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Author Topic: *happy dance*
TomDavidson
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They arrested Blago today. Here's hoping the third time's the charm.
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Wayward Son
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I take it you mean this Blago.

Sounds pretty bad for him right now...

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Dave at Work
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Yes, that would be the Blago about which Tom speaks. It couldn't have happened to a more deserving Governor. I hope that means that Blago doesn't get to appoint our new Senator and that the Lt. Governor, Pat Quinn, will get to make that decision.

We, the people of Illinois, need to make a requirement that if you run for Governor of Illinois that you have to raise money for building maintaining and staffing your own prison cell for when you get indicted and then convicted of corruption along with the money you use for your campaign. I think I'm only half kidding about that. We seem to have a history of corrupt politicians here in Illinois and a lot of them seem to make it to the Governors mansion. They are not all corrupt though. I am pretty sure that our President Elect is not corrupt for example, and I haven't heard of any thing suggesting that Pat Quinn is corrupt.

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TommySama
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I've been reading about this. Apparently it's illegal to sell a senate seat.

In one article I read, Blagojevich was quoted swearing about how the president elect expected him to put the person he wanted in the senate "for ****ing nothing". Damn this is juicier than a steak from Mufflettas!

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JoshCrow
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Oh, burn! I love to see clowns getting caught pulling stuff like this
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Talltwin
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There is a distinction the Governor seemed to have missed - Senate seats can be BOUGHT, but they cannot be SOLD.

If even half of what was transcripted in the complaint is true, this is an amazing display of arrogance and stupidity.

What do you think his defense claim will be??

talltwin

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kmbboots
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Insanity has been suggested.

[ December 09, 2008, 01:00 PM: Message edited by: kmbboots ]

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Dave at Work
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http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2008/1209081rod1.html
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Talltwin
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I would be refreshing to hear "normal Chicago greed and avarice, with a helping of arrogance and self-serving on the side".

I mean, he knew they were already investigating him and his administration, so WHY does he talk on a tappable device in such obvious terms??

I hope that none of this sticks to our President-elect, but the stench that surrounds Chicago area politics is truly amazing.

I don't know which is worse - competent but corrupt (like Chicago) or incompetent but honest (like here in my town)?

talltwin

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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by Talltwin:
I mean, he knew they were already investigating him and his administration, so WHY does he talk on a tappable device in such obvious terms??

I hope that none of this sticks to our President-elect, but the stench that surrounds Chicago area politics is truly amazing.

My guess is Blago thought he would get away with it. Chicago political corruption runs wide and deep. I'm sure Obama has a little taint from Blago around the edges (the list of those involved are also involved with Obama) but I doubt there's anything that would give Obama more trouble than some minor embarrassment. Even then, given an opportunity to gain a favor owed from the president would get more than a few Illinois politicians willing to take the hit for Obama. It would have to be a pretty incredible smoking gun to draw Obama into it.

Blago probably believed his own hype a little too much and thought he was untouchable and/or thought whatever he had with Obama might be enough to get a commutation or pardon. Blago is very likely going to be seriously disappointed.

[ December 09, 2008, 02:33 PM: Message edited by: G2 ]

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winkey151
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And I am sure that Fitzgerald is going to go after everyone who is close to Obama so that Obama can reap the damaging effects from Blagojevich's corrupt actions.

Wait, I take that back... he only does that when the President is a Republican.

Democrats can't be held to moral standards. Their intentions are always noble... no matter what they do.

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cherrypoptart
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Blago is so old school.

People made fun of John McCain not being internet savvy, but this Blago is just as bad. He needs to get with the times!

He should have just sold it on Ebay...

http://cgi.ebay.com/Obama-Senate-Seat-For-Sale-discrete-bidders-only_W0QQitemZ180312898167QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item180312898167&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms =72%3A1205%7C66%3A2%7C65%3A12%7C39%3A1%7C240%3A1318%7C301%3A1%7C293%3A1%7C294%3A50

-----------------------------------------

Edited to add: Come to think of it... looking at the seller, maybe he still is trying to sell it. My goodness but that's chutzpah!

[ December 09, 2008, 03:57 PM: Message edited by: cherrypoptart ]

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munga
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winkey,

honeybun, I hope all the corrupt governors, of which there are a great many, go down together. Wouldn't it be great if Crist, Barbour and Huntsman all went down with Blago for their sins?

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winkey151
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quote:
Originally posted by munga:
winkey,

honeybun, I hope all the corrupt governors, of which there are a great many, go down together. Wouldn't it be great if Crist, Barbour and Huntsman all went down with Blago for their sins?

Munga... Schmoochypoo,
If someone is corrupt.... they should go down and go down hard. No matter what political label is next to their name.

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munga
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couldn't agree more.
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TommySama
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"Blago probably believed his own hype a little too much and thought he was untouchable and/or thought whatever he had with Obama might be enough to get a commutation or pardon. Blago is very likely going to be seriously disappointed."

All I have heard about this is that the two had a purely formal relationship. Blagojevic was angry that Obama did not seek a relationship with him while he was running for president. That was from MPR, however, which probably just parroted what Obama's team put forth.

Here is a fuller examination of their relationship.

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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by TommySama:
All I have heard about this is that the two had a purely formal relationship.

I don't know what their relationship was and I seriously doubt we can rely on the press to inform us about it. The backing up is starting, Axelrod is next under the bus. Just a couple of week ago, Obama and Blago were talking to teach other about the replacement, today they never talked about it. Funny how tings change as the arrests start happening.

Reading Jake Tapper, there's more memory "improvement" going on:
quote:
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 client.

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 victory.

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."

Wilhelm said that Emanuel had overstated Obama's role. "There was an advisory council that was inclusive of Rahm and Barack but not limited to them," Wilhelm said, and he disputed the notion that Obama was "an architect or one of the principal strategists."

Emanuel, Obama and Blagojevich ... they all played politics together over the years:
quote:
On the Chicago TV show "Public Affairs with Jeff Berkowitz" on June 27, 2002, state Sen. Obama said, "Right now, my main focus is to make sure that we elect Rod Blagojevich as Governor, we..."

"You working hard for Rod?" interrupted Berkowitz.

"You betcha," said Obama.

"Hot Rod?" asked the host.

"That's exactly right," Obama said.

In 2004, then-Gov. Blagojevich enthusiastically endorsed Obama for the Senate seat after he won the nomination, and Obama endorsed Blagojevich for his 2006 re-election race in early 2005.

In the Summer of 2006, then-U.S. Sen. Obama backed Blagojevich even though there were serious questions at the time about Blago's hiring practices.

At the time, numerous state agencies had had records subpoenaed, with U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald telling authorities he was looking into "very serious allegations of endemic hiring fraud" with a "number of credible witnesses."

In another month, Obama will be saying he and Blagojevich were just neighbors that said hello on occasion. The press will believe it and report it 'properly' too.
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Straygaldwyr
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That is not how Chicago politics works, He will be freed on lack of evidence for one reason, he knows where Obama's skeletons are buried. Mark this post, it is prophesy...
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kenmeer livermaile
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There's truth to what stray says, here. Chicago politics are built, like the downtown city itself, on tall pilings driven deep through the noxious mudflat of the Chicago River delta.

Harry S. Truman arose from the similarly rough urban political machinery of Kansas City.

One assumption Stray makes that is untested and weak, based on what we know of its undershorings, is that Obama has skeletons in his closet other than a dead father and grandmother.

Despite all the cry to the opposite, Obama's Illinois career has been scrutinized intensely as few have.

Little was found,and that little was mostly of the dust mice category.

I'll finish by stating that there's a reason a junior USA senator of the wrong color became president while a 3-term Democratic governor of that notoriously king-making state, Illinois, is threatened with criminal lawsuits and is listed as The Least Popular Governor in Illinois:

quote:

Approval ratings

Polling completed on October 13, 2008 put Blagojevich's approval rating among Illinois voters at 4%.[43] Blagojevich ranks as “Least Popular Governor” in the nation according to Rasmussen Reports By the Numbers.[5]

On October 23, 2008, the Chicago Tribune reported that Blagojevich suffered the lowest ratings ever recorded for an elected politician in nearly three decades of Chicago Tribune polls. The survey of 500 registered likely voters conducted showed that 10% wanted Blagojevich re-elected in 2010, while three-fourths said they didn't want him back for a third term. The survey also showed only 13% approved of Blagojevich's performance, while 71% disapproved. Only eight percent of the state's voters believe Blagojevich has lived up to his promise to end corruption in government. 60% of Democrats did not want him to serve another term in office, and 54% disapproved of the job he had done. Among independent voters, 83% disapproved of his performance and 85% of them rejected a Blagojevich third term.[44] Blagojevich said in October 2008 that if he were running for re-election this year, he would win, and the economy, not his federal investigations, had caused his unpopularity.[4]

In February 2008, Blagojevich's approval ratings had been, by various accounts, 16% to the low 20s, but still lower than those of President George W. Bush in Illinois.[10]

As for Obama:

quote:

By all accounts, Blagojevich and Barack Obama are not close.[14] During the primary, state Senator Barack Obama backed Attorney General Roland Burris, but backed Blagojevich after he won the primary, serving as a "top adviser" for the general election.[15] Future Obama senior adviser David Axelrod had previously worked with Blagojevich on Congressional campaigns, but did not consider Blagojevich ready to be governor and declined to work for him on this campaign.[15] According to Rahm Emanuel, Emanuel, Obama, Blagojevich's campaign co-chair David Wilhelm, and another Blagojevich staffer "were the top strategists of Blagojevich's 2002 gubernatorial victory," meeting weekly to outline campaign strategies.[15] Wilhelm has said that Emanuel overstated Obama's role in the sessions, and Emanuel said in December 2008 that Wilhelm was correct and he had been wrong in his earlier 2008 recollection to The New Yorker.[15]

Obama was just doing his good party member job in campaigning for Rod -- after Rod became the nominee. Abraham Lincoln, another Illinois Senator made POTUS, did similar things.

I'm tired of poorly made points based on barely made research, bias-driven assumptions, over-dressed with insinuations of wisdom.

Kenmeer of Livermaile

[ December 10, 2008, 11:38 AM: Message edited by: kenmeer livermaile ]

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G2
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People are putting together the timeline on this ... and there's an inconsistency:
quote:
Most people have misunderstood the timeline of the Blagojevich Senate scandal. Pretty much everything fits except Barack Obama's statement yesterday that he knew nothing about it.

If we didn't have Obama's denial to contend with, the actions of all the parties, including those purporting to speak for Obama, are consistent with Obama and his staff learning about Blagojevich's corrupt plans on Monday, Nov. 10.

That guy works all the way through the timeline, including Obama's denial, and concludes that "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."

Did Obama know what Blagojevich was up to? Based on the timeline it appears that he did. Knowing about it and not reporting it is not a crime either, only actively working to conceal things would have been a crime. We're left with the final conclusion:
quote:
Since by all accounts, the Obama camp refused Blagojevich’s bribery attempt, it would be extremely unwise to lie about it. Remember, it’s not the crime that trips you up; it’s the cover-up.
It looks more and more like Obama has to walk a legal tightrope around this issue to avoid getting his hands dirty on Blagojevich’s mess.
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kenmeer livermaile
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It's quite possible that Obama/team simply handed the data over to those who would most benefit from dishing the dirt, would be in a closer position to dish the dirt, and felt they had better things to worry over than corrupt Illinois politics as usual. (Anyone watching saw this trainwreck coming a long ways off.)

This is state politics, and the prosecution of a known bribery attempt appears well under way.

Now dig, ye diggers, dig, if it pleases ye, and see if you can find anything on this matter vis a vis Obama even remotely near, say, the amount of collusion the Bush admin had with the Plame affair, which is something ye old diggers seemed mostly happy to let lie and molder in peace.

Heh. I said Molder. Have I... Scullied my reputation?

Kenmeer of Livermaile

Damn. Squirrels seem hungry now all the ACORNs have fallen off their tree.

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RickyB
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Of course he knew. Duh. The question is, can you PROVE he knew? Why, pray tell, would it be illegitimate for him to know?
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G2
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It doesn't matter if he knew. There's nothing wrong with knowing and deciding to do nothing about it.
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flydye45
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quote:
Originally posted by RickyB:
Of course he knew. Duh. The question is, can you PROVE he knew? Why, pray tell, would it be illegitimate for him to know?

Because as an officer of the court, it's his responsibility to report the crime.

I don't know that he knew, but he's lying about never discussing who got selected with Blago. What a small thing to lose credibility over.

I wonder if President Elect Obama was on any of the wiretap tapes in conversation with Blago.

[ December 10, 2008, 03:34 PM: Message edited by: flydye45 ]

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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by flydye45:
quote:
Originally posted by RickyB:
Of course he knew. Duh. The question is, can you PROVE he knew? Why, pray tell, would it be illegitimate for him to know?

Because as an officer of the court, it's his responsibility to report the crime.
It actually is not his responsibility to report a crime and there is no legal requirement for him to do so. As long as he did not participate in any cover up (and it seems pretty clear he did not) then there's nothing for him to worry about. Which makes throwing Axelrod under the bus seem strange ... maybe just an overreaction?
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TomDavidson
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quote:
It actually is not his responsibility to report a crime and there is no legal requirement for him to do so.
I believe it's grounds for disbarrement. And possibly even a crime, although I'm not sure.
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G2
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The Bar Association may have some rules around it but I'm pretty certain failure to report is not a crime.
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flydye45
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I'm not interested in pursuing the issue ala birth certificate, but if Obama clearly knew about the sale, he could be charged as an accessory, in a purely theoretical fashion.

Proving such a charge is...difficult without direct cooperation from the folks involved. Blago has all the incentive in the world to not discuss anything until January 20...and then he might have even less incentive...or more.

I am amused how Stevens, et al were symptomatic of "a culture of corruption" on the side of Republicans, but this is purely the matter of an individual when it's a Dem...according to the Dems. Choose one, people.

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RickyB
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Oh, you mean he had proof of illegalities? That needs some proving. Mere questions are jack all when accusing of a crime. Put up or assume innocence.

Knew about the sale? The sale was designed to thwart him. Read everything about this case - he actually comes out well, refusing all pay for play overtures. Now, it is pretty damn obvious he knew something was up about 3 weeks or so ago - when he stopped efforts to get the seat for his pal, what her name. Stands to reason, he got wind (not enough for court, plenty for politics) of the shenanigans, also knew there was already an investigation, knew what he had was basically hearsay, so acted accordingly.

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flydye45
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As I said, it's gray and hard to prove. However, if someone could establish that Obama had full knowledge, he'd be culpable as an accessory if he didn't report it. Which makes the tapes somewhat interesting.

You are correct. If he had rumors of Blago going capitalistic with politics and backed away, he's safe. If he knew more he could (hypothetically) be screwed.

I'm not interested in this bit of screwing, however. Something bigger is coming down the pike.

I will take the opportunity to gloat at the culture of corruption endemic in the Democratic party and the Ill legislature specifically.

Edited to add: He didn't need proof of illegalities. If Blago told him "I'm selling the office." he's culpable.

[ December 10, 2008, 06:08 PM: Message edited by: flydye45 ]

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Storm Saxon
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quote:
Originally posted by flydye45:
I'm not interested in pursuing the issue ala birth certificate, but if Obama clearly knew about the sale, he could be charged as an accessory, in a purely theoretical fashion.

Proving such a charge is...difficult without direct cooperation from the folks involved. Blago has all the incentive in the world to not discuss anything until January 20...and then he might have even less incentive...or more.

I am amused how Stevens, et al were symptomatic of "a culture of corruption" on the side of Republicans, but this is purely the matter of an individual when it's a Dem...according to the Dems. Choose one, people.

Slate, a well known liberal news site, has a big write-up today on how corrupt Chicago politics are. I wouldn't be surprised to see other articles about how corrupt Chicago politics are in the dreaded liberal MM.

Can't recall seeing anything like that about Bush in NRO or any other conservative site.

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kenmeer livermaile
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"I am amused how Stevens, et al were symptomatic of "a culture of corruption" on the side of Republicans, but this is purely the matter of an individual when it's a Dem...according to the Dems. Choose one, people. "

This is Chicago. SOmeone who shouldn't have tried to sell Obama's soon-to-be vacated senatorial seat. Obama hasn't in any way interfered that we know of, just let others deal with it.

Let's worry about bad things Obama does ONCE he's in office, and not worry about one of America's tried-and-proven political corruption centers actually exposing one of its own.

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RickyB
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" If he knew more he could (hypothetically) be screwed."

Nope. See, any such knowledge would perforce entail knowledge of an ongoing investigation. So you'd have to prove that he got it not from law enforcement (which would obviate reporting it), and that he did not take steps to ascertain whether they knew. Tall, tall order, beyond even proving he knew.

My bet? The very word of an investigation caused him to back off, though it's almost equally possible that he got word of the shenanigans from closer on the scene. Sounds like Blagh lost it precipitously in the last few weeks. That causes talk.

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flydye45
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quote:
Originally posted by Storm Saxon:
Slate, a well known liberal news site, has a big write-up today on how corrupt Chicago politics are. I wouldn't be surprised to see other articles about how corrupt Chicago politics are in the dreaded liberal MM.


Even the MSLM cannot hide all shinanegans. That said, they were happy to throw any number of quotes from unfriendly pols stating that a corrupt Republican individual acts as proof of a "culture of corruption" on the one hand, but allow no such insinuations when it's a Blagojevich, a Jefferson, a Trafficant (going to a halfway house this week btw), a Torricelli, a...well you get the picture. No, those were lone actors. And I agree. Too bad they have such different metric between the two parties.

quote:
Can't recall seeing anything like that about Bush in NRO or any other conservative site.
Maybe because Bush wasn't selling offices. "Something a liberal doesn't like" does not equal "corrupt." But if you found no criticism on NRO for Bush, then either you are not a regular or your reading comp skills need work. But then again, NRO is a policy and opinion piece. I can, considering the sorry state of MSL journalism today, understand your confusion, as the Times has mistaken their news room for an opinion page this last election cycle as well.
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flydye45
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quote:
Originally posted by RickyB:
" If he knew more he could (hypothetically) be screwed."

Nope. See, any such knowledge would perforce entail knowledge of an ongoing investigation. So you'd have to prove that he got it not from law enforcement (which would obviate reporting it), and that he did not take steps to ascertain whether they knew. Tall, tall order, beyond even proving he knew.

My bet? The very word of an investigation caused him to back off, though it's almost equally possible that he got word of the shenanigans from closer on the scene. Sounds like Blagh lost it precipitously in the last few weeks. That causes talk.

Don't see how that follows. If Obama called Blago and said "I'd like Valerie in there." and Blago responded "What will you give me for it?", that is a very plausible conversation which would fulfill the letter of the law.

Obama's lied about this once. I await watching him twist in the wind on his "changitude and tranparency" rhetoric with great delight. And this is for nothing!

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TomDavidson
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quote:
No, those were lone actors.
Actually, the media references to "the corrupt Chicago machine" are legion -- and go back farther than I've been alive.
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G2
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Everything I can piece together on this about Obama is that he wanted Jarrett to replace him in the senate. Blago wanted more than Obama's appreciation and made it clear what he wanted. Obama pulled Jarrett out and bailed on the whole mess.

It seems pretty obvious Obama or someone on his team was talking to Blago and when they found out what was up got the hell out of there. Nothing really wrong with that so why the waffling on dishonesty around admitting this? Of course, admitting they new something was up and did nothing makes Obama look a little less hope and changey so maybe that's what drives the untrue denial. I can see an overreaction on Obama's part - this is an ugly little mess to be around.

From everything I can find, Obama's failure (or his staff's) to report this is not a crime of any kind unless they benefited in some way from the failure to report. I haven't seen anything to indicate he did. So while politics as usual from graduates of the Chicago machine, nothing really there for Obama to worry about.

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flydye45
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Looking over the definition of conspiracy, Obama seems to be clear because of the lack of agreement necessary for the legal standard of the crime. IIRC, there was a term for someone who remained silent while a criminal act was in progress i.e. a mom listening to her kids plan a bank job. However even that is a reach.

Ethically as a lawyer, he's in slightly more problematic waters.

****

Tom,

Which just proves that the media can see the lightning and hear the thunder.

Efforts are made to immunize the Democrats as a whole, something not granted Republicans. Local papers have every interest in addressing their local corruption, though they are singularly ineffectual at doing much to an entire city. It's too bad that there isn't a high profile politician from Illinois with a bully pulpit who could shine a spotlight on the entire corrupt practice. But that would be controversial (i.e. change), and we can't have controversy (i.e. change).

I put it down to vote buying and grivence politics which the Dems have indulged in to solidify their hold on the cities. A flaw in their paradigm which too easily leads to Jefferson and Blago.

[ December 11, 2008, 10:20 AM: Message edited by: flydye45 ]

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TomDavidson
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quote:
It's too bad that there isn't a high profile politician from Illinois with a bully pulpit who could shine a spotlight on the entire corrupt practice.
*grin* Point taken.
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kenmeer livermaile
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Waddya know. Stick that on top of your red state-blue state map and tell me what you see.

Kenmeer of Livermaile

[ December 11, 2008, 01:21 PM: Message edited by: kenmeer livermaile ]

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