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The [Friday] Papers

* "The I-35W Bridge is about as 'Minneapolis' as it gets," our very own Don Jacobson writes in his Letter From Minneapolis. "Anyone who was raised here feels its place at the heart of who and what we are as a city."

* I share some thoughts I've had as well upon watching the non-stop television coverage about a bridge that was personal to me, in What I Watched Last Night.

* Bridge collapse photos from The Minnesota Daily

Joyless Judy
"But [the Spindle] was not as bad as 'Big Bil-Bored.' That piece of expensive garbage, facing busy Harlem Avenue, was a three-story concrete pork-chop-shaped 'sculpture' with pieces of landfill trash stuck into it," Judy Baar Topinka writes in the Trib this morning.

Mmmm, pork chops . . .

We live in a world where bridges collapse and kill innocent people. Public art like the Spindle and Big Bil-Bored are rays of light in a dark world, fun and feisty and enthusiastic (and socially observant). What's next, no more donuts and beer? My guess is that Judy Baar Topinka doesn't exactly love rock 'n' roll, either. Some people are just missing that chip in their brain. The eternal battle is to stop them from ruining life for the rest of us.

Berwyn should embrace the legacy of Cermak Plaza, and realize how lucky it is to have had it.

Women's Work
I wonder how Steve Chapman was greeted by his female colleagues in the Tribune's editorial board chambers after he wrote this: "The editorial board on which I serve used to be nearly all-male, but now has a female majority," the Trib's Steve Chapman wrote recently. "I can describe the difference in two words: Longer meetings."

Just catching up Eric Zorn's outing of Channel 2 president Joe Ahern's campaign contributions to Melissa Bean.

"I offer this as a public service to those of you who read this curiously (but typically) coy item in a certain gossip column this morning: 'Hmmm . . . (I hear) a local TV network general manager just gave U.S. Rep. Melissa Bean a $500 campaign contribution and listed the station's address. Guess who? The big question: Will that give the station a problem when covering Bean's next election? Nawww.'"

A bigger question: How does Ahern still have his job?

Family Fortunes
"Yellow Pages heiress, philanthropist and ex-congressional candidate Shawn Donnelley and her classics scholar beau Christopher Kelly hosted a big dinner party Wednesday," Sun-Times celebrity scribe Bill Zwecker writes (second item).

There's a Yellow Pages heiress?

It occurs to me that most wealthy families built their fortunes in the most mundane ways possible. Consider, for example, the great toilet paper heiresses of our times! Maybe that's why rich people are so boring and have such bad taste. And then they marry other rich people with bad taste and create even worse offspring.

The Many Moods of Neil Steinberg
"Isn't it enough that [John] Stroger has turned Cook County government into a bog of waste, cronyism and incompetence?"
- March 15, 2006

"I would have voted for Daley, warts and all. I always did. The corruption doesn't bother me - what city doesn't have corruption?"
- Feb. 28, 2007

"We need to realize that dunderheads greasing their pals in Washington and Springfield leads to dwindling maintenance dollars, which means, every now and again, American taxpayers plunging into rivers to their deaths."
- Aug. 3, 2007

Mary Does Michelle
Sun-Times promo: "Coming Sunday: Mary Mitchell asks Michelle Obama, in a rare interview, to respond to the question that has dogged her husband's campaign for president: 'Are Barack and Michelle Obama black enough?'"

Oh Lord! Asked and answered - a million times!

I sure hope Mitchell has more than this in her hip pocket.

And it's hardly a "rare" interview; Michelle was trotted out before the nation's media outlets about a month ago in a big PR push to "introduce" her to voters.

Michelle Missives
Questions for Michelle Obama, just off the top of my head.

1. You worked in the Daley administration. Explain your ties to the mayor and his allies, and what role that has played in your husband's career.

2. Are you proud of the job Todd Stroger is doing?

3. Does is it make you uncomfortable to hear your husband preaching to black men about the importance of being attentive fathers when you have spoken about 'not expecting to be a single mother' because Barack has always chosen to spend so much time on his career?

4. If your husband wasn't running, would you vote for Hillary Clinton?

5. What do you see as the top three differences between Hillary and Barack?

6. One of your main roles at the University of Chicago Hospitals is to encourage folks in your emergency room to seek care elsewhere. Based on your experience, what is your prescription for solving the health care crisis in this country?

7. Have you seen Sicko?

8. Is Barack's health care proposal truly offering universal coverage? Most analyses, including those from friends of the campaign, say it does not.

9. How do you square Barack's campaigning as a change agent with all the profiles of him that describe him as a cautious, conservative, ultra-pragmatic legislator?

10. Did he talk a lot about his opposition to the war at home with you outside of the campaign trail? When did he first voice his views to you? What did he say?

Foreign Policy Follies
Obama strikes again. Four strikes and you're out?

The Beachwood Tip Line: Heiresses welcome.


Posted on August 3, 2007

MUSIC - Did Academia Kill Jazz?
TV - Hugely Profitable Netflix Pays $0 In Taxes.
POLITICS - The Political Odds UPDATED.
SPORTS - TrackNotes: Prep Walk.

BOOKS - The Gospel according to Wild Indigo.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicago's Wild Things Conference.

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