Monday, January 28, 2008

The SAG Awards were televised last night...if you missed them, you may click on the LINK to the right of this entry, where it says SAG AWARDS, Jan. 27th, 2008, where you'll read the transcripts, and view pics of the winners accepting.
I was pretty pleased with the winners from television.
"The Sopranos" swept that, and I am happy for them. I voted for "The Sopranos" to win Ensemble, and Edie Falco to win Best Performance by a Female.
I still want Michael C. Hall-- of "Dexter" fame-- to get more recognition, though. Mr. Hall was on fire as David in "Six Feet Under" several seasons ago, and I felt that show never received the kudos it deserved, either. I think in television's history book, both "Six Feet Under" and "Dexter" will be remembered as groundbreakers.

In film, I voted for, and predicted "No Country For Old Men" would win Ensemble, and it did, as did my favorite, Javier Bardem, for Best Performance, male.
I just watched Barack Obama receive Ted Kennedy's endorsement for President.
I am delighted that Ted Kennedy has worked tirelessly for the poor, the disenfranchised, and has always supported the arts in this country.
But. Uh. If I were Barack Obama, I'm not sure having his endorsement is the ultimate. As in-- is someone is going to say:
"Ted Kennedy's supporting him? Oh, well, then he's my man."
Barack Obama already has Caroline Kennedy's support(which is a wonderful thing!), and the support of all the nephews, etc., of JFK.
At the rally where Ted Kennedy made his announcement,
The always uplifting Barack Obama spoke eloquently to American University students, about us being united"White or black, straight or gay...".
How refreshing to have a candidate include us-- LGBTQ folks--in the national discussion of unity.God Bless Barack Obama!
He really does not "need" Ted Kennedy, who is a target for Republicans, and sometimes an embarassment for Democrats(alleged heavy drinking, a few scandals which were never completely resolved, etc.).
And speaking of scandals, the mud-slinging is officially beginning...CNN is reporting on a developer from Illinois who is being charged with impropreity in busness affairs, who long-ago donated $80,000.00 to Senator Obama's campaign(all the money is already being returned, Senator Obama has said he "wants none of it.").
Several "reporters" are trying to insinuate Senator Obama has done something wrong, even though all he did was purchase a house(which is in all public records, nothing improper), a few years ago, from this individual, who was considered trustworthy, and was a friend, at that time. The Senator has not even been accused of ANYthing, much less been charged with anything!
I'm certain FOX "News"(I have not looked, but we all know what they do best is rumor-mongering) will accelerate this to Olympian status, and give it hours of coverage, only to drop the story quietly(since there is no truth linking Obama to any of this), in a few days...
Leave Barack Obama alone, and go find something that actually threatens this country to write about. Like, I don't know--how 'bout the usual nonesense we're all going to hear tonight on t.v., entitled, "The State of the Union" address, by our Liar-in-Chief, George W.?


Dan said...


ABC news is reporting that Obama received $200,000...

"Rezko has become an "Achilles heel" for Illinois Sen. Barack Obama after disclosures he and people associated with him had raised almost $200,000 for Obama and that Obama sought Rezko's "help and advice" in the purchase of a new home."

Here's a picture of Rezko with Bill & Hillary...

Fri Jan 25 2008 07:40:02


Photo surfaces of smiling Clintons with Tony Rezko.


Clinton injected the indicted developer's name this week in debate with Obama: 'I was fighting against those ideas when you were practicing law and representing your contributor, Rezko, in his slum landlord business in inner city Chicago.'

Clinton tells NBC 'TODAY' show on Friday: 'I probably have taken hundreds of thousands of pictures. I don't know the man. I wouldn't know him if he walked in the door.'


Lisa Allender said...

As I said before, the mud-slinging is just beginning. I guess it was a slow news day, because again, Barack Obama did NOTHING wrong, improper, or illegal.At all.
Any money donated by Mr. Rezko has been returned.

And The Drudge Report is seldom accurate. They have often reported outright lies.
Go to snopes and see what I mean.

Dan said...

I found an older article from the Washington Post that goes into some detail about Obama and Rezko.

According to this article dated 12-17-06, Obama donated to charity the money he received from Rezko which was $11,500. Obama also purchased a piece of land from Rezko that adjoined Obama's property...

Obama Says He Regrets Land Deal With Fundraiser
Senator Bought a Parcel From His Neighbor, a Now-Indicted Political Operative

By Peter Slevin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, December 17, 2006; Page A06

CHICAGO. Dec. 16 -- Antoin "Tony" Rezko is a political insider, an energetic Chicago dealmaker and campaign fundraiser often in the headlines for being on the wrong side of good government. Indicted in October on influence-peddling charges, he also has a habit of befriending prospective political stars.

One of them was Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), who was offered a job by Rezko in the early 1990s while a top student at Harvard Law School. Obama did not take it, but over the years, the two men stayed in touch, and Rezko backed Obama's successful 2004 U.S. Senate campaign, raising money and contributing his own.

In June 2005, in what Obama now describes as a "boneheaded" mistake, Obama and Rezko's wife bought adjacent properties on Chicago's South Side, closing the deals on the same day. Seven months later, wanting a bigger yard for his $1.65 million house, Obama bought a slice of the Rezko property for $104,500.

After news of the deal broke last month in the Chicago Tribune, Obama said he had erred by creating the appearance that Rezko had done him a favor by selling him a portion of the lot. For the first time since he entered the national spotlight, the 45-year-old freshman senator found himself on the defensive, discussing a personal decision he had come to regret.

"There's no doubt that this was a mistake on my part. 'Boneheaded' would be accurate," Obama said in a telephone interview Friday. "There's no doubt I should have seen some red flags in terms of me purchasing a piece of property from him."

Obama recently donated to charity $11,500 that Rezko had contributed to his federal campaign account.

There have been no allegations that Obama, whose political fortunes are soaring as he mulls a run for president, broke the law or committed any ethics violations. He said he has done no government business with Rezko, who is facing charges in two unrelated criminal cases.

But leaders of Chicago watchdog organizations describe Obama's behavior as a surprising error in judgment, particularly for a politician noted for his tactical skills, his ambition and his support of state and federal ethics legislation.

"It's disappointing because there has been speculation about Tony Rezko, and whether he was crossing ethical lines, for a number of years," said Cynthia Canary, director of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform.

Jay Stewart, executive director of Chicago's Better Government Association, said, "Being a lawyer, he did everything by the book, but there's a higher expectation of him."

To Chicago political observers, it made sense that Rezko tried to get close to Obama. A Syrian-born businessman whose fortunes seemed to rise and fall with his latest deal, Rezko was known for cultivating politicians, including Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) and Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-Ill.).

Rezko created a real estate development company and operated dozens of Chinese eateries and pizza restaurants. After Blagojevich rode into office in 2002, Rezko emerged as a friend and close adviser. He recommended people for significant state jobs and, a federal grand jury charged, soon tried to shake down investment firms that wanted to do business with Illinois.

In one instance, Rezko and Stuart Levine, a member of two state boards, allegedly demanded that a firm seeking investment business pay a $2 million fee to a middleman or give $1.5 million to the campaign of "a certain public official," later identified as Blagojevich.

The company refused. Levine pleaded guilty this fall to federal charges and is cooperating with authorities. Blagojevich, who has not been charged, denied wrongdoing and accused Rezko of betrayal.

Chicago authorities alleged last year that Rezko set up a front minority company to win permission to open three Panda Express outlets at O'Hare International Airport. His nominal partner was Jabir Herbert Muhammad, son of the late Nation of Islam founder Elijah Muhammad.

Rezko and Muhammad settled the matter, which became public in 2005, months before Obama's house purchase. Without admitting wrongdoing, they agreed to end their O'Hare operations and were disqualified from the city's minority business program.

When Obama and his wife, Michelle, a hospital executive, decided to move with their two young girls from their Hyde Park condominium, they chose a spacious three-story Georgian revival home on a tree-lined street in the Kenwood neighborhood, not far from the University of Chicago. The owner had listed the house -- nearly 100 years old, with four fireplaces and a wine cellar -- and an adjacent lot as separate parcels.

The Obamas purchased the house, which had been on the market for several months, for $300,000 below the list price. On the day they closed, Rezko's wife, Rita, closed on the 9,000-square-foot lot next door for the asking price of $625,000.

Obama said Rezko, who knows the neighborhood, was one of several people he called for advice on the real estate market. Rezko told him he knew the developer who renovated the house. In a later conversation, Rezko said he intended to buy the empty lot and build on it.

Later, the Obamas bought a 10-foot-by-150-foot piece of the lot for $104,500. An appraisal put the value of the strip at $40,500, a spokesman said, but Obama considered it fair to pay one-sixth of the original price for one-sixth of the lot.

"It wasn't something we needed to have," Obama said. "It was something I thought would be nice, if it worked economically for him."

Rezko and Obama collaborated to build a fence separating the properties, and Obama has paid his landscapers to mow the lawn on the Rezko lot. Obama, who said city code required Rezko to fence the lot, paid for legal and design work to ensure it was done properly, while Rezko paid for the fence.

Obama said that he was unaware of Rezko's brewing troubles in 2005 and that Rezko sought no favors. He described himself, after eight years in the Illinois Senate and two on Capitol Hill, as careful to live within strict ethical boundaries -- refusing to allow lobbyists to pay for meals, for example, and reimbursing people for golf outings.

"I'm very proud of how I've conducted myself during the entire time I've been in public service," Obama said. "My hope would be that people come away saying, 'He's not perfect, but he owns up to his mistakes and tries to correct them as quickly as possible.' I hope they look at the entire body of my public service and would note that this is the first time anything has ever come up."

Stewart, of the Better Government Association, said Obama took responsibility and did not shy away from questions. If there are no further revelations, he said, "it's going to wind up being a footnote," but "if anything further comes out, it's a different story."

Lisa Allender said...

About two years ago, I did read about that home purchase, and in re-reading this article, it appears all is-- as I stated before-- completely on the up-and-up.
Rezko probably did want to "court" politicians, but in Obama's case, I'd say he failed to do that.
Obama remains a strong candidate, if not the strongest, to lead this country of ours...

I'll be at the John Edwards' rally, tomorrow.
I hope Edwards/Obama or Obama/Edwards becomes the Dems' ticket!

Collin said...

If Obama gets the nomination, the investigation into his background will go into overdrive. I'm sure some other questionable decisions -- personal and political -- will come to light. It's whether or not he will rise to the challenge and vigorously defend himself. Kerry shot himself in the foot by not getting nasty with those "swift boat" loonies.

Catherine said...

Ah, politics. Don't you love it? Its so funny...if my child acted that way, I'd ground him and try hard to teach him how to treat others. If politicians act that way, we hand them the keys to run the most powerful nation in the world. Don't get it.

Anyway...thanks so much for stoping by my blog the other day and for your comment. I'd love to be added to your links, and to add you to mine! Its great to "meet" you. :) We seem to have a bit in common. :)

Lisa Allender said...

Hi everybody!Coll, you are SO right.Kerry chose to NOT respond to the ridiculous attacks against him, believing it was ludicrous to dignify such lies with a response.Unfortunately, it did not "play well" in the media, and it hurt him....
Barack Obama is truly a decent fellow; I hope he'll respond sharply, though, if/when he's attacked.

Catherine--THANK YOU for weighing in!Come visit again!
I will add your Blog
"Everyday Life as Lyric Poetry"--(or vice-versa)...

Dan said...

John Edwards to Quit Presidential Race