WASHINGTON: During almost two years on the campaign trail, Barack Obama vowed to slay the demons of Washington, bar lobbyists from his administration and usher in what he would later call in his Inaugural Address a “new era of responsibility.” What he did not talk much about were the asterisks.

The exceptions that went unmentioned now include a pair of cabinet nominees who did not pay all of their taxes. Then there is the lobbyist for a military contractor who is now slated to become the No. 2 official in the Pentagon. And there are the others brought into government from the influence industry even if not formally registered as lobbyists.

President Barack Obama said Monday that he was “absolutely” standing behind former Senator Tom Daschle, his nominee for health and human services secretary, and Daschle, who met late in the day with leading senators in an effort to keep his confirmation on track, said he had “no excuse” and wanted to “deeply apologize” for his failure to pay $128,000 in U.S. taxes.

But the episode has already shown how, when faced with the perennial clash between campaign rhetoric and Washington reality, Obama has proved willing to compromise. — Peter Baker/HT

So we ask, where is the Change? The good ole boy fan club in the U.S. Senate still prevails with both parties responsible for their elitist double standards. So with Democrats holding a majority in both houses and a President who made plenty of promises about changing the way things work in the beltway, we see the SAME OLD SAME OLD once again unfolding! The only thing that will be changing in American is a massive increase in central government’s power over the individual and business in the cloaked form of a socialist Euro-style ideological agenda.