HuffPo: Obama told Senate Dems To Seat Burris

HuffPo reports that Senate aides are saying that President-Elect Obama reversed his view on the seating of Blago appointee Roland Burris and recommended to the Dem Senate caucus that Burris be seated:

The apparent decision to seat Roland Burris came after aides to President-elect Barack Obama contacted senior Senate Democrats and suggested that they reverse course and accept Gov. Rod Blagojevich's controversial appointment, according to a senior Dem congressional aide.

Let the fingerpointing begin.

Speaking for me only

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    Dick Durbin: (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Steve M on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 12:33:03 PM EST
    "This has been a rule in the United States Senate since 1884," Durbin said. "We have never, ever waived this rule for any election or appointment.

    "Everyone has to present a certificate, signed by the governor, cosigned by the secretary of state. ... So it's an important rule and one not easily challenged or changed," said Durbin, who noted that he has known Burris for decades.

    My first thought was that they are stupid to continue hanging their hat on the irrelevant technicality of whether the Secretary of State signed the certificate, because he's clearly going to have to sign it sometime soon.

    But then I thought maybe there's a method to the madness, if they're intending to give themselves an out by saying "oh well, he has a signed certificate now, guess we have to seat him."  Not that I think that would go particularly smoothly, but at least it bears the semblance of an exit strategy.

    would have been great.. (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by jedimom on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 12:37:13 PM EST
    yes that is the natural smart thing to do and the opportunity is there but then Reid comes out and claims this morning there MUST be a full Senate vote on Burris, good gawd.

    They Seem to Be Flailing About... (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by santarita on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 02:40:08 PM EST
    looking for an exit strategy.  Going to court on this is not the answer, even if they are ultimately right.  Too much time, money and political capital would be spent to prove that the Senate has the right to keep someone who could very well be painted in very sympathetic light.  

    They need something quick and face-saving.  Right now they look like they are testing out various strategies in public.  Not so good.


    An ancient anecdote (none / 0) (#66)
    by wurman on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 01:40:36 PM EST
    A small, rural county court clerk sees a photo in the morning paper with a story about some dude arrested & charged with bigamy the day before.  The dude is released on his own recognizance.

    The next day said dude shows up at the courthouse with a lady & they apply for a marriage license.

    Is the clerk justified in rejecting the request?  The dude has only been arrested & charged, no indictment, no trial, no conviction, etc.

    I know how the above turned out, as does anybody with "one eye and half sense," as grandma used to say.  But perhaps not in Chicago IL.

    The truly odd thing about common sense is that it seems to be so uncommon.


    Much Ado About Nothing (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by bocajeff on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 01:56:07 PM EST
    It's not like Burris is to the right of Jessie Helms replacing a senator to the left of Kucinich. He'll be a reliable Dem for two years then people will get to vote whether to keep him. In this senate it won't matter one bit - except it's kind of cool to have at least one African American in the Senate.

    Why don't the other blue states have more African American representation???

    Racially gerrymandered congressional districts are part of the problem.  The skills you need and the positions you need to take in a district that is 80% black with 80% Dem registration often don't play as well statewide.  This one of the negative consequences of the racial segregation of congressional districts.  Thats on top of the problem of having Dem super-majority districts but more GOP simple majority districts.

    So it's about race? (none / 0) (#71)
    by ThatOneVoter on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 01:58:44 PM EST
    I would say that being appointed to the seat Blago tried to sell is the issue, not race.

    Actually (none / 0) (#78)
    by Steve M on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 02:11:16 PM EST
    Nate Silver just had an interesting post on the absence of black Senators.

    how dumb do the Dems think we are? (5.00 / 2) (#81)
    by S on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 02:13:17 PM EST
    As I mentioned in an earlier thread last week that somehow was deleted...the Dem leadership have been acting childish and making fools of themselves...sadly Obama could not resist being part of it with his comments last week against seating Burris, which now he suddenly rightly understands is a 'senate' matter...

    ...and Durbin came out calling for a special election...and they all were talking tough and signing 'the letter'...blago called their bluff...

    ...all they have done is prolong headlines, provoking discussion of racial issues and in the end making themselves look weak, uninformed, and subjectively 'playing with the rule of law' and dodging a special election (and late night jokes to follow)

    ...the Dems have always known how to self destruct and appear very good at creating their own distractions and foibles that take away from other 'historical' and more positive press that should be focus right now...for Democrats...

    ...someone needs to tell Harry to zip it or do better homework...David Gregory nailed him to the matt...now he may even have to worry about what he said on 'the tapes'

    Please bring the adults to center stage as spokespeople...

    ...this does not make me happy, but cannot say i am surprised...

    Harry Reid (4.85 / 7) (#15)
    by denise k on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 12:15:25 PM EST
    Could Reid have handled this any worse than he did?  I don't think he could have if he tried!  He is a terribly weak majority leader.  He has no sense for how things look to the world at large -- the optics.  Bush and crew have walked over him since he replaced Daschle.  You might be able to cut him slack at not getting things done having a 49 + 1 + Lieberman majority, but he has not blocked anything either.  And the filibuster!?!  -- force the Republicans to USE it and show the world what they really stand for.  

    I would very much like to see him replaced.  Maybe by someone from a bluer state who can afford to be "out there" to the left on these initiatives would help.  By starting in the middle any compromise brings you back hard right.  If you start bargaining from the left, you have a better chance for progressive outcomes.  Frankly, I don't even see that he has the skills to prevent Republicans from obstructing the Obama agenda now -- with nine votes over a majority!

    Harry needs to go.

    I fear this too (5.00 / 3) (#60)
    by ruffian on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 01:32:44 PM EST
    Frankly, I don't even see that he has the skills to prevent Republicans from obstructing the Obama agenda now -- with nine votes over a majority!

    I think Obama and Reid are a really bad combination. Given that Obama is the president, Reid should be replaced with someone tougher. Obama needs someone to play "bad cop" so he can do his natural bring everyone together thing. Reid is just not skillful enough. He doesn't see the whole chess board.


    Um, that assumes (5.00 / 2) (#63)
    by dk on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 01:35:57 PM EST
    Obama is promoting an agenda that is Democratic.  So far, if you look at his stimulus plan and his health care plan, it looks to be "bi-partisan" all the way.

    Would be nice if we could get Democrats in charge who will push for a Democratic agenda.  Insofar as Obama proposes bills taht meet that agenda, fine.  But when he doesn't, he should be opposed by a strong, independent Democratic senate.


    And "bi-partisan"... (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by pmj6 on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 03:12:48 PM EST
    ...usually means 99% what the GOP wants, these days.

    And then there's this re SS and Medicare (5.00 / 2) (#118)
    by andrys on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 01:40:45 AM EST
    From an AP report:

    Obama's repeated emphasis amid the stimulus talk on a need for spending control is aimed in part at attracting more support from deficit hawks in Congress.

    He said Wednesday, without details, that his initial budget proposal next month will include "some very specific outlines" of how he plans to tackle spending. That extends to the ballooning and so-far unsolvable fiscal problem presented by the Social Security and Medicare programs, which Obama promised would be "a central part" of his deficit-reduction plan.

      Couple that with his change from "I am The Change" (a couple of weeks ago when some carped about his appointments) to his just-released inaugural poster saying "Be the change" ...

      I am not expecting to BE 'the change' by getting less for social security and Medicare after having contributed heavily to it for 50+ years.  He should explain his plans for deficit reduction in this area, and if he means more efficient administration of the programs, then just say so.


    True - I was assuming (none / 0) (#75)
    by ruffian on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 02:05:16 PM EST
    trying to do something that the Republicans don't want. Not a safe assumption.

    Read Krugman's blog (none / 0) (#77)
    by dk on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 02:10:10 PM EST
    regarding the stimulus plan.  It's not looking good.

    And In the Blago situation (none / 0) (#62)
    by ruffian on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 01:35:42 PM EST
    Obama may have needed (if these reports are true) someone tougher to get him to stay on the "bad cop" course. A good majority leader will say no to Obama too when necessary.

    I so agree with you (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by kenosharick on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 02:17:39 PM EST
    they fell right into the trap set by blago. They should've bit the bullet, accepted Burris for 2 years and the controversy would have been over in a day or two.

    I don't know what to be more (4.80 / 5) (#23)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 12:27:18 PM EST
    agitated over - that this entire Burris mess wasn't more thoroughly coordinated so as to avoid the ignominy of "reversing course," or that Senate Dems appear to have been fitted for - and they're working! - the strings the-not-even-sworn-in-president-elect is pulling.  Or both.  

    Is this how things will play out every time the Congressional Dems choose a path that is not to Obama's liking?  And - here's a question I feel stupid even asking - will the Dems ever push back when they believe their position is the right one?

    I'm not getting a good feeling about this.

    You really have to (4.75 / 4) (#36)
    by OldCity on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 12:43:03 PM EST
    admire Blago.  Now, there's a guy who knows how to throw a spanner into the works.  

    People unfamiliar with Big City politics or down and dirty state-level politics are always shocked  when a pol exploits his ability to utterly screw with people that are screwing with them.  You could have seen this coming a mile away...

    I mean, honestly, who thought for a minute that Blago was going to be intimidated by the Senate?  

    In your face is the Chicago Way (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by Cream City on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 12:46:52 PM EST
    you bet; this was to be expected from Blago.  

    What's interesting is that Rahm wasn't better at it in this round.  But wait and see; he was raised in the Chicago Way as well.  Reid will be reeling.


    He was hiding out in Africa... (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by pmj6 on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 12:55:56 PM EST
    ...to avoid questions re: l'affaire Blagojevich. Besides, it seems like Rahmbo unnecessarily created bad blood between the House of Blago and the House of Obama, so him "handling" the issue would have probably only made things worse...

    I agree (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by mmc9431 on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 01:36:02 PM EST
    Like him or not, he really didn't have too many options. To sit back would have been a sign of guilt and weakness. WJC continued to conduct his business at the WH without missing a beat all through his impeachment fiasco. As long as Blago hasn't be found guilty of anything and hasn't been impeached he should be expected to fulfill his office duties.

    Obama and Reid, for starters... (none / 0) (#40)
    by pmj6 on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 12:45:40 PM EST
    Probably not so much (4.75 / 4) (#43)
    by OldCity on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 12:48:34 PM EST
    Obama.  He was pretty well apprised of Blago's feelings for him prior.  I think he had to say something, but just sort of forlornely hoped that common sense would prevail.  

    Reid, on the other hand, looks more like a buffoon every day.  

    It can't be.. (4.75 / 4) (#52)
    by lentinel on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 01:13:49 PM EST
    Obama reversing course?

    Fasten your seat belts.

    Serenity now! (4.66 / 3) (#1)
    by andgarden on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 11:42:11 AM EST

    Actually, Sensibility Now! (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by Pepe on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 12:08:39 PM EST
    I find it funny that the same press advisers who failed Obama after he failed himself are now trying to take credit for what DiFi did for them - get their a**es out of the frying pan!

    Did Obama at least send DiFi three dozen roses seeing how he wants to pull the carpet of sensibility out from under her?

    Seems as Mr. Obama is making another tactical mistake in not crediting DiFi and trying to steal the thunder for himself. Quite a rough start for a new President who needs every vote on his side. To minimize their importance twice now, especially with DiFi a senior and influential senator, does not seem to be the way to win hearts and minds. Bush didn't the same thing and it didn't take long for his allies to turn on him with certain issues.

    I always said Obama was too green for this job. He is now proving me right. Obviously a DC political neophyte.


    DiFi is going to have to do a little more than (none / 0) (#26)
    by thereyougo on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 12:31:34 PM EST
    speak up against our own to get me back on her good graces.

    She afterall, said ok to Mulkasy for AG, and didn't use her clout as a senior member to stand up against losing our liberties to the administration against wire tapping our phones.

    Shes a little late and dollar short on the high ground show, AFAIC.

    Of course Harry is done maybe one punch too many in the ring?


    Nor did Obama (5.00 / 4) (#104)
    by talesoftwokitties on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 04:57:08 PM EST
    stand up for our liberties -  he voted for FISA as well.  He skipped the Mukasey vote.

    When will we get the WORM (4.66 / 3) (#6)
    by Cream City on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 11:59:05 AM EST
    on this?  For one, I am sure that the president-elect did not directly intervene.  He is rather busy, after all.  Would the Senate Dems please let him do his job by doing their jobs -- and doing them a lot better than what we have witnessed from them in these weeks, years, etc.?

    Maybe their will be an Obama (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 12:02:11 PM EST
    transition team investigation of itself?

    New subject:  I think Obama was ill-advised to make his initial statement and that his current statement is correct:  seating Burris is a matter for the Senate, not him, as President-elect and/or as President.  He got a little carried away by the advice of his legal team.


    Ha. As I commented before, I await (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by Cream City on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 12:07:06 PM EST
    the arrival of the grownups in D.C. -- the experienced members of the Cabinet and more.  This transition team is showing its inexperience and must not be using Biden as promised to work with Congress.  Of course, Rahm is experienced, but I gather that "working with" is not his style.  

    I wonder if they don't trust Biden (none / 0) (#73)
    by BernieO on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 02:03:10 PM EST
    after that stupid remark he made about Obama being tested in his first months. I haven't seen or heard much from or about him lately.

    Oh, Joe IS talking... (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 02:38:56 PM EST

    Joe Biden hasn't said much in public since the election, but one of Washington's most prolific talkers is back - and making news whenever he speaks.

    In fewer than five minutes on Tuesday, Biden criticized his own incoming Obama administration and disclosed information his aides have kept secret for security reasons.

    And on Monday, Biden declared, "We're at war!" and compared the economic turmoil to 9/11.

    Team Obama kept Biden under wraps immediately after the election, but with his Senate swearing-in and upcoming Iraq trip, he's back in front of the microphones.

    Chatting with reporters after he was sworn in for a seventh term in the Senate, Biden called it "a mistake" that the Obama transition selected Leon Panetta as CIA director without consulting the Senate intelligence committee.

    "I'm still a Senate man and I always think this way. I think it's always good to talk to the requisite members of Congress," Biden said. "I think it was just a mistake."

    Biden then went on to reveal the key stops on his upcoming overseas trip with a Senate delegation - without even being asked.

    Biden's going to Iraq? (none / 0) (#95)
    by pmj6 on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 03:11:48 PM EST
    I hope he manages not to piss off at least one of the major power brokers there...

    Oh yeah, Biden's going (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 03:17:01 PM EST
    Joe Biden is forever saying something (none / 0) (#79)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 02:12:13 PM EST
    SOOOOO stupid.  He is a smart dude but sometimes he doesn't put his brain into gear before he engages his mouth.  That being said, this was always going to be a tough transition.  Nothing spectacularly stupid has been done in my opinion until sadly this seating of Burris thing.

    I don't know... (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by pmj6 on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 02:35:20 PM EST
    ...that whole Israel/Gaza business looks like the crisis Biden had in mind.

    And guess what: Obama will do something very unpopular, from the perspective of his core supporters, just as Biden warned. He will back the Israeli hardliners.


    That's Not How Some in Israel (none / 0) (#97)
    by daring grace on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 03:15:59 PM EST
    are perceiving Obama's position.

    "Obama's warning to Israel"


    "The character of the meeting had already been marked by the warning Israel received from U.S. president-elect, Barack Obama, who broke his silence on the fighting in Gaza and made it clear that he will have a great deal more to say after his inauguration.

    "The announcement from the Bush White House that for the time being Israel could carry on its offensive was little consolation. Obama made it clear that starting on January 20 the rules of American involvement in the region will change, and his administration will be a lot more active in pushing the diplomatic process between Israel and the Arabs forward.

    "Obama's timing, after the strike on the school, signals the direction the U.S. will turn in its attitude to the region: It will support Israel, but will oppose any harming of Palestinian civilians. This means that Israel will find it difficult to close the crossings into the Gaza Strip at will."


    FIngers Crossed (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by squeaky on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 03:25:12 PM EST
    That you are right on this. I sure want to believe that the timing of this new set of war crimes by Israel is a wink and a nod to their partners in war crimes BushCo.

    I can not see how Obama can remove the stain of BushCo in the eyes of the world without standing up to the Israelis.

    Were he on the same page as BushCo I have no doubt he would have issued a statement backing up BushCo's position on the current incursion.


    It seems to me (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by Steve M on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 03:57:20 PM EST
    that Obama has the politician's gift of making people hear what they want to hear, and this appears to hold true in the international arena as well.  I mean, I really heard nothing in that cursory statement he made to suggest that suddenly after the election there's going to be a sea change in our position, and Obama definitely played it very safe and mainstream on Israel throughout the campaign.  If there's going to be a change, expect it to occur very quietly.

    I Agree With You (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by daring grace on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 04:31:35 PM EST
    I thought his statement was fairly bland sounding and hardly rang as a 'warning' in my ears.

    But I don't expect him to side with the Israeli hardliners as the comment I was responding to was suggesting either. And maybe that perception being circulated in the Israeli press will serve to stir something (positive) up.

    Time will tell, and yes, I expect him to veer off the Bush line but that's not a high bar at all to meet or even exceed.


    Imagine if he had actually won the (none / 0) (#151)
    by Inspector Gadget on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 06:56:58 PM EST
    Democratic primary :)

    He may end up being more dangerous in the #2 spot than others before him.


    I agree. (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by dk on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 12:08:55 PM EST
    It was probably hubris as well.  They all thought that Obama is so popular that his initial statement would have sealed the deal against Burris.  However, in the end, no one really cared what Obama said.  I hope they learn something from this.

    phone tag (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by jedimom on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 12:33:58 PM EST
    well PEBO certainly wouldnt take Burris calls per Burris yesterday, now Burris saying Jimmy Carter called him to support him this morning, Good Gawd....maybe HuffPo got which POTUS called the Senate HA HA....I think the HuffPo spin is to make it look like PEBO had a hand in sorting out a mess, in reality he didn't want to touch it and who ca blame him? He did come out backing Reid right away and saying Burris shouldn't get the seat as I recall...

    This is a very volatile situation (5.00 / 2) (#84)
    by Exeter on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 02:17:35 PM EST
    Every Chicago politician participated in the Chicago  / Illinois political pay-to-play system, including Obama. It isn't in anyone's best interest to play the sanctimonious card and not seat Burris.

    Obama is Not Being Well-Served At This ... (4.66 / 3) (#12)
    by santarita on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 12:09:35 PM EST

    This Burris appointment is being badly handled by the Dems and the leak of the CIA appointment was badly handled.  Obama has some loose cannons on his ship and he'd better secure them.

    a signal (5.00 / 2) (#67)
    by Palli on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 01:42:06 PM EST
    I don't think it was really a leak announcing CIA Director appointee....I think it was  signal, a warning to Senators Feinstein and Rockefeller that the CIA is going to change and TORTURE is over.  Democratic compliance from the Intelligence Committee allowed Bush/Cheney to become a Department of Un-American Activities.  The crown jewels will be in the civilian hands.
    Obama's apology was a message of good manners but didn't signify mistake.

    Doesn't Make Sense for Obama... (5.00 / 2) (#88)
    by santarita on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 02:29:47 PM EST
    to send a signal to senior senators on his own party in this rather oblique way.  If he wants to convey something to senior senators, he can just pick up the phone or have one of his aides do so.  And ditto for using this breach of senatorial courtesy as a way of signalling a change of philosophy.  And as Lilburro points out, the retention of Kappes is not showing a complete break with the past.
    Reading tea leaves for hidden meanings can be often be fruitful and required but sometimes tea leaves are just tea leaves.  I think this is one of those times.  Obama's team screwed up.

    No, it wasn't. (none / 0) (#72)
    by lilburro on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 02:02:53 PM EST
    Because today the Obama transition people confirmed that they are going to invite Steve Kappes - Feinstein's pick,and CIA no.2 currently - to stay on.

    I used to think... (4.66 / 3) (#14)
    by pmj6 on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 12:13:00 PM EST
    ...that Bill Clinton was singled out for punishment by Congressional Dems in '93 and '94 because he was a party outsider. Since it's looking like Obama is about to get the same treatment, maybe the Congressional Dems simply have a political death wish in their inability to work with presidents of their own party.

    No wonder Bill Clinton "triangulated". The GOP may have hated him, but at least they respected his political skills.

    I had the same thoughts (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by denise k on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 12:17:39 PM EST
    Congressional Dems, more than Gingrich, drove the final nails in the coffin of the Dem majority.  In 1993, they had the power, but did nothing with it, but bicker.  You'd think they would have learned.

    I think they just didn't like Clinton (none / 0) (#48)
    by TeresaInPa on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 01:01:34 PM EST
    because he had a southern accent.

    OF COURSE HE DID.... (4.66 / 3) (#51)
    by blogname on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 01:10:41 PM EST
    Of course he did - because he was the one who told them not to seat him in the first place. This whole ordeal concerned Obama wanting to influence the ultimate person chosen. The Democrats were simply using the criminal complaint against Blagojevich as a smokescreen to cover their interest in the seat.  The unfortunate thing is they would run over the constitution and speak in very anti-liberal terms about the criminally accused.  The rhetoric of "taint" defies all of the liberal principles we espouse in the context of criminal law. But when Richardson was caught in "taint" as well, Obama had to pull back because he realized that he could potentially lose other candidates if he adhered to the taint argument. Also, given the connections between him and many of these players, he threatened his own "integrity." So much for all of the righteous indignation Democrats have been spewing lately.

    What a Difference a Day Makes: Obama and Reid On Board With Burris Appointment

    I suppose they are doing this (4.50 / 2) (#2)
    by dk on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 11:50:13 AM EST
    to take blame off of themselves and place it on Obama.  But don't they get that this also makes them look even weaker.  I mean, I know it's a pipe dream to hope that legislature could see itself as an independent branch of government, and not a lapdog of the executive, for at least the manner of its own rules of admission.  But, I guess not.

    I hope, but sadly don't expect, that they at least exercise some independence from Obama when it comes to the stimulus package.  I wish they'd listen more to Krugman than to Obama on this.

    It was the only thing that could be done. (none / 0) (#117)
    by andrys on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 01:26:27 AM EST
    Obama might have sped them along, so the focus isn't for months on their rejecting Burris over and over again like a bunch of idiots not interested in the law vs recommendations.
    Burris' attorneys submitted a legal filing to the Illinois Supreme Court on Tuesday trying to force White to sign the certification. White and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan submitted a response on Wednesday, saying there is no law requiring the secretary of state's signature on appointments.

    "What is an issue here is a form that is not required by law, but is merely 'recommended' by a rule of the U.S. Senate," a news release from White's office said. "Moreover, a U.S. Senate rule cannot impose a legal obligation on the Illinois Secretary of State."

    Jesse White has a lot more to say (5.00 / 1) (#121)
    by Cream City on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 05:02:20 AM EST
    than that in a scorcher of an interview.  Here's a snip of it:

    White said he would sign if the state supreme court ordered him to go along. But now that Reid has put so much emphasis on the lack of signature, White said "it's just like throwing under the bus."

    "I have skid marks," White said. "I have some tracks to prove it."

    Further, White compared Reid's actions to "strapping me in a wheelchair and pushing down four flights of stairs. I don't like that."

    That is so colorful ! (none / 0) (#155)
    by andrys on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 02:49:38 AM EST
    If Reid really phoned Blago (and it was taped) to not appoint JJJ and one other AA candidate (Davis maybe), all of this will not sit very well.  

      An aside:  White is black!   :-)  

      I'm replying on Thursday, when Burris admitted he had talked to a former chief staff for Blago (now he's a lobbyist) to pass along that he'd like to be on the list for the Senate seat.   Earlier he'd said he'd not had any contact with a Blago rep.  Well, fine line.  The guy no longer works for Blago but 'knows' him.



    Today He said on TV that is was a senate matter (4.50 / 2) (#13)
    by Saul on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 12:11:07 PM EST
    not his.  If true then how do you square that?

    Oh, that's easy. Obama still was (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Cream City on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 12:40:48 PM EST
    a Senator a week or so ago, when he made his slip and spoke about Burris being a Senator.

    That Congress concluded last week, and now Obama is not a Senator, so he no longer speaks about it.

    Do I win the WORM award for the day?


    no dice (none / 0) (#42)
    by Nasarius on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 12:48:12 PM EST
    Obama resigned his Senate seat way back in November. Hence the appointment...

    Oops, you're correct. If only Obama (none / 0) (#45)
    by Cream City on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 12:53:11 PM EST
    had not done so, we would have been spared much of this Blago/Burris debacle.  Or at least it would have been deferred and not be distracting from Obama's agenda now.  So it goes.

    Heh (none / 0) (#20)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 12:20:24 PM EST
    Ask him.

    I've been trying all day (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 02:13:20 PM EST
    He isn't taking my calls :)

    Still (4.50 / 2) (#24)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 12:29:53 PM EST
    I want to see how they handle the Franken seating if there's no signed certificate.  Reid and the Secretary of the Senate are on record saying it is necessary to seat someone.  Will the Repubs be out there full force throwing their words back at them?

    Raw exercise of power (4.50 / 2) (#44)
    by DaveOinSF on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 12:50:27 PM EST
    So many ways this could have been less messy.  You'd even have to argue that, at every step of the way, when given an opportunity to make a decision, Democrats made the wrong one.

    Why didn't Reid call for a special election?  Why didn't the Illinois legislature pass a law requiring one anyway?  Why did they decide, without due process, that Burris would not be seated?

    So many ways to have done this the ethical way, either by having a special election or by engaging in fact-finding hearings to determine whether Burris should be seated.  Instead, Democrats decided on the raw exercise of power.  Hopenchange!

    Have you (none / 0) (#50)
    by OldCity on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 01:05:31 PM EST
    ever BEEN to Illinois?

    Aside of that, how does Reid calling for a special election change existing Illinois law?  Aside of that, if there was even a threat, Blago probably would have appointed a janitor.  

    There was never a chance that Blago wasn't going to do what he's legally empowered to do, which is appoint a replacement.  

    What they should have done was to implore Blago to appoint someone qualified and who would be a credit to the state.  Burris may be free of taint, but he's not exactly put his best foot forward thus far.  He's made a mockery of this, and himself.


    Blago called for a special election law (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by DaveOinSF on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 01:26:58 PM EST
    While certainly Reid does not have a vote in the Illinois legislature, he certainly killed any momentum there was in gathering the political will to make one happen. There was an opportunity for the Illinois legislature to do just that;  Blagojevich himself called for the legislature to pass such a law in the wake of his arrest.  But Reid didn't want to risk losing the seat to a Republican if there were an election, so used his influence to persuade the legislature not to act.

    The shame is on Reid and the Illinois legislature.


    Wow! Sen. Reid must have some pull (none / 0) (#68)
    by wurman on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 01:43:26 PM EST
    To think that Nevada Harry can get his way with Madigan & the IL legislature certainly shows a degree of massive political power that would amaze even Richard Daley.

    Amazes me too.


    It's called (none / 0) (#69)
    by DaveOinSF on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 01:47:10 PM EST
    It's about helping shape opinion.  Reid is an influential opinion leader, and the legislature, whether they did so directly or not, followed his lead.

    Timeline? (none / 0) (#80)
    by wurman on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 02:12:42 PM EST
    Reid followed Obama's lead who took his cue(s) from Madigan's daughter, the IL Attorney-General, who may have been taking her cue from Rahm Emmanuel, US Atty. Fitzgerald, etc.

    Many things occurred & were reported before Reid made his comments.  And, I insist, Sen. Reid has no "juice" in IL politics.  Sen. Durbin, maybe, to some extent, in specific areas.


    here ya go (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by DaveOinSF on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 02:54:43 PM EST
    Let's see:

    Dec 8: Blago arrested

    Dec 9: Madigan and Jones announce plans for special session to pass law for special election.
     http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/illinoisnews/story/561981DF029050CF8625751B0012CD5 1?OpenDocument  

    Also Dec 9:  Durbin and Obama agree with plans for special election.


    Dec 10: Reid and other Senate Democrats say Blago should resign and Quinn should appoint replacement, subverting special election.



    Dec. 30, 2008 (none / 0) (#114)
    by wurman on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 10:36:02 PM EST
    Blagojevich appointed R. Burris to fill the vacant IL seat in the US Senate.

    Very difficult for Sen. Reid to have opposed this on Dec. 10.


    what ? (none / 0) (#123)
    by DaveOinSF on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 08:49:21 AM EST
    On Dec 10 Reid became the first proMinent figure in this to oppose a special election, one day after IL legislative leaders said they would pursue one.  What Dec 30 has to do with that I do not know

    My point is/was, etc. (none / 0) (#156)
    by wurman on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:08:22 PM EST
    On Dec. 11, the tide came in.  Reid & all the Senate Democrats were totally in favor.

    Six hours later the tide went out; Reid felt betrayed by circumstance.

    On Dec. 13, the Sun rose.  Reid, etc. approved.  Blagojevich was vehemently opposed, but . . . .

    On Dec. 14, Lake Michigan receded 1 inch.  Reid had no comment. FauxSnooze commentaters opined that such recession was the fault of all Democrats, especially Reid.

    As Carroll O'Connor, in character as Archie Bunker, "ipso fatso . . . ."

    Assigning responsibility to Reid for things over which he has/had no control is not merely funny  it's . . . .  And things, generally, continue to NOT turn out as Reid would have them.

    Tide's out.


    Jesse White (none / 0) (#107)
    by jedimom on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 05:38:05 PM EST
    Well there may be proof coming..Cornyn was it? today asked Reid to authorize Fitz to release the wiretap tape of the conversation Reid admitted he had with Blago on who would get PEBO's seat. Now Reid is on record adamantly insisting he never said not to give it to Davis, Jesse Jr or Jones..that is I think what Cornyn is reching for..

    meanwhile White is IMO inferring Reid called him and asked him in so many words or less, to not sign the cert, he (White)was on a radio show saying Reid could have seated Burris without his sig since the record was added to the state register of the appt yada yada as the BUrris papers said...he says the Senate is trying to make him, white, the scapegoat..

    then Durbin said today he called Madigan and White and asked them not to delay the case (at a presser trying to look liek he and Reid had ANY rationale for the 180 on Burris, Durbin threw this gem out like he was doing something constructive to sort out the mess) before IL SC on writ of mandamus requiring White to sign the cert..

    but Madigan and White filed papers with the IL SC in response to the Writ request asserting the signature of SoS is not required..

    so even now they are not cooperating with him, but I think Blago plans to present defense that he was under pressure form Reid not to appoint those 3 and this is how its done yada yada..
    really interesting but since it's real and not TV it sucks..

    it is IMHO a waste of the people's time when we have TARP Part Deux and Stimulus coming and withdrawals and relocations on battle fronts, to leave IL short of representation is to me wrong, I dont give a shxt if its politically expedient..

    rant off/


    Seat the guy (4.50 / 2) (#61)
    by WS on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 01:33:54 PM EST
    and move on.  Franken should be seated provisionally as well.  Then, its time to get to work.

    Oy. (4.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Joelarama on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 12:40:59 PM EST
    I have 4 tickets to the inaugural and I'm so turned off I might give em away.

    I'll take 'em (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by Lil on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 02:09:31 PM EST
    Share! (none / 0) (#83)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 02:16:03 PM EST
    done! (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by Lil on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 02:31:56 PM EST
    Go! This is transition stuff (5.00 / 2) (#86)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 02:19:10 PM EST
    Please just go and celebrate the beginning of the end of Iraq and Gitmo and unregulated speculators running around on yachts with our retirements.......please......for me

    Speaking our retirements ... (none / 0) (#120)
    by andrys on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 03:12:44 AM EST
    I mentioned, below, Obama's statement about Social Security and Medicare being a central part of his plans for deficit reduction and cited an AP report.

      Now the NY Times has written a story on it headed "Obama Says He Will Seek Overhaul of Retiree Spending"

    Speaking at a news conference in Washington, he provided no details of his approach to rein in Social Security and Medicare, which are projected to consume a growing share of government spending as the baby boom generation ages into retirement over the next two decades. But he said he would have more to say about the issue when he unveiled a budget next month.

    Should he follow through with a serious effort to cut back the rates of growth of the two programs, he would be opening up a potentially risky battle that neither party has shown much stomach for.

      In the meantime, as we know, he has had plans to increase the amount of money for faith-based programs.  I'm not overenthusiastic about this combination of plans and not happy with how Warren's prayer on our behalf seems to have  led some others to feel more courageous to act out against gays.  Add that Warren "clarified" recently that, no, he is not for civil unions.

      Obama has to start focusing more clearly on things that are FOR the betterment of life for humans as a whole.  Not "include" prejudiced views as equal in his eyes or focus his budgetary down-changes at people who already have very little compared to so many and that means not talking about  taking away from those who are older and less valuable in the workplace as this youth-oriented culture goes, who have contributed to the economy for 50+ years.


    Huffpo sourcing? (none / 0) (#3)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 11:52:50 AM EST

    HuffPo is not a source. (none / 0) (#5)
    by LarryInNYC on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 11:58:34 AM EST
    I don't think it's fair or accurate (to readers or the Huffington Post) to source them for news.  They print what individual bloggers there choose to post.  I don't think there's even the suggestion of editorial authority.

    The headline should say "Sam Stein: Obama told Dems. . ."

    Every once-in-awhile, Huff po (none / 0) (#7)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 12:00:03 PM EST
    has an article not attritued to anyone except Huff po.

    I'm beginning to wonder (none / 0) (#16)
    by Fabian on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 12:15:29 PM EST
    if Burris is the new Palin.

    As in overworked, over exposed, not nearly THAT significant and only serves to distract from more important things.

    Nah... (1.00 / 0) (#17)
    by pmj6 on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 12:16:54 PM EST
    ...Burris will not be the next President of the United States...

    Did Reid tell White not to sign documents.? (none / 0) (#18)
    by Saul on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 12:17:38 PM EST
    Heard on TV yesterday that there was credible evidence that Reid talked to White and told him not to sign the certification.  

    White is ticked and starting to talk (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Cream City on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 12:23:32 PM EST
    as he is unhappy to be the "fall guy," unquote, for what he calls only a "ceremonial" duty, anyway.

    So if Reid did attempt to manipulate a state by telling it to not do a document so that he could claim that the reason to not seat a Senator was that the state did not do the document . . . we may find out from White.  Heck, it may be on tape, too.


    Hey, Reid is Senate majority leader. (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 12:25:53 PM EST
    It is his responsibility to mess around in Illinois Democratic political matters.

    Well I sure don't think it was (none / 0) (#56)
    by ruffian on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 01:26:12 PM EST
    a coincidence that they lacked a signature right when Reid was looking for an easy to explain excuse for not letting Burris in the door.

    Why Reid did not stick to his original guns I will never know. Or maybe I will know, and just won't like it if this story about Obama calling the shots is true. Reid is the more experienced one in Washington politics - he should have told Obama "No, we will all look like idiots".


    Not possible.... (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by vml68 on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 01:37:18 PM EST
    "Reid is the more experienced one in Washington politics - he should have told Obama "No, we will all look like idiots"."
    Afterall, Obama is the one with the superior judgement.... :-)!

    Reid is the idiot (none / 0) (#119)
    by andrys on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 01:44:56 AM EST
    because the signature AND form are not required, only "recommended"... (by Senate rules).

      If he participated in trying to get White not to sign it to suit Reid's purposes, then Reid needs to go.  I can't think of a dumber way to handle anything than what he has shown for over a year now.  He's both ineffectual and I now remember that he announced he was ignoring his aides' advice to announce that they could all smell the tourists coming into the building.

      That's Harry Reid.  He's a joke.  Obama does not need this idiocy when trying to get people together to try to do something about the hugely destructive actions going on in this world.


    oh pullleezze (none / 0) (#25)
    by jedimom on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 12:31:21 PM EST
    Oy Vey, the gift that keeps on giving...what a waste of time and news cycles....what happened to joining hands and singing kumbayah already? Harry didn't get the memo, snark off.

    You misunderstood (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by mexboy on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 02:29:27 PM EST
    what happened to joining hands and singing kumbayah already?

    This is meant for Republicans only.  Democrats? screw them!


    burris on now (none / 0) (#27)
    by jedimom on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 12:31:39 PM EST
    here comes Burris to speak again now....

    He's enjoying the stage -- and (none / 0) (#31)
    by Cream City on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 12:34:03 PM EST
    quoting Obama as saying "Roland, you will make a great Senator."  Oy, indeed.

    groan (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Nasarius on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 12:44:16 PM EST
    It'll be interesting to see how he actually does and what his approval ratings are like after a few months, but so far he's been consistently...weird. Not an adept politician, and not really elder statesman material either.

    no ! (none / 0) (#33)
    by jedimom on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 12:37:55 PM EST
    no that was CARTER he was quoting!! unbeLIEVable!! Carter called him this morning!!

    Apologies but double oy -- (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Cream City on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 12:44:35 PM EST
    and I'm not surprised, as Carter said he would not endorse in the general election but did so.

    I'm glad to hear that Obama did not speak again on this, already on record as saying Burris is a fine man and public servant and blah blah.  That did surprise me, so his more recent wisdom in reverting to being the new Teflon president is far better -- at least on this matter.  


    Burris on TV right now giving news conference. (none / 0) (#29)
    by Saul on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 12:33:36 PM EST

    Right (none / 0) (#37)
    by denise k on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 12:43:26 PM EST
    If they find there was a quid pro quo at a later date, they can expel him and see that he is prosecuted.  But until then seat him and give him a decent committee assignment to insure his cooperation with Obama.

    If Huffington is credible, try Fixed News (none / 0) (#47)
    by wurman on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 01:01:20 PM EST
    Here's a valid reason to suspect a tainted appointment by Blowhardovich from Fox:
    MyFOXChicago.com reports that Burris -- the former Illinois attorney general who has been appointed by Blagojevich to fill President-elect Barack Obama's vacated U.S. Senate seat --  held a 2006 fundraiser for the governor at his home.

    Burris and his lobbying firm also donated $22,295 to Blagojevich's campaign, according to MyFOXChicago.com.

    Over the past four years, Burris' lobbying firm reportedly won $705,435 in state contracts.

    I'm shocked!  Etcetera.

    But I thought (5.00 / 2) (#49)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 01:04:14 PM EST
    It doesn't matter if someone held a fundraiser in their home for a politician?  

    Ha Ha. Touche. (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by Maria Garcia on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 01:22:02 PM EST
    What's your point? (none / 0) (#55)
    by wurman on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 01:24:40 PM EST
    When did Pres-Elect Obama appoint Ayers to some office?

    At what point did Mr. Obama assert that he had NO relationship?

    At what point did $22K change hands?

    At what subsequent point did $700K change hands?

    There may only be a trillion orders of magnitude difference between the 2 events, but who could notice, heh?


    A lot of money changed hands (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by Cream City on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 01:28:07 PM EST
    to get taxpayer dollars to Ayers' schools projects, plus from the Ayers family funds for the board, Obama was paid to serve on it, chair it, etc. -- and then send more money to my city to fund the Catholic campaign for voucher schools, which have totally screwed up my city's public schools.  (I always will hold Obama among those responsible.)

    So you're correct, it's not parallel.  But the issue is about making an issue of guilt by association, no matter the specifics of association.


    You're being satirical, correct? (none / 0) (#74)
    by wurman on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 02:03:48 PM EST
    Per FactCheck

    The group was the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, started by a $49 million grant from the Annenberg Foundation, which was established by the publisher Walter Annenberg, a prominent Republican. . . .

    The Challenge was one of 18 projects supported by a $500 million grant announced at a White House ceremony Dec. 18, 1993, by the Annenberg Foundation, founded four years earlier by Philadelphia publisher Walter Annenberg. It was the largest single gift ever made to public education in America. The Chicago project received a $49.2 million grant in 1995. . . .

    First, they weren't tax dollars.  Second, Obama had nothing to do with the 17 other programs administered by Brown Univ.--he was chairman of the Chicago group.  Third----

    The same year the two men met through the Annenberg Challenge, Ayers hosted a meet-and-greet coffee for Obama, who was running for state Senate and who lived three blocks away from him. Obama and Ayers also were on the board of an antipoverty charity, the Woods Fund of Chicago, where their service overlapped from 2000 to 2002. And Ayers contributed $200 to Obama's campaign for the Illinois state Senate on March 2, 2001.

    As often reported this is ziff, nada, no quid, no pro, no quo, of any kind.


    At the risk of opening this can of worms again... (5.00 / 2) (#91)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 02:36:02 PM EST
    You cite FactCheck. Very funny.  FactCheck is owned and run by the Annenberg Foundation, which, coincidentally, was one of 18 locally designed Annenberg Challenge project sites that received $387 million over five years as part of Walter Annenberg's gift of $500 million over five years to support public school reform.

    So, in essence, your argument is that there is no "there" there because the people involved said so.


    Since you're too lazy to read the (none / 0) (#105)
    by wurman on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 05:23:22 PM EST
    sourced link, here's the text:
    FactCheck.org and the "Annenberg Challenge"

    Contrary to suggestions we've seen in some conservative blogs, there is no connection between the Chicago Annenberg Challenge and FactCheck.org, save for the fact that both received funding from the Annenberg Foundation. The foundation supports a wide variety of charitable causes - a total of 5,200 grants during its first 15 years of operation. It was founded in 1989 by Walter H. Annenberg, a newspaper and magazine publisher who died in 2002.

    FactCheck.org is funded by, and is a project of, the Annenberg Public Policy Center, which was established by the Annenberg Foundation with a $20 million endowment in 1993. The Annenberg Foundation also made additional grants to support our work. We also receive funding from the Flora Family Foundation to help support our educational offshoot, FactCheckED.org. We receive no other outside funding.

    FactCheck.org came into being in late 2003. Director Brooks Jackson states: "Our mission is to be as neutral and nonpartisan as humanly possible. Annenberg supports that, and nobody at the Annenberg Foundation has ever tried to influence anything we've written."

    For the record, the Annenberg Foundation's president and chairman is Leonore Annenberg, the founder's widow. Public records show she's given $2,300 to the McCain campaign, which announced on Oct. 8, that she has endorsed him for president.

    Your comments are wrong & silly.


    You don't understand the funding (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by Cream City on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 03:37:57 PM EST
    and I have research carefully how it was done to my city as well as in Chicago.  There's seed money, and then there's how it is used to lure much more money such as tax dollars.  The voucher system in my city, for example, was started with Ayer's bucks but only until it succeeded in getting state tax dollars -- and now, the voucher system costs my city most of all, as we have to pay property taxes to support two school systems as the church schools use our public dollars to kill off public schools.

    In Chicago, Ayers' funding again was seed money used to drive change in allocation of public school monies.  And it wasn't just that board; they both also served on another board behind  this, too.

    It's only zilch, nada, etc., in the media that also do not understand how this is done.  So I've done my own work to figure it out.  You can, too.


    In sum, my prob with Ayers (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by Cream City on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 03:41:10 PM EST
    is not the nonsense in the media, much as I deplore what he and his wife -- from my city -- and others did to destroy the antiwar movement.

    My prob is about what Ayers has done more recently in his misguided campaign for change in the public schools, and not just in his city.  To the extent that a young Obama was sucked into it, I deplore that, too.  And he remains waffly on vouchers (per an underreported interview with media in my city), but waffly is wiser than where he was.  So I am most looking to whether he finds wiser advisers on education now.


    Here's another linked source (none / 0) (#106)
    by wurman on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 05:35:44 PM EST
    totally contrary to your opinions.

    The Chicago Annenberg Challenge . . . (PDF)

    If you read it, the net result is that the project was a failure, all of the programs were discontinued in 2001, & no further efforts were made to extend the techniques into further development.

    It was a Chicago program.

    If something took place in some city where you live, it had no connection to this program.

    There were never any tax dollars involved.


    Wrong. I know my city, and you could (5.00 / 1) (#109)
    by Cream City on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 05:52:19 PM EST
    look it up -- much coverage about the mess here -- but I won't bother, because you're not interested.

    And to suggest that a failed program had no impact?  I'm not even going to try to explain how every single day in a school counts -- and has impact for years to come.


    Read carefully. (none / 0) (#112)
    by wurman on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 10:26:01 PM EST
    It doesn't matter where you live.

    A. Obama & Ayers had nothing to do with what took place in your burg.

    B. No federal tax dollars were used in the Annenberg programs.  Illinois state funds & other private donor funds matched the Challenge grant.

    C. The Chicago experiment failed.  It was ended.  It didn't go somewhere else.  The students in the Challenge performed the same, generally, as those in the other half of the district.

    D. Brown Univ. administered other Annenberg programs, elsewhere, & neither Obama nor Ayers had anything to do with any of them &, as near as I can tell, no federal tax dollars were available.

    If you're ticked off by some dipstick voucher program, it had/has nothing to do with the Chicago Annenberg Challenge.


    From Wikipedia:

    The Annenberg Challenge was criticized from its outset in 1994 and 1995 by conservative proponents of vouchers for private schools, including James Pierson, executive director of the John M. Olin Foundation,[81][82][83] Chester E. Finn, Jr., former Assistant Secretary of Education (1985-1988) under Secretary of Education William Bennett in the Reagan administration, founding partner and senior scholar of Chris Whittle's Edison Project new chain of for-profit private schools (1992-1994), then John M. Olin fellow at the Hudson Institute (1995-1998),[83][84][85] and Diane Ravitch, former Assistant Secretary of Education (1991-1993) under Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander in the George H. W. Bush administration, then senior research scholar at New York University, nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute, and co-founder with Finn in 1981 of the Education Excellence Network housed at the Hudson Institute.
    [My emphases]

    Repetitively----neither Obama nor Ayers had anything to do with whatever voucher program in your area apparently destroyed the schools, & the Chicago Annenberg Challenge is not the source of a voucher program, nor a resource for it.

    The Chicago program was not a voucher project; that came from somewhere else.


    CC is right on this, Wurman. (5.00 / 2) (#110)
    by caseyOR on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 07:24:54 PM EST
    And the public schools in her city have been devastated by the voucher program. Whenever talk out here turns to vouchers I think of CC's city and shudder in fear and horror.

    One of the problems with "education reformers" is that they never seem to stick around to clean up the problems their experiments almost inevitably cause.


    Ed reformers (none / 0) (#111)
    by nycstray on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 08:38:55 PM EST
    can't remember what I was watching, but they were discussing Obama's kids going to private school (57k a year! for both) vs public and the state of DC and other PS districts. One thing they mentioned about reform is stability. That is the stability of elected officials and school chancellors. It's more than a good plan and you need more than 4yrs. If Bloomberg gets his 3rd term, our schools stand an even better chance of continuing forward and not falling backwards again. If it's a bad plan, then you have to look at those in power abilities to adjust or not. Bloomberg has adjusted on "bad ideas", but not all will. If they are willing to evaluate and adjust, it may be worth keeping them around as at least they have the will to try and make things better. Action over lip service  ;)



    It is interesting. If that coffee for (5.00 / 0) (#108)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 05:50:31 PM EST
    Obama, hosted at the Ayers/Dohrn residence, is so insignificant, why do neither Ayers nor Obama mention it when detailing their relationship?

    Who could've known? (none / 0) (#113)
    by wurman on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 10:31:37 PM EST
    Alderman: "Yo, Ayers, we're having a fundraiser at your house for a legislature candidate, the skinny guy with the funny name."

    Ayers: "OK."

    Alderman: "Hey, Obama, be at the Ayers house, 3 doors West, for a koffeeklatch on Thursday to meet the local money sources."

    Obama: "OK."

    Perhaps the alderman remembers it.  Everybody else, not so much.


    I'm pretty sure Obama, Ayers, and (5.00 / 2) (#115)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 01:10:58 AM EST
    Dprhn "remember" the event.

    This krapola was beaten to death (none / 0) (#154)
    by wurman on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 10:28:42 PM EST
    during the primaries.

    Sarah Palin, John McCain, & this line of comment are silly.

    There's even a long-winded NYTimes article about how Ayers was not on the committee that chose Mr. Obama as chair of the Chicago Challenge, that 6 meetings occurred at which both of them attended (7 according to McCain's crack detectives), & Ayers has rarely even seen the Pres.-elect over the years.



    Memories are probably better than that, since (5.00 / 2) (#116)
    by andrys on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 01:17:47 AM EST
    Obama was mentioned in one of Ayers' books as a neighborhood light who was a 'writer' and, as things turn out in this world of trade, that writer, Obama, did a blurb for the book in the Chicago Times, published a few weeks after having been part of a seminar with Ayers, organized by Michelle. (Nov-Dec 1997).

      It's not as if they just passed each other by in the neighborhood, though that was at one time the explanation.

      Alice Palmer was intro'g Barack at the time of the fundraiser mentioned but she's said she had nothing to do with organizing it.  CNN did a report on all that, with a picture of Ayers' home.

      While none of it particularly matters!, what rankles is that ObamaTeam denied even the review-blurb until someone unearthed it by old-fashioned non-Net means.

      Since Ayers wrote and won the grant application for the Annenberg Challenge, and the board which Ayers was on hired young Obama as the Chief to head the program, and in charge of distributing the $50 million, it was really disheartening to hear Obama answer in a debate that he was "a guy in my neighborhood" as if they had no rather close business dealings together.

     Obama tends to deny before thinking, which also happened during the initial Blago senator-seat talk (saying his people weren't involved in talks when they had to be, for Blago to rage that they refused to play for pay).  I now pay scant attention when Obama denies something.  Will have to just pay attention to what he actually does.


    Isn't The Answer Right There (none / 0) (#124)
    by daring grace on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 09:55:13 AM EST
    in your question?

    If something IS insignificant, WHY mention it?

    Wouldn't only something significant merit mention?


    Yes (none / 0) (#125)
    by squeaky on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 12:27:42 PM EST
    Seems obvious to me....

    did not quite understand that comment..


    Only because both Ayers and Obama (none / 0) (#126)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 01:06:57 PM EST
    characterize their relationship the way they do,  with specifics.  Give all the specifics, then.

    Give All The Specifics? (none / 0) (#127)
    by squeaky on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 01:56:27 PM EST
    You mean the ones that make Obama out to be one who pals around with terrorists?

    No innuendo is much better, that is if you are looking to smear Obama.


    Ayers is a former domestic terrorist, (none / 0) (#128)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 02:16:44 PM EST
    as is his wife.  Obama has had a relationship with him, and Ayers/Dorhn did host a campaign event for Obama.  That is not the extent of their relationship, of course.  Ayers, for certain, doth protest too much.  Does it matter?  Not a whit.

    Terrorist (none / 0) (#129)
    by squeaky on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 03:19:12 PM EST
    Or activist? Seems that the GOP and the Hard core Hillaryites have redefined what Ayers did and how he was seen during the sixties.

    Political activist becomes domestic terrorist, or just terrorist as has been the more common smear.


    To me, political activist (none / 0) (#130)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 04:00:00 PM EST
    is writing letters, participating in demonstrations, protests, etc.  Not bomb-making, people dying due to the actions of the group you head.

    Really? (none / 0) (#131)
    by squeaky on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 04:14:29 PM EST
    Well that is a nice revisionist history of 60' activism. Maybe for today writing letters is all activism amounts to but it was a different story during the vietnam war.

    As regards terrorists in recent history, both domestic and foreign versions, the signature is killing random people in order to make the population at large live in fear.

    Ayers never embraced killing. He was into blowing up statues and making sure that there was ample warning so that no one got hurt.

    A message to authority not an attempt to scare the general populace with killing.

    Labeling Ayers a terrorist is propaganda at best and believing that Obama pals around with terrorists is just plain nonsense.


    Whatever. (none / 0) (#132)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 04:26:04 PM EST
    My recollection of Ayers and his organization is quite different than yours. I was a thorough newspaper reader during his Weatherground era. I have no idea why you feel the need to whitewash his involvement but so be it.

    No Whitewashing Here (none / 0) (#133)
    by squeaky on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 04:39:52 PM EST
    I just object to the revisionist history by labeling him as a terrorist.

    It seems that the only people that are defining Ayers that way are people intent on tarnishing Obama.

    Oh and there may be some law and order types that take delight in repackaging Ayers to resemble  Avraham Stern, Timothy McVeigh, or even OBL.


    Recollection? (none / 0) (#134)
    by squeaky on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 04:42:14 PM EST
    Did your recollection of Ayers involve being afraid for your life?

    Anyone else you know afraid of a being killed by Ayers?


    This conversation is less than productive. (none / 0) (#135)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 04:51:15 PM EST
    Weatherground killed people, including some of their own.  Them's the facts.  Didn't affect me personally, luckily.

    Change The Subject (none / 0) (#136)
    by squeaky on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 04:54:55 PM EST
    We were talking about Ayers. Ayers never killed anyone nor was he ever convicted of a crime.

    And as far as I know he never instilled terror in anyone except for a couple of statues perhaps.


    Ayers was the head of (none / 0) (#137)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 04:56:04 PM EST
    Weatherunderground.  Buck stops with him.

    Yes He Was Not The "Head" (none / 0) (#138)
    by squeaky on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 05:13:54 PM EST
    It was run by a group he was part of the group.
    The conference increased divisions within the Weather Underground. East coast members favored a commitment to violence and challenged commitments of old leaders, Bernardine Dohrn, Bill Ayers and Jeff Jones. By the end of 1976, the Weather Underground would collapse.[44]

    Within two years, many members turned themselves in after taking advantage of President Gerald Ford's amnesty for draft dodgers.[6] Mark Rudd turned himself in to authorities on January 20, 1978. Rudd was fined $4,000 and received two years probation.[6] Bernadine Dohrn and Bill Ayers turned themselves in on December 3, 1980, in New York, with substantial media coverage. Charges were dropped for Ayers. Dohrn received three years probation and a $15,000 fine.[6]

     Ayers wrote: "Terrorists terrorize, they kill innocent civilians, while we organized and agitated. Terrorists destroy randomly, while our actions bore, we hoped, the precise stamp of a cut diamond. Terrorists intimidate, while we aimed only to educate. No, we're not terrorists."[50] Dan Berger, in his book about the Weatherman, Outlaws in America, comments that the group "purposefully and successfully avoided injuring anyone... Its war against property by definition means that the WUO was not a terrorist organization."[51]


    In any case terrorist as the term is understood today does not fit Ayers activities between 1969 and 1976, imo. Leftist radical is about it.


    That's what I call selective snipping (none / 0) (#139)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 05:20:29 PM EST
    from Wiki, which doesn't stand by the accuracy of its own entry.

    Selective? (none / 0) (#140)
    by squeaky on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 05:36:43 PM EST
    Yes I know you believe that Ayers was responsible for murder and was a terrorist as the term is used today.

    I disagree and believe that calling Ayers a terrorist has only to do with tarnishing Obama, and little else, unless as I mentioned previously you are a law and order person who believes that Ayers is guilty of crimes and should be punished to this day.

    Dohrn was punished but no jail time. Do you think that is fitting for a terrorist?


    I'm thinking you might be an (none / 0) (#141)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 05:39:10 PM EST
    asset to Israel's public relations operation.

    Why? (none / 0) (#142)
    by squeaky on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 05:43:06 PM EST
    Do you think that Ayers murdered women and children? That is nonsense and weak tea.

    Although you obviously do believe that what Ayers did is analogous to what the Israelis are doing in Gaza. You are really off the wall on this one.


    Because you are a very (none / 0) (#143)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 05:51:42 PM EST
    skilled spinmeister.

    lol (none / 0) (#144)
    by squeaky on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 05:55:11 PM EST
    Because I dispute your claim that Ayers is a terrorist I am a spinmeister?

    OK. One way to argue is to try to discredit the integrity of the person you are disagreeing with.

    Not so effective, imo.


    Check out Ayers Wiki entry. (none / 0) (#145)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 06:05:51 PM EST
    OK (none / 0) (#146)
    by squeaky on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 06:12:42 PM EST
    I had read it before and I just read it again. So, what did I miss?

    Here's what I didn't remember: (none / 0) (#147)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 06:32:30 PM EST
    Ayers went to Univ. of Michigan!

    lol (none / 0) (#148)
    by squeaky on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 06:37:40 PM EST
    Is that your alma mater? Or significant in another way?

    It is my alma mater. I was there (none / 0) (#149)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 06:40:29 PM EST
    when he was.  Guess that makes me a terrorist assoc. also?

    I Can't Believe (none / 0) (#150)
    by squeaky on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 06:49:40 PM EST
    That you did not remember meeting him.  Guess you share something with Obama. lol

    Well, Obama remembers (none / 0) (#152)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 07:06:10 PM EST
    meeting Ayers, just doesn't talk about that coffee clatch at Ayers/Dohrn residence.  

    P.S.  Have you read any of Ayers's memoirs or those of his Weathermen colleagues?  Apparently they aren't all that consistent w/each other.  


    Oh (none / 0) (#153)
    by squeaky on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 07:12:59 PM EST
    Well I am sure that Obama doesn't remember meeting Ayers at some point, that is the moment where you have two things in common with Obama.

    And I have not read any of the memoirs you speak of, not surprised that they are conflicting.

    Ever see Rashômon? If you haven't it is a must.


    The silver lining (none / 0) (#53)
    by Cream City on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 01:19:58 PM EST
    is that Blago via Burris doesn't have the goods on Obama via Rahm, or the capitulation by Senate Dems would have been total today.  

    The right thing to do is for Burris to step (none / 0) (#59)
    by ThatOneVoter on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 01:28:24 PM EST
    aside. There is no good outcome possible otherwise.