Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Feliz Navidad

Jim and Nita Lee (Dec. 1972)
'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the casa,
Not a creature was stirring -- Caramba! Que pasa?
Los ninos were tucked away in their camas,
Some in long underwear, some in pijamas,
While hanging the stockings with mucho cuidado
In hopes that old Santa would feel obligado
To bring all children, both buenos and malos,
A nice batch of dulces and other regalos.
Outside in the yard there arose such a grito
That I jumped to my feet like a fightened cabrito.
I ran to the window and looked out afuera,
And who in the world do you think that it era?
Saint Nick in a sleigh and a big red sombrero
Came dashing along like a crazy bombero.
And pulling his sleigh instead of venados
Were eight little burros approaching volados.
I watched as they came and this quaint little hombre
Was shouting and whistling and calling by nombre:
"Ay Pancho, ay Pepe, ay Cuco, ay Beto,
Ay Chato, ay Chopo, Macuco, y Nieto!"
Then standing erect with his hands on his pecho
He flew to the top of our very own techo.
With his round little belly like a bowl of jalea,
He struggled to squeeze down our old chiminea,
Then huffing and puffing at last in our sala,
With soot smeared all over his red suit de gala,
He filled all the stockings with lovely regalos --
For none of the ninos had been very malos.
Then chuckling aloud, seeming very contento,
He turned like a flash and was gone like the viento.
And I heard him exclaim, and this is verdad,
Merry Christmas to all, and Feliz Navidad!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Chicago Way

12/12/08 Developing: Scroll down for updates

...they pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. That's the Chicago way.

Sean Connery as Jim Malone in The Untouchables

Corruption in Chicago goes back to the days of Al Capone. Chicago mayor William Hale Thompson was on Capone's payroll in the late '20s. The late Mayor Richard J. Daley ran the infamous Chicago machine, as a Committeeman and Chairman of the Cook County Democratic Central Committee in the '50s and as Mayor of Chicago in the '60s. While never charged with a crime several of his high-ranking aides were sent to prison. His son and current Mayor Richard M. Daley is tied to contracting scandals involving 30 indictments and 23 convictions. In his book When Corruption Was King insider Robert Cooley has written about how the mob and it's Democrat allies ran Chicago in the '70s and '80s. Illinois Secretary of State Paul Powell, who served 30 years as a state legislator and never earned more than $30,000 a year left behind an estate worth more than $2 million, including $800,000 found in shoe boxes, briefcases and strong boxes in his hotel closet. The son of a ward boss, Illinois Rep. Daniel Rostenkowski, served from 1959 to 1995 and was the Democrat chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, plead guilty to mail fraud. He would later be pardoned Bill Clinton. Three Illinois governors: George Ryan,(the only Republican in all this), Dan Walker and Otto Kerner Jr., have done time. Which brings us to this guy...

the Senate seat “is a fucking valuable thing, you just don’t give it away for nothing.”

Illinois Governor Rod R. Blagojevich

The FBI arrested Illinois Democrat Governor Blagojevich and his chief of staff, John Harris, Tuesday. They were named in a federal criminal complaint that charges a criminal conspiracy aimed at firing Chicago Tribune editorial members who were critical of the administration and an attempt to sell Senator Obama's vacant seat to the highest bidder. Some of the offers solicited included Obama getting Blagojevich's wife Patti, the daughter of a Chicago alderman and ward boss, on “paid corporate boards" or for Obama getting “his friend Warren Buffett or some of those guys to help us" fund a 501(c)(4) organization (a non-profit organization that may engage in political activity and lobbying) in return for appointing Senate Candidate 1, Valerie Jarrett, Obama's choice for the seat. Other offers floated by Blagojevich for appointing Jarrett included Obama naming Blagojevich secretary of health and human services, an ambassadorship, or a six-figure job with the union coalition Change to Win. Obama apparently wasn't willing to give Blagojevich anything other than "appreciation" so Blagojevich said "Fuck them". When approached by an associate of Senate Candidate 5, Illinois Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr, Blagojevich said “We were approached ‘pay to play.’ That, you know, he’d raise me 500 grand. An emissary came. Then the other guy would raise a million, if I made him (Senate Candidate 5) a Senator.”

The affidavit claims Blagojevich stated he was “elevating” Senate Candidate 5 on the list of candidates for the open Senate seat and that he might be able to cut a deal with him if he provides Blagojevich something “tangible up front.” Blagojevich had a problem with Senate Candidate 5 just promising to help because Blagojevich had a prior bad experience with Senate Candidate 5 not keeping his word. Blagojevich told Fundraiser A to tell Individual D that if Senate Candidate 5 is going to be chosen to fill the Senate seat “some of this stuffs gotta start happening now . . .right now. . . and we gotta see it. You understand?” Blagojevich told Fundraiser A to tell Individual D if there is “tangible political support (campaign contributions) like you’ve said, start showing us now.”

Fitzgerald stopped the investigation before Blagojevich actually got anything. If Jesse Jr. was supposed to put up something tangible real soon, before Blagojevich was going to appoint anyone, way before Obama was to be sworn in, why didn't he wait to see how this played out? He kept the Plame case open long after he knew who the leaker was. Was he afraid others close to Obama would also get sucked in to committing illegal acts? Key to this investigation is Antoin “Tony” Rezko, a prominent fundraiser for both Blagojevich and Obama and partner in a shady land deal he and Obama were involved in. Rezko was convicted on 16 corruption-related counts, including fraud and money laundering. He previously accused federal prosecutors of improperly pressuring him to turn on Obama and Blagojevich. “They are pressuring me to tell them the ‘wrong’ things that I supposedly know about Gov. Blagojevich and Sen. Obama. I have never been party to any wrongdoing that involved the governor or the senator. I will never fabricate lies about anyone else for selfish purposes. I will take what comes my way, but I will never hurt innocent people.” However it seems Rezko did do some singing. Aside from Rezko and Valerie Jarrett others involved in the Chicago Machine are David Axelrod and Rahm Emanuel. Emanuel holds the Illinois seat that Blagojevich gave up to run for congress. Axelrod was an adviser to Governor Blagojevich and media strategist for Emanuel. David Axelrod is Obama's top strategist going to the White House. Emanuel is Obama's new chief of staff. Jarrett is an incoming senior advisor to Obama and good friend to Michelle Obama. She got Michelle her job in Mayor Daley's city hall. Both Jackson and Obama need to come forward as to who were the go betweens apparently speaking on their behalf to Blagojevich's people. They also need to address the fact that they seem not to have notified authorities that Blagojevich was selling this Senate seat.

Because this affidavit is submitted for the limited purpose of securing a criminal complaint and corresponding arrest warrants, I have not included each and every fact known to me concerning this investigation.

U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald

12/12/08 Update:

It looks like Rahm Emanuel is being looked at as the Obama "advisor". He isn't talking. Rev. Jesse Jackson goes on record stating he was not "an emissary" in efforts to get Jackson Jr. the seat. However businessmen with ties to both the governor and Jackson Jr. as well as Jackson Jr.'s brother Jonathan have come under suspicion as active participants in a Chicago Tribune article.