Archive for the ‘chief of staff’ Category

Team Obama Reflects the Era of Richard Nixon’s Dirty Tricks

March 11, 2009

Obama’s boy wonders, including his Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanual, remind me of the Richard Nixon era.  Back then, Republicans hired a political screwball named Donald Segretti to pull pranks on the Democrats.  He issued some false press releases, told trains bearing Democrats to leave before the  party leader’s scheduled departure and generally waged tom foolery.

But Chief of Staff Emanuel, James Carville and others including Paul Begula have raised the bar a notch by attacking one single American citizen who has never held a political office: Rush Limbaugh.

Limbaugh’s radio show has doubled its ratings since Democrats said Limbaugh wanted Obama to fail.

But when George W. Bush was the new guy, Democrat James Carville wanted HIM to fail…..

Related:
All The President’s Men: Where’s The Congressional Oversight?

Arrogance Blinds “Public Servants”

Daily Conference Call: Emanual, Carville, Stephanopoulos, Begula

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/0
3/11/a-human-jacuzzi-of-stupid/

Obama is no FDR, JFK or Lincoln:
http://rotenochsen.wordpress.com/200
9/03/12/obama-is-no-john-kennedy-n
ot-even-fdr-and-forget-lincoln-comparison/

Incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel gestures prior ... 
Incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel gestures prior to the inauguration ceremony of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States, in Washington, January 20, 2009.(Jim Young – UNITED STATES/Reuters)

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The press never reported that Democratic strategist James Carville said he wanted President Bush to fail before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. But a feeding frenzy ensued when radio host Rush Limbaugh recently said he wanted President Obama to fail. 

Fox News
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On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, just minutes before learning of the terrorist attacks on America, Democratic strategist James Carville was hoping for President Bush to fail, telling a group of Washington reporters: “I certainly hope he doesn’t succeed.”

Carville was joined by Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg, who seemed encouraged by a survey he had just completed that revealed public misgivings about the newly minted president.

“We rush into these focus groups with these doubts that people have about him, and I’m wanting them to turn against him,” Greenberg admitted.

The pollster added with a chuckle of disbelief: “They don’t want him to fail. I mean, they think it matters if the president of the United States fails.”

Minutes later, as news of the terrorist attacks reached the hotel conference room where the Democrats were having breakfast with the reporters, Carville announced: “Disregard everything we just said! This changes everything!”

The press followed Carville’s orders, never reporting his or Greenberg’s desire for Bush to fail. The omission was understandable at first, as reporters were consumed with chronicling the new war on terror. But months and even years later, the mainstream media chose to never resurrect those controversial sentiments, voiced by the Democratic Party’s top strategists, that Bush should fail.

That omission stands in stark contrast to the feeding frenzy that ensued when radio host recently said he wanted President Obama to fail. The press devoted wall-to-wall coverage to the remark, suggesting that Limbaugh and, by extension, conservative Republicans, were unpatriotic.

“The most influential Republican in the United States today, Mr. Rush Limbaugh, said he did not want President Obama to succeed,” Carville railed on CNN recently. “He is the daddy of this Republican Congress.”

Limbaugh, a staunch conservative, emphasized that he is rooting for the failure of Obama’s liberal policies.

“The difference between Carville and his ilk and me is that I care about what happens to my country,” Limbaugh told Fox on Wednesday. “I am not saying what I say for political advantage. I oppose actions, such as Obama’s socialist agenda, that hurt my country.”

Read the rest:
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009
/03/11/carville-wanted-bush-fail/

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Obama Shares Lighter Moment With Washington Elite; Kids Swearing Chief Emanuel

February 1, 2009

President Obama joked, “For Rahm [Emanuel, the White House Chief of Staff], every day is a swearing-in ceremony.”

That joke referred to the preident’s second swearing in ceremony and Emanuael’s notorious swearing on a daily basis.

“Every week the guy takes a little time away to give back to the community. Just last week he was at a local school, teaching profanity to poor children,” according to Obama. Excerpts of Obama’s remarks were released by the White House.

President Obama attened the Alfalfa Club dinner last night in Washington DC.

The Alfalfa Club was started by four Southerners in Washington’s Willard Hotel in 1913. Its sole purpose was an annual night out for the boys, and it took its name from a thirsty plant that sends its roots deep down looking for liquid refreshment.

Read about the dinner from CNN:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/POLITIC
S/02/01/alfalfa.obama/index.html

Associated Press:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090
201/ap_on_go_pr_wh/obama_alfalfa_4

Read some history on the Williard Hotel:
Willard Hotel’s Historic Civil War Role

Incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel gestures prior ... 
Incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel gestures prior to the inauguration ceremony of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States, in Washington, January 20, 2009.(Jim Young – UNITED STATES/Reuters)

White House, Limbaugh Show Blurring Media and Government

January 30, 2009

As soon as President Obama was inaugurated, his White House pledged transparency and said this would be the most open and ethically correct administration ever.

Free press, unbiased sharing, fair coverage and disclosure, right?

But within hours, the White House was under attack for not honorings its transparency pledge and had apprently launched an attack of its own on Republican media giant Rush Limbaugh.

Last I heard, Rush Limbaugh was a private citizen with a radio show.  The President of the United States has to criticize him?

Ever hear of free speech?

Meanwhile, in Britain, the BBC denied it was the “Bararck Broadcasting Channel” and drew the line on unbiased reporting — and got attacked by anti-Israelis because the “BEEB” refused to air a biased Gaza charity video.

NBC never did deny it was the National Barack Channel….

Today we learn that the White House Chief of Staff has a daily phone conference call with selected members of the media — bypassing the White House communications director Robert Gibbs and the rest of the White House media.

Fair?  Balanced?  Transparent?

We aren’t talking an off the record interview with a reporter or a “Deep Throat” moment — we’re talking about the White House Chief of Staff conducting a daily round table with media opinion shapers like ABC news host George Stephanopoulos of “This Week,” frequent CNN talking head Paul Begula and James Carville.

So, President Obama and the Democratic Party were swept into power in the White House and Congress with a largely compliant if not an adoring media.  But the White House still feels the need to potentially manipulate opinion through Mr. Stephanopoulos, Mr. Begula and Mr.  Carville while they trash and attack Mr. Limbaugh.

Related:
 White House, ABC News, Media Talking Heads In Daily Conference Call?

 BBC Insists It Is Not The “Barack Broadcasting Channel”

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Limbaugh challenging notion of new politicsAssociated Press

 

For all the talk of new politics and a new start with a new administration, the media person who has emerged as the chief voice of opposition during the first week of Barack Obama’s presidency—Rush Limbaugh—has been doing this for 20 years.

The talk-radio titan said, days before Obama was sworn in, that he hoped Obama failed because he didn’t believe in the incoming president’s policies.

It’s kept him in the headlines ever since, to the point where MSNBC on Thursday asked: “Is Rush running the GOP?” The day before, every Republican House member voted against Obama’s economic stimulus plan, a bill Limbaugh has ridiculed as the “porkulus” plan.

“Obama was trying to marginalize me,” Limbaugh said. “His hope was that the House and Senate Republicans would join him in denouncing me. Didn’t work.”

When Rep. Phil Gingrey, a Georgia Republican, tried to praise his House leadership this week by saying it’s easy for talk-show hosts to stand back and throw bricks, the headline on the Politico Web site read: “House GOP member to Rush: Back off.” Gingrey was so bothered by the phone calls of complaints that he visited four conservative talk-show hosts, including Limbaugh, the next day to apologize.

Limbaugh, he said, was a conservative giant and one of the “voices of the conservative movement’s conscience.”

Can it get any better for a personality whose business is built on buzz?

“Rush Limbaugh is first and foremost a radio performer,” said Michael Harrison, publisher of the trade journal Talkers magazine, which notes that Limbaugh has been the most listened-to talk-show host since at least the mid-1990s. “He’s not a political leader. He doesn’t make more money by turning elections. He only exists to gather large audiences and raise more advertising revenue and he does it terrifically.”

(Limbaugh is heard on some 600 radio stations across the country, and more than 14 million people listen to him at least once a week.)

Yet count columnist Michael Wolff, writing in the Huffington Post, as one who believes Limbaugh is “being played.”

He could prove valuable to the president, who has sought bipartisan support for many of his plans and romanced Republicans in his first week in office. Being able to point to an opponent like Limbaugh could help him with the millions of Americans for whom the message of ending partisan bickering rang true on Election Day.

Obama even cited Limbaugh in seeking support for his economic plans.

“You can’t just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done,” he said. “There are big things that unify Republicans and Democrats. We shouldn’t let partisan politics derail what are very important things that need to get done.”

A liberal advocacy group, Americans United for Change, said Friday it was using Limbaugh’s words in radio ads it was launching against three Republican senators: Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, George Voinovich of Ohio and John Ensign of Nevada. The ads, supporting Obama’s economic plan, urges voters in those states to call their senator and “tell him he represents you, not Rush Limbaugh.”

Wolff wrote that he believed the dinner Obama had with conservative columnists before his inauguration was a pointed snub to Limbaugh.

“He’s tried to make it out to be a political point ever since,” he wrote, “but mostly he sounds like a guy who’s hurt he didn’t get invited to the hot party.”

Asked about Wolff’s comments, Limbaugh said, “Who?”

Read the rest:
http://www.breitbart.com/article.ph
p?id=D961JE5G0&show_article=1

Daily Conference Call: Emanual, Carville, Stephanopoulos, Begula

January 30, 2009

The American media is independent, unbiased, and impartial, right?

And the American Government is watched, questioned and sometimes even criticized by the independent American media, right?

Now Fox News is reporting that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, ABC news host George Stephanopoulos of “This Week,” frequent CNN talking head Paul Begula and James Carville  are engaged in a daily conference call. 

They’ve apparently been doing this for more than a decade.

So, the White House is daily in the postion to give inside, secret, information to ABC News and CNN, without other media even knowing or overhearing.

Does that sound unbiased?  Impartial?  Does that sound kosher?  Transparent?

Related:
On Transparency, Lobbyists, So Far President Obama Is “All Talk”


At the top of the U.S. government we have this guy, Rahm “Never Let A Good Crisis Go To Waste” Emanuel.(Jim Young – UNITED STATES/Reuters)

Georgestephanopoulosbarackobama.jpg

New Congress Day 1: Where’s Rahm Emanuel?

January 6, 2009

When Barack Obama picked Rahm Emanuel to be his White House Chief of Staff, we were promised better, smoother relations with the Congress.

Today, the President-elect and Vice President-elect both had to phone a Senator who was miffed at a soon-to-be Executive Branch announcement, or as it a leak?

“I have been contacted by both President-elect Obama and Vice President-elect Biden, and they have explained to me the reasons why they believe Leon Panetta is the best candidate for CIA Director,” Feinstein said.

No matter.  Those phone calls were unnecessary and could have been avoided with one phone call from Emanuel to Senator Dianne Feinstein to avoid hurt feelings — yesterday.

Also at the Senate today, Democrat Harry Reid barred admittance to Democratically appointed Mr. Roland Burris in a scene called a “circus” by CNN.  Never mind that Emanuel, Obama, Burris and the Governor who made the appointment, Rob Blagoyevich, are all Democrats from Illinois.

You’d think the 24-hour news cycle could have done without news that Dianne Feinstein was not totally thrilled at the Leon Panetta nomination and that Roland Burris had to cool his heels outside the United States Senate.

Banana Republics act this way.  We have come to expect more from Team Obama.  But today was either just an ugly day for Team Obama and especially Leon Panetta or a sign that the honeymoon can’t last.

Let’s hope Rahm Emanuael wakes up before the mistakes really count….

In this Nov. 18, 2008 file photo, Rahm Emanuel, chief of staff ... 
In this Nov. 18, 2008 file photo, Rahm Emanuel, chief of staff for President-elect Barack Obama. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Obama: “Utmost Respect” for CIA Choice Leon Panetta

January 6, 2009

Just about 24 hours after the news was released that the President-elect would probably nominate Leon Panetta to head the CIA, Mr. Obama had to defend his choice before reporters this afternoon.

Panetta, a former Congressman from California and Clinton White House Chief of Staff, has already come under fire because he has no intelligence service experience, even on the House Intelligence Committee.

Barack Obama praised Panetta’s management skill and experience and said when he formally announces his intelligence team that anouncement will show balance, skill and experience.

Obama went out of his way to say Panetta as “one of the finest public servants that we’ve had.”

“He brings extraordinary management skills, great political savvy, an impeccable record of integrity,” Obama said, adding — perhaps in answer to grumbling from some members of Congress that Panetta has no direct experience in intelligence-gathering — that “he is somebody who obviously was fully versed in international affairs crisis management, and had to evaluate intelligence consistently on a day-to-day basis.”

Los Angeles Times writers  Greg Miller and Christi Parsons  said, “In choosing Leon E. Panetta to be the next CIA director, President-elect Barack Obama appears to have concluded that a spy chief who understands politics may be better equipped to carry out the incoming administration’s national security agenda than one who understands espionage.”

But despite Panetta’s known political acumen and that of the Obama team, one small detail was left unattended.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who this week begins her tenure as the first female head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said she was not consulted on the choice and indicated she might oppose it.

“I was not informed about the selection of Leon Panetta to be the CIA director,” Feinstein said. “My position has consistently been that I believe the agency is best served by having an intelligence professional in charge at this time.”

Panetta’s lack of “intelligence experience” is probably seen as a good thing by Obama and his advisors.

George Tenet came up through the CIA to become the Director of the CIA team that made the wrong call on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

And Porter Goss, a well respected member of the House Itelligence Committee, went to head the CIA where most said he failed….

By John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia

Related:
 Obama’s CIA Pick from “Left Field” Agents Say; President-Elect Wants It That Way

What’s so bad about Panetta?
http://johnmcquaid.com/2009/01/06/whats-
wrong-with-panetta/

Read the Los Angeles Times story:
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation
/la-na-obama-cia-panetta6-2009jan06,0,5514283.story

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Read the Huffington Post

There are lessons to be learned from Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s reaction to the nomination of Leon Panetta as CIA head. One is that powerful Democratic Senators can be no less sensitive or arbitrary than their GOP counterparts. Another is that the phrase “intelligence professional” can be used like a mantra without being properly defined for the public. Nevertheless, the appointment of a “politician” to run the CIA is not inherently wrong. It can be a good or bad thing — depending on how it’s done, and by whom.

Read the rest:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rj-eskow/feinstein
panetta-senatori_b_155627.html

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From Politico:

Did the appointment of Panetta — a 70-year-old veteran of the Democratic establishment with a blue-chip name but no record of fresh thinking about intelligence issues — indicate a dearth of creativity and options within the Obama team as time runs out on the transition?

Read more:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20090106
/pl_politico/17107_1

Even Democrats Cool To Obama’s CIA Pick

January 6, 2009

After his first idea for the CIA was flogged by liberal bloggers, President-elect Obama picked Leon Panetta to head the nation’s top spy agency.

But former CIA agents and Congressional Democrats are not thrilled with this choice either….

Related:
CIA: At Least One Obama Nominee Idea Derailed
.
 Obama’s CIA Pick from “Left Field” Agents Say; President-Elect Wants It That Way

By Eli Lake
The Washington Times

President-elect Barack Obama‘s reported choice of Leon Panetta, a former congressman and White House chief of staff, to head the Central Intelligence Agency has provoked sharp criticism from senior Democrats whom the White House will need to gain his confirmation.

The Obama transition team did not return phone calls seeking comment on the nomination, which was confirmed by other Democrats and intelligence officials.

But the incoming chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Dianne Feinstein – like Mr. Panetta, a California Democrat – issued a statement saying “my position has consistently been that I believe the agency is best served by having an intelligence professional in charge at this time.”

US president-elect Barack Obama has chosen former lawmaker and ... 

An aide to the current chairman of the committee, Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV, West Virginia Democrat, said his boss had similar concerns.

“He believes the director of the CIA needs to have significant intelligence experience,” the aide said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. “He has also had the long-held belief that the director of the CIA and senior intelligence officials in general need to not be from the political world.”

The criticism over the choice of Mr. Panetta follows nearly universal praise for Mr. Obama’s earlier major appointments and highlights the president-elect’s first bumpy patch.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/20
09/jan/06/democrats-cool-to-panetta-at-cia/

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From Politico:

Spencer Ackerman gets a statement from Dianne Feinstein’s office:

“I was not informed about the selection of Leon Panetta to be the CIA Director. I know nothing about this, other than what I’ve read,” said Senator Feinstein, who will chair the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in the 111th Congress.

“My position has consistently been that I believe the Agency is best-served by having an intelligence professional in charge at this time.”

That seems to reflect the view inside the CIA, and suggests a tough confirmation hearing.

http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0
109/Friction_on_Panetta.html

Dianne Feinstein

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/
01/05/panetta.cia/index.html

Obama’s CIA Pick from “Left Field” Agents Say; President-Elect Wants It That Way

January 5, 2009

One might think some experience in the intelligence business a prerequisite for an American leader of Central Intelligence.

But that has not always been the case and Barack Obama picked a “dark horse” or “a man right out of left field” according to  retired CIA officers who spoke to us today.

Leon Panetta  served as Bill Clinton’s White House Chief of Staff after years as a Congressman from California (1977 to 1993).  Insiders say he will be named to head the CIA by Barack Obama.

Panetta never even served on the House Intelligence Committee.

A serving CIA agent said to us, “This sounds like the President-elect wanted someone loyal to him; not someone loyal to the best intelligence.”

The CIA is known to be a very “closed organization” with people that sometimes fail to embrace their politically appointed leaders.

President-elect Obama’s choice of Panetta will cause some discussion, especially since George W. Bush earlier in his term picked a congressman with lots of Intelliegence Committee experience.

Goss, Bush’s pick and a veteran of the House Intelligence Committee was widely considered a failure at CIA and unable to understand its culture and people.

Mr. Obama is probably going to rely upon his Director of National Intelligence, Dennis Blair, to take the lead in holding  things in place….

Expect the far right not to like Panetta, just as the far left didn’t like Obama’s idea of  John Brennan, Obama’s one-time chief intelligence adviser and an earlier anticipated CIA chief….

Related:
Blair, Master at Intelligence, Joins Obama Administration
.
Even Democrats Cools To Obama’s CIA Pick
.
From CNN:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/01/05
/panetta.cia/index.html

.
  CIA: At Least One Obama Nominee Idea Derailed

Porter J. Goss
Porter Goss
Leon Panetta 
Above: leon Panetta Photo by AP

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From the Associated Press:
.
By NEDRA PICKLER
.

Two Democratic officials say President-elect Barack Obama has chosen former Clinton White House chief of staff Leon Panetta to run the CIA. Panetta was a surprise pick for the post, with no experience in the intelligence world. An Obama transition official and another Democrat disclosed his nomination on a condition of anonymity since it was not yet public.

Panetta was director of the Office of Management and Budget and a longtime congressman from California.

He served on the Iraq Study Group, a bipartisan panel that released a report at the end of 2006 with dozens of recommendations for the reversing course in the Iraq war.

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President-elect Barack Obama‘s decision to fill the nation’s top intelligence jobs with two men short on direct experience in intelligence gathering surprised the spy community and signaled the Democrat’s intention for a clean break from Bush administration policies.

By PAMELA HESS, Associated Press Writer

Former Clinton White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta, a longtime congressional veteran and administrative expert, is being tapped to head the CIA. Retired Adm. Dennis Blair is Obama’s choice to be director of national intelligence, a selection expected for weeks, according to two Democrats who spoke on condition of anonymity because Obama has not officially announced the choices.

The Obama transition team‘s long delay in selecting new CIA and national intelligence directors is a reflection of the complicated demands of the jobs and Obama’s own policies and priorities.

The search for Obama’s new CIA chief had been stalled since November, when John Brennan, Obama’s transition intelligence adviser, abruptly withdrew his name from consideration. Brennan said his potential nomination had sparked outrage among civil rights and human rights groups, who argued that he had not been outspoken enough in his condemnation of President George W. Bush’s policies.

Obama had hoped to send an unequivocal message that controversial administration policies approving harsh interrogations, waterboarding and extraordinary renditions — the secret transfer of prisoners to other governments with a history of torture — and warrantless wiretapping are over, said several officials.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090105/ap_
on_go_pr_wh/obama_spy_agencies

Illinois Governor in Corruption Scandal

December 9, 2008

Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich of Illinois was arrested and charged with corruption, including an allegation that he conspired to profit from appointing a senator to succeed Barack Obama.

By Monica Davey and Jack Healy
The New York Times

Frank Polich/Reuters

U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald discussed the charges against Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich of Illinois at a news conference in Chicago on Tuesday.

Mr. Blagojevich, a Democrat, called his sole authority to name Mr. Obama’s successor “golden,” and he sought to parlay it into a job as an ambassador or secretary of Health and Human Services, or a high-paying position at a nonprofit or an organization connected to labor unions, prosecutors said.

He also suggested, they said, that in exchange for the Senate appointment, his wife could be placed on corporate boards where she might earn as much as $150,000 a year, and he tried to gain promises of money for his campaign fund.

Amanda Rivkin/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich of Illinois.

If Mr. Blagojevich could not secure a deal to his liking, prosecutors said, he was willing to appoint himself.

“If I don’t get what I want and I’m not satisfied with it, then I’ll just take the Senate seat myself,” the governor said in recorded conversation, prosecutors said.

A 76-page affidavit from the United States Attorney’s office in the Northern District of Illinois says Mr. Blagojevich (pronounced bluh-GOY-uh-vich) was heard on wiretaps over the last month planning to “sell or trade Illinois’ United States Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama for financial and personal benefits for himself and his wife.”

The charges are part of a five-year investigation into public corruption and allegations of “pay to play” deals in the clubby world of Illinois politics. In addition to the charges related to Mr. Obama’s Senate seat, they include accusations that Mr. Blagojevich worked to gain benefits for himself, his family and his campaign fund in exchange for appointments to state boards and commissions.

The authorities recorded Mr. Blagojevich speaking with advisers, fundraisers, a spokesman and a deputy governor, using listening devices placed in his office, home telephone, and a conference room at the offices of a friend, prosecutors said.

Federal authorities said Mr. Blagojevich’s chief of staff, John Harris, was also named in the complaint. Both men are expected to appear in federal court for the first time later Tuesday.

At a news conference, Patrick Fitzgerald, the prosecutor, said that Mr. Blagojevich had gone on a “political corruption crime spree,” and that his actions had “taken us to a truly new low.”

“The conduct would make Lincoln roll over in his grave,” Mr. Fitzgerald said.

He added that the complaint “makes no allegations about the president-elect whatsoever.” In one passage of the complaint, Mr. Blagojevich is quoted cursing Mr. Obama in apparent frustration that “they’re not willing to give me anything except appreciation.”

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/09/us/pol
itics/10Illinois.html?_r=1&hp