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Blagojevich and the Illinois Conundrum

blagojevichToday, in a “not so surprising” move the F.B.I. arrested Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich on federal corruption charges. What was unexpected, was the news that he was trying to sell the senate seat that Barack Obama left vacant to prepare for the presidency. The governor was taken into custody at his home, on charges of seeking bribes in exchange for Barack Obama’s former senate seat. The arrest of the Governor and his Chief of Staff, John Harris has sparked a storm of controversy, questions, and calls for the governor to resign or be impeached. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) has also called for special elections to fill the vacant senate seat.

“The General Assembly should enact a law as quickly as possible calling for a special election to fill the Senate vacancy of Barack Obama. No appointment by this governor could produce a credible replacement,” the Senator said.

Lt. Governor Pat. Quinn called for the Governor to resign today saying, “Do the right thing and step aside”.  Lt. Gov. Quinn would succeed Blagojevich as governor, should he resign or be impeached.

Blagojevich’s arrest not only raises credibility concerns over who will take the senate seat. It challenges the credibility of anyone who has ever had dealings with the governor. This includes all of the Senate hopefuls like Lisa Madigan and Jesse Jackson Jr. the  Lt. Governor Pat Quinn,  Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, and the current president elect, Mr. Obama himself, and his advisers. The Obama transition team denies having any discussions with Blagojevich about the senate seat for sale, and in fact some of the evidence against Blagojevich suggests that the Obama team was not going to “Pay to Play” this senate game with him.

However, Senior Obama adviser Axelrod said on November 23rd, “I know he’s [Obama] talked to the governor and there are a whole range of names many of which have surfaced, and I think he has a fondness for a lot of them.” It is thought that Obama would have liked to see Valerie Jarrett take his former seat.

This begs the question, “How did Blagojevich know that Obama or his advisers would not play, and why was he so angry about it”?  The governer was secretly taped on Nov. 11 saying, “I don’t get anything [for appointing Jarrett], “Fuck him. For nothing? Fuck him!”

See court complaint documents in this post

I am sure that in the coming days we will be learning more about who knew what and when. We will also witness the political wrangling and finger pointing that is common in Illinois. No doubt we will also see Blagojevich lie all the way to big house and try to hold on to his job proclaiming his innocence. I am also sure that  impeachment proceedings will follow by the end of this week if there is no resignation.

In question of course is, who will now appoint Obama’s replacement in the Senate and how will that appointment be perceived in Illinois. Any appointment by Blagojevich or Quinn is suspect in my opinion. I agree with Senator Durbin (can you believe it), that a special election must be held to avoid any perception of corruption or the same old Illinois politics. 

A special election also gives rise to the chance a Republican can take that senate seat and, given the current state of affairs, that canidate might just have a chance to win in the Democratic stronghold of Illinois and Chicago.

I have heard it said, that Illinoisians like their officials to be corrupt. Well maybe that’s true in Crook county and in Springfield, but I think it’s about time we restructure our leadership. People in this state are sick of the corruption and pay to play politics that is bleeding our state dry. It’s time for new ethical leadership in the Governors office, and in all of our represenatives and elected officials. The time to act is now. The time for ethical reform in the State of Illinois has never been more important and more obvious.

History is Made – Like It or Not, It’s Good

Obama 2008Congratulations are in order for President-Elect Barack Obama

and his historic achievement of being elected the first African-American President of the United States. No matter what your politics or whether you agree with his policies or not, you must admit that history has been made tonight and it’s a good history. It’s good for our country, it’s good for our people, and it’s good for the world to see that freedom and democracy work.

America’s election of the junior senator from Illinois is not only historic in the obvious sense, it is historic in a deep and healing way. This nation has been plagued by racism since it’s inception. We have endured civil wars, riots, inequity, the civil right movement, and countless other challenges, none more felt than by the African-American community. This long lasting and deep seated racism is not only felt in the black communities and urban neighborhoods, it effects all Americans, from the immigrant workers to the most affluent CEOs. It affects how we act with one another, how we speak to each other, and many times it affects us so deeply that these feelings cannot even be uttered in public. Barack Obama’s decisive election win is one step further away from America’s tarnished past, and toward a more united future.

It is my sincerest hope that today’s election has proved to any doubters, white or black, conservative or liberal, that in this land of the free, anyone can accomplish anything no matter what the obsticals, sterotypes or preconceptions.

This is the United States of America and we are stronger when we stand as one nation, under God. We may not agree on many things, but we are all united in the fact that we are Americans and we can stand proud in front of the entire world as a shining example of democracy at it’s best.

In the months and years ahead, I will be sure to voice my opinions when I disagree with Obama and the liberals in Congress as I have always done. It is my hope that he will serve like many past presidents and govern more to the center and do the peoples work, not his parties. I trust that he will live up to his campaign promise to reach across the aisle to bring Americans closer together and work to end the divisiveness in the country. I will give him the benefit of the doubt to fix our economy, but will be watching very closely for any dangerous or civil rights infringing policy making. I will also prepare to elect a Republican president in four years.

However, I am a patriotic American and I will stand with my President against this nation’s enemies at home and abroad. I am proud of our democracy even when “my side” doesn’t win. I am proud that Americans can, and have, looked past skin color (and names) and were able to choose Obama to lead this nation.

It may seem strange but despite my guy losing and am proud to have voted today in this historic election. Most of all tonight I am proud to be an American!

Is the Obama Campaign Breaking Election Laws?

The Obama campaign may be ignoring national and/or state election and gaming laws. Specifically, for offering the chance to “Win a front row seat to history” if you make a donation.

This is not the first time the Obama camp has tried to pull off this scheme. Last July, the campaign was forced by gambling regulators to change the rules to include the opportunity to non-donors to conform with the states gaming laws. The Minnesota Gambling Control Board and the Minnesota Department of Public Safety considered it an illegal lottery at the time.

Of course this close to the election I wonder if anyone will have the fortitude to confront him on this. The story seems dead in the water as the national news outlets have not picked it up. The only one reporting on it that I can see is Mike Parker of CBS Chicago, and even he’s a bit wishy washy. He questions if federal election laws may be broken. Although, it may be local gambling laws that may have been broken. He also reports that the Obama campiagn declined to comment.

 

From the Obama campaign website:

“You could be there with Barack on Election Night when the results come in.

We’re planning a big event that will include tens of thousands of supporters in Grant Park in downtown Chicago.

Some of the best seats are reserved for 10 people — 5 first-time donors and 5 previous donors — who make a donation one last time before Sunday at midnight.

You and a guest will be flown to Chicago, put up in a hotel, and brought backstage for the biggest night of the campaign.

Make a donation and you and a guest could join Barack on Election Night.

Hell Houses – Reprint from The Stranger (Updated)

The Stranger removed it’s story and the link is now bouncing back to Drudge where it originally got it’s legs. They undoubtedly heard a few voices or saw the threat of lawsuit. Not ones to take any responsibility they continue with a discussion on their blog, The Slog and now call it the “Hell House Freakout”.

As the original published story is newsworthy, I have decided to reprint the article (with addresses removed) for those interested to see the original and decide for yourselves what kind of publication The Stranger is. Those who wish to contact the staff of the Stranger are encouraged to do so.

You can find a contact list for these fine folks on my original post.

 

UPDATE- Nov. 2 10am:
The Stranger is now doing some serious back peddling. A new post on the Slog is now claiming that they removed the article because they received “death threats”. Since their personal addresses were posted in comments of the original story, they claim that they are now simply protecting their staff. If that was true, why didn’t they simply moderate the comments?

Well Stranger Staff, It seems you don’t like it as much when the shoe is on the other foot, do you? As for those “death” threats? I don’t buy it for a minute. The editors and staff probably saw the err of their ways by being threatened alright. Threatened with law suits and loss of advertising revenue.

REPRINT: HELL HOUSES– Originally published on Nov. 1st by the Seattle newspaper The Stranger.

Hell Houses
Topography of Terror: The Eastside Edition

By Stranger Staff
Cobwebs and witches are for children and morons. If you’re looking for the most hair-raising Halloween horrors, try scouring the streets of the Eastside. That’s where we found the most pants-wettingly scary houses, sure to give you night terrors well past Halloween and all the way until November 4. Because in an election year, nothing’s more terrifying than the future.


-ADDRESS REMOVED- Mercer Island

“No passion so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear,” wrote British philosopher Edmund Burke in 1756. It’s as true today as ever. Case in point: this bloodcurdling Mercer Island lawn display, a quadruple whammy of Republican propaganda capable of driving the most reasonable citizen to insanity. By day, it’s a standard collection of yard signs on a well-manicured lawn. But at night, it’s a GOP graveyard, where the yard-sign tombstones are unearthed by zombie candidates hungry for brains. Do you have what it takes to drive a stake through the heart of zombie Dino Rossi or blast a shotgun into the chest of zombie Dave Reichert or fight off the reanimated ashes of Steve Litzow, swirling out of that terrifying urn? Run.


-ADDRESS REMOVED- Mercer Island

Hungarian peasants have an old and terrible story about “the tree of death,” which by some trick of evil had lurking in its twisted branches the “dark lord,” the master of the underworld, the evil that brings all things to their end. It was there in the tree, waiting, watching, and preying on the living. Passing this dead—nay, murdered—tree on Mercer Island takes us back to the scariest bowels of Hungary, only instead of one dark lord, this tree is possessed by a trinity of evil, represented quite fittingly by cheap glossy crassness tacked over mercilessly hacked nature.

 


-ADDRESS REMOVED- Bellevue

What is more terrifying than this edifice, in which there is no door, few windows, and no handholds by which one might scale its faceless heights to register complaint? One half-expects loudspeakers on the roof to be blaring Orson Welles voice, from his movie version of Franz Kafka’s The Trial: A man comes from the country, begging admittance to the law. But the guard cannot admit him. Can he hope to enter at a later time? “That is possible,” says the guard. The man tries to peer through the entrance. He had been taught that the law should be accessible to every man. “Do not attempt to enter without my permission,” says the guard. “I am very powerful, but I am the least of all the guards.” Without a doubt, this is no home to man, but a monolithic holding cell packed floor-to-ceiling with bubbling black goo.

 


-ADDRESS REMOVED- Mercer Island

That John McCain sign is screamingly scary enough in the early-evening light, like a little flag for an evil army of pint-sized ghouls marching through the leafy streets of Mercer Island. And that zigzagging, funereal fence behind it? That is the sign of an isolated home, sheltering isolated minds—bristling, cold and black, a thousand points of death—and the kind of house that gives trick-or-treaters miniboxes of raisins. Beware.


-ADDRESS REMOVED- Bellevue

This most terrifying tableau gains its power from what’s not shown but easily imagined: the presence of John McCain and Sarah Palin not in name but bodily form, striding triumphantly onto this balcony like a trailer-park Eva Perón and her cryogenically defrosting old-man running mate. Down below, the desperate, unemployed masses huddle in the shrubs, their bellies roiled by hunger and heartbreak, their cold bare ankles stung by the blades of wet grass. Or… could those be tiny tentacles or the haunted bubbling of mass graves or the desperate clutching fingers of a special-needs child? Flee, and don’t look back.


-ADDRESS REMOVED- Medina

Like an oversized cousin of John McCain’s aged, brown iguana teeth, this foreboding fence is busy keeping immigrants out and Jesus’s love within. How like the wily immigrant is the frightening foliage, as it insidiously creeps and scratches at Real America’s doorstep! How mighty the speculum of Dino Rossi—an army of dead-baby ghosts at his back—aborting civil rights before civil rights can abort him first! Who knows what liberal bogeymen lurk outside this fence’s cherished sanctum? The nightmare has just begun for you, Republican fence.

Seattle Paper – The Stranger Publishes Addresses of GOP Supporters.

The Stranger, a Seatle based paper, published today a list of addresses including photos of private citizens’ homes who support the GOP by placing yard signs on their property. 

It is at best an attempt at voter intimidation, and at worst a precursor to a liberal, socialist government’s attempt to subvert free speech.

Exerpt from the article:
“No passion so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear,” wrote British philosopher Edmund Burke in 1756. It’s as true today as ever. Case in point: this bloodcurdling Mercer Island lawn display, a quadruple whammy of Republican propaganda capable of driving the most reasonable citizen to insanity. By day, it’s a standard collection of yard signs on a well-manicured lawn. But at night, it’s a GOP graveyard, where the yard-sign tombstones are unearthed by zombie candidates hungry for brains. Do you have what it takes to drive a stake through the heart of zombie Dino Rossi or blast a shotgun into the chest of zombie Dave Reichert or fight off the reanimated ashes of Steve Litzow, swirling out of that terrifying urn? Run.

This is very frightening to me. America is on the precipice of becoming a dangerous tyrannical regime bent on distributing wealth and suppressing the voice of the American people. It is a slippery slope we are on if we continue to allow this paper and others like it to operate in this manner.

Not only does this fascist rag print the addresses of ordinary citizens in the article, in my opinion also is inciting violence against the political party members.  The fact that a so-called “newspaper” would so easily publish the addresses of these people, simply wishing to express their political views, apparently giving no thought as to the consequences. Or, that the paper published this information knowing full well the potential consequenses, should be enough to give any patriotic American citizen pause.

One reader, in an effort to bring a sense of fairness to these liberal propagandists, has compiled a list of The Stanger’s staff and posted it as a comment of the papers website. Just in case the paper decides to remove this comment (they, don’t like free speech remember), I have published it here.

A warning to my readers-Don’t do anything I wouldn’t  do, but a nice letter or three to these editors, publishers, and writers may send a strong signal that “what is good for the goose is good for the gander”.

If you subscribe to this paper, cancel. If you advertise in this garbage rag, pull your ads now. If you live in the Seattle area, call these editors or better yet, show up at their front door and ask them why they think it is acceptable to endanger the public.

Columnist:
LARRY MIZELL

Christopher Frizzelle
Writer
The Stranger

Editors:
CHARLES MUDEDE

DANIEL K SAVAGE

 

DAVID L SCHMADER

 

 

Publisher:
TIMOTHY KECK

Ad Sales Manager:
LAURIE H SAITO

News Editor:
JOSHUA A FEIT
 

The Violent Left- Obama’s Minions

So, my McCain/Palin campaign lawn sign has been vandalized 3 times in the last week. I should have known better since I live in the home state of “The One” himself. Actually, I’m surprised it has lasted as long as it has, a whole two weeks so far. Alas, I digress. The subject of this post is not to talk about my woes, but to inform readers about the violent and radical activities from the left during this (dare I say) historical presidential election.

The number and magnitude of these “hate” crimes is on the rise as we near the election on Nov. 4th, and it is alarming. I call these people “Obama’s Minions”. These radicals that support him will, in my opinion will drive a wedge between the left and right in America that has not been seen since the 60’s. They will do anything to get thier radical brother elected. These leftist radicals are trying to recapture their glory days and hippy youth and it will be wrought with violence.

They profess to be champions of free speech, but at every turn the bias is deafening and the hipocracy is blinding. Have an opposing view, and you will feel thier rath and taste thier distain for any real debate as they degrade into street thugs and hate mongers. 

So I plan to keep this post updated with links to the latest stories on the inter-web reporting on these acts of violence and vandalism.

Check back here often to see the latest reports-

 

 GALAX, VA. – Mike Stevens says he and other Republican campaign volunteers were attacked on Monday when they were sprayed with pepper spray after an altercation with two people over campaign signs.

 

   

           
LONGWOOD, Fla. – The home of a Central Florida Republican headquarters manager was shot up and damaged over his support of Sen. John McCain, the man told police. “Democrats Far More Aggressive in Seminole County,” Victim Says.

 

 

PORTLAND, Ore. – Authorities have arrested two men after a Molotov cocktail was thrown at a 4-foot by 8-foot campaign sign for Republican presidential candidate John McCain in a southeast Portland yard.

 

 

MANHATTAN, Ny. “Defendant grabbed the sign [informant] was holding, broke the wood stick that was attached to it, and then struck informant in informant’s face thereby causing informant to sustain redness, swelling, and bruising to informant’s face and further causing informant to sustain substantial pain.”