March 21st 2009

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: NCC denounces Labor's decision to fund abortions

EDITORIAL: Meeting the global demographic challenge

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Rudd Government faces horror budget

ECONOMIC AFFAIRS: After meltdown, who will provide for retirees?

LEGAL AFFAIRS: Unelected judges are today's new aristocracy

POPULATION: Melbourne scientist praises China's one-child policy

BUSHFIRES: Greens adopt tobacco lobby tactics

NORTHERN QUEENSLAND: No vision for Australia's vast water supplies

AUSTRALIA AND ASIA: Lucky Country or mugged by reality?

GLOBAL WAR ON TERROR: Lahore terrorist attack affects us all

UNITED STATES: More scandals surround Obama nominations

FOREIGN AFFAIRS: Behind East Timor's 10 per cent growth rate

SRI LANKA: Sectarian, anti-Christian bill re-appears

CINEMA AND CULTURE: Re-writing history, Hollywood-style

AS THE WORLD TURNS: US government schools teach pro-Islamic propaganda

BOOKS: FATHER OF THE HOUSE: The memoirs of Kim E. Beazley

BOOKS: THE TRIUMPH OF THE AIRHEADS and the Retreat from Commonsense by Shelley Gare

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More scandals surround Obama nominations

by Babette Francis

News Weekly, March 21, 2009
Several high-flying political figures nominated to serve in the Obama Administration have singularly corrupt pasts. Babette Francis reports.

I have previously written about the atrocious appointments to President Obama's Cabinet, and how this reminded me of the nightmares experienced by the heroine in the film The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (News Weekly, March 7, 2009).

As the real nightmare of Obama Administration and Democrat appointments continues, it reminds me of another film, The Snake Pit, starring Olivia de Havilland.

Here are just some of the current scandals on Capitol Hill.

The chairman of the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Charles Rangel (Democrat, New York), is the subject of a House ethics investigation. It is partly focused on his fundraising practices for a college centre in his name, his ownership financing of a resort property in the Dominican Republic and his financial disclosure reports.

Federal agents raided two Pennsylvania defence contractors that were given millions of dollars in federal funding by Rep. John Murtha (Democrat, Pennsylvania), chairman of the House appropriations defence subcommittee.

Ethics violation

While the Senate voted to confirm former defence lobbyist William Lynn as deputy defence secretary, Obama, in order to place him in charge of day-to-day operations at the Pentagon, had to violate his own Administration's ethics regulations, which stipulated a waiting period of two years between lobbying activities and working for the administration on the same issues.

The New York Times claimed that Washington Governor Gary Locke, President Obama's third pick for the beleaguered Commerce Secretary job, "possesses a largely scandal-free resumé". Those in his home state who know Locke best, however, take a much dimmer view of him as a crony politician with a serial habit of skirting campaign finance laws and conflict-of-interest rules.

The left-leaning Seattle Weekly newspaper notes that Locke presided over a $3.2 billion tax break for Boeing while "never disclosing he paid $715,000 to - and relied on the advice of - Boeing's own private consultant and outside auditor". Then there's the tainted matter of Locke's "favours for his brother-in-law (who lived in the governor's mansion), including a tax break for his relative's company, personal intervention in a company dispute, and Locke's signature on a federal loan application for the company".

Democrat Governor Rod Blagojevic of Illinois was arrested in December 2009 on federal charges, including allegations that he schemed to sell Obama's vacant Senate seat to the highest bidder.

Blagojevic appointed Roland Burris to Obama's Senate vacancy, and Burris assured everyone he had no financial dealings with the governor. However, Burris has now acknowledged that he tried to raise money for Blagojevic. Burris has changed his story several times and Illinois lawmakers have asked local prosecutors to look into perjury charges. A preliminary U.S. Senate Ethics Committee inquiry is now underway.

Burris denies lying under oath and has resisted a growing chorus of calls for his resignation, including from within his own party. A group of black pastors have also called on Senator Burris (who is black) to resign.

While Obama is not directly involved in the Blagojevic/Burris mess, his Senate campaign and subsequent presidential campaign came out of the same corrupt Chicago Democrat machine.

Possibly Obama's worst nomination is that of Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius as Secretary of Health and Human Services. Sebelius has voted down regulations on abortion, including safety regulations to protect patients from filthy conditions found in a Kansas abortion clinic. She vetoed strengthening the state's parental notification law, and a state ban on late-term abortions.

When it was discovered that late-term abortionists George Tiller and Kansas Planned Parenthood were probably committing illegal acts, Sebelius vetoed legislation to hold them accountable.

She hand-picked a state attorney-general because he had promised to end investigations of late-term abortionists. He later resigned in a sex scandal. Her next attorney-general gained a court order forbidding a witness from giving evidence against her favoured abortionists.

Sebelius won the Kansas governorship with large donations from George Tiller, who is currently on trial for alleged criminal activity. She held a private party in the governor's mansion for Tiller, and danced in a conga line with Planned Parenthood's CEO at their fundraiser for her.

She also appointed to the Kansas Board of Healing Arts another abortionist, Howard Ellis, who gave up his medical licence in Missouri to avoid disciplinary action.

Sebelius's track record of giving preferential treatment to abortionists who are under investigation for criminal activity makes her a dangerous choice to be overseer of USA's top agency for health and human services.

I am not making up any of this. My next article on the US will possibly be titled One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - with Kathleen Sebelius starring in the role of Nurse Ratchett.

- The author Babette Francis is national co-ordinator of Endeavour Forum Inc.

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