The Blago thing just looks dirtier and dirtier. But do you remember the sit-in staged by workers at Republic Windows in Illinois? They did it earlier this year; the company had closed when BoA said "no more money." Blagojevich strong-armed BoA, saying he'd take away state business if BoA didn't loan Republic more money. At the time I thought it was an astonishing threat--how dare he interfere in the private sector like that? Apparently, though, interfering is the name of the game for this governor.
It also continues a disturbing trend of government officials telling private companies what to do. Think about what we are seeing at all levels: Fannie and Freddie collapsed under the weight of subprime loans they were ordered to make by Congress; an auto bailout will subject those companies to the oversight of a "car czar;" incentives and threats to locate new plants in locations (less egregious but still). I have another story that I'll tell in a second post about something going on in DH's industry, threatening to put the entire industry out of business. (Where's their bailout?)
But I want to stay on this for a moment...I didn't realize until yesterday that Rahm Emanuel worked at Freddie Mac for a while, riding the gravy train. Who else? Gov. Tom Vilsak has just been named Ag Secretary. He was responsible for taking away local control of hog farms in Iowa, among other things. That has been terrible for the water quality in several communities. He's also tied in tight to Monsanto and ADM...neither party will take on these guys, but it looks like were in for, at the best, more of the same. Both of those companies are also big into food-based biofuels, which are responsible for driving up food prices with no comparable benefit in the fuel department.
Arne Duncan will be Secretary of Education. He's from Chicago, of course, and Bill Ayers has spoken highly of him (yes, I know they've gotten crossways with each other, too). Mostly, that one is that he is from Chicago. Really? Another Chicago guy? We are seeing the unwinding of a dirty, Byzantine political machine and I cannot believe that there are too many clean guys up there.
It occurs to me that if someone from that pool really is clean, as it appears Obama is, then there were other people working very hard to make sure he stayed clean. I wonder what the real story is there. None of this feels very hopey or changey.
I'll try to check on some more cabinet members later. I want to do that other post and also need to make some cookies. Tis the season!