“Amidst the high-profile fight over the stimulus plan and the embarrassing tumult over the batch of Obama administration appointees with tax cheating problems there hasn’t been much attention paid to the most naked power grab yet attempted by the Obama administration: the effort to wrest oversight of the federal census from professionals in the Commerce Department,” Jennifer Rubin writes at pajamasmedia.com.
“As required by the Constitution, every 10 years the federal government undertakes a massive effort to count and gather information about Americans. The information impacts hundreds, if not thousands, of decisions about federal funding and policy. But most importantly, it will be the basis for the redistricting which determines Congressional representation,” the writer said.
“The White House has proposed that the director of the Census, a Commerce Department employee, report to the White House. The White House contends this is no big deal. Nevertheless, the move followed a wave of protest from liberal civil rights groups concerned that they might not succeed in maximizing the count of minority voters if the census remained under the auspices of Republican Judd Gregg, the Commerce secretary nominee.
“Republican leaders in Congress are waking up to the implications of the White House’s decision and beginning to sound the alarm. Two Republican congressmen have sent a letter to the White House protesting the move. The congressmen cited Title 13 of the U.S. Code, requiring that the Census Bureau be administered ‘within, and under the jurisdiction of, the Department of Commerce.’ They contend that ‘the Executive Branch is limited to providing support for the Bureau in the form of information and resources.’ ”
“Amazing. Yet another Obama appointee apparently has tax problems. Pardon me, usher, but I think Ive seen this movie before,” J.G. Thayer writes at www.commentarymagazine.com.
“This time it’s White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. It appears that the former congressman found a handy way to save money. Most members of Congress find themselves having to support two households - one in their home district, and one in or around DC. Some members, in the past, have ended up sharing apartments or town houses. Emanuel took that one step further: he moved into the home of his colleague, Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), staying there for five years. Rent-free,” the writer said.
“To most people, this is ‘imputed income’ - non-financial gifts or compensation that should be reported to the IRS. Emanuel and DeLauro defend their conduct by saying that House ethics rules permit ‘hospitality between colleagues.’
“Apparently they are not familiar with the old aphorism that ‘guests, like fish, start to smell after three days.’
“And no, there was no impropriety or hanky-panky going on. Rep. DeLauro is happily married to one Stan Greenberg. Mr. Greenberg, by the way, is not a lobbyist. No, he’s the next best thing in DC - hes a pollster. And, by wild coincidence, Greenbergs polling company (Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research) lists both Emanuel and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (which Emanuel headed) as clients.
“Let’s see … a Democratic representative gets free housing from a pollster who enjoys some very lucrative contracts from both that representative and a very influential group said representative heads up? Why, I’d never even suggest some kind of a quid pro quo arrangement.”
“Well, it’s already happened. Barely two weeks into the job and President Barack Obama has compromised fundamental principles, timorously caved in to Republicans and conservative Democrats in the Senate and lost control of his agenda,” Michael Tomasky writes in the London Guardian.
“Or … wait. Maybe it’s the case that, a mere two weeks into the job, President Obama has already changed the country’s direction in remarkable ways. He’s on the verge of a massive political victory when the Senate passes the stimulus package [Tuesday], as expected, and the Republicans are apoplectic and divided and intellectually bankrupt.View Entire Story
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