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Obama's Report Does Not Mention the Two Corrupt Contacts Alleged To Have been Ordered by Blagojevich.

The Report released Tuesday by the Barack Obama camp discloses, not only direct contacts between the Obama staff and Governor Blagojevich and his staff, but two other specific indirect contacts. It does not, however, disclose the only two contacts mentioned in the U.S. Attorney's complaint and affidavit by which Blagojevich directed intermediaries to convey his corrupt bargain to the Obama camp.

Perhaps they occurred; perhaps they didn't. Obama's Report never says.

Valerie Jarrett. Here is the US Attorney's affidavit regarding a Nov. 12 conversation in which Blagojevich asked a SEIU union official (almost certainly Tom Balanoff) to convey his interest in a job to Valerie Jarrett (or another Obama staffer):

109. On November 12, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH spoke with SEIU Official, who was in Washington, D.C. Prior intercepted phone conversations indicate that approximately a week before this call, ROD BLAGOJEVICH met with SEIU Official to discuss the vacant Senate seat, and ROD BLAGOJEVICH understood that SEIU Official was an emissary to discuss Senate Candidate 1's interest in the Senate seat.

During the conversation with SEIU Official on November 12, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH informed SEIU Official that he had heard the President-elect wanted persons other than Senate Candidate 1 to be considered for the Senate seat.

SEIU Official stated that he would find out if Senate Candidate 1 wanted SEIU Official to keep pushing her for Senator with ROD BLAGOJEVICH. ROD BLAGOJEVICH said that "one thing I'd be interested in" is a 501(c)(4) organization.

ROD BLAGOJEVICH explained the 501(c)(4) idea to SEIU Official and said that the 501(c)(4) could help "our new Senator [Senate Candidate 1]." SEIU Official agreed to "put that flag up and see where it goes."

110. On November 12, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH talked with Advisor B. ROD BLAGOJEVICH told Advisor B that he told SEIU Official, "I said go back to [Senate Candidate 1], and, and say hey, look, if you still want to be a Senator don't rule this out and then broach the idea of this 501(c)(4) with her."

Did Balanoff convey this message? The Obama Report never says one way or the other.

The Obama camp does disclose what is probably the earlier conversation referred to in the affidavit:

On November 7, 2008 — at a time when she was still a potential candidate for the Senate seat — Ms. Jarrett spoke with Mr. Tom Balanoff, the head of the Illinois chapter of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Mr. Balanoff is not a member of the Governor's staff and did not purport to speak for the Governor on that occasion. But because the subject of the Governor's interest in a cabinet appointment came up in that conversation, I am including a description of that meeting. Mr. Balanoff told Ms. Jarrett that he had spoken to the Governor about the possibility of selecting Valerie Jarrett to replace the President-Elect. He told her that Lisa Madigan's name also came up. Ms. Jarrett recalls that Mr. Balanoff also told her that the Governor had raised with him the question of whether the Governor might be considered as a possible candidate to head up the Department of Health and Human Services in the new administration. Mr. Balanoff told Ms. Jarrett that he told the Governor that it would never happen. Jarrett concurred.

Mr. Balanoff did not suggest that the Governor, in talking about HHS, was linking a position for himself in the Obama cabinet to the selection of the President-Elect's successor in the Senate, and Ms. Jarrett did not understand the conversation to suggest that the Governor wanted the cabinet seat as a quid pro quo for selecting any specific candidate to be the President-Elect's replacement. At no time did Balanoff say anything to her about offering Blagojevich a union position.

[That Jarrett did not see a quid pro quo in Blagojevich's desires was previously stated in the Report:

Nor did she understand at any time prior to his arrest that the Governor was looking to receive some form of payment or personal benefit for the appointment.]

There are several details to note about these two paragraphs in the Report:

  1. As noted, this is a different conversation than the one that Blagojevich on Nov. 12 requested the SEIU official to make. Steven Greenhouse of the New York Times quotes a source at SEIU as saying, "All the official did, they said, was listen to Mr. Blagojevich and his chief of staff and ferry some messages for them."

  2. Note that Jarrett claims that, though a job for Blagojevich was broached, she did not consider it a quid pro quo.

  3. There is no statement one way or the other whether Jarrett informed Obama or anyone else in the Obama camp about the job(s) Blagojevich wanted.

  4. Jarrett's denial is much narrower than Emanuel's and does not cover the 501c(4). Her denial is: "At no time did Balanoff say anything to her about offering Blagojevich a union position." It does not mention "the idea of this 501(c)(4)" that Blagojevich requested on Nov. 12 to be conveyed to her. Further, this denial is much narrower than an earlier denial in the Report regarding Emanuel's contacts: "There was no discussion of a cabinet position, of 501c(4), of a private sector position or of any other personal benefit to the Governor."

  5. Regarding the Nov. 7 conversation, the statement "Mr. Balanoff . . . did not purport to speak for the Governor on that occasion" does not foreclose the possibility that Balanoff did purport to speak for the Governor on a later date. The NY Times's union source said that he did "ferry some messages" for the Governor.

Individual A. The other indirect contact mentioned in the affidavit is this one:

Nov. 13: "ROD BLAGOJEVICH asked Advisor A to call Individual A and have Individual A pitch the idea of the 501(c)(4) to "[President-elect Advisor]." Advisor A said that, "while it's not said this is a play to put in play other things." ROD BLAGOJEVICH responded, "correct.""

There is nothing in the Report about this contact, if it occurred.

Dr. Eric Whitaker. The second indirect contact disclosed in the Obama Report, one previously unknown, is between Dr. Eric Whitaker and a Deputy Illinois Governor:

In the period immediately following the election on November 4, 2008 -- on either November 6, 7 or 8 -- Deputy Governor Louanner Peters called him at his office and left a message. When he returned the call, Ms. Peters asked who spoke for the President-Elect with respect to the Senate appointment. She explained that the Governor's office had heard from others with recommendations about the vacant seat. She stated that the Governor's office wanted to know who, if anyone, had the authority to speak for the President-Elect. Dr. Whitaker said he would find out.

The President-Elect told Dr. Whitaker that no one was authorized to speak for him on the matter. The President-Elect said that he had no interest in dictating the result of the selection process, and he would not do so, either directly or indirectly through staff or others. Dr. Whitaker relayed that information to Deputy Governor Peters.

Dr. Whitaker had no other contacts with anyone from the Governor's office.

Observations:

  1. Note that, unlike the Jarrett disclosure above, the Whitaker disclosure ends with a blanket denial of further contacts: "Dr. Whitaker had no other contacts with anyone from the Governor's office."

  2. Note that no dates are given for when Whitaker relayed the information that "The President-Elect said that he had no interest in dictating the result of the selection process." It wouldn't surprise me if this message was not sent to Peters until the campaign started putting out the word on Nov. 10 that Jarrett was no longer a candidate for Senate.

Rahm Emanuel. In the section on Rahm Emanuel's discussions with Blagojevich and his staff is this interesting statement:

In those early conversations (Nov. 6-8) with the Governor, Mr. Emanuel recommended Valarie Jarrett because he knew she was interested in the seat. He did so before learning — in further conversations with the President-Elect — that the President-Elect had ruled out communicating a preference for any one candidate. As noted above, the President-Elect believed it appropriate to provide the names of multiple candidates to be considered, along with others, who were qualified to hold the seat and able to retain it in a future election.

The Report implies that Emanuel's 5-6 early discussions with Blagojevich and his staff about the Illinois Senate seat were not authorized by Obama. That would be surprising, but not impossible. If we ever see the transcripts of these conversations, it will be interesting to see whether Emanuel purported to be acting for himself or for Obama.

Bottom line: The Report discloses that Valerie Jarrett was informed of Blagojevich's interest in a cabinet position, but is silent on whether she was informed of his desire for a lucrative job with a charity. Further, the Report is silent about whether Obama himself knew of Blagojevich's interest in a cabinet or charitable job.

Obama's Report does not purport to be a complete list of all the contacts between his staff and emissaries for Blagojevich, only of direct contacts between the two staffs, plus two specifically disclosed indirect contacts. The Report does not indicate one way or the other whether the two contacts mentioned in the government's affidavit by which Blagojevich intended to have his desire for a lucrative job conveyed to the Obama camp ever took place. It mentions the contacts made by people who had not (at the time of the conversations) been directed to shake down Obama, but fails to mention the two contacts (if they occurred) by people who had (according to the Government's affidavit) been recently directed to contact Obama staffers to discuss simultaneously the Senate seat and Blagojevich's desire for a job.

Assuming that Obama is not operating under any restrictions from Patrick Fitzgerald, when Obama returns to work in a week or so, it will be up to the press to find out from him whether the two corrupt contacts alleged in the affidavit to have been ordered by Blagojevich ever occurred and whether Obama learned before December that Blagojevich was seeking a job.

James Lindgren (mail):
Comments on the substance or implications of the Report are welcome.
12.24.2008 4:34am
Rodger Lodger (mail):
Obama was law review, he speaks law reviewese, and his written statements are going to put ordinary parsers to shame. He and his team may be entirely innocent, but I wouldn't trust him on this, which I happen think is small beer anyway. His first hundred days will have plenty of footnotes.
12.24.2008 6:40am
Rodger Lodger (mail):
Obama was law review, he speaks law reviewese, and his written statements are going to put ordinary parsers to shame. He and his team may be entirely innocent, but I wouldn't trust him on this, which I happen think is small beer anyway. His first hundred days will have plenty of footnotes.
12.24.2008 6:40am
FredC:
You fail to note the Jarret denial in the preceeding paragraph that she did not know, at any time prior to the arrest, that the Governor was seeking any payment or personal benefit.
12.24.2008 6:57am
FredC:
For that matter, you also, fail to note the similar denial by Obama.
12.24.2008 7:34am
Moneyrunner43 (www):
Fred C: Denial of involvement is understood. Jim did not mention that Blogo also denied any wrongdoing, as does his attorney ... after an exhaustive examination of the evidence.

I, for one, believe anyone when they claim they are innocent of any wrongdoing. Don't you?
12.24.2008 7:43am
Moneyrunner43 (www):
In fact, I still believe President Clinton's strong statement "I did not have sex with that woman, Miss Lewinski…" I also believe his cabinet officers when they swore to his truthfulness.

I also believe that this will not go any further.
12.24.2008 7:47am
bikeguy (mail):
What is the purpose of this post? Obama's team has investigated itself and found no wrongdoing. The media has reported their findings straight up and in detail with no bias.

Case closed!
12.24.2008 7:58am
Patrick216:
What is the purpose of this post? Obama's team has investigated itself and found no wrongdoing. The media has reported their findings straight up and in detail with no bias.

I agree. I think these posts are outrageous. Nobody has the right to question our Glorious Leader, for He is the only person who can lead us from the dark abyss of the Bushitler presidency into the land of environmentally friendly milk and honey...

In all seriousness, I think what we're going to find out when all of these affairs are fully documented is a fact pattern that goes something like this:
1. Emanuel or another Obama senior staffer "suggested" Jarrett to fill Obama's senate seat, with some kind of wink wink, nod nod political backscratching thing attached to it that is not illegal.
2. Blago responds by continuing his little private auction of the Senate seat, possibly even demanding cash payments from the Obama people (but probably not).
3. Obama's people smell a rat and, knowing (as anyone with a pulse knows) that Blago is under investigation, tell Obama and Jarrett to back away from this immediately.
4. Obama comes out the next day in a presser and says he's pulling Jarrett's name from contention and gives his lame excuse as to why.

Nothing illegal likely happened on Obama's part, but that course of events does suggest someone who is comfortable operating in the culture of corruption.... and that doesn't look good if you are the Messiah reborn.
12.24.2008 8:08am
FredC:
Moneyrunner, When one goes around listing the denials, as JL claims to have done, then he should list them all. Obviously, you won't believe them. But you just make yourself look unhinged when you pretend they don't exist
12.24.2008 8:09am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
"up to the press"

Right.

Now that Obama's investigated himself and cleared himself, we should use the Palin standard wrt Troopergate:
You can't credibly investigate yourself and clear yourself.
Shouldn't we?
12.24.2008 8:41am
JohnO (mail):
I wouldn't be particularly surprised if Emmanuel was on his own in talking up Jarrett to Blago and his people. Emmanuel is, after all, a congressman from Illinois, so he very well might have had his own ideas on who he wanted to get the job. If Emmanuel was not a connected Illinois pol, I would raise the BS flag. It still might be BS, but it makes enough sense for me to give the benefit of the doubt until shown otherwise.
12.24.2008 8:42am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
lindgren:

Assuming that Obama is not operating under any restrictions from Patrick Fitzgerald


I wonder what your position would be if Obama was making statements like this:

our policy is not to comment on an investigation while it's ongoing. And that means any question relating to it. And I'm just not going to comment on an investigation while it's ongoing.


And this:

I think because this is an ongoing investigation that further questions are best directed to the officials in charge of the investigation…

it's best to direct further questions to the officials in charge, because this is an ongoing investigation…

this is an ongoing investigation … I'm going to direct further questions to the officials in charge of the investigation…

This is an ongoing investigation. We want to see the investigation come to a successful conclusion. … we believe it's best to direct questions to the officials in charge. If they have information that they are in a position to share with you and that would help move the investigation forward, I'm sure that they would…

This is an ongoing criminal investigation. … in the spirit of helping this investigation move forward, we believe that the questions are best directed to the officials in charge of the investigation.


And this:

That's a nice try to keep bringing up questions relating to media reports about an ongoing investigation. … we will be more than happy to talk about the investigation after it is completed…

I'm not going to get into discussing matters relating to an ongoing investigation…

That's a nice try to get us to discuss an ongoing investigation, but I think we need to let that investigation continue…

We have said for quite some time that this is an ongoing investigation, and that we weren't going to get into discussing it…

these are all questions relating to an ongoing investigation, and I indicated yesterday that there's really nothing more to add to what we've already said…


And this:

as part of cooperating fully with the investigation, we made a decision that we weren't going to comment on it while it is ongoing…

our policy continues to be that we're not going to get into commenting on an ongoing criminal investigation from this podium…

I think the way to be most helpful is to not get into commenting on it while it is an ongoing investigation…

you're continuing to ask questions relating to an ongoing criminal investigation, and I'm just not going to respond any further.


And this:

because this is an ongoing investigation, I think that those questions need to be directed to the career officials at the Justice Department

Those are questions that you need to ask the people who are leading this investigation, because it is an ongoing investigation.


That's just scratching the surface. There are countless other examples. Did you and the other folks running VC ever complain about all that stonewalling? I think not. I think we were simply supposed to take it for granted that it's not proper "to comment on an investigation while it's ongoing." But has it suddenly become proper because the person being asked for a comment is a D?

Here's what the Financial Times recently said:

he [Obama] made a clear effort to be more transparent than most politicians usually are at such moments


Are they generally considered left-wing? I don't think so. I think they're simply remembering how certain people handled the press the last time Fitzgerald was making news. You, on the other hand, seem to have forgotten.
12.24.2008 8:44am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
patrick:

Nobody has the right to question our Glorious Leader


The proper term is "Our Leader."

that doesn't look good if you are the Messiah reborn


The proper term is "The Messiah: The Chosen One."

And it's no surprise to see something like that, since he encouraged it with statements like this:

I feel like God wants me to run for President. I can't explain it, but I sense my country is going to need me. Something is going to happen... I know it won't be easy on me or my family, but God wants me to do it.


But at least we haven't gotten to the point where people would teach kids to worship a president.
12.24.2008 8:45am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
money:

I, for one, believe anyone when they claim they are innocent of any wrongdoing.


You mean like when Bush claims he was just the victim of bad intel, and didn't manipulate the intel? Or when he claims he doesn't torture? Or when his spokesman said that Libby and Rove were "not involved" in the Plame matter? Did you also "believe" that stuff? Or did you make snarky remarks about how self-serving, unsubstantiated denials don't mean anything?
12.24.2008 8:45am
mls (www):
If Jarrett's account of her November 7 conversation with Balanoff is accurate, Balanoff may have realized that it would be futile to approach her again, even though he promised Blagojevich that he would. The fact that Jarrett doesn't specifically deny any further conversations with Balanoff about this subject is somewhat surprising though.

Generally speaking, the key words of limitation in the report seem to be "personal benefit" and "in return for." Thus, the Obama team may have been aware that Blagojevich was seeking political benefits in return for an appointment, or that Blagojevich was seeking personal benefits but that he had not linked those benefits to the appointment.

I think, however, that anyone reading this report should be sensitive to the difficulty of the task Greg Craig faced in writing it. The report has to be literally accurate for legal reasons. The denials have to be as broad as possible to avoid sparking further media interest, but narrow enough that it is unlikely that later revelations will disprove them. He also is dealing with a situation where the legal/political standard is unclear, and may change over time. For example, if Blagojevich had proposed an explicit quid pro quo of a Senate appointment for a cabinet position, the Obama team may have viewed that as tasteless and inappropriate, but I doubt that they would have thought it was criminal. And if Blagojevich had merely let it be known that he would expect serious consideration for a cabinet position if he went along with Obama's Senate preference, my guess is that no one would have thought this was particularly scandalous. In the current climate, though, Craig has to try to imply, if not explicitly state, that these ideas never even crossed the mind of anyone on the transition.
12.24.2008 8:49am
Der Hahn (mail):
The Report implies that Emanuel's 5-6 early discussions with Blagojevich and his staff about the Illinois Senate seat were not authorized by Obama. That would be surprising, but not impossible.

Given what we know, would it be any more reasonable to claim that Obama had a vision of Blago doing the perp-walk, and ordered Rahm to have no contact with him?

Rahm operating somewhat independently is probably the smartest bet since it organizes major facts (Obama wanted suggestions made but wasn't closely involved, Rahm was closely involved, Blago wanted 'pay for play', Team O did a walkback after Blago wouldn't be reasonable) without making leaps of faith like Team O working with or being tipped off by Fitz.

It's easy to fall into the 'single omnipotent actor' fallacy (assuming that a pattern of events are all reactions to the actions of a single individual). Team O is not a hive-mind operating directly from the Blessed Thoughts beamed out by His O'ness, and he certainly doesn't have any kind of control over Blago and his gang. That's true whether the assumption you're making is that Obama intentionally sought a deal with Blago, or was prescient enough to keep his staff from having any contact.
12.24.2008 8:54am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
aubrey:

we should use the Palin standard wrt Troopergate: You can't credibly investigate yourself and clear yourself.


Your comparison might come a little closer to making sense if the Petumenos report was not demonstrably bogus. But it is.

Likewise if Palin did not have a record of telling outright lies (on this subject, aside from others). But she does.
12.24.2008 8:55am
sasha (mail):
jukebox, you're talking to people afflicted by serious desease.
partisanshipius brainwashingtonianism

Abandon your hopes....
12.24.2008 8:57am
JB:
Can we abandon the Obama=messiah thing? The only people I've seen talk about him that way for 8 months are sarcastic conservatives, and they were the large majority before that. It's like "Bush is dumb" from the Left--occasionally funny at first, but very quickly a tiresome, irrelevant distraction that shows that the speaker doesn't understand what he's talking about.
12.24.2008 9:12am
Snaphappy:
Bush is dumb and Our Barry is the messiah.
12.24.2008 9:17am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
juke.
You're good. Your research is top rate. If you're wrong, it's never an accident.
Point is, before any other report, Palin's self-clearing was said to be illegitimate.
At this point, self-clearing is legitimate.
The difference...?
12.24.2008 9:19am
the gipper:
Dear Professor Lindgren,

I don't know if it is possible to be a "troll" on your own blog, but I am concerned that you have become so. The key language in this post that signals that there is something wrong, and which serves as your jumping off point, is this: "Perhaps they [the contacts] occurred; perhaps they didn't. Obama's Report never says."

To paraphrase an old adage, ordinary claims require ordinary evidence. Or a more recent saying: "there you go again!" In your last 8 posts, you bring up Obama/Blago 7 times. The outlier post instead mentions Bill Ayers (in passing). I've included the list below.

No one says that Obama or his staff had any role in the Blago scandal; in fact, Fitzgerald et al say just the opposite. Yet you continue to juxtapose the two, as if by continually putting them together, the scandal surrounding one will rub off on the other.

Enough is enough. If you think Obama is corrupt and involved, say so. If you think he is not, say so. Use supporting facts to illustrate your conclusions. This ongoing pattern of insinuation hurts your credibility and my desire to read anything you write.

Of course, you have the right to engage in attacks on Obama, including ad hominem ones made by insinuation. But those attacks do not fit with the general tenor of this web site, and tend to discredit your illustrious co-conspirators.

I am sure you have a lot to say on other issues. I would enjoy hearing it. But enough on this. You are creating a lot of smoke, but there's no evidence of fire.




A brief history of your last 8 posts:

* Your December 21st post on this was a poll;

* Your December 17th post on this subject corrected another blogger's mis-idenitification of two advisors;

* Your December 16th post continued the attack on Obama as "extremely liberal" and brought up Bill Ayers yet again while praising his appointment of Education Secretary

* An earlier December 16th post also praised Obama's choice of Duncan, but then brought up Blago, quoting a reporter

* A third post (at 2 in the morning) on December 16 discussed the person chosen to head the Blago impeachment hearing

* A December 15 post asked when Obama will release his emissaries' contacts with Blago.

* A Dec 15 post interpreting Obama's press release on Blago

* Another Dec 15 post, the subject of which is the dog that didn't bark: " So far there have been two press questions, neither about the Blagojevich scandal."
12.24.2008 9:22am
JustSomeGuy:
Is anyone else as indescribably bored by this as I am? I suppose I'm just disappointed about how many of this blog's recent posts have been on this topic.

Really just gives me less reason to check VC in my blog roll, I guess.
12.24.2008 9:37am
jrose:
[The report] is silent on whether she [Jarrett] was informed of his desire for a lucrative job with a charity

From the report: "Nor did she understand at any time prior to his arrest that the Governor was looking to receive some form of payment or personal benefit for the appointment."

Further, the Report is silent about whether Obama himself knew of Blagojevich's interest in a cabinet or charitable job.

From the report: "At no time in the discussion of the Senate seat or of possible replacements did the President-Elect hear of a suggestion that the Governor expected a personal benefit in return for making this appointment to the Senate"
12.24.2008 9:45am
MJH21 (mail):
I think Obama does deserve some credit for trying to be transparent - it does open up potential liability when you speak to a prosecutor, particularly when you don't know what evidence they have or what others have said in recorded conversations - and it may well be that Obama himself was sufficiently insulated from this that his initial statements that he was "unaware of what was happening" are closer to the truth than I previously thought.

Still, it doesn't make much sense that 1) Jarrett never says that Nov. 7th was the only meeting she had with people connected to Blagojevich about the senate seat and Blagojevich 2) She never says that she didn't inform Obama about Blagojevich sniffing around for the HHS spot 3) Jarett never says whether the 501c(4) post for Blagojevich was ever discussed with her or if she ever made Obama aware of it if it was.

So while it's unsurprising that the report casts the best favorable light on Obama and his staff, I'll give the report some credit for maybe moving this towards resolution. But that said, there are still a few critical questions left very much open if I am to beleive Obama's initial declaration that he "was unaware of what was happening."
12.24.2008 9:54am
MJH21 (mail):
I meant "speak to an investigator" not prosecutor.
12.24.2008 9:55am
SeaDrive:
Maybe this discussion could find a segue into whether Obama orchestrated the 9/11 attacks. It would be equally as loony.
12.24.2008 10:00am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
sasha:

you're talking to people afflicted by serious desease


Of course you're right. Some people are impervious to facts. But I learned a long time ago that there are lurkers who aren't. So I'm not just talking to the people I'm talking to.
========================
jb:

Can we abandon the Obama=messiah thing? … a tiresome, irrelevant distraction that shows that the speaker doesn't understand what he's talking about.


It also shows that the speaker has a hard time coming up with a substantive complaint. It also shows that the speaker has little or nothing to offer other than cynicism. But that's a great strategy for GOP, because what the country is looking for right now is cynicism, right?
12.24.2008 10:29am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
aubrey:

If you're wrong, it's never an accident.


Newsflash: like all humans, I make mistakes (although maybe the messiah-talk is causing you to be confused about such basic things). And I'm grateful when people help me find them. And I could show you examples. But those examples involve people who pay careful attention to facts, so they don't involve you, and probably never will.

before any other report, Palin's self-clearing was said to be illegitimate.


Duh. Because she described the Petumenos investigation as independent, even though she has ties with him and the people who hired him. And she pretends that the Petumenos report is superior to, and a substitute for, the Branchflower report. Even though Branchflower is independent of Palin and Petumenos is not. And even though the Branchflower report is thorough and detailed, and the Petumenous report is demonstrably incomplete and bogus. And even though she started out giving Branchflower her enthusiastic support. She suddenly and mysteriously withdrew that support the instant she got the call from McCain.

In contrast, Obama is not pretending that the Craig memo is independent. Obama is not pretending that the Craig memo is superior to, or takes the place of, the Fitzgerald investigation, which is indeed independent. The Craig memo is just Obama telling us what he knows, in response to the questions he's been asked.

Palin (in response to troopergate) has never issued the equivalent of the Craig memo. Instead, she made a series of statements that are demonstrably false. Same thing with Plame: Bush never issued the equivalent of the Craig memo. Instead, he stonewalled, while also issuing certain statements that turned out to be false.

So your comparison makes perfect sense as long as you're willing to overlook all sorts of central, obvious facts.
12.24.2008 10:34am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
juke.
Ref the double standard, the sneers at Palin's autoclearing preceded the other report, so, even if you're right in your assessment--which by this time in my acquaintance with you cannot possibly seem objective--my point stands. Autoclearing is not legit for Palin but just dan and finedy for O.
As if that's a surprise.
As to misstatements, Ayers is just a guy on his block. We'll call that a statement made without sufficent thought while thinking of something else on the way to an event. Not a lie. Because O does not lie. If he's caught lying, see the preceding sentence.
12.24.2008 10:56am
Sammy Finkelman (mail):
What's maybe getting lost is hat Blagojevich's staff may have been lying to him about what they did. They were misleading him. They were yes men. They were playing along with things that were not only criminal in some cases, but ridiculous.

What the Obama report (which isn't the final word and doesn't purport to be) says makes perfect sense. Note that the HHS appointment was mentioned only halfheatedly, almost begging for a refusal. the only reason it might have been mentioned at all is that maybe if it wasn't at some point Blagojevich might become aware that Valerie Jarrett had not even heard the idea of a cabinet appoitment,. And the same thing with Rahm Emmnuel. John Harris volunteers that nothing is going to be offered except appreciation and Rahm Emanuel agrees.

the whole thin makes sense if we have the correct picture of the relationship of Governor Rod Blagojevich and his staff.

Now I will say - why was his staff so afraid of him - so afraid of losing their jobs? I think maybe they were engaging in some REAL corrupt activities on their own that were not known to Governor Blagojevich (why tell him? He would want in. Or would mess it up)

Blagojevich himself also probably was corrupt , and he was encouraged by his staff to think in these terms and to think everybody else was corrupt too, but to a large extent he was living in a bubble - in a fantasy world that was to some extent manufactured by his staff. What Balgojevich actually did, as opposed to imagining was robably pretty petty. If Blajevich had been corrupt on a majot scale, or understood how "honest graft" worked, he would never have been so anxious to make so much money or worried about his finances, as he was.
12.24.2008 10:59am
Eric Muller (www):
Jim, it's clear you do not share (or comprehend) the esteem in which much of the country (including many members of the press) holds the President-elect right now. And it's clear that this esteem irks the hell out of you.

To get a better handle on it, think back to the time after Ronald Reagan's election, and how much of the country and many in the press (and I would imagine you) felt about Mr. Small Government Shining City On A Hill. It's a pretty strong parallel.

The shine will come off the Obama penny in due course, as it does for all presidents. Given the challenges facing him, I suspect his penny-shine half-life will be a good deal shorter than it has been for many new presidents.

I know that for you, Jim, the Obama penny never shone to begin with. What I don't understand about your Obama/Blagojevich blogging, though, is why, given the staggering military, security, and financial challenges facing us all, and what one would assume would be a universally shared desire that things improve, you are so intent on dirtying up Obama before he even takes the oath of office.

Why do you want so badly for him to be weakened before he starts? You must think that it's in the national interest for Obama to come into office hobbled by scandal, and that it's in the national interest for the American people not to believe what Obama tells us (see, e.g., your frequent insinuations that Obama is "Clintonian").

Why?
12.24.2008 11:00am
BZ (mail):
Well, I, for one, am glad that JL posted this. And I speak as someone who believes that there's nothing here and that Obama did nothing wrong.

My first thought when I read the report was that something was missing, but I couldn't figure out what it was. I knew that JL would post on this, and he did. I now know what it was, and can evaluate it myself.

And isn't that the point of the post?
12.24.2008 11:00am
Bad (mail) (www):
I'm getting a little bored by the "Bush is dumb and Our Barry is the messiah." nonsense. If you guys can't make a coherent argument, then sarcastically claiming that everyone worships Obama and he should get a free pass on everything just makes you look even more pathetic.

Obama's staff report is not "autoclearing" anything. It's what the investigators asked them for and said they could to release. The investigators are the ones saying that there is no evidence of any wrongdoing.

I think we're all pretty clear on what's going on here. Politicians wheeling and dealing, trading influence and policy concessions for this or that is neither wrong nor illegal. It IS politics. Blagovich and his staff is accused, and almost certainly guilty, of going farther and trying to arrange personal payoffs and benefits for himself in return for an appointment. And so far, not a shred of evidence has surfaced that anyone in the incoming administration was willing to play ball. In fact, we have right from the guy's mouth anger that they WOULDN'T offer him anything other than appreciation and advice on who they'd like. The right here is focused on trying to insinuate that any evidence of the former is de facto evidence of the latter.

Jim, however, is largely asking questions that he hopes will turn up exactly that sort of dirt. And doing so is a perfectly legitimate enterprise, especially when there are still stones to be overturned. The always will be of course: the real measure will be whether once all reasonable ones have been examined, Jim will be willing to come back and say so if it happens that nothing turns up.
12.24.2008 11:23am
Sara:
It appears to me the point of the post is to raise suspicion, without considering or even mentioning several relevant statements made in the report. See FredC and jrose, above.
12.24.2008 11:24am
Elliot123 (mail):
"he [Obama] made a clear effort to be more transparent than most politicians usually are at such moments"

He failed.
12.24.2008 11:32am
Adam B. (www):
I have long contended that this blog does best when it sticks to law, not politics, and this post does nothing to disprove that.
12.24.2008 11:33am
Steve H:
I've questioned Professor Lindgren's insinuations on these matters in the past, but I don't have a problem with anything in this post.

I do think it is unwarranted to assume that the contacts supposedly discussed in the affidavits actually happened. The affidavit merely says that (1) Blago asked the SEIU guy to talk to Candidate 1, and (2) Blago "asked Advisor A to call Individual A and have Individual A pitch the idea of the 501(c)(4) to "[President-elect Advisor]."

It's entirely possible that the SEIU guy, Advisor A, or Individual A decided not to get further involved in Blago's hare-brained idea.

Also, I would be surprised if a powerful Congressman from Chicago did not talk to the Governor of Illinois about a vacant Senate seat, regardless of whether Obama sent him or not.

Dr. Whitaker's statements seem a little too good to be true, though. I would not be surprised to learn that they were embellished a bit.
12.24.2008 11:40am
cirby (mail):
The only people I've seen talk about him that way for 8 months are sarcastic conservatives

Been living in a cave somewhere?

Just look at some of the artwork the Obama folks churned out during the campaign. There's still a couple of the "HOPE" posters stuck on a wall near my house.

If you haven't met any leftists who believe in Obama as a religious figure, it's because you haven't actually talked to anyone outside of your narrow circle of friends and acquaintances. For the week after the election, any time I went to any sort of left-leaning event, it was like being in an old-time religious revival (literally - including the prayers for Obama's well-being).

The bloom has gone off the rose a bit since then, but I still know a LOT of people who react very, very badly if you suggest that Obama is anything less than an avatar sent down from the Gods to point us in the right direction.

Heck, look at some of the reactions to posts on VC. If you so much as suggest the Obama is a standard-issue Chicago politician with the standard Chicago connections (which are well-documented and even mentioned in his own autobiographies), you get a sort of stunned denial that only matches deeply-seated religious beliefs in its intensity.
12.24.2008 11:42am
Aristides (mail) (www):

Perhaps they occurred; perhaps they didn't.


Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence!
12.24.2008 11:52am
Pierre Owner Bouncer Pink Flamingo Bar & Grill (www):
Generally speaking, the key words of limitation in the report seem to be "personal benefit" and "in return for." Thus, the Obama team may have been aware that Blagojevich was seeking political benefits in return for an appointment, or that Blagojevich was seeking personal benefits but that he had not linked those benefits to the appointment.

Ah so when the Craig report discusses "strategic benefits" they are talking about...?

In these conversations, Mr. Emanuel and Mr. Harris discussed the merits of potential candidates and the strategic benefit that each candidate would bring to the Senate seat.


Well conservatives were not the ones who thought it up.

Can we abandon the Obama=messiah thing? The only people I've seen talk about him that way for 8 months are sarcastic conservatives, and they were the large majority before that.


"It's part of reporting this case, this election, the feeling most people get when they hear Barack Obama's speech. My, I felt this thrill going up my leg. I mean, I don't have that too often."


[Film director Spike] Lee predicted Obama would be elected in November.
"When that happens, it will change everything. ... You'll have to measure time
by `Before Obama' and `After Obama,'" Lee said during the panel. "It's an
exciting time to be alive now." ...

"Everything's going to be affected by this seismic change in the universe," he
said.
-- Spike Lee, American Film Director. July 10, 2008.


I could provide some more quotes but hey I get ever so tired of reading the liberal drivel. My gosh y'all should be ever so embarrassed to worship a Chicago Pol. No Shame!
12.24.2008 11:55am
Aristides (mail) (www):

If you haven't met any leftists who believe in Obama as a religious figure, it's because you haven't actually talked to anyone outside of your narrow circle of friends and acquaintances. For the week after the election, any time I went to any sort of left-leaning event, it was like being in an old-time religious revival (literally - including the prayers for Obama's well-being).


Or in the alternative, you interpreted any adulation for Obama through the lens of your bitterness, and confused (deliberately or otherwise) what is a profound sense of hope with the same thing people feel about Christ.

BTW, bitter times can give rise to an outsized sense of hope in political leaders. But at least Obama's supporters aren't getting excited about the thought of him bombing or torturing someone.
12.24.2008 11:58am
Pierre Owner Bouncer Pink Flamingo Bar & Grill (www):
Barry is the only virgin in the whorehouse!

Really I promise...gosh he is the messiah!


I think we're all pretty clear on what's going on here. Politicians wheeling and dealing, trading influence and policy concessions for this or that is neither wrong nor illegal. It IS politics. Blagovich and his staff is accused, and almost certainly guilty, of going farther and trying to arrange personal payoffs and benefits for himself in return for an appointment. And so far, not a shred of evidence has surfaced that anyone in the incoming administration was willing to play ball. In fact, we have right from the guy's mouth anger that they WOULDN'T offer him anything other than appreciation and advice on who they'd like. The right here is focused on trying to insinuate that any evidence of the former is de facto evidence of the latter.


That Strategic Benefit thingy is gonna be a problem eh? And the fact that both Obama and Rahm are away and the report is released right before Christmas is no problem right? Rahm went to Africa on a LONG planned family vacation...sheeh no wonder you guys believe that crap about "Im from the government and I am here to help".

Oh and about the comparisons between Bush handling of the special prosecutor and Obama's handling of it...well dear boys and girls, one is a President and the other isn't. One has special priviledges under the constitution and the other doesn't. Aren't you folks supposed to be budding lawyers? Or worse Professors?

The "Office of the President Elect" doesn't have any protections under the constitution.

And gosh I guess the Founders didn't foresee any President Elects needing protection from prosecutors. Obama is the first at a lot of fun things.
12.24.2008 12:02pm
Aristides (mail) (www):

"When that happens, it will change everything. ... You'll have to measure time
by `Before Obama' and `After Obama,'"


That's the best evidence you have that liberals regard Obama on par with the Messiah?
12.24.2008 12:04pm
Aristides (mail) (www):

That Strategic Benefit thingy is gonna be a problem eh? And the fact that both Obama and Rahm are away and the report is released right before Christmas is no problem right? Rahm went to Africa on a LONG planned family vacation...sheeh no wonder you guys believe that crap about "Im from the government and I am here to help".


It's been a long eight years, but conservatives have finally rediscovered skepticism. However, as evidenced by this, you could use some practice actually wielding it.
12.24.2008 12:06pm
Pierre Owner Bouncer Pink Flamingo Bar & Grill (www):

BTW, bitter times can give rise to an outsized sense of hope in political leaders. But at least Obama's supporters aren't getting excited about the thought of him bombing or torturing someone.


Yea I prefer leaders like Carter and Clinton who allow threats to metastasize. It is never a good idea to nip threats in the bud. Allow them to grow and fester and when they erupt into a day where buildings fall in our greatest cities or nuclear explosions erupt in our capitals we can just shrug our shoulders and blame the Vast Right Wing.
12.24.2008 12:07pm
LN (mail):

Maybe this discussion could find a segue into whether Obama orchestrated the 9/11 attacks. It would be equally as loony.


Has Obama ever explicitly denied this? I don't think so. How Clintonian.
12.24.2008 12:24pm
Crimso:

But at least Obama's supporters aren't getting excited about the thought of him bombing or torturing someone.

Unless, of course, we're talking about the "someone" being Bush or Cheney. Not all Obama supporters (in fact, I would except the vast, vast majority) would want that, but I have no doubt that some would.

OTOH, some Obama supporters wouldn't need for Obama to bomb or torture someone for them. They've done it themselves.
12.24.2008 12:29pm
Steve H:

Or in the alternative, you interpreted any adulation for Obama through the lens of your bitterness, and confused (deliberately or otherwise) what is a profound sense of hope with the same thing people feel about Christ.

BTW, bitter times can give rise to an outsized sense of hope in political leaders. But at least Obama's supporters aren't getting excited about the thought of him bombing or torturing someone.


I think the hope is coming from the fact that we've had such an awful president, whose election itself was highly questionable, and years of control by a Republican majority that has prided itself on being completely unserious and unwilling to face our problems, and which trumpets its unwillingness to think about stuff ("I don't do nuance," "we're not elitist like those brainiacs," etc.). A government that relies on crap like "tax cuts increase revenue"

Now, we have the prospect of a president who is intelligent and intellectual, who clearly puts some thought into what he is doing (even though he still does say stupid stuff, like worrying about immunizations causing autism). Someone who says things that just make sense (mostly). Plus, someone who seems to be concerned about the less fortunate.

I think a little unreasonable and irresponsible hope is to be expected in the current climate.
12.24.2008 12:35pm
Snaphappy:

Allow them to grow and fester and when they erupt into a day where buildings fall in our greatest cities or nuclear explosions erupt in our capitals we can just shrug our shoulders and blame the Vast Right Wing.


And who, exactly, made a blowjob into a national distraction culminating in a failed impeachment attempt while Bin Laden was training pilots? Way to go, vast right wing.
12.24.2008 12:37pm
Elliot123 (mail):
"And who, exactly, made a blowjob into a national distraction culminating in a failed impeachment attempt while Bin Laden was training pilots? Way to go, vast right wing."

The guy who lied under oath.
12.24.2008 12:43pm
Charlie (Colorado) (mail):
Snap, honey, I don't think most anyone cared about the BJ. It was the blatant perjury. Can we assume that you feel, similarly, that the rather less overt lies committed by Scooter Libby we of similarly little import, a distraction, while the US was actively at war?
12.24.2008 12:44pm
Just Passing:

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence!


In particular, absence of evidence of absence is not evidence of absence of absence.

Which is to say, Lindgren is really tiresome lately. Wake me when somebody in the know demonstrates that Obama was at any time willing to make a deal with Blagojevich. As far as I can tell, the testimony from all the principals is and has always been that he wasn't.
12.24.2008 12:50pm
stevefromaustin (mail) (www):
It is sad to see all of the embittered McCain supporters trying to froth up a controversy here.

No doubt, in their minds, they think that they are just searching for the truth and are not motivated by any partisan leanings.

So very sad.
12.24.2008 1:12pm
RPT (mail):
"EM:

What I don't understand about [Lindrgen's] Obama/Blagojevich blogging, though, is why, given the staggering military, security, and financial challenges facing us all, and what one would assume would be a universally shared desire that things improve, [JL is] so intent on dirtying up Obama before he even takes the oath of office."

This topic diverts attention from, among other things, some of the other (non-nuclear) comments and admissions made by Dick Cheney over the last several weeks.
12.24.2008 1:13pm
shertaugh:
Eric Muller, you asked "why".

Hard questions make bad blogging. No?
12.24.2008 1:18pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
rpt.
Here's how I lack the Christmas spirit. My son and his wife sent gift cards to some nephews and nieces. The Christmas card and the gift cards were lifted by the USPS' Chrismas help.
My son still had the receipt, so he could cancel the cards.
I laugh thinking about the moron going into a store, probably intent on impressing his girlfriend.
So, in the same spirit, I don't see a problem doing to Obama what libs did to Bush, even before he was elected, much less inaugurated. Just enough so the libs are forced to make a case why it's a bad idea. Is that so wrong of me?
12.24.2008 1:36pm
JosephSlater (mail):
Aubrey: You can decide what's right and wrong for you. But here's a prediction. All this Blago stuff isn't going to stick to Obama. So, right or wrong, it ain't gonna "work" from your perspective. Just like Wright, Ayers, and Rezko didn't work during the election.

So, then you can whine about the evil MSM, try to create some other phony issue that only the hard-right will care about, complain about the evil MSM, rinse, repeat, lose next election.
12.24.2008 1:51pm
cirby (mail):
Aristides:
Or in the alternative, you interpreted any adulation for Obama through the lens of your bitterness, and confused (deliberately or otherwise) what is a profound sense of hope with the same thing people feel about Christ.

Nope.

Look up "Is Obama an enlightened being?" some time. Some folks apparently believe Obama is a "Lightworker."

This isn't an isolated incident, either. Note also that this article got edited after the fact to distance the author from something he claimed pretty clearly in the first version.
12.24.2008 1:54pm
Michael B (mail):
Two headlines provide a succinct summary:

Obama team probe of Obama team finds no Obama team impropriety (with photo)

Analysis: Obama Inquiry Has Closed Loop Quality (both via the instaguy)
12.24.2008 1:57pm
stevefromaustin (mail) (www):

So, in the same spirit, I don't see a problem doing to Obama what libs did to Bush, even before he was elected, much less inaugurated. Just enough so the libs are forced to make a case why it's a bad idea. Is that so wrong of me?

Yes, because it is always about petty partisanship, isn't it?

Is that the world you live in? Or aspire to live in?

You stay classy.
12.24.2008 2:01pm
Steve H:

Two headlines provide a succinct summary:

Obama team probe of Obama team finds no Obama team impropriety (with photo)

Analysis: Obama Inquiry Has Closed Loop Quality (both via the instaguy)


Which is why I, as an Obama supporter, have no problem with Professor Lindgren's taking a closer look at what the report says. This report is not an off-the-cuff statement made at a press conference, but a position statement/argument put together by highly paid lawyers. It would be irresponsible not to look carefully at what the report actually says, and what it does not say.
12.24.2008 2:02pm
Snaphappy:
The root of the problem was the Supreme Court's opinion in Clinton v. Jones, stating that a civil lawsuit would not be too much of a distraction for a sitting President. A sitting President should not be forced to take a deposition under oath, precisely to avoid the pressure to lie about private matters for political reasons. Who engineered the Jones case, by the way?

So yes, the President lied under oath (about a blowjob), but who turned that into a failed impeachment? Who believed that a lie about a blowjob meant that our President had engaged in "high crimes and misdemeanors" and should be removed from office.

There is no fair room for disagreement here. The Republicans put partisan interests above the national interest. If that allowed the Bin Laden problem to fester until planes downed our buildings, the blame lies squarely on the Republicans' shoulders.

As for Scooter Libby, 1) he is not the President, and 2) the substance matters. If Bush had been sued in a private lawsuit unrelated to the national interest, I would take the case pro bono to argue that Clinton v. Jones should be overruled. But the Plame scandal was about blowing the cover of an undercover CIA agent in order to justify the run-up to an unjustified war. That is a matter that deserves the national attention.
12.24.2008 2:02pm
TCO:
I'm actually OPEN to the possibility that Obama or his aides were a little tangled with Blago. And open to the possibility that they have not shown everything. Albiet perhaps less expactant/hopeful/caring than the rest of my "side".

All that said, I STILL find that JL tends to discuss things in a poor manner. He doesn't properly put things in perspective. He quotes selectively. He doesn't consider alternative explanations. I find this shows BOTH a lack of fairness and a lack of thoughtful intellectual curiousity. I also think that there is a tendancy of trying
to juxtapose Blago and Oba for PR purposes and to keep the discussion going more for general hectoring than for curious analysis. I think all of this fits poorly with the blog, which I generally respect.
12.24.2008 2:05pm
DinoDon (mail):


"Governments fail. The government in this text comprised of Caesar, Cornelius, Pontius Pilate - the Roman government failed. The British government used to rule from East to West. The British government had a Union Jack. She colonized Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad and Hong Kong. Her navies ruled the seven seas all the way down to the tip of Argentina in the Falklands, but the British government failed. The Russian government failed. The Japanese government failed. The German government failed. And the United States of America government, when it came to treating her citizens of Indian descent fairly, she failed. She put them on reservations. When it came to treating her citizens of Japanese descent fairly, she failed. She put them in internment prison camps. When it came to treating citizens of African descent fairly, America failed. She put them in chains. The government put them on slave quarters, put them on auction blocks, put them in cotton fields, put them in inferior schools, put them in substandard housing, put them in scientific experiments, put them in the lowest paying jobs, put them outside the equal protection of the law, kept them out of their racist bastions of higher education and locked them into position of hopelessness and helplessness. The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law, and then wants us to sing God bless America? No, no, no. Not God bless America; God damn America! That's in the Bible, for killing innocent people. God damn America for treating her citizen as less than human. God damn America as long as she keeps trying to act like she is God and she is supreme!"

Jeremiah Wright - U.S. Marine, Navy Corpsman, Reverend, philanthropist, public servant, advocate for the poor and for proportionality in criminal sentencing, American hero.
12.24.2008 2:07pm
TCO:
Steve H.: You are a man from the other side, whom I respect. And I don't mind JL digging through the particulars of the paper either (don't want to give the wrong impression), but there is still something about how he goes after things that shrieks "hack" to me.
12.24.2008 2:08pm
Kazinski:
So far on this thread we have the following posting on the theme of "I have nothing substantive to say, but I desperately want you to stop blogging about it."

the gipper
JustSomeGuy
Eric Muller
Sara
Just Passing
stevefromaustin
RPT


That's over 10% if the comments, it's an extremely interesting phenomena.
12.24.2008 2:13pm
Kazinski:
Add JosephSlater and TCO to the list.
12.24.2008 2:17pm
Patrick216:
Eric Muller wrote:
Why do you want so badly for him to be weakened before he starts? You must think that it's in the national interest for Obama to come into office hobbled by scandal, and that it's in the national interest for the American people not to believe what Obama tells us (see, e.g., your frequent insinuations that Obama is "Clintonian").

Liberals savagely criticized their own (i.e. the NYT) in 2003 for "blindly" accepting what Bush did after 9/11. Even some conservatives believe that the unchecked authority Bush wielded in the two years after 9/11 did harm to the country.

We now have our Glorious Leader, Barack the Benevolent (praise be to him), in power with a 59-41 (i.e. virtually unstoppable) Senate majority and a news media that literally gets "thrills in their legs" watching him speak. If trusting Bush with national security matters in the two years following 9/11 wasn't good for the country, why is it good to simply believe everything the Glorious Leader says right out of the gate? Isn't a little healthy skepticism good for the country?
12.24.2008 2:18pm
LM (mail):
jukeboxgrad (mail):

money:

I, for one, believe anyone when they claim they are innocent of any wrongdoing.

You mean like when Bush claims he was just the victim of bad intel, and didn't manipulate the intel? Or when he claims he doesn't torture? Or when his spokesman said that Libby and Rove were "not involved" in the Plame matter? Did you also "believe" that stuff? Or did you make snarky remarks about how self-serving, unsubstantiated denials don't mean anything?

No, JBG, Moneyrunner has a well-established commitment to the presumption of innocence, so I'm sure he really believes Obama and his team deserve every benefit of the doubt. In fact, when Mark Field endorsed investigating whether the Bush administration's admitted use of torture amounted to anything criminal, Moneyrunner likened him to a pogrom-inciting, fascist, communist, Nazi, Jim Crowe lynch-mob. So I'll go out on a limb -- no, Moneyrunner, there's no rope in my pocket -- and vouch for his protestations of Obama's innocence. If they're not 100% sincere, I may just lose my faith in human nature.
12.24.2008 2:40pm
stevefromaustin (mail) (www):

That's over 10% if the comments, it's an extremely interesting phenomena.

And don't you find it odd that the Obama Report said absolutely nothing at all about it?
12.24.2008 2:42pm
JosephSlater (mail):
Oh, the irony in Kazinski's most recent posts complaining of other posts that "add nothing."

FWIW, I never suggested Lindgren stop posting about this or anything else. It's (partly) his blog and I am merely a guest.

I did suggest that Aubrey's post was a counter-productive strategy for the right to pursue. In all honesty, not being of the political right myself, part of me hopes the right continues down certain paths I predict will not be fruitful for them.

But sure, if you want to believe that people being skeptical that there is much to this scandal is . . . um, what exactly? Some evidence that there really IS a scandal here, because, when people say there is no scandal on the internet that means that there must be because, um . . . ? Well, that's your perogative.
12.24.2008 2:43pm
LM (mail):
JosephSlater:

Aubrey: You can decide what's right and wrong for you. But here's a prediction. All this Blago stuff isn't going to stick to Obama. So, right or wrong, it ain't gonna "work" from your perspective. Just like Wright, Ayers, and Rezko didn't work during the election.

So, then you can whine about the evil MSM, try to create some other phony issue that only the hard-right will care about, complain about the evil MSM, rinse, repeat, lose next election.

Oh, Slater, get over yourself. You're drunk on Obama kool-aid.

Just like Newt Gingrich.
12.24.2008 2:47pm
JosephSlater (mail):
LM: Good lord. I may have to reconsider.
12.24.2008 3:07pm
Pierre Owner Bouncer Pink Flamingo Bar & Grill (www):

It is sad to see all of the embittered McCain supporters trying to froth up a controversy here.

No doubt, in their minds, they think that they are just searching for the truth and are not motivated by any partisan leanings.


Gosh no I don't want to do anything except severely cripple a person I consider to be exceedingly dangerous. Certainly hobbling him would in my view be a victory of sorts. I supported McCain only to oppose Obama.

In my view he is the single most dangerous man to have ever gotten into position to be the President. He makes Nixon look like a boy scout.

Wright, Ayers, Rezko, Dohrn, Khalidi, Odinga, Pflegar, Blago, and Farrakan...this messiah is a one man example of everything that is dangerous with leftism.

So yes every single little piece of power he loses because of attacks is cause for celebration. Is that plain enough?

And no I don't believe that is unpatriotic since I believe that Obama is the epitome of unpatriotic.
12.24.2008 3:14pm
Elliot123 (mail):
So, did Obama know his chief of staff had a rogue operation running?
12.24.2008 3:23pm
Roger Schlafly (www):
Assuming that Obama is not operating under any restrictions from Patrick Fitzgerald ...
Fitzgerald cannot place any restrictions on Obama. Obama is free to proclaim his innocence at any time. In a few weeks, it will be Obama who has the power to put restrictions on Fitzgerald.
12.24.2008 3:31pm
Pierre Owner Bouncer Pink Flamingo Bar & Grill (www):

In a few weeks, it will be Obama who has the power to put restrictions on Fitzgerald.


Bite your tongue...the Messiah only wants the truth! Surely he will let this investigation go where it must since he IS the ONLY virgin in the WHOREHOUSE!
12.24.2008 3:35pm
Pierre Owner Bouncer Pink Flamingo Bar & Grill (www):

So, did Obama know his chief of staff had a rogue operation running?


That is not the Rahm Emmanuel that Barry knew...
12.24.2008 3:37pm
JosephSlater (mail):
Pierre:

Happy Obama Derangement Syndrome Day!

And as with Aubrey, I predict your attempts to "cripple" Obama in these ways will be just as successful as the hard right's attempts to beat Obama in the general election by portraying him as a Marxist/Muslim/terrorist-pallin'/Wright, Ayers, and Rezko lovin' radical.
12.24.2008 3:38pm
Michael B (mail):
"... we should insist that all taped communications regarding the Senate seat should be made public." Newt Gingrich, emphasis added

Gingrich, and rightly so, was responding to a specific RNC produced ad on the web - while also insisting responsible lines of inquiry should proceed apace. Gingrich is arguing for evenly tempered, responsible, diligent and insistent forms of inquiry, both formally and informally.

Nothing more - and nothing less.
12.24.2008 3:46pm
Elliot123 (mail):
Is this issue helping or hurting Obama?
12.24.2008 3:56pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Speaking of Ayers, he must be laughing his butt off, He tried to kill a bunch of people at Ft. Dix and got away with it. The latest iteration wasn't sufficiently well-bred to get prosecutorial discretion. Some guys have all the luck.
I don't think--this is just me--that having soldiers as potential victims makes you a sympathetic character. Nor cheeing Helter-Skelter as his psycho wife did.
YMMV.
Probably does.
But I do want to see the enemies of petty partisanship make the case why I shouldn't do what they did. I learned from the best.
12.24.2008 4:01pm
Public_Defender (mail):

To my fellow liberals, I see nothing wrong with Lindgren's attempt to pick apart this story. Obama is the freakin' President-Elect of the United States. If he can't withstand this, we're in a lot of trouble. Remember, we voted for him because we know he can withstand this. Have a little confidence in our guy.

Frankly, I barely have the time to dissect my own clients' cases. So I plan to wait until this is more resolved until I pay more attention. But presidents and their top staff should expect picky criticism. It comes with the job.
12.24.2008 4:05pm
Pierre Owner Bouncer Pink Flamingo Bar & Grill (www):

Happy Obama Derangement Syndrome Day!


Why thank you! I plan on getting better at it! Destroying his ability to govern is near the top of the stack for me. Every little nick is a blessing.

Even the longest journey starts with one step...etc etc.

I believe that the Obama administration will be a target rich enviroment.
12.24.2008 4:10pm
JosephSlater (mail):
Why thank you! I plan on getting better at it!

Well, you really couldn't be any worse at it than you currently are. . . .
12.24.2008 4:13pm
LM (mail):

Wright, Ayers, Rezko, Dohrn, Khalidi, Odinga, Pflegar, Blago, and Farrakan...this messiah is a one man example of everything that is dangerous with leftism.

You forgot to mention that two weeks after Obama was born, construction started on the Berlin Wall. Coincidence? Hah! And I dare anyone to explain why "Obama, The One" is an anagram for "A Mao, not Hebe"! How blind can people be?
12.24.2008 4:34pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
aubrey:

the sneers at Palin's autoclearing preceded the other report


That's because the ties between Palin and the personnel board, and Petumenos, were clear before the Branchflower report was issued. We don't need the Branchflower report to demonstrate those ties. So there is nothing surprising or inappropriate about the fact that "the sneers at Palin's autoclearing preceded the other report." Your 'point' makes no sense whatsoever. You're being incoherent.

even if you're right in your assessment--which by this time in my acquaintance with you cannot possibly seem objective


I'm not offering an "assessment." I'm describing facts. If you have a basis to dispute any of the facts I presented, you should let us in on the secret and tell us what it is. What are you waiting for? There's no time like the present.

Autoclearing is not legit for Palin but just dan and finedy for O.


I already explained why the two situations are not comparable. In your charming style, you're simply repeating your asinine claim without addressing the facts I presented.

As to misstatements, Ayers is just a guy on his block. We'll call that a statement made without sufficent thought while thinking of something else on the way to an event.


Actually, "we'll call that" you presenting fiction. Because Obama never said "Ayers is just a guy on his block."

Ayers … tried to kill a bunch of people at Ft. Dix


You apparently have some proof that Ayers helped create the bomb that exploded on 3/6/70. Really? Why are you keeping it to yourself? Because if such proof actually existed, it would be big news.
12.24.2008 4:39pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
eric:

what one would assume would be a universally shared desire that things improve


For certain people, the key shared desire is not "that things improve." It's "that things improve" for the GOP.

More and more, it seems that the GOP is in the hands of people like lindgren, aubrey and pierre. From my perspective, that's a positive development. They're providing an inadvertent public service.
12.24.2008 4:39pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
pierre:

I felt this thrill going up my leg.


Sort of reminds me of this:

here comes George Bush ... he's in his flight suit, he's striding across the deck, and he's wearing his parachute harness ... —and I've worn those because I parachute—and it makes the best of his manly characteristic ... run that stuff again of him walking across there with the parachute. He has just won every woman's vote in the United States of America ... all those women who say size doesn't count—they're all liars. Check that out ... he's coming across as a -- well, as women would call in on my show saying, what a stud ... and then guy -- they're seeing him out there with his flight suit, and he's -- and they know he's an F-105 fighter jock. I mean it's just great.


And this:

One of the more cringe-inducing TV moments in recent memory was Matthews and G. Gordon Liddy sprouting rhetorical woodies over the spectacle of Bush on the carrier deck in his flight suit, his parachute harness showcasing the presidential bulge ... the two of them should take a cold shower, preferably not together.


And this:

Why the President Had to Show His Balls ... This was the first a time a president literally showed his balls ... [the] manly exhibition was no accident ... I can't prove they gave him a sock job ... but clearly they thought long and hard about the crotch shot.


And this:

Why did he have an erection upon seeing all those young men aboard the carrier? ... I felt like he paraded his crotch in my unwilling face. I'm sure they did quite a lot of custom fitting and alterations on the flight suit, as they had gone to a lot of trouble to put a huge embroidery of his title across the back. We've already been told of the effort made to position the carrier for the correct background shot out to sea -- no doubt the angle of the sunlight was also calculated.


And this, from the sober, august, ultra-serious WSJ:

Hey, Flyboy ... Women voters agree: President Bush is a hottie! ... there was the president, landing on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln, stepping out of a fighter jet in that amazing uniform, looking -- how to put it? -- really hot ... a business suit just doesn't do it the way a flight suit does ... The New York Post ran the hot shot on its front page. And Newsweek called it a photo-op but gave the president what can only be called a centerfold. ... my friend Emily, a mother of two and probably a liberal, examined the picture of the president in his fly-boy gear that I just happened to have in my purse. She looked carefully, grinned and said, "He's a hottie. No doubt about it. Really a hottie. Why haven't I noticed this before? He looks so much better than Michael Douglas in that movie we saw ... Alexandra, an unmarried event planner in her 30s, e-mailed: "Hot? SO HOT!!!!! THAT UNIFORM!"


So the guy who said "I felt this thrill going up my leg" has a track record with this sort of thing. Along with a bunch of other folks. But I don't recall people like you complaining when Bush was the subject of these extreme reactions, as well as other forms of worship.
12.24.2008 4:40pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
charlie:

Can we assume that you feel, similarly, that the rather less overt lies committed by Scooter Libby we of similarly little import, a distraction, while the US was actively at war?


The lies of "Scooter Libby" were not of "little import," because their purpose was to obstruct an investigation about the outing of a covert agent "while the US was actively at war."
12.24.2008 4:40pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
lm:

Moneyrunner has a well-established commitment to the presumption of innocence


I figured, but I didn't have the proof handy. Thanks for providing some.
12.24.2008 4:40pm
Sara:
Kazinski,

My comment was about the post and substantively criticized it for not including statements in the report. Your comment is clearly not substantive and can be summerized as "I don't want to hear it."
12.24.2008 4:49pm
JosephSlater (mail):
JukeBoxGrad:

Thanks for posting all those gushy quotes about Bush. I had forgotten just how in the tank the media was for him around that time.
12.24.2008 4:56pm
LN (mail):
"MarkField shows how to begin a pogrom."

Hahahahahaha. Thanks for the link, LM. Awesome.

All Lindgren posts produce two kinds of comments. Some people wonder what his point is, and other people bash liberals for thinking that Obama is a messiah figure and therefore beyond criticism. Note that the criticism is never actually given; there's just an insistence that it should be POSSIBLE to criticize Obama. So much substance!
12.24.2008 4:56pm
Kazinski:
We know the Obama report is incomplete in one respect, it makes no mention of the fact that Blagojevich did solicit a bribe from either an Obama emissary or staffer. How do we know are we pretty sure of that? Well Blogojevich's own words, he complains vociferously that Obama is unwilling to offer anything but appreciation, and we also know that Blago is no shrinking violet in asking for what he wants.

It strains credulity to think, especially after reading the transcripts that were released that Blago's quest for money and/or a job failed because he was too subtle and Obama's advisers didn't understand they were being asked for a bribe. That scenario also explains why Jarret's name was withdrawn. I'll give credit where it is due, it is very encouraging that Obama's team would not play ball with Blagojevich, but it is also clear that they were willing to look the other way as Blago continued to shop the seat. I think it should also be pointed out that as nice as it would be for them if an Obama insider were to get the seat, it's pretty inconceivable that anybody that would opposes Obama's agenda would get the seat in the end anyway. So they did not have an enormous stake in the outcome.
12.24.2008 5:00pm
Kazinski:
Sara,
I'm sorry if I mis-characterized your post, and withdraw your name from the list. I want to be clear, I may disagree pretty hardily with some of the other posts and I may criticize some of the views expressed, but I am not criticizing them for posting comments. My list was merely aimed at those that have been trying for a couple of weeks now to warn Lindgren off the story, without providing any explanation other than:
"Shut up" he explained.
12.24.2008 5:11pm
LN (mail):
So this is kind of like Clinton and Lewinsky, if we rewrite history so that the controversy was about Lewinsky not filing a sexual harassment lawsuit against Clinton, and if we realize that Obama is Lewinsky in the analogy, and if the actual truth of the matter was that there was actually no sexual relationship between Clinton and Lewinsky. I guess Lindgren does have a point after all.
12.24.2008 5:14pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
kaz:

it is also clear that they were willing to look the other way as Blago continued to shop the seat


Since that's "clear" (to you), then you must have complete information about exactly what the Obama team knew, and exactly how they handled that information (especially with regard to steps they may have taken to convey information to authorities, directly or indirectly).

And your information also proves that the Obama team knew that Blago's efforts clearly went beyond ordinary political horse-trading, and into the realm of prosecutable offenses.

So when are you going to share all that information with us?
12.24.2008 5:18pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Ayers said he was guilty. But free as a bird. You'd take his word, juke, I presume?
Does he have to have his hands on the bomb to be involved? Or can organizing be considered involved?

I have no idea whether O has done anything dirty wrt Blago, nor if he's done anything illegal, nor if his staff has. Not my point. My point was the double standard in the matter of self-clearing.
12.24.2008 5:20pm
JosephSlater (mail):
have no idea whether O has done anything dirty wrt Blago, nor if he's done anything illegal, nor if his staff has.

If you read these threads long enough, this sort of disclaimer is always in the fine print.
12.24.2008 5:24pm
Sara:
I accept your apology Kazinski. As to the substance of your penultimate comment, I recall from the affadavit that Blago made several comments where he insisted that any approach to Obama not be explicit and not be presented as quid pro.
12.24.2008 5:24pm
LN (mail):
Is Obama even under investigation, Aubrey? Oh I'm sorry for asking such a question, clearly it reveals I think Obama is the Second Coming. Carry on.


I have no idea whether O has done anything dirty wrt Blago, nor if he's done anything illegal, nor if his staff has.


But James Lindgren has written dozens of posts on this very topic. How could you still have "no idea"? So strange.
12.24.2008 5:30pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
aubrey:

Ayers said he was guilty


Earlier you said this:

Ayers … tried to kill a bunch of people at Ft. Dix


So are you telling us that "Ayers said he was guilty" of trying "to kill a bunch of people at Ft. Dix?" Really? Show us the statement.

can organizing be considered involved?


Show us your proof of what Ayers did with regard to "organizing" the bomb that exploded on 3/6/70.

My point was the double standard in the matter of self-clearing.


Except that there is no "double standard in the matter of self-clearing." Palin pretended that Petumenos was independent, even though he wasn't. Palin claimed that Petumenos superseded Branchflower. Obama is not pretending that Craig is independent. Craig is simply reporting what Obama knows. Obama is not claiming that Craig supersedes Fitzgerald. Do I need to make those simple facts even simpler before you'll be able to grasp them?

And we're still waiting for you to explain why you think it matters that "the sneers at Palin's autoclearing preceded the other report." I explained why this observation of yours is incoherent.
12.24.2008 5:54pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
We're also still waiting for you to show us where Obama said that "Ayers is just a guy on his block."
12.24.2008 6:03pm
Elliot123 (mail):
"George, but this is an example of what I'm talking about. This is a guy who lives in my neighborhood, who's a professor of English in Chicago who I know and who I have not received some official endorsement from. He's not somebody who I exchange ideas from on a regular basis."

ABC NEWS Charles Gibson/Obama interview
12.24.2008 6:43pm
Kazinski:
Jukebox,
Here is an unpublished OpEd by Larry Grathwohl who has first person knowledge of what Ayers knew about the bombs and where they were targeted.

It was unpublished because the NY times refused to run because it directly contradicts Ayers claims by somebody who was there.
12.24.2008 6:46pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
JosephSlater.
The disclaimer is the result of others pretending I said anything about O's connection with Blago.
I hadn't.
The point is, as I stated in the beginning, the double standard wrt self-clearing.
I don't know if O's birth certificate is such that he is eligible for the office. I don't know that it isn't. I had remarked in an earlier post that I was intersted in the tactics and attitudes of those who giggled at the complaints of those about keeping it secret.
My presumption is that, should O prove to be ineligible, the giggles will turn into belly laughs.
"Too late, chumps."
12.24.2008 6:58pm
Nick056:
To be brief: the report only about Obama's staff contacts excludes any discussion of contacts which "perhaps occured" because Blagojevich communicated a desire for those contacts to intermediaries.

Okay.

These possible but unconfirmed contacts are most relevant because it is in those contacts, rather than in any contacts that certiainly happened, that any "corrupt bargain" would have been conveyed. This is so because the post above assumes that the report plausibly and truthfully explains how all contacts currently on record preclude any understanding of a quid-pro-quo.

Okay.
12.24.2008 7:04pm
p. rich (mail) (www):
Syncing up the legal distortions becomes geometrically more difficult when multiple parties are involved and they cannot coordinate the fiction.

Obamajustice

Judge to defendant: "Do you plead innocent or guilty?"
Defendant: "Innocent, Your Honor."
Judge: "Well, OK then. Case dismissed."
12.24.2008 7:08pm
JosephSlater (mail):
Aubrey:

I think JBG got the better of the "self-clearing" comparison. Moreover, if you're going to add that gee, you don't know whether the people claiming Obama isn't eligible to be President might be right for all you know, the kindest thing to say is that you are showing an open-mindedness for loony conspiracies from one side of the political spectrum that I don't recall you showing for loony conspiracy theories from the other side.

Of course my main point was that for all the froth on this thread and others, when pressed, nobody seems to be claiming that Obama has actually done anything wrong.
12.24.2008 7:22pm
Fury:
jukeboxgrad:

Here's what the Financial Times recently said:

he [Obama] made a clear effort to be more transparent than most politicians usually are at such moments



Are they generally considered left-wing? I don't think so. I think they're simply remembering how certain people handled the press the last time Fitzgerald was making news.


There's nothing in the FT article that even suggests that the writer of the story was "simply remembering how certain people handled the press the last time Fitzgerald was making news." The most one can reasonably conclude is that the FT writer was referring to the general tendency of politicians to be less than forthcoming at such times.
12.24.2008 7:25pm
Nick056:
p. rich,

Isn't this rather "Obamajustice" ...

Juror: Why is all the attention on Blagojevich? Obama might have done something wrong too!

Prosector: He didn't really. He's not on trial. Obama is not the defendent. More like a potential witness, really.

Juror: But I voted against him!
12.24.2008 7:25pm
Elliot123 (mail):
It seems both Lindgren and the USA are interested in OBama's knowledge of this.
12.24.2008 7:35pm
CDR D (mail):
Although I doubt there will be much substance exposed by those trying to link Obama to Blagojevich, I do have to laugh at the attempts at diversion by the Obamabots trying to resurrect the Palin and Plame issues.

Tu Quoque... I guess that's better than addressing the subject on it's own merit.
12.24.2008 7:46pm
Sara:
One thing this report shows (that I wondered about) is that Obama did not try to claim executive privilege over the discussions with staff that were disclosed. Waiver is a onetime thing, so this does not set precedent, but assuming privilege was waived, it may show a commitment to transparancy or just strong confidence in this case.
12.24.2008 7:50pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Joseph Slater.
My point is the double standard. JBG got the best of me, in your view, because you want that to be true.

Self-clearing in the O-Blago case is not yet a done deal. We have the collateral damage from Fitz yet to go, plus possibly a Felt-type hanging around. So being absolutely certain there's nothing there is going with a loony theory.

My interest is in the views of the folks commenting on this.
You know. Libby was a traitor but Armitage--who he--isn't.
Palin is a moron but Biden isn't. In fact, Biden isn't. He isn't here, there, or anywhere anybody might notice him. In fact, if he got lockjaw, O would probably be relieved.

I don't think you quite get the point here. I'm not trying to convince you to admit you and your BFFs have a double standard. There's no way you'd admit it. But that doesn't mean you win an argument. My point is different. I'm trying to convince you that it's obvious.
And, in fact, you provide a good deal of fun for those watching you thinking you're pretty slick. (Second person here to be understood as plural)
12.24.2008 8:16pm
stevefromaustin (mail) (www):
I get the feeling that some commenters in this thread are going to have a long 4 (or 8) years ahead of them.

Too bad, so sad.
12.24.2008 8:37pm
Mike G in Corvallis (mail):
Let's set the Wayback Machine for December 1972:

The shine will come off the Nixon penny in due course, in spite of his overwhelming victory at the polls. Given the challenges facing him, I suspect his penny-shine half-life will be a good deal shorter than it has been for many presidents.

I know that for some of you the Nixon penny never shone to begin with. What I don't understand about your obsession, though, is why, given the staggering military, security, and financial challenges facing us all, and what one would assume would be a universally shared desire that things improve, you are so intent on dirtying up Nixon before he even takes the oath of office for his new term.

Why do you want so badly for him to be weakened before he starts? You must think that it's in the national interest for Nixon to be hobbled by scandal, and that it's in the national interest for the American people not to believe what Nixon tells us (see, e.g., your frequent description of the President as "Tricky Dick").

Why?

Seems pretty obtuse, doesn't it?
12.24.2008 9:26pm
LN (mail):
Right. Why did we impeach Nixon AFTER Watergate, instead of BEFORE? It's because we were obtuse. Let's not make that mistake again!
12.24.2008 9:37pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
LN.
You presume Mike G was speaking solely of Watergate.
Or, to put it another way, you presume you can get the unwary to think the only thing about Nixon was Watergate.
Wrong. Again, probably.
12.24.2008 10:16pm
LN (mail):
Richard,

Mike G's comment is ridiculous because there isn't even an accusation leveled against Nixon in his hypothetical. He wasn't speaking solely of Watergate? He wasn't speaking of anything at all!

I'm not going to be able to discuss anything with you further, because I see ZERO evidence that you're not a child molester. Asking me to rule out the possibility that you're a child molester is sheer lunacy -- child molesters EXIST, and are REAL, and there have been many examples. So please don't be obtuse.
12.24.2008 10:22pm
LN (mail):
Sorry that last part of my comment is totally inappropriate. It's just that this whole shtick of "I don't get why you think it's silly to for me to wonder if someone is guilty of something that I'm not even accusing him of, you must have a partisan bias."
12.24.2008 11:00pm
Mike G in Corvallis (mail):
LN wrote:

Mike G's comment is ridiculous because there isn't even an accusation leveled against Nixon in his hypothetical. He wasn't speaking solely of Watergate? He wasn't speaking of anything at all!

Oh? Nixon wasn't criticised by the Left in this country before Watergate? Everyone went along with the Vietnam war, and the War on Drugs, and all of Nixon's personnel choices, and all of his political initiatives without comment or complaint? Do you rally believe Nixon acquired the nickname "Tricky Dick" after Watergate?

I deliberately didn't mention Watergate in that comment. Thank you for being obtuse.

But you're right -- my comment was ridiculous ... by intention. It was a close plagiarization of Eric Muller's comment (12.24.2008 11:00am), which was also ridiculous.

It's just that this whole shtick of "everyone is innocent until proven guilty, and nobody has proven Barack Obama guilty of anything, therefore he's innocent and has done nothing wrong so you shouldn't ask questions or be skeptical of his statements but you should get behind everything he does for the good of the country" is getting kind of old ... and he's not even president yet.

Now, LN, would you please be so kind as to tell me exactly what accusation Jim Lindgren has leveled against Barack Obama in this post?
12.25.2008 12:06am
tanarg:
Given Obama's track record of people and ideas, his dishonorable conduct of his career, and his intention to stomp on the U.S. Constitution in more ways than one, I think it highly probable that he was intimately involved in all of this Blago stuff.

Postponement of the inauguration has happened before, and it might happen again because of highliy unusual circumstances.

Obama isn't even president-elect yet, you know.
12.25.2008 12:21am
Mike G in Corvallis (mail):
Obama isn't even president-elect yet, you know.

In fact, he is. The Electoral College met on December 15 and cast their votes: 365 for Senator Barack Obama and 173 for Senator John McCain.

But Obama was calling himself "President-Elect" for more than a month before he really was. And what the heck is the "Office of the President-Elect"?
12.25.2008 12:33am
Henry679 (mail):
Ahh, but the strawberries that's... that's where I had them. They laughed at me and made jokes but I proved beyond the shadow of a doubt and with... geometric logic... that a duplicate key to the wardroom icebox DID exist, and I'd have produced that key if they hadn't of pulled the Caine out of action. I, I, I know now they were only trying to protect some fellow officers...
12.25.2008 12:33am
LN (mail):

It's just that this whole shtick of "everyone is innocent until proven guilty, and nobody has proven Barack Obama guilty of anything, therefore he's innocent and has done nothing wrong so you shouldn't ask questions or be skeptical of his statements but you should get behind everything he does for the good of the country" is getting kind of old ... and he's not even president yet.

Now, LN, would you please be so kind as to tell me exactly what accusation Jim Lindgren has leveled against Barack Obama in this post?


So:

1) No one is accusing Obama of anything (2nd paragraph).
2) But it's silly to say Obama is "innocent" (1st paragraph).

And I'm the one being obtuse?
12.25.2008 12:51am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
elliot:

This is a guy who lives in my neighborhood


Do you really think I don't know what Obama actually said? aubrey claimed that Obama said this:

Ayers is just a guy on his block


Where did "just" come from? And if you claim there is no material difference in meaning (by virtue of adding that word), then you should explain why folks like aubrey (including and especially McCain himself) routinely add that word.

This is similar to the following falsehood that is routinely told:

Ayers … hosted Barack Obama's first fundraiser


Ayers hosted an event, but it was just one of many. And it wasn't the "first." But "first" changes the meaning materially, so therefore that claim is made. Even though it's false. Likewise for the claim that Obama said "just."

Let's take another look at what Obama actually said:

This is a guy who lives in my neighborhood, who's a professor of English in Chicago who I know and who I have not received some official endorsement from. He's not somebody who I exchange ideas from on a regular basis


aubrey implied there's a lie in there. Really? What's the lie?

Here's where there's a lie: McCain and aubrey and lots of other folks pretending that Obama said something he didn't say.

Charles Gibson/Obama interview


It wasn't an "interview." The statement was made during one of the debates. And Obama was responding to a question from Stephanopoulos, not Gibson.
12.25.2008 2:25am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
kaz:

Here is an unpublished OpEd by Larry Grathwohl who has first person knowledge of what Ayers knew about the bombs and where they were targeted


Let's review. aubrey said this:

Ayers … tried to kill a bunch of people at Ft. Dix


You are suggesting that Grathwohl provides evidence to support that claim. Really? Here's the relevant statement by Grathwohl:

The Greenwich Village blast Ayers pathologically claims was the catalyst that led to forming the Weather Underground was actually his group's third botched attempt at mass murder


The key phrase there is "his group." This is how Grathwohl insinuates that Ayers had some material role in creating the bomb that exploded on 3/6/70. Really? Then how come Grathwohl doesn't say this plainly? And how come he provides no evidence for this claim? Has he ever provided evidence for this claim? Let us know when you find it.

The fact that Ayers had a role in WUO doesn't make him responsible for all acts by all members of WUO. Then again, maybe you want to claim that since Bush is (nominally) the head of the GOP, therefore he is responsible for all acts by all members of the GOP.

It was unpublished because the NY times refused to run because it directly contradicts Ayers claims by somebody who was there.


Maybe it was unpublished because Grathwohl's argument consists mostly of making Ayers responsible for things other people did. And because Grathwohl makes lots of claims that have no corroboration from any other source.

By the way, aubrey said something else, too:

Ayers said he was guilty


aubrey was telling us that "Ayers said he was guilty" of trying "to kill a bunch of people at Ft. Dix." Yet another reason to understand that aubrey is a great source of fiction.
12.25.2008 2:25am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
aubrey:

I don't know if O's birth certificate is such that he is eligible for the office. I don't know that it isn't.


I don't know that you torture kittens and rape nuns. Then again, I don't know that you don't. But I figure if you did, you would carefully avoid admitting that here. And that's precisely what you've done! It's interesting to notice how your behavior corresponds perfectly with the behavior of someone who is intent on hiding the fact that they torture kittens and rape nuns.

So inquiring minds are waiting for some proof, so we can settle this question once and for all. But presumably you're not offended. After all, it's just a question. But for those among us who care about the welfare of kittens and nuns, it's a fairly important question.
12.25.2008 2:33am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
fury:

The most one can reasonably conclude is that the FT writer was referring to the general tendency of politicians to be less than forthcoming at such times.


It is reasonable to conclude "that the FT writer was referring to the general tendency of politicians to be less than forthcoming at such times." However, it is also reasonable to suppose the writer does indeed recall that Fitzgerald made news not so long ago, and Bush handled the press (in that situation) in a manner that is dramatically different from the way that Obama is now handing the press. Strangely, though, certain people seem to have amnesia about this.
12.25.2008 2:41am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
elliot:

It seems both Lindgren and the USA are interested in OBama's knowledge of this.


Lots of people "are interested in OBama's knowledge of this." But it's a much smaller group that's shaming themselves by engaging in transparently biased speculation masquerading as honorable inquiry.
12.25.2008 2:46am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
cdr:

I do have to laugh at the attempts at diversion by the Obamabots trying to resurrect the Palin and Plame issues.


I do have to laugh at someone who thinks that aubrey is one of "the Obamabots." Because it was his idea to raise the subject of Palin in this thread.

Plame was raised by me. It's highly relevant, because it demonstrates that certain people think it's not appropriate "to comment on an investigation while it's ongoing."

It's relevant to remember that, and it's relevant to point out that some people seem highly disinclined to remember that.
12.25.2008 2:51am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
aubrey:

Libby was a traitor but Armitage--who he--isn't.


Armitage was one of four known leakers. The others are Libby, Rove and Fleischer. Let us know when you can find an example of someone who approves of what Armitage did.

By the way, it appears that Armitage expressed remorse, and cooperated with Fitz. Unlike Scooter, who lied to Fitz. This might help explain why Fitz prosecuted one and not the other.
12.25.2008 2:57am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
ln:

I see ZERO evidence that you're [aubrey] not a child molester


I made my observation about nuns and kittens before I saw this remark of yours. But your observation underlines the urgency of resolving this matter. After all, the kind of person who hides their history as a child molester is exactly the same kind of person who would hide their history of raping nuns and torturing kittens.
12.25.2008 3:02am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
tanarg:

his intention to stomp on the U.S. Constitution


Not just that. I've seen proof that he's going to burn the flag in the fireplace of the Oval Office.
12.25.2008 3:10am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
mike:

tell me exactly what accusation Jim Lindgren has leveled against Barack Obama in this post


Did you get as far as reading lindgren's title? Because the title insinuates that Obama is hiding ("Does Not Mention") something important (information about "Corrupt Contacts").

Similarly, I notice that your comment Does Not Mention any proof that you are not a mother-raper and father-stabber.
12.25.2008 3:18am
Mike G in Corvallis (mail):
Stay classy, 'Box.
12.25.2008 3:29am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
It's possible you don't realize that no actual kittens or nuns were harmed in the making of my comment. But since you missed the obvious accusation in lindgren's title, it's possible this is another obvious thing you missed. I didn't think I needed to include an explicit disclaimer.

Then again, I admit that it's hard to match the classiness-level embodied in a thread where one can find the suggestion that most American voters are "Obamabots."
12.25.2008 3:52am

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If you have a comment about spelling, typos, or format errors, please e-mail the poster directly rather than posting a comment.

Comment Policy: We reserve the right to edit or delete comments, and in extreme cases to ban commenters, at our discretion. Comments must be relevant and civil (and, especially, free of name-calling). We think of comment threads like dinner parties at our homes. If you make the party unpleasant for us or for others, we'd rather you went elsewhere. We're happy to see a wide range of viewpoints, but we want all of them to be expressed as politely as possible.

We realize that such a comment policy can never be evenly enforced, because we can't possibly monitor every comment equally well. Hundreds of comments are posted every day here, and we don't read them all. Those we read, we read with different degrees of attention, and in different moods. We try to be fair, but we make no promises.

And remember, it's a big Internet. If you think we were mistaken in removing your post (or, in extreme cases, in removing you) -- or if you prefer a more free-for-all approach -- there are surely plenty of ways you can still get your views out.