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Gupta for Surgeon General? Geithner for Treasury? Obama for Irrelevance.

By       (Page 1 of 3 pages)   2 comments
Message Cameron Salisbury

It’s hard to believe that the ‘Change We Can Believe In’ candidate could have morphed into the ‘Are You Kidding Me’ man before he was even inaugurated.  It usually takes a little longer before we catch on to the fact that we have been hoodwinked by yet another amateur.


Obama’s early choices for cabinet positions and other posts were questionable from the start.  What is Hillary ‘We’ll Obliterate Them’ Clinton doing as the designee for Secretary of State?  Why is pit bull Rahm Emanuel the new chief of staff?  Why would a  ‘change’ administration keep holdovers from the Bush years? 


But, as events are now showing, worse choices were yet to come.


The nomination of a CNN lightweight still in his 30’s to be the top doctor in the U.S. simultaneously insults professionals in the fields of medicine and public health.  It demonstrates a shallow understanding of important issues by the new man in charge and his posse that is unnerving. 


Sanjay Gupta was probably the only medical spokesman the bunch had ever heard of because he appears on TV.  It’s a leap to believe that on-air exposure makes Gupta an expert at something besides reading a teleprompter.  The transition team would barely have had to scratch the surface to find respected, knowledgeable and experienced professionals who could handle the job without a back-up editorial team or pancake makeup. 


You can almost visualize the thought process that went into his selection: The transition team is sitting around discussing possible appointees for surgeon general. None of them know personally any public health leader. CNN is playing in the background and a  presentable looking young man begins a segment on health care.  Of course!  Make him the top doc!  We’re probably lucky they weren’t watching Scrubs.


Timothy Geithner’s consideration for Treasury Secretary exceeds the bounds of the ridiculous and encroaches on the borders of serious derangement.


Geithner was at Treasury in the 1990s, where he was heavily involved in the multiple IMF-inspired financial disasters in South America and Asia.  Then, during 2001-2003 he was at the International Monetary Fund as director of policy development.  IMF policies have been nothing less than abusive to desperate economies around the world.  In the quest for high returns for investors and in the service of a deeply flawed ideology, country after country was thrown into turmoil, complete with riots, by IMF demands. (Well documented in Joseph E. Stiglitz, Globalization and Its Discontents, Naomi Klein, Shock Doctrine, and others.)


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Cameron Salisbury is a biostatistician, epidemiologist and grant writer living in Atlanta.
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