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The [Friday] Papers

Well, we've finally achieved bipartisanship; both parties are against the president.


Arenda Troutman says she'll stay on the ballot despite the federal bribery charge against here. Mayor Richard M. Daley says he'll run again too despite the allegations against him.


Daley and Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels have made their wager over the Bears-Seahawks game. Daley is putting up three Streets & San workers, one wrought-iron fencing contract, and two cases of denials against Nickels' one-year Prozac prescription and a fish market.


"I was wondering if Daley's airport expansion plans call for an actual terminal for UFOs to land instead of circling . . . "

- Brian Rhodes (my brother)


And now a vibrating bag found at O'Hare. Area 94? O'Hare 51?


Saw a commercial last night for Lunesta, the sleep-aid drug, warning that side effects could include drowsiness.


Saw that Boniva commercial again where Sally Field says that her girlfriend has to set aside time every week to take a pill. Yeah, that's half a second a week she'll never get back.


READER FEEDBACK: Two responses to the Boniva item.

1. "On Boniva - that same line in the ad bothered me, too. Then I decided there must be digestive consequences to taking it (???) but I didn't want to know badly enough to look it up and expose myself to the gory details."

2. "Uh, Steve, I don't know whether you've checked the Fosamax web site, but there's a bit more to the non-Boniva osteoporosis pill than just swallowing it. Thanks for making fun of zillions of women facing likely hideous injuries, without first finding out what the deal is."

I certainly didn't mean to make fun of anyone. As near as I can tell, the thing about taking one of these pills is that you can't lie down for 30 minutes afterward. I'm not sure why someone would have to "set aside time" each week to account for this if you take the pill at any time other than before bed, but maybe there are "gory details" I'm not aware of. In any case, the commercial sounds ridiculous, though admittedly it's not aimed at me. I just chalked it up to the kind of melodrama more often associated with the miracles of mundane products featured on infomercials, but if I missed the mark on this, my apologies.


Who hired Arenda Troutman's lawyers?


Rev. John Ellis opened Troutman's press conference yesterday, the Tribune reports, with an excerpt from Psalm 18: "The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer. But my alderman ain't bad either when you need alley egress."


Unlike God answering prayers, with aldermen the answer is never "No."


CTA president Frank "Rummy" Kruesi blames Ald. Joe Moore for his agency's messes. "I haven't seen Ald. Moore raise a hand in support of our efforts in Springfield for rebuilding the CTA," Kruesi said.

Well, that's not exactly fair. Moore missed his flight to Springfield because of delays on the Blue Line.


Daley holds a Pimps 'N Ho's party.


According to an ad in the Sun-Times, American Mattress is having a Martin Luther King Jr. Sale. "Pay For a Queen, Get a King!"

I kid you not.


After all, King did have a dream . . .


Just how many people does Mike North have to offend before the city finally names a park after him?


"Someone mentioned that we should contact the U.S. Olympic Committee with pictures and stories about the lack of reliable service on the 'L.'"

- John F., on CTA Chairwoman Carole Brown's blog (via Sun-Times)


Upon hearing that Daley is standing by Frank "Brownie" Kruesi, Kanye West said Daley doesn't care about black people.


The latest from Pueblo, Colorado:

- Keep a Healthy Home

- Foreign Entry Requirements

- Your Kids and Alcohol


"Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) has quietly maneuvered the Commodity Futures Trade Commission (CFTC) into his purview by bringing the regulatory body under the jurisdiction of his newly formed Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee," Robert Novak reports in his political newsletter. "Chicago, once home to extensive stockyards, is home to the two largest futures exchanges in the U.S."

The campaign contributions to follow will merely be a coincidence.


"We have a system that has survived this long, because it's stable, it has this divided government, these shared powers," legal scholar Jonathan Turley said recently on MSNBC. " You have a president who's not recognizing a fundamental tenet of our constitutional system that he constitutionally took an oath to protect . . . And that has led a lot of people to wonder what's really behind some of these things. And there's a lot of us that have become cynics in the last few years. We believe - at least, I believe - that there's a great deal of illegality that's occurred under this administration, including possible crimes . . .

"This is a president who still remains uncomfortable within that constitutional skin . . .

"You know, the fact is, this president has an obsession with this concept of an absolute ruler, the absolutely president. And he's surrounded himself with fairly radical law professors who told him what he wanted to hear, that you could take a citizen off the street, unilaterally strip him of all of his rights, hold him until you wanted to release him, if at all."


"Threat level has been elevated to Orange. I'm worried I'm going to walk outside and be attacked by killer iguanas."

- Tim Willette, reporting from Washington, D.C.


"Of course, it's a free country - we're all free to endorse anybody we want. And I surely don't think that black politicians should only endorse other black politicians. But neither Meeks, Jackson, nor Rush backed Daley in 2003. So I'm wondering: what's changed in the last four years to make them support him now?" asks the Reader's Ben Joravsky.

"The Sorich trial convictions? The hired truck scandal? The demolition of Meigs Field? Soaring property taxes? The Duff affirmative-action scam? The fact that only 9 percent of the city's contractors are black? The continued breakdown of the Red Line? New revelations about Daley's apparent indifference, as state's attorney, to allegations regarding the torture of black crime suspects by Jon Burge?"


The Daily Show did a piece last night ("Media Analysis: Bush's Address" video) on all the pundits using gambling rhetoric to describe the president's "new" Iraq plan. And whaddya know, Sun-Times editorial page editor Steve Huntley opens his column today by describing George W. Bush as "a riverboat gambler."

He goes on to inform us that "Bush is going for broke," and asking, rhetorically, "Just how high are the stakes for him personally?"

I actually read the whole column searching for an original thought, but couldn't find one. (And it took more time to read than setting aside time each week for an osteoporosis pill.)

In fact, it just got worse as it went on. "Months ago I expressed a hope that for the good of the country our leaders in Washington could come together on a common policy in Iraq," Huntley wrote. "But passions there are too deep and bitter for that."

Yes. Whatever happened to that Iraq Study Group thing anyway?

"Unless his war plan succeeds, the president knows Iraq will forever be called Bush's war."

If he succeeds, too.

And so on.


Like Mark McGwire, the president isn't here to talk about the past.


The Daily Herald reported this week that police have been called to Tank Johnson's home 30 times in the last two years.

Good thing the Bears have a 31-strikes-and-you're-out policy.

The Beachwood Tip Line: A new old way forward.


Posted on January 12, 2007

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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