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Messages - naturallybeyoutiful

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Black Law Student Discussion Board / Re: The Thread on Politics
« on: October 11, 2008, 09:21:47 AM »
Obama fundraiser, convicted of fraud, spills beans
By MIKE ROBINSON, Associated Press Writer

CHICAGO - Jailed political fundraiser Antoin "Tony" Rezko, the Chicago real estate developer who helped launch Barack Obama on his political career, is whispering secrets to federal prosecutors about corruption in Illinois and the political fallout could be explosive.

Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich, whose administration faces multiple federal investigations over how it handed out jobs and money with advice from Rezko, is considered the most vulnerable.

Rezko also was friendly with Obama offering him a job when he finished law school, funding his earliest political campaigns and purchasing a lot next to his house. But based on the known facts, charges so far and testimony at Rezko's trial, there's no indication there'll be an October surprise that could hurt the Democratic presidential nominee even though Rezko says prosecutors are pressing him for dirt about Obama.

"I think this strikes fear into the Blagojevich administration and the Statehouse Democrats but not into the Obama campaign," says state Sen. Kirk Dillard, R-Westmont, a John McCain delegate to the GOP convention but an old friend of Obama.

Rezko, 53, a real estate developer, was convicted in June of scheming to use his clout with the Blagojevich administration to squeeze $7 million in kickbacks out of a contractor and seven money management firms seeking to do business with the state.

Within two months, Rezko was seen in U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald's office, along with his attorneys.

There has been no official confirmation that Rezko is talking but his sentencing has been postponed indefinitely and both sides say they are going to "engage in discussions that could affect their sentencing postures."

"They never would have delayed the sentencing if he weren't talking it's proof positive," said Jay Stewart, executive director of the Better Government Association of Chicago.

In addition, attorneys say federal investigators have been questioning Blagojevich contributions around the state using information that only Rezko could have supplied. Finally, courthouse personnel requesting anonymity because grand jury probes are secret said Rezko has been repeatedly brought from his cell to the U.S. attorney's office to talk to prosecutors.

Rezko could have a lot to tell. He has raised millions of dollars in campaign money for many Illinois politicians and according to federal prosecutors used his clout to control appointments to state boards.

Obama has sent to charity $159,000 that Rezko raised for his campaigns for the state legislature, the House and the Senate. Rezko raised nothing for Obama's White House run.

Obama's name came up in testimony at the trial four times, twice in connection with an obscure legislative memo, as a guest at a Rezko party and when defense attorney Joseph Duffy told jurors his client was a friend of the senator.

None of the witnesses accused the Democratic nominee for president of doing anything improper.

But questions concerning Obama's relationship with Rezko linger, particularly over Rezko's role in the purchase of the Obamas' home.

The two have known each other for years, starting when Rezko offered Obama a job after he graduated from Harvard Law School in 1991. Obama didn't take it, but a friendship developed.

The men talked politics frequently and occasionally dined together with their wives.

In 2005, the Obamas paid $1.65 million for their home near the University of Chicago. The sellers wanted a parcel they owned next door to sell on the same day, and Rezko's wife, Rita, was the buyer. At the request of the Obamas, Mrs. Rezko later sold them a 10-foot strip of land to enlarge their lot. They paid $104,500.

The deal took place while Rezko was under investigation and when details of the cozy relationship surfaced, Obama said it was a "bonehead" error to have asked for the additional land because it looked like he was getting a favor.

"I regret it," Obama said at the time. "I'm going to make sure that from this point on I don't even come close to the line."

McCain and vice running mate Sarah Palin have mentioned Rezko little if at all. But Republicans have aired a television ad focusing on Rezko. And McCain aides have repeatedly tweaked their opponent over the real estate deal in e-mails to reporters.

"We're delighted to have a debate on judgment with Barack Obama, who bought his million-dollar mansion in a shady deal with a convicted felon," McCain spokesman Brian Rogers said in August.

Blagojevich, meanwhile, got a black eye from the trial.

One witness testified that Blagojevich talked about hiring him for a major state job while his $25,000 donation to the governor's campaign fund was lying on the table.

Two attorneys testified that Blagojevich hinted that they could get lucrative state contracts if they raised money possibly for a future White House campaign.

Obama's name has not surfaced in accounts of the investigation since the trial. But Rezko himself raised it in a letter to the judge months ago.

"Your Honor, the prosecutors have been overzealous in pursuing a crime that never happened," he wrote. "They are pressuring me to tell them the wrong things that I supposedly know about Gov. Blagojevich and Sen. Barack Obama."

Black Law Student Discussion Board / Re: The Thread on Politics
« on: October 11, 2008, 09:17:56 AM »
what's the over and under for Palin dropping out and Mitt replacing her?

Absolutely 0.

Although it wouldn't shock me at this point, there's no way they go that far.  Even the Spin Doctors of the Republican party would have a hard time explaining that one.

ITA!  Something like that would should take McCain's credibility from zero to minus-something in no time at all. 

Black Law Student Discussion Board / Re: The Thread on Politics
« on: October 10, 2008, 10:12:37 PM »
I feel you, and it's hard to get anything to stick in this spin-prone political world, however it's hard to spin a bi-partisan board made up of 10 republicans and 4 democrats.

I hear how the McCain campaign is trying to spin it (that she was within her right as governor) but it's hard to spin that to low-information voters out there who hear the simple headline that she violated some rule.

Those are all valid points.  Sounds like the panel wasn't in full agreement about this thing though, and despite the 300 pages of info/findings there is no recommendation for sanctions or a criminal investigation of any sort.  This will definitely be spun and frankly, it's getting a tad bit old.

Black Law Student Discussion Board / Re: The Thread on Politics
« on: October 10, 2008, 09:10:39 PM »
Alaska panel finds Palin abused power in firing

By MATT APUZZO, Associated Press Writer 19 minutes ago

A legislative committee investigating Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has found she unlawfully abused her authority in firing the state's public safety commissioner. The investigative report concludes that a family grudge wasn't the sole reason for firing Public Safety Commissioner Walter Monegan but says it likely was a contributing factor.

The Republican vice presidential nominee has been accused of firing a commissioner to settle a family dispute. Palin supporters have called the investigation politically motivated.

Monegan says he was dismissed as retribution for resisting pressure to fire a state trooper involved in a bitter divorce with the governor's sister. Palin says Monegan was fired as part of a legitimate budget dispute.


That's what the GOP would say if the tables were turned in this situation.  But I have no doubt that this will continue to be spun as a politically motivated investigation (unlike...say, Ayers) that somehow, some way they'll pin on the Obama camp. 

Lol the machine that is HLS was a given in my analysis :P

Yes, it's in the top 6 part.  I was adding it (albeit unnecessarily) to the second part.  I'll always plug for HLS b/c we need good folks here.  The more the merrier!  ;)

GTown, apply to the top 25.

OneL2Be, pick your favorite of the top 6, assuming you get into Yale and Stanford, which is likely.

And HLS, too!

Black Law Student Discussion Board / Re: The Thread on Politics
« on: October 10, 2008, 02:11:03 PM »
Let me get this straight...

A U.S. Senator is basically a suspected terrorist according to the McPa(l)in campaign...because he was on an education board with a guy who was a 60s radical?

desperation tactics starting to emerge. Wonder how long it will take for Jeremiah Wright to come back up.

Shout out to Hilary Clinton. Imagine if Rev. lite brite was just hitting the scene now. It would be a wrap. Thanks a bunch, Hil. Way to take one for the team.  ;)

Hmm....I never thought about it that way. 

Black Law Student Discussion Board / Re: The Thread on Politics
« on: October 07, 2008, 11:21:48 PM »
I liked Brokaw.  Needed him last week instead of push-over Gwen Ifill.
I did think Ifill was a bit of pushover last week, but that's because the GOP put her on notice that one misstep and she'd be the talk of the town for the next four weeks.  So Ifill toed the line and ruffled no feathers.  Let's see how many people will be honest enough to admit that Brokaw, however, did not even try to play by the GOP's own rules.

No, Brokaw is an ass. A f-ing ass. Skip a f-ing question and let them both expand on their answers.
As soon as it became clear that the format wasn't working for the candidates, they should've been able to modify it so that the candidates had the opportunity to really address the American people and one another.  Brokaw came off looking silly and patronizing to Obama in his time reminders, in particular.

90% of the lines we heard were recycled from the last debate. 
So true.  I think Obama recycled talking points a bit more than McCain did though.  McCain scored some brownie points for introducing his new mortgage plan, but a 60-second snippet in a Town Hall meeting is not a good setting to really explain such a huge initiative so that people can evaluate it one way or the other.

Finally, I'm annoyed at McCain's continued snubs of Obama throughout the debate.  "That one" was an example of McCain speaking without thinking but out of the overflow of his heart, revealing his genuine contempt for his opponent.  Somehow I missed the fact that the candidates didn't shake hands at the end, though I heard Obama tried.  McCain's petty swipes throughout the debate (I'll answer the question... or You won't have to wave your hand....) are also indicative, I think, of how shallow is McCain's talk about "reaching across the aisles" and his understanding of how to restore our nation's respect in the international arena.  For sure, these little swipes are not huge substantive issues of policy.  Nevertheless, it bothers me that we have a candidate in this election who "fights dirty" at every turn and can't disagree  without being disagreeable.  I have a hard time trusting that such a person has the character most desired for our nation's highest office.

Black Law Student Discussion Board / Re: The Thread on Politics
« on: October 05, 2008, 10:50:30 PM »
Bill Ayers looming again in Obama election

Great!!!  Just what we need from the McCain camp in a time of economic crisis and political upheaval -- a diversion from the real issues for more guilt-by-association smokescreens.  Fine, let Ayers loom again.  And while we're at it, we might as well revisit "Putin rearing his head," the unresolved Troopergate scandal, Keating Five, and that secret Fox News-edited video of John McCain admitting that he hasn't always loved America (despite his hypocritical attack of Michelle Obama). 

Or...we could spend the last four weeks we have by getting back to the candidates' platforms on the issues and waiting for Palin to actually articulate one.  I'm for Plan B.

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