Gregg Withdraws From Commerce Nomination


New Hampshire Republican Sen. Judd Gregg has withdrawn his name from consideration as President Barack Obama's Commerce Secretary, a major blow to an Administration seeking to put a series of Cabinet problems behind it. "It has become apparent during this process that this will not work for me as I have found that on issues such as the stimulus package and the census there are irresolvable conflicts for me," Gregg said in a statement to be released by his office. "Prior to accepting this post, we had discussed these and other potential differences, but unfortunately we did not adequately focus on these concerns."

What in Gawd's name did they focus on? To be honest, the Commerce Secreatary is a meaningless post, so it was an empty gesture from Obama in the first place. And what Gregg was thinking is still not apparent. In any event, not a big deal, imo, either way.

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    The Census does mean something (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by andgarden on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 03:37:30 PM EST
    In any case, it was clear from the start that this couldn't work. Massive FAIL by the Obama administration.

    Census is run by professionals (none / 0) (#13)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 03:44:10 PM EST
    And any policy decision on it are coming from one David Axelrod period.

    This would be the case if Richardson was Commerce Secretary.


    Technically, the Secretary is in charge (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by andgarden on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 03:48:31 PM EST
    And so Democrats reasonably asked what the arrangement would be with Gregg in the post. Obama then had to slap Gregg in the fact by publicly proclaiming that he would not have control of the Census.

    Technically (none / 0) (#21)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 03:49:23 PM EST
    The President is in charge of it.

    I expect a knock on the door (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by andgarden on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 03:52:03 PM EST
    from Barack Obama. It would be like having Ed McMahon show up with the big check.

    It would be great (5.00 / 3) (#29)
    by jbindc on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 03:55:48 PM EST
    if he had flowers and lots of balloons too.

    Census is something I know a bit (none / 0) (#151)
    by Cream City on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 06:50:30 PM EST
    about, and yeh, it's run by professionals.

    But -- too often, according to policies set by committees with members too often appointed, nominated, etc., by pols, for political reasons.

    Whether the staff can circumvent some of the more stupid policy decisions can depend upon support they get from above.  Or not.  

    So if a Commerce Secretary, or Obama and Emmanuel, want to make staff miserable, having to do a census staff know will be flawed and for which staff will have to answer to posterity (as is the case of so many stoopid census policies in past, for which the staff still field criticism) -- well, the powers-that-be, the pols, can make the staff miserable.


    Caught discussion that Hispanics were panicked (5.00 / 1) (#171)
    by jawbone on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 09:12:25 PM EST
    that Gregg would have authority over the census as he had expressed opinion that non-citizens/illegals should not be counted as part of the census, or something like that.

    I need to learn more about this topic, but, apparently, it was the reaction of Hispanics that triggered the WH saying the census would handling the census.

    So, perhaps Gregg thought he could affect the outcome of representation numbers by managing to influence how the census numbers were presented or even how hard census takers looked for illegals, etc., and, when that was removed from his purview, he decided the games wasn't worth tne entry fee.


    When accepting, Gregg indicated he would vote for (none / 0) (#149)
    by jawbone on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 06:38:20 PM EST
    Obama Stimlus Bill. So, what's happened? Weird. OK, strange.

    The story he is spreading (none / 0) (#168)
    by NYShooter on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 08:44:53 PM EST
    is that he WAS going to vote "aye," but Obama's highly partisan speeches promoting the plan turned him off.

    There are reports that the paint on the men's room wall to which he sprinted after making that statement will be replaced by morning.


    That rings a bell (none / 0) (#176)
    by ruffian on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 10:05:59 PM EST
    Wasn't there another silly instance of that in the last year or so? Some other Republican crying like a baby and changing a vote? Can't remember who it was....

    Obama on FISA? (none / 0) (#186)
    by dualdiagnosis on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 02:46:48 AM EST
    you mean the one who should have (none / 0) (#189)
    by suzieg on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 06:12:22 AM EST
    pleaded he suffered from restless leg syndrome?

    Good riddance (5.00 / 4) (#2)
    by DFLer on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 03:38:23 PM EST

    I hope Hodes stays in the race (none / 0) (#3)
    by andgarden on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 03:39:10 PM EST
    even if it means running against Gregg.

    The explanation for this (5.00 / 9) (#4)
    by ThatOneVoter on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 03:39:10 PM EST
    requires 12 dimensional chess.

    Heh (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by Steve M on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 03:40:33 PM EST
    Obama's reasoning never made sense to most of us and I guess we'll never know what the reasoning was, other than the fact that it was obviously part of some 11-dimensional chess maneuver.

    Maybe it was always about nothing more than scoring some mythical Bipartisan Brownie Points.

    President Obama reaches out (none / 0) (#12)
    by JThomas on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 03:43:29 PM EST
    with an open hand only to be greeted by a clenched fist...fine. This only reflects poorly on the opposition party.

    As BTD says...no big deal.
    But as far the the American public..another retreat by the minority party into its no compromise bunker...again..fine by me.


    Open hand? He hired Gregg and then (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by tigercourse on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 03:44:53 PM EST
    reduced his responsibilities because nobody trusts him. That's kind of a slap in the face. And this is deja vu to me for some reason. Did something like this happen in Doonesbury?

    I tend to agree... (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by santarita on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 03:50:57 PM EST
    Pence, Issa and other Republican thugs made a big deal today about complaining that the Census Bureau was being taken from Commerce Secretary.  I think the Republicans put the half/nelson on Gregg until he yelled "Uncle".

    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by jbindc on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 03:55:04 PM EST
    I actually don't blame Gregg on this.  Seems like a smart move for him, and the administration looks silly.

    I'm going to walk down the street and put my application in for Commerce Secretary.  I don't have any tax problems, so I may be way ahead of the rest of the field.


    Chris Matthews mentioned the velvet (none / 0) (#98)
    by oculus on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:44:10 PM EST
    glove after the presser the other night.

    Well maybe (5.00 / 5) (#15)
    by Steve M on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 03:45:57 PM EST
    I certainly don't think it hurts Obama in the brownie point department, except maybe among the Beltway media where every time a Republican says no to Obama, that just shows him to be a failure at bipartisanship.

    But I very much doubt the point from the get-go was that "he'll say no to us in the end, and then we'll look good for trying to reach across the aisle."  Which leaves the question hanging, what exactly was the point?  It was a weird episode.


    Won't this diminish Obama's vast (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by ThatOneVoter on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 03:47:08 PM EST
    potential for acquiring Republican support in the Senate?

    Snark? (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 03:48:17 PM EST
    There is next no potential of such GOP support anywhere in the Congress.

    Well, he might get a Senator (none / 0) (#46)
    by ThatOneVoter on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:08:11 PM EST
    or two, which is better than the 0 GOP congressmen he got.

    There 3 he can get (none / 0) (#51)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:12:05 PM EST
    on a bill.

    the real issue is the cloture votes.


    And had to compromise (none / 0) (#129)
    by sallywally on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 05:24:14 PM EST
    to get those....

    Hmmmm... (none / 0) (#17)
    by lobary on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 03:47:11 PM EST
    I suspect the Villagers will pin this one on Obama. He's breaking his campaign promise to make the Republicans shiny happy people.

    My Guess (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by squeaky on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 03:41:26 PM EST
    Is that the GOPers got to him. He will run in 2010. From what I have read he as incumbent is the only chance the GOP has to keep  one of the NH seat as R.

    Agree. AP had two stories on (5.00 / 3) (#27)
    by oculus on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 03:55:39 PM EST
    Gregg b/4 this one.  (1) he didn't vote on (against) stimulus bill and GOP is pissed, and (2) Obama is messing around w/the census and GOP is pissed.  Not a good news day for Obama despite his rambling about in the Land of Lincoln.

    So much for Kumbaya (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by rdandrea on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 03:42:08 PM EST

    If Teddy K can't show up (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by oldpro on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 03:53:29 PM EST
    Saturday for the stimulus vote, they may have approached Gregg about his vote...time to be a team player?

    Good test.

    Just appoint a trustworthy, solid Democrat fer crissakes.  Somebody like Gary Locke, say....

    I don't get that (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by CST on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 03:55:39 PM EST
    Not unless they are worried about a republican defection.

    We only need 60, we got 61...


    Imagine the life of the defectors; (none / 0) (#35)
    by oculus on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:00:36 PM EST
    increased security, unlisted nos., armoured limos.  

    Well (none / 0) (#50)
    by CST on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:11:45 PM EST
    I don't think we have to worry about the ones from Maine.  Word on the street is (by street I mean politico) Collins got a ton of calls from her constituants thanking her for the vote.

    I hear Specter is under attack though.


    I don't understand Specter (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by samtaylor2 on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:18:46 PM EST
    He seems all over the map in terms of his choices.  That definitely could be my ignorance of his positions, but he seems a bit loopy.  

    well (none / 0) (#63)
    by CST on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:22:12 PM EST
    he is a republican in a state trending blue that still has some conservative roots.  He is also up for re-election soonish (I think).  So he probably is confused as well in terms of who to pander to since he will probably face a strong primary challenger as well as a strong g.e. challenger.

    Specter has been confused (5.00 / 4) (#86)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:37:35 PM EST
    about who to pander to for his entire career.  Sam is right, he is all over the map, but that's SOP for him.  He's really quite a maddening character.

    If Teddy is breathing (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:13:19 PM EST
    he'll be there for the vote.

    A big NO to Gary Locke (none / 0) (#77)
    by shoephone on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:30:01 PM EST
    having any place in the Obama administration. He's spent the past four years as a corporate lobbyist, after serving for eight years as the corporate governor.

    Oh, but I'm repeating myself again.


    Heh...yes you are (none / 0) (#150)
    by oldpro on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 06:39:03 PM EST
    repeating yourself.  Again.  We've had this discussion as I recall.

    So...I guess you really, REALLY objected to Daschle (as did I) and to Gregg (as did I)?  Or is it just Locke who sticks in your craw?

    Bet you a nickle they pick Gary.

    Don't try to raise the stakes...a nickle is all I can afford to risk now).


    Corporate Govenor? (none / 0) (#162)
    by Inspector Gadget on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 07:48:24 PM EST
    He is the one who called Boeing's bluff and watched them take their HQ to Chicago!

    I didn't think he was much of a governor, no matter how he is tagged, though.


    Over at The Lake (5.00 / 4) (#38)
    by Frank Burns on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:02:12 PM EST
    Jane was posting about the coming Social Security attack, and that Gregg's views on privatization were a bad harbinger. I doubt this is what caused him to withdraw, but for that reason I'm glad he did.

    They would have to be (5.00 / 1) (#169)
    by joanneleon on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 09:01:41 PM EST
    completely insane to try to sell privatization of Social Security right now.

    Good riddance to Gregg.  It was a really foolish choice to begin with.  


    Report from SSP (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by andgarden on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:04:18 PM EST
    that Gregg is nevertheless not running for reelection.

    best case scenario? (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by CST on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:14:07 PM EST
    He's out of the senate AND not commerce secretary

    Wow, very good news (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by MKS on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:26:02 PM EST
    The Democrats could pick up a Senate seat or two in 2010.  No more kowtowing to any Republicans....What a world that would be.

    Gregg appears to have previously decided to not run for re-election.  That may be why he was willing to be Commerce Secretary--until the Republicans put the squeeze on him.


    be careful (none / 0) (#108)
    by Nasarius on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:55:08 PM EST
    What you wish for. Instead of Susan Collins, Olympia Snow, and Arlen Specter more or less running the country, we'll have, say, Ben Nelson, Claire McCaskill, and Joe Lieberman. It's not much of an improvement.

    no (5.00 / 1) (#116)
    by CST on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 05:07:04 PM EST
    we don't need their votes, we just need them to not filibuster.

    Those guys (and gal) aren't gonna filibuster.

    they are only important now b/c they can maybe get the republicans on board


    voting against cloture (5.00 / 1) (#124)
    by Nasarius on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 05:18:13 PM EST
    (or something else that requires 60 votes) and filibustering aren't necessarily the same thing. No cloture, and the Republicans can do the actual filibustering, if Reid ever forces them to.

    If they have the opportunity, I fully expect them to be shameless in exercising their power.


    o/t, CST (5.00 / 1) (#157)
    by Cream City on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 07:12:33 PM EST
    since the other thread closed before I got back -- yikes, who said anything about your mother?

    It's not about the specific issue, to which I am glad she has given her life.  Nor is it about a specific candidate or pol.

    It's about Moore, and it;s about credibility.  I doubt that your mother made a movie and many other public statements that she then backtracked upon.  So I am sure that she retains her credibility.  Moore does not.

    So please understand the issue discussed before you say "stop it," for what that says about . . . well.


    Look (5.00 / 1) (#165)
    by CST on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 08:32:42 PM EST
    Maybe I over-reacted, I am just really sick of the "oh that person supported Obama so they couldn't possibly believe or support certain progressive ideals without being a hypocrit" meme.  People are not one-dimensional.

    Maybe that's not what you meant, maybe Moore said something specific about healthcare during the campaign that you felt contradicted his previous statements and lost him credibility, but I didn't get that from your post.  The only thing I got was "he made a movie about healthcare and then supported Obama so he must be a hypocrit"...

    If I was wrong, then I apologize for over-reacting.


    You need to reread that thread (4.25 / 4) (#180)
    by Cream City on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 11:44:40 PM EST
    as you are alluding to someone else's comment.  And I know who, but I'll let you look to learn to avoid that commenter's toxic mindgames here.

    I was speaking to Moore's credibility, period.  He could have endorsed a horse, for all I care -- but a horse without the health care plan that Moore previously pushed.  Or it could have been another issue, not health care -- a union issue or a gun control issue, referencing his earlier films.  

    If Moore then endorsed a candidate who was anti-union or pro-NRA, same result: he would  destroy his credibility.  See it now?  And it's a loss to us that Moore did not stay true to his issues, as they are significant liberal issues that need supporters who can get camera time -- if they still have credibility on the issues.  He still does on some issues, but his step back on health care (as well as the factual problems in his film) hurt that cause.  (I know this from a family member who works on it, too, and was a great fan of Moore -- until he made such a muddle of the issue, and at a crucial time for the cause.)


    Delusional (5.00 / 1) (#185)
    by squeaky on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 01:44:33 AM EST
    If Moore then endorsed a candidate who was anti-union or pro-NRA, same result: he would  destroy his credibility.

    So according to cult central Obama is anti-healthcare?

    Who else is on the list besides Moore?


    I do not (5.00 / 2) (#192)
    by CST on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 09:38:12 AM EST
    consider Obama anti-healthcare.  

    Not one bit.  P.S. neither does Hillary.  Remember what she said when she endorsed him??  She could forsee him signing a healthcare bill?  Do you really think Ted Kennedy would support someone anti-healthcare?  Michael Moore has many "causes", but healthcare is Ted's life work.

    I don't even like Michael Moore, I could care less about him.  I think his methods often hurt the causes more than they help.

    My point was (as squeeky pointed out) who else is on that list?  Because you may as well be talking about me or my family.


    I wonder what Gregg got for this (none / 0) (#170)
    by joanneleon on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 09:04:33 PM EST
    or what he was threatened with.  I'll bet on the side that says he got a very sweet deal.  His expression during the press conference was rather smug at times.

    Criteria (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by mmc9431 on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:21:39 PM EST
    The first thing a president should look for in a cabinet member is for someone dedicated to advancing the president's agenda. You aren't going to get the cooperation needed by picking someone from the opposite side of the spectrum.

    I really hope Obama doesn't feel compelled to search for another Republican to fill the slot.

    Poor Judd (Gregg) Is Dead (At Commerce) (5.00 / 2) (#76)
    by daring grace on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:29:49 PM EST
    Doesn't anyone else have this tune playing in their head today?

    Actually, I've been hearing it ever since the Commerce appointment was announced.

    Now, at least, it's apt.

    An Oklahome fan! (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by jbindc on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:33:21 PM EST
    It wasn't playing in my head (none / 0) (#104)
    by BernieO on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:52:34 PM EST
    but it is now. Thanks.

    Can I just make a comment? (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by andgarden on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:31:12 PM EST
    Obama was able to distract even Judd Gregg from the issues he cares about, if only for a few moments.

    Other than gutting Social Security, (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by oculus on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:34:57 PM EST
    what issues did Gregg care about?  Was there a dime's worth of difference?

    He's a conservative Republican (none / 0) (#84)
    by andgarden on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:35:59 PM EST
    Wow (5.00 / 2) (#88)
    by Steve M on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:38:05 PM EST
    "Even" Judd Gregg!  World-class political stalwart Judd Gregg!

    I'm sure The Man Who Distracted Judd Gregg will go down in the history books right next to The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. ;)


    That is to say (none / 0) (#91)
    by andgarden on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:39:28 PM EST
    Judd Gregg was not born yesterday.

    Or (none / 0) (#82)
    by jbindc on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:34:22 PM EST
    Did the Commerce post distract Obama from the issues he cares about twice now - over a 2 month span?

    That's what it sounds like to me (none / 0) (#107)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:55:06 PM EST
    What a bizarre press conference.

    I don't know (none / 0) (#173)
    by joanneleon on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 09:41:18 PM EST
    I don't think Gregg is that naive.  I think it was about the census all along, and about having someone in the Obama cabinet to funnel information to Republicans and to undermine the Commerce Dept.  I never understood why anyone would put a guy who tried to abolish the Commerce Dept. in charge of it.  Was he ever going to try to make it a better institution?  

    Gregg is a details guy who was often at the center of the slimiest political tactics of the Republican Senate during the past eight years.  He was never going to be an ally.


    Yes. And "domestic economic development (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by esmense on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 05:29:34 PM EST
    policy" is nothing to sneer at. The massive infusion of government spending that, in the mid 70s, brought the Puget Sound region back from the dead after the late 60s aerospace bust  -- modernizing our port, investing in high tech development, diversifying the economy -- was dispersed through the Department of Commerce. I imagine the department will play an important role in terms of stimulus spending.

    "dispersed through" (none / 0) (#137)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 05:36:45 PM EST
    that is the Commerce Dept in a nutshell.

    Hey Now, How's That Bi-partisanship (5.00 / 2) (#141)
    by pluege on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 05:55:44 PM EST
    thingy going?

    What's that you say, republicans won't play nice

    ...imagine that.

    How about an actual smart progressive? (5.00 / 1) (#167)
    by Sweet Sue on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 08:33:27 PM EST
    I nominate Professor Elizabeth Warren (Harvard and for the middle class) for Secretary of Commerce.
    As much as it pains him, President Obama is going to have to choose sides one of these days.

    Wow, I check out for an evening and (5.00 / 2) (#178)
    by ruffian on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 10:15:41 PM EST
    miss the whole post-partisan era!

    Obama was right about picking a dog being as hard as getting a Commerce Secretary. Perhaps a labradoodle could do both jobs.

    Just make it a Dem this time, for the love of god.

    The Commerce Secretary Who (5.00 / 2) (#182)
    by cal1942 on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 01:03:47 AM EST
    beacme President:

    Herbert Hoover.

    Hope he sticks to his guns on (none / 0) (#5)
    by KeysDan on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 03:40:21 PM EST
    resigning from the senate.  Bonnie Newman, his negotiated successor, will do a lot better, even though a Republican.  But, I must say that Gregg, at least in this instance, demonstrated better judgment than the president.

    Gregg says (none / 0) (#10)
    by Steve M on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 03:42:35 PM EST
    "Kathy and I also want to specifically thank Governor Lynch and Bonnie Newman for their friendship and assistance during this period. In addition we wish to thank all the people, especially in New Hampshire, who have been so kind and generous in their supportive comments.

    "As a further matter of clarification, nothing about the vetting process played any role in this decision. I will continue to represent the people of New Hampshire in the United States Senate."



    Thanks, (none / 0) (#26)
    by KeysDan on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 03:55:17 PM EST
    it is as suspected.  Maybe, Ms. Newman will be available so as to continue the chess game.  I think the next person considered for Commerce will be the fourth, right?

    Shades of Alice Palmer? (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by oculus on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 03:58:37 PM EST
    Thank you, Bonnie.  Please move to the back of the stage now.

    Hate to say it, but ... (5.00 / 1) (#135)
    by FreakyBeaky on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 05:34:05 PM EST
    ... if that's the episode I'm thinking of - Alice Palmer, as written up by Ryan Lizza in the New Yorker (same article, IIRC, that got him kicked off Obama's campaign plane) - I've got to side with Obama, and I don't consider myself a supporter of his.

    Palmer left her State Senate seat to run for US congress and endorsed Obama.  She lost the primary - that will change your mind in a hurry - and then wanted Obama to step aside so she could get her old job back.  That was a power play on her part, and I can't really blame Obama for fighting back, even if he fought dirty (on the other hand, if you renege on a deal and try to make the ballot with signatures that don't check out, who is playing dirty?).

    Now if only he'd fight back against Republicans that hard ...


    Paul Harvey here, (5.00 / 1) (#187)
    by NYShooter on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 04:02:27 AM EST
    With the "Rest of the Story."

    State Senate Candidate, Obama, had three other opponents, besides Alice Palmer, in that primary. (four, total) He got them ALL disqualified.
    You must know, there is politics, and then there is "Chicago politics." While others have used petition challenges in the past, and Obama did nothing illegal, the length and breadth to which he went stunned even many veterans of Chicago politics.

    Certainly there are rules, but there is also tradition and protocol. Alice Palmer was THE powerhouse in local politics, and was widely loved and admired. By her imprimatur, she "made" Obama, much as a Godfather "makes" a lieutenant." As painful as it would have been, tradition and protocol dictated he step aside and wait for another shot.  

    Ah, but the first black editor of the Harvard Law Review was also the first editor to have NEVER written a paper during his reign. Since the founding of the society, I believe about 160 years ago, folks in legal circles looked forward to getting the editor's views as he (later he/she) supposedly represented the best and brightest of that years legal crop. Looking at it from another angle, and an angle he was to reproduce many times on his meteoric shot to the moon, he displayed his absolute lack of deception by stating publicly, " who's got time for papers, I got another election to plot." (o.k. I made that up)

    Now, you used the pretext, "(on the other hand, if you renege on a deal and try to make the ballot with signatures that don't check out, who is playing dirty?)" Let's set aside for now the nobler approach of meeting your opponents on the battlefield of a campaign where you actually go out, meet the folks, and show them why you're the better candidate. Usually when you challenge petition signatures, you narrow down the scope of the charges to a group, or groups, of signatures that can be proven valid, or not, just in the interest of time. But that wouldn't have produced the numbers he needed. A guy with his mutated ego needs to do things Big. (Maybe you remember how he wanted to hold a rally; I think it was at the Pantheon in Rome (snark), or Jupiter?.......whatever.) No, he challenged fully three quarters of poor Alice's signatures, thousands upon thousands of signatures. I wonder sometimes at the colorful adjectives and/or nouns she gave birth to when she saw the onslaught of the demands. Thousands of (real) folks, hampered by limited education, but not civic pride, had their choice invalidated (dumped, chucked, tossed, thrown out) for committing what should, in my opinion,  be elevated to a felony,  didn't write their choice in "cursive." Unbelievable? Look it up; Alice Palmer's name, plain as a bell........but not in "cursive."......Out!

    Feverishly, Alice put her legions of supporters to work re-instating the names. Another day or two, virtually all the names would have been validated. I guess Obama voted "present" when the catchy jingle, "count every vote" first breathed life. What became a standard in his later campaigns i.e., picking out a supporter in the crowd and using the poor schmuck's convenient personal tragedy-turned-triumph to wrench the last tear from the dehydrated eyes of the adoring throngs, he finally perfected "count every vote" in Florida and Michigan. Illustrating his core belief in "bi-partisanship," he also did to the other three candidates what he did to Ms Palmer.

    Once he realized there were millions of Claire McCaskills in the country, out went his pledge to accept public financing. After all, bussing in thousands of Limbaugh Republicans from out-of-State to "be counted" in the primary states that allowed that chicanery costs really big bucks.

    Anyway, there are too many examples of Obama's true, core beliefs (Zero, Nada, Zilch) that anyone with a single cell between the ears could see. To go on any further would betray my here-to-fore concealed dislike for the man.

    Unfortunately, millions of my fellow citizens will suffer untold, and unecessary, tragedy and pain, simply for buying into one man's perfectly honed hubris.

    Like the Germans before, who didn't think to bring warm clothes to Northern Russia, believing the war would be finished before winter, Obama never gave a moment's thought to what he would do if he "got there." For 25 years, "getting there" was the goal, the only goal.    


    I see the makings of a novel here. (none / 0) (#194)
    by oculus on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 12:29:43 AM EST
    Translation: (re "vetting") (none / 0) (#31)
    by DFLer on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 03:57:43 PM EST
    "I don't have any tax problems."

    ha (none / 0) (#8)
    by connecticut yankee on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 03:41:52 PM EST
    Good Riddance and even better yet, the timing is a slap in Obama's face.  There is no reason to be nice to the republicans, theyve declared war on his administration already.  

    Run them down at every turn and if the plans work, they'll lose anyway.

    Actually, Obama slapped him in (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by tigercourse on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 03:42:51 PM EST
    the face first.

    sure (none / 0) (#92)
    by connecticut yankee on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:39:43 PM EST
    Haha, sure.  Even the timing is meant to be a slap. Right as the stimulus is moving forward.

    There was no reason why he couldnt do this another time.  It makes Gregg look either weak, indecisive or looking to score on Obama at the urging of republicans.


    Obama offered him a job. He took it. Then (none / 0) (#103)
    by tigercourse on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:49:40 PM EST
    he was told that he wasn't trustworthy and had responsibilities taken away. That's a slap in the face.

    But I'm glad that Gregg is out. He was a bad choice.


    Hm (none / 0) (#106)
    by Steve M on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:53:51 PM EST
    I don't think the census issue had anything to do with whether Gregg could be "trusted," and I'd be surprised if he took it that way.  It had to do with legitimate ideological differences between Democrats and Republicans as to how the census should be conducted, differences that Gregg has now acknowledged he wasn't ready to put aside.

    bi·par·ti·san (b-pärt-zn, -sn) (none / 0) (#33)
    by lobary on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 03:59:41 PM EST
    Adj.; Of, consisting of, or supported by members of the two primary political parties of the United States, the Republican Party and the Grand Old Party: a bipartisan resolution.

    (Also see 'farm animal excrement')

    Hey, didn't Hoyer say GOP (none / 0) (#37)
    by oculus on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:01:35 PM EST
    doesn't get the last word on everything.

    German media reports it was philosophical (none / 0) (#34)
    by scribe on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 03:59:54 PM EST
    differences over the stimulus package.

    What, exactly, did Obama expect from (5.00 / 7) (#43)
    by Anne on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:05:56 PM EST
    the guy who wanted to do away with Commerce Dept. altogether?  And why would Gregg take it in the first place?

    Guess this is what happens when you nominate a Republican just because he is a Republican and not because he shares your views.

    This is just looking more and more like Amateur Hour, and Obama is looking more and more over his head.


    Anne.. did you used to (none / 0) (#45)
    by ThatOneVoter on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:07:27 PM EST
    comment a lot on Delong's blog?

    Nope. (none / 0) (#164)
    by Anne on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 08:01:00 PM EST
    I've never commented there.

    Curious why you ask.


    A translation: (none / 0) (#44)
    by scribe on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:06:15 PM EST
    Donnerstag, 12. Februar 2009, 22:31 Uhr
    Thursday, February 12, 2009, 10:31 PM (euro time, 4:31 PM ET)

    Republikaner will kein Obama-Minister sein
    Der von US-Präsident Barack Obama als Handelsminister nominierte Republikaner Judd Gregg hat überraschend seinen Rückzug erklärt. Der Senator teilte in einem Schreiben an Obama mit, dass er wegen Differenzen in verschiedenen Fragen nicht für den Posten zur Verfügung steht. Als Beispiel nannte er das Konjunkturprogramm des Präsidenten, das voraussichtlich an diesem Freitag vom US-Kongress verabschiedet werden soll.

    Republican does not want to be Obama Cabinet Secretary

    Republican Judd Gregg, nominated by US President Barack Obama to be Commerce Secretary, made a surprise announcement of his withdrawal.  The Senator explained in a letter to Obama that because of differences on numerous issues he would not continue to pursue the post.  As an example he named the President's stimulus package, expected to pass and be sent up by the Congress this Friday.


    "There was a time..." (5.00 / 3) (#115)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 05:07:02 PM EST
    when the President called, you served. Glad to see that the republicans (other than Gergen) have decided he's not 'their' president.

    That was a time when (5.00 / 3) (#152)
    by Cream City on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 06:55:39 PM EST
    you already had the guy locked down -- in agreement on your policies, explained to him beforehand, etc. -- before you went public with the appointment.  Obama and staff simply are not doing well at this, and weirdly so, for a staff that was so good at image management.

    Does (Vienna-born) Wittgenstein count? (none / 0) (#179)
    by RonK Seattle on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 11:44:15 PM EST
    Some in the WH were "blindsided" (none / 0) (#39)
    by jbindc on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:03:02 PM EST

    The surprising turn of events "blind sided" at least one Obama aide who spoke to Politico, and another senior White House official said he was "totally caught off guard" by the news.


    White House aides, apparently unprepared for the news, didn't offer comment on news delivered via a press release from Gregg's Senate office. When Tom Daschle withdrew as nominee for secretary of Health and Human Services, the White House issued a paper release containing statements from both President Obama and the former senator.

    IF you go over to TPM, you'll see (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by scribe on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:21:45 PM EST
    that the WH got out a press release tout suite:

    "Senator Gregg reached out to the President and offered his name for Secretary of Commerce. He was very clear throughout the interviewing process that despite past disagreements about policies, he would support, embrace, and move forward with the President's agenda. Once it became clear after his nomination that Senator Gregg was not going to be supporting some of President Obama's key economic priorities, it became necessary for Senator Gregg and the Obama administration to part ways. We regret that he has had a change of heart".

    And Greggie blames himself,  I guess for not being honest with himself.

    But Gregg sought the post ab initio, then backed out.



    Total wimp (none / 0) (#121)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 05:13:42 PM EST
    Got read the riot act by his boss it sounds like and then wimped out!  He could have been a press darling.  He could have milked Commerce Secretary for so much when it came to saving the nation and then later on, after the crisis was dealt with and Republicans are running for office he could talk all about how much he disagreed behind closed doors with everything that will fail.  He could have saved his party but NO.......he is a wimp :)

    Yikes, that ought to have raised suspicions. (none / 0) (#153)
    by Cream City on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 06:57:33 PM EST
    So a guy from the opposition party, a guy who said the position should be eliminated, calls and offers himself for the position?  And no one smelled something in that?  I dunno, was this a setup?

    I googled but couldn't find (none / 0) (#177)
    by oculus on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 10:13:44 PM EST
    a prior instance (years ago) of someone who was appointed to head an agency he sd. he would eliminate entirely during his tenure.  

    Week in sum: The blindsided leading ... (none / 0) (#181)
    by RonK Seattle on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 11:46:14 PM EST
    ... the blindsided.

    Gregg withdraws (none / 0) (#41)
    by Jack Jodell on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:04:56 PM EST
    This is another example of how inflexible and uncooperate modern Republicans have become. They are so stuck on themselves and everything having to be totally their way! The GOP is no longer relevant in the least and is thoroughly out of touch with the overwhelming majority of average citizens. Obama and Reid have been far more obliging to the GOP than the GOP was to the Democrats in the recent Bush/Frist/DeLay era. As such, Obama and the Democrats should stop playing nice guy and give these Republicans a taste of their own medicine: STEAMROLL 'em!

    I disagree in this case (5.00 / 3) (#48)
    by jbindc on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:10:07 PM EST
    The whole Census thing would have been the deal-breaker for me if I was Gregg. The Census is one of the biggest responsibilities the Commerce Department has.  And since Gregg's vote a while back to dismantle the Commerce department was very public knowledge, and Obama chose him anyway, that says he (at least implicitly) was ok with that and with the direction Gregg may have taken the department.

    This is completely a screw-up by Obama.


    Even if it is (none / 0) (#49)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:11:10 PM EST
    It is a meaningless one.

    No one outside of Washington DC cares.


    Maybe not (5.00 / 3) (#52)
    by jbindc on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:12:42 PM EST
    But all anyone outside DC will see is that yet another cabinet nominee appointed through the Best Vetting Process Evah will not actually take office.

    Nah (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:15:53 PM EST
    No one outside of Washington Dc even knows there is a Secretary of Commerce or a Judd Gregg.

    Utterly meaningless in every way.


    I'm sure the cable yappers (none / 0) (#57)
    by andgarden on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:18:50 PM EST
    will have something to say about it.

    Dunno how much that really means, though.


    Nothing (none / 0) (#59)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:20:54 PM EST
    Means not a damn thing.

    For crissakes, who ever heard of Judd Gregg outside of NH?

    This is as meaningless as it gets.


    Those who watch cable (none / 0) (#64)
    by jbindc on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:22:31 PM EST
    will definitely know tonight, and it will be on the front page of every newspaper tomorrow.

    How many nominees down this month alone?  3?  Plus Richardson is 4, and Geithner is still being talked about.

    BVPE looking a little shaky.


    3 million peoplewhose minds are made up (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:26:08 PM EST
    on all things political. Utterly meaningless.

    I think anyone watching the news tonight (none / 0) (#93)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:39:54 PM EST
    or reading a newspaper or being exposed to pretty much any other media outlet, will certainly learn that there is a Sec of Commerce and that that Obama tried to appoint Gregg and that ANOTHER Obama appointment has run off the rails.

    But, who knows, I guess we'll all know for sure by tomorrow...


    What Most Will Think (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by squeaky on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:44:59 PM EST
    Is that the GOP are being obstructionists, especially if they continue to hold up nominations.

    Riiiight. (5.00 / 1) (#159)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 07:23:53 PM EST
    By tomorrow (none / 0) (#94)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:40:58 PM EST
    they will forget.

    Even you I bet.


    Forget what? (5.00 / 3) (#97)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:43:18 PM EST
    You may be right (none / 0) (#143)
    by sj on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 06:07:06 PM EST
    that it's utterly meaningless in specific.  However, based on the "buzz" around here it seems to be pretty meaningful as part of a pattern.

    What is NOT being mentioned is that Gregg is a Republican (and this is in bright blue country).  Gregg himself doesn't seem to be on anybody's personal radar.  The questions being asked are along the lines of "what's going on with the cabinet appointments, anyway?" "How much of team does he have at this point?"

    Accompanied by snickers of disbelief and shaking heads.

    If this is the last Cabinet SNAFU I think you'll be right and it will all be forgotten.  But another one is likely to take it over the top.

    Sometimes there's an advantage to cubicle life with no expectation of privacy.


    Yes Jack - and like the lady said this am (5.00 / 4) (#68)
    by DFLer on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:25:07 PM EST
    in a LTE in the Mpls Strib:
    Republicans in Congress remain astonishingly arrogant, even in the face of defeat. Standing together in lockstep to stonewall the stimulus plan has nothing to do with the public's best interest -- it's showboating. It's an attempt to send a message to a popular president that he may have the hearts of the people, but they're going to "show him" who's boss. What a joke. It explains why in the recent election the Republican Party only garnered the majority of one demographic -- white males over 50. They are completely out of touch.

    They should step aside and take their egos with them. They had their chance, and they failed. Let this country move on.

    You go get 'em boy! (none / 0) (#42)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:05:34 PM EST
    This could work for Obama if he does a media (none / 0) (#58)
    by samtaylor2 on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:20:52 PM EST
    Blitz about it.  He needs to portray Greg as not willing to look past differences and work with people you don't fully agree with.  They already put out a message saying that, but they need to do it aggressively.  Especially since the other side will paint this as a matter of integrity.  

    No way (5.00 / 2) (#110)
    by BernieO on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:56:35 PM EST
    He should never do this. But other people in the party should - just no one directly under Obama. It's the truth, but the media would crucify Obama for saying it.

    The Secretary of Commerce (none / 0) (#65)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:22:34 PM EST
    has absolutely nothing to do with any of that. Those areas are run by career civil servants.

    I repaeat, there is not a less meaningful position in government than Commerce Secretary.

    Mmm... (none / 0) (#73)
    by jbindc on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:27:17 PM EST

    Disagree (5.00 / 2) (#74)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:28:14 PM EST
    The Interior Secretary DOES matter.

    I'll Say (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by squeaky on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:31:05 PM EST
    WASHINGTON, DC, February 10, 2009 (ENS) - On its last business day in office, the Bush administration proposed a new five year plan for offshore oil and gas leasing to follow the current plan, in effect through 2012. Today, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar put the brakes on this "midnight action" in favor of building a framework for offshore renewable energy development to incorporate "the great potential for wind, wave, and ocean current energy into our offshore energy strategy."



    They ALL matter (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by jbindc on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:32:33 PM EST
    But most people don't know squat about it.  Probably don't even know we HAVE an Interior Secretary.

    But everyone will know tomorrow that Obama's first two choices for Commerce didn't work out.

    BTW Commerce also oversees NOAA (weather is pretty important - ask folks in New Orleans and Oklahoma), trade, standards and technology (people like stores being honest in their pricing and weights), and the Bureau of Industry and Security (which oversees enforcement of embargoes and export licensing).  

    Most people may not be able to name the sub departments in Commerce, but they deal with things that people use day to day.


    Interior (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by Steve M on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:36:47 PM EST
    is a bigger deal out West where they have a lot more public lands and such.

    Not saying the Secretary's name is on the lips of everyone west of the Mississippi, but still.  It's like how people in Iowa are a lot more likely to care about the Department of Agriculture than folks in New York City.


    Interior Sec. is pretty important (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by caseyOR on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 05:07:12 PM EST
    to those of us in the West, but so is Agriculture. The Forest Service is part of the Dept. of Agriculture. The tress in national forests are considered to be agricultural commodities. And trees are a very big deal out here.

    Interior controls the trees that Agriculture doesn't. And then EPA weighs in on water quality (river and stream degradation) which, for example, affects the salmon runs.

    So very much of the land in the west is owned by the feds. They don't pay taxes, and they often do things we don't like.


    I think we have had (5.00 / 0) (#120)
    by KeysDan on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 05:09:40 PM EST
    three Commerce Secretaries under consideration , so far. Penny Pritzker, Governor Richardson and  Senator Gregg.  Now for number four.

    Commerce SECRETARY does NOT matter (none / 0) (#89)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:38:10 PM EST
    The Commerce Secretary has not a damn thing, NOT A DAMN THING, to do about the NOAA. Just because the funding runs through the Commerce Dept does not mean the Secretary says a word about what happens there.

    The trade reference I do not know what you mean. Fo you mean the PTO? Then, I refer you to my comment on the NOAA.

    Technology? What does that mean to you?

    Standards? What standards do you think the Commerce Secretary gets involved in?

    These are all civil service fields where the bureaucrats run the show.

    A Commerce Secretary does nothing in these areas. Never has and never will.

    Now some of you seem intent on rewriting this undeniable history but it will not work.


    Wrong (none / 0) (#87)
    by eric on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:37:38 PM EST
    the Treasurer is more meaningless.  Not the Sec of Treasury, the actual Treasurer.

    Ok (none / 0) (#90)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:39:08 PM EST
    Maybe. But I assume the Treasurer has some actual duties.

    Tell me again what a Commerce Secretary does.


    I think they sign (none / 0) (#95)
    by eric on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:41:56 PM EST
    the money and supervise the coinage.  Something like that.  At Commerce, hmmmmm...

    Nothing else? (none / 0) (#102)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:48:00 PM EST
    I do not really know. I know that the Commerce Secretary does not do a damn thing.

    I always thought of the Commerce Secretary as (none / 0) (#127)
    by steviez314 on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 05:22:02 PM EST
    a "schmoozer".

    He chats with some CEOs, maybe relays some feedback.  He goes on CNBC to talk happy talk.  Maybe he visits some foreign countries and tries to sell some companies there on the merits of opening up shop in the good ol' USA.

    He's almost like head of the American Business Fan Club.


    That's what it has come to I think. (none / 0) (#144)
    by inclusiveheart on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 06:07:46 PM EST
    It would be better if it was something more and if that schmoozing was done on behalf of the entire populace rather than in the interest of an elite few.

    Gregg speaking now on C-SPAN 3 (none / 0) (#66)
    by andgarden on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:23:33 PM EST

    wow (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by CST on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:25:38 PM EST
    I didn't know that channel existed...  Must be right next to ESPN 8 "The Ocho"

    Most cable systems didn't have it (none / 0) (#72)
    by andgarden on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:26:44 PM EST
    until a few years ago. It usually has confirmation hearings and old press conferences.

    What Kind of Flake Is He? (none / 0) (#155)
    by santarita on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 07:08:37 PM EST
    Didn't he think about philosophical differences before this?  I don't think this will look good on his resume.

    Obama? (5.00 / 1) (#183)
    by BrassTacks on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 01:25:03 AM EST
    Yeh, he should have known this was a terrible choice.  

    I agree, it makes Obama look flakey.


    BTW (none / 0) (#67)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:24:35 PM EST
    I know a damn lot about tgose areas of government, especially the USPTO and I do not muych appreciate your ridiculous and ignorant attack on me.

    I suggest that you are a damn fool for acting as if the effing Commerce Secretary has a dambn thing to do with those areas.

    I suggest you learn a little bit about what Commerce Secretaries have done over the years.

    you sound like a damned fool.

    "Will I run? Probably not" (none / 0) (#75)
    by andgarden on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:28:28 PM EST

    God is mad at Gregg (none / 0) (#113)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:58:53 PM EST
    and he has the good sense to know this :)

    well (none / 0) (#96)
    by connecticut yankee on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:43:15 PM EST
    IIRC commerce secretary lights the candles at the shriners meetings.  I think that about covers it.

    Hey, don't be talking smackity (none / 0) (#112)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:57:34 PM EST
    about Shriners now!

    The Commerce Secretary does (none / 0) (#100)
    by MKS on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:45:06 PM EST
    have impact on the environment.  Ask Clint Eastwood and Ahnold.  

    The Secretary rules on appeals from decisions of the California Coastal Commisssion, which governs development near the California coast.

    The Bush Secretary of Commerce (I have no idea what his name was) upheld this January the Coastal Commission's denial of the request to extend the 241 Tollway to the coast, and through a state park and much pristine coastal sage, ending at the famous surfing beach Trestles.  The battle to stop the Tollway was decades long.  The Surfrider Foundation was all over this.  It was common to see bumper stickers on cars loaded with surf boards that said, "Save Trestles."

    Clint Eastwood was on the Coastal Commission when it ruled against the extension of the 241 Tollway.  So, Ahnold fired Clint from the Coastal Commission.

    Got a link (none / 0) (#101)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:47:22 PM EST
    Never heard of such a thing. Seems like an EPA matter to me.

    Very important issue in Southern (5.00 / 0) (#105)
    by oculus on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:53:00 PM EST
    California.  Route through a state beach and state park and, most importantly, possibly destroy Trestles, a world class surfing site.

    Commerce Dept. decision rejects tollroad


    Even stranger (5.00 / 0) (#111)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:56:45 PM EST
    In what developers and environmentalists both saw as a surprise, the U.S. Department of Commerce rejected the state Route 241 proposal. It said the project is not essential to national security, as advocates have argued, and cited at least one other viable route.

    In February, the California Coastal Commission rejected the agency's preferred path from Rancho Santa Margarita to Camp Pendleton. The transportation agency's leaders sought a crucial overrule from the Bush administration, which has often favored developers' interests over environmental concerns.

    Instead, the Commerce Department backed the commission. "I am stunned, frankly, that any right-thinking secretary of commerce would make this disastrous of a decision," said Jerry Amante, chairman of the transportation agency. "(It) is unsupported by the facts and rewards the anti-road and anti-growth obstructionists who have engaged in an orchestrated campaign of misrepresentation and distortion."

    The Commerce Dept decides what is essential to national security? Since when?

    Conservationists who have fought the proposal were giddy.

    "Even the Bush administration wants no part of it. . . . It just confirms how bad the project really is," said Joel Reynolds, an attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council in Los Angeles.


    Yup (none / 0) (#117)
    by MKS on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 05:07:04 PM EST
    The big money people are still scratching their heads...

    Until you think about how many (none / 0) (#147)
    by inclusiveheart on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 06:13:41 PM EST
    super rich guys are surfers who are Republicans in part because of Nixon's establishment of the EPA.  I only know about this phenom because a super rich guy who is a surfer explained his being a Republican and big Bush supporter in this context.  It better explained Orange County's politics for me.

    Well, my son surfs at Trestles (none / 0) (#114)
    by MKS on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 05:04:58 PM EST
    Does that count?

    Here is an account by a surfing group.

    Here is an account of the Terminator firing Dirty Harry over the Coastal Commission's rejection of the Tollway.

    The oppostion to the Tollway had looked like it was on the ropes.  The only viable environmental objection left centered around the proposed Tollway's alleged interference with a stream bed that would affect the runoff and thus might mess up Trestles.  It was a wonderfully surprising decision.

    I attended a Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Service open house on the Tollway under the Clinton administration in 1999.  I asked the Sierra Club rep there what would happen if Bush beat Gore in 2000.  He said the project would be approved like "greased lightening."

    Big win for environmentalists.


    Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! (none / 0) (#109)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:56:21 PM EST
    Another Republican makes the most of some Kumbaya gesture by showing Obama his better than all of us conservative a$$.  Come you conservatives, can't one of you come up with something original or is going to be Arlen Specter...Arlen Specter....Arlen Specter day in and day out with a mike in his loving America face all news cycle every news cycle?  Cuz really repubs, there is no long term leg for any of you to stand on staying this course :)  The course is all used up.......HELLO?

    What makes you sure there efforts (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by oculus on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 05:08:45 PM EST
    will be futile in the future?  Seems to me they were pretty successful re the stimulus bill.

    I'm still not major worried about the (none / 0) (#126)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 05:21:14 PM EST
    poor stimulus because we are going to need more and the fight is going to be on then.  BTD is right though that Obama's kumbaya baloney hurt us.  With our economy headed for even worse times though, just deny the people what they need and see where that's going to get you.  They got away with it now, not in six months after six months of this sort of unemployment and then some added onto our percentage, not next year for damn sure.  Gregg could have been a future contender of sorts, even though I think that Obama offering any of these yahoos a spot near him during this crisis is complete insanity - and will only muddy the voter understanding of what transpired during all this 20 yrs down the road. I say "Get Out Now Bubbleheads" and I'm happy to see Gregg's a$$ as he's leaving.

    Secretary is such a sexist term (none / 0) (#122)
    by Dadler on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 05:15:34 PM EST
    They should start using Administrative Assistant of Commerce.  Scratch that, I think the admin assistants to more work.

    Seriously, Judd Gregg has had his fifteen minutes.  It's over.  Bye.

    Message to Obama: Wake the f*ck up.  How long will it take you to realize you might as well have been asleep waiting for Republicans to help you with anything.  Fight, you string bean you.

    Why Sexist? (5.00 / 1) (#123)
    by squeaky on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 05:16:44 PM EST
    Secretary is gender neutral.

    i was joking (none / 0) (#125)
    by Dadler on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 05:18:51 PM EST
    But the term secretary has long been out, and administrative assistant replaced it.  Secretary, while technically gender neutral, was ALWAYS associated with women.  And condescendingly so much of the time.  Oh, you're just the secretary.  Blah, blah, blah.  

    Sorry (5.00 / 5) (#131)
    by squeaky on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 05:28:20 PM EST
    I know that you were joking, but it is time that Secretary regains its luster..

    They hold quite a bit of power. A friend of mine, against all odds got tenure in one of the most sexist departments in the country. She was very friendly with all the Secretaries in her department, knew all about their families etc. Not one of the all male faculty ever did anything but be rude and condescending toward them.

    The day my friend got tenure one of the Secretaries asked her out to lunch, during which she pulled out the faculty salary list. My friend had to negotiate her salary the next day. Let's just say she went into that meeting fully prepared.


    Perfect example (5.00 / 3) (#154)
    by Cream City on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 07:05:02 PM EST
    of what I learned early in academe, and not just about secretaries, excuse me, administrative support staff.

    Add to that custodians.

    These are the people who can literally and figuratively open the doors, hold the keys, and turn on the power.  Or not, if you're not nice to them.  And they have networks throughout corporations and organizations that are incredibly effective at diffusion of information, also key to power.  And if that info is that you're not nice to your admin support staff and custodians, everyone soon will know.

    Oh, to that old adage, today I would a third group of immense power in any corp or org:  tech staff.  You can have a computer crash but be up and working again in minutes.  Or in weeks.  It's up to them.


    Yep (none / 0) (#146)
    by sj on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 06:10:57 PM EST
    If you want quick action go to the boss.  If you want subtlety or quick information go to the secretary.

    Of course that relationsip must be built prior to the request, or you're getting nowhere.


    Yeah, it was always sexatary (none / 0) (#128)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 05:22:07 PM EST
    that pissed me off :)

    Hallmark has ordained: (none / 0) (#130)
    by oculus on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 05:24:55 PM EST
    Adminstrative Assistants' Day.

    Actually (5.00 / 2) (#133)
    by Steve M on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 05:33:43 PM EST
    Hallmark now calls it "Administrative Professionals Day."

    The first time I saw that come up on my calendar I was like "what the heck is that?"  My first thought was that it was a way for the office manager and billing coordinator to worm their way into getting a present too.


    I like Administrative Professional (none / 0) (#136)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 05:35:18 PM EST
    even better.  It sounds like I'm the boss :)

    Well (5.00 / 3) (#139)
    by Steve M on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 05:45:51 PM EST
    It goes without saying that if I can empower the staff through a snazzy new title as opposed to a pay raise, I'm all in favor.  But perhaps I'm giving away too many secrets here.

    And business cards! (none / 0) (#145)
    by sj on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 06:10:54 PM EST
    Brand new business cards with the snazzy new title!

    (Just watched "Trust Me" last night.  It had this very thing.)


    Hopefully (none / 0) (#175)
    by joanneleon on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 10:01:33 PM EST
    you're not serious.

    You are correct. How quickly (none / 0) (#138)
    by oculus on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 05:40:13 PM EST
    we (I) forget.  Yippee:  I get to miss the coffee this year.

    Hallmark? (none / 0) (#134)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 05:33:44 PM EST
    Can we become anymore sanitized :)?  What happened to Administrative Assistant?

    Couric and Schiefer (none / 0) (#140)
    by sallywally on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 05:47:18 PM EST
    agree that even though the Repubs were "slamming" Gregg for accepting the job and his "sudden reverse" was "the weirdest thing ever," the upshot is that it was a huge "blow to Obama's credibility."

    What about the Repubs'?

    What about the Repubs' intransigence?

    Couric (5.00 / 1) (#142)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 06:03:08 PM EST
    why did I know that Couric would be spinning this as some sort blow to Obama's credibility when I flat out believe on Darwin's B-day that this is evidence that Obama has a guardian angel taking care of him?

    I didn't mind her as much as the others (5.00 / 1) (#163)
    by sallywally on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 07:51:47 PM EST
    after she pretty much alone said Clinton was trashed by the media and after she smacked Palin down.

    I was never on the Wailin Palin wagon (none / 0) (#193)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 06:33:44 PM EST
    I always figured that her lack of abilities would rear its head debating and on the campaign trail.......and I thought it did.  Now I did dog her for wearing white after Labor Day but that is due to my upbringing :)  Couric's "brave" dress down of Sarah Palin didn't seem all that brave to me.  It seemed more opportunistic, but she did get the interview and it was her opportunity so......I don't recall her claiming that Clinton was media bashed.  If she did that I may need to place a check mark in her journalist column.

    Gregg Mentioned the Stimulus Bill, (none / 0) (#148)
    by bob h on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 06:27:49 PM EST
    but given that it is a done deal he can do nothing about, why should that be a factor to him now?

    He says he will not run for office, so the Republicans really cannot put any pressure that matters.

    Is Gregg unwell in the head?

    Hm (none / 0) (#156)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 07:08:40 PM EST
    it's interesting to see that the site has come back to some constructive debate about issues.

    Anyway, yeah, Commerce is no great shakes but the problem I see is that it comes on the heels of Daschle etc. Obama's practice of "high broderism" comes back to bite him I guess.

    Very big deal (none / 0) (#158)
    by NealB on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 07:21:59 PM EST

    This hurts Republicans more than anyone (none / 0) (#160)
    by vicndabx on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 07:29:40 PM EST
    These attempts to restore credibility to their brand by suddently having "principles" are as transparent as most things in DC.  They continue to appear obstinate to the vast majority of Americans IMHO.

    like it or not (none / 0) (#184)
    by JThomas on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 01:27:33 AM EST
    at this point Obama needs at least 2 GOP Senate votes to pass anything..so all this talk of kumbaya being a total waste is bunk.
    This move by Gregg makes the GOP look even more obstructionist and Obama looks like the one who is still trying to reach out. That is the better positon with the american public.

    Har! (none / 0) (#191)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 09:37:38 AM EST
    well (none / 0) (#161)
    by connecticut yankee on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 07:32:11 PM EST
    Funnier if he said, "Gambling?!!!?, I'm shocked! Shocked!", and then pocketed some stimulus money for his home state on his way out.

    Little more accurate given the past 8 years as well.

    New word: Greggtard. (none / 0) (#166)
    by LarryInNYC on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 08:32:45 PM EST
    What a maroon.

    But it has one good effect -- it will serve as a clear example to the young Obama Administration about the instability and perfidy of the Republican Party.  Unlike actual negotiations, in which gamesmanship and last minute changes of heart are kind of considered part of the craft, this was pure shabby behavior with an endgame clearly designed to make Obama look bad.

    Hope he learns something about Republicans from it.

    I wonder (none / 0) (#188)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 05:21:57 AM EST
    where has he been for the past 15 years? Or does he actually believe his own press?

    Three's A Charm (none / 0) (#172)
    by wickedlittledoll on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 09:14:59 PM EST
    That's what happens when you nominate a weasely Republican with Judas tendencies to be your commerce secretary. Though, to be fair, cuddly New Mexico governors with sketchy business dealings didn't work out so well either.


    duh, republican proves unreliable. (none / 0) (#190)
    by indesq on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 07:28:52 AM EST
    Frankly, the fact is most likely that the republican party laid a huge amount of pressure on him not to leave the senate.   There was no assurance that the replacement, if actually republican, would vote against obama like the current automatons in the senate.

    The reason to nominate him probably has as much to do with the senate split as anything else.  If obama reaches out, and they constantly refuse to engage, then he has cover for why his projects garner no republican support.

    He is quite a bit smarter that some of you guys give him credit for.   If anything, he is too cautious.