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The [Thursday] Papers

By Steve Rhodes

1. Pot Makes Daley Crazy.

2. Jim Parque juiced.

3. Sure, Stella Foster wants to know today "what's up" with all the young blacks and Latinos shooting each other, and that's pretty priceless, but even better is this:

"This columnist got a lot of e-mails regarding my waterboarding item . . . will run some next week."

Oh Stella, don't tease us so. Don't make the world wait!

4. McCourt's ashes.

5. "The most positive news coming out of Boeing Co.'s much-anticipated conference call with analysts following its earnings report Wednesday was that, as bad as the design troubles and production delays with the new 787 aircraft have been, the Dreamliner still should make money," David Greising writes today.

"If it ever flies, that is."

6. "It seems clear from the Tribune's analysis that 'inquiries' made on behalf of Category I applicants did, in fact, tip the scales for some," the Tribune editorial page says today. "As a group, the clouted candidates had higher acceptance rates - and lower credentials - than their overall freshman classes. That means applicants with clout were admitted at the expense of more-qualified students.

"But it turns out the special privileges didn't end at orientation. Trustees have used their influence to solve friends' housing problems or get relatives into oversubscribed classes, jumping over hundreds of others in line. One lobbied to get his niece into an honors program for which she had failed to apply."

7. "A key fundraiser at the University of Illinois defended the use of clout lists in the admissions process, telling a state commission Wednesday that it's important for school officials to know which applicants have ties to big donors," the Tribune reports.

"Sidney Micek, president of the University of Illinois Foundation, said his group's input helps admissions officers put applications into perspective.

"'They value friends of the university,' Micek said. 'They value that information as part of the process. It's appropriate information to pass along'."

Talk about Clout U.

This state is simply diseased.

"Often, he would include information about the donor's generosity, though he testified he never listed specific amounts. Admissions officers then would place the students on clout lists reserved for those with ties to elected officials, university trustees or important donors."

"I really don't see that, quite honestly, as influencing the decision," he said. "In the end, it's up to the university to decide what it values."

In other words, my attempts to influence admissions decisions are perfectly legitimate but I really don't see those attempts influencing admissions decisions - even though they should and all the evidence shows they have.


"He said all universities, both public and private, give preferential treatment to applicants backed by those with political or financial sway."

And if they don't, he added, they should!

7. Chicago's public schools have their own admissions scandal brewing - and it sounds eerily familiar.

8. In a decision that could have wide-ranging implications, a state apellate court has ruled that internal affairs records of police departments are public documents that should be available for anyone to read.

9. "If he feels so strongly about the need for jobs and shopping choices, Daley was asked why he refused to give Wal-Mart administrative approval to build a second store in Chatham," the Sun-Times reports.

"If I start doing that, you would write a headline, 'Mayor is arrogant. He's usurping his power. Mayor starts changing the law for his own benefit because, one day he likes Wal-Mart. The next day he's liking something else.' . . . I'm not gonna fall into that trap," Daley said.

And you didn't!

10. Red-light Robin Hoods!

11. We 'R' a sick culture.

12. Billy Ligue proud of what he did.

13. Speaking of Notre Dame . . .

14. "The mother followed him out the store, perhaps not knowing that she had set herself up for major grief ten years down the road," Jerome Haller writes in his latest installment of I Am A Security Guard.

15. "As Congress looks at ways to tighten regulations on financial institutions, some of the biggest recipients of the government's $700 billion bailout have spent substantial amounts of money on influencing legislators," McClatchy/Tribune reports.

"Bank of America, for example, has spent roughly $1.5 million this year lobbying on Capitol Hill.

"The bank, which has received $45 billion in taxpayer bailout money from the federal Troubled Asset Relief Program, has worked to sway lawmakers on more than two dozen pieces of legislation in the House and Senate.

"Other financial institutions that received TARP funds also are lobbying lawmakers. Among them, Citigroup spent $3 million so far this year, and Goldman Sachs spent $1.3 million. JPMorgan Chase spent nearly $1.8 million on lobbying in the latest quarter and $1.3 million in the first quarter. It repaid the $25 billion in bailout loans it received."

You can't blame Bush anymore.

16. "Two months after editorializing about a troubled financial company that doled out hefty management bonuses, a bankrupt news media company is doing the same thing," the Washington Times reports.

"'Money for nothing?' blared a Chicago Tribune editorial in mid-March, responding to news that American International Group Inc. planned to give $450 million in bonuses to its top executives during a very public federal bailout.

"But this week, the Tribune Co. - which owns the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, the Baltimore Sun, the Hartford Courant and other dailies, along with 23 TV stations - received permission from a Delaware bankruptcy judge to pay out $13.3 million in bonuses to some 700 local and corporate managers.

"The payouts come as $2.7 million in severance pay to 68 employees who lost their jobs last year remains frozen."

CLARIFICATION: This link goes to a piece from May, when the Tribune's bonus plan was first proposed; my mistake, I thought it was new and pegged to the latest bonus request. Also, at the bottom of the link provided in the item here is a correction to be noted. Nonetheless, the sentiment still certainly applies - in fact, it's even worse that the Tribune editorial board actually approved of the AIG bonuses on the grounds that keeping key executives was crucial to the company's success going forward. Please. Executives in a position to enrich themselves first at the expense of everybody else always find a way to do so, regardless of merit. Everyone else is always asked to sacrifice.

Or, as Whet Moser puts it today, "this whole TribCo mess has seemingly been a process of simply transferring wealth upwards." See the rest of his post to see how, plus Whet's
follow-up, which says "If these bonus babies need to get paid above and beyond their salary just to stay 'motivated,' maybe it would be cheaper to find people with a better work ethic to replace them.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Bonus material.


Posted on July 23, 2009

MUSIC - Millions Of New Guitar Players.
TV - "One America News" is AT&T.
POLITICS - When Wall Street Came To My Mobile Home Park.
SPORTS - Tonyball, Bears On The Run, Eyes On The Sky & More!

BOOKS - China Holding Swedish Publisher.


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