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3:20 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.
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 …
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.
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.
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.
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 …
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 …
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 …
Discussion: and HazZzMat
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
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 …
Discussion: Gawker and The Volokh Conspiracy
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:
‘Senate Candidate 5’  —  Capitol Fax's Rich Miller updates the state of the speculation on the identity of “Senate Candidate 5,” the public official who — from the complaint — appears to be in the most jeopardy, aside from Blagojevich and Harris.  “Senate Candidate 5.”
Faiz Shakir / Think Progress:
Chicago reporter suggests Rahm Emanuel may have ‘tipped’ …
Discussion: Minnesota Independent
Associated Press:   US Atty: Not alleging Obama knew of Ill. gov. plan
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
Blagojevich Criminal Complaint: The Best of the Best
Chicago Sun Times:
Charges: Illinois Governor Blagojevich shook down the Chicago Tribune
Brad Plumer / The New Republic:
Blago On Obama: “F*** Him.”
Discussion: Democracy in America
New York Times:
Justice Department Briefing on Blagojevich Investigation
Chicago Breaking News:
Fitzgerald: ‘New low’ in Illinois politics
Discussion: Swampland, Hot Air, Gawker and RedState
Rich Miller / The Capitol Fax Blog:
Selling the Senate seat
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blogs
Press Conference of Fitz Blago Liveblog
Discussion: Firedoglake
Jonathan Stein / MoJoBlog:
So. Who Will Appoint the Next Illinois Senator?
Discussion: Washington Monthly and Kevin Drum
Mike Colias / Chicago Business:
Children's Memorial target of guv's shakedown efforts, charges say
Discussion: The Capitol Fax Blog
Josh Kraushaar / Scorecard's Blogs:
Impeachment hearings likely against Blagojevich
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Jonathan Martin / Ben Smith's Blogs:
Blago wanted to shake down Warren Buffett
Discussion: Donklephant
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
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
QUOTE OF THE DAY.... A new national poll from CNN/Opinion Research Corporation finds 79% of Americans approve of the job Barack Obama has done so far.  That's probably not too significant — this is still the transition period, when exercising one's limited authority is a lot easier — but 79% is still a pretty solid number.
Paul Steinhauser / CNN:
Poll: 79% approve of way Obama is handling transition
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.
Devlin Barrett / Associated Press:
NY Rep. King interested in NY Senate seat
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 More Items: 
Senator Mitch McConnell from Kentucky:
McConnell Renews Call for Taxpayer Protection, Business Reform
Discussion: Commentary and RedState
Justin Wolfers / Freakonomics:
Is Happiness Contagious?  —  If those riding intellectual fads …
Illinois Threat to Bank of America Is Dangerous, Critics Say
Discussion: PointOfLaw Forum
 Earlier Items: 
Homeowners re-defaulting after getting aid
Discussion: A Blog For All
Stephen Dinan / Washington Times:
EXCLUSIVE: Obama's Web presence loses its luster
Discussion: and Becoming 44
Linda Hirshman / New York Times:
Where Are the New Jobs for Women?  —  BARACK OBAMA has announced …
Kris Kitto / The Hill:
Breitbart's big, red Hollywood
Discussion: Weekly Standard