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The [Monday] Papers

By Steve Rhodes

From my Facebook feed:

"Ted McClelland loves this Wikipedia entry: Stewart Ernest Cink (born May 21, 1973) is an American professional golfer best known for screwing up the finish of the 2009 Open Championship."

God bless Wikipedia.

"Many of the banks that got federal aid to support increased lending have instead used some of the money to make investments, repay debts or buy other banks," the Washington Post reports.

Bringing Sachsy Back
"I've always thought that the guys running Goldman Sachs were really smart, not only about making money, but also about projecting a classy image to the world outside of Wall Street," writes Allan Sloan, easily one of the best business writers in the nation.

"Clearly, I overestimated them. If there was ever a firm with the motivation - and the money - to be gracious to the U.S. taxpayers who kept it alive when the financial markets were imploding, it's Goldman. It had a chance to look good and do good for taxpayers and itself and Wall Street for a relative pittance - and has blown it. Horribly."

The Real Public Option
"[A] recent USA Today poll found that only four percent of Americans trust insurance companies. This is within the margin of error, which means it is possible that NO ONE trusts insurance companies," U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich writes in a letter to constituents reposted on the Beachwood today.

"Then why does Congress trust the insurance companies? A few days ago, HR 3200 ('America's Affordable Health Choices Act'), a 1,000 page-bill, was delivered to members. The title of the bill raises a question: 'Affordable' for whom?"

Healthy Debate
On the other hand, I'm not sure single-payer could ever get passed in America. Not that I don't think Democrats should try to ram it through. I do.

Too bad, then, that once again they are pushing a mediocre mish-mash not likely to go anywhere.

But there are alternatives - not that we're hearing about any because the Obama administration isn't interested in a real debate or fresh ideas.

"Despite budgets ravaged by the recession, at least 13 states have invested millions of dollars this year to cover 250,000 more children with subsidized government health insurance," the New York Times reports.

As I've wondered before, why not allow states to continue their experiments with health care - backed by federal funds and mandated minimum levels of coverage?

Seems like something conservatives and liberals could both get behind - particularly if big business is lined up under the tempting notion that they could get out of the health-care business that is shackling them.

CTA Fail
"Looking to cut costs at a time the mass-transit agency is strapped for cash, CTA President Richard Rodriguez says he'll take away employees' free take-home cars," the Sun-Times reports.

"The agency has been providing 68 employees with 'company cars' that they can take home, at no cost to them."

Wait, the CTA has been providing free cars to some of its employees?

"Those who have been getting the perk include 38 upper-level managers who make more than $100,000 a year."

Wait, the CTA has been providing free cars to exactly the people who don't need them?


The problem with every cost-cutting measure and "reform" announced by Rodriguez is that it makes his predecessor, Ron Huberman, now the head of Chicago Public Schools, look like a putz.

Blago Radio
Speaking of putzes . . .

Maxi Dweeb
And speaking of Huberman glitches, the Maxi car experiment has officially been declared a failure.

Airport Sleepers Hate O'Hare
Rated sixth-worst among world travelers.

Council Creep
Ocasio's Second Choice: His Wife.

Postcards From Pitchfork
"[T]he fifth annual Pitchfork Music Festival overall was again as great as an outdoor festival experience can be," Jim DeRogatis writes.

We've got Greg Kot's video review, Flaming Lips performance video, and Flickr photo set links, thanks to the glories of the Internet.

Holy Bat Fungus
"A fungus affecting several species of endangered bats is causing officials to close publicly owned caves, but instead of complaining, local cave explorers are donating to research funds and making sure they don't spread the fungus when they explore," the Daily Herald reports.

"Among them are the members of the Sub-Urban Chicago Grotto of the National Speleological Society, a caving club that meets in Naperville.

"'It's hard to explain to Chicago people who don't know or probably care too much about caves that this is a vital part of our ecosystem,' said Gary Gibula, chairman of the local group."

White Sox Report
It's about to get ugly.

Hawk Tawk
"Hey John McDonough, the next time you're going to fire a flat-out successful general manager (the Blackhawks improved every season Dale Tallon was at the helm, culminating in an exciting run to the conference finals this year), maybe you should do it before he makes so many moves in the off-season that your roster is just about locked in for the next year," Jim Coffman writes in SportsMonday.

"At least you should do that, John, if you hope to convince fans with at least an intermittent pulse that the move was due to anything other than a childish personality conflict."

Online Whodunnit
"Only a few gems shine out from amongst the eFeces, and Eliza Frye's online mini-comic The Lady's Murder is perhaps an exemplar for other would-be online comic artists," writes Beachwood comics correspondent Max Eddy, returning to our pages today after a too-long hiatus.

White Dreams
City of Brass Balls. Narcissus of Cloudgate.

Walter's Wisdom
Cronkite on the ruling class, media ethics, and MLK.


The Beachwood Tip Line: A different kind of ruling class.


Posted on July 20, 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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