Somebody’s that stupid, after all

I blundered when I said that nobody would accept a Senate appointment from Gov. Blags. Turns out somebody was stupid enough to accept Blagojevich’s Senate appointment: Roland Burris. Now, don’t get me wrong. Burris has been in public office in Illinois for a long time and has managed to avoid scandal. Based on that remarkable achievement, he should receive an honorary nomination for President, were there such a thing. He’s done the impossible, after all.

But for Blags to play the race card — which he has done here — and for Burris to accept, is just plain…well, somebody else already has a famous non-blog with the title You Are Dumb (http://www.youaredumb.net/). Of course, Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) is proving the truth of the old saw “fools rush in,” by declaring this a racial issue. Burris is trying to avoid that, but there’s no doubt that Blags appointed him for shield the color of his skin would create more than for his qualifications — which, for the record, I am not questioning; this is definitely not another Caroline Kennedy situation. Burris has more than enough qualifications to run for the office on his own. He certainly doesn’t need this appointment; then again, nobody does.

That Blags’ actions have gone so far as to interfere with the functioning of a President-elect (who also just happens to be black), is immaterial here; all that matters to Rush is that Burris is black and the Senate currently is not. It’s nothing but a desperate and cynical bid on Blagojevich’s part to retain some shred of control, and Rush should know better than to fall for it and become Blagojevich’s unwitting champion. But then again, Chip Saltsman should have known better than to send a CD of “Barack the Magic Negro” to his RNC buddies. Racists are incurable, I guess, and some things are just too much to hope for.

I don’t know enough about the legal end of it to know if Burris will be seated in the Senate. It seems like no one does. I do know there are some possible roadblocks in his way, starting with the fact that the Illinois Secretary of State, Jesse White (who, for the record, is also black), is refusing to certify the appointment.

The question is, why would anyone accept this appointment? Even if Burris is seated, there’s still an election just a few years away, and it will likely happen around the same time that any trial Blagojevich ultimately may have is finally underway. This means the fact that the appointment is tainted, even if Burris himself isn’t, will be very fresh in people’s minds. It also seems the surest way for a Republican to win the Illinois senate seat next time around. You can bet they will hammer the point home to the exclusion of any other matter (because they don’t know much about any other matter), and there are enough really stupid people in this state who will not look at Burris, but only at the taint on his appointment.

It’s a disservice to Burris and the people of Illinois. Then again, disservice is all Blags has ever done.

Burris needs to back off from accepting this appointment to avoid doing a disservice to himself. If he won’t, that tells me all I need to know. It will drag him down with Blagojevich, who is going down, either in a courtroom or just by losing an election and his career. Why anyone would be that desperate to be a Senator is beyond me.

But maybe Burris can’t see the consequences. And if he can’t, maybe he doesn’t belong in the Senate, tainted appointment or not. We’ve already spent 8 years with too many people in Washington, from the White House on down, who can’t see past the tips of their own noses. One more may be one too many.

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More Poodle than Pit Bull, but…

Here we go again…

Caroline Kennedy draws criticism after latest tour
Print By MICHAEL GORMLEY, Associated Press Writer – Mon Dec 29, 9:17 pm ET

ALBANY, N.Y. – Caroline Kennedy’s latest trip under the spotlight as a Senate hopeful didn’t get much better reviews than her first. A New York Daily News columnist said “the wheels of the bandwagon are coming off.” New York Post state editor Fred Dicker already put her on his list of 2008 losers. And The New York Times said “she seemed less like a candidate than an idea of one: eloquent but vague, largely undefined and seemingly determined to remain that way.”

Now, apparently, we have the flip side of Sarah Palin: instead of a dumbass backwoods beauty in expensive 3-inch heels jumbling the lines of her ultra-conservative script, we have a deliberately dressed-down blueblooded socialite from a famously liberal political family who appears to have no script at all. The overall impression one gets from this is that she decided one day to say “I’m the daughter of John F. Kennedy, that’s all the qualification I need, so put me in the Senate.”

While it’s not as bad a thing for a Senator to have the qualifications of a goldfish as it is for a Vice President — or worse yet, a President — to be just plain in over his or her head (while having the brains of a goldfish), it does not sound promising.

I have nothing against Caroline Kennedy, by the way; at least my attitude towards her doesn’t need as much readjusting as does my attitude toward Palin. But I can’t have any emnity toward her because I know almost nothing about her except that she’s never held an elected office. And that’s just the point. She needs to be known in some way. I know she has a law degree and some background as a ladies-who-lunch kind of socialite-fundraiser. But other than that she has spent most of her 51 years hiding, and who can blame her?

The question is, is a reclusive socialite with a famous surname ultimately any more qualified for national office than the governor of a sparsely-populated state? Caroline Kennedy strikes me a being a woman with quite a few more porch lights on than has Sarah Palin, but the answer is the same for both: no.

This change-of-life coming out party may prove to be very expensive for the people of New York state. Let’s hope they are wise enough to see the danger of buying themselves a famous name, as opposed to getting a committed public servant to work for them.

I know it’s their business as much as “I’m Not Guilty of Governing” Blagojevich here in Illinois is ours. But if you look at it on a national scale, it’s still a rather scary trend, in its way.

So now I’m a “cusper”

The other day I read this: http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/12/23/salzman.trends/ (cut and paste; the friggin link gizmo isn’t working today).

I’m not a Boomer anymore. What a relief.

For years I was a baby boomer. Prior to that I was of the “the envelope generation.” The Boomer tag came quite suddenly, I believe, during the 1980’s when someone tried to invent Generation X and apparently didn’t know what to do with anyone born before 1964..or was it ’65 or ’67? All I knew was that for years those of us born between 1955 and 1964 were known as the Envelope Generation — the poor kids who were too young to join the party and had no “generation” of their own. (Yeah, the Boomers had sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll; all we had was cocaine, polyester, and disco, because you probably needed cocaine to wear polyester and listen to disco. I didn’t do any of this, so wouldn’t know.)

But of course we had a generation, even though we officially didn’t before we disappeared entirely and became Boomers. According to the media, we’ve had lots of generations — everybody gets one. There have been so many that we’re now on to Generation Why and ZZZZZZ. I suppose after ZZZZ we’ll go to AA. That will be the generation that needs its boobs enhanced. No wait. That started with the Baby Boomers.

Anyway, one day I woke up and I was one of the Boomers. Not only that, but I was one of the HATED Boomers who were just RUINING THE LIVES of Generation X, driving them to heroin chic, grunge, not eating for weeks on end, and wearing their jeans 26 sizes too big, which wasn’t hard because they weren’t eating for weeks on end. Oh yes, they didn’t want to work, either.

No, wait a minute. I don’t remember a thing about Generation X. I think I just described Generation Why.

It’s all bullshit, of course, but back in the days when everyone read newspapers, they had to fill up the pages somehow. Truth is, young people have always wanted to wear funny clothes, abuse substances, and somehow get away with not working. It’s just part of growing up.

If I remember history correctly, there was something about a “Lost Generation” — the kids of the 1920’s. I don’t remember precisely what that was supposed to be about. I’m thinking perhaps that everyone was supposedly so rich in the 1920’s that the kids were bored, didn’t work, and drank too much. Obviously history repeats stupid, over and over.

The Boomer tag was created during the 1960’s when the children of well-to-do post WWII families rebelled, wore jeans, smoked pot, indulged in riots, and didn’t want to work. Oh, yes…they listened to a lot of rock music.

Yes they were a little louder about it than normal, because there were more of them than there were of us or any succeeding generation in the West. And they were loud enough about it that every succeeding “generation,” no matter how poorly defined, has suffered under a stupid “generation-something” tag and a raft of vapid generalizations to go with it.

So anyway, now I’m no longer a Boomer. Fine. I never was.

I’m a Cusper and so is Obama. An astrologer once told me that people born in my “generation” are destined to save the world. If that is true, I’m glad to be a Cusper. But I have my doubts about the whole thing.

Like I said, I don’t think personalities or even overall tendencies are generational. I think they are more age-related.

But, whatever. Be on your way. Nothing to blog about here.

No intelligent life down here

Hello?

I knew it.

I knew it because I have lived in Illinois all my life, right through 3 convicted governors and one who at the moment is merely disgraced, but refuses to recognize it.

I knew it because the State Legislature has been in the hospital being treated for total paralysis for the last 8 years. At least.

What do I know? I know all about The Illinois politicians’ Maybe-If-We-Do-Nothing-It-Will-Go-Away syndrome.

That’s all we ever get from politicians in this state: nothing. They all seem to think they have been elected for their debating skills; certainly none — not even Blagojevich — has the balls to claim it’s because of their brains. As a matter of fact, I think he once said something about “testicular virility,” or something. Yep, that’s it — they think with decidedly wrong parts of their bodies, and that obviously doesn’t improve their thinking one bit.

They have one other thing in common: accomplishing nothing. They get elected and then they do doodly-squat except to point fingers at one another and blame each other for getting doodly-squat done.

And so the doodly-squat continues: Blags is still in office, refusing to budge. Lisa Mad-again, the Attorney General, made a really stupid attempt to get the (also do-nothing) state Supreme Court to take him out of office because the charges against him render him the political equivalent of a basket case (yes, the irony here is staggering). The Supreme Court wouldn’t touch it. I have to hand it to Madigan, however — at least she did something, however stupid it turned out to be.

However, there’s a requisite reality check: Lisa Madigan is the ambitious daughter of Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan. Both have ambitions for her to be the next governor of Illinois. This is why she is the only one who has gotten anything done thus far, however stupid it turned out to be. There’s nothing like a carrot dangled in front of the face of an Illinois politician to get them to actively drool. But once the drool stops…nothing.

The Legislature — which is the only thing left at this point — has, predictably, put the whole thing in committee; they’ve convened some sort of inquiry into impeaching the governor. This is a lot further than they usually get, but it still amounts to nothing.

It could be that nothing is all they can do — after all, Blags is still a free man and officially innocent; the Illinois Constitution, perhaps not surprisingly, does not contain a section on How to Get Rid of an Obnoxious Governor. But still, the nothingness is screaming at us because there has been so much of it over the years.

Much to that point, the state Republican party has suddenly decided to believe that the fact that they already have a Republican ex-governor residing in an Indiana prison is beside the point; they are suddenly the Good Guys in White (yes, very White) Hats. They want an election to fill Obama’s senate seat because they think they can get another Republican senator in Washington.

Again it’s reality check time: this bunch rarely gets anything right. They’re the ones who imported a black man from another state (Alan Keyes) to run against Obama during his Senate campaign. This was the right-wing radio nut who didn’t even seem to know where Springfield, the state capitol, was on the map. He lost by a landslide. He lingered in the state for a few months afterward, refusing to accept that he’d lost, but he lost. Any claim to the contrary would be stretching even Illinois reality beyond the snapping point.

Then they ran the notoriously flimsy Judy Barr Topinka, (a.k.a. Judy Twinkletoes) against Blags in the last gubernatorial-election round. The whole nation knows how that one turned out.

So in effect, the state Republican party is doing nothing except being stupid and slinging mud, both of which they are very good at.

The Democrats are doing nothing by debating about doing something, which they are very good at. They do not want an election because it would, they claim, take too long. They can’t seriously be afraid that a Republican would win, but if there’s a real reason for the delay, it’s that they are afraid a Republican would win.

Actually all of this is little better than some of what Blags has gotten in trouble for. Didn’t he say something similar to, “I’ve got this bleepin’ thing and it’s bleepin’ valuable, and I’m going to get something out of it”? Do you see anything different in the preceding paragraphs?

And so it goes. Blah, blah, blah off into eternity. They just might vote themselves another pay raise, but one thing’s for sure: they will accomplish nothing else. They’re just too friggin good at it.

Stupid Politician Tricks

No one I talked to today was dismayed about what happened to Rod Blagojevich. No one. No one was surprised, either.

In fact, most of the talk was about how stupid this man must be.

Indeed. From what we understand, one charge is that he was trying to “sell” President-elect Obama’s former Senate seat — and now I’m hearing that Obama himself kinda-sorta started the investigation on this count by insisting that the Illinois legislature work to pass an ethics bill earlier this year, which prompted Blags to rush into his corruption spree to beat the deadline before the new law went into effect. It was Blags’ own veto of the bill that prompted the Feds to begin their wiretaps. They seemed to know that he would finally go too far with that kind of prompting.

The other incredible act of stupidity was that Blags apparently offered a state bail-out of the failing Tribune company — the publishers of the Chicago Tribune and the owners of the Chicago Cubs — only if they would fire members of their editorial board who have written nasty things about him.

And then there was the thing with Blags holding a children’s hospital’s funding hostage while trying to extract a $50,000 campaign contribution from an official of the hospital. This, coming from a man who — in an attempt to win votes — launched the notoriously silly “All Kids” state health insurance program, is just incredible.

But the most amazingly stupid thing of all is that he has been investigated ceaselessly by the Feds for several years now; that is to say, he knew he was on their radar in a big way…but yet he never considered that his phones might be bugged, his office might be bugged…it apparently just never occurred to him. Amazing. This man has never had a layer of teflon, after all. He has only had a glacier-deep layer of arrogance, and for a long time that has not been enough.

To me, that is just jaw-dropping. This man doesn’t belong in office. He needs to be in the running for the 2008 Darwin Awards. If not that, at least he should be one of those “stupid criminals” news items.

Dumb and dumber. And then there’s the dumbest of all.

Finally!

Finally some blog-worthy news! Tuned into the Internet this morning just in time to find out that my least-favorite governor, Rod Blagojevich, had been arrested on corruption charges just minutes before.

Note to the Feds: where the hell have you been?

Actually to their credit, the Feds have been investigating Blags for years. It’s just that until now, all the indictments that fly around like snowflakes in Illinois have either missed him entirely or melted when they hit too close. Must have been all that hot air. This time it seems to be different — but the way things go in this state, we’ll all have to sit back and watch for at least the next 2 years before we find out.

Meantime the state Republicans — and probably those in the federal government as well, since Obama’s name has come up in this matter, however tangentially — will be chortling, ignoring the fact that one of their own, the predecessor of Blags as governor of Illinois, is currently cooling his aged jets in the penitentiary. He was convicted on corruption charges just a few years ago.

Anyway, my only hope is that Blags does the honorable thing and leaves Illinois with an exceptional Christmas present — his resignation. But I am hoping for a miracle. The man hasn’t done an honorable thing in memory. For that matter, neither has the Illinois legislature, which is our only other hope of getting rid of Blags any time soon. (Unfortunately, the Illinois constitution does not allow for recalls, and a referendum for a constitutional convention, part of the point of which was apparently to address the subject of recalls, was defeated in the November election.)

In thinking of the legislature, it comes to mind that one suburban mayor in Illinois, Nicholas Blase of Niles, recently pleaded guilty and resigned from his office of 47 years, having been arrested by the FBI a few years ago on an insurance-fraud scheme. From the time he was charged to the time he pleaded guilty (about 2 years), the subject of removal from office never came up. The rumor is that the town’s powers-that-be were too afraid that if they made efforts to get rid of Blase, he’d expose them. So they were, and are, quiet — and will remain so, because apparently some offices of the town’s government are still under investigation.

So it’s going to be a while before anything actually happens in either case. Stay tuned…