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President Barack Obama's pick for U.S. trade representative is the fourth nominee to have tax issues. Former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk will file amended tax returns for 2005 through 2007 and pay almost $10,000 in back taxes.
The Senate Finance Committee says the taxes arise from Kirk's handling of speaking fees he donates to a scholarship fund at his alma mater and his deduction of the full cost of season tickets to the Dallas Mavericks basketball team. Kirk also agreed to cut in half the claimed value of a donated television.
A White House spokesman says Kirk's nomination is still on track.
It seems some in President Obama's Cabinet are making policy pronouncements before clearing them with the White House.
Attorney General Eric Holder last week said the president would seek to reinstate a ban on the sale of assault weapons. But The Hill newspaper reports the White House appeared unprepared to deal with the announcement — immediately referring questions to the Justice Department. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she had not discussed the issue with the administration, adding, "I think we need to enforce the laws we have right now."
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood's suggestion that the federal government consider a tax on drivers' mileage drew a quick dismissal from White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. That rebuke of the Republican LaHood drew a response from Minnesota Democratic Congressman Jim Oberstar. He said LaHood should not "get slapped down by know-nothings… transportation policy isn't going to be written in the press room of the White House."
Several members of Congress are scrambling to distance themselves from billionaire Robert Allen Stanford, whom the SEC accuses of engineering an $8 billion fraud scheme.
In 2005, a group of lawmakers from both parties and their aides took private jet trips to the Caribbean island of Antigua for a junket partially funded by Stanford. The Republicans who listed the trip on disclosure forms are no longer in office. The Democrats include House Majority Whip James Clyburn and New Jersey Congressman Donald Payne, among others.
The Politico newspaper says a source familiar with the trip painted a picture of the lavish lifestyle members enjoyed on Stanford's dime, including a cocktail reception on his massive yacht.
A new study says parents having trouble getting children to eat their vegetables should rename the veggies.
LiveScience.com says a study showed 4-year-olds ate nearly twice as many carrots when they were renamed "X-ray Vision Carrots." Other names like "Power Peas" or "Dinosaur Broccoli Trees" also seemed to work.
— FOX News Channel's Zachary Kenworthy contributed to this report.
Bret Baier is the Chief Political Anchor of Fox News Channel, and the Anchor & Executive Editor of "Special Report with Bret Baier.” His book, "Three Days in January: Dwight Eisenhower’s Final Mission," (William Morrow) is on sale now.