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After the flurry of events in the latest chapter of the Rod Blagojevich scandal, a recap of yesterday's news seems to be in order:  

  • It is reported that Blagojevich will hold a press conference where he will name Roland Burris to replace Barack Obama in the U.S. Senate.
  • Reacting to the news, the Democratic leadership issues a statement:

    It is truly regrettable that despite requests from all 50 Democratic Senators and public officials throughout Illinois, Gov. Blagojevich would take the imprudent step of appointing someone to the United States Senate who would serve under a shadow and be plagued by questions of impropriety ... Under these circumstances, anyone appointed by Gov. Blagojevich cannot be an effective representative of the people of Illinois and, as we have said, will not be seated by the Democratic Caucus.

  • Upping the ante, the Illinois Secretary of State says "he'll reject any paperwork that Gov. Rod Blagojevich files to name a new U.S. senator."
  • Nonetheless, Blagojevich makes the announcement, saying:

    Please don't allow the allegations against me to taint a good and honest man ... This is about Roland Burris as a U.S. senator, not about the governor who made the appointment.

  • And with that, the debate began again on whether the Senate could legally block a Blagojevich appointment. The answers range from yes, to maybe, to no, guaranteeing only one thing...this thing will end up in court.
  • And just because the story needed a little more drama, Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) decided to inject the race card:

    I don't think any U.S. senator ... wants to go on record to deny one African-American from being seated in the U.S. Senate ... I would ask you not to hang or lynch the appointee as you try to castigate the appointor.

  • Then it was time for President-elect Obama to weigh in:

    Roland Burris is a good man and a fine public servant, but the Senate Democrats made it clear weeks ago that they cannot accept an appointment made by a governor who is accused of selling this very Senate seat.  I agree with their decision, and it is extremely disappointing that Governor Blagojevich has chosen to ignore it.  I believe the best resolution would be for the Governor to resign his office and allow a lawful and appropriate process of succession to take place.  While Governor Blagojevich is entitled to his day in court, the people of Illinois are entitled to a functioning government and major decisions free of taint and controversy.

And that is where things stand today. In the coming days, the lawyers will argue over exactly what Article I, Section 5 of the Constitution means, Roland Burris will be put under a microscope, the Republicans will milk the story for all it's worth, and we'll be left to speculate on Rod Blagojevich's motives for taking this course of action.

Is he an innocent man, who simply fulfilled his duty as Governor? Was it a cheap ploy to take the heat off of him and put it on the Democratic leadership? Could it be that he was "crazy like a fox, playing to future black jurors"? Or did he think "it buys him time in office"? Personally, I think he did it because he's an asshole who's lost everything, and he wants to trash the joint before he's impeached. What do you think?

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 06:30 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  What the heck is Burris thinking, (21+ / 0-)

    accepting the proposal?  Seems to me it's political suicide.

    Support President Obama and our troops!

    by Crashing Vor on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 06:34:00 AM PST

  •  Personally, I think Blago did it for (12+ / 0-)

    no other reason than to satiisfy his already out-of-control ego.

    The man is an embarrassment to the people of Illinois.

    Perspective: Available by the pint at your nearest pub.

    by IDrankWhat on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 06:34:42 AM PST

  •  Poor guy... (4+ / 0-)

    He's gone from power broker to sideshow.

    He must wake up in the morning going 'What the F***?'.

    Wonders are many, but none so wonderful as man.

    by Morgan Sandlin on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 06:35:11 AM PST

  •  I think he got something for that Senate seat (11+ / 0-)

    Namely, Bobby Rush's support in his impeachment fight.  Surely there are some IL Democrats who were persuaded to cast a more jaundiced eye on impeachment charges.  It strains credulity to imagine that Rush's appearance at that press conference was merely coincidental, or that Blago didn't get something valuable (to him) out of yesterday's farce.

    Our long national nightmare is almost over. Congratulations and blessings to all.

    by Dallasdoc on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 06:35:14 AM PST

    •  That won't amount to much. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dallasdoc, gsbadj, Inland, Dartagnan

      Rush is a politcal has-been.  He didn't have the local political muscle to prevent his 2nd Ward from being shifted further north and west, until reached the Loop and the Near West Side.  As a result, the original political power base fro African-Americans in the 20th century was lost two years ago, when rush couldn't prevent the election of a white attorney (Bob Fioretti) to the aldermanic post.  Rush then surrendered the Democratic Ward Committeemanship to fioretti without a fight this past year.

      Rush (who has been battling cancer) also sounded like death warmed over at the news conference.

      •  Thanks for the clarification (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Randall Sherman

        I was seriously tempted to make some snarky comment about how he sounded like he was practically dead.

        You'd think I'd have learned my lesson with the inadvertant snark I once flung at John McCain about his reach-around hug of GWB... which several people pointed out was probably a function of his torture-inflicted bad arm.

        "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing glove." P.G. Wodehouse

        by gsbadj on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 07:52:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Rush is no has been (0+ / 0-)

        He has been fighting a protracted war with Daley for many years, and scared the crap out of Daley when he ran for mayor.  All of what you are saying above is a concerted punishment for defying Daley.

        Don't think for a second that his former constituents, and the AA community as a whole, is forgetting what happened.  Do not be surprised if Rush, despite his failing health, runs for the senate in '10, and wins the primary based on the Chicago vote.  Daley would support that as a means of getting him out of Chicago once and for all, yet keeping him as a team player "for the people".

        •  dgil, are you Rush's PR guy? (0+ / 0-)

          Assuming Rush is able to run for anything in 2010, he will likely face a tough fight for his Congressional seat.  Since he is no longer a ward committeeman (having abandoned the post after seeing white attorney Bob Fioretti win the 2nd Ward Aldermanic seat, ending ending 92 years of African-American control of that office), Rush will be in a dogfight just to stay in Congress.  He wouldn't have a prayer as a Senate candidate.

    •  Good choices get political rewards. (0+ / 0-)

      Burris is a respectable choice; it's amazing how flatfooted the dem party was caught by Blago not taking a bag of cash on the statehouse steps during his announcement of appointing a house cat named Mittens.

      As for Bobby Rush's support against impeachment....there's only four people in the State of Illinois who's opinion on impeachment counts, namely, heads of the caucuses in the state house and senate.

      Excuse me, your child is kicking my seat.

      by Inland on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 07:38:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think Blogojevich (8+ / 0-)

    is living in a parallel universe that only he can see.

    Otherwise there is no rational explanation for his behavior.

  •  The problem is that ... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Timbuk3, Potus2020, icebergslim, superheed

    Blagojevich is no different than the rest of the politicians.  Lies, deception and personal gaining is pretty standard I believe.  He is not the exception to the rule.  He is only different, because he was caught.  I have to say that the guy has balls.   That's for sure.  He is giving a good show, in contrast to boring and capitulating Harry Reid.

    I always disliked Blagojevich and did not vote for him the 1st time he got elected, but now I like him more than Harry Reid.

  •  he is a bad combination (4+ / 0-)

    of cunning, blow-drying, and asshole-ish-ness. he is pissed that he's not the big-shot he imagined himself to be, nobody gives a damn about him, so he's throwing the biggest wrench he can into the works and telling everyone to suck it. this is just over the borderline mentally ill behavior, either that or he just pretty much has the brain of a mule.

    It was only a couple of flipper babies!

    by itsbenj on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 06:36:28 AM PST

  •  lawyer's strategy? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Geotpf, ybruti, Blue Wind, dgil, icebergslim

    i am guessing his attorney (who is a good one) is trying to block the impeachment effort. impeachment can't proceed on same allegations as investigation (you can't impeach on charges before those charges are proved) so if the impeachment was to allege he was unable to do his job, not fulfilling his duties, (we haven't been able to pass a friggin budget in this state yet) this "shows" he is doing what he is "supposed" to and it is the everyone else who is not.

    •  Basically, yes. (7+ / 0-)

      The more Blagojevich keeps fulfilling his legal duties in a seemingly-decent way, the less urgent his removal seems.

    •  The won't be able to impeach, not yet, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CocoaLove, marzook

      they don't have any evidence.  Their evidence is just like ours, what is in that criminal complaint and Fitzy has put the word out, for anyone doing a deal with him don't talk to the IL legislature or testify.  Impeachment is down the road, we have to see what the indictment will be.

      •  LOL Clinton was impeached much on less ! nt. (0+ / 0-)
      •  So why do so many pass judgement without knowing (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Potus2020

        the facts?

        This is like a lynch mob.

      •  I think there is reason to impeach (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gsbadj, vcmvo2

        He's misued his power.  The criminal case is a separate issue.

        He's given contracts to political supporters on a vast scale.  Also, he's appointed contributors to posts as a reward.

        He bought gobs of a foreign flu vaccine that was expired.

        He's been taped asking for ways to get something from this seat.  He's been arrested on this charge.

        These reasons seem to be enough for me.

        ps: your photos are amazing!

        •  Burris to Blago contributions=state contracts (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gsbadj

          I agree with your statement:

          He's given contracts to political supporters on a vast scale.  Also, he's appointed contributors to posts as a reward.

          According to Illinois blogger ArchPundit, Burris and his partnership have given over $16,000 in contributions to Blago and received over $700,000 in state contracts. Suddenly he is appointed Senator.

          Hmmmmmm... Senate seat for sale?

          Somehow Burris' acceptance of the Senate seat, his rambling rationalizations in local news interviews, and his seeming unawarness of his $16K in Blago contributions just don't make complete sense.  At best this is poor political judgment on Burris' part.

          •  That part really galled me (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Eman, vcmvo2

            When Burris started that rambling "oh really?" crap during the press conference about how he didn't know that he'd given that much to Blago, I was appalled.

            You mean to tell me that if Burris is accepting an appointment from a guy who is under indictment for trying to sell the appointment, Burris does not find out and know TO THE PENNY how much he gave?  IMO, that was the worst part of the whole dog-and-pony show.

            "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing glove." P.G. Wodehouse

            by gsbadj on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 08:05:54 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Exactly (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              gsbadj

              VERY poor judgment and very poor planning on Burris' part.  He also needs to say something - anything - about his nearly $1 Million in state contracts.  

              If this was all legitimate (and from what I know as an Illinois resident, Burris is clean), he should have put the numbers out himself before being asked.  Even if he didn't, his advisors had to know those questions would be coming.

              By being totally unprepared, Burris leaves himself wide open to criticism and the taint which is Blago.

              I happen to agree that PE Obama's seat should go to a qualified minority candidate. It could be an AA, a woman, an Asian.  Had the governor created a public advisory committee or some other visible means of distancing himself, Burris might have emerged as a positive candidate for appointment.

              Under these circumstances, Burris will always be tainted, and more so because he was unable to explain his financial ties to the governor.

              Blago will have his day in court.  He may or may not be guilty of the federal violations for which he was arrested.  Meanwhile, IMHO his language alone on the recordings qualify as impeachable offenses.  A far different standard than "beyond reasonable doubt" in committing federal crimes.

  •  Blagojovabitch (9+ / 0-)

    I think he's in pure Nixonian denial. I think, in his mind, he's planning on staying Governor until he beats the rap, is adored by the masses, and is awarded the first Nobel Prize for hair. I don't think he's trying to wreak havoc; I think he's just having another ordinary day in office, and the havoc comes naturally.

    harps and angels! harps and angels!

    by zemblan on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 06:37:21 AM PST

  •  My question is, if no appointment is accepted (6+ / 0-)

    when will the seat be filled? I am not thrilled about these potential empty seats for the new year. Franken and some other person better be there sooner rather than later.

    Ablington is a scab at the bending factory. Relentless!

    by ablington on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 06:38:02 AM PST

  •  What am I missing here? (9+ / 0-)

    Reid refuses to seat Burris--Dems lose a vote in the Senate just when Obama's stimulus package is being threatened by a filibuster?

    Meanwhile Coleman ties up Franken so no seat in MN 'til February? Dems lose another vote?

    How is this logical?

    Who was Bush_Horror2004, anyway?

    by Dartagnan on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 06:38:10 AM PST

  •  Help me out - I think I missed a point (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marzook, eyesonly

    while I was overseas in recent weeks.

    Where is the impeachment initiative at with regards to this clown? Still on? In process? Too time-consuming to have prevented this?

    There are those days when one wishes canvas restraints and ballgags were still on this side of legality.

    This is perfect. That is perfect. Perfect comes from perfect. If you take perfect away from perfect, the remainder is perfect. May peace be upon you.

    by thenekkidtruth on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 06:38:27 AM PST

    •  According to Pat Quinn (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thenekkidtruth, Randall Sherman

      he'll be impeached and removed by February 12. Seems mighty quick if you ask me.

      •  So it is a process thing, it seems (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PerfectStormer

        mighty quick, mebbe, but not 'zactly quick enough . . .

        thx for filling me in.

        This is perfect. That is perfect. Perfect comes from perfect. If you take perfect away from perfect, the remainder is perfect. May peace be upon you.

        by thenekkidtruth on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 06:51:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The key date is January 14. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        thenekkidtruth

        That is the date set by the Illinois Constitution for the new General Assembly to convene.  At noon on that day, Gov. Sleazy himself, as called for under provisions of the Illinois Constitution, will call the Illinois Senate to order.  Blago will preside over that body until they elect his State Senator (as it turns out) John Cullerton (D-6th) as the new Senate President, replacing the discredited and now retired Emil Jones.

        After that expected circus, expect the legislature to complete the impeachment process and the Senate trial fairly quickly.  It should be noted that normally the General Assembly has few meetings in the first few weeks after it convenes, and those sessions are largely to allow legislation to be introduced, read into the record for the first time and be referred to a committee.  So the State Senate would be able to devote whatever time is needed to conduct the trial and then send Blago to political oblivion.

      •  Pat Quinn is whistling "Dixie"-- (4+ / 0-)

        --nobody here in Illinois knows how long it will take to get Blago impeached.  There is no precedent, there is no template, there are no procedures in place for the impeachment of a sitting Governor.  And our legislature is full of twits and clowns; because the GOP did us the favor of fading away to a shadow of a party when George Ryan went down, the state government is pretty much a bunch of bickering buffoons who happen to be almost all Dems.  

        Do not put any hope in the impeachment option.  There needs to be a more immediate remedy.  

        However, by refusing to order a special election, for fear that Mark Kirk or some other Republican candidate might win it, the Illinois Dems have left the door wide open for Blago to pull exactly the shit that he pulled.  Who's the idiot in that scenario?

        My entire state government is an embarrassment.

        "It's not getting any smarter out there. You have to come to terms with stupidity, and make it work for you." (Frank Zappa)

        by cinnamondog on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 07:21:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think you summed it up well (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          thenekkidtruth

          The legislature should strip away his rights and make Quinn acting governor.  Then proceed with creating rules and articles of impeachment.

          •  What is the procedure for that? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            thenekkidtruth

            Lisa Madigan, the Illinois AG, tried going to the state Supreme Court -- she wanted them to rule that Blago is unable to govern -- and they told her to hit the bricks and take that nonsense with her.

            I think the only thing the legislature can do re:  Blago is to impeach him.  Re:  the Senate seat, they could have passed legislation that a special election be held to fill the seat.  They didn't.  And Blago kicked them in the nuts.

            It's truly an effed-up mess.

            "It's not getting any smarter out there. You have to come to terms with stupidity, and make it work for you." (Frank Zappa)

            by cinnamondog on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 08:13:59 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  impeachment is a long road (4+ / 0-)

      they can't use the same charges as a pending legal case for impeachment. they could use them ONLY after he is found guilty (two, three, years from now); they have to come up with some narrowly defined non-indictment related impeachable offenses, and he is still entitled to a full blown legislative trial. madigan tried a short-cut end run (suing to get him out cause he can't do his job, basically) but that was tossed out of court. special election will cost millions, take many months. we are going to lose all of 2009 almost any way you slice it to having no seated senator, and the GOP using any procedure to smear dems and the usual guilt by association bs until our heads explode. whole thing makes you miss capone.

      •  Its also complicated by our rules (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Geotpf, thenekkidtruth, marzook

        We've never had an impeachment and our standard is worded pretty broadly.

        While I want impeachement yesterday, it has to been done with a mind to the rules of law and due process, blah, blah.

        And the Governor is using that as a tool and intends to make this into the biggest of trainwrecks!

        •  Keep in mind there's no real proof... (0+ / 0-)

          ...that Blago actually did anything wrong here.

          Fitz's tapes were between Blago, his wife, and his aides and cronies.  He talked about how he wanted to, or talked to, various people asking for various bribes.  But there was nothing in the complaint showing Fitz had any tapes of the actual conversations where the crimes were committed.  Blago's lawyer is basically saying that Blago bullshits a lot.

          That is, the only proof that Blago did anything wrong seems to be that Blago told other, unrelated people that he did something wrong.  That's pretty damned weak without the testimony of the other side, or tapes of the actual conversations.

    •  Bush Impeachment..off the table (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thenekkidtruth

      but we got our eye on the Gov..we think we can take him.."putt'm up, put'm up", Reid and the 50 guys behind him along with the President elect and with the backing of Israel, NATO and the coalition of the willing are ready to shock and awe Blags ass.

      God damn America, we ran out of Post offices to name.

  •  This is great drama but means nothing else NT (0+ / 0-)
  •  Does anyone care that TPM is reporting Danny (0+ / 0-)

    Davis (who appears to have some progressive cred) turned down Blago last week?

    He is pro-choice and supports gay rights, the ERA, single-payer health care, and some federal support for child nutrition and care

    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    Can all that be said of Burris?

    GOP = Godless opposition party We Hassle to make America a Vassal (state)

    by Shhs on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 06:38:46 AM PST

    •  that's a separate question (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Potus2020, royce

      I don't even think one can get to "do we like this choice?" before first evaluating (a) should the Governor have appointed anyone? and (b) should the Senate reject anyone he chooses?

    •  Danny Davis would have been a good choice (0+ / 0-)

      for the seat, but it wasn't Blago's choice to make -- he was told not to appoint anyone, and his big-shot attorney Ed Genson said that he wouldn't appoint anyone.  And that was a lie.  Hardly a first for Blago, hardly a first for Genson, but disgusting in spite of its lack of novelty.

      Danny Davis did the right thing in refusing to accept the appointment.  Pity that Burris didn't have similar scruples/political acumen going for him.

      "It's not getting any smarter out there. You have to come to terms with stupidity, and make it work for you." (Frank Zappa)

      by cinnamondog on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 07:23:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That was a smart move by Genson (0+ / 0-)

        They've sent a bunch of people scrambling, and the timing was perfect with so many folks out for New Year's.

      •  WRONG: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dgil

        but it wasn't Blago's choice to make

        It was, and remains, Blago's choice. Harry Reid does not have the authority to tell any governor whether or not they can fulfill the duties of their office.

        •  I know -- I meant to say (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Potus2020

          that when Blago was arrested, the state and national Dems told him that he should not fill the Senate seat.  Technically, it was his choice to make; but the powers that be told him not to do it.  The funny thing is that they thought he would heed that admonition.    

          "It's not getting any smarter out there. You have to come to terms with stupidity, and make it work for you." (Frank Zappa)

          by cinnamondog on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 08:10:46 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The truth is... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cinnamondog

            Harry Reid should have kept his mouth shut. Only the Illinois legislature can stop Blagojevich. What a lot of non-Illinois Kossacks don't realize is that the IL legislature is full of Blagojevich's. The place is a swamp of corruption.

            •  I wish I could say you are wrong-- (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Potus2020

              -- but I doubt that you are.  

              I prefer to think there's more ineptitude than corruption in the Illinois legislature; I may, however, be in denial.  Living in Chicago for 50+ years will develop and refine one's ability to ignore political slime.  That's what makes Blago so remarkable:  he's shocked even those Illinoisians who find very little shocking in the way of political shenanigans and corruption.

              "It's not getting any smarter out there. You have to come to terms with stupidity, and make it work for you." (Frank Zappa)

              by cinnamondog on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 08:32:38 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Cess? (0+ / 0-)

                You mean a certain commentator's concern about someone coming up in the cesspool without getting any cess on him is not so much hot air? Say it ain't so.

                Personally, I hope Obama stays above this stuff. He has lots more important things to do. We're counting on him. Even we who don't always vote Democratic.

      •  Davis wouldn't be able to hold the seat (0+ / 0-)

        he's too progressive for downstate and he doesn't have rock solid Chicago machine backing.

        Daley wants a known quantity in there in '10, and he wants that known quantity a Chicago guy, even if it means supporting an in ill health Bobby Rush.

        Don't even think about Jackson.  Daley won't go near the name.

        •  Bobby Rush run for the Senate? (0+ / 0-)

          I can't see that ever happening.

          Burris is a place-holder; for whom, we don't know yet.  But it was not a random pick.  Of that I'm certain.

          "It's not getting any smarter out there. You have to come to terms with stupidity, and make it work for you." (Frank Zappa)

          by cinnamondog on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 10:03:02 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I expect that the Senate Dems will (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    teacherbill, Blue Wind, Potus2020

    back down from any effort to block Burris being seated. After all, its what they do ON EVERYTHING.

    "She was very young,he thought,...she did not understand that to push an inconvenient person over a cliff solves nothing." -1984

    by aggressiveprogressive on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 06:40:30 AM PST

    •  Exactly... (0+ / 0-)

      the only thing they know how to well is capitulating.  Most of them suck.

    •  No, the republicans will be there for spine. (0+ / 0-)

      The republicans will provide forty votes just to force a special election and for a scalp that allows them to say "democrats: proven corrupt".

      Excuse me, your child is kicking my seat.

      by Inland on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 07:44:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't. They will NOT back down on this (0+ / 0-)

      The Senate Dems do NOT want their session to have any whiff of Blago stink so they will buy time in court to BLOCK the seating of Blago.

      In that time, the Illinois legislature will impeach Blago and Quinn will be acting governor and will rescind Blago's appointment and enact his own appt perhaps Danny Davis.

      "Because we won...we have to win." Obama - 6/6/08. WELL WE DID IT!!! 11/4/08

      by Drdemocrat on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 07:44:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The best scenario then would be... (0+ / 0-)

        Senate seats Burris, expels him, Quinn reseats Burris.

        •  Head...hurts... (0+ / 0-)

          The Senate doesn't expel people randomly-it hasn't happened since before the Civil War.  I think Reid's constitutional case in refusing to seat somebody is quite weak.  The Senate clearly can kick him out, but Burris didn't really do anything wrong.  Once he's seated, kicking him out for something somebody else did might be unseemingly.

      •  Respectfully I disagree (0+ / 0-)

        The senate will not block the seating, the IL legislature will not impeach Blago, and Quinn will lose the primary to Lisa Madigan, who step dad Mike Madigan has made sure will be our next governor.

        Lisa Madigan has been a very good AG for IL.  The latest court stunt was just for show, just getting her on record like everyone else has been doing.

  •  Blago is the ONLY one (16+ / 0-)

    who knows the laws in Illinois and the powers of the governorship.

    He showed it yesterday.

    The Illinois Democrats need to get their weak act together, we could have avoided this by not backing this clown in 2006.

    The Illinois Legislature should have MOVED to strip Blago of his powers, they had the time but pussy footed around and now look at this.

    For me a Chicagoan, this was street fighting at its finest.  All the drama of Blago and Burris with Rush bustin in and threatening the AA action.  Shit, this is Chi-town politics at its finest.

    For real, seat Burris, take this OFF THE TABLE.  Reid don't want to fight this.  Why?  Because Rush put it out there.  For a predominately all white senate to denounce Burris who is qualified and who the citizens of Illinois has known for decades?

    Seat him, take this part of the drama OFF the table, then IL Dems get your shit together and get a strong candidate for 2010.  As long as this drags out, the better the Republican candidate will look.

    •  As a Chicagoan also.. (7+ / 0-)

      I have to agree with you.   For years they have been backing and promoting Blago, including in 2006, while they knew he was under corruption investigation.   Reid and the rest in the senate got what they deserve.

    •  Chi-Dems and Harry"idiot"Reid, both losers (0+ / 0-)

      seat the African-American former AG gentleman!!  It's the governor's call.  SEAT HIM

      80 percent of success is just showing up - Woody Allen.

      by Churchill on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 07:27:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Blago manages to catch dems flat-footed. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Geotpf

      What were they expecting?  That after getting caught on tape, he would take a sack of cash on the statehouse steps?  That he would appoint a house cat named Mittens?

      Blago did what anyone in POLITICAL trouble would do: made a decent choice.   Dems are left with saying that whether Burris is a "good man" is irrelevant.  Imagine, whether he's a good man has nothing to do with being in the senate.  

      Excuse me, your child is kicking my seat.

      by Inland on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 07:46:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Plus, Blago did something amazing (0+ / 0-)

        This is the first time I've seen a white guy successfully pull out the race card.  It's like if you're playing poker and have four kings and an ace, and the other guy beats you with four aces-because there were jokers in the deck-and you didn't know that there were.  We are entering twilight zone territory here.

        This pick was a brilliant move by Blago.  It's amazing that somebody who seemed so political tone deaf could do something so intelligent.

  •  Asshole-of-the-Year (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cinnamondog, Phil S 33, RustyBrown

    I'd vote. Where's yer poll?

    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -Thomas Jefferson

    by ezdidit on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 06:41:53 AM PST

    •  Don't sell Blago short-- (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Churchill

      He could be Asshole of the Decade.  Admittedly, he's got some stiff competition from Bernie Madoff, but Hot Rod has what it takes to win this thing, folks ... Yes, he can!!

      Once again my Governor is on the front page of both the WSJ and the NYT, and not for any good thing.  I'm so disgusted with my state government.  Fools and morons, the pack of them.

      "It's not getting any smarter out there. You have to come to terms with stupidity, and make it work for you." (Frank Zappa)

      by cinnamondog on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 07:25:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  DC idiot senators are as bad as Chi-idiots (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cinnamondog

        they just get better press

        We should remove CD as our national capital.  THEY WHOLE BUNCH OF THEM  INCLUDING OBAMA   ARE REALLY WORTHLESS

        THEY JUST NEVER GET ANYTHING DONE

        80 percent of success is just showing up - Woody Allen.

        by Churchill on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 07:28:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  No guarantee this will end up in court (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marzook

    There's a good chance the Senate will seat Burriss. If so, who will have standing to challenge?

    And if there IS a challenge, the courts are likely to refuse to hear the case as a political rather than judicial matter. The oft-cited Powell case was unusual and controversial at the time - people were surprised the Court "second guessed" Congress.

  •  Only Significant (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shhs

    In that it can be made to look bad for Obama and that is why the media is all over it.

    You can call me "Lord Bink Forester de Rothschild."

    by bink on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 06:42:38 AM PST

    •  Obama doesn't look bad at all (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bink, Geotpf, vcmvo2

      Americans can tell the difference between something Obama has done vs what Blago has done and Obama continues to have high approval ratings.

      Americans care about the ECONOMY and if Obama sticks to that he will be fine.

      "Because we won...we have to win." Obama - 6/6/08. WELL WE DID IT!!! 11/4/08

      by Drdemocrat on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 07:47:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Obama looks great (0+ / 0-)

        Hell, he looks like a badass.  He is now, officially, President Motherfucker, thanks to Blago.  And while Blago meant that as an insult, have him in particular say it makes it a compliment (if the dirtiest guy in the room is pissed that you won't play ball, you then squeak when you walk).  It's amazing how the slime of Chicago washes off Obama.

  •  This is just trying to distract people from (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GOTV, cinnamondog, teacherbill, Shhs

    Blagojevich's real problems.

    But it also is a MAJOR distraction from work that needs to be done for this country and the world, and that will be made worse if Burris makes good on this threat to take this to the Supreme Court. Meanwhile the Republicans are gearing up to fight the stimulus plan, confirmation of Holder, and seating Al Franken.

    This shows the depth of the arrogance of Blagojevich, that he is willing to disrupt the nation to defend his position as Governor. In fact this really clears Obama of doing anything wrong in this pay to play scandal – if Blago had "the goods" on Obama as some have claimed, he would not have gone out of his way to aggravate the President Elect.

    The Republicans are now like a wounded, cornered animal - and that makes them very dangerous.

    by DupageBlue on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 06:43:24 AM PST

    •  I agree -- the question is, does anyone in (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DupageBlue

      the Obama camp have 'the goods' on Blago?  How will Blago be punished for his defiance in making this appointment?  Obama's statement yesterday -- and Obama, we all know, does not make rash pronouncements or allow emotion to dictate his responses -- seems to indicate that Hot Rod is going to get his comeuppance now; otherwise what was the point of Obama saying anything?

      So, will someone in the Obama camp now testify for the prosecution in the Blago criminal case?  Inquiring minds want to know!

      "It's not getting any smarter out there. You have to come to terms with stupidity, and make it work for you." (Frank Zappa)

      by cinnamondog on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 07:27:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Blago DID do out of his way (0+ / 0-)

      Burris is just the primer.  Rush is the explosive.    Blago smiles, thinking "FU Rahm and Barak, you think you can walk away clean and I get time in jail?  I may not be able to drag you both directly into my mess, but I can make your life hell moving forward."

  •  Rod Blagojevich is a reckless (9+ / 0-)

    political hack whose interests run the gamut from Rod Blegojevich to Rod Blagojevich.  It is also clear that he cares not one whit for his party or his country, and is intent on making Obam spend as much personal and political capital on him as he can. Personally, I believe that there is a revenge factor here for Obama's wise decision to maintain as much distance as he could from the mess that Blagojevich created.

    This is going to be a political nightmare before it's over.

  •  Power. (10+ / 0-)
    He nominated Burris to show how much power he had. He puts the Senate in an awkward position and he puts Obama in an awkward position and he knows the people who are "out to get him" can't do a single thing to stop him. Blago loves feeling like he's the big man in charge. He's a delusional sociopath...and unfortunately for everyone...he knows damn well that Burris is a decent appointment.
    •  I'm looking at this - admittedly don't know (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Elise

      Burris at all - but isn't it a bit ironic that Blago's position seems to have been reduced to "Nyah nyah! I'll appoint someone you actually want in the Senate. So there! Showed you! Nyah nyah!"

      Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Matthew 25:40

      by pixxer on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 07:27:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think he's trying to force Fitgerald with (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    caps lock on

    an indictment before he's ready to go forward and has all of his evidence ready.  


    The religious fanatics didn't buy the republican party because it was virtuous, they bought it because it was for sale

    by nupstateny on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 06:45:21 AM PST

    •  This wouldn't appear smart. (0+ / 0-)

      The US Attorney has multiple counts to get an indictment on.  He can take his strongest case get an indictment on it and then keep investigating the other charges and get more indictments at a later date.  The only way that this might be a problem is if Blago could get a really quick trial.  It probably won't make much difference since he will be impeached and convicted by the legislature within a couple of months.  The the new Gov can appoint a Senator

    •  Fitzgerald must bring an indictment down by Jan 9 (0+ / 0-)

      which is 30 days from when Blago was arrested which was Dec 9th.

      "Because we won...we have to win." Obama - 6/6/08. WELL WE DID IT!!! 11/4/08

      by Drdemocrat on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 07:47:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  So we get to start the Obama era with... (0+ / 0-)

    two Senate fights - Burris and Franken. You can just see the little wheels turning in GOP brains racheting this up to a scandal-driven presidency.

  •  I think (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RustyBrown, Shhs, EthanPeretz

    Blagojevich is an asshole who's lost everything and he wants to trash the joint before he's impeached.

    Hello? Is there an echo in here?

    "It's the Supreme Court, Stupid!"

    by Kestrel on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 06:45:22 AM PST

  •  A day in the life (0+ / 0-)

    of Blagojevich is like a dog year. One equals the effect of seven human years. Blago has made time speed up--or seem so much longer. Why can't the good people of Illinois get rid of him?

  •  Methinks the justice department threw (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bink, caps lock on

    a turd on the table and went on vacation.

  •  I think Burris should be seated ASAP (5+ / 0-)

    It's Blagojevich's last piece of power. Take it from him.

    Burris is, by all accounts, a good man.

    Put an end to Rowdy Roddy's game.

    "Doing My Part to Piss Off the Religious Right" - A sign held by a 10-year old boy on 9-24-05

    by Timbuk3 on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 06:47:06 AM PST

    •  I think Blago wants the Senate thing done.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cinnamondog, Timbuk3

      ....so he can take the open seat off the table.

      I assume he's pushing this appointment because he knows that the open senate seat is what's creating a sense of urgency for his impeachment. Once you remove that, he figures, he can stretch the impeachment fight out as long as he needs.

  •  A pox on all their houses (5+ / 0-)

    Blago for obvious reasons.

    Burris for cashing his integrity in for opportunism.

    Rush for playing the race card.

    The Illinois State legislature for not having the gumption to do their job - impeach.

  •  You left out that insane interview on Maddow (5+ / 0-)

    I was neutral on this until I heard Burris.  His total lack of candor and inability to address the fact that in accepting an appointment from a politician who is accused of selling appointments may well impugne his integrity was astonishlingly tone deaf.

    It did not make me proud to be a Dem.

    We do what we must because we can.

    by EthanPeretz on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 06:48:00 AM PST

  •  Blago reminds me so much of Bush. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Randall Sherman, Shhs

    He blatantly breaks the laws, causes holy hell to break open, has everybody on both sides of the aisle hating him, and just keeps going like nothing's wrong.

    It's really interesting to watch one of our own use Bush's methods.

  •  Blagovich is a Republican (0+ / 0-)

    in sheep's (Democrat's) clothing.

    Encourage your representative to sponsor a Support the Troops Act today.

    by altscott on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 06:51:35 AM PST

    •  No, he's not. He's a complete and utter (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      teacherbill, dgil, little liberal

      asswipe, and that transcends party labels.  His policies are not Repub in the least; his desire to harm the Democratic party is rather wingnut-ish, but that alone doesn't qualify him to be a Republican.  

      Blago is one of the most cunning pols we here in Chicago have seen in a long, long time.  And he combines that cunning with a very 21st-century disregard for the common good and the opinions of others.  It's disheartening to see an elected official of the Democratic party behave that way, but I wouldn't impute this behavior to Republicans, either.  We've had some good, competent Republican governors here in Illinois, after all.

      It strikes me as bitterly unfunny that Governor George Ryan, when the shit came down on him, did one decent thing before he left office in disgrace:  he said 'we have to stop executing people who may be innocent' and he emptied Death Row.  I have tremendous respect for that move by Ryan.  But Blago, when the shit came down on him, poured a ten-gallon jug of gasoline on the fire.  What a complete fucktard he is.

      "It's not getting any smarter out there. You have to come to terms with stupidity, and make it work for you." (Frank Zappa)

      by cinnamondog on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 07:33:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  People still don't get (0+ / 0-)

        that Ryan's moratorium was a coldly calculated move to get a lighter sentence.  He still doesn't give a damn about putting innocent people to death.

        •  I don't care. He did some good (0+ / 0-)

          -- and no, it doesn't offset or mitigate the harm that he did.  But his political action had good consequences for some human beings.  

          And pathetic as it is, that's more than Blago has managed to do.

          "It's not getting any smarter out there. You have to come to terms with stupidity, and make it work for you." (Frank Zappa)

          by cinnamondog on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 10:01:40 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Burris seems to do a lot for his ego, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shhs

    so I wouldn't be surprised if there were plenty of dirt on him waiting to be found. Legally, it wouldn't make a difference, but it would take away the shred of credibility provided this appointment by Burris's clean image.

  •  And wants to hurt the Democratic Party (0+ / 0-)

    Encourage your representative to sponsor a Support the Troops Act today.

    by altscott on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 06:52:06 AM PST

  •  the latter (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shhs

    definitely an asshole who wants to trash the joint.

  •  It PROVES Blago's not insane (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greatferm

    or incapacitated as the machine Democrats claim.
    There has been a rush to judgement based on the media moves of a desperate prosecutor. The rule of law and perspection of fairness is not confined to criminal cases but to every action of the government. If the Ill House impeachment commitee think they can make up the rules as they go they are dead wrong. Of course, the slow working of due process doesn't appeal to button-click bloggers.

    Isn't a rush to judgement exactly how we got the Patriot Act.
    Ask Hilary.

  •  To answer your last quetion (0+ / 0-)

    I think he's doing this because he is a narcissist...not just as a descriptive word, but someone with a true personality disorder

    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    I've said this before in a Blago thread. He just simply believes that the rules don't apply to HIM so he can do whatever the $&^% he wants. Tell him that you won't seat anyone he appoints, and it is a challenge to him to prove to you (the Senate) that he can do what he wants because he is just.that.special.

    My father is one of these crazy-ass people, so I know 'em when I see 'em.  

    •  Quite the opposite (0+ / 0-)

      This appointment says, "I'm playing by the rules, everybody else wants to make them up as they go along."  He's the governor, the rules in Illinois say the governor picks Senate replacements in cases of a vacancy.  Period.

      If the rules are followed, this wouldn't be an issue.  Attempting to block Burris is an attempt (by everybody) to change the rules after the fact.

  •  Personally, I think he did it because he's an ass (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    little liberal, Shhs

    Personally, I think he did it because he's an asshole who's lost everything, and he wants to trash the joint before he's impeached. What do you think?

    This!

    I dare Bobby Rush to accuse Obama od trying to "lynch" Burres because he opposes his appointment...what a shameful display that was

    This year we can declare our independence...Barack Obama

    by PalGirl2008 on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 07:02:13 AM PST

    •  Bobby Rush is a long, long way from his days (0+ / 0-)

      in the Black Panther Party when he viewed the corrupt political establishment as the enemy.  Now he views the c/p/e as home.

      He's my Congressman.  I vote for him, but I also recognize that he's a total sellout.

      "It's not getting any smarter out there. You have to come to terms with stupidity, and make it work for you." (Frank Zappa)

      by cinnamondog on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 07:34:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Resolved. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vcmvo2

    Personally, I think he did it because he's an asshole who's lost everything, and he wants to trash the joint before he's impeached. What do you think?

    Blago's an asshole.  

    "Lawyers, I suppose, were children once." To Kill A Mockingbird

    by DC Scott on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 07:03:22 AM PST

  •  Do we Democrats believe in the Rule of Law? (6+ / 0-)

    The power of appointment is vested in the Governor.

    Blago has not been impeached, ergo he is the Governor.

    The Governor has made an appointment which should be accepted and seated by the Democratic Caucus.

    End of story.

    "It stinks." - Jay Sherman

    by angry liberaltarian on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 07:05:49 AM PST

  •  He is an innocent man, (3+ / 0-)

    until at least there are some facts out there proving otherwise, let alone a conviction.

    Is there no presumption of innocence?

    Also people should be more alarmed at the arrest than Blago's actions.  People should not get arrested when no crime has been committed.  And the primary allegation that he was selling his senate seat is just silly.

    •  Silly? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vcmvo2, pasadena beggar, dgil

      "And if I don’t get what I want and I’m not satisfied with it, then I’ll just take the Senate seat myself ... is a fucking valuable thing, you just don’t give it away for nothing ... I’ve got this thing and it’s fucking golden, and, uh, uh, I’m just not giving it up for fuckin’ nothing."

      The legal process may assume someone is innocent, but there is no requirement on any citizen to make that same assumption.  We are perfectly free to call him the corrupt bastard that we consider him to be.

      They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Benjamin Franklin, Feb 17, 1755.

      by Wayward Son on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 07:23:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  OK, (0+ / 0-)

        He did not intend to give the Senate seat away for nothing, he wanted something for the People of Illinois.

        By what mechanism could he possibly sell the Senate seat?  It is ludicrous.  

      •  We may be free to call Blago names, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Geotpf, ybruti

        but is the Senate entitled to deny Burris a seat to which he was legally appointed merely because Blago was the one who (legally) appointed him?

        The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

        by lysias on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 07:32:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Short answer: Yes. (0+ / 0-)

          ..with a certain youthful Chief Justice waiting in the wings for a chance to say No.

          He probably has the majority opinion already written.

          They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Benjamin Franklin, Feb 17, 1755.

          by Wayward Son on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 07:48:06 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The correct answer is NO. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lysias

            Resisting seating Burris is a fools errand.  Now Reid has certainly cemented fools credentials, but Durbin will slap some sense into him.

            Durbin I think understands what's going on.  He'll take the two years and try and get the IL D's to come up with someone to run in '10 other than Rush.

            •  Durbin? (0+ / 0-)

              Illinois' only U.S. senator, assistant majority leader Dick Durbin, agrees with Obama that the Senate won't accept a Blagojevich appointment.

              He cited criminal charges, impeachment hearings and federal wiretaps against the governor.

              "It is clear that he has forfeited his moral authority to fill the Senate seat. Illinois deserves another senator so that we have two of us working in Washington. We're calling on Gov. Blagojevich to step down. Let Lt. Gov. Quinn assume the responsibilities," said Durbin.

              Durbin said he's known and worked with Burris for years, and refusing to seat him doesn't reflect on Burris personally.

              I'm glad you agree that Durbin 'understands what's going on'.

              They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Benjamin Franklin, Feb 17, 1755.

              by Wayward Son on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 09:38:02 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  The constitutional question is quite unclear (0+ / 0-)

          The Senate, in a two thirds vote, can kick out anybody, for any reason.  But it's very unclear Reid can refuse to seat him in the first place, especially since it was by appointment instead of election.  What might have to happen is that they are forced to seat him, and then vote to kick him out.  But Burris, personally, hasn't done anything wrong, and the Senate rarely kicks anybody out-they haven't done since before the Civil War.

    •  when the IL house votes 113-0 for impeachment - (0+ / 0-)

      and when 84% in IL polled say B. should resign, it is no longer about innocence, but about legitimacy.

      notwithstanding that you're part of the 16%, or paid by a firm to say what you're saying... it's the legitimacy to make the pick that's in question.  the title doesn't make the man.

      Accepting human beings from all walks of life since 1963.

      by jj24 on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 07:31:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think the presumption of innocence (0+ / 0-)

      vanishes when there's audiotape.  Blago is TAPED discussing his desire to auction the senate seat. The issue is going to be whether Blago's discussion/desire are the equivalent of action.

  •  He's smart. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lysias, greatferm

    He is not convicted, and he is innocent until proven guilty. The appointment of Burris should stand, despite the fact that the government has tried and convicted him in the court of public opinion.

  •  I live in Lakeview-and the ASSHOLE factor seems m (7+ / 0-)

    The question is what to do.  Burris is old enough to be a Senator and from Illinois.  I cannot imagine the debacle of AG Holder fighting Madigan in the Supreme Court.   Or, alternatively, the Supreme Court asking the Illinois Supreme Court to rule on the matter.

    Blago has every intention of  being a Clintionion Governor and to fight, and rule, every step of the way.  This will only get ugly.  The way they wove race into this was nauseating to me.

    The real problem is how money, and machine notions of patronage,  have corrupted our system and made primaries and honest elections a joke.  We should have never fielded Blago as a candidate.

    I just hope people like Dalely, Tunney, etc are working behind the scenes to get him to retire (but I‘m sure they‘re not).  And the legislature needs to get its act together NOW.  They are missing in action and they could have prevented this sad story.

    I just came from Florida and people were asking what our problem is.  This ongoing impeachment fight is going to hurt doing business in Illinois.  Moreover, corruption is the easiest way to give your opponent the backing of the voters.

  •  I agree with you, BarbinMD (4+ / 0-)

    I think it is Blago saying "fuck you very much" on the way out.  Like every 2-bit narcissisist, if he goes down, he wants to inflict as much damage as possible and take everything he can down with him.  Really despicable.

  •  Burris will be seated... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lysias, Geotpf, ybruti, caps lock on

    The do-nothing, default, status-quo position is that Burris gets seated. It would take some unusual action to keep him out.

    When the Democrats really think about the whole thing, the logistics, etc., they'll decide that there's no persuasive reason to go out of their way to bar a duly appointed senator, a Democrat, a black person, from the senate.

    This was a brilliant move by Blagojavich.

    Blagojavich is the governor. By law he has the right--and duty--to make the appointment.

    His position is that he is INNOCENT of all the charges against him. To NOT make an appointment would be to concede in some fashion that the charges against him are true, or at the very least, have some validity.

    And as the diarist noted, making the appointment can't hurt--and can possibly help--Blagojavich politically with blacks and with possible black jurors.

    •  It has recently been pointed out to me that (0+ / 0-)

      the US Senate is entitled to its own opinion on this:

      Blagojavich is the governor. By law he has the right--and duty--to make the appointment.

       The Senate has the power "to judge elections and returns".  In this case the method of appointment arguably qualifies as an election by an electorate of 1 (the Governor).
      If that process was corrupt then that corruption surely WAS AGAINST the law WHILE it was happening.
      My point being that this is a way for the Senate to deny relevance of the Powell precedent (since everybody understood all too well that Powell's district HAD elected HIM honestly and NON-corruptly TWICE).
      If it is a new issue (as opposed to slam-dunk application of the old precedent) then that will give the Justices excuse to delay.
      And that is REALLY BAD because the new Governor could choose to appoint someone else.
      And if you think THIS is a constitutional crisis, just WAIT until you see THAT one.

      The road to hell has not YET been paved with Republicans, but it SHOULD be -- Corrected BumperSticker

      by ge0rge on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 10:36:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There'll be no "constitutional crisis"... (0+ / 0-)

        When it comes down to it, the Democratic senators will say: Where is the driving force compelling us to go out and actively block this appointed Democrat (the only black in the whole Senate) from serving?

        The move to bar Burris will fail and he will take his seat as per the law. Some people will complain, but that will be that.

        Nobody expelled the foot-tapping (convicted) senator from Idaho or the Congressman from La. with the cash in his freezer. They won't expel--or refuse to seat--Burris.

        •  But they SAY they will! (0+ / 0-)

          Nobody expelled the foot-tapping (convicted) senator from Idaho or the Congressman from La. with the cash in his freezer. They won't expel--or refuse to seat--Burris.

          I am just devil's advocating here, but the Senate will swear that this is NOT about Burris's qualifications, so comparisons between Burris and other people are not relevant.  They will say that it is about the "elections and returns" side.
          And in the past (unfortunately for Burris) that both

          1. has actually come up (four times believe it or not!), and
          1. has NEVER been adjudicated (so Burris is not

          protected by constitutional precedent on this).
          The linked article tragically fails to separate the "elections and returns" side from the "qualifications" side, its point being (of course) that in the two prior cases where blatantly corrupt elections happened, the candidate was in charge of and running the illegal/corrupt/violent campaign that produced the bad election, so his merely having committed those felonies would ITself have been a disqualification.

          The other two people were appointed in the wake of the 17th amendment.  There was confusion about the continuing applicability of the enabling statute for the governor to appoint the replacement Senator.
          The old statute allowed the governor to appoint a replacement to serve until the legislature convened and appointed a new Senator.  Since this was now never going to happen (since Senators would
          henceforth be elected directly), some Alabamans insisted the governor had no replacement power AT ALL until AFTER the legislature could pass A NEW law phrased to fit under the direct-election framework.

          The road to hell has not YET been paved with Republicans, but it SHOULD be -- Corrected BumperSticker

          by ge0rge on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 02:29:16 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  i think this is a sideshow unworthy of our time. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Randall Sherman, HCKAD, caps lock on, Shhs

    but of course, that's not the way it's going to play out.  the media has a great new drama that it helped create and can rely on to fill up time, unfortunately - and with the stakes as high as they are, burris isn't going to sit back, i guess, and allow his process to have credibility.

    if the congress wants to show how great it is at oversight and integrity, maybe it will find a way to find that $350 million of our money that's all but disappeared, and trap paulson in an undisclosed location until his time has run out to "serve."

    if the state of illinois is so great at its oversight and integrity, it will find a way to legitimize or reject blago's decision.  i mean, is anyone actually surprised that he followed through on an appointment?  

    Accepting human beings from all walks of life since 1963.

    by jj24 on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 07:14:46 AM PST

  •  This isn't as complicated as you might think (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shhs

    There's no risk to the Democrats for standing their ground, which is why Obama stepped in and picked a side.

    The only measures Blago or Burris have at their disposal to force the Senate to accept an uncertified appointment from a governor under indictment are coercive.  At best, they might be able to get a court to order the Senate to seat Burris.. so the Senate Dems are off the hook; they tried to stop it, but the courts stepped in.

    All other options end up with time running out on Blago and someone else appointing a Senator, or the legislature ordering a special election.

    The only way the Republicans gain anything from this scenario is if the Dems cave and seat Burris without a court order.  Really, the Republicans are so unimportant in the current Congress that even that occurrence probably ends up a wash.. the next 4 years are Obama's to do with what he wishes, and absolutely nothing the Republicans do will change that, outside of the dead girl/live boy scenarios.

    They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Benjamin Franklin, Feb 17, 1755.

    by Wayward Son on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 07:15:22 AM PST

    •  Obama made a bad move in making a judgement (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lysias, dgil, billmosby

      here without the facts.  It would have been better for him to have made a statement that he would reserve judgement until the facts are in.

      Our legal system is convicting too many innocent people and defending the presumption of innocence is more important than any other issue here.

      •  the limitation to that is that so many (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lysias, penguinsong

        incendiary "facts" have already been made public, like the transcripts of Blago on tape.

        Your suggestion would be much more feasible for Obama if those snippets of transcripts had not been released.  And that raises a question. Why is Fitzgerald allowed to release just snippets of evidence?

        •  Cui bono? (0+ / 0-)

          The immediate effect of Fitz's behavior in this case was to prevent what would otherwise have been the inevitable appointment of a Democrat to take the Senate seat in a Senate where every vote counts, with the Dems so close to a filibusterproof majority.

          The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

          by lysias on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 07:37:19 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You have more faith in Senate Dems than I.. (0+ / 0-)

            ..and less in the northeastern Repubs.

            A filibuster-proof majority would be like a leaf blowing in the wind.  Depending on the direction, they'll be chasing it left and right for years.

            And anyway, the legislature will begin impeachment proceedings on the 14th.. so the seat will not be vacant in a month.  And it will be a Democrat.

            They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Benjamin Franklin, Feb 17, 1755.

            by Wayward Son on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 07:45:48 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You're assuming that the identity of the (0+ / 0-)

              senator occupying the vacant seat won't be tied up in litigation for months, at least.

              The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

              by lysias on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 07:58:05 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  again, you mistake innocence for legitimacy. (0+ / 0-)

        Accepting human beings from all walks of life since 1963.

        by jj24 on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 07:44:34 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Obama did NOT make a bad move at all (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vcmvo2, PalGirl2008

        Obama got involved because Bobby Rush used the race card and thus Obama HAD TO GET INVOLVED.  

        MY THOUGHTS

        Since Blago got arrested, Obama was trying to stay as far away from the politics of his Senate seat and even refused to way in on whether there should be a special election or not.

        However, after Bobby Rush injected race into the situation with his "lynch" comment, etc, as an African-American I just knew that Obama would have to get involved.  By siding with the Sen Dems, Obama has affectively LET THE AIR OUT of the RACE BALLOON that Bobby Rush released with his comments.  Obama gave the Sen Dems cover for what they will end up doing which is STALL FOR TIME by blocking the seating of the appointed Senate seat letting it go through the courts until Blago is impeached resulting in Quinn becoming the governor who can rescend Blago's pick and then appoint his own pick.  The Sen Dems will then seat Quinn's pick.

        If Obama didn't get involved than the ugliness of race would have been front and center because of Bobby Rush but now it will be more of a side comment since Obama gave this pick a thumbs down.

        I am sure that Obama didn't want to get involved but he had too once the race card was played.

        "Because we won...we have to win." Obama - 6/6/08. WELL WE DID IT!!! 11/4/08

        by Drdemocrat on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 07:51:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Oy. NO. (0+ / 0-)

        It would have been better for him to have made a statement that he would reserve judgement until the facts are in.

        We got 8 years of this crap from the Bush administration.  

  •  how about an investigation of the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lysias

    Burris appointment itself?  If there is no quid pro quo for Blago on this appointment, then they can seat him and everyone goes home happy. The prosecution and impeachment of Blago can continue.  If Burris is untainted then he can run again later or another Dem can primary him.

  •  I agree with the LA Times and CBS News (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lysias, Geotpf, Inland

    It is doubtful the Senate can do anything but judge the qualifications of Burris as to his age and his status as a 'natural born citizen'.  Other than that, the Constitution give them any authority at all in the matter.

    If they try to expel Burris, once he is in the Senate, what would be their reasons?  He is maybe the one best, clearly qualified - by his political career - person who could have been appointed.

    Blago is the only legal authority for naming a Senator as long as he is Governor.

    All this kind of reeks with constitutional confusion, but as constitutional experts are being queried, it seems most of them would say Blago HAS the authority - and that no one else can stop him.

    .

  •  I don't care what Blago's motives are (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jj24

    this is a ridiculous and unnecessary diversion, and it needs to end. NOW.

    I'm not an anarchist, but it would be good if people started realizing the difference between political propaganda and the truth. --John Lennon

    by o the umanity on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 07:26:17 AM PST

  •  Illinois Democrats are to blame (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    icebergslim

    for the continuation of this entire mess.  They had the chance to do the right thing 2 weeks ago when they met and could have easily called for a special election.

    I and millions of other Illinoisans let or opinions be known that the only clean way to get a senator to fill Obama's seat was with a special election.  But the national Dem party let it be known that was unacceptable, (and put forth the notion it was "too expensive") so here we sit with a tainted appointee.

    I am sick and tired of Illinois politics.

    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

    by Skeptical Bastard on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 07:29:05 AM PST

  •  Maybe not so stupid... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lysias

    I've been thinking about this a little while longer, and am starting to wonder if it's actually a pretty clever move by Blago.

    The biggest driving force to do something right now has been the Senate seat.

    With that out of the equation, a lot of urgency goes out of the process.

    May not help in the end, but time is a valuable asset when you are trying to put together a defense, or -- remembering that impeachment is more of a political than legal process -- twist arms and create/call in favors.

    As to Burris -- not much to lose for him, either.
    He's 71, career pretty much over.  Now he gets to go out as a US Senator.

    Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

    by dinotrac on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 07:29:23 AM PST

  •  The same Obama who has refused to comment (0+ / 0-)

    on the Gaza business for days weighs in immediately on the Burris appointment.  What gives?

    The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

    by lysias on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 07:33:05 AM PST

    •  This is the reason why Obama got involved (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joes Steven

      MY THOUGHTS AS AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN

      Since Blago got arrested, Obama was trying to stay as far away from the politics of his Senate seat and even refused to way in on whether there should be a special election or not.

      However, after Bobby Rush injected race into the situation with his "lynch" comment, etc, as an African-American I just knew that Obama would have to get involved.  By siding with the Sen Dems, Obama has affectively LET THE AIR OUT of the RACE BALLOON that Bobby Rush released with his comments.  Obama gave the Sen Dems cover for what they will end up doing which is STALL FOR TIME by blocking the seating of the appointed Senate seat letting it go through the courts until Blago is impeached resulting in Quinn becoming the governor who can rescend Blago's pick and then appoint his own pick.  The Sen Dems will then seat Quinn's pick.

      If Obama didn't get involved than the ugliness of race would have been front and center because of Bobby Rush but now it will be more of a side comment since Obama gave this pick a thumbs down.

      I am sure that Obama didn't want to get involved but he had too once the race card was played.

      "Because we won...we have to win." Obama - 6/6/08. WELL WE DID IT!!! 11/4/08

      by Drdemocrat on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 07:53:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  what gives is: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vcmvo2

      the difference between his former senate seat and an international crisis. He is not president yet. Do you think maybe he might be saying something different if he were president?  Maybe he doesn't agree with Bush. As much as I hate the shrub, he is still president. When Obama is in the last months of his presidency do you want the PE voicing a different opinion about an international crisis?

      "The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." Winston Churchill

      by royce on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 08:07:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  you really don't see the differece? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vcmvo2, Joes Steven

      Gaza/Israel is an international issue....what if Obama wanted to take a different stance than Bush's?
      he can't present a different POV, and he can't agree with Bush thus undermining his own future position and maybe creating two voices for the US which will severely complicate an already completed issue.

      he has to stay silent until he gets the keys to the car.

      but the Buress issue?...you can than Rush's shameless injection of race that made Obama act in support of the Dem senate.

      This year we can declare our independence...Barack Obama

      by PalGirl2008 on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 08:17:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lysias, caps lock on

    unless and until he is removed from office, Blago should fulfill his duties as governor, which, as it stands, includes filling vacant senate seats.

  •  The Democrats Want to Keep The Seat (0+ / 0-)

    The Democrats do not want to lose this Illinois seat to the Republicans in the next general election.  If Burris gets the seat, many in Illinois will see him as, at the very least, exhibiting very bad judgment.  He was never known as a skillful politician and will certainly not distinguish himself during the time he will spend in office if he is seated.  Additionally, he will be 73 years old when the next election takes place.  The Democrats desperately need to have someone who can be able to make a good play for that seat in the next general election.

  •  There is so much CRAP going on in the U.S. (0+ / 0-)

    right now that this is a SIDESHOW for the media to take away from the REALLY SERIOUSLY BAD STUFF that the country is facing and Obama will have to deal with:
    The Economy in collapse
    Iraq War
    Afghanistan War
    Israel/Palestinian conflict
    India/Pakistan conflict
    and so much more....

    In the scope of things this ridiculousness is like a wave in the vast ocean.

    I agree that Blago did it as a last minute FUCK YOU to the Dem Party, Fitzgerald, Obama, and the citizens of Illinois.

    "Because we won...we have to win." Obama - 6/6/08. WELL WE DID IT!!! 11/4/08

    by Drdemocrat on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 07:38:52 AM PST

  •  Why pretend that Blago is sane ??? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vcmvo2

    Rising to the top in politics -- that is among the weakests test I know of for sanity.

    This man Rod Blagojevich has separated himself from objective reality.

    What else ???

    Not that he was strongly tied to reality testing before this scandal broke. Far from it.

    Politics is all about how the individual presents himself. The core of his character can be anything. The morality can be anything.

    The individual's internal mental life -- totally hidden.

    BTW: compare/contrast Blago getting by on ambition and his pearly, well structured sentences -- VERSUS -- poor unambitious, SANE, mother-not-pol, "ya-know"-saying Caroline Kennedy.

    I do love Caroline Kennedy. Her books are simple pleasures.

    Caroline Kennedy is the anti-Blago.

    Droogie is as Droogie does....

    by vets74 on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 07:39:10 AM PST

  •  Assholes (0+ / 0-)

    will be assholes. Just ask Dick "Dick" Cheney.

    Common Sense is not Common

    by RustyBrown on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 07:40:09 AM PST

  •  Maybe it's like this: (0+ / 0-)

    Blago is obviously a risk taker. So he's used to performing all kinds of gyrations and landing on his feet. He's noticed that there are a lot of handles to grab in this situation and he's reaching for as many of them as he can. In this case, some of his pursuers will forced to spend a lot of time fighting each other, in the process taking the eye of the MSM cyclops off of him to some extent. That's about as far as he's thought it out at the moment, probably.

  •  Please, distrust any 'expert' quoting Powell (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PalGirl2008

    I see continued references to Powell v McCormack, even from people who are part of the legal profession and therefore should know better.

    Powell did not remove the ability of either House to exclude candidates from being seated based on a majority vote.  The majority opinion was that the House of Representatives could not use the majority vote threshold of exclusion to bar a member that had previously been found to meet the qualifications of the House in a previous election (since Powell was a sitting Rep.)  The Court ruled that the House must use the expulsion process to remove Powell.

    The concurring opinion, without weight as precedent, was that only the expulsion process could be used by a House.  So many people discussing the Senate options re: the Burris appointment are actually quoting the concurring opinion, and not the majority.  There was no majority determination on the right of a House to exclude a member who had not previously been accepted to that House, since the facts of the case did not require it to do so.

    Now, this will not stop the Roberts court from happily setting precedent, and undoubtedly they will quote parts of Powell as their justification.  But that does not change the essence of Powell, and how incorrectly it is being applied to our current situation by people who should know better.

    They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Benjamin Franklin, Feb 17, 1755.

    by Wayward Son on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 07:41:59 AM PST

  •  Obama knows more (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PalGirl2008

    Quite a bit more than you or I. He and his people know about where the investigation stands and what the evidence against the Govenor will be. So when Obama takes a stand against the nomination I believe he speaks with more authority than other people putting out statements. He says the evidence shows Blagojevich is unfit to govern, I believe him.

  •  He is trying to save his butt in court. (0+ / 0-)

    He has chosen not to resign because he thinks he will be better protected from prosecution as a sitting governor.  He considered appointing himself to the Senate seat because he thought it might provide him even more legal cover than being governor.  His appointment of Burris is only intended to help his lawyers defend him in court. There is little doubt about that and I can't believe hardly anyone has come to this conclusion.  It's blatantly obvious to me. If only he had appointed Burris in the first place.

    •  He might be right (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lysias, Geotpf

      It's possible that Blago feels he'll be exonerated because nobody can prove any cash actually passed into his hands (if in fact that cannot be proven). I think people who argue that Fitzgerald's case is flimsy have a point. I also agree that Fitzgerald's very public condemnation of the defendant pre-trial was bizarre in the extreme and did nothing to help his case. Perhaps the reverse.

      •  He can 'feel' exonerated if he wants to.. (0+ / 0-)

        ..but if he asked for anything, regardless of whether he actually got it, he'll be 'feeling' exonerated from prison.

        They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Benjamin Franklin, Feb 17, 1755.

        by Wayward Son on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 07:53:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The worrying thing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jj24

    is why Burris thought it would be a good idea to accept the nomination. That's just crazy.

  •  Funny thing... (0+ / 0-)

    I read the title of this post and immediately thought of The Beatles song, "A Day in the Life".

    In my mind, I got this far in the lyrics:

    "Woke up, got out of bed
    Dragged a comb across my head"

    Then I thought about Blagojevich's head of "hair". And that's as far as I got.

    "I was so easy to defeat, I was so easy to control, I didn't even know there was a war." -9.75, -8.41

    by RonV on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 07:55:38 AM PST

  •  Listen to former Jim Thompson, Gov IL (0+ / 0-)

    on the legalities of what is going on in Illinois and what he has to say on congress seating Burris.  And I agree, Burris will end up getting seated, unless some kind of deal is brokered.

    http://www.npr.org/...

  •  Spineless Dems (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lysias

    I think the Democratic leadership overreacted to this story. They've been fighting the Republican culture of corruption and wanted to avoid the inevitable cries of hypocrisy that will come from the right. So they are standing on that principle. But they got it wrong as usual. The principle to stand firm on here is that we are all innocent until proven guilty; and Blago is still the Governor. They should accept the Burris appointment. Stand up to the criticism that will follow and move on. What this shows once again is just how utterly spineless Democrats remain even in the majority.

  •  Welcome to Fitzmess. (4+ / 0-)

    This site, every talking head on TV and 50 Democratic senators are all guilty of an unAmerican act. The core of our judicial system is the presumption of innocence, absent a guilty verdict. In the general revulsion over Governor Blagojevich's talk about selling the seat, nobody stopped to ask, "Was a proffer made?" Absent a provable proffer, the US Attorney will not find a jury ready to convict on that charge of the indictment, and lawyers both here and in the Senate should have known this.

    Politicians make fantasy statements to their staff all the time. But a fantasy about selling an appointment is not the same thing as offering to sell it because, although both things are reprehensible, only the second is illegal. If the US Attorney has no evidence of an actual offer of a quid pro quo, although he may get this part of the complaint indicted, he will never get this part convicted.

    Stupidly, the Senate Democratic caucus forgot the first things some of them were supposedly taught in law school and all of the first things they learned in political science. They now find themselves at the mercy of a SCOTUS which detests them. Burris will be seated. Republicans will never join Democrats to expel him.

    Clever political lawyers, here and elsewhere, should have known this. All the caucus had to do was refuse to weigh in, pending an actual indictment. They needed to also see what, if anything, the Illinois legislature would do. The caucus needed to act like grownups and follow the law, instead of reacting like frightened children and changing the rules midgame.

    "Dialogue is good, sometimes even productive, but if you do not believe in equality, then you are not of this tribe." -swampus

    by davidincleveland on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 08:02:28 AM PST

    •  Politics 101 (0+ / 0-)

      What Blogojevich did is common, but certainly not admirable.  I'm sure this happens all the time in Connecticut, especially in small towns.  Isn't Biden going to choose the person who takes his seat?  Why?  As for Fitzgerald, he probably wanted to stir up a mess anywhere close to Obama.  After all, he's a Republican.  The answer is not allowing anyone to appoint someone to a senate seat.  This should always be done by election.  After Senate Democrats allowed Joe Lieberman to trash the results of the Connecticut primary and proved that they have no respect for elections, I am not at all impressed by their reaction to this mess.  They probably want a voice in choosing Obama's successor or want one of their cronies to make the choice.  The Senate is a useless insider's club and Blogojevich is definitely not someone who could ever become a member or a friend.  Just one more thought, how did Joe Lieberman become a millionaire on his senate salary?  

  •  How Bout A Little Sideways Thinking (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lysias, Geotpf, Joes Steven, royce

    The debate seems to have boiled down to:

    1. Challenge the Burris appointment, either through the Illinois SoS or in the Senate itself.  Bad option, since such a move will end up in the courts and we will not have an all important Dem. Senate vote for the foreseeable future, and we will have to deal with the race card issue.
    1. Do not challenge the Burris appointment and simply allow him to be seated.  Better option, but not great because it doesn't remove the "taint" and Obama and the Senate Dems. will have to do a public 180 on their current position of being opposed to any Blago appointee.  Not the way we want to start out.

    So how about looking at a third sideways option:

    1. The Illinois Lt. Governor comes out with a statement supporting the Burris appointment and saying that he would of likely picked Burris if he were Governor, and then allow Burris to be seated based on the Lt. Gov.'s recommendation.  This will avoid any court battle, get an important vote for our side seated quickly, and it would seem that the Lt. Gov.s' endorsement should help remove the taint and give Obama and Senate Dems a way out of the "check" Blago has placed them in.

    Well, what do you think?

    I think someone should get on the horn to the Lt. Gov.  

    "Some men see things as they are and ask, 'Why?' I dream of things that never were and ask, 'Why not?"

    by Doctor Who on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 08:03:51 AM PST

  •  He's helping fix a Jury in cook County (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    icebergslim

    Picking Roland Burris may provide warm fuzzies to an elderly African American juror in Cook County.  Then again stopping the death penalty didn't help former Govenror George Ryan.

    Hope Fitz got to intercept Rod's conversations with his lawyer Gerson.  'Cause that kind of talk is the only thing that would stop Burris from becoming a US Senator.  I have no problem with Burris and I think he will do fine for two yeas as a Senator while Illinois Democrats regroup.

    The Illinois Democratic House and the Illinois Democratic Senate had a deerhunter/vampire opportunity last week to hand Blago his walking papers.  They didn't.  And Blago was Blago.  What a surprise?

  •  right on obama! (0+ / 0-)

    i too want a functioning government free of taint!

    The Bill of Rights, and not the Ten Commandments, is what should be displayed on the front of our federal buildings

    by chinkoPelinke on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 08:21:58 AM PST

  •  Accept Senator Roland Burris (D-IL) (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lysias

    I am repeating the diary I posted yesterday on why Burris is qualified to be Senator (assuming no hanky panky involving Burris himself or evidence that Blago picked Burris to explicitly mess with a Cook County jury pool).  The Republicans have not gone away (Specter is after Holder and McConnell has rediscovered fiscal rectitude) and a contested Burris debate before the Senate would alone jill Obama;s honeymoon moment.  Anyway shouldn't the Demos be working on making sure Franken, if certified, is seated.  

    Roland Burris for sixteen years was an elected statewide official in Illinois - first comptroller general, then attorney general.  Burris ran for Governor in a crowded Democratic primary in 1994 and lost to Dawn Clark Netsch.  Before holding and running for statewide office Burris received a law degree from Harvard, was the first African American bank examiner working for the Comptroller of the Currency, worked as a tax accountant, and worked at Operation Push.  Burris is married to a physician and is the father of both a physician and an attorney.  Burris is an elder statesman - so long as he is lawfully appointed by the sitting governor of Illinois to the Senate, there is no basis for denying him a seat in the Senate.  To paraphrase Bismark, in many cases one should not look too closely as to how politics or sausages are made (Bismark was talking about laws)

    Fitzgerald allowed Governor Blagojevich to post a $4500 bond and resume the office of governor.  If Fitzgerald fails to step in very soon with evidence to suggest that Burris' appointment is somehow corrupt itself, then there is no legal basis to deny Burris the Senate appointment.

    Perhaps, the Senate in its club like wisdom would like to black ball (oh what an expression!?) Burris so he cannot take his seat.  But frankly who the hell is the Senate and who the hell are senators individually to pass judgment on Burris' selection to the Senate.

    As has been pointed out there have been crooks, felons, seditionists, whoremongers (yup there is one there now), sexual perps (yup another one), war mongers (lots of them now) and out right fools (again many) in the Senate among the solitary solons that we keep thinking are there following some sort of Capra script.

    The politics of denying a Senate seat to a distinguished state officer from Illinois make no sense to me unless there is dirt on that Senator or on how that Senator himself was chosen.  Right now there is oodles of innuendo and some dirt on Jesse Jackson Jr. - none on Burris in these regards.

    The politics of telling some 14 percent of the country's population that in this one case the Senate is going to be principled and deny an African American a seat in the Senate make no sense.  And Obama cannot be serious in saying  no to Burris - if he really keeps this position then he will tarnish his presidency with the perception that he is an oreo and does not really care for African Americans who lived through slavery, Jim Crow and the civil rights movement.

    And there are the politics of trying to launch an Obama Administration in the midst of the Senate metastizing on a national level the cancer of Illinois' corrupt politics, which in this era are mostly democratic.  Hell the Republicans must be salivating.  The only silver lining is they don't need Eric Holder anymore.  But they get to cry crocodile tears for those poor African American voters being dissed by the Democrats.

    Remember folks the Pendergrast machine sent Truman to the Senate - he became a great war time senator (unlike the ones we have now who have done nothing to protect the troops nor the taxpayers at a time of war) and a great President.  It was not long ago that almost all senators were picked by cabals within the individual states.  So Democrats, man up, swallow hard, and follow the law.  It will be a lot easier.  And you know, this may not be a bad time to have a former bank examiner and tax accountant in the world's most exclusive club.

    UPDATE:  the last Illinois Governor facing prosecution (he is in jail now) discovered that the death penalty was unjust and stopped executions in Illinois.  In my mind it does not justify leniency for George Ryan in the face of his corruption.  Then again the Burris appointment could be Blagojevich's "George Ryan" moment in this regard.  I am certainly glad my state stopped killing people!

  •  What do I think? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lysias

    There are actually very few cartoon villains in the world.  Blagojevich probably considers himself as innocent and misunderstood and resents being cast as the most corrupt politician that ever was.

    So I think he actually chose someone he considered honest and capable.  Someone he thought would do the best job for Illinois.  

    So I think it's his challenge to those who think he is a cartoon villain -- how far will they go in rejecting a perfectly good Senate apppointment in order to show their disdain for him?  Will they defy the law?  Will they leave Illinois without representation for months?

    The sensible thing to do would be to get a consensus as to whether Burris' is qualified and whether there was any evidence that quid pro quo went into his choice.  If not, then seat him.

    Fight 'em 'til Hell freezes over, and then fight 'em on the ice. - David Van Os

    by sagra on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 08:28:44 AM PST

  •  Burris lies on his own tombstone (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vcmvo2

    On his own tomb (constructed before death, obviously), Roland Burris lists, among other elements of his self-aggrandizing résumé, "Chairman Democratic National Committee 1985-1989".

    (See right side, bottom here)

    I'm sure that would come as a surprise to
    Paul Kirk, who was actually the DNC chairman between those dates.

    What kind of guy pads the résumé on his own tombstone?

    What kind of guy puts a résumé on a tombstone in the first place?

    A tombstone should have just three pieces of information: name, date of birth, and date of death.  John F. Kennedy's tomb in Arlington is a simple square slab with a cross and the words "JOHN FITZGERALD KENNEDY 1917-1963".  More ostentatious tombs should be left to monarchs and popes.

  •  I think Dick Cheney is laughing his ass off (0+ / 0-)

    and GWB is drunker than a skunk.

    "Peace is the work of Justice and the effect of Charity"...Isaiah

    by lisastar on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 08:41:12 AM PST

  •  I think it was "joie de fuck you" n/t (0+ / 0-)

    h/t to Thers

    I'm already against the next war.

    by deoll on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 09:09:59 AM PST

  •  I think (0+ / 0-)

    Blago's

    an asshole who's lost everything, and he wants to trash the joint before he's impeached.

    It's still all about him...and his hair!

    ~ Faith is taking the first step, even when you don't see the whole staircase ~ Martin Luther King, Jr ~

    by vcmvo2 on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 09:15:49 AM PST

  •  Burris will serve as... (0+ / 0-)

    ...a reliable Democratic vote, and either not run or not win the next primary. Get over it, he is our next senator, and probably as good as we would get any other way.

  •  I think he aspires to be like GWB. (0+ / 0-)

    He wants to trash the joint before he's impeached.

  •  I think Blagojevich is a (0+ / 0-)

    dick and he needs to get a haircut....

    Never confuse kindness and patience with stupidity and weakness!!

    by Joes Steven on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 10:17:09 AM PST

  •  Bobby Rush has been very disappointing (0+ / 0-)

    If I still lived in the home I grew up in in Chicago he would be my Congressman. I was very excited when he was first elected but he has been very disappointing.

    This playing of the race card is what gives that term a name. Race is a real issue in America. But when it gets misused in this fashion it becomes nothing but another political ploy. This is frankly a betrayel of all those that have worked hard ad suffered hard on the battlefields of race in America. Bobby Rush needs to retire or be retired.

    This situation has absolutely nothing to do with race. What an insulting and offensive load of shit from a man that ought to know better.

    Peace,

    Andrew

  •  You should credit Al Giordano for this post (0+ / 0-)

    It's almost an exact replica of what he posted last night.

    The Moe Sizlak Experience, featuring Homer Simpson.

    by lepermessiah on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 10:31:00 AM PST

  •  Jeez, Barb, RUSH didn't inject JACK (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth

    Race was present at the creation simply because the last time this happened (it was in the House, and it was an election, not an appointment), THE VICTIM WAS ALSO BLACK.  Not only that, the person being replaced IS BLACK, and there are CURRENTLY NO black people in the US Senate!  ALL OF THIS WAS TRUE BEFORE Bobby Rush opened his mouth!

    JEEzus.

    The road to hell has not YET been paved with Republicans, but it SHOULD be -- Corrected BumperSticker

    by ge0rge on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 10:31:40 AM PST

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