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The Week in WTF

1. Rahm's Inaugural, WTF?

Welcome to the Rahm Emanuel Stone Deaf/Tin Ear Inauguration. Recession? Homeless people under the bridges? We'll get to that later. The city's sort of broke? So? Pass the champagne and the check. Mass-produced potholes so deep you need a guided burrow tour to get to the bottom? Walk it off. Pass the cake. Put the cash in the duffel bag.

Because Barack Obama is such a gifted politician - WTF has heard that - did you wonder why his White House often lapsed into those strange, odd amoral dead zones when intelligence and integrity would have worked so much better? Maybe it was Mayor Rahm being Chief of Staff Rahm.

So the Inaugural/Coronation requires cash for the extra big salad bar, plus Rahm always needs walking around cash for incidentals - a few million will do. Pony up boys. As the Tribune notes: "There are varying levels of support, including $25,000 'sponsors,' $10,000 'supporters' and a $5,000 'friend' level. High-dollar donors will gain special access, but Emanuel has said the inauguration itself will be free and open to the public."

For $2,500, you can be a "mildly ambivalent acquaintance"; for $2,000 you're an "odd hitchhiker you'd never slow down to pick up"; $1,000 and you can be "hostile, angry mope." At the $50 level, you're "Berny Stone who stumbled through the front door looking for a bathroom."

If you want to give me 50G's, that okiedokilie. But $50,001 is over the line. That extra dollar makes all the difference in ethics.

2. Tin Ear Redux, WTF?

A day after telling America's fat cats they need to pay more taxes - finally a good idea that makes him sound amazingly like a Democrat - the Prez arrives in town to raise money from fat cats for his re-election. He's going for a billion total. These are probably different fat felines than he was addressing Wednesday. These are the good fat cats.

There is a range of giving modes available. Natch.

For $35,800 - the legal limit - you get a private dinner with the Leader of the Free World. Actually, the world has never been free as much as it's been affordable depending on your income.

But don't expect to give him $36,801 because that would be unethical. The extra dollar makes all the difference.

3. Morton schools, WTF?

Finally, a local school board president who's mobbed up. In Cicero. Could it be better?

Yes, but unfortunately Betty Loren-Maltese isn't eligible for the school board.

He announced to a crowd of outraged and incredulous parents that receiving immunity to testify about his mob buddies did not imply he was guilty of anything because immunity is sort of a pro forma paperwork thing. It's like checking the open box on the cable TV contract that confirms you've read all the small print. To which the attending students all hooted in derision because they've been watching Law & Order since they were two.

4. Higher ed, WTF?

Should we not assume that a public university this lousily managed also turns out lousy graduates? Does a bear not defecate in the leafy/deciduous/woody area?

So here's the skinny which is widely known and widely ignored except for intermittent audits that inevitably produce shock and dismay: Chicago State is a lousy school. Pick any area. But it still costs students about $100,000 for a degree. (It's the interest on the loan that's the killer).

It's been a lousy school for such a long time that it cannot be repaired. And worse, it can't be killed because of racially framed politics, a sad reality itself because Chicago's young African-American population has been turning away from the school for decades. They can see the waste of their money even if the professional education community can't.

Said board of trustees chairman the Rev. Leon Finney: "Students don't even feel that they're cared about at the school . . . we are an academic institution that operates as though it's a McDonald's hamburger franchise. And not very well at that. At least McDonald's makes you feel good for a 99-cent hamburger."

And he's on the board.

Can't be fixed; can't be demolished. It's the WTF Chicago Code.

5. Tipsy toddlers, WTF?

The WTF gang has been around many small humanoids - we've even constructed a few - and, frankly, we believe that feeding them alcohol at restaurants - as done here and also here - generally makes for a more serene, pleasurable dining experience.

Drunk small humanoids tend to be quieter, if not more malleable, dining partners. A nice Bourbon shot with a Heineken chaser quiets even the rowdiest 2-year-old. They get drunk really fast. This is a good thing, not a bad thing.

In the meantime, fast food chains everywhere are scrambling to retrain their staffs against repeating the phenomenon. How more complicated can that be than the assistant manager screaming to the assembled wait staff: "Don't give booze to the small children anymore, you morons!" WTF. Really.


Comments welcome.


Posted on April 15, 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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