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The [Thursday] Papers

1. Baby, it's cold outside.

2. Lonesome Deb Mell.

3. Blago Presiding.

4. Master political analyst Stella Foster reminds readers today that on January 1st, she wrote that "The U.S. Senate seat may be tainted because of the alleged wrongdoings of Gov. Blago, but Roland Burris' behind is not tainted and should not be penalized for accepting this prestigious seat."

For the last time: It is because of the alleged wrongdoings of Gov. Blago that Roland Burris was selected for the seat. That puts the stink of taint squarely on his behind.

4. Burris vs. Daley.

5. Is this really true? Right next to Stella's column today is an advertisement from The Center for Colorectal Health that says "Freud's Problems Weren't All In His Head . . . If Freud Hadn't Had Hemorrhoids, We Just Might Refer To An Uptight Friend As 'Nasal Retentive'."

6. It just gets worse for Timothy Geithner.

"Though he was a prodigy in the world of economics, Timothy Geithner underwent an IRS audit in 2006 and ended up paying back taxes for a mistake in two years' worth of filings," the Tribune reports. "That was embarrassing enough.

"But just as he was about to be named to head the Treasury Department, an even more awkward fact came to light: Geithner had made the exact same error in two earlier tax years and failed to fix it even after the audit."


Wait - Geithner does his own taxes?


"I would say that this has been the most deft and well-handled transition in my memory and in modern history," says David Axelrod.

Aside from Tim Geithner, Bill Richardson, Eric Holder, Rick Warren, and filling the president-elect's senate seat, yes.

Nanny problems, pay-to-play allegations, racial politics and controversial selections angering the base - I'd say it's a transition that's par for the course. But if the rest of y'all want to propagate that Team of Rivals narrative that Axelrod dreamed up, be my guest. I'm just trying to figure out if this is the Clinton administration redux or the Bush administration redux.


Geithner should have called Roni Lynn Deutch.

7. Roland Burris on why he will win over his critics: "To know Roland Burris is to understand that what you see is what you get."

That's what we're afraid of, Roland.


How Roland Burris makes decisions:

From: Roland Burris
To: Roland Burris
Re: Roland Burris

8. "Aides have said Holder's failure to mention the relationship [with Blagojevich] was inadvertent."

It's such a funny thing, but I didn't connect that guy in the news with the hair and the swearing and Obama's senate seat with the same guy I did legal work for investigating a casino license in Illinois!


Between Geithner and Holder, we could have the most inadvertent cabinet ever!

9. Think Mayor Daley, who has appointed something like almost the entire city council, will get behind a local version of this?

10. "Frankly, I am tired of David Plouffe," Ellyn Nugent tells the Tribune in a story about the "relentless" e-mail appeals for money the Obama campaign continues to send out.

"[Obama] spokesman Ben LaBolt declined to comment on whether there is a risk that Obama's political operation could be viewed as a serial spammer."

11. Compare . . .

With an estimated price tag of $40m, the three-day celebration that is President Bush's second inauguration will be the most expensive ever.

The lavish dinners, parties and fireworks began on Tuesday and will continue through his swearing-in on Thursday, followed by a parade and nine official inaugural balls.

The cost will be paid by individual and corporate donations, while the city of Washington is being asked to pay for an estimated $17m in security costs.

Some have criticised the expense, questioning the propriety of a flashy celebration as US troops are dying in Iraq and South Asia still recovers from last month's deadly tsunami.

The overt criticism of an inauguration is unusual, but a Washington Post poll found that a majority of Americans would prefer a smaller, more subdued event.

. . . and contrast.

President Barack Obama's inauguration next week is set to be the most expensive ever, predicted to reach over $150m (£102m). This dwarfs the $42.3m spent on George Bush's inauguration in 2005 and the $33m spent on Bill Clinton's in 1993.

Part of the spending includes emergency funding announced by the White House on Tuesday to help with the soaring costs.

12. Instant Snow


The Beachwood Tip Line: Instant coffee.


Posted on January 15, 2009

MUSIC - Spring Awakening Wake-Up Call!
TV - Goodbye, Apu.
POLITICS - The Political Odds.
SPORTS - SportsMonday: Catching Bears Fever.

BOOKS - Gov. Ed Coles.


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