And then heads to Crawford for yet another vacation.
President Bush just left Washington for Crawford, where he will remain through Sunday. This is Bush's 63rd trip to Crawford since taking office in January 2001. He has spent over 365 full vacation days in Crawford.
Anyway, in a slap to the Senate and John Kerry, Bush forced the appointment of millionaire conservative businessman Sam Fox as ambassador to Belgium this afternoon. John Fox was a major financer of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth smear campaign against John Kerry. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee blocked his confirmation last month, leading Fox to withdraw his nomination on March 28th.
But now we know what Bush had planned. This appointment while Congress is on-break puts Fox in Brussels (and I'm sure frequent weekends in Paris) through the end of Bush's term in January 2009. So like John Bolton, Mr. Fox is an ambassador with a limited life span, but with a nice series of paychecks until the day he is finally booted out.
Jane Hamsher at Firedoglake points out that Fox is friends with Joe Lieberman.
Here is Senator Kerry confronting Mr. Fox on the Swift Boat funding back in February of this year. I'm sure Mr. Fox writes 5-figure checks to strangers all the time. What's the fuss?
UPDATE: The sole Democratic Senator from Connecticut, Chris Dodd, is questioning the legality of this recess appointment. That's a stretch, but I applaud his reaction. He released the following statement:
“It is outrageous that the President has sought to stealthily appoint Sam Fox to the position of ambassador to Belgium when the President formally requested that the Fox nomination be withdrawn from the Senate because it was facing certain defeat in the Foreign Relations Committee last week. I seriously question the legality of the President's use of the recess appointment authority in this instance. I intend to seek an opinion on the legality of this appointment from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and invite other Senators to join with me in that request. This is underhanded and an abuse of Executive authority -- sadly this behavior has become the hallmark of this administration.”