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The [Wednesday] Papers

Normally I would say that a politician's affairs are his or her own business unless that politician has been an outspoken preacher of "family values." But Jesse Jackson Jr.'s plea to the media to respect the privacy of his marriage - as if that's ever worked - is complicated by the allegation that he asked a campaign contributor to pay for the travel of Jackson's "social acquaintance."

Big, big mistake - if true.

And you thought nothing could take the air out of the Chicago mayoral race.


"Want to talk about 'dreams of my father'?" Carol Marin writes in Worst Thing To Happen To Jackson: Obama. "Triple-J can rightfully claim the same expertise as Obama.

"But timing and talent are only two of 10,000 factors that result in one man's ascent and another's disappointment. Maybe it was just coincidence, but in the aftermath of Obama's speech, which instantly transformed an anonymous state senator to matinee idol, Jesse Jr. suddenly slimmed down. Citing exercise, diet and some 'shots in the but' to explain a drop of 50 pounds, Jackson couldn't bring himself to tell the truth. We'd learn only later of his weight-loss surgery.

"You might argue that was a small white lie. And yet it was so unnecessary given all that Jackson has had going for him across seven terms in Congress, three books written, a master's and a law degree, and the development of a formidable political operation that racked up impressive victories over old adversaries.

"Jackson Jr. has fought hard for the South Side, arguing for developers to build homes and businesses, not incinerators and jails, in his 2nd Congressional District.

"But what always seemed to elude him was the respect he believed he had earned but was denied by Mayor Daley and the power elite of Chicago and Washington."

And, I might add, the media.

When I profiled Junior for Chicago magazine five years ago, he complained (and I believe rightly so) that reporters only called him for comment on racial issues.

(He also didn't touch his breakfast, if that has any connection to his weight-loss surgery.)

Contrary to the media buzz at the time, though, and contrary to what the Tribune today describes as "his long-held desire to be mayor of Chicago," Jackson never intended to run back then. He did, however, intend to leverage the media's sudden interest in him after he spoke out against corruption in Daley's City Hall.

Burge Victim Goes Free
"Victor Safforld said he confessed to two murders only because he was tortured by former Chicago Police Cmdr. Jon Burge's underlings," the Sun-Times reports.

"And as the 39-year-old walked out a free man late Tuesday evening, he maintained his innocence, even though he pleaded guilty to one of the 1990 gang-related murders last spring."

Here's the important part:

"Cook County Judge Clayton Crane had granted Safforld new trials for the murders of Sims and Delvin Boelter, citing overwhelming evidence that Brown was tortured."

Emphasis mine.

Daley Derby
FRIEND: Aren't there photos of Carol Moseley-Braun with a Nigerian dictator?

ME: So. There are photos of most of the other candidates with Daley.

Dishonest Services
"House Speaker Michael Madigan usually takes no chances when it comes to his district," Rich Miller writes. "Madigan's Republican opponents are generally friendlies that can be counted on to safely disappear.

"This year's self-sacrificing victim is Patrick John Ryan, whom the Republicans say 'is a 30-year old resident of Chicago's 13th Ward who voted in Democratic primaries until this year."

Ryan doesn't even have a campaign committee. So Republicans are holding a fundraiser for him.

Hilarious. But really, not so funny. Can't Madigan be prosecuted for voter fraud?

Yes, proving he is behind Ryan's candidacy would be tough, but is it really beyond the abilities of our best G-men to track the trail?

We laugh this stuff off, but crimes against democracy should be punished swiftly and harshly. Until we take this sort of thing seriously, it will only continue to be a joke.

Implausible Perspective
Does Walter Jacobson have any reporting on which to base last night's "Perspective" on Jesse Jackson Jr., or is he just guessing? Because an awful lot of it sure doesn't ring true.

"Fitz is snarling, and looking for a high-profile politician to prosecute."

Um, Patrick Fitzgerald isn't really the snarling type. And does Jacobson really think Fitzgerald is on the prowl to take down a high-profile politician because he didn't get much of Rod Blagojevich's scalp? I doubt that's how he operates.

The Worst Pizza in America . . .
. . . is the Uno Chicago Grill Chicago Classic Deep Dish.

"Wait, wait, wait. This is a one-person pizza? Yup. All 2,310 calories are destined for one soon-to-be expanding belly," David Zinczenko writes for Yahoo!. "This pie has been a perennial pick for us over the past three years, and the reason is simple: No other personal pizza in the country even begins to approach these numbers. It breaks every single caloric recommendation on the books, and it does it under the guise of a must-have 'classic' dish. With the country being plagued by obesity, Uno should have the decency to banish - or significantly improve - this dish."

Or, make it twice as caloric. Double-down!

- via Scott Buckner

The Political Odds
Our leaderboard has changed.

Goodbye Blue Sky
Like many, many others, Pink Floyd's The Wall was/is one of the most important records of my life - by one of the most important bands in my life. On Monday, Wall impresario Roger Waters - one of the great artists of our time - brought The Wall to the former Chicago Stadium for the first of four nights here. Here is a thread of YouTube clips that comprise the first half of that show. Tomorrow we'll show you the rest.

Getting Defensive
And somebody likes Kyle Orton. In Fantasy Fix.

Save The Rich!
"The spectacle of high-income Americans, the world's luckiest people, wallowing in self-pity and self-righteousness would be funny, except for one thing: they may well get their way," Paul Krugman writes. "Never mind the $700 billion price tag for extending the high-end tax breaks: virtually all Republicans and some Democrats are rushing to the aid of the oppressed affluent."

Barack Bush
And what else is on that Christine O'Donnell tape.


The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Meet the Depressed
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party


The Beachwood Tip Line: Apologies accepted.


Posted on September 22, 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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