Waxman bully-boy lands plum job in Obama WH

The choice of Phil Schiliro , a longtime investigator for Representative Henry Waxman who will serve in the Obama administration as the head of the White house legislative affairs office, does not bode well for Obama's stated goal of "bi-partisan" government.

Waxman has long used his Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the principal investigative committee in the House, to rail against Republicans and business. In the words of the Washington Post, the committee became the "Bush administration's worst nightmare."

The chairman of that committee is the only person in Congress who has unilateral power to issue subpoenas without a committee vote. And the panel's purview is nearly limitless: If something has a potential impact on federal policy, Waxman can call hearings and investigate it. He is known for his brutal and relentless questioning style. Once he has ensnared his prey. he requires witnesses to testify under oath so that, if there's even a whiff of imperfect recollection, his staff - which features some of the most dogged and experienced operatives on Capitol Hill - is likely to sniff it out, exposing witnesses to perjury charges.

His series of headline provoking "investigations" often lead nowhere since they have often been based on flimsy evidence of wrongdoing. However, the committee has been a cudgel that has been applied routinely against a range of businesses (tobacco, the energy industry, Blackwater, the private security firm, where his power to investigate may have helped the legal efforts of a California law firm to sue Blackwater for deaths of their contractors in Iraq).  Congressman Waxman has been a partisan pit bull from day one when he joined the committee. When he was in the minority on the committee, he rallied to Bill Clinton's defense during investigations connected to influence peddling.

What has been the end result of Waxman's tribunals? Very little (which is one reason he is angling to leave his post as Chairman and become chairman of the House Committee on Energy and  Commerce; the other reason, presumably, is that he would be unlikely to challenge the Obama administration's running of government).

The committee has been a politically useful means to humiliate Republicans, protect Democrats, and impugn businesses across America. Schiliro has been a very useful partisan pugilist.

Now he has been chosen for a plum post in the incoming Obama administration.

A reward for  a job well-done. Since he knows how to protect Democrats from uncomfortable inquiries, presumably he will also help foil any attempts by Congressmen (read Republicans) to hold Barack Obama accountable for the actions of his administration.

The choice of Phil Schiliro , a longtime investigator for Representative Henry Waxman who will serve in the Obama administration as the head of the White house legislative affairs office, does not bode well for Obama's stated goal of "bi-partisan" government.

Waxman has long used his Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the principal investigative committee in the House, to rail against Republicans and business. In the words of the Washington Post, the committee became the "Bush administration's worst nightmare."

The chairman of that committee is the only person in Congress who has unilateral power to issue subpoenas without a committee vote. And the panel's purview is nearly limitless: If something has a potential impact on federal policy, Waxman can call hearings and investigate it. He is known for his brutal and relentless questioning style. Once he has ensnared his prey. he requires witnesses to testify under oath so that, if there's even a whiff of imperfect recollection, his staff - which features some of the most dogged and experienced operatives on Capitol Hill - is likely to sniff it out, exposing witnesses to perjury charges.

His series of headline provoking "investigations" often lead nowhere since they have often been based on flimsy evidence of wrongdoing. However, the committee has been a cudgel that has been applied routinely against a range of businesses (tobacco, the energy industry, Blackwater, the private security firm, where his power to investigate may have helped the legal efforts of a California law firm to sue Blackwater for deaths of their contractors in Iraq).  Congressman Waxman has been a partisan pit bull from day one when he joined the committee. When he was in the minority on the committee, he rallied to Bill Clinton's defense during investigations connected to influence peddling.

What has been the end result of Waxman's tribunals? Very little (which is one reason he is angling to leave his post as Chairman and become chairman of the House Committee on Energy and  Commerce; the other reason, presumably, is that he would be unlikely to challenge the Obama administration's running of government).

The committee has been a politically useful means to humiliate Republicans, protect Democrats, and impugn businesses across America. Schiliro has been a very useful partisan pugilist.

Now he has been chosen for a plum post in the incoming Obama administration.

A reward for  a job well-done. Since he knows how to protect Democrats from uncomfortable inquiries, presumably he will also help foil any attempts by Congressmen (read Republicans) to hold Barack Obama accountable for the actions of his administration.