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The [Wednesday] Papers

"Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has handed out raises - some of more than 20 percent - to his staff while proclaiming a message of 'shared sacrifice' and planning spending cuts of $1.4 billion because the state is awash in debt," AP reports.

"The Democrat has given 43 salary increases averaging 11.4 percent to 35 staffers in the past 15 months, according to an Associated Press analysis of records obtained under the Freedom of Information Act."

Here's the best part:

"They include a $24,000-a-year bump for the man promoted to shepherd the state through the fiscal storm. Budget Director David Vaught got a 20 percent raise to bring his pay to $144,000 in October when he moved to his new position from Quinn's staff, where he was a senior adviser."

Quinn's defense is wholly unreasonable.

First, he says that while some members of his staff received raises, he's cut the overall budget of the governor's office.

So? Cut it more.

Second, he argues - like they always do - that members of his staff work hard and could make more money in the private sector.

So? Thank them for their service on the way out the door.

Plus, has anyone seen the private sector lately?

Quinn appeared on Chicago Tonight last night and after host Eddie Arruza allowed him to merely pretend he had answered the question of how he could give out raises while taking away thousands of other people's jobs, I turned to The City. I'd rather watch young, stupid and vacant people with no clue about the real world on MTV than old, stupid and vacant people with no clue about the real world on WTTW.


You don't have to choose between Pat Quinn and Bill Brady.


Hell, I'd even take the pawnbroker over those douchebags.

Junket Journalism
- Travel Portland paid Dave Hoesktra to write about how great Portland is.

- The Tourist Office of Spain paid Lori Rackl to write about how great Spain is.

I'm waiting for Travel North Korea to pony up some dough.


Apparently it costs less to buy a reporter than it does to buy an ad.


A two-fer, or a return engagement?


Who do I contact to subsidize a research trip to The Beachwood Reporter?

Drew Peterson vs. Jon Burge
Let the comparisons begin.

Book Hook
"The future of the Book Bike is not looking good," Betsy Mikel reports for Chicagoist. "A Chicago Park District official approached Gabriel Levinson and his custom-built bike full of free books this weekend and asked him to leave. Due to the Chicago Park District's rules and regulations requiring permits, he's not welcome to hand out books for free in the city's parks. After calling Chicago Park District, we were told that since Levinson is giving away material, he must apply for a Special Event Promotion permit. Aside from the $1,155 hourly fee, this specific permit would require that Levinson submit a separate application a couple months in advance for each date and location he intends to set up the Book Bike."

This is so backwards. The city should be paying Levinson to do this. Isn't there some stimulus funding available? Or maybe Pat Quinn could cut his budget director's salary by a few thousand dollars.


Oprah, are you out there?

Politics Equals Money
The not-at-all unusual political science of Rod Blagojevich.

Facebook Starting To Want Jim Hendry Fired
Effort pretty weak so far, though.

Tons More Rush!
More new video from their Northerly Island show.

Olga's War
An excerpt from the new book by our very own David Rutter; a memoir of one young girl's fight against the Japanese Imperial Army.

First-Half Follies
Including (natch) a couple of Cubs you ought to deal pronto. In Fantasy Fix.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Time stands still.


Posted on July 7, 2010

MUSIC - Madonna vs. Moderna.
TV - Sundays With The Military-Industrial Complex.
POLITICS - Private Equity In The ER.
SPORTS - Suspicious Betting Trends In Soccer.

BOOKS - China Holding Swedish Publisher.


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