- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 31, 2009

So I guess Sen. Roland Burris has got some explaining to do, huh?

An FBI surveillance tape shows Burris offering the brother of then-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich a personal check to be considered for an appointment to the U.S. Senate.

During his conversation with Robert Blagojevich, Burris wrestled with the idea of giving the governor $1,500 for the appointment, saying it might look bad if it were made public.

“If I do get appointed that means I bought it,” Burris said in the recording. “If I don’t get appointed, then my people who I’m trying to raise money from are gonna look at me, yeah, what, what’s that all about Roland.”

Burris didn’t go through with the offer, but Blagojevich appointed him anyway. Now the Senate Ethics Committee is investigating.

Oh, thank goodness, Blagojevich is back in the news. Life was getting so dull without him.

A personal check? That’s a rookie mistake. That’s why politics and prostitution are cash-only enterprises — no paper trail.

Still, something about this smells fishy. Blagojevich wanted $1,500 for the Senate appointment? Sounds a bit pricey for Rod.

If Burris is smart, he’ll say it was a “consultant fee.”

•••


Have you noticed you haven’t heard anything from Jesse Jackson lately?

I hear he’s got a bad case of vertigo.

With a black man running the country and another black man running the Republican Party, Jesse Jackson’s head has been spinning since March.

•••


Everybody’s talking about how the Republican Party is shrinking, but nobody’s talking about it in the right context.

It’s the economy. Everybody’s downsizing and cutting back on luxury items.

The Republican Party is just trading in its big tent for an oversized umbrella.

•••


The second 100 days of the Obama administration are off to a good start, aren’t they?

It just begs two questions:

What more can the administration do and who’s going to pay for it?

Some people say the administration is inching toward socialism, and other people say it’s sprinting there.

I don’t know about that. But I have heard that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has taken a look at what President Obama has done and he’s said, “Man, why didn’t I think of that!”

•••


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she didn’t know what she had been told when she was briefed on waterboarding but she’s sure she didn’t know what she was briefed on when she told what she knew about the briefing that she didn’t know about. Clarity. That’s why she’s the speaker.

•••


President Obama last week was out West raising money for embattled Democratic lawmakers, such as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada.

The president headed a fundraiser for Reid at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas that also featured Bette Midler and Sheryl Crow.

The next day, Obama planned to host a fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles.

It’s nice to know the president can headline a Vegas act, second only to Wayne Newton.

I hear that Obama bet his health care plan at the roulette table. The ball landed in the red.

He had better luck with blackjack, though. He was dealt a 10 and a 9. He asked for a hit and got a 2! Unfortunately he was at the poker table.

To tell the truth, I didn’t know the Democrats were hard up for cash, since they run the White House, the Senate, the House, General Motors, AIG …

If they really need some fundraising muscle, they could always hire Rod Blagojevich. He knows a thing or two about that.

•••


You know, the pundits are talking about all the things President Obama has done, but none of them is talking about what he hasn’t done — like pick a church to attend regularly.

It’s not that hard to pick a church, really. Years ago when I was looking for one, I found a small, friendly congregation that reminded me of home.

But in the end I decided not to go there because I didn’t want my kids handling snakes.

Obama has had time to pick a winner in the NCAA tournament, but he hasn’t had the time to pick a church. It’s a matter of priorities, I guess. Heaven can wait.

Maybe it would be easier for him to pick one if all of Washington’s churches were listed in brackets. The Rev. Jeremiah Wright could even pick the top seeds.

I think Obama is just taking his time because he want to find the right church — that one, special, little congregation that recognizes him as the Messiah.

•••


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: “Snowboarding. I wasn’t briefed on snowboarding. That’s what I meant to say.”

You can contact Carleton Bryant at 202/636-3218 and [email protected] — but only on Election Day.

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