The elaborate hype announcement of the day (barring some Supreme Court news) is the unveiling of a 47 million year old fossil dubbed “the missing link“.
We thought we would provide our own missing links too.
The somewhat simian Blagojevich is our nominee for political missing link today. Chicago Magazine published a long story which has been effectively ignored by just about everyone. Guess why the story is being ignored? We won’t ignore this missing link:
The arrest of Governor Rod Blagojevich in December cast a shadowy light on the relationships among four leading players in the Illinois Democratic Party—Blagojevich, Barack Obama, Rahm Emanuel, and David Axelrod. The new president and his two aides would like to minimize their dealings with the disgraced ex-governor. But the record tells a more complex story.
Blagojevich will be on trial soon and as the story notes during his impeachment “trial” he wanted to call as witnesses Rahm Emanuel and Valerie Jarrett, among other Chicago Obama pals. The article derides that witness wish list as “delight in sullying the veneer of President-elect Barack Obama and his Chicago team headed for the White House.”
Although the article is protective of Obama, there are some glimmers of
At this writing, U.S. attorney Patrick Fitzgerald had said nothing to implicate Obama or his aides in wrongdoing. Still, with at least 40 references to Obama and his associates in the original 76-page criminal complaint, the scandal has cast a shadowy light on the connections between Blagojevich, Obama, and Emanuel, whose careers often overlapped, and who all drew on the skills of David Axelrod, the architect of Obama’s Senate and presidential campaigns and now a White House senior adviser.
Understandably, the Obama camp has tried to downplay the connections, most notably with a report by the future White House counsel Greg Craig asserting that no one on the president-elect’s staff, including Obama, had “inappropriate discussions” with the governor about deals for the Senate seat. But the Craig report focused exclusively on Blagojevich’s alleged wheeling and dealing around the seat, and beyond that time frame, the interplay of Blagojevich, Obama, Emanuel, and Axelrod goes deep into the recent history of Illinois politics.
“I come out of the alleys of Chicago politics. That’s a tough place. The politics there is not motivated by idealism or high purpose.” Blagojevich is quoted as saying. Blagojevich almost sounds like Obama’s mentor of 20 years, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, when he derided Obama as just another pol. For those wanting additional “missing link” information on the dirty little rats from Chicago, the article chains a lot of links.
The article describes Axelrod trying to intimidate newspapers, and outlines his connections to the Daleys and as “indispensable” to Blagojevich, as well as how Blagojevich got Rahm Emanuel to run for congress. We hear again about father-in-law “Mell” as well as the Emanuel/Blagojevich alliance on prescription drugs. John Wyma, the lobbyist for AT&T, Harrah’s and Kraft, who turned informer is also described. We are offered this appetizer: “The relationship between Emanuel and Wyma could turn out to be a crucial missing link to knowing the full extent of Emanuel’s role in Blago-gate.”
We also meet Obama as he decides to stop being the “brother from Hawaii”, as Bobby Rush derisively described him, and supports Roland Burris for governor in 2002. It was Obama once again caring more about skin color as a political imperative: “Endorsing one of Burris’s white opponents, Paul Vallas or Blagojevich, would have ended Obama’s political career.”
More fun: Obama’s Palinesque “You betcha” when asked in 2002 if he was supporting “Hot Rod” and Emanuel giving credit for the election of Blagojevich to himself and “Barack”. Also, how Obama got “the skinny guy with a funny name” line from a guy named Blagojevich.
But the most important lesson Barack got from Hot Rod was fundraising. Blagojevich, we are reminded collected the still astonishing figure of $58.3 million during his governor runs with a third of that amount coming from 435 donors. On his election eve Blagojevich declares “Tonight, Illinois has voted for change” and we laugh along with the joke.
Obama’s alliances with Emil Jones Jr. in order to become a U.S. Senator with faked accomplishments is briefly touched upon as is his rivalry with Blagojevich for the claim to be “progressive”.
The yet to sing Rezko makes an appearance of course. The crucial money to Barack is recounted as is the hiring of friends. But once again the Rezko financed house is not even mentioned and excuses come pouring forth:
Rezko remains the most troubling common tie between the president and the disgraced former governor. Obama has repeatedly insisted that Rezko never sought anything except small favors here or there, such as an internship for the son of a business associate. Assuming that’s true, why did Rezko act like a crook with Blagojevich and not with Obama? One veteran political operative offered this explanation: “Rezko was, basically, forming political sleeper cells. He didn’t know which ones would be useful. He was right about Barack’s promise, not about his usefulness.”
And was Obama simply naïve about Rezko? “Maybe so,” says John Kupper, who worked on Obama’s U.S. Senate and presidential campaigns. “But the fact is: He never asked Barack for anything in return.”
Blagojevich, however, was infuriated that he—and not Obama—was taking most of the political heat for Rezko. Recalls a fourth former Blagojevich aide: “A lot of Rod’s resentment was—‘How come I wear the jacket for Tony?’”
A question which never comes up is whether David Axelrod, who worked for John Edwards in 2004 but not in 2008 knew about the Edwards affair with the now mother of his (probable) child. There is a story making the rounds that former Edwards advisers knew Edwards was cheating on Elizabeth and they wanted no part of the 2008 campaign. Did Axelrod know about the Edwards affair and did he tell Obama (who in every election amazingly and coincidentally has a sex scandal interrupt his opponent’s campaign)?
By the way, Blagojevich also eyed going to Iowa to spread Chicago corruption and label it as “change“:
By then, Blagojevich had set his sights on higher office. “It wasn’t long after he got elected governor that he said, ‘Well, maybe I should go out to Iowa,’” recalls Giangreco. Several sources say Blagojevich had sketched out a plan, of sorts, to run for president in 2008. Mell explained it to me during a 2007 interview: “He would’ve been able to make a great case of this Kennedyesque, dynamic leader coming into the fifth-largest state and sweeping Republicans out of office after 26 years, then being this charismatic, idealistic governor cleaning up the state. Iowa’s right next door, and when he’s running for reelection, he sends all of his commercials out of the Quad Cities right past Des Moines. He would’ve been a known factor before he’d even start [campaigning in the Iowa caucuses]. That’s the way he envisioned it.”
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On May Day we were too full of love and joy to discuss credit card interest rate caps. We did rouse ourselves sufficiently to recall the Obama hypocrisy and lies on capping interest rates on credit cards by recalling the debate on January 22, 2008 (the Rezko mentioned debate) “and Obama’s laughable response to why he voted AGAINST a cap on credit card interest rates of very high 30%.
Hypocrite John Edwards exposed hypocrite Barack Obama with the mocking reply to Obama’s mendacious claim:
EDWARDS: You voted against it because the limit was too high, is that what you just said?
OBAMA: That is exactly what I just said, John, because…
EDWARDS: So there’s no limit at all.
There is a sort of warning/missing link today to this credit card story (and even unrelated issues like can and trade) which if it wasn’t so sad, would be funny:
Credit cards have long been a very good deal for people who pay their bills on time and in full. Even as card companies imposed punitive fees and penalties on those late with their payments, the best customers racked up cash-back rewards, frequent-flier miles and other perks in recent years.
Now Congress is moving to limit the penalties on riskier borrowers, who have become a prime source of billions of dollars in fee revenue for the industry. And to make up for lost income, the card companies are going after those people with sterling credit.
Banks are expected to look at reviving annual fees, curtailing cash-back and other rewards programs and charging interest immediately on a purchase instead of allowing a grace period of weeks, according to bank officials and trade groups.
In other words, if you pay your bills (like your mortgage) on time, you will be punished in the age of Obama. The missing link here is that responsibility, in the age of Obama, is for idiots.
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We did not know there were similar thoughts presented earlier to Governor Sarah Palin when we wrote The Republican Secret Weapon – Hillary Clinton
While discussing the Miss California issue we suggested that Republicans should “utilize the history of the 2008 primaries and what was done to Hillary Clinton to expose the intolerant bullies who pose as progressives.” We also warned:
Sean Hannity in particular constantly attacks Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton in ugly, gratuitous ways. Hannity is living in the 1990s. Even the biggest Bill and Hillary haters, such as Richard Mellon Scaife, now recognize they were fools drunk with destructive Clinton hate. Hannity would make a stronger case against Barack Obama if he would invoke the nastiness of the Obama campaign against Hillary and stop the nastiness against Hillary himself.
Some Republicans will fan the flames of Hillary hatred. These are Republicans who are afraid of Sarah Palin and do not want to do anything that might help women, such as attack sexism and misogyny.
Apparently we are not the only ones who see opportunity for Republicans by using their most formidable weapon – Hillary.
In an unusual attempt to forge an alliance between two of the most prominent families in American politics, John Coale, a Washington-area Democratic donor and onetime adviser to Sarah Palin, urged the conservative Alaska governor to use her political action committee to help retire the presidential campaign debt of Hillary Clinton.
Coale, a wealthy trial attorney and the husband of Fox News talk show host Greta Van Susteren, approached Palin with the improbable plan in February while in Alaska with his wife, who was taping an interview with the former Republican vice presidential nominee.
An outspoken Clinton supporter during the Democratic primary who switched his allegiance to the GOP ticket for the general election, Coale made his case to Palin at the Iron Dog snowmachine competition in Fairbanks, where Todd Palin was competing over Valentine’s Day weekend. His broader aim, say Palin camp insiders, was to help Palin develop a relationship with the former first family that he thought could bolster the polarizing governor’s standing with Democrats and independents.
As “improbable” as the plan seemed (and we do think actual fundraising for Hillary might be too drastic a step for Republicans to contemplate) it would be wise for Sarah Palin to listen to such type of advice. Governor Palin like Hillary was subjected to the ugliest sorts of sexism and misogyny during the campaign. Even the hypocrite Howard Dean acknowledges the sexism and misogyny directed against Hillary AND Governor Palin (of course he only said that well after the elections).
Governor Palin appears to share our view of the situation:
Palin was amenable to getting acquainted with the Clintons but was skeptical of using her PAC to help the former first lady.
There is a great deal of logic to Governor Palin talking things over with Hillary and Bill and John Coale is a smart and courageous man for making such a case to both Palin and the Clintons, even if Republicans and Dimocrats are “dumbfounded“:
“He thought the Clintons could rein in some of the Democratic firepower aimed at her,” said a dumbfounded Republican privy to the discussion who advocated fiercely against the idea.
A former Clinton aide hadn’t heard of the plan but deemed it “not rooted in anything that would touch on reality.”
No this is not a fantasy game, this actually happened and hooray and hoorah for Mr. Coale who actually thinks instead of ignoring possibilities:
Coale conceded that he urged Palin and her advisers to consider helping Clinton, but he said it was part of a larger campaign to align the Alaska governor with prominent women in politics, including Republicans Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina, both of whom are prospects for elective office in California.
“It was a women thing and not a Hillary thing,” said Coale, who was angered at what he saw as sexism aimed at Clinton during last year’s campaign and who has long taken an interest in promoting female politicians.
He sought to minimize just how much Palin could have done, noting that the PAC could give only $5,000 to help with Clinton’s debt — a modest sum, given the former first lady’s $2 million-plus campaign debt.
But Coale is candid about his efforts to create an unlikely bond between the ultimate Democratic power couple and the Alaska duo that so many liberals revile, noting that he had pushed the Clintons to get to know the Palins.
No, this is not a fantasy, not dumb, and reality based – as a certain former President appears to agree:
Former President Bill Clinton placed a friendly call to Palin after the election, and Coale sought to use that as an opportunity to play matchmaker.
He said he tried to set up a visit between Bill Clinton and Palin in Alaska earlier this year when the former president traveled to Asia, but Clinton wound up traveling there through Europe.
Bill Clinton is no fool. Bill Clinton is a real, not pretend, uniter – not a divider.
Coale is a smart man and is therefore derided for his original and smart thinking.
“With these people from the opposite side, I’m trying to turn down the volume a bit on the attacks,” Coale said. “The more people meet each other and actually talk to each other, the volume will come down.”
Governor Palin is now constantly under attack and at times overwhelmed. She could use some good advice on how to organize politically from a far away state. Governor Palin could use a lot of good advice.
Who better than Bill and Hillary?
For Bill and Hillary, now is the time to truly triangulate.
Triangulation – the missing link.