Politics: January 2009 Archives

Hacks

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Paterson has appointed Kirsten Gillibrand, a second-term congresswoman from Hudson, near Albany. "Paterson has no comprehension of upstate New York, absolutely none, and has chosen someone better at representing cows than people," Lawrence O'Donnell says. "What you have is the daughter of a lobbyist, instead of the daughter of a former President or the son of a former governor. This is the hack world producing the hack result that the hacks are happy with."

Much of what's wrong with American politics is reflected in that last sentence -- the arrogance, the entitlement, the adulation of pedigree. I don't throw this word around, ever, but a world where "hack" is an antonym of "blue-blood" can only be described as un-American. And it runs through both parties, as you can still find Republicans who think it's a shame that W ruined Jeb and George P's chances.

Though I disagreed with her politics and thought it ludicrous that she was even being considered, Caroline Kennedy seemed a nice enough person and wouldn't have been the worst Senate Democrat. But it's probably best for both parties and the entire country that she fade back into her life of quiet privilege and let her family's political dynasty come to a quiet end.

I will admit, however, my disappointment that we won't have a Democratic Senate majority bolstered by the illegitimate trifecta of Burris, Franken and Kennedy to laugh at for a few years.

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Under Cover

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Pamela Davis, blond suburban mother of three, was told that her bra would be the best place to wear the wire that kick-started a long investigation into Chicago graft and that ultimately caught the governor of Illinois trying to sell Barack Obama's Senate seat. Davis is the president and C.E.O. of Edward Hospital, in Naperville, Illinois. She is proud of the fact that on her twenty-year watch the hospital has grown from a hundred-and-sixty-two-bed community facility to a four-hundred-and-twenty-seven-bed regional medical center that leads the county in babies delivered.

Back in 2003, Davis was trying to get approval for a new medical office building from the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board. A night or two before a hearing was to be held, Davis recalled, something strange happened. A business acquaintance of hers, Nicholas Hurtgen, then a managing director of the Chicago office of Bear Stearns, called her at home and told her that unless she agreed to use a certain contractor she should pull her building request, because it wasn't going to be approved.

She ignored the warning and went off to the board hearing, where she was surprised to find that her request was denied. "I was humiliated," she said. "They were mean. So I walk off, and then a different guy comes up to me and he says, 'We told you to pull your project. Call me.' And right then I decided to call the F.B.I."

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Don't worry, our next president (D-IL and friend of Tony Rezko) says there will be no pork barrel projects in the trillion dollar stimulus package.

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Politics category from January 2009.

Politics: November 2008 is the previous archive.

Politics: February 2009 is the next archive.

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