How Now, Mau Mau? [Dan Collins; update Blagojevich Arrested]
The union has decided that Bank of America is to blame for the fact that Republic Windows And Doors is going out of business. Accordingly, theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re demanding that BoA lend enough money to Republic to pay out the 60 daysÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ severance and vacation pay to the unionized labor.
When I first heard this story a few days ago, I thought what youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re thinking now: boy, this is stupid. The bank isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t liable for a business failure, and they canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t flush their own money down a rathole, for a large number of very good reasons.
But that wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t the end of the story. Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich said that his State does business with Bank of America thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s worth hundreds of millions of dollars in fees and commissions. And that the State of Illinois would pull their business from Bank of America unless they funded the unionÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s demands.
This is also incredibly stupid. You donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t poke your nose into the dealings of private businesses if no laws were broken. And Blagojevich knows that.
And then it got even more stupid yet. Barack Obama, no less, was asked about the situation in a press conference on Sunday. And he expressed support for the workers. He was quoted in various wire stories to the effect that his plans and programs would need to Ã¢â‚¬Å“get money out the doorÃ¢â‚¬Â and help ordinary people.
Fair enough, Mr. Obama. And I know as well as anyone that the ongoing efforts to stabilize the financial system have been mysteriously unsuccessful at getting banks to start lending again. (Well, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s mysterious to some people, maybe. Not to anyone whoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s ever seen the inside of a bank.)
But the President-elect of the United States has implicitly given his support to an attempt by the State of Illinois to blackmail a private corporation into modifying the way it makes business decisions.
Now this tells you one of two things about Barack Obama: either heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s incredibly unaware of the effect that his words have, now that heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the President-elect. Or, which would be far worse, he actually believes that itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s appropriate for Illinois to strong-arm the Bank of America into flushing its depositorsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ money down a toilet, in order to get an ugly but isolated situation out of the headlines.
The President-elect needs to stand up and clarify which of these two possibilities is the truth.
Be that as it may, I still can’t wait to get my hands on the All-New 2012 Pelosi, the best car Congress can make.
From Pablo, Blagojevich taken into custody:
A source said today that Gov. Rod Blagojevich was taken into federal custody at his North Side home this morning. The U.S. attorney’s office would not confirm the information.
A Blagojevich spokesman said he was unaware of the development. “Haven’t heard anythingÃ‚Â — you are first to call,” Lucio Guerrero said in an e-mail.
The stunning, early morning visit by authorities to the governor’s North Side home came amid revelations that federal investigators had recorded the governor with the cooperation of a longtime confidant and had begun to focus on the possibility that the process of choosing a Senate successor to President-elect Barack Obama could be tainted by pay-to-play politics.
Blagojevich was taken into custody hours after the Tribune reported that the investigation into allegations of pay-to-play politics within his administration had been expanded to include his pending choice of a Senate replacement for Obama. The Democratic governor has said he expects to make a decision on the state’s next senator in weeks.