You might have read my post the other day outlining a few sore spots that were rearing their heads in Obama’s transition.
Well, it’s starting to look like every time the President-elect and his team douse one fire, two or more flare up in its place. He managed to dodge, at least for the time being, the bullet with scandals involving Bill Richardson and his buddy Blago. Since then though, it’s been anything but smooth sailing.
You might recall one of Obama’s oft repeated campaign promises was to close the terrorist detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (Gitmo). I mean, it was just plain awful that bloodthirsty terrorists were locked up in a place so dismal! Today, CNN reports Obama plans to issue the order to close the detention center as early as his first week in office. We still don’t know what will happen to the current residents, but they’re not being treated as the President-elect believes Allah-fearing bloodthirsty killers should be so he’s going to close it down.
Not long after the Obama camp reiterated its intentions to close the facility, the Pentagon released a report showing at least 61 former residents (who seem to have the President-elect’s sympathy) have returned to terrorism since their release.
Not good news for The Smooth Talker from Chicago/Hawaii/Kenya/?????. He may have pinned himself in a corner on this one. He’ll infuriate his liberal supporters who feel sorry for murderous savages intent on our country’s destruction if he doesn’t close it, but if he does and one of them is released and straps a bomb to himself and kills a bunch of innocents everyone else will be madder than Hell.
That’s not the only trouble he has in the making.
His buddy Blago put him in another tight spot by defying Obama and other Democratic leader when he appointed Roland Burris to fill Illinois’ vacant Senate seat. The President-elect came out against seating Burris, but later changed his mind when it looked like other alternatives might lead to the seat being filled by a Republican. He then twisted the arm of other Dems who had stated early on that any appointment by Blago “would not stand.”
Then today, it’s reported that Burris may have himself taken more than a million dollars in illegal campaign contributions in his 2002 gubernatorial campaign. Putting his neck on the line (or trying to implement Chicago style politics in DC?) to keep this seat may prove to be a huge mistake if anything comes of this.
Not finished yet. There’s still more trouble brewing in Obamatopia.
Now even Congressional Democrats aren’t so sure they trust Obama with the last $350 billion from TARP, the huge bailout passed by the Democratic Congress to help big banks, other financial companies, and the auto industry. With bipartisan support to block the issuing of this gigantic bundle of money after the first $350 billion has done virtually nothing to turn the economy around, Obama’s first move as President may be to use his veto power against members of his own party (you remember, all those who honored him as if he were a God the last couple of months.)
That should set a great tone for this Democratic President to work with both houses of Congress in the hands of his own party.
Surely that’s all the troubles he has, right? Not quite.
It was also reported today that Obama’s pick to lead the Treasury Department, Timothy Geithner, thought he could get away without paying self-employment taxes for a few years. Of course the Obama team and Geithner explain it as a misunderstanding, but that’s just as bad. Do we really want someone who doesn’t know if he has to pay self-employment tax running the Treasury Department? That wasn’t Geithner’s only lapse, though. Apparently he also employed a housekeeper who was here illegally for a few months. (Wait a minute, isn’t that what forced Linda Chavez and Zoe Baird to withdraw their names from consideration for a Cabinet post?)