Aug 19

[Blagojevich's *actual* crime: Trying to get cheap prescription drugs for seniors and being a man of the people. Notice dirtbag Patrick Fitzgerald has stated that he wants to retry Blago -- but gave Cheney - a war criminal - a pass? As Dylan Ratigan asked on his MSNBC program earlier today (paraphrasing) 'Shouldn't Barack Obama be arrested, for making back-door deals with the pharmaceutical industry?' *Exactly.* --LRP]

Source: Citizens For Legitimate Government


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Aug. 18 (CNN) — Chicago, IL -  Aaron Goldstein, Rod Blagojevich’s Attorney, has just confirmed to In Session that assuming the government retries his client, the defense will renew their motion for President Obama to be a witness in the United States of America v. Rod and Robert Blagojevich.  The defense will also renew their motion for mistrial as well as their motion to dismiss.

In Session has also confirmed that no plea deal is in the works at this point.

Goldstein says to expect the renewal of those motions in court next week, in addition to the possible scheduling of a retrial.  U.S. District Judge James Zagel could sentence Blagojevich before any retrial takes place. The defense could then proceed with its appeal, but the government could then proceed with a retrial on the other counts.

Another option would be for the judge to hold off on sentencing for now while the retrial goes forward. Blagojevich would then be sentenced at the same time for any and all counts he was convicted on.

Goldstein says the defense would hope the government would undertake a cost/benefit analysis when deciding whether to retry the case. He told In Session correspondent Jean Casarez, that several hundred letters were sent out to potential jurors back in March 2010. Finally a panel of 100-200 came to court for the voir dire jury selection process; the three to four day jury selection led to a two month trial. Continue reading »

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Jul 04

Obama’s action in trying to ease his friend Valerie Jarrett into his old Senate seat will fuel cynicism about politics.

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Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich Photo: EPA

In a year when Americans are arguably more cynical and disillusioned about politics than at any time since Watergate, the corruption trial of Rod Blagojevich is a sobering reminder of how its practitioners operate.

Although “Blago”, the foul-mouthed bouffant buffoon, is the main attraction of the Chicago production, the former Illinois governor’s reluctant co-star is Barack Obama. The President forms part of the proceedings each day even though the judge has spared him a personal experience.

Reports of the Blago trial cannot make comfortable reading for the White House for they provide what Mary Mitchell, the Chicago Sun-Times columnist, described as “an unfiltered look at how the sausage is made in Illinois”

Illinois, of course, is the state that gave us President Obama. It is where he cut his teeth as a community organiser and where he first began to ascend the greasy pole of politics by taking his seat in the state senate.

At issue in the Blago trial is whether the then governor was trying to sell the United States Senate seat that Obama ascended to in 2004 after his initial Republican opponent imploded.

Blago had the power to appoint a new Senator when the seat was vacated because of Obama’s presidential election victory in November 2008. Clearly, he thought the seat was a valuable prize.

“I got this thing and it’s f—— golden and I’m not just giving it up for f—— nothing,” he said in a conversation recorded by a federal wiretap. Blago’s instinct was that Obama – who he mockingly described as “this historic, f—— demi-god” – would be willing to pay to have his preferred choice be duly appointed.

That choice, the trial has confirmed, was Valerie Jarrett, who now rejoices in the title of senior White House adviser and Assistant to the President for Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs.

Her qualification to be a Senator? Jarrett had worked for Mayor Richard Daley and chaired the Chicago Transit Board. She had been a successful businesswoman in Chicago. But she had never held elected office and her name would not even have been mentioned had it not been for her closeness to the President-elect.

Jarrett was a long-time personal friend of Obama and his wife Michelle and that seemed to be qualification enough for the man about to enter the White House.

Tom Balanoff, president of the Service Employees International Union’s powerful Local 1 branch, took on the role as “emissary” for Jarrett, who initially wanted the Senate seat, and testified that Obama telephoned him personally to speak about it.

Next, Obama’s incoming chief of staff Rahm Emanuel spoke to John Wyma, a lobbyist, who then telephoned Blago’s right-hand man John Harris to communicate that “the president-elect would be very pleased if you appointed Valerie and he would be, uh, thankful and appreciative”.

Blago’s problem seems to have been that he wanted something a little bit more concrete than appreciation. To be precise, his response was: “F— them.”

Continue reading »

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Jun 23

Rahm Emanuel, President Barack Obama’s chief of staff, traded political favours with Rod Blagojevich, the former Illinois governor, in 2006 while he was a congressman, according to leaked emails.

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White House Chief Of Staff Rahm Emanuel

Mr Emanuel published an endorsement of Mr Blagojevich in the Chicago Tribune in exchange for $2 million (£1.3 million) in school funding to his district, according to the emails, which were released on Monday. The newspaper had recently claimed in an editorial that Mr Blagojevich used public funds to support his re-election campaign.

Mr Blagojevich, who was re-elected in 2006 but resigned in 2009, is currently on trial in Illinois on corruption charges. He is alleged to have attempted to sell Mr Obama’s former Senate seat.

The emails detailing the deal, revealed by the Associated Press, apparently were exchanged between Mr Emanuel, his staff and Mr Blagojevich’s chief aide, Bradley Tusk.

Senior Democrats have told the Telegraph that Mr Emanuel is preparing to stand down after the mid-term congressional elections in November. Continue reading »

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Jun 04

Cruel and Unusual Punishment: Soy Diet for Illinois Prisoners

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Soybeans

When Rod Blagojevich was elected governor of Illinois in 2002, he immediately made a change in the prison diets. Beginning in January 2003, inmates began receiving a diet largely based on processed soy protein, with very little meat. In most meals, small amounts of meat or meat by-products are mixed with 60-70 percent soy protein; fake soy cheese has replaced real cheese; and soy flour or soy protein is now added to most of the baked goods.

The governor’s justification for replacing nutritious meat and cheese with toxic soy protein was financial-to lower the enormous costs of running the Illinois Department of Corrections. However, the likely reason is payback for campaign contributions from Archer Daniels Midland, the main supplier of soy products to the Illinois prisons.

Suffering of Inmates

Early in 2007, the Weston A. Price Foundation began hearing from inmates who were suffering from a myriad of serious health problems due to the large amounts of soy in the diet. These prisoners had found us through the Soy Alert! section of our website. Complaints include chronic and painful constipation alternating with debilitating diarrhea, vomiting after eating, sharp pains in the digestive tract, especially after consuming soy, passing out, heart palpitations, rashes, acne, insomnia, panic attacks, insomnia, depression and symptoms of hypothyroidism, such as low body temperature (feeling cold all the time), brain fog, fatigue, weight gain, frequent infections and enlarged thyroid gland. Since soy contains anti-fertility compounds, many young prisoners may be unable to father children after their release.

The suffering of these men is intense and medical care is palliative at best. Many have had sections of their digestive tract removed, but all requests for a soy-free diet are denied. The men are told, “If you don’t like the food, don’t eat it.” That means that unless they can afford to purchase commissary food, they must eat the soy food or starve.

Lawsuit

The Weston A. Price Foundation has hired an attorney to represent several inmates incarcerated in the Illinois Department of Corrections system. The Foundation’s attorney has entered his appearance on behalf of three inmates, has had contacts with several other inmates, has served several subpoenas upon the wardens of several facilities for documents and other information, and has informed the Court that additional inmates will soon be named in an amended complaint. Continue reading »

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Dec 22

Barack Obama’s chief of staff pushed the Governor of Illinois to appoint one of the President-elect’s closest friends to his vacant Senate seat, it has emerged.

Rahm Emanuel had conversations about the Senate seat with Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich
Rahm Emanuel had conversations about the Senate seat with Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich Photo: AP

The leaked details of an internal transition team review of contacts with Gov Rod Blagojevich, who is accused of – but denies – trying to “sell” the seat, will open Mr Obama up to accusations of hypocrisy and cronyism because he had indicated he would not intervene in filling the vacancy.

Continue reading »

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Jul 22

Blagojevich wants National Guard helicopters to patrol gun control capital of America

The gun control capital of America – Chicago – where only the criminals are allowed to own firearms – has been hit by a fresh wave of crime and violence, prompting Governor Rod Blagojevich to call for National Guard helicopters to be used in law enforcement operations.

Blagojevich plans to form an “elite tactical team” to help the city fight crime, according to a speech he gave last week.

“Violent crime in the city of Chicago is out of control,” Blagojevich said at the bill signing ceremony. “I’m offering resources of the state to the city to work in a constructive way with Mayor Daley to do everything we can possibly do to help stop this violence,” said the governor.

Citing the fact that a child has been shot nearly every day since the end of June, Blagojevich called for National Guard helicopters to be used in high crime areas.

However, as police department spokeswoman Monique Bond noted, the actual number of homicides in the city is significantly down.

“2008 may end with fewer than 500 homicides and that it is expected to be one of the least deadly years in the city in the last 40 years,” reports NBC5.com.

Continue reading »

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