Thursday, February 14, 2008

Simon and Annie Baar Home 1882-1918 1611 N. Honore Street, Chicago, Il.

Busy times ahead so no more blogging for a while...

...take care all of you.

PS A picture of the house where my great great grandparents lived. They sold straw kept in the barn in back.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Zorn: Obama's Rezkopportunity knocks

Zorn's post that should be nailed to the door at Obama's campaign office.
I didn’t expect Barack Obama to interrupt his Super Tuesday campaigning last week and heed the suggestion in my column that he answer in detail the questions that keep coming up about his entanglements with Tony Rezko, the fundraiser who’s now facing trial on federal corruption charges.

He was very busy and had to stay on message. I get that. But with only nine primaries the whole rest of the month, he now has the chance—a Rezkopportunity if you will—to grant a sit-down interview to Tribune investigative reporters Ray Gibson and David Jackson and try to make this story go away before it inevitably burbles up again at a less convenient time.
I belonged to my college listserv about this time in 2004 and remember the disappointed Dean supporters reconciling themselves to Kerry with the consolation Kerry's war record would make him such a winner compared to Bush.

We had all been anti-War in College and my response was go back and look at the Winter Soldier hearings, and Kerry's testimony before congress. I remembered it all vividly. It was one of the most painful times in our history and it was not going to do Kerry any favors played back in the campaign.

No one agreed with me.

I have the same feeling now with Obama and the issues around Rezko. Zorn's giving the strategy to get ahead of it all. Let's see if Obama takes the advice.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Response to PG on Rezko and Obama

PG wrote this below in response to a post over at Chaliceblog.

I am not sure you've thought through the political ramifications of how you expect this great downfall of Obama to go. I am sure like any other sleaze, Rezko will talk to avoid prison, but what do you think he's going to say about Obama? Do you think he's going to claim that Obama helped Rezko get contracts while Obama was a state senator? Fitzgerald is prosecuting Rezko for specific crimes -- this ain't Ken Starr using any angle he can find to get Clinton. Fitz doesn't have a partisan vendetta against Obama, so far as I know. Why do you think his prosecution of Rezko will show wrongdoing by Obama?

PG, You don't need criminal wrong doing for a political downfall.

First off, please download the proffer and read it. Dan Curry wrote this about it,

The proffer is devastating to the Governor and his cronies because it is backed by many recorded phone conversations and public records and certainly is buttressed by revealed and unrevealed informants. Even if Kelly and Rezko don’t flip on Blagojevich, there appears to be plenty of others who already have or will fill in the blanks on this scheme.

U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald’s track record on corruption prosecutions in Illinois is nearly spotless. This document, if read carefully, leads to the inescapable conclusion that Blagojevich, Kelly and a handful of other Illinois insiders will ultimately be indicted. It also portends, in the short-term, the indictment of Blagojevich’s campaign fund, which has been receptacle of much of the corruption.
We're going to hear blunt recordings from man who was Obama's mentor for over 17 years with guys who called themselves "The Pope" (Bob Cellini) and "The Rabbi" (Stuart Levin). They're going to sound like players out of the Sopranos raising money for Obama: the unamed Political Candidate in the proffer. (A connection leaked to the Sun Times by maybe Levine or Rezko themselves? I doubt Fitz's office did that.)

All it takes is for Oama's name to pop up a few more times in these documents and recordings and I think Obama will be finished politically. Won't matter if Obama knew about the wrongdoing or not.

Add in the Iraq reconstruction connection when Rezko goes on trial for that, and I think it will be a very damaging picture of Obama's character and judgement. He won't survive Illinois politics and Patrick Fitzgerald.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Peter Hitchens: The Black Kennedy: But does anyone know the real Barack Obama?

Hitchen's gets a pretty good idea in the Daily Mail,
Now, Obama has the devil's luck, which among other things means he has a boyish smile that disarms suspicion or hostility at 50 paces.

But he is no child, and no innocent. Despite a childhood in Hawaii and Indonesia, Obama knows Chicago well - and from underneath, too.

He threw over a good corporate job in New York to toil in the dismal South Side as a "community organiser", getting up campaigns about asbestos in council flats but also getting to know this place's grimy, snaggled web of power - churches, property developers, professional politicians, fixers and money men.

He also revealed that he was the sort of person who goes into a revolving door behind you and then comes out of it in front of you. And, of course, he is a lawyer who knows the rules all too well.

As one veteran of Chicago politics who very much did not want to be named said to me: "Thank God for Louisiana - their politics are even dirtier than ours."


He clearly remembered Obama's first steps on his political career. This involved merciless cunning.

Somehow, all of Obama's challengers made a mess of their nomination papers. They were all disqualified. Only Obama's papers, miraculously, were perfect. So he won the Democratic nomination, which in this part of the world means he won the seat.

The insider recalled: "I thought he was a very talented young man. He was smart, he was willing, he was principled and he worked hard.

"He went to Springfield [the Illinois state capital] and did not become part of the more tawdry aspects of the culture down there - alcohol and women.

But Obama quickly got another reputation. "He was always in the bathroom for the really tough votes. It was not courageous."

The source explained this simply. Barack Obama knew even then that he could one day live in the White House.

"I think he understood long ago that the future was limitless for him. He made decisions in his very early political life that would enable him to be a candidate who would have very broad appeal."

These not-very-helpful remarks come from a black member of Obama's own party. What about his opponents?
And this stuff will come back to haunt Obama November,
It [Rezko's friendship] suggests very bad judgment, as do strong, persistent suggestions that Obama also accepted quite small contributions from extreme Left-wing veterans of the terrorist Weather Underground now living in Chicago.

His list of contributions shows one for $200 from a certain William Ayers. Can this possibly be the same William Ayers, now a Chicago professor, who used to plant bombs in the Seventies and has said: "I don't regret setting bombs. I feel we didn't do enough"? His partner, Bernardine Dohrn, once "declared war" on the US government.
Just waiting for the Ayers Dorhn Obama photos to come out of the woodwork. Hopefully Obama had the good sense to cover his face Chicago style when the cameras came out for those.