My analysis is right now the story has a 50-50 chance of disrupting the nation, and that is the last thing America needs.
FOX News Chicago is reporting that Obama's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, did discuss the Senate seat with Governor Blagojevich, and the FBI might have some of those talks on tape. Apparently, Emanuel wanted the seat to go to Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett. But as the wiretaps indicate, Blagojevich was insulted that only gratitude was offered by the Obama camp if Ms. Jarrett was appointed a U.S. senator.
Now you may remember the governor called Obama an MF'er because of that, but that discussion could land Rahm Emanuel right in front of a grand jury, where he would likely be asked under oath about any offered deal on the governor's part.
So even though Emanuel might have turned down such a deal, the question arises: Should he have reported the bribe request if one actually happened? Emanuel knew Blagojevich very well, taking his congressional seat in 2002.
Also, the Chicago Tribune is reporting that some businesspeople discussed raising $1 million for Blagojevich if he would give the Senate seat to Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. FOX News Chicago caught up with him this morning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JESSE JACKSON JR.: I'm confident that no one on my behalf made a single offer to anybody for anything, and I wouldn't accept the position if it were offered under those circumstances.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
So you can see what a mess this is becoming. And the wild card is the governor, who could expose many people in the Chicago political machine in return for leniency if he's indicted, which he will most likely be.
Again, this is the last thing President-elect Obama or the country needs right now. But it is a troubling reality.
Blagojevich is a corrupt guy who had access to Rahm Emanuel and most other Chicago politicians. A federal grand jury will likely cast a pretty wide net in this investigation, and the tangles in that net could have severe repercussions.
And that's the "Talking Points Memo."
Pinheads & Patriots
It seems we use a lot of material from the "Ellen" program in this segment. I'm not exactly sure why, but a lot of strange things seem to happen there. The latest is Ellen trying to teach Britney Spears to harmonize.
Click here to watch "Pinheads & Patriots."
We believe anyone who sings Christmas songs is patriotic, but they are challenging that.
On the pinhead front, another "your call" situation. Tom Cruise appeared on the "Jay Leno" program Thursday night and, once again, weird broke out when Jay asked Mr. Cruise if he liked to sing. You can decide if there are any pinheads involved.