Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Omigod omigod omigod ... I hope it's ... YES!!! Blago arrested!!! Thank you, Santa!!!

I don't want to let the Funnest News Day Ever® go by without a post, but I'm too damn excited (I feel like a kid on Christmas morning) to sort out my thoughts coherently ... so I'll just re-purpose an email from me to my mom, who prompted me thusly earlier this afternoon:

> Your dad wants to know your reaction.

Well, I knew they were building a big case against him, but I'm surprised like everyone else about the extent of it, and the complete audacity of trying to blatantly sell the Senate seat.

The FBI's chief investigator on the case said that "even the most cynical agents were shocked," and I'm with them.

I took the day off, and I've been having fun watching all the coverage. I'm trying to guess who the pseudonyms in the complaint are -- Candidate 1 seems to be Valerie Jarrett. Candidate 6 is probably one of the Pritzkers. Speculation about Candidate 5 -- the one who allegedly offered half a million for the seat -- is that it's either Jesse Jr. or Emil Jones. My guess is Jones.

Another thing -- those Blagojeviches sure have filthy mouths. Every word word is "fuck." As in, "fuck him [Obama]," "fuck the Tribune and their Cubs deal," etc.

So far, Obama seems to have stayed out of the Senate appointment scandal, but there's a bunch of "pay-to-play" stuff in the complaint involving Tony Rezko. Now that Blagojevich is a caged animal, I would expect he will be looking to cut a deal and cough up whatever he has on Obama, if anything.

I really like the U.S. Attorney, Fitzgerald. He seems like a stand-up guy. I hope he has a chance to get Daley.

One more thing -- I'm almost certain that Rahm Emanuel is wrapped up in this somehow, but I'm not sure if he "dropped a dime" and tipped off the feds (Rahm seems to be "President Elect's Advisor A" in the complaint), or if he was the go-between on one of the proposed deals.

My personal guess right now is that he cooperated with the investigation. Blagojevich has very few friends, and I think Rahm was not happy that he was trying to push the Obama camp around.

Obama is already showing that he doesn't feel beholden to anyone he doesn't need anymore -- he had already pretty much turned his back on his former mentor, Emil Jones, because Jones is too much of a hot potato to have around -- too controversial and transparently sleazy.

Whatever anyone thinks about Obama, he has some remarkable skill at maneuvering in the Democratic Party. Five years ago, he was basically a nobody. The first time I heard of him was at a New Year's Eve party at the end of 2003. So I think he's got a lot of political smarts -- which is why I think he'd have Rahm help deep-six Blagojevich.

And that's also one reason why I think Candidate 5 is Emil Jones -- because the complaint says Obama didn't want Candidate 5, and Obama had made it known that he didn't want Jones in the job.

Obama wanted Valerie Jarrett -- Candidate 1 -- who seems to have withdrawn her name from consideration after it became clear that favors and/or money to the governor would be required.

It's all like a big mystery novel -- the biggest dream come true for politics junkies since Watergate. And I was too young to know what was going on back then.

OK, email over.

There are also strong arguments, based on the time-line, that Candidate 5 is Jesse Jackson Jr. And also a case to be made that Rahm Emanuel discussed a bribe arrangement with Blagojevich involving the setup of a 501(c)4 lobbying organization (backed by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates) in exchange for Rahm's influence in selecting an interim replacement in the Illinois 5th Congressional District until a special election could be held. And ... probably many other bizarre and twisted cases.

Should keep us busy for a while.

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