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Friday News: Blago, Rezko Rear Their Ugly Heads

Obama and Blagojevich in happier times

Good Morning, Conflucians!!

Ooops! Someone goofed when redacting all information about President Obama from a motion filed in the Rod Blagojevich trial, and the judge had to call an emergency meeting. Meanwhile the unredacted material leaked out.

Former governor Rod Blagojevich’s defense team asked Thursday to issue a trial subpoena to the President of the United States of America.

The motion, intended to be heavily redacted, was improperly edited — the full document was easily viewable if the text is copied and pasted to another document (an error first revealed on Capitol Fax).

It seems that:

Obama may have lied about conversations with convicted fraudster Tony Rezko.
Obama may have overtly recommended Valerie Jarret for his Senate seat.
A supporter of President Obama may have offered quid pro quo on a Jarrett senate appointment
Obama maintained a list of good Senate candidates
Rahm Emanuel allegedly floated Cheryl Jackson’s name for the Senate seat
Obama had a secret phone call with Blagojevich

Read the details at the Ward Room, linked above. Here is the original motion requesting that Obama be subpoenaed.

The judge held an emergency hearing to discuss this terrible mistake.

The Rezko-Obama land deal has arisen again. As you can see, this information was being discussed in Chicago way back in 2006, but somehow it never really became an issue in the 2008 primaries or general election campaign, thanks to the bought-off corporate media.

Mediaite breaks down the material in the Blagojevich motion, and provides helpful commentary.

Jeralyn posted about the story at Talk Left, and she’s been busy censoring comments to make sure no one says there is anything questionable about Obama’s association with Tony Rezko and the land deal that allowed Obama to buy a very nice house that was way beyond his means at the time. From the comments:

Because (5.00 / 1) (#13)
by squeaky on Thu Apr 22, 2010 at 05:51:03 PM EST

The horse has been beaten to death, Rezko turned government witness and Obama has come out of this clean. A boneheaded mistake is miles away from insinuating criminal behavior.
Fanning the flames with innuendo of a criminal behavior is a cheap shot.

[ Parent ]

Actually, accusations (5.00 / 5) (#26)
by Inspector Gadget on Thu Apr 22, 2010 at 06:09:20 PM EST

were laid to rest pretty fast in the mainstream, and no one really got answers to anything. It’s probably why you are so sensitive to topics that continue to come up. When you can’t answer the question, frustration rises.
If it was beaten to death, and you know exactly what took place, perhaps you would share the information so we can all be as comfortable as you are about Rezko.

[ Parent ]

not so (5.00 / 1) (#30)
by Jeralyn on Thu Apr 22, 2010 at 06:30:33 PM EST

accusations were put to rest by U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzerald. Obama did nothing illegal with Rezko. It’s Blagojevich that Rezko is cooperating against, not Obama.
Please stay on topic which is: Blago/Obama and Blago/Rezko. The only relevance between Obama/Rezko is Blago’s assertion that Obama may be able to impugn Rezko’s. He’s not claiming Rezko would besmirch Obama. His motion says:

President Obama’s relationship with Tony Rezko is relevant and necessary Fed. R. Evid. 404(b) and 406 evidence.
I wonder, did he mean 404(b) or 405(b)?

I’ve deleted sniping comments without substance. If commenters want to attack each other, please share your email addresses with each other and do it privately.

{hysterical laughter}

These stories are highlighted at Memeorandum, but Jerelyn is the only access blogger who has posted about them. I’m sure this will be heavily covered at the Cheeto once they get the word. Or not.

According to the Wall Street Journal,

The former governor’s trial is set to start June 3, a year and a half after he was ousted from office amid prosecutors’ allegations that he had plotted to sell the

U.S. Senate seat left vacant by Mr. Obama when he was elected president [….]

At a news conference this week, he called U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald a coward. Mr. Fitzgerald brought the corruption charges against Mr. Blagojevich and has challenged the former governor’s effort to make public all 500 hours of secretly recorded tapes at the heart of the case.

In an 11-page motion filed Thursday, Mr. Blagojevich’s attorneys argued that only Mr. Obama could resolve what they called contradictions between his public statements and the prosecutors’ case.

And in other news…..

Sorry, in my mind, there is no other news. Post your links freely in the comments and have a fabulous Friday!

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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.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Wednesday: For Sale- Senate Seat, like new, barely used

Kudos to myiq2xu for coming up with that ad copy.

The Governor of Illinois sounds like he’s a bit tetched.  He’s a megalomaniacal, power hungry, corrupt pol in deep, deep denial.  His approval ratings are hovering right down there with George Bush.  And he *knows* he may be recorded when he flat out asks for a quid for his pro quo.   What made him so damn cocky? 

We have learned from years of the Whitewater investigation that where there’s smoke, there isn’t necessarily fire.  It could very well be that Barack Obama had no interactions with his personal Jim McDougal regarding the disposition of his senate seat.  But those of us who witnessed how the primary was stolen from Hillary Clinton already know how corrupt Mr. Obama is.  A man who gets $600,000,000 in campaign contributions, some of them from untraceable pre-paid credit cards and manages to buy superdelegates to flip and whose campaign organization threatens various states to withhold funds from downticket races if their delegates don’t switch sides, has more than enough experience with buying his way to the top. Some stupid Obamaphiles and media types will say that’s just hardball politics and everyone does it.  But when money and favors exchange hands in order to bump someone out of the way and gain you an undeserved advantage is viewed by the skeptical eye of Patrick Fitzgerald, it looks a lot like corruption- and it’s illegal.

Barack Obama is already as corrupt a politician as Rod Blagojevich.  But as to *this* indictment,  this is no failed real estate deal where innocent people are getting caught up in a political vendetta.  This is the selling of a US Senate seat coming on the heals of one of the most brazenly  corrupt primary and general election seasons I have ever seen in my life.  And Patrick Fitzgerald is no Ken Starr but there is a very real possibility that in little more than a month from now, he could be out of work if Barack Obama chooses to replace him.  Now why would he want to do that?

And Rod Blagojevich is a little bid mad, un poco loco en la cabeza, unpredictable and curiously reluctant to step aside during his indictment.  Oh, the things he knows.

So far, the only good that seems to have come out of this is that Jesse Jackson Jr. will probably not be going to the Senate:

Even before Mr. Obama was elected president, Mr. Blagojevich was recorded telling an adviser on Oct. 31 that he was giving greater consideration to one candidate (described only as Senate Candidate 5) after an approach by “an associate” of that candidate who offered to raise $500,000 for Mr. Blagojevich, while another emissary of the Senate hopeful offered to raise $1 million. “We were approached ‘pay to play,’ ” Mr. Blagojevich said on a recording.

But prosecutors, who have made it clear that the investigation is continuing and who issued a plea on Tuesday for people to come forward with information, warned against drawing any conclusions about the true roles of candidates or anyone else in Mr. Blagojevich’s plans. And they emphasized repeatedly that the affidavit made “no allegations against the president-elect whatsoever.”

Several people among the half-dozen whose names have been suggested publicly as Senate possibilities did not respond to requests for interviews. Others, including Representative Jesse L. Jackson Jr. and Mr. Jones of the State Senate, who has been one of Mr. Blagojevich’s few allies in Springfield, issued statements expressing shock over the accusations, but they did not answer requests for interviews.

“If these allegations are proved true, I am outraged by the appalling, pay-to-play schemes hatched at the highest levels of our state government,” said Mr. Jackson, who had openly expressed interest in Mr. Obama’s old job and who met with Mr. Blagojevich, whom he is not known to be close to, for 90 minutes on Monday afternoon to discuss the post.

Cry me a river, Mr. Jackson:

I guess we should be grateful that he only offered a bribe and didn’t threaten the state of Illinois with making their legislative agenda dead in the water if the governor didn’t appoint his niece.

Still, what goes around comes around.

Lest we forget

Lest we forget

In other news, DeeDee Myers, President Clinton’s former press secretary, is pretty steaming mad over the Favreau picture:

What’s bugging me is his intention. He isn’t putting his hand on her “chest,” as most of the articles and conversations about the picture have euphemistically referred to it. Rather, his hand—cupped just so—is clearly intended to signal that he’s groping her breast. And why? Surely, not to signal he finds her attractive. Au contraire. It’s an act of deliberate humiliation. Of disempowerment. Of denigration.

And it disgusts me.

Oh, I know: If Hillary can get over it, why can’t I? Her spokesman, Phillipe Reinnes, tried to make light of the incident. “Senator Clinton is pleased to learn of Jon’s obvious interest in the State Department, and is currently reviewing his application,” he told the Washington Post in an E-mail. Obviously, she has no interest in making a federal case out of this particular incident, particularly as both the Clinton and Obama camps work on letting bygones be bygones. She has to pick her battles, and for her this ain’t a hill worth dying on.

But there is a larger issue at stake. At what point does sexist behavior get taken seriously? At what point do people get punished in ways that suggest this kind of behavior, this kind of thinking, is unacceptable? At what point do we insist there will be consequences? Clearly, that didn’t happen during the recent presidential campaign, when Hillary was—as I guess she is now—fair game. The press, the pundits, and the public could say things about her (“She’s a shrew!”) and to her (“Iron my shirt!) that were over-the-top sexist—yet got almost no reaction.

Indeed, Ms. Myers, where do we draw the line and hold people accountable?

KEEP THE PRESSURE ON GROPERGATE!

1. Sign the Pumasphere Petition and Send it to Friends and Family:

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/Fire-Jon-Favreau/

2. Send an email to the obama transition team, demanding that Favreau resign!

vjarrett@barackobama.com

3. Call Transition Headquarters:

202-540-3000 press option # 2 for a live person