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Sunday, December 14, 2008 ISSUE #529

Weekly Comments: Chicago corruption blemishes Illinois stature

COLUMBUS: Chicago jumped back on the front page. In the old days Chicago was known mainly for its cows, chewing gum, Cubs and Capone.

More recently it was Oprah and Obama, with occasional intrusions by Ayers, Wright and Floeger. Now it's the Illinois governor. It's spelled B-l-a-g-o-j-e-v-i-c-h, but you pronounce it Bla-goy-a-vitch. He was trying to sell a Senate seat, but haggling over the price got him nabbed.

Now, this would not be the first time a Senate seat was bought; but never before was one bought directly from a Governor. Bidding reached a million dollars before the auction was halted.

Blagojevich was elected Governor in 2002, but instead of moving to Springfield, he kinda moved the capital to Chicago. He wanted to stay where he had his own "protection". If he had instead spent all his time in Springfield, why there might have been enough of Lincoln rub off on him to set him straight. Now it looks like he'll join George Ryan and Otto Kerner and other past governors, in Joliet.

If Illinois wants to return to civilization, here is my suggestion: secede from Chicago. Let Chicago join up with Wisconsin. Or even better, Michigan. Michigan already has one appendage west of the lake, why not another. Detroit and Chicago, the Twin Cities of Michigan, separated by 300 miles of pastoral innocence.

While Blagojevich was trying to fleece a few million for a Senate seat, Bernard Madoff was showing the world how to run a scam. Madoff made off with $50 Billion, which could have kept GM and Chrysler building cars for a couple more years. Madoff was running what's called a Ponzi scheme. Meanwhile, Freddie and Fannie and Wall Street bankers lost more than a Trillion, but nobody has yet invented a name for that fraud.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:

"Everybody is excited over who will win the election in Chicago. The side with the most machine guns will win it... The slogan in Chicago is: 'Shoot 'em before they can vote."

"You can kid about Chicago and its crooks, but they have the smartest way of handling their crooks of any city. They get the rival gangs to kill off each other and all the police have to do is just referee and count up the bodies. They won't have a crook in Chicago unless he will agree to shoot at another crook." DT #454, Jan. 9, 1928

"Just passed thru Chicago. It's not a boast, it's an achievement... The snow was so deep today the crooks could only hit a tall man. To try and diminish crime they laid off six hundred cops. Chicago has no tax money. All their influential men are engaged in tax-exempt occupations." DT #1079, Jan. 9, 1930

"Folks, you are not going to get me coming out here [in Chicago] telling any jokes about these racketeers and gangsters. I arrived in this city intact, and I am going to try and leave likewise... It is all right to scatter good humor at the expense of the Senate, for they are harmless, but these boys carry a gun." Radio broadcast, June 22, 1930

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