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The [Monday] Papers

1. Rod Blagojevich finally broke away from Cubs games and fundraisers long enough to issue 19 pardons - on July 3rd, when few people were looking. It's almost as if he didn't want anyone to know that the cases included "a dead man who served more than a dozen years in prison for a rape and murder he didn't commit" and "three men who were exonerated in 2002 after a federal investigation forced Chicago police to re-examine the 1997 kidnapping and murder that led to their convictions," according to the Tribune.

"The men spent years in jail before authorities determined they were not involved in the crimes, and have been awaiting the pardon decision for some time."

2. At least those folks made it to trial. The Sun-Times reports today that 36 inmates at the Cook County Jail have been waiting for their day in court for more than five years. Andre Crawford - the alleged Englewood rapist - has been in jail since Jan. 31, 2000 without trial. "A total of 430 prisoners have waited two years or more," the paper says.

3. "While presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama likes storylines to focus on micro donors, the Democratic apparatus he sits on top of is dependent on big fund-raisers who can deliver - and in turn want to be treated well at the convention. Obama's campaign finance operation will be running a VIP convention operation, with at least 300 rooms in the best hotels in Denver set aside for its very top bundlers," Lynn Sweet reports this morning.

"For top Democratic donors, the convention at the Pepsi Center in Denver in August means access to hard-to-get credentials, VIP parties, special briefings, concierge service and coveted rooms in the city's top hotels."

4. How surprised are you that the mayor's touted Plan for Transformation is markedly off the rails?

5. Imagine how much Comcast could cut my cable rates if they wouldn't spend so much money sending me mailers trying to get me to subscribe . . .

6. The family behind the O'Hare Towing Service is the subject of a new reality TV show that starts next week, Mary Wisniewski reports.

"The Gratziannas had to teach the film crew at NorthSouth Productions that there aren't any retakes when you're trying to move a tractor-trailer blocking lanes on the expressway," she writes.

7. I was prepared to hate this but I have to admit it's pretty good.

8. Richard Roeper blows the whistle on The Secret - and chides Oprah (and Ellen DeGeneres, Larry King and Montel Williams) in the process.

Let's take Oprah for who she is: a New Age guru of false hope, quackery and snake oil who has proven once again that it's not hard to seduce tens of millions of people into believing nonsense if your production values are high enough.

9. I couldn't find a digital version of the all-time greatest Oprah profile, but I did find these letters responding to it.

10. Sponsored by Oprah & Friends. This was recently in Chicago. I wonder if Obama attended.

11. "Our family camps or stays in public cabins in several states each year, and every one of the other states has a better system."
- Dale's Mailbag

12. The Trib discovers locavores! Next: fist bumps.

13. "Unless you live under a rock or high up in a mountain peak somewhere, you are probably all-too-familiar with the trendy phenomenon known as the Local Food Movement - also known as 'food patriotism'."

- Beachwood, January 2008

14. "If Jesus had been killed 20 years ago, Catholic schoolchildren would be wearing little electric chairs around their necks instead of crosses."

- Lenny Bruce, as recalled by Rick Kogan on Sunday

15. Chicago's Most Wanted.

16. "Mike Royko once wrote a column comparing gay weddings to the marriage of monkeys," Neil Steinberg wrote recently.

It's true. I couldn't find a linkable version of the colum, but it was on March 22, 1974 in the Chicago Daily News. The headline: "Going Bananas Over Liberation."

Six days later Royko wrote a column called "There'll Be No Apology."

"Royko's bias even more blatant in an incident twenty years after he compared gay rights with monkey rights," wrote Edward Alwood in Straight News: Gays, Lesbians, and the News Media. "During his arrest on charges of drunken driving and resisting arrest in Chicago on Dec. 17, 1994, Royko began shouting at the police, 'Fuck you, fag, get your fucking hands off me. Get away from me, what are you, fags? Why are you wearing those fag gloves for?''"

Later at the station, according to the police report, Royko responded to an officer who asked if he wanted medical help: "What are you, Croatian? You fucking loser! What's your ethnicity, you fag?''

And as recounted by Jerry Pritikin right here on the Beachwood, Royko once screamed "They should arrest all the faggots!"

17. Vanity Fair on Al Gore:

"He got a bum rap. Gore never claimed to have 'invented the Internet,' though columnists said otherwise and had sport with him anyway. Here's what Gore really did: throughout the 1980s, as a senator from Tennessee, he stood out as a highly visible, early proponent of networking. In 1991, Congress passed the High-Performance Computing Act, also known as 'the Gore Act,' which paved the way for a privatized commercialized Internet that could thrive and evolve outside the government's hands - in other words: the Internet as we know it today."

Some of us were saying so at the time, but the MSM didn't hear us. Some of us were saying the same thing during the Democratic primary too, but the MSM didn't hear us. Twenty years from now Vanity Fair will realize what really just happened and how the Obama campaign pulled it off.

18. Paul Krugman on fake scandals. Of course, Somerby's been writing about this every day for years. See "The Ubiquity of the Inanity."

19. Rahm Emanuel is one of those featured in Pennsylvania Avenue.

20. Instant classic: "Out-of-control Shriner go-cart hits 4 parade viewers."

The Beachwood Tip Line: Liberty is a lie.




Permalink

Posted on July 7, 2008


MUSIC - The Week In Chicago Rock.
TV - Slow TV Chicago.
POLITICS - Dangerous, Low-Wage Industries Depend On Immigrants, Refugees.
SPORTS - Beachwood Sports Radio: Dear Cubs, Make It Stop.

BOOKS - Meet Chicago's American Writers Museum.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Beachwood Photo Booth: Mail Call.


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