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The [Monday] Papers

PROGRAMMING NOTE 10:51 A.M.: I don't know if I'm going to get a Papers column out today, I'm just swamped. In the meantime, though, here are some other new Beachwood offerings that kick a lot of butt.

* Bin Dive's Five Favorite Cover Songs. As determined by our very own Scott Buckner.

He sets his piece up this way:

"The 1960s was especially littered with the corpses of gone-nowhere originals like The Olympics' 'Good Lovin'' or The Top Notes' 'Twist and Shout' being turned into monster chart-toppers by bands like The Young Rascals, The Isley Brothers and The Beatles. Or if you were Carl Perkins, you were waking up pretty much every other weekend to find out someone was scabbing your rockabilly songs like Blue Suede Shoes' and 'Summertime Blues' into records that would eclipse your own.

"On the other hand, it's not hard to imagine Tennessee Ernie Ford going to bed every night praying ABBA might figure out some way to turn 'Sixteen Tons' into the next 'Dancing Queen."

* In SportsMonday, our very own Jim Coffman pleads with the Trib's Rick Morrissey to stop phoning it in, lauds's Bill Simmons, and updates the fortunes of the Hawks and Bulls.

* In TrackNotes, we had to add our Triple Crown Trail watch late if you want to catch back up with it. The bulk of Thomas Chambers' piece this week is about online betting. Mmm, online betting . . .

* Getting Pregnant & Insurance Lizards. The latest news from Pueblo, Colorado.

* Getting Roland To Go. How the cool kids in the Senate can chase him out.

* Universal Sports and the Digital Conversion. It's Scott Buckner day at the Beachwood.

"For anyone either too poor or too Fuck-The-Man because there's something fundamentally wrong with Comcast charging the gross domestic product of Peru for basic cable, an advantage to the analog TV conversion is the dozen or so additional digital channels you get absolutely free. This is a welcome development for anyone with a lot of useless UHF channels because you don't speak Spanish or Korean," Scott writes.

"Among the digital spawn is NBC's Universal Sports on channel 5.3, which is pretty much the free-TV equivalent of ESPN2. This is fine by me, because ESPN's mother channel doesn't air neat stuff like World's Strongest Man competitions from Iceland. This week, Universal Sports was busy covering a whole slew of World Cup events like bobsledding, luge, and skiing from Bulgaria and Slovenia. Defend Summer Olympic events like javelin throwing and pole vaulting all you want, but they don't hold a candle to a ski jumper floating breathtakingly-perfect through the air only to land with the style and grace of someone getting pushed off the end of a pier during a Red Bull Flugtag."

Buckner, by the way, recently won a 2009 Farmer's Almanac for prevailing in our Super Bowl Halftime Bracket competition.

He and runners-up Jeanette Pesnikov and Kelly the Counter also each received foldable cardboard pickle hats. I'll try to get a photo posted soon.

* Wow, I just noticed that my post on Friday called "Dumb White People" has gotten 47 comments - some from people who want me fired! It's a different audience over there.

* I tried to analyze the permutations of voting blocs in the 5th District over there as well, in a post called "Slicing Up The 5th." Not quite sure if I nailed that one, I was hoping to describe the race more as a serious of math equations, but the research involved in dividing likely voters into their various segments was just too much to do so early in the morning - and for what they pay me.

* "Chicago's Muslim Banking Solution" isn't the smoothest thing I've written, but in doing the research I discovered that Devon Bank is pretty frickin' interesting. I think there's a larger point here to be made about being more creative in thinking about mortgages and lending.

* I'm glad that Pat Quinn is talking up the governor's mansion. Check out the photo galleries and such.

The Weekend Desk Report
We sleep all week just to make sure we've got fresh eyes come Saturday.

Market Update
Hey, not all the news is bad these days; Losing Shirts posted soaring profits this week and analysts predict a possible boom in the Pot to Piss In sector.

Go Blue Line
Mayor Richard Daley this week made a controversial move, naming Richard Rodriguez head of the CTA. The hiring already has its critics, many claiming he's not entirely on the level. For his part, R-Rod says he plans to completely overhaul the transportation system, even if it means recruiting a whole new set of riders.

Senior Class
R-Rod was unlikely to get much help from Illinois Governor Pat Quinn in retaining his senior class. The governor this week backed down from a plan to restrict the free-rides program majestically championed by his predecessor, Ramrod Blagojevich. Quinn stated he knows of at least one Illinois senior who still needs to get home.

March Badness
It's not quite Selection Sunday, but we at the Beachwood Reporter Weekend Desk feel we can confidently predict two of the top seeds in the 2009 NCAA Bastardball Tournament. Perennial favorite Robert Mugabe looks set to head this year's Despot section. He'll face stiff competition from a Financiers bracket overloaded with talent. While it's a tough call to pick a front-runner, we're pretty sure no one at AIG has bankrupted a freaking Nobel Peace Laureate recently, so we're going with Bernie Madoff.

En-Suing Crisis
Finally this week, it seems no one is unaffected by the worsening economy. Even the once-ferocious dinosaurs are taking a bath.

The Beachwood Tip Line: Superbad.


Posted on March 2, 2009

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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