Chicago - Jul. 19, 2017
Music TV Politics Sports Books People Places & Things
 
Must-See TV
Army Of Darkness
ElRey
5 p.m.
A discount-store employee is time-warped to a medieval castle, where he is the foretold savior who can dispel the evil there. Unfortunately, he screws up and releases an army of skeletons. (tvguide.com)
Weather Derby
Tribune: 51/37
Sun-Times: Ferro/McKinney
Weather Channel: 44/41
Ntl Weather Service: 54/43
BWM*: 82/12
Beachwood Bookmarks
K-Tel Classics
WKRP in Cincinnati
So You've Decided To Be Evil
St. Paul Saints
Nye's Polonaise Room
The Arcata Eye
Roadside USA
This Day In . . .
Onion History
Weird Al History
Baseball History
Beachwood History
History History
Spy Magazine History
#OnThisDate History
Chicago
Indicted!
Under Suspicion
Find Your Towed Car
Cable TV Complaints
Freedom of Information
The Expired Meter
The Mob & Friends
Stolen Bike Registry
O'Hare Music Tracker
Rats
Report Corruption (city)
Report Corruption (state)
Beyond
Scoundrels, State
Scoundrels, Federal
The Odds
Random Flight Tracker
Casting Calls
Cosmic Log
Buy Stamps
Beachwood Blogroll
A Handy List
Beachwood Ethics Statement
How We Roll
Today's Horoscope
Liberties will be taken.
Do We Sudoku?
No, but we do do moose stuff, and that can be anything you want it to be. Except Sudoku.
Losing Lottery Numbers
8, 25, 39
Daily Affirmation
I am open and receptive to new avenues of income. (louisehay.com)
Ellie
Knowing that a person may be unwittingly in danger of an assault imposes a moral duty to warn them.
Now Playing
Psychodrama/Marshall Law
Letters to the Editors
FAQ
About
Tip Line
"The Papers" archive
RSS
Beachwood Link Buttons
Media Kit/Advertising
 

The [Wednesday] Papers

Rod Blagojevich wasn't just a doof, or an unwitting dupe. He set out to get rich from day one and to further his political ambitions by amassing a cache of cash to ward off opponents. He enlisted in his schemes not only his culpable and indictable wife, but his estranged brother. And instead of governing the state, he politicized every nuance of his administration from his dining room table. (He told aides he wanted to rule like Richard M. Daley, which tells us something about the pernicious influence of the mayor whose middle initial stood for Manager according to so many dazzled reporters.) Blago knew what he was doing every step of the way.

Lawmakers thought he was such a pathological liar that they forced him to sign Memorandum of Agreements memoranda of understanding so he couldn't deny what was just said. Once caught, he spread his lies around the globe. He lied at his impeachment proceedings. He lied in every (enabling) media venue he could find. And he lied on the witness stand. Why should we feel even an ounce of sympathy for him?

Don't forget the human toll; his failure to govern is costing us dearly now. The poorest and most vulnerable shoulder the biggest burden for his ridiculous budget gimmicks and refusal to get real. He left behind Pat Quinn and Mike Madigan, filling the vacuum with more vacuity.

Blago betrayed public office, and, to me, there are few betrayals larger; this is the basis of our democracy and self-rule. He stole from our pocketbooks and our souls.

He deserves the full penalty of the law.

*

Add Richard Roeper to the list of sympathizers.

"Look at Rod Blagojevich's life right now," Roeper writes. "He's been stripped of his law license. He was impeached and removed from office by a vote of 114-1. He's broke. His house is for sale. His daughters have seen their father become a disgrace and punch line. His obituary will lead with his criminal convictions. In the court of public opinion, he's already been sentenced to a lifetime of disgrace.

"Yes, Blagojevich did all that to himself, and has no one to blame but himself. But given the price he's already paid and the fact he was arrested before he could execute one of his wacky plans to sell the Senate seat, I have no great desire to see the guy serve 15-20 years in prison."

*

Perhaps some media folks sympathize because Blago is "like us," not "them."

"[S]hould he really do more time than hundreds if not thousands of violent criminals?" Roeper asks. "[I] a country where Dr. Conrad Murray gets four years and will serve much less than that for contributing to Michael Jackson's death, seems out of whack for Blago to serve a dozen years or more."

Fittingly, Roeper's best analogy is a celebrity doctor in a celebrity death. That's his world, but it's not the world of nearly everyone else who goes through the criminal justice system.

Consider a more learned view from Alison Siegler, the director of the Federal Criminal Justice Clinic at the University of Chicago Law School:

"Rod Blagojevich is a lucky man," Siegler writes in the Tribune. "He is lucky that the U.S. attorney's office is asking U.S. District Judge James Zagel to send him to prison for only 15 to 20 years. He is lucky that the prosecution is not asking for him to do 30 years to life in prison, which is the amount of time called for by federal sentencing guidelines - the laws that set punishment in federal cases based on the severity of the crime.

"Blagojevich is especially lucky that he is not my recent client, a drug-addicted man who grew up on the South Side and pleaded guilty to selling two ounces of drugs to a government informant for $200. I represented this man, and the same U.S. attorney's office asked Zagel to follow the sentencing guidelines strictly and send him to prison for up to 27 years. Luckily for Blagojevich, the prosecutors filed a motion asking for a far lighter sentence for the former governor who, they themselves contend, deeply damaged the integrity of the political system by trying to hand over a U.S. Senate seat in exchange for $1.5 million in donations and then blatantly lied about his conduct on the stand.

"The U.S. attorney's office is treating Blagojevich shockingly differently than it treats poor, minority defendants charged with less serious crimes. I have been representing indigent defendants in Chicago for nearly a decade, and in almost every one of the hundreds of cases I have litigated, the U.S. attorney's office has asked for the guidelines sentence, which is usually quite harsh. But in Blagojevich's case, the prosecution has asked the judge to chop the guidelines sentence in half."

*

On the other hand, we've come up with some alternative sentences for Blago worse than prison.

Fred Hampton Jr. vs. Jay-Z
The Chicago police assassinated his father.

Best Chicago TV Show Theme Song Ever
Remixed!

-

The Beachwood Tip Line: Stand and deliver.



Permalink

Posted on December 7, 2011


MUSIC - PJ Harvey Wins Pitchfork.
TV - 24 Hours With Velocity.
POLITICS - Reminder: U.S. Health Care Sucks.
SPORTS - World Roller Derby Day.

BOOKS - Trump's True Believers.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Land After Frac Sand.


Search The Beachwood Reporter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter
Email:

Follow BeachwoodReport on Twitter



Beachwood Radio!


Ask Me Anything!