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The [Monday] Papers

We're still tweaking but we've gone live with the launch of our new Cubs site Agony & Ivy just in time for today's home opener. We'll be adding features throughout the week as we ramp things up over there; thanks to everyone who helped us fast-track this.

And a big shout-out to Joel Boehm, the founder of the original A&I. Joel went off to a career in law and bequeathed the site to us; we hope to do him proud.


Also in today's Beachwood Baseball package:
- Ofman: Soriano botched a routine fly ball even Venus de Milo would have caught.

- The Cub Factor: Sure, there are some lousy new faces where the old lousy faces were before, but it sure feels like the same team.

- The White Sox Report: Giving Cleveland and Kansas City hope.

Bad Optics
"Optical business gives to pols - and gets government contracts," the Sun-Times reports in conjunction with the Better Government Association.

My favorite part:

"Under the state grants, the Chicago Board of Education was required to audit Arce's contracts - but it never did. Now, after the Sun-Times inquired, all three years will be audited, schools spokeswoman Monique Bond says."



"Frankly, we are insulted by your insinuation,'' Arce says in an e-mail in response to questions from the Sun-Times.

So insulted we will only respond via e-mail instead of answering your questions in full to clear up any misconceptions you may have.


"'I can find no record of Tropical being a client of Altheimer & Gray in 1999-2000, city records notwithstanding,' says Chico, responding to questions via e-mail."

The Sun-Times: Pioneering the art of the e-mail interview. Or How To Report A Story Without Actually Talking To Anyone. Now available as a telecourse or through an Internet college near you.

Hyperbole Alert
"Helen Shiller is the most controversial, intriguing and enigmatic figure in Chicago politics," Laura Washington writes today.

Really? She's not even close to being the most controversial, intriguing and enigmatic figure on the city council, much less the city.

Brain Waves
S. Kantrowitz of Highland Park asks Marilyn: Is it true we use only 10 percent of our brains?

Only when voting.

Assessing Warren
Having ripped James Warren on at least two occasions in this space recently, it's only fair that I point out the gem of a column he wrote on Sunday about the Cook County Assessor's race.

"Joe Berrios is two-legged evidence that the greatest outrages in politics tend to involve what's absolutely legal," Warren writes.

"It's partly why Mr. Berrios and Mr. Madigan are worthy of a Discovery Channel special: the first pair of Hispanic-Irish conjoined twins attached at the checkbook. Mr. Berrios lobbies Mr. Madigan on legislation, while Mr. Madigan appeals to Mr. Berrios for tax relief for clients - saving them many millions of dollars.

"The two men can make political donations to each other, just like litigants before the board can contribute to Mr. Berrios's campaigns and Springfield lobbyists can enrich Mr. Madigan. And the duo can plot in political tandem since Mr. Madigan runs the state Democratic Party while Mr. Berrios runs the county party apparatus."


The chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party is a lobbyist. What more do you need to know?

And he lobbies the chairman of the state Democratic Party!

Who appears before the chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party representing private clients seeking tax breaks!

Unbelievable. Except in Illinois.

That's Alexi!
Also from the New York Times on Sunday - via the Chicago News Cooperative (or vice versa):

"The campaign is also giving serious consideration to a speech Mr. Giannoulias could deliver about the bank, taking the cue from Barack Obama's Philadelphia speech two years ago in which Mr. Obama, then a presidential candidate, addressed the incendiary remarks on race by his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr."

Alexi is practicing choking up at just the right moments as we speak.


"My father's bank operated in a different era - a time when loans to mobsters weren't seen as politically liabilities . . . "

The Maui Convention and Visitors Bureau helped pay for this article about how great Maui is.

What (Some) People Earn
Taylor Swift vs. Sonia Sotomayor.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Earnest.


Posted on April 12, 2010

MUSIC - Millions Of New Guitar Players.
TV - "One America News" is AT&T.
POLITICS - When Wall Street Came To My Mobile Home Park.
SPORTS - Tonyball, Bears On The Run, Eyes On The Sky & More!

BOOKS - China Holding Swedish Publisher.


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