The Ledes

Wednesday, November 25, 2015.

Attention, Costco Shoppers. E. coli in the Salad Cooler. Washington Post: "Federal health officials are investigating an outbreak of deadly E. coli bacteria that has sickened 19 people in at least seven states, mostly in the west.... Preliminary evidence suggests that rotisserie chicken salad made and sold in Costco Wholesale stores in several states is the likely source of this outbreak, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."

The Wires

The Ledes

Tuesday, November 24, 2015.

New York Times: "The American economy turned in a better performance last quarter than first thought, expanding at a 2.1 percent rate, the government said on Tuesday. While well below the pace of growth recorded in the spring, it was better than the 1.5 percent rate for the third quarter that the Commerce Department reported late last month."

Houston Chronicle: "A helicopter crashed at Fort Hood on Monday, killing four crew members, U.S. Army officials said. Military officials said the UH-60 helicopter crashed sometime after 5:49 p.m. Monday in the northeast section of the central Texas Army post. Emergency crews spent several hours searching the area and later found the bodies of the four crew members."

Reuters: "A bomb exploded outside the offices of a Greek business federation in central Athens on Tuesday, badly damaging the nearby Cypriot Embassy but causing no injuries, police officials said.The blast, which police believe was carried out by domestic guerrilla groups, is the first such incident since leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras came to power in January. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.Attacks against banks, politicians and business people are not uncommon in Greece, which has a long history of political violence and has been mired in its worst economic crisis in decades."

Public Service Announcement

Washington Post (October 26): "A research division of the World Health Organization announced on Monday that bacon, sausage and other processed meats cause cancer, and that red meat probably does, too. The report by the influential group stakes out one of the most aggressive stances against meat yet taken by a major health organization, and it is expected to face stiff criticism in the United States."

New York Times (October 20: "The American Cancer Society, which has for years taken the most aggressive approach to [breast-cancer] screening, issued new guidelines on Tuesday, recommending that women with an average risk of breast cancer start having mammograms at 45 and continue once a year until 54, then every other year for as long as they are healthy and likely to live another 10 years. The organization also said it no longer recommended clinical breast exams, in which doctors or nurses feel for lumps, for women of any age who have had no symptoms of abnormality in the breasts."

White House Live Video
November 25

11:15 am ET: Vice President Biden delivers a joint summit statement with President Grabar-Kitarović of Croatia, President Pahor of Slovenia and European Council President Tusk in Zagreb, Croatia (audio only)

2: 45 pm ET: President Obama pardons the national Thanksgiving turkey

Go to


Domenico Montanaro of NPR with everything you never wanted to know about the strange tradition of presidential "pardons" of turkeys.

Frank Rich reviews "Carol," the film based on Patricia Highsmith's 1952 novel The Price of Salt, published under a pseudonym. As usual, Rich goes deep.

New York Times: "Ta-Nehisi Coates won the National Book Award for nonfiction Wednesday[, Nov. 18,] night for “Between the World and Me,” a visceral, blunt exploration of his experience of being a black man in America, which was published this summer in the middle of a national dialogue about race relations and inequality.... The fiction award went to Adam Johnson for 'Fortune Smiles.'..."

Slate: Carly Simon told People magazine that "You're So Vain" is about Warren Beatty. CW: Somehow I think I knew that a long time ago.

Guardian: "Gawker, the gossip website..., is giving up on reporting gossip in order to refocus on politics and 'to hump the [2016 presidential] campaign'. The site, founded by British journalist Nick Denton in 2003, announced on Tuesday that Gawker was steering in a new direction that would “orient its editorial scope on political news, commentary and satire'.”

Washington Post: Actor "Charlie Sheen confirmed on Tuesday that he is HIV-positive, as rumored in recent days by an onslaught of tabloid stories. Sheen told Matt Lauer on the 'Today' show that he is going public with his illness for multiple reasons, including that he’s been blackmailed for upwards of $10 million since he was diagnosed four years ago."

... For about $880,000, you can purchase Julia Child's excellent little house in Provence; her kitchen is intact, except for the stove.

New York Times: "Archaeologists have over the years cataloged the rocks [forming Stonehenge], divined meaning from their placement — lined up for midsummer sunrise and midwinter sunset — and studied animal and human bones buried there. They have also long known about the other monuments — burial chambers, a 130-foot-tall mound of chalk known as Silbury Hill and many other circular structures. An aerial survey in 1925 revealed circles of timbers, now called Woodhenge, two miles from Stonehenge." With slide show.


New York Times: "In an overheated art market where anything seems possible, a painting of an outstretched nude woman by the early-20th-century artist Amedeo Modigliani sold on Monday night for $170.4 million with fees, in a packed sales room at Christie’s. It was the second-highest price paid for an artwork at auction."

Artist's rendering of the main exhibition hall of the planned wing of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. CLICK ON PICTURE TO SEE LARGER IMAGE.New York Times: "In designing its $325 million addition on Columbus Avenue, the American Museum of Natural History has opted for an architectural concept that is both cautious and audacious, according to plans approved by its board on Wednesday. The design ... evokes Frank Gehry’s museum in Bilbao, Spain, in its undulating exterior and Turkey’s underground city of Cappadocia in its cavelike interior. The design, by the architect Jeanne Gang for the new Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education and Innovation, aims to unite the museum’s various activities, solve its notorious circulation problems and provide a multistory showcase for the institution’s expanding role as a hub for scientific research and scholarship.”

New York Times: "... Jon Stewart has signed a production deal with the premium cable channel HBO, the channel announced on Tuesday. As part of the arrangement, Mr. Stewart will work on some digital short projects that are expected to appear on HBO’s apps like HBO Now and HBO Go. Mr. Stewart could also pursue movie or television projects with the network. The contract covers four years."

Guardian: "Facebook has announced plans to water down its controversial 'real names' policy, after lobbying from civil liberties groups worldwide."

If you'd like to know whatever happened to former NYT food columnist Mark Bittman, the Washington Post has the answer.

Jennifer Senior of the New York Times reviews Notorious R.G.B., by Irin Carmon & Shana Knizhnik: "It’s an artisanal hagiography, a frank and admiring piece of fan nonfiction."

Digital Globe photo, via NASA, republished in the New York Times. CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE LARGER IMAGE.... New York Times: "Satellite pictures of a remote and treeless northern steppe reveal colossal earthworks — geometric figures of squares, crosses, lines and rings the size of several football fields, recognizable only from the air and the oldest estimated at 8,000 years old. The largest, near a Neolithic settlement, is a giant square of 101 raised mounds, its opposite corners connected by a diagonal cross, covering more terrain than the Great Pyramid of Cheops.... Described last year at an archaeology conference in Istanbul as unique and previously unstudied, the earthworks, in the Turgai region of northern Kazakhstan, number at least 260 — mounds, trenches and ramparts — arrayed in five basic shapes."

New York Times: "In a landmark study, scientists at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands reported that they had conducted an experiment that they say proved one of the most fundamental claims of quantum theory — that objects separated by great distance can instantaneously affect each other’s behavior. The finding is another blow to one of the bedrock principles of standard physics known as 'locality,' which states that an object is directly influenced only by its immediate surroundings. The Delft study, published Wednesday in the journal Nature, lends further credence to an idea that Einstein famously rejected. He said quantum theory necessitated 'spooky action at a distance,' and he refused to accept the notion that the universe could behave in such a strange and apparently random fashion." CW: Everything is relative, Al.

Gizmodo: On Halloween, "a rather large asteroid — discovered less than three weeks ago — is set to to fly past the Earth at a distance not seen in nearly a decade.... NASA says that 2015 TB145 will safely pass by the Earth and continue to following along its exceptionally eccentric and high-inclination orbit — which may explain why it wasn’t discovered until only a few weeks ago. During the flyby, the asteroid will reach a magnitude luminosity of 10, so it should be observable to astronomers with telescopes."

For $299,000 you could buy the house where Bruce Springsteen wrote "Born to Run." It looks like a dump prone to flooding every time it rains, but it's a block-and-a-half from the Jersey shore beach.

New York Post: "During his time in the White House, President Richard Nixon — pug-nosed, jowly, irascible, charmless-yet-devoted husband to Pat — was known to awkwardly hit on middle-aged female staffers. In 'The Last of the President’s Men' (Simon & Schuster), veteran journalist Bob Woodward quotes Alexander Butterfield, Nixon’s deputy assistant, about the commander-in-chief’s sad seduction techniques."

The Washington Post thought it would be great journalism to feature Donald's Digs in their weekend edition.  You'll be happy to know that Trump's taste runs to the gaudy & garish. You can take the boy out of the boroughs but you can take the boroughs out of the boy. I'd call Donald's style Early Modern Lottery Winner. Here's a sampling:

... There's much more where that came from. Ugh. Here, by contrast, is the study in Michael Bloomberg's New York City pad. Bloomberg is quite a few $$BB richer than Trump.

CW: I've completely ignored the buzz about the film "Steve Jobs," so this was welcome:

... Sharon Shetty in Slate: "As the latest attempt to mine every last bit of meaning from the life of Apple’s late founder, Danny Boyle and Aaron Sorkin’s Steve Jobs will probably make lots of money and spark lots of debate. For those preemptively exhausted by that debate, there’s Conan O’Brien’s less controversial take on a tech biopic: Michael Dell":

AND contributor D. C. Clark was kind enough to remind us of Eva Cassidy:

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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 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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