What it with the Obama administration and political appointees who don't appear to understand the tax law?
From Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner on down, an astounding number of President Obama's picks for top jobs have run into tax problems.
The latest is Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.
Facing increasing questions and doubts from within his own party, President Barack Obama worked Monday to rally Democratic members of Congress with platitudes, saying "we are all in this together" and warning those with doubts that the public stands behind him and his agenda.
For Obama, the attempt to rally Democrats is important as he heads off on his first trip to Europe to face an international community that is not sold on his economic efforts.Read More
In an amazing turnaround, the hot-and-cold administration of Barack Obama is embracing a new concept: Bad corporate giants should be allowed to fail.
But at this point, failure is only an option, not an absolute. While the White House appears to ready to accept the fact that the government cannot save everything, it is giving General Motors yet another chance to save itself and quality for mroe federal tax handouts.Read More
Lots of blame to go around on America's failing economy but Americans aren't ready to blame new President Barack Obama.
At least not yet.
A Washington Post-ABC News poll finds Obama benefits from a widespread perception that others should be blamed for the nation's economic woes.Read More
Neither General Motors nor Chrysler submitted acceptable plans to receive more federal bailout money, the Obama administration said as it set the stage for a crisis in Detroit that would dramatically reshape the nation's auto industry.
The White House pushed out GM's chairman and directed Chrysler to move quickly to forge a partnership with Fiat if it expects to receive additional government assistance.
Grappling with a war gone awry, President Barack Obama plans to send thousands more U.S. forces into Afghanistan, hoping to hasten the end of a conflict that still has no clear end in sight.
Obama on Friday will announce a multitiered strategy that banks heavily on world help and invigorated U.S. diplomacy. The Afghanistan war, which Obama calls adrift, is now his, and a central part of the new strategy is to build up the Afghan army.
The broad U.S goal remains much as it was when the war began in the fallout of the Sept 11, 2001 attacks: To dismantle the operations of the Taliban and al-Qaida, which have shifted their power base from Afghanistan to Pakistan in recent years.
I fully expect the next "Law and Order" or "CSI" or "24" episode to feature an embattled president racing against time trying to boost national economic confidence. It will star, as himself, Barack Obama.
Then, we'll see Obama singing on "American Idol," twirling on "Dancing With the Stars" and dissecting the American psyche while sitting on Oprah's sofa.
Here's today's puzzler. When is a press conference not a press conference?
The answer is:
When the person pretending to conduct the exercise picks those who will be allowed to ask questions ahead of time and then spends almost an hour artfully dodging any direct answer to a direct inquiry, essentially making a speech or, if you prefer as some analysts have suggested, filibustering.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner nearly struck out Wednesday morning despite multiple opportunities to defend the dollar. Geithner's narrowly averted gaffe was sadly typical, given the greenback's shabby treatment these days.
While addressing a jam-packed meeting of the Council on Foreign Relations, Geithner answered Standard Chartered Bank's Doug Smith who wanted the secretary's thoughts on "the Chinese government proposal about a global currency." People's Bank of China governor Zhao Xiaochuan would shift Earth's reserve currency from the dollar to "Special Drawing Rights" (SDR), combining the dollar, Britain's pound, Japan's yen, and the euro. Call it the international "globo."
The Obama administration proposes to vastly expand federal oversight of the U.S. financial system. There is broad agreement that a new, more powerful regulatory framework is needed. For the moment -- at least, until the economy turns around -- the laissez-faire, deregulatory types are in hiding.
The plan would establish federal regulation of the larger hedge funds -- meaning their books would be open; derivatives trading -- the downfall of several big investment houses; and large insurance companies -- to avoid a repeat of the AIG flameout.