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3:40 PM ET, December 9, 2008


 Top Items: 
Chicago Breaking News:
Blagojevich arrested on federal charges  —  Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his chief of staff, John Harris, were arrested today by FBI agents for what U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald called a “staggering” level of corruption involving pay-to-play politics in Illinois' top office.
Chicago Tribune:
Blagojevich's Senate selection process investigated  —  Federal probe widens to Obama's vacant seat  —  UPDATE: Source: Feds take Gov. Blagojevich into custody  —  A source said today that Gov. Rod Blagojevich was taken into federal custody at his North Side home this morning.
New York Times:
Illinois Governor in Corruption Scandal  —  CHICAGO — Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich of Illinois was arrested by federal authorities on Tuesday morning on corruption charges, including an allegation that he conspired to effectively sell President-elect Barack Obama's seat in the United States Senate to the highest bidder.
Marc Ambinder:
Blago Indictment: Who Is Senate Candidate 5?  —  Gov. Blagojevich's own words make it clear that he did not believe that Barack Obama wanted a person called “Senate Candidate 5” to be appointed to the Senate. … In other words — if Blago doesn't get what he wanted, then he'd stiff the PEOTUS …
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:
Blago calls Obama “motherf—er”  —  The tapes reveal a two-term governor who no longer wants his job, badly wants cash and is determined to leverage a financial benefit out of his appointment powers.  —  He also appears to think little of the president-elect, whom he calls a “motherf***er” at one point.
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:
What the transition knew  —  The transition hasn't yet responded to questions about Rod Blagojevich's indictment, but the key question is whether the transition was talking to prosecutors, whether Obama and Valerie Jarrett knew that Blagojevich had offered her the Senate seat in exchange for a labor job …
Chicago Tribune:
Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich arrested  —  Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his chief of staff John Harris were arrested today by FBI agents on federal corruption charges.  —  Tribune staff report  —  Gov. Rod Blagojevich arrives at the Tribune Tower for an interview with CNN in Chicago.
Faiz Shakir / Think Progress:
Chicago reporter suggests Rahm Emanuel may have ‘tipped’ off federal investigators about Blagojevich.»  —  Marcy Wheeler catches local Chicago press reporting that Rahm Emanuel may have tipped off federal investigators that Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) was engaging in corrupt acts.
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
AMAZING  —  Even setting aside the primordial level of corruption of trying to sell the senate seat of the President-elect of the United States, I never fail to be amazed at the brazenness and stupidity of some political crooks.  I mean, I think everyone involved in politics or interested …
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Associated Press:
Illinois gov. released on own recognizance  —  CHICAGO - A federal judge in Chicago has ordered Governor Rod Blagojevich released on his own recognizance after the Democrat was hit with federal corruption charges.  —  The governor was arrested at his home Tuesday on charges he conspired …
The Smoking Gun:
Obama Senate Seat For Sale?  —  Feds: Blagojevich saw Obama's vacated job as a “valuable thing”  —  The criminal complaint filed today against Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich contains a remarkable section detailing the Democratic politician's alleged attempt to cash in on his ability …
Durbin wants special election to replace Obama  —  (CNN) — Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin said Tuesday he wants a special election called to fill President-elect Barack Obama's Senate seat.  —  At a press conference with reporters on Capitol Hill, Durbin said he wants the Illinois legislature …
Tom Maguire / JustOneMinute:
I Need Help On The Latest Rezko-Obama Story  —  Apparently there is a new plot twist in the Obama-Rezko saga: … So the controversial re-appraisal occurred when the Rezkos sold a 10 foot wide strip of land to the Obamas, and the original appraisal put a lower value on the property.  —  Well.
Discussion: Gawker and The Capitol Fax Blog
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:   ‘Senate Candidate 5’  —  Capitol Fax's Rich Miller updates …
Chicago Sun Times:   Charges: Illinois Governor Blagojevich shook down the Chicago Tribune
Associated Press:   US Atty: Not alleging Obama knew of Ill. gov. plan
Brad Plumer / The New Republic:
Blago On Obama: “F*** Him.”
Discussion: Democracy in America
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
Blagojevich Criminal Complaint: The Best of the Best
Press Conference of Fitz Blago Liveblog
Discussion: Firedoglake
Rich Miller / The Capitol Fax Blog:
Selling the Senate seat
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blogs
Mike Colias / Chicago Business:   Children's Memorial target of guv's shakedown efforts, charges say
Jonathan Martin / Ben Smith's Blogs:
Blago wanted to shake down Warren Buffett
Discussion: Donklephant
Chicago Breaking News:
Fitzgerald: ‘New low’ in Illinois politics
Discussion: Swampland, Hot Air, Gawker and RedState
Newsdesk / Clout St:
Blagojevich: ‘Nothing but sunshine hanging over me’
Ruth Marcus / Washington Post:
A Vote for Senator Caroline  —  On the question of Caroline Kennedy for Senate, my head says no, on balance.  My heart says yes!  Yes!  Right now, as you might guess from the hedging on the former and the exclamation points on the latter, my heart is winning.
Ross Douthat:   The Case For Caroline?  —  After allowing that her head tells her to …
Nicholas Confessore / City Room:
Senator Kennedy Denies Politicking for Niece
Jonathan Stein / MoJoBlog:
So.  Who Will Appoint the Next Illinois Senator?  —  Looks like it is Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn, the man on the right.  He better have zero uncovered corruption scandals in his past, because the entire national media is going to turn its eyes to him as soon as it's done digesting Fitzgerald's complaint.
Greg Sargent / TPM Election Central:
Illinois Attorney General's Office Not Sure Whether Blago Still Can Appoint Senator
Matthew Lee / Associated Press:
Cracks appear in Obama foreign policy team … WASHINGTON (AP) - The first sign of cracks in President-elect Barack Obama's foreign policy team of rivals emerged on Monday as his choices for secretary of state and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations visited the State Department.
Discussion: Hot Air and Ta-Nehisi Coates
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Discussion: Washington Monthly
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Bush defends his record of using military might
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Is Happiness Contagious?  —  If those riding intellectual fads …
Andy Barr / The Politico:
Steele to conservatives: ‘Wake up people’
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