Daily Archives: August 5, 2010

Missouri Rejects Obamacare … Big Time!

NO!


Three states held primary elections yesterday, but the big news today isn’t about a winning candidate, but rather a losing issue. The Missouri legislature put a proposed law (Proposition C) on the ballot exempting Missouri citizens from ObamaCare’s individual mandate. The measure passed overwhelmingly – 71%-to-29%.


More than 938,000 votes were cast for and against Proposition C, compared to 899,000 votes cast in the Republican and Democrat senatorial primary races. In other words, more Show Me state voters turned out to vote against ObamaCare than for the candidates for U.S. Senate.

An analysis of the vote is very revealing. There were significantly more votes cast in the GOP Senate primary than in the Democrat primary, but not enough to equal Proposition C’s winning total. Assuming that every Republican voter supported Proposition C, then nearly one-third of the voters in the Democrat primary must have supported Proposition C too.

The media will try to ignore it, but this was a crucial vote. Missouri is considered a political bellwether state. Since 1904, it has voted for the winning presidential candidate in every election but two. In 2008, the state split, 49.4% for John McCain to 49.3% for Barack Obama. It doesn’t get much closer than that. But last night a state that was 50/50 for Obama voted 71%-to-29% against his signature legislative initiative.

Of course this was more symbolic than anything else but it’s great to see the States move to get this on the ballots.

Oklahoma and Arizona will be next to do the same thing as Missouri – by placing a proposition on their ballots to give their citizens the opportunity to voice their rejection of Obamacare.

At present, at least 20 States are in the process of suing the government over the un-wanted Health care statute.

posted by rightthingtodo on August 5, 2010 via American Values


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Upcoming Cellini Trial Is The Real One To Watch

Cellini trial is the real one to watch

August 4, 2010

BY CAROL MARIN Sun-Times Columnist

“Cellini is the most powerful man in Illinois you probably never heard of.”

Chicago Sun-Times editorial, Oct. 31, 2008

Bill Cellini is the next batter up. After Rod Blagojevich has left the building, Cellini will be the next Operation Board Games defendant to make his way across the lobby of the Dirksen Federal Building, through the metal detectors, past the TV cameras and up to his appointed courtroom.

Cellini’s corruption trial will begin this fall or early next year. It will be nothing like the circus we have just witnessed. No autograph seekers to crowd the sidewalk. No one to call out his name. Heck, hardly anyone knows his name except for reporters and politicians.

At 75, Bill Cellini doesn’t even look like the legendary power broker that he most decidedly is.

Blagojevich may be the guy in the $10,000 Oxxford suits, but Cellini is the guy who can actually afford them.

Rod’s broke, but Bill is swimming in tens of millions — maybe hundreds of millions — of dollars thanks to his many and varied business- and government-connected interests: gaming, paving, investments and developments. And thanks to his political connections to Illinois governors named Ogilvie, Thompson, Edgar, Ryan and, finally, Blagojevich.

But there is a certain amount of mystery — and possibly a few problems — in this case.

Cellini is a big-time, Springfield-based Republican. But business being business, he always warmly embraced bipartisanship. When Blagojevich became the first Democratic governor to hold office in more than a quarter-century, Cellini welcomed in the new administration. And spent some quality time with Blago’s money men, fund-raisers Tony Rezko and Christopher Kelly. A fellow Republican rainmaker, Stuart Levine, shared Cellini’s approach to government and joined in.

As you may know, it hasn’t turned out so well.

Levine lost everything and awaits sentencing on corruption charges. Rezko, thanks to Levine’s testimony, was found guilty on corruption charges and is in prison. Chris Kelly killed himself rather than go to federal prison. Blagojevich is praying a jury doesn’t send him to prison. And Bill Cellini is the next man up.

Why is President Barack Hussein Obama’s name not on the roster?  He is right in the middle of everything.

He’s charged with trying to shake down, with the help of Levine, Rezko and Kelly, a Hollywood movie producer. In exchange for allowing that producer’s investment company to handle $220 million in state teacher pension funds, the producer would be required to kick back cash to them. Or give Blagojevich a $1.5 million campaign contribution as a thank you.

It didn’t happen. The producer refused to be extorted but got the state business anyway.

At Rezko’s trial, it was the only thing he was acquitted of — raising the question of how strong this same charge is against Cellini.

We don’t know.

Nor do we know if the government has more alleged pay-to-play schemes up its sleeve.

We’ll see when the government files its proffer.

And whether Rezko will be trotted out to testify. He is, by all accounts, a problematic witness who was constantly named but never allowed to surface at the Blagojevich trial.

Could Cellini, on the other hand, cop a plea? Or flip? Not a chance, says his high-powered attorney, former U.S. Attorney Dan Webb.

“No plea, no deal, that will not happen,” Webb said last week. “This case is so weak, so unfair, we are not pleading.”

Great news. This is the trial I really want to see.

Rod Blagojevich was once merely called “governor.” But political insiders called Cellini “the pope.”

One assumes there’s a reason.

It is a travesty that Obama has not been connected to all of this.  He is the biggest player of them all.

It was Obama who encouraged Blagojevich to appoint Valerie Jarrett to his Senate seat.

posted by rightthingtodo  on August 5, 2010

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Dot To Dot: Cellini, Rezko, Blagojevich, Obama

John Ryscamp 30 October 2008

Sure. It’s just a matter of time until they pressure Cellini to tell everything he knows about the Planning Board legislation. Obama made absolutely sure that turned out the way Tony wanted it to turn out.

During the trial, Stuart Levine testified that when he sought reappointment to the Planning Board, he told Republican co-schemer, Bill Cellini, to tell the Blagojevich administration he would vote however they wanted when approving projects. He told the jury he had the same understanding with the two prior Republican governors, Jim Edgar, and George Ryan, who is now sitting in prison due to Fitzgerald’s successful prosecution of a corruption case against him.

A June 2003 email exchange produced in the trial shows Obama was one of eight officials who received the names of the nominees for the new Board ahead of time, from the office of David Wilhelm, who headed Blagojevich’s 2002 campaign for governor. Tony Rezko’s name does not appear in the email. In fact, his attorney made the point to the jury that the exchange was from Blagojevich’s general counsel, Susan Lichtenstein, and Wilhelm’s office, and indicated the appointees were recommended by Wilhelm and supported by those who received the memo. The memo said, “we worked closely over the past six months” with eight officials including three state senators. Jennifer Thomas, a former aide in Blagojevich’s patronage office, testified that she attended regular weekly meetings at Rezko’s office between the spring of 2003 and November 2004, and Rezko floated names and specifically said Levine should be reappointed to the new Board. … The Senate bill said, the “Board shall be appointed by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate.”

But the Senate Confirmation Hearings were a joke. For instance, the Feds recorded Levine talking to co-schemer, Jon Bauman, the day Levine learned he was approved by the Senate from the executive secretary of the Board. Levine told Bauman he ran into Jeffrey Marks, who said “congratulations on your appointment,” and Levine asked for what. Marks said, “well the Senate Confirmation Hearings on Health Facility Plan Board members.” He told Levine Senate President, Emil Jones, only allowed 2 members to be approved and “that was you and the other person he just put in.” … “Isn’t that hysterical ’cause you know they had this big battle going on,” Levine told Bauman. … Laughing away, Levine said, “don’t you just love it.” … “I’m one of those independents and not part of the block.” … “Well, good, you know it’s good to be just a true independent civil servant,” Bauman said laughing along with Levine.

IS THERE A WOODWARD AND BERNSTEIN OUT THERE?


BARACK OBAMA SHOULD BE REMOVED FROM OFFICE

posted by rightthingtodo  on August 5, 2010

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Evelyn Pringle’s Operation Board Games … Just For Those Who Missed This The 1st Time Around

If the media had done their job and investigated any one of these situations – Barack Obama would not be the President today.  If you missed this in 2008, here it is again.  We should hold on to this because this will surface again.

After you read this, you will ask yourself, how is it that Rod Blagojevich is waiting for a verdict and Barack Obama is not?


The following are links to Evelyn Pringle’s series of articles — Operation Board Games and Curtain Time for Obama — currently posted at RBO.


Full Articles

Barack Obama — Wizard of Oz.

Barack Obama — Operation Board Games for Slumlords.

Barack Obama — Subplots of Operation Board Games.

Curtain Time for Obama — Part 1 (Iraq Connections).

Curtain Time for Obama — Part 2 (Planning Board Scheme)

Curtain Time for Obama — Part 3 (Nobody Knows Auchi).

Curtain Time for Obama — Part 4 (Mansion Deal)

Curtain Time for Obama — Part 5 (Minority Owned Business Racket)

Pringle Cliff Notes Versions

Operation Board Games for Slumlords (reposted August 18, 2008).

Curtain Time for Obama — Part 1 (Iraq Connections)

Curtain Time for Obama — Part 2 (Planning Board Scheme).

Curtain Time for Obama — Part 3 (Nobody Knows Auchi).

Curtain Time for Obama — Part 4 (Mansion Deal).

Curtain Time for Obama — Part 5 (Minority Owned Business Racket)

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A Description Of The 12 Blagojevich Jurors Based On Statements They Gave During Jury Selection In June

Juror 103: White female in her 20s. She’s a soft-spoken legal assistant who specializes in foreclosures, but wants to go back to school to become a teacher. She has a 3-year-old son and likes to play softball.

Juror 105: African-American female, middle-aged. A Chicago public-school teacher, she instructs sixth and seventh graders in math and pre-algebra. Her husband is a state probation officer. She listens to talk radio and had a relative who had some legal difficulties but believes she can be fair. She said she remember Blagojevich’s arrest but hadn’t kept up with his trial prior to being a juror.

Juror 106: African-American female, a senior citizen. A retired official for the Illinois Department of Public Health, she once served as the director of teen counseling for the Chicago Urban League. Her son-in-law is a lawyer and she has twice served as a juror, reaching verdicts in both cases. She handed out campaign literature for a relative who ran for public office. She listens to National Public Radio and liberal radio talk shows.

Juror 119: White female in her 30s. The mother of two daughters has worked in investment accounting for about 15 years and her spouse works in the banking industry. She’s an avid marathon runner and has given small annual donations to political organizations. Her favorite reading material is the magazine Runners World. She said she doesn’t watch the news. “I don’t have time,” she explained during jury selection. “I have two daughters, and we don’t have cable.”

Juror 121: White female, mid-20s. She’s an accounting major at Western Illinois University who is interested in law. Her father is a police officer and her mother works as a civilian in the evidence room of the Hoffman Estates police department in suburban Chicago. She’s never seen a trial before and doesn’t watch the news often. But she did pay attention when news first hit that Governor Blagojevich was arrested.

Juror 123: White male, late 20s. He’s a human-relations manager for a law office. He volunteers at a family shelter and likes to surf the Web daily for news. His father is a lawyer and his parents are politically active. He has also written form letters for politicians but said at the beginning of the trial that he had a neutral opinion about the case.

Juror 127: White female, a senior citizen. The retiree likes reading, knitting and stitching. She worked for the Illinois Department of Employment Security for 26 years and said Blagojevich was technically her superior when he was governor. She’s a union member and a Salvation Army donor.

Juror 128: White male, late teens to early 20s. The polo-shirt-wearing juror has applied to a community college for the fall. He worked in computer sales at Best Buy and his mom is in the Army. He is undecided on what he wants to do in life, but he likes to play sports and video games and hang out with friends. He couldn’t recall having heard anything about the case, although he recognizes Rod Blagojevich as the former governor.

Juror 133: White male, middle aged. Sporting glasses, tattoos and a cane, the former Marine staff sergeant spent more than a decade traveling the world, including serving time in Beirut when he hurt his hip and was medically discharged. He is now on Social Security disability benefits and had hip-replacement surgery in 2000. He told the judge it is hard to sit or stand for more than 20 or 30 minutes at a time, but he would be willing to serve as a juror despite his physical ailments. He was once a superintendent in a manufacturing plant.

Juror 135: Japanese-American male, senior citizen. He was born in California’s Manzanar internment camp in 1944, where many Japanese Americans were imprisoned during WW II. The retired former videotape librarian served as a Marine in Okinawa and is a Vietnam veteran. His wife was a Chicago public-school teacher. He once served on a jury that reached a verdict. He said that he considers all that he’s heard before the trial on the Blagojevich case — on both sides — to be hearsay.

Juror 137: White male, senior citizen. With his snowy white beard, this juror looks like a thinner version of Santa Claus. He works for Johnson Controls as a service-operations agent managing 56 contracts for building automation controls in the city of Chicago. He was in the Navy for 21 years and served in Operation Desert Storm. He is a contributor to the Naval Academy, of which he is an alum. He’s very detail-oriented and likes to win computer strategy games. His oldest son is a diabetic. He seems very relaxed in the jury box.

Juror 148: African-American male, senior citizen. The retired letter carrier and Navy vet is involved in Bible study. He has served on two juries: one that reached a verdict and the other, a murder case about 10 years ago, that ended up hung because one juror was uncomfortable with the possibility of the death penalty.

After 6 days of deliberations everyone around town is starting to get really antsy, even, one of Blagojevich’s lawyers.
Sam Adam, Jr. stated, in a candid interview with The Chicago Tribune,”If we lose … it’s my fault.”


posted by rightthingtodo onAugust 5, 2010


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The Blagojevich Trial – Jury Deliberations – Day 6 …Waiting and Wondering

Blagojevich trial: Jury heads home at end of day 6

By

Sarah Ostman

on August 4, 2010 4:54 PM

Reporting with Natasha Korecki

No word from the jury today — they’ve headed home for the day, wrapping up their sixth day of deliberation. They’ll be back in the morning.

What’s weighing on Blagojevich jurors — here’s a rundown of counts, evidence.

By

Natasha Korecki

on August 4, 2010 4:44 PM

The complicated case against Rod Blagojevich involves 24 counts and various alleged schemes — from the selling the U.S. Senate seat, to holding up funding to a children’s hospital.

As jurors seem poised to begin day seven of their deliberations Thursday, here’s some of the evidence they are considering in each of the allegations.

Click here to read today’s story.

Blagojevich trial: Attorneys talk forfeiture plans; no word from the jury

By

Sarah Ostman

on August 4, 2010 10:54 AM

Reporting with Natasha Korecki

The courtroom was packed this morning for a 10:30 hearing with attorneys — but if the crowd was expecting a bombshell, they left disappointed.

In a speedy, five-minute meeting, Judge James Zagel and attorneys hashed out plans for forfeiture — a final hurdle the jury may need to clear if they convict Rod Blagojevich.

If jurors convict Blagojevich of racketeering, the government will then move to seize the former governor’s Ravenswood Manor home and the former first couple’s Washington D.C. condo.

Prosecutor Reid Schar said the government would present about 10 minutes of testimony for the forfeiture proceedings, and would show the jury evidence about the Blagojevich’s bank account balances.

The defense said it would not present evidence.

Zagel said he would wait to decide whether the forfeiture hearing would take place immediately after the verdict is announced or whether it would wait until the next day. It will depend on what time of day the verdict comes in, he said — and how tired the jury looks.

“You can usually tell from looking at a jury how exhausted they are or how fresh they are,” the judge said.

Meanwhile, there’s no word from the jury as they trudge through Deliberation Day Six.

To Read Previous Updates click The Blagojevich Trial – Jury Deliberations – Day 4

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