|Is the Thompson Center destined to dominate Randolph and LaSalle? Or become a vacant block in the city grid? Photograph by Gregory Tejeda|
Does one-time House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, currently serving time in a federal correctional center, really have the nerve to demand repayment of the money he allegedly paid out to keep certain people quiet about past indiscretions in his lifetime?
FOR THAT MATTER, did former Gov. Rod Blagojevich really go down to the final seconds of the Barack Obama presidency believing he had a chance to gain clemency from the man he once jealously derided and believed stole his own presidential aspirations?
Even though, to be honest, it was only Blagojevich himself who ever thought he’d wind up in the “crown jewel of the federal penal system” (to steal from Harry S. Truman) rather than a cell at the Englewood Federal Correctional Institute in Colorado.
Yes, it’s true. One does not have to focus attention on the District of Columbia to see silly and absurd behavior. President Donald J. Trump will have competition for the category of political nonsense.
Take the talk that Gov. Bruce Rauner is stirring up again about wanting to demolish the Thompson Center state government building. He has pitched this idea before, although with state government’s other problems it is quite a ways away from becoming reality.
|RAUNER: Will he be able to do anything w/ bldg.?|
SO TO LEARN that architect Helmut Jahn (who designed the structure back in the 1980s as the State of Illinois Center) is defending his structure and proposing an exorbitant renovation that would include a 110-story tower at the southwest corner is beyond belief.
Considering that the current structure is only 16 stories, with Rauner’s office on the top floor. Does Bruce think he’d get a new office complex on the new top floor – allowing him to look down on the gardens that exist on the roof of City Hall located across the street?
Or maybe the governor thinks he can one-up the new president by having a Chicago office that could compete in height with the Second City take on a Trump Tower.
|Denny a long way from dignity of Speakership|
Would that inspire the prez to tell his sons who technically are now running the real estate company to figure out a way to one-up the governor – who has been incredibly quiet and refusing to say anything that could be interpreted as supporting or opposing the new reign of Trump that befell the nation on Friday.
BUT THEN, THERE is the plight of Denny Hastert, who currently is serving a prison term at a correctional facility in Minnesota, has filed a lawsuit claiming that $1.7 million he paid out to one of his former students at Yorkville High School should be returned.
Hastert is in prison through August on convictions of charges that he violated federal laws concerning the withdrawing of money from bank accounts. Large withdrawals are supposed to be publicly recorded and acknowledged.
But Hastert wanted to get at large sums of money because he was facing that amounts to blackmail threats from the former student, who says he was sexually abused as a teenager by Hastert.
As it is, Hastert paid the money and technically was supposed to pay another $1.8 million in order to ensure that the now middle-aged man would keep his mouth shut. That man has his own lawsuit pending saying that Denny still owes him money from their agreement. The courts ultimately will have to decide which of these people has a less-sleazy legal argument, and it could wind up that attorneys fees wind up devouring the money all the way around!
THEN, WE GO back to Blagojevich, whose name was not included in either of the final rounds of acts of clemency granted by Obama on Wednesday or Thursday.
|Rod a long way from days of youthful hair|
The Chicago Sun-Times gave us a particularly pathetic image of former first lady Patti saying that Rod hadn’t given up hope yet because there was always the chance of a last-second commutation Friday morning.
Maybe she was just saying that and really knew better. Either that, or our state’s former governor has gone goofy from incarceration. Anybody who remembers the Blagojevich/Obama animosity and jealousy over which would be the promising young pol to come out of Illinois would know there would be no reason for Obama to want to do a thing – particularly since it would whack his own legacy if he bothered.
Resulting in Blagojevich having to serve until about May 2024 in prison – unless Trump feels some justification for granting an act of clemency. Which may be the most ridiculous political fantasy of all.