Power and Politics - I am Not the Yellow Peril

The life and times of an Asian American activist who tells all the truth (and dishes news and analysis) but with a leftwards slant.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Mineta's replacement already associated with failure

Damn, I got sucked back in after reading Wonkette's eagle-eyed post about Mary Peters, Bush's new nominee for Transportation Secretary to fill the esteemed Norm Mineta's shoes (I knew there was an APIA tie-in somewhere. Plus the first link has some great historical footage of Mineta.)

To replace this man, a real pioneer:
His family's displacement inspired a lifetime of crossing frontiers. He learned from his first expedition: Those in power decide where you drive. In 1971 in San Jose, he became the first Asian American mayor of a major city; in 2000, the first Asian American Cabinet member; and in 2001, the first Cabinet member to move directly from a Democratic to a Republican Cabinet.
The White House picked this woman:
For all those suffering sleepless nights since Norm Mineta fled town under cover of darkness, the White House finally found a new Transportation Secretary.

You might find this difficult to believe, but the administration’s choice is an executive from a gargantuan highway-engineering company involved in popular projects such as Boston’s Big Dig and the incredibly successful rebuilding of New Orleans!

I checked the article that Wonkette referenced, and damn if Alen Pareene isn't right - the family of the woman killed in the Big Dig tunnel named HDR, Inc in the suit:
The suit also named Gannett Fleming Inc., the tunnel design firm; Bechtel Corp., a construction and engineering management company; engineering and construction management company Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade and Douglas Inc.; Walsh Construction Co., which installed portions of the tunnel wall and ceiling; architectural, engineering and consulting firm HDR Inc.; and Powers Fasteners, which provided epoxy fasteners and anchoring materials.
(I loved Ana Marie Cox's irreverence, but I am digging Pareene's wit and style as well.)

In short, a huge downgrade. Even Bush alludes to it in a stab to the front:

Her obscurity pales next to Mineta's brand-name status in Washington. He honed his sharp political skills during two decades in Congress and a stint as President Bill Clinton's Commerce Secretary.

"Mary Peters knows the legacy she has to live up to at the Department of Transportation," Bush said. "She will take this new post during a time of historic challenges for our economy and our transportation system."

Welcome to the big leagues. Welcome to the real Washington.


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