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The [Wednesday] Papers

UPDATE: 5:06 P.M.: I will also be on the public radio show The Takeaway on Thursday morning at 5:30 a.m. central time.

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If all goes according to plan, you can hear me talk about Ed Genson on WBEZ's Eight Forty-Eight this morning. The program begins at 9:30 a.m.

Also, I'll be appearing on CAN TV21's Political Forum tonight at 7 p.m. and taking calls!

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1. Dr. Blago. Brings state GOP back from the dead.

2. Governor goes for a jog this morning.

A) Can you run with those home monitoring ankle bracelets on?
B) Can you run with so much cash stuffed into your sweatpants?
C) Can you run in this city with a mayor who won't salt our streets?
D) Could he run to Indiana and seek asylum there?

UPDATE: Apparently he's running to work. Isn't that from his bedroom to his dining room?

3. Drew Peterson is engaged. To a 23-year-old.

Geez, could you make those of us still single feel any more pathetic? He's working on, what, his fifth wife? And he's killed two of them!

Lesson: Women really do go for the bad boys.

4. "I know Eddie Genson may be prouder of the politicians he's represented than the mobsters," Carol Marin writes this morning, "but honestly, isn't it sometimes almost a toss-up?"

*

I'm still not linked to Sun-Times stories because the website freezes my iBook G4. Whet Moser explains why.

5. Okay, I can't resist. I will be the ten billionth person to ask if interest rates could go below zero . . . you know, the Fed would pay banks to borrow money. Then they could lend it out to us for no interest.

*

I might have totally just botched how the financial system works, but there has to be comedic material plus socioeconomic commentary in there somewhere.

*

I have, however, read William Greider's Secrets of the Temple several times, and consider it one of the greatest pieces of journalism (and history) in my lifetime. It will make you angry, like reality usually does.

6. Not only is the mayor cutting back on salting our roads, there will be no MSG in our salt this year.

*

Hey, they can't all be winners.

7. "Treasurer: Gov's Arrest Cost State $20 Million."

But the free publicity is priceless.

8. If this was just a careless oversight, then Eric Holder isn't fit to be Attorney General. And if it was done on purpose, Eric Holder isn't fit to be Attorney General.

9. F-Rod.

10. "Obama adviser David Axelrod, who makes most mild-mannered people seem high-strung, dodged just about every question fairly deftly on Morning Joe this morning," MSNBC reports. "He disputed the notion that Rahm and Obama helped run Blago's campaign in 2002."

Axelrod isn't the only one trying to "walk back" Ryan Lizza's reporting in The New Yorker, but the Obama campaign didn't seem to have a problem with this back in July.

*

Obama himself agreed that he was "working hard" to elect Blagojevich in 2002.

And then there was Blagojevich's 2006 re-election campaign amidst a plethora of news reports about federal investigations swirling around him. Apparently Obama didn't learn from his Tony Rezko experience. As reported by Jake Tapper:

In the Summer of 2006, then-U.S. Sen. Obama backed Blagojevich even though there were serious questions at the time about Blago's hiring practices.

At the time, numerous state agencies had had records subpoenaed, with U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald telling authorities he was looking into "very serious allegations of endemic hiring fraud" with a "number of credible witnesses."

In an interview with the Chicago Daily Herald in July 2006, then-Sen. Obama said, "I have not followed closely enough what's been taking place in these investigations to comment on them. Obviously I'm concerned about reports that hiring practices at the state weren't, at times, following appropriate procedures. How high up that went, the degree at which the governor was involved, is not something I'm going to speculate on.

Aside from the fact that Obama is reportedly a voracious newspaper reader, is it remotely possible thathe wasn't following the highly publicized investigations into the Governor of Illinois closely?

Remember that for at least a year, Obama said he was unaware that Rezko was under federal investigation when he made his Hyde Park land deal with him, only to later admit that he not only was aware, but called Tony Rezko on the phone and asked him about the stories he was reading.

"If I received information that made me believe that any Democrat had not been acting in the public interest, I'd be concerned," Obama said.

Does that include information from his own media master, David Axelrod? Axelrod was so disturbed with Blagojevich that he bailed on the 2006 re-elect effort.

That said, Mr. Obama said, "If the governor asks me to work on his behalf, I'll be happy to do it."

Apparently the governor did. At the Illinois State Fair in August 2006, Obama spoke on Blagojevich's behalf.

"We've got a governor in Rod Blagojevich who has delivered consistently on behalf of the people of Illinois," Obama told the crowd.

11. Isn't it funny how the Arne Duncan narrative has changed from lightweight Daley tool and mediocre manager in over his head to national reformer who turned our schools around? Maybe there's a super-secret Chicago school district everyone is talking about the rest of us aren't privy to.

*

I had mixed feelings about Paul Vallas's tenure as schools chief here, though I thought he was the right pick to be governor in 2002, but he would have been much more plausible as Education Secretary, having worked not only in Chicago, but in Philadelphia and, now, New Orleans. In fact, it would have been a chance for the administration to show New Orleans some love by making it a national testing ground (no pun intended). Vallas is also a budget whiz, and his style is more befitting of a national post given how many feathers he ruffles in local environments. But he's a lousy basketball player doesn't quite have the same game as Arne. And I'm sure this didn't help.

12. Did Trib Timing Force Fitzy's Hand?

The Beachwood Tip Line: Disarming.



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Posted on December 17, 2008


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