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Daily Archives: January 9, 2013, 9:21 pm

Obama to Name Lew to Treasury Thursday. But Why?

President Obama will announce Thursday that he is choosing White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew to replace Timothy Geithner as Treasury Secretary, according to Reuters.

Yes, the same Jack Lew who as Obama’s Office of Management and Budget director and White House chief of staff has overseen Obama’s annual trillion dollar-plus deficits, lousy economy, and persistently high unemployment. Quite a success story.

Photo by Keith Koffler
Photo by Keith Koffler

What’s more, Lew has little experience with the financial markets, spending only a brief and un-illustrious time on Wall Street managing a Citigroup unit that bet on the housing market to collapse and lost money anyway in his final year there, 2008.

He was well compensated, of course.

The Lew nomination showcases the irredeemable insularity and hubris of the Obama White House, where everything that’s wrong is attributable to George W. Bush or – since the Blame Bush shelf life is expiring – the fault of Republicans Congress that won’t do everything Obama says.

Obama and his budget chief Lew have overseen the highest federal outlay of cash as a share of the economy since World War II and didn’t get serious about cutting spending until Republicans started to make threats the White House deems irresponsible.

This nomination is not about cutting the budget or really even improving the economy, it’s about defending and expanding Obama’s legacy.

As Charles Krauthammer noted last night, Lew is valuable to Obama because he is intricately familiar with the budget – knowledge he can use to parry Republican attempts to cut spending and alter Obama programs.

Short on achievements but long on loyalty and commitment to Obamaism. Meet your new Treasury Secretary nominee who – the Senate can pick only so many fights – will almost certainly be confirmed without much argument.

Obama Golfed in Hawaii with Former Rezko Crony

While on vacation in Hawaii this month, President Obama played golf with Allison Davis, a former business partner of Tony Rezko who also helped give Obama his start in the legal profession.

Rezko is the former Obama associate and fundraiser who was convicted of corruption and fraud and currently sits in prison.

Davis, who is male, partnered with Rezko on a series of government-funded low and mixed income housing development projects in Chicago. While Davis himself has never been charged with wrongdoing, a number of the projects were high-priced failures that resulted in poor living conditions for residents.

According to a June 2008 exposé in the Boston Globe, one of the most egregious projects Davis helped create was Grove Parc Plaza, an assembly of “squat brick buildings” located in Obama’s former state senate district. According to the Globe:

About 99 of the units are vacant, many rendered uninhabitable by unfixed problems, such as collapsed roofs and fire damage. Mice scamper through the halls. Battered mailboxes hang open. Sewage backs up into kitchen sinks. In 2006, federal inspectors graded the condition of the complex an 11 on a 100-point scale – a score so bad the buildings now face demolition.

Davis, the Globe wrote, “has used government subsidies to rehabilitate more than 1,500 units in Chicago, including a North Side building cited by city inspectors last year after chronic plumbing failures resulted in raw sewage spilling into several apartments.”

Davis’s son Cullen, who was also involved in the North Side project, attributed the problems to restrictions on the way it was financed.

Allison Davis’s legal firm hired Obama out of law school, leading some to describe him as a “mentor” to the future president. Along with Rezko, Davis was a major contributor to Obama’s early political campaigns.

Obama, according to the Globe piece, in 2001 sponsored successful legislation that increased state subsidies for private developers. In 1998, after Rezko and Davis created a limited partnership to build an apartment for seniors, Obama “wrote letters on state Senate stationary supporting city and state loans for the project.”

Obama, who is a supporter of public-private development initiatives, has denied the letters were a favor to Rezko and Davis and has said he ever did any favors for Rezko.

Obama played golf with Davis January 2 at the Marine Corps Base Hawaii. Also in on the foursome were Marty Nesbitt, another of Obama’s Chicago associates, and Obama Hawaii pal Bobby Titcomb.

The Obama Morning News || January 9, 2013

Push in WH for only 2,500 Afghanistan troops . . . Washington Post
Graham to hold up Brennan over Benghazi . . . Washington Times
GOP will extract a price for Cabinet choices . . . Politico
White House to meet with NRA . . . Washington Times
Prosecutor to look into Gregory gun incident . . . Washington Post
Hagel pick: The final snub against Bush . . . Politico
One in four kids on food stamps in 2011 . . . Daily Caller