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Tom Vilsack
  • 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
  • Join Our Traditional Celebration of New Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack!

    In the rural hamlet where I was raised, locals always marked the appointment of a new Agriculture Secretary by gathering in the town square to recite facts about the new Agriculture Secretary while gazing at pictures of puppies. Then we ate pie and drowned the witches.

    So it is my pleasure to begin this celebration of Tom Vilsack, Barack Obama's choice for Agriculture Secretary.

    * Tom Vilsack was the governor of Iowa, a corn-oriented state. He sure knows his corn. Corn and Tom Vilsack go way back, on the cob, off the cob, whatever.

    * "Mr. Vilsack, a native of Pittsburgh, moved to Iowa to live in the hometown of his college-sweetheart-turned-wife, Christie Vilsack." (Aww.)

    * "His career in politics was unexpectedly born in 1986 when a disgruntled resident of Mount Pleasant barged into a City Council meeting and killed the mayor. Mr. Vilsack stepped in to serve as mayor." (?!)

    * According to some people, Tom Vilsack is a shill for Monsanto and an overall terrible person.

    This concludes our traditional celebration of new Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. See you over at the dunking pool!

    Tags: Barack Obama, Food, Iowa, Obama Administration, Puppies!, Tom Vilsack
  • Safely Elected, Barack Obama Can Start Skipping Church Again

    Presidential elections in our country tend to put greater emphasis on church attendance than, say, international nuclear proliferation. And this year was no exception, with pastors like Jeremiah Wright and John Hagee getting far more press exposure than actual presidential candidates like Tom Vilsack and Jim Gilmore.

    No one knew this better than Barack Obama, whose campaign nearly collapsed under the weight of Wright's controversial sermons and God-awful JFK impersonation. The Illinois Senator felt forced to drop out of Wright's church and bounce between a number of other ones between late April and Election Day.

    But now that he won, he can finally drop that whole act

    President-elect Barack Obama has yet to attend church services since winning the White House earlier this month, a departure from the example of his two immediate predecessors.

    On the three Sundays since his election, Obama has instead used his free time to get in workouts at a Chicago gym.

    Indeed, there are few place you're more likely to find Obama than not in church. Recall, if you will, the controversy surrounding Wright's "God damn America" sermon. Obama claims to have never heard Wright utter those words. Why?

    Because he didn't attend church that day.

    And where was Obama when Hagee declared that Hitler was sent by God to herd the Jews to Israel? Hypocritically playing basketball perhaps.

    Come to think of it, Obama has also been neglecting his obligations to secretly attend a mosque and secretly pray toward Mecca five times per day ever since the day he was born!

    What a disappointment.  Doesn't Obama realize that religious zealots make by far the most entertaining presidents?  The man hasn't even taken office, and already he's making Dick Cheney look like Jimmy Swaggart at a pentacostal tent revival.

    Tags: Barack Obama, Christianity, Dick Cheney, Jeremiah Wright, Jim Gilmore, John Hagee, Tom Vilsack
  • Catching Up With A Loser: James S. Gilmore III


    Join former United States Senate Pages Dylan and Ethan Ris as they bring you the dish on not just the presidential race but all the exciting triumphs and disgraces inside, outside, and below the Beltway!

    What Are They Doing Now? Last week we profiled the first man to drop out of the 2008 presidential race, Tom Vilsack, and we're not gonna lie — we were a little bored, too. But with him out of the way, who remembers the second presidential contender to withdraw from the contest?

    No, it wasn't Stephen Colbert; he lasted through November '07. It was — forehead smacker alert! — former Virginia Governor James S. Gilmore III! (If you can prove you knew this, you win the lieutenant governorship of your home state!)

    To outsiders, Gilmore III had it all: The racial diplomacy of his predecessor George Allen, the fine art patronage of Rudy Giuliani… even the name recognition of U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)! And yet despite these advantages, Gilmore III was out of the race by July.

    But if this loser harbored any visions of lazing around the mansion all summer, he obviously hadn't consulted his wife (also named James S. Gilmore III.) Lo and behold, she has him right back out on the campaign trail where he belongs, and this time it's for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by the venerable statesman John "Mark" Warner!

    Opposing Gilmore III is fellow ex-governor Mark "John" Warner, who is campaigning on a pledge to run for president within the next decade. To counter this, we expect Gilmore III to rile up the base by proposing the legalization of cloning for the exact window of time needed to do Ronald Reagan, after which it will become a felony. If only "Macaca" Allen had thought of that!

    Tags: Catching Up With a Loser, Congressional Confidential, George Allen, Jim Gilmore, Mark Warner, Ronald Reagan, Rudy Giuliani, Stephen Colbert, Tom Vilsack
  • Catching Up With A Loser: Tom Vilsack


    Join former United States Senate Pages Dylan and Ethan Ris as they bring you the dish on not just the presidential race but all the exciting triumphs and disgraces inside, outside, and below the Beltway!

    What Are They Doing Now? Who out there remembers the first presidential contender to withdraw from the 2008 race? If you guessed Kurt Warner, you get half-credit because the man we're thinking of is also from Iowa! That’s right, it's former Democratic governor Tom Vilsack!

    On November 30, 2006, Vilsack, possibly under the influence of Canadian prescription drugs, announced he was running for president. He roared out of the gate, netting endorsements from most of his immediate family and wracking up several hundred friends on MySpace.

    On the campaign trail, Vilsack emphasized his many accomplishments as governor, such as getting re-elected and converting Canada to the 24-hour clock, but his fortunes turned as he closed in on the critical "1.75 years until the election" milestone. His fundraising dried up, and Vilsack was forced to drop out on February 23, 2007 — taking pride that he was able to announce, attempt and lose his presidential bid all before John McCain, Ron Paul, Fred Thompson, and Tommy Thompson had even started theirs!

    Turning his sights to the vice presidency, Vilsack endorsed Hillary Clinton immediately after — or possibly before — he dropped out, only to watch Clinton embarrassingly lose his home state's caucus.  Still, there's hope yet for Vilsack, as he may be due for an exciting ambassadorship in the Barack Obama administration! Stay tuned to Congressional Confidential as we steadily expose the whereabouts of all your 2008 presidential losers!

    Tags: Barack Obama, Catching Up With a Loser, Congressional Confidential, Fred Thompson, Hillary Clinton, Iowa, John McCain, Ron Paul, Tom Vilsack, Tommy Thompson