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Thursday, September 30, 2010

The case of the apple not falling far from the tree

Liberals...Not to worry he'll get re-elected

Sandi Jackson reveals her anguish over Jesse Jackson Jr.'s affair

 Giovana Huidobro

BY MICHAEL SNEED Sun-Times Columnist

It's a story as old as time: adultery, anguish and atonement. Last Tuesday, when news broke of U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s extramarital relationship with a blond nightclub hostess -- kryptonite in the world of the African-American woman -- his wife, Ald. Sandi Jackson, inserted a little laughter into the public disclosure.

The venue she chose to publicly thwack her errant husband was her 47th birthday party/fund-raiser tossed by her 7th Ward staff at the Park 52 restaurant in Hyde Park.

"I'd known about it nearly two years ago because Jesse told me late one night in Washington," Ald. Sandi Jackson said of her husband Jesse Jackson Jr.'s affair.

"I told them: 'I put my foot knee-deep in his ass and he has been having a very difficult time sleeping peacefully since then.' "

Surprisingly, she did it with her husband in attendance.

"Jesse laughed because he knew it was true," Ald. Jackson told me. "But I also wanted everyone to know I was not taking it lightly."

What Ald. Jackson wasn't taking lightly was how much the public disclosure had hurt.

In an exclusive interview punctuated with tears and laughter at a West Side restaurant Thursday, a vivacious, but intense Sandi Jackson talked about her private anguish; her sea legs as a new alderman in the process of transforming her ward's old Steel Works lakefront, and her commuter marriage to the son of the Rev. Jesse Jackson, whose life of service has also been pockmarked by sexual scandal.

"You know, when the Clintons ran into marital trouble, I thought Hillary should leave Bill," she said. "I couldn't stand what Tiger Woods did and how his wife had to suffer publicly.

"But when the 'beast' lands at your door, it can be a very, very different experience. No one really knows what they are going to do until they are in that situation. When it happens to you it's amazing how what you once thought was black and white becomes variations of a color called gray."

Although Congressman Jackson's name had surfaced in the Rod Blagojevich trial involving the alleged sale of President Obama's former U.S. Senate seat, word of Jackson's affair, interspersed somewhere in that time frame, did not hit the news until last week.

Sleepless nights and marriage counseling

The Chicago Sun-Times reported that Rep. Jackson had asked fund-raiser Raghuveer Nayak to buy plane tickets for a Washington woman, Giovana Huidobro, whom the congressman had described as a "social acquaintance" to FBI agents investigating Blagojevich.

But Sandi Jackson had known about the woman before her face appeared on Page 1, she said.

"I'd known about it nearly two years ago because Jesse told me late one night in our home in Washington," she said.

"He said it was over. I was mortified and in agony, but he knew if I found out any other way it would be over. That the only way to save our marriage was to come clean."

Her reaction?

"In the beginning I thought how could Jesse do this to me? Our children were so small. I immediately began to question myself. 'Did I work hard enough? Had I not sacrificed enough helping his career? Was it my stretch marks? My pouchy stomach?' "

And it happened when Sandi Jackson was finding her own public voice as an alderman.

"I was juggling motherhood, a commuter marriage, an aldermanic office pushing hard to transform the long vacant South Side Steel Works into a major redevelopment--and being the wife of a well-known politician for whom I work hard as a paid political consultant.

"There were sleepless nights and I started losing hair and I told him I would only consider staying if we got into therapy."

Her husband, she said, "agreed and we got through it."

Before the news broke, she said, "I thought I was done with this. That we could go on with a new chapter in our lives.

"We had the luxury of privacy to undergo intense marital counseling and spiritual therapy to save our marriage," she said. "I thought we had turned the corner. Then this sucker punch in the press -- and having to live it all over again publicly."

Sandi Jackson said it's hard enough keeping a marriage on track, "but when you are doing it with everybody watching, it makes it even more difficult."

Her husband's recent hubris on the "Don Wade & Roma" radio show telling the feds to "Bring it on!" didn't help.

"Look, I'm the one who told Jesse to push back a little when he went on the 'Don Wade & Roma' show," she said. "He had remained silent due to his lawyer's instructions, but I felt it was time he needed to give his constituents -- who needed to hear from him -- a sense of fight."

Her husband "never had an intention to run for mayor" but needed to gear up for re-election to his House seat.

Sandi Jackson said her husband "has been quiet, withdrawn and concerned."

"Everyone has noticed his weight loss. He was fighting for his marriage privately and publicly fighting allegations."

She views her marriage as "a marathon."

"We've been through a lot, but things happen. I had hoped it wouldn't happen to me, but I'm not naive. Vows mean you work to stay engaged and stick it out. I'm not one to cut and run.

"When Jesse told me about the indiscretion, I didn't want details. I know what adultery looks like. I didn't need to visualize it. I needed to concentrate on my kids."

An attorney who was married for 10 years before having her two children -- 10-year-old Jessica and 7-year-old Jesse Jackson III -- nicknamed "Tre" -- she had four earlier miscarriages and a child who died shortly after he was born.

"It's been surreal. I feel bad for Jesse because he is living this thing all over again. He is remorseful over this fire storm he's created around us."

So where is she emotionally right now?

"I don't know except I want to stay focused on my children and doing a good job for my constituents," she said.

She "can't stop working just because of my personal situation," Ald. Jackson said.

"We have a real opportunity to bring in thousands of jobs in the 7th Ward due to the old Steel Works lakefront development and jobs that could last for 20 years."

In her "quieter moments it's very difficult, but there are people out there who have situations far worse than mine," she says. "Mine is a matter of the heart. For many it's a matter of survival. My heart will heal."

Mom taught her how to be strong

Sandi Jackson, whose parents divorced when she was 12, is one of three children who grew up in Akron, Ohio. Her mother, Sarah Stevens, 65, never remarried and lives with the couple in their home in Washington, D.C.

"Jesse lives in Washington during the week, and I reside in Chicago; then we trade routes on the weekend. But my mother is with our children every day. In the summer, we all live in Chicago," she explained.

It was her mother, she says, who taught her strength.

"My mother took on three jobs to support us; working as a nursing assistant in a hospital and cleaning houses on weekends. She taught me a lot about courage and independence. That no matter what happens in my life, I could be strong, too."

As a child in a poor family, she said, her mother "made everything into an adventure."

"When our utilities were cut off, she told us we were going to camp -- inside the house. We'd watch the candles carefully to make sure they'd never die out or touch anything. We'd sleep by the fireplace . . . our campfire. Our gas fireplace. We thought we were experiencing something no one else was experiencing."

Her mother was " always tired, but she was just happy to be with her kids -- that's where Jesse and I are right now."

Sandi and Jesse Jackson were married in 1991 and finished law school together.

"I've worked for congressmen; my father-in-law; my husband . . . and now I've found my own voice working for my ward," she says. "It's now time for me to give back as a public servant -- with my own voice -- and my own decisions.

"The name on my resume is Sandi Stevens Jackson, and I was my mother's daughter before I got married."


Wednesday, September 29, 2010 regret over one's wrongdoing

Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable.
- Sidney J. Harris


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

You just knew it was coming

Chavez: Venezuela Studying Nuclear Program

CARACAS, Venezuela -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Monday that his government is carrying out initial studies into starting a nuclear energy program.

Chavez brought up the issue during a news conference, saying the South American country needs an atomic energy program.

"We're taking on the project of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, and they aren't going to stop us," Chavez said. "We need it and we're carrying out the first studies."

Chavez is a close ally of Iran and has defended the Iranian nuclear program, saying he is sure Iran is not making atomic weapons in spite of U.S. and European suspicions.

He has mentioned plans for an atomic energy program previously. It remains unclear how quickly he intends to pursue the program.

Chavez brought up the issue while referring to the case of a physicist and his wife in New Mexico who are accused by U.S. authorities of offering to help develop a nuclear weapon in contacts with an undercover U.S. agent posing as a representative of the Venezuelan government.

"They detained some scientist professors, I think Argentines, and then I was ready to respond when I saw that a government spokesman came out there saying that no, no, there is no evidence," Chavez said.

The U.S. government is not alleging Venezuela or anyone working for it sought U.S. secrets in the case.

Chavez brought up the case as an example of some of the claims his leftist government has to contend with.

"They invent so many things," he said. "The fact they say there is no evidence doesn't mean they aren't going to find it tomorrow, or fabricate it ... that Venezuela is making an atomic bomb."

He called that idea preposterous, saying: "Who in Venezuela could take on a project of that type? Who? We aren't going to take it on."


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Dream Act

Maybe the title should have been...How to create 12 million Democrats out of thin air.

This is just another liberal...."I got my foot in the door move"...if ever I saw one!

  What this amounts to is a last ditch pathetic attempt at granting illegals amnesty before this worthless scumbag and his cohorts are thrown out of office in November.

Reid Adding Amnesty Measure to Defense Bill

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday he wants to attach an amendment to a defense policy bill that would help young people in the United States illegally become legal U.S. residents.

The Nevada Democrat said at a Capitol news conference that the legislation known as the DREAM Act is long overdue. He would not say whether he has the votes for the amendment. The act would allow young people who attend college or join the military to become legal U.S. residents.

The young people must have come to the country when they were under 16 years of age and have been in the country five years. Those who join the military must serve at least two years and complete two years of college.

Democrats have also promised gay rights groups an end to the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy" that bars gays from serving openly in the military. That is in the bill that Reid said he will try to take up next week.

Republicans oppose both measures.

Asked whether he had the votes for the DREAM Act, Reid responded: "I sure hope so."

President Barack Obama has been under fire in the immigrant and Hispanic communities because Congress has failed to move an immigration reform bill despite his promise to deal with the issue in his first year in the Oval Office.

Some critics say Democrats' end-of-the-year push on immigration reform is a political move. Reid is facing a tough re-election challenge from tea party favorite Sharron Angle, who supports tougher immigration laws. Hispanics make up a quarter of Nevada's population.

A spokesman for the Nevada Republican Party declared Reid's announcement a campaign stunt.

"Nevada voters will overwhelmingly reject these desperate political parlor games that could only come from a 28-year establishment Democrat seeking a fifth term in the U.S. Senate," Jahan Wilcox said in a statement.

Reid blamed Republicans for the inability to pass a sweeping immigration reform bill.

"I've tried to. I've tried so very, very hard, but those Republicans we've had in the last Congress (who backed immigration reform) have left us," he said.

Minutes before Reid announced his plans, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell described the defense policy bill as "needlessly controversial" because of the inclusion of the "don't ask, don't tell" measure and plans to add the DREAM Act.

"I can't tell you right now how easy it will be to move forward with that bill," said McConnell.


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Events Mark 9th anniversary of Sept. 11 Amid Storm of Controversy

It's been nine long years and this son-of-a-bitch is still alive.

I want this bastard dead but not from natural causes.

For me... We Will Never Forget...  means a hell of a lot more then just a "catchy" phrase.

A day of mourning for nearly 3,000 Sept. 11 victims began with moments of silence and tears at the World Trade Center site in New York City to mark the time terrorists began their attack on America nine years ago.

But hanging over the ceremonies, politics threatens to overshadow the day of mourning for victims of the attacks amid a polarizing national debate over a mosque planned blocks from the World Trade Center site.

Chants of thousands of sign-waving protesters both for and against the Islamic center were expected after an annual observance normally known for a sad litany of families reading names of loved ones lost in the 2001 terrorist attacks.

Speaking at "hallowed ground" at the Pentagon, President Barack Obama alluded to the controversy over the mosque in Lower Manhattan. Obama made it clear that the U.S. is not at war with Islam and called the Al Qaeda attackers as "a sorry band of men" who perverted religion.

"We will not give in to their hatred," Obama said. "As Americans, we will not or ever be at war with Islam."

Family members gathering at observances in New York and Pennsylvania brought flowers, pictures of loved ones and American flags, but no signs of opposition or support for the mosque. Reading victims' names at ground zero in New York, they urged a restrained tone.

"Let today never, ever be a national holiday. Let it not be a celebration," said Karen Carroll, who lost her brother, firefighter Thomas Kuveikis. "It's a day to be somber; it's a day to reflect on all those thousands of people that died for us in the United States."

Standing before microphones, stifling sobs, some family members who read names sought to emphasize sentiments on all sides of the mosque argument.

Some -- including Nadine DeGrange, whose uncle, Frank Wisniewski, 54, was killed -- stressed that ground zero is hallowed.

"I come here every year because this is the only burial ground I know. And I pray to God it remains sacred," she said.

Others sought to embrace unity and a spirit of reaching out, which is what the developers of the Islamic center have said is their goal.

"May we share your courage as we build bridges with other people to prevent this from happening again and to preserve human dignity for all," said Robert Ferris, saluting the dozens of building workers who joined families in reading names.

Ferris lost his father, who worked at Aon Corp.

Bagpipes and drums played to open the ceremony, followed by brief comments by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

"Once again we meet to commemorate the day we have come to call 9/11. We have returned to this sacred site to join our hearts together, the names of those we loved and lost," Bloomberg said. "No other public tragedy has cut our city so deeply. No other place is as filled with our compassion, our love and our solidarity."

Moments of silence were held to mark the times the hijacked jetliners hit the north and south towers of the World Trade Center, as well as the times the towers collapsed. President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama attended separate services at the Pentagon in Washington and a rural field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

The mosque debate pits advocates of religious freedom against critics who say putting an Islamic center so close to ground zero disrespects the dead. While the rallies planned in New York embroiled victims' family members in a feud over whether to play politics, a threat to burn copies of the Koran was apparently called off.

John Bolton, who was U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush, was expected to send a videotaped message of support to the anti-mosque rally, as was conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart. Anti-Islam Dutch politician Geert Wilders, who advocates banning the Quran and taxing Muslim women who wear head scarves, planned to address the crowd in person, along with a handful of Republican congressional candidates who have made opposition to the mosque a centerpiece of their campaigns.

Muslim prayer services are normally held at the site, but it was padlocked Friday and closed Saturday, the official end of the holy month of Ramadan. Police planned 24-hour patrols until next week. Worshippers on Friday were redirected to a different prayer room 10 blocks away.

In Shanksville, Michelle Obama and former first lady Laura Bush spoke to hundreds of people gathered at a memorial service for the 40 victims of Flight 93, which crashed about 60 miles (100 kilometers) southwest of Pittsburgh.

Flight 93 was en route from Newark, New Jersey, to San Francisco on Sept. 11, 2001, when hijackers seized control. But passengers fought back and the hijackers responded by crashing the plane.

Vice President Joe Biden spoke at the New York ceremony, where 2,752 people were killed when two jetliners flew into the trade center. Bells tolled to mark the times that each tower collapsed.

Meanwhile, as New York City and the nation brace to remember the attacks, those most affected say they feel more isolated and frustrated than ever.

"One of the nice things about 9/11 had always been the sense of unity that you felt with the rest of the country," said Mary-Ellen Salamone, an Essex County, N.J., mother of three who lost her husband on 9/11. "You could look back and see that out of the ashes of all the trauma and the horror there were some good things that were coming out of it. Unfortunately, this year that is not the case."

"This year, the tenor of the day is very volatile and actually almost harder to take because of that," she added.

Some said they expect to observe the anniversary in a new way, like Sally Regenhard, vice-chair of 9/11 Parents and Families of Firefighters & World Trade Center Victims. After attending the ceremony at Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan, the Yonkers, N.Y., resident, who lost her son, a firefighter, in the attacks, said she will attend the Stop Islamization of America rally in front of the site of the proposed Islamic community center and mosque known as Park51.

"We're hurt," said Regenhard. "This is the worst anniversary and the worst pain that I and my family have experienced since 9/11. We are a wounded group of people who were victimized nine years ago, and instead of having concern and consideration for this, we were vilified because we didn't support a project that was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and that I feel is going to be built for the wrong reasons."

But many families express mixed opinions and say they're trying to stay out of the fray, even leaving the city to mark a day they say is best spent in private. "Do I feel that in terms of the Constitution they have a right to do this?" said Diane Horning of Scotch Plains, N.J., whose son died in the attacks. "I do. But I don't think it was sensitive. Yes, they have a right to build this but I don't think it was the right move."

But instead of attending the New York memorial, Ms. Horning is going to Virginia to be with her daughter, son-in-law and their baby to remember her son. "We'll go there for some kind of connection and peace, because it's certainly not in New York," she said. "And if there are demonstrations in New York, it will be that much more agitating and that much more attention will be taken away from the issues that we should be addressing."

The Associated Press and The Wall Street Journal contributed to this report.

Click here to read more from The Wall Street Journal


Mexico Lashes Out at U.S. Immigration Practices

Mexico has virtually been taken over by the drug cartels.

 Yet Calderon criticizes the US when his own country is faced with 28,000 drug related deaths over the past 5 years. I'm sure that far exceeds the number of "migrants" shot at the border.

Perhaps he should take the advice of the El Salvador president highlighted in red below.

MEXICO CITY – Mexican President Felipe Calderon said in an interview Friday that last month’s massacre of 72 migrants doesn't undermine Mexico's moral authority to demand better treatment for its own migrants.

"Of course we have the moral authority, because Mexican officials are not shooting Central American youths at the border, but U.S. agents are shooting Mexican migrants," Calderon said in an interview with the Spanish-language Univision network.

His next statement is truly unbelievable!

"If we are talking about responsibility, at the root of this, in the case of immigration, is the lack of immigration legislation in the United States that would recognize this phenomenon," Calderon said.

He points his finger at everybody but himself. Isn't it... his job clean up the drug cartels and provide jobs for his own people? 

The massacred migrants, most from Central America, were attempting to cross Mexico to reach the U.S. border when they were kidnapped by what is believed to be a group of gunmen from Mexico’s Zeta drug cartel, according to a man who survived the massacre.

In a joint meeting with Calderon, President Mauricio Funes of El Salvador said that the home nations of migrants bear some of the responsibility for immigration problems.

"In part, the greatest responsibility lies with our governments, the Salvadoran government, for not having generated the employment conditions, the welfare conditions, that doesn't leave our migrants any choice but to look for other opportunities in the United States and Canada."

Thirteen Salvadorans were among the dead identified so far in the massacre in late August.

Funes also said, however, that he doesn't blame Mexico's government for the massacre, and called for a joint effort to fight drug cartels.

"We have come to have a conversation with the president of Mexico, not to condemn him or criticize him," Funes said. "Rather the opposite, to show him our support and offer our help in this fight."

Funes said the two countries formed a high-level working group to develop joint strategies for combating the drug gangs.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.