Archive for the obama cabinet

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano To Resign

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I'm betting she's running out that door, no looking back. She's been one of the GOP'rs favorite pinatas.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano plans to step down from her cabinet position in order to become president of the University of California system, ABC News has learned.

“”For more than four years I have had the privilege of serving President Obama and his Administration as the Secretary of Homeland Security,” Napolitano said in a statement on Friday. “The opportunity to work with the dedicated men and women of the Department of Homeland Security, who serve on the frontlines of our nation’s efforts to protect our communities and families from harm, has been the highlight of my professional career.”

Napolitano, who has been serving in her current post since 2009, was the first woman to helm of the Department of Homeland Security. A Democrat, she previously served as governor of Arizona from 2003 to 2009 and before that was the state’s attorney general.

Napolitano notified President Obama of her decision to step down a month ago, sources say. She is planning to leave her post in early September.

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Harry Reid eyeing July for the `nuclear option’

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I'll believe when it happens.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is increasingly focused on the month of July as the time to exercise the so-called “nuclear option” and revisit filibuster reform, and he has privately told top advisers that he’s all but certain to take action if the Senate GOP blocks three upcoming key nominations, a senior Senate Democratic aide familiar with his thinking tells me.

Reid has privately consulted with President Obama on the need to revisit filibuster reform, and the President has told the Majority Leader that he will support the exercising of the nuclear option if Reid opts for it, the aide says, adding that senior Democrats expect the President to publicly push for it as well. “If Senator Reid decides to do something on nominations, the president has said he’ll be there to support him,” the aide says.

Reid is eyeing a change to the rules that would do away with the 60-vote threshold on all judicial and executive branch nominations, the aide says, on the theory that this is a good way to immediately break an important logjam in Washington — without changing the rules when it comes to legislation.

“This would take away the right to filibuster on nominations,” the aide says. “All executive branch and judicial nominations would be subject to majority votes. He would not do it on legislative items.”

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Live Streaming Video- President Obama taps Charlotte mayor Anthony Foxx to run Transportation 2:10 ET

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Source: Charlotte mayor to be nominated for transportation secretary

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With PBO's ears and now this guy, I'm sensing a "Fresh Prince of Bel Air" vibe in the Obama cabinet.

(CNN) – President Barack Obama will tap Anthony Foxx, the mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina, on Monday to become his next transportation secretary, a White House official with knowledge of his decision said Sunday.

If confirmed by the Senate, Foxx would replace Ray LaHood, who said in January he wouldn’t serve a second term. Foxx, first elected mayor in 2009, helped lead last summer’s Democratic National Convention in the Queen City.

He also championed the completion of an additional runway at the Charlotte/Douglas International Airport, though Foxx doesn’t have any specific experience as a transportation executive.

Foxx will be the first African-American Cabinet nominee of Obama’s second term. Currently, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is the only African-American to lead a Cabinet agency.

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Senate Dems think Harry Reid should revisit filibuster reform if GOP continues to block Chuck Hagel

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“How’s that ‘gentleman’s agreement’ going now that we’ve just had a filibuster of a cabinet nominee for the first time in American history?”

Rachel Maddow: “Harry Reid decided he would… make a handshake deal with the Republican’s top senator, Mitch McConnell. He said he was ‘satisfied’ with the Republicans just ‘agreeing’ to be more reasonable… Remember? …  They would just agree as ‘gentlemen’ that the Republicans would ‘curtail the excesses’ of filibustering everything, and effectively ruling from the minority. … They said, you know, at a minimum this will at least improve the confirmation process for the administration’s nominees. How’s that working out now?How’s that ‘gentleman’s agreement’ going now that we’ve just had a filibuster of a cabinet nominee for the first time in American history?

Apparently, some Senate Democrats are asking themselves and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid the same question.

Again, under Merkley's plan for reform, the filibuster wouldn’t have ended and the Dems would still be able to use the option to filibuster when they are the minority party. It would have taken more effort and transparency to voice opposition, but the filibuster would have remained intact.

The Hill:

Some Senate Democrats think Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) should revisit filibuster reform if Republicans continue to block Chuck Hagel, President Obama’s pick for secretary of Defense. [...]

[S]ome Democrats say Reid still has the option of changing the rules for the 113th Congress and should consider doing so if Republicans continue to hold up what in past years would have been considered routine business.

The Senate has never used a filibuster to reject a cabinet nominee-- and the GOP also threatened to filibuster Richard Cordray, the president's pick to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau-- so why shouldn't the "nuclear option" be considered? One "first" to counter another, tit for tat. As for Reid breaking his word to Mitch McConnell, it's pretty obvious that McConnell has already abused their handshake agreement.

George Kohl, senior director at Communications Workers of America, said Reid "reserved the right to reconsider the rules if they continue to obstruct. If they continue to go down that path I think he’ll have to reconsider options he would like not to exercise."

I'm not holding my breath.

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VIDEO: "How's that 'gentleman's agreement' going now that we've just had a filibuster of a cabinet nominee for the first time in American history?"

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filibuster hagel

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Rachel Maddow:

"This has never happened before. To anyone. Ever."

"Chuck Hagel does have majority support in the Senate... A minority of that body, the Republicans decided they were going to block him anyway. They filibustered a cabinet nomination."

"This is a fresh hell in American politics."

"They 'might vote no'... but they wouldn't block a vote!... They wouldn't filibuster! ...Well today... only Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski... kept their word. All the others said they would not filibuster, that that would be wrong. And then they did it anyway."

"Sen. Graham... says he does not want his filibuster today to be thought of as a filibuster, even though that's what it is. ...He wants to use it as leverage to get more information out of the administration on the president's birth certificate. I'm sorry I mean Fast and Furious. I'm sorry I mean aliens in Area 51. I'm sorry I mean his theories about what happened in Benghazi. What does nominee Chuck Hagel know about Benghazi? Precisely nothing. He has nothing to do with hit, he HAD nothing to do with it."

"Why block his nomination?... Dunno. Why not? Wrecking stuff is fun maybe?"

"Harry Reid decided he would... make a handshake deal with the Republican's top senator, Mitch McConnell. He said he was 'satisfied' with the Republicans just 'agreeing' to be more reasonable... Remember? ...  They would just agree as 'gentlemen' that the Republicans would 'curtail the excesses' of filibustering everything, and effectively ruling from the minority. ... They said, you know, at a minimum this will at least improve the confirmation process for the administration's nominees. How's that working out now?... How's that 'gentleman's agreement' going now that we've just had a filibuster of a cabinet nominee for the first time in American history?"

Via Christine Pelosi, daughter of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, a response to Nicole Sandler's tweet that the "filibuster rule can be changed any time":

tweet filibuster reform now sfpelosi

Now is good for me too, Christine (and nobody is saying get rid of the filibuster, as you may recall):

Remember, the filibuster wouldn’t have ended, and the Dems would still be able to use the option to filibuster when they are the minority party. The only difference is that it would have taken more effort and transparency to voice opposition. But because Democrats (and of course, Republicans) voted against the Merkley plan, the silent filibuster is still in place.

Christine Pelosi is an author, Campaign Boot Camp 2.0; Chair, #CADEMWOMEN; #SFGiants fan & volunteer; Yogamom

San Francisco · http://www.PelosiBootCamp.com

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Hagel Gets Filibustered by GOP, While Dems Unanimously Backed Cheney, Rumsfeld for Defense Secretary

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dog roll over

Your Daily Dose of BuzzFlash at Truthout, via my pal Mark Karlin:

So the Senate GOP successfully filibustered the nomination of Chuck Hagel to become Secretary of Defense, replacing Leon Panetta.  This is the first time that a defense secretary nomination has been stalled by a filibuster – and this is a filibuster to prevent a vote from even happening.

In part, Harry Reid and Carl Levin deserve some of the blame for this, because per the flaccid Democratic caucus, they led the opposition to eliminating obstructive non-filibuster filibusters such as this.  [...]

Hey, Harry, they are hardwired to be pernicious and ignore civility, what did you expect?

Meanwhile, Lindsey Graham – one of the three pro-war amigos with John McCain and ex-Senator Joe Lieberman – is "demanding" more answers on Benghazi.  Good grief, will someone give that man a sedative?  This Benghazi nonsense has been virtually the sole GOP foreign policy concern for months now.  And it comes from a caucus that gave carte blanche to the multiple deceptions and lies that the Bush/Cheney administration used to launch a ruinous war in Iraq.  We should also mention that it is the same caucus that gave Bush a pass on 9/11, even though he had been warned that something like the terrorist attack was probably imminent – and he did absolutely nothing to prevent it.

Compare the treatment of Hagel to how the Democrats historically dealt with Dick Cheney's nomination as secretary of defense under President George Herbert Walker Bush.  The Dickster received a 92-0 confirmation vote – no dissenting Democratic senators there.  

The second time Rumsfeld was nominated for secretary of defense (he had first served in that position under President Gerald Ford), he was approved along with six other George W. Bush cabinet nominees by a voice vote in the Senate [...]

There's a lesson to be learned here for the Democrats in the Senate: speak loudly and carry a big stick, but they never appear to learn it.

Please read the entire post here.

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