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Thread: 2008 Presidential Election - Aftermath

  1. #181

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    Team pressed Richardson, got nothing


    By JONATHAN MARTIN
    1/4/09 9:05 PM EST



    Photo: AP

    Barack Obama’s transition team pressed
    Bill Richardson about a federal probe
    into 'pay to play' allegations against his
    office.


    Barack Obama’s transition team pressed Bill Richardson about a federal probe into “pay-to-play” allegations against his office – the same investigation Richardson cited Sunday in withdrawing his name as commerce secretary.

    But a Democratic source said Obama’s questioners came away empty handed. “Those guys were pressed for information and they gave nothing,” the source said.

    Now some Democrats are questioning Obama’s vetting process —- and asking whether Obama’s team went far enough in pushing the New Mexico governor for information in face of the federal grand jury probe that has been public since August.

    It's the first high-profile stumble for an Obama transition that generally has run smoothly so far—and it deprives Obama of the highest-ranking Hispanic member of his Cabinet, already prompting cries from Latino groups for a prominent replacement.

    Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs said Obama learned Friday that Richardson planned to withdraw. He also defended the vetting process, saying, "The totality of our cabinet picks, it’s impressive, and I think our vetters have done a good job."

    An aide to Richardson also said the governor was “forthcoming” about the probe to Obama’s team but wouldn’t say what he divulged.
    Aides to Obama and Richardson insist the New Mexico governor was not pushed to withdraw.

    “This was his decision,” said an Obama transition official. “He wasn’t pressured to do it.”

    Still, a day before the president-elect is to meet with congressional leaders and his top economic advisers to discuss a massive recovery package, Obama aides sought to downplay Richardson’s departure, saying his Cabinet departure would not disrupt the transition.

    “It doesn’t have a huge impact,” said the official. “We have all the other main players in place. This is not the equivalent of a Treasury Secretary withdrawing.”

    Democratic leadership aides indicated that they didn’t know Richardson’s nomination was in trouble and only found about the decision shortly before the news was made public Sunday afternoon.

    The grand jury has been investigating “pay-to-play” allegations concerning a New Mexico state contract awarded to a California firm that has contributed to three political committees formed by Richardson, The Associated Press reported last month.

    Some said Obama just couldn’t weather having his administration touched by a second so-called “pay-to-play” scandal, like the allegations against Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich that already have caused Obama himself and two top aides to be questioned by federal authorities, who have said the president-elect did nothing wrong.

    "The incoming administration didn't need the additional distraction of Gov. Richardson at Commerce, with the anticipated fight with [Eric] Holder at Justice and the complications from Blagojevich knocking them a little off track,” said a GOP Senate aide. “Investigations like these drag on and on and likely would not have been complete by mid-February when they would want the full Cabinet in place."

    Richardson, also, apparently feared that the open-ended investigation would make it difficult for him to win a fast confirmation, saying in his statement that it “would have forced an untenable delay in the confirmation process.”

    Richardson said he had told Obama that "eager to serve in the future in any way he deems useful" and that he plans to stay on New Mexico governor.

    In a statement released by the transition and first reported by NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, Richardson said: "Let me say unequivocally that I and my administration have acted properly in all matters and that this investigation will bear out that fact."

    Obama accepted the withdrawal with regret, saying in an accompanying statement that he looks forward to Richardson's "future service to our country and in my administration."

    An Obama ally framed the timing of the move succinctly: “Better to rip the bandage off now.”

    It may not amount to much more than a temporary headache, but it’s one that some Democrats saw coming. Richardson has been passed over for vice president in consecutive election cycles and did not get the administration job, secretary of state, that he was widely thought to have desired.

    A Senate aide told Politico there had been "nervousness" within the Senate and more specifically the Senate Commerce Committee about the grand jury probe in recent weeks.

    Richardson''s decision to withdraw is linked to a federal grand jury investigation into whether a financial services company won state contracts after its CEO contributed to a PAC controlled by the governor.

    California-based CDR Financial Products Inc. won nearly $1.5 million in contracts from the New Mexico Finance Authority in 2004, after which company president and founder David Rubin gave thousands to Richardson, including money that helped underwrite his expenses at that year’s Democratic National Convention. Rubin also later gave money to Richardson’s failed presidential campaign.

    The FBI is asking whether members of the governor’s office asked other state officials to give preferred treatment to CDR.

    In addition, Senate Republicans told Politico ahead of Richardson's confirmation hearing that they were looking into questions about Richardson’s connection to a San Diego-based software company that came under investigation from the Securities and Exchange Commission.

    From February 2001 to June 2002, Richardson served on the board of directors of Peregrine Systems Inc. Richardson departed the firm as a federal investigation of the company’s practices was getting under way. Investigators were focusing on the question of whether the firm’s top leadership intentionally inflated revenue numbers in an attempt to mislead company shareholders.

    Later that year the firm collapsed and filed for bankruptcy. Peregrine was purchased by Hewlett-Packard in 2005.

    Peregrine made headlines in December when Stephen Parker Gardner, the organization’s former chief executive, was sentenced to eight years in federal prison for taking part in an effort to defraud investors over a span that stretched from 1999 to 2002.

    Alex Isenstadt, Amie Parnes and Mike Allen contributed to this story.



    © 2009 Capitol News Company LLC


  2. #182

    Default







    January 6, 2009, 7:48 pm
    Blair House Guest Unmasked



    By Katharine Q. Seelye AND Sheryl Gay Stolberg


    Updated | 11:18 p.m. Now that the Obamas have been ensconced at the Hay-Adams Hotel in time for their daughters to start school, the White House has revealed why Blair House was not available early.

    It turns out that John Howard, former prime minister of Australia and a longtime ally of President Bush, is spending the night there on Jan. 12, according to Sally McDonough, a spokeswoman for Laura Bush.

    The next day, Mr. Howard is receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Several receptions are also scheduled at Blair House over the next week.

    Mr. Bush is also bestowing the Medal of Freedom on Tony Blair, the former British prime minister, and Alvaro Uribe, the president of Colombia. Ms. McDonough told The Washington Post, which first reported the news, that the Bushes had also invited Mr. Blair and Mr. Uribe to stay at Blair House but that they had declined.

    It is not clear how long Mr. Howard will be staying there or whether he — or the White House — knew that he would be bumping Mr. Obama. The White House announced just yesterday that it had selected Mr. Howard and the others to receive the award, but such ceremonies are planned long before they are announced.

    “Like many White House and Blair House events, planning occurs months in advance,” Ms. McDonough said. The medal ceremony is to take place in the White House.

    The Obamas announced in late November that they were sending their girls to Sidwell Friends School, where classes resumed Monday.

    The family is scheduled to move into Blair House on Jan. 15, five days before they move into the White House, in keeping with tradition for a president-elect. But they had asked to move in early because of the start of school and because they were moving to Washington from Chicago, they had nowhere to stay.

    It was reported Dec. 12 that the White House told the Obamas that Blair House was “unavailable” until Jan. 15 but did not offer a public explanation. “We explored the idea so that the girls could start school on schedule,” a White House spokesman told The New York Times at the time. “But there were previously scheduled events and guests that couldn’t be displaced.”

    That led to much speculation about who might be staying there and puzzled many in Washington, who said the transfer of power from Mr. Bush to Mr. Obama had been amiable.

    Since then, the incoming First Family booked the presidential suite at the nearby Hay-Adams, where they have been staying since the weekend.

    In addition to Mr. Howard’s overnight stay, there are several other receptions planned at Blair House over the next week, including a reception Wednesday honoring members of the administration’s Global Partnership Initiative.

    Australians may find some irony in the news that their former prime minister bumped Mr. Obama from the coveted Blair House locale. Bruce Wolpe, an American publishing executive in Sydney who is about to join the staff of Representative Henry Waxman, the California Democrat, said in an e-mail message that the news is “rocking Australia this morning.’’

    That’s because Mr. Obama and Mr. Howard have a history; when Mr. Obama announced his bid for the presidency in February 2007, Mr. Howard – a staunch ally of President Bush’s on the war in Iraq – attacked Mr. Obama’s plan to withdraw troops by March 2008.

    “If I were running Al Qaeda in Iraq, I would put a circle around March 2008 and be praying as many times as possible for a victory not only for Obama but also for the Democrats,’’ Mr. Howard said then. Mr. Obama fired back, saying Mr. Howard was engaging in “empty rhetoric.”



    Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company


  3. #183

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    Congressional Black Caucus Assesses Its Role Under a Black President



    By DAVID M. HERSZENHORN
    Published: January 6, 2009


    WASHINGTON — These were supposed to be heady days for members of the Congressional Black Caucus, a time of celebration ahead of the inauguration of the first black president.



    Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press

    Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday greeted Representative Charles B. Rangel of New
    York as he and other Congressional Black Caucus members were sworn in.


    Instead, the contested appointment of Roland W. Burris to fill the Illinois Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama has added further discomfort to an already rough period for the Black Caucus. The refusal by Senate Democrats to seat Mr. Burris on Tuesday has also splintered the caucus and caused a dust storm of racial politics at a time when many Americans hoped Mr. Obama’s election was a sign that the country was moving beyond its racially troubled past.



    Richard Perry/The New York Times

    Even before being sworn in, the Black Caucus faced challenges like
    the dispute over the seating of Roland W. Burris in the Senate.


    For 40 years, the caucus has been the center of black power in Washington, the go-to group for anyone hoping to court the black population and the politicians who represent them. But as Mr. Obama prepares to take office, shifting power to the White House in ways both real and symbolic, caucus members have been wrestling with an unsettling reality: the new president can propel their agenda but he may also diminish their influence.

    Some Black Caucus members now rank among the most influential leaders in the House, including Representative James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, who is the majority whip, as well as the chairmen of three major committees. Some lawmakers insist the caucus will be more powerful during the Obama presidency.

    The Black Caucus is going through an identity crisis. In recent weeks, leaders of the caucus found themselves defending the need for their group, composed of 41 House Democrats. It also is in the midst of an uneasy generational shift, as the old lions of the civil rights era begin to give way to a younger generation of black politicians who do not want to be pigeonholed by race.

    But all that introspection seems quaint given some of the angry rhetoric that followed the appointment of Mr. Burris, a former state attorney general, by Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich of Illinois. Mr. Blagojevich first offered the job to Representative Danny K. Davis, a prominent member of the caucus who turned it down.

    Mr. Davis and several other caucus members, including Representatives Bobby L. Rush of Illinois and Donald M. Payne of New Jersey, and Donna M. C. Christensen, a delegate from the Virgin Islands, have urged Senate Democratic leaders to drop their refusal to seat Mr. Burris.

    A number of other caucus leaders, including the incoming caucus chairwoman, Representative Barbara Lee, Democrat of California, have declined to comment on the situation. On Tuesday, Ms. Lee said the caucus had not met since the appointment of Mr. Burris and, with a wave of her hand, she declined to offer her view.

    While Mr. Obama has said Mr. Burris should not be seated, many of his former colleagues on the caucus have so far preferred to remain silent.

    Each year, a who’s who of American corporations give hundreds of thousands of dollars to the caucus political action committee and millions more to the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, a separate nonprofit group that runs programs in education, health care and economic development. Those contributions have given rise to criticisms that the caucus has become too beholden to powerful interests.

    Some black advocates and organizers said that Mr. Obama’s selection of a number of blacks to high-level positions, including Eric H. Holder Jr. as attorney general, Susan E. Rice as ambassador to the United Nations and Valerie Jarrett as senior adviser, makes it more likely that the new administration would supplant the caucus on black issues, or at least provide alternative levers of power.

    “Nobody is confident of how to move in the presence of a black president,” said Glen Ford, executive editor of Black Agenda Report, an Internet-based political journal. “It has never happened before. How does one organize when the brother is in the White House?”

    As the only black senator, Mr. Obama was a member of the caucus but attended meetings only occasionally. His age and relatively moderate politics put him in the right-leaning camp of the heavily liberal group. Caucus members clearly rejoice in Mr. Obama’s election; many can describe exactly when and why their tears started to flow on election night. But many members initially supported Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York over Mr. Obama. Already, there have been signs of unease.

    As his first appointment, Mr. Obama selected Representative Rahm Emanuel of Illinois to be his chief of staff, opting for a white, Jewish centrist who has clashed at times with the more liberal members of the Black Caucus.

    After Ms. Lee was elected as chairwoman of the caucus, she made clear that black lawmakers would not rely on Mr. Obama to champion the causes dear to the caucus.

    “Certainly President-elect Obama is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus,” she said, “but I think it’s important to recognize that he’s the president of the country.”

    While there are indications that Mr. Obama and the Black Caucus do not want to be viewed synonymously, he occasionally sends signals that he counts black Americans as an important constituency. After agreeing to postelection appearances on “60 Minutes” on CBS and with Barbara Walters on ABC, for instance, he gave his first print interview to Ebony magazine.

    In interviews, some prominent black lawmakers said they expected the caucus to remind Mr. Obama of his roots.

    “Barack Obama needs to hear from us,” Mr. Clyburn said. “And we need to be a sounding board for him.”



    Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press

    Representative James E. Clyburn, center, the House majority whip,
    was acknowledged by his Black Caucus colleagues
    .


    Aides to Mr. Obama say his focus on improving the economy is a prime example of his agenda being in harmony with that of the caucus, given the higher percentage of black Americans who are unemployed. But skeptics say addressing the broader economic problems is not the same as fixing the underlying reasons for higher black unemployment.


    Former Representative J. C. Watts of Oklahoma, a black Republican who refused to join the caucus because of its traditional dominance by Democrats, said he expected that tensions between the group and Mr. Obama would be likely to emerge behind closed doors. Such strains, Mr. Watts predicted, will be likely to involve members of the old guard, like Mr. Clyburn, who as majority whip is the No. 3 Democrat in the House.

    “I think Jim has a lot of influence with the C.B.C. members, he’ll have a big stick at the leadership table and he’ll carry a pretty decent size stick with the White House,” Mr. Watts said. “I’d love to be a fly on the wall, when they have some of those contentious issues, when you have Jim Clyburn and Rahm Emanuel trying to work through.”

    Stress within the organization over its identity may also intensify in the coming weeks. Anh Cao, a newly elected Vietnamese-American Republican from a predominantly black district in Louisiana, has asked to join the caucus, which has repeatedly refused membership to nonblacks.

    Some black Democrats predicted that their caucus would have more muscle than ever with Mr. Obama in the White House, and that there was enormous comfort in the prospect of a president who would understand their struggles.

    Representative Charles B. Rangel of New York, a founding member of the caucus, said, “As an African-American, we spend half of our time trying to explain to people why we need help and the stigma of slavery, and prejudice and discrimination.”

    “If you have a president who knows all of this, then you go straight to the quick,” Mr. Rangel added. “We won’t get preferential treatment because we are black, but he will know who we are and what the struggle is and why our legislative agenda is there.”

    Members of the caucus say they expect Mr. Obama first and foremost to be president, not the black president.

    “I don’t think we are going to be walking up to him and saying, ‘Brother President,’ ” Representative John Lewis, Democrat of Georgia said at a forum at Williams College in Massachusetts.

    “Maybe some of us will have the desire to say ‘Brother President,’ ” Mr. Lewis said, “but we will respect him as Mr. President, and we will respect the office.”



    Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company


  4. #184
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zephyr View Post
    Stress within the organization over its identity may also intensify in the coming weeks. Anh Cao, a newly elected Vietnamese-American Republican from a predominantly black district in Louisiana, has asked to join the caucus, which has repeatedly refused membership to nonblacks.

    We are all racist and segregational, in our own way.

    It always amazes me when a lot of these diversity groups refuse admittance of any not belonging to that group (race, ethnicity, religion, etc).

    Wasn't the point of these groups, in essence, to be recognised and accepted as equals?

    (Rhetorical question. Most people, rightly so, do not want to be treated as inferior, second class citizens. But that does not mean that they will not want more when the opportunity presents itself. There are many good people out there that desire true equality, but most just want an equality that they are better than.)

  5. #185

    Default

    ^^

    From Ave. Q.

    You're a little bit racist.
    Kate Monster:

    Well, you're a little bit too.
    Princeton:

    I guess we're both a little bit racist.

    Kate Monster:
    Admitting it is not an easy thing to do...

    Princeton:
    But I guess it's true.

    Kate Monster:
    Between me and you,
    I think

    Both:
    Everyone's a little bit racist
    Sometimes.
    Doesn't mean we go
    Around committing hate crimes.
    Look around and you will find
    No one's really color blind.
    Maybe it's a fact
    We all should face
    Everyone makes judgments
    Based on race.

    Princeton:
    Now not big judgments, like who to hire
    or who to buy a newspaper from -

    Kate Monster:
    No!

    Princeton:
    No, just little judgments like thinking that Mexican
    busboys should learn to speak goddamn English!

    Kate Monster:
    Right!

    Both:
    Everyone's a little bit racist
    Today.
    So, everyone's a little bit racist
    Okay!
    Ethinic jokes might be uncouth,
    But you laugh because
    They're based on truth.
    Don't take them as
    Personal attacks.
    Everyone enjoys them -
    So relax!

    Princeton:
    All right, stop me if you've heard this one.

    Kate Monster:
    Okay!

    Princeton:
    There's a plan going down and there's only
    one paracute. And there's a rabbi, a priest...

    Kate Monster:
    And a black guy!

    Gary Coleman:
    Whatchoo talkin' 'bout Kate?

    Kate Monster:
    Uh...

    Gary Coleman:
    You were telling a black joke!

    Princeton:
    Well, sure, Gary, but lots of people tell black jokes.

    Gary Coleman:
    I don't.

    Princeton:
    Well, of course you don't - you're black!
    But I bet you tell Polack jokes, right?

    Gary Coleman:
    Well, sure I do. Those stupid Polacks!

    Princeton:
    Now, don't you think that's a little racist?

    Gary Coleman:
    Well, damn, I guess you're right.

    Kate Monster:
    You're a little bit racist.

    Gary Coleman:
    Well, you're a little bit too.

    Princeton:
    We're all a little bit racist.

    Gary Coleman:
    I think that I would
    Have to agree with you.

    Princeton/Kate Monster:
    We're glad you do.

    Gary Coleman:
    It's sad but true!
    Everyone's a little bit racist -

    All right!

    Kate Monster:
    All right!

    Princeton:
    All right!

    Gary Coleman:
    All right!
    Bigotry has never been
    Exclusively white

    All:
    If we all could just admit
    That we are racist a little bit,
    Even though we all know
    That it's wrong,
    Maybe it would help us
    Get along.

    Princeton:
    Oh, Christ do I feel good.

    Gary Coleman:
    Now there was a fine upstanding black man!

    Princeton:
    Who?

    Gary Coleman:
    Jesus Christ.

    Kate Monster:
    But, Gary, Jesus was white.

    Gary Coleman:
    No, Jesus was black.

    Kate Monster:
    No, Jesus was white.

    Gary Coleman:
    No, I'm pretty sure that Jesus was black-

    Princeton:
    Guys, guys...Jesus was Jewish!

    Brian:
    Hey guys, what are you laughing about?

    Gary Coleman:
    Racism!

    Brian:
    Cool.

    Christmas Eve:
    BRIAN! Come back here!
    You take out lecycuraburs!

    Princeton:
    What's that mean?

    Brian:
    Um, recyclables.
    Hey, don't laugh at her!
    How many languages do you speak?

    Kate Monster:
    Oh, come off it, Brian!
    Everyone's a little bit racist.

    Brian:
    I'm not!

    Princeton:
    Oh no?

    Brian:
    Nope!

    How many Oriental wives
    Have you got?

    Christmas Eve:
    What? Brian!

    Princeton:
    Brian, buddy, where you been?
    The term is Asian-American!

    Christmas Eve:
    I know you are no
    Intending to be
    But calling me Oriental -
    Offensive to me!

    Brian:
    I'm sorry, honey, I love you.

    Christmas Eve:
    And I love you.

    Brian:
    But you're racist, too.

    Christmas Eve:
    Yes, I know.
    The Jews have all
    The money
    And the whites have all
    The power.
    And I'm always in taxi-cab
    With driver who no shower!

    Princeton:
    Me too!

    Kate Monster:
    Me too!

    Gary Coleman:
    I can't even get a taxi!

    All:
    Everyone's a little bit racist
    It's true.
    But everyone is just about
    As racist as you!
    If we all could just admit
    That we are racist a little bit,
    And everyone stopped being
    So PC
    Maybe we could live in -
    Harmony!

    Christmas Eve:
    Evlyone's a ritter bit lacist!

  6. #186

    Talking

    POLITICS

    Nation's Blacks Creeped Out By All The People Smiling At Them

    FEBRUARY 16, 2009 | ISSUE 45•08

  7. #187
    Senior Member NewYorkDoc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Brooklyn, New York
    Posts
    499

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ninjahedge View Post
    We are all racist and segregational, in our own way.

    It always amazes me when a lot of these diversity groups refuse admittance of any not belonging to that group (race, ethnicity, religion, etc).

    Wasn't the point of these groups, in essence, to be recognised and accepted as equals?

    (Rhetorical question. Most people, rightly so, do not want to be treated as inferior, second class citizens. But that does not mean that they will not want more when the opportunity presents itself. There are many good people out there that desire true equality, but most just want an equality that they are better than.)
    Collectivism is the same as racism. That being said, it shouldnt amaze you when you see such stuff.

  8. #188

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jasonik View Post
    politics

    nation's blacks creeped out by all the people smiling at them

    february 16, 2009 | issue 45•08
    lol!

  9. #189

    Default

    I moved the Bristol & Jethro posts to the Palin thread, because their trashy nature seems to fit.

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