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Author Topic: The Obama Phenomena  (Read 112985 times)
ccp
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« Reply #400 on: November 18, 2008, 10:11:00 AM »

On this I agree with Chris Matthews on this.  Many have been saying that BO is so wise to make Clinton his SOS and he will be taking out his chief Dem Political rival and control her and her team.  I say the opposite.  I say it *allows the Clintons to control BO* and keep in the game and the spotlight.  We will see ad nauseum photo shoots and soundbites of her meeting with this foreign dignitary and fixing our relationship with them or sticking up for our interests blah blah blah.  And Matthews against the apparant conventional wisdom agrees with me.  I say NEVER underestimate the political gamemanship of the CLintons. Anytime they can be kept out do it.  Thye will creep back like cancer otherwise.  Never give them an inch because they never give an inch. And, I don't see what all this talk of her being such a great SOS is all about anyway.  Again the Clinton spin.  What are her credentials oversees that makes her so great?


****Celebrity Sightings Page Six Magazine Cartoon Popwrap Michael Riedel 'HARDBALL' GUY DERAILS HILLARY
Comments: 25Read Comments Leave a Comment   November 18, 2008 --

"HARDBALL" host Chris Matthews and the other "castratos" at MSNBC shouldn't hold their breath waiting for a Hillary Clinton interview.

Matthews, who once opined that men who supported Clinton were "castratos in the eunuch chorus," forgot the cardinal rule for those who are often mentioned on Page Six - he didn't take a good look around on the Acela train from Philadelphia to Washington Saturday before he started bad-mouthing the New York senator.

Outrageous Political Impersonations Pop Video Quiz

An avowed Clinton lover who was sitting next to Matthews reports: "He was in business class wearing a red baseball hat that said Penn on the back, and the fat [bleep] fell asleep on the train and snored with his mouth open."

During the ride to DC, Matthews awoke from his nap. A fellow passenger asked him, "What's the news tomorrow?" - to which Matthews loudly started talking about President-elect Barack Obama possibly picking Hillary as his secretary of state.

"I don't understand it," Matthews bellowed. "Why would he pick her? I thought we were done with the Clintons. She'll just use it to build her power base. It's Machiavellian. And then we'll have Bill Clinton, too. I thought Obama didn't want drama. He's already got [chief of staff Rahm] Emanuel and [transition team leader John] Podesta. He'll have even more drama with her.

"She's just a soap opera. If he doesn't pick her, everyone will say she's been dissed again, we'll have to live through that again."

Matthews seems to be playing both sides of the fence. The host, who apologized to Clinton last year for claiming she got where she was because "her husband messed around," said on-air last Friday: "Look, I think that since she lost the fight for the nomination, [Clinton] has been not just a good soldier, she has sang the tune of [Obama]. She's been illustrious, she's been admirable . . . her spirit seems to be with him."

A rep for Clinton declined to comment while a rep for Matthews didn't return e-mails. ****




 
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DougMacG
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« Reply #401 on: November 18, 2008, 10:28:27 AM »

CCP wrote: "I don't see what all this talk of her being such a great SOS is all about anyway.  Again the Clinton spin.  What are her credentials oversees that makes her so great?"

As First Lady she traveled to China and spoke out against women's rights abuses.  Then she agreed to have all mention of that removed from her book for the Chinese translation in order to sell it a few million more books.  How's that for backbone?
« Last Edit: November 18, 2008, 10:43:34 AM by DougMacG » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #402 on: November 18, 2008, 10:57:13 AM »

Hillary's experience?  tongue   After she clusterfcuked her effort to socialize 14.7% of GDP, she was sent off to bake cookies, hide subpoenaed documents, and duck sniper fire evil  And if she had met her responsibilities to slick the President's willie, maybe the whole Lewinsky saga would not have happened  cheesy

More seriously now, IMHO this SOS thing is a head fake. 

BO got ragged for not giving Hillary the respect of pretending to consider her for VP, so now he pretends to give her consideration here.   If she takes it, she's under his thumb-- and she won't take it because to do so would mean that Bill would have to explain all kinds of shady money he has been receiving, so I seriously doubt she will take it.
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #403 on: November 18, 2008, 11:28:47 AM »

Quote
If she takes it, she's under his thumb-- and she won't take it because to do so would mean that Bill would have to explain all kinds of shady money he has been receiving, so I seriously doubt she will take it.

She'd also have to divest herself of financial interests that would give her an appearance of impropriety, and that would likely include any 2012 election mechanism. It was a cagey move on BHO's part, placate the Pumas, while giving Hillary the choice of either dismantling her political machine or STFU.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #404 on: November 18, 2008, 01:21:35 PM »

Many Dealings of Bill Clinton Are Under Review
 DON VAN NATTA Jr. and JO BECKER
NY Times
Published: November 17, 2008
Over the weekend, former President Bill Clinton enthusiastically endorsed the prospect that his wife, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, might join the Obama administration as secretary of state. “If he decided to ask her and they did it together,” the former president said, “I think she’ll be really great as a secretary of state.”

Mr. Clinton delivered those remarks at an international economic symposium in Kuwait City sponsored by the National Bank of Kuwait, which said the former president would “share with a select audience his perspective on the issues likely to shape the future prospects of the region.”
It is precisely that kind of paid speech, which Mr. Clinton delivered 54 times last year for a total of $10.1 million in fees, that has complicated the vetting process that Mrs. Clinton is undergoing by the Obama transition team. “Whatever happens or doesn’t happen is between Obama and her,” Mr. Clinton said.

That may be, but Mr. Clinton’s postpresidential life as a globe-trotting philanthropist, business consultant and speech-giver poses the highest hurdle for Mrs. Clinton to overcome if President-elect Barack Obama chooses to nominate her as secretary of state, according to aides of the Clintons and Mr. Obama.

The Obama transition team is focused on the wide array of Mr. Clinton’s postpresidential activities, some details of which have not been made public. This list includes the identity of most of the donors to his foundation, the source of some of his speaking fees — he has earned as much as $425,000 for a one-hour speech — and his work for the billionaire investor Ronald W. Burkle.

The vetting of Mr. Clinton’s myriad philanthropic and business dealings is “complicated, and it may be the complications that are causing hesitation on both sides,” said Abner J. Mikva, one of Mr. Obama’s closest supporters and a White House counsel during the Clinton administration. “There would have to be full disclosure as to who all were contributors to his library and foundation. I think they’d have to be made public.”

While aides to the president-elect declined Monday to discuss what sort of requirements would make it possible for Mrs. Clinton to serve as secretary of state, they said Mr. Obama would not formally offer her the job unless he was satisfied that there would be no conflicts posed by Mr. Clinton’s activities abroad.

Associates of the Clintons said that Mr. Clinton was likely to have to make significant concessions and that he was inclined to do so. Among other things, they said, he would probably have to agree not to take money for speeches from foreign businesses that have a stake in the actions of the American government. Another obvious issue, Democratic lawyers said, would be whether Mr. Clinton’s foundation should accept money from foreign governments, businesses or individuals for the foundation’s philanthropic activities and if it should disclose those donors publicly.

“The problem is it’s going to require some sacrifice by him,” said a former Clinton aide who is not involved in the discussions but did not want to be identified because the talks are confidential. “If he’s not willing to do that, it could blow up.”

One proposal, floated by Mr. Mikva and several other aides involved in the vetting process, would be for Mr. Clinton to separate himself from the activities of his foundation, including raising money.

“It’s not just what he does or says — it’s the fact that the foundation is involved with foreign countries, some of which might well be in conflict with U.S. policy,” Mr. Mikva said. “It’s more than a legal problem — there are ethical problems and appearance problems.”

Several longtime associates of the Clintons said the former president would be an asset to Mrs. Clinton if she were appointed secretary of state. The Obama administration “would be able to use Bill Clinton as the ultimate special envoy inside the tent,” one longtime associate said.

Since the former president established the William J. Clinton Foundation in 1998, it has raised more than $500 million, a sum that allowed him to build his steel-and-glass presidential library in Little Rock, Ark., and create the Clinton Global Initiative, which has done good deeds all over the world, including working to eradicate AIDS in Africa. Much of that money has been raised from foreign sources.

======

Page 2 of 2)



Mr. Clinton is not required by law to identify the donors to his foundation, and this year he declined to name them. Last year, while Mrs. Clinton was seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, The New York Times compiled the first detailed list of 97 donors who gave or pledged a total of $69 million for the Clinton presidential library in the final years of his administration. The examination found that while some $1 million contributors were longtime Clinton friends, others were seeking policy changes from the administration. Two people pledged $1 million each while they or their companies were under investigation by the Clinton Justice Department.

The foundation has received contributions from the Saudi royal family, the king of Morocco, a foundation linked to the United Arab Emirates and the governments of Kuwait and Qatar.

In a statement, the foundation said at the time, “Donors did not seek, nor did President Clinton give, favors from the federal government,” adding that most of the contributions were made after Mr. Clinton left office. A spokesman for the foundation, Matt McKenna, declined to comment on Monday.

During Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign, the Clintons agreed to sell $11 million to $26 million worth of stock and pledged to liquidate holdings that had been in a blind trust. She said then that they wanted to avoid conflicts of interest.

In September, at his annual Clinton Global Initiative meeting, Mr. Clinton hosted more than two dozen foreign leaders, including Queen Rania of Jordan, President Shimon Peres of Israel and President Álvaro Colom of Guatemala.

Mr. Obama met Thursday in Chicago with Mrs. Clinton. Shortly after that, the process of looking into Mr. Clinton’s activities began, slowed in part because Mr. Clinton did not return to the United States until early Monday.

Several Democrats close to the Clintons said the former president’s activities should not be a disqualifier because the couple had been more open about their finances than past veterans of the White House, thanks to Senate disclosure requirements.

“They are arguably the most transparent former first couple in history,” said one Democratic official, who declined to be identified because the talks are confidential. “For eight years, they’ve been doing this.”

Lanny J. Davis, a longtime Clinton friend who said he was not speaking on the couple’s behalf, said he “completely rejects 100 percent” any suggestion that there was a conflict between Mr. Clinton’s work raising money for his foundation and the work Mrs. Clinton would be doing as the nation’s chief diplomat.

When the Clintons released their postpresidency tax returns in April, the documents showed the couple had earned $109 million after leaving the White House in January 2001. Most of it has come from book-writing and speaking fees, a sum that accounts for nearly $92 million, including a $15 million advance from Mr. Clinton’s best-selling autobiography, “My Life.”

The returns also showed that Mr. Clinton had collected at least $12.6 million since 2002 from his work as an adviser to Mr. Burkle, whose Yucaipa Companies have invested money for the Dubai government and acquired a stake in a Chinese media company.

The former president helped drum up business for several domestic and foreign investment funds in Yucaipa’s portfolio, although precisely what Mr. Clinton did is unknown.

Beyond Mr. Clinton’s work for his foundation and his foreign business dealings, there is also the unique issue of having a secretary of state whose husband is a former president. During her campaign, Mrs. Clinton said if she were elected president, she would appoint Mr. Clinton as a “roving global ambassador.”

But if Mrs. Clinton were to be nominated as secretary of state, potential conflicts could occur if Mr. Clinton continued to serve as a traveling emissary of the United States. It is unknown whether he would be asked to curtail speaking out on foreign policy matters or, if asked, if he would be willing to do so.
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ccp
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« Reply #405 on: November 18, 2008, 02:15:31 PM »

***If she takes it, she's under his thumb-- and she won't take it because to do so would mean that Bill would have to explain all kinds of shady money he has been receiving, so I seriously doubt she will take it.***

Why are the Clinton contributions to be so well scrutinized if she becomes SOS?
Why Bo has received hundreds of millions from donars we know nothing about.  Because he didn't accept Federal campaign contribtutions he doesn't have to report his donors?
Does anyone think many of these monies didn't come from overseas?


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ccp
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« Reply #406 on: November 19, 2008, 04:50:36 AM »

From Howard Kurtz' surprising article.  Surprising because he documents quite clearly to a degree I never noticed him to do before how the MSM is and was biased for BO.  Of course I haven't made a study out of Kurtz' writings but everytime I have seen him review alleged bias by the MSM like the NYT he always seems to eventually conclude at the end that there was NO bias.
In this article he would agree that journalism is on hold.  Although I agree more with O'Reilly that it is gone forever as we knew it.  (Unless the repubs ever win back power wink)

But this part of Kurtz article I don't get:

***Bush, whose ego was threatened by any outburst of excellence in his vicinity, politicized all policymaking and centralized it in the White House. Obama, happily, has the opposite tendencies. He is intellectually confident, enjoys engaging with ideas, and inclines to pragmatism rather than partisanship. He can handle a Lincolnesque 'Team of Rivals' or a FDR-style brain trust. And he's going to need one.***

BO "inclines to pragmatism rather than partisanship"?

Why wasn't BO judged to be the MOST liberal and party loyal Senator?  There is nothing in his political background to suggest he has been anything other than a party hack.  Though of course he has denied it during his presidential campaign. 

And as far as Linconesque cabinet?  What I recall Lincoln did as written by the historians I've read decades ago was to pick men he thought were *the best qualified* for the job and not necessarily political rivals that would be taken out of the competition for his 1864 re-election bid.

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G M
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« Reply #407 on: November 20, 2008, 09:35:42 AM »

**Attention SB Mig, this is what I was talking about when referring to leftist indoctrination centers**

How the Academic Left Elected Obama   
By Dr. Paul Kengor
American Thinker | Thursday, November 20, 2008

Of all the reasons why America voted the way it did on November 4, one factor stands out: young people and first-time voters turned out and voted overwhelmingly for Barack Obama.

MSNBC's exit polling, which is consistent with other exit polling, showed that voters aged 18-29, who made up nearly one in five voters -- or about 25 million ballots -- went for Obama by more than two to one: 66 to 32 percent. Those voters alone well exceeded Obama's overall popular vote advantage, which was roughly eight million. Likewise, 11 percent of voters were first-time voters, and they went for Obama at an even higher rate: 69 to 30 percent. Single (unmarried) voters, which constituted one in three voters, went for Obama 65 to 33 percent.

While these categories are not monolithic, and overlap, they capture the current generation of college students, who clearly went bonkers for Barack Obama. Why? What are they learning -- and not learning?

These youth live and learn on college campuses where "diversity" and "tolerance" and "multiculturalism" -- bogus buzzwords that apply only to ethnic, gender, and sexual diversity, not genuine diversity of ideas -- reign supreme. Racial diversity is at the crux of this academic trinity, the source and summit of the faith. It is the molten, golden calf, where much of the intelligentsia and their disciples gather to worship. Political correctness has supplanted traditional religion.

Thus, when the university community was presented with Barack Obama, a charismatic, impressive, seemingly excellent Democratic presidential candidate -- who happened to be African-American -- the reaction was nearly reverential, bordering on idolatry. The good senator's bracing radical associations -- enough to deny any other American a security clearance -- and which were not coincidental to a man ranked the most leftist member of the most leftist Senate in U.S. history, didn't matter to the academic world. Quite the contrary, those who dared to point out these associations -- FoxNews, talk-radio, the McCain-Palin ticket -- were deemed loathsome Neanderthals deserving of being burned in effigy from the nearest dorm.

That brings me to another factor in this milieu: McCain-Palin. Neither John McCain nor Sarah Palin resonated with this gang. Given the prevailing orthodoxy in the academic asylum, John McCain's moving personal narrative of military valor had little impact on the college crowd. That McCain was tortured by communists for six years didn't matter much to these people -- the same individuals who endeavor to boot ROTC from their campuses. And as for Sarah Palin, she represented the worst of pariahs at the faculty club: an evangelical so consistently, comically pro-life that she chose to do what 90 percent of women don't do when they're informed of a prenatally diagnosed Down syndrome child -- she delivered the baby. The feminine Palin is seen as an ideological ogre -- an eagerly acceptable target for a torrent of bigotry by the open-minded professoriate and its acolytes.

This is the atmosphere in which these young people are being educated. That's what they're learning. Equally crucial to this election, however, is what college students are not learning:

As I noted earlier,  Americans don't care about Barack Obama's radical past, including his links to the likes of Bill Ayers, Frank Marshall Davis, and Saul Alinsky, because of the failure of our educational system to teach the lessons of the Cold War and horrors of communism. This is especially true of higher education, where the leftist worldview is so extreme and so upside down that America's professors share a hearty contempt not for communism but for anti-communism.

Think about this: The current generation of college students was born after the fall of the Berlin Wall. These modern products of elite education are not Reagan babies. They were not inspired by the Westminster Address of June 1982, by the Evil Empire speech of March 1983, by Reagan meeting with Pope John Paul II to topple communism in Eastern Europe throughout the 1980s, or by Reagan in front of the Brandenburg Gate in 1987, demanding that Mikhail Gorbachev tear down that cement tombstone to human freedom. No, today's freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors, who voted for the first time on November 4, 2008, were born after these historic events. They've received their education on communism from their professors, which means they've received either no education at all on the unparalleled slaughter formally known as Marxism-Leninism, or, to the contrary, they've heard only dark, dire lectures about the malevolence of anti-communism -- of McCarthyism.

A deliciously fitting -- albeit depressing -- symbol of this came at the very moment that Obama's coronation was announced by the networks. A FoxNews camera-crew was outside the White House, where a contingent of hysterical students from George Washington University hopped up and down in sheer ecstasy. This was a most appropriate image, in light of the fact that it was such voters who delivered the presidency to Obama. I was struck, however, by the conspicuous presence of a beaming student wearing a red t-shirt with a giant Soviet hammer and sickle. No doubt, the young revolutionary was thrilling at the spectacle, awe-struck amid this sea of what his mentor, Vladimir Lenin, considered "useful idiots" -- i.e., naïve liberals incapable of realizing when they are supporting the communists' intentions.

Ironically, the dupes of, say, the 1950s, would have recognized the young Bolshevik for who he was, but I seriously doubt that the typical student in that crowd had any idea of the true loyalties of their comrade, or sensed that they were celebrating arm-in-arm with a Marxist: Hammer-and-sickle? What's that?

What's more, I would bet $100 that if some disgruntled conservative within the throng yelled out, "Hey, that guy is a communist!" one of the well-trained university brethren would have quickly denounced the conservative -- the anti-communist -- as the real villain in the mix. They have been carefully trained to view Joe McCarthy as more insidious than Joe Stalin.

This is an abbreviated way of explaining why Barack Obama's communist connections didn't matter in this election, and how the Ivory Tower paved the road to victory. We won the Cold War but seem to have lost the long-term, crucial ideological struggle at home. We lost not on the battlefield but in the classroom. On November 4, it finally came back to bite us, and at a time (economically and politically) that couldn't be worse.

Finally, I should add that I've received emails in the last couple of weeks from distraught conservative parents saddened to learn that their college-student children voted for Obama. They shouldn't be surprised; sadly, these parents have unwittingly paid for precisely this. In the vast majority of the nation's colleges, this is what their children are learning at a cost of the parents' lifetime savings. I'm reminded of the statement from the late atheist philosopher Richard Rorty, who said that the job of professors like him was "to arrange things so that students who enter as bigoted, homophobic religious fundamentalists will leave college with views more like our own" and "escape the grip of their frightening, vicious, dangerous parents."

This has been the personal mission of many professors for decades now -- in flagrant violation of the scandalously fraudulent mission statements of the colleges where they teach. They've been enormously successful. The left's gradual takeover of academia is complete -- the Long March a stunning success. Behold: the presidency of the United States of America.

The fruits of the left's dogged work were on display on November 4, 2008. And now, alas, to paraphrase the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, America's chickens have come home to roost.

Paul Kengor is author of God and George W. Bush (HarperCollins, 2004), professor of political science, and executive director of the Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College. His latest book is The Judge: William P. Clark, Ronald Reagan's Top Hand (Ignatius Press, 2007).
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SB_Mig
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« Reply #408 on: November 20, 2008, 12:44:13 PM »

Glad that's an opinion piece, because there are no facts to back up any of the claims made. The points he makes are painted with such broad strokes as to be laughable. As a brief point of reference, he mentions "Rev. Wright's" quote of "chickens coming home to roost". Sorry professor, the quote is Malcolm X's, and used even before Malcolm.

The author links the teaching of tolerance, racial diversity, and multiculturalism to the overwhelming youth backing of Barack Obama. Completely ridiculous. And with not basis in statistical, polled, or even quoted fact.

I find the article to be a perfect example of the generational divide that lost the election. The author's main point seems to that the lack of teaching about the Cold War is what caused students to veer towards Obama.

Just a few quotes and a slightly humorous breakdown (from the POV of a college student):

Quote
FoxNews, talk-radio, the McCain-Palin ticket -- were deemed loathsome Neanderthals deserving of being burned in effigy from the nearest dorm.
I don't watch Fox, 'cuz it ain't funny. And who listens to talk radio besides your crazy Uncle Frank?

Quote
Given the prevailing orthodoxy in the academic asylum, John McCain's moving personal narrative of military valor had little impact on the college crowd.
No sh*t. None of us are in the military and most of us have spent our formative years hearing nothing but war, war, war. F*ck war dudes, I just wanna play it on my computer.

Quote
And as for Sarah Palin, she represented the worst of pariahs at the faculty club
I don't hang out at the faculty club, unless I'm kissing ass for a grade.

But back to the adults:

Quote
Finally, I should add that I've received emails in the last couple of weeks from distraught conservative parents saddened to learn that their college-student children voted for Obama
. I find this sentence to be the most telling. Change the last word to Kennedy, or Carter, or Dukakis, or Kerry. Generational divide. Wake up, kids don't always follow in their parents footsteps. And rarely is it due to Professor XYZ's class. It has more to do with their social groups. Or maybe they like to do things their own way. Who knows these days? Darn kids...

Guess what? Theses kids were born post-Cold War. Post Reagan. Post Vietnam. Post Weather Underground. The have ZERO frame of reference and it does not effect their lives in a  visible, tangible way. And the older generations need to realize that, and FAST. These kids don't care about your 20, 30, 40 year old historical political battles. Period. They often don't care about what their professors say in class. Period. McCain was a POW in Vietnam. And? I was 4 years old during the Gulf War grandpa. Give me something I can relate to, like say, an XBOX and Facebook.

It's not about indoctrination. It's about a several generations (beginning with Generation X) having lifestyles free of strife, poverty, want, or any type of real fear (unless you count your cable going out). So none of that depressing b.s. resonates. Not trying to be glib, but that is the reality of the world we live in now with respect to the younger generation.

You're in college, you've never really had to work, your parents have given you everything  you need, your life is pretty good. Here comes an election:

Candidate 1 - Young, charismatic, well spoken, wants to be my friend on Facebook, text messages me updates on his campaign, has a kick ass webpage. He talks about hope, how together we can do this. He shoots hoop and uses a Blackberry. His running mate is a creepy old dude, but he's not running for president right?

Candidate 2 - Old guy. Like, my grandfathers age. Doesn't use email, no facebook. something about the Vietnam War (what's that?), plays country music at his rallies. He constantly talks sh*t about the young guy, and doesn't try to include me in his plan for the future. "My friends!" Dude, I don't want to be friends with an old dude. Plus, his running mate is one of those weird evangelical chicks who shoots guns.

Pretty easy choice for the kids. It has nothing to do with indoctrination. It has everything to do with presentation to this generation.

And that is what the 'cans are still failing to realize. You are dealing with a generation raised on presentation, the internet, and "reality" television. Not an indoctrinated populace. If anything they are an apathetic populace. The percentage of kids in college classrooms that are fervently involved in the process is very low my friend. Most just want to pass class and get to the keg. It's a vacuous, uninvolved, uninspired generation. If people try to indoctrinate them, they nod their hand, grab the pamphlet and use it as a coaster. Had the 'Cans figured out a way to reach this generation, they would have won the election.

To this generation, Obama is like the cool P.E. teacher who let you hang out in his office. McCain was the grumpy shop teacher who wouldn't let  you work on your own projects.

Sadly, it is nothing more than that.

I find the indoctrination argument puzzling. And usually put forward by people who spend little to no time with college students. They seem to think that professors hold some kind of hypnotic power of the current generation of students. They have visions of slack jawed students, chanting Communist party slogans in History class. In reality, the slack jaw comes from too many bong loads, and the chanting is just a techno refrain pumping through someone's iPod.

These kids are just as likely to shoot you a blank stare at the mention of the Cold War and Communism as they are the Beatles and Bobby Kennedy. They just can't be bothered. Ranting liberal professors are referred to as weird old hippies, and conservative professors are referred to as just plain boring. College is about the party more than any other thing.

Save politics for that paper that's due tomorrow and pass the brewski.





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SB_Mig
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« Reply #409 on: November 20, 2008, 12:55:40 PM »

Perfect example, for you. One of the students that works for me just send out a mass email, the title of which is:

"These political surveys are annoying but please fill it out so I can get a good grade"

And I'm not joking this time.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #410 on: November 20, 2008, 01:21:23 PM »

SB:

Post 408 was pretty good smiley
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G M
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« Reply #411 on: November 20, 2008, 03:17:50 PM »

Very well said, SB.

I'll admit the last time I was in a classroom (aside from law enforcement training) was in the 90's. However, when I was there, I had firsthand exposure to the holy trinity of "race, class and gender" theory, postmodernism and indoctrination. I also have a personal historical connection to a "name" school because of a gf that was working on her postgraduate degrees at that school when we were together.

Do you question that the left dominates academia and is far from balanced in it's presentation of ideas? What of "speech codes" and other such Orwellian thought-policing?
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SB_Mig
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« Reply #412 on: November 20, 2008, 03:58:22 PM »

The left definitely dominates academia, but domination does not necessarily lead to indoctrination or even results. As for balance, I am convinced that it is nowhere to be found, and possible unachievable. The best and worst thing about this country is that everyone is allowed an opinion. No opinion or belief is ever going to make everyone happy. And the trenches on both sides are so deep that I can't imagine how to breach the gap.

As for speech codes, I find them to be a direct result of the rise of political correctness, and appalling. As an adult, or even a child, you should be able to learn how to express yourself in a clear, concise manner without resorting to inflammatory language. Doesn't always work, but it's not a perfect world. But by no means should anyone tell me, or anyone else how to express themselves. Especially through some kind of code. The hypocrisy of liberal groups chanting down speakers or disrupting lectures is not only embarrassing, but infuriating. And the eye-rolling condescension often exhibited by the right makes me just as crazy. Free speech is for everyone, not just "your" side. (by "your side" i mean whatever side you may be on)

I remember quite clearly a time (1970s and early '80s) where certain words, expressions, subject matter where openly used and or discussed in both the public square and especially on television. People knew which words or actions  were bad, but were willing to have a serious interaction in regards to them or how they were presented. Those days are long gone. As my wife says, "People can't hack it anymore." I watched Blazing Saddles a few weeks ago, and though to myself "People would riot in the streets if you made a movie like this now...if you could get the financing for it." When I read opinion pieces written by those "oppressed" classes (pick your minority/majority group) complaining  about their poor treatment it makes me want to laugh.

We live in a country where people are allowed to express themselves. They might think differently than you and you might not like it. That's o.k.  You get to voice your opinion without getting dragged into the street and shot. Sounds like a good deal to me, so what's the beef?

Sorry, off course....

I have found the people involved in serious political agitation/education on campuses (including where I work) are usually in the minority. They have their fervent minions on both sides. But the large student body is more concerned with other things.



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ccp
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« Reply #413 on: November 21, 2008, 03:03:57 PM »

Hillary for SOS.  tongue The soap opera never ends.  I was afraid of this.  The MSM loves this.  They will be drooling over every step, every breath, every word, every momnet of silence, every expression.  She will look so *glamorous*, so *smart and witty*, she can do no wrong and yes the drama of her relationship with Barack.  The endless torture of talk from the MSM.
Of course I could just watch NFL and MMA sports. cheesy

BO and HRC will be turned into some sort of epic movie drama -

Like Caesar and Cleopatra, a Black Samson and an ugly Delilah.  Or Mr and Ms Messiah both here to save the world.

I wish I could just retire and go to Montana or Idaho somewhere where there are no TVs radios or newspapers.

Do they need doctors in Figi?
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SB_Mig
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« Reply #414 on: November 22, 2008, 10:10:34 AM »

Actually, yes, they need doctors in Fiji.

It's also one of the occupations that they welcome from abroad with open arms.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #415 on: December 06, 2008, 08:03:39 AM »

Before he’s sworn in
The Supreme Court of the United States is about to consider a lawsuit alleging that Barack Obama was not born in the United States. If that were true, he would not qualify to serve as president. Sounds like an outlandish hoax, doesn’t it?

That’s what I thought when I first saw a copy of a lawsuit back in October, one of several it turns out, charging that Obama’s birth records were falsified and he is not eligible to run for president in the US. Which is why it seemed natural that his campaign would ignore it altogether, which they did. So did the media, though the lawsuits circulated widely.

Former Ambassador Alan Keyes, who ran against Obama for the Senate seat from Illinois, joined the suit. Okay, the story had legs. Should be easy to put to rest, right? After all, the Obama campaign had been so good at shutting down rumors and smear tactics before the election. And this only required a mere show of his actual birth records.

So why are they locked in a vault in Hawaii? People are asking, they have been asking, and are about to go public with their concerted effort to get answers.

Mr. Obama is respectfully requested to direct the Hawaiian officials to provide access to his original birth certificate on December 5-7 by our team of forensic scientists, and to provide additional documentary evidence establishing his citizenship status prior to our Washington, D.C. press conference on December 8.
 
A First Amendment Petition to any official of the Government for Redress of a violation of the Constitution is substantially different from the garden-variety political petitions frequently received by government officials.  This Petition demands it be given the highest priority for an expedited review and official Response by Mr. Obama.
 
As a formal “Notice of a Constitutional Violation,” the Petition naturally includes the People’s inherent Right to an official Response.  As a time-sensitive, election related Petition involving the Office of the President, failure to Respond as requested would constitute an egregious breach of the public trust and confirm the certainty of a Constitutional crisis.

This is no joke, and it’s not a hoax.

Today’s Chicago Tribune reports that the case is headed to the Supreme Court. The Justices will decide tomorrow whether to hear it, or dismiss the question of whether or not the newly elected president of the United States is actually…eligible to be.
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JDN
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« Reply #416 on: December 06, 2008, 09:07:39 AM »

IF the Supreme Court decides to hear it, it might get interesting.  But everything I have read seems to think the Supreme Court will simply
decline to hear the case.  The theory being that the Court is reluctant to overturn the "will of the people".  And if they decline, the matter
for all practical purposes is over.  Hopefully, Monday, this matter will be resolved.

I am curious, if Obama is declared ineligible does Biden get the nod?  Or?
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« Reply #417 on: December 06, 2008, 09:43:30 AM »

The law is the law and the Constitution is the supreme law of the land.

Obviously utter chaos would reign, but do we look the other way?

As to what would happen, my guess is that it would be thrown into the House of Representatives , , , the same as if no one had enough electoral votes.

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SB_Mig
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« Reply #418 on: December 06, 2008, 09:10:09 PM »

Jeebus Xmas Key-rist, will you people stop already?!?!?!?!?

http://www.bizjournals.com/pacific/stories/2008/10/27/daily60.html

Verified. Real. American. Period.

Here's some more for ya:

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2008/12/05/birth_certificate/
« Last Edit: December 06, 2008, 09:13:17 PM by SB_Mig » Logged
G M
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« Reply #419 on: December 06, 2008, 10:24:59 PM »

As much as I'd love for Obama to be ineligible to be president, I have no doubt he was born in Hawaiii, thus is going to be sworn in 1/20/09.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2008, 03:18:24 PM by G M » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #420 on: December 06, 2008, 11:47:59 PM »

SB:

"Today’s Chicago Tribune reports that the case is headed to the Supreme Court. The Justices will decide tomorrow whether to hear it".

I had this matter mentally filed under case closed, but when I saw that the Supreme Court was considering hearing it I thought it newsworthy.  That's all.
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JDN
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« Reply #421 on: December 08, 2008, 08:36:13 PM »

Today the Supreme Court declined to hear this case.  Hopefully, this matter is now put to bed.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #422 on: December 08, 2008, 11:28:28 PM »

The document is in perfect order because one person, the director of the Hawaii Dept. of Health has seen and verified it and so that's that.  I think JDN has it right that the will of the people has already been expressed, also that no real evidence otherwise exists and so the mortals of the court aren't going to go anywhere near this.

That said, I would find it to be a wonderful irony if this man who had his first opponent removed from a ballot for not having her documents in order found his own name removed from reelection in 2012 for the same reason, with real evidence and prior to the will of the people being expressed.
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ccp
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« Reply #423 on: December 09, 2008, 10:44:54 AM »

Probably no accident the revelations about the Illinois governer coming out now before W leaves office.
You know once BO is in office this will all get swept under the rug.  I wonder if this has something to do with the Eric Holder pick?

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« Reply #424 on: December 09, 2008, 01:06:59 PM »

What a shocking idea-- I'm shocked, absolutely shocked!
=========
For the RNC, What Kind of 'Conservative'?

The race for the GOP party chairmanship has now jelled. Some 168 members of the Republican National Committee will make their selection from a half-dozen candidates at their meeting in Washington D.C. on January 29.

All of the candidates claim to be conservative, all insist that the party has to compete in states outside its Southern and Western bases, and all agree that the party needs to rediscover its basic principles.

But there are variations in approach.

Mike Duncan, the current RNC chairman, is running a low-key campaign touting his technocratic skills and taking some credit for the party's successes in Georgia and Louisiana runoff elections this month. Michael Steele, a former lieutenant governor of Maryland who is a frequent guest on Fox News, is a little more moderate on social issues than some of the other candidates, saying that Republican Congressional leaders misjudged the mood of the country when they pressed for a federal solution in the case of Terri Schiavo, a comatose woman who was allowed to die in accord with her husband's wishes. Mr. Steele has a good headstart in building support among Republicans who like his direct style and smooth television presence.

Other candidates include: Former Tennessee Republican Chairman Chip Saltsman, who made many contacts this year while managing Mike Huckabee's presidential campaign and is seen as someone in accord with the former Arkansas governor's populist pitch; Saul Anuzis, the chair of the Michigan GOP, who appeals to many Northeastern Republicans who say that the party needs to get away from its over-reliance on support in Southern states; and Katon Dawson, the current chair of the South Carolina party, who says the party can't afford geographic snobbery and is sending out a slick DVD touting his achievements in building a state party.

Last week, a new entrant joined the field. Ken Blackwell, a former state treasurer and secretary of state in Ohio who was his party's gubernatorial candidate in 2006, sent a letter to all RNC members. He calls for returning the party to its Reaganite roots and touts internal reform at the RNC, including "spending smarter, replacing staff and consultants and modernizing our fundraising infrastructure." Mr. Blackwell is the favorite of many movement conservatives, having served on the boards of the National Rifle Association, the National Taxpayers Union and the Club for Growth.

But this will be no conventional election. RNC members are concerned not just with the big picture but also with two very parochial issues: Members want somebody who will keep them personally in the loop on what's happening inside the party, and they also recognize the need for a good manager to keep on top of the sprawling Republican National Committee army of staff members and consultants.

"It's fair to say that the Republican Party has a habit of retaining old consultants and old Beltway players for far too long," one RNC member told me. "We saw the benefit the Obama campaign got by getting some fresh blood for their campaign versus the sluggish response of the retreads around Hillary Clinton. I think the candidate who is most likely to win is the one who will solve the party's 'staff infection.'"

-- John Fund

That Immigration Dog Don't Hunt

National and Louisiana Democrats pulled out all the stops in trying to elect longtime Shreveport District Attorney Paul Carmouche to Congress last Saturday. They touted Mr. Carmouche's anti-crime record and ran ads attacking Republican John Fleming, a physician, for advocating a private alternative to Social Security. Barack Obama taped a radio ad calling on voters to send Mr. Carmouche to Washington so he could back the Obama agenda.

But Democrats also made a blatant attempt to poach conservative votes from Mr. Fleming by attacking him on the immigration issue. Earlier this year, Dr. Fleming spoke in favor of allowing easier entry for foreigners with valid work permits and expressed general support for legal immigration: "We will welcome the positive contributions that they can make to our society. We will encourage them to [pursue] the American dream. And when they become citizens, we will gladly call them our fellow Americans."

Mr. Carmouche claimed Mr. Fleming's position was tantamount to wanting to bring more illegal immigrants into the U.S. "We certainly don't need to bus illegal aliens into the country, to take jobs that belong to Americans," he said in a recent debate. He told voters that on immigration, he was "completely in opposition to my opponent, John Fleming."

Mr. Fleming evenly responded that he supported strict enforcement of border controls, but bravely added that a policy that focused only on enforcement could only go so far. "Just simply deporting [people] is not going to solve the problem," he told voters.

In the end, voters had a clear choice. The final outcome was very close, but in a very anti-Republican year and running a handpicked centrist candidate, Democrats still lost. The lesson appears to be one that more than a few Republican candidates have learned in recent years: While a hard line on immigration may poll well, its concrete political benefits at the ballot box remain elusive.

-- John Fund

Quote of the Day I

"We've never seen anything like [Barack Obama's campaign organization] in this country. They have 4 million contributors, but they have several million more people who are on their e-mail lists. That's just a very, very powerful base for grassroots lobbying . . . We probably put too much weight on [having 60 Democratic votes for a filibuster-proof Senate majority] and not enough weight on the fact that a lot of Republicans, I think, either genuinely want to cooperate or are going to be fearful of the political consequences of not cooperating with President Obama in a period like this. So I think you'll see Arlen Specter, Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe and even some more conservative Republicans -- John McCain, for example, on issues like torture and Guantanamo could end up being a real ally of the new president" -- Democratic strategist and former John Kerry campaign manager Bob Shrum, in a Q&A with National Journal's XM Radio show.

Quote of the Day II

"On November 10, in a lengthy telephone call with numerous advisors that included discussion about Blagojevich obtaining a lucrative job with a union-affiliated organization in exchange for appointing a particular Senate Candidate whom he believed was favored by the President-elect and which is described in more detail below, Blagojevich and others discussed various ways Blagojevich could 'monetize' the relationships he has made as governor to make money after leaving that office . . . . Throughout the intercepted conversations, Blagojevich also allegedly spent significant time weighing the option of appointing himself to the open Senate seat and expressed a variety of reasons for doing so, including: frustration at being 'stuck' as governor; a belief that he will be able to obtain greater resources if he is indicted as a sitting Senator as opposed to a sitting governor; a desire to remake his image in consideration of a possible run for President in 2016; avoiding impeachment by the Illinois legislature; making corporate contacts that would be of value to him after leaving public office; facilitating his wife’s employment as a lobbyist; and generating speaking fees should he decide to leave public office"-- from a Justice Department press release today announcing the arrest of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his chief of staff John Harris on federal corruption charges.

Kozying Up with the Dalai Lama

President Nicolas Sarkozy has been regaining lost ground in the French polls, despite the global financial crisis and France's rising unemployment and personal controveries. Over the weekend, he further bolstered his popularity with a risky but crowd-pleasing move: meeting the Dalai Lama.

Mr. Sarkozy's sit-down on Saturday in Gdansk, Poland was his first meeting with the Tibetan spiritual leader, who was in Poland to attend a gathering of Nobel Laureates. China's reaction was the usual fit of pique, which French Minister for Human Rights Rama Yade described as a "psychodrama." Not only did Beijing cancel a trade summit that was supposed to take place in Lyons on December 1. An editorial in the People's Daily denounced Mr. Sarkozy as "stubborn" and called his move "provocative and dangerous." The paper added: "He must pay for it."

"I am free to decide on my agenda as president of the French Republic," Mr. Sarkozy told reporters in response. "I represent values, convictions."

In this case, he also represented Europe's love affair with the Dalai Lama. In April, pro-Tibet protesters attacked the Olympic torch as it relayed through Paris. And last week, in honor of the Dalai Lama's visit, some 30 members of the European Parliament fasted for a day to greet his arrival.

But trade is important too. And more worrisome than the fulminating of the Chinese-language People's Daily may have been Beijing's English-language paper, China Daily, which warned darkly that the spat might hurt the image of such French brands as the Carrefour supermarket chain and Louis Vuitton luxury goods, both of which do good business on the mainland.

Having earned his bouquets for meeting the Dalai Lama, Mr. Sarkozy on Monday quickly tried to limit the damage by dispelling any notion that he was stirring up Tibetan separatism, saying there is "only one China."

-- Leslie Hook



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rachelg
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« Reply #425 on: December 09, 2008, 09:30:29 PM »

Probably no accident the revelations about the Illinois governer coming out now before W leaves office.
You know once BO is in office this will all get swept under the rug.  I wonder if this has something to do with the Eric Holder pick?



 Actually   It seems likely to me that the Obama team wanted this taken care off before he got in office and there are rumors to that effect . All Chicago politicians are being smeared with this but Obama specifically hasn't be getting bad press and Blagojevich himself said they wouldn't give him anything for the seat.
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« Reply #426 on: December 10, 2008, 09:00:05 AM »

http://dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=20CAE797-18FE-70B2-A8BFE802A4A48E3A

In scandal, risks for Obama
By: Ben Smith and Jonathan Martin
December 10, 2008 08:31 AM EST

At first blush, Barack Obama comes out of the Rod Blagojevich scandal smelling like a rose. The prosecutor at a news conference seemed to give the president-elect a seal of approval, and the Illinois governor himself was caught on tape complaining that Obama was not interested in crooked schemes.

But make no mistake: The Blagojevich scandal is nothing but a stink bomb tossed at close range for Obama and his team.

Legal bills, off-message headlines, and a sustained attempt by Republicans to show that Obama is more a product of Illinois’s malfeasance-prone political culture than he is letting on—all are likely if the Blagojevich case goes to trial or becomes an extended affair.

Obama and his aides have so far mounted a tight-lipped defense, publicly distancing themselves from Blagojevich’s alleged plans to profit personally from his power to fill Obama’s newly vacant Senate seat with firm but vague denials of any involvement.

Privately, Obama allies are noting that the foul-mouthed governor and the president-elect, though both Democrats atop the Illinois power structure, are hardly close: Obama did not back Blagojevich in his 2002 primary race for governor, and Blagojevich did not back Obama in his 2004 Senate primary.

Republicans, though, plan to keep the pressure on. Republican National Chairman Robert “Mike” Duncan on Tuesday said Obama’s initial response to questions about the governor was inadequate. South Carolina GOP Chairman Katon Dawson, seeking the national party post, went further. He called on Obama to release any records of discussions between his transition team and Blagojevich about Obama’s successor – citing Obama’s oft-repeated pledge for greater transparency.

And, in a Politico interview, Illinois state Republican chairman Andy McKenna, pressed Obama to commit to keeping U.S. attorney Patrick Fitzgerald in his post until the corruption cases run their course.

One prominent Chicago Democrat close to many of those named in the indictment suggested the risk for Obama is “Whitewater-type exposure.” That was a reference to an Arkansas real estate deal that produced a series lengthy and highly intrusive investigations in the 1990s that never proved illegality by the Clintons.

What this Democrat meant with his analogy—which on the facts so far seems a bit premature—was that Obama could suffer by being in the proximity of a back-scratching and deal-making culture, even if he was mostly a bystander. “What will splatter on to Obama is he is to some degree a product of this culture, and he has never entirely stood against it,” said the Democrat, who wanted anonymity for fear of antagonizing the president-elect.

Indeed, at a minimum it will be hard for a transition team that wants to shine a light on their plans to clean up Washington if the steaming compost pile of Illinois politics— and its florid tradition of bribes, extortion, and payback—is in the news.

But there are less obvious hazards. Anyone who has ever been near a public corruption case—and many of Obama’s top advisers have, thanks to their experience in the Clinton years—knows the hassles that can torment even innocent people. Even peripheral figures wind up hiring expensive lawyers. At trial, testimony by minor witnesses becomes a major news event if it is someone close to the president taking the stand.

Prosecutor Fitzgerald pointed out during questions and answers at his news conference that “there's no reference in the complaint to any conversation involving the president-elect or indicating that the president-elect was aware of it.”

Obama advisers argue that Blagojveich's alleged crimes -- extorting campaign contributions from a children's hospital, demanding the firing of the top editors at the Chicago's flagship newspaper in return for state assistance -- are so over-the-top that they speak for themselves, and will only serve to taint the disgraced governor.

Obama aides see proof of his vindication in the fact that Blagojevich, in the secret tapes, complains that the president-elect’s team won’t give him anything. Obama emerged personally untarnished in the 78-page Blagojevich complaint. He was, to the allegedly deeply corrupt governor, the “mother***er” who was owed no favors and a lily-livered reformer who, instead of a bribe, wouldn’t give the disgusted Blagojevich “anything except appreciation.”

But there are enough unanswered questions to give his political opponents plenty of grist, starting with Obama’s curt denial that he had ever spoken to Blagojevich about how to fill Obama’s vacant seat.

His chief political adviser, David Axelrod, Tuesday corrected his own suggestion last month that Obama and Blagojevich had spoken about filling Obama’s vacant seat. Spokespeople did not respond to a question of when Obama and Blagojevich last spoke, and about what.

And there is the question of Fitzgerald’s future . Presidents can appoint their own U.S. Attorneys, but Republicans aim to all but dare Obama to remove the crusading Fitzgerald before he's done cleaning out corruption in Chicago and Springfield.

"What he should do tomorrow is say, 'Patrick Fitzgerald has a job and can have for as long as he wants,'" McKenna told Politico. "Some have wondered if Barack Obama would keep Fitzgerald [as U.S. Attorney]. It would be great if he confirms that he plans to."

Meanwhile, the case is likely to turn reporters into students of Illinois political history, just as the Clinton presidency produced a generation of reporters and opposition researchers obsessed with turning over the rocks of Arkansas politics.

In 2002, when Blagojevich left the U.S. House (opening up a seat for Emanuel), Obama joined other black Chicago Democrats – including his one-time rival Bobby Rush and state Senate mentor Emil Jones –in supporting Roland Burris, an African-American former Illinois Comptroller and state Attorney General.

In a further effort to put distance between Obama and the governor, Obama allies are preemptively noting that incoming Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel’s claim this summer in a New Yorker article that he and Obama were “the top strategists of Blagojevich's victory” in 2002 was inaccurate.

In a subsequent article in the Springfield political publication Capitol Fax this summer, now being circulated by Obama allies, Emanuel walked back his assertion.

"David [Wilhelm] and I have worked together on campaigns for decades,” Emanuel said, referring to the Democratic operative who was a top adviser to Blagojevich in 2002 and strongly denied that Obama had been involved in that race. “Like always, he's right and I'm wrong."

Further, the allies note that Blagojevich did not support Obama in 2004 in what was initially thought to be a hotly contested primary.

Still, as Obama emerged from the sheltered, reformist enclave of Hyde Park in the 1990s, he made valuable friends among the bosses of its political machine – Mayor Richard Daley, Emil Jones and many others. He bragged at times that Illinois had made him tough. He also campaigned on an ethics bill he helped pass in the Illinois State Senate.

And he seemed still to be in that Chicago straddle when asked about Blagojevich’s arrest yesterday, mustering only word that he was “saddened” and “sobered” at a time when even other Illinois Democrats were demanding Blagojevich resign.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #427 on: December 10, 2008, 09:10:07 AM »

My initial impression is that I am not seeing anything terrible by BO here.  Politics is not beanbag.
====================
http://www.newsmax.com:80/headlines/Blagojevich_Indictment/2008/12/09/160064.html?s=al&promo_code=7403-1

Blagojevich Scandal: What Did Obama Know, and When Did He Know It?
Tuesday, December 9, 2008 7:04 PM
By: David A. Patten  Article Font Size   


Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich wanted “something big” from the Obama administration in return for naming its preferred candidate to fill Obama’s Senate seat — and he delivered an expletive-filled tirade when Obama’s representatives apparently refused to go along.

Blagojevich and his chief of staff, John Harris, were arrested Tuesday on charges that they tried to “sell” the U.S. Senate seat that Obama recently vacated. Under Illinois law, naming a replacement falls to Blagojevich.

The FBI says it taped Blagojevich complaining that Obama advisers were telling him that he had to “suck it up . . . and give this mother----er [the President-elect]] his senator. F--- him. For nothing? F--- him.”

Obama briefly addressed the arrests Tuesday afternoon, telling the media, “I had no contact with the governor or his office and so I was not aware of what was happening. It’s a sad day for Illinois. Beyond that, I don’t think it’s appropriate to comment.”

The criminal complaint was announced Tuesday by federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, who came to national prominence during the investigation that led to the conviction of Scooter Libby on charges related to the Valerie Plame case.  Fitzgerald stated Tuesday that “there is no allegation in the complaint that the president-elect was aware of it and that is all I can say,” according to ABCNews.com. The 76-page criminal complaint refers to the president-elect and his representatives at least 40 times, however.

Item No. 99 in the document states that Blagojevich and Harris spoke on Nov. 7 with “Adviser B,” a Washington, D.C.-based consultant presumably working on behalf of the Obama transition team. During the call, Blagojevich indicated that he would appoint a person the complaint identifies only as “Senate Candidate 1” -- presumably a candidate preferred by the Obama administration -- in return for Blagojevich being appointed Secretary of Health and Human Services by Obama.

Candidate 1 is generally believed to be Obama insider Valerie Jarrett, who has been mentioned as among the favorites to replace Obama in the Senate.

Harris stated “we wanted our [request] to be reasonable and rather than . . . make it look like some sort of selfish grab for a quid pro quo."

During the call, Blagojevich stated he was hurting “financially.” And Harris said the “financial security” of the Blagojevich family was an issue. At one point, Blagojevich stated outright, “I want to make money,” according to the indictment. Also discussed during that conference call was a “three-way deal” between the SEIU union, Blagojevich, and Obama. The deal was that Blagojevich would appoint Obama’s preferred candidate, and in return Obama would help Blagojevich win the SEIU appointment to head an organization called “Change to Win.”

ChangetoWin.org describes itself as an organization created by “seven unions and six million workers” to “restore the American Dream of the 21st Century.”

Harris said the three-way deal would give Obama a “buffer so there is no obvious quid pro quo for [the appointment of Senate Candidate 1]. The criminal complaint states, “Adviser B said that he liked the idea of the three-way deal.”

Three days later, the indictment said, Blagojevich told Harris it was unlikely that Obama would name him Secretary of Health and Human Services, or appoint him to be an ambassador, due to the investigation looming over him. The complaint states that Adviser B and another consultant are believed to have participated in a call during which Blagojevich said they were telling him to “suck it up” for two years, and give this “motherf---er [the President-elect] his senator. F--- him. For nothing? F--- him.”

Next, states the complaint, Blagojevich says he would appoint another candidate, Senate Candidate 4, “before I just give f---ing [Senate Candidate 1] a f---ing Senate seat and I don’t get anything.”

Senate Candidate 4, the complaint states, is a deputy governor of the State of Illinois. Dean Martinez, Bob Greenlee, and Louanner Peters currently serve as deputy governors.

During the conversations with Obama’s representatives, Blagojevich repeatedly made it clear he would not agree to name “Senate Candidate 1” to fill the position without a quid pro quo from the White House, if only indirectly, according to the complaint. Blagojevich stated he wanted to make $250,000 to $300,000 annually.

The criminal complaint indicates Blagojevich and his staff were confident they could exact something from at least one candidate for the seat, Senate Candidate 5. Senate Candidate 5 is not identified.

Based on the complaint, it remains unclear whether any close Obama associate knew that Blagojevich was seeking monetary gain in return for the Senate appointment. It is possible that having such knowledge without reporting it to authorities in a timely way could raise serious legal issues.  If nothing else, the complaints represent an embarrassment to Obama given his support for Blagojevich’s gubernatorial reelection bid.

The RNC responded to the indictments in part by circulating an Associated Press report from August 2006 in which Obama stated, “We’ve got a governor in Rod Blagojevich who has delivered consistently on behalf of the people of Illinois.”

Also, RNC Chairman Robert M. “Mike” Duncan released a statement calling Obama’s reaction to the arrests “insufficient at best.”

He added, “Given the President-elect’s history of supporting and advising Gov. Blagojevich, he has a responsibility to speak out and fully address the issue.”

© 2008 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
 
 
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G M
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« Reply #428 on: December 10, 2008, 03:26:26 PM »

http://hotair.com/archives/2008/12/10/abc-candidate-who-allegedly-offered-blago-money-for-senate-seat-is-jesse-jackson-jr/

ABC: Candidate who allegedly offered Blago money for Senate seat is Jesse Jackson Jr
posted at 1:05 pm on December 10, 2008 by Allahpundit   


Better and better. Yesterday he was shocked, shocked to find influence peddling going on. Today? Meet “Senate Candidate 5?:

Chicago Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL) is the anonymous “Senate Candidate #5? whose emissaries Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich reportedly claimed offered up to a million dollars to name him to the U.S. Senate, federal law enforcement sources tell ABC News.

According to the FBI affidavit in the case, Blagojevich “stated he might be able to cut a deal with Senate Candidate 5 that provided ROD BLAGOJEVICH” with something “tangible up front.”

Jackson Jr. said this morning he was contacted yesterday by federal prosecutors in Chicago who he said “asked me to come in and share with them my insights and thoughts about the selection process.”

Jackson Jr. said “I don’t know” when asked if he was Candidate #5, but said he was told “I am not a target of this investigation.”…

“It is impossible for someone on my behalf to have a conversation that would suggest any type of quid pro quo or any payments or offers,” Jackson Jr. told ABC News. “An impossiblity to an absolute certainty.”…

The FBI says in an October 31, 2008 conversation, Blagojevich described an approach from an associate of Senate Candidate 5: “We were approached ‘pay to play.’ That, you know, he’d raise me 500 grand. An emissary came. Then the other guy would raise a million, if I mad him (Senate Candidate 5) a Senator.”

Fancy that: Another Democratic politician whose cronies allegedly took it upon themselves, completely on their own initiative, to throw money around on their boss’s behalf. Fred Baron did the same thing for John Edwards, you’ll recall, shoveling money to Silky’s mistress for months purely out of the goodness of his heart, unbidden by his political patron. Liberals sure do have amazing friends.

It sounds like they’re talking about campaign fundraising here, not money in briefcases being passed under the table, which presumably makes this the sort of routine backscratching scumbaggery extolled by Axelrod in his 2005 op-ed rather than an actionable offense. Use your office to line your own pockets and you go to jail; use it to line your campaign’s pockets and you’re just practicing Illinois politics. Although didn’t the feds record Blago at one point whining that he felt “stuck” in the governor’s job and wanted something that was more prestigious or more lucrative? For which office was he planning to run that he needed Jackson to fundraise for him?

ABC also notes that Blago and Jackson met just two days ago, at which point Blago said he was close to making a decision. Exit question: Is that why Fitzgerald arrested him now? Byron York studied the timeline and speculates that the Tribune’s story on December 5 about wiretapping spooked Blagojevich into clamming up, putting the investigation at a dead end. I’m skeptical; given how reckless and stupid he is, he’d have started talking again and Fitzgerald surely knew it. I wonder if in fact the feds didn’t move in because they were worried that the appointment was imminent and knew that having this news break after the fact would surround the appointee with a royal political clusterfark.

Update: If you missed Jim Lindgren’s timeline this morning connecting news items on Obama’s preference for the Senate seat to the details of the FBI complaint, make time to read it. It sure sounds like someone within Team Barry got nervous. But who, and why?
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« Reply #429 on: December 10, 2008, 10:01:25 PM »

http://dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=235D31DE-18FE-70B2-A81FD06F3EE7C4B9

7 Blago questions for Obama
By: Kenneth P. Vogel and Carrie Budoff Brown
December 10, 2008 07:21 PM EST

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

Here are seven worth asking:

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

Obama issued a categorical statement Tuesday that he personally hadn’t spoken with Blagojevich about the seat — but seemed to correct himself in a way that suggested others around Obama might have.

“I had no contact with the governor or his office and, so we were not – I was not aware of what was happening," Obama said.

Yet, according to prosecutors’ characterizations of Blagojevich’s wiretapped telephone conversations, the Illinois governor seemed to believe he had a channel of communications with Obama’s team.

For instance, Blagojevich was recorded speaking to a union official who Blagojevich “understood … was an emissary” to discuss the interest of Obama confidant Valerie Jarrett in the seat, according to the criminal complaint unveiled Tuesday.

But at some point, Blagojevich seemed to become aware that Obama’s team had no interest in his favored option – he would pick Jarrett in exchange for being named secretary of health and human services, prosecutor allege. How did he know that?

2 – “Why didn’t you or someone on your team correct your close adviser David Axelrod when he said you had spoken to Blagojevich about picking your replacement?”

Last month, Axelrod unambiguously described a conversation between Obama and Blagojevich about filling the seat.

“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," Axelrod told an interviewer from Chicago’s Fox affiliate.

But then, Axelrod retracted the comment – after the president-elect asserted Tuesday that he hadn’t spoken to Blagojevich. Axelrod issued a statement saying he "was mistaken when I told an interviewer last month that the President-elect has spoken directly to Governor Blagojevich about the Senate vacancy. They did not then, or at any time, discuss the subject."

3. “When did you learn the investigation involved Blagojevich’s alleged efforts to ‘sell’ your Senate seat, or of the governor’s impending arrest?”

Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs said it was not until Tuesday that Obama learned the details of the complaint against Blagojevich – the same day it was released to the public – and wouldn’t say exactly when or how Obama was notified.

But at least some people got an early heads-up: Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. told reporters that he was notified Monday night by federal prosecutors that the investigation was coming to a head, that an arrest was imminent and that Jackson was not a target.

4 – “Did you or anyone close to you contact the FBI or U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald about Blagojevich’s alleged efforts to sell your Senate seat to the highest bidder?”

Blagojevich seems to believe that Obama’s team was aware of – and had rejected – his offers, telling Harris in a wiretapped Nov. 11 conversation that Obama was “not willing to give (Blagojevich) anything except appreciation” for picking Jarrett.

If Blagojevich contacted anyone on Obama’s team even hinting at a possible pay-for-play arrangement, it seems they would have been obligated to report that to law enforcement.

One report out of Chicago suggested the possible tipster was Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s pick for chief of staff and a potential conduit for any communications from Blagojevich’s office to Obama. But Emanuel’s office has denied that story.

5 – “Did federal investigators interview you or anyone close to you in the investigation?”

Fitzgerald said Tuesday he was “not going to speak for what the President-elect was aware of,” but it’s difficult to imagine his investigators did not reach out to Obama or his team during the course of the investigations into Blagojevich and businessman Tony Rezko, given how closely the subject matter involved Obama.

Rezko, a former Obama fundraiser who in June was convicted of 16 corruption-related counts, had alleged that prosecutors pushed him for dirt on both Blagojevich and Obama.

6 – “When did you and Blagojevich last speak and about what?”

Obama and Blagojevich both attended the National Governors Association meeting last week in Philadelphia and were photographed shaking hands at the event.

Before the meeting, Blagojevich was quoted saying he had asked Obama’s transition team for federal stimulus aid of $3 billion over the next three years to help fill Illinois’ estimated $2 billion deficit.

If Obama had spoken on the phone with him since Election Day, it’s conceivable that the conversation would have been recorded by the FBI, which in late October won a court order authorizing the wiretapping.

7 – “Do you regret supporting Blagojevich?”

Obama endorsed Blagojevich in his two gubernatorial runs and was among his key advisors during his first bid, in 2002.

During the governor’s reelection campaign in 2006 – with press reports swirling about a grand jury investigation into Blagojevich’s alleged jobs-for-contributions scheme – Obama praised the governor as a leader “who has delivered consistently on behalf of the people of Illinois.”

It doesn’t seem like he shared the same high regard for Obama, at least not lately, considering that during a Nov. 10 conference call with advisers he called his old political ally and the president-elect an obscene name.

Carrie Budoff Brown contributed.
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G M
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« Reply #430 on: December 10, 2008, 10:36:54 PM »

http://hotair.com/archives/2008/12/10/changegov-hiding-questions-on-blagojevich-scandal/

Happy to see this, "Hopenchangers"? It looks like some people are just begging to get "Plumbered".
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DougMacG
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« Reply #431 on: December 11, 2008, 09:25:02 AM »

A blathering politician with a flash at fame or a great President, Barack Obama faced his first test early.  If Obama's corrupt Gov. knew that Obama's team would not put out for the appointment for sale, then most likely or most certainly Obama, at least through his henchmen, knew his US Senate seat was for sale and knew it first.  The FBI got the wiretaps approved in late October.  If Obama was the one who blew the whistle, that will send a most powerful signal to all potential incoming administration members that none of this BS, like appointments, Lincoln bedrooms and pardon for sale, will be tolerated in his administration.

We will see.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2008, 09:27:48 AM by DougMacG » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #432 on: December 11, 2008, 11:49:22 AM »

FWIW what I see so far is a lot of sound and fury signifying , , , I'm not sure what. 

I think my hardcore rightwing bonafides to be in reasonably good order  wink  but so far I have not seen anything that puts BO in a bad light.   Indeed, what seems to be known so far does not contradict the possibility that BO has acted with integrity.
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WSJ
« Reply #433 on: December 11, 2008, 12:40:08 PM »

John Fund is a serious political reporter for the WSJ:
======================================

By JOHN FUND
This week Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was arrested on charges that he conspired to sell Barack Obama's U.S. Senate seat, among other misdeeds. At first the president-elect tried to distance himself from the issue: "It is a sad day for Illinois. Beyond that, I don't think it's appropriate for me to comment." But it quickly became clear that Mr. Obama would have to say more, and yesterday he called for Mr. Blagojevich to resign and for a special election to fill the vacant Senate seat.

 
APWhat remains to be seen is whether this episode will put an end to what Chicago Tribune political columnist John Kass calls the national media's "almost willful" fantasy that Mr. Obama and Chicago's political culture have little to do with each other. Mr. Kass notes that the media devoted a lot more time and energy to investigating the inner workings of Sarah Palin's Wasilla, Alaska, than it has looking at Mr. Obama's Chicago connections.

To date, Mr. Obama's approach to Illinois corruption has been to congratulate himself for dodging association with it. "I think I have done a good job in rising politically in this environment without being entangled in some of the traditional problems of Chicago politics," he told the Chicago Tribune last spring. At the time, Mr. Obama was being grilled over news that he bought his house through a land deal involving Tony Rezko, a political fixer who was later convicted on 16 corruption counts. Rezko is mentioned dozens of times in the 76-page criminal complaint against Mr. Blagojevich.

Mr. Obama has an ambiguous reputation among those trying to clean up Illinois politics. "We have a sick political culture, and that's the environment Barack Obama came from," Jay Stewart, executive director of the Chicago Better Government Association, told ABC News months ago. Though Mr. Obama did support ethics reforms as a state senator, Mr. Stewart noted that he's "been noticeably silent on the issue of corruption here in his home state including, at this point, mostly Democratic politicians."

One reason for Mr. Obama's reticence may be his close relationship with the powerful Illinois senate president Emil Jones. Mr. Jones was a force in Mr. Obama's rise. In 2003, the two men talked about the state's soon-to-be vacant U.S. Senate seat. As Mr. Jones has recounted the conversation, Mr. Obama told him "You can make the next U.S. senator." Mr. Jones replied, "Got anybody in mind?" "Yes," Mr. Obama said. "Me."

Starting in 2003, Mr. Jones worked to burnish Mr. Obama's credentials by making him lead sponsor of bills including a watered-down ban on gifts to lawmakers. Most of Mr. Obama's legislative accomplishments came as result of his association with Mr. Jones.

In 2002, Mr. Obama turned up to help Mr. Blagojevich, a staunch ally of Mr. Jones, win the governor's mansion. Rahm Emanuel, Mr. Obama's incoming White House chief of staff, told The New Yorker earlier this year that six years ago he and Mr. 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 [other participants]."

Mr. Blagojevich won, but before long, problems surfaced. In 2004, Zalwaynaka Scott, the governor's inspector general, said his administration's efforts to evade merit-selection laws exposed "not merely an ignorance of the law, but complete and utter contempt for the law." Nonetheless, Mr. Obama endorsed Mr. Blagojevich's re-election in 2006.

This spring, many Democrats were so disgusted with Mr. Blagojevich that state House Speaker Michael Madigan drafted a memo on why Democrats should impeach Mr. Blagojevich. Mr. Madigan's "talking points" compared the corruption going on in the state to a tumor that must be removed.

But Mr. Madigan's move drew a rebuke from Mr. Jones. The Chicago Sun-Times story at the time quoted Mr. Jones saying he thought it was wrong for the speaker to "promote the impeachment of a Democratic Governor. . . Impeachment is unwarranted in my opinion, and should not be used as a political tool."

Many people were curious who Mr. Obama would side with in the dispute. Would it be with those Democrats who wanted to move aggressively against an apparently corrupt governor or with his old Chicago ally, Mr. Jones, who preferred to wait? Mr. Obama did neither. He kept silent. (I emailed the Obama campaign about Mr. Blagojevich's problems in June, but my question was ignored.)

In today's Opinion Journal
 

REVIEW & OUTLOOK

Whitewashing Fannie MaePolitical Favors at the FCC

TODAY'S COLUMNIST

Wonder Land: U.S. Says It Will Bail Out Christmas
– Daniel Henninger

COMMENTARY

We Need a Bailout Exit Strategy
– Christopher CoxObama Was Mute on Illinois Corruption
– John FundHow the GOP Should Prepare for a Comeback
– Karl RoveBankruptcy Doesn't Equal Death
– Don boudreauxTo his credit, Mr. Obama did call Mr. Jones in September to urge passage of an ethics bill banning some office holders from accepting money from a business that has a $50,000 or larger contract with the state. The bill passed and takes effect on Jan. 1.

Mr. Obama has spoken out forcefully against corruption outside Illinois. Kathy Tate-Bradish, a Chicago teacher active in education in Africa, gushed on Mr. Obama's campaign blog during his visit to Kenya last year about his "amazing" speech against corruption during his visit there.

"Corruption is the single biggest thing keeping not only Kenyans, but all Africans, down," she wrote. "Corruption is just killing them but nobody has been able to speak out against it because they fear for their own security. Barack spoke out against it, publicly, in Kenya. I honestly think the speech he gave will be one of the major factors that turns the tide against corruption."

Mr. Obama says he plans to return often to Chicago as president. "Our friends are here. Our family is here. And so we are going to try to come back here as often as possible," he told the Los Angeles Times this month. Perhaps during one of those trips he could find time to forthrightly address the corruption issues that the state will be sorting through in the weeks and months ahead. A president has a powerful bully pulpit. A few words from Mr. Obama could force real and lasting change in Illinois.
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G M
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« Reply #434 on: December 11, 2008, 02:59:12 PM »

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/12/us/politics/12union.html?_r=3&hp=&pagewanted=print

December 12, 2008
Union Linked to Corruption Scandal

By STEVEN GREENHOUSE

The Service Employees International Union has long boasted that it is on the cutting edge of the labor movement. But it found itself badly embarrassed this week when it was linked by name to Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich’s maneuvering to secure some financial gain from picking the next Senator from Illinois.

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

In exchange, the complaint strongly suggested, the service employees union and Change to Win would help persuade Mr. Blagojevich to name Valerie Jarrett, President-elect Barack Obama’s first choice, as the state’s new senator. And the union would get help from the Obama administration, presumably for its legislative agenda.

Several union officials in Chicago and Washington said that the service employees official approached by Mr. Harris was Tom Balanoff, the president of the union’s giant janitors’ local in Chicago and head of the union’s Illinois state council. Mr. Balanoff, one of the union officials closest to Mr. Obama, is widely seen as an aggressive, successful labor leader, who has helped unionize thousands of janitors not just in the Chicago area but also in Texas.

Reached by telephone on Tuesday, Mr. Balanoff said, “I can’t comment on anything right now.”

The Illinois branch of the service employees issued a statement on Wednesday night saying, “We have no reason to believe that S.E.I.U. or any S.E.I.U. official was involved in any misconduct.” It added that the union and Mr. Balanoff “are fully cooperating with the federal investigation.”

Greg Denier, Change to Win’s spokesman, said the federation “had no involvement, no discussion, no contact” with Mr. Blagojevich or his staff. “The idea of a position at Change to Win was totally an invention of the governor, and his stance has no basis in reality,” Mr. Denier said.

Mr. Denier noted that the presidency of Change to Win was an unsalaried position. The federation’s president, Anna Burger, is the service employees’ secretary treasurer and receives only her S.E.I.U. salary.

Service employee officials said that the criminal complaint does not allege that the unnamed “S.E.I.U. official” did anything wrong. All he did, they said, was listen to Mr. Blagojevich and his chief of staff and ferry some messages for them.

A senior service employees official who insisted on anonymity because prosecutors have asked union officials not to talk said his union was one of many that backed Mr. Blagojevich and has received favors from him. But he said that it was understandable that Mr. Blagojevich would ask the service employees for favor because it was so powerful and was seen as one of the unions closest to Mr. Obama.

Patrick Gaspard, the former political director of the service employees’ huge New York health-care affiliate, 1199, was political director of Mr. Obama’s campaign.

If Mr. Blagojevich was going to approach a union to help land a cushy job after leaving the Illinois governorship, it probably made sense for him to approach the service employees, the nation’s fastest growing union.

With more than 1.8 million members nationwide, it is the largest union in Illinois, was an early and generous backer of his gubernatorial ambitions and received some important favors from him. In 2005, the governor issued an executive order that enabled the service employees to unionize 49,000 in-home child care providers who were paid through state and federal funds.

Afterward, the service employees negotiated a 39-month contract that raised the child-care providers daily rates by 35 percent on average and provided them with health coverage.

With Mr. Blagojevich evidently hoping to trade favors with President-elect Obama, the service employees seemed like a sensible intermediary because it was widely seen as doing more to elect Mr. Obama than any other union. The service employees’ political action committee spent at least $26 million on Mr. Obama’s behalf in this year’s presidential campaign, making it by far the largest single PAC donor in the campaign.

The service employees union was by far the top overall donor to Mr. Blagojevich’s 2006 re-election campaign, with records showing it donated more than $900,000, or about 5 percent of his total campaign funds.

Michelle Ringuette, a service employees’ spokeswoman, said the political contributions were not unusual.

“Many unions make donations to political candidates,” she said, “in the interest of making sure we have elected officials who represent the interest of working families, men and women who get up and go to work every day.”

The service employees’ president, Andy Stern, is often seen as the nation’s most powerful union official, serving as both a dynamo and lightning rod for the labor movement. He led the schism from the A.F.L.-C.I.O., and now he is seeking to lead an effort to persuade Mr. Obama to enact two major pieces of legislation in his first 100 days: universal health coverage and the Employee Free Choice Act, a law that would make it far easier for workers to unionize.

Mr. Stern was embarrassed early this year when Tyrone Freeman, an official he appointed to run a large, home-care workers’ local in Los Angeles, was suspended and later banned for misappropriating hundreds of thousands of dollars in funds. Mr. Freeman was found to have improperly directed union funds to his wedding, his wife’s company, even to membership in a private cigar club.

Mr. Stern has named a panel of experts to develop a tougher ethical code for the union.
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rachelg
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« Reply #435 on: December 11, 2008, 09:22:59 PM »

http://hotair.com/archives/2008/12/10/changegov-hiding-questions-on-blagojevich-scandal/

Happy to see this, "Hopenchangers"? It looks like some people are just begging to get "Plumbered".

I am going to assume that was at least partly directed at me.

I am still very happy Obama was elected president.  Am  I really supposed to be upset that a politician is not answering questions or answering them in deliberately vague ways?  I'm sure Obama will do something much worse than that in the future and I will stilll  be happy he was elected.
 

 I am also happy: Blagojevich  got arrested though it will take a while to impeach him. Honestly though it rather sad statement  Blagojevich is unpopular because he never got anything done not because he is corrupt.

 I am less happy that my state is in the competition for most corrupt state in the US.  What I don't get that Illinois is much more corrupt than Wisconsin but we are a much richer state and our schools, police, hospitals, museums, employment opportunities  and  public transportation are as good or better .   Wisconsin does have free roads while we give  tons of money to the Tollway authority.   In general I think Illinois is fairly well run.  I wouldn't want to live anywhere else again.
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ccp
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« Reply #436 on: December 12, 2008, 08:41:03 AM »

***I am less happy that my state is in the competition for most corrupt state in the US***

FWIW I believe this is really the tip of the iceberg.  Who in their right mind thinks backroom deals aren't done all the time - everywhere?

I wouldn't know how common it is for a Senate seat to be offered for the highest offer of cash (first of all, most Senators are not appointed anyway) but I would be shocked to find that they aren't offered for some form of reciprical pay back routinely.

As for nepotism...  Well probably almost all of local goernments are that.  Who doesn't know someone locally who isn't an in-law, cousin, nephew, spouse of someone in office with a cushy government job?

As for the state and federal levels I wouldn't be able to know but a guess is it is likely quite common.
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SB_Mig
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« Reply #437 on: December 12, 2008, 12:39:17 PM »

Quote
Who in their right mind thinks backroom deals aren't done all the time - everywhere?

BINGO!

Heard a great quote from an old Chicago politician today:

"Never take a dime, just give 'em your business card"
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G M
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« Reply #438 on: December 12, 2008, 12:59:59 PM »

So long as the trains run on time, corruption is no big deal?
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SB_Mig
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« Reply #439 on: December 12, 2008, 01:53:28 PM »

Quote
So long as the trains run on time, corruption is no big deal?

It's definitely a big deal.

Unfortunately, we have a populace refusing to acknowledge that corruption is pervasive in politics (and has been since the  beginning of time), and is either unwilling  to work to change the system or just doesn't care.

I don't know how to reform the system. And it seems that "reform-minded" politicians always seem to be the ones caught on the take. But what is the saying, "Acknowledging there is a problem is the first step"?

Perhaps if more people were willing to admit that the system was flawed, more people might actually want to take a hand in making changes to it.
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G M
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« Reply #440 on: December 12, 2008, 02:03:15 PM »

Corruption is just a form of crime. Crime never goes away, you can do things to reduce it, but there is no endpoint where there is none. For crime (or evil) to triumph, it takes two kinds of people. The first group are those that actively commit the evil acts, the second group are those that choose to excuse or ignore or even defend the acts of the first group.
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SB_Mig
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« Reply #441 on: December 12, 2008, 02:32:13 PM »

Quote
For crime (or evil) to triumph, it takes two kinds of people....the second group are those that choose to excuse or ignore or even defend the acts of the first group.

That begs the question, "Is our voting populace accomplice to the crime, or an unwilling participant?" I tend to think its a combination of both.

To grab a quote from the article I just posted:

Quote
In a fundamental way, we know that all the charges are true, against Blago and every other politician, now and forever, amen. At least since some time in the 1960s...we've known that the worst thing we can imagine about our politicians is true...There are some good politicians, of course, but even when they are trying to do the right thing, they screw everything up, it seems. And of course much of the time, they are not even particularly concerned with doing the right thing.

Rhetorical questions:

What's the fix? Is there a fix? Are there honest politicians? At what level does corruption/cronyism/favoritism become a crime? Are political favors considered corruption? Does giving an unqualified friend a prominent position in government count as corruption or is that just returning a favor?

I believe politics are fundamentally corrupt. The reality of at some point having to do something for someone that you may not have had to do were you not expected to return a favor is all part of the political lifestyle. The best we can hope for is individuals entering the political arena wanting to make a difference as opposed to making a buck. Or a populace willing to actually throw the bums out. I mean we've been looking at politicians with approval ratings in the 20's and 'teens who keep on keepin' on. What's with that?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #442 on: December 12, 2008, 02:33:51 PM »

The more of our lives the government controls and manipulates, the more reason there will be to buy politicians and their price will go up.
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David III
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« Reply #443 on: December 12, 2008, 02:42:08 PM »

And, as the politicians control more and more, they can promise to spread the wealth to [insert whatever majority of voters here], keeping themselves in favor. I think few people really care about anything other than themselves. Others, those who really are smart and talented enough to run for public office and make a significant difference are also smart enough to not want anything to do with politics.
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SB_Mig
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« Reply #444 on: December 12, 2008, 02:47:15 PM »

Quote
Others, those who really are smart and talented enough to run for public office and make a significant difference are also smart enough to not want anything to do with politics.

So does that mean we are stuck with the middle to bottom of the barrel, self-interested candidates forever?

Is there a way to get smart, interested individuals involved in politics?
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G M
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« Reply #445 on: December 12, 2008, 02:54:55 PM »

There are several ways to mitigate the tendency towards corruption in gov't:

1. Transparancy. Open records should be the norm, not the exception.

2. Small government. As mentioned above, smaller gov't reduces the potential for corruption.

3. Zero tolerance for corrupt acts. I'm just as happy to see Ted Stevens get nailed by the feds as to see Blag-gate unfold.
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David III
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« Reply #446 on: December 12, 2008, 03:02:22 PM »


So does that mean we are stuck with the middle to bottom of the barrel, self-interested candidates forever?

It seems that way to me, unfortunately.
Quote
Is there a way to get smart, interested individuals involved in politics?

Good question. They'd have to be rich enough so they couldn't be bought - or just not be driven by money (but, then how would they run a campaign?) - they'd be putting themselves into a large group of powerful criminals or at the least just a group of shoddy liars and thieves. Sometimes I think that a person like this comes along, takes a look into the political arena and walks off, probably to become successful in business or some other enterprise.

Also, I'll throw this out here. If we take some relatively unknown but very smart (he must be) candidate Obama and take him at face value, we have an energetic guy who wants to clean up government {this is theoretical but serves my purpose of example} = Obama comes from nowhere and gets elected. Now he gets to sit in on some secret briefings, where he finds out that the government isn't quite what he thought when he was on the outside. No, not black helicopter tin foil things, just that the US does things for reasons he didn't know about. He gets quiet and starts to rethink whether he can fulfill any of his campaign promises.

Fill in whatever name for "Obama" as a newcomer dropped into a cesspool. I can't come up with why a smart, clear-thinking person would want any part of politics. If there's someone out there who truly believes in the "greater good," I suspect he or she is doing something like surgery to help people.

I sure hope I am wrong.
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G M
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« Reply #447 on: December 12, 2008, 03:24:20 PM »

**If we can find people of this caliber to serve in uniform, surely we can find some to serve in political office.**

CHP Double Amputee Back On Duty
Posted: July 8th, 2008 05:27 PM EDT

IBS/KCRA-TV
CHP Officer Mike Remmel is returning to work after losing both legs in a traffic accident last year.

Daily Breeze (Torrance, California)

By Don Thompson
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
WEST SACRAMENTO - A California Highway Patrol officer who lost both legs in a traffic accident last year is returning to work on "bionic legs" after proving his fitness with tests such as running the 100-yard dash in 20 seconds.
"I probably still could outrun four or five guys in my office, even on these legs," officer Mike Remmel joked Wednesday after demonstrating his new prostheses at the CHP academy in West Sacramento.
Remmel, 47, is the first double amputee to be cleared for field duty after passing the CHP's difficult test using what officers call his "bionic legs," said CHP spokesman Tom Marshall.
Besides sprinting the length of a football field, new cadets and veterans returning from injuries must run 550 meters in two minutes, climb a steep hill, drag a weight and complete several agility tests.
Remmel spent more than a year in rehabilitation and training before passing the last test and getting his doctor's clearance Aug. 10, exactly 19 months after he lost his legs. He quietly returned to work four days later. CHP brass recruited him to give a motivational talk to cadets Wednesday and invited the media.
Remmel was completing a traffic accident investigation just after dusk Jan. 10, 2006, alongside Highway 49 near his hometown of Sonora. A confused 80-year-old driver struck him at 45 mph, sending him flying 23 feet over a tow truck.
He lost his left leg above the knee and his right leg below the knee. Three days later, Remmel came out of sedation after a near constant series of surgeries. He almost immediately began telling the officers around his bed that he would one day rejoin them on patrol. "No one believed me then," he said.
He learned to use a $40,000 computerized leg that can gauge his stride and react accordingly - technology recently developed largely for wounded soldiers returning from Iraq.
To pass the CHP's running tests, Remmel used a $30,000 pair of lighter, springier metal legs. He's run the 100 yards in 17.2 seconds - 18.6 seconds when he's wearing his bulletproof vest and gun belt.
"When I first started doing this, I was falling every 10 yards or so," Remmel said in an interview. Now he is so fast that he is considering competing in sports events for athletes with disabilities.
Using his computerized legs, Remmel played golf again for the first time Monday - and shot a better score than before the accident.
"I needed my old life to come back as much as possible," Remmel said of his motivation. "I needed to know that nothing ended - and so far it hasn't."
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The Impact of War
Amputee Wounded in Iraq to Return to Active Duty

by Joseph Shapiro

Capt. David Rozelle with his wife, Kim, and son, Forrest. Courtesy of the Rozelle family

 

Rozelle had always been a competitive athlete in peak condition. After his injury, he trained even harder. Only one other amputee has been found fit to return to active duty in Iraq. Rozelle will be the first to return. Courtesy of the Rozelle family

 
Morning Edition, March 4, 2005 · Capt. David Rozelle of the Third Armored Cavalry Regiment will soon become the Army's first amputee from a wound suffered in Iraq to return to active duty.

In the past, it's been rare for soldiers who underwent amputations to go back to war, but better prosthetic arms and legs are now allowing wounded soldiers to do more.

At Fort Carson in Colorado, Rozelle said he knows he's returning both as a fighter and as a role model -- for the soldiers under his command and for other troops with amputations.

"I'm breaking the ice for them," Rozelle says. "I don't want to be an anomaly. I want to be the first to go back. But I don't want to be the last."

Rozelle was injured in June 2003, when an anti-tank mine destroyed part of his right foot and leg. He recounts the experience in a new memoir, Back in Action: An American Soldier's Story of Courage, Faith, and Fortitude. The book's first chapter is excerpted below.

Book Excerpt

Note: This excerpt contains language that some may find offensive.

Chapter 1: The Price of Freedom

It's not hard to get your mind focused for a mission when there's a price on your head. It was the day that would change my life forever, 21 June 2003, in Hit (pronounced "heat"), Iraq.

Just a few days before, my translator and I were smoking cigarettes and enjoying some hot tea, waiting with a few sheiks for our weekly situation meeting to begin. I was the de facto sheriff of Hit. As we waited for the rest of the sheiks to arrive, we would discuss the Iran-Iraq war. My translator had been a POW in the war, held for eleven years in an Iranian prison. He had been pressed into military service after his third year of medical school and served as an infantryman. As a POW, he found himself doing procedures in prison with no anesthesia, no sanitary rooms, and few medical instruments. His techniques kept fellow prisoners alive, but were often brutal and crippling.

After getting out of prison, he decided to never practice medicine again. He was a good man, and was proud to be of service to those who had freed him for the second time in his life. After taking a long drag on one of my Marlboros, he looked over at me and said in a low voice, "Captain, do not go on your mission tonight."

I was surprised. "I always lead my men," I responded. "It's still dangerous and I want to command on the ground."

He said, "Your men will be safe, but you will be attacked. If you go, it may be your last mission."

"What the hell are you talking about?" I said angrily. In a loud voice, so that the sheiks in the room could hear, I continued, "You're not trying to threaten me, are you? I will destroy any man who attacks me. Tell me who is saying these things—I'll arrest them today!"

He spoke to me carefully, in a low voice so that others couldn't hear, trying to calm me: "Captain, there are men in town who are planning missions in our mosques, under the command of clerics here and from Ar Ramadi. These men I do not know. But they are dangerous. Some are from Iran, and some are from Syria. It's rumored that they have offered $1,000 U.S. to any man who can kill you, the one who rides in the vehicle with the symbols K6 on the side . . . the one who always wears sunglasses. They recognize you as the leader, and as one who is successful and powerful. . . . Please do not go tonight."

I responded out loud, "You spread the word: I am powerful and I command many men. Out of respect for the people of Hit, I have yet to bring my tanks into this city and show you my full combat capabilities. Let the town know that the whereabouts of these terrorists must be reported in order to protect the innocent civilians of this city. I'm not afraid and I'm not threatened."

On our mission that night, we did arrest several suspicious people and killed two men who tried to attack our tanks with rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs). After such a wild night, we decided to stay out of the city for a few days. Unfortunately, we were giving the terrorists more time to prepare their next attack.

It was 1630 hours on the day of my final mission. I could tell when my men were ready because the sounds below changed from bolts charged and orders given during the final pre-combat inspection to laughter and tough talk. I never came down from my command post until I heard the distinctive sound of my high-mobility multi-wheeled vehicle (Humvee), distinctive because each Humvee has its own pitch or hum. Upon hearing that sound, I knew that my windshield and binocular lenses were clean, my maps updated with the most current intelligence, my radios checked, and my personal security detachment was loaded, with weapons pointed outward. With so many antennae and barrels protruding, we must have looked like some strange oversized desert insect. But before I walked down to conduct my final inspection, I continued my tradition of kissing the picture of my wife, Kim, listening to the message she had recorded in the frame, and saying a short prayer to God to take care of my unborn child if I did not return.

I was "Killer 6,"which is the code word for the leader of K Troop, 3rd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment. I commanded 139 men, nine M1A2 main battle tanks, 13 M3A2 Cavalry fighting vehicles, two tracked vehicles carrying 120 mm mortar guns, three support tracked vehicles, and five wheeled vehicles.

Before heading out on the mission, I would walk the line of soldiers to look at their faces. It wasn't just to make a final inspection. They needed to see me confident and unafraid of our impending mission. We treated every mission the same, whether we were conducting a traffic control point (TCP) or were capturing terrorists. My men had to be ready for anything.

A few weeks earlier, my boss had informed me that now that we had "stood up" an entirely new police force, we had to train them in police work. This tasking was a V Corps requirement. I was excited about it, tired of conducting patrols where I spent most of my time watching over my shoulder. Training leads to confidence and job comfort. We had done something historic. Within weeks of the end of major combat operations, we had rearmed Iraqi soldiers and were now patrolling the streets with them. They certainly needed training, and training was our task for the night.

We had scheduled the first night of training to start at 1700 hours, as it promised to be cooler than midday. The sun did not set until 2030 or 2100 hours, so we had plenty of time to train. We had planned on teaching for two hours, which we knew would turn into three or four. We always planned twice the amount of time to do anything with local forces.

It was about 1640 hours when we finally headed out the gate of our compound. I was traveling with two of my Humvees, my own and an improvised gun-truck, and two military police (MP) Humvees. As I crossed through the wire at the lead of the convoy, I called my departure report to Squadron Operations Center and told my detachment to lock and load their weapon systems.

On the squadron radio, I reported, "Thunder, this is Killer 6 . . . Killer is departing FOB Eden to Hit police academy, vicinity soccer stadium, with one officer and twenty-one enlisted."

Changing hand microphones, I immediately followed, "Killer, this is Killer 6, lock and load your weapon systems and follow my move."

After getting acknowledgments from the three vehicles following me, I charged my 9 mm Beretta, watching as the bullet slipped easily into the chamber. As was my custom, as a deterrent to possible wrongdoers, I had my pistol outside the window in my right hand, and my left inside on the Bible my father had given me just before deploying to Iraq. Inscribed on the inside cover were the words, "Use it as a tour guide," and in the back I had pasted a picture of my wife and me with my parents, taken just after our deployment ceremony.

It was only about five miles from our Forward Operating Base (FOB) to the town of Hit. Just before we reached the roundabout at the north end of the city, I told my driver to turn left down a dirt road we often used for observation by tanks at night.

I intended to avoid the roundabout in order to avoid detection from any spies at the first intersection. The dirt road took us from one paved road to another, and was only about two hundred meters in length. Just as we reached the far side, I noticed that the gradual terrace that normally allowed easy access to the road was now steeper and recently graded. Looking over the edge, I decided that the vehicles could handle the drop and we started to ease over the ledge.

As we began rolling again, everything exploded.

My right front tire, just under my feet, detonated an anti-tank mine. The mine violently lifted the Humvee off the ground and set it back on the three remaining of four wheels. The blast was so powerful that most of it went out and up from the front tire, launching a door and tire a hundred meters away. Blinded by smoke and dust, I wasn't sure exactly what had just happened, but I knew we were either under attack by RPGs or artillery, or had struck a mine -- and that I was injured.

I looked down and saw blood on my arms, and through my glasses I could see that my bulletproof vest seemed to have absorbed a lot of shrapnel. Everything was quiet. I could not speak. I was in terrible pain. I heard noises coming from my driver, screams of pain and fear. I was more confused than afraid.

Finally, I got my voice and asked, "Is everyone okay?"

My driver responded with more screams, and my translator simply gave me a crazy look.

We needed to get out of the Humvee. I began to pull at my left leg, but I couldn't get it free. My left foot was trapped under the firewall and heater. The right front portion of the vehicle's frame was now on the ground, so I set my right foot out into the sand to get some footing, in order to pull myself and my left leg free. But I couldn't get any footing.

I thought, "F--- . . . Oh, God, I am hurt . . . I have to get out of here . . . Why aren't they shooting at me? We're trapped in a stationary vehicle . . . They've got me . . . F---, that hurts . . . Move, David, move now!"

It felt as if I were setting my right foot into soft mud or a sponge. I looked down to see blood and bits of bone squeezing out of the side of my right boot. I gave one big push and turned to dive into the arms of two brave men who ran selflessly into the minefield to save me.

My good friend and fiercest warrior, Sergeant First Class John McNichols, grabbed me and said, "Don't worry, sir, I've got you."

All I could do was look at the ground. I tried to use my feet, but neither one would bear my weight. I could hear First Sergeant Cobal sighing under the burden of my weight.

I looked into his eyes and said, "I can't walk. I'm f---ed up."

Turning now to face Sergeant First Class McNichols, I said, "My feet are messed up."

Sergeant First Class McNichols smiled at me and said, "It's just a walk in the park, sir."

That was the last time I ever used my right foot.

Excerpted from Back in Action: An American Soldier's Story of Courage, Faith, and Fortitude, by Captain David Rozelle. Used by permission of Regnery Publishing.
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G M
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« Reply #448 on: December 12, 2008, 07:10:46 PM »

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/graphic/2008/12/10/GR2008121000748.html

The Chicago way, illustrated.
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G M
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« Reply #449 on: December 12, 2008, 09:17:47 PM »

http://michellemalkin.com/2008/12/12/rahm-a-drama-beet-red-and-pissed-with-the-msm/

"Rahm-bo" not so tough now.
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