August 12th, 2010
10:55 AM ET

Thursday's intriguing people

Rod Blagojevich

The jury overseeing his criminal trial has hinted that it cannot agree unanimously on all of the charges filed against the controversial former Illinois governor and his brother.

Much has been learned about Blagojevich since video tapes were leaked indicating he was willing to sell Barack Obama's vacated Senate seat to the highest bidder. Yet no other political figure has oddly fared so well. Blagojevich's own slate of media appearances before and during the trial have clearly contributed, said one critic.

"Blago's neverending media appearances (Letterman, Leno, Celebrity Apprentice, etc.) have already ensured his post-courtroom cache," reported NBC Chicago's "Ward Room." "To the national public, if not to Illinois, he'll always be an amiable, jazz-handed, brassier-than-thou rodent."

NBC Chicago Ward Room: Rod Blagojevich

NBC Chicago Ward Room: How Dan Rostenkowski Gave Us Rod Blagojevich

CNN: Blagojevich jury deadlocked on some counts

Vaughn Walker

The judge who overturned California's Proposition 8 will issue a decision today as to whether or not California may resume issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples. Since the judge issued the 136-page decision two weeks ago, the San Francisco-based jurist has become a high topic of conversation - not just for his political and legal motivations, but also questions about his own personal background.

AOL News' David Knowles offered this summary about Judge Walker following the decision:

"Who appointed him? Walker is a Reagan appointee who was promoted by George H.W. Bush to sit on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in 1989.

"What's his political persuasion? He is known for being fiercely independent and pro-privacy. He has also been widely reported to be a libertarian."

Coincidentally, Walker is presiding over the federal government's warrantless wiretapping of U.S. citizens during during George W. Bush's administration, Knowles added.

AOL News: Vaughn Walker: 3 Questions About the Prop. 8 Judge, Answered

Victor Fehrenbach

The highly decorated U.S. Air Force fighter pilot announced yesterday that he will file an appeal with the U.S. 9th Circuit Court after a military commission recommended that he be discharged under ‘"Don't Ask, Don't Tell." His lawyers have also asked that Air Force Secretary Michael Donley override the recommendation.

"The Air Force's pending discharge of Lt. Col. Fehrenbach does not pass muster under the United States Constitution," said one his attorneys, M. Andrew Woodmansee, in a statement. "The Air Force did not prove - as it was required to - that his continued service hurts morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion. They can't prove it because it isn't true. Even while under investigation for the past two years, Lt. Col. Fehrenbach continues to be highly regarded by fellow officers and continues to receive excellent evaluations from his commanders."

Fehrenbach is one of the highest-ranking officers to face DADT. He told The New York Times yesterday that he has been deployed six times as a weapons system officer in charge of guiding missiles and detecting targets. Additionally, he flew almost 90 combat missions in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kosovo. He was grounded in 2008 at Mountain Home Air Force Base in the Air Force after allegations that he sexually assaulted a civilian and violated "Don't Ask, Don't Tell".

Washington Post Federal Eye: Air Force Lt. Col. sues to block 'don't ask' discharge

New York Times: Officer Sues to Block His Discharge Under Gay Ban

Miami Herald: Decorated combat Air Force aviator files injunction to block 'don't ask, don't tell' discharge

Cathy Guisewite

The creator of "Cathy" announced yesterday that she will end the syndicated comic strip on October 3 after 34 years. More than 1,400 newspapers carried the strip that featured the often frazzled American working girl.

The 59-year-old Guisewite says she is taking time now to help her daughter transition to college and spend time with her elderly parents. She added that she wanted to respond to a "creative biological clock, which is urging me to try something else while I can."

"Cathy" was first introduced nationally in 1976 in the midst of the women's rights era. Yet the lead character was the antithesis of Mary Tyler Moore's working woman. There were bad hair days, impulse buys, comfortable pants, and Saturday nights spent on the couch with junk food as her only date.

Guisewite is clearly the strip's inspiration. She was an advertising executive when she launched it at her mother's urging, often bouncing ideas off her sister, also a successful advertising executive. Like her doppleganger, Guisewite has admitted to a somewhat infantile dependence to her mother. She adopted a daughter as a single woman around age 35, and, like her character, married late in her career.

CNN: 'Cathy' comic strip to end after 34 years

Washington Post: *AACK!* Cathy Guisewite will retire her comic strip 'CATHY' in October

soundoff (11 Responses)

    Look here.....I'd still do him.

    August 12, 2010 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  2. Guestagain

    The jury overseeing his criminal trial has hinted that it cannot agree unanimously on all of the charges filed against the controversial former Illinois governor and his brother.

    The jury is waiting for the right price????

    August 12, 2010 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Steven P

      In Chicago, "The Price Is Right!" is not a game show; it is a way of life.

      August 12, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Spartacus


    Mark Chapman, the man who killed John Lennon, has been forced to wait after his parole hearing was postponed.

    John Lennon dedicated his life to peace, but was gunned down by a crazed fan after stopping to sign autographs. The former Beatle died within seconds, passing away in the arms of his wife Yoko Ono.

    Soon after, Mark Chapman was arrested and charged with his murder. Found guilty, the killer was sentenced to spend between 20 years to life in jail, with an option for parole after 20 years had passed.

    The time limit passed in 2000, and Mark Chapman began attempts to get out of prison. The killer recently applied for his sixth parole hearing, despite the outspoken objections of John Lennon's widow Yoko Ono.

    Applying for a hearing, the date for the ceremony has now been pushed back to September. Associated Press reports that the hearing will now take place in the Autumn, with Mark Chapman potentially able to walk free after maintaining a clean prison record for over fifteen years.

    The parole board said, "Mr. Chapman was informed today that his parole interview has been postponed one month."

    "The Division of Parole is awaiting the receipt of additional information so that the record is complete for Mr. Chapman's upcoming parole interview."

    Mark Chapman is now 55 years old, having spent 30 years in jail. The killer is able to apply for a parole hearing once every two years – at the previous hearing Yoko Ono argued, quite convincingly, that his release would impact upon the safety and livelihood of her friends and family.

    Ono received stated through her manager that she remained opposed to the release of Mark Chapman.

    August 12, 2010 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Steven P

      Sorry, but selling a Federal seat is in fact far more important that the release hearing of the convicted murderer of a musician, no matter how wonder and talented. I bought their 45s back in the day, and their LPs, and understood the "Bigger than Jesus" statement, but come on. A federal seat for sale vs convicted's really a no-brainer.

      August 12, 2010 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  4. chicagoK

    The Chicago Way may be operating in Chicago! 😉 Payoffs and corruption is the way the Democrat Party works in Illinois. Who knows who got to a juror?

    August 12, 2010 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
    • John C

      What a sad strange world you winguts live in.

      August 12, 2010 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  5. jeanne

    until you put every other political jerk behind bars (which is EVERYONE in politics) then FREE ROD

    August 12, 2010 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  6. TBates

    The fix is obviously in. ......................Somebody didn't want those Obama aides to testify so they made a deal with Blago. That's why Blago didn't talk. He knows the fix was in.

    August 12, 2010 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  7. oneStarman


    August 12, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Stacey

    It's a long, complicated case with complicated instructions. In their zest to see him sit in jail, the Feds made it way too complicated for average people to understand. By all accounts this is an educated jury, but it seems like it's even too complicatedfor them. He's completely guilty, but there is a chance he walks because the charges and instructions make it hard to convict him. The only good news is he will be retried on the charges where the jury deadlocks.

    August 12, 2010 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |