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The [Monday] Papers

It's funny how the names are almost always the same - just in different combinations.

On Friday, the names were Bill Cellini, Ed Burke, Michael Marchese, Michael Madigan, Eddie Vrdolyak, Richie Stein and Richard M. Daley, among others.

On Sunday, in the Sun-Times, the names were Bill Cellini, Michael Marchese, Eddie Burke, Dick Mell, Tony Rezko and Richard M. Daley.

At least today Vrdolyak goes on trial.

Clout Corner
Read the Sun-Times story from Sunday and then marvel at the Chicago Way:

* Watch as Daley - unprecedented for him - not only endorses Rod Blagojevich for governor but agrees to serve as chairman of his campaign. (Then Bill Daley, Rahm Emanuel and - wait for it - Barack Obama plotted strategy to get Blago elected.)

* Watch Daley come down with a cross between Newsheimers and Fedheimers.

"Neither the mayor nor any of the people who worked on the project have any recollection of a meeting in which the mayor specifically requested a Home Depot, or anything specific," Daley spokeswoman Jacquelyn Heard said.

A) See the mayor never answers questions himself, except at press conferences where he doesn't have to answer questions.

B) Not a single person has any recollection of a meeting in which the mayor specifically requested a Home Depot. That's probably because the mayor's spokesperson was asking the question.

C) Or maybe the trick is a meeting in which the mayor specifically requested a Home Depot. He could've just winked.

* Watch Tony Rezko in the middle of everything much to Obama's supposed ignorance.

* Another Ali Ata sighting!

* Watch Dick Mell redraw the boundaries of his ward to excise residents who didn't want a Home Depot in their neighborhood.

"He called me up, asked me for my address, and then mapped me out of his ward," neighborhood leader Michael Graff told the S-T. "All of a sudden, we're in Vilma Colom's ward."

Be careful, Graff, you could be mapped out of Illinois altogether if you don't cooperate!

* Watch Vilma Colom lose her re-election bid after acquiring said residents.

* Watch Michael Marchese, the mayoral pal who once famously acquired a piece of property from the city for a dollar, make off like a bandit along with his partner, the now-indicted Cellini.

Blinded by the Light
And now watch the Tribune editorial page deny that Obama is associated in any way with Rezko, Emil Jones, Rod Blagojevich, and the Daleys.

"He's not a Daley guy, a Blagojevich guy or a machine guy."

Yes and no. Obama traded endorsements with Daley and kept his mouth shut about widespread corruption emanating from City Hall. He helped plot Blagojevich's first campaign and - through Rezko - helped stock the administration. And we know all too well how his relationship with Jones worked.

Obama is not a Machine hack per se. But he aided and abetted the Machine and the Machine returned the favor. To the degree that Obama kept himself relatively clean, it was about him and not us - it was about his own self-image and cultivated persona and ambitions, not about change or reform or principles or standing up for what's right. Some call it pragmatic, others call it cynical.

Vote for Change
The Beachwood Election Guide shows you how

The Sun-Times wants you to know via its astrologer, Georgia Nicols, that the "celestial events taking place now are amazing."

Really? If so, we'll see them for ourselves in however many light years it will take for those events to reach us.

A Little Birdie
Lefty Rosenthal was a snitch.

That was always the working theory of a lot of us; how else could he have remained both out of prison and alive?

Studs' Place
"He was also known as the quintessential Chicagoan, a label I find kind of funny since I always thought of him as the quintessential New York Jew," our very own Marilyn Ferdinand writes at Ferdy on Films.

"Even so, as a suburban Chicagoan growing up in what was still a very working class metropolitan area, I could very well have learned and retained the narrower horizons that many of my relatives and neighbors had. Studs gave me the kind of civic, social, and cultural education I probably wouldn't have gotten anywhere else, and he may be responsible for my highly eclectic and ecumenical tastes."

I have a brief round-up of tributes on Division Street

Medicare Mess
"On Friday, the City Council's Finance Committee agreed to return $6.9 million in ambulance fees collected from Medicare during the five-year period ending in September 2005," the Sun-Times reports.

"Fire Commissioner John Brookes told the Finance Committee that 50 of his paramedics had been disciplined for making billing mistakes and that all paramedics and emergency medical technicians had been retrained."

Not so easy, guys, is it?

Streets and San
"Though the city's inspector general figures Chicago is wasting millions of dollars a year on garbage-collection crews 'paid to do nothing' for 25 percent of their time on the job, no one has been disciplined for slacking off," the Sun-Times reports.

"City Corporation Counsel Mara Georges said Friday it would be tough to justify the firings promised by Mayor Daley and city Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Michael Picardi in the wake of Inspector General David Hoffman's report last month, let alone suspensions."

See, those promises had an expiration date of one news cycle.

"If they point the finger at the little guy for this problem, the same problem will just reoccur somewhere down the road," Hoffman said. "The main ones to hold accountable are the managers and supervisors who ran the system and allowed taxpayers' funds to be wasted so extensively."

So, you know, Daley and Picardi.

The Beachwood Tip Line: Street smart and sanitary.


Posted on November 3, 2008

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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