- Here at home, with the decline and fall of a rising GOP power, now-former State Speaker Ray "Quid Pro" Sansom. Who started off his Speakership with a brand-new part-time job that was never advertised and paid $110k per for a small college that just happened to receive $35 million in state money in the previous budget thanks to Sansom. Who had a private meeting with that school's trustees, only for it later revealed to have violated the state's Sunshine laws requiring such meetings be public, and also revealed that no notes were taken during said meeting with a comical attempt after-the-fact of someone writing up notes for said meeting. Who had a hand in getting a $6 million training air field facility for that school set up in the exact size shape and color that a business buddy of Sansom's wanted for years at that locale. Sansom tried to weasel his way out of the growing scandals by "recusing himself" from Speakership duties, but it was only temporary and it was clearly obvious that he was hoping for the dust to settle before reclaiming the Speakership while no one was noticing. His own party had to force the issue and ousted him from the top spot, although he's still a sitting Representative awaiting the pending criminal investigations. Maybe he and Blagojevich can work the casino town in Missouri as a comedy duo, you know like Abbott and Costello, only dumber.
- Back in DC, where former Senate leader Tom "Taxes? What Taxes" Daschle was forced to drop from his nomination for Health and Human Services Secretary cabinet spot. It had a lot to do with the fact he had, after his fall from the Senate office in 2002, gotten a cushy job with a limo driver from a friend or twelve. The job and driver actually weren't the problem: Daschle's failure to realize he still has to pay taxes on them to teh IRS was, and the $146k bill that hadn't been paid until this January was the kind of thing that p-sses off a lot of the middle and lower class Americans out there. While I don't want to stand with the crowd of Republicans who are crowing over this example of Obama Fail (And It Only Took Two Weeks is the new label on Balloon Juice), I still side with Jon Stewart on this: PAY YOUR F-CKING TAXES!
- And now, with the CEOs of the various banks, investment firms, and other financial institutions who all had driven their corporations into bankruptcy, and had and are still coming to the government with their hands out like street beggars. Obama's made it clear that from now on, CEOs looking to the taxpayers to bail them out of their own stupidity and greed will have to take a massive pay cut and work for $500k a year without additional benefits. And with this, I definitely stand with Obama: "We all need to take responsibility...And this includes executives at major financial firms who turned to the American people, hat in hand, when they were in trouble, even as they paid themselves their customary lavish bonuses. As I said last week, that's the height of irresponsibility. That's shameful. And that's exactly the kind of disregard for the costs and consequences of their actions that brought about this crisis: a culture of narrow self-interest and short-term gain at the expense of everything else." I was never a fan of golden parachutes, even when they came at the expense of companies being driven into the ground by fast-buck con artists posing as genius CEOs.