Obama Claims: “I Had No Contact With Blagojevich Over Vacated Senate Seat”

409e3d37-328e-409c-bad5-5fc18cbb26ddnews_ap_org

There was a short news blurb about this. It obviously came from a press release. However, this may turn out to be Obama’s first “untruth” of his administration. Why would I say this? Read the following excerpt from the criminal complaint against Blagojevich:

107. On November 12, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH talked with Advisor B. ROD BLAGOJEVICH discussed with Advisor B his idea for a 501(c)(4) organization. Advisor B stated that he likes the idea, but liked the Change to Win option better because, according to Advisor B, from the President-elect’s perspective, there would be fewer “fingerprints” on the President-elect’s involvement with Change to Win because Change to Win already has an existing stream of revenue and, therefore, “you won’t have stories in four years that they bought you off.” ROD BLAGOJEVICH said that he likes the 501(c)(4) idea because he knows it will be there in two years when he is no longer Governor, whereas Change to Win might not be.

Why would anyone be concerned about the President-elect’s “fingerprints” if there were no involvement to worry about? We need to know who Advisor B is and exactly how much Obama knew about this whole thing.

Further, David Alexrod gave an interview in which he was asked “who the Governor might pick to take Obama’s senate seat.” According to The Hill:

Despite Obama’s insistence that he has had no contact with Blagojevich about who might fill his open Senate seat, ABC News reported Tuesday that in late November, Obama senior adviser David Axelrod said he knew Obama had “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.”

Clearly, Obama was in some sort of contact with Blagojevich. We must know those names and how deeply Obama was involved.

You can access the Fox News blurb on-line here:

Obama: I Had No Contact With Blagojevich Over Vacated Senate Seat
FoxNews.com
December 9, 2008

You can access the story from The Hill on-line here:

RNC: Obama’s statement on Blagojevich ‘insufficient’
Sam Youngman
The Hill
December 9, 2008

And the criminal complaint is available on-line here:

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA vs. ROD R. BLAGOJEVICH, and JOHN HARRIS
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS, EASTERN DIVISION
December 2008

Advertisements

Three Possible Obama Advisors Involved In Illinois Senate Seat Auction Scandal

Now, this is nowhere near enough to end the Obama administration before it even starts, but it is more than enough to warrant a close watch of Obama and his cabinet by everyone. Obama and his aides, as well as other Democrats, should also keep in the back of their minds now that anytime they try to do something in secret, like craft legislation behind closed doors, it will raise even more serious alarm bells among Joe and Jane Average American than usual.

The Patriot Room has done some research and came up with the following passages from the criminal complaint filed against Rod Blagojevich. Read them thoroughly. It’s not enough to end the Obama Presidency, but it is more than enough to make sure that we pay close attention to everything he does over the next four years.

The excerpts:

By this time, media reports indicated that Senate Candidate 1, an advisor to the President elect, was interested in the Senate seat if it became vacant, and was likely to be supported by the President-elect. During the call, ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated, “unless I get something real good for [Senate Candidate 1], sh*t, I’ll just send myself, you know what I’m saying.”

ROD BLAGOJEVICH asked what he can get from the President-elect for the Senate seat. ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated that Governor General Counsel believes the President-elect can get ROD BLAGOJEVICH’s wife on paid corporate boards in exchange for naming the President-elect’s pick to the Senate. Governor General Counsel asked, “can [the President-elect] help in the private sector. . . where it wouldn’t be tied to him? . . .I mean, so it wouldn’t necessarily look like one for the other.” . . .

Thereafter, ROD BLAGOJEVICH discussed whether he could obtain an ambassadorship in exchange for the Senate seat.

ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated that the “trick . . . is how do you conduct indirectly . . . a negotiation” for the Senate seat. Thereafter, ROD BLAGOJEVICH analogized his situation to that of a sports agent shopping a potential free agent to various teams, stating “how much are you offering, [President-elect]? What are you offering, [Senate Candidate 2]? . . . Can always go to. . . [Senate Candidate 3].” Later ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated that he will make a decision on the Senate seat “in good faith . . . but it is not coming for free. . . . It’s got to be good stuff for the people of Illinois and good for me.” ROD BLAGOJEVICH states “[President-elect], you want it? Fine. But, its got to be good or I could always take [the Senate seat].”

Later on November 7, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH discussed the open Senate seat in a three-way call with JOHN HARRIS and Advisor B, a Washington D.C.-based consultant. ROD BLAGOJEVICH indicated in the call that if he was appointed as Secretary of Health and Human Services by the President-elect, then ROD BLAGOJEVICH would appoint Senate Candidate 1 to the open Senate seat. HARRIS stated “we wanted our ask to be reasonable and rather than. . .make it look like some sort of selfish grab for a quid pro quo.” . . . During the call, ROD BLAGOJEVICH, HARRIS, and Advisor B discussed the prospect of working a three-way deal for the open Senate seat. HARRIS noted that ROD BLAGOJEVICH is interested in taking a high-paying position with an organization called “Change to Win,” which is connected to Service Employees International Union (“SEIU”).

Advisor B said that he liked the idea of the three-way deal. ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated that he is interested in making $250,000 to $300,000 and being on some organization boards. Advisor B said they should leverage the President-elect’s desire to have Senate Candidate 1 appointed to the Senate seat in order to get a head position with Change to Win and a salary. Advisor B agreed that the three-way deal would be a better plan than ROD BLAGOJEVICH appointing Senate Candidate 2 to the Senate seat and getting more done as Governor.

While there appears to be no clear evidence as to exactly how involved President-elect Barack Obama is in this whole thing, it is clear that at least three of his advisors are directly involved. The administration is already tainted before anyone even got sworn in. Wasn’t there a requirement to have a clean record in order to work for the Obama administration?

I join the The Patriot Room in demanding to know, by name, who those three advisors are and to know exactly how much the President-elect knew about these proceedings.

You can access the original blog-entry on-line here:

We Need The Names Of These 3 Possible Obama Advisors Who Negotiated With Blagojevich
Bill Dupray
The Patriot Room
December 9, 2008

And you can access the complete criminal complaint on-line here:

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA vs. ROD R. BLAGOJEVICH, and JOHN HARRIS
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS, EASTERN DIVISION
December 2008

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich: A Surpirse “Fitzmas” Present For The GOP

Over the past year, we’ve been throwing around terms like “Chicago style politics” as they related to Barack Obama and other alumni of the Illinois political machine. Of course, we were referring to people like Tony Rezko, William Ayers and the plethora of people who called into WGN radio to try and shout down any opposition to Obama’s campaign.

Well, we certainly weren’t expecting the nice little “Fitzmas” present we got today. Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was arrested today for engaging in Chicago style politics. He tried to sell Barack Obama’s vacated U.S. Senate seat for personal gain.

From MSN:

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich embarked on “political corruption crime spree” and tried to benefit from his ability to appoint President-elect Barack Obama’s replacement in the U.S. Senate, federal officials said Tuesday.

At a news conference in Chicago on Tuesday, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald called it a sad day for the citizens of Illinois and alleged that the governor tried to “auction off” the Senate seat “to the highest bidder”.

He said the alleged behavior “would make (Abe) Lincoln roll over in his grave”.

And, Mr. Fitzgerald had to censor quite a bit about the dialogue used during the sales process:

The affidavit quotes Blagojevich telling an adviser later that day that a Senate seat “is a [expletive] valuable thing, you just don’t give it away for nothing.”

In a conversation with Harris on November 4, the day of the election, Blagojevich is alleged to have compared his situation to that of a sports agent shopping a potential free agent to the highest bidder.

On November 5, Blagojevich allegedly told an adviser, “I’ve got this thing and it’s [expletive] golden, and, uh, uh, I’m just not giving it up for [expletive] nothing. I’m not gonna do it.”

And from ABC News:

On Monday, Gov. Blagojevich spoke about reports that federal investigators had recorded him as part of their corruption probe. Blagojevich said his conversations were “always lawful.” His confidant, John Wyma, reportedly cooperated with the federal agents. “I should say if anybody wants to tape my conversations, go right ahead, feel free to do it,” said Blagojevich on Monday. “I appreciate anybody who wants to tape me openly and notoriously, and those who feel like they want to sneakily, and wear taping devices, I would remind them that it kind of smells like Nixon and Watergate.” Blagojevich fundraiser Tony Rezko awaits sentencing on a federal corruption conviction in which he was charged with shaking down businesses wanting to do state work for campaign contributions. The governor has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

This is a huge story that will be talked about for a long time. Some well known players are being mentioned quite frequently including Tony Rezko and President-elect Barack Obama. I’m sure Obama appreciates this kind of attention at the start of his administration.

You can access the complete stories on-line here:

Feds: Ill. Gov Tried To ‘Auction’ Obama’s Seat
MSNBC News
NBC News’ Pete Williams, The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report
December 9, 2008

US Atty: Blagojevich Arrest A “Truly New Low”
WLS-TV/DT
December 9, 2008

Christmas Songs That You Think Are Overplayed Or Not Played Enough

So, here’s a question for the Christmas Season. What Christmas songs do you hear too much of from Thanksgiving to Christmas and what songs do you think need to be heard more often? I’m pretty sure that given the diversity of people who celebrate Christmas, some songs would end up on both lists.

We have a few radio stations here in Northern Virginia that do all Christmas music, or rather, Holiday music, 24/7 between the end of November and Christmas Day. But it seems as though some songs get played over and over while other songs are extremely rare.

Here are my choices for songs played way too much:

  1. Christmas In Sarajevo by Trans-Siberian Orchestra. I find nothing cheery about this piece and every time I hear it, my mind is filled with images of an airborne assault in the Vietnam War.
  2. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town by Bruce Springsteen. Let’s face it. The Boss is passé. He may be a classic rocker but this version of this song is not what any rationally thinking person would consider “classic.”
  3. Christmas Shoes by NewSong. This song is depressing. So depressing that I would rather hear Christmas In Sarajevo than this.
  4. Jingle Bell Rock by Bobby Helms. Helms has the same problem that Springsteen does. Someone tried to take a commercialized song and call it a Christmas classic. Didn’t work.
  5. Any version of Santa Baby. This has got to be one of the biggest Christmas barf songs of all time. How can you explain to a child that Christmas is a time of celebrating peace and brotherhood when you’ve got Eartha Kitt or Madonna asking Santa to bring all this cash and jewelry?

Now, here are some songs that I don’t get to hear enough:

  1. Christmas Eve In Washignton by Maura Sullivan. This is probably just a local favorite here in the D.C. area, but it has a Christmassy feel and is fairly patriotic too.
  2. Snoopy’s Christmas by The Royal Guardsmen. This may seem like a cheesy pick, but if you’ve ever listened to the words, you find that in the end, the Christmas Spirit overtakes the Red Baron and he shows mercy to his adversary.
  3. Christmas Rapping by The Waitresses. Okay, this pick oozes with cheese as well. But, the song is a story about a year filled with bad luck and ends in a sort of Christmas miracle.
  4. Christmas In Killarney by John Redmond, James Cavanaugh and Frank Weldon. What separates this song from Jingle Bell Rock is that instead of a commercial jingle, Christmas In Killarney captures the feel and sensation of spending Christmas in a close-knit small town.
  5. Sleigh Ride, the original instrumental version by Leroy Anderson. Okay, I know this was never meant to be a Christmas song, but it has become one. I like it because I actually played it in the band back in High School. It brings back some very treasured memories for me.

There are other songs that I am sure can go onto either list. Another Auld Lang Syne by the late Dan Fogelberg could go either way here. The Hallelujah Chorus by Handel is the same way but it is really an Easter song.