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The [Tuesday] Papers

BREAKING: "Source: Feds Take Gov. Blagojevich Into Custody

Do you think they could stop and pick up Sam Zell on the way?

Maybe the worst punishment for both Blagojevich and George Ryan would be to force them to share a cell.

The hits will keep coming!

UPDATE 9:15 A.M.: Mike Flannery just said on-air that if the allegations are true, Rod Blagojevich is the stupidest politician he has ever met. Why? Because even as everyone knew he was under federal investigation, he allegedly continued to wheel and deal up to just a few days ago, trying to sell Obama's Senate seat to possible replacements and trying to get the Tribune Company to fire some editorial writers in exchange for cooperation on Wrigley Field. The Trib has the complaint on its website, I hear.

Carlos Hernandez Gomez on CLTV is reminding viewers that legislators have honestly questioned Blagojevich's sanity; apparently the court papers say that Blagojevich thought that if he was indicted as a sitting U.S. Senator instead of a governor, he could remake his image and run for president in 2016.

I'm just going to live-blog this the rest of the morning.

9:21 A.M.: Fox News Chicago is reporting that Blagojevich singled out Tribune deputy editorial page editor John McCormick as a guy he wanted fired in exchange for helping out Tribune Co. on Wrigley Field.

9:22 A.M.: Channels 2, 5, and 9 are back to regular programming!

9:24 A.M.: Blago chief of staff John Harris also arrested.

9:26 A.M.: Excerpt viaTalking Points Memo on Blagojevich trying to market Obama's Senate seat, which is the part that has (quite rightly) most captured the national media's imagination:

Regarding the Senate seat, the charges allege that Blagojevich, Harris and others have engaged and are engaging in efforts to obtain personal gain, including financial gain, to benefit Blagojevich and his family through corruptly using Blagojevich's sole authority to appoint a successor to the unexpired term of the President-elect's former Senate seat, which he resigned effective November 16. The affidavit details numerous conversations about the Senate seat between November 3 and December 5. In these conversations, Blagojevich repeatedly discussed the attributes of potential candidates, including their abilities to benefit the people of Illinois, and the financial and political benefits he and his wife could receive if he appointed various of the possible candidates.

Throughout the intercepted conversations, Blagojevich also allegedly spent significant time weighing the option of appointing himself to the open Senate seat and expressed a variety of reasons for doing so, including: frustration at being "stuck" as governor; a belief that he will be able to obtain greater resources if he is indicted as a sitting Senator as opposed to a sitting governor; a desire to remake his image in consideration of a possible run for President in 2016; avoiding impeachment by the Illinois legislature; making corporate contacts that would be of value to him after leaving public office; facilitating his wife's employment as a lobbyist; and generating speaking fees should he decide to leave public office.

In the earliest intercepted conversation about the Senate seat described in the affidavit, Blagojevich told Deputy Governor A on November 3 that if he is not going to get anything of value for the open seat, then he will take it for himself: "if . . . they're not going to offer anything of any value, then I might just take it." Later that day, speaking to Advisor A, Blagojevich said: "I'm going to keep this Senate option for me a real possibility, you know, and therefore I can drive a hard bargain." He added later that the seat "is a [expletive] valuable thing, you just don't give it away for nothing."

9:29 A.M.: From Natasha Julius:

You know right now Patrick Fitzgerald is scouring a thesaurus trying to figure out a suitable synonym for "low-water mark in public service."

"Your honor, I know I said George Ryan was the worst governor ever, but this guy truly is the NADIR. He's the ABSOLUTE ZERO of public service. I got pages of these, your honor, just give me a minute . . . "


"If George Ryan is the low-water mark, you can't even find this guy with a DIVINING ROD. Get it, your honor? I'll be here all week."

PS. How long before some lesser blogger barfs out a Jailhouse Rock joke?

9:32 A.M: Not unsurprisingly, state GOP chief Andy McKenna is calling for Blago to resign. Jack Conaty on Fox says if that doesn't happen, he is "relatively certain" impeachment proceedings will commence.

9:38 A.M.: "Governor Sunshine."

9:44 A.M.: From Natasha Julius:

Conversely, how many Midwest Wing staffers do you think are currently employed finding novel ways to say, "Really, I barely knew the guy . . . ?

9:47 A.M.: Jack Conaty says that Blagojevich apparently reached out to Rahm Emanuel to ask for "things" in exchange for Obama's Senate seat.

9:48 A.M.: "It appears to be a case of stupidity, greed and fear," Jack Conaty says.

The fear, as I gather, was in having enough money to mount a defense.

9:49 A.M.: From Margaret Burke:

I was leaving a Jewel parking lot when the news came on that they had just pinched Himself. I almost drove into a post.

For once, I agree with Mike Flannery - Blago has to be absolutely the dumbest politician going. We sure can elect them, can't we?!

This gives me hope, though - maybe I'll see the hat trick (Ryan, Blago, Daley) in my lifetime.

The Beachwood Tip Line: Live and Memorex.


Posted on December 9, 2008

MUSIC - Pandemophenia.
TV - NBC's Bicentennial Special.
POLITICS - We Tortured Some Folks.
SPORTS - Gold Stars For The Red Stars.

BOOKS - The Slave Who Escaped George And Martha Washington.


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