It is not really plausible that Obama was interested in who was replacing him in the Senate, and that Blagojevich was desperately interested in shaking down Obama for money or favors, and that Obama’s refusal to yield to Blagojevich’s bribery/extortion attempt was conveyed to Blagojevich -- but somehow in over a month there was no contact between the Obama camp and the Governor’s team.
My tentative conclusion is the same as I expressed yesterday (and hinted above): Obama is telling the truth when he says that he has not talked to Blagojevich about his Senate seat, but he is not ruling out staff discussions.
I do not consider the Philadelphia contact as disproving Obama's claim of no contact on the Senate seat.
Apparently, “contact” does not include a private meeting with governors in Philadelphia, or a public shaking of hands in front of the cameras.
If I thought that shaking hands were dispositive on contact
Asked what contact he'd had with the governor's office about his replacement in the Senate, President-elect Obama today said "I had no contact with the governor or his office and so we were not, I was not aware of what was happening."
I suspect most readers didn't read it that way, and I certainly didn't, but of course Jim is the last word on what he meant.
I'm really confused by what you're saying, but I'll let you be the authority on what argument you were making.
People on his transition team clearly knew what the governor was up to. For this part of his statement to be true, you'd have to believe that no one on his staff told him about Blagojevich. To that I say: "Oh, come on!"
He'll fire all 93 US Attorneys, like Bill did. It's only political if you fire a few US Attorneys who aren't following directions on which cases to emphasize. It isn't political if you fire all the US Attorneys, including the one who just happens to be investigating your friends and possibly you.
After playfully showing the picture of Obama and Blagojevich shaking hands...
In fact, Jim notes, there was a picture taken of the two of them shaking hands around then.
The Chicago Tribune says there were pre-election contacts...
We have had some discussions about a process which we’ll share
To think that Obama has not had contact with the Governor of his state since his winning the presidency simply does not pass the test of reasonableness. With his superior people skills, experience and knowledge of the political landscape in his home state leads one to expect he has been in contact with his home state's political machinery on many matters. The appointment of his replacement would be one.
Remember, Obama wants to hit the ground running. He needs all the senators he can get his hands on.
This again? Give me a break. Its standard practice to fire all/most attorneys at or near the beginning of a term.
…historical data compiled by the Senate show the pattern going back to President Reagan. Reagan replaced 89 of the 93 U.S. attorneys in his first two years in office. President Clinton had 89 new U.S. attorneys in his first two years, and President Bush had 88 new U.S. attorneys in his first two years.
When the party in power changes hands in the White House, it is expected that the new president will fire all the sitting U.S. attorneys, as was the case for both Ronald Reagan in 1981 and Bill Clinton in 1993. President Bush, unlike Clinton and Reagan, did not fire all the attorneys en masse when he took office in 2001, and allowed a few to continue in their positions for several months. All were replaced with his own selections early in his administration, however.
It is very unusual for a president to fire U.S. attorneys who were his choices for the job.
Please don't use "Canuck" as abbreviation for "Canucklehead".
discussions is contacts
obama is full of it
I just love all of the above comparisons of Obama to Clinton. I can only assume that this is because Clinton's lies -- like Obama's alleged lie -- were relatively frivolous compared to Bush's lies. Otherwise, you would all be comparing Obama to Bush, right?
Obama had better learn precision in the future.
If Professor Lindgren were a Japanese person, I'd expect him to apologize profusely over this. But, of course, Professor Lindgren is not a Japanese person. And it's unreasonable to expect him to use a Japanese communication style.
His argument is very indirect, but in his update he blames you for misunderstanding him. He evades responsibility for the effects of his words on his readers.
but of course Jim is the last word on what he meant.
- we found the weapons of mass destruction
- he wouldn't let them in
- a wiretap requires a court order
Because these languages share an overlapping moral vocabulary, they contain a propensity for systematic mistranslation, creating misunderstandings which impede communication and limit the potential for cooperation and care in relationships. Carol Gilligan, In a Different Voice: Psychological Theory and Women's Development, 173 (1982).
Somehow the third leader named "George" seems to be unlucky for our great republic....
I did not speak to the governor about these issues. That I know for certain.
What I want to do is to gather all the facts about any staff contacts that I might -- may have -- that may have taken place between the transition office and the governor's office. And we'll have those in the next few days, and we'll present them.
Those are not casual qualifiers accidentally thrown in there. It looks, just from those statements, like Obama is waiting to find out what the feds know before he finalizes his story. That doesn't inspire confidence.
THe first rule of politics is: Every politician is a liar. Off the top of my head, I can't think of one exception.
Gee, who would have thought that electing a president with vitually no background check could blow up in our face?
Blagojevich said some candidates reached out to him before the election and his administration would seek out others who could be a good choice. He also wants Obama’s input.
“That would have obviously a great deal of weight on the decision that I would make,” Blagojevich said.
He said he has not yet spoken to Obama, whose timeline for resigning his Senate seat was unclear Wednesday.
I did not speak to the governor about these issues. That I know for certain.
We were not involved in that discussion or any discussion of that nature.
I have never been impressed by the world-weary "they all do it" argument. If this is true, then we have no right to complain about any who do, because we are then setting them to a higher standard than everybody else. But it's not true. In fact, they don't all do it, and we do have a right to expect that a particular politician be truthful. In the case of OB, I am willing to give him credit for truthfulness until the evidence shows the contrary.
Here’s what the statement was:
“I just don’t want to jinx him and I don’t like the karma of me thinking that far ahead,” Blagojevich said of Obama’s prospects in Tuesday’s election. The governor added, “We have had some discussions about a process which we’ll share … if all goes well.”
So who is “we”? Basic English. “We” is him and Obama. When you use the pronoun we in that context, that is the only correct reading.
1) George Washington
2) George H. W. Bush
3) George W. Bush
--- Original message ----
>Date: Fri, 12 Dec 2008 02:08:00 +0000
>From: "A. W." email@example.com
>Subject: your blog
> So... let me get this straight...
> You personally insult me in your
> comments. You let other people
> personally insult me.
> Then I call an argument hallucinated
> context and you call me uncivil.
> Who exactly do you think you are
> Don't bother to ban me, I am banning
> you. You are too much of a lightweight,
> and too much up in your own arse, to
> bother with. Clearly the only comments
> you consider to be uncivil are those
> that disagree with you.
> You don't buy that? Then how come you
> treated no one else in that thread that
> way? I pointed out specific insults
> toward me and you didn't say "boo." And
> its not that I need your protection, but
> why is it that one side has to abide by
> marquis de queensberry rules and the
> other doesn't?
> Don't bother to reply. I check this
> account maybe once a month. Besides you
> and i both know in this debate, I
> "pwned" you. But I doubt if you can
> climb out of your own arse long enough
> to admit it.
Let's not forget "we do not torture."
For the claim that if the discussions is with his staff and not him, it is not contact, baloney on that.
you don’t find the governor stating that he had this meeting to at least be some evidence that the meeting occurred?
We have had some discussions
So who is “we”? Basic English. “We” is him and Obama. When you use the pronoun we in that context, that is the only correct reading.
when you use a pronoun, you are referring to a thing previously mentioned
if you want to talk substantively, well then shouldn’t he have talked about the discussions that did occur, even if they were with his staff and not him … according to the tribune that there were discussions between at least his people and their people right before the election about replacement … he did have contacts, about the senate seat. according to the tribune
We are trying to find out what he knew and when he knew it and he is giving us only half the picture.
now you see some other people in this thread adding the modifier “by obama” to his statement that there were "no contacts” (thus: “no contacts by obama regarding replacements”) and thus we get further and further away from what he actually said
I had no contact
that radio station had not one but two reports
I have not seen anything to suggest that the reports are purely based on the word of the governor.
this would be the fourth source claiming at least one meeting took place.
I haven’t heard anything suggesting that [many have been keeping the Gov. at arm's length for quite some time]. got evidence?
At the very least, we EXPECT a politician from the Chicago machine to know a whole lot of crooks.
Not unless they have impeccable credentials for reform (like say Palin in Alaska).
We found the WMDS… um, he believed we did at that time. false report.
Eventually, btw, we did find the WMDs, but not as many as we thought he had.
It should not be surprising that chemical munitions produced by Iraq beginning in the early 1980’s and continuing until 1991 have been found in Iraq during the course of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Such rounds continued to be found during the entire course of the United Nations inspection activities in Iraq between 1991 and 1998 and during the brief resumed activities of the UN prior to the onset of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
In the early days of inspections carried out by the United Nations Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM) such discoveries were made in the face of Iraqi intransigence and defiance of inspectors. These Iraq deception and denial efforts were designed to limit the inspectors understanding of the extent of Iraq’s CW program, and particularly its efforts to produce advanced nerve agents and advanced delivery methods. A vast store of Iraqi chemical weapons were identified, collected and destroyed by UNSCOM. By the mid-1990’s, discoveries of additional chemical rounds generally represented something else entirely – the chaos of warfare and the disorganization of many parts of Saddam’s decaying arms regime.
Battlefields are inherently disorganized affairs particularly when your army is losing and very often retreating in chaos as Saddam’s army found itself both in the Iran-Iraq war and as the Coalition forces routed Iraq from Kuwait in 1991. Weapons stores were sometime abandoned with no attempt to record what went where. Many of Iraq’s arm depots represented unsorted collections of munitions that the Iraqis themselves had little idea of their composition. Sometimes this had tragic consequences as it did in late 1991 when US forces destroyed a large bunker of weapons believing that it contained only HE rounds and thinking that this was an effective way of rendering them harmless. Unfortunately it also contained a small number – no one is really confident as to the number – of unmarked, and undetected, chemical rounds. The resulting controlled explosion exposed the US troops involved to a resulting release of Sarin.
On the Iran-Iraq front there was the additional problem of extensive use of chemical munitions, mostly mustard, with the result that the battlefield was littered with unexploded munitions, most HE, but some chemical, as well as extensive, but undocumented minefields. This is not an unknown problem in warfare. To this day, there are extensive areas around the French fort of Verdun that remain closed, but littered with HE and mustard rounds – from World War I.
…no one believed that every last chemical round had been found, and most were rather certain that it was inevitable that if you searched enough you could find additional pre-1991 chemical rounds that the Iraqis had lost track of.
…The mustard produced by Iraq was of reasonable quality but had been put into containers and munitions that were of such poor quality that, by the mid-1990's - they were generally leaking and very dangerous to handle. It was generally believed therefore that the chemical rounds that would be found would be of such low quality that they would not be effective weapons - self-policing in terms of the harm they could do to US forces and Iraqi civilians.
He wouldn’t let them in. that was true.
Iraq has on the whole cooperated rather well so far with UNMOVIC in this field. The most important point to make is that access has been provided to all sites we have wanted to inspect and with one exception it has been prompt.
So once again, we are saying that people said X but didn't literally mean X, even though it is the most natural reading.
court order. A lie... to protect national security.
I suppose next you will get angry at Franklin Roosevelt for lying to the public about where D-Day would be.
how hopey and changey is it if you say Obama is justified in lying because, according to you, bush lied too?
If you are asking if Bush should have been investigated? Well, for Abramoff, of course. Investigate. By all means.
he knew there was corruption all around him and he didn’t do anything about it
Way to keep things civil.
Your [aw] tone is way off for this blog
I think if you look, the pattern is Governor makes statements, press assumes they are correct, didn't check to see whether event actually happened.
and the post election press conference, the gov says he hasn't met with Obama yet- referring to the post election meeting the press stated was scheduled to occur.
You don't have 4 sources. You have 4 reports. Who is a source other than Blago?
We agree, I think, there is only one source- the Governor/his office. I'm inclined to count the first retracted story as a second report: Gov says meeting to occur.
according to that Oct. 30 Chicago Tribune article … Obama did have a discussion in late October with Blago
Taking Blago at his word (!), he and Obama had a discussion 2 months ago about the process of choosing his successor
the "we" does seem to me to refer to Obama in the context of the story
Besides the documentation of contacts between Obama and Blagojevich
It looks, just from those statements, like Obama is waiting to find out what the feds know before he finalizes his story
Every politician is a liar
Bush declared via his staff, but Obama had no contact via his staff?
Was there not a press release from gov office somewhere during this period?
Disables comments for a provacative post.
When Bush staff speaks that's just like Bush speaking. When Obama staff contacts, it's a strawman.
I don't know procedure to link article.
Oh, dear. Now we have Chicago TV reporting Emmanuel spoke with the governor about a list of senate candidates favored by Obama.
If this report is true, does it mean Obama had contact with the governor? Will we have to revisit the meaning of the word "contact?"
Q: Have you ever spoken to [Illinois] Gov. [Rod R.] Blagojevich about the Senate seat?
O: I have not discussed the Senate seat with the governor at any time. My strong belief is that it needed to be filled by somebody who is going to represent the people of Illinois and fight for them. And beyond that, I was focused on the transition.
Q: And that was before and after the election?
Q: Are you aware of any conversations between Blagojevich or [chief of staff] John Harris and any of your top aides, including Rahm [Emanuel]?
O: Let me stop you there because . . . it's an ongoing.... ...investigation. I think it would be inappropriate for me to, you know, remark on the situation beyond the facts that I know. And that's the fact that I didn't discuss this issue with the governor at all.
MR. OBAMA: I hope that the governor himself comes to the conclusion that he can no longer effectively serve and that he does resign.
In terms of our involvement, I'll repeat what I said earlier, which is I had no contact with the governor's office. I did not speak to the governor about these issues. That I know for certain.
What I want to do is to gather all the facts about any staff contacts that I might — may have — that may have taken place between the transition office and the governor's office. And we'll have those in the next few days, and we'll present them.
But what I'm absolutely certain about is that our office had no involvement in any deal-making around my Senate seat. That I'm absolutely certain of.
And the — that is — that would be a violation of everything that this campaign has been about. And that's not how we do business.
It is not really plausible that Obama was interested in who was replacing him in the Senate, and that Blagojevich was desperately interested in shaking down Obama for money or favors, and that Obama’s refusal to yield to Blagojevich’s bribery/extortion attempt was conveyed to Blagojevich — but somehow in over a month there was no contact between the Obama camp and the Governor’s team.
BTW, Obama looks relaxed and in control -- excellent affect.
Is that the planet where the waters are receding and the planet has begun to heal itself?
The journey will be difficult. The road will be long. I face this challenge with profound humility, and knowledge of my own limitations. But I also face it with limitless faith in the capacity of the American people. Because if we are willing to work for it, and fight for it, and believe in it, then I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on earth. This was the moment—this was the time—when we came together to remake this great nation so that it may always reflect our very best selves and our highest ideals.
The past few days when I've been at that window upstairs, I've thought a bit of the "shining city upon a hill." The phrase comes from John Winthrop, who wrote it to describe the America he imagined. What he imagined was important because he was an early Pilgrim, an early freedom man. He journeyed here on what today we'd call a little wooden boat; and like the other Pilgrims, he was looking for a home that would be free.
I've spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don't know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind-swept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace, a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity, and if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That's how I saw it and see it still.
During the last sixty days, I have been at the task of constructing an administration. It has been a long and deliberate process. Some have counseled greater speed. Others have counseled more expedient tests. But I have been guided by the standard John Winthrop set before his shipmates on the flagship Arbella three hundred and thirty-one years ago, as they, too, faced the task of building a new government on a perilous frontier. "We must always consider," he said, "that we shall be as a city upon a hill--the eyes of all people are upon us." Today the eyes of all people are truly upon us--and our governments, in every branch, at every level, national, state and local, must be as a city upon a hill--constructed and inhabited by men aware of their great trust and their great responsibilities.
Fellow-citizens, we cannot escape history. We of this Congress and this administration, will be remembered in spite of ourselves. No personal significance, or insignificance, can spare one or another of us. The fiery trial through which we pass, will light us down, in honor or dishonor, to the latest generation. We say we are for the Union. The world will not forget that we say this. We know how to save the Union. The world knows we do know how to save it. We -- even we here -- hold the power, and bear the responsibility. In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free -- honorable alike in what we give, and what we preserve. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth. Other means may succeed; this could not fail. The way is plain, peaceful, generous, just -- a way which, if followed, the world will forever applaud, and God must forever bless.
For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us. So that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken… we shall be made a story and a by-word throughout the world.
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