The Democrats just couldn’t bring themselves to eliminate the “Buy American” provison of the stimulus bill. They owe Big Labor and I”m sure Big Labor reminded them of that prior to the vote:
On another contentious issue, the Senate softened a labor-backed provision requiring that only U.S.-made iron or steel used in construction projects paid for in the bill. A move by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., to delete the so-called Buy American requirement failed, 31-65.
But with Obama voicing concern about the provision, the requirement was changed to specify that U.S. international trade agreements not to be violated.
Read that last line carefully. How in the world does keeping the “Buy American” requirement not violate US international trade agreements?
Hope and change.
Given the vaunted status of tax cheats amongst the Democrats, you’re all shocked, I’m sure:
House Ways and Means Chairman Charles B. Rangel predicted, on C-SPAN’s Newsmakers program that aired Sunday, Feb. 1, 2009, that his multitude of ethics woes would soon disappear. “I think that next Tuesday you will see a break in this and as soon as the Ethics Committee organizes they ought to be able to dismiss this,” National Journal’s CongressDaily quoted the Rangel as saying.
If so, it’s hard to imagine that the Select Committee on Ethics will have devoted anything more than a cursory glance at the various issues raised. Consider just one aspect, for which documents are in the public record: Rangel’s financial disclosure forms. We took a look at his filings going all the way back to 1978, the first year members were required to disclose information on their personal finances, and found 28 instances in which he failed to report acquiring, owning or disposing of assets. Assets worth between $239,026 and $831,000 appear or disappear with no disclosure of when they were acquired, how long they were held, or when they were sold, as the operative House rules at the time required.
This is all according to Charlie, of course. Much like the Obama team clearing itself of any inappropriate behavior in the Blagojevich troubles, taking Charlie’s word here would not be advisable. However, he seems to know that something is coming, and considering that Speaker Pelosi made little to no effort to support the investigation, we shouldn’t be surprised if Rangel walks away from this with his Chairmanship still intact.
Most ethical Congress ever!
Far be it for me to advocate anything to do with the travesty of taxation that takes place in this country right now, but it sure is becoming clear why most Democrats have no problem with tax increases.
Tom Daschle, under increasing fire for his tax problems (i.e. not paying them) has reportedly withdrawn his name from consideration for HHS Secretary. Take a deep breath America – that’s good news.
Its early so it isn’t clear if he was warned off by Senate colleagues, asked to do so by the Obama administration (although that seems less likely given Obama’s endorsement yesterday) or had a fit of ethical conscience and did it himself. Whatever the reason, I’m happy about it.
Oh, and another Obama appointee has also withdrawn from consideration with tax problems:
Nancy Killefer, the management consultant and former Treasury official who had been picked by President Obama to serve as the country’s chief performance officer, has withdrawn from consideration for the post, White House officials confirmed this morning.
In a two-paragraph resignation letter, Killefer indicated that controversy over failure to pay taxes by two other high-profile nominees of Obama’s had convinced her to decline the new president’s request to join his administration. Shortly after her appointment, the Associated Press reported that Killefer had a tax lien placed on her house by the D.C. government because she had not paid unemployment taxes for her household help.
Killefer at least had the good grace to step aside before it got to the Daschle stage.
That Obama administration vetting process? Awesome, no?
Hope and change.
[HT: Scott Jacobs]
Here at QandO we’ve written fairly extensively about the incidence of Bush Derangement Syndrome (BDS) over the last few years. We’ve wondered aloud, or at least in print, what the left would do once Bush was no longer available to hate?
Would it dissipate and change into OLS (that’s Obama Love Syndrome) or would it simply be transferred to some other someone on the right the left loves to hate?
Well, in what most people consider a rookie mistake, Mr. Obama gave us the answer. He called out Rush Limbaugh (and ended up looking worse for it) and the BDS sufferers – who were experiencing withdrawal symptoms not related to Iraq – had a new figure on whom they could lavish their derangement anew.
With his explicit attack on Limbaugh during a Capitol Hill meeting last week, Obama has signaled the end of Bush Derangement Syndrome – the defining mental illness of the Democrats for eight years – and ushered in the age of Rush Derangement Syndrome.
You would think that victories in the presidential race and Congress would be enough for the Left. But no. Like Captain Ahab, Sen. Lindsay Graham still bristles at the “loud folks” in conservative talk radio. Democrats even drafted a petition denouncing Limbaugh last week, showing that trying to save the economy doesn’t wait for petty personal attacks.
Too bad Obama hasn’t learned the lessons of his predecessors. Limbaugh not only has survived countless protests, boycotts, media smears and political attempts to kick him off the airwaves. He has emerged each time with a higher profile, greater influence, and a strengthened hand.
Yes indeed, the transfer of power is complete. Gotta love the left’s complete cluelessness about certain things.
Hope and change.
Tom Daschle a few years ago [pdf]:
Make no mistake, tax cheaters cheat us all, and the IRS should enforce our laws to the letter.
Tom Daschle today:
“Daschle spokeswoman Jenny Backus said he had known since June 208 that his luxury car and driver provided by wealthy Democratic donor, longtime friend and business associate Leo Hindery might be taxable, but never expected the amount to be such a ‘jaw-dropping’ sum and ‘thought it was being taken care of’ by his accountant.”
Of course he did. Let’s get real here – he never really checked or cared until he found out he was in line to take a cabinet post with the most ethical administration ever. And then suddenly it was both important and a priority.
Say “hi” to Tim Geithner for us, will you Tom?
Hope and change.
[Via Don Surber]
The promise: Lobbyists would be categorically denied jobs in the Obama administration, no exceptions.
It is easy to project yourself as a clean politician after making your debut in South Side Chicago with buddies like Rahm Emanuel. US president Obama has appointed more than 17 lobbyists after talking big on anti-lobbyist Governance and rooting corruption out of the American Government.
Dreams are dreams. Facts are facts.
Would you believe, Obama had to issue 17 waivers on his own rule in less than two weeks for allowing lobbyist enter his Administration and control Governance of America!
Of course you have to read about it in the foreign press since our MSM appears uninterested in such things.
Hope and change.
Take a gander at that chart. James Joyner put it together to illustrate why the Republicans might not be that concerned with cooperating with Democrats right now.
It’s certainly nothing particularly new in politics. When Republicans were the majority party in both houses of Congress and had a Republican President, it was much the same for Democrats at the time. And we watched Tom Daschle and the boys in the Senate act just like one would expect a minority party with the above choices to act. That is, they mostly said “no” to almost everything the Republican administration wanted.
The difference at the time was there were much closer numbers on both sides in the Senate so that luring Democrats to pass anything was a necessary thing. Then “bi-partisanship”, like it or not, was a necessity. Then flavoring the bill enough to attract Democrats was something which had to be done.
Now that’s not necessary at all.
Now, with the possibility of a 58th Democratic Senator (if Republican Sen. Gregg accepts the Commerce post, the Democratic Governor of NH will surely name a Democrat to that seat) and two “independents” who have and always will caucus with the Senate Democrats, they don’t need Republicans at all. The Republican minority in this session doesn’t even enjoy the power it had in the last session of Congress or that was enjoyed by the Democrats when they were last in the minority. It is a completely different game.
That reality actually makes it a little easier for Republicans to vote “no”. They know the inevitable consequences of voting”yes” for anything the administration wants will leave them out in the cold when credit is due or holding the bag when the policy fails. It’s a lose-lose situation. Why voluntarily put your party in that position in the name of some nebulous goal of the other party – namely bi-partisanship?
Instead, become the adamant (although mostly powerless), principled opposition, become a shadow government and offer alternatives to what is being rammed through by Democrats in Congress without your wanted or needed participation. Solidarity of purpose (principled opposition) is now the Republican’s most effective weapon.
Oh, and Republicans – for a change, make sure the public understands your alternatives and why you’re against what you’re against. Hire a PR firm if you have too, but get the word out – effectively – before the other side paints you as nothing more than petty obstructionists (remember it is hard to be either petty or an obstructionist when you don’t have the power to defeat the vote in either house of Congress if the Democrats stick together).