I oppose Trump’s commutation of Blagojevich sentence

By John Ruberry

“I didn’t cross any lines I didn’t break any laws,” disgraced former Illinois governor told Rod Blagojevich Fox Chicago’s Larry Yellen in his first interview after his 14-year prison sentence was commuted by President Donald Trump.

Blago did both, which is why I oppose Trump’s commutation. I’m also on the other side of the opinions of my conservative friends and relatives here in the Land of Lincoln. Two of them are lawyers who have tried cases in front of now-retired federal judge James Zagel, a Ronald Reagan appointee. One of those attorneys remarked to me that he was “a hardass with a tin ear.” When I pointed out that one of the counts that the Chicago Democrat was convicted was for was attempting to extort a children’s hospital, he conceded, “Yeah, that was a bad one.”

So is trying to sell a US Senate seat to the highest bidder. As is lying to federal agents.

“I will govern as a reformer,” is what Blagojevich declared in his first inaugural address. His idea of reform was replacing the crooks and ward heelers surrounding his predecessor, Republican George H. Ryan, with his own crew of corruption. Blago’s friend and top aide Christopher Kelly was one of them. Shortly before he was to begin his five-year prison sentence, Kelly committed suicide. Two of Blagojevich’s chiefs of staff served time. Tony Rezko, his political fixer and fundraiser, served several years in federal prison. While they may have willingly been on board Blago’s corruption express, the former governor aided in ruining several lives.

Rezko of course was a key fundraiser in the early years of Barack Obama’s political career. The fixer and his wife played a role in the purchase of the Obamas’ Chicago mansion, the transaction has never been completely explained.

“He honestly believes he did nothing wrong,” Yellen told Mike Flannery this weekend about Blago on Flannery Fired Up

On my own blog I explained my opposition to the commutation with one caveat. If Blago spills the beans on what he knows about his political adversary, longtime state House speaker and Democratic Party chairman Michael Madigan, I’ll give Trump’s move a second thought. There is a current federal investigation of Illinois corruption and Boss Madigan’s name keeps coming up. True, whatever Blagojevich knows probably falls outside of the statute of limitations, but it can’t hurt either. Illinois needs to be power-scrubbed and sand-blasted. Illinois needs much more transparency. 

And as I’ve said many times, one way to finally clean up Illinois is to have judges like James Zagel impose maximum sentences on crooked pols and public workers. Fear is a powerful motivator. The 28-year sentence that former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick received–he had his hands in a lot more pots than Blagojevich–is a good example.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Voting Communist and the Right to Be Wrong

As of this writing Bernie Sanders has been declared the winner in Nevada. Most of the state has not yet reported but his lead is apparently big enough that it won’t matter (although the auto-reporting on Hotair.com is suddenly showing Warren with hundreds of thousands of votes that she didn’t have before which is a tad odd to say the least).

Now it’s worth noting that Bernie Sanders is a communist, he’s not only a Communist but a communist who was willing to Honeymoon in the Soviet Union DURING the cold war. To me that’s no different than Honeymooning in Berlin in 1938. He’s never met an enemy of America that he didn’t like and would if elected compete with Barack Obama and Jefferson Davis for the title of American Democrat president who did the most damage to the country.

This is recognized by folks like Chris Matthews who rightly suggest that there will be more than a few Democrats who believe that the re-election of Donald Trump would be better for their party and country than the election of Bernie Sanders.

That the election of a communist would be a horrible thing goes without saying but there is only one thing that would be worse for the country than the Democrat party nominating a communist to head their ticket.

That would be stealing the nomination from said communist if he won it according to the rules.

There are plenty of people who in my opinion have no business being in government. Great examples are Maxine Waters, Ilan Omar, Barbara Lee and frankly Bernie Sanders.

However while I believe this to be the case in a country of 330 you are going to get plenty of people, literally millions of folks with fringe insane believes and furthermore with 435 reps and 50 states you are bound to end up with at least a couple of such districts and even a state or two where enough of such people congregate to allow them to get elected.

While I think this is a bad idea it is the right of these folks to choose their own representatives on the local, state and federal level, that a basic freedom.

So if for example California decides to elect people who allow a city like San Francisco to be infested with feces and needles that’s on them, if the people of California choose to send a legislature to the statehouse that help promote these things while chasing business out of the state, that’s on them. If they vote for a Governor to keep this decline going and then send representatives to DC to help enable these disasters, again that is all on them because they are the people who are going to have to live with it.

It’s the same thing with Bernie.

If enough Democrat voters decide to vote Bernie Sanders to give him the nomination, even with him communist beliefs and sympathies with dictators then they have the right to be stuck with him, and with the consequences of that choice.

And the Democrat party will get the beating they richly deserve.

And if I’m wrong and somehow the voters of this nation take leave of their senses and trade the peace and prosperity and optimism of Donald Trump for Bernie Sanders brand of socialism on the grounds that for the first time in history it will not bring destruction and misery then just as they did when they choose Barack Obama they’ill have the right to be wrong, and will reap the reward of a socialist disaster so bad that generations will pass before we recover from it.

I sincerely doubt that we as a nation are that foolish, but if we are, then we will richly deserve all we get.