Is JJJ a Snitch?

December 17, 2008

 

Informer?

Informer?

According to a story by FOX News, Jesse Jackson Jr. has been informing to the Feds for years.  If true I have a feeling his political career is toast, because nobody likes a snitch.  But something in that story caught my eye:

Shortly after his 2002 election, Gov. Rod Blagojevich told Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. he didn’t appoint the congressman’s wife as lottery director because he had refused him a $25,000 campaign donation, a person familiar with the conversation told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

“Blagojevich went out of his way to say, ‘You know I was considering your wife for the lottery job and the $25,000 you didn’t give me? That’s why she’s not getting the job,'” the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing federal investigation. (emphasis added)

From the complaint filed against Blago:

ROD BLAGOJEVICH told Fundraiser A to tell Individual D that ROD BLAGOJEVICH had a problem with Senate Candidate 5 just promising to help ROD BLAGOJEVICH because ROD BLAGOJEVICH had a prior bad experience with Senate Candidate 5 not keeping his word. ROD BLAGOJEVICH told Fundraiser A to tell Individual D that if Senate Candidate 5 is going to be chosen to fill the Senate seat “some of
this stuffs gotta start happening now . . .right now. . . and we gotta see it. You understand?”

“Senate Candidate 5” is widely believed to be JJJ, so that would mean Blago had a prior bad experience with JJJ not keeping his word.  Could the statement “You know I was considering your wife for the lottery job and the $25,000 you didn’t give me?” refer to that broken promise?

Just wondering.

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The Power of Narratives

August 31, 2008

The incomparable Bob Somerby at Daily Howler often talks about narratives.  His background in teaching is apparent because he repeats his lessons over and over until they sink in.  Some people never learn.

Although Somerby’s focus is on the media and the way they make up stories to force Democratic candidates into their preconceived narratives, that is not my topic here.

Narratives are a form of story-telling shorthand.  They set the stage, identify the characters and usually determine the ending of the story.  In the old Hollywood westerns, the good guys wore white hats and the bad guys wore black hats.  If the character was wearing a white hat, you knew right away that he was a brave and virtuous protector of the innocent, and that he would triumph over evil before the movie ended.

Over tha past several decades, the Republican party has been very successful in establishing narratives that give them an enormous advantage in electoral politics.  The first narrative is that Republicans are “regular people” and that they are brave and patriotic people of faith.  They also can be counted on to protect America from criminals and foreign threats.

The other narrative is that Democrats are hypocritical elitists that are unpatriotic, immoral and corrupt.  They are weak in the face of foreign aggression and they care more about the rights of criminals than they do about victims. 

I am not saying that either of those narratives is true, in fact I know that they are not.  But those narratives exist, and they affect the way people perceive events and evaluate candidates.  You can think of them as “default” settings or rebuttable presumptions.  That puts the burden on each Democratic candidate to prove that both narratives are false, otherwise the Republican candidate wins by default.

If you take those narratives and apply them to the last few weeks of this election campaign, you can see that the Democratic party and the Obama campaign seem determined to prove that those narratives are true.

First you have Senator Obama, who is the poster child for arrogance, building his own Greek temple at Invesco Field to give his acceptance speech.  After the earlier flaps over the “Great Seal of Obama” and the cult-like nature of his supporters, that was the height of political tone-deafness.  He continues to reinforce the “elitist” narrative over and over. 

Obama is trying to sell himself as a person of faith in order to court the fundamentalist vote.  But his credentials on religion are tied to Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who says things like “God damn America” and “U.S of KKK-A” which don’t appear very patriotic.  Obama’s relationship with William Ayers strongly reinforces the idea that he is unpatriotic.

The sexism and misogyny directed at Hillary Clinton from within the Democratic party reinforces the “hypocritical” narrative, and the sham roll-call vote fits the definition of “corrupt.”  The wankfest over how many house John McCain and his wife own just helped to reinforce the “corrupt” narrative because it allowed McCain to bring up Tony Rezko. 

Which brings us to John McCain.  When the angry chihuahuas of Obamanation started yapping about the false allegation that McCain plagiarized the “cross in the dirt” story from Aleksandr Solzhenisyn, they were pushing a story that involved McCain’s experience being tortured as a POW during the Vietnam War.  IOW – to attack McCain over what was at most an irrelevant lie, they reinforced the “brave,: “patriotic” and “protect America” narratives.  And now that the plagiarism issue is debunked, it turns out they also reinforced the “people of faith” narrative.

So on Friday, when John McCain announced the selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his Vice Presidential nominee, what did Obamanation immediately do?  They attacked her on issues that reinforce the narratives.

They criticized her for being from a small town in a sparsely populated states, which was a two-fer because it reinforced the “regular people” narrative for her and the “elitist” narrative for the Democrats.  They picked on the fact that she is a working mother (“regular people” and “Democrats are hypocrites”) and launched misogynistic attacks on her (hypocrites)

Then to top it off, they started a wankfest dubbed “Troopergate” where they accused her of acting inappropriately to get her abusive ex-brother-in-law fired from his job as a state trooper.  The message that the non-Koolaid drinking public will hear is that Sarah Palin will protect them, and that Democrats don’t care about victims.

So what have the Democrats and the Obama campaign done to rebut the narratives?

I’ll have to get back to you on that.


Fair is Fair!

August 30, 2008

If you are a feminist, womanist, or a liberal/progressive who thinks women should cast their votes based solely or primarily on “woman’s issues” then you cannot rightfully criticize any woman who casts her vote in order to help a woman break the glass ceiling and become the first female Vice President.

If you have argued or agreed with the idea that there is nothing wrong with African Americans voting for for an African American candidate over a white candidate, even if the white candidate has a longer record of working to advance the interests of African Americans and advocates policies that are more beneficial to the African American community, then you are a hypocrite if you criticize a woman who votes for another woman based on gender, even if the male candidate advocates policies that a more beneficial to women.

As a white male, I don’t have a dog in this fight.  I have never criticized the overwhelming support given to Barack Obama by the African American community.  I think it is perfectly logical and reasonable for them to support an African American candidate in the hope of seeing him become the first African American President of the United States.  I also understand why so many women supported Hillary Clinton.

My issues with Barack Obama have nothing to do with the color of his skin, and my support of Hillary Clinton has nothing to do with her gender.  But anyone who supported Barack Obama in whole or in part because of his race, cannot criticize anyone who supports Sarah Palin in whole or in part because of her gender.  Fair is fair.

The primary campaign was historic because it saw one of the two major political parties select a Presidential nominee who is African American.  It would have been just as historic if Hillary was selected as the nominee, because she would have been the first woman to reach that milestone.

This election continues to be historic because the “highest, hardest” glass ceiling that has kept women and minorities from either of the two highest offices in the country will be shattered regardless of who wins in November.  If the person who shatters that glass ceiling is Sarah Palin, I will have mixed emotions.

I will be happy and proud to see a woman reach the nation’s second highest office.  I will be sad because that woman is a Republican, and because Democrat Hillary Clinton deserves the honor of shattering that barrier.

If the Democratic leadership had not been infected with CDS, they would have given Hillary the Presidential nomination that she both deserved and rightfully earned, and had he run a clean campaign they could have selected Barack Obama as her running mate. 

Had the Democratic leadership done so, both candidates would have blasted the glass ceiling to smithereens in November, and a more experienced Barack Obama would be perfectly positioned to follow Hillary into the Presidency eight years from now.  That would be sixteen straight years that the Oval Office was not occupied by a white man.

But the Democratic leadership was too full of hatred for the Clintons, and Barack Obama too arrogant and impatient to wait or to allow a woman to go first, so John McCain and the GOP have seized the golden opportunity presented to them.  Until yesterday morning I thought John McCain would more likely than not defeat Barack Obama in November.  Barring any unseen developments, I am now certain of it.

Four years from now, the Democratic party will have a final opportunity to ensure that the first woman President of the United States is a Democrat.  They can nominate Hillary Clinton, and watch her beat either McCain (if he runs for reelection) or Palin (if she is nominated to replace him.) 

She would also beat the stuffing out of any other Republican the GOP could nominate.

So if you supported Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Presidential nomination, don’t come whining to me about “McSame” or “4 more years of Bush” when McCain and Palin open a big can of “Whoop-Ass” on Obama and Biden this November. 

If you do, this will be my response:

“I TOLD YOU SO!”