In hard times, it's good to know that we can always count on irrational and unpredictable behavior. And that you'll be able to read about it endlessly no matter how much death-of-news angst is free floating out there.
Governor Rod Blagojevich, everyone"s favorite holiday highway pileup, has an approval rating of eight percent, according to the Chicago-based polling company Glengariff Group. The sampling involved 600 Illinois residents, meaning 48 people want Guv Blojo to stick by his bribery and extortion six-shooters. That's actually up from a Rasmussen poll this summer where only 4 percent approved of him. This is true as 70-plus percent of people and just about every public official in the Midwest are hoping to throw him out of office.
I just have a feeling that the 8 percent in the Illinois poll are is the same group of people that always get cured by the placebo in those medical studies. If a sugar pill can cause some number of bald people to grow hair, that kind of blind faith would certainly allow you to keep on believing in the governor.
Even more so in North Dakota, which a USA Today story says is the most corrupt state in the Union, based on the number of busted officials. Illinois was a disappointing 18th. (California's in the middle.)
But faith can go sideways on you. A guy in Cincinnati pleaded guilty Wednesday to molesting kids after showing up at their houses and telling parents he was an underwear market researcher. Show of hands: How many of you would let a stranger who knocks on your door inspect your kids' underwear?
Now a spouse is a different thing altogether on the trust meter (unless you're Mrs. Edwards or Jennifer Aniston). Suburban Detroit police had to uncuff a wife whose husband had shackled her to the bedpost, then lost the handcuff key. Good intentions, bad ending.
"Trust, but verify," was Ronald Reagan's morning in America equation for such things. Which is why, according to AP, churches are installing GPS on Baby Jesus creche figures in the midst of the manger stealing frenzy.
Then there are the three California Kentucky Fried Chicken girls in Anderson who got busted for bathing in the restaurant's dish sink and then put the photos on MySpace.com. It was, like, only for their friends, dude! It seems to be a social trend -- hello, New York Times... A guy in Xenia, Ohio was fired after putting a video of himself taking a bath in a Burger King sink and posting it on MySpace. MacDonald's, feeling left out, is offering three rinses for a dollar with every Big Mac and fries.
For more, read Bronstein at Large.