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The [Friday] Papers

1. Isn't it funny how all these guys keep getting in trouble for helping the mayor without the mayor's knowledge? It's like an entire shadow government has been operating right under his nose!

2. The Sun-Times is once again passive about attaching Daley's directly to a scandal, in this case the indictment of his former streets and san commissioner who also happened to run the Southeast Side branch of the mayor's chief patronage army, the Hispanic Democratic Organization. The paper's front page focuses on the least of the indictment - rewards to workers who mowed Al Sanchez's lawn - and the editorial page boldly proclaims "Political-Hiring Watchdogs Still Have Work Cut Out" rather than, say, maybe the mayor having work cut out. Sometimes Teflon is applied, not worn.

3. "Incredibly," the Sun-Times's editorial board states, "the city still doesn't admit that it violated Shakman."

Incredibly, the mayor still doesn't admit that he violated Shakman.

4. "Political hacks understand Chicago Politics 101 better than reporters who unctuously make excuses for their behavior."

5. Alberto Gonzales may be forced to resign (and deservedly so) for far less than what has occurred on Daley's watch.

6. It's terrible that others stood by while that bartender was beaten. Why won't the mayor testify about police torture?

7. "Everyone who works in the city should have an equal right to a job," Patrick Fitzgerald said in announcing the Al Sanchez indictment. "Everyone should have an equal right to a promotion. It ought to be a level playing field. It shouldn't depend on what your politics are."

You know what's funny? Barack Obama's chief strategist disagrees. "Political debts contribute to better city services," David Axelrod wrote in a pro-patronage piece in the Tribune last August.

8. Obama is preparing to endorse Dorothy Tillman, according to Rich Miller. You know, this Dorothy Tillman.

So add her to the roster of Obama's political circle, which already includes Daley, Todd Stroger, Emil Jones, Tony Rezko, Joe Lieberman, Robert Gibbs, and Tony Dungy. It's a new day!

9. Daley is also backing Tillman.

10. Miller says that "others are wondering how Obama's decision to back such a diehard proponent of slavery reparations will play in Iowa and New Hampshire."

I doubt that will be much of an issue there, and Obama will be free to offer his own view. The real question is how Obama will play once his fans realize how enmeshed he is in the Chicago Machine.

11. Labor, too, might not be thrilled with Obama's stance. Unions have almost single-handedly financed Tillman's challenger, Pat Dowell.

12. Jesse Jackson Jr., on the other hand, has endorsed Dowell, in part because of her position on city ethics reform, which you would think would be Obama's issue.

13. Neil Steinberg continues to dislike black people (second item).

14. "If a black attorney general were about to be shown the gate, there would be no scarcity of fellow African-American leaders jostling each other at the media trough, ministers and activists and self-appointed spokespeople, all keen to explain how this is a plot, how white America can't stand to see a brother achieve high position and it is only a matter of time before The Man brings that successful person low," Steinberg writes.

A) I didn't see black people coalescing around Colin Powell when he was frozen out of the Bush Administration.
B) I don't think you'd see any such activity if Condi Rice was shit-canned.
C) Black people tend not to like Clarence Thomas.
D) All those ministers would be too busy lobbying for ComEd and the governor's gross receipts tax to worry about a brother attorney general.
E) As opposed to, say, Jews, who would never coalesce around one of their own. Or white folk.
F) I mean, look at Barack Obama. Black ministers and activists aren't skeptical of him at all!

15. "People of conscience cannot be silent, just because their buddy is in charge," Rev. Jesse Jackson said at last Saturday's Operation PUSH service, speaking about the Burge torture cases. Think he had anyone in mind?

16. What's missing from the analyses of the relationship between Al Sharpton and Obama is that Sharpton has been talking regularly on his afternoon radio show for months about police torture in Chicago and the potential culpability of the mayor. So Obama's endorsement of Daley was kind of a shock to the system of Sharpton and his listeners.

17. "Shame on voters, shame on the people who accept this kind of behavior," Mary Mitchell said ast week on Week in Review about the mayor's Olympic lies. She didn't say shame on Obama for endorsing the mayor and accepting this kind of behavior. It's always the voters' fault.

18. Three links:
* Texas Mailbox.

* Fred and Barney take a Winston break.

* The Cars That Ate Paris.

19. The New York Times looks at Obama's record on the war and finds that it's not as clear-cut as he makes it out to be. Left out: If Obama was so against the war, why did he raise money for and endorse Joe Lieberman in Connecticut against anti-war candidate and primary winner Ned Lamont?

20. How ironic would it be if it wasn't just the model of Millennium Park that prevented Chicago from getting an Olympic bid, but lingering questions about police torture? The Reader's Ben Joravsky takes a look.

The Beachwood Tip Line: Have it your way.


Posted on March 23, 2007

MUSIC - Lyric Opera Strike An Old Story.
POLITICS - USA Today's Op-Ed Disaster.
SPORTS - Beachwood Sports Radio: Kanye, Chili, Jimmy, Tarik.

BOOKS - Conway Barbour & The Black Middle Class.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Recall! Malone's Pork Head Cheese.

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