It is said that power corrupts, but actually it’s more true that power attracts the corruptible.

Blagojevich and Ryan

Jeffrey Toobin in The New Yorker in writing about Blagojevich starts with a little background antidote about a racetrack owner in the 60s who tried to claim bribes to an Illinois pol as a business expense on her tax return. As objectionable or sordid as Blagojevich’s current problems are, Toobin also reports,

The case against the Governor comes in three parts, each more astonishing than the last. The first, the result of a long-running investigation in the state, charges a fairly routine pay-to-play operation. The Governor is said to have demanded campaign contributions in return for highway contracts and the like. (In a bravura touch, Blagojevich appears to have delayed an addition to a children’s hospital because the sponsors had not paid up.)

The federal compliant against Blagojevich and his chief of staff comes in at a whopping seventy-six pages. I’m not sure which is worse in terms of genuine shock value – his acts or that those acts were so brazzen. Then I remembered that the former govenor set a standard – Ex-Illinois governor Ryan indicted

Former Gov. George Ryan was indicted Wednesday on federal charges of taking payoffs, gifts and vacations in return for government contracts and leases while he was Illinois secretary of state.

Ryan and 59 people on his campaign were indicted by our Scooter Libby prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald. Which makes Blagojevich all the more a bonehead for thinking he could get away with such obvious pay for play schemes. Fitz is also going to prosecute Rod Blagojevich. Sure indictments are a list of charges and not proof of wrong doing, but reality and all, Rod should start shopping for stripped pajamas at the holiday sales, he’s going to need them.

Remember the right-winger John Ziegler and his push poll that was the next generation push poll, so you were not allowed to call it a push poll. He stopped by The Sideshow in a very sucessful attempt to be obnoxious. M’s Carol takes him to the woodshed, This time John Ziegler is out of his league

The “media” is not liberal. There is a center-right media on the broadcast networks and on cable, and there is a far-right media at News Corp. (newspapers and Fox) and all over the AM dial. The Washington Post is editorially a bunch of neocons, and The New York Times can’t actually remember what liberalism is.

What little there is of liberal media – Democracy NOW! and Bill Moyers’ Journal, The Nation, Mother Jones, two shows on MSNBC’s otherwise Republican-conservative line-up, and Air America Radio – gets very little traction from “the MSM” and is constantly under siege from the Rolls-Royce Republicans who do things like buy up AAR stations so they can switch them to all-sports or Spanish-language or Christianist stations in markets that are already over-saturated with the same.

Not all, but some Republicans honestly believe THE MEDIA has a liberal bias. That is because the Right has been so successful at defining liberal as anyone to the left of Herman Goering. Bill Kristol writing at the NYT probably does think that Barack Obama is a liberal. The reality is that Obama is a centrist that leans slightly liberal on some issues. Painting Obama and other Democrats in those broad strokes wasn’t too successful the last two election cycles so I’m inclined to think its a tactic wearing thin with voters. That being the case I would encourage the Zieglers and Krsitols to continue to drag out the McCarthyism so Democrats, hopefully of the genuinely liberal brand, can pick up a few more seats in Congress the next election cycle.

Things that are strange, but are not – Measure Would Create Car Czar To Oversee Rescue

Democrats kept a provision, opposed by the White House, that would bar the car companies from pursuing lawsuits against California and other states trying to implement tougher tailpipe emissions standards. Republicans say the move would undercut the automakers’ profits, but Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) said yesterday in a letter to Reid that GM and Ford have laid out business plans indicating that they intend to outperform the California fuel economy standards within a few years anyway.

One would think that the housing and financial meltdown would have been the twin bats between the eyes for Bush and Republicans and their membership in the church of deregulation, but apparently not. If Republicans had not fought CAFE standards so hard for the last twenty-five years, maybe the Big 3 would be more competitive in a domestic market that cannot afford to drive gas guzzlers. Conservatives Blame CAFE Standards For Auto Industry’s Troubles

What’s more, those existing technologies would hardly bankrupt the auto industry. NPR reported that technologies to raise fuel-efficiency “to around 33 mpg across the fleet pay for themselves within three to four years.” Indeed, Tom Cole of the Center for Automotive Research, said that with only about $1,000 worth of changes, “a conventional, gas-powered car could go 25 percent farther on a single gallon of gas.” The Union of Concerned Scientists designed its own highly efficient SUV comparable to the Ford Explorer that doubled its fuel economy (from 17 mpg to 30 mpg). The lifetime fuel savings paid back the additional technology cost of $2,560 in less than three years.

The auto industry’s problems have far more to do with the lack of universal health care in America than they do with fuel economy requirements.

I’ve seen two Republicans today balk at the Detroit bailout. One was Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) who happens to have a Honda plant in his state. The other was Bob Corker(R-TN) who has a Toyota plant in his state. I wouldn’t be surprised to find that the Republican senators with a Japanese or German auto plant in their state are the ones most opposed to any assistance to the domestic auto industry.

“It is said that power corrupts, but actually it’s more true that power attracts the corruptible. The sane are usually attracted by other things than power.” ~ science fiction writer David Brin

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