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Change That's More Than Skin Deep

The more I hear about Barack Obama and his slogan of "Change you can believe in," the more I realize that it's being used by the wrong candidate.

John McCain's most defining feature has to be his "maverick" label. He has a decades-long history of turning away from his party, of reaching across the aisle, of -- in general -- pissing off the Republican base to achieve his goals and maintain his principles. I happen to think that that is often a mistake, as he picks the damnedest wrong-headed positions to defy his party, but it's hard to call him a "typical Republican" or "Bush III" or "party hack."

Barack Obama, though... he really doesn't bring much "change" to the party.

One of the more disgusting scandals of the Bill Clinton administration (and there were a lot to choose from) was the last-minute pardon of fugitive financier Marc Rich. It was one of the last acts of President Clinton before he left office, and not only did the pardoning process completely bypass the standard processes, but -- by an astonishing coincidence -- corresponded with Rich's ex-wife making some very, very hefty donations to Clinton's presidential library. (It also corresponded with several visits to the White House by the quite attractive -- and zaftig -- ex-wife in question.)

Well, one of the key figures in getting Rich his pardon was Eric Holder, who was the #2 man in the Justice Department under Attorney General Janet Reno. It was Holder who directed that the normal pardon process (including consulting with -- or, at least, notifying the officials who were directly involved with the case against the pardon-seeker, or that the subject of the pardon make the request themselves, or that the proposed pardon not mess up any current cases) be bypassed and Rich get his pardon.

Rich, of course, went on to take his second chance to get heavily involved in the United Nations' "Oil For Food" program for Iraq, which Saddam Hussein used to funnel literally billions of dollars into bribes all around the world to get the sanctions against his regime lifted -- a goal that was most likely barely foiled by President Bush's decision to invade Iraq.

I wonder if Mr. Holder lists his involvement in the Rich affair (pun partly intended) on his resume?

Well, Mr. Holder is now one of the troika that is advising Barack Obama on who should be his vice-presidential candidate. Alongside a fellow named Jim Johnson. Mr. Johnson is a bit more qualified to do this, as he helped pick two other Democratic vice-presidential nominees -- Geraldine Ferrraro and John Edwards. Maybe they think the third time is the charm or something.

Several of Obama's top foreign policy advisors is Zbigniew Brzezinski, who served as National Security Advisor for Jimmy Carter -- where he helped shape the foreign policy that we're still paying the price for, in many ways, today.

Obama is the junior senator from Illinois, and he worked his way up through the Chicago political machine. Now, I won't say that Chicago's Democratic apparatus is the most corrupt in the nation (I strongly suspect Louisiana could give them a run for their money), but it's legendary for its corruption. And Obama was part and parcel of all that.

Obama worked closely with convicted political moneyman and fixer Tony Rezko, but insists he never saw any signs of the man's corruption.

And the Chicago apparatus has done yeoman's work in helping Obama. In his first race for the state legislature, an astonishing thing happened: every single one of Obama's rivals for the Democratic nomination was disqualified after enough of their signatures on petitions discarded until Obama was the only one left.

Later, when Obama was running for the state US Senate nomination, he was running against a guy named Blair Hull. Obama was way behind until his staffers put enough pressure on reporters to dig into Hull's sealed divorce records. They eventually got them opened and found a never-proven allegation of domestic violence by Hull against his then-wife, and that was it. Hull was history, Obama was the Democrats' nominee. (corrected -- thanks, david)

Then, when he was running for the US Senate, he was running against a Republican named Jack Ryan (no connection to Tom Clancy's superhero). Ryan was also divorced (from actress Jeri Ryan), and once again the press went digging and unsealed Ryan's divorce and child-custody records. There was nothing as repulsive as violence, but there were some deliciously lurid allegations of a sexual nature that came to light -- and Ryan quit the race, leaving Obama virtually unchallenged in the race.

"The new politics of hope and change?" Sounds pretty damned old-school to me.

Another bit of old-school politics are the radical bomb-throwers of the 60's. One of the most prominent of those groups were the Weather Underground. Two absolutely unrepentant veterans of that group are Bill Ayers and his wife, Bernardine Dohrn, are among Obama's staunchest supporters and long-time friends and allies.

Well, that's the past. What about the future?

Seems to me like most of Obama's policies are reruns of Carter-era policies -- and the most disastrous ones. Make nice with the nutjobs that run Iran. Punish the oil companies to bring down the price of energy, in the lines of the ever-popular "the beatings will continue until morale improves" signs. Tax the rich and deprive them of their incentives to better themselves and add to the growing economy. And all done with an air of idealism that trends towards sanctimoniousness.

I first started becoming politically aware during the Carter administration. I have some pretty vivid memories of that time. And I really, really, really don't want to go through those again -- mainly because now I'm old enough to have to face it directly, and not through the buffers of parents and elementary school.

I find myself wondering how things would be different if Barack Obama was Barry O'Brien, a charming, gifted public speaker (but not off the cuff) who came up through the Chicago political machine and had no real track record. Would Senator O'Brien have been taken seriously as a presidential contender, let alone the nominee?

I dunno. We'll never know. But I think it's an interesting question.


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Comments (15)

Just a minor point - I beli... (Below threshold)
david:

Just a minor point - I believe Blair Hull was Obama's opponent in the Democrat primary to run for the US Senate, not the IL state senate.

Brzezinski is an Obama supp... (Below threshold)
brent:

Brzezinski is an Obama supporter not an advisor, pretty big difference.

One word for BKO-crook... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

One word for BKO-crook

Correction-"BHO".... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Correction-"BHO".

Obama will shortly be indic... (Below threshold)
John Ryskamp:

Obama will shortly be indicted under 18 USC 1346, which is the same provision under which Rezko was convicted.

There will be MANY counts in Obama's indictment, more than there were in Rezko's. This will give you details about one of the indictments, concerning the board legislation which Obama sponsored as part of a criminal enterprise. Both Rezko and Obama are members of the Syrian Mafia, which trades--corporately--under the name General Mediterranean and is headed by NadhmiAuchi.

I don't think I need to add that if Obama is elected, the Syrian mafia will be running the United States Government. Patrick Fitzgerald, hurry up.

Below is a discussion of the board legislation by Evelyn Pringle, who published a very detailed series on Obama's crimes at opednews.com. These articles have been cited around the world.

Following her discussion is a link to a discussion, also reproduced, of 18 USC 1346, which, again is the section under which Obama will be prosecuted.

First, Evelyn's discussion:


The evidence presented in "Tony Rezko's] trial focused on his influence over officials in getting members appointed to the Boards. Prosecutors did not discuss how the legislation got passed that enabled the Planning Board to be set up in a way that allowed for the appointment of members to rig the votes to begin with. That part of the scheme will likely be detailed in future indictments, probably starting with Blagojevich. Blagojevich signed the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Act with an effective date of June 27, 2003. However, before he could sign the act, a bill had to be passed by the Illinois House and Senate. As discussed fully in Curtain Time Part II, Obama was the inside guy in the senate who pushed through the legislation that resulted in the Act. Obama was appointed chairman of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. The minute the bill was introduced, it was referred to his committee for review. The sponsors of the bill also served on this committee with Obama. Within a month, Chairman Obama sent word to the full senate that the legislation should be passed. On May 31, 2003, Senate Bill 1332 passed and specified that the "Board shall be appointed by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate." The legislation reduced the number of members from 15 to 9, paving the way for the appointment of a five-bloc majority to rig the votes. The corrupt members appointed included three doctors who contributed to Obama. Michel Malek gave Obama $10,000 on June 30, 2003 and donated $25,000 to Blagojevich on July 25, 2003. Malek also gave Obama another $500 in September 2003. Fortunee Massuda donated $25,000 to Blagojevich on July 25, 2003, and gave a total of $2,000 to Obama on different dates. After he was appointed, Dr Imad Almanaseer contributed a total of $3,000 to Obama. Almanaseer did not give money to Blagojevich. When the first pay-to-play scheme was put in play, and the application for approval of a new hospital was submitted, the Department of Human Services, along with four other Illinois agencies, sent recommendations that the project should be approved even though experts said the hospital was not needed. During the trial, Rezko's attorney presented an email exchange to the jury that hinted at Obama's role in setting up the scheme. The exchange showed that Obama and seven other top Illinois politicians consulted on the legislation passed in 2003 and were involved in recommending the members for the board. Matthew Pickering wrote the memo to Blagojevich's general counsel, Susan Lichtenstein, on behalf of David Wilhelm, a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, who headed Blagojevich's 2002 campaign for governor. Pickering said he and Wilhelm had "worked closely" over six months with state legislators. The memo recommended the appointees listed above and stated, "our attached recommendations reflect that involvement" with the political leaders. The persons appointed to rig the votes, including those who contributed to Blagojevich and Obama, are cooperating in exchange for immunity or lighter prison sentences. Feds shut down pay-to-play schemes. Only two pay-to-play schemes succeeded before the Feds swooped in and shut them all down. Blagojevich did not receive the $1.5 million from the Planning Board deal because the hospital was never built. But Obama received $20,000 from the first kickback paid in the pension fund scheme and the straw donors used to funnel the $10,000 payments, Elie Maloof and Joseph Aramanda, also made $1,000 contributions to Obama's failed run for Congress in 2000. In addition, Aramanda gave $500 to Obama's senate campaign on June 30, 2003. In the summer of 2005, Aramanda's son landed an intern position in Obama's Washington office. Obama also received contributions for his senate campaign from the two persons appointed to rig the vote on the pension fund board. On June 30, 2003, Jack Carriglio contributed $1,000, and the other appointee, Anthony Abboud, donated $500 on June 30, 2003, $250 on March 5, 2004, and $1,000 on June 25, 2004. The person chosen to funnel the kickback in a future scheme, Michael Winter, donated $3,000 to Obama on June 30, 2003. All these people are also cooperating in exchange for immunity or lesser prison sentences but prosecutors pointed out during closing arguments that people who entered into agreements with the government are required to tell the truth or all deals are off.


And now the discussion of the law under which Obama will go to prison, 18 USC 1346:


http://www.groom.com/_library/downloads/NAPPAArticle-Feb2006.pdf.

This article provides brief guidance as to the manner in which courts have interpreted 18 U.S.C. § 1346, which generally provides that for purposes of federal mail and wire fraud statutes (18 U.S.C. §§ 1341 and 1343, respectively), a "scheme or artifice to defraud" includes a "scheme or artifice to deprive another of the intangible right to honest services." Specifically, this article examines the manner in which courts have interpreted the broad language of § 1346 in circumstances that do not involve the explicit bribery of public officials.
I.
Background
18 U.S.C. § 1346 was enacted in 1988, for purposes of reversing the Supreme Court's decision in McNally v. U.S.,483 U.S. 350 (1987). In McNally, the Supreme Court overruled a long line of lower court decisions by holding that the federal mail and wire fraud statutes did not encompass schemes to defraud citizens of an intangible right to honest government service from pubic officers. Id. at 355. By enacting 18 U.S.C. § 1346, Congress restored "honest services" within the ambit of the federal mail and wire fraud statutes, meaning that a scheme to deprive the public of "honest services" by a public official could be punished as mail or wire fraud (assuming, of course, that such an instrumentality was used as part of the scheme or artifice).
II.
Judicial Interpretations of the "Honest Services" Fraud
A.
General Parameters of the Statute
Not surprisingly, the majority of cases that have analyzed the "honest services" fraud set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 1346 have involved the bribery of public officials, where the charge under § 1346 is in addition to other charges. However, there have been numerous prosecutions under § 1346 against public officials (and those who have corrupted public officials) for transactions that do not involve outright bribery, but which nonetheless involve the provision of cash or gifts to a public official in exchange for the public official's exercise of power on behalf of the individual or entity providing the gratuity.
Courts have recognized that the term "honest services," as used in § 1346, is incredibly broad, but the statute has survived repeated challenges asserting that it is unconstitutionally vague, with courts resorting to a "common sense" usage of the phrase "honest services." In rejecting a constitutional void-for-vagueness challenge to the statute's wording, one court opined that "[c]oncrete parameters outlining the duty of honest services should not be necessary. . . . The concept of the duty of honest services sufficiently conveys warning of the proscribed conduct when measured in terms of common understanding and practice." U.S. v. ReBrook, 837 F. Supp. 162, 171 (S.D. W. Va. 1993), aff'd. 58 F.3d 961 (4 th Cir. 1995). Another court demonstrated little patience for the defendant's void-for-vagueness challenge in the context of a kickback scheme, holding that "[i]t should be plain to ordinary people that offering and accepting large sums of money in exchange for a city councilman's vote is a type of conduct proscribed by the language of § 1346." U.S. v. Paradies, 98 F.3d 1266, 1283 (11 th Cir. 1996). Nonetheless, courts have refused to allow § 1346 to be used as a "catch-all" that subjects every unethical or illegal act to federal mail and wire fraud prosecution. See, e.g., U.S. v. Bloom, 149 F.3d 649, 654-56 (7 th
Cir. 1998) (noting, inter alia, that "not every breach of fiduciary duty works a criminal fraud"); U.S. v. Welch, 327 F.3d 1081, 1107 (10 th Cir. 2003) ("the right to honest services is not violated by every breach of contract, breach of duty, conflict of interest, or misstatement made in the course of dealing"). Recognizing the difficulty of interpreting the undefined phrase "honest services," courts have attempted to establish general criteria that must be satisfied to successfully assert an "honest services" fraud claim. One of the leading circuits interpreting the scope of the honest services fraud is the First Circuit Court of Appeals, which held that: First, . . . honest services convictions of public officials typically involve serious corruption, such as embezzlement of public funds, bribery of public officials, or the failure of public decision-makers to disclose conflicts of interest. Second, . . . the broad scope of the mail fraud statute . . . does not encompass every instance of official misconduct that results in the official's personal gain. Third, and most importantly, . . . the government must not merely indicate wrongdoing by a public official, but must also demonstrate that the wrongdoing at issue is intended to prevent or call into question the proper or impartial performance of the public servant's official duties. U.S. v. Czubinski, 106 F.3d 1069, 1076 (1 st Cir. 1997) (emphasis added) (internal citations and quotations omitted), (discussing the First Circuit's prior decision in U.S. v. Sawyer, 85 F.3d 713, 724 (1996). The Seventh Circuit has held that "[m]isuse of office (more broadly, misuse of position) for private gain is the line that separates run of the mill violations of state law fiduciary duty . . . from federal crime." U.S. v. Bloom, 149 F.3d 649, 655 (7 th Cir. 1998). The court went on to note that "in almost all of the intangible rights cases decided . . . (before McNally or since § 1346), the defendant used his office for private gain, as by accepting a bribe in exchange for official action[,]" but also noted that "[s]ecret conversion of information received in a fiduciary capacity is a form of fraud against the owner of that information." Id. Accordingly, the Seventh Circuit summarized its test for an honest services fraud as follows: "[a]n employee deprives his employer of his honest services only if he misuses his position (or the information he obtained in it) for personal gain" (emphasis added). Id. at 656-57.
depp=true
notiz=cut and paste artists get nowhere here.



When is your endorsement co... (Below threshold)
jp2:

When is your endorsement coming? Throw your weight around, JT.

Obama will shortly be indic... (Below threshold)
John Ryskamp:

Obama will shortly be indicted under 18 USC 1346, which is the same provision under which Rezko was convicted.

There will be MANY counts in Obama's indictment, more than there were in Rezko's. This will give you details about one of the indictments, concerning the board legislation which Obama sponsored as part of a criminal enterprise. Both Rezko and Obama are members of the Syrian Mafia, which trades--corporately--under the name General Mediterranean and is headed by NadhmiAuchi.

I don't think I need to add that if Obama is elected, the Syrian mafia will be running the United States Government. Patrick Fitzgerald, hurry up.

Below is a discussion of the board legislation by Evelyn Pringle, who published a very detailed series on Obama's crimes at opednews.com. These articles have been cited around the world.

Following her discussion is a link to a discussion, also reproduced, of 18 USC 1346, which, again is the section under which Obama will be prosecuted.

First, Evelyn's discussion:


The evidence presented in "Tony Rezko's] trial focused on his influence over officials in getting members appointed to the Boards. Prosecutors did not discuss how the legislation got passed that enabled the Planning Board to be set up in a way that allowed for the appointment of members to rig the votes to begin with. That part of the scheme will likely be detailed in future indictments, probably starting with Blagojevich. Blagojevich signed the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Act with an effective date of June 27, 2003. However, before he could sign the act, a bill had to be passed by the Illinois House and Senate. As discussed fully in Curtain Time Part II, Obama was the inside guy in the senate who pushed through the legislation that resulted in the Act. Obama was appointed chairman of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. The minute the bill was introduced, it was referred to his committee for review. The sponsors of the bill also served on this committee with Obama. Within a month, Chairman Obama sent word to the full senate that the legislation should be passed. On May 31, 2003, Senate Bill 1332 passed and specified that the "Board shall be appointed by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate." The legislation reduced the number of members from 15 to 9, paving the way for the appointment of a five-bloc majority to rig the votes. The corrupt members appointed included three doctors who contributed to Obama. Michel Malek gave Obama $10,000 on June 30, 2003 and donated $25,000 to Blagojevich on July 25, 2003. Malek also gave Obama another $500 in September 2003. Fortunee Massuda donated $25,000 to Blagojevich on July 25, 2003, and gave a total of $2,000 to Obama on different dates. After he was appointed, Dr Imad Almanaseer contributed a total of $3,000 to Obama. Almanaseer did not give money to Blagojevich. When the first pay-to-play scheme was put in play, and the application for approval of a new hospital was submitted, the Department of Human Services, along with four other Illinois agencies, sent recommendations that the project should be approved even though experts said the hospital was not needed. During the trial, Rezko's attorney presented an email exchange to the jury that hinted at Obama's role in setting up the scheme. The exchange showed that Obama and seven other top Illinois politicians consulted on the legislation passed in 2003 and were involved in recommending the members for the board. Matthew Pickering wrote the memo to Blagojevich's general counsel, Susan Lichtenstein, on behalf of David Wilhelm, a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, who headed Blagojevich's 2002 campaign for governor. Pickering said he and Wilhelm had "worked closely" over six months with state legislators. The memo recommended the appointees listed above and stated, "our attached recommendations reflect that involvement" with the political leaders. The persons appointed to rig the votes, including those who contributed to Blagojevich and Obama, are cooperating in exchange for immunity or lighter prison sentences. Feds shut down pay-to-play schemes. Only two pay-to-play schemes succeeded before the Feds swooped in and shut them all down. Blagojevich did not receive the $1.5 million from the Planning Board deal because the hospital was never built. But Obama received $20,000 from the first kickback paid in the pension fund scheme and the straw donors used to funnel the $10,000 payments, Elie Maloof and Joseph Aramanda, also made $1,000 contributions to Obama's failed run for Congress in 2000. In addition, Aramanda gave $500 to Obama's senate campaign on June 30, 2003. In the summer of 2005, Aramanda's son landed an intern position in Obama's Washington office. Obama also received contributions for his senate campaign from the two persons appointed to rig the vote on the pension fund board. On June 30, 2003, Jack Carriglio contributed $1,000, and the other appointee, Anthony Abboud, donated $500 on June 30, 2003, $250 on March 5, 2004, and $1,000 on June 25, 2004. The person chosen to funnel the kickback in a future scheme, Michael Winter, donated $3,000 to Obama on June 30, 2003. All these people are also cooperating in exchange for immunity or lesser prison sentences but prosecutors pointed out during closing arguments that people who entered into agreements with the government are required to tell the truth or all deals are off.


And now the discussion of the law under which Obama will go to prison, 18 USC 1346:


http://www.groom.com/_library/downloads/NAPPAArticle-Feb2006.pdf.

This article provides brief guidance as to the manner in which courts have interpreted 18 U.S.C. § 1346, which generally provides that for purposes of federal mail and wire fraud statutes (18 U.S.C. §§ 1341 and 1343, respectively), a "scheme or artifice to defraud" includes a "scheme or artifice to deprive another of the intangible right to honest services." Specifically, this article examines the manner in which courts have interpreted the broad language of § 1346 in circumstances that do not involve the explicit bribery of public officials.
I.
Background
18 U.S.C. § 1346 was enacted in 1988, for purposes of reversing the Supreme Court's decision in McNally v. U.S.,483 U.S. 350 (1987). In McNally, the Supreme Court overruled a long line of lower court decisions by holding that the federal mail and wire fraud statutes did not encompass schemes to defraud citizens of an intangible right to honest government service from pubic officers. Id. at 355. By enacting 18 U.S.C. § 1346, Congress restored "honest services" within the ambit of the federal mail and wire fraud statutes, meaning that a scheme to deprive the public of "honest services" by a public official could be punished as mail or wire fraud (assuming, of course, that such an instrumentality was used as part of the scheme or artifice).
II.
Judicial Interpretations of the "Honest Services" Fraud
A.
General Parameters of the Statute
Not surprisingly, the majority of cases that have analyzed the "honest services" fraud set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 1346 have involved the bribery of public officials, where the charge under § 1346 is in addition to other charges. However, there have been numerous prosecutions under § 1346 against public officials (and those who have corrupted public officials) for transactions that do not involve outright bribery, but which nonetheless involve the provision of cash or gifts to a public official in exchange for the public official's exercise of power on behalf of the individual or entity providing the gratuity.
Courts have recognized that the term "honest services," as used in § 1346, is incredibly broad, but the statute has survived repeated challenges asserting that it is unconstitutionally vague, with courts resorting to a "common sense" usage of the phrase "honest services." In rejecting a constitutional void-for-vagueness challenge to the statute's wording, one court opined that "[c]oncrete parameters outlining the duty of honest services should not be necessary. . . . The concept of the duty of honest services sufficiently conveys warning of the proscribed conduct when measured in terms of common understanding and practice." U.S. v. ReBrook, 837 F. Supp. 162, 171 (S.D. W. Va. 1993), aff'd. 58 F.3d 961 (4 th Cir. 1995). Another court demonstrated little patience for the defendant's void-for-vagueness challenge in the context of a kickback scheme, holding that "[i]t should be plain to ordinary people that offering and accepting large sums of money in exchange for a city councilman's vote is a type of conduct proscribed by the language of § 1346." U.S. v. Paradies, 98 F.3d 1266, 1283 (11 th Cir. 1996). Nonetheless, courts have refused to allow § 1346 to be used as a "catch-all" that subjects every unethical or illegal act to federal mail and wire fraud prosecution. See, e.g., U.S. v. Bloom, 149 F.3d 649, 654-56 (7 th
Cir. 1998) (noting, inter alia, that "not every breach of fiduciary duty works a criminal fraud"); U.S. v. Welch, 327 F.3d 1081, 1107 (10 th Cir. 2003) ("the right to honest services is not violated by every breach of contract, breach of duty, conflict of interest, or misstatement made in the course of dealing"). Recognizing the difficulty of interpreting the undefined phrase "honest services," courts have attempted to establish general criteria that must be satisfied to successfully assert an "honest services" fraud claim. One of the leading circuits interpreting the scope of the honest services fraud is the First Circuit Court of Appeals, which held that: First, . . . honest services convictions of public officials typically involve serious corruption, such as embezzlement of public funds, bribery of public officials, or the failure of public decision-makers to disclose conflicts of interest. Second, . . . the broad scope of the mail fraud statute . . . does not encompass every instance of official misconduct that results in the official's personal gain. Third, and most importantly, . . . the government must not merely indicate wrongdoing by a public official, but must also demonstrate that the wrongdoing at issue is intended to prevent or call into question the proper or impartial performance of the public servant's official duties. U.S. v. Czubinski, 106 F.3d 1069, 1076 (1 st Cir. 1997) (emphasis added) (internal citations and quotations omitted), (discussing the First Circuit's prior decision in U.S. v. Sawyer, 85 F.3d 713, 724 (1996). The Seventh Circuit has held that "[m]isuse of office (more broadly, misuse of position) for private gain is the line that separates run of the mill violations of state law fiduciary duty . . . from federal crime." U.S. v. Bloom, 149 F.3d 649, 655 (7 th Cir. 1998). The court went on to note that "in almost all of the intangible rights cases decided . . . (before McNally or since § 1346), the defendant used his office for private gain, as by accepting a bribe in exchange for official action[,]" but also noted that "[s]ecret conversion of information received in a fiduciary capacity is a form of fraud against the owner of that information." Id. Accordingly, the Seventh Circuit summarized its test for an honest services fraud as follows: "[a]n employee deprives his employer of his honest services only if he misuses his position (or the information he obtained in it) for personal gain" (emphasis added). Id. at 656-57.
depp=true
notiz=cut and paste artists get nowhere here.

"Well, one of the key figur... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

"Well, one of the key figures in getting Rich his pardon was Eric Holder, who was the #2 man in the Justice Department.."-jt

A key...-er figure in getting Rich his pardon was one I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Marc Rich's personal attorney (and BFF) of over 10 years. In fact, congratulations were telephonically conveyed by brand new V.P Chief of Staff "Scooter" Libby from the Vice President's own office in the White House(!). Embarrassing testimony ensued, of course. (see Pinkerton's coverage in Time(?) of the Rich pardon hearings, viz. Scooter's testimony.)

Epilogue: then Scooter was given a spit bath in time for Plame to be "safely" smeared by a clutch of GOP amnesiacs.



Your comment reminds me of ... (Below threshold)
Bob:

Your comment reminds me of Teddy Moore Kennedy's Democrat primary opponent when he first ran for the Senate: "If my opponent's name were Edward Moore, his candidacy would be laughed at as a joke." At that time Teddy's brother was President, and the Kennedy name carried him easily to victory. BHO has the advantage of being a "clean" (according to Joe Biden), articulate black candidate whose record is so thin that his opponents didn't have much to tag him with, other than his decades long close relationship with radicals and race haters. His "change" is coincidentally the exact platform that every Democrat candidate has run on: salvation through more taxes and more gov't program. Maybe he can continue to sell Hope (hype?) but there won't be any real change from what the Democrats have been pushing for the last 60 years.

I agree, Sen. Obama has no ... (Below threshold)
anonymous:

I agree, Sen. Obama has no 'plan for change' unless you want the change to mean that we slip more into socialism than freedom of being a self governing nation (ie: we the people are in charge)

I noted the headline of the article as change is only 'skin deep'... I take a literal look at that headline. It's ironic; for years America was told don't judge by the color of skin pigment. (very true) I recall the words of Martin Luther King Jr. "I have a dream, that one day men will not judge men by the color of their skin but by the depth of their character." So...what is the headline by the MSM on Obama winning the dem nomination? Obama
the first "black" to win dem nomination (or something of that effect) and that's all people are seeing...THE SKIN COLOR...

No matter that Obama believes abortion of innocent life is "a choice"

No matter that Obama has yet to figure out we have men and we have women 'for a reason' that there is a difference in the sexes and that
good society recognizes why one honors the 'love' between man and woman. That one need not 'marry' to be respected...that love is not about 'sex' - therefore, there is no reason to allow two of the same gender to marry and be given monetary reward.

Obama is not for fighting the real oppressed persons in Iraq but seeks only a 'subjective'
peace at home - looking the other way at how
persons in other nations have lived with terror on a daily basis. Everyone 'hates war'
but to deny the existence of evil on others,
just to have a 'false peace' for a time; is
naive.

Before one can speak of making changes, one needs to first change their own ideas. Obama
is of liberal mind. To insist that Roe v Wade
was 'right law' and then state he is a Christian, is to state 'he lacks understanding' of what Christian is about.
Another irony, Mr. Obama speaks of separation of church and state yet Mr. Obama very early on, wanted to stress the point he's of a certain church. ??? So really, Mr. Obama knows in his head why it's important to belong to a faith practice, but he's not connecting 'the practice of faith' to 'life itself' ... why we are on this earthly journey and why LIFE is sacred. NEW LIFE...for 'the old' does pass away. A look at China's one child policy and how now, after the earthquake they 'might' begin to understand - LIFE is sacred...and it can't be replaced at a government 'decree'

'the flesh' is of no avail...it perishes, the Spirit is what brings life...and any who don't honor the Spirit of Love that brings LIFE to a society; is 'not at all' for 'the littlest guy'
A woman's body is her body when it remains her SINGLE body; once she decides to unite with another, it is no longer 'just her body' ...
Mr. Obama can't understand this notion.



dude .. I ain't a obama sup... (Below threshold)
monish:

dude .. I ain't a obama supporter but you got some very biased views there. Goodluck & God Bless!!

BryanD; Libby did indeed pl... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

BryanD; Libby did indeed play a role in Rich's exoneration. I was dismayed that Libby would represent such scum as Rich. A good question is this: Why is Libby's role condemned by the left as a means to berate the right, rather than a condemnation by the left based on principle? Back when Clinton pardoned Rich, left AND right were appalled. Now Libby's role is only used in the context of political bashing.

But Libby was Rich's lawyer too. Isn't it a lawyer's job to represent the interests of their client? If I remember correctly, Holder had no such compelling interest, other than personal - if you're familiar with the history at all.

THIS is sure change for the... (Below threshold)
Ted:

THIS is sure change for the GOP that's more than skin deep! Take a look at this YouTube re Alaska Gov Sarah Palin (as Veep for McCain)-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXfiOSCfY44&eurl=http://palinforvp.blogspot.com/

to the one who said "dude" ... (Below threshold)
anonymous:

to the one who said "dude" you have some biased views there...after my blog; I'm assuming that was directed at my blog but perhaps it was directed at the main article. [not sure]

If it was directed to me, let me provide the definition of 'bias'

bias: To influence in a particular typically unfair direction; prejudice

Quite simply: if there is any 'bias' out there,
it is found in the MSM; who attempts to influence in the direction of 'liberal' and writes so as to favor one candidate over another, simply because that candidate is of a certain party. The D party.

The use the 'political correct terms' of
pro-choice rather than state as is: this candidate favors aborting the unborn. They
use 'tolerant' in place of understanding that certain actions are not going going to reap
the individual a good life but merely a temporal in-the-moment 'fun' ... ie: they
condone actions that reap a bad end eternally speaking.

Hard for some to fathom it; since that catch phrase of the 60's 'do your own thing' but
There is right action and there is wrong action. One bears 'good fruit' (good results)
the other puts persons on a slippery slope of
misery that's hard to climb out of. (concisely: the slippery slope is called SIN;
Self Indulgent Nature)

Any who condones someone in their wrong ideas; is not 'for' but against your having a good life.

Something democrat politici... (Below threshold)
anonymous:

Something democrat politicians out for self haven't yet figured out; you can't MAKE the poor become wealthy. They can't. I can't. No one can MAKE someone 'get wealth' ie: have.
IMPOSSIBLE.

You can give a man a fish; and you've taken care of need 'for a day' ...tomorrow the man is back asking to be fed again. IF however, one were to TEACH how to do...THEN, you have
INDEPENDENCE. Does the democrat politician want the American citizen who has not to become 'self' sufficient? Of course not!
If 'the poor' begin accepting responsibility for thier own lives; the democrat politician
is out of 'a job.' [there's only so many lawyers to go around and so many books to write on how BAD life is]

LOL (that means laugh out loud) Those who vote for a democrat who says "I can make your life better" is a bit uhmmm...well; non-experienced in life.

Contrary to some minds; being handed a bunch of dollars isn't going to 'better' them. If a
truly wealthy man won a million dollars in the lottery and a very poor guy won the same amount, It's my bet - in one year - the wealthy person would have MORE than what he started with; and helped more persons around him in the process.

The poor guy; naturally, must first take care of his own basics. BUT; in the poor man's mind, who equates esteem with having - he would not buy a used car but a nice comfortable "stylish" car, He wouldn't buy a
small condo of maybe two bedrooms but a 5 bedroom home with swimming pool, He would
go to the fanciest restaurants and be LAVISH
with the tip, he would take a REALLY NICE vacation (after all, he deserves it he would muse) [no day trips or just an occasional
local vacation in a 'simple condo' for a week]
And, I am assuming he would treat all his friends to NICE gifts; which is very generous
except that ...well, without understanding, the gift isn't going to make his friends happier. Maybe 'temporarily' but

HAPPINESS that lasts is within. It is God.
and God within, gives all one needs to be happy. Self Control to say NO to temptations:
be it drink, cigarettes, or pornographic shows.
He gives the Spirit of Understanding and a knowledge of how to live life (pursue learning, and grow a skill and one can take care of self and others also; which does much for the esteem)

When much is given; much is required...that means unless you understand WHY you were able to acquire - the wealth is fleeting...lost quickly...and one is back to dependency on another.




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