Tom Daschle's quick exit from the health-care Cabinet job is just proof that he was a poor choice for the job.
If the guy can't get it together enough to wipe his nose clean after rubbing it against the rear of society schmuckettes like Catherine Reynolds, then he's not the person to tackle the extraordinarily tricky job of cleaning up the health-care mess.
He should just return to his destiny: playing off his former job in Congress to lobby his former Congress pals on behalf of rich clients. (See Muckety's quick read on Daschle's ties to Reynolds.)
Daschle wasn't a notable senator in the first place, despite his high post in the Democratic Party heirarchy. Teddy Kennedy or Paul Wellstone he wasn't.
Barack Obama did take responsibility for the Daschle embarrassment and did admit that he, the president, screwed up, but it was Daschle who screwed up his own nomination to be Secretary of Health and Human Services.
All he had to do was come clean to Obama or Obama's vetters, and this wouldn't have happened. Actually, he could have just paid his taxes in the first place. But hubris isn't exclusive to Wall Street bankers or pro athletes. Former senators often think that they, too, are above the law or the law's consequences.
Obama's screw-up came when he picked Daschle in the first place — unless Obama wanted a weak-sister guy like Daschle in there. All of this leaves murky the question of what exactly the Obama regime has in mind for health care.
The last time a Democratic administration came to power, Bill Clinton turned the health-care issue over to Hillary Clinton, who, true to her conservative roots, immediately reneged on her vow to supporters and advisers to consider a national health-care plan. Instead, she relied on the inherently corrupt health-care industry — not the doctors, but the insurers — and any hope of a cleaner, fairer, more inclusive national health-care plan that wouldn't be controlled by the middlemen (the insurers) was doomed. (Click here for my February 2005 rant about this; you'll have to scroll down a little ways to get to it.)
In any case, good-bye, Daschle. Don't let the revolving door hit you on your way into and out of government offices.
The rest of you, however, are welcome to stay right here and click on the following items...
President Obama will announce a crackdown on Wall Street fat cats on Wednesday, setting a $500,000 cap on executive compensation for companies getting taxpayer bailouts, a senior administration official said Tuesday night.
...One of President Barack Obama's closest political confidants and early mentors, Mr. Daschle had been tapped to spearhead the effort to overhaul the nation's health-care system. But concerns arising from Mr. Daschle's failure to pay more than $100,000 in taxes on time, coupled with tax problems involving two other cabinet nominees, threatened both the administration's health-care agenda and the credibility of Mr. Obama's pledge to raise the ethical standards of Washington.
Mr. Daschle's sudden withdrawal came two weeks to the day after Mr. Obama took office, and 24 hours after the president told reporters that he "absolutely" stood by his nominee. The abrupt move stands to potentially dent the reputation for steadiness and managerial prowess that the 47-year-old president had cultivated over a smoothly run campaign and a transition to power that boasted of a swift vetting and nomination of top aides.
Federal immigration officials had repeatedly told Congress that among more than half a million immigrants with outstanding deportation orders, they would concentrate on rounding up the most threatening -- criminals and terrorism suspects.
Instead, newly available documents show, the agency changed the rules, and the program increasingly went after easier targets. A vast majority of those arrested had no criminal record, and many had no deportation orders against them, either.
President Barack Obama will announce today that he's imposing a cap of $500,000 on the compensation of top executives at companies that receive significant federal assistance in the future, responding to a public outcry over Wall Street excess.
Any additional compensation will be in restricted stock that won't vest until taxpayers have been paid back, according to an administration official, who requested anonymity. The rules will force greater transparency on the use of corporate jets, office renovations and holiday parties as well as golden parachutes offered to executives when they leave companies.
Senior U.S. commanders are finalizing plans to send tens of thousands of reinforcements to Afghanistan's main opium-producing region and its porous border with Pakistan, moves that will form the core of President Barack Obama's emerging Afghan war strategy....
Virtually none of the new troops heading to Afghanistan will go to Kabul or other major Afghan cities. By contrast, when the Bush administration dispatched 30,000 new troops to Iraq as part of the so-called surge, the bulk of the new forces went to Baghdad....
The deployments, part of a planned doubling of the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan, are almost certain to spark heavier casualties and push the war squarely onto the public agenda. "I hate to say it, but yes, I think there will be [more U.S. casualties]," Vice President Joe Biden said on CBS Sunday. "There will be an uptick."
Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and his Alliance for Climate Protection say clean-coal technology is a fantasy.
Peabody Energy Corp., the biggest U.S. coal producer, says another prominent Democrat has pledged to make the technology a reality: President Barack Obama.
The Gore-Obama split illustrates a growing debate in the U.S. as the new president attempts to deliver on his promise to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the country 80 percent by 2050. Depending on who's speaking, coal is either the villain or part of the solution.
Ayad Allawi, the first prime minister selected after the Americans handed power back to Iraqis in June 2004, has made a comeback in the provincial elections, unofficial preliminary returns indicate, setting himself up as a potential rival to Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki.
Connecticut, the wealthiest U.S. state with per capita income of $54,117 in 2007, has profited from its proximity to Wall Street since rail lines from the city reached north to Fairfield County more than a century ago. According to Forbes magazine, the state's richest residents now are hedge fund managers including Steven Cohen and Paul Tudor Jones, who live and work in and around Greenwich. Cohen earned $900 million in 2007 while Jones made $300 million, according to Institutional Investor magazine's Alpha publication.
A one-man crime wave from Massachusetts road-tripped it to Columbia University every weekend for the past two months -- stealing wallets from gymnasium lockers and a dozen laptops, the Post has learned.
Fraud investigator Harry Markopolos blamed the Securities and Exchange Commission's "financial illiteracy" for failing to heed his warnings about money manager Bernard Madoff.
Mr. Markopolos had warned the SEC for nearly a decade that Mr. Madoff was operating a Ponzi scheme. Mr. Markopolos is set to testify before a House committee Wednesday, and 311 pages of his written testimony became public Tuesday evening.