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The [Monday] Papers

1. "In 1992, Ross Perot's high-profile independent campaign siphoned Republican votes away from Bush and helped doom his re-election campaign against Democrat Bill Clinton," Laura Washington writes today.

"Consumer and environmental gadfly Nader returned the favor in 2000, wreaking havoc on Democratic nominee Gore's presidential dreams in the brutally contested 2000 presidential contest. Nader's Green Party run helped bring us George W. Bush, America's most disastrous president."

Neither of these assertions are true.

Exit polling showed that Perot voters were otherwise evenly split between Bush and Clinton.

Likewise, the butterfly ballot in Palm Beach County hurt Al Gore far more than Ralph Nader, as did a host of other factors. Some polling indicates as well that Nader voters weren't necessarily otherwise disposed to Gore. And something like 200,000 registered Democrats in Florida voted for Bush.

The blame-Nader analysis also ignores the obvious fact that more Floridians tried to vote for Al Gore than George W. Bush. Simple as that.

You can propagate the myths that usually originate as talking points from political campaigns or parties or you can think for yourself and, um, check it out.

2. Wearing a kilt backwards wasn't the only thing Neil Steinberg got wrong in his column today.

Dan Rostenkowski hardly went to prison with his "head held high." According to former Tribune managing editor Dick Ciccone, Rostenkowksi complained that "I'm going to jail for sending a guy a rocking chair."

As if.

And Rostenkowski complained that "The press, especially the Sun-Times, wanted to sell papers. There were a lot of suppositions and uninformed stories."

For decades, apparently.

From James Merriner's Mr. Chairman: Power in Dan Rostenkowski's America:

"In a series of articles beginning 20 November 1983, Rostenkowski's and Annunzio's machinations were disclosed in the Chicago Sun-Times by reporter Chuck Neubauer (who later wrote many of the stories leading to Rostenkowski's indictment in 1994). Rostenkowski's public response was predictable and characteristic: 'Anything I did for Presidential Towers, I did for the city,' he said. 'I guess I use my leverage for any kind of project that benefits the city.' It was good for the city!"

When he was finally indicted for a whole 'nother set of schemes, federal prosecutor Eric Holder, now the U.S. Attorney General, said: "This indictment alleges that Congressman Rostenkowski used his elective office to perpetrate an extensive fraud on the American people."

Rostenkowski eventually plead guilty in exchange for the most serious charges being dropped.


I guess that's what you get, though, from a guy who gets such a thrill out of rubbing shoulders with with the people he "covers" - even if they're convicted felons who betrayed the public trust for decades out of a thirst for power.


"Had lunch last Friday with Dan Rostenkowski and a few other pals," Steinberg wrote on Feb. 4, 2009. "A rollicking good time upstairs at Gene & Georgetti, as always, and while discretion forbids me from revealing anything that was said, I must comment upon one gesture.

"Occasionally, to emphasize a point or subtly signal that I should shut up so he could speak, Mr. Chairman would reach over, grasp my forearm and give it a squeeze.

"Afterward, I thought about how many times Lyndon Johnson must have done the same thing to Rostenkowski , and it pleased me greatly to think of that squeeze being passed from LBJ to Rosty to me."


Neil Steinberg's continuing search for validation in all the wrong places, only in the Sun-Times.

3. Last May, Beachwood legal correspondent Sam Singer thought Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan was the favorite for the opening that instead went to Sonia Sotomayor.

"For those keeping score, Elena Kagan has more 'plus factors' in her column than either of the two favorites," Singer wrote.

"That's to her credit, but she also enjoys some other advantages. For one, she has built a reputation as a unifier, having gone further toward uniting Harvard Law's warring academic factions than any dean in recent memory. Also, her hair is still windblown from sailing through the Senate after the president appointed her Solicitor General. She was confirmed by a vote of 61 to 31. Those are odds Obama just might take."

4. "Congressman Mark Kirk will speak at the City Club of Chicago public policy luncheon Monday," his campaign says. "He will discuss the opportunities and challenges we face at home and abroad."

And how each relates to Broadway Bank.

5. How 'Bout Those, Um, Hawks?

6. "At least in the short term, fares are likely to rise, especially on routes with less competition and the 13 routes flown nonstop between the two airlines' hubs, such as Newark to Los Angeles, Cleveland to Chicago, Denver to Newark, Houston to Denver, and others," George Hobia of Airfare Watchdog reports.


"Since United has slightly different fees for some services than Continental does, it's likely that any higher fees on United will be adopted on routes flown by Continental, as happened when Delta merged with lower-fee Northwest. And existing fees could increase, since the less choice that consumers have, the fewer opportunities they have to fly on airlines with lower fees."

These deals are never about consumers, no matter what hullaballoo you'll be hearing.

7. Kmart's circular logic.

8. Facebook executives apparently don't read Facebook.

9. "Gene Simmons recalls passing by the band's hotel room (Rush toured as Kiss' opener early on), only to find Lee, Lifeson and Peart sitting quietly reading or watching TV while everyone else orgied," Variety reports in it's story about the documentary Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage.

(h/t: Mark Frazel's Facebook feed.)

10. The White Sox's plan is working.

11. The Cubs' plan is working.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Work it.


Posted on May 10, 2010

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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