More Prima Donna Antics

We won’t have a Nobel winning economist who’s done extensive research on unemployment serving on the Federal Reserve board because Richard Shelby is a dick:

Diamond is among the most accomplished economists of his generation, and last year, was awarded a Nobel Prize in economics. And yet, there was Richard Shelby & Co., insisting that Diamond lacked the qualifications to join the board of governors of the Federal Reserve.

As far as the dimwitted senator and his cohorts were concerned, Diamond’s background is not in monetary policy, which necessarily raised doubts about his nomination. It’s true that this isn’t Diamond’s specific field, but it’s hardly a prerequisite — of the five sitting Fed governors at the time of Diamond’s nomination, three were not specialists in monetary economics. One of Bush’s appointees has no advanced degree in economics at all and has never done any academic research in the field.

Shelby and Republicans will pay no political price for this little maneuver, of course, so this is just for the record.






38 replies
  1. 1
    Maude says:

    This stinks and they will keep blocking appointments.

  2. 2

    Not all surprising. Why would the GOP be in favor of putting well qualified people in any position of responsibility, even a quasi-governmental agency like the Fed?

    I would be curious to read what Tom Levenson writes about his colleague or has he done so previously?

  3. 3
    Special Patrol Group says:

    To Other-Bashing Republicans, E. Coli Republicans, and Cat Food Republicans, add another subset: Juggalo Republicans. Fucking Fed/Climate/Evolution how does it work?

  4. 4
    PeakVT says:

    Not killing the filibuster was a big mistake.

  5. 5
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Is there some weird reason they all have to be Jewish?

  6. 6
    John Puma says:

    Shelby it should be noted changed parties in 1994 immediately AFTER the Repubs gained congressional majorities because the Democratic party was just “not right” for him anymore.

    Translation: “I’m a lazy-ass, white, privileged, male steaming-turd who wants to get on the winning side by doing absolutely nothing.”

  7. 7
    Continental Op says:

    Shelby is a whore for the banking industry and for foreign car companies with US assembly plants. He also isn’t very bright.

  8. 8
    Shalimar says:

    If Obama were only to appoint a lawyer/lobbyist with a long career of representing the banking industry, I’m sure Shelby would get on board immediately. I know several in Alabama if he needs recommendations, but Shelby probably already has his own list of people who are loyal.

  9. 9
    grandpajohn says:

    @The Ancient Randonneur: Yep, The best way to destroy government is to make sure that it is run by incompetents. For proof refer to the governing during years 2001-2008

  10. 10
    grandpajohn says:

    @PeakVT: Also this fucking hold shit that the senate does allowing one traitorous asshole to block actions of the entire governing body.

  11. 11
    patrick II says:

    This is the kind of crap that pisses me off about Obama and the Reid Senate. They lose a thousand of these little battles that the public doesn’t see every day. I know, its the “republicans” fault, but we are siting here with numerous appointments, and especially judicial appointments, held up, and Reid and the democrats did not change the Senate rules, there af few recess appointments, there is no outrage. There is just Shelby & co. acting like pricks and flaunting it. And we sit here and whine on blogs because the president we elected is too busy getting along to assert his power.

  12. 12
    Redshift says:

    @grandpajohn: According to KagroX over at Congress Matters, the threat of a filibuster is what makes holds actually work. This means two things, that killing the filibuster will take care of both problems, and that reformers who declare their intention to “eliminate secret holds” either know that it’s BS, or are relying on some kind of gentlemen’s agreement. And if Republicans cared enough about governing for that to work, we wouldn’t have secret holds in the first place.

  13. 13
    cat48 says:

    I’m canceling my DNC contributions. No way I’m sending a Dime to any Senator who was “too scared” to change the Senate Rules as they PROMISED they would the 1st day of the new Session. Just feckless! I know, I know, the prez should have used the bully pulpit 24/7 b/c Shelby & Bitch McConnell would have done whatever he wanted, INSTANTLY!

    The entire Senate can DIAF. After this and Liu’s failed nomination last month, the Senate is dead to me!

  14. 14
    Tim, Interrupted says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    “gasp”

  15. 15
    PeakVT says:

    @grandpajohn: Holds are a pain, too, and also. I usually lump them with the filibuster, but they actually stem from a different part of the Senate rules.

  16. 16
    Tim, Interrupted says:

    @patrick II:

    And we sit here and whine on blogs because the president we elected is too busy getting along to assert his power.

    THIS. And all the rest of your comment too. Obama and the Dems refuse to play hardball. They won’t specifically say why, which leaves the mind free to boggle at the possibilities…

  17. 17
    rikyrah says:

    assclown. plain and simple.

  18. 18
    Tim, Interrupted says:

    From the article cited in the post:

    Cohn and Bernstein suggest the Obama White House deserves some of the blame, because the West Wing didn’t push the Diamond nomination as hard as it could have.

    Duh. Ya think?

    Same old bullshit. Obama is a playah, and he is on Team Village. The only thing that matters is power and money.

  19. 19
    OzoneR says:

    @patrick II:

    They lose a thousand of these little battles that the public doesn’t see every day. I know, its the “republicans” fault, but we are siting here with numerous appointments, and especially judicial appointments, held up, and Reid and the democrats did not change the Senate rules, there af few recess appointments, there is no outrage.

    Excuse me if you’re not paying attention

    Spokesman spksmsn Jay Carney says White House “deeply disappointed” that Diamond “fell victim to partisan obstructionism.”

    What, do you really think the people of Alabama are going to throw Richard Shelby out of office over Peter Diamond?

  20. 20
    Bostondreams says:

    @Tim, Interrupted:

    And Shelby would of course given up the hold if only Obama had pushed harder.

  21. 21
    patrick II says:

    @OzoneR:
    Wow, what a brilliant riposte. The White House is deeply disappointed. Everything is all better now.

  22. 22

    @Tim, Interrupted:

    Cohn and Bernstein suggest the Obama White House deserves some of the blame, because the West Wing didn’t push the Diamond nomination as hard as it could have.

    Shorter: “both sides do it.”

    I’d like for someone to explain exactly how “pushing harder” is supposed to convince a “majority of one” senator to change his obstinate mind.

  23. 23
    cat48 says:

    didn’t push the Diamond nomination as hard as it could have.

    Yes, he only nominated him 3 THREE TIMES!! The DEM Senators are very efficient and ceaselessly & fearlessly work to pass whatever the prez asks for, just like Nancy Smash did! NOT

  24. 24
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: It’s been said before, but I can’t help thinking LBJ (as pres) would have found at least a dozen ways to make Richard Shelby’s life completely miserable until he thought better of his hold.

  25. 25
    danimal says:

    It’s funny to see the same old “if Obama had just worked harder on this, [insert GOP rep here] Sen. Shelby would feel the pressure and relent” folks pipe up. Look, the only way Obama gets his people confirmed is by making a deal. You know, the kind of deals that the Firebagging contingent screams bloody murder over. Pick you fcuking poison.

    That said, since nothing of substance is ever likely to get through Congress these days, I don’t understand why the Senate calendar isn’t just nomination battles 24/7. It may just be political theater, but putting the nonstop obstructionism on display should clear things up for independents who may buy the GOP BS.

  26. 26
    cleek says:

    @patrick II:

    because the president we elected is too busy getting along to assert his power.

    umm, what power does the president have in this situation ?

  27. 27
    Dollared says:

    @patrick II: This. We need our own wurlitzer. And it has to start in the White House.

  28. 28
    Dollared says:

    M-Mix:

    We won’t have a Nobel winning economist who’s done extensive research on unemployment serving on the Federal Reserve board because Richard Shelby is a dickfar more effective than his Senate and White House counterparts on the Democratic side at advocating for his core constituencies:

    FIFY. You’re welcome

  29. 29
    Judas Escargot says:

    Shelby is the Senator from MSFC.

    It’d be an awful shame (and, of course, entirely coincidental) if all that NASA money got held up by Obama and Reid until Shelby stopped interfering with his nominees.

    The quasi-firebaggers are right on this one: There are ways to play hardball, and LBJ certainly would have called Shelby to his toilet to not-so-gently remind him that Alabama needs the money more than the President needs his vote.

  30. 30
    patrick II says:

    @danimal:
    Shorter danimal
    The only way to get something done is to make a deal. The republicans will make no deals, so we should resolve ourselves to nothing getting done.

  31. 31
    Comrade Kevin says:

    @cleek:

    umm, what power does the president have in this situation ?

    None, of course. I think some people, no matter how much they would deny it, are actually nostalgic for the days of “the Decider”.

  32. 32
    Kyle says:

    Being from Alabama, Shelby demands a Fed governor who is barefoot and don’t know nothin’ ’bout that fancy book-learnin’ and hates abortion and evolution and dental hygeine.

    The only way to deal with bullying assholes like this without giving away the store is to threaten them in return. Like NASA money, or the many other ways Shelby’s welfare state relies on federal dollars.

  33. 33
    Mike G says:

    @Comrade Kevin:

    nostalgic for the days of “the Decider”.

    It’s more frustration that Repuke, right-wing, pro-corporatist policies get rammed through with little impedance, while when the shoe is on the other foot more enlightened policies and nominations get bogged down and die.

    And the people who insisted in the last decade that the President was an emperor who should get everything he wants or you’re a traitor, can pivot 180 degrees when a Dem takes office, and not be run out town for their hypocrisy.

    DC is wired for stupidity, short-termism, shallow sloganeering and greed.

  34. 34
    Judas Escargot says:

    @Mike G:

    DC is wired for stupidity, short-termism, shallow sloganeering and greed.

    Just like the country and culture it serves.

    The Constitution is working exactly as designed. If Americans have a problem with their gov’t, perhaps they should look in the mirror.

  35. 35
    drkrick says:

    @Gin & Tonic: What’s also been said before is that both the culture and the rules of the Senate have changed quite a bit in the 40-odd years since LBJ. Most of the tools he would have used no longer exist.

  36. 36
    Chris says:

    A president who will try to put Diamond on the Fed but won’t recess-appoint him, is a president who isn’t trying to put Diamond on the Fed.

    You could use this formulation for a lot of Obama Administration would-be nominations.

    Obama certainly has.

  37. 37
    dollared says:

    @Chris: This. Absolutely this.

  38. 38
    Brachiator says:

    Shelby and Republicans will pay no political price for this little maneuver, of course, so this is just for the record.

    This is insane.

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