Sunday, July 27, 2008

Bamboozling the American electorate again

Original Link: http://www.thecityedition.com/Pages/Archive/Winter08/2008Election.html

By Rosemary Regello

Strategy involved G.O.P. crossover voting to take out Clinton, marketing newcomer Obama, stripping battleground delegates, threatening violence at the convention, and (if necessary) declaring martial law to prevent November's general election. Meanwhile, revelations about the Illinois senator's ties to Chicago political fixer Antoin Rezko and Iraqi war profiteers are downplayed by the press. For their part, Democratic Party leaders have circumvented the official nominating process, declaring Obama the nominee by breaking their own rules and allowing superdelegates to "vote" before the convention.
Revised and updated July 24, 2008

(Note: Printing out in PDF format is recommended.)

Evidence of a covert campaign to undermine the presidential primaries is rife, so it's curious that many within both the Democratic and Republican parties have ignored the actual elephant in the room in 2008. That would be Karl Rove, the G.O.P.'s longtime political strategist and a man many politicos still refer to as "The Architect". Accused of rigging the two previous presidential elections, this master of deceit would have us believe he's gone off to write op-eds and armchair quarterback this year's coverage for Fox News Channel.

Not so. According to an article in Time magazine last November, Republicans were organized in several states to throw their weight behind Senator Barack Obama, one of several candidates competing against Senator Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination. While Rove's name isn't mentioned in the story, several former fundraisers and strategists for President Bush are identified. With the help of Wall Street investment firms, these gentlemen flush Obama's coffers with cash early on in the race, something conservative deep pockets had not done for any candidate in their own party. With receipts topping $100 million in 2007, the freshman senator achieved a remarkable feat, given that he only first appeared on the national scene in 2004. In fact, the vast majority of Americans did not even hear of him until 2006.

To expedite the Rove strategy, a website and discussion forum called Republicans for Obama formed in 2006. The executive director of New Hampshire's Republican Party, Stephen DeMaura, later established “Stop Hillary Clinton (One Million Strong AGAINST Hillary)” on Facebook. At the same time, the Obama camp launched its own initiative targeted at Republican primary voters called "Be a Democrat For a Day". The campaign included a video that was circulated in Florida, Nevada, Vermont and elsewhere explaining the process of switching parties for the election. In addition, many states nowadays hold open primaries, allowing citizens to vote for any candidate, regardless of their party affiliation. In Nebraska, the mayor of Omaha publicly rallied Republicans and Independents to caucus for Obama on February 9th. In Pennsylvania, Time reported on March 19th that Obama was running radio ads in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia asking Republicans to register as Democrats and then vote for him in the state's April 22nd primary.

The tactic, called crossover voting, allowed Obama to open up an unsurmountable lead in pledged delegates, particularly in the 12 red-state caucues that he won. Republicans for Obama was certainly not bashful in making its case in an email appeal linked to its home page before the March 4th contests. "Since Texas has an open primary," the appeal read, "Republicans and Independents should sign in at their polling place and request a Democratic ballot. They should then vote for Barack Obama... Just think, no more Clintons in the White House."

Then there was Iowa, which held the nation's first caucus on January 3rd. Here G.O.P. winner Mike Huckabee received just half as many votes as Clinton, who finished third behind Obama and John Edwards. According to IowaPolitics.com, 43,000 out of 52,500 party changes for the caucus were switches to the Democrats. "Pre-caucus polling had [Obama] in a head-to-head battle among Democratic voters with Sen. Hillary Clinton", the post read. The reporter said pundits were attributing Obama's victory margin to independents.

Of the 17 states holding open primaries, Obama won 13 of them. And an analysis of the caucus results to date shows that a disproportionate number of delegates were awarded to Obama. DNC Chair Howard Dean and superdelegate Donna Brazile have since been accused of manipulating the primary schedule and caucus voting to insure Obama would prevail ast the party's nominee. Although she maintains she's neutral in this year's primaries, Brazile served as the DNC whipping boy when it stripped nearly 350 delegates from two Clinton strongholds, Florida and Michigan, in the lead-up to the primary season. The sanctions were imposed after both state legislatures scheduled early contests.

In fact, Donna Brazile may have been Rove's inside connection to the DNC. The two befriended each other in 2003 and have been trading political favors ever since. When he resigned from the Bush Administration last summer, Rove even called Brazile from Air Force One to break the news. "Mr. Rove's resignation is not a retirement," Brazile wrote in her newsletter afterward. " It's just another opportunity for him to create that lasting Republican majority he envisioned years ago and to spend his waking days doing what he so enjoys — beating Democrats in the alleys and gutters. Just ask Sen. Hillary Clinton, Mr. Rove's target when he called in to speak to Rush Limbaugh. He couldn't help it. Mr. Rove just had to take one last shot before riding out of town. More to come, Team Clinton."

Indeed. Thousands of irregularities and formal complaints of cheating in the caucuses would be subsequently filed, without any follow-up action taken by the rules committee or the DNC Voting Rights Institute, which Brazile chairs. Moreover, red states - i.e. those who normally vote Republican in the general election - were allowed to exercise undue influence on the process. Obama's 13,700 vote margin in the Nebraska caucus, for instance, resutled in a net gain of 8 pledged delegates over Clinton, whereas she gained only 9 more delegates than him from her 204,000-vote margin of victory in Ohio's primary. In Texas, which holds both a primary and caucus, Obama gained 5 more pledged delegates than Clinton, despite the fact that she won the primary by a 100,000-vote margin. Although Clinton won the Nevada caucus by 6 percentage points, the Obama camp received more pledged delegates at the state convention a few months later.

(For more on Brazile and the questionable delegate allocations, please see The Donna Brazile - Karl Rove Connection.)

Such discrepancies bring into context what Time must have meant when it referred to "Obama's red state appeal." Even with the full compliment of election-scamming tools available to them - phone bank sabotage, fake polling data, swiftboating, waitlisting, electronic voting equipment, Norman Hsu, etc. - G.O.P. operatives would be hard pressed to eclipse Clinton in a general election. By the end of 2007, she held a commanding lead in public opinion polls and boasted a large campaign war chest of her own. Yet all the vote-rigging tricks known to man wouldn't make much difference if the contest in November weren't close, and in her case, it likely wouldn't be. Several influential Republicans admitted as much in a February 11th story for Politico. At the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, also held in February, a single banner strung over the exhibits hall seemed to encapsulate the strategy of the Republican Party for the 2008 primaries. It read "Anybody but Hillary".

On June 4th, that sentiment became reality when Clinton acquiesced to pressure from her party and announced she would both supsend her campaign and endorse Obama. Her supporters angrily denounced the strong-arm tactics, claiming the DNC was conspiring with the Obama campaign to subvert the nominating process. The New York senator had surged towards the end of the primary season, winning 9 out of 13 states, and looked to have a real chance of victory at the convention in Denver. By contrast, Obama's support was teetering in the wake of revelations about his long relationship with Pastor Jeremiah Wright of Trinity Church, and the conviction on 16 felony counts of Tony Rezko, Chicago's notorious political fixer and long-time benefactor of the Illinois senator.

Yet the issue of electability appeared to be the last thing on the minds of Howard Dean, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and other Democratic Party leaders. Citing the need for unity, DNC Chairman Dean declared Obama the official nominee on June 3rd based on the input of superdelegates, a group of nearly 800 elected leaders and party officials who normally don't vote until the convention. (That's why they're called delegates.) The following day, the Obama campaign assumed control over the party apparatus and treasury, and much to the chagrin of Clinton activists, began contacting her donors for contributions and other support.

For the first time in U.S. history, a winning candidate had been forced out of the race by means other than a bullet to the head.

Presidential Race or Next American Idol

Even as the fictional presumptive Democratic nominee, Obama remains a relatively unknown quantity to most voters. The author of the November Time article, Jay Newton-Small, offered the following explanation to account for the love affair G.O.P. rank and file activists say they're having with an African American senator on the other side of the aisle. "It seems a lot of Republicans took to heart Obama's statement in his rousing speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention that 'there is not a liberal America and a conservative America — there is the United States of America.'"

Is she kidding? The magazine National Journal claims Senator Obama's voting record is the most liberal in Washington. Not everyone agrees with that assessment by a long shot (for starters, he supported the controversial Cheney energy bill,in 2005), but nevertheless, it's hard to picture the voting pattern Newton-Small implies: Nixon - Ford - Reagan - Bush - Dole - Bush - Obama. Other journalists advance the equally suspect position that Senator Clinton, the first-ever female frontrunner for president, represents the past.

This slightly off-base view of reality is what media professionals call "spin". And any sixth grade civics student is aware by now that the country's mainstream press dived into this election with its own horse in the race. Last December, while Clinton was commanding that huge lead in the national polls, political analysts and professional strategists retained by CNN and other broadcast networks began hammering across the notion that "the voters don't like her". It was pretty brazen stuff. Using the branding techniques of commercial product marketers, adjectives like "divisive", "polarizing", "dishonest", "untrustworthy" and "calculating" have been repeated over and over in connection to Clinton in the same manner that "biological warfare" and "weapons of mass destruction" were pounded across the air waves in the lead-up to the Iraq War. Before the Indiana-North Carolina primaries on May 6th, she was labeled a "panderer" by the networks. (By contrast, her rival's numerous policy reversals and are described as "shifting style" or "moving to the center".) ABC political correspondent Jake Tapper, apparently taking his cue from Obama campaign surrogates, even compared to the New York senator to Tonya Harding, the ice skater who caused Nancy Kerrigan's ankle injury.

Of course, the use of pejorative terminology in characterizing Clinton traces back to the right-wing ideologues keeping the studio seats warm at Fox News Channel since midway through her husband's presidency. As mentioned above, Karl Rove was making the rounds of talk radio disseminating the standard talking points long before the presidential race began. "There is no candidate on record, a front-runner for a party's nomination, who has entered the primary season with negatives as high as she has," he told Reuters last August. He has been making this tired argument against Clinton for years, even after she was re-elected to the U.S. Senate by two-thirds of her constituents in 2006.

Throughout the primaries, Obama himself made liberal use of Rove's "high negatives" comment in press interviews whenever discussing Clinton. His often bitter criticism of her, along with other "Washington insiders", who he says want to "boil and stew all the hope out of him", represents a staple of his core political message. (Ironically, many of those same insiders are the ones who boiled and stewed all the hope out of Clinton's presidential campaign.) The other half of the stump speech, known as the I'm-a-uniter-not-a-divider pitch, is reminiscent of the Bush 2000 campaign, which Rove managed. And one of Obama's speechwriters, Ben Rhodes, is the brother of Fox News VP David Rhodes, according to Marisa Guthrie of BC Beat. You may recall that on election night in November 2000, it was Fox that called Florida for Bush, even though the other networks declared Gore the winner based on the exit polls. How Fox knew the polls were wrong in advance of the votes being counted has never been explained.

The G.O.P. links to Obama don't end there, either. The Times of London reported on March 2nd that Obama had interviewed conservative Republican lawmakers Senators Chuck Hagel and Richard Lugar for key positions in a future cabinet. "Senior advisers confirmed that Hagel, a highly decorated Vietnam war veteran and one of McCain’s closest friends in the Senate, was considered an ideal candidate for defence secretary." the story revealed. "Some regard the outspoken Republican as a possible vice-presidential nominee although that might be regarded as a 'stretch'." Lugar, who placed Obama's name on his nuclear non-proliferation bill two years ago, is being evaluated as a potential secretary of state.

Although Obama says he has always opposed the Iraq War, he is linked to Bush Administration policy there through his principle political benefactor in Chicago, Tony Rezko. Rezko received a contract to build a power plant in Iraq through a college chum appointed as the new Minister of Electricity in 2003. Like other Iraqi exiles recruited for posts by Coalition Provisional Authority Administrator L. Paul Bremmer, Aiham Alsammarae absconded hundreds of millions of dollars as part of a crime spree dubbed "The Mother of all Heists" by 60 Minutes correspondent Steve Kroft. Currently wanted by Interpol (but apparently not the U.S. Government), Alsammarae lives in Illinois, where he has donated several times to Obama's presidential campaign. (See below for more on Obama's Rezko/Iraq connections.)

Meanwhile, presumptive G.O.P. nominee John McCain still has to be confirmed at his own convention in September. Interestingly, this gathering takes place after the Democratic meeting. Most conservatives are unhappy with McCain, so it wouldn't be a stretch to assume that they'll try to find a way to challenge him on the first ballot. After all, the candidate's fundraising fortunes limped along all the way into April, when he struck a deal that gives the Republican National Committee the bulk of his receipts. And the controversy surrounding his birth outside the United States has led detractors to file a lawsuit.

On the Democratic side, in addition to the G.O.P. crossover voting, the Clinton camp has had to contend with an internet marketing bonanza that's allowed her rival to gain an intractable foothold among voters under thirty. Since 2006, the persona (i.e. mirage) that is Barack Obama has literally barnstormed cyberspace, carefully packaged for public consumption as the Starbucks equivalent of Gandhi. At the top of a steady stream of viral videos touting his "rock star" status, the professionally produced "Obama Girl" features a bikini-clad young actress gyrating her bottom as she lip-synchs lyrics of veneration to the candidate. It's not clear who greenlighted or funded this video, which originally appeared at barenakedpolitics.com. (Covering their bets, Obama's internet management firm Blue State Digital produced a viral attack ad on Clinton, but the candidate subsequently distanced himself from that clip, blaiming a rogue employee at the firm.)

Even a cursory review of Obama's record as a legislator does not bare out the hype surrounding him. But no one seems to have bothered with the facts behind the sales promotion. During an MSNBC interview in February, for instance, Austin State Senator Kirk Watson was unable to list a single accomplishment of the candidate he had just endorsed. A week later, a Q and A session with a focus group for the Fox program Hannity and Colmes uncovered the same knowlege gap. (A CNN focus group yielded similar results in late April.) None of those voters supporting Obama could identify any past achievement. It was Obama's present-day venture that fascinated them, the historic nature of his quest to become the country's first African-American president, along with his inspirational oratory.

Tom Hanks, Bruce Springsteen, Michael Moore, Tom Hayden, Melissa Etheridge and many other liberal or left-wing celebrities have joined the Obama bandwagon without realizing that many of the candidate's handlers and donors represent economic interests and foreign policy objectives that are 180 degrees in variance with their own beliefs. (For more on this subject, see our article Bush's Third Term.)

In addition to the successful merchandising angle, nobody would have predicted a few years ago that progressive journalists would join in an unholy alliance with Fox News Channel to promote a politician with such a shadowy proximity group. Yet here we are. Ari Berman, a writer at The Nation, was seen in March popping up on Fox programs he and his staff once regarded as 24/7 campaign commercials for the Republican Party. And editor Katrina Vanden Heuvel regularly used CNN to promote Obama's allegedly squeaky clean credentials in April and May, claiming he gets no support from lobbyists, oil companies or other corporate special interest groups. Although the assertion has been widely debunked by the Center for Responsive Politics' opensecrets.org website, factcheck.org, and an article in the Boston Globe, CNN's "best political team on television" never challenged Vanden Heuvel.

Speaking of special interests, the recent spike in oil prices has been traced to speculation by investment banks which have also underwritten Obama's campaign. They include Goldman Sachs (his number one contributor), J.P. Morgan Chase, Lehman Brothers, Morgan Stanley, and UBS Securities. In particular, Goldman Sachs has been propping up the hope and change candidate for some years now, even when he was still a relative unknown with no grassroots network or any real resume to run on. This spring, four of these firms surfaced as major players in the scheme to vault the cost of crude to over $140 a barrel. A company called ICE Futures, created by Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, has been busy hoarding massive amounts of oil futures on the London stock exchange. (It's similar to what Enron did in California when it ordered power plants offline to cause rolling blackouts, then charged the state inflated rates to buy electricity from other plants.) Business journalist Ed Wallace has written an eye-opening account of this racket, one that's also responsible for driving up grain prices around the world. In essence, people are starving because of a shortage on paper, rather than any lack of food.

Goldman Sachs has raised $571,000 on Obama's behalf from executives, employees and spouses so far in 2008. Calling himself a "free-market guy", the candidate has also tapped alumni from the University of Chicago to head his economics policy team, a move which caused Naomi Klein to finally squeal a note of caution to the progressive community, although she waited until the end of June to do so. (Klein is the author of The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.) Suddenly the slogan "Change we can believe in begins to take on a whole new, sinister "spin".

And we're just getting warmed up here. In February, the New York Times reported that two years ago Obama watered down legislation that would have required nuclear giant Exelon to disclose its radiation leaks to the public. His efforts were apparently rewarded, because Exelon employees and executives joined the ranks of major Obama contributors in 2008. The company was his fourth largest donor in 2006 and still in the top 20 for 2008.

The N.Y.T. article read, in part, “'Senator Obama’s staff was sending us copies of the bill to review, and we could see it weakening with each successive draft,' said Joe Cosgrove, a park district director in Will County, Ill., where low-level radioactive runoff had turned up in groundwater. 'The teeth were just taken out of it.'” But such anecdotes have had little effect on MoveOn.org activists, who were instrumental in vaulting Obama over Clinton's awestruck head in many caucus states. The organization also appears unconcerned that their candidate, who chairs a senate subcommittee on Europe, has yet to hold a single hearing on NATO's failure to deploy troops to Darfur.

Then there's Obama's national campaign-finance chairwoman, billionaire Penny Pritzker. Her family business, the subprime-mortgage lender Superior Bank, collapsed in 2001. According to the Wall Street Journal, "Government investigators and consumer advocates have contended that Superior engaged in unsound financial activities and predatory lending practices. Ms. Pritzker, a longtime friend and supporter of Sen. Obama, served for a time as Superior's chairman, and later sat on the board of its holding company."

But why get depressed over the facts when you can be trashing the Clintons for fun and profit? In a blog posted on her website the morning after the Iowa Caucus, which Obama won, liberal mouthpiece Adrianna Huffington lauded the Illinois senator as priactically the Second Coming. Naturally, she didn't offer any specifics. She instead spent the bulk of her remarks castigating former President Bill Clinton, who she described as "arrogant and entitled, dismissive and fear-mongering."

Huffington was one of several politicos swindled by the California recall referendum in 2002. In that episode, a Democratic governor was extracted from office shortly after being re-elected, the handiwork of Enron's Ken Lay, who then funded the candidacy of Hollywood action hero Arnold Schwarzenegger. The recall involved no run-off, so Schwarzenegger easily outdistanced a cluttered field of democrats and progressives. The election sparked a mini-renaissance for the state's old guard of Reaganites, who stepped out of the mothballs and back to power in this normally liberal state. Candidate Huffington dropped out of the race a few days before the election, conceding the entire affair had been a set-up to divide the vote.

You think? Now six years later, she's being bamboozled by the right for the second time. With a few clicks of a mouse, Huffington might have learned that former Speaker Dennis Hastert and the Illinois G.O.P. fielded an ill-qualified, non-state resident named Alan Keyes to run against Obama for the U.S. senate in 2004. Keyes replaced Jack Ryan, the candidate who won the G.O.P. primary, after David Axelrod accused him of a sex scandal involving his ex-wife, actress Jeri Ryan. (Jeri played "Seven of Nine" in the television series Star Trek Voyager.) Not surprisingly, the charge against Ryan, lifted by Axelrod from some contentious divorce proceedings, was never corroborated. And the scheme to steal another presidential election from the Democrats was underway. Bible-thumping, small-time Maryland politician Keyes went on to pick up a staggering 27 percent of the vote in that election. In effect, Obama was handed his senate seat on a silver platter.

Slumming With Tony Rezko

Here's a little more history you won't find at HuffPost or The Nation: At the time of his U.S. senate run, Obama was a relatively minor player who had lost a congressional race against African American incumbent Bobbie Rush in 2000. (Rush is a former Black Panther.) Obama's first significant campaign donor in the 1990's was Chicago political fixer Tony Rezko, whom he met while still in law school. On graduating from Harvard, Obama hired on with a community nonprofit agency called Project VOTE, where he organized voter registration drives, before joining the law firm Miner Barnhill & Galland. There he worked under the supervision of Allison Davis, whose second job was developing low-income housing projects. Obama also taught constitutional law part-time at the University of Chicago.

Tony Rezko was Davis's partner in many of her taxpayer-payer funded schemes to build and manage public housing. Much of their portfolio consists of poorly maintained tenements, many allowed to deteriorate to the point of being closed down due to health and safety concerns. As a "civil rights attorney", the presidential hopeful represented Rezko and his boss in their sometimes contentious dealings with the government agencies funding the apartments. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, one project to benefit low-income seniors was particularly lucrative, developed in conjunction with Woodlawn Preservation & Investment Corp., a nonprofit founded by Bishop Arthur Brazier of the Apostolic Church of God. "In addition to the development fees, a separate Davis-owned company stood to make another $900,000 through federal tax credits." The article described poor maintenance of the units and non-working furnaces, a situation that led the City of Chicago to sue the partnership in 1994. Obama defended the landlords in court.

Later, as a state senator, Obama wrote endorsement letters on behalf of Rezko to agencies allocating funds to build other housing complexes. According to an scathing report published June 27th in the Boston Globe, "Rezko's company used subsidies to rehabilitate more than 1,000 apartments, mostly in and around Obama's district, then refused to manage the units, leaving the buildings to decay to the point where many no longer were habitable." In a similar vain, Edward McClelland, writing for Salon last year, explained that "Rezko, after all, built part of his fortune by exploiting the black community that Obama had served in the state senate, and by milking government programs meant to benefit black-owned businesses."

The Globe story continues, "Grove Parc [one of the projects] and several other prominent failures were developed and managed by Obama's close friends and political supporters," the article stated. "Those people profited from the subsidies even as many of Obama's constituents suffered. Tenants lost their homes; surrounding neighborhoods were blighted... 'No one should have to live like this, and no one did anything about it,' said Cynthia Ashley, who has lived at Grove Parc since 1994."

Valerie Jarrett, a senior staffmember for the Obama presidential campaign, is the property manager for Grove Parc. In fact, the Globe discovered that six prominent developers associated with the tenement schemes - including Jarrett, Davis and Rezko collectively donated more than $175,000 to Obama's campaigns through the years and raised hundreds of thousands more from other donors.

And then there's the matter of Obama's own housing. After he was elected to the U.S. Senate, he bought a $2 million Georgian-revival home in Chicago's historic Kenwood neighborhood with Rezko's help. By then under investigation by federal authorities, Rezko acquired a large side yard for $625,000 under his wife's name. The Obamas then bought the adjacent parcel with the house, paying $300,000 less than the asking price. The Chicago Tribune reported the details of this suspect arrangement in November 2006.

But here's the strangest twist of all in the Rezko affair: The federal prosecutor in the Chicago trial was Patrick Fitzgerald, the former special counsel in the Valerie Plame C.I.A. leak case. If you remember, in that earlier episode a much anticipated indictment against Karl Rove somehow never materialized. Instead, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff Scooter Libby was tried and convicted on four counts of lying under oath. (His sentence was later commuted by President Bush.) Whether Fitzgerald is delaying indictments of Obama and Illinois Governor Blagojevich on orders from the Bush Administration is a matter of speculation. Curiously, on April 23rd, Rove's name came up when a witness testified that in 2004, G.O.P. heavyweight Robert Kjellander lobbied Rove to replace Fitzgerald because a vigorous prosecution might hurt Republicans like himself, according to a report ABC News posted on its website.

More on the Bush/Rezko connection: If you're a conspiracy theorist, you might be interested to know that this same Robert Kjellander was allegedly paid $3.1 million for consulting services by the Carlyle Group in connection to the Illinois Teachers Retirement System pension fund, known as TRS. If the name sounds familiar, that's because the Carlyle Group is identified in Michael Moore's film Fahrenheit 911 as the high-finance firm whose investors included both the Bush and Bin Laden families at the time of the Sept. 11th tragedy. Due to the spike in Defense-related expenditures that followed the terrorist attacks, Carlyle investors made a killing of their own when the company went public in 2002. What Kjellander did for Carlyle is unclear, but the pension fund figured heavily in the Rezko indictment (see next paragraph).

In 2007, the developer received a $3.5 million loan from Nadhmi Auchi, a London-based Iraqi exile and one of the world's richest men (according to Forbes). The Pentagon claims Auchi is a former moneyman for Saddam Hussein, the Sun-Times reports. Rezko, who is Syrian, attended college with Auchi in Illinois during the 1970s. There's more to the Obama Although no laws were broken in the transaction (at least, none that we know of yet), the New York Times reported that the deal may have been an attempt by Rezko to shield assets from creditors in several bankruptcy-related lawsuits.

According to The Times of London, "Mr. Auchi was convicted of corruption, given a suspended sentence and fined £1.4 million in France in 2003 for his part in the Elf affair, described as the biggest political and corporate scandal in post-war Europe." Rezko and Auchi are current partners in a major 62-acre land development in Riverside Park in Chicago. The Times also reported on February 26th that Auchi lent Rezko more money shortly before the purchase of the Obama property. "Under a Loan Forgiveness Agreement described in court, Mr. Auchi lent Mr. Rezko $3.5 million in April 2005 and $11 million in September 2005, as well as the $3.5 million transferred in April 2007."

Obama's unusual mortgage lender visited the windy city in 2004. Auchi appears to have gotten his visa with the help of Obama's senate office, even though convicted felons are prohibited from entering the United States. Apparently, the Bush Administration had no objection, either, and a reception held in the felon's honor was attended by both Rezko and Emil Jones, president of the Illinois state senate. Jones was a pivotal player in Obama's 2004 U.S. senate bid, according to a CNN report. Obama admits he may have attended the Auchi gathering, held at the posh Four Seasons, but says he doesn't recall meeting the man and was at the hotel on other business. A prosecution witness at the Rezko trial in Chicago later testified that Obama met Auchi during a party at Rezko's home April 3, 2004.

Other Rezko trial developments: On March 10th, Obama was identified as a participant in crafting legislation to reduce the number of members on the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board from 15 to 9, according to the Sun-Times' Rezko Blog. The prosecution alleges that in 2003, the Planning Board was stacked by Rezko in order to steer contracts his way. In another development reported on the CBS News website, the government's principle witness, Stuart Levine, acknowledged in sworn testimony that Allison Davis (Obama's former boss) acted as go-between for Rezko in the shakedown of Hollywood financier Tom Rosenberg, whose film credits include "Million Dollar Baby". The producer was asked to make substantial campaign contributions in exchange for receiving a $200 million dollar contract with TRS. On June 4th, Rezko was convicted on 16 of 24 counts of influence peddling and bribery. He says he will appeal the decision, although if Sen. Obama becomes President, he probably won't have to bother.

Interestingly, Rezko's name never came up in the national press coverage the presidential campaign until Clinton mentioned it in the South Carolina debate last January. Obama responded to her accusation of going to bat for a slumlord, claiming he spent no more than "five billable hours" while employed at his law firm on Rezko's business, and even that was indirectly,via the nonprofit Woodlawn Preservation & Investment. It was not exactly a moment of candor, and when the matter of the home purchase was reported a few days later, the candidate conceded the joint venture with Rezko was a "boneheaded" mistake. He continues to insist he's "never done any favors" for his longtime fundraiser, and his press entourage has not pressed the issue

With the Rezko trial looming last February, past contributions from the developer and his circle lead Obama to donate some of the money from his current campaign to charity. Initially, the Sun-Times put the amount of tainted cash at $168,000. The Obama camp agreed to surrender about half that amount, but only as an "abundance of caution", a senior staffer said. However, after NBC Nightly News broadcast a story about the finances, the entire sum was donated. On March 14th, a spokesman announced it would surrender another $100,000 after ABC News that uncovered more contributions linked to Rezko associates. According to the Los Angeles Times, Obama's various campaigns over the years have been financed in part using "straw donors", individuals who take money from other sources and contribute it to the candidate under their own names.

For more background on the Rezko/Obama relationship, read the March 2nd article in the New York Times and the investigative probe by the Sun-Times. For more details related to Rezko's various schemes and Chicago associates, check out independent journalist Evelyn Pringle's three-part series.

Other banking and corruption scandals: According to a Chicago Tribune story appearing in June 2007, Obama endorsed and appeared in campaign commercials for Alex Giannoulias, a banker who ran for Illinois state treasurer in 2006. Obama backed Giannoulias despite reports that his family-owned Broadway Bank made loans to bookmakers, prostitution rings and other crime figures. "Records show Giannoulias and his family had given more than $10,000 to Obama's campaign, which banked at Broadway," the article stated [emphasis added]. The senator also helped another controversial figure, Dorothy Tillman, in her bid for a local alderman seat. At the time, "Tillman was then under fire for her stewardship of the scandal-plagued Harold Washington Cultural Center, where contracts benefited members of her family," the Tribune reported.

Taken together, Obama's questionable ethics and dubious circle of political acquaintances bring into question his stated platform of clean government. Still, his campaign never missed an opportunity during the primaries to criticize Senator Clinton and her husband for delaying the release of tax returns, as well as records from her eight-year stint in the White House. On March 19th, the National Archives published Clinton's appointment calendar. The tax returns were made public two weeks later. By contrast, CBS News reported that Obama himself had produced no documents regarding his own two terms in the state senate. "Obama's statement that he has no papers from his time in the Illinois statehouse — he left in 2004 — stands in stark contrast to the massive Clinton file stored at the National Archives: an estimated 78 million pages of documents, plus 20 million e-mail messages, packed into 36,000 boxes," according to the article.

Iraqi War Profiteers Enjoy Warm Relations with Presidential Candidate

The mainstream media has been even less diligent in probing the connections between Obama and Iraq. A speech he claims to have given at an anti-war rally in 2002 has never been independently corroborated. (A recording released by the campaign was exposed as a counterfeit.) Furthermore, Rezko has much closer ties to that country than has been previously reported. The developer attended the Illinois Institute of Technology in the 1970s with another Iraqi ex-patriot named Aiham Alsammarae. Alsammarae is a fugitive wanted by Interpol, but that didn't stop him from posting more than $2.7 million in property to spring Tony Rezko from jail in April, according to a story in the Sun-Times. Iraq's former minister of electricity, appointed by L. Paul Bremmer in 2003, was charged in 2005 with stealing $650 million in reconstruction funds. (He claims to have been exonerated in that case.) Curiously, Alsammarae's son sent several faxes to Obama's office in Washington in 2006, complaining that his father was being unjustly held in a Baghdad jail. Or so a story in the March 17, 2008 issue of Newsweek asserts.

In December of that same year, Alsammarae slipped his captors and returned to the United States. Regarding this incident, the New York Times reported that "Iraqi officials initially blamed the Americans and later claimed that a private security detail used by Mr. Alsammarae when he was a minister was responsible, saying that a fleet of S.U.V.’s filled with “Westerners” pulled up to the jail and spirited him away, perhaps with the complicity of some of his jailers." (The security firm Blackwater guarded Alsammarae during his time in government.)

The Sun-Times has quoted an Obama spokesperson as characterizing the faxes as "a routine request from a constituent." The fugitive, however, boasted that he escaped "the Chicago way", according to the New York Times. From the luxury of his compound in Illinois, Alsammarae donated online to the candidate in January, February and March of this year. The Sun-Tmes recently verified that a warrant for his arrest remains active, but U.S. officials refused to disclose what the warrant is for.

A man of multiple talents, Alsammarae also takes credit for brokering a peace dialog with two Sunni militant groups in Iraq in 2005. According to the Washington Post, the groups, "which he identified as the Islamic Army in Iraq and the Mujaheddin Army, were willing to enter negotiations with U.S. and Iraqi officials." Alsammarae told the Post that he lead his own predominantly Sunni political group at the time called the Iraqi National Council Front. (CNN interviewed Alsammarae about all this in January 2006. Scroll halfway down the page for the transcript.)

Not to be left out of the party, Rezko contracted with the minister of electricity in 2005 to build a $150-million power plant in Iraq with his friend's help, but the agreement was later cancelled. The blog RezkoWatch has reported that Rezko submitted a second proposal to run a training program for power plant guards in Illinois. How such business dealings might impact Obama's position on American troops stationed in Iraq, if he's elected president, has yet to be debated the MoveOn.org membership, or for that matter, Alan Chertoff's gang at the Dept. of Homeland Security. Revelations about a $4 million Chicago fundraiser hosted by Rezko for Bush's 2004 re-election campaign likewise haven't raised any apparent concerns about Obama's loyalties among any of his colleagues in the Democratic Party.

On a related note, an estimated two percent of George Soros's hedge fund is wrapped up in the Iraq War's biggest beneficiary, Halliburton. Soros, who is considered the sugar daddy of left-wing politics, bought into the company in early 2003 when the stock price was flat at $27 per share. Along with four family members, he contributed $60,000 towards Obama's senate run at about the same time.

Racism, Sexism and OutFoxing Fox News

At the same time that they've under-reported on Obama's links to crime figures and foreign agents, all the major national broadcast networks actively harassed Clinton on the campaign trail. It was Clinton herelf, as mentioned earlier, who first brought up the name of Tony Rezko. Two days later, Today's Matt Lauer confronted her with a photo taken in the1990s that showed the senator and President Clinton posing with Rezko at a White House social event.

Clinton explained that she's appeared in thousands of courtesy photos during two decades of public life, and Lauer offered no evidence that either husband or wife had any history with the indicted developer. Yet the morning show host's terse questioning and skeptical demeanor suggested she was not telling the truth. In fact, such caustic and at times disrespectful treatment of the candidate became commonplace, with a pattern emerging in which nearly all the shortcomings of Obama that managed to see daylight were routinely transfered onto Clinton . In addition to the ambush on Today, in February, after reporting on Obama's apparent plagiarism during a speech in Wisconsin, anchor Brian Williams dug up separate video clips showing Clinton and her husband both reciting the same two-line passage from the bible. This was offered as evidence to show that Obama's use of his friend's "Just Words" speech from 2006 (without crediting the source) reflected a standard practice among politicians.

A few other examples of media bias are worth noting. On the night before the New Hampshire primary, anchor Brian Williams accompanied Obama on the campaign trail, flashing a Newsweek cover of the senator and uttering superlatives about his meteoric rise to political stardom. In fact, Williams acted like someone undergoing a spiritual epiphany. During the same broadcast, Andrea Mitchell derided the Clinton campaign as broke, desperate, and ablaze with in-fighting. Mitchell continued along these lines the following night, assuring viewers that the senator's initial three-point lead in the vote tally would eventually evaporate. It didn't.

Such attempts to cast doubt on one candidate's viability and creating the bandwagon effect became the standard paradigm of coverage of the 2008 primary coverage. Shortly before Super Tuesday, both Mitchell and Meet the Press host Tim Russert claimed that the leadership of the Democratic Party was "mad as hell" at Bill Clinton, and as a result were lining up to back the Illinois senator. No news sources were provided to corroborate this bombshell allegation. Russert went on to explain that Ted and Caroline Kennedy's recent endorsement of Obama represented a sea change in the election, adding that because Ted's brother Bobby Kennedy had been friends with Cesar Chavez (founder of the United Farmworkers), the endorsement should pave the way for Obama capturing the Latino vote.

What NBC's crack team of reporters failed to mention was that three of Bobby Kennedy's own children, as well as the son of Cesar Chavez and the United Farmworkers union itself had already endorsed Clinton. In Nevada, Latinos in the 60,000-strong Culinary Workers Union defied their white male leadership's endorsement of Obama and helped Clinton win the caucus there. And while the Florida primary was showing Clinton with a 15 point lead in the polls, over at CNN, fill-in anchor Jim Acosta was declaring the Obama campaign a "runaway train" after its big South Carolina victory.

Even more egregious, most of the national media (including internet news services) did not report the results of Florida's January 29th Democratic primary. Clinton beat Obama by 17 points there in a record-breaking turnout, which should have created a huge surge of momentum for her going into Super Tuesday the following week.. Yet as far as the major networks were concerned, the contest never happened. An on February 10th, two days before the Maryland-Virginia-D.C. primaries, CBS anchor Katy Couric joined the Clinton-bashing effort with a 60 Minutes interview of the candidate spiced with multiple questions about how the candidate would deal with losing the election. She also asked the candidate if it were true that in high school, her classmates referred to her by the nickname "Miss Frigidaire". This unseemly exchange followed an upbeat piece on Obama in which Steve Kroft virtually repeated the Brian Williams New Hampshire epiphany frame for frame. Incredibly, Obama was still trailing Clinton in delegates at the time CBS conducted the interviews.

To wit, if there's a runaway train in this race, it isn't either of the candidates. For the past 20 years, broadcast and print outlets have become increasingly consolidated into media chains owned by multinational corporations. As part of this merging of advertisers with their mediums, the news, entertainment and advertising divisions of major networks have become increasingly indistinguishable. For example, the NBC/MSNBC network, which has come under fire for the misogynist undertones of its cable newscasters, is owned by General Electric. For her part, correspondent Andrea Mitchell is married to former Federal Reserve chief Alan Greenspan, the man many economists blame for the meltdown on Wall Street.

And it's not only the rigged coverage that's helping Obama. Employees and executives of General Electric contributed a bundle to Obama's campaign this year, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The candidate received over $206,000, making GE one of his top donors. (Coincidentally,Tony Rezko obtained a $10 million loan from a subsidiary, General Electric Capital Corp., several years back for his chain of pizza restaurants, according to a Sun-Times story.) Even higher on Obama's donor list is Time Warner, the parent company of both CNN and Time magazine. This compan's payroll and spouses principals have forked over more than a quarter million dollars so far in 2008.

Despite these ties that bind, a few journalists have admitted Clinton has been treated unfairly. Back in December, columnist Howard Kurtz published an article that exposed some of the bias favoring Obama. "The Illinois senator's fundraising receives far less press attention than Clinton's," he wrote. "When the Washington Post reported last month that Obama used a political action committee to hand more than $180,000 to Democratic groups and candidates in the early-voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, the suggestion that he might be buying support received no attention on the network newscasts." Fear of Flying novelist Erica Jong offers her take on the sexism angle in Hillary vs. the Patriarchy, published in the same newspaper. And Post writer Marie Cocco first reported on the mysoginist vitriol last October. She highlights some of the more memorable attacks since that time in her widely reprinted column of May 15th.

While it did relatively little to counteract the bias against its candidate, the Clinton campaign did briefly cut off relations with NBC when MSNBC's David Schuster argued that the Clintons had "pimped-out" daughter Chelsea as part of their election strategy. During a contentious April 8th radio interview, Clinton fended off NPR reporter Michele Norris's crude attempt to paint her as a candidate who was trying to "win ugly". (Time magazine published a transcript of the fireworks on its political blog, The Page.)

Clinton told the Washington Post on May 19th she believes the hatemongering toward her had posed a far greater problem than any alleged racism exhibited towards her opponent. "The manifestation of some of the sexism that has gone on in this campaign is somehow more respectable, or at least more accepted, and . . . there should be equal rejection of the sexism and the racism when it raises its ugly head," she said. "It does seem as though the press at least is not as bothered by the incredible vitriol that has been engendered by the comments by people who are nothing but misogynists."

If she was trying to send a message to the American press corps, she might as well have been talking to the deaf. The scant attention paid to sexism during the primaries stood in stark relief to the almost nonstop reporting about alleged racebaiting against Obama. After Clinton's big New Hampshire win, for instance, his surrogates accused the state's predominantly white voters of betraying the black candidate in the ballot booth. Later, when Senator Clinton made a speech tying Martin Luther King's efforts to President Johnson's signing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, highlighting the role of Johnson, her rival pounced on that, too.

The mainstream media dutifully went into attack mode against her, causing Sen. Clinton to fire back that her rival was fabricating a controversy for political gain. Obama told reporters during a conference call he found it "fascinating" that she would make such an allegation, since neither he nor anyone on his staff had accused her of any impropriety. A few days later a four-page memorandum from an Obama campaign staffer surfaced on the internet, invalidating the denial.

Democratic strategist Donna Brazile, meanwhile, had gone nuclear on CNN, now denouncing racial slurs by Bill Clinton. According to Brazile, former President had referred to Obama as a "kid" during a speech and characterized his presidential bid as a "fairy tale". (To be sure, Clinton said Obama's declared position on the Iraq War was a fairy tale, not his candidacy.) "And I will tell you," she concluded, "as an African American I find his words and his tone to be very depressing."

On the heels of the Brazile salvo, South Carolina Congressman James Clyburn suggested Bill Clinton's comments had compelled him to renege on his promise to the Democratic National Committee not to endorse a candidate before his state's primary. Clyburn exploited the racism charge to the limit, and would repeat the manuever before the North Carolina primary on May 6th. In both states, the huge African American demographic not only broke overwhelming Obama, they turned out to the polls in massive numbers. Princeton Professor Sean Wilentz later published an analysis of the Obama campaign's use of the race card in The New Republic.

Martial Law?

So far, Clinton has demurred in implicating Karl Rove and the G.O.P. in the covert operation to help Obama defeat her. After being targeted with offensive direct mailers in Ohio, she accused her opponent's campaign of tactics "straight out of the Rove playbook", but has never mentioned the crossover voting scheme in the red states. As for the future of the Bush Administration, all she's mustered to date on the subject is her oft-repeated statement, “They’re not going to surrender the White House voluntarily." Last year, she suggested that another terrorist attack against the United States would inevitably play into the hands of the G.O.P. This May, she was even more cryptic, warning voters that "this election will have lasting consequences".

However vague, such remarks may prove prophetic in the event the Obama strategy fails and she goes on to either win the Democratic nomination (or appears on the November ballot as an Independent). The implications of a female president for American foreign and domestic policy are profound, especially when the candidate has promised greater oversight of corporations, federally sponsored job programs and improving women's human rights around the world. Such initiatives create jitters not only for Wall Street but for the Pentagon, the CIA, the State Department, and neoconservative think tanks planning the transformation from a democratic system of government to the Orwellian model of Big Brother. Under a Clinton-run Justice Department, officials accused of breaking U.S. or international laws (including the Geneva Conventions) could ostensibly be prosecuted.

If that's not enough to keep the Bush-Cheney camp lying awake deep into the night, its long-running wink-wink with the ayatollahs in Iran, the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence and the Saudi royal family would likely be curtailed should a woman take over in the West Wing. The Saudis especially have reason to fret now that they and their counterparts in Kuwait and the U.A.E. have started buying up huge stakes in U.S. banks. Condolleeza Rice and Nancy Pelosi are one thing. Hillary Clinton is quite another.

Last year, President Bush may have had these ruminations at the back of his mind when he implemented National Security Presidential Directive/NSPD 51. This executive order allows him to suspend the constitution without prior congressional approval in the event of a major terrorist attack or other “decapitating” incident against the United States. According to the language in the directive, the attack need not take place inside the country. The directive also him to assign his homeland security assistant - a low-level position exempt from senate confirmation - to administer what has been dubbed an Enduring Constitutional Government. (Here’s the text of the directive.)

Even if Clinton fades from the picture and an Obama/McCain matchup looms in November, the martial law scenario might still unfold. Were the majority of Americans to become disenchanted with or remain uninspired by either candidate option, President Bush could potentially pull off a coup d'etat without starting a civil war. After all, the Democratic Party managed to do it in June with relatively little pushback from the electorate. At least, so far...

Delegates and the Democratic National Convention

Assuming we're still living in a free country next August, the Democrats will hold a convention and nominate a candidate. Originally, the specter of superdelegates determining the ticket in November had set Obama surrogates on their haunches, many arguing that a "brokered convention" decided in "smoky back rooms" would destroy the party. That's because two-thirds of the superdelegates were thought to be favoring Clinton.

In March, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid warned that "things will be done" to make sure a nominee was named before the convention. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested that "the will of the people" should determine the nominee, but later backed way from that sentiment as Clinton surged in the popular vote, eventually beating Obama by nearly 300,000 votes, according to an ABC News tally. Towards the end of the primary season, Pelosi echoed Reid's earlier sentiment that she would intervene i if no clear winner had emerged by June 3rd. Along these same lines, Chairman Dean whined and whimpered about wanting a nominee decided before the convention, and on an almost weekly basis announced different deadlines for the superdelegates to inform him of their decision. (See the party leaders' various statements.)

It's not clear, however, that anyone in the Democratic Party had the authority to circumvent the nominating process. Since superdelegates aren't permitted to vote until the convention, the ongoing tally kept by the broadcast networks misinformed the public, especially in the case where the superdelegate totals were lumped in with pledged delegates earned in primaries and caucuses. In fact, a candidate can only be declared a "presumptive nominee" if the number of pledged delegates exceeds 50 percent of the total required to win the the nomination. Sen. Clinton accurately indicated during her victory speeches in May that neither she nor Obama would reach that benchmark by June 3rd.

After picking up West Virginia by 41 points, Kentucky and Puerto Rico by 35 points, and South Dakota by 12 points, the senator announced in her victory speech June 3rd that she wasn't backing down. (Her campaign had already given notice to the DNC that it intended to contest the allocation of Michigan delegates to Obama, since his name had not appeared on the ballot.) She reiterated her intention to forge ahead during an interview published by the Associated Press the next morning. For reasons still unknown, by the afternoon of June 4th, Clinton suddenly reversed herself, announcing she would suspend her campaign and endorse Obama. Up to the time of that concession, newscasts continued to pummel her on the grounds that she was not being "gracious in defeat". CNN legal expert Jeffrey Toobin won the prize for audacity when he accused her of "deranged narcissism" in continuing her candidacy. Later, New York Rep. Charles Rangel, who chairs the House Ways and Means Committee, told Face the Nation that he himself was the one who browbeat the candidate into submission.

Only those closest to Clinton know what's going through her mind right now. Many pundits and journalists had previously raised the prospect of violence at the Denver gathering should the nomination not be decided beforehand. Both CNN and Fox were already using a "there will be blood" scenario in their election-reporting title graphics on the night of the Texas/Ohio primaries. On May 23rd, former sixties radical and California state assemblyman Tom Hayden warned on NPR's All things Considered, “If there were the theft of a nomination, if that was the perception of the Obama supporters, then probably there would be a ‘68 scenario.” Hayden himself first achieved national prominence as a defendant charged with inciting violence during the Chicago convention riots in 1968.

Yet not everyone in the media shared the view that Clinton was trying to "steal" Obama's nomination. Sarah Churchwell of the Independent (U.K.) wrote on May 8th,"A similar argument was advanced in 2000, pressuring Gore to concede the presidency to Bush, or risk a 'constitutional crisis' – American code for 'rip the country apart'. He was told he couldn't win, that the people had spoken, that he should concede graciously and let the system work – the one the Republicans were busy rigging. So he conceded." Churchwell wryly concludes, "That turned out well, didn't it?"

Eric Boehlert of Media Matters posted a commentary examining close primary contests in years past and found that the calls for Clinton to withdraw are unprecedented in U.S. history. Senator Edward Kennedy was trailing Jimmy Carter by over 600 delegates in 1980, for instance, but no one told him he had to drop out before the convention. In 1984, the first year superdelegates got to vote, Rev. Jesse Jackson received thunderous applause at the San Francisco convention whenever he uttered his slogan, "This is a convention, not a coronation."

The strong-arm tactics and other irregularities surrounding the Democratic nomination have since spawned the formation of dozens of pro-Clinton advocacy groups, many listed at the websites JustSayNoDeal.com and Nobamanetwork.com. Among the new entities are Operation Turndown, Women for Fair Politics, PUMA PAC (Party Unity My Ass!) and WomenCount PAC, which ran $250,000 worth of newspaper ads on Clinton's behalf before the final contests in May. According to Scranton, Pennsylvania talk show host Steve Corbett, " Operation Turndown'lives in the heart of anyone who sees this elegant political hustle for what it is – a dangerous maneuver orchestrated by the party elite to take care of themselves at everybody else’s expense." Many of the New York senator's backers say they will vote for McCain in November if she's not on the ballot.

As stated above, on May 31st, the disputed January primary elections in Florida and Michigan were resolved by the DNC, but not to the satisfaction of many Democrats. The delegations of both states were restored at a meeting of the rules and bylaws committee, but only at half strength. (Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina also violated the rules concerning the primary calendar but were not penalized.) Clinton won 55 percent of the votes cast in Michigan on January 15th. The rest were divided between Dodd, Kucinich, Gravel and the category of Uncommitted (Obama, Biden, Edwards, Richardson). Although Obama opposed a re-do primary, he was not penalized. To the contrary, the rules committee gave him four of Clinton's delegates, in addition to all the remaining delegates of the other candidates.

In Florida, Clinton won 50 percent of Florida's popular vote, Obama 33 percent, and John Edwards 14 percent. Many Floridians were outraged by their poor treatment at the hands of the DNC, some forming their own dissident groups to oppose the stripping of delegates. Back in August 2007, state party officials explained to the rules committee that Florida's Republican-controlled legislature moved up the primary date over their objections, and for that reason Democrats in the state should not be penalized. A December 17th article in The Nation explored the absurdity of the conflict, while investigative journalist Wayne Barrett published a detailed analysis of the behind-the-scenes maneuvering that led both state legislatures to move up their primary dates.

Both Florida and Michigan proved to be Clinton strongholds, leading to speculation that the entire fiasco was engineered in a bipartisan attempt to cripple her momentum going into Super Tuesday (Feb. 5th). As early as August 2006, Donna Brazile was appointed by Chairman Dean to field all the press inquiries on the matter. After an August 2007 rules committee meeting in which Florida was stripped of all its delegates, Brazile routinely forgot to mention in her interviews and op-eds that it was the Republican controlled legislature that moved up the primary date, not the state's Democratic party.

Anyone interested in reading an even longer opus on the subject of political chicanery should than the one you've just consumed should check out Henrik Ibsen's classic play Enemy of the People.

- Rosemary Regello editor@thecityedition.com

4 comments:

Carl Davidson said...

Now let me get this right. In the name of fighting opportunism, and to save the Democrats, we're supposed to taken down Obama and elect McCain?

Are you kidding?

Webmaster said...

Doesn't matter they are all run by the same people. One is no better than the other, and Obama is just that much the worse.

He's the candidate for the new world order, the new black hitler as it were!

susan_lally said...

Finally, a comprehensive description of the corrupt system that we've been witnessing.

This level of corruption requires one response, and that is that it go down in defeat in Nov.

reunionpi said...

Obama's mother's original Social Security Number Application

http://webofdeception.com/obamamother'sssapplication.html