Category Archives: Politics

What’s so Shocking about Gov Blagojevich?

“The conduct would make Lincoln roll over in his grave,” Fitzgerald said as he detailed the breathtakingly brash display of pay-to-play political machinations detailed in the 76-page affidavit against Blagojevich.

“We were in the middle of a corruption crime spree, and we wanted to stop it,” said Fitzgerald, who dubbed the accusations against the two-term governor “a truly new low.”

That’s how US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald described the charges against Illinois Governor Blagojevich.  Yes what he is doing is illegal and wrong but is it really shocking and a “truly new low”?  I don’t think it is at all.  Let’s look at some of the things Blagojevich was caught saying:

First on the empty senate seat:

“I’ve got this thing and it’s f- – -ing golden and uh, uh, I’m just not giving it up for f- – -in’ nothing. I’m not gonna do it,”

“I’m going to keep this Senate option for me a real possibility, you know, and therefore I can drive a hard bargain,” he allegedly said on tape.

“You hear what I’m saying. And if I don’t get what I want and I’m not satisfied with it, then I’ll just take the Senate seat myself.”

Everyone in politics or half a brain knows that this is a true statement.  Having the power to name that senate seat is just that power.   He would be stupid to just give it away and not use that as leverage.  He’s not going to be governor forever.

Second, on him wanting to make money:

“I want to make money”

Looking for a hefty salaried job for himself at a foundation or group linked to labor unions – even musing that Obama supporter and billionaire Warren Buffett could be coerced into kicking in millions to create an outfit where Blagojevich could work.

Any of that shocking to you?  That happens all the time in politics.  You don’t get into politics for the salary..you get in to make connections to make money when you get out or while in office.

Third, on his wife:

 Seeking to get his wife Patti named to a corporate board where she could earn a stipend up to $150,000

Yeah that follows the same rule as above.  How many corporate boards have ex governors, senators, etc on them?  And yes their spouses are on these as well…easier to hide.

Fourth, campaign funds:

Pushing to exchange funding for local programs in exchange for campaign cash

This is laughable to me…this happens at every level of government and ALL the time.  Again, I’m not saying it’s right but let’s be adults here.   So in my opinion none of this is shockng or “truly new low”.  It’s politics as usual.  My real question is how did he get caught and why?  Who did he piss off?  My guess is that someone was going after Obama and had to settle for him.   I’m all for sending this jerkoff to jail but let’s not play favorites here…don’t stop here, get the rest of them.

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Isn’t it time for normal relations with Cuba?

How long do we need to shun that country?  Does anyone really think our current policy is a good one? 

Russia would like to search for oil off the coast of Cuba.   (notice it reads Russia and not Soviet Union) That makes sense.  Not having normal relations with a tiny country 90 miles from your border doesn’t.  It’s not like Cuba is this big badass that we need to be afraid of.  Are we afraid their cigars will turn everyone into a socialist?  To me, it’s one of those policies that has just continued on with no one raising their hand and saying, “this isn’t working!  Let’s try something new!” 

Fidel has resigned.  The Soviet Union is gone.  Turn the page America.   Don’t you think if Americans were visiting Cuba and talking to Cubans on a daily basis that maybe, just maybe Cubans would move towards being a democracy?  It’s like we have this new video game system and instead of showing it to our neighbor, we keep it locked away from them and refuse to play their own archaic system.   How will they know what they are missing without seeing it firsthand?

Bailouts – Changing the Variables of Business

Before the Government goes bailing everyone out, they should consider the guys they don’t have to bailout and the impact it will have on their businesses. 

Note:  forgive this simplistic scenario but you’ll get the overall point.  Let’s say you own a bank and you chose not to give out risky mortgages.  And let’s say you also chose not to buy up other banks risky mortgages.  You also choose not to invest your profits into mortgage bonds because you don’t know which are risky and which aren’t. 

If you were a bank and you chose not to do those three things then you would be called an “idiot” by nearly everyone in the industry between say 2003 – 2007.  Most of the other banks you were competing against were making millions of dollars on loans you refused to make.  But, let’s say you managed to keep your bank open and were still turning a profit, not at the levels of other banks but still a profit.

Now, it’s 2008 and you look pretty smart.  You are still turning a profit while your competitors are hurting and even going out of business which means their customers are coming to your bank.  Great you are set!  Wait, your competitors have hired lobbyist to fly to Washington to try and get the government to help them out.  The government is broke so they say no but your lobbyists are smart.  They start scaring everyone into thinking that if their clients fail then the whole system will fail and everyone (meaning voters) will suffer and blame those in congress.   They also get newspaper columnists to write articles scaring the public into believing this scenario.  Pointing out that “Joe Blah Blah” is at risk of losing his job and his money.

So Congress jumps on board.  Now, the government is pouring money into your competitors even though they made bad business decisions.   Your competitors survive and the bailout makes potential customers and investors more likely to actually throw their money into your competitors instead of your bank.  Guess what?  The Variables just changed and you were penalized for not being an “idiot”. 

You go out of business and your competitors gobble up your bank only to make the same mistake again in 5 years.  The executive boards and managers of those banks avoid any real damage and go on to repeat their mistake once again.  After all, they made millions and when they started to face losses…government bailed them out.  What’s the downside? 

Or take that scenario and say you are an automaker or a builder or an airline.

Revisiting Georgia and Russia

I saw very little of this coverage in the mainstream news so I thought I would give it some time here since I wrote several posts on the conflict a few months ago.

Russia responds to the NY Times article:

Moscow’s U.N. envoy praised The New York Times on Thursday for challenging Georgia on assertions that Russia started their brief war in August, saying U.S. media had finally got the story right.

Georgian Claims on Russian War Called into Question:

Newly available accounts by independent military observers of the beginning of the war between Georgia and Russia this summer call into question the longstanding Georgian assertion that it was acting defensively against separatist and Russian aggression.

And here’s an Opinion Piece:

The August war in the Caucasus was started by the Georgians under a false pretext on the night of Aug. 7. Civilians and Russian peacekeepers were attacked.

Why don’t the Networks show the Debates?

Not the presidential debates between McCain and Obama but the primary presidential debates.  They should replay those debates and if they wanted to save time they could just replay the McCain and Obama soundbites. 

Wouldn’t that make sense?  That would make some great TV.  Let’s hear what these guys were saying during the primaries.  Isn’t that a good indicator of how well they make decisions and how well they understand what’s going on in our country? 

I haven’t seen any clips from the primary season and I haven’t seen anyone put up clips of what these guys were saying then compared to what they are saying now.  It’s as if everyone just accepts the fact that they change their stories and message after just a few months. 

Also, after every debate I see these stories from the “fact checkers” that basically tell you how much of what is said in the debates by the candidates is true and which are not. Why does this have to come the day after?  Why can’t we call them on their BS during the debate?  It’s not hard to check those numbers and facts in a few minutes.  I think we have put up with enough BS over the past 8 years and I’d like to see us demand more from an election.

Republicans or Democrats…Who is to Blame?

I decided to actually watch CNN tonight to hear what all the pundits had to say about the bailout failing to pass.  Let’s just say my head hurts now.  Before I even get into the Dems and Repubs, it’s amazing to me that we only hear one side of this argument.  Everything on the news is how the bailout just has to be passed and it was a major mistake not to pass it.  What about the other side?  

I even heard these morons say that yes the bailout is horrible but we just have to pass it.  We do?  Can’t we pass something else?  Don’t we have the power to rewrite bills or make new bills that may work better?  I seem to remember reading that in Government Class.  CNN completely ignored the other side of the argument in all their newscasts tonight.   It’s like I’m listening to the state run news network just repeating the talking points handed to them by the administration…strange feeling.  This is the United States of America, right?

Ok, now on to Congress…Now let me see, I’ll start with the Repubs blaming Pelosi’s speech (her Speech!) for the bill not passing. Seriously? 

  • Did your feelings get hurt?  How old are you idiots? 
  • Just once, just once, I would love to hear the Republicans take responsibility for their actions.  Guys you failed to get the votes to pass this bill.  End of story. 
  • They BLAMED THE SPEECH!  They continue to just amaze me.

Ok now I’m going to rip the Dems…so any Democrats out there who can’t take it then you better look away.

  • Pelosi why do you still have a job?  Every day that you wake up do you look in the mirror and just ask yourself if you can screw up as bad as you did the day before?
  • Did the Dems blame the Repubs for not getting enough votes?  They said that they got their fair share and the Republicans didn’t get theirs.  Are your legs broken?  Get off your asses and go get more votes if you believe in this thing so much.  WTF?  That’s the weakest argument I’ve ever heard…oh wait.  They blamed THE SPEECH!

So CNN went on to say that the house Republicans who voted against the bill were putting their re-elections ahead of the country.  But, then they went on to say that 90% of the calls into those same Repubs offices have been against the bailout.  Don’t they work for those people?  Aren’t they supposed to represent them?  I’m so sick of this crap about putting the country ahead of everything else…this is not the Soviet Union!  You are free to have differing views here in this country.  In fact, it’s healthy and natural. 

The majority of American people do not support this bill and the congress who represents them voted it down. So what’s the problem?  If it’s so important then explain it to the people of this country and stop trying to scare them into supporting it.  I mean, I know that’s Bush’s only motivational tactic but someone in congress should be able to do something.  How about those two idiots running for President?  Maybe they could explain it to the American people.  I’m pretty sure that’s how this whole thing called government was supposed to work.

And does anyone, anyone have a problem with the Democrats in Congress lining up behind President Bush on this? 

I know this post is long but I got one more thing to say.  Where is Dick Cheney?  Where do you think his money is?  Dubai?

Sarah Palin is an embarrassment

She is in way over her head and needs to quit and “spend time with her family” (always useful and sounds better than “I quit”).

That’s all.