Monday, October 20, 2014

Used Czar Salesman

obama, obama jokes, cartoon, political, humor, hope n' change, hope and change, stilton jarlsberg, ebola, czar, klain, expert

Last Friday, White House spokesweasel Josh Earnest announced Barack Obama's appointment of a new Ebola czar, explaining "what we were looking for is NOT an Ebola expert, but rather an implementation expert - and that's exactly what Ron Klain is."

Because, you know, the White House has done such a bang up job using non-expert "implementers" to do things like design the website, keep an eye on "Fast & Furious" guns, clean up IRS abuses, run VA hospitals, provide security in Benghazi, and - oh yeah - being president of the freaking United States.

Of course, there are those who believe that Klain doesn't actually need any medical knowledge as long as he's a tippy-top management kind of guy who knows how to work with large, ungainly, purely partisan bureaucracies and break the knee caps of political enemies. And in the words of Josh Earnest, "that's exactly what Ron Klain is!" 

And as a bonus, Klain can help formulate well-reasoned, calming messages for the public, much as he did when working as chief of staff for vice presidents Al "The World is Coming To An End!" Gore and Joe "If You Hear a Sound, Run Outside and Blast Your Shotgun in the Air!" Biden.

Klain also has experience handling large, complex, financial operations - such as when he ran point for the Obama administration's "$500 million down a rat hole" investment in Solyndra.

Still, there is at least a modicum of good news for those who believe that putting a political hit man in charge of our nation's Ebola response isn't a great idea: so far, he's already skipped two emergency meetings on the viral crisis - so at least he hasn't done any real harm. Yet.


It's No Gouda said...

Oh yeah, I'm sure we'll all be holdin' our breath waitin' for that "You're doin' a heckuva job Ronnie" moment. But, somehow, I don't think there will be the derision from the media that greeted Bush's similar statement.

Grumpy Curmudgeon said...

Can any one really take this president, administration, or for that matter, ANY democrat seriously anymore?
I mean even watching Debbie Downer saying how they will 'hold' the Senate (course, I won't believe any poll until after the elections are over in January)

I rest my case:
Ebola Response Team

Anonymous said...

Pop quiz, conservitards - Bush's head of FEMA when Katrina had his sole actual experience as a breeder of what soer of horses?

Some Farker said...


But this is different, We weren't outraged last time because well, Bush was a horse of a different color!

REM1875 said...

Holy cow he has already started missing critical meetings? Who the hell does he think he is, prezzy barky Øbola?

Some Farker said...


You know he doesn't officially start the position until next week right?

Also Where is the outrage about the GOP rejecting the Nomination for a Surgeon General because the nominee thinks guns pose a health risk? It sure would be nice if the GOP let us have a Surgeon General right now rather then just a stand in.

Jim Hlavac said...

Anonymous -- given the poor response of Bush to Katrina, as you aver -- and given the poor response of Reagan to AIDS that I've seen others of your ilk propose --

Why do you want your own guy to be as incompetent as you proclaim the others to be? Surely the most brilliant president ever has learned from the mistakes of previous presidents? Or is this a case of "we know what doesn't work, let's try it again!" which is par for the course of endless government failure?

But, you defeat your own arguments by saying "our guy is just as incompetent as your guy" - for we all pretty much agree here that Obama is incompetent ... and so were most of the previous presidents for quite some time now.

Some Farker said...

@Jim Hlavac

You missed the point Jimmy.

The point was to illustrate how the Conservative response to a similar if more important position was non-existent.

I think a similar point can be expressed with this one image.

Enjoy Jimbo

Cat Whisperer said...

Ron Klain also looks like Flounder from Animal House, so he's got that going for him too.

Anonymous said...

For some interesting perspective here - for as much as conservatives claim this is a disasterous outbreak which will kill us all, and that Obama and the CDC have bungled it completely, in the past year, more Americans have become Batman than have become infected with Ebola.

Yes, I'm aware that Wil Arnet is Canadian. I wasn't counting him.

NemoMeImpuneLacessit said...

"Implementation expert"
This was once known as the "Theory of the Effective Manager". The idea was that an Effective Manager needs only to know how to "manage" and does't need to know any details of the operation being managed.
What we found in practice was that an Effective Manager always needed more information before he could make a decision which meant scheduling a meeting at which he had to have the obvious explained to him about a problem we had already fixed without his managing expertise.

Geoff King said...

Here's a novel idea: how about nominating someone to a post as important as Ebola Czar, Surgeon General, or even president that is the best qualified person for the job instead of just another partisan insider? It was not only Reps that were against Murthy as SG, 8 to 10 Dems questioned placing a 36-year old who barely made his residency in the top medical position in the country. He spent more time tweeting his anti-gun stance than about anything health related. Or how about appointing someone as the lead man in the fight against what, only time will tell, might be the most major health crisis in US history that actually knows the difference between bacteria and a virus? I care not what party, color, religion, or sex these people are. I only care that we are getting highly professional people in these important positions. I want quality for my tax dollar, not just another Yes man (or woman) to the broken system.

Grumpy Curmudgeon said...

@ NemoMeImpuneLacessit: Sounds similar - the company I worked for went through that pc phase. My only comment to the whole farce was "How can you supervise/manage direct reports when you don't know what they're supposed to be doing and how long it should take them to do it. They were there to get their ticket's punched on the way up the Peter Principal ladder. One 'boss' told me one day that I would never rise higher in the company since I came from the craft ranks and didn't have a degree. Funny thing - when I retired 10 yrs later, I was a third level manager, and most of them (and that 'boss' in particular) had either been terminated or left before the chickens came to roost.

Grumpy Curmudgeon said...

I had to look back to find the Health Care Crisis Czar in the Obama administration, and why she wasn't in charge of the "Obola" outbreak. Nancy-Ann DeParle, President Barack Obama’s health policy czar, served as a director of corporations that faced scores of federal investigations, whistleblower lawsuits and other regulatory actions, according to government records reviewed by the Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University.

Obama Health Czar Made Millions From Firms In Trouble With The Federal Govt

Anonymous said...

@Goeff: Here's another idea - how about, instead of listening to the blatant lies that the Right Wing Propaganda machine tells you about these people, you actually investigate the facts about their record and find they are the most qualified person for the job? Or would that be a bit too much like thinking to you?

Also, in 3 months when time tells you that this was, in fact, the least major health crisis in US history, are you going to admit you were completely and totally wrong? Or are you just going to conveniently forget, just like how you forget how wrong you are on everything else?

Tim said...

Hey, anonymous, even giving your people the benefit of the doubt, their own statement is "we don't want somebody knowledgeable."

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@It's No Gouda- In fact, I'll bet more members of the media go back to bitching about Bush than critiquing Barry's so-far failed response to Ebola.

@Grumpy Curmudgeon- Despite the rhetorical nature of your question, "no" we can't take them seriously anymore. There was a time when that wasn't true, and I miss it.

@Anonymous- So you're saying that it's a bad idea to put a non-expert in charge? Thanks for agreeing with my point!

@Some Farker- Ha ha ha! I get it! White people are fallible! Ha ha ha!

@REM1875- He's learning from the best.

@Some Farker- Indeed, the new Czar's position hadn't officially started when the meetings took place, but you'd think he just might have wanted to attend so he could start coming up to speed as soon as possible. When dealing with Ebola, days can make a difference.

Regarding the Surgeon General, the person in that position has no more reason to fight guns than to fight automobiles. Both are very dangerous in the wrong hands.

@Jim Hlavac- Well put. The Libs seem to think that if they can make Bush sound bad enough, that Obama must be good - or at least good-ish - by comparison.

It's a sad, stale argument but the only one they have. Other than obsessing about race, of course.

@Some Farker- So you're saying that no conservatives had a problem with the response to Katrina? Have you only started reading news lately?

Although as long as you want to chat about very old news, let's not forget that Bush's response (albeit flawed) was also significantly hampered by the Dems in New Orleans who refused to let him act for an extended period of time.

@Cat Whisperer- Toga party!

@Anonymous- You certainly haven't seen anything here suggesting that Ebola is going to kill us all. It's not a pandemic, but it's a very serious health threat which we weren't ready to deal with - and we've had to go through several iterations of lies and mistakes while playing catch up.

Ebola can be controlled, but fear is harder to control - especially when those alleged to be in charge are demonstrable long-term liars and incompetents.

Frankly, I think appointing a "Czar" is a terrible idea - there should already have been competent, accountable people in place. The fact that there wasn't - and apparently still isn't - shows what a lousy "implementer" this president is.

@NemoMeImpuneLacessit- Exactly. Introducing a manager/implementer who is inexpert in the area brings progress to a crashing halt every time the new boss has to ask why certain things are the way they are.

Or worse, the new boss may simply make decisions without knowing why some options are better than others.

As far as I'm concerned, Klain's whole job is to take the onus off Obama's mishandling of yet another mess. I don't know what the pay is for being a Judas Goat, but I'll bet it's pretty high.

@Geoff King- Well put. Unfortunately, the Left is dead set against the sort of colorblind, quality-first system you envision. They consider it an evil meritocracy, where only those who are competent succeed.

@Grumpy Curmudgeon- The Peter Principle is one of the truest things ever, and never more so than in the situation you describe.

And yes, Obama more or less already had an Ebola czar, but she was "disappeared" because of multiple political scandals.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Anonymous- You're losing track of the conversational thread here, and quite likely reality.

You seem to be saying that you've already done the massive research and determined that Ron Klain is the best qualified man for this job. So why not share what you've found?

You then start raving about what you think will be happening in three months, and how you think people will be reacting to it.

A) you can't see the future,
B) you can't read people's minds, so
C) it means you've forgotten to take your meds again and we can all hear the voices in your head.

@Tim- The problem with having someone knowledgeable in the Obama camp is it makes everyone else look bad.

Geoff King said...

Whether or not Ebola becomes a major pandemic in this country (and I will stay my judgement on that until after the 42-day incubation period they now say it takes since the man died in Dallas), we need someone who knows what they are doing in those positions. If these two individuals are the most qualified for the job, then the Democratic party is in dire straits. Let's next appoint a Safeway bagboy to be the next Attorney General. With all the irate shoppers he has dealt with, who could be more qualified?

Jim Hlavac said...

@SomeFarker -- Why do people think calling me "Jimmy" or "Jimbo" in response is some bizarre put down or something? -- Jimmy Stewart wouldn't have thought so .... and more than a few of my real friends and family call me Jimbo or Jimmy -- though I use "Jim" for the less letters and I like it better - but -- wait - It's "James" that bugs me - I got to use that with the damn government ...

but most of my friends and quite a few in the family call me Hlavac.

But really Fark, when someone uses a name, you use it too - it's decency at least -- but with the same farkin' spirit I shall call you Farkhead -- and in my NYC accent Fark isn't far from Fork which isn't far from --- well, another F-K work .. so Fark you Farkhead :)

Geoff King said...

@ Jim (Jimmy?): Notice that our resident troll purposefully misspells my name every time and has now added "the gimp" when addressing me, as if that really shows his superiority. Believe me , I have been called much worse. It only serves to prove his sophmoric mentality, and to give me a good laugh. As he refuses to put his real name to posts as we do, I can only assume it is something he is not proud of. He reminds me of a grade school bully who picks on classmates by calling them names like dumb butt or poopyhead. Childish is as childish does.

Sarah Rolph said...

I once had an English teacher who told us the word "sophomoric" meant "one who is in the second year of high school." True story.

John the Econ said...

Hey Anonymous, it's 2014. Katrina was almost a decade ago. Get over it. But if you want to stick with the narrative that Obama is at least as incompetent as Bush was, I'll agree wholeheartedly with you.

As for Ron Klain, the problem isn't that he's not a general or an "expert" on Ebola, or health care, or executive management, or the like. The tell re Ron Klain is that he's a professional "fixer", not a manager or leader.

My point is that his real job isn't to save America from an Ebola epidemic. His real job is to save Obama from one.

Judi King said...

annoymuch: Pop quiz WTF is "a breeder of what soer of horses"????? I sure don't know.

Shelly said...

It's all about politics with Obama, never about the good of the nation. I won't say other presidents weren't political because they all are. But politics drives every decision Obama makes, the nation be damned.

Buck O'Fama said...

He looked Ernest but he was just Joshin.

Colby Muenster said...

Bush Bush Bush... Cheney Cheney Cheney!

There! hahahaa! Take THAT you conservitards! Breeder of what soer of horses, too! Naner naner naner, BFFFpppltt!

Wait! Mommy is calling. My PBJ (with icky crust cut off) is ready...

John the Econ said...

Speaking of repeating the stupidity of the Bush years, has anyone noticed this?

Mortgage Giants Set to Loosen Lending

That's right! The same two entities that kicked off the economic meltdown by spending the better part of the previous decade subsidizing the lending of money to people with crappy credit histories and absolutely no hope of every paying a mortgage are again going to drop their lending standards to "stimulate" residential real estate and the economy.

So for those Progressives that didn't think that the last economic crash and subsequent non-recovery wasn't fun enough, it looks like they want to try the same thing over again.

And timid Republicrats who fear being called "racist" or anti-poor will do little to stop it.

What is the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a better result?

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Geoff King- The biggest problem with Ebola in the United States right now isn't the actual disease, it's the unease that comes from knowing it's being (ahem) managed by incompetents and liars who have no remaining credibility.

And as far as a Safeway bagboy for Attorney General, it would certainly be an improvement over who we've currently got.

@Jim Hlavac- And let's not forget that "Jimmy" Olsen was Superman's best freaking friend!

@Geoff King- I was holding my tongue (and frequently my sides) when Trollio was foaming about how ill-informed conservatives were about the term "gimp," because everybody (at least on the Left) knows it really means a latex-suited sex slave.

I'm not absolutely sure that knowing this is something that Anonymous should be bragging about. Although at least he didn't bring up his enjoyment of felching.

@Sarah Rolph- You see, teacher's unions really ARE protecting jobs!

@John the Econ- Isn't it interesting how "progressives" want to spend so much time looking in the rearview mirror?

And you're absolutely right about Klain.

@Judi King- I think Anonymous is just a "soer" loser.

@Buck O'Fama- Will Rogers could not have put that better.

@Colby Muenster- Funny because it's true.

@John the Econ- Yes, I saw that article and nearly did a spit take.

And frankly, I think the Progressives want to do this again because they don't think the last recession did enough damage.

John the Econ said...

@Stilton, I can't imagine the personal pain these Progressives must be feeling, or at least the ones with any degree of sentience. (There are plenty still in complete unawareness or denial)

Over 5 years into the most Progressive administration in history, and after trillions of dollars more spent, practically every government agency has been exposed as being wasteful and incompetent. And their only answer to any of it is more of the same; spend more money and hire more useless political hacks.

Unless you are one of the incompetents on the payroll or dole, there's no rational reason to support any of this.

Geoff King said...

Ahhh. I did not know the new definition of gimp - only the original. Not being at all interested in S&M, or other disgustingly deviant sexual behaviors and fetishes, I am not as fluent in the nomenclature as analmouse evidently is. Are followers of this perversion the new underdog cause of the Democratic party? Don't get me wrong, I don't give a damn what two consenting adults do in the privacy of their own homes, but do not attempt to force your preferences on me. Obviously, analmouth hangs out with a completely different crowd than I do.

Pete (Detroit) said...

Golly, I miss "reasonable" discussions b/n "rational" people, where opposing opinions can be respectfully shared, and supported w/ facts, and people can decide to disagree w/o being disagreeable...

And to all those who think we're just "racists" I can only tell you I care not a bit for the brownness of his skin, but the red-ness of his words and deeds.

If he were not out to actively destroy everything that made this country great and strong, you would think that OCCASIONALLY he'd do some thing that wasn't a complete eff-up?

PRY said...

Here's a newsy nugget....

Report: Hamas leader's daughter received medical treatment in Israel!

Once can understand why a routine procedure in Gaza might go wrong. Hamas uses hospitals, as well as mosques and schools, to store weapons, and that can create a very unsanitary environment!

Nobody, least of the Israelis, expects any gratitude or expression of appreciation from Hamas for this extraordinary charity. And don’t expect the United Nations or the mainstream media to note that one side kills children on purpose while the other side goes out of its way to save them.

Kinda says it all!

REM1875 said...

The one and only reason the obola czar was appointed was so Ø didnt miss his t-time this week-end. This clown just happened to available and most likely to fail. After all if he succeeds Ø gets the credit, should he fail, what more could we expect?

John the Econ said...

@PRY, not only that, but the majority of the left chooses to sympathize with Hamas and despises Israel.

Kinda says it all!

Judi King said...

@ PRY: Yep, it says it all!

Geoff King said...

Evidently the new Ebola Czar is into eugenics, and claims there are too many people in Africa:
Good thing he is a Democrat or, being a white guy that wants Africans to die, he would be called a racist.

John the Econ said...

Totally unrelated to the discussion at hand, but Progressive hypocrisy like this just tickles me so:

Socialist Party Pushing $20 Minimum Wage Defends $13-An-Hour Job Listing

"...the party's national secretary, told The Huffington Post on Saturday that the group relies heavily on donations from low-wage workers and could not afford to pay much to an inexperienced designer."

Oh, and everyone else can?

"'We're practicing what we're preaching in terms of continuing to fight for the minimum wage,' Barnes said, making his first public comment on the controversy. 'But we can't pay a lot more than $13.'"

So they're practicing what they preach in terms of rhetoric, but not in terms of reality.

I get it. The constraints that limit the Socialist Party's ability to pay higher wages are somehow unique, so they should be excused from having to live by the standards they advocate for everyone else. I don't understand why they don't do what businesses would have to do if and when the minimum wage is increased, by increasing their dues.

But no. Because they're "special". "Special Hypocrites", actually.