In addition to the Rod Blagojevich pay-for-play probe, Obama could figure in the upcoming fraud trial of Norman Hsu, the disgraced Democratic fundraiser who was charged last year with operating a $60 million pyramid scheme. According to investigators, Hsu, a major Hillary Clinton fundraiser, pressured investors to donate money to political candidates with whom he was aligned. In a letter last week to U.S. District Court Judge Victor Marrero, Hsu's lawyer, Martin Cohen, requested a 60-day delay in the start of Hsu's trial, scheduled to open January 12 (Cohen cited the "extraordinary level of negative publicity" generated by the recent arrest of alleged Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff).
In his December 22 letter, Cohen also noted that Hsu was already "notorious for his political activities" and that it was "inevitable" that his client's "connections" to Bill and Hillary Clinton "and other democratic notables--including perhaps the president-elect--will be introduced at trial." Before becoming a key fundraiser for Hillary Clinton's presidential bid, Hsu co-hosted a 2005 California fundraiser for Obama's political action committee and introduced the Illinois Democrat to Marc Gorenberg, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist who later joined the Obama campaign's national finance committee. Prosecutors allege that Hsu directed his investors to donate money to specific candidates, and then reimbursed them in violation of federal campaign laws.
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
As more and more black renters began moving into this mostly white San Francisco Bay Area suburb a few years ago, neighbors started complaining about loud parties, mean pit bulls, blaring car radios, prostitution, drug dealing and muggings of schoolchildren.
In 2006, as the influx reached its peak, the police department formed a special crime-fighting unit to deal with the complaints, and authorities began cracking down on tenants in federally subsidized housing.
Now that police unit is the focus of lawsuits by black families who allege the city of 100,000 is orchestrating a campaign to drive them out.
"A lot of people are moving out here looking for a better place to live," said Karen Coleman, a mother of three who came here five years ago from a blighted neighborhood in nearby Pittsburg. "We are trying to raise our kids like everyone else. But they don't want us here."
City officials deny the allegations in the lawsuits, which were filed last spring and seek unspecified damages.
Across the country, similar tensions have simmered when federally subsidized renters escaped run-down housing projects and violent neighborhoods by moving to nicer communities in suburban Washington, Chicago and Los Angeles.
But I thought the San Francisco residents were just so much more advanced than the rest of us...
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Despite the country's economic meltdown, Congress is about to receive an automatic $4,700 pay raise on Thursday — a 2.8 percent increase over the current $169,300 salary for most members.
Rep. Jim Matheson says that is unconscionable, and he's vowing to renew his annual fight to stop such automatic raises. He says the bad economy might just help him win this year, and a government watchdog group is joining his battle to say the raise is a bad idea in such times.
"In a situation where there aren't many people in this country who are seeing their salaries go up, and in fact a lot of people are losing their jobs, the notion that Congress should be having an automatic pay raise without even a vote just doesn't pass the smell test," Matheson said earlier this month.
Agreeing is Tom Schantz, president of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste — which also issued a call for Congress to stop its automatic pay raise.
"While thousands of Americans are facing layoffs and downsizing, Congress should be mortified to accept a raise," Schantz said.
Worse, Schantz said Congress hasn't earned a raise because it allowed the deficit to balloon while Congress was "plagued with corruptions allegations." So, Schantz said, "If congressional leaders believe that the taxpayers should give pay raises to this rogues' gallery of ineptitude and venality, they ought to step away from the spiked eggnog."
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, whose quest for the vice presidency began to go downhill the day she announced the pregnancy,
has given birth to a son, a magazine reported Monday. Bristol Palin,
18, gave birth to Tripp Easton Mitchell Johnston on Sunday, People
magazine reported online. He weighed 7 pounds, 4 ounces. Colleen Jones,
the sister of Bristol's grandmother, told the magazine that "the baby
is fine and Bristol is doing well."
But no worries, they fixed it;
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - The teenage daughter of former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin has given birth to a son months after the announcement of her pregnancy became one of the first dark clouds to swirl over the Alaska governor's candidacy.
That's better. But still the AP decided to tweak it a little more...
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The daughter of former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin has given birth to a son, a magazine reported Monday.
Monday, December 29, 2008
A heartwarming Holocaust memoir that is to become a big-budget film has been exposed as a hoax by a Jewish survivor in Britain only weeks before it was due to be published.
Herman Rosenblat's Angel at the Fence: The True Story of a Love that Survived, tells how he met his future wife as a girl when she threw apples to him over the barbed wire fence of the concentration camp where he was held.
Oprah Winfrey, who twice invited Mr Rosenblat on to her talk show, hailed the book as “the single greatest love story ... we've ever told on air”. The still-unpublished memoir became the basis for a children's book and $25
million (£17 million) feature film, The Flower of the Fence, which is due to start shooting in March.
KAILUA, HI - Barack Obama may be the first U.S. president who can successfully pull off the shaka, a Hawaiian greeting Hawaiians say has various meanings, from “hang loose” and “cool” to “thanks.”
The hand gesture, also a common greeting in surfer culture, consists of curling the three middle fingers and extending the thumb and little finger.
The president-elect, looking uber-cool with his White Sox baseball cap on backwards, flipped the shaka to a crowd of about 30 people as he left a gym on a Marine Corps base on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, where he is vacationing.
Obama, born and largely raised on Oahu, then walked over to greet the crowd, which had waited through a brief cloudburst to see him. Righting his baseball cap as he walked, he shook hands before posing with four babies
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Sensing she's not ready for prime time, her handlers, most of whom have connections to Mayor Bloomberg,
suddenly insisted media questions be submitted in writing. The answers
they provided, under their names, were vapid. And she will not, as is
the campaign custom, release financial documents that reveal her wealth
and holdings. We're expected to trust she has no conflicts of interest.
From the NY Daily News;
That truth is that Kennedy is not ready for the job and doesn’t deserve it. Somebody who loves her should tell her.
Her quest is becoming a cringe-inducing experience, as painful to watch as it must be to endure. Because she is the only survivor of that dreamy time nearly 50 years ago, she remains an iconic figure. But in the last few days, her mini-campaign has proved she has little to offer New Yorkers except her name…
Even the one job she had in public life has come into question. Apparently on the basis of a chance meeting with New York’s schools chancellor at a party on Martha’s Vineyard, she signed on as a part-time fund-raiser. How much she raised and how much she worked have been challenged, but no matter. The point is that this self-described advocate for the public schools did not send her children to them.
Limousine liberals are a dime a dozen, and carpetbaggers are nothing new in New York. And with the social scene constantly churning out the old for the next new thing, there’s no reason middle-aged dilettantes can’t also try their hand at politics.
They just can’t start in the Senate.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Here’s how the Assoc. Press quotes Caroline Kennedy:
“I am an unconventional choice. I understand that. I haven’t pursued the traditional path. But I think that in our public life today, we’re starting to see there are many ways into public life and public service,” she said.
Here’s how the transcript really reads:
“And so, I, I’m an unconventional choice, I, er, understand that. I haven’t pursued the traditional path. But I think that, um, in our public life today, we, you know, are starting to see there are many ways into, to, public life and public service and it’s, uh, not as, um, all our institutions are … less, um, hierarchal then they used to be, and so, you know, I think that, you know, I bring, you know, my life experience to this and, you know, that includes, you know, um, being a mother, um I understand sort of those choices that women make that includes, uh, being a lawyer …”
"I was really surprised and dismayed by my voting record," she said. "I'm glad it's been brought to my attention."
“The sun glinted off chiseled pectorals sculpted during four weightlifting sessions each week, and a body toned by regular treadmill runs and basketball games.”
Remember when the media talked about Bush's workout routine as creepy and obsessive? A refresher from Jonathan Chait of the LA Times;
“Am I the only person who finds this disturbing?…What I mean is the fact that Bush has an obsession with exercise that borders on the creepy.”
And this part is the best;
“Does the leader of the free world need to attain that level of physical achievement?” he jeered. “It’s nice for Bush that he can take an hour or two out of every day to run, bike or pump iron. Unfortunately, most of us have more demanding jobs than he does.”
You see when Bush exercises its a dereliction of duty but when Obama shoots some hoops its his time for himself and no one else...never mind the country.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
SHUSTER: You've spent your entire career crusading for civil rights for all Americans. In 2000, you gave a speech at the general convention of the United Methodist Church in defense of gay clergy. Recently you said to Southern Voice: "I'm strongly opposed to propositions or amendments that put into law any discrimination against citizens because of sexual orientation." So again, isn't it incumbent upon you to take a position now given that you have spoken out before?
JOSEPH LOWERY: No. That's not my job at this instance. I differ with the young pastor who's going to give the [invocation]. I differ with him sharply on his position on this issue. I don't think we ought to put into law any discriminatory action against people because of race, or ethnicity or sexual orientation. I oppose that. But that doesn't stop me from being on a program with him.
SHUSTER: Fair enough. But is it incumbent upon you then, at that program, or at least elsewhere, to make those sharp differences clear? To say, you know what: I took a very different view on Proposition 8. I support gay marriage. Others do not, but it's important that my voice be heard.
LOWERY: Well, I've never said I support gay marriage. I support gay rights and I support civil unions. Like a whole lot of people, I have some difficulty with the term gay marriage. Because deep in my heart, deeply rooted in my heart and mind, marriage is associated with man and woman. So I have a little cultural shock with that. But I certainly support civil unions, and that gay partners ought to have all the rights that any other citizens have in this country.
To hear the city’s spin, Seattle’s road crews are making “great progress” in clearing the ice-caked streets.
But it turns out “plowed streets” in Seattle actually means
“snow-packed,” as in there’s snow and ice left on major arterials by
“We’re trying to create a hard-packed surface,” said Alex Wiggins,
chief of staff for the Seattle Department of Transportation. “It
doesn’t look like anything you’d find in Chicago or New York.”
The city’s approach means crews clear the roads enough for all-wheel
and four-wheel-drive vehicles, or those with front-wheel drive cars as
long as they are using chains, Wiggins said.
The icy streets are the result of Seattle’s refusal to use salt, an
effective ice-buster used by the state Department of Transportation and
cities accustomed to dealing with heavy winter snows.
Monday, December 22, 2008
“This holiday season is a time to examine who’s been naughty and who’s been nice, but I’m unhappy with my findings. The problem is this: We liberals are personally stingy. Liberals show tremendous compassion in pushing for generous government spending to help the neediest people at home and abroad. Yet when it comes to individual contributions to charitable causes, liberals are cheapskates.”
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Biden "bit back," according to Sammon, but unfortunately, he seems
to have bitten himself. According to Biden, Cheney's "notion of a
unitary executive, meaning that, in time of war, essentially all power,
you know, goes to the executive, I think is dead wrong." Well, once
again, Mr. Biden, that's no one's notion of the unitary executive
except confused Democrats. The unitary executive is simply a
recognition, from the first sentence of Article II, Section 1 of the
Constitution, that the "executive Power shall be vested in a President
of the United States of America." For the umpteenth time, it is not a
theory that the president's power is somehow enhanced, at the expense
of Congress, during wartime. It is merely a recognition that there is
only one (i.e., uni-tary) executive and that any efforts by Congress to
give executive authority to someone other than the President is
unconstitutional. It is not a theory about the balance of power
between the branches, but a statement about the authority of the
president within the Executive Branch. The "notion" that a "unitary
executive" means that "in time of war, essentially all power, goes to
the executive," is indeed dead wrong. But it's Biden's misconception
of that theory that is wrong, not Cheney's.
Keep it up, Joe. At this rate, you'll know more about the Constitution than your non-lawyer predecessor in, well, never.
"Joe's been chairman of the Judiciary Committee, a member of the Judiciary Committee in the Senate for 36 years, teaches constitutional law back in Delaware, and can't keep straight which article of the Constitution provides for the legislature and which provides for the executive. So I think I'd write that off as campaign rhetoric. I don't take it seriously."
Friday, December 19, 2008
TheHill.com - With economy in shambles, Congress gets a raise
With economy in shambles, Congress gets a raise
By Jordy Yager
Posted: 12/17/08 05:41 PM [ET]
A crumbling economy, more than 2 million constituents who have lost their jobs this year, and congressional demands of CEOs to work for free did not convince lawmakers to freeze their own pay.
Instead, they will get a $4,700 pay increase, amounting to an additional $2.5 million that taxpayers will spend on congressional salaries, and watchdog groups are not happy about it.
“As lawmakers make a big show of forcing auto executives to accept just $1 a year in salary, they are quietly raiding the vault for their own personal gain,” said Daniel O’Connell, chairman of The Senior Citizens League (TSCL), a non-partisan group. “This money would be much better spent helping the millions of seniors who are living below the poverty line and struggling to keep their heat on this winter.”
However, at 2.8 percent, the automatic raise that lawmakers receive is only half as large as the 2009 cost of living adjustment of Social Security recipients.
Still, Steve Ellis, vice president of the budget watchdog Taxpayers for Common Sense, said Congress should have taken the rare step of freezing its pay, as lawmakers did in 2000.
“Look at the way the economy is and how most people aren’t counting on a holiday bonus or a pay raise — they’re just happy to have gainful employment,” said Ellis. “But you have the lawmakers who are set up and ready to get their next installment of a pay raise and go happily along their way.”
Contrast this with what Gov. Sarah Palin did;
Palin won't accept raise
20 PERCENT: Spokesman says governor feels increase in middle of her term isn't appropriate.
By KYLE HOPKINS
Gov. Sarah Palin didn't ask for a pay raise and won't accept one during her current term, a spokesman said Wednesday.
A new state commission appointed by Palin recommends boosting the governor's pay from $125,000 to $150,000. The State Officers Compensation Commission says the lieutenant governor, department heads and legislators need more money too.
But if the commission pushes ahead with a pay raise, Palin won't accept the money, said spokesman Bill McAllister.
"Her view is, it's just not appropriate to accept a pay raise in the middle of the term."
Palin's term ends in 2010.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
ANCHORAGE, ALASKA — Gov. Sarah Palin's home church has been badly damaged in an arson fire.
Damages to the Wasilla Bible Church were estimated at $1 million, authorities said today. No one was injured in the fire, which was intentionally set while people, including two children, were inside.
"This fire is definitely suspicious," said Central Mat-Su Fire Chief James Steele.
Pastor Larry Kroon declined to say if the Friday night blaze was politically based or directed at Palin, the failed Republican vice presidential candidate. He also declined to say whether the church has received any recent threats
Obama Announces HUD Secretary Choice Via Radio Airwaves
December 13, 2008 9:04 AM
From Sunlen Miller:
President-elect Obama has found a new use for the weekly Democratic radio address –- at least for this week.
On this morning’s radio address, Obama announces that he will nominate New York City Housing Commissioner Shaun Donovan as secretary of housing and urban development.
It's clearly obvious that the anointed one knew about his staffs conversations with Blagojevich and his people concerning filling Obama's Senate seat when he quickly adjusted his comments when first asked about them;
"I had no contact with the Governor or his office," Obama said, "and so we were, I was not aware of what was happening."
Notice the quick shift from "we" to "I" in the above statement. And that has now shifted since we now know that Rahm Emanuel was indeed in converstations with the Blagojevich team.
It gets more interesting everyday...
Friday, December 12, 2008
Senate Republicans’ refusal to support the bipartisan legislation passed by the House and negotiated in good faith with the White House, the Senate and the automakers is irresponsible, especially at a time of economic hardship. The consequences of the Senate Republicans’ failure to act could be devastating to our economy, detrimental to workers, and destructive to the American automobile industry
Well, 10 Republicans voted WITH the Dems on this. That means that they should have had no problems reaching the 60 votes needed to end debate. Only one problem, 8 Dems voted with the Republicans.
Statement by Press Secretary Dana Perino
White House News
It is disappointing that while appropriate and effective legislation to assist and restructure troubled automakers received majority support in both houses, Congress nevertheless failed to pass final legislation. The approach in that legislation provided an opportunity to use funds already appropriated for automakers, and presented the best chance to avoid a disorderly bankruptcy while ensuring taxpayer funds go only to firms whose stakeholders were prepared to make the difficult decisions to become viable, competitive firms in the future.
Under normal economic conditions we would prefer that markets determine the ultimate fate of private firms. However, given the current weakened state of the U.S. economy, we will consider other options if necessary - including use of the TARP program -- to prevent a collapse of troubled automakers. A precipitous collapse of this industry would have a severe impact on our economy, and it would be irresponsible to further weaken and destabilize our economy at this time.
While the federal government may need to step in to prevent an immediate failure, the auto companies, their labor unions, and all other stakeholders must be prepared to make the meaningful concessions necessary to become viable.
And I was right...
Review: 'Earth Stood Still,' movie falls apart - CNN.com
By Tom Charity
(CNN) -- Call it the second coming.
Klaatu the spaceman first visited these parts in Robert Wise's 1951 Cold War classic "The Day the Earth Stood Still," when he threatened to blow us all up unless we stopped threatening to do the job for him.
Klaatu wasn't exactly greeted with open arms back then -- he was shot and hounded for his troubles -- and if the earth has moved on over the past half century, you wouldn't know it from the trigger-happy welcoming committee that surrounds his luminous snowball of a space craft in New York's Central Park.
Where sci-fi films in the 1950s used to see red(s), today they go green. Directed by Scott Derrickson ("The Exorcism of Emily Rose") and scripted by David Scarpa ("The Last Castle"), "The Day the Earth Stood Still" 2.0 ditches the Cold War theme. Klaatu (Keanu Reeves) means to save the planet, but war isn't the problem. Mankind is the problem.
The filmmakers have come up with an effective Spielbergian prologue, cutting from the Himalayas in 1928 to contemporary biology professor Helen Benson (Jennifer Connelly), whisked from her home by uniformed men in response to an undisclosed national emergency. It's strange to think that in the final hour the government will turn to molecular biologists for guidance, though true to form (as in the 1951 original) the scientists are quickly overruled by the politicians.
But once Keanu-Klaatu emerges from his blubbery placenta spacesuit, the movie shifts into familiar fugitive thriller terrain and the tension slowly drains out of it. Dr. Benson helps him escape to New Jersey where he can meet with an alien undercover agent in McDonald's, and she can introduce him to a true world leader, a Nobel laureate played by John Cleese.
If you're going to cast a top star as an alien being, Reeves seems a solid choice. He's always been able to process human emotion with a Spock-like detachment.
"This body is going to take some getting used to," Klaatu cautions shakily in his first scene, but in fact he gets the walking-talking thing down pat in no time.
He's a messianic figure -- he fires lasers out of his wrists, like a reverse-stigmata and he has the power to resurrect the dead (though unlike Jesus, Klaatu killed the guy in the first place). The climax even includes a plague of robotic locusts.
But the movie never comes up with a convincing explanation for why his superpowers don't extend to, say, picking up a telephone. Apparently the aliens have been monitoring us for at least 70 years, but Klaatu is taken aback to discover our emotional side. Mostly he learns this from Jaden Smith, who plays Dr. Benson's stepson Jacob. It's not necessarily a good emotional side: Jacob is a whiny, obstinate and disobedient little boy that would lead most extraterrestrials -- and not a few of the rest of us -- to reach for the destruct button.
Still, it's surely remiss to wipe out the species before lending an ear to Johann Sebastian Bach.
The original movie is beginning to show its age, but at least it holds up as a story. That's more than you can say for a preachy, draggy blockbuster that espouses a radical message of Luddite technophobia at the same time as it conspicuously plugs Honda and LG Electronics, and dresses up its half-baked thinking in blinding (but not that brilliant) CGI wizardry.
Johnny Carson used to joke that his 1964 bomb "Looking for Love" was so bad it was transferred to flammable nitrate film stock. If they're so determined to be green, perhaps the producers of "The Day the Earth Stood Still" would consider something biodegradable.
And even less kind review, and probably more honest, is here.
Rahm Emanuel Reportedly Spoke with Blagojevich About Senate Seat
Conversations with Governor?
Chicago -- The firestorm surrounding Governor Blagojevich is putting some heat on Barack Obama’s transition team. Fox Chicago News has learned about possible conversations between a top Obama aide and the governor regarding the open senate seat. Craig Wall has the exclusive.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Belgium: 14 Al Qaeda Suspects Arrested, One Planned Imminent Suicide Attack
Police increase security for the EU summit in Brussels
The arrests were made during 16 raids in Brussels, as European Union leaders gathered for a summit there, and one in Liege.
"We don't know where the suicide attack was to take place," federal prosecutor Johan Delmulle said.
"It could have been an operation in Pakistan or Afghanistan, but it can't be ruled out that Belgium or Europe could have been the target."
One of the suspects had "received the green light to carry out an operation from which he was not expected to come back," Mr Delmulle quoted investigators as saying.
The man "had said goodbye to his loved ones, because he wanted to enter paradise with a clear conscience", he added.
"This information, linked to the fact that a European summit is getting under way at this moment in Brussels, left us no choice but to take action today."
Before you get excited, this "specifically named individual" is not being named as part of a crime. Well, not a chargeable crime, anyway. The gist here, according to No Quarter's interpretation of Blagojevich's statements, is that Michelle Obama profited from the same sort of legal political back-scratching that Blagojevich sought for his own wife.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
CBS takes 3 minutes too mention Gov. Illinois democrat.
ABC over 1 minute.
And the winner;
NBC takes 18 seconds, congratulations to Brian Williams.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
CHICAGO – The attorney for Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich said the governor will be vindicated and has no plans to resign.
"He didn't do anything wrong," attorney Sheldon Sorosky told reporters after Blagojevich appeared in court on Tuesday. "A lot of this is just politics."
Blagojevich should be in the office on Wednesday, Sorosky added.
So, reporters asked, he doesn’t intend to resign?
"Not that I know of, no," said Sorosky, who added that the governor was "surprised" by the day's events, but his spirits are “good.”
Blagojevich was arrested before sunrise Tuesday on corruption charges and had a bond hearing at 2:30 p.m. the Dirksen Federal Courthouse.
He appeared before a judge wearing a jogging outfit – blue fleece, black pants and sneakers. Blagojevich held his head high, with a slight air of defiance except when a prosecutor read the charges against him, which carry penalties of up to 30 years in prison and $500,000 in fines.
In a courtroom filled to capacity, with a line out the door, the governor looked to the floor as the charges were read aloud. He spoke only to say “yes,” when he was asked about turning in his passport. Blagojevich was released his own recognizance on a $4,500 cash bond, and told not to travel outside the United States. His next court
hearing was set for January 14 at 10 a.m.
The governor shook hands with one of the prosecutors before leaving the courthouse through secluded exit, seemingly to avoid reporters. "He is still the governor of the state of Illinois," U.S. Marshall Kim Widup explained to media staked out in the lobby.
Some of the press had been camped out in the courthouse for hours, inspiring Illinois Republican Party Chairman Andy McKenna to make an appearance to say in person what a press release made clear earlier in the day: The state party believes Blagojevich should resign.
Don’t expect that to happen, according to Sorosky.
“He will be vindicated,” Sorosky said of his client as a swarm of reporters encircled him and followed him to his car down the street from the courthouse. “The governor is an honest man who tries to do the right thing.”
But there remain questions about how Blagojevich knew that Mr. Obama
was not willing to give him anything in exchange for the Senate seat --
with whom was Blagojevich speaking? Did that person report the governor
to the authorities?
And, it should be pointed out, Mr. Obama has
a relationship with Mr. Blagojevich, having not only endorsed
Blagojevich in 2002 and 2006, but having served as a top adviser to the
Illinois governor in his first 2002 run for the state house.
In the Democratic gubernatorial primary that year, then-state sen.
Obama endorsed former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris. But
after Blagojevich won, Obama came around enthusiastically. At the same
time, meanwhile, Axelrod had such serious concerns about whether
Blagojevich was ready for governing he refused to work for his one-time
According to Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., Mr. Obama's
incoming White House chief of staff, Emanuel, then-state senator Obama,
a third Blagojevich aide, and Blagojevich's campaign co-chair, David
Wilhelm, were the top strategists of Blagojevich's 2002 gubernatorial
Emanuel told the New Yorker earlier this year that he
and Obama "participated in a small group that met weekly when Rod was
running for governor. We basically laid out the general election,
Barack and I and these two."
Who Lied, Obama or Axelrod?
Q Mr. President-elect, did you have any contact — were you aware of — were you aware at all of what was happening with your Senate seat?
PRESIDENT-ELECT OBAMA: I — hold on, hold on, hold on a second, guys. I'll just answer this one question.
I had no contact with the governor or his office, and so we were not — I was not aware of what was happening. And as I said, it's a sad day for Illinois. Beyond that, I don't think it's appropriate to comment. Okay?
Obama's chief strategist, David Axelrod, back on November 23: "I know he's talked to the governor and there are a whole range of names many of which have surfaced, and I think he has a fondness for a lot of them."
Team Obama says that Axelrod "misspoke" back in November. Hmmm.
If Obama and Blagojevich talked by phone, the FBI might have an audio recording of that.
By law, after the President-elect’s resignation of his position as a U.S. Senator, which was effective on November 16, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH has sole authority to appoint his replacement for the two years remaining of the President-elect’s Senate term. During the course of this investigation, agents have intercepted a series of communications regarding the efforts of ROD BLAGOJEVICH, JOHN HARRIS, and others to misuse this power to obtain personal gain, including financial gain, for ROD BLAGOJEVICH and his family. In particular, ROD BLAGOJEVICH has been intercepted conspiring to trade the senate seat for particular positions that the President-elect has the power to appoint (e.g. the Secretary of Health and Human Services). ROD BLAGOJEVICH has also been intercepted conspiring to sell the Senate seat in exchange for his wife’s placement on paid corporate boards or ROD BLAGOJEVICH’s placement at a private foundation in a significant position with a substantial salary. ROD BLAGOJEVICH has also been intercepted conspiring to sell the Senate seat in exchange for millions of dollars in funding for a non-profit organization that he would start and that would employ him at a substantial salary after he left the governorship.
Report; Illinois Governor Taken Into Federal Custody - FOXNews.com Transition Tracker
The Chicago Tribune is reporting that Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was pulled from his home in Chicago and put in federal custody Tuesday morning.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was taken into federal custody at his North Side home, The Chicago Tribune reported Tuesday, the next step in a three-year federal corruption investigation of "pay-to-play politics" in the governor's administration.
The Tribune said federal authorities were permitted by a judge to record the governor secretly before the November election after raising concerns that a replacement for President-elect Barack Obama would be tainted. That's the latest in an investigation that has included recordings of the governor and the cooperation of one of his closest friends.
The U.S. attorney's office would not confirm the information to FOX News.
A Blagojevich spokesman said he was unaware of the development.
"Haven't heard anything -- you are first to call," Lucio Guerrero said in an e-mail.
The ethical clouds hanging over Rep. Charlie Rangel grow thicker by the day.
Thursday, it came to light that Rangel’s campaign committee steered some $80,000 to his son’s Internet company for work that Politico.com’s Luke Rosiak and Glenn Thrush describe as “poorly designed” and shoddy.
So how can House Speaker Nancy Pelosi practically guarantee when the ongoing House Ethics Committee probe into Rangel’s conduct will conclude?
Yet she’s doing exactly that.
So, is the “fix” in?
Of course the fix is in and of course he won't resign. Democrats are incapable of ethics violations because they have no ethics!
Monday, December 08, 2008
Grow the f*ck up!
Democratic leaders continued working on details of their proposal this morning, and made at least one change at the administration's request. Instead of establishing a board from among six federal agencies to oversee an auto industry restructuring, Democrats agreed to the appointment by President Bush of a single "car czar," according to a senior Democratic aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the measure is not yet final.
Friday, December 05, 2008
"I was at first nauseated, then realized it was an opportunity," said Lawrence, 55, who frequently combines politics and satire in her work and saw this as the perfect way "to highlight Jim McDermott because he's a hero of mine."
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
[W]hat angered [the photographer, Sebastian] D'Souza ... were the masses of armed police hiding in the area who simply refused to shoot back. "There were armed policemen hiding all around the station but none of them did anything," he said. "At one point, I ran up to them and told them to use their weapons. I said, 'Shoot them, they're sitting ducks!' but they just didn't shoot back."
As the gunmen fired at policemen taking cover across the street, Mr D'Souza realised a train was pulling into the station unaware of the horror within. "I couldn't believe it. We rushed to the platform and told everyone to head towards the back of the station. Those who were older and couldn't run, we told them to stay put."
The militants returned inside the station and headed towards a rear exit towards Chowpatty Beach. Mr D'Souza added: "I told some policemen the gunmen had moved towards the rear of the station but they refused to follow them. What is the point of having policemen with guns if they refuse to use them? I only wish I had a gun rather than a camera."
It seems the NY Times left out that little detail in their report...
Why is it that libs can't seen to accept when they lose on an issue? And I don't seem to see Obama in this video who by the way opposes gay marriage...
The Associated Press: Chambliss wins US Senate runoff in Georgia
Chambliss wins US Senate runoff in Georgia
By SHANNON McCAFFREY – 3 hours ago
ATLANTA (AP) — Relieved Republicans celebrated a resounding win in Georgia's hard-fought U.S. Senate runoff, a victory that denied Democrats a filibuster-proof majority and cemented the state's reputation as a GOP bastion.
Sen. Saxby Chambliss trounced Democrat Jim Martin Tuesday night, winning his second term by a margin of more than 10 percentage points. The race dashed Democrats' hopes of a 60-seat majority immune to Senate filibusters, which would have given President-elect Barack Obama a stronger hand moving his agenda.
A Martin victory was a longshot in Georgia. A Democrat hasn't won an open statewide seat since 1998.
Martin hoped to capitalize on excitement surrounding Obama but was unable to get many of the president elect's voters back to the polls one month after the general election. Obama never came to the state to campaign for Martin, although he recorded automated phone calls and a radio ad for the former state lawmaker from Atlanta.
Chambliss revved up the state's vaunted GOP turnout operation and kept a parade of ex-GOP presidential candidates traipsing through the state to whip up enthusiasm. He brought in Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the former candidate for vice president, as his closer. She headlined four rallies for Chambliss across the state Monday that drew thousands of party faithful.
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
11:37 am by
this year's White House Christmas tree will hang a most unusual
ornament: a bulb saluting efforts to impeach President George W. Bush.
A bulb by Washington state artist Deborah Lawrence is decorated with
pictures and text commending Rep. Jim McDermott's (D-Wash.) efforts to
impeach the president, the Washington Post reported.
First Lady Laura Bush asked McDermott to select a local artist to
decorate bulbs for the tree, and McDermott selected Lawrence.
"I was at first nauseated, then realized it was an opportunity…to
highlight Jim McDermott because he's a hero of mine," Lawrence said.
"It really is too bad," said Sally McDonough, a spokeswoman for the
First Lady. "I haven't seen the ornament, but I would hope that no one
would take this as an opportunity to be divisive and partisan. There is
a time and place for everything, and I don't think this is either."
Monday, December 01, 2008
President-elect Barack Obama hasn't even moved into the White House yet. But Wall Street is already showering him with praise for injecting confidence into the battered psyche of investors and working quickly to hatch a plan meant to jolt the economy out of its worst funk in decades.
A market that two weeks ago was desperate for political leadership and a clear strategy to repair the economy appears to have found it in Obama, who is fast emerging as a decisive economic commander in chief.
Stocks soared last week after Obama moved aggressively to fill the power vacuum until he's sworn in and demonstrated his commitment to dig the USA out of its economic rut.