Tag Archives: Roland Burris

Roland Burris: A predictable mistake that should be corrected ASAP

In this Dec. 30, 2008, file photo, former Illinois Attorney ...

Associated Press photo

Roland Burris is pictured with disgraced former Illinois Gov. Rod Blahblahblahblah on December 30, the day that Blahblahblahblah appointed him to fill Barack Obama’s vacant seat in the U.S. Senate. Blahblahblahblah then was impeached by the Illinois House of Representatives and then removed from office by the Illinois Senate on January 29. Among other things, the state Senate found Blahblahblahblah guilty of having tried to sell Barack Obama’s vacant U.S. Senate seat to the highest bidder. 

It turns out that Roland Burris, whom former Illinois Gov. Rod “U.$. $enate $eat for $ale” Blahblahblahblah had appointed to fill Barack Obama’s vacant U.S. Senate seat for Illinois before the governor was impeached and removed from office, indeed had talked to Blahblahblahblah’s brother Robert about campaign contributions to the governor before the governor appointed him to the U.S. Senate.

Burris’ rather surreal insistence that he be seated in the U.S. Senate ASAP should have been enough of a red flag for Democrats to have refused his tainted appointment.

Instead, the Democrats caved in to Burris’ tantrums, and now, as was so fucking predictable, the cloud of taint over Burris’ head grows to the point that Repugnicans in the Illinois Legislature smell Burris’ blood in the water and want an investigation of him — Burris had testified to a committee of the Illinois Legislature, after all, that there was nothing fishy about his appointment to the U.S. Senate.  

I am fine with such an investigation and I’m fine with the eventual removal from the U.S. Senate of Burris, who, as the fruit of the poisoned tree, never should have been seated in the U.S. Senate in the first fucking place.

Burris hardly represents the “hope” and “change” that the Democrats promised us.

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About fuckin’ time

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich talks to the media at his home ...

Associated Press photo

Yeah, buh-bye, Blahblahblahblah. Good riddance, baby-boomer asshole.

From The Associated Press today:

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Illinois House voted overwhelmingly [today] to impeach Gov. Rod Blagojevich, an unprecedented action that sets up a [state] Senate trial on whether he should be thrown out for abuse of power, including allegations that he tried to sell President-elect Barack Obama‘s vacant [U.S.] Senate seat.

Impeachment required just 60 votes. The final result was 114-1.

Legislators accused the second-term Democratic governor of letting down the people of Illinois by letting ego and ambition drive his decisions.

“It’s our duty to clean up the mess and stop the freak show that’s become Illinois government,” said Rep. Jack D. Franks, a Democrat.

Blagojevich was out jogging in his Chicago neighborhood when the vote came down.

Blagojevich refused to answer any specific questions about the vote, but upon returning from his jog, he likened his situation to long-distance running….

He then promised to say more at an afternoon news conference.

During the House’s 90-minute debate on impeachment, no one spoke up to defend the governor. But Rep. Milton Patterson, a Chicago Democrat, made the sole vote against impeaching Blagojevich.

Patterson said he read the impeachment committee’s report and wasn’t comfortable voting against the governor. “I have no firsthand knowledge of any of the evidence,” he said….

Rep. Elga Jefferies, another Chicago Democrat, voted “present.”

Blagojevich was arrested Dec. 9 on federal charges that include allegations he schemed to profit from his power to name Obama’s replacement in the Senate. The criminal complaint included an FBI agent’s sworn affidavit describing wiretaps that caught Blagojevich allegedly talking about what he could get for the seat, how to pressure people into making campaign contributions and more.

That arrest triggered impeachment hearings by a special House committee.

The committee [yesterday] unanimously recommended impeachment based on the criminal charges but other allegations as well — that Blagojevich expanded a health care program without proper authority, that he circumvented hiring laws to give jobs to political allies, that he spent millions of dollars on foreign flu vaccine that he knew wasn’t needed and couldn’t be brought into the country.

“The citizens of this state must have confidence that their governor will faithfully serve the people and put their interests before his own,” the committee’s report said. “It is with profound regret that the committee finds that our current governor has not done so.”

Blagojevich has denied the criminal charges. He criticized the House impeachment process as biased and said a Senate trial would produce a different result.

But he didn’t testify before the House impeachment committee and hasn’t offered an explanation for the federal charges.

“His silence in this great matter is deafening,” said House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie, a Chicago Democrat.

Hopefully today’s development will sink the seating of former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris in the U.S. Senate. It’s not about Burris as an individual, although Burris strikes me as craven for even wanting a U.S. Senate seat under such tainted circumstances.

What it is about is that change thing that President-elect Barack Obama promised us until he was blue in the lips (oops…). Allowing an individual who was appointed by a corrupt governor right before the governor was impeached to take a seat in the U.S. Senate indicates that it’s the same old corrupt business as usual.

It kills any hope for change.

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Various shit (in no certain order)

Just two days ago I wrote: “[President-elect Barack] Obama’s numbers in the public opinion polls are pretty fucking good. To a solid majority of Americans, Obama is fucking Superman. Or at least Batman….”

Today, this from The Associated Press:

Spider-Man has a new sidekick: The president-elect.

Barack Obama collected Spider-Man comics as a child, so Marvel Comics wanted to give him a “shout-out back” by featuring him in a bonus story, said Joe Quesada, Marvel’s editor in chief.

“How great is that? The commander in chief to be is actually a nerd in chief,” Quesada said. “It was really, really cool to see that we had a geek in the White House. We’re all thrilled with that.”

The comic starts with Spider-Man’s alter-ego Peter Parker taking photographs at the inauguration, before spotting two identical Obamas.

Parker decides “the future president’s gonna need Spider-Man,” and springs into action, using basketball to determine the real Obama and punching out the impostor.

Obama thanks him with a fist-bump.

Marvel comics have featured most presidents, but generally in walk-on roles, Quesada said….

Obama has said that as a child, he collected Spider-Man and Conan the Barbarian comic books. His Senate Web site used to have a photo of him posing in front of a Superman statue.

The Obama story is a bonus in Marvel Comic’s Amazing Spider-Man #583, available in comic book shops nationwide on Jan. 14 for $3.99 and is expected to sell out, with half the covers devoted to Obama.

Here’s the cover:

U.S. President-elect Barack Obama is pictured on the cover of ...

Reuters photo

Um, is it official now that Obamania is out of hand?

As much as I will miss writing “Illinois Gov. Rod ‘U.$. $enate $eat for $ale’ Blahblahblahblah,” apparently the impeachment process against him finally has begun.

Incredibly (or  maybe not so incredibly), Blahblahblahblah appointee former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris appears to be on track to replace Barack Obama as a U.S. senator for Illinois.

The Democrats cave in to the Repugnicans, so why shouldn’t they cave in to Democrats waving the race card?

Gee, how are we doing with that “change” thing that we were promised? Let’s see:

The United Nations reports that as many as 250-plus Palestinian children have been slaughtered in Israel’s latest aggression, but Obama still reserves his right to remain silent on the matter.

Israel has the right to nip it in the bud, you see, to slaughter Arab children before they have the chance to grow up to be “terrorists” in Occupied Palestine (a.k.a. Israel)!

A homophobe will deliver the invocation at Obama’s inaugural, and it looks as though Obama’s replacement in the U.S. Senate will be a man appointed by a crooked Chicago politician (wait — that’s redundant…).

Yeah, things are changing so fucking much that I just can’t keep up with all of this change!

… 

Speaking of dead Palestinian children, this is from The Associated Press today

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – Tiny bodies lying side by side wrapped in white burial shrouds. The cherubic face of a dead preschooler sticking up from the rubble of her home. A man cradling a wounded boy in a chaotic emergency room after Israel shelled a U.N. school.

Children, who make up more than half of crowded Gaza’s 1.4 million people, are the most defenseless victims of the war between Israel and Hamas. The Israeli army has unleashed unprecedented force in its campaign against Hamas militants, who have been taking cover among civilians.

A photo of 4-year-old Kaukab Al Dayah, just her bloodied head sticking out from the rubble of her home, covered many front pages in the Arab world Wednesday. “This is Israel,” read the headline in the Egyptian daily Al-Masry Al-Youm. The preschooler was killed early Tuesday when an F-16 attacked her family’s four-story home in Gaza City. Four adults also died.

As many as 257 children have been killed and 1,080 wounded — about a third of the total casualties since Dec. 27, according to U.N. figures released [today].

Hardest on the children is the sense that nowhere is safe and adults can’t protect them, said Iyad Sarraj, a psychologist hunkering down in his Gaza City apartment with his four stepchildren, ages 3 to 17. His 10-year-old, Adam, is terrified during bombing raids and has developed asthma attacks, Sarraj said.

Israel says it is targeting Hamas in response to its repeated rocket attacks on southern Israel, and is doing its utmost to avoid civilian deaths. However, foreign aid officials note that civilians can’t escape blockaded Gaza and that bombing crowded areas inevitably leads to civilian casualties. The Israeli military has used tank and artillery shells, as well as large aerial bombs….

Indeed, all of Gaza has become dangerous ground.

Children have been killed in strikes on their houses, while riding in cars with their parents, while playing in the streets, walking to a grocery and even at U.N. shelters.

Sayed, Mohammed and Raida Abu Aisheh — ages 12, 8 and 7 — were at home with their parents when they were all killed in an Israeli airstrike before dawn Monday. The family had remained in the ground floor apartment of their three-story building, while the rest of the extended clan sought refuge in the basement from heavy bombardment of nearby Hamas installations.

Those in the basement survived. The children’s uncle, Saber Abu Aisheh, 49, searched [today] through the rubble, a heap of cement blocks, mattresses, scorched furniture and smashed TVs.

He said Israel gave no warning, unlike two years earlier when he received repeated calls from the Israeli military, including on his cell phone, that a nearby house was going to get hit and that he should evacuate.

“What’s going on is not a war, it’s a mass killing,” said Abu Aisheh, still wearing the blood-splattered olive-colored sweater he wore the night of the airstrike.

The Israeli military did not comment when asked why the Abu Aisheh house was targeted.

In the Zeitoun neighborhood of Gaza City, medics found four young children next to their dead mothers in a house, according to the Geneva-based International Committee of the Red Cross. “They were too weak to stand up on their own,” the statement said.

The Red Cross did not say what happened to the children, but noted that the Israeli army refused rescuers permission to reach the neighborhood for four days. Israel said the delay was caused by fighting.

Medic Mohammed Azayzeh said he retrieved the bodies of a man and his two young sons from central Gaza [yesterday]. One of the boys, a 1-year-old, was cradled in his father’s arms.

In the Jebaliya refugee camp, five sisters from the Balousha family, ages 4, 8, 11, 14 and 17, were buried together in white shrouds on Dec. 29. An Israeli airstrike on a mosque, presumably a Hamas target, had destroyed their adjacent house. Only their parents and a baby girl survived.

Israel accuses Hamas of cynically exploiting Gaza’s civilians and using them as human shields. The military has released video footage showing militants firing mortars from the rooftops of homes and mosques.

“Israel wants to see no harm to the children of Gaza,” said Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev. “On the contrary, we would like to see their children and our children grow up without the fear of violence. Until now, Hamas has deliberately prevented that from becoming reality.”

Rocket fire from Gaza has disrupted life in Israeli border communities, and with the latest intensified militant attacks, hundreds of thousands of Israelis are in rocket range. Schools are closed and fearful Israeli children rush into bomb shelters at the sound of air raid sirens.

In the ongoing chaos of Gaza, it’s difficult to get exact casualty figures. Since Dec. 27, at least 750 Palestinians have been killed, according to Gaza Health Ministry official Dr. Moawiya Hassanain.

Of those, 257 were children, according to the U.N.’s top humanitarian official, John Holmes, citing Health Ministry figures that he called credible and deeply disturbing.

“We are talking about urban war,” said Abdel-Rahman Ghandour, the Jordan-based spokesman for UNICEF in the Middle East and North Africa. “The density of the population is so high, it’s bound to hurt children… This is a unique conflict, where there is nowhere to go.”

Successive generations of Gaza children have grown up with violence, part of the accelerating conflict with Israel. In the late 1980s, many threw stones at Israeli soldiers in a revolt against occupation. In the second uprising, starting in 2000, some were recruited by Hamas as suicide bombers.

Sarraj, the psychologist, said he fears for this generation: Having experienced trauma and their parents’ helplessness, they may be more vulnerable to recruitment by militants….

If Israel truly wanted to stop slaughtering Palestinian children — then Israel would stop slaughtering Palestinian children.

Israel, by slaughtering scores of innocent Palestinians, seems to want to guarantee itself a constant supply of future Palestinian “terrorists” — so that Israel can maintain its perpetual “victim” status.

It’s  long past time for the rest of the world to hold Israel — and its long-time partner in war crimes and crimes against humanity, the United States — to account. It’s not “terrorism” only when an Arab or a Muslim kills someone.

In this Monday, Jan. 5, 2009 file photo, Palestinians carry ...

Associated Press photo

Palestinians on Monday bury three of their children slaughtered by Israel, the perpectual “victim.”

“For the last eight years, President Bush has led our country with firm determination and a steady hand in the face of numerous challenges and crises. He restored honor and integrity to the White House and protected America from another terrorist attack.”

That’s how Repugnican National Committee chair Mike Duncan began a fundraising e-mail sent out today that stupidly redundantly was titled “Grateful Gratitude to Our President.” (Yes, I’m on the enemy’s e-mail list.)

How will history regard the job that George W. Bush has done over the past eight years?

Bush and the Bushies claim that one day history will vindicate the second Bush administration (yeah, right), but today, Americans are pretty fucking happy to see Bush II go.

A recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll showed that only 31 percent of Americans would rate Bush’s eight-year job performance as “good” or “very good,” while 40 percent would call it “poor” or “very poor” — with an additional 28 percent calling Bush the worst. president. ever. (Yes, that’s a full 68 percent who rate the second Bush administration as somewhere between “poor” and the worst administration ever.)

The number calling George W. Bush the best president ever? Um, fewer than 1 percent…

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Who is the bigger asshole:

Disgraced Illinois Gov. Rod “U.$. $enate $eat for $ale” Blahblahblahblah for having appointed a replacement for Barack Obama in the U.S. Senate — when he had been informed that anyone he’d appoint would be rejected — or former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris, Blahblahblahblah’s appointee, who is in Washington, D.C., demanding that he be seated as a bona fide U.S. senator for Illinois?

To make it worse, Burris, although he denies it, appears to be playing the race card: You’re going to deny a U.S. Senate seat to a man who would be the only black man in the U.S. Senate, now that Obama is movin’ on up to the White House?

Um, under these circumstances, yes. Hell fucking yes.

Burris should put his race card back in his bag of tricks and go back the fuck home.

It’s bad enough that Blahblahblahblah has made it all about his baby-boomer self and has cast a pall over incoming President Barack Obama’s infant presidency. Now Burris has to compound an already shitty situation by threatening to even sue to be seated in the U.S. Senate.

Burris states — probably correctly — that as Blahblahblahblah remains Illinois’ governor (because he won’t fucking resign like a decent person would and he hasn’t yet been removed from office), Blahblahblahblah’s appointment of him to the U.S. Senate is perfectly legal. However, my understanding is that the Senate also legally may refuse to seat Burris or any other senator whom the Senate deems unsuitable for office.

And Burris is unsuitable because he is the fruit of the poisoned tree.

If he truly doesn’t understand this, then he is too incompetent to be a U.S. senator, and if he understands this but doesn’t give a shit because he just wants to be a U.S. senator, then his character is too lacking to be a U.S. senator.

Burris needs to step the fuck aside so that the people of Illinois can be represented by someone who isn’t tainted by the incredibly corrupt Gov. Blahblahblahblah.

Illinois Senate appointee Roland Burris during a new conference ...

Associated Press photo

If Roland Burris wants to be a U.S. senator so badly, he should become so the old-fashioned way: by winning an election — not by being appointed by a crook. Burris claims that he isn’t playing the race card: “I have never in my life, in all my years of being elected to office, thought anything about race,” he has proclaimed. If that is true (and it isn’t), then he would be the very first black politician in the history of the United States of America who has never thought anything about race…

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