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The [Friday] Papers

1. He played Lazlo in Real Genius, dated Bruce Springsteen's little sister, saw Zeppelin when they were still Zeppelin, directed Ice Cube in a low-rent rap video, and once found himself in a recording studio with Harry Nillson, Alice Cooper, John Sebastian, Mickey Dolenz, Keith Moon, and, unknowingly, John Lennon. Is Jon Gries the coolest guy ever?

2. "Iraq Study Group Settles Debate Over 'Negative' War Coverage."

3. Being right about the war is the wrong thing to be.

4. Anyone want to apologize to Howard Dean and France yet?

5. Overblown.

6. It's not popular, but I think Lovie Smith and Kenny Williams are both right.

7. "Hospitalized Hendry Refuses To Take Sick Day."

Refused, or was denied by Tribune Company because he had already taken his sick day this year?

8. Finkl steel is moving.

9. "Last year, the Chicago Public Schools counted 10,516 homeless students - a 17 percent increase from the year before," The Law Project of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless writes to the Sun-Times.

10. And if you scroll down to the paper's second letter today, Alan Alop of Darien proposes enshrining "primolegislature" into law.

11. The mayor doesn't know a thing about this.

12. "Daley press secretary Jackie Heard declined to comment on the people who passed the mayor's petitions four years ago, or to reveal who is doing it this year."

That's because the mayor's business is none of yours.

"Heard referred questions to Greg Goldner, Daley's campaign manager four years ago. Goldner would not comment. Goldner is a political ally of Reyes, the HDO boss."

Reyes referred questions back to Heard. Then Reyes, Heard and Goldner all went out for a drink and had a good laugh about it.

13. "CTA spokeswoman Noelle Gaffney said eliminating conductors back then saved $13 million. Bringing them back just on the subway system today would cost $24 million because the trains run 24 hours. If conductors were returned throughout the system, it would cost $45 million, she said," the Sun-Times reports.

"The union called Gaffney's figures 'highball' and said it would cost $1.5 million to $2 million to restore 25 conductors on the subways."

If CTA chief Frank Kruesi didn't get on the phone and lock the union into those figures, he ought to be fired.

14. The mayor could restore those conductors for years to come with all the money in his campaign fund he won't need to use.

15. I don't know what's worse, Bill Cosby's hypocritical moralizing or the Tribune editorial board's continuing belief that it is composed of the world's greatest parents.

16. Rich Miller's readers offer up their predictions for who the governor would appoint to replace Barack Obama in the Senate should Obama become president.

My favorite response is from "Leroy": "WTF? Obama is superhuman. He can do both jobs quite easily. No need to 'replace' him."

17. I was surprised this didn't get more attention as well. Jim Levin was a big deal around here for awhile, and a colorful character to boot.

18. A mayor who acts like an adult.

19. Oh, how Chicago journalists love to revel in their mythical history as hard-boiled, no-nonsense reporters! Oh, how the key word is 'mythical'!

"Christmas 1978 was a real sight! Reporters who only came to the Hall for news conference, hung around the press room at Christmas time. I watched as a steady stream of aldermen walked into the Press Room bearing all kinds of gifts, usually bottles of booze.

"Only Alderman Vito Marzullo, the City Council's Dean, entered with something else. He handed little white envelopes into the hands of two of the reporters. One of the visiting reporters looked at me, and whispered in broken Italian, 'omerta,' the Mafia's code of silence. I had only been there a few weeks, so who was I to judge?

"Aldermen brought in scarves, sweaters, and trinkets from their campaigns like buttons, calendars, belts, shirts and jackets with their campaign logos. Every Alderman brought in a calendar. But it was the calendar of First Ward Ald. Fred Roti that was nailed to the wall . . .

"There was an informal agreement among the reporters that rather than pursue Byrne at every moment of her life, we would gather together and squeeze the news out of her as a pack and at the elevator. God forbid a reporter would follow Byrne downstairs and ask her a question out of earshot of the other reporters . . .

"Racial politics dictated newspaper policies for years, and it wasn't until many years later that the Southtown actually published a picture of a black man on its front page - he happened to be the newly appointed principal of a local school and it was hardly avoidable . . .

"By the time 'little Richie' and his South Side Irish strategists stumbled back into power in the wake of Washington's death, City Hall reporting had returned to its near uneventful former style.

"The new Mayor Daley did everything that Jane Byrne had been criticized for by the media. He just took it back behind the old closed doors. But people were tired of the old days and the confrontations. They longed for a sense of calm. Daley eagerly tried to embrace calm, and the level of news excitement dropped dramatically."

20. Not just for fishwrap anymore. (via Christine Tatum)

21. "DALLAS - Surely a conspiracy museum that floats the idea of two Lee Harvey Oswalds can blame its closure on a more complex plot than making way for turkey subs," the AP reports.

"But Dallas' famed Conspiracy Museum tells a rather bland tale about why its gallery of cover-up behind President Kennedy's assassination is temporarily shuttering Dec. 30.

"Museum president Tom Bowden said they're putting a Quizno's there."

22. Mayor Patrick Daley? Zorn thinks so.

23. A Ferrari knit from yarn.

24. The president is rejecting our findings too.

25. Always read the fine print, because everybody is out to screw you.

26. This Is Our Country.

27. "A whimsical potty that turns your toilet into a nautical wonderland."

28. "I'm as depressed as the fourteen year old girl who writes lyrics for Nickelback."

(Punk Planet launches a blog.)

29. By the way, the current Punk Planet has the best collection of year-end top ten lists you will find on the planet, punk or otherwise.

30. "We all know how those monkeys get with Peppermint Schnapps. Shouldn't somebody name that the official drink of sadness, by the way?"

- Beachwood contributor Scott Gordon

The Beachwood Tip Line: Even drunk monkeys can use it.


Posted on December 8, 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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