You just can’t make this up


Chicago 2016

If you live in Chicago and notice several melanin challenged folks sitting in unmarked cars outside the homes of Jesse Jackson Jr or Danny Davis, drop a brotha a line.

Yesterday, after a 90 minute meeting with Governor Rod “Soprano” Blagojevich about the Senate Appointment, Jesse Jr. had this to say:

I am convinced that the Governor has a very thoughtful process that he has put in place and is wrestling and weighing a number of issues in this enormous decision that he has to make…Today, I leave confident that the Governor has put in place processes and that his interview process for this position is thoughtful.


Today, about 6:00 in the A.M., the Feds arrested the Governor for his so-called “thoughtful process” of extortion and my head exploded as I thought “Lord, what has Jesse Jr. done.”

Reacting yesterday to reports of a federal wiretap,  Governor Soprano said, “It kind of smells of Nixon and Watergate.”  Indeed.

You just can’t make this s*it up.

The more one reads about Blagojevich, the more he resembles the fictional Tony Soprano who masquerades as a legitmate businessman while surreptitiously running a major crime family.  Blagojevich is nothing more than a common criminal and his delusional meltdown into a mobster masquerading as a legitimate politician is as disturbing as it is comical.  Blagojevich makes Kwame Kilpatrick and Bill Jefferson look like statesmen.

Not to be outdone by Jesse Jr, Congressman Danny Davis has also been publicly campaigning for this seat and Governor Soprano had this to say after slipping and calling Davis “Senator.”  

Congressman Davis is a very good person.  He and I have worked together in Congress, and I know the kind of man he is. I know that he is a good, decent man, and you don’t find a lot of that in politics…I’m breaking my rules about speculating on a candidate, but Congressman Davis is here, and I can tell you he’s certainly a strong candidate for the position.

Gawd help us.

Witnessing the minstrel show put on by two senior members of the Congressional Black Caucus shamelessly kissing up to an ethically challenged Governor under federal investigation is yet another black eye for the CBC and a clear sign of their complete bankruptcy as a progressive black institution.

First, Davis and Jackson join a majority of the CBC to sell out the black community at Obama’s request by supporting the bailout of Wall Street over Main Street, and now this.

The President-Elect has feigned ignorance of this matter, but reading the criminal complaint against Blagojevich and the manner in which everyone who approached Governor Soprano was shaken down, it seems implausible to this Skeptical Brotha that word of the Governor’ outrageous extortion didn’t make it’s way back through the grapevine to Barack Obama.

Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn has obviously called on Blagojevich, with whom he has had no communication since 2007, to step down.   It is time for the President-Elect to do the same.

40 thoughts on “You just can’t make this up

  1. franko

    SB, you’ve been away too long! Still waiting to hear your thoughts on Hillary being nominated for SOS and Dollar Bill getting beat by a Vietnamese Republican.

  2. goodtimepolitics

    I don’t know that much about Chicago but I would have throught that anyone running for President would not of wanted to start his campaign there among all the corrupted politicians! Barack should have known that all these friends would come back to hurt him!

  3. Skep,

    Everyone knows that Blagojevich is a crook. He’s been under investigation by the Feds—Patrick Fitzgerald to be exact—for about three years. That’s what makes these allegations stunning. Rod shouldn’t be prosecuted on corruption charges. Rather he is guilty of cruel and unusual stupidity.

    That being said, not even the most cynical observer of politics could have guessed that a man who has watched staff member after staff member go to jail, could try to pull off something this craven. To suggest that Obama was somehow in the know is silly.

  4. TripLBee,

    I am not alleging Obama’s entanglement in this extortion scheme, just that he became aware of it quite recently because of Blagojevich’s incredibly hamhanded stupidity. There is no way that somebody could concoct a scheme of this magnitude and hide it from everyone but those extorted. Somebody spilled it to the new Admin.

  5. njc

    From the New York Times:

    Obama’s “phone call made three months ago to urge passage of a state ethics bill indirectly contributed to the downfall of a fellow Democrat he twice supported, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich. State Senator Emil Jones Jr., a mentor of Mr. Obama.

    Mr. Obama placed the call to his political mentor, Emil Jones Jr., president of the Illinois Senate. Mr. Jones was a critic of the legislation, which sought to curb the influence of money in politics, as was Mr. Blagojevich, who had vetoed it. But after the call from Mr. Obama, the Senate overrode the veto, prompting the governor to press state contractors for campaign contributions before the law’s restrictions could take effect on Jan. 1, prosecutors say.

    Tipped off to Mr. Blagojevich’s efforts, federal agents obtained wiretaps for his phones and eventually overheard what they say was scheming by the governor to profit from his appointment of a successor to the United States Senate seat being vacated by President-elect Obama

  6. akech

    There have been “accidental” searches on or peeks at the President-elect records since last year, 2007.

    Last year, his passport was breached by some contract employee. To explain away the breach, it was reported that McCain’ and Hillary’s passports were also breached. Towards the conclusion of November 2008 presidential election, his campaign organization’s data bank was hacked into supposedly by some foreign government. To camouflage that tacking, it was alleged that McCain’s campaign office was also hacked.
    The hacking of Obama’s campaign data bank netted the illegal alien aunty from Kenya living in Boston area who had illegally contributed $265 to his campaign. Very recently, his cellular phone records were accidentally accessed by un-authorized Verizon employees.

    We now learn that the Governor of Illinois was wiretapped for trying to auction off Obama’s vacated US Senate seat to the highest bidder. A conspiracy theorist, like me, can easily conclude that Obama is definitely being targeted for a takedown of some kind before inauguration. These other added characters are merely diversions to explain away the facts.

    Additionally, there seems to be relentless effort to prove that the President-elect is not an American citizen and thus declare his election to the presidency null and void. What is going on?

    The British media have also raised concerns about how friendly or not President-Elect will be towards Great Britain who tortured his Kenyan grand-father during the fight for Kenyan independence!!

    Furthermore, many Congressional Black Caucus members were with Hillary Clinton almost to the end. They had to be released by her after the primaries were over. Jesse Jackson wanted to castrate him and Bob Johnson demanded that Hillary be made Vice-President. Bill Clinton is going to control Obama’s foreign policy!!

    I HOPE THE PRESIDENT-ELECT is aware that he is surrounded by people whose hidden agendas may as well bring him down!!

  7. imhotep

    I grew up in Chicago, thru the first Daley, Jane Byrne, Harold, and the second Daley, the city and state is corrupt from top to bottom. I’m embarrassed that the Gov. was so brazen. All the examples he has had of acceptable corruption, how to corrupt properly without getting caught, that and considering Illinois has had 3 previous Gov. arrested for similar shenanigans, should have schooled him properly. That’s how its done in Illinois. Other officials like gifts or prostitutes, Chicago/Illinois politicians like money, particularly under the table, you can buy that other stuff with the illegal proceeds. Jesse Jr and Danny Davis know the deal, you got to pay to play. Even after all this is over , you STILL will have to pay to play, that won’t change. The Gov. pissed somebody off with his arrogance or his RATES, and somebody blew the whistle on him. Bragojevich’s story is ironic because his whole campaign was about reform and getting rid of corruption. I guess what he meant was get rid of corruption of OTHERS, so I can get me some! Obama knows all about Illinois and Chicago, it’s like growing up in the Projects, you know what’s going on all around you, you just try to keep from being caught up in it, or getting shot, so you keep your head down and keep moving. Believe me if Obama had some dirt on him we would have heard about it already. Illinois is just gearing up because they have one of their own in the White House and know/expect the gravy train to stop frequently through Illinois. Rahm, was the one who pulled the trigger on him. The script got flipped on the Gov. Black politicians in Chicago just look black, their Blackness just determines their under-the-table pay grade and schedule. Obama didn’t go that route. His blackness was questioned by the “real” black politicians, he didn’t seek their favor.

    You want a real taste of what Black Chicago politics is all about? For those old enough or have Nick@Nite, there was a bald character on Good Times, the congressman that would stroll thru now and again, always getting Wilona’s name wrong. Bingo, that is no exaggeration.

  8. imhotep,

    Jesse Jr has been identified as candidate #5 who, according to the criminal complaint against the Governor, offered Blagojevich some “pay to play” payola in exchange for the appointment.

    MSNBC is reporting that Junior will hold a presser at 4:15 from Capitol Hill.

  9. Blago is the son-in-law of one Alderman Richard ‘Dick’ Mell(North Side Ethnic Dems), one of those Alderman that has been there for forever, and knows where all the bodies are buried.

    Mell and his son-in-law have officially been on the outs for YEARS, beginning with a public feud about an illegal dump. Yes, they were fighting about an illegal dump.

    Blago has very few allies in Springfield. He and The Speaker of the Illinois House – Michael Madigan (Southwest Side Ethnic Dems) – HATE each other. Madigan has done everything he could to stop anything that Blago wants to do. He does it because they don’t like each other personally, and because Madigan wants to block Blago, so that Madigan’s daughter- LISA- the current Attorney General (gotta love Illinois familial politics)- can run for Governor.

    Lt. Governor Pat Quinn – a populist straight shooter – hasn’t spoken with Blago for OVER A YEAR.

    State Senate President – Emil Jones – who is retiring – was Blago’s strongest ally in Springfield.

    Blago’s wife – Patti – questions about her business contacts. (let’s stop being kind – she’s a fucking crook too. She learned it honestly- at her father’s knee.)

    Did Rahm drop the dime?

    Who knows.

    Candidate 1- probably Valerie Jarrett

    For those who think that this is the reason Guitierrez dropped out, let me give you some more food for thought. Yesterday’s Chicago Tribune had a front page story about dear Luis making $420,000 from his real estate dealings in a very short amount of time. Don’t think that’s going away.

    Now, is Candidate 5 Jesse Jackson, Jr.? I don’t know. And, I hope not.

    It seems that he might be, but I’m wondering where he’d get the money. Emil Jones has the money.

    But, let’s remember: Blago has only been arrested. He hasn’t been indicted. And, I don’t see him resigning without indictment.

  10. I know the right wing, and the media, being the lazy ass mofos want it simple. But, it’s not simple.

    I’ve tried writing to folks who just don’t seem to get it:

    Obama is no innocent, but considering that he’s been involved in Chicago and Illinois politics – he’s one of the cleanest to come from Illinois.

    You’d have to understand Chicago and Illinois to understand how many bullets he dodged.

    He was never an Alderman.
    He was never a Committeeman.
    He was never a Cook County Board Commissioner.
    (ALL of these are roads filled with bribes, and a tape recording sometime in the future).

    He WAS a State Senator, and not in the State House. In the State Senate, he found a Black man willing to mentor him politically.

    In the State House, he would have been sent out into the field to toil for Massa Michael Madigan. (and yes, I do mean MASSA)

    Even though he was a prolific State Senator, he wasn’t part of Senate Leadership. (which had the hookups to the committees, and the appointment of contracts).

    He LOST the Congressional race to Bobby Rush ( a stroke of luck that he would be thankful later.)

    By the time Obama got SERIOUS power – as a U.S. Senator – he could be ‘detached’ from Illinois politics, and set up levels of barriers between him and the serious crooks.

    That’s why I LOL at folks who wanted him to run for Governor of Illinois. – HELL NO – wayyy too many opportunities to find people that can trip you up.

    Last thing: Barack Obama was elected from the only place in the city where he would be credible to ‘reformers’, and ‘Black folk’. Now, he could have probably been elected as a ‘ reformer’ from some North Side District. He would have had the REFORMER credentials, but be credible to Black folk? A Black man elected by White North Side Liberals?

    Um, no.
    And, because he was elected from the district that he was, it allowed him a certain bit of leeway, because any other district, and certain ‘ rules’ would have to apply – you know? The North Side Liberals, and Hyde Park Folks were always those ‘ crazy, hippie, liberal, White idealists’ -you know, so him talking about ethics and reform was no big deal – he was from ‘ THAT’ district – what did you expect.

    The shocking thing isn’t that Blago would try and shakedown a President-elect. The shocking thing is that he would do it, knowing that the guvmint’s been after him for a good 4 or 5 years. Of course, he probably believes he’s drinking from the same well as King Richard Daley, II. As I’ve explained, that man has had practically everyone around him arrested, indicted or sent to jail. The local media has done their job – they’ve uncovered scandals and financial corruption that is chugging towards the HALF BILLION DOLLAR mark, and not a whiff of Richard II being arrested.

    Hope I helped.

  11. Rahm so dropped the dime on Blago.

    The man is auctioning off a Senate seat like we’re at Sotheby’s.

    Threatening the Chicago Tribune.

    Holding money hostage for a Children’s Hospital.

    If someone wrote this in a book, folks would decline it, because it wouldn’t seem ‘ real enough’.

  12. Rikyrah is spot on. As a long time resident of Hyde Park, it is the only part of the city that is not in the clutches of the Daly/corrupt Democratic Party machine. The fact that Obama chose to live there and start his political career there is no coincidence. He is the only clean politician to come out of Chicago since Adlai Stevenson.

  13. I loved the bow tie Simon used to sport. A white dude in a bow tie looks smart and nerdy, a brother in a bow tie looks like there may be a bean pie involved.

  14. As far as Jesse Jr is concerned…

    Black folk don’t come back. They can only come back with other Black folk, and Black folk were never Jesse Jr’s problem to begin with.

    While I will never say never, I will say this:

    His ambitions have just been derailed for a decade.

    He already had 1 1/2 strikes against him – his name was Jesse Jackson, Jr.

    And though, there’s no chance he’ll lose his Congressional seat – any hope for anything statewide is now gone.


    And no way to Obama appointing him to anything – that road is gone too, until a second Obama term.

    He just better be content with being in Congress, and that his wife has solidified her control over their Ward – she is both the Alderman and Committeeman – which means, nothing happens in that ward without her permission, and……

    You can fill in the and…..

    That ward sits on the largest parcel of undeveloped lakefront land.

    So, you fill in the and….

    Jesse Jr. should have known better. When a weasel like Luis Gutierrez backs away from something, that should have been the signal : RUN FOR THE HILLS.

  15. Rikyrah,

    Again, I think you’re spot on. He can cool his heels as a Congressman for the next decade or so, but all other prospects are out the window. He let his ambition get the best of him.

  16. now, the rest of the players:

    Lt. Governor Pat Quinn – as I said before – he’s a populist. He’s one of the ‘ Goo Goo’ folks. ——-Good Government Do-Gooders.

    They put him in the Lt. Gov. Position, because they thought that was the place he could do the least amount of damage.

    The folks who put Quinn there no more thought he’d become Governor..than the folks who put David Paterson in in New York.

    Lisa Madigan – no, I don’t like her. Yes, because he last name is Madigan, and I can’t stand her father Massa Michael Madigan. Maybe it’s not fair, but I don’t care. If downstate folks can hold it against Jesse Jackson, Jr., then I can hold it against her. She does have 2 little kids under the age of 3, so I don’t know if I see her taking the Senate seat.

  17. Chi

    Lisa Madigan…A little too over the top-
    Way too much posturing…I feel inclined to say: give it a rest already lady!

    If I see her spewing on one more t.v show I’ll puke!
    There just seems to be a mean, vindictive streak about her-

    This certainly hasn’t been a great year for women politicians…I certainly do not feel a part of this so called sisterhood – its pathetic!

  18. RisingTide

    Hillary was for real — and she’s competent, even if she SUCKS as a manager.
    Caroline? nah. Palin? mf-ing NO!

  19. Andrea

    Why wasn’t Jesse Jr. on the short list? Didn’t he co-chair the presidential campaign? Didn’t he reprimand his daddy for all to see where his loyalty laid? I just find it…peculiar.

    I mean why wasn’t he on the list? And why are people not peeping this? Jesse Jr. knew he was not on the list for all he did in service to the Chosen One but somehow or something hindered it from being enough in penance for either his birthright as Jesse’s son or because he was never really part of Obama’s inner-circle.

    Was he punished because of his bloodline and that blood, Obama could not trust? Or was Obama keeping a distance from the bloodline until he needed him again?

    How does the Jacksons feel now? All of them? How does Jesse Jr. and his wife feel? How does other members that audition for the inner-circle feel now that they still are not in?

    Is there something about Jesse that makes Obama unsettled or does he owe the 5 more? Does he think the five would be more effective? What’s acceptable merit to get on Obama’s list?

    We were not supposed to acknowledge this transparency of Obama’s feelings toward Jesse Jr. and as well we were not supposed to see Jesse naked in such a vulnerable position as well. Obama wanted to push transparency in government but I don’t think he wanted his personal political strives shown transparently.

  20. Darryl

    Maybe “Skeptical” will not delete this post…..

    Jesse could not win re-election to the seat in a state-wide race two years from now. The other candidates on the short list have broader appeal in Illinois. Outside of the lemmings in his district, Jesse Jr. name is an enathema.

    Wanting to keep a super majority in the Senate is more important than Jr.’s so-called loyalty. Jr. forced his way onto the “National” Co-Chairmanship as a way for the Jackson family to cover all the bases. Mama Jackson was for Hillary and his spouse would not commit to either.

    Obama did not want to have any more Bill Ayers, Rev. Wright issues and justifiably did not want to risk anything with the Jacksons. And after these relavations about pay to play, his instincts appear to be correct.

  21. Andrea,

    Obama shouldn’t have even had a list. He should have put in a caretaker for that position. Someone who would serve out the term, and leave it open for 2010, and let whoever wanted to run do so.

    I believe it was wrong to not have Jackson, Jr. on the list, but as someone who supported Jackson, Jr., I lived under no illusions. I knew that even if he got the appointment. Even if he did the retail politicking that needed to be done – basically, him spending every waking moment not in DC outside of Chicago for the next 2 years, that the best he could do, in a DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY – was a 50/50 chance for getting the nomination.

  22. Now, who was on the list again?

    Jarrett – not really serious

    Duckworth – not really serious

    Shakowsky – sorta serious, but NO statewide recognition

    Hynes, Madigan : Both from Illinois Political families. They have the name, and the inmade organization, as well as the financial hookup. Inoffensive, bland, and could easily beat the generic Republican opponent.

  23. Andrea


    If that is the case of how some politicos see Jesse Jr, think about it, no one is brave enough to tell him that inconvenient truth about himself or how he rates. That means he doesn’t know or want to except his limitations or he thought, there was glitches prohibiting his advancement. Anyway you look at it, Obama felt one way and Jesse was not not in favor.

    So for all of that voluntary hazing he performed for Obama, he stood did not even register to Rahm’s list, as according to the news reports. There was no sixth on the list. At least for all of his hazing in a nice and pretty, ice cream on top perfect world, a person should at least get a chance to be on the list even if at the bottom. But dang…Obama did not even give him the consideration he auditioned for.

    I see the entire episode showing the Black Establishment’s denial of who Obama is and where they fit in his center. Actually, I like it because finally someone (I actually have to thank Obama and I am not reluctant about it) may have finally paid them back for being such self-serving politicians. For all the service they submitted to Obama, I think now they will factor in reality that they have to work a different way ’cause he don’t care if you volunteer to audition and then sell yourself to him. He still seems to not be buying. But he will take your gracious support.

    When will we learn?

    I make no qualms and I don’t buy into fantasies that people like me because they are cordial and will talk to me. You really have to be honest with yourself and understand when people don’t want to fuck with you like that. And from there you know where you stand, they stand, that they may be swarmy and not tell you the truth, but it is your responsibility to see clearly what people are saying without words.

    This is sad for Jesse Jr. because it shows his desperation in a sense. Everyone could have pinched for the position but it also would have been a waste of time not heeding the reading that we were not favored…that much as we were hoping to be.

  24. Andrea,

    I understand your feelings for Jesse Jr, because I share them. I believe he’s very bright, and talented. But, the only chance he had of moving up was this appointment. He NEVER would win in an open Democratic Primary, without having a track record in the Senate to point to. It is a shame, because policy-wise, he definitely already is on the side of the folks that won’t vote for him. But, this is a case where they wouldn’t vote their best interests; I have no faith that they would. Qualified – of course he is. But, this appointment was his only shot. And being hung with Blago, in any way, means his ambitions have been derailed for another decade.

  25. She has to show promise in her ward first. If she can show some development in her ward. That she’s made a change in it. Personally, I think it’s a goldmine that she’s not going to be willing to give up. This is her first time in political office. But, yes, I believe, down the road, she or Jesse, Jr. will be running for Mayor.

  26. Darryl

    They will one, either of them, and they will lose.

    Face it, Harold needed 99.9% of black votes plus liberal whites and latino votes and he BARELY won.

    Jr. would not even get 80% of Black votes – he has stepped on too many old guard toes- let alone any white ethnic votes.

    When Daley lets it go, it is going to be a free for all and Chicago will become Detroit.

  27. TripLBee

    So do today’s revelations provide Jesse Jr. with some measure of redemption? It really does appear that he is the victim of a hyperactive media and in fact was dropping the dime on Blago.

  28. Darryl

    Junior is a rat that only found religion when the system did not work for him or his wife (getting a state job).

    The beauty of all of this is that Jr. will never achieve any higher office. He has been officially exposed as a snitching rat that will do anything to save his own skin.

    No one in politics will ever trust him. And knowing how the Feds used wires against Dr. Martin Luther King, how could the son of one his trusted disciples come to trust the Feds today ?

    The trust is, the Jacksons are for the Jacksons and the hell with everyone else.

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