11 Responses to Blagojevich Gets 14 years

  • I am not surprised. What politician from Illinois is not corrupt?. Can anybody tell?

  • I remember when he tried to get on a reality show in the middle of his trial. Maybe reality will finally catch up with him.

  • More likely than not, other corrupt pols in Illinois are either thinking about ways to legally achieve the same results (oodles of campaign cash) as Blago, or more creative ways to avoid getting caught.

    As for what politician from Illinois is NOT corrupt, I can think of a few examples from the recent past. Sen. Peter Fitzgerald, for example, a Republican who preceded Obama in the seat that later became the subject of Blago’s “sale”. He was pro-life and generally conservative, and was most responsible for getting Patrick Fitzgerald (no relation), the man who eventually prosecuted Blago, appointed U.S. attorney.

    Likewise, I do not believe the current governor, Democrat Pat Quinn, is corrupt in the legal/criminal sense (i.e. directly soliciting bribes as Blago did). However, non-corruption alone does not a statesman make. He is incompetent, waffling, and very messed up in his notion of Catholic moral teaching. As far as basic competence and in potential damage to state (and especially Catholic) institutions, arguably Quinn is as bad or worse than Blago.

    In theory, Blago could end up as a cellmate of his predecessor, George Ryan, who is currently in the federal pen at Terre Haute, Ind. and has a year left to go on HIS sentence. However, since Blago’s sentence is over 10 years he will most likely be sent to a slightly higher security institution than Ryan and not a “Club Fed”.

  • “I am not surprised. What politician from Illinois is not corrupt?. Can anybody tell?”

    The same could be said of NYS where I once lived. They are, however, good at not getting caught, but not always so good at avoiding scandal. Can you spell Anthony Weiner?

  • I have a dream.

    In a couple years you will read this headline. “Obama Gets 50 Years to Life for Stealing $3 trillion Dollars and Wrecking America.”

  • “Obama Gets 50 Years to Life for Stealing $3 trillion Dollars and Wrecking America.”

    What does he get for authorizing the indiscriminate murder of the unborn and the sanctification of homosexual filth?

  • Dante would provide a specific trench in the Inferno for Obama, Biden, Pelosi, Sibellius, Teddy Chappaquidick, et al.

  • A commenter at one of my favorite Illinois political junkie blogs said this today: Blago’s sentence amounts to about 30 seconds for each of his 13 million victims (Illinois residents).

    Actually, Dante did assign a specific trench in the Inferno to “grafters,” i.e. corrupt rulers/politicians, who spend eternity immersed in boiling tar, symbolic of their “sticky fingers.” At one point a demon shows up bearing one of “Santa Zita’s elders,” an alderman from the Italian city of Lucca, where “no is yes, and yes is no, for a fee” — the 13th century version of “pay to play.”

  • 13th century – 21st century – it’s all the same.

  • 13th century – 21st century – it’s all the same.

    Human-nature wise, yeah. (And, as it’s popular to notice once again, politics is very much about human nature.)

61 Responses to Catholics and Cussing

  • Reminds me of the time that Bush Jr. forgot the microphone was on and called a reporter “major league @**hole” for the whole world to hear.

  • Yes, best to think and not to say, although in regard to that reporter it was a completely apt observation in my opinion.

    http://archive.newsmax.com/articles/?a=2000/9/5/162759

  • Here’s cause for cussing. A Houston VA national cemetery director (federal bureaucrat) ignoring a judge’s specific court order persists in prohibiting saying the word “God” at vets’ funeral services. She says its Obama Admin. Rules and Regulations.

    Taking in vain the Lord’s name is always forbidden.

    Condemning another to the nether regions is uncharitable and wrathful (one of the seven deadly sins).

    To the extent they are uncharitable and wrathful all cuss words should be avoided.

    However, words referring to body parts and bodily functions (should be avoided) are not on the same deeply immoral level as the ones that profane God or curse another’s hope of salvation.

    Thank you, catholic Obamas.

  • Everyone either cusses or uses masked profanity. “F-bomb” another example of a euphemism along with the “n-word.” Everyone knows what the words are but you can’t say them. What hypocrisy.

    Can’t go to a movie without hearing at least one of the “seven dirty words” lampooned by the late, great George Carlin, a lapsed Catholic by the way. Go ahead, hit your thumb with a hammer and yell, “Darn!” See if it works. Get cut off by someone on the freeway and try to refrain from yelling “a–hole!” Nothing like a stream of expletives to relief the pain and stress of life.

  • I have made it through 54 years Joe almost never using profanity, and my temper is as Irish as most things about me. The tendency to frequent public swearing by large segments of the population is merely an indication of the self-obsession, loutishness and rudeness which is the hallmark of social interaction today. Swinish George Carlin made a lot of money popularizing the trend, although he blew most of it feeding his various drug addictions. He was very much a child of his times.

  • Interesting, Don, how there is an imaginary and fuzzy demarcation between “public swearing,” as you put it, and “private swearing,” which I have often heard in small groups by people who ordinarily do not swear in larger company. Not sure how they decide when it’s OK to let loose.

    As for me, having grown up on the mean streets of NY, hearing my hard-working dad come home every day and unleash some choice words, and then transitioning right after high school in the Navy, cussing was very much part of my vocabulary. The way I look at it, the additional words are merely more tools in one’s verbal arsenal and to be used whenever one feels the need to vent or otherwise express oneself where a euphemism will not do.

    Although I have and continue to make free use of profanity, especially now that we have an empty nest, at elsewhere — especially when missing a 3-footer for par — I did make it a practice not to utter obscenities when my kids were young and impressionable. In other words, there’s a time and place. Of course, TAC is not the place. But next time I stub my toe, which is bound to happen in the next few days, in the privacy of my home, I will not be shouting just “ouch!”

    At the risk of trapping myself in a paradox, I, too, decry the incivility and coarseness of modern society in which cuss words are indiscriminately used, especially by young children. I suppose it’s one of the “privileges” of being a mature adult to be permitted to make use of an expanded vocabulary — judiciously, of course, and with appropriate restraint.

    Given your “almost never” exception, it is a relief to know that an Irishman possessing such high virtue as yourself now and then has a lapse or two.

  • “Given your “almost never” exception, it is a relief to know that an Irishman possessing such high virtue as yourself now and then has a lapse or two.”

    A minor virtue, but my own. I also have never drunk alcohol, other than in Nyquil, which I assume makes me a rara avis among those whose ancestors came from the Isle of saints and scholars. However, I have more than enough sins to account for come Judgment Day to keep me from feeling much pride in mastering certain minor virtues. I also do not gamble, perhaps a legacy from generations of thrifty Scots in my genetic mix!

  • I plead guilty, unfortunately, to the sins you have been able to avoid, which, if I ever return to the fold, no doubt will mean at least 1,000 more years in purgatory.

  • The worst of sins Joe are those involving pride, as exemplified by the fall of Lucifer. I wish I was immune to that particular sin as I am to drunkness, gambling or being foul mouthed.

    One of my favorite passages from the Screwtape Letters on a virtue that I have always found hard to attain, although, as indicated, a sense of humor helps:

    “Your patient has become humble, have you drawn his attention to the fact??? All virtues are less formidable to us once the man is aware that he has them, but this is especially true of humility. Catch him at the moment when he is really poor in spirit and smuggle into his mind the gratifying reflection, “ I’m being humble” and almost immediately PRIDE – Pride at his own humility- will appear. If he awakes to the danger and tries to smother this new form of pride make him proud of his attempt – and so on, through as many stages as you please. But don’t try this too long, for fear you awake his sense of humor and proportion, in which case he will merely laugh at you and go on to bed.”

  • How true, Don. When you try to act humble, it just doesn’t work. I remember after I did an act of contrition or went to confession, I always congratulated myself on what a good Catholic I was. I just can’t grasp why God loves such flawed creatures as we. If I were Him I would have scrapped the assembly line and started over again.

  • He marks the sparrow’s fall Joe. He takes joy in all His creation, and perhaps the overwhelming love of God is the hardest attribute of Him for us to fathom.

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  • When Jesus picked Mary Magdalene out of the gutter, he told her, “Go and sin no more.” I would be neither she nor anyone else, including St. Paul (who admitted as much) could keep that command.

  • I rather suspect that she did not engage in the sin of adultery again Joe which I believe was the sin He was referring to. Saint Peter asked Christ to leave him because he was a sinful man. We sometimes gives up hope for ourselves, and it is therefore fortunate that God does not.

  • BTW, Don, that link you provided (cuss-o-meter) does not seem to work. You mean there’s a Big Brother somewhere monitoring cuss words on the Net? Also, TAC’s low incidence must be the result of censorship by you and others who run this site. So your “score” is more the result of policing the posts rather than restraint on the part of the posters, no?

  • P.S. I did get the link to finally open and tried several other “racier” websites and still got a zero rating, which means that either the cuss-o-meter isn’t very effective or otherwise very liberal in its scoring.

  • I don’t think ‘cussing’ or not ‘cussing’ is the question to ask. I believe that the disposition of a person will dictate speech. If we concentrate on acquiring the correct disposition, our approach to language will fall into place. Some words may be used becauxe they’re popular, even while they may sound rather like ‘cussing’. But the disposition is what people will really notice.

  • It is funny that this particular mark of poor character is one I’ve been working very hard to control or stop practicing. I would never have thought quitting cussing would be harder than quitting drinking or quitting smokes. I think that what comes out of our mouths is a reflection of what is in our souls. So my prayers have been directed to God for giving me a new heart, mind, and new mouth. I have improve over the last few months, but I cannot enter into a discussion about politics without sinning. 😳

  • Politics involves a lot of opinion as I see it. I’ve come to see party labels and platforms as basically relative in relation to the kingdom of God. We learn that Jesus is King, not Caeser or any state. His kingdom alone endures. I don’t even bother to argue politics anymore.

  • “We learn that Jesus is King, not Caeser or any state.”

    We also learn to render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s. That leaves ample room for political discussion and disagreement.

    Sawman your comment reminds me about a crooked politician who was going door to door seeking votes. One of his constituents gave him an earful and then felt bad about it, that is until he saw his priest doing the same thing to the public thief. God makes allowances I think when we are sorely tested, and some politicians would cause Saint Paul to swear!

  • Yes, I advocate involvement. But I can’t see taking sides with a party since each contains truth and error mixed. Neither party, furthermore, represents God’s kingdom which alone brings about justice, truth, community, etc., in the fullest sense.

  • “since each contains truth and error mixed”

    True, although the same can be said for most things this side of the grave. I am a Republican. That party best represents my political views, although I certainly wouldn’t claim that it is free from error. As long as the Democrat Party embraces abortion, I will work against that party in the political sphere as long as there is breath in my body. However, this discussion is going afield from the topic of my post.

  • Indeed. I think a person within whom the Spirit of God is at work will witness accordingly. Speech will reflect that. People get an overall sense of someone regardless of a slip here and there. Someone may use a certain word that’s construed as ‘cussing’. They won’t do so repeatedly, however, unless it reflects their inward condition.

  • Unfortunately, swearing is a vice I indulge in more than I would like to admit. As a Navy vet, I can “swear like a sailor”. My dad, who was not averse to foul language himself (although he rarely used it around the house), often said it’s a sign of immaturity.

    I wonder what George Washington would think of the modern U.S. military, where profanity is an intregal part of its vernacular. I remember hearing a Marine WWII vet saying he had to speak very slowly and deliberately when he returned home because he was so used to swearing.

  • I think it is dangerous to assume that you can see the inner person through their outward appearance. Sheesh… To hear y’all talk, most of the good men I’ve known are bound for hell for their speech alone.

    You are taking cussin too seriously. Rude? Assuredly, which is why we mutter under our breath rather than sayin what actually comes to mind. There is a HUGE difference between taking God’s name in vain and cussin youself out after doing something stupid.

  • Greg, good point. Ex-swabbie here, too, and when I was at sea for months at a time and in an environment where swearing was the norm, it took me awhile to adjust when I got home. I remember the first few days sitting at the dinner table with all my relatives and we were having a big Italian meal. Without even thinking, I blurted out, “Mom, you making the best f—n lasagna in the world.” The conversation when stone cold, then everyone laughed nervously while I apologized profusely. It’s a matter of conditioning.

  • “By starving emotions we become humorless, rigid and stereotyped; by repressing them we become literal, reformatory and holier-than-thou; encouraged, they perfume life; discouraged, they poison it.” (Joseph Collins)

    Pride may goeth before a fall, but you’ll still feel the pain of a broken tailbone. 🙄

  • “By starving emotions we become humorless, rigid and stereotyped; by repressing them we become literal, reformatory and holier-than-thou; encouraged, they perfume life; discouraged, they poison it.” (Joseph Collins)”

    I represent quite a few people in my criminal practice Invective who let their emotions do their thinking for them. I doubt if many of them view their life as being perfumed by the experience.

  • “I think it is dangerous to assume that you can see the inner person through their outward appearance.”

    Appearance no, G-Veg, but actions usually. Rampant cussing is a sign of societal decay, a symbol that we care more for expressing ourselves, no matter how poorly and unimaginatively,than we do for those exposed to our verbal pollution. It isn’t the worst thing in the world, but it is a bad thing.

  • The thing is, the image we cultivate is rarely the person we are. Actions speak louder than words but many a good man cussed regular and creatively wheras many a cultured monser didn’t.

    Are we talking about cussin for effect or reflexively?

    I hear tell that Grant and Patton cursed something awful. My Senior Chief could bring down a Mig with his invective. I’d swear my gradfather brought rain to his parched fields with the choice words he directed to that North Carolina sun.

    I detest the inclusion if curse words for effect such as many stand-up comics present but I’d expect, and even enjoy, a good and creative string from one of my uncles. (Mechanics cuss better and longer than most Navy guys.)

  • I’d argue that excessive priggishness and loudly proclaiming one’s own superiority is as much a sign of societal decay. Again, pride being a sin, and all.

    One might even say it’s the sign of someone who takes themselves entirely too seriously and may be a bit of a Pharisee.

  • Yes, the Pharisee cannot let God be God. They take themselves very seriously, and they would play his role.

  • “I hear tell that Grant and Patton cursed something awful.”

    Patton yes, Grant no.

  • “I’d argue that excessive priggishness and loudly proclaiming one’s own superiority is as much a sign of societal decay. Again, pride being a sin, and all.”

    I’d say that being foul mouthed and acting as a troll on a website under an assumed name is something a bit more sinful than priggishness. I do not think that anyone looking at our society, at least anyone in their right mind, would regard priggishness as being a major concern.

  • “They take themselves very seriously, and they would play his role.”

    Actually the Pharisees were the closest among the Jews to the message proclaimed by Christ. Much of what Christ proclaimed in moral teaching we find also in the writings of the Pharisees. Christ condemned them not because of what they taught, but because they failed to live up to their teachings.

  • Mac,

    You repeated yourself again: “crooked politician.”

    Joe,

    I cut GI’s and vets a whole lot of slack in this area. “Single men living in barracks don’t make plaster saints.” Kipling

    However, I don’t remember any of the WWII men I knew growing using cuss words. At least, not around children.

    I’m not sure the following is not cussing. C&W singer Billy Joe Shaver, “If you don’t love Jesus go to hell.” But, I doubt Billy Joe is a Catholic. And, I know he is not an Obama catholic.

  • Grant on swearing:

    “I never learned to swear . . . I could never see the use of swearing . . . I have always noticed . . . that swearing helps rouse a man’s anger.”

  • I believe C. S. Lewis was right when he said that our virtues can become our vices. It’s easy to become prideful when we abstain from ‘cussing,’ etc.

  • One can become prideful in anything Pat. Nitpicking on the internet comes to mind for some reason. In any case to engage in cussing so as not to risk pride in not cussing strikes me as perverse.

  • Read “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand and “Escape from Davao” by John Lukacs, two unforgettable true stories of POWs in the Pacific theater during World War II treated so cruelly by the Japanese that even the most pious of the prisoners gave scatological and obscene nicknames to their savage guards.

    In wartime, under such dire conditions when men were tortured, starved and treated like sub-humans, I think even God would make allowances for the use of profanity under such circumstances. Point being that cussing needs to be taken in context.

  • Yes, most definately. I think we should make it an effort to speak as ‘correctly’ as possible. Sometimes, though, we can go overboard in an effort to win approval from God.

  • “In wartime, under such dire conditions when men were tortured, starved and treated like sub-humans, I think even God would make allowances for the use of profanity under such circumstances.”

    Quite correct Joe. Just as I think he would have made an allowance for a prisoner sticking a shank between the ribs of an especially brutal guard under such dire circumstances.

  • I appreciate your expertise on American military heroes. I tend to think of Grant as rough and tumble and assumed he. was a drink and swear kind of guy.

    There seems to be a link though between the prior discussion on tattoos and the present discussion on cursing. You present a forceful statement barring all with the collateral claim that the activity is evidence of a decaing society. Only, I fail to see and you have not identified the inherent wrongness of the act.

    If the act isn’t wrong in and of itself then it must be the effect that makes it wrong.

    I just don’t see how a discreet tatoo or cussin under my breath is either wrong on its own or harmful in its effect. Therefore, how can it be that Others cn safely judge me as terribly sinful on either account.

  • BTW, Don, there is a profoundly moving moment in Lukacs’ book when the sole Catholic in a group of 12 attempting to escape from prison camp after the Bataan Death March produced what could be called a miracle. Stuck in swamp, virtually lost and stung by insects and crawling with leeches, the man — Sam Grashio — gathered the men around him and offered up a prayer he remembered to the Blessed Mother. The men repeated every line he said — about five in all — and immediately after they ended the prayer, a sense of total calm came over the group and they were able to resume their escape. That one passage in the book brought me closer to my Catholic faith than anything else in the past 10 years.

  • John Lukacs was a profound thinker and historian. Two thumbs up for Lukacs—read his The End of an Age. Deeply insightful!

  • Ooops….that’s At the End of an Age!

  • pat, that’s a different Lukacs. John D. Lukacs (note middle initial) wrote Escape from Davao and is a much younger man. No relation, I believe. The other Lukacs whom you refer to is indeed an excellent historian.

  • Oh yes….I remember trying to find books by Lukacs and coming across the other Lukacs. Thanks.

  • The story on Sam Grashio, the Catholic soldier I mentioned in previous post:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Grashio

  • Lucaks Confessions of an Original Sinner is pretty good, too.

  • “and assumed he. was a drink and swear kind of guy.”

    Drink yes, although that tended to be exaggerated in the telling. Grant got into trouble with the bottle when he got bored and when he was away from his wife who he loved very deeply.

    “I just don’t see how a discreet tatoo or cussin under my breath is either wrong on its own or harmful in its effect. Therefore, how can it be that Others cn safely judge me as terribly sinful on either account.”

    Who said you were terribly sinful G-Veg. My concern is with public swearing. In regard to tattoos, my objections are in the realm of taste, I simply do not like them, and in their prevalence today, often on parts of the body where they can’t be missed by casual observers. For those who haven’t read my post on tattoos, I link to it below:

    http://the-american-catholic.com/2010/08/15/the-modern-world-is-going-to-hell-a-continuing-series/

  • “The story on Sam Grashio, the Catholic soldier I mentioned in previous post:”

    That reminds me of a priest Joe who was captured when Bataan fell, and endured the Bataan death march. Father William Thomas Cummings. During a field sermon on Bataan he made the famous observation that there were no atheists in foxholes. He was a constant inspiration in the Japanese POW camp, even as he slowly died from disease and starvation. On one of the aptly named Hell ships transporting POWs to Japan as slave labor, he died saying the Our Father. Just before he died he told his fellow prisoners that if he survived the War he hoped to work with street kids in Tokyo. One of the men scoffed and said that the Japanese were hopeless. Father Cummings responded, “Son, no one is hopeless.”

  • From one of the survivor’s account of Father Cummings:

    “By now an evening prayer had become a part of their simple routine. Of the estimated 16 chaplains in the party, both Protestant and Catholic, only three were to live to Japan. The strongest seemed to be the Army priest, Lt. “Bill” Cummings of San Francisco and Ossining, N. Y.

    One Navy man says, “I shall never forget the prayer that Father asked that first night after the bombing, when the Japs would not let us move the bodies. Before, many men had paid no attention, but this night the minute he stood up there was absolute silence. I guess it was the first real and complete silence that there had been since we left Manila. Even the deranged fellows were quiet.

    “And I remember what his opening words were. He said, ‘O God — O God, please grant that tomorrow we will be spared from being bombed.’

    “The last thing he did was to lead us in the Lord’s Prayer. I think every man there, even the unbalanced ones, managed to repeat at least some of the words after him.””

  • Don, I think Cummings is mentioned briefly in the book. The foxhole quote is usually attributed to journalist Ernie Pyle. In “Unbroken,” Louie Zamperini, who suffered brutally as a POW under the Japanese, especially a particularly vicious guard nicknamed “The Bird,” vowed to kill him if they both survived after the war. ‘Zamp’ was obsessed with the Bird and vengeance until he went to a Billy Graham meeting one night at the urging of his wife, found Christ and wound up forgiving his tormentor. Ironically, the Bird, who lived until 2004 in obscurity until found by CBS 60 Minutes, was unrepentant to the end.

  • Of course, one can be self-righteous in their criticism of profanity. But I don’t think Don is doing that here. He is simply making an accurate observation that there is a link between the rot in our culture and the hyper-prevelance of foul language to the point of glorifying it. I remember hearing stories of my maternal grandfather knocking out one of my uncles because he wouldn’t stop swearing in his house.

    As far as invective being good for you. I would say more times than not the opposite is the case. Righteous indignation is one thing. But even here one has to be careful. It can have a dangerously intoxicating effect. There are few things more dangerous than a chip on the shoulder coupled with a legitimate gripe. And I say that from personal experience.

  • Joe, the quote about atheists and foxholes has been misatributed to several individuals including Ernie Pyle. Father Cummings is the one that came up with it in 1942 on Bataan in a sermon. The quotation was passed on in the book “I Saw the Fall of the Philippines” by General Carlos P. Romulo which was published in 1942.

  • “Ironically, the Bird, who lived until 2004 in obscurity until found by CBS 60 Minutes, was unrepentant to the end.”

    More’s the pity for him.

  • Zamp’s first person account is told in “Devils at My Heels.” Truly a transformed man after he was converted. He is now 94 and continues as an inspirational speaker.

  • excellent post.

  • I have seen the following assertion made in several print sources dating back to at least the 1950s: the “Protestant” concept of cursing/cussing is four-letter or obscene words while the “Catholic” concept of cursing is misuing the names of God, Jesus, Mary or any of the saints.

    I always understood that the kind of cursing that was truly a sin was to call down evil on someone else — to say “God damn you!” and REALLY mean it (not just as a passing exclamation) would be a mortal sin. However, at least one catechism used by my mom when she took instructions in the Catholic faith in the mid-1950s claimed that use of four letter words wasn’t a sin of blasphemy, but could be a sin against charity if done to shock or disturb others, and was certainly not something to be encouraged.

    Personally I have come to prefer “dagnabbit”, “crimony”, and “jeeminy” as all-purpose substitutes for the genuine cuss words. The real cuss words lose their impact when overused. An F-bomb coming from someone who normally never curses at all gets your attention in a way that it doesn’t when coming from the mouth of someone like, say, Blago.

Blagojevich Guilty Today on 17 Counts

Monday, June 27, AD 2011

Well, it wasn’t quite as exciting as the above courtroom scene from The Untouchables, but today Rod Blagojevich, twice elected governor of the Land of Lincoln, was found guilty on 17 counts in the Federal criminal prosecution brought against him:

  • Count 1-Wire fraud related to Children’s Memorial Hospital-GUILTY
  • Count 2-Wire fraud related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY
  • Count 3-Wire fraud related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY
  • Count 4-Wire fraud related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY
  • Count 5-Wire fraud related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY
  • Count 6-Wire fraud related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY
  • Count 7-Wire fraud related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY
  • Count 8-Wire fraud related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY
  • Count 9-Wire fraud related to the Racing Bill-GUILTY
  • Count 10-Wire fraud related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY
  • Count 11-Attempted extortion related to School Shakedown-NO VERDICT
  • Count 12-Attempted extortion related to Children’s Memorial Hospital-GUILTY
  • Count 13-Bribery related to Children’s Memorial Hospital-GUILTY
  • Count 14-Extortion conspiracy related to Racing Bill-GUILTY
  • Count 15-Bribery conspiracy related to Racing Bill-GUILTY
  • Count 16-Attempted Extortion related to Tollway Shakedown-NO VERDICT
  • Count 17-Bibery related to Tollway Shakedown-NOT GUILTY
  • Count 18-Extortion conspiracy related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY
  • Count 19-Attempted extortion related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY
  • Count 20-Bribery conspiracy related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY
Continue reading...

28 Responses to Blagojevich Guilty Today on 17 Counts

  • But Donald, at least Blago will get his just deserts in prison in ways that he has previously never envisioned.

  • It is true Paul that bad Elvis impersonators do rank pretty low in the prison pecking order. 🙂

  • So much for the theory, voiced by some jury “experts,” that a female-dominated jury (11 women and one man) would take pity on him and be less likely to vote for conviction.

    Methinks in this case, however, that the women on this jury had fully functional horse hockey detectors (the same kind they use on husbands and children) which enabled them to tell when Blago was lying to them… basically every time he opened his mouth.

    Personally, I think justice will be done if he stays in prison long enough for his hair to turn gray and/or fall out.

  • “Personally, I think justice will be done if he stays in prison long enough for his hair to turn gray and/or fall out.”

    That would be poetic justice indeed Elaine! 🙂

  • Hooray. I know he has retired, but maybe Daley next.

  • Of course 0bama and Emmanuel knew nothing of this. Innocent bystanders I tell you.

  • God love him. I may disagree with Blogo on most issues but I would have voted for him. Why? He is one of the few honest politicians out there. He is only guilty of being stupid enough to voice the thought process that most politicians go though when they make decisions and appointments, i.e., How will this benefit me? How will this effect my poll numbers? Will this effect my ability to raise funds or cause others to support my opposition?

    I was listening to the Chris Mathews show on the way home from work tonight and his guests agreed that Blogo was going to do nothing different with the open Senate position than any other politician. He was just “too crass” saying it out loud.

    How true, we have now made being crass a federal offense. But I think more importantly Blogo was guilty of destroying the illusion held by the public that politicians are “public servants” and aren’t self serving SOBs who only work to consolidate more and more power.

  • No Eva, we have made engaging in criminal acts a criminal offense. Too many politicians are just as corrupt as Blago, but that doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t be going to prison, but that they also should be punished for their crimes.

  • Corrupt Illinois Politician Headed for Jail…this is news?

  • Don:

    Just curious. How are Blogo’s actions any different then handing out ambassadorships to your top contributors? Or, naming political opponents to plum political positions to gain their support, i.e., Hillary to State or Bush as VP. Again, if Blogo had had been more discrete and kept his mouth shut he could have gotten everything he wanted and been praised as an sure politician.

  • Meant to say “astute” politician.

  • Blago intended to profit personally from his nefarious schemes. He made that quite clear on the tapes and that is quite illegal.

    “I’ve got this thing and it’s f—— golden” and “I’m just not giving it up for … nothing.”

    Blago is an attorney, and so I assume that he knew what he was doing was illegal. If he didn’t then, he does now. Thank God he was too stupid to cover his tracks effectively as many another politician has.

  • Don:

    I understand where you are coming from; but again how does that make Blogo any different from any other politician. Let’s be honest they all use their positions to their personal profit (either direct or indirect). Blogo just spoke out loud what other politicians think. Not to be insulting, but it is somewhat naïve to think that Presidents and Governors make political appointments based upon who is the best person for the job and not based primarily upon personal political considerations, i.e., Will it help me get re-elected? Will this appointment or decision get me more political contibutions? Politicians aren’t an altruistic class.

    There are few, if any, politicians who don’t enter the political system (especially the federal system) as paupers and don’t leave as millionaires or who don’t enter the system as millionaires and leave as multi-millionaires or billionaires. There are few congressmen who after leaving office (voluntarily or involuntarily) don’t step into a nice cushy job with industry (Haliburton, Blackstone), lucrative speaking engagements before those groups that were favored by your policies or votes, or as a lobbyist. Politicians often remind me of the wicked steward in Luke 16:1-9.

  • It is as wrong Eva to say that all politicians are crooks as it is to say that all politicians are self-sacrificing statesmen in the mode of George Washington or Abraham Lincoln. I tend to think that politicians overall reflect the people they come from, and if the current crop of politicians are a poor lot, they might mirror a general decline in morality, and educational standards come to think of it, over the past few decades.

    When dealing with those who wield power, it is always important to prosecute those who cross the line into illegality. As is true with all criminal prosecutions, far more escape prosecution than are prosecuted, but those who are caught deserve the full severity of the law. As for the rest, it is up to the voters to elect good men and women to public office. As long as the average voter is content to be apathetic and often shockingly ill-informed, idiots, charlatans and outright crooks will continue to be elected to high office in our nation.

  • Thanks for deleting my post, Donald. Sometimes I am an idiot. 🙁

  • There are few congressmen who after leaving office (voluntarily or involuntarily) don’t step into a nice cushy job with industry (Haliburton, Blackstone), lucrative speaking engagements before those groups that were favored by your policies or votes, or as a lobbyist.

    Last I heard, Gary Condit and his family were running an ice-cream parlor. A none too lucrative one.

  • Art:

    I guess leaving Congress under a cloud of suspicion of murdering an intern doesn’t do much for your market value. Definitely an exception and not the rule

  • …that bad Elvis impersonators do rank pretty low in the prison pecking order

    On the news item over here, the TV commentator suggested that Blago wasn’t very inclined to do Elvis’ “Jail House Rock” 😆

    (Back in my callow youth, I thought that was a great movie) 🙂

  • Elvis had his moments Don, although most of his films are better relegated to the memory hole.

  • Well, I’d feel all superior to you flatlander folks – if it wasn’t for the Wisconsin Supreme Fight Club we have goin’ up here. Justices in their golden years accused of choking each other, rushing each other with upraised fists and so on. Boy, wouldn’t you subscribe to pay-for-view to see a Prosser vs. Bradley smack down?

    Really, to all of you who are tired of Wisconsin politics – I agree wholeheartedly! I’m tired of Wisconsin politics too! I now HATE Wisconsin politics!

  • And I believe that is exactly one of the tactics Alinsky advocated – wearing down conservative folk to the point where they would simply give up.

    Well, I am tired of Wisconsin lefties, but that does not motivate me to stay at home come election day. Quite the opposite, Mr. Alinsky.

  • Each of the charges for which Blago was convicted carries a maximum prison term of 20 years, which means his theoretical maximum sentence would be more than 300 years… that must include time in purgatory 🙂

  • “Wisconsin Supreme Fight Club”

    That is hilarious Donna! In my experience appellate court and supreme court justices not uncommonly have fairly poisonous relations with some of their colleagues, but usually they are bright enough to restrict it to some tart rejoinder in an opinion. They forgot that the cardinal rule of Wisconsin Supreme Fight Club is that you do not talk about it! 🙂

  • For a Illinois politican to be indicted and convicted is not a shame, it’s a career move! LOL!

  • Talk to your kids before they get involved in Illinois politics!

  • Friends don’t let friends… run for public office in Illinois 🙂

  • Paul Simon, Charles Percy, and Richard Ogilivie. Were any of these men crooks?

  • Paul Simon was a loon but not a crook. Percy was a Rino’s Rino, but too rich to be a crook. Ogilvie was an honest man, but radically expanded the size of Illinois government during his one term in office and championed passage of the Illinois state income tax.

Deliver Us From Blago

Friday, August 27, AD 2010

According to legend, the Vikings were so greatly feared by the people of northern Europe during the Dark Ages that they used to pray “From the fury of the Norsemen, Lord, deliver us!”

Of late, I suspect that many Illinois residents like myself are making a similar petition to be delivered from the fury of another force nearly as frightening.

I am speaking of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, whose trial on 24 separate federal corruption charges ended on Aug. 17 with the jury finding him guilty of just one charge — lying to federal agents — and deadlocking on the other 23. Federal prosecutors will retry Blago on at least some of the unresolved charges, but in the meantime, he has once again resumed his nationwide media blitz, protesting his innocence to anyone who will listen and making a complete idiot of himself in the process.

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5 Responses to Deliver Us From Blago

  • Bravo Elaine. Fitzgerald has dropped the charges against Blago’s brother which means that he can call the brother to the stand the next go round. That should be an amusing few days of direct examination!

  • My heavens, you know that Illinois is the Sucker State – that’s not a well-known nickname.

    It’s horrible to be an Illinoisan right now, and a Chicagoan. What terrible examples we have put into the public arena! We actually are nice people here.

  • From the perspective of an IL resident who will be going to college next year, talking about this issue at length with my friends has led the vast majority of us to decide to jump ship and leave the state as soon as possible, never coming back, more for our children’s well-being than ours. Given the unofficial motto, “I need a Zoloft,” and the state’s financial and ethical bankruptcy, claiming to be an economic or political refugee shouldn’t prove to be terribly difficult.

  • Jason, I do not blame you at all. If I were young and starting out, I think I would probably leave the state also, and that makes me very sad. Illinois was a great state once, and I hope it will be a great state again.

  • Ah, don’t despair folks. Somebody’s got to stick around and clean things up, right? And if Louisiana and New Jersey can get their act together, so can we… heck if Russia can be converted there’s still hope for us 🙂

    On the lighter side… I just went to see a local theater production of “Chicago: The Musical” and it’s actually funnier than ever because of the obvious parallels to recent events. Heck I could see a musical being made about the Blago case someday … oh wait, that’s already been done (Second City’s “Rod Blagojevich, Superstar!”).

3 Responses to Illinois Deserves a Medal!

Blagojevich Impeached

Monday, January 12, AD 2009

Blagojevich impeached in a cliffhanger, with the vote for impeachment only 114-1.  Here is the House report on which the impeachment vote was based.  Blagojevich is the first Illinois governor to be impeached which is rather remarkable when you consider some of the public thieves who have misgoverned my state.  Now on to the Senate for the trial.  Blagojevich is vowing to fight on, and I expect his legal team to pull every possible maneuver to delay the inevitable.

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3 Responses to Blagojevich Impeached

  • Yowie zowie. What shall I do? My Iggles continue their magical mystery tour thru playoffs in 23-11 beatdown of New York Football Giants. And yet a new chapter in the Blago Story emerges with impeachment. Combined with tawdry spectacle of Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon indicted for doing tacky stuff like using gift cards meant for poor folks. Such quality entertainment on so many fronts.

  • Well, this whole mess is making me feel better about my governor, Doyle, although he’s no treat either.

    Can it possibly be that Blago honestly (I know, I know, those are two words not often seen together in the same sentence) does not think he’s done anything wrong? Does a fish know it’s wet? Well, this is going to get better and better, although my sympathy really does go out to hapless down-staters who are outvoted by Chicagoland.

    I really wish Blago would stop quoting Kipling. As a poster on another site pointed out, if it’s poetry he wants to quote, “The Ballad of Reading Gaol” would be a more appropriate choice.

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Politicians. Little Tin Gods on Wheels.

Monday, December 22, AD 2008

Since the bad joke who happens to be the governor of my state is apparently fond of quoting Kipling, the title to this post is also from Kipling who had very little use for most politicians.  A variant of the great poem “If” , much more fitting for Blagojevich, is provided by Claudia Rosett here.

Blagojevich, Chicago’s curse to the state of Illinois, might be more careful in the choice of poets he quotes.  Kipling did not think much of the Windy City.

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4 Responses to Politicians. Little Tin Gods on Wheels.

  • He should have quoted Roger Water’s (Pink Floyd) If. A number of appropriate “ifs” there.

    Particularly fond of:

    If I were a rule, I would bend

    AND

    And if I go insane,
    Will you still let me join in with the game?

  • Blago is now in Gift That Keeps On Giving Dept. Consider his bluster last week and harrumph I’m Hanging Tough. Now new stuff from the Chicago Trib on major fundraiser who scarfed up cash for his enemies- like Ms. Madigan the State AG and daughter of State House Speaker who hates Blago’s intestines. Then I read in my Philly Inquirer Sunday- all right, I read it on-line- that major local youth group sponsored by Congressperson Chaka Fattah under FBI scrutiny. Sorry you’re feeling kinda glum this Christmas season, Don. I’m in ho ho ho mode.

  • “Sorry you’re feeling kinda glum this Christmas season, Don. I’m in ho ho ho mode.”

    Glad to hear that Gerard. No actually I rarely allow politics to effect my personal mood. Living in Illinois I long ago learned that most politicians are good for only comedy relief.

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2 Responses to Special Election Now!

  • More fun than this heart can stand. Where I hear the voice of the esteemed H.L. Mencken, Sage of Baltimore. Who loved democracy much as a drama critic enjoys a first-rate stage production. What a grand stage. What a wonderful cast of characters. Even our beloved Shakespeare would be hard-pressed to create characters on the order of the unpopular governor; the fighting prosecutor- an archetype in U.S. of A. politics; the state AG; HER father, Speaker of State House and blood enemy of the unpopular governor; of course, numerous members of House of Jackson; Hizzoner Da Mare; all manner of other hustlers, activists, and the like; with the President Elect- that’s what it said on the sign, in the background. And his Chief Of Staff Elect, who may be into it up to his eyeballs. Fire up the popcorn machine. Make sure the cola dispenser has enough syrup. Hope And Change will just have to wait. As the Broadway song noted, “Tragedy tomorrow- comedy tonight.”

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Feel Better?

Monday, December 15, AD 2008

Not really.  This  New York Times article contends that my home state of Illinois is not the most corrupt state in the Union.  However I note that two of the three methods by which they obtain their rankings focus on convictions.  In a truly corrupt state,  convictions might lag because the engines of law enforcement are often part of the problem.  Based upon spending my entire life in Illinois, except for three years, I believe FBI Agent Robert Grant is correct,  if Illinois is not the most corrupt state, it is a strong competitor for the title.

Update I:  Lisa Madigan,  Attorney General of the State of Illinois, is attempting today to have the Illinois Supreme Court strip Blagojevich of his powers as Governor.  I agree with this article that her brief is extremely weak and would draw a “C” as the effort of a first year law student.  At any rate I doubt if the Illinois Supreme Court will step into this briar patch.  If the House acts swiftly to impeach him, Blagojevich may resign, but I do not think anything short of this will work.  To add to the banana republic quality that is part and parcel of current Illinois politics, Lisa Madigan is the daughter of Michael Madigan speaker of the House who has a long-standing blood feud with Blagojevich.  Lisa Madigan herself has long been thought to be hungering to be Governor.  Illinois politics frequently consists now of hereditary political fiefdoms that are passed down through the generations.  We have the reality of a largely feudal political system with none of the entertaining trappings.

Update II:  As usual, John Kass of the Tribune  has a brilliant column on the  farce that is Illinois politics.

Update III:  Ed Morrissey at Hot Air has an excellent  look  at the behind the scenes machinations of this mess.  I wholeheartedly agree with his conclusion:  “Calling this sewer “The Land of Lincoln” is a bad joke.  If Illinois voters aren’t inclined to make the kind of necessary changes, can they change the license plates to read, “The Land of Capone”?  It’s certainly a more accurate description.”

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5 Responses to Feel Better?

  • Hugely entertaining. Blessed be God that there is a political columnist for a Dying Dead Tree Journal chronicling this mess like Mr. Kass. Clearly channeling the spirit of Mike Royko of blessed memory. The equivalent of Howie Carr- of Boston Herald and afternoons on WRKO- to People’s Republic Of Taxachusetts. By my view, Blago no nuttier than any other testosterone and ambition fueled pol. Our PA Gov. Fast Eddie Rendell has hottempered moments and no one questions his sanity. Then the twist of State AG La Madigan offspring of blood enemy Speaker Madigan. Hope and Change clearly on display. Let the show roll on.

  • Gosh…If only Wyoming politics were this exciting. Our claim to corruption runs more to the “most of our legislators are ranchers and thus pass bills accordingly”. Our claim to insanity is more along the lines of “we only meet for three months of the year, so we have to pass legislation through rapidly, thus increasing our burden for next year when we have to pass legislation to fix the problems from rapidly passing legislation through the previous year”.

    I guess we also had something with Rep. Cubin, given that we kept electing her despite all her broken promises. One of the professors in my department groused about how Wyoming only elects Republicans to the House and Senate, claiming that one day he would run a dog as a Republican contender to one our three federal seats, just to see if the dog won.

  • Having lived in both Downstate Illinois and the Chicagoland, there really are two states of Illinois. You have Chicagoland Illinois and Downstate Illinois. Springfield, the state capital, is located in Downstate, but is really a colony of Chicagoland. Most of Downstate Illinois is fairly rural, with lots of farms and small towns, like much of the Midwest. Chicagoland Illinois is, well, Chicago with all the corruption and politics that go along with it. Needless to say, Chicagoland pretty much controls the political process in Illinois due to the population differences between the two regions. I’m sure a lot of the Downstaters are completely unsurprised by the news regarding Gov. Blagojevich.

  • Ryan: At least Wyoming’s legislature meets every year. The Montana Legislature only meets every other year, unless there’s an emergency that has to be taken care of immediately. Nothing like legislators trying to plan two years in advance.

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Hmmm

Friday, December 12, AD 2008

blagojevich-emanued

It is usually a bad sign when a President’s Chief of Staff is ducking questions.  To all those outside the Land of Lincoln, welcome to Chicago politics 101!

Update I: I think Emanuel may be an ex-chief of staff even before he becomes chief of staff if this story pans out.

Update II:   More detail as to the contacts between Blagojevich and Emanuel as to the Senate seat.

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5 Responses to Hmmm

  • That news link seems inactive, there’s no story.

  • Joy unspeakable from this end. The whole Chi-Town affair gets ever messier. Was Rahm the now legendary Advisor B monitored by the Feds? Just as Jesse Jackson Jr. was Candidate Number 5? Hope and Change mired in the cesspool that is Illinois politics? I know not if God is Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative. I do understand that He has a humongous sense of humor. Now Colin Powell urging the GOP to stop listening to Rush Limbaugh- aka Living Symbol for Conservative Movement. How hilarious. When I hear him, I hear the D.C. Mafia. Such like David Rodham Gergen, Margaret Carlson, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, David Broder, Name Another Insider. Insidious as the Chicago Mafia. Ha ha to them all.

  • Of course, in respect to the charity due to all human beings, while we can speculate on “might”, we should wait on further information before making judgments. We’ve seen too many cases tried in the media already, with the right as guilty as the left in a number of cases (though I personally believe the left has tried people in the media far more often). I think it is still premature to muse loudly about the possible connection between Rahm and Adviser B, and that we should all calmly wait until more becomes known.

  • I’m with Ryan on this one. Reserving judgment until more facts become available…

  • Yep – I’m for reserving judgment as well, but boy this does not look good – even if Obama and team come out clean.

    Kind of reminds me of Rudy at the RNC saying Obama “immersed himself in Chicago machine politics.” It unfortunately does make you wonder how much Obama immersed himself in those.

    I’m not an Obama supporter in the least, but I hope he and his staff do come out clean. This is the last thing we need as a country right now.

5 Responses to The Illinois Way

  • Would be nice if Pat Fitz stays in job. Round here, must give serious props to former U.S. Attorney Pat Meehan with his own share of scalps. A former City Councilman. The brother of the previous mayor. The former city managing director. Various investment types trying to get in good with the previous mayor. The rich loon who murdered a wrestler resisting his advances- who previously had naming rights to what is now nicknamed The Ski Lodge, at Villanova University. Set in motion the current trial of a prominent former state senator from South Philly. Seems like U.S. Attorneys are busy in places that were big FDR Whistle Stops back in 1932. The places where gummint expanded and expanded. Thus creating more and more opportunities for official mischief. May the Lord be with Mr. Fitz in his august responsibilities.

  • Here’s a great quote:

    “As FBI Agent Robert Grant put it: ‘Illinois might not be the most corrupt state in the union, but it’s a helluva competitor.'”

  • Correction- Meehan’s office bagged city finance director. Would have nailed a local attorney for whom the finance guy served as loyal servant, but passed away before trial. Rats. Philly politics still not weird like Chi-town’s.

  • “As FBI Agent Robert Grant put it: ‘Illinois might not be the most corrupt state in the union, but it’s a helluva competitor.’”

    Unfortunately there is a lot of competition. Louisiana comes to mind. And New Jersey. And Alaska.