Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Pritzker Confirmation Proves Bipartisanship

"Penny Pritzker — a wealthy hotel heiress and a top Obama fundraiser — has run into resistance since Obama put her name forward this month to be the next commerce secretary. Republicans are promising to scrutinize her family’s financial dealings, including their use of offshore accounts to reduce their taxes." 

My thoughts won't cost you a penny. 

"Senate confirms Pritzker as commerce secretary, 97 to 1

 $o much for $crutiny.

WASHINGTON — The Senate on Tuesday confirmed billionaire business executive Penny Pritzker to be commerce secretary, filling a vacancy that has stood since John Bryson resigned last summer.

The 97 to 1 vote installs Pritzker, a longtime friend of President Obama, who raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for his presidential campaigns, at the Commerce Department in time to assist in trade talks with the European Union and Pacific Rim nations.

‘‘She knows what it takes to build companies from the ground up, and she shares my belief in doing everything we can to help businesses and workers succeed and make America a magnet for good jobs,’’ Obama said in a statement.


Bernie Sanders, independent of Vermont, one of the Senate’s most liberal members, was the only vote in opposition.

Related: Slow Saturday Special: Sanders $ells Out on Immigration Bill

Pritzker becomes the fourth woman serving as secretary in Obama’s current Cabinet. She is the wealthiest in the Cabinet by far, with Forbes estimating her net worth at $1.85 billion and ranking her as the 277th richest American. The commerce post has been vacant since Bryson resigned after saying he suffered a seizure that led to a series of traffic collisions.

Related: Commerce Secretary Crash Cover-Up

I smell a cover up!

Pritzker has led several companies and currently serves as chairwoman of investment firms Pritzker Realty Group and Artemis Real Estate Partners. She’s also on the board of the Hyatt Hotels Corp., the chain cofounded by her father. She has donated generously to education and the arts.

That is where Romney (and Berlowitz?) stays!

Pritzker won easy confirmation despite questions regarding her family’s offshore trusts in the Bahamas. Obama was a critic of such tax shelters in the campaign.

‘‘She is a force of nature,’’ said Commerce Committee chairman Jay Rockefeller, Democrat of West Virginia, who said the Commerce post ‘‘takes a tough person and we haven’t had a tough person for a while.’’

And you can't $top nature -- now tithe up that tax for your carbon u$e.



"Obama nominates pair to lead commerce, trade efforts" by Jackie Calmes |  New York Times, May 03, 2013

WASHINGTON — President Obama rounded out his second-term Cabinet choices Thursday, nominating Penny Pritzker, his longtime financial backer and an heir to the Hyatt Hotel fortune, to be commerce secretary, and Michael Froman, a law school friend and White House adviser on international economics, as trade representative.

Obama introduced his two friends in the Rose Garden just before leaving for a three-day trip to Mexico and Costa Rica, along with Froman....

Several nominees, including the new ones, still need Senate confirmation. Republicans are opposing the labor nominee, Thomas Perez, and are likely to closely scrutinize Pritzker’s financial and investment record.

Pritzker, a Chicago donor and fund-raiser for Obama, had been expected to be his pick for the long-vacant Commerce Department post, but vetting of her assets and ties delayed a formal announcement, administration aides have said. She had been a candidate for commerce secretary after Obama’s election in 2008 but withdrew from contention amid the public scrutiny at the time.

With Pritzker, Obama would bring a woman and a voice for business interests into a Cabinet that has been criticized as having too few of either.

?? Too few business voices? Are you kidding? It's a Wall Street cabinet! 

And the other guy?

Froman, 50, has served in the White House as deputy national security adviser for international economics since Obama first took office. The post is not a Cabinet position, but Froman had proximity to the president and a portfolio thicker than that of the Cabinet-rank trade representative, encompassing not only trade but international development and climate change issues. 

Sure have a theme going lately.

Obama initially intended to nominate Jeffrey D. Zients, a businessman who had been acting director of the Office of Management and Budget, to be trade representative. But opposition to Zients from Senator Max Baucus of Montana, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, scuttled it.


Related: Bye-Bye, Baucus

Froman has been the president’s ‘‘Sherpa,’’ making preparations for past and upcoming global summits, including the G-8 and G-20 gatherings and the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conferences.

You know, the ones the U.S. surveilled and spied so they could steal trade secrets.

See: Getting in a Round of Golf at the G8 

And play a couple links.

He also oversees economic relations with Europe, Japan, and the BRIC countries — Brazil, Russia, India, and China — and development policies for Africa and the Middle East.

On Thursday, Obama gave Froman credit, along with the man he would succeed, Ron Kirk, for finishing free-trade pacts with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama begun in the Bush administration. The foremost issues will be to negotiate trade deals with Europe and the Pacific Rim region.


Looks like a nice enough lady, 'eh?