Chicago is … My Kind of Town!

Oh my:

Federal authorities took Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) and his chief of staff John Harris into custody this morning on federal corruption charges. Before the arrest, the Chicago Tribune had reported that a “three-year federal corruption investigation of pay-to-play politics in Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s administration has expanded to include his impending selection of a new U.S. senator to succeed President-elect Barack Obama.” According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald’s Office:

A 76-page FBI affidavit alleges that Blagojevich was intercepted on court-authorized wiretaps during the last month conspiring to sell or trade Illinois’ U.S. Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama for financial and other personal benefits for himself and his wife. At various times, in exchange for the Senate appointment, Blagojevich discussed obtaining:

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

– placing his wife on paid corporate boards where he speculated she might garner as much as $150,000 a year;

– promises of campaign funds – including cash up front; and

– a cabinet post or ambassadorship for himself. 

Might as well be blatant about it.

In a conversation with [Chief of Staff John] Harris on November 11, the charges state, Blagojevich said he knew that President-elect Obama wanted Senate Candidate 1 for the open seat but “they’re not willing to give me anything except appreciation. [Expletive] them.” The complaint does not mention her name, but the description makes clear that Blagojevich is referring to Valerie Jarrett.

I’ll bet he tries to hold on … he’s no Eliot Spitzer.


Geez, Inanimate Carbon Rod. How about a Federal Inditement? That a decent enough Xmas gift for ya?

Forget those shitbags at BoA. Did Barry drop the dime on ICR?

[Hello, Stinque Visitors! Please note: many comments on Rod have been made in our daily open thread, which you can see here. All of them are real, and spectacular.]

Aaaaand we’ll have wingnut attempts to connect his corruption to Black Eagle in 5…4…3…2….

That’s it? A couple of cheezy gigs and six-figure appointments for him and spousal? No human sacrifices? No seven-ways with 4-year-olds? No cannibalism? No beastiality? The FBI should have just punched Blagojevich in the face and told him to come back when he can do something interesting.

@FlyingChainSaw: that’s what’s really offensive: he has absolutely no creativity. It’s straight up pay for play accusations and he was ignorant enough to spout off while it was likely that he was being taped. BORING. Easiest fucking mark of Fitzgerald’s life.

FlyingChainSaw: See, that’s the thing about around here. Sexytime is almost never in the mix here when it comes to criminal charges. When somebody is rung up here, it has to do with money (and, also, it has to be really, really blatant). We’re old school like that.

(Notable quasi-exception: Jack Ryan dropping out of the 2004 Senate race because he was screwing around whilst married to, excuse me, Jeri Ryan. Even there, the screw up had to be really freaking bad to raise any concern. That qualified.)

@FlyingChainSaw: I know – hardly seems worth the effort if there aren’t any hookers or wetsuits.

Signal to Noise: Oddly enough, the Feds have been trying to nail the City of Chicago (Richard M. Daley, Mayor) for years, but haven’t come close yet. There are always rumblings about how Fitzy’s getting ready to nail R.M.D., M. for something, but it never quite happens. See, Daley’s an old pro at this. He’s smart about it. Blagojevich, on the other hand, wasn’t.

@FlyingChainSaw: He isn’t a Republican. If you want the charred corpses of children, you must go back to our last federally convicted crook of a governor, George Ryan.

Just rumors, innuendo and speculation at this point, but there is talk here in New Mexico about possible corruption indictments on state contracts that could go *pretty high*

@homofascist: @chicago bureau: Will this man have enough class to resign? I’m assuming prolly not.

@rptrcub: Prolly not. I don’t think he will be happy until the whole state is in flames.

homofascist: Translation, for those who are coming late: Six dead kids on a highway in Milwaukee because George Ryan, as Illinois Secretary of State, sold CDLs to the highest bidder, regardless of, you know, qualifications to drive big rigs safely.

Meanwhile, in scanning the blogs, I saw something over at (yes, yes, I know) Brand W. The post leads off with “Do Not Mess With Bank Of America.” My shame to admit it, but: that is kind of funny.

@homofascist: If you want the charred corpses of children, you must go back to our last federally convicted yet unrepentant crook of a governor whose hoping to be sprung from jail regardless after serving only 1 year because it’s hard on his wife, donchaknow, George Ryan.


@homofascist: Yeah, that’s the reason I guess people join the Republican Party, because it’s so twisted, your colleagues cheer when you return to the Senate after being accused of begging hookers to dress you in diapers so you can shit yourself and roll around in it.

Meanwhile, the early read on Barry’s involvement in all of this appears to be OKish, for him anyway:

“In a conversation with Harris on November 11, the charges state, Blagojevich said he knew that the President-elect wanted Senate Candidate 1 [supposedly V. Jarrett, according to wild rumors] for the open seat but ‘they’re not willing to give me anything except appreciation. [Expletive] them.'”

IMPORTANT: don’t think for a moment that Blagojevich won’t sing to save his own skin. This guy does not impress me as somebody who would keep his mouth shut because of some sort of code of silence. Rocks will be turned over in the wake of this. Smelly materials of all sorts will be put into the light. Count on it.

@chicago bureau: It is time to deploy our secret weapon: the first-lady elect, who I am sure knows how to cut a bitch.

Is it just me or do our resident Chicagoans seem, you know, proud of level of corruption reached in city of the big shoulders? Like New Yorkers are pussies because we can’t compete?

@Benedick:Yes we are. And since you said it first – yes, yes you are.

@Benedick: If we had any native Louisianans here, they would currently be having a throw-down with the Chicagoans over who’s had the most federally indicted governors. Talk about a group that’s proud of its political corruption.

homofascist: But, even though the state will be ablaze, old folks will still be able to get around for free on the CTA. [Howls of laughter.]

DEVELOPING HARD: Rod Blagojevich’s kids are too young to be legally eligible for office, and thus are not available to be appointed to be Governor, as is common practice around here. Just in case anybody was wondering about that.

@rptrcub: She’ll punch this guy in the face, I just know it.

Fitzy on now. A “political corruption crime spree.” That hurts. Plus: Illinois Tollway contracts held up on the basis of campaign contributions. And Children’s Memorial Hospital, too. He was banging up those running a hospital for kids.

The resignation will happen by COB tomorrow, or there will be impeachment proceedings. It’s all but certain now.

Fitzy at the press conference: “And the bleeps are not really bleeps.” I LOVE THIS MAN.

@homofascist: Thanks. At least I got that straight.

@Mistress Cynica: As before stated: I do not understand this country.

Between guns in the schools, cars standing in for peens, and corruption as sport I am totally ferklempt.

@chicago bureau: I wish he would just say the curse words instead of ‘bleepin’. I think I would be a little turned on.

@chicago bureau: Ah, exploiting dying kids. Now we’re getting somewhere.

You know, I just had a thought.

Appoint Fitzy to the Senate. He’s the only guy in Illinois that I totally trust right now. Seriously.

“If Illinois isn’t the most corrupt state in the country, it is one hell of a competitor. “

Won’t someone think of the children?

@homofascist: @chicago bureau: Got any dish or dirt on the Lt. Gov., Pat Quinn, or whoever he is? Just curious as to what your state would face if/when Gov. Bablowabitch or whatever his name is removed from office.

Fitz says there’s nothing really to connect Black Eagle to Gov. Badrug:

While the allegations against the Illinois governor include conversations that appear to describe his desire for a deal involving Obama, the document offers no evidence of any contact between Blagojevich or his aides and Obama or his aides. There is nothing in the papers filed by the U.S. attorney that indicate that prosecutors believe Obama or his staff were involved in, or even knew about, Blagojevich’s conversations. And there is nothing that would indicate that Fitzgerald is investigating the president-elect or his staff.

“The complaint makes no allegations about the President-elect whatsoever,” Fitzgerald said in the news conference.

Of course, this won’t stop Dumbfuckia from shrieking. And Sarah Palin from opening her damn mouth.

rptrcub: I wouldn’t put Pat Quinn in the “corrupt” pile. But the Lt. Gov. doesn’t do anything here, just as anywhere else, really. So, who knows?

I think he knew how crooked Rod was, though — thus, the distancing you’ve seen in the past few years.

[ADD: Hilarity — the feds gave him a (literal) wake-up call at 6:00am saying that they had a warrant for his arrest and that agents were outside to take him away. Rod said to the guy on the phone, “is this a joke?” WOW.]

@rptrcub: Of course, this won’t stop Dumbfuckia from shrieking. And Sarah Palin from opening her damn mouth.

Or Caligutard from appointing a Special Prosecutor because, you know, he wants to leave a legacy?

@chicago bureau: I think Obama actually did a good job of distancing himself as well. Although Blago has been fairly toxic for a while now, so anyone with national aspirations and half a brain would have known to jump off that train.

@nabisco: A legacy beyond destruction of this country so severe that it will take 20 years for the nation to recover? Surely you jest.

@nabisco: No need for a special prosecutor – he be prosecuted now.

@chicago bureau: The fact that Cov. Ryan wanted to screw around while married to Jeri Ryan puzzled me. I was in awe of her as 7 of 9.

Dodgerblue: You have your Ryans mixed up. They are not related. George = old, fat pharmacist who was governor; married to old lady; emptied Death Row; corrupt as hell and now in jail. Jack = businessman who ran for Senate and ran around on Jeri. Fixed.

Meanwhile: the soon-to-be-ex-First-Lady said this, reportedly, about the Cubs:

During the call, Rod Blagojevich’s wife can be heard in the background telling Rod Blagojevich to tell Deputy Governor A ‘to hold up that [bleep]ing Cubs [bleep] … [bleep] them.'”

(As my main man Fitzy says, the bleeps are really not bleeps. I am actually going to self-censor for the near future just so I can trot out that line again.)

That tears it. Some DOJ people in D.C. know something about torture. Time to exact some sweet vengeance.

@Dodgerblue: Believe it or not, that was Jack Ryan who was not and has never been (and never will be) governor. And he isn’t related to George Ryan, our up-until-now most famous indicted governor, or Jim Ryan, another former governor candidate. We just have a lot of political Ryans for some reason.

@chicago bureau:

OK, I take back that “BORING” comment I made earlier. That’s some good scumbaggery — fucking with children’s hospital funding.

@Signal to Noise: Exploiting dying kids – yeah, that’s art.

And now Durbin wants to the state legislature to strip Blago of his appointment powers and convene a special election. Seems a little sketchy in terms of separation of powers, but who’s going to argue with him?

@chicago bureau: In honor of all these fun revelations, I’ve decided this is my symbolic image of the day, which I know you’ll appreciate:

Well, flippin eck, it is kind of the reverse of what happened, or what would be wished for. (Remember that they touched the good guys in that scene.)

Perhaps, more apropos, would be the whole Capone “I want him dead” sequence.

Has it been said that he could get indicted for that Way Beyond John Edwards (remember him?) hair?

@chicago bureau: @homofascist: Gentlemen: thank you for straightening me out on this confusing issue. When I think about 7 of 9, I just stop thinking.

@redmanlaw: A friend of mine from Chicago says his hair will be indicted and tried separately.

@redmanlaw: Hey. Let’s leave Johnny Earl out of this. His hair, like the rest of him, is pretty near perfect (with heavy emphasis on teh pretty). He can park his comb chez moi (Franch for “Call me”) any time he likes, pardner.

I am wrung out from trying to understand Americans. I am retreating to my bedroom where I will close the curtains and try to sleep. Now we are nostalgic for all the great corruption we’ve seen in Chi-town?

As jnov would say, le sigh.

DEVELOPING HARD: John Nichols over at The Nation says this about Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn:

If the governor is forced to resign — or is impeached — his office would go to Illinois Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn, a veteran reformer and rabble-rouser who has often, although not always, been at odds with Blagojevich. (In fact, Quinn’s record over the past several decades has been one of battling the the Illinois political and corporate establishment. He won the nomination for his current post by upsetting the candidate of Blagojevich and the Democratic machine.)

So Pat Quinn’s goo-goo credentials are established. (Until, of course, the construction contracts are brought to light, as they eventually will be. But, for now, he’ll do.)

@mellbell: I am sure all of the right wing blogs will try to make a big deal about this and all, but Blago has been to the Illinois Democrats the equivalent of Bush for the national Republicans – the smart ones long ago figured out to run away as far as possible. When his biggest supporters starting “retiring” to spend more time with other people’s children, you know that means trouble is abrewin’. The funny thing is that we finally got, after 25 years or whatever ridiculous amount of time, a Democratic governor, but I don’t know one single liberal or Democrat who actually likes this guy (esp. since he was re-elected in ’06).

Benedick: It’s not that we are nostalgic for corruption. Far from it. It’s just that we normally accept that corruption is not prosecuted around here like it oughta be, except in those rare instances when it (a) is so brazen that it cannot be believed (Rod, several Chicago alders), or (b) it has a body count (G. Ryan).

What you see as nostalgia is read here as dumbfounded shock that (a) somebody got collared at all and (b) the stuff the collared guy did was just so terrifically stupid and awful. We are in awe of this dumbass right about now. (This is quickly turning into pitchfork-mob anger, even as we speak.)

homofascist: If I recall right, Judy Baar Topinka (GOP candidate in 2006) ran a really horrendous race. So much so that Rod’s 15-second ads (always ending in the tagline “What’s She Thinking?”) actually worked.

The horror-show aspect of this? (Besides Topinka’s make-up. Not to be sexist, but man she looked awful. That’s not it though.) Topinka was regarded as one of the few moderates in serious contention. Jim Oberweis (he of the dairy, the ice cream shops, and the xenophobic ads) couldn’t beat her; nor could the other leading lights of the wingnut branch of the GOP. In 2010, the GOP will think that they can go for broke and nominate a knuckledragger. And they might get away with it given the circumstances.

You know who might want to consider a run? Ray LaHood (outgoing GOP House member from Peoria, famously served as an even-handed Speaker pro tem during the Clinton impeachment debate). Conservative as all hell, but the man’s as upright as they come (supposedly). Dude even looks like Lincoln.

I can’t even bring myself to threadjack the Scarborough thread with this, so here we are…

Craig Loses Appeal in Bathroom Sting Case

@mellbell: Don’t think Bloggie isn’t going to be all over this very soon…

@homofascist: I have already sent the email notifying the editorz. Posting shortly.

@blogenfreude: I’m looking forward to your take on today’s developments in the Washington, D.C. based telenovela, “El Bailout,” especially the part where the loan recipients have to sell their private jets.

OK, one more then I gotta work. For those keeping score at home, here is some data from today’s WSJ:

Should Mr. Blagojevich end up in prison, he will join predecessors including the following:

* Republican George Ryan, who is currently serving a 6 1/2-year stretch in federal prison for racketeering and fraud. Blagojevich, along with Sen. Richard Durbin, has publicly supported an appeal to the White House for the commutation of Mr. Ryan’s sentence.
* Otto Kerner, a Democrat who was convicted in 1973 on 17 counts of bribery, conspiracy, perjury and other charges before being sentenced to three years in the pen. The federal prosecutor in that case, James Thompson, later ascended to the governor’s chair and wound up getting his law firm to defend Ryan for free.
* Dan Walker was convicted in 1987 — years after leaving office — of bank fraud. Serving from 1973 to 1977, with a reputation as a reformer, he was the last Democratic governor of the state before Mr. Blagojevich took office in 2003.
* Lennington Small, a Republican, served from 1921 to 1929. He was indicted while in office for embezzlement related to actions taken when he was state treasurer. He was later acquitted; several of the jurors in the case ended up with state jobs.

Also, in one infamous case further down the chain, a former speaker of the state’s House of Representatives and secretary of state, Paul Powell, was found after his death in 1970 to have had several million dollars in embezzled cash stashed in shoe boxes.

Mr. Powell, according to a Time magazine article at the time, had his own definition of success, believing that “there’s only one thing worse than a defeated politician, and that’s a broke one.”

@chicago bureau: Rahm blew the whistle? Fucking brilliant.

@redmanlaw: Re: NM Corruption – wouldn’t surprise me, my friend who worked for a state agency there had stories of back-scratching that were amazing.

@chicago bureau: OK. I begin to comprehend.

But, people, this is all so foreign to me and therefore hard to comprehend. Where I grew up we don’t have corruption. We only have honest elected officials working their hearts out for the good of their constituents. So it’s cultural. One more thing I need to learn about my adopted home. Like the way you funny bunnies don’t write ‘forwards’, no, you write ‘forward’. It’s like that. Such as.

Besides which, I don’t know who any of these people are. Apart from Rahm Emanuel. Who has worn a dance-belt or two in his day.

Hey – I just remembered something I wrote here*. It seems strangely relevant today for some reason…

*Which shouldn’t really be difficult since I don’t write much. Boo! I suck.

@homofascist: Since you said it first – yes, yes you do.

Of course you know that I kid and I really do love you and am hatching a plan to seduce Mr. HF’s brother so we can all be related, right?

[Given the stage of the thread, we need a break. Or more appropriately, a stretch. I now turn over the proceedings to the ghost of Harry Carry, coming to you from the upper deck of, appropriately enough, Wrigley. (He’s slurring a little bit, of course. But, unlike Mrs. Rod, he’s not swearing.)]

All right, fans! Let me hear ya! Ah-one! Ah-two! Ah-three!

Take… me out to the ball… game! Take… me out to the crowd!

Buy me some peanuts and crackerjack! I don’t care if I ever get back!

Let me root, root, root for the CUBBIES! If they don’t win, it’s a shame!

For it’s one, two, three strikes, you’re out at the old… ball… game!

HEY! Let’s get some runs!

Well, it now appears that Rahm did not blow the whistle, as HuffPo / Politico / Fox local affiliate were reporting. Per TPM:

A source close to Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel is denying reports that Rahm tipped off the Feds to Blagojevich’s alleged efforts to sell Obama’s Senate seat.

The rumors to this effect have been flying all afternoon, kicked off by a local Fox reporter in Chicago who claimed that he’d received a “tip” that Blago had reached out to Rahm to “leverage” filling Obama’s Senate seat.

“It may have been Rahm Emanuel who tipped the scale and made this move as quickly as it did,” the reporter said.

But a source close to Rahm emails us that “it’s not true,” adding that the story is the “result of some overzealous reporting.”

C’mon. This story basically put Barry in the clear, and Rahm squashes it like a bug. Unsmooth. (Of course, if Rahm’s upfront about it, maybe there really isn’t anything to hide. Or maybe Rahm made a bad play. I dunno.)

The republican prosecutors are making politics illegal. I’ve read parts of Fitzgerald’s press release, where it quotes what I imagine he thinks are damning statementts indicating that Otter here is corrupt, looking for loot. Bullshit. He’s just talking politics in hyperbolic metaphor, I am serious here, fucking dead serious, you think a governor deciding to make someone a senator isn’t thinking “I’m not gonna appoint someone unless I get owed a big favor that will advance me.” Half the quotes, he is not saying “me” even, he is saying I want to appoint someone who bring home bacon to Illinois.

Thats just fucking politics. We are not children here, I hope not, is this shocking, politicians develop a support base by rewarding supporters with jobs and program money. I is sorry, thats not corruption. Thats politics. Right now, tens of thousands of democrats are lining up and jockeying for the jobs Obama will be handing out, and you can be sure, he will be handing them out to people who did for him, and he will expect gratitude and expect them to do for him when he calls on them. I am sorry, but its only corruption when you are looking to line your own pockets, and setting up your future career ambitions is not lining your pockets.

I am sorry, but I have been watching our federal prosecutor, who bought his job by getting his investment banker brother contribute $100,000 to the GOP in 2001, go after democratic politicians for doing the same thing, and whats disturbing is that so many of them are black democratic politicians.

Politics is patronage and favors, thats what it fucking is, for cripes sake, as my dad used to say.

@chicago bureau: Of course you want to leverage your fucking payback, if you are owed a big favor by the appointee, and by the appointee’s godfather, you get two favors back.

Its fucking politics. Turn this same microscope on any politician and they will all be indicted, the Bushies most of all.

I think the problem is not the favors, but how blatantly stupid and unsubtle Blago has been (at least according to Wiki.)

@ManchuCandidate: Agreed completely. Thats why here in New Jersey our black politicians all get taken down. Before they get in office, they see it, they more than anyone see how the system works, because its been excluding them, and I think when they first attain prominent office, they are thinking, “Its my turn now,” but they have not mastered the nuances and subtelties of doing it politely, quietly. White ivy league wasps have made it an art, they watch out for one another, look at Brownie, roommate of Bush’s COS in college, a bit down on his luck after making a hash of the horse breeders association gig, lets give him FEMA, he’s from good family, the right clubs, one of us, and there he was.

In my life, Mrs. Prom’s company, they appointed a new board member, waspy harvard asshole, And then there is an opening for CFO, for a publicly traded company, and he puts forward and shoves in his Harvard Business School roommate who was also best man at his wedding. Despite that he is not a CPA, has no public company experience, and within days showed himself completely incompetent. He hired scores of consultants to do his job, which he could not do, and proceeded to go after anyone in the company who attempted to point out his incompetence, supported, and certainly in cahoots with his board member ex-roommate. The result, he managed to get the board, led by his ex-roommate, to fire every member of top management except Mrs. Prom, who has spent 2 years now covering every step and playing it perfectly just to avoid the purge. Every single person in the company knows that the good old boy is completely incompetent, but anyone who dares to say so, is soon eliminated.

The good old boys have it down to a science, they know how to do it. Clumsy people, who don’t know the rules of polite corruption, are taken down by the prosecutor friends of the good old boys, of course. Imagine the cheek of that fellow, really.

I have to give a bit of the reason for my worldview. I believe patronage is legitimate. Why? Because I am Irish. My people came here and were despised and discriminated against, hated. But they had a gift for politics, entered the municipal politics in all the big cities where they had a presence, and soon, what do you know, all the cops and firemen are Irish. Patronage.

And I honestly believe this small scale political patronage elevated a whole ethnic group to middle class respectability, from being despised immigrants.

The blacks are now doing this, and good for them. The one place there is the least racial discrimination is in government jobs, I truly believe this.

The problem is there is a difference between democratic patronage and republican patronage. Democrats tend more to lift up little people through patronage. Republicans have elevated it to a higher level, they use privatization to grant billion dollar contracts to those already rich. They give trillions to investment bankers, thats okay, giving the school roofing contract or a police job to a supporter, thats evil.

Point taken.

The immigrant kids who get in trouble are usually the guys who were the first generation to get into college and with their first taste of power start getting grabby grabby without that subtlety.

Similar story about work. My CEO was a protege of Jack Welch (it used to be a good thing, but after Nardelli and Immelt, not so much) and when he took over, he brought in all his cronies from everywhere. Problem is that he don’t know shit about telecom. Fucked up from day one and one pompous piece of shit.

True story: One Fri afternoon about three years ago just after GE boy took over, a couple of the IT managers (both barely knew how to run a computer, great eh?) started clucking like hens because the CEO had a service call in. Turns out his shit ass printer he bought himself wouldn’t work with our internal network at his mansion (near Chicago.) He freaks out and calls IT support. The managers basically shit themselves in a panic because the IT tech told the CEO that the printer was FUBAR and needed to be replaced. Asshole tells the IT tech that the printer MUST WORK or ELSE. If I was in that position (and I have been) I would have done a bait and switch (basically get a replacement and lie to his face) because there is no point in arguing with a pompous sack of shit. Anyway, this saga continued for six fucking weeks with 9-14 IT techs, 3 managers and 2 directors involved to fix a $900 fucking printer and some tech did what I would have done.

Morals of the story?
1) If you’re gonna be a self important asshole and leave the door open to your offices so as to show how important you are by making people overhear your conversations then close the fucking door for the really stupid ones.
2) Freaking out over a $900 printer when you make $2 mil a year makes you a Grade A ++++++++ Asshole
3) Prima donnas can be such a fucking waste of time.

@ManchuCandidate: Its not really even that they get grabby and lack subtelty, its that the older network that was there first is gunning for them. You think Giuliani was ever subtle in his life? Fucking Kerik? Fucking Judith Regan in the 9-11 comand post overlooking the smoking hole? Subtle? No, its that he had consolidated his power before he started with wholesale corruption, that allowed him to get away with this.

This is what happened to Clinton, you know; who’s this guy, rube from Arkansas, acting like he is president (never mind that he was president). The DC press with their snobbery, the DC establishment and its snobbery, in the end, they brought him down for something 50% or more of them have done, fucking an intern, because he just wasn’t a member of the club. And the fact that the public loved him, and he outsmarted them every turn, just fueled their hate and egged them on to bring him down.

Its Ironic, they treated Clinton the way they would treat the first black president, if they could get away with it, but they will not be able to treat Obama that way, because he is black, and it would be too obvious.

Class, social class, its soooooo taboo in our society to admit there even is such a thing, its why its impossible to defend against upper class snobbism, its considered outrageous to suggest there even are social classes in america, outrageous, that is, if you are from the lower classes and say it publicly.

The upper classes, among themselves, are keenly and deeply aware of class, and its the first thing they think of when judging someone. In their clubs and living rooms and vacation homes, they are not shy, you’d be horrified to hear the way they talk about people who are not as rich as they are. “those people.” “Who does he think he is” is a dead giveaway. I have heard people praise someone by saying “he’s from good family.” I have been in the fucking room when people said this about someone; where does that leave me, I always wondered. I’m from shit. Bush senior didn’t have the sense to censor himself, its just that the public mostly doesn’t know the code words for class snobbery. He said of Hussein “this guy over here.” “This guy,” upper class for “not one of us.”

Its the most verboten subject in america, admitting and acknowledging the amazing, real, deep, degree of classism amongst the upper class in America. They don’t want the lower orders to know how much they despise them. If the typical GW Bush admirer who thinks he’d like to have a beer with Bush could ever hear Bush talk about the average people of this country with his entitled contempt, then we’d finally have our revolution.

Class warfare is verboten. Even my parents are somewhat afraid of it.

I think there is a serious problem with both old and new money–I think that this attitude might be from the remnants of my upper middle class upbringing from parents who came from the fringes of the Korean ruling class. The old who get all huffy about the new guy and the new guy who don’t understand that when you reach the top you don’t have to keep claw for every damn scrap.

I hate when people (including my parents) say “He/She’s from a good family.” Like it really means anything. Much like when fundies say he/she is a good Christian.

I’d prefer to judge folks by my own criteria.

If you can find this documentary by Lewis Lapham, you might find it interesting (or not.)

OK. Is it just me, or has the guy standing behind the guvn’r raided the “Pirates of Penzance” wardrobe gone for the Major General Pith Helmet and the eye patch?

@Promnight: Except for the bit where he wanted $300,000 directorships or a job for his wife. That’s courruption no matter how you paint it. It’s not favours when there’s a price tag attached.

It ain’t politics, it’s naked fucking greed. He should be whipped and flogged naked down the streets of Chicago in winter until his penis gets frostbite.

Oh, and made to have a hair cut.

@Promnight: There is a difference, however, between saying, “Let’s look at our bench and see who’s qualified for this position, who would be a good fit,” and asking, “Who wants this position, and what can we get for it?” Patronage and meritocracy need not be mutually exclusive.

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