"I'm wondering how President Bush is digging all these 'Bush Turns to Pop's Advisors' headlines. We were just chatting here at TPM about what we think of the Gates' nomination. And there are definitely real questions about his record in the 1980s as well as whether his nomination represents a genuine policy change or a time-buying personnel reshuffle. Speaking for myself, it seems like an undeniable step forward simply to be dealing with someone whose past performance and current policy views suggests they are operating in the reality-based universe -- a clear departure from the last six years. It takes a moment of stepping back to take stock of just how clinical our foreign policy has been -- both in concept and execution -- for the first years of this young century.
* tpmm on the corrupt Dems who are about to take the chair in some of the committees. Hastings, Mollohan, Murtha, Hoyer.
"Waxman wants to investigate waste, fraud, profiteering and "whether government is doing the job it's supposed to do."paging all whistleblowers.
"When Clinton was president, there was not an accusation too small for them not to launch investigations and issue subpoenas," Waxman said of congressional Republicans. "When Bush became president, there wasn't a scandal big enough for them to ignore. I think they've given us a good model on how not to behave."
The most senior member of the House, Rep. John D. Dingell (D-Mich.), is also scheduled to play a crucial role in the new Congress, again becoming chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
He already has a number of subjects he wants to look into, including the Medicare prescription drug benefit and an overhaul of energy policy, two of the GOP's proudest achievements.
"We're not after anybody," Dingell said, but he said if anyone from the administration has "useful things to tell us," they will be "invited to come forward.""
"But, officials said, the decision to replace Mr. Rumsfeld with Mr. Gates was made by the president, in close consultation with Mr. Rumsfeld and with advice from a group of close advisers. The group — including the national security adviser, Stephen J. Hadley, and the White House counselor, Dan Bartlett — was led by Joshua B. Bolten, the White House chief of staff, who came into his job last spring wanting to send clear signals that Mr. Bush was ready to make major changes to save an unpopular presidency.riiiiight.
Although Mr. Gates serves on the study panel Mr. Baker heads, administration officials said Mr. Baker was not involved in his selection, and they took issue with suggestions that somehow the first President Bush’s old team was riding to the rescue. A senior administration aide said Mr. Baker had found out about the choice minutes before it was announced.
"Presumably, there is some reason why the administration has been so eager to conceal all of this information about the NSA program and to block any investigation. Under our system of government, that's what Congress is for -- finding out. And it seems that Democrats understand that.i hope that Russ Tice's phone will be ringing off the hook.
It actually feels like we have more than one branch of government again. The days of listening to the President make demands and then reading all of the GOP Committee Chairmen say what a superb idea it was and stress how important it is to do everything the President wants as quickly as possible seem to have come to an end. Much vigilance is required with regard to the Democrats -- that should not be overlooked -- and the administration will undoubtedly resist in all sorts of ways, but this is a superb start to restoring the basic mechanics of our system of government."