Tony Rezko guilty on 16 counts

http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/rezko /984453,rezkoverdict060408.article

Rezko has been found guilty on 16 of 24 counts.  The Sun-Times link should give updated information -- this is all they had.

I have no opinion on whether this hurts Obama -- just reporting the news.

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An 85 year old veteran from Montana speaks his mind

I was perusing the Billings Gazette to see if there were any newsworthy items before the upcoming primary.  Michelle Obama said something I found entertaining:  http://www.billingsgazette.net/articles/ 2008/06/02/news/local/16-obama.txt

"Don't trust bloggers or someone else's opinion, because people lie."

LOL.  

But when I started reading the comments I came across this gem:

As an 85 year old MALE veteran from Montana - and ample time to research all the candidates voting records, speeches, debates - I have come to the following conclusion - trust the old we are a good judge of character if nothing else Attended speeches in Portland by both candidates and found Sen Obama to be a great orator - his words of HOPE and CHANGE brings the crowd to a screaming frenzy - and as I look around them - I am wondering what they are hearing that I do not - CHANGE - Washington DC politics - yet accepts the endorsements of them - and how - Sen Palmer of Illinois just came out with a description of his politics in Illinois - sounds to me like Washington DC - at the end of the day when trying to recall something from the rally - I came up with NOTHING - just words - and really our own words being used back to us. HOPE - his other key word - I would give that one to Hillary Clinton who attended a rally in New Orleans to give that city HOPE for reconstruction - even though they had voted for Obama - Obama was too busy with his campaign to attend - now is that something he plans on changing for everyone else?? And then we have the problem with the Pastors - after 20 years being unaware of his viewpoints??? I would not want someone in the White House that was not constantly being aware of Iran, Russia, China or N. Korea - and the associations with Ayers, Rezko, Wright and Pfleger that we know about - who next - Sen Clintons speech was warm, compassionate and genuine and had SOLID SOLUTIONS to all the problems brought forth to her from healthcare, family owned farms, student loans and the economy to name but just a few issues. Please my fellow citizens vote for the only experienced candidate with the fight, the vision, the plans and solutions and the ability to lead us forward - the only one that could defeat McCain in November - give her the popular vote so that she can go to the convention and fight for all of us - don't make this another 4 years of buyers remorse.

http://www.billingsgazette.net/articles/ 2008/06/02/news/local/16-obama.txt#13191 3

Yes, 85 year olds do sit down on keyboards.  My wife's grandmother was a computer fanatic.

What a comment.

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Axelrod Was Making Pfleger Documentary

Guess who has been doing a documentary about Father Michael "persona non grata" Pfleger?  None other than Obama's very own strategist, David Axelrod.  From Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times:

http://blogs.suntimes.com/sweet/2008/05/ pfleger_a_headache_for_obama_a.html

Pfleger is the subject of a documentary being made by Chicago-based David Axelrod, Obama's top strategist. On Friday, Axelrod told me in an e-mail that the film project has "been dormant for much of the last two years due to other commitments."

One wonders what is in Axelrod's video and audio file about Pfleger.  For example, does it have the scenes from 2006 when Pfleger criticized a mass resignation of Jewish members on a state of Illinois hate crimes commission:  http://www.nbc5.com/news/7782149/detail. html?rss=chi&psp=news

"Callers to Tuesday's radio show included the Rev. Michael Pfleger, the white pastor of a mostly black Chicago church and a friend of Muhammad's.
Pfleger said "good riddance" to the people who had left the commission. "Leave, go ahead and go on out, we don't need that kind of a spirit or mentality and a narrowness on that kind of commission. I'm glad they're gone," Pfleger said.

The controversy involved a member of the commission, Sister Claudette Marie Muhammad, who is the Nation of Islam's minister of protocol.

[She] "was under the radar until she invited other commissioners to attend a Farrakhan speech last month.  Criticism of Muhammad mounted after the speech, which included references to "Hollywood Jews" promoting homosexuality and "other filth."
The three Jewish commission members who resigned said Muhammad should not be on the commission unless she repudiates Farrakhan's criticism of Jews, gays and other groups. On Tuesday, the Jewish Community Relations Council, which represents 46 Chicago-area groups, passed a resolution supporting the three commission members.
"We're not willing to give credibility to this commission in the face of this appointment," said Alan Solow, the chairman of the council."

Here's the quote from Farrakhan that sparked the brouhaha, from the Israeli newspaper Haaretz:  http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/objects/pag es/PrintArticleEn.jhtml?itemNo=698094

Farrakhan said, "These false Jews promote the filth of Hollywood. It's the wicked Jews, the false Jews that are promoting lesbianism, homosexuality," and "Zionists have manipulated Bush and the American government" over the war in Iraq.

What else might be in those files?  Could there be speeches Obama made while in the company of Pfleger?  Appearances by Pfleger or Obama with Minister Farrakhan?  Care to share those files, Mr. Axelrod?  

Obama has said he was not present for the controversial sermons by Wright or Pfleger and condemned both. This week, he said he was "deeply disappointed" by Pfleger's "divisive, backward-looking rhetoric."

 http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/05/31/o bama.church/index.html

Sermons Obama might have heard from Pfleger?  

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Democracy

With the news that several good bloggers have been banned, and because of what seemed to be unnecessary warnings issued to others, including myself,  I am leaving this blog.  Texas Darlin, I hope we meet again.

Totalitarianism on the right or the left is not pretty.

There are other blogs out there.  Keep up the progressive spirit, y'all.

For a few of the Obama supporters who questioned my party loyalty, I have held two federal Demo political appointments.

No replies necessary -- I won't be around to read them.

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NC Delegation Endorsement Story False, Says Obama Campaign

According to two sources I've read, Shailagh Murray in the Washington Post online chat (she's with the Obama campaign in PA today), and TPM, the Obama campaign denies a wholesale endorsement from the NC delegation is in the works.  Here's the TPM story:

http://tpmelectioncentral.talkingpointsm emo.com/2008/03/obama_campaign_denies_th ey_hav.php

But the Obama campaign says it just isn't so. Obama aides say that the only House member to signal support for Obama, either publicly or privately, is G.K. Butterfield. Obama spokesperson Josh Earnest emails over this:

   "We're pleased to have the support of Rep. Butterfield and are working to earn the endorsement of his colleagues in the NC Congressional delegation. Despite the Wall Street Journal's optimism, none of them has told our campaign that they are ready to announce their endorsement of Senator Obama -- so we'll keep working on it."

It's possible, of course, that some of them signaled that they would be supporting him but weren't ready to announce it yet. Also, the Obama campaign has good reason to tamp down such talk right now -- it would be a far more powerful statement if such a thing were to happen after Obama's expected loss in Pennsylvania, as it would signal that the loss hadn't slowed Obama's momentum.

Keep in mind, though, that the Obama campaign recently denied another similar rumor -- the idea that a bloc of 50 super-dels were ready to bolt in his direction en masse -- and that didn't end up happening, either.

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Obama Campaign Refuted on IL Questionnaire

Politico, a blogsite which has been pretty neutral during this campaign, has essentially accused the Obama campaign of lying about a crucial questionnaire Obama filled out when he was getting started in Illinois politics.  http://www.politico.com/news/stories/030 8/9269.html

During his first run for elected office, Barack Obama played a greater role than his aides now acknowledge in crafting liberal stands on gun control, the death penalty and abortion- positions that appear at odds with the more moderate image he's projected during his presidential campaign.

The evidence comes from an amended version of an Illinois voter group's detailed questionnaire, filed under his name during his 1996 bid for a state Senate seat.

Late last year, in response to a Politico story about Obama's answers to the original questionnaire, his aides said he "never saw or approved" the questionnaire.

They asserted the responses were filled out by a campaign aide who "unintentionally mischaracterize(d) his position."

But a Politico examination determined that Obama was actually interviewed about the issues on the questionnaire by the liberal Chicago non-profit group that issued it. And it found that Obama - the day after sitting for the interview - filed an amended version of the questionnaire, which appears to contain Obama's own handwritten notes adding to one answer.

This story will be something the Obama campaign will have to deal with between now and November.  Even a liberal, mostly pro-Obama blog like TPM has taken notice:

One member of the organization, the Independent Voters of Illinois - Independent Precinct Organization, was upset about the Obama camp's treatment of the subject, arguing Obama's 1996 answers reflected his actual opinions, while his current stances are tailored for a national audience.

http://tpmelectioncentral.talkingpointsm emo.com/2008/03/report_obama_involved_in _1996.php

The problem is that some of the views will be viewed as extreme by the general electorate, such as the facts that he opposed parental notification on abortions, later amending this to say that he might possibly support it for 12- or 13-year-olds, but no older. Obama unconditionally opposed the death penalty. And, he supported bans on the sale, possession, and manufacture of guns.

Many of us might think some or all of these positions are the correct ones.  Personally, I favor banning the possession or sale of all non-hunting weaponry (except for law enforcement).

But it raises the question once again - who is the real Obama?  What does he really believe?  

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Survey USA: Obama favorability at 38%

http://www.surveyusa.com/client/PollRepo rt.aspx?g=81b5fdd3-fbda-4580-8169-3a89e9 f40a05

That's the bad news for Obama fans.  

The good news is that Hillary's is 35%; McCain is at 34%; our Salamander-in-Chief has a whopping 22% positive rating; the evil dingbat VP, aka Dick Cheney, is at 15%.  Fortunately, they can all look down their garlic noses at Eliot Spitzer, who earned a 4% rating.  Four percent.  That's like the "mistake" vote in any election.  But he's at 7% among males!  The women did him in -- 2%.

It is interesting that this poll has such a large number of people who feel neutral or have "no impression." I would surmise that this means the electorate is fluid, or they're adopting a wait-and-see attitude.

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Was re-jailed SLA member Sara Olson a friend of Obama fundraiser Bernadine Dohrn?

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune has a story out about the re-jailed Sara Jane Olson, aka Kathleen Soliah, with a picture showing her being very talkative and friendly with ex-Weathermen leader Bernadine Dohrn.  The current events relevancy here is the Dohrn-Ayers fundraiser for Barack Obama.

There's been recent controversy about the release and quick rearrest of Olson.  Here's the story with that interesting photo today from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:

http://www.startribune.com/local/stpaul/ 16944051.html

First of all, who was Sara Jane Olson?  AKA Kathleen Soliah?

On April 21, 1975, Symbionese Liberation Army members robbed a bank in Carmichael, CA, in the process killing 42-year-old Myrna Opsahl, a mother of four depositing money for her church.  Patty Hearst, who admitted to being a getaway driver during the crime, provided the original information that led the police to implicate the SLA in the robbery and murder.  She also stated that Kathleen Soliah (who in her fugitive life adopted the name Sara Jane Olson) was one of the actual robbers.   According to Hearst, Soliah also kicked a pregnant teller in the abdomen, leading to a miscarriage.  Several rounds of 9mm ammunition spilled on the bank floor and found in Opsahl's body during the robbery bore manufacturing marks that matched that of ammunition loaded in a 9mm Browning Hi-Power semi-automatic pistol found by police in Soliah's bedroom dresser drawer at the SLA safehouse.  Soliah also was indicted for setting bombs under LAPD police cars, but vanished before the trial could commence.  A timeline of her life can be found at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23743392/

According to a Slate magazine writer, Bill Ayers was on Sara Jane Olson's defense fund committee.  http://www.slate.com/id/2058764/ Sara Jane Olson was the name taken by Kathleen Ann Soliah, a fugitive from justice who was caught after an America's Most Wanted program.

By now you may know about the Politico story, the fundraiser Bernadine Dohrn and husband Bill Ayers threw for Obama:  http://www.politico.com/news/stories/020 8/8630.html

"I can remember being one of a small group of people who came to Bill Ayers' house to learn that Alice Palmer was stepping down from the senate and running for Congress," said Dr. Quentin Young, a prominent Chicago physician and advocate for single-payer health care, of the informal gathering at the home of Ayers and his wife, Dohrn. "[Palmer] identified [Obama] as her successor."*

Smith notes:

But -- unlike some other fringe figures of the era -- they're [Ayers and Dohrn] also flatly unrepentant about the bombings they committed in the name of ending the war, defending them on the grounds that they killed no one, except, accidentally, their own members.

Dohrn, however, was jailed for less than a year for refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating other Weather Underground members' robbery of a Brinks truck, in which a guard and two New York State Troopers were killed.

"I don't regret setting bombs; I feel we didn't do enough," Ayers told the New York Times in 2001. [end Politico references]

I still have not seen any mention by Obama of regretting benefiting from the fundraiser, of returning the money generated, etc.

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Washington Post: Obama and Clinton Both Pad Resumes

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/con tent/article/2008/03/23/AR2008032301706. html?hpid=topnews

Tomorrow on the front page of the Washington Post, the Post will report on how both candidates embellish their roles.  Here is the lead:

After weeks of arduous negotiations, on April 6, 2006, a bipartisan group of senators burst out of the "President's Room," just off the Senate chamber, with a deal on new immigration policy.

As the half-dozen senators -- including John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) -- headed to announce their plan, they met Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), who made a request common when Capitol Hill news conferences are in the offing: "Hey, guys, can I come along?" And when Obama went before the microphones, he was generous with his list of senators to congratulate -- a list that included himself.

"I want to cite Lindsey Graham, Sam Brownback, Mel Martinez, Ken Salazar, myself, Dick Durbin, Joe Lieberman . . . who've actually had to wake up early to try to hammer this stuff out," he said.

To Senate staff members, who had been arriving for 7 a.m. negotiating sessions for weeks, it was a galling moment. Those morning sessions had attracted just three to four senators a side, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) recalled, each deeply involved in the issue. Obama was not one of them.

For those interested in reading about Obama's padded Illinois resume, read the following:  http://www.houstonpress.com/2008-02-28/n ews/barack-obama-screamed-at-me/full

It's a long piece, but well worth reading.

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Rezko Sued for Fraud By Son of Nation of Islam's Founder

When it rains it pours -- Tony Rezko has been sued for fraud by a son of the late Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad.  Businessman Jabir Herbert Muhammad has filed a lawsuit against Antoin "Tony" Rezko, claiming the indicted political fundraiser swindled him out of a home.  http://www.bnd.com/breaking_news/v-print /story/288159.html


According to the suit, Rezko persuaded Muhammad, 78, and his wife Antonia Muhammad, 75, to make him the trustee of their South Side home, adjoining property and business affairs in the early 1990s because Jabir Herbert Muhammad's health was failing. The suit alleges that Rezko used the home, business and property for his own means, selling some of it and using it as collateral to build his own business.
*

"I totally trusted Tony Rezko and he betrayed me. He worked for me for years and I gave him his start in business," Muhammad said in a statement. "I believe that he used my name, my credit, and my property to start his empire. ... He has given me no choice but to go to court to protect my family and my home. "
*
Muhammad, a one-time manager for former heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali, said he hired Rezko into his fast-food and concession management business in the 1980s. Rezko also became a family friend.

"(Rezko) became so close, he was a virtual son," Morris said Saturday. "He was around all the time."

If true, this is sad.  It adds to the reputation of Rezko as an extremely corrupt person.

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Diaries

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