Duck! and Gather

Archive for February 4th, 2009

1:51 p.m. | Who is the enemy?: Mr. Ackerman continues blasting the S.E.C. and Mr. Vollmer. “Your contribution to this proceeding is zero,” he says. “We thought the enemy was Mr. Madoff. I think it’s you.”

(Here is the full C-SPAN video of the hearing.)

I have some advice for Mr. Obama. I’m sure he’s listening. 🙂 Here it is: “Barry, please follow the lead of the Germans who took over from the Nazis in the 1940s, and from the Eastern European democracies who took over from the communists after 1989. Implement some lustrace laws.”

Specifically, what I’d like to see is that for substantive appointments in the national government, exclude anyone who held a senior position in the national government since 1984 (i.e. prior cabinet executives, Congressmen, or Senators), and anyone who was a CEO, lobbyist, or board member of a corporation or industry of “significant” size.

Substantive appointments are those for positions that address a specific sector of American life. e.g. The Health Guy, the SEC guy, the envoy for a  specific country (e.g. Iran), etc. What positions does this leave out? General positions like Secretary of State, Chief of Staff, Attorney General, etc.

Lustrace laws like these worked well in the above-mentioned countries. Although these laws were harsh, and rough, they created enough space to allow those nations to break clean with their dark histories, and renew themselves.

We can see that such laws would be painful. For example, George Mitchell would need to be dinged as Mideast envoy (even though most of us think he was a wonderful pick).

But without political honchos and big-swinging-dick business people to pick from, who would that leave? I’ll give you three names:

  1. Patrick Fitzgerald
  2. Harry Markopolos
  3. David Graham

Read the rest of this entry »

for the money has gone too far

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February 2009
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