Thursday, December 25, 2008

"Obama's team, is the most investigated transition team in American history" by John Batchelor

John Batchelor's show is superb, you would like it.

Here's something interesting about BO (someone I know calls him 'Black Out') and Blago:
Rahm Tapes Become Valerie Tapes Become Obama Tapes
By John Batchelor on December 23, 2008 7:02 PM | 8 Comments

Greg Craig's Audit Clears Everyone of Everything in Every Season.

After we get past the thrill of a detail that the President-Elect has already been questioned by the prosecutors in the ongoing federal felony investigation of government corruption in the sale of the President-Elect's Senate seat, the first surprise of Mr. Craig's audit is that there are no hard facts about the communications between Rahm Emanuel and Rod Blagojevich himself not with Blago's bagman and chief of staff John Harris. In fact there are no useful facts at all. Not the number of communications, not their topics or times, not who called whom, not how many were Blago, how many were Harris, how many were messages left or picked up. And there is no attention or mention to other forms of communication, such as email, faxes, instant messages, or messages replied to, forwarded, copied or unread. In sum, we get a smoke-filled-room, faraway version of some information passed between the congressman of the 5th CD Illinois to the previous congressman of the 5th CD Illinois who is now governor. If this were all Patrick Fitzgerald possessed in the way of evidence that Blago and Harris were in a conspiracy for a crime spree to extort favors, then this case is weaker than a buy recommendation from Bernie Madoff. The Rahm tapes of 2008 are a flat disappointment. However, now for 2009 and the skill of Ed "Devil's Advocate" Jensen to leak the Rahm tapes and the testimony before the grand jury. This sudden, peculiarly hidden news -- not mentioned last week while it was happening Thursday 18, Friday 19 and Saturday 20 in Chicago -- that President-Elect Barack Obama (PEBO), Emanuel and Jarrett were questioned by Patrick Fitzgerald's team is just the beginning of this kerfuffle.
Valerie Jarrett and the Mysterious Union Cutout.

The second surprise of Greg Craig's audit is that the McGuffin at the center of the story, Valerie Jarrett of the Chicago Daley administration (right with PEBO on November 21), did not stay away from her hunt for the Senate seat but instead was directly in contact with a cutout who carried messages for the governor and to the governor. The cutout was Tom Balanoff, head of the virile Illinois chapter of the SEIU. The meeting was on November 7, within the time frame when Rahm Emanuel is said to have been in contact with Blago about the seat and when Jarrett was still a most active and eager Candidate No. 1 recommended by the president-elect. Tom Balanoff (below) has a reputation as an aggressive player from a potent union with "longstanding ties" to Blago. The prosecutor's complaint mentions a union job, an HHS cabinet seat, a foundation and board memberships all in possible exchange for the seat and all possibly within reach of the SEIU. The complaint also mentions that Bolanoff spoke twice with Blagojevich, including on November 12. A timeline starts to build. On November 4 after the election, Rahm Emanuel starts conversations with the governor with regard his own replacement in the event he resigns to become chief of staff. Between November 4 and 8, Emanuel communicates to Blago and/or Harris that PEBO wants Valerie Jarrett as his replacement in the Senate. On November 7, Valerie Jarrett speaks directly and in person to Tom Balanoff. On November 9, we are told, PEBO decides he wants Valerie Jarrett to serve in the White House as a special assistant for inter-governmental affairs. On November 12, Tom Balanoff communicates to Blago. The federal complaint says that Balanoff was an "emissary" of Valerie Jarrett. This is unclear logic. Was Balanoff representing Blago to Jarret to discuss the HHS seat, as Greg Craig's audit details; or was Balanoff representing Jarrett to Blago to discuss how she wouldn't go along with the schemes? Or both? We do not have the Balanoff/Jarrett conversations. What we do have here is Valerie Jarrett's "memory" of her conversation with Balanoff. And her memory does not include her suspicion that she was being solicited for a quid pro quo bribe. Is there a recording of that conversation? Are there emails beforehand or afterword in which Valerie Jarrett told PEBO that Blago wanted to be persuaded with a favor? We do know there is a tape of Blago's chat with Balanoff about the Jarrett exchange. There is much, much more for the prosecutor to seek and evaluate. The most mysterious detail right now is that Blago and Jarrett managed a face-to-face at the Governor's Conference in Philadelphia on December 2. There are no conspiracies. There are only coincidences. Why this coincidence? Six days before Blago's face-to-face with Jesse Jackson Junior and seven days before Blago's arrest? A fair guess is that questions about all these coincidences came up in the initial interrogation of Valerie Jarret last week by Patrick Fitzgerald's office. Same for PEBO and Emanuel. And where are those interrogation transcripts and when do we get them? And isn't PEBO still a private citizen? Those questions of Obama, Emanuel and Jarrett were under oath? FBI only? Or grand jury? Why over three days and not all at once and simultaneously? (And was Tom Balanoff also questioned as to his "memory" or has he hired an attorney to speak for him?) And will there be more questions for PEBO before the electoral college vote and his real election? The Rahm tapes morph into the Valerie tapes morph into the Obama tapes, making the Obama transition office into the most investigated transition in American history.