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Moran Mistaken About Particular Blagojevich-Obama Contacts.

[UPDATE: The post below points out an error by Rick Moran. He has been very gracious in acknowledging his mistake:

Jim Lindgren, whose excellent timeline on the scandal is must reading for those who wish to understand the sequence of events that eventually trapped the Illinois governor, corrects two egregious errors made in this article.

Both Advisor "A" and "B" are not Obama advisors but rather advisors to Blagojevich. The proof lies in this posting of Jim's at Volohk Conspiracy. I will not make any excuses. The information I based those observations on was obviously erroneous and I should have been more careful. Ultimately, responsiblity for the errors is mine and mine alone.

I regret the errors and any confusion that resulted from them.]

At Pajamas Media, Rick Moran is claiming that the government affidavit shows that Blagojevich had conveyed his corrupt plan to two Obama advisors, referred to in the affidavit as Advisor A and Advisor B.

But I think that Moran is confused.

Advisor A is definitely a Blagojevich advisor (not an Obama advisor), and Advisor B is almost surely a Blagojevich advisor as well.

Here is Moran:

But we already know that at least two top advisors (Advisors "A" and "B" in the taped transcripts released in the criminal complaint against Blagojevich) had discussions with Blagojevich and his people about the Senate seat. The question isn't whether there were "inappropriate discussions," but what exactly was discussed between the parties.

The taped transcripts of phone calls on November 7 offer a clue or two about the issues under discussion between the two camps.

On that date, Blagojevich spoke with "Advisor A" about the seat and told him in a phone conversation that he would appoint "Senate Candidate 1 [widely believed to be Obama's first choice, his longtime friend and confidante Valerie Jarrett] in exchange for the position of secretary of Health and Human Services in the president-elect's cabinet."

Speculation about who "Advisor A" might be has centered on Obama's chief of staff-designate Rahm Emanuel. . . .

Yet the affidavit describes Advisor A in item 74:

74. During another intercepted call still later on the evening of November 3, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH spoke with Advisor A, a former Deputy Governor under ROD BLAGOJEVICH who is currently a lobbyist. . . .

Rahm Emanuel is a US Congressman, not "a former Deputy Governor under ROD BLAGOJEVICH who is currently a lobbyist." Emanuel can't be Advisor A.

Advisor A is a Blagojevich advisor, not an Obama advisor. Rahm Emanuel is suspected of being a different character in the affidavit "President-elect Advisor."

Here's what Moran says about Advisor B:

But that wasn't the only telephone conversation that took place on November 7 between Blagojevich and Obama representatives. Later that day, a three-way conversation was taped involving the governor, his chief of staff John Harris (also arrested), and an Obama representative identified only as "Advisor B" who, we are told, is a Washington-based consultant. Is "Advisor B" a member of the official transition team? Judging by this eye-opening conversation taped by the feds and the fact that the review cleared Obama's "staff" of any deal-making with Blago, we very well might hazard a guess and say that Advisor B was not an official Obama staffer but could very well have been acting as a conduit between Governor Blagojevich and the Obama camp.

Since Advisor B appears to be named in the same fashion as Advisor A, Advisor B is almost certainly a Blagojevich advisor as well. Further, here are the relevant allegations, which appear to refer to Advisor B as one of the "Washington D.C.-based advisors to ROD BLAGOJEVICH":

99. Later on November 7, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH discussed the open Senate seat in a three-way call with JOHN HARRIS and Advisor B, a Washington D.C.-based consultant. . . .

101. On November 10, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH, his wife, JOHN HARRIS, Governor General Counsel, and various Washington-D.C. based advisors, including Advisor B, discussed the open Senate seat during a conference call. (The Washington D.C.-based advisors to ROD BLAGOJEVICH are believed to have participated on this call from Washington D.C.).

It appears that Blogojevich scheming with Advisors A and B does not, by itself, represent contact between camps because both advisors are in Blagojevich's camp.

I left a short comment at Pajamas to notify Moran of his error.

Kazinski:
The Suntimes is reporting that there are 21 separate conversations with Emanuel on tape discussing the Senate seat. Since I'm pretty sure that it isn't Emanuel's phone that they tapped, the conversations were with Blagojevich or his aides.

In another interesting development the local ABC affilliate is reporting that Blagojevich was a public servant until he went into politics:

"When I was working with government wearing wire, I reported, I observed Rod, the present governor, who was running a gambling operation out in the western suburbs. He was paying street tax to the mob out there," said Robert Cooley, federal informant.

On a web-based interview show last week, Cooley said he reported to federal authorities nearly two decades ago that Rod Blagojevich had been operating an illegal sports gambling business.


The Feds have been evidently been waiting to harvest this bad apple since he went into politics.
12.17.2008 12:47am
Dave N (mail):
Jim Lindgren is nothing but a partisan hack out to paint Barack Obama in the worst possible light. Everything he posts is nothing but a hatchet job because he is out to get the President-elect.

No. Wait. Never mind.
12.17.2008 1:29am
KLAPTON:
It is absolutely improbable that Obama was not informed, during the daily briefings he is reported to be receiving even now from various federal intelligence agencies including the FBI, about the court-authorized wire-tapping of Blago’s telephone conversations. It would, therefore, be equally improbable that he had not been advised well in advance to keep a safe distance from the Illinois governor and keep his own nose clean in this regard (but let some of his lackeys do the dirty work) so that he can claim with a straight face that he had no contact whatsoever with Blago in regard to the latter’s plan to auction the US senate seat vacated by him to the highest bidder when the scandal would eventually and inevitably break out, as it has done now. I am ,however, surprised that it has not occurred to some enterprising reporter to ask Obama at his press conference whether he had been tipped off in this matter by the FBI officially or by someone in the FBI (who is eager to curry favor with the new boss) unofficially. To what extent Obama would have entangled himself in this murky business, given his past track record and penchant for associating himself with characters with dubious antecedents, had he not been fore-warned, as I suspect, that Patrick Fitzgerald had been stalking the unsuspecting Blango, is anybody’s guess. Nonetheless, the body language of Barack Obama when he announced from a podium that he had never had any contact whatsoever with the Ill. Governor, Blago was very similar to that of his mentor and role-model, Bill Clinton when he declared vehemently under oath and wagging his index finger at his audience: “ I did not have sex with that woman!”. Bribery, like prostitution, is a game which always requires two players – one on each side of the court. And, a telephone conversation needs at least two participants – one at each end of the line unless it is made out that the Blago bloke was only talking to himself detailing his own intentions or negotiating with a ghost over the telephone, neither of which is actionable under the law. It is, therefore, blatantly unfair and inequitable that only the intending bribe-taker is being charged and prosecuted while no potential bribe-giver is even being targeted. What is happening in this instance is very much akin to the hooker being always hooked by the vice squad but her ‘john’ being invariably let off the hook, as it has happened in the case of another infamous governor, Eliot Spitzer of New York!
12.17.2008 1:59am
Freddy Hill:
On a tangential topic, Could any legal types out there tell me why the affidavit talks coyly about "advisor A" and "advisor B" and then proceeds to give sufficient information about them to pretty much identify them, e.g.,


Advisor A, a former Deputy Governor under ROD BLAGOJEVICH who is currently a lobbyist.


How many former deputy governors under Blago are there? Why not just identify the damn advisor by name and be done with it?
12.17.2008 2:13am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
dave n:

No. Wait. Never mind.


Lindgren has faced a lot of criticism, especially recently, for his anti-Obama hackery. It will take some time to determine if his sympathetic posts like this (on a very minor and esoteric point, by the way) are coming from a new and sincere impulse to be fair, or if they're just an attempt to deflect the criticism by encouraging comments like yours.

If I'm nice to you on Mondays and Wednesdays, that doesn't give me a license to slap you around on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Likewise, if I'm fair to you some of the time, that doesn't give me a license to be unfair to you the rest of the time.
12.17.2008 2:30am
gerbilsbite:
Can you also get Moran to stop being such a Moran on his own blog?:

In a decade, we will also know whether the war was a net plus or minus for US interests. (To make that judgment now is folly. Example: Viet Nam, where many historians now see the war as a pivotal event in the collapse of the Soviet Union.)


Forgive him, he (far too often ) knows not of what he speaks.
12.17.2008 2:39am
BGates:
Dave - bear in mind Torquemada, Jr has the same complaint about the journalist who asked whether Duncan had a better jump shot than Obama, rather than assuming that Obama is superior to every other human being in every respect.
12.17.2008 2:48am
LN (mail):
Lindgren is generally quite sympathetic to Obama. During the campaign season, for example, he referred to Obama as a candidate of great integrity (I think it was in the same post where he called the 2008 election the most corrupt ever). Even in the much-criticized recent posts, he spends a lot of energy defending Obama (from charges that no one else seems to be bringing up).

If you consider this post on a standalone basis, there's very little to say. If you come in believing that Lindgren spends considerable energy attempting to link Obama to corruption simply through constant repetition and innuendo, even though substantively he has little to contribute on the subject, then I don't see why this post would appear to be a break in the pattern. It's pretty comical at this point.
12.17.2008 2:52am
epriest:
@Freddy Hill, there was an article about this on Slate the other day (although I don't have the background to remark on its accuracy):

http://www.slate.com/id/2206515/
12.17.2008 4:32am
Canucklehead (mail):
I think to get a handle on whether Barak Obama knew about these dealings, one needs to look at the Democratic Party's infrastructure and the logistics they used to campaign. He would need to know his party's key players.

One important area is that of the SEIU's Change to Win Program. It makes perfect sense for Blagojevich to want to head this program. More on the Democratic Pary's fund raising infrastructure is contained in the pdf file referenced below.

Please note that SEIU provided a great deal of infrastructure support for the various "funds" created to finance the Democratic Party's campaign. To head up the SEIU's Change to Win program would make Blagojevich a high level power player within the Democratic Party. Obama would be very interested in the staffing of this position.

The Democracy Alliance Does America

... Of the top corporate and labor union donors to ostensibly non-partisan 527 committees that filed disclosure reports with the IRS, four were on the left:

The Service Employees International Union ($31 million), followed by the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees ($5.6 million), Soros Fund Management ($5.1 million), and Steven Bing’s Shangri-La Entertainment $4.8 million. Number five was Las Vegas Sands ($4.4 million), whose namesake hotel is owned by conservative businessman Sheldon Adelson. SEIU also topped the list in the 2006 cycle, donating $33 million. (opensecrets.org, IRS
records as of Oct. 21)...
12.17.2008 7:34am
Curt Fischer:

jukeboxgrad: It will take some time to determine if his sympathetic posts like this (on a very minor and esoteric point, by the way) are coming from a new and sincere impulse to be fair, or if they're just an attempt to deflect the criticism by encouraging comments like yours.


Can you describe the method you will use to "determine" Prof. Lindgren's impulses and motivations? If you have a method to monitor peoples' id just by reading their interweb posts, please share!


If I'm nice to you on Mondays and Wednesdays, that doesn't give me a license to slap you around on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Likewise, if I'm fair to you some of the time, that doesn't give me a license to be unfair to you the rest of the time.


Sometimes there is only one side to the story. That is, it is hard to square what you are saying with anything but a "equality of results"-based philosophy of fairness.
12.17.2008 8:04am
byomtov (mail):
The Suntimes is reporting that there are 21 separate conversations with Emanuel on tape discussing the Senate seat.

The Sun-Times is reporting an unsourced and unverified rumor that there are 21 conversations. Big difference.
12.17.2008 8:13am
Hoosier:
Look.

I hate to pull rank. As regular readers of this blog know, I am as humble and docile a man as any who ever put three fingers to a keyboard.

But I'm one of the few Cook County natives on these boards. Raised in an Irish, Democratic family; fifth generation Chicagoan. Grandpa was a Teamster.

So when I say it, it's true:

Rahm Emanuel is viewed as an "effective" Cook County politician. So he is clearly guilty of something.
12.17.2008 8:38am
Al Maviva:
It seems to me there's a lot of heat but not much light on this. I suspect strongly that Obama is telling the truth when he says that the prosecutor asked for silence on the matter until Dec 22. This wouldn't be unusual given the existence of grand jury proceedings and the requirements of Fed. R. Crim. P. 7(e), and an investigating prosecutor's normal tendency to like to keep investigative matters close to the vest until they can be sprung on the court or the public with maximum effect. I wouldn't be shocked at all if there is another disclosure coming up to the effect that Emmanuel or somebody else on Obama's staff helped out with the investigation. It's in their interest to remove and cauterize a lot of the Chicago connections as quickly as possible. Moreover, David Axelrod, Rahm Emmanuel and Greg Craig are all in the Obama camp. You'd likely see an aggressive public effort to discredit Fitzgerald if Obama was threatened in any serious way by the scandal.
12.17.2008 8:53am
Snaphappy:
I've always liked it when a particuarly appropriate verb is used to describe what someone said, e.g.: "I love you," he lied. So here's my version of the last line of this post:

"I left a short comment at Pajamas to notify Moran of his error," Lindgren sniffed.
12.17.2008 9:11am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
curt:

Can you describe the method you will use to "determine" Prof. Lindgren's impulses and motivations?


It should be obvious that I don't mean "determine" in the sense of 'know for sure.' I mean "determine" in the sense of 'being able to make an educated guess about something that's impossible to know for sure.'

In other words, you're taking a cheap shot, and you're being pedantic.

it is hard to square what you are saying with anything but a "equality of results"-based philosophy of fairness.


No. "Fairness" doesn't mean 'making sure 50% of your articles support one side, and 50% support the other.' "Fairness" means that 100% of your articles consist of objective analysis of the available facts, and avoid rank speculation and innuendo.

In other words, I don't particularly have a problem with someone who does nothing but complain about Obama, as long as those complaints are grounded in a reasonable, honest and careful analysis of the facts. (I would describe that person as an honest partisan, which is a perfectly honorable thing to be.) So "equality of results" is not what I'm looking for. Fairness is embodied in the process, not the result.

Ironically, it's your ideological pal dave n, in this thread, who is promoting the idea that fairness is measured in terms of "equality of results." He essentially said this: 'lindgren has reached a pro-Obama conclusion; this proves that lindgren is fair.'
12.17.2008 9:16am
Curt Fischer:

jukeboxgrad:
[...] I mean "determine" in the sense of 'being able to make an educated guess about something that's impossible to know for sure.
[...]
"Fairness" means that 100% of your articles consist of objective analysis of the available facts, and avoid rank speculation and innuendo.



One man's "educated guess about something that's impossible to know for sure" is another man's "rank speculation and innuendo", I guess.
12.17.2008 9:34am
FredC:
"Raised in an Irish, Democratic family; fifth generation Chicagoan."

Sure, how far you've fallen, with your lace curtain ways. Makes these Irish eyes weep. :)
12.17.2008 9:34am
R Nebblesworth:
12.17.2008 9:34am
Pierre Owner Bouncer Pink Flamingo Bar & Grill (www):
Yup it is impossible for Obama to be linked to this mess. After all he has shown so much discretion in the past. My goodness of course he is the only virgin in the whorehouse...

Reverend Wright, Billy Ayers, Father Pfleger, Farrakan, Brother in Kenya, Marxist Wanna Be Dictator Odinga, Khalidi, PLO, IRAN all Jostling for Room under the Obama Bus...I hear they are holding a spot for Rahm.
12.17.2008 9:41am
uh_clem (mail):
Prof Lindgrin strikes me as a man who's desperately trying to fan the flames of a fire, but who recognizes that the piece of wood that his friend has just placed on it is too wet to burn.

One can admire his honesty in admitting that this piece of wood doesn't help build the fire, while at the same time realizing what his overall game plan is.
12.17.2008 9:42am
Sarcastro (www):
Pierre has a point. Ya don't need articulable suspicion to hate someone!
12.17.2008 9:44am
Houston Lawyer:
These comments read like a bunch of 6th grade girls trying to hurt the feelings of one of their former BFFs.

Obama will be unendingly criticized, fairly and unfairly, for at least the next four years. Time to suck it up and at least respond substantively to the comments instead of bitching about the motives of the criticism.
12.17.2008 9:50am
FredC:
I do find myself in allot of agreement with Houston. If criticism is warrented, relate the criticism of Jim to the actual post your commenting upon and try to be substantive.
12.17.2008 9:55am
jeanneb (mail):
Al Maviva:

You'd likely see an aggressive public effort to discredit Fitzgerald if Obama was threatened in any serious way by the scandal.
Er, no, they can't go after Fitz. Not after they canonized him during the Scooter Libby prosecution.

No, I suspect a more familiar---Clintonian, if you will---PR tactic here. [Sid Blumenthal perfected it during the Lewinsky scandal.] Note that the item about Rahm being on 21 taped conversations came in a Chicago political gossip column...UNattributed.

It's very likely the "21-calls" story was planted BY THE OBAMA TEAM. Later---when the prosecutor reveals there were only, say, NINE conversations---voila!...the MSM will gasp and write favorable stories about how Rahm and Obama were victims of mis-reporting. I wouldn't be surprised if their stories even wondered "aloud" as to whether it was a Republican Dirty Trick!
12.17.2008 10:05am
BGates:
Not after they canonized him during the Scooter Libby prosecution.
I think you're overestimating the importance of consistency. Look at how the next first black President treated the last first black President.
12.17.2008 10:32am
James Lindgren (mail):
I didn't reference the Sun Times column because it's a gossip column, and the govt affidavit shows that another Sun Times gossip column was used several times to place untrue stories. It might be true, but it also could be planted by one of Emanuel's rivals in Illinois or in the transition team, or maybe someone in Blagojevich's camp is trying to leverage the transition team in some way.

Also, this one issue we may learn some about next week.
12.17.2008 10:41am
rarango (mail):
What Houston Lawyer said--
12.17.2008 10:45am
Asher (mail):
Well aren't we so lucky that we've got you to keep everyone on their toes regarding Obama's non-involvement in the Blagojevich flap. Without you, statements at unread venues like Pajamas Media would go unchecked, and we wouldn't have the now-authoritative timeline of the Obama-Blago non-contacts.
12.17.2008 10:46am
Awesome-O:
No, I suspect a more familiar---Clintonian, if you will---PR tactic here. [Sid Blumenthal perfected it during the Lewinsky scandal.] Note that the item about Rahm being on 21 taped conversations came in a Chicago political gossip column...UNattributed.

It's very likely the "21-calls" story was planted BY THE OBAMA TEAM. Later---when the prosecutor reveals there were only, say, NINE conversations---voila!...the MSM will gasp and write favorable stories about how Rahm and Obama were victims of mis-reporting.


I recall a variation on this maneuver that didn't rely on the Clinton team to plant to story:

Step 1: Rumor comes out.

Step 2: Clinton defenders point out that it's only a rumor, source is unreliable, etc., so it doesn't mean anything and should be disregarded.

Step 3: Rumor is later substantiated.

Step 4: Clinton defenders say "that's old news. We've been through this. What, you don't have anything else? I thought we moved on from this."
12.17.2008 10:49am
cirby (mail):
Yet another shoe drops:

Obama's potential Attorney General, Eric Holder, seems to be in a bit of trouble, too. Blago tried to give him (and his law firm) a job as special investigator to the Illinois Gaming Board - and he didn't bother mentioning that on his disclosure form for the AG spot.
12.17.2008 10:56am
Awesome-O:
Er, no, they can't go after Fitz. Not after they canonized him during the Scooter Libby prosecution.

Never underestimate the ability of blind partisans to bend reality to suit their needs. P-Fitz will become a Rethuglican hack before long. Just you wait.

Remember, Fitzmas was ultimately disappointing for the left. They wanted Karl Rove; they got Scooter Libby. Show of hands: who had ever heard of Scooter Libby before his indictment? That's what I thought.

Old leftist opinion of P-Fitz: Crusading (can I use that term?) hero taking down the lawless Bush administration.

New leftist opinion of P-Fitz: Rethuglikkkan hack from the politicized Chimpy McFlightsuit InJustice department who did the bare minimum in L'affaire Plame. He should have indicted Rove, GWB, Cheney, Laura Bush, Lee Atwater's ghost, and Pope Benedict XVI, but instead he indicted Scooter Libby, because he had to indict someone, but he wasn't about to indict anyone who matters.

See how easy that was?
12.17.2008 10:58am
celebrim:
"How many former deputy governors under Blago are there?"

Quite a few. Four?

"Why not just identify the damn advisor by name and be done with it?"

Bradley Tusk would appear to be the leading candidate, but he's denying any involvement.
12.17.2008 10:59am
JosephSlater (mail):
Houston Lawyer:

You are absolutely right that Obama will be subject to unfair criticism for the next four years (as well, I would add, as fair criticism).

On the other hand, taking seriously every absurd claim from political opponents simply allows the other side to set the terms of debate. And it's worth recalling, in this context, how both unfair and fair criticisms of Bush were (and still are) met in some quarters met with little more than cries of "Bush Derangement Syndrome! Bush Derangement Syndrome!"
12.17.2008 11:19am
Al Maviva:
Er, no, they can't go after Fitz. Not after they canonized him during the Scooter Libby prosecution.

Yeah, right. Like how a principled chape like David Cole will never develop a Strange New Respect for something as hideous as preventive detention.

I have to admit, I'm enjoying Lindgren's Seinfeldian posts about nothing, but not as much as the heckler's veto / hissing-in-electronic-form from the Kool Aid drinkers every time he posts. I've seen 4 year-olds have more sophisticated tantrums than that.
12.17.2008 11:25am
calmom:
A small story overlooked on this blog. Rezko's sentencing has been postponed for a second time, this time indefinitely. My guess he is trying to get a sentencing deal by singing louder and faster than Governor Rod.

Second guess: The real scandal won't be the Senate seat. It will be a web of pay to play dealing with all the contracts and favors and appointments going back years. Many more Illinois pols will be indicted. How long is the statute of limitations on bribery in Illinois?
12.17.2008 11:50am
Melancton Smith:
I'd like to echo Hoosier. Those of us who actually live in Chicago and environs know what Chicago politics are like.

Those of you criticizing us that only know of Chicago from a Carl Sandburg poem or a Broadway play would do better to take notes.
12.17.2008 11:59am
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12.17.2008 11:59am
Baseballhead (mail):
Time to suck it up and at least respond substantively to the comments instead of bitching about the motives of the criticism.
Wouldn't it just be easier to come up with some generic and insulting phrase, like "Barack Derangement Syndrome", as an one-size-fits all flyswatter to dismiss such criticism? I mean, that's been SOP here for the last few years.
12.17.2008 12:09pm
Office of the Transparent President Elect (mail):
"Ya don't need articulable suspicion to hate someone!" Sarcastro the Barking Moonbat

And when Obama says bark, reporters learn to bark. Some, such as David Gregory and yourself, are self-taught, others are learning more slowly, though they do seem to be learning. Then again, Obama was nice enough to eventually allow the reporter to ask whether Obama or Arne had the better jump shot. And for that, we are to learn to be thankful.
12.17.2008 12:46pm
Sarcastro (www):
Woof squeeeeek!

Mmoooon!
12.17.2008 12:56pm
Michael B (mail):
Sneeeeer, it's all "hate"!
12.17.2008 12:59pm
Nunzio:
As another Cook County native, Emmanuel was tight with Blago and Daley. City workers on city time were out rounding up votes for Emmanuel during his 2002 successful run for Congress.

By Cook County standards, Obama is very clean. His lone sin is Tony Rezko, his money man for 10 years and the guy who helped him buy his house. Everyone knew Rezko was dirty including Obama.

The thing Emmanuel needs to worry about is what Blago has to say about him. Blago's got no dirt on Obama, but plenty on Emmanuel, who's a scumbag.
12.17.2008 1:00pm
Sarcastro (www):
Ima reporter!

Also, I'm not sure what Office's post had to do with what I said, but he seemed very vehement, so I expect he's probably right about the press adoring Obama and never writing anything bad about him.

Except when they do, but those are the exceptions!
12.17.2008 1:00pm
LN (mail):
Interesting tidbit: Jesse Jackson, Jr. has been an informant for at least a decade with the US Attorney's office, and has informed on Blagojevich in the past, although not in this case.
12.17.2008 1:23pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
curt:

One man's "educated guess about something that's impossible to know for sure" is another man's "rank speculation and innuendo", I guess.


Not really. Guesses and speculation can be based on valid evidence (i.e., "educated"), or not. I didn't condemn speculation. I condemned rank speculation. Rank speculation is rank because it's not based on valid evidence.

Often evidence is strong enough to support speculation, but not strong enough to support a conclusion. In that situation, speculation is fine. But sometimes there isn't even enough evidence to support speculation, and people speculate anyway. That can be offensive.
12.17.2008 1:25pm
Rhonda Fleming (mail):
I want to know where is the Federal Investigation into Governor Easley's office? What happened to my family and friends requests for FOIA in my brothers murder? Where is the outrage from citizens to solve murders in Durham? The media is as yellow as it can possibly be, our leaders as corrupt as they can be, and "WE" the "SHEEPLE" are as blind as can be! Does anybody truly care?!
Rhonda Fleming
Cleveland, Ohio
Justice4Jack
Sister Of Allen Jackson Croft Jr
Murdered May 11, 2005 In Durham NC
106 Carlion, 27713
Justice4All2005@yahoo.com
12.17.2008 3:26pm
Hoosier:
FredC

You didn't expect my family to be living in shanties at this late date, do you?

The Irish had to move up out of Chicago's economic basement and get real jobs. I mean, that's why there is a police department; and a state's attorney's office. Right?
12.17.2008 3:37pm
fortyninerdweet (mail):
While some here are offering "guesses" amid all the abject speculation [spit, spit, dirty word] I'm guessing Fitz might be BHO's choice nominee to fill the first appellate court or USSC vacancy that comes along. No matter how bitter the result of biting that bullet, what better way to rid his administration of what currently looks to be a l-o-n-g term problem? Now that would be a "Chicago Solution".
12.17.2008 3:51pm
Curt Fischer:

Often evidence is strong enough to support speculation, but not strong enough to support a conclusion. In that situation, speculation is fine. But sometimes there isn't even enough evidence to support speculation, and people speculate anyway. That can be offensive.


I gather that you believe your critiques of Prof. Lindgren are based not on "rank" speculation but on "educated" speculation. I am not convinced. Can you help me understand the evidence that you have gathered in order to assess Prof. Lindgren's motives and impulses?
12.17.2008 3:52pm
Michael B (mail):
"Ima reporter!" Sarcastro

In one sense, no additional commentary is needed. (And are you in fact a reporter? If so, you forgot your block parentheses.)

-----------------

Otoh and for further clarity - as there are aspects of this worthy of some more serious reflection - this facile, arrogated, ridiculously leveraged use of the "hate" motif against one's perceived political enemies is repellant because it additionally serves to dilute or obscure some areas wherein an all to real, cultivated and systemic hate actually is a severe problem.

E.g., here and here, though other examples still could be offered.
12.17.2008 5:03pm
Sarcastro (www):
[Michael B I'm not a reporter. I can't write at all, except in this odd medium.

And now is the part where I ruin humor by explaining it:

Note I didn't say "hate speech." Here is the point I was making.

Reverend Wright, Billy Ayers, Father Pfleger, Farrakan, Brother in Kenya, Marxist Wanna Be Dictator Odinga, Khalidi, PLO, IRAN all Jostling for Room under the Obama Bus...I hear they are holding a spot for Rahm.


That is not an argument. It's just listing some of the less savory individuals a politician knows and then yelling about the politician.

No articulable suspicion, yet still assumption Obama is guilty of something. Maybe I shouldn't have used "hate" but the point that you don't need evidence of an actual act you don't like to not like someone stands.]
12.17.2008 5:35pm
newsreader:
... the Sun Times column because it's a gossip column, and the govt affidavit shows that another Sun Times gossip column was used several times to place untrue stories. It might be true, but it also could be planted....

It may well be not another gossip columnist, but the very same gossip columnist.

Hamilton Nolan, Gawker, provides some circumstantial evidence that Michael Sneed is the columnist referred to in paragraphs 97 and 103 of the government's affidavit: “Chicago Columnist Outed As Blago's Favorite Patsy”.

The original November 7th, 2008 Michael Sneed column is no longer freely available from the Chicago Sun-Times, however there is an archived version of the relevant portion. And a Google search reveals that a number of others have made the same identification of Michael Sneed in paragraphs 97 and 103.
For instance, here is Jim Lindgren's identification of Michael Sneed as the columnist of paragraph 97.

The latest unsourced and unverified rumor, which Kazinski relates above, is also bylined “Michael Sneed, Sun-Times Columnist”.

So, itt may well be the very same gossip columnist.
12.17.2008 5:36pm
Elliot123 (mail):
Did anyone see the press conference yesterday where Obama tried to stop a reporter from asking a question? The reporter patiently waited while Obama warned him about wasting his question. Then the reporter continued his question without breaking stride. What absolute disguting disrespect for the Office Of The President-Elect. The One We Have Been Waiting For did not look pleased.
12.17.2008 6:07pm
LM (mail):
FredC:

"I do find myself in allot of agreement with Houston. If criticism is warrented, relate the criticism of Jim to the actual post your commenting upon and try to be substantive."

Though I agree, I liked

"Sure, how far you've fallen, with your lace curtain ways. Makes these Irish eyes weep."

a lot more.
12.17.2008 6:17pm
LM (mail):
Awesome-O:

I recall a variation on this maneuver that didn't rely on the Clinton team to plant to story:

Step 1: Rumor comes out.

Step 2: Clinton defenders point out that it's only a rumor, source is unreliable, etc., so it doesn't mean anything and should be disregarded.

Step 3: Rumor is later substantiated.

Step 4: Clinton defenders say "that's old news. We've been through this. What, you don't have anything else? I thought we moved on from this."

Yeah, I recall another variation on this maneuver that didn't rely on the Clinton team to plant the story:

Step 1: Criticism comes out of the justifications offered for invading Iraq and for the predictions of its self-financing, speedy success.

Step 2: Clinton defenders point out that the critics are unpatriotic dissemblers, and should be disregarded and smeared.

Step 3: Criticism is later substantiated.

Step 4: Clinton defenders say "that's old news. We've been through this. What, you don't have anything else? I thought we moved on from this."

Oh, wait.
12.17.2008 6:37pm
Michael B (mail):
Whatever, Sarcastro. You spoiled no "humor" that is apparent. This entire notion that various people are assumming "Obama is guilty of something" misses the mark by a light-year or two.

On one level, fine, but it's possible to find people who believe Elvis is still alive, there are 9/11 truthers, etc. So using that type of rationalization, a lot of perfectly reasonable people can be lumped in with some crazies - for purposes of dismissing the entire group. But on a more relevant level, while no one of note is "assumming guilt," people are assumming that more serious, more probing, more probative lines of questions can - and should - be asked, just as they would for virtually any other prez or prez-elect.

I.e. baby vs. bath water.

As to people and things such as Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn, the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, Rev. Wright, et al., that's a bit different since it's not related to "guilt" in any legal sense of the term. Still, given the opaqueness of both Obama's presidential campaign, given the ideological lineage of Ayers and Wright, etc., there were perfectly valid concerns a voting member of the public had a right to ask, and there remain perfectly valid concerns a citizen has a right to ask of this prospective executive, of Obama and his forthcoming administration.

I.e. baby vs. bath water.

Obama and his administration are about to ascend to the executive branch of the U.S. govt. with all that implies. The election is over. Citizens and people in general are going to ask questions and the fact all those questions are not going to be worded in some precise, finely tuned manner - never overstepping some perceived boundary line for fear of offense - is entirely beside the point, or virtually so within some more reasonable bounds.
12.17.2008 6:39pm
Sarcastro (www):
[Michael B but Pierre was not making that point. He wasn't questioning, he was assuming. That is not rational curiosity, that is pre-judging.]
12.17.2008 6:50pm
James Lindgren (mail):
Newsreader:

You are right; it was Sneed in both cases.
12.17.2008 7:52pm
Kazinski:
I don't think we should assume any politician is dirty without any evidence, and even when there is evidence of a little minor corruption it doesn't mean the politician is too dirty to serve.

As an example there was some pretty good evidence of minor corruption involving the Clintons. The Cattle Futures deal was almost certainly a $100,000 gift to the Clintons from Tyson's Chicken. The Whitewater deal also didn't pass the smell test, particularly the SBA loan that David Hale arranged, but with the exception of the pardon's fire sale, the Clinton's for the most part ran an honest governent, unless of course the allegations of a Riady payoff for taking the Utah clean coal reserves off the market are true.

Similarly the Rezco lot payoff to Obama, if it was just an isolated, is unlikely to presage a wholesale importation of Chicago style politics to Washington. But if it turns out that Emanuel and perhaps Jarret and others just turned a blind to Blagojevich's solicitation, and Obama keeps them on, then perhaps it indicates a Chicago style business as usual approach in the new Obama administration.
12.17.2008 8:08pm
LM (mail):
Houston Lawyer:

Obama will be unendingly criticized, fairly and unfairly, for at least the next four years. Time to suck it up and at least respond substantively to the comments instead of bitching about the motives of the criticism.

I think that's good advice. At the same time, when Newt Gingrich is saying:

I was saddened to learn that at a time of national trial, when a president-elect is preparing to take office in the midst of the worst financial crisis in over seventy years, that the Republican National Committee is engaged in the sort of negative, attack politics that the voters rejected in the 2006 and 2008 election cycles.

The recent web advertisement, “Questions Remain,” is a destructive distraction. Clearly, we should insist that all taped communications regarding the Senate seat should be made public. However, that should be a matter of public policy, not an excuse for political attack.

In a time when America is facing real challenges, Republicans should be working to help the incoming President succeed in meeting them, regardless of his Party.

From now until the inaugural, Republicans should be offering to help the President-elect prepare to take office.

Furthermore, once President Obama takes office, Republicans should be eager to work with him when he is right, and, when he is wrong, offer a better solution, instead of just opposing him.

This is the only way the Republican Party will become known as the “better solutions” party, not just an opposition party. And this is the only way Republicans will ever regain the trust of the voters to return to the majority.

This ad is a terrible signal to be sending about both the goals of the Republican Party in the midst of the nation’s troubled economic times and about whether we have actually learned anything from the defeats of 2006 and 2008.

The RNC should pull the ad down immediately.

how accurate is it to label every Democrat who says something similar a kool-aid drinking partisan?
12.17.2008 8:12pm
Kazinski:
Thanks Newsreader and JL,
That does put the report in context. One can definitely see how Blago might benefit by implicating Emanuel in the scandal more deeply, either by hoping the Democrats in the legislature will back off, or someone might try to pressure Fitzgerald to back (good luck with that one). Or even to provoke someone in Fitzgeralds office to leak more accurate information, and tip their hand.

Or it could be true, even a blind corrupt pig finds an acorn once in a while.
12.17.2008 8:15pm
Aristides (mail) (www):
Can anyone make any sense of what Lindgren wrote above?
12.17.2008 8:33pm
Kazinski:
Aristides:
Can anyone make any sense of what Lindgren wrote above?
Read. it. slower.
12.17.2008 9:17pm

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