Saturday, December 13, 2008

That's The Ticket ... Kah-razy

clipped from

As suspected, the AG's curious creation of a judicial power to remove an elected governor is a bit self-serving:

[Illinois AG] Lisa Madigan's father is Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.

He's another big time ward boss in the Chicago Machine.

Kass says, "They don't want a Blogojevich impeachment hearing which would basically allow Blagojevich to talk about all of the deals they've done."

The Chicago Tribune spins this as Madigan just wanting "ownership" of the issue, not wanting the legislature to "steal her thunder" by doing the task they are constitutionally charged with doing and she is not.

I think Kass is right that there's a bit more to it than thunder and ownership.

Meanwhile, Jesse Jackson, Jr. joins in the media-Democratic narrative that Blago is just kah-razy, and so, I guess we're to infer, cannot possibly be representative of Chicago machine politics.

Something Missing

clipped from

From the evening of Nov. 10 until yesterday, Blagojevich, Obama, and his transition team acted in ways that are consistent with a knowledge of Blagojevich’s bribery attempt and a rejection of that attempt. What doesn't fit easily with the timeline is Obama's statement yesterday.

It should be noted that it is not a crime to fail to report a bribery attempt. The federal misprision of felony statute would seem to make it a federal crime to fail to report a federal felony

But case law has conclusively determined that mere non-reporting is not enough. Active concealment or the acceptance of a benefit for concealing is required.

Yet, looking at this timeline of Blagogate, it seems quite possible that someone in the Obama Camp is either lying or at least not revealing what they know.

Something important is missing from this story. Let's hope that, whatever it is, the absent fact or explanation will allow the narrative to fit Obama's denial more naturally.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Touch Your Nose

Roll Call scoops everyone with an interesting piece that suggests how Governor Blagojevich may have sounded out Barack Obama about his vacant Senate seat, as well as giving a candidate for identifying 'Adviser B':

Blagojevich has relied heavily on political advice from inside-the-Beltway strategists since taking over the statehouse.

In particular, political consultant William Knapp of Washington-based Squier Knapp Dunn Communications has worked closely with the Illinois governor.

Knapp’s partner, Anita Dunn, was a top adviser to Obama during the presidential campaign.

Knapp, who is a member of the governor’s small inner circle of advisers, helped develop the strategy that catapulted Blagojevich to become the first Democrat in 26 years elected Illinois governor.

In doing so, Knapp became Blagojevich’s highest-paid Washington consultant.

Did Blagojevich use Bill Knapp to reach out to the Obama campaign -- via Knapp's partner Anita Dunn

George Who?

I don’t see anyone making this point in the ‘Seatgate’ (Senate Seat for sale).

Advisor B obviously has the authority to represent Obama, and has the knowledge and ‘where with all’ to know how Obama operates and what Obama would ‘approve’ of.

For Advisor B to be presenting and representing the idea of a 501( c) (4) non profit and for him to have all of the knowledge on how they operate, Advisor B incriminates himself and Obama that ‘this has already been done before’.

I would assume a whole lot of 501 ( c) (4)’s that are tied to Obama and Michelle, and other Democrat Politicians are getting sanitized right now.  It is also interesting to point out who the MASTER of 501 ( c) (4)’s is, none other that George Soros, although many of the Arabs and muslim organizations have been getting pretty good at them to.

Advisor B may have revealed ‘the cards’ that Obama and Michelle are already holding in promised 501 ( c) (4)’s, the next step would be to find out ‘who’ set them up. 

The Real OFitzmas

clipped from

 One scenario that I can imagine is Fitzgerald (or his people) warning the Obama camp that they were getting close to the quicksand in the swamp after hearing the 2-hour horse-trading marathon through the wire tap.

I have no doubt that this is exactly what happened.

The media doesn't need to cover for BHO.

Fitz has already seen fit to do so.

Let's Make A Deal

clipped from

And Obama's denials are very circumscribed:

n a news conference in Chicago to introduce his choice as secretary of health and human services in the new administration, Obama reiterated that he has never spoken to Blagojevich about the appointment of a replacement to serve out the remainder of Obama's Senate term, and he said he has not been contacted by any federal investigators regarding the case.

Obama said he has asked his team to "gather all the facts about any staff contacts" that might have taken place between his office and Blagojevich or his advisers. But he said he was "absolutely certain" that his office was not involved in "any deal-making" with Blagojevich on the Senate seat.

Obviously, "I" didn't talk about this to Blago allows for the possibility that, say, Rahm Emmanuel did, and a denial about "any deal-making" doesn't mean deals weren't discussed. Just not made.

Thanks to CJ.

I Think I Know Now What It Will Take To Kick Off The Oministration

Ruh-Roh... It was already reported that Rahm Emanuel was keeping quiet since the Blagojevich Scandal broke.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Ruh-Roh...Rahm Emanuel Continues to Duck Questions On Hot Rod

Ruh-Roh... It was already reported that Rahm Emanuel was keeping quiet since the Blagojevich Scandal broke.

But, this morning and later this afternoon Rahm Emanuel continued to duck questions about the scandal.
** The Smoking Gun, that bastion of conservative thought, already reported that Emanuel was linked to the case:

"Rahm Emanuel, the incoming White House chief of staff, is referred to in the affidavit as "President-elect Advisor."
He will have to issue his pardons at the start of his term rather than the end. And his pardons may need to be issued from the federal pen.

But the Dems will wonder why anyone would consider it problematic...

The Shut Down

clipped from
As we head toward government health care, I continue to keep a wary eye on the systems presently funcitoning in other countries - like the UK's NHS.

You pick up little nuggets like this:
The NHS already restricts access to expensive new drugs that could benefit older age groups — such as sufferers of Alzheimer's and macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness — amid fears that the costs could cripple the health service.
Why is that important, besides the obvious fact that government is restricting treatment due to cost to 'it'?

The fact that the reason these "expensive new drugs" are available is because there is a system out there in which there is the incentive to develop them. Yes, it is that "horribly expensive" American system, where drug companies are known as Big Pharma and considered to be evil by a certain class.

But what happens if that particular engine of innovation is essentially shut down?

Sarkozy Speaks Sagely

clipped from
"I have said this to my friend Kofi [Annan]: I find it impossible to shake hands with somebody who has dared to say that Israel must be wiped off the map.

"I know perfectly well that we must resolve what is perhaps the most serious international crisis we are having to resolve: that of Iran moving towards a nuclear bomb.

"We cannot resolve it without talking to Iranian leaders, but, after what was the Shoah, after what was the 20th century, I cannot sit at the same table as a man who dares to say: Israel must be wiped off the map."
How indeed. But the world continues to crowd their table and they continue to show their arrogance, defiance and disdain. Perhaps if more world leaders expressed their thoughts about cabal's such as those that constitute Iran's leadership, it would do more to delegitimize them both at home and abroad.

Arrived And Then Some

Spitzer and Edwards will walk away from their respective scandals the multi-millionaire celebrities they were when they walked in, with a fawning (for liberals) press telling us that (a) everybody does it, or (b) to err is human, or (c) we can't be so judgmental, or (d) [fill in the blank]. It's that we (or at least they) learned from The Big One ten years ago. Bill Clinton disgraced his office, lied, and encouraged or (possibly) arranged for others to lie. He also granted at least one pardon after the pardonee's former (but still friendly) wife forked over a few hundred thousand in "contributions."

And what happened?

Clinton's popularity went up, his spouse became a serious candidate for President, he's

touted by the press as an elder statesman, his guy at DoJ who checked off on the pardon is about to become Attorney General, and of course Clinton himself lives a life of luxury and adulation. The world of perverse incentives that the Left labored so long to create has arrived.

Corruption? Yes, We Can!

clipped from

How serious has this scandal tarnished the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), one of the largest public-sector unions in the nation?  Badly enough to gain the notice of the New York Times.  Steven Greenhouse does a good job providing the background to the union connections in this scandal, and shows why the SEIU made sense as a deal-cutting go-between for Rod Blagojevich and Barack Obama:

The federal criminal complaint filed against Mr. Blagojevich said his chief of staff, John Harris, had suggested to a service employees’ official that the union should help make the governor the head of Change to Win, the federation of seven unions that broke away from the A.F.L.-C.I.O. The complaint said Mr. Blagojevich was seeking a position that paid $250,000 to $300,000 a year.

In exchange, the complaint strongly suggested, the service employees union and Change to Win would help persuade Mr. Blagojevich to name Valerie Jarrett, President-elect Barack Obama’s first choice,

See comment #3 for the title.

The Hawk Strikes Again

CHICAGO - The ongoing corruption probe into Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich took a dramatic turn this evening, as federal agents working for US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald announced that they had seized the governor's eBay account. It is as yet unknown how the latest seizure will effect the outcome of the case.


Leaked documents from latest sealed federal indictment (click to embiggen)


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Parallel Universes

clipped from
While the President-elect trots out his New New Deal,
which smacks more of Soviet style planning than free market recovery, Communist China is taking an alternate course:
CHINA may soon cut business tax as part of its efforts to prop up
the slowing economy amid the global financial crisis, state media reported on
As for the great public works that Obama plans, even his new budget chief knows it isn't going to do what Obama thinks
it will do. When Peter Orszag ran the Congressional Budget Office, he had this to say about Obama-like
"Practically speaking, however, public works involve long start-up
lags. Large-scale construction projects of any type require years of
planning and preparation. Even those that are "on the shelf" generally cannot be
undertaken quickly enough to provide timely stimulus to the

I Was Wrong -- He Does Have Leadership Experience After All...

...of the Chicago Mafia.
Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, taking an oath next to Barack Obama pre-2008,
allegedly said, "I want to make money" off the power to pick Obama's Senate
successor. (NY

Rahm Emanuel said that he and Obama were top advisors to
Blagojevich during his run for governor. The Roaring

Ryan Lizza reported in the New Yorker that Obama received “his first
high-level experience in a statewide campaign” while advising Blagojevich during
his campaign for governor. Additionally Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s current
Chief-of-Staff also was a top strategist for that campaign. From the

He and Obama “participated in a small group that met
when Rod was running for governor,” Emanuel said.
“We basically laid out the general election, Barack and I and these
A spokesman for Blagojevich confirmed Emanuel’s account...
But, now Rahm Emanuel is singing
a different tune
and trying to distance himself from Hot Rod
 blog it

Just Asking

clipped from
The stinging criminal complaint against Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his
chief of staff John Harris raises lots of questions for President-elect Barack
Obama – questions he’ll have a chance to answer Thursday when he does his first
news conference since Blagojevich was charged.

Here are seven worth

1 – “Did you communicate directly or indirectly with
Blagojevich about picking your replacement in the U.S. Senate?”

Obama issued a categorical statement Tuesday that he personally hadn’t
spoken with Blagojevich about the seat — but seemed to correct himself in a way
that suggested others around Obama might have.
2 – “Why didn’t you or someone on your team correct your close adviser David Axelrod when he said you had spoken to Blagojevich about picking your replacement?”
4 – “Did you or anyone close to you contact the FBI or U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald about Blagojevich’s alleged efforts to sell your Senate seat to the highest bidder?”

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Blago Bussed

clipped from

Obama's getting pretty good at denying any contact whatsoever with people known to be close associates.

Move along, nothing to see here...