Rich Galen
This is something even I could not have made up.

Defrocked Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich showed up at the Chicago version of Comic Con – the trade show for comic book and sci-fi fans – and, according to the Associated Press, “He charged $80 for each photo taken with him and $50 for autographs.”

Comic Con’s website has this warning:

All event and program rooms have limited capacity as set by the Fire Marshal. Even though your badge is needed to get into all events, it does not guarantee you access to any event if it has reached its capacity. Most autograph signings are of a limited nature. Your badge does not guarantee autographs at any event.

I don’t know about you, but it would more or less have ruined my summer if I had bought a ticket to Comic Con, took a bus to the show, waited on line for my chance to spend $80 for a photo with Blago only to find out the fire marshal had shut it off.

Blagojevich was convicted on one of 23 counts this past week; with the jury deadlocking on the other 22 counts. The Feds have announced they will retry him on the remaining charges. Blagojevich has threatened to call White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel if there is a new trial.

To that end, the AP reported, “While touring the floor, Blagojevich picked up a red ‘Batphone’ and joked that he was calling his lawyer.”

I’m telling you; this guy is a laff riot!

Australia is providing what may be a preview of what may be going on in Washington early next year. In the election held last week, according to the Dow Jones Newswire, there are three non-aligned members who might be the difference in who organizes the Australian Parliament:

With around three quarters of the vote counted, Prime Minister Julia Gillard's Labor Party has so far won 70 seats, while the conservative Liberal-National opposition has a total of 72. Analysts are projecting Labor will finish with 72 seats--a loss of 11--and the coalition with 73. That would leave neither side with enough seats outright to form government.

With the conventional wisdom (which, in Your Nation’s Capital is notoriously inaccurate especially in August) expanding the number of U.S. Senate seats “in play” this fall from 10 to 15, an outright GOP takeover is now a strong possibility.

But, party switching (and the bribes which would certainly be proffered to potential switchers by both sides) might keep the organization of the Senate in doubt for some time after the Congress convenes on or about January 3, 2011.

Dear Mr. Mullings:

Why “on or about January 3, 2011?”

Signed,
The Association of Home Rental Agents;
National Capital Chapter

The 20th Amendment to the Constitution corrected a flaw in our governance which, because travel to the seat of government (New York, Philadelphia and finally Washington, DC) was such an issue in the early days, the original text of the Constitution read (Article I, Section 4, Clause 2):

The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall by Law appoint a different Day.

So, it was more than a year before newly elected congressmen met in December – of the next year – following the November elections.

Think about the mischief an outgoing majority could inflict on the nation during a 13-month lame duck session. The 20th Amendment sets the date of the Presidential term to begin on January 20th (it had been March 4th) and requires that:

The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall begin at noon on the 3d day of January, unless they shall by law appoint a different day.

In 2011, January 3 falls on Monday. It is likely the Congress will pass a law this year establishing Wednesday January 5 (or Thursday the 6th) as the opening date.

Last item:

The Mullings Director of Standards and Practices and I went to a lovely wedding on Saturday night but I got to thinking that if, 20 minutes into the ceremony, the Priest had announced a Foosball tournament was about to start in the Sunday School cafeteria the only males left in the church would have been the groom, the best man, and about a third of the ushers.

On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Links to all the stories above, plus a terrific Mullfoto sent in by a reader and a pretty interesting Catchy Caption of the Day.


Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at Mullings.com.