Strike One

Bill Richardson today withdrew from consideration as Commerce Secretary in light of the widening pay-to-play investigation in New Mexico. It seems there are “just too many questions.” Hmm.  One has to wonder what both he and the President-elect were thinking. The New Mexico probe was always going to be revealed in the vetting process. So the question remains: did Richardson hide the ball or did President-elect Obama and his team not recognize the importance of the issue? (Both sides are finger-pointing.) Even if Richardson wasn’t candid, it is not as if the investigation was secret — as this report confirms:

The Richardson withdrawal, first reported Sunday afternoon by NBC News, raises questions about the thoroughness of the Obama team’s vetting process, which had been touted as one of the most stringent ever. Stories about the investigation of the CDR contract and of the donations by David Rubin — the president of CDR and a major Democratic contributor — to the Richardson-linked political action committees have appeared in news reports at least since August.

It is the Obama team’s first significant misstep (well, aside from directing a series of conversations with the known-to-be under-investiagtion Blago and not imploring fellow Democrats in Illinois to pass a bill for a special Senate election). With the advent of this incident and of Blago-gate, it is fair to ask whether the Chicago crowd isn’t too relaxed about the appearance of corruption. Have they gotten so used to the the stench of impropriety and the possibility of federal investigation that the alarm bells no longer sound? The Obama players are from Chicago, but they’re not in Chicago any longer.

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Strike One

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The Conservative Crack-Up, 2017 Edition

Podcast: Conservatism in shackles while O.J. goes free?

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Hyperbole yields cynicism, not the other way around.

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