Sunday, December 14, 2008

Governor Blagojevich Meets with Defence Lawer Ed Genson

Here is a press release (12-9-08) from the U. S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald and the criminal complaint against Illinois Governor Milorad Blagojevich.

FOX News Transition Tracker (12-14-08) reports that Blagojevich is now talking with a renowned Chicago criminal lawyer named Ed Genson.

CHICAGO — Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich met with a renowned Chicago criminal lawyer Saturday as he weighed his legal options on how to fight a scandal that has left his career in tatters and disrupted President-elect Barack Obama's White House transition.

The Democratic governor had a four-hour meeting with Ed Genson in the lawyer's downtown office Saturday. Genson has defended newspaper baron Conrad Black, R&B singer R. Kelly and numerous public figures on corruption charges, earning a reputation as the lawyer big shots call when they get in a bind in Chicago.

Genson confirmed the two met but wouldn't discuss details of their dialogue. When asked if he would take the case, Genson said: "We'll make our mutual decision on Monday."

Yesterday, Politico (12-13-08) reported:

The Republican National Committee is launching a Web video tomorrow raising questions about past ties between Obama and Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D-Ill.).

The two-minute video, titled “Questions Remain,” [see here] puts pressure on the president-elect to disclose the contacts his transition team has had with Blagojevich. Obama said this week that he will soon be releasing a full list of conversations that members of his staff had with Blagojevich – but he has not yet done so.

At a press conference earlier this week, Obama said he never personally spoke to the governor about his successor in the Senate – but it now appears that his incoming chief of staff Rahm Emanuel had discussed several names with the governor.

While Obama has never been close with the governor, the video points to several instances where they worked together as a matter of political convenience. After Blagojevich won the Democratic nomination for governor in 2002, Obama helped advise his campaign. (Obama supported one of Blagojevich’s opponents in the primary.)

And Obama endorsed Blagojevich when he ran for re-election in 2006 – a time when he was already under investigation over hiring and fundraising scandals.

I haven't seen anything to suggest that Obama did anything illegal, but this scandal does seem to be another example of Obama failing to confront disreputable associates. President-elect Obama just seems to go along to get along with the Chicago machine.

Also, I have not seen President-elect Obama deny Jack Cashill's assertions in a series of articles that the Weather Underground terrorist had a hand in Obama's memoir Dreams from My Father.

The dishonest Billy Ayers only mocked Cashill's assertions; he didn't flatly deny them. Is President-elect Obama hiding behind the dishonest Bill Ayers?

Cashill observed in "Ayers Doth Protest Too Much" (12-11-08):

Friday last, Bill Ayers wrote an op-ed for the New York Times protesting the “unrepentant terrorist” role into which he had been cast in the Republican’s “profoundly dishonest drama.”

This op-ed prompted an email to me from Rich Davis, the producer of the excellent Rusty Humphries’ show. “They know,” Davis wrote. “They know that you know. And, they know that many people are finding out that Ayer's co-wrote ‘Dreams.’”

Davis sees the op-ed as part of an ongoing PR campaign “to minimize the damage” should the knowledge that Ayers assisted Obama in the writing of his 1995 memoir, Dreams From My Father, escape the Internet/AM radio ghetto.

Davis , however, underestimates the power of the ABETTO factor, that is the ability of America’s media elite to turn A Blind Eye To The Obvious, a tidy example of which I came across in researching the sermon called “Audacity of Hope.”

Barack Obama claims to have heard on his first visit to Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s Trinity United Church in 1988, the one that moved him to embrace Christianity.

Obama writes about the sermon in some detail in Dreams and used it as the inspiration for his 2006 book, Audacity of Hope.

The sermon that Obama recounts in Dreams contains some provocative tropes, none more so than this: “It is this world, a world where cruise ships throw away more food in a day than most residents of Port-au-Prince see in a year, where white folks’ greed runs a world in need.”

This very passage became a problem for Obama when, in March 2008, Wright’s videotaped comments about “the U.S. of KKA” somehow managed to breach the media firewall.

Obama claimed that the Reverend Wright on display in 2008 “was not the person that I met 20 years ago.” Skeptics countered that the 2008 model sounded a whole lot like the “white folks’ greed” Wright that Obama had blithely discussed in Dreams.

For a lesser mortal, this Pinocchio moment could have been fatal...[but Obama]...counted on liberal pundits to fill the breach, and fill it they did.

Prominent among them was Anglo-American commentator Andrew Sullivan. Like many others, Sullivan suggested that Wright’s transparently appalling comments had been taken out of context. To show Wright as he really was, Sullivan posted on his blog the “full text” of the “Audacity of Hope” sermon.

...The sermon that Sullivan posted deviates from the one that Obama writes about in Dreams. Those deviations include some important details, like, for instance, all talk of cruise ships and white folks’ greed.

There is a lesser problem as well. Sullivan’s blog cites a 1990 date for the sermon. In Dreams, Obama strongly suggests that he heard it in 1988.

It is possible, of course, that Wright or Sullivan sanitized the original, but a more likely explanation is that Obama and/or Ayers chose “Audacity of Hope” as Obama’s inaugural sermon because it best fit the “narrative” Ayers had crafted for Obama.

The sermon excerpted in Dreams matches the Sullivan version in enough particulars to confirm Obama and/or Ayers were working from the actual text of the sermon, not from Obama’s memory...

Still, one has to ask why, in a book as politically calculated as Dreams, would Ayers borrow or improvise new riffs to make the sermon more provocative than it had be.

Ayers implied the answer a few weeks ago in a Salon interview: he was hoping to create a platform not for a president, but for a future mayor. In Chicago, Wright’s radicalism would not be an issue.

The evidence that Ayers wrote most of Obama’s narrative in this section and even bits of Wright’s sermon is compelling...[full text].

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