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The Six-Degrees of Separation of Blagojevich

Let’s get something straight: Rod Blagojevich is a corrupt sleazebag. For many years during his accession into the Governorship of Illinois I’m certain scores of people behind the scene of Illinois politics knew of his corrupt behavior. But to tie Obama to Rod and his world of old-school politics is down right silly.

Without going through the details that everyone already knows, Rod (link)attempted to extort Barack’s vacant Senate seat to the next highest bidder. The press, in their red-meat mania, put dots on the page and like a six-degrees of separation exercise, connected those dots from Blagojevich to Obama.

Yes, Rahm Emanuel, Barack Obama’s Chief of Staff, had conversations with the Governor (link). Yes Emanuel discussed names with the Governor. And Yes the Emanuel told the Governor that he would ‘appreciate’ him considering the names that they discussed. But to assert that Emanuel knew of any extortion plot is a bit far fetched and do not appear on the wiretap tapes..

Blagojevich is an opportunistic, ambulance chaser that makes no distinction between which political party he belongs to; his allegiance is not to the Democratic Party but rather to the Money Party. And yes, Illinois politics seem to have a large contingent of ‘money’ party members.

I do slight Obama for not reacting to this mess quickly. The Blagojevich scandal, from Obama’s perspective, should be an example of how the Obama administration will react to the red-meat press. Obviously, the Obama camp failed at managing this crisis; and for that they should be rightfully criticized.

The Obama administration should have learned a lesson about managing the press because this scandal harkens back to the manufactured noise connecting Barack to Reverend Wright‘s incendiary quotes. If you recall, the press, mainly fed by the right-wing faction of the media, tried to connect Wright’s comments and thoughts to Obama. As a concept, it’s ridiculous to think another person, in this case Wright, speaks on Obama’s behalf, but that’s what the press played up for a solid ten days.

The Obama camp screwed up the response to the Wright mess and they screwed up the response to the Blagojevich mess.

Blagojevich’s corruption is an isolated and self-motivated crime. Rod’s criminal behavior was to benefit himself and no one else.

Posted by john trevisani at December 14, 2008 7:23 AM
Comment #271986

john, I agree with you that at this point there is no connection to Obama or his team.

I have said before that the smart move for any politician is to either make no comment at all on potential scandals or if one must, tell only the truth, as briefly as possible, with no parsing.

It’s the parsing that seems to be the problem with how this has been handled.

Posted by: Jim M at December 14, 2008 12:29 PM
Comment #271993

Let’s see…Obama came out quickly with, “I had no contact with Blag, nor Blag’s office. I will query my staff to see about any contact they may have had and put that information out.”

Parsing is the problem?

Posted by: Marysdude at December 14, 2008 1:35 PM
Comment #272000

marysdude, Obama is not the only one on his team who has been commenting. Some folks can find criticism where none is intended.

Posted by: Jim M at December 14, 2008 2:29 PM
Comment #272002

True…too true…

Posted by: Marysdude at December 14, 2008 2:35 PM
Comment #272011

J.T., you’ve got it backwards. BHO’s team now wants the worthless gov to disappear rapidly, as do all the locals, to get a fresh start, and aren’t above trying to help shove him over the cliff. People who were previously close to BHO politically are now finding that he barely knows them. BHO is a foundationling who likes the “money party” as much as anyone else here.
Penny Pritzer’s name was floated for Commerce Sec one day. It went up like a lead balloon, and she ended up denying ever wanting the job. The Smoking Gun claimed that her brother was the “wealthy individual” named by Fitzgerald in his complaint, seeking to deal for the Senate seat, although I don’t really agree with them on that.

I have one degree of separation from the gov, so I’d better watch myself. The Tribune is looking into his wife’s connections now. My biggest question is, why did BHO resign his senate seat so quickly? Did he forget who would be appointing his successor? One name BHO suggested was Jan Schakowsky, my congressperson, whose husband went to prison. BHO is already parsing what the meaning of is is.

Posted by: ohrealy at December 14, 2008 3:27 PM
Comment #272023

That should read Penny Pritzker not Pritzer

Posted by: ohrealy at December 14, 2008 5:49 PM
Comment #272037


It is you who is wrong…it is not just Obama and his aides who want the little crook gone quickly, it is most Democrats. Unlike Republicans who cover, lie and cover again and again for their thieves, Democrats find them and flush them.

Posted by: Marysdude at December 14, 2008 9:22 PM
Comment #272048


I am fine with that. What makes me sick is the unpatriotic, divisive , un-American, gotcha crap comming from some on the right. They are licking their chops about a possibility of crippling another president. Stuff it. We have real problems to worry about.

Posted by: bills at December 15, 2008 5:26 AM
Comment #272055

Blagoyavich should go down in flames. I’d like to see him appoint a hooker to the senate and then declare that he is running for President in ‘12.

By the way, is that hair real? I would think if he got fake hair it wouldn’t be the hair of a 17 year old.

Posted by: Schwamp at December 15, 2008 9:57 AM
Comment #272084

The hair is considered proof of insanity by self appointed psychologists.

Mdude, Fitzgerald has been investigating the worthless gov for 5 years. Most of us have been sick of him for almost that long. His main continued supporters have also been BHO’s main supporters. What I am saying is why is this happening now?

Posted by: ohrealy at December 15, 2008 4:35 PM
Comment #272102

Most likely because he believes Blagojevich’s toupee will seek out another host soon, and this is the only time can it be killed without endangering the governor’s life. Fitzgerald’s office has reported that he will use a flame thrower on it to slow it down, and then nuke it from orbit, because that is the only way to be sure.

On a less serious note, I think Fitzgerald has been sort of distracted for a while with the Plame investigation. You might as well ask why the Bush Administration hired him for the case. Could it be that they wanted to protect Obama? Or Blagojevich?

That’s the problem with conspiratorial thinking. Far too many answer come in the form of uncertain questions with little reality to back them up.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 15, 2008 7:06 PM
Comment #272104

ohrealy ,

How many years did Starr’s investigation take? Fitz’s investigation was coming to a close after five or so years…how much longer would you have liked it to last? Everything eventually comes to an end. Do you suspect conspiracy in everything that occurs?

Posted by: Marysdude at December 15, 2008 7:31 PM
Comment #272148

Marysdude, putting conspiracy aside for a moment, I think we all know that there is enough corruption going on in this country to support a hundred or more Fitz’s investigations.

Obama, like many other politicians, rub shoulders with corrupt politicians, businessmen and union representatives. Obama, like other politicians, plays the voting game, I’ll vote for your bill if you vote for my bill. Just because a politician plays the voting game, it doesn’t mean that the politician had knowledge that someone was getting a payoff to push the bill or that they knew that the bill contained opportunities for graff.

Obama is a smart politician. Smart politicians very seldom put themselves into a position where they can be implicated in corruption let alone charged with a crime. It is usually the politicians who think they are smarter than everyone else that go for the gold.

Posted by: jlw at December 16, 2008 1:59 PM
Comment #272164

As a sidenote, Rezko has asked to be sentenced at least twice, but Fitzgerald is hanging on to him like a pet monkey on a leash.

I was dismayed at reading BHO’s goodbye letter to the people of Illinois , with all the exaggerations, delusions and lies. I don’t know why he wants to say goodbye to Illinois and bring so many locals with him. Arne Duncan as Sec of Ed was pretty surprising. One of his recent proposals was for public boarding schools for students in Chicago, sounding kind of like orphanages, where large numbers of children would be taken away from unwholesome home and neighborhood environments.

BHO should just move the government here, as I said a long time ago, the Pentagon should be moved to Argonne, the Naval Academy to Great Lakes, and the White House to Cantigny or some other historic residence, for greater security. They can keep the CIA in Langley.

Posted by: ohrealy at December 16, 2008 6:03 PM
Comment #272187

>One of his recent proposals was for public boarding schools for students in Chicago, sounding kind of like orphanages, where large numbers of children would be taken away from unwholesome home and neighborhood environments.
Posted by: ohrealy at December 16, 2008 06:03 PM


A proposal or a point for discussion? Was it for all schools, or just the ones where the school is in desparate straights and have little to no parental involvement?

My wife is pretty sure there will come a time when all children will be incubated, born and raised in a warehouse-like environment…that does not mean she would bring it up for vote someplace.

Perhaps we should study why Duncan was discussing such a thing…how do you even know it’s a bad idea?

Posted by: Marysdude at December 17, 2008 8:57 AM
Comment #272218

Mdude, this article from March was sent to me by my friend Michelle, but isn’t the article that I was referencing. I have my smaller laptop with me today, and it doesn’t have my older Watchblog posts:

Chicago Public Schools CEO Arne Duncan says there are over 9,000 homeless students in the system. He is proposing that by the year 2009 Chicago will have the first public boarding school available to house and educated many of these students. The schools will also be made available to students living in difficult conditions. The plan is still in its infant stages.
The homeless population is Chicago is growing. Many affected are Chicago Public Schools students. In Uptown, at the McCutcheon Elementary School, over 80 students are homeless. Arne Duncan, CEO of CPS, wants to launch a residential program by 2009. The proposed program would include public boarding schools where homeless children and children from dysfunctional homes could find safety.
“I think this is a hugely important opportunity for children to have access to, and it’s always interesting to me that the children of the wealthy out east have been sending their children to boarding school for decades. It was good enough for children of the wealthy out east, it ought to be good enough for children on the South and West side of Chicago,” said Duncan.
School officials are still trying to work out the details of the plan….Arne Duncan says they are committed to this and it will happen. They are still working through details of the plan and it is not clear if the district or outside agencies, or both, will run the boarding schools.
Duncan added that it will cost between $25,000-to-$35,000 per student, but that we should not put a cost on saving a life; it would cost more not to help these children in the long run.

Posted by: ohrealy at December 17, 2008 3:00 PM
Comment #272252

>Duncan added that it will cost between $25,000-to-$35,000 per student, but that we should not put a cost on saving a life; it would cost more not to help these children in the long run.

Posted by: ohrealy at December 17, 2008 03:00 PM


And if this meltdown does what we think it will, there will be a huge increase in homeless children…perhaps Mr. Duncan is just ahead of his time? Sounds like a plan to me…public schooling, with the emphasis on PUBLIC SCHOOLING…a novel idea…

Posted by: Marysdude at December 17, 2008 8:15 PM
Comment #272253


And Mr. Cheney/Bush should like the idea, as it would truly be, ‘no child left behind’…a NCLB that actually works?

Posted by: Marysdude at December 17, 2008 8:17 PM
Comment #272309

Mdude, you are overstating the “public” aspect of the schooling. We already have a similar system in the suburban township where I live, which spends a very large amount on a smaller number of special needs students. The program is funded by the school board, but run by a Catholic organization which has had the usual abuse accusations, but has become very prosperous from the public funding. Class sizes are very small, family sized you might say.

Here is the Chicago Tribune article that I referenced previously. I didn’t keep the url:

“Chicago Public Schools chief Arne Duncan said he does not want to be in the “parenting” business, but he worries that some homes and some neighborhoods are unsafe, making education an afterthought.
“Some children should not go home at night; some of them we need 24-7,” he told the Tribune. “We want to serve children who are really not getting enough structure at home. There’s a certain point where dad is in jail or has disappeared and mom is on crack … where there isn’t a stable grandmother, that child is being raised by the streets.”
Chicago school officials are still working through details of the plan, and it’s not clear whether the schools would be run by the district, outside agencies or some combination of the two.
It’s also not certain how the schools would be funded, who would shoulder the liability of keeping students overnight or how students would be selected.
In April, as part of its Renaissance 2010 new schools program, the district will put out a formal request for boarding school proposals. Officials have already met with interested groups in Chicago…”

Posted by: ohrealy at December 18, 2008 12:40 PM
Comment #272350

Has said…officials have met…some homes unsafe…some children should not go home to unsafe homes…not clear who would run it…not clear about funding…

How is any of this threatening?

As far as I can see, this is an idea thrown out as a possible solution to an obvious problem, and some folks are trying to see if it can fly…isn’t that what the Wright Brothers did?

Posted by: Marysdude at December 18, 2008 4:30 PM
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