December 11, 2008

What's the matter with Illinois?

That was the gist of a question for Barack Obama at his press conference just now.

All but one of the questions were about the Blagojevich scandal -- even though O's topic of the day was health care. (He introduced Tom Daschle as his pick for HHS secretary.)

He didn't answer that question, unsurprisingly. Not that he called it out of bounds. He just followed a strategy -- as he did for all the Blagojevich questions -- of saying, essentially, I'm one of the good guys and Blagojevich is one of the bad guys.

Why do bad things seem to keep coming from Illinois government? You'll have to accept as the answer that there is also good from Illinois, and he is on the side of the good.

ADDED: The news conference is detailed here:
He was asked how the governor got the impression that neither Mr. Obama nor his senior adviser, Valerie Jarrett, a possible pick for the Senate seat, were “willing to play ball and why he said those unrepeatable things about you.” A second part of the question referred to the previous governor of Illinois who is “still moldering” in federal prison, raising the question: What’s wrong with Illinois?

Mr. Obama said he could not speculate what was going on in the governor’s mind.

And he repeated what he said a few minutes ago, that he believes there are two different views of politics. One involves sacrifice and public service, the other is that politics is a business, “you’re wheeling and dealing and what’s in it for me?” He noted that there are good politicians in Illinois.

If the allegations against the governor are true, he said, “this is sort of the far end of the spectrum, that business mentality of politics.”

He added that his own campaign was about changing that view of politics. “You can get elected by playing it straight,” he said. “You can get elected by doing the right thing.”

121 comments:

ballyfager said...

He's not even in office yet and he's on television every other day. How Rooseveltian of him. It will get old real fast.

Florida said...

Obama's camp is claiming he had no conversations with Blago about his
Senate seat.

Really?

Why not? If you assume the best of everyone involved, why wouldn't Obama discuss his Senate replacement with the man who will replace him in the Senate? That would be a normal, everyday occurrence, no?

And yet ...

So, maybe the better question is: Hey, Obama ... why would you NOT have had any converations with the Governor about your seat? Did you suspect he was dirty? Did you report these suspicions to the proper authorities?

oldirishpig said...

Sorry, but you don't get on the ballot, much less win elections up there without making deals. Obama's hands might be cleaner than some, but they are surely not spotless.

EDH said...

Obama should say "I'm here to prove the opposite."

Zeb Quinn said...

What we have here is yet more fallout from the MSM's failure, indeed refusal, to do its constitutional duty in the investigation, vetting, and reporting on the candidate it was fawning over.

Eli Blake said...

There really isn't much more that he can say.

He's not involved with the scandal (in fact on tape, Blagojevich cussed out Obama for not being willing to give more than 'appreciation' if he picked Valerie Jarrett), Jarrett herself abruptly withdrew her name from consideration, apparently after learning that there might be a price on the seat, and local Chicago media has reported that Rahm Emmanuel (presumably representing the Obama campaign) had contacted Fitzgerald and told him what Blagojevich was up to.

Obviously it's a hot topic right now but there really isn't anything Obama needs to say about it, more than he has already said about it, which is that Blagojevich should resign.

There is corruption in Illinois, no question about it. This will be the second Illinois Governor Fitzgerald has exposed in seven years. But there is nothing here that Obama has to answer for.

MadisonMan said...

why wouldn't Obama discuss his Senate replacement with the man who will replace him in the Senate? That would be a normal, everyday occurrence, no?

Is it?

I'd think an aide might be handling that kind of interaction. Wouldn't you think organizing a federal executive branch might be consuming most of his time?

It wouldn't surprise me if Hillary! or Biden were talking to their respective Governors (although really, how much clout would Hillary! have if she's off to State?) because what else do they have to do?

Maguro said...

He just followed a strategy -- as he did for all the Blagojevich questions -- of saying, essentially, I'm one of the good guys and Blagojevich is one of the bad guys.

Hmmm. Tony Rezko happens to be friends with both Obama and Blago, maybe he could share his thoughts on who's a good guy and who's a bad guy. I bet that would be interesting.

MadisonMan said...

To answer the question: What's the matter with Illinois?, I'll say it's the same problem that bedevilled the United States from 2002-2007: One-party rule.

Perhaps a non-stinky Republican Party can emerge from this victoriously in Illinois, but I doubt it. Illinois just doesn't have the culture that demands clean government. Unlike, say, the far superior state on Illinois' northern border.

10ksnooker said...

If you want to figure out Obama, start with his template, Hugo Chavez. Watch the Frontline video about Venezuela on their website.

The Obama administration, taking 'PAY TO PLAY' to new heights.

Christy said...

The truth is malleable to anyone who grew up in a dysfunctional family. Obama has decided he is one of the good guys and that is all there is to it. The truth is what he wants it to be, and if it isn't true just now, it will be true soon enough. He deceives himself. He lies and knows not that he lies.

traditionalguy said...

Who do you think will vote to impeach Mr O because he Pals Around with ChiTown dems? It's too late to run a real candidate against him. And he's too sweet and pretty to arouse disgust in the everyday voter. But maybe the slease factor will get noticed by the MSM opinion leader types. They make them and sometimes they will break them if it draws ratings.

Sloanasaurus said...

To answer the question: What's the matter with Illinois?, I'll say it's the same problem that bedevilled the United States from 2002-2007: One-party rule.

Except that one party has ruled Chcago for 60 years.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I think it's less about Illinois and more about what's wrong with Chicago.

veni vidi vici said...

"What we have here is yet more fallout from the MSM's failure, indeed refusal, to do its constitutional duty in the investigation, vetting, and reporting on the candidate it was fawning over."

Further, should this scandal continue to fester and should it begin to infringe on the lillywhite turf of Obama's image, one should expect the MSM to blame him for their failure.

What a pathetic bunch of hacks (the media, not Obama; after all, he masterfully played the hand he was dealt).

Sloanasaurus said...

Fitzgerald will use the Blago indictment and Blago himself to take down the whole corrupt Chicago machine. The indictments will multiply and so will the states witnesses. it's hard to imagine Obama escaping this even if Obama did nothing. The fact is Obama was no Sarah Palin, he just went along. At some point after the 20th indictment people won't believe Obama is so innocent anymore.

The take down of the Chicago Political machine will become the political story of the century.

Rich B said...

"The fact is Obama was no Sarah Palin, he just went along."

You're just trying to stir up some of our friends like AA, GM and M/LOS, aren't you?

AllenS said...

Bush need to pardon Obama right now, whether or not he did anything wrong. We CANNOT have Biden as POTUS.

mcg said...

“You can get elected by playing it straight,” he said.

I'll believe it when I see it.

Doyle said...

As the most successful Illinois-based politician, it's Barack Obama's fault that there's still corruption in Illinois politics.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Except that one party has ruled Chcago for 60 years.

Kinda screams out for regime change doesn't it.

Too bad our military is stretched to the limit and we can't invade.

m00se said...

...or this could all be a Roveian plot to impeach Obama as soon as he takes office.

The madness of it all...

(Exit!! Stage right!!!)

Assumpsit said...

. . . even though O's topic of the day was . . .

Oh, dear. We're not going to call him O, are we? How boring.

Sloanasaurus said...

Bush need to pardon Obama right now, whether or not he did anything wrong. We CANNOT have Biden as POTUS.

You have a point. At this point I would prefer Obama over Biden. However, if it turns out that Obama just ignores stuff going on around him, then we will be much better off with Biden.

Lem said...

You know..

B4 we all get bent out of shape here.

All we know so far is that the governor said he whished to sell the seat.

As far as I know whishing something, anything is not illegal.

Am I missing anything?

mydismalswamp said...

Obama mis-speaks. That's not "Business", it's "Politic's".

Business is giving something of value for something of value. Politics is getting the most return for the least cost.

There is 'Public service' on one end of the scale and there is 'politic's' on the other.

siyeh pass said...

Unlike, say, the far superior state on Illinois' northern border.

Yeah, Tommy tried, but was in the minors, compared to these guys.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

What's the matter with Illinois (Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York)

Unions have a stranglehold on the political process. Mob control of the Unions. Weak and venial politicians. Complacent and ignorant voters.

SteveR said...

Tom Daschle? You mean the one who's wife is a high paid D.C. lobbyist? That Tom Daschle? Wouldn't that be odd considering all that talk about Change and not doing business as usual? Remember all that criticism about McCain's ties to lobbyists? I'm so f***ng confused.

What?, you mean the campaign is over and we need to move on? OK thanks, I feel beter.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Also...Michigan and New Jersey

Rose said...

"The fact is Obama was no Sarah Palin, he just went along."

Impossible to believe that he just 'went along" - all the hallmarks are there in his background, the meteoric rise, the appointments to Foundation Boards, his wife's appointment, the house deals, the doling out of government funds to cronies, the outing of his opponents divorce records...

every
single
step
of
the
way.

He is part of it. Read further, they told the gov that he had to WAIT 2 years for his reward.

Paddy O. said...

Just checking here...

Is it okay now to use good and bad in regards to people?

I'm still under the impression that we need to explore root causes of corruption and dissatisfaction without applying pejorative labels.

Blagojevich is not corrupt. He just has a hard time developing real friendships and establishing professional relationships based on mutual respect. It's a cry for help and instead of throwing stones, labeling one person good and another bad for responding to their different circumstances, we should embrace all together and seek to find more thorough answers for the apparent epidemic of brittle relationships that the cold midwestern climate seems to foster.

That's why I think Blagojevich is in need of a bailout, not condemnation.

Unless, of course, we're able to label people good and bad again, then he's totally a bad guy and should get the full force of the law thrown at him.

mccullough said...

Although Obama didn't play along with Blagojevich, it's bothersome that he thinks his fried Valerie Jarrett, who has never run, much less been elected to publich office, should have the Senate seat.

Installing our friends in positions of power is classic Illinois politics, Barack.

And I don't see how he claims to be one of the good guys when Tony Rezko financed all his campaigns (and helped him buy his house) except for his run for President.

Barack's pretty clean by Illinois standards, but he's not clean.

ron st.amant said...

Suddenly everyone from Illinois is supposed to know what was going on in the Governor's mind?

And the fact that Obama worked to overturn the veto of an Ethics Law (against the Governor) he is somehow culpable in dirty politics?

The Obama Derangement Syndrome is really unleashing some of its top level lunacy and he hasn't been inaugurated yet.
Look I understand, you hate the guy, and he won. In the words of Right-wing Idol Tony Scalia "get over it".

You don't have proof, or one shred of credible evidence Obama did anything wrong, let alone criminal, but I know to you ODS crowd facts are really unimportant, and of course you'll blame the media, the voters, Martians, and the big bad wolf for the forseeable future.

And of course they'll be the Greatest Hits of the GOP: depserate cries for investigations, FOX News special reports on how everyone from Blagojevich to the Rosenbergs are tied to Obama and evidence that he's a master criminal genius like Lex Luthor, and panting, red-face bloviating ad nauseum from Limbaugh until he throws his back out in his anger and needs more oxy...
but the truth is your wailing and gnashing of teeth, your Dreyfus-ian charges, and constant bleating will do nothing but help get Obama re-elected in 2012.

So take off your tin-foil hats and get out of your Mommy's basements and get something like a real-life.

Quayle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Quayle said...

Obama is shocked! shocked! to find out that corruption is going on in Chicago.

the wolf said...

"You can get elected by playing it straight," said the man who won elections by getting his opponents kicked off of ballots.

Bob W. said...

Not to bring unwanted atttention on my beloved home of record, but the mighty state of Connecticut has its share of Chicago-like corruption:

1. The last Governor, John Rowland, did about a year behind bars due to corruption.

2. The Mayor of Bridgeport is doing a 9 year stint for corruption.

3. Three mayors of my hometown of Waterbury have had legal problems. One was indicted but beat the rap; one went to jail for 8 years for an S&L scandal, and the last mayor was being investigated for corruption, when the FBI found out he was molesting kids; he is in jail for 70 + years.

4. The Mayor of Naugatuck went to prison for corruption in the 90s, got out, ran again, and was re-elected.

Yes, CT gives IL a run for its money. It is also much smaller, and closer to New York/Boston, so a corrupt pol can have better opportunities for himself and the family!

Waterbury actually went bankrupt a few years back due to mismanagement. I argued (facetiously) that if the Federal Government gives Detroit a bailout, Waterbury should get one too!

Shanna said...

Barack's pretty clean by Illinois standards, but he's not clean.

I think your probably right but I am glad he didn’t pay. Of course, he’s already got the highest seat for himself, so I don’t know why he would. Why would you want to derail your presidency to get somebody else a senate seat? Still, I’m a teensy bit encouraged.

John Stodder said...

As the most successful Illinois-based politician, it's Barack Obama's fault that there's still corruption in Illinois politics.

Doyle's reductio ad absurdum doesn't quite end the debate.

The fact is, Obama accomodated himself to the corruption. He didn't partake in it, but he didn't express any alarm about it, or risk the wrath of the machine by trying to be a Boy Scout. He treated it like a climate problem. He wore a raincoat to keep the slime off him, but he didn't trouble it.

I'm of two minds in thinking about this. On the one hand: Smart Obama. He was never in a good position to fight the machine, so he just figured out how to escape it, his talent and reputation intact. On the other hand, can someone switch from that mode into leadership mode? Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are machine politicians, too. Can Obama grow a spine, can he change his habit of voting "present," is it in his character to say "no" to Johnny Friendly? Was he being strategic in looking the other way in Chicago, or was that merely a rationalization for weakness?

ricpic said...

Does anyone remotely acquainted with the world of politics seriously belief that that quintessential political operator, Barry "The God" Obama, did not take a hands on approach to the decision about who was going to fill "his" senate seat? He didn't talk to Blago? He didn't have a preference? He didn't lean on Blago? It is to laugh.

Pogo said...

Geez, already there are indictments of Democrats, and inauguration is still a month away.

Good call, voters.

Matt said...

Florida
Obama has not said there was no contact. What he said was:
"What I'm absolutely certain about is that our office had no involvement in any deal-making about my Senate seat"
And then he said:
"I have asked my team to gather the facts of any contacts with the governor about this vacancy so that we can share them with you over the next few days,"

And the reason Obama would not have a conversation is because the replacement is not his decision. Plus he has enough on his plate. So he most likely delegated it to his staff to field any contact with Blago's people about it.
I mean, if you left a job would you be in contact with your HR department about who they replace you with? Most likely not.

madawaskan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
madawaskan said...

It smels like Jimmy Hoffa-now-and-a locker room with bad cigars and a dash of arugala-but Obama never smelt it...

You know how something stinks only when you're not right in there smokin' away...?

Matt said...

ricpic
Where do you get your information? Obama is not the kind of politician who 'leans' on people to make decisions. Are you making things up or just confused about some other politician you have created in your head?

traditionalguy said...

I am glad to hear Mr O is smart enough never to steal/sell anything small like a senate seat. The mark set by the Clinton's is so much higher. But while we can all understand a struggle over $$, What worries us most about Mr O is how he will set goals for the use of the USA Military. His Illinois experiences have at least toughened him up in the strategy arena. But what ideology will set his goals? Tell me when you know.

garage mahal said...

I love seeing wingers endlessly cry about the media and then run with every morsel they can find from the media, except of course the part that Obama knew nothing about Blago's shenanigans.

Synova said...

That's not business!

That *is* politics. Sheesh.

BTW... anyone remember when I was pointing out that it was *amazing* that Obama simply couldn't FIND any corruption in Chicago? How amazing was it that he couldn't point to real things that he did, real political risks that he took?

The man would have us believe that he just doesn't pay attention!

Not to his preacher.

Not to some guy in his neighborhood.

Not to the goings-on of his local political machine.

The guy wears blinders and ear-muffs. But he gives us Hope!

Paul Zrimsek said...

I have a constitutional question for Ann or Simon or whoever wants to take a stab at it: When Obama becomes President, who gets to auction off the Office of the President-elect?

John Stodder said...

Does anyone remotely acquainted with the world of politics seriously belief that that quintessential political operator, Barry "The God" Obama, did not take a hands on approach to the decision about who was going to fill "his" senate seat?

1. He's not the 'quintessential political operator.' He's a talented politician with an incredible instinct for survival and advancement. But the sense I get of him from all of what he's said about himself and others have said about him is -- he's kind of a loner. The quintessential political operator of our times was Bill Clinton, with his massive network of FOBs. Obama's circle is much, much smaller.

2. Even if he didn't anticipate Blago's gross behavior, there was little upside in his taking an active interest in who replaced him in the senate. He'd make one friend and 10 enemies if he played kingmaker.

madawaskan said...

Paddy O.

Well you might be understanding because-

everyone good from Chicago is-

The Big O

Oprah, Obama-you-Paddy O. certainly get the picture

But if you're Blag-you're the -

The BIg B

Not so good, in fact B-A-D.

O- goes with well-lots of good things-

B-you get bowel movement and all sorts of assorted sundries.

Blag was just fighting the "O"...

The Good "O" was so powerful that when he fought "B" -"B" didn't even see him...

I think "O" claims not to have seen "B"...

but you can smell it like-

B.O.-and it stinks-bad.

madawaskan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
madawaskan said...

John Stodder-

Ya Obama doesn't have any friends.

He's a loner.

No one would even help him buy that six million dollar house-or the lot next to it.

Wait a minute.....

Tony Rezko-he was Obama's friend!

For a long, long time.

In fact Tony Rezko was Obama's very FIRST mentor....and donated FIRST to Obama's FIRST campaign.

Oh and he got Obama a lot of donations from various unions in Chicago-and why unions in Chicago are run by altar boys!

[oh ya and he helped Obama with that housing problem.]

Dang it John you could be in denial because the alternative is pretty damn ugly.

Cardboard FLOTUS said...

He spent the last several years palling around with terrorists — foreign and domestic — he identified an America-hating anti-Semite as his “father-like figure”; he obtained a sweetheart land deal from a close associate and fundraiser who is now a convicted felon; and he endorsed Blagojevich for governor twice, openly campaigning for him and even calling him a “reformer.”

I’m just glad that he’s committed to “doing the right thing.”

PS: I wonder how long it will be before President Biden grants former President Obama a full, free, and absolute pardon for all crimes that he, Barack Obama, has committed or may have committed or taken part in from 1996 to 2009.

Paddy O. said...

Thanks, Mad!

I was in fact born in Chicago (or at least near enough to Chicago in DuPage county), so I'm thrilled to be an official Chicago good O boy.

Down with the rest of those bad, bad men.

John Stodder said...

Dang it John you could be in denial because the alternative is pretty damn ugly.

No, I'm going to wait for information before jumping to any conclusions.

As of now, Obama is not implicated in any of Blago's alleged misdeeds. But we now have two powerful Chicago political figures who are, or will be soon, bargaining for their freedom, with more to come. Wait and see.

The Bush-haters were stupid and impossible to reason with because they assumed every allegation to be true and then imagined worse things on top of them, repeated these imaginary scandals amongst themselves, then went into a rage when anyone asked them to produce evidence.

Oppose Obama if you must, but don't fall into the same pattern. It's really got to stop.

madawaskan said...

Paddy O.-

I knew it!

I happened to love your Obama is spending Christmas in Hawaii because he's the senator from Hawaii defense-too bad Obama didn't try it...

Henry said...

John Stodder wrote, As of now, Obama is not implicated in any of Blago's alleged misdeeds.

The very lack of evidence suggests it must be true!

Actually, I'm with you on this call.

madawaskan said...

John-

Here's the problem-

Either Obama is the most naive politician and is Bambi In Chi-town who so easily has the wool pulled over his eyes that how in the hell is he going to change anything if he never sees it-

or-

we have elected the most corrupt machine since Tammany and Obama is just the false from-pretty looking facade.

Maybe there are a couple of more options-but they're worse not better.

A lot of people seem to prefer smart and dishonest but I'd rather have Biden to tell you the truth because he at least told you-that you are going to pay more taxes-Obama was trying to sell tax cuts.

Either way with the upcoming nationalization of banks and auto and increase in taxes these people will be in power for decades-and they are going to have a lot more of your money to play their games.

The haters won and enough people understandably sick of the cognitive dissonance of their reality disagreeing with what the media, and Hollywood was telling them gave up the fight and voted for who they were told was the better choice.

Add to it all that Republicans were running around telling everyone the harsh reality that- a war declared on us by fundamentalist extremist could never be declared over by us-that it was never in our power to declare it over and a lot was lost.

America wanted to go back to the days when all of that was swept under the rug and minimized by the Democratic Clinton and the 99% democrat media. [the media is a more democrat constituency than San Francisco] America understandably wants to return to comfortably numb.

Ironically the haters won, they wore the majority out and with the above situation added to the nationalization of our economy - the last great hope for those that wanted what we had around the world is gone. America might never be the same. Who's going to check the Democrats?

I could be wrong-but the odds are that Obama is one of two things hopelessly naive and manipulated or corrupt.

In times like these-neither of those options bodes well.

madawaskan said...

I think you wish you could call me the reciprocal of a Bush hater-unfortunately it's not that simple.

1jpb said...

Nice to see a couple of you are showing restraint.

The Feds have everything on tape for a couple months. And, BHO has made rather definitive statements about his interaction w/ Blago.

It's hard to imagine that BHO would have made these definitive statements AFTER he knew about the bugs and taps, if they weren't true.

So hold tight BHO attackers, you don't have anything now, you'll need to wait and "hope."

Anthony said...

Ah, I see how this is going to pan out now: Unless you repeat early and often that BARACK OBAMA HAS NOTHING AT ALL WHATSOEVER TO DO WITH ANY OF THIS AND WAS IN FACT INSTRUMENTAL IN GETTING BLAG ARRESTED you are suffering from ODS.

Writing Bush assassination fantasies, pondering Obama's many associations with felons. . .same thing!

John Stodder said...

I could be wrong-but the odds are that Obama is one of two things hopelessly naive and manipulated or corrupt.

No, there is a third possibility, and it's the one that fits the facts we know. Obama is not naive, he saw what was happening, but choose neither to partake in it nor to take a stand against it. If you want to call him "cowardly," you could justify that much more than naive or crooked.

He's like an honest guy living in a bad neighborhood. He's not going to join a street gang, but he's not going to make himself a target by crusading against them either. If the cops come and ask him what he saw, he'll play deaf & dumb, not because he agrees with the crooks, but because looking the other way is the only way to survive.

Obama's goal was to reach high office. But first he had to get through and out of Chicago. He did that. The question is, of all the compromises he had to make to get through, will any of them come back to haunt him? Blago's misdeed opens that door -- and we'll see what comes out.

The last machine politician we had in high office was Spiro Agnew. Somehow, the media back then paid no attention to how crooked he had been in Maryland until he'd been VP for more than four years.

Chip Ahoy said...

Wanna hear something incredibly stupid? OK. Goes like this.

I was driving from Denver to Atlanta. Two friends who apparently have no confidence in my ability to get there, separately both provided me a map with the route carefully highlighted. In'nat nice? So I'm following the line on one of the maps and it couldn't have been easier. Then suddenly, in the blackness of night on a lonely highway, there appeared a road sign reading "Illinois 16 miles" or some such.

This caused massive confusion in my road-weary mind. How was it possible for me to error so grievously? I didn't smoke that much. Isn't Illinois the state with Chicago in it? Isn't that up there at Lake Michigan? I'm aiming south and this sign references a northern state. Oh, noooooooooooes. I'm lost! Srsly. The Belgian sheepdog with me looked at me sympathetically.

I had no idea the tip of Illinois dipped down that far. I was only in Illinois for about 20 minutes, zip, through the very southern tip, but it shocked the living shit out of me.

This concludes my experience with traveling through Illinois.

MadisonMan said...

Try driving from Madison to Memphis. You're in Illinois for about 12 hours as you drive down the entire length of it.

madawaskan said...

Big ugly difference.

Spiro Agnew was never their guy.

It's been documented that the media is highly democrat.

In fact there are psych evals about the nature of people that are drawn to journalism, and it dovetails with the proported values of th Democratic party.

Boiled down journalists initailly see themselves as white knights fighting for the little guy-there is more motivation for them to justify lying abut one party as opposed to the other.

It's funny how Hollywood often asks the public to not believe what is written about them, but believe everything ever written about Republicans. Republicans are the big business, old whit guy party. They aren't the "victims" -journalist felt drawn to portect in fact thy are the enemy.

So- Obama is their guy-we aren't going to have the same media check on power.

All things being equal-say they are all crooks-both parties- at least there were some limiting factors with Repubicans-they promised less and they were about low taxes-historical party platform.

Add to that the media never felt sympatico-to them.

madawaskan said...

Chip-

See-the reason you didn't smell it was 'cause you were smokin'.

But your Belgian sheepdog?

That explains the look on his face.

AJ Lynch said...

Chip:

Did you at least take a shower once you got out of Illinois?

Issob Morocco said...

Perhaps the reason why Obama opted out of being the junior Illinois Senator in November is because he knew something was going on. His departure was rather quick, and not really passing the smell test as to why he would leave so soon. It is not like he was going to miss any more of US Senate sessions than he had already running for President for nearly two years. The rationale offered up at the time seems like a Dickensian Gruel as to reasoning.

Ann, the question you pose is off target. It is not "What's the matter with Illinois?" but "What is the matter with Illinois Politicians and those who vote them into office every two, four and six years?". Answer me that oh counselor!

Ahh the Land of Corruption, Home of Obama!!

Bring on 2010!

Christmas Cheers!

ron st.amant said...

As I posted earlier I know Republicans have a problem with facts and were rather go with the Limbaugh-Hannity memes, but here are the actualy FACTS about Obama's "sweetheart" "$6 million dollar land deal"

In 2005, Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, bid $1.65 million for a house on the south side of Chicago. According to newspaper reports, the owner was also trying to sell an undeveloped parcel of land adjacent to the property Obama was buying, and he wanted the sales of the two to close on the same day. Obama has said that he mentioned he was buying the house to a longtime political patron, Antoin (Tony) Rezko, a developer. Rezko’s wife wound up buying the lot adjacent to Obama’s. At the request of the Obamas, who were seeking a bit more space for their yard, she later sold them a 10-foot wide strip, or about one-sixth, of her land. The Obamas paid $104,500 for it, or about one-sixth of what Mrs. Rezko had paid for the entire property. - source FactCheck.org

The only reason Rezko was even involved at all in the 'deal' is that the previous owner wanted to sell BOTH lots in the same transaction (I assume to avoid tax implications for himself and preserving more of the commission for the broker).

Obama couldn't afford to buy both lots- the one with the house and the empty lot adjacent. Rezko and his wife bought the other parcel. Obama paid market price for his house. He then later bought a piece of the adjacent land at market cost.

Wow, that's some sweetheart $6 million dollar deal- in the sense that it was a $1.3 million dollar deal and he paid exactly what he should have.

Of course he probably got the million dollars for his work on the grassy knoll, invested it in blood diamonds, and then doubled it during his card game with Fidel Castro right?

What's next? Obama kidnapped the Lindberg baby?

Trooper York said...

I must ask that you cease and desist in this rank calumny. It is a sacrilege to dub the President Elect by the sobriquet the “Big O.” There can be only one Big O.

That would be eleven time All Star Oscar Robertson. Oscar Robertson was the second best NBA player I ever saw play who actually averaged a triple double for an entire season, in fact for 400 consecutive games. I can recall the many years he carried the Cincinnati Royals on his back as he never played with another real star until his last championship season with the Milwaukee Bucks and Lew Alcindor. He was the prototype of the “big guard” who played the point and Magic Johnson would not have been possible without the Big O. He was universally respected and served as president of the NBA players association in the litigation that led to the league merger with the ABA and free agency.

To attempt to adorn a mere Chicago Machine politician with the august title of “The Big O” is both a sin and a shame.

Please be more careful in the future.

ron st.amant said...

Issob writes Perhaps the reason why Obama opted out of being the junior Illinois Senator in November is because he knew something was going on. His departure was rather quick, and not really passing the smell test as to why he would leave so soon.

Actually Obama ran for President because some of his closest advisors (chiefly in this instance, Tom Daschel) expressed their belief that if he stayed in the Senate and ran say in 2012, it would give potential opponents another 4 years of procedural votes with which to mislead the public. So, in a sense, one of the major reasons he left was so that moonbats wouldn't be able to run Swift-boat ads about how he wouldn't fund troops, cut off aid to old people in Michigan, voted against banning skeet shooting with kittens.

That's the problem with being in the legislature: some yahoo adds a stupid ass amendment to a military funding package and politicians vote against the bill because of the amendments and then they can turn around and say "Oh Obama voted against our boys in uniform in time of war"

veni vidi vici said...

"As the most successful Illinois-based politician, it's Barack Obama's fault that there's still corruption in Illinois politics."

Oh bullshit. Everyone knows that Abe Lincoln is the most successful Illinois-based politician.


ON another note, Chip, you didn't happen to drive through a little town called "Cairo, IL", did you? It's supposedly a bizarre little time-warp to the 50's to go there. Decent looking place with a rather sad history, from what I've read.

Roger J. said...

Ron--I am all for letting the various investigations play out before making judgments. Lets wait until Mr. Rezco finishes cooperating with the authorities why don't we.

I think one thing is clear: Mr. Obama is demonstrably not a reforming force in Chicago or Illinois politics, and is hardly a profile in courage in that regard.
I think John Stoddard gets it absolutely right about Mr. Obama and his character.

Issob Morocco said...

Hi Ron St Amant,

I think you have been singing the same tune all day so perhaps that is why you misread my post. Please read my post again, it is about why he left the Senate this November (2008) after being elected President.

Cookie cutter responses to messages tend to diminish your street cred, bro, though given the time of year might be explainable.

Christmas Cheers!

The Drill SGT said...

Ron said...You don't have proof, or one shred of credible evidence Obama did anything wrong, let alone criminal, but I know to you ODS crowd facts are really unimportant, and of course you'll blame the media, the voters, Martians, and the big bad wolf for the forseeable future.

1. Rezko is singing to the Feds.

2. Jim Lindgren has a great timeline that seems to demostrate that Obama is lying about not knowing about what the Blag was doing. And the Complaint indicates that the Blag was interacting with Obama or his staff. The issue is what did Obama know and wqhen did he know it? At a minimum, it's hugely embarassing if not criminal if Obama staff are on tapes talking about the quid qou pro (even if they agreed to knowing) and did not contemporaneously reveal all to the FBI. criminal conspiracy to cover up a felony?

http://volokh.powerblogs.com/posts/1228903890.shtml

The Drill SGT said...

agreed to nothing

Trooper York said...

Obama should fire Fitzgerald now and not wait. That guy will be gunning for him. Put someone else reputable in there and take the hit now rather than letting it fester. Fire all the US Attorney's and replace them all with no exceptions. He is a fool if he leaves him in there. Fitzgerald showed what he was about with Scooter Libby and he would love to bring down Obama. This is guy is another Eliot Spitzer.

Obama is just another Chicago Politician. Bought and paid for. That's what you signed up for when you elected him. If you didn't know that then you are a naive fool.

madawaskan said...

Trooper-

The Big O ya now that I know the history-it is sacriledge.

I was just trying to distinguish him from the Other O-Oprah..

To add to your last comment-

...and if you thought you weren't getting the whole Democrat Party package complete with their hater base-that you were ordering a la carte ...

John Stodder-

Here's the thing Obama could have chosen almost anywhere to make it after Harvard.

Obama chose Chicago.

knox said...

Was he being strategic in looking the other way in Chicago, or was that merely a rationalization for weakness?

That describes in a nutshell my perplexity, for lack of a better word, regarding Obama throughout the entire election.

We simply don't know enough about him. The media had (has!) a hand in that, as does his uncanny ability to answer a question without answering it.

And now he's president.

My read on him is that he's not too corrupt. I mean, I pretty much think ALL politicians are corrupt to some extent, but I choose to believe Obama, in Chicago, just sort of looked the other way, and didn't so much take part.

He's my president, what else can I do? I don't want to spend the next 4-8 years shitting all over him at the slightest provocation like the democrats did Bush. He's in charge of a hell of a lot of important stuff, I've no desire to assume the worse at the outset.

I just hope that he's not as dirty as so many of the people he surrounded himself with. [Unless you are a disingenuous partisan, everyone can concede that he has made some really stupid associations.] But we really don't know, do we? We know so little.

ballyfager said...

@ Trooper York,

He was also a world class whiner.

knox said...

sigh

"worst"

Trooper York said...

Hey the ref's were out to get him. Talk about corrupt. There is nobody as corrupt as NBA refs.

I would take Oscar Robertson in his prime over every other player that ever played other than Michael Jordan.

He just doesn’t get any respect. It’s like the guys who played in the ‘60’s and ‘70’s don’t even exist.

Rose said...

Barack's pretty clean by Illinois standards, but he's not clean.

No. he has people. It is all done for him and he can stand up and say "I never..." and he never, but he did know, and knows who did, but knows also that he is safe.

AT LEAST UNTIL THE SINGING BEGINS.

Jim Howard said...

Obama earmarked a million dollars to his wife's employer. The employer gave Mrs Obama a quarter of a million dollar raise, so that earmark goes back in the Obama family checkbook over the next 4 years.

Not since Hillary's Tyson-engineered fake futures trading has there been such naked corruption in a presidential candidate.

Look at the distressed areas of the country. They are all ruled by Democrats, most for decades or centuries.

Why the Republican party threw the election away by running as Democrat-lites is beyond me.

Why would anyone want a Chicago pol to run the whole country is beyond me.

Michael said...

On a per-capita basis, however, Illinois ranks 18th for the number of public corruption convictions the federal government has won from 1998 through 2007, according to a USA TODAY analysis of Department of Justice statistics.

*North Dakota is evidently numero uno.

Michael said...

A request for $1 million in federal funding in 2006 for a new pavilion at the University of Chicago Hospitals, where his wife, Michelle Obama, was a vice president at the time was not ultimately included when Congress passed spending legislation that year.

Michael said...

Jim Howard: "Why would anyone want a Chicago pol to run the whole country is beyond me."

The name George W. Bush comes to mind.

Been out of the country? Living in a cave perhaps?

Michael said...

I've come to the conclusion that the 24% of America who still approves of George W. Bush and the 20% who disapprove of Obama thus far...reside right here on this site.

I've never heard so much whining and flat out silliness in my entire life.

1jpb said...

Micheal,

Facts are not welcome, they dilute the vitriol.

1jpb said...

Michael, not Micheal

1jpb said...

Doesn't anyone want to repeat Hannity's brilliant analysis?

"The complaint says "president elect" 41 times!!!!!!!!!!"

Matt Eckert said...

"On a per-capita basis, however, Illinois ranks 18th for the number of public corruption convictions the federal government has won from 1998 through 2007, according to a USA TODAY analysis of Department of Justice statistics."

Come to Illinois. We're the best at beating the rap!

Matt Eckert said...

"The name George W. Bush comes to mind."

Hmmmm. Last time I checked he didn't run this time. It was a cranky old man who liked to kiss the presses ass and was shocked when they turned on him for a cipher with a blank resume.

Matt Eckert said...

"A request for $1 million in federal funding in 2006 for a new pavilion at the University of Chicago Hospitals, where his wife, Michelle Obama, was a vice president at the time was not ultimately included when Congress passed spending legislation that year."

See the attempt to make a crooked deal does not count because it did not work.

Blago just wanted the same deal for his wife. And it did not work either. So he should get off scot free.

Anil Petra said...

He voted "present" on who would replace him. Put that way, it's almost believable.

Kelly said...

Wait, wasn't it just a couple of months ago that Democrats were screaming that Sarah Palin was a corrupt power-abuser because her husband tried to get a bad cop fired, after the cop was making death threats and tasering a little kid? And she was personally responsible for all the actions of her husband and her staff?

And now Chicago Jesus cannot be linked with his minions, buddies, and political allies who are lawyering up and running to make deals with federal prosecutors? Hokay.

Methadras said...

Michael said...

Jim Howard: "Why would anyone want a Chicago pol to run the whole country is beyond me."

The name George W. Bush comes to mind.

Been out of the country? Living in a cave perhaps?


You may not be living in a cave, but that paper bag over your head sure seem to cloud your vision, especially when there is tons of pot smoke coming from within it. Besides, you've shown that you have the political acumen of a 3 year old with the high chair to prove it.

Seriously, your political savvy stretches to memorizing one thing and one thing only: George W. Bush. Keep saying it, I'm sure someone somewhere will actually care.

Cardboard FLOTUS said...

ron st.amant,

Can you imagine how corrupt Chicago would be if Obama hadn’t been reforming its politics for the last 20 years? It would be a cesspool of bribery, extortion, payoffs, hush money, cronyism, etc.

I for one am thankful for his tireless public service, and I am confident that he will do for Washington DC and the USA what he did for Chicago and Illinois.

elcampeador said...

"What's the matter with Illinois?"

I'd say damn near everything. The first three letters of the states name, is a dead giveaway.

A Jacksonian said...

I'm sure he'll say something like: 'That's not the Blago I know, y'know?'

These two share quite a few of the same circle of friends including Rezko, Auchi and Alsammarae. Each of them convicted on charges... in the US, France and Iraq respectively. When you both know the same political paymeister for an overseas billionaire, don't try to tell me you're the good guy. And Mr. Steadiness on Iraq had that lovely few months when his friend, Alsammarae, was over there and he worked with Blago on the contracts Alsammarae was embezzling from... for those months things in Iraq were A-OK for the President elect. Not that anyone wants to pay attention to that sort of thing, just keep on hoping and changing your mind about all the SEIU funds put into Obama's coffers since he started his political career in the 90's. What, they are getting looked at too? Dear, me, got into bed with the wrong people and now claiming he wore protection? Uh-huh...

Ask him no questions and he will tell you no lies.

pst314 said...

“You can get elected by playing it straight,” he said. “You can get elected by doing the right thing.”

When, as a legislator, Obama had the opportunity to take a stand, he voted with the Chicago machine, not against it.

Ken said...

What's wrong with Illinois? Corrupt politicians.

And as usual, they're mostly Democrats. Nancy Pelosi's culture of corruption is endemic to her party and always has been. There are corrupt Republicans and honest Democrats, but they are relatively few.

garage mahal said...

And as usual, they're mostly Democrats. Nancy Pelosi's culture of corruption is endemic to her party and always has been. There are corrupt Republicans and honest Democrats, but they are relatively few.

Then how come all the corrupt pols currently in prison are Republicans? Should we do a head count?

Richard said...

I read recently a study that reported the 10 poorest cities in the US (Detroit #1) have elected nothing but Democrat mayors for the past 45 to 50 years.
Coincidence?
I think not.

Richard said...

Garage Majal:
When the Repubs get caught, (Foley, Livingston, etc.), they resign or get convicted.
When the Dems get caught, (Studds, Cold Cash Jefferson, etc.), they hang on to their seats for years and do their best to get re-elected.

Cedarford said...

Amazing! 105 Comments and not one about the purpose of Obama's conference - the health care crisis.

No, why talk about that when the masses are enfatuated with SCANDAL???

The tabloid media could care less about health insurance affordability and America's tacking it on to our produced goods cost is economically killing us. Or that health insurance premiums have doubled under Bush for employers and private individuals. Or what Obama is planning to do about it that will fundamentally alter each American's life and employment....

No...not as important as BLAGO!!

Althouse commentors have joined the media lemmings. Who knew what? When did they know it? THAT'S MORE IMPORTANT! Entertain us...is there any purient sex involved in the BLAGO! Scandal??

Chicago...and America, get the government they deserve.

Dave said...

grudge mahal, do the names Edwin Edwards and Don Siegelman ring any bells? How about William "Cold Cash" Jefferson?

Anyway, there's plenty of corruption to go around on both sides, but it's currently the Dems like Pelosi who are claiming to want to end the culture of corruption. Perhaps they should start with their own bad apples.

Dave said...

Yep, Cedarford, it makes me long for the days when the Lefties could easily stay on the topic instead of mindlessly bashing Bush.

1jpb said...

Cedarford,

I referenced Daschle's recent Colorado speech in the Mandela post.

[Though I didn't actually refer to any of the meaningful content from that speech, which was about BHO's planning for health care.]

M. Simon said...

Smartest President Elect Ever™

soon to be

Smartest President Ever™

M. Simon said...

Land Deal Explained

When Rezko bought the lad he had no money.

Where did he get the money? From an Iraqi fixer named Auchi.

===

But yeah. That Obama is totally clean.

===

His esteemed wife worked for UChicago Hospital. She got a $200,00 raise when he was elected Senator.

The hospital got a $1 million earmark.

Nothing to see. You can move along.

==

Smartest President Elect Ever™

Most Corrupt President Elect Ever?™

We don't know yet.

Mister Snitch! said...

"Why do bad things seem to keep coming from Illinois government?"

There is no functional difference between corruption in Illinois and corruption in New Jersey. The only difference is that Illinois happens to be in the spotlight right now.

And yes, it was ever thus.

DARWIN POBLETE said...

"blago is just a corrupt governor who lives in my state."

blake said...

I'm reasonably sure that were Obama a Rep, there'd be media talk of impeachment hearings.

Not because of what's he's done, you understand: It's the cover-up, not the crime.

Obama did what he had to do to get elected. He's never taken a risk, never really done much of anything, and probably only dipped his beak a few times. He's hardly the dirtiest guy we've elected. He's smart enough to step back from the leftiest policies, or so it seems.

He looks like another Clinton to me. We could do a lot worse.

ballyfager said...

Trooper,

Maybe he doesn't get any respect now, I wouldn't know. But back in the day, it was considered a tossup between him and Jerry West for best guard ever. IMO Walt Frazier wasn't too, too far behind those two.

But then along came Jordan...

Issob Morocco said...

Cedarford, would this outbreak of dicussion qualify in your highly knowledgable medical expertise as a Pandemic outbreak of Political Corruption Focus RB2010 or perhaps a sub strain, mutation of RB2010 known as BHO2008 - 2012?? Did they all derive from RMD1993-Infinity?
Help shift the focus back to the disaster of our health care system.

Freder Frederson said...

When the Repubs get caught, (Foley, Livingston, etc.), they resign or get convicted.

Really? What about David Vitter--debate and discuss the difference between his case and that of Elliott Spitzer. Or how about Ted Stevens, who almost got reelected after he was convicted.

Jefferson lost his seat after indictment but before conviction in a district that is 62% black and 75% Democratic. I voted Republican for the first time in my life to get rid of him.

As for Illinois politics. It is not just the city of Chicago that is corrupt. The suburban counties and "downstate" are just is bad. Four of the last eight governors have (or will--assuming Blag is heading to jail) done time. The other three were all "downstate" politicians, not from Chicago.

ron st.amant said...

His esteemed wife worked for UChicago Hospital. She got a $200,00 raise when he was elected Senator.
The hospital got a $1 million earmark.
Nothing to see. You can move along.


a) the earmark was denied by congress, so they didn't get any money and;
b) The request for $1 million for the University of Chicago Medical Center was to help pay for construction of a pavilion that could increase its capacity for treating patients by one-third.

Yeah, nothing like a big scam that would help increase the treatment capacity of a hospital...the evil bastards.

As for Michelle Obama's raise:
""She's terrific," added Michael Riordan, who was president of the hospital in March 2005, when Michelle Obama was promoted to vice president for external affairs and had her annual salary increased from $121,910 to $316,962.

Hospitals spokesman John Easton told the Tribune that Michelle Obama's salary is in line with those of the 16 other vice presidents at the not-for-profit medical center.

Riordan told the Tribune that the promotion and salary increase had nothing to do with Obama's husband becoming a U.S. senator. "She was hired before Barack was Barack," Riordan said."

Sure he and the rest of the board could be lying, but what you have is an accusation and no evidence to show any wrongdoing (not that that stops you of course)

blake said...

Short Ron: Don't mind the incompetent attempts at graft, it was for the Greater Good.