"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."

In Which We Learn That I Will Likely Not Work For The Obama Administration


A seven-page questionnaire being sent by the office of President-elect Barack Obama to those seeking cabinet and other high-ranking posts may be the most extensive — some say invasive — application ever.

The questionnaire includes 63 requests for personal and professional records, some covering applicants’ spouses and grown children as well, that are forcing job-seekers to rummage from basements to attics, in shoe boxes, diaries and computer archives to document both their achievements and missteps.

Only the smallest details are excluded; traffic tickets carrying fines of less than $50 need not be reported, the application says. Applicants are asked whether they or anyone in their family owns a gun. They must include any e-mail that might embarrass the president-elect, along with any blog posts and links to their Facebook pages.

I had no illusions that Team Obama would really strike a blow for keepin' it real in politics -- they've been as controlling and square as any campaign, and it helped them win, so why change? But really, this mentality is totally crippling to our ability to govern. It's partly borne of the fear of "gotcha" politics, but it's also a matter of institutional culture. It's why the CIA can't get good talent, because the odds are here in the 21st Century if you're smart enough to be good at any job they need you for, you're at least a little bent one way or another and they don't like that. So they take a lot of B and C-level people who fit their mold, and gradually suck more and more wind over time.

Remember the types of people who likely ran your high school student government? Yeah, same people in the real government a lot of the time. It was fine when the great debate was over whether to add fish sticks or sloppy joes to the menu. Less fine when there are real problems to solve.

Anyway, the real action is in contracting, as we all know.


hey, fuck off.

i hated the student government

and whaddya got to hide? your gun? besides, i think you'd be surprised at what the real government thinks about your past behaviors. this application is for membership in the club (political appointments) not civil servants. the real government cares less about what you did, than the fact that it can't be held against you (i.e. you're willing to admit it). that said, they don't want some off-brand software developer with an obvious obsession with the qaddafi regime.


some off-brand software developer with an obvious obsession with the qaddafi regime

In a perfect world, this would be on my business card.

Good point though on the "willing to admit it" tip. That's a pretty astute distinction.

Yeah, my old boss was an attorney at Justice. He said that as long as what you did isn't too major, all they care about is that you are honest. They will vet the shit out of you, and if you leave something out you are fucked. But if you are straight up, it's probably not going to make a difference.

It's about trust.

I would never, ever make it. Not with all the aliases I have and all the stuff I've fired off in the past.

I am so happy to find you're still here. It's been ages. Wow. Contact me, ok?

"Undermining [Josk K's] Electoral Viablilty since 2002"

I was still holding out hope for some nice unaccountable appointed position. I mean, if Larry Summers gets a seat at the table after all the shit he's pulled, I should still be in the clear. But no. Drop acid for just one presidential acceptance speech, and you're on the king-hell dirty fucking hippy blacklist for life.*

* Full disclosure: I have no idea if such a blacklist exists. Pure speculation.

I would never, ever make it. Not with all the aliases I have and all the stuff I’ve fired off in the past.

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