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Politics and Media Headlines 12/18/08

Caro's picture

Obama Named Time Person of the Year
Obama has made it clear that he knows how to write new playbooks and do things in new ways. Which is a compelling quality right now. His arrival on the scene feels like a step into the next century -- his genome is global, his mind is innovative, his world is networked, and his spirit is democratic.

Is Time's Person of the Year Cover Propaganda? (by Sasha Issenberg, Boston Globe)
There is little surprise that Time decided to name Obama its "Person of the Year," and the magazine takes its usual pains to make the world-historical case for its choice. But the image the magazine chose for its cover is, quite literally, an Obama campaign poster.
Like Time’s gushing, above, which could be on a campaign poster.—Caro

Blago drama for Obama (Chicago Sun-Times)
President-elect Barack Obama's incoming chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, was pushing for Obama's successor just days after the Nov. 4 election, sources told the Chicago Sun-Times. Emanuel privately urged Gov. Blagojevich's administration to appoint Obama confidante Valerie Jarrett, and the Sun-Times learned Tuesday that he also pressed that it be done by a certain deadline… [Emphasis added.] The disclosure comes days after Obama's camp downplayed Jarrett's interest in the post.

Emanuel Was Looking for Placeholder (Political Wire)
The Chicago Sun Times reports that incoming White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel had conversations about backing a special election candidate for his IL-5 House seat who would keep "his" seat warm for a few years so he could reclaim it later. However, with the scandal surrounding President-elect Obama's old Senate seat, Emanuel is now likely to stay out of the race entirely.
Now, THAT makes sense. Valerie Jarrett never seemed to me like a viable candidate on her own.—Caro

Blagojevich was bookie, says federal informant (ABC 7 Chicago)
The ABC7 I-Team has learned that an attorney who went undercover for the FBI in the late 1980's says he told federal authorities years ago about wrongdoing by Blagojevich. His name is Robert Cooley. Cooley was a criminal defense lawyer in Chicago in the late 1980's who became one of the most potent witnesses against Chicago corruption, testifying for federal prosecutors in cases that resulted in dozens of convictions. Cooley says that before Rod Blagojevich got into politics he was a bookmaker on the North Side who regularly paid the Chicago mob to operate.
My friend who really knows Chicago politics says, “More outrageous stuff .... Seems out of character.... If he was, it might have been some deal Vrdolyak had talked him into (he was Vrdoyiak's law clerk around that time). It probably involved sports betting (football, boxing) among other lawyers his age. If the mutuals got high enough, he may have turned to Accardo to lay off the heavier action but I think he was too wussy to be bigtime enough for the outfit to bother with. More than likely, it was just boasting to impress some crowd he wanted to get into.”—Caro

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Carolyn Kay

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DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

Obama is America's first black president. That is a big big big deal, not just here but all over the world. Anytime someone wins person of the year they merit person of the year of an American publication, but first black Pres? Seriously, this is HUGE news.

Obama may be an over rated divisive bully, but he is news.

pie's picture
Submitted by pie on

I was Time's POY in 2006.

Come to think of it, so were you...

and you...

and you! :)

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

did Katrina win in 2005? Should have, certainly the event that defined the year for Americans.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

Rahm Emanuel’s Brother Joins White House Team

... Ezekiel J. Emanuel, a prominent bioethicist at the National Institutes of Health–and the brother of incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel–will serve as a senior counselor at the White House Office of Management and Budget on health policy, two Democratic officials said Thursday.

Zeke Emanuel will work closely with Department of Health and Human Services secretary-nominee Tom Daschle to formulate a national health insurance program and to try to curb the swelling cost of health insurance without adversely impacting health care. ...

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

A Tame Regulator for the SEC --

President-elect Obama's appointment of Mary Schapiro to chair the Securities and Exchange Commission does not augur well for Obama's commitment to get at the roots of the financial crisis. Schapiro, who heads one of our broken financial system's main institutions of self-regulation, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, is known as a technically competent and politically moderate regulator who does not make waves. She served on the SEC beginning in 1988, having first been appointed by President Reagan.

The agency she heads is not a public agency at all. It is an industry trade association with quasi-regulatory functions delegated by the SEC. Under our ineffective system, a lot of regulatory authority is delegated to private institutions, such as the New York Stock Exchange, which is supposed to police the conduct of its members. We can see how well that worked out. When the exchange turned itself from a nonprofit into a for-profit company in 2006, its pseudo-regulatory functions had to be split off into a second private institution, the one that Schapiro heads, which was created in 2007 out of a merger with the National Association of Securities Dealers.

But the "Financial Services Regulatory Authority" is not a public body; it has little transparency, and if you have not heard of Mary Schapiro, it is because she has not been much of a player, much less a crusader, in the struggle for reform. She is the kind of Democratic appointment that allows Wall Street to breathe a huge sigh of relief.

And of course, her appointment is no accident. There were much tougher, more public minded appointees for SEC chair on the short list, but they were blocked by fierce industry lobbying warning that tough regulators would be divisive or controversial -- which they indeed would, if they did their jobs. Wall Street fundraisers for Obama used their ample access to resist a tough appointee. People in other power centers, like the Treasury and the White House, did not want a tough and independent SEC.


Iphie's picture
Submitted by Iphie on

Paterson has a month -- that's a long time, a long time for things like this to blossom into full-blown opposition. The message I get is, CK doesn't think elections matter, not for her own ambition and not for the governance of her city and state.

I also get that her life and concerns are above politics; she doesn't need to bother voting because her privilege will protect her from most decisions a politician will make -- major policy or funding changes aren't going to change the way she lives. So what if this candidate wants to slash funding for public hospitals, and this one wants to increase it -- doesn't matter if there's no way on earth you'll ever need to rely on the services of a public hospital. Elections are a plebian concern.