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November 30, 2004 2:38 PM   Subscribe

Seventh Bush cabinet member to resign since Election Day. (National threat level remains at yellow.) Of course, the best part about being the second Secretary of Homeland Security is, the only person they can compare you to is Tom Ridge. Meanwhile, any picks for the next security czar?
posted by jellybuzz (31 comments total)

 
I sure am happy America voted not to change horses in midstream. I can only imagine what the terrorists would think if we changed our secretary of state, national security advisor, attorney genearal, and the director of homeland security. whew. Thankfully we still have Rumsfeld and the civilian Pentagon team in place.
posted by Arch Stanton at 2:46 PM on November 30, 2004


49% voted to change horses. This shuffling around is all the fun we're going to have. (Actually an amount of turnover in the cabinet is pretty standard in a second term.)

I think one good choice for the next DHS chief could be Bernard Kerik, former New York City police commissioner and interim interior minister of Iraq. Can't beat that combo.

Obviously Joe Allbaugh, director of FEMA, whose name is also going around, knows about responding to disasters. Although preventing them is a different matter. Also, he specializes in acts of god or natural disasters, which are way different from human-inflicted (albeit god-inspired) horror. Right?
posted by jellybuzz at 3:01 PM on November 30, 2004


any picks for the next security czar?

Rudolph Giuliani's qualifications:
  • He knows something about managing those who respond to vague and non existent threats with unnecessary and overwhelming force,
  • He has experience with managing torturers.
  • If there is another attack, he can pretend to be a human being for a little while thereafter and make everyone (that didn't get attacked) feel better about it.
(this thread will probably get deleted shortly, but thought I'd get a couple of shots in at Rudy's expense)
posted by psmealey at 3:01 PM on November 30, 2004


I predict one of three things: Tom Ridge, Republican for Congress, Vice Presidential Candidate Tom Ridge, or the grand opening of Ridge Security Consulting.

As an aside, what's the deal with the word "czar', and why are we so fascinated with it? Is it a subconsicous fascination with imperialist Russia? Is it the rare pairing of "c" and "z"? Or is "czar" just fun to say?
posted by fandango_matt at 3:11 PM on November 30, 2004


According to many, it is the single most important cabinet position out there.

He was considered to be the best man for the job

He left to get a better job, presumably because how much he makes it more important than how important his doing this job is for the country.

So much for service to the nation.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:14 PM on November 30, 2004


Before the thread gets zapped (maybe mathowie is distracted watching tapes of Desperate Housewives?), let me quickly put in a plug for a woman as head of Homeland Security: How about Frances Townsend, currently White House homeland security adviser?
posted by jellybuzz at 3:16 PM on November 30, 2004


I'd only sign up to be a czar if I got my own dacha, as well as a cossack guard.

On preview: if by most important cabinet position, you mean most ceremonial, I would agree. Seriously, though, does the position still have any real authority whatsoever? All due respect to Tom Ridge, who seemed an affable enough guy, but in over his head from day one, what did he accomplish other than developing the widely ridiculed color alert system?
posted by psmealey at 3:17 PM on November 30, 2004


Frances Townsend

Would she be czarina? Or is that just the czar's wife?
posted by jellybuzz at 3:20 PM on November 30, 2004


I feel safer already -- no, really.
posted by NewBornHippy at 3:28 PM on November 30, 2004


psmealey: i seem to remember some quiet jurisdiction changes in the last four years - i believe the dept of homeland security also handles immigration (used to be the INS) now. while it seems like a really useless position, they have slowly been restructuring the administrative branch to give homeland security more and more power.
posted by pikachulolita at 3:29 PM on November 30, 2004


All due respect to Tom Ridge, who seemed an affable enough guy, but in over his head from day one, what did he accomplish other than developing the widely ridiculed color alert system?

Aw come on, you're just green with envy.
posted by NewBornHippy at 3:34 PM on November 30, 2004


National threat level remains at yellow

Funny thing that. It seems that as long as it stays at yellow, the laws allowing the gathering of info with the 'looser' rules gets to stay in databases.

If it drops below yellow, the data legally goes *poof*
posted by rough ashlar at 3:35 PM on November 30, 2004


Rudolph Giuliani's qualifications:

then it's broomstick ass-rape galore in Abu Ghraib!

anyway:

Rudy Rules!
By Joseph Lelyveld
posted by matteo at 3:38 PM on November 30, 2004


"Talk softly and carry a big broomstick"
posted by matteo at 3:39 PM on November 30, 2004


Alternative Theory #5: Self-inflicted
The litigant was using a stick to retrieve something he had inserted in himself earlier for safekeeping -- his car keys, for example, or a valuable family heirloom -- and lost his grip. While this may seem farfetched, we do well to remember that the precise circumstances which led to Mr. Louima's injuries are limited only by the human imagination, while the prosecution would have us believe that just one truth -- THEIR truth -- is the only truth. Perhaps it is Mr. Louima who has behaved irresponsibly, not Officer Volpe. Perhaps it is Mr. Louima, a guest in our country, who is forcing the wooden stick of false accusations up Officer Volpe's metaphorical heinie.
posted by matteo at 3:42 PM on November 30, 2004


It seems that as long as it stays at yellow, the laws allowing the gathering of info with the 'looser' rules gets to stay in databases.

So, those colors actually mean something beyond more guards with M-16s at toy stores in Times Square?
posted by Arch Stanton at 4:12 PM on November 30, 2004


Personally, I am guessing Asa Hutchinson - former Arkansas Senator and current Undersecretary for Homeland Security.
posted by Yellowbeard at 4:15 PM on November 30, 2004


Maybe he'll come up with a new color-coded filing system for whatever lobbying firm hires him.
posted by exhilaration at 4:41 PM on November 30, 2004


Gosh, do you think the Preznit will wave goodbye to Mr. Ridge with all five fingers?
posted by DenOfSizer at 4:51 PM on November 30, 2004


I would love to get rid of the hideous, reminiscent-of-Hitler-and/or-Stalin "Homeland Security" moniker. It makes me feel vaguely ill every time I hear it.

And the Czarina is both the wife of the ruler and the ruler in her own right. I also hate the whole "czar" thing. It's just no fun without the serfs and the purges.
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:19 PM on November 30, 2004


it's gonna be Giuliani--definitely. He proved himself to be an eager bullshit artist/spinmeister during the campaign, and this is his reward. (it's also the only place to put him that won't upset the radical base.)
posted by amberglow at 5:26 PM on November 30, 2004


> i seem to remember some quiet jurisdiction changes in the last four years - i believe the dept of homeland security also handles immigration (used to be the INS) now. while it seems like a really useless position, they have slowly been restructuring the administrative branch to give homeland security more and more power. - pikachulolita

It wasn't quiet. It was a law enacting the Department of Homeland Security, which was originally proposed based on the Rudman-Hart commission (pre-9/11), then resisted by the Bush administration for a year and a half. The process by which jurisdiction was transferred wasn't the most transparent (a lot of wrangling in conference), it did result in changes to the US Code which authorized the transfer of functions from several other departments. To be accurate, INS no longer exists; its functions were split between BICE (Bureau of Immigration & Customs Enforcement) and CIS (Citizen and Immigration Services).

Tom Ridge, btw, was in Congress from 1984-1998 and after that Governor of PA. DHS was his Peter Principle moment. Though on the 2000 VP shortlist, bypassed by the short-list creator Dick Cheney, he never meshed with the "team" in DC and is likely out to pasture for good.

Since Giuliani is a probable for the 2008 Presidential, it's possible the administration would like to neutralize that by giving him an offer he can't refuse. (He's personally too much of a Northeastern moderate to be anointed successor.) He might be slotted for a "soften-the-blow" VP position, though. His background as a federal prosecutor, though, makes him a strong dark horse for Attorney General. He is said to covet a seat on the Supreme Court someday. But a lot of his post-mayoral dealings have been as front man for a number of security-related businesses.
posted by dhartung at 9:44 PM on November 30, 2004


I like Giuliani for DHS secretary. Asa Hutchinson has too much political baggage in Southern California and the Southwest for his ham-handed and ineffective border enforcement. He's gotten flack from both conservatives and liberals for his wishy-washiness. David Dreier, after being given the scare of his political life, will not let Hutchinson through. Dreier, on the other hand, might be tapped for an undersecretary position if some rich right winger is seriously contemplating running against him. (More on Dreier here and here)
posted by calwatch at 11:00 PM on November 30, 2004


Interestingly, the word "czar" is derived from "Caesar", as is "kaiser". Caesar salad, on the other hand, was named after a Mexican restaurant owner, who invented it (more here). I hope that's cleared up all this Tom Ridge business.
posted by ralphyk at 3:26 AM on December 1, 2004


Funny thing about this whole deal. A while back, he did say that he was planning on leaving. The reason given back then was that he had two kids just entering college, and he wanted to take the lucrative speaking and appearance deals that he could demand in order to afford it. Yes, that's right, a high level government official who makes around 200,000 a year has stepped down because he is having trouble affording to send two kids to college due to income. How fucking ironic is that?
posted by shawnj at 5:15 AM on December 1, 2004


Well, government executive management is a lot of work for little pay. Elected officials get a lot of perks, but the directors of such-and-such agency have a lot of heartache for relatively little money.
posted by calwatch at 10:54 PM on December 1, 2004


$175,000 a year is "little pay"? What planet do you live on?
posted by shawnj at 3:12 AM on December 2, 2004


...could be Bernard Kerik, former New York City police commissioner and interim interior minister of Iraq

Looks like it will be Bernard Kerik.
posted by jellybuzz at 7:27 AM on December 3, 2004




When Clinton was reelected in 1996 he got a new...

Sec. of State (Christopher > Albright)
Sec. of Defense (Perry > Cohen)
Sec. of Commerce (Cantor > Daley)
Sec. of Labor (Reich > Herman)
Sec. of HUD (Cisneros > Cuomo)
Sec. of Transportation (Peña > Slater)
Sec. of Energy (O'Leary > Peña)
Sec. of Veterans Affairs (Brown > West)


When Reagan won his re-election, he got a new...

Sec. of State (Haig > Schultz)
Sec. of Treasury (Regan > Baker)
Atty Gen. (Smith > Meese)
Sec. of the Interior (Clark > Hodel)
Sec. of Labor (Donovan > Brock)
Sec. of Health & Human Services (Heckler > Bowen)
Sec. of Education (Bell > Bennet)
Sec. of Energy (Hodel > Herrington)


I think it's more signifigant to note when members of the administration step down at other times than right after the re-election.

You can see all kinds of details on the POTUSes and their cabinets @ http://www.potus.com.
posted by crunchland at 4:41 PM on December 3, 2004


and Kerik just withdrew--seems he's better off making millions consulting with companies or something.
posted by amberglow at 7:21 PM on December 10, 2004


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