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The [New Year's Eve] Papers

1. Roland Burris is nuts too.

2. Alternate career moves: Roland and Rod in the Mornings.

3. A Top 10 Top 10 List.

4. Rod's Resolutions.

5. Let's clarify a few things. I've seen and read commentators express the notion that Roland Burris is tainted because Rod Blagojevich is the one appointing him, but they seem to have some trouble articulating the taint beyond that, pointing out that Burris is seemingly "qualified." I think I can help.

The reason why the selection of Burris is tainted is because his selection is the result of a corrupted process, without which Burris would never have been picked.

If the process had not been corrupted, the governor - be it Blagojevich or Pat Quinn - would certainly have made a different selection, most likely from among usual suspects Jesse Jackson, Jr., Jan Schakowsky, Lisa Madigan, etc.

Burris would not have been on that list, even as a wild card, the way, say, a Kwame Raoul might have been.

Another way of putting it is that we are not getting one of the top 10 or so folks in contention for the seat, nor someone else who earning the seat through a special election, but instead maybe the 20th person who might have showed up on some lists.

And by accepting the appointment, Roland Burris has already shown he's unworthy of it. Danny Davis suddenly looks a lot better; Bobby Rush looks like a fool.

Finally, Rush's race-baiting is despicable on several levels, but merely sticking to pure logic, it's not as if Burris is the only African American who can fill the seat. And if the U.S. Senate finds a way to reject Burris, it won't be because of the color of his skin. In fact, whoever would emerge as the alternative to Burris might very likely be African American as well.

So let no one be fooled.

6. Who else can we blame? State Democrats, that's who. Not only did they install Rod Blagojevich into every "elected" office he's held, but they refused to move on impeachment until it was too late. Then they refused to approve a special election that would have taken the Senate seat decision out of Blago's hands.

But it's not entirely clear-cut that that alone left Blago with no choice to make this appointment. The intention of state Dems clearly was that Pat Quinn would make the appointment. Unfortunately, they gambled with our Senate seat for their own political ends - and we lost.

7. And don't let anyone tell you a special election would be too costly. Of all the things we spend money on, surely democracy is the one we can afford. We also could have billed the Illinois Democratic Party and watched them try to fight it.

8. My favorite line so far comes from Jeffrey Toobin on CNN: "Rod Blagojevich is out on bail!"

9. "[I]t takes guts to keep a straight face while Democrats about you are losing theirs," John Kass writes.

10. More havoc to come, this time replacing Rahmbo:

"According to the Illinois Board of Elections, Blagojevich is not required to set a date for a party primary before the special election, but can."

11. The founder of Jimmy John's makes good in Elgin.

12. "Neighborhoods that recently bustled with teardowns and new construction are now filled with many such unsold homes, testament to a collapsed housing boom with a unique Chicago flavor," the Tribune reports.

More like a unique Chicago stench.


"Mayor Richard Daley has maintained the tradition of letting aldermen have the final say over what gets built in their wards. Almost half of the zoning changes approved by the council members are done despite opposition from City Hall's own planning staff.

"In case after case, aldermen ignored neighbors' complaints as well as planners' warnings that proposed projects would be too dense or would not be consistent with the character of the neighborhoods."

13. My doctor told me about this during a recent visit. I left with a cool Lexapro tissue box.

14. "In the past three years, 206 complaints were logged against CashNet at the Better Business Bureau," the Tribune reports. "All but five were resolved or 'administratively closed,' meaning the BBB determined CashNet made a reasonable offer to settle the issue. Even one unresolved complaint results in an 'unsatisfactory' BBB rating."

Anyone who has dealt with the Better Business Bureau knows it's totally ineffectual. But I digress.

"In September, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation fined CashNet $30,125 for violations found during a March 2007 exam. The violations included 59 instances of CashNet either not noting in a database when a loan was paid in full or when it was originated, and 25 instances of not telling consumers that they had a right to a repayment plan in a separate signed document. CashNet said it has resolved all issues cited in the state's report.

"CashNet, which does business in more than 30 U.S. states and the United Kingdom, points out that it has served more than a million customers. [CashNet President Timothy] Ho said more than 90 percent of users are satisfied."

Did he say it with a straight face? Because that's the way the Trib reported it.

15. "Cuban buys theater stake."

I sure wouldn't want to sit by him. Real talker.

16. "January 1 is the deadliest day of the year for pedestrians," the New York Times reports.

17. Jay Mariotti with the No. 1 Most Erroneous Column of 2008.

18. Welcome to Illinois.

19. Name that firm!

"In 2008 Owensboro paid a Chicago advertising firm $50,000 to come up with a trio of new, exciting catch phrases for the city."


20. The Winter Classic at Wrigley


The Beachwood Tip Line: Seat warmer for your soul.


Posted on December 31, 2008

MUSIC - A Plan To Pay Musicians.
TV - Jonathan Pie: Back To School.
POLITICS - Chicago Lawyers vs. CPD.
SPORTS - I've Had It.

BOOKS - How The Post Office United America.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Against Germophobia.

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