Canines We Can Believe In

Obama, talking to Barbara Walters on the dog he’s buying for Malia and Sasha. Walters showed him a picture of her Havanese dog, Cha Cha Cha:

Obama: “Cha Cha?”

Bawbwa: “It’s short for Cha Cha Cha.”

O: “What is a Havanese?”

B: “It’s like a little terrier and they’re non-allergenic and they’re the sweetest dogs..”

O: [Face suddenly changes.] “It’s like a little yappy dog?”

Michelle: “Don’t criticize.”

O: “It, like, sits in your lap and things?”

M: “It’s a cute dog.”

O: “It sounds kinda like a girly dog.”

M: “We’re girls. We have a houseful of girls.”

O [with hand gestures]: “We’re going to have a big rambunctious dog, of some sort.”

As someone who was once bitten by a Shih Tzu while canvassing for Obama (no joke, it hurt like hell), I fully approve of this anti-yappy dog stance.

Sustaining the Mindset That Got Us Into War in the First Place

This…is bullshit:

By this past Thursday, when Mr. Obama reassured Mrs. Clinton that as secretary of state she would have direct access to him and could select her own staff, the wooing was complete.

No. Just no. I can deal with Hillary, but I will not stand for her staff having a role in American government. Not now. Not after they’ve enabled the past eight years of American foreign policy failure. Some of her advisors, like Jamie Rubin and Lee Feinstein, are just misguided. Others, like Michael O’Hanlon, Jack Keane, and especially Dick Holbrooke, are downright destructive. They’ve spent the last eight years aiding and abetting the systematic destruction of America’s moral standing, not to mention the death of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians, and in a sane world they’d be run out of the public square. They deserve public shaming, not employment, let alone employment on the public dime.

There are Obama loyalists who should get these jobs. Zbigniew Brzezinski endorsed early, and should get State. Greg Craig endorsed early, and would be a stellar deputy. Susan Rice endorsed early, and should be national security adviser. Richard Danzig endorsed early, and deserves to get Defense. Instead we’re getting some weird team of Robert Gates, Jim Jones, and Hillary Clinton, with Clinton’s trigger-happy loyalists thrown in for good measure. This is bullshit.

Holder & Orszag

Both of the leaked picks today – Peter Orszag as OMB director and Eric Holder as attorney general – are just superb. Orszag’s record, both as Hamilton project director and at the CBO, is extremely impressive, and his obsessive focus on health care costs will serve the administration well.

Holder I’m particularly excited about. I’ve been touting him for months, both because the competition (Janet Napolitano and Artur Davis) would be better off running for the Senate in 2010, and because his record as deputy AG in the ’90s and in particular his rhetoric on the war on terror signal his has the skills and vision to get de-politicize what’s still largely Alberto Gonzales’ DOJ. I also like that Holder is responsive to citizen activism. Back when I was trying to prevent Sam Nunn from being picked as VP, the three people I was badgering (and having others badger) were Holder, David Plouffe, and Steve Hildebrand. I didn’t expect to have much of an effect, and I certainly didn’t expect such phenomenally busy people to write back. But Holder did. That alone suggests a degree of responsiveness that’ll be refreshing to have in an attorney general.