Tag Archives: Rod Blagojevich

IT’S A SAKI ECONOMY FOR THE JAPANESE TOO

Japanese Finance Minister Shoichi Nakagawa

Japanese Finance Minister Shoichi Nakagawa

Bookmark and Share     Proof that the United States is not alone in a struggle for economic leadership was made quite evident today in Japan.

The already unstable government of Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso just took another hit and it is one that does not add to any sense of economic security.

Aso’s Finance Minister, Shoichi Nakagawa resigned today after apologizing for attending a string of seven news conferences while drunk.

A series of scandals and accusations and a plummeting popularity rating ,due to Prime Minister Aso’s mismanagement of the Japanese economy, has brought him and his ruling “Liberal Democratic Party” under fire and to the point of no public confidence.

Oddly, the resignation of Aso’s drunk Finance Minister coincided with a press conference by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who has made Japan the first stop on her first foreign mission.

What a welcome that must have been.

According to some insiders, the resignation could be the straw that breaks the back of the LDP and cause it to crumble. That could also give need for Secretary Clinton to do this trip over again, when she can discuss things with Japanese leaders who will be sober and in control of the Japanese government.

In any event, the fate of disgraced Finance Minister Shoichi Nakagawa is still up in the air. Some have suggested that the drunken antics which have led to his resignation from the Japanese government, might make him a perfectly suitable replacement for ailing Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy when and if he ever retires.

Others have suggested that since he is now available, Nakagawa’s government experience and impeccably clean tax record could make him the perfect person to nominate for the hard to fill, vacant Commerce Secretary spot that still exists in the Obama administration. What a better way to demonstrate our free trade desires than by having an Asian commerce secretary oversee our markets?

However; sources close to WordPress.com believe that although Nakagawa’s future fortune does lie in the United States, it is not in government employment that he will find it.

Apparently, Nakegawa will be signed onto a two year contract with a new American reality television show that will be produced by and aired on C-Span. The show is called Political Rehab and it will feature an array of political leaders, each of which are trying to deal with their political afterlives while coping with various addictions and fetishes.

The show will take place in Washington, D.C.’s trendy Georgetown section where the political rehabilitants will live together for eight weeks in a three story brownstone. Producers of the program say the show will “take us through the lives of everyday politicians who have fallen from grace and out of power and are struggling to find their place in the world while also coping with the problems that brought them down and out of power”

The shows creators promise that Political Rehab will be an emotional journey, jam packed with the intensity and passion of politics along with twists born of the human frailties and addictions that all people bring to the table.

Currently, producers are still negotiating contracts with a list of stars that include former Congresswoman and Green Party presidential nominee Cynthia McKinney , impeached Governor Rod Blagojevich, former Senator Larry Craig as well as former Governors Elliot Spitzer of New York and Jim McGreevey of New Jersey. Word is that former President Bill Clinton has already been signed on but arrangements regarding where Cynthia McKinney can safely sleep without fear of Mr. Clinton are still being worked out.

The show’s producers stated that the addition of Nakagawa and his drinking problem is just what they were looking for in order to round out the other addictions being dealt with on the show such as sex and violence.

So it is nice to know that when one door closes another one can in fact open, and after Nakegawa’s resignation in Japan, it is nice to know that not everything applies to the phrase “only in America”.

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THE TOP 10 POLITICAL HAPPENINGS OF 2008

With the new year here, we have the opportunity to reflect on the year gone by and to thank the passage of time for resolving some situations. While some happenings in 2008 came and went, other events of 2008 still require time, time that will absorb much of 2009 and even beyond.

So today, before we forge ahead with the rest of this new year, we reflect on the events that shaped politics and the politics that shaped events, by presenting to you the 10 most significant political stories of the year that helped to get us where we are today.

TONY SNOW

TONY SNOW

10. – THE DEATHS OF TIM RUSSERT and TONY SNOW

TIM RUSSERT

TIM RUSSERT

Both of these men loved politics. For a time they were both involved in politics on different sides of the aisle and at a different times they covered politics. Tony Snow started in print and broadcast journalism delivering political news and commentary and ended his career in politics as the Press Secretary for President Bush. Tim Russert began in politics working for a political legend, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York and ended covering politics on NBC. As host of Meet The Press, Tim became a part of every American household and despite his personal left leaning tendencies Tim Russert was respected for probing questions that were leveled at liberals and conservatives alike. Tony Snow was also a partisan. For decades he was a favorite in conservative circles, yet when delivering a news story people of every party carefully listened to the insightful delivery of facts that he presented. His last major endeavor was one that helped provide the White House with the ability to properly convey the right messages. Tony served as Press Secretary for 17 months. Probably the most understandable 17 months of the Presidents two terms in office. Tim Russert died after suffering a massive heart attack on Jun 13th at the age of 58 and Tony Snow died after battling colon cancer on July 12th at the age of 53. In life they shaped politics and political opinion. In death, they left us a legacy of lessons and examples to follow.

9 . – IS  THAT CAMPAIGN MONEY IN YOUR POCKET OR ARE YOU JUST GLAD TO SEE ME

FORMER NY GOVERNOR ELLIOT SPITZER

FORMER NY GOVERNOR ELLIOT SPITZER

The Empire State helped to set a tone for 2008 when early in the year, New York’s Governor, Elliot Spitzer got caught up in scandal. After serving only 14 months in office the rising Democrat star found himself standing next to his wife announcing his resignation. Suspicious transfers of money in and out of Spitzer’s bank account led federal investigators to believe that he might be taking bribes. However their probe discovered that for over several years Spitzer wasn’t taking bribes, he was paying out at least $80,000 for prostitutes. The period covered his tenure as New York’s Attorney General as well as his brief time as Governor. The happiest people of all in this episode were David Paterson and New Jersey. As Spitzer’s Lieutenant Governor, Paterson, became New York’s first African American Governor, and the nation’s first legally blind one. New Jersey was just happy to know that they were no longer the only state in the region to lose a governor because of sexual scandals and illegal conduct.

8. – WEEKEND AT KIM’S

NOT WANTED but is he dead or alive?

NOT WANTED but is he dead or alive?

Around August rumors began to circulate that North Korea’s obscure and, to put it kindly, eccentric leader, Kim Jong-Il, was dead. Since then no reputable sources have either seen him or heard from him. Not that that is unusual, few people have ever heard or seen Kim Jong-Il, but what is unusual are recent decisions that Kim Jong-Il supposedly made to eliminate efforts to develop nuclear power. Did Kim make that decision? Is North Korea really abandoning nuclear ambitions? Or is North Korea propping up Kim Jong-Il, like a bad, out of sync, Korean version of “Weekend At Bernie’s” while a different, unknown, brain dead ruler is pulling the strings and, at the same time, trying to pull the wool over our eyes? All jokes aside, the sensitivity of the situation is a dire one. Chaos on the Korean Peninsula could create a ripple effect that no one can afford. Dramatic events could alter sensitive relations with South Korea and negotiations with the United States. All of which could result in tensions throughout the world including those involving hard feelings between North Korea and Japan. And let us not forget North Korea’s greatest ally, China. With their booming economy, the Chinese are ambitious. Knowing who is in charge of things could be helpful in 2009.

7. – BID WELL FIDEL?

BID WELL TO FIDEL?

BID WELL TO FIDEL?

In 1959 Cuba took on the face of Fidel Castro. Just 90 miles off of our shores, Cuban communism and Castro were too close for comfort. As much as we didn’t like it, invasions, coups and even assassination attempts did not eliminate Castro’s hold on power. However, time did reduce Castro’s influence. As time changed most of the world, Castro and Cuba didn’t but the logistics which helped to make him a thorn in our side did change. The, once feared communist Soviet-Cuban relationship lost it’s potency as the Soviet Union lost it’s hammer and sickle. As time went by, our concerns with Cuba focused more on human rights for Cubans than defense from Cuba. So it was still welcome news when, in February, we discovered that an ailing Fidel Castro was resigning from office. Not that it mattered much. Before stepping down, Fidel told the Cuban Communist Party that they were too elect his brother Raul to be the new Commander in Chief. The event did not change things very much but after almost 50 years in power, and events such as the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Elian Gonzales and other disconcerting situations, as minor as the effects of this change may be, Fidel’s painstakingly slow departure from the world stage is welcomed and ranks as the seventh most dramatic political occurrence of 2008.

6. – THE GEOGIAN-RUSSIAN WARant1georgis1a2

It was not a battle that reshaped Europe again but the surprising developments that caused the Russian Army to invade a neighboring, breakaway Republic with internationally recognized sovereignty, gave us all a glimpse of reality. It may not be the Soviet Union anymore but a bear by any other name is still a bear and the vulnerabilities of newly formed and reformed European nations and those with relatively new freedoms still offer some new Russian leaders the same old reasons for wanting control. The incident helped to demonstrate that freedom in parts of Europe is still a fragile concept.

ROD "How much do 'ya want" BLAGOJEVICH

ROD "How much do 'ya want" BLAGOJEVICH

5. – THE EBAY APPOINTMENT

2008 ended with a story that will carry well into the first months of 2009. As President-Elect Obama vacated his seat in the U.S. Senate, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich began a private auction process to determine who will fill the vacancy. As investigators, under the direction of federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, investigated Blagojevich for numerous improprieties, they discovered that he was basing his appointment to the senate seat on who could give him the most for it. Blago wanted either a “cushy union” job, a high paying cabinet position or at the very least an enormous financial campaign contribution. After being arrested the Illinois state legislature began impeachment proceedings against Blagojevich and he began digging in his heals refusing to resign. The events have the potential for drawing in some big name co-conspirators and participants. From Rep. Jesse Jackson, jr. to President -Elect Obama’s incoming Chief of Staff, Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuelle, many reputations may yet be questioned in this scandal. And to make things even more interesting, Blagojevich took the opportunity to raise the stakes and named Roland Burris, a long time, old line, liberal Chicago Democrat party machine hack to replace Barack Obama. Not at all concerned with peoples faith in government, or the integrity of the process, Burriss accepted the tainted appointment and in doing so, puts the United States and it’s Democrat leader, Harry Reid in the position of denying to seat someone that would be the only African American in the United States Senate. So coming in as the fifth top political occurrence in 2008 is the story that will keep on bleeding and keep us reading…..the process to replace a Barack Obama in the senate. 

4. – BRINGING OUTSIDERS IN

GOVERNOR SARAH PALIN

GOVERNOR SARAH PALIN

One of the most important political decisions made in 2008 was John McCain’s selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin for Vice President on the Republican ticket. It was a controversial choice for some and one of the only right decisions made in the opinions of others. No matter how you see it, it remains one of the most spoken about political stories of the year. Beyond the newsworthiness are the implications. For many it was a sign of the fact that government needs thinking that is as far removed from the Washington D.C. mentality as Alaska is from Washington D.C itself. Many Americans are tired of Washington politics and want common sense as opposed to the one hand washes the other, old boys bureaucracy that we perceive as screwing us more than helping us. Sarah Palin embodied, and still does embody, that thinking. She is a political outsider who became a Governor by opposing the political class while representing the working class. Without abandoning conservative Republican principles, Sarah Palin fought against corrupt Republican and liberal politicians. Although picking Sarah Palin for Vice President may have been the right decision for John McCain, trying to restrict and control her wasn’t. By trying to script Sarah Palin, the McCain campaign lost out on the greatest advantageous quality Palin brought to the ticket…….her anti-establishment, outsider qualities. As McCain lost the election for President, Sarh Palin won exposure. Exposure that has made her a person who conservatives look forward to advancing the cause and for Americans to have to consider for national leadership in the future. So at number four in 2008 is the selection of Sarah Palin for Vice President. Thank you senator McCain!

ant1oil23. – “OILS WELL” IN THE ECONOMY?

The price of oil ranks third on our list of top stories. As prices for a barrel of oil soared to heights in excess of 150 dollars a barrel , gas prices flew up to over 4 dollars a gallon and the ripple effects raise the cost of everything from milk, eggs and bread to lumber, air fares, and life in general. The high cost of energy generated heated debates over domestic oil drilling, and pushed issues like immigration and terrorism off of the front burners in the race for President. Based upon the duration of the immediate negative effects of the price of oil combined with its ripple effects on the economy, its control of the political agenda and the long term policy initiatives that it created, oil prices is number 3 in ‘08. It is also likely to become a top story again, at least around August of ‘09, when the now delightfully low prices we see rise back up. 

2. – THE ELECTION OF BARACK OBAMA 

PRESIDENT-ELECT BARACK OBAMA

PRESIDENT-ELECT BARACK OBAMA

Putting all political opinion aside. Barack Obama ran a long hard campaign, that Republican strategists are dissecting in order to reproduce in elections of their own. The Obama campaign not only effectively tapped into voter dissatisfaction they organized it and organized it well. Their utilization of the internet was exemplary and their ability win favor through eloquence and style over substance and fact was political perfection. Despite some pitfalls such as Bill Ayers, ACORN, Rev. Wright, admitting a desire akin to socialism by stating that he wanted to spread the wealth , Barack Obama won big. To do so his campaign raised historic amounts of money and more than just raising that money, they spent it right and put it to good use. A use that mobilized the forces well enough to produce his substantial victory. The election of President-Elect Barack Obama comes in second on out not only because of how he won but because he did win. His victory marked the election of America’s first African American President. Like ant other first, it is notable and in this case it is profoundly notable. It demonstrates an undeniable ability for our nation to overcome racial differences and the evidence of decency overcoming prejudice is promising. The effects of President-Elect Obama’s leadership are yet to be seen but the lessons learned and points made by his election are unquestionable.

ant1bailout21 . – BAIL OUT MANIA

POLITICS 24/7 considers the 700 billion dollar bailout that the federal government approved to be the most profound and important story of 2009. Not only was the suggested need for this bailout indicative of our wrong ways of the past, it signaled a continuation of wrong ways in the future. Our promotion of spending as the answer to all of our problems has created generations ands a government that spend beyond our means. The 700 billion dollar bailout meant to solve our problems didn’t solve our anything, it just provided a quick fix. It did however, create more problems. It has called upon more people and more industries to put their own hands out. The bailout set in motion a sense of government control that has taken freedom, with all of it’s risks and promises, out of the free market and it has helped to move America closer to the socialism that we have fought against in the past. Many major events come and go in politics. What we once saw as earth shattering developments often become something that we later laugh about but we fear that bailout trend established in 2008 is no laughing matter for any time.

2008 was an intense year. There were many events and some of the most dramatic ones did not involve politics. Human nature played a role in all of them though and hopefully our better instincts will drive the events and politics of 2009.

With that in mind we wish everyone a happy new year and hope that our better instincts help to make each and every day better than the last.

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EBAY NOTICE: BIDDING FOR THIS SENATE SEAT HAS ENDED BY SELLER

I wish 2008 could end on a good note in politics and on political issues. As it currently stands the only god news that seems to exist is that the price of oil and gas is at one of the lowest prices in recent years. Seeing as how that oil fuels our economy and controls the cost of almost everything else, that is quite important. However, the low prices, like good news, are also going to be short lived.

With war breaking out between Palestinians and Israelis, warnings of the collapse of the auto industry, and the promise to of more and more federal bailouts arrived at by the borrowing of more and more money, most of the news is bleak. But it is recent events in Illinois that monopolize the current events which closes 2008 and it does so on an unfortunately pessimistic note.

ILLINOIS GOVERNOR ROD BLAGOJEVICH

ILLINOIS GOVERNOR ROD BLAGOJEVICH

The gall of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has reached a deafening crescendo.

Accepting for a moment the undeniable innocence before guilt precedence, it still takes an incredible amount of gall to try to appoint someone to a United States Senate seat while federal prosecutors are building a case and the state legislature is holding impeachments hearing against you for trying to sell the very same seat your are filling. You would think that given the circumstances, Blogojevich might just be concerned with peoples faith in government. You would think that maybe, just maybe Blago could understand that the atmosphere surrounding him holds so much doubt about the ability of his selcetion and the reasons behind his selection to fill President-Elect Obama’s vacated senate seat, are so questionable that he should hold off.

Instead, Blogaojevich tries to convince people that he is the only one truly concerned with the business of the people. Only he wants the business of government to go on , unhindered by politics and uninterrupted by unimportant distractions.

In trying to name a replacement for Obama in the U.S. Senate under the existing circumstances, Blagojevich is promulgating a perception into 2009 that is regretful.

He is picking up the final straw that will break the camels back and really help Americans to move closer to believing that our elected officials are worthless.

That is a shame because I do know that there are many truly sincere individuals serving in elected office. I know that there are many men and women who could be making substantially more money in the private sector than in the public sector but forgo that money for service.

I also know that many of those elected officials really work hard and give much more than they get. A sincere politicians, puts people before profit. They sacrifice time with friends and family and they listen to the problems of thousands of people each week or month while their own struggles are put on hold.

Believe it or not a sincere politician does work quite hard. If they want to continue in their job, they are doing a lot more than sitting on Capitol Hill and delivering a speech. A good politician is attending the events in their districts that their constituents are attending. The special events, the monthly meetings, whatever it is, they are there. And believe me, there is a lot of happenings that they must be a part of. Happenings that are not arranged around their schedules. Which means their own  family barbecue,  child’s after school event or even the moment they may want to simply gather their own thoughts are all secondary to that of the needs of their constituents.

Those people are serving because they want to make a difference. They want to make life better for us through a government that is suppose to serve us. They are the people who do not grab the headlines due to the “if it bleeds, it reads” thinking of the media. They’re just doing their jobs, so it does not really create any interest.

But the Blagojeviches of the world do grab the headlines.

Those who are doing their jobs wrong and those using their jobs for wrongdoing get our attention, at least when they are caught.

Unfortunately, there are many who are involved in wrongdoing and we hear about them all the time. The constant flow of stories involving, elected officials engaging in corrupt activity helps to cement the perception that government and government officials are corrupt.

In New Jersey, Governor Jim McGreevey took the damaging tradition of political patronage to an all time height of disgust when he put the care of Homeland Security for New Jersey up to a lover who he was having a clandestine affair with. The rationale for giving his lover the job was based on the fact that McGreevey liked the sexual positions that they shared together, not that his lover was qualified for the position of Homeland Security. There were also some shady financial arrangements that the Governor was involved in. The investigation of those financial activities discovered the affair and the reasons behind the appointment of an unqualified person to an important job involving the safety and security of New Jerseyans.

To take attention off of the actual wrongdoing and criminal activities, McGreevey came out and announced that he would resign because he was a “gay American”. The tactic worked. A shocked nation, talked more about McGreevey being gay than they did about the criminal conduct which forced him out of out office.

Not only did McGreevey’s political insincerity help to promote negative opinions about public servants, his resignation did too.  His resignation actually tried to exploit homosexuality.  He used it to try to play victim rather victimizer.

Caught, instead of making a sincere apology for his financial shenanigans and risking the lives of New Jersey residents by using patronage to fill the Homeland Security position with an unqualified director, McGreevey used homosexuality to take the sting out of it all. Some even called McGreevey brave and courageous. The man was cheating on his wife, cheating tax payers, jeopardizing lives and covering it all up, yet he was brave and courageous!?

The whole incident was an example of what Americans have come to believe about politicians……they’re in it for themselves and to save their own skin. McGreevey’s resignation and apology helped further advance that impression.

Not to be outdone, New York tried to keep up with Joneses. Their former Attorney General, Elliot Spitzer became Governor and about 14 months into his first term as the Governor, it was discovered that he spent over $80,000.00 on high priced call girls that he was illegally soliciting.

From former Congressman William Jefferson of Louisiana and former President William Jefferson Clinton, Americans have heard and continue hearing about more and more political corruption each day.

William Jefferson was found with hundreds of thousands of dollars in his freezer that he wrongfully obtained and claimed he did nothing wrong. President Bill Clinton lied before a grand jury and came before the American and swore that he didn’twhen in fact, he did.   He even claimed that your interpretation of whether he lied or not came down to how you define the word “is”.

U.S. SENATE DESIGNATE ROLAND BURRISS

U.S. SENATE DESIGNATE ROLAND BURRISS

The constant chorus of corruption that gains our attention has been depressing and discouraging and it has simply been accentuated but Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. His naming Roland Burris to fill the U.S. Senate seat that he is accused of trying to sell only adds an exclamation mark to the existing  perception of rampant public corruption. Just having the nerve to move ahead with the appointment is a slap in our face. It does not even begin to deal with Burriss’ qualifications or issues positions.

Roland Burrss is an old line, liberal Democrat party machine hack. By accepting Rod Blagojevich’s tainted, highly questionable appointment to the U.S. Senate, Burris is also showing us that he lacks any of the basic good judgment that a representative leader should have. His acceptance of such a tainted nominarion from such a tainted Governor demonstrates that Burriss is more interested in elevating himself than he is in elevating the quality of life of the people he would represent.

It is heartening to know that there are measures which can still rectify any wrongdoing in this case. Ultimately, a clause in the U.S. constitution allows the Congress final say in seating members.

But their too politics has been corrupted. In the 70’s a Democrat led U.S. Senate denied seating a Republican who won election in New Hampshire.

In the 80’s the Democrat led House of Representatives refused to seat a Republican who won election to congress from Indiana.

In both cases, the elections were close, the state’s Secretary’s of State certified the elections, but politics and personal power prevailed. Democrats trumped democracy and appointed their partisan preferences over the will of the people.

So with 2009 ahead of us we are looking towards a year with a new President who has promised change but based on how 2008 ended, can we believe in that change? Can we believe in anything that comes out of any government anymore.

Here in New Jersey, I hold out hope.

Here in New Jersey Republicans have been offering reforms that take steps to open up the process of government and allow concerned citizens to see facts.

State Senator Joe Pennachio recently presented a bill that would put the states budget, in all of its detail, on the internet for the public to see.

State Senator Jennifer Beck has presented bills to reform ethics and other measures that would eliminate some of the benefits that corrupt New Jersey politicians could enjoy even after found guilty of their dastardly deeds.

Of course politics being politics, Democrats in control of the process oppose these measures but thankfully there is an election in 2009. An election in New Jersey that can offer us the opportunity to help change the negative perceptions of public service and to eliminate corruption from government.

By electing reformers and rejecting those who are roadblocks to reform, we may begin to eliminate the corruption that has led us to lose faith in government. Maybe. That is up to us, the voters. So although corruption surrounding the replacement of a senator for the vacancy left by our incoming President grabs the headline as 2008 ends, the elections of 2009 hold out hope for bringing about the the type of change that we really need.

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SPEAKING OF CORRUPTION………….

antcorzine0812_jon_corzine4

NEW JERSEY'S GOVERNOR. How corrupt is Corzine?

 While New Jersey competes with Illinois for the title of most corrupt state in the Union, Illinois’ soon to be former Governor, Rod Blagojevich isn’t the only state executive trying to keep secrets.

New Jersey’s own Governor, Jon Corzine, is in the courts as he tries to keep his negotiations with one of the state’s most powerful unions a secret.

 She claims that state arbitration laws demand that the talks remain secret.

Ain’t that convenient? Laws that demand the people be kept in the dark about the reasons behind why the government does what it does. Sounds like Lenin’s rules of order for the politiburo

antrodblag0916_2852

IL. GOV. ROD BLAGOJEVICH. His secrets out but when will Corzine's be out?

Like more than half of the voters polled in New Jersey, I disagree with the Governor’s position. I believe that state negotiations for state contracts that spend the tax dollars of state residents should be an open and honest process. We should know what was offered and why. We should know what the union demanded and why. We should not be kept in the dark when it comes to finding out how own money is spent.

Governor Corzine and Carla Katz may want to keep the details of their negotiated deal a secret but that is not how a democratic form of an open and honest government works.

The two of them were not arranging how they were going to finance their next personal vacation to Hawaii. They were negotiating how to spend our tax dollars. That gives us the right to know how that arrangement was made.

With all the corruption in New Jersey government, you would think that the governor would want to stay above reproach. You would think that he would go out of his way to help regain voters faith in government. Especially since he succeeded a corrupt democrat governor who resigned under a patronage and financial scandal that he tried to overshadow by announcing he was a closeted “gay American” who was cheating on his wife.

As more and more political leaders and government employees are being arrested in New Jersey, we need to know that our incumbent governor can be trusted.

CORZINE LOVERS LOAN

CARLA KATZ Former Union Boss and the Governor's former Girlfriend. Things could get "hairy" for the two of them.

By appealing the courts decision and fighting to keep his “official” talks with Carla Katz a secret, Jon Corzine is only raising suspicion and increasing our already lost faith in government.

Corzine may not know how to be a good Governor but he is not stupid. He realizes all of this, yet he still defies the obvious and clings to the documentation of his secret arrangements with the CWA’s former president and his own former girlfriend.

The people and the courts of New Jersey deserve to know what is in those emails between Corizne and Katz. None of us are asking for the disclosure of any pillow talk or personal realizations. We simply want to make sure that the CWA contract deal was made for all the right reason.

antcorkatz4

KATZ & CORZINE-Struggling on the dance floor and now in the courts

Corzine’s refusal to clear his name by turning these emails over to the proper authorities simply makes one believe that, like many other indicted and arrested New Jersey politicians, Corzine made a corrupt deal. That is not exactly the best impression that one can bring to the table in their bid for reelection. But until Governor Corzine releases those emails, he will be running for reelection with a smoking gun in his hand. Then again if the appellate courts reject Corzine’s appeal, he may not be running for reelection after all. Instead he just might join a long list of fellow former state legislators and a few other governors in federal prison.

punchline-politics21

UNDER THE “HE SAID IT, NOT ME” CATEGORY

“Give this motherf****r Obama his senator? F**k him. For nothing.

 F**k him.”   

~Soon to be former Illinois Governor Rod Blagovejich

antblago-plea-bargain1

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THE TOP 10 POLITICAL HAPPENINGS OF 2008

With the new year here, we have the opportunity to reflect on the year gone by and to thank the passage of time for resolving some situations. While some happenings in 2008 came and went, other events of 2008 still require time, time that will absorb much of 2009 and even beyond.

So today, before we forge ahead with the rest of this new year, we reflect on the events that shaped politics and the politics that shaped events, by presenting to you the 10 most significant political stories of the year that helped to get us where we are today.

TONY SNOW

TONY SNOW

10. – THE DEATHS OF TIM RUSSERT and TONY SNOW

TIM RUSSERT

TIM RUSSERT

Both of these men loved politics. For a time they were both involved in politics on different sides of the aisle and during  a different time they covered both sides of the aisle in politics . Tony Snow started in print and broadcast journalism delivering political news and commentary and ended his career in politics as the Press Secretary for President Bush. Tim Russert began in politics working for a political legend, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York and ended covering politics on NBC. As host of Meet The Press, Tim became a part of every American household and despite his personal left leaning tendencies Tim Russert was respected for probing questions that were leveled at liberals and conservatives alike. Tony Snow was also a partisan. For decades he was a favorite in conservative circles, yet when delivering a news story people of every party carefully listened to the insightful delivery of facts that he presented. His last major endeavor was one that helped provide the White House with the ability to properly convey the right messages. Tony served as Press Secretary for 17 months. Probably the most understandable 17 months of the Presidents two terms in office. Tim Russert died after suffering a massive heart attack on Jun 13th at the age of 58 and Tony Snow died after battling colon cancer on July 12th at the age of 53. In life they shaped politics and political opinion. In death, they left us a legacy of lessons and examples to follow.

 

 

FORMER NY GOVERNOR ELLIOT SPITZER

FORMER NY GOVERNOR ELLIOT SPITZER

9 . – IS THAT CAMPAIGN MONEY IN YOUR POCKET OR ARE YOU JUST GLAD TO SEE ME?

 

The Empire State helped to set a tone for 2008 when early in the year, New York’s Governor, Elliot Spitzer got caught up in scandal. After serving only 14 months in office the rising Democrat star found himself standing next to his wife announcing his resignation. Suspicious transfers of money in and out of Spitzer’s bank account led federal investigators to believe that he might be taking bribes. However their probe discovered that for over several years Spitzer wasn’t taking bribes, he was paying out at least $80,000 for prostitutes. The period covered his tenure as New York’s Attorney General as well as his brief time as Governor. The happiest people of all in this episode were David Paterson and New Jersey. As Spitzer’s Lieutenant Governor, Paterson, became New York’s first African American Governor, and the nation’s first legally blind one. New Jersey was just happy to know that they were no longer the only state in the region to lose a governor because of sexual scandals and illegal conduct.

 

 

8. – WEEKEND AT KIM’S

NOT WANTED but is he dead or alive?

NOT WANTED but is he dead or alive?

 

Around August rumors began to circulate that North Korea’s obscure and, to put it kindly, eccentric leader, Kim Jong-Il, was dead. Since then no reputable sources have either seen him or heard from him. Not that that is unusual, few people have ever heard or seen Kim Jong-Il, but what is unusual are recent decisions that Kim Jong-Il supposedly made to eliminate efforts to develop nuclear power. Did Kim make that decision? Is North Korea really abandoning nuclear ambitions? Or is North Korea propping up Kim Jong-Il, like a bad, out of sync, Korean version of “Weekend At Bernie’s” while a different, unknown, brain dead ruler is pulling the strings and, at the same time, trying to pull the wool over our eyes? All jokes aside, the sensitivity of the situation is a dire one. Chaos on the Korean Peninsula could create a ripple effect that no one can afford. Dramatic events could alter sensitive relations with South Korea and negotiations with the United States. All of which could result in tensions throughout the world including those involving hard feelings between North Korea and Japan. And let us not forget North Korea’s greatest ally, China. With their booming economy, the Chinese are ambitious. Knowing who is in charge of things could be helpful in 2009.

 

 

BID WELL TO FIDEL?

BID WELL TO FIDEL?

7. – BID WELL FIDEL?

 

In 1959 Cuba took on the face of Fidel Castro. Just 90 miles off of our shores, Cuban communism and Castro were too close for comfort. As much as we didn’t like it, invasions, coups and even assassination attempts did not eliminate Castro’s hold on power. However, time did reduce Castro’s influence. As time changed most of the world, Castro and Cuba didn’t but the logistics which helped to make him a thorn in our side did change. The, once feared communist Soviet-Cuban relationship lost it’s potency as the Soviet Union lost it’s hammer and sickle. As time went by, our concerns with Cuba focused more on human rights for Cubans than defense from Cuba. So it was still welcome news when, in February, we discovered that an ailing Fidel Castro was resigning from office. Not that it mattered much. Before stepping down, Fidel told the Cuban Communist Party that they were too elect his brother Raul to be the new Commander in Chief. The event did not change things very much but after almost 50 years in power, and events such as the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Elian Gonzales and other disconcerting situations, as minor as the effects of this change may be, Fidel’s painstakingly slow departure from the world stage is welcomed and ranks as the seventh most dramatic political occurrence of 2008.

 

 ant1georgis1a2

6. – THE GEOGIAN-RUSSIAN WAR

 

It was not a battle that reshaped Europe again but the surprising developments that caused the Russian Army to invade a neighboring, breakaway Republic with internationally recognized sovereignty, gave us all a glimpse of reality. It may not be the Soviet Union anymore but a bear by any other name is still a bear and the vulnerabilities of newly formed and reformed European nations and those with relatively new freedoms still offer some new Russian leaders the same old reasons for wanting control. The incident helped to demonstrate that freedom in parts of Europe is still a fragile concept.

 

 

ROD "How much do 'ya want" BLAGOJEVICH

ROD "How much do 'ya want" BLAGOJEVICH

5. – THE EBAY APPOINTMENT

 

2008 ended with a story that will carry well into the first months of 2009. As President-Elect Obama vacated his seat in the U.S. Senate, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich began a private auction process to determine who will fill the vacancy. As investigators, under the direction of federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, investigated Blagojevich for numerous improprieties, they discovered that he was basing his appointment to the senate seat on who could give him the most for it. Blago wanted either a “cushy union” job, a high paying cabinet position or at the very least an enormous financial campaign contribution. After being arrested the Illinois state legislature began impeachment proceedings against Blagojevich and he began digging in his heals refusing to resign. The events have the potential for drawing in some big name co-conspirators and participants. From Rep. Jesse Jackson, jr. to President -Elect Obama’s incoming Chief of Staff, Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuelle, many reputations may yet be questioned in this scandal. And to make things even more interesting, Blagojevich took the opportunity to raise the stakes and named Roland Burris, a long time, old line, liberal Chicago Democrat party machine hack to replace Barack Obama. Not at all concerned with peoples faith in government, or the integrity of the process, Burriss accepted the tainted appointment and in doing so, puts the United States and it’s Democrat leader, Harry Reid in the position of denying to seat someone that would be the only African American in the United States Senate. So coming in as the fifth top political occurrence in 2008 is the story that will keep on bleeding and keep us reading…..the process to replace a Barack Obama in the senate.

 

 

4. – BRINGING OUTSIDERS IN

GOVERNOR SARAH PALIN

GOVERNOR SARAH PALIN

 

One of the most important political decisions made in 2008 was John McCain’s selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin for Vice President on the Republican ticket. It was a controversial choice for some and one of the only right decisions made in the opinions of others. No matter how you see it, it remains one of the most spoken about political stories of the year. Beyond the newsworthiness are the implications. For many it was a sign of the fact that government needs thinking that is as far removed from the Washington D.C. mentality as Alaska is from Washington D.C itself. Many Americans are tired of Washington politics and want common sense as opposed to the one hand washes the other, old boys bureaucracy that we perceive as screwing us more than helping us. Sarah Palin embodied, and still does embody, that thinking. She is a political outsider who became a Governor by opposing the political class while representing the working class. Without abandoning conservative Republican principles, Sarah Palin fought against corrupt Republican and liberal politicians. Although picking Sarah Palin for Vice President may have been the right decision for John McCain, trying to restrict and control her wasn’t. By trying to script Sarah Palin, the McCain campaign lost out on the greatest advantageous quality Palin brought to the ticket…….her anti-establishment, outsider qualities. As McCain lost the election for President, Sarh Palin won exposure. Exposure that has made her a person who conservatives look forward to advancing the cause and for Americans to have to consider for national leadership in the future. So at number four in 2008 is the selection of Sarah Palin for Vice President. Thank you senator McCain!

 

 

ant1oil23. – “OILS WELL” IN THE ECONOMY?

 

The price of oil ranks third on our list of top stories. As prices for a barrel of oil soared to heights in excess of 150 dollars a barrel , gas prices flew up to over 4 dollars a gallon and the ripple effects raise the cost of everything from milk, eggs and bread to lumber, air fares, and life in general. The high cost of energy generated heated debates over domestic oil drilling, and pushed issues like immigration and terrorism off of the front burners in the race for President. Based upon the duration of the immediate negative effects of the price of oil combined with its ripple effects on the economy, its control of the political agenda and the long term policy initiatives that it created, oil prices is number 3 in ‘08. It is also likely to become a top story again, at least around August of ‘09, when the now delightfully low prices we see rise back up.

 

 

2. – THE ELECTION OF BARACK OBAMA

PRESIDENT-ELECT BARACK OBAMA

PRESIDENT-ELECT BARACK OBAMA

 

Putting all political opinion aside, Barack Obama ran a long hard campaign, that Republican strategists are dissecting in order to reproduce in elections of their own. The Obama campaign not only effectively tapped into voter dissatisfaction, they organized it and organized it well. Their utilization of the internet was exemplary and their ability to win favor through eloquence and style over substance and fact was done to political perfection. Despite some pitfalls such as Bill Ayers, ACORN, Rev. Wright, admitting a desire akin to socialism by stating that he wanted to spread the wealth, Barack Obama won big. To do so his campaign raised historic amounts of money and more than just raising that money, they spent it right and put it to good use. A use that mobilized the forces well enough to produce his substantial victory. The election of President-Elect Barack Obama comes in second not only because of how he won but because he did win. His victory marked the election of America’s first African American President. Like any other first, it is notable and in this case it is profoundly notable. It demonstrates an undeniable ability for our nation to overcome racial differences and the evidence of decency overcoming prejudice is promising. The effects of President-Elect Obama’s leadership are yet to be seen but the lessons learned and points made by his election are unquestionable.

 

 

ant1bailout21 . – BAIL OUT MANIA

 

POLITICS 24/7 considers the 700 billion dollar bailout that the federal government approved to be the most profound and important story of 2009. Not only was the suggested need for this bailout indicative of our wrong ways of the past, it signaled a continuation of wrong ways in the future. Our promotion of spending as the answer to all of our problems has created generations ands a government that spend beyond our means. The 700 billion dollar bailout meant to solve our problems didn’t solve our anything, it just provided a quick fix. It did however, create more problems. It has called upon more people and more industries to put their own hands out. The bailout set in motion a sense of government control that has taken freedom, with all of it’s risks and promises, out of the free market and it has helped to move America closer to the socialism that we have fought against in the past. Many major events come and go in politics. What we once saw as earth shattering developments often become something that we later laugh about but we fear that bailout trend established in 2008 is no laughing matter for any time.

 

2008 was an intense year. There were many events and some of the most dramatic ones did not involve politics. Human nature played a role in all of them though and hopefully our better instincts will drive the events and politics of 2009.

With that in mind we wish everyone a happy new year and hope that our better instincts help to make each and every day better than the last.

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