Friday, 30 January 2009

A dishonourable exit for governor of Illinois

The most corrupt politician in the States has left the building. Governor Rod Blagojevich, of the state of Illinois and a former political ally of Barack Obama, was removed from office yesterday.

The Illinois Senate unanimously voted to oust Blagojevich, after he was arrested in December on corruption charges. It is alleged he was trying to sell or trade the Senate seat that became available after Obama was elected president. His phone was tapped and one of his quotes became crucial evidence (see left).

It was an embarrassment for the governor, since no state senator, not even from his own Democratic party, seemed to be willing to reach out to the politician. The state house voted overwhelmingly to continue Illinois politics without the Chicago based Blagojevich. The Senate vote was 59-0.

That voters in Illinois will hear his name ever again, is not very likely. Moments after he was removed from office, the Senate voted, also unanimously, to prevent Blagojevich from ever holding political office in the state again. "I'm obviously sad and disappointed, but not at all surprised, by what the state senate did today," Blagojevich said at night in front of his Chicago home. It was a dramatic performance: he answered reporters' questions, hugged supporters and promised a neighbor's child he'll play basketball with him this summer. "It's something I knew
they would do a long time ago," he said. "The fix was in from the very beginning."

President Obama released a statement late on Thursday saying he welcomed the end of the Blagojevich era. "Today ends a painful episode for Illinois," he said. "For months, the state had been crippled by a crisis of leadership. Now that cloud has lifted, I wish Governor Quinn the best and pledge my full cooperation as he undertakes his new responsibilities."
"Honest and competent governors don't act like Rod Blagojevich," Republican Senator Kirk Dillard said. "Rod Blagojevich needed to be removed from office."

Only a few hours later, workers were seen at the Illinois Capitol Building changing the face of state government, after Governor Pat Quinn was sworn in and replaced Blagojevich. Shortly after the Senate vote, the "welcome" sign with Blagojevich's face on it, at the Capitol’s building, was quickly removed. Then maintenance crews arrived and removed Blagojevich’s gold nameplate.
(,, pictures,, Reuters)

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

The Day has come the Dream came true

Basically what the whole Obama-mania comes down to.. the Day Has Come !

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

'Ah, our little Paki friend Ahmed'

British shadow-king Prince Harry seems to show his real face on a recently published video, shot three years ago. On the website of the British tabloid News of the World he calls a fellow cadet a 'Paki', another one a 'raghead' and he makes fun of his grandmother. It is hard to avoid the impression of a spoiled, shallow prince who was never taught how positively he could use his energy, but instead developed a character which seems to have remarkable similarities with his grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh. It is hard to conclude anything else but what we see: the face of a loser, with a capital L. Watch the full video here:

Martyrs, grenades and rockets

The invasion of the Gaza strip by the Israeli armed forces, as a response to (or resulted in) hundreds of rocket attacks by Hamas, the militant organisation that rules the southern part of 'Palestine', seems to continue. In the meantime, the international community seems devided, the UN secretary general powerless and thousands of people and organisations around the world feel emotionally involved and want their voices heard. They are rising and protesting.

Also right here in London, one of the main junctions in the free world. Pro-Palestine protestors came down to Kensington High Street last Saturday to demonstrate in front of the Israeli Embassy:

A starbucks was completely destroyed and several people were arrested. The images were seen all over the world and more demonstrations in front of the Embassy are announced.

A slightly more civilised (but less effective?) protest took place on Sunday, when supporters of Israel came together at Trafalgar Square

At home with the Bushes

American commentator and satire writer C. Brian Smith dined with (almost) former President Bush and his family in the early years of Junior's presidency. How a close family friend turned into a bitter critic. If you are curious how it is to grab a beer at the Bushes, please read the article on the website of Vanity Fair