It was just a matter of time. Blago's lead attorney, Ed Genson, quit after Blago took to the local airwaves yesterday claiming that his prosecution is nothing but an attempt to get rid of him so that lawmakers can raise taxes. What's more, Blago is scheduled to do the national talk shows beginning Monday. I don't have a link, but I heard Genson say that he doesn't require clients to accept his advice, but he insists that they at least listen to him.
Blago has been complaining that the impeachment trial rules do not permit him to call witnesses. Senate President John Cullerton says that is false:
Look, I didn’t arrest him. I didn’t impeach him. But the (Illinois) Constitution requires that we have a trial, and for that we had to draft rules. And what better to start with than the Clinton impeachment-trial rules, a trial that ended in an acquittal.
Are we compounding our economic woes? Chapman is not on board with the unfolding stimulus plan. Personally, I go along with some kind of continuing immediate intervention to deal with banks. If the banks collapse, if credit is unavailable, we will be looking at an international catastrophe. Second, consumers are paralyzed--no one is buying. Not knowing what is going to happen, people are holding on to money. A massive over-correction in spending could trigger a catastrophic cycle of business failures, lost jobs, further reduced spending, more business failures and so on. A massive short-run stimulus might help avert that.
My impression is, however, that most of the fiscal stimulus being proposed is long-term and will do nothing to address the more immediate situation. I worry that Chapman is correct-- that a massive long-term increase in spending perpetuates and even exacerbates our current problems--blowing more air into the bubble.
Some fiscal conservatives who support tax reduction are doing so because they see this as the most effective way to stimulate the economy in the short-run. Immediate cash in the hands of consumers and businesses will lead to a spending boost much more quickly than, for example, infrastructure spending would. And, money in the hands of consumers and businesses will lead to spending that makes better economic sense, creating more jobs than government spending. It goes without saying that many economists disagree for many reasons. I don't know who is right and I don't have a great deal of confidence that anyone really knows. That's not a good thing for a blogger to say. We're supposed to be sure about everything, inflaming passions with our fiery political and moral clarity. I can only go as far as saying that I think we're about to embark on a massive experiment and we will have more answers 5-10 years from now. If we don't embark on that experiment, we may be very sorry. And if we do, we may be very sorry.
Finally, who is surprised by this revelation? On Friday, Brady Boyd, the pastor who succeeded Ted Haggard, revealed that Haggard had an ongoing sexual relationship with a male church volunteer in his 20s. As part of a 2006 settlement with the young man, all parties agreed not to speak publicly about the matter. Boyd says he decided to break the silence after learning that the young man intends to go public with the story.