April 04, 2007
... are leaving the ship? Or just normal attrition?
Peter Wehner, the head of strategic initiatives, and political director Sara Taylor are expected to be heading for the White House exits soon, according to a person familiar with the situation. Barry Jackson, a longtime aide to Karl Rove, also is thought to be leaving soon. A White House spokesman confirmed Wehner’s imminent departure, but declined to comment on the others.
White House Faces More Departures
Meghan L. O'Sullivan, who has played a key behind-the-scenes role in implementing Bush's Iraq policies over the past four years, will leave this spring.
Her departure, which follows that of her deputy, could leave the White House with a vacuum of long-term experience on Iraq policy, and it comes as Bush and the Democratic-controlled Congress prepare for a showdown over withdrawing U.S. troops.
Key adviser to Bush on Iraq to step down
The personnel moves cross lines inside the institution. Harriet E. Miers, one of Bush's closest friends, resigned as White House counsel at the end of January and has been replaced by Fred F. Fielding, who is bringing several new lawyers to an office that deals with congressional investigations. Bush's chief Russia adviser, Thomas E. Graham, who helped shape U.S. policy toward Vladimir Putin as the Kremlin cracked down on dissent, left in February.
White House political director Sara M. Taylor, who has worked with Bush since April 1999, when he was starting his first presidential run, told Rove in December that she plans to leave in the spring, according to friends. Special adviser Peter D. Feaver, the top White House specialist on public opinion during wartime, plans to return this summer to Duke University, where his two-year leave is expiring. Other officials have left the legislative affairs, domestic policy, homeland security, staff secretary, public liaison, speechwriting and first lady's offices.
Policy Aide's Departure Continues Transformation of Bush's Staff
Dr. Wade Horn, the director of the Bush administration's abstinence education programs at the Department of Health and Human Services, has announced his departure. Horn, who was unanimously confirmed for the position by the U.S. Senate in 2001, left his post on Monday.
Bush Administration's Director of Abstinence Education Programs Retires
Michael J. Gerson, one of President Bush's most trusted advisers and the author of nearly all of his most famous public words over the past seven years, plans to step down in the next couple of weeks in a decision that colleagues believe will leave a hole in the White House at a critical period.
Bush's Favorite Author Leaving The White House
Posted by b on April 4, 2007 at 02:36 PM | Permalink
Bush Bypasses Dems to Name Ambassador
Democrats had denounced Fox for his 2004 donation to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. The group's TV ads, which claimed that Sen. John Kerry exaggerated his military record in Vietnam, were viewed as a major factor in the Massachusetts Democrat losing the election.
Recognizing Fox did not have the votes to obtain Senate confirmation, Bush withdrew the nomination last month. On Wednesday, with Congress out of town for a spring break, the president used his power to make recess appointments to put Fox in the job without Senate confirmation.
why can't they keep a couple of folks there while the rest go home or whatever the hell they do when on recess? stupid bastards get fooled every time. kinda like Charley Brown and Lucy holding the football.
Posted by: dan of steele | Apr 4, 2007 5:38:47 PM | 1
sounds like a metaphorical gauntlet to me. we are in for quite a battle.
dan, i don't know how all the rules work, but waxman is working this week - just sent a demand letter to the rnc for rove and his underling's emails, reid and feingold announced legislation yesterday. i don't know know for certain, but chances are constitutionally, he can do this even if they are there.
Posted by: conchita | Apr 4, 2007 6:55:42 PM | 2
Update on the constitutional authority for recess appointments from The Washington Note:
According to a quite handy Congressional Research Service document by Henry Hogue on recess appointments, no such appointment has been made in the last 20 years during a Congressional recess period of less than ten days.
This excerpt is quite interesting:
How Long Must the Senate Be in Recess Before a President May Make a Recess Appointment?
The Constitution does not specify the length of time that the Senate must be in recess before the President may make a recess appointment. Over the last century, as shorter recesses have become more commonplace, Attorneys General and Offices of Legal Counsel have offered differing views on this issue. Most recently, in 1993, a Department of Justice brief implied that the President may make a recess appointment during a recess of more than three days.
Appointments made during short recesses (less than 30 days), however, have sometimes aroused controversy, and they may involve a political cost for the President. Controversy has been particularly acute in instances where Senators perceive that the President is using the recess appointment process to circumvent the confirmation process for a nominee who is opposed in the Senate. Although President Theodore Roosevelt once made recess appointments during an intersession recess of less than one day, the shortest length of a recess during which appointments have been made during the past 20 years was 10 days.
i also just learned that he appointed andrew biggs as deputy director of social security. biggs has been a big advocate of private accounts.
looks like the typical rovian strategy of keeping the dems busy blocking punches and fighting fight after fight.
Posted by: conchita | Apr 4, 2007 7:05:48 PM | 3
another senate bypass
President Bush intends to bypass the Senate in order to name a "conservative academic" to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), Wednesday's Wall Street Journal reports.
"Bypassing a reluctant Senate, President Bush will use a recess appointment to name a conservative academic to the White House's top regulatory post," Henry Pulizzi writes for WSJ. "The move, expected to be announced today, will fill a position that has been vacant for more than a year, and could help the White House use the regulatory process to shape policy."
According to the paper, "Susan Dudley, the former head of regulatory studies at George Mason University's Mercatus Center, has generated opposition from environmentalists and liberal interest groups, who say she would carry out a pro-business agenda at the expense of public health and safety."
Saturday's LA Times noted that Dudley and two others that the president wishes to appoint "have ties to industries that face costly Environmental Protection Agency restrictions, and all three have previously bypassed or questioned the EPA's scientific process."
"They are William Wehrum, who would head the air office of the EPA; Alex A. Beehler, chosen to be the EPA's inspector general; and Susan Dudley, who would become White House regulations chief," Judy Pasternak wrote for the LA Times.
The Wall Street Journal reported last August that "Ms. Dudley, who had an earlier turn as a staff economist at OIRA and the Environmental Protection Agency, calls herself a 'free-market environmentalist,' who wants to protect the environment through 'market-based incentives.'"
In an op-ed in the San Francisco Chronicle, Jon Carroll writes that Dudley "is already on record as believing that the EPA rules are too strict."
Carroll adds, "In her writings while at the center, she argued that the government should keep its big nose out of areas like smog, air bags and energy regulation. (Yes, the return of the free market to the energy sector certainly benefited the people of California.) She's also big on arsenic in drinking water -- she doesn't mind it so much. She wrote that the EPA should not value the lives of older people as highly as the lives of younger people when making arsenic calculations."
Though little known, OIRA is powerful. The office reviews federal agencies' regulations, which have a big impact on companies and consumers. It can return proposed regulations to agencies if it thinks the rules need more work.
Posted by: annie | Apr 4, 2007 8:01:24 PM | 4