So they finally did it - our "cloud" in Illinois has been lifted by the removal of Blagojevich, when he was found guilty at the impeachment by a vote of 59-0. I still can't believe this guy... he insists on boycotting his trial there, claiming a "set-up" and unfair rules. Even his lawyers skip it. And then he finally shows up on the last day, makes a 45 minute-long plea / speech, and gets irrevocably shot-down. This, of course, after his media blitz trying to take his case to the "court of public appeal."
But that's not why we're all doing a double-take again. The man goes home after his trial, makes a statement to the press (I have faithfully served the people of Illinois, the truth will come out, I'm innocent, blah blah blah), refuses to answer any legitimate questions from the press (why did you not follow protocol to try to bring your witnesses to the trial, etc.), and is about to duck inside his house when he goes back into the crowd and starts grabbing kids to pose with him for photographs, shaking hands, etc - like he's on a friggin' campaign trail.
For some reason he actually still has supporters, and quite a crowd was out there saying they believe him, they love him, etc. I cannot wait until the evidence is presented in the criminal trial and he gets his just desserts. The way he is so adamantly denyin any wrongdoing - it's quite frightening. I'm pretty sure he qualifies as a sociopath. Just because "pay to play" has become some sort of standard in Illinois government, any rational person should recognize how unethical it is - and you can't claim innocence to "wrongdoing" simply because you are participating in the status quo. It would be nice if Illinois and Chicago take the cue from this scandal and reform how they do business - whether it takes cleaning house to accomplish this, or if the politicians themselves can take in some supplemental moral fiber.
It amusing to note that - in addition to removal from office - the Illinois Senate passed a motion barring Blago from ever holding any public office again in Illinois. I'm not sure how legal that is, but it's nice to know they are doing their best to prevent him from escaping this debacle too easily in the near future.
Of course, he is not the only sociopath in the news lately. Remember that sleaze Drew Peterson? He was implicated as a person of interest in the disappearance of his 4th wife (Stacy) in 2007. That was after the mysterious drowning death of his 3rd wife in 2004. (Sorry, dunno anything about #1 & 2, and not motivated to dig it up). This 55-year-old was recently in the news for becoming engaged (while still married to his "missing" wife) to a 24-year-old Christina Raines. She moved in with him, and my wife and I started contemplating the odds on her long-term survival. Then on a recent Nightline, apparently good ol' Drew gave an interview talking about how he became bored with his previous 4 marriages, and how he longed to again be married to "belong" to someone. He stated to the interviewer that Christina was very happy with him and things were going great.
The day after this interview airs, she calls her father to help her move out of Drew's house and calls off the engagement, calling him very "controlling" in their relationship and worried over his "loss of interest" in his previous relationships. Take a look again at the time frames, and their ages. Sheesh. She has two small children by the way, and he has 4 of his own. He called them nice and cozy in his two-story house, like a box of baseball cards. Excuse me?? Why would you ever describe the way a group of eight living people get along like a collection of inanimate items that you stack and file away....
And to wrap up this blog, lemme mention Rush Limbaugh. I refuse to corrupt my blog with an image of this, er, gentleman, who is now the unofficial face of the Republican party. When asked about Obama, he insists, "I hope he fails." He is attempting to instigate the whole Republican party to block Obama at every turn. He got that (attempt) with the 100% rejection by the House Republicans on the newest part of the stimulus bill, which still passed of course because of the Democratic majority. However, the Senate Republicans can still cause a filibuster of the legislation - and that would be despite all the concessions made in the legislation for the benefit of the Republican agenda.
The time for hate mongering and partisan politics is supposed to be over. The election is completed, the Democrats won, and now the nation should be coming together to try to dig its way out of our woes. Obama is reaching out above and beyond the usual to bring Republicans into the fold and to keep "politics" out of the work. People like Limbaugh want to just keep the anger flowing and obstruct progress. But hey - it sure helps to keep his audience listening. Screw what the country needs.
Ok. I'm gonna go do something more pleasant for a while.
Photos borrowed from the Chicago Sun-Times