Oh, things are really starting to get good. Um, I mean to say, that stories buried during 2008 are starting to make their way back up into the light of day.
For instance, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Jr. is making some headlines now, not just for his “extra-constitutional” exhortation to Obama he made recently. That was an incredibly stupid thing for a US House of Representatives member to say, someone who is sworn to uphold the Constitution. That was bad enough. But some of you may recall that Rep. Jackson was one of the people who wanted to buy Obama’s IL Senate seat.
Yes, Jesse Jackson, Jr., the man who was Obama’s go-to guy in harassing and threatening members of the Black Caucus to toe the line and support Obama over Hillary Clinton (like Rep. John Lewis, whom he threatened with a primary challenger, and then made good on the threat even after Lewis changed because he shouldn’t have supported Hillary in the first place over Obama). Remember him? Obama’s National co-chair for his campaign? Right, well now he is in a tad of hot water in the House with an impending ethics probe regarding his attempt to buy Obama’s seat.
Couldn’t happen to a more deserving man, if you ask me. And it is a bipartisan decision:
A statement on the committee’s website notes that the chairman of the committee, Alabama Republican Rep. Jo Bonner, and the ranking member, California Democratic Rep. Linda Sanchez, “have jointly decided to extend the matter.”
The probe into Jackson’s involvement was initially deferred due to a request by the Justice Department. That request was withdrawn after former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was found guilty of corruption in June.
Jackson testified at Blagojevich’s trial in May that he never authorized an associate to make a deal with the former governor in exchange for the Senate appointment.
An affidavit detailing the alleged crimes of Blagojevich describes how a designee of “Candidate 5” — later revealed to be Jackson — offered to gather $1,500,000 for Blagojevich in exchange for the seat.
In a clandestinely recorded Dec. 4, 2008 phone conversation, Blagojevich said that Jackson was being considered for the appointment because “we were approached ‘pay to play’” by a Jackson associate, who said that the congressman would “you know, he’d raise me 500 grand.”
Blagojevich said that the congressman’s representative had offered to have another fundraiser rake in an added $1 million. “An emissary came. Then the other guy would raise a million, if I made him (Senate Candidate 5) a senator.” (Click here to read the rest.)
Oopsie daisy. That doesn’t sound so good for Jackson. Sure sounds like a “pay to play” request to me, so I am not sure what took the House Ethics committee so long. That was a few years ago, after all. I suppose better late than never, though sooner would have been best (say, before the 2010 election – just sayin’).
And then there is this little story about the dirt rising to the surface, or should I say, becoming more “transparent”? Turns out that the White House wasn’t really all that keen on the whole transparency thing, despite the frequent Obama campaign claims to the contrary. There are any number of instances in which Obama has already failed miserably in that regard since taking office (a quick Google search brings up a fair amount).
But this one is particular, well, hmm, what is the word? It would be amusing if it weren’t so freakin’ hypocritical:
Emails obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by government watchdog group Judicial Watch suggest that the White House had direct involvement in shutting a transparency hearing to the press. (Emphasis mine.)
“Please don’t have them reach out to any reporters before I clear [with White House] press,” wrote White House Deputy Associate Counsel Blake Roberts to the Office of Information Policy (OIP), about what should have been a fairly noncontroversial training session.
The workshop was conducted by the OIP for Department of Justice employees on FOIA compliance procedures.
Yes, the workshop was one over Freedom of Information Act procedures. Incredible, isn’t it? Do you think that these Administration folks are aware of how duplicitous they are? If this is any indication, I doubt it:
Another email, from DOJ Press Release Deputy Director Gina Talamona to the OIP and the attorney general’s office, says “after talking with … [then-Assistant White House Press Secretary] Ben Labolt, the decision is that the training will be closed to the press.”
These documents suggest that it is the Obama White House that is directly responsible for this unprecedented lack of transparency,” wrote Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton in a statement. “Only in Washington would political appointees think it appropriate to keep secret a government workshop on transparency.” (Click here to read the rest.)
No kidding. And only the most gullible would still believe that Obama was the least bit transparent in his dealings on Capitol Hill. Unfortunately, there seem to be a whole lot of gullible people in this country.
But one way or the other, the truth does come out. Some may still refuse to see the very facts in front of their eyes, but there is little one can do with those who staunchly refuse to admit they have been had (like my Physical Therapist who claims the Republicans’ primary objection to Obama is his race, and that Obama himself has never played the race card). But for those of us in the Reality-based community, we are able to see the truth when it is revealed. Better late than never, right?
What’s on your mind today?