The process of selecting a new team of cabinet officers to serve the president elect is excruciating - painful to watch, painful to hear about, and painful to understand.
What we have as the Bush administration prepares to hand over the reins to Barack Obama's administration is cronyism at its finest. But it is unraveling before even one day has been spent in office.
The latest DC horror show was capped by a two-fer last week and this week. First we had New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, Obama's choice for commerce secretary, withdrawing under pressure as a federal investigation continues into how his political donors landed a lucrative transportation contract. That was immediately followed by the selection of former Bill Clinton chief of staff Leon Panetta to head the Central Intelligence Agency.
Panetta's selection is "raising eyebrows" according to the media which should have said it is sending sane people screaming over the edge. Panetta has zero real-world experience in the intelligence gathering arena.
Panetta is considered a competent manager especially on budget issues, but that doesn't explain at all how he is somehow qualified to be the top man in the free world intelligence field.
According to news reports, President-elect Obama planned to select a CIA head with extensive experience fighting terrorist networks. But his initial choices were all considered to have ties to the Bush Administration, which in the world of far-left Democrat politics is tantamount to being blackballed, regardless if the person would do the best job for the country.
Media accounts say that even Democratic Rep. Jane Harman of California, who was the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, was not offered the post because she had supported Bush's program permitting domestic eavesdropping of suspected terrorist phone calls that originated overseas.
The best that President-elect Obama's apologists can come up with as a resume entry for Panetta is that he played a minor role on the Iraq Study Group. That was an august gathering of DC insiders whose primary purpose in life was to criticize George Bush and whine that the war in Iraq could never be won, we would be endlessly mired in a quagmire, and that the sky is falling.
You probably haven't noticed that we have won in Iraq, because the media, with the exception of FOX News, is ignoring the victory. The terrorist infrastructure that was under construction in Iraq in 2002 and earlier, with the approval and assistance of the late Saddam Hussein, has been demolished and its remnants have fled to the Afghanistan-Pakistan border area, one of the few areas of the world where they won't be shot on sight.
Our forces are building in Afghanistan too, preparing to bitch slap them into terrorist heaven in short order.
So what does Panetta's selection give us? Well from here it looks frighteningly like it could be a replay of the jimmy carter administration when Stansfield M. Turner gutted the CIA of many of its finest operatives, people who really understood global politics and intelligence gathering. That in turn led to the Iran hostage debacle, and escalating attacks on American citizens overseas, our armed forces, our embassies, and ultimately our country.
It should concern us that while the DC soap opera continues to distract the media, Russian dictator - sorry, Dictator with a Democratic Sounding Title - Vladimir Ras Putin is turning his sights toward the Ukraine after forcibly occupying portions of Georgia last year.
It seems obvious that something dark and sinister is occurring on the unlighted side of the world and it would serve us well to know what it is. But instead, we are putting a guy in charge of our top spy agency who doesn't know anything about spying, intelligence gathering, or analysis.
In fact, what Panetta knows best is politics, at least American style Democrat politics, and by all accounts he is very good at what he does. But he doesn't do intelligence gathering, and this does not bode well for our country, it does not bode well for Eastern Europe, and it does not bode well for the immediate or long-term future of international relations on many levels.
It is clear that Putin is pushing buttons, flexing muscles and preparing to take over as many countries that were part of the old Soviet Union as he can. And he is using the same tactics as Joseph Stalin used in the 30s. Stalin created a false famine - meaning that there was food, but he killed people who tried to eat it - that resulted in an estimated 10 million deaths in the Ukraine.
Putin is using the natural gas pipeline that transects the Ukraine on its way to European markets to freeze out the Ukraine, as well as countries deeper in Europe, falsely claiming that natural gas is being stolen from his pipeline. Did you ever see what happens when an unskilled person tries to tap into a natural gas pipeline?
As a result of Putin's machinations, people in Europe are freezing, and the price of oil worldwide is going up again, since it gives futures traders another excuse to be "uneasy" which means the price of the commodity that causes their uneasiness goes up, along with their commissions.
But what do we have in Washington D.C.? Another drama, revolving around an endless parade of the same personalities, the same people, the same issues, the same distractions. Remember the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result!
Well, this was supposed to be different wasn't it? About one-fourth of America's eligible voters put a new guy in office under the banner and campaign slogan of "CHANGE."
Can someone please define "change" for me, other than what is left in my pocket after the tax man has mugged me? I don't see change, folks, I see the same old, same old.
And while the DC Insiders fiddle, the world is freezing, burning, drying out, shooting itself to pieces, and going hungry. How incredibly refreshing from what we had previously.
Tuesday, January 06, 2009