“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Obama and His Syrian Born Friend, "Tony" Rezko

Geez, I thought he was Italian

Antoin "Tony" Rezko and Barack Obama are deeply linked throughout his political career and have been friends since 1990. In 13 years in politics, Obama has recieved at least $168,000 in campaign donations from Rezko, his family and his business associates. One connection is Allison S. Davis, of Davis Miner Barnhill & Galland, the firm Obama joined in 1993 straight out of Harvard, which specialized in helping to develop low-income housing. Davis is a friend of Tony Rezko, who was one of the firm's top clients. Davis was and is a member of the Chicago Plan Commission, appointed by Mayor Daley.

Allison S. Davis was appointed by Gov. Blagojevich to the Illinois State Board of Investment, which controls state pension funds. The firm of Davis Miner helped Rezko's firm Rezmar get more than $43 million in government funding to rehabilitate half of their 30 buildings for the poor. How is that for government investing?

Did I mention that when Obama ran for the U.S. Senate, Rezko held a cocktail party at Rezko's home, picking up the tab for the reported lavish event. Obama's campaign staff has said it has no records to show who attended that party, or how much it cost. It happened on June 27, 2003.

In October 2006, Rezko was indicted for extortion of businesses seeking to do business with the Illinois Teachers Retirement System Board and the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board. In addition, he has been charged with wire fraud for staging false transactions of his pizza stores in order to secure $10 million in loans from GE Capital. The case is being prosecuted by Patrick Fitzgerald who prosecuted the case against Scooter Libby arising from the CIA leak scandal.

February 26, 2008
The Obama-Rezko plot thickens (updated)
Thomas Lifson American Thinker

The UK Times reports that Barack Obama's involvement with Chicago slum landlord Tony Rezko, currently under indictment, may involve money originating from a British-Iraqi Middle East wheeler-dealer, Nadhmi Auchi, a convicted criminal.

Rezko, an Obama fundraiser, helped facilitate Obama's purchase of a $1.65 million mansion in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood for $300,000 below the asking price. The owner wished to sell both the house and an adjoining lot. Mrs. Rezko paid the full asking price of $625,000 on the same day that the Obamas purchased their luxury home. At a substantial discount. The seller denies that there was any connection between the two transactions. Later, a small portion of the land was sold to the Obamas so that they could expand their garden.

Senator Obama calls this arrangement a "mistake."

Now it develops that Mr. and Mrs. Rezko apparently lacked the money to make the purchase of the plot of land.

In a sworn statement a year later, Mrs Rezko said she got by on a salary of $37,000 and had $35,000 assets. Mr Rezko told a court he had "no income, negative cash flow, no liquid assets, no unencumbered assets [and] is significantly in arrears on many of his obligations."

Just weeks before the Hyde Park transactions, Auchi loaned $3.5 million to Rezko.

A company related to Mr Auchi, who has a conviction for corruption in France, registered the loan to Mr Obama's bagman Antoin "Tony" Rezko on May 23 2005. Mr Auchi says the loan, through the Panamanian company Fintrade Services SA, was for $3.5 million.

There is much yet to be learned about the web of transactions involved, but it now appears that money originating from a convicted Middle Eastern wheeler-dealer found its way to indicted Chicago wheeler-dealer Tony Rezko, and then weeks later provided the means for a nearly simultaneous land transaction that enabled the Obamas to buy their home for substantially below asking price.

It certainly doesn't look like change we can believe in, when it comes to Chicago politics.

Update: much, much more from Chicagoan Rick Moran, writing at Rightwing Nuthouse:

The Obama-Rezko relationship must be understood in the context of the influence peddling, the casual corruption, the cronysm, the favoritism shown in less than open bidding – all part of a city and state political culture where the politician, the businessman, and the crook frequently rub elbows and sometimes wear each other’s hats. Obama hiring the daughter of a Rezko associate to work in his office (after Rezko had helped raise tens of thousands of dollars for his campaign) is no big deal. But this kind of “favor” done for Rezko is a different story:

The Chicago Tribune
: “On June 13, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that as a state senator, Obama wrote letters to city and state officials supporting Rezko’s successful bid to get more than $14 million from taxpayers to build apartments for senior citizens. The Sun-Times said the deal included $855,000 in development fees for Rezko and his partner, Allison S. Davis, Obama’s former boss, according to records from the project, which was four blocks outside Obama’s state Senate district.
Obama now regrets his association with Rezko and has given $150,000 to charity in order to atone for his sins.

Sorry Barry but it don’t work that way.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Why sure, duece, it works that way.

    Mr Daley is largely at fault, the head executive in Chicago whom appointed Ms Davis, the head of Obama's firm to the Plan Commission. Then the Governor is at fault for appointing her to the State Board of Investment.

    Seems that Ms Davis and the politicos are of greater import to this story than is a junior associate of Ms Davis's law firm.

    Compare Mr Rezko to the late, departed Kemper Marley, and Rezko smells like a rose.
    Compared to Mr Keating, the stench is about the same.

    Mr Keating built the Phoenician Hotel, the premier 5 Star lodging in Phoenix and the Estrella Community development, outside of Goodyear, with no income or cash flow, just a job as President of a failing Savings & Loan.
    The failure of which, cost the US Government and home owners tens of millions of dollars in losses. Both through loan guarentees and loss of value to real property.

    Much like the current sub-prime lending bruhaha has developed.

    Unless Mr Obama falsified records, took sacks of cash, or some other indictable activity, the Rezko scandal won't touch him.
    Those that believe in hope, still will
    Those that believe that 50 years of experience is better than a 50 year old, still will.
    Both are guilty of allowing poor associates to circulate in the social circles around them. In retrospect.
    But while those associates were calling, they were pillars of the community,
    Rexko and Keating, both.

  3. Tony Blakley tells us:

    The Republicans must systematically make a hundred tightly argued, irrefutable critiques of very specific examples of Obama's policy being wrong for at least 60 percent of America.

    America may be going through one of our episodic style shifts. In 1932, FDR's conversational style trumped Hoover's old oratory. In 1960, JFK's coolness and wit caught the emerging post-World War II sophistication of our culture. Twenty years later America, tired of sophisticated cynicism, was ready to return to Reagan's old-fashioned sentiments and values.

    Obama is tapping into a curious alchemy of youthful idealism tempered by Internet edginess. Republicans must communicate their values and policies through that prism, or they will not communicate at all.

    This will be the challenge for McCain. To turn inside that communications loop.

    The first test of his ability will be on the campaign finance issue, his baliwick. The one that could well bite hin in the ass. Righfully so.

    His integrity is on the line, for all to view. Much more relevent than the actions of ill chosen "friends" and supporters.

    Did he use the promise of Federal funds as collateral, or not? There in lies the question, and last hope, for the GOP. It also goes directly to McCain's verasity and integrity.

    I think he did, and will be hoisted on that pitard.

  4. Obama and his Farrakhan problem--

    In the end, what did Farrakhan’s prominent role in Tuesday night’s debate amount to? Perhaps it was all just of interest to the press. But Obama’s reluctance, at least initially, to reject Farrakhan’s support said something about the closeness of this Democratic race. There are a lot of voters out there who admire Louis Farrakhan. Why alienate them? “What I think we all have to be careful of, in the process of these elections, is people saying, ‘O.K., I support you,’ and then determining whether or not you would want or not want their support,” Ohio Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, a Clinton supporter, said after the debate. “I am confident that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton would love to have the votes of people within the Farrakhan sect… Maybe you don’t necessarily embrace the leadership, but you embrace the fact that there are millions — not millions, but thousands — of people within that religion who on a daily basis are suffering from the same things all the rest of us are suffering from.”

    Which is, delusion.

    Barry's Farrakhan Problem

  5. "Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger told Bush administration officials Monday that he is tired of the Pentagon treating the California National Guard like a stepchild by using its equipment in Iraq and Afghanistan without returning or replacing it.

    The Republican governor, in a visit to Washington for the annual meeting of the National Governors' Association, said the California National Guard is missing about half of its equipment - from humvees to radios. That could leave California at risk in an earthquake, fire or other emergency, Schwarzenegger said.

    "It's not fair to the states for the federal government to go into a war and then to take from us the equipment," he said after meetings Monday with President Bush and Cabinet officials. "Every time our National Guard leaves, they take with them equipment but they don't bring it back.""

  6. Not fair!
    That National Guard equipment belongs to California!

    On Obama, people that fall for a political figure tend to overlook faults that are glaring to more dispassionate observers. Happens all over the political spectrum. If Sinclair had passed the machine, it wouldn't have mattered to most of his supporters. Murder, that would do it in the USA, but--it doesn't seem to matter to the folks in Russia that Putin is a killer. A lot seem to like the guy nonetheless.

  7. Das equipo es por la quardia civil. La Reich's wehrmach should return it to la raza Cal i for ni a.

    an Austrian/American

  8. [Jonah Goldberg]
    I just saw Kathryn's post about Bill Buckley. I'm stunned. He will be greatly missed. But we should also remember this was not a life cut tragically short (no matter how much we wish he were still with us).
    His accomplishments were almost incalculable.

    As George Will once said, "before there was Ronald Reagan there was Barry Goldwater, before there was Goldwater there was National Review, and before there was National Review there was William F. Buckley."
    As conservatives — and as Americans — we are all standing on his shoulders.

    Moreover, William F. Buckley's life was marked by enormous joy. He had a lust for life as well as for letters and debate.
    He raised a wonderful and accomplished son, loved and was loved by, a formidable and beautiful wife, had more friends than he could count or, in a sense even know, and will be remembered for generations to come.
    Sadness is to be expected at times like this, and I certainly feel it.
    But let's leave room for, if not a celebration, then at least grateful appreciation, of a singularly remarkable life.

  9. But let's leave room for, if not a celebration, then at least grateful appreciation, of a singularly remarkable life.

    We don't have to, he did so himself.

    "I am, I fully grant, a phenomenon, but not because of any speed in composition," he wrote in The New York Times Book Review in 1986. "I asked myself the other day, `Who else, on so many issues, has been so right so much of the time?' I couldn't think of anyone."

    Words fit for a gravestone.

  10. And let us remind ourselves how closely WFB imitated in his own life the life of his Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus, the man from Nazareth, who died, it sometimes seemed, for Buckley alone.

    I couldn't stand the bastard, and it shows.

    "Robert, that guy is the most self-satisfied son of a bitch I've ever seen in my life." dad

  11. The body was found by the body's personal cook, who informed the body's butler, who called the body's personal physician, who pronounced the body dead, and a statement was issued by the body's personal spokeswoman.

  12. If I were a trial lawyer, I would revel in my self-loathing.
    But, I'm not.

  13. The Highest Calling:
    A lawyer-bitch that trashes and destroys 12 year olds.

    She did go on to better things:
    Defending ANOTHER Lying, self-serving SOB Lawyer.

    What a calling!

  14. "According to a World Bank estimate, the total exports of the Arab world other than fossil fuels amount to less than those of Finland, a country of five million inhabitants," writes Bernard Lewis in his book, "What Went Wrong: The Clash Between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East."

  15. Yes We Can't!
    Bay State journalist Rick Holmes describes Obama and Patrick, fellow Harvard Law School graduates, as “peas in a pod.” Patrick is the Obama campaign’s national cochair. Obama’s presidential campaign has modeled itself on Patrick’s gubernatorial campaign. Patrick’s 2006 campaign slogan was “Together we can,” while Obama’s is “Yes we can.” The brilliant Chicago political operative David Axelrod has managed both men’s campaigns. Both candidates have made persistent appeals to “the politics of hope.”

    So Clinton’s criticism seems an opportune moment to ask how Patrick’s inspirational rhetoric has translated into governing a state where Democrats control both houses of the legislature—the likely scenario for Obama, too, should he take office. Patrick’s governorship is the closest thing we have to a preview of the “politics of hope”—and that governorship has been a failure to date. As Joan Vennochi observes in the Boston Globe, “Democrats who control the Legislature ignored virtually every major budget and policy initiative presented by a fellow Democrat.” Patrick’s record in office, Vennochi concludes, “shows that it can be hard to get beyond being the face of change, to actually changing politics.” His stock has sunk so markedly that Hillary Clinton carried the state handily against Obama in the Democratic primary despite, or perhaps because of, Patrick’s support for his political doppelgänger.

  16. Someone asked me just recently, "Bill Buckley? Is he still alive?" As if he would pass with little or no notice.

    WFB's eldest sister, Aloise Buckley Heath, was quite remarkable herself. "Will Mrs. Major go to hell?" is no longer in print, but worth obtaining from any number of online used book outlets. Charming, funny, insightful. A Trapp Family Christmas will leave you both glad and yet somehow regretful that you did not have 10 children.

  17. Another painful parallel between McCain and Bush:

    "Mr. McCain pounced on the remark. “I have some news,” he said at a town hall-style meeting in Tyler, Tex. “Al Qaeda is in Iraq. It’s called ‘Al Qaeda in Iraq.’ My friends, if we left, they wouldn’t be establishing a base. They’d be taking a country and I’m not going to allow that to happen.”"

  18. Obama continued: "But I have some news for John McCain, and that was that there was no such thing as Al Qaeda in Iraq until George Bush and John McCain decided to invade Iraq."

    Obama said McCain and Bush -- a pairing the Dem candidate is likely to utter repeatedly over the next eight months, should he win the nom -- took the United States into a war "that should have never been authorized and never been waged."

    "So John McCain may like to say he wants to follow Osama bin Laden to the gates of hell, but so far all he's done is follow George Bush into a misguided war in Iraq that's cost of thousands of lives and billions of dollars," he said.

    Gates of Hell

  19. Obama relies on tired rhetoric and criticism without considering the effect of a still free and unimpeded Saddam Hussein.

  20. Hrmm, just got back from the doctor. Sprained my ankle running a month ago, went to the student health clinic, and apprently the medicale student there was incompetent because she didn't give me anything but an ACE bandage. Now I'm gonna be in an ankle brace, and not running for another 4-6 weeks.


  21. Don't be so hard on the girl. A severe ankle sprain can take six months or more to fully heal. It could be that your down time would not have been lessened had you seen an MD in the first place.

  22. a few observations

    politics is a distraction for the masses

    obama, clinton, mccain, and bush have all stated the same perspective; they will invade/take action against any state/non-state actor(s) that they deem pose a threat to the U.S. (whether it be in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, or elsewhere

    it is reasonable to assume Iraq posed a risk; simply read the NIE report (this is the flip side of the Iran NIE) and recall the comments of politicians (democrats) prior to 2001. i have posted the video on this site before, many months ago

    the average duration for successful counter-insurgencies is 10 years

  23. more painful hypocrisy

    again, both obama and mccain have stated that they are justified in military action by perceived threats

  24. A federal judge identified Blagojevich this week as "Public Official A" in the trial against Antoin "Tony" Rezko. Rezko is charged with a scheme to divert kickbacks from state contractors to Blagojevich's campaign fund.

    "My reaction is it doesn't matter what letter of the alphabet it is. What was described there doesn't describe me or how I do things," Blagojevich said after an event in DeKalb.

    The media have said for two months that Public Official A is Blagojevich. Judge Amy St. Eve, presiding over Rezko's trial that starts Monday, officially identified him as the officeholder who was the intended beneficiary of the scam.

    Inaccurate Description

  25. Saddam was gone in 2003, whit, the US should have been drawing down its' forces in Iraq by 4JUL03, right after the first local Iraqi election were held, organized by Iraqis, for Iraqis.

    That the US did not allow that first step in bottom up democracy to take root, on 28JUN03, the biggest error in judgemenet of the war. That was the day the insurgency began, with the occupation of Iraq, by US, begun.

    The War was over, then. The US failed to fulfill the rhetoric of Mr Bush, and it has come back to bite US, hard.

    If Obama wins, that'll be the reason, those local elections cancelled and a top down political system that has been proven damned dysfunctional attempted.

  26. Elijah,
    I grant you that we've got one f..... field of presidential choices, however, at present, the FISA legislation which passed with 67 votes in the Senate, and would pass in the house if allowed a vote, is being held from a vote by Pelosi, by her corrupt masters, the trial lawyers, who see potential Billion Dollar Payoffs from the Telecoms.
    The upshot being the very tool that Pelosi as head of intel committee said was necessary after 9-11, is now turned off, leaving us that much more vulnerable, and degrading the value of our intelligence day by day, as we blind ourselves in public in front of the World.
    So, unless I grant that our safety and national defense is a trivial matter, I can't agree that politics is a mere "distraction for the masses."
    Also, there are gentlemen like Mr. Souter, and Ladies like Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the balance!
    "President Bush has threatened a veto if the bill does not include the immunity clause.
    Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, said there would be an intense effort to reach a quick compromise with the House.
    "We're hoping to move it expeditiously," he said. "I don't know anything about the timing or the nature of it, but there's a genuine good-faith effort to try to find some common ground between the House and the Senate, pass it, and send it to the president."

  27. point well taken

    i tend to think of the issue as national security matter but no doubt that there is the political component

    a strong argument can be made that the FISA legislation itself is unconstitutional, that such power lies with the executive branch, whether the executive be democratic or republican


  28. At present, the political component is Pelosi, the only Pol other than Boxer with an electorate so full of moonbats that she can get away with it.
    In the future, they will probably become a national majority when the present crop of NEA Scholars Graduate.

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