This Miasma of Malfeasance

Jonah Goldberg wonders what’s not to love about Chicago:

…There’s the enormous I-should-have-had-a-V8! moment as the mainstream press collectively thwacks itself in the forehead, realizing it blew it again. The New York Times — which, according to Wall Street analysts, is weeks from holding editorial board meetings in a refrigerator box — created the journalistic equivalent of CSI-Wasilla to study every follicle and fiber in Sarah Palin’s background, all the while treating Obama’s Chicago like one of those fairy-tale lands depicted in posters that adorn little girls’ bedroom walls. See there, Suzie? That’s a Pegasus. That’s a pink unicorn. And that’s a beautiful sunflower giving birth to a fully grown Barack Obama, the greatest president ever and the only man in history to be able to pick up manure from the clean end.

Obviously the list doesn’t end there. Blago’s hair not only appears bulletproof but seems to confirm reports that he is the human model for Playmobil action figures.

And you can’t leave out the supporting cast. Mrs. Blago curses like the inmate working the cafeteria at a women’s prison who replies with an f-bomb to anyone objecting to a leaden ladle-thwack of unidentifiable green mush on their lunch tray.

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., himself the son of a shakedown artist, is alleged to have offered (through a minion) a half-million bucks for Barack Obama’s vacant senate seat. Jackson replaced former Rep. Mel Reynolds, who went to jail for getting jiggy with a 16-year-old campaign staffer and stayed in jail because of various fraud convictions. Reynolds, in turn, was the “reformer” who had replaced Rep. Gus Savage, the thug-congressman who groped a Peace Corps volunteer in Zaire while on a “fact-finding” trip. Savage held off Reynolds’ attempts to replace him for several years by claiming Reynolds was financed by “racist Jews.”

Man, what isn’t there to love about Chicago politics?…

And John Kass wonders about Rahmbo and takes us on a tour of the Chicago Way:

When it comes to being the guy behind the guy, there is no one more conspicuous than Rahm Emanuel.

As chief of staff for President-elect Barack Obama, he’s usually at Obama’s news conferences, standing off to the side, glowering like some fiercely loyal mini-me.

But Emanuel wasn’t there Thursday when Obama faced reporters to answer questions about federal charges against Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D-Dead Meat), accused of trying to sell Obama’s Senate seat to the highest bidder.

“I have never spoken to the governor on this subject,” Obama said. “I am confident that no representatives of mine would have any part of any deals related to this seat.”

Wow. No staffers tried to make a deal for his Senate seat?

“I’ve asked my team to gather the facts of any contacts with the governor’s office about this vacant seat, so that we can share them with you over the next few days,” Obama said.

He could have just asked Emanuel, but he wasn’t there, and reporters kept wondering, “Where’s Rahm? Where’s Rahm?” What they should have been asking is, “Where’s Jimmy?”

As in state Sen. James DeLeo (D-How You Doin?)

DeLeo is an extremely powerful politician. You know this because he’s hardly ever quoted in newspaper stories.

Emanuel and DeLeo have a relationship. Emanuel is the congressman from the 5th Congressional District, where DeLeo is the Democratic state central committeeman. What hasn’t been reported on much is that Emanuel has not yet resigned from the House. And if you want to play politics in Jimmy’s sandbox, you need his OK.

DeLeo is also considered by some to be the real governor of Illinois. Blagojevich is the nutty guy who makes the speeches and gets the federal slap. They’re so close that if Jimmy suddenly stopped walking, Rod would chip his teeth on the back of Jimmy’s head.

It’s reasonable to assume that if there’s one fellow Rod would talk to about the Senate seat, it’s Jimmy. And given their relationship, Jimmy could talk to Rahm. I’m not suggesting money was offered. There is nothing illegal about politicians horse-trading to fill seats. Only when such deals are monetized—as the governor is alleged to have done—is it illegal.

I’m just talking about putting political pieces on the board the Chicago Way. A vacant Senate seat and a soon-to-be vacant House seat in Illinois would be a package deal. Consider this mathematical equation: Jimmy/Rod + Jimmy/Rahm = Happy Rod, Jimmy and Rahm. Get it?

Before he became so powerful, Jimmy was a lowly traffic court bailiff making a measly $20,000 a year. Yet he was able to own shiny new Cadillacs, Jaguars and Mercedes, astounding federal agents, who in 1989 charged him with taking bribes to fix tickets in the Operation Greylord probe of judicial corruption.

Later, his former roommate told a federal grand jury that there was $35,000 in cash in their freezer, carefully wrapped in butcher paper so the bills wouldn’t get freezer burn. But the roommate came to Jimmy’s defense, saying the money was his, not Jimmy’s, and that it came from the roommate’s stolen-car business.

At Jimmy’s trial, Outfit gambling boss Ken “Tokyo Joe” Eto emerged from the witness protection program to testify that he passed cash to Jimmy via handshakes. Eto had been hiding since Outfit hit men tried to kill him. They used cheap bullets, and three slugs failed to fully penetrate Eto’s diamond-hard cranium.

The jury didn’t believe the feds. They believed Jimmy and acquitted him, so he rose to political prominence, and now Obama’s chief of staff is the congressman in the district Jimmy controls…

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