Rod Blagojevich (D) spent his last free day yesterday much like he would have while serving as Illinois governor. Some glad-handing, a bunch of photo ops, and then a greasy spoon lunch at Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich talks with reporters during a stop at Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers. (Joe Amon/AP)

“Saying good bye is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do,” Blagojevich told reporters, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. “I’ll see you when I see you.”

“Blago,” as the media has unceremoniously dubbed him, was twice elected governor of Illinois before he was arrested, impeached, and then convicted on corruption charges.

More of your morning links below:

Making people angry of the morning

Schools can opt out of “pink slime” beef. In response to public outrage, the Agriculture Department said Thursday that schools can decide whether or not to include the ammonia-treated beef cuts in their lunches. (Associated Press)

North Korea to launch rocket that will defy U.N. The country says the launch is in celebration of Kim Il Sung’s 100th birthday. (Washington Post)

Getting the back-story of the morning

The U.S. soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians Sunday was drinking and stressed from a failing marriage the night he went on his alleged rampage. (New York Times)

But his lawyer denies he had significant marital problems. (Washington Post)

The soldier had also been reluctant to leave on his 4th deployment to Afghanistan. (Associated Press)

Syrian uprising news of the morning

A pro-Assad rally marked the anniversary of Syria's uprising. Large crowds gathered in the capital to defend their president. (PBS News Hour)

Syrian protester tells his story. He began as a student, turned protester, became a jailed man and, finally, — a torture victim. “I was forced to stand naked on a wall with my hands tied to the ceiling for seven hours. Every 30 minutes they would spill cold water on me and electrocute me.” (MSNBC.)

Mother nature’s power of the morning

Twister touches down near Ann Arbor, Michigan, destroying several homes. One person captured footage: (YouTube)

Incredible photo of the day

Five thousand books pouring out of a window in Spain. The installation at Casa de America, Madrid is called “Biografias.” (