Monday, January 26, 2009

Suburban Mom's Political Fix: Catchin' Up, Caroline, Blago, Corp. Jet$$

I'm just getting back into the swing of things after having spent the week with my family and parents in the grips of the magical world of Disney, where, in addition to enjoying the worst Florida cold snap in many years, I was told by a Disney World "cast member" in a Goofy hat that I could not watch the inauguration at Epcot because Disney is about "fantasy, not reality." Therefore, I trudged to an ESPN bar with my dad to watch President Barack Obama's inauguration speech and hear the inaugural poem. So other than skipping some Epcot rides with my kids in order to catch the tail-end of the inauguration, I've been out of the news loop for the past week (radical, I know, to be unplugged!), so I've got some catching up to do:

Another Senator Kennedy? Not So Fast!

So Caroline Kennedy pulled out (was pushed out?) of contention to be appointed to the U.S. Senate. New York Gov. David Paterson named another female -- younger -- to fill Hillary Clinton's seat. And then we were treated to conflicting reports about why Kennedy did an about-face and whether she truly had "personal issues" which prevented her from seeking the post. The New York Times portrayed sniping and excuse-making on both sides, describing Paterson as of the belief that Kennedy wasn't ready for the job.

Now 42-year-old Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand, a two-term centrist Democrat from upstate New York, has been tapped for the post. She has a 5-year-old and a six-month-old baby and, according to the Times, worked up until the day she gave birth, causing House members to give her a standing ovation . . . which is prompting several to compare her to fortysomething mother of an infant Sarah Palin, some positively and some negatively.

Senator Oprah?

Good God. Rod Blagojevich is spending today basking in the bright lights of the New York City media circuit, rather than in Illinois where his impeachment trial is commencing. He's doing the rounds on the TV networks pleading his case and categorically denying attempting to sell Obama's U.S. Senate seat, while complaining that he can't bring his witnesses to defend him.

In an interview on ABC's Good Morning America, he said he considered asking Oprah Winfrey if she wanted to fill Obama's seat, saying, "She was obviously someone with a much broader bully pulpit than other senators."

On The View -- where Barbara Walters bizarrely conducted the interview from Los Angeles while Blago was in New York, and Walters appeared on stage inside a little TV located next to the seated Blago instead of opting for a split-screen -- he said the case against him has been sensationalized by the media and that the conversations captured by federal wiretaps were taken out of context. "I'm an innocent man who hasn't done anything wrong," he said. ". . . I'm going to fight to the finish."
Blago resisted Joy Behar's attempts to goad him into doing a Richard Nixon impersonation and doing "I'm not a crook." Surprisingly, Blago declined the offer.

Corporate Jet$$

Someone -- hello?! -- needs to put an end to the wild orgy funded by taxpayer money intended to help rejuvenate the American economy not provide luxury items for a few people who ran their companies into the ground. CitiGroup got $45 billion in federal bailout money -- your money and my money -- and just wasted $50 million of it on a 12-seater luxury jet, reports the New York Post:

"Even though the bank's stock is as cheap as a gallon of gas and it's burning through a $45 billion taxpayer-funded rescue, the airhead execs pushed through the purchase of a new Dassault Falcon 7X, according to a source familiar with the deal.

The French-made luxury jet seats up to 12 in a plush interior with leather seats, sofas and a customizable entertainment center, according to Dassault's sales literature."

Where are the D.C. fiscal watchdogs? We should get that money back. Pull a Palin, and put the jet up on eBay. Stuff like this should not be allowed to stand.

Image credit: Rep. Gillibrand's web site.

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