The [Tuesday] Papers
* Governor schedules 2 p.m. press conference. Can General Assembly indict and convict by then? Keep in mind, he usually runs late!
* Governor to name replacement for Obama as president-elect at 4!
* Roland Burris totally a chump, sources say.
* Burris in the Beachwood: Links to Burke, Cellini, Deutsch, Cacciatore.
* Hazy memory of thought upon meeting him: Nice guy, but what a zero.
* Laura Washington, Nov. 10: "[Washington] reports that Roland Burris is throwing his hat into the ring to replace Obama in the U.S. Senate.
"I can think of one reason it shouldn't be Burris," she wrote. "We already have an oversupply of egomaniacal blowhards in the Senate."
* From the Beachwood, Dec. 11, 2008: "It's true that Obama did not support Blago in the 2002 primary; he switched over in the general election. In the primary he backed Roland Burris. Roland Burris?"
* Via the BGA: Since 2002, Burris & Lebed Consulting has contributed (by my possibly faulty math) $10,796.23 to Friends of Blagojevich. Wow, that Senate seat is really going for a discount now that it's tarnished.
* Experts debate: Is Roland Burris insane? Madigan considers court motion to remove him.
* Burris was reportedly awakened by a phone call at 6 a.m. and asked if he'd like to be a U.S. Senator. At first he replied, "Is this a joke?" "No," he was told, "it's the governor."
* Journal of Self-Involved Psychology to devote next issue to whether Burris or Blago is now the most selfish and deluded pol in the state.
* Maybe Blago was just trying to find someone to share a press conference with who appears less competent than he does. Because Burris is making a hash of this.
* U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-AT&T) is now at Burris's side. He just thanked God for the decision by Blago. God reportedly called Rush at 6 a.m. and told him he helped make the appointment. At first Rush replied, "Is this a joke?" And then the voice in his head said, "No, it's God."
* Dane Placko: "Disarray is a good way to describe this news conference."
BREAKING: Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn now holding his own press conference.
* Will name Lt. Sen. to vacant seat.
* Says that Burris said on Dec. 13 that Blagojevich should step down.
* Memo to James Warren, now talking on MSNBC: Can we please put a moratorium on pundits who always tell us to "Step back and take a deep breath" whenever something breathtaking happens?
The [Tuesday] Papers
It's really not fair.
100 Seasons in the Sun
Now would be an excellent time to hear the song by our very own Tom Latourette. Then come right back!
A Beachwood Christmas
"According to one press account, the state's attorney seeks this information in connection with a murder investigation that does not involve The Alton Telegraph. The state believes that one of the anonymous commenters has information about past criminal activity on the part of the subject of the investigation.
'The newspaper moved to quash the subpoena, arguing that the Illinois reporter's shield law protects the identities of the anonymous commenters as "sources.' It also moved to postpone the return date of the subpoena, apparently successfully. As of October 17, 2008, the court had not ruled on the Alton Telegraph's challenge."
I wasn't able to find any action since then either.
"I want to talk a little football. Clearly, I have a lot of wounds to lick in this regard. The Michigan Wolverines were so freaking bad I fled the country and holed up in a sweaty yoga retreat just to avoid them. And still I felt shame. The Bears managed to transform a decent 9-7 record into one of the most painful viewing experiences I've ever had. Both of these dubious achievements pale in comparison to the 17-week waterboarding that was the 2008 Detroit Lions.
"A little history: I used to be a Lions fan. I knew they weren't particularly good, but they offered a steady diet of amusing mediocrity along with flashes of transcendence, mostly provided by Barry Sanders. They were ho-hum more often than they were awful and they seemed like pretty nice guys. That's all I really asked of them. Then the Lions organization hired Matt Millen. He was an unlikable prick, which hurt my sensibilities, but he assured me and the rest of Lions nation that his piss-poor attitude and penchant for treating everyone like garbage were the outward manifestations of a profound football intelligence. They were not. When his contract was extended after the 2005 season, I had had enough. I formally renounced my Lions fanship and devoted myself to a team I felt might actually give two shits about winning a championship. Sadly, that team was the Bears, but that's a different story.
"Since that time, my only wish for my former team has been that they fire Millen. I have close relations who still bleed Hawaii blue and silver and it was embarrassing to see them represented by that incompetent fuckwit. So I was thrilled when his substantial ass was given the heave-ho, and like so many in Lions nation I enjoyed the public revelation of slights and sins that accompanies any such abrupt regime change. I'm not proud, but when you've finally washed that man right out of your hair all you really want is reassurance that it was worth it, he really was that big of a dick, and you're better off without him.
"Then the rest of the season happened.
"It felt really good to watch Millen's downfall, to see him publicly shamed by the owner's son in addition to the creative protests lodged by fans. But the truth is that getting rid of Millen, while undoubtedly the right move, is not the answer. Sure, the fish rots from the head down, but decapitating the fish doesn't remove the stink. A leader that toxic destroys everyone around him and leaves in his wake an infrastructure built to support exactly his sort of disgrace. It takes generations of work to excise that type of cancer. Yes, it's great to throw the bastard out on his ear and scatter his clothes all over the front lawn. But now you have to go through the ordeal of divorcing him. And it sucks, and it's exhausting, and pretty soon you're thinking it doesn't really matter who you bring in to replace him because it's got to be better than he was, right? And that is the perfection of this kind of corruption; you become so debased you replace hope with resignation and you don't even realize it. And far be it from me to draw some kind of clumsy parallel between the fate of history's worst football franchise and, say, this exact moment of outrage in state leadership because, Pat Fitzgerald knows, I'm way above indulging in that sort of cheap journalistic gimmickry. I'm just saying. Diagnosing the disease is not the same as curing it.
"And now that I've constructed metaphors based on football, cancer, pollution, divorce and animals, I have officially exceeded my allegorical budget for 2008. Thank Fitz this season is over."
The Beachwood Tip Line: Feel the warmth.
Posted on December 30, 2008
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