Happy Thursday, everybody!
Welcome to the Shuster "Daily Briefing" for January 29, 2009. Regards from Chicago, Illinois!!! I am working out of the Windy City because I have the privilege of being MSNBC's ambassador tonight to a dinner for the Illinois state's cable television association. Plus, the association's timing is impeccable. As I write this note, the Illinois state Senate is about to vote on whether to remove Gov. Rod Blagojevich from office.
In closing remarks, one of the state Senators just said, "The evidence is clear this Governor and his associates named in a federal complaint not only misused his position for power and authority, he misused good public policy to enrich these associates and himself."
At this hour, the Lieutenant Governor and his family are on their way to Springfield. They've been told to "stand by" in case the State Senate votes to "convict" Blaogojevich.
We will start the show with the latest on the impeachment trial. If the timing works out, we will talk live with two State Senators about the Governor's dazzling speech today to lawmakers and whether it had any impact.
Also tonight, we will jump into the fallout over that House vote last night on the President's economic plan. The measure passed. But, not a single Republican voted for the bill. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs had an interesting take in his daily press briefing.
Later, we will continue our series on the problems at Ground Zero in New York. As you saw last night in that remarkable appearance by Al and Maureen Santora, parents of Christopher, a N.Y. firefighter killed on 9-11, many of the families most affected by the collapse of the Twin Towers are adamant that they be rebuilt taller, stronger, and safer in order to "reclaim" what the terrorists took away from our great nation. On that awful day nearly seven and half years ago, our horrified nation was lucky to have the soothing reporting and anchor work of NBC's Tom Brokaw. He will join us tonight to talk about Blagojevich and the news in Washington. But, I'll also throw him a question about Ground Zero. Later, we will talk about the issue with our panel.
By the way, a number of you have wondered if President Obama's selection of a dozen lobbyists to work in his administration amounts to a mention in our daily "Hypocrisy Watch" segment. As long as the President's campaign statements about lobbyists not working in his administration are not retracted the answer is yes. I'll explain tonight on the air.
Also, our "Muckraker of the Day" has some terrific reporting on recession proof Wall Street bonuses. How can bonuses in the financial industry be recession proof, especially when the economic crisis started with the financial industry problems? It's an outrage, I know.
Finally, we will have some fun in our "Briefing Room" tonight courtesy of a sting operation in Great Britain. A few British lawmakers thought they were accepting bribe offers from foreign lobbyists. The lobbyists were actually London newspaper reporters with cameras and tape recorders rolling. We will play one of the more amazing clips.
Our "Quote of the Day" comes from Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich this afternoon upon his return a few minutes ago to his Chicago home. It underscores the value of "exercise," as way to relieve stress.
"I told the truth, and I said what was right. I'm going to go for a run. I'll see you on the way out."
Thanks in advance for watching. "1600" airs at 6 p.m. in Washington, 5 p.m. here in Chicago, 4 p.m. in Denver, and 3 p.m. in Oakland.