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Stare Now Into The Abyss

Feel free to gape in awe and wonderment over how an appointment process that once looked like it was going so right, is now going so wrong:

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, under intensifying pressure from Wall Street and Congress to complete his financial-rescue plan, is being handicapped by a dearth of staff experts critical to the effort.

Geithner’s strategy of forging a partnership with private investors to buy toxic assets would benefit from aides steeped in law and finance to thresh out the competing interests in the plan. Yet the administration has yet to nominate people for any of the Treasury’s financial posts as the White House seeks to avoid Senate confirmation battles.

Er . . . why is the White House “seek[ing] to avoid Senate confirmation battles”? Last I checked, there was a nearly filibuster-proof majority in the Senate ready, willing, and able to serve as a rubber-stamp for everything that the White House could possibly want . . . you know, the kind of subservient behavior Republican Congresses were accused of exhibiting to benefit the Bush Administration. Why is it that the Obama Administration is afraid of running its nominees by the Senate given the overwhelming numbers in the Administration’s favor?

Traditionally, of course, it does take a while for sub-Cabinet positions to be filled. But the reason for the delay on this score has more to do with the nature of the process and far less to do with any fear on the part of a given Administration in submitting names for the Senate’s approval. After having thrown out that the Administration is scared of sending its nominees to the Senate for confirmation, Rich Miller and Craig Torres, the writers of the Bloomberg piece, do nothing to explain the reasons behind the fear.

Maybe that should be the focus of their next piece. As I understand it, Bloomberg is a news organization. Let’s have it act like one and inform us why the Administration is having night-sweats over filling various and sundry positions over at the Treasury Department.

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