Friday, February 13, 2009

511 Help Wanted

511 Help Wanted

You interested in a good government job?  How about Secretary of Commerce.  

No one seems to want it -- at least no one without lobbying, tax or ideological problems.

First, there was Bill Richardson.  Governor of New Mexico, stellar negotiator, international mediator, and all around good guy, Hispanic to boot.  A little problem, though.  His state did business with a guy who seemed to like giving money to local office holders.  Richardson folded, Obama agreed to pick up the cards.

Then there's Judd Gregg, Republican Senator from New Hampshire.  He has "philosophical differences" with the President, philosophical differences that a week ago he hadn't noticed.  So much for this little bit of bipartisanship.  Hands across the aisle?  Maybe not.

This leaves us without a secretary of commerce.  Maybe that's not such a bad thing.  Maybe we really don't need anyone in that job.

What does this guy do, anyway?  Kind of a cheerleader for American industry, a vacant concept these days.

We could do with a few fewer cabinet ministers -- uh -- secretaries.  Keep the payroll lower during the recession.  

Can you name any previous Secretaries of Commerce?  Here's one:  Carlos Gutierez, a former big shot at Kellogg's and the guy who resigned when Bush left office.  Any idea what he did?  

Didn't think so.

This guy is kind of like cheerleader for American exports.

So here's a suggestion:  Dick Parsons.  Parsons is an executive of marvelous accomplishments in New York's Rockefeller administration, as head of the Dime Savings Bank and as head of Time Warner.  He's smart, he's savvy, he's accomplished, he's mature, he's black.

Or how about Mike Bloomberg.  He's smart, he's savvy, he's accomplished, he's mature, he's Jewish.

Not good enough?  How about Bob Lutz, about to retire from General Motors after nearly 50 years in the car business.  Who knows more about the economy than a car guy?  He's smart, he's savvy, he's accomplished, he's mature, he's Swiss.

How about Warren Buffet?  He's smart, he's savvy, he's accomplished, he's from Omaha and he's too rich to corrupt.

How about David Letterman?  He has no qualifications.  But at least he's funny, and on purpose.

This shouldn't be a tough job to fill.

But it's turning out that way.


--A guy with a trout hatchery lost most of his stock.  A next door farmer over-fertilized and sent the fertilizer into the water and now the guy has an acre of dead fish.  It's going to be one hell of a Friday.

--Figure out this one:  There are three CVS pharmacies in the neighborhood.  All of them sell cosmetics and toothpaste and paper towels and cereal.  But not all of them sell pharmaceuticals.

--Verizon is still trying to sell "Fios" fiber obtic service in the neighborhood, as it has for almost a year, and they keep sending snail mail pitches.  Problem is, when you call them, they tell you they keep advertising, but can't yet supply the service in "your zip code."

I'm Wes Richards.  My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.®
©WJR 2009

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