NEWS ITEM: Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his chief of staff, John Harris, were arrested today by FBI agents for what U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald called a “staggering” level of corruption involving pay to play politics in Illinois’ top office.
Blagojevich is accused of a wide-ranging criminal conspiracy, including alleged attempts by the governor to try to sell or trade the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by President-elect Barack Obama in exchange for financial benefits for the governor and his wife. Blagojevich also is accused of obtaining campaign contributions in exchange for other official actions.
FBI agents served a search warrant on his office at the Thompson Center this morning, said Frank Bochte, an FBI spokesman.
Blagojevich was taken into federal custody at his North Side home this morning—one day shy of his 52nd birthday.
Remember the movie Network? In it, Howard Beale famously ranted, “I’m mad as Hell, and I’m not gonna take this any more!”
If you’ve not seen the Paddy Chayefsky classic, rent it. It’s a great flick. Peter Finch gave the performance of a lifetime (one of his last performances, too, as he was the first – and so far only – actor to receive an Oscar posthumously for the role). What really struck me is the on-air speech he made after finding out he was being put out to pasture. Thanks to the fine folks at iMDb.com, here’s a transcript: Continue reading My own, special, little Howard Beale moment.
Let’s consider Congress. According to the NYTimes bestsellers by Dick Morris and his wife, in a GOOD week, Senators and Representatives spend about one day or so on the floor, debating and voting on things, and perhaps another day in a committee or subcommittee hearing. That’s it. And for at least six months of their term, they’re out, schlepping for votes, to get RE-elected. Not exactly a great return on our investment.
Now we come to a genuine crisis, albeit one that our esteemed members themselves helped create. According to Senate majority leader Reid, the idea of Messrs. McCain, Obama, and Biden coming back to Washington to help negotiate a bailout deal, was “unhelpful.”
God, I hate politics. Continue reading What are we payin’ these guys for?