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December 10, 2008

Comments

kim

Certainly a cautionary tale about Obama. Crooked as he is, how long can his crookedness be concealed? Atlas Shrugs, AKA Pam Geller, running for Senator from New York, has many twists of Obama and the SEIU.
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bio mom

Reposted from yesterday.
Hmmmm. What to think. What to prefer. A president-elect who is so clueless that even though he came up through the corrupt Chicago/Illinois Democrat system he never observed or knew anything about any of it, or a president-elect who is part and parcel of same corrupt crew and because of the hyponotic effect he has had on the press has been protected from anyone investigating that. Difficult choice.

Thomas Collins

Crooked politicians will come and go. Blago is a typical crooked pol (I grew up in Providence and North Providence, Rhode Island, so I've seen a few in my day). What disturbs me about this is that Federales handcuffed a governor of a sovereign state. Blago wasn't a flight risk; Federales could have arranged for Blago to give himself up.

There is too much grandstanding by federal prosecutors such as Fitzy. The fact that Blago may be sleaze doesn't excuse the grandstanding.

clarice

heh--I'm already brimming with hope and change..

Jane/fairweatherfan

David Axelrod is really a one trick pony. Blago, O and Deval Patrick all ran on the same phony mantra, and all won.

Sad really.

Sue

Wow. Just wow. A new low, even for the NYTs.

In a sequence of events that neatly captures the contradictions of Barack Obama’s rise through Illinois politics, a phone call he made three months ago to urge passage of a state ethics bill indirectly contributed to the downfall of a fellow Democrat he twice supported, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich. ...

Beyond the irony of its outcome, Mr. Obama’s unusual decision to inject himself into a statewide issue during the height of his presidential campaign was a reminder that despite his historic ascendancy to the White House, he has never quite escaped the murky and insular world of Illinois politics. It is a world he has long navigated, to the consternation of his critics, by engaging in a kind of realpolitik, Chicago-style, which allowed him to draw strength from his relationships with important players without becoming compromised by their many weaknesses.

http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=NmYxNmUxMzQ2Njg3NTgwYTRlZDgwNGU4MzI3Y2Y2NTQ=>Source

Will Wills

I think the Tribune and the US Attorney blew this case open early before one of candidates 1-5 or a suurogate accepted his terms.

Blago is blatant but not alone in the boat. Corzine spent $60 million to get on that gravytrain. $ 500,000 for an appointment where one had two years to raise or rather extort campaign funds for an incumbent safe seat. Its chump change.

Imagine what this would have been like without the amendment to directly elect Senators. Bribes for 33 seats every 2 years.

We have lost control of this government. Just wait til you see the long line to replace Kay Bailey in Texas. Or the circus in New York.

Extraneus

You had to anticipate today would be a wagon-circling day, Sue.

Personally, I'm wondering why the Republicans are calling for Fitz to keep his job, for Obama to assure us he won't be fired, etc. Seems dumb. Republicans should accuse Fitz of protecting Obama, cite the Libby fiasco as evidence of his partisan preferences, and publically ask for an independent counsel.

Banking on Fitz's impartiality and publically indicating confidence that he'll doggedly pursue Democrat bad-guys wherever it leads makes no sense. Where are the strategists on the Republican side? Sheesh.

Rick Ballard

"I'm already brimming with hope and change.."

Yeah, it's like taking a really strong diuretic.

Pofarmer

Obama bussed people from Illinios to disrupt the Iowa caususes. He used the Unions in Nevada to actively disrupt those caucuses. He bussed students from all over to inflate his numbers at appearances. He deliberately set up his campaign website to take contributions with no verification. And yet, somehow, we're supposed to beleive that he wouldn't be involved in anything unethical regarding the replacement for his senate seat?

Appalled

Pofarmer, on another thread, does some outstanding research:

The interwebs are an amazing thing.

Lyin bastards.

Ill. governor meeting with Obama today
By Carol Sowers
Wednesday, November 05, 2008 at 10:39 a.m.


CHICAGO, ILL. -- 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.

Source of this is a local TV station up in Davenport. But there is nothing else about this meeting anywhere. Pofarmer, is it possible the original report was mistaken?

Pofarmer

Where are the strategists on the Republican side? Sheesh

Did you just sleep through the Presidential campaign?

Topsecretk9

Whoops...Gateway pundit gots the goods

reported that Obama was meeting Governor Blagojevich on Wednesday November 5, 2008 to discuss his senate seat::

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.

Gateway has more. LUN.

Pofarmer

Source of this is a local TV station up in Davenport. But there is nothing else about this meeting anywhere. Pofarmer, is it possible the original report was mistaken?

Yes, but it's also possible that the press didn't see it as important, or that further mentions of it were scrubbed.

Pofarmer

Plus, you've got Axlerod confirming it a couple weeks ago.

Pofarmer

I solemly swear I didn't steal that from Gateway.

Topsecretk9

Pofarmer

In all likely he got a tip from someone who saw what you found.

peter

Other than dropping the F-bomb too much, I don't see a strong case against Blago if all he did was discuss possible quid pro quos. Don't politicians do this all the time? I wouldn't be shocked if he beats this rap and opens up an art gallery, or a restaurant with Jim McGrevey and Eliot Spitzer. They could call it the "three fallen govs."

jean

ABC news is reporting canidate #5 is Jesse Jackson jr.

jean

canidate =candidate

Neo

Meanwhile back at the ranch .. err .. Congress ..

"The CEOs of Fannie and Freddie made reckless bets that led to the downfall of their companies," Waxman said. "But it is a myth to say they were the originators of the subprime crisis. Fundamentally, they were following the market, not leading it."
...
"Fannie Mae did not cause the current crisis," said Raines. "If anything, Fannie Mae played catch-up to the banks and investment banks who drove the securitization of the most toxic subprime mortgages."

Raines said that while Fannie and Freddie hold some responsibility for not appropriately managing their own credit risk, regulators must share in the blame. He argued that government officials -- he named the Federal Reserve, Federal Trade Commission, Department of Housing and Urban Development, among others -- were asleep at the switch. The regulators, he said, failed to use their authority to put a stop to extremely dangerous lending practices.

"While regulations did not force financial institutions to make bad loans, the absence of consumer protection regulation allowed many bad loans to be made to the detriment of consumers," he said.

Summary: Stop Me Before I Loan Again

hrtshpdbox

Jesse Jackson Jr. has a million bucks on-hand to offer for a Senate seat? Now that we know about the offer, does Jesse the Younger get to hang onto his House seat?

We know that Fitzgerald is a partisan because of the way he went after Libby and ignored Armitrage, or does that just tell us that he's a pit-bull prosecutor who won't rest until his original target is taken down? Are we sure we know who Fitz's real target is here? I agree with whoever posted (yesterday) that Fitz's timing is most likely a way to ensure that he can't be fired and will have latitude. For Fitz, I think, the important thing is that the whole world knows he's holier-than-all - new administration, new targets.

Chris

TM;
"I can quit anytime."

You sure about that? O'Blagging sounds good, fwiw.

Anyone ask for Biden's take on any of this?

ben

"I don't see a strong case against Blago if all he did was discuss possible quid pro quos."

This was not quid pro quos. This was cash up front...and extortion against the hospital and Trib. Whether he beats the rap or not is a separate question, but the charges will be serious.

peter

quote:
We know that Fitzgerald is a partisan because of the way he went after Libby and ignored Armitrage, or does that just tell us that he's a pit-bull prosecutor who won't rest until his original target is taken down? Are we sure we know who Fitz's real target is here? I agree with whoever posted (yesterday) that Fitz's timing is most likely a way to ensure that he can't be fired and will have latitude. For Fitz, I think, the important thing is that the whole world knows he's holier-than-all - new administration, new targets.

Actually, the reason Fitz went after Libby so hard was that he had had a history (of extremely rancorous litigation) with Libby when Libby was a private attorney--with a client by the name of Marc Rich. It just keeps getting murkier, doesn't it, yet Hawaiian tanning lotion #44 stays above it all.

ben

"We know that Fitzgerald is a partisan because of the way he went after Libby and ignored Armitrage"

Maybe he just likes headlines, in which case he will surely get them pushing this case.

Ranger

Bad posted this snippet from the filing in the Rezko thread yesterday, and I posted the the part most interesting too me, but since this is a more direct thread on the topic, I'll repost it here.

Advisor B stated that he likes the idea, but liked the Change to Win option better because, according to Advisor B, from the President-elect’s perspective, there would be fewer “fingerprints” on the President-elect’s involvement with Change to Win because Change to Win already has an existing stream of revenue and, therefore, “you won’t have stories in four years that they bought you off.”

Now, that could just be brainstorming from from Advisor B (who is part of Balgo's crew) but it sounds very much to me like Advisor B had discussed various options with someone in the Obama camp, and that he is expaining why one option is preferable to another in their eyes. This also implies some form of co-operation between the union and the Obama camp on making the money/job happen.

I think this alone is enough to support appointing a special prosecutor to investigate this whole mess, including the possibility that Fitz pulled the trigger early to protect close Obama associates. Advisor B is not part of the Obama camp, but that statement indicates some conversation between Advisor B and a member of the Obama camp talking about the pros and cons of different ways to launder a bribe.

peter

O-blah-go, O-blay-go, Potato, potato. let's call the whole thing off.

clarice

Brilliant, pofarmer..

bgates

Bribes for 33 seats every 2 years.
-paid to people with the greatest incentive in the world to diminish the power of Washington. We'd end up with a whole Senate full of federalists.

Neo

I was left wondering if the stuff that Fitz left out of the indictment (i.e. about Obama et al) will help him keep his job in the new administration ?

Soylent Red

Yeah, it's like taking a really strong diuretic emetic.

FIFY, Rick.


As for you TSK9 and Pof...

That was way back on November 5. History didn't start until this morning. The helpful staff over at the Ministry of Truth (Elect) will shortly be correcting the deficiency you have pointed out. Please, move along.

Soylent Red

nuts

Thomas Collins

We'll probably never know for sure, but in my heart I believe that Fitzy's Blago-Interruptus operation was in part motivated to avoid the possibility that the close advisors to the OOTPE (my affectionate nickname for the Office of the President-Elect) might have been ensnared in the scheming. It's a twofer for Fitzy: he makes a big splash (complete with the handcuffs), and he cuts the Senate Seat on Inside EBay sale off quickly enough so that noone from the OOTPE does or says anything that clearly inculpates them.

Soylent Red

TC:

If the OOTPE were smart, they would be thankful that this broke when it did. Imagine what they could have done four weeks ago. Further, if they were truly smart, they would recognize that Fitz would make an excellent Senator.

If they were smart.

bad

I have a vague recollection of Fitz' Libby indictment presser not being supported by the facts of the case. I wonder if that will happen regarding Blago.

narciso

It's become a really dark comedy; something like John Hughes fused with the Cohen Brothers, with a touch of Elmore Leonard. Hyde Park with all the hijinks and
corruption from Fargo, who's the Bill Macy
character with the phoney car buying scheme;
which doubles for the subprime game, and/or
the auto bailout. Who are the two
knucklehead thugs, who botch the blackmail scheme?. In this version, of course, the sheriff on a snowmobile, is outside the frame. It would be funnier if our entire economy weren't relying on the outcome.

Extraneus

Did you just sleep through the Presidential campaign?

Good point.

Still, this guy's an idiot.

And, in a Politico interview, Illinois state Republican chairman Andy McKenna pressed Obama to commit to keeping U.S. attorney Patrick Fitzgerald in his post until the corruption cases run their course.
[snip]
"What he should do tomorrow is say, 'Patrick Fitzgerald has a job and can have for as long as he wants,'" McKenna told Politico. "Some have wondered if Barack Obama would keep Fitzgerald [as U.S. Attorney]. It would be great if he confirms that he plans to."

MayBee
What disturbs me about this is that Federales handcuffed a governor of a sovereign state. Blago wasn't a flight risk; Federales could have arranged for Blago to give himself up.

That really bothers me too, Thomas Collins. I can't see any reason for the early morning arrest with handcuffs. His kids were home in bed, for heavens sake. The FBI knew where he'd be later in the day, and there was almost nothing he could have done that couldn't have been undone.

peter

quote:
It's become a really dark comedy; something like John Hughes fused with the Cohen Brothers, with a touch of Elmore Leonard. Hyde Park with all the hijinks and
corruption from Fargo, who's the Bill Macy
character with the phoney car buying scheme;
which doubles for the subprime game, and/or
the auto bailout. Who are the two
knucklehead thugs, who botch the blackmail scheme?. In this version, of course, the sheriff on a snowmobile, is outside the frame. It would be funnier if our entire economy weren't relying on the outcome.

end quote

It's been remarked before how much Gov. Palin resembles the female protagonist from Fargo.

narciso

Yeah, I had forgotten that Libby had provided the winning argument on the Marc Rich pardon, I did remember that another client he had helped in the past on some libel action, forwarded by Perotists, Richard Armitage. Honor and decency, are
in short supply. One recalls that Ken Starr
took up the case of a promising
investigative reporter with someinconvenient
facts about mob corruption in Major League
Football. The writer, Dan Moldea, got his book, published and subsequently trashed Ken Starr in every forum from Larry Flynt's
publications to Salon; a distinction without a difference.

Jane/fairweatherfan

I have a vague recollection of Fitz' Libby indictment presser not being supported by the facts of the case. I wonder if that will happen regarding Blago.

Andy McCarthy commented on this - sort of, this morning.

LUN

Ranger

That really bothers me too, Thomas Collins. I can't see any reason for the early morning arrest with handcuffs. His kids were home in bed, for heavens sake. The FBI knew where he'd be later in the day, and there was almost nothing he could have done that couldn't have been undone.

Posted by: MayBee | December 10, 2008 at 12:47 PM

Actually, I think that was an effort to help Obama out as well. It is standard proceedure that anyone arrested is handcuffed. I seriously doubt Balgo would have negotiated in good faith to surrender to the Feds, he would have drawn the process out so he could get as much money moving done as possible even if he did eventually surrender. Doing it the way they did kept any video of the perp walk off the airwaves, that would have fed the media frenzy and would have made this even worse for Obama.

JBean

A fascinating background story on Blago from Daniel Kelley of the Chicago Daily Observer:

"Many commentators have opined that Blagojevich displayed incredible arrogance and stupidity in continuing to conduct business as usual in light of ongoing investigations into his corrupt activities that led to his arrest. Fair enough, but where were these complacent media mavens at while Blagojevich was skirting the rules and lining his pockets for close to two decades? Perhaps the governor’s colossal arrogance developed as the result of not being held accountable by the liberal media establishment for such a length of time....

"Seldom, if ever, has an undeserving politician scaled such heights as Rod Blagojevich by virtue of a propitious marriage and a full head of well coiffed hair. This scandal may serve as a cautionary lesson for Barack Obama, whose personal career arc mirrors that of Blagojevich in numerous details."

Ranger

Yeah, I had forgotten that Libby had provided the winning argument on the Marc Rich pardon

Posted by: narciso | December 10, 2008 at 12:59 PM

Not the pardon, but he had an inovative theory of the law that helped Rich stay out of jail long enough for him to arrange his flight. I think Fizt blamed Libby for letting Rich get away, though I personally doubt Rich would tell his defense counsel he was planning to flee the country.

bad

Thanks for that link Jane. It explains a lot about the Libby case.

peter

Rush Limbaugh just made a good funny point-- we need a "czar" appointed to oversee the Democratic party of Illinois.

JohnH

The Corner is reporting that Fitz acted when he did because the Tribune had reported that Blago was being wiretapped, and this caused Blago to start to unwind his plans.

bad

Yesterday's Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac hearings found Democrats to blame for most of the problems but there seems to be little reporting on the matter.

Jane/fairweatherfan

It was fairly amazing even without the reporting bad. Waxman, altho in denial, surprised me.

Sara (Pal2Pal)

Yesterday, during one of the earlier in the day reports about Blago's arrest, Greta was on as a guest commentator and cautioned everyone to remember that the 70+ page document was only a charging document with two charges and that the FULL INDICTMENT would undoubtedly contain many more and with much more detail.

Today, at least here, I see references to "the indictment."

Could one of our lawyer types please explain this so we lay persons can understand the process better and understand the difference.

Captain Hate

It's been remarked before how much Gov. Palin resembles the female protagonist from Fargo.

Maybe by people with seeing eye dogs; nothing against Frances McDormand but if you give 100 virile guys the choice of going out with Sarah or Frances, at least 90 go to Alaska while the remaining ones stay in San Francisco, New Orleans or Lakewood, Ohio and listen to show tunes.

bad

LOL Captain

Sara (Pal2Pal)

Obama calls for Illinois governor to resign...

Sara (Pal2Pal)

TRIBUNE withheld publishing at Fitzgerald's request...

As the federal probe into Gov. Rod Blagojevich intensified in recent weeks, editors and reporters at the Chicago Tribune balanced a competitive story with a rare request from U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald's office: To hold off on what they uncovered until a key phase in the investigation could be carried out.
peter

Quote:


It's been remarked before how much Gov. Palin resembles the female protagonist from Fargo.

Maybe by people with seeing eye dogs; nothing against Frances McDormand but if you give 100 virile guys the choice of going out with Sarah or Frances, at least 90 go to Alaska while the remaining ones stay in San Francisco, New Orleans or Lakewood, Ohio and listen to show tunes.

End Quote

What a heteronormative thing to say on National Call in Gay to Work Day!

ben

"That really bothers me too, Thomas Collins. I can't see any reason for the early morning arrest with handcuffs. His kids were home in bed, for heavens sake."

I think the Feds were being nice. No press, no cameras, early in the morning. Walking into his office and hand-cuffing him out in front of all his staff and the press would be a lot worse.

PD

re: that Nov. 5 meeting between Obama and Blagojevitch: "scheduled to meet" isn't the same as "did meet." I've seen only the report that they were scheduled to meet. Did the meeting actually take place?

Daddy

Now that Harry Reid and others are calling for a Special Election for the Illinois Senate Seat let me say that I am glad our Republican National Committee Chairman has so far said absolutely nothing about any potential candidate for the position that we might begin to get behind. It is good to know that the non-aggressive, non-forward thinking passive strategy of the Republican Party continues. That is sure to continue to win us tons of compassion.

glasater

Daddy--I understand where you're coming from but the RNC chair is in a state of flux right now.

sophy

Welcome to our game world, my friend asks me to buy some Hellgate London gold .

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Wilson/Plame