The Ledes

Friday, October 31, 2014.

Reuters: "The ringleader of a beating ritual that led to the death of a Florida college marching band member was convicted on Friday of manslaughter and felony hazing, the first case to go to trial in an incident that drew national attention to hazing abuses. A jury convicted percussionist Dante Martin, 27, for his role in a November 2011 ritual involving the Florida A&M University's celebrated 'Marching 100' band that led to the death of Robert Champion, a 26-year-old drum major." ...

... CW: Why are these college students so old?

Los Angeles Times: "Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo, part of a commercial space venture founded by British billionaire Richard Branson, crashed during testing Friday, according to a Mojave Air and Space Port spokesperson and the FAA. At least one person was killed." MSNBC is saying two were injured as well.

New York Times: "Less than a day after restricting the movements of a nurse who treated Ebola victims in West Africa, a judge in Maine has lifted the measures, rejecting arguments by the State of Maine that a quarantine was necessary to protect the public. Within an hour of the decision, state troopers who had been parked outside the nurse’s house for days had left. The order, signed on Friday by Judge Charles C. LaVerdiere, the chief judge for the Maine District Courts who serves in Kennebec and Somerset counties, said the nurse, Kaci Hickox, 'currently does not show symptoms of Ebola and is therefore not infectious.' The order requires Ms. Hickox to submit to daily monitoring for symptoms, to coordinate her travel with state health officials, and to notify them immediately if symptoms appear. Ms. Hickox has agreed to follow the requirements.” Thanks to James S. for the link.

AP: "Eric Frein, 31, appeared gaunt and battered as he answered yes or no questions and listened as a judge read the criminal complaint detailing the Sept. 12 attack that killed Cpl. Bryon Dickson and critically wounded Trooper Alex Douglass."

Washington Post: "Russia agreed Thursday to resume selling natural gas to Ukraine, ending a cutoff.... The stopgap deal will secure critical energy supplies for Ukraine through March and will also help assure European countries that their own natural gas supply will not be disrupted during chilly winter months."

The Wires

The Ledes

Thursday, October 30, 2014.

Philadelphia Inquirer: "Eric Frein, the suspected cop-killer who for six weeks has been the target of a Poconos manhunt involving more than 1,000 law-enforcement officers, surrendered Thursday without incident, officials said.Frein, accused of killing one trooper and wounding a second, was captured in an unused airplane hangar at the Pocono Mountains municipal airport just outside of Tannersville, two sources confirmed. He was unarmed and surrendered when confronted by a search team led by U.S. Marshals, the sources said."

Washington Post: "The U.S. economy grew at a 3.5 percent annualized rate between July and September, the government said Thursday morning, providing fresh hope that a wobbly recovery could be gaining some stability. The latest gross domestic product figure, released by the Commerce Department, slightly exceeded analyst predictions and caps America’s strongest six-month period of expansion since 2003."

Boston Globe: "Thomas Michael Menino, who insisted a mayor doesn’t need a grand vision to lead, then went on to shepherd Boston’s economy and shape the skyline and the very identity of the city he loved through an unprecedented five consecutive terms in City Hall, died Thursday. He was 71 and was diagnosed with advanced cancer not long after leaving office at the beginning of this year."

New York Times: "The Israeli authorities closed off all access to a contested holy site in the Old City here on Thursday for the first time in years, a step that a Palestinian spokesman denounced as amounting to 'a declaration of war.' The action came after Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian man who was suspected of involvement in an attempt on Wednesday to assassinate a leading agitator for more Jewish access to the site, which Jews call the Temple Mount and Muslims call the Noble Sanctuary. The closure prevented Muslims from worshiping at Al Aksa mosque, one of the three holiest sites in Islam." ...

     ... UPDATE. New Lede: "Under heavy pressure and the threat of new Israeli-Palestinian strife, Israel announced on Thursday that it would reopen a contested holy site in the Old City of Jerusalem on Friday morning, a day after closing it for the first time in years."

Guardian: "Nato aircraft have been scrambled to shadow Russian strategic bombers over the Atlantic and Black Sea and fighter planes over the Baltic in what the western alliance called an unusual burst of activity as tensions remain elevated because of the situation in Ukraine. In all, Nato said, its jets intercepted four groups of Russian aircraft in about 24 hours since Tuesday and some were still on manoeuvres late on Wednesday afternoon. 'These sizeable Russian flights represent an unusual level of air activity over European air space,' the alliance said."

Sports Illustrated: The San Francisco Giants are once again the champions of baseball. On Wednesday night, the Giants downed the Royals, 3-2, in Game 7 of the World Series in Kansas City to capture the team's third title since 2010."

Public Service Announcement

Washington Post, September 17: "Artificial sweeteners might be triggering higher blood-sugar levels in some people and contributing to the problems they were designed to combat, such as diabetes and obesity, according to new findings published Wednesday in the journal Nature.

New York Times, September 1: "People who avoid carbohydrates and eat more fat, even saturated fat, lose more body fat and have fewer cardiovascular risks than people who follow the low-fat diet that health authorities have favored for decades, a major new study [financed by the N.I.H.] shows."

White House Live Video
October 31

9:15 am ET: President Obama & Michelle Obama greet the kids for trick or treat (CW: looks like the time is wrong on this; the video has a countdown which shows the event won't occur for about 8 hours)

11:10 am ET: President Obama speaks about the economy

If you don't see the livefeed here, go to WhiteHouse.gov/live.

***********************************************

Rolling Stone: Jon Stewart that NBC News approached him about hosting "Meet the Press.": "My guess is they were casting as wide and as weird a net as they could. I'm sure part of them was thinking, 'Why don't we just make it a variety show?'"

We're Fairly Wonderful, and the Boss Sucks. Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, Jeremy Scahill & John Cook: "Matt Taibbi, who joined First Look Media just seven months ago, left the company on Tuesday. His departure ... was the culmination of months of contentious disputes with First Look founder Pierre Omidyar, chief operating officer Randy Ching, and president John Temple over the structure and management of Racket, the digital magazine Taibbi was hired to create. Those disputes were exacerbated by a recent complaint from a Racket employee about Taibbi’s behavior as a manager." ...

... CW: This article is an extraordinary exercise in using a publication's content to bitch about the publication's financial backer. Let's see if Omidyar just takes his own money & runs.

He Took the Money & Ran. New York Times: When Credit Suisse erroneously dropped $1.5MM in the business account of hedge-fund manager Joseph Galbraith, Galbraith kept the money & has moved to parts unknown. He has not completely disappeared as he's had contact with the New York Times (directly or indirectly): in an e-mail he called Credit Suisse's suit against him “ridiculous, bordering on laughable.”

Andrew Rice of New York: "Matt Taibbi, the star magazine writer hired earlier this year to start a satirical website for billionaire Pierre Omidyar's First Look Media, is on a leave of absence from the company after disagreements with higher-ups inside Omidyar's organization, a source close to First Look confirmed today. Taibbi's abrupt disappearance from the company's Fifth Avenue headquarters has cast doubt on the fate of his highly anticipated digital publication, reportedly to be called Racket, which First Look executives had previously said would launch sometime this autumn." CW: Ah, "creative differences." ...

     ... "UPDATE: Taibbi has left the company."

Ancient Grains! Jeez, people will buy anything. CW PS: Unless you're a scientist with specific knowledge about the benefits of ancient grains as opposed to say, oats, don't write in & bitch about my ignorance. We all have our pet peeves, rational & irrational. Fad foods -- in fact, fads in general -- are one of mine.

Washington Post: A "virtual autopsy" of King Tut suggests the boy king had "buck teeth, club foot and a pronounced overbite."

Stephen Colbert describes his workday:


No Surprise Here. Valerie Tarico of AlterNet, in Salon: "... online search traffic from behind closed doors in Jesusland suggests that the bad, nasty, sexual impulses righteous believers are trying so hard to shut down may be their own. And if Google search patterns mean anything, they’re not succeeding too well: studies consistently demonstrate that people in conservative religious states search for adult materials online far more often than people in blue states."

Jeffrey Frank reviews, for the New Yorker, a new biography of Nelson Rockefeller by Richard Norton Smith. The review is fairly entertaining & informative.

Michael Cieply of the New York Times: "... several of the companies behind 'Citizenfour' — which takes issue with Mr. Obama’s expansion of Bush-era surveillance, and his administration’s attempt to prosecute [Edward] Snowden for espionage — are led by some of the president’s close political allies. They include Harvey Weinstein, the Weinstein Company’s co-chairman, as well as Jeff Skoll, the founder of Participant Media, and Richard Plepler, the chief executive of HBO, who all have been major contributors to Mr. Obama’s political campaigns."

Washington Post: "President Obama's credit card was rejected last month at a restaurant in New York. 'I went to a restaurant up in New York when I was -- during the U.N. General Assembly, and my credit card was rejected,' Obama said Friday while signing an executive order to protect consumers from identity theft. 'It turned out I guess I don’t use it enough. They were -- they thought there was some fraud going on. Fortunately, Michelle had hers.'"

"Who's Gonna Stand Up & Save the Earth?" Not Stephen Colbert:

Novelist John Grisham recants his apologia for child porn. Good to know.

New York Times: "CBS announced a new subscription Internet streaming service on Thursday that allows people to watch its live television programming and thousands of its current and past shows on demand without paying for a traditional TV subscription. The new 'CBS All Access' service, costing $5.99 a month, is the first time that a traditional broadcaster will make a near-continuous live feed of its local stations available over the web to non-pay-TV subscribers. At its start, the live stream will be available in 14 markets in the United States." ...

... New York Times: "HBO announced Wednesday that it would start a stand-alone Internet streaming service in the United States in 2015 that would not require a subscription to a traditional television service, a move that intensifies the premium cable network’s growing rivalry with Netflix. Just hours after HBO unveiled plans for its new service, Netflix announced that its subscriber growth was slower than expected...."

Joe Coscarelli of New York: "Following its initial mercy killing at the hands of Jon Stewart, Crossfire was rebooted last year with Newt Gingrich and Van Jones to dismal returns..., CNN ... scrapped it for good today [October 15] so that Newt can spend more time with his animals — and hopefully run for president again."

Joe Concha of Mediaite: "A well-placed source tells me MSNBC will be announcing major programming changes sometime in the next month, including the cancellation of Ronan Farrow‘s afternoon program, Ronan Farrow Daily." CW: I've caught a few minutes of Farrow's show a couple of times, & it was clear the guy was in way over his head. His performance was as embarrassing as the Russert kid's, though he isn't an obnoxious bro in the Russert-kid mold. I'm not sure if the suits will ever figure out that legacies & children-of-famous-people are usually not the best & brightest, perhaps because a lot of the suits themselves are legacies.

Philip Shenon in Politico Magazine: "If even Robert Kennedy was a conspiracy theorist, it is hard to see how millions of other Americans will ever be convinced to accept that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone."

Bill Carter of the New York Times: "MSNBC has seen its ratings hit one of the deepest skids in its history, with the recently completed third quarter of 2014 generating some record lows."

Snowden, The Movie:

... AND, Snowden's girlfriend is living with him in a Moscow apartment. David Harding of the New York Daily News: "His girlfriend, Lindsay Mills, moved into his apartment in the Russian capital in July, a detail that was revealed in the new documentary, 'Citizenfour.'” ...

... George Packer of the New Yorker on Laura Poitras & making the film "Citizenfour." ...

... Steven Zeitchik of the Los Angeles Times discusses the film. He attended the premiere at the New York Film Festival, where the documentary got a rare standing O. CW: I'm kinda sensing that "Citizenfour" can best be described as "documentary as hagiography." And, yes, I'm definitely seeing an Oscar here. Call me an oracle.

 

 

A video for Marco I'm-Not-a-Scientist-Man Rubio & Bobby I'm-Not-an-Evolutionary-Biologist Jindal, & all their non-scientist Republican friends:

"An FBI wanted poster shows William Bradford Bishop Jr. The image on the left shows how Bishop would look now. (Getty)"Dan Morse of the Washington Post: "For nearly 40 years, the legend of Bethesda fugitive William Bradford Bishop Jr. carried an air of not just evil brutality but refined sophistication. This was a man suspected of killing his family with a small sledgehammer in 1976 and setting their corpses on fire. Then he vanished, taking with him fluency in five languages, the experience of a world traveler for the State Department, and a fondness for playing tennis, flying airplanes and drinking Scotch. There were alleged sightings: a public park in Stockholm, a restroom in Sorrento, Italy, a train station in Basel, Switzerland. Now, in a potentiality stunning development in the case — centered in a municipally owned cemetery in the northeastern corner of Alabama — remains that were exhumed Thursday may tell a different story. Bishop could be the heretofore unidentified man called John Doe, who was struck by a car while walking down a highway in 1981, a person who appeared to be homeless, who’d worn several layers of heavy, dirty clothes and weighed just 155 pounds." ...

... CW: If you like mysteries & enjoy reading about how they're unravelled, you should find this a compelling story. ...

... UPDATE. Unsolved Mystery. Washington Post: "Human remains recently exhumed from an Alabama grave are not those of the notorious fugitive William Bradford Bishop, who is accused of killing five family members with a small sledgehammer in Montgomery County in 1976 and setting their bodies on fire, law enforcement officials said Wednesday. The FBI said that DNA taken from the unidentified body in Scottsboro, Ala., on Oct. 9 did not match Bishop, who is a member of the Ten Most Wanted list." Original story further down this column. Thanks to Haley S. for the lead.

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Blagosphere

For stories about the corruption trial of former Gov. Blagojevich, which began in early June, go the page Blago -- The Trial, which also is linked on the navigation bar above under The Soaps!

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July 26, 2010

"It's Now or Never, the Stuff Can't Wait." Chicago Tribune: "Paul Lombardo, CEO of Boyer-Rosene Moving & Storage in Arlington Heights, said [Rod] Blagojevich is more than a year past due and is accruing penalty charges on seven wooden storage units he has rented starting in 2002." Lombardo sells he'll sell Blago's stuff at auction if the former governor doesn't settle his debt."

May 13-14, 2010

Politico: "Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) has been subpoenaed by the defense in former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s corruption trial, adding the onetime Senate hopeful to a long list of federal officials Blagojevich’s team wants to put on the witness stand."

Lynn Sweet: "Lawyers for ousted Gov. Rod Blagojevich have subpoenaed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to testify at Blagojevich's federal corruption trial, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned."

April 22-23, 2010

ABC Chicago: "U.S. Senator Dick Durbin said Friday he received a subpoena several weeks ago to testify in the corruption case against former governor Rod Blagojevich."

Chicago Tribune: "Lawyers for former Gov. Rod Blagojevich today asked a federal judge for permission to subpoena President Barack Obama to testify at Blagojevich's upcoming trial."

April 14, 2010

Chicago Tribune: "a new evidentiary proffer laying out the path federal prosecutors plan to take at Blagojevich's scheduled June trial on corruption charges...accuses Blagojevich of running the state as a criminal racket almost from the start of his first term in 2003.

March 2, 2010:

Chicago Tribune: Blago gives a lecture on ethics at Northwestern & gets a lot of laughs -- at his expense.

February 27, 2010:

Blago advises New York Gov. David Paterson not to quit; talks about his upcoming trial:

February 10, 2010:

Chicago Tribune: deposed Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich pled not guilty to corruption charges today. And he wants the tapes of his phone conversations played.

January 10, 2010:

Elvis says he's sorry:

"I'm blacker than Barack Obama." Scott Raab of Esquire interviews former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

     In response to Blago's assertion that David Axelrod encouraged him to run for President, Axelrod e-mailed Ben Smith of Politico:

Total and complete fabrication. I told Blagojevich in 2001 that I could not work for him for governor because I didn't believe he should run. I hardly would then recommend that he run for President....

December 13, 2009:

Chicago Sun Times: "Rod Blagojevich's lawyers want the FBI to give up details of interviews conducted last year of President Obama, his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, White House adviser Valerie Jarrett and others as part of the investigation into the former governor." CW: I'm hearing executive privilege bells ringing again.

November 20, 2009:

Friday Afternoon News Dump. Chicago Tribune: the Senate Ethics Committee rebuked Sen. Roland Burris with a "public letter of qualified admonition" for his actions in connection with his appointment by disgraced former Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Here's the letter.

October 20, 21, 2009:

It Was Always about the Money. Jeff Coen & John Chase of the Chicago Tribune: "Even before he was elected governor in 2002, Rod Blagojevich and three of his closest friends schemed about ways to enrich themselves by controlling state government, the former governor's former chief of staff alleged as part of a plea agreement...."

Chicago Tribune: Alonzo "Lon" Monk, one of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's closest friends and advisers, pleaded guilty today & agreed to help prosecutors convict the former governor. The plea agreement is here.

September 13, 2009:

Chicago Tribune: former Blagojevich fundraiser & top advisor Christopher Kelly, "who was to report to federal prison officials this week to start serving an 8-year sentence, died Saturday...in what authorities said was a possible suicide from an over-the-counter medication." His death is being investigated as a homocide.

September 6, 2009:

Monica Davey of the New York Times: Blago does a book tour.

August 31, 2009:

AP:  In his book to be published next week, Rod Blagojevich says Rahm Emanuel asked for his help in appointng a place-holder for his Congressional seat so Emanuel could return to the House in two years & run for speaker. The ex-governor also said he appointed Roland Burris to President Obama's Senate seat because Burris was the only one with a big enough ego to accept & fight for the post.

July 9, 2009:

Bad News for Blago. Chicago Tribune: former Gov. Rod Blagojevich's chief of staff John Harris pled guilty to a single count of wire fraud & has formally agreed to testify against Blagojevich.

June 19, 2009:

Sen. Roland Burris won't face perjury charges. Here's the Chicago Tribune story. And here's Prosecutor John Schmidt's 4-page letter to Illinois State Speaker Michael Madigan explaining his decision.

May 27, 2009:

In a wiretapped phone conversation, Roland Burris ponders how he can bribe Gov. Rod Blagojevich to make him Senator Roland. Brother Rob Blagojevich's expletives bleeped:

Chicago Tribune: a federal wiretap catches Roland Burris talking to Robert Burris a month before Gov. Rod Blagojevich appointed him to the Senate. Burris discussed how he could raise cash for the governor without appearing to be buying the Senate seat. Burris mentioned hiding his donation by having his attorney make it. Article links to related content, including this full transcript of the taped conversation. CQ story here.

April 13 & 14, 2009:

Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich & his brother Robert both pled not guilty to federal charges; both are out on bond. With videos.

Chicago Sun-Times: two members of an Indian community told Gov. Rod Blagojevich's fundraising team that Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. would raise $5 million for Blagojevich in exchange forappointment to the U.S. Senate seat Barack Obama vacated.

April 8 & 9, 2009:

Chicago Sun-Times: a Congressional ethics panel is conducting a "preliminary review" of Jesse Jackson, Jr.'s conduct in his bid to be appointed to President Obama's vacated Senate seat. Meanwhile, Gov. Rod Blagojevich & associates wil Tuesday on charges they tried to sell the Senate seat & do other corrupt stuff.

Chicago Sun-Times: two members of an Indian community told Gov. Rod Blagojevich's fundraising team that Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. would raise $5 million for Blagojevich in exchange forappointment to the U.S. Senate seat Barack Obama vacated.

l be arraigned

April 2 & 3, 2009:

The Chicago Tribune story on the indictments of Rod Blagojevich & Associates comes with links to several related stories & a hilarious video of Blagojevich & Associates in Orlando.

Rogues' gallery of Ron Blagojevich's alleged co-conspirators: Ron Blagojevich, Chris Kelly, Alonzo Monk, William Cellini & John Harris. Chicago Tribune & AP photos.Former governor Rod Blagojevich has been indicted on 19 counts, 16 of which are felonies. AP story here. Blagojevich is at Disneyworld. Chicago Tribune story here. Also indicted: Blagojevich's brotherRon, top aides John Harris & Lon Monk, & Blagojevich backers Chris Kelly & William Cellini. Chicago Sun-Times story here. You can read the indictment here (pdf 75 pp.).

March 6, 2009:

Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times: the very day Gov. Rod Blagojevich named Roland Burris to the vacant Illinois senate seat, Burris' right-hand man Fred Lebed told an associate, "We're going to have to do some things for the governor."Phone records of the conversation conflict with Burris' latest sworn pack o' lies.

AP: an Illinois Senate subcommittee voted along party lines against holding a special election to fill the Senate Seat Barack Obama vacated; Democrats, who voted against the measured cited costs of the election.

A source tells the AP that the county prosecutor investigating possible perjury charges against Roland Burris has asked federal officials for FBI tapes of conversations between Burris & Rod Blagojevich's brother.

March 2, 3:

Chicago Tribune: Dick Durbin admits race was a factor in seating Roland Burris. New York Times: Roland Burris goes about his duties as if oblivious to the machinations to unseat him sooner rather than later.

Chicago Sun-Times: Blago lands a book deal.

February 25, 26:

Chicago Sun-Times: the Burris scandal mushrooms -- the Blagojevich administration hired Burris' son as a housing counsel in September 2008, about six weeks after the IRS filed a $34,163 lien against the son for three years of unpaid taxes & three weeks after a mortgage company foreclosed on his house. Chicago Tribune Update: Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has asked his staff to investigate how Roland Burris II got his job. Update: Gov. Quinn's investigation found hiring ofRoland Burris II was lawful. No link.

Washington Post: Senator Dick Durbin advised Senator Roland Burris to resign yesterday; Burris said he would not take Durbin's advice. New York Times story here. Chicago Tribune story here. And here's a link to a YouTube video of a portion of Durbin's press conference following his meeting with Burris, courtesy of Firedoglake.

February 20, 21 & 22:

Chicago Tribune: federal agents interviewed Roland Burris for several hours yesterday in connection with the case against Gov. Rod Blagojevich & his efforts to sell Barack Obama's vacated Senate seat; Mayor Richard Daley declined to call for Burris' ouster. Chicago Sun-Times story here.

Washington Post: Roland Burris spokesman says Burris won't quit Senate despite increasing calls for him to do so, including a suggestion from the White House that he ponder his future.

Manu Raju of Politico: Robert Gibbs says President Obama supports an investigation of Roland Burris and urges Burris to "think about what lays [sic.] in his future." Also, Burris chief-of-staff, on loan from Harry Reid, quits the Burris gig.

Chicago Tribune: Illinois Gov. Patrick Quinn says Roland Burris should resign his Senate seat; Quinn asks the state legislature to give him the power to appoint a temporary replacement until a special election is held. Illinois State Comptroller Dan Hynes, a Democrat, writes a letter to the editor of the Chicago Tribune urging Roland Burris to resign.

Chicago Tribune: John Filan, a former top Blagojevich official, said Roland Burris paid him a "courtesy call" last fall to let Filan know of his interest in the Senate opening. After Blago's arrest, Burris asked Filan to put in a good word for him with Lt. Gov. Quinn.

February 18, 19:

Chicago Sun-Times: Feds target Patti Blagojevich, ex-governor's wife; serve her with wide-ranging subpoena.

Chicago Tribune on Burris: Durbin: "At this point his future in the Senate is in question." Reid: "His story seems to be changing day-by-day."

Chicago Tribune: Roland Burris speaks out against "a rush to judgment."

Chicago Sun-Times: State's Attorney John Schmidt is reviewing documents as part of a possible perjury investigation of Illinois Senator Roland Burris.

February 16, 17:

In a press conference this afternoon Sen. Roland Burris said he "welcomes any and all investigations" of his conduct. Chicago Tribune story here. Chicago Tribune: Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan, a Democrat & the father of state AG Lisa Madigan, turned over documents related to Roland Burris' testimony to a state's attorney. Link to documents. Chicago Tribune: in Peoria, Roland Burris, contradicting his latest sworn affidavit, admits to reporters he attempted to fundraise for Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Links to transcript of the exchange with reporters. Chicago Tribune: Democratic Illinois AG Lisa Madigan, calls for investigation into Roland Burris' about-face (or in his estimation, no-change) affidavit. CW: Madigan is a likely Senate candidate.

Chicago Sun-Times:lllinois Roland Burris defends himself -- again. With video. Chicago Tribune: Burris on defense. Includes videos, links to transcripts, statements, audio. Chicago Sun-Times: meanwhile, Gov. Quinn is ridding his administration of Blagojevich hold-overs.

February 14, 15:

Chicago Tribune: state Republican leaders, in response to Roland Burris' latest story about events leading up to his Senate appointment, will request an investigation into possible perjury in his testimony before the House panel. Links to Burris' latest affidavit & to a transcript of his House testimony.

Chicago Tribune now reports,

Burris attorney Timothy Wright acknowledged Burris may be on a covert recording in the Blagojevich investigation but declined to explain the senator's comment about meeting with federal agents, saying 'the FBI has not come to us and they're not asking us for anything.'

Chicago Sun-Times: in his third sworn version of events, Illinois Senator Roland Burris admits Robert Blagojevich, Gov. Rod Blagojevich's brother, asked him (Burris) to donate to and/or host fundraisers for the "campaign" of the then-governor. New affidavit contradicts Burris' written affidavit and sworn testimony to the Blago impeachment panel. New York Times story here. Senate Democrats conditioned Burris' legitimacy on his satisfactory testimony to the Illinois House panel.

January 29:

The Illinois Senate has voted unanimously to remove Gov. Rod Blagojevich from office. They have also voted to ban him from holding any future public office in Illnois. Lt. Gov. Patrick Quinn has now been sworn in as governor. Tribune story here, with video. Trib liveblog here.

Chicago Tribune Blagojevich's defense in the Senate impeachment trial. With video. Transcript of his "closing argument."

Rod Blagojevich appeared at his impeachment trial today to make his case. Chicago Sun-Times: BUT Lt. Gov. Patrick Quinn is waiting in the wings, & state employees have already boxed up Gov. Blagojevich's belongings. Hmm. Hang him after we give him a fair trial?

January 26, 27 & 28:

Chicago Tribune reports on Day 2 of the Rod Blagojevich impeachment trial.

Chicago Tribune: split screen -- the impeach-ment trial of Gov. Rod Blagojevich goes on in Illinois as the governor makes the rounds of TV talk shows in New York.

ABC TV, Chicago Tribune photos.

From the Chicago Sun Times: Illinois Senators listen to brief phone conversations that are supposed to be part of a shakedown of a campaign contributor. Four embedded video .Here are those snippets with transcripts, courtesy of WGN, a Tribune-owned station which, incidentally, has offered the Blagojeviches a regular on-air gig.

New York Times Blagojevich upstages his own impeachment trial with TV blitz. From NBC, more on the Blagojevich offense or defense or whatever. With video. Gov. Rod Blagojevich tells ABC's "Good Morning America" he considered naming Oprah Winfrey to Barack Obama's vacated Senate seat. With video. Well, why not?

January 22, 23 & 24:

Time: Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich's chief defense attorney quits, evidently because -- here's a surprise -- Blago won't listen to him.

AP: Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich announced in a news conference he would skip his "unfair" Senate trial. With video. (CW: he has a point.) Chicago Trbune: in Illinois, Rod Blagojevich calls the impeachment trial a sham, fails to meet deadline for filings. Meanwhile, a charitable organization fires his wife Patti from a $100K/ year job as a fundraiser.

January 14, 15 & 16:

Chicago Tribune: calling the Illinois Senate trial rules "fundamentally unfair," Blagojevich's legal team quits.

Dick Cheney swears in Roland Burris.

Chicago Tribune: after Governor Rod Blagojevich swore in the new Illinois Senate, they voted unanimously to adopt rules for con-ducting his impeachment trial. The new House, also sworn in today, voted again to impeach Blagojevich, 117-1.

January 12, 13:

Politico: Dick Durbin is changing his story on Roland Burris appointment again.

Monica Davey of the New York Times: the strange landscape of Illinois government in limbo; it was dysfunctional under Rod Blagojevich, the state treasurer says, "Now it's paralyzed."

January 10, 11:

Chicago Public Radio: so now Dick Durbin has changed his tune again and says whatever it was Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White signed Friday might permit the Senate to seat Roland Burris, even though the document wasn't the certification Durbin said the U.S. Senate had to have.

January 9:

He Might Be Crazy. The very best part of one of the most remarkable political performances you will ever see. Savor it.

Chicago Tribune: Illinois House impeaches Governor Rod Blagojevich on grounds of abuse of power; first gubernatorial impeachment in Illinois history; vote was 114-1; Senate will try him perhaps within next few weeks. AP: Blago says the impeachment vote represented the House's retaliating against him for trying to help the citizens; recites Tennyson. Includes video excerpt (minus the poetry reading nowposted in the top right column -- a classic).

Chicago Sun-Times: Roland Burris' House testimony re: his appointment differed from his sworn affidavit.

January 8:

Chicago NBC News: Roland Burris testified before the Illinois House impeachment panel there was no quid pro quo involved in his Senate appointment. A legislator asked Burris about a campaign contribution he received in 2002 from a Telephone USA, a Blagojevich backer. Burris claimed the contribution, which was the largest in Illinois history, was only a loan. He hasn't repaid it, and says he hasn't the means to do so.

Chicago Tribune: Roland Burris called a Blagojevich aide last fall to try to get his nephew a state job.

Chicago Tribune: President-Elect Obama pressured Senate leaders to reverse themselves and seat Burris.

January 6:

Roland Burris: he came, he saw, he left (with 100 reporters). AP story here with video and photos. Writers at the Swamp blog Burris.

January 5:

Chicago Tribune: Rod Blagojevich's acting chief of staff (the former COS resigned after being arrested, along with Blago) will fly to Washington, D.C. today to hand-deliver Blago's certificate of appointment of Roland Burris to the Senate.

Chicago Sun-Times: the secretary of the Senate acknowledged receipt of the certificate, but did not "accept" it because it lacked the Illinois Secretary of State's signature.

January 4:

Washington Wire: Reid & Durbin reassert the Senate's right "to decide whether Mr. Burris was chosen in a proper manner."

Jonathan Martin & Martin Kady of Politico do a good summary of the Senate's Burris problem. They add Reid's complaint about Blagojevich's "regrettable and reprehensible" leak of their conversation about Senate candidates.

January 3:

Lynn Sweet: "We are the Senator." -- Roland Burris. Chicago Tribune: Homeland Security cuts Gov. Rod Blagojevich's access to classified security information.

Chicago Sun-Times: days before the Blago scandal broke, Harry Reid pressured Blagojevich not to appoint Jesse Jackson, Jr. or other black candidates to the Senate seat. Oh, and he's probably caught on tape.

January 1, 2,2009:

Mike Allen of Politico: the Senate's Blago-Burris 90-day delay play.

Harry, bar the door. Chicago Tribune: armed police officers will be ready to bar Roland Burris from the Senate floor; meanwhile, Burris begins court battle.

Chicago Sun Times: Senate Democrats will deny Roland Burris floor access, paycheck, office.

December 29, 30, 31, 2008:

AP: Barack Obama says Rod Blagojevich appointee Roland Burris should not be seated. Text of Obama statement here.

Chicago Tribune: Blagojevich appoints Burris. Link to MSNBC video of news conference.

Governor Rod Blagojevichwill name former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris to Senate seat. Chicago Tribune story here. Lynn Sweet on Senate resistance to Burris appointment. Ben Smith of Politico: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says Burris is "unacceptable."

From the Blagosphere: (1) federal prosecutors were interested in Rod Blagojevich's hiring practices even before he took office. (2) prosecutors have filed a motion allowing them to release some audio tapes to the Illinois House impeachment panel. (3) Feds have more on tape than previously disclosed. (4) Blagojevich attorney makes "impassioned plea" before the House impeachment panel.

December 22, 23:

The Obama transition team, led by Greg Craig, released an internal report outlining contacts (or not) Barack Obama and staff had with Governor Rod Blagojevich and his staff. Here's the link to the pdf file of the report. AP report here. New York Times story here. Wall Street Journal story here. Washington Post story here.

The Chicago Sun-Times tries to clarify Jesse Jackson, Jr.'s contacts with Blago and the Feds.

December 18 & 19:

Chicago Sun-Times: Rod Blagojevich's wife Patti and his brother Robert are lawyering up as federal investigators appear to take interest in their taped conversations.

AP: update on Blagojevich matters. His attorney says Blago won't attempt to appoint a Senator.

December 15, 16, 17:

CNN: Jesse Jackson, Jr. has been informing on Rod Blagojevich for at least a decade. Chicago Tribune: cement company cooperating in Blagojevich investigation. (C.W.: a perfect big-city political corruption story.)

Bloomberg: Illinois Democrats save Senate seat for Dems; decide not to strip governor of power to name Senator. (CW: January 2009 -- didn't that work out well?)

Chicago Tribune: lllinois House votes 113-0 to begin impeachment proceedings against Governor Rod Blagojevich.

December 11, 12:

Chicago Tribune: Gov. Blagojevich's chief of staff John Harris, who was arrested along with Blagojevich, resigned this morning.

Chicago Tribune: as Jesse Jackson, Jr. was pressing Gov. Rod Blagojevich to appoint him to Barack Obama's vacated Senate seat, Jackson backers discussed raising $1 million for Blagoas a way of inducing the governor to appoint Jackson.

December 9, 10:

**A PDF of the criminal complaint, provided by the New York Times. Sharon Otterman of the New York Times has "a reader's guide to the complaint."

U. S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald on the criminal complaint against Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich:

**The release from the U.S. Attorney's office.

The first major story: Chicago Tribune: Feds take Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich into custody. His chief of staff John Harris also arrested. U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald: "They...put a 'For Sale' sign on the naming of a United States Senator."

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