From 'round the sphere...
Massachusets desperately seeking another Kennedy
This  is really sad.
Predictably, the push has begun to get a Kennedy into the Senate seat held for lo those many years by Ted Kennedy. The Kennedys favorite newspaper - the Boston Globe - all but annointed Joe in a news story by Frank Phillips that also handily reminded everybody that the seat is, after all, the permanent property of the Kennedy family.
"With Massachusetts having paid its final respects to Senator Edward M. Kennedy, the politics of succession begins in earnest this week - candidates will emerge, a race will take shape, and the Kennedy clan will have to reveal whether it wants to keep the seat in the family.
"All eyes now are on Joseph P. Kennedy II, the former US representative, with family members and political allies expecting him to make a decision very shortly on whether to enter the Democratic primary.
Are the leaders of Massachusetts really saying that either a) one of their Senate seats is the hereditary property of a specific family, or b) that nobody in their fair state is capable of filling said seat but someone from a specific family? Seems that way to me.
Of course we all know what's at least part of the equation here: health care. As in, if we can get a Kennedy in that seat they can stand in the well of the Senate and be a reminder to the nation of Teddy and his dream of nationalized healthcare. Oh, and plus they've got so much invested (politically) in the Kennedy name brand that want to be able to continue to leverage that investment and make sure that the seat stays securely in liberal, Democrat hands.
Again, pretty sad.
Here comes the quota police!
Well, you wondered how long it would take an Obama Justice Department to get around to the business of sending government lawyers out to comb the countryside to look for racism (loosely defined) and fill the court system with lawsuits. And here we go .
WASHINGTON — Seven months after taking office, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. is reshaping the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division by pushing it back into some of the most important areas of American political life, including voting rights, housing, employment, bank lending practices and redistricting after the 2010 census.
As part of this shift, the Obama administration is planning a major revival of high-impact civil rights enforcement against policies, in areas ranging from housing to hiring, where statistics show that minorities fare disproportionately poorly. President George W. Bush’s appointees had discouraged such tactics, preferring to focus on individual cases in which there is evidence of intentional discrimination.
In other words, they'll be flooding the courts with cases against business policies and practices, based on statistics (with are NEVER manipulated) instead of focusing on real instances of discrimination. Oh, and just as an aside, it seems to me that years of threats against banks over lending practices contributed to their throwing caution to the wind with sub-prime loans, (after being told Fannie and Freddie had their back).
Chief House tax bill writer Rangel a tax cheat?
Stranger things have happened, to put it mildly. In this case , it's not hard to believe at all...
Last week, we learned that Rangel filed a grossly misleading financial disclosure report for 2007 -- failing to report at least half a million dollars in assets.
It turns out Rangel had a credit union account worth at least $250,000 and maybe as much as $500,000 -- and didn't report it. He had investment accounts worth about the same, which he also didn't report. Ditto for three pieces of property in New Jersey.
Beyond that, we've learned that Rangel has failed to report assets totaling more than $1 million on legally required financial disclosure forms going back to at least 2001.
The article reminds readers that former Alaska Senator Ted Stevens was prosecuted for the same thing...but only a quarter of the money. Of course, I don't think I'd bet any serious money that Rangel will get the same treatment.