Bring It On!

Governor Rod Blagojevich: Corrupt Politician or Working Class Hero?

December 9th, 2008 | by Tom Harper |

Or maybe both. He’s been all over the news today — another politician turns out to be corrupt. Rod Blagojevich and Elliot Spitzer have both stood up to the robber barons on behalf of regular people. Too bad they’ll both be remembered for their scandals more than anything else.

Blagojevich stood up to Marie Antoinette Bank of America, whose refusal to lend money to Republic Windows and Doors forced the company to close.

He was also one of the first politicians to tell pharmacists that they could either be Grand Inquisitors OR pharmacists — but not both.

But back to Bank of America. As you’ll remember, Bank of America received billions of dollars in handouts from You. Me. Us. The taxpayers. The purpose of this giant multi-billion dollar giveaway was:

A. So that banks would start lending money. In turn, companies could stay in business, employees could keep their jobs, and people would continue to buy things; thereby keeping other businesses up and running.

Or:

B. To purchase more yachts, Learjets and luxury vacation homes for banking executives.

Unfortunately a few Bank of America shitstains thought the answer was B.

Bank of America canceled the financing for Republic Windows and Doors, forcing the company to close their factory and lay off 240 workers. This is the factory that got so much publicity when 200 laid-off workers took over the premises.

This incident has highlighted the importance of labor unions. They’re not just some colorful icon from the 1950s. We need them. Now more than ever. Jobs With Justice is hoping this event will galvanize the labor movement.

And this factory closing has pinpointed the absurdity — the intelligence-insulting hypocrisy and double standard — of the Wall Street bailout. Hundreds of billions of dollars were just handed over to a few CEOs. No questions asked; no strings attached. If we just give these tycoons a trillion dollars, they’ll do the right thing and start lending it out so the economy will stay afloat.

Riiight. How’s that working out?

Yesterday Rod Blagojevich ordered all state agencies to stop doing business with Bank of America, just in case that might remind them that We The Taxpayers gave them a few billion dollars so they would Start LENDING it.

He said: “We hope that this kind of leverage and pressure will encourage Bank of America to do the right thing for this business. Take some of that federal tax money that they’ve received and invest it by providing the necessary credit to this company so these workers can keep their jobs.”

Now, apparently Bank of America has made a token gesture to show how “concerned” they are. Let’s hope they won’t demand another taxpayer handout in return.

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  1. 28 Responses to “Governor Rod Blagojevich: Corrupt Politician or Working Class Hero?”

  2. By Lazarus Long on Dec 10, 2008 | Reply

    You have got to be kidding.
    GOV Blagojevich has been arrested for attempting to sell a U.S. Senate seat to the highest bidder. But that’s all water under the bridge to you, as long as you an turn the story back to the evils of big business and problems with the Wall Street Bailout. In the Army there’s an old saying:”it only takes one ‘Oh Shit’ to erase a hundred ‘attaboys’” And this is a big ‘oh Shit’.
    But I guess this is just proof of the vile institutional corruption of the Republican party.

  3. By manapp99 on Dec 10, 2008 | Reply

    So BOA got into financial trouble by making loans to people/business that were unable to pay them back. Now you want BOA to make a loan to a business that would likely be unable to pay it back. Sales of doors and windows at Republic dropped 80%. If they cannot sell their product, how would they be able to pay employees much less pay back BOA?

    Do you feel that it is a wise use of the bailout money BOA received to continue to loan money to a business that would not be able to pay it back?

    I feel for the employees that have lost their jobs due to the downturn in construction but it is a least as catastrophic for the many business owners who have lost their companies.

    As far as Gov. Blagojevich goes….he is the lowest of all. A public servant not content with the pay that comes with the job he campaigned for he sought to enrich himself by selling government contracts and even a vacated senate seat appointment. He, and others like him are the reason politician is ranked right down there below lawyers and used car salesmen.

    Keep you eye on Chuck Rangle. He is likely to be the next corrupt “public servant” to fall.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122886889543193173.html

  4. By Craig R. Harmon on Dec 10, 2008 | Reply

    Lazarus,

    People are not either demons or angels. They are weird complex mixes of both and there’s nothing wrong with balancing the picture of corruption that we are getting now with other aspects of the man and his acts while in office. I don’t read this so much as a “why can’t we just forget this bit of corruption for the sake of the good that he has done and might do in the future” post as a lament that the man has destroyed what might have been a legacy of greatness with a revelation of deep corruption.

    What I want to know is, Blagojevich had to have known he was being investigated. How does he, then, get on a telephone and talk openly of the things he is alleged to have talked of? Has he never heard of a wire tap?

  5. By Craig R. Harmon on Dec 10, 2008 | Reply

    Mannapp99,

    Hey, it’s tax money. There’s always more where that came from. You’re talking financial responsibility and good sense. All that really matters here is anti-capitalist bashing of another evil corporation and cheer-leading Marxist Socialism.

  6. By rube cretin on Dec 10, 2008 | Reply

    my. my.
    “cheerleading marxist socialism.” wonder what brought that up. seems to most who are paying attention that what we have here is the beginnings of discussion on the future of economic systems in america. How’s this brand of deregulation, privatization, cutting social programs, free market capitalism working for you? Welcome to the third world. suggest folks read naomi Klein’s Disater Capitalism. yep, there’s a lot of research and discussions taking place about capitalism and socialism. Already one can begin to spot folks taking sides. interesting times before us.

    The governor is just plain stupid. pay for play in politics has always gone on. Problem is most people found out a long time ago you got to play it like a bridge game, not a poker game. Finesse is the trick. The political machinations of the statute providing the governor this power understood well the implications. Nice to catch one a of the clumsy crooks every now and then. Keeps the people from focusing on the real ones. Don’t really have to tell you who they are.

  7. By Dusty on Dec 10, 2008 | Reply

    BofA, like most of the financial houses took our money and are hoarding it, plain and simple.

    The line of credit Republic has was being paid, they weren’t late on their payments and plenty of companies and corporations utilize lines of credit to take care of their payroll until the receivables come in.

  8. By kountmein on Dec 10, 2008 | Reply

    Looks like Rube Cretin has it right. Corporations are gonna keep dumping on the rest of us animals until we show them that all animals are equal. Let’s just abolish all legal rights for corporations, eh? Then Individualism truly triumphs.

  9. By Trotskyofmoscow on Dec 10, 2008 | Reply

    Always more public money, sez an obvious lover of the ruling, narcasistic class of rugged individualism. I vote with Rube Cretin and Kountmein.

  10. By Craig R. Harmon on Dec 10, 2008 | Reply

    suggest folks read naomi Klein’s Disater Capitalism.

    And I suggest folks follow that up with F. A. Hayek, the Nobel Prize winner in Economics, whose The Road to Serfdom should put any sane reader right off delusions of socialism.

  11. By rube cretin on Dec 10, 2008 | Reply

    Yep, we cretins know about Hayek. Ain’t he one of the guys that advised Pinochet in Chile? That one worked out well didn’t it. Maggie Thatcher liked the guy as i recall as she implemented the same bullshit programs ronnie did here in america. orwell had some interesting quotes about his writings and i will try to find them and pass them alone.

  12. By Craig R. Harmon on Dec 10, 2008 | Reply

    Yes, indeed, Rube, and, whereas Socialism has failed miserably everywhere it has been experimented with, capitalism has raised the level of wealth and life-style among even the poor in this country to a point that would have been the envy of the masses during Soviet era Russia or East Germany, and current day N. Korea. Yeah, Rube. Just keep on flogging Marx. Maybe you can get some more failed states in the world to starve a few score more million of their people.

    Instead of interesting quotes about Hayek’s writings, I’d prefer that people actually read and absorb his writings. what some people say about them and knowing them and reading and thinking about them oneself are entirely different different things. People with brains read and think for themselves. Others read quotes that others post about what others have said about others’ writings.

    I’m hoping there are a few people around here with brains of their own around here who know how to use them and don’t have to rely on your quotes.

    Of course, I could play the “quotes game” too. Wikipedia’s article on Klein’s book has some choice criticisms but I won’t bother. I’d prefer that people read her book and think about it but also read other points of view.

  13. By Craig R. Harmon on Dec 10, 2008 | Reply

    Although I’m not sure Hayek advised Pinochet on anything. I think that was Milton Friedman and his advise was purely economic, not political. I could be wrong on that, I just don’t know.

  14. By rube cretin on Dec 10, 2008 | Reply

    take a look at this. http://mises.org/Community/forums/t/3413.aspx

  15. By Craig R. Harmon on Dec 10, 2008 | Reply

    Um, yeh. And these guys are…who again? I mean, these are the interesting quotes you were going to come up with? By GB1Kenobi, Lord Jeff, and the world famous economist, Wombatron?

    I’m sorry. You’re like, totally joking, right? Or tripping?

    Please stop wasting my and everyone else’s time here. If you have something serious to contribute, please by all means. If not, just end your every comment with a big smiley to let us all know your on acid or something. Okay?

  16. By rube cretin on Dec 10, 2008 | Reply

    no you told me you would not be impressed by quotes. therefore i sent you some info documenting that Hayek was involved with Pinochet, the butcher of Chile. Read the Klein book and you will get the whole story. Hayek believed in the very things that have ruined this country. Deregulation, privatize everything, cut social programs, etc. He was Friedmans mentor. what was that quote by friedman several months ago when he admitted that the very foundation of his economic theories were in error. do i need to find that for you?

  17. By Trotskyofmoscow on Dec 10, 2008 | Reply

    Harman,
    You are obviously committed to greed as the only virture. I suggest you imagine what your future is going to be like regardless of political considerations. Remember and mark it well, a finite planet with finite resources cannot sustain a philosphy of greed and avarice. No, I will not cite you books for you are blind to knowledge.

  18. By rube cretin on Dec 10, 2008 | Reply

    so sorry the confession was by greenspan not friedman. but it is essentially the same. assholes both. believing in the same thing.

  19. By rube cretin on Dec 10, 2008 | Reply

    TOMoscow,
    Comrade, some pretty interesting comments. Seems you understand the limits of growth. Do you perhaps believe that there must be a more equitable way to distribute the resources among the 6.7 billion inhabitants of our planet. For example, why should 4 percent of the population, USA, consume over 25 percent of the energy resources? We’ve had a pretty good time, but perhaps the world is sending us a message. Do you think our free market capitalist system is going to remain in vogue as Mr. Harmon suggest? perhaps you have by chance read Julian Edney’s treatise on greed?

    It is really important that free market capitalism advocates be challenged. I liked your finite statements. i do hope Mr. Harmon will realize that the names of the posters do not necessarily reflect the cretin nature of the populace. Me, i would really like to have a beer with Harmon, but then i don’t drink beer. Think i will have another shot of Kentucky straight. Wasn’t it interesting he accused me of being on acid? Brings back memories.

  20. By steve on Dec 10, 2008 | Reply

    This is all a farce. It is well known that liberals are saintly and that Republicans are corrupt thugs.

    On the other hand… Please, Please Please… make it that Jesse Jackson Jr was the guy bidding for the senate seat.

    Lastly… BofA should be allowed to approve and deny anyone they see fit for a loan. It is called an application for a reason. The window and door people are not entitled to shit if they can’t sell something. Much like the Auto Industry…

  21. By Craig R. Harmon on Dec 11, 2008 | Reply

    I’m sorry…info documenting that Hayek was “involved” with Pinoche by some guys named, um GB1Kenobi, Lord Jeff, and Wombatron. Again, I say, you must be trippin’ man. Guys by the name of GB1Kenobi, Lord Jeff, and Wombatron do not document anything.

    I’ve read parts of Naomi Klein’s book. In it I read some of the most laughable, economically naive things I’ve ever come across in a book written by an author given credit with even slight knowledge of economics. I actually laughed out loud in Barnes & Noble at one point. Sort of embarrassing but it was laugh out loud funny in parts. Unintentionally, to be sure, but…

    And yeh. Friedman’s been dead for more than a couple of months so…

    And when you come across the actual quote, in full context, let me know. Your word for it I do not take, not from some guy who points me to GB1Kenobi, Lord Jeff, and Wombatron for definitive documentation on some point of contention.

    Sheesh!

    And here’s another little tip. Economists are not fungible. You cannot just give me a quote of Greenspan confessing an error about some theory of his as if it undermines the entire theories of Hayek. Let’s try to have a little intellectual rigor here, shall we? I realize I’m writing to a guy who styles himself Rube Cretin, in all lower case no less, and so the hopes for intellectual rigor are slim at best but give it your best shot, okay?

    As for Hayek and Pinochet, Wikipedia has this, from a 1981 interview given to a Chilean newspaper El Mercurio. When asked, “What opinion, in your view, should we have of dictatorships?” Hayek responded:

    Well, I would say that, as long-term institutions, I am totally against dictatorships. But a dictatorship may be a necessary system for a transitional period. At times it is necessary for a country to have, for a time, some form or other of dictatorial power. As you will understand, it is possible for a dictator to govern in a liberal way. And it is also possible for a democracy to govern with a total lack of liberalism. Personally I prefer a liberal dictator to democratic government lacking liberalism. My personal impression – and this is valid for South America - is that in Chile, for example, we will witness a transition from a dictatorial government to a liberal government. And during this transition it may be necessary to maintain certain dictatorial powers, not as something permanent, but as a temporary arrangement.

    So his preference, in the ideal, is totally against dictatorships and his hopes for Chile in particular was that it would move to a liberal government from a dictatorial one.

    Doesn’t sound like a ringing endorsement to me, whatever Hayek’s “involvement” with Pinochet might have been.

  22. By Craig R. Harmon on Dec 11, 2008 | Reply

    Trotskyofmoscow,

    Harman,

    The name is Harmon, not Harman. Small point, I know but it reflects badly on you if you cannot even manage to cut and paste my name or take care enough to get my name correct.

    You are obviously committed to greed as the only virture.

    Two things here. First, you know virtually nothing about me, about my commitments or my views on what constitute worthwhile virtues. I would think, from my comments, that it would be obvious that I am committed to such virtues as giving a balanced view of individuals, as witnessed of my defense, in the first paragraph of my first comment in this thread, of the post which details some of what the post’s author views to be Blagojevich’s more laudable acts as a public official rather than just pillorying him as another corrupt Illinois politician. Sounds like a commitment to fairness as a virtue, to me.

    One would have to have a fairly detailed knowledge of the economic theories of F. A. Hayek to know this but even my backing of Hayeks economics is not merely a commitment to the economics of greed. In The Constitution of Liberty, Hayek talks about how, in wealthy nations, such as the United States and the UK, the people will want to establish social programs that will establish a minimum standard of living below which they believe people should not be allowed to drop. Of this he approved and so do I. While this is far from an obvious commitment (since only someone with a fairly deep understanding of Hayek’s economic views could know) to social concern for the poor, it is a commitment that I share with Hayek.

    Like Blagojevich, and, indeed, like all people, I am a complex person with many aspects, commitments and virtues.

    I repeat. You know next to nothing about me.

  23. By Craig R. Harmon on Dec 11, 2008 | Reply

    Rube,

    My point is that if you intend to document a point of contention, you must, of necessity, do so via some recognized authority. GB1Kenobi may, in fact, be the world’s foremost authority on F. A. von Hayek and his relations to Chile and Pinoche but in his guise as GB1Kenobi, he is a nobody. He is no more an authority to be trusted than you or I and therefore he cannot be called upon to settle a disputed point. If GB1Kenobi is, indeed, the foremost authority on F. A. von Hayek and his relations to Chile and Pinoche, then you must cite him/her in his/her real name and give some indication of his curriculum vitae that would establish him/her as such an authority.

    Get it?

    And of course, I may have erred about you being on acid but anyone proffering that link as documentation for anything had to be on something and acid was as good a guess as any.

  24. By Craig R. Harmon on Dec 11, 2008 | Reply

    Oh yeh, I forgot my second point to Trotskyofmoscow: it’s virtue not virture. Again a small point but as long as you’re judging my whole moral schema based upon as little information as you have here and concluding that I’m some sort of a one dimensional demon, I may as well judge your spelling.

  25. By Trotskyofmoscow on Dec 11, 2008 | Reply

    Harmon Smarman,
    I most certainly do know you. By your writings you profess a point of view. As noted in the good book (Matthew Chapter 7, Verse 20), one is judged by his fruits. Your advocacy for the continuation of capitalism is a learned behavior, not a natural response to the world in which you find yourself.

    Clyde Kluckhohn long ago noted in his book Mirror For Man that the prevailing justification of greed or rugged individualism (the profit motive) is not universally applicable through his citation to the Trobriand Islanders. After contact with whites the Trobriand Islanders in Melanesia could have become fabulously rich from pearl diving. They would, however, work only long enough to satisfy their immediate wants.

    No, there is no need to judge you. This is being done already by our society which is surely but certainly changing to a society of mutuality from a society of competition. Infinite resources, where all have the opportunity to accumulate to their heart’s desire, never really existed except in our imagination. We are now in an age where we realize that resources are finite, populations are ever growing, and that greed and avarice lead their proponents only to the occupation of pushing up daisies.

    Yes, I know you. I suspect that you would benefit greatly from the luxury enjoyed in other countries of a simpler way of life where the people are actually supportive of one another. Then, again, you could wind up in a third world nation beset with starvation, disease and too many people; much of which has resulted from the input of imperialism from western countries dominated by corporations. I suggest a sojourn in rural France.

    This all started with Governor B’s problem. Governor B is a product, as you are, of the society in which he is immersed. His values have formed there. Although, when all is said and done, he is not very bright and is dedicated primarily to himself. He is, in common parlance, a common crook that made it to greatness only to be hoisted on the spear of his own failings.

  26. By rube cretin on Dec 11, 2008 | Reply

    Damn i just lost a lengthy post. site manager either 1+3 =4 or there is a problem with this system. what are the most common mistakes for loosing a post?

    Craig,
    Get it. Yes sir i get it. I am so sorry i selected the first of several hundred sites documenting the connection between hayek and friedman and the rape of chile. actually it was fortunate for me because i get to witness your taking off on a psudo-legal evidence discussion about some odd named net players. you must be a lawyer.

    No the evidence is clear. Hayek and friedman were party to some atrocious raping of the worlds resources and people during the past several decades. but not just chile. take a look at what was done to poland, south africa, and many south american countries where their theories were implemented. and yes, even here in the good ol’ USA. Not going to discuss the details because it is clear you would not accept any evidence from a hog farmer. i suggest you do a little google work and put together the connections between your hayek guy and other prominent economists such as friedman, greenspan, and former sen. phil graham. take a look at the congressional hearings which took place back in oct 08 when greenspan admitted a fatal flaw in his economic world view. TOmoscow put his finger right on the problem. GReed. These guys are all peas in a pod and have shilled for the wealthy for decades. Now we could debate the benefits and costs of the hayek approach and would be unlikely to ever agree. klein however does a pretty good job and i subscribe to her view.

    On a more important note however, is the growing debate which is being proved by reality that the most sacred assumptions of modern capitalist economics theory are fatally flawed. for example, one of the basic assumptions, that as resources become more scarce, prices will rise and substitution will occur. did you watch the leslie stall interview with the Saudi oil folks last weekend. Bottom line, there ain’t no substitute for petroleum. Think about that for a while. There are other examples, but i won’t bore you with the info.

    Now back to your initial comment about cheerleading marxist socialism. the primary reason common folks are getting concerned is things are not looking good from an economic point of view. I could list the apparent problems but it would be too lengthy for this post. Will you please stipulate that there are serious economic problems out there and that solutions are difficult? while we don’t know all the theories upon which our reps make their decisions, we do know that something ain’t working. Lots of folks believe the approach that has been taken over the past several decades, the hayek approach, has resulted in the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. not just people but nations. Some of us are beginning to think there might be some correlation between the problems and certain economic theories that have been advocated by the chicago school for decades. I am not a marxist or a socialist, yet. however i do believe things are about to make some major changes and that those who advocate more of the same are in for a rude awakening. We have got to be very careful when we pass out billions to rich bankers and financial folks with no strings attached while at the same time putting the auto industry and unions through all the fiery hoops. Folks are paying attention now. We have had too many examples during the past few years of folks doing strange things when they got nothing to loose.

  27. By rube cretin on Dec 11, 2008 | Reply

    TOmoscow,
    Wow. that is some rant. pure poetry. Next time i’m breeding hogs i wish you could
    come over and lean on the fence so we can discuss things. bet ol’ craig would enjoy the conversation too. but something tells me our names alone would put him off. Bet he would enjoy the show though.

    Seriously, your last comment is one of the best pieces of writing i have read in a while.

  28. By christopher Radulich on Dec 11, 2008 | Reply

    Hayek’s views were echoed by Winston Churchill in an electoral broadcast prior to the British general election of 1945:

    . . . a socialist policy is abhorrent to the British ideas of freedom. Socialism is inseparably interwoven with totalitarianism and the object worship of the state. It will prescribe for every one where they are to work, what they are to work at, where they may go and what they may say. Socialism is an attack on the right to breathe freely. No socialist system can be established without a political police. They would have to fall back on some form of Gestapo, no doubt very humanely directed in the first instance.[58]

    This statement was challenged the next day[59][60] by the Labour Party candidate, Clement Attlee, who went on to win the election:

    The Prime Minister made much play last night with the rights of the individual and the dangers of people being ordered about by officials. I entirely agree that people should have the greatest freedom compatible with the freedom of others. There was a time when employers were free to work little children for sixteen hours a day. I remember when employers were free to employ sweated women workers on finishing trousers at a penny halfpenny a pair. There was a time when people were free to neglect sanitation so that thousands died of preventable diseases. For years every attempt to remedy these crying evils was blocked by the same plea of freedom for the individual. It was in fact freedom for the rich and slavery for the poor. Make no mistake, it has only been through the power of the State, given to it by Parliament, that the general public has been protected against the greed of ruthless profit-makers and property owners.

  29. By Trotskyofmoscow on Dec 11, 2008 | Reply

    Rube,
    Your compliment is deeply appreciated, if only as a demonstration that the eternal struggle between rich and poor may not degenerate to mutual destruction. After all, we are all in this boat together.

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