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The [Monday] Papers

1. If only Abt had a liquor license.

2. I will never buy a Chevrolet or a John Mellencamp record again. Not that I ever bought either to begin with. But still.

3. Two people pointed out to me yesterday that the ranch in the latest of the Mellencamp commercials is the KK ranch. "Just one K short," one said. Ain't that America.

4. Michael Richards goes on Jesse Jackson's nationally syndicated radio show to apologize and discuss last week's racial tirade and the Tribune gives it a few wire service paragraphs on page 15 in its celebrity Personals column - right next to items about Mario Lopez and Karina Smirnoff going on vacation together and a Princess Diana benefit concert in the making. Ain't that America.

5. The Beachwood Study Group solves Iraq.

6. Abt should consider selling personal seat licenses

7. Dawn Turner Trice just learned about Flavor of Love. Welcome to Planet Earth! Enjoy your brief stay here.

8. Yuppie and Chocolate Factory.

9. David Blaine: Alternate Endings.

10. "A few years before the Southwest accident, Chicago and the FAA had agreed that due to the shorage of available land, it was not practical under FAA criteria to build the 1,000-foot runway safety areas or the satndard 600-foot aircraft-arresting system on runway ends at the landlocked Southwest Side airport," the Tribune reported over the weekend.

The city has no business having - and expanding - an airport there. If the mayor was truly the visionary he is said to be, he would have created a comprehensive transportation plan at some point in his 17 years as mayor that would have closed Midway, capped flights at O'Hare, and built a third airport with express rail (and a refurbished El lines on the South Side) to the Loop.

11. The Sun-Times noted that new buffers at the Southwest Side airport "marked a departure from previous statements made by city officials, including Mayor Daley, that major changes at Midway weren't needed to improve safety."

12. "C'MON, TODD!" The Sun-Times pleaded on its front page on Sunday. "They said we were crazy to endorse you in the election but we stood by you . . . and you're letting us down already?" And yet, the paper still refuses to tell the truth about how the editorial board was allegedly overruled by publisher John Cruickshank in its endorsement, apparently to pander to black readers. Maybe the headline ought to have been C'MON JOHN, WE TOLD YOU SO! The paper is kidding itself if it thinks Todd Stroger is going to suddenly become somebody he's not. Then again, they've got a ready-made headline now they'll be able to use an untold number of times in the next four years. Maybe they oughta just make it a permanent part of its logo, like that broken palm tree.

13. Stroger doesn't want to fire Gerald Nichols before Christmas, which is very compassionate of him. Of course, Nichols makes six figures for nothing that anybody can figure out. But still, you wouldn't want to put the guy out on the street during the holidays.

14. If Stroger continues to meet with Nichols outside the office, as he says he will, which one ought to wear the wire?

15. On Bobbie Steele's plan to hand her job to her son, the Sun-Times editorial page says: "Bequeathing government positions to children is bad old-style politics and she shouldn't do it." From the paper that endorsed Todd Stroger.

16. Then again, the edit board says that in her short time as interim president, Steele has performed "admirably, bringing intelligence and common sense to tackling the county's problems." Name one example. Her one responsibility was to put together a budget, which she hasn't done. Maybe the paper will endorse her to stay on as interim president emeritus.

17. The Tribune had a really good idea - though not great in execution - on Sunday, asking its arts critics to recall reviews in which they had reassessed their original opinion. I wish the paper's editorial board would exhibit the same sense of humility and self-examination, seeing as it is still performing intellectual contortions to justify its support of the war. In its latest rationalization, the paper tries to draw a parallel between Iraq and the Hungarian uprising of 1957, which is a completely unworkable analogy on several levels, the first of which is that there was no uprising in Iraq, and in fact no real democracy movement, and thus no side for us to be on. The editorial board also doesn't address the fact that in the long run a containment strategy may have been the best way to deal with turning Iraq into a democracy, and that the damage this course of action has caused will likely set back the American cause of exporting democracy for years to come.

I didn't see that the paper is advocating the overthrow of North Korea and Cuba either, or owning up to our role in overthrowing democracies in places such as Chile, or recalling in disgust our support of a military coup of the democractically-elected Hugo Chavez, or discussing the Shah we installed and propped up in Iran, which haunts us to this day.

Just admit it, Tribune: You were wrong.

18. The likelihood that larger class sizes miraculously translate into educational gains is about the same as Todd Stroger becoming president of the United States. The smaller classes that performed worse than the larger classes also had a greater percentage of impovershed students. Why is everyone so afraid to attribute achievement gaps to socioeconomic background - because it proves we have to spend more money on poor people? All these other issues are details.

19. "A Racial Gap, Or An Income Gap?"

20. Erika Coleman made the front page of Saturday's Sun-Times. For what? Parking in a handicapped spot. Which is not a nice thing to do. But . . . front-page news?"She was one of two dozen caught in a sting targeting drivers illegally parking in spots reserved for the disabled." Other stories making news in the Sun-Times recently: Kids redid the kitchen when the parents were out! A dog is missing! A wedding ring is lost! Coming tomorrow: A profile of Sheriff Andy Taylor.

21. Dateline Bronzeville.

22. Dateline Devon Avenue.

23. "Ronald Reagan once said, 'You know, you don't even think of Colin as black.'" Because Reagan's perception of a black man was . . . of someone else. "I ain't that black," Powell said himself. Because Powell's perception of a black man is apparently just like Reagan's.

Colin Powell was a loyal soldier - loyal to his career, and maybe his president, but not loyal to his country.

24. "Solomon was David's son, the wisest man who ever lived. If it's considered tradition, so be it," Steele told ABC-7. "I don't want anyone to think that I'm a bandit and I'm taking something and running. That's not me. I didn't make the law, and if I become the beneficiary of it, it's by no doing of my own."

Steele ought to consult some ethical and spiritual advisors on that. But then, the biggest bandit of all is Daley. The political culture starts at the top.

25. Today is a good day to review how to make an angry sports radio call.

The Beachwood Tip Line: We told you so. In so many ways.


Posted on November 27, 2006

MUSIC - Lyric Opera Strike An Old Story.
POLITICS - USA Today's Op-Ed Disaster.
SPORTS - Beachwood Sports Radio: Kanye, Chili, Jimmy, Tarik.

BOOKS - Conway Barbour & The Black Middle Class.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Recall! Malone's Pork Head Cheese.

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