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The [Friday] Papers

1. Rick Kaempfer salutes his favorite newsmakers of 2006, including future president Pierce Bush.

2. Oh, that silly pardon thing? That was just something between friends.

3. Prediction for 2007: Journalists will remain alarmingly naive.

4. "Ronald Reagan wouldn't have taken us over there, Jerry Ford wouldn't have taken us over there, I don't know which Republican president would have, there's only one, with the help of [sneer] Dick Cheney . . . this is a neoconservative war by people with a strange ideology . . . "

- Patrick Buchanan, who oughta know

5. BUCHANAN: [John Edwards] blew it on the war. The biggest vote of his life. Why should he be president?

[Former Reagan political director Frank] DONATELLI: Because the Democratic base hates the Iraq war so much. I think Mr. Edwards will say two things.

Number one, that he didn't have all the information. And so the administration withheld . . .

BUCHANAN: "I didn't know."

DONATELLI: "I didn't" - well, the administration withheld things.

BUCHANAN: It's not quite "I was brainwashed," but it's getting there.

6. "Astrological Predictions for 2007: Coming Monday." In the Sun-Times. No kidding. Good thing the traditional media isn't as lazy and reckless as all those bloggers turned loose on the Internet.

7. Sneed returns in 2007. In the Sun-Times. Good thing the traditional media isn't as lazy and reckless as all those bloggers turned loose on the Internet.

8. Gerald Ford's early work on the Internet, and other revelations from the Bob Woodward interview.

9. The great thing about Danny Bonaduce is how incredibly honest and transparent he is. I know it sounds strange, but this man embodies everything that is right and true about democracy. I wonder what kind of mayor he'd make.

10. "When the Star Tribune alerted the Twins that they had been picked as our Sportsperson of the Year, the trick was getting their key decision-makers - St. Peter, Ryan and Co. - together for a photo shoot.

"The first appointment had to be canceled because of a conflict. Gardenhire had bowling that day."

11. What a cute little baseball organization.

12. The pirahnas.

13. Teddy Morgan.

14. "[Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Oregon)] said he had previously refrained from publicly criticizing the war because he had been struck by the comment of a soldier from Oregon, who told him during a 2005 visit to Iraq that if he supported the troops, he also had to support their mission," The New York Times reports.

"But Mr. Smith's attitude began to change over the past year, particularly after he visited Iraq in May. In an interview, the senator recalled two occurrences in Baghdad during his visit, one in which a massive bomb killed about 70 people and a second in which some American troops were killed on patrol.

"And a book on World War I he had been reading, by John Keegan, the British military historian, was beginning to haunt him.

"Mr. Smith said that his use of the word 'criminal' in his speech to describe the war in Iraq came from his reading of that book, which he said explained to him the 'practice of British generals, sending a whole generation of British men running into machine guns, despite memos back to London saying, in effect, machine guns work.'

"Much like the British in World War I, he added, 'I have concluded that we are employing strategies that are needlessly getting kids killed.'

"After returning to Washington from Baghdad, Mr. Smith said he listened with growing dismay to optimistic briefings given to senators by Donald H. Rumsfeld, then secretary of defense, and other administration officials. Even in closed-door briefings, he said, 'the answers always seemed to be, It's tough but we have to stay the course.

"'And so I started thinking about the British generals,' he said.

Last summer, on a flight from Portland, Ore., to Washington, Mr. Smith said he read Fiasco, a history of the Iraq war by Thomas E. Ricks, 'and by the time I landed I was heartsick.'"

15. Someone could lose an eye.

The Beachwood Tip Line: Easily amused.


Posted on December 29, 2006

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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