When we went home to South Dakota for Thanksgiving, we spent time at Carl’s brother’s house. Carl’s niece brought a kitten in from the barn, and it ended up cuddled in my lap. A little while later I swatted at something, and discovered that the kitten had fleas and they were migrating onto my sweatshirt. Carl and I ran outside and got the shirt off of me, and Carl’s sister-in-law put my shirt in the washing machine and cleaned it for me. To paraphrase an old saying, “If you cuddle up with barn kittens you’ll get up with fleas.”
This is a paraphrase that Barack Obama would be wise to consider. I mean, in his past he has had close, friendly dealings with people who are in serious trouble with law enforcement. Rod “Blago” Blagojevich and Tony Rezko are names that are infamous. How is it possible that Mr. Obama can hang around with these guys and not have their sleaze rub off on him, unless he’s clueless and naive, in which case he shouldn’t be president? (Not that I voted for him.) Oh, yeah, and Bill Ayers, too. I mean, Barack’s resume has some real losers in his reference list. And the news media has documented this, and the brave ones actually broadcast it.
But I feel bad for my various relatives who live in Illinois. Mostly I feel for Kathy and Sam, my sister and her husband. Sam used to work for the State of Illinois, and the trickle-down corruption of Illinois politics haunted him during his entire tenure. He retired as soon as he could and now works in the private sector, but the crap they had to endure was overwhelming. Now they’re being oppressed by the Illinois judicial system. They’re basically being forced to deal with a legal matter longer than I think is necessary, and they’re not getting any help from the court. One of the court officers they had to deal with is (in my opinion) a radical man-hating feminist who published a report that was basically a work of fiction. It was so full of bull that they immediately challenged the report in court, which just makes the process linger longer and longer and longer. They have a strong, solid case, but they can’t seem to get it in front of a judge. It’s frustrating, maddening and completely unfair – Kathy and Sam are two of the most decent people you’ll ever meet, and they deserve better. But it all starts at the top. The people who work under the governor see what he gets away with, and if he can so can they. That attitude is passed down throughout the system to the point where if you want a certain job promotion, it’ll cost you “X” amount of dollars. Or, if you want a contract to work for the city, county or state, you have to know whose palms to grease and by how much. Corruption is ubiquitous in Illinois and it’s the citizenry that suffers. I wonder if the “machine” built by Richard Daley in Chicago can ever be completely dismantled. I hope it can be, and if possible I’d love to help. I’m pretty handy with a Sawz-all.
Meanwhile, those of us who are outside of Illinois watch Blago’s unfolding soap opera with increasing disgust. He comes off as narcissitic, arrogant and imperious, and I hope the Federal government throws the book at him and gives him the maximum punishment. And I can’t help but wonder about Barack Obama. I mean, he was in tight with these people. Hopefully he didn’t pick up any of their fleas. I don’t know who we could get to wash his sweatshirt.
I sure ain’t gonna do it!