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Dash of Pepper

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The ghosts of Christmas past
By SHEILAH PEPPER
The Gazette Staff
The president-elect is yet to be sworn in, but already, this December, the ghosts of Christmas past have returned to haunt him.
Mr. Ayers, the unrepentant terrorist has surfaced on the broadcast networks, saying the things he was involved with 40 years ago weren't really so bad - which takes moral relativism to a new low.
Rev. Jeremiah Wright was taped, back in a pulpit somewhere, telling his listeners that the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on Japan on June 7th, 1941. The man needs a history lesson, among other things.
But all of that has been dwarfed by the spectacle coming out of Chicago, with the U.S. Attorney and FBI charging the governor of that state, Rod Blagojevich, of trying to sell Mr. Obama's U.S. Senate seat. The governor has the right to name a successor to sit for the remainder of Obama's term and he apparently, was trying to parley this into lots of cash or a high paying job, or a position in the new administration in D.C.
The Chicago scandal is at once appalling in both its scope, breadth, and the sheer brazen greed of the major players, some as yet unnamed.
But it's also delicious. Why?
Because it's such good old-fashioned graft and corruption wherein the lust for power meets lust for money. There's nothing subtle or nuanced here. As columnist Mona Charen said recently, it's a scandal you can tell your children about - a classic case of good versus evil.
Whether they eventually face charges or not, the bad guys are clearly bad guys. There's no one playing footsie in a men's washroom, or leaking the identity of a covert operative who turns out to not be covert. The governor is on tape seeking a deal for the senate seat, among other things, in a blitz of expletives. On one tape, his wife is also heard in the background using the F-word. Well, at least it's a united marriage.
There's also the matter of Mr. Rezko, now convicted. As one pundit said, a caged bird can sing, with abandon, knowing the cat (Blago) can't get to him - so that could be interesting.
The mainstream media is now busy trying to paint the Illinois governor as somewhat crazy and suffering some sort of mental illness. I don't buy it. Why can they not call wickedness wicked? He's a crook. It is what it is.
A whole other issue is the identity of Advisor B, based in D.C., who is on tape discussing with Blagojevich and his staff various ways in which the governor could be rewarded if the president-elect's choice for a successor was selected to fill the Senate seat. The president-elect's choice for chief of staff, Congressman (from Chicago) Rahm Emmanuel has been strangely silent and missing in action since the Blago scandal hit the news. Some Washington sources are saying he is not a target of the investigation. We'll see.
U.S. Attorney Fitzgerald made his charges public on December 9th. In a note of delightful irony, December 9th is the United Nations Anti-Corruption Day, a day aimed "to raise public awareness of corruption and what people can do to fight it."
As I write, the governor's chief of staff has resigned. One can only imagine what kind of songs he will be singing to Attorney Fitzgerald.
Given the print lag, by the time you read this, other ghosts from Mr. Obama's past may have materialized. But I believe he will remain largely untainted. He leaves a trail of wreckage behind him, but he's cool, he's very smooth and he will skate.
Copyright©2008SheilahPepper
Last Updated on Friday, 12 June 2009 14:21  

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