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December 12, 2006


I wonder what my Democratic Congressman thinks of this

I've already explained that if he don't get off his ass and call for george bush's impeachment and removal real soon, he's gonna face a challenger in the Democratic Primary in 2008

then I learned that Ellen Taucher is bitching about the fact that she's facing an announced challenger in the 2008 primary

you think my congresscritter gets the message now ???

he can stick his "Blue Dog Democrat" card up his ass

I want action, and I want it now

who's with me ???

_Peter_ McPherson. Not "James McPherson." James McPherson is an entirely admirable liberal historian specializing in the American Civil War. You're calumnizing an innocent man.

``That's what you get when political considerations govern your hiring decisions: rank incompetence.''

Not just incompetence---in this case a bunch of young'uns with no knowledge of Iraq, no knowledge of Arabic, and, one suspects, little of banking---but also a stupid attempt to make a stubborn reality fit some laissez-faire economic ideas that were hardly appropriate. Now, we are told, the Pentagon (sic!) are going to restart the state industries (that those fools disregarded as inconsistent with their laissez-faire economic fantasies) so as to be able to provide employment to those many unemployed whose discontent therefrom is part of what has produced the chaos currently to be found in Iraq.

Patrick Nielsen Hayden

Thanks, fixed. You know, I'm sure I've made that mistake again. And I'm even a Michigander...

``Perhaps this is one area where the Republicans may live to regret their, um, inattention to passing a budget for next year. Perhaps we'll be able to retain one area of government where people know a little about the world we're busy screwing up.''

I certainly hope so. Tho' the approach of McKinsey and Co sounds like one of those ``reinventing government'' thingies that Al Gore and the Clintonites were so fond of. Are we so sure the D's will reject this in favor of the traditional approach?

All the same, before one gets too enthusiastic about the traditional foreign service approach, see what William Blum has to say about it in his West Bloc Dissident, a Cold War Memoir. He wanted to be a foreign service officer but found that his anger at the Vietnam war and other things, such as the imperial intervention in the Dominican Republic in 1965, turned him into a dissident. So he ended up in the peculiar position, in the mid 1960's, of being a computer programmer for the State Department whilst at the same time an organizer of the anti-war movement in Washington DC. And learned that all those nice things about ``democratic philosophy, and international law'' on that exam had become a cover for the more unsavory deeds of the CIA and the military, and that to the extent that FSO's understood that, they rationalized their participation on the basis that if they did not do the job someone else who was worse would. (See the discussion in Ch. 7 of West Bloc Dissident about a meeting between Blum and a fellow Washington Free Press journalist with six FSO's, five of whom were about to be sent to Vietnam.)

Still, as Lear says, ``The art of our necessities makes vile things seem precious''. The combination of maleficence and incompetence among the Bushies makes the traditional look good.

Now wasn't McKinsey the firm that gave us Jeffrey Skilling and his managerial genius at Enron?

McKinsey was also the source of three management "makeovers" when I was at the Los Angeles Times. Unspeakable failures, each one of them.

BTW, emptywheel, blah blah blah blah blah blah is rather higher praise than I've seen you previously give the IS(L)G report heretofore. You're not starting to think Jim Baker's kind of a good guy after all, are you?

Yeah, Mimikatz--click through the Ian Welsh link--he approaches this from that angle.

I wonder whether the grading of this automated exam will be requred to maintain a paper audit trail for assessment of adherence to appropriate criteria in the hiring process.

For example, would it be possible to ascertain how much the phrase "Heritage Foundation" in the "Clubs and Hobbies" section of the structured resume affects your chances of being hired?

I think you're missing the obvious here -- Condi Rice probably flunked the foreign service exam and wants to institute a change so that she's not restricted to hiring people more competent than herself . . .

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