Illinios Governor makes the state look like old-time Tammany Hall!

Seriously, this is much more important than the Fran Drescher post.  While I was on CNN.com today, I read a story that made me think I was back in the 1800’s and reading about Tammany Hall.

It seems that a sitting governor in the state of Illinois has seen fit to put up the seat of a United States Senator, no less, (that was recently vacated by the President-elect of our country) for sale to the highest bidder.  Amazing.  There is a little voice in the back of my head that keeps saying, “What else did you expect to come out of the most corrupt political machine in the country?”  But there is a bigger voice that screams back “Weren’t you listening?  A sitting governor in the state of Illinois has seen fit to put up the seat of a United States Senator (that was recently vacated by the President-elect of our country) for sale to the highest bidder!”  This is huge!

The language used by the US Attorney over the case is just as amazing.  I quote from the article:

“The breadth of corruption laid out in these charges is staggering,” U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said in a statement. “They allege that Blagojevich put a ‘for sale’ sign on the naming of a United States Senator; involved himself personally in pay-to-play schemes with the urgency of a salesman meeting his annual sales target; and corruptly used his office in an effort to trample editorial voices of criticism.”

According to the statement, Blagojevich is alleged to have discussed obtaining:

1.  a substantial salary for himself at either a non-profit foundation or an organization affiliated with labor unions;

2.  a spot for his wife on paid corporate boards, where he speculated she might garner as much as $150,000 a year;

3.  promises of campaign funds — including cash up front;

4.  a Cabinet post or ambassadorship for himself

Wow.

The political implications go deep.  Who turned him in?  If he was seeking a Cabinet post or ambassadorship, was Obama involved?  Did Obama turn him in?  I doubt that.

Is he going to step down immediately, or is he going to fight the charges and remain governor?  If he does, will he still be allowed to appoint Obama’s replacement in the Senate with this cloud hanging over him?  Will he allow the seat to go unfilled until his situation is resolved?  If he steps down, does the state have a provision for someone other that the actual elected governor to be able to make the appointment?  Assuming he steps down, will the replacement have to be put on hold until a special election for governor is completed?  Will they simply have to wait until Obama’s seat comes back up for reelection to fill the seat?  There are many juicy scenarios, and I love them all.

Remember, it was the Media that refused to pursue the allegations of corruption in the Chicago political machine during the elections.  If these chickens come home to roost now, the media will be guilty abdicating its responsibility in favor of pushing its own agenda, again.

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Surprise, surprise

Was anyone really surprised when the bigfoot on ice in Georgia turned out to be a fake?  Unfortunately, the answer is, probably.  It is important to remember that there are lots of people out there who are so bored with life that they encourage the fantastic and unrealistic. 

Groups in Texas (sigh), Hawaii, and the Dakotas are currently wasting their time and energy trying to form independent governments.  Daily we hear about cult religions with kooky beliefs that somehow have hundreds of adherents.  A large number of people in Iceland actually believe in gnomes and elves.  Huge numbers of nuts get together to fantasize about being taken by aliens.  No, it’s no surprise that people want to believe in bigfoot.

The saddest aspect of all of this was the performance of the media.   They reported this story with an almost giddy excitement that was tempered only slightly by feigned professional objectivity.  Would it have been more prudent to sit on the story and wait for the examination?  Probably, but this is not that realistic.  It would have been better if the reporters who wrote the original stories had taken the time to do a little investigation on their own.  Unfortunately, they broke the story, and then were approached by owners of costume shops who verified that it looked just like one of their costumes.

The evolution of the media in recent years is more and more troubling.  Two disturbing aspects have become more and more prominent.  First, stories that used to be tabloid, and reserved for publications like The Weekly World News have found their way into the mainstream media.  People are attracted to the sensational, and tabloid stories are almost always sensational.  Reporting these types of stories will get more people to watch your news program or bring more people to your news website.  This increases rating, and ratings mean revenue. 

Forget about journalistic integrity, because that is the other reason.  There is none.  Which brings me to another troubling change in the media over recent years.  This is the fact that the media is becoming more and more partisan.  Up until a couple of decades ago, most of the serious media outlets at least paid lip service to a goal of unbiased reporting.  However, with the emergence of Foxnews (who admittedly shows both sides with a conservative bent), most major television news sources have become unabashedly biased in their attitudes.  They increasingly become more editorial in their reporting to the point that some (see NBC) seem to be sitting-in on party strategy meetings and being given their marching orders by political parties.

Being a conservative, I am more sensitive to this on television news reports that have embraced the ideas of the left.  This includes NBC, CBS and CNN (Like everyone else, I don’t even pay attention to CNBC and MSNBC).  I guess it takes a lot of bias to balance out Foxnews.