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Friday, December 12, 2008

Blagojevich Shakedown Is Standard Government Practice

As I read the indictment of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich this week, my first thought was, isn't this what government does? My Examiner column today discusses this point, and asks, "Does the FBI have enough wiretaps to go around?"

Blagojevich offered a bailout to the Tribune Company, which owns both the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago Tribune. Allegedly, he made it clear that the company would only get the bailout cash if it would fire deputy editorial page editor John McCormick, a leading Blagojevich critic.

Only in Chicago? Don’t speak too soon. General Electric, the company that spends more than any other lobbying, is getting special access to credit insurance from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which used to be available only to banks. The insurance is $139 billion in GE debt.

GE also owns NBC, MSNBC, and CNBC (which aggressively supported the Wall Street bailout). So, the U.S. government is in the business of bailing out a major media corporation.

Read the whole thing here.

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