President-elect Barack Obama’s appointment of pugnacious banker Rahm Emanuel as his Chief-of-Staff couldn’t have been more controversial, what with Rahmbo’s volunteer service in the Israel Defence Forces, his support of Bush’s Iraq war, and advocacy of compulsory “universal sevice” for all young Americans.
But then Obama nominated New Mexico governor Bill Richardson for commerce secretary, an appointment which pitched Latinos and Asian-Americans against each other. Richardson displayed none of the racial sensitivity he reserves for his Hispanic constituency when he helped prosecute Taiwanese-American Wen Ho Lee, a former nuclear scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, for spying ten years ago.
"This was the major Chinese-American civil rights case in the last 30 years,'' said Albert Wang, a Fremont physician. "And there was a feeling among many Chinese-Americans, particularly in Silicon Valley, that Bill Richardson did a lot to promote the notion that all Chinese-Americans are potential spies.''
"Wen Ho Lee bore the brunt of Richardson's actions, but there were many Chinese-American scientists who felt great fear,'' said Der, who once headed Chinese for Affirmative Action in San Francisco. "Even I got a visit from the FBI, and I'm not a scientist.''
Gee, how was Obama gonna get all the US Asians on board?
Hmmm, how to mollify a substantial minority with financial clout and an eye on political power?
Meanwhile, and entirely unconnected, Obama’s cabinet gets an Asian. It looks like science super-egghead and Nobel Laureate Dr Stephen Chu will be Head of the Department of Energy where his remit is biofuels, a poisoned chalice if ever there was one.
Hated by the big coal producers AND loathed by environmentalists, I don’t fancy Chu's chances.
Madam Miaow says ... Hey, Steve, the vessel with the pestle has the pellet with the poison. The chalice from the palace has the brew that is true. Doh! No, the flagon with the dragon holds the brew that is true ... Don't trust the gweilo!
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