While Hillary Clinton's winning popularity contests (and Al Sharpton is trying his darndest to do the same), Treasury nominee Tim Geithner is hoping not to lose his nomination and the Bushies are protecting their legacies.
Oh, Timmy Geithner. I liked him — really I did — when Barack Obama tapped him instead of Larry Summers. He was young! He was fun! And then he suggested Obama should fire Sheila Bair from the FDIC and a little of the luster wore off. And now with the taxes thing. Leaving aside the nanny issue — did the Obama vetters really forgot Zoe Baird? or did he hire the people that vetted Palin? — having a man astride the Treasury Department (which is, of course, atop the IRS) who managed to fuck up his taxes to the tune of $42,000 this decade and didn't even finish paying them off until November of this year isn't a good plan even if he does snowboard. And don't even get me started on the Obama team passing out Bush-esque talking points to make us all think it's ok — it's not like we're talking about someone headed up transportation had a little tax error. This would be like the Transportation Secretary having an drunk driving accident last year while not wearing a seatbelt, or the Secretary of Labor hiring an illegal nanny (cough, Zoe Baird, cough) or Obama's Car Czar driving a Lexus or the head of Health and Human Services illegally getting his scrips filled in Canada. Bad call, Obama dudes. Obama needs to get himself some new vetters and a new Treasury nominee.
Other nominations, though, seem to be pretty well on track, like Clinton's, whose confirmation hearings yesterday went pretty well, and, rumor has it, Janet Napolitano who will likely coast through even easier than Clinton did. Clinton, in fact, has a 65 percent positive rating among Americans these days, something she might want to keep in mind as she considers Senator Lugar's (and the Washington Post's, and the New York Times') advice to reconsider the disclosures about Bill Clinton's foundations that she's agreed to but that no one is quite sure are adequate.
In other tales of inadequacy, a former Gitmo prosecutor is coming forward to say that pretty much everything related to prosecuting Gitmo detainees in inadequate, from evidence collection to missing evidence to torturiffic confessions, which surprises no one but his bosses who, like, totally swear he's just a disgruntled former employee — except this country is now filled with disgruntled former employees, most of whom don't like aspersions cast on their characters. And, in fact, the top Bushie in charge of the prosecutions agrees that there was a little too much torture going on down there to be able to move forward with some prosecutions, which should be a blow for the other Bushies but they're all too busy looking for new jobs and protecting their legacies to give any more of a shit than they did when they were authorizing torture. I mean, Bush's priority is protecting an attack, not the Constitution, despite that whole swearing-in thing that he did twice where he promised the latter and not the former.
Bush's ideological brothers-in-arms broke bread with Obama last night at George Will's house at a dinner party that including Will, Bill Kristol, David Brooks and Charles Krauthammer. I can only imagine the hangover he has this morning — between that and his first veto threat yesterday (it's his bail-out money and he wants it now!), it was definitely a drinking kind of evening. But at least the Fed has his back that Congress needs to release the rest of the bailout money, not that anyone cares because they're all flexing their muscles and trying to improve the relative power of the legislative branch after 8 years of getting buried by Bushies.
The real headache for Obama (or extra savvy PR move by David Axelrod, which is more likely) is that it's just now that Obama unequivocally backed gay marriage in 1996 before he had to flip-flop and say that he didn't in order to win the Presidential election. Unlike Barack Obama's wishy-washyness on gay marriage, Al Sharpton may have melted my cold, cold heart of disdain for him by what he said to California churches this weekend about their support for the discriminatory Prop 8:
"There is something immoral and sick about using all of that power to not end brutality and poverty, but to break into people's bedrooms and claim that God sent you."
Oh, and there is more, and it's even fucking hotter.
"It amazes me," he said, "when I looked at California and saw churches that had nothing to say about police brutality, nothing to say when a young black boy was shot while he was wearing police handcuffs, nothing to say when they overturned affirmative action, nothing to say when people were being [relegated] into poverty, yet they were organizing and mobilizing to stop consenting adults from choosing their life partners."
"I am tired," he went on, "of seeing ministers who will preach homophobia by day, and then after they're preaching, when the lights are off they go cruising for trade...We know you're not preaching the Bible, because if you were preaching the Bible we would have heard from you.
I hate myself for loving you, Al Sharpton.
In the latest clusterfuckery that has become the race to convince David Paterson who he should appoint to fill the remainder of Hillary Clinton's Senate seat, New York Republicans are trying to force a special election based on Blagojevich and Burris, not that they'll succeed, Bloomberg is trying to be governor before he's even challenged Paterson in 2010and send La Kennedy to the Senate and Paterson is still quietly conducting his secret interviews and application-reading. So it's going well and won't be a giant mess no matter what happens.