Wednesday, April 04, 2007

A list of foxes

Lately, I've had some days where I could barely bring myself to read the news. Sure, it's nice to see a Congress exerting its right to balance out the power of the executive branch, but the press is still so willing to accept spoon-fed Republican talking points and the simplest, most common sense points are hard to get through to people who refuse to see the truth. It can make you want to pack it in, like you just can't have the same stupid arguments one more time.

So you begin to think, What the hell does it matter if I keep writing my insignificant little blog/arguing with my right wing cousins/volunteering to lick envelopes for the Sierra Club? Bush only has two more years and he's the lamest of lame ducks.

The next time you feel that feeling coming on, I want you to think of all the high-paid embarrassments Bush has nominated to powerful positions during his time in office.

The full list doesn't exist yet, but it's starting to take shape. Ruth Marcus had an excellent round-up today of examples of what she called the Bush administration's "fox-guarding-the-henhouse personnel plan." (I wrote something about this the other day, pointing out that this isn't just Bush's problem, but an error that grows straight from the root of Republican ideology.) When you see lists like Marcus's, you start to realize just how completely inept, corrupt and partisan the Bushies have been. Sure, you know that new scandals drop daily, but, my God, the ubiquity of failure and abuse of power in this administration is, perhaps, unrivaled by any that has come before it.

Marcus, for example, lists by name
  • Eric Keroack
  • Michael Baroody
  • Julie MacDonald
  • J. Steven Griles
  • Sue Ellen Wooldridge
  • Lurita Doan
Marcus also mentions, in general
(A) Pentagon that can't take proper care of its wounded, a Justice Department that can't be trusted to follow the law or tell the truth to Congress, a top White House aide who lied to a grand jury...
TPMmuckraker provided a similar, longer list a while back (which had only one name in common with Marcus's list), but that list only included "indicted/resigned" Bush officials in response to Power Liner Paul Mirengoff's claim that the only Bushie he could "think of who has faced criminal charges or had to resign in the face of scandal is Scooter Libby."

But neither list is complete.

They don't include, for example:
  • Kenneth Tomlinson, Jonah Goldberg's good buddy, who used his position of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to try to prove that the organization's broadcast entities--NPR and PBS--were slanted to the left. To do this, he paid $14,000 of taxpayer funds for an embarrassingly partisan, error-riddled survey, stepping down from the CPB after it became public. Tomlinson remained chairman of the State Department's Broadcasting Board of Governor's, however, where he
    improperly hired a friend as a contractor, starting at $88,000 a year;...had staffers run personal errands, such as buying a belt, flowers, and books;...charged the government for too many hours on the clock;...charged the agency for days he also worked for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting; and, incredibly,...operated his horseracing business out of his government office
    Tomlinson is still on the job.

  • Alphonso Jackson, Secretary of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, who, in a forum sponsored by a national minority real estate group, said that he had denied a contract to a contractor who had "a problem with the president."
    "He had made every effort to get a contract with HUD for 10 years," Jackson said of the prospective contractor. "He made a heck of a proposal and was on the (General Services Administration) list, so we selected him. He came to see me and thank me for selecting him. Then he said something ... he said, 'I have a problem with your president.'

    "I said, 'What do you mean?' He said, 'I don't like President Bush.' I thought to myself, 'Brother, you have a disconnect -- the president is elected, I was selected. You wouldn't be getting the contract unless I was sitting here. If you have a problem with the president, don't tell the secretary.'

    "He didn't get the contract," Jackson continued. "Why should I reward someone who doesn't like the president, so they can use funds to try to campaign against the president? Logic says they don't get the contract. That's the way I believe."
    When those remarks sparked an investigation, Jackson said he was just lying. The inspector general of HUD found that, while Jackson had, indeed, tried to push contracts toward Bush supporters, there was no evidence that any contracts were, in fact, given out on a political basis. This, according Jackson, was vindication and he released a statement saying that "during (his) tenure, no contract has been cancelled, rescinded, terminated, awarded or not awarded due to the personal or political benefits of the recipient." In other words, Jackson was saying that, while the IG might have accused him of attempting to break federal law, it hadn't actually been broken. This was good enough for the Bushies. Jackson is still on the job.
There are more and I'm sure more will surface, but remember this: You and I are still paying the wages of guys like Ken Tomlinson and Alphonso Jackson. No one should be taken aback by Marcus's list, since it barely scratches the surface of this administration's failings. The complete list of Bush's corrupt hacks has yet to be written, but we need to keep it in mind, to not forget that it's long and growing longer every day. It should feed our desire to push Republican hands away from the controls of our government.

Every time you think just two more years and decide to relax a bit, remember this list. Bush's nominees will not stop fucking up this country even for a second. They have proven that they couldn't run a children's birthday party without causing serious injury, paying five times too much for a Halliburton-baked cake and attracting a dozen indictments, but because they don't believe that a government can help its people, they use even their own failures as justification for their ideology. There's a lot of damage they can still do.

Let this list piss you off every day.

And get back to work.


Blogger Jim said...


Terry, you are right, this is not the time to relax.

Aye-aye, sir.

At least I'm in good company. :-)

6:58 AM  
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