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The [Friday] Papers

1. Life at Work.

2. "Tehran Residents Fear Their Nation On Verge Of Being Pariah." Finally, common ground.

3. Isn't George W. Bush making a huge mistake by inflating the threat, scope, and standing of al-Qaeda and its ilk? I mean, should we really turn this into the greatest ideological battle of the 21st century? That's just even more of an invitation than the war in Iraq to actually coalesce a united enemy against us that otherwise would remain scattered and disjointed. He's issuing a call to action for the other side! And thus, George W. Bush is the world's biggest threat not only to our security but to everyone else's. I wonder if the papers in Iran are reporting "Washington Residents Fear Their Nation On Verge Of Being Pariah."

4. "[New York City Mayor Michael] Bloomberg, who has seen the intelligence reports and has dispatched NYPD officers to London, Afghanistan and the Middle East to investigate the jihadist threat, doesn't hesitate. Americans, he tells me, are 'too freaked out' about the threat of another attack," Rolling Stone reports. "'There is a much greater risk from lifestyles that hurt you - smoking, walking across the street without looking both ways, not putting bars in the window if you've got kids and you live above the first floor, those kinds of things."

5. Bush told NBC's Brian Williams that he never said that Iraq had something to do with 9/11. Okay, wait a minute. al-Qaeda attacks us, so you invade Iraq. But there was no connection. So, um, what was your response to 9/11 again then? Truly, regardless of partisanship, if you don't see how disastrous this presidency has been, you are not being intellectually honest.

6. Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown announces for mayor. Not impressed.

7. "When reporters asked Brown her position on the controversial 'big-box' minimum wage ordinance passed by the City Council in July," the Tribune reports, "she would only say that the issue needs 'a lot more discussion.'"

When asked whether Brown was prepared to run for mayor, reporters would only say that the issue needs "a lot more discussion."

8. Just to bring closure on Benny the Bull.

9. Dusty Baker says he's baffled by the negative media he receives, Lacy Banks reports this morning.

''It used to be we're all in the game together,'' Baker said. ''It used to be not us and them or not nearly as mistrusting as today. When I broke into baseball, the media rode with us on the planes and on our buses. They were like part of the team. We used to hang out with the media, go to the same bars and restaurants and stay in the same hotels. We were like one instead of two."

It goes on from there, with levels of ridiculousness too tiring to point out.

Banks also reports: "Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee also took issue with the intense media criticism of his manager. 'Everybody in the media is now trying to get the juicier stories,'' Lee said, 'even if they have to make up stuff, which they do sometimes.'"

Care to give any examples, Derrek?

10. Baker is more concerned with padding Aramis Ramirez's stats than the future of the organization. These statements alone should get him fired. Let Billy Williams run the club for the final month and then go get Joe Girardi, which seems to be what Jim Hendry wants to do.

11. Spot the top three things that bug me most about this column. It's something I want you to do on your own from now on, because I am entering a temporary, self-imposed moratorium on this front. Until the baby is born.

12. "Last week, I attended a coffee at which Peraica was speaking, raising volunteers and money for his campaign, in the "Fighting 47th Ward," a Democratic stronghold on the Northwest Side," writes former Ald. Dick Simpson, now a University of Illinois-Chicago professor.

"That same day, challenger Peraica was supposed to debate Ald. Todd Stroger, who has been anointed by the Democratic Party as heir to the job held by his father, John Stroger, until he was disabled by a stroke, on an African-American radio station. Stroger, after agreeing to appear, suddenly had a conflict when Peraica said yes to the debate."

Simpson also writes: "[Peraica] opposes political corruption and has promised not to accept campaign contributions from county employees or vendors who do business with the county. He pledges not to raise taxes and to cut the budget, and he proposes a referendum to consolidate four tax-collecting agencies to save taxpayers' money. But can a Republican be elected on the platform of a smaller government, eliminating corruption and lower taxes?

"Peraica says 97 departments of county government can be cut to 35. He supports the 7 percent property tax cap pending in Springfield and would work for fundamental property tax reform later. He would cut the size of county government. Because 1,300 to 1,500 of the county's 27,000 employees leave each year, unnecessary jobs could be eliminated without having to fire large numbers.

"To win, Peraica has to get a large share of the Forrest Claypool voters. Some say he is too conservative to win them over. But at the 47th Ward coffee, he satisfied most of the liberals in attendance with two pledges. Despite his pro-life beliefs, he would not stop abortions at Cook County Hospitals. He would uphold Roe vs. Wade although he would have more counseling, including adoption choices. On gay rights, he argues that Illinois state law defines marriage as the union of a husband and wife, but he supports the county providing people in same-sex relationships full benefits."

So what's not to like?

13. Operation Manila Folder. (Second item. But see the first item, too.)

14. "Former Gov. George Ryan, who will be sentenced Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer on federal corruption charges, has lately been spending his time at his Kankakee home putting together a photo album for his children," Sun-Times gossip columnist Michael Sneed "reports" this morning.

"And here's me meeting Rev. Scott Willis at a prayer breakfast and lighting into his lawyer. And here's me denying Ricardo Guzman had an illegal license. And here's me in Jamaica executing a sweetheart lease deal with Harry Klein. Ah, good times."

15. "Sneed's Thursday item about Cook County Board president candidate Tony Peraica listing the endorsement of deceased Westchester Village President John Sinde on his Web site caught the attention of Sinde's widow, Marilyn Sinde. Mrs. Sinde informed the column that her husband did endorse Peraica before his death."

16. "A fund-raiser for the retention of judges is being tossed Wednesday by the Committee for Retention of Judges in Cook County at the Chicago Cultural Center," Sneed reports.

A fundraiser for a Committee for Retention of Judges in Cook County?!

They used to just bring the money to Counsellor's Row.

17. Juxtaposition of the Day.

The photo caption,"The [Chicago Public" school district announced this week that bus service will be cut back for homeless children who qualify for hardship service," above the headline, "Car Dead In Metra Lot? Free Aid On Way."

18. "When doling out financial aid, America's colleges and universities are increasingly awarding more money to upper-income students, according to a report released Thursday," the Tribune says.

"The study, by the Washington-based Education Trust, found that although state and federal policies have shifted money away from low-income students, the greatest change has been at the college level.

"Though the neediest students still get larger grants than the wealthiest, colleges are directing more money toward middle- and upper-income students, because they are more likely to have the grades and test scores that boost academic rankings, according to the report."

19. If this is really the president's summer reading list, I'm a lot busier than he is.

The Beachwood Tip Line: Anonymous comments now enabled.



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Posted on September 1, 2006


MUSIC - The Weekend In Chicago Rock.
TV - Cricket vs. Brexit.
POLITICS - An Odd Call From Bermuda.
SPORTS - All Is Not Forgiven, Bears.

BOOKS - Turning Points Of The Civil War.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Baxter's IV Bag Shortages.


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