Friday wrap

Bam fails to clear SEIU ... On Tuesday, the president-elect's team announced the results of the probe. The timing was excellent for the president-elect — the day before Christmas Eve, when even the 24-hour news cycle winds down, and at the same time Mr. Obama was vacationing in Hawaii and Mr. Emanuel was traveling to Africa. Neither Mr. Obama nor Mr. Emanuel was available for comment. For those who missed it, Mr. Obama's investigators found no evidence of any wrongdoing. But the report was short on details about conversations between Rahm Emanuel and Mr. Blagojevich and several phone calls Mr. Emanuel made to the governor's chief aide. Mr. Obama may brush off this controversy as he did several controversies during his campaign. Credit his success to media management — not openness and transparency. (al.com)

What did they know about SEIU? When did they know it? ... Lawyers for Illinois Democrat Governor Blagojevich want two key Obama aides Rahm Emanuel and Valerie Jarrett and U.S. Representative Jesse Jackson Jr., subpoenaed to testify before the Illinois House impeachment committee. (examiner.com)

Man of the Year gets a head start ... Every president for more than three decades has had to talk with federal prosecutors at one time or another. President-elect Barack Obama may have set a land speed record by giving his first interview to investigators even before taking the oath of office. Mr. Obama sat down last week with four investigators looking into the alleged attempt to sell his former Senate seat. As a witness, rather than a target, Mr. Obama seems to have had an easier time with the experience than some of his predecessors. But it is certainly not the way he wanted to begin his presidency. “Here the guy hasn’t even gotten his tuxedo for the ball yet and already there’s a prosecutor who wants to talk him,” said Robert S. Bennett, one of Washington’s most prominent lawyers who has represented members of Congress, cabinet secretaries and even President Bill Clinton in all manner of politically charged cases. (nytimes.com)

Pay-to-Play coming to U.S. Dept. of Commerce? ... It seems that Illinois' legally-challenged Gov. Rod Blagojevich is not the only close Barack Obama associate and Democratic governor being investigated by the feds for possibly selling government business in return for campaign contributions. New Mexico's Gov. Bill Richardson, who is the newly-named Secretary of Commerce in Obama's about-to-be Cabinet, is also being investigated by a federal grand jury in his home state for possibly steering state bond business from the New Mexico Financial Authority toward David Rubin, a significant campaign contributor, according to an NBC News report, among others. President-elect Barack Obama announces his selection of New Mexico Democrat Governor Bill Richardson as his Secretary of Commerce. NBC's Lisa Myers reports that two former state officials say they've recently been questioned by a federal grand jury specifically about allegations that Richardson or aides pushed state business worth nearly $1.5 million in fees toward CDR Financial Products in 2004. The company is headquartered in Beverly Hills, CA. (latimesblogs.latimes.com)

SEIU-Obama-ACORN connection keeps on giving ... Michelle Obama's old law firm is representing ACORN's board in an internal embezzlement case that legal experts say could result in criminal charges. During the presidential campaign, Barack Obama and his running-mate, Joe Biden, insisted they had nothing to do with ACORN after the inner-city advocacy group became engulfed in controversy over voter-registration fraud. However, federal election records showed that the Obama campaign paid ACORN subsidiary Citizens Services Inc. $832,598 for get-out-the-vote activities, of which $80,000 went directly to ACORN. CSI and some 290 other ACORN subsidiaries operate out of the same building on Elysian Fields Avenue in New Orleans that serves as ACORN's national headquarters. A sister organization sharing that New Orleans address – Citizens Consulting Inc. – is at the center of the embezzlement scandal, court records show. Dale Rathke, brother of ACORN founder Wade Rathke (who also founded SEIU), worked at CCI, where he kept the books for all of the ACORN-affiliated groups across the country. He is accused of embezzling almost $1 million in faulty credit card charges while working there. He allegedly spent some $40,000 a month on lavish travel and entertainment. (wnd.com)

Help protect Bam from Card-Check backfire ... People say U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln has talked out of both sides of her mouth and split her britches on this card check issue. I find that an uncomfortable accusation, since her position is the same as mine. Have I written from both sides of my keyboard? Do I, too, feel a draft? This position that she and I share is that the country faces more urgent, pressing matters than card check. It’s that these appropriate priorities are a failed economy, a failing educational system, a failed health care financing system and deep trouble abroad. That’s all. It’s that President-elect Barrack Obama needs to galvanize forces to attack those crises. It’s that he does not need to start his presidency by reinforcing dysfunction and polarization by obliging labor on this payoff deeply feared by the business community. (arkansasnews.com)

UAW Bailout FUBAR ... The U.S. automakers want a hand out of our tax dollars because of their top brass corporate excesses, and I say that's bologna! The Big Three shouldn't blame their financial troubles on the wages of rank and file workers! The rank and file doesn't fly to work in private jets. The auto makers and the U.A.W. are begging for a hand out, but the U.A.W. won't agree to immediate wage concessions. Of course not, their union dues would suffer! Perhaps the U.A.W. feels those workers would fare better collecting unemployment compensation. I am getting sick of having to bail out the fat cats in this country who have mismanaged their businesses! So far we've given out $350 billion worth in taxes to mismanaged banking institutions. Let GM, Ford and Chrysler go borrow what they need from the banks! (mcall.com)

In search of Hoffa

International Collectivism

Chávez sets social justice example ... Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez put out a call Wednesday during a Christmas Catholic mass for fight for peace and social justice. "Today is Christmas. It is a propitious moment to make a call, the call to fight for peace and social justice. Let's remember that Jesus fought for that 2,000 years ago, to leave a light of peace in the world," Chávez said during the mass in the Church Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes located in central Caracas. Stressing that in 2008, the Venezuelan people and government had many political victories, Chávez said as a Christmas present he saw a happy people protected by the Bolivarian Revolution. (news.xinhuanet.com)
Related Posts with Thumbnails