f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

November 13, 2008

apply for this!

Filed under: Haiga or Haibun,q.s. quickies — David Giacalone @ 11:45 am

? . . . Finally, my having CFS seems like an advantage: It’s kept me from even thinking about seeking a job with the Obama Administration (like those surely opening at the Justice Department) — and, therefore, kept me from having to answer the questionnaire they’ve cooked up for high-level job applicants. The New York Times says today that those seeking cabinet and other high-ranking posts face what appears to be “the most extensive — some say invasive — application ever.”

In “For a Washington Job, Be Prepared to Tell All” (NYT, Nov. 13, 2008) we’re told:

“The questionnaire includes 63 requests for personal and professional records, some covering applicants’ spouses and grown children as well, that are forcing job-seekers to rummage from basements to attics, in shoe boxes, diaries and computer archives to document both their achievements and missteps.

” . . . They must include any e-mail that might embarrass the president-elect, along with any blog posts and links to their Facebook pages.”


Gee, have I ever said anything at my weblog or in an email that might embarrass myself or the President-elect?  Where would I start?  At least I never used any “aliases or ‘handles’ . . . to communicate on the Internet” (other than my f/k/a alter egos like Prof. Yabut and ethicalEsq) and never leave anonymous comments — or, would anonymity have come in handy about now?

How would Pres-e Obama feel about: My reaction to his staff’s politically-correct response to the New Yorker Cover; or my general aversion to the over-played sexism card, and to the Left’s neo-puritanism?  (Was I too tough a few years ago on Lani Guinier? Last year on Hillary Clinton?)  Can Barack take a little constructive criticism from a supporter who hopes he lives up to his own highest ideals? (E.g., my complaints over his dodge on speed limits and his on-going failure to mention the poor)  I think he can, but I’m not as confident about his transition team.

There are so many other questions, my remaining brain synapses are going on overload.  I mean:

what did you forget?
retracing steps

ISSA, translated by David G. Lanoue

Emails? Despite my writings and musing over Prof. Solove’s book The Future of Reputation: Gossip, Rumor, and Privacy on the Internet (2007), there are quite a few emails (mostly baring my soul about life’s travails), I’d love to take back. I don’t think they’d embarrass the new administration half as much as they’d embarrass me, but you never know how risk-adverse they’re gonna be.

empty bottle
a few words
I would like to take back

…… by John StevensonQuiet Enough (2004)

There’s a part of me that would love to get back to the work force (and to Washington, DC) in order to help Barack Obama bring about needed change in how our government works and how citizens and their government interact.  Having used my Harvard Law Degree in very different ways than Sen. Obama (from regulatory work for consumers and competition, to children’s advocacy, to divorce mediation), and having earned and lost quite a few extra gray hairs, while spending the last decade of “disability” living at the poverty level, I’d bring a rather unique perspective to service in his Administration. But, . . .

No matter how willing my spirit may be, my body is too weak to fill out the application, much less handle a job that surely would require 60+ hours a week dedication.  I’m not worried about conflicts of interest, nor about any nefarious past deeds.  But, after a lifetime speaking my mind, and five years doing it in public on this weblog, there might just be too many verbal skeletons for the new President to worry about.  And, biting my tongue for eight years would considerably weaken my communication skills.  It looks like I’m going to have to serve Barack Obama from the outside, and apply myself here at my home office.

afterwords ((Nov. 15, 2008): TaxProf Paul Caron says “There goes my job in the Obama Administration;” via Overlawyered)

digital age
aging digits
on the keyboard

……………………. by dagosan


  1. Would it suffice if I were to say that anything embarrassing that could be done, has been done?

    How many good and fertile minds will be lost by this questionaire? I know of one for sure. I expect there will be more.

    Comment by shg — November 13, 2008 @ 12:35 pm

  2. Does that mean that you will also be abstaining from the application process, Lawyer Greenfield? To be honest, I wouldn’t want to have a life, a wife, or a child that wouldn’t have done something to occasionally embarrass an Administration. I have faith in the Obama Crew to overlook a lot of potential headaches and blushes in order to employ the best women and men to help in the cause.

    Comment by David Giacalone — November 13, 2008 @ 1:07 pm

  3. Dang, shoulda never hit “send.”

    Comment by Anne — November 14, 2008 @ 9:31 am

  4. Ain’t that the truth, Anne. You’d think we’d have better control over our mouses by now.

    Comment by David Giacalone — November 14, 2008 @ 9:33 am

  5. Mice! Can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em.

    I used this today in the job-hunt post at court-o-rama! Very timely, thanks.

    Comment by Anne — November 14, 2008 @ 10:12 am

  6. Thanks for the pointer, Anne. I made a hyperlink in your Comment to the job-hunt post.

    Comment by David Giacalone — November 14, 2008 @ 11:11 am

  7. David Giacalone may lack many things, but I am happy to vouch that a “rudimentary understanding of basic economics” is not one of them. Indeed,

    His rudiments
    are all noble,
    economic man plus.

    Bert Foer, former employer.

    Comment by Bert Foer — November 14, 2008 @ 2:00 pm

  8. Thank you, Bert! I was too shy too ask you directly for a rebuttal to Mr. Baker, so it is a treat to see that you found this mention of you online and were willing to go out on a limb for me.

    We haven’t communicated in months, and I hope all is well with the talented Foer Family. I see you have been very busy at AAI advising DOJ and now President-elect Obama. Keep up the good work, and I hope they listen.

    I promise not to tell anyone that you actually hired me three times back at the FTC at the Bureau of Competition. I hadn’t discovered haiku back in those days. And, neither had you. thanks again.

    Comment by David Giacalone — November 14, 2008 @ 2:21 pm

  9. Thanks for the link! Despite my overwhelming willingness to chime in, sometimes I’m a bit comment-challenged.

    Comment by Anne — November 14, 2008 @ 7:18 pm

  10. […] Giacalone at f/k/a reports the Obama administration questionnaire has job applicants searching through shoe boxes, diaries, and old emails. Eugene Volokh at the Volokh Conspiracy notes the hostility toward legal gun ownership in the Obama […]

    Pingback by Blawg Review # 186 | Res Ipsa Blog — November 17, 2008 @ 6:05 am

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by WordPress