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Blago Update: Six Secrets From The Obama Subpoena

Via NBC Chicago:
1. Obama may have lied about conversations with convicted fraudster Tony Rezko Blagojevich’s lawyers allege that Rezko admitted breaking the law by contributing “a large sum of cash” to a public official. Blagojevich’s attorneys say that public official is Obama. Obama said that Rezko never relayed a request from a lobbyist to hold a fundraiser in favor of favorable legislative action. But the point may be moot: regardless of Obama talking/not talking to Rezko, Blagojevich’s attorneys say that Obama refused the request regardless.
Oh, this could get interesting real quick. - Greg Pollowitz

Barofsky: GM Used TARP Money To Pay Back TARP Loan

Via Fox News:
A top Senate Republican on Thursday accused the Obama administration of misleading taxpayers about General Motors’ loan repayment, saying the struggling auto giant was only able to repay its bailout money by dipping into a separate pot of bailout money. Sen. Chuck Grassley’s charge was backed up by the inspector general for the bailout — also known as the Trouble Asset Relief Program, or TARP. Watchdog Neil Barofsky told Fox News, as well as the Senate Finance Committee, that General Motors used bailout money to pay back the federal government. “It appears to be nothing more than an elaborate TARP money shuffle,” Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, said in a letter Thursday to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.
Is anyone surprised? - Greg Pollowitz
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H’Wood OK With Illegal Detention Of Actors At Academy Awards?

Via Fox News:
. . .On the afternoon of March 7th, the actor and his wife dressed up for the Oscars and an usher for the event transported them from where they were staying at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel to a “resolution desk” where an Academy employee they had been communicating with was working. Avmen alleges that despite repeated requests to be able to return to the Roosevelt, he and his wife were “held against their will” for six hours in the Academy’s “detention center,” interrogated about how they were able to get onto the red carpet without tickets, and accused of lying and trespassing. At around 10pm, uniformed Los Angeles police officers arrived and took them to the station, but no charges were filed and Avmen claims that the officer apologized profusely for how they were treated by Academy officials.
No wonder Hollywood doesn't think waterboarding works. Their interrogation methods can't even crack an actor and his wife. - Greg Pollowitz

Sestak Confirms Possibly Illegal WH Job Offer

Via Washington Examiner:
Rep. Joe Sestak, D-Pa., dodged the important questions this morning about the job offer the White House allegedly made in order to get him out of the May 18 Pennsylvania Democratic primary for Senate. But in this interview with MSNBC’s Chuck Todd and Savannah Guthrie, Sestak does stick to his story of the possibly illegal offer. VIDEO:
Doesn't Eric Holder have a duty to investigate? - Greg Pollowitz

Text Of Blago Filing Involving Obama Subpoena

Via Chicago Sun-Times:
. . .9. Yet, despite President Obama stating that no representatives of his had any part of any deals, labor union president told the FBI and the United States Attorneys that he spoke to labor union official on November 3, 2008 who received a phone message from Obama that evening. After labor union official listened to the message labor union official told labor union president “I’m the one”. Labor union president took that to mean that labor union official was to be the one to deliver the message on behalf of Obama that Senate Candidate B was his pick. (Labor union president 302, February 2, 2009, p. 7).
Updates to follow. . . - Greg Pollowitz
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Game On: Blago Ready To Subpoena Obama

Via CBS 2 Chicago:
The defense team for deposed Gov. Rod Blagojevich has moved to subpoena President Barack Obama to testify at Blagojevich’s corruption trial. Blagojevich has pleaded not guilty to charges that accuse him of scheming to sell or trade the Senate seat left vacant by Obama’s election as president. The motion filed Thursday says Obama was interviewed for two hours by prosecutors and FBI agents regarding the Blagojevich case, and the defense filed a motion asking for all transcripts, notes and reports from that interview. But the defense never received the documents, the motion said.
Get the popcorn! - Greg Pollowitz

Franklin Graham: Islam Is ‘Horrid’ For Its Treatment Of Women

Via Fox News:
Evangelist Franklin Graham is sticking by his remarks about Islam, including that Muslims are “enslaved” by their religion, even as he faces being uninvited from the Pentagon’s National Day of Prayer service on May 6. Franklin, the son of famed evangelist Billy Graham, told Fox News on Thursday that he loves Muslim people and wants them to know that God loves them, even if they can be saved only through Jesus Christ. “I want them to know that they don’t have to die in a car bomb, don’t have to die in some kind of holy war to be accepted by God. But it’s through faith in Jesus Christ and Christ alone,” Graham said. Graham said said he loves the Muslim people, just not their religion — which he called “horrid” for its restrictions on women. “I love the people of Islam but their religion, I do not agree with their religion at all. And if you look at what the religion does just to women, women alone, it is just horrid. And so yes, I speak out for women. I speak out for people that live under Islam, that are enslaved by Islam and I want them to know that they can be free,” he said.
Graham is being asked to take the comment back, but, I'm not so sure what's so bad about it when taken in context. - Greg Pollowitz

Crisis In Europe: Belgium On Verge Of Collapse

Via Telegraph:
The wrangle has already brought down the government four times in the past three years but the latest spat is the gravest yet and threatens to split the country into Flemish areas and French-speaking areas. King Albert II warned politicians that the political crisis “seriously threatens” the country’s role in Europe, after the Prime Minister, Yves Leterme tendered his resignation. [...] However, Pierre Vercauteren, a political analyst at the University of Mons in Belgium, warned that the country was perhaps heading for implosion. “There is less and less belief in Belgium’s survival in the mid to long term,” he said.
I hope Belgium does split into two countries, if only because a new country named Wallonia would be kinda funny. - Greg Pollowitz

Biden: The President Thought My Cursing On TV Was Hilarious

Via Washington Post:
President Obama was “laughing like the devil” when Joe Biden was caught calling health-care reform a “big f–ing deal” last month, the vice president told “The View” on Thursday morning. “I was just thankful my mother couldn’t hear it. It was a little embarrassing,” Biden said. “I realized there was a microphone, I just had no idea it was that sensitive.”
Really??? - Greg Pollowitz

Reid Won’t Return Goldman Sachs Money

Via Fox News:
. . .Reid was suddenly hit with questions of his own about this fundraiser that raised $37,000, questions he dodged on Tuesday. “Clearly, I’m leading the effort to rein in Wall Street…I”m going to make sure that in this legislation I do everything within my ability to make sure that banks aren’t too big to fail,” Reid told reporters at his weekly news conference. Reid spokesman Jim Manley readily confirmed the meeting and made no bones about the Majority Leader keeping his campaign donations from the bank, reiterating that Reid is slapping the cuffs on bad Wall Street behavior as an explanation.
Of course he won't give it back. - Greg Pollowitz

Science: Marshmallows Can Predict Your Kids’ Future Success

Via CBS:
Testing footage shows children desperately trying to resist temptation. Their dilemma? Ring the bell, and get one marshmallow now. Or, wait, and get two marshmallows later. It’s called “the marshmallow test” and it can predict the future – sort of. Originally conducted more than 40 years ago, the studies continue today. Researchers consistently find that the group of kids who could force themselves to wait tend to have better lives and relationships. They also averaged 210 points higher on their SATs than the kids who could not hold off. “If you can be focused on your goal and you can have self control to achieve that goal you can achieve a lot more in life,” said author Ellen Galinsky.
I wonder if anyone has ever studied the future success of children based on whether their parents forced them into dumb psych tests or not? - Greg Pollowitz

GREAT NEWS: First Of Three SEALs Cleared In Iraq

Via AP:
A U.S. military jury cleared a Navy SEAL Thursday of failing to prevent the beating of an Iraqi prisoner suspected of masterminding a 2004 attack that killed four American security contractors. The contractors’ burned bodies were dragged through the streets and two were hanged from a bridge over the Euphrates river in the former insurgent hotbed of Fallujah, in what became a turning point in the Iraq war. The trial of three SEALs, the Navy’s elite special forces unit, in the abuse case has outraged many Americans who see it as coddling terrorists. A six-man jury found Petty Officer 1st Class Julio Huertas, 29, of Blue Island, Illinois, not guilty of charges of dereliction of duty and attempting to influence the testimony of another service member. The jury spent two hours deliberating the verdict. “It’s a big weight off my shoulders,” a smiling and composed Huertas said as he left the courthouse at the U.S. military’s Camp Victory on Baghdad’s western outskirts.
Two more to go. - Greg Pollowitz

Paging Michelle Obama: Mexico Is Safe, Except The Hotels

Via Los Angeles Times:
In a bold predawn attack, gunmen stormed a hotel Wednesday in the heart of the northern city of Monterrey and kidnapped at least three people, officials said. Mexican media said up to 50 hooded gunmen arrived in a convoy and burst into the downtown Holiday Inn, seizing guests and employees. Law enforcement officials, offering only scant details by late afternoon, said it was not immediately clear whether a fourth person was seized or how many gunmen took part in the 3 a.m. attack. Authorities offered no motive for the kidnappings, but the attack bore the hallmarks of Mexico’s drug gang violence.
Dude, where's our border fence? - Greg Pollowitz

Good Poll News For Obama: People Still Blame Bush For Crappy Economy

Via Gallup:
More than a year into Barack Obama’s presidency, Americans are more likely to say George W. Bush is responsible for today’s economic problems than they are to say Obama is responsible. Gallup shows a significant uptick since last July in the percentage of Americans blaming Obama at least a moderate amount (from 32% to 50%), but little decrease (from 80% to 75%) in the percentage blaming Bush. Proportionally, the gap in perceived culpability for current economic problems is even wider when one looks at the percentage blaming each president “a great deal” — 26% for Obama and 42% for Bush.
I expect we'll see much more of "I inherited this" from the president. - Greg Pollowitz

Bertha Lewis: Today Is Worse Than Internment Camps

Via Big Government:
. . .Any of these groups that says, “I’m young, I’m Democratic, and I’m a socialist,” is okay with me. You know that’s no light thing to do — to actually say, I’m a socialist. You’ve got to know, actually, we are living in a time that’s going to dwarf the McCarthy era. We are living in a time that’ll dwarf the internment era of internment during World War II. We are right now in a time that is going to dwarf the era of Jim Crow and segregation.
I think those who lived through segregation, the McCarthy era and internment camps might think differently. - Greg Pollowitz

Good News: Burma Trying To Go Nuclear

Via Fox News:
For the past year, intelligence agencies in the U.S. and Asia have been watching as equipment and machines capable of being used to build nuclear weapons have been flowing into Burma, raising the specter that the isolated and secretive Southeast Asian nation may become the world’s second rogue nuclear power. Because of the nature of Burma’s paranoid and repressive ruling military junta, there is tremendous fear that, if it acquires a nuclear capability, it will set off an arms race that could change the political dynamics of Southeast Asia.
Gird your loins. - Greg Pollowitz

Trig-Trutherism Never Gets Old

Via Andrew Sullivan:
. . .The reason I banged on and on about Palin’s bizarre story about her fifth campaign prop during the campaign was not because I wanted to invade someone’s privacy, or engage in loony conspiracy theories. The reason is simply that this story raised legitimate questions of fact, and that the press decided that it would never ask the relevant questions, and indeed ostracize and ridicule those who did. Palin managed to sail through the campaign without any real scrutiny on a crucial matter of credibility, when proving her case would have been as easy as a simple fax of a readily available extract from what must have been voluminous medical records. But not even the McCain campaign asked for such evidence. And the press utterly bailed. Now, she is able to use one powerful propaganda outlet, press-restricted buck-raking speeches, and a book of magical realism to continue this creepy, unaccountable celebrified campaign.
I guess if we on the Right were to ask the same of President Obama and demand his transcripts and and an explanation of how he was able to transfer from Occidental to Columbia, we'd be racists or something. On a more positive note, a belated happy birthday to Trig. Photo above via Sarah Palin. - Greg Pollowitz

Court-Martial Of Navy SEAL Begins In Iraq

Via Fox News:
An alleged terrorist accused in the grisly murders of four Americans appeared in court Wednesday in Iraq. But Ahmed Hashim Abed isn’t the one on trial. Instead, he was testifying against one of the Navy Seals who arrested him last September. Petty Officer First Class Julio Huertas of Blue Island, Illinois, is being tried at a military base on the western outskirts of Baghdad. Huertas and two other Navy Seals face charges in connection with Abed’s arrest, during which the prisoner claims he was punched and kicked by at least one of his captors.
I really can't believe this is happening. - Greg Pollowitz

IMF: We Need More Taxes On Banks

Via Telegraph:
In a report delivered to G20 nations on Tuesday, but yet to be published, the Fund has urged countries around the world to impose two new taxes on financial institutions: a “financial stability contribution” which levies a small charge on their balance sheets, and a “financial activities tax”, which taxes excess profits, including bonuses. The recommendations are likely to strike fear into a banking sector reeling from the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s fraud charges against Goldman Sachs.
GM made a profit. Why not double-tax them, too? - Greg Pollowitz

Silvio Berlusconi Accused Of ‘Sacrilege’

Via Times of London:
Silvio Berlusconi was accused today of committing sacrilege with the complicity of the Vatican after he was shown on television taking holy communion at a funeral even though he is twice married and is seeking a divorce from his second wife. Mr Berlusconi, 73, took communion at the funeral in Milan of Raimondo Vianello, a veteran television variety show star. Vatican officials said this was permissible because Mr Berlusconi, 73, was in the process of divorcing Veronica Lario, his second wife, and was de facto separated from her. Archbishop Rino Fisichella, head of the Pontifical Council for Life, said the Church had not therefore made an exception for him.
More problems for the Vatican? - Greg Pollowitz

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