Phoenix Woman

Competence Finally Returns to FEMA

In keeping with the general theme of rolling back the wasted years of bogus Republican ideology, President Obama's FEMA pick, Craig Fugate, heralds a return to the days of James Lee Witt, when the Federal Emergency Management Agency was as good as it gets in terms of speed, efficiency and competence.

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Hillary for Health Secretary?

I'm not usually one to trust the Torygraph (aka the Telegraph), but this story sounds interesting:

Hillary Clinton will be offered a dignified exit from the presidential race and the prospect of a place in Barack Obama's cabinet under plans for a "negotiated surrender" of her White House ambitions being drawn up by Senator Obama's aides. The former First Lady would get the chance to pilot Mr Obama’s reforms of the American healthcare system if she agrees to clear the path to his nomination as Democratic presidential candidate. Senior figures in the Obama camp have told Democrat colleagues that the offer to Mrs Clinton of a cabinet post as health secretary or to steer new legislation through the Senate will be a central element of their peace overtures to the New York senator.


Another Democrat who has discussed strategy with friends in the Obama inner circle said that Mr Obama was openly considering asking Mrs Clinton to join his cabinet, alongside two other former presidential rivals: John Edwards, who is seen as a likely attorney general; and Joe Biden, who is a leading contender to become Secretary of State. Mr Obama hinted at the plan last week. “One of my heroes is Abraham Lincoln,” he said. “Lincoln basically pulled in all the people who had been running against him into his cabinet because whatever personal feelings there were, the issue was 'how can we get this country through this time of crisis?’ And I think that has to be the approach that one takes.”

The Clintons ought to be familiar with this strategy, as they tried a version of it with the Republicans back in Bill's first term when they did things like picking Louis Freeh to run the FBI and David Gergen to take over for the hapless George Stephanoupoulos, who the press liked much better when he was attacking the Clintons.

It didn't work so well with the GOP -- Freeh spent most of his tenure looking for ways to undermine the Clintons and Al Gore instead of worrying about domestic terrorism -- but I suspect it might work better where fellow Democrats are involved. Besides, Hillary's health care plan really does deserve a fair shot -- the one it didn't get when Howell Raines, who then was the big editing boss at the NYT, led the charge against it back in the early 1990s. I'm glad to see that Obama is willing to cede that issue to her.

House GOP Leader John Boehner Got his Blood Money

I was wondering what my topic should be for today. Really, after a point there's so much to choose from that it's hard to decide which atrocity rates the most attention. Then I read this post by my co-blogger Charles over at Mercury Rising, on how Newt Gingrich and his fellow Republican corruption mongers escaped prison terms, and I knew. In fact, the post is so good that I'm going to reprint it in its entirety, below the fold, with some additional commentary.

From Mercury Rising:

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Blackwater Mercenaries Draw Their Guns On US Soldiers

This post, written by Phoenix Woman, originally appeared on FireDogLake

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(click for larger version)

From a recent issue of Newsweek:
The colonel was furious. "Can you believe it? They actually drew their weapons on U.S. soldiers." He was describing a 2006 car accident, in which an SUV full of Blackwater operatives had crashed into a U.S. Army Humvee on a street in Baghdad's Green Zone. The colonel, who was involved in a follow-up investigation and spoke on the condition he not be named, said the Blackwater guards disarmed the U.S. Army soldiers and made them lie on the ground at gunpoint until they could disentangle the SUV. His account was confirmed by the head of another private security company.
They did WHAT?!

Holy. Crap. I've heard of road rage, but this is ridiculous.

No wonder the regular troops hate these mercenaries so much.

When I say "mercenaries", I'm being strictly correct, as Siun's recent piece showed. Considering how many of them are not Americans, but actually Serbian mercenaries fresh from killing Muslims in Kosovo, or South African thugs who got their jollies using violence to uphold apartheid back when whites controlled the country, I really shouldn't be surprised that they have no qualms about firing on US troops, their alleged allies.