Monthly Archives: December 2008

>OP ED: Blago trumps critics with Burris appointment

>I am no fan of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich (left in target). In making the appointment for the Obama senate seat, however, Blago has proven that his adversaries have a tiger by the tail.

In a demonstration of testicular virility, the Guv has shown his unabated authority to appoint a new senator. In doing so, he selected an African-American with a distinguished public service record unsullied by scandal — a person of impeccable credentials — Roland Burris (right)

(You may recall that in my December 15th blog, I suggested that Blago go ahead and appoint a senator — a person of impeccable reputation –as he is legally authorized to do. I proposed former school board honcho, George Munoz, but Blago was in the same spirit with the Burris appointment.)

Given the failure of the Illinois legislature to pass a special election bill, Blago had every right – maybe duty — to exercise his authority. Like it or not, he IS the governor. More importantly, he made a good choice.

Allowing the Governor to make the selection means we play by the rules. Though I am sure I would like a more conservative senator, I do not believe in gerry-rigging the rules for contemporary political convenience or advantage. The appointment of Burris is no effrontery to the electorate since they already rejected my opinion and gave the Senate seat to a black liberal Democrat.

In making his move, the Governor has befuddled his critics, however.

He gave the Republicans yet another opportunity to continue there largely irrelevant role as the “nattering nabobs of negativism” as they attempt to smear the reputations of Lt. Governor Patrick Quinn and now Roland Burris. The GOP wants to change the rules in favor of an expensive election only for the slim opportunity that they could somehow overcome their institutional ineptitude and actually win a statewide contest.

The appointment appears to have put Governor-in-Waiting Quinn over the edge. His near hysterical press conference made him look more like a deranged political assassin than the calm and responsible heir apparent. His constant reference to “what the people want” was both gratuitous and unsubstantiated. We govern by rules, not personal opinion.

Furthermore, Quinn’s unqualified assertion that the Governor will be impeached and convicted by mid-February smacks of arrogance and does further disservice to the legislature’s impeachment hearings by undermining any impression of fairness.

So crazed is the Democrat leadership that the otherwise level-headed Secretary of State Jesse White is opting to violate his oath of office, requiring that he uphold the law, by politically refusing to advance the necessary paperwork for the appointment.

The Illinois legislature, having botched a timely bill for a special election and now making the impeachment process look like a kangaroo court, is looking impotent in the face of the Governor’s persistence in acting like he IS the Governor.

Then there is U.S. Senate President Harry Reid, refusing to seat any person appointed by Blago. How dare he! Who is he to say that the people of Illinois are not entitled to representation? Burris should be judged on HIS character and qualifications, not on the ethical lapses of the Governor.

And is Reid prepared to give away the only African-American seat in the entire United States Senate? Where does Obama come down on that one?

All of the aforementioned characters are being stampeded by a major media that is encourage this lynch mob mentality. The once condemned “guilt by association” is now the centerpiece of their campaign against Burris.

Collectively, Blagojevich’s critics have done something virtually impossible. They have set off a wave of public sympathy for the Governor. The Governor has exercised his legal right. Roland Burris is an exemplary choice. We claim that the “rule of law” is pre-eminent. Let’s prove it and send Burris to Washington.

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>SUGGESTION: Appoint the senator aleady.

>For the most part, I tend to support Republican positions on most issues – but by far not all the time. The selection of Senator Replacement to fill the seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama is one of those exceptions.

Oh! I know why the GOP wants a costly election. They have a good chance of winning the seat. That is exactly why the Dems are now against an election. They could lose it. The cost of the election has nothing … nada … to do with the Democrat’s desire to keep it as an appointment.

Now … as a taxpayer, I DO care about the cost of an election. All things being equal, I suppose I would be happy to cough up my money to give the people a choice. However, there are two other things that put me on the side of an appointment.

First, it is the long standing rule that the governor appoints. As much as I personally would like to see a more conservative senator take the seat, I hate when the politicians change the rules to game the system. If it were not for Governor Rod Blagojevich being escorted from his home in handcuffs, there would be no question as to the proper procedure – a gubernatorial appointment.

Now, I know my stand on principle will not get me that conservative senator I desire, but there is another consideration. The voters of Illinois – contrary to my advice – did elect a Democrat, and a liberal one at that. It is not a disservice to the electorate to have the Democrat governor name Democrat colleague – and one who might even do him so political good. (This does not mean I endorse auctioning off the seat for hard cold cash. No. No. No.)

I really do not care if the appointment is made by Governor Slammerbound or Governor-In-Waiting Patrick Quinn, if he should step into Blago’s teeny shoes. In either case, let the merits of the person appointed stand on their own.

And that brings me to one of the Democrats leading loose cannons, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. He has announced that no senator appointed by Blago will be seated. To underscore his determination, Reid had 49 of his Democrat colleagues repeat this in an open letter.

How dare Reid! Who in the hell does he think he is to say that the people of Illinois are not entitled to representation unless he personally approves. Anyone appointed to that seat should be judged on HIS or HER character and qualifications, not on the ethical lapses of the Governor.

Frankly, if I were Blagojevich, I would forget about all those conniving to get the appointment and appoint an outstanding individual. Just as an example, what if he appointed former School Board President George Munoz (left) or a person of that caliber?** Would any one dare to say it is a bad appointment? I think not. Would Reid & Co. dare to reject such a distinguished and qualified candidate? On what basis?

Hmmmm. Now that I said it out loud, the Munoz appointment would be outstanding — and may serve the Governor well in the long run. Naming a Hispanic has not only political pluses, but if he wants to get some friends on an eventual jury, this could do the trick. There will undoubtedly be some Hispanics on the jury. Of course, Governor/jail bird George Ryan tried to influence the jury pool by emptying death row of the mostly black inmates – but it didn’t work. Sure the connection between appointing a Hispanic senator and locking in an acquittal vote in some eventual jury is a very long shot, but given Blago’s situation, long shots are all he has.

At any rate … I think the Governor should shove it down that arrogant Reid’s throat and make the senate appointment ASAP. And if he gets tossed out before he can, then Governor Quinn should make the appointment as his first official act. I am sure both Blago and Quinn have a pretty good idea who they will name by now.

** For those who do not know him … not only was Munoz an outstanding school board president, but he went on to be Assistant Secretary and Chief Financial Officer of the Department of the Treasury and then President and Chief Executive Officer of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation. He holds advance degrees in law, public policy and economics.

>REACT: Obama’s seat up for grabs.

>

There is no doubt that the stunning arrest and indictment of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has the Democrats reeling. For a moment, they almost forget who they are.

You will recall that in the moments following U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald’s press conference, donkey party leaders from Chicago, Springfield and the nation’s capital starting calling for a special election to avoid having the ethically compromised governor appoint the successor to the now sacrosanct Barack Obama seat in the U.S. Senate.

Weeeell … it was not long before they recovered enough to realize the shock of their own action. The leaders of the power-at-all-cost party actually proposed that the citizens of the Land of Lincoln be given a choice. This led them to further realize that the power players would lose the chance to hand pick the next senator. No guarantee the people would pick a black person. No guarantee it would be a political insider. No political benefits (and certianly no cash) for the person or persons making the appointment. Oh my God! No guarantee that the next senator would even be … A DEMOCRAT!

Well, as the aftershocks of “stupid governor-gate” diminished, and more traditional thinking was restored, the same Democrat leaders did a quick one-eighty and decided that the new senator should be appointed by the Blagojevich successor – Lt. Governor Patrick Quinn.

Since Quinn’s rise to the governorship is in the hands of the Madigan family – Michael the Impeacher (right, hugging Blago) or Lisa the Litigator (left) – it is reasonable to guess that the price of promotion may be letting the Madigans pick the senator. Maybe cash is no long the quid for the political pro quo in Illinois, but that does not mean that old fashion horse trading is dead.

The Dem new spin is that an election will be costly. True enough, but democracy in Illinois does not come cheap — whether above board or under the table. And since when has the expense of ANYTHING bothered this tax-and-steal crowd? After all, they are the biggest OPM** abusers of all time – funding their habit out of the public treasury.

I guess there is some perverse comfort in knowing that our elected leaders have returned to some semblance of normalcy. You know … if it walks like a donkey and brays like a donkey, it is still a Democrat.

** Other People’s Money

>OBSERVATION: Global warming cooling off??

>Amid all the election news coverage and the unending sagas of political scandals, there has been an unreported story. Seems like the theory of man-made, carbon-caused global warming has been put on the terminally ill list. That’s right. Even as activists and politicians posing as scientists (did the name Al Gore come to mind?) are continuing their increasingly incredible scare tactics, it appears Mother Nature is not being very cooperative. Global thermometers have not risen since 1998. In fact, they have taken a dive in recent years. The earth seems to be cooling down. All over the world cold records are being broken.

Ignoring fact and science, global warming has continued to be a politically popular issue with know-it-all environmentalists and pandering politicians. But now with the worldwide economies cooling down, there is some rethinking goinh on about the climate issue. Most of the nations suffering from the pandemic recession are suddenly of the opinion that reducing man-made carbon emissions will exacerbate the economic crisis. Soooo … for the world leaders, money is now the number one green issue.

The problem is that the scary theories of contemporary scientists sound really well-informed and well-grounded – that is, until they go flatter than the pre-Eratosthenes earth.**

The developing nations, especially China, want the developed nations to fork over hundreds of billions of dollars annually to underwrite their carbon cutting programs. Fat chance of that happening. The industrial nations are back to burning coal and investing in traditional power generation.

To justify all this change of heart, there is now a growing chorus of scientists warning of global cooling – a mini ice age. The are getting the politicians ears these days. We had a similar cooling earth panic in the 1970s. This means that I already have lived through one mini-ice age, global warming and maybe soon another mini ice age. And you wonder why I am cynical when the Chicken Little’s in white lab coats start publishing papers promoting their pet apocalyptic prophesies.

What can you do as an individual to address climate change? Buy a parka.

** I thought you might be wondering. Eratosthenes was a Greek mathematician who proved that the earth was round a couple hundred years before the birth of Christ. For the next two millennia – give or take a couple hundred years — this fact was kept secret from the peasants of Europe by a powerful cabal of politicians, scientists and church leaders. Sound familiar?

>OBSERVATION: Finally an issue worthy of getting behind

>When you mix voodoo science with political correctness, you get some really funny stuff. Well … it would be really funny if it did not cost us taxpayer so much money to underwrite the foolishness. I often refer to the extreme environmentalists as being a bit … you know … anal. Little did I know how apt a description that might be.

Case in point.

Seems like our bureaucrats over at the Environmental Protection Agency are prepared to protect us from yet another imagined assault on our air quality. They are attempting to declare the farting of farm animals to be air pollution. (<– If you want to read that again to see if it said what you think it said, be my guest).

To control the problem, they propose that farmers pay a fee for each cow, for example. (There is always money behind these crazy ideas, isn’t there?) The average dairy farmer could get hit with a $30,000 to $40,000 annual cost – which you would pay as an increase to the price of milk and cheese.

Can you believe that our bureaucrats have actually devised a scheme to tax farts? Can a levee on poop be far behind (no pun intended)?

One wonders where this slippery slope will find its nadir. Sure … the government can impose a “passing gas tax” on farm animals, but what about pets and free-range animals. Will they be allowed to indiscriminately foul our air? Maybe a ten buck tax on every four-legged pet. Five bucks on parakeets if we can prove they fart. As far as free-range animals, I am not sure what can be done. They pay no taxes and have no owners to foot the bill for them. Planned extinction seems to be the only remedy. After all, if they can’t be taxed, what good are they?

Then there is the whole human issue. Because of certain legumes and the unique consumption of beer, man is among the more prodigious of the earth’s farters. I suppose we can’t make it outright illegal to fart, but maybe we can allow farting only in designated areas where the noxious expellant can be captured and properly disposed of. In other words, no farting out of doors or in the public commons.

If this seems a bit extreme, keep in mind that we currently do not allow people to go pooping anywhere they please like a bunch of Neanderthals. We have a designated area where “the noxious expellant can be captured and properly disposed of” — the euphamistically designated “bathroom.”

If you are a smoker/farter in this brave new world, I am not sure where you can go. Since farts are technically flammable, one should not fart in the presence of people with lighted matches anyway. I am sure the good people at the EPA will promulgate some regulations on that danger.

To pay for all this, we will need to have a head – or, better said — a butt tax on every person. Individual public farting could be addressed with civil citations like traffic tickets. Police would be equipped with sniffing machines to nab the sneaky silent farters.

Thinking of the laws that require dog owners to clean up after their pets, can the civic-minded folks take individual responsibility by inhaling their own farts? Hmmm. Bad idea. But … maybe some genius will come up with a personal collection devise – on the principle of the pet poop pick-up products.

There is always the opportunity to reduce the consumption of fart producing foods by aggressive taxation. This would put the price of pinto beans beyond Rusian caviar.

In all likelihood, some of our left-wing city councils will follow the tradition they established for cigarettes and atomic bombs by declaring their communities to be fart-free zones without the foggiest idea of how to implement such a restriction.

On the global level, we might see the creation of fart credits. Nations with high fart producing diets would have to purchase fart credits from starving nations. While this might be a hardship on the Hispanic world and parts of Asia – not to mention the American fast-food industry — it would help the undeveloped and under nourished nations of central Africa get more money for their leaders to embezzle.

This could be the next major scientific panic-the-public project – “global browning,” if you will.

Well, I don’t know about you, but I am sure resting easier knowing there are people in Washington protecting my a__ … uh … protecting me FROM my ass. And, I applaud these dedicated environmentalists who have made their personal contribution to finding a solution to the threat of anal asphyxiation by inserting their heads up theirs.