08 January 2010


The most difficult thing an effective leader can do is fire someone. You turn yourself into a one man accuser, judge, jury and executioner. You take on the role of God in whatever little realm you reign over. And God never published a handbook on how to deal with inflicting anguish on others.

Human Resource Manuals give you all kinds of cutesy language to utilize, but c'mon... there's no brand of confectioners sugar available that can coverup the fact that you are telling another human being that they suck, they are no longer welcome on the island, and that their short term financial well being is gonna need some help.....somewhere else.

It's painful. I know. I've done it. In fact, there's a damn good chance that this will be read by someone I fired. I never got any pleasure out of firing anyone. Cuz thanks to our guilt ridden Judeo-Christian heritage, firing someone inevitably sparks an acid reflux in our conscience. (Ari Gold and George Clooney's Up in The Air notwithstanding).

But therein lies a difference (one of many) between overseeing and leading.

Leaders, real leaders step up and do the dirty work. Because dirty work is essential to the success of organizations.....and Governments. More importantly, it is vital that during times of difficulty, that leaders make a statement illustrating who is in charge as well as reemphasizing organizational responsibilty and direction. Good leaders take advantage of dysfunctional stretches to reinforce to everyone within the structure that inferior performance is not acceptable. And sometimes that means getting some kind of weight off of the ship, even if it's not listing , if for no other reason than to show that they are not gonna allow anything to endanger the voyage.

Okay...sorry...had a flashback to Mel Zimet's 301 class on Business Leadership that I attended on occasion in college. (Mel once singled me out in class by saying "Thank you 505, at least SOMEONE is reading the textbook"..... I didn't even have the textbook...But I digress).

I give you The Honorable Barack Obama, 44th President of The United States...LEADER of the Free World. (Quelle Shock?)

Barry has had a tough Holiday Season and New Year.

A lot of things have gone wrong recently. And there's certainly enough blame to go around. Some of it (consider this my bone to the wingnuts who read this) can even be thrown back on the Bush Administration.

But to resurrect a phrase from a former President (who had his share of goofs)

"Let's Make One Thing Perfectly Clear".

A lot of people working within Barry's jurisdiction have done some major screwing up lately. If not in actions, at least in words.

  • Janet Napolitano- "the system works"
  • Michael Leiter- Went skiing in Colorado the day after the BVD bomber
  • Eric Holder- Never mind the 9/11 trials in NYC...a rumor is now circulating that even Barry was questioning the logic in allowing the BVD bomber to lawyer up during the WH meeting this week.
  • Hillary Clinton- Let's not forget that it was one of her Embassies that got the call from Dad. (BTW, props to Hillary for sneaking Bill's Stealth, Teflon-stain resistant?- bodysuit into the State Department so far).
  • Who have I missed?

So what's my point?

Barry, from one manager to another, cut the nice guy routine. A whole bunch of people within your organization and around the country will have more respect for you if you grow a pair and fire someone.

You are making a great case for the Republican Campaign rhetoric that you never lead or managed any kind of organization in your life, so how can anyone trust you to lead the Free World? If you can't fire someone, how can we expect you to tell Putin to Piss Off?

I don't buy the argument that "firing for firing's sake" is not worthy. Bullshit, people have screwed up here. Yeah it may be "systemic", but guess what? The "system" is not some inanimate entity. People make up the system and people either make it work or make it fail.

Hell Barry, if you're uncomfortable doing the dirty deed, bring Jeremy Piven into the Oval Office to do it for you. Pick a name out of a hat. Show the country who's in charge. You have enough candidates. Hire one of your Hollywood buds to write the script, bring in Ari, sit back, enjoy the show.....and take notes on how it's done. Even the Dreaded Bush had the cajones to fire the Reviled Rumsfeld.

And stop trying to be Trumanesque by feeding us crap about "The Buck Stops Here". You haven't put enough time in the Oval Office to carve your initials into the mahogany yet, much less hide behind Truman's desk sign.

From where I sat, two time zones away, you looked more like Jim Carrey than Harry S when you said that this week. The Buck? Shoot the damn thing before it gets too close to you.

Wait a sec.....Harry Truman?!?! Wasn't he the guy that had the backbone and moxie to fire Douglas MacArthur? The self absorbed divinity who considered himself "The One", long before Oprah's mother let out a couple of stitches on the family Christening dress?

C'mon Barry....check the replay... give this some further review, send it to the booth.

Cuz all you've done this week is reinforce that old adage "Good Enough For Government Work". That's not what this country, or your Presidency, needs right now.

And that's just my opinion.


  1. I doubt that Napolitano's "the system works" was her idea. Since Gibbs used it too, my guess is that it was developed with Axelrod and that Barry wasn't involved in the conversation prior to the TV appearances.

    The only people really clamoring for heads to roll are Fans of FOX.

  2. "The only people really clamoring for heads to roll are Fans of FOX."

    Quelle shock...Fans of everyone else have rarely heard a negative word mentioned about Obama. (although even that is starting to change).

    Who led the clamor to fire Rumsfeld? Uh...let's see....MSNBC....CNBC.....NBC...CBS...

  3. Complaints Cite Equipment Woes, Extended Tours and Pay Delays

    By Thomas E. Ricks
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Thursday, December 9, 2004

    Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, speaking in Kuwait yesterday to troops deploying into Iraq, got an earful of complaints about poor combat equipment, personnel policies that keep soldiers in the Army beyond their terms of enlistment, and other issues that reflect the strains the war in the Middle East is placing on the U.S. military.

    In one of the exchanges during the town-hall-style meeting, Spec. Thomas Wilson complained that he and his comrades were rooting through junkyards to find improvised armor for their military vehicles to protect against bomb blasts and small-arms attacks.

    "A lot of us are getting ready to move north relatively soon," said Wilson, an airplane mechanic with the Tennessee Army National Guard, according to a transcript of the meeting released by the Pentagon. "Our vehicles are not armored. We're digging pieces of rusted scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass that's already been shot up . . . picking the best out of this scrap to put on our vehicles to take into combat. We do not have proper . . . vehicles to carry with us north."

    Rumsfeld replied: "As you know, you go to war with the Army you have. They're not the Army you might want or wish to have at a later time."

    He added: "If you think about it, you can have all the armor in the world on a tank and a tank can be blown up."

  4. Geez Koots....first off...I am NOT GOING to defend Rumsfeld...

    But if I WAS....I would use the same tactic that is in vogue today...and blame the miltary's woes on the PREVIOUS ADMINISTRATION.

    $453 billion – the average annual defense budget for the nine years before Clinton took office.

    $377 billion – the average annual defense budget during Clinton’s time in office, a 16.7% decrease.

    $496 billion – the average annual defense budget during Bush’s time in office, a whopping 31% increase not even including the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, which are largely funded through supplementals not included in the official defense budget.

  5. http://tpzoo.wordpress.com/2008/11/22/defense-spending-reaganbush-i-vs-clinton-vs-bush-ii/

  6. I posted the Rumsfeld Kuwait comments to demonstrate that cabinet secretaries sometimes say remarkably stupid shit and don't lose their jobs. The list of DoD follies during both Bush terms is pretty long and Rumsfeld kept his job until November of 2006 when the Republicans got their asses kicked in congressional elections.

    Meanwhile, Rumsfeld had one thing right: he was trying to move our military to a lighter, quicker-strike fighting force. The problem with looking at defense budgets is that just because it was bigger doesn't make it better. Moving 30,000 soldiers from anywhere to anywhere shouldn't take as long as it does.

  7. theres probably 300,000 or so bosses in this country who need to be firing someone--most of them including themselves---why pick on obama///a black man who is smart enough to get himself elected us president ought to get an aful lot of free passes/////////

  8. I'm pretty sure that buckeye719's comments are hedging on racist... What's it matter if he's black, white, blue, green, or brown? That was a big deal, most people are getting used to it by now. Probably enough time has gone by where we can stop referring to him as a black guy, and just start referring to him as the president, I mean McCain and Plain lost, and long passed time to stop being shell shocked that a person of another race is president.

    Which brings me to my next point. Obama has been president for a year and, what, 19 days? We're on to firing people already? Sure some of Obama's people have said or done some dumb stuff, but get real, who actually needs to be fired? The Rumsfeld comparison is way off. Rumsfeld was fired in 2006. That was in Bush's second term. He was allowed to mess things up for about five years. Five years. Not a year and 19 days. So, what was it you were saying about having the balls to step up and fire someone? I mean how much time has Obama's administration spent cleaning up after Bush anyway? Probably one year and 19 days. Add to that the changes he seeks to make and they've been busy. At some point people were going to make mistakes. Bush allowed his team a lot of time. Also, going to Truman's firing of Douglas MacArthur, in that comparison you have the same problem as with Rumsfeld. It's not as if MacArthur said one thing wrong and got canned. The guy was working his ass off trying to start a war with China and by proxy with Russia. Truman even gave him chances to cut that crap out. The bottom line is, that leaders do lead. They take the reins, and they sure as hell don't listen to the people that want reactionary firings and the like. That is exactly what you're pushing for here. Your argument is flawed because all you see is that a few people screwed up. I mean, if you're going to fire anyone for the underwear bomber wouldn't it be the guys that are working security at the airport? Leiter wasn't there waiting for his plane right? Napolitano wasn't waiving the wands over people or working a metal detector was she? I know it's satisfying to see political figures get fired for their mistakes, but as George Bush could plainly tell you from any number of occasions during his presidency, shit happens. There have been some mistakes, but nothing has really come of it, for a number of reasons, but mostly because cooler heads prevailed. As for the underwear bomber thing, I hate to say it, you simply cannot catch every would-be terrorist. You should just come out and say that you're either a liberal with unrealistic expectations or a conservative that hates being stuck with a president that's a Democrat. Either way, you're simply calling for a reactionary firing, which, to put it as both Rham Emmanuel and Rush Limbaugh have recently and not so recently, is "retarded." Also, it's interesting that Sarah Plain only feigned outrage at the comments made by one of them isn't it?

  9. Buckeye719, like all of us, has a level of racism within him. Being an older guy, he doesn't hide it very well at times.
    Yes, I agree anonymous, the fact that Obama is black should have absolutely no bearing on ANYTHING having to do with any political discussions. Get that memo to Chris Matthews, will ya?

    "Obama has been president for a year and, what, 19 days? We're on to firing people already?"

    Hell yes....most people are fired within their first 6 months on the job. That's why so many companies have "probation periods". Why should government operate any differently? ESPECIALLY Government. Where bad decisions can impact millions and get people killed.

    Either Leiter or Napolitano (or both) should have been fired for making bad decisions the day after. Leiter for going on vacation and/or Napolitano for opening her mouth and getting the whole story wrong. There should be NO UNION PROTECTION in the upper levels of government. (Ask Abe Lincoln about that...he had a revolving door during the Civil War for military commanders).

    "Either way, you're simply calling for a reactionary firing,"
    You call it a "reactionary" firing....fine...semantics....I call it a demonstration of leadership. Simultaneously, I maintain that there is nothing wrong with "reactionary firings".

    Sarah Palin should have kept her mouth shut about Rahm Emanuel. I can think of better reasons for firing him than his choice of rhetoric. And I agree....Rush has now painted her into a corner. And it appears that she is without a bRUSH.

    "The guy was working his ass off trying to start a war with China and by proxy with Russia."
    McArthur was fired because he was insubordinate and was grandstanding on a great many issues in an effort to build a Presidential campaign base.
    And for no other reason.

    "You should just come out and say that you're either a liberal with unrealistic expectations or a conservative that hates being stuck with a president that's a Democrat."

    LOL....well done Anonymous...you've just neatly summed up my political ideology.
    I am a registered Libertarian.Study up on libertarianism and you'll be surprised at how prescient your comment is.

    Thanks for commenting!!