Who Hijacked Our Country

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Governor Rod Blagojevich: Corrupt Politician or Working Class Hero?

Or maybe both. He’s been all over the news today — another politician turns out to be corrupt. Rod Blagojevich and Elliot Spitzer have both stood up to the robber barons on behalf of regular people. Too bad they’ll both be remembered for their scandals more than anything else.

Blagojevich stood up to Marie Antoinette Bank of America, whose refusal to lend money to Republic Windows and Doors forced the company to close.

He was also one of the first politicians to tell pharmacists that they could either be Grand Inquisitors OR pharmacists — but not both.

But back to Bank of America. As you’ll remember, Bank of America received billions of dollars in handouts from You. Me. Us. The taxpayers. The purpose of this giant multi-billion dollar giveaway was:

A. So that banks would start lending money. In turn, companies could stay in business, employees could keep their jobs, and people would continue to buy things; thereby keeping other businesses up and running.


B. To purchase more yachts, Learjets and luxury vacation homes for banking executives.

Unfortunately a few Bank of America shitstains thought the answer was B.

Bank of America canceled the financing for Republic Windows and Doors, forcing the company to close their factory and lay off 240 workers. This is the factory that got so much publicity when 200 laid-off workers took over the premises.

This incident has highlighted the importance of labor unions. They’re not just some colorful icon from the 1950s. We need them. Now more than ever. Jobs With Justice is hoping this event will galvanize the labor movement.

And this factory closing has pinpointed the absurdity — the intelligence-insulting hypocrisy and double standard — of the Wall Street bailout. Hundreds of billions of dollars were just handed over to a few CEOs. No questions asked; no strings attached. If we just give these tycoons a trillion dollars, they’ll do the right thing and start lending it out so the economy will stay afloat.

Riiight. How’s that working out?

Yesterday Rod Blagojevich ordered all state agencies to stop doing business with Bank of America, just in case that might remind them that We The Taxpayers gave them a few billion dollars so they would Start LENDING it.

He said: “We hope that this kind of leverage and pressure will encourage Bank of America to do the right thing for this business. Take some of that federal tax money that they've received and invest it by providing the necessary credit to this company so these workers can keep their jobs.”

Now, apparently Bank of America has made a token gesture to show how “concerned” they are. Let’s hope they won’t demand another taxpayer handout in return.

cross-posted at Bring It On!

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Blogger Enemy of the Republic said...

The whole thing is sad. I voted for Blaagojevich in 2002; I remember his career. I didn't think he was more than a machine hack, but even the machine has improved in Illinois since Daley. I am really shocked by this. In Illinois we've had Republican governers for decades; we finally get a Democrat and he's worse than all the Republicans put together. Even though I no longer live there, this one hurt.

December 10, 2008 at 6:12 AM  
Blogger Randal Graves said...

Too bad the Dem chorus of venom towards Rod the Helmet wasn't directed a bit more at the Chimpy and Co. Crime Family instead of enabling them at virtually every turn.

December 10, 2008 at 8:24 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Enemy: Yup, this is sad and surprising. Illinois finally gets a Democratic governor and look what happens. And the Far Right is trying to smear Obama with this, even though Obama has no personal connection to this scandal.

Randal: You're right, it's ironic that Democrats kept bending over and taking it every time another Bush scandal got revealed, and now they're all dumping on Rod the Helmet.

December 10, 2008 at 12:23 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

I feel bad about this one. He seemed like an excellent guy, setting his example with ordering the pharmacists to do their jobs. He did seem to be above or outside the political "machine" thing...

Seems like he is a guy with good politics but poor ethics.

What I want to know is, now that there has been some corruption with the Illinois Democratic party, is there a chance that Obama's vacant Senate seat would end up being filled with a Repugnican? Will there have to be a special election held, or does the Illinois legislature get to pick the replacement, or what?

December 10, 2008 at 3:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Corrupt politician. Now there's a redundancy.

December 10, 2008 at 5:47 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Snave: Yeah, that really sucks about Blagojevich. I hate it when somebody who seems to be on "our" side turns out to be corrupt. And the Right is having a field day with this, of course.

I'm not sure what the procedure is for that senate seat.

Ron: It sure seems that way. Just when you think there's an honest one...

December 10, 2008 at 6:04 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

Tom, I'm with you in wanting to see support and a fairer deal for those Republic Windows and Doors workers. They have 60 days of pay and benefits coming to them, at least, and they must be given both. Ditto as to support for organized labor.

Before his arrest and all the hubbub, I didn't know anything about Blagojevich. However, if even half the corruption allegations raised by Fitzgerald are right, I can't believe Blagojevich just went haywire in the past few weeks or months.

The man's attitude is so outrageous and hard core, I'm convinced he's been rotten going way back — and should never have been able to get the Illinois Democratic Party's backing to run for governor in the first place. They had to know.

Shaking down the administrator of a children's hospital, demanding a $50,000 "contribution" or else he would sit on federal funds for the institution?

Selling a Senate seat?

I don't care if Blagojevich helps old ladies across the street and kisses babies better than anyone, he's so crooked and/or crazy, he belongs under the prison, not in a governor's mansion.

December 10, 2008 at 11:40 PM  
Blogger Carlos said...

I can't wait for them to release the tapes. The first thing I thought when I heard about it was how the Right would start trying to link Obama to it.

I'll be out and about today running errands, so I'll listen to a little Winger radio and see what they're saying.

December 11, 2008 at 2:47 AM  
Blogger MRMacrum said...

After my recent "discussion" regarding LBJ, I have to say I am of no opinion here. I had to reconstruct my opinion of the man after it. He got some bump in his numbers in my personal poll. Politicians exist in a dirty foul place. That any of them come out clean is a miracle I guess.

Blagojevich did some good, but apparently he did some bad also. He got caught or at least caught enough to bring out a bi-partisan mob. If nothing else, he got caught being extremely stupid. He knew he was being monitored. I am having trouble finding any sympathy.

December 11, 2008 at 7:28 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

SW: No argument there. Assuming Blagojevich has done all these things, he definitely deserves prison. It's just too bad that another politician who seemed to be on "our" side turns out to be a crook.

Carlos: I never listen to talk radio (liberal or conservative) but some rightwing bloggers are having a field day with this. There are several wingnut blogs that I check out every few days, just to keep tabs on what "the enemy" is saying. And they're jumping for joy over this.

MRM: The fact that Blagojevich was so blatant and unguarded is what's so appalling. He reminds me of some of the high profile police brutality cases, where the cops knew they were unaccountable and their supervisors wouldn't do anything. They'd walk all around the police station, bragging about what they did, or they'd send radio messages to each other. Blagojevich seems to be in that same category, just "knowing" that he's untouchable and unaccountable. Or so he thought.

December 11, 2008 at 11:49 AM  
Anonymous Bee said...

Blagojevich - he would have made a fine working-class hero. But, it seems to be the case that he really is crookeder than a dog's hind leg. But then, most politicians are - and Chicago has a long history of corrupt politics, and somehow the city has managed to remain in one piece. I winced at the allegation that he shook down a children's hospital - oh, man, you just don't do that! But then I had to applaud him telling pharmacists to get off their religio-high horses, and for smacking B of A over Republic.

It's too bad he was so damned crooked.

December 12, 2008 at 7:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

C'mon all Spitzer did was chase a call girl. As Attorney General he was the one Law Enforcement Officer who was doing what the Bush Justice Department should've have doing (or was ordered not to ignore.

This guy abused his Office.

The Right will always suffer more in a scandal because they insist on rubbing God and Morality at the Left.

On the other hand they always seem to have a right wing preacher on hand to forgive them.


December 13, 2008 at 5:06 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Bee: "crookeder than a dog's hind leg" LOL. I read a book a long time ago (by Mike Royko) describing Mayor Daley's (the first one) machine politics. It sounds like Illinois politics hasn't changed much.

Erik: Yeah, it was too bad Spitzer got caught. It looked like we finally had a politician who thought corporate thugs should be subject to the law just like everybody else.

Even though Blagojevich committed much more serious crimes than Spitzer, I still tend to lump them together, just because they both stood up to powerful interest groups on behalf of regular people. And there aren't enough politicians that do that.

December 13, 2008 at 6:42 PM  

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