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The [Friday] Papers

1. Stocking stuffers for the Bears.

2. Thank you, Fran Spielman:

"Four times, reporters tried to get answers from the mayor. Five times Daley deferred.

Q. What's your reaction to the inspector general investigating Patrick's sewer deal?

A. I have no comment on that.

Q. Do you have any problem with him investigating it?

A. Any other questions?

Q. Have you given any thought to an executive order that would bar family members [from doing business with the city]?

A. No comment. I've answered all that.

Q. Are you confident that nobody in City Hall helped [Patrick]?

A. (Cutting off the question) I have no other questions. Fran, please, you've done this. No other questions [on this topic]. Any other questions . . . And I'm not mad at her. So, don't write a big headline: 'Mayor Daley is mad. The mayor gets mad. He gets red, screams, yells.'

How about "The Mayor Is A Child"? You didn't mention that one, your Honor.

Questions for mayoral press secretary and former Tribune reporter Jackie Heard:

A) Why won't the mayor answer our questions? No, seriously, why won't he answer?
B) What is the mayor hiding?
C) What kind of discussion did you have with the mayor outlining your media strategy for dealing with this issue?
D) Don't you think taxpayers deserve answers?
E) Does the mayor think he is beyond accountability? Then why does he act like he is?
F) If you were still a reporter, wouldn't you be royally pissed off at the mayor? Why or why not?

Questions for Barack Obama:

A) You endorsed the mayor. Are you troubled by the steady stream of scandals that continue to come out of his City Hall?
B) Will you call upon the mayor to clean up his act?
C) Do you think the mayor owes taxpayers answers?
D) How does your endorsement of the mayor fit in with your idea of a new kind of less cynical politics?

3. "In her annual report filed in federal court, Noelle Brennan accused the city of engaging in 'subtle types of manipulation' that have impeded efforts to implement a hiring system free of politics 17 months after the conviction of the mayor's former patronage chief," Spielman also writes.

"Daley countered, 'Maybe it's by error, but not intentionally.'"

Oh, so you've looked into the cases she cited and determined that?

4. The New York Times wrote this week on its front page about Barack Obama's habit of voting "present" rather than "No" while an Illinois legislator.

It's a good story and a legitimate criticism, but isn't the bigger story that Obama's qualifications for president are so thin that we're debating his record as an Illinois legislator?

5. Then again, in the U.S. Senate he hasn't even been present.

6. "On the abortion-related roll calls, Obama voted 'present' not to duck taking a stand but to help provide political cover to lawmakers who did not hold a 'safe' seat like he did," Lynn Sweet writes today.

In other words, to somehow lend support to lawmakers who did not want their position on abortion on the record for voters to see. Change we can believe in!

7. "[The voting strategy was conceived] under an arrangement worked out with the registered lobbyist for the Illinois Planned Parenthood Council, Pam Sutherland," Sweet continues. "On the presidential campaign trail, one of Obama's biggest applause lines comes when he says he would limit the influence lobbyists would have in an Obama administration."

8. "Like Senator Edwards who is a good guy, he's been talking a lot about I am going to fight the lobbyists and the special interests in Washington," Obama said recently. "Well the question you have to ask is were you fighting for 'em when you were in the Senate? What did you do? Because I did something, immediately upon arriving in the Senate . . . "

A) Yes. You not only began running for president, you shaped your Senate agenda toward that goal.
B) Yes. You lobbied for obscure legislation that would benefit a stock you had just bought.
C) Yes. You started raising money from lobbyists and special interests.

9. "We've now launched the boat together, and we have to start paddling," Sam Zell said in an e-mail to Tribune employees (whom he called "investors") upon taking over the company on Thursday.

A) Now, true, I own the oars, but you paid for them!
B) And we'll be paddling with fewer people in the boat, but then you'll just have to paddle harder!
C) Paddle faster, the repo man's right behind us!
D) We have to paddle because Dennis FitzSimons took the plane with the golden parachute with him.

10. And here we reach the logical conclusion:

"Despite [Amy Jacobson's] right to invoke reporter's privilege under the state's shield law, experts say any attempt by Jacobson to fight the grand jury subpoena would likely have been futile because she had already been 'briefing' the police on her encounters with Stebic."

11. "If you think my daughters are going to ask me to try to get them tickets to see Hannah Montana and I'm going to tell them 'No,' well then you're wrong."

After all, they contributed to my campaign.

12. "If you think my son is going to slink his way into a city contract as an unpaid intern by going in on an investment with his bosses whose business suddenly gets a boost once he's involved and I'm going to say 'No,' well then you're wrong.

13. "If you think I'm going to turn down the chance for Rose Bowl tickets just because a special favor is being done to me as a public official, well then you're wrong."

14. "Making sure we are providing for the needs of legislators and the board and donors to the university is proper," University of Illinois President B. Joseph White said. "It is not like these are the only tickets available."

The "B" stands for Bullshit.

"I view the University of Illinois going to the Rose Bowl as a real celebration for the people of Illinois and the legislators are the representatives of the people of Illinois," White said.

This is what we call a teachable moment.

15. Sam Zell's new board of directors is composed entirely of white folk.

In The Beachwood
* Daley's Cop Canard
* The Bears Drinking Game

Plus, revisit:

* The [Sam Zell] Papers
* Amy Jacobson's Resumé

And this holiday season, give the gift of the Beachwood.

The Beachwood Tip Line: Teachable.

Posted on December 21, 2007

MUSIC - Who's Next In Chicago Rap.
TV - Tribune-Nexstar Deal Is Bad News.
POLITICS - Big Soda Hates You.
SPORTS - The Ex-Cub Factor.

BOOKS - Wright Brothers, Wrong Story!

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - The Bad News About Human Nature.

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