A choice between a moron and a crook

I think I’ve mentioned before a long-ago conversation overheard between two ham radio operators.  They were discussing the then-current election of an Illinois governor.  I don’t remember who the candidates were, but basically the choice was between a moron and a crook.  One of the hams said, “when it comes down to a choice between a moron and a crook, I’ll take the crook.”  And so Illinois did.  Obviously we have a long history of doing so; look at the number of ex-governors who have criminal records.

And here we are again, although this time it’s harder to tell who is the crook and who is the moron.  For governor, we have a choice between Governor Quinn (Democrat), who was thrust into the governor’s seat when you-know-who was impeached, and has a few of the usual questions about his own history.  He hasn’t done much since attaining the office, but I’ll give him some slack here: he hasn’t had much to work with.  Illinois is nearly bankrupt.

His opponent is a just-barely-closeted teabagger/flat-worlder who believes in animal torture and is totally anti-abortion, not that that matters a hell of a lot to a bankrupt state.  His qualifications, such as they are, seem to be that he is some sort of businessman.  But there are questions about that.

There are similar questions about U.S. Senate Democratic candidate Alexei Giannoulias, at least on the business end.  He is, you see, part owner of a bank that failed because of questionable mortgage loans.  As far as vote-pandering is concerned, his continual drone about being the son of hard-working immigrants bears an uncomfortable echo of the similar blather of Blagojevich, the perennial Son of Immigrants and also son of something else.  It seems that being the kid of an immigrant is some sort of ticket to sainthood these days, even though it often seems to work out quite another way when some misdeed is revealed.

All that would seem to make the choice easy, right?  I mean, Alexei’s obviously a crook.  Who could vote for him?  Remember that you are in Illinois and it ain’t so simple.

His opponent, Mark Kirk, has been revealed to be a lying moron.  He parrots indefensible teabagger talking points and lies about his military career.  He courted Sarah Palin’s blessing, then fled her, and now doesn’t talk about it.  He can’t seem to decide on his positions until he reads them on some teabagger website; he doesn’t actually seem to believe in anything but getting elected.  There is no nice way to put it; the guy’s bad news.

The way I see it, Illinois has the usual bad choices this election season, between crooks and morons.  It doesn’t feel very good to root for the crooks once again, but for crying out loud, look at the opposition.

Mark Kirk’s Military Record

Mark Kirk on Heathcare Reform

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Meanwhile back in la-la-land

You probably know that Rod Blagojevich was convicted of exactly 1 of approximately 20-gazillion counts of whatever.  The jury hung on the other counts because of one juror.  All of the rest were ready to convict him on all counts.  That’s hardly a cause for Blags to celebrate.

Of course, reality is lost on Blags: he’s now claiming that this means he’s “vindicated” and that he possibly has a political future.  I’m sure the national media, especially Fox News which seems to root for all that would harm the U.S., will grab onto that claim and pitch it to the nation, never mentioning how questionable the claim is.

Blags’ trial was marked by Fox-ish grandstanding and reality-show stunts.  The last and saddest attempt to win the jurors’ sympathy, the Blags’ “Take Your Daughter to Court Day” during which one of the daughters wore a totally-inappropriate little black cocktail dress that matched her mother’s totally inappropriate little black cocktail dress, had the opposite effect on a number of them.  One said that he/she thought the Blags were bad parents for doing so.  I just wonder if the Blags clan hoped the jury was populated by pedophiles.  You see, the daughter in question is all of about 14 years old.

Sooner or later, one has to believe that reality will catch up with the Blags clan in a way that even they can’t twist or outright deny.  But in the meantime, He Who is Banned from Holding Public Office in Illinois is starting to crow that he has a political future.

All I can say is, as far as I’m able to tell, Blags’ popularity among Illinoisans is approximately the same as his popularity with that jury.  Plus, like I just said, the Illinois Legislature banned him from public office here — and that’s a life sentence.

If he has a political future, it ain’t in Illinois.  I reckon Wisconsin, Iowa and Indiana had better watch out.  (Missouri and Kentucky, I think you’re safe…he wouldn’t dare venture that far south.)

We don’t care if you don’t

Off and on throughout the arrest and trial of Rod Blagojevich, there have been various media reports about how the Serbs in the area (Blags is of Serbian extraction) are reacting.  Apparently they’re concerned because of the “bad reputation” they have as a result of the Bosnian war in the 1990’s: if Blags is convicted of anything, is that a slam on all of them?  (And of course, most of the interviewees agree that because Blags has Serbian blood, he is being wrongly accused and has never done one bad thing in his life; more damningly, that’s the way things are back home and if Americans arrest Blags for that kind of stuff they’re racist.)

Welcome to reverse racism, 2000’s style.  I guess the game is to declare that you’re being discriminated against before anyone gets a chance to say anything, even if that is unlikely to happen.

Here’s a reality check for this latest group of would-be victims: widespread discrimination against Serbs is EXTREMELY unlikely because most people here don’t even know where Serbia is, let alone that something bad was attributed to it; our news coverage sucked so bad that most of us don’t even know why that war happened in the first place.

To us, Serbs are just another brand of eastern European, almost indistinguishable from the rest.  Yes, we know the Russians as sullen eternal adolescents always scheming to beg, borrow or most likely steal the latest fashionable bauble in any way possible, and the Poles as incredibly unfriendly and hilariously arrogant.  But we only know this because there are so many of them here, possibly millions more than there are Serbs, and we are also keenly aware of them because both of these groups of recently-arrived have little or no respect for this country’s history.  For instance, I am of eastern European extraction — Polish and Russian — and have met with shock and disbelief in recent immigrants from those countries over the fact that my parents were born here and my father’s parents were born here to at least one parent who was born here, and I don’t know any of my distant relatives in Poland or Russia.   To put it briefly, they seem to assume that I’m an immigrant just because I’m in the U.S., which is weird and makes one wonder just what they’re teaching in the schools and saying in the media over there.

Fact is, I am from the U.S.  I am American.  I am nothing else. And please don’t assume that I speak Polish.  Or Russian.  Yes, this has happened — quite often, in fact.

For example, if anyone asks me how I feel about the death earlier this year of the Polish President, I say that I am deeply sorry for the loss to his family and country, but I have no particular feeling about it otherwise.  You will not see me flying a Polish flag on the radio antenna of my car.  That’s because I am not from Poland.

So what am I getting at?  Not blustering Teabagger faux patriotism — let’s not go there.  What I am getting at is the notion that if you move to a country, the first generation of your family will always feel lost and be, at best, hyphenated.  But beyond that, you have to assimilate.  A-s-s-i-m-i-l-a-t-e.  It is not a dirty word.  It is not racist.  It is just common sense for the common good.

Moreover, you’ll save yourself a lot of grief.  Among former generations of immigrants, there were lots of attempts to create things like “little Italy” and “New England;” currently, some Mexicans are jabbering about “reconquista,” even of places they never occupied in the first place.  All these attempts failed eventually, as will “reconquista.”  And as will yours.  Accept this.

And when it is done, you will be no longer worried about how people will view you if a crooked politician who shares your ancestry gets convicted.  Blags will fade into being what he is — just an annoying gnat to be swatted away.  That’s the price and reward of assimilation, and you can’t have it both ways.

The fact is, we don’t care if you don’t.  So quit the whining.

Blagojevich Shuts Up

You gotta pity Rod Blagojevich: after months of haranguing about how the whole world was gonna finally hear the TRUTH billowing like a swarm of bats out of his own cavernous mouth at his trial, the judge tells him to shut up and his defense team doesn’t even call him to the stand.

In fact, the defense didn’t call anyone at all to the stand.  They claimed it was because Blags is so obviously innocent; to me, it sounds like they gave up — both on the case and on Blags himself.  His lawyer was quoted as saying that (while Blags isn’t guilty of any wrongdoing, it says here in small letters), Blags is just a lovable bigmouth who can’t help thinking out loud about extortion and racketeering.  Nothing illegal in that, nor in gross incompetence in a governmental post.  Nope.  Further, according to his own attorney, this guy is so stupid that he almost nominated Oprah Winfrey to Obama’s Senate seat!  And you know, the defense wanted the jury members’ names made public (to me it sounds like this was just to intimidate the jury cuz there really was no defense case to present).

Wow.  What a defense.

Note that I don’t feel that Blags deserves any better.  I have said often that I think he’s nothing more than a “liberal” male would-be Sarah Palin.  It’s all there: the corruption, the bullying, the incompetence, the Big Lies (according to Blags, he is the champion of the downtrodden; according to his attorney, Blags is beloved by the whole world), the expensive designer duds, the attention-grabbing, and the kids used as human shields.  Only big difference…well, there are two: as I’ve often said before, Blags has no conservative cushion to protect him from actual consequences, and he’s no quitter.  (UPDATE: I just remembered that there are three differences, the third being that Blags claims to be Jesus and Palin only claims to be his best buddy.  That could get interesting, actually.)

He’s no quitter, that is, until a judge tells him to shut up and his own attorney won’t put him on the stand and let him blabber his claims of innocence out of fear that the judge will freak out at the sound of all that yammering and put Blags away just for being an asshole…or worse, if the judge didn’t do that, the jury just might.

It’s all good, though.  We won’t have any of his blabbering baloney testimony to give us a collective headache, and the jury can decide if he actually is guilty of nice things like racketeering and attempted extortion-type stuff.  From this distance I have no idea, but I think it sounds plausible that he is guilty of being something more than the mere lovable loudmouthed jerk his defense team claims he is.  I’ll be eagerly awaiting the jury’s decision.

Note to the Chicago Sun Times: This is NOT News

Blagojevich dodges firing, but not ridicule on ‘Apprentice’ :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Gov. Blagojevich.

(Note to the gentle reader: this post is backdated because the one I made yesterday was actually about something important. This post’s subject, in contrast, is just irritating.)

Turkeys Is Us

Where do they find these people?  That’s all I want to know.

What?  The Illinois Republican party.  (Where?  Illinois, presumably, although they never have seemed to be very clear on that.)  And who?  Bill Brady.  For what?  Governor.

For what, again?  Village Idiot.  Of an entire state.

Why?  Well, because we got rid of the last village idiot (Blagojevich) and I guess the Republicans have decided that even though one of their own (George Ryan) is currently in federal prison on corruption charges…well, that happened a few years ago, you see, so they’re okay.  They’re still better than the Democrats because the whole thing with Blagojevich is more recent.  So there.

Mind you, this is the same party that imported Alan Keyes from another state to run against one Barack Obama for the U.S. Senate a few years back because he was (1) blacker than Obama, and (2) a batshit crazy conservative in contrast to Obama’s oh-so-evil liberalism, which has since, in their eyes, morphed into socialism.

Remember how well that worked out?  Oh YES!  And so they’re trying it AGAIN!

Only difference is that this time they’re running their (locally bred) uber-conservative slack-jaw against an almost equally lame Democrat — Pat Quinn, the guy who inherited the governor’s mansion after Blags was forced to vacate, and is currently taking it on the chin for all the problems Blags and his predecessor created.  So the Rebibs have about a snowball’s chance in purgatory instead of hell this time.

What’s so bad about Brady?  Well, he supposedly has some expertise in finance, but spends most of his time railing against gay rights and promoting animal cruelty.  That is to say, we haven’t heard anything but uber-right-wing crap out of him.  Sound familiar?  You know, kind of like that former beauty queen up in Alaska who yammers on and on about ANYTHING but a real idea?

Does this mean that, if elected, Brady will resign halfway through his term?  We can only hope.

Anyway, here’s my take: having gotten rid of a Mob-type set-up in Illinois government, the last thing we need is to replace it with a Fox News government.  The state simply can’t afford it.

And to the Illinois Republican Party: this is probably just the first of many, many Stupid of the Day Awards.  Take a bow, assholes.

Sometimes you just can’t laugh very hard

Ah reality shows and failed politicians…

I never watch reality shows, and I sure as hell haven’t watched “Celebrity Apprentice” or whatever it is to see if Illinois former governor Blagojevich has gotten fired yet.  Nor will I.

Yet now comes the news that Sarah Palin is shopping around to either star in or produce a reality show of some sort.   Honestly, the parallels between her career and that of Blagojevich continue to be astounding, except for one glaring difference: he got caught, and even when she gets caught, she never seems to get caught.

And not only that, but Palin’s writing a second book. I’ll leave it to the Alaskan bloggers to make jokes about that.  All I have to say is that I wasn’t aware she wrote the first one.

As for the subject matter, I believe it’s something about celebrating American’s virtues and strengths.  This leads me to the subject of Blagojevich.  Why?  Because last night he appeared at his alma mater, Northwestern University, to speak on the subject of “ethics.”

Before you die laughing, wait a minute because it only gets funnier.  Apparently he had the sheer gall to stand up in front of a roomful of Northwestern whiz-kids and claim to be Gandhi, Lincoln, and Jesus Christ.  Or something like that.  And of course anyone who questioned his selection of Roland Burris for Obama’s Senate seat is just a racist, because Blagojevich is also, in his mind, Rod the Liberator.  God knows the U.S. and Illinois have never had black senators before.  Not even half-black senators.

The Northwestern kids flushed Blags down the toilet almost as fast as he could open his mouth.  I understand they made a good attempt to laugh him off the stage.  But the point is that even they could not manage to do it before he played the victim card, which I believe comes naturally to him — just as it does to Sarah Palin.

My goodness, are we now to believe that victimhood is an American virtue or an American strength?  Or are these two just playing it for laughs?  I mean, not only is Palin allegedly writing a book that is supposed to be about “American strengths and virtues,” but…well…how did Blagojevich get that “ethics speech” gig in the first place?

As I’ve said before, in Blagojevich’s case, it’s just pathetic at this point.  He’s obviously out of touch with reality, and even though we can’t help laughing, we know it’s kinda sad and mean because the guy obviously has a big problem.  He has nothing: no supporters that he doesn’t write checks to, no career, no political party, no future.  Nothing.  All he has are his delusions.

In Palin’s case, she still has (for some reason) some actual political support and a fairly good-sized, rabid fan club.  In order to regain a bit of the credibility she has lost with the rest of the world, I have to believe that her handlers are trying a new tack in appearing to be laughing along with her critics (which must confuse the hell out of her robotic followers, who have been programed to foam at the mouth every time she is criticized).  That accomplished, they can do real damage.

Trouble is, in her case, some people still believe the worst damage she can do is from behind a very large desk in the Oval Office.  I haven’t believed that in a while, but I had to admit that it’s too scary a thought for me to laugh very hard.

And so here we are, dealing with dueling alternate realities: Rod Blagojevich’s and Sarah Palin’s.  Blags’ is a total failure; Palin’s keeps being propped up for some reason.  I guess only time will tell what that reason may be.  All I know now is that both realities either already are or may be headed in the direction of that most unreal of outlets, the reality show.  At least that much is appropriate, almost enough to allow me to cope with what is not appropriate: Sarah Palin writing a second book, let alone the thought of her writing about “strengths and virtues,” and Blagojevich being hired to make a speech about ethics of all things.

I’ll try to keep my sense of humor, but sometimes you just can’t laugh very hard because you are just so goddamned sick of dealing with it.  And I believe I’m at that point now.