Tag Archives: senate

Blagojevich Bounced

Former Governor Rod Blagojevich
Former Governor Rod Blagojevich

The drama concerning Rod Blagojevich is almost over.  Blagojevich has been impeached and removed from office.  A new governor has been sworn in, and Blagojevich will never hold public office in Illinois again.  The only thing that remains now is the criminal case against the now former Governor of Illinois.  Although this was a little delayed for some people, most figured it was inevitable when the allegations of Blagojevich trying to sell Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat first surfaced.

On Thursday, the Illinois Senate voted 59-0 after the state House of Representatives impeached him earlier in the month on charges of abuse of power and attempts to sell the gubernatorial appointment of the Senate seat.

The case provided news organizations across the world with multiple headlines as there were several twist and turns leading up to this point.  Rod Blagojevich was first arrested on December 9 on the charges of conspiracy and bribery.  What took many by surprise was the “pay-to-play” scheme he was accused of by allegedly attempting to sell a Senate seat that he was to appoint.  And then there was the phone call recordings of Blagojevich, many too obscene for the public ear, where he was apparently caught red-handed and heard trying to receive payments and goods for the seat.

Once the impeachment trial began, Rod Blagojevich elected not to attend the hearing because he felt they were unjust.  He instead decided to use his time appealing to another court, the court of public opinion.  Blagojevich spent a couple of days when the trial first began in New York City making several appearances in the media, giving his side of the story, still proclaiming his innocence.  Around this time, his own attorney also withdrew himself from the case and Blagojevich. 

Not for nothin’ let’s all remember that impeachment is just a political procedure, not a criminal one.  Technically Blagojevich is still innocent until proven guilty in the eyes of law.  Although it certainly doesn’t look good, he could still be a pardon from the new president, who just happens to be be from Chicago.  But, good luck with that one too.

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Stimulus…Stimulating?

President Obama speacts with business leaders
President Obama speaks with business leaders

Here it is in late January and we have a Stimulus Plan that’s in the works…almost like clockwork for that matter.  If you can remember around this time last year is when the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate were kicking around the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008.  The primary intentions of the president and the administration was to prevent recession and any further economic disaster.  Well, we’re were in a recession then and we still are in a recession and now a new president will take his shot at doing it. 

Late Wednesday the House of Representatives passed President Barack Obama’s $819 billion plant to help stimulate the economy.  This version of it, spearheaded by Democrats, only saw opposition by 12 members of the party, while all Republicans voted against it.  That isn’t the exact sign of bipartisanship that President Obama wanted to see as the plan heads to the Senate. 

But the thing that’s holding up many on the Republican side of the aisle, is they are saying that the bill has too much spending and not enough tax cuts.  While that does sound like your typical GOP line, this package is the largest spending that Congress has ever pushed through.  They were able to cut down the original price from $825 billion to $819 billion, but it’s still quite a hefty undertaking.

In his first major hurdle of his presidency, Barack Obama addressed the passage in speech.  He said he met with business leaders and the plan seems to be in favor of a few economist.   If things work out President Obama could be signing this into law by President’s Day.  But then again, between the tax cuts and the other domestic investments by the government, someone’s not going to get their way, so we could probably expect it to be dragged on a bit and modified.

Not for nothin’, but at this rate it looks like we’re doing one of these Stimulus Plans a year.  If things don’t get any better, who knows what kind of goodies await us in next years plan. 

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