I saw a chain letter today, it makes some good points.  If I were ever elected to a position where people cared what I thought, I would say something like this:

 Iraq didn’t go as planned.  I wasn’t involved in the planning but I am capable of looking at the current situation and admitting that the mission has not been accomplished.  I am not currently sure what the next step is and I understand how educated people could disagree.  What I do know is that congress is tired of paying for the war, so its done. 

There are two types of nations in this world, those that support us (I call these allies and everybody else).  Our friends list is short:  the UK, Spain, Bulgaria, Australia, Poland, and a few others.)  As for the rest of you – no more foreign aid.  The money saved by not paying governments that don’t support us will be used to pay down the debt we ran up to pay for thew war.  Want help dealing with massive domestic problems (inability to feed your people, all out civil war, disease, etc) call somebody else.  If you aren’t willing to stand behind us, we aren’t willing to pay to save you.

The funds of our nation will now be spent to help this nation.  If you believe that we should mortgage our children’s future to play “mother, nurse, and policemen” to the world, do it out of your own private funds and time.  For the Terrorist organizations around the world:  Screw with us an we will hunt you down and eliminate you and all your friends from the face of the earth.  If you want to attack some country, I suggest France.  Giventhat they are on the “everybody else” list, we won’t be standing up for them and they don’t have the stomach to stand up for themselves. 

Our North American neighbors might want to think twice also.  Canada, I didn’t see your support for us previously.  Since it will be pretty hard for us to avoid each other, why don’t you consider not making us angrier for a while.  As for Mexico (another on the not friends list), with this war over, we now have a whole bunch of tanks/aircraft/troops with nothing to do.  Instead of leaving them in the middle east to attrack treats and anger those nations, guess what we are going to do with them?  Yup, boarder security.  A simple order, anybody they ID from less than 100 feet that refuses Spanish and English commands to stop is assumed to have malicious intent.  If you want to come in, do it the old fashion way – by following the law.

 We are goingto drill for oil in Alaska. If you are an environmentalist who has a problem with the fact that a few additional years of oil independence means making some polar bears unhappy, I have a list of places you can feel free to population (flash the list of people that are no longer our friends). 

Isolationism is no longer a bad word, it just means that we are focused on our own welfare. 

This concludes the foreign policy segment of my speech rant.  Someday soon I’ll turn to domestic policy. 

Recently I joined a facebook group called “1 Million strong against Barack Hussein Obama.”  My intention was to join a group opposing the election of a person that I think wants to set the country on the wrong path (and particularly a path that I belive leaves my life worse off). 

Anyway, within hours of joining, I had a handful of people send me messeges basically saying “dude thats shitty.”  At first, my reaction was to investigate the group I joined.  After a five minute look, it seemed to me like the group was just a standard anti-Obama group.  I still largely stand by this judgment.  After a few more messeges, I decided that if people saw this as so incorrect that it was worth complaining about, I should leave, not because I had an issue with what I thought the group stood for (opposing the election of a man that would not make a good president in our judgment) but because I didn’t want people to think my policy a qualification based opposition was motivated in some way by fear or racism.

 Then I got to thinking so more….. what does this reaction say? Is this a sign that our nation is becoming more accepting?  Does this mean that we have moved to a place where voters think its childish to rely on fear and childish posturing to boost/attack a candidate?  Then I read CNN and it appears that isn’t the case, fear and image are still significantly more important than policy and past experience.   Oh well, perhaps eventually.

So why am I writing? Well, first of all, I don’t think that your middle name (or your first name) should matter in any context.  That said, it is fun to play devil’s advocate some, so I’m going to play with this idea with the very clear disclaimer that I DONT THINK SOMEBODY’S NAME SHOULD MATTER IN ELECTING THEM PRESIDENT BUT I DO THINK THAT MANY MANY PEOPLE THAT ARE UPSET OVER THE USE OF HIS MIDDLE NAME ARE BEING SOMEWHAT TWO FACED.

First of all, if you take the stance that I take, which is, names don’t matter, only policies, then you have to take it across the board.  You don’t get to say (well this is America so you CAN say whatever you want, but you don’t get to say without looking like a hypocrit) that some names shouldn’t be the target of attack and others should.  This idea of names mattering isn’t unheard of.  In Germany, certain names that relate to unpleasant parts of the nations past are forbidden.  I can honestly say I would elect any president I thought qualified regardless of their name, but I think a lot of Obama supporters cannot agree.  I would bet a significant majority of supporters would have a hard time election “Adolf Hilter Jones, ” or “Dwayne Jonathan Gasey” (thats a serial killers name written as the full name with the first and middle name switched for those of you that said you did not get the reference) to be our nation’s president.  Its sad but its true.  I offer this example only to say, if you take that view, you have to take it always.  I’m ready to do that, but are you?

Sometimes your name tells us something about you.  How can these two things be true?  How can your name not matter, but also tell us something about you?  Well, your name doesn’t INFLUENCE YOU, but sometimes something that influences you may also influence your name.   Think the difference between asserting a causal relationship (name influences you) in statistics and having two things be counfounded variables together (same thing influencing you and your name).  Here is an example:  Ted Kennedy.  If Ted Kennedy was Ted Jackson, he almost certainly would not be considered the same way.  The last name Kennedy carries a lot of weight in the US, and especially in the Northeast.  Ted Kennedy’s name makes him desireable to some, not because they like or don’t like the sound, but because the name means he has a certain background.  Richard Daley (Chicago Mayor) is a similar example.  Jeb Bush couldn’t run for President and succeed today largely because of his last name.  When names carry a common meaning, they may be an interesting proxy for something.  How does that apply here?  Well, the little truth that nobody seems to want to talk about is that Obama isn’t your typical clear-cut African American Christian.  Obama was raised with a significant Muslim influence in his life (though not always in the form of his father).  I’m not saying his name matters (it doesn’t) but it is interesting that this whole debate ignores the fact that the secondary connection (to Islam and not to any terrible Muslim individual) is a truth about Obama and his life that has remained out of the campaign. 

Should this matter?  In my opinion that’s an open question.  When Romney was running and getting attacked, people were debating what impact his religion should have on the race.  I’m not sure.  I would like to say it shouldn’t matter, but I know if you told me “here is a Scientologist” or “here is somebody that is a Branch Dividian” I would hold it against them, so I’m going to pass on this question.  Either way, it is something that I think matters to some part of the electorate on an educated non-fear based level, and it is interesting that references to it get shunned quickly as “unfair”and “out of place.”

Similarly, the fact that Mr. Obama has a non-traditional middle name is also somewhat related to another truth people seem to never talk about it.  He isn’t our first viable completely black presidential candidate.  He is part African American.  I’m not going to get into the semantics of how you define somebody’s race, but I will say that in terms of his family history, he is as Black as Tiger Woods is Asian.  Thats a fact, not a blind assertion.  Now, if you want to make a sociological argument about how your race and ethinicity are whatever you self-define as, thats fine.  If you want to say that your ethnicity is whatever you were raised most like, then it appears Obama is about as black as I am, but I’m not going there.  All I’m saying is, although a name shouldn’t matter, sometimes names carry with them certain backgrounds and facts that DO matter.

So, how do I put this together?  Why leave the group?  In the end, I saw it as a balancing act.  First, to my friends, the group seemed to overshadow my legitimate policy based issues with the man, so I wanted to distance myself from it.

On another level, there is a balancing yest.  Yes the name provides us with information about his ackground that may be useful, but it is also prejudicial.  I see this as similar to letting certain evidence in during a jury trial.  Yes the evidence has some value in illuminating a certain fact, but if that value is small relative to its prejudicial damange, then it will not be allowed into evidence.  The name carries significant “scare” weight, so I don’t think it should be used.  I still think any group opposing him on policy grounds (as that group appears to have done) should be fair game.

Interestingly, Obama somewhat created this issue on his own.  Obama almost blatantly and openly has campaigned not on policy but on hope and change.  Unlike past elections (especially past Democratic elections) Obama isn’t hoping to get elected by standing for some policies or ideals, he wants you go believe in him, and vote for him, and trust that in doing that, you will create hope and change (though it is unclear what the priorities for that change are beyond the war). 

In conclusion, names don’t make people.  I for one am willing to yell that from the rooftop.  With that said, I also think we need to be more honest with ourselves about the fact that even though names don’t make people, they can certainly stem from factors that do influence people and more importantly, names impact our preceptions of people more than we want to admitt. 

One word.  Policy.  It seems to have been the forgotten topic of this primary season.  Every time Obama talks, its change change change.  Hope hope hope.  So what is this change that he has created such hope about?  To quote a friend of mine, its change in your pocketbook.  What kind of change in your pocketbook?  Well, if you are reading this blog because you want to be a doctor or a biglaw associate, then the change is going to be pretty severe.

 Lets assume that Obama is able to pass two of his three big policy initiatives (and when I say policy initiatives I mean answers when he is pinned down and forced to talk policy) and he rolls back the Bush Tax Cuts while uncapping social security.

What does that mean?  Well, it means taxes for first year lawyers go WAY up.  How far?  If I am a first year associate immediately after graduation (year 2-3 of the Obama presidency) Obama’s plan takes an ADDITIONAL 17-20K out of my pocket each year.  In addition to this, since associate bonuses are generally payed out of a pool of additional bonus funds, a pool that will be significantly reduced by increased firm contributions to social security, that number could get much higher.  How does this work?

Obama will increase the taxes on roughly 35K of a first year associate’s base pay and their entire bnus by 3%.  Next, Obama will uncap social security.  This means an additional 6.5% tax on about 60K a year of base pay, and another 6.5% tax on 15-35K of first year bonus.  Fantastic. 

In addition, my employer has a 6.5% increase on the same checks I am taxed on.  This means, almost certainly, that the amount my taxes are inreased in that way will be decreased from my bonus.  I’m losing on both ends!  Awsome.

 Doctors, you are in pretty much the same boat.

Change Change Change…….  all out of my pocket book.  Awsome.

When I read Kurzman’s post, I was amazed.  My first reaction was “There is no way that statute is constitutional under the Akron decision”.  For those of you that aren’t law geeks, Akron in a case somewhere in the middle of post Roe case law that said mandatory waiting periods are unconstitutional.  After reading the Kurzman summary, I decided to pull the case along with some secondary sources, and I’m more confused.  This is why they call it legal “practice,” its going to take a while before I can put cases together and assert with full confidence what the law is.

In 1985, IL had a statute that said something along the lines of:  If your a minor and you want to get an abortion, you have to tell your parents and wait 24 hours, unless they sign something saying they are ok with it, or you go through another process that demonstrates either the abortion is needed or that you are emancipated for the purposes of that decision.  The court then struck down only the waiting period saying that it didn’t further a legitimate state interest (although forced parental notification, in the eyes of the 7th Circuit did).

Fast forward 10 years to the passage of the rule Kurzman just talked about and the idea of letting parents know 48 hours earlier.  I did a VERY quick search and couldn’t find a single case challenging this ruling.  How can that be?  I’m not suprised its constitutional (I can count to five… Rehnquist, Thomas, Scalia, O’Connor, Kennedy…….) but by the same token, you would think there would be AT LEAST A CHALLENGE that forces the 7th circuit to distinguish between the cases.

Based on a quick 1L read, I’m not sure how a parental notifiction 48 hours earlier by a doctor and a child notification followed by a 24 hour waiting period are at all different.  Either way, you have to “wait” before you can perform the procedure.

And this is why I’m frustrated with the law.  Either the law has drawn a distinction I just don’t see, or the law changed without a case, or there is a case floating around that I haven’t found.  Either way, frustrating.

Law: Two Sides to the Coin

February 8, 2008

I really wanted to make my next post a law school related post.  Unfortunately, I have been skipping class a lot lately and/or not going to firm receptions, so I don’t have much law school stuff to talk about.  What I do have to offer is a discussion about politics (sorry).

As most of you know, today Romney dropped out.  As a supportor of McCain, I’m somewhat happy with that.  As a person capable of logical reasoning, the thing that annoys me is the response to his comments.  I take a massively conservative stance on a lot of things (specifically economic) but I do understand what the other side thinks, and I get that there is logic there (I just disagree with it).  I feel like liberals are the new social-conservative- ignoring that the other side has logic as well and assuming their view is the only view.  Nowhere is this more evident than the response to Romney’s comments about needing to drop out so that he doesn’ lead to someone who wont keep us safe from terror.  The liberals that I know had the same response:  hahahahaha, that nutcase is an idiot, just because we support Hilary/Obama doesn’t mean we are giving in to terror.  News flash, there is a strong case to be made that not continuing the war IS giving in to terror.  You may no agree with it.  I haven’t decided what I think, but here is an argument to be made there.  Every time liberals treakted Romney like he was nuts today, I couldn’t help but think of all the times I listened to liberals complain about how stupid it was that conservatives painted the choice as “support god, or be a liberal.”  That was stupid and I never bought into it, and the way liberals are acting about the war (as if there is a clear answer and all other views are silly) is equally ignorant.  I could handle this about one issue, but I fear it is spreading over.  Already I feel like the same mentality is showing up in various disputes over healthcare.  Kurzman and I are both fairly educated, and we can’t arrive at an ideal healthcare situation so how could any random Joe of the street be able to say “Universal Healthcare is right, anything else is immoral/foolish/illogical”?  They can’t, but since liberals are now in power the way conservatives once were, its ok for them to be ignorant.  Listen, conservatives did it for about 6 years, so in some ways I know I need to get a thicker skin about it and realize that turnabout is fair play, but at the same time, I thought it was silly when we did it, so don’t I still get to think its silly now?

 All I’m saying is that there are very few objectively “right” policy decisions in this current election.  Taxing the rich sounds great, but at the same time, 1% of our population pay 41% of the taxes (thats enough to pay for all of the military budget, al of the non-entitlement programs, and 10% of the entitlement programs like welfare and medicade) at some point you have to say “enough is enough.”  Healthcare for everyone sounds great until you look and realize that 35% of those without healthcare COULD afford it, but have decided that other things (eating out, new TV, etc) are a higher priority, and another 20% of the “uninsured americans” are actually non-citizens. 

The war has positives and negatives that everybody can understand.

Clearly the opposing points to the liberal view on immigration are well documented.

I’m not trying to say that as a conservative I’m right, I’m trying to say that every time a liberal acts like you are a fool for opposing rolling back the Bush tax cuts or opposing universal healthcare or favoring the war you are a fool, they are being just as ignorant as the Conservative in Georgia going “liberal hate god, so I’ll vote democrat.”

Law: Sometimes I worry..

February 5, 2008

Earlier today a friend sent me this article about some people that got a little confused about when to vote.  This whole issue sorta makes you step back and think:  “Wait….. they get one vote…. I get one vote……..  I understand the candidates general positions….. they don’t even know when election day is….. no wonder the founders were afraid of giving too much power to the people!”

Seriously…. these people should be told some made up day to keep them from voting.

I have been trying for weeks to avoid engaging in a political rant about the democratic primaries.  Largely, I tried not to because politics and law are only semi-related.  Additionally, I tried to keep quiet because I’m not going to vote for the winner anyway, so who am I to talk.  Today, I feel the need to rant.  Sorry.

I can’t stand Obama.  What?  Outrage?  How dare a college aged person not love Obama!!  Seriously, I don’t get it.  Everytime I listen to him or read about him I just think “this guy is a less-good, african american version of Jimmy Carter.  As far as I can tell, the appeal can be summed up in three statements:

1.  He is different than other politicians. 

2.  He is the first legit minority candidate (this isn’t big for everybody, but for a segment, its the only thing that matters).

3.  He talks well.

As for reason 1, I think this is silly.  He ASSUMING its true, which I don’t think it is (as I will discuss below).  So What?  Yey, he’s dfferent.  Having a barn yard animal as president would be “different” but that doesn’t mean it would be good.  A president that had never held any political position would be “different” (and not too far off) but it wouldn’t be good.  Heck, electing Roger Clemens would be different, that doesn’t mean it will be good.  DIFFERENT ISN’T A REASON TO BE CITED AS A POSITIVE, EVER.  It doesn’t make sense.   If you mean “different and better” thats fine, be prepared to say why better, in fact, save me time and just say “better” now explain why. 

The second reason…. I’m white, I can’t talk about it or I’m a racist.  I guess its not that different than Baptists voting for Huck or Mormons voting for Mitt, or Veterans preferring candidates with military experience, so I’ll stay quiet about this one. 

The third reason…. this one bugs me too.  So speaks well, interesting.  So?  I know that we are tired of Bush the Younger stumbling through speech after speech, but if we want to make speaks well a key criteria, we are really in a sad place as a nation.  You could have terrible policies and still “speak well.”  Actually, thats exactly what I think about Obama….

Now, the flip side of this rant is the fact that, BILL CLINTON WAS RIGHT.  When Clinton attacked Obama, he was turned ino a villian by CNN, but he was right.  This has been a “fairy tale” and the news is embarassingly “pro Obama.”  My guess is they are afraid to get called racist.  If thats not the case then the there is legit favoritism.  As an example, lets look at an article about Obama’s new found humor available online here.

First Obama complained about the answers other candidates gave to the ultimate softball “Whats your greatest weakness.”  He said:  Now, I didn’t, nobody had clued me in, that ya know, see, if I had gone last I would have said ‘My biggest weakness? I like to help old ladies across the street.” This doesn’t actually bother me.  He has a point here, except, had Hilary said this, it would have been all over the news with the title “Clinton bashes Obama and Edwards.”  Same if Edwards said it, but since chosen child said it, its just “showing humor.”

He continued by saying:  “I didn’t understand the question,” he said, laughing. “But this is what I mean. This is political speak. This is what you learn in Washington from all those years of experience — it’s funny, except its sad, because it means that the American people are constantly having to sort out ‘what do people really mean?’”  I love this part of Obama’s recent speech. Pot Meet Kettle.  Obama, the “great communicator” loves to talk about political speak, and yet, HE USES POLITICAL SPEAK.  The man is a walking talking calculating political machine, just like Clinton.  The only difference is that his program is more user friendly.  If I were voting for the candidate that “tells it like it is” or worries the least about political speak, it would be McCain v. Edwards with Edwards winning.  Seriously, Obama is right, they do do this, but at the same time, so does he, he just sounds nicer when he does it.

Obama took another shot at Clinton in a point that I think generally made sense when he said: 

“She said she voted for it, uh, but she hoped that the bill would die,” he said. “Anybody remember that? Think about that. She voted for it even though she hoped it wouldn’t pass.”

“I’ve been less worried about making political points on these things, but getting them right,” Obama continued. “That’s the kind of leadership that I intend to offer as President of the United States. Somebody who will be straight with you and get it right the first time.

I agree, I think voting for something you hope won’t pass is silly.  Just like I think passing a bill to extend the Patriot acts without the protections he ultimately wanted was silly, yet Obama did this, and when Clinton pointed it out, she was treated as a liar.  Worse yet, at least Clinton voted.  Pull Obama’s voting record from Illinois.  What did MR STRAIGHT TALK MR CHANGE do while he was in the Illinois senate?  He voted “present.”  Not Yes or no.  He didn’t take a stand, he just said he was there, a nice way to avoid an attack for not showing up, but a completely worthless contribution to helping the state.  Unless you believe change happens just by showing it, it appears Obama’s voting record is just like his candidacy….. not offensive in any way (unless you are offended by a politician not taking a stand) but not marked by any noticable accomplishments or stands either. 

Vote for whoever you want, but do it because you are educated about the candidates, not because Obama speaks well or Hilary is a woman, or Romney is a mormon, or Huckabee is a Baptist minister. 

And if you love Obama, good for you, leave me a comment with what about him you love.  Which of his brilliant policies inspires you to believing he is better than Clinton?  What of his super politically accomplished past makes you go “wow he will be a great executive?”

SCHIP

September 23, 2007

So normally I start my titles with the phrase “Law:” and file them under some law title.  Today I don’t feel like doing that because, well, I just don’t think its appropriate. 

 I’m going to talk a little about SCHIP, per Kurzman’s request. 

Before I do this, I was to say I have spent a total of about twenty minutes learning about the program, much less than many (Kurzman included) but more than most of the population I’m guessing (though not this blog’s readership).

 What I find strange about this bill isn’t the threat of veto, its the reasons that are given. 

If you want to veto SCHIP, don’t call it an expansion of socialized medicine or whatever line the President tried, that is no longer a phrase of strength for the Republicans.  Where claiming that Dems once wanted to socialize medicine used to be good for a bump in support for the republican position, it is now seen for what it is, a different way to say nationalized medicare which, although I don’t personally support, has broad support from the voting public.

If you want footing for this veto, point to the other parts that have been left out in much of this reporting, namely that the bill (though mainly funded from a cig tax, which I have no issue with) cuts funding for the elderly somewhat and is largely covering the children of illegal aliens. 

Now, certainly my last statement is begging the question, “is there something wrong with expanding coverage to children of illegal aliens?”  That is another hot button political issue for another time, and one that Bush has thus far not mentioned.  I know Republicans have a mixed record on immigration issues, so I don’t know how much of a factor this is in reality, but I do believe if I walk up to a representative sample of Americans and said, here are two health care plans that increase cigarette taxes to held fund healthcare for children” then presented then with one plan that covers all children below a certain income, and other plan that covers all non-alien children below a certain higher income, most people would pick the second plan (even if it covers significantly less children). 

I think what is really happening is that this is an immigration issue.  A huge chunk of this money is going to the children of illegals.  I want to provide a cite for this, but all I did was read some of the congressional summary notes on the bill, and I don’t have an effetive cite for that, so I will have to leave it to you to look for articles covering the bill in more detail.  That said, we judge politicians on what they say their reasons are.  Bush’s reasons here are weak.

I can see an intelligent argument against this bill (the expanded version), I can actually see an intelligent argument for how this in congresses fault (something along the lines of, Keep the bill the same, dont cover more people including a large portion of illegals and then play chicken with the money) though I don’t think its a persuasive argument, but none of this matters, because it isn’t the reason that Bush is giving.  In fact, the only Rep I could find with the guts to say this on the record was Rep Sali from Idaho’s first district. 

If you think children and children and we should fund them reguardless, then its a good bill.  If you believe politicans should be judged by the reasons they give (as I do) than think W is an idiot, but I do see an intelligent argument against this bill:  Why tax working class (largely lower income working class) Americans to generate money that will be funed in a pretty considerable flow to the children of illegal aliens?  Or, if you like a Cig tax (as I do), why not spend the money on something that will help legal citizens?

Look, I’m a charter member of the “what part of illegal don’t people understand” club, so I have a lot of sympathy for the opposition here, but I think Bush’s reasons are terrible, and I think that the PR war has been won here and this has been framed as a childrens issue and nothing more.  Would I rather see the bill limit the benefits to children of legal citizens?  Yes very much so.  Do I think anything Bush said makes sense as Kurzman said? No.  Would I vote in favor of this bill?  I don’t know. 

Law: Fantasy X

August 13, 2007

This Fantasy League once again proves that I will compete in any type of fantasy league you can create that does not involve NASCAR.

Law: Illinois Politics

August 9, 2007

At the school that I attended for my undergraduate education, all of the incoming freshmen came to school for a four day program before school started.  At this program, we met other students, learned about various aspects of the university, made our freshmen schedules, and had lots of fun.  One of the most random parts of the weekend was a short session about the general education classes at the school.  In this presentation, a college professor told us that the purpose of college was to become a professional, then explained how all of the general education classes helped move us towards being “professionals.” 

 A year later, during a random non Political Science class, a professor told our class that as educated members of society, we had an obligation to make ourselves aware of the world around us and to take an educated position in the political process (basically know what is going on  and act rationally). 

I say all this as an explination for why I will, from time to time, post random political rants on this blog.  This is not a political blog.  Kurzman and I see eye to eye on very few political issues and generally align ourselves at opposite ends of the political spectrum.

With that in mind, here is my rant.

Illinois politics is currently in a state of disrepair.  Actually, this is a completely wrong statement.  Illinois politics is currently in a state of easy repair, however this repair would be unconstitutional.  The current budget and policy problems in Illinois can be summed up in three words:  Governor Rod Blagojevich. 

Gov. Big Lie-a-vich is great case for why the electoral college serves a useful purpose.  Out of the entire state of Illinois, Gov-Rod is really only popular in one area, Chicago proper.  Because this area is so densely populated, Gov-Rod gets elected, despite having done nothing and being on the verge of having federal charges leveled against him.  Currently, Gov-Rod is holding up the budget and royally screwing the state in general over a pie in the sky policy. 

If Chicago is by far the largest and most important city in Illinois, shouldn’t it have the strongest say in state politics you ask?  Why yes, it makes good sense for Chicago to play a vital role in selecting the Governor, however, when an election such as the ones that have put Gov-Rod in power occures, it undermines the rest of the state.  Essentially, since Governor Ryan’s last day in office ended, the city of Chicago has had two mayors, Mayor Daley and Mayor Rod.  Heck, Blago even lives in Chicago as opposed to the state capital!

Get ride of this fool.  I don’t care how.  Kick Blago out of office, let him fall to federal charges, and forget about him forever.  After that is accomplished, lets find a Governor that can bring the state out of debt, figure out how to fix the underfunded state pension, and advance the state as a whole.  Basically, find a clone of former Governor Jim Edgar….  or beg him to take the job again.