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The [Monday] Papers

1. This is Our Country.

2. This is Our Truck.

3. The Sun-Times described its Veteran's Day front page photo montage on Saturday thusly: "The 147 Illinois servicemen and women who have died since the 2001 attack on the United States."

I thought it was clear by now that the only link between 9/11 and the Iraq war was the one fabricated by the Bush Administration. I guess the press's old habits are hard to break.

4. All the president's father's men

5. Rumsfeld rolling a doobie has got to be the highlight in this election roundup.

6. The [Rahmbo] Papers.

7. Sneed was just "told" that President Bush's father couldn't stand Don Rumsfeld because apparently she hasn't read the papers herself for years.

8. I have to admit, I've had this thought. A Democratic takeover of the House, in particular, opens the door to the president changing course in Iraq while ostensibly saving face, as well as the chance to notch a few Clinton-like triangulated legislative accomplishments in an attempt to save his presidency.

9. Sammy Sosa still insists he never used steroids, but just what did his agent, Adam Katz, mean when he told the Sun-Times's Lacy Banks last spring that Sosa's virtual disappearance from the planet was because "I just don't want any spotlight on Sammy right now until all this [steroids] controversy has been cleared up"?

10. Ed Feulner's alternate universe.

11. As usual, my home-delivered Tribune and New York Times were delivered snugly to my doorstep on Saturday morning. My Sun-Times was left in a puddle on the stoop. At least it got there - my Sunday Sun-Times fails to arrive about once a month. The fishwrap rots from the head down.

12.The best section the Sun-Times publishes is "Controversy" on Sundays, but for some reason they fold it up and hide it deep inside the paper where even a fan like me often forgets to go get it. Fix this.

13. I'm not sure a single sane person on the planet thinks Saddam Hussein is innocent of crimes against humanity, but contrary to the Sun-Times's typically lazy thinking, his trial was anything but a fair model for an Iraqi democracy to build on.

14. For those without TimesSelect: "Iraq got neither the full justice nor the full fairness it deserved. President Bush overreached in calling the trial 'a milestone in the Iraqi people's efforts to replace the rule of a tyrant with the rule of law.'

"From the beginning, the now dominant Shiite and Kurdish politicians have been determined to use Mr. Hussein's trial and punishment to further their own political ends, as Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki has continued to do in recent days . . . powerful politicians regularly tried to influence the outcome, judges were not allowed to rule impartially, and defense lawyers were denied security measures and documents they needed."

15. Bill O'Reilly would rule like Saddam.

16. Bill O'Reilly would really rule like Saddam.

17. He wasn't going to crack.

18. Daley thinks the Bronx is racist.

19. Bill O'Reilly in the Urban Dictionary.

20. Bill O'Reilly, former tabloid TV anchor.

21. Bill O'Reilly, tabloid newspaper columnist. Appearing locally in the Sun-Times.

22. "These days, Democrats cannot seem to get beyond the notion that the president is an inarticulate lightweight. At best, they depict Bush as an amiable puppet running his seven-minute miles while Dick Cheney runs the country. In politics, as in war, the cardinal rule is to know your enemy. By that standard, the Democrats have paid a high price for their lack of interest in viewing Bush in anything other than cartoonish terms. As the Democrats bind their wounds after their recent electoral setbacks, they have theories to explain everything - except Bush's success," Walter Shapiro once wrote in USA Today.

"Few Democrats have faced up to the reality that Bush and his fellow Republicans know how to manage the government. Stephen Hess, a scholar of the presidency at the Brookings Institution, says, 'This is the best-run White House since Eisenhower.' As Hess notes in a new edition of his book Organizing the Presidency, Bush 'imposed his own ideas about running an executive office by making structural changes reflecting his priorities, goals and general approach to governing.'"

23.The media once fixated on George W. Bush being the first MBA president, but it doesn't much matter if you have an MBA if you didn't study and do your homework and end up getting us stuck in Iraq. Not only that, but how idiotic is the media to think an MBA makes that kind of difference? How many terrible managers have MBAs? Most of 'em!

24. Nineteen other countries are less corrupt than us.

25. "But what is really incomprehensible is this: Every other religion has essentially taught that man can get right with God on his own through good 'works,'" Betsy Hart wrote on Sunday. "Christianity is unique in teaching that man is sinful and can never get to God on his own, but instead needs a Savior to be right with God."

Um, okay. On one hand, the most caring, selfless, loving, and generous human beings among us can live noble, inspiring, admirable lives - and believe in God with all their hearts - but still not attain Heaven if they don't accept Jesus as Son of God; on the other, our most despicable, lousy, greedy, selfish, violent, hurtful, despotic sadists can attain Heaven simply by believing in Jesus as Savior. You tell me which one makes sense.

26. Before you flood me with e-mail, yes, I understand Hart doesn't necessarily get her theology right here.

27. Men are pigs.

28. AT&T: Your World. Delivered.

29. Wait a minute - only five cabbies of more than 13,000 in the city have had their licenses suspended in the last two years? I think the Sun-Times missed the story here.

30. By the way, don't send your bad cab stories to the Sun-Times; contribute (both good and bad) to our Taxicab Journal instead. We're on a mission to document every cab in the city, ride-by-ride, and now we're enlisting readers to help us out.

31. I propose a new kind of draft: If you support a war, you have to participate in some way, home or abroad, in whatever capacity the military deems serves its mission best. And cheerleading cheap patriotism to sell newspapers doesn't count.

The Beachwood Tip Line: It'd be cooler if you did.


Posted on November 13, 2006

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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