Just now reported on MSNBC. You heard it here first! Will update with details as they come out.
UPDATE I: According to Andrea Mitchell, who spoke with him, he felt he had become a lightning rod for criticism and this would inevitably derail his attempts to reform health care. The focus would be on him and not the reform. To which I would have to say - good call.
UPDATE II: Daschle’s withdrawal followed the news that another Obama appointee, Nancy Killefer has also taken herself out of consideration for the position of first chief performance officer for the federal government. She cited the fact that she had recently settled a tax lien on her house which was put there by D.C. over her failure to file and pay unemployment taxes on her two (!) nannies and personal assistant. This is pretty galling. First, she had been paying the taxes, then apparently decided not to bother anymore. Second, along with that huge questionnaire that we read about a few months ago that prospective appointees were supposed to fill out which included questions like “have you ever made a comment on a blog that could be held against you?”, maybe they could have said “Do you owe ANY back taxes? If yes, don’t bother to answer any further questions.”
Going back to Killefer’s tax troubles, what was she thinking? Unemployment taxes are minor and the forms aren’t that hard to fill out. If she didn’t want to pay her accountant to do it, get the personal assistant on it. Isn’t that the kind of stuff they’re for? Jeebus, I just don’t know what more to say.
UPDATE III:HuffPo is now reporting that likely replacement candidates are Bill Bradley, Kathleen Sebelius, Ed Rendell and Howard Dean. I know Dean is a doctor and has health care background but he’s another lightning rod, controversial person. Bradley sounds like a good pick. I like Sebelius and Rendell but don’t know that they have the background to get this done.
Quoting fellow roasters from the previous post about innocent detainees at Guantanamo:
Once you establish a special class of human beings who have absolutely no rights under the law, you’ve essentially opened the Gates of Hell. [StrangeAppar8tus]
I never understood why any place under U.S. jurisdiction could be considered beyond the law, no matter where it was. The NeoCons’ dodges and rationalizations seem no more than what children do when they cross their fingers behind their backs. [Mrs. Polly]
This status effect is amplified and far more pronounced for walking, talking non-white fleshbags outside the contiguous USA. [Ripley]
I haven’t really followed Tom Daschle’s career and have been unsure of what to make of his “embarrassment” with the IRS. I can understand why he is blushing, and can understand why Daschle’s attorney believes his client’s “integrity is beyond reproach.” But I’m not sure I agree with the attorney’s question: “If there was no 1099 from his employer for the car and driver, how was he to know it was taxable?” If only it were so easy.
So in a case like this where one is unfamiliar with someone, I like to turn to a trusted source in order to know someone better.
By the way, if you’re hearing that Obama has caved by allowing the CIA to continue their policy of extraordinary rendition, don’t believe it ... yet. Apparently, it was an LAT article that has some in a tizzy, but hilzoy calms the storm:
What is clear, however, is that Obama’s executive order prohibits sending people off to other countries where there are substantial grounds to think that they will be tortured, and commits his administration not just to hoping that this will not happen, but to trying to figure out how to keep it from happening. I will continue to watch what the Obama administration does. If they backtrack on their commitment not to engage in extraordinary rendition, I will call them on it. But I don’t think that this article provides evidence that they will.
I’ve spent nearly a year here, on more than a dozen visits since the early days of the war, and that seemed about as preposterous as Iraq could get until I heard about the grocery store in east Baghdad. The grocer and three others were shot to death and the store was firebombed because he suggestively arranged his vegetables.
I didn’t believe it at first. Firebombings of liquor stores are common, and I figured there must’ve been one next door. But an Iraqi colleague explained matter-of-factly that Shiite clerics had recently distributed a flyer directing groceries how to display their food.
Standing up a celery stalk near a couple of tomatoes in a way that might – to the profoundly repressed – suggest an aroused male, is now a capital offense.