From reading it, it's clear that Joseph Andrew Stack subscribed to a series of conspiracy theories that filled his head with anti-capitalist, anti-corporate, anti-Bush rage. He quotes Marx, bemoans the failure of ObamaCare, and blames the string of failures that marked the last twenty years of his life on Ronald Reagan's tax cuts. Far from being "anti-tax", his real problem appears to have been that he didn't feel others were paying enough in taxes, that, in his view, "the poor" "die" for "the mistakes" of "the wealthy". 95% of his ode to class warfare would hardly seem out of place as a "Special Comment" by Keith Olbermann, and much of it is fundamentally identical to what you see on the signs of ski-masked anarchists setting fires at G8 meetings. It's like some awful tribute to Operation: Mindcrime.
Seven years of power The corporation claw The rich control the government, the media the law To make some kind of difference Then everyone must know Eradicate the fascists, revolution will grow
The system we learn says we're equal under law But the streets are reality, the weak and poor will fall
To the left, all of this somehow means that he was obviously a right-wing extremist, and that conservatives and libertarians are to blame for his crimes.
Just like the 9/11 terrorists, he had no regard to innocent lives either in that building or on the ground. He is no different, he is no hero, and he was incited to do what he did, because of the Limbaughs, Becks and Hannitys who day after day only play on people's misery and fears because of their own personal agenda. They need to be forced to own up to this.
We've grown to expect those antics from the dementia patients at DailyKos and Oliver Willis, but much more deeply alarming is the speed with which the mainstream media ran with the idea that simply because he tried to kill people over taxes, he's obviously somehow tied to the Tea Party movement, even if it's impossible to articulate how:
Toward the end of what appears to be his final note, Stack wrote, 'Well, Mr. Big Brother IRS man, let's try something different; take my pound of flesh and sleep well.' (See the making of the Tea Party movement.)
There's no information yet on whether he was involved in any anti-government groups or whether he was a lone wolf. But after reading his 34-paragraph screed, I am struck by how his alienation is similar to that we're hearing from the extreme elements of the Tea Party movement.
It just is, right?
While I'm not the biggest fan of how the Tea Party movement playing out, to see "serious journalists" so eager to go this far, some of them obviously smirking at their keyboards as they try to "carefully" imply the Tea Party movement's guilt by association not merely in the promulgation of policies which the press is biased against but in murderous terrorism is disturbing, particularly since it that flies in the face of the known facts. It runs with the radical left's fetishistic belief that those who disagree with their views aren't merely people who honestly believe differently than they do, but people who are evil, Timothy McVeighs in waiting, or as reprehensible Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson has claimed, people who actually want Americans to die.
It's a baseless blood libel, and while political partisans say regrettable things, people of conscience have a reason to be outraged when they see it creeping it into the news content of their daily newspaper.
Update: Jonathan Capehart, the author of the offending Washington Post blog excerpt above, has since clarified his intentions, but still seems to miss the point. It's obvious to everyone that he was "careful" in choosing his words, and that he selected the excerpts that supported his point. That's why people are disgusted. Complaining that he was "careful" to choose words that don't technically call everyone on the right a terrorist is asinine. He should've known better than to think it wouldn't cause significant offense, particularly when he was, by his own admission, ignoring the excerpts that undermine his point.
Last month, the New York Times finally caught on to the idea that mortgage relief, long billed as a noble effort to help people hang on to their homes, may have actually made things much worse, duping struggling families into wasting more money on assets that were doomed from the day they signed the mortgage.
As a result, desperate homeowners have sent payments to banks in often-futile efforts to keep their homes, which some see as wasting dollars they could have saved in preparation for moving to cheaper rental residences. Some borrowers have seen their credit tarnished while falsely assuming that loan modifications involved no negative reports to credit agencies.
Some experts argue the program has impeded economic recovery by delaying a wrenching yet cleansing process through which borrowers give up unaffordable homes and banks fully reckon with their disastrous bets on real estate, enabling money to flow more freely through the financial system.
Mr. Katari contends that banks have been using temporary loan modifications under the Obama plan as justification to avoid an honest accounting of the mortgage losses still on their books. Only after banks are forced to acknowledge losses and the real estate market absorbs a now pent-up surge of foreclosed properties will housing prices drop to levels at which enough Americans can afford to buy, he argues.
"Then the carpenters can go back to work," Mr. Katari said. "The roofers can go back to work, and we start building housing again. If this drips out over the next few years, that whole sector of the economy isn’t going to recover."
Elkhart also symbolizes the failure of federal efforts to turn around the housing slump at the heart of the economic crisis. Housing in this community has become almost entirely dependent on a string of federal support programs, which are nonetheless failing to prevent a fall in prices and a rise in mortgage delinquencies.
More than one in 10 mortgage holders in Elkhart is seriously behind on payments. The median sales price has plunged to the level of a decade ago. Many homeowners owe more than their home is worth, freezing them in place for years. Foreclosures recently hit a record.
To the extent that the real estate market is functioning at all, people here say, it is doing so only because of the emergency programs, which have pushed down interest rates on mortgages and offered buyers a substantial tax credit.
Equally important is an expanded mortgage insurance program run by the Federal Housing Administration, which encourages private lenders to accept borrowers with small down payments. The government takes the risk of default.
A few years ago, only one in 10 buyers in Elkhart used the housing agency program. Now about half do. Across the country, the agency has greatly expanded its reach so that it now insures six million mortgages.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: politicians talking about how to "fix" the housing market are defrauding Americans. The crash was the fix, and these efforts are only desperate fights to pump some air back in to the bubble, prolonging the agony and racking up more public debt that we have no foreseeable means to pay back.
The terror of the moment, however, is what will happen when this temporary aid ends:
The first step could happen as early as next month, when the Federal Reserve has said it will end its trillion-dollar program to buy up mortgage securities. That program has driven mortgage interest rates to lows not seen since the 1950s.
Yet it is uncertain whether the government can really pull back without sending housing markets into another tailspin. "A rise in rates would kill us all by itself," Ms. Swartley said.
The Obama administration has offered few ideas about reforming the housing market. Proposals for the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage holding companies taken over by the government at the height of the crisis, were supposed to be introduced with the president’s budget this month. They were not.
One thing they have been successful at, though, is getting a few people into more homes that they can't afford:
Heather Stevens, a 23-year-old nurse here, is closing on a three-bedroom house this week. Since her loan was insured by the Federal Housing Administration, she had to put down only 3.5 percent of the $74,900 purchase price.
Stevens had to come up with only the $2,600 down payment, which still took all her savings. But the best part is the $7,500 tax credit. She will use that to remodel the kitchen. "If it wasn't for the credit, we would have waited to buy," said Ms. Stevens, who is getting married this year.
Since she's just wiped out her savings, she might want to think about putting that in the bank, because there's a good chance that when these programs end, her new home's value will resume its downward spiral.
Ball State's study of part-time workers monitored by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that the wage increases prompted companies to cut back on hiring, said CBER director Michael Hicks.
"Instead of hiring a dozen teens to work a popular summer restaurant or theme park, a company would hire six or less," Hicks said. "Instead of filling positions that required no skills, companies were making do with what they had. In the long run, this hurt young, unskilled workers."
Nationally, the minimum wage increased from $5.15 an hour in 2007.
Hicks said that creating lower minimum wages for students and new hires could help preserve jobs. He also noted that a "tenure-scaled" minimum wage might prompt employers to hire unskilled workers at lower wages.
This is hardly the first study to reach that conclusion, and it's remarkable to me that some people can so casually and uncritically believe that raising the cost of unskilled, inexperienced labor does not reduce the demand for it. However, that's precisely the argument that many minimum wage advocates make, treating it as if it were some sort of free lunch for the poor, often citing the controversial work of economists David Card and Alan Krueger.
Even accepting the premise that it doesn't increase net unemployment, it ignores the elephant in the room, which is that with the pay artificially inflated, the jobs become attractive to stronger candidates who may not have been willing to consider them before, but are quite likely hired over the less qualified. Minimum wage laws, then, still fail to effectively transfer opportunity and wealth to the poor, instead transferring unemployment to the poor and denying them important opportunities to acquire skills and work experience, in turn denying them one of the best routes out of poverty.
Even assuming little or no negative impact on total employment, however, seems generous, and that's precisely what the new study addresses. Anecdotally, in the aftermath of Rod Blagojevich's 2005 minimum wage increase in Illinois, newspapers reported that food service workers immediately saw reduced hours and consumers saw increased prices. In fact, my favorite local pizzeria actually went out of business entirely as a result. Somehow, I find it preposterous to hold that this created an increase in consumption sufficient to create alternative jobs for those who lost theirs, and that's what makes arguments like those put forward by Paul Krugman so frustrating:
Here's how the fallacy works: if some subset of the work force accepts lower wages, it can gain jobs. If workers in the widget industry take a pay cut, this will lead to lower prices of widgets relative to other things, so people will buy more widgets, hence more employment.
But if everyone takes a pay cut, that logic no longer applies. The only way a general cut in wages can increase employment is if it leads people to buy more across the board. And why should it do that?
It wouldn't. It's also a perfectly dishonest question to ask, because nobody's talking about a "general cut in wages". The "subset" is the critical issue, the concern being the wage of those who might otherwise not have a job at all and be unable to consume anything other than what they can buy with entitlements taken from everyone else's wages. For them, an increased minimum wage really provides nothing, since a ten percent raise for someone whose income is zero is, well, still zero.
The price floor created by the minimum wage is largely harmless (also, largely pointless) when it's trailing the natural market price for that type of labor, but the study raises questions about whether or not Congress has started to push it too far, doing real damage to the working poor and to the economy.
February 4th: Illinois Democrats learn that Scott Lee Cohen, their nominee for Lieutenant Governor, liked to cheat on his taxes, once got himself arrested for holding a knife to the throat of his prostitute girlfriend, and was being sued for tens of thousands of dollars of back child support. It's not like he can claim he didn't have the money, since he'd just blown millions of his own money on his primary race.
"I have no intention of stepping down or stepping aside. When the facts come to light, after my ex-wife and ex-girlfriend speak, the people of Illinois can decide, and I will listen to them directly," said Cohen. "I tried to tell everyone about this early on."
February 4th: Turns out, Cohen really did try to tell everyone, especially Chicago Sun-Times reporter Mark Brown. It's just that nobody cared.
Let the record reflect that on the very day last March that Scott Lee Cohen announced his campaign for lieutenant governor of Illinois, he voluntarily disclosed he had once been arrested in what he described as a domestic battery case involving a live-in girlfriend.
The problem for Cohen was that he made his announcement to me, and I wasn't taking him very seriously.
How was I to know way back then that the Democratic voters of Illinois would be so dumb as to elect him, brainwashed by millions of dollars in advertising about his job fairs?
Given their prior track record, I don't know why Brown would expect anything else. Still, the audacity to blame voters for not knowing what he refused to report? Impressive.
February 4th: Cohen's ex-wife, Debra, who looks alarmingly like the current wife of "Dog" the Bounty Hunter, speaks, arguing that he's not really a bad guy: he only tried to rape her because of all the illegal steroids he was taking at the time. (This may not have been especially helpful, but maybe that was the script she had to read to finally get him to cough up the child support.)
February 5th: Cohen, apparently using the word differently than we do, declares that he is "not an embarrassment" to the Democratic Party.
February 7th: What may be the shortest-lived editorial in Chicago Tribune history, "Don't Forget, He Won", attempting to defend Cohen against the threats and intimidation drifting out of the Democratic Party machine, appears on the Tribune's website, then, purged, disappears down the memory hole.
February 7th: Cohen's ex-girlfriend decides it's time to help.
The ex-girlfriend who accused Democratic Lt. Governor nominee Scott Lee Cohen of threatening her with a knife said Saturday she "does not believe he is fit to hold any public office.''
February 7th: Cohen waits until the middle of the Super Bowl to quietly step aside.
Even for Chicago, known for weird political moments, Cohen's departure was odd. Cohen, who departed the race after it became public that he had once held a knife a prostitute ex-girlfriend's throat and had a history of using steroids, held a press conference. During Super Bowl halftime. In a bar. At a table. With his emotional son crying into his father's chest.
February 8th: The Chicago Tribune's Eric Zorn:
Maybe you didn't feel bad for Scott Lee Cohen on Sunday night when you saw him biting his lip and blubbering through his announcement that he was withdrawing as the Democratic Party's candidate for lieutenant governor.
He's not a sympathetic character in many ways. His past contains a greater than average number of unsavory episodes and allegations, and it was vain and foolish of him to invest more than $2 million of his own money imagining he could carry all that baggage across the finish line in November for a high state office.
Still. I felt a pang for the guy.
Frankly, I doubt that he's any less savory than anyone Michael Madigan will now appoint to the ticket. That person will just have made sure that none of it is in writing in a courthouse somewhere, awaiting a FOIA request from the Tribune.
If it hadn't been for Blair Hull's problems with cocaine and spousal abuse coming out before the primary, Barack Obama would've no doubt lost the Senate nomination, and if Jack Ryan's divorce allegations hadn't been held until after, it's probable Obama would've lost the race to the Republican, and remained in the shadows of American politics forever. Cohen might very well have been a relative paragon of public decency compared to some of the people that might be under consideration now, and it's interesting to wonder how different the race might already look had people taken notice of his arrest record just a few days earlier.
Audi, For One, Welcomes Our Environmentalist Overlords
11:22 am, 2/8/10
For the first 40 seconds of this Audi Super Bowl ad, I was amused at what appeared to be cruel satire of the Green movement.
Then, upon learning what the ad was for, and that it was apparently meant to be pro-Green, I found myself thoroughly confused: did the advertising team at Venables Bell & Partners really think that dystopian images of an environmentalist police state are the best way to get everybody excited about improving their gas mileage? The message here, it seems, is that Audi is approved by some sort of environmentalist fedayeen with which we should eagerly comply, for fear of being dragged from our homes in the night.
Hah! Hah. Hah?
If that's supposed to make "being green feel so right", it's only in the sense that North Koreans must "feel so right" when they avoid the forced labor camps. The ad isn't just tonedeaf and creepy, it's so misguided that even the New York Times says it "puts the 'mental' in 'environmental'". No matter how many bonus points they may get for finding a way to make Cheap Trick vaguely terrifying, when even the NYT is mocking you for taking environmentalist agitprop too far, you've clearly crossed some sort of line.
When Will Ferrell did it, it was obvious parody, but Audi's ad is apparently meant to be taken somewhat seriously:
Every day consumers around the globe are faced with a myriad of decisions in their quest to become more environmentally responsible citizens....Now consumers have help, from the Green Police.
As part of the lead up to their third consecutive Super Bowl ad, Audi has created a fictional Green Police unit that are caricatures of today's "green movement". The Green Police are a humorous group of individuals that have joined forces in an effort to collectively help guide consumers to make the right decision when it comes to the environment. They're not here to judge, merely to guide these decisions.
Hopefully, the judge is still the one who will be there to judge, since everyone who rejects the "humorous...guidance" and decides "incorrectly" is promptly handcuffed and arrested, including the actual police. Sadly, one has to assume that the "Green Police" can't risk a proper trial given the overwhelming likelihood of jury nullification of these stupid "offenses", so maybe it's more of a Judge Dredd scenario, culminating in summary executions.
Audi continues the mighty struggle to explain this campaign:
Coincidentally, there are numerous real Green Police units globally that are furthering green practices and environmental issues.
Given the introduction we've just had to the concept, learning that it's really happening should make everybody feel better, right?
The green police are simply here to help provide answers to the tough environmental decisions we're faced with daily.
Their answers are just as tough as the decisions, slamming peoples' heads into counters and stuffing them into the back of electric squad cars, but don't worry! They're here to "help".
Update: Equally clueless, Grist writer David Roberts is still struggling to decode the message:
The thrill at the end, when they guy gets to accelerate away from the crowd, turns on satisfying the green police -- not rejecting or circumventing them, but satisfying their strict standards. The authority of the green police is taken for granted, never questioned. If you're looking to appeal to mooks who think the green police are full of it and have no authority, moral or otherwise, why would you make a commercial like that? Why offer escape from a moral dilemma your audience doesn't acknowledge exists?
The ad only makes sense if it's aimed at people who acknowledge the moral authority of the green police -- people who may find those obligations tiresome and constraining on occasion, who only fitfully meet them, who may be annoyed by sticklers and naggers, but who recognize that living more sustainably is in fact the moral thing to do.
Roberts, fulfilling the stereotype of the envirocultis, is apparently unaware that normal people can believe that a choice is morally right but simultaneously recognize that the idea of turning the force of the law on those who simply disagree can be offensive and evil. Who cares about their "moral authority"?
"I don't know if Audi's Super Bowl commercial, featuring a draconian and ruthless "Green Police" jailing citizens for making any choice that wasn't green, will sell a lot of cars. But I'll bet it sells a lot of copies of Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg."
Plenty of people have made the joke about playing Carly Fiorina's surreal "Demon Sheep" ad to the music of Pink Floyd to see what would happen, but I don't think anybody thought that it would actually kind of work:
Do not watch this while high. I am pretty sure that you will freak. Completely. Out.
Given that the song, "Sheep", does seem to stay in time so perfectly, I have to assume that Fiorina's people really did put an awful lot of thought and effort into this, specifically intending the Pink Floyd angle, which makes it that much more unfortunate. This really did happen on purpose.
RedState calls the ad an "own goal of the first magnitude".
A tragic and avoidable self-beclowning...The key message to this ad is:
1. Don't use PCP and make political ads.
2. Gee I didn't see a message.
3. The Fiorina campaign is run by a bunch of tools.
4. Tom Campbell is more likely to spend your money than Fiorina.
I think Carly Fiorina just put out an ad in which she tells voters: "I am the real sheep in this race."
The Fiorina campaign, on the other hand, seems to feel that the world has just failed to grasp their marketing genius:
Critics have suggested that sheep might not be the best metaphor for the ideal sort of Republican - since it typically connotes politicians who march, unthinkingly, in lockstep with their leaders. But [spokesman Julie] Soderlund says the naysayers have it wrong.
"The demon sheep at the end is meant to be a wolf in sheep's clothing," she said. "That's the whole point, that he's trying to pass himself off as a purist on fiscal matters while his record suggests the opposite."
If you have to explain it, it probably isn't working.
“I probably should’ve mentioned this during the primary, but…”
11:51 pm, 2/4/10
Where do they find these people? On Tuesday, Illinois Democrats turned out to choose wealthy pawnbroker Scott Lee Cohen as their candidate for Lieutenant Governor. Sure, organized crime ties are common enough in the pawnshop business, and the nature of the industry might raise some alarm with class-consciousness types, but, somehow, he was their man.
Imagine their surprise, then, to open the newspapers today and learn that Cohen is a former steroid user and tax evader who skipped out on $50,000 in child support and, perhaps trying to really build solid credentials for a future career as a Chicago Democrat, got himself arrested for holding a knife to the throat of his girlfriend, a prostitute.
Hilariously, there appears to be no known mechanism by which Illinois Democrats can force him out. Acting Governor Pat Quinn, who managed to edge out Comptroller Dan Hynes for the nomination by less than a single point, has asked Cohen to step aside, and Cohen has declined, complaining that he doesn't understand what the "whirlwind" is about and that he "tried to tell everyone about this early on."
I guess there was just never a good time, was there?
No, you can not have a free ride home. No, you can't bring the kids.
While accepting their newly-acquired role as "shuttle service" for the Speaker of the House, the Department of Defense is attempting to draw a line in the sand regarding congressional transportation with an updated directive on DoD Support for Travel of Members and Employees of Congress. Some of the language in the newly-released regulation (dated 15 January, 2010 - the first update since 1964) appears to be the direct result of lessons learned in dealing with Nancy Pelosi.
Pelosi's overbearing and demanding expectations regarding military aircraft are well-documented, including in documents released last year by Judicial Watch.
In response to a series of requests for military aircraft, one Defense Department official wrote, "Any chance of politely querying [Pelosi's team] if they really intend to do all of these or are they just picking every weekend?...[T]here's no need to block every weekend 'just in case'..." The email also notes that Pelosi's office had, "a history of canceling many of their past requests."
One DOD official complained about the "hidden costs" associated with the speaker's last minute changes and cancellations. "We have...folks prepping the jets and crews driving in (not a short drive for some), cooking meals and preflighting the jets etc."
The documents also detail correspondence from intermediaries for Speaker Pelosi issuing demands for certain aircraft and expressing outrage when requested military planes were not available. "It is my understanding there are no G5s available for the House during the Memorial Day recess. This is totally unacceptable...The speaker will want to know where the planes are..." wrote Kay King, Director of the House Office of Interparliamentary Affairs.
So, if they freeze the military budget as Pelosi wants, will they still use military aviation as a personal airline & babysitting service?
I'd be happy if they just did away with the open bar.
Given that Jack Murtha apparently had no problem publicly threatening the Department of Defense over initial perceived resistance to Pelosi's demands, I'd be interested to know what, exactly, prompted this clarification of the rules.
If you've been following the news in Europe at all, you've heard about Greece's debt problems and the ensuing crisis it's created for the European Union and, potentially, for the Euro currency itself.
With other weaker European economies in danger of following after Greece and fears growing that stronger European economies might be dragged in with them, Spain wanted to send a message.
Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Spain's prime minister, said in Davos this week: "We are a serious country and we will fulfil our promises."
Their plan for fulfilling those promises was to do the inevitable: rein in their fiscal policy and increase their retirement age, to 67. Predictably, workers are displeased, and it's now unclear whether Spain will be able to follow through. A Fistful of Euros:
Unfortunately, enthusiasm for the new-found seriousness doesn't seem to have lasted long, since this just morning (and only three days after that strong demonstration of will for change) the Spanish press inform us that Elena Salgado - faced with strike threats from the main trade union organisations - is having second thoughts, and is willing to be "flexible", since the proposal for pension reform, was only that, a proposal which is up for negotiation.
It was six years ago that European leaders admitted their dream of unseating the United States as the world's leading economic power was a Quixotic farce, and five years ago that the Central Intelligence Agency predicted that the European Union would collapse by 2020 without massive welfare entitlement reforms.
At every turn, those reforms have been foiled by riot-prone mobs who have no intention of working even a single additional moment to get their state-guaranteed benefits. Now that the short-sightedness is finally coming home to roost, it's going to be interesting to see how it plays out in the short-term, and, in fact, whether the European Union itself will survive the next decade.
Given widespread opposition in many European countries to surrendering their national sovereignty under a European Constitution and the apparent urgency felt by Eurocrats to consolidate their power, I wouldn't bet on it. The Lisbon Treaty, after all, only passed Ireland (the only country where they couldn't suppress a public referendum) after two attempts, and then only through fear and intimidation that cashed in on economic worries.
It was lashing with rain but that wasn't the full reason Paul Callaghan was finding it hard to muster up the enthusiasm to mark his X. "I'm here because I have a vote and, basically, I've been told what to do with it," he said gloomily as he stood outside one of Dublin's polling stations in O'Connell Street on Saturday afternoon. "I've no job and neither has my wife. Every time I turn on the television some politician tells me that only the EU can save this country now. I don't want to do it, I feel disloyal, but today I am voting yes. It isn't how I voted 16 months ago, but I've been left feeling I have no choice....We all have this horrible feeling that we will be made to do this referendum over and over again until we return the answer they want."
Veronica Meehan, who lost her job six months ago and the day before polling had queued outside the city's Marks & Spencer's store along with 699 other hopefuls vying for a part-time Christmas job, said she resented voting yes but felt she had no other choice. "...Part of me feels I have been brainwashed. That unless I vote yes and turn myself into a European the Irish economy will never be in the state to provide people like me with employment.
Siobhan Keenan, who had braved the now torrential rain, stood huddled in a doorway patiently waiting. Her concern, she said, was the loss of the ideal that Ireland has always held dear. "...I am voting yes, but I feel that I have been bullied into it. Ireland has always been proud of its independence. Today we are letting it slip away. Now we will be swamped in a wider Europe."
At some point, something is going to happen that pushes the wrong people over the wrong line, and resentment will probably build rather rapidly. The real question is whether Europeans will blame each other, falling back on traditional animosities, or direct their anger at the institutions of the European Union itself.
The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Rahm Emanuel, Obama's Chief of Staff, was unhappy with left wing Democrats who wanted to steamroll moderate Democrats and pass even more liberals policies than they already were:
"F---ing retarded," Mr. Emanuel scolded the group, according to several participants.
Emanuel, realizing the gravity of this remark, has apologized repeatedly.
Sadly, Illinois Republicans aren't getting Adam Andrzejewski for Governor, but, hilariously, Illinois Democrats are getting Alexi Giannoulias for Senate:
The police sirens are kind of a nice touch.
Giannoulias, interestingly, appears to have had no professional experience whatsoever aside from his work at his family's bank and a brief stint on a Greek basketball team, yet that was no obstacle to getting endorsed by Barack Obama for Illinois State Treasurer. That's apparently how far a few connections can take you in Chicago.
No significant professional achievements, a suspicious background full of shady characters, and a brief and unimpressive career in state government? Hey, it was enough to get Obama his Senate seat. Maybe Giannoulias can aim to run against him in the 2012 primary: he'll be just as qualified.
Founding Bloggers on the apparent local media blackout of Lech Walesa's endorsement of Adam Andrzejewski for Governor of Illinois:
Last week, Nobel Laureate, Presidential Medal of Freedom winner, and former president of Poland, Lech Walesa, traveled to Chicago to endorse a political candidate for governor of Illinois.
Who he endorsed doesn't matter. The fact that he is here endorsing anyone at all should be considered newsworthy.
Unfortunately for Chicago residents, and the Polish community specifically, if you get your news from the city's local television stations, you might not have even known that he was in town, let alone that he attended a Tea Party, and endorsed Adam Andrzejewski for governor.
Don't worry, they're just fringe radicals! Nothing to see here. (Video at the link.)