Weekend Dealbreaker: Take Heart- Some Tangles Are Worse Than TARP, Big Auto And Goldman Layoffs Combined

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Illinois, which has often served as this author's home state away from her home state, is rapidly descending into what can not rightly be called anything other than political, legal and financial clusterfucking chaos.

Governor Rod Blagojevich has refused to step down, instead taking pains to be seen repeatedly in prayer with a cross-section of prominent ministers, even in the wake of events that have cut open the tissue of state government to expose the normally hidden skeletal frame of Illinois- bleached white with corruption. This is an extraordinarily disturbing picture.
As if matters were not dim enough, the allegations against the Governor now include his purported withholding of $8 million from the Children's Memorial Hospital of Chicago and affiliated entities as retribution for the refusal of the hospital's CEO to make a $50,000 contribution to the Governor. (You stay classy, Illinois Politicos).
Frustrated with the multi-week impeachment process required by the General Assembly, Lisa Madigan, Illinois Attorney General and daughter of sometime Blagojevich foe and Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives, Michael Madigan, moved the Illinois State Supreme Court to strip the Governor of his powers on the basis of incapacity, a measure typically reserved for conditions of medical disability or mental incapacity. This is beyond unprecedented- even in Illinois, Chicago, Cook County, or perhaps Pinochet's Chile.
While political squabbling may seem a small matter, payments to Medicaid patients, hospitals, pharmacies, nursing homes and schools numbering in the billions of dollars remain outstanding pending short-term borrowing efforts by the state. At issue is the requirement that Madigan certify borrowings to be free of any legal proceedings detrimental to state administration, which Madigan, for obvious reasons, refuses to sign off on in the face of the current crisis. It would be understating the matter to suggest that Madigan is manipulating the issue for her own personal gain. Holding Illinois as a fiscal hostage in pursuit of the cold sushi of political revenge for a thousand Blago slights is only mildly "you-stay-classier" than Rod's increasingly apparent "hold out to the last bullet" psychosis.
The crisis means that everything from food deliveries to prisons, gasoline for state troopers, or health care services that rely on state reimbursements could be frozen, and firms with significant state revenues and limited liquidity might have to shut their doors or file for protection from their creditors.
Even as this carries on, Blagojevich continues to sign legislation into law and otherwise conduct himself as if the office is unencumbered- hardly the case given that his chief of staff, John Harris, resigned owing to his own indictment in the bribery scandal.
Stripping a sitting, and uncooperative, Governor (who, despite appearing to be in dire legal straights, has not yet been convicted of any crime) of his executive powers through creative use of emergency incapacity rules-- rules designed to provide for a line of succession beginning with the Lieutenant Governor in a medical emergency-- strikes this author as deeply concerning and dangerous. A multi-week impeachment process, however, is equally alarming.
It will be interesting to see how events impact credit default swaps on Illinois issued debt. (Anyone have any quotes?) Either way, it can safely be said that corruption and its umbra has become so intrinsically linked to Illinois that the best course of action might be a quick jab of the finger to the "emergency reboot" button on Illinois' back panel. Retroactively disqualifying any Illinois political figure whatsoever (and I do mean all of them) from ever holding national office of any kind might also be a wise precaution at this stage. This may seem extreme, but this ass-fucking-backwards nonsense is entirely endemic to Illinois and only appears overt now because Rod is such an insecurity-driven megalomaniac that the normal pretense of concealment triggered by self-preservation urges in other Illinois politicians has left him entirely. The word "Illinois" on a political resume should henceforth simply be a codeword for "member of the national political blacklist."
(Oh, no, don't worry. I'm sure we'll still get the Olympics, Mr. Mayor).

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