The [Thursday] Papers
"After criticism for failing to properly vet Democrat Scott Lee Cohen, House Speaker Michael Madigan filed legislation today to amend the state Constitution to abolish the lieutenant governor's office," the Sun-Times reports.
Too bad Madigan didn't file legislation to abolish sophistry. To wit:
* From the press office of Gov. Pat Quinn, who opposes abolishing the office: "Gov. Quinn knows the office can serve as a strong voice for everyday people, including veterans, service members and their families."
You mean like the Illinois Department of Veteran's Affairs?
* From Republican lieutenant governor nominee Jason Plummer: "The lieutenant governor would just be another job lost under Mike Madigan and the Democratic leadership."
So your jobs program includes adding elected offices to state government?
* "The speaker's move came after his press secretary [Steve Brown] told the Chicago Sun-Times on Tuesday that Madigan did not have a position on eliminating what many have regarded as a do-nothing statewide post.
"Brown did not have an explanation of how the speaker's position on eliminating the lieutenant governor's job may have evolved in a day's time.
"'I'm not aware of every discussion point he has,' Brown said."
Then why are we talking to you?
* Madigan's legislation would put the attorney general first in the line of succession. Idea: At least make the line of succession go through the highest-ranking members of the governor's own party.
* Why are the other statewide offices elected anyway? Maybe the governor should select a Cabinet just like the president does. We don't elect the U.S. attorney general.
So more than 50 percent of all parking tickets issued are bogus?
Plus, he needs time to buy more note cards.
ISO Running Mate
To, you know, balance the ticket.
Total Television Tool
Kurtis also represents an extension of Richard M. Daley in the media.
* "Dignitaries at an announcement today for the new French Market at the Ogilvie Transportation Center were treated to a bit of political theater featuring a deep-voiced announcer, heckler and a mayor irked at some aldermen," the Tribune reported last December.
"It all began with Chicago TV legend Bill Kurtis, mustering his best baritone voice to introduce Mayor Richard Daley: 'The king of public-private partnerships, who of course makes all this possible. . . . Ladies and gentlemen, with a tip of the hat today to Paris, let's give a big Chicago welcome to, how we say, the greatest mayor in the greatest city in the world, Mayor Richard Daley!'"
* "One morning last spring, 200 or so people gathered in a parking lot on the Near South Side to celebrate the groundbreaking for an $850-million expansion of the McCormick Place convention center. Under a white tent, the Eddie Harrison Jump Stars Orchestra entertained, while guests sampled from buffets of fancy snacks - vanilla creme-filled profiteroles with a dark chocolate glaze, lemon meringue tartlets, and cracked telly-cherry peppercorn infused long-stem strawberries with creme fraiche," I reported in 2004.
"The waitstaff wore black uniforms and white gloves. Souvenir paperweights filled one table; a model of the new building sat on another. Television personality Bill Kurtis emceed the event, championing the 'growth of an industry that has helped define our town for decades - the convention and visitors industry.'"
Memo to Kurtis: Try being an extension of the citizen/taxpayer/media in the media.
Or turn in your press pass.
You may recall that I was told a post of mine at NBCChicago.com about the late Michael Scott was killed because Wert was a friend of Scott's and unhappy about the coverage of his suicide. Wert has not denied it.
"But they also see the value in the media and having a voice. They're cooperative. I'm there to tell their story. And that's what makes me feel good about this."
I know you aren't exactly a newsman anymore, Bill, but you owe it to the citizens of Chicago to explain if you were there to tell the FBI's story when you were pretending to be a journalist.
News You Can Use
1. It's simply not true that people aren't interested in their government.
2. For those who aren't, forget 'em.
3. Insider plays are for insiders. Journalists too often get caught up in trying to prove their savvy to insiders and enlisting in the echo chamber instead of calling out the insiders and exposing their games.
4. Research doesn't ask the right questions. If you ask how interested people are in state government, chances are the responses will be lackluster. If you ask how interested people are in how state government wastes their tax dollars, or how state government might be able to help them find a job or health insurance, the response rate is much higher.
The art of killing a deal.
Is Jack Higgins Smarter Than A 5th-Grader?
Because snow couldn't possibly exist on a warming planet.
That's what made Sun-Times editorial cartoonist Jack Higgins' work the other day so hilarious.
See, in the first panel there's a man with a sign that says "Beware Global Warming." In the second panel a giant snowflake has knocked him to the ground.
Of course, nothing about climate change science contradicts record snowfalls. In fact, in some areas of the country, we can expect more snow. Global warming researchers have been telling us this for years.
And funny, I didn't see see Higgins' cartoon about this:
"Temperatures in the decade that ended in 2009 were the warmest since record-keeping began in 1880, NASA said, backing up data from the U.K. Met Office and the United Nations' World Meteorological Organization."
But let's play the game Jack's way. Send him a note saying "I told you so!" every time it gets warm out.
Suggested James Bond film title and Democratic Party slogan: A Majority Is Never Enough.
Ideal for use by the national party, too.
* Democrats: The Supermajority Party
In Zell Hell
Evil Twins: Sam and Conrad.
Surveying Chicago Sports
Soul Train's Hip Trip
The Beachwood Tip Line: Just super.
Posted on February 11, 2010
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