Four thousand throats may be cut in one night by a running man. -Klingon Proverb
October 5, 2005 6:49 AM   Subscribe

Death by a Thousand Cuts. The choices of the Bush team are most confusing, what with the amount of unqualified individuals nominated (and confirmed). But what’s even more curious is the ties that bind them together. (Here’s some of the serious and not-so-serious diagrams of BushCo.) More inside...
posted by rzklkng (35 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: Reads like a personal blog post, first link doesn't have much to do with speculation within or the many unrelated diagrams. Proves nothing but the poster's opinion.

For example, what are the odds that the current Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers would have been the conduit for all of the documents that cross the President’s desk, including the infamous August 6th PDB entitled “Bin Laden Determined To Strike America” plus figuratively knowing where the bodies are buried regarding Bush’s “service” in the Texas Air National Guard. And what of John Roberts (Guantanamo, Iran-Contra, Bush-Cheney 2000 Florida Recount) and Margaret Spellings (Texas’ statistics miracle of NCLB), and Alberto Gonzalez (torture, Geneva Convention, drunk-driving omissions)? Are they truly deserving of their respective appointments, or is their appointment a payment for past (and continued) loyalty?
posted by rzklkng at 6:49 AM on October 5, 2005

It's payment, and also insurance against coming needs--the Plame thing and various other indictments, as well as the need to test the Constitutionality of many of Bush's policies--tax money for discriminating Charities and Schools among them, etc.
posted by amberglow at 6:56 AM on October 5, 2005

The requested URL /diagrams/Bush was not found on this server.
for your "here's" link. And can we get tinier diagrams please?
posted by Edible Energy at 7:19 AM on October 5, 2005

with the amount of unqualified individuals nominated (and confirmed)

Can you name me anyone other than Harriet Miers that is unqualified for their post?

And in answering that question, please remember that your disagreement with their politics is not a reflection of their qualifications.
posted by dios at 7:20 AM on October 5, 2005

This whole administration is so crooked on its face.

How can anyone still be ignoring the blatant, blatant corruption, graft, and falsehood?
posted by sonofsamiam at 7:20 AM on October 5, 2005

Look at what the differences are between those who stay (Texas, College Republicans, ties to corporate lawyers, fundraisers, "fixers", PNAC, AIPAC, Texas, etc.) and those who go, like Ridge, Powell, Christie Todd-Whitman, O'Niell, etc. Maybe loyalty is a synonym for bought silence?
posted by rzklkng at 7:22 AM on October 5, 2005

Can you name me anyone other than Harriet Miers that is unqualified for their post?"

Michael Brown ring a bell?
posted by magullo at 7:24 AM on October 5, 2005

And for the rest of your post, it is largely hysterical speculation. There is no evidence at all of this story about Miers and the Air National Guard. It is mere conjecture.

And you seriously want to suggest that John Roberts isn't qualified for his post? How are we to take you seriously when you make such an asinine comment? Alberto Gonzalez was a partner in a prestigious law firm, a respected member of the Texas Supreme Court, and Chief White House Counsel. Those seem sufficient qualifications for an Attorney General.

Your whole post is a mish-mash of wildly speculative allegations, partisan complaints, and buzzword invoking mashed together in a silly attempt at suggesting that people who are otherwise qualified are in fact unqualified merely because you don't like their politics.
posted by dios at 7:24 AM on October 5, 2005

magullo, fair enough. That's two. Any more?
posted by dios at 7:25 AM on October 5, 2005

dios, how about Spelling, Brown, Allbaugh, Julie Myers, Michael Chertoff, Hal Stratton...etc., etc.

It's unfortunate that your blind partisanship and adherence to party politics keeps you from objectively weighing grave matters of national security. Thinking like yours puts us all at risks...
posted by rzklkng at 7:28 AM on October 5, 2005

so, FEMA and SCOTUS are, like, small potatoes, dios? even assuming that they are the only two shameful choices -- they aren't -- isn't that bad enough for your standards dios?
posted by matteo at 7:29 AM on October 5, 2005

dios, it's hard to know where to begin. My favorite was his first ambassador to Spain, who didn't speak Spanish.
posted by allen.spaulding at 7:31 AM on October 5, 2005

You're wasting your time.
posted by Rothko at 7:33 AM on October 5, 2005

I can't recall names, off hand, but I seem to recall a number of apointees in the administration are convicted felons. Was it Poindexter? Libbey?
posted by Goofyy at 7:33 AM on October 5, 2005

It really was getting dull without him.
posted by NinjaPirate at 7:33 AM on October 5, 2005

And just as bad as the unqualified people who have made it into the administration, are the people who have been forced out for telling unpleasant truths to the public.
posted by bashos_frog at 7:34 AM on October 5, 2005

Oh yeah, as I recall, Congress couldn't seem to agree on Bolton, and Porter Goss himself didn't think he was qualified.
posted by rzklkng at 7:35 AM on October 5, 2005

And Rothko, we all know it's not about changing his mind (dios), but enlightening every one else. He's just a comic foil.
posted by rzklkng at 7:36 AM on October 5, 2005

An FDA veteran trained in animal husbandry who spent much of his career in the agency's Center for Veterinary Medicine, Alderson quickly became the subject of active and largely negative comment on the Internet and elsewhere.

The Office of Women's Health serves as a liaison with women's health groups and as an advocate on women's issues; critics said that a man with a primarily veterinary background could not properly fill the role.

That one might not be as permanent or as blatant as, say, Brown, but it's one more example of people being picked for positions that are 'over their heads' based on ideological traits rather than qualifications.

The early days of Iraq's reconstruction included large armies of eager, wet-behind-the-ears Cato Institute types as well. I'll have to dig up a few of the articles that came out at the time.
posted by verb at 7:40 AM on October 5, 2005

Don't play the etc. game. Name each one.

Now lets look at the qualifications of each of them:

Spelling had a background in education policy for quite a long time. I'm not sure what special qualifications beyond that you require for her post.

I'll give you Brown, who apparently lied about this resume. Allbaugh, I don't know his, but I imagine he has some qualifications (or as much as someone in his office would normally have).

Julie Myers? To be honest I have never heard of the person, so I looked it up. She is the Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement at the Department of Commerce. Now, perhaps you think there is a certain amount of qualifications necessary for that job beyond what her's are, and I'd love to hear your argument for them. But as a former U.S. Attorney and holding a position in the Treasury department, those sound like qualifications.

Michael Chertoff. Please. His qualifications are unquestionable. He has been a respected U.S. Attorney in both Republican and Democratic White Houses.

Hal Stratton, another one I had to look up. He is Chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, whatever that is. Again, what qualifications is suppose to have? He was the Attorney General of New Mexico and his resume looks impressive enough.

I can't believe you are throwing out these names as proof that Bush consistently appoints unqualified people. And Miers isn't unqualified in general. She is just not as emminently qualified as a Supreme Court Justice should be.

But go back to Gonzalez and Roberts, two you specifically named. Are you seriously going to suggest they are qualified for their positions?
posted by dios at 7:40 AM on October 5, 2005

even assuming that they are the only two shameful choices

Assuming that, then the person ought not lead off in his post with the following nonsense:

"The choices of the Bush team are most confusing, what with the amount of unqualified individuals nominated (and confirmed). "
posted by dios at 7:42 AM on October 5, 2005

Look, every administration appoints people to the national posts who are from their party. Like it or not, the concept of spoils is consistent throughout all Presidential administrations. Bill Clinton appointed a lot of people to posts with qualifications similar to Bush's appointees. It is the nature of our federal administration. Ambassadorships have always been considered "cush" jobs. There are so many federal posts, many of which have almost laughably limited roles in our government. They are always filled by people who in the circle of the White House.

If the complaint is about Brown at FEMA, then make the thread about that. If the complaint is about Miers not being as exceptionally qualified as we should demand, then please make that post, I'll agree with it.

But don't overstate your point by bringing in a bunch of silly argument about how some Assistant Undersecretary isn't qualified for whatever the hell her post is and then try to overstate your case by saying that Bush consistently apoints unqualified people to their positions.
posted by dios at 7:47 AM on October 5, 2005

Dios, have you ever been introspective enough to realize that you and your kind ALWAYS say "I've never heard of..." when confronted with information that's outside of your paradigm? Didja ever think that MAYBE, just maybe you weren't getting a full picture from your sources?

As far as Chertoff, what does a LAWER and CONGRESSPERSON know of Homeland Security? Spelling has POLITICAL experience in education, yet no education experience. That's not ODD to you?

I'm not going to give you the satisfaction of splitting hairs over the meaning of unqualified - by intent and definition, that means not suitable for the position, either due to conflicts of interest or lack of experience.
posted by rzklkng at 7:52 AM on October 5, 2005

Michael Chertoff. Please. His qualifications are unquestionable. He has been a respected U.S. Attorney in both Republican and Democratic White Houses.

Why exactly does that qualify him to be the head of Homeland Security? Do U.S. Attorneys routinely hold counter-terrorist tactical exercises or something in their off-hours? Do they plan widescale emergency management strategies on their way to the courthouse?
posted by bashos_frog at 7:53 AM on October 5, 2005

Bill Clinton appointed a lot of people to posts with qualifications similar to Bush's appointees.

Could you give some examples of Clinton appointees that have responsibility:qualification ratios similar to Miers or Brown?
posted by I Love Tacos at 7:53 AM on October 5, 2005

Look, every administration... Put that card away, we're talking about THIS administration, you know, the one restoring dignity to the White House.
posted by rzklkng at 7:53 AM on October 5, 2005

Wow Clinton got mentioned already? Countdown to Godwin in 5...4...3...2...
posted by rzklkng at 7:56 AM on October 5, 2005


I'm not sure that the primary point of this thread is to necessarily illuminate underqualification. I think that the diagrams are supposed to illustrate corporate influence and cronyism. Any instances of underqualification are a side-effect and, as far as this discussion goes, more of a subtext.
posted by Jon-o at 7:57 AM on October 5, 2005

Actually, all of Bush's unqualified picks are Clinton's fault.
(because everything is Clinton's fault, naturally)
posted by bashos_frog at 7:58 AM on October 5, 2005

There's no telling anything to anyone who is still on board with the administration at this point. They will call black white, they already call wrong right. It takes a great deal of effort to continually justify their adopted viewpoint to themselves, using the longest, most convoluted, vague hand-wavy reasoning. And they'll think they're being logical.

I'm just glad most people have not abandoned their common sense and still think of fire when they see smoke.

How can you breach someone's internally consistent fantasy world, which anyone can construct and live in as long as they please? They fundamentally can't see the "jumps" in their own logic. When you build mental bridges over the gaps, you eventually forget the gaps are even there. It usually takes some unprecedented and shocking event to make them deeply reconsider their worldview. Plato's allegory of the cave illustrates this pretty well.

The problem is even worse when they have a support group, like a cult or some other pathological social structure. To some extent, our entire culture is our own fantasy support group, but the tendency for small sub-structures to partially seal themselves off from the greater mental landscape and involute is undeniable. Members of such groups consider their own habits of thought to be the norm, and intrusions on the fantasy are ironically criticized for their illogic. The arbitrary and paraconsistent nature of human rhetoric (and therefore logic) is completely ignored, because such self-reflective considerations, when taken seriously, nearly always lead one to a higher-level viewpoint, which must destroy the illusion.

Sorry this comment kind of devolved into a rant.
I'm brainwashed by my cult-ure into taking this stuff far too seriously.
posted by sonofsamiam at 7:58 AM on October 5, 2005

EE: Source page and direct link (you'll prolly have to cut and paste).
posted by rzklkng at 8:00 AM on October 5, 2005

I don't know if Bush consistently appoints people who are unqualified, but he appoints friends who refuse to disagree with him, right or wrong, at whatever cost to the country.

One example that is worse, in my mind, was the appointment of Tom Ridge to run DHS. The competent, right-of-center former governor of Pennsylvania was hired to essentially create a cabinet position that would help the Bush administration abuse terrorism for political purposes. We all know about the ridiculous color alert scheme, nonsensical Fox News alert changes and the duct tape. DHS money was handed out inconsistently, if at all, and then mostly as political payola to areas that would help with photo ops or the 2004 Bush/Cheney campaign. Certainly, funding was never handed out to New York City in any amount consistent with the region as a terrorist target. Would I say Ridge was incompetent? No, but I would say his talents were grossly misused with potentially serious consequences to the lives of millions of Americans.

It's sad to see capable people put into positions of impotence so that the President can abuse them for political ends. It's worse when those positions can (and do, as FEMA showed) affect the well-being of millions of people.
posted by Rothko at 8:01 AM on October 5, 2005

I too would like to see a list of largely unqualified Clinton appointees.
posted by srboisvert at 8:03 AM on October 5, 2005

"what with the amount of unqualified individuals nominated (and confirmed)"

Well, there you have it..nominated and confirmed. Confirmed by Democrats and Republicans in many cases so I'm not sure who your slinging mud at.

Look, I've been more than willing to call Bush on his idiocy more than a few times but the Mefi community, at large, is filled with so much of this dreck, you have to sift through endless hate-filled rants to actually find someone that makes a convincing position for the left. I rarely hear anyone here say, "this is what dems believe, and this is why Bush is wrong". Dios is correct; if you have a particular point, make it please.
posted by j.p. Hung at 8:04 AM on October 5, 2005

From the "some" diagram: Separated at birth: Ahmed Chalabi & Richard Dreyfuss.
posted by Xurando at 8:04 AM on October 5, 2005

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