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The [Friday] Papers

1. Do you think if the Trib opened up their checkbook and bought the best journalists they could find they would see a return on investment? I do.

I mean, think about it. The corporate suite has decided that the best way to improve the Cubs is to invest more money in the product - but that the best way to improve their newspapers is to cut staff.

2. Which do you like better, Alfonso Sosa or Sammy Soriano? Either way, it will be fun having a 40-40 guy leadoff for a last-place team.

3. Clean government pays.

4. Vikings game plan: Get an early lead and force the Bears to pass.

5. I'd rather have Joe Crede than Aramis Ramirez.

6. Poor kids struggle in school because they're poor!

7. How Criss Angel and David Blaine perform levitations.

8. Is it true you can't access the Blackhawks website if you live in Chicago?

9. The Sun-Times's big front page story today is a bastardized reprint of a column that appeared on D1 of The Wall Street Journal yesterday.

A) What, you guys didn't have another Sneed exclusive available?
B) Why don't you just start stealing stories from RedEye instead?
C) Because there's not really that much news in Chicago to cover.

10. A couple of guys from Geneva moving to California had their rented truck stolen in Las Vegas - and it didn't even make the front page!

Hey, if you all are out of story ideas over there, I could send over a list.

11. Fran Spielman gets played. Mr. Mayor is trying to be all Mr. Clean!

12. The Over/Under on how long it takes Neil Steinberg to write a column is 17 1/2 minutes, depending on how many "chuckles" from readers he goes through before picking one out and going back to sleep.

13. Steve Huntley, boy scientist.

14. "No change comes without economic costs," Huntley writes. "Americans never worked up any enthusiasm for the Kyoto climate treaty because of that."

Really? "Six in 10 Americans say the United States should join the Kyoto treaty on global warming, rejecting President Bush's economic arguments against the accord," according to an ABC News poll.

15. Huntley argues that because Americans in wartime don't name the environment as the number one issue topping their concerns. they therefore aren't much, um, concerned.

16. Huntley cites a Gallup poll that found 62 percent of Americans don't think "global warming will pose a serious threat to them or their way of life in their lifetime" as another sign of their lack of concern. I'm pretty sure the poll he's referring to is the same one that found "most Americans saying the government is doing too little to protect the nation's natural resources. A majority also says that President George W. Bush is doing a poor rather than a good job protecting the environment, with a substantial minority accusing the Bush administration of weakening the country's environmental policies."

The more pertinent question is how many of those 62 percent who don't think global warming poses a serious threat in their lifetime think it does pose a serious threat to the lives of their children.

17. Huntley cites a statement from the National Academy of Science to prove that there indeed is a debate among scientists about global warming. I'm pretty sure this is the statement he's referring to - and you can see how deftly he cherry-picked what he wanted and ignored the rest.

18. Steve Huntley is the editorial page editor of what used to be a major metropolitan newspaper.

19. Gretchen Bonaduce is from Waukegan.

20. "The unemployment rate (4.1 percent) is the lowest on record, and the city's credit rating is at the highest level ever. With crime down 20 percent since Bloomberg took office - after a 57 percent reduction during the Giuliani years - the FBI rates this as the nation's safest large city," George Will writes.

If only they had a really cool downtown park.

21. "[T]he process of filling positions on the Civil and Supreme courts is nothing less in this city than a sham. It really is a disgrace. If you look what happened last week in the balloting for judges, there wasn't one single real contest in the city. Not one. That included 'races,' people talked about races, some of the people that won were found by various local bar associations, 'not qualified,' and yet they ran and they won and they won because they didn't have any competition or because the public had virtually no information whatsoever about these candidates. It is not surprising that 30 percent of the people who voted for a presidential candidate on November 2nd, didn't bother to vote for a single judge. They just didn't bother because they didn't know who these people were and they had just given up hope and no one wants to cast a vote for somebody they don't know, especially when you read the press and you think these people may very well unqualified or corrupt."

- MIchael Bloomberg giving a speech that Richard M. Daley would never give

22. Drunken Danny.

23. Everybody knows.

24. Killing habeas corpus.

25. Killing free speech.

It can happen here.

26. Patriot.

27. "The truth is not 'fair and balanced.' There is a nonpartisan, independent reality that doesn't give a damn, frankly, what two Democrats and two Republicans think about anything or say about anything."

- Lou Dobbs, "Mad As Hell"

28. "The prosecutors who sent police torture victims to prison are now the judges who keep them there," John Conroy writes in the Reader this week. "Lawyers who defend police-torture victims in Chicago long ago reached a harsh conclusion about Cook County's criminal judges: most have a vested interest in refusing to acknowledge police brutality. Now these lawyers can point to a case so extreme it's almost funny: a judge who apparently ruled on his own performance as a prosecutor, deciding there was no taint to a confession that the judge himself had written. Judge Nicholas Ford passed judgment on assistant state's attorney Nick Ford. Ford had no problem with Ford's work. It's a case that's unusual only in degree."

29. Does the mayor really want to extend the "tax cap"?

30. Tommie Harris for Mayor.

Isn't it funny how there is more accountability in sports than politics?

The Beachwood Tip Line: Weather-resistant.


Posted on December 1, 2006

MUSIC - Holiday Hullabaloo.
POLITICS - Bank Profits Soaring.
SPORTS - Chicago vs. Michigan, 1903.

BOOKS - Dia De Los Muertos Stories.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: West Town Blues.

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