Chicago - May. 27, 2017
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A discount-store employee is time-warped to a medieval castle, where he is the foretold savior who can dispel the evil there. Unfortunately, he screws up and releases an army of skeletons. (tvguide.com)
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The [Tuesday] Papers

"A new report issued Monday by a court-appointed watchdog charged with looking into patronage hiring at the Illinois Department of Transportation details how top Democrats clouted relatives and friends into positions under former Gov. Pat Quinn, even as many of those hired had little or no experience," the Tribune reports.

"House Speaker Mike Madigan's office successfully pushed a former bricklayer for a job that included 'maintaining relationships' with minority road contractors, though the man eventually resigned after being arrested for allegedly 'physically assaulting' a then-state lawmaker. Cicero Rep. Lisa Hernandez sent in the resume of a bank manager who was put on the state payroll to inspect roads. And a daughter of 30th Ward Chicago Ald. Ariel Reboyras ended up in another state job after complaints at a different agency."

While that's the Illinois we know and loathe, I would just add that we all know this sort of thing goes on in the private sector as well - even in media organizations.

But I digress.

"The final findings are the result of an inquiry that began in 2014 after a federal judge assigned a lawyer to dig into hiring at the agency - an order that came just two weeks before Election Day, as Quinn went on to lose to Republican Bruce Rauner. The judge's move followed an earlier report that year by then-state Executive Inspector General Ricardo Meza, which found improper hiring began under ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich but accelerated under Quinn."

Emphasis mine because Pat Quinn was a terrible governor, the latest in a long line of phony reformers and a big reason why people are now literally suffering under Bruce Rauner. (I only hedge by saying "a big reason" and not "the reason" because GOP primary voters could have chosen more wisely too. Democrats are also to blame for cynically backing Quinn instead of putting up a primary challenger or two or three, though I suppose they didn't just so they could pull these kind of stunts.)

But again, I digress.

"On Monday, court monitor Noelle Brennan was more definitive, saying Quinn's office "played a key role in the staff assistant abuse at IDOT."

Brennan described a system in which Quinn officials routinely sent resumes of "low-level and often unqualified candidates sponsored by the governor's office and/or other elected officials" to employees in charge of hiring at IDOT and other state agencies. Quinn's office then pressured agencies to hire those people, aggressively following up on requests and at times specifically ordering an agency to "find a position" for a particular candidate, the watchdog concluded.

The investigation found that politically connected candidates were pushed though the hiring process with "little or no regard" for actual hiring need, or whether the candidate was qualified for the job. Many of the sponsored hires ended up performing duties that had nothing to do with the position for which they were hired. As a result, qualified candidates who were not suggested by Quinn's office were "sometimes denied employment, despite the requesting department's request to hire them."

Even the reformers in Illinois are crooked.

Sigma Alpha Oopsilon
"Five weeks after being suspended from Loyola University Chicago, the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity chapter at Northwestern University has been barred from campus," the Sun-Times reports.

Assignment Desk, activate! An "Inside SAE" examination is due.

Subscription Superstar
"Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's technology czar has contracted to spend $208,000 in tax dollars for two professional memberships even though the state is without a budget and is billions of dollars in debt, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press."

$208,000? That's more than it would take to replace Linda Lingle!

Beardstown Bullshit
"The Beardstown Ladies Investment Club is scheduled to appear at 1 p.m. CDT Thursday on the CNBC Power Lunch program. The longtime investment group is among eight teams taking part in a 'stock draft' that coincides with the start of the NFL draft, according to an announcement from the group," the Springfield State Journal-Register notes.

A charming brand is apparently impervious to the cold, hard truth.

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The Weekend In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Waxahatchee, Air Credits, Sidewalk Chalk, Teenage Bottlerocket, The Damned, The Addisons, COIN, Must Die, Green Room Rockers, Dowsing, The Revolution, Griffin House, Mayday Parade, Paula Cole, Diamanda Galas, Wicked Soul, Grainshifter, and Royal Thunder.

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Teen Athletes Still Underreporting Concussions
"[T]he No. 1 reason athletes do not report a concussion is because they do not want to lose playing time."

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BeachBook

Exclusive! Inside The New Obama High School.

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WFLD Channel 32's Keyfax Nite-Owl Service, 1982.

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Radium Girls.

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Let's All Learn About Hawaii.

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The Best Of Prince In The Beachwood.

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Chickenshit Club Out In July.

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FBI Sifting Through NSA Data Like It's Google.

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Chicago's Pipeline Safety Program Is Fucked-Up.

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TweetBook

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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A media lesson here.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: What is and what shall never be.



Permalink

Posted on April 25, 2017


MUSIC - The Week In Chicago Rock.
TV - Slow TV Chicago.
POLITICS - Dangerous, Low-Wage Industries Depend On Immigrants, Refugees.
SPORTS - Beachwood Sports Radio: Dear Cubs, Make It Stop.

BOOKS - Meet Chicago's American Writers Museum.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Beachwood Photo Booth: Mail Call.


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