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The [Friday] Papers

1. "Vice President Dick Cheney has confirmed that U.S. interrogators subjected captured senior al-Qaeda suspects to an interrogation technique called 'waterboarding,' which creates a sensation of drowning," a McClatchy/Tribune report says this morning.

Kind of like the Bush Administration's war policy.

2. The best part of the report is this: "Scott Hennen of WDAY Radio in Fargo, N.D., told Cheney that listeners had asked him to 'let the vice president know that if it takes dunking a terrorist in water, we're all for it.'"

Hennen, who is also the station's general manager and whose e-mail address is scott@wday.com, went on to ask Cheney: "Would you agree that a dunk in the water is a no-brainer if it can save lives?"

Yes. A no-brainer.

Cheney went on to say the United States does not engage in torture.

Seriously.

3. "You ought to just back off, take a look at it, relax, understand that it's complicated, it's difficult," Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld admonished reporters Thursday asking about the latest dire developments in Iraq.

He then announced all further press conferences would be held only with Scott Hennen of WDAY Radio in Fargo. "It's a no-brainer," he said.

4. "The Iraq war was a mistake," Jonah Goldberg admits this morning. "[T]ruth is truth. And the Iraq war was a mistake by the most obvious criteria. If we had known then what we know now, we would never have gone to war with Iraq - at least not the way we did."

Goldberg suggests we now poll Iraqis to see if we should stay or go. That's a fine idea. Here's another one: poll Americans.

5. Todd Stroger's story is even more pathetic than we previously knew, according to a Tribune profile today. He was a bust at the University of Wisconsin, so he "landed" at Xavier University in New Orleans, where his father was a trustee. After college he went to work for the county, and then the Chicago Park District. Then he got a job as an investment banker "though his family's connections."

We do know what came next: His daddy made him a state representative in 1992, where he couldn't be bothered to cast his own votes, and Mayor Richard M. Daley made him an alderman in 2001.

Now he's running for county board president - with Daley's enthusiastic endorsement - but not for an actual voting seat on the board.

Does this guy even tie his own shoes?

6. In the Tribune profile, Stroger says his major legislative accomplishment was an illegal dumping bill. In his television ads, though, he claims to have "led the fight" for the Child's Health Insurance Program, fought against discrimination, and worked to make our neighborhoods safer. No one remembers him doing any of that, though. He must have just had other people do it for him.

7. How negative political ads are creeping into our everyday lives.

8. A few words about our governor and the debate he skipped last night, as well as his wife's kinky real estate deals.

9. Beachwood Halloween costume suggestions.

10. A spokeswoman for Mayor Daley declined to comment Thursday on the possible return from Mexico of fugitive Marco Morales to Chicago to face drug charges, which I find awfully strange because the mayor usually speaks out so vehemently about prosecuting drug dealers. Read this story and see if you can figure out why the mayor has no comment.

11. Daley personally sanctioned it.

12. A spokeswoman for Mayor Daley did comment on why most of the reforms proposed for the city's abused workers compensation system four years ago were rejected. They were deemed not "legally viable." As far as I can tell, she didn't say why - nor did she release opinions from the city's law department stating as such. Maybe it was just a hunch.

13. The charade continues, and the city's meek reporters play along.

14. When the mayor says "I have not decided," what he really means is, "I have not decided when I will stop toying with you like the pliable little kewpie dolls that you are and deign to hold an artificial event announcing that I am running for re-election that you will then deem 'news' and splatter over your pages with ample doses of free publicity for me."

15. The mayor's new city treasurer says she is a fan of "the way Chicago works."

In other news, I hear they're hiring at the U.S. attorney's office.

16. Rick Telander wasn't available for comment about this column because he had to work a shift hawking Bears mini-footballs at his local 7/11.

17. Who won Game 4 of the World Series last night? Don't ask readers of the Sun-Times home-delivered city edition.

18. This Trump thing kinda sucks, true, but my God, there have been far worse abominations going on in the neighborhoods where people live than on the street where Blair Kamin works for years.

19. The Sun-Times writes the annual "Wow, women boxers!" story today. Next week, comic books grow up.

20. This looks good.

21. Michael Miner's take on a recent Sun-Times crime story, in which editor-in-chief Michael Cooke is his usual disingenuous self, doesn't quite get the point: The paper's circulation is crumbling and Cooke is nowhere near above exploiting other people's unbearable personal tragedies for a few extra bucks in the till - and his pocket.

22. Product Placements of the Day: Altoid's, JetBlue. I'm disappointed the Sun-Times didn't find a way to combine these into one story, or at least to accompany each with man-on-the street interviews, but maybe Cooke was taking a personal day.

22. Or not. The paper's cover story today was about "up to $10,000" in counterfeit Benjamins being passed in four or five Near North Side bars and restaurants over the past month.

In other words, the paper deemed the most important story of the day to be that a few venues were ripped off for maybe $2,000 each over the last four weeks.

The Sun-Times is ripping off its readers for far more.

[UPDATE 2:56 p.m.: It was just pointed out to me that the FBI agent overseeing counterfeit money in Chicago says in the fourth paragraph of this story that the passing of fake bills are actually on the decline here.]

The Beachwood Tip Line: Expose the fakes in your billfold.



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Posted on October 27, 2006


MUSIC - The Weekend In Chicago Rock.
TV - FCC [Hearts] Sinclair.
POLITICS - Police Stood By In Charlottesville.
SPORTS - Why Colin Kaepernick Matters.

BOOKS - Windy City Blues.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Fish Unboxing.


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