That Didn’t Take Long: Rahm Emanuel Transition Co-Chair Resigns Over Ethics Violations

That Didn’t Take Long: Rahm Emanuel Transition Co-Chair Resigns Over Ethics Violations

By Doug Powers  •  February 26, 2011 06:01 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

As you would expect in Chicago politics, all potential Team Rahm transition co-chairs were subjected to stringent background checks… except for the ones who weren’t:

(CNN) – A co-chair of Chicago mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel’s transition team resigned from her new post Friday after it was revealed that she left her high-level state job last summer over ethics violations, CNN confirmed Saturday.

Judy Erwin previously served as the executive director of the Illinois Board of Higher Education and served on then-candidate Barack Obama’s Education Policy Committee during his 2008 presidential campaign. On Thursday, she was named to Emanuel’s transition team and according to a news release, Erwin was also recently hired as managing director for ASGK Public Strategies, the communication management firm founded by former Obama senior adviser David Axelrod.
But a recent decision by the state Executive Ethics Commission says Erwin used her state e-mail account and phone to campaign for Obama, engaging in campaign fundraising activity and using staff resources to help plan her trip to the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

A full 24 hours from appointment to resignation for ethics reasons. Is that a new Chicago record? Highly unlikely.

Given the man under whom Emanuel studied the art of smooth transition at the executive level, I’d expect more problems in the very near future.

**Written by Doug Powers

Obama Nixes Safe Drilling

Obama Nixes Safe Drilling

By Jeffrey


Interior Secretary Ken Salazar was in Houston this weekend talking with oil
executives who are eager to start drilling again in the Gulf of Mexico. That may
sound like progress, but after the meeting Salazar said that nothing had
changed. He was not ready to approve any new drilling.
Despite everything that energy companies have done to devise advanced
containment systems, Salazar is unwilling to issue a single new permit. Systems
constructed by the nonprofit Marine Well Containment Company and other entities
are now able to handle a flow equal or greater than that experienced during the
Deepwater Horizon accident last summer. But that’s not enough for Salazar, who
even the most advanced systems have “limitations on water depth and
barrel-per-day containment capacity.”
Well, yes. Any system that could be devised would have limitations on depth
and per-barrel capacity. But that’s not the point, as Mr. Salazar must know. The
question is whether the new systems are able to handle the sorts of accident
that might actually take place. Not the worst scenario that someone from the
Interior Department could dream up. Combined with safely protocols now in place,
the new containment equipment can do just that.
So why no permits for new drilling? It appears that the Obama
administration is more interested in kowtowing to environmental donors in
advance of the 2012 election than it is in controlling energy prices. Even with
a federal court order
to decide
on new drilling in the Gulf by March 20, the Obama administration
remains obdurate.
By refusing to grant a single deep-water permit in the Gulf, Obama has shut
down access to one third of America’s oil supply. With Libyan oil fields now
closed indefinitely and with uncertainty about future production elsewhere in
the Middle East, it is a dreadful time to be shutting down America’s oil fields
as well. Turmoil in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Kuwait, or Iraq would drive the price of
oil up above $150 a barrel, at the very least. A prudent policy would be to
increase domestic production in light of uncertainty abroad.
Some Americans are already paying $4 a gallon for gas, but this is not just
because of what’s happening in the Middle East. Government action on Gulf
drilling permits would immediately calm the oil markets and bring down prices,
even though new production would not come on line for several years. But instead
of reducing prices, Obama seems is intent on driving them up.
It’s not just the Gulf of Mexico that is off limits. Obama opposes drilling
anywhere offshore, including in the rich arctic region which is known to hold
billions of barrels of oil reserves.
Just as bad, in his FY2012 budget Obama proposes
$4.4 billion of annual tax deductions for oil and gas drilling —
deductions for depreciation and amortization that date back to 1913. Those tax
deductions help energy companies pay for exploratory projects that then result
in lower energy costs for all Americans. At a time when Obama is throwing away
$100 billion on risky alternative energy boondoggles, a number of which have
already gone bankrupt, he wants to end those modest tax advantages that actually
result in the production of large quantities of new energy. That sort of
accounting only makes sense to a politician.
Obama, in fact, is doing everything possible to curtail domestic energy
production, and yet he says that
“our dependence on foreign oil threatens our national security.” If reliance on
foreign oil puts America at risk, why not produce more oil at home? New drilling
techniques including fracking, horizontal drilling, and deep-water drilling now
make it possible to do just that, but Obama opposes all of these.
If the President knows that dependence on foreign oil threatens our
national security and that new drilling techniques can increase
domestic supplies, why is he intent on destroying our domestic oil and gas
America is going to need new oil and gas production in a big way. In a new
, Charles T. Maxwell, the dean of U.S. energy analysts, has gone on
record saying that regardless of what happens in the Middle East, oil prices are
going up, way up. In a Barron’s interview Maxwell stated that oil
prices will hit $300 by 2020. Maxwell arrives at this number by way of a
straightforward calculation. By about 2015 global oil production will peak, but
demand will continue to increase on a global basis.
That leaves Americans paying $12 a gallon for gas, which is just about what
Obama has said he wants. That certainly will help to end our dependence on
foreign oil. The problem is there won’t be anything to take its place.
At $12 a gallon, we won’t be driving around much in large SUVs or in small
SUVs, either. Nor will we be enjoying cheap air fares or discounted cruises. The
cost of transporting goods will triple, as will the cost of heating homes,
schools, and offices. And those who think that solar and wind will take the
place of fossil fuels are sadly mistaken.
As Maxwell points
, solar energy now supplies one tenth of one percent of America’s energy
needs. Even with massive subsidies — the kind of subsidies that have already
bankrupted the Spanish economy — solar and wind will never supply more than a
small percentage of America’s energy needs. Since Obama, through EPA
restrictions, is busy sabotaging coal and natural gas as well, and since America
has no serious nuclear program underway, we are left with nothing.
Only a president who is extraordinarily stupid would fail to see this.
Conclusion: Obama is either extraordinarily stupid, or he is willing to trade
America’s national security for the support of
environmentalist donors who are key to his re-election. Whichever it is, we’re
in trouble.
Jeffrey Folks is the author of many books and article on
American culture.

The Geraldo Rivera of Presidents

The Geraldo Rivera of Presidents

By Betsy M.


I’m bitter.  No two ways about it.  Without Robert Glib in the press room
there’s just no comic relief in the fundamental transformation anymore.  So
often Leftists are, themselves, the best illustration of their ironic world of
absurdity — even those Leftists who sometimes masquerade as conservatives.
Before Late Night hosts, White House press secretaries, and Saturday Night
Live casts found such pleasure in giving conservatism a bad name, there was
Geraldo Rivera.
Remember the unending build-up to Rivera’s live television special, “The
Mystery of Al Capone’s Vault”?   Its marketing created a palpable curiosity,
sparking conversations around water coolers for weeks.  For all the anticipation
— all the promise of treasure — we were left with thirty seconds of watching
dust settle on an empty room.  Nothing like naked humiliation to jumpstart a
If Kennedy was the “King of Camelot,” and Reagan, ‘the Teflon President,’
Barack Obama is the “Geraldo Rivera President.”
Rivera was born to a Puerto Rican father, and a Caucasian mother.  He was
raised in his mother’s Jewish faith, later rejecting it, and is now purportedly
an atheist.  He evokes other religions as they suit his purpose.  He is
respectful, for example, with the Leftist organizing, Muslim Brotherhood, and
their offshoot, CAIR.
He grew up in “ethnic confusion” in Long Island where he lead a double
life; an ethnic ‘pastiche’ at home, and a boy with white, protestant friends at
He was born “Gerald,” eventually adopting the Latino pronunciation,
After graduating from Law School, he devoted himself to the cause of
“poverty law.”
With the help of another writer, he penned his autobiography; Exposing
, [not to be confused with any of Obama’s books] at the age of 48,
wherein he chronicled the discrimination he faced in his youth, and his fight to
champion the ‘little guy.’
He is the author of several other books. The books, HisPANIC Why
Americans Fear Hispanics in the U.S
., and The Great Progression How
Hispanics Will Lead America To A New Era Of Prosperity
, are progressive
manuals which inject accusations of racism in what should be real discussions;
blurring legal and illegal immigration, for example, and calling virtually any
and all opposition racist.
He is vocal in his disagreement with George W. Bush; Bush’s handling of
war, his response to 9/11, his hurricane Katrina response, his ‘stolen’ 2004
election, and the arrogance of his foreign policy.
He postures with our troops, championing their bravery while showcasing his
own risk, and inadvertently undermining troop movements and tactical
maneuvers.   He questioned whether 9/11 was an ‘inside job.’
He is, perhaps, most famous for his personal exploits.  The mystery of his
many affairs, his affinity for the high life, and his desire to befriend the
powerful, the criminal,  Hollywood celebrities, and the most provocative world
He supports ObamaCare.
He blames talk radio for making Latinos feel unwelcome as
He decries racism, but projects race into every possible situation.  When
Joe Wilson shouted, “you lie” to President Obama, it was racist.  When anyone
questions illegal immigration, it’s racist.  The police response to “these
missing white girl cases,” is racist.  Before Sonia Sotomayor is a wise
American, she is a wise Latino.
He treats conservatives with disdain.  He once called FNC co-worker
Michelle Malkin’s opposition to illegal immigration, “anti-immigrant hysteria.”
He followed that with, “I’d spit on her if I saw her.”  The Tea Party incites
violent rhetoric, even shootings in Arizona.  He has “never seen any people of
color” at a Tea Party rally.
He calls himself a Zionist but shamelessly attacks Israel, including
propagating the narrative that it is Netanyahu who refuses to make peace with
He has a knack for inserting himself in every story; championing the
downtrodden, while he somehow makes their plight about himself.
He has a very healthy opinion of himself, evidenced by numerous magazine
covers, books, self-congratulatory speeches, and a love of the limelight that,
sadly, tends to undermine the good he has done.  He once called himself, “one of
America’s few one-name celebrities.”
He has extensive experience in using Teleprompters.
If not for the famous moustache, you might confuse Geraldo for another
‘one-name celebrity,’ except Obama very openly deplores FOX News, and Geraldo
collects a paycheck from them.
Any lack of substance is disguised with Geraldo’s grandiose style:  the
broken nose in 1988 when he pitted volatile racist groups against one another,
weeping with Katrina victims, putting himself in harm’s way with soldiers, and
humanizing the Charles Mansons and Castros of the world.  Above all, Geraldo
reads the world through the progressive’s race-colored glasses.  As countless
citizens, even liberals, are now realizing, falling for style over substance is
exactly how we get a narcissistic, appeasing, race-obsessed Gerry Rivera to the
White House.
If you want to see the victim narrative come to life, look no further than
Madison, Wisconsin where bloated teachers unions wage class warfare, and their
elected mouthpieces flee the State; supposedly unaware, if the flotilla isn’t
righted, the Democrat and union ships go down together.
All the while, of course, Rome continues to burn, and the Obamas host a
timely celebration of Detroit’s Motown History and its role in the civil rights
movement, complete with a day of workshops, and a lavish, star-studded
sing-a-long.  Because, in the words of Michelle Obama, “the Motown story is a
metaphor for life,” which I’m sure means a lot to Americans in the crosshairs of
a civil war in Libya, the families of the four Americans killed by Somali
pirates last week, and our brave soldiers risking their lives around the
If unions are to expect another bailout, it makes sense they posture as the
new civil rights’ movement.  Surprisingly, Geraldo hasn’t yet stood weeping with
union members on the steps of the Madison State House.  It would certainly fit
the narrative.  Forget that public employee unions are paid at twice the rate of
their private sector counterparts; forget the $200 billion in stimulus dollars
from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 that largely went to
fund — save — public employee pensions in already bankrupt States, forget
their union collects dues that are used to support one — and only one —
political party, forget they can ‘skip’ (cough, cough) school for a week and
still have a job, and forget the many good and honorable public school teachers
the union disparages by association.
This is what the narrative buys.  Empathy for the cause; distraction from
the facts.  Geraldo knows it well.  Obama community-organizes on its
What’s most remarkable, is the fact Obama is now ostensibly the organizing
arm of all public sector unions from within the White House, even if only by
proxy.   A President organizing against State Governors, and private taxpayers,
is nothing less than un-presidential.
The truth is we know the song.  We get it.  And, frankly, it’s been playing
in our heads like a bad record for far too long.  Many of us manage to work and
prosper despite some adversity — in many cases, it’s what compels us.  And we
do so without calling in the union or the government to babysit every bump in
the road, or evoking racial inequality or other misnomers when we fail.  The
narrative is simply lost on those of us who refuse to see life through the prism
of race, or class, or a long-held grudge.  We refuse to let the narrative trump
the reality of the truly oppressed — the taxpayer.
The White House says it’s not taking sides in the union fight in Wisconsin,
but Obama’s actions say otherwise; no matter how covert.  In 2012 taxpayers will
take a real seat at the collective bargaining table, and vote Big Labor out of
the White House.  FOX News could take the same lead, but if fair and balanced is
your mantra, Rivera isn’t the worst of token progressives.  At the very least,
Rivera continues to prove conservatism is the right path, often times better
than conservatives themselves can convey.