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The [Friday] Papers

"Yes, Barack Obama's name came up on the first day of the Tony Rezko trial and Rezko didn't blush or flinch or twitch," John Kass writes.

That's because the real news to come out of day one was about a Republican. Kass explains.


Not that Gov. Rod Blagojevich came away unscathed.

"Testimony from an FBI analyst pointed to a reason behind Rezko's influence: money. Special Agent Charles Willenborg said that internal Blagojevich campaign documents credited Rezko with raising more than $1.4 million for the governor between June 2001 and August 2004," the Tribune reports.

"That is nearly three times what Rezko has publicly acknowledged raising for Blagojevich. In a 2005 interview with the Tribune, he put the number at about $500,000."


According to calculations made by Beachwood Labs, the odds of Blagojevich being indicted this year are holding steady at 90 percent.

The odds of Blagojevich refusing to resign his office after said indictment are now at 95 percent. "That's who he is - nuts," our analysts say.

New on the board: The odds that Blagojevich flips - on himself. "50 percent. He's just crazy enough to do it!"


You know, I've always been a little disappointed that my "Gov. Baloneyvich" nickname hasn't really spread beyond the confines of the Beachwood. I do have to give props, though, to the Capitol Fax commenter whom I'm told has coined "Governor Subpoenovich."

That's Todd!
"Cook County Board President Todd Stroger spent Thursday lecturing the press about how a recent federal court report - accusing his administration of continuing patronage hiring practices - was full of lies and half-truths," the Sun-Times reports.

"'If you read the report, you'll find out that is the case,' he said. Turns out, Stroger admitted he hadn't even read it himself."

Meanwhile, Stroger revealed that he has starting reviewing records for Maxim magazine.


"Yet that federal report - filed Monday - provided a launching point for counterattacks by Stroger's most loyal County Board members, who voted Thursday to delay any payments to the federal hiring monitor's office until her report 'can be put in the proper perspective,' Commissioner Joseph Mario Moreno said."

Moreno suggested shredders are excellent perspective-providing devices.

"Commissioner Jerry Butler said the monitor, former Judge Julia Nowicki, should 'tell us why she wrote the report she wrote,' and she 'can wait' to be paid for the work she has already done."

See, Nowicki doesn't get it. The county pays you to not work. When you do, you have to explain yourself.

"Stroger's allies ripped the media for getting it wrong on details of the report, but Stroger said he'd learned what he has of the report from reading the newspaper."

Okay, where's Ashton Kutcher? Is Cook County getting Punk'd?

Dear Bicyclists
"My God I'm tired of hearing bikers whine about their lot," our very own Cate Plys writes in her latest Open Letter. "Don't you understand that most drivers are terrified of running into you? You think we want that on our conscience for the rest of our lives?"

Pork Chop
John McCarron defends earmarks in a Tribune Op-Ed today.

"What's so wrong with allowing elected members of Congress - or the president himself, through his executive departments - to insert special requests into a budget for particular projects?" he asks.

I know! I don't see what the big deal is about elected officials subverting the usual budgeting process to secretly award millions of dollars in taxpayers' money to projects of questionable value that are often rewards to campaign contributors or examples of currying favor with voting blocs come re-election time.

Next thing you know, they'll make it illegal to hire people on the basis of their political affiliation.

Earle Pearl
"There's no easy way to ask this, Steve, so I'll just say it: You've been married seven times to six different women, one of them twice. What makes you think this marriage to Allison [Moorer] is going to work?"
- From Jim DeRogatis's interview with Steve Earle

They Love the 90s
For a campaign that doesn't want to refight the 90s, the Obama campaign is sure refighting the 90s.

"If Senator Clinton wants to take the debate to various places, we'll join that debate," Obama strategist David Axelrod told the New York Observer. "We'll do it on our own terms and we'll do it in our own way. But if she wants to make issues like ethics and disclosure and law firms and real estate deals and all that sort of stuff issues, I don't know why they'd want to go there."

"I for one do not believe that imitating Ken Starr is the way to win a Democratic primary election for president," Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson responded.

And now, in the role of Rush Limbaugh, comes Obama foreign policy aide Samantha Power calling Clinton "a monster."

What's next, Oprah taking target practice with pumpkins in her backyard?

The Wrigley Play
"If the state has its way, a TIF on sales taxes means you'll be funding the rehab of Wrigley Field," the Reader's Ben Joravsky reports.

Head Games
"In the worst periods of migraine suffering - in particular during the making of the record A Ghost Is Born - the cycle of pain and pain relief and pain killer abuse got really difficult to dig out of," Jeff Tweedy writes on the New York Times's migraine blog. (How great is the Internet?)

"I was rarely able to function for more than a few hours a day. For a lot of that record I was just trying not to be too drugged out and as a result I was suffering from enormous migraine type throbbing pain. Quite a bit of that came out on A Ghost Is Born There is a lot of material that mirrored my condition. In particular there's a piece of music - "Less Than You Think" - that ends with a 12-minute drone that was an attempt to express the slow painful rise and dissipation of migraine in music. I don't know why anyone would need to have that expressed to them musically. But it was all I had." (via Whet Moser's Chicagoland)

The Beachwood Tip Line: Jesus,etc.


Posted on March 7, 2008

MUSIC - Lyric Opera Strike Settled.
POLITICS - USA Today's Op-Ed Disaster.
SPORTS - SportsMonday: Come On, Vic!

BOOKS - Chicago Book Haul: The Dial.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: West Town Blues.

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