Monday, December 29, 2008

Quinn on the isolated Blagojevich and his Palace Guard

Quinn said the Guv isolated. That Quinn hadn't spoken to him since August. Quinn could have started a blog before the complaint. Why the wait? What was stopping Quinn from speaking like this much earlier? Would Paul Simon or Paul Douglas have reminded silent the way he and Obama have?

If the Guv is nuts, he has a defense. What's the defense of the sane who knew and remained silent in the face of this disgrace?

Legal Insurrection: Got News For You -- Emanuel and Jarrett Will Testify, And The Blagojevich Impeachment Trial Will Be Delayed

The Insurgent writes,
The media is all atwitter over the decision of the Illinois House committee considering articles of impeachment against Gov. Rod Blagojevich to deny the request by Blagojevich's attorneys to subpoena Obama aides Rahm Emanuel and Valerie Jarrett. The House decision comes at the request of U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, who is concerned that the subpoenas may interfere in the criminal case against Blagojevich.

The media has it both right and wrong. Right, the House apparently made the decision not to issue subpoenas. Wrong, that Emanuel and Jarrett won't have to testify at some point. The media is failing to draw the distinction between the House proceedings drafting articles of impeachment, and the actual trial.
The full link, but the guts of it is this,
The key provisions are the requirement that the Senators do justice "according to law," and that the Chief Justice "shall preside." While there will be plenty of legal arguments over what this means, it is clear that these provisions impose a higher level of due process than the purely legislative House proceedings, which are not limited by such provisions.
Justice according to law....something the Guv's fellow Democrats --and supporters in 2006-- quick to strip away. They won't win.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sunday Blagojevich Blogging

State Senator Lou Lang (D-Skokie) on Genson's request to call Emanuel and Jarrett as witnesses.
Genson is demanding the lawmakers subpoena Rahm Emanuel, Obama's incoming chief of staff, as well as longtime adviser Valerie Jarrett, saying Blagojevich can't get a fair impeachment hearing without them.

"This is a smoke screen," said Lang, whose committee will meet again Monday. "He's asking for subpoenas of witnesses he knows the U.S. attorney does not want us to have, and I, for one, am not going to allow him to turn this into a circus or sideshow."
Neither Genson or Fitzgerald run the impeachment hearing. Lang and his fellow Blagojevich supporters from 2006 run it. They owe Illinoisans an explanation why Blagojevich can't defend himself now. Don't blame Fitz. The Legislature can call whom they wish. They don't need Fitz's blessings.

Rahm's word: Rahm the Enforcer
In her 2007 book about the Clintons, “For Love of Politics,” Sally Bedell Smith describes an incident in which an unnamed Clinton administration official colorfully denigrates then-Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York, at the time one of Washington’s most powerful Democrats, after Moynihan criticized Clinton’s transition.

“Big deal,” a ‘top administration official’ told Time magazine, adding, “he’s not one of us … he couldn’t obstruct us even if he wanted to. The gridlock is broken. It’s all Democratic now. We’ll roll right over him if we have to.”

Emanuel called the senator’s office after the story appeared, promising to fire whoever gave the quote to Time. A horrified Clinton echoed the promise, saying “We know it was someone who didn’t know us.”

But as the late senator’s personal papers showed, Emanuel’s promise was disingenuous, to say the least. At a dinner with the Time reporter, Moynihan was told that the “big deal” quote came from none other than Emanuel.
The disingenuous need Genson's cross examination.

Legal Insurrection on the NY Times Clinton Blagojevich double standard.
Why the difference in treatment? Why not give Blagojevich the same presumption of innocence given President Clinton? Both Clinton and Blagojevich were accused of using executive power to garner campaign contributions, both were accused but not yet convicted of crimes while in office, and both presided over a government impeded by the scandals surrounding their offices.

Just a guess. In the Clinton case, the NY Times was protecting Clinton, so Clinton could not be thrown overboard. In the Blagojevich case, the NY Times is protecting Obama, so Blagojevich should go quickly and quietly.
Tell me it ain't so.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Foggy Day Blagojevich Blogging

An open post for the Day on the Guv. Gov. Rod Blagojevich's lawyer criticized by lawmakers
Genson said the panel was using Fitzgerald's request [to stay clear of his witnesses] as cover to deny Blagojevich a fair impeachment hearing. Genson suggested last week he was considering a potential challenge to the impeachment in federal court.

"They are railroading him," Genson said Friday. "If a person is telling the truth, what difference does it make if he tells it twice? How does that hurt their case? That's just the legislature and Mr. Fitzgerald trying to put a reality on something that doesn't make sense."
Genson's got a point. The explosive charge is the Gov auctioning off Obama's seat. If there is a conspiracy here, we need both sides of it to talk.

Chicago via Sri Lanka: Chicago - America’s ‘most theatrically corrupt’ city
Either way, the gut reaction of most Chicagoans to the FBI complaint against Governor Rod Blagojevich, outlining his baroque plans, to "monetise" Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat was not shock or even disgust. It was surprise that he had been so reckless as to discuss them on a bugged telephone. To this day, Illinois campaign finance laws are astonishingly lax – there is no cap on the amount of cash a politician can solicit.
Takes two to chat on a phone. That at least two reckless fools in this theater.

A neat interactive time line on key Blagojevich events. HT Blagojevich Blog

We sell more seats than the Governor!

Chicago area's Leather Creations ad via The Cleveland Reader

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Fitzmas Day Blagojevich Chat

A lawyer at last night's Christmas Eve party told me it takes everyone to make a criminal conspiracy. One party can't conspire alone so if the other did nothing wrong, it's no conspiracy. I imagine that's where Genson is going with this: Blagojevich's Lawyers Seek Subpoenaes for Emanuel, Jackson Jr.
Lawyers for embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich want two key aides to President-elect Barack Obama and U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. subpoenaed, according to Chicago media reports.

Blagojevich's legal team has asked the Illinois House panel that members of Obama's incoming administration testify before the House impeachment committee, including Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett, WBBM-TV and the Chicago Sun-Times reported late Wednesday.

Ed Genson, Blagojevich's chief lawyer, said testimony from the aides will prove the governor's insistence that he did nothing illegal to fill Obama's now vacant U.S. Senate seat.

The news comes days after Obama's team released an internal review that confirmed no "inappropriate" discussions had taken place in the Blagojevich probe.

Leo over at Leo's Blog takes Politico to task: Politico Now Blaming Obama for Having 'No Role' in Picking Replacement Senator
So first they condemn Obama for potential shenanigans with Blago over the nomination of a replacement senator and when that's found to be complete rubbish, they then go after him because he played "no role" in a nomination process that he has absolutely no legal part to play.

This "necessarily raises the question": Is one of the qualifications for working for Politico that you have to be a totally clueless idiot? Does anyone still think these dolts have any credibility?
They'd build some credibility if they asked Team Obama for their lists to replace Biden and Clinton too, or was this just a Blagojevich thing?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Jackson Jr on Emanuel's list

Sweet notes J3 was on the list after all,
The Obama list
Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.)
Comptroller Dan Hynes
Illinois Veterans Affairs Chief Tammy Duckworth

added later
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan
Chicago Urban League Chief Cheryle Jackson, former Blagojevich spokesman.
Did they have preferred lists for the Clinton and Biden seats too?

A quote on the Michelle Obama Valerie Jarret connections pulled from this: Better than WTTW's panel on Obama-Blago: Berkowitz w/Peraica on Obama, Jarrett & Daley; the McKennas and the Illinois Combine. Cable & Streaming
Jeff Berkowitz: There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s the political office as a family heirloom, stupid.

Cmsr. Tony Peraica: There’s nothing wrong with any of it on its face, but if you look below the surface, there are all these troubling relationships where certain individuals are picking others and bringing them along and giving them cushy positions, whether it is in the hospital, non-profit sector or for profit sector, whether it is at the Habitat, whether it is at the City [of Chicago], whether it is at any of the city’s agencies and there is this cross pollination that in a culture of corruption brings about these kind of unhealthy relationships in a one sided, one party [Democratic] system that we have here in Cook County in the State of Illinois. So, all of that contributes to the culture of corruption that we find ourselves in now which is going to receive national and international attention for the next months and years ahead of us.

Jeff Berkowitz: So, now we get into the Illinois Democratic Party, right? Where offices are family heirlooms, right?

Cmsr. Tony Peraica: That’s right.

Jeff Berkowitz: That’s what we are talking about, really.

Cmsr. Tony Peraica: It’s aristocracy, at it best, yes.
So much for merit promotion. It's all about The List in Illinois.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Scott Turow: Even Blago is Presumed Innocent

Scott Turow looks at Blagojevich's defense and reminds us the worst is yet to come.
What Fitzgerald charged in the complaint is an astonishing and appalling pattern of extortion and bribery involving numerous completed crimes. Blagojevich awarded state contracts and state jobs to giant campaign contributors. The only real defense for Blagojevich is to blame those quid pro quos on his aides and fundraisers and claim he was clueless. And that dog will not hunt. Not only does the government have at least four witnesses who were deep in the scheme who will say that Blagojevich was fully knowledgeable, but the roster of witnesses of is all but certain to grow as Blagojevich intimates caught on the wiretaps make their own deals over time.
Auctioning Obama's Senate seat small potatoes maybe compared to the full case Fitz will make. The Gov will blame and maybe that dog won't hunt but it will be interesting to watch the list of intimates grow.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Rod and Rahm in better times

Emanuel and Blagojevich announcing Illinois's purchase of imported drugs. One of the deeds the Illinois House will probably impeach Blagojevich. You need to get into the video about 8 minutes to hear Rahm.

H/T Chicago Daily Observer

Blagojevich explains to California's Willie Brown

The Gov calls Willie Brown: Illinois governor seems to be growing stronger. Brown writes,
I can't go into details, but my impression is that the whole mess started because the governor had been considering appointing a political rival, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, to the Senate so she wouldn't be able to run against him when he went up for re-election in 2010.

Apparently, Obama's people weren't happy about the idea of Madigan coming to Washington, and there were some pretty heated conversations between Blagojevich and Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, which I understand will burn your ears off.
Brown writes the last thing Democrats want is a Illinois Senate race requiring Obama to campaign to save the seat for a party. A referendum on Obama before he's even really started.

The Guv's got a few cards left, and he's using them.

I'll keep this open for my Sunday bleepgate posting...

AP via LA Daily News: Raum [sic] Emanuel ties to Rod Blagojevich troublesome

The AP can't spell his first name but it sure sounds like someone is leaking stories to get the Bus in gear for a crush on Rahm.
CHICAGO - Gov. Rod Blagojevich is legendary in Illinois political circles for not picking up the phone or returning calls, even from important figures such as the state's senior senator, Dick Durbin.

But there was always one call Blagojevich regularly took, say his aides, and that was from Rahm Emanuel: his congressman, his one-time campaign adviser and, more recently and more troubling for Emanuel, one of his contacts with President-elect Barack Obama's transition staff.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Blagojevich - I Will Fight, I Will Fight, I Will Fight Until My Last Breath

Governor Blagojevich deserves a post all his own for this Press Conference.

Joe the Libertarian offers some advice,
Well, first off he is doing the right thing by proclaiming his innocence. Pay-to-play has always been part of Illinois politics, under Ryan, Edgar, and many other politicians. I find it hypocritical that he's being criticized for doing a pretty decent job as Governor just because he allows money to influence him. In DC that would be called lobbying, not bribery. If the trains run on time and the streets are clean, who cares if he makes a little extra on the side; it's cheaper than giving him a raise.

Second he should appoint a placeholder for Obama's Senate seat. My preferred choice is Jim Oberweis...why? Simple, Oberweis is considered a gadfly by now and disliked by not only Democrats but also a majority of Republican (I happen to like him and agree with him most of the time). Also, he is extremely wealthy and would make the 2010 primaries and possibly general election interesting. Also, by appointing a Republican like Oberweis would be a major snub to the Democrats that have stabbed him in the back and weaken the Republican's criticism of him.

Finally, he should dish out the dirt on Obama. What did Obama know and when did he know it? A prominent politician like Obama knows what goes on in his state. I bet he even offered money to Blagojevich to consider his preferred candidate. Hopefully we will find the truth.

Keep fighting the good fight Blago!!!!!!!
Oberweis, geez that would be a hoot.

Batchelor: Blago Fights Lynching

A classic pic from RBO from a post channeling John Batchor's Blago Fights Lynching.

Batchlor on the Gov's Press Conf yesterday,
The worst news today was for the Obama team, because when Blago “answers every allegation that comes my way,” he is going to do it in a fashion that makes certain Rahm Emanuel is in the frame. Mr. Obama has gone to the 50th State. The Obama transition report on the contacts between Blago and Rahm Emanuel (left) is still scheduled for Monday 22.

The slow motion leaking all week, first that there were 21 contacts, now that Blago and Emanuel spoke directly, is designed to soften the headlines. It will not work if we get a chance to see the vulgarity in its glory.

Also, the Rahm and Blago mentions of Valerie Jarrett will not read unambiguously. This is a political story, not a criminal story. And the risk to Emanuel is also the risk to President-Elect Barack Obama (PEBO), and it will go on for months as Blago fights.
It's going to be a hot January in Chicago.

LaHood over the Pork Barrel

Obama's going to govern the country the same way Daley governed Chicago. Competent Chiefs that garner praise from Corporate Republicans, and contracts as the glue that holds the coalition together. Here's AP's Jim Shuhr in on the guy managing the contracts: LaHood will be key in big public works plan
Retiring Rep. Ray LaHood ranks among his state’s leaders when it comes to bringing federal money home to Illinois. As Barack Obama’s transportation secretary, LaHood would apply those skills on a much grander scale.

For starters, if confirmed by the Senate, he will be looked upon to oversee the monster public works program President-elect Obama has promised as a means of jolting the nation’s down-in-the-dumps economy back to life.

Keep Love in your heart: the Rod Blagojevich story

This is hysterical. Via ILGOP

I'll keep this post open for weekend Bleepgate postings.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wednesday Crack of Dawn Blago Post

Sneed wrote yesterday Fitz has Rahm on tape 21 times talking about BHO's replacemenet. I don't think it matters what's said, I don't think he can bleeping survive 21 exposures to his bleeping style.

**** Can Blagojevich beat impeachment?
Lawmakers don’t expect Blagojevich to show up for the proceedings, but they do expect surrogates to put up a strong fight.

“I think he (Blagojevich) will make allegations and throw a lot against the wall. He’s done that in the past,” said Rep. Jack Franks, D-Woodstock. “It’s not going to be pretty. Democracy rarely is.”
Gov wan't playing-to-play by himself. Illinois needs a strong fight to clear out all the boodlers.
Riehl World View: Uh "O", ... Connect These Two Dots
Allegedly Jessie Jackson Jr. has talked to the Feds about Blago since 2006 when he feels he was the target of a $25,000 shakedown over his wife being up for a slot with the state lottery. Now recall Jackson senior suggesting he'd like to remove a certain part of Obama's anatomy for "talking down to black people" on this "faith based," whatever he was referring to. There may well might be more to the animosity than that. In a sense, there are two camps emerging as Obama was definitely a Blago guy given his high profile in support of Blago's political campaigns. One of them the very same one in which Jackson Jr. felt he was the target of a shakedown.

Inject some serious bad blood between groups of people, all inside players in a Chicago now engulfed in scandal, and it might lead to all sorts of interesting information coming out.
Yep, it's not going to be pretty.

Garrad McClendon Live had Judy Baar Topinka on his show. Catch the very last moments of the interview where Judy says Fitz should put a wire tap on the Cook County Board.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Crack of Dawn Blago Post

Real Clear Barack Obama posts Batchelor: “We’re going to fight this case with a profile on Ed “The Devil’s Advocate” Genson.
...Ed Genson is a Chicago guy.

He will call favors.

We can expect that many possible villains will now emerge whose presence will mitigate the tale, such as billionaire Sam Zell for entertaining creepy deals about his Tribune, such as Rahm Emanuel for muscling a list of candidates on Blago on Election Day.

Would Ed Genson start telling stories about the President-Elect?

The reputation is that he will do almost anything to win. This is the Devil’s Advocate, meaning he is a veteran of taking on the self-elected and heroic such as Patrick Fitzgerald and Barack Obama.

Backyard Conservative finds a Zorn column from 2006: Where's old Pat Quinn?
The new Pat Quinn -- next in line to lead the state should he and Blagojevich win a second term in November-- says he's “satisfied" by the explanations Blagojevich has offered to date about the considerable hints of corruption swirling around him.

(Though Dan Curry suggests here that Quinn's response to My Big Fat Birthday Gift suggests that Quinn has been a mere partisan agitator all along. Thus concludes Dan Curry Week at Change of Subject.)

But Quinn said no, he remains true to his principles: “I never made accusations against people unless I knew concrete facts.”

I dunno, I told him. The old Pat Quinn I remember so fondly wouldn’t have stopped asking questions until he got those facts.
Also see Dems Renege on Special Election
Statement from Illinois Republican Party Chairman Andy McKenna on Democrats killing the special election legislation:

“Tonight the world has seen up close the hypocrisy of Illinois politics.

“The only thing more audacious than Democrats proposing a special election and going back on their word is that they did it in full view of the public.

“Speaker Madigan first supported a vote on special elections legislation and make no mistake, his actions tonight directly benefit the Democratic Party.

“Our grassroots campaign for a special election continues and we call on all Illinois Democrats who run government here and in Washington to speak on the record immediately about what happened here today.

“The people of Illinois deserve better."

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Illinois Plantation

A comment from Lincolnlander over at today's Daily Herald. Illinois's Plantation Politics without Louisiana's warmth.
The decline of the Republican party as a principled and meaningful alternative to the Machine has permitted the Machine and its creatures like Blago to run roughshod across the state. Much of the blame must rest with "Big Jim" who took the Republican party down the path to George Ryan whose corrupt attitudes and political positions differed in few meaningful ways from those of the Machine. Principled Republicans like Peter Fitzgerald and Steve Rauschenberger were pushed to the side as the party forgot the honest, middle-class voters who were the natural Republican constituency and the natural resistance to Blagocratic and Machine values.

The result has been the transformation of Illinois into a modern plantation, a cold-weather version of Louisiana where a corrupt white elite exchanges its kickbacks on the foundation of massive non-white poverty. It's particularly offensive that this transformation has been accomplished as we approach the 200th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln, a man whose life was devoted to individual freedom and human dignity and whose values would be only so much toilet paper to Blago and the Machine that controls "The Land of Lincoln."
About sums up today's Illinois.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Reverese Spin on Obama's negotiations with Blagojevich

Dan Curry nails the really troubling thing about the Rahm Rod chats. They weren't illegal. They were really stupid. They didn't achieve the objective and badly compromised the Prez Elect. A real amateur job
If Obama had a preference for his replacement, he simply could have written a letter to Blagojevich and released it to the public. Period. Any contacts beyond that amount to a negotiation. And Obama should have known better to negotiate with a man about to be indicted. It also should have dawned on Obama’s camp that he was about to take control of the Justice Department and that a key witness in the Blagojevich Operation Board Games investigation (Tony Rezko) was also a close friend of the President-Elect’s. A further entanglement is an Operation Board Games subpoena on the joint house-land sale Obama and Rezko undertook.

If Obama can’t sniff trouble in the above circumstances, we are in big trouble when he sizes up foreign adversaries.
Tom Roeser with a similar take.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Kass on Blagojevich's Political Commitment Hearing

I take it for granted others don't know Lisa Madigan is Mike Madigan's daughter.

Kass below explaining Illinois politics and the fierce need to keep the Guv from lashing out during an impeachment proceeding. H/T RBO

Holder to recuse himself if Attorney General from Chicago Politics?

That's what AP's Peter Yost writes today: Would new AG Holder exit Chicago corruption probe?

Yost missed the real question though. Chicago's CBS TV was picking it up even before the Blagojevich Federal Compliant,
Holder may face questions about a potential conflict of interest.

Four-and-a-half years ago, he held a news conference in Chicago at the Thompson Center. He had accepted a $300,000 assignment from Rod Blagojevich: Should a company whose chairman had been fined for violating gambling rules in Illinois be allowed to build a half-billion dollar casino in Rosemont?

In the end, it didn't happen. Holder got into a jurisdictional dispute with Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, and he did not get the free and total access to all the documents he wanted.
Given our Guv's Pay-to-Play style, the real question is what did Holder have to do for a 300k deal with the Guv? It would had to have been more thant f***** apppreciation.

It’s a disgrace! New Statesman forced to apologize to Nadhmi Auchi

A cross post from the Real Barack Obama.

Nadhmi Auchi, Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich, April 2004 Chicago

Many months have passed since RBO began updating readers about the on-going webscrubbing at the behest of Iraqi-British billionaire businessman Nadhmi Auchi. The most recent version was the Auchi Webscrub-O-Matic 7.0.

Today, we bring to you the latest chapter in this saga. Prominently posted on the front page of The New Statesman we find an apology to Mr. Auchi:

new-statesman-apology-12-12-08Nadhmi Auchi - apology

We recently published links to articles originally published by others which made serious allegations about Nadhmi Auchi. A number of these allegations have now been withdrawn by their original UK publishers on the grounds that they contained significant inaccuracies and we fully accept that to be the case. We should like to offer our sincere apologies to Mr Auchi for any distress he has suffered as a result of our linking to the articles.


Saturday's All Day Gov Post

AP: Obama aides won't discuss Ill. governor probe
President-elect Barack Obama is refusing to answer any questions about the internal review he has ordered into Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's alleged efforts to sell his former Senate seat, saying he will do so when the examination is finished.
The silence here may not be over a crime but humiliation that the Serbian kid from Armitage and Cicero cleaned their clocks in negotiations.

Teheran, Moscow, Havana, and all sorts of nasty folks will parse that transcript for pointers.

Dan Curry posts youtubes of old ads and writes
These campaign commercials from 2002 and 2006 attacking Il. Gov. Rod Blagojevich for corruption pinpoint what was known in Illinois at crucial junctures.

The 2006 ads are first and show the mature nature of the federal investigations against Blagojevich. Despite this, many Illinois Democrats endorsed him, including President-Elect Barack Obama. They will have to answer for putting their party before the citizens of Illinois.
I've played Claude Rains from Casablanca over in my head every time I've watched an Illinois Democrat react the past few days.

Victoria Toensing: Fitzgerald Should Keep His Opinions to Himself
Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's "conduct would make Lincoln roll over in his grave," according to U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald. But Mr. Fitzgerald's statement would, at the very least, make well-regarded former Attorney General Robert Jackson flinch in his. Almost seven decades ago, Jackson admonished a meeting of U.S. attorneys that they should be dedicated "to the spirit of fair play and decency . . . . A sensitiveness to fair play and sportsmanship is perhaps the best protection against the abuse of power . . . ."
She's right. Fitz and the FBI guy should start blogs if they want to Editorialize.

Jeff Berkowitz on O'Riley... Obama aligned with the Paul Simon / Paul Douglas wing of the Illinois Democratic Party? That wing is buried I'm afraid and no one carried that banner against the Gov in 2002 or 2006.

If the Gov bamboozled savvy lawyers like Corboy we are in sad shape in Illinois: Local contributors denounce Blagojevich
Philip “Flip” Corboy Jr., of the Chicago law firm of Corboy & Demetrio, called it a “sad situation.”

“I, like every other person in this state, feel cheated and let down,” Corboy told The State Journal-Register. “He was elected to do a job and we’re ... now learning he probably couldn’t care less about the people. And that’s always disappointing.

“I’m embarrassed on one hand and disappointed on the other. When it all gets mushed up together, I really feel sorry for the people of Illinois. We know we deserve better.”

The Springfield-based Trial Lawyers Association was among the largest local contributors listed on Blagojevich’s campaign finance reports in the last two reporting periods.
Let's not compound Illinois's humiliation feigning stupidity. Everyone knew what was going on, and none knew less than those kicking points.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Who's Blagojevich's Iraqi Guy; Nadhmi Auchi or Aiham Alsammarae?

H/T Rich Miller's Capital Fax today. Check Jon Stewart out from last night. Note Blagojevich saying this on the phone,
“How’s Tony doing? [Scene cut] The Iraqi guy? You gonna talk to him today about the other stuff?”

Here's the Gov back at that dinner for Auchi at the Four Seasons standing between Auchi and Alsammarae. Pick the Iraqi the Gov was asking about the other stuff?

Update: Harry from Harry's place laments how one Iraqi guy used UK libel laws, is a genuine national disgrace that it is impossible in the United Kingdom to post links to material which may be readily found with anybody with the slightest degree of skill and intelligence, or to make comments about public figures whose conduct is a matter of public record.

Faced with a determined and wealthy opponent, and the state of British libel laws, the only option is - more often than not - to capitulate or be utterly destroyed.

For those of you who live in a country which respects Freedom of Expression: I envy you.
Come to Chicago and dine with the heavy hitters expect to play ball. Don't hide behind the Ump when we sports fans heckle. It's not sportsman like and just down right wimpy.

The Rahm Rod Chats

Chicago Fox News reporting Emanuel, Blagojevich, and Harris had multiple conversations about Obama's replacement and they will certainly be on Fitz's tapes.

That should be no surprize. I would expect that. I would expect a quarter of the conversations to be bleeped too.

So why deny them? Why hide?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Rahm Emanuel: walls closing in; air getting thin

From the Sun Times with H/T American Thinker. So much for multi tasking.
Emanuel was uncharacteristically absent from Obama’s news conference this morning. He was spotted two hours later in the lobby of Chicago’s City Hall. He was there to listen to his two children performing in a concert with their school, Anshe Emet.

A Sun-Times reporter pressed him to comment about whether he was the emissary named in the criminal complaint.

“You’re wasting your time,” Emanuel said. “I’m not going to say a word to you. I’m going to do this with my children. Dont do that. I’m a father. I have two kids. I’m not going to do it.”

Asked, “Can’t you do both?” Emanuel replied, “I’m not as capable as you. I’m going to be a father. I’m allowed to be a father,” and he pushed the reporter’s digital recorder away.

Illinois's tradition of public service

From the Prez Elect's Press Conference,
"We have to reclaim a tradition of public service that is about people and their lives and their hopes and their dreams, and it isn't about 'what's in it for me'. And I think the public trust has been violated. Let me absolutely clear, I do not think that the governor at this point can effective serve the people of Illinois," Obama said.
If I recall the full conference he only named Paul Douglas and Paul Simon. Then as an after thought he threw in Durbin's name. (I'd question that but let's let it pass.) I asked myself can't he name anyone else? Ogilvie maybe? Dirksen? Chuck Percy? I mean there have to be a few others.

Governor Quinn?

Please, spare Illinois this,
Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn defended his running mate’s integrity Thursday, saying he saw nothing wrong with the governor’s 7-year-old daughter getting a $1,500 check from a family friend whose wife just got a state job.

“He’s always been a person who’s honest and one of integrity,” said
Quinn, appearing at a Capitol news conference. “I have confidence the
governor does the right thing all the time.”

Daily Herald, September 16, 2006

Rod, Barack, and Dick: Caption Contest

This has become so popular, that I guess it's time for a caption contest.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

ABC Blog: Obama Transition Web Site 'Open for Questions' -- Except on Blagojevich

Looks like this post below was removed from Obama's transition website per ABC Blog,
"Will you explain your true connection to all your corrupt buddies? A picture is worth a thousand words. If this is not adoring enough of you then i guess it must be flagged." - anty lopez, manhattan
Anty Lopez linked back to a picture on my blog that caused some offense I guess.

Update: Politico's Ben Smith has the story with a screen scrap showing the post on the transition website with the comments removed for inappropriate content.

AP: Illinois governor ignores Obama's call to resign

The AP,
CHICAGO – His career in shreds, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich clung defiantly to power Wednesday, ignoring a call to step down from President-elect Barack Obama and a warning that Senate Democrats will not let him appoint a new senator from the state.

"Everyone is calling for his head," said Barbara Flynn Currie, a leader in the Illinois Senate and, like the governor, a Democrat.
Obama should walk on over to the State of Illinois building for a chat with the Gov. It would be good practice for that personal diplomacy he talked about in the debates. Sitting down with tought leaders to find a solution to conflicts.

Crains: All U.S. Democratic senators call on Blagojevich to resign

This rubs me the wrong way... from Crains,
A letter signed by all 50 U.S. Democratic senators Wednesday called on Gov. Rod Blagojevich to resign, stating that "under no circumstances" should he appoint someone to fill the vacant Senate seat of President-elect Barack Obama.
...and the Senators conclude with,
"We do not prejudge the outcome of the criminal charges against you or question your constitutional right to contest those charges," the letter continued. "But for the good of the Senate and our nation, we implore you to refrain from making an appointment to the Senate."
These folks are inviting a poke in the nose from the Gov. Democrats throughout the country have been silent for years about the Guv. Let the Illinois legislature and constitution work their ways and judge our Guv.

Update: Ray Hannia asks
I am not defending our scandal-plagued Governor, Rod Blagojevich, or his equally foul-mouthed wife. But I will defend the law. And the law is clear. Blagojevich is our governor and remains our governor until either he decides to resign or is convicted of a crime.

Illinois is not Iraq where you are guilty until proven innocent.

As US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald noted, Blagojevich is innocent until proven guilty, although I really question the timing of his announcement. Was it to really end a “political crime spree” or was it to help the Chicago Tribune.

Blagojevich’s critics, including the Ivory Tower Editorial board at the bankrupt Chicago Tribune, are arguing passionately and in press releases, speeches, public appearances, campaign fundraisers and in endless media interviews that Blagojevich “can no longer be an effective governor” so therefore he “must” resign.

Since when has Blagojevich ever been an “effective” governor? He has been stymied since day one by Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan, the state’s de facto governor. When have any of his critics, especially those coveting the governor’s office, ever called Blagojevich an “effective” governor?
Read the whole thing. I don't know about the covert aid to Trib angle, but I don't think voters in Illinois think the rest of the crowd of politicans in Illinois that much better than our Gov. Let the process work it's course.xp Illinoize

Obama peddles Calendars and Blagojevich peddles a Senate seat

An email I just received.

Daley sells Chicago's parking meters, the Gov sells Obama's seat in the Senate, and Obama's selling calendars. Great...just great....
Bill --

It's been just over a month since Election Day, and we're getting ready to change America.

We can't do it alone, and we can't do it in a single day.

But thanks to supporters like you, change is coming.

Show your support for our ongoing movement with an Obama four-year calendar -- or share one as a holiday gift.

Make a donation of $35 and get a limited edition, full-color calendar featuring photos of President-elect Obama and his family from the campaign trail:

You can also donate just $25 and get an Obama winter hat:

Your donation will support the Democratic National Committee, which did so much to strengthen this campaign over the past two years.

The DNC will continue to support change -- but it also needs to retire the debt it accumulated by putting everything on the line for victory in 2008.

Get a four-year Obama calendar with your donation of $35 or more:

If you order by December 15th, delivery is guaranteed before December 25th.

Thank you for your continued support,

Obama for America

All day Blagojevich Post

A post I plan to keep open all day for Blagojevich blogging.
Blagojevich and Obama post-elections meetings. via RBO

Nov 5th per WHQA
Now that Barack Obama will be moving to the White House, his seat in the U.S. Senate representing Illinois will have to be filled.

That's one of Obama's first priorities today.

He's meeting with Governor Rod Blagojevich this afternoon in Chicago to discuss it.
Dec 1st and 2nd per WMBD/WYZZ
The governor will meet Monday and Tuesday Philadelphia with Barack Obama. Their discussion will focus on Illinois' $2 billion deficit and how the Land of Lincoln will manage its 2009 fiscal year.
more from KHQA
Now that Barack Obama will be moving to the White House, his seat in the U.S. Senate representing Illinois will have to be filled.

Obama met with Governor Rod Blagojevich earlier this week to discuss it. Illinois law states that the governor chooses that replacement.

Rich Miller is reporting ABC says Cong. Jesse Jackson Jr is Senate Candidate #5
Jackson Jr. said this morning he was contacted yesterday by federal prosecutors in Chicago who he said “asked me to come in and share with them my insights and thoughts about the selection process.”

Email this AM from a friend,

Wonder if we can just appoint Ron Santo to be the Senator

Marc Aminder's speculation on a special election and Kirk as the GOP's candidate.
3. A special election is called, Blagojevich signs the bill; or he vetoes it, the legislature overrides the veto and a date is set; some Democrats in the state believe that this scenario will benefit Republican Mark Kirk, because Democrats will have a nasty, long, primary season to fight about Blagojevich and who was closest to him. Kirk will probably have a clear field, lots of money, and a very simple change/anti-corruption message.
I hadn't thought about a special election at all, or who the GOP would run in one. Considering the Gov's indictment hardly a black swan event, that's surprizing.

BlagoGate: Real Clear Barack Obama has been all over it. The Obama connection here and plenty of videos here.

Paglia: What do the Clintons have on Obama?
Given Obama's elaborate deference to the Clintons, beginning with his over-accommodation of them at the Democratic convention in August, a nagging question has floated around the Web: What do the Clintons have on him? No one doubts that the Clinton opposition research team was turning over every rock in its mission to propel Hillary into the White House. There's an information vacuum here that conspiracy theorists have been rushing to fill.
Call me conspiracy theorist I guess but I suspect Maliki knows plenty on the Alsammarae, Rezko, and Auchi deals too.

The Volokh Conspiracy writes The Blagojevich Timeline: Everything Fits Easily Except Obama's Monday Denial and closes with a link to Katie Allison Granju's wise advise.
Lying is never a good idea. It's an especially bad idea when the person who has just been arrested apparently hates you, and would likely love to see you taken down with him. Plus, this sort of pointless lie just fuels the flames for those who are looking for reasons to discredit you and shame you. It makes their job awfully easy.

No more lies, please, Mr. President-Elect. Come clean on whatever your dealings have been with Blagojevich in this matter, and let's put it behind us and move on.

And did I mention the no more lying part?

Foster's (D IL-14th) statement on the Gov,
“Today is a sad day for the state of Illinois, as the allegations that have been presented against the Governor are appalling. The public trust has been damaged and it is time for the Governor to resign. In this new era of change, it is my sincere hope that individuals at the local, state and federal levels will work to restore the public’s confidence in our government and our elected officials.”
I wonder what Foster thinks has changed?