In the crazy world in which we live, a blog looking to make sense of it all.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

It's Us Against Them

That seems to be the theme with government leaders, both state and federal, nowadays between Republicans and Democrats. And while the Republican side seems to move further and further to the right, the Democrats appear to moving more to the left. This is causing more hostility, little compromise and contempt between the two waring factions. The victims are taxpayers and US citizens. The country and/or state sees little progress and bad legislation.

In an Associated Press story today's Journal Star, a poll suggests that the public is more dissatisfied with Congress than with President George W. Bush. That's not an easy feat to accomplish.

Sometimes, you don't need another political party to pick fights with. In Illinois, the Democratic party is at odds with Gov. Rod Blagojevich. As the current budget impasse continues, Doug Finke reports in today's Journal Star a quote from Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan; "There was no name calling. That's progress!" Good frikin' Grief! It's really a sorry state of affairs when you consider a session without name calling as progress.

This feuding back and forth is a major problem in the country today, in my humble opinion. Aren't we all citizens of the same country; Americans who should stand together. If Congress and our leaders really want to, they can get together and get things accomplished. Case in point - a few years ago, Congress created the Do Not Call list. Once enacted, it was discovered to contain some loopholes. They fixed it very quickly. Why can't our lawmakers do the same with the war in Iraq, health care, education, environment, electric prices in IL, budget; the list goes on. Instead, all they can do is bicker and point the finger of blame to the other party.

From an interview with Gov. Blagojevich reported in Thursday's Journal Star indicated that Blagojevich is pushing Illinois Democrats to "shut Republicans out of the budget process." I'm sorry, but is that anyway to make progress. These Republicans represent other citizens of Illinois. They are taxpayers too and have a right to be heard. All lawmakers should have a voice, regardless of political affiliation. Statements like these just make Blagojevich look more like a unprofessional, hot-headed, partisan politician, not a leader Illinois needs right now.

Common Sense of it All: A legitimate, viable alternative party and/or candidates is really needed to bridge this gap. It seems many years ago, the two different parties could still come to compromise and were able to work together. Anymore, the only thing they can come together on is keeping out third political parties for their own gain and benefit. The people are getting weary of how things are running and would like to see a change for the better.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Worse. Governor. Ever?

What does the state of Illinois have in common with the United States of America? A chief executive that will probably go down in history as the worst.

From reporting featured in the last few days of the Peoria Journal Star, the madness continues in Springfield where our legislators need to develop a budget for the next fiscal year. And a major hurdle to completing one seems to be the Illinois governor, Rod Blagojevich. Earlier this year, Blagojevich pressed for a gross receipts tax on Illinois businesses. It would have been a huge tax increase and a plan no legislator would get next to. This tax increase would be to fund education and universal health care for Illinois citizens. I had always wondered that if this GRT would pass, where would this tax revenue come from as companies would either a) fail, b) experience much less profitability and further sink Illinois’ economy or c) leave the state all together.

Anyway, the House voted the measure down; 107-0. Now Mr. Blagojevich wants to lease the Illinois lottery for $10 billion. Money raised from this scheme would help to retire pension debt. This measure was voted down, 78-6. Blagojevich seems to be getting irked and is now completely hostile with lawmakers, especially with rank-and-file members of the House. And it’s getting to the point of pettiness.

Blagojevich continues to reside in his Chicago bunker instead of Springfield where a Governor should be. Especially at a time like this. Instead, he flies down everyday at almost $6,000 a crack and is paid for by you and me. To add insult to injury, there’s entirely no progress made, so the money spent is a complete waste. Nnot the best way to spend money when the state is mired in red ink and debt.

The governor’s mansion, the House and Senate are all controlled by Democrats. You would think there would be little or no budget impasse. Not so. It’s so bad now that Blagojevich has resorted to name calling in trying to get what he wants in a budget. In the past week, Blagojevich began calling House Leader Madigan a “George Bush Republican.” A spokesman for Madigan brushed it off stating that it was immature on the part of the Governor and that it offers no progress to resolve the budget impasse.

But wait, it gets worse. Now the Governor is hot because of a disagreement over who sets the meeting times for the special sessions he’s called. Blagojevich wanted the House to continue work on the budget yesterday. House leader Madigan called the House into session at 10am, which I think is a quite reasonable time. Blagojevich wanted the House and Senate to convene at 2pm. Angered over this, Blagojevich issued yet another proclamation for another special session to start at 2:30pm. A meeting between the Governor and about 60 lawmakers at the Governor’s mansion festered into a bitch session.

Rank and file lawmakers are also becoming irritated as well, to the point a representative voiced the “i-word” (impeachment). The talk of impeachment, mainly from Republican representative Mike Bost, quieted down as it would only be counterproductive. But you can tell it’s in the back of their minds.

I’ve wondered when the word “impeachment” would surface as Blagojevich has proved to be a terrible Governor. I though we hit bottom with George Ryan, but I guess Rod didn’t want to be outdone. It appears that Blagojevich will not compromise on anything he wants; not even with fellow party members. He also wants to institute massive spending on health care coverage and education, despite the weak financial and fiscal strength of the state. He continues to waste taxpayer money with his flights to and from Chicago; he continues to waste legislators time and patience with name calling and hissy fits over trivial matters and I believe he has lost touch with lawmakers, the people and with reality. A good Governor would facilitate the end of a budget impasse; not create one like Blagojevich has done.

Common Sense of it All: This is a really sad state of affairs coming from our chief executive, especially when he claimed he would “govern as a reformer,” in 2002. It’s time for him to go and Pat Quinn to step up.