The latest from the People’s Republic of Chicago ( the cradle of gangster governing )

The latest from the People’s Republic of Chicago

Phil Boehmke

Dirty Dick Daley the Secretary General of the People’s Republic of Chicago is nothing if not resilient. Comrade Leader quickly regrouped from this weeks SCOTUS decision which found his city’s handgun band to be unconstitutional and fired a fresh volley at the second amendment. A mere hours after three people were stabbed at the city’s annual “Taste of Chicago,” Daley’s Politburo rubber stamped his latest attempt to deny the people their constitutional right to keep and bear arms.

The new law would continue the city’s ban on gun shops and would require all handguns to be registered with the police. In addition gun owners would have to complete a five hour training course and pay registration and permit fees. According to the Chicago Sun-Times “Within 100 days, anyone who wants to keep a gun in the city will have to register, get their training and pay the fees.” Those who fail to comply with the new regulations would be subject to fines and possibly imprisonment.

Other totalitarian regimes have found that strict regulation and registration of firearms has been a necessary first step in the confiscation of privately owned weapons. Visionary leaders like Adolf Hitler and Joe Stalin employed similar tactics to those endorsed by Comrade Daley.

Chicago’s all powerful leader has long been opposed to the second amendment as applied to ordinary citizens and often engages in out-of-control rants against firearms from behind his protective screen of armed police guards. Newsbusters reports that this past May during a press conference in the secure environment of Chicago’s City Hall, Daley went off again.

“If I put this up your-ha!-your but-ha ha!-you’ll find out how effective this is!” Daley told Mick Dumke of the Chicago Reader. Dumke had posed the very sensible question of how the city’s draconian restrictions on gun ownership had helped, given that firearms are still widely accessible, and used in violent crimes throughout the city.

Daley didn’t seem to understand the question, he went on about how many lives the confiscation of guns saves, while ignoring the reporter’s point that gun control doesn’t take firearms out of the hands of criminals. Or, for that matter, politicians peeved with reporters for asking inconvenient questions.

Daley’s ludicrous rant became national news and inspired Christopher Fox of San Jose’ California to respond in kind to the mayor. Mr. Fox allegedly left a “threatening” voice mail in which it is said that he echoed the mayor’s threat to Mick Dumke. The mayor’s security forces traced the call, had Fox arrested, extradited and jailed in Chicago in short order. WGN reports that.

He was charged with threatening a public official.

Fox admitted in court that he made a call to the mayor but denies he made a threat.

On Sunday, Fox’s attorney said he intended to push for a reduction in the $ 1 million bail. Defense lawyer Tony Eben called the bond “unreasonable,” stating that “nothing was said that was to be taken seriously.”

The lesson here is that Mayor Daley can threaten a reporter on video with a bayoneted rifle in a room full of reporters and well armed body guards and face no legal consequences whatsoever, but an average citizen expressing outrage over such egregious behavior will be subject to the full weight of the regime’s legal system. Just another Daley dose of hypocrisy in the People’s Republic of Chicago and Christopher Fox remains behind bars.

paboehmke@yahoo.com

Emanuel pal delivered message from Obama

Emanuel pal delivered message from Obama

White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel has indirectly re-entered the picture at the Blagojevich corruption trial. Government witness John Harris, Blagojevich’s onetime chief of staff, said he received a call from an intermediary for Emanuel on Nov. 10, 2008, six days after the presidential election.


The intermediary was John Wyma, a lobbyist pal of Blagojevich and Emanuel. And the message Harris said Wyma was asked to deliver was that President-elect Barack Obama “would be thankful and appreciative” if Blagojevich would appoint Obama’s friend Valerie Jarrett as Illinois’ new U.S. Senator.

On a wiretapped phone call with Blagojevich the next day, Harris related details of his talk with Wyma. Blagojevich was at home and said he had babysitting duties. Cartoons on TV could be heard in the background.

“They’re not willing to give me anything but appreciation, (expletive) them,” Blagojevich said of Wyma’s message.

Blagojevich also wondered out loud whether he could use the Senate appointment to induce Obama to lean on Obama’s friend, billionaire Warren Buffett, to bankroll an issue-advocacy group to be run by Blagojevich that would give the governor a way to make some money and remain on the public stage.

Then he floated more ideas. Maybe he would appoint deputy governor Louanner Peters to the Senate seat and have her keep it warm for him in case he was facing impeachment. In that event, she would resign and he would appoint himself to fill the new vacancy.

And then there was the U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. feint. Blagojevich said he would plant a false story with Chicago Sun-Times gossip columnist Michael Sneed that “Jesse Jackson Jr.’s star is rising,” meaning that the governor was considering putting him into the Senate post vacated by Obama.

Harris made it clear that Blagojevich had no intention of actually appointing Jackson but just wanted to use the prospect to scare Obama’s people into cutting a deal on the Senate seat.

In an earlier wiretap played in court, Blagojevich was heard referring to Jackson as “a bad guy” and noting that Obama didn’t want to see him as senator either.

–Bob Secter

Obama knew of Blagojevich plot

Harris: Obama knew of Blagojevich plot

BLAGO TRIAL | Price of Senate appointment of president-elect’s friend

June 24, 2010

BY NATASHA KORECKI AND SARAH OSTMAN Staff Reporters

A top aide to former Gov. Rod Blagojevich said he believed Barack Obama knew of Blagojevich’s plot to win himself a presidential Cabinet post in exchange for appointing Valerie Jarrett to the U.S. Senate.

John Harris, Blagojevich’s former chief of staff, testified Wednesday in the former governor’s corruption trial that three days after the Nov. 4, 2008, presidential election, the ex-governor told Harris he felt confident Obama knew he wanted to swap perks.

John Harris, Rod Blagojevich’s ex-chief of staff, said he was convinced Barack Obama knew of the quid quo pro Blagojevich expected for a Senate nod.
(Richard A. Chapman/Sun-Times)

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Rod Blagojevich and his wife, Patti, are on the phone discussing a job possibility at a labor organization.

Patti Blagojevich is looking online for salary information.

Rod Blagojevich: It doesn’t matter. You’re . . . just wasting f—— time . . . We’re simply saying, create this position. Here’s what I want . . .

Patti Blagojevich: Yeah.

R.B.: How about I hang up on you? What are you doin’? What is this? . . .

P.B.: I tried to be helpful and you jumped down my f——throat . . .

R.B.: I don’t like you talkin’ in some weird f—— way.

Rod Blagojevich to his wife on Barack Obama’s marriage

R.B.: He’s more henpecked than me. So he listens to Michelle Obama more than I listen to you.

Rod Blagojevich on a job with the Salvation Army

R.B.: Oh, that would be huge. But do you have to wear a uniform? Forget that.

Rod Blagojevich on a job at the United Way

R.B: The United Way. What is the United Way?

Rod Blagojevich on his potty mouth

R.B.: That’s f—— good. I gotta stop swearin.’ I gotta stop swearin’.

P.B: It’s terrible.

R.B.: Yeah.

P.B.: Total gutter mouth.

R.B.: Very bad.

 

“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,” Harris said, explaining a recorded call.

Harris said Blagojevich came away believing Obama knew what he wanted after having a conversation with a local union representative, who in turn spoke with labor leader Tom Balanoff, with whom Blagojevich met to discuss a Jarrett appointment. Jarrett, now a White House adviser, was seeking the appointment to Obama’s Senate seat.

Defense lawyers say Harris’ testimony contradicts the government’s previous public statements that Obama knew nothing about deal-making involving the Senate seat appointment.

The defense on Wednesday moved to force the prosecution to turn over FBI reports of Obama’s interview with federal agents in December of 2008. Obama is not accused of wrongdoing.

“Testimony elicited by the government from John Harris and wiretaps played in court raise the issue of President Obama’s direct knowledge and communication with emissaries and others regarding the appointment to his Senate seat,” lawyers wrote in the filing.

The filing came on the trial’s third day of the extensive playback of recordings in which Blagojevich is heard repeatedly discussing ways to personally capitalize on his Senate seat appointment power. Blagojevich could be heard plotting to try to head up a charity; swearing and snapping at his wife, Patti, and dismissing the possibility of a federal position that pays $190,000 a year.

“I make $170 . . . So Fred, that has no appeal to me . . . I want to make money,” Blagojevich tells national Democratic consultant Fred Yang. “I might as well go out and find a way to make money.”

Obama’s 2008 internal report about his staff’s contacts with Blagojevich at the time indicates that Balanoff relayed to Jarrett that Blagojevich was interested in a Health and Human Services Cabinet post.

Recordings also revealed that Blagojevich had tried to get the Chicago Tribune’s editorial board fired after it ran a series of disparaging write-ups about the then-governor.

Harris testified that he ignored Blagojevich’s firing directive.

Also Wednesday, U.S. District Judge James Zagel refused to gag the talkative Blagojevich as prosecutors had asked. Zagel said Blagojevich keeps saying he’s innocent, and that anyone who says otherwise is a liar.

The repetition, Zagel said, has rendered Blagojevich’s out-of-court talk unnewsworthy.

Obama’s Summer of Corruption

Obama’s Summer of Corruption

Posted By Michelle Malkin On June 9, 2010 @ 12:03 am In FrontPage |

In Chicago politics, there’s an old term for the publicly subsidized pay-offs and positions meted out to the corruptocrats’ friends and special interests: boodle.

In the age of Obama, Hope and Change is all about the boodle. So it was with the stimulus. And the massive national service expansion. And the health care bill. And the financial reform bill. And the blossoming job-trading scandals engulfing the White House.

There’s always been an ageless, interdependent relationship between Windy City politicos and “goo-goos” (the cynical Chicago term for good government reformers). Chicago-style “reform” has always entailed the redistribution of wealth and power under the guise of public service. And it has inevitably led to more corruption.

In March 2010, this column first took note of allegations by Democrats Joe Sestak and Andrew Romanoff that the White House had offered them jobs in exchange for dropping their respective bids against Obama-favored incumbent Sens. Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania and Michael Bennet in Colorado. White House legal counsel Bob “The Fixer” Bauer’s attempt to bury questions about the Sestak affair with a Memorial Day weekend document dump failed. So has the attempt to make Rahm Emanuel-enlisted former president Bill Clinton the sole scapegoat.

Bauer’s memo mentions “efforts” (plural, not singular) to woo Sestak. But the White House refuses to divulge what offers besides Clinton’s were extended to Sestak. Moreover, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs has now denied that Team Obama was involved in the one Clinton offer that has been publicized — an unpaid appointment on an intelligence board for which Sestak was ineligible.

After months of silence, Romanoff finally stepped forward last week to acknowledge that the White House had dangled several positions before him, too. He released e-mails detailing not one, not two, but three different paid positions offered by White House Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina — whose boss, Emanuel, was subpoenaed this week by impeached former Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich of Illinois to testify in his Senate pay-for-play corruption trial.

So, can I say “I told you so” now?

In July 2009, when “Culture of Corruption” was first released, liberal critics scoffed:

How could you possibly write a 400-page book about Barack Obama’s rotten administration when he’s only been in office six months?!

When I proceeded to rattle off case after case of Chicago-style back-scratching, transparency-trampling and crooked special interest-dealing in the new White House, liberal critics such as “The View’s” Joy Behar interjected:

B-b-b-but what about Bush? Why don’t you write a book about Bush? Wha-’bout-Bush? Wha-’bout-Bush? Wha-’bout-Bush?

When I pointed out that I had reported extensively on cronyism in the Bush era (see Harriet Miers, FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security), and when I further pointed out that while the Bush-bashing market overflowed, there remained a massive vacuum of critical analysis of Obama, liberal critics sputtered:

So what? Doesn’t every administration have corruption?

When I patiently explained that no other administration in modern American history had set itself up as loftily as the Hope and Change reformers had done, or when I cited endless examples of Obama’s broken promises on everything from lobbyists to transparency to Washington business as usual, liberal critics changed the subject again:

RACIST FASCIST EVIL FOX NEWS RIGHT-WING HATE MONGER!

Two major job-trading scandals plus the start of the Blago trial this past week — on top of a year’s worth of uninhibited White House wheeling and dealing, broken transparency pledges, Justice Department stonewalling and brass knuckle-bullying of political opponents — have finally turned the once-derided thesis of my book “Culture of Corruption” into conventional wisdom.

Obama sold America a Chicago-tainted bill of goods. A nation of slow learners is finally figuring it out.

Michelle Malkin is the author of “Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies” (Regnery 2010). Her e-mail address is malkinblog@gmail.com

The long, hot Summer of Corruption

Michelle Malkin 

Lead Story

The long, hot Summer of Corruption

By Michelle Malkin  •  June 2, 2010 09:40 AM

The resurrection of Rod Blagojevich
by Michelle Malkin
Creators Syndicate
Copyright 2010

We’ve had the Summer of Love and the Summer of the Shark. Now, are you ready for the Summer of Corruption? On Thursday, jury selection begins in the federal trial of disgraced former Democrat Gov. Rod Blagojevich of Illinois. The timing couldn’t be worse for Blago’s old Chicago pals in the White House. Just as Team Obama tries to bury one job-trading scandal, another one resurfaces.

It’s a useful reminder that Washington didn’t turn Obama into a business-as-usual politician. He was born and bred among the slimiest in their class.

At the center of the Blago trial is the convergence of the Chicago political machine – the corrupt Democratic Party establishment, Big Labor heavies at the Services Employees International Union, and Team Obama.

In December 2008, the political ties that bind them all came under national scrutiny when federal prosecutors publicly released their criminal complaint against Blagojevich. SEIU figured prominently in Blago’s secretly taped musings on how to profit from his power to appoint Obama’s Senate replacement. So did a larger union umbrella federation, Change to Win, led by SEIU secretary-treasurer Anna Burger. Blago hatched a plan to snag a $300,000-a-year job as head of Change to Win in exchange for appointing a union-friendly successor to Obama.

Like Obama, Blago enjoyed massive campaign donations and on-the-ground support from the SEIU’s Purple Army. Like Obama, Blago repaid his Big Labor backers with labor-friendly executive orders and legislative largesse to facilitate union organizing and carve out major portions of the health care industry for them. At the time of his arrest, Blago was preparing another executive order to expand the union power grab over an even larger portion of home health care workers targeted by the SEIU.

Blagojevich did the country an extraordinary unintended favor. As health care analyst David Catron wrote: “He has made it clear to the meanest intelligence that Obama emerged from a hopelessly corrupt political culture. Barack Obama oozed from the same stinking Chicago swamp that produced Blagojevich, and a man whose formative years were spent wallowing in the muck with such creatures isn’t likely to be long in White House before the stench of pay-to-play politics begins to pervade the place.”

Fast-forward. Nearly two years later, Obama’s legal fixers can’t mask the Chicago-esque odor of Sestak-gate. The president’s legal team, led by chief fixer and legal counsel Bob Bauer, orchestrated a Memorial Day weekend document dump intended to squash mounting public criticism of the administration’s alleged government job offer to Pennsylvania Democrat senatorial candidate Joe Sestak. Bauer’s memo acknowledged that “options for Executive Branch service were raised with him” through former President Bill Clinton, whom White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel enlisted to woo Sestak.

Blago knows all about working with Team Obama through intermediaries to explore, ahem, “options.” Blago’s then-chief of staff, John Harris, allegedly mapped out “three-way deal” to give the White House a “buffer” obscuring the obvious quid pro quo. SEIU would assist Obama with Blago’s appointment of a union-friendly candidate; Blago would get his cushy union job; and SEIU would be rewarded down the road with favors from the White House. Team Blago reached out to the SEIU. An unnamed SEIU official agreed to float their plan and “see where it goes.”

The Senate candidate Blago allegedly approached was top Obama adviser and Chicago political godmother Valerie Jarrett, who removed herself from the running when she took a top White House adviser post instead. Who was the “SEIU official” Team Blago spoke with and met? Internal communications in December 2008 fingered President Obama’s longtime Chicago pal, SEIU Local 1 president Tom Balanoff. Balanoff, not coincidentally had been appointed by Blago to the llinois Health Facilities Planning Board.

Two days before Christmas 2008, legal counsel Greg Craig released an official, self-exonerating report outlining contacts between Team Obama and Team Blago. Balanoff, it turns out, had indeed spoken with Jarrett. The Obama defense? Despite her much-touted political brilliance, the legal team argued, Jarrett “did not understand the conversation to suggest that the Governor wanted the cabinet seat as a quid pro quo for selecting any specific candidate to be the President-Elect’s replacement.” The Blago subpoena of the president filed last month begs to differ – and directly implicates Obama:

“…despite President Obama stating that no representatives of his had any part of any deals, labor union president [presumably SEIU’s Andy Stern] told the FBI and the United States Attorneys that he spoke to labor union official on November 3, 2008 who received a phone message from Obama that evening. After labor union official listened to the message labor union official told labor union president “I’m the one”. Labor union president took that to mean that labor union official was to be the one to deliver the message on behalf of Obama that Senate Candidate B was his pick.”

It’s going to be a long, hot summer of Chicago corruption.