From Jim Houle
Ukiah, California 02/13/09
Dave Lindorff, reporter for Salon, the Nation and Businessweek,/ writes: ”Just two weeks after his historic inauguration ceremony, Obama’s presidency is lurching towards failure, and not because three of his administration picks have been found to be tax cheats, but because nearly all of his administration picks are corporate whores and shills”. Lets look at the list:
William Lynn: A former Raytheon Co. lobbyist, confirmed today as deputy secretary of defense, (the department’s chief operating officer – which includes overseeing acquisitions). He has agreed to sell his stock in the military contractor but will not be forced to step back from decisions related to Ratheon, the Defense Department said Friday. Instead, Obama wrote Lynn a special permission slip to exempt him the new revolving door ban. Allowing Lynn to do business with his former employer makes a mockery of Obama’s new ethics rules.
Tom Daschle: Nominated as Secretary of H&HS – dropped out after acknowledging that he had belatedly paid more than $128,000 in taxes owed to the federal government.
Nancy Killefer: Intended to become the government’s first “chief performance officer”, bowed out, after admitting she never paid payroll taxes for her household employee.
Timothy Geithner: a key official of the Bush years, has now been confirmed at Secretary of the Treasury, although he admits not having paid the Social Security and Health Care taxes he owed to the US Treasury., while working at the IMF. He had avoided paying them, despite his signed acknowledgement that he owed these taxes and hid behind the 3 year statue of limitations, thus had saved himself $41,000. He only paid up after his nomination was confirmed. And this guy will supervise the IRS?
Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) dropped out after having accepted the job of Commerce Secretary. A deeply conservative man, he is opposed to the very existence of the Commerce Department he will head. To top it off, Obama had worked out a deal to have the Democratic governor of New Hampshire fill Gregg’s vacated Senate seat with a Republican appointee, thereby forfeiting the right to add a Democrat to the Senate and eliminate any chance of Republican filibusters. Gregg explained that he didn’t like Obama’s economic stimulus program. It sounds like his ego got ahead of his ability to keep current on the news.
Tom Vilsack as Secretary of Agriculture: A Strong supporter of Monsanto’s genetically-engineered crops and of unsustainable ethanol manufacture from corn and soy beans.
Senator (D-Co) Ken Salazar, Obama’s choice for Secretary of Interior: a loyal servant of the big ranching, and mining interests. Energy stocks climbed over 10% on expectations that his taking charge of Interior would assure continued opening up of federal lands for minerals exploitation”. WSW.org 12/18/08. However, on February 10th, he surprised us by extending the review period for oil and gas leases in western states by 6 months. Should we wait and see if this leopard changes his spots?
Arne Duncan (currently CEO for the Chicago Public School System) will become Education Secretary. He is seen as a strong supporter of the “No Child Left Behind” initiative of the Bush administration.
Dr. Steven Chu has headed the Lawrence Berkeley Labs these past 4 years and is a scientist, not a businessman. His lifelong support for the nuclear power industry is why he’ll be DOE Secretary.
Keep reading Obama-Watch.us Eighth Edition→
and The obstructionists dilemma at Daily Kos→
and They Sure Showed That Obama by Frank Rich, NYT→