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Tom Daschle
  • Breaking News: Things Get Messy as Tom Daschle Pulls Out

    You'd think that a guy nominated for Secretary of Health and Human Services would have kept himself better protected and wouldn't have had to resort to pulling out

    Tom Daschle withdrew his nomination on Tuesday as President Obama’s nominee to lead the Health and Human Services Department, a decision that came one day after Mr. Obama declared that he would stand behind Mr. Daschle as problems over unpaid taxes were scrutinized on Capitol Hill…

    The decision to withdraw his nomination as a member of the Obama cabinet comes as the White House battled across several fronts on Tuesday with tax problems of the president’s top political appointees. Mr. Daschle had expressed regret for not paying about $140,000 in back taxes, but on Monday vowed to press ahead…

    "Now we must move forward," Mr. Obama said in a statement.

    Hopefully, Obama will take some prophylactic measures and probe into the next nominee's business more before fingering him or her.

    And I hope that nominee isn't that long in the coming. 'Cause the process just gets annoying and boring after a while.

    Tags: Barack Obama, Obama Administration, Taxes, Tom Daschle
  • Representation Without Taxation: Et Tu, Tom Daschle?

    It seems so long ago that we were up in arms about Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who owed $34,000 in back taxes because of- what was it again? Something about the IMF and math being hard?

    Ah, forget it. Tim Geithner's tax problems are nothing compared to the news about Health and Human Services Secretary-designate Tom Daschle…

    A Senate document obtained by The Associated Press shows former Sen. Tom Daschle recently filed amended tax returns to report over $128,000 in back taxes and nearly $12,000 in interest.

    $128,000?! Good grief. Nothing's going to distract the American public — and the Senate Finance Committee, which meets today to discuss Daschle's appointment — from a tax scandal this big. Nothing!

    The disclosure of Daschle's tax problems coincided with the release of the financial statement he submitted to the Office of Government Ethics, which details for the first time exactly how, without becoming a registered lobbyist, he made millions of dollars giving public speeches and private counsel to insurers, hospitals, realtors, farmers, energy firms and telecommunications companies with complex regulatory and legislative interests in Washington.

    Daschle's expertise and insights, gleaned over 26 years in Congress, earned him more than $5 million over the past two years, including $220,000 from the health-care industry, and perks such as a chauffeured Cadillac, according to the documents.

    You know what, forget Tom Daschle's tax problems. That's nothing compared to Tom Daschle's conflicts of… hey, wait a minute. I think I see what's going on here.

    The Obama administration is just trying to distract us from their appointees' ethical and financial scandals by unrolling successively bigger ethical and financial scandals. Mark my words: this will end when Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack pulls off his mask and turns out to be Bernie Madoff.

    Tags: Barack Obama, Obama Administration, Taxes, Timothy Geithner, Tom Daschle, Tom Vilsack
  • Daschle Apparently Wasn't Already Announced as HHS Secretary

    I was talking to my friend who lives under a rock yesterday, and I asked him if he knew who was going to be Barack Obama's Secretary of Health and Human Services. He said, "Tom Daschle, duh."

    Yet, this morning the President-elect still felt it necessary to call his 583rd press conference since being elected in order to officially announce what we've all known for like a month.

    The former Senate majority leader will also lead a new White House office of health reform, Obama said today. He also announced that Jeanne Lambrew, a HHS official under President Bill Clinton who helped co-write a health care book with Daschle, has been tapped to be deputy director of that office.

    Although the Daschle pick has been known for weeks, Obama called him "one of America's foremost health care experts" and "the original no-drama guy" while discussing the future of the health care system today in Chicago.

    I'll bet Monday, Obama will call a press conference to formally announce he's running for President. And then the next day he can officially announce our independence from England. And then maybe he'll close out the week by announcing the explosion of the primordial atom.

    Actually, that last one might actually be news to some people in Washington.

    Tags: Barack Obama, Obama Administration, Tom Daschle
  • Tom Daschle Offered HHS and HRC Continues to Dither

    Early Obama supporter Tom Daschle has been rewarded for his endorsement with the plum appointment of Secretary of Health and Human Services, which gives him command of the Centers for Disease Control, the Rats of NIMH and the very simple task of reforming the nation's health insurance system.

    Wait, didn't Daschle work as a lobbyist after getting booted from the Senate?

    Although not a registered lobbyist, he provides "strategic advice" to commercial clients in the fields of health care, energy, telecommunications and taxes, according to public documents. His wife, Linda Hall Daschle, is registered, and she is regarded as one of the most influential professional lobbyists in the capital.

    Oh, his wife's the lobbyist. He just plays Stratego. No problem!

    Speaking of botched health care plans, Hillary Clinton continues to play the "will she, won't she" game on the Secretary of State front. Even as President Clinton is going through some heavy vetting to clear the way for an appointment, Senator Clinton can't decide whether she wants the job…

    "A lot of the speculation and reporting is out ahead of the facts here," said the person, who requested anonymity. "She is still weighing this, independent of President Clinton's work."

    Is it because she doesn't want to be associated with a place called Foggy Bottom?

    The exciting part of this otherwise incredibly boring cabinet appointment is that we can continue to play everyone's favorite game, What Will Dean Do? After failing miserably at his 50 state strategy (Obama only won 29), Chairman Dean is looking for a new job. What should Dean Do Next? Aside from start that Fugazi cover band.

    Tags: Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Howard Dean, Obama Administration, Tom Daschle
  • Democrats Preparing to Flaunt the Agony of Defeat

    Roll Call recently broke the exciting news that three new speakers have been added to the lineup for the Democratic National Convention in Denver next week… and they are all phenomenal losers!

    Jimmy Carter, John Kerry, and Tom Daschle have all been awarded prime-time speaking slots during the convention, despite the stench of defeat that surrounds them.

    Here's a little bit about each one, and how each has contributed to the familiar heartbreak of millions of Democratics over the years…

    Loser How He Lost
    Former President Jimmy Carter
    Loser of the 1980 presidential election.
    Was no match for Ronald Reagan's stunning intellect and feats of strength.
    Former Senator Tom Daschle
    Loser of the 2004 South Dakota Senate race.
    Despite his prominent role as Senate Minority Leader, failed to bring a Major League Baseball franchise to Sioux Falls.
    Senator John Kerry
    Loser of the 2004 Presidential Race
    His decision to pick John Edwards as his running mate disgusted values voters who had a feeling that something bad was going to be revealed roughly four years down the road.

    Tags: Jimmy Carter, John Edwards, John Kerry, Ronald Reagan, Senate, South Dakota, Tom Daschle