Recently in Chicagoland Category

MARK STEYN: OBAMA RALLIES THE THUGS

Mark Steyn chimes in on the Obama campaign to shut up dissenters to Obamacare. Union thugs from SEIU are called in to make the point, in St. Louis attacking a black conservative.

Mark hears the "mob" protesters frothing at the mouth:

But a sick, deranged, un-American mob has put an end to all that moderate and reasonable steamrollering by showing up and yelling insane, out-of-control questions like, "Awfully sorry to bother you, your Most Excellent Senatorial Eminence, but I was wondering if you could tell me why you don't read any of the laws you make before you make them into law?"

Challenging Obama plans is verboten.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Mark Steyn: Conformity is now the new dissent

Community Organizer wants to organize us all.

Mark Steyn

DISSENT IS THE HIGHEST FORM OF PATRIOTI... No, wait, that bumper sticker expired January 20th. Under the stimulus bill, there's a new $1.3 trillion bills-for-bumpers program whereby, if you peel off old slogans now recognized as environmentally harmful ("QUESTION AUTHORITY"), you can trade them in for a new "CELEBRATE CONFORMITY" sticker, complete with a holographic image of President Obama that never takes his eyes off you.

"The right-wing extremist Republican base is back!" warns the Democratic National Committee. These right-wing extremists have been given their marching orders by their masters: They've been directed to show up at "thousands of events," told to "organize," "knock on doors" ...

No, wait. My mistake. That's the e-mail I got from Mitch Stewart, Director of "Organizing for America" at BarackObama.com. But that's the good kind of "organizing." Obama's a community organizer. We're the community. He organizes us. What part of that don't you get?

Universally respected political analyst Michael Barone provides his assessment of Obama after five months. What he sees is Chicagoland politics being applied to the world, but without the skill a Mayor Daley might use to deal with changing facts. For domestic purposes, this observation is most relevant:[

Obama] does business Chicago-style. His first political ambition was to be mayor of Chicago, the boss of all he surveyed; he has had to settle for the broader but less complete hegemony of the presidency. From Chicago he brings the assumption that there will always be a bounteous private sector that can be plundered endlessly on behalf of political favorites.

The biggest private sector being plundered is the taxpaying public. The "stimulus" money is to expand government to create a Democratically loyal dependent welfare class. Taking money from Chrysler secured creditors to hand over to union supporters. Decreasiing charitable deductions for the American Heart Association so he can give more government money to ACORN and other corrupt organizations who support his aims.

His inability to abandon his pre-conceived notions in the face of reaity is seen every day, most recently in his stuttering response to the democratic uprising in Iran, when he is fixated on his absurd belief he can talk the mullahs out their nuclear weapons program.

As Barone says, it's a dangerous world and the ability ot adjust to hard realities that differ from fantastical assumptions is vital to American security. So far, Obama has not shown the capacity to do that.

Read this all, carefully, so you will know the danger this inexperienced, silver-tongued narcissist is to the individualistic, entrepreneurial America fostered by the Constitution. Obama is all assumptions, careless about considering the impact of new facts and indifferent to details. Not a good combination.


Dodge facts, skip details, govern Chicago-style
By: Michael Barone
Senior Political Analyst
06/20/09 10:05 PM EDT

President Barack Obama likes to execute long-range strategies but suffers from cognitive dissonance when new facts render them inappropriate. We pundits like to analyze our presidents and so, as Barack Obama deals with difficult problems ranging from health care legislation to upheaval in Iran, let me offer my Three Rules of Obama.

First, Obama likes to execute long-range strategies but suffers from cognitive dissonance when new facts render them inappropriate. His 2008 campaign was a largely flawless execution of a smart strategy, but he was flummoxed momentarily when the Russians invaded Georgia and when John McCain picked Sarah Palin as his running mate. On domestic policy, he has been executing his long-range strategy of vastly expanding government, but may be encountering problems as voters show unease at huge increases on spending.

His long-range strategy of propitiating America's enemies has been undercut by North Korea's missile launches and demonstrations in Iran against the mullah regime's apparent election fraud. His assumption that friendly words could melt the hearts of Kim Jong Il and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have been refuted by events. He limits himself to expressing "deep concern" about the election in the almost surely vain hope of persuading the mullahs to abandon their drive for nuclear weapons, while he misses his chance to encourage the one result -- regime change -- that could protect us and our allies from Iranian attack.

Second, he does not seem to care much about the details of policy. He subcontracted the stimulus package to congressional appropriators, the cap-and-trade legislation to Henry Waxman and Edward Markey, and his health care program to Max Baucus. The result is incoherent public policy: indefensible pork barrel projects, a carbon emissions bill that doesn't limit carbon emissions from politically connected industries, and a health care program priced by the Congressional Budget Office at a fiscally unfeasible $1,600,000,000,000.

He quickly announced the closing of the prison at Guantanamo Bay and now finds his administration begging the likes of Palau and Bermuda to take a few detainees off its hands. His acceptance of Arabist insistence that all problems in the Middle East can be solved by getting an Israeli-Palestinian settlement has put us in the absurd position of pressuring Israel not to expand settlements by a single square meter but pledging not to "meddle" in Iran.

Third, he does business Chicago-style. His first political ambition was to be mayor of Chicago, the boss of all he surveyed; he has had to settle for the broader but less complete hegemony of the presidency. From Chicago he brings the assumption that there will always be a bounteous private sector that can be plundered endlessly on behalf of political favorites. Hence the government takeover of General Motors and Chrysler to bail out the United Auto Workers, the proposal for channeling money from the private nonprofits to the government by limiting the charitable deduction for high earners, the plan for expanding government (and public employee union rolls) by instituting universal pre-kindergarten.

Chicago-style, he has kept the Republicans out of serious policy negotiations but has allowed left-wing Democrats to veto a measure upholding his own decision not to release interrogation photos. While promising a politics of mutual respect, he peppers both his speeches and impromptu responses with jabs at his predecessor. Basking in the adulation of nearly the entire press corps, he whines about his coverage on Fox News. Those who stand in the way, like the Chrysler secured creditors, are told that their reputations will be destroyed; those who expose wrongdoing by political allies, like the AmeriCorps inspector general, are fired.

Obama entered the presidency with what seemed like supreme self-confidence. He had, after all, advanced from the Illinois state Senate to the presidency of the United States in just four years -- a steeper and more rapid ascent than any president since Woodrow Wilson. The success of his long-range campaign strategy seems to have made him confident that his long-range policy strategies would work as well.

But transferring large segments of the American economy from the private to the public sector has proved to be tougher than winning Democratic primaries and caucuses. And Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Kim Jong Il have proved to be harder to charm than American mainstream media. It's generally good for American presidents to have long-term strategies. But in setting public policy it's important to get the details right. And in guiding the nation in a dangerous world it's vital to adjust to face hard realities and adjust to unexpected events.


Last December 14th Omnia21 warned that Chicogoland mob politics was moving into the White House with Obama, Emanuel and Axelrod, all products of the corrupt Daley Democratic machine.

Evidence of massive illegal behavior for political ends was easily seen -- but ignored by the media -- during the campaign in the untilization of fraud-ridden ACORN for get out the vote work and raising hundreds of millions of dollars online without gathering donor information. We wondered (cynically, we must admit) if Attorney General-designate Eric Holder would investigate such fraud when in office.

It didn't take long before the Obama administration showed its disregard for the rule of law. The forced arrangements for the Chrysler and GM bankruptcies deliberately violated settled law through threats and intimidation in order to take property from secured bondholders to favored unsecured unions. Respected columnist and political analyst MIchael Barone rightly called this behavior "Gangster Government."

Then we learn that planned federal indictments of gun-toting Black Panther voter intimidation in Philadelphia on 2008 Presidential Election Day was called off by Attorney General Holder. Holder also forbade the State of Georgia from undertaking a planned purge of its voting records to eliminate ineligible registrants such as dead people and illegal immigrants.

This shocking lawlessness fails to bother the national media because it's the Obama administration and it can do no wrong in their eyes.

Now we find out that an Inspector General has been fired by the White House for doing his job in uncovering waste, fraud and abuse. Inspector Generals are not political appointees and can only be fired for cause after 30 days' notice to Congress. This IG had the termerity to blow the whistle on a prominent Obama supporter whose organization misused hundreds of thousands of dollars of federal grants. Michelle Malking updates the story which was first broken by Byron York of the Washington Examiner. Even Michelle Obama has been implicated in the scandal. Senator Grassley has asked for production of information about the firing which he said did not meet the standards set by Congress.

With Chicago Democrats in control of the White House, with Democrats in control of the House and Senate and the media compliant and adoring, no one is calling to the attention of the American public the lawlessness which is rampant in the Obama Administration, except for a few bloggers and non-mainstream voices.

How bad is it?

With Walpin's removal, the top management positions at CNCS are now open. The decks are clear to install lackeys who will protect the government volunteerism industry and its Democratic cronies. And a chilling effect has undoubtedly taken hold in every other inspector general's office in Washington.

Read it all.

UPDATE: It now turns out the White House in a letter says that Walpin was fired because he was disoriented, confused and put his capacity to serve in question.

Glenn Back had Walpin on his TV show today (June 17th). Does his incapacity show?

Link: Walpin

Mr. Walpin said he doesn't think he'll win because he's up against the most powerful machine in the world -- the corrupt Chicagoland machine that's now running the country from the White House. Let's hope he's wrong.

Is the Chicago-style corruption that suffused the Obama campaign (as it had his earlier runs for political office) finally going to see the light of day? No thanks to the New York Times and other major media engaged in Obama cover-up.

ACORN's specialty is registering anyone, dead or alive, citizen or not, to vote Democratic. Obama has been working for and with ACORN for more than 20 years in voter registration (for which ACORN operatives have been indicted and convicted for illegal activty with regularity).

The true story is breaking out. Who in the mainstream media will report on it?

The Truth About ObamACORN

Michelle Malkin Syndicated Columnist
Friday, May 29, 2009

Left-wing groups in Washington, D.C., are panicked. The New York Times and other Team Obama whitewashers are downplaying the connection between the Obama presidential campaign, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) and Obama's old employer Project Vote (ACORN's nonprofit canvassing arm). Alas, the truth keeps seeping out.

At a closed-door powwow hosted Thursday at the left-leaning Center for American Progress, activists discussed how to combat a relentless stream of corruption charges from ACORN/Project Vote whistleblowers. But it's too late for a reputation bailout. Former Project Vote official and whistleblower Anita MonCrief has harnessed the Internet to crowd-source a massive cache of documents showing ties between Obama staff members and the supposedly "nonpartisan" ACORN operations.

Last fall, The New York Times abandoned an investigation into whether Obama had shared donor lists with Project Vote, a 501(c)(3) organization that is prohibited from engaging in political activity. Public editor Clark Hoyt earlier this month called it "the tip that didn't pan out." Critics suggested the donor lists could have been compiled through public records. But I have obtained the lists -- not only of Obama donors, but also lists of Democratic National Committee, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry contributors. The records include small donors to the Obama campaign, who are not disclosed in public campaign finance databases. It's information only a campaign could supply.

MonCrief testified under oath last fall that her then-boss, Karyn Gillette, gave her the Obama donor list and told her the campaign had furnished it. Moreover, e-mail messages between ACORN, Project Vote and other affiliates, including ACORN subsidiary Citizens Services, Inc. (CSI), make explicit references to working on "Obama campaign related projects." The "list of maxed out Obama donors" is specifically mentioned in staff e-mail. Another message from ACORN/Project Vote official Nathan Henderson-James warns ACORN and affiliated staff to prepare for "conservatives ... gearing up a major oppo research project on Obama."

Henderson-James wrote, "Understand I'm not suggesting that we gear up to defend a candidate's campaign." But that, of course, is exactly what the ACORN enterprise did.

Why does this matter? Transparency, tax dollars and electoral integrity. ACORN's own lawyer Elizabeth Kingsley acknowledged last year that a vast web of tax-exempt ACORN affiliates were shuffling money around -- making it almost impossible to track whether campaign rules and tax regulations were being followed. ACORN receives 40 percent of its revenues from taxpayers. Americans deserve to know whether and how much commingling of public money with political projects has occurred over the last four decades -- and what role the Obama campaign played in this enterprise.

Remember: Last August, the Obama team admitted its failure to properly disclose $800,000 in payments to CSI -- which works hand in hand with Project Vote and the ACORN parent organization. Obama mysteriously reclassified the campaign advance work expenditures as "get-out-the-vote" activities. Nary a peep from electoral integrity watchdogs.

Despite heated denials from Team Obama, the links between ACORN, Project Vote and CSI are inextricable. As Obama himself reminded ACORN leaders after its political action committee endorsed his presidential candidacy in February 2008:

"I come out of a grassroots organizing background. That's what I did for three and half years before I went to law school. That's the reason I moved to Chicago was to organize. So this is something that I know personally, the work you do, the importance of it. I've been fighting alongside ACORN on issues you care about my entire career. Even before I was an elected official, when I ran Project Vote voter registration drive in Illinois, ACORN was smack dab in the middle of it, and we appreciate your work."

As I've reported before, the Obama campaign's "Vote for Change" registration drive, run simultaneously with ACORN/Project Vote, was an all-out scramble to scrape up every last unregistered voter sympathetic to Obama's big-government vision.

In an e-mail message to whistleblower MonCrief last summer, New York Times reporter Stephanie Strom told the truth: "The real story to all this is how these myriad entities allow them to shuffle money around so much that no one really knows what's getting spent on what." By Oct. 6, 2008, Strom had thrown in the towel in the wake of blistering phone conversations with the Obama campaign. She wrote:

"I'm calling a halt to my efforts. I just had two unpleasant calls with the Obama campaign, wherein the spokesman was screaming and yelling and cursing me, calling me a right-wing nut and a conspiracy theorist and everything else. ... I'd still like to get that file from you when you have a chance to send it. One of these days, the truth is going to come out."

It's only just begun.

THE LAWLESSNESS OF BARACK OBAMA

Examples are multiplying of Obama's disregard if not contempt for the U.S. Constitution and the laws of the United States.

The Chrysler bankruptcy is a dramatic illustration of how the administration is corrupting the bankruptcy process to favor the UAW union at the expense of secured bondholders who under the law come first in any bankruptcy proceeding.

The lawyers at Powerline have reported on what Obama is doing that his press sychophants are ignoring.

In two articles they describe how Obama is turning the U.S. into a Banana Republic where the rule of law is an inconvenience to be pushed aside.

Banana Republic Capitalism

Banana Republic, Part II

Bankruptcy lawyer taped on a Detroit radio station to interviewer:


Lauria: Let me tell you it's no fun standing on this side of the fence opposing the President of the United States. In fact, let me just say, people have asked me who I represent. That's a moving target. I can tell you for sure that I represent one less investor today than I represented yesterday. One of my clients was directly threatened by the White House and in essence compelled to withdraw its opposition to the deal under the threat that the full force of the White House Press Corps would destroy its reputation if it continued to fight. That's how hard it is to stand on this side of the fence.

Beckman: Was that Perella Weinberg?

Lauria: That was Perella Weinberg.

Powerline then reported this:

The Obama administration denies making the threats alleged by Lauria. The denial, however, is merely a bald assertion. Lauria is the head of the bankruptcy group at White & Case [one of America's premier law firms], and a Democrat who contributed $10,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in 2008. In that sense, you could say that he helped to bring about the corrupt regime that is now bullying his clients. But his credibility vastly exceeds that of an administration spokesman who, having no knowledge of the facts, is sent out to issue a blanket denial.

Obama's Marxist upbringing and experience in the corrupt Chicagoland swamp has prepared him well to be mob boss of America.


OBAMA'S "POWER GRAB"

Even the British are wising up to the Obama agenda:

Well, I grew up with the Left and what this looks like to me is a power grab: a seizing of the moment by the forces which always believed in state domination. The Left sees an opening here, first for telling a critical lie about the historical origins of this crisis, which was propelled as much by the Left-liberal determination to spread prosperity through easy credit to the poor, as by the greed of bankers. And then, out of the wreckage, to restructure the economy along the lines that it always wanted, complete with central controls over the pay levels in private financial institutions.

We are being led to believe that public debate should be all about economic mechanics when it should really be about political principle: just how many freedoms do we want to lose while governments pretend that they are the solution?

Britain's Labor Party has the same instincts as sees the same "opportunity" to grab more power for government as Obama and the Democrats.

Read what Janet Daley has to say.

It's astonishing that the President of the United States is operating a secret White House-led program to destroy a private citizen. For those who aren't familiar with Obama's history of choking off opposition while he was in the corrupt Chicago political environment, this may come as a surprise.

During his years in Chicago and Illinois politics, Obama didn't just want to win, he wanted to crush the opposition before voters had the chance to choose. In his first run for Illinois state senate he orchestrated driving all three primary election opponents -- including the incumbent -- off the ballot so he ran unopposed in the primary and in the final (no Republican in a heavily black district). Who ruled on all those disqualified signatures knocking opponents off the ballot? Why, appointees of the Daley political machine, which had identified Obama early on as someone who looked good that they could do business with.

A few years later in his run for the U.S, Senate his Democratic primary opponent -- ahead in the polls -- was forced to resign when supposedly sealed but very embarrassing divorce papers mysteriously became public. What do you know? The same thing happened to his Republican opponent, who also was forced to resign. Repubicans important a last minute substitute from another state as the Republican candidate, but he was predictably trounced by Obama. Whether it was Obama's new found patrons in the Democratic Party at the state level or the skilled hands of the Daley political machine that wielded the knives is not known.

Obama, having learned the advantages of destroying his electoral opponents, is now turnng his presidential guns to crushing his critics. Free speech is not welcomed by the Obama administration. HIs first target is Rush Limbaugh, the most outspoken, most influential critc of Obama's plan to destroy American capitalism,overturn the U.S Constitution and replace it with a totalitarian socialist state. Obama himself has personally attacked Limbaugh verbally several times and threatened Republicans in Congress not to pay attention to him or else.m, But even that's not enough.

Running the White House Get Limbaugh operation are two other products of the corrupt Chicago Democratic machine Rahm Emanuel, Obama's right hand man and chief of staff, and David Axelrod, chief strategist for Obama and former chief strategist for Chicago's Mayor Daley. Coordinating efforts with the White House by making the rounds of the TV talk shows to trash Limbaugh are former Clinton hatchetmen Paul Begala and James Carville.

The website Politico.com broke the story today.

In response, Limbaugh invited President Obama to meet with him face to face for a one-on-one debate on the issues that divide them and America. Capitalism or socialism. Strong national security or a weakened defense. Support Israel or sell out to Middle East Islam. A firm stand against Iran's nuclear ambition or appeasement. Free enterprise or a dependent society.

As Limbaugh told his listerners, Obama, the most gifted speaker ever to be president, has nothing to fear. He can leave the teleprompters behind and discuss the issues. If the President prevails, then he will have a free hand in transforming America into something it has never been.

Limbaugh even offered a non-Washington venue for the debate in Florida to which he would have the President flown in his own personal jet to avoid taxpayer expense. In his own words:

My point here is that these are really odious, empty, nasty people who are feasting on their own arrogance. They are power hungry. But, you know what? They've never had a serious debate over ideas. Their goal is to destroy opponents, which is what they're trying to do now. They don't want to engage opponents. Their idea of victory is the destruction of the opponent. They're not for a level playing field. They want to clear the playing field so that their ideas do not have to undergo any scrutiny. So what do they do? They leak stories to The Politico intended to create impressions about their own importance and their brilliance, when in fact they aren't even bit players on the nation's stage. This is Emanuel, and this is Obama.


But I have an idea. If these guys are so impressed with themselves, and if they are so sure of their correctness, why doesn't President Obama come on my show? We will do a one-on-one debate of ideas and policies. Now, his people in this Politico story, it's on the record. They're claiming they wanted me all along. They wanted me to be the focus of attention. So let's have the debate! I am offering President Obama to come on this program -- without staffers, without a teleprompter, without note cards -- to debate me on the issues. Let's talk about free markets versus government control. Let's talk about nationalizing health care and raising taxes on small business.

Let's talk about the New Deal versus Reaganomics. Let's talk about closing Guantanamo Bay, and let's talk about sending $900 million to Hamas. Let's talk about illegal immigration and the lawlessness on the borders. Let's talk about massive deficits and the destroying of opportunities of future generations. Let's talk about ACORN, community agitators, and the unions that represent the government employees which pour millions of dollars into your campaign, President Obama. Let's talk about your elimination of school choice for minority students in the District of Columbia. Let's talk about your efforts to further reduce domestic drilling and refining of oil. Let's talk about your stock market. By the way, Mr. President, I want to help. Yesterday you said you looked at the stock market as no different than a tracking poll that goes up and down.

There's no "up and down" here. We have a plunge. The president yesterday suggested "we're getting to the point where profits and earnings ratios are approaching that point where you want to invest." Uh, Mr. President? There is no "profits and earnings" ratio. It's "price and earnings" ratio. He's the president of the United States. He doesn't know anything about the stock market. He's admitted it before. Let's talk about it anyway. You want to maintain it's a tracking poll? I'd love to talk to you about that. Let's talk about all of these things, Mr. President. Let's go ahead and have a debate on this show. No limits. Now that your handlers are praising themselves for promoting me as the head of a political party -- they think that's a great thing -- then it should be a no-brainer for you to further advance this strategy by debating me on the issues and on the merits, and wipe me out once and for all!

The best thing for the country is for Obama to take up Limbaugh's challenge. Obama will be exposed as the hater of America that Jeremiah Wright, Louis Farrakhan and his Marxist socialist mentors in high school, college and community organizing taught him to be. Obama, however, does not have the courage to do it. Like Muhammad, he will be the coward and send his associates to perform the assassination.

Fortunately for us, they will fail.

There's a word for what Obama is doing from his seat of power in the White House: Despicable.

Read the full story here or at Politico (click the title below).


Rush Job: Inside Dems' Limbaugh plan
By: Jonathan Martin of Politico
March 4, 2009 04:04 AM EST

Top Democrats believe they have struck political gold by depicting Rush Limbaugh as the new face of the Republican Party, a full-scale effort first hatched by some of the most familiar names in politics and now being guided in part from inside the White House.

The strategy took shape after Democratic strategists Stanley Greenberg and James Carville included Limbaugh's name in an October poll and learned their longtime tormentor was deeply unpopular with many Americans, especially younger voters. Then the conservative talk-radio host emerged as an unapologetic critic of Barack Obama shortly before his inauguration, when even many Republicans were showering him with praise.

Soon it clicked: Democrats realized they could roll out a new GOP bogeyman for the post-Bush era by turning to an old one in Limbaugh, a polarizing figure since he rose to prominence in the 1990s.

Limbaugh is embracing the line of attack, suggesting a certain symbiosis between him and his political adversaries.

"The administration is enabling me," he wrote in an e-mail to POLITICO. "They are expanding my profile, expanding my audience and expanding my influence. An ever larger number of people are now being exposed to the antidote to Obamaism: conservatism, as articulated by me. An ever larger number of people are now exposed to substantive warnings, analysis and criticism of Obama's policies and intentions, a 'story' I own because the [mainstream media] is largely the Obama Press Office."

The bigger, the better, agreed Carville. "It's great for us, great for him, great for the press," he said of Limbaugh. "The only people he's not good for are the actual Republicans in Congress."

If Limbaugh himself were to coin a phrase for it, he might call it Operation Rushbo - an idea that started out simply enough but quickly proved to be deeply resonant by a rapid succession of events, say Democrats inside and outside the West Wing.

The seeds were planted in October after Democracy Corps, the Democratic polling company run by Carville and Greenberg, included Limbaugh's name in a survey and found that many Americans just don't like him.

"His positives for voters under 40 was 11 percent," Carville recalled with a degree of amazement, alluding to a question about whether voters had a positive or negative view of the talk show host.

Paul Begala, a close friend of Carville, Greenberg and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, said they found Limbaugh's overall ratings were even lower than the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama's controversial former pastor, and William Ayers, the domestic terrorist and Chicago resident who Republicans sought to tie to Obama during the campaign.

Then came what Begala called "the tripwire."

"I hope he fails," Limbaugh said of Obama on his show four days before the president was sworn in. It was a time when Obama's approval ratings were soaring, but more than that, polls showed even people who didn't vote for him badly wanted him to succeed, coming to office at a time of economic meltdown.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee was the first to jump on the statement, sending the video to its membership to raise cash and stir a petition drive.


"We helped get the ball rolling on this because we're looking and listening to different Republican voices around the country, and the one that was the loudest and getting the most attention was Rush Limbaugh," explained DCCC chairman and Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.).

The Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank run by former Clinton Chief of Staff John Podesta, also pounced on Limbaugh's "fail" line, drawing attention to it on their well-read blog.

Soon after, Americans United for Change, a liberal group, was airing Limbaugh's statement in an ad aimed at pushing Senate Republicans to support the stimulus bill.

"It just cropped up out of how much play that comment was getting on the air," said Brad Woodhouse, who runs the group and is about to take over as communications director at the Democratic National Committee. "When we did it and it generated so much press, it just started to snowball from there."

But liberals quickly realized that trying to drive a wedge between congressional Republicans and Limbaugh was unlikely to work, and their better move was to paint the GOP as beholden to the talk show host.

This was driven home to them, according to one Democrat, when Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) took a shot at Limbaugh in late January only to appear on his program the next day and plead having momentarily had "foot-in-mouth disease."

By February, Carville and Begala were pounding on Limbaugh frequently in their appearances on CNN.

Neither Democrat would say so, but a third source said the two also began pushing the idea of targeting Limbaugh in their daily phone conversations with Emanuel.

Conversations and email exchanges began taking place in and out of the White House not only between the old pals from the Clinton era but also including White House senior adviser David Axelrod, Deputy Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs and Woodhouse.

The White House needed no more convincing after Limbaugh's hour-plus performance Saturday, celebrated on the right and mocked on the left, at the Conservative Political Action Conference, where he re-stated his hope Obama fails.

"He kicked this into full-gear at CPAC by reiterating it," said a senior White House official of Limbaugh.

By Sunday morning, Emanuel elevated the strategy by bringing up the conservative talker, unprompted, on CBS's "Face the Nation" and calling him the "the voice and the intellectual force and energy behind the Republican Party."

Even Republican National Chairman Michael Steele joined in with a surprising critique of Limbaugh as a mere "entertainer," who is "ugly" and "incendiary."

"He took a little match we had tossed on the leaves and poured gasoline on it," said one Democrat of Steele.

Steele was forced into calling Limbaugh to apologize Monday, an embarrassing climb-down following the RNC chairman's criticism of the conservative talk-show host.

But Democrats kept at it in rapid-fire succession, thrilled that Steele had validated their claim that Republicans were scared to cross Limbaugh.


Americans United for Change launched a new ad featuring Limbaugh's CPAC appearance. A left-leaning media watchdog group began a new Limbaugh tracking homepage. Democratic National Chairman Tim Kaine tweaked Steele for his apology. Terry McAuliffe tried to inject Limbaugh into the Virginia governor's race. The DCCC launched a new website, www.imsorryrush.com, mocking the Republicans who have had to apologize to Limbaugh.

And Gibbs served up a made-for-cable-TV quote to end his daily briefing Tuesday.

"I was a little surprised at the speed in which Mr. Steele, the head of the RNC, apologized to the head of the Republican Party," Gibbs quipped with a grin, before striding out of the press room.

David Plouffe, Obama's campaign manager last year and a member of his inner circle still, will publish an op-ed in Wednesday's Washington Post chiding Republicans for being "paralyzed with fear of crossing their leader."

A senior White House aide has been tasked with helping to guide the Limbaugh strategy.

Outside, Americans United for Choice, a liberal group, and the Democratic National Committee are driving the message, in close consultation with the White House.

Democrats can barely suppress their smiles these days, overjoyed at the instant-ad imagery of Limbaugh clad in Johnny Cash-black at CPAC and, more broadly, at what they see as their success in managing to further marginalize a party already on the outs.

"I want to send Rush a bottle of vitamins," said Begala. "We need him to stay healthy and loud and proud."

With President George W. Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney out of the White House and Tom DeLay gone from Congress, the left had been suddenly absent an unpopular right-wing figure.

Few Americans know who the congressional Republican leaders are. Even Sarah Palin is now four time zones away from Washington.

Enter Limbaugh.

It's something of a back to the future tactic for Democrats: painting the GOP as the party of the angry white male. But unlike Newt Gingrich or other prominent Republicans, Limbaugh doesn't have to mind his tongue.

And the liberal political apparatus is at battle stations taking note of his every comment.

Media Matters, the left-leaning media watchdog and advocacy group, began a "Limbaugh Wire" web-site Tuesday to track him. "For a long time Americans haven't really been aware that he's so influential," said Eric Burns, the group's president.

Democrats are now working hard to ensure that changes.

"He's driving the Republican reluctance to deal with Obama, which Americans want," said Greenberg. "He's the policeman [keeping them in line]."

They'll all get a fresh hook for the story after Wednesday, when a Democratic polling firm goes into the field to test, among other things, Limbaugh's standing with the public.

All the attention only offers upside for the buzz-hungry Limbaugh, said Carville.

"The television cameras just can't stay away from him," Carville said Tuesday, a day when cable news played images of Limbaugh seemingly on a loop. "Our strategy depends on him keeping talking, and I think we're going to succeed."

JUSTICE IN THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION?

The word is that a Kerry for President in 2004 worker now living in New Hampshire made off with $100,000 in campaign funds and has now been indicted. When will somebody get indicted for the Obama campaign's fraudulent online fundraising that bought him the election? Somebody with Chicagoland political smarts had to be in on it.

On second thought, if Eric Holder is the attorney general, it probably won't happen. Anybody who engineered the pardon of multimillionaire fugitive financier Marc Rich and okayed the pardon of Puerto Rican terrorists to get the Puerto Rican vote for Hillary's run for Senate in New York probably won't be interested in such inconsequential stuff as his boss buying the presidency. Oh, and Holder also okayed the commutation of the decades' long sentences of two convicted Weather Underground terrorist friends of (guess who?) Obama friends WU terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn. In the course of the WU robbing a Brinks-type truck, two policeman and a guard were killed.

It is interesting that suddenly the national media has become aware of the "cesspool" of Chicago politics that the Chicago press has been writing about for decades. The national media conveniently ignored that part of the Obama story during the presidential campaign.

During the campaign, for example, there was at best "mild" interest in Tony Rezko, now convicted of 16 counts of political corruption, who raised $250,000 for Obama and chipped in a few hundred thousand more to make it possible for him to buy his mansion in Hyde Park.

But Rezko was also a major fundraiser for Governor Rod Blagojevich, who was known to be under federal investigation when Rezko helped Obama buy his house.

Rezko, among other things, was a slumlord who built "affordable" housing in Obama's south side of Chicago with grants from the state which state senator Obama helped him get and with grants from a foundation chaired by Obama. In the Blagojevich criminal complaint there are many charges dealing with Chicagoland corruption in addition to the charge of trying to sell the Obama U.S. Senate seat. Kickbacks and campaign contributions as payoffs for such things as affordable housing grants, construction and service contracts and patronage jobs are what keeps the machine in power, according to many reports over the years by the Chicago media.

And Chicagoland politicians will in a few days be in charge of the White House -- and, hopefully, not running the country Chicago-style.

Chicago is the county seat of Cook County, referred to by some as Crook County, one of the most heavily Democratic counties in the nation. Almost half of all if the residents of Illinois live in Cook County. The political power in the country resides in the mayor of Chicago Richard M. Daley, the son of a previous mayor Richard J. Daley. (whose police put down the riots at the 1968 Chicago Democratic National Convention). Mayor Richard M. Daley will complete 20 years as the leader of the Chicagoland Democratic Machine in office this coming April. (The county has a separate chief executive who "listens" to the mayor; when the opportunity arose to replace the longtime county boss with a reformer, Obama supported the "family" and went with the boss's son Todd Stroger.)

The Democratic machine is legendary for its history of corruption. As the local media has reported time and again, patronage, kickbacks and payoffs keep the machine in office and allow it to call the shots for politicians seeking office in the county and state and Congress -- ten of Illinois' 17 districts are wholly or partly in Cook County .

Why was it that Barack Obama's first run for the Illinois state senate was uncontested? In his South Side district Republicans are a rare species, so it's the Democratic primary that counts. Obama had three opponents file for the office, one of whom was the long-term incumbent. Obama challenged the signatures of all of them and the Daley machine reviewing board threw all three of them off the ballot. Ever hear of three candidates in one election being disqualified for "bad" signatures? Clearly, the machine had identified Obama as a "comer" and somebody it could do business with. Obama returned the favor and never challenged the Daley machine, even when some reformers dared to mount a campaign and pleaded for his support. (When Obama ran for the U.S. Senate seat, in an amazing turn of fate, both his Democratic opponent in the primary and his Republican opponent in the final were forced to resign from the races because somehow their sealed divorce papers became public during the campaigns.) Obama supported Blagojevich in his gubernatorial campaign in 2006 despite news he was under federal investigation for corruption.

Obama's chief of staff Rahm Emanuel was an aide to Mayor Daley and was awarded the congressional seat that became vacant when Rod Blagojevich became Governor of Illinois. More ominously, he was at President Clinton's side when he forced Israel to offer Yasser Arafat virtually all of the West Bank and East Jerusalem imperiling Israel's security; fortunately for Israel, Arafat said no, showing he had no intention of supporting the continued existence of Israel. During the two and a half years between his Clinton service and taking over the Blagojevich seat he worked for an investment banker in Chicago and magically raked in $16 million for his services. The nation was in recession most of that time (1999-2002).

Obama's chief strategist in the White House will be David Axelrod, who served Mayor Daley for years as a political strategist. (He did the same for Eliot Spitzer in his gubernatorial election.) Axelrod was the chief strategist for the Obama campaign and is credited by many with keeping Obama a mystery man, successfully hiding Obama's history (e.g., records of birth, college and law school days) from media and public scrutiny. Right up to the election the question hung in the air: "Who is Barack Obama?" It still does. Political fundraising is a high art in Chicago, What hand did Axelrod have in fraudulently disabling the usual identification features of the online credit system to allow the Obama campaign to raise hundreds of millions of dollars in untraceable funds?

Governor Blagojevich also prospered within the Daley Democratic machine because of his family political connections. He first held public office in Chicago, then in Cook County and then took over the Congressional seat formerly held for many years by Dan Rostenkowski, who was in prison for mail fraud. Rahm Emanuel succeeded him in the Rostenkowski seat. Emanuel is wise not to answer any questions about his conversations with Governor Blagojevich about the successor to the Obama U.S. Senate seat, since it appears the taping of the governor's phones has been going on for several years.

None of this story is new. All the pieces have appeared in the Chicago media or reports by investigative researchers ignored or dismissed out of hand as irrelevant by the national media at one time or another. One of the exasperated local columnists John Kass did a piece for the Chicago Sun-Times last November which gives one the flavor of Chicago and at least his disgust with the national media's failure to do its job.

Chicagoland politicians and their consultants are certainly experienced in skating over and around thin ice through years of practice. That skill now resides in the White House with the Chicagoland troika. "That's not the Tony Rezko I knew," is a recent famous example.

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