January 16, 2009

Comment of the Day

Filed under: News from Other Sites,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 2:58 pm

From JHSII at Michelle Malkin’s place:

I’m impressed. Most administrations at least wait a few years before having their first major scandal. Obama hasn’t even been coronated yet and he’s collecting them like trophies!!

Heck, this is the first adminstration in US history that has us suffering from scandal fatigue before Inauguration Day. I don’t think the term scandal fatigue came into vogue during the Clinton years until 1998, his sixth year in office.

CNA Busts BSB Refers to BSB McFadden Post (UPDATE: CNA Makes BizzyBlog-Suggested Correction, Removes BSB Reference)

Running rings around Ohio’s media in the solid reporting department, including prompt and proper political party identification, here is a portion of the Catholic News Agency’s Wednesday evening report on the arrest of Eric McFadden (bolds after title are mine):

Democratic Catholic leader arrested on prostitution-related charges

The former director of the Office of Faith-Based Initiatives for the governor of Ohio was arrested Wednesday for his involvement in an online prostitution ring.  Eric McFadden, who has also formerly served as the president of the organization Catholics for Faithful Citizenship and spokesperson for Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, will face seven prostitution-related charges tomorrow in court.

Eric McFadden, 46, the former head of the Office of Faith-Based Initiatives for Governor of Ohio, Ted Strickland, was arrested this morning and faces two counts of promoting prostitution, two counts of pandering obscenity involving a minor, two counts of pandering obscenity involving a nude minor and one count of compelling prostitution, Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien told the Springfield News-Sun.

The News-Sun also quoted Keith Daily (sic), Governor Strickland’s press secretary who described the situation as “very sad, shocking and appalling.”

McFadden’s faith outreach has not been limited to the Ohio governor’s office.  In 2004, McFadden worked for Catholics for Kerry and in 2005, served as the president for the organization, Catholics for Faithful Citizenship.  In 2006, he was a spokesperson for Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, and more recently, he was Hillary Clinton’s lead Catholic outreach organizer as the State Faith & Values Outreach Director during the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

According to NBC 4 in Columbus, Ohio, detectives suspect McFadden was involved in a “hooker-review” site that led to the creation of a Brewery District brothel.

Police also believe that McFadden is a man they have been tracking who posts under the name “Toby.” Authorities have been searching for him over the past two months after busting a prostitution ring on Craigslist.

McFadden used complex encoded postings on Craiglist that would look like useless or corrupted data, in which he would embed the information of the woman available, the type of sex interaction she would be willing to perform and the place to meet her. Paradoxically, McFadden’s code name in his transactions was “mcfaddencatholic.”

….. Police also note that on McFadden’s online posts, he claimed to be the “guru” of prostitution in Columbus, Ohio.  He wrote reviews on prostitution services as well as advice on how not to get caught, reports NBC 4.

….. Upon hearing of the arrest, the organization, Catholic Democrats reacted saying that it is “sad news” that a “committed Catholic Democrat” has been arrested under such accusations.

McFadden who has been a supporter of John Kerry, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama described his Catholic outreach in 2007 on the Buckeye State Blog as giving “a voice to Catholics so they can stand up and say, ‘I am a Catholic Democrat, and I’m proud and these are the principles that I believe in.’” (Ed. Note — CNA later revised this paragraph; See UPDATE below.)

Additionally, he was a member of the Knights of Columbus and reached the 4th order.  Last year, he penned a letter to the Knights of Columbus asserting that Supreme Knight Carl Anderson was leading Catholics astray by suggesting that Catholics could not vote for pro-abortion candidates.

Before  getting to the fun part, let me remind you, despite the howls from the left, that the idea that Catholics can’t vote for a pro-abortion candidate is not a “suggestion.” It’s a requirement for staying in the good graces of God and the Church.

Now, to the fun part — Here is the Buckeye State Blog (BSB) post CNA (originally) referred to (for fair use and discussion purposes; saved here in case it “goes away”):

(more…)

Geithner Must Go

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:35 am

Timothy Geithner may be a really, really “brilliant” guy. As such, he is perhaps — perhaps — qualified to be an analyst or some other kind of adviser in the Treasury Department. But his 15-year history of persistent tax “problems” disqualify him to lead it. For that matter, they disqualify him to go back to his former job as head of the New York Federal Reserve.

I am confident that no other president in my lifetime — not Bush 43, not Bill Clinton, not Bush 41, not Reagan, not Carter, not Ford, not even Nixon, not LBJ, not JFK, not Ike — would have submitted Geithner’s nomination upon learning what we have learned.

Clinton pulled the Attorney General nominations of Zoe Baird and Kimba Wood over possibly unpaid self-employment taxes on domestic employees. Though the AG is the nation’s chief law enforcement officer, Baird and Wood could at least somewhat credibly claim ignorance; many attorneys, particularly trial lawyers and prosecutors, are not well-versed in tax matters, and aren’t expected to be. Geithner doesn’t have that excuse, and his unpaid tax issues and history of tax evasion dwarf the problems of Clinton’s withdrawn nominees.

(Sidebar, with credit to a commenter at either Michelle Malkin’s place or Hot Air — Why is the male Geithner still standing, while females Baird, Wood, and Linda Chavez were all abandoned at the first sign of trouble? What does that say about Washington’s supposedly gender-friendly political culture?)

Yes, I said “tax evasion.” The big, big point that no one seems to be making is that Geithner’s payment of his past-dues does not change the fact that he engaged in evasion.

Even after the IRS forced him to pay up for 2003 and 2004, Geithner did not pay his 2001 and 2002 payroll/”self-employment” tax liabilities until shortly before he was nominated. I speculated a couple of days ago that this was because the normal statute of limitations for the IRS to question a return, which is three years after the date a return is filed, had expired. Subsequent press reports have confirmed this to be the case.

The statute of limitations tactic, while perhaps defensible for ordinary, tax-ignorant filers of limited means, doesn’t fly with Geithner. For him, it amounts to a “Nyah, nyah, you didn’t catch me quickly enough” taunt.

Much more important, the normal statute of limitations cop-out should not have applied. That’s because, as I noted on Wednesday, “The statute of limitations does not apply in the case of a false or fraudulent return with intent to evade any tax.”

Intent is often difficult to determine. But if leaning on the statute of limitations is a valid defense, why did Team Obama force Geithner to pay up before his nomination?

Answer: They must have concluded that a guy with Geithner’s background, experience, and history of IRS “discrepancies,” should have known, and indeed probably did know, that he was required to pay self-employment tax on his International Monetary Fund salary at the time he filed his 2001 and 2002 returns.

Of course he knew. The IMF frequently reminded him of his obligation to pay the employer and employee portions of Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes. He applied for, and received, partial “reimbursement” for the taxes he told the IMF in writing that he had paid. Beyond that, Geithner’s problems with unpaid payroll taxes on wages paid to domestic help go all the way back to 1993. If anyone in America should have been familiar with the fact that Uncle Sam demands an extraction of 15.3% for Social Security and Medicare on the vast majority of wages paid (the only exception being earnings above a certain level that are exempt from Social Security but not Medicare taxation), it’s Timothy Geithner.

Thus, Geithner’s forced payment, instead of being a necessary step for smoothing the path to his nomination, is really the reason it should be rejected. It is a backhanded admission that his reliance on the ordinary three-year time frame of the statute of limitations was invalid, and that he engaged in tax evasion at the time he filed those returns.

I don’t know whether Barack Obama is aware of the full extent of his nominee’s self-evident tax evasion, up to and including the IMF notifications, the IMF reimbursements, and Geithner’s false attestations that he had paid these taxes. But if he is, his ringing defense of Geithner should cause the American people to question the president-elect’s fundamental judgment and capacity to lead.

The incoming Obama administration is telling us that evading taxes is okay as long as you’re “brilliant,” as long as you have a compatible economic philosophy, and as long as you’re a guy (take that, “sweeties” Baird, Wood, and Chavez). While Obama drones on about how everyone has lost faith in Washington’s capacity to govern, he and many senators who should know better are still backing a person whose confirmation would leave the American people wondering if anyone in Washington knows or cares about the difference between right and wrong. Why? Because this guy is supposedly the only person in a nation of 200 million adults who can do the job? Stop insulting our intelligence.

This is a pre-presidential tipping point. We’re looking at four years of farce if this nomination succeeds. We can’t afford that.

Geithner should withdraw. If he won’t, Obama should tell him to (you know the line by heart already — “This isn’t the Tim Geithner I thought I knew”). If Obama persists, Senators from both parties must chuck the feel-good festivities, take the blinders off, and stop him.

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UPDATE: Michelle Malkin has the related column title of the day — “A government of the goofs, by the goofs, for the goofs.” Some enterprising and talented Photoshopper (that would NOT be me) needs to incorporate a certain Disney character into a cartoon or two.
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Previous Posts:

  • Jan. 15 — Tax ‘Goof’ Update: Geithner Was ‘Reimbursed’ for Taxes He Didn’t Pay; AP Story Buries, Then Deletes
  • Jan. 14 — Geithner Update: AP’s Early-AM Revision Flushes Many Details, Calls His Tax Problems ‘Goofs’
  • Jan. 13 — Treasury Nominee Geither’s Persistent Tax Problems Getting the Glossover Treatment; AP Coverage ‘Forgets’ at Least Chavez, Baird

Positivity: Woman makes full recovery after nearly freezing to death

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Duluth, Minnesota:

Jan. 10, 2009

A 64-year-old Duluth woman who nearly froze to death after falling in a snow bank is out of the hospital.

Janice Goodger’s family and doctors say her recovery is nothing short of a miracle because her body temperature dropped to 78 degrees.

Goodger slipped and fell into a snowbank two weeks ago after checking in on her daughter’s dog.

“I got rheumatoid arthritis so I couldn’t get up,” says Goodger.

She was able to booster herself backwards toward her car. “I was so weak by then,” recalls Goodger, “I just laid down and covered myself up as best I could and said God take me or leave me.”

Goodger spent five hours in the snow. The temperature started to drop as night time fell.

“I wasn’t awake that long,” she says. “I was cold, shivering, then I passed out. That’s all I could remember.”

Goodger’s son-in-law and his wife found her later that night.

“We pulled up to see her lying on the snow,” says Wade Patrich. “My wife checked on her, realized she was almost as cold as a corpse.”

At the hospital, doctors say they weren’t optimistic about Goodger’s chances of survival. Her family was just hoping for a miracle. And she did. Goodger made a full recovery.

Go here for the rest of the story.

Absolutely Pathetic AP Headline: ‘Bush address includes laundry list of back patting’

APabsolutelyPathetic0109.jpgWow.

This unbylined Associated Press story (HT Michelle Malkin) doesn’t really require any elaboration, except to note one thing — It ends the debate over the existence of liberal/left media bias:

Exit question:

As the once mighty continue to fall (the latest being Minneapolis Star Tribune), what will the history books say about the relationship between the perilous condition of most of print media outlets and the seven years or so many of them spent suffering from full-blown Bush Derangement Syndrome?

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.