Archive for ‘Rod Blagojevich’

February 16, 2009

GOP demands Burris resignation

The Blagojevich iceberg continues ripping holes in the S.S. Hope:

You get the drift. Michelle Malkin has a long roundup of the Burris scandal. Next stop: Smoothville!

January 9, 2009

Blagojevich impeached

Flaming (Hairy) Skull at AOSHQ. The vote in the Illinois House was 114-1.

If Blagojevich goes to prison, will he first be forced to give back Michael Nesmith’s hair?

BTW, somebody should write a book.

January 3, 2009

Blago blogging

You may have noticed a relative paucity of BlagoGate blogging here lately. Why? It’s one of those situations where so many people are blogging about it that I don’t feel I can add anything fresh or different. So Marathon Pundit is your all-Blago 24/7 source.

December 24, 2008

Team Obama: ‘We’re clean!’

The Obama transition team’s absurd self-investigation of BlagoGate has concluded they did nothing wrong. I’m shocked into astonished silence. Allow me to recover my composure, and I’ll update.

UPDATE: Allahpundit summarizes:

Obama talked to Emanuel and Axelrod about his preferences for the seat, then Emanuel talked to Blago once or twice and to Blago’s chief of staff (who’s also been indicted) four times to relay those preferences.

Mary Katharine Ham suggests Obama is “approaching a fight with the hubris of Apollo Creed,” which is just such a damned fine metaphor I had to quote it, even if it might be condemned as racist. (You can compare Obama to any famous personality in history — Lincoln, JFK or Jesus — but if you compare him to a black man, that’s “racism.”)

Racist or not, MK’s metaphor suggests Obama’s greatest liability at this point: He’s enjoyed such a free ride from the media as a candidate that he might imagine he’s automatically entitled to fawning coverage as president. Two words: Jimmy Carter.

UPDATE II: If we’re going to do “racist” metaphors, however, this is like O.J. Simpson’s lawyers releasing a report about their own internal investigation “proving” that, the last time O.J. saw Nichole, her head was still attached to her body.

John Hinderaker at Powerline says, “Bernie Madoff can only envy the press relations that allow Obama’s self-exoneration to be reported straight.”

The Smoking Gun reports that the feds have already interviewed Obama. Ace has questions about the role of SEIU, particular union goon Patrick Gaspard, who’s been appointed to a key role in the Obama administration.

Team Obama may think themselves very clever for this little self-absolution stunt, but they’ve just kicked the can down the road. Not many Washington reporters are even in Washington this week, and the White House press corps won’t just quietly accept this flimsy explanation. Expect to see a lot more scratching around on this story next week, and especially after New Year’s.

The real danger, BTW, is not really to Obama himself. It’s Emanuel who’s in trouble, because he’s got to start his job as White House chief of staff with this dirty Chicago business hanging around his neck. Not good image-wise for the”Hope ‘n’ Change” franchise, and a serious distraction to somebody trying to do the hardest job in Washington. WHCOS is big, big, big responhsibility, and the last thing you need is a COS who’s distracted by his own corruption scandal.

UPDATE III: Headline of the Day:

Obama team probe of Obama team
finds no Obama team impropriety

Amazing how that works, isn’t it?

December 22, 2008

Team Obama discovers a loophole

The Audacity of Opacity:

Barack Obama is promising . . . he’ll disclose contacts between his staff and disgraced Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s office, but he’s stopped short of pledging to release e-mails or other records that could be key to understanding those contacts.
Whatever such records exist may never see the light of day, thanks to a gap in government records disclosure laws that allows presidential transition teams to keep their documents — even those prepared using taxpayer dollars — out of the public record.
The exemption from disclosure rules surprised some records law experts, and may prompt legislation from a leading Republican transparency advocate to apply the laws to presidential transition teams, which could compel Team Obama to preserve Blagojevich-related records for inspection, if only in the distant future.
But for now, a spokeswoman for President-elect Barack Obama said the transition team was not covered by a public information law that Politico cited in requesting copies of Obama staffers’ emails and notes about Blagojevich’s efforts to fill the Senate seat Obama vacated after winning the presidency.

Of course, attempting to hide information about the Blago case from a federal prosecutor would still be obstruction of justice. But unless Fitzpatrick brings such charges, those records will never see the light of day.

December 22, 2008

Blagojevich & Kipling

At his press conference, Rod Blagojevich invoked Rudyard Kipling’s poem “If.” This has resulted in one very wicked f—ing satire.

UPDATE: Another satire, without f-bombs.

December 21, 2008

Team Obama’s self-absolution

The Lightworker’s disciples can do no wrong:

[T]he Obama team’s review of contacts with Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich will show that Rahm Emanuel had only one phone conversation with Blagojevich. The contact, described as a “pro-forma” courtesy call, came as Emanuel was named Chief of Staff for Obama. Most of the discussion concerned Emanuel’s Congressional seat (which had previously been held by Blagojevich), with only a “passing reference” to the Senate vacancy, according to these sources. No deal for the Senate vacancy was discussed.

“Pro-forma” is Latin for quid pro quo. Ed Morrissey notes that this “one courtesy call” explanation doesn’t include the multiple contacts between Emanuel and Blago’s chief of staff.

UPDATE: Paul Jacob has some Blago-related thoughts.

December 16, 2008

Obama’s lawyer: No scandal here!

Why didn’t Nixon think of this?

President-elect Barack Obama said Monday a review by his own lawyer shows he had no direct contact with Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich about the appointment of a Senate replacement, and transition aides “did nothing inappropriate.”
Obama said he is prepared to make the review public, but decided to hold off because prosecutors asked for a delay and “I don’t want to interfere with an ongoing investigation.”

In unrelated news, attorneys for Britney Spears released a report concluding that she is not a crazy skank.

December 14, 2008

‘Meet the Obama Defenders’

David Gregory and friends — evidently eager to prove Rush Limbaugh right — rush to defend Barack Obama against any taint from BlagoGate:

December 14, 2008

Obama’s Bert Lance

Liberals are complaining bitterly about press coverage of the Rod Blagojevich scandal. “[T]he media have tried to shoehorn Barack Obama into the Rod Blagojevich scandal,” as Jamison Foser of Media Matters put it in a 2,900-word tirade Friday:

Most telling is the tendency of many journalists to speculate that the Blagojevich scandal may ensnare Obama without acknowledging that the complaint against Blagojevich contained absolutely no evidence of wrongdoing by Obama . . .
Associated Press reporter Liz Sidoti set the standard for pointlessly speculative news reports with an “analysis” piece declaring that “President-elect Barack Obama hasn’t even stepped into office and already a scandal is threatening to dog him.” . . .
We cannot afford to be distracted from serious problems by overheated conjecture and baseless insinuation masquerading as journalism.
That’s how the media behaved the last time we had a Democratic president. They devoted wall-to-wall coverage to invented “scandals,” ignored exculpatory evidence, saw evidence of guilt everywhere, took people out of context in order to accuse them of lying, and generally behaved like a pack of wild animals who couldn’t tell right from wrong or truth from fiction — or who simply didn’t care. As a group, they behaved without ethical standards and without regard for the truth.

Foser is correct that nothing now known indicates wrongdoing on Obama’s part. However, the revelation that Obama’s choice for chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, was in communication with Blagojevich — sending him a list of potential Senate replacement appointees acceptable to Obama — undermined Obama’s press conference claim that “no representative of mine would have any part in any deals related to this seat.”

Foser compares the press coverage to how the Whitewater scandal dogged the Clintons, but a more accurate analogy would be to the scandal that felled Jimmy Carter’s OMB director, Bert Lance. A Georgia banker and influential figure in state Democratic Party politics, Lance was forced to resign eight months into the Carter administration by revelations about his financial dealings. Lance was never convicted of any crime, and the scandal involved no suggestion of wrongdoing by Carter, and yet the swirl of accusations damaged — if it did not entirely destroy — Carter’s image as a squeaky-clean reformer. Perhaps most importantly, the Lance scandal brought an early end to whatever honeymoon Carter had enjoyed with the Washington press corps.

The scolding of Foser and other liberals won’t undo the damage that the Blagojevich scandal has already done to Obama, and more damage is likely. The Republican National Committee has issued a Web video aiming to cement in the public mind the idea that Obama (a) is a close ally of Blagojevich, and (b) has been dishonest in his responses to the scandal:

(Cross-posted at AmSpecBlog.)

UPDATE: Linked at Hot Air, where Ed Morrissey points to Andrew Malcolm of the LA Times:

What’s puzzled some people and raised suspicions among others is Emanuel’s refusal to talk about it (reportedly physically pushing one reporter’s tape recorder away and having a verbal altercation with another) and the delay on Obama’s part in releasing the promised diary of contacts.
From a practical point of view, if everything is above board, what’s to hide?

It’s the appearance of impropriety, which would make a great book title, BTW.

UPDATE II: The Instalanche — what every blogger wants for Christmas. And, of course, it was the professor’s book, The Appearance of Impropriety, that I had in mind. Speaking of books and Christmas, now would be a great time to shop the 2008 Holiday Book Sale, and let’s go ahead and plug two great books about political scandal:

UPDATE III: Obama’s staff has experience in dealing with scandals.

UPDATE IV: Chigago Democrats and the Mob, also accusations of a Blagojevich-Mob connection.