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Barack Obama: Page 2

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Obama thanks Canadians "who came over the border to campaign for me during the election" - 02/19/09

Speaking in Canada at a press conference with Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Barack Obama just said this:

"I want to also, by the way, thank some of the Canadians who came over the border to campaign for me during the election... It was much appreciated."

If anyone has accounts of Canadians campaigning for our new, supposed U.S. president please leave a comment. And, note that the Obama campaign was helped by a large number of sockpuppets, including those who were from foreign countries. Note also the still unresolved Obama money issue, in which he received millions of dollars in questionable donations no doubt including foreign citizens.

Payback: union labor might be requirement on federal construction projects (example: the stimulus bill) - 02/07/09

On Friday, Barack Obama signed an Executive Order [1] that contains this: is the policy of the Federal Government to encourage executive agencies to consider requiring the use of project labor agreements in connection with large-scale construction projects in order to promote economy and efficiency in Federal procurement.

"Project labor agreements" mean the exclusive use of union labor, as described elsewhere in the Order. A "large-scale" project is one over $25 million, and there would no doubt be a large number of such projects under the stimulus plan. On the one hand, this might minimize the number of illegal aliens employed under the plan. On the other, it's a sleazy payoff to unions, and a percentage of the money that Obama would distribute to them would find its way back into the coffers of the Democratic Party and their politicians.

Unfortunately, the RNC incorrectly implies that it would be a requirement when it's only an "encourage[ment]", saying (

President Obama’s executive order will drive up the cost of government at a time when we should be doing everything possible to save taxpayer dollars. Federal contracts should go to the businesses that can offer taxpayers the best value – not just the unions who supported the Democrats’ campaigns last year. Quietly signing executive orders to payback campaign backers undermines Obama promise to change Washington. It is a disappointment for Americans hoping for more transparency and less politics as usual in Washington.


Assignment: document Obama, FEMA, MSM response to ice storms in Kentucky - 02/02/09

As of last week, hundreds of thousands in Kentucky and others in Arkansas were without power due to ice storms, and dozens have died. While not as major a disaster as Katrina, some have called into question the mainstream media's coverage of the response, wondering whether they would have approached it differently if it had happened during the Bush administration.

Your assignment: compare the government response to past incidents, and compare the MSM's coverage to how they covered past incidents including Katrina and others. And, find out whether Barack Obama has paid as much attention to this issue as he would have had it occurred in a state that voted for him.

First, on January 29, he signed an emergency declaration:
Has he spoken about this since then?

Second, see the sycophantic report from CNN here called "KY Governor: Obama people 'hit the ground running' on storm", with Gov. Steve Beshear getting Obama's back.

See also (thanks, Insty) January 31's "Many pleading for faster response" (link):

Local officials grew angrier at what they said was a lack of help from the state and the Federal Emergency Management Agency... [Grayson County Emergency Management Director Randell Smith] said FEMA was still a no-show days after the storm...

See also:

* "Obama and FEMA Leave Americans to Die in Kentucky"

* "Kentucky freezes; Obama dines on $100 a pound steak"

* Obama Dozed, People Froze!

* Obama: "Let Them Eat Steak"

* The comments here:

Write it up with a timeline showing what was and wasn't done in an attempt to show whether the MSM didn't cover this in a way that they should have. And, make sure and highlight the names of those reporters who didn't do the job they should have done.

January 20 is now the "National Day of Renewal and Reconciliation" - 01/20/09

As one of his first acts, president Barack Obama has issued a proclamation on Whitehouse dot gov proclaiming that January 20 is our new "National Day of Renewal and Reconciliation". Unfortunately, what exactly that means isn't explained, although the presumed subtext doesn't sound too good at all.

Obama's Organizing for America: a corps of supporters answerable only to him? Fight disasters and political enemies? (CNSF) - 01/17/09

The Barack Obama movement is about to get even creepier, with his announcement of "Organizing for America" ("OFA"), part of "Barack Obama 2.0", the continuation of his campaign even after he's been elected president.

From this:

"As President, I will need the help of all Americans to meet the challenges that lie ahead," Obama said in a video message e-mailed to supporters (and reporters) this morning. "That's why I'm asking people like you who fought for change during the campaign to continue fighting for change in your communities."

The video is here. Apparently OFA will be part of the Democratic National Committee, an organization that Obama more or less controls. While there don't appear to be many details on the group, see the report "Retooling Obama's campaign machine for the long haul" from Peter Wallsten of the Los Angeles Times (link):

As Barack Obama builds his administration and prepares to take office next week, his political team is quietly planning for a nationwide hiring binge that would marshal an army of full-time organizers to press the new president's agenda and lay the foundation for his reelection.

...Organizers and even Republicans say the scope of this permanent campaign structure is unprecedented for a president. People familiar with the plan say Obama's team would use the network in part to pressure lawmakers -- particularly wavering Democrats -- to help him pass complex legislation on the economy, healthcare and energy.

...In what would be another unprecedented step, Obama's political staff is deciding whether to create a service organization that would use the vast corps of its grass-roots campaign supporters. As described by one source knowledgeable with the discussions, this nonprofit arm would be used to help victims of natural disasters, but would do so under the Obama umbrella while continuing to build the overall network's massive e-mail database.

The prospect of a president being able to guide a service or relief agency outside the framework of his government is a unique development...

Drawing historical parallels is left as an exercise (see this for a start), but note of course that they were only "deciding" what would be involved. Just how creepy it is remains to be seen.

The "Citizen's Briefing Book", the latest Barack Obama scam - 01/15/09

The latest scam from the Barack Obama camp is a "Citizen's Briefing Book" at change dot gov:

Obama releases official portrait: first taken with digital camera. Obama fan reveals ignorance. - 01/14/09

My well of sarcasm is about tapped out, so I'll just point out that Barack Obama's official portrait has been released, and it's the first to be taken with a digital camera:

Obama dines with illegal immigration-supporting conservatives David Brooks and ? - 01/13/09

Earlier tonight, Barack Obama went to George Will's house in Chevy Chase, Maryland for a no doubt jovial evening with a few (or more) conservative pundits. Will may or may not have been there, but three known attendees were Fred Barnes (see the update), William Kristol, David Brooks, and Charles Krauthammer (link). FWIW, the Huffington Post assures us that Rush Limbaugh was not there.

We have (thankfully) only two entries here involving Krauthammer, both from 2007. The first is good, where he discussed a biased CBS/NYT poll. The second isn't so good; he's a NAU denier.

As for Barnes and Brooks, both are complete, illegal immigration-supporting hacks.

Whatever Obama's political reasons for meeting with them, he's for the most part only getting one set of conservative or liberal opinions, the establishment Beltway set that supports illegal activity just as strongly as Obama does. Obama would sooner dine at Arby's than meet with, say, a moderate like Lou Dobbs or a paleoconservative like Pat Buchanan.

Note also that Sam Stein of the HuffPost is trying to telegraph that the correct response from the leftwing is sheer, utter obsequiousness rather than outrage:

Obama has pledged to be a uniter once in office. He's also said he is willing to take policy suggestions from any source, regardless of ideological affiliation, as long as they work. So far, he's living up to his word.

UPDATE: I'd swear that I read that Fred Barnes was one of the attendees, but now I can't find that; he might have been there but they don't consider him important enough, or that might have been just a preliminary report, or I might have read "Weekly Standard" and gotten confused over which WS hack is which. Pending confirmation that he was there, I took his name out of the title, and put Kristol in the text.

UPDATE 2: OK, Barnes wasn't there. However, per this, Will was indeed there, as were Larry Kudlow, Rich Lowry, Peggy Noonan, Michael Barone, and Paul Gigot. None of those are border hawks, with Kudlow being a clueless supporter, Barone being a Brooks-style complete hack, and Gigot working for the Wall Street Journal, a paper that wishes there was no border at all.

Mexico's Calderon meets Obama, proposes "strategic alliance"; immigration; NAFTA - 01/12/09

Mexico's president Felipe Calderon met with Barack Obama for an hour and a half earlier today in Washington DC. After the meeting, Calderon said:

"I've proposed to President Obama that we make a strategic alliance of our two governments to confront the common problems and resolve them together, among them security."

And, it looks like Obama is open to that idea; see the statement from change dot gov cached here:

[Obama] expressed his continued commitment to upgrading NAFTA to strengthen labor and environmental provisions to reflect the values that are widely shared in both of our countries, and proposed the creation of a consultative group to work on a host of issues important to the United States and Mexico, including NAFTA, energy and infrastructure.

The first bit is "fair" trade, "free" trade made palatable for leftwing consumption. The second may be an agreement to the "strategic alliance", akin to a bilateral (for now)

"President-elect Obama underscored his commitment to working with Congress to fix the broken U.S. immigration system and fostering safe, legal and orderly migration. He expressed his strongly held view that immigrants should be treated with dignity and that the immigration debate should not be a vehicle for vilifying any group, and that our two countries need to work more effectively to stop the flow of illegal immigration into the United States.

Plus ca change! When he visited the U.S. almost a year ago, Calderon used the line "legal, safe and organized"; now Obama is saying the highly similar "safe, legal, orderly". Bush and many others have used similar phrases, as if they were shibboleths. Who thinks up the lines for these people? And, note that "migration" is what the Mexican government calls illegal immigration to the U.S., and Bush has used that word too. And, they've been trotting out "the system is broken" for years. And, like Bush, Obama is vilifying those who support our laws by falsely accusing most them of vilifying people. And, the last line is simply an indication that they would prefer mass legal "migration", even if - as the millions of illegal aliens in the U.S. show - they'll take the illegal variety if they can get it.

Others at the meeting included Arturo Sarukhan, Rahm Emanuel, Jim Jones, and Lawrence Summers.

Calderon also met with Nancy Pelosi and others from Congress today; a statement from Silvestre Reyes is here. Needless to say, they also discussed amnesty.

UPDATE: Per this, Calderon told Bush in a later meeting, "We have always been willing to revise aspects" of NAFTA.

And, this translates as:

[Obama] committed to president Felipe Calderon to achieve a comprehensive immigration reform that includes family unification... Calderon said that despite the obstacles and difficulties that exist in Congress and in U.S. public opinion, Obama is committed to advancing the implementation of immigration law for all, without exception, which addresses the situation of Mexicans already in the United States... In this respect, Obama said his government will review the raids on undocumented, because he wants to ensure that the policy work "in a humane manner."

"Family unification" may mean family reunification, aka chain migration, or it might mean something else. And, it shows the extent to which Obama sings the tune the far-left writes: many groups have been pushing for a "review" of raids. And, it's good to know that apparently Obama realizes how much "reform" is opposed by most Americans but is going to push for it despite that.

"Dear Rod": form letter from Obama to Blagojevich - 01/06/09

Judicial Watch has obtained two letters sent to Rod Blagojevich; one from Barack Obama himself, the other from his transition team. PDFs at that link.

Unfortunately, both appear to be form letters sent out after the National Governors Association on December 2, 2008 in Philadelphia. The one from Obama pawns off all contact on Nick Rathod. The other letter is from Valerie Jarrett, John Podesta, and Pete Rouse, and likewise pawns off contact on others in case Blago wanted to "share thoughts". Whether similar letters were sent to other governors isn't known.

The only three things that seem like they might hold promise are:

1. The fact that JW's FOIA request was not complied with in full; Erin Knowles from Blago's office says in the reply to their FOIA request:

This office has no independent knowledge of all individuals who are currently "representatives of the Office of the President-Elect", "representatives of the Obama-Biden Transition Project", or "representatives of the Service Employees International Union". Therefore, if you would specify the names of individuals from who you seek correspondence, we would be happy to conduct a search to determine whether there are any responsive documents.

2. The fact that Obama's meeting with Blago was not in the supposed investigation of his team's contacts:

The President-Elect had no contact or communication with Governor Blagojevich or members of his staff about the Senate seat.

However, the fact that Obama was at the governor's meeting was already known, including with pictures. Perhaps their investigation might have looked better if they had listed all of Obama's contacts with Blago rather than putting it in the legalistic terms above.

3. The fact that Obama's letter starts with the salutation, "Dear Rod". If this was a form letter sent to other governors, did he call them with their first names as well?

Henry Kissinger: Obama can create a "New World Order" - 01/06/09

Henry Kissinger appeared on yesterday's Morning Call with Mark Haines on CNBC and was asked "What do you think the most important thing is for Barack Obama?" The response:
"....His task will be to develop an overall strategy for America in this period, when really a "New World Order" can be created . It's a great opportunity. It isn't such a crisis."
UPDATE: They aren't even hiding it anymore. Kissinger offers an editorial called "The chance for a new world order" (link):
...The financial collapse exposed the mirage. It made evident the absence of global institutions to cushion the shock and to reverse the trend. Inevitably, when the affected publics turned to their national political institutions, these were driven principally by domestic politics, not considerations of world order...

...In the end, the political and economic systems can be harmonized in only one of two ways: by creating an international political regulatory system with the same reach as that of the economic world; or by shrinking the economic units to a size manageable by existing political structures, which is likely to lead to a new mercantilism, perhaps of regional units.

A new Bretton Woods-kind of global agreement is by far the preferable outcome...

...The extraordinary impact of the president-elect on the imagination of humanity is an important element in shaping a new world order. But it defines an opportunity, not a policy.

The ultimate challenge is to shape the common concern of most countries and all major ones regarding the economic crisis, together with a common fear of jihadist terrorism, into a common strategy reinforced by the realization that the new issues like proliferation, energy and climate change permit no national or regional solution...

...The Sino-American relationship needs to be taken to a new level...

...This generation of leaders has the opportunity to shape trans-Pacific relations into a design for a common destiny, much as was done with trans-Atlantic relations in the immediate postwar period - except that the challenges now are more political and economic than military...

What Michelle Obama's "court ordered inactive status" as a lawyer means - 01/05/09

If you go to the website run by the Attorney Registration and Displinary Commission of the Supreme Court of Illinois and search for the record belonging to Michelle Obama (link, earlier screengrab here), you'll find that her Illinois Registration Status is listed as "Voluntarily inactive and not authorized to practice law - Las

Obama releases "answers" to user-generated "questions" (420, dude) - 12/15/08

Barack Obama's change dot gov recently asked the citizens to submit questions which he would deign to answer. Now, the answers to the "top" questions have been released here.

The questions were weak, the answers were weak and could have been gleaned from Obama's positions. All that was predictable; see the discussion of popular voting systems.

First, my question - tougher than any of the others I saw - got 17 up votes versus 13 down votes. Since the question is fact-based, one wonders why 13 people didn't think Obama should have been asked it.

Reading these questions is making me weep for our Idiocracy. This is the most popular question:

"Will you consider legalizing marijuana so that the government can regulate it, tax it, put age limits on it, and create millions of new jobs and create a billion dollar industry right here in the U.S.?"

The answer:

President-elect Obama is not in favor of the legalization of marijuana.

I'm going to leave the research to you the reader, but typing a few common-sense search queries would have quickly revealed Obama's position, albeit a bit "nuanced" ("decriminalization" vs. "legalization") and possibly involving a minor flip-flop. Why couldn't the person who asked the question have done that first? How could the stoned hippie that asked the question know how to find the form to submit a question but not know how to use Google? Why would anyone vote for such a stupid question that Obama had already basically answered?

Another "top" question was:

What will you do to establish transparency and safeguards against waste with the rest of the Wall Street bailout money?

You the reader can probably answer that in your sleep, and you don't even work for the Obama administration:

President-elect Barack Obama does not believe an economic crisis is an excuse for wasteful and unnecessary spending. As our economic teams works with congressional leadership to put together a plan, we will put in place reforms to ensure that your money in invested well. We will also bring Americans back into government by amending executive orders to ensure that communications about regulatory policymaking between persons outside government and all White House staff are disclosed to the public. In addition all appointees who lead the executive branch departments and rulemaking agencies will be required to conduct the significant business of the agency in public so that every citizen can see in person or watch on the Internet these debates.

What did anyone expect him to say? "I'm going to blow it on American Dad Bendables?"

Obama/Blago picture deleted from Illinois state website - 12/15/08

Remember the picture of Barack Obama "conferring" with recently-arrested Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich? If not, see this 12/10 post.

New Obama scam: visitors vote for questions he'll be asked - 12/10/08

Barack Obama has recently launched a new effort that lets visitors to change dot gov submit questions he should be asked. Others then vote those questions up or down, and he'll presumably answer the top rated questions at some point in time:

This is, in a word, a scam: it shares the same huge design flaw as other popular voting systems in which weak questions are pushed to the top while the questions he should be asked are ignored. In fact, he has experience with such a scheme, where a weak question from the 10Questions group was asked of him after MoveOn asked its members to propel it to the top of the list.

For instance, MoveOn has three million or so members. If a discomforting question looks like it is rising to the top, all they'd have to do is tell their members to go vote up a weak, setup question and the "problem" would be solved.

And, the current top question is incredibly weak:

What will you do to establish transparency and safeguards against waste with the rest of the Wall Street bailout money?

That's akin to asking, "Comrade Lenin, what will you do to ensure that the Five Year Plan is carried out?" Obama won't have any problems with that question, and they probably have boilerplate in one of his past statements answering the very question.

NOT-VERY-SURPRISING UPDATE: "Blagojevich questions censored on Transition site" (link) has a screengrab of three questions involving Blago that were marked as "inappropriate" and removed from the list of possibilities. Who could have predicted that something like that would happen? Oh, yeah, I did.

KHQA pulls 11/5 article on Obama meeting with Blagojevich (cached copy) - 12/10/08

On November 5, Iowa/Illinois/Missouri TV station KHQA published "Who will fill Obama's senate seat?", which said that Barack Obama would be meeting with recently-arrested Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich on the afternoon of 11/5. It was previously at this link, but that now says it's "unavailable".

Photo: Barack Obama and Rod Blagojevich confer about Senate replacement - 12/10/08

[UPDATE: The state of Illinois has deleted the PDF containing this picture; see the link for some cached copies of the Gazette documents.]

From the "Governor's Gazette" - an Illinois state publication - dated November 12, 2008 comes the following undated photo of Barack Obama speaking privately with recently-arrested IL governor Rod Blagojevich. It could conceivably have taken place months before and in relation to something else, but there's a very good chance it was taken sometime just after Obama was elected. A screengrab of the first page of the Gazette is here. The PDF of the Gazette is here. Note that the text of that portion of the Gazette is the same as this page dated November 5, 2008:

After congratulating President-Elect Barack Obama on his decisive victory, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today that he will take his time and use a diverse senior staff made up of key members of his administration who will assist him in selecting a suitable replacement for Obama.

There's no explicit indication that they met on 11/5 or 11/4, but one might assume that he congratulated him at the least with a phone call and probably face-to-face.

obama blagojevich speak

Read more at the main Blagogate entry.

Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich arrested by FBI on federal corruption charges; accused of trying to sell Obama's senate seat - 12/09/08

Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich - aka "Blago" - and his chief of staff have been arrested for trying to sell Barack Obama's Senate seat. And, Barack Obama - or at least his advisor Valerie Jarrett - probably knew what he was doing; see the "SEIU Official" paragraph below. And, Obama may have lied about his recent conversations with Blago; see the first update. Uh-oh: Obama might be more worried about this than it would at first appear; see the second update.

From a U.S. Department of Justice press release (, text version here):
Illinois Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich and his Chief of Staff, John Harris, were arrested today by FBI agents on federal corruption charges alleging that they and others are engaging in ongoing criminal activity: conspiring to obtain personal financial benefits for Blagojevich by leveraging his sole authority to appoint a United States Senator; threatening to withhold substantial state assistance to the Tribune Company in connection with the sale of Wrigley Field to induce the firing of Chicago Tribune editorial board members sharply critical of Blagojevich; and to obtain campaign contributions in exchange for official actions – both historically and now in a push before a new state ethics law takes effect January 1, 2009.

Shorter version: link

Dick Durbin calls for a special election: link

Obama's big donors involved: link

Chicago Mayor Richard M Daley responds: link
The criminal complaint against them is here: Unfortunately, the name "Barack Obama" appears nowhere in that document, with the term "president-elect" used instead. However, at least at this point, he isn't otherwise involved in the investigation and may or may not have known about Blago's attempts.

And, the guessing game now will be to find out who the various "Senate Candidates", "Contributors", and "Lobbyists" mentioned are:
Just last week, on December 4, Blagojevich allegedly told an advisor that he might "get some (money) up front, maybe" from Senate Candidate 5, if he named Senate Candidate 5 to the Senate seat, to insure that Senate Candidate 5 kept a promise about raising money for Blagojevich if he ran for re-election. In a recorded conversation on October 31, Blagojevich claimed he was approached by an associate of Senate Candidate 5 as follows: "We were approached ‘pay to play.' That, you know, he'd raise 500 grand. An emissary came. Then the other guy would raise a million, if I made him (Senate Candidate 5) a Senator."
Marc Ambinder thinks #5 is Jesse Jackson Jr. Here's a table:

Senate Candidate 1 (Obama's choice): Valerie Jarrett (source)
Senate Candidate 2: Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan? (see 'columnist' below)
Senate Candidate 3:
Senate Candidate 4: Dean Martinez?
Senate Candidate 5: Jesse Jackson Jr.?
Senate Candidate 6: wealthy, has an in with Warren Buffet

Are Tammy Duckworth or Rep. Jan Schakowsky on the list?

While the charges concentrate on Blago's dealings since October, it also includes past activities that may have some direct connection to Barack Obama:
The charges include historical allegations that Blagojevich and Harris schemed with others - including previously convicted defendants Antoin Rezko, Stuart Levine, Ali Ata and others - since becoming governor in 2002 to obtain and attempt to obtain financial benefits for himself, his family and third parties, including his campaign committee, Friends of Blagojevich, in exchange for appointments to state boards and commissions, state employment, state contracts and access to state funds. A portion of the affidavit recounts the testimony of various witnesses at Rezko's trial earlier this year.
One payoff Blago considered was a job at a union:
Two days later, in a three-way call with Harris and Advisor B, a consultant in Washington, Blagojevich and the others allegedly discussed the prospect of a three-way deal for the Senate appointment involving an organization called "Change to Win," which is affiliated with various unions including the Service Employees International Union (SEIU)... On November 10, Blagojevich, his wife, Harris, Governor General Counsel, Advisor B and other Washington-based advisors participated at different times in a two-hour phone call in which they allegedly discussed, among other things, a deal involving the SEIU. Harris said they could work out a deal with the union and the President-elect where SEIU could help the President-elect with Blagojevich's appointment of Senate Candidate 1, while Blagojevich would obtain a position as the National Director of the Change to Win campaign and SEIU would get something favorable from the President-elect in the future. Also during that call, Blagojevich agreed it was unlikely that the President-elect would name him Secretary of Health and Human Services or give him an ambassadorship because of all of the negative publicity surrounding him.
Change to Win denies any contact (link); note that that group is linked into the George Soros/Center for American Progress network.

From the complaint:
On November 6, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH talked with Spokesman. ROD BLAGOJEVICH told Spokesman to leak to a particular columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times, that Senate Candidate 2 is in the running for the vacant Senate seat. According to ROD BLAGOJEVICH, by doing this, he wanted "to send a message to the [President-elect's] people," but did not want it known that the message was from ROD BLAGOJEVICH. Thereafter, ROD BLAGOJEVICH and Spokesman discussed specific language that should be used in the Sun Times column and arguments as to why Senate Candidate 2 made sense for the vacant Senate seat. A review of this particular Sun Times column on November 7, 2008, indicates references to the specific language and arguments regarding Senate Candidate 2 as a potential candidate for the Senate seat, as discussed by ROD BLAGOJEVICH and Spokesman.
A search didn't turn up who that could be; if anyone can find that please leave a comment. Ambinder thinks it's Madigan, and the columnist is Michael Sneed (

Blago also wanted to start a 501(c)4 organization that others would fund and he'd be employed by. And, he wanted Warren Buffett to come up with millions for it:
Later in the conversation, ROD BLAGOJEVICH and Advisor A again discussed the possibility of a 501(c)(4) organization, and ROD BLAGOJEVICH again noted that "[Senate Candidate 6]" could "do it." ROD BLAGOJEVICH and Advisor A discussed who might be close to Senate Candidate 6 to talk with him about the issue, because ROD BLAGOJEVICH did not "want to be the one to ask something like that." Advisor A agreed to find out who is close to Senate Candidate 6.
And, it looks like the Barack Obama circle knew that Blago wanted something in exchange for appointing Jarrett:
On November 12, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH spoke with SEIU Official, who was in Washington, D.C. Prior intercepted phone conversations indicate that approximately a week before this call, ROD BLAGOJEVICH met with SEIU Official to discuss the vacant Senate seat, and ROD BLAGOJEVICH understood that SEIU Official was an emissary to discuss Senate Candidate 1's interest in the Senate seat. During the conversation with SEIU Official on November 12, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH informed SEIU Official that he had heard the President-elect wanted persons other than Senate Candidate 1 to be considered for the Senate seat. SEIU Official stated that he would find out if Senate Candidate 1 wanted SEIU Official to keep pushing her for Senator with ROD BLAGOJEVICH. ROD BLAGOJEVICH said that "one thing I'd be interested in" is a 501(c)(4) organization. ROD BLAGOJEVICH explained the 501(c)(4) idea to SEIU Official and said that the 501(c)(4)could help "our new Senator [Senate Candidate 1]." SEIU Official agreed to "put that flag up and see where it goes."
There's no proof offered that the "SEIU official" then spoke with Obama's advisor Valerie Jarrett, but it is likely.

UPDATE: Expect Obama's supporters to try to help him come out of this unscathed by pointing to Blago's various Obama-directed expletives as well as his statements that Obama doesn't want to give him anything. However, who knows what would have happened if the investigation had continued?

And, from Jake Tapper (link):
But on November 23, 2008, his senior adviser David Axelrod appeared on Fox News Chicago and said something quite different.

While insisting that the President-elect had not expressed a favorite to replace him, and his inclination was to avoid being a "kingmaker," Axelrod said, "I know he's 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."

There are no allegations that President-elect Obama or anyone close to him had anything to do with any of the crimes Gov. Blagojevich is accused of having committed.

In fact, there are indications that Mr. Obama and his team refused to go along with the "pay to play" way Blagojevich is accused of operating, offering only "gratitude" if the governor appointed his friend Valerie Jarrett to take his U.S. Senate seat, much to the governor's chagrin.

But there remain questions about how Blagojevich knew that Mr. Obama was not willing to give him anything in exchange for the Senate seat -- with whom was Blagojevich speaking? Did that person report the governor to the authorities?

And, it should be pointed out, Mr. Obama has a relationship with Mr. Blagojevich, having not only endorsed Blagojevich in 2002 and 2006, but having served as a top adviser to the Illinois governor in his first 2002 run for the state house.

That 2002 endorsement came at the same time that Axelrod had such serious concerns about whether Blagojevich was ready for governing he refused to work for his one-time client.
UPDATE 2: Trouble in paradise! Now, an unnamed Obama aide says about the foregoing Axelrod statement: "What the president-elect said today is correct, David Axelrod misspoke." That would seem to be moving beyond simply distancing himself from Blago and moving into "we're scared" mode.

Also, per this, other possibilities for Candidate 5 are Art Turner and Obama's partial mentor Emil Jones.

UPDATE 3: There are lists of the financial ties that bind Tony Rezko and Blago and Rezko and Barack Obama here.

Obama is calling for Blago to resign.

Brian Ross of ABC News says that Jesse Jackson Jr. is "Candidate 5".

There's a timeline here.

On the morning of 11/5, KHQA said that BHO and Blago would be meeting that afternoon; they then pulled the article, a copy of which is here On November 08, 2008 at 9:48 p.m. at Alexis Hunt from the same station said ''Obama met with Governor Rod Blagojevich earlier this week to discuss [the Senate seat]" (link). However, an Associated Press article by Dennis Conrad - posted here at November 5, 2008 6:58 PM CST says "[Blago] said he has not yet spoken to Obama, whose timeline for resigning his Senate seat was unclear Wednesday."

UPDATE 4: Now KHQA has pulled both articles, and posted this:
KHQA TV wishes to offer clarification regarding a story that appeared last month on our website The story, which discussed the appointment of a replacement for President Elect Obama’in the U.S. Senate, became the subject of much discussion on talk radio and on blog sites Wednesday.

The story housed in our website archive was on the morning of November 5, 2008. It suggested that a meeting was scheduled later that day between President Elect Obama and Illinois Governor Blagojevich. KHQA has no knowledge that any meeting ever took place. Governor Blagojevich did appear at a news conference in Chicago on that date.
UPDATE 5: Some initial reports said the SEIU official was Andy Stern, but the New York Times says:
Several union officials in Chicago and Washington said that the service employees official approached by Mr. Harris was Tom Balanoff, the president of the union’s giant janitors’ local in Chicago and head of the union’s Illinois state council. Mr. Balanoff, one of the union officials closest to Mr. Obama, is widely seen as an aggressive, successful labor leader, who has helped unionize thousands of janitors not just in the Chicago area but also in Texas.

Luis Gutierrez made $420,000 on real estate deals with political contributors (FBI involved) - 12/08/08

U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez made $420,000 on a series of speculative real estate deals, some involving political contributor and Chicago real estate developer Krzysztof Karbowski. And, the FBI is at least looking into some of Gutierrez' past activities:

Gutierrez sent a letter to Mayor Richard Daley seeking support for a controversial project built by one of the congressman's political donors who also had lent him money. The newspaper reported that federal authorities investigating zoning matters have shown interest in the Gutierrez letter... The FBI has obtained the letter Gutierrez wrote in July 2004 to Daley. Gutierrez, a former alderman and 1st Ward Democratic committeeman, wrote the letter on behalf of developer Calvin Boender. Months earlier, Boender had lent the congressman $200,000 in a land deal...

The level of interest is key, and it would be great if they're specifically trying to get Gutierrez on something.

Nitty gritty details here, and note that one of the contributors Gutierrez did a deal with was Tony Rezko, former bagman for Barack Obama.

Zogby poll shows how misinformed Obama's supporters are (and is yet another example of Obama's opponents making mistakes) - 11/19/08

John Ziegler - a former KFI talk jock who was pushed out after a dispute with John & Ken - has a video documentary including interviews with Barack Obama supporters showing how ignorant and/or misinformed they are.

His site (link) also includes a Zogby poll he commissioned that tries to show the same thing. Unfortunately, some of the questions that are supposedly true either aren't true or are disputed.

So, it's a two-fer. The poll shows not only how misinformed many Obama supporters are, but also provides yet another example of Obama's opponents making mistakes. See #18 at that list for a point directly relating to this poll.

Note that Obama's supporters will jump all over the mistakes the poll makes in order to blunt its impact. In fact, I'm going to provide a blank update section in expectation of them doing exactly that.

The poll was conducted after the election, with "97.1% High School Graduate or higher, 55% College Graduates". Some of the questions are about Sarah Palin and show that people have bought the MSM/SNL caricature of Palin. And, very few people were actually doing effective things to fight that caricature; see the "mistakes" link above. Let's take a look at some of the Obama questions, like:

82.6% could NOT correctly say that Barack Obama won his first election by getting opponents kicked off the ballot (25% chance by guessing)

The veracity of this question is disputed; I haven't looked into who's telling the truth, but see

88.4% could NOT correctly say that Obama said his policies would likely bankrupt the coal industry and make energy rates skyrocket (25% chance by guessing)

The first part of that is wrong, the second is mostly right (the exact quote was "electricity rates", not "energy rates").

56.1% could NOT correctly say Obama started his political career at the home of two former members of the Weather Underground (25% chance by guessing).

That question is not entirely correct: Ayers' home was only one of the places, not the exact place. In fact, Obama's surrogates spent a lot of time pointing out that the official location where he started his career was a hotel conference room; see the Lynn Sweet article. In discussing that, I said:

It helps illustrate a problem the McCain campaign has had that the Obama-supporting MSM has tried to drive a truck through. Namely, when speaking about the Bill Ayers-Barack Obama connection they haven't presented the matter in ultra-precise, lawyerly terms.

Obviously, that same inability to figure out the correct way to do things continues with the Ziegler documentary.

Are there any Obama opponents who have both a megaphone and the ability to figure things out?

UPDATE: [space reserved for Obama's supporters using mistakes in the above questions to blunt the impact of the poll.]

UPDATE 2: Zig made yet another mistake, at least on the video. Sarah Palin said you can see Russia from Alaska. In her SNL take-off, Tina Fey changed that to seeing Russia from her "house", and that's how it is in the Zogby poll excerpt provided at the link above. However, on the video he uses the word "home", which is a more general term than "house": Alaska is Palin's "home", and some on the video might have taken it in that sense.

And, in response to the first comment, by "Obama's supporters" I'm refering to the MSM and leftwing bloggers, not necessarily all his supporters.

Jesse Washington/AP's supposed "outbreak of racial anger" after Obama win - 11/16/08

Jesse Washington of the Associate Press provides another example of Obama supporters continuing to play the race card after the election and by so doing shows that Obama's method of winning hasn't actually done much about race relations. The article is an example of the MSM and friends basically just keeping one race in line as was done in the past with another race (link).

Crosses burning. Children chanting, "Assassinate Obama." Racial epithets scrawled on homes and cars.

Yes, there definitely has been an outbreak of isolated incidents involving those who have no real power. Washington can only find one physical attack, but there's definitely been a distinct trend of a very small number of completely isolated incidents. Like this incident he mentions:

Four North Carolina State University students admitted writing anti-Obama comments in a tunnel designated for free expression.

According to this, what they wrote could be "borderline threats". But, don't worry. From the same link: The university painted over all the tunnel's messages Wednesday because officials felt the disparaging comments were "going over the edge of what was acceptable," [a university police officer] said.

We're also informed that there was a "glow of racial progress and harmony that bloomed after the election of Democrat Barack Obama". Oddly, I don't recall much of a glow after his surrogates - now including Washington - constantly tried to portray Obama's opponents as racists. In fact, I don't think anyone who doesn't work for or serve as a surrogate for Obama (including the MSM) could locate such a glow. In other words, Washington just invented it.

From California to Maine, police have documented a range of incidents, including vandalism, threats and at least one physical attack. There have been "hundreds" of incidents since the election, many more than usual, said Mark Potok, director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate crimes.

Washington later points out that Potok is white, which isn't really material. What is material is that Potok and friends are far-left grievance mongers who in effect make their money from hate: without "hate" - whether real, mischaracterized, or just hyped - the SPLC wouldn't be in business. Potok also isn't honest when it comes to statistics.

UPDATE: A trend has been spotted! This time, it's of left-wing hack reporters continuing to play the race card after the election. The second instance of the trend is "After Obama's win, white backlash festers in US" by Patrik Jonsson of The Christian Science Monitor (link). It's basically the same article as Washington's, right down to relying on Potok of the SPLC.

11/23/08 UPDATE 2: The trend continues, as Howard Witt of the Los Angeles Times offers the same article as those above: "White extremists lash out over election of first black president", link. It also quotes Potok, and it would be interesting to know whether Potok reached out to those "reporters" or whether they reached out to him.

11/23/08 UPDATE 3: You have to give it to Potok, he's able to get a story out there, but of course it's one that the MSM desperately wants to tell. Others offering the same story as those above are Hannah Strange of the Times UK
(link), Pablo Guzman of WCBS-TV (link), Robert Lorei of WMNF-FM (link), and Jim Avila on tonight's ABC News.

Defeating Obama was easy, it's just that no one wanted to do it - 11/13/08

Barack Obama could have been easily defeated. The problem was that many people concentrated on ineffective means to oppose him and no leaders pushed effective plans.

Barack Obama faked Selective Service registration? - 11/13/08

Barack Obama might have faked his Selective Service registration; see this. Schlussel has a copy of the form that Obama supposedly filled out as well as a print-out associated with the form. And, things don't add up. I'll let you wade through the details, but there actually appears to be something there.

Brooks Jackson/FactCheck spins Obama's Civilian National Security Force - 11/13/08

One of the mistakes that Obama opponents kept engaging in during the election was to make exaggerated or not 100% legalistically formulated claims (e.g., "palling around"). The MSM then jumped on the exaggerated part of those statements in order to draw attention away from the parts that were true.

And, Brooks Jackson of FactCheck uses that technique in his discussion of Rep. Paul Broun's remarks about Obama's "civilian national security force":

Jackson quotes the Obama speech as I did here, and ends with:

Does that sound like a force that could kick down your door in the middle of the night and haul you off to a Gulag or concentration camp? You decide.

Now, to show that Brooks Jackson is little more than an Obama-supporting hack and "Fact Check" can't be trusted, here are some questions that Jackson doesn't even ask:

1. Where is the statement from the BHO campaign describing specifically what's in the CNSF, whether the CNSF is a coherent organization or just an umbrella term? A spokesman saying it's a "civilian reserve corps that could handle postwar reconstruction efforts" isn't enough. We need a detailed plan.

2. Obama said the CNSF would be "just as well-funded" as the U.S. military, which gets around a half a trillion dollars per year. Doesn't Obama's statement go well beyond "expansive... and exaggerated" as Jackson says?

3. What happens when Obama's CNSF returns home? Are there circumstances under which they could be activated here? Are there circumstances under which they could be used to push Obama's political aims? For instance, to engage in the strong-arm tactics that he's encouraged his supporters to use?

Those questions and more are left unanswered by Jackson, who instead simply serves as a reflexive defender of Barack Obama rather than a fact checker.

In the tank: Google Maps front pages "Obama's Journey" - 11/12/08

Google Chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt is a member of Barack Obama's Economic Transition Team (link), so it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that the increasingly-political company he heads has given the president-elect (and Joe Biden) a special treat that they've probably already gawked over. In Obama's case, he might even have had a private chuckle over it too.

If you go to near post time, you'll see the image below.

Gebe Martinez/Politico misleads about role of "Hispanic vote" in Obama win - 11/12/08

Ethno-boosting hack Gebe Martinez of the Politico offers "GOP must tone down rhetoric to woo Latinos" (link):

More than 10 million Hispanics voted last week, up from 7.6 million in 2004. If Hispanics were removed from the tallies, McCain would have had the winning edge in the battleground states of Indiana and New Mexico. Latinos also were a major factor in his losses in the former red states of Colorado, Nevada, Virginia and Florida.

Take the Chicago Barack Obama Challenge! (list of all of Obama's mainstream associates) - 11/12/08

Barack Obama supporters, I'm throwing the floor open to you. Will you dare take the Chicago Barack Obama Challenge?

In comments, please list all the past associates of BHO who are completely mainstream. Just people, not organizations. And, "past" means those prior to, say, 2004 and doesn't include, say, his current associates, those who simply endorsed him at any time, and the like. "Associates" means those with whom Obama has voluntarily worked, funneled money to, received money from, and the like.

Portland pre-teens want to name school after Barack Obama - 11/12/08

One of the highly effective but largely ignored ways that Obama could have been opposed before the election would be to point out his cult-like followers as well as his plan to get pre-teens to join his movement.

Obama cabinet might include Democrat titans: Gore, Napolitano, Vilsack, Howard Dean, Caroline Kennedy... - 11/11/08

The Barack Obama cabinet might include such Democratic Party titans as Al Gore, Arizona governor Janet Napolitano, former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack, Caroline Kennedy, Howard Dean, Bill Richardson, John Kerry, and many more truly titanic names. This link has a "transition flowchart", a PDF showing some potential picks and all of them are truly great figures who will help the Repu... er, I mean the Democrats. While this could all be a jolly joke, who knows since the head of the transition team is John Podesta and his think tank the Center for American Progress is as much a joke as the Harding Institute.

A possible "Climate Czar" is Al Gore, someone who might take Obama's outreach to pre-teens and make my April, 2008 satire about a "Green Pioneers" program a reality.

Podesta himself might head up an "Energy Security Council".

For Agriculture, Tom Vilsack is one of four possibilities.

Health and Human Services: Howard Dean or Tom Daschle.

Billionairess Penny Pritzker might be at Commerce; the tip of the iceberg on her is here.

For the Department of Homeland Security, the possiblities are:
* Tim Roemer (affiliated with George Mason University, a nexus of "cosmotarianism" and support for illegal activity),
* Raymond Kelly and Bill Bratton, chiefs of police of NYC and L.A. respectively,
* James Lee Witt (Clinton-era head of FEMA)
* Richard Clarke

For the State Department, all of them are some variation of bad jokes: John Kerry, Chuck Hagel, Richard Holbrooke, Sam Nunn, and Colin Powell. The latter is listed under two additional possibilities.

At HUD, one possibility is BHO fixer Valerie Jarrett.

At Interior, Bill Richardson is one of five.

As the Department of Justice, Janet Napolitano, Rep. Artur Davis, and Eric Holder are listed. Someone from the latter's law firm visited this site after I posted about the viral video attempt at that link.

Also, from the link:

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. might be the head of the Environmental Protection Agency; and Caroline Kennedy could be the ambassador to the United Nations. Kennedy Jr. might be the head of the Environmental Protection Agency; and Caroline Kennedy could be the ambassador to the United Nations. It's just an unofficial guide but a fun one to follow.

Yes, just watch out for that iceberg.

Obama spins Civilian National Security Force as for Iraq rebuilding - 11/11/08

Back in July, Barack Obama gave a speech in Colorado where he proposed creating a "Civilian National Security Force". That was just in one line of the speech, and it didn't appear in the version as prepared for delivery (copy here). Since that time, many have speculated over what he could have meant, and just recently Georgia congressman Paul Broun compared the creation of such groups to that in Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union (link). Now, at the last link, the Barack Obama camp has responded:
spokesman Tommy Vietor said Obama was referring in the speech to a proposal for a civilian reserve corps that could handle postwar reconstruction efforts such as rebuilding infrastructure - an idea endorsed by the Bush administration.
That doesn't make much sense. Here's the comment in context (from the second link, with the sentence BHO added in his speech added where he said it and bolded):
As President, I will expand AmeriCorps to 250,000 slots, and make that increased service a vehicle to meet national goals like providing health care and education, saving our planet and restoring our standing in the world, so that citizens see their efforts connected to a common purpose. People of all ages, stations, and skills will be asked to serve. Because when it comes to the challenges we face, the American people are not the problem – they are the answer.

We’ll send more college graduates to teach and mentor our young people. We’ll call on Americans to join an Energy Corps to conduct renewable energy and environmental cleanup projects in their neighborhoods. We’ll enlist veterans to help other vets find jobs and support, and to be there for our military families. And we’ll also grow our Foreign Service, open consulates that have been shuttered, and double the size of the Peace Corps by 2011 to renew our diplomacy. We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we've set. We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded. And we’ll use technology to connect people to service. We’ll expand USA Freedom Corps to create an online network where Americans can browse opportunities to volunteer. You’ll be able to search by category, time commitment, and skill sets; you’ll be able to rate service opportunities, build service networks, and create your own service pages to track your hours and activities. This will empower more Americans to craft their own service agenda, and make their own change from the bottom up.
The bit about the CNSF came after a sentence mentioning the Peace Corps, so he could have been speaking about a massive expansion of that program, and in that case the CSNF would only operate overseas. Of course, parts of that group would live in the U.S.; would they ever be activated in the "homeland"?

There's nothing on Obama's site remotely approaching the bolded sentence above, and what's really needed here is for someone to ask him to go into details on exactly what he meant. Since we can't rely on MSM reporters to do that, the job is left up to you the reader.

Cached copy of Barack Obama's agenda section - 11/10/08

Barack Obama's - the official president-elect transition site - deleted their entire Agenda section over the weekend. There's apparently a cached copy here, although I haven't verified it since I didn't bother saving off my own copy.

UPDATE: There's a better-looking version from Google's cache here. As with the other one I didn't verify it.

National Council of Ethnic Americans demands equal representation in Obama cabinet - 11/09/08

The National Council of Ethnic Americans (NCEA) - a coalition consisting of the Ethnic American Legal Defense and Education Foundation (EALDEF), the National Association of Ethnic American Elected Officials (NAEAEO), and the League of United European and Mediterranean American Citizens (LUEMAC) - has just sent the following missive:

President-Elect Barack Obama:

We are the Ethnic-Americans. During the election you reached out to us ( and asked for our support.

Mandatory community service still included in Obama's preK-12 education plan - 11/08/08

Yesterday, we discussed how one page at Barack Obama's new site said he'd push for mandatory community service. The campaign later changed that page to match the more voluntary-oriented statements the campaign made elsewhere.

However, there's still one thing they'll probably want to send down the memory hole. The file (available under the link "Read the Pre-K to 12 Plan" at contains the following:

Washington Post admits coverage tilted to Obama, doesn't admit their incredibly biased coverage for him and their lies for him - 11/08/08

Washington Post ombudsman Deborah Howell offers "An Obama Tilt in Campaign Coverage" (link). Unfortunately, about the only "tilt" she admits to is in the amount of coverage. She almost completely ignores the fact that the Washington Post served as little more than an arm of the Obama campaign by lying and misleading on his behalf and by serving as the source for and amplifier of smears.

AVWatch: Barack Obama's economic advisors include... Antonio Villaraigosa - 11/07/08

Los Angeles' inept, corrupt, illegal activity-supporting mayor Antonio Villaraigosa - a former leader of a racial separatist group - is one of the members of Barack Obama's economic advisory board. Even the L.A.

Obama's aunt gets immigration lawyer, considers appeal (to prevent President Barack from deporting her?) - 11/07/08

One of the coulda-been moments of the 2008 campaign was the failure of mostly anyone else to point out that Barack Obama supported his illegal alien own aunt being deported at the same time as he opposed the deportations of millions of illegal aliens he's never even met. Pushing that story would help dispel the widespread feeling among his supporters that he's all sweetness and light.

"Latinos push for Cabinet posts": NCLR, MALDEF, NALEO trying to embed supporters in Obama administration - 11/07/08

"Latinos" want to be named to positions in the Barack Obama administration. Actually, it appears they want a quota system. And, it's not really "Latinos" as a group, but the familiar far-left pressure groups such as the NCLR, MALDEF, and NALEO. The second has an indirect link to the Mexican government, and the last has a direct link.

The ethnic boosting "reporter" Gebe Martinez of the Politico offers "Latinos push for Cabinet posts" (link). Here's the quota bit:
Weeks before Barack Obama won the presidency, he met privately in Washington with his former Democratic rival, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, and Latino political leaders who had fervently backed her bid.

The cards were laid upon the table, according to one of the participants. The Hispanic leaders said they expected at least two Latinos to be named to an Obama Cabinet — meeting the standard set by President-elect Bill Clinton in 1992 — but preferred three. Of course, they also wanted sub-Cabinet-level posts.
Then, she says that Latinos pushed Obama over the top; I'll wait for a reliable source.
...Cecilia Munoz, vice president of National Council of La Raza, said, “It’s a foregone conclusion that we should be at the table for policy debates and in a position of authority, " because Hispanics are affected by major issues facing all voters. Latinos will be prominent in an Obama administration "just as we would be in any administration moving forward," she added.

...Any diminishment of the Hispanic presence in today's society and politics "would be a colossal mistake," said Arturo Vargas, executive director of National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials. "Latinos have demonstrated they can have an impact."

...Before the election, two dozen groups that make up the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda turned over to Obama and John McCain policy recommendations that included adding more Hispanics to the federal workforce, increasing Hispanic political appointments and naming more Latinos to the federal bench.

The coalition will be collecting resumes to submit to Obama's transition team. "It behooves us to not just suggest that the administration hire Latinos. We need to also provide good candidates," said Peter Zamora of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

NALEO's Vargas worries that, early on, the only names usually mentioned for possible appointment to the Obama administration are New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and Obama's Hispanic adviser Federico Pena — two Democrats who previously served in the Clinton administration.

...[Raul Yzaguirre] said he and others addressed that issue frankly with Obama at their meeting several weeks ago. "We said, ‘Look, if you are going to see us as late-comers, that's not going to work. If you see us as partners from here on, we will have a good relationship.' And he said he welcomed our support," Yzaguirre said...