FUBAR

Blagojevich tossed out as Illinois governor

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was thrown out of office Thursday without a single lawmaker rising in his defense, ending a nearly two-month crisis that erupted with his arrest on charges he tried to sell Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat.

Blagojevich becomes the first U.S. governor in more than 20 years to be removed by impeachment.

Iraq pulls plug on Blackwater mercenaries

Iraq will not allow Blackwater Worldwide to continue providing security protection for U.S. diplomats in the country, Iraqi and U.S. officials said Thursday.

Blackwater’s image in Iraq was irrevocably tarnished by the September 2007 killing of 17 Iraqi civilians in Nisoor Square. Five former Blackwater guards pleaded not guilty Jan. 6 in federal court in Washington to manslaughter and gun charges in that shooting.

The pressure politics of prayer in the workplace

Judith Scott probably never set out to be a First Amendment heroine. But she is as far as I’m concerned. Scott has filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia for what she claims was a retaliatory firing. Her proselytizing boss at the Blacksburg, Va. Middle School, whose acts are detailed in her court filing, kept trying to force her to participate in unlawful prayer meetings and religious events at work.

The Iranian revolution at 30

The 20th century was a time of great and terrible revolutions. The Russian Revolution of 1917 promised a communist utopia. It delivered man-made famines, the Gulag Archipelago and at least 20 million murdered. The Chinese Revolution of 1949 brought the Great Leap Forward and the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution; estimates put the death toll as high as 65 million.

Rush Limbaugh and the stupidity meter

When Rush Limbaugh said he wanted Barack Obama to fail, the clanging of the stupidity meter roused me to action.

Usually, I have the stupidity meter set to mute when it comes to the Vesuvius of Vacuity because everything he says is bound to set off the alarm and the dog can’t sleep with all the stupid racket.

But, for some reason, this statement tripped the alarm and I felt bound to investigate.

The Blago road show

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has chosen, as is his right, to skip his impeachment trial by the state Senate. He is not even mounting a defense. Indeed, his high-powered Chicago lawyer quit the case, saying, "I never require a client to do what I say, but I do require them to at least listen."

Tolerating racism promotes racism

"Monkey Monday."

For the four men sitting at the end of a bar in downtown Stuart, Florida — on the day commemorating the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. — Monkey Monday was the term they used to express their contempt for the holiday. And, I surmise, for black people in general.

I overheard only snippets of their conversation. But the phrase Monkey Monday — repeated often, with great emphasis — was unmistakable.

Six days later, at the conclusion of an unforgettable week in U.S. history, I find myself trapped in a moment in time.

Blagojevich’s words will come back to haunt him

A day after Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s loudly proclaimed his innocence during a media blitz, the governor’s more private words are to take center stage at his impeachment trial.

The state Senate was expected Tuesday to hear secretly made wiretaps of Blagojevich allegedly discussing how he could benefit from his appointment power.

The ghost of Gordon Gekko

Not terribly long ago all that was wrong with Wall Street was embodied in the character Gordon Gekko as portrayed by actor Michael Douglas in the smash hit movie, "Wall Street."

Government ownership of banks? It could happen

Government ownership of banks could become a reality is the economy continues to falter and two of the nation’s larger banks — Citibank and Bank of America — plunge deeper into trouble.

It’s not something that Democrats are Republican want to discuss openly but in discussion behind closed doors advisors are telling both President Barack Obama and Congressional leaders that nationalization of some banks may be necessary.

And if the government takes over banks, what stops them from stepping in and seizing control of auto companies, health care and other American industries?