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The [Thursday] Papers

By Steve Rhodes

1. What Jimmy Kimmel Said:

KIMMEL: Here's a money-making idea, I think it's a great idea, I just thought of this.

BLAGO: Is it legal and ethical?

KIMMEL: Yes, it's definitely legal. Ethical, I really never know.

What Jimmy Kimmel Should Have Said:

KIMMEL: Here's a money-making idea, I think it's a great idea, I just thought of this.

BLAGO: Is it legal and ethical?

KIMMEL: I knew you wouldn't be able to tell.


What Jimmy Kimmel Said:

KIMMEL: This seat that you're sitting on right now, this is my seat, but I'd be willing to let you sell it, you could sell this vacant seat on eBay, you can do whatever, give the money to charity, keep it , I don't care what you do, literally sell your seat.

BLAGO: Can I make a deal with you?


BLAGO: Can you hire three people who don't have jobs and give them jobs?

KIMMEL: Yeah, absolutely.

What Jimmy Kimmel Should Have Said:

BLAGO: Can you hire three people who don't have jobs and give them jobs?

KIMMEL: Can they be prosecutors?


The bidding for the seat is scheduled to end Friday.

But it's even less funny now than it was at the time, don't you think?

Even setting aside Chris Kelly's suicide, Kimmel & Co. must not stop counting their money long enough to realize that people's lives are actually damaged by political corruption.

2. "Former Illinois First Lady Patti Blagojevich used the contact list from her former fundraising gig to drum up business for her husband's book, The Governor, a director at the Christian Industrial League said Wednesday," the Tribune reports.

"Blagojevich landed the job at the Chicago homeless agency last fall. By winter, she was let go. Apparently she thought it was OK to take the donor list with her."


Though that's giving her quite the benefit of the doubt, isn't it?

After all, who would think such a thing? Surely not you or me.

On the other hand, just desserts.

"It's amusing that the league wanted her for her political connections and is now complaining about her using its connections, acknowledged Rick Roberts, the agency's senior director of strategy."

Not ha-ha amusing. Pathetic amusing.

3. "State School News Service wonders whether districts in Illinois are now being told to lie about the impact of the stimulus funding on saving jobs," Alexander Russo notes at This Week in Education.

4. "Sometime over the past week, CPS officials quietly posted the 2009 Prairie State and ACT test scores," Catalyst reports. "They didn't hold a press conference or even issue a release, as is the custom. And it is no wonder.

"Scores on both exams stagnated this year. And the scores for juniors who have been part of the district's High School Transformation project since their freshmen year were no better, and in some cases worse, than their predecessors."

Geez, if Arne Duncan hadn't been promoted he might've been fired.

5. "The South Lawn was full of Chicagoans: Jarrett, David Axelrod, Arne Duncan, Desiree Rogers, Tina Tchen - who are all in the administration - and visitors involved with the Chicago 2016 bid, including Pat Ryan, Gery Chico and John Rogers," Lynn Sweet reports.

And we're so proud that the Obama administration is indistinguishable from the Daley administration.

"In December 2004, Daley loyalist and water department boss Donald Tomczak was charged with bribery," John Kass reminds us this morning. "Tomczak's illegal patronage army of hundreds of workers helped elect then-U.S. Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Tomczak) to office. Emanuel is now Obama's chief of staff."


"It can't be Obama's policies that have the right frothing at the mouth because, so far, Obama has done little to bring change to Washington," Don Terry writes in his Sun-Times column today.

Keep those cards and letters admitting I was right coming!

6. Terry surmises that the right's "frothing" must therefore be racial. Mary Mitchell likewise can't summon any other explanation for conservative opposition to the president. The headline on Mitchell's column today: "White president would never hear 'You lie!'"

Really? As Bob Somerby points out at Daily Howler, a white president named Bill Clinton was accused of rape and murder (and, I might add, a Soviet agent).

7. Newspapers love luxury dorm stories. They run them every year, usually just a few weeks after every columnist sending a kid to college tries to craft an award-winning composition of wise counsel and personal lament filled with insights never before conjured in the history of man. Except for the bushels of columns from the year before. And the year before.


And often within weeks of stories bemoaning the loss of civility.

These stories are like weeds that keep coming back, year after year after year - with no relation to to the real world.

Next: Sending poor city kids to etiquette classes!

8. "You can't have a discussion about work rules every time you try to do something," Sun-Times bidder James Tyree says of his unwillingness to discuss wage and benefit cuts with his prospective staff.

I mean, that would be like having a union or something!

9. I hereby dub our U.S. senators the Illinois Acorns. Here's why.

(Don't blame me for the nuts pun, I didn't write it.)

10. Swine Clout. Todd Stroger's specialty.

11. Soldier Field Factor. The Olympic X Factor?

12. Carlos Zambrano: Ace or Ass?

13. The czars of the NFL. Eric Emery is auto-tuned up on this one. Read it.

14. Buying the hook, fish heads and road games. In The College Football Report.

By our very own Mike Luce, who is already one of the best college football writers in the nation. Really.

15. Is The Antichrist In Our Midst?



The Beachwood Tip Line: In your head.


Posted on September 17, 2009

MUSIC - Madonna vs. Moderna.
TV - Sundays With The Military-Industrial Complex.
POLITICS - Private Equity In The ER.
SPORTS - Suspicious Betting Trends In Soccer.

BOOKS - China Holding Swedish Publisher.


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