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The [Tuesday] Papers

Let's take a quick spin through (mostly) the (Sears) news. Most of the heavy lifting, though, will be saved for next week.

Worst Dealmakers Ever
Between Pat Quinn's corporate incentive packages and the City of Chicago's pinstripe parking meter patronage, our pols are the worst dealmakers ever. If making good deals were actually their motive instead of satisfying cynical political objectives and doing favors for friends, that is. The latest?

Well, just check this out from Crain's Cleveland Business:

"Gov. John Kasich's biggest economic development victory this year might turn out to be the losing effort to attract Sears Holding Corp.'s headquarters from Illinois."

And to what do we owe Ohio's pleasure?

"Sears Holdings Corp. plans to close between 100 and 120 Sears and Kmart stores to raise cash after a weak holiday shopping season for the retailer," AP reports.

"The closings fueled speculation about whether the 125-year-old retailer can turn itself around."

I wonder if Quinn - and the Illinois General Assembly - knew that Sears was (supposedly) banking the futures of 120 stores on Christmas shopping under catastrophic economic conditions when he signed more than $150 million in tax breaks to the company into law under cover of darkness two Fridays ago.

The next time a corporation threatens to leave the state, let's help them pack.


"There's no reason to go to Sears," New York-based independent retail analyst Brian Sozzi told AP. "It offers a depressing shopping experience and uncompetitive prices."

I heard Pat Quinn doesn't even shop there.


Actually, that would be a good question to ask Quinn: When's the last time you were in a Sears or Kmart?


I'd like to think that if the company goes under, we'd no longer be liable for the tax cuts. But knowing how our pols operate, they'd probably be able to start drawing revenue from parking meters to make up for lost income.


And boom, there it is.


"Gov. Pat Quinn says it's bad news that Sears Holdings Corp. plans to close up to 120 stores nationally after poor holiday sales," AP also reports. "But he says the news doesn't directly affect Sears' agreement to keep its headquarters in Illinois.

Well maybe it should, governor. Donald Trump would have fired you by now.

"Quinn says he hopes Sears won't close stores in Illinois."

There's no reason to think Illinois will be spared. We have underperforming stores here, too.

What a schlub.


"Illinois Sen. Ira Silverstein says he feels betrayed by Sears," AP reports. "He says company officials should explain whether they knew about the potential store closings when lawmakers were considering the tax breaks."

Damn straight. And then Silverstein and his colleagues should explain why they didn't do their due diligence before spending the taxpayers' money so flippantly.


I'd also like to see Sears' contingency plans for their threatened move out of state - if they exist.


Wouldn't it have made more sense to tell Sears: "Go. We'll use the money on a healthy company that could use some capital."

It sort of puts Illinois in the bailout business.


On the other hand, and this is really the point, what the hell is government doing giving money to corporations in the first place? Shouldn't that be illegal? Taxpayers never signed up for that.


Best headline about this story.

Get Rich Quick
Huh. I have an idea . . .

Vicious Economic Cycle
After the government lays you off, please report to a government office to collect unemployment.

It was another great Monday night at the Beachwood last night; thanks to everyone who hung out.

And a particular shout-out to our very own Jim "Coach" Coffman, who drank us out of Third Coast and still managed to deliver an excellent report on the Bulls this morning. That's because he's a pro.

And did you know? "A series of 24 different front labels map all 3,288 miles of the Michigan coastline, touching four of the five Great Lakes."

As for me, it was so busy I only had time for a Schlitz, but it's one of my new favorites ever since they went back to their 1960s recipe and, more recently, we started stocking it.

Still, cleaning and counting took me into the wee hours so I still need to get some food in me before I write today's column.

We do, however, have an interesting post on Chicago's very own Disturbed, a huge band worldwide that doesn't seem to get much attention in its hometown.

More this afternoon.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Disturbed.


Posted on December 27, 2011

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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