As an Illinois resident, I know that thanks to a one stellar Rod Blagojevich, it’s been embarrassing living in the Land of Lincoln.

If you have not kept pace with current events, know that Illinois governor Blagojevich was charged with corruption, including trying to sell Barack Obama’s vacated Senate seat. This is all according to federal prosecutors, who said the governor had put up a “for sale” sign on his administration.

Just as stupid, Blagojevich and his chief of staff, John Harris, are also accused of threatening to withhold state assistance to now-bankrupt Tribune Co., publisher of the Chicago Tribune, in connection with that company’s sale of its Wrigley Field ballpark. The two apparently sought to force the firing of editors who were critical of Blagojevich.

Guess Mr. Wonderful will get his day in court, but the breadth of corruption laid out in the charges is staggering.

Just when I thought things could not get worse, out pops a recent CBS 2 Chicago report which uncovered a technical training school (which shall remain anonymous) that has received thousands of dollars from students but failed to live up to their expectations. Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Pam Zekman revealed that this technical school, which has two campuses in Illinois, promised their students a 99 percent job placement rate but has not delivered.

According to the CBS 2 investigation revealed in their Website article “2 Investigation Uncovers School Scam” and their televised report “The Unemployment Trap,” students from this technical school received inadequate training with less-than-adequate hands-on experience. In her report, Zekman noted that if an HVAC service tech has not received the proper training, the results could be disaster.

And, she’s right. If a boiler is not properly inspected or installed, there could be death by carbon monoxide or an explosion.

“We applaud Pam Zekman and CBS 2 Chicago for bringing this important concern to the public’s attention,” said Stephen L. Lamb, executive vice president of MCA Chicago. “During this time of economic hardships, people need to be sure they are on the right track for their career training, so they can look forward to a more secure financial future.”

All I can say is that 2008 is definitely not ending on a high note. In a few days a new year arrives. Here’s hoping that all this economic and political craziness will subside in 2009. If not, it’s going to be a looooong year.