Rod Blagojevich sentencing, Don’t let Blago’s sentencing distract you from other political theatrics, Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board

Rod Blagojevich sentencing, Don’t let Blago’s sentencing distract you from other political theatrics, Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board

“Why did the Illinois Senate Health & Human Services Committee, with Obama as chairman, create and push Bill 1332, “Illinois Health Facilities Planning Act,” early in 2003, which reduced the number of members on the Board from 15 to 9, just prior to rigging by Tony Rezko and Rod Blagojevich?”…Citizen Wells

“Why did Patrick Fitzgerald and the US Justice Department wait until December 2008 to arrest Rod Blagojevich?”…Citizen Wells

“I believe I’m more pristine on Rezko than him.”…Rod Blagojevich

From John Kass and the Chicago tribune December 1, 2011.

“Don’t let Blago’s sentencing distract you from other political theatrics”

“Former Gov. Dead Meat is scheduled to be sentenced at a hearing scheduled for next Tuesday and Wednesday, as Illinois taxpayers watch another corrupt governor head to prison.

Rod Blagojevich has been convicted on 17 counts of corruption, including trying to sell a U.S. Senate seat. In a court filing on Wednesday, federal prosecutors asked that Dead Meat sit in federal stir for the next 15 to 20 years.
 
During his machinations surrounding the appointment of a United States senator, and the shakedowns of hospital and racetrack executives, the defendant revealed his corrupt, criminal character,” federal prosecutors said in their court filing.

But this is still Illinois, where politics is often about distraction. So with our second consecutive governor doing the long goodbye in federal court, try to keep your eye on the shell with the pea inside.

The deadline for petitions of candidacy for judges and legislators is 5 p.m. Monday. So let’s not forget all those who get the petitions signed, all those patronage and union workers, precinct captains, guys who owe guys for favors, and just plain decent citizens who care about goodness and honesty in government.

Before it’s over, Dead Meat’s nemesis, House Speaker Mike Madigan, D-Lisa’s Daddy, will certainly exert his influence here. The Lord of Madiganistan doesn’t want you to look too closely, but he always has something to say about who gets to wear the black robes. He’s chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party, and those boys still decide who wields the gavel from the county level to the Illinois Supreme Court.

Then on Tuesday, as the Blagojevich hearing begins, more unrelated theatrics are scheduled at City Hall. City Aviation Commissioner Rosemarie Andolino, the airports czarina, has been invited to appear before the Chicago City Council’s Committee on Aviation.”

“Then on Wednesday, as Blago is likely to be standing before U.S. District Court Judge James Zagel to plead for mercy, there will be yet another important hearing in another government building.

This time, it’s a state panel, a meeting of the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board, which OKs new hospital construction.

And here’s the irony. The state board is scheduled to consider a proposal by a Wisconsin hospital group — Mercy Health System — to build a medical facility in Crystal Lake. (Mercy Health System is not affiliated with Mercy Hospital and Medical Center of Chicago.)

In 2003, Mercy Health System sought the state board’s approval on a similar project.

As federal testimony in a number of cases has explained, there was much behind-the-scenes intrigue. FBI agents got involved and by the time they were done, the federal Operation Board Games probe had exposed Republican and Democratic corruption throughout state government and led to Blagojevich’s indictment.

The feds brought down Stuart Levine, a member of the state hospital board, who pleaded guilty to extortion, bribery and money laundering. Levine rolled over and testified against others, including the recently convicted Republican boss, William Cellini.

In April of 2003, Mercy Health System hired a Levine confederate, Jacob Kiferbaum, of Kiferbaum Construction, to build the hospital. Levine testified that he thought he’d get his kickback from Kiferbaum. The state hospital panel controlled by Levine gave Mercy Health System the go-ahead for the Crystal Lake project.

Soon the feds were all over it. In 2005, a judge overturned the state board’s ruling. Kiferbaum pleaded guilty to attempted extortion in an unrelated hospital shakedown.”

Read more:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/ct-met-kass-1201-20111201,0,286190.column

27 responses to “Rod Blagojevich sentencing, Don’t let Blago’s sentencing distract you from other political theatrics, Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board

  1. “National Defence Authorization Act’, has not passed yet according to Rubio. Vote is Tomorrow. http://www.rubio.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/11/my-votes-on-the-national-defense-authorization-act-for-fiscal-year-2012

  2. This is a good summary of the sad state of affairs Cain finds himself in.

    http://dailycaller.com/2011/11/30/how-cain-destroyed-his-campaign/

  3. I have a question and a riddle:

    If a man yells, “You lie” in a room full of politicians, how can you tell who he is talking to?”

  4. Tina | December 1, 2011 at 12:26 pm |

    What is your obsession with taking down Herman Cain? Why don’t you spend a little bit more time building up the positive attributes of whomever you choose to support and a little bit less time breaking down those that you don’t (but still are one of us, as Herman Cain is whether he is President or not). You dwell in the the negative.

  5. Tina | December 1, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
    Tina, the article you cited is just one talking head’s opinion, albeit the author has worked on several campaigns.

    Furthermore, you seem to be infatuated with Cain’s ALLEGED demise. What gives, for pity sakes? It seems to be your main topic of conversation. We don’t really know what the future holds for Cain, do we?

  6. James | December 1, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
    “National Defence Authorization Act’, has not passed yet according to Rubio. Vote is Tomorrow. http://www.rubio.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/11/my-votes-on-the-national-defense-authorization-act-for-fiscal-year-2012
    *********************************
    Thanks for that link, James. I believe Sen. Rubio on this one. He, if any,
    would guard our constitutional rights.

  7. I thought this was a good post by a blogger over at hotair regarding Herman Cain and his latest accuser…

    It’s probably a bigger sign of mental illness that people are extrapolating a 13 year affair from 61 phone calls or text messages in the last eight months from a person who has been sued by her own business partner for libel and lost.

    I’m not in denial, the Cain knockers are just stone-draggingly stupid or impossibly gullible. They will let the media kill a candidate on unfounded accusations from people whose most rocky known relationship is with telling the truth, and they refuse to believe the same media that covered up Bill Clinton’s rapes and sexual assaults and John Edwards’ love child might be selective in how they treat stories about a candidate for president’s sex life.

    No decent or honest person should ever run for office, because there is a whole swath of Republican voters who will treat unfounded character assassination as gospel truth if it temporarily helps their candidate by destroying another one.

    We deserve who we get if we’re going to be this myopic and destroy our own while our actual foe is the worst president in the United States’ long history.

    BKennedy on December 1, 2011 at 7:24 AM

  8. marmar | December 1, 2011 at 2:55 pm |

    …………We deserve who we get if we’re going to be this myopic and destroy our own while our actual foe is the worst president in the United States’ long history.
    BKennedy on December 1, 2011 at 7:24 AM
    *********************************
    I feel the same way. Anyone who is cannibalizing our own in this manner and unable or unwilling to realize what the enemy is trying to do to our side, is actually contributing to the dilemma we face. And, yes, we will deserve who we get.

    Writing Cain off so assuredly and completely without an equal or greater emphasis on the character, or lack thereof, of the accuser(s) is patently unfair.

  9. marmar | December 1, 2011 at 2:55 pm |

    Marmar..I agree wholeheartedly. I want to make known that I personally will still vote for Cain if he is in the hunt by the time that the primaries head to Colorado. He is utlimately a good man, even if he has had some personal failings as we all do. Many, and I mean many, of my personal friends are moving towards Ron Paul rather than Newt. They make compelling arguments. I wish Ron were Rand in this election. These people were all Cain backers and still all like him a lot but feel as though he has gotten himself into a pickle that will be hard to win… No matter what happens, Herman Cain is still a good American and is on our side in the fight. This is why I find it to be curious that some people, supposed to be on our side, are finding such joy in kicking him when he is down.

  10. Cabby – AZ | December 1, 2011 at 3:27 pm |

    Cabby, I agree. HE IS ONE OF US. No matter what happens in these primaries.

  11. Paxson | December 1, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
    Cabby – AZ | December 1, 2011 at 3:27 pm |

    Cabby, I agree. HE IS ONE OF US. No matter what happens in these primaries.
    *********************
    Amen.

  12. RE: Cain….don’t let the scenery of the facts get in the way of the media spin WITHOUT the scenery…..the Axelrod connections; the history of stalking with texting, emails of accuser; NO complaints for ALLLL those years UNTIL the Cain political star began seriously rising; helping damsels in distress (gold diggers) only is bait for shake down attempts; AND with all those “serious” accusations, nothing appears to have sticking qualities other than just giving media bias an apple to make it trot faster. Gloria’s attempt for a sure thing appears to have been so weak that it was necessary to find another figure with an “off and on” relationship….apparently “off” after a pay off and “on” again when that stash was gone. Cain’s lawyers say those “phone calls” on Cain’s part were “returns” to calls for “money” pleas. No interest in facts…only interest in hurting Cain….and if you repeat even a lie long enough the dimwitted will automatically believe it….or at least allow the seeded doubt to blossom.

  13. Arpaio is now on Cavuto!

  14. observer | December 1, 2011 at 4:22 pm |

    Observer…I know it’s a giant sham.

  15. Well the whole discussion on Cavuto was about why Arpaio is backing Perry. Guess Neil is also under orders not to touch “the other stuff”!

  16. Observer, I watched him back out of a conversation with Trump about Rezko and the house a few months back. They are definitely under orders not to talk about “certain” things. Probably to keep the corrupt DOJ off of Murdoch’s back…

  17. “CONGRESS KEPT IN THE DARK ABOUT MASSIVE FED BAIL-OUTS”

    By Donny Shaw
    November 28, 2011

    “A major new report from Bloomberg, drawn from nearly 30,000 pages of Fed documents obtained via FOIA, sheds some new light on why Congress’ response to the too-big-to-fail problem in financial markets was legislation that allowed the biggest banks to grow even bigger. According to the report, the Federal Reserve and big banks worked in concert throughout the financial crisis to manipulate investors, regulators, and lawmakers by covering up trillions of dollars in Fed loans and guarantees while simultaneously lying about being healthy. As Bloomberg puts it: “While Fed officials say that almost all of the loans were repaid and there have been no losses, details suggest taxpayers paid a price beyond dollars as the secret funding helped preserve a broken status quo and enabled the biggest banks to grow even bigger.”

    So when Senator Sherrod Brown [D, OH] and former Senator Ted Kaufman [D, DE] forced a vote in May 2010 on breaking up the five biggest banks by placing strict caps on deposits and non-deposit liabilities, only 33 senators voted in favor. The question was, essentially, should status-quo bank growth be allowed to continue even though regulators had determined they were already too big to let regular market forces take them down, or should they be reined in so that market forces can be allowed to play out without government interference? A supermajority of the Senate voted for the status quo, and as a result the big banks are bigger today than when they were revealed to be too big to fail.

    Some bits from the Bloomberg report:

    “When you see the dollars the banks got, it’s hard to make the case these were successful institutions,” says Sherrod Brown, a Democratic Senator from Ohio who in 2010 introduced an unsuccessful bill to limit bank size. “This is an issue that can unite the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street. There are lawmakers in both parties who would change their votes now.” […]
    Had lawmakers known, it “could have changed the whole approach to reform legislation,” says Ted Kaufman, a former Democratic Senator from Delaware who, with Brown, introduced the bill to limit bank size.
    If Congress had been aware of the extent of the Fed rescue, Kaufman says, he would have been able to line up more support for breaking up the biggest banks. […]
    Byron L. Dorgan, a former Democratic senator from North Dakota, says the knowledge might have helped pass legislation to reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act, which for most of the last century separated customer deposits from the riskier practices of investment banking.
    “Had people known about the hundreds of billions in loans to the biggest financial institutions, they would have demanded Congress take much more courageous actions to stop the practices that caused this near financial collapse,” says Dorgan, who retired in January. […]
    Lobbyists for the big banks made the winning case that forcing them to break up was “punishing success,” Brown says. Now that they can see how much the banks were borrowing from the Fed, senators might think differently, he says.

    From a market perspective, the core problem with too-big-to-fail is that it creates a competitive advantage for the corporations that are known to have an implicit government backstop. What the Bloomberg reports shows us is that this advantage also extends to public policy. Our financial regulatory institutions, led by the quasi-government Federal Reserve and a Treasury Department that is basically a revolving door between D.C. and Wall Street, are colluding with the big banks to ensure they are protected from any restrictions that our representatives may want to put in place if they were told the truth about the financial crisis.

    The regulators have essentially done to Congress what Congress does to the public — lying and misleading in order to avoid the accountability that might be enforced if the truth was made clear.”

    http://www.opencongress.org/articles/view/2436-Congress-Kept-in-the-Dark-About-Massive-Fed-Bailouts

  18. “CONGRESS KEPT IN THE DARK ABOUT MASSIVE FED BAILOUTS”

    By Donny Shaw
    November 28, 2011

    “A major new report from Bloomberg, drawn from nearly 30,000 pages of Fed documents obtained via FOIA, sheds some new light on why Congress’ response to the too-big-to-fail problem in financial markets was legislation that allowed the biggest banks to grow even bigger. According to the report, the Federal Reserve and big banks worked in concert throughout the financial crisis to manipulate investors, regulators, and lawmakers by covering up trillions of dollars in Fed loans and guarantees while simultaneously lying about being healthy. As Bloomberg puts it: “While Fed officials say that almost all of the loans were repaid and there have been no losses, details suggest taxpayers paid a price beyond dollars as the secret funding helped preserve a broken status quo and enabled the biggest banks to grow even bigger.”

    So when Senator Sherrod Brown [D, OH] and former Senator Ted Kaufman [D, DE] forced a vote in May 2010 on breaking up the five biggest banks by placing strict caps on deposits and non-deposit liabilities, only 33 senators voted in favor. The question was, essentially, should status-quo bank growth be allowed to continue even though regulators had determined they were already too big to let regular market forces take them down, or should they be reined in so that market forces can be allowed to play out without government interference? A supermajority of the Senate voted for the status quo, and as a result the big banks are bigger today than when they were revealed to be too big to fail.

    Some bits from the Bloomberg report:

    “When you see the dollars the banks got, it’s hard to make the case these were successful institutions,” says Sherrod Brown, a Democratic Senator from Ohio who in 2010 introduced an unsuccessful bill to limit bank size. “This is an issue that can unite the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street. There are lawmakers in both parties who would change their votes now.” […]

    Had lawmakers known, it “could have changed the whole approach to reform legislation,” says Ted Kaufman, a former Democratic Senator from Delaware who, with Brown, introduced the bill to limit bank size.
    If Congress had been aware of the extent of the Fed rescue, Kaufman says, he would have been able to line up more support for breaking up the biggest banks. […]

    Byron L. Dorgan, a former Democratic senator from North Dakota, says the knowledge might have helped pass legislation to reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act, which for most of the last century separated customer deposits from the riskier practices of investment banking.
    “Had people known about the hundreds of billions in loans to the biggest financial institutions, they would have demanded Congress take much more courageous actions to stop the practices that caused this near financial collapse,” says Dorgan, who retired in January. […]

    Lobbyists for the big banks made the winning case that forcing them to break up was “punishing success,” Brown says. Now that they can see how much the banks were borrowing from the Fed, senators might think differently, he says.

    From a market perspective, the core problem with too-big-to-fail is that it creates a competitive advantage for the corporations that are known to have an implicit government backstop. What the Bloomberg reports shows us is that this advantage also extends to public policy. Our financial regulatory institutions, led by the quasi-government
    Federal Reserve and a Treasury Department that is basically a revolving door between D.C. and Wall Street, are colluding with the big banks to ensure they are protected from any restrictions that our representatives may want to put in place if they were told the truth about the financial crisis.

    The regulators have essentially done to Congress what Congress does to the public — lying and misleading in order to avoid the accountability that might be enforced if the truth was made clear.”

    From:
    http://www.opencongress.org/articles/view/2436-Congress-Kept-in-the-Dark-About-Massive-Fed-Bailouts

  19. “READ THE MILITARY DETENTION BILL”

    B Donny Shaw
    November 29, 2011

    “The 2012 Defense Department Authorization bill that the Senate is working on this week contains a provision that would authorize the U.S. military to indefinitely detain, without charge or trial, anyone they consider to be engaged in hostilities against the United States. The provision would not restrict military detentions to people in specific countries or regions of the world and would apply to U.S. citizens living within the United States.

    With the social uprisings taking place around the world, including the Occupy movement, the relevant and important question here is if this could be used to attempt to justify military suppression of constitutionaly-protected political activity. Could the military use this to power to essentially disappear U.S. citizens with inconvenient views? As always, it’s not the intention of the legislators that ultimately matters, it’s the legislative text and it’s interpretable potential for as long as it may stand as law. Therefore, I’m posting the legislative text of the provision below for you to read for yourself:

    SEC. 1031. AFFIRMATION OF AUTHORITY OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES TO DETAIN COVERED PERSONS PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF MILITARY FORCE.

    (a) In General.—Congress affirms that the authority of the President to use all necessary and appropriate force pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40) includes the authority for the Armed Forces of the United States to detain covered persons (as defined in subsection (b)) pending disposition under the law of war.

    (b) Covered Persons.—A covered person under this section is any person as follows:

    (1) A person who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored those responsible for those attacks.

    (2) A person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces.

    (c ) Disposition Under Law of War.—The disposition of a person under the law of war as described in subsection (a) may include the following:

    (1) Detention under the law of war without trial until the end of the hostilities authorized by the Authorization for Use of Military Force.

    (2) Trial under chapter 47A of title 10, United States Code (as amended by the Military Commissions Act of 2009 (title XVIII of Public Law 111-84)).

    (3) Transfer for trial by an alternative court or tribunal having lawful jurisdiction.

    (4) Transfer to the custody or control of the person’s country of origin, any other foreign country, or any other foreign entity.

    (d) Construction.—Nothing in this section is intended to limit or expand the authority of the President or the scope of the Authorization for Use of Military Force.

    (e) Requirement for Briefings of Congress.—The Secretary of Defense shall regularly brief Congress regarding the application of the authority described in this section, including the organizations, entities, and individuals considered to be “covered persons’’ for purposes of subsection (b)(2).

    The key phrase, according to my reading, is: “A person who was a part of or substantially supported […] associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners.” With Libya, we saw Obama select a definition of “hostilities” from the War Powers Act that fit his preference for not seeking authorization for military action from Congress. Political protests are disruptive and hostile by definition, so what’s to prevent a President (Obama or future) from twisting this language to detain political protesters in the same way Obama twisted the language of the War Powers Act? Similar questions ned to be asked of other language in this section, e.g. “substantially supported,” “associated forces.”

    Read the ACLU’s take here:

    UPDATE: This provision is now cleared to pass the Senate unchanged. On a 37-61 vote the Senate rejected an amendment from Sen. Mark Udall [D, CO] that would have struck the provision from the bill. The full bill is expected to pas the Senate this week. President Obama has already issued a veto threat over the detention language, and from the roll call on the Udall amendment it appears that senators opposing the provision would have the votes to stop a veto override.”

    Read More Here:

    http://www.opencongress.org/articles/view/2438-Read-the-Military-Detention-Bill-

  20. Paxson | December 1, 2011 at 3:31 pm |

    marmar | December 1, 2011 at 2:55 pm |

    Marmar..I agree wholeheartedly. I want to make known that I personally will still vote for Cain if he is in the hunt by the time that the primaries head to Colorado. He is utlimately a good man, even if he has had some personal failings as we all do. Many, and I mean many, of my personal friends are moving towards Ron Paul rather than Newt. They make compelling arguments. I wish Ron were Rand in this election. These people were all Cain backers and still all like him a lot but feel as though he has gotten himself into a pickle that will be hard to win… No matter what happens, Herman Cain is still a good American and is on our side in the fight. This is why I find it to be curious that some people, supposed to be on our side, are finding such joy in kicking him when he is down.
    ____________________________________
    Paxson…I still have hope for Cain…I believe that he is telling the truth and I just don’t believe all of the BS the media says about his run being over. I am not ready to jump on the Newt bandwagon yet but if he is the nominee, I guess I will have to. Hope Cain will release the content of those texts.

  21. Marmar, re: Cain…I hope you are right. I agree with you about Newt. He is smart, mostly conservative and all that, but he has some real personality deficiencies that really grind on my nerves. I pray that our country gets the proper leader that we need in the end of this process next November.

  22. Cabby you called me naive and lacking critical thinking skills because I knew Cain was lying. Others have called me names. I am not after Cain. I am out to show you that you are wrong.

  23. Tina | December 1, 2011 at 6:26 pm |

    For what purpose are you trying to show Cabby wrong? Why do you engage in such counterproductive practices here?

  24. Interested Bystander

    Hey All,

    What makes you come to the conclusion that Cain is lying Tina???

    There is not one SHRED of evidence that Cain did ANYTING wrong.

    You say you trained managers how and how NOT to talk.

    You have to know that in the time of Monica, Paula and that lady from California that that California Representative (sorry can’t remember her name, Condit I think was the Rep) that companies were paying employees off to leave the company when they simply ACCUSED a manager or executive of sexual harassment. And then to see where thes women have gone.

    And Sharon’s accusation is simply a PASS at a vulnerable woman, IF it happened at all. Where’s the evidence Cain even met this woman in DC?

    The FACTS are that there are no FACTS that ANYTHING happened.

    But yet you KNOW he is lying.

    Do you know how ARROGANT that looks to reasonable people?

  25. IB. There is no doubt that all of this has probably mortally wounded Cain’s once promising chances of winning the Republican primary race. What I find to be distasteful is that some here have had such joy with the man’s fall from grace. No matter the outcome, as I and others have pointed out, he is still on our side of the equation in this battle of ideas in our once great nation.

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