Thursday, December 17, 2009

Obama Does a Daley

All America remembers the original Mayor Richard J. Daley. When I took a public sector labor relations course the instructor had a couple of anecdotes about the corruption in Chi-Town in the 1950s, 60s and 70s. Of course, Chicago is not alone. In 1904 Lincoln Steffens published a collection of McClure's Magazine articles he had written in a book named Shame of the Cities. In it, Steffens outlines widespread corruption in city after city. Minneapolis, for instance, was run by a criminal organization. In the 1930s, New York's Mayor Fiorello Laguardia ended the city's corrupt political club, Tammany Hall, but institutionalized the corruption under a series of expanded government agencies and public authorities overseen by Robert Moses. The New Deal of that period overlay a pretense of government rationality on the underlying infrastructure of partisan corruption. It has never disappeared. The corruption in government today is on a much larger scale than ever before in history, but it is done in a bureaucratized manner. Witness the recent bailout of Wall Street. In the 19th century Wall Street gained benefits by bribing state legislatures, as Rockefeller and Gould did with respect to oil piplines and railroads. The amounts involved were in the tens of thousands. Today, Wall Street gets the Federal Reserve Bank and Congress to authorize subsidies in the trillions, and America's dim witted, Democratic Party media pundits applaud the corruption while the Republican media pundits on Fox watch while sucking their proverbial thumbs and saying how great George W. Bush was.

Jim Crum just sent me an article that appears in the Obamafile Blog (entry for 12/16/09). In violation of the most elementary standards of decency and clean government Obama threatened to remove Nebraska's Offutt military base unless Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) falls into line.

The Obamafile Blog cites a Washington Examiner article that states:

>According to a Senate aide, the White House is now threatening to put Nebraska's Offutt Air Force Base on the BRAC list if Nelson doesn't fall into line.

>While the Democrats appease Senator Lieberman, they still have to worry about other recalcitrant Democrats including Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson. Though Lieberman has been out front in the fight against the public option and the Medicare buy-in, Nelson was critical of both. Now that those provisions appear to have been stripped from the bill, Lieberman may get on board, but Nelson's demand that taxpayer money not be used to fund abortion has still not been met.

President Obama's clumsily corrupt use of quid pro quo results from his experiences as a politician in Chicago led by Richard J. Daley's son, Richard M. Daley.

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