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The [Thursday] Papers

1. Best Blago Ode Ever.

2. Blago's Shell Game.

3. Sneed reports (so read with skepticism) that the governor "surprised feds when, upon entering his home, he began jogging in place - and then lying down in the fetal position. He reportedly repeated the frenetic exercise several times."

Actually it's a new fitness regime called Bloga.

4. Several folks have said to me that they weren't surprised the Illinois Supreme Court refused to hear Lisa Madigan's bid to remove Blagojevich from office because he is unfit to serve because insanity hasn't yet been proven. I thought Madigan actually had a shot, though, because the language she cited included removal not just because of physical or mental infirmity, but "other disability." Now, that may sound vague, but lawmakers were correct to include it as a provision because no one can foresee all the different circumstances that may arise that renders a governor unable to do his job. An example that I think I heard from Abner Mikva is if Blagojevich is unable to enter the state into contracts because his word isn't deemed credible. This makes sense when you consider that years ago legislators started asking the governor to sign "Memorandums of Agreement" because he had reneged so often on deals he had agreed to. So I thought the case should have at least been heard.

5. Ed Genson's arguments in Springfield that the rules regarding impeachment are vague and that some legislators have already betrayed their biases are nice bits of deflection, but no different from how impeachment is set up on the federal level. Remember those debates about what constituted "high crimes and misdemeanors" during Bill Clinton's impeachment? And it's not as if House Republicans - and some Democrats - didn't call for Clinton's ouster before proceedings even began.

An impeachment is a quasi-legal, quasi-political action that in many ways operates within the confines of the Constitution but by no means by the restraints of a courtroom.

6. A few columns ago I wondered how investigators placed a bug in Blagojevich's home. A couple of readers have pointed out to me - correctly - that a bug was placed in Blagojevich's campaign office (actually two; one in the governor's personal office and one in the conference room) but not in his home. His home phone, however, was tapped.

7. The Sun-Times reports that Ald. Pat O'Connor's bid to replace Rahm Emanuel as the congressman from the Fifth District has hit a snag now that Emanuel has been forced to take a low-profile in the wake of Blagobait. (I just came up with that; spread it around!)

O'Connor, who is Mayor Daley's "unofficial floor leader," which I think means biggest tool in the mayor's shed, apparently was hoping that Emanuel would "clear the field" for him.

Gee, I wonder how Rahm could do a thing like that?

8. Unlike everyone else in the real world, Mary Mitchell can't quite find the outrage she expects from the citizenry about Blagobait (!).

"I don't quite get it," Mitchell writes. "Why aren't people marching around his home carrying picket signs?"

Gee, I don't know, could it be that people have to go to work? Or maybe that marching with signs is less effective than, say, impeaching him?

9. "The first black president of the United States cannot credibly govern without a national black agenda. But don't depend on him to front it," Laura Washington writes in In These Times.

"Obama's dodge around race was exquisitely choreographed" during the campaign, Washington writes.

She also now calls his landmark 2004 speech at the Democratic National Convention "lame."

(Washington wrote a similar version of this column for the Sun-Times in October.)

- via Bronzecomm

10. Maybe Illinois should be forced to just forfeit its vacant Senate seat for two years. That's the kind of penalty that might actually deter corruption.

11. The Beachwood Bowl Series.

12. "Home Egged in Batavia."

Is this news because the Trib is going "hyperlocal" or because no one in their right mind would waste eggs in this economy?

13. "I Am The Number 9!"

(With special guest appearance by Bob Roooooooahrrrrrrrmannnnn!)


The Beachwood Tip Line: Splitting headaches daily.


Posted on December 18, 2008

MUSIC - Lyric Opera Strike Settled.
POLITICS - USA Today's Op-Ed Disaster.
SPORTS - SportsMonday: Come On, Vic!

BOOKS - Chicago Book Haul: The Dial.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: West Town Blues.

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