Obama’s Hut Brother Arrested For Drugs

From a sympathetic Associated Press:

Obama’s Kenyan relative arrested on drug charge

Saturday, January 31, 200

NAIROBI, Kenya — The half-brother of President Barack Obama was arrested for alleged possession of marijuana on Saturday near his home in a Nairobi shantytown, police said.

George Obama, who is in his 20s and barely knows the president, had one joint of marijuana on him, said Joshua Omokulongolo, the police chief in the area.

"He is not a drug peddler," Omokulongolo told The Associated Press. "But it’s illegal, it’s a banned substance."

George Obama has a court appearance scheduled Monday morning…

Several of President Obama’s Kenyan relatives went to Washington, D.C., for his inauguration, but George was not among them. He lives in Huruma with extended family

He also said he was studying to be a mechanic and works with a local youth group in Huruma.



Daschle Got Millions Lobbying Health Biz

Some honest to goodness investigative reporting from the Politico:

Daschle made $5m; health groups paid $220k

Daschle made $5m in last 2 years

By: Kenneth P. Vogel
January 30, 2009

Tom Daschle, under fire for not paying taxes, made nearly $5.3 million in the last two years, records released Friday show.

Daschle, the former Senate Democratic leader who President Obama has tapped to overhaul the nation’s healthcare system, was paid $220,000 to give speeches to outfits that have a vested interest in the result the work he would do once confirmed as Secretary of Health and Human Services

For instance, the Health Industry Distributors Association plunked down $14,000 to land the former Senate Democratic Leader in March 2008. The association, which represents medical products distributors, boasts on its website that Daschle met with it after he was nominated to discuss “the impact an Obama administration will have on the industry.”

This week, the group began openly lobbying him, sending him a letter urging him to rescind a rule requiring competitive bidding of Medicare contracts

Another organization, America’s Health Insurance Plans, paid $20,000 for a Daschle speaking appearance in February 2007.



Daschle Did Not Pay All His Taxes Either

From the Wall Street Journal:

Daschle Paid Back Taxes After Vetting


JANUARY 31, 2009

Tom Daschle, President Barack Obama’s choice for secretary of Health and Human Services, paid about $140,000 in back taxes and interest after questions surfaced during the vetting of his nomination, according to documents being prepared by the Senate Finance Committee.

Mr. Daschle made the payments to cover a luxury car and driver provided to him by an investment firm where he was an adviser after leaving the U.S. Senate in 2005, but which he didn’t report as income, people familiar with the report said. The payments also covered unreported consulting income and unwarranted charitable deductions. The tax period covered 2005 through 2007.

Mr. Daschle told committee staff that he had grown used to having a car and driver as Senate majority leader and didn’t think to report the perquisite on his taxes, according to staff members…




Kilpatricks, Conyers Named In FBI Probe

What with all of the other Democrat scandals coming fast and furious, we almost missed this one from the Detroit Free Press:


Kilpatricks, Conyers among 8 named in FBI bribery probe


Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, his father, Bernard Kilpatrick, and City Council President Monica Conyers are the major figures cited in a sludge-hauling executive’s account of greed and bribery in the Synagro scandal, sources confirmed Tuesday to the Free Press. The three have not been charged with wrongdoing in the case…

The Free Press has learned that James Rosendall, the former Synagro Technologies vice president who pleaded guilty to bribery Monday, has been questioned about his contacts with other executives at Houston-based Synagro.



These Mug Shots Have What In Common?

From the Smoking Gun’s 2008 Mug Shots Of The Year compilation:

(Click to enlarge)

Of course it is just a coincidence.

(Thanks to NotStuckOnStupid for the heads up.)



Obama’s Own Blind Spot About Bonuses

Mr. Obama is once again decrying the bonuses and excessive pay from Wall Street CEO’s.

From an equally outraged Politico:

Obama: Bonuses ‘shameful’


President Barack Obama said it was “shameful” for Wall Street to walk away with $18.4 billion in bonuses last year . . .

. . . in the depths of a recession. Leaning his elbows on his knees, with his mouth clenched, Obama lashed out at the executives and employees who were found by the New York state comptroller to have earned the sixth largest bonus haul on record last year.

“That is the height of irresponsibility,” Obama said before a meeting with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

We will skip over the part about responsibility and tax cheat Timothy Geithner being mentioned in the same sentence.



Obama, Dems Finally Give Us A Recession

From an overjoyed Associated Press:

Economy shrinks at 3.8 percent pace in 4Q

Friday January 30, 2009
By Jeannine Aversa, AP Economics Writer

Economy shrinks at 3.8 percent pace in fourth quarter, worst showing in quarter-century

WASHINGTON (AP) — The economy shrank at a 3.8 percent pace at the end of 2008, the worst showing in a quarter-century, as the deepening recession forced consumers and businesses to throttle back spending.

Although the initial result was better than economists expected, the figure is likely to be revised even lower in the months ahead and some believe the economy is contracting in the current quarter at a pace of around 5 percent. The current January-March period, they said, will probably turn out to be the worst quarter for the recession.



Military Judge Refuses to Halt Gitmo Trial

From Fox News:

Military Judge Refuses to Halt Trial of USS Cole Bombing Suspect

Thursday, January 29, 2009

A military judge has refused the Obama administration’s request to delay the arraignment of Abu al-Nashiri, the accused planner of the 2000 USS Cole attack in Yemen, FOX News learned Thursday…

[Judge] Pohl’s decision is striking because two other military judges in a Sept. 11 conspiracy case and in the case of Canadian Al Qaeda operative Omar Khadr agreed to suspend proceedings in accordance with Obama’s recent executive order, which put a hold on all military tribunals.

Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said Thursday that Pohl would soon be told to comply with Obama’s executive order.

"All I can really tell you is that this department will be in full compliance with the president’s executive order," Morrell said at a news briefing.



Castro Demands Obama Give Back Gitmo

From Fidel Castro’s blog, Reflections By Comrade Fidel:


January 29, 2009

It is not too difficult. After taking office, Barack Obama said that the decision to return the territory occupied by the Guantánamo Naval Base to its legitimate owner requires weighing up the extent to which the defensive capacity of the United States would be or not in the least affected.

Soon after that he added, with regards to the return of the territory occupied by the Base to Cuba, that he would first consider under which concessions Cuba would accept that solution, which would be tantamount to demanding a change in its political system, a price against which Cuba has been struggling for half a century.



Is It A Stimulus Or ‘Global Warming’ Bill?

From page 52 and page 53 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (a pdf file):

(Click images to enlarge)

Of course they did the same thing with the first "bailout" bill.



NYT’s (Stomach-Turning) Obama Fawning

Just when you thought the New York Times could not delve any lower into lickspittle sycophancy we find this display on their “Opinion” page:

The Inauguration. At Last.

by Maira Kalman

January 29, 2009

(Click images to enlarge)

Even the restrooms along the New Jersey Turnpike are now cleaner.

And of course the image of Mr. Bush leaving via helicopter is just so subtle.

Have you no sense of decency, Mr. Sulzberger, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?

Still, it is all too fitting that The Times is now addressing its readers in cartoon.



Obama Likes It Hot, While The US Freezes

From an oblivious to hypocrisy New York Times:

White House Unbuttons Formal Dress Code

Published: January 28, 2009

WASHINGTON – The capital flew into a bit of a tizzy when, on his first full day in the White House, President Obama was photographed in the Oval Office without his suit jacket. There was, however, a logical explanation: Mr. Obama, who hates the cold, had cranked up the thermostat.

“He’s from Hawaii, O.K.?” said Mr. Obama’s senior adviser, David Axelrod, who occupies the small but strategically located office next door to his boss. “He likes it warm. You could grow orchids in there.”

Thus did a rule of the George W. Bush administration — coat and tie in the Oval Office at all times — fall by the wayside, only the first of many signs that a more informal culture is growing up in the White House under new management.



Iraq To Deny Blackwater License Renewal

From an overjoyed Reuters:

Iraq to deny license to Blackwater guards

By Khalid al-Ansary

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraq will not renew the license of Blackwater Worldwide, the private security firm accused of killing Iraqi civilians while protecting U.S. diplomats, U.S. and Iraqi officials said Thursday.

"The operating permission for the firm Blackwater will not be renewed. Its chance is zero," said Alaa al-Taie, head of the press department at the Iraqi Interior Ministry.

"It is not acceptable to Iraqis and there are legal points against it, like killing Iraqis with their weapons."

A U.S. embassy official confirmed that the embassy had been informed that the license would not be renewed, and said it was working on finding a new arrangement to cover its security…

Blackwater employs hundreds of heavily-armed guards with a fleet of armored vehicles and helicopters to protect U.S.



Obama Team Writing Love Note To Iran

From the UK’s Guardian:

A woman walks past a mural of a revolver bearing the colours of the US flag on the wall of the former US embassy in Tehran.

Revealed: the letter Obama team hope will heal Iran rift

Symbolic gesture gives assurances that US does not want to topple Islamic regime

Robert Tait and Ewen MacAskill in Washington
Thursday 29 January 2009 01.44 GMT

Officials of Barack Obama’s administration have drafted a letter to Iran from the president aimed at unfreezing US-Iranian relations and opening the way for face-to-face talks, the Guardian has learned.

The US state department has been working on drafts of the letter since Obama was elected on 4 November last year. It is in reply to a lengthy letter of congratulations sent by the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, on 6 November.



GOP: ‘Rangel Rules’ For IRS Late Fees

From Fox News:

Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) talks on his cellphone prior to the inauguration ceremony of President-elect Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States in Washington, January 20, 2009.

GOP Congressman Intros ‘Rangel Rule,’ Eliminating IRS Late Fees

Mosheh Oinounou

Americans may be able to rest a little easier this April if Congressman John Carter, R-Texas gets his way.

Rep. Carter introduced a bill Wednesday to eliminate all IRS penalties and interest for paying taxes past due.

The legislation calls for the creation of what he calls the, "Rangel Rule," — drawing attention to the recent legal issues of House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., enabling citizens who fail to pay taxes on time to do so later with no additional fees

"Your citizens back home should have the same rights and benefits that come to you as a member of congress.



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