The Ledes

Monday, August 29, 2016.

New York Times: "An Australian aid worker who was kidnapped in Afghanistan and held for four months has been released and is doing well, Australia’s foreign minister, Julie Bishop, said on Monday. The aid worker, Kerry Jane Wilson, who is in her 60s and is also known as Katherine Jane, had been working in Afghanistan for about 20 years and had most recently run Zardozi, an organization that promoted the work of Afghan artisans, particularly women.... Afghanistan’s intelligence agency, the National Directorate of Security, said in a brief statement that its special forces had carried out a raid to free Ms. Wilson." -- CW 

The Wires

The Ledes

Sunday, August 28, 2016.

Washington Post: "James W. Cronin, who shared the Nobel prize in physics for discovering a startling breakdown in what was assumed to be the immutable symmetry of physical law, thereby helping to explain the behavior and evolution of the universe as a whole, died Aug. 25 in St. Paul, Minn. He was 84." -- CW 

Public Service Announcement

Washington Post: (August 2): "Federal health authorities on Monday urged pregnant women not to visit a South Florida neighborhood where new cases of the Zika virus have emerged, the first time officials have warned against travel to part of the continental United States due to the outbreak of an infectious disease.” -- CW

...Washington Post: Charles Osgood, who is 83 years old, announced Sunday, August 28, that he was retiring as host of the long-running CBS show "Sunday Morning." "He will stay on through Sept. 25. Osgood has been the face of the weekly program since 1994, when he took it over from its first host, Charles Kuralt." -- CW 

... Guardian: "The search for life outside our solar system has been brought to our cosmic doorstep with the discovery of an apparently rocky planet orbiting the nearest star to our sun. Thought to be at least 1.3 times the mass of the Earth, the planet lies within the so-called 'habitable zone' of the star Proxima Centauri, meaning that liquid water could potentially exist on the newly discovered world." -- CW 

Guardian: "A fisherman in the Philippines has kept what might be the largest natural pearl ever found hidden in his home for more than 10 years. The enormous pearl is 30cm wide (1ft), 67cm long (2.2ft) and weighs 34kg (75lb). If it is confirmed to have formed within a giant clam, as has been reported, it would likely be valued in excess of US$100m." CW: Looks like there will be a fight on this: when he moved house, the fisherman entrusted it to his aunt for safekeeping. "With his permission, she offered the pearl to the mayor, Lucilo R Bayon, to serve as new tourist attraction of city." -- CW 

"Giovanni della Robbia’s 'Resurrection of Christ,' made for an entrance gate to the villa of the Antinori family outside Florence." Brooklyn Museum photo. CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE LARGER IMAGE.New York Times: "One of the most innovative art-as-advertising firms in late-15th- and early-16th-century Florence was the della Robbia workshop, a family concern that prospered for three long-lived generations. Its specialty was a brand of glazed terra-cotta sculpture that was physically durable, graphically strong and technologically inimitable. (The exact methods for producing it remain a mystery to this day.)... The Museum of Fine Arts [in Boston is mounting] “Della Robbia: Sculpting With Color in Renaissance Florence”..., a show of ideal size and scholarly weight that includes among 46 pieces one of the tenderest Renaissance sculptures in existence — 'The Visitation' by Luca della Robbia — on first-time American loan from its Tuscan church."

Michelle & Barack -- The Movie. Richard Brody of the New Yorker reviews “Southside with You,” "a drama about Barack Obama and Michelle Robinson’s first date." Brody calls the film "a fully realized, intricately imagined, warmhearted, sharp-witted, and perceptive drama, one that sticks close to its protagonists while resonating quietly but grandly with the sweep of a historical epic." -- CW 

Washington Post: "Requiring longer passwords, known as passphrases, usually 16 to 64 characters long, is increasingly seen as a potential escape route from our painful push toward logins that only a cryptographer could love."

The New York Times features photos of the exteriors of Bill & Hillary Clinton's residences over the years.

Brian Hickey of the Philly Voice: When Leroy Black died at age 55, he got two obituaries in the Press of Atlantic City: " In the first obit, his 'loving wife, Bearetta Harrison Black' gets top survivor billing. In the second, however, Bearetta is nowhere to be found, but 'his long-tome (sic) girlfriend, Princess Hall' appears in her place. A man answering the phone at Greenidge Funeral Homes told PhillyVoice that the obituaries were placed separately because 'the wife wanted it one way, and the girlfriend wanted it another way.'" ...

... CW: Kinda reminds me of the headstone a widow placed on her husband's grave in the Key West cemetery: "Harry, I Know Where You're Sleeping Tonight."

New York Times: "A surprisingly specific genetic portrait of the ancestor of all living things has been generated by scientists who say that the likeness sheds considerable light on the mystery of how life first emerged on Earth. This venerable ancestor was a single-cell, bacterium-like organism. But it has a grand name, or at least an acronym. It is known as Luca, the Last Universal Common Ancestor, and is estimated to have lived some four billion years ago, when Earth was a mere 560 million years old."

Ian Crouch of the New Yorker: "For a few days, at least, [Stephen] Colbert abandoned the political equanimity that he’d adopted when he started his 'Late Night' job." BTW, here's Laura Benanti's segment:

Washington Post: "Benny" (for Ben Franklin), the mystery philanthropist of Salem, Oregon, has given away more than $55,000 in $100 bills, which s/he hides in odd places like "pockets of clothing, in diapers, in baby wipes and in candy." -- CW 

Jumping Jupiter! New York Times: "Ducking through intense belts of violent radiation as it skimmed over the clouds of Jupiter at 130,000 miles per hour, NASA’s Juno spacecraft finally clinched its spot on Monday in the orbit of the solar system’s largest planet. It took five years for Juno to travel this far on its $1.1 billion mission, and the moment was one that NASA scientists and space enthusiasts had eagerly — and anxiously — anticipated. At 11:53 p.m., Eastern time, a signal from the spacecraft announced the end of a 35-minute engine burn that left it in the grip of its desired orbit around Jupiter." -- CW ...

... Rachel Feltman of the Washington Post has more on the importance of the mission. CW: This, BTW, is another fine example of your government actually at work.

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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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