The Ledes

Friday, July 25, 2014.

New York Times: "Secretary of State John Kerry has proposed a two-stage plan to halt the fighting in the Gaza Strip that would first impose a weeklong truce starting Sunday, an official involved in the negotiations said on Friday. As soon as the truce took effect, Palestinian and Israeli officials would begin negotiations on the principal economic, political and security concerns about Gaza, with other nations attending." ...

... AFP: "Israeli fire Friday pushed the Palestinian death toll in Gaza to above 800, as Washington pressed Israel and Hamas to agree a week-long humanitarian ceasefire and thrash out a durable truce."

AFP: "The United States on Thursday said it had evidence Russian forces were firing artillery from inside Russia on Ukrainian troops, in what officials called a 'clear escalation' of the conflict. Moscow is also planning to 'deliver heavier and more powerful multiple rocket launchers' to the pro-Russian separatist forces in Ukraine, US deputy State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said." ...

... AFP: "Ukraine's prime minister resigned after his governing coalition collapsed, plunging the former Soviet state into political limbo as it struggles to quell a deadly rebellion in the east.... Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said he was stepping down over the "dissolution of the parliamentary coalition and the blocking of government initiatives" after several parties walked out on the ruling group. The collapse of the ruling coalition paves the way for early elections to be called by President Petro Poroshenko within 30 days."

New York Times: "As a detachment of French soldiers reached the crash site in Mali of an Air Algérie jetliner, officials in Paris said Friday that the accident was most likely weather-related and that the distribution of the wreckage over a limited area suggested that the plane probably hit the ground intact."

 

Guardian: "The Washington Post's correspondent in Tehran has been arrested along with his Iranian wife and two American photojournalists. Iranian judicial offficials confirmed on Friday that Jason Rezaian, who holds dual American and Iranian citizenship, had been detained and is under investigation."

The Wires

The Ledes

Thursday, July 24, 2014.

New York Times: "A series of explosions at a school run by the United Nations sheltering hundreds of Palestinians who had fled their homes for safety from Israeli military assaults killed at least 16 people on Thursday afternoon and wounded many more. The cause was not immediately clear."

Bloomberg News: "Jobless claims fell by 19,000 to 284,000 in the week ended July 19, the fewest since February 2006 and lower than any economist surveyed by Bloomberg forecast...."

Guardian: "A flight operated by Air Algérie carrying 116 people from Burkina Faso to Algeria's capital disappeared from radar early on Thursday, the plane's owner said." ...

... New York Times UPDATE: "An Air Algérie jetliner with 116 people on board crashed early Thursday in a remote area of Mali near the borders with Burkina Faso and Niger, officials said."

The Guardian is liveblogging developments in the Gaza crisis. More than 700 Palestinians have been killed in the conflict, many of them children.

Reuters: "A powerful Ukrainian rebel leader has confirmed that pro-Russian separatists had an anti-aircraft missile of the type Washington says was used to shoot down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 and it could have originated in Russia. In an interview with Reuters, Alexander Khodakovsky, commander of the Vostok Battalion, acknowledged for the first time since the airliner was brought down in eastern Ukraine on Thursday that the rebels did possess the BUK missile system and said it could have been sent back subsequently to remove proof of its presence."

Los Angeles Times: "The Federal Aviation Administration on Wednesday night lifted its ban on U.S. flights to and from Tel Aviv."

Public Service Announcement

Washington Post, May 29:"The ongoing measles outbreak in the United States has reached a record for any year since the disease was  eliminated in this country 14 years ago, with 288 cases of the potentially deadly infection reported in 18 states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday."

White House Live Video
July 25

1:00 pm ET: Josh Earnest's press briefing

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

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

Washington Post: "On July 23, 2012, the sun unleashed two massive clouds of plasma that barely missed a catastrophic encounter with the Earth’s atmosphere.  These plasma clouds, known as coronal mass ejections (CMEs), comprised a solar storm thought to be the most powerful in at least 150 years. 'If it had hit, we would still be picking up the pieces,' physicist Daniel Baker of the University of Colorado tells NASA."

New York: "Governor Cuomo and CBS announced Wednesday that The Late Show will continue to be shot at New York's Ed Sullivan Theater, its home of 21 years, when David Letterman retires and Stephen Colbert takes over in 2015. While it had been assumed that the show would be staying put, CBS only made it official today, announcing that it had received $11-million in state tax credits and $5-million in renovation money for the theater in exchange for staying in NYC and guaranteeing the continuation of 200 jobs surrounding the show's production." ...

... Nice announcement, but not as long as Cuomo's 13-page response to a New York Times article that showed Cuomo is a pompous, corrupt, two-faced hypocrite.

Lunar Landing, Cable News Version. Slate: "In 2009, Andrew Bouvé imagined what it would be like if the moon landing happened today, unleashing cable news on the event.... This Sunday marks the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing."

 

New Yorker illustration.

The New Yorker has opened up its archives for the summer. An excellent opportunity to get in on some fabulous reading.

 

CW: Jordan Weismann of Slate presents this audio as an unusual customer service horror story. It is a nightmare, to be sure. But as someone who has had to deal with stopping & starting various utility & communications services recently, I can attest that it is par for the course for an American U.S. customer service rep. Dealing with non-Americans, who increasing represent U.S. companies, is worse. These reps all work from scripts, but the non-Americans don't understand my English, so their "responses" are even more non-responsive than are those of the Comcast guy there:

 

Airborne Dinosaur. USA Today: Paleontologists have discovered in China a new species of dinosaur that "had long feathers not just on its wings but also on its hind legs, making it one of only a handful of 'four-winged' dinosaurs. It also had big, sharp teeth and sharp claws, indicating it was carnivorous.... Scientists were surprised to find something so large that could take to the skies so early in the history of flying creatures." ...

     ... CW: Charles Pierce's take: "The Christianists have been wrong all these years. It's not Intelligent Design. It's Abstract Design. God The Dada."

Houston Chronicle: "The Palm Beach mansion known as President JFK's Winter White House has hit the market for a staggering $38.5 million. That price is even more gasp-worthy considering the same property sold for $4.9 million in 1995 and a mere $120,000 in 1933." More photos, including interior shots, at the linked page.

Heller McAlpin reviews Marja Mills' book The Mockingbird Next Door, a memoir of the writer's friendship with Harper Lee & her sister Alice Finch Lee, for the Washington Post.

According to this Daily Beast headline, the "World Awaits LeBron James' Decision." CW: Even though I so often do the sports report, it turns out I am not of this world.

Smart Girls Don't Swear. Vanity Fair "cleaned up, pored over, and painstakingly transcribed" some of the Nixon tapes, "many of which were muffled and, at times, indecipherable." The post excerpts a few: Nixon on gays, Jews, swearing.

New York Times: Hillary Clinton's "memoir, 'Hard Choices,' has just been toppled from its spot on the best-seller list by a sensational Clinton account by her longtime antagonist Edward Klein. It is a powerful statement about today’s publishing realities that Mr. Klein’s book, a 320-page unauthorized and barely sourced account full of implausible passages, including one about a physical altercation between Mrs. Clinton and President Obama, has landed atop the New York Times best-seller list, knocking 'Hard Choices' to No. 2." ...

... If by chance you believe the major media are the exclusive haunts of "elite leftists," here's evidence it ain't so. Klein, the Times story notes, is "a former editor at Newsweek  and The New York Times Magazine."

Eleanor Clift of the Daily Beast interviews Jill Abramson, the former executive editor of the New York Times. Abramson still doesn't know what "management skills" means. Kinda makes you think maybe she doesn't have any.

Tim Egan: American children are too sheltered. The world isn't as scary as we think it is.

... Thanks to Bonita for the link. CW: I except you actually could purchase the materials at Hobby Lobby you'd need to make an IUD. However, Dr. Weader strongly advises against this do-it-yourself project.

New York Times: "The New Yorker is overhauling its website, making all articles it has published since 2007 available free for three months before introducing a paywall for online subscribers."

The New York Times Magazine publishes excerpts from a few of Warren Harding's love letters to Carrie Phillips. Also, he was a worse poet than he was a president. And Phillips was unfaithful to Harding; then she blackmailed him. Maybe it was because she was so turned off by all those letters where he personified his penis as "Jerry."

Guardian: A Princeton archaeologist has found what may be the world's oldest extant erotic graffiti on the Greek island of Astypalaia in the Aegean sea. Also, it is so gay.

Wherever in the U.S. you may live, if you missed your local news last night, we have it here. In fact, if you want to stay ahead of the curve, here's what will be on your local news tonight. Thanks to Bonita for the link:

Contact the Constant Weader

Click on this link to e-mail the Constant Weader.

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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