How Many Days Will Jurors Deliberate In Rod Blagojevich Trial?

Judge Zagel told the jurors in the Rod Blagojevich trial to come back on Wednesday and be prepared for the jury instructions.  That may take the better part of a day.  Following that the moment these men and women of the jury have waited for will have finally arrived.  They will go to their jury room for discussions, and begin to ponder the points of the case that was presented to them.

As federal prosecutor Chris Niewoehner made clear to the jury in closing arguments the law “doesn’t require you to be successful in a crime; when you agree to commit a crime you’ve just committed one.”

That is more than enough for this jury to send a message loud and clear all over Illinois about the dreadful actions of Rod Blagojevich.  There should be no long days and sleepless nights for this jury.  While ample time should be given to make sure all minds are comfortable with the needed outcome there should also be swift justice from this jury.  Anything less would be just one more insult to a citizenry that has had to deal with more than its share of Blagojevich’s crap.

While Rod Blagojevich will doubtless cry foul when found guilty, and ask for a new trial based on some convoluted legal reasoning, the people of Illinois will know that a jury sent a clear message based on the case that was presented.  The jury can then go home knowing they have done their public duty.

Hopefully Rod Blagojevich will go to jail and never be heard from again.

Hating Hispanics Is Costly, Fremont Nebraska Backtracks

There is sweet justice in this. 

If the folks of Fremont, Nebraska want to hate immigrants they are going to have to pay for it.   The residents of this small town now understand the financial ruin if they allowed hate and bigotry to win.  So guess what is about to happen?

Seems like when the rule of law in the form of court cases stood up to the windbags in Fremont lots of conversions to doing what was right among the townsfolk took place.  Funny how the wallet is now more important than being bigoted.  Hmmm.   This is just all amusing to me. 

I do however think the saved money from court fights should be shoved into education in Fremont to prevent another embarrassing event like this from happening in the future.

A voter-approved ban on hiring and renting property to illegal immigrants was suspended late Tuesday by the Fremont City Council, less than two days before it was set to take effect in the eastern Nebraska city.

Council members voted 8-0 to delay the ordinance that is being challenged by two federal lawsuits, saying the move will save the city money in legal costs that officials have said could average $1 million a year.

About 100 people attended the meeting, including some who said the ordinance has already led to divisiveness.

“This law is not yet in effect, but it is increasing conflict and discrimination,” Lesley Velez, 20, of Fremont told city council members.

Terry Flanagan, a Fremont resident who supports the ban, said the council shouldn’t second guess voters: “The citizens of Fremont have spoken. We should not delay this,” he said.

The council narrowly rejected the ban in 2008, prompting supporters to gather enough signatures for the ballot measure. Voters approved the ban last month and it was scheduled to take effect Thursday.

But the city faces lawsuits from the American Civil Liberties Union and the Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund, which both expected to ask a federal judge Wednesday to temporarily block the ban from taking effect. After Tuesday’s vote, the ACLU of Nebraska said its attorneys and the city plan to use the hearing to ask the judge to block the ordinance pending a final court resolution.

Elvis Presley Postmortem Examination Tools Not For Sale At Auction

Look, I do not make the news up.  I just pass it along.

An auction of instruments allegedly used in Elvis Presley’s autopsy has been cancelled. “Due to questions of ownership,” the retired embalmer behind the sale will instead “donate” the tools to an unknown party. 

Last week, a Chicago auction house announced that it would be selling a grisly collection of music memorabilia, including rubber gloves, lip brushes, needle injectors, forceps and aneurysm hooks used in the singer’s postmortem examination. An embalmer in Memphis had apparently stored the tools since 1977, but now hoped to let fans “own a piece of the celebrity themselves”. 

Officials at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers have now withdrawn the lot, reportedly at the request of the owner and his son. The objects will instead be turned over to the funeral home that originally administered the autopsy, or at least its parent company, “with the intention of donation”. It is not clear whether Graceland or another Elvis museum is interested in the tools. 

According to the Memphis Commercial Appeal, the president of the Memphis Funeral Home, EC Davies, kept Presley’s embalming report in his desk. He later donated it to a funeral service museum in Houston, but the Presley family has never granted permission for it to be displayed. Last week, Davies questioned the authenticity of the auction items. “Anybody could fake something like this,” he said. “It’s ridiculous.”

No Bush In 2012

Lets face it, America will never be ready for another Bush.

Former Florida GOP Gov. Jeb Bush said Tuesday that he is “not running” for president in 2012. 

In a wide-open presidential primary field, Bush’s name has been floated as one of the few potential Republicans who might be able to attract voters beyond the typical GOP ranks. Proponents of a Bush run frequently note his moderate stance on immigration as well as his advocacy for education reform as chief selling points. 

Bush had provided fuel to the speculation by recently taking a more active role in current campaigns, endorsing New York GOP House candidate Chris Cox and attending a fundraiser for Kentucky Republican Senate nominee Rand Paul. 

But asked Tuesday by Louisville’s ABC affiliate WHAS following an event with Paul whether he was eyeing a challenge to President Barack Obama, Bush responded flatly: “I am not running for president.”

Boom System At B.B. Clarke Will Be In Place Rest Of Summer

Many have noticed a positive outcome in the City of Madison since the experimental boom system has been placed into the lakes at various beaches.  Since the boom that is designed to reduce bad algal scum from getting near B.B. Clarke Beach was placed in the water a month ago there has not been a single day that the beach was closed.  Local residents, and the countless users of the beach have noticed, and appreciated the result of this experiment.

The boom seems to be working, and that is news we all can be excited about.  The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources did get some data from a sampling in early July that indicated there were undetectable toxins with less algae inside the boom swimming area, and outside the boom along both side walls algae levels were higher and the toxins were elevated enough to be a health concern.  But since this summer, at least thus far, has not produced a lot of really bad algal scum a decision has been made to allow the boom experiment to last all summer, according to an email from Dick Lathrop, with the Wisconsin DNR.   A longer time for the boom to be in the water allows for more and better data to be collected.

I applaud those who are working on this matter, and monitoring the effects it has on B.B. Clarke Beach.  While  some people are wishing the diving platform were back in the lake, most local homeowners and residents are more concerned about the environmental impact of the boom, and the positive effects more data can provide for future projects of this type. 

Therefore I suggest folks not worry about the diving platform this year.  A drowning took place last week at the beach.  Nighttime use of the diving board would occur no matter what the city ordinances say if it were in the water, and the boom could prove to be a problem for some when going or coming from the diving platform.  For that reason lets keep the diving platform out of the water this summer.  Perhaps in the future the boom device can be extended to such an area that the diving board can be inside the protected area.

For now the data can be collected, and used so future years will see more days like we have had this year.  One with laughing splashing kids in the water, and parents watching while sitting under a shading tree.