Lead Story: Recently I mused about how some local rap artists, specifically Chief Keef, are emblematic of Chicago's violence problem. Now, police are looking into possible connections between Keef and the shooting death of one of his “rivals,” Lil Jojo (aka 18-year-old Joseph Coleman). Police think the shooting may be part of a gang war between the Gangster Disciples and the Black Disciples, to which Keef has been tied. So far, there have been no solid connections between Keef and the murder, much less any charges. But Keef did draw attention from police for a tweet following Coleman’s death: “Its Sad Cuz Dat Nigga Jojo Wanted To Be Jus Like Us #LMAO.” Of course, Keef later played the tired “my account was hacked” card. The story doesn’t end there, though. Last night, Lupe Fiasco was dragged into the argument after last week admitting that the violence espoused by rappers like Keef scares him. Keef responded yesterday with a clear, mature volley: “Lupe fiasco a hoe ass nigga And wen I see him I'ma smack him like da lil bitch he is #300.” And thus the discourse continues everywhere, including the media that's put Keef on a pedestal to begin with.
Also: Wednesday night, former president Bill Clinton gave an impassioned (and really, really long) speech at the DNC that concluded with the formal nomination of President Barack Obama to be the party’s candidate for president. No surprise there. But local viewers may have had an “O RLY?” moment during his speech. Talking of cooperation between Republicans and Democrats and how it can succeed, Clinton tossed off a few examples, including this: “Ask the mayors who are here. (Cheers, applause.) Los Angeles is getting green and Chicago is getting an infrastructure bank because Republicans and Democrats are working together to get it.”
Really, Bill? I had no idea that the new infrastructure trust was a collaboration between Chicago Republicans (who are so rare they might as well be unicorns) and Democrats. I thought it was just another example of a mayor cramming a half-baked idea through the city council, the consequences be damned. Like that successful parking meter deal.
The kicker: Immediately following that line, Clinton delivered his “broken clock is right twice a day line” and the camera – on MSNBC, anyway – panned to a laughing Mayor Emanuel. Because he always gets the last laugh. Dammit.
And then: Alprentiss Nash, the man just exonerated of murder thanks to DNA evidence, was released after 17 years in prison for the crime he didn’t commit. For his part, Nash seems to just be happy to be out of jail and doesn’t appear to be bitter about his ordeal. In an interview with ABC 7, he said, "Now that I am free, why be bitter when life is so wonderful now?" Nash says he’s looking into going to culinary arts school and his attorney is weighing the options of a civil lawsuit against the city for wrongful imprisonment.
RIP: Art Modell, former owner of the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens at the age of 87. While Modell is responsible for many things in the NFL’s history – including helping to negotiate the league’s television contracts and collective bargaining agreements with players – he’ll always be remembered for relocating the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore to become the Ravens in 1996, breaking the hearts of Browns fans. It was a move that has allegedly since kept him out of the Hall of Fame.
- Vladimir Putin or rugged outdoorsman beer spokesman? You be the judge.
- According to a new study, former NFL players are at a much higher risk of permanent brain diseases than non-players.
- Things are getting interesting between China, Taiwan and Japan, all over ownership of an island that is totally not the island from Lost.
- Someone thought it was a good idea to make a sequel to A Christmas Story and it’s mercifully going direct to DVD.
- In 35 years, the Voyager space probe has traveled 11 billion miles and is close to the edge of the solar system where, I assume, thar be dragons.
- Jury deliberations are underway at the Drew Peterson debacle trial.
- Rev. Jesse Jackson doesn’t think the teachers will strike while Rahm is busy defending his trip to the DNC. And the teachers? They still say it’s on.
- That local governments are having to step in and take a role in preventing teens from frequenting tanning salons makes me look deep inside myself and wonder where we all went wrong as a society.
- As if Legionnaire’s Disease wasn’t a big enough worry, West Nile isn’t going anywhere, either.
- Chicago Weather Wizard™ Tom Skilling says we’re gonna get a cool-down this weekend.
- Former Bears QB Jim McMahon appears in the cover story for Sports Illustrated next week talking about his head injuries sustained during his playing career.
- The Bulls and coach Tom Thibodeau have resumed talks to extend the coach’s contract (as well they should).
- University of Illinois junior Tatyana McFadden is collecting gold at the Paralympic Games in London.
- Lane Kiffin proves why he’s one of the biggest jerks in college sports.
- Sox Watch: Still one game up after yesterday’s win. Panic level: 6.5 out of 10.
The history of the world in just two minutes. [via The High Definite]