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Obama's Ethics Problem

What should we make of Senator Chris Dodd's stonewalling on the matter of his preferred treatment as a "Friend(s) of Anthony" recipient of preferred mortgage terms from Countrywide Financial? (The phrase refers to the former CEO of Countrywide, Anthony Mozillo). The Democrat Senator, as Chairman of the very Committee that conducts oversight of banks and lending (Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs) owes taxpayers an explanation of the terms and conditions of a loan he personally received from the failed bank (which bank has cost taxpayers tens of billions of dollars). Dodd promised during the 2008 campaign to make this information available but has to date refused to do so. Dodd's obfuscation and delaying tactics are wearily familiar. No lucid observer of his problem would suggest a good outcome.

Representative Charles Rangel, another Democrat in charge of an important Committee (House Ways and Means) is under a cloud of suspicion (including an Ethics Committee investigation) for abusing campaign finance laws and the very tax laws over which he conducts oversight. No lucid observer of Rangel's problem would suggest a good outcome.

Timothy Geithner, President elect Obama's appointee for Secretary of the Treasury, has demonstrated his contempt for IRS laws that compel him to pay self employment taxes. This is the same IRS that will be under his thumb if his appointment as Treasury Secretary is approved. No lucid observer of Geithner's problem would suggest a good outcome. Turmoil at Treasury it is not a good thing right now.

Is there is a rot at the core of the Democrat Party? If we heed Santayana's and Yogi's well known admonition (to paraphrase) that those who choose to ignore history are doomed to déjà vu all over again then, yes, there is. Rangel and Dodd remind me of the base ethics that characterized the House Post Office check kiting scandal of the 1980's. Geithner is beginning to smell ripe: he may be brilliant, but his tax problems are so uncomplicated as to beg small businesses everywhere to ask the proverbial question:" What were you thinking"?

For the easy marks that still believe hope and change will be the hallmark of the Obama administration a necessary dose of reality is in order. The Democrat Congress and the President elect's own cabinet may prove to be the end of Obama's hope and change, an unending minuet of ethical lapses, possibly criminal wrongdoing and failed trust much like the Post Office scandal that brought down Foley and Rostenkowski.

Think not? Consider that President Clinton didn't come into office with remotely similar Congressional problems yet faced an historic change in his first mid term election. Next week's aura may fade fast. For those inclined to sentimentality and weepiness during this next week I would suggest a heavy dose of cold water soon thereafter to ward off the effects of imminent disappointment.


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Comments (39)

Tip of the iceberg.... (Below threshold)
MPR:

Tip of the iceberg.

Is there is a rot at the co... (Below threshold)

Is there is a rot at the core of the Democrat Party? I'd say so.

But of course it won't be Barack himself, who is the cause of the criminal politics he will be practicing like every other pigsident before him, it's going to be his "caaabinet" ... right I see.

Yah.

Suckers got duped!

Oh Stuff it, HughS!<p... (Below threshold)
Justice58:

Oh Stuff it, HughS!

President Barack Obama is the best thing that ever happened to this country. Thank God we have President Obama to pull us out of the muck George Bush put us in. GWB ran the country into the ground & made America look bad to the rest of the world.

If you want to talk about rot...look no further than George W Bush! He needs to be investigated along with Dick Cheney because it need to be on record what they did to this country. No one is above the law!

"President Barack Obama is ... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

"President Barack Obama is the best thing that ever happened to this country."

"You've been hosed, Tommy!" We'll see what Biden and Powell were talking about come Wednesday or Thursday...

President Barack Obama i... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

President Barack Obama is the best thing that ever happened to this country.

I'm finding him to be fairly moderate and reasonable, but an endorsement from the loon who insisted constantly that the Duke lacross players were guilty despite all the contrary evidence isn't much of an endorsement at all.

However, Obama rises above such loony tune "supporters" with his statement that President Bush is a "good man," who made the best decisions he could in difficult times.

Meet the new boss, surprise, much the same as the old boss.

Hugh S, Is your post a roun... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

Hugh S, Is your post a roundabout way of you volunteering to be Obama's eyes and ears? It didn't hit me that way until I read fellow Bushitarian J.Irving's comment signaling his own inclination to remain seated and snacking for at least 4 more years despite the Islamofascist infiltration of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. I know the old meme was BS, but you guys are real sluts! :P
depp=true

HughSThe ... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:

HughS

The Democrat Congress and the President elect's own cabinet may prove to be the end of Obama's hope and change,


No way, Welcome to the Show that never ends.

1. BHO is too big to Fail. He has schools named after him, Shirts sweaters, mugs cups.
2. They are Dems.
If your Dem you can be on tape smoking a Crack pipe and get re-elected to office.
You can have a call guy ring run out of your house and not know it.
3. Republicans Are Evil and all their motivations are bad.
4 Dems are always good and they may stretch the law but always an accident or good intention.

That why you kept hearing how Bush was was issuing all these secrets orders tobe President for life.
in 2005 when the same group of people proposed a repeal of 22 Amendment it was because Bush want to be dictator for life
When it being done for BHO he might need more time in office?

The question should be are term limits good and do we need more in federal office?
If it bad if Republican has more than 2 terms as President then it is equally bad for a democrat
Ah that would be Hoping for a rational un biased approach to politics, change to actually look at outcomes. Nope the New Deal worked (Right?)

Is there is a rot at the co... (Below threshold)
Allen:

Is there is a rot at the core of the Democrat Party? YES. Is there a rot at the core of the Republican Party? YES. Both parties have their crooks. They may be honest people when elected, but the system corrupts them real fast, and we keep electing the crooks.

Surprisingly, soon to be Pr... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Surprisingly, soon to be President Obama is proving to be both pragmatic and centrist. While that's not good for Republicans, it is good for the nation. As long as Obama continues on the path he started out on he'll get my general support, although I reserve the right to disagree on specific issues. Obama is free to move to the center because of what Bush has accomplished. That is, Bush drove the left insane (BDS) and Obama knows he can do anything he likes because the left will never vote for a Republican; they are in his pocket.

One of the few times it wil... (Below threshold)
John:

One of the few times it will happen, but have to agree with Allen.

They go in with the best intentions, some come out serving home detention...

Geithner, Holder, Browner? ... (Below threshold)
MPR:

Geithner, Holder, Browner? Pathetic nod to the wacko left and slap to the face of the nation. We will have no cheeks left to turn in about a month.

Geithner, Holder, Browne... (Below threshold)
Justice58:

Geithner, Holder, Browner? Pathetic nod to the wacko left and slap to the face of the nation. We will have no cheeks left to turn in about a month.

Hater!

What a whack job Barry O is... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

What a whack job Barry O is. He can't even remember his own campaign promises. He changed them too much. That is what he meant about bring change. He changes his mind all the time. And the Obama apostles follow.

Obama is already a failed precidency. ww

Fauxbama is an illusion, a ... (Below threshold)
GianiD:

Fauxbama is an illusion, a creation of Soros and Companies marketing machine.

He stands for nothing. He has no original ideas. Im still waiting to hear the names of states 51-57, and to see proof of those 800+ bills he lied, err, claimed to have sponsored.

J58 is a total caricature. ... (Below threshold)
MichaelC:

J58 is a total caricature. I'm having a hard time believing any real person could be so cartoony in their beliefs and public representations.

Keep it up sonny; the adults are gettin' a genuine hoot out of your antics.

J58,I have no idea i... (Below threshold)
MPR:

J58,
I have no idea if you are serious or just ignorant. I generally don't respond to comments like yours because it is a waste of time.
However, I would also never disallow you from making your opinion known here.
My politics have run from liberal Democrat to Conservative. I even still have liberal "friends" though they are fewer these days. I am a businessman and I have a responsibility to my customers, company and family. When I interview and hire new people I pick the best candidate I can for the position. It is now possible to get more information about people to make an informed choice than ever before. For the POTUS to nominate these candidates with their back grounds for these important positions, with so many more qualified people available, is laughable and inexcusable. I don't hate him or them but, I don't excuse him or them. The country will be ill served by these obviously flawed individuals. Obamalala should no better and he doesn't.

Not to be too much of an an... (Below threshold)
Captain Ned:

Not to be too much of an anorak, but it's Angelo Mozilo, not Anthony Mozillo.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angelo_Mozilo

MildWillie, move on. Thanks... (Below threshold)
max:

MildWillie, move on. Thanks.

"If we heed Santayana's and... (Below threshold)
Herman:

"If we heed Santayana's and Yogi's well known admonition (to paraphrase) that those who choose to ignore history are doomed to déjà vu all over again..."

...then ObamaMessiah and the rest of the country would learn from the consequences of eight years of the Bush Administration (summed up in eight minutes, the very last word found in the summation an inspiration to us all:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtnE4C9Gv5U )

MPR,Are you kiddin... (Below threshold)
Justice58:

MPR,

Are you kidding me?

President Barack Obama is a political machine. He has selected the best people for the job.

The Obama Administration has to clean up the muck that your George W Bush made! GWB need to be investigated along with Dick Cheney because it need to be on record what they did to this country.

One thing more....I hope you can see my middle finger pointing at you?

Let's run down the impeccab... (Below threshold)
Dave Noble:

Let's run down the impeccable logic of this post.

Two Congressman have problems with ethical implications. One Obama appointee, for whom there has been virtually universal acclamation, unchanged even with the revelation of his tax problems, did has tax problems.

Katie bar the door, thunder and darnation, we got trouble, folks, right here in River City.

Well, Hugh, this lucid observer cannnot suggest a good outcome for the grading of your analysis of "Obama's Ethics Problem."

Overuse of hyperbole and rhetorical questions: (e.g., "Is there a rot at the core of the Democratic Party?)

Faulty logic. Unsupported conclusions. (See above)

No, Hugh, it does not look good.

Sorry, should be "has tax p... (Below threshold)
Dave Noble:

Sorry, should be "has tax problems" I'm gonna fire that editor of mine.

Dodd and Rangle are both sa... (Below threshold)
Gmac:

Dodd and Rangle are both safe from whatever charges are brought against them. Not only does a 'D' follow their name but they are from the safest of 'safe' Democrat districts so they'll also run unopposed for re-election.

The only way they'll be removed is if they are convicted of the charges and from what I've seen the odds of that happening are slim to non-existent.

"President Barack Obama is ... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

"President Barack Obama is a political machine. He has selected the best people for the job."

Well, you got the machine part, right. I see him as more of a programmed political android from the Planet NWO. They just popped in a different CD after he was elected.

J58, You truly are a citize... (Below threshold)
MPR:

J58, You truly are a citizen of Obamalala La La Land where the Kool-Aide freely flows.

LaMedusa,Just get ... (Below threshold)
Justice58:

LaMedusa,

Just get the #### out of the way!


MPR,

You wanna tell me what you've been drinking while in Bush country the past 8 years?

Oh wait...

It's too #ing scary. I don't want to know.


I don't want you to ruin my good thoughts.

3 more days, baby! BooYah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HughSYou forget th... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:

HughS
You forget that this is
the most honest, the most open and the most ethical Congress in history

With BHO keeping his promise to make this open and transparent transition in history

Friends of BHO come on sing it.
Youve been taken but you dont know it yet

Ministry New World Order.

Meet the new boss, surpr... (Below threshold)
Clay:

Meet the new boss, surprise, much the same as the old boss.

When will we all learn that there is little difference between Republican and Democrat, or conservative and liberal, or even left and right? The battle is between those whose view is that the Constitution is a living document and those who believe that the Framer's original intent must be considered. Meanwhile, we've allowed the discussion to be hijacked by the neo-cons and socialists as the fabric of our Republic is torn apart.

"He has selected the best p... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

"He has selected the best people for the job."

Guess it all depends on what you see as the job. To fumble, to bumble, to preach adherence to ethics while ignoring ethical lapses in your own party is all part of the job?

"I don't want you to ruin my good thoughts."

Don't have to. You'll ruin them yourself in about six months, when you realize just how you've been had - and how stupidly gullible you were in the first place to believe that unicorns and rainbows were just around the corner if you just believed hard enough in a Chicago machine politican.

But it's going to take a lot of pain before you see just how you've been had. Shame we've all got to share it...

Pre-Inauguration, this is a... (Below threshold)
Dave Noble:

Pre-Inauguration, this is all puffery and fantasy on the left, and on the right.

Adults will wait to see what happens.

Reality rules!

Like a big boy, I will wait.

See ya.

Oh, Clay, it must sad to be you.

Jay, "To fumble, t... (Below threshold)
Dave Noble:

Jay,

"To fumble, to bumble, to preach adherence to ethics while ignoring ethical lapses in your own party is all part of the job?"

That's just where we've been for the last eight years.

Fumble, bumble - you could not have described the Bush admimistration better if you'd tried.

"LaMedusa,Just get... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

"LaMedusa,

Just get the #### out of the way!"

Out of the way of what? He's already the president because Bush ended his ritualistic eight years on Dec. 13th. But when The One doesn't turn out to be the savior you thought he was, don't come crying here. Save it for your mama. You're still under the influence of his campaign drug when Obama promised change. Time to take the red pill, now, and come back into the real world. But I think it will take a little while longer before you realize Bammy could care less about you.

Barry O is already a failed... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Barry O is already a failed presidency. It is a Clinton redeax. ww

Out of the way of what? ... (Below threshold)
Justice58:

Out of the way of what? He's already the president because Bush ended his ritualistic eight years on Dec. 13th. But when The One doesn't turn out to be the savior you thought he was, don't come crying here. Save it for your mama. You're still under the influence of his campaign drug when Obama promised change. Time to take the red pill, now, and come back into the real world. But I think it will take a little while longer before you realize Bammy could care less about you.


Whatever floats your boat! I'm not about to get in the way of your fantasy!

But A new era has begun! The Rethugs old way of doing business is over!

Thank You, God, for President Barack Hussein Obama!

Yes We Did!

But A new era has ... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:
But A new era has begun! The Rethugs old way of doing business is over!

Yes, it has, but you are thanking the wrong person. And if you really knew how dark the forces are behind his election, the words "Thank you" would be furthest from your mind. Yes, they did, Zbiggy et al.

Oh, Clay, it must sad to... (Below threshold)
Clay:

Oh, Clay, it must sad to be you.

What a miserable and mean existence you seem to have. You display very little here but a nasty disposition. No, I would only be sad if I were you. I pity you, Dave Noble. And I thank God I don't see with your jaundiced eyes and think with your squirming mind.

Clay,As a matter o... (Below threshold)
Dave Noble:

Clay,

As a matter of fact, I am a very happy person. I have been blessed with a wonderful wife, five children, and three grandchildren. I had a great career in the Air Force and am enjoying a satisfying second career.

And I am also happy because I am hopeful that positive change can take place in this country and in the world.

Compare this to bleak view of our nation being torn to shreds before your eyes, that you offered:

"When will we all learn that there is little difference between Republican and Democrat, or conservative and liberal, or even left and right? The battle is between those whose view is that the Constitution is a living document and those who believe that the Framer's original intent must be considered. Meanwhile, we've allowed the discussion to be hijacked by the neo-cons and socialists as the fabric of our Republic is torn apart."

My comments on this blog are based on the content of the other bloggers' posts. They are not based on any personal animus toward the blogger. I was responding to your post. Accordingly, I think my comment was appropriate. At times I am sarcastic, but again the sarcasm is aimed at the post, not at the person. Sometimes I try for an element of fun or humor in my posts. I currently work with people whose rough kidding sometimes crosses over into the merciless. I try to avoid that, but I imagine I sometimes come pretty close to the edge.

Allow me to note in passing something I've been thinking about on the eve of the Inauguration. There are many in our country, regardless of their political idealogy, who celebrate the election of the first black President. That it will take place the day after Dr. King's birthday adds further significance to that event.

I don't know how old you are, but I lived through the Civil Rights movement. As a teenager in my parent's home, I heard the gunshots of the nearby riots that followed Dr. King's assassination. I am filled with a deep joy in contemplation of Barrack Hussein Obama's inauguration and what it means for America.

Is he the One, the Messiah? No, just another flawed human being. He's a politician, with all that means good or bad. That's the occupation of everyone who has ever been President. But I believe that he can bring change. And all the cacophony of those whom William Safire famously dubbed "the nattering nabobs of negativism" is just the buzzing noise in the background of history.

That buzzing noise fills this blog. I think that's sad.

I'm sorry if I've offended you, Clay. That was never, and is not now, my purpose.

Alright, guys. Now this is... (Below threshold)
Dave Noble:

Alright, guys. Now this is getting a little silly. I get -3 for correcting a typo. Why?
Because of the typo or for annoying you by correcting it?

That hurts! How do I get you to like me? Because I want you to, you know. I really do?

"I really do?" No, I mean ... (Below threshold)
Dave Noble:

"I really do?" No, I mean I really do!




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