June 30, 2008

"Obama's Katrina: The most damaging article about Barack Obama I've read."

Says Mickey Kaus pointing to this piece by Binyamin Applebaum in the Boston Globe:
[A] Globe review found that thousands of apartments across Chicago that had been built with local, state, and federal subsidies - including several hundred in Obama's former district - deteriorated so completely that they were no longer habitable.

Grove Parc and several other prominent failures were developed and managed by Obama's close friends and political supporters. Those people profited from the subsidies even as many of Obama's constituents suffered. Tenants lost their homes; surrounding neighborhoods were blighted.

Read the whole thing. I'm sure there are many questions, but my first one was: Why didn't Hillary Clinton use this material more effectively?

97 comments:

michaele said...

When I read this last night, I immediately emailed it to a relative who is an Obama supporter (well, more likely, a loyal Democrat). Anyway, I asked in genuine sincerety how this made her feel about Barack's questionable ethics and quality of character. I have not yet received a respose but I am curious.

nrn312 said...

And exactly how old was Obama when this housing project was constructed?

AlphaLiberal said...

So Obama didn't single-handedly eliminate decades of poverty and corruption in Chicago.

The programs are badly implemented by the corrupt Bush Administration and the corrupt Blagoyavich Administration.

But that's Obama's fault?

madawaskan said...

I have no idea but I was on that article months ago.

The apartments went without heat over Christmas-during one of the worst winters in Chicago's history.

What's worse is that they were in Obama's district AND they were owned by his FRIEND Rezko.

At the very same time that these residents finally got -I think- the City of Chicago to sue Rezko to turn the heat back on-

Rezko donated $700 to Obama's campaign chest.

Obama did turn it back...

Now can you imagine you are a constituent of Obama's and you are going in to ask for help-and this guy-Obama can't say to his FRIEND and MENTOR-

Hey! turn the damn heat back on!

Instead during the court proceedings during which Rezko is claiming that he doesn't have enough money Obam receives a $700 donation.

Weird.

It's all in the Chicago Times and I've linked to that damn story here at Althouse multiple times.

It' could be $500 and that I've got some of the details wrong but the jest of it is the same.

madawaskan said...

Chicago Sun Times

Palladian said...

"So Obama didn't single-handedly eliminate decades of poverty and corruption in Chicago. "


No, but you people expected Bush to do the same with New Orleans after the actual hurricane Katrina. New Orleans might be the only place in the US that is/was more corrupt than Chicago. Besides Washington DC, of course.

Lindsay said...

I would be more worried about this if the republicans were also in favor of privitizing public housing. Hillary could have crushed him with it, but McCain's going to have some difficulty.

nrn312 said...

What's worse is that they were in Obama's district AND they were owned by his FRIEND Rezko.

Rezko never owned that housing complex. From the article:

The owner, a local nonprofit company called Woodlawn Preservation and Investment Corp., was led by two of the neighborhood's most powerful ministers, Arthur Brazier and Leon Finney.

downtownlad said...

Just compare Bill Clinton's hurricane management to George Bush's (father and son).

Amazing what can happen when you actually, you know, PREPARE.

MadisonMan said...

The apartments went without heat over Christmas-during one of the worst winters in Chicago's history.

In terms of snowfall, perhaps -- I think the snow totals were in the top 10 (Here in Madison we had the snowiest winter).

But in terms of cold, there have been far far worse winters.

Not commenting on the rest of the article -- I've not yet read it -- just keeping the meteorological facts straight.

reader_iam said...

Now wait a minute, Alpha Liberal. While I don't think it's fair to blame Obama for, for example, Grove Parc's problems or expect him to have "singlehandedly" fix them (public housing is a hell of a thorny, even intractable, problem), it's equally silly to bring in "the corrupt Bush Administration" swipe. Just dumn. Grove Parc, for example, was a redevelopment of a project from way, way back when, and there were problems with it from the start (1990).

Barack Obama wasn't elected a state senator until 1996. George Bush's administration wasn't installed until January 2001.

You can make the argument that in one way or/and another, they both bear some responsibility, at least indirectly. Or that neither does. But you can't bend time and history , in terms of individuals, in the silly, off-the-cuff way you did and not look, well, silly.

madawaskan said...

Well maybe were talkiing about two differen stories which would be really gross.

I just assumed Mickey Kaus was talking about that story but then I see that he is linking to the Boston Globe piece.

Crap I knew I would have to go and find and link that Chicago Sun Times pjiece-and my memory could be damn rusty on it.

I'm off to go get that link for ya..

{knowing my luck my computer will crash..}

Stand buy ...

madawaskan said...

madisonman-

Dude!

OK you know what...

Let me get that article-cripes-but you ARE cold.

It's me that's the rootin' tootin' Republican around here-remember?

reader_iam said...

And while I'm far from a fan of Rod Blagojevich, he wasn't elected governor until 2002, for crying out loud (though he did become a state rep in 1992).

This is basic stuff.

Beth said...

No, but you people expected Bush to [eliminate poverty and corruption] with New Orleans after the actual hurricane Katrina.

No, we just want better levees.

Oh, and it would be nice if the chief of HUD, appointed by Bush, weren't steering contracts to replace low-income housing to his buds. And if the ACOE weren't steering contracts for the pumps on our canals to former employers of one of the Bush brothers, who deliver defective pumps in return for that largesse. And if Barbara Bush's much-touted charity donation to New Orleans weren't flagged to buy Neil Bush's not-so-touted education software that no one in our school system wants. But hey, who keeps track of the little details?

madawaskan said...

For more than five weeks during the brutal winter of 1997, tenants shivered without heat in a government-subsidized apartment building on Chicago's South Side.

It was just four years after the landlords -- Antoin "Tony'' Rezko and his partner Daniel Mahru -- had rehabbed the 31-unit building in Englewood with a loan from Chicago taxpayers.


[...]

Rezko and Mahru couldn't find money to get the heat back on.

But their company, Rezmar Corp., did come up with $1,000 to give to the political campaign fund of Barack Obama, the newly elected state senator whose district included the unheated building.

Obama has been friends with Rezko for 17 years. Rezko has been a political patron to Obama and many others, helping to raise millions of dollars for them through his own contributions and by hosting fund-raisers in his home.


Chicago Sun Times

madawaskan said...

So ya-

I got some things wrong.

It wasn't $700 or $500 it was $1,000

and-

it's possible we are talking two different stories here.

But, someone send this story at The Chicago Sun Times to Klaus-he might change his mind about what he thinks the most damaging article about Obama that he's read-is.

ricpic said...

The apartments deteriorated? All by themselves? They didn't get a little assist, by any chance, from the pooah?

Michael said...

DTL,

Just compare Jeb Bush's hurricane management to Kathleen Blanco's.

Amazing what can happen when you actually, you know, AREN'T CORRUPT AND INCOMPETENT.

Fixed that for you!

Also note this report on Andrew v. Katrina.

BJK said...

"After Rezko's assistance in Obama's home purchase became a campaign issue, at a time when the developer was awaiting trial in an unrelated bribery case, Obama told the Chicago Sun-Times that the deterioration of Rezmar's buildings never came to his attention. He said he would have distanced himself from Rezko if he had known."

Wash hands of negative association.
Rinse.
Repeat if necessary.

Is anyone else wondering how many warehouses you can fill with the information that Obama didn't know at the time when it would have made his decisions morally indefensible? The guy spends so much time with his head in the sand, they should call him Ostrich-bama.

(Note: to all would-be meme starters and / or cheap T-shirt makers....I'm claiming a trademark on that one!)

MadisonMan said...

So, the apartments were unheated in 1997, during a (not) brutal winter. Here in Madison, at least, that winter was pretty tame. And Obama is somehow responsible for this after having been elected the year before?

This smacks of Let's throw this against the wall and see if it sticks. Or freezes.

I think a case could be made that Obama seems to be passionate about something that hasn't worked in this case, and maybe someone should ask at what point the govt should stop shoveling good money after bad.

reader_iam said...

Althouse: To answer your question, I don't know. But what I would suspect is that the Clintons know full well that the issue transcends just Barack Obama and involves many politicos, and many Dems. The first question I would ask is whether the Clintons have any ties to any of those involved--or, at least, wouldn't have wanted to churn up too much trouble in some areas since that would fellow dems who they might need, had Hillary won the nomination.

It's interesting to me, for just one example, that Allison Davis made contributions to MANY Democratic candidates and has done so for many years. This is someone whos clearly part of that machine (no smear intended, both parties have machines), not just with regard to Obama, and a player in Democratic politics and fundraising. See for yourself.

reader_iam said...

For those who don't, can't or won't follow links, let me assure you that while there are lots of contributions to Obama campaigns, there are also contributions to John Kerry, Al Gore, Ted Kennedy, Joe Biden, etc.--and, oh yes!--Hillary Clinton.

reader_iam said...

Even Bill Clinton, back in '96.

madawaskan said...

Madisonman-

Wow... read the Chicago Sun Times article.

Did you know that Rezko is the guy that first started Obama's career?

Rezko was Obama's FIRST mentor.

Rezko gave Obama his first huge campaign donation of $20,000 for his FIRST campaign.

If you go back to Obama's first donor rolls a large amount of the donations all come from businesses owned by Tony or worker associations that work for Tony.

OK. So ya-and since the winter of 1997 wasn't brutal in Madison you think it was fine in Chicago?

Do you know the difference that wind chill can make?

Anyways that's the least of the points in the article.

Look I know none of this matters to you-it's glaringly apparent-you'd rather not SEE it.

madawaskan said...

reader_iam-

Boy good instincts there but then that's coming from me-your...

Marionette des chausettes.

{heh. just joking...}

nrn312 said...

Rezko was Obama's FIRST mentor.

I think that you mean first big contributor given that Emil Jones is generally considered to be Obama's "Chinaman."

MadisonMan said...

madawaskan -- I was commenting on the term brutal to describe a regular ol' winter. Was the journalist writing a transplanted Floridian? Madison didn't even have a sub-zero high that year. The winter of '95-'96 -- now THAT was brutal. A high of -14 in February! It seems like hyperventilating journalistic bombast. Are we meant to imagine shivering masses in a hovel while Obama is tossing a duffel bag full of Rezko campaign donations in the blazing fire to keep warm?

The facts seems to be these: Tony Rezko took money from various government agencies -- before Obama was elected -- and built (or rehabbed) housing that isn't lasting. Obama did several hours' worth of work in association with this while a lawyer at his lawfirm job. Rezko gave money to help start Obama's political career.

Why this is the most damaging article Kaus has read says that he hasn't read many damaging articles or that they haven't been written. This one seems to be reporting SOP politics in Chicago, as far as I can tell.

reader_iam said...

Then there's Valerie Jarrett, CEO of the Habitat Co. and previously head of the Chicago Stock Exchange, among many entries on her long resume, and whose ties to the Obamas are well known.

But does everyone also know that her grandfather ran the Chicago Housing Authority back in the '40s? That she's the grand niece of Vernon Jordan (yep--that Vernon Jordan, a longtime Clinton friend and advisor)?

I mean, Althouse, this is the sort of thing that, it seems to me, should be at taken into account in trying to come up with an answer to your question: "Why didn't Hillary Clinton use this material more effectively."

What do you think?

madawaskan said...

madisonman-

Well now you've got my number...transplanted Floridian-dude I live someplace even hotter now.

Considering Costa Rica-because I actually put the heat on in my car and noticed that a bank was displaying the temp-

69 degrees...

So ya-Ima wimp.

nrn312-

Emil Jones-ok never heard that name.


What about the gal who's state senate seat he wanted to take?

Gad-I can't remember her name-but that might be an interesting story-yet...

I'm off to go google "emil jones" and "china man" for that matter.

reader_iam said...

Madisonman:

Jarrett met the Obamas back in the early '90s, when she was on Mayor Daley's staff and interviewed Michelle Robinson (I use the maiden name because I think Michelle was only engaged to Barack at the time) for a job, or so the story goes. In any case, Jarrett's been a strong career mentor for Michelle, as well as a close family friend.

Bissage said...

Don't believe a word he says.

Binyamin Applebaum is a Muslim name.

reader_iam said...

But the main thing is that Jarrett is, and has been, deeply involved in Chicago and its politics etc. for a long time. Arguably, it's in her blood. Had Obama never appeared on the scene, she'd still be someone, I suspect, that major Dems would prefer to have on their side, or at least not alienated.

reader_iam said...

Oh, well, at this point I'm pretty sure I'm boring everybody, and in any case I've done more than enough speculating, online and here anyway, on the answer to Ann's question.

Ta ta.

nrn312 said...

I'm off to go google "emil jones" and "china man" for that matter.

Good luck with that.

P. Rich said...

AA said: Why didn't Hillary Clinton use this material more effectively?

Democrats. Money. Something about not peeing in your rice bowl. Obvious, n'est–ce pas?

former law student said...

Why didn't HRC exploit this? Wikipedia is helpful. As reader said, Rezko spread the wealth:

In addition to Blagojevich and Obama, prominent Democrats that Rezko and his company, Rezmar, have contributed money to, or fund-raised for, are Comptroller Dan Hynes, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn, former Chicago Mayors Daley and Washington, and former Cook County Board President John Stroger.[2] Rezko has also raised money for Republicans: former Illinois Governors Jim Edgar and George Ryan,[1] the late Rosemont Mayor Don Stephens and he co-chaired a multimillion-dollar fund-raiser for President George W. Bush in 2003.[41][3]

We know public housing doesn't work -- at least I assume so because they blew up all the buildings built in the 50s to solve the problem of housing the poor. We know this sort of privately managed public housing doesn't work: first because management embezzles $1 million and takes off, and second because a well respected complex owner/manager like Habitat couldn't make it work. The people taking over from Habitat do not intend to manage the buildings as is, as Habitat did, nor are they rehabbing as Rezko did -- they're demolishing the buildings and starting over.

Rezko, a civil engineer, real estate investor, and fast food restaurant owner/operator, and Mahru, a restaurant equipment lessor, could not manage apartment rehab and management. But I'm not sure why Obama, or any of the recipients of Rezmar largess, should be held accountable -- isn't there some, oh I don't know, Government Accountability Office to check on what people are doing with the free money the government is giving them?

For reference, The Woodlawn Organization is an Alinsky-type neighborhood organization going back to the 60s at least. The Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council is its contemporary.

Doyle said...

Mickey is such a clown. If there were real beef in the story, he'd spend some time writing about it, but there's really not.

Basically Obama favored "market-oriented solutions" to affordable housing, which is a "moderate" position, and those solutions usually turn out to be corrupt and ineffective.

No kidding!

Synova said...

No meat?

The only thing, the singular thing, that Obama has going for him is community activism. But he doesn't know how to make a phone call and throw his weight around to make things happen.

This isn't the only example of him not knowing what was going on around him and not taking any action to right it. Accounts of his actions as a US Senator tend to be the same... someone comes with a problem, he says nice words, and doesn't *do* anything... not even a phone call saying, "I'm a Senator of the United States! Action needs to be taken on this issue!" Even if it doesn't help, it should still be done and most Senators do loads of stuff just like that. They remember individuals who agitate for one cause or another and remember to have their staff keep track and, even if it's just doing something for the sake of doing something, they make some gesture... a phone call... something... if for no other reason than they can say they did.

But Obama sees nothing, does nothing, and remembers nothing.

Richard said...

Why didn't Hillary Clinton use this material more effectively?

Because Hillary was never as politically talented as conventional wisdom had us believe. Her career inside and outside the White House is littered with political misjudgments and outright incompetence. Quite simply, she's just not very good at it.

Roger J. said...

This says a whole lot about the political culture of Chicago (and Illinois) politics. Of course, Harry Truman came out of the Kansas City political machine--But I knew Harry Truman; Harry Truman was a friend of mine, and Barack Obama is no Harry Truman. Obama increasingly impresses me as a gutless wonder who is only articulate when making a prepared speech. He makes Bill Clinton look like a piker when it comes to triangulation; but Clinton did it with much more smoothness. And have you seen the size of the ears on Obama--and the dems call Bush "chimpy?"

Anthony said...

"These are not the low-income housing projects that I knew."

Kirby Olson said...

Obama already threw Rezko under the bus once. Now he'll have to throw him under the bus again.

With 300 million in his war chest it's odd that he keeps using public transportation imagery.

rhhardin said...

The apartments are the past. Obama is looking to the future. Change from the past, in particular.

It's McCain, if anybody, who's stuck in the past, where the apartments are, for example. If you elect McCain, you'll be stuck with the apartments forever.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Synova wrote:

The only thing, the singular thing, that Obama has going for him is community activism. But he doesn't know how to make a phone call and throw his weight around to make things happen.

Unlike John McCain, for example, who threw his weight around on behalf of Charles Keating Jr "to make things happen."

JJR said...

Emil Jones is the President of the Illinois Senate and was considered one of Obama's mentors. He is currently Gov. Blagojevich's hatchet man in the Senate. Maybe you can judge his (And Blago's) effectiveness by how well our government has been run here in IL. We are inspiring to the whole country!

A chinaman is a derogatory term used for the politician who uses his clout for someone. Your chinaman would be able to get your a contract with the government.

As a lawyer in Chicago, I don't know too many (actually, any) other lawyers here who are that enthused with Obama. Vote for him, maybe, but not the true believers that seem to have come out of the woodwork. We've seen him in action in the IL senate. He is a politician, not the Messiah.

As to why Clinton didn't (or couldn't) use the info more effectively, I think some of the previous commenters are right on the money: it doesn't just paint him badly, but many of the Dems here in IL. Obama is connected, no matter what he (or anyone else) tries to tell you. What smears him, smears a lot of our local Dems (Reps, too, but I don't think that's what would worry HC) To use any of this would truly be burning her bridges.

Synova said...

No doubt, had Obama figured out how to do something other than look pretty he'd have done things that I would personally disagree with.

I'm uncertain of how to spin Obama's lack of action into a positive except to suppose that at least doing *nothing* is likely to be an improvement over doing the wrong thing and acting on his extremely foolish ideas of how the world works.

former law student said...

This isn't the only example of him not knowing what was going on around him and not taking any action to right it.

Not even "Action Line" or "Seven on Your Side" look for problems -- you have to call or write them. Could it be that no one took their troubles with Rezmar housing to the big O? As far as we know from the Applebaum article, no constituent ever complained to him.

Obama was a legislator, not an investigator. In fact, why didn't the Sun-Times or Tribune break this story at the time it happened? The late Art Petacque would have been all over that stuff. Politics + corruption was his beat.

Revenant said...

So Obama supported an "anti-poverty" program that enriched his donors while harming the poor? And this differs from most of the other anti-poverty programs how, exactly?

madawaskan said...

JJR-


Thanks for the explanation.

I don't know why but this is depressing.

It's a little like-

Kids believe in Santa Claus.

You know there isn't a Santa Claus-but-

You wouldn't mind being wrong.

It's a bummer to say-

Look kid there ain't no Santa Claus.

Maybe because you wish you were wrong.


On top of all that I hate the Obama campaign line-

After graduating from law school-and Harvard-he turned down high paying jobs on Wall Street to be a "community organizer".

They never mention that law firm job in Chicago.

PS-

former law student-

Did the senator ever complain to anyone -- government officials, Rezmar or Rezko -- about the conditions of Rezmar's buildings? "Senator Obama did follow up on constituency complaints about housing as [a] matter of routine,'' Gibbs wrote.

Source:The Chicago Suntimes article.

Kirby Olson said...

It would be fun if someone were to show the close parallel to Tony Soprano's poverty program in Newark.

Finn Kristiansen said...

I don't believe there is a tight relationship between donations to politicians, legislation or programs created, and the ultimate outcomes of those initiatives.

You don't necessarily become a politician to become rich, or corrupt, though our observations from the bleachers, and higher level of superiority, makes us think so.

That is to say, we see a politican getting a donation and pushing forward some agenda and assume, "Oh he is doing that for the money"

But you have to figure that there is always money on both sides of an issue.

But when we look from the outside, we don't necessarily notice that on any given issue the politican could vote either way, and still get money or support from someone.

Then too, and more related to the topic, I think we tend to overestimate the power of politicians to get policy implemented in a correct way: a politician passes laws, the cogs in the machine in the government or private sector put the policy to work.

In other words, a politican can feel that a housing initiative for the private sector might work quite well, and push through some arrangement, only to see the execution fall apart because the motives in the private sector (profit) might be at odds with the goals of the original legislation or program.

I can't blame Obama here in the same way I don't blame Bush for everything with Katrina. There are usually multiple parties at fault in any issue, whether politicians at different levels of government not all doing their part (in Katrina's case), or conflicts between government and private sector.

Beth said...

reader_iam, no, I'm not bored. I think you answer Ann's question clearly. Also, Finn points out something sensible -- there's not some smoky backroom where developers and politicians count money and snicker about the poor schmucks shivering in the housing development.

I'm willing to bet that most cities of any size have a history of boondoggle developments, with all sorts of attendant tax credits and Kelo style abuses of property rights, ending up in some huge, shoddy, ugly apartments. This probably starts back in Rome, several centuries before Christ. Heck, the gods were complaining about no heat and paper thin walls in their Mesopotamian ziggurats.

There's nothing good or excusable about it. I'm just not shocked that Clinton didn't make any use of it. I wonder if McCain will, since I don't believe unsavory developers all lean to the left.

Beth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dick said...

The shady developers may not all lean to the left by instinct but since almost all the big cities are held by Democrats, the shady developers have to lean to the left to get the bucks. You also have to wonder if anyone in the city governments is checking out where the cities are putting their money and how well it is being handled. Obviously they are not dong a sterling job of this anywhere that I am aware of and I have lived in most of the big cities on the East Coast over the past 45 years. The only one that was doing well with that was under Bush I with Jack Kemp as Sec HUD. He was working with Jersey City and they were doing a great job of improving public housing by getting the residents involved in running the place. Then Clinton came in, named Roberta Alexander to be in charge of the housing and she stopped the program. The places all went back to the way they were before when nobody cared and the result if the mess we see now. She even got them to evict people who complained about drug sellers in the projects because supposedly the people complaining made life worse for the management of the places.

Pogo said...

I'm willing to bet that most cities of any size have a history of boondoggle developments

True. The conservative's answer to that is not resignation and rolling over, but to admit that since such back-scratching and logrolling will always exist regardless of party affiliation, the only solution is to remove the temptation by limiting the size of government and the extent of their influence wherever possible.

For example, it would have been far better to get the Chicago gov't out of housing construction altogether. No amount of rules or oversight can forestall the corruption. It's why the founders wanted a small gov't in the first place.

SteveR said...

Wow Keating Five. Is that all you got? No Teapot Dome?

jodie said...

(long time reader never commented before). It seems worth mentioning that People's Energy, our gas company in Chicago, doesn't disconnect delinquent customers between Dec 1- Mar 31. Maybe they had electric heat?

I have no idea who owns my building and I haven't a clue how to find out. I pay rent to a management company which manages several buildings. My market rate rental building has had a disconnect notice pasted on the front doors due to landlords non-payment. So that doesn't seem like particularly unusual bad behavior.

Just some things that might give more context to the article.

PS: I appreciate Former Law Student's comments here esp. re: Obama. I don't think most people understand just how clean he seems by local standards. Even with the Rezko connections. Is there a more corrupt state, county or city government? I can hardly get my brain around it. Beth's NOLA sounds similar.

thanks for reading.

Beth said...

the conservative's answer to that is not resignation and rolling over, but to ... [limit] the size of government and the extent of their influence wherever possible.

Pogo, that may well be the conservative voters' answer, but good luck finding a conservative politician who wants to spend less of your money.

Beth said...

Wow Keating Five. Is that all you got? No Teapot Dome?

Hey, you run Methuselah for office, expect someone to connect him to irregularities in financing the great pyramids of Giza.

Pogo said...

Beth,
Then we get the government we deserve.

Demand nothing, have low standards, and you get it, up the wazoo.

Culture matters.

Beth said...

Culture matters.

We'll no doubt disagree on the details, but I don't disagree on that broad sentiment. I think government has long abandoned the cause-effect, get what we deserve model and now functions on a more absurdist level. But I'm cynical -- don't let me bring you down if you still have hopes of better.

Pogo said...

don't let me bring you down if you still have hopes of better

I'm a realist, not cynical. But no fool, either. I still see virtue in trying even though the odds are poor.

reader_iam said...

Life is Complicated.

(With a nod to Beth, and she knows why; and also to all those who understand why, though Beth and I are undeniably different and often disagree, we have maintained mutual respect for--ohmighosh!--can it be going on this long, in blogosphere terms?

Well, I'll be ... .)

Beth said...

reader-what's the ratio of human years to blog years?

I've been meaning to say, I hope you're high and dry where you're at.

reader_iam said...

Only sayin'.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

SteveR wrote:

Wow Keating Five. Is that all you got? No Teapot Dome?

Is this the official McCain campaign defense of McCain's involvement in the Keating scandal? It's easily dumb enough to qualify as such.

Rightwingers, please remember that you can earn points(!) for dittoing McCain talking points on your favortie blogs. Sign up today!

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Pogo wrote:

I'm a realist, not cynical. But no fool, either.

Oh Pogo, don't sell yourself short.

blake said...

There's nothing good or excusable about it. I'm just not shocked that Clinton didn't make any use of it. I wonder if McCain will, since I don't believe unsavory developers all lean to the left.

Except the Maverick would doubtless enjoy an opportunity to throw the right under the bus.

John Stodder said...

Here's a question for the die-hard Obama supporters:

How many more times does Obama get to use the "had I but known" excuse for inaction, dereliction and unsavory connections?

"This is not the --------- I knew" is already one of the thigh-slappers of the blogosphere. At what point does it bother you? Do you want those of us on the fence to see Obama as just a darn unlucky guy, all these close associates living secret lives behind his back, all these pet projects going to shit without the information reaching him? Or are we permitted in your world to hold him accountable for anything?

Pogo said...

Boy, Cyrus is on a rhetorical spree here, zinging epithets full of the kind of wondrous wit usually heard only in high school lunchrooms.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

John Stodder wrote:

Here's a question for the die-hard Obama supporters...

Why don't you pose the same question about McCain to his supporters? For example, the number of "unsavory connections" in McCain's past seems far greater than that for Obama. At what point does it bother them?

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

So Pogo doesn't know what an epithet is. What a surprise.

Pogo said...

Hi Amanda!

Pogo said...

I mean Cyrus
Sshhh.

Pogo said...

Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1) -
ep·i·thet
3. a word, phrase, or expression used invectively as a term of abuse or contempt, to express hostility, etc.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Pogo,

I see. You don't understand what invective means either.

Thanks for playing anyway!

Pogo said...

in·vec·tive –noun
3. an insulting or abusive word or expression.
4. vituperative; denunciatory; censoriously abusive.

Cyrus, seriously, are you all right?
I mean, do you still speak and write and generally recognize English?

How did you get your job, much less keep it, if you have this much difficulty making your way through simple prose?

I suggest a head MRI. Confusion understanding speech or the written word can be a sign of a stroke or incipient dementia.
(Here's "incipient", if indeed you need help again.)

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Pogo,

Rather than read your posts of dictionary definitions that you don't seem to understand, why don't you simply post my "epithets?" I know you don't like to answer questions or accept challenges, but why not give it a try this time? Show me where I've used

"1. any word or phrase applied to a person or thing to describe an actual or attributed quality...

2. a characterizing word or phrase firmly associated with a person or thing and often used in place of an actual name, title, or the like..., or

3. a word, phrase, or expression invectively as a term of abuse or contempt, to express hostility..."

(Source: Pogo's favorite dictionary, dictionary.com)

I doubt you're up to the task, Pogo, but please give it a shot.

Pogo said...

Is this the official McCain campaign defense ...It's easily dumb enough...
Rightwingers
earn points(!) for dittoing
Oh Pogo, don't sell yourself short. (reponse to 'I'm no fool.')
Your understanding of economics is dreadful.
your idiotic "now comes from then" comment
your silly "now comes from then" comment
as I suggested before, think before you post
Idiotic, but very interesting.

your "Quayl moment.")
That certainly wasn't the first stupid thing you've posted here and it's highly unlikely to be the last.
Dumb. Really, exceptionally dumb.
Get back to me when you figure it out.
[gibberish]
considering your track record, you really aren't qualified to make pronouncements about
your posts of dictionary definitions that you don't seem to understand
I know you don't like to answer questions or accept challenges
why not give it a try this time?


Other than those examples, I cannot think of any at all that demonstrate your habit of abuse or contempt, or the expression of hostility.

Dan said...

"In other words, a politican can feel that a housing initiative for the private sector might work quite well, and push through some arrangement, only to see the execution fall apart because the motives in the private sector (profit) might be at odds with the goals of the original legislation or program."

I would suggest that it's part of the lawmaker's job to examine the environment in place and evaluate whether a particular initiative could succeed in that evironment, given the assets available, etc. Things can fall apart through no fault of the politician, but a pattern of these kinds of things indicates bad judgement, IMO.

"I can't blame Obama here in the same way I don't blame Bush for everything with Katrina. There are usually multiple parties at fault in any issue, whether politicians at different levels of government not all doing their part (in Katrina's case), or conflicts between government and private sector."

I don't blame Bush for Katrina because I view the primary responsibility for natural disaster rescue/recovery as belonging to state and local officials. I can blame Obama easily. The only real question is, how does his performance stack up against what others might have done? Because SNAFU is generally the order of the day, and I DO believe we should cut some slack for a certain number of FUBARed situations. But only a certain number.

ballyfager said...

Re Beth's characterization of McCain as Methuselah, that's the crux of the matter. It's 1996 all over again. Clinton was ripe for the plucking, but not by Dole.

Obama is very beatable, but not by McCain. I don't know who the Republicans might have won with but by nominating McCain they're handing the election to the Democrats.

From Inwood said...

Michaele

Last week I did what you did. I've received no comments from Democrat friends. Go figure.

Anyway, Pogo has handled the conservative position quite well & so, I would just add one of a number of thumbnail sketches I sent to some folks on some studies of The Irish-American experience:

American Pharaoh, Cohen & Taylor 2000. A serious sociological study of a colorful Irish-American politician before & during the rise of the Welfare State, set in Chicago, but similar to the NYC & Boston Irish-American experience; the Leftist authors’ hatred & disdain of "Da Mare" & his work ooze thru every sentence, but in the end, an astute reader comes away with the realization that the what Da Mare was doing was actually applying the liberal gospel of the ‘60s, so that it was such gospel that was found wanting, & most of Da Mare’s faults, catalogued ad nauseum by the authors, were liberal faults.

Suzanne Morris said...

I am a lurker here and never posted a comment before. I am stunned at the conversation going back and forth about whether or not Chicago had a "brutal" winter that year or a normal winter. I have traveled to Chicago on business dozens of times and let me tell you, "brutal" cold or normal cold, it is damn cold period. The people living in these buildings didn't have heat all winter. We are talking about babies, children and old people-- where is your humanity? Just because it wasn't -14 doesn't mean there wasn't real suffering going on due to corruption and greed on behalf of Obama's best friend and mentor.

The so-called ex-community organizer who was supposed to be looking after their interests looked the other way because of campaign donations. The same way he looked the other way for 20 years as his minister, Reverend God Damn America, spoke about how the U.S. Government was infecting black people with the Aids virus. I know it's off topic, but this says an awful lot about the character of the man and his magnificently run marketing campaign to convince America that he is not a typical politician.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Dear Pogo,

Unfortunately your dishonesty is showing again. Here's what you wrote (my emphasis):

Cyrus is on a rhetorical spree here, zinging epithets full of the kind of wondrous wit usually heard only in high school lunchrooms.

So, when I asked you for examples of epithets used here, I naturally assumed you were going to cite from this comment thread as opposed to compiling a list from past Althouse comment threads. However, I see that your definition of "here" is as "flexible" as is your definition of "epithet."

Nevertheless, I will clarify my comments made "here" (presumably what you were referring to in your clever "lunchroom" reply) so that you can understand why they are not epithets. Read and learn.

1. Is this the official McCain campaign defense of McCain's involvement in the Keating scandal? It's easily dumb enough to qualify as such.

My comment refers to a statement, not a person. The target was an undeniably dumb post, not a commenter. In any case, no person with an understanding of the definition of "epithet" would identify that remark as an "epithet."

2. Rightwingers, please remember that you can earn points(!) for dittoing McCain talking points on your favortie blogs.

That is a true statement. Go to the John McCain website for details if you are in doubt. It clearly does not qualify as an epithet.

3. Oh Pogo, don't sell yourself short.

This is not an epithet. It's not even close.

In summary, of the examples that you produced from "here," none qualify as epithets. You are 0 for 3. This reinforces my earlier conclusion that you don't understand the meaning of epithet. May I encourage you to refrain from using words you can't define and don't understand?

MadisonMan said...

I am stunned at the conversation going back and forth about whether or not Chicago had a "brutal" winter that year or a normal winter. I have traveled to Chicago on business dozens of times and let me tell you, "brutal" cold or normal cold, it is damn cold period.

It is bad reporting to use the word brutal. It wasn't. It was a normally cold winter.

I admit that if you live in DC or in San Diego and then drop in on Chicago, you'll think it's damn cold period. Stick around. You'll acclimatize.

former law student said...

McCain's involvement in the Keating Five scandal was minimal; trivial -- a few airplane rides if I remember correctly. I think even John Glenn might have been more culpable than McCain. Obama supporters should just give that up.

Pogo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
former law student said...

Although this factoid is buried in the Sun-Times scandal series, part of the problem Rezmar had was that the tenants didn't pay their rent. They did not have the cash flow to pay their expenses, so eventually they walked away.

RJ said...

Chicago politics are crooked.

Obama is a politician from Chicago.

It's cute that so many people, especially young people, are convinced that he's somehow the Ivory Soap candidate, in spite of the above formula. That's fine, though. You just know that nine out of ten young adults who totally love Obama, wear his T-shirts, and, like, totally plan on rocking the vote this year will forget, or find themselves doing something else on... um... dude, what day is the election, again?

veblenschild said...

downtownlad wrote. "just compare Bill Clinton's hurricane management to George Bush's (father and son).
Amazing what can happen when you actually, you know, PREPARE."
During the 1995 summer 1175 people DIED from heatstroke in chicago.
Are we to believe that thanks to clinton's preparedness millions of others were saved?

blake said...

It is bad reporting to use the word brutal. It wasn't. It was a normally cold winter.

I admit that if you live in DC or in San Diego and then drop in on Chicago, you'll think it's damn cold period. Stick around. You'll acclimatize.


Ooh. No, thanks. :-)

I'm sorry, but I would probably describe fall in Chicago as "brutal". My criteria would probably be something like "Can it kill you?" If so, it's brutal.

But then, you can sleep outside here in the dead of winter and you might not even need socks....

MadisonMan said...

1995 was nothing. 30 THOUSAND people died in Europe because of the heat wave of August 2003.

bill-o said...

AlphaLiberal,

Perhaps if you take your nose out of Barry's sphincter for just a second you could see him for what he is: just another Chicago Machine Hack.

Revenant said...

30 THOUSAND people died in Europe because of the heat wave of August 2003.

That was just a matter of not knowing how to deal with the heat, though. The temperatures were around what you'd experience in the southern United States during the summer.

The Exalted said...

Read the whole thing. I'm sure there are many questions, but my first one was: Why didn't Hillary Clinton use this material more effectively?

obviously because there is no "there" there

The Exalted said...

former law student said...
Although this factoid is buried in the Sun-Times scandal series, part of the problem Rezmar had was that the tenants didn't pay their rent. They did not have the cash flow to pay their expenses, so eventually they walked away.


no, no, no. this is all obama's fault. it would only be the tenants' fault if the GOP were involved.