SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Rod as Fredo

Friday, Dec 9, 2011

* My Sun-Times column

There’s no real mystery to understanding Rod Blagojevich.

He was, and still is, a failed wannabe gangster.

Not a real gangster who pops caps in people’s behinds. Blagojevich tried to model himself on movie gangsters.

The guy even quoted a character from “The Godfather, Part 11” during a joint session of the Illinois General Assembly.

“This is the business we’ve chosen,” said an angry Hyman Roth to Michael Corleone in that classic film that just about everyone in politics has studied beginning to end.

Blagojevich once said the very same thing during a State of the State address.

His flashy, expensive clothes, his gigantic posse, his brash swagger all point to the wannabe gangster type. I mean, the man is broke but he still had a driver take him to court every day? That’s gangster if I ever saw it.

The thing is, Blagojevich was never much good at the gangster role.

Sure, he had most of the theatrics down, but aside from firing a bunch of helpless state workers without the proper political connections, he was a failure right down the line.

Blagojevich declared war on House Speaker Michael Madigan when he was still in the Illinois House. By 2007, all hell had broken loose. This was supposed to be his Michael Corleone moment, when he would wipe out all his enemies in one fell swoop.

Instead, the fight lasted two years and ended with a paranoid and deranged Blagojevich caught on FBI wiretaps plotting ways he could leverage Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate seat to get himself appointed to a Cabinet post, or a cushy job making big bucks or raking in tons of campaign contributions from U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. Madigan’s obvious desire to pursue impeachment charges and Obama’s rise to the nation’s top job had finally collapsed Blagojevich’s insane belief that he was the one destined for the White House, and he didn’t handle it well.

Remember his enraged rant when he discovered his job approval rating had sunk to 13 percent?

“I f—ing busted my a– and p-ssed people off and gave your grandmother a free f—ing ride on a bus. OK? I gave your f—ing baby a chance to have health care. I fought every one of those —holes including every special interest out there. … And what do I get for that? Only 13 percent of y’all out there think I’m doing a good job. So f–k all of you!”

When I heard that, I immediately thought of another rant by a failed wannabe movie gangster, Fredo Corleone.

“I’m your older brother, Mike, and I was stepped over!” Fredo screamed at Michael Corleone.

“That’s the way Pop wanted it,” Michael calmly responded.

“It ain’t the way I wanted it!” Fredo shouted back. “I can handle things! I’m smart! Not like everybody says, like dumb. I’m smart and I want respect!”

Fredo’s life ended not long afterward, shot in the back of the head at sundown while fishing with a “family” friend. Blagojevich’s political life ended not long after his rant was recorded, arrested by FBI agents at his home one morning before sunrise.

Like Fredo, Blagojevich was far too interested in the flashy life to take care of business, though both were convinced they were destined for greatness. Fredo’s botched shortcut up the family tree by helping a rival gangster try to kill his own brother undid him.

Blagojevich’s illegal shortcuts resulted in a 14-year prison sentence and permanent infamy.

So, maybe the former governor can console himself with the fact that he’s still alive.

* Then again

Ryan is now serving his sentence of more than six years at a federal prison camp in Terre Haute, Ind., where he lives in dorm-style housing.

But Blagojevich might expect a more harsh situation, at least at first. Inmates sentenced to more than 10 years are generally sent to secured prisons, said Federal Bureau of Prisons spokesman Edmond Ross. [Emphasis added.]

* In other news, Scooter has urged Blagojevich to game the system

Scott Fawell, the former chief of staff of a different convicted governor, George Ryan, is offering a tip on how Rod Blagojevich can cut his lengthy 14-year sentence.

The former governor may be able to make a request with the U.S. Bureau of Prisons to take part in a substance abuse program.

Fawell said that’s what he did before going into prison.

“What you do is say that in between the time you’re sentenced and the time you report, you just couldn’t stop drinking,” Fawell said.

It shaved time off of Fawell’s 78-month sentence he received for corruption that happened while he worked for Ryan. He went through a nine-month program in prison, then got six months off in a halfway house plus one year of credit for doing the program. That’s on top of time off for good behavior.

“I didn’t want to do it at first. I said: ‘I’m going to save a little shred of dignity,’ ” he said. “But it’s the only game in town. It’s the only way you can get time off” in the federal system.

* Related…

* VIDEO: Jackson: I Didn’t Know Blago Had a Brother

* Jesse L. Jackson Jr.: ‘I will be vindicated’

* Robert Blagojevich’s tears for his brother: ‘It’s just grossly unfair’

* Robert Blagojevich feels for his brother

* VIDEO: Gov. Pat Quinn on Rod Blagojevich’s sentence

* VIDEO: David Letterman - Rod Blagojevich Top Ten

* VIDEO: Thomas Glasgow Discusses 14 Year Federal Prison Sentence for Rod Blagojevich

* Editorial: Blago sentence could start a new era

- Posted by Rich Miller        


27 Comments
  1. - lucid brasi - Friday, Dec 9, 11 @ 6:47 am:

    Fawell still has not developed any character


  2. - Cindy Lou - Friday, Dec 9, 11 @ 7:17 am:

    I’d think the girls would have a bit more respect for their father if he didn’t lie and play drunk/druggie between now and his depature. The guy has done enough damage to his daughters without trying to get out of his misdeed time by yet again lying and playing the system. Just how does that work ‘uh girls, I’ve decided to cut sometime off my sentence by lying and cheating some more’. Seriously. I can’t think of a much worse Rattling Rod than a drunken Rattling Rod yakking about how he’ll beat his sentence length by being deceitful.


  3. - Pat Collins - Friday, Dec 9, 11 @ 7:25 am:

    What is worse, that Fawell gamed the system, or bragged about it?


  4. - Way Way Down Here - Friday, Dec 9, 11 @ 7:28 am:

    ===Not a real gangster who pops caps in people’s behinds.===

    I don’t know why, but that line made me laugh out loud. Rod rapping like Warren Beatty in Bulworth maybe? There’s a picture for ya.


  5. - wordslinger - Friday, Dec 9, 11 @ 8:04 am:

    I thought Zagel’s use of “immature” and “reckless” were appropriate. Those are pretty devastating words to apply to a 55-year-old man.

    And props to Kass for pointing it out, but I thought Zagel’s smackdown of Blago’s lawyers contention that he came from “nothing” was stirring.

    The lawyer’s back-of-the-hand to Blago’s hardworking, immigrant parents — who somehow got their idiot son in a position to go to Northwestern and law school — was disgusting and well-deserving of a smackdown.


  6. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Dec 9, 11 @ 8:28 am:

    Scott Fawell … dignity … that was a Hoot! Nothing like Scooter working the system, and nothing LIKE Scooter telling someone to WORK the system. Nice going Scotty, you still don’t get it.

    Rich, the Fredo Corleone is Spot-On! We, on your blog often, ourselves (ok, me …sorry) refer to the Godfather movies, be they by quotes or by characters. Rod as Fredo in this snapshot of Rod could not be a better window to look at Rod as he looks prison time square in the face.

    Fredo is also a tragic character, because his flaws would never let him triumph, like some former governor we know. Rod’s legacy is that of a Wanna-Be.

    It was never about being liked, It was never about being smart. It WAS about who we would want to run the business. Vito Corleone chose Michael, which was “Smaaat”, We chose Rod … We … chose Fredo.


  7. - Stones - Friday, Dec 9, 11 @ 8:48 am:

    Classic! Fawell telling Blago how to “beat the system”. I guess it’s true that thieves stick together.


  8. - OneMan - Friday, Dec 9, 11 @ 8:56 am:

    Damn It Feels Good To Be A Gangsta

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rL9ihXiFAko

    (Clean version best I can tell)


  9. - Secret Square - Friday, Dec 9, 11 @ 8:58 am:

    Great column, although the movie title looks like “The Godfather, Part Eleven (11)” instead of “The Godfather, Part II (capital I’s representing Roman numerals)”


  10. - BelleAire - Friday, Dec 9, 11 @ 9:06 am:

    It is difficult for me to believe the poor, immigrant story since his father worked a decent job and BOTH of his kids attended law school.It’s not your typical immigrant family.
    It’s now 2005 and Blago has already been warned that he is in trouble for making problems for Mell but he still believes that he is the man and can do what he pleases.
    I picture the Mell Family Holiday table back in 2005–Mell tries to reason with Blago and Patty about the issue and they leave mid-meal with a container of left-overs. They cannot believe Big Daddy or understand what he is telling them that there is trouble ahead for both of them if they do not start playing the game.


  11. - You Can't Stop What's Coming - Friday, Dec 9, 11 @ 9:09 am:

    So, just keep on lying?

    Sounds like Fawell didn’t learn a single thing during his stint.


  12. - publius - Friday, Dec 9, 11 @ 9:26 am:

    rich. a very insightful column, one of your best,


  13. - walkinfool - Friday, Dec 9, 11 @ 9:53 am:

    Rich: Impressive week for you, all in.


  14. - Lincoln Parker - Friday, Dec 9, 11 @ 10:09 am:

    Great analogy Rich. Blago wanted all the power of a Madigan/Daley without actually doing any work.


  15. - MrJM - Friday, Dec 9, 11 @ 10:09 am:

    As if being Scott Fawell wasn’t reason enough to binge drink…

    – MrJM


  16. - chad - Friday, Dec 9, 11 @ 10:38 am:

    The Fredo comparison is brutal, but spot-on. As for Scott Fawell, we can all be glad that he has reconfirmed to potential employers his habit to scheme around the rules of a system. Just the kind of guy you need working for you!


  17. - QBRNST - Friday, Dec 9, 11 @ 11:09 am:

    Given Blago’s deranged behavior pattern…who’s to say going into rehab wouldn’t be an honest move?


  18. - dupage dan - Friday, Dec 9, 11 @ 11:14 am:

    We…chose Fredo.

    That says it all.

    Great column. It says as much about the power elite in this state and the voters who would put Fredo in the mansion as it does about Fredo, I mean Rod.


  19. - Esquire - Friday, Dec 9, 11 @ 11:16 am:

    As much as I enjoyed reading this, it could also be argued that Blagojevich could be compared to Tony Montana in Brian De Palma’s version of “Scarface.” He turned on his old mentor and sponsor (Robert Loggia = Dick Mell) and took a woman from him who became his crazy wife (Michelle Pfeiffer = Patti). He destroyed himself when he came to believe the slogan “The World is Yours” and spent his final days in paranoid isolation before being brought down.


  20. - Bill F - Friday, Dec 9, 11 @ 12:48 pm:

    I know it was you, Rod. You broke my heart.


  21. - Roadiepig - Friday, Dec 9, 11 @ 1:18 pm:

    Rich - wanted to add my kudos to everyone’ else’s above. He seems to believe in the “roles” he plays (what the rest of us would call “living our life”), and Fredo is who he ended up as in real life. Oswego Willie - great last paragraph.


  22. - Wensicia - Friday, Dec 9, 11 @ 1:46 pm:

    ==but I thought Zagel’s smackdown of Blago’s lawyers contention that he came from “nothing” was stirring.==

    “Nothing” is what he is now and will be long after he finishes his prison time. A pitiful heritage for his immigrant family.

    BTW - I don’t think they offer rehab for sociopaths.


  23. - Rich Miller - Friday, Dec 9, 11 @ 1:52 pm:

    ===A pitiful heritage for his immigrant family.===

    That’s also a heartbreaking part of this. I think of his mom taking a second job scrubbing floors so he could go to law school.

    What a waste. He could be in his third term right now if he hadn’t been such a jag. So much talent down the drain.


  24. - Robert - Friday, Dec 9, 11 @ 2:03 pm:

    Great analogy and funny article, Rich! Dick Mell = Don Corleone? Played the game but didn’t go over the line like Blago?


  25. - D.P. Gumby - Friday, Dec 9, 11 @ 2:51 pm:

    It seems he never really had any understanding of the job or of governing. In which case, what made him think that he could make money as governor of Illinois? Seems that there is no rational thought process, no understanding of history or politics.


  26. - Frank - Friday, Dec 9, 11 @ 2:57 pm:

    Every time he combed his hair, he said a Hail Mary


  27. - Happy Returns - Friday, Dec 9, 11 @ 3:50 pm:

    “Great column, although the movie title looks like “The Godfather, Part Eleven (11)” instead of “The Godfather, Part II (capital I’s representing Roman numerals)””

    Yeah - Godfather’s 11 is where all the Corleone’s get back together for one more multi-million $$ caper/heist, and it’s a delightful romp.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Rauner vetoes several social service bills
* Ok, that's enough
* I truly hate this US Senate race
* Rauner signs life insurance bill
* Question of the day
* State bond sale goes well, but still paid a higher price
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Picking on the little guys
* We've been a sorry state for a long time
* Munger and Mendoza face off in hostile debate
* I'm still befuddled by this move
* *** UPDATED x5 - Motion approved - Noven to withdraw - $421 million budget hit - One appointee appears to be ineligible - The plot thickens as three new board members appointed *** Controversy expected at TRS hearing today
* React to remap reform ruling
* Divided court kicks remap reform off ballot
* Yesterday's blog posts

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............
<


Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

  
* Eighth beta for Apple software out for devs, seventh iOS 10 beta for public
* China’s Galaxy Note 7, the same as everyone else’s — 4GB RAM, 64GB storage
* Google Wallet debuts automatic transfers so you can skip “cashing out”
* Android 7.0 factory images are live for most Nexus devices
* Sony Xperia X Compact and Xperia XR specs revealed
* Mobile ad startup AppLovin in talks for $1.5 billion acquisition
* Apple’s own Snapchat could signify a huge services milestone

* Sox acquire Turner from Toronto for Navarro
* Sox acquire Turner from Toronto for Navarro
* Hit in 57 games, win $5.6 million
* White Sox rally past M's on Frazier's walk-off hit
* Frazier sets RISP issues aside with clutch hits
* Sox won't reveal direction until after season
* Frazier ties it, then sinks M's on walk-off hit

...............


Main Menu
Home
Illinois
YouTube
Pundit rankings
Obama
Subscriber Content
Durbin
Burris
Blagojevich Trial
Advertising
Updated Posts
Polls

Archives
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005

Syndication

RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0
WordPress

Loading


* Illinois' pension payment expected to increase .....
* Illinois governor urges 2018 vote on 'rigged' p.....
* New Law Makes Insurance Companies Find, Pay Ben.....
* Rauner loses $400 million vote on teacher pensi.....
* Illinois governor urges 2018 vote on 'rigged' p.....
* Illinois governor urges 2018 vote on 'rigged' p.....
* Illinois' pension payment expected to increase .....
* Rauner open to review of livestock facilities l.....
* Illinois' pension payment expected to increase .....
* Illinois' pension payment expected to increase .....


* Illinois' pension payment expected to increase by $400M
* New law makes insurance companies find, pay beneficiaries
* Springfield woman sentenced for DUI in fatal crash
* Waukegan schools to replace some pipes, water fountains
* Feds honor 2 Maryland employers who support Guard, Reserve
* New law makes insurance companies find, pay beneficiaries
* The colonel's secret recipe revealed? Not so fast, says KFC
* Welcome to the fourth grade: Teacher's rap targets students
* EXCHANGE: After 46 years voice of Fairmount Park goes silent
* Decatur woman can petition to become nurse under new law

* Despite budget warnings from Rauner, TRS board votes to lower investment estimates
* New law makes insurance companies find, pay beneficiaries
* Decatur woman can petition to become nurse under new law
* Illinois redistricting referendum won't appear on ballot
* Comptroller hopefuls argue independence from Madigan, Rauner
* Springfield-area jobless rate remains lowest in Illinois
* Illinois 'Obamacare' health insurance rates up significantly
* Rauner's office warns teachers' pension change could be 'devastating'
* IDOT to analyze fairgrounds flood-control measures

* Rauner is missing a chance to push back on gun crime
* Hedge fund becomes biggest Tronc shareholder
* Former CS Publisher John Carroll dies
* New law makes insurance companies find, pay beneficiaries
* Airlines bring free sandwiches and streaming back to coach


* Lovie Smith adjusting to college life after long time in the pros
* Overnight lane closures to begin Friday in Harwood Heights
* John Carroll, former CS magazine publisher, dead at 59
* Man shot, woman injured by glass in West Pullman shooting
* White Sox ship catcher Dioner Navarro to Toronto
* Police: Man, 20, killed in single-car crash in Waukegan
* Louisiana flooding brings pets to Chicago in search for new homes
* Understudies could take center stage in ‘dress rehearsal’
* Woman pushing baby stroller killed in Parkway Gardens shooting
* Police: Armed robberies reported in South Loop, Near West Side


* Too bad Cubs can't go right to late October
* What Hillary really needs is a wall, from the north
* Rauner loses $400 million vote on teacher pension fund issue
* White Sox trade Dioner Navarro to Blue Jays, activate Alex Avila from DL
* Judge: Lady Justice statue can remain outside Hinsdale law office
* John Carroll, former publisher of Chicago magazine, dies
* The UAE spends big on Israeli spyware to listen in on a dissident
* Woman shot dead while pushing baby in stroller near elementary school
* Illinois taxpayers on hook for more than $400M as teacher pension investment outlook dims
* How Illinois politicians consciously created these debt and pension crises


The widget AQL4JYGHIY powered by Feed Informer does not exist.


* Despite budget warnings from Rauner, TRS board votes to lower investment estimates
* New law makes insurance companies find, pay beneficiaries
* Decatur woman can petition to become nurse under new law
* Illinois redistricting referendum won't appear on ballot
* Comptroller hopefuls argue independence from Madigan, Rauner
* Springfield-area jobless rate remains lowest in Illinois
* Bernard Schoenburg: Illinois an 'outlier' in party appointments to legislative vacancies
* Esther Cepeda: One man's clutter could be another man's treasure
* Scott Reeder: A case for tempering justice with mercy
* Illinois 'Obamacare' health insurance rates up significantly


* High school football scoreboard, Aug. 26-27, 2016
* LIVE! Illini Classic: Arkansas
* PODCAST: Sports Talk 08-26-16
* Illinois' pension payment expected to increase by $400M
* Some local politicians disappointed in Illinois Supreme Court decision on redistricting
* Police: School administrator pepper sprayed by student
* Redistricting becomes campaign issue
* Rauner tours Rebound, calls the alternative high school in Carbondale 'inspirational'
* Club names Strassheim as interim CEO
* Crime Stoppers of McLean County 8/27/16


* White Sox trade Navarro to Toronto
* District 211 to hold parent open houses Sept. 1
* District 26 voters to decide fate of proposed Early Learning Center
* Dist. 25 debuts $18 million renovations at Ivy Hill, Olive schools
* Injuries give Chicago Bears backups chance to shine

* House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
* Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
* The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
* Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
* Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
* CBD Oil, and politics
* Simon considering state Senate bid
* Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
* Shutdown? State may not notice
* Rep. Bob Dold

* Des Plaines Gets $11.4 Million To Purchase......
* Reps. Duckworth, Schakowsky, Quigley & Sen......
* Dick Durbin's war on affordable banking - ......

* US Senate candidate Duckworth visits Shelb......
* I truly hate this US Senate race - The Cap......

* Person Shot At Wilson/Hazel Friday Evening
* Judge Orders Release Of Additional Clinton Emails
* Illinois Corrections Department, AFSCME Pointing Fingers On Inmate Assault Of Pontiac Prison Workers
* PEACEBOOK Performs In Clarendon Park Friday and Saturday
* Transgender Performer Sues Over Chicago's Ban On Female Nudity In Bars
* Illinois Governor Vetoes Wage Hike For Workers Who Serve The Disabled
* U.S. Education Department Takes Further Action Against ITT
* Greenpeace: U.S. Foodservice Firms Fail On Seafood Sustainability
* Rauner Vetoes Child Care Assistance Bill
* Pension Adjustment To Cost Illinois $421 Million


* Statement on Redistricting Referendum
* Rauner Administration Takes Action to Help Illinoisans Find Lost Life Insurance Money
* Illinois Residents Encouraged to Register for ‘The Great ShakeOut’ Earthquake Drill - 'Drop, Cover and Hold On’ Drill Set for October 20
* Governor Takes Bill Action
* Illinois Seeking Flexibility to Improve Delivery of Behavioral Health Care




      Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller