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?)
Remember all the talk about a smooth transition a while back?
Right. Perhaps putting a Chicago politician in the White House wasn’t such a grea idea after all.
Obama’s Treasury Secretary: Tax rules for thee, but not for me–Michelle Malkin
Following corrupt Illinois’ Democratic Governor Rod “The Senate Seat Salesman” Blagojevich’s appointment of Roland Burris to fill President-elect Obama’s vacated Senate seat, Democrats in the US Senate publicly took a principled stand, vowing not to seat Roland Burris.
From UPI, 1-4-09
“Blagojevich obviously is a corrupt individual. I think that’s pretty clear,” Reid said. “And the reason that he’s done what he’s done is to divert attention from the arrest that was just made of him and the indictment which will be coming in a few days, according to the U.S. attorney in Illinois. That’s why President-elect Obama agreed with us that Mr. Burris is tainted.”
From FoxNews: Statement by Senate Democratic Leadership on Burris’ appointment 12-30-08
It is truly regrettable that despite requests from all 50 Democratic Senators and public officials throughout Illinois, Gov. Blagojevich would take the imprudent step of appointing someone to the United States Senate who would serve under a shadow and be plagued by questions of impropriety. We say this without prejudice toward Roland Burris’s ability, and we respect his years of public service. But this is not about Mr. Burris; it is about the integrity of a governor accused of attempting to sell this United States Senate seat. Under these circumstances, anyone appointed by Gov. Blagojevich cannot be an effective representative of the people of Illinois and, as we have said, will not be seated by the Democratic Caucus.
Next week we will start one of the most important debates of the year — outlining an economic recovery plan to create jobs and invest in America. And in the coming weeks, we will be working to protect homeowners and consumers, make America more energy independent, strengthen our national security, and improve health care and educational opportunities. There is much work to do and a lot at stake. It is thus critical that Illinois and every other state have two seated Senators without delay.
We again urge Gov. Blagojevich to not make this appointment. It is unfair to Mr. Burris, it is unfair to the people of Illinois and it will ultimately not stand. The governor must put the interests of the people of Illinois and all Americans first by stepping aside now and letting his successor appoint someone who we will seat.