Barack Obama

Daschle Ankled

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Farewell, o great American. More from Nick Gillespie below.

By the way, since when did Cabinet appointments go the way of baseball arbitration cases, in which every attempt is made to avoid contentious hearings altogether? All these pre-confirmation resignations are robbing us of crucial public drama…. 

UPDATE 1: And good-bye to non-household-employment-tax-paying Nancy Killefer as well.

UPDATE 2: CNN's Kyra Phillips just asked her political analyst the following question (this is paraphrased): "Is this just another example of the culture of Wall Street greed and secrecy being exposed, or is Barack Obama ushering in a brand new era of politics?" Gotta be one of the two!

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  1. Apparently, the American people didn’t reach a comfort zone with those glasses.

  2. Did he back out on his own, or did Barack tell him to back out? Will he still have to pay his back taxes? If Barack made him back out, what’s up with Geitner? I don’t know why anyone would begrudge the President from pulling a nominee on his own. I would think quite highly of him for it, if that were the case.

  3. I’m thinking there’s another undeclared $10M he wants to keep hidden.

  4. Shorter Daschle: Are you saying that my annual take-home pay will be roughly what I owed in back taxes on my car and driver?

  5. Such a shame. Can we just leave the post empty now?

  6. Crime don’t pay!

  7. While this is a better outcome that I was expecting, it’s still an outrage that Daschle will surely avoid prosecution for failing to pay a six figure amount of taxes (and I don’t believe for a second that he would have EVER paid those taxes had a Cabinet position not been offered to him). Anyone else who did this and wasn’t politically connected would undoubtedly suffer severer consequences than not getting a Cabinet post.

  8. I’m sure he was asked to withdraw. Could have been pressure from other senators as well.

  9. Some more thorough vetting might be in order. Better to learn that now than later, I guess.

    Or is what the Democrats mean by “tax the rich” is “tax the rich that actually pay their taxes?”

  10. Having cheated on his taxes, that was the only thing I liked about the guy!

  11. Finally, some “Change we need!” Now if they’d just follow through on destroying his life like they would for a common guy facing a $2K issue with the IRS.

  12. joe,

    You never mention Gillespie’s jacket yet you home in on Daschle’s glasses. Suspicious.

  13. How little you understand “the Rich,” Pro L.

    You’re only Rich if you make more than I do. That standard is used by a lot of people. Fortunately we all agree.

  14. BRING ON DR. DEAN!

  15. Tulpa,

    People who voluntarily remedy their tax cheats/evasions before getting caught (as Daschle allegedly did) typically don’t face criminal penalties. The IRS usually prefers getting paid over criminal prosecution.

    A buddy of mine was a tax protester who never paid taxes. After working outside the country for a few years, he was afraid his tax protesting would create visa problems, so he got a tax lawyer who advised him to pay up for the period covered by the statute of limitations. My buddy paid, the IRS said thanks, and he’s free and clear.

  16. You never mention Gillespie’s jacket yet you home in on Daschle’s glasses. Suspicious.

    joe is in the pocket of Big Desperate Yuppie Affectation. He’s never said a word about cowboy boots or tandem bicycles either.

  17. Bureaucrats are better than you, which is why they don’t have to pay their taxes.

  18. You never mention Gillespie’s jacket yet you home in on Daschle’s glasses. Suspicious.

    joe’s an eyes guy, not a shoulders guy. NTTAWWT.

  19. @Reinmoose

    Obviously we need a new government department that will establish a new Federal Wealthiness Line to go along with the Federal Poverty Line. Anybody above that line pays 100% income tax. Power to the people!

  20. I’m thinking that Obama’s transition auditors need to be seconded to the IRS, stat. Those guys are good, no?

    L’Affaire Daschle does point up another gaping loophole in the Parsin’ President’s “no lobbyists” diktat. Daschle was never a registered lobbyist, but he was paid vast sums of money by people to do exactly what a lobbyist does, as was his wife (who I believe was a registered lobbyist). Daschle and his ilk are free and clear under the diktat. Is that Change You Can Believe In?

  21. Have YOU ever seen someone wearing red eyeglasses start up a juke box by hitting it?

    Have you? Huh? Have you?

    I rest my case.

  22. I wonder how much a thorough audit of all DC politicians would knock off the deficit? I find that idea ‘stimulating’.

  23. Well at least Daschle never tortured anyone! Nyah!

  24. I’m with Kilroy. What a great idea.

  25. I don’t think any of Bush’s Secys of H&HS ever tortured anyone either. Unless you consider having to listen to Tommy Thompson to be torture.

  26. How on earth can this be about Wall Street greed and secrecy? Daschle used to be a senator, and now wants a cabinet post. Oh goddamnit.

  27. Maybe they need to send an alphabet-soup of government agencies – represented by about twenty goons in body-armor and armed with M4’s – over to Tom’s house in South Dakota to sniff around, seize everything, shoot his dogs, that kind of thing. Its what would happen to me in the same situation tax-wise.

    I think Daschle pulled out because he’s got a thin-skin, and his buddies at the NY Times taking shots at him was probably too much. He may also have some hooker-bills that could show up on a audit a’la Spitzer maybe? That would be perfect. Then he could claim at least that he was fucking an evil health-care lobbyist over because that’s what his day-time job wife is.

  28. Considering how horrible his views were, I really hope we are going to get a better pick.

  29. Having cheated on his my taxes, that was the only thing I liked about the guy!

    FTFY, Ken.

  30. Daschle withdraws as nominee for HHS secretary

    Am I mature enough to avoid gloating?

    J sub D | January 31, 2009, 3:43pm | #

    As another weekend passes without a weekend political thread, I am once again forced to go off topic on a post. Because politics doesn’t stop while Reason writers enjoy the Super Bowl weekend.
    An administration official said Mr. Daschle’s failure to pay the taxes was “a stupid mistake.” But, the official said, Mr. Daschle should not be penalized because he had discovered the tax liability himself, paid up and brought it to the committee’s attention.

    The committee report said, “Senator Daschle filed the amended returns voluntarily after Barack Obama announced his intention to nominate the senator to be the secretary of health and human services.” [italics added by a cynic]
    Change we can believe in!

    joe | January 31, 2009, 4:05pm | #

    J sub D,

    Wait…wait…wait…nope.

    Still don’t give a shit about people screwing up their taxes, then making back payments.

    Sorry. Maybe the next one…but probably not.

    I guess not.
    Hey, at least Obama wasn’t supporting him 1,000%.

  31. “Still don’t give a shit about people screwing up their taxes, then making back payments.”

    As someone who’s been audited, I won’t either when the President of the United States comes to bat for me EVEN WHEN I’VE CHEATED the government out of $130,000 dollars from income I was paid to literally influence and provide access to said government.

    What a racket.

  32. With all these Obama nominees having tax problems, perhaps this would be an opportune time to push for drastic tax reform? I don’t suppose I’m the only one who remembers the promises of a tax return that would fit on a postcard?

    Yeah, I know – wishful thinking…

  33. What happens when said postcard looks like this –

    Income from wages XXXXXXX
    Income from business XXXXXXX
    Total XXXXXXX
    Multiply by 40% X .40
    Tax Due XXXXXXX

    That will still suck, won’t it?

  34. I love how McCain (who I note I don’t care for and didn’t vote for) was criticized for not vetting Palin well enough, and here we have Richardson, Geitner, Killefer, and Daschle all having issues with their nominations.

    I thought BO was going to CHANGE Washington. I thought he was going to have Ethic’s reform!

    This is all so fun to sit back and watch…pure entertainment, pure bs.

  35. here we have Richardson, Geitner, Killefer, and Daschle all having issues with their nominations.

    Is it too early to call this a clown show?

  36. I’m still trying to figure out how Obama is keeping his nose clean through all this?

    I could see the Blagoevich thing being completely seperate from the Obama adminstration, and taken individually, the Richardson, Geitner and Daschle things aren’t really a big deal.

    But add three bad appointments and a heaping pile of Blago on top, and Obama should be in trouble.

    But he’s not, this shit is just rolling right off him. I don’t get it. If this were any GOP guy, they’d be (rightfully) getting impeached by now…

  37. That will still suck, won’t it?

    Not really. Right now people are gtting violated by many small sticks, which only hurt a little when inserted into the anus individually.

    If we were to get fucked by a thick wooden broomstick like a strait-up 40%…

  38. But he’s not, this shit is just rolling right off him. I don’t get it. If this were any GOP guy, they’d be (rightfully) getting impeached by now…

    Not necessarily. Ronald Reagan comes immediately to mind.

    Teflon has no party affiliation.

  39. Obama isn’t hurt by this because he is holding his nominees to the “appearance of corruption” standard, and they are dropping out rather than taint his cabinet. To the average man on the street what will matter is not who DIDN’T get the job, but who does get the job. If THOSE guys end up with problems, then we can start talking about Obama’s corruption teflon, imo.

    JsubD,
    Reagan was one slick mofo for sure. And the shit he weathered was much more “abuse of power” colored iirc.

  40. Teflon has no party affiliation.

    My apologies, as I didn’t not intend to be partisian.

    All I am really trying to say is…

    WHY THE FUCK IS HE GETTING AWAY WITH THIS SHIT?

    How is it that, in a time of severe economic trouble, a newly-elected President is not taking heat for appointing 3-4 people that have committed severe financial misdeeds?

    I feel like I’m taking crazy pills…

  41. Obama could have every member of the last administration crucified along the Mall, without a trial, and no one would criticize him. It’s not just Obamania; it’s also this whole honeymoon bullshit that the media likes to give new presidents. I’d pillory them from the first time they opened their mouths on the campaign trail. I don’t get this soft touch crap.

    And people laugh at my obsession over the Censor.

  42. But he’s not, this shit is just rolling right off him. I don’t get it. If this were any GOP guy, they’d be (rightfully) getting impeached by now…

    I don’t even know where to start. I’m just going to throw things out there

    1) No republican president has been impeached in the last century

    2) All republican presidents since Eisenhower have done far, far worse.

    3) Especially the last one

    4) Who didn’t get impeached

    5) Bill did, tho

    6) For a lying in court about a blowjob

    7) But George W hasn’t despite openly breaking all kinds of laws.

    8) Ditto Reagan

    9) What law has Obama broken exactly

    10) You’re fucking high

  43. Teflon has no party affiliation.

    My apologies, as I didn’t not intend to be partisian.

    All I am really trying to say is…

    WHY THE FUCK IS HE GETTING AWAY WITH THIS SHIT?

    How is it that, in a time of severe economic trouble, a newly-elected President is not taking heat for appointing 3-4 people that have committed severe financial misdeeds?

    I feel like I’m taking crazy pills…

    He didn’t appoint them, he attempted to. Only 1 was actually appointed. I’m not happy at Obama for defending Daschle and accepting Geitner, but the fact is you are making things up. I get it, you don’t like Obama. I get it, you are eagerly waiting for a scandal to jump on. What I don’t get: why you are holding Obama accountable not for his decisions but apparently for his lack of psychic abilities to know of the tax history of everyone he thinks would be good for a job. Yes, his vetting missed the mark. No, that is not a scandal.

  44. 11) You’re fucking high.

    Ronald Reagan had a half dozen cabinet secretaries indicted while they were in office. Impeachment? Yeah, right.

    Somehow, though, firing nominees when information about paying taxes too late comes to light is something that would normally wreck a presidency?

    The “Democrats get all the breaks” people are like the JFK conspiracy people; it’s never a question of whether information proves their beloved theory, but how.

    Get off the cross, whiners.

  45. I get it, you are eagerly waiting for a scandal to jump on.

    I’m just glad Tom Daschle didn’t give any press conferences in front of federal-style Greek columns.

    This is the most horrible scandal since to hit Obama since the governor of Illinois was caught clearing him of any wrongdoing on audio tape.

  46. Oh, please. Democratic presidents have sucked ass, too. The amnesia some people have about Clinton alone is incredible. Bush was worse in a lot of ways, but a lot of that was due to the crisis du jure–9/11. Fortunately, Obama can abuse power with his crisis–the economy. Maybe he’ll be lucky enough to get a foreign policy situation, too, so he can expand power even more.

    Trusting any of these jokers blindly is silly. I don’t necessarily condemn Obama for these poor appointments, but it is telling that so many have problems. Ten years ago, these problems might not have come to light so quickly, which is one good thing about today versus yesterday.

  47. I knew before even coming here that there would be a posting about how Daschle is not getting the job, and that it would be full of people somehow holding up him not getting the job as an example of ethical lapse.

    I did not, however, expect it to be this ridiculous.

  48. the crisis du jure

    Pro L — I’m shocked, shocked that you would make such a blunder, Sir.

  49. Oh, please. Democratic presidents have sucked ass, too.

    Are you on the wrong thread? What, exactly, is that supposed to be in response to?

    Ten years ago, these problems might not have come to light so quickly Uh, right. There was no press or political fallout during Bill Clinton’s term. Uh, what?

  50. I don’t necessarily condemn Obama for these poor appointments, but it is telling that so many have problems.

    It tells me that Obama’s vetting process isn’t very good. I’m still waiting for some explanation how that is outrageous or sickening or whatever.

    Or in the case of Taktix, how that is worthy of impeachment.

  51. Is it too early to call this a clown show?

    No, Obama’s appointments are definitely showing signs of clown show.

    This is penny-ante shit, but it’s the kind of penny ante shit that super-geniuses like, oh, Wolf Blitzer and Candy Crowley can understand and explain. Failing to suss out three such tax lapses is very out-of-character for this administration. They’ve generally done a very good job avoiding clown car stuff like this.

  52. Oh, Christ, and I did it twice. It’s a professional failing–scrambling du jour and de jure.

    joe,

    Um, MAX HATS? Are you on the same planet?

  53. Is it too early to call this a clown show?

    No, but we could call it a clown car:

    joe | January 22, 2009, 2:25pm | #

    Clinton’s administration was a fucking clown car for the first 2-3 years. Doot doot doodle loodle doot doot doot doot.

    Obahm Emmanuel ain’t gonna have no clown car.

  54. That sum included $298 in unpaid taxes, $48.69 in interest and $600 in penalties. The lien was filed March 7, 2005, but Killefer didn’t get the lien extinguished for almost five months, not until July 29.

    Now wait just a second. Daschle deserves to be skewered, not so much for the driver thing, but for not paying taxes on consulting fees. The first could almost be defended as general stupidity, but he knew darned well he had to report the second.

    But now people are being pushed out for $300 in back taxes that they paid off more than three years ago? Isn’t that a just a bit absurd?

  55. As for the issue at hand, my concern is that not paying attention to the potentially scandalous failings of your appointees may be an indication of a lack of concern about non-public ethical lapses. I emphasize “may”, because it’s too early to tell. But this is getting a little ridiculous, and has two answers: lack of competence in vetting (and that’s not even remotely trivial when government is run by appointees) or lack of concern about ethical issues.

  56. Failing to suss out three such tax lapses is very out-of-character for this administration.

    Given how short this administration has been around, and the number of such lapses that have occurred, its tempting to say that this is very much in-character.

  57. Pro Lib,

    I’m on the same planet as MAX HATS – the one where he didn’t write anything about Democrats not having scandals.

    sage,

    Was there a reason you decided to repeat a point I just made?

    Syd,

    Yes, it’s absurd. On its own, her little lien issue wouldn’t have made any difference. It’s only because of the Geitner and Daschle stories that anyone cares.

    Given how short this administration has been around, and the number of such lapses that have occurred, its tempting to say that this is very much in-character. That’s funny, because you spent two solid months before the administration writing (now hilarious) “Hope and Change!” comments about the administration. Now, suddenly, nothing before Inauguration Day is indicative of the administration’s character at all.

    RC Dean? Flip-flopping to score a partisan cheap shot? Say it ain’t so!

  58. The Clinton machine is notorious for fucking up the vetting process. It comes from arrogance and the beliefe that the press will never make much of a fuss over it. Once again they have it right.

  59. I love this theory: I saw stories about Obama’s nominees’ tax problems all over the press, so this shows that the press won’t cover problems with Obama’s nominees.

    Makes about as much sense as anything else we’ve heard from Republicans in the past year.

  60. Have YOU ever seen someone wearing red eyeglasses start up a juke box by hitting it?

    Have you? Huh? Have you?

    Wasn’t there an episode of Happy Days where Fonzie had to get glasses?

  61. All republican presidents since Eisenhower have done far, far worse.

    I didn’t say anything about him saying that Democrats don’t have scandals; I just said that viewing one party as being particularly odious in the presidency is a hoot. They both have horrific track records.

  62. Joe, apparently you haven’t heard the montage of the talking heads calling these “honest mistakes”. These guys are tax cheats through and through, but have you heard Wolf Blitzer ever say that?

  63. Yeah, I would say the payroll tax thing is nothing compared to Daschle. Killefer had been paying payroll taxes on her household emplyee, then stopped filing/paying. Seems kind of stupid, and over nominal dollar figures. Tied on to the other two, and Rangel, and perhaps another dem tax scandal (don’t remember, could be very wrong), it just smells sea kitten-y.

    Daschle is just tax evasion. Not reporting income? It is the number one cause of the tax gap, and the number one thing the IRS looks out for. Oh, so that’s what those 1099s are for…..

  64. I didn’t say anything about him saying that Democrats don’t have scandals; I just said that viewing one party as being particularly odious in the presidency is a hoot. They both have horrific track records.

    I was responding specifically to the accusation that “any republican president” would be impeached for what Obama is I guess doing. Which is vetting poorly. Or something.

    The quote I was replying to (and quoted) in full:

    But he’s not, this shit is just rolling right off him. I don’t get it. If this were any GOP guy, they’d be (rightfully) getting impeached by now…

  65. These guys are tax cheats through and through

    Like you know that.

    I defy you to articulate a single established fact that demonstrates a willful intent to evade taxes.

    Tick tock.

  66. And the Democrats learn again why an income tax is immoral.

  67. For the record:

    -yes, democrats have scandals

    -yes, Daschle is a sleazebag

    -yes, so is Geitner

    -yes, I am not happy with Obama appointing one of the above and defending the other

    But that’s not where this discussion is right now. This discussion is on how SCANDALOUS and OMG and ANY REPUBLICAN WOULD BE IMPEACHED and bla bla bullshit. And it’s laughable.

    For the record, I’m still waiting for someone to explain to me how people evading their taxes before Obama appointed them is Obama’s fault.

  68. Joe, if I earned eighty grand consulting, I would certainly report it. Daschel is supposed to be so smart, but he doesn’t even realize earned income is taxable? And Gietner was told he needed to file by the World Bank. Defending these guys might be your most audacious bit of partisanship yet.

  69. I’d like to know how these particular non-payment of tax issues would be addressed with, say, doctors located in Iowa. I imagine the IRS would fine them heavily and audit the hell out of them. Probably no jail time, though.

  70. I defy you to articulate a single established fact that demonstrates a willful intent to evade taxes.

    No more or less than… oh, Joe the Plummer was ‘evading’ taxes because he had a $1,200 dollar lien.

  71. I’m still waiting for someone to explain to me how people evading their taxes before Obama appointed them is Obama’s fault.

    I wouldn’t hold your breath.

    They’re still in the “throw everything against the wall and see what sticks” phase, and the idea that this reflects badly on Obama’s ethics is as full of fail as the effort to link Obama to Blago’s scandals.

    I expect by tomorrow they won’t even be trying, and the talking points will have settled down to his vetting operation not doing a good job. “How can we know he won’t appoint a terrorist to an important position?”

  72. I’m still trying to figure out how Obama is keeping his nose clean

    By not saying anything substantial? He’s sticking with what works.
    The suit may be empty but it isn’t self-destructive.

  73. James Ard,

    I didn’t think so.

    For the record, the question you were asked was I defy you to articulate a single established fact that demonstrates a willful intent to evade taxes.

    Daschel is supposed to be so smart, but he doesn’t even realize earned income is taxable? Nope, FAIL.

    And Gietner was told he needed to file by the World Bank.…and told he wasn’t by his accountant, and TurboTax.

    Defending these guys might be your most audacious bit of partisanship yet.

    Cute. So now blaming them for screwing up their taxes, but not taking exactly the line of criticism you’ve decided is most damaging politically, is “defending them.” I’m defending the truth, thanks. I’m not surprised you didn’t recognize that.

    Paul, quit bitching about Joe the Plummer. What the hell does that have to do with anything? Oh, right, I forgot: hard question = “Hey, look over there!”

  74. I’m still trying to figure out how Obama is keeping his nose clean

    Uhhhhhhhh….by firing them?

  75. Hey, Paul:

    Seen anyone complaining that any of these nominees’ public tax records were reported on?

    Me neither.

  76. Paul, quit bitching about Joe the Plummer. What the hell does that have to do with anything? Oh, right, I forgot: hard question = “Hey, look over there!”

    Wow, joe, you’re really agitated. I’m not “bitching” about Joe the Plummer. I don’t know much about Joe the Plummer, actually. Except that I remember some people got mad that he was evading taxes. I just find this thread so full of irony, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel.

    Take this: They’re still in the “throw everything against the wall and see what sticks” phase,

    I laugheed out loud when I read this. Do a google search on that in conjunction with Bush– you’ll get quite a few hits. Welcome to politics, joe. Stabilize the trembling in your lower lip, it’s not becoming.

    Try to get your blood pressure down, or in a minute, you might start denying Obama’s done things he hasn’t been accused of.

  77. Of course, what everyone should be getting out of this is the screaming need for tax reform. If there was any integrity in Washington, that would be coming out of the new guys’ mouths about now. But there isn’t any.

  78. Joe the Plumber is not royalty. Therefore he cannot choose whether to pay taxes or not.

  79. Geitner’s been fired?

  80. Pro, what reform other than the fair tax will eliminate the need to report income, or pay FICA?

  81. I’m not “bitching” about Joe the Plummer

    Yeah, it’s more like a combination of “whining” and “hand-waving.”

    Except that I remember some people got mad that he was evading taxes. Wow, was he forced to withdraw from a political post? What’s that?

    I just find this thread so full of irony, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel. And why is that? Has anyone defended these nominees’ failure to pay taxes, or said it was wrong for them to face consequences? Please, explain this irony you find so amusing.

    I’m glad you “laugheed” at what I wrote, but you seem to be projecting wished-for emotions on me in much the same way you kept insisting that I was panicked about Sarah Palin. You seem to want very much for me to be upset about…something. Why is that?

  82. The ignorance of the basic facts of these cases is either amazing, or predictable, depending on how you look at it.

    Look at this: Joe the Plumber is not royalty. Therefore he cannot choose whether to pay taxes or not. Every one of these people 1) paid their taxes, and 2)took a hit for screwing up in the national media.

  83. Flat tax or fair tax, just get rid of the–and I use this term as it was meant to be used–draconian system we have in place today. Russian serfs were taxed at a lower rate than we are today, for God’s sake (Alert! Hyperbolic, unverified statement!).

    I do tend to prefer a tax on consumption, provided that the income tax goes away completely. Of course, the government can find creative ways to abuse any system, but I think we’d be better off with something more rational. Withholding is an abomination, as is FICA.

  84. “The “Democrats get all the breaks” people are like the JFK conspiracy people; it’s never a question of whether information proves their beloved theory, but how.

    Get off the cross, whiners.”

    Obama “mounted” the cross to bring “change we can believe in” to Washington. He’s made much of that ideal, and how he would implement it.

    If that’s the case, then he has set his own standard that he has so far failed to match in his ostensible choice of associates.

    I find it funny that the most competent people in his employ seem to be the ones who work on the election/political side of things. On the actual running-the-government side of things, not so much competence so far. I mean, a Treasury Secretary who can’t file his taxes right? And then having everyone be cool with that? That’s no kind of change – for the better anyways – that I’ve seen.

    Paul O’Neil was the last competent Treasury Secretary we had I think. And I also find it somewhat of a recommendation for him that he was neither from Wall Street, and he was run out of town when he didn’t play ball with the Prez.

  85. Joe, if Obama fired Daschel, why won’t he admit it? Axlerod insists it was Daschel’s decision. But I believe you, Obama fired him and is lying about it. Now that’s some change we can believe in.

  86. Pro, the flat tax is a non-starter. Asking the poor to pay more while letting the rich pay less will never fly considering the numbers of poor and rich voters.

  87. “Of course, what everyone should be getting out of this is the screaming need for tax reform.”

    oh ho ho ho.

    to live in such a world.

  88. Joe, if Obama fired Daschel, why won’t he admit it?

    Because it goes down easier to phrase it as “encouraged him to resign,” with the press, public, and people in Washington.

    But I believe you, Obama fired him and is lying about it. Yeah, how horrible, he’s being diplomatic.

    Now that’s some change we can believe in. What an idiotic thing to write. HA, OBAMIACS, YOUR GUY WAS POLITE! WHAT A BUNCH OF SUCKERS!

    Throw. Wall. Slide.

    Pathetic.

  89. The fact that people are being let go for even the appearance of impropriety is pretty welcome chance from the past eight years from where I’m sitting.

    But, hey, Obama’s being diplomatic about it, so that proves…um…something that’s really bad for Democrats!

    James Ard, your comments are the political equivalent of a starving man eating grass.

  90. Being nice my ass. Why not just admit that considering the circumstances you are withdrawing the nomination. It would even make Obama look like a leader, for a change.

  91. I defy you to articulate a single established fact that demonstrates a willful intent to evade taxes.

    Human nature? Shit, if I wasn’t so afraid of the IRS I’d do it too.

  92. Why not just admit that considering the circumstances you are withdrawing the nomination.

    Indeed, why not have him lashed?

    Your flop sweat is showing. You’re seriously reduced to arguing that it says something bad about Obama that he wasn’t mean enough when he fired someone?

    But remember, this isn’t a desperate reach to find something to blame Obama for.

  93. How about any evidence, any, that Obama encouraged him to resign. He may have, but there’s absolutely no media that is reporting that.

  94. The ignorance of the basic facts of these cases is either amazing, or predictable, depending on how you look at it.

    Look at this: Every one of these people 1) paid their taxes, and 2)took a hit for screwing up in the national media. Daschle paid up (six figures) after he was caught, and (2) Took the hit after he was nominated to higher royalty and was under a slightly larger microscope.

  95. Uhhhhhhhh….by firing them?

    Don’t you have to be hired before you can be fired? Three of them (at least; it’s hard to keep up) have withdrawn before they could be fired. Not a very impressive record for the Change Agent.

  96. Episiarch,

    Your fear. My fear. Note that these people apparently have no fear of the IRS.

    James Ard,

    Well, they could exempt people below a certain income. Though, of course, that opens the door to other exemptions.

  97. How about any evidence, any, that Obama encouraged him to resign.

    How about the fact the former Senate Majority Leader, who has been a professional politician his entire adult life, is no longer seeking an appointment to the cabinet?

    Maybe he suddenly realized he wanted to be a day trader.

  98. sage,

    Did you intend to disagree with what I wrote?

    Because you totally didn’t.

  99. Don’t you have to be hired before you can be fired? They were nominated (hired) and now their nominations have been withdrawn.

    Mission Accomplished.

  100. How about any evidence, any, that Obama encouraged him to resign. He may have, but there’s absolutely no media that is reporting that.

    You’re expecting the media to report that Obama actually did something?

    Change! Hope! Yes we can!

    There, you feel better now, right?

  101. Well, he’d make a shitty accountant.

    *ba-dum cha*

  102. Hell, Obama’s just hitting the percentages with the class of people he has to draw from for nominees. That a certain percentage of them turn out to be elitist twats that managed to work around the margins of the system and get away with it until they actually get caught, should be expected. Laws are for the little people, doncha know?

  103. Did you intend to disagree with what I wrote?

    Because you totally didn’t.

    I didn’t. Just as I’m sure you didn’t intend to commit the Fallacy of Omitted Evidence. I was just helping you.

  104. You’re expecting the media to report that Obama actually did something?

    Actually, OtherMatt, I’m expecting the people mouthing off about someone deliberately committing a felony to be able to present some evidence to support their claim.

    OK, I lied…I’m not actually expecting that. I’m just drawing attention to the fact that they can’t.

  105. sage,

    Since even YOU are, apparently, aware of the evidence in question – the fact that Daschle had to pay up, and had his nomination derailed – it hardly counts as omitted evidence.

  106. I said:

    Given how short this administration has been around, and the number of such lapses that have occurred, its tempting to say that this is very much in-character.

    joe’s response:

    That’s funny, because you spent two solid months before the administration writing (now hilarious) “Hope and Change!” comments about the administration. Now, suddenly, nothing before Inauguration Day is indicative of the administration’s character at all.

    RC Dean? Flip-flopping to score a partisan cheap shot? Say it ain’t so!

    Ah, joe, with the obtuseness.

    The Hope and Change cracks are still in order; Obama still hasn’t done much to actually change much of anything that we do. I’m busting balls now because he and/or his sycophants are trying to pass off press releases (often gussied up as Executive Orders) as Real Change.

    Now, that Real Change may actually occur, but it hasn’t yet. No flip flop, buddy. Before the inauguration, I was mocking our Parsin’ President’s retreat from his high-flown, if often carefully hedged, rhetoric. Now, I’m mocking our Parsin’ President’s carefully hedged press releases/Executive Orders.

    With a side dish of mocking his nominations of self-regarding narcissitic hacks as “Hope and Change. The fact that, after a campaign ripping on McCain for not vetting his VP, his nominations of his cabinet officials appear to have been vetted by those chimps on the Monster.com ad only adds to the fun.

  107. joe: Can you back up that claim?

    Everyone else: Um….CHANGE! DEMOCRATS!

    Yeah, about what I expected.

  108. I must say that nothing strikes me as particularly change-a-rific so far. More of a yawn, more of the same feeling to me, though I’m hoping we’ll see less torture.

  109. RC Dean: Obama still hasn’t done much to actually change much of anything that we do.

    No, of course not. Guantanamo was scheduled to close. Those detainee kangaroo courts were going to be suspended and a real system put in their place. George Bush ordered an end to extraordinary rendition years ago. The CIA has always had to follow the Army Field Manual. The Joint Chiefs of Staff had been ordered to produce a plan for withdrawal from Iraq over a 16 months period back in 2004. Huhwhat?

    Do you realize that you have now been reduced to arguing that the President issuing orders that change existing policy within the executive branch doesn’t change policy within the executive branch? That ordering the military to change their mission has nothing to do with changing their mission?

  110. though I’m hoping we’ll see less torture

    There are new episodes of 24 now, so…too bad for you. Bauer tortures…because he has to!

  111. I just want to know how Obama defines torture. Waterboarding, yea or nay? The rack, yea or nay? The comfy chair, yea or nay?

    Upon this definition will be built the real policies of the U.S. on enhanced interrogation techniques.

  112. I must say that nothing strikes me as particularly change-a-rific so far.

    Thought experiment: Barack Obama has been President for the past eight years. George Bush was sworn in two weeks ago.

    In his first two weeks, George Bush orders the opening of a lawless prison camp at Gitmo, rescinds an order for the military to withdraw from Iraq in 16 months, authorizes the military and CIA to use interrogation techniques that violate the Army Field Manual, authorizes the CIA to render detainees regardless of the strictures of torture law or treaties, and shuts down a study of how to legally try prisoners suspected of involvement with al Qaeda so they can be tried in kangaroo courts instead.

    Does Pro Libertate, or anyone else, write comments about how George Bush hasn’t changed anything?

  113. I just want to know how Obama defines torture. Waterboarding, yea or nay?

    Obama, like Holder, gave a one-word answer when asked “Is waterboarding torture?”

    That word was “Yes.”

  114. joe,

    Honestly, hasn’t the last eight years made you skeptical at all? He hasn’t done the things you’re crediting him with. There are some real big decisions that have to be made behind these pronouncements–where will, in fact, the Guantanamo detainees be shipped? What is allowable interrogation (i.e, what isn’t torture (which, by the way, has to be legally defined, not addressed in a speech))? Etc.

    Oh, and what is and isn’t a lobbyist? How important are ethical issues? On the tax embarrassment, why doesn’t Obama bring in someone without these issues? Does he not care? Is the pool he’s limiting himself to inherently corrupt? If so, why not look elsewhere?

    I’m a skeptic because these guys have consistently earned my skepticism. He’s shown few signs of doing anything much different. I expect him to ditch some of Bush’s worse excesses, but is he going to do it by playing hide the salami or by real change? And what about the excesses that will be uniquely his?

  115. He hasn’t done the things you’re crediting him with.

    He has done every single one of the things I credited him with.

    He ordered Gitmo closed. He actually did this.

    He ordered the Joint Chiefs to leave Iraq. He actually did this.

    He ordered the CIA to follow the AFM. He actually did this.

    He ordered an end to extraordinary renditions.

    He moved to end ongoing kangaroo courts, and ordered his administration to produce something better.

    These are all real actions he has taken. I want to see him keep going, too. I agree that follow-through is important, and there are more actions to be taken, but to pretend that these are all meaningless…well, you certainly wouldn’t be saying that their opposite actions are meaningless.

    What is allowable interrogation (i.e, what isn’t torture (which, by the way, has to be legally defined, not addressed in a speech))? Torture is already well-defined in our laws. However much Bush administration officials tried to play dumb, the law is quite clear. People have been prosecuted under American law for torture for doing waterboarding; there is no call to give in to the self-serving arguments of the torturers, and treat this as a great mystery.

    On the lobbying thing, that’s a fair beef. I won’t dispute with you on that. I still say Obama is vastly superior to Bush on this – Ann Venneman? Seriously, Ann Venneman? – but he has not lived up to his promises in this area.

    I’m a skeptic because these guys have consistently earned my skepticism. You aren’t being a skeptic, you’re being a denier. To look at what Obama has done to date on torture, and detention, and Iraq, and rendition and declare it to be nothing is not the pursuit of truth in a questioning manner, it’s a denial of reality. You certainly wouldn’t declare the opposite actions to be nothing, would you?

  116. Am I saying, “It’s ok, all of these problems have been solved, we can just trust Obama from here on out?” No, I’m not, and I’ve never said that.

    I’m acknowledging what we know has happened, that’s all.

    And what’s happened already is pretty damn important, and it bodes well.

  117. I’m not saying that the orders so far are meaningless–they aren’t–but they aren’t fulfilled until certain actions are taken. Gitmo is a case in point. Closing the base (for detention, anyway) doesn’t solve the problem. And it’s not even closed. It’s just prospectively closed a year from now.

    I sincerely hope that Obama does clear the field of the unprecedented excesses practiced by his predecessor. I’m opposed to torture. I’m opposed to most of the post-9/11 legislation. I’m opposed to the circumvention of FISC. Even to the extent that Bush moved away from some of those practices, I want them to be clearly repudiated–in word and in deed–by this administration. If Obama does all that, great, but there’s a long way from orders to actual actions.

    I have a feeling he’ll do some of this but not all of it. I also have a feeling that his own variety of excesses will be pretty upsetting on their own merits. The problem today is that we’ve allowed the presidency to far exceed its bounds. I don’t even mean that strictly from an original Constitutional point of view, either. I think it’s outside the bounds of any rational expansive view of our system of government, as well. In large part, of course, that’s happened because of how incredibly bad Congress has become. In any event, that much unchecked authority is dangerous, no matter who has it. We’re just one terrorist attack away from another swipe at our civil liberties, and, frankly, I don’t see Obama protecting my rights much more than Bush did.

  118. but is he going to do it by playing hide the salami

    I HOPE SO!!!!!!!

  119. Geithner failed to pay self-employment taxes for money he earned while working for the International Monetary Fund from 2001 to 2003, the transition official said. In 2006, the IRS notified him that he owed $14,847 in self-employment taxes and $2,383 in penalties from 2003 and 2004.

    Transition officials discovered last fall that Geithner also had not paid the taxes in 2001 or 2002. He paid $25,970 in taxes and interest for those years several days before Obama announced his nomination, the transition official said.

    from:
    http://apnews.myway.com/article/20090113/D95MGFTO1.html

    Tax cheat. The man got caught by the IRS for two years of non-payment, but did not offer to pay for the other two years when he knows he filed the same way (Am I required to prove that, or can we assume he isn’t mentally challenged?). Maybe he forgot that he filed the same way each year?

    There is a big difference between cheating on your taxes and being late. Unconnected people go to jail for cheating on their taxes, while the tardy pay penalties. The important part is admitting to the IRS you owe them money. So far Obama has attempted to install 3 tax cheats. These are not late payers. These are liars – people who sign their names to documents containing false information.

    I owe taxes from last year. Gonna pay them any day now…

  120. ObamaGirl,

    It turns out that the Obama administration’s fall happens in 2010, when an Obama sex tape makes the rounds on Youtube. His partner is, of course, Pamela Anderson.

  121. I defy you to articulate a single established fact that demonstrates a willful intent to evade taxes.

    That’s a higher standard of proof than the IRS needs to throw you in prison. You earned the income, you didn’t report it, and ignorance of the law is no excuse. Neither is forgetfulness. No proof of willfulness required.

    So, no, I’m not a mind reader, and I can’t prove Daschle willfully evaded taxes. But I find it implausible in the extreme that Daschle first forgot to report the income, and forgot not to claim those bogus deductions, and just happened to discover these problems a few days before his confirmation hearing. If you think those back taxes would have been paid had a Cabinet post not been on the line I’ve got a bridge in the Cayman Islands to sell you.

  122. ProL2076,

    We can only hope it’s with 1995 Pamela Anderson rather than 2010 Pamela Anderson. Otherwise, it’ll be dangerously close to A-Rod/Madonna sex tape scandal territory.

  123. Gibbs said the choice to step aside was Daschle’s alone and that he “did not get a signal” from the White House to do so. Daschle and Obama spoke Tuesday, and the president was surprised at the news, said White House senior adviser David Axelrod.

    According to the David Axelrod rule, Barack asked Daschle to step down.

    I was just reading an APnews story. The following paragraph is great:

    Questions about Daschle’s failure to fully pay his taxes from 2005 through 2007 had been increasing since they came to light last Friday. Daschle overlooked taxes on income for consulting work and personal use of a car and driver, and also deducted more in charitable contributions than he should have. To resolve it, he paid $128,203 in back taxes and $11,964 in interest last month.

    I guess joe is right. This is a straight news story and it plainly says that Daschle “forgot”.

  124. “I defy you to articulate a single established fact that demonstrates a willful intent to evade taxes.”

    What the established facts show is either a willful intent to evade taxes or a demonstration that tax code is so convoluted that even those who are in the best position to understand it can go horrbly wrong. Considering that the subject of tax evasion is something that usually gets a Democrat’s panties twisted in a bunch, the rush to excuse Obama’s tax cheatin’ nominees’ questionable choices as no big deal is hiliarious.

    Does the Democrat’s hypocrisy truly have no limits?

  125. the typical Joe-type guy says that the tax code improvements are a side issue we need to worry about the important stuff like gay marriage and womens rights. It also doesn’t matter if ex-NSA guys like Russel Tice come out saying the governmenr eavesdropps and records data on EVERY DOMESTIC electronic communication…all completely illegal. If Obama doesn’t do/say anything about it is just because he was worrying about bigger things.

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