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Obama Tried Bribing Arlen Specter's Opponent
Judicial Watch is
reporting a major political scandal orchestrated by the Obama
Administration. A popular Democratic congressman from Pennsylvania
has revealed that the White House tried bribing him to drop out of the
upcoming U.S. Senate race.
Congressman Joe Sestak said in a
television news show that the White House offered him a top federal job
in an effort to keep him from challenging Senator Arlen Specter in the
state's Democratic primary. A five-term incumbent, Specter
switched from Republican to Democrat last spring after giving Obama the
critical vote for his disastrous and fraud-infested $787 billion
Obama clearly wants to return the favor by
helping the controversial lawmaker keep his job. In fact, Obama
endorsed Specter at the White House and has raised money for the
80-year-old lawmaker. Besides Obama, many top Democratic leaders
have also tried to dissuade Sestak, a retired Navy admiral, from
However, attempting to bribe a legislator
with a "high-ranking" federal job is deplorable and downright unethical
to say the least. Obviously this is why Obama and his White House
staff are enraged that Sestak disclosed the unscrupulous backdoor offer
to keep him out of the upcoming Democratic primary.
Specter bailed on Republicans Obama assured the contentious lawmaker
he'd do everything in his power to help him win reelection if he
switched parties. The White House assured Specter there was no
Democrat in a position to make a realistic challenge against him and
that he had the "full backing" of Obama, which includes campaigning and
fundraising by the commander-in-chief.
That plan evidently blew
up in Obama's face so he resorted to bribery. Not only does
Specter face stiff competition from Sestak in the Democratic primary,
the Republican (former Congressman Pat Toomey) expected to make the
general election leads both Specter and Sestak in head-to-head match-ups
by about ten points.
"Whoever solicits or
receives … any….thing of value, in consideration of the promise of
support or use of influence in obtaining for any person any appointive
office or place under the United States, shall be fined under this title
or imprisoned not more than one year, or both." -- 18 USC Sec. 211
-- Bribery, Graft and Conflicts of Interest: Acceptance or solicitation
to obtain appointive public office.
White House Press Secretary Robert
Monday he would have to "check on it" before he could deny Rep. Joe
Sestak’s (D.-Pa.) claim that the administration
had offered him a high-ranking job in the administration in exchange for
not mounting a primary challenge against incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter
(D.-Pa.), who switched parties last year, briefly giving the Democrats a
60-vote majority in the Senate.
"So, at this point, the White
House is not ready to deny what Sestak said?" CNSNews.com asked Gibbels.
"No. I think I said I would check on it, on the
situation," said Gibbels.
Gibbels statement that he still needed
to do some checking on the issue comes a week after he gave virtually
the same non-substantive answer to reporters who asked about it at last
It also comes ten days after Fox News
reported that an unnamed White House official, speaking on "background,"
had denied Rep. Sestak’s claim, and nine days after the Philadelphia
Inquirer reported that an unnamed White House official, who insisted on
"anonymity," had "vociferously" denied the congressman’s claim.
Rep. Sestak, meanwhile, has repeatedly stood by his assertion that the
administration offered him a job in exchange for not running against
Sen. Specter, a five-term incumbent, switched from the
Republican Party to the Democratic Party in 2009. Rep. Sestak is now
challenging him for the Democratic nomination to run in the Senate
election this November.
The controversy started on Feb. 18, when
Sestak appeared on "Larry Kane: Voice of Reason," a public affairs
television program on the Comcast Network in Pennsylvania. Kane asked,
"Were you ever offered a federal job to get out of this race?"
"Yes," said Sestak.
"Was it secretary of the Navy?" Kane
"No comment, though I would never get out for a deal.
I’m in this for the Democratic principles," said Sestak.
said Kane. "But there was a job offered to you by the White
"Yes, someone offered--" said Sestak.
"It was big,
right?" asked Kane.
"It was -- let me not comment on it," Sestak
The Philadelphia Inquirer, which had a reporter
present when Sestak taped the interview with Kane, reported that Sestak
"nodded when asked if the offer was for a high-ranking post."
The Daily Caller is
reporting that a federal judge refused on Friday to approve a
subpoena calling for Barack Obama to testify at the political corruption
trial of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
The request from
Blagojevich’s attorneys fell "very short of authorizing a subpoena for
the president," U.S. District Judge James B. Zagel said. But Zagel
said he might revisit the issue, perhaps during the trial, if any
evidence suggests Obama might have something relevant to tell the jury.
Blagojevich is due to go on trial, starting with jury selection June
3. He is charged with scheming to use his power as governor to
fill U.S. Senate vacancies in order to sell or trade the senate seat
that Obama vacated after he was elected president in November 2008.
The former governor is also charged with trying to use his power to
bring illegal pressure for money on potential campaign contributors.
His brother, businessman Robert Blagojevich, is charged with helping
him. Both have pleaded not guilty.
Defense attorneys asked
for the subpoena last week, saying Obama could shed light on the charges
that Blagojevich attempted to trade or sell the president’s former
Obama has not been accused of any wrongdoing in the
case. And it would be very unusual for a sitting president to take
the witness stand in a Chicago corruption trial or any other trial.
But Bill Clinton did give a videotaped deposition in July l996 while
president and it was later played at the trial of two bankers were
acquitted of corruption charges.and .
Blagojevich was not on hand
for the hearing. His attorney Sheldon Sorosky told reporters after
court that he was encouraged because "the judge did say that he still
might allow the president to testify later on should it become
necessary, and I’m sure it will be revisited."
several other defense motions, including a request for a rule barring
anyone who had been convicted of a felony and is awaiting sentence from
the witness stand.
Defense attorneys said in court papers that
practice, which is common throughout U.S. courts, creates temptation on
the part of witnesses to curry favor with prosecutors. But Zagel
said appeals courts have upheld the practice of swapping lenient
sentences for prosecution testimony.
Zagel also turned down a
defense request for an advance look at jury instructions to help lawyers
frame their opening statements.
Regarding the writers comment, "it would be very unusual for a
sitting president to take the witness stand..."
The first sitting
to testify was Thomas Jefferson. In 1807, Jefferson was called to
testify in the treason trial of Aaron Burr, Jefferson's former vice
Jefferson invoked executive privilege and refused to
testify, setting a precedent invoked by Richard Nixon, who resigned in
1974 after the Supreme Court ruled he would be required to turn over
White House recordings pertaining to the Watergate scandal.
"Gerald Ford gave videotaped testimony in the criminal trial of a woman
who had attempted to shoot him. And Ronald Reagan testified after
leaving office in matters related to the Iran-Contra affair," Smith
Holder Ignoring Bribes Under His Nose
Last fall, the Denver Post
reported that somebody in the Obama White House offered a plum job
to former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff on the condition that
he drop his Democratic primary challenge to Sen. Michael Bennett. Then
in February, Rep. Joe Sestak, D-Pa., told a talk radio program that
somebody in the Obama White House had offered him a job in exchange for
dropping his Democratic primary challenge to Sen. Arlen Specter. Given
credible allegations that federal laws against offering federal jobs in
return for political favors were broken, a previous Washington Examiner
editorial asked: "Isn't that enough for somebody at the Department of
Justice to start asking some serious questions?"
The answer to that question still appears to be a resounding "no." Rep.
Darrell Issa, R-Calif., the ranking minority member of the House
Government Reform and Oversight Committee, last week asked Attorney
General Eric Holder point-blank whether he was investigating "an
allegation that this White House has committed three felonies in
offering a member of Congress a high-ranking position in this
administration in return for getting out of the primary."
response, Holder put on an epic demonstration of how to dance around a
question without answering it. First, Holder told Issa he couldn't
comment on any allegations that might come under the purview of the
Justice Department. So Issa then asked Holder if, hypothetically
speaking, he would clearly state that it was a crime to offer someone a
federal job in exchange for political favors. "I don't answer
hypotheticals," answered Holder. Prior to this exchange before the
committee, Holder had refused to comment at all, not even to say that he
wouldn't comment despite the fact that Issa had addressed the same
questions to him in an April 21 letter. Holder apologized during last
week's exchange with Issa for his failure to respond to the California
Republican's letter but only after being challenged on it.
Holder isn't the only official stonewalling on the political bribery
operation apparently being conducted by somebody in the White House with
well-paid federal jobs as the payoff. Issa asked White House counsel
Bob Bauer about the allegations in a March 10 letter, but has yet to get
a response. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs has been asked by
journalists about the Sestak bribe offer numerous times, but has
responded evasively. The Sestak-Specter primary was decided yesterday,
so it's too late for Pennsylvania voters. But Colorado's primary isn't
until Aug. 10, so Holder can at least do something about that race. The
attorney general's silence can only be construed as his consent to
violating the law.
White House offered Greg Craig a judgeship.
Sestak Bribery Scandal Is Impeachable
says Sestak refuses to say what the job was or who at the White
House offered it to him. Earlier this year, Robert Gibbs,
White House press spokesman, repeatedly tried to stonewall the
matter hoping reporters would drop it. Finally this Monday
David Axelrod, Obama’s chief strategist said that the matter had
been looked into and that "nothing inappropriate happened." He
refused to give any details and quickly changed the subject (video).
Something smells fishy here doesn’t it? Either Sestak was
offered a job, in which case it could be a violation of federal law
or he wasn’t offered a job and is lying about it. If "nothing
inappropriate happened" why won’t the White House come forward and
describe the contacts staffers had with Sestak to get him out of the
race with Specter? And if any serious cabinet level job offer
was considered it would have to have been made with the full
knowledge and assent of Obama.
Readers may recall the
absolute frenzy and firestorm that broke out during the Bush
Administration when it was falsely claimed that Karl Rove or other
senior White House staff might have outted CIA agent Valerie Plame.
No one was ever charged with violating the law against disclosing
covert CIA agents, not even Richard Armitage at the State Dept. who
actually leaked her name. There was no charge for violating
that law because Ms. Plame did not meet the standards in the law
defining a covert CIA agent. But that didn’t stop the Special
Prosecutor from going forward with a full investigation of top White
Who's Behind The White House/Sestak
says that after three months of zipped lips and feigned ignorance,
the Obama White House is finally taking real heat over Pennsylvania
Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak's consistent claims that the administration
offered him a job to drop his Senate bid. Now it's time to redirect the
spotlight where it belongs: on the top counsel behind the Washington
stonewall, Bob "The Silencer" Bauer,
Obama's "eligibility lawyer."
On Sunday, White House
spokesman Robert Gibbels glibly asserted that "lawyers in the White House
and others have looked into conversations that were had with Congressman Sestak. And nothing inappropriate happened." With whom were these
conversations had? Gibbels won't say. Neither will Attorney General
Holder, who dismissed "hypotheticals" when questioned about Sestak's
allegations last week on Capitol Hill by GOP Rep. Darrell Issa of
California. Holder is simply taking his cue from the
commander-in-chief's personal lawyer and Democratic Party legal boss.
You see, on March 10, Issa also sent a letter to Bauer, the
White House counsel to Obama, requesting specifics: Did White
House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel contact Sestak? Did White House Deputy
Chief of Staff Jim Messina (whom another Democrat, U.S. Senate candidate
Andrew Romanoff, has accused of offering a cabinet position in exchange
for his withdrawal)? How about the White House Office of Political
Affairs? Any other individuals? What position(s) was/were offered in
exchange for Sestak's withdrawal? And what, if any, steps did Bauer take
to investigate possible criminal activity?
Bauer's answers? Zip. Nada. Zilch. While the veteran attorney ducked under a table with the
president, Gibbels stalled publicly as long as he could -- deferring
inquiries about the allegations one week by claiming he had been "on the
road" and had "not had a chance to delve into this," and then admitting
the next week that he had "not made any progress on that," refusing the
week after that to deny or admit the scheme, and then urging reporters
to drop it because "whatever happened is in the past."
laws governing such public corruption are still on the books. And unlike
Gibbels, the U.S. code governing bribery, graft and conflicts of interest
is rather straightforward: "Whoever solicits or receives ... any ...
thing of value, in consideration of the promise of support or use of
influence in obtaining for any person any appointive office or place
under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned
not more than one year, or both."
Bauer is intimately familiar
with electoral law, Barack Obama, ethics violations and government
job-trading allegations. And he's an old hand at keeping critics and
inquisitors at bay.
A partner at the prestigious law firm
Perkins Coie, Bauer served as counsel to the Democratic National
Committee, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the Democratic
Congressional Campaign Committee and Obama for America. He also served
as legal counsel to the George Soros-funded 527 organization America
Coming Together during the 2004 campaign. That get-out-the-vote outfit,
helmed by Patrick Gaspard (the former Service Employees International
Union heavy turned Obama domestic policy chief), employed convicted
felons as canvassers and committed campaign finance violations that led
to a $775,000 fine by the Federal Election Commission under Bauer's
As I've reported previously, it was Bauer who lobbied the
Justice Department unsuccessfully in 2008 to pursue a criminal probe of
American Issues Project (AIP), an independent group that sought to run
an ad spotlighting Obama's ties to Weather Underground terrorist
Ayers. It was Bauer who attempted to sic the Justice Department on AIP
funder Harold Simmons and who sought his prosecution for funding the ad.
And it was Bauer who tried to bully television stations across the
country to compel them to pull the spot. All on Obama's behalf.
More significantly, Bauer has served as Obama's personal attorney,
navigating the corrupted waters of former Democratic Gov. Rod
Blagojevich's pay-for-play scandals in Illinois. Bauer accompanied Obama
to an interview with federal investigators in Chicago. And he's got his
hands full fighting Blago's motion to subpoena Obama in the
Senate-seat-for-sale trial -- a subpoena that included references to a
secret phone call between Obama and Blagojevich; an allegation that
Emanuel floated his own suggested replacement for Obama's seat; an
allegation that Obama told a "certain labor union official" that he
would support (now-White House senior adviser)
Valerie Jarrett to fill
his old seat; and a bombshell allegation that Obama might have lied
about conversations with convicted briber and fraudster Tony Rezko.
With not one, not two, but three Democrats (Sestak, Romanoff and
Blagojevich) all implicating the agent of Hope and Change in dirty
backroom schemes, "Trust Us" ain't gonna cut it. Neither will "Shut Up
and Go Away." What did Bob "The Silencer" Bauer know, when did he know
it, and how long does the Most Transparent Administration Ever plan to
play dodgeball with the public?
Obama Dodges, But Sestak Questions Won't Go
asks how interested is Barack Obama in discussing Rep. Joe Sestak's
allegation that the White House offered him a big government job if he
would not challenge Sen. Arlen Specter, the White House's favored
candidate in the Pennsylvania Senate primary?
Well, when Obama
was asked about it at his news conference Thursday -- the question
didn't come up until the very last reporter was called on -- the
normally long-winded Obama spoke for a total of 32 seconds.
can assure the public that nothing improper took place," he said,
echoing earlier statements from White House officials who denied any
wrongdoing. "There will be an official response shortly."
And that was that.
Obama's brief answer brought a smile to Rep.
Darrell Issa, who has been pursuing the Sestak issue in his role as
ranking Republican on the House Committee on Government Oversight and
Reform. "That means the answer will be forthcoming after the
lights go out for the weekend," Issa said shortly after the news
conference. "While the president is away and nobody's available, a
statement will come out."
The way Issa sees it, the White House
has to thread the needle when it finally responds to Sestak's charges.
A retired three-star Navy admiral, Sestak is now the Democratic
candidate for Senate from Pennsylvania, and the White House wants all
the Democratic senators it can get. So they can't come out and
call Sestak a liar or a hack. On the other hand, they can't admit
that what Sestak is saying is true, because that would be, in the words
of top White House adviser David Axelrod, a "serious breach of the law."
So what can the White House do? "They can say we're sorry,
that the job offer was not intended to be a quid pro quo," Issa says.
"They can say that we offered a job to a person who was in the process
of running for a Senate seat but who we felt he was better suited to be
secretary of the Navy, and we never intended for it to be a quid pro quo
but rather to fill our Cabinet with good people. That's the only
thread-the-needle that I see."
It might thread the needle, but it
won't end the questions. Say it turns out, as everyone believes,
that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel was the official who talked
to Sestak, and the job in question was secretary of the Navy.
"Everybody is going to ask [Emanuel], Did you talk to Obama about this?"
Issa says. "What happened when [Sestak] turned you down? Did
you believe he would get out of the race for this job? Did you
talk to Arlen Specter about this? All those questions are
Inevitable that they'll be asked, but not that
they'll be answered, or that the answers will satisfy critics. The
matter at hand is a conversation that took place between Sestak and the
White House. To determine whether any wrongdoing occurred, we have
to learn both sides of the conversation. If the White House
releases its side of the story, then we'll have to hear from Sestak, who
has so far refused to provide any details. Only then can
investigators evaluate both versions of events.
Which is why on
Wednesday all seven Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee -- a
group that included the moderate Sen. Orrin Hatch -- wrote to Attorney
General Eric Holder to ask that a special prosecutor be appointed to
look into the Sestak matter. Citing Axelrod's statements, the
senators wrote, "We do not believe the Department of Justice can
properly defer to White House lawyers to investigate a matter that could
involve a 'serious breach of the law.' "
Holder has already
rejected a similar request from Issa. And no Democrats in the
House or Senate support a Justice Department investigation, nor does the
White House. With total one-party control of the government, a
formal probe is highly unlikely. But some Democrats do want the
issue to be resolved and have urged both sides to get the facts out.
The next move is up to the White House. Nobody expects a
holiday-weekend news release to end the matter, but it will be the start
of what could be a long process. "Everyone is going to have
follow-up questions," says Issa. "And I'm a patient man."
"Did You Plug The Hole In Your Story Yet,
According to the latest bullsh!t
flowing from the Obama White House, Obama’s chief of staff,
Rhambo, used former
President Bill Clinton as an intermediary to see if Representative Joe
Sestak would drop out of a Senate primary if given a prominent, but
unpaid, advisory position. Sestak said no and went on to win last
week’s Pennsylvania Democratic primary against Senator Arlen Specter.
Robert F. Bauer,
the White House counsel and Obama's eligibility lawyer, has concluded
that this ridiculous cover story -- offering an appointment to the
President’s Intelligence Advisory Board -- did not violate laws
prohibiting government employees from promising employment as a reward
for political activity because the position being offered was unpaid.
Sestak, a retired three-star admiral and two-term House member
could not serve on the board while still serving in Congress.
Positions on this board may only be filled by private sector
individuals. Besides, no one would give up a seat in Congress or a
chance for a Senate seat for an "unpaid" position. To say that is
what the deal was insults the intelligence of anyone over the age of
So Clinton, who has
comment, went to the White House on Thursday, to have lunch with Obama
and get their stories straight. After all, Obama had nothing to do with
the offer (heavy sarcasm). Now the question becomes, what is Clinton
getting to cover Obama's lying butt?
Meanwhile, Sestak said his brother, Richard, had
spoken with White House officials about the congressman's allegation
-- undoubtedly to make sure the Sestak brothers were on board, and were
familiar with the cover story. Joe Sestak said, "They got ahold of
my brother on his cell phone, and he spoke to the White House...about
what's going to occur."
With that call, the conspirators' bogus
cover story was released to the ObamaMedia, that dutifully whitewashed
the entire affair. The New York Times begins their coverage with
beauty -- "There doesn’t seem to be anything terribly unethical
about the White House offer of an unpaid advisory position to Joe Sestak
if he would bow out of the Pennsylvania Democratic primary" -- nothing
to see here, move on!
As chief of staff and previously as
chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Emanuel has
not been shy about trying to steer party nominations to those he
considers the stronger candidates. The White House under Emanuel
has also leaned on Gov. David Paterson of New York to drop out of this
year’s gubernatorial race, which he eventually did under a cloud of
scandal. Andrew Romanoff, challenging Sen. Michael Bennet in a
Colorado primary, has said Emanuel’s deputy, Jim Messina, offered him a
job to drop out.
All of which are probably, illegal as well.
In any case, there is the appearance of wrong-doing. So by DC
tradition we must have at least a "special counsel" to investigate --
oops! -- silly me -- that only happens when Republicans are in office --
think Valerie Plame.
By the way, here's the applicable law:
18 U.S.C. § 211 : US Code -- Section 211:
Acceptance or solicitation to obtain appointive public office
Whoever solicits or receives, either as
a political contribution, or for personal emolument, any money or
thing of value, in consideration of the promise of support or use of
influence in obtaining for any person any appointive office or place
under the United States, shall be fined under this title or
imprisoned not more than one year, or both.
or receives any thing of value in consideration of aiding a person
to obtain employment under the United States either by referring his
name to an executive department or agency of the United States or by
requiring the payment of a fee because such person has secured such
employment shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned not more
than one year, or both. This section shall not apply to such
services rendered by an employment agency pursuant to the written
request of an executive department or agency of the United States.
said that one of two things is true -- you can’t have two things
true. One or the other is true. Either Joe Sestak is lying
and he was not offered a position in the administration in return for
getting out of the primary.
Or, he’s telling the truth, in which
case somebody inside the White House committed a felony.
Sestak Cover Story Starts To Unravel
says crafting a cover story that is consistent with awkward facts is
hard. Did the best and the brightest miss this? Sestak was
not eligible to serve on the Intelligence Advisory Board. Byron
York of the Washington Examiner
In a little-noticed passage Friday, the New
reported that Rep. Joe Sestak was not eligible for a place on
the President's Intelligence Advisory Board, the job he was
reportedly offered by former President Bill Clinton. And
indeed a look at the Board's website
reveals this restriction:
The Board consists of not more than 16
members appointed by the President from among individuals who are
not employed by the Federal Government. Members are
distinguished citizens selected from the national security,
political, academic, and private sectors.
As a sitting member of Congress, Sestak was not
eligible for the job. [....]
The statement from
White House counsel Robert Bauer did not specifically mention the
intelligence board, but speaking to reporters Friday, Sestak said of his
conversation with Clinton, "At the time, I heard the words 'presidential
board,' and that's all I heard...I heard 'presidential board,' and I
think it was intel." In addition, the Times reported that "people
briefed on the matter said one option was an appointment" to the
intelligence board. But the White House could not legally have placed Sestak on the board.
An already implausible story
has become much harder to believe.
The White House Offered Me Three Jobs
says not only does Romanoff
name names --
as the Denver Post originally reported, it was indeed deputy chief of
staff Jim Messina who contacted him about dropping out -- but he’s
actually released Messina’s e-mail from last year describing the jobs
they had in mind for him. The one key omission? Any
acknowledgment by Romanoff that he himself
lied to the Post when
initially asked whether anyone had offered him a position.
U.S. Senate candidate Andrew Romanoff
acknowledged tonight that he discussed three possible jobs with the
deputy chief of staff of the Obama administration -- all contingent
upon a decision by Romanoff not to challenge U.S. Sen. Michael
Romanoff said none of the jobs was formally offered,
but said the only reason they were discussed with Deputy Chief of
Staff Jim Messina was if Romanoff stayed out of the Senate race.
"Mr. Messina also suggested three positions that might be
available to me were I not pursuing the Senate race," Romanoff wrote
in a statement. "He added that he could not guarantee my
appointment to any of these positions. At no time was I
promised a job, nor did I request Mr. Messina’s assistance in
Here’s the full text of Romanoff’s statement,
together with the description of the available jobs. Is Messina guilty
of a crime for having made this kinda sorta offer, even without any
Whoever, directly or indirectly,
promises any employment, position, compensation, contract, appointment,
or other benefit, provided for or made possible in whole or in part by
any Act of Congress, or any special consideration in obtaining any such
benefit, to any person as consideration, favor, or reward for any
political activity or for the support of or opposition to any candidate
or any political party in connection with any general or special
election to any political office, or in connection with any primary
election or political convention or caucus held to select candidates for
any political office, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not
more than one year, or both.
I think we can get this one to the
jury! Seriously, though, I don’t want Messina charged, partly because he
was obviously acting at Rahm Emanuel’s behest (no deputy COS would be
authorized to bribe a senate candidate on his own initiative, I assume)
and partly because I’m sure this really is D.C. business as usual for
both parties. The point of bringing up the statute again and again is
simply to remind people that it’s the same sort of unrealistic "good
government" aspiration that Captain HopenChange used to such cynical
effect during the campaign and which he’s now happily willing to violate
in the most flagrant ways. Remember when he promised to put Congress’s
health-care deliberations on C-SPAN? That was pure garbage aimed at
idealistic young voters, which he duly abandoned as soon as he was
elected save for that "health-care summit" dog-and-pony show earlier
this year. Frankly, I’m surprised he didn’t include this angle in his
campaign platform: "We won’t deny primary voters a choice with dirty
deals!" sounds like precisely the sort of pap he was pushing at his
nomination speech in front of the Temple of Zeus or whatever. Although,
to be completely fair, I wonder in hindsight how many lefties really
bought it or even cared whether he’d keep his "Change" promises or not. The point was to win an election and that mission was accomplished. Who
cares if he’s turned out to be every inch the Chicago politician that
As for the politics of Romanoff putting out this statement, I
agree with Ben Smith: This sure looks like a
middle finger towards the
White House, aimed at casting his primary opponent, Michael Bennet, as
the puppet of a very cynical political machine. No wonder Joe Sestak’s
ducking joint appearances with The One.
Obama Knew About Quid Pro Quo Job Plot
One of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s
testified that he believed Barack Obama knew about Blagojevich's
maneuvers to get a Cabinet post in exchange for appointing a longtime
Obama friend to Obama’s U.S. Senate post, according to the Chicago
John Harris, Blagojevich's former chief of staff,
voiced the belief Wednesday during the former governor's corruption
trial in Chicago.
Three days after the Nov. 4, 2008, Blagojevich
told Harris was sure that Obama knew he wanted to exchange perks,
according to the Sun-Times report.
In explaining a recorded phone
call, Harris said, "The president understands that the governor would be
willing to make the appointment of Valerie Jarrett as long as he gets
what he's asked for... The governor gets the Cabinet appointment
he's asked for."
In court Thursday, those at the trial heard an
FBI tape in which Blagojevich became bitter when told that Obama would
give him thanks -- but nothing else -- for naming an Obama favorite to
the Senate, according to The Associated Press.
willing to give me anything but appreciation," Blagojevich is heard
saying glumly on tape. Jurors also heard his voice as he
punctuated his remark, "(Expletive) them."
Naturally, Obama is
not accused of any wrongdoing in the Blagojevich case, in which the
former governor has pleaded not guilty to charges of scheming to sell
the Senate seat and racketeering. He's being protected.
another Chicago newspaper’s story on Harris’ testimony, a Tribune blog
reported that Harris said he was in his Springfield office on Nov. 12,
2008, when U.S. Rep. Rahm Emanuel, who was to become Obama’s chief of
staff, called about possibilities to fill Obama's Senate seat.
During that conversation, Emanuel told Harris that Jarrett, a longtime
Obama family friend, would not be interested in the seat because she was
taking a White House job, the Tribune reported.
All of the progressive talking
heads say corrupting the system is no big deal because everybody does
Can you use that as a defense in court? I don't think
it will work. So why does it work in this case.
remember, Obama can do no wrong. He's Mr. Special.
Senator Wants Answers About Obama Nominee
says the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee is pressing
for details about a $940,000 bonus paid by Citigroup after it was bailed
out by taxpayers to a former executive who now is Obama's nominee to
oversee the federal budget.
In a letter to the Treasury Secretary
Timothy Geithner Friday, Sen. Charles Grassley said he was disappointed
by Treasury's disappointment to prevent payment of wasteful bonuses and
severance payments to executives at banks that had been bailed out by
the federal government. He specifically cited the case of Obama's
nominee to the lead the Office of Management and Budget, Jacob Lew, a
former Citigroup executive who joined the State Department as a deputy
secretary in January 2009.
The Washington Times reported earlier
this week that in addition to a previously disclosed $1.1 million
compensation packaged for 2008, Lew reported in a new ethics filing that
he also received a $940,000 bonus from Citigroup after the company took
a federal bailout and days before he joined the Obama Administration.
"Regardless of whether the payment to Mr. Lew, and others like him,
was 'grandfathered' or 'permitted by the rules in place at the time',
were they contrary to the public interest?" Mr. Grassley asked in the
He also singled out the case of an AIG executive who
received nearly $1.4 million after being fired and after the company was
The White House declined to comment on Lew's
compensation when contacted by The Times earlier this week.
Lew has dedicated two decades to public service," White House
spokeswoman Moria Mack wrote in an e-mail. "He has served with
distinction in two Administrations and in Congress, and has precisely
the kind of experience we need at OMB at this critical juncture."
Administration officials and many members of Congress have expressed
outrage about big bonuses paid out to Wall Street executives working for
firms that received a federal bailout.
So, Lew's stewardship drives
Citigroup into bankruptcy, and White House spokeswoman Moria Mack
believes Lew "has precisely the kind of experience we need at OMB at
this critical juncture."
Obama Buying More Union Votes
says that Obama has pledged more of your money to protect the unions
and secure their vote. The administration demanded and
got $26 billion taxpayer dollars to spare 300,000 teachers and other
public workers from the unemployment lines.
The hundreds of billions of taxpayer money already spent by Obama and
the Democrats since 2009 to pay off their union supporters was
apparently not enough. Despite
giving $100 billion in new funding to the Department of Education
(DOE), courtesy of The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of
2009, in addition to the $25 billion bailout that
saved the GM and Chrysler auto union workers, more is needed to
thank them for their continuing support and unquestioning loyalty.
The Senate passed the $26 billion bailout measure last week and the
House approved it on Tuesday with overwhelming Democrat support.
Obama is expected to sign it quickly. The additional spending is
partially paid for by reducing food stamps benefits to the poor.
The $26,000,000,000 required to protect 300,000 union jobs, works out
to roughly $86,666 per job. This is an amazingly generous payoff
to union workers, considering the average $56,100 yearly salaries of
Americans working in the private sector.
Actually, much of this money is to be
used in November's election to prop up the socialists in the Congress,
but it's still coming from you, the taxpayer.
Obama: Bought And Paid For
Bestselling investigative reporter Charles Gasparino’s latest tome
Bought and Paid For: The Unholy Alliance Between Barack Obama and Wall Street
commences not with a scene from the much-ballyhooed
first one hundred days of the new Administration, but at a hush-hush
2007 pow-wow at Johnny’s Half Shell in Washington, D.C. between
then-Senator Barack Obama and executives from Wall Street’s top firms --
Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, BlackRock, Goldman Sachs, Bear Stearns
-- which went so swimmingly the only warm fuzzy it lacked was the ghost
of Humphrey Bogart intoning, "Barry, I think this is the beginning of a
From there the Fox Business Network
senior correspondent and
Daily Beast columnist lays out in gobstopping detail just how
well both sides have since profited from this extended dalliance,
combining fiery outsider indignation with hard-won insider knowledge,
narrative prowess, and a true knack for the telling anecdote --
disgraced Bear Stearns hedge fund manager Warren Spector spending his
days knocking on Florida doors as a volunteer Obama campaign worker and
nights bedded down at luxury hotels while his preferred candidate
ceaselessly derides Republicans as the party of Wall Street is but one
among many doozies.
Bought and Paid For is, in short, required reading for
anyone interested in the obscured behind the scenes machinations of the
economic maelstrom we currently find ourselves mired in. Gasparino
was recently kind enough to speak with TAS about his book.
says that when POLITICO interviewed biographer Kitty Kelley on the
heels of her recent book about talk show queen Oprah Winfrey, she told
us that she expects F.O.O. ("Friend of Oprah") Barack Obama to appoint
Winfrey as an ambassador at some point.
"Barack Obama is going
to give her something," said Kelley, who cited as possibilities a global
ambassadorship, or Winfrey perhaps serving as a member of a U.S.
delegation attending Nelson Mandela's funeral when he passes.
(Kelley’s other prediction was that Winfrey would be honored at the
Kennedy Center Honors ... a prediction that did come true.)
Parade magazine pontificates
further in its most recent Sunday edition, which features an interview
"If Colin Powell had his way, Oprah Winfrey might have been an
U.S. ambassador," writes Parade. "The talk show icon recently told
Parade magazine a story of when she was sitting at Colin Powell's table
five years ago for the Kennedy Center Honors, in which the former
secretary of state said they were in the ambassadors room. 'And I
said, Gee, this is really -- this is lovely. An ambassador, I
think that would be really great.' He goes, 'Name your country,
baby, name your country.' I just laughed. He goes, 'No,
seriously, do you want to be an ambassador? 'I go: 'No, really, I
was just -- it’s just a thought. I was just saying it’s a nice
Ambassador to Somalia or Zimbabwe?
Obama Bribes The Washington Post And CBS
Warner Todd Huston
says, that in a blow to the autonomy of the media, it has been
discovered that employees of two Old Media outlets are the happy
beneficiaries of hundreds of thousands of federal dollars from an
ObamaCare slush fund. CBS and the Washington Post have both taken
large payments from Obama’s Early Retiree Reinsurance Program (ERRP),
with the Post getting $573,217 while CBS has received a whopping
reported that the news of the media giants taking federal cash was
revealed at a hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee
The question here becomes one of disclosure.
Will CBS and the Washington Post put disclaimers on any story they
relate about ObamaCare? After all, if we see a positive story
about ObamaCare from the Washington Post or CBS might we assume the
stories are so positive because employees of those media organizations
know they could be the beneficiaries of thousands of dollars in federal
cash? Might we assume that these Old Media employees might fear
that any negative story might put that largess at risk?
quotes Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Republican of Tennessee, on that very
"It is fine with me if they continue
covering the ObamaCare debate. When NBC used to cover energy
issues, they identified themselves as a subsidiary of General
Electric. CBS and Washington Post just have to disclose that they
are subsidiaries of the Obama Administration."
So what about it, Old Media? Are you going to
tell your viewers and readers that you are quietly getting fistfuls of
cash from the very government you are claiming to "report" on? And
what about that cynical and detached demeanor you always claim to be
employing in the doing?