Belmont Club

Bedtime in Chicago

Fox News reports a sad event in political Chicago.

A key figure in ousted Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s federal corruption case died Saturday of an apparent “aspirin overdose,” a law enforcement source told the Chicago Sun-Times. Christopher Kelly, 51, was Blagojevich’s former chief fundraiser, and was described by the newspaper as “go-to” guy in the ex-governor’s administration. …

Days after his guilty plea, he said he was being pressured by the federal prosecutors to cooperate in their Blagojevich corruption investigation, the Sun-Times reported.

Kelly was indicted on three separate federal cases, including the one that alleges Blagojevich sought to sell or trade President Obama’s former seat in the U.S. Senate.

The Chicago Sun-Times says he had been agonizing over whether to cooperate with the Feds or not. “Kelly’s death comes just four days after he pleaded guilty to a scheme involving $8.5 million in fraud at O’Hare Airport. It was the second conviction he notched this year — he still faced trial along with the ex-governor, in June. Kelly had been indicted three times since 2007 but refused to become a cooperating witness. When he pleaded guilty to the O’Hare scheme Tuesday, Kelly spoke of feeling intense pressure by prosecutors to abandon his loyalty to Blagojevich and cooperate with the feds.”

At least Kelly no longer has to feel torn between the prosecutor and his loyalty to former associates. He’s imbibed the sovereign medication for all worldly ills: he’s sleeping the Big Sleep.

What did it matter where you lay once you were dead? In a dirty sump or in a marble tower on the top of a high hill? You were dead, you were sleeping the big sleep, you were not bothered by things like that. Oil and water were the same as wind and air to you. You just slept the big sleep, not caring about the nastiness of how you died or where you fell.

Even if you fell down dead in a lumber yard, which from Google Earth, looked like a pretty lonely place to calm down a headache. The Chicago Tribune says “Kelly was found in a lumber yard near 173rd Street and Cicero Avenue in Country Club Hills late Friday, said the town’s mayor, Dwight Welch. Kelly arrived at Oak Forest Hospital at 11:15 p.m. Friday, said Marcel Bright, a Stroger Hospital spokesman.”

Who wants to go down the mean streets? Where do we still find or convince to become ‘men who are not themselves mean, who are neither tarnished nor afraid with … a lively sense of the grotesque, a disgust for sham, and a contempt for pettiness”? Maybe that’s all fiction stuff, maybe nobody’s like that any more; they’ve all taken their thirty five bucks an hour and gasoline expenses and gone off and died of old age leaving us with with the cool and edgy folks who know the price of everything and the value of nothing. Maybe all that’s really left is a firm hand on your shoulder, a whispered word and a bottle of asprin.


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