Will Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald Destroy the Obama Campaign?

The national media are missing the big picture in their coverage of the hundred-million dollar plus scandal involving Barack Obama and his friend of 17 years, major donor, former Finance Committee Co-Chair and now indicted slumlord.

Debate moderator Brian Williams asked Obama about the scandal during last Thursday’s first Democratic Candidates for President debate. But Williams did not reference the political implications of the Obama scandal: the trial of Obama’s decades long friend and major donor and fundraiser will coincide with the 2008 primary calendar.

“Will Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald Destroy The Obama Campaign?” The legendary Patrick Fitzgerald indicted and convicted top Vice President Cheney aide Lewis “Scooter” Libby. Fitzgerald has now set his relentless prosecutorial eyes on a new target.

Fitzgerald’s United States Federal Prosecutor Office for Illinois has filed a 65 page indictment of Antoin “Tony” Rezko .

The trial has been scheduled for February 25, 2008 by U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve. Judge Eve called the trial date of Febuary 25, 2008 a firm date. The trial preparations and news will coincide with the first Democratic Primaries and Caucuses in January and February 2008. The headlines are sure to draw attention to Obama’s shady deals with Rezko in the purchase of Obama’s $1.65 million house.

We have written previously about some of Obama’s problems. The Chicago Sun-Times has been relentless in its coverage of the scandals surrounding Obama. In a recent editorial, the Sun-Times outlined the political, if not actual legal damage Obama, is, and will continue to suffer:

“Kudos to the Chicago aldermen who are asking some of the same questions we had in response to a Sun-Times investigation published earlier this week: Why did the city and state continue to provide loans, grants and tax credits to projects that involved Tony Rezko when the city at the same time was suing his company in Housing Court for basics such as no heat? Why didn’t the city shut off the spigot as soon as his buildings ran into problems? Didn’t one city department know what another department was doing?”

“The investigation by reporter Tim Novak found that Rezko’s development company, Rezmar Corp., got more than $100 million in government and private loans between 1989 and 1998 to renovate 30 apartment buildings for poor people. The projects quickly ran into trouble, and Rezmar was sued repeatedly by the city. Yet the city continued making deal after deal with Rezmar, which was paid nearly $7 million in development fees on the projects.”


“Another is presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama, who received more than $50,000 from the same sources between 1998 and 2004. Obama already has been forced to answer questions about a real estate deal between him and Rezko, a longtime friend, contributor and fund-raiser. In addition to that connection, Novak reported this week that Obama did previously undisclosed legal work for some of Rezko’s housing development projects. He insists it was only five hours of work and that he was unaware of problems at the projects, even though 11 of them were in the state Senate district he used to represent. There’s nothing illegal about the work, but his efforts to dodge Novak’s questions about it make it appear as if he has something to hide.”

The Chicago Sun-Times is not the only one who smells a rat. The Chicago Daily Herald has already imagined how campaign advertisments on YouTube will expose Obama and his slumlord connections. The advertisment as devised by the Daily Herald’s Eric Krol, and excerpted below, explains in a very easy way Obama’s connection to slumlord and Co-Finance Chair Rezko:

“Meet Barack Obama. He bought a $1.65 million mansion. Meet his neighbor, Tony Rezko, indicted on major federal corruption charges that he traded his influence with a politician for kickbacks.”

“Senator Obama couldn’t quite afford both that house and the well-groomed vacant lot next door, so he persuaded the seller to give him a $300,000 discount on the house. But his savvy and sleazy real estate developer friend, Rezko, cheerily offered to pay full price for that empty lot. Now they’re neighbors.”

“Music turns dramatic, as does announcer’s tone. “Indicted pals. Insider real estate deals. Is this the type of politician you want to elect president?”

“Ethics is an evergreen issue, and it’s not much of a stretch to assume that the Clinton team, accustomed to throwing sharp political elbows, would point out that Obama, the Senate Democrats’ point person on ethics reform, has this little, um, issue with his magnificent new house.”

“The revelation of Obama’s unique home purchase and cozy business relationship with the indicted Rezko, broken by the Chicago Tribune just before last month’s election, was a huge disappointment to many opinion leaders in Illinois. They thought Obama was different, was above that kind of maneuvering with political insiders to reap a personal benefit.”

“To the average observer, it sure looks like Obama got a house he couldn’t afford had the owner listed it jointly with the adjacent vacant lot. That’s the kind of move that rankles your average voter, the ones Obama says are being forgotten — folks trying to juggle a mortgage, credit card debt and college as good-paying jobs are shipped overseas.”

“Obama has done his mea culpa, even as the echo of the year’s defining political question in Illinois — what’s (s)he thinking? —reverberates.”

“Luckily for Obama, so far that backlash hasn’t sprouted nationally, but you could reasonably assume it will at some point during the next year. The only thing the media love more than building someone up — and they have built up Obama to proportions even he has acknowledged to be ridiculous — is tearing someone down. See Dean, Howard, the brief flavor of ’04. For Dean, it was an infamous yell that did him in. For Obama, will it be his house deal?

The shady deal for the multimillion dollar house is even worse than columnist Eric Krol details. In fact, the $625,000 lot adjacent to Obama’s $1.65 million house is actually part of the house Obama purchased. Someone, convinced the sellers to split the house from the house’s yard. Then, Obama could buy his $1.65 million house and Rezko could on the very same day purchase the yard. Who that someone is and how this deal developed is yet to be fully explained — as are other questionable circumstances with Obama’s Campaign Finance Co-Chair.

We will continue to explore these questions and issues.


The Long Road

On the McLaughlin Group this morning the consensus was that Hillary is almost a sure bet to get the Democratic nomination for President. Patrick Buchanan went so far as to say she is stronger today than ever before in not only getting the nomination but winning the White House as well. But the road to victory is still long and the road to national recovery even longer.

Most of us forget, or do not realize how much physical energy and stamina it takes to be part of a presidential campaign. The physical beating, in the best of times, a presidential candidate must endure is staggering. “The past week was an especially grueling one for those Democratic candidates in the U.S. Senate. They voted Thursday on a war spending bill, then rushed to South Carolina for the first debate of the campaign that night. They then headed west for the California state convention, a major gathering of Democrats with a history of shaping the race (in 2003, it helped propel former Vermont governor Howard Dean).”

“Having California, New York and other big states move up their primaries to Feb. 5 “puts an extraordinary burden on me and my campaign,” Clinton said, a rare acknowledgment of stress from one who has sought to look as if she finds campaigning a breeze.

“You know, we have never had a primary process like this,” she said in response to a question about the earlier-than-ever California contest. “We’re all trying to figure out how to manage the resources, the time, the organizational challenges.” She quickly added: “But I’m excited that California is moving up like it has decided to do.”

While in California Hillary spoke about the need to “replace cronyism with competence”. Hillary also made “an impassioned pitch for universal health care, backed a comprehensive plan to overhaul immigration laws, vowed to follow California’s lead in the fight against global warming and promised to reorder federal priorities that she said have left many Americans feeling “invisible.” But as her first priority, Clinton promised to end the Iraq war and bring American troops home.”

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More Hillary Triumphs

Debate day was a great day for Hillary. Not only did she demonstrate during the debate why she deserves to be the Democratic Party nominee and the 44th President of the United States but earlier in the day she received more good polling news. The Pew Research Center national poll showed she had a 10 point lead over Barack Obama. The Quinnipiac poll showed her with more than 20 point leads over Barack Obama in big states — Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania.

Republicans like Patrick Buchanan praised her performance as well. Buchanan warned Republicans that Hillary would do well against any candidate the Republican Party nominates.

According to CNN, the former Bush/Cheney press spokesman Terry Holt said

“I think tonight she demonstrated that she’s the real deal. A lot of people said that she’s too rigid, that she’s too bound by the discipline of her campaign. But that came through tonight with authority, with conviction. She hit is out of the park when whe talked about how she would respond to a two city attack by terrorists. She was the most definitive and the strongest in that regard. I think that she did all that she could do tonight in this field to distinguish herself as the frontrunner.”

Another Republican, this one a prominent businessman, outright endorsed Hillary.

“Morgan Stanley Chief Executive Officer John Mack, one of President George W. Bush’s biggest fundraisers, is endorsing Democratic New York Senator Hillary Clinton for president. Mack and his wife, Christy, decided together to back Clinton, Morgan Stanley spokeswoman Jeanmarie McFadden said after BusinessWeek reported the endorsement.

Mack, 62, told BusinessWeek that he was impressed by Clinton when she spoke at his previous employer, Credit Suisse Group, four years ago. The Wall Street executive said he appreciated her grasp of financial and health-care issues. “I know we’re associated mainly with the Republicans, but we’ve always gone for the individual,” Mack told BusinessWeek. He plans to remain a registered Republican, the magazine said.

Mack brought in at least $200,000 for Bush’s re-election campaign in 2004, qualifying him for the title of campaign “Ranger.” He has also contributed in the past to Clinton’s Senate campaign committee. The endorsement from the head of the New York-based securities firm “sends a signal that we need to get beyond politics as usual and the partisan divide,” Clinton, 59, told BusinessWeek.”

The good news for Hillary also came from Democrats. In California, “Governor Gray Davis was among 25 current and former elected officials and other prominent figures to endorse Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton for president Friday. Treasurer Bill Lockyer, Sen. Sheila Kuehl, D-Santa Monica, former Los Angeles City Councilwoman Rosalind Wyman and music industry figures Quincy Jones, Berry Gordy and Clarence Avant were among those endorsing Clinton, D-N.Y.”

“Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, fresh from the first debate among Democratic presidential candidates, received a rousing welcome Friday morning from the New York State United Teachers union.”

“In a 28-minute address to the 2,600 teachers, professors and other school personnel, Clinton earned several standing ovations as the audience waved “New York (heart) Hillary” signs supplied by her campaign.”

New York Governor Eliot Spitzer addressed the convention and said “What an amazing president she will be for every person in this country,“.

It can be argued that the best post debate remarks were delivered not by Governor Spitzer but by South Carolina Representative James Clyburn. Clyburn is the No. 3 Democrat in the U.S. House leadership and a legend and political power with great influence over voters, especially African-American voters in South Carolina.

Clyburn who hosts an annual fish fry that attracts Democratic candidates every election cycle assessed the debate and the debaters.

“Hillary Clinton did herself a lot of good,” Clyburn said. “She looked crisp, in control.” Asked what specifically he liked, he said, “She stepped up to the plate … she knocked it out of the park on the security issue.”

Clyburn said Obama “did not do as well as he could have” in the debate. Clyburn said he sensed discomfort in Obama at one point. “When he was asked about the three best allies, he seemed to get unnerved that he left out “Israel,” Clyburn said.


Hillary Triumphs

Last night, doing commentary on the debate for MSNBC, Chris Matthews looked as if he was sitting on something very sharp and uncomfortable.

Arriana Huffington, doing her Gabor sisters impressions on Larry King, looked like she had indigestion.

The Nutroots and Big Media were in meltdown.

The cause for all this discomfort and upset was the very evident and indisputable triumph of Hillary in the first Democratic debate of the 2008 election cycle.

The New York Post assembled a group of voters to analyze the debate. They declared Hillary “presidential” and Obama “timid”. Here are some excerpts of what else they had to say:

“She knows the issues, she looked presidential, and she held her own,” Jackie Rowe-Adams, a vice president with District Council 37, Local 299, said of Clinton. “And she kept a smile, if you noticed.”

Obama, meanwhile, was “really timid . . . like he was searching [for answers],” she said.

“[Obama] had the highest expectations coming into this,” she said, “so I was expecting to hear this great speaker.”

Roseann Darche, 62, a city government worker from Queens, described Obama as “the opposite of charismatic.”
“He was on message,” she noted, “and he wasn’t spontaneous.”

Some eyes rolled during some of Obama’s answers, particularly when he discussed the recent Supreme Court ruling upholding the ban on partial-birth abortions, and called the decision one best left between a woman “and her clergy.”

The Guardian boomed: “Hillary Clinton emerged as the clear winner from the first debate between the Democratic candidates in the 2008 presidential race – ahead of her main rival Barack Obama – according to those present in the audience.”

Obama stumbled repeatedly said Politico, especially on Israel and terrorism. Rolling Stone labeled Obama a big loser: “He filibustered his way through this debate. He’s set the bar high for himself as a fresh voice for change. And he disappointed by coming off as the most programmed member of the field, answering the questions he’d prepared for, not the ones he was asked: How would he pay for his health care plan, to cite just one example. He was playing not to lose.”

Newsday praised Hillary and scorched Obama: “Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton delivered a cool, confident performance Thursday night in the first primary debate of the 2008 presidential season, while her fast-gaining opponent, Sen. Barack Obama, seemed to sweat a bit in the national spotlight.”

On television, particularly MSNBC, which started its debate coverage at 9:00 in the morning the Hillary Triumph was even more evident.

Bob Shrum declared Hillary “Superb”, and said the debate helped her considerably and that now Obama must do “something” to regain momentum. Shrum added that Hillary was “natural, at ease, she did an effective job”.

Joe Scarborough and Chris Matthews said Hillary was “solid”. Chris Matthews added to his reputation for flacid analysis by talking up Hillary’s pearl necklace which he deemed “very Grace Kelly, demure”. Scarborough added that “Hillary Clinton did exceedingly well.” About Hillary he said “there was so much there, there”.

Keith Olberman stated the obvious when he said that Obama, responding to a question about his “dicey doners” did not answer well.

Howard Fineman who usually delights in mocking Hillary was forced to concede that “Hillary did superbly well” that “Obama was off his game”, “she was in command”.

Craig Crawford of National Journal said that “Hillary exceeded, Obama fumbled”, “Hillary was presidential” and that “Obama could not even handle Kucinich”.

But it was erstwhile Republican Patrick Buchanan who summarized the debate the best. Here are excerpts of what he said: “Hillary was at the top of her game, Obama was disappointing” and “Hillary really won it, Obama went into his old formula of anecdotes.” “My question is: Is there any there there? Is this just a suit?” He said Obama was “gauzy and abstract”, “almost in Dukakis league” that Hillary is a “strong front runner”. Buchanan also issued a warning to his fellow Republicans. He said that “her performance tells me that if next fall she is standing next to Rudy, McCain or Romney — she will win, she was superior to all candidates tonight. He rated her “A or A+” and that Hillary “sounded responsible, she sounded centrist and appealing to independents.”


The Pit and The Pendulum

On April 23, 2007 the Chicago Sun-Times published an article (with several sidebar articles) outlining the history of Barack Obama and an indicted slumlord friend, donor, and fund-raiser by the name of Antoin “Tony” Rezko. On April 24, 2007 the Sun-Times published a second article continuing its investigation. On April 25, 2007, Carol Marin, in a column for the Sun-Times summarized the articles and hit Obama hard “suddenly this gleaming presidential hopeful and paragon of new politics behaves just like any other dissembling, dismissive Chicago pol, ducking the discussion while pretending not to.”

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Strong For Hillary

Ordinarily this young website posts polling information at the right hand side column. But lately the noise about the strength of Hillary support and the alleged lack of love for Hillary is getting a great deal of big media play and we thought we would take a few minutes to debunk this bull… er… misinformation.

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The Media and Nutroots Attack On Hillary Clinton

The National Journal is the premier source of information for politicians and political operatives and the retrograde mass media; to access their daily Hotline publication costs several thousand dollars a year. The Nutroots, are a self-appointed, self-interested, small group of typists who utilize their self-built perches to inflict their delusions on Democrats and true progressives; they like to refer to themselves as the “netroots”, a play on words from the honorable “grassroots”. Both have joined forces to debase the likely Democratic Party nominee: Hillary Clinton.

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Bogus Focus: NYTimes Is Wrong – Hillary Clinton Is Not Losing the African-American Vote to Obama

According to a trumped up story in today’s New York Times:

“Only a few months ago, the vast majority of black elected officials in New York were expected to support the presidential candidacy of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. But no longer.In a series of interviews, a significant number of those officials now say they are undecided about whether to back Mrs. Clinton or one of her main rivals for the Democratic nomination, Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, the only black politician in the race.”

Is this true? Can it be so? Is Bill Clinton trembling in tears in his Harlem office? The answer is NO.

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Obama’s Curse

In Oedipus Rex, the very ancient (more than 400 B.C.) drama by Sophocles, Oedipus damns with a curse – himself. The story about the orphaned Oedipus begins with him as a grown man led by pride to slay the man who unknowingly is his biological father. The well known tale develops with Oedipus proclaiming a curse on the man who murdered his father. Eventually, the truth emerges that Oedipus himself is the killer. Oedipus, his eyes finally open to the ugly truth of his patricide, gashes out his eyes with his suicide mother’s golden brooches and goes into exile. The story, to say the least, is charged with irony. This leads us to 21st century America and Barack Obama.

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