Monday, March 31, 2008

When They Resign by Design It's Rarely Benign

posted by Bill Arnett @ 11:05 AM Permalink

On my first bit of surfin' the web this morning this headline in the NYT caught my attention and intrigued me.

The headline: Top U.S. Housing Official Resigns.

Just looking at it made my head spin as I couldn't for the life of me figure why a Housing Secretary, a cabinet position, would just slip out the back, Jack, make a new plan, Stan, no reason need to be coy, Roy, just got himself free, was he thrown under the bus, Gus, he didn't discuss much, he just dropped off his key, Lee, and set himself free-mostly because I just can't get Paul Simon out of my head this morning-but honestly, I didn't think he would have much to do with the current subprime mortgage crisis. So I did the only decent thing to do, I let my five Boston Terriers out-they were very grateful-and clicked on the headline link to the article.

Most revealing from the article:
Housing Secretary Alphonso R. Jackson resigned his post on Monday, removing a key player from the Bush administration team dealing with the financial crisis set off by the slump in the housing market and the problems with subprime mortgage lending.

Mr. Jackson made the announcement in a brief statement to reporters in which he thanked his staff for their work, danced a little jig, and then hastened from the building, Bloomberg News reported. [Ok, so I made up some of that. Bill]

The resignation came at the same time that another Cabinet member, Treasury Secretary Henry J. Paulson, was announcing the administration’s proposals for an overhaul of the way the financial industry is regulated in response to the crisis.
Pretty benign it seemed. Then I hit the likely most obvious reason for which he has resigned:
Mr. Jackson, 62, has been under investigation by the Justice Department and the housing department’s inspector general in inquiries focusing on whether he gave lucrative housing contracts to friends. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has interviewed several of his employees.
When the FBI starts talking to possibly disgruntled employees of an asininely rude and crude official who once famously said, in front of a House committee!:
In 2004, less than two months after his confirmation as housing secretary, Mr. Jackson told a House panel that he believed poverty “is a state of mind, not a condition.” Two years later, he said in a speech that he had canceled a contract for a company after its president told him that he did not like Mr. Bush. Mr. Jackson later said he had made the story up.
With a guy like this, whose employees finally have the chance to dump on him, you can bet that all the flotsam and jettison from years past will come floating to the surface. Especially since the phrase, "I want to spend more time with my family," has practically become code for an admission of guilt for anyone leaving the administration. That means somebody is likely in trouble. Will the time he spends with his family be on visiting days at whatever white collar country club prison they may send him to?

Yes, there must be fifty way to leave the administration. Being jailed or prosecuted for various criminal offenses just seems the most popular.

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At 10:10 AM, Blogger Vigilante said...

Hereafter known as Arnett's rule. Bookmarked for usage & linking at a later, malignant, moment.

At 1:13 PM, Anonymous bill arnett said...

Thank you. I'm touched (in the head).

At 1:16 PM, Anonymous bill arnett said...

But not too badly…

At 1:18 PM, Anonymous bill arnett said...

After all I think I think and therefore think I am…


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