Archive for the ‘Political Gossip’ Category
Rahm gets angry when asked about ‘school choice’ and why he sends his kids to private school. Stomps out of interview.
Calls interviewer “a bully”
BEN SAYS: Like Obama, Rahm rejects public school for his own kids because he can afford the best private schools, but doesn’t think the rest of America should be able to choose schools for their kids. Taxpayers pay about $18,000 per kid in the failed Chicago public schools. Would it not be better just to let those kids take the $18,000 in the form of a voucher and use that voucher to pay tuition at better schools?
Better yet, give kids a $10,000 voucher for education per year, and scrap the public schools entirely. Slash education spending by 40 percent or so, and deliver better schooling. By introducing competition for this money, you will seen an explosion of all kinds of new schools. Parents could then choose the school that’s right for their kid. The free-market always produces a better product, far cheaper, than what the government delivers.
There’s really no valid argument for these failed union-dominated government schools to exist.
MARY ANN AHERN-NBC CHICAGO: The interview was supposed to focus on a new Rahm Emanuel initiative – the creation of an Office for New Americans – but I crammed in questions on labor, Mayor Daley’s union negotiations, and more. But when his press secretary Tarrah Cooper said time was up just 10 minutes into what was scheduled as a 20 minute interview, I tossed him the school question.
Similar to his former boss, Emanuel said it’s a private decision.
While I appreciate the desire for privacy, I tried to explain that the Mayor’s family is now in the public eye as Chicago’s First Family, and that the public would want to know whether Emanuel is confident enough in the public school system to send his own children there. But Emanuel broke in.
“Mary Ann, let me break the news to you. My children are not in a public position,” he said, curtly. “I am. You’re asking me a value statement and not a policy. … No, no, you have to appreciate this. My children are not an instrument of me being mayor. My children are my children, and that may be news to you, and that may be new to you, Mary Ann, but you have to understand that I’m making this decision as a father.”
The mayor stood up to leave.
“I look forward to our future interview,” he said before unclipping his lanyard microphone and dropping it to the floor, and walking out of his office. I asked my camera man to stop rolling.
As I tried to explain further, Emanuel doubled back. He looked directly at my two college interns, and said, “You are my witnesses.”
Then, the Mayor of Chicago positioned himself inches from my face and pointed his finger directly at my head. He raised his voice and admonished me. How dare I ask where his children would go to school!
“You’ve done this before,” he said.
This was the Emanuel we had heard about, and it was one of the oddest moments in my 29 years of reporting.
My two interns followed out of City Hall and back to the station.
Several hours later I called the mayor directly since I happened on his cell number and saved it. I thought it might be best to clear the air. But no air was cleared.
“My children are private and you will not do this,” he said into the receiver.
He said other children of public figures – Chelsea Clinton and the Obama girls – have been kept out of the public eye, despite media attention on the admission to the Sidwell Friends Academy in Washington D.C.
I tried to explain he had a point, but their parents too had to answer the question of what school they would attend. No one is trying to have lunch with the first children.
I also let him know that I felt wronged and bullied during his earlier tirade.
“You are wrong and a bully,” Emanuel fired back. “I care deeply for my family. I don’t care about you.”
With that, he hung up the phone.
NBC: A two-year grand jury investigation of John Edwards has reached a decisive point. Prosecutors believe they have a strong case, but have not yet gotten a green light from the Justice Department to charge the former presidential candidate, NBC News has learned. The issue: did Edwards violate election laws by trying to cover up his affair with a campaign videographer, Rielle Hunter.
Sources close to the investigation say Justice Department attorneys are now conducting a final review of evidence, and an indictment could come within days or weeks. In what could be an ominous development for Edwards, prosecutors already are making arrangements to record the sworn testimony of a key witness for possible use in a future trial, said the sources, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“It would be surprising now if he wasn’t indicted,” said Stephen Saltzburg, a former federal prosecutor and George Washington University law professor. “If John Edwards was aware that money was being paid to hide his mistress… and it was done to help his campaign, then he’s in trouble.”
REAL CLEAR POLITICS: President Obama recounts an anecdote about the 2004 Democratic National Convention at White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs’ final press briefing:
“The most challenging problem was what tie to wear. And this went up to the very last minute. I mean, 10 minutes before we were about to go on stage we were still having an argument about ties. I had bought five, six ties. And Michelle didn’t like any of them, Axelrod didn’t like a couple of them — him being one of the best dressed men in the world. So we really valued his opinion.
“And then somebody — I don’t remember who it was — turned and said, ‘You know what? What about Gibbs’ tie? What about Gibbs’ tie? That might look good.’ And, frankly, Robert didn’t want to give it up because he thought he looked really good in the tie. But eventually he was willing to take one for the gipper, and so he took off his tie, and I put it on. And that’s the tie that I wore at the national convention.”
NATIONAL ENQUIRER: The real reason behind PRESIDENT OBAMA’s shocking weight loss – he’s secretly battling stomach parasites, say sources.
The pencil-thin president caught the parasites on a trip last year to Hawaii, where he and his family also vacationed over Christmas, according to top political insiders.
“Barack has wanted to keep the stomach parasites under the radar,” revealed a close source.
“There had been a public health warning about them in Hawaii when he caught them.”
Concerned sources say extreme stress and a poor diet caused by his hectic schedule have contributed to the 6-foot-1 president’s skeletal look.
“Michelle is fearful he’s close to a physical collapse,” revealed an insider.
“He appears to be wasting away.
Matthews uses material from Hollywood movie about Jack Abramoff to call Delay Abramoff’s “dupe.”
NEWSBUSTERS: Chris Matthews on Friday actually used material presented in a Hollywood movie to accuse former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay of being convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff’s dupe.
As DeLay presented his side of the case days after being sentenced to three years in prison for illegally influencing Texas politics, the “Hardball” host said, “You were tied up with people [like] Mike Scanlon and [Jack] Abramoff especially.
THE HILL: Reince Priebus is the new chairman of the Republican National Committee.
Priebus won with 97 votes in the seventh round of voting. Priebus, the chairman of the Wisconsin Republican Party, was the leader from the first ballot, and was the only candidate to not lose any supporters as voting progressed Friday afternoon.
I’m no fan of Michael Vick. And I love dogs, too. But that’s a bit much.
BEN’S FURTHER COMMENT:Kind of seems conservatives are going overboard on this Michael Vick thing as a way to show that conservatives have a soft and fuzzy side. I’m just seeing lots of crazy comments like this from conservatives commentators.
I think Vick served about the right about of time. He probably now understands that was a really, really bad thing he did.