Politique Diabolique Apr 3 2009
BLAGOJEVICH UPDATE 3:
More dispatches from the Blagosphere.


Yesterday we were reminded that our favorite pulp politician is still around when Rod Blagojevich was indicted on a raft of federal charges, including assorted racketeering and wire fraud counts, each carrying a potential twenty-year prison sentence. Blago, who couldn’t look more untrustworthy if he wore fingerless gloves and a hoodie, once again maintained he had done nothing wrong, this time at an impromptu press conference at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Backed by his family, along with close friends Goofy, Pluto, and Duchess of the Aristocats*, Blago riffed about his innocence, but was interrupted when Goofy tapped him on the shoulder and quietly explained the concept behind a conspiracy indictment. Blago’s eyes widened as he took in Goofy’s words, and then he exclaimed, “You mean when you’re a state employee it’s illegal to even talk about breaking the law?”

The silence was deafening. Goofy and the other mascots had to be embarrassed for their friend—though it must be said their smiles never faltered. After an awkward pause Blago shrugged and said to the assembled press, “Oh, I didn’t understand how the law worked. Wow, sorry fellas. Now that Goof here has explained it, I see what all the fuss has been about. I guess, what can I say, I’m guilty.** You can plainly hear me on the FBI recordings doing this conspiracy whatever thing, so, shit, sorry to have wasted your time with all these ridiculous denials. I just didn’t get it.” He then added, “But I’ve learned my lesson. No more influence peddling for me, no sir. That’s all over with—I give my word.”

Blago then became uncharacteristically philosophical, musing about the possibility of cryogenic freezing. He suggested his head could be put on ice like Walt Disney’s until the time was right for a political comeback. “Is there someone here in the park I can talk to about that?” he asked. He next surprised everyone by apologizing to Jack Franks, who he had profanely blasted two months ago. As the press conference ended, Blago, apparently thinking his microphone was off, turned to Pluto and said, “By the way, I heard about how they downgraded you from a planet to an asteroid. Tough break buddy. But I got some friends who might be able to help out with that if the incentive is right, know what I’m saying?”

*images used transformatively for the purpose of parody, etc.
**innocent until proven guilty, not a real admission, strictly parody, and so forth.

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Politique Diabolique Jan 10 2009
BLAGOJEVICH UPDATE 2:
Illinois governor impeached by 114-1 vote.

Rod Blagojevich’s colleagues took turns on the floor of the state legislature and voted to impeach the beleaguered governor, with many also taking the opportunity to denounce him. Rep. Lou Lang said, “Here we are on Nixon’s birthday and the governor sounds a lot like Richard Nixon.” Rep. John Fritchey was more specific, declaring, “My Illinois is not the Illinois of George Ryan and Rod Blagojevich, but Abe Lincoln and Barack Obama.” Said Rep. Jack Franks: “The plague that has been brought upon us by Rod Blagojevich will be lifted.”

While the 115 voted, Blagojevich jogged. But afterward, he spoke at a press conference, and had some harsh words for Jack Franks: “Plague? Plague? Fuck you, Franks, I got your plague right here, buddy. I got all seven plagues, you wanna get all Biblical with me. I got a fucking river of blood for you, and some hail mixed with fire, and I got some big fat frogs raining down on your ass, too. How you like me now, tough guy? Hey, tan much, George Hamilton? How ’bout you ease up on the UV bed? By the way, who’s paying for those sessions? That coming out of your pocket? Yeah, fat fucking chance, you hypocrite. Hey Frankie boy, I just remembered, I got another plague too. I got that unhealable boils plague. Yeah, I got a big fat unhealable boil for you right in my shorts, you fucking asshole.”

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Politique Diabolique Dec 14 2008
BLAGOJEVICH UPDATE:
This guy is not leaving anytime soon.

Rod Blagojevich is hanging onto his governorship the way a cat hangs onto the carpet when you try to put it in a kitty caddie. Everyone in the world knows Blag is crooked as elbow macaroni, but he ain’t giving up that sweet free ride known as politics without a fight. We’ve seen politicians caught before, but this guy is more caught than usual. Seriously, the plausible deniability signpost disappeared in his rearview mirror years ago. We keep picturing undercover FBI techs spewing coffee on each other, they’re laughing so hard listening to Rod work it like a three-card monte dealer: “Step right up folks and find the Senate seat. Where could it be? Lay down a little cashola for a chance to play the game.” And now, after being so caught Webster’s is already adding a new entry—caught 1) Rod Blagojevich—he now refuses to resign. Two observations: first, the fucking chutzpah of this guy; second, the fucking pulp of this guy.

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Politique Diabolique Dec 11 2008
LET’S MAKE A DEAL
He tried to auction a vacant Senate seat—with the FBI listening to every word.

In the U.S., Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich has been snared in an FBI sting operation. His crime wasn’t the usual men’s room sexual solicitation. No, he was caught trying to sell Barack Obama’s soon-to-be vacant Senate seat to the highest bidder. Under Illinois law, the governor of the state has the authority to appoint a successor when a Senate seat is vacated. FBI recordings reveal Blagojevich, a Democrat, discussing the appointment with virtually anyone he felt had something to offer in return. What incredible balls.

The conversations apparently were close to bearing fruit. Recordings reveal Blagojevich weighing a $500,000 offer from an as-yet anonymous source. Also on his wish list were such goodies as an ambassadorship, a cabinet post, possibly the establishment of a non-profit foundation in his name, or even an appointment for his wife to some powerful corporate board. President-elect Obama was not involved in these negotiations, it seems clear, because in one recording Blagojevich rails against Obama staffers for refusing to play along with the scheme, at one point declaring, “They’re not willing to give me anything except appreciation. Fuck them.”

There seems very little chance Blagojevich can spin his way out of this mess, considering at one point he says a Senate seat is “a fucking valuable thing—you just don’t give it away for nothing.” Sadly, Blagojevich may be more rule than exception in Chicago politics. Slate magazine reported back in 2006 that the region is considered one of the most corrupt on the American political landscape, and has produced more indictments over the years than any area save central California/Los Angeles and south Florida. Blagojevich and his chief of staff John Harris have been formally charged with soliciting bribes and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
November 15
1920—League of Nations Holds First Session
The first assembly of the League of Nations, the multi-governmental organization formed as a result of the Treaty of Versailles, is held in Geneva, Switzerland. The League begins to fall apart less than fifteen years later when Germany withdraws. By the onset of World War II it is clear that the League has failed completely.
1959—Clutter Murders Take Place
Four members of the Herbert Clutter Family are murdered at their farm outside Holcomb, Kansas by Richard "Dick" Hickock and Perry Smith. The events would be used by author Truman Capote for his 1966 non-fiction novel In Cold Blood, which is considered a pioneering work of true crime writing. The book is later adapted into a film starring Robert Blake.
November 13
1971—Mariner Orbits Mars
The NASA space probe Mariner 9 becomes the first spacecraft to orbit another planet successfully when it begins circling Mars. Among the images it transmits back to Earth are photos of Olympus Mons, a volcano three times taller than Mount Everest and so wide at its base that, due to curvature of the planet, its peak would be below the horizon to a person standing on its outer slope.
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