J'accuse - Patrick Fitzgerald! You didn't do your job either!

Michael Collins

You remember him, the supposedly squeaky clean U.S. Attorney who was going to get the slackers responsible for outing CIA agent Valerie Plame.  Yeah, that guy.

He's prosecuting the flamboyant former governor of Illinois right now, the still honorable and innocent Rod Blagojevich.  The case is being tried in in the United States District Court in Chicago.  You won't believe the charges:  1) devising and participating in a scheme "to defraud the State of Illinois and the people of the State of Illinois of (his) honest services" and 2) offering a contract  to the Chicago Tribune to dump some editorial writers critical of his administration.

The second charge is a no-brainer.  Corporations buy influence with politicians in a variety of ways.  Politicians deliver the goods and ask for favors in return.  It's customary practice in the corridors of private and public  power.   Fitzgerald might as well indict just about everyone in the 111th Congress if he's  actually serious.  Forget about it Mr. Prosecutor, that's a non starter.

It's the first charge that is of greater interest, denying the people and the government of a honest services by an elected or appointed official.  This is very close to the law used in the Nixon Articles of Impeachment.  It means you got paid but didn't do your job because you were too busy breaking the law.

Guess what?  Fitzgerald himself, the peerless prosecutor, is guilty of those same charges and I can prove it.

Michelle Obama Went to my High School (w/ pics)

originally published 2009-03-14 15:56:39 -0500. bumped by carol.

M. RobinsonI grew up in a working class neighborhood on the far north shore in Chicago in the 1960s and 70s. In those days, Chicago was segregated. Blacks and whites rarely lived in the same neighborhoods and we didn't attend classes together.

Michelle Robinson was several years younger than I. She grew up in a black, middle class neighborhood on the south shore.

More about how I ended up going, in the midst of an era of racial unrest, to Chicago's first voluntarily integrated high school with Michelle Obama (and yearbook photos)  after the jump.

I moved to Chicago in 1968, the year the police murdered Fred Hampton, a young black activist (who had advocated, among other things, for hot lunches for African-American children), and the year of the infamous police riot at the Democratic Convention. I was eight years old and didn't know anybody.  

Veterans of george's War Want a Bailout

The following is a Twofur of Information:

392,000 Pending Appeals to VA for Help

It's not easy to get the runaround when you have a traumatic brain injury from george's war.

Did You Know 200,000 Vets Are Sleeping on the Streets?

America's promise to "Support the Troops" ends the moment they take off the uniform and try to make the transition to civilian life.

Demand O'Reilly apologize to the "non-existent" homeless vets he attacked ?

What's next for Republic Windows & Doors Workers?

What happened at that Chicago manufacturing plant brought back alot of memories of how extremely talented workers fought for what they knew were their rights, decent wages for their labor, on the job safety, trading wages for benefits like health and welfare directly and much much more. Fights that shouldn't have really happened in a real model of capitalism where all should share directly in the quality and growth of their work and the companies they work for.

We need to return to that pride in company and product, quality products and customer service, correcting the defaults, and growth for all, owners, workers, and investors.

words in a shop window

Cross-posted at The National Gadfly

Every morning on my walk to the bus, I pass the windows of a shop called Bazar.  They sell imports, womens' clothing, shoes, etc.  I often look at the dresses on display with an eye for something my wife would like me to surprise her with.  They often have some posters for bands or performances that I assume the owner fancies. 

Open Thread -- Buses and Trains

From last week, yet still strikingly relevant:

Police grapple for clues after a truck careered off the expressway and through a bus shelter under the elevated train tracks. The truck ended up wedged inside a stairwell leading from the station's street-level entrance.

Two people died and at least twenty-one (21) were injured in the incident, which occurred at the Red Line Cermak-Chinatown stop shortly after 5 p.m. in Chinatown, on Friday, April 25th.

This qualifies as yet another type of "transportation cost" in the modern world.