Please Don’t Pardon Blago

Disgraced former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich rang in the new year by penning an editorial for a conservative website arguing that current House Democrats who have impeached President Donald Trump also would have tried to impeach Abraham Lincoln.
— Read on

Helluva Week, Governor Quinn!

A huge sigh of relief went up as news commentators and pundits everywhere realized they wouldn’t have to try to pronounce or spell “Blagojevich” so much any more.


Wow, what just happened? There was so much stuff going on this week, and I never really sat down in the evenings to sum up.

Actually, the last two weeks have been pretty hectic, what with all the Washington hoopla last week, and the Springfield hoopla this week. The former was an occasion of great and redemptive joy, and the latter was an occasionally redemptive embarassment. Srsly, G-Rod? STHU!

Although, I will admit that the #Blagojevich #haiku poetry channel has been a wonderful source of comfort and hilarity.

Yesterday, I pretty much monitored the ongoing saga at the Illinois state capitol all day. My work buddy Gio and I cheered when Governor Quinn was sworn in. Frustratingly, all the good stuff happened when we had to take incoming calls, but we saw the big action at the end of the day. I’ve been catching up on the columnists today, like Zorn and Kass. It was Kass that noted that one legislator didn’t speak very loudly when voting to convict in the impeachment tribunal… I had noticed that too. Kind of creepy.

I hope the new governor makes good on his inaugural speech to make this year one of reform rather than incessant grandstanding, fundraising, and campaigning. But the signs are good that soon Blago will be only a bad memory.

Blago Running Late For His Own Impeachment

The embattled and embarrasing Guv is making his way to Springfield. He left his house at 825am and was reportedly driving down, flying back. The House prosecutor arguing the case in the Illinois Senate begins his closing argument in a few minutes, at 10am.

Blago will not even be there for it.

How ballsy-rude is that?

If he’s really driving all the way and not flying, he’s already more than an hour late.

Here we go. Judge Fitzgerald will gavel the session to order after the invocation and the Pledge of Allegiance.

Resolutions being offered.

Chief Justice brings the Senate to order for the Impeachment Trubunal.

And we’re off.

UPDATE: Ellis’ closing argument was powerful, and ended with “The governor should be removed from office.” Dead silence.

Blago must have flown, as the Chief Justice remarked that he was in the building. Elvis!! Is in the Building!!

15 minute break; Ellis took only 45 minutes. Blago probably putting on clown makeup and herding a crowd of disabled children and seniors toward the Senate chambers.

Currently watching ABC7 video but listening to @WBEZ for commentary during down time. They speculate about transportation; the Guv did indeed fly down and will probably be in the air before deliberations begin.


Blago only talked 50 minutes, then shot out the door without bothering to sit at “his” table, which was helpfully pointed out by the chief justice. So he won’t hear Ellis’ rebuttal. As @WBEZ’s Ben Calhoun notes, “classic Blagojevich.”

They’re taking calls during the lunch break; first caller reminds us that state funded agencies aren’t getting bills paid because Blago couldn’t work with the Legislature.


Ellis’ rebuttal swiftly disposed of Blago’s points and noted that when the cameras are on, Blago is all about the people, but when they’re off, it’s all about him.

After an hourlong caucus now listening to statements from state senators, many of them pledging to fight the culture of corruption that Blago attempted to tar them all with.

Some of them are visibly upset as they speak; they’re embarrassed, outraged, and often refer back to their oath to protect the Constitution of the US and of Illinois. And they’re proud and humble, too. I’m not detecting a lot of BS yet; so far all have spoken well and credibly.

Other points raised: families have been hurt, trust has been lost, state aid and health programs unable to pay bills, care providers and small businesses waiting for payment.

It’s going to happen. Quinn is waiting in the wings.

Maddow Vs. Blago: Transcript

Governor Blalegovich made the rounds of many talk shows today; in fact, he went to eleven.

The transcript of his appearance on Rachel Maddow’s show is already up, in advance. He has absolutely no idea she had him for lunch, and in fact she was in need of a toothpick and floss by the end.

Transcript: Rod Blagojevich, one on one – Rachel Maddow show-

BLAGOJEVICH: And it’s just so unfair to him, to hold him, somehow, responsible for allegations on me. He’ll be judged on his own record as senator. And I predict he’ll do a great job, he’ll be reelected. And I’ll point out he has never lost a statewide office to a Republican. Now, he’s lost some primaries to Democrats. He lost to me for governor in 2002. He lost to Mayor Daley for mayor of Chicago. He’d lost to Paul Simon for the senate seat.

MADDOW: You’re not selling his record on that very well.

BLAGOJEVICH: But he’s won every statewide office against Republicans.

MADDOW: Republicans.

BLAGOJEVICH: And I don’t see a Democratic in Illinois who’d want to challenge a man like that, a historic figure. And the only African-American in the United States Senate. Why would a democrat from Illinois want to run against him and deprive the African…

MADDOW: Because of his association with you.

BLAGOJEVICH: Well, he’ll win.


BLAGOJEVICH: He’ll win that race. And he’ll win big.

MADDOW: You probably (UNINTEL) Roland Burris for life now. You don’t have very many other political allies. You have become a national figure in a way that I’m sure was not the way that you wanted to become a national figure. Are you mad?

BLAGOJEVICH: I’m not mad. I’m philosophical about it. Dr. King had a quote. Said that, “In the end, you remember not the words of your enemies, but the silence of your friends.” And when something like this happens to you it becomes very lonely. – Ibid

Rachel sees right through Blago’s enthusiasm for Sen. Roland Burris; he’s never lost to a Republican, but then the Republicans seldom field anybody worth crossing party lines for in Democrat-heavy northeastern Illinois. There are some exceptions, though – Judy Baar Topinka, for one. There’s a few others. But Sen. Burris will be up against a whole slew of Democratic challengers in the primary 2 years from now, and if Blago thinks he’ll do well against them all, he’s even more delusional than we thought.

I do give props to Maddow: “Are you mad?” is priceless. Of course Blago’s mad: he’s bat-shit crazy!

Move ‘Em Out, Rodhide

Gov Hopalong #Blagojevich’s media appearances today: 11
Likelihood that he will run late: 98% due to incessant glad-handing
Likelihood that Rachel Maddow will have him for lunch: 75%

Blagojevich again blasted Illinois Senate rules that prohibit his calling certain witnesses and producing certain evidence.

“Unlike Richard Nixon, who was dealing with issues of tapes, who didn’t want his tapes heard,” the governor said. “I want mine heard. I’d like the full story to be told. If the Senate would let me have evidence, I sure would like to be there so I could prove my innocence.”

Here’s the governor’s schedule in New York today:

6:45 a.m. CBS’ Evening News (taped before CBS’ The Early Show)

7 a.m. CBS’ The Early Show (Central Park studios)

8:10 a.m. Fox & Friends (FOX)

8:45 a.m. Associated Press’ TV studio (450 W. 33rd St.)

10:30 a.m. Fox Business Network (1211 Avenue of Americas)

11:15 a.m.- In Session/TruTV: Jami Floyd: Best Defense (600 3rd Avenue)

12:30 p.m.. Glenn Beck (FOX)

1:30 p.m. Campbell Brown (CNN Center)

2 p.m.- Rachel Maddow (30 Rockefeller Center)

2:30 p.m Greta Van Susteren (undisclosed location)

3:30 p.m. DL Hughley (CNN Center)

On Monday, the governor appeared on the “Today Show”, “Good Morning America,” “The View” and the “Larry King Show.” It was on “Good Morning America” that he revealed he had considered television superstar Oprah Winfrey for the open Senate seat but eventually rejected the idea because it could be seen as a “gimmick” and she likely wouldn’t take the job anyway

Illinois Led The Way To Progress from Corruption Before

Nearly 100 years ago,  a scandal from Illinois led the nation to change the way US Senators were selected, from being elected by state legislators as originally laid out in the Constitution, to direct election by the people.  The Progressives were the ones that cleaned up the mess. Predictive?

Early 1900s Illinois scandal led to direct election of U.S. senators —
The Chicago case of alleged corruption played a prominent role in the nation’s decision to amend the Constitution and allow state voters to elect their senators. It was a solution that seems to have worked for 95 years, or until now.

Lorimer, an immigrant from England and a dapper, popular politician, was elected to the House of Representatives in 1895 when he was 33. In 1909, after a long deadlock in the Illinois legislature, Lorimer was chosen to represent the state in the U.S. Senate.

But a year later, the Chicago Tribune reported on allegations that bribes were paid to secure Lorimer’s seat, including an admission of a state representative that he had received $1,000. Lorimer vehemently denied the charges and called for a Senate investigation. Lorimer at first was cleared, but a year later the Progressive Movement picked up the cause and the Senate reversed itself. Lorimer was ousted from the Senate on a 55-28 vote.