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From the Chicago Tribune, March 8, 2005:
On pace to be the most prolific political fundraiser in Illinois history, Gov. Rod Blagojevich on Monday pledged to rein in the excesses of campaign finance with soon-to-be-introduced reforms that would “rock the system in Springfield.”
Blagojevich has pushed broad ethics reforms and has repeatedly stressed his desire to change the political culture of state government…He said he hopes to introduce legislation within a few weeks and said, if passed, it would “change fundamentally the way campaign dollars are raised in the state of Illinois.”
And this from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 6, 2002:
Rod Blagojevich, the son of a Yugoslav immigrant steelworker, on Tuesday was elected Illinois’ first Democratic governor in 26 years. Blagojevich, 45, a Chicago-based congressman, was winning with about 55 percent to 43 percent statewide over the Republican nominee, Illinois Attorney General Jim Ryan.
“My heart is full tonight,” Blagojevich told a boisterous crowd of supporters at a north side steel factory where his late father once worked. Blagojevich said the election represents “a bipartisan call to action.” But he also reiterated a central theme of his campaign: That a generation of Republican control is responsible for the corruption and ethics scandals that have rocked Illinois.
“Tonight, ladies and gentlemen, Illinois has voted for a change,” Blagojevich said.
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.”