Requirements for a Government Job
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has a wonderful mandate: to see that Americans get a "fair shake," a "fair deal" from those predatory lenders at the big banks, according to President Obama. Sounds like mom and apple pie. Who could be against that?
But what if Americans do not get a "fair shake" from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau itself? What kind of oversight is the bureau subject to? Not the Federal Reserve: the bureau gets its money from the Fed, but the latter has no power over it. Not Congress. No, the CFPB is solely a creature of the executive branch. Republicans in Congress thought it might be a good idea for Congress to have oversight of this new bureaucracy, but no, the president would have none of it. As the LA Times cheerfully reports, that would have been "to weaken the authority of the agency and its director." Oh, we mustn't have that; the executive branch must be primus inter pares, first among equals, right? Isn't that what the Founders had in mind?
So what was a president to do? Talk to the Republicans? Compromise? After all, "There is not a liberal America and a conservative America, there is the United States of America." Come together for a group hug now, kiddies. That was candidate Obama in 2008. Now it's much better to run against a "do-nothing Congress." And so Mr. Obama appointed Richard Cordray director of the CFPB while the Senate was in recess, as the Constitution allows. Except the Senate is not in recess. Yes, President Obama is the one we have been waiting for, the one who will, in his sole judgment, determine whether Congress is in session or not.
Jennifer Rubin, the Washington Post blogger, finds the hypocrisy staggering: "As a senator, Obama excoriated the practice of recess appointments (George W. Bush actually waited for a real recess)." Even Mickey Kaus, no conservative he, finds the president's action "a little Chavez-y."
Back to the CFPB. With 100 bureaucrats at the agency picked by lottery to hear the president's remarks, "Obama was greeted by rousing applause from agency workers." Those CFPB workers number "only" 800 so far, but they're busy staffing up. In fact, there is a posting now for an Invitations Coordinator. I have read the job description and still have no idea what an Invitations Coordinator does, but who cares, pay is good, up to $103,000 per annum, and you start with 5 weeks of vacation. Apply now by filling out the questionnaire here.
The last question (10.9) is particularly revealing: "I have participated actively in a community or advocacy organization." With a community organizer-in-chief running the government, it's not surprising what counts for experience toward a sinecure in the bureaucracy. As a paid-up member of the NRA (an advocacy organization) and a former rangemaster at my local rod and gun club (a community organization), I'm a shoo-in. I'll block out time for my interview now.
Henry Percy is the nom de guerre for a technical writer living in Arizona. He may be reached at saler.50d[at]gmail.com.