TPM News

The corruption trial against former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) has been chugging along, with the highlight this week being testimony from Blago's former chief of staff about Rahm Emanuel and President Obama's Senate seat.

Blagojevich's former COS, John Harris, testified that Emanuel sent him a list of people Obama would find acceptable to replace him in the Senate, according to news accounts from the Chicago Tribune and Sun. Blago reportedly called the list "B.S."

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1||On June 24, 2010 President Obama takes Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to Ray's Hell Burger in Arlington, Virginia. This got us thinking about other times politicians have taken some time to chow down. This then got us hungry...

August 31, 1963: President Kennedy eats some ice cream in Hyannisport, Massachusetts. ||Newscom/Zuma&& 2||November 1969: Gov. Ronald Reagan (R-CA) attends the annual Institute of Directors conference at England's Albert Hall, also known as 'The Picnic' because of its practice of serving lunch in picnic boxes.||Newscom/MRP&&

3||April 9, 1976: President Gerald Ford eats a tamale in San Antonio, Texas.||Newscom/Zuma&&

4||1992: Future Vice President Al Gore and future President Bill Clinton eat frozen yogurt during a campaign stop in Philadelphia.||Newscom/Zuma&&

5||March 10, 2005: Former President George H.W. Bush enjoys a hot dog while watching the Houston Astros play the St. Louis Cardinals in a spring training game at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Florida.||Newscom/IconPhotos&&

6||July 4, 2007: President George W. Bush eats a hot dog as he watches the Chicago Cubs play the Washington Nationals at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. With Bush is Nationals President Stan Kasten, left, and Nationals General Manager Jim Bowden, right.||Newscom/CNP&&

7||November 12, 2007: Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) eats a white chocolate mouse with a cinnamon and dark chocolate interior while visiting a chocolate shop in Walpole, New Hampshire.||Newscom/CP&&

8||October 23, 2008: Republican Presidential candidate Sen. John McCain tries a dish at Mi Viejo San Juan restaurant in east Orlando, Florida .Ramon Ojeda, president of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando and Gov. Charlie Crist (R) join him. ||Newscom/KRT&&

9||March 28, 2010: Vice President Joe Biden enjoys some Hush Puppies at Bullock's Barbecue in Durham, North Carolina.||Newscom/SPN&&

10||June 24, 2010: And, of course, here's Obama and Medvedev at Ray's Hell Burger.||Newscom/UPI&&

Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC), who we last encountered exposing Muslim intern spies on Capitol Hill and terrorists in the nation's convenience stores, has issued her most startling warning yet: Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, she has come to believe, is partnering with Mexican drug cartels in the U.S. borderlands and may be planning "Israel-like car bombings of Mexican/USA border personnel or National Guard units."

In a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Myrick calls for a task force "to engage US and Mexican law enforcement and border patrol officials about Hezbollah's presence, activities, and connections to gangs and drug cartels."

Myrick says she has to come believe that Hezbollah is operating on the border because of evidence well, wouldn't that be crazy? She writes:

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In the wake of Thursday's Supreme Court ruling limiting the scope of a key federal anti-corruption statute, white-collar defense lawyers are salivating at the chance to challenge some of the biggest public corruption cases in recent memory -- from Gov. Don Siegelman in Alabama to Gov. Rod Blagojevich in Illinois to New York state Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno to the myriad figures in the Jack Abramoff saga.

As Josh wrote on the editors' blog, the impact of the 6-3 ruling -- with the three dissenting justices going further than the majority and arguing that the law should be struck down entirely -- is likely to be vast.

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If you wanted to hear Dino Rossi talk about how to profit off of property, you may have missed your chance. The Seattle Times is reporting that the final event in the series of real estate seminars Rossi has been participating in has been canceled.

Rossi has been repeatedly attacked by Democrats for lending his face and name to the seminars, which include talk of how investors can make money off foreclosures. Sticking with the seminars was a strange decision -- as supporters of Sen. Patty Murray (D) told me, the attack ads basically write themselves -- and abandoning them will probably be to Rossi's benefit.

Despite the obvious advantages to Rossi, the Times reports he's not the one that pulled out of the seminar. Turns out the final seminar in the series was canceled by organizers worried about how Rossi's participation made them look.

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If you've heard anything about Bob Dudley, the BP managing director who this week took over supervising the Gulf response from CEO Tony Hayward, you've probably heard that he was expelled from Russia in 2008.

So what happened?

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Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) went to the House floor Thursday night, to warn of a diabolical terrorist plot -- with a 20-30 year timeline.

The plot involves arranging for a child to be born in the United States -- then training them in an isolated environment abroad, ready to dispatch them back here to commit violence after a quick two or three decades.

"I talked to a retired FBI agent who said that one of the things they were looking at were terrorist cells overseas who had figured out how to game our system. And it appeared they would have young women, who became pregnant, would get them into the United States to have a baby," said Gohmert. "They wouldn't even have to pay anything for the baby. And then they would turn back where they could be raised and coddled as future terrorists. And then one day, twenty, thirty years down the road, they can be sent in to help destroy our way of life. 'Cause they figured out how stupid we are being in this country to allow our enemies to game our system, hurt our economy, get set up in a position to destroy our way of life."

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Most of our Wall Street reform attention has been focused on a couple of the most high-stakes pivot points in the legislation, like whether it would create strict rules governing derivatives trading (sort of), move derivative trading desks out of federally insured financial institutions and in to separate affiliates? (mostly) or limit -- or end -- banks' ability to gamble with their profits (largely.)

But what about the other major pieces of the bill? The provisions over which people fought early in the game, like consumer protection, that fell out of the headlines because there was never any doubt they'd survive in some form or another? Here are your answers:

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