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April 23, 2010

Comments

anduril

Zagel is a tough judge, but I question whether he can ride herd on this slippery bunch--both sides included.

PaulV

Between rock and hard place. Let games begin.

Clarice

Blago made a bright move, I think:Obama will refuse to testify. I doubt the judge will force him. Blago will assert that he was unable to make his defense. He will continue to hammer away at this and in the process further diminish The Won's credibility and bespatter his already greying toga.

MarkO

"Bespatter?" Go girl.

Charlie (Colorado)

One problem with making a product fool proof is that there are often fools making the product.

Thomas Collins

In the article TM linked, it is stated that one of the redactions is the following:

"President-elect Obama also spoke to Governor Blagojevich on December 1, 2008 in Philadelphia. On Harris Cell Phone Call # 139, John Harris and Governor’s legal counsel discuss a conversation Blagojevich had with President-elect Obama."

Does anyone recall there being any information about the call between Harris and the Governor's legal counsel? The reason I ask is because, whether or not Obama ends up testifying (I agree with Clarice that Obama will end up not testifying, which may allow Blago to walk), if there is evidence that what Obama knew and when he knew is different from Obama's public explanations, under the standard applied by MSM to GOPers, there should be a special prosecutor appointed to investigate POTUS.

Things would be really interesting if the judge were to force Obama to testify.


Clarice

Can you imagine Holder appointing a special prosecutor?

Remember when Congress repealed the prior SP statute it lost the power to appoint one and given the Dem majority in both Houses I don't see them re-enacting a law like the one they repealed.

Thomas Collins

Calling all folks suspicious that Obama was born in Hawaii! Redirect your investigative and blogging energies to Blagogate. It is unlikely that Blagogate will bring Obama down. But it is the best game in town now.

JM Hanes

TM:

"[S]croll over a blacked out portion, and use the standard Edit/Copy/Paste."

Don't miss the extra added attraction: When I pasted into TextEdit, the redacted portions showed up in bold. Very convenient! LOL!

Tully

ROFLMAO. "Redacted" from all but those who had their morning coffee and know how to copy & paste!

Thomas Collins

I agree, Clarice, that there will be no new special prosecutor law. But I hope the not-in-the-Obama-tank blogosphere will pressure Holder to appoint a special prosecutor operating out of the Justice Department (as was the case with Archibald Cox).

Ranger

Given how Fitz seems to have built this case, I don't see how the judge can refuse to let Blago call Obama as a defense witness.

If Rezko is a key witness for the prosecution, and Obama is on record with the FBI saying Rezko is lying about events in the past, then Blago should be able to call Obama to impeach Rezko's testemony.

Also, since there is evidence that Obama talked to people about who he wanted to get the senate seat, and that information was transmitted to Blago, it would seem reasonable for Blago to call Obama to refute the charge of a conspiracy to sell the seat.

Clarice

TC--What a good new project for us. I think it may be a bit premature but as new stuff comes out we should be prepared.
I feel like Mickey Rooney saying to Judy Garland,"Let's put on a show ."

Jane

Obama will pardon Blago first TC. He apparently testified that he and his "top advisers" had no contact with Blago, but he instead sent Balanoff (SEIU) to do his bidding - which didn't come out before.

Clarice

Keep watching Chicago columnist Kass for the skinny. He's always leap years ahead of everyone on this.
As for the SEIU role, remember how often Stern visited the WH.

centralcal

"Keep watching Chicago columnist Kass for the skinny."

Agree, Clarice. Kass is always soooo entertaining when he exposes the Chicago way!

Topsecretk9

Isn't it up to the court to make sure the documents submitted are full proof before they post on pacer? I'm pretty sure all the Libby ones were scanned then posted.

Wonder if any of the old Libby ones with redactions are copy pasteable.

PaulV

Are Blago's attorney more experienced with the Chicago Way or have they learned from the mistakes that Libby's attorneys made?

Fae

We're pretty sure the Indonesians will take O, but we're not supposed to talk cause he'll know before he leaves. Kenya really doesn't want him.

If he doesn't come back we won't prosecute.

Melinda Romanoff

Kass is not the one to follow. He gets his skinny from the whisper types who overheard what someone's Uncle Jimmy heard at the diner sort of stuff.

This won't get good unless they come up with more names, and it's not looking like Fitz is even trying.

You won't be getting any help from the FBI here, either.

They will not allow this to move on.

I suspect another suicide by aspirin coming.

Jane

Clarice,

WOuld you please go here and make sure I did not misrepresent you.

Thomas Collins

Mel, is there an investigative reporter in Chicago who might do whatever it takes (going through financial records and real estate records, tracking down former employees, business associates, high school chums, mistresses, gigolos, lovers, escorts, etc. who have an axe to grind), taking advantage of contacts with the Daley machine, and so on, to expose the inner workings of the folks in the machine supporting Obama? Or would this be too hot to handle even for an intrepid reporter?

Clarice

I did and it looked fine, Jane.

Thomas Collins

Watergate had Deep Throat; since this is Chicago, we need a Deep Loop.

Melinda Romanoff

TC-

Do YOU want to disappear?

I don't.

And that's what'll happen to some smart guys askin' da wrong kinda questions. I mean besides immediately losing your job.

Access over sunlight.

Jane

Thanks Clarice, for some reason that was nagging at me.

Thomas Collins

Well, Mel, I survived poker games in back rooms in Federal Hill in Providence during the Patriarca Era in the 1970s, but perhaps that is child's play compared to what I would be facing if I dabbled in the ways of the Windy City. :-))

MayBee

I don't believe in Special Prosecutors.

Luckily, Blago is shameless enough that he'll keep this alive.

It's all so stupid, anyway. Axelrod first said Obama had talked to Blago (and why wouldn't he have?) then had to take that back when Obama said he hadn't talked to Blago.
Then Obama acted like he wasn't sure who had talked to Blago, but he was sure nobody on his team was engaged in dealmaking.

Well..why would Valerie Jarrett even need Tom Balanoff to get involved if not to make some sort of deal. She can't talk to Blago herself? There wouldn't have been anything wrong with that.
The Obamas haven't had a single job in their adult lives without Jarrett being involved somehow. There's no way they wouldn't have been working together on this.
And he's done it before- Obama used Rezko to get his bff Whittaker a job with Blago, until Jarrett gave Whittaker a job with Michelle and Axelrod at the hospital.

The idea that Obama wasn't part of this is simply not credible. The thing is, he there was no reason for him to lie about it.

Melinda Romanoff

More like "Why's that car on fire in the alley?".

Old Lurker

That's the thing about pathologial liars, MayBee. They lie even when they don't have to.

Dan Collins

Adobe? Did someone say adobe?

MarkO

In the Libby case, Fitz was able to blunt the defense by having the Judge keep most everything redacted, under seal or private in some other way. That prelcuded the presentation of exculpatory evidence, some of which was also hidden behind claims of privilege.

Perhaps, Blago's lawyers are simply not going to permit that sort of thing, even if they risk sanctions of some sort. This is so clearly a politically motivated case.

He may be found guilty of something, but he could also make trouble for everyone and I hope he does. At the least it will be entertaining.

JM Hanes

Clarice:

"What a good new project for us."

Fitz! My first question was why, after a multi-year investigation, the only charge Fitzgerald came up with was a contemporaneous Senate quid pro quo. It occurred to me that he was deliberately trying to get Blago booted out of office, perhaps to divest him of the protections, and the insider connections, that go with it. It sure smacked of something like a hail Mary pass on what might have been looking like dead end case.

Jane

I want to know more about the Rezko connection to this case - why is he the star witness? Wasn't he in jail when Obama was elected?

Clarice

Looked that way to me, too. jmh, and then there were the shifting winds.

Extraneus

The thing is, there was no reason for him to lie about it.

I think there was, at least in his mind, especially in late 2008: Lightworkers don't get into the gutter with common politicians, making sleazy deals and such. Lightworkers make the oceans recede, lions lie down with lambs, etc.

tonynoboloney

I just can't help feeling how differently this story would be covered by media if the D's were changed to R's.

glasater

Dick Durbin subpoenaed to testify

Heh...

Thomas Collins

Let's have some thread music. See LUN.

Jane says obamasucks

Fitz! My first question was why, after a multi-year investigation, the only charge Fitzgerald came up with was a contemporaneous Senate quid pro quo.

JMH, or should that be Mr. JMH?

That seems to be Fitz's MO. It's exactly what he did on the Libby matter.

Danube in Virginia

Any information Obama might have is so peripheral to the charges against Blago that the court won't even consider requiring him to testify. This is right up there with the request to make all of the tapes public.


huskergirl

The more people that get involved in this the weirder it is going to play out. Durbin cannot refuse to testify under executive privilege, can he? Was he interviewed by the FBI? Who will be next? Why do I think it doesn't end here no matter what.

Clarice

Probaby not, DoT. OTOH Blago will be claiming loudly and often that Obama was right in the thick of it and lied to the investigators.
I suspect he's trying to undercut anything Rezko might claim about him ...trying to suggest that Rezko and Stern, Emanuel and Obama were right in the middle of everything he did and that if he's guilty , so are they.
Apparently Durbin, who really has no means to fight the subpoena, will testify.

MayBee

I agree with clarice at 4:23.

I think Blago wants to save his own skin, but I also think he won't want to let Obama keep his reputation as the golden child while he (Blago) goes down.

RJ

huskergirl:

Where in Nebraska?

I also think he won't want to let Obama keep his reputation as the golden child while he (Blago) goes down.

Yeah. Blago definitely has a scorched earth vibration about him. My guess is the that the worse this gets for him, the more dirt he'll dish.

It would be sweet to see the whole Daley machine brought down, but I'd settle for just Obama. But to achieve even that would require a previously uninvented level of witness protection.

centralcal

Poor old Dick Durbin. Can't get no help from Rahm, Axelrod or Obama in supporting Giannoulius (sp?) and now he's gotta testify at the Blago circus! Lawdy, I am loving this.


huskergirl

RJ,
Omaha. Are you from Nebraska?

There are so many possibities with people like Durbin in the mix. I did not know that Durbin is mixed up with Gianoulius too. Interesting. Is this part of his responsibilities as Reid's #2 in the Senate? And how about Stern? Why did he quit?

RJ

Lincoln. Small world.

centralcal

huskergirl: Giannoulias is running for Obama's old Senate seat. Durbin, as the Senior Senator of the great state of Illinois met with the Obami at the Whitehouse to beg for help in keeping the seat Democrat. LMAO - like Obama is much of help in anyone's election!

Politico was headlining it all morning, but has move the story down a notch if you're interested in reading the details. LUN

Jane says obamasucks

I'm still taking bets that if Obama is forced to testify he will pardon Blago 'for the good of the country' and everyone will applaud his wisdom.

As Clarice said, the argument is that Rezko is the star witness and if Obama tells the truth it will undercut Rezko's testimony. I have no idea what Rezko's testimony is expected to be. As I said before, I thought he was in jail when all this went down.

Rick Ballard

The deal with Balanoff as the cutout for Stern is very weak unless the position at that SEIU front was within Balanoffs gift. I'd rather see Emanuel, Stern and Jarret under examination than BOzo. The tapes should have "Obama wants" all over them anyway.

huskergirl

Centralcal,

I'm not overly wild about Kirk either...but...

Janet

What a circus...
We are prosecuting our Navy Seals in Iraq, Franklin Graham isn't allowed at a prayer service, Kevin Jennings is our Safe School Czar, we even have "Czar" positions in our government, and Blago is maybe gonna be our hero!

centralcal

No kidding Janet! But, more like the freak side show at the circus, rather than under the big tent. Hhhmmm - didn't those Politico guys write a book about the "freak" show that is politics? The oughtta know, being players and all. (or, was it Halperin? all these lefty journolisters run together after awhile).

Pagar

JammieWearingFool correctly labels Sen Durbin
"Now Obama needs to get worried. Durbin is spineless Wonder and if the prosecutors get on the right train of questioning Barack could find himself on the same side of the bus he has thrown so many others under."

Sara (Pal2Pal)

That's the thing about pathologial liars, MayBee. They lie even when they don't have to.

I was with a coworker one day when we went to his mother's to pick up some donations. I witnessed him tell his mom an outright lie about nothing relevant or important. Later, after we left, I asked him why he lied to his mother like that and his answer was, "because I can." It gave me the creeps.

Jeff

they don't need Obama to testify, there are plenty of others mixed up that WILL be compelled like Rahm etc ...

Should be a fun trial ...

Ranger

Keep in mind that Fitz's case is much larger then just the Senate Seat. It goes into a lot of incidents of shaking down people for campaign cash. Rezko was a big player in that, which is why he is an important witness for Fitz. Getting Obama on the stand to call Rezko a liar would help Blago's defense quite a lot (or put Fitz on the spot to challenge Obama about his veracity).

Janet

**warning** totally stupid social off topic statement ahead...

LUN a picture from the Obama's vacation. What is that white square patch on MO's rear end in the picture?

I can't really comment on fashion because I dress like a hobo but I thought some of the JOM fashionistas might know.

Janet

A cotton tail?

bgates

What is that white square patch on MO's rear end in the picture?

Tablecloth.

Janet

Hahahahah bgates! Too funny!

Ann says Obama Sucks!

Butt reflector...Helps secret service track FLOTUS from anywhere in the woods.

(And I am not apologizing to anyone for my unsophisticated comments.) me :)

orthodoc

Just remember that these clowns are now in charge of your health care.

Thomas Collins

OK, if Michelle "behind talk" is OK on this thread, certainly noone will object to a LUN on Sam Bradford, Ndamukong Suh and the other NFL draftees.

TM, how about a thread on a comparison between the Michelle behind and the behinds of various draftees (especially the centers). JUST KIDDING.

Clarice

The defense will be questioning Durbin, not the prosecutors. You can be sure they will only try to protect their case.

Danube of Thought

If Obama were required to testify he won't pardon Blago, and his testimony will be bland and boring.

This is not going anywhere. I wish it were, but it's not.

JM Hanes

DoT:

I'm not sure it was intended to go very far legally (unless Blago could successfully argue that he was unable to mount a proper defense, sans the Prez?), but it could conceivably have some political legs.

MarkO

Obama is a liar. Have you ever had a lying witness----when you had no impeaching evidence? Liars control the testimony. Even with serious impeachment, a grand liar will go you serious damage.

He's one of the most magnificent liars in American political history. All he will do is make up a self-serving story, likely involving great virtue and sacrifice leading to universal health care. The Judge would never let counsel spend the time necessary to trap him. It would seem, shall we say, confrontational and, therefore, hate speech and racially motivated.

But for the blue dress, Clinton would have skated away like the choirboy he affects. Ken Starr is a hell of a lawyer and his witness ate him up in the deposition.

Liar. We seem to shrink from the unvarnished truth about him. We need to associate the word with him. Enoungh with the "inaccurate, expiration date, misleading" mush. Do we have it or not?
He called Bush a liar. He filibustered. He opposed giving money to the troops. Why go easy. Do you really think the public would be offended? Right. Offended.

Remember when WFB said that because there were no grounds upon which we could impeach Earl Warren he should be hanged?

That was when speech other than pornography was protected and when conservatives who weren't either dull or cowards roamed the land. Glen Beck is just a nice kid compared to the real movement.

See. I shouldn't get wound up. I felt this way when Nixon fired Cox. You know something's happening, don't you, Mr. Jones.

MarkO

"do you serious damage."

Don't type angry.

Jane says obamasucks

Go Mark go!

hit and run

To paraphrase a well-known prosecutor: there is a cloud over the Oval Office.

hit and run

"I had no contact with the governor or his office, so I was not aware of what was happening."
--Obama's 20 Words

hit and run

Fitzgerald: Now he's being supervised by more than just newspaper articles.

Super-supervised.

Clarice

Yes, I'm sure Holder is keeping one eye on the civil rights division and the other on Fitz.

Clarice

The Navy IS naming the new ship after that S.O.B. Murtha..you know the guy who falsely accused the Haditha marines of "cold blooded murder" and robbed the defense budgets to feed his friends and his campaign chests.

Let's run a contest for other sterling characters we can name future ships after.

Porchlight

Agree with everything you said, Mark O.

Jane says obamasucks

Who in teh navy makes that decision? And can we recruit DOT to lobby against it?

Clarice

It's been done already. We are to suppose the decision was made by the Sec of the Navy but I suspect this was not his decision alone.

centralcal

"(And I am not apologizing to anyone for my unsophisticated comments.)"

Oh, Ann! You are really one astute lady! I had to scroll up a bit to see what prompted that aside. And there she was. heh.

Speaking of the picture of Flotus, doesn't the park ranger look like he is on the verge of drawing his gun and shooting at whatever it is on her derriere?

Newsbird has some great photos of Flotus - notice the short cardigan with the floating lace train in back. I think she is trying to cover up so she doesn't see any more graphic butt photos on HuffPo. LUN

centralcal

"Let's run a contest for other sterling characters we can name future ships after."

USS Barney Frank.

That would at least make evewywon giggle.

Bill in AZ

Wouldn't that be the
USS Bawney Fwank?

Janet

Bill in AZ, How proud are you of your State! Good for Arizona for taking illegals entering the country seriously.
(I think I am done hooking "immigrant" onto illegal)

centralcal

LOL, Bill in AZ! Phonetically speaking, why yes it would!

Bill in AZ

Not only the illegal immigrant issue, but concealed carry without permit, reducing federal restrictions on guns manufactured in state, and the birfer law that was done solely to make lib heads explode. A few more days left in this session, maybe we'll secede if that dipshit in the whitehouse attacks us again instead of providing the border resources we need.
:)

Rocco

The AP via Breitbart is reporting the feds shut down the family owned bank of Il Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias's family.

In 2007, the New York Post called him, Obama's 'Mob-Tie' $idekick

Ignatz

--Not only the illegal immigrant issue, but concealed carry without permit, reducing federal restrictions on guns manufactured in state, and the birfer law that was done solely to make lib heads explode.--

Yeah, you may have some Ignatzian neighbors in the not too distant future Bill.

Bill in AZ

Not too many trees to cut down here Ignatz. The greens let them all burn in massive wildfires. But you'd be welcome anyway.

Ignatz

Bill,
My goal is to render CA treeless as well and high tail it out of here.
Besides its still awfully nice up in the AZ mountains. Similar to where I'm at now but without 38 million whining, mewling, pukes.

Ranger

It is an odd double game Blago is playing.

On the one hand Blago's entire goal is to get Obama on the stand and have him lie for him about Rezko. Blago needs Obama to sit there and say that Rezko lies about the past. That impeaches Rezko's testemony against Blago.

On the other hand Blago needs Obama to admit that there was some contact, though indirect, initiated by Obama towards Blago on the senate seat. That will allow Blago to say he wasn't conspiring to sell the seat, he was just responding to various people who had prefered candidates.

A tought game for Blago to play, but either way is a lose-lose for Obama.

Clarice

cc, Maybe the obesity campaign was the notion of a staffer who really hates Michelle.

Danube of Thought

Hi--back home again.

The decision on naming of ships rests with the Secretary of the Navy, and is not reviewable in any way that I know of. He also designates the ship's "sponsor(s)," i.e. the lady or ladies who will christen the ship and remain in contact with the crew throughout her life.

The ship names can certainly reflect political preferences (e.g., USS John C. Stennis, USS Carl Vinson are both named for legislators who were very supportive of the Navy). Typically the sponsor bears a connection with the ship's namesake if it is a person (a widow, daughter and so forth), but in other cases it tends to be the wives of people for whom the Secretary (or president) want to do favors.

I can't for the life of me imagine what was behind the decision on USS Murtha, and I hope at some point (perhaps in the next congress) inquiries will be made.

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Wilson/Plame