obama's cabinet

obama’s cabinet

Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas Nominated to be the Next HHS Secretary

obama and sebeliusI never thought the Governor of Kansas could be part of Obama‘s new team in the White House. Guess I was mistaken! According to a source from the White House, Governor Sebelius was announced as nominee today to be the next Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary.

Sebelius was originally one of Obama’s finalists to be his running mate, but pulled out of the race to focus on Kansas and its economic state at the time. She didn’t pull herself out of Obama’s options completely. Many believe she is a solid choice for the HHS Secretary because of what she has accomplished as the Governor of Kansas. She has been responsible for the Medicaid program here in Kansas, faced the pressure of rising care costs in a very direct manner, and has seen how difficult it can be to spread health care when the economy is facing rather difficult times. Read the rest of this entry »

Caroline Kennedy a Controversial Choice for New York Senate

Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of former president John F. Kennedy, is lobbying to fill the New York Senate seat vacated by Hillary Clinton, who’s leaving to become Obama’s Secretary of State. This has raised quite a few eyebrows by those who argue that Kennedy’s role as a high-dollar fundraiser doesn’t qualify her to be senator, and that she’s only being considered because of the legacy of her name.

As CBS News reports, Kennedy does have experience working with the New York City Public Schools.  Some feel that her work there is exemplary enough to qualify her for public office, while others do not.  As a fundraiser and goodwill ambassador for the New York City Public Schools, Kennedy raised about $200 million between 2002 and 2004. As the school system’s chancellor wrote in a New York Times op ed, “Caroline took over an office that previously oversaw donations to PTAs and alumni associations and recreated it around a model of a public-private partnership.”

On the other hand, Kennedy wasn’t involved in hands-on legislative decisions involving the schools.  She also took few public policy positions on education, so it’s hard to know where she stands the issue that’s been the focus of most of her political involvement. What do you think?

Caroline’s own educational background includes a degree from Radcliffe College and a law degree from Columbia Law School.

Anti-Intellectualism, the Ivy League, and Obama’s Cabinet

During a summer job when I was in college, I was chatting with a fellow college student.  I asked her where she went to school.

“At a school in Connecticut,” she said.

“Where at?” I asked.

“New Haven,” she said, sort of blushing.

“Oh, you go to Yale!” I said, “How cool is that?”

I wonder how many other Ivy League students out there answer the question “where do you go to school?” with such an evasive response.  Perhaps she thought that others would think she was a snob, or that they would think that she was bragging, if she answered the question directly.  I, for one, certainly didn’t think less of her, quite the opposite.

But isn’t this a shame?  On the one hand, Americans admire Ivy League educations, and because of this, the names on their transcripts can open some doors.  On the other hand, there’s a powerful undercurrent of distrust of intellectualism in America.  Whether it’s high school students mocking the smart kids, or college girls playing down their intelligence in class, or Fox News accusing Barack Obama of being an “elite” because he went to Columbia and Harvard, people are a little distrustful of those who have brains, an education, and the desire to work hard in their studies.  Read the rest of this entry »


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