22 February 2010

Kwame Kilpatrick Flushed Detoilet

In the least shocking headline since "Roadrunner Escapes Coyote" the Detroit Free Press dropped this one yesterday: "Feds have evidence ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick took bribes."

According to the freep,

A contractor who pleaded guilty in an ongoing corruption probe in Detroit has told investigators that he handed as much as $100,000 in bribes to then-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick in 2002.
That's right, apparently the funds Kilpatrick pilfered from the city weren't quite enough to cover Escalade jaunts to Niagara and gold-studded earrings. The article goes on to explain:
The contractor, Karl Kado of West Bloomfield, . . . told authorities he paid Kwame Kilpatrick in four or five installments of about $20,000 each. Kado, who is awaiting sentencing for paying bribes to protect multimillion-dollar Cobo Center contracts, said he sometimes delivered the money in envelopes to Kilpatrick's office on the 11th floor at city Hall, and sometimes Kilpatrick dropped by Cobo to get the cash.
And the worst part, the Cobo Center's roof still leaks. Note to future Detroit politicians, if you're going to take bribes from contractors at least choose competent ones for the city's sake.

21 February 2010

John Conyers Corruption To Continue?

It looks like one of America's longest serving swindlers is prepared to continue his incumbent corruption. According to The Detroit News, 80-year-old John Conyers is planning to run once again for congress. If elected, it would be his 23rd term to the U.S. House, a record second only to fellow Michiganian Democrat John Dingell -- both evidently hoping to be rewarded once again for delivering the nation's worst economy to their home state.

It would be easy to ignore Conyer's record today in light of his wife, former Detroit City Councilmember Monica Conyers, recently pleading guilty to bribery charges and now sitting in their sweet estate to await sentencing. But let's give John his due since his name makes frequent stops on various "Most Corrupt Politicians" lists.

One can sweep aside some of Conyer's minor misdeeds, like his ridiculous Kangaroo Court, his staff allegedly stealing turkeys from charity and contacting federal agencies to supplement his own financial interests. However, the indictment from The Hill concerning his pattern of consistent ethics violations on the Judiciary Committee reveals a Dickensian level of dirt that should make even loyal supporters cringe at the ballot box. According to the report, Conyers has been involved with . . .

  • Demanding that his congressional aides work on local and state campaigns (for example, his wife's fail state Senate bid).
  • Forcing aides to baby-sit, tutor, and chauffeur his children.
  • Stiffing a catering company.
  • Allowing a staff member to use his office to obtain a fake passport in order to flee to Ghana after being convicted of fraud, making false statements, and government theft.
  • Conducting a private law practice out of his office.
Sadly, the pattern continues today as Conyers continues to rank #1 when it comes to questionable use of time and money.

And now Conyer's is having a go at the Haitians relief effort. Conyers, not please with having the administrator of USAID, Rajiv Singh, in charge of the helping the Haitians wrote a letter to Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, demanding that the Singh be demoted because the group of 12 that he brought to Washington to describe the heroic efforts in Haiti did not contain an African American. I'm not kidding. Conyers wrote:
“I was alarmed and chagrined to learn that none of the approximately dozen staff he brought with him were African American. This is so serious an error in judgment that it warrants his immediate demotion to a subordinate position at AID.”

So this is the 80-year-old "leader" looking for re-election: a corrupt lifelong politician who continues to define worth by the color of one's skin rather than the content of their character. I certainly hope his constituents finally see behind the curtain and pull the lever in a different direction.

CPAC Straw Poll Winner: Ron Paul

In 2008 Ron Paul won the hearts of a small but zealous arm of the Republican Party. At this year's CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) Straw Poll, the Zacchaeus branch took center stage by giving their candidate a meaningless victory. The results:

  • Ron Paul 33%
  • Mitt Romney 22%
  • Sarah Palin 7%
  • Tim Pawlenty 6%

Must have been a blow to Pawlenty who was in attendance while Palin was not.

Naturally the poll is meaningless (I think Barry Goldwater won the 2008 vote) but it does tell us something. Paul is a Libertarian and it is precisely his personal freedom mantra that is resonating with the anti-Obama, anti-big government crowd. And while Paul leaves a lot to be desired in my book, his freedom approach is becoming a road map to victory.

20 February 2010

Mo from Zo: Chris Matthews is the New Obama Girl

Alexander Haig (1924 - 2010)

Rest With God

"Practice rather than preach. Make of your life an affirmation, defined by your ideals, not the negation of others. Dare to the level of your capability then go beyond to a higher level."

"I'm the only American alive or dead who presided unhappily over the removal of a vice president and a president."

"We didn't lose Vietnam. We quit Vietnam."

"If they analyze the situation as thoroughly as they should, Muslims will realize they are the first targets. What are the fundamentalists really after? Simply taking over Islam and then turning its back on modernity."

"Let them march all they want, as long as they continue to pay their taxes."

"Sooner or later something had to give. But President Bush, faced with the unprecedented affront of 9-11, could not wait to take action. So he had to do what we were capable of doing, and he did it brilliantly."

"The warning message we sent the Russians was a calculated ambiguity that would be clearly understood."

"As of now, I am in control here in the White House"

Evgeni Plushenko: Russian National Insecurity On Ice

I hate writing about Olympic figure skating. I mean, if somebody laces blades to their feet they'd better have a hockey stick or an attitude like Apollo Ohno. However, the gold-medal whining from Russian ice dancer (or whatever they're called) Evgeni Plushenko after losing the Olympic gold to an American has me thinking about current Russian culture in generally -- namely, a culture of national insecurity that grows by the day.

Just in case you were watching actual sports, Russian skate spinner Evgeni Plushenko was slap-fight mad after performing a spinning thing that had more spins than his competition, apparently believing that judging performance in this event should be based solely on the number of spins one does. In a Russian show of class (which fortunately cost fewer lives than their invasion of Georgia), Plushenko actually stepped onto the gold medal podium before descending to his rightful place during the award ceremony. Meanwhile, the American winner, Evan Lysacek, remained gracious.

Without doubt Evgeni Plushenko is a spoiled brat who obviously didn't get taken to the wood shedenv enough, but this story also reflects a growing sense of insecurity within the former super power. Russia's national behavior has grown increasing nasty, pointing missiles at Poland, Claiming international oil regions in the Arctic, invading neighbors, re-engaging the space race, etc, etc, etc. They are a proud nation and their ruling elite is beginning to feel the need to ascend to super power status once again -- by any means necessary. The mentality is trickling to their population and reflecting in their representative, like Evgeni Plushenko. It is a trend America must watch.