Chicago Stinks… and We aren’t talkin about the Cubs

I initially told myself that I wasn’t going to write about this subject. “Too much of a layup” I said. “Too easy to take a shot at this” I told my friends. But see that is the beauty for a guy like me, who spent most of his youth getting rejected by basketball players far better than I. A layup is an awfully inviting thing. I mean it is a slam dunk in the box score, right? So I am taking the shot, and letting myself vent on not only sleazy Illinois Governor Blagojevich, but the entire Chicago machine, which I think once or twice has given us a national figure…..

If you have had your head in the sand for the last couple of days you may have missed this. The governor of Illinois, Democrat Rod Blagojevich, and his Chief of Staff John Harris, were arrested by federal authorities and charged with mail and wire fraud and attempting to solicit a bribe. It seems that the Governor decided that since Barrack Obama’s Senate seat was open, there was money to be made. So he has been attempting to sell it to the highest bidder. The evidence is pretty damning. I personally have reviewed everything made available, and I say there is no way even the most sleazy lawyer can get him out of this one.

And I say this one because this isn’t his first “controversy”. He has had enough of them to be the inspiration of the Prince album by the same name. In 2005, he shut down a family member’s landfill over a personal dispute with his father-in-law. Since 2005, he has been the subject of at least a dozen federal investigations. A DOZEN. Tony Rezko, convicted this year of using connections in the government to demand kickbacks from businesses that wanted to do business with the state, was Blagjevich’s chief fundraiser. During his two and a half terms as governor, Blagojevich has consistently been proven to institute a “pay to play” regime, meaning that if you want anything in Illinois, greasing the governor’s wallet was the only way to get it.

And should I even mention that his approval rating in October of this year was 4%. You read that right. 4 out of every 100 people polled approve of his leadership. How is this man a Governor? Arguably one of the crookedest men in politics is elected governor, twice and was eying a third term before this scandal broke. How is this possible? I give you three words: The Chicago Machine.

One of the most corrupt, deceptive, coercive, and downright immoral political machines in history. We all know the history of the Chicago Machine. It’s most prolific boss was Richard J. Daley, father of Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley. The elder Daley assumed “boss” status in 1955. The Machine subsequently catapulted John F. Kennedy to the White house. Kennedy won Illinois by a mere 9,000 votes. He won Cook County (Chicago) by 450,000 votes, a 10 to 1 margin. When we hear the historical stories about dead men voting and people being forced to vote a certain way, we are hearing the history of the Chicago Machine. The machine weakened dramatically until the junior Daley won the mayor’s seat and rebuilt the power of the machine, which has catapulted him to 4 subsequent reelections. Just do a web search for the Chicago Machine or the Cook County Democratic Machine. It is an amazing history of the worst of politics.

So why is this relevant today? Because the Chicago Machine is back and as powerful as ever. It doesn’t control Chicago anymore, it controls the entire state of Illinois. Blagojevich is a product of that machine. Newly appointed White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is a product of that machine. As you start to look at cabinet appointments and positions being handed out for the new administration, there are a lot of names from Illinois popping up. Either Illinois is a “hotbed” of political talent, or something is amiss here.

Oh, before I forget, there is another Chicago figure that is relevant to politics today, isn’t there? I am trying to think of the name. It’s not Oprah…yet. From Chicago, Illinois politician, I just can’t place it…..OHHH, that’s right….

Barrack Obama.

I am not saying that the President Elect is crooked. I am not saying he isn’t either. What I am saying is that you don’t get anywhere as a Democrat in Chicago politics without the assistance of the Chicago Machine. I am saying that it sure has been an amazing rise from a mere community organizer to President of the United States in a very short amount of time. I am saying that a SENATOR from the state of ILLINOIS just became President. A Senator from a state where the governor just got busted for putting a auction out there for the position of SENATOR in ILLINOIS. The same governor who was in place when a young state legislator shocked us all by becoming a Senator after relative obscurity.

I don’t want to sound like a “conspiracy theorist”. I am not trying to drag PE Obama down. But I am also not willing to ignore the obvious things that jump out at me. It doesn’t change that I will support him as teh President. I covered that already. And I am not really trying to make you not like him. Use your own mind and your own research. Draw your own conclusions, I merely presented some facts here. I look forward to your thoughts.

Comments

  1. I find it confusing that anyone is surprised by this. This is a logical characteristic of “the state”. I don’t think it is intentional; matter doesn’t “intend” to generate a gravitational field, either. My observation is that government is set up so that the worst, most manipulative parasites rise to the positions of power. Some don’t get exposed; some do. It may have something to do with luck and brains.

    As Captain Malcolm Reynolds says in “Firefly”: “It’s my estimation that every man ever got a statue made of him was one kind of sumbitch or another.”

  2. I can’t believe that you just quoted Captain Malcolm Reynolds! Firefly….the BEST show ever created. I can probably quote all 14 episodes. I can also sing all the songs from Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog!

  3. I bought a television and a DVD player just so I could get the “Firefly” discs and watch them. I actually have two full sets of the discs now. Including two copies of “Serenity”. (I was away from home for 6 months and was going through withdrawal.) OK, I admit, I can be pathetic.

    I have visited Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog a couple of times, but haven’t (yet) really gotten into it. I am always behind the times.

  4. I bought two sets. Loaned one to a friend who never returned them (or watched them unfortunately for him). I also have them on my iPod and on my computer.

    Dr. Horrible is hysterical. If you go to http://www.hulu.com you can watch all 43 minutes for free. Sadly, Joss is not going to do any more with this. However you can also watch the guild there, which is Felicia Day’s series, which is like 15 2-3 minute episodes.

  5. So many great quotes from there:

    What does that make us, Zoe? Big Damn Heroes, sir.

    The chain of command is….

  6. Very good quotes. “Also? I can kill you with my brain.”

    My first ex-wife is a Trekkie; I am a Browncoat. That’s why we split: religious differences.

  7. Exactly, Kent.

    Anyone who uses political tools has given up being civilized.

    Unable to convince the people that their ideas are worthwhile on merit alone, they are now willing to use violence to force it upon the people.

    They have stated, indirectly, that “I tried to convince you and failed, now I’m going to beat it into you”.

  8. I understand Kent. I would have left too.

  9. An interesting specter is raised herein relative to somehow connecting Rod Blagojevich to the Chicago political machine to Barack Obama to John Kennedy to Kevin Bacon to ……..

    The difficulty here is separating wheat from chaff – avoiding the Limbaughian tendency to decry the PE a thug because of where he came from.

    Kennedy won the White House not only because of the delivery of Cook County but because he won strategically in many other battlegrounds. Cook County was no more controversial than Texas in 1960 in terms of suspicious voting occurrences. Forget not Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004. Forget not that the very officials who deep sixed the Cook County investigation where – Republican. At any rate – this whole business of voter fraud and machines and so on really caught my attention. And I thought, well, shit, I live right outside Philadelphia, another Democratic hotbed that is often counted to deliver Blue much the way Chicago has ‘mostly’ done for Illinois. I thought that given this innuendo about a Chicago machine the data must support it no? Here goes:

    If we compare Philadelphia County (where Philly sits) and Cook County (where Chi-town sits) we see some interesting numbers:

    2008 – Cook County 76.21 D / 22.82 R; Philly County 83.01 D / 16.33 R
    2004 – 70.25 / 29.15, 80.44 / 19.30
    2000 – 68.63 / 28.65, 80.04 / 17.99
    1996 – 66.80 / 26.70, 70.4 / 29.6
    1992 – 58.2 / 28.2, 68.80 / 31.2
    1988 – 55.8 / 43.4, 66.60 / 32.5

    I’d love to see pre-Daley I results, say 1952 on back to see more trending, but the trending above looking at two ostensibly similar cities shows similar trending. Philly is well known to have a strong Democratic organization and traditionally high registration numbers due in no small part to higher numbers of minorities. Chicago is very similar, it just so happens to be called a machine, which to most is politically distasteful. For what it is worth – I think Chicago still has a machine, it perhaps operates more in the parameters of what is legally permissible than most of us find tasteful. Philly was no different under Frank Rizzo, and the trial of Vince Fumo simply shows what is pervasive in most big city politics – bad behavior that often flips to outright corruption. I think there is a very powerful and potentially hazardous point though that in strong/powerful political organizations one must work within the parameters of the organization and relationships to get anywhere. In Pennsylvania (or perhaps more appropriate, Philadelphia) as a Democrat you do not get far without having strong ties to Democrat leadership sourced in Philadelphia. This is the same organization that produced Ed Rendell (sorta thumbs up), John Street (very cautious thumbs up), Milton Steet (thumbs way down), Mike Nutter (thumbs up) and Vince Fumo (thumbs way down).

    I think we need more facts here to move on before we can even suggest that Blagojevich and Obama are somehow cut from the same cloth. There are distinctions made in the Pennsylvania example and people understand that the crap Fumo or Rizzo did is not indicative of who Rendell or Nutter are. I would like to ask Mr. PE to cut the shit with the careful vocabulary selection that gives the appearance of trying to save ass before something ugly gets reported (am I the only one seeing this – I understand the halted delivery, but he keeps giving me the feeling he is the teenager trying to b.s. his way out of jam no one knows about yet).

    Anyway – my two cents. Cook and Philly Counties are uncannily similar but I throw caution to implying by omission/absence of fact that Blagojevich and Obama are one in the same.

  10. I would certainly not say they are one in the same. I don’t believe that to begin with. But I do think for the PE to claim he knew nothing of the things going on in his home state points to either ignorance, which scares me, or outright lying, which scares me more.

    I hope that this is very clear to everyone, I am not trying to say that Obama and Blagojecivh are the same cloth or even that Obama is crooked in any way, because I have nothing to base that claim on. I merely wanted to point out some disturbing facts which I hope will lead everyone to look closely and make their own judgement.

    Ray, do you think it would be out of bounds to say that he couldn’t be where he is without the the help of the Chicago Machine? And if he had that help, could the appointments that we are seeing indicate a level of repaying those debts? I merely ask the question. I don’t want to make any accusation

  11. lingeringmethane says:

    I don’t care about accusations, I don’t like him or his team oops I mean Clinton’s team. He is a liar! I am not supprised by this one bit, speaking of Clinton can you say white water? Hmmm. I love that the media is playing defense on this and not doing their job as non-biased journalists.

  12. Lingering,
    Unfortunately the term non-biased journalist makes as much sense these days as military intelligence. No such animals exist it seems. I love to see that no one is talking about all the Clinton’s indiscretions anymore. I mean who cares about Whitewater? She was only part of a large fraud scheme. Why should that matter in selecting her as friggin Secretary of State?

    It’s amazing how the media is able to control a sad little country that isn’t paying attention anymore.

  13. From “public watchdog” to “statist lapdog”.

  14. blackflag2012 says:

    It was inevitable – everyone likes flying on Air Force One – and only those that please his majesty gets on board.

    Asking hard question of his majesty displease him.

    QED

  15. blackflag2012 says:

    This guy just lost his seat on Air Force One….
    🙂

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22425001/vp/28223089#28223089

  16. How frickin hysterical was that guy? He got off two shots there….. Secret Service letting us down again, lol.

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