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The [Friday] Papers

1. This was the lead image at the top of the Sun-Times's website at the height of yesterday's storm.
Storm clouds roll over the Chicago Loop in this July file photo.

A file photo from July? They couldn't just stick a camera out the window?

2. On the other hand, the Cubs' acquisition of outfielder Craig Monroe was top of the page "Breaking News" on the Tribune's website.

3. It's always about Sneed.

4. Sun-Times front page today: "BP Listens To Chicago: The Sun-Times led the charge to stop BP from further polluting Lake Michigan. Yesterday, BP backed off."

More like the Sun-Times piggybacked on the reporting of the Tribune's Michael Hawthorne, who broke the story to begin with.

5. Besides, it's not clear yet exactly what BP's intentions are. The company is not intending to amend its new, controversial dumping permit and the new dumping wouldn't occur until 2011 (though the associated refinery expansion would begin soon). So there's plenty of time to build political cover and do the public relations spadework it almost got away with not doing.

6. Memo to new Sun-Times editorial page: Yelling does not make your arguments stronger or more persuasive. Quite the opposite.

7. "Gov. Rod Blagojevich slashed $463 million from the state budget Thursday and pressed forward his health-care plan, selectively cutting what he views as legislative pork-barrel initiatives backed by his political foes and preserving most projects pushed by friends and lawmakers he needs in his corner," the Tribune reports.

That about sums it up.

Several reports noted the irony of the governor cutting funding for several health-related projects in order to fund his pet health-care plan.

"Overall, there are $90 million in cuts for hospitals and nursing homes, according to Republican analysts," the Trib account says. "Lawmakers were critical of cuts to programs that provide meals to AIDS patients who can't leave their homes, mental health programs for the poor and cost-of-living raises worth $16 million for substance-abuse workers and those who provide services to the developmentally disabled."

And yet . . .

"The budget also provided funding for an additional 3.5 percent increase in salaries for legislators and all statewide elected officers. That pushes their total increase - with the additional 9.6 percent pay raise Blagojevich approved last week - to more than 13 percent in a matter of days."

8. The Sun-Times is asking readers to vote on whether men, women or dogs have the worst breath. (You have to "Jump2Web" and hunt down the poll.)

I'm wondering if dogs could put out a better newspaper.

9. Lewis Lazare again failing to understand the concept. (Well, I Jumped2Web and couldn't find it there, but trust me, the matter-of-fact anti-Semitism, sexism, racism, alcohol and cigarette use, misogyny, and infidelity is brilliant. Watch Mad Men and see for yourself.)

10. Did White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle have a John Rocker - or at least a Julian Tavarez - moment?

"Staying in San Francisco, there are a lot of weird people," he said recently (third item). "I don't like this place too much, let's put it that way."

Or at least an Ozzie Guillen moment. Or maybe was just talking about the washed-up hippies.

11. America still undecided.

12. Obama's Green Screen. (Author Marilyn Ferdinand is a Beachwood contributor, but her views are her own, I assure you.)

13. "When you were talking about FOIA I thought you were talking about the hallways in the White House, that's how much I know about this issue."

- Former tough guy Boston metro columnist Mike Barnicle on MSNBC last night, discussing Freedom of Information Act requests - often pronounced in shorthand as "foiyas" - to the Bush administration.

Yes, shows how much he knows.

14. A faithful Beachwood reader writes in about Trib "metro columnist" Mary Schmich:

"I've concluded that her column is a deliberate exercise in nostalgia, evoking a time when newsprint was boundless, when columns were bestowed as gifts to favored ones and came with lifetime tenure, when editors only cared about whether they liked reading the column - not whether anyone else actually read it or talked about it - when (and this one's a stretch) people needed someone to put into writing the notion that summer's almost over, or that winter's amost here so it's time to put away the flip-flops and pull out the sweaters, or that winter's here now and it's really cold and dark and gloomy, or that winter's almost over but this is Chicago, so really it's . . . alright, I'll stop. This was a time when people would actually read to the end a column written in verse or as song lyrics. Oh, and this was a time before the Internet (but apparently not before e-mail), so that about every fifth column, the columnist diverted the space she was paid to fill to (e)mail from readers.

"I wonder if someone prints out the emails and delivers them to her."

15. "Another Resignation At Justice Department."

The remaining employees will be offered buyouts as the department is subsumed by the White House counsel's office.

16. "A blue-ribbon panel will spend the next year studying strategies to streamline city government and find ways to stretch the public dollars needed to run it, Mayor Richard Daley announced Thursday," the Tribune reports.

The mayor's new Office of Compliance will oversee the effort.

17. Alcohol energy drinks are here.

Coincidentially, Beachwood Laboratories has been working on this concept too. This is what we've come up with so far:

* Colt 45,000
* Pabst Blue Voltage
* Amstel Adrenaline Light
* Old Milwaukee Brewed
* Leinenkugel 'Lectric
* Spaten Speed, aka Shpeed

18. Speaking of Beachwood Laboratories, take their Bears Kool-Aid quiz.

19. Town mottos? We did it one better.

20. Janeane Garofalo's new job on 24 coupled with Tony Snow's resignation from the White House is a good reason to pull out this classic.

The Beachwood Tip Line: Always electric.


Posted on August 24, 2007

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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