Category Archives: antoin tony rezko

>OBSERVATION: Time to muddy up this campaign

>

Hold on to your seats, ladies and gentlemen. The 2008 Presidential Campaign Roller Coaster is about to get wild.

As we head into the last weeks of this historic and close election, you can bet that both campaigns will play pretty rough – while pointing the finger of blame at the other side. Self-serving claims to the contrary, both candidates have slung some mud and volleyed a few hand grenades at the opponent. Still, that was mild stuff compared to the bombardment of negative campaign ads about to pop up on your television screen – not to mention inundating radio and the Internet.

Personally, I like negative ads. They are among the most cleaver, the funniest and in many ways, the most revealing of underlying truths. Oh! I know. We’re not supposed to like them. We’re supposed to be offended. Folks … that’s all pretense. We all love them. If so many of you were truly repulsed by those ads, they would not be effective.

The best of them will not come from the campaigns directly – in order preserve their official “above it” claims. They will come from the various and sundry issue committees and independent political operations. But … it is still all part of the campaign strategies.

While Barack Obama will be respectful of you will see an unusual negative attention focused on John McCain’s pick for veep. McCain’s age, health and mental stability will be distorted to scare the hell out of the electorate. He will be portrayed in Halloween-esque ads as either feeble or deranged – or both.

If you think Obama’s friends, such as William Ayers, Jeremiah Wright, Franklin Raines, Tony Rezko, are old news, just wait. I expect to hear a lot more about Obama’s family ties – his America loathing mother, his impoverished brother, and his Muslim dad.

Those negative ads in the past were just test sample, we are about to get on to the real thing. And just remember, while the pseudo sophisticated are feigning chagrin, I will be loving ever one of them.

BRING ON THE MUD, AND LET THE PRESIDENTIAL WRESTLING BEGIN!!!

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>REACT: Obama a reformer? Puhleeeez

>In a recent Chicago Sun-Times column, Carol Marin advised Barack Obama to start naming his Cabinet as a means to get past the lipstick level journalism of the day. She suggested naming U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald as Attorney General. A splendid choice, but the usually insightful columnist seems to have forgotten where she resides. So, I thought I should send her this letter.

Dear Carol,

I am a great fan of you and your professional work. However, your recent Obama column shocked me for your lack of realization of the world in which you live. Apparently you got suckered into believing that Obama IS a reformer. Oh sure, he is selling that image nationally where people do not know Chicago and Illinois politics. But, you should know better.

Obama is the product of arguably the most corrupt political operation in America. For Mayor Daley to sanctimoniously deny the existence of “the Machine” is as absurd as his father once denying the presence of “the Mob” in Chicago.

(I have to interject here. LMAO The photo on the right of Obama and Chicago Mayor Richard Daley is the first photo that pops up on google images when you search for “Chicago political corruption.” And you think life ain’t full of funnyironies? Actually, under that search there are quite a few photos of Obama and nefarious characters. Okay, back to the letter.)

Obama was first elected to office by knocking all the competition off the ballot in the good old Chicago tradition. He was the benefactor of the patronage of some of the sleaziest influence peddlers and inside wheeler-dealers – one of whom, Tony Rezko (left), is now a convicted criminal.

Obama endorsed all the machine candidates, and in doing so he endorsed flagrant cronyism, nepotism and illegal patronage. His political god-father is Illinois Senate President Emil Jones, who supported legislative pay raises while opposing every bit of reform legislation. His chief political consultant, David Axelrod has been the flack for the machine for years. And on and on.

And what about Obama, himself? He has never … not once … produced or supported any reform legislation. He has never voiced criticism of the corrupt practices of the Machine. Most recently, he was asked to encourage Jones to pass ethics legislation. He demurred. Never once has he pointed a reform finger at the corruption within his own political base. He never challenged the establishment. He never voiced his support for whistle blowers and investigators. He never promoted “change” in Illinois – believable or otherwise.

On the other hand, as a state senator, he played Chicago-style politics by doling out taxpayer money to friends and supporters without much oversight and accountability. Several of his community improvement projects failed and the money “vanished.” He left his district not much better than he found it.

On the matter of Fitzgerald (right), Carol, you completely missed the mark. As President, Obama will do what the Machine demands – fire Fitzgerald. The most serious problem the machine has is a truly honest, independent REFORM U.S. Attorney. Whatever promises or lip service you may hear to the contrary, Obama will serve the Machine, not the public interest, in this matter. He owes the Machine bosses that much. He will deliver in the good old Chicago way.

>REACT: The Illinois old guard can’t stop justice — hooray!

>I noticed that former Speaker Denny Hastert’s name popped up in the trial of influence peddler Anthony Rezko. It was alleged in sworn testimony that Rezko attempted to use his influence with former White House political guru Karl Rove (thumbing his nose at reform) and former House Speaker Denny Hastert (the chubby guy on the right)to get U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald (pictured left) fired. Originally nominated by then Senator Peter Fitzgerald (no relation), prosecutor Fitzgerald wasted no time to being to justice the flagrantly illegal customs of the Illinois political establishment. Rezko could feel the laser sight on his forehead.

Whether the scheme to remove Fitzgerald was ever launched is debatable, but there is some evidence that the plot was real. Despite an amazingly impressive record as a federal prosecutor, Fitzgerald was inexplicably placed on the under achiever list by the Justice Department as part of a mass firing pogrom.

Fitzgerald apparently dodged the bullet because he was investigating the White House at the time, and his firing would have created a seismic public reaction against the President. It would be at least as damaging as Richard Nixon’s firing of Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox in the midst of the Watergate investigation. And, you know how much good that did Nixon.

There is no doubt that the Rove/Hastert combo would have sent Fitzgerald packing if they could. They had repeatedly used their influence to protect the corrupt Republican establishment in Illinois. Ironically, this backroom dealing was beneficial to the Democrats, but a disservice to the President – putting Illinois’ electoral vote beyond his reach politically.

Rove has long been the protector of Robert Kjellander, the insider bipartisan wheeler-dealer, who has made millions from his political friendships and GOP party positions – including a stint as Finance Chairman for the National Republican Committee, courtesy of Rove.

Hastert tried everything he could to derail the Fitzgerald appointment in the first place. There is every reason to believe that he would be more than happy to remove him now. Hastert failed only because he could not overcome the highly protected Senate tradition of having the senator of the president’s party pick the U.S. Attorney. The senate lock stepped behind their colleague and their valued tradition.

Reform will never come to the corruption-ravaged and hapless Illinois GOP until guys like Kjellander and Hastert retire from the scene for good — or are taken out by Fitzgerald, the GOP’s number one reformer.

The good news is that Fitzgerald is virually untouchable now. In the last election, even the democrat cadidates for senate had to promise to keep Fitzgerald, including Barack Obama. Of course, if Obama does make it to the White House, you can bet that protecting his friends in the Chicago Democrat machine will trump any campaign promise. Let’s just hope that Fitzhgerald gets in enough indictments before he is ousted for doing too good of a job.

>OP ED: Putting on Ayers

>He was among the chief architects of what was known as the “days of rage.” He organized bomb squads that damaged university buildings, the pentagon and the U.S. Capitol building. His schemes of violence inadvertently blew up three of his amateur bomb-building compatriots — including his own paramour. He, along with his criminal cohort-cum-wife, Bernadette Dohrn, went on the lam for more than a decade. He narrowly avoided prison due to technicial screw-ups by the feds. She served time.

In short, he was the guy who put the “rage” in those “days of …”

Today, he is a “respected” professor at the University of Illinois, and his convicted felon wife similarly at Northwestern. He is on the board of civic organizations. He is a national leader in his profession. He has been a valued advisor to the Chicago Mayor Richard Daley. He is a prominent member of the social elite of the city. He is a friend, colleague and informal advisor to president wannabe Barack Obama.

This sounds like a story of conversion — how a misspent youth was rehabilitated. There is only one problem. Such stories usually converge on a point of repentance – recognition of a wayward past as one embarks on the road of righteousness.

Not so in the case of Bill Ayers.

The one-time leader of the notorious and violent Weather Underground regrets nothing of his past. “I don’t regret setting bombs. I feel we didn’t do enough.” In challenges to his extremism, Ayers retorts. “We were not extreme enough.”

He was recently elected as Vice President of the American Educational Research Association, where he advances a liberal activist education curriculum for our nation;s K-12 students. He makes no pretense regarding his desire to use the public education system as a means to foment radical action against the American free-enterprise, capitalist system. Like all elite totalitarians, Ayers subverts true civic education for philosophic indoctrination. In one course syllibus he admonishes, “Be a teacher capable of hope and struggle, outrage and action, a teacher teaching for social justice and liberation.” On the surface, who can be against social justice and liberation? However, when you get to the details, these are Ayers’ buzz words for radical and even violent civil action. He hopes to build a new generation of Weather Underground recruits.

The fact that Ayers and wife hold jobs (her a convicted felon teaching law) shaping the minds of future generation, and is “highly regarded’ in elite social and political circles, is a testimony to the connections of his wealthy upbringing, the extreme liberal bent of academia and a political correct mentality that relinquishes accountability for the misdeeds and misconduct of anyone left of center — no matter how far left.

Mayor Daley says Ayers’ personal days of rage were 40 years ago. “That was then. This is now,” he bellows. In rejecting any degree of regret and remorse, and even wishing he had been even more radical and extreme, Ayers merges the then with the now.

Should America be concerned that Obama considers his Chicago neighbor a friend and confidante? Is Hillary Clinton grasping at desperate straws in hanging Ayers around the neck of Obama like a rotting albatross?

Perhaps. Perhaps not.

Were the friendship the casual cordiality of coincidental neighbors, the concern might be exaggerated. However, Ayers provided more to Obama than over-the-fence conversation. They were close friends over a significant number of years, with the older and wiser Ayers counseling the younger and impressionable Obama. They shared leadership positions in civic enterprises. Ayers donated to Obama political campaign. Ayers hosted events for Obama in his home. Like Reverend Jeremiah Wright and Tony Rezko, Ayers was one of those close enough to influence Obama’s view of the world. Indeed, many of Obama’s more extreme views (which have never been fully vetted by the press) parallel the extremism of people like Wright and Ayers.

They say a man is known by his friends. If there is any truth to that, Ayers is only the latest person from Obama’s formative past to bring controversy. Standing alone, any one of these individuals might be excused as the exceptional bad apple. Combined, there is a critical mass of old relationships that raise legitimate questions regarding Obama’s character, philosophy, opinions and, above all, good judgment. How many times can Obama say of a long-standing friend, “I reject what he said, did or stands for, but he is still my friend.”

>REACT: Obama gets stoned in key state

>Barack Obama took a drubbing in the Keystone State of Pennsylvania. Of course, they peddle the “we closed the gap” spin. What else can they say? The Obamacans cleverly set a very low pre-election standard of victory. “If we can keep Clinton to a single digit victory, we win,” they proffer. Well, they didn’t. Even with a phenomenal 92 percent of the black vote, obama got creamed in almost landslide proportions.

Obama spin may make make good fodder for the fawning press and general public, but it will not wash with the party pros – right now known as super delegates.

It should be kept in mind that Clinton’s victory comes to a candidate thought to be on the ropes. Despite recent calls for her to step aside, she continues to prove that he opponent is not a comfortable choice among even Democrat voters.

Obama actually did better with white voters in the early primaries. Once he found it necessary to increase his percentages in the African American community by advancing the “us” concept, he naturally created a “them.” It appears that a lot of “them” have abandoned Obama.

As we have stated before, Obama wins, or comes close, mostly because of the extraordinary support of the black community AND the high percentage of black voters in those Democrat primaries. Is you apply the same racial statistical break down to the likely voters in the General Election, Obama gets swamped. He only carries Washington, D.C. for sure. That is the reality faced by the super delegates as this contest heads into the convention.

Obama may have looked like the African-American version of the White Knight early on, but more recent revelations have obviously turned away voters. As the theory goes, if the early voters had known about some of his positions, his more recent Afro-centric outreach, Pastor Jeremiah Wright, the Tony Rezko trial and Bill Ayers, Obama may not have done so well. Maybe he would have floundered early on. This is what the super delegates have to consider or they are meaningless.

The junior senator from Illinois is looking more and more like a General Election loser. This will motivate the super delegates to do what they were empowered to do – to serve as a safety mechanism to head off the nomination of an unelectable candidate. There role has never been to rubber stamp the candidates with the most votes.

Keep in mind that the super delegates are only important when the race is extremely close. While one candidate may have a majority of votes or delegates, the margin is so small as to make it politically meaningless. At this rate, neither candidate will go to the convention with a clear mandate. It will be up to the power brokers to figure out who the best nominee will be. Electablity is the only issue. Maybe that is not the most democratic resolution, but it is the best option they have.

FOOTNOTE: Some have suggested that I am one of those conservatives pumping for Hillary as the most beatable candidate. Not so. In fact, I have stated in previous blogs my opinion that Obama is by far the more beatable candidate.

>OBSERVATION: President Obama? I think not.

>Okay, I will risk being made the fool. I don’t think Barack Obama can win a general election, short of some catastrophic political event or campaign stupidity that would wipe out McCain. (Hmmm! Perhaps I should not be so bold in my prediction)

Obama has a powerful message, which resonates with the Democrat voters. However, his rise to front-runner status is also due to the unique demographics and sequencing of the Democrat primaries. He gains momentum, in some measure, because the early primaries were his turf to begin with, and his brand of politicking is especially effective in caucus situations. He also gained by having the “white guys” (including Hillary) divide up the white vote.

With fully one-fifth of the democrat primary voters being African-American, Obama had a solid core of dependable votes. Oh sure, there was a lot of speculation about Clinton’s potential strength in the black community – after all, she was married to the first black president according to some agonizingly twisted logic. Bottom line, black candidates generally get 70-plus percent of the black vote. Spare me the “ethnic pride” baloney that somehow does not apply to whites. At the theory goes, blacks vote FOR a black candidate out of racial pride (a good thing). Whites vote AGAINST a black candidate out of racial prejudice (a bad thing). Forget the bogus theory. It is racism, pure and simple. I won’t even buy “reverse racism,” as if it is only reactive to a more malignant white racism. A rose … is a rose … is a rose.

Some commentators note that Obama even did well in the “southern state” of South Carolina – failing to mention that the Democrat vote in the Palmetto State is 50 percent black. The also noted that he “crushed” Clinton in the District of Colombia, Maryland and Virginia. Again the black percentage is high (overwhelming in D.C.) and the high percentage of federal bureaucrats again gave Obama, as the big government programs candidate, the edge. The more liberal states, such as Minnesota and Wisconsin, are good ground for Obama. He gets Illinois by virtue of being a “favorite son.”

So, Obama is now the front runner. He is the glamour boy of the press. He is sold to the public in almost messianic fervor. Television opinionator Chis Mathews talks about the feeling that rises in his legs when he hears Obama speak. (Oh, the things we could say about that. Nope! Not going there. Too freaky.) Former hippie Senator and presidential candidate bad boy Gary Hart sees Obama as a transcendent personality. Maybe he meant “transcendental.” A lot of pundits, especially the far left variety, talk about Obama as an inevitability.

So, what shunt will side track Obama in his quest for the Oval Office? Just about everything.

While the sun shines brightly on Obama at the moment, Clinton can still wrestle him to a draw for elected delegates, and secure the nomination thanks to her fragile advantage with the so-called super delegates. Or, maybe she loses to the Illlinois senator because of the super delgates. Either way, it could be a Pyrrhic victory. Such a scenario would mean that Obama and Clinton will spend several months blooding up each other in a serious of primaries, while McCain stands outside the center ring goading them with verbal prods.

Then there is the messy convention fight should neither one of them seal the deal before the convention. Instead of the convention being a grand public relations launch for the Democrat nominee, viewers will watch a bitter credentials fight to restore the Michigan and Florida voting delegates stripped away by the national party for moving up their primaries. Debates will rage of the role of the super delegates. Should the simply endorse the candidate with the most popular votes or delegates (presumably Obama), or should the vote their prior commitments (presumably Clinton).

Obama will show his crass political undergarment by arguing for the endorsement of the super delegates based on democratic principles, while arguing to disenfranchise the Democrat voters in Michigan and Florida. It doesn’t wash.

To see the party which so sanctimoniously condemned the Supreme Court, the Electoral College, the entire state of Florida and half the people in America for allowing George Bush to “steal” the 2000 election shred their party over similar issues is the most entertaining of political theater. God invented irony for just such moments.

Obama could be what I like to call the “cotton candy” candidate. As delicious as it seems on first lick, by the time you get down to the paper cone, you discover that there really was not much there – and your sort of sick to your stomach from the sugar-only diet. Because of the uniqueness of his candidacy, a carefully crafted charisma, and a rather pleasant personality, Obama gets away with platitudes. Sure, he alludes to fixing everything from world poverty to my computer, but there is no substance, no detailed program and no legislative initiatives. Just nice words, well delivered. His campaign offers the “audacity of hope,” and audacious it is. The empty rhetoric will not hold up in the more intense evaluation of a general election campaign.

Primary election combatants tend to play by their version of the overly polite Marquise of Queensberry rules. This is partly due to the fact that it is a family feud. Underlying is always the understanding that unity is going to be needed after the victor is crowned. Also, candidates in a primary often represent similar views – offering up differences without distinctions. Once the General Election begins, the gloves come off and the contest is more like kick boxing. Obama is not tested for such a battle.

Because of the nature of the Democrat constituency, where all the candidates are slightly different hues of liberal, Obama’s extreme leftist record and rhetoric has not been challenged. “Too liberal” is not an effective Democrat campaign mantra. McCain will, no doubt, define Obama as far left as credibility will allow. Despite self claims to the contrary, issue by issue Obama is beached on the port side bank of the political mainstream.

Many of the tarnishes on Obama’s media buffed shining armour that have been minimized in the primary could become significant issues in the general election. Does the name Tony Rezko (right) come to mind? In all likelihood, his political padrone will be on trail during the campaign, and the Obama name will come up in testimony. There is a lot more to be said about Obama’s early rise in the thoroughly corrupt Chicago political machine. And said, it will be.

Another major obstacle on the road to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is race. With addressing the morality of racial voting (read that “prejudice”), it is a reality. Within the Democrat party there is a pretty significant strain of racism – on both sides. Obama will receive at least 80 percent of the black vote, and that is not an outcome that can be explained by anything other than racial prejudice.

However, in the general election, a lot of those white Democrats who prefer a white candidate will be crossing over to the GOP. Since the black community is almost totally in the donkey party all the time, there is hardly a black Republican who will cross over the other way. Furthermore, blacks in the Republican party are so conservative that they will vote their philosophy a lot faster than their race. That is obvious by their very presence in the pachyderm party.

Even with the angst over McCain, those who think conservatives will let Obama be president by default (not voting) are about as silly as those Republicans who think they can appeal to the black vote based on issues. Helloooooooo! Race is the ONLY issue.

Because of party rules and skewered demographics, the Democrats are engaged in a fight between the least likely candidates to win a general election. Because the conservative vote was divided, giving the relatively unpopular McCain a plurality victory, the Republicans have all but nominated the candidate with the lesser general election appeal. This means that November will be a contest to determine who is truly the least popular of them all, with the second least popular person becoming what I predict to be a rather contoversial president.

At this moment, it appears to be McCain’s to lose. But then again, he is a Republican, a party with a long tradition of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

>REACT: Can Obama knock off Clinton before the convention?

>With Barack Obama’s victory in the Wisconsin primary, it appears my slumber induced visions of a Clinton nomination maybe be no more than the stuff of which dreams (or nightmares) are made. I looks like Obama can not only snatch the nomination from Lady Hillary, but maybe, just maybe, lock things up before the convention. Should he win a critical number of delegates, and convince enough super delegates to endorse, he could preclude a bloody convention fight. He has the lead — and the “big mo” is definitely on his side.

An Obama candidacy makes sense. More often than not the Democrats tend to nominate their least electable candidates. I call it the “McGovern effect.” That gives the edge to Obama. More about that later.

>OBSERVATION: Life and death in Camelot

>Within two seemingly unrelated events, I found an interesting common thread.

The first was the highly coveted endorsement bestowed on Barack Obama by the distinguished senior senator from Massachusetts, Ted Kennedy. Media affection for all things Kennedy assured this event would receive maximum publicity of the most favorable kind. The second event was the tragic death of television anchorman, Randy Salerno.

What possible connection?

Salerno was accidentally killed while riding on a snowmobile driven by his best friend, Scott Hirschey. Hirschey had been drinking. The badly injured and overwhelmingly remorseful life-long friend was charged with a number of civil and criminal offenses, the most serious of which is vehicular homicide – murder, more simply put. He faces the potential of decades in prison.

Kennedy did far worse. The inebriated playboy senator, carrying an expired drivers license, drove his car off the Chappaquiddick bridge in Martha’s Vineyard late one night, abandoning a potentially still alive young woman, named Mary Jo Kopechne, to the last breath of oxygen in an air pocket just inches below water. Testimony suggested that she may have survived up to two hours on available air. Uninjured himself (forget the “for show” neck brace), Kennedy left the scene of the accident to confer with family and aides in an attempt to escape both the scene and responsibility. When that was impossible, the Kennedy machine went into action, making the Watergate and Lewinsky cover-ups look like an episode of True Confessions. Every step of the way was marked by fabrications, payoffs and terminated investigations. Kennedys are never brought to justice in Massachusetts.

One man’s life in ruins and another is formally addressed as “the honorable and distinguished.” I just ain’t right.

Obama expressed great pride in the endorsement from Kennedy. Perhaps the deadly philandering sot of a senator is in good company with Obama’s indicted wheeler-dealer pal, Tony Rezko, who helped launch the Senator’s career with jobs, money and introductions. They both put themselves above the law.