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The [Monday] Papers

"We know you think it's weak to allow anyone to see any emotion, especially emotion as embarrassing as well, embarrassment," our very own Jim Coffman advises Lovie Smith. "But if you aren't ashamed of your defense's fundamental flaw, then pretty soon you'll have to stop pretending you're the right man for this job."

Steaming Pile
"President-elect Barack Obama, tear down those walls," Ad Age writes in an editorial today. "One of the words bandied about by many supporters of the next resident of the Oval Office was transparency. We've got one place he can start: this steaming pile of excrement known as the bailout plan."

Losing Ground
Among the new third-quarter housing stats released by Zillow.


Freak Show
"Feld Entertainment - the producer of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus - is represented by lobbyist Timothy Dart, the brother of Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart," the Sun-Times reports. "Timothy Dart, his wife, Jennifer, his law partner John Nicolay and their law firm, Nicolay & Dart, have contributed $13,100 to aldermen and their ward organizations since 2004, $4,000 of that to Finance Committee Chairman Edward M. Burke (14th), Illinois State Board of Elections records show.

"Sources said Burke played a behind-the-scenes role in engineering the City Council delay [on an elephant-cruelty ordinance]."

Well, Ed Burke does need the money. I'm sure Nicolay & Dart are just being generous and don't expect anything in return for their gift.


Ed Burke can drink water while Willie Cochran speaks.

Sweet Lou
Rick Telander can't fathom how Lou Piniella was voted NL Manager of the Year.

Yes, if the voting took place after the playoffs, you'd probably have to go with the Phillies' Charlie Manuel. But Piniella guided a not-so-perfectly constructed team without a lead-off hitter or, really, an outfield, as well as a No. 1 pitcher who is such a No. 1 head case that he couldn't open the playoffs to 97 wins. Who else?

Six Degrees of Bill Cellini
Even the judge is connected.

Valerie Valhalla
It's been fascinating to watch Daley tool Valerie Jarrett suddenly emerge as a sainted public servant because she's a close adviser to Barack Obama. Maybe David Axelrod set up all those gushy magazine profiles.

Those in-the-know, though, know.

"The ultimate Chicago insider, Jarrett has family roots that run generations deep. She has avoided the scandals that have ensnared other Chicago power brokers, but her time in civic life has not been without some controversy," Politico reports.

"Habitat, which manages subsidized housing throughout the city, has been criticized for mismanaging some of its properties. One of the public-private projects, Grove Parc Plaza, deteriorated so badly that federal inspectors rated conditions there an 11 on a 100-point scale and moved to seize the property.

"Jarrett has supported a transformation of public housing that has demolished whole public housing projects and replaced them with mixed housing that includes both affordable and market-rate units, said Ethan Michaeli, publisher of Residents' Journal, a nonprofit publication that covers Chicago's low-income communities, who has written about Jarrett since the early 90s.

"The approach 'hasn't done much for public housing tenants or poor people in general,' he said, largely because the mixed-use developments have less affordable housing.

"The policy has poured billions of taxpayer dollars into private development and management companies and reduced the number of public housing units, Michaeli said. And when he talks to former residents of the demolished Robert Taylor Homes, more than 4,400 apartments in 28 high-rise buildings named after Jarrett's grandfather, Michaeli said he has never met a resident who benefited from the mixed-use approach.

"'If their lives were better, it was despite the best efforts of the housing agency, not because of them,' he said."

Detroit Leaning
I'm not sure if a bailout of America's top automakers is a good idea or not, though I'm leaning toward Not. But the argument against "forcing" these companies into bankruptcy - where they would not go out of business, but re-organize - because nobody will want to buy a car from a company in bankruptcy strikes me as kind of ridiculous. After all, who among us hasn't flown on an airlines in bankruptcy?

Losing Wood
So, my reading of these stories about Kerry Wood is that Jim Hendry is basically a liar. Do I have that wrong? It turns out Wood was willing to return to the Cubs on a one-year contract - surely with a hometown discount. Hendry, though, acted as if the Cubs wanted Wood back but just couldn't afford him. And, you know, he was looking out for Wood's family and suggested he go sign a multi-year deal somewhere else. Why not just say Wood no longer fits in the Cubs plans? I'm sure Wood and his family don't need looking after.

College Daze
Please, no more self-indulgent columns about journalists sending their kids to college. And you don't even have to leave Chicago to witness that incredibly weird secret custom called "tailgating."

The Beachwood Tip Line: Here and back.


Posted on November 17, 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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