18Jul/130

CNS News gets Blagojevich story right

Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief

Heads up reporting at CNSNews.com sets them apart from the rest of the media. CNS News is the only media outlet that picked up on what is the most important story surrounding the Blagojevich appellate brief filed with the court on Monday, July 15, 2013. THE TAPES! (You know, the ones that Blagojevich wants played and only Tribune reporters John Chase and Jeff Coen have copies of)

So, while the MSM put their stenographers on Blago's appeal, CNS News, who employs real Journalists, came away with an important story everyone else in the media is missing.

CNS News Excerpt:

Blagojevich’s lawyers also claimed that Zagel “misled” the jury regarding the legal standards needed to prove fraud, extortion and bribery by “excluding evidence of the defendant’s good faith” and “misstating" his defense in Zagel’s instructions to jurors.

Five days prior to Blagojevich’s arrest early on Dec. 9, 2008, Chicago Tribune reporter John Chase called his press aide and informed him that the governor was being wiretapped by the FBI. Blagojevich instructed his brother, Robert, to call off a meeting he had scheduled with Jackson supporter Raghu Nayak.

Prosecutors incorrectly characterized the cancelled meeting and Nayak’s “vague offer” to raise $1.5 million for Blagojevich if he appointed Jackson to the Senate as “soliciting a bribe,” Blagojevich’s lawyers contended.

However, the brief made no mention of the fact that Chase and fellow Tribune reporter Jeff Coen were given exclusive access to 1,800 pages of court-sealed federal wiretap transcripts that Blagojevich was not allowed to use for his defense. Blagojevich’s defense team never called Chase to testify about how he and Coen got access to the tapes, which they quoted extensively in their book, “Golden: How Rod Blagojevich Talked Himself Out of the Governor’s Office and into Prison,” which was published last fall.

While on their book tour, the authors insisted there was “no legal ban” on publishing excerpts from the same tapes that Zagel would not allow Blagojevich to play in court.

Neither reporter responded to an inquiry by CNSNews.com about whether they would make the tapes publicly available.

Read entire CNS article here: Blagojevich Appeal: ‘One-Sided’ Rules Barred Defense From Playing Tapes

Bravo Barbara Hollingsworth and CNS News for getting it right.

13Oct/110

Chicago’s Political Sensei, Congressman Jesse Jackson, Junior

Thomas Barton, Illinois Pay-to-PlayPolitical Commentator

In a recent interview with a reporter from The Daily Caller, Chicago’s own Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr., displayed his karate sensei-like political skills in offering a clear, novel, and creative suggestion to President Obama on how to get his Jobs’ Bill enacted. (That’s J.J., Jr., above, on the left.)

With a range of verbal dexterity seldom witnessed among contemporary politicians, J.J., Jr. chopped his way through all the fuss and fury surrounding the Obama administration’s failing efforts to get Congress to pass his Jobs Bill.

With the decisive thrust of the agile Karate Master, he defined a solution for the President.  In his interview with Nicholas Ballasy – an apropos last name for a man willing to stand toe-to-toe with J.J., Jr., while representing a non-liberal news outlet – Ballasy listened stone-faced as the Congressman advised the President.

In case you think you might have mistaken what he said, here’s part of it, as reported in The Daily Caller:

“President Obama tends to idealize [suppose he meant idolize?] — and rightfully so —Abraham Lincoln, who looked at states in rebellion and he made a judgment that the government of the United States, while the states are in rebellion, still had an obligation to function,” Jackson told The DC at his Capitol Hill office on Wednesday.

“On several occasions now, we’ve seen … the Congress is in rebellion, determined, as Abraham Lincoln said, to wreck or ruin at all costs. I believe … in the direct hiring of 15 million unemployed Americans at $40,000 a head, some more than $40,000, some less than $40,000 — that’s a $600 billion stimulus. It could be a five-year program. For another $104 billion, we bailout all of the states … for another $100 billion, we bailout all of the cities,” he said.

Jackson added that his $804 billion stimulus plan is the only way to solve the unemployment crisis. “I support the jobs plan. I support the president’s re-election. I support Barack Obama,” he said. “But at this hour, we need a plan that meets the size and scope of the problem to put the American people to work.”

“We’ve got to go further. I support what [Obama] does. Clearly, Republicans are not going to be for it but if the administration can handle administratively what can be done, we should pursue it. And if there are extra-constitutional opportunities that allow the president administratively to put the people to work, he should pursue every single one of them,” Jackson suggested.

He also said that the Presidents solution to the jobs problem is about “one-twentieth” of the problem.  So, if we take, say, $600,000,000,000 as the minimum cost of the President’s Job Bill, and multiply that by 20, we get a J.J., Jr. solution that will cost about – just a second while I get out my jumbo calculator – $12,000,000,000,000, as in twelve trillion dollars.  (Somewhere in China, people are laughing in their noodle soup.)

Although J.J., Jr. didn’t have time to define the work these 15 million unemployed Americans would be doing to earn their incomes from the Federal Government, doubtless some would be engaged in: voter registration campaigns among heavily disenfranchised communities – like his, of course; changing light bulbs in every American’s home in order to dispense with the incandescent bulb and substitute a G.E. florescent unit Make in China;  picketing outside the homes of Tea Party members and persons identified as rich Republicans; and, as the ’12 general election approaches, serving as audience extras for enthusiastic Obama Rallies For Victory.

Only a political sensei like J.J., Junior would think to equate Congressional Republicans with the Confederate States of America of the Civil War era, and compare Republican (and some Democrat) opposition to Obama as a Rebellion. The linkage is, well…pure brilliance.

And, to complete the analogy, J.J., Jr. suggests that Obama declare a national emergency, suspend the U.S. Constitution, and simply dictate policy.  (Hey, it worked for King George III and even Der Fuehrer, for awhile anyway.)

Let’s see if the editorial page of the Sun Times, or the Tribune, endorses J.J., Jr.’s solutions. 50-50 odds.