Penny Pritzker for Commerce Secretary?

We still have a Commerce Secretary? What the hell has the last one been doing for the past five years? Playing tiddlywinks?

Making official what many Democrats have expected for weeks, President Obama plans to nominate Chicago business executive Penny Pritzker, a longtime political supporter and heavyweight fundraiser, as his new Commerce secretary this morning.

Pritzker’s nomination could prove controversial. She is on the board of Chicago-based Hyatt Hotels Corp., which was founded by her wealthy family and has had rocky relations with labor unions, and she could face questions about the failure of a bank partly owned by her family.


Yeah, apparently labor union leadership hates her guts. From last month:

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis said in a statement that Pritzker “has a long and storied history as being an anti-labor, anti-worker kind of boss… We cannot imagine that someone who has a long history of bludgeoning Chicago’s working families and destroying public schools would be given a platform to continue these sorts of business practices on a national level,” Lewis continued.

I mention this not because I want Penny Pritzker to be Commerce Secretary. I don’t; more accurately, I don’t particularly see the need for a Commerce Department in its current incarnation* – and especially during this current administration, which apparently thinks that ‘business growth’ is accomplished via the creation of elaborate fiscal institutions out of bamboo and palm fronds. But it promises to be highly amusing to see Big Labor freak out over this nomination; and what kind of Right Wing Death Beast would I be if I didn’t helpfully point out to the labor movement that they are expected to grit their teeth and applaud this choice like the good little company men that they so clearly are?

Have a nice day!

Moe Lane (crosspost)


*I’ve seen a bunch of people complaining about the incredibly crass (yet eminently legal) payoff that this appointment represents. Personally, I think that it might save money if we simply had a Cabinet department whose job it was to be a Cabinet department: people could be appointed to it as a reward for various services, given a reasonable but not ridiculous salary, extremely flattering job titles, and absolutely no oversight power whatsoever.

No, you don’t call it “the House of Lords.” You call it “the Department of Administrative Affairs.”


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