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The [Monday] Papers

"The brand-spanking new $720 million Lucas Oil Stadium got its regular-season christening Sunday night," the Indianapolis Star's Phil Richards writes.

"A national television audience tuned in. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was in the house. Johnny Mathis sang the national anthem. They cranked open the massive retractable roof and the giant window on the stadium's north end, and the standing-room-only crowd of 66,822 stood and roared for the U.S. Army Blackhawk helicopters' flyover.

"Then the Indianapolis Colts crashed and burned.

"The Chicago Bears dominated the Colts 29-13 and sent the quiet crowd home muttering."


"It's sickening," Peyton Manning said.

Bearly Legal
"That deliriously diehard Bears fan? The one who has high hopes, high as a pie in the sky hopes no matter how bad the vast majority thinks his team will be? Even that guy was blown away by the Bears Sunday night," writes our very own Jim Coffman.

The Cubs Are Ridiculous
We check in with the Curses and Plagues Affairs Desk.

Boots Are Marching
"Chicago aldermen will be asked today to lower the boom on their scofflaw constituents - by dropping the Denver boot threshold from three unpaid tickets to two," the Sun-Times reports.

"Ald. Danny Solis (25th), Daley's hand-picked president pro-tem and staunchest Hispanic supporter, said he would reluctantly go along with the booting blitz.

"'There's so much money still outstanding. It's just one notch more. It's better than a $10 [monthly] fee to pick up garbage,' Solis said."


Annual parking ticket fines alone for even the most conscientious driver who doesn't have a private garage tend to total more than the $120 a year garbage fee would, and that's not even counting the obnoxious booting fees.

"This is a bad idea," Ald. Toni Preckwinkle (4th) told the S-T. "It would have a terrible impact on ordinary working people in Chicago."


Maybe we should have a boot tax. You know, assess a fee for every pair of boots folks own. Just sayin'.

"Chicago Transit Authority President Ron Huberman and CTA Chair Carole Brown will announce budget-cutting measures this morning in response to expected shortfalls," the Sun-Times reports.

"The agency expects to lose $34.5 million in 2009 from giving free rides to seniors, the low-income disabled, and members of the military, along with $32 million from the loss of the state's reduced fare subsidy, for a total loss of $66.5 million."

Welcome to the Blagojevich Transit Authority. Next stop: Idiotville.


Maybe we should boot the governor. I mean, really, just immobilize the guy.


Maybe we should assess a tax on all seniors who take free rides on the CTA. Just sayin'.

Medical Malpractice
"Mayor Daley's plan to borrow $85 million to buy the campus of Michael Reese Hospital to pave the way for construction of a $1.1 billion Olympic Village has hit a snag," the Sun-Times reports.

Hard to believe!

"The $85 million borrowing was controversial even before the latest complication. Even as Daley is poised to lay off more than 1,000 city employees in the face of a $420 million budget shortfall, aldermen have questioned why City Hall would make an $85 million gamble that the depressed real estate market will come roaring back.

"Though the loan would be backed by property taxes, City Hall has said Chicago taxpayers would not be left holding the bag because, long before the principal is due, the city expects to recoup its costs by selling the property to a master developer."

Insert your own booting joke here.

Machine Press
If I was the editor of one of our esteemed dailies, I would been inclined to run a top-of-page-one headline the other day that read "Daley: No Machine!"

And then instructed my campaign reporters to ask Barack Obama if he believes there is a Chicago Machine.

Cop Shop
Compare and contrast.

"It's much better for Obama if reporters focus on whether Palin, the governor of Alaska, was truly evil for trying to fire her former brother-in-law, the cop who allegedly Tasered his own 11-year-old stepson," John Kass writes.

"Some were rejected from suburban police departments. Others sold cocaine and smoked pot. A few were thieves. Others are related to crooks. One was even a gang member. They're among dozens of people restored to the Chicago Police Department's hiring list after they were found unfit to become cops," the Sun-Times reports.

Ball Drop
"The Chicago Police Board has the final say on firings, and it turned down the superintendent about 70 percent of the time between 2003 and 2007. It operates with little publicity, even though its decisions play a big role in ensuring quality policing in the city."

Sun-Times editor-in-chief Michael Cooke was not available for comment.

More of the Same
"Democrat Barack Obama says he would delay rescinding President Bush's tax cuts on wealthy Americans if he becomes the next president and the economy is in a recession, suggesting such an increase would further hurt the economy," AP reports.

New game: Drink every time Obama reverses a position!

Partisan Feminism
"Are you as surprised as I am that people in the year 2008 are debating whether Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin should have thought twice about being John McCain's running mate because she has a baby and her teen unwed daughter is pregnant?" Lynn Sweet writes in a blog post called "When it comes to defending Palin's right to run for vice president, where are the feminists?"


Memo to readers who know who they are: It's possible to believe that Sarah Palin - like Hillary Clinton - is a target of rank sexism and hypocrisy without endorsing her candidacy or agreeing with any of her policy positions.

Parallel Universe
I received this e-mail this morning.

Each base is now sufficiently revved up to perpetuate the nastiest presidential campaign with as little relationship to the truth as any in modern history. Ironic, huh?


Maybe we should boot the bases.


You know what would be refreshing? If Barack Obama gave a speech and said, "Knock it off!" If he gave a speech reprising his long-disappeared theme of unifying the country behind an elevated political discourse of dignity and respect instead of waging a campaign that I'm sure will be the ugliest yet. He could even text message his supporters, and maybe throw in a few words about sexism. He could call out smears against McCain and Palin as well as those against himself, and appeal directly to independent swing voters while doing it.


Maybe he and McCain could even set up a joint fact-check site for the most scurrilous smears - I know this has been proposed elsewhere, though I can't remember where - that both campaigns could agree are beyond the pale.

Breaking News
"Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama held his daughters' hands when he escorted them to their first day of school," AP reports.

No kidding. AP really reported this.

The Beachwood Tip Line: For when you're Hungry, Angry, Lonely and Tired..


Posted on September 8, 2008

MUSIC - Holiday Hullabaloo.
POLITICS - Bank Profits Soaring.
SPORTS - Chicago vs. Michigan, 1903.

BOOKS - Dia De Los Muertos Stories.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: West Town Blues.

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