Daily Archives: Jan. 27, 2009

Kansans opposed Treasury secretary

Kansans Sam Brownback and Pat Roberts were among the 34 Republican senators who voted Monday against confirming Timothy Geithner (in photo) as Treasury secretary. Brownback’s stated problem with Geithner, who formerly led the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, went beyond his “inexcusable” failure to pay income taxes. Brownback said: “Geithner was responsible for watching the big financial institutions precisely at the time when they acted most irresponsibly and made decisions that led to our current crisis.”
During the confirmation hearing, Roberts quipped that Geithner, as Treasury secretary, should give a tax holiday to every American who makes a “mistake.” In response, Geithner just smiled.

Accord on the court

Calling it “Kumbaya day at the Supreme Court,” a Legal Times blog noted that the court handed down five signed opinions Monday without a single dissent – “a rare alignment for this or any Supreme Court.” Plus, 10 of the 15 signed opinions of the court so far this term have been unanimous, serving Chief Justice John Roberts’ goal of unanimity. Where can Congress get some of that?

Conservatives applaud Obama’s speech

Conservatives seem more pleased with Barack Obama’s inaugural address than many liberals. Fred Barnes wrote in the Weekly Standard that “Obama’s ‘new era of responsibility’ echoed the ‘Personal Responsibility Act,’ the third of the 10 planks in the Contract With America. Obama also said that it’s not the size of government which matters but whether it works. Newt Gingrich coined that thought years ago.” Bill Kristol wrote in the New York Times that “Obama’s speech was unabashedly pro-American and implicitly conservative.”

Open thread 1/27

From Gitmo to ‘the Rock’?

In what sounds less like a joke all the time, people keep suggesting reopening Alcatraz when Guantanamo Bay is closed. For Republicans, the infamous island prison in San Francisco Bay has the added attraction of being in the district of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. “There’s a lot of discomfort about the idea of bringing the detainees in to the United States. That’s why I’ve suggested Alcatraz,” said Rep. C.W. Bill Young, R-Fla. House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, also mentioned the idea Sunday. Meanwhile, Pelosi dismissed it, because Alcatraz is a national park and tourist attraction.
But a Rolling Stone blogger doesn’t see the Rock’s status as a tourist draw as disqualifying. “Also keep it open as a tourist attraction. These guys are not superheroes. They’re not Houdini’s. They’re easily contained. And we should make a show of how toothless they really are,” wrote Tim Dickinson.

Cheney wanted full pardon for Libby

George W. Bush’s commutation of “Scooter” Libby’s (in photo) 30-month prison sentence in the Valerie Plame case wasn’t enough for Dick Cheney. On the day after the Bush-Cheney era ended, the former vice president told the Weekly Standard, speaking of his former chief of staff: “Scooter Libby is one of the most capable and honorable men I’ve ever known. He’s been an outstanding public servant throughout his career. He was the victim of a serious miscarriage of justice, and I strongly believe that he deserved a presidential pardon. Obviously, I disagree with President Bush’s decision.” According to the magazine, this was the fifth time Cheney publicly disagreed with his boss. The other four issues: a federal gay marriage ban, firing Donald Rumsfeld, D.C.’s gun ban and North Korea.