1. The partner in a comedy team who feeds lines to the other comedian; a straight man.
2. One who allows oneself to be used for another's profit or advantage; a puppet.
"N-yuck, n-yuck, n-yuck." Acting ATF Director and Obama political stooge B. Todd Jones.
The official announcement is here.
Stories about it are here and here and here.
A long-time DC observer commented:
My reaction is that the bag here is too mixed to be effective, and to constitute effective reform, with McMahon and Newell sitting where they are. It compromises too much; reflects the relative lack of power that Todd Jones has; and reinforced the notion he's a political stooge. I hope that I'm wrong about this, but it is what I think --- it is nowhere near the housecleaning that needs to be done.
Perhaps the baldest hypocrisy is leaving ATF Counsel intact --- because that's ultimately where most if not all of the problems originate; and those that didn't originate there, got fed and nurtured by the ATF Counsel thugs.
For a moment I thought I would send a letter of friendly advice to old B. Todd, much as I did to Chicago Gang favorite Andy Traver back in November 2010. Here, in part, is what I told Traver then:
"Dans ce pay-ci, il est bon de tuer de temps en temps un admiral pour encourager les autres." "In this country it is good to kill an admiral from time to time, to encourage the others." -- Voltaire's Candide.
1. Deal with the Chief Counsel's Office incompetent shadow management of ATF. To paraphrase Shakespeare, "first thing you do is fire all the lawyers." For more than a decade the CCO has run ATF as a sorry parade of temporary management came and went. When a new acting director would come in, he would first turn to the guys who "knew stuff" at that rarefied level of ATF headquarters, the Chief Counsel's Office. Problem was, and is, they are not beyond setting up acting directors for a fall to further their own power and agenda (just ask poor Ken Melson) . Simply put, they don't like the competition that a director, a real director, gives them. You may simplify your life by firing anyone even tainted by the present CCO mafia and get some competent attorneys in there who feel bound by the law rather than an agenda. Being loyal to their oaths and to your direction wouldn't hurt either. In any case, the sight of incompetent and/or malevolent CCO lawyers being frog-marched out past the ruins of their government careers will certainly "encourage the others." Morale among the street agents will soar.
Like I said, I thought about sending B. Todd a letter -- for about thirty-two and one-half seconds. It would be a waste of time for he is, as my DC friend commented, merely a "political stooge" placeholder playing a game of musical chairs with no odd man out, played for the benefit of the idly curious television cameras and temporarily concerned Congresscritters.
It is Kabuki theater, signifying nothing.