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From the New York Times:
Federal authorities on Wednesday identified Democratic Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. of Illinois as the potential United States Senate candidate who was portrayed in court papers made public Tuesday as being the most deeply enmeshed in the alleged scheme by Gov. Rod Blagojevich to benefit from his appointment of a new senator to the seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama…
Mr. Jackson, who has publicly sought the appointment, said he met with Mr. Blagojevich to discuss the job for the first time earlier this week, after not having spoken to him for more than four years. Mr. Jackson said he never authorized anyone to offer anything in return for the appointment. Mr. Jackson, the son of the civil rights leader, was first named by ABC News as the person identified in the criminal complaint as Candidate 5. “It is impossible for someone on my behalf to have a conversation that would suggest any type of quid pro quo or any payments or offers,” Mr. Jackson said in comments broadcast by ABC News. “An impossibility to an absolute certainty.”
The identify of Candidate 5 has been a mystery since the filing of a legal complaint on Tuesday accusing Mr. Blagojevich and an aide of engaging in corruption and conspiracy, stemming in part from an alleged effort by the Governor to sell off Mr. Obama’s seat in return for campaign contributions and lucrative jobs for Mr. Blagojevich and his family. Of the six candidates for the senate seat who are identified by number in the complaint, but not named, only Candidate 5 is said to have engaged in possible wrongdoing by engaging in discussions through an emissary about a possible quid pro quo with Mr. Blagojevich’s camp. The emissary was also not identified by name.
Jesse Jackson, Sr., of course, has a long history of cutting curious deals with his political organizations’ donors, including Citigroup, Freddie Mac and Verizon.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
On a Friday evening in January, a thousand people at the annual California Native Plant Society conference in San Jose settled down to a banquet and a keynote speech delivered by an environmental historian named Jared Farmer. His chosen topic was the eucalyptus tree and its role in California’s ecology and history. The address did not go well. Eucalyptus is not a native plant but a Victorian import from Australia. In the eyes of those gathered at the San Jose DoubleTree, it qualified as “invasive,” “exotic,” “alien” — all dirty words to this crowd, who were therefore convinced that the tree was dangerously combustible, unfriendly to birds, and excessively greedy in competing for water with honest native species.
In his speech, Farmer dutifully highlighted these ugly attributes, but also quoted a few more positive remarks made by others over the years. This was a reckless move. A reference to the tree as “indigenously Californian” elicited an abusive roar, as did an observation that without the aromatic import, the state would be like a “home without its mother.” Thereafter, the mild-mannered speaker was continually interrupted by boos, groans, and exasperated gasps. Only when he mentioned the longhorn beetle, a species imported (illegally) from Australia during the 1990s with the specific aim of killing the eucalyptus, did he earn a resounding cheer.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A tourism company in Australia announced a service that will allow users to take the “world’s biggest selfies,” and a Texas man accidentally killed himself while trying to pose for a selfie with a handgun.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”