Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Second Guessing Secondhand Smoke

You won’t find a bigger smoking ban supporter than me, but even I have a hard time believing this:
ATLANTA – A smoking ban in one Colorado city led to a dramatic drop in heart attack hospitalizations, according to a new study that is considered the best and longest-term research to show such a link.

The rate of hospitalized cases dropped 41 percent three years after the ban of workplace smoking in Pueblo, Colo., took effect. There was no such drop in two neighboring areas, and researchers believe it's a clear sign the ban was responsible.

Maybe it is, but color me skeptical until these dramatic results can be duplicated. Smoking bans seem to have only a mild effect on reducing smoking which means most of the decrease would have to be among people breathing secondhand smoke. And while secondhand smoke is clearly unhealthy, I can’t believe it is responsible for a third to half of all heart attacks (or heart attack “hospitalizations” whatever that means).

If, however, these results are shown to be accurate, the health policy implications could me we might need to take a closer look at not exposing people, particularly children, to secondhand smoke in other places like homes and cars.

The Burris Memorial

Ha, ha. Roland Burris has already constructed a monument to himself. These fuckers just have the most fantastic egos. No wonder Blago picked him.

I can’t wait to see the Blagojevich National Monument someday.

Serious Insights: Menu Edition

Finding dried food stuck to your restaurant menu is as disgusting as getting a dirty fork.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Go Ahead and Seat Burris

OK, after reflecting on the appointment of Roland Burris to the U.S. Senate by Rod Blagojevich, I've decided it's best to just let Burris have the seat for the next two years. This is a change of mind for me from my previous post, but I think it's for the best.

First, I really have no objection to Burris himself filling the vacancy. What I object to is Blagojevich being able to make the appointment. But there's really nothing that can be done about that since Blagojevich is still the governor and legally charged with filing such a vacancy. Trying to stop him him from doing so with what now appears to me to be dubious or even unenforceable tactics is just a distraction. Sure it's infuriating, but the real task at hand here is to get Blagojevich thrown out of office, not preventing Burris from becoming Senator. So let's focus our energies there.

I and many others now have a lot less respect for Burris for accepting the appointment, but that in and of itself should not prevent him from serving. There is no allegation that Burris was part of any wrongdoing in getting the appointment. Let him serve the two years and then hopefully he will either not run in 2010 or that he will face serious challenges in the Democratic primary. My guess is that Burris is simply planning on being a placeholder for two years, but even if he gets more ambitious and runs, I think he'll be defeated in the primary or possibly even in the general election.

Fighting the appointment of Burris here in Illinois or in Washington serves no greater purpose. We have bigger prblems. The nation is facing a huge national econmoic crisis and here at home, in addition to the economy, we have the fight to remove Blago. Let's focus on those things and not fret about Roland Burris.

Blago Picks Burris?

So Rod Blagojevich thinks he’s just going to keep on governing like there’s nothing going on. Today he will reportedly appoint former Illinois Comptroller and Attorney General Roland Burris to Barack Obama’s vacated senate seat.

Under normal circumstances, I would not have had any problem with that pick. However, these are not normal times and Blagojevich has no moral authority (even if he does have technical legal authority) to fill that senate seat.

I’m a little surprised that Burris is accepting the appointment. Considering his previous condemnation of Blagojevich’s actions, I figured he’d refuse the offer. I don’t know all that much about Burris (he used to sign my paychecks when I was a student worker at SIU in the early 1980s), but he is showing no class whatsoever by accepting this position from Blagojevich. I don’t know, maybe the thought of getting to round out your career with a stint in the U.S. Senate was too much of a temptation.

There are plenty of roadblocks that can be thrown up to prevent this appointment from going through. Secretary of State Jesse White has to sign off on it, the U.S. Senate has to actually seat Burris, etc. Let’s see if people like White, Dick Durbin, and Harry Reid have the balls to actually stop this travesty.

In the meantime, shame on you Roland Burris.

Update: Secretary of State Jesse White's office says it will block the appointment. Good on Jesse.

Update II: U.S. Senate Dems says they won’t seat any appointment from Blagojevich, including Burris. Looks like Blago is getting a big FAIL on this one. Not that he will care or even notice.

Update III: Blago at press conference. Yup, he's in total denial.

Update IV – Congressman Bobby Rush, at the governor's side and speaking in favor of the appointment at the press conference, is making this all about race. What an ass. Did I hear him ask us not to “lynch” the appointee for the deeds of the appointor? Hey Bobby, Pat Quinn can appoint an African-American too. Even Roland Burris! This isn’t about race, it’s about Rod Blagojevich. What a flaming moron Bobby Rush is. Just wow.


Well, I didn’t get a Snuggie™ for Christmas but sometime in 2009 I think the Snuggie™ should become official blogging garb. You know, just like Cheetos are the official blogging food, and your mom’s basement is the official place from which to blog and Snuggles is the official blogging bear. (Oh, did I say that last one out loud?)

Stick That Shoe Up Your Ass, Laura

Watching my teevee yesterday, I saw part of an interview with Laura Bush where she was all offended by the Iraqi shoe-throwing incident against her husband. All I could think about is how petty that is compared to war, misery and death that same husband brought to the nation of Iraq. I’ll bet none of that ever angered her. It’ll be so nice having both of them and all their friends gone.

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Aloha

Out on Facebook, I have joined a number of "groups" that are just meeting places for people who have common interests or histories. I jumped into a few obvious ones like the SIU Alumni Association and one called "I Survived Blessed Sacrament School". But by far, my favorite membership (or at least the one I take the most pride in) is in a group called "I Remember the Aloha".

The Aloha, of course, was the 3:00 AM bar located on Sixth Street south of Stevenson Drive until it closed and was demolished forever ago.

The topic of the Aloha came up on Look Back Springfield a few years ago in the comments of this post. Here is a sample of some of those comments:
Dave said...
I'm talking about the Aloha on South Sixth St near, I think, where the McDonald's is now. It was about the size of a phone booth but, somehow held a hundred people after 1:00 AM. Decorated in Polynesian Tacky, it was the most fun place in town.

And what was that specialty drink they served? It was blue. Or I was drunk. Or both.

Jim said...

I thought about starting a thread on the Aloha, but let's face it. If you remember anything about a night at the Aloha, you never actually had a night at the Aloha.

Anonymous said...

Dave you were drunk after drinking that Hurricane.

...Back to the Aloha topic, I met and went home with more women there than any other place in town. I kept telling Hilda that whatever she is giving the women to drink...keep doing it because it was working. LOL. You knew you had too much to drink when the sisters started to sing and you enjoyed it!!!!


For as many times as I went to the Aloha, I'm ashamed at the fact that I have just about zero recollection of the place.
And that highlights one problem with this Facebook group: It's name. I mean, no one really "remembers" the Aloha. At least, "remember" is too strong a word. Vaguely recalling snippets before you passed out or having foggy images of doing something after hours at a Springfield tiki bar maybe. But no one remembers the Aloha.

And by the way, if you get on Facebook and join the group, you'll be able to see several pictures of the Aloha posted along with a number of comments.

Friday, December 26, 2008

24 - 14 = Ha

1994 doesn’t seem like all that long ago to me but watching this 14 year old version of 24 makes me think times have changed some.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Blankets With Arms!!!

Merry Christmas and I hope Santa brings each and every one of you a burgundy Snuggie for Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Quote of the Day 12/23/08

From Kevin Drum:
...I'll note how amusing it is that in the same way that people once complained that blogging crowded out "serious" long form work like books and magazine pieces, people are now starting to complain about Twitter crowding out "serious" blog posts. The worm, she does turn.
Yes, in my day we respected the blog post and didn't trivialize it with a 140 character limit! Bah!

But I'm willing to compromise with Facebook.

Funny He Should Say That

Matt Y. sez:
I know a number of people in the [pundit] profession who regard any quantity of public pie-ings as tantamount to fascism (really, multiple people have put this argument to me)...
The only person I ever saw get pied was 60s radical Jerry Rubin. This was about 1979 and Rubin was on the campus of Southern Illinois University at Carbondale giving a lecture on his experiences in the 1960s. I was in the audience that day when a man suddenly ran up and threw a pie in Rubin’s face. Rubin became furious and either called the pie thrower a fascist or called the pie throwing a fascist thing to do, I can’t remember which.

I was baffled then and still don’t understand the “fascist” label for pie-throwing. Sure, it’s rude and juvenile, but “fascist”?

And by the way, when Rubin asked the pie man why he threw the pie at him, the man said something like, “It seemed like a sixties thing to do.” Like I said juvenile, not fascist.

Excuse Me

The lack of blogging lately is due to everything of laziness to illness to boredom with the whole thing. Plus, everything seems to slow down for me during the Christmas and New Year breaks. I’ll try to do better. In the meantime, know that Blago still sucks.

Friday, December 19, 2008

He Has Spoken

Shorter Blago: Suck on this.

Update: Blagojevich’s oddest comment:

"Afford me the same rights that you and your children have. The presumption of innocence."

You and your children? What’s that supposed to mean?

Friday Beer Blogging: Holiday Hiatus Editon

Like your favorite TV shows, FBB feels a need to go on hiatus or maybe show some reruns for the duration of the Holiday Season. I'm planning on a field trip to Brewhuas in the near future so that should spark some new beer ideas for the blog soon.

Anyway, here's a reprinted blast from the FBB Christmas past, 2005 to be exact.

Predictably, this week’s Friday Beer Blogging has a Christmas theme. I could have taken the high road and presented a fine layout of delicious Christmas/Winter beers. Something like this:

But no, I’m going for the real spirit of Christmas Beers. Of course, I’m talking about Beer Christmas Trees. These pictures were ripped-off from this site. And before that, the site printed on each picture. These are well-used pictures.

And this one is my favorite. I love the beer can star at the top of the "tree" and, man, look at the cool decorating on the walls.

Merry Christmas and a Happy Beer Tree.

And if you really can't get enough of beer Christmas trees, here's a link to my FBB Christmas post from last year.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

An Ice Poem

I link
You stink
The whole place is an ice rink

Thank you.

If this seems to be the ravings of a madman, consider that the 1978 Easter ice storm gave me Post Ice Storm Stress Evermore Disorder (PISSED).

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Vice Senator

Thinking about this whole mess with appointing a new Senator to fill the seat being vacated by President-elect Obama, it occurred to me that all of this could be avoided if only we elected vice senators as well. This isn't as crazy as it sounds as at first.

Senate candidate would have a running mate much as presidential candidates do now. These vice senators would not be duty free placeholders like many vice presidents, but would simply be the person designated to replace the senator should they vacate their office for whatever reason. The vice senator would likely have to be on staff with the senator or in some other public office since remaining in a private sector job might put that person in a conflict of interest situation with the senator.

This plan would avoid situations where a Republican governor gets to choose a replacement for a Democratic senator and vise versa. Or situations where a governor gets to play politics or goes totally rogue and tries to sell the seat. It also eliminates the need for a costly special election since the vice senator would have been elected already as part of the senator's team.

Now, some my ask where all this ends. Should we have vice representatives too? Well, no. I think drawing the line with senators makes sense. They have six year terms. Reps have two year terms. You are never far from an election for reps. Additionally, any given representative is a much smaller player than a senator. I don't think we need to go as far as having vice representatives.

Solving problems one at time here at TEH.

Take a Look Under LaHood

Could outgoing 18th Congressional District representative Ray LaHood be Obama’s Secretary of Transportation?
Rep. Ray LaHood (R-Ill.) is in discussions with the Obama administration to take a Cabinet-level post — most likely secretary of the Department of Transportation, according to knowledgeable GOP sources.

When reached on his cell phone, LaHood said only that Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), President-elect Obama’s incoming chief of staff, had contacted him last night

He would not discuss the details of the conversation.

“It’s probably not a good idea to discuss this at this moment,” LaHood said.

But one GOP source said that LaHood was engaged in talks with Emanuel about the Transportation secretary position, and the Obama transition team would like to make an announcement about it on Friday.

I guess I’m not sure what would make LaHood particularly suited for that position, but hey, maybe we can get some better, ummm, transportation around here out of the deal. My only concern: How does this make poor old, job-shopping Rod Blagojevich feel? He has to be disappointed.

Shorter Kev 12/17/08

Expand the Prairie Capital Convention Center! Increased activity at the PCCC will mean more money for my, er, Springfield business. I’m calling for a 1% meal tax that I would strongly object to if it were for anything other than enhancing my, er, Springfield’s business profits.

Kevan Kavanaugh’s commentaries can be heard regularly on AM 970 WMAY .

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Santa Doggie

Being the terrific and easily amused dog owners that we are, dressing the dog up in a Santa suit seemed the right thing to do. We were so proud of our Santa dog, Augie, that whenever company was to come over, we had to get him in costume.

This past weekend Mr. TEH had a few friends over for some Christmas cheer and, of course, Augie Doggie had to be dressed like Santa. Well, today in the mail we get this card fro one of those friends.

This "friend's" statement had a fatal flaw though! Our Santa Doggie had a full outfit not just a dumb hat. So there.

Things to Do Online

My online activity preferences in order:



Almost anything else


*Sorry, but Twitter is just so limiting. Blogging and Facebook can do everything Twitter does only much, much better.

It’s a Blago, Blago World

For you instant gratification types, it doesn’t look like Blago is going to be forcibly removed from office anytime soon.

The Illinois House voted 113-0 Monday to authorize an impeachment investigation of Gov. Rod Blagojevich…

The investigation will be conducted by a 21-member group of House members that House Speaker Michael Madigan

Under intense public pressure, state lawmakers decided to take the first step toward impeachment, but cautioned it wouldn’t be a speedy resolution.

Madigan said the committee of 12 Democrats and nine Republicans will meet until it comes up with a recommendation on impeachment

Madigan already is making plans for the impeachment committee to work into the new General Assembly, which convenes Jan. 14.
And on it will go for a while. While frustrating, I’m not sure doing things the right way isn’t better in the long run. And one can always dream that as the process marches on, Blagojevich will starts feeling the heat and get out on his own.

Peoples of the World

Here’s a little bit of world trivia you may not have been aware of (I wasn’t until recently): The population of Afghanistan is actually significantly larger than that of Iraq. Iraq’s population is between 25 and 29 million (depending on the source) while there are nearly 32 million inhabitants of Afghanistan. Given the terrain and relative isolation of Afghanistan, I had assumed it had a population of maybe half that number. As the war there gets increasingly worse (and less popular with the people there) it makes me wonder if things might get as bad as they once were in Iraq. Or in Afghanistan under Soviet occupation.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Shorter Kev 12/15/08

Regarding Governor Blagojevich, I have a unique and interesting idea: Impeach.

Kevan Kavanaugh’s commentaries can be heard regularly on AM 970 WMAY .

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sweeps Creep

I didn't know this until the just other day, but the Nielsen television sweeps will be happening in March instead of February this coming year. The reason is the nationwide conversion to digital broadcasting by television stations coming in February. I guess the conversion is going to throw the viewership off due to the mass confusion over the switch, but everything will be back to normal a month later. Or something.

Sweeps, of course, mean better TV than non-sweeps periods. And anything is better than the TV wasteland we are entering into because of the holidays. Did you notice most of your favorites did their Christmas shows this past week? From here until at least sometime in January, expect nothing but reruns. Thank goodness someone got around to inventing HBO.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Saturday Music Blogging: Mad World Edition

Back in early 1985, I pulled a copy of Tears for Fears monumental album Songs From the Big Chair out of the trash at the radio station at which I worked. I discovered I really liked a number of the songs on the album and, in fact, a couple soon became big hits (Shout and Everyone Wants to Rule the World). I had never heard of Tears for Fears and assumed that the album was there first. In fact, it was their second.

Tears for Fears first album, The Hurting, I later found out, contained a really good song called Mad World. Recently I heard the song again on my satellite radio and thought it would be good to post the video here. Mad World was also done a few years ago by Gary Jules and his version, which is different but also very good, was featured in the movie Donnie Darko (movie version of the video here).

Friday, December 12, 2008

Blago Caption Contest

“Wait here while I stop him from rolling over in his grave.”

“Hey dude, smell my fingers.”

“See this place? I’m thinking of moving it to Chicago. Or Harrisburg.”

“My hair or his hair? You decide.”

Serious Insights: Loud TV Edition

I’ve come up with a new term for those commercials on my teevee that are way louder than the shows themselves: Screaming Audio.

The Cost of Blago

Rod’s refusal to leave could be costing the state money:

SPRINGFIELD - Signs emerged Thursday that the bombshell corruption charges against Gov. Rod Blagojevich are beginning to affect the operation of state government.

The Standard & Poor's credit rating agency put the state on a credit watch at the same time officials were in the midst of borrowing up to $1.4 billion to help pay a massive backlog of bills.

In a statement, S & P credit analyst John Kenward said the legal charges against Blagojevich "may challenge the state to respond to this fiscal situation on a timely basis."

Any change in the state's credit rating could result in higher borrowing costs, which eventually affect taxpayers.

"If the state were downgraded, it would mean the state would have to pay significantly more," said Sara Wojcicki, spokeswoman for Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias.

The treasurer's office estimates a worst-case downgrade could cost taxpayers an extra $2.3 million if $1.4 billion were borrowed for six months.
The big story here for me is that yet another Ch. 20 alum, Sara Wojcicki, has become a state spokesperson. Does Wojcicki's new employer know about this?

Friday Beer Blogging: Iowa Edition

Blagojevich overload! Time to run for the border...the Iowa border!

This past weekend I was beer shopping at Friar Tuck and came across a brew called Windmill Wheat.

Windmill wheat is brewed by Millstream Brewing Company of Amana, Iowa.

I bought a six and I think it's pretty good. Millstream describes their wheat beer this way:
Our lightest beer, this is a popular brew in rural Iowa. Malted wheat is carefully blended with the traditional malted barley, and brewed with special hops to create a "Summer Fest" beer. Light and zesty in itself, the beer is served in a tall glass with a slice of lemon.
Well, you can leave the lemon out and it's still good.

Have a great weekend! And have an Iowa beer while everyone is laughing at Illinois and its politicians.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Hah. By at least by one measure, Illinois is NOT the most corrupt state in the nation. Care to guess which one is?

Thursday Blagojevich Thread

I don’t know how much there is left to say at this point, but if I think of anything Blago-related I’ll park it here.

Tuesday evening, about 10 hours after the news of Blagojevich’s arrest broke, Mrs. TEH told me she thought the story was an embarrassment to Illinois. I took some exception to that and told her I thought it was really only making Blagojevich look bad. But as I watched the cable news shows and late night comedians, I quickly realized she was right. Everyone really is laughing at the State of Illinois. How many years is it going to take us to shake the most-corrupt-place-in–the–universe reputation?

Update: The governor showed up for work yesterday in Chicago, but what “work” did he actually get done? Is there any State business that can be done in a vacuum? I mean, no one is going to even take a call from this guy much less assist him in governing.

Update II: I remember when I was living in Chicago there were tours (like this one) you could take of old gangster sites in the city. Can we get something out of this Blagojevich mess and have a Gangster Blago Tour of the various Chicago buildings where he and his henchmen hung (still hang) out? For now, all proceeds would go to some sort of impeachment fund. After we finally blast him out of his governor’s chair, a private concern could run it for profit.

Update III: Obviously what Blagojevich is alleged to have done is WAY over the line, but does anyone think that there’s not usually some sort of political quid pro quo in things like filling vacant Senate seats? It’s kind of hard to get the politics out of, well, politics. Doing it strictly for personal financial gain is another matter entirely, of course.

Update IV: I’m not saying Blagojevich is a Nazi, but his holding up in his Chicago office “working” reminds me of Hitler in the bunker in his last days issuing orders to armies that no longer existed.

Update V: Listening to Pat Quinn’s press conference, I thought I heard him say he would live in the governor’s mansion here in Springfield (it was hard to hear the question). He has a Chicago accent so I’m sure he hates Springfield anyway.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Lizard King’s Dad

George Morrison, who passed away last month, had an amazing military career. After reading about his life in this NYT obit, it seems almost incidental that he was also the father of rock legend Jim Morrison.

Wednesday Blago Thread

I’m going to dump my Blago items all in this one post today. Roman numerals will be included.

Here’s a good observation from a commenter over at Matthew Yglesias’ blog: ...Barack Obama may have done a greater service for the people of Illinois by resigning his senate seat than he would have by completing his term, considering that the vacancy he left is what lead to the particular bit of corruption in which Blagojevich was caught red-handed.

Update: I almost forgot - Happy Birthday Rod! (He’s 52 today).

Update II: Watching the Illinois News Channel’s feed of Fox News Chicago, apparently there isn’t any protest in front of the Thompson Center where Blagojevich is expected to soon arrive to report to work. That’s disappointing.

Update III: Judy Baar Topinka being interviewed on FNC is all sour grapes and joins Jim Edgar in blamming the voters for Blago's corruption. Topinka also says she thinks any appointment of a new senator by Pat Quinn would be tainted as well. What? That seems a bit of a stretch. I guess Judy should make the appointment since she came in second.

Update IV: Leave Dan Walker alone. Walker keeps getting lumped in with the other Illinois governors who have been convicted of something. I suppose that's to hype the all Illinois politicians are corrupt meme. But keep in mind, Walker’s conviction came for crimes committed after he was out of state government. The charges had nothing to do with him being governor. I’m not excusing Walker, just saying he really can’t be put into the “corrupt and convicted governor’s” club.

Update V: So now Obama is calling for Blagojevich to resign. Is Blago going to listen to anyone? At this point, it may not just be arrogance that keeps him from resigning but a sense of being backed into a corner. The guy already thought he wasn’t making enough money, he probably knows that if he quits ain’t no one going to hire him. He might as well hang on as long as can and hope that’s a long time. I guess he might also be delusional enough to think he can ride it out. It seems to work for the Bush administration.

Update VI: Everyone is lauding Patrick Fitzgerald for his impressive crime-busting record. And while the man certainly does have talent, it’s easy (easier) to rack up kills in target-rich environments like Illinois and the Bush administration.

Update VII: So does the Blagojevich scandal effectively mute calls for the early release of George Ryan from prison? I think it does. That doesn’t mean George Bush won’t commute Ryan’s sentence to time served, but I doubt we’ll be hearing much from Dick Durbin on the matter anymore.

Update VIII: Rich Miler reports on about a hundred good reasons why it would be best to just expedite impeachment of Blagojevich (assuming he really won’t resign) and let Governor Quinn appoint the new senator from Illinois.

Shorter Kev 12/10/08

I told you Blago sucked! I told you that 30 times in the last 15 months. I kept track. How awesome am I? I even called for him to resign once on April 16, 2008 (I kept track)! So quit your partying and Impeach Now!

Kevan Kavanaugh’s commentaries can be heard regularly on AM 970 WMAY .

A Sunshine Day

Good Morning! So has he resigned yet?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

New Rule for the Blog

It's my blog, my rules. From now on when posting a comment here you must have a Blogger ID. If you post anonymously, in all likelihood your comment will be deleted. I just find anonymous comments annoying.

Wrong Reasons

I find it kind of odd how many people are happy about Blagojevich's arrest not because he is charged with the wrongdoing laid out in the criminal complaints, but because they don't like him for some other reason. These are the wrong reasons to be joyful:

1. He was going to move state jobs or close a facility
2. He's a Democrat (many Republicans are a little too happy)
3. He hates Springfield (or wherever)
4. He's from Chicago
5. He didn't live in the Executive Mansion
6. His hair

You should be happy that a crook got busted for his (alleged) crimes, not for some pet peeve you have against the man. But human nature being what it is...

Serious Insights Blago Busted Edition

I got up this morning and wondered what I could possibly blog about today.

New Blagojevich Thread

The post below was getting a bit long so I'm starting a fresh one here.

Ha, ha. Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC made a big deal about how Blago used dirty words in his taped conversation. It was one of the first things she wanted to talk about, and at length, with correspondent Pete Williams right after the Fitzgerald press conference ended. Yes Andrea, the bad words are the big story. Sheesh. Unfortunatly, Andrea and Pete's fainting couch extravaganza was interupted by breaking news...a press conference on Jay Leno's new prime time show on NBC. Double sheesh.

Update I: I had been wondering for a long time why it was taking Blago so long to come up with a successor to Obama. I mean, it's been a really good possibility that the seat would come open for many many months. If I were governor, I would have been thinking about it since at least February of 2007. But now it all makes sense; Blago was looking for the highest bidder.

Of all the alleged wrongdoings, this is the one that really enrages me. Selling a senate a fucking seat (sorry Andrea). What a son of a bitch (again Andrea, my bad). He is now not able to appoint anyone because it would be tainted and, as I said earlier, no one would accept it now anyway. Yet he is the only one who can legally make the appointment while he is governor. Therefore, Blagojevich must resign or be impeached immediately. This isn’t just a case of alleged political corruption where the perp is able to await trial and hang on to his job in the meantime. The senate seat situation makes it imperative he step aside or be removed. Now.

Update II: The best line in the Fitz-conference was Fitz himself saying that Blago's corruption would make Lincoln roll over in his grave. I thought I heard some strange rumblings coming from the far north part of town.

Update III: Say, couldn’t we get something out of this yet by inviting the national media to stake out Lincoln’s tomb in case the Great Emancipator does roll over in his grave?

Update IV: Maybe there are other options if Blago doesn’t resign?
Does Governor Blagojevich still have the authority to appoint Obama's successor to the open seat, now that he's been accused of, er, conspiring to sell that same seat?
We checked in with the Illinois Attorney General's office for an answer. And guess what -- they don't have one yet!

In yet another sign of just how bizarre and murky this story is, the AG's office tells us that they're researching the question of what happens now and will have an answer soon. As if this story needed any more oddball twists.

Separately, on CNN just now, commentator Jeffrey Toobin just opined that he thinks Blago does retain that power but that the Senate would refuse to seat his choice under these circumstances. We'll let you know when the Illinois AG's office makes it official.

Late Update: In a televised interview just now, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin just called for a special election to fill the seat. The legalities of this course, too, are uncertain.
Hmmm. If Madigan makes a decision on this, does that take her out of the running as the senate pick? Can't we just give Durbin two votes until 2010? This is all making my head hurt.

Update V: A.G. Lisa Madigan calls on Blago to resign saying he is “incapable of governing”. And as we all know, governing is right in the job title. She joins Lt. Governor Pat Quinn, Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias and millions of average Illinoisians in that call for resignation. BTW, the SJ-R’s Blagojevich Blog is giving good coverage updates.

Update VI: Blago out on a $4500.00 recognizance bond. I guess they aren’t worried about him as a flight risk since he’s loathe to ever leave Chicago.

Update VII: So Rich Miller wants to have a Fitzmas party at the Alamo tonight. Sounds good but I think I’ll just have one for the Fitzster at home.

Update VIII: You might want to get to know Pat Quinn.

Update IX: Blago's attorney says the Guv will not resign, has done nothing wrong and will be in the office tomorrow. Blago, you dipshit. Time to crank up the impeachment machine. Governor, you are toast.

Adding: If he really goes into the office tomorrow, I suspect the protests outside the building will be huge. Isn't his Chicago office in the Thompson Center? I'm going to set up a pitchfork and torch concession at the corner of Randolph and Clark.

Blagojevich Arrested

Just wow. If true. (Update: it is)

Update: So is this why Blago was taking so long to pick an Obama replacement? He had bigger things to worry about like getting is affairs in order?

Update II: So we are down one U.S. Senator and the Governor. Who's running this place?

Update III: Gee, Blago was just getting some national press on the whole Bank of America thing. Now he's going to get a whole lot more attention.

Update IV: Does Pat Quinn hate Springfield too? I'd sure hate for Springfieldians' inferiority complex and sense of victimhood not to be fed regularly. It's such a becoming trait.

Update V: Apparently it's true.

Update VI: It's always good to get the bad guy, but I'm not as gleeful about this as a lot of people. I guess I just find it sad and disappointing.

Update VII: Not that I was paying a whole lot of attention, but I really thought that Blago would go the same way as George Ryan. That is, he would wind up serving out his term and then eventually face charges of some sort sometime after he had left office and after a lengthy investigation.

Update VIII: MSNBC is reporting:

A 76-page FBI affidavit alleges that Blagojevich was intercepted on court-authorized wiretaps during the last month conspiring to sell or trade for personal gain the state's U.S. Senate seat, which is being vacated by President-elect Barack Obama.
Oh boy. You would think that knowing he was under the corruptuion microscope he would have laid off the, well, corruption.

Update IX: And no, I don’t think this is going to have any effect on Barack Obama. I never saw Obama and Blago as being all that close. I’m sure the McCain campaign would have tried to connect the two (see Rezko and Ayers) had this happened a few months ago, but I’m not sure it would have been all that damaging to Obama.

Update X: I sure am getting a good workout with my Roman numerals.

Update XI: You know, if Blago was living in the Governor’s Mansion where he belongs, he likely would have been arrested here in Springfield. All those federal agents would have eaten at our restaurants, slept in our hotels and maybe taken in the Lincoln sites. It would have been a boost for the local economy! But no, Blagojevich was at his home in Chicago. Even in his arrest, Blagojevich is just proving how much he hates Springfield.

Update XII: While many state Republicans seem extra-specially excited about today’s news, it’s really the Democrats who should be the most thrilled. Blago can be long gone before the 2010 election season really gets going. This actually removes the elephant sitting in their room. Since most Dems in recent years have had serious issues with Blagojevich, it’s hard for me to see how he drags the party down with him. But who knows.

Update XIII: The federal complaint is available for your enjoyment here (pdf).

Update XIV: Rich Miller’s Capitol Fax Blog seems a little busy today and somewhat slow to load. Did something newsworthy happen in state government?

Update XV: Josh Marshall sez:
Even setting aside the primordial level of corruption of trying to sell the senate seat of the President-elect of the United States, I never fail to be amazed at the brazenness and stupidity of some political crooks. I mean, I think everyone involved in politics or interested in political corruption in the country had to know that Blagojevich's phones were tapped and probably his offices were bugged, and that Pat Fitzgerald had him under the craziest level of scrutiny. And he tries to sell the senate seat with that hanging over his head? That's simply amazing.
Indeed. It’s the hubris, stupid.

Update XVI: Oh, adding to Update XI above, don’t forget all the media members that would have spent money here and all the free publicity Springfield would have gotten. Oh, that man’s contempt for us is just so palpable. How could he deny us this moment?

Update XVII: Wow. Kelm and Kirk really are two of the stupidest people on the planet (well, that maybe a little harsh; maybe just knuckleheads.). But they are very happy cuz today’s news proves Democrats are all bad. Click. I’ll wait until later to get live local radio coverage.

Update XVIII: The AP has the best “mood” photo of Blagojevich that I’ve seen so far today.

Why the frowny face, Rod?

Update XIX: A lot of people are saying they knew this was coming sooner rather than later. I’ll admit that I did not, at least not in the near future. But even for those who did allegedly know, wasn’t this morning’s news a bit jarring and, well, unexpected in the sense that it happened so suddenly? I would have thought there would have been more leaks leading up to the arrest. And maybe the governor given time to surrender himself after an indictment was handed down. Maybe there were lots of obvious telltale signs (not counting wishes) and I just wasn't paying attention.

Update XX: OK, in the Fitzgerald press conference it is made clear that the criminal complaints came now, in part, to prevent the corruption of the process by which Obama's senate seat is filled. This will hopefully circumvent any "tainted" senator going to Washington. So I guess I was right, this was sudden and for good reason. This is like the cops foiling a bank robbery. No need to wait. Although Blago, as of now, still has the power to appoint the new senator, no one in their right mind would accept such an appointment from Blagojevich becuse it would lack legitimacy.

I'm runing out of Roman numerals so more Blago Bust thread in post above