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Department of Commerce
  • Five Things to Celebrate Besides Valentine's Day

    Roses are red, violets are blue, but if you're a nerd who knows they're actually violet, Valentine's Day is not the holiday for you.

    Good thing there are so many other occasions to celebrate if you're not falling for the romance-industrial complex:

    South Carolina voter
    Mark Wilson/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    On this day in 1899, Congress approved the use of voting machines for use in federal elections. Mark the occasion by standing for three hours in the line of your choice.

    David McNew/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    On this day in 1912, Arizona became the 48th state. Celebrate by asking Arizona to show its statehood certificate.

    Lintao Zhang/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    The United States Department of Commerce and Labor was established on this day in 1903. Celebrate by learning the name of the (Acting) Secretary of Commerce. Hint: it's not Gary Locke any more!

    Mario Tama/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Today is Mayor Michael Bloomberg's 71st birthday. You're allowed to eat 71 hot dogs in celebration, but you'll have to wash them down with an eight-ounce soda.

    National Archives/Getty Images

    James K. Polk became the first president to have his photograph taken on this day in 1849. Commemorate the moment with an Instagram of all those hot dogs you ate for Bloomberg's birthday.

    A Special Valentine for Hillary Fans

    Top photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Tags: Arizona, Department of Commerce, History, Michael Bloomberg, Valentine's Day
  • John Bryson Hands Barack Obama His Resignation Letter

    Secretary of Commerce John Bryson is resigning. Just as Eric Holder is being help in contempt of Congress. Coincidence? I don't think so. What's John Bryson trying to hide? Is he drunk?!

    John Bryson resigned as Commerce Secretary, calling an end to the medical leave of absence he’d been on since a seizure caused his involvement in two car accidents in early June.

    "I have come to the conclusion that I need to step down to prevent distractions from this critical mission," Bryson wrote in a letter to Commerce Department staff.

    Oh, right. I forgot he's been having unfortunate medical problems lately. Sorry. Like the American Crossroads Twitter account, I have a serious problem with jumping to embarrassing conclusions.

    Rebecca Blank, Bryson’s deputy, will continue to serve as acting commerce secretary.

    Blank has a reputation for having her fingers on the pulse of the department, after previously serving as acting secretary for about three months last year while Bryson awaited Senate confirmation. A poverty expert and formerly the dean of the University of Michigan's Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, she is not the kind of retired corporate executive or political insider who typically runs the department.

    A poverty expert?! Oh my God! She's a socialist! She's probably also drunk!

    Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Tags: American Crossroads, Barack Obama, Department of Commerce, John Bryson, Rebecca Blank
  • Tweet Untweet: Good One, Dave

    Tags: Barack Obama, Department of Commerce, Republicans, Senate, Tweet Untweet, Twitter
  • Meet John Bryson, Secretary of Commerce and Felony Suspect

    Good morning, America. Did you know you had a Commerce Secretary named John Bryson? I was under the vague impression that this cabinet post was occupied by Token Asian-American Guy, but it turns out Gary Locke has been ably serving as Ambassador to China since August 2011, while Bryson has led our least notable federal agency since receiving Senate confirmation in October of last year.

    Why are we learning about the existence of Bryson just now? I'm sure it has something to do with his stewardship of the  National Institutes of Standards and Technology and the Bureau of Economic Analysis…

    Bryson was driving a Lexus in the 400 block of South San Gabriel Boulevard shortly after 5 p.m. Saturday, when he allegedly rear-ended a Buick as it was waiting for a train to pass, according to a statement released by the L.A. County Sheriff's Department and the San Gabriel Police Department.

    After briefly stopping to talk to the three men inside the Buick, Bryson left the location in the Lexus and then struck the Buick a second time, authorities said. The men followed Bryson's car and called 911 to ask for police assistance.

    C'mon, reality. The Tonys are over. I expect this kind of didactic nonsense from Broadway producers, maybe Hollywood on its bad days, but real-world symbolism requires a little more nuance than an Obama Commerce Secretary crashing his Japanese-made car into an American Buick, just as the economic news is dominated by coverage of a slowdown in jobs growth…

    Bryson continued to drive his Lexus into Rosemead, which is patrolled by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. There, he allegedly crashed into a second vehicle near the intersection of San Gabriel Boulevard and Hellman Avenue.

    There authorities found him alone and unconscious behind the wheel of his car.

    That's a hit and run, and a hit. Somewhere, a hack screenplay writer is readying a copyright lawsuit, which might work were it not for the Commerce Department's purview over the Patent and Trademark Office.

    Despite a clean Breathalyzer result and suspicions that the crash was the result of a medical condition, drugs and alcohol have yet to be ruled out as causes, because considering the travails of previous Obama Commerce nominees, Bill Richardson and Judd Gregg, and the nature of the job, it would take some pretty serious stuff to convince anyone that this was a position worth accepting.

    UPDATE, 10:00 Eastern: According to a statement from the Department of Commerce, Bryson suffered a seizure in connection with the above incident. We hope he's well.

    Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Tags: Alcohol, Crime, Department of Commerce, John Bryson