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The [Monday] Papers

By Steve Rhodes

Our very own George Ofman is right: You watched the Bears yesterday just to see if they would actually lose to the Rams.

More Meter Madness
So Abu Dhabi is making money off our parking meters because our own politicians didn't have the guts to raise rates themselves. Can Chicago buy the meters of some other country with similarly gutless politicians? I'm thinking Luxembourg. Just because.


Does Kabul have parking meters? See where I'm going with this?


Or Cleveland. Stick close to home.


"Minutes from a recent Chicago Parking Meters LLC board meeting show that one Abu Dhabi Investment Authority executive and two Allianz officials were among the board members present when officials discussed revenue figures from the meters and expressed a desire to increase enforcement against parking scofflaws," the Chicago News Cooperative reports."

Abu Dhabis and Germans are now ticketing your car.


They aren't the only ones.

"The city's hunt to fill its cash-starved coffers has come to this: Some traffic-control aides - those city employees in the fluorescent coats who help cars and pedestrians move through busy intersections - are now writing parking tickets full time," the Sun-Times reports.


I think Dog the Bounty Hunter is writing tickets in Chicago now too.

It's a free-for-all.

Fee Spree
"Liquor isn't the only commodity taxed at higher rates from five years ago. In that time, various local governments have imposed a variety of higher taxes, fees and fines, with many increases topping 100 percent, a Chicago Sun-Times review found.

"Moreover, most of the increases far outpaced the rate of inflation over the same period: 14.4 percent."


"Mr. Tunney said this week that only the 'naive' could believe Mr. Daley's assertion that the 2010 budget would not raise taxes or fees. 'Ask anybody who parks in the city if we have raised taxes,' the North Side alderman said, referring to the sharp increase in parking-meter rates after the city leased on-street parking management to a private company."


Daley Shadow Budget Revealed.

Sees No Evil
Nov. 15: "Mayor Daley says city has done enough to fix hiring."

Dec. 5: "More Chicago hiring abuses alleged: Monitor criticizes Mayor Richard Daley's team"


My post: "Monitor: City Hall Hiring Still Needs Oversight."

It's Still Blago's World
We're just living in it.

The Desiree Rogers Show
"But beneath the clothes there is a woman of substance, friends say," the New York Times reports. "Tom Patrick, the former chairman of the utility companies who was Ms. Rogers's boss, recalls Ms. Rogers 'slapping on a hard hat' to go out into the field with utility workers."

Oh my God, the president of People's Gas actually slapped on a hard hat and mingled with the field workers!


"Rogers has been criticized for not following the customary practice of stationing social office employees at entry points to provide information to the Secret Service. It would be interesting to know what light she can shed on the whole matter, and Obama is wrong to refuse to let her answer questions," the Tribune editorial page notes.

"White House staffers in past administrations have given testimony on Capitol Hill on numerous occasions. True, many presidents have barred advisers from testifying on sensitive matters - citing executive privilege, which is supposed to protect the confidentiality of discussions between the president and his aides.

"But it's hard to make the case that it applies to Rogers.

"Gibbs might want to check with Harvard constitutional scholar Cass Sunstein, who has explained, 'Direct decisionmaking by the president is required. If the president himself is not directly involved, there is no privilege.' That wouldn't be hard for Gibbs to do, since Sunstein is now head of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs."

Or, for that matter, just check in with the president. He's a constitutional scholar, remember?

Ad Seg
"We are constantly told by potential advertisers that they won't advertise unless they 'get editorial.' That's what it's like in Chicago," publisher Pam Berns writes in Chicago Life (not online yet). "Pick up most local publications and see what they cover. A few publications write a paragraph on every advertiser. Others have their advertisers on the cover. Some even let the advertisers write a column next to to their ad. Others promise a page of 'editorial' for every page of advertising."

Name names, please.

Cubs vs. Bears
"As bad as the Bears season has been, the Cubs off-season might end up worse," our very own Jim Coffman writes.

News 101
"For Stewart, current events mattered, and they were being bungled by public officials and the purveyors of real news," John Leland writes in the New York Times. "He made you feel better about not reading the paper or watching CNN because his take was more real."

"Headlines that declare 'Area Bedroom Has That Weird Jeff Smell, Housemates Report' or 'Spelling-Bee Runner-Up Bursts Into Tears Whenever Anyone Says Proprietor' reflect American lives more closely - and more affectionately - than much of what passes for real news."

War Plan
"Perhaps only a 'handful' of U.S. troops will leave Afghanistan in July 2011, the date President Obama set to begin a withdrawal, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said."



"Count Sen. Dick Durbin among those doubtful about the new deployment of troops in Afghanistan that President Barack Obama has ordered," the Tribune reports.

"'I'm skeptical as to whether 30,000 more troops will make a difference,'' Durbin, the senior senator from Illinois, No. 2 Democratic leader in the Senate and mentor and friend to Obama, said on FOX News Sunday. 'We have over 200,000 now when you count NATO forces, American forces and Afghan military forces'."

Programming Note
Posting has slowed down in some of our sections lately due in part to my recent bout with the swine; it will probably continue to be light this month while I focus on strategy and other matters involving our recent grant, which should be rolling in the door any minute. Just so you know, the money doesn't go into my pocket (sigh), it's pretty much all earmarked for particular projects designed to move things forward around here. More on that to come.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Perhaps.


Posted on December 7, 2009

MUSIC - Who's Next In Chicago Rap.
TV - Tribune-Nexstar Deal Is Bad News.
POLITICS - Charter Schools Should Talk More About Racism.
SPORTS - The Ex-Cub Factor.

BOOKS - Wright Brothers, Wrong Story!

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Hologram Arcade Machines.

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