Tuesday tidbits

Just a few things that caught my eye as I was wandering around the intertubes…

  • Democratic Governor Rod Blagojevich and his Chief of Staff were arrested by the FBI today, accused of corruption charges. According to CNN, each man was charged with a count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and a count of solicitation of bribery. The corruption charges were in part related to the selection of President-elect Barack Obama’s successor, said the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Northern District of Illinois.

    Apparently, Gov. Blagojevich was trying to sell president-elect Obama’s now vacant U.S. Senate seat to the highest bidder, and Gov. is Blagojevich is alleged to have said he knew that the President-elect wanted Senate Candidate 1 for the open seat but “they’re not willing to give me anything except appreciation. [Expletive] them.”

    Being from Wisconsin, I’d love to know what’s up with politicians in Illinois. Didn’t anyone learn anything from the conviction of former Gov. George Ryan for corruption? All I have to say is while I understand Gov. Blagojevich is innocent until proven guilty, I hope he’ll do the right thing and step aside as Governor of Illinois so as to not serve as a huge distraction while his criminal matters get sorted out, and if he chooses not to step aside of his own volition, then I hope those politicians in Illinois impeach him. To be honest, I’m simply stunned at the level of hubris Gov. Blagojevich has demonstrated in choosing to (allegedly) engage in this kind of blatantly illegal behavior after succeeding a governor who was convicted of not entirely dissimilar behavior.

    EDIT: CNN is reporting Gov. Blagojevich was released on $4,500 bail after he appeared in Federal court this afternoon. What I’d like to know is what kind of bail is $4,500? I’ve seen bigger bails set in cases that seemed far less serious than this.

  • In other news, Senator Larry Craig (R-Bathroom Stalls) has lost his latest attempt to withdraw his guilty plea in the Minneapolis airport men’s room sex sting that effectively ended his Senate career. The Minnesota Court of Appeals rejected Craig’s appeal to toss out his disorderly conduct conviction, but this may not be the last of Larry Craig, because he can still appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court. You’ll recall Craig was arrested June 11, 2007, by an undercover police officer who was conducting a sting operation against men cruising for gay sex at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Sen. Craig, who did not seek reelection to another term in office, will be replaced in the new session of Congress by fellow Republican Jim Risch, Idaho’s Lt. Governor.
  • Unrelated to anything political, am I the only Wisconsinite who doesn’t really mind the amounts of snow we’re getting right now? Sure, it’s hell to drive in, but it’s not as if driving in the snow is anything new for anyone who’s lived in Wisconsin for more than 10 minutes.
  • One more thing. How bad is the economy right now? So bad that the NFL is cutting 14% of its staff due to the current economic downturn. When a cash cow like the NFL is cutting jobs, you know the economy’s in bad shape.

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