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Morning Shorts

Tuesday, Oct 20, 2009

* Former Blago aide due to plea

Alonzo Monk is set to appear today before U.S. District Judge James Zagel to enter a plea that has been postponed for months while his lawyer and federal prosecutors negotiated the terms.

* Blagojevich cleared for TV show, but with possible provisions

“He has a history of repeatedly commenting on the evidence - usually inaccurately,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Reid Schar. He said Blagojevich’s comments could taint the jury pool by mentioning evidence or talking about the possible length of the trial.

* Judge fears Blagojevich might talk about case on ‘Celebrity Apprentice’

Judge doesn’t rule on appearance, tells lawyers to address concerns about on-air statements

* Fascination with Blago trumps common sense

* Appeals court overrules judge who cut 25-year sentence to 15

In 1996, a judge reluctantly sent drug dealer Gregory Shelby to prison for nearly 25 years — even though the judge felt the term was unreasonable — because crack-cocaine sentencing rules tied his hands.

Then in 2008, prosecutors went back to the judge to ask for a 2½-year cut in Shelby’s sentence because he snitched on drug dealers while in prison, helping in a case against 23 people. Judge Charles Kocoras went beyond the recommendation, slashing Shelby’s sentence to 15 years.

But Monday, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the judge didn’t have discretion to cut the sentence beyond prosecutors’ recommendation.

* Charges dropped against one teen in Fenger beating death

* Jobless recovery no cause for cheer

Rare champagne is bubbling on Wall Street. The Dow Jones hits 10,000. Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke says the recession is over. Let the good times roll.

Only, don’t look at the world around us. The real economy — not the casino on Wall Street — is still mired in recession. Some 15 million are jobless, and the layoffs keep coming. Two-thirds of the jobless, the highest proportion since we began keeping records, have been out of work for at least six months. Those who have jobs are forced to work shorter hours — down to an average work week of 33 hours, lowest in 60 years. Incomes are down; health care benefits are getting cut; retirement plans are shattered. One in nine Americans now relies on food stamps.

* Ownership lawsuit stalls CBOE’s switch to stock-based company

* Outsourcing firm readies to hire, expand

London company Xchanging sets up HQ in Chicago

* State’s tech exports growing, but future challenging

* Target, CVS encourage reusing shopping bags by paying back their customers

* A fair approach to red-light cameras

* Not quite a house call, but not far off

* Bears do better rating than Dodgers in blase LA

- Posted by Mike Murray        

7 Comments
  1. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Oct 20, 09 @ 9:40 am:

    Looks like Zagel is quite willing to give Blago all the rope he wants.

    Strangely, I have to agree with Blago’s attorneys: Why would the U.S. attorney not want him to comment on the evidence and trial? Like Zagel said, it could open up other avenues of pursuit.


  2. - cassandra - Tuesday, Oct 20, 09 @ 10:41 am:

    You didn’t mention the Chancellor Herman resignation. Looks like another taxpayer-provided soft landing, similar to those Quinn gave to Dr. Adams of DHS, and to Ginger Osto, former budget director. Our Pat does seem to like buyouts–with other folks’ money of course.


  3. - Cranky Old Man - Tuesday, Oct 20, 09 @ 10:59 am:

    wordslinger, I agree with you, but who is the U.S. Attorney going to force to sit through that crud? There should be hazard pay or something for having to watch anything that he’s associated with.


  4. - Amalia - Tuesday, Oct 20, 09 @ 11:05 am:

    how many press conferences has USAttny Fitzgerald held since
    the one unveiling all the Blago stuff? it seems much quieter
    over there since then in terms of pr, but not in terms of real work.


  5. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Oct 20, 09 @ 11:06 am:

    Cranky, nobody has to watch it. I know I won’t.

    The Great American Freak Show called “Reality TV” makes Newton Minow’s warning of a “vast wasteland” and Paddy Chayevsky’s satire “Network” seem quaintly optimistic.

    The U.S. Attorney has virtually unlimited resources when they target you. They don’t need any more help from a judge, pre-trial.

    By the way, the federales certainly went out of their way to prejudice the jury pool at the press conference when Blago was arrested, and with the leaks of the details of the arrest afterwards.


  6. - Ghost - Tuesday, Oct 20, 09 @ 12:55 pm:

    === Why would the U.S. attorney not want him to comment on the evidence and trial? Like Zagel said, it could open up other avenues of pursuit. ===

    And this hearsay would be admissable how? ALso no attorney worth his/her salt wants to allow the defendent to present testimony with their spin, but otherwise not be subject to cross examination. So blago gets to create one sided testimony? Its not like he can be compelled to be examined over it.


  7. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Oct 20, 09 @ 3:09 pm:

    Ghost, read more of the story and Sam “Don’t Steam Me, Alice” Adam said Blago will take the stand. Not a big surprise.

    A megalomaniac with the chance for a captive audience? No way he passes that up.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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