Top story: So much for public dialogue and due process. The goverment sent out a statement today saying Gov. George Ryan was released from prison on Wednesday night to visit his ailing wife in the hospital. There ya have it. Who needs courts when you have prisons? To be fair, prisons usually will let prisoners out for emergencies, funerals or hospital visits. It's not the full "I need to move back in my house..." appeal that Ryan was looking for, but he did get to see his wife, Lura Lynn, who is dying from cancer.
B story: Wilfredo De Jesus has dropped out of the race for mayor. He is throwing his anti-gay support behind Gery Chico. So does that make Chico the "anti-gay" candidate? That should be the new rule: If a candidate drops out and endorses another candidate, the latter candidate must adopt the most controversial stances and issues of the departing candidate. I mean, that's only fair. Rev. James Meeks endorsed Carol Moseley Braun for mayor. So that would make Chico and Moseley Braun anti-gay. Personally, I think De Jesus felt the heat from the surging campaign of Alderman Ed Bus. But that's just me.
C story: Mayor Daley is kind of a crappy boss, eh? Think about it: The Mayor's Office of Special Events put out bids. The mayor was on board. They put in the bid that there might have to be an admission price attached if summer music festivals were privatized. He was fine with it. The bid comes in, the press jumps on DeRogatis' reporting and the mayor steps up as an opponent, saying there is NO WAY that the Taste will have an admission. So back to the drawing board. Ouch.
D story: Ellen Weiss is out at NPR. She resigned, but the writing on the wall is that she took the fall for the Juan Williams' firing. It sucks it had to go down like that. Why? They shouldn't have fired Juan Williams over remarks on cable talk shows. They should have fired him for being lame. He wasn't very good as a talk show host, so they paid him a ton of money to be a commentator? Glad you landed on your feet at Fox, Juan. Of course, I looked up at the big office TVs this morning and he was all over the cable outlet's morning show. I couldn't hear what he was saying, but I'm sure it was insightful. I think NPR needs to get in front of this and tell all of the affiliates and the members why Weiss is gone, and it better not be because the phone bill was more expensive due to Bill O'Reilly followers flooding the zone. NPR News is pretty top notch. Always has been. Let's hope that doesn't change if they run into another controversy.
Weather: Quoting my three year-old this morning..."Daddy, it's snowin' a little..."
Sports: Whoa, the Cubs are making moves! Trib is reporting that the Cubs are close to a deal with pitcher Matt Garza. Garza is young and, at times, dominating. This move would guarantee Garza to go first or second round in our fantasy draft, due to the unabashed loyalty to the Cubs in the league. In football news, the Seattle Seahawks are the home team in this week's NFL Wild Card playoff game. They are playing the defending Super Bowl champions, the New Orleans Saints. The Saints are an 11-point favorite. That's a lot of points for a visitor in a playoff game...And when you watch the playoffs this year, there is a new overtime system. If the team who wins the coin toss goes down the field on the opening drive and kicks a field-goal, the game is not over. The other team gets the ball one more time and if they get a field goal, the game continues, next score wins. If the team drives and scores a TD, game over. I like.
Kicker: It's the first Friday of the month, so that means it's time for Mark Bazer's Interview Show at the Hideout. Bazer has Steve McMichael (Bears glory) as his first guest. I'm going to do a bit in the show. It's right at the top of the show. I'm doing a one-man show based on Mike Ditka's autobiography. It's a classic. If you don't come out, there will be video. It's hip-hop meets German clowning, about Ditka.