Panetta hearings reveal another exemption needed for Obama

Buried at the end of

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) raised a question that could pose a new problem for the new Obama administration already reeling in the wake of Tom Daschle’s withdrawal as the nominee for secretary of Health and Human Services.

According to Coburn, retired Adm. Dennis Blair, Obama’s director of national intelligence, has asked John Deutch, a CIA director during the Clinton administration, to serve on an advisory panel overseeing sensitive satellite programs.

The problem, Coburn said, is that Deutch had his security clearance revoked for mishandling classified information on his unsecured computers at home.

Caught off guard, Panetta said he’d have to check into the matter.

“This is the first time I’ve heard that,” he said. “I don’t want to jump to any quick conclusions. Clearly, this is something I need to talk to [Blair] about.”

The security clearance is one exception. It’s not clear whether Deutch’s days as a Raytheon lobbyist/consultant would require Obama to ask for another exception or not.

This swamp still needs draining

There isn’t a shortage of stories, or lists of stories about corrupt Republicans. The MSM is only too happy to oblige.

Fine with me. I’m sick and tired of corrupt politicians.

Interestingly enough, a quick google search reveals that stories about corrupt Republicans outnumber those about corrupt Democrats by 3 – 1. I don’t think that is because there are more corrupt Republicans. I think it’s because Democrats get a pass from the MSM on all but the most egregious cases. So, I thought I might start my own list in this era of transparency in government, and hope and change.

More and more these days, my morning newspaper reads like an ensemble comedy of errors cast entirely with Democrats: Bill Richardson probed! Blago busted! Charlie Rangel investigated! Eliot Spitzer ruined! Kwame Kilpatrick jailed! Bill “Freezer” Jefferson indicted! … and so on. Ugh. Are the Democrats … developing their own “culture of corruption” problem? (Eve Fairbanks)

demscandalposterboys

Ms. Fairbanks has a good point. The growing list of corrupt Democrat politicians promises to give Republicans a substantial target to shoot at for the ’10 midterms. And, the list is growing. Daily.

Further, none of this stuff is “old news” (if the Rezko-Ayers-Wright kind of stuff, or Harry Reid land deals, can truly be said to be “old news”).

Here is a quick look at some of the links I’ve been bookmarking. Maybe you’ve been saving some cool links as well.

Please share them with us in the comments section.

1) Another cabinet nominee with tax issues

There’s yet more tax trouble for President Obama’s cabinet picks.

Hilda Solis, his selection for labor secretary, had her confirmation hearing delayed today by the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, whose chairman is Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts.

2) Obama names “most fined” Washington State bureaucrat to HUD

Obama’s appointment of Ron Sims to the #2 position at HUD sends exactly the opposite message. A court levied the biggest fine for illegal record withholding against Sims in Washington State history — and that record hasn’t finished yet:

Sims is culpable for what may well become the largest fine for violations of public records laws in U.S. history: (see Yousoufian, Armen)

3) Rangel’s Financial Disclosures Omitted Data Over 30 Years, a Report Says

Representative Charles B. Rangel’s financial disclosure forms had at least 28 omissions in the past 30 years and failed to account for what became of more than $239,000 in assets, according to a report issued Wednesday by a private government-ethics group.

4) Rangel faces questions about book royalties

Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) is facing new questions about why he has not disclosed any royalty income on his 2007 memoir … And I Haven’t Had a Bad Day Since: From the Streets of Harlem to the Halls of Congress.

The Sunlight Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocate for government transparency, wants to know why the chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee has failed to report royalty income and has not voluntarily disclosed details of his book contract.

5) ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos is engaged in daily private phone briefings with Obama Chief-of-Staff Rahm Emanuel.

He then presents himself as a credible journalist and nonpartisan commentator in reporting about the administration. Such a move crosses journalistic lines, is a clear conflict of interest and must be stopped immediately.

6) John Conyers wife offers to sell her vote for $25,000

And you thought Democrat politics in Illinois was stinky and sleazy? Well, move over Blagojevitch. Detroit City Council President Monica Conyers, wife of House Judiciary Committee John Conyers (DEMOCRAT-MI) (famous for accusing Republicans of wrongdoing), is in hot water…

Detroit News: A lawyer for a strip club official says his client told a federal grand jury Wednesday that a top aide to then-City Councilwoman Monica Conyers offered to deliver her vote on a permit transfer for $25,000. …

Congressman Conyers has had his own ethical problems. Accusations that he used his congressional staff for illegal campaign related work and to perform personal services like babysitting was “business as usual” according to one former aide.

Worse still, Conyers staff was accused of stealing the Thanksgiving turkeys a Detroit food bank donated to feed the poor. Instead they gave them to friends and political cronies.

7) Blago: Emmanuel a co-conspirator

In an impassioned speech before the Illinois Senate Thursday, Democrat Governor Rod Blagojevich placed responsibility for one key impeachment charge just a door away from the Oval Office. Blagojevich said before the Senate vote that, if he’s impeached, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel should be a “co-conspirator.”

“If you’re impeaching me,” Blagojevich told lawmakers,” … let’s demand that President Obama fire Rahm Emanuel, because Rahm Emanuel is the one who gave me this idea.”

8 ) Bill Richardson’s Pay-to-play scandal

A federal grand jury is investigating whether a financial firm improperly won more than $1.4 million in work for the state of New Mexico shortly after making contributions to political action committees of Gov. Bill Richardson (D).

The probe focuses on whether the governor’s office urged a state agency to hire CDR Financial Products. The probe is in a highly active stage at a time when President-elect Barack Obama has chosen Richardson as his nominee for secretary of commerce, according to two sources familiar with the investigation.

9) Analysis: Obama is tarnished by nominees’ tax problems
Instead of ‘change you can believe in,’ Americans could see business as usual when it comes to the problems of some of President Barack Obama’s personnel choices.

10) NY state leaders pay up tax bills

And, Dems on the state level don’t want to pay their taxes either. …

Former NY gubernatorial aide Charles O’Byrne isn’t the only prominent New Yorker with a history of tax troubles.

Twenty members of the current state Legislature have over the years been hit with state tax warrants, similar to liens, for more than $52,000 in unpaid taxes, interest and penalties, according to state records covering the past two decades obtained under the Freedom of Information law.

Additionally, former lawmakers have owed more than $62,000.

In October, O’Byrne admitted to paying more than $293,000 in state and federal back taxes and interest. He quit his post as Gov. David Paterson’s top adviser after his debts came to light.

While all the sitting legislators’ tax bills have been settled, payments didn’t come before the politicians were listed in state documents as facing tax warrants.

Many lawmakers who received warrants pointed to confusion and mix-ups, often regarding their own employment outside of the state. (Lawmakers in both the state Senate and Assembly earn $79,500 plus extra stipends for special duties such as heading committees; taxes are automatically withheld from those paychecks.)

All of the lawmakers who have received warrants are Democrats.

Feel free to revise and extend the list in the comments section.

Another day,another Obama nominee with tax issues

The swamp continues to fill with tax-challenged Obama cabinet appointees.

Hilda Solis, his selection for labor secretary, had her confirmation hearing delayed today by the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, whose chairman is Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts.

The committee only said in a statement that lawmakers need more time to review documentation submitted in support of Solis, a California congresswoman.

But USA Today reported today that that Solis’ husband paid about $6,400 on Wednesday to settle tax liens that had been outstanding for as long as 16 years against his business.  source

Sixteen years!

Anyone want to bet that absent Ms. Solis’ nomination to head up DOL that these tax liens would have remained outstanding? These people are shameless.

”This tax issue was starting to reach critical mass,” pollster John Zogby said. “One is a mistake. Two is a problem. When you start getting a third, it possibly becomes a question of judgment. How do you ask Americans to sacrifice while Cabinet members don’t sacrifice until they get caught?” source

626,000 jobs

AP: “No relief in sight”

U.S. Department of Labor: In the week ending Jan. 31, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 626,000, an increase of 35,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 591,000.

The report also says there are now nearly five million (4,788,000) people without jobs. The AP reports that the weekly claims are the highest in 26 years, and the number of unemployed is an all-time record. source

Fortunately, the numbers are considerably less than were forecasted by Speaker Pelosi.

Fear and Loathing in the Obamalith

National Review posts the top 50 outrages in the Obama porkulus plan.

Since Rush is on vacation this week, and we conservatives have no one from whom to take our marching orders, the question arises: Should we expect President Obama to target NRO next?

Speaking at the Department of Energy this morning, the President decided to ramp up the rhetoric and blame the public’s lack of enthusiasm for the Porkulus plan on “failed” Republican policies of the past 30 years. Claiming that the “time for talk is over,” President Obama seemed clearly annoyed by the recent talk that he has somehow “lost the message” regarding his economic stimulus plan.

I’m wondering if his legendary rhetorical skills are losing some of their magic. Time will tell. The fact is, President Obama’s party has the majority, and as far as I know, Republicans have not threatened a filibuster. The Senate Democrats are welcome to follow Speaker Pelosi’s “non-partisan” example and ram the bill through with zero Republican support. To do so, however, would mean that President Obama would own the bill outright, giving new meaning to his campaign statement that “you can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig.”

Here is the NRO top 50. Decide for yourself

VARIOUS LEFT-WINGERY:

1. $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts

2. $380 million in the Senate bill for the Women, Infants and Children program

3. $300 million for grants to combat violence against women

4. $2 billion for federal child care block grants

5. $6 billion for university building projects

6. $15 billion for boosting Pell Grant college scholarships

7. $4 billion for job-training programs, including $1.2 billion to provide “youth” summer jobs for people up to the age of 24

8. $1 billion for community development block grants

9. $4.2 billion for “neighborhood stabilization activities”

10. $650 million for digital TV coupons, including $90 million to educate “vulnerable populations”

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