approach will help. The Paulson Theft Plan will bankrupt the nation. The royalty will rot in their riches, while the serfs pay off their usurous debts.

Expect an amendment to the Bankruptcy Act soon to make it virtually impossible to avoid bad real estate loans that were bought by the government in the Bailout and expect more draconian credit card enforcement. The guys at Carlyle Group cannot be deterred from collecting full face value for what they will buy back at lower than rock bottom prices. Don't forget the new Republican racist talk-show line, "It's all the fault of those poor black guys in string vests down in Alabama that lied on their mortgage apps. and those liberal community activists that made the banks lend to them."


After all, look at the Veep choices. Eliza Doolittle and the Senator from CreditCardLand.

Soon we will see Obama and McCain kissing Cardinal Paulson's ring while GWB beams over what he has done for his proud father, family, and friends.

Sorry to be so pessimistic, but right now its hard to be very hopeful.

JohnH

Why do need to know McCain's cabinet? It's obvious. All the arsonists who got us here will help put out the fires.

SecDef- Robert Stevens, President, CEO, and Chairman of Lockheed Martin.

Secretary of the Interior -- Lee Raymond, former CEO and Chairman of Exxon Mobil.

Secretary of the Treasury -- LLoyd Blankenfein, CEO Goldman Sachs.

Secretary of State -- Bill Kristol.

Secretary of Labor -- Todd Palin.

Allen Thomson

SecDef for either O or M:

Gates or Petraeus.

Gates, understandably, has said he's outta there come 2009. Assuming he can't be persuaded to change his mind, it's Petraeus.

I don't know that General P., excellent guy though he be, can handle the job, but nobody else comes to mind.

William R. Cumming

Actually because of the need for public as well as vetting by officialdom it would be wise for each candidate to post the top ten maybe candidates for each of the Cabinenet departments. Then not locked in but the public could take a swing before the election.

Dave of Maryland

You know it doesn't work that way. If Hillary wants a cabinet position (though I can't imagine why she'd give up her senate seat), she will kiss Obama's you-know-what every day until he's elected, and probably every day until the inauguration, when it's finally final.

From the candidate's point of view, he needs the option of adjusting cabinet picks to the mood of the moment. Everything quiet in the big cities? Then HUD can go to the guy who delivers the most cash. Economy exploding? Find some famous name & publicly announce he's signed on. China threatens Taiwan? Find an old China hand for Defense. But if Russia invades Georgia, drop him in a hurry for for some old Kremlin hack.

We're not a parliamentary system, we don't have a shadow cabinet, we have to live with the results. Less is more. It is to the candidate's advantage to sketch his appointments in hopeful generalities, so that voters imagine he has their personal picks uppermost. Which is what they have long done.

lina

Why not just look at the people advising the candidates prior to the election? Why is it important to know specific people?

Is it because for 8 years we've had an empty vessel in the presidency who is easily influenced by the last person he spoke to? Is that it?

TR Stone

Off topic--
I just got off the phone with my wife , who is in Atlanta, GA, and the big news story there is "there is no gas in many of the stations about town".
Has anyone else have confirmation of this fact?

David W.

Perhaps the closeness of the election is a ruse? Those living in 'battleground' states should find this article interesting:

I ghost-wrote letters to the editor for the McCain campaign

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2008/09/24/mccain_letters/

I spent a morning in John McCain's Virginia campaign headquarters ghost-writing letters to the editor for McCain supporters to sign. I even pretended to have a son in Iraq.

The assignment is simple: We are going to write letters to the editor and we are allowed to make up whatever we want -- as long as it adds to the campaign. After today we are supposed to use our free moments at home to create a flow of fictional fan mail for McCain. "Your letters," says Phil Tuchman, "will be sent to our campaign offices in battle states. Ohio. Pennsylvania. Virginia. New Hampshire. There we'll place them in local newspapers."

Place them? I may be wrong, but I thought that in the USA only a newspaper's editors decided that.

"We will show your letters to our supporters in those states," explains Phil. "If they say: 'Yeah, he/she is right!' then we ask them to sign your letter. And then we send that letter to the local newspaper. That's how we send dozens of letters at once."

//

Mad Dog

The public anointment during a Presidential campaign of Cabinet-level officials, if they occur, is typically used as a political tactic intended to buttress one's own candidacy.

Such was the anointment of Colin Powell as future Secretary of State by a then publicly-acknowledged woefully foreign affairs-ignorant Dubya.

That it was a campaign gimmick was obvious. That it had little to do with future US foreign affairs policies was not. We are all worse off for the gimmickry.

That said, in the case of Obama, one could imagine the same valuable campaign tactic being used in the anointment of Republican Senator Chuck Hagel as the future Secretary of Defense or even Secretary of State.

I do not predict such an anointment, but I wouldn't dismiss the possibility should the Obama campaign believe an electoral advantage was available or if they felt that things were slipping away in the realm of a foreign affairs/defense issues debate.

And finally, I will throw on the interesting possibility of Colin Powell announcing his support for the Obama candidacy and the potential that would possibly have to buttress Obama's cred.

Can I start that rumor here? *g*

par4

I don't recall anybody urging Bush to put Democrats in his cabinet.Now that the Republicans are losing their majorities it's time for bipartisanship?

TR Stone

The Prez says "please save my ass"!

My comment is f**K you and all the republicans that felt the market will determine what is REAL!

Indigestible

Moderate Republicans in Obama's cabinet? That worked out so well for Bill Clinton.

There is no greater flaming sack of excrement in the constellation of Degenerati Republicanus than Grover Nordquist. On one point he is right, bipartisanship is another name for date rape.

An Obama administration if it comes to pass must win or lose with Democrats.

Some I would like to see in the cabinet are Wes Clark (SD), John Edwards (AG), Jennifer Granholm (SI) and Elliot Spitzer (ST). I know Edwards and Spitzer won't make the cut but I like their credentials regarding Corporate America. Pardon Spitzer then rehabilitate Edwards and if Fox doesn't like it give MSNBC unprecedented access to the White House.

This is Tong War.

Geoff Miller

Agreed. Anyone who votes just for a man or woman who is running for the White House probably shouldn't be voting.

David W.

While this is an exercise in futility, because anybody who would really make a difference in these positions is, by Beltway definitions, a fringe wacko (Remember, they live in 'Bizarro World). Despite that, here are my Quixotan picks:

Ron Paul for Secretary of the Treasury

Ralph Nader for Attorney General.

Alice Waters for Secretary of Agriculture


Homer

Please see and comment ....

TIA!

Why is a U.S. Army brigade being assigned to the "Homeland"?

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/09/24/army/index.html

Brigade homeland tours start Oct. 1
http://www.armytimes.com/news/2008/09/army_homeland_090708w/

zanzibar

David W.

I would definitely second your choices of

- Ron Paul as Sec. of Treasury

and

- Alice Waters for Sec. Ag. Wow. Delicious.

I would also suggest Jim Grant as Fed Chair. This guy knows banking history and is sound money focused.

Paul in NC

I think there is a federal law prohibiting the offering of any federal employment for political endorsement (I'm sketchy on the details) that the candidates are afraid of running afoul of, or being accused by their opposition of running afoul of. That's one reason why they don't name cabinet members in advance.

Clifford Kiracofe

Is the US Zionist Lobby, with its Israeli friends and Neocon worker bees, setting the stage for McCain to appoint Senator Lieberman as Secretary of State?

"WASHINGTON, Sep 24 (IPS) - A group of hard-line U.S. neo-conservatives and former Israeli diplomats, among others, are behind the mass distribution, ahead of the November U.S. presidential election, of a controversial DVD that critics have denounced as Islamophobic.

"The group, the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET), is working with another organisation called the Clarion Fund, which produced the 60-minute video and is itself tied closely to an Israeli organisation called Aish Hatorah.

"The Fund is currently distributing some 28 million copies of the DVD through newspaper inserts in key electoral ''swing'' states -- states like Michigan, Ohio, and Florida that, according to recent polling, could go either way in November's presidential election.

"According to Delaware incorporation papers, the Clarion Fund is based at the same New York address as Aish Hatorah, a self-described "apolitical" group dedicated to educating Jews about their heritage."...
http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=43983

Aish Hatorah appears to be an Israeli based organization with offices in New York and Los Angeles.

Foreign influence in US elections with potential foreign governmental backing? So shouldn't the FBI be looking into this? Shouldn't the US counterintelligence community be doing same?

Ed Webb

There's an "Endowment for Middle East Truth"? Orwell must be laughing (bitterly) in his grave.

In other news, Colonel, did you pick up today's NYT gem - foreclosures may be disenfranchising large numbers of voters since they are registered at addresses they no longer own. Lose your house, lose your vote. Engineering the electorate is an old trick - but this one could be one of the more effective. No wonder Dubya wants to reward the Wall St hacks who made it happen. Happily, McCain has lost none of his addresses, so far as I know.

Mike Martin, Yorktown, VA

If Obama wins, it will be interesting to see if he pulls a Pelosi, or if unleashes his AG to investigate all that has happened over the preceding eight years.

And it will be interesting to hear the Republicans who gave a blank check to Kenneth Starr's investigation squeal over the cost of investigations of the Cheney administration.

WP

After looking at the hearingg and Bush's speech, it is clear that Paulson, Bernake, et al. should immediatelyresign because of their gross failures of oversight and conflicts of interest.

I think the Democrats should condition any bailout on the resignation of Paulson, Bernake, and the SEC chief and the confirmation of more reliable and impartial administrators. The Democrats should simply dictate their choices for the posts. Today.

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