• Tips gratefully accepted here. Thanks!:

  • Recent Comments

    paper doll on Krugman and I differ on O…
    Isabel Archer on Fully Raw Cannibals and My Oba…
    r u reddy on Krugman and I differ on O…
    mellon on Krugman and I differ on O…
    katiebird on “Keep Going”
    Yet Another Shoddy D… on Fully Raw Cannibals and My Oba…
    mellon on Krugman and I differ on O…
    Joseph Cannon on “Keep Going”
    Valentine Bonnaire on “Keep Going”
    r u reddy on Krugman and I differ on O…
    Chris S. on Krugman and I differ on O…
    Rangoon78 on Fully Raw Cannibals and My Oba…
    abc on Krugman and I differ on O…
    carol904031 on Krugman and I differ on O…
    Dwight on Krugman and I differ on O…
  • Categories


  • Tags

    abortion Add new tag Afghanistan Al Franken Anglachel Atrios bankers Barack Obama big pharma Bill Clinton cocktails Conflucians Say Dailykos debate Democratic Party Democrats Digby DNC Donna Brazile Economy Elizabeth Warren feminism Florida Fox News General Glenn Beck Glenn Greenwald Goldman Sachs health care Health Care Reform Hillary Clinton Howard Dean Joe Biden John Edwards John McCain Jon Corzine Karl Rove Keith Olbermann Matt Taibbi Media medicare Michelle Obama Michigan misogyny Mitt Romney Morning Edition Morning News Links Nancy Pelosi New Jersey news New York Times NO WE WON'T Obama Obamacare occupy wall street OccupyWallStreet Open thread Paul Krugman Politics Presidential Election 2008 PUMA racism Republicans Sarah Palin sexism Single Payer snark Social Security Supreme Court Terry Gross Tim Geithner unemployment Wall Street WikiLeaks women
  • Archives

  • History

    April 2014
    S M T W T F S
    « Mar    
     12345
    6789101112
    13141516171819
    20212223242526
    27282930  
  • RSS Paul Krugman: Conscience of a Liberal

  • The Confluence

    The Confluence

  • RSS Suburban Guerrilla

  • RSS Ian Welsh

    • Clown College as the Ukrainian military effort “sputters”
      The Ukrainian military clearly doesn’t care enough to actually fight: The day began inauspiciously for Ukrainian forces as they sought to establish an operating base in the city of Kramatorsk, moving in units from a nearby military air base. According to Ukraine’s Defense Ministry and a witness who spoke by phone, a column of six [...]
  • Top Posts

Lazy Saturday News and Views

Out of Town News, Harvard Sq., Cambridge, MA

Good Morning, Conflucians!!!!

It’s a gorgeous Saturday morning here in the Boston ‘burbs. I just love Spring!

Personally, I’m still mainly interested in the Blago-Rezko-Obama story, but there is some other news today.


ECONOMIC MELTDOWN

The New York Times informs us that Rating Agency Data Aided Wall Street in Mortgage Deals Yes, as you probably already guessed, the fix was in on those “complex investments” from the very beginning. The ratings agencies were collaborating with the investment banks to make sure all those “high risk” bets came out the way the banks wanted them to.

The rating agencies made public computer models that were used to devise ratings to make the process less secretive. That way, banks and others issuing bonds — companies and states, for instance — wouldn’t be surprised by a weak rating that could make it harder to sell the bonds or that would require them to offer a higher interest rate.

But by routinely sharing their models, the agencies in effect gave bankers the tools to tinker with their complicated mortgage deals until the models produced the desired ratings. [....]

But for Goldman and other banks, a road map to the right ratings wasn’t enough. Analysts from the agencies were hired to help construct the deals.

In 2005, for instance, Goldman hired Shin Yukawa, a ratings expert at Fitch, who later worked with the bank’s mortgage unit to devise the Abacus investments.

It really is time to break up these greedy “too big to fail” (TBTF) banks, but the Obama administration still defends their right to exist. Scarecrow at FDL has a great post on Larry Summers’ latest excuse for TBTF: Why Is Larry Summers Afraid of Having Many Small Banks? Summers says we can’t do that because that’s what was tried before the Great Depression, and it failed.

…if we broke up the megabanks and instead had many smaller regulated banks, it would be the end of America and the financial industry as we know it.

And that would be bad why? Scarecrow:

Funny, I always thought the smaller bank system, if that’s what it was, failed because Wall Street wasn’t sufficiently regulated, and the local bank runs happened because we didn’t have the FDIC at the time. So is Larry now saying that having the FDIC to take over smaller bank failures has been a failure?

And what’s he saying about needing diversified megabanks that lose money on risky stuff but loot, uh, borrow money from better managed activities? Surely he doesn’t mean to argue for letting the investment casino borrow from the government-guaranteed deposit-based divisions?

Reuters: Goldman emails: firm lauds profits from shorts

Goldman Sachs Group Inc officials discussed making “serious money” in 2007 off the subprime crisis as mortgages were starting to falter in rapid numbers, according to a collection of e-mails released by a Senate panel on Saturday.

“Of course we didn’t dodge the mortgage mess. We lost money, then made more than we lost because of shorts,” Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein said in an e-mail from November 2007.

“Sounds like we will make some serious money,” said Goldman Sachs executive Donald Mullen in a separate series of e-mails from October 2007 about the performance of deteriorating second-lien positions in a collateralized debt obligation, or CDO.

Continue reading

Blago Show a No Go

Cast photo from E on-line

Cat photo from E on-line

This is a real heartbreaker.

A federal judge ruled today that former Gov. Rod Blagojevich cannot go to Costa Rica to film a reality show, saying he does not “have confidence’’ that Blagojevich will comply with the conditions of his bail.

“It’s way too soon. I don’t think this defendant in all honesty … fully understands the position he finds himself in,’’ said U.S. District Judge James Zagel in denying the bid.

Blagojevich asked Zagel if he could travel to Costa Rica to appear on the “Survivor’’-style reality show “I’m a Celebrity . . . Get Me Out of Here.’’
Zagel’s rejection is a financial blow to Blagojevich, who stood to make as much as $123,000 from the show, according to a defense motion.

Blagojevich still has a contract for a book scheduled to be published in October. The poor guy says he needs the money badly to support his family. Blagojevich’s lawyer, Sheldon Sorosky argued that his client wouldn’t jump bail because he’d never leave his wife and children behind. But the judge said no.

NBC is disappointed but has no plans to relocate the show to a U.S. location.

Bonus Flashback: Take the Quiz.

Obama Makes Black People Smarter

20090121044149_img_1478-simulacrum_of_hopeIt’s a good thing President Black Obama is…black on slow news days.  Talk about a reliable “go-to” subject.  I mean, now that it’s obvious that two-thirds of Americans polled are going to support him no matter what he does, reporting on what he does is, frankly boring.  So, why not ask what his being black means to America if you’re a columnist up against a deadline?  We never get tired of that.

Thanks to the New York Times, we now know that “researchers” have shown that just having a black president makes black people test better.  Which seems to bode well for new Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s job:

Educators and policy makers, including Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, have said in recent days that they hope President Obama’s example as a model student could inspire millions of American students, especially blacks, to higher academic performance.

Now researchers have documented what they call an Obama effect, showing that a performance gap between African-Americans and whites on a 20-question test administered before Mr. Obama’s nomination all but disappeared when the exam was administered after his acceptance speech and again after the presidential election.

Whew!  I know I feel smarter!  Andrew Sullivan claims news of the “Obama effect” blew his mind, and for some reason made him relate the heartwarming tale of his African American teacher neighbor’s concerns about her students’ use of the dreaded “n-word,” which they never use in reference to the new president.  On second thought, maybe the “Obama Effect didn’t take with me, ‘cuz I don’t see what the flock one thing has to do with the other, but that could just be me.  At least, now we know what happened to Andy’s mind, though.

Deroy Murdock sees a connection.  Writing for RealClearPolitics, Murdock puts forth the theory that Obama’s “erudition” will eliminate the “ghetto culture” and cause young black men to pull their pants up and stop belittling people like him and his siblings for “acting white,” just because the Murdock kids got good grades.  Some scars stick, I guess.  Though, I never knew you couldn’t get good grades if your butt was cold.  And, those kids who picked on the Murdock family probably call Obama the “n-word” all the time, being immune to the “Obama effect,” like they obviously are, since they must be about 35 -40 years old by now.

CNN informs us that some people think that America will demand that Obama be twice as good as a white president would have to be, while others do not.  They also clue us in to the fact that “twice as good” as his predecessor ain’t saying much, making the whole premise moot.  But, what the hell do I know, I’m one of those “Obama effect” immune “n-words” who used to pick on Republican kids.

In other “news,” did you know that the day before the inauguration,  Matthew J. Clark put a statue of Barack Obama on a donkey and dragged it through the streets of Des Moines, Iowa all the way to the capitol building, while onlookers waved palm fronds and Secret Service-style SUV’s followed?  Betcha didn’t.  But, he did.  The “performance art” exhibit is called, “Simulacrum of Hope: Simulation of the Triumphant Entry of the Christ.”  Here’s Matthew on Matthew:

Matthew J. Clark is an unidisciplinary artist and sculptor who is neither living nor working in New York, New York. He hasn’t a MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and knows absolutely nothing about painting. His technical proficiency at 3-dimensional art could speak for itself if he would let it. In a self-fulfilling exercise of ostracization and alienation, he works tirelessly designing, constructing, and re-designing and re-constructing concept-driven sculptures and installations that he understands most people misunderstand. His work examines emotional, mental, spiritual, physical, metaphysical, psychological, physiological, sociological, and societal realities, hyperrealities, and dream-like states of consciousness, along with semiotics. Matt insisted that he end this bio with the declaration, “Words have no meaning.” He can’t stop.

He is not represented by the Marian Goodman Gallery which has offices in New York and Paris. I think I have pneumonia.

Does the “Obama effect” apply to white people in reverse?  Probably not, whatever’s troubling Matt is probably a pre-existing condition.  And, speaking of lingering troubles, the Cabbage Patch Weeble, Rod Blagojevich, has hired a public relations firm to handle his upcoming “Screw Your Impeachment Trial” media blitz.  In true Blago ham-fisted style, the firm he chose is notorious for its clientele, primarily, Drew Peterson, the latest Peterson to be accused of killing his inconvenient wife.

In case you just can’t get enough Obama, and I’d be shocked if you could, there’s always Pocket Obama.  Yes, you too could have a pocket full o’ Obie quotes to consult anytime your hopium levels plunge.  And, if that’s not enough, you can generate your own inaugural speech here, secure in the knowledge that you couldn’t possibly do worse.

And, the wheels are off the bus.  The people under it say, “hi.”

You can consider this an open thread.

Cross posted at my place, Cinie’s World, natch.

Obama: I Won, You Didn’t, So Shut Up!

ObamaThere have been a number of recent signs that we are in for an administration where petty is politics, and it starts right at the very top.  In a “private” (in a “transparent government” kind of way) bi-partisan meeting about his stimulus proposal, President Petulance basically told one of the members who made the meeting “bi-,” (partisan) Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) that he was going to get his way because he was president and he wanted to.  From FOX News:

During his private meeting with congressional Democrats and Republicans on Friday, President Obama ended a philosophical debate over tax policy with the simple declaration that his opinion prevailed because “I won.”

ABC News reported it this way:

On one of the issues, regarding whether the lowest individual tax rates should be cut from 15 percent to 10 percent and from 10 percent to 5 percent, Obama told Cantor that “on some of these issues we’re just going to have ideological differences.”

But Obama added, “I won. So I think on that one, I trump you.”

The Associated Press claims that the response was to Jon Kyl of Arizona:

At one point in Friday’s meeting in the White House’s Roosevelt Room, GOP Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona objected to a proposal to increase benefits for low-income workers who do not owe federal income taxes.

Obama replied in a friendly but firm way that an election had been held in November, “and I won. I will trump you on that,” according to several people briefed by participants who took notes.

So, not only can we look forward to snotty, schoolyard attitudes from the President, we can also expect continued levels of shoddy journalism.  Not that Sir Nose In The Air cares.  His “can’t I just eat my waffle, I already answered like 5 wasted questions from people I picked to talk to me in advance” peevishness was on full display yesterday when he dropped by the “worse than Middle East” White House press room to say “hi.”  News Busters asked what took the media so long to get semi-pissed about it:

NOW they get worried that Obama is not too dedicated to freedom of the press? After Obama is fairly elected, NOW the Old Media is beginning to question The One on his treatment of them?

“Fairly elected?”  Et tu, News Busters, with the KoolAid?  Anyway, seems the media is just waking up to the stage-managed nature of all things Obama, too.

It’s not exactly Watergate but Barack Obama’s inauguration was back in the dock today after it emerged that the quartet of classical musicians who ushered him on to the steps of the Capitol were faking it.

In a report headlined “The Frigid Fingers Were Live, but the Music Wasn’t”, The New York Times said that the four, including the violinist Itzhak Perlman, had already recorded their contribution two days earlier and played along just for show.

Politico proves that the press can be a bit petty, themselves, by reporting the Earth-shattering “news” that nobody likes recently appointed Senator and Hillary Clinton cohort, Kirsten Gillibrand, anyway:

“Nobody really likes her,” sniped one New York City-area member, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“She’s smart and capable, but she’s rubbed people the wrong the way,” said another.

Then, talk about petty, there’s the media and Blago.  His lawyers expect him to be removed from office, and one of them, Ed Genson, is quitting the team because Blags won’t listen and insists on mounting a public relations defense in the press instead of in the Illinois Senate, which only makes sense since that’s where he’s being tried and convicted first.  On Monday, Blagojevich will make his case on ABC’s Good Morning America and The View.

Aaaaannnnnddddd, theeeeee wheels on the bus…

*X-posted @ Cinie’s World

America Jumps The Shark

10-obama-meets-spiderman-100109I’m beginning to think that the art of politics (if there is such a thing) is the ability to get strangers to pretend to understand when you talk nonsense out of both sides of your mouth.  Unfortunately, that is also today’s definition of journalism.  That makes looking for turds of political wisdom among the media bullshit as much fun as a scavenger hunt in a sewer.  And just as obvious.

Politico is reporting that there are landmines ahead for ever-prepared policy wonk, Hillary Clinton, in her upcoming Senate confirmation hearings because she’s married to Bill and she ran against the man who appointed her, while at the same time (same article) reporting that her confirmation hearings are scheduled for only one day and everybody thinks she’ll be confirmed “speedily.”

Rasmussen Reports tells us that “lots” of people, 75% in fact, plan to watch at least “some” of the first black president-elect’s upcoming inauguration, with 28% planning to watch it “all,” while you couldn’t pay 21% to watch “any” of it.  They don’t tell us how many people plan to watch “for sure,” but 61% of black people will watch “all” the festivities, because he’s black, too, while only 22% of whites feel the same way, because they’re not.  Since the stupid networks show every indication of airing every aspect of the stupid inauguration festivities over and over until we “all” puke, I think it’s significant that 21% obviously won’t be turning on their televisions, reading a paper or surfing the net in the foreseeable near future.

California Senator Dianne Feinstein’s recent support of Rod Blagojevich’s appointee for Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat, Roland Burris, should score her some major points with black voters and colleagues who pretty much liked her anyway, according to CQ Politics.  Fienstein’s support registered well with members of the Congressional Black Caucus, though her reasoning had nothing to do with his skin color; rather, she cited a quaint little concept known as “the law.”

Feinstein’s bold stance on a no-brainer issue nonetheless puts her at odds with her Senate colleagues intent upon prolonging what amounts to a pissing contest during a circle jerk.  Those opposing Burris’ seating because he was appointed by a guy they consider to be a slimeball, (presumably not because he was involved in shady pay-to-play scams, but because he got caught; nobody’s calling for Bill Richardson‘s head or for his duties to be suspended; probably because he doesn’t have a Senate seat to sell like Blago and barely Governor Patterson) are suddenly trying to figure out how to zip up their wet pants and look presentable without washing their hands now that they realize that the curtain’s open and people are watching.

What do you do when you pick the guy you like to give the invocation at your inauguration, in order to make nice with the people who didn’t vote for you, if the people who did vote for you hate him?  Why, you find somebody the people who like you will like, too, and invite him to speak at another event, call it an “inauguration…something” and, sell it on EBay the internet.

But, all of that is just business as usual.  Sure, the outgoing Republican president turning over 350 billion taxpayer dollars to the incoming Democratic president is a little unprecedented (like being a little pregnant) but, not eyebrow-raising in today’s Obamacan political climate.  And, so what if people who read Politico think that MSNBC’s Chuck Todd is a latter-day Walter Cronkite?   Who cares if the FISA guy wants to digitalize medical records?  Multiple wars, impeachments, Gitmo flip-flops, unemployment, sucky economy, scandal, we’re used to all that stuff.

No, what has sent the country into a Happy Days-inspired leap from reality is the recent propensity of popular culture icons to embrace the ridiculous as it relates to Barack Obama.  You’d think they’d never seen a black president before, or something.  First Ms. Magazine, in a move that makes6a00e553cca69a8833010536c23492970c-800wi “The View” and “Playgirl” seem radical by comparison, boasted an improbable cover touting Obama’s non-existent feminist creds, going so far as to depict him as the women’s movement’s very own super hero, a giant leap up, in the wrong direction, from Prince Charming or Barbie’s Ken.

But the “fridge was nuked” waaaay over the rainbow shark when Marvel Comics equally (more) improbably paired Obama with a real-as-it-gets superhero, Spiderman, in it’s latest edition, because the future Geek-In-Chief was once a collector.  I shit kid you not.

The Barack Obama rage has now taken the comic world by storm. Reportedly the president will feature along with the superhero ‘Spiderman’. The fact that the US-president elect was a Spidey collector as a kid, has inspired the Marvel Comics to feature the ‘icon’ for the children’s book.

“When we read that we thought, ‘Oh my God the future Commander-in-chief is actually the future nerd-in-chief,’ the New York Daily News quoted Joe Quesada, Marvel’s top editor, as saying. “With a geek in the White House , we just had to give him a shout back. It’s just the coolest thing ever,” Quesada added.

Unlike Ms., at least they didn’t give the Obamessiah undeserved super powers.  Maybe by this time next week, or more likely, the week after, since “lots” of us will be eating nachos and watching the Super Bowl of Politics on cable next week, (I wonder if they’ll have cool new commercials?) we’ll find out that the wheels on the Obabus are actually jet-propelled wings or something.  I’m sure a rocket fueled, Acme Co. E-ject-O driver’s seat is too much to ask for.

And, the wheels on the bus…

*X-posted over at my place, Cinie’s World, as you would expect.

Why I’m PUMA

melanistic_panthera_onca4I am a PUMA today for the exact same reason I went looking to become something that didn’t yet exist on May 31, 2008; I object to the manner in which Barack Obama became my president.  And nothing I’ve seen before or since has mitigated that essential truth in the slightest, in fact, the more I see of the way he operates, the more upset I get.  Barack Obama offends my sense of fair play.  From what I’ve been able to determine through my research of him, he has pushed the against “da roolz” envelope in every contested election he’s won.  Though he cannot be accused of outright cheating, he has built his entire pseudo-impressive career out of finding obscure loopholes to screw to his orgasm, thereby raping the process to his pleasure and advantage.

As has been extensively chronicled, in 1996, Obama won his first election to the Illinois Senate by contesting the voting petition signatures gathered for all of his challengers, getting them all disqualified, and running unopposed.   Before he could complete his second term of office, after winning re-election in 1998 over African American Republican Yesse Yehudah (whose name later emerged in Obama bribery allegations) he mounted a disastrous 2000 campaign for sitting Congressman Bobby Rush‘s seat, who beat the pants off him like he was a red-headed stepchild, by playing his “my black card on the table trumps the Uppity Magic Negro card up your sleeve.”   It worked, and Obama never let that happen again.

Given Illinois’ convoluted system regarding Senate terms…

Every Senate district elects its members to serve two four-year terms and one two-year term per decade.

…and Obama’s predilection for reticence, the details regarding his Illinois Senate runs are rather sketchy.  However, considering that his opponent in  1998, Yehuda, won approx. 10% of the vote, and that in 2002 he ran unopposed, its safe to assume that, for some reason, Obama’s re-elections were basically a rubber-stamp formality.  Curiously, Wikipedia mentions that Obama was re-elected to the Illinois senate in 2002, presumably in November, yet numerous sources report that he had already begun preparing for a run at the U.S. Senate by June of that year.  From the Boston Globe:

In mid-2002, Obama began to focus on the upcoming US Senate race. The incumbent, Republican Peter Fitzgerald, seemed beatable, and it was not clear Carol Moseley Braun, who had held the seat before Fitzgerald, would try to reclaim it. Obama and his wife made a deal: This would be, as his wife puts it now, “the last hurrah.”

And, from a Chicago Maroon piece written July 12, 2002:

Democratic State Senator and University Law School Senior Lecturer Barack Obama has begun assessing his chances in the 2004 US senate race. Obama has commissioned a statewide poll by the Colorado firm Harstad Strategic Research, and he has filed for federal permission to begin fundraising. Obama will have to win the democratic primary in order to face incumbent Republican Senator Peter Fitzgerald in ’04.

Note the article from 2002 refers to Obama as a “Senior Lecturer” not “professor,” as he has claimed to be; a claim which was backed up, but “nuanced” (their word, not mine)  by Fact Check.org via the University of Chicago.  Another example of Obama’s fondness for “nuance”regards his now, much bally-hooed, then, largely ignored, unfilmed, 2002 Iraq war speech:

“My objections to the war in Iraq were not simply a speech,” Obama said. “I was in the midst of a U.S. Senate campaign. It was a high-stakes campaign. I was one of the most vocal opponents of the war.” (Obama delivered the speech in October 2002; he did not officially declare his candidacy for the U.S. Senate until January).

Even in this era of YouTube and camera phones, a recording of Obama’s speech is all but impossible to find. The Obama campaign has gone so far as to re-create portions of the speech for a television ad, with the candidate re-reading the text, with audience sound effects.

So, according to the above article from NPR, this cornerstone and centerpiece of Obama’s presidential campaign was actually an insignificant speech delivered to about 1,000 people by a little known guy running unopposed for the state Senate, at somebody else’s (Jesse Jackson) rally.    Even Obama’s campaign manager, David Axelrod, has admitted as much.   Quoted in the New York Times Caucus blog lamenting the lack of recorded Iraq war speech material:

“I would kill for that,” he was quoted as saying. “No one realized at the time that it would be a historic thing.”

Similar “nuance” marks the man’s entire biography, yet he has somehow managed to create the illusion of transparency.  When David Axelrod joined (became) Obama’s team in 2004, the elements of Obama’s new, “I am, too, black enough, but not too black, just short of under-handed envelope pushing” political philosophy began to successfully knit themselves  together.  On his AKP&D Message and Media website, “the Axe” takes his full share of credit:

In 2004, Axelrod helped State Senator Barack Obama score a landslide win in his U.S. Senate campaign, developing a message and media strategy that enabled Obama to defeat six opponents in the Democratic primary with an astounding 53% of the vote. He is currently serving as media advisor to Obama’s presidential campaign.

Continue reading

Obacrats Can’t Be This Stupid

05burris-600Whoever thought maneuvering Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich into a position that allowed U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald to officially criminalize machine politics-as-usual for political advantage has got to be the biggest neophyte yahoo rube to come down the pike since…Barack Obama.  Let’s review.  Barack Obama, the only African American in the Senate for two years, mysteriously generates enough money and clout to mount a successful run for the presidency out of a political environment so corrupt that “Lincoln would roll over in his grave,” how?  By being an all-around, all-American, above-board, swell, good guy, of course.  Sure.

Surrounded by his personal band of proselytizing disciples; Rahmbo the Emanuel, Valerie Magdalene, King David of the Astroturf, Antonin of Houses, and Jon, the Groper of Graven Images, to name a few, the Obamessiah scampered above the sewer waters of Illinois corruption as if they were a North Side private gymnasium treadmill.  As a fisher of men, He was often unfortunately touched, but not tainted by, the activities of the unworthy among those He assembled and attempted to make pure, as has been dutifully chronicled by the mainstream media Keepers of the Holy Book of the Obamessiah.  However, Barack remains the Reformer, bathed in the Light.

Clean, bright and articulate by resume, the recent machinations by the Combine Machine of the Obacrats are threatening to reveal enough cracks in the Obamirror of Righteousness to expose His Holy Stupid-as-a-Stumpness in a nationally broadcast Naivete Scene.  Did it never occur to the No Drama Obama crew that manipulating a fellow player not of their clique into a corner carried risks?

When one of their number, Antonin of Houses, stumbled and fell by the wayside, the Obasciples simply stepped gingerly, single-file around him, leaving him where he lay, disavowing him three times as they boarded the Obabus he rolled under when they continued confidently on their preordained journey to the Promised Land.  The Obamessiah did not lay hands upon him, nor did He absolve him of his sin; He simply denied knowledge of him as He brushed His Holy shoulders and allowed Himself to be driven on.  This was a Holy boo-boo.

For Antonin of Houses had special knowledge of Valerie Magdalene and the Obamessiah, and Antonin was pisseth.

Fast forward to the twenty-first century post-election ensconcement of the Obamessiah as President-In-Training Wheels.  Having written and disseminated his own Holy backstory to the Chroniclers, and having consumed their regurgitated praise to his overfill, the Obamesiah, drunk with his own Obamessiah-ness by proxy, allowed Himself to believe He, Jr. Father, Knew Best.  Thus began the chess match, whereby playing unopposed, the Obamessiah cleverly checkmated Himownself.

Seeing a way to eliminate his only real threat to absolute power in His own backyard, Barack of Hyde Park decided to continue to attempt to appear to levitate above the machinations of His betrayed Obasciple of the Houses,  and the locust-and-honey-eating way clearer, the crude Rod the Blagojevich, while shining His Holy Light upon their common evangelical activities, forgetting He too, was bathed in His Own Light.  Thus, He Screweth Himself.

Okay, enough of the Obamessiah allegory; it’s not only making me nauseous, I’m not nearly as good at it as John, South of Melrose over on Liberal Rapture or Gerald Baker; plus I need to be free to call bullshit without all this pseudo-Christian baggage.  So, let’s get back to brass tacks, shall we?

The fact remains that Obama screwed the pooch when he tried to play innocent while pointing the finger at Blagojevich.  Everybody in Illinois knew Blags was under investigation, he even hinted at the worst kept secret in politics the day before he was arrested.  Everybody also knew that even with Rezko’s making like a canary, Fitzgerald didn’t have enough to indict.  He still doesn’t.  But when the president-elect bats his exaggeratedly wide-open eyes and tilts his head in your direction when somebody else calls you a crook, people sit up and take notice.

Obama and company knew that if they dangled the vacant Senate seat plum just right while they dropped unsubtle hints that Fitzgerald was sure to pick up, the investigation against Blags was sure to intensify.  However, methinks they underestimated the existing intensity of the ongoing investigation.  Thinking that the tentacles would subsequently stretch out in all directions, they never considered that they already did, that it wasn’t just one Blagojevich phone that was tapped, and that more of their pre-cleanup involvement was already caught on tape.

Now, the smartest president in the room and his gang have been interviewed in a pay-to-play scam and have proclaimed their innocence, just like Blagojevich, just like Bill Richardson.  Though Blago has been arrested, before his alleged crime could criminally implicate anybody else, he hasn’t been indicted, he was released on a paltry bond, and he remains free to exercise his duties as governor.  And, now that he has done just that, the Obacrats, who for their own nefarious reasons, swept Obama to power, are desperate to get Blags to nullify himself, since they know they have no legal, or moral, authority to do so.  They also know now that Blagojevich knows it, too; by making the appointment, the Obacrats are not only rendered impotent, they’ve handcuffed  and prevented themselves from exercising any power they might once have wielded.  For, even if they impeach Blago, or he now resigns, there’s nothing that would make Roland Burris’ appointment to the Senate retroactively invalid.  From Politico:

The Democrats’ preferred solution to the Burris problem is for the Illinois Legislature to impeach Blagojevich, paving the way for Democratic Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn to take his place and appoint someone other than Burris to Obama’s vacant seat. But even that could create a legal headache, legal observers say, since the Burris appointment would still be pending.

“Even if Blagojevich is impeached, that doesn’t undo all the actions he has taken as governor,” said Andrew Raucci, a former chief justice for the Illinois Court of Claims and now a Chicago-based attorney.

Democrats say that if Burris hasn’t been seated by the time Quinn takes over, he could name someone else to the seat by rescinding Burris’ certification papers.

Burris was having none of it. At a news conference at Chicago’s Midway Airport, the former Illinois attorney general testily said to reporters, “Why don’t you all understand that what has been done here is legal? I am the junior senator from Illinois, and I wish my colleagues in the press would recognize that. All the drama — I guess it keeps you all in a job.”

And, to make bad matters worse, not only is Burris adamant that he is the junior senator from Illinois no matter what ticky-tack maneuvers the Obacrats try to pull, the potential criminalization of day to day political manipulation makes every satellite in the Oba-universe vulnerable.  Just ask Bill Richardson.

The best laid plans of mice and men, gang aft aglae.

Obama the Boxer vs. Blago the Brawler

obama-aliOkay, I admit it, I’m a boxing fan.  Not that I enjoy watching grown men and women pummel each other’s faces into unrecognition, per se; next to making up words, observing the ritualized human drama of mano a mano (hand to hand, not man to man) competition play out in the structured, regulated and supervised environment of the boxing ring is just plain fun.  More honest than wrestling, grittier, more real and less time consuming than a soap opera, and minus the gratuitous sex, boxing is a curious, yet entertaining  mix of theater and thuggery.  I like it.

It’s a simple sport; there are only four kinds of punches; jab, hook, uppercut, and straight right (or left, depending upon whether the boxer is a right-hander or southpaw.)   While boxers are required to be matched according to weight, the best fights feature fighters of comparable experience and skill. Since the rules are basic, (don’t try to kill your opponent, don’t bring anything into the ring to hit him with, like a bat, don’t hit him in the nuts) and those that aren’t standard are negotiable per fight, the most crucial element, in any match, is style.

Again, we’re talking simplicity simplified, here.  There are three basic styles of fighter, imho; “boxers,” guys not concerned with knockouts, content to win on points, primarily throwing flicking, annoying jabs in an attempt to keep the other guy preoccupied  to the point that he can’t mount an offense of his own.  Boxers are skilled at defense, bobbing, weaving, dancing out of the way of punches, all the while sticking their fists in the face of their opponent, but not really trying to hurt him, either, often because they know they can’t.  In fact, boxers don’t want anybody to get hurt, least of all themselves, if they can “hit, without being hit” they’re happy.  It’s even likely that boxers can’t “take a punch,” that’s the reason they’re “boxers,” not “fighters.”  While they may be considered textbook technicians and strategists, and their showy “flash and dash” can delight casual boxing observers, they are pretty much despised by purists and real fans alike, who prefer their champions be a little more rugged, willing to “mix it up” once in a while, and not prissy, wussy, light punching “rabbits.”

Then there are the “punchers.”  These guys are one-half step up from Neanderthal; they want to hit, and hit hard, anywhere, face, body, doesn’t matter; if they hit you, you’ll be hurt.  They often have no defense at all, they don’t need it since they seem to not only be impervious to pain, they enjoy it.  They’re usually not fond of the jab, might not even know how to throw one, the hook, uppercut, right hand, and whatever punch they make up at the spur of the moment in the heat of battle is just fine, thank you,very much.  “Throw hard with bad intentions,” if you miss, do it again.  “He can run, but he can’t hide,” at some point in the match, the “boxer” is going to run out of real estate, energy, or both, then the “puncher” will hit him with the force of a sledgehammer, and the fight will be over.  Whatever punishment is inflicted or received before that is irrelevant.  That is how a puncher “thinks,” that is how he wins, that is how he plans to win.

The style most fans and purists prize most is a combination of the two former ones, the “boxer/puncher.”  This guy knows how to avoid being hit, but if he is, he’s perfectly capable of “shaking it off,” and coming out swinging.  He’s not intimidated by a “puncher,” he can take it, plus, he’s got a fair bit of power in his own hands.  A “boxer” poses no problem for the “boxer/puncher” either, he’s just as skilled both defensively and with the jab, and his is more stinging than annoying.  Also, his “power punches” are often just as devastating as a pure “puncher.”  He’s a thinking man’s fighter, possessing a wide array of skills, he can formulate a strategy to exploit just about any other fighter’s weaknesses, nullify his strengths, and effectively counter with his own.  This is the guy fans and purists love, and opponents fear.

Politically, Barack Obama is a “boxer.”  Since fans enjoy watching the “sweet science,” his ability to avoid trouble has been more than enough, so far.  His  flashy “bob and weave” technique is fun to watch; the trouble is, he hasn’t yet been really hit.  Until now.

Rod Blagojevich is a “puncher.”  In fact, he’s a street brawler with gloves on.  “Style, shmyle, let’s get it on” is his motto.   His blunt, brash, no-nonsense, “whaddya got, whaddaya want?” approach has always gotten him into trouble, and has been easy for Obama to nullify in the past, all the while playing to the crowd, showing off his political dancing skills, and avoiding the clinches.  In fact, when Obama, knowing Blago came into the ring already bloodied by the investigation into his bludgeoning style, employed his “juke and jive” technique of peppering Blago with jabs by dangling Valerie Jarrett as a potential successor for his vacant Senate seat, then snatching her from contention before abruptly making his resignation official, effectively  maneuvered Blago into the corner right before he got hit with the right hand of arrest, it looked like Obama might be a boxer/puncher after all.  Thinking he had delivered a knockout from the accumulation of punches,  followed by the impeachment blow to the gut, and that his opponent was headed out of the ring on a stretcher, Obama allowed himself a brief, poor man’s impression of the Ali shuffle as victory dance.

And got sucker punched.

Hot Rod lunged off the canvas and caught Obama with a head ringing blow just barely above the belt by appointing Roland Burris to Obie’s seat in defiance of just about everybody.   Obama’s supporters, who were heading for the exits, his cornermen, who were headed into the ring, forgot to wait for the count of ten.  All seemed stunned, both that Blags had it in him, and that Obama wasn’t invincible, after all.  Hadn’t Blago heard them declare him dead in one voice?  Didn’t he know he had lost every round on the scorecards?  How did he muster the strength to get up off the floor and throw a haymaker?  They know the game, and they know that wasn’t a lucky punch. That was boxing.  How come Obama the “boxer” didn’t see it coming and get out of the way?  How come the ref didn’t stop the fight?   And more importantly, what do they do now?

Right now, the bell has rung between rounds and the Obama team, with the help of the ref and the timekeeper, are trying to keep their guy on the stool until his cobwebs clear, and they can come up with a winning scenario even the cynical boxing/political public will buy.  They’re also kicking themselves for forgetting that pure “boxing” doesn’t always win fights, for not considering that their guy might have a glass jaw, and  for not knowing that a “puncher” who can “box” will beat even a “boxer/puncher” every time.    Sometimes, with just one punch.  That’s why, when you beat a guy down, it’s best for all concerned to finish him off.

That is, if you can.

*Note: I wrote this post a couple of days ago, but was reluctant to post it here for fear that the subject matter might not be everybody’s cuppa.  But in light of the Chicago Tribune revelation that Rod Blagojeveich was indeed once a boxer, I figured it might now be appropriate.  Interestingly, by stressing his preoccupation with his hair, and his tendency to keep his hands over his face in the ring, the Tribune writer deliberately attempts to portray Blago as a vainglorious wimp without providing any substantiation, like, say, his Golden Glove record.  I seem to remember Muhammad Ali combing his hair in the ring after every fight, and being criticized for not keeping his hands up, but overall, people seem to think he was a pretty good boxer in his day.

Lock The Doors! Scary Black Man A-Comin’!

44331566-blago-burrisBig ol’ scary Roland Burris says he’s the Senator from Illinois so make way.  The Obamacrats say the idea of Burris sullying the sanctity of the Senate is so terrifying,  they’ll do whatever they have to do to keep him out and keep the country safe.  “Hide the women and children, go to the root cellar, get under the desks, run for your lives, for God’s sake, hide!”

Oh please.  For the Democrats in the Senate to say they’ll block the doors to prevent Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich’s appointed replacement for Barack Obama (the not scary black guy)’s Senate seat, Burris (the scary black guy) from taking office, just because they’re miffed, is just plain silly and pretty durned funny.  So, too, is Illinois Congressman Bobby Rush (a formerly scary black guy)’s insistence on being…well, Bobby Rush, and warning people against “lynching and hanging”  just because they want to bar entrance to the hallowed halls of the Senate by the scary black guy just like George Wallace wanted to keep scary black kids out of school.  But, never you mind, the fun doesn’t stop there, no sireee, Bobbo!  Being scary on command can be a hoot.  I mean, like The Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates pointed out, quoting KristenMcQueary, it’s not like Bobby Rush never endorsed a white person over a black one:

He went so far as to compare Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to former Alabama Gov. George Wallace, who in 1963 stood in the doorway of a University of Alabama school building to block two black students from entering. Reid and Senate Democrats pledged to refuse any appointee sent by Blagojevich, even Burris, who would be the chamber’s only black member.

Rush’s lecture, however, seems quite two-faced considering he chaired Blair Hull’s 2004 U.S. Senate campaign.

Hull is white.

If sending a black senator to Washington is so important now, why didn’t Rush support a black candidate four years ago? Not only was Obama on the Democratic ballot, but Joyce Washington, a black woman and health care executive, was as well.

Never mind that Rush endorsed Obama for president over his good white friends, the Clintons, or that Rush crushed Obama when Obie made an ill-advised bid for Bobby’s Congressional seat, or that Obama’s hit man David Axelrod took Hull down hard on his way to the Senate, it’s a black thing, only summa y’all unnerstan’.  But, hey, let the good times roll on.

And, lest you think Senate Majority Leader Reid doesn’t like black people, not just because of the Wallace-esque door-blocking thing, but also because he tried to block Blagojevich from appointing any other black men, too, pish tosh, put those thoughts aside.  I’m sure he knows there haven’t been a whole lot of black people in the Senate; as Earl Ofari Hutchinson reminds us, it’s always been a “good old boy’s club” and, by golly, everybody just likes it that way!  Nothing personal, move along.  And those black folks agitating on Roland Burris’ behalf?  Misguided malcontents, the whole lot of ‘em.  So what if there are no black Senators, y’all got a black president, how dare you play the race card?

Oh, the delicious irony.  Now it can be revealed just how racially manipulative the Obamacrats have been.  Just because Barack Obama received overwhelming support from black voters, easily deceived sycophants and other fools could be convinced that all black people love and support him alike.  Ha, ha.  What those sycophantic fools choose to ignore is that the illusion of monolithic support is easy to attain if you keep the relevant questions narrow.  In other words, if you ask 1,000 black people how they feel about, oh, health care, you’d probably get answers as varied as if you asked a similar number of white, Asian, short, or stupid people the same thing.  But if you ask them if they’d rather have a black Democratic president or a white Republican one on the 45th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech, you’d probably be horrified if anybody picked the white guy.

Duh.

Oh, but now, the vilified, but shrewd Blagojevich has flipped the script.  By appointing Burris, and deliberately, in his familiar, yet inimitable “in your face” style, calling bullshit, Blago has forced the Obamacrats to paint themselves into a corner of hell in much the same way they manipulated him into the role of the face of Illinois corruption, hoping to deflect attention from their own systemic culplability.  And, since there’s no easy way out for either side, the yuckfest continues.

The Senate Democrats have no leg to stand on, and will have to abandon their saber rattling bluff.  Blagojevich is most likely guilty as hell, but, under our legal system that doesn’t count, especially since he hasn’t even been indicted for anything, merely arrested pending formal charges.  While that may be enough for the Illinois branch of the Obamacrats to achieve the desired results in their now accelerated, year long, Blagoenemy Madigan Clan led impeachment attempt, it’s hard to see how that would invalidate the Burris appointment.  Would a conviction subsequent to the appointment legally nullify it?

Add the Al Franken coup attempt to the drama and you’ve got Oscar worthy high camp comedy.  Shouting “we won!” while trying to squeak Franken through the Burris-blocked Senate doors could prove to be a tad embarrassing.   I mean, how can you certify Franken, when he hasn’t even really won, and not certify the legally appointed Burris, without looking like a bunch of modern day racist bigots using token black people, like the president-elect and Illinois Secretary of State, to do your quota-maintaining bidding?

Ya can’t.

Advantage Blago/Burris/Rush.

And, once we get the answers to the “why did U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald step in and arrest Blagojevich to prevent a ‘crime-spree,’ when he could have caught at least two high-profile, guilty as hell people redhanded,” and “who are all these new ‘multiple witnesses‘ and what are they and the people on the ‘thousands of intercepted converations‘ saying that’s intersting enough to make Fitzy file a motion seeking an extension,” it might be game, set, match.

Is JJJ a Snitch?

 

Informer?

Informer?

According to a story by FOX News, Jesse Jackson Jr. has been informing to the Feds for years.  If true I have a feeling his political career is toast, because nobody likes a snitch.  But something in that story caught my eye:

Shortly after his 2002 election, Gov. Rod Blagojevich told Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. he didn’t appoint the congressman’s wife as lottery director because he had refused him a $25,000 campaign donation, a person familiar with the conversation told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

“Blagojevich went out of his way to say, ‘You know I was considering your wife for the lottery job and the $25,000 you didn’t give me? That’s why she’s not getting the job,’” the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing federal investigation. (emphasis added)

From the complaint filed against Blago:

ROD BLAGOJEVICH told Fundraiser A to tell Individual D that ROD BLAGOJEVICH had a problem with Senate Candidate 5 just promising to help ROD BLAGOJEVICH because ROD BLAGOJEVICH had a prior bad experience with Senate Candidate 5 not keeping his word. ROD BLAGOJEVICH told Fundraiser A to tell Individual D that if Senate Candidate 5 is going to be chosen to fill the Senate seat “some of
this stuffs gotta start happening now . . .right now. . . and we gotta see it. You understand?”

“Senate Candidate 5″ is widely believed to be JJJ, so that would mean Blago had a prior bad experience with JJJ not keeping his word.  Could the statement “You know I was considering your wife for the lottery job and the $25,000 you didn’t give me?” refer to that broken promise?

Just wondering.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 415 other followers