This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Comments here or emails to me at abulsme@abulsme.com are encouraged... or follow me on Twitter as @abulsme.

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January 2009
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Curmudgeon’s Corner: Welcome to the Future

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Losing a Governor?

Hmmm…

Gregoire as Commerce Secretary?
(Eli Sanders, Slog, 5 Jan 2009)

Q: Is Governor Gregoire going to be Obama’s nominee for Commerce Secretary?

A: “We’re not able to speak to that so we’ll do a release in the morning.”

Q: Where is she?

A: “She’s out of state.”

Q: Is she in the country?

A: “I’m not allowed to say.”

Q: Is she going to continue as Governor of Washington State?

A: “I’m not allowed to say.”

All I can say is that from what little exposure I’ve had to her (seeing her in person a couple times at the Democratic caucus events and watching one of the televised Gubernatorial debates) I really really REALLY don’t like her. Yet I find myself torn between being happy she won’t be in Washington State any more, and appalled that she will be in the Obama administration.

Assuming the rumors turn out to be true of course.

Motivations

I’m catching up on Monday’s news at the moment, and see a lot about Dianne Feinstein and Jay Rockefeller (important Dems on the intelligence committees) not “approving” of Obama’s appointment of Leon Panetta for CIA. Because he doesn’t have enough intelligence experience. I don’t buy that at all.

I think what is going on here is that from the initial reports I have read Panetta doesn’t buy into a lot of the stuff that’s been going on in the Intelligence world the last few years. He’s taken an absolutely unequivocal stand against torture and “enhanced interrogation” for instance.

Meanwhile, leading congressional Democrats on the relevant committees have been briefed on what the Bush administration was doing ALL ALONG. And for the most part, they went along with it and made no attempt to stop or slow what was going on, and in many cases actively supported it.

I think if you get people in charge on the executive side of the fence that are on record saying these things are not just the wrong thing to do, but in many cases completely immoral and perhaps even in some cases criminal, that the facts about who knew about things and who supported things will slowly come out, and a lot of people will not come out looking good. And it isn’t just Republican’s who will be tainted. A lot of congressional Democrats will be found to have been neck deep in it as well.

That is what Feinstein and Rockefeller and such don’t like. Someone who does NOT have a heavy Intelligence background (like Panetta) and who therefore hasn’t been indoctrinated into the groupthink, will come in there, see what was going on, and may very well do a “WTF??? You were doing WHAT?” and start actually making noise about some of the bad things that have happened. Some of it may be public. Chances are much more will be private and internal and not see the light of day for a long time, but feathers will still get ruffled.

Or maybe I’m full of it. But when I hear Congressional Dems complaining about something like this, I immediately wonder what their real agenda is, because I don’t think it is the same as their public line.

Of course, all of the above doesn’t mean Panetta would have been my pick or that I know enough to say I approve of him or disapprove of him… I haven’t looked into it enough to really say… Maybe he really is a bad fit. I’m just saying I don’t trust the folks that are criticizing on experience grounds alone right now at ALL, and that they probably have other motives that aren’t really all that pure and are probably more about themselves than about Panetta.