During the presidential campaign, Joe Biden insisted that paying your taxes is a patriotic duty. No, scratch that. He said that supporting a tax hike was the American thing to do. "It's time to be patriotic," he told America's putative tax slackers. When asked whether he might be questioning the patriotism of people who don't want higher taxes, Biden, as is his wont, took things to the next rhetorical level. Forget patriotism, insisted Joe, paying higher taxes is a religious obligation.
The man who gave an average of $369 a year to charity over the previous decade fulfills his religious obligations by cutting a tax check -- a check he's required to cut by law.
The Heritage Foundation at their Foundry blog point us to a piece in the The Weekly Standard on the woman who would be Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solis:
The lead from TWS:
A seemingly innocuous letter sent to the Clerk of the House of Representatives last Thursday by President Obama's Secretary of Labor nominee Hilda Solis raises serious and troubling legal questions about her nomination and apparent violation of House ethics rules. Not only was she involved with a private organization that was lobbying her fellow legislators on a bill that she has cosponsored, but she apparently kept her involvement secret and failed to reveal a clear conflict of interest.
Back to The Foundry:
On January 29, Congresswoman Solis filed a letter with the House clerk detailing her involvement. Much like Tom Daschle, Timothy Geithner and Nancy Killefer, her “honest mistake” was uncovered only when she was seeking a Cabinet appointment. This time, Solis says she “incorrectly answered” a question that directly asked if she was a member of any organizations like ARW. Apparently, she forgot that she was handling all of the finances and leadership of an organization that was pressing her colleagues to vote in favor of her own pro-union legislation.
Hans von Spakovsky points out in his Weekly Standard column that the Ethics Manual of the House of Representatives is quite clear that Members should not “take an active role in lobbying Congress on behalf of a private organization since that would conflict with a Member’s general obligation to the public.” Even if these circumstances didn’t warrant an ethics investigation, they surely would require the President to investigate whether his nominee has a clear conflict of interest as Labor Secretary. As of today, she is still listed as a Board Member on ARW’s website.
President Obama has repeatedly praised his own attempts to restrict lobbyists from working in his administration on issues they previously lobbied on. It appears the White House has added an asterisk to that promise when necessary. The latest is even more troubling in that Solis was a member of Congress when the lobbying occured. We certainly hope Congresswoman Solis can provide a reasonable explanation for what may be very serious lapses in judgment.
Read the original piece.
The lull between the Super Bowl and baseball opening day just got more interesting...