Saturday, January 03, 2009

Senate shenanigans

It's beginning to look like a New York socialite whose public speaking skills consist of repeatedly saying phrases such as "Um" and "You know" is going to be appointed Senator from that state (over several far more qualified individuals) simply because of who her father was and because, you know, she asked really nicely.

Whatever one thinks of Hillary Clinton (and it's not much around here), at least she faced the voters and ran on her merits, such as they were. It's not her fault that so many doofuses bought her line of baloney and voted for her.

In other Senate news, John Cornyn of Texas is promising to filibuster any attempt to seat Al Franken as Senator from Minnesota until the election results are finalized. Some Demcrats wish to seat Franken "provisionally" until the race is settled. Sorry, them's not the rules. I didn't see those same people clamoring to give the race "provisionally" to Coleman before the shady "finding" of votes began.

You see, this particular race is a carbon copy of the Washington state governor's election in 2004, in which recount after recount was held, (with the counting criteria changing multiple times and additional ballots "miraculously" appearing) until Christine Gregoire finally pulled ahead by a miniscule fraction, after which the counting was immediately halted and she was declared the victor. Coincidentally, the same man, Paul Berendt, is on record as "advising" both campaigns in their recounts. Imagine that?

Here's what should happen in these elections: Run the ballots through the scanner. If there's a recount, run them through again. Ballots that are mismarked because the voter misread the directions and didn't fully fill in the little bubble or scrawled all over the sheet are not hand-counted, because that's not the rules in place on Election Day. Ditto for the people who didn't sign the envelope of their absentee ballot or who otherwise failed to follow other amazingly simple instructions. If you screwed up, your vote doesn't count. No more of this idiotic subjective determining of "voter intent".

Finally, even the Senate Democrats see the folly of seating disgraced and indicted Governor Rod Blagojevich's tainted choice for the seat vacated by Barack Obama. They apparently intend to bar Roland Burris from the Senate floor should he show up on Tuesday and attempt to be seated. Burris has been a major donor and fundraiser to Hot Rod's gubernatorial campaigns as recently as this summer:

"The former Illinois Attorney General gave $4,500 to Blagojevich's campaign fund in the form of personal donations and donations from -- what appear to be -- him and his wife, according to Illinois State records. The most recent donation came on June 27, 2008, when the governor was knee-deep in charges of ethical misconduct." (All emphases mine)

and his consulting firm was awarded contracts worth hundreds of thousands of dollars as a result:

"State records show that Burris & Lebed Consulting, a government-relations, media, and political consultancy firm, was placed on an special 2005 list of 19 Illinois companies to be favored by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) due to minority ownership. Burris’ firm was awarded an IDOT contract valued at $300,000 to recruit firms for construction work, beginning Jan. 1, 2005."

The state can't advertise for contractors themselves?

What we have here is another stand-up Chicago politician who was protecting his fellow machine-mate while simultaneously feathering his own nest. No wonder he was the only one dumb enough to tarnish his name and reputation by accepting a Senate appointment that isn't going to happen from a governor who will soon be in Federal prison.

Ain't politics grand?

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