Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Actual Hope!

(Crystal Lake, IL)- Here in suburban Chicago, the scandal of their governor is everywhere. Through it all, I found the one thing I really hoped would come of it all: President-Elect Obama has called on Blagojevich to resign. From the Washington Post:
President-elect Barack Obama believes that Gov. Rod Blagojevich should resign, his advisers said on Wednesday. "The President-elect agrees with Lt. Gov. Quinn and many others that under the current circumstances it is difficult for the governor to effectively do his job and serve the people of Illinois," Robert Gibbs, the incoming White House press secretary, said.
Now, there seems to be no good reason why Obama couldn't have gotten in front of a camera and made the statement himself, but I'll take it on principle, which is that corruption cannot be tolerated, especially when it come from within your own party.

Maybe he can have someone speak for him against this auto industry bailout. That would bring hope in bushels.
Reactions To Blagojevich

First, the most predictable and unfortunate response, from the man himself, via his attorney, and via Politico.

The attorney for Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich said the governor will be vindicated and has no plans to resign.

"He didn't do anything wrong," attorney Sheldon Sorosky told reporters after Blagojevich appeared in court on Tuesday. "A lot of this is just politics."

Blagojevich should be in the office on Wednesday, Sorosky added.

So, reporters asked, he doesn’t intend to resign?

"Not that I know of, no," said Sorosky, who added that the governor was "surprised" by the day's events, but his spirits are “good.”

It seems that Democrats never resign when caught seemingly red-handed. I can't remember the last who did. It's always, "I'll be vindicated" and a legal fight, clinging to that delicious power for dear life.

On the upside for the Democratic Party, Senate majority leader Harry Reid has said that he won't seat a Blagojevich appointee. That's a good first step in distancing the Party from the man.

I think it's time Obama calls for the man to resign. That would signal to skeptics like me that he is serious about a change in politics. It's safe enough for Obama to do. It's not like he has any other office to chase. It's one thing for him to have come out, as anyone would, to say that he has no ties to Blagojevich's alleged actions. It's another entirely to say that it isn't condoned, it isn't to be swept under the rug. It is to be called out and confronted, opposed and smashed. Anything short of a call for resignation by Obama is weak. You've almost certainly heard his initial statement, here via ABC News:
"Obviously like the rest of the people of Illinois I am saddened and sobered by the news that came out of the US attorney's office today," said President-elect Obama this afternoon in Chicago, speaking of the criminal complaint against Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich for corruption. "But as this is a ongoing investigation involving the governor I don't think it would be appropriate for me to comment on the issue at this time."

Asked what contact he'd had with the governor's office about his replacement in the Senate, President-elect Obama today said "I had no contact with the governor or his office and so we were not, I was not aware of what was happening."

Distance yourself, make no statement on the content. That's pretty typical, and not much in the realm of change. I think a definitive statement of condemnation is not only appropriate, it's necessary.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

A Corrupt Illinois Democrat

I know- Big surprise. It's just incredible though how brazen Illinois' soon-to-be-former Governor appears. From the AP:
Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was arrested Tuesday on charges he brazenly conspired to sell or trade President-elect Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat to the highest bidder

Blagojevich also was charged with illegally threatening to withhold state assistance to Tribune Co., the owner of the Chicago Tribune, in an attempt to strong-arm the newspaper into firing editorial writers who had criticized him.

The 51-year-old Democrat was also accused of engaging in pay-to-play politics - that is, doling out jobs, contracts and appointments in return for campaign contributions.

Well, this is what virtually all elected officials do. Not condoning. Oh no! In fact, it should be just the beginning of the witch hunt. Let's indict all elected officials who steer contracts in return for campagin contributions.

I love this one:
Prosecutors said Blagojevich also talked about getting his wife placed on corporate boards where she might get $150,000 a year in director's fees.

In court papers, the FBI said Blagojevich expressed frustration at being "stuck" as governor. "I want to make money," the governor, whose salary is $177,412, was quoted as saying in one conversation.

Bwaahahaha! "Stuck" being governor! Sick of making a mere $177k! Oh, my side hurts! Bwaaaahahaha!

Ok, my ardent Democratic friends. It is time for you to condemn Blagojevich and his naked greed roundly. Demand his resignation. Today, he has made himself the face of the Democratic Party. If you fail to demand his immediate resignation, you condone his corruption.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Calorie Counting Report

Overall, I stuck to the plan of keeping at or under 2,000 calories/day, being greatly aided on Tuesday by intestinal flu, where the thought of food itself was nauseating. I lost eight pounds, going from 202 to 194. There were two cardio workouts and last night's hockey to boost the restraint.

On the downside, I was still quite drawn to the sugary stuff, and gave in to the temptation of soda three times. I'm weak! Once I saw that I was dropping pounds, it was very easy to allow myself to give in.

The main thing here is that putting the plan together and into action yielded results. Hmm. That's just like everything else in life.
Automaker Bailout Analysis

In a word? WRONG! But, here's a piece of what I've been thinking, from Russell Roberts at Cafe Hayek:
Why don't the Big Three save the money it takes to put together Congressional testimony and the time it takes for the people in charge to make the trip. Why don't they just take out ads in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times outlining what they're going to do with the money. Then they can try this really novel idea. They can sell bonds and borrow the money. If the plans look good, people might lend them the money. If the plans are lousy, they won't get the money.

This was the same advice I had for the funding of the then-proposed Lucas Oil Stadium. Alas.

Friend Michael Jarrell relates the automaker-Congressional begging to child-parent interaction, and to a drug addict intervention.
I doubt many of us would say yes to an alcoholic or drug addict when they asked for a fix, so why do politicians "have" to say yes when companies addicted to bad habits come begging for a fix from the "lender of last resort"?