A look back at what the (BLEEP) hap­pened last week

Chicago Tribune (Sunday) - - CHICAGOLAN­D - Rex W. Hup­pke rhup­[email protected]­bune.com

It’s the end of one week and the start of an­other, and, like most sen­tient be­ings, I’m ask­ing the press­ing ques­tion: What the (BLEEP) just hap­pened?

Joe Bi­den launches pres­i­den­tial bid

Former Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Bi­den ex­tracted his foot from its tra­di­tional home in his mouth long enough this week to an­nounce that he’s run­ning for pres­i­dent, join­ing the cur­rent slate of 23,567 Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates. (Oops, sorry, as I typed that it went up to 23,570.)

While Bi­den has global name recog­ni­tion and more leg­isla­tive ex­pe­ri­ence than any­one in the field, he stands in stark con­trast to the di­verse ar­ray of Democrats vy­ing for the nom­i­na­tion. Sim­ply put: He’s a 76-year-old white guy in a coun­try where many have about had it with older white guys run­ning things (into the ground).

Part of that prob­lem was on dis­play last month when a former can­di­date for Ne­vada lieu­tenant gov­er­nor claimed Bi­den had kissed the back of her head and touched her shoul­ders at a 2014 campaign event. Bi­den re­sponded with a sin­cere prom­ise to be “more mind­ful” of peo­ple’s per­sonal space, then a cou­ple of days later cracked a joke af­ter hug­ging a man at a con­fer­ence, say­ing, “I had per­mis­sion.”

Good one, Un­cle Joe! You clearly get why creepy head nib­bles and shoul­der touch­ing is in­ap­pro­pri­ate!

Handsi­ness aside, the avun­cu­lar Bi­den, like the other male can­di­dates in the race, will un­doubt­edly face many deep, sub­stan­tive pol­icy ques­tions while the fe­male can­di­dates who have been care­fully spell­ing out sen­si­ble pol­icy ideas will be asked why they don’t smile more.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker LOVES yank­ing toi­lets!

Any­one fa­mil­iar with Illi­nois’ long and non-proud his­tory of gu­ber­na­to­rial malfea­sance should find Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s on­go­ing toi­let scan­dal al­most charm­ingly on-the-nose.

A Cook County in­spec­tor gen­eral’s re­port re­leased in Oc­to­ber ac­cused Pritzer of get­ting $330,000 in tax breaks as part of a “scheme to de­fraud” tax­pay­ers. At the heart of that ac­cu­sa­tion were five toi­lets that Pritzker’s wife had yanked from a Gold Coast man­sion the fam­ily was re­hab­bing in 2015. The toi­let yank­ing made the home un­in­hab­it­able, which meant it got re­assessed at a lower value. That’s the kind of for­ward­think­ing lava­tory strat­egy you look for in an elected of­fi­cial.

On Wed­nes­day, WBEZFM 91.5 quoted an un­named law en­force­ment source say­ing the feds are now sniff­ing around Pritzker’s toi­lets. While Pritzker tried to down­play the tawdry toi­let talk dur­ing the campaign, say­ing it was all po­lit­i­cally mo­ti­vated, it doesn’t seem to be go­ing away.

Pritzker re­sponded to WBEZ’s re­port by say­ing: “Let me be clear that I’m very con­fi­dent that any re­view of this mat­ter will show that all the rules were fol­lowed.”

As a show of sup­port, I sug­gest all Illi­noisans im­me­di­ately re­move their toi­lets, cash in on the en­su­ing tax breaks and take to the streets. To use the bath­room.

R. Kelly misses court date

Fre­quent de­fen­dant (and singer) R. Kelly didn’t bother to show up at a Cook County Cir­cuit Court hear­ing last week to put up a de­fense against a law­suit al­leg­ing un­der­age sex abuse, pre­sum­ably be­cause he has so many other cases to at­tend to.

A judg­ment was en­tered against Kelly and, if he fails to have an at­tor­ney in­ter­vene, he could be or­dered to pay dam­ages to the al­leged vic­tim as early as next month.

The vic­tim is now 36, but she claims Kelly had re­peated sex­ual con­tact with her start­ing in 1998 when she was 16. Kelly has sep­a­rately been charged with 10 counts of ag­gra­vated sex­ual abuse in­volv­ing four vic­tims, three of whom were un­der­age.

If this all seems dis­gust­ing to you, then you are a rea­son­able hu­man be­ing.

Iowa Rep. Steve King to­tally ‘gets’ Je­sus

U.S. Rep. Steve King (R(acist)-Iowa) said last week that he un­der­stands the suf­fer­ing of Je­sus Christ be­cause he too has suf­fered.

Granted, King hasn’t suf­fered in the “nailed to a cross” kind of way, but he has been ac­cused of be­ing a white na­tion­al­ist and white su­prem­a­cist, and that ap­par­ently re­ally hurt his feel­ings.

All King did to de­serve such spu­ri­ous ac­cu­sa­tions, aside from mak­ing racist com­ments through­out his ca­reer, was to say to The New York Times in Jan­uary: “White na­tion­al­ist, white su­prem­a­cist, Western civ­i­liza­tion — how did that lan­guage be­come of­fen­sive?”

You see? He’s not a white na­tion­al­ist or a white su­prem­a­cist. He just doesn’t get why those things are bad. Just like Je­sus!

On Tues­day, King said this to a small group of peo­ple who made the il­lad­vised de­ci­sion to come lis­ten to him: “When I have to step down to the floor of the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, and look up at those 400-and-some ac­cusers — you know we just passed through Easter and Christ’s pas­sion — and I have bet­ter in­sight into what He went through for us, partly be­cause of that ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Reached for com­ment via text mes­sage, Je­sus re­sponded with an eye-roll emoji.

Wis­con­sin Power­ball win­ner should re­ally give me some money

A 24-year-old man from Wis­con­sin was re­vealed as the win­ner of a $768 mil­lion Power­ball prize on Tues­day.

Wis­con­sin law re­quires that lottery win­ners’ names be made pub­lic. That is both dumb and dan­ger­ous, so we here at “What the (BLEEP) Just Hap­pened?” will not be us­ing the young man’s name. He quickly quit his job and said: “I’m just go­ing to take off some­where and, hon­estly, just take my time with it, think it over, talk to my fam­ily and make sure I spent it in the right way.”

I ap­plaud that de­ci­sion. It’s ob­vi­ous that “newly wealthy 24-year-old man from Wis­con­sin” is wise be­yond his years, and also ar­guably the most hand­some man in Amer­ica. I hope he runs for pres­i­dent, be­cause he is ex­actly the type of per­son we need run­ning this coun­try. He should also win the No­bel Peace Prize.

And if he needs a highly paid spokesper­son, my email is at the bot­tom of this col­umn. (Did I men­tion how hand­some he is?)

CHAR­LIE NEIBERGALL/AP

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, speaks dur­ing a town hall meet­ing in Primghar, Iowa.

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